The task of shopping is set before you and you must prepare yourself. You have a list, but is it the best possible list for yourself and the planet? What is your motivation for shopping? Are you motivated by saving the most money or feeding yourself and your family? If you answer both ways a compromise has to be made and that compromise is your health. Being an informed and conscious shopper doesn’t mean you have to spend more money, on the contrary. When you are a conscious shopper you see things at the store for what they actually are as opposed to what they are advertised as. Defining your motivation is one way to become a conscious shopper. Let’s say your motivation is simply “to feed yourself and your family.” Now if that is the extent of your answer then the food manufacturers are left with plenty of liberties in regards to defining the “food” you are shopping for. If you expand your answer to say, “feed myself and my family the healthiest and best foods possible with consideration to planet and global community” you empower yourself and eliminate the inferior food choices that make up the majority of items in the grocery store. You and I know that grocery stores abound with mountains of toxic ingredients combined together and dressed up to appear as food. This is where advertising comes in; which is just another way of saying propaganda and mass manipulation. It sounds harsh but it’s true. An advertisement for a product is successful only to the degree to which it convinces the masses to purchase the product… regardless of whether it is telling you the truth or not. Be an informed and empowered shopper and everyone will benefit.
Here’s a challenge for you:
- Purchase quality items that aren’t advertised heavily.
- Purchase items with minimal packaging.
- Limit the number of ingredients in a processed food to 12 or even less.
- Buy products that don’t use artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors or additives.
- Purchase products with ingredients that you understand and can pronounce. If you are unfamiliar with an ingredient, write it down and look it up on the internet.
Taking this challenge and adopting these practices can go a long way to save you money and time. Let me explain. The money savings in the short term come in because you are purchasing higher quality unprocessed food items with denser nutrition. Denser nutrition means “less is more” in that your body will be satisfied and nourished with less by eating quality food rather than eating more of an inferior food. This is an easy equation for losing weight and optimizing health. Often times people choose food items on the basis of size and price while totally overlooking the actual ingredients. “Twice as much for half the price” is usually a signal to look at the ingredients. You’ll likely find an assortment of cheap fillers. Would you buy gas from a station that offered it for half the price if you knew that what was coming out of the pump was half gas and the other half water? No you wouldn’t, so don’t make the same choice with the food you purchase. In regards to saving money in the long term just think about health care costs. Shopping consciously means long term health benefits. My personal consumption choices are my health care plan. Being sick costs time and money so once you’ve removed sickness from your living equation you have extra time and money… a win, win situation. On the subject of saving time, once you raise your personal consumption standards, you will have eliminated thousands of items from even being considered. You literally have eliminated ¾ or more of the grocery store which I refer to as the “waste land” or the “dead zone”. This optimizes your shopping potential in a major way. Now you enter the grocery store with a focused purpose and that is purchasing only conscious products. These products are concentrated in the produce department, bulk foods section and in the refrigerated and freezer sections: everything else is just a distraction to be ignored. Save time, save money, save your health, save the planet and lose weight… I think we may be on to something. Give it a try and let me know how things shape up. Until next time… Keep It Live!