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How to Grocery Shop Like a Hunter-Gatherer

Just because your next meal doesn’t mean you must pick, gather, milk, hunt or fish for your food shouldn’t mean that you walk into a supermarket in some food illiterate stupor and load up your trolley without thinking!

Think of yourself instead as a modern-day hunter-gatherer and be as vigilant as if you were out on the savanna searching for the next meal (which of course would most likely include running it down to catch it so your daily Mint fitness regime will cover that base …please ask one of the PT’s to help out if your programme effort is closer to sitting on the sofa rather than hunting in the savannah!!).

Just like the hunter-gatherer who learned which poisonous mushrooms, plants, and other seemingly edible foods to avoid, if you want to live a long, healthy life, it helps to gather some education on what food products to avoid and what foods to pounce on.

The ultimate goal of the hunt is to bring back real foods that contain all the nutrients incl; biochemicals required for the functioning of your cells, tissues, hormones & neurotransmitters which affect your metabolic health.

In other words, theoretically real foods can be picked, gathered, milked, hunted or fished. Processed foods don’t contain the biochemicals the human body needs to rebuild, but they do contain toxins so best to be avoided just like the poisonous mushroom.

You used to be able to hunt the perimeter of the supermarket, but not anymore. Now, no matter where you look, you’re going to see tantalizing food products conveniently placed within reach — even in the produce section.

Hunter-gatherers didn’t leave a secure camp to procure food without making sure that they were well fed for the taxing hunt ahead of them. Before you go food shopping at the very least have a real food snack so you can think with your head and not with your grumbling stomach.

Hunter-gatherers had their strategies and knew how much food they needed to survive between hunting/gathering expeditions. Getting your kitchen together requires two steps: Staples and perishables.

Stocking your pantry with staples can take a few shopping excursions. Your list may look like this: 

Olive oil
Coconut oil
A variety of vinegars (rice, red wine, balsamic, apple cider)
Prepared mustard
Spices (course black pepper, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, ground ginger, dried basil, dried oregano, onion powder, cumin, parsley)
Sea salt
Shoyu (real, naturally fermented soy sauce)
Stevia, unpasteurized honey
Grains (brown rice, amaranth, steel cut oats)
Beans and legumes (black beans, lentils, peas)
Tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes
Coconut milk
A variety of nuts to store in the freezer
Green tea and herbal teas

Once you have your staples, weekly shopping can focus on fresh, perishables. Buy whole foods. Food products with fat removed are highly processed and generally contain sugar and chemicals to replace the “mouth feel” and satisfaction of natural fat.

Think about your week, how much food you need to survive between the meals you plan on eating out. Zero in on proteins, fats, non-starchy vegetables, complex carbs, and hydration.

Your list may look like this:


Rib eye steak
Bone-in chicken breasts with skin
Salmon or other fish/shellfish
Canned tuna fish (not every week)
Small fish like anchovies, herring, and sardines
Free range or organic eggs


Peanut and/or almond butter
Raw or organic whole milk and cream
Whole milk yogurt
Cottage cheese
Raw or organic butter
Raw cheese (generally these are imported cheeses)

Non-starchy veggies

Leafy greens and other veggies that mostly grow above the ground for summer & winter salads/slaws
Any green veggie to eat raw, cook, or juice

Complex carbs

Fruit (anything in season)
Spelt bread, freshly baked whole grain bread, or paleo bread 
Starchy veggies (potatoes, kumara, yams, carrots, beets, corn)
Trail mix




Mineral water such as Pellegrino 
Coconut water

If you’re looking for prepared foods, finds the ones that best serve you. Eg; you may want to take hummus with carrot and cut up bell peppers to work for a snack. Ratatouille or salsa can make a simple roasted chicken a lot more interesting. Having prepared soup in the freezer to defrost on the stove on simmer can be pampering after a long stressful day at work.

When you get home from your hunt, freeze any meats and fish that you aren’t going to eat in the next day or two. Animal and fish proteins immediately begin to oxidize in the refrigerator. The goal is to eat fresh food. So only freeze foods for a week, two on the outside.

Today for the first time in the history of humankind we have at our disposal an array of foods that humans have never had.

Historically, even monarchies and the ultra-wealthy could not eat the vast variety of foods we commoners now have available to us. Strive to only eat real food, but have fun with it too.

Zealotry has no place in a well-balanced life. Dark chocolate (high cacao/no sugar) has many health benefits, it’s perfectly OK in your shopping trolley. Whole Foods offers small bags of baked gourmet potato chips. Don’t buy them every week, but they are fun once in a while.

Happy hunting!

Why Are We Different?

Mint Health & Fitness  for want of a better word is a "boutique" fitness and food facility.  We have fantastic personal trainers, nutritionists & clean eating cafe that all work together to make sure that your experience at Mint is unlike any other health a nutrition facility. 
The Mint experience is something that we have found hard to describe, but our members all say the same thing, friendly staff and atmosphere with helpful instruction.  
This obviously isn't it all, we have PURE Cafe with it great selection of healthy nutritious food, but to find out for yourself what our difference is come on down and talk to the team.
We are a friendly bunch at Mint and will gladly show you around and tell why we are proud to be a Mintie.
P.S. Ask about a free trial workout just to see if you like us. One of our team may even be able to help with a one on one workout if you are newbie exerciser (we don't want you to hurt yourself).
No more procrastinating
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Whats Our Members Are Saying

