Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Whole Foods

Yesterday's outing involved one of my favorite things. Every week or two my husband and I make the 30 mile trek to Whole Foods up in Louisville. I think WF might be my natural environment. For my friends who have never (gasp!) been to a Whole Foods, it's like Nordstrom's, except it sells food. For the Anchorage folks out there, think of a gigantic, more uppity version of City Market (yes, that's what I said).  I fancy myself a food snob, and for food snobs, WF is the Mother Ship. I should mention that I try to eat local as much as possible. There are a slew of farmer's markets around here in the warmer months. But since it is now January, I have to get my groceries somewhere. There is also a Kroger right here in my town, and I shop there for basics and last minute items. They also have a fairly good organic section that is helpful in a pinch. I try to eat organic as much as is reasonable for my wallet because my naturopath told me the hormones used in most meat and dairy products can promote tumor growth. As a cancer survivor, you probably understand why I'm not much into tumor growth.
Now, with my new band, shopping for food has become a bit of an adventure. I have to avoid carbs as much as possible, especially breads and other baked goods, plus pasta and rice. This is not just because of the carb content, but also because they can easily get 'stuck' in the small passage between my tiny upper stomach and my more normal sized lower stomach - oh great, now my insides resemble an ungulate as much as my outsides, nice. Let me just say, when something gets stuck, it hurts. A lot. Trust me that I won't be pushing that rule much at all, if ever. Anyway, the aisles at WF are conveniently labeled with signs such as "You Can Eat This" and "Don't Come Down Here, It Will Make You Cry."  I listen to those signs. If you are trying to avoid carbs, do not go down the pasta aisle. Avoid the chips and crackers aisle. Run from the cookie aisle.  It works. Really. I distract myself at the fish and meat counters. The cheese counter is my special place, where I can sample and explore at will. My current favorite is a semi-hard cheese called parrano. It's hard to describe, but I love, love, love it. It helped me through my first two weeks when I was subsisting on scrambled eggs. Now, these were amazing eggs from a local farmer, but they are still just scrambled eggs. A little parrano grated on top was enough to get me through.

Sunday was shaping up to be another wonderful outing amongst 'my people' until we were ready to head to the checkout counter. I had avoided getting a beer to sip on while we shopped. I did not put any ice cream or yukon gold potatoes in my cart. But I miscalculated. Instead of carefully considering my path to the checkout line, I put it on auto pilot and took off on the path of least resistance. It was far too late before I remembered, to my horror, that this path took me straight through, dear god!, the bakery department. I stopped dead in my tracks. I was face to face with a tower of cupcakes and pound cake. Seriously, it was a 5 foot tall display table filled with mini cupcakes and pumpkin pound cake. Are you kidding me? I started to cry. My dear husband was able to save me before I became a sniveling ball of sobbing fat girl on the floor, but it was close. Now, this will not keep me from going back to Whole Foods, but it will make me rethink my path to the checkout counter after I have collected my brussel sprouts with red onions from the prepared foods counter.

The lessons here...avoid the areas of the grocery store that could tempt you to stray. If you can't avoid them, take someone with you to pull you back from the precipice of certain death. If you happen to be one of those people who has no problem walking through the bakery section, please send me some of that will power, because, well, I've never met a tiramisu I didn't want to hide in a closet with and eat with my hands.


  1. Hey I just started following you! I am also a foodie and love to cook and LOVE whole foods. We are lucky - we have one within walking distance (and another one a couple miles drive away) and I'm there every single day (literally lol). Anyways, I look forward to reading your blog and following your progress and accomplishments!


  2. I wish ours was closer. But I did just hear a rumor that Louisville might be getting a Trader Joe's. That would make me happy, so very, very happy.