In this article I am going to tell you my tips on how to shop healthy and quickly when you have common food allergies. My food allergies include gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts and honey. Living with food allergies can pose many different challenges, one of those challenges being shopping for groceries. Grocery shopping becomes difficult because you find yourself having read every label carefully, not to mention when you’re trying to explore new products. I have used my food allergies to positively impact my health and now want to share my tips to others!
Stick to one ingredient items
Watch out for may contain
Avoid products with long ingredient list
New trendy products, do your research beforehand
Food speciality stores
- Stick to one ingredient items
This is my number one advice that I received from my naturopath years ago. The easiest way to do this is to eat fruits and veggies! You can’t go wrong eating fruits and vegetables, what they are called is what they are, and they are so beneficial to your health as they contain hidden treasures such as vitamins. Vegetables are the perfect grab and go items, as many recipes online use common vegetables found in local grocery stores making it easy to find a recipe to use after doing the grocery shopping.
2. Watch out for may contain
When boxed food is labeled “may contain nuts” for example it does not necessarily mean that there are nuts in the food, it’s been put there as a warning sign from the company to let consumers know the food is prepared in a facility that also processes a nut product. My advice when deciding to buy a product that has a may contain warning of something your allergic to, is to make the judgment on how strong your allergy is. Food allergies can be severe or mild so it’s best to understand your food allergies and how they effect your body. Most food allergy tests inform you of how severe or mild your allergies are. Understanding your food allergies can make grocery shopping go a lot quicker.
3. Avoid products with long ingredient list
This is another piece of advice I still live by today! I used to be a crazy ingredient researcher, it used to take me forever to grocery shop. Since there can be some crazy names on ingredients lists I found myself googling every single one of them to find out what they really were. Not only does this take forever but I didn’t like what I was reading. I made a rule to myself, if it’s too long and too many crazy words avoid it!
4. New trendy products? Do your research beforehand
Hey who doesn’t love trying a new product that is blasted all over social media, I know I do! But since I’m allergic to everything I always have to be extra cautious. With individual products they usually have their own website, which contains important information about the product and every ingredient in the product. I do a quick search and if I can eat it, then I am on my way to find out who carries it.
5. Food specialty stores
My favourite way of shopping is through specialty stores. Specialty stores are all about health and allergen free foods. I even buy my shampoos at our local store (another allergy I have, but that’s for another time). You can find everything you need through these stores, trust me, Christy who has a soy allergy found a soy-free soy sauce through one of our favourite local stores. Check out speciality stores in your area, they will end up being your favourite store and go to place for all things healthy and allergen free!
These are my 5 tips on how to shop quick and healthy. I’ve had food allergies for a while, so I have had the same shopping routine for years. It used to take me at least an hour to shop, now it takes me less than a half an hour.