We all take a quick look at other people’s shopping when queuing at the till right? In the past this was a big source of fear for me. What would people think?
My shopping used to sway between two extremes. Some days all you’d see was a rainbow pile of vegetables and fruit, with very little else. Other days it would be full of brightly coloured packaging and very little that resembled real, unprocessed food. Frankly neither were so healthy – yes the basket weighed down with only vegetables may look good, but actually those shopping experiences were pretty miserable as I’d try and ignore all the foods I felt I wasn’t “allowed” and that just left me feeling deprived. And one thing was certain, I knew I’d be back at some point to buy all the food that I felt I shouldn’t have.
Nowadays I think my shopping basket looks pretty good. Yes the main part of my shopping is all the fresh fruit and vegetables, but it also contains foods that I used to label as “bad” – whether this is fresh, crusty sourdough bread (which I totally love!) or a bar of dark chocolate – admittedly I tend to go for good quality chocolate like Green and Blacks.
When you have a significant health problem, such as auto immune conditions, then it can be incredibly healing to have a more extreme diet, such as one that is free from gluten, dairy and processed foods. I use these in my practice a lot with clients if they can manage it (which not everyone can as it’s very hard to start with at least!). But overall it’s about finding that balance. This does involve learning how to have one slice of delicious sourdough bread at a time, not getting through the entire loaf in a day. But once you get the hang of this it is really liberating to go into a supermarket and feel like it can be an enjoyable experience.
What I would suggest is going for better quality foods when it comes to treats – avoid the things that have huge numbers of additives, and go for ones that are made from more natural ingredients. Believe me, there are still plenty of quality foods that still contain a good deal of sugar and fat, it’s just that they might contain coconut sugar and cashew butter. If you eat them day in day out, then of course it will effect your weight and eventually your health, but the point is to be able to indulge yourself a little with the more natural and nutritious options.
So happy shopping!