Grocery Store Thoughts

Patience and understanding are not two of my best virtues. I try, really I do, but when a simple visit to the grocery store sets me off, I wouldn’t say I’m succeeding too well.

Here’s the thing, since having a “food awakening” (and I was already pretty ‘awake’ compared to the average American) myself almost 2 years ago now, I have very little tolerance or understanding of those who obviously do nothing for their own health.

Scene: I’m pushing my cart through the soda/chip/pretzel aisle to grab some seltzer and I see a very overweight/obese mother and son. What are they standing in front of? Ruffles potato chips. A quick look into their cart reveals 5+ 2 liter bottles of soda and not a veggie in sight.

That’s just maddening to me. The voice inside my head wants to scream, “Stop! Put all that crap back, you are literally killing yourself and your son with that ‘food’”. Of course, I remain quiet and just keep pushing my cart to the checkout lane but I just cannot understand why people don’t take the initiative to help themselves and learn about good nutrition. I think it goes without saying that most parents out there want their child to be safe and healthy and yet they blindly throw processed crap into their carts week after week. I’d almost understand if there were no outward signs of how bad this stuff is for our bodies but when the excess weight is visibly obvious there has to be something inside your head acknowledging it.

I get that we live in a society that does little to help us be our healthiest. Just look at the signs in the window of the grocery store.

grocery store grocery store signs

Every single item the store was advertising as a “WOW sale” is highly processed and full of high fructose corn syrup. Hawaiian punch, Kraft salad dressing, sugar laden yogurt, etc. Any veggies or fruits on sale? Of course not.  But, that’s not an excuse in my opinion. Yes, it makes it harder because it’s not spelled out for us. In fact, I had to spend 5 minutes reading labels in the bread aisle before finding something decent enough to throw in my cart. That’s 5 minutes towards my health though, not 5 minutes wasted. I just cannot comprehend why people do not take the initiative to educate themselves about nutrition. It frustrates me, saddens me and boggles my mind all at the same time.

Obviously, most of you reading this are not the intended audience because I’d venture to say  you probably already “get it”, but I just needed that little time to vent. All you RD’s out there, keep on doing great things to help people learn about nutrition. More power to you because, I could never do it. I’d get frustrated way too easily!

On a brighter note, I made these yesterday.

chocolate chip dough balls

chocolate chip dough balls

chocolate chip dough balls

While waiting for this chica to show up.

anchovy in spain

Hi, Jess!

Trevi fountain

Jess has been a friend since my sophomore year in college when she lived down the hall. We studied abroad in Spain together and then traveled back to Europe 3 years ago to reminisce. It’s been over a year since we last saw each other so it’s going to be a fun weekend!

So tell me, am I crazy for thinking that way in the grocery store? Yes Gina, you need some damn patience & understanding is a perfectly appropriate answer, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard it. 

Have you tried raw dough balls yet?


  1. says

    First of all, you’re not crazy for thinking about that. It really is so sad to see that happening. I don’t know if it’s lack of education or just not caring, but it really is heart breaking.

    Second of all, those raw dough balls look AWESOME! I wish I could pop one in my mouth right now!

  2. says

    Definitely not crazy, but the other problem is that the bad food is the cheap food, so if you don’t have money, you’re almost FORCED to eat poorly or not eat at all. I would have flipped out (in my head) too!

    I really want those dough balls.

  3. says

    Nope… Your not crazy. I crack up at the situation. Its so sad and depressing I don’t know what else to do.

    My wife and I are constantly talking about the problems out there with our kids friends. I have 2 girls (11 and 13). They are in top physical shape. My oldest doesn’t have a “6-pack” she has 8-10 pack… Not sure if thats anatomically correct but you get the point. They are serious club level soccer players…. Only have softdrinks on their birthday, and their favorite snack is a piece of fruit. They count their glasses of water each day to make sure they have 8. Crazy kids but they are healthy. When their friends come over to our house I hear the friends complain about not having any chips, cookies, etc….

  4. says

    Your not crazy at all! And there is absolutely NO excuse to not eat healthily! With a little planning healthy meals can be just as cheap if not cheaper than processed crap, it’s not like everybody has to shop at wholefoods to eat healthily either. I don’t even think it’s lack of education it’s just pure ignorance. EVERYBODY regardless of intelligence has to know that vegetables = good / junk food = not so good, surely?! Rant aside those dough balls look yummy but please stop tempting me i’m trying not to snack :/ I might just sleep for the week, that should make it a little easier! :D

  5. Samantha says

    Totally get it. And no, you’re not crazy. As a person who struggles with her weight, it’s especially hard for me to go to the store to see that all the unhealthy options are the ones on sale. I religiously load my cart with fruits and veggies, but sometimes that’s not enough. I literally have a fight with myself many times a day over what I put in my mouth. Obviously it’s easier to make better choices when the junk just isn’t in the house. But when you go out to eat? Or when you go over to someone else’s house? Thats rough. Even still, it frustrates me to see people who can’t/won’t help themselves.
    For example… I was at Chipotle yesterday, and there were 2 large women in front of me in line. They were talking about their “diets”, so they opted for the burrito bowls instead of a burrito. Good choice ladies! But then they proceeded to add cheese, sour cream, extra meat, extra rice, and guacamole!! At that point, the tortilla wouldn’t have mattered! See?? Frustrating to everybody! :)
    P.S. Recipe for raw dough balls??

