Where to Find Quality Products

These days you really can find healthy food at all grocery stores and don't have to shop at Whole Foods. Just look at the ingredient label! You'll want to find ingredients you are familiar with and can pronounce. That's the key. Stay away from added sugar or artificial sugar and bad oils like sunflower, canola, etc. Look for avocado, olive, or coconut oils and real-food ingredients you recognize. Gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free on the front of the package does NOT mean it's healthy. You must look deeper at the ingredient list. Ingredient list is more important than calorie count.

I like this post by The Healthy Home Economist and this post by Food Renegade. It includes links for where to buy such things as quality supplements, healthy cooking oils, meat & seafood, skincare products, etc.

If you're looking for low residual sugar wine (no added sugar or sulfites!) and organic, no-pesticides, chemical preservatives, etc. look no further than Scout & Cellar. Ask me for recommendations because I have plenty!! Clean, hand-picked, and delicious, natural wine shipped to your door.

I was impressed to see that a lot of local stores including Rouses now carries local, grass-fed meat. Whole Foods is a good choice, too, but their seafood products aren't usually from Louisiana and sometimes their selection of grass-fed or pastured chicken and beef can be limited. You can generally find gulf seafood in any store. We are lucky that gulf seafood is plentiful here and we can find gulf shrimp, fish, oysters, and lake crabs almost anywhere. I buy my shrimp from Rouses in the frozen section. Try not to eat imported or farmed shrimp or seafood which can be full of toxins, antibiotics, and isn't inspected properly. When you go out to eat, if the menu doesn't say "Gulf fish" or "Gulf seafood" it is probably imported and a bad choice.

Lamb is often a good choice anywhere you go, even if it's not local or doesn't specifically say organic or grass-fed, because lamb feed-lots don't exist, and much of the lamb products in stores are from New Zealand, where they are raised on pasture.

Kerrygold products (butter and cheese) can be found in many stores and comes from grass fed cows.

As you can tell, I have spent much of this post discussing meat and dairy products. That's because I believe that even though it can be expensive, you get the most bang for your buck buying local, grass-fed or pastured meat. The nutrition content is higher, you are avoiding added antibiotics and growth hormones, and you're supporting traditional agriculture (real farmers) instead of corporations.

You are what you eat!!

"In fact, more and more research is showing that cattle, pigs and poultry raised on their natural pasture and grass-based diets yield meat that is lower in total fat and calories, and food that is higher in good fats like Omega 3's, more concentrated with antioxidants such as vitamins E, C and beta-carotene, and with increased levels of other disease-fighting substances."

I buy organic vegetables at Trader Joe's, whole foods, etc. but there are many veggies you don't need to buy organic. Anything with skin that you peel off generally has lower pesticide content, such as citrus, melons, onions, garlic, and avocados. If you can't afford organic or it's not available, just wash it well and you'll be fine. Better to eat more fruits/veggies than not at all.