Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Notes From a Shopping Trip

Whew! Just got back from Whole Foods and I'm seriously hungry! You always have to be careful when you're in that state and grocery shopping; I think I did alright.

Whole Foods is a half hour drive away for me and I used to go once a month to pick up essentials that our regular grocers didn't carry or for items that were over-priced at those same grocery stores. While it is true that Whole Foods charges a ridiculous amount of money for conventionally grown produce (read: the same regular produce at the regular grocery store), they do, generally, offer better deals on things like crackers, jellies, etc. because they have their own store brand. Their organic brands are definitely less than any other place I've seen.

Recently, however, I have been pleased to see how many other store brands have been offering their generic brand crackers without trans-fats. WF won't carry any items with trans-fats and that has always made purchasing easier for this label-reading mama. But I have been pleased - especially in this precarious economic environment, to find that the negative effects of trans-fats seem to have finally reached the ears of the larger companies and prices for those items are coming down.

So, I haven't been to Whole Foods in a little over two months at this point and there are still things I needed that I can't find anywhere else nearby to me. One, is a supply of homeopathic remedies.

Remember all my activities this past weekend, spurred on by my decongestant? Well, that same night I was watching the Batman: Dark Knight with Paul. I had taken the Allegra D that my doctor had given me samples of (in the past I had used Sudafed a few times) earlier in the morning and this was around 9:30 at night. Part way into the film (not the best, by the way, in my estimation; waaaaaaay too long), my heart felt like it was racing a bit and I felt really uncomfortable - woozy - not so good. No more Allegra D thankyouverymuch.

But what of the fluid behind my ear? I really don't want another ear infection. Since this happened the same time last year, and pollen is coating the windshields of our vehicles every time we get behind the wheel now, I am guessing it is some sort of allergic reaction or sensitivity to some blooming plant around here. It doesn't seem to affect my nose, but seems to plug up my ears - in particular, my left.

So, I hopped on over to ABC Homeopathy to input my symptoms into their online remedy finder and see what it could tell me. Other than having great success using arnica for bumps and bruises on a regular basis ever since my older daughter was born over 12 years ago, I have not had a great deal of success in figuring out which remedy to use on my own. That's not to say I don't believe in its efficacy. I've had wonderful success with my Doctor of Oriental Medicine who, in addition to treating with herbs and acupunture, also uses homeopathy.

So, I thought instead of trying to figure it out on my own this time, I'd use the free program over at ABC and see how well it words. I input my symptoms and the remedy that matched most of my needs appears to be Graphites. So, I picked that up at WF and we'll see how it goes. I love that homeopathy has no side effects. I have never been a fan of over-the-counter meds and every single time I give them a try again, save for ibuprofen and other painkillers, I remember why.

Another couple of things I found at Whole Foods were:

Their own brand of 365 organic maple syrup in the 32 oz jug was actually $1.00 cheaper than the conventional maple syrup in the same size jug at Sam's Club. I comment on this, because have you seen the price of maple syrup these days?! This 32 oz jug I'm talking about is $18.99. CRAZY. BUT, for as long as I can I will continue to get real syrup. I would rather thin my real syrup with water than use the corn-syrup alternatives. Especially considering all the bad news coming out on high-fructose corn syrup.

In the January issue of Vegetarian Times, they asked readers to comment on what foods they were not willing to give up in this recession. For me, it's maple syrup and nutritional yeast. I use these foods so often and despite the fact that maple syrup has gone up as much as $2.00 a bottle more than it was at this same time last year and despite the fact that nutritional yeast is $6.99/lb in bulk, I use both of these things way too much in my cooking to skimp on those. I would cut out treats before I'd cut out these, what I'd call, essentials.

What are some foods that are your go-to foods that you would be hard-pressed to give up when times are tight?

I did find a few new things to try and to treat us with this trip. Given that my trips there are few and far between, I do sometimes look for something new and interesting. This time I bought some hazelnut milk that I am excited to try and finally our Whole Foods is now carrying Sheese!!

I tried a taste of this vegan cheese - I got the medium cheddar flavor - when I got home. At over $6.00 for the package, this will be a rare treat, but I can say that in my opinion, it lives up to the hype. To me, this is the closest thing I've tasted to cheeses since giving it up. Generally, I don't even particularly miss cheese. I do like Vegan Gourmet brand of vegan cheeses... think they taste pretty good, but I still don't think they taste like real cheese. This medium cheddar Sheese, though, was different and really, really good! I'd highly recommend giving it a try if you are dairy free and would like a nice cheese alternative now and then.

Well, I had more to talk about, but this hunger has only increased talking about all this food, so I'm going to post this and get something to eat!
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