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How abstinence has changed how I shop for groceries

In my active sugar addiction days, I grocery shopped a lot, sometimes 3-4 times a week, mostly because I couldn’t keep a sufficient supply of sweets on hand. As a very discriminating and focused addict, I only wanted certain kinds of ice cream or candy or cookies, and I always had to have plenty on hand (my relationship with alcohol was the same). I also bought a lot of other food, healthy food. I knew enough about nutrition to know that I needed meat and fruits and vegetables so I bought a fair amount of that, much of which I threw away because it went bad in the refrigerator.

I always bought the sweets first, then wandered around the grocery store looking for things that appealed to me. New products I could try, deli ideas for quick meals, frozen stuff. It took me a while (unless I was on a straight ice cream run) because I had no plan, just appetite.

When I got abstinent, I not only gave up all sugars and flours but I also began eating on a food plan: starch once a day, protein three times, fruit twice, and a crapton of vegetables. With few exceptions, my food was fresh (I do stock canned beans, some condiments and sauces). This means I have no business (literally and figuratively) in the central aisles of the grocery store. Everything I need is on the edges: produce, meat/fish, dairy.

I also don’t go more than once a week now. I do all my shopping on Wednesday mornings and cook the same day, roasting or baking pans of vegetables for the second half of the week. The more perishable vegetables and fruits get eaten first. This keeps me out of temptation, out of exposure to trigger foods, out of food as activity.

How could you shop differently to support your abstinence?

More support like this is available in my book, Candy Girl: How I gave up sugar and  created a sweeter life between meals. Available in paperback and Kindle.

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