Upgrade Your Shopping Cart With Christa Orecchio
What we put in our grocery basket makes up our health, so let’s make every item count.
Here Are 3 Ways To Upgrade Your Pantry & Fridge
How To Upgrade Your Snacks
There is always a way to enjoy what you want without the guilt or ill effects on your health - it just takes a little planning and thinking outside the usual snack box.
- Protein bars - When purchasing your protein bars, try looking for bars that have a nutrition ratio of 10 grams of protein from grass fed or collagen sources and 10 grams of fat. Depending on what the bar is made from will determine the percentage of sugar. You should look out for bars with a range between 10-25 grams of sugar. Bars with 15 grams plus of sugar are usually made on dried fruit.
- Chocolate - When choosing chocolate you want to use raw chocolate, which is totally different from the standard candy bar you see at the store. Raw chocolate is cacao, which is super healthy, full of magnesium, and releases dopamine which is a 'feel good' neurotransmitter.
- Crackers - Perfect for dips, topped with nut butter or avocado, crackers are an all around staple for the pantry. Lucky for you, health food stores have an abundant selection. Try looking out for crackers made from brown rice flour and gluten-free oat flour, or select crackers made from a whole grain.
- Chips - Chips, we all love them! The number one thing to watch out for is if the chips are cooked in sunflower, canola oil or processed oils. Avoid these and opt for chips cooked in coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil. Always try and buy chips made from organic potatoes, and organic corn for corn chips. If you prefer an even lighter option, we suggested trying some air popped popcorn, lightly salted.
Upgrading Your Eggs & The Truth On Dairy
Eggs and dairy are amazing nutrient sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals if you are following either a vegetarian or whole food eating style. However, these two items can be a deceiving product to purchase when you are in the grocery store. More often than not, companies make false claims that can lead you astray.
- Eggs - When buying your eggs, look out for the label ‘pasture raised eggs’. This means the chickens lived as nature intended, on the grass feeding on worms, breathing in the fresh air. The next best option is to look out for are the labels, ‘free range’ and ‘organic’.
- Dairy - Quality is important when it comes to dairy. Buying organic, grass fed dairy means that no hormones or antibiotics were used when raising the cow. Although some people sit on the fence with Raw unpasteurized milk, raw milk does contain the perfect macrobiotic profile which is a super food for the thyroid. It is important however, to look for 100% grass fed, no grain dairy from a quality, trusted source. Alternatively, you could look into buying goat's milk, which is a great alternative for those who can’t break down some proteins in cow’s milk.
- Butter/Ghee - When looking for butter, buy from grass fed cows, or If you do have a lactose or dairy intolerance, you could try using ‘ghee’ which is clarified fat. Ghee is great as it is shelf stable and can be used for frying as well, as it is stable at high heat
- Yogurt - Yogurt can be a quick, easy breakfast with berries, nuts, and chia seeds. It contains the perfect ratio of fat, carbohydrates, proteins plus probiotics. If you are dairy free, there are coconut or cashew based alternatives. One thing to watch out for and avoid is added stabilizers and emulsifiers.
- Milk - There are loads of milk alternatives out there. Some great tasting ones are coconut and almond milk. When purchasing these two varieties, make sure to look for the ones that are unsweetened.
Choosing Healthy Coffee & Tea
Did you know that decaf coffee is not always better than regular? And that the type of coffee, and whether you eat with it or not, changes everything? There's more to this beloved morning ritual than meets the eye!
- Coffee - The first step is to upgrade to organic coffee, or source some low acid coffee from your whole food store. If you are drinking decaf ,look for Swiss Water Processed, as the normal process of decaffeination is done with a myriad of chemicals. It is also important to give your body a break from the acidity of a daily coffee from time to time. A great alternative which still contains caffeine is Yerba Mate from South America. For a caffeine free option you could try a dandelion blend, which has a full bodied flavor and a hint of bitterness similar to that of coffee.
- Tea - The most important thing when it comes to tea is that you know the quality and where it comes from. More often than not it is best to spend a little bit more to get quality tea leaves. The tea selection we have available to us is abundant, with hundreds of varieties to experiment with medicinally. For example, green tea can be energizing, ginger tea is great for digestion, rooibos is known for it’s antioxidant properties, chamomile for relaxation and twig of the green tea plant is great for curbing your sugar cravings. Get to know your herbal teas and use them medicinally.
Do you want to know the essentials to buying fish? Alternative drinks to juice and soda and how incorporate fermented foods into your diet?
Join Christa Orecchio in her 14 part shopping tour series on FMTV here!