Staying Healthy Where And What Should We Eat?
Everyone loves food; we need food to survive. Our world is full of so many different places to buy foods: Farmer’s Markets, healthy grocery stores, health food stores, fast food, sit-down restaurants, convenience stores, discount stores, grocery stores and even buying online. Some are wonderful options…some are horrific options.
We have choices to make for ourselves and for our families’ regarding where we want to purchase food, whether it is dining out, catching a quick bite, or eating at home.
The most common questions I get asked are: “Where are the best places to buy food?”, and “What are the best brands to buy?”.
The best place to start is by buying good quality, healthy, REAL food. The optimum place to eat is at home, where proper meals can be prepared, with ingredients we know and can trust.
Most cities across America offer fresh produce and other items that are usually on the healthy side at these places. The Daily Meal did the work for you by providing the top 101 best Farmer’s Markets across the USA. https://www.thedailymeal.com/cook/101-best-farmers-markets-america-2017
The Daily Meal found that the best Farmer’s Markets were located in these states: California, New York, Minnesota and Washington. Yet, they listed 41 total states and where to get the best fresh market items. The staff writers’ discovered that there are over 8,500 registered Farmer’s Markets all over the US. That is a lot of great food! Even if your community did not make the list, you can check out where one might be located and the times they operate. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has compiled a list with 871 pages of Farmer’s Markets who sell a variety of items. You can search by zip code and mile radius to find the markets near you. https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets By clicking on the symbol under “info”, a pop up will fill you in on all of the details: location, times they open and close, what they sell, payment options, months open and who to contact should you have a question.
Healthy Grocery Chains
Locating the cleanest food stores (lacking chemicals, additives, preservatives, etc.) all over America can be tricky, but there are options. These are the ones who offer clean food (often farm fresh) and a fair amount of organic items. The largest “chain” grocery stores in the US are: Whole Foods Market (also located in the UK and Canada) with 473 stores worldwide. Find a store near you here: https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list
Trader Joe’s: A fast growing business with 474 stores, as of October 2017. Trader Joe’s is known to take popular brands of foods and repackage the items in their own wrapping and renaming the food with a Trader Joe name. Sadly, for the people in Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, no Trader Joe’s exists…YET! For the remaining 42 states, find your store here: https://www.traderjoes.com/PDF/Trader-Joes-Stores.pdf
For those on the east coast, head over to Wegmans Food Markets. Located in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts and Maryland. https://www.wegmans.com/stores.html Wegmans currently has 95 stores in those six states.
If you live in these fifteen states: Alabama, Arizona, California,Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas or Utah visit Sprouts Farmers Market for your healthy groceries. Their stores continue to grow at rapid speeds. They currently have 280 stores. https://www.sprouts.com/stores/ . Sprouts’ offers many “help-yourself” bin foods, so you can buy as much, or as little, of what you need. A highlight of Sprouts is their spice area. They offer large jars of many spices and you can use a little spoon that they have and fill a small little bag of exactly the amount of spices that you need. This is perfect for a new recipe you want to try, without having to buy an entire bottle. They offer farm fresh produce and many wonderful brands of organic and allergy-free foods. They have a large holistic/homeopathic vitamin and supplement department, as well.
Everyone has their own favorite foods and specific palates: One person might despise broccoli, but it might be another’s favorite vegetable. I will list some of the favorite brands that many folks have mentioned as favorites. Many of these brands can be found at the above mentioned grocery specialty stores. Most of the below items are allergy friendly. Be sure to check the packages to see what they are “free of” to meet your families’ needs.
Cake mixes, main meal mixes, pizza crust, muffins, brownies, waffle/pancake mixes, cookie mixes, soup
Pasta in a variety of shapes and sizes (check Trader Joe’s for their repacked pastas).
Cookies, bars, granola, bagels, chocolate chips, trail mix
Bread, bagels, buns, pizza, muffins, cookies, English muffins, granola, meals, breakfast foods
Crackers, breakfast foods, pretzels, breadsticks, pasta, toaster pastries, cereals, bars
Donuts, mini-pies, full small pies, breads, cookies, cakes, English muffins, bagels, fritters
Bread, Focaccia, bagels, buns, brownie bites
Bread, rolls, buns, cookies, pizza crust, pretzels, English muffins, crackers
There are many more “allergy friendly” and healthy options for food. Remember single ingredient foods are great, too, especially if they are organic. Check your store (and online) for many options. Amazon.com offers many grocery and gourmet food items to be delivered to your home. Clean up your diet and enjoy the positive impact it will have on your family!
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by- Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
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This post originally appeared on our March/April 2018 Magazine