03 March 2006

Whole Foods = pretty darn close to Heaven.

OK so the title of this post is a bit of an exaggeration, but all I know is that I’ve felt a hundred times healthier, more energetic, alive, and strong, since we went all organic.

Call me a health nut, call me “granola,” call me whatever you want, but the extra cost of natural foods is worth it to me now. I just can’t help but be reminded that they didn’t inject meat with hormones in Biblical times, nor were strawberries grown to mutant sizes. And it should be worth mentioning that some of the healthiest people in the world (lowest rates of cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes…) are those who live in the south of Italy and other Mediterranean locales. They eat food in its purest form.

A good friend of ours is a holistic nutritionist and corrective exercise specialist (among about 10 other titles), and he always reminds us, “If God didn’t make it, don’t eat it.” And while that sounds radical, I’m finding through practice that there is a lot of truth to that saying. I only have one body, and I’m not going to waste it. I’m not going to obsess about it either, because the Scriptures say, “do not worry about what you will eat or drink,” but I believe I can love people better and serve God better when I’m feeling my healthiest. I have to admit I can’t completely give up having ice cream and some sugar every now and then (tee hee!), but the change between what I put in my body now and what I used to is pretty drastic.

My workouts have gone through a complete overhaul as well (I heart my yoga mat), and that’s a huge part of my physical and mental changes, but for now I'm going to focus on the good eats found at Whole Foods ~ and those favorites I put in my cart every time.


1. Organic Produce. Folks, I'm not lying when I say that I just recently started to truly taste fruits & vegetables. There's a distinct difference in taste with organic produce. Apples, pineapples, strawberries, ohhhh the oranges, pears....shallots, onions, avocado, broccoli...pretty much everything in the produce section :).

2. Ezekiel 4:9 Live Grain Bread. This is the best bread I have EVER put in my mouth. Sesame is my favorite flavor, but all of the Food For Life flavors are great. Toasted with a bit of real butter and some natural orange marmalade...and it melts in your mouth. There is no flour in this bread, just natural grains.

3. Carob Energee Nuggets. Yes, ma'am. This is a great treat to curb a sweet tooth. Just one nugget, and I'm satisfied (now that's a phrase you don't hear everyday...). Although this pic shows them in a package, I've only found them in the "bulk" bins at Whole Foods, and they're made of honey, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cashews, peanuts, carob powder, peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds. Mmmm.

4. Stevia. This is a wonderful substitute for sugar, and it comes from a plant instead of being manufactured in a factory with chlorine bleach like Splenda. Sick. I made this delicious Oatmeal Apple Muffins recipe using Stevia last week...and wow, you couldn't eat just one. Warning: Stevia doesn't taste very good in coffee. But it's perfect in tea. Which leads me to....

5. Yerba Maté. I have Jenni to thank for this recommendation! Not only is it a natural stimulant, but it also detoxifies the body, boosts immune function, and decreases hunger cravings, along with a host of other good things. In Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, they drink it out of a hollowed-out gourd. I love the Chocolatté flavor by Guayaki. It comes in a bag just like tea, and you steep it in hot water. I add one packet of Stevia. Of course the FDA won't approve it because our nation is addicted to crap like sugar and preservatives. The FDA sucks.


6. California Suncakes. Another great natural treat! I love the poppy seed flavor. It almost has the consistency of a scone – dense and very filling. I've read that parents use this as a great natural snack for their kids. Sure beats Pop Tarts. Oh, and I love the packaging artwork :).

7. Turkey Bacon. This is a breakfast staple for me. Heck, an anytime staple. It kind of resembles the taylor ham I grew up eating in Jersey. Way less greasy than pork bacon, and it comes in wider thin strips. I love to tear it into pieces and scramble it with eggs and green onion. Or dill. Or raw broccoli! It's also great wrapped around a chicken breast and secured with tooth pics while baked - gives the chicken a great flavor.

8. Kombucha. This is an organic raw fermented tea. I know, gag a maggot, right? OH, but no! It tastes like spiked sparkling fruit juice! The first sip is kind of gross, but then you find yourself wanting more and more. Not bad for something that also detoxifies, helps reduce colds, regulates the appetite...and I just read it helps restore gray hair to its natural color - what? gimme a case of that stuff!

9. 96% Lean Grass-Fed Ground Beef. I used to not be a big beef fan, unless I was really in the mood for a burger from Logan's (Suz, can I get an Amen??). But this beef is unbelievable. Unless beef is marked "grass-fed," that means the cows are fed grain, and oftentimes they're fattened up way before they're supposed to be naturally. This beef is almost as lean as fish and chicken. Make burgers by mixing the ground beef with chopped onions and garlic (or jalapeños if you're feeling brave!).

10. Horizon Organic Cottage Cheese. This is by far the best cottage cheese I've ever tasted, and I would consider myself a cottage cheese connaiseur :). It also has at least 4 more grams of protein than other cottage cheeses I've seen. Mix it with strawberries, apples, or any other fruit. Put it on crackers. Spread it on live grain bread and sprinkle on some cinnamon. Mercy.

So, there you have it. I'm probably going to get beaten over the head by our holistic friend for including dairy on here, but that's a topic for another day.

20 comments:

Michelle said...

um yeah, so now i know what i want for my birthday - a whole box full of this organic goodness! don't you want me to live long and healthy here on the field? i mean, you can't taunt me with all these products i can't get here and leave it at that. :) j/k

Jenni said...

