By Annie Phenix
Certified Keto Coach badge

“But I Hate Grocery Shopping!”

I’m a Certified Keto-Adapted Health Coach. You can learn more about me from my website Happy Fat Mouth.

Until very recently, I detested grocery shopping. The very thought of having to shop in a grocery store made me irritable. One reason for my shopping grudge is that I grew up in a household with a narcissistic birth mother who could not take care of herself, much less her four children. We were afterthoughts to her life and so was feeding us.

I have horrible memories of food-caked dishes piling up in the sink, piles of laundry everywhere and flying cockroaches taking over the kitchen at night. I also remember my birth mother dropping my 12-year-old self off in front of the Tom Thumb grocery store with a weekly shopping list and a credit card.

kids grocery shopping healthy food keto diet

Kids can help in the grocery store … but steer them to healthy choices. The food industry works agains you by placing sugar junk food down low for the little ones.

I’d watch as she left the store parking lot speeding away in her Volkswagon Bug. I would spend a lot of time waiting for her to come back to pick me and the groceries up. That’s a lot to put on a 12 year old. Is it any wonder I hated grocery stores??

Once I discovered the ketogenic diet, however, something deep in me changed. I had a paradigm shift. For the first time in my life, I understood that food equals nurturance and food equals love. The most loving thing you can do for yourself is to provide a healthy, satiating menu every day. You need to first mend your physical body from years of eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) and then you can mend your psyche. I believe you must first stabilize your blood sugar ups and downs before you can feel at peace in your own skin. A SAD diet high in damaging seed oils combined with processed foods and high intake of carbohydrates is a recipe for blood sugar disaster. It creates the “hangry” human. It works daily to create depression and mood swings. It causes chaos and instability in your own body. There is so much chaos in the world at large that the last place you need it is on your insides.

My narcissistic mother would drop me off in front of the grocery store to do the shopping for the entire family. I was 12.

My Number One grocery shopping tip is to come to terms with the fact that fresh, wholesome, truly delicious meals must have fresh, wholesome delicious ingredients. If I can learn to love to grocery shop, you can too. If you switch your mind from “this is another chore I have to do,” to “what wonderful meals can I make for myself today,” you are halfway there. I know from my women friends who are mothers that women are STILL doing most of the care-taking in families. I’ve written here about how damaging it is to put all of the nurturing responsibilities on your family’s brightest light. You will burn her out. And then what? Mothers should not have to ask for help but they do. Please ask your partner if you have one for help. If you get nowhere, demand help. If you are a single mom — the most incredibly strong women I know — try to turn your shopping trips into a family sport and get your kids involved when they are old enough. That’s Step Two for grocery shopping in the real world — make the grocery store a full family participation sport. And don’t forget that many grocery stores now have a way for you to shop on-line, have someone else do the shopping and you zip up to the curb and they will often even load your groceries. And then there is on-line grocery shopping at places such as Thrive and Amazon.

hates grocery shopping

You will need to change your mind about grocery shopping to get healthy. Good food starts at home.

Step Three for grocery shopping in the real world is to have your meals planned out in advance. I never valued this in the past but I do now. I love the menus in Maria Emmerich’s cook books. Her dishes are quick, family-friendly and incredibly flavorful. She’s a busy mom herself so she puts a premium on creating fast meals. If you live five minutes from a grocery store as I do, you might be tempted to not write out all the ingredients you need for the week’s menus because “the store is 5 minutes away.” It’s more than five minutes, however. You have to get there, park, shop, pay and get home and unpack the haul. I highly recommend meal planning and not bringing home junk food in the first place. Yes, even if you have teenagers. Young brains and growing bodies need solid nutrition. You can purchase Maria’s cook books and other expert books here.

Step Four is to know before you go to a grocery what items are keto and what ingredients are not keto. There are many keto experts who have compiled grocery shopping lists for us. Here are some of my favorite shopping lists:

  1. KetoConnect Shopping List 
  2. Lone Star Keto Shopping List
  3. Low Carb Yum Meal Planning

The final step, Step Five, is to understand that eliminating all grains, sugars and starchy carbs is a rebellious act in our culture. It goes against the popular medical (incorrect and disease-causing) nutrition advice that is out-dated and just wrong. It takes courage to ignore the scary headlines and to tell your own doctor he is wrong when you have done the research and you understand how horrible the SAD diet is for you. Once you dip you toe into the world of keto (try it for a month and see how you feel!), then you will begin to physically heal. You gain energy. You gain strength. You lose weight. Your carb face disappears and you remember what you are supposed to look like and feel like. You can do this. Doing the hard things in the beginning of your keto journey is a hell of lot easier than living with chronic disease and having your life force whittled away year by year.

My 5 Top Tips for Grocery Shopping in the Real World:

  1. Change your mental attitude about grocery shopping. See it as a life-sustaining necessity to creating healthy meals instead of hated chore.
  2. Get your family involved. Make shopping a game for teen-agers. Your life partner CAN shop for groceries.
  3. Plan your meals each week.
  4. Know what is and isn’t keto friendly before you go shopping. Bring a list (links above).
  5. Be a rebel and fight for your own health and wellness by choosing keto or another low carb, high fat, quality protein lifestyle.

If you would like to learn about my personalized coaching or receive my newsletter, please check out my website, I share incredible recipes that make your mouth happy (and your heart, gut, and brain). I also have a Happy Fat Mouth Facebook page here.


Happy Fat Mouth logo