When I first moved to California, shortly after college, I believe my diet primarily consisted of Gatorade, Hostess Ding Dongs, Taco Bell and any fried or battered bar food. This made grocery shopping pretty uninteresting – throwing boxes of processed and prepackaged foods into the cart, nary a piece of lettuce in sight.
Within the first few weeks of my time here, I began to witness a phenomenon at the grocery. People put fruits and vegetables in their carts. They also walked around in workout clothes. They appeared to be at the grocery after having gone to something called “a gym.” And, they all seemed pretty chipper. Young or old, I noticed fit, healthy looking people, walking around the grocery putting food from the produce section into their carts. This was also the time when fresh, bottled smoothies, Robek’s and Jamba Juice were all the rage. People would discuss the best, most power packed combinations of fruits, veggies and powders for their drinks. I wondered, “what’s so wrong with this simple, delicious Gatorade? Afterall, it’s thirst aid for that deep down body thirst.”
The other day, I was at the check out counter and a woman commented that my cart was so healthy. It was healthy for the health food store? What had I put in there? In previous years, I had not been associated with health. Food, yes. Health, not so much. Who am I now? I realized that my cart has changed so much over the years that it really demarcates significant time periods in my life.
My cart – take a peak!
1993: Entered College – Gatorade, Pepsi Free, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Hostess Anything (you name it!), TV Dinners, Mac N’ Cheese, Sugar Cereals, Milk, Microwavable Pizza Pockets, etc, etc, etc. Plus, dinners out – Mad Mushroom Cheese Sticks, Pizza, Taco Bell & KFC
1998: Moved to California – Gatorade, Smoothies, Hostess Anything, Mac N’ Cheese, Meat, Eggs, Potatoes, Candy Bars, Sugar Cereal, Oven Baked Pizzas, Blueberries, Bread, Sandwich Supplies, Occassional Vegetable or Fruit. Still eating lots of Taco Bell & KFC. Definitely not going to win any awards here.
2000: I discover Trader Joes – “Healthy” versions of sugar cereals, crackers, snacks, frozen dinners, Spinach, Bananas, Blueberries, other fruits and vegetables (some are even designated organic), smoothies, “Natural” eggs and meat, power bars, red wine (hey! they say it’s healthy!), cheese – oh the cheese, more crackers….
2003: We moved to Italy – Prosciutto, Cheese, Bread, Yogurt, Eggs, Wine, Coffee, Olives, Artichokes, Eggplant & Fruit, Kinder Chocolate, Gelato. We shopped daily and could only buy what we could carry up 104 stairs. Hey – what more do you need when you’re in Italy?
2004: Joined Slow Food Movement in Indy – Natural and Organic versions of Prosciutto, Cheese, Bread, Yogurt, Eggs, Wine, Coffee, Olives, Artichokes, Eggplant & Fruit, TJs snacks, crackers, sugar cereal. Back then, it was harder to find natural or organic food in Indy but it was there (mostly at Trader Joes.) Through Slow Food, I learned about raw milk, pasture fed food and CSAs. Farmer’s Markets were scarce but coming on the scene.
2006: Moved back to California – Joined a CSA, started shopping at different Farmer’s Markets around town for fresh produce, began eating more and more real food and mostly natural and organic but still eating lots of Trader Joe’s delicious processed snacks, sugary goodies, crackers, ice creams, etc.
2007: Discover Whole Foods – Organic everything! Organic meat, eggs, cheese – you name it. Even wine! Still with the CSA and shopping the Farmer’s Markets for produce but getting all organic processed snacks, sugary goodies, crackers, ice creams, etc.
And now, 2012 – getting caught off guard from a compliment by the woman at the check out counter. A cart full of vibrant, organic fruits and vegetables, pasture raised eggs and meat and that’s about it. No processed food. No Fast Food. No sugar. Only real, whole food. Getting complimented that my cart is healthy for the health food store! How did this happen?
My cart doesn’t always look like this but it just goes to show how small, incremental changes can make long-term improvements for your health and lifestyle. Sometimes, you don’t even know it is happening.
[bctt tweet=”Small, incremental changes can make long-term improvements for your health and lifestyle.”]
Who am I? Apparently, I am healthy.
I provide a ton of resources to help you learn how to purge your pantry, give your grocery cart a makeover, and start healing your thyroid naturally, including:
- Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
- Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across. You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
- My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
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Remember, small daily actions turn into long-term improvements for your health and lifestyle. Little changes lead to big results!
Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.
Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.