I have to admit, one of my favorite things to do is go to the health food store and shop for healthy food. Yes, it sounds very geeky, and I guess it probably is.
I also enjoy going to the farmer’s market, although I don’t get there as often as I’d like. Some of the foods I buy regularly that are sold at the farmer’s market are also sold at the health food store where I shop, and because the times the farmer’s market are occurring are times I don’t typically shop, my visits are fewer and further between. That’s not to say I don’t love the farmer’s market too, because I most certainly do.
The other factor is that in our city, food at the farmer’s market tends to be more expensive. In these tough economic times, and because my husband and I have recently switched gears and started a new solar business, we are watching every dime we spend.
So I started thinking about addictions that people have and wondered just how many different kinds there were, and how varied those addictions could be. I realized that there are endless things people can become addicted to…and that if you replace something unhealthy for something healthy, it’s got to be a definite improvement.
It’s easy to say to yourself that you are replacing something unhealthy for something healthy – but it’s another thing entirely to actually put it into action. And, it’s another thing entirely to actually do something healthy. In a society where we are so health obsessed but so unhealthy, the term “healthy” is used ubiquitously…but its true meaning has been degraded.
For instance, if you say you are going to replace eating meat for eating “low fat foods” to “lower your cholesterol”, that replacement will be detrimental to your health because it will deprive your body of important nutrients necessary for all types of bodily functions such as maintaining normal weight and cardiovascular health. But of course, most people believe the opposite to be true. Remember, it’s important to learn what is healthy and what is not.
Habits are difficult to break, but if you can take a negative or unhealthy lifestyle habit that isn’t working for you, perhaps it’s just a simple matter of trading one thing for something else – to fill that void where the negative thing once existed, and in its place install something that affects you in a positive way.
Because variety is the spice of life, you can fill up your “void” with all the wonderful variety of delicious, healthy foods and choices. Don’t think that because you are giving up something you once loved that is bad for you that there isn’t something equally as wonderful waiting in the wings that is good for you.
Addicted to junk?
For instance, if you are addicted to eating cookies from the dessert aisle at the grocery store, what could you do to replace this unhealthy choice? First, make sure you are eating a healthy diet. Cravings for carbohydrates often mean a yeast overgrowth which is actually caused by eating too much refined sugar and processed carbohydrates in the first place. So, you are not getting full (and also not getting enough nutrients, period). Because of the yeast, you are developing cravings for carbohydrates – particularly the processed variety, which feed the yeast.
There are several things you can do, depending on your desire to make changes in your eating habits and health. You can start on a yeast removal program, which involves removing most carbohydrates from your diet for a period of time and taking dietary supplements to kill the yeast. This can be difficult to do, but well worth the effort.
If you are not ready for a yeast removal protocol at this time, you can think about the things you can replace the unhealthy dessert with such as home-made desserts. When you make things at home, you have control over what you put in and how much you use. Home made desserts provide the opportunity to use less sugar and alternatives to sugar that are healthier such as: real maple syrup, organic unrefined sugar, sucanat, rapadura, or Lakanto (Body Ecology diet).
Other ingredients you can start to use which would replace the unhealthy items in store-bought desserts and confections would be sprouted grain flours, real fats like extra virgin coconut oil and palm oil, and butter.
And this should go without saying, but if you are making your own treats at home, use other real ingredients like organic fruit, eggs from pastured hens, sea salt, real cream, real vanilla, and unrefined organic raw nuts or cacao powder.
The bright side of healthy food addiction
Sure, many healthy foods tend to be more expensive. But buying cheap food has hidden costs. The smart consumer knows that paying more for healthy food now means less health problems later. Eating industrial food has its price – and that price is what you will have to pay later for health damage incurred because of eating it. One of the advantages to being a healthy shopping “addict” is the fact that it gives you an opportunity (hopefully) to be more aware of what foods and products are truly healthy. It probably means you are more likely to do the necessary research to find what you need that is not only the healthiest choice, but also at the best price available. In other words, your interest in healthy food and living leads you to become a sleuth – not only to find the best deals but to uncover the truth about what’s healthy to eat and what’s not!
Having an awareness of healthy food will give you the opportunity to find better foods for yourself and your family – which means many good things – such as enjoying foods you love, exploring new cooking techniques, methods, and recipes, and sharing the food with those around you. One of the best benefits of loving healthy food, is of course, the many health benefits you will gain from eating the food in the first place.
So if you are a person who becomes giddy with excitement at the prospect of spending some time shopping at your favorite health food store, farmer’s market, or online scouting for the best in healthy food at a good price, embrace it! If you love the idea of finding good deals on organic, local, and sustainable foods, let that desire become the foundation of a healthy diet.
It also means you will more than likely develop relationships with others who share your interest and zest for finding healthy food and feeding nutritious meals to your family. This development can only help to increase your knowledge, network, and opportunities to find more healthy items to add to your menu and schedule for a healthier life.
And don’t forget, as far as addictions go, possessing one for the love of shopping for healthy food can work in your favor – unlike many other addictions you could have!
Need some ideas for where to get healthy foods on the Internet and in the stores?
Here’s a list:
U.S. Wellness Meats - Meats, dairy products, poultry, game meats, soaps, candles and many other great, natural products
Eat Wild – directory of pastured products such as meat, dairy, poultry, honey, produce and much more
Eat Well – directory of sustainable, local, organic food growers and sellers
Azure Standard – quality bulk and natural foods
Pure Indian Foods – grass-fed ghee
Sol Grains – germinated brown rice
Local Harvest – sprouted flour and many other natural food products
American Spice - sprouted flours and other foods
Green Pastures -fermented cod liver oil, butter oil, organic coconut ghee, fermented skate oil, and organic virgin coconut oil
U.S. Wellness Meats – grass-fed meat, game, pork, lamb, pasture-raised poultry, raw cheese, sustainable seafood, healthy snacks, and more
Shilo Farms – sprouted and organic flour, rice, honey, rice beans, cereal, couscous, goat cheese, seeds, soups, and more
For more sprouted grain products, visit the list at the bottom of What are Sprouted and Soaked Grains?
Cultures for Health – starter cultures for making kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, lacto-fermented vegetables, and other fermented foods, buttermilk starter, sourdough starter, cheese making
Organic Pastures – sells certified grass-fed, organic milk to California residents only, also sells raw almonds
Trader’s Point Creamery – 100% organic grass-fed milk and milk products – their yogurt is to die for!
Nancy’s Yogurt - organic dairy products from grass-fed cows
Stonyfield Farm – organic, grass-fed dairy products
Brown Cow Farm- organic grass-fed dairy products
Kerrygold – Irish butter, grass-fed!
Zukay – live, cultured foods bursting with probiotics such as sauerkraut, salsas, and lacto-fermented vegetables
This article is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please visit this site and read all the other great real food articles listed there.