Kirsten's Shopping Secrets
These are products that I recommend to help you lead a healthier life and are things I use for myself and my family.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission for some products purchased from this page.
Read through this sourcing advice and tips. You can also download my guide to favorite brands and products. Be open to finding great products that work for you and your family. These items listed are what works for mine.
Local Farmer’s Markets:
Fresh and Local always win. Shop your local farmer’s markets. For those of you not local to me, see the USDA Farmers’ Market Database to find markets local to you.
Locally, the markets run May-October and have the following schedule:
Lafayette: 5th Street between Main and Columbia, Saturdays 8 am -12:30 pm
Purdue: Northwestern Corner of Memorial Mall, Thursdays May-July 11 am-2 pm and August-October 11 am-3 pm
West Lafayette: Cumberland Park, Wednesdays 3:30-7 pm
Market Wagon— an online farmers market serving areas of Indiana and Ohio. A wide variety of products, free delivery and year-round shopping. Good gluten free options too.
More Resources for Connecting to Local:
Evaluate Your Local Options:
You can’t beat LOCAL and toxin free. That’s always your best choice. Grow your own or buy directly from farmers’ you trust. Just because a food is produced locally does not mean that it is the quality you want. Eat to Your Advantage is the book you need to understand food and farming in a way that allows you to evaluate quality. These downloadable pdf guides can help:
- Thoughtful Questions to Ask a Produce Farmer pdf download
- Thoughtful Questions to Ask a Meat Farmer pdf download
- Questions for Evaluating a CSA Program (Community Supported Agriculture) pdf download
- Organic everything is best, but you can use the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists to prioritize your shopping budget.
- Shopping in season gives you a better chance for superior flavor and nutrition. Find out what’s in season for you.
- Frozen is a good option.
- More pigment generally means more flavor.
- Rates vary widely by the produce variety, but nutrients begin to degrade at harvest. Fresh matters.
Meat & Eggs:
Meat is the number one item I do not buy at the grocery store. On the grocery list, you will see items like deli meats and seafood that I do sometimes buy at a traditional grocery. With the exception of some occasional organic chicken, I buy all our meat from local farmers. We have excellent meat sources in our area. You probably do too. There are also some great online options.
Local Sources: The way to save money on high-quality, local meat is to find the products you like and then buy in bulk. Buying half a hog or a quarter steer, for example, will save you a lot of money.
Here are some local to me sources:
- Thistle Byre Farm (farmers market, CSA) In my opinion, you can’t do better than meat from Thistle Byre. I’ve been to their farm and have known them for a long time. They do everything right and do not cut corners.
- This Old Farm (online ordering, storefront in Colfax, IN) This Old Farm is a meat processor and farm aggregator. They make meat and other farm products from many small farms available. I recommend visiting them in Colfax so you can take a look at everything they have and trying things out. Don’t miss out on their Sugar-Free Garden Sage Sausage. It’s a family favorite and I buy it by the case.
- Holy Cow (online ordering, delivery, on-farm store in Monon, IN) The Moshers raise excellent meat in the right way. They have beef, pork, lamb, and more. For beef, I recommend the 100% grass-fed.
- Locally, Sunspot Market, The Weathered Plow, and City Foods carry locally sourced meat.
Mail Order Sources:
- US Wellness Meats. I do order through them to get Liverwurst and Braunschweiger (great ways to get high-quality organ meat in your diet.) I have not purchased muscle meat because we have such fantastic local sources. I’ve also tried their pork rinds and liked them.
- Vital Choice. Fantastic seafood source.
- Wild Alaskan Company. Another great seafood source. This one is a subscription model
- Butcher Box. Also a subscription model.
- Thrive Market. A full online grocer. This is a favorite of mine and I discuss it more below.
- Market Wagon— an online farmers market serving areas of Indiana and Ohio. A wide variety of products and year-round shopping. Good gluten free options too.
Food culture is shifting and more and more products are available in all large grocery stores that are cleaner and safer. That said, there is as much mixed and misleading marketing as ever. One of the main goals of my coaching program is to teach you to be a savvy shopper who can see past the hype and efficiently source better products. Locally, the best shopping option is Fresh Thyme. There are more useful products there and they are concentrated instead of having to pick through aisles and aisles of junk to find the scattered treasures. Use the EWG Healthy LIving App to scan barcodes and find safe products. You can familiarize yourself with the worst of the food additives with guides from the EWG site and my NO List Guide. It is much easier to focus on finding products with healthy, whole ingredients, than trying to memorize long lists of the “worst” ingredients. Download my brand guide here.
