I am a frequent Whole Foods Market shopper, but how much do I really know about the store in general and how they really are concerned about our health and have done much of the homework for us on finding the right products. Let me tell you a bit more!
I recently took their Health Starts Here Tour at my local market with my new friend and tour-guide Danielle, to help me pick out the right kind of foods I should be buying and cooking for my family. I had a one on one course showcasing the Four Pillars of Healthy Eating. Are you ready to hear them?
1. Focus on Whole Foods
Not Whole Foods Market, but foods that are ‘whole’ and classified as pure – not processed. Our meals should be loaded with whole, unrefined and unprocessed foods. I like to think of whole foods as foods that God created for us to take from the earth to keep our bodies running – fruits, veggies, fish, grains, etc. You won’t find any factory-made artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats from your diet here!
Have you heard the tip to stick with the outside perimeter of the store? Walking down the inner aisles is where you find most of your boxed, processed, and ready-to-go foods. The outer skirts you’ll find the fresh whole foods!
2. Eat Plant-Strong
Focus on plant-based foods. We definitely eat meat at our house, but one thing I need to remember is the meat doesn’t have to be the main focus. The majority of the plate should contain raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes and beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. When you eat more plants, you’re helping your body get the key micronutrients it needs to function at its best.
Danielle taught me that using the bulk aisle for your beans, quinoa, and other whole grains is a great savings AND can be healthier than buying canned or ready-made boxed mixes. I think a big part for me is that cooking dried foods can be a little daunting and time consuming, but really once you know how you just make it a part of your routine and plan ahead. I am determined to make this my new favorite aisle!
3. Choose Healthy Fats
Get your healthy fats from whole plant-based foods like nuts, seeds and avocados. Then minimize the amounts of extracted oils and processed fats you cook with on a daily basis.
Get rid of that canola oil…and the margarine. Whole Foods has a great variety of oils, but remember not to base your entire healthy fat intake on oils…use more whole foods!
4. Consider Nutrient Density
This is something I never knew about and Danielle taught me that Whole Foods has signage right in their produce department listing the nutrient density of each food. (should have gotten a pic for you!)
A variety of nutrients – such as vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – are essential for good health and every food as a balance. The Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, or ANDI is a scoring system that rates foods on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. You can see which foods are the most nutrient rich and build your meals around that!
This was an awesome tour. Not just to showcase everything that Whole Foods Market carries to make my life easier, but to teach me how to buy the right foods and what to watch for the next time I shop.
Feel free to call your local store and ask about the Health Starts Here Tour. I know they will be happy to show you around too!
WIN $50 to Whole Foods Market!