There is no turning back now. I feel like Neo from the Matrix when he is faced with the decision, take the blue pill and believe what you want to believe or take the red pill and be exposed to the way life really is. This new found awareness surrounding food and the Vegan lifestyle has me wondering will I ever be able to mindlessly shovel mouthfuls of animal fat and sugar into my pie hole again. Something has shifted within me and I’m not sure that I am entirely happy knowing what I know now and yet I keep reading.
Did you watch Oprah yesterday? Yea sorry about that. I didn’t know it was going to be that graphic. I had to do some quick distracting with the four year old. How did you feel about the segment with Lisa Ling visiting a slaughterhouse, I mean “meat processing plant”? All I could think about was it wasn’t that long ago (ok it was over 10 years ago) when Oprah was sued by the cattle ranchers in Texas for defamation in her attempt to spread the word about cows being fed cows who had died from mad cow disease. Fast forward ten years and now Oprah talks not only about the way the animals in our food supply are being treated but how they are meeting their demise and the importance of a humane slaughter, wait, isn’t that an oxymoron? I was actually pretty captivated watching the entire process as the cows made their way calmly through the Temple Grandin designed maze, completely unaware they were a few steps away from their demise. I’m not sure how many hamburgers are going to be in my future now. Oprah’s staff’s response to the seven day vegan diet challenge was predictable. There were the junk food junkies who like me who probably didn’t feel well until the 5th day of eating low processed foods. Let me tell you from experience its quite a shock to your system when you live on staples like coffee and bagels and then suddenly begin eating things like kale and fruits that doesn’t come in a 64 oz. Jamba Juice cup. Like Oprah said throughout the entire show, you spend a lot of time in the bathroom so go ahead and throw out your fiber tablets. I like the idea of leaning into the vegan lifestyle. Oprah suggests Meatless Mondays so I am going to find you some good recipes to help with that. I have a couple guest writers lined up so we can build ourselves a nice little recipe resource. I’m not going to go completely vegan, the men in my life would have a heart attack even though I can argue that eating meat and dairy fat will increase their risks for a heart attack! Try telling that to a man who has half a stick of butter with his bread every night and a cholesterol level of 160, it’s doesn’t matter to him. With my kids I can gently ease them away from the animal products and their addiction to butter, I have tried products like Daiya Mozza Shreads (non dairy cheese) and Earth Balance spread and both great products but completely cooking without meat? Not happening. So yesterdays post when I began to tell you how I was being bombarded by all this new awareness about food, vegan-ism and the whole goat cheese controversy I want to go back to that and show you the steps that lead up this personal transformation I am in the midst of. I received an invitation from Whole Foods to come check out the Tustin store to learn about their program Health Starts Here. I was interested because a) it’s January and I’m all about Resolutions to eat better and b) they said I could take all the photos I want, PS that’s how you get me to say yes people. No promise of free groceries or fame just an opportunity to learn, that’s my disclaimer FTC peeps. I met Gerrie Adams, Whole Foods Healthy Eating Specialist and store marketing mgr. Michael Hack and we talked over a Dr. Oz Green Drink which by the way just may replace my morning coffee… maybe.
We talked at great length about the urgency for people to start focusing on eating nutrient rich foods versus only thinking in terms of low carbs high protein (Atkins diet would be a great example of that). I lamented on and on about how hard it is for me to find foods that are nutrient dense and palatable to a 4 and 13 year old. I on the other hand can choke down brown rice, I don’t love it but I will for the sake of my health but my kids? Fuhgeddaboudit with a capital F. So what are the options and how can I successfully introduce the idea of nutrients over calories? Well Whole Foods has a lot of resources, if you just take a moment to familiarize yourself with the store you’ll see it’s all spelled out for you in signs and directives. Remember the rule to shop the perimeter? Same thing applies even at Whole Foods. Its funny I was talking to my girlfriend last night about Whole Foods and she admitted that when they moved to a Super Store location she was overwhelmed and missed the small feel of the original location. I get that. I actually started to go more often once they moved because it was the size of Costco now. For me it really became a one stop shopping destination, which by the way was the original thought behind the old nickname “whole paycheck” nowadays you’ll hear people use that (ok me included) in a negative way because it’s so hard to turn down the $6 dollar artisan bread sticks and the $40 thirty day supply of detox pills. But I will tell you that if you stick to the perimeter and store your produce correctly you will have less waste, eat healthier and will be able to stick within your budget. Don’t believe me? Check out this video from The Baby Cuisine Cookbook who did a price comparison using Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Safeway. Come back
tomorrow – MONDAY… and I will take you on a tour of the store and share a few little known facts about Whole Foods.