‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Walking Down the (Supermarket) Aisle

I'd say most people who read the health section have read something about 'shopping the perimeter' of the supermarket. You stick to the fresh stuff, nothing from a box, yadda yadda yadda. Yes, this is kind of a good suggestion... But are we really doing our hips and bellies a solid by abstaining from the long and winding (road) intestines of the supermarket?

In case anyone's been living under a rock, the premise of shopping the perimeter is that you avoid all the 'naughty' processed and packaged foods that inhabit the center of the supermarket. Instead, your stick to things like fresh meat, eggs, dairy, fruits and veg.

While this is a good starting point, it's not a hard and fast truth (kind of how not all vegetarians are healthier than all omnivores). First off, I'd like to point out the perimeter is also home to all those lovely fresh baked cookies, cakes and white breads - often conveniently located nice and close to the entrance. Many supermarkets also have a premade food section housing the likes of sushi, soups, roast meats, deli meats, etc, which is also found along the coveted perimeter.

Now, I'm not saying the perimeter is bad, it's not. Fresh fruit, veg, dairy and fresh meat are all great. But so too are things like dried beans, dried pasta, rice, oats, canned fruits/veg, canned fish, frozen meat, frozen fruit/veg, bread, oil, herbs, spices, tea, coffee, baking goods like flour, cocoa powder, nuts, dried fruit, honey and peanut butter (the real stuff that contains: roasted peanuts... the end). All of which live in the bowels of the supermarket.
Don't get me wrong, you'll find plenty of crap down the aisles of the supermarket.  Things like soft drinks, chips, protein bars (uh oh), power bars (oh dear), diet bars (crossing a line?), multivitamins (line crossed), herbal supplements (behind enemy lines)... You get the idea.
Similarly though, if you continue down this aisle and hang a right, you'll find a section of the supermarket I find particularly grotesque... And believe it or not, it's usually along the perimeter. The section to which I am referring: The 'secondary' cheese/meat section. You know, the one that contains all the goodness *cough* of artificial colours - fluorescent orange cheese, and flavours - smoked or otherwise cured meat. This is definitely a section I avoid like the plague.

Take home points and tips:
  • The perimeter is not 'all good'
  • The center is not 'all bad'
  • Avoid tempting items like soft drinks, cookies, chips, etc by simply avoiding those aisles
  • Shop smart: Read the labels and compare products, even if you're prowling the periphery
Before you engage in strict border patrol, ask yourself: Is stringently skirting the circumference of the supermarket simultaneously skimping on significant eSSentials?


  1. hey Tahlia, been meaning to tell you since September that I really enjoy your blog! I was just wondering why you're not a fan of protein bars?

    1. Hi Danni! Thanks for your compliments re the blog, so glad you're enjoying it.

      To answer your question quickly (coz I could write a whole article about protein bars) I don't like them because they're expensive for what they are, and they are generally unnecessary. Better to get protein from real food that's not highly processed into a brick. That being said, they have a place if you're on the go and can't access/bring a snack. Hope that answers your question appropriately.