My First Whole Foods Experience

April 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm 4 comments

This past Saturday afternoon, I took my first trip to Whole Foods (well, first where I was the one doing the shopping). I was in the neighborhood because I was cat sitting for a friend, and needed to pick up a few things for my desserts for Easter, so I figured why not!

Let me just say up front that Whole Foods intimidates me. To be fair, unfamiliar grocery stores in general intimidate me. I always wander back and forth and it takes me ten times longer than it should to fulfill my ten item list. But its hard to shop when you don’t know where anything is! Whole Foods was that experience times ten. Not only did I not know where anything was, but I also hardly knew what some things were. Everything had bright labels claiming its health benefits or marking it a superfood. I love that they take the guess work out of healthy eating – you can pretty much trust that most items there were high quality and less processed than grocery store counterparts. However, I still find myself uncomfortable with the store. It makes health feel unattainable to the average person who has no knowledge of the difference between flax and chia seeds, cocoa and cacao nibs, organic and fair trade and local. In my opinion, healthy eating should feel accessible to everyone and should not be made to feel like a status symbol, as it sometimes comes across at this store.

With that being said, I do appreciate Whole Foods for expanding the specialty items market, especially for people on special diets. They have an impressive gluten-free flour alternative selection, have more vegan and vegetarian items than I knew existed, and have great specialty breads, meats and cheeses. Plus, their produce is beautiful, even if it is expensive. I come away from my experience with ambivalence. Maybe next time I go to a Whole Foods, I will be armed with more knowledge of good deals to look for, a friend who knows the store lay out, and a bigger budget!

During my first trip, I got some coconut, dates, and chocolate for the Raw Samoas, and some staples like black beans, butter, and cereal. I had to use all of my self control and walk past the great variety of nut butters and cheeses and other amazing treats to stay within my budget! The biggest purchase of the day was chia seeds. I have been reading all about them on other food blogs – they are rich in omega-3’s and don’t have to be ground like flax seed to get the nutritional benefits. They can be sprinkled on yogurt or oatmeal to add a little nutritional boost to your morning. My package recommends storing them in the freezer to prolong their shelf life, which in the fridge is 4 months. This morning, I enjoyed a sprinkling of chia seeds on top of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt mixed with frozen blueberries alongside of some homemade cinnamon raisin toast with a little almond butter. The seeds look like pavement, but add a nice crunch to the yogurt! They also add some protein, which on top of the greek yogurt and almond butter kept me full until 1pm (unheard of for me, who usually gets the stomach rumblies around 11am in class!) Plus, they have so many good, heart healthy benefits that it almost doesn’t make sense not to!

Question: Do you shop at Whole Foods? What are the best deals there?


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Entry filed under: Ramblings. Tags: , , , , .

Happy Easter! More Thoughts!

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Usa  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I love Whole Foods! Definitely check out the coupon booklet at the front of the store. I usually just take out the ones I want and put it back (since I only take 1 or 2 coupons). If the produce is on sale, I don’t think its a bad deal. I usually buy the big box of organic spring mix and use a coupon to get Earth Balance organic unsweetened soymilk. Everything else in my cart is adventure. :)

    Reply
    • 2. jenlenew  |  April 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      I didn’t know about the coupons up front! I’ll look for those next time I find myself there :)

      Reply
  • 3. SNAAC Approved « homemadeadventure  |  May 14, 2011 at 8:23 am

    […] most Americans. Fruits and vegetables still remain inaccessible for many people (see my post about Whole Foods and food deserts for more thoughts.) And even if they are available at grocery stores, many people […]

    Reply
  • […] posts ( see here for thoughts on organic food, a bit about my food philosophy as a vegetarian, some thoughts and more thoughts on affordability and access to food) Food, while of utmost importance is a means […]

    Reply

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