I Heart Trader Joe’s
For those who read this blog and have no idea what I’m referring to, Trader Joe’s is a specialty grocery store that is best-known for cutting out the middleman in order to bring their customers low-priced groceries and prepared frozen foods. Trader Joe’s has its roots in California, but its growing popularity has TJ’s popping up all over the country.
I love Trader Joe’s because it makes shopping for groceries easy. The entire store is comprised of whole, organic foods that are great for you. Granted they have weird rules, like you have to be wearing a shirt while you’re shopping (pfff, whatever), but aside from that, I always know that I’m going to get great food at reasonable prices.
I’ve always stated to my clients and to people who read my articles that success always starts with where (and more importantly, how) you shop. My friend Leigh Peele has stated on several occasions that the key to grocery shopping is to stay in the perimeter. This is especially true for those who normally shop in ginormous grocery chains (think Stop-n-Shop, Shaws, etc).
The outer perimeter is where your fresh produce, meats, dairy, and infinitely more attractive women are. “Oh hey random hot chick. Quick question. I have a baby seal at home whom I rescued from a senseless clubbing. Do you think this caviar will fit in the trunk of my Ferrari?” SWISH. Count it!
With a few exceptions, all your grocery shopping should be done on the outer isles of the grocery store.
Here are some middle isle exceptions: tuna, old fashioned rolled oats, canned fruits in own juices, dried fruits with no additives, beans (no added sugars), some whole grain pastas, spices, brown rice, mixed nuts, natural peanut butter.
Additionally, as Leigh notes in her fantastic manual, The Fat Loss Troubleshoot:
• If your food has a wrapper or a box, chances are it isn’t good for you.
• If your food has ingredients you can’t say, chances are it isn’t good for you.
• If your food makes a claim that it’s healthy, chances are it isn’t good for you.
• If your food comes pre-seasoned, chances are it isn’t good for you.
• Lastly, if your food makes any claims about fat loss, chances are it isn’t good for you.
It’s amazing to me that something as simple as grocery shopping can come off as rocket science for some people. No matter how often you tell someone what they should be eating, if they’re limiting factor is the fact that they have no idea how to attain those foods, it’s always going to be an upward battle for them. Making an effort to shop at places like Trader Joe’s (or any store which specializes in whole foods) will definitely be a step in the right direction. Furthermore, making a conscious effort to follow the rules laid out above will undoubtedly be a gigantic step in the right direction.