Oh, Whole Foods...how I love thee.
On Thursday mornings, my weekly schedule brings me close to a Whole Foods Market. Since I'm on my way to work when I pass by, I usually can't stop for long or buy too much because I have to keep it with me at work all day. Sometimes I'll peruse the salad bar and pick up some tasty items for lunch. Other times I'll just swing in to say a quick hello to a friend of mine who works the early shift at the store.
This morning I was out of fruit to take in my lunch, so I decided to run in quick to pick up ONE nice piece of something. $32 later I exited with:
- 6 white peaches
- 1lb fresh cherries
- 4 can coconut water (been wanting to try this and my nutritionist actually recommended it this weekend)
- 2 pre-made Caesar salad kits - on sale for $2!!
- 1 box organic dark chocolate cookies
- 1 box organic sugar cookies
Now I absolutely needed all of these items - fruit for my breakfasts & lunches, salad kits for a couple of quick dinners (add grilled chicken and go), coconut water for replenishment after a workout, and the cookies for lunch snacks (I take them home and split them up into serving sizes immediately to avoid temptation and add them to my lunches for a treat - that way I also avoid wanting a dessert after dinner). But the reality is that I could have easily spent about $100 and done a lot more damage on the nutrition front.
Whole Foods - though wonderful, and seemingly healthy in that raw, nutritious, organic kinda way - can be deceiving. One - it's expensive compared to most grocery stores. And Two - just because it's organic doesn't exactly mean it's low cal. A differentiation that has been hard for me to learn and accept.
You see - I'm a food addict. And I love grocery stores. I think maybe part of this is because my grandfather and his brothers, and then aunt & uncle by succession were in the grocery business. Our family owned the one grocery store in town for about a 30 mile radius. Those are good odds. I have a lot of fond memories of that particular store (which has now been sold, but still remains where it always was). Heck - I have a lot of fond memories of food in general. But where I am going with all of this is that I'm a bit of a freak-nut when I walk into a place like Whole Foods and see the perfectly stacked fruits, and fresh herbs, and tantalizing seafood options, and bread...drool...don't even get me started on the bread. It's a feast for my eyes as well as my stomach. My senses are ablaze with the colours, and odors and organization of the pretty food stuffs. And they PLAN it that way, darn it! I am but a pawn in their little grocery store game, flitting about the store, absorbed by lovely isle after lovely isle. Plan or not, I ALWAYS end up buying more than I bargained for at a grocery store.
So this morning I tried my best to stick to my guns. I didn't have a list, so I knew I was venturing into the danger-zone without my battle weapons in the first place. Proceed with caution. Get the fruit you came in for - check. If you need to browse, stick to the items you know you need for lunches - check. Oh, but look at the... NOPE, not this time. Put it on the list for this weekend if you really want it. I figure if I give myself a couple of days to think about it, chances are the "I want, I need"s will go away. But I do know I'm going to venture back this weekend to buy some fresh herb planters that I do really want (and have for a few weeks).
All in all, I didn't do so poorly. I still spent more than I was bargaining for on the way in, but I consider it money well spent. And for those of you who haven't tried it yet - coconut water is...interesting. It's rich, a little bitter - maybe even salty tasting, though it only has 50mg of sodium per serving, with a slight hint of coconut. It's OK. Maybe a bit of an acquired taste - but with 690mg of potassium, it's definitely a healthy boost. I'll get through the four I bought, then make a decision as to if I'll buy more.
Until then, Happy Grocery Shopping!