I’ve always loved going to the grocery. It’s one of my stress-relievers. I think I formed this love affair with the grocery around college, when it fell on my lap to be the one to go there every weekend. My mom left for the US just before we entered college and there were just three of us at home —my eldest sister, my youngest brother, and me. Because I was assigned (or more like, I assumed the role of) the cook, it also made sense that I did the grocery since I know what ingredients to buy. And since then, I’ve been the cook and the grocer at home.
So yesterday, after church, I went to the grocery for this week’s supplies. Since my family’s trying to eat healthy (most of us have gone organic, or have at least attempted to radically change our eating habits since 2007), the choices are always so limiting when I go to the grocery. Maybe that’s why it takes a while for me to finish, because I carefully go through the aisles, scan the food, check their ingredients, and by the time I’m done scanning, I’m left with either just one or no choice at all. The truth is, there’s not a lot of good options found in the grocery. Most are processed food. The chickens are hardly free-range, the vegetables are mass-produced, conventionally grown are not without synthetic pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and most meat are injected with chemicals. The hard facts are that organic produce, despite being the healthier choice, is not as abundant and as cheap as commercial food. It’s expensive! It hurts the wallet more and requires a deep level of commitment on the advocate. But we’ve understood that trade off long ago. While the expense of organic food isn’t viable to many people, eating out is less so. In fact, you’re likely to spend more outside, at least for long-term effects. I should know the effects because I’ve been diagnosed in the past with Kidney stones and Gastroesophagael Reflux Disease. When it comes to unhealthy diet, I’ve been there, done that. Despite eating healthy, there were still some lifestyle changes I needed to make this year to address my persistent diet problems. And when I became serious about it, I’ve lessened my acid attacks. You may want to click on that link and read about my consistent problem with upset stomach early this year. I was hospitalized thrice.
So at the grocery, I was really frustrated yesterday when I couldn’t find certain items that I need, or when I did but they were not considered healthy in my book. I wasn’t able to go to Healthy Options, which is one of, if not, the biggest organic shops in the country. Admittedly, it’s not all the time that I head there because it’s really 50%, sometimes even 100% more expensive than the usual grocery. I’d only buy certain items there (like my 7-grain drink that acts as milk for me, my muesli and cereal options, and even some soups and dressings), but for everything else, we buy in the grocery. But we still have to be careful in selecting our items. Some have unclear labeling or other forms of subterfuge in order to trick is unto thinking they’re organic. Don’t be fooled when you see something as “100% Natural.” Not always. Study the facts, know what is healthy or not, so you can make an educated decision as to what “healthy” really means.
I’ve been reading this book I found a couple of days back, “What would Jesus Eat?” and it’s basically a diet that my mom, my stepdad, my sister and I have taken to eating the past years. We’ve not been eating pork since 2007; I’m lean on beef since last year, and we’ve just prioritized the natural food more. The book talks about the medicinal benefits of Jesus’ diet, and it asks us that fundamental question: Why do we eat what we eat? If we are to honor God, can we do so in our diet? It’s a good book which I recommend to everyone. It discusses kosher beef, the grains that Jesus ate, why not pork and why more fish, what his dessert would most likely comprise of, his staple meal, and the like. This is the Jesus Diet in the land of processed foods, and I want to be on this side. :)
Discussion on the topic as posted on my facebook: