Shopping for food. Part 1

When we are attempting to pursue a health-conscious life, there is much to consider! What we are eating is always the most important consideration to pay mind to, but there are many other things we need to keep in mind. The focus of this article is: where we get our food.

It is easy to eat well when you know the right places to shop. Some businesses are simply more attuned to quality than others; this goes for restaurants, as well as grocery stores. Finding quality is one thing, but knowing where to get quality goods without getting ripped off or overcharged is another thing entirely! I went from being a child with absolutely no knowledge of food other than I really liked sweet things, and was not so fond of vegetables. To, later in life, knowing that I should probably eat more vegetables. And, to the point I am at now: understanding food and good nutrition are the foundations of good health, and should be primary concerns given great attention.

I went from a diet largely consisting of penny jellies, to eating avocados that cost almost two-euros-fifty each. While the latter is clearly the better choice when one's compass heading is set good health, the extortionate pricing on some items, and charged by a lot of 'health-food stores', is superfluous cost that is simply beyond necessary, even problematic, for most of us. Granted, if we want to eat in way that will encourage a vibrant state of health, we will incur certain costs that those living off of a diet of white bread, sugary cereal, and instant coffee will not. But, apart from the inherent level of dignity that is imparted to one that chooses to eat foods for reasons other than the satiation of hunger, there are many benefits besides to hunting down high quality produce. Some foods encourage, and even lead to a degrading state of health, other foods encourage the healthy functioning of human body, and lead to the accumulation of good health. And, even though the ubiquity of unhealthy food has hampered the health of the people in countries such as Ireland in recent history, eating healthy is becoming a more and more popular idea; and business is catching on.

Supermarkets have growing organic produce sections and stocks, and the availability of preservative-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, non-GMO goods is also trending upwards. I remember how not much more than five years ago I would be looked at as if I had two heads if I asked about hemp seed, stevia, acai, or coconut oil in a supermarket. It was a weird, award experience, and I felt like the staff didn't even believe these things existed, let alone that they were in stock.... But, now I see organic produce in literally every supermarket I visit. I can get organic, cold-pressed coconut oil  for less than three euros in lidl, and they have hemp seed in Dunnes Stores and Tesco; even cheaper than the health food stores I had to go to for a decent chunk of my shopping since I began my journey into hardcore health-consciousness. Nowadays, I can get essentially everything I need to eat healthy in a supermarket; even when I am on one of my more strict regimens. I could not do that and truly eat well  up until very recently, given my dietary particularities.

 I used to shop at the only organic food store in the vicinity of where I used to live. They certainly had quality fruit and vegetables for the most part, most of the time at least, and I was thankful to have such a place to do my shopping (at a time my health was not right, and I needed a reliable source for quality produce). But, I spent far too much money on simple food-shopping, and was essentially pauperising myself in order to eat healthy. Eventually, I decided I could not afford to shop there any more, and after discovering a new methodology around which I could organise my eating and shopping habits, I figured it was not a good idea to waste money on overpriced goods when I could shop elsewhere, eat just as healthily, and spend much less on food than I had been doing.



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