Why hello there chickadees! As most of you know, I make many trips to Whole Foods and both the lovely Sage of Sweet and Sage and the lovely Maud of Food Feud had suggested doing a post about Whole Foods. I don't know how my WF's compares to other ones but it suits my needs very well. I am not gonna lie, I went into stealth mode trying to snap pictures of the sections I frequent in the store most...popping off shots on my (NEW AMAZING!!) iPhone so please excuse the quality and weird angles. This doesn't cover the store even in the slightest but I figured I'd show you some of my favorite sections. You'll notice the one I didn't take a shot of was the produce section but I assure you it is expansive!
Here we go!
This is obviously the bulk section! Look at the selection of grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, beans, etc.! Those red bins in the middle are where you grind your own fresh peanut or almond butter. This is where I get my raw nuts and seeds, some grains and those amazing garlic and herb cashews :)
This shelf is a completely raw section of snacks and treats. They have more raw products scattered throughout the store and the whole shelf next to it is raw flours and nuts and things like that, but obviously I'm most excited about the treats ;)
These three shelves are devoted entirely to gluten free products. As you can see there are tons of different pastas, chips, pretzels, cereals, flours, oats, soups, etc. It makes life a lot easier in a pinch!
How could I go through the store and NOT show you the giant wall of chocolate!! Bars, cups, candies...it's all there! Noms.
Check out all that hummus! Also has guacamole and fresh salsa. Mmmm!
For all you kombucha lovers, there is over half of an entire fridge case devoted just to kombucha. The other side has things like Amazake drinks and bottled smoothie type drinks.
Here is a long shot of the prepared case. Unfortunately there was no way to get around the non-vegan options they have but I DID take a few close ups of a few of the vegan options they offered today.
Buddah's Jewels..I defintely came home with one of these...it has tofu and veggies and I think some sort of grain. I don't remember but it looked good!
Balsamic roasted tofu, sweet chili grilled tempeh and Bok Choy salad. I brought home a small container of the bok choy to taste. All new things I haven't seen there before (except the balsamic tofu). There were more options but they were scattered about.
There are three "bars" right next to the prepared case. The first one is a breakfast bar in the morning and a hot bar after breakfast. The far side is always Indian food and the front side is always BBQ/American fare. The middle bar is a cold bar with pre-made salads, pasta and rice dishes, etc. The far bar is a salad bar on one side and has more prepared options on the other side. The short sides of each bar are also always stocked with yumminess.
Unfortunately I was there at the crack of dawn and the bars weren't completely stocked but I figured I'd show you the fully stocked salad bar. There is also another whole row of toppings (nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, grains, etc.) and a section of mediterranean type treats (dolmas, falafel, hummus, babaghanoush, etc.) that were not stocked yet, but trust me, it is a beautiful salad bar stocked with bright, fresh ingredients.
OK so that is the tour for now. There is SO MUCH more to show you but those are all the pics I could get for now. The tour was part one of the post and now I'll very briefly give my thoughts on Whole Foods. I know a lot of people say negative things about Whole Foods like they are too expensive and you should support local farmers and I agree with both of these sentiments. However, my local farmer's market is tiny. There is literally one fruit stall and one veggie stall. I support them when I can but it is difficult to get everything I need when the selection is so small. When it comes to produce, my Whole Foods has the highest quality I can find in any store and I'm willing to pay for it. When it comes to fresh ingredients that will effect and entire dish, I will pay for fresher ingredients. Those gorgeous avocados I post on here? They always come from Whole Foods. They also have the biggest selection of raw and gluten free ingredients I can find in one place. These make my life easier on days where I need to grab and go, especially on days where I'm out of the house from 12-15 hours working a wedding.
A lot of people around me say I'm a snob or I waste my money because I shop there. They can think that all they want but I'm not willing to compromise the quality of the ingredients for price. Food is fuel for me, whether I'm doing a grueling workout or working a long day. Don't get me wrong, I will shop at a grocery store for less expensive staple items, but produce and specialty items will always come from Whole Foods. I just bought a bunch of fresh ingredients and am planning a bunch of delicious meals and I can't wait to post them for you!
So there you go! Hope that clears things up a bit :) I love going first thing in the morning because there aren't a lot of people there and I can take my time and explore and find new things. The only trade off is that it isn't always fully stocked but the longer you wander the more stocked it gets ;) Thanks for the suggestion Maud and Sage, this was a fun one to write!
Until tomorrow friends, have a lovely day!