Last November around Thanksgiving I found myself in the Whole Body section of Whole Foods, wearing a beret I had crocheted by hand. The hat was supposed to be a present for my little sister for Christmas but it wasn’t Christmas yet and I thought I’d test it for fiber-poisoning, while covering my greasy unshowered hair. Who has time to shower when family’s in town? I also wanted to appear earthy while shopping at Whole Foods, like I’m not one to waste water… or soap.
“Now why was Kathryn in Whole Foods?” you might ask. If you guessed it had something to do with my good friend the homeopath, then you were correct. If you guessed it was because I like paying 10 dollars for a single apple, you were false or incorrect or something.
When I’m in there, I feel like a bit of a poser in Granolaville, like someone is going to stop me in the isle, point a judgmental finger and yell out, “THIS WOMAN EATS AT MCDONALDS. SHE SMELLS LIKE NON-ORGANIC BANANAS. STONE HER WITH HER OWN GRASS-FED GOAT CHEESE CURDS!”
I do occasionally eat fast food and sugar (referred to as The White Death by my naturopath) and food that has been processed by someone other than myself. I don’t recycle EVERYTHING and at least half of the lights in my house are not fluorescent energy star bulbs. I do not turn off the water while I’m lathering in the shower. My kids think Nuggets are a food group. I wear yoga pants but I’ve never actually done yoga. Raw milk scares me. I don’t weave my own cloth to make diapers. Sometimes I shop at the mall.
For these and other reasons, I’ve always felt like a bit of an imposter when I’m shopping at Whole Foods.
But lately I’m getting more comfortable there. I’ve been cooking more healthful whole foods, items that I can picture living and growing in nature. Who’s ever heard of a Dorito tree or a free range Slim Jim? I’m trying to think about the food I’m eating, where it comes from and what’s in it.
My neighbor’s been a huge influence on me. Because I respect her so much, I’ve opened myself up to thinking more about the choices I make every day and I’ve started to realize that I’m putting things into my body that do nothing to help it and can even be harming me and my family.
We’ve also been seeing a naturopath and after 12 rounds of antibiotics for Laylee for previous ear infections, we were finally able to manage one without drugs. We did it with herbs, dietary changes and home remedies and she got better quickly.
I didn’t set out to be some kind of raging homeopath or all natural woman wandering through Whole Foods dressed in a hemp muumuu but things are just starting to make sense and I love feeling like I have a little more of an active role in my family’s health.
My current goal is to find ways to feed us well without breaking the bank. We’ve found a lot of great deals on whole organic foods at Costco and the bulk and health food sections of our local grocery store and I hope to join a local farm co-op this summer. I’d appreciate any tips you have to offer. Organic is not the most important thing to me and it’s honestly not financially realistic for our family but as we incorporate more whole grains, fruits and vegetables our health is improving.
I also believe that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Every good choice we make benefits us and we just keep learning more and doing better. That alone should qualify me to walk into any grocery store with my head held high. I may have stopped at McDonald’s for lunch on my way to Whole Foods but dadgumit, I ate peaches and millet for breakfast.