I am more of a visual learner. That being said, I really struggled (and often dreaded) those first grocery store trips when we started following Feingold. I knew a lot of the foods we were eating were not on the diet so I couldn’t breeze through the store in automatic mode tossing in our weekly ration like I always had. It took more planning on my part; making a list and researching the possibilities in my Feingold Food List book all before hitting the store. Thankfully I was fortunate enough to make those first trips alone…no kids in the cart (or do you call it a buggy?), no distractions from the playing field. I HIGHLY recommend the same for you. Being by yourself while you figure this out will equal less frustration and a quicker trip. My first trip, the one I referred to in this blog, took 2 hours!!! I’m not telling you this to frighten you, just prepare you! My husband thought I was in a ditch on the side of the road when in reality I was just blocking traffic in the organic aisle of Martin’s!
Don’t be discouraged, it gets easier, MUCH easier. I can now recognize labels and items that are Feingold friendly and our family has established our favorites, our go-tos in the weekly meal rotation, that I toss in the cart with ease. In the beginning I would read my book, try to familiarize myself with the brand and product names prior to grocery store arrival but this really didn’t help me out much. What I think would’ve helped me is a picture, a real photo of the what the item looks like on the shelf. Because we all know when you are juggling the baby in the cart who suddenly can unbuckle herself, the 5 year old who insists on grabbing every glass jar off the shelf and the 7 year old who keeps wandering off you don’t have time to read labels in the aisle. You need to have the visual of that item in your mind so you can quickly glance, grab, and drop it in the cart before the baby gets a concussion, the 5 year old splatters glass and spaghetti sauce everywhere and the 7 year old gets kidnapped!
The items pictured below were (mostly) all on the approved list (The Feingold Approved Foods List Book, Stages 1 and 2) in 2013. I have yet to receive my 2014 book. Because food companies change ingredients from time to time I cannot guarantee that these items remain on the approved list. To be certain you should join the Feingold Association to receive their materials and know for sure that what you are getting is salicylate, preservative, artificial flavor and color free. The only true way to follow this diet is by purchasing the Feingold materials. Unfortunately food companies don’t always disclose all ingredients on their food labels. Feingold has done the work of writing food companies asking them to list all ingredients in their products so that they can place the item on the approved (or not approved) list. Not all companies participate, but thankfully a lot do. Variety is always a good thing! Also, I can’t stress enough the importance of going ALL IN if you want to try this diet. Feingold is strict and trying to do it on your own will not give the diet a fair chance for success. Salicylates are found in many fruits and a few vegetables (the Feingold book lists those offenders) and in Stage 1 (the first 6 weeks of the diet) these have to be avoided. Stage 1 is like detox from foods containing salicylates, preservatives, artificial colorings and flavorings. In Stage 1 an item that is organic and all natural may not be “safe” because it is colored with berries (berries contain salicylates, therefore they are not permitted in Stage 1). Another thing to consider is personal hygiene products. Most soaps, lotions, toothpastes, and shampoos contain scents which are not permitted on Feingold. Again, don’t be inimidated. If I can do it, you CERTAINLY can! I just believe to do Feingold the right way, you need to purchase their materials.
I find the majority of the items listed below at my local Food Lion and Martin’s. Thankfully, with the growing popularity of eating clean, grocery stores are beginning to expand their organic offerings. The store that I prefer to go to and satisfies most everything I need (except for O’s favorite hot chocolate that can only be found at Whole Foods!) is Wegman’s. Have you been to one yet? Seriously, you should go! You could spend like a whole day there…it’s AWESOME!
Okay, so now you’re ready! With these images burned into your mind and your sneakers laced up tight you’re sure to have Feingold success with these items in your BUGGY!