Small Step No. 07

I love grocery shopping.

It’s always been my favorite place to shop (perhaps because it’s the only place I shop?). Forget Target; just point me to the nearest grocery store and set me free for an hour or two.


And while I’m fairly rigid with ingredient lists, I’ve found I’m all-too-often thwarted by healthy foods that aren’t the slightest bit healthy (hat tip to the time I brought home gluten-free/dairy-free cinnamon rolls loaded with sugar and a million incomprehensible ingredients).

Recently, I asked the ever-wise Elizabeth (from Purely Elizabeth fame, and also an IIN alum!) how she focuses on simple, healthy choices daily, and not surprisingly, she has her own little grocery store mantra:

Shop the perimeter.

Elizabeth spends 90% of her time in the outer aisles of the grocery scooping up fresh produce, organic ingredients and whole foods. “The inner isles are where a lot of snacky, processed food is. So I fill up my cart with perimeter products, then only leave myself a little space for inner isle items like Purely Elizabeth granola.”

It’s similar in theory to another well-loved healthy-eating adage: You can eat whatever you want as long as you cook it yourself. Craving pasta? Get the stovepot. Feeling guac? Grab the molcajete. Want to experiment with new foods? Shop the perimeter.

There are tons more wellness tips available for the taking (especially for you folks in Phase Two!), and I suppose that’s why I love this small steps series so much. It’s finding that freedom isn’t rooted in rules or regulations, but in simple boundaries ripe with exploration. In the trying, and the trying again.

In the finding of new mantras, at the grocery and beyond.

Tell me: what small steps are you exploring these days? I’d love to hear!


p.s. Today’s Small Step is brought to you by Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a genius alternative to an expensive 4-year degree. Enjoy 25% off your enrollment by emailing [email protected] with subject line “DFM DISCOUNT.”  Or, check out a few more Small Steps like how to read more, and how to drink more water (finally).

  • I’m getting up a little earlier to meditate and have some quiet time to start my day. Well, relatively quiet as our dog is up and raring to go but little man and big husband are still sleeping. It’s a big little step that I hope will impact my day in the best possible way.

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