Recently I was in the supermarket, usually I am in a hurry and tend to mind my own business but I was waiting in line and noticed a lady next to me packing her shopping trolley at the checkout, I noticed her because she didn’t look well at all. When I looked in her trolley there was nothing within it that would help to nourish her, nothing at all. I felt very sad for her, she is making choices that don’t support her health probably without even knowing. The truth is I don’t know her or her story and the point of this blog post is not to judge her or each other’s choices.

I notice though whenever I do look into other people’s trolleys at the supermarket that most of us fill our trolley with the kind of foods you may be buying for a party, foods they now refer to on Sesame Street as “sometimes foods”. All I see are soft drinks, juices, chips, shapes, biscuits, various breads, pastries and cakes. These “foods” are normally devoid of any good nutrition at all. They are generally high carbohydrate/high sugar foods mixed with the worst kind of fats, vegetable oils like margarine or canola oil, hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils etc. The high carbs and high bad quality fats are individually both an issue but combined, they ignite into a cascade of chronic inflammation and chronic disease.

A healthy trolley contains things like colourful fruit and vegies (although these are often better sourced at farmers markets and local grocers to ensure seasonal quality produce). It contains protein (fish, eggs, chicken, beef etc), it contains good quality oils including natural block butter, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut milk, avocado, raw nuts and seeds. It also contains full fat yoghurt coconut or dairy based. Passata, herbs and spices etc, basically, it contains ingredients that make real food.

It is true that many (not all) of these choices are more expensive but in my opinion even if you had to trade 5 or 10 of the other trolley’s items to buy these ingredients, they would nourish and sustain you more. Also many of these ingredients will last you a long time, not just a few days. It is important to remember that when you eat a diet that nourishes you balanced with veggies, protein and fat, it keeps you fuller for longer. When you just eat the “sometimes” food, you always feel hungry.

The lady in the supermarket likely has no idea of the link between the foods she is eating and her health. I know I didn’t until I studied nutrition. Also in our messed up society we tend to link up unhealthy diet and people who are overweight, believing that overweight people are the only ones eating a poor diet. We often believe that if someone is slim, they must be eating healthy. This is simply not true, in fact 40% of slim people have the same metabolic risks and diseases as people who are overweight. The lady in the supermarket was actually slim. I have also worked with many overweight clients who eat a very healthy diet. We need to stop making assumptions about people’s diets based on their body shape/size.

Please don’t make a habit of looking into other people’s trolleys and judging them, it is not helpful. However, I do encourage you to look at your own trolley, is it full of health giving nutritious foods or nutrient devoid inflammatory “foods”? The health of your trolley is a great predictor of your health. What are you choosing?

Fiona Kane, Nutritional Medicine Practitioner, Holistic Counsellor and Transformational Life Coach