I’ve talked about healthy meals. But there’s one problem some people can find themselves facing. When you start a new diet, you might suddenly find that you can’t find the food you want. Maybe you’ve decided to choose a vegan or vegetarian diet, or you’ve cut out gluten.
Perhaps you’re avoiding sugar, or you are following a Paleo plan. Whatever you’ve chosen to do, it can sometimes be difficult looking for suitable foods. It’s especially hard if you need to grab something quick from a store!
If you’re having a bit of trouble finding kale, gluten-free bread or whole grain pasta, here are some of my best tips for finding them (without breaking the bank).
Shop Specialty Stores (And Farmer’s Markets)
Sometimes the best place to look that will cater to your new diet is a specialty market. You can find many health and wellness stores that will sell things you can’t find elsewhere, although you definitely don’t have to go to health food stores to find what you’re looking for!
You can get some pretty awesome unusual ingredients and food products in other places too. For example, visiting an Asian or German market (one of my favorite places!) or even a local butcher shop (Have you ever tried alligator?) can lead you to many ingredients that could be harder to find.
And, in my experience, specialty markets (including farmer’s markets!) usually mean you’re going to be saving quite a bit.
In fact, many larger cities have a number of multicultural markets that will help you expand your diet and discover new things. There’s no need to stick to what you’re used to!
Find Brands That Cater to Your New Diet
Even if you can’t find a store that’s a healthy-eating paradise, you can still find a range of brands that suit you. You’ll discover that several labels will specialize in things like gluten free snacks. If you know who makes your favorite products, you can check their website to find out who carries their products.
You might even be able to order your favorite items online so you don’t have to go hunting for them (I LOVE Thrive Market for this very reason! I can get all of my specialty items and save quite a bit over a conventional store-including Costco…plus, free shipping!).
Some supermarkets may have their own line of healthy items-just be sure to price check and make sure that you are actually getting a good deal.
You don’t have to get healthy all on your own (I certainly didn’t!). It’s easy to find people to swap tips with to make it easier to adjust your diet.
If you have a medical food intolerance, you’ll find many helpful and likeminded communities online. Facebook is another great place to find like minded groups who can swap tips, money-saving tricks, and even recipes with you.
People often swap tips about where to buy gluten-free pasta that doesn’t taste like cardboard or the best brand of alternative milk (My vote is for cashew.). Even if you’ve chosen to make minor healthy adjustments to your diet, you can find a wealth of information online.
Become A Chef
Of course, if you’re following any type of diet, you should at least know how to make your own food. Its just part of life, and you won’t always find products that cater to you. Maybe you want to have pizza, bread, or even cake. Trust me on this, it will be easier to make at least some things yourself (and you avoid having to ask for a gluten free, dairy free, rice and soy free cake).
Many people (including me) aren’t fond of commercial gluten-free bread (though TJ’s has a decent loaf in a pinch). It’s easy to make your own bread using an alternative flour, and it will be fresh and delicious.
I know that it can be tough when you are working on your diet, and the world isn’t necessarily ready to cater to you. However, with a little effort, it’s not hard to change the way you eat, and it can even be fun!