It’s hot here in Texas, y’all! Normally my shopping routine consists of Target on Mondays, Sprouts on Wednesdays, and Whole Foods every other weekend. But y’all, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, we’re going on over 30 days of 100 degree or hotter weather and quite frankly, I’m losing my energy quick! The heat really does a number on me. I get cranky and tired. I know I don’t handle it well, so my shopping routine has been thrown off because I just can’t leave the house in the heat that often (including various other errands and appointments) without kicking something.
So part one of the story is: I’ve been trying to make just one or two trips to a store. Last week, I devastatingly missed my Sprouts trip and purchased everything at Target. This week, I’m probably going to miss the Whole Foods trip and purchase just at Target and Sprouts.
Part two of the story is: I would love to purchase everything organic. But when we determined to live a little more clean, I knew our budget wouldn’t accommodate 100% organic items.
Anyway, this brings me to my meanderings I had today in the store. I was cruising up and down Target’s aisles (leisurely, mind you- since the kiddo was at home with daddy). The first thing I headed for was peanut butter. We normally purchase the fresh ground organic peanut butter from Whole Foods, but knowing I wasn’t going to make that trip, I had to find something on these shelves that would fit the bill. They had organic choices, “natural” choices, and of course, your run of the mill Jif-types.
And then it hit me- I don’t need to buy everything organic, or local or whatever else as long as I stick to the criteria that I’ve determined to be most important. Even better, the criteria you determine is up to you and flexible. Here are my most important criteria so far:
1) No added salt- this was actually something I began years ago when I noticed my blood pressure creeping up and I started to understand how much more sodium I was taking in than I was supposed to.
2) No high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated blahs (I say blah because there are so many versions of it.)
3) Buy organic when you can and in the “most important” areas. Most of you have probably heard of the “dirty dozen.” This is the list of fruits and veggies that have the highest amounts of pesticides. Studies have shown that by avoiding conventionally grown produce on the dirty dozen and purchasing organic instead, you can cut your exposure to harmful pesticides by 80%. Sometimes remembering what’s on the list is a bit difficult, so if I don’t remember I go by the skin exposure rule… if I’m eating the skin, I probably want organic.
4) Buy only “nice” meat, grass-fed, and those free of growth hormones, nitrates, antibiotics. By nice I mean they were treated well in their life. This is why I tend to stick entirely to Whole Foods when it comes to meat, because I know anything in their store is safe for meat category.
5) Avoid GMO’s. I look for products that advertise they are non GMO. If I am purchasing something that has corn or soy (the largest GMO crops) I will buy organic since I know organic is free from genetically altered produce.
So there you go, those are my criteria. I reserve the right to change and modify them as I find new information and learn how it will benefit my family. What are YOUR criteria?