What I Buy at Whole Foods

I make no secret about this…I am really into Whole Foods.

The first time I went into Whole Foods, I was in my second year of graduate school, and looking for a place to get food that wasn’t Jimmy Johns or Dunkin’ Donuts (the two places that were directly across the street from my school at NC State).  I stumbled into Whole Foods, and it was one of the first times since I returned from fat campthat I felt like I’d found my people.  Weird folks.  Who wanted a salad.  Just like  me.

Following my grad school graduation, when I couldn’t find a job, but needed to pay bills, I took a job in the Whole Foods bakery and coffee shop, where I blended, latte-ed, and packaged baked goods with some really cool people for a few months until I could find something a little more in line with what I wanted to do.

Working there, I was absolutely immersed in the culture, and tried foods I’d never imagined trying.  Kombucha, chia seeds, vegan treats, natural remedies for common ailments….the whole shebang.  I went from a diet of subsisting primarily on Lean Cuisines and Yoplait Light to more “whole” (tee hee) foods, and saw a real change in my body and my energy (I started running pretty regularly around that time too).

So, despite the fact that Whole Foods can be pricy, and sometimes grates on peoples’ nerves, I’m pretty loyal, even as some of the other chains branch into organics, because Whole Foods, in my mind, was one of the first that made good food accessible to idiots like me.

Want to see what idiots like me buy on our trips there?  And mayyybe get a little explanation as to what all this crap is?


//Frozen fruit + Trop 50. I use this for my smoothies in the morning. Typically I do a red solo cup, fill it with fruit, add a scoop of protein, some chia, and some Trop 50 to cover the fruit to make my smoothie. It’s quick and painless, and doesn’t require much prep at all. Plus it’s WAY cheaper than ordering a smoothie, and easier to control what goes in it.

//Cedar Roaster Red Pepper Hommus.  Their spelling, not mine!  I like hummus, but I have yet to find hummus as good as what I had at fat camp for my alternative vegetarian meals.  This hummus ended up being okay, but really didn’t change me.  It was pretty cheap for hummus though.

//Noosa.  This full-fat Greek Yogurt is absolutely delicious, and because it’s so calorie-dense, an entire container can serve as a meal in the morning, or half can serve as a snack after lunch or something.  Again, pricey at first glance, but two servings in a container softens the blow.

//Lettuce.  Pretty straightforward.  Sometimes I eat green things for lunch.  Not too many though, cause holy fiber these days!

//Bulk dried mango.  This one is a treat for me.  I LOVE dessert, but it doesn’t love me back so much.  The bulk dried mango is probably one of the cheapest sources of dried mango you will find without any added sugar.  Added sugar and chemicals are usually the trap with things like Craisins and mango.  This is more like fruit leather, just cut up and dried out for a few days.

//365 Black Chia Seeds.  Chia has been this pregnant lady’s best bud as of late, but it can be super expensive.  Whole Foods has an in-house brand, which is a whopping $3 cheaper than the other brands.  Great source of soluble fiber, protein, and a little burst of energy as well.

//Fruit mixes.  This one is a pricey luxury because I wasn’t loving any of the prices on produce anywhere this week and I need fruit.  So I ate like half for dessert the other night, and brought the other half in to supplement my lunch.

//Grape Leaves.  This baby can deal with Mediterranean food for sure.  These are a great snack, and delicious!

For a grand total of about $81.  My priciest items were definitely the fruit and the chia, and I escaped without kombucha or a cookie that would have driven the bill way up randomly – so I should be set for a while, minus the more perishable things (fruit and lettuce), which I will need to make a run for next week again.

Do you have any special foods needs?  (Veg, Gluten Free Options)?

Where do you do your shopping for fruits/veggies?


Carolina Beach


Me and Austin.  We’re one of those couples who LOVES to do stuff together, but we’re also complete and utter workaholics.  We work tirelessly, go to the gym at some point at the end of the day, and are lucky to catch half an episode of Orange is the New Black before falling into bed, exhausted.  For weeks, we’d been talking about going somewhere, anywhere just the two of us, so that we could enjoy one another.  Finally, after a particularly rough Wednesday, I told Austin to pick between the mountains and the beach, and he picked the beach for us.  Thank…GOD.

Saturday morning, we woke up to cloudy skies here in Raleigh, but we were really determined to get the hell out of dodge and enjoy a little vacay, something we probably haven’t done silly Kelly invited us to Fripp in March of 2014.  (Shame on us, but we got married!).

Once we got to Wilmington, I was starting to get really hungry, so Austin stopped for a salad for me, and then we drove straight to the beach.  I de-robed in the car (thank you kindly to Kia for my tinted back windows), threw on a coverup, and off to the beach went.  As soon  as we sat down, we were pelted by rain, and we both looked at each other nervously, praying that the rain would stop.  And almost as soon as it started, it was gone.