I love this list! I'm a Whole Foods regular, but now I have a few new items to try. What about their great bath & body products? Maybe I should do a list........

Lisa said...

ooooooh the absence of whole foods in nashville is killing me right now! wild oats just doesn't cut it! are you trying to taunt all of your friends over here in nashvegas?? :) mmmmm....love the organic....you have just inspired me to eat healthier! yay to that sweet friend!

Jenni said...

And Stine, I'd love to hear about your improved workouts as I'm trying to improve mine, and get back into Yoga and Pilates. By the way, I LOVE this phrase: "Gag a maggot." Funny! My Coach Dad used to yell at his team, "Hustle, maggots!"

Lauren said...

stine, we are also whole foods addicts up here in jersey...but now that you've compiled your list, i need you to write an article entitled "how to afford whole foods on one income/how to fit exercise into your mommying routine." ;) i, like jenni, am interested in hearing about your improved workout routine :)

Lauren said...

ps- lisa- wild oats in nashvegas was actually my introduction to the concept of an organic market...when we moved and started shopping at whole foods in charlottesville, i initially pined for wild oats. i have found that whole foods often stocks a LOT more conventional produce than wild oats did. hmmm....shrug.

TLC said...

I live four blocks from the Whole Foods at Union Square. And I'm going there tomorrow, armed with your list. You are my guru, Hello Stiney!!

Suz said...

This is your amen for the Logan's burger....we may have to go get one for old time's sake this week. :-) And you've inspired me to take the time to explore Wild Oats while pining away for something I didn't even realize I was missing until all these comments and this blog...Whole Foods.
xoxo.

amy said...

Thanks Pape! This is great and I am so glad you made a list after our conversations last week! VERY helpful for a new organic shopper suh as myself. I am fortunate enough to live a block away from a whole Foods AND a Trader Joe's market in Chicago, so I am going to start taking advantage of it! Thank you Stine!

Christine said...

What's with everyone living a block away from Whole Foods? I sense a trend :) And I can talk with whoever wants to know about the workout routines...but it's tailored to your body specifically. Because every body is different!

crystal said...

hey christine,

i love irony, therefore i love that you are holding asparagus in that picture and writing about wonderful, wholesome organic foods (ezekiel bread is so yummy!)...with a picture of spam in the background.

i <3 asparagus,
crystal

Christine said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG, that is hiLARious. I'm gonna go ahead and blame that one on my husband. We still have a can of it in the cupboard. He claims it's a delicacy of Hawaii, so somehow that rationalizes it! LOL!

Steph said...

I cannot wait for my first official grocery trip to Whole Foods (for something other than a hunk of grass-fed roast)!! I'm going to have to make a list of this stuff and you're going to have to lead me around! :)

Michelle said...

I'll try not to take offense that your intentions for visiting Gobbleville may very well be centered around seeing a baby you've never met before instead of everything revolving around ME! But that's ok, I've noticed that some are slow to learn that the world revolves around me, but I've learned to be patient and kind until they come around to reality. :) hehehe. Juuuuuust kiddiiiiiing! Emma is a cutie and is definitely one of the favorite sites of Gobbleville - if it's more incentive for you to hop on that plane, then jump on it! :)

Farrah said...

Stine! I'm so excited to hear that you love Whole Foods. There is one literally a 4 minute walk from my apartment. I am going to print out your blog and take it over there. You've really got me anticipating some great treats and new food habits.

Thanks!
Farrah

Kristie Agee said...

Nashvegas is getting a Whole Foods and I'm SO pumped about it. Girl, you got is goin' on. I'm so proud! I'm back to health-nutty self as well. I've lost some weight, am working out and feel great!

Hugs,
Kristie

P.S. If you have any amazing (no red meat) recipies, send 'em my way and I'll do the same!

Kristie Agee said...

Nashvegas is getting a Whole Foods and I'm so pumped about it. The have so much more variety than Wild Oats. I'm so pround of you, Stine. You're rockin' it! I'm back to my health-nutty self. I've dropped some weight and am exercising regularly. I feel great, save some nasty migraines. Gross.

Let's do a recipe exchange!

Hugs,
Kristie

Kristie Agee said...

You're right, Stine. The FDA does suck. They'll approve diet drugs that ruin your heart, but they won't approve stevia. CRAZY!

Erin said...

stevia was not approved by the FDA because clinical studies (the most credible kind of analysis) showed it contributed and was associated with early sterility. The FDA has it's problems I'll agree, but overall bases its recommendations on studies that rank high on validity scales, are not specific to one people group (they have a high "n" or study size), longitunidal in nature, etc.

Sugar vs. artificial sweeteners...it is a huge controversy but one that has yet to be silenced by overwhelming evidence for anything other than the fact in moderation, these sweeteners do no harm. Stevia very well could be deemed harmless in "moderate" doeses, but as one can see by our rapidly growing obese population, most Americans don't understand the meaning of moderate. Not to mention, with the ridiculously high consumption of sweetened beverages in this country, the chance of infertility becomes a more likely consequence. Just some food from thought from a registered and licensed dietitian...

that bread sounds awesome...i will definitely check it out! and i, a self-proclaimed chocolate lover, adore carobs!

stephanie said...

aww. my/your old place. i sorta miss it.