What to buy at whole foods?

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  • I don't want to tell you my whole life story here but just some background so you know. I am doing intuitive eating right now rather than a specific diet. Meaning eat when hungry. Stop when satisfied. I mainly picked this because I wanted to build a healthier relationship with food--I am a binger-- and if I lose weight along the way it's a bonus. It has worked well with stops & stops but I'm finally getting it. I'm there. So now I decided I wanted to change what I put in my mouth and the way I shop for food. Rather than Giant or Safeway I want to shop at Trader Joe's and make Whole Foods my base store. I am also trying to incorporate more superfoods into my intuitive eating.

    I love Trader Joe's. I'm fine there. I need some help with Whole Foods. I've had lunch there but never shopped. Let me point out that I am one of those that truly enjoy grocery shopping.

    Do you have any suggestions for specific products? Ways to navigate the store? Thank you.
  • The question is, what NOT to buy at Whole Foods!

    Here are some staples that make my cooking and eating experience more enjoyable:

    Umeboshi vinegar (for sushi, vegetables, soups, salads, anywhere you want a salty, tangy punch, but be careful an use sparingly as it is HIGH in sodium!).

    Baby coconuts, in the produce section. They have then ready (top hacked off) in many stores so you can drink the water. Then use a good, metal spoon to scoop out the flesh. Yum!

    Bulk grains, special candies, fruits and cereals.

    Organic fruit, fresh and delicious.

    Kombucha and GT's Kombucha, a drink in the refrigerated section.

    There's so much more!!!
  • Thanks SoulBliss! What I like is you sound excited about shopping there. I will definitely check out these products. I'm intrigued by the baby coconuts althought I say I don't like coconut.
  • I AM!

    I am vegan, but if you like cheeses, they have a wonderful selection...I know TJ's does too, but at Whole Foods, you can taste everything to see what you like.

    OH! Another favorite is Ezekiel Sprouted Grains English Muffins. Really, with a little coconut oil or specialty butter and nutritional yeast, they are so good!

    Look for nutritional yeast in the bulk section. Try it mixed into sauces and sprinkled on pasta dishes and as I outlined above. It has B vitamins and protein, provides a nutty and rich flavor.

    Miso! Get some good miso paste. It makes good dressings, miso soup, sauces and so on.
  • Any produce that is on sale at a decent price...

    Bulk grains/beans

    Soy milk (365 brand)

    Soy yogurt

    And anything else that looks good at a reasonable price
  • ooh I love grocery shopping too... much to the annoyance of those who sometimes accompany me to the store. I definitely fondle the produce and scrutinize labels.

    Unfortunately living in la-belle-province-de-quebec we have neither a whole foods OR TJs . So when I am in the U.S. I consider going to those stores a part of my vacation!

    I second the ezekiel sprouted grain english muffins. One of my favorite dinners is 2 poached eggs (free range & hormone free of course) with steamed kale or spinach atop both slices. delish!

    also the newman's own low-fat sesame ginger... I like to combine cold soba noodles (buckwheat is a complete protein), with some shredded cabbage and carrots, sliced green onion, bits of seaweed and the newman's dressing.
  • Thank you Nelie and Canelle. I figure my first trip there I will be in there awhile. Going down every aisle. Looking at everything. I have to drink soy milk because my body doesn't even tolerate skim milk anymore so I will definitely give soy yogurt a try. I love Newman's Own Dressings.
  • I wish someone would give me $1,000 just to spend at Whole Foods.
  • I wish I had a Whole Foods close by! Although, my wallet is probably happier that I don't.

    Seriously, though, you guys that have access to WF and TJ's are lucky!!
  • Amys, Amys, Amys
    I am a regular at whole foods. Its hard helping you navigate as the stores are set up a little differently from one to the other. The one I go to is in downtown Chicago and somewhat small so it actually is hard navigating the store. I am often running people over or they are running me over.

    But the one product line I ab-so-lutely love is Amy's soups. They are all vegitarian, have a lot of garlic and different spices to give them unique flavors. my fav's are the lentil and pasta and 3 bean.

    Another thing to check out (if you eat cheese) is Whole food's Cheese selection. I notice they have a wide variety of cheese's, more then Trader Joe's (at least compared to the Trader Joes I go to, which also is very small)
  • I live in Ardmore, PA (on the Main Line). It's an extremely filthy rich neighborhood (cept for me, lol) and I live across the street from a Trader Joe's and 2 minutes away from Whole Foods. I haven't stepped foot in a normal grocery store in over a year and when I do I HATE it. It's so depressing. I am bombarded with processed commercials foods and I bolt outta there soo fast. If I ever move I may just pick the location based on where a TJ's or Whole Foods is, lol.

    But I almost never buy produce at WF. It's just waaay too expensive, and if you don't eat the skin of a certain food you really don't need to buy organic. I usually shop for stuff at TJ's first and if they don't have it then I go to WF. I do consider myself pretty lucky... I've checked out TJ's and WF's locations online and I live within 20 minutes of 3 WF's and 3 TJ's. Can't live without these places!!!
  • That's right, rub it in!!

    I'm in serious envy - I can't imagine how great it would be to be able to shop TJ's all the time. I did visit one on a weekend away one time, and was wishing I could bring everything home with me!

    I agree with you on produce - unless it's something exotic and hard to find, I'd likely stick to buying produce from either a farmer's market or a greengrocer. The quality is usually very good and the prices a lot better than any supermarket. I can't wait for May when the local farmer's market goes back to a full schedule!
  • I totally agree, Trader Joe's in my area is way cheaper as well. If we shopped there we could probably save a dollar or so per item (which really adds up). I also live within five minutes of Trader Joe's and WF's. We shop at WF's mainly for the variety, the WF's I live by is smallish compared to others but has way more in it then the TJ's I live by. But it all depends on area, if I lived by a TJ's with more in it I definitly would shop there! We also had a Sunflower Market with a couple of blocks (yup three grocery stores all w/in a mile) but as you can imagine they had to close due to lack of business.

    But after I have been purchasing Organic it is hard to go back. You can taste a difference and the food makes you feel so much better when you are eating more natural!
  • Well it looks like Trader Joe's is really taking off around the country. The one around me is PACKED at all times, and if you check their web site they keep opening new stores. So, hopefully they will become very common. I remember the first time I shopped there- my food bill was like half that of a commercial grocer, and everything was organic! And instead of ordering out my boyfriend and I just walk over to TJ's and get something "junky" like pizza and yam fries... and it's all organic and whole grain. They are just the greatest.

    But commercial grocers are looking better because of the whole organic food kick, and their natural aisles are expanding, so that's good!
  • Honestly,

    I think it really depends. I've found stuff at Whole Foods cheaper than Trader Joe's and even cheaper than the grocery store. Their store brand (365) is really good and tends to be cheaper. Trader Joe's is of course awesome but limited in its capacity.