I felt determined when I joined Mint. I have lost approx. 15 Kgs since my heaviest and about 1.5Kg in the last 2 weeks, I am now eating 8 times a day and I feel that what I am doing is working for me. It was hard to stay away from those salt and vinegar chips and keep up with the frequency of meals but I am getting there. I originally went to Jane when I first started and struggled with the food (salads are just not for me) but we found some alternatives which works. Having the BIA’s done with Jane has been great to see the results. Also, I have learned about food composition and eating clean.
Dudley Crabbe
I felt determined when I joined Mint. With my husband already being a member and enjoying it. I feel fitter and Jane has helped me change some of eating habits so I am hoping I can start losing some weight. Easy access to Jane being on site will help me get to my goals over the next few months. Jane has kept me going, don't give up, and some good tips how important protein is in the diet.
Anne Gibling
I was hopeful joining Mint and I feel that I have made a steady improvement throughout my time at Mint. Jane has helped me control my blood sugar levels and they are better than ever. Jane provided great advice and tips.
Tony Gibling
I felt relaxed when joining Mint. I found that at Mint I have lost weight and found it a great way to deal with stress. Jane helped me change my bad eating habits and organised me to have a necessary blood tests done in America which made a big difference.
Garry Beaumont
Making the decision to join the gym was actually pretty hard. I was going through a particularly stressful time. The results I feel the most are: I wasn’t necessarily focused on aerobic health when I started but I feel much fitter and that’s a lovely feeling. I’m fitting into some older clothes – very gratifying. But the most important result is that I am in control of my choices. I’m doing the best I can to take care of myself. I feel more confident in the face of other challenges. So if I had to say what the number one result of my time at Mint is, it’s mental. I have a completely different relationship with exercise, which has become something I enjoy doing because it clears my head and makes me feel good about myself. I enjoy being in my body; I feel proud of what it can do. This has been an incredibly valuable experience – and one that’s ongoing, which is cool as well. I’m looking forward to what comes next! Wendy and I thought to tell you how much we miss Mint now that we are on 6 months in Heidelberg Germany after our three months in Christchurch. We have found a gym here that is very well equipped but it is VERY German and some of the classes look like torture rooms!
Greta Bond
December 21 we finally go back to Vancouver and resume our normal life. I very much appreciate the two back workouts you gave me and I am still doing them, alternating several times a week. They are the best I have ever had and I have had great back health since working with you. I very much thank you for that. Best wishes from your Canadian fan club - congrats on the new gym and good business to both of you.
Wendy & Chris
Having battled multiple heath issues and as a busy Mum of three young adults, a chance conversation led me to the team at Mint. Nutritional advice was just the beginning! I began Reflexology with Emma, Carole’s massage as well as a totally personalised gym program on a one-to-one basis with Mike. I cannot adequately convey the impact of encouragement, support, genuine interest, as well as the wonderful facilities that Mint provides as I literally claw my way back to health. The whole body approach of health and wellness at Mint is truly unique. With the addition of Pure Cafe Co. enabling you to put a foot in the door to this amazing setup that is Mint Health and Fitness.
I joined the Mint fitness gym in December 2013 because being a bus driver I needed a way to keep fit and keep all my joints moving. I find it really easy to go because it’s just across the road from where I work. They say a healthy body helps towards a healthy mind and so it helps with all the stress of everyday life and the stress that comes with driving around the city all day everyday. The team at Mint, Mike, Gabby and Bonnie are really friendly and help with anything you need while you are there. The changing rooms are always clean and tidy and well looked after. There is also a Cafe in the same building which serves healthy food to complement the exercise. I joined for 3 months and in conjunction with my own cycling am enjoying working out to the program Mike has set up for me. The 24 hour access, its great for the weekends and after work and also means I can go and work out when it suits. I really love it – Mint is great.
I joined mint as this year I am working in a third world Country which has a high level of security risk and a demanding physical environment. The team at Mint listened carefully to what I was needing and tailored an exercise and nutrition programme to get me to the physical condition I need to be in. You are not just another number at mint, they genuinely care about you and your goals. You always feel welcome and always have advice. I love how you can get a bite to eat after a work out, the time savings are so helpful. This is the best gym in the city, and the tuna wraps are fantastic!"
When the quake shook everything up, I unwilling distanced myself from MINT, lost my ‘work out mojo’. It wasn’t until late 2013 that I got back into training. From this unplanned break I can see first-hand how much better I feel psychologically and physically from training. BUT the thing that makes MINT the place for me is that everyone gets to know you. If you are self-guided training (me presently) or getting one on one personal training, MINT’S care and attention is what makes it. The team pay attention to how often you show up, Mike and Di show a personal interest in my Progress, I feel spurred on by this. You cannot underestimate the power of someone noticing you’re not at the gym!! My journey this time is a more driven one. I know how easy it is to ‘slip’ out of habit. And I know for me, MINT is the place to achieve my fitness goals.
Before Mint I weighed 78kgs. I’d been overweight since childhood and was a comfort eater. Never played any sports or been into any sort of exercise. I was scared of joining a gym. I remember telling myself there was no way I could ever be a person who was into working out and healthy eating because it just wasn’t me. Six months later and 20kgs lighter, I’m now the person I thought I'd never be. I’m so happy with who I am now and for the first time ever, I can say I truly love myself. I really don’t believe that I could have achieved so much success without all the wonderful people at Mint supporting and motivating me 100%. Joining Mint has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Emma M

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