Grocery shopping can be daunting when you have no idea what to purchase and how to prepare your foods. I have been eating a plant-based diet since 2014 and many people ask, how do you shop? I stray away from the trigger word, vegan, as I feel many people are vegan, but they do not understand why eating a bag of Oreos and potato chips leads them to feel sick and straying back to their old ways. The fact of the matter is, everybody needs nutrients and the only way to get the best source is through wholesome, educationally sourced, foods. I also stray from the word organic as this too has also been a trigger word that seems to automatically mean healthy which is inaccurate.
Many things are labeled organic yet are loaded with sugars, salts, and at times many farmers cannot afford the organic label. This is why farmers markets are so important as you can engage, ask questions, and enlighten yourself on the food that grows around you. I am a huge advocate that food is healthcare, and that the wealth of health stems from our daily intake of nutrients over toxins.
Foods with the most nutrients are in their most wholesome form. Stray away from frozen pre-cut veggies, and anything pre-packaged. Work to look up the dirty dozen list of veggies that are okay to eat non-organic (sprayed with safer chemicals vs. Roundup. Lastly, I try to stay in the produce section as most other sections are going to be full of foods high in acidity and offer little to no nutritional value.
Core foods to always have:
- -Bananas (conventional or organic is okay)
- -Avocados (conventional or organic is okay)
- -Oranges (Conventional or organic is okay)
- -Peanuts/almonds (Raw, unshelled, and unsalted)
- -Peanut butter (No palm oil as it destroys the rainforest, no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils)
- -Black beans
- -red/golden potatoes (lower sugars then russets)
- -Kidney/adzuki beans
- -Himalayan sea salt
- -Braggs liquid aminos
- -Braggs Apple cider vinegar
- -Rice (Sprouted, or wild is best)
- -Kale/spinach/ or any leafy green
- -Red beets (Keep and eat those leafy greens)
- -Mushrooms (Crimini or button) (organic or conventional)
- -Red onions
- -Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal
- -Ezekiel sprouted grain bread
- -Soy sauce/ tamari (Organic***)
- -unrefined coconut oil/sunflower oil
This is a great list to start with, feel free to add or take away based on your diet and needs! Most foods which you do not consume the skin are okay to eat conventionally, however, all fruits and veggies should be washed before cooking or raw consumption to rid of any pesticides and etc. Sprouting grains is amazing for your body as it allows room for the gluten to be released creating an active food instead of being dormant, stagnant, and gluten-filled. When the bi-product is released, the foods become more easily digested and more nutrients are exposed.
I hope this short list of foods and nutritional information helps and please be adventurous with the new ingredients. Try to avoid having too many grains in one dish and also be sure to add fresh herbs from your farmer, garden, or local grocery store! I love cilantro, mint, lemongrass, and basil! Lastly, when cooking work to see a rainbow in each dish.