The Simple Shopping List – Inspired by Joyce & Alix Armes

Inspired by You No1

For the next month or so, I don’t know how long, I will write two posts a week and publish these on Tuesday’s and Friday’s. This Blog series called Inspired by you will be a collection of yours and my experiences during the lock-down period, mostly relating to food and healthy living.

I invite you to add comments and start up conversations. Share your experiences relating to food shopping, cooking, food shortage, food storage, eating habits, cravings, great ideas and tips and tricks, ensuring that healthy living is the guiding theme.

Today is day five of lock-down in South Africa. My husband Franco and I have been in lock-down for eight days, and we intend to stay isolated for as long as we possibly can. We did our mega grocery shopping nine days ago. We decided to avoid the crowds, we anticipated that inevitably people will crowd the supermarkets during the four days before the lock-down.

I went to the closest supermarket, and I came home with the biggest trolley load of food that I have ever purchased. I was the only “prepper” in the queue. If you don’t already know, a prepper is someone who actively prepares (preps) for worst-case scenarios.

It was a well-planned shopping trip with a precise list, and I stuck to the list with intent. I did not allow my eyes to wander, I was focussed on the mission and overlooked the temptations of exclusive deals unless of course, that item was on the list.

I am interested to know, what did you stock up with when you prepped for the lock-down?

In these unique days ahead your food purchases can give you awareness. Awareness about your lifestyle and insight into what is important for you to eat. Is the quality of your regular diet good enough for an event such as a lock-down?

  • What are your priorities when it comes to mealtimes?
  • What did you choose to bring home for you and your family in terms of comfort food?
  • What foods help you to feel warm and loved?
  • How long did your first grocery shopping last?

Joyce Armes my inspiration and my Mother lives in the United Kingdom; she is eighty-eight years of age, and she is in self-imposed isolation for three months. She started her retreat early, 12 March, because she is extremely high up on the vulnerable person list.

Mother and I compared our shopping lists to help each other plan what to buy. She lived through the 2nd World War. She experienced food shortages and government rationing of foods such as sugar, coffee, bread, flour and milk. Most of the foods we take for granted today were scarce during Wartime.

We both easily agreed that eating real food, whole foods, natural food, in times of adversity is essential for physical health, mental health, and maintaining your sanity.

We came up with the essence of a sensible shopping list. The essence is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried foods, whatever you can find as close as possible to natural, unprocessed food.

  • Meat or Fish or Poultry
  • Whole Grains
  • Herb & Spices
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Healthy Oils

Joyce’s immediate neighbours are also blessed with long life, and they are housebound together, although alone. They can’t go out shopping, they can’t go within 3 meters of another human being for another two months. They know they must eat healthy, sensible foods because, at that stage in life, your body tells you immediately if the food is good for the system or not.

Alix Armes is my Mother’s Granddaughter; my Brothers Daughter and my Niece, she is an Angel. She is shopping for her Grandmother and neighbours. She is shopping for four single people and her own family of four.

Alix is having a unique food experience that she has taken on without hesitation. I hope the shopping lists are simple and nourishing. And then I imagine for these wonderful senior citizens to reach the age they are now, they must be acutely aware of what is best to eat, and what is best to leave on the shelves of the supermarket.

When making our simple shopping list for the lock-down, Franco suggested we get some savoury crackers just in case. I thought, “just in case what”? Just in case we eat all the sensible food and are left with nothing, we can then eat the crackers? Not likely. The next thought was “it’s fine” this is exceptional circumstances, and crackers went on the list.

My Mother in Law Marisa De Leo is eighty- three, she lives in Southern Italy. Her advice to her son last week was “be careful during this time because you are going to want to eat more, keep it simple”. Marisa knows so well how to feed the family to promote and maintain good health.

The comfort food I added to the simple shopping list was nuts, but I’ll leave that for another storey.

Remember to leave your comments, tips, tricks and reflections about healthy living in the lock-down. Kindly be my inspiration for writing another page for the blog.


  1. Joyce Armes

    A lot of information to think about. Very useful suggestions on shopping. My favourite comfort food pancakes with lemon and sugar.

  2. Mari

    Sandy, this was enjoyable and educational to read. I also bought nuts as part of the daily snack. Have to however ration ourselves not to eat too many a day! Looking forward to read about your next story about nuts. Take care.

  3. Caron Cloete

    It is lovely to read your blog!!! I decided not to do a big shop, but when I went into my local checkers, they had no chicken, but the prawn fridge was full!! Tonight I had prawns cooked in fresh ginger, garlic, chilli and coconut milk, served on rice with fresh coriander (I am actually using it instead of it going off in my veggie drawer) with baby carrots and snow peas on the side. Since my sister and I started growing Microgreens, I eat tonnes more fresh veg and nuts and moved away from processed foods and sugar (although this is still proving a challenge). Looking forward to reading more!!

    • Hi, Caron thank you for reading the blog. I love the sound of your supper you are indeed a gourmet chef. I am inspired by your storey and how you grow your own micronutrient power-packed microgreens. Take care, I hope you find some chicken on your next shopping trip.

  4. Sandy this blog is a good read, you kept it relevant and to the point, I like the questions you ask, they make one have a little self introspection and also question the food choices we make. I have enjoyed the blog and look forward to many more to come.

  5. Loz

    A great read Sandy. Loved the meal suggestions…perfect timing as we are planning our next shop for tomorrow. Trying to come up with pantry staple recipes that will extend the time between shops and still be delicious and nutritious. Well done and waiting for the next episode!

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