You want to start the paleo diet and know that it means going for a food shop. Getting the right types of food in now will make it much easier to stick to. Whether you have recipes or not, you just need to know how to find the right foods in your grocery store of choice. The last thing you want is to have to go to multiple places until you settle on the right one.
Finding paleo food at any grocery store is easy. Here are six tips to do it, without it being a stressful time putting you off your change of lifestyle.
Avoid the Aisles
The aisles will usually have all the junk food and refined carbs. These are the items you want to completely avoid. Going up the aisles will just make them more tempting and you’ll find it harder to find the foods you want and need.
The ends of the aisles are where most of the fresh food is kept. You’ll find your meats, fruits and vegetables extremely easy by staying on the outskirts of the aisles.
Every now and then, you’ll need to go into the aisles. You’ll want some of the baking ingredients that are friendly for your diet. The trick is to make a list for when you need them and find out where those ingredients are kept. The grocery store staff will be able to help.
Stick to the Fresh Aisles
When you do need to go up the aisles, always stick to those with the fresh produce. These will include the fruit and meat sections. By sticking to the sections, you’ll avoid the ones that will tempt you to come off the diet.
You’ll be able to see the fresh sections by walking along the outside of the aisles. Most fruit and vegetables will be the first part of the store, and you’ll be drawn by the colors. Just watch out for those grown with chemicals! You can find that out by looking at the packaging and knowing more about the grocery store you’re visiting.
Know Where the Lean Produce Is
Learn how to read the different sections of the fresh sections. Look for organic fruits and vegetables and keep an eye out for the grass-fed/pasture-raised meats. These aren’t always instantly easy to spot, so you’ll need to read the labels on the meats.
If you’ve looked and still not found all the perfect options, you can opt for lean cuts of the meats. They aren’t just more paleo, but they are healthier for you overall. You’ll get rid of most of the fats, so you can really enjoy the meat.
While looking for the meats, read the labels to find out how they are prepared and wrapped. You’ll also want to find out how the animals are cared for, which will be affected by the grocery stores and the butchers they use. Many grocery stores now offer a fresh meat and fish section, where you can talk to a member of staff to find out more about their cuts.
Don’t Forget the Nuts and Seeds Section
This is usually with the baking, but your grocery store may stock them with the herbs and spices. Nuts and seeds are an important part of the paleo diet, offering fibre and healthy fats. It’s time to source where these sections are in your grocery store.
By knowing more about the layout, you’ll be able to reduce the temptation thrown at you. Try not to browse the aisles around here, especially if you’re in the baking section. You’ll find the refined sugars very easily.
Read the Labels
This is extremely important. You’ll need to learn more about the labels in the grocery stores and what they mean. What are all the chemical numbers and are the foods really naturally prepared? Something may seem paleo at first glance, but the ingredients will soon tell you something different.
Learning to read the labels will take some time. Be prepared to take that time for your first few shops, and don’t be afraid to compare the different branded options available for you.
Watch out for those products that say “natural” on the front. There is a loose meaning to this when it comes to food products, and the labels at the back will tell you the full truth. Unlike the word “organic” there are no regulations over the use of the word “natural.”
Eventually, this will become much easier. Like actually finding your way around the store, it will all start to become second nature for your needs.
Go in With a Shopping List
If you don’t have a list to shop, make one right now. This will certainly stop you being tempted by the bad aisles and help you stick to everything paleo. You’ll also increase the chance of getting everything you need, because you won’t forget something from the cupboards.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned paleo shopper or a new one. Having that list will really help you find everything you need and want. You’ll also keep the cost of your food shop down.
When you are just starting your paleo diet, you’ll likely have more written down on your list. This can include the items to stay away from that would usually sound paleo friendly. You may also have alternatives written out in case you can’t find something that is better for you. For example, a store may not have coconut oil, but it will likely have olive oil as an alternative.
You’ll never walk into a grocery store without being able to get everything for your paleo diet. All you need is to know where everything is. This—along with learning all about the diet and food labels—will take time to learn, but it will all eventually become second nature. Until they change it all around, of course! Go in with your list, and avoid the aisles to avoid the temptation of the foods that aren’t on the paleo diet.