The word mindfulness has been getting a lot of use as of late. Being tossed around the internet with little to no regard to its meaning. So, what does it mean to truly be mindful?

Well, mindfulness is essentially just the practice of paying attention. Which, may seem insignificant. But, when you take the practice of mindfulness and apply it to your parenting, eating habits, time management, and even the products you use, tv shows you watch, and what you read – mindfulness can change everything about your life.

Before I began practicing mindfulness for myself, I was probably the laziest shopper there ever was. I walked around the store, threw whatever was cheapest and easiest into my cart, checked out, went home and didn’t give a second thought to what I had just spent money on, what I had supported, what I had created or destroyed, or what I was putting in my body. Is this ringing a bell for you at all?

It took me many trips to the grocery store, walking slowly, reading more, and being extremely intentional to learn how to create a mindful shopping experience for myself. So, I thought I would take all the guesswork out of how to truly be mindful when shopping for groceries. It is as good a place to start as any!

Simple Hack #1 – Slow Down

As obvious as this one is, it is worth diving into. Slow. Down.

Make the time to go to the grocery store without rushing through. I know that this alone can be the most difficult part. But, give yourself some margins, some time to browse more, read more, to think as you shop.

Taking the time to slow down as you shop will make it so much easier to be mindful of what you are tossing into your cart.

Starting out, you will need more time. But, as you break your deeply engrained shopping habits, it will become easier and easier to assess what you are buying as you go than when you first get started with mindful shopping.

Simple Hack #2 – Come Prepared

One extremely simple way to be mindful while shopping is to come prepared with reusable grocery and produce bags.

I know that in Oklahoma, they do not charge for bags. Which can definitely make me lazy at times. I forget my reusable bags, I utilize the free plastic bags, then I feel awful when I look under my kitchen sink and I have too many for my bathroom trash can, have nowhere to put them and end up throwing them away! Major heartache! I do not want to waste more plastic than I already do.

The same goes for the little fruit and vegetable baggies. As I became more mindful of what I was choosing to put into my body, I began buying less pre-packaged produce, therefore grabbing more little produce bags. This use of convenience ends up negating my choices of buying unpackaged produce.

Thankfully, there is a simple solution, I found some awesome produce bags that are mesh, reusable, washable and take up virtually no room. (You can find them on Amazon!) They are perfect for showing up prepared for a shopping trip while being mindful of the plastic baggie situation.

Simple Hack #3 – Read Labels

I know that this may also seem blatantly obvious. But, paying attention to cost as well as ingredients are both important to mindful shopping.

I am an immensly thrifty shopper and I love myself a good sale. But, supermarkets know exactly how to label things to create the illusion that you are making a wise buying decision, when really, you have just been manipulated.

Now, I am all about buying high quality foods and ingredients as well as organic produce.

But, even when I gravitate towards higher qualitiy foods, even though it is often less product for more money, you can assess the value by looking at the price label for the cost per ounce/pound/item.

Sometimes when I am choosing between two or three products, I look for the price per section on the tag and it helps me make a wise choice.

There are a few other ways to save money on produce by choosing non-organic when you can get away with it. A good rule of thumb is, if you are going to remove the peel or rind, then you can feel pretty good about going non-organic. The simple rule of thumb is if you are going to eat the peel, skin, or rind, choose the organic variety.

Now, for ingredient labels. Again, this should be obvious. But, you would be surprised how many people don’t spend the time reading the ingredients in their food.

I have had the privilege to teach so many people how to read labels for ingredients that should be avoided for great gut health. I am telling you, so many revelations are made in the grocery store. Keep this (fairly limited) list handy, and before you know it, it will be committed to memory.

Keeping all of this top of mind while shopping can feel overwhleming. But, this is why my very first tip was to slow down. Take your time. Once you break your mindless shopping habits and create healthier, more mindful shopping habits, it will become muscle memory. Mindful shopping will become easier and easier the more you practice.

Simple Next Steps for a Healthier and Happier Life

Mindful shopping habits encompass reducing waste, healthier choices, and saving money wherever possible. I hope that this simple list of habits helps you edit your shopping habits.

When it comes to getting further in depth with the hows and whys of ingredients for gut health, as well as how to eat and supplement for your healthiest gut, those are things we cover much more deeply in our gut health consulting program.

If you are ready to dive into the deep end of gut health and living a happier life, then get in touch with us ASAP to set up a free clarity call.

Live your healthiest and healthiest life!
– A+C