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!

9 comments:

tonia said...

Out here on the west coast maple syrup is outrageously priced too. I buy it for some baking/cooking, but I have to stick with a homemade simple syrup for pancakes (sugar/water/cinnamon) or we'd be broke! :)

We've figured out that one of our kids reacts to the caraggeenan in a lot of nondairy foods, so the vegan cheeses are out for us...but waaah! i'd really love to have some cheesy kind of thing.

I shop the same way - hitting our natural foods coop (about 40 minutes away) every other week or so and stocking up on hemp milk and vegan butter. they always look at me like I'm crazy for buying so much. :)

kelli said...

I'm thinking maple syrup must just be expensive. It's high out here, too. I try to always have a bottle on hand, but I also try to use it sparingly. I replace with agave when I can.

I'm not sure what I couldn't be without...oh yes, I am. Peanut butter. We do a lot with peanut butter! Other than that, though, I'll have to ponder that question further!

I, too, did some alternative medicine-shopping yesterday. I love ABC Homeopathy and had forgotten about it! Thanks for the reminder! My ears get quite plugged as well. It gets so bad I can hear my heart thumping in my left ear. Let me know how the graphites work!I hope it really gets rid of that fluid for you.

Have you tried peppermint oil or Allergiemittel by AllerAide? Both have helped me at various times.

I love WF. Ours is over an hour away...downtown in awful traffic. I try to run by there whenever we're in the area, but I so wish they would put either that or a Wild Oats out near us. My husband and I often mention we should start one:)

Enjoy your Sheese, and hope those graphites help you out!

I'm off to fix lunch...all this talk of food has taken its toll on me as well:)

Karen said...

hey, i was at whole foods today, too! i didn't have the energy to do what i usually do: shop all over town at one local market, two health food stores, one farmer's market, and rarely the big chain. i got everything i needed and it was expensive ... well, none of us are perfect all the time!

i'll have to try that "cheese" you mentioned. i eat very close to, i'd say, "loose vegan" but cheese is so, so hard for me. i don't ever buy it, however (though i currently have two blocks sitting in my fridge for a party) ... so usually i'm limited to getting it when i'm out and about, but generally i try to get stuff without it then, too. once it's not there i don't miss it ... but stick a plate under my nose, directly under it, and .... well, that's it. i'm cooked.

i've been having weird ear/throat stuff, too. i did try some homeopathic ear drops and they took about an hour to work (i laid on my side for half an hour so they'd stay in) but it helped the pain quite a bit. my ear was kind of gross and slimy for a day or two, though after that. not sure why. tonight's attempt: hot water with honey, lemon juice, ginger and cayenne. for a sore throat. ... so far it has helped, a little! spicy, though!!

hope you're on the mend. : )

oh, what i can't live without? tempeh and fresh spinach leaves.

Anonymous said...

Things I couldn't live without - yams, for sure - they are such a great food! Pasta, primarily because I have a toddler and it's such a good go-to dish; and probably tomatoes. We use a lot of tomatoes in dishes. It has been such a treat to have so many bags of frozen tomatoes from this summer's farmer's market. We are almost out; *sigh*. What a wonderful flavor they have!

Lael

Tara said...

I love this post! Full of inspiration. I will have to keep an eye out for sheese. I'm with you on maple syrup and nutritional yeast being staples. Thanks for the link to the homeopathic site too!

Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aimee said...

yes, maple syrup has gotten HIGH!!! I have my sister pick up a big bottle for me when she's at Trader Joe's in Charlotte b/c it's a better deal than anywhere here.

I have never heard of ABC Homeopathy! I can't wait to go check it out!!

affectioknit said...

Hi,

I'm so glad I found your blog - I love it. I'll be happy to send you the image - just send me an email (I coudn't reply to you from the comment post)...

Affectioknit-ly,

Teresa

Misty said...

mrs p, i have a question about vegan cheese. my dh is a vegan while the rest of us are vegetarians. anyway he buys the vegan cheese he can find at WF or even kroger when they carry it. i'm partially opposed to the whole idea of vegan cheese b/cs it seems like it's so processed (ie it takes a ton of work to get soy to resemble anything like cheese, right?). i am not sure if that's even an accurate thought, and i was wondering if you had any opinions. at this point, we've cut out so much dairy compared to what we used to buy/consume that i'm not sure if it matters, but i was just curious. dh misses cheese so he eats it, but i'm not entirely sure i'd miss it enough to eat the soy varieties (i stay away from soy in general). ok, enouhg rambling! thanks in advance.

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