“Whole Foods are a critical part of the recovery process, for both the nutrients they provide and the chemicals and contaminants they (hopefully) lack. Choosing and preparing wholefoods also puts us more in touch with the nature of food and gives us a creative and emotional satisfaction that simply cannot be had from opening a can and dumping the contents in a pot.” – Mary P. Cheney, C.H.C
How often have you eaten something you didn’t really want just because it was there? Or finished a drink, a snack, or even an entire meal and then asked yourself “Why on earth did I eat that?” This type of impulsive eating is particularly common among those of us in recovery, since the damage of our addictions and compulsions has dulled our sensitivity to our internal cues. As a result, in recovery we all need to become more conscious of what we’re eating and when we’re eating it.
Whole, natural foods give the body the high-octane fuel it needs to restore and maintain itself. The first step in providing these foods is to have them in the house (and on the job, at meetings, and in the car …). But to have them in the house, first you need to know what foods to choose, how to choose them, and where to find them. This means learning some new shopping skills—particularly how to scout for whole foods in the modern jungle of the supermarket.
But In the early days of recovery, when it is often all we can do to maintain our abstinence and follow through with our treatment plan, which includes going to meetings, outpatient program, and doctor visits; the idea of going to a supermarket can be overwhelming for some. And when you’re hungry, an empty fridge is the last thing you want to see.
What do I suggest? Try keeping your kitchen stocked with food staples for your recovery diet with the help of a grocery delivery service. For a fee, you can have your groceries sent to your home after you hand-pick what you want on your computer browser, tablet, or with a smartphone app, So even if you can’t fit in an hour or two at the grocery store, these companies will bring your food right to your door so your home and refrigerator is always full with foods to promote your recovery.
Today, there are several supermarket delivery services that have a very good inventory of whole real foods. Some services are nation-wide and others are limited to certain areas. They include but are not limited to:
• http://www.Amazon.com Since Amazon bought the Whole Foods chain of health food stores the inventory at Amazon Fresh now also includes the products that you would find at Whole Foods along with their standard inventory. Chances are everything you need for your recovery diet is now just a click away. Check out the 365 Everyday Value line of products which offers organic and natural products at a reasonable cost.
• http://www.Amazon.com Recently, Amazon started a Prime Whole Foods Market service in addition to Amazon Fresh and if you are a Prime member, rejoice as this service offers FREE 2 hour delivery! So if you are like me and you suddenly have a food craving for baby bok choy, it will arrive in time to add it to your dinner menu.
• http://www.Peapod.com Started back in 1989, Peapod now serves 24 U.S. markets. From next day (and same day in some areas) to two weeks beforehand, you can load your e-cart any time of day. Peapod has a great inventory of whole foods and natural household products. Your items can be delivered to you and there is even a pick-up option at local Stop and Shops in select areas. Peapod also offers meal kits, so you can order all the groceries needed for a particular dish (even pre-measured/pre-chopped) to prepare for yourself and others in one click. Look for their Nature’s Promise line which offers organic and nature foods at a reasonable cost.
• http://www.freshdirect.com Fresh direct has partnerships with local farms, dairies, and fisheries to help you get fresh food fast. They offer more than 3,000 food products and the list of available items changes depending on the season. Because of this focus, there are more food items and fewer home essentials compared to other services. Be sure to check out their Easy Meal Solutions section which includes Meal Kits that can be made in under 30 minutes. You can even order their items a week in advance or at 11 pm the night before a delivery.
• http://www.thrivemarket.com Thrive is a market looking to bring people into a more food-accessible community. Touting wholesale prices that save you 25-50 percent off retail prices, their direct buying strategy brings you fresh, quality products for less. Grocery items are screened to ensure that they are free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Customers are offered a 30-day trial to test this option, and shoppers can shop based on their diet and values. Some of the categories (they now offer 70+) listed include gluten-free, ketogenic , paleo, raw, staples, or vegan.
• http://www.instacart.com Instacart hires personal shoppers to fulfill each request from whichever store you’ve selected. Aldi, Costco, or Wild By Nature are just a few of the stores affiliated with Instacart. Check out their 1 hour option or Express Service.
• http://www.shipt.com Shipt partners with local retailers in each city where the service is provided, and your personal Shipt shoppers pick up everything you need from your local store (such as Target, CVS, Petco, etc). This more personable option brings your food and everyday essentials to you with same-day (even a two hour option) delivery. Now that Shipt was purchased by Target this option is now just a click away on the Target website or app. If you are a Target lover, like I am, you will enjoy this delivery option. Check out the Target line, Simply Balanced for economical organic and natural foods.
The information above was current at the time I wrote my book, “Food For Recovery” but since the grocery delivery market is very competitive I would check out each website for current offerings.
Some of us in recovery use a hybrid approach and we have the bulk of our groceries delivered to our homes but still go to a supermarket for last minute items or when we miss frolicking through a store. My husband and I like to do that every once in a while to see what is new as he calls it “sight seeing”.
Like recovery, the choice is yours. Happy Shopping!
Health and Happiness,
Mary P. Cheney, C.H.C.