As I am trying to eat healthy and find good food that each of my family members will enjoy, it has taken me on a journey throughout many grocery stores in my neighborhood. I mentioned before that the issue that sparked me to begin writing this blog is the dispute between my husband and I about where to shop for groceries. I think we have a healthy food budget for our family of 5 and I choose to go to Whole Foods, which he has dubbed Whole Paycheck :). I get it, it can be expensive. As a Culture, we have bought into the marketing ploy of a big, smiling, yellow happy face equals low prices. Well, I do not buy it. I go shopping at specific places for the whole experience; from the moment I walk in the door, I want to know that I am a welcomed patron. I love smiling faces, that is, from…. real live humans. I do not like standing in long lines. I want the store look nice and well-stocked. I want the employees to be happy to help me if I have a question. I mean these are basic principles of customer service I assume; am I asking too much here? I refuse to shell out money to a store where customer service is lacking. Furthermore, the assortment of fruit and vegetables needs to be excellent!
You see where I am going with this. Yes, I am a fan of all things pretty, i.e. Whole Foods :). Now, there are other stores where I do shop. For the purposes of this post, I will focus on Whole Foods. Recently, I made a meal for my aunt and uncle and since time was of essence, I stopped by Albertson’s. After everything was scanned, I owed $25! I was secretly upset because I knew that would not have happened at Whole Foods, ha! I was excited, nonetheless, that I walked out of the store and bought enough food to make a meal that would feed about 6 adults, all for the whopping price of $4.16 per person- cheaper than McDonald’s I should add!
A few weeks later, I was shopping at Whole Foods and thought it would be fun to see if I could get the same ingredients for the same price. I shopped with my kids, specifically my 8 year old who is rather price conscious. The awesome news is that I found everything on my list for the same price! My husband couldn’t believe it, and probably still doesn’t 🙂 Full disclosure: I did have to switch out chicken breasts for all chicken legs and thighs. But hey, even at the regular stores, you have to make some alternative purchases depending on your budget for the day, so its still a win in my book.
Real food does not have to be expensive. In fact, if we actually took a minute to slow down, we would see that we do not need that much food anyway. Food waste is a huge epidemic we face here in America. We definitely do not need a 2 for $5 special on potato chips 🙂 Now, I am not suggesting that Albertson’s does not have ‘real food;’ rather, Whole Foods makes an effort to keep foods with preservatives out of its stores….for the most part. They certainly do not get everything right, but what store does? They do seem to be more conscious of who they partner with in terms of bringing the consumers quality products. Don’t take my word for it, I encourage you to do your own research. I am not getting paid from them whether or not you decide to shop there, ha!
We have to be conscious consumers in today’s market. There are advertisers that will sell you swamp land in Florida and make it sound like it’s just the thing you need. If we do not educate ourselves, then the big businesses will continue to line their pockets, meanwhile, we are getting sicker, more overweight, and obtaining disease at a much fast rate than our parents did. According to the CDC, one-third of Americans are considered obese. That means that we are at an increased risk of dying an early death at the hands of heart disease, Diabetes, Cancer, etc.
I know, there are some people with the mindset of, “hey, I have to die of something, so I may as well be happy when I go.” There are a couple of reasons I have an issue with this. It’s not biblical. You see, God calls our body a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If we just throw our hands up in God’s face and not care for our bodies, can we say that we are good stewards of what He has given us? I understand God may not be calling all of us to change the way we eat, however, if we are in a perpetual state of self-defeat, feeling tired and run-down, something has to change. Which leads me to my next point, we are all here for a purpose. How can our purpose be fulfilled if we are fat, sick, and tired all of the time? Now, don’t get me wrong. I am right up there with you if that’s your story. My eating is nowhere near perfect. I wake up every day thinking, I am going all vegan today and then life happens and I eat something that is not wholesome. I recognize it and move on to do better the next time. I try not to stay at a pity party for too long 🙂 If we are turning to food to make us happy, that is a problem. There can only be one thing that truly fills our needs emotionally and for me that’s God. I have found freedom in knowing that I don’t have to indulge in binge eating to get my fill. So the idea that I would like to “die happy” with a big mac in my hand makes no sense to me. Dying happy means that I honored what God wanted to do with my life: spiritually, physically, and emotionally).
I’ll get off of my soap box now. As I was saying, I was able to spend the same amount of money at Whole Foods that I did at Albertson’s for pretty much the same ingredients. I was excited to make this discovery because I am on a mission to prove that what we think is cheap, doesn’t always measure up in quality and we can shop at the more “expensive” places and save money by purchasing the store brand and shopping the sale flyers.
So, my challenge for the month of August is to go to Whole Foods and browse their inventory! That’s it 🙂 Follow @get_fed_up on Instagram, post a pic of an awesome find at any Whole Foods location and use hashtag #wholefoodschallenge. The more pics, the more chances you have to win a gift card for Whole Foods! Spread the Word! Contest will end August 31 at midnight CST- good luck!!
Good luck and let’s get snapping! 🙂