This post comes with a warning. This is about what works for my family, it may not work for you, but I hope you will read this thoroughly before you judge.
I have been diagnosed with severe, not mild, Celiac Disease. The way I eat determines my quality of life and longevity. I also love to research a lot about everything before I make a choice or decision. I also leave the door open to go back out as well. In other words what I am eating today, mya not be safe tomorrow, or cost effective. Today, I am going to write about FOOD shopping and food choices. Obviously we all have preferences and prejudices, but I thought I would explore the world of shopping for the Celiac or Gluten-Intolerant person. I do not want to have a miserable prolonged death. I want to go quickly, but I want to enjoy the many years I have left living healthy and well. The way I eat will determine this in many ways. So after prolonged and ongoing research, I have made the following choices. I live in a condo and do not have access to a garden or planting on my deck. Tried that and it was not successful.
Type of eating – Notice that I did not call this a diet?! It is a way of eating to live. I do not live to eat. Snacking is no longer in my vocabulary. I do not need to snack. If I have a slight pang of hunger as I have been at an event too long or on the road, I will grab just enough to satisfy this pang. It may be a small bag of nuts, or simply a small container of water. I have learned that it is just the body telling me it needs some liquid. No food in my car or in my bag as I travel. Next, I must start the day with a breakfast of some kind. Never cereals. I am anti-GMO and even Kashi was recently found to be using GMO products. As a Paleo, I shun grains, and cereals are grain-based. Have you ever thought about the fruit in the cereals? They are not simply freeze-dried. They have to have additives to last for months! Also, I must remember that I am what I eat. As a Celiac, I cannot eat grain-fed meats. I feel the effects. Are you aware that unless the meat is labeled and guaranteed as 100% grass-fed that it may be grass-fed for the majority of the life, but may be grained at the very end? 100% means just that. It is the same with eggs. They may be pasture raised, but are they grained when they roost? I would like to spur you to think about what you eat. Do you need to carry food around? Do you need to buy what is advertised? Do you need to eat to enjoy that movie? Do you need to constantly drink something?
Now to shopping. I shop at local farms. Have you noticed that the “locals” at your local farmers market are not all from the surrounding area. It has broadened. Yesterday I noticed “local” farmers who had driven over 3 hours to sell. To me that tells me the produce was harvested a day or so ago and then was put in a hot truck to be transported for hours on end. I need the vitamins and minerals from the fresh produce for added health. I go one mile to a local farm that is guaranteed organic and I can buy fresh every few days. YUM! Have you thought about a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture? That means local and in season. If you have not tried one of these programs, you should. It allows you to try items you may have never tried or even heard of. It also teaches you about what is in season. Our ancestors ate what they could forage and hunt during the specific time of year. Our bodies are very happy with this.
Store shopping – I shop at Whole Foods for the majority of my shopping. I also go to local community supported stores as well. One I really like is Community Market. Alas, they don’t sell meat. They do have great deals on Gluten-Free baking products and other items, oh yes and locally grown produce. Already I know some of you are making your Whole Paycheck comments. And no, I am not affiliated with WF. Let me give you the reasons I use Whole Foods. First of all, they have a registered dietician who is well-voiced on many ways of eating. If I have a burning question, I trust Misty’s answer. She actually will go up and down the aisles with me. Second, they carry the widest variety of 100% grass fed products: meats, eggs, dairy, etc. And they have sales. Case-in-point, they had loin chops on sale. My husband and I enjoyed a nice thick chop-a-piece and the total for the two was $5.01, just over $2.50 apiece. Add a small mixed green salad and some homemade applesauce and the meal was about $5 each. Not only do I watch for what is on sale, but I use their coupons and get their email specials. I love their Friday specials. One of my favorites is when they have rotisserie chickens for $5. I purchase 3. We eat half of one, and I clean the meat from the other half and the other 2 and freeze packages of chicken for uses in soups, quiche, chicken salad, barbeque sandwiches, etc. The bones are packaged and frozen for soups and bases. What a great deal and quite a steal. And they are all organic!!! Safe for me to eat. What is great is that they are already cooked! Sometimes the special includes free choices of sides. My husband loves this! Oh yes, the shrimp and crab deals are awesome, too! Again, it is about watching and shopping smart! Another plus, they will do their best to special order an item. They have come through about 96% of the time for me. And I get a 10% discount if I purchase more than one of the special order item! Some items they continue to stock, as other customers have requested the item, like Chebe mixes and Italian chestnut flour.
I do not shop at Costco as bulk is not our way to save money. Also I do not trust their interpretation of organic. Their eggs, when cracked open, do not look as orange as my WF organic eggs. (This is a sign of eating out in a grassy area, picking up bugs and worms and yummy stuff.) Have you noticed how there always seems to be more that is bought that was not on your list as it was such a great deal? Also a big no is Trader Joe’s. Have you ever noticed how many recalls they have in their store? They are usually listed at the check out stand. Also, look at the places of origin on a number of their items. Whole Foods does get some of their products from Asia, and I don’t buy them either! I don’t trust the meat at either Costco or Trader Joe’s (pick slime and meat glue was discontinued by them). Also they do not have the variety of choices needed for the Gluten-Free/Paleo baker.
Now for the online stores. If you can get something close to home, special ordered, why pay shipping costs? Now there are specialty items that I absolutely cannot live without. Well I could live without them, but they do add to my delight in palate. Cappello’s Gluten-Free/Paleo pasta is worth every penny spent. Also, I am hoping this young business grows so it will be in stores like Whole Foods across the country! That is the only food item I order come to think about it. I can find what I need, and cheaply, within a 10 mile radius. WOW! Fresh produce, just picked, a grocery store with a personal shopper (Misty), specials all the time, and other little locally owned markets that carry all that I need to live. Eating what is grown locally, eating in season, eating foods that keep me healthy : Eating to Live. No worries of pink slime, meat glue, mislabeled foods, GMO, pesticides, insecticides, and trucking, flying, etc. for what I choose to eat.
The other day The Dude and I were chatting about the term “natural” and laughed when I said, “crude oil” is natural but I wouldn’t eat it. You might take a moment and think about it. How many items do you trust because the term “natural” is on the package? What does that really mean?
Have an awesome and lovely day! And please, if you have comments, please make them! “Don’t read angry, Phil” – taken from a skewed line in Groundhog Day.
Living the Crazy Life,