Shopping for your groceries online has been growing exponentially over the past few years. The pandemic has put that into hyper-drive. There are many models you are probably already familiar with. Brick and mortar grocers in your area quite likely have a shop online option and you can choose to pick up or have items delivered (usually by a third party). Some delivery companies allow you to shop from multiple stores in your area and then have it delivered to you. The realities of the pandemic have meant that stores you would not have dreamed of providing curbside service quite likely are. What I want to draw your attention to are dedicated online grocers carrying products that allow you to straddle the line between Traditional Food Wisdom and Modern Convenience in a way that allows you to Eat to Your Advantage. Refer back to the online sources for meat and seafood listed above.
Thrive Market: Thrive is an online grocer that I buy from often. They do have a $59.95 dollar annual fee after your 30-day free trail, but have savings up to 50% over regular grocery prices. If a product I like is available at Thrive, that’s where I usually purchase it. Thrive has saved me a lot and I am a big fan. I believe it is well worth the annual fee. Shipping for orders over $49 is free and shipping is fast.
“Ugly” produce and food waste shippers: As supermarket consumers, we have been trained to expect produce perfection. It’s unfortunate. Companies are springing up to sell this not perfect produce to consumers by mail order at discounted prices. Two of them are Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods. Both have more to offer than just produce, but Imperfect Foods offers a lot more than just produce.
Shop AIP: This is a 100% autoimmune protocol compliant online grocery. You will find items here that you will not find elsewhere. For those undergoing an AIP-style elimination protocol or those with a list of food sensitivities, Shop AIP can be a real lifesaver.
Azure Market is a cooperative source for food and household goods. Their inventory is large and diverse. Savings can be significant. Ordering is done online after setting up an account on their website. Depending on where you live, you can receive products either at a local drop point where you are meeting a semi or you can get items shipped to you. If you are meeting the truck, you can receive a full line of groceries including frozen and refrigerated items. You can have non-perishable items shipped to you at increased cost. Ordering through Azure means keeping track of order cut-off dates and delivery days.
Wholesale Buying Clubs/Cooperatives: In the past, I have taken part in wholesale buying clubs at the community level. This can be a formal or very informal group that pools resource to get lower pricing on food. Sometimes a cooperative may have a brick and mortar location and other times you may be meeting at someone’s house to divide up bulk purchases. Here is a database that lists cooperatives across the country. The best way to locate oportunities (or create them) is to start asking people in your community that have like-minded goals.
Fullscript: Professional-Grade Supplements
Fullscript is the dispensary I use for high-quality supplements. Fullscript supplies supplements with easy ordering and fast shipping. Ordering through me ensures you get a professional quality supplement at a 15% discount. If you are investing in your health, please take the time to purchase quality supplements. As with food, quality matters. Please consult your healthcare provider before starting a supplement regimen. I only make recommendations for clients, but you are free to order through the dispensary.
To order, follow this link and create an account.
Skin and Body
Detoxing our personal care routine is just as impactful as detoxing our food. The truth is that we have very little governmental protection. The US bans about 30 ingredients from use in personal care products. The EU bans about 1400. Reality is that the in the United States we regulate lead in paint but not in lipstick.
I urge you to take a look at the products you are using, check them against the EWG Skin Deep database and replace them with safer products. Download the EWG Healthy Living app and you can scan barcodes as you shop and get ratings!
Household Cleaning Products
Reducing total load and building resilience means taking a look at all the pollutants that you can remove from your environment. One dramatic way to impact this is to make your home a healthy environment. Indoor air pollution is generally 2 to 5 times greater than outdoor air pollution. We can change that equation by making informed, healthy choices when it comes to cleaning products. You can get the full scoop by listening to episode 26 of my Food Smarts Podcast. The unfortunate news is there is everything from hormone disruptors to carcinogens in the items we are using daily in our homes.
I urge you to take a look at the products you are using, check them against the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning and replace them with safe products. Download the EWG Healthy Living app and you can scan barcodes as you shop and get ratings! EWG rates products from A to F and tells you what in a product is of concern. Don’t believe the marketing hype–greenwashing is everywhere. Pull the curtain back and check them against the EWG database.
The great news is there are lots of great products available and it is also easy and very economical to DIY your own. What I personally use is listed below, but you can find lots of other great options here.
There are over 84,000 chemicals that are in the various cleaning products. Only about 200 have been evaluated by the FDA. Of those, only about 5 have been banned. Manufacturers do not have to prove safety, and they also don’t have to list all the ingredients on the label!
Branch Basics is what I personally use. Their 2 products have an A rating from EWG. I love that they sell just two simple products and from these two you can clean virtually everything. I use Branch Basics for everything from cleaning counters to laundry to hand soap. We just don’t need a specialized cleaning product for every item in our home. That’s marketing. Branch Basics works great and keeps my home environment non-toxic. Clean should most definitely not equal toxic.
These are the items I recommend to outfit a kitchen focused on nutrient density. I share the links so you can see exactly what I am talking about, but I encourage you to shop local when you can.
Nutrivore Kitchen Additions
These are the items I would add once you cover the basics.