Today is grocery day. Visitors from the frozen north are arriving tonight and tomorrow, and I’m assuming they’ll want food when they get here. After I write this blog, its off to the grocery store to lay in enough supplies to feed the invading hordes.
It used to be that when I went to the grocery store I went up and down every single aisle so I didn’t miss anything. This is where food companies hook you with sugar and salt. Take a look at any processed food, and you’ll see what I mean.
It was the Lovely Louise who taught me how to shop in grocery stores. Being the creature of habit that I am, I always park so I can use the right-side entrance to the store. I would get my cart and proceed with my very logical method of shopping: I went up and down every single aisle so I could look at everything, just in case I spotted something I wanted but didn’t know they had. I shopped in a grid pattern. I believe most men shop the same way.
Not my darling Louise. We started by going in the wrong door. I kept my mouth shut and kept telling myself that I could do this. Instead of following the standard grid pattern we started wandering all over the perimeter of the store. And not in any kind of planned attack: more of a random back and forth. As we meandered back and forth, covering the same territory multiple times, I started to get tense. When I asked why she didn’t go down any aisles, she responded by telling me that the only real food is around the outside of the store. I realized she was right.
Now when I shop, I don’t do the aisles. Sometimes I run into an aisle to get ketchup, beef stock, or my secret potato chips that I have to hide so no one else eats them, but almost everything else I buy is not in the aisles. I no longer have processed food in my house. I now cook most everything from scratch, and I after I started doing so I was surprised to discover that once you know what you’re doing, it really doesn’t take that much longer to make fresh, healthy food.
I also read labels now. Since most crackers are at least ten calories per cracker, I go for the baked ones, some of which have only about five calories. Interestingly enough, this does not mean I’m eating fewer calories; it means I can eat twice as many crackers.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Shredded Wheat has 70 percent more calories than Cheerios! Its just wheat, for crying out loud. It even looks healthy. I shouldn’t obsess over this. I should just realize that cereal is in an aisle and simply avoid it. I guess its back to bacon and eggs for breakfast.
In any case, I now do my circuit around the outside of the store and get just about everything I need. If you’ve read my blog “Of Women and Onions,” you’ll know why I’m grateful that onions are not in an aisle.