We’re here to support the healthiest you all year long, and to help you on your journey this year, we’ve created this special shopping guide focused on healthy choices to help you take advantage of all the good nutrition in our store today and every day.
1. Choose Organic
Choose organic whenever possible. Organic produce is healthier for our bodies, the soil, animals, waterways, and the workers (as it doesn’t contain pesticides, herbicides, fungicides). Because the soil is healthier, plants have a higher content of nutrients compared to conventional produce. It’s nice to get food from permaculture farms over monoculture, if possible, as the soil is even healthier allowing the plants and you to be as well!
2. Eat Seasonally & Locally
More often than not, there is higher nutrient content in locally produced foods, especially organic. Produce loses nutrition over time so local produce offers you the benefit of freshness and higher nutrition.
3. Healthy Cooking Fats
Saturated fats are stable, heart healthy fats that are safe at high temperatures and don’t turn to transfats like seed oils. Try: ghee or grass fed butter (ghee usually works well for people with dairy allergies), coconut oil, lard (rendered from organic, grass fed, hormone free meats), and olive oil (less stable at high heat, so better for salads and lower temperature preparation). You can also add non-cooking healthy fats such flax.
4. Fermented Vegetables & Fruits
Fermentation increases strands of healthy bacteria for your gut. Adding herbs like garlic, dill, parsley, cilantro, peppers and black pepper will leech nutrients and constituents of the herbs making your ferment that much healthier! Our favorite ferments:
-Beets, carrots, & cabbage
-Hot peppers: jalapeños, habaneros, & poblanos
-Fermented beverages such as kvass, coconut or milk kefirs, & kombucha
5. Organ Meats (liver, kidney, heart)
Best if from organic, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free animals, or from wild game if available. Add to your diet as a weekly meal. Highest form of bio-available nutrition available!
6. Bone Broth
A great use for bones that you would normally toss in the compost or to the dog. Best to use bones from animals (chicken, beef, pork, etc.) that were on a hormone and antibiotic free organic pasture diet (non-grain). Simmer 24-72 hours in a crock pot or dutch oven and use as a base for soups or sauces or just drink.
7. Wild-Caught Fish
Wild caught is essential. Salmon or small fish (lower levels of toxins and higher Omega 3s) such as: sardines, mackerel or anchovies are best. Supplement with fermented cod liver oil (Green Pasture is a staff favorite) for an absorbable form of somewhat hard to obtain fat soluble vitamins A and D. High quality fish oils are also a good supplement.
8. Fresh Vegetables
Eat a variety of vegetables. White potatoes are higher in sugar but if left to cool for 1O minutes after cooking can be a great source of resistant starch for beneficial gut bacteria. Tip: carrots of color (other than orange) are higher in nutrient levels and carotenoids.
9. Whole Fruits
It’s best to eat the entire fruit (as opposed to fruit juice) and fruits lower on the GI scale (such as berries) to avoid spikes in blood sugar. Avocados are a great source of fruit nutrients and healthy fats.
1O. Soak & Sprout Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in nutrition, however, the nutrients are far more bio-available if soaked and sprouted. It’s best to use a dehydrator or very low temp oven to “sprout.”
11. Properly Prepared Legumes
Legumes are a good source of resistant starch (helps the good bacteria in your digestive tract replicate). However, it is best to soak them overnight, rinse and drain in order to increase digestibility. Legumes are not high in bio-available nutrition, so it’s ideal to eat them in moderation for.pre-biotic benefits.
12. Limit Grains
Grains are more easily digested and assimilated if properly prepared by soaking overnight, rinsing, and draining.
13. Fresh Dairy
Dairy, if tolerated, can be a great source of nutrition, especially if fermented. However, many people cannot tolerate dairy, especially from cows (goat or sheep dairy may be more tolerable). Dairy can cause mucosal build up and slow the digestive process. To see if you’re sensitive to dairy, try eliminating it for a time (example: a month). Add it back in and note any changes (skin breaking out, sinus issues, and digestive distress are a few examples).
14. Moderate Alcohol
Best in moderation. Overall, alcohol in excess can tax your digestive and immune systems.
15. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Sugar, sugary beverages, industrial seed and vegetable oils, processed foods, and GMO products contain harmful ingredients, are pro-inflammatory and are low in nutrition.
16. Shop the Perimeter of Our Store
A rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of our store where the food is alive and fresh.
17. Spice Things Up
Many spices are rich in phytonutrients and other active ingredients that protect against disease and promote healing. We suggest ginger and turmeric, two of nature’s wonder spices!
Download and print our guide and more tips here!