Be a Grocery Store Sleuth

It’s been a while since I have welcomed new readers, so welcome to you all! This is a (mostly) weekly newsletter centered around concepts about food-as-medicine. But I discuss so many indirect ways in which food is medicine (or not) and sometimes other holistic wellness topics in regards to health optimization, so I hope you’ll stick with me!

Recently, I saw this buzzy post about fast 3-ingredient meals from Trader Joe’s. I think TJ’s is great….if you can sleuth it well

Being a grocery store sleuth takes a bit of practice. And what I mean by sleuthing and why you would even need to is because those aisles are out to get ya! So when you go, be cognizant of what tempts you too much and too frequently and consider that along with learning to scan food labels quickly (we did a class on that in the Food as Medicine Cooking Academy). Hint: Ignore the front label and mostly just read the back.

Inevitably most people cannot avoid the center aisles (even if you know that is where the traps are of purchasing pre-prepared foods or processed foods). Most of us need, at some point, some version of a processed food from there, whether it’s a processed gluten-free cracker box, canned tomatoes, pasta, or something more processed than that.

So a few tips:

  1. Learn to read labels–this is the most important tip! You can have processed foods with 20 ingredients that don’t make English sense or you can have processed foods with 5 ingredients. Processed is processed—but the labels do matter. Often the number of ingredients does too.
  2. Go with a list and preferably a meal plan (we have many for you at Precision Metabolic, if you’re interested)
  3. Don’t go hungry (eat nuts in the car before you go if you’re starving)
  4. Use a grocery delivery service like Instacart. Yes it’s a pain to set up and there is a fee to use one and yes they mark up prices a little on most of the stores (not all), but in the end you actually save money since you essentially HAVE to stick to your list.
I looked through that article of fast 3-ingredient meals and narrowed it down to a handful of meals. I would choose the following from the article keeping 2 goals in mind: 

(1) being clean-ish/less processed and 
(2) being metabolically healthy

Numbers 3, 9, 15, 10 (with grass fed meat)-
18, 26, 28, 31, 37 (prefer the rice/beans alone)
47 (watch the oils they use). 

Let me know if you try any of these combinations!

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