Nourritures Entières (That’s French for “Whole Foods”)

Maybe it’s just me, but when I walk into Whole Foods Grocery Store, I feel like I’ve wandered into a very touristy part of Paris where they really want my money but aren’t so happy I’m there. It even smells like a foreign country when you walk through the door, doesn’t it?

Over the last couple of years, in an effort to be “healthier” and lose weight, I’ve been trying to cut back on/and/or eliminate: dairy, carbs, wheat, sugar, red meat, non organic, processed, GMO, pesticide ridden, chemically added to, red meat, (I know I said it twice, I really miss it) diet soda, foods. This has left…. nothing to eat.

Just in case you are not on of the “Over seven million customers [who) visit our 367 stores in 40 U.S. states, Canada, and the U.K. each week,, Whole Foods is a grocery store that sold THIRTEEN BILLION DOLLARS worth of the remainder of that nothing left to eat last year and is growing at an astronomical rate. I had been there a few times, that lovely place where they put your food in small paper bags at $100 per paper bag. Where you walk out wondering why you just paid three times what you normally pay for groceries and you’re apparently happy about it. Yeah, that place.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I’ve only to been to France once, and for years before I went, all I heard was how rude to Americans the French were. When I went, I was lucky enough to go with some friends from the UK, who went several times a year, and both spoke pretty good French. I also spent the better part of a year brushing up on my high school French. Which meant that I could go in any restaurant, pick out what I wanted on the menu, look at the waiter with confidence and ask that the carburetors on my car be rotated angular with my tires. Anyway, I found the French to be as friendly, and kind as people anywhere, except for the one guy in the camera shop, who, when I went in by myself to get my film developed (YES, it was THAT LONG ago, I had FILM in my camera) got very ANGRY with me, because I politely asked in French to just have one set of pictures printed, (which I am sure came out as – can you please scratch my ass with a bulldozer) and he was trying to tell me that double prints was a better deal ( which came out to me as boo boo, blah blah blah, oui oui) and I was trying to tell him as nicely as possible that I was very sorry my French was so crappy and he then proceeded to tell me that I was a stupid ignorant fu&*ing American (which I did understand). I got the double prints. Other than that, France was lovely.

Similarly, Whole Foods can be a lovely place with a little planning. Here’s some things I’ve learned. Do not ask for:

1 The Cigarette Counter
2. The Monsanto Products Aisle
3. The GMO Vegetables
4. Raid, or other Pesticides
5. Tide, Bleach, or Styrofoam Coolers
6. Plastic Bags at Checkout
7. (They are not giving discount flu shots this year. (or any year)
8. Foie Gras
9. Veal
10.The endangered species Cook Book

On the other hand, (and I guess we can be grateful Mayor Bloomberg has left office for this), they have no problem with SUGAR, ALCOHOL or SALT at Whole Foods. Wow, they have a bakery there that would kill at diabetic at 100 yards. They really have the best grocery store of any in the town where I live and there are 18 grocery stores in the town where I live which works out to roughly, well, just an obscene number of grocery stores. They even had vegan oatmeal cookies. I stared at them for awhile. I wondered, did that mean they took something out, or did they put something in. I didn’t even know they put meat in Oatmeal cookies. I bought two. They have a gelato bar. Nice.

I’m guessing they have no problem with salt because alot of the nothing you can eat that’s NOT of the list at the beginning of the blog tastes like plywood. Salt makes plywood taste better. Every chef and anyone who’s watched the food channel knows this. Salt your plywood. Not to get overly preachy in a humor blog, but “Americans eat too much sodium, commonly consumed as salt. High sodium consumption raises blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the nation’s first and third leading causes of death, respectively”. While we need 150 to 500 mg a day, the Institute of Medicine recommends 1500 mg a day. Whole foods devotes maybe 20% of their floor space to an oasis of freshly prepared salad bars and freshly cooked dinners and a deli laid out in a cornucopia overflowing with gluten free, lactose tolerant, soy based, leading you to the healthy land. But salt laden. The other day, I got a salad from the salad bar and some Guatemalan chick soup. a friend asked what was in it. I said chicken, rice some green things and some Guatemalans. I don’t know. Why Guatemalan chicken soup instead of Ecuador, Honduras, costa Rica, or Venezuela? Ok, strike Venezuela, I get that. Anyway, next day I gained two pounds. Wow, how much salt is in there? So today, I went and checked out their prepackaged soup and read the labels. All of them had between 35% and 50% of the daily recommended intake for salt per serving.

I wonder how the Gelato is???? I bet its tres belle. That’s very beautiful.

Humor Zumba

Christmas Cruise Zumba, a Fitbit and a Happy New Year

Apologies to my legions of blog fans, (ok both of them) who have been complaining about my complete laziness and neglect of my blog for three months. (Actually, I think it’s really just the one, because I think Sheniqua is just being polite when she comes to Zumba class as there is only so much to talk about for the 120 seconds before and after class).

The GF and I did go on a Christmas cruise which did have a Zumba class!! They were excellent!! I watched three. I even dozed off a little bit during third. They were conducted at the pool in front of the entire ship. The first two rows clearly had experienced Zumberanians. The next two rows had folks who you could tell had been to a class or two. The last two rows had folks who had clearly had two too many tequilas, and would eventually regret both doing this in public and the advent of digital video. (I really need to devote an entire blog to this Christmas cruise on the ship with a two story library, but no bars with any music recorded after 1890. I can’t prove it, but I think the spa, salon and fitness center were former embalming centers. “Celebrity Cruise lines – come die on the water with us”).

A two week vacation was long enough to create a sense of excitement to return home. My law partner and paralegal and I missed our annual Christmas lunch and gift exchange before I left because they were both sick, so when I returned to work on Monday, I had my paralegals gifts waiting for me – a FITBIT!! For those of you that don’t know what a “fitbit” is, let me describe. A “fitbit” is a rubber watchstrap, with an insertable electronic device about the size of a suppository. (this is for another sci fi fitness blog). You download the fit bit app on your phone, and can access their website on your computer. From there you can set how many “steps” you want to take per day, (it defaults to 10,000), how much weight you want to lose if any. You can enter how much food you eat each day, how much water you drink, or what your activites are. It tracks how much water you drink, how many calories you burn, and will even track your sleep patterns telling you how much you slept and how restless you are.

The first day, I had 90 of my 10,000 steps. I calculated this was 3 of my 30 step trips to the bathroom. I posted on Facebook that I figured I only needed to go the bathroom 111 times a day to meet this goal. I tried to do this 10,0000 steps a day thing when it first became popular earlier last decade and got a pedometer back then. I never got over 8,000 steps on my best day. Dale the Zumba instructor told me I’d get 6500 to 7500 steps in her Zumba class, and I didn’t belive her. Until I attended her first class back and was greeted to her “happy new year” addition. A version of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – at 78 RPM, sung by the Chipmunks. This video will give you some idea.

Now, while THAT doesn’t look so bad, Dale’s choreography, which is soooo more appropriately challenging and destined to lead to fitness, looks more like a hummingbird on addeerall, who after accidentally taking a rock of crack back to its nest, just discovered a sugar feeder filled with pure Vermont maple syrup in your backyard.

This is not ACTUALLY me trying to watch Dale dance to this song, but it is close enough.

I DID get in 6000 steps than class though. Hummingbird steps. Ahhh, it’s good to be back. Happy New Year!!