  6. barbara says

    Time and money are a factor in preparing wholesome fresh foods. Everytime I do a physical on a school aged child I spend time talking with mom (or dad) and the child
    about nutrition. Many household have both parents working late. Babysitters and daycare feeds them. Their tastebuds develop early. Cravings for fatty sweet foods are established well before kindergarten. The parents of teens that are overweight and obese are usually overweight or obese themselves. They fret over their teen eating the wrong foods, and look at me with a blank face when I ask who does the shopping and preparing of dinner? I start at the newborn visits educating moms about nutritional choices. Many families don’t have a “dinnertime” They grab fast foods and many children are home unsupervised in front of a computer or TV munching on fatty snacks after school til mom or dad comes home(not playing outside). When mom /dad comes home. she /he usually warms up a prepared meal or takeout. It takes time to wash, prepare and cook fresh produce. I wish health and nutrition/parenting was a required course in school. It’s a cycle that is hard to break. The parents of today grew up in a fast food generation. Bad habits die hard! same holds true for smoking parents that have kids that smoke.
    PS made the raw dough balls the other nite ,yummy.

  7. says

    I have a harris teeter here in NC… which is new to me b/c im used to publix and whole foods but had to move away from my loves. anywho! i’m used to healthy stores.. and this store advertises the same way and even sends me an email telling me soda, chip, and processed meat sales and suggest I stock up while the price is low.

    it. makes. me. sick.

  8. says

    You are not crazy in thinking this way….I think the exact same thing. I always check out other people’s grocery carts and I’m usually amazed at what I see. Although, I will say back in college and when I didn’t know/care my cart looked the same way. Today – we rarely buy anything packaged other than pasta, some crackers for the little ones, and maybe some jarred sauces. The rest if fresh fruit, veggies, bread, meat, cheese, etc.

  9. says

    Gina such a great post.

    I have learned long ago that I dont enjoy posting about “what to feed your kids” b/c it brings out guilt and shame in some (who feel they arent doing enough) and it brings out a superiority complex in others (who think their way is best).

    I want to believe that all parents try to do the best, at all times, for our kids. But trust me, life and real life experiences and the choices i observe make me question that…frequently.

    Thanks for posting about this. It NEEDS attentions!

  10. says

    Great post! I think the exact same way and I really have to fight the urge of saying something to those mothers. Or to those single men who had nothing but crap in their carts and wonder why they are too tired to play soccer. Or the thin women who lives of candybars and will have so much fat stored around the internal organs that they are what you call “skinny-fat”.

    I mean, your relationship with food is founded when you’re a child/teenager and if all you ever get from your parents is junk and processed food – then how are you supposed to know how great you feel when you eat your vegetables and eat whole food? You can only compare to what you know, and I’m afraid that we’re in the middle of raising a generation that is split in two.

    One part will be the children of healthy parents who knows how horrible you feel when living on a diet of french fries and soda, who exercises, who will get better grades at school because they eat better and can concentrate, who will get better jobs and hotter wives and in turn breed healthier children etc. etc.

    The other part will be children of unhealthy parents who only knows how you feel when you eat processed food. And therefore thinks that this is the way life is supposed to be. That that is the way you’re supposed to feel. And who will never upon own initiative pick up a bag of spinach, the fresh strawberries, the butternut squash. They will be nutritional an-alphabets and you can take one guess at how hot jobs and wives they will get…

    It’s one of the most important subjects to discuss and it’s crucial that we have more focus on this. I think that some people (I know some actually) cheat themselves into thinking that they eat all-right. That because their bread contains 2 grams of dietary fiber and they ate four pieces of carrot for lunch, then they’re home safe. You would think that everyone has the required knowledge to make the right choices, but I just believe that we still have a huge amount of people who just doesn’t know enough. And we have to start with educating the children…

  11. says

    I know this is about to go against everything everyone else said here – but I’m a “to each his own” kinda person. Although I prefer to make healthier choices and I wouldn’t feed my kid sugar and processed food, I don’t really judge people for doing things differently. Although I won’t lie, the idea of some of my friends giving their 9 month olds cupcakes, cake, or cookies does make me cringe a little. Maybe once my kids are a little older, I’ll judge harsher! Right now, I just salute them for feeding their kids ;)

  12. says

    I posted about raw cookie dough bites on my site!! Yum!!!

    I don’t think you’re crazy – I always get a little judge-y at the grocery store when I see people loading up on crap. I don’t understand the lack of concern for one’s health.

    On the other hand, sometimes it makes me sad! Recently, I saw an older-ish man in front of me in the check out line with twinkies, bud weiser and tons of frozen meals! It seemed like he would be eating all those frozen meals alone :(

  13. dad says

    my how times have changed,this from the kid who holds the record for being the fastest soccer player off the bus at Mickey Dees.LOL.Glad to see the change

    • Running to the Kitchen says

      Ha! Those double cheeseburgers were good:) But now that I think about it, how much of a mixed message is that? Taking the sports team to McDonalds!

  14. says

    Preach it, sister! I think the EXACT same thing every time I see that happening. In fact, I once posted on my blog about how I love making my own baby food because I know exactly what is in it, and that my kid(s) will NEVER grow up on processed food. I aim to be that annoying mother with no chips in the house with the kid who comes back from her friend’s house and tells me their dinner of Kraft mac n’ cheese was gross.

    Turns out it was one of my most controversial posts and people were all up in arms about how judgmental I was of people who didn’t do the same. Even though I never said a word about THEM, I was only talking about ME.

    But the truth is… I DO judge them. I think what they are doing to their children is sad.

    All that to say — you’re not crazy!

  15. says

    The raw dough balls look great!! I remember as a kid mom always said not to eat raw dough, but now it is so popular to do. Even in ice cream!! Mom still thinks that is just wrong!! LOL


  1. […] a “controversial” post (yet). I say that because I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. But Grocery Store Thoughts got people talking and some were even a bit heated like I was in writing that […]

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