I'm primarily a perimeter grocery shopper, meaning I only go through a few of the aisles. I hit the produce section heavy, organic when possible and within a reasonable price range; the two aisles of organic, gluten free, and natural products at my local store; then a few items in the freezer and dairy case (which has decreased significantly recently since we've been trying to reduce our dairy intake). Although I occasionally need a random item, like mustard or vegetable broth, I rarely actually shop in the majority of my local grocery store. What's down those mystery aisle anyways? (I'm guessing a lot of sugar and artificial crap)
A few weeks ago I was unloading my cart at the checkout and starting feeling weird and self conscious about my selections. Like everyone around me was watching and thinking nasty thoughts. It was basically a mound of produce, a few gluten free items, and a pint of Ben & Jerry's (I am human after all). Maybe it was the mid calf length floral, bohemian style skirt I was wearing combined with my darling little baby strapped to my chest in the ergo that made me feel a little out of place. For a short moment I actually might have cared that the cashier and the lady behind me were giving me glances indicating god knows what about me. Then I looked at the man in front of me with his fried chicken, chips, chips, and more chips, cookies, soda, and bologna accompanying his overhanging gut and pitting edema and thought....."Why the HELL am I embarrassed!?"
I know a lot of people argue that they can't afford to eat healthy, which I think it ludicrous. I do realize that organic is more expensive and some of the specialty items we purchase are not affordable for everyone but that doesn't mean you can't eat healthy on a budget. I think the bigger issue is taking the time and effort. Preparing your own food takes time and planning, not to mention the clean up. Some nights I absolutely DREAD the thought of going into the kitchen (in which case I probably order sushi) but most nights once I get going I'm always happy that I made the time and put forth the effort. Jim and I are constantly reevaluated our lifestyle choices in an effort to improve wherever possible. Not just with our food choices, but with everything from cleaning products to managing our budget better. We actually work pretty hard to try and live healthy and happy. Maybe we should all try just a little harder and see where it takes us.