My yearly Whole Foods trip

I went to Whole Foods for the first time in about a year, the other day.

If you are like me and you were diagnosed with celiac disease back before anyone knew what it even was, you will know that Whole Foods is like the Mecca for all things gluten free.

When I lived in Las Vegas, this is where I went to get all my breads, chips, cookies, pastas… You name the junk food, they had it gluten free.

It was really the only store at the time that sold gluten free foods.

Every once in a while  now (about once a year) I think to myself, “hmmm, I wonder what Wholes Foods had going on right now?”

The nearest store to my house here in Virginia is about 45 min away. We didn’t have anything going on that day, so I decided to pack up the kids and take them.

First off, I never bother with Whole Foods  produce. Yes, it’s all organic and that’s supposed to be better for my family, but, when I can get grapes right now at a regular store for $1.99 a pound, I’m not buying theirs for $4.99 a pound.

I always feel like I’m so out of place at that store. Nobody under the age of 40 will smile at me and most look at me and my kids as if we are lepers.

My son was super cranky and crying most of the time. If I was at Walmart, about 6 different people would coo at him or say something encouraging to me. At Whole Foods, I literally saw 3 different men give me the crook eye and back away slowly.

My 3 year old of course had to use the rest room while we were there. I was directed upstairs to their bathroom across from their wine bar/tasting room. Yes, this grocery store had a wine bar in it…

I did actually have 2 lovely conversation while I was there. One was with a woman whose husband was just diagnosed with celiac and she happen to ask me if peanut butter was gluten free and the other with a lady who told me that my oldest daughter was a born leader.

Which, I’d have to say the later comment was so good to hear. My husband and I have been having a lot of issues with my oldest lately and have been feeling quite defeated as parents. It’s good to know that others see more than just tantrums and defiant behaviors. This older woman doesn’t realize the hope she gave me with that one statement.

I’m wondering if the woman saw how  my daughter lost her mind when she saw a boy knock over a wine bottle and break it just enough for the liquid to dribble out of the top. Not hugely noticeable.

The mother picked it up and just put it back and walked away. My oldest couldn’t believe it. She insisted we report this boy to a store worker immediately, there were no workers to be found and the baby started crying so I quickly moved on. My daughter spoke of this incident for hours after and reported it to her father the moment he came home from work.

Anyway, back to the store itself…

I was a bit disappointed as I walked through the aisles. I use to go there and act like a kid in a candy store. I bought so much junk food.

This time however, I realized that now that I’m off sugar, packaged foods, coffee and dairy, there wasn’t much for me to buy. Oh, I wanted to. Those frozen doughnuts were calling my name. But, I gave myself 21 days of clean eating and I knew with all those yummy foods in the house, I would totally crack!

I did hit up their salad bar for some roasted curry cauliflower and a beet and onion salad. I also tried Kombucha for the first time. I found one that only had 3 grams of sugar a serving. Some people really like Kombucha. It was okay, I got a “green, probiotic” flavor, so that could have done it, but I didn’t think it was very good.

My 3 year old has lately been in what we call “La La Land.” She is obsessed with princesses and spends her time twirling and singing and leaping through the air. This also causes a lot of falling and bumping into things. So, there were a lot of strange looks as she fell over herself about 45 times. We also had to buy a bunch of cookies from the bakery that she manhandled and dropped on the floor.

Why they would have piles of cookies out in the open like that, I don’t know. (Well, the only explanation is that people who can afford to shop at Whole Foods have better behaved children…😕.)

I think my oldest had the most fun there. I have a feeling she wil grow up to have a very fine pallet and expensive taste.

That store seriously transformed her into a sophisticated little girl. If we had gone to Target she would have been running up and down aisles. Instead she was corralling her little sister, helping me get food and actually listening to what I had to say. Maybe I should take her there more often.

After this experience, I realized something. I am no longer a Whole Foods girl. When I was childless, living in Las Vegas, I was a Whole Foods girl. Now, I’m a “whoever has the best deals” kind of girl. Which I’m fine with. I should have known that with 3 kids I tow, I would have been better off at my regular store.

I don’t mean to sound like a snob (or whatever the opposite is). Good for you if you can afford to shop at Whole Foods and don’t mind that none of the 20 something year old workers will give you the time of day and they will all look at you in disbelief that you brought your children to such a fine establishment.

I on the other hand, will stick to Walmart and getting all of my groceries for less than what it would cost me for a new wardrobe.

I will always have fond memories of spending hours browsing their aisles for gluten free yummies.

That trip was a good enough fix for me and knowing me, that trip will fulfill me for another year.


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