DSC_0281 DSC_0280The weather was perfect, but due to some storms, the sea was really really rough, and going in much further than waist-deep was a little dicey, as the water was really pulling, and hard.  Austin and I alternated between splashing around, and reading books for hours and hours.  I forgot how much I really love the beach, and I didn’t really want to leave on Saturday when we did, but a windstorm picked up and started to make it really hard to do much of anything.  When we left, I’d wrapped a blanket around my head to protect my eyes…

DSC_0290Austin somehow managed to snap a pic as the wind was whipping around…



I texted Alexa while we were at the beach as she’s the donut specialist, and asked here where we could find a good donut in the area where we were. She pointed me to a place that was literally 500 feet from where we were sitting. Austin and I both ate two of Britt’s Donuts, the freshest and warmest donuts I’ve ever had. Totally worth the trip if you’re in Carolina Beach.


We ate dinner at Dockside, a seafood place that we visited on the first spring break we went to Wilmington on. I managed to get through dinner without a drink (still sober!) and then we hit a local gated community for a brisk walk before it started storming, which is pretty typical for out there.

When we got back to the hotel, we were like two kids. We explored the hotel for a little while – checked out the pool, the breakfast nook and the fitness center…

I hopped on the treadmill for a little while in my dress and my flip flops while Austin tested the weight machines.

Sunday morning, we woke up and enjoyed a breakfast at the Best Western, and I treated myself to Frosted Flakes, forgetting that eating cereal ALWAYS makes me feel like shit. Luckily, we walked for over an hour on the beach, and that passed quickly. The best part  of  the walk was the fact that we happened upon a wedding on the beach, and lord KNOWS I love a wedding.

IMG_0335[1]We finished off the day with a trip to the Wilmington Whole Foods.  I was desperately craving a salad for the way home, so I told Austin I’d buy him lunch if he would take us to the Whole Foods.  It worked, and I got the most Caribbean/Indian salad know to mankind, packed with all sorts of curried “meats” and beans.

The weekend was so so great and relaxing, though way too short.

What did you do over the weekend?

If you shop on Thanksgiving, I’m judging you.

This will be my only post/rant on the issue, and then I will drop it and we’ll move along and all be friends.

On Thanksgiving, i will be doing two things.

  1. Going for a run so I can enjoy indulging without much guilt.
  2. Cooking.
  3. Enjoying dinner with my family.

So that was three things, but you get what I’m saying.  Nowhere above did I say I was going to go to Best Buy, Target, or Macy’s to stock up on some crappy deal, when I really need to be saving my coins (my car just decided it needed about $600 worth of help, so I really can’t be spending money all willy-nilly anyhow).  And the reason for this is that, after working in retail, Whole Foods and Fleet Feet, there is no way on God’s green earth that I’d get up from my dinner table, run out, and make someone else’s life really mis on that day.

Let me explain something to you about working retail during the holidays.  I truly didn’t experience this as much with the customers from Fleet Feet, however, the Whole Foods schedule, and the customers made me resent them and resent the holidays, a feeling I hated having.  I felt myself starting to hate holiday themed food, answering people’s dumbass questions regarding some weird food we have never carried, and hating people themselves, especially those who took out their holiday-induced stress on us.

Here’s an example.  One Thanksgiving-Eve, a woman called the bakery and screamed at me because she hadn’t realized that the Yule Logs were like chocolate inside when she bought them.  First off, I don’t care.  If that is your worst worry at the holidays, consider yourself lucky.  There is poverty, hunger, genocide, and racism in the world to scratch the surface – none of which take a break on the holidays.  And furthermore, it is not my fault that you didn’t realize that the yule logs were chocolate inside.  Now, if she were actually nice to be, I might actually feel inclined to fix her problem or offer her something of her choosing in the vanilla family, however, she was unkind, and therefore, I didn’t feel too pressed to correct her issue.  Especially, ESPECIALLY given that she seemed to have no concern that while I listened to her yule log lamentations, my family was wondering where I was, and getting started on all the cooking without me.

But I digress.

You can try and slice and dice it any way you want to…

-Those people volunteer to work. (And really, the way it works is that the folks that want to work volunteer first, and then your manager fills the rest of the holes with other folks who may not particularly care to work.)

-These folks make a TON of money in this season. (No on is getting rich on a retail salary.  If they’re making time-and-a-half, that is absolutely wonderful, but a really temporary fix for the anger and resentment that builds up towards folks around the holidays.)

-If they don’t like it, why are they working retail.  (Now, I know jobs are extremely easy to come by ::cough::, however, sometimes folks don’t have a whole lot of choice.  Or sometimes, they actually LIKE their retail situation during months that aren’t November and December.  However, that doesn’t mean they want to get screamed at about your yule logs on Thanksgiving Day.)

…But the fact stands.  You don’t need to shop on Thanksgiving.  And I’m judging you if you choose to do so.

40 mangos later.

Fun fact: the plural of mango is either mangoes or mangos.  This makes me very uncomfortable, and I’m really not sure how to approach this.  Advice is welcome on how to reconcile this battle within myself.

Moving right along.

So, happy Saturday. I’m obsessed with you and I kinda hope you’re pretty obsessed with me too.

So, Friday after work, I sprinted over to the Raleigh Convention Center to work the Rock ‘n’ Roll Convention, and as a little preview to the race, I made sure to snap a few pics so that you all could share in the experience.

DSC_0219I pulled up into the expo lot and started getting excited (and very itchy from that yellow pollen) for all of this.  There is something so special about a good expo that makes your stomach do these amazing flips when you think about a race.

DSC_0221Hello!  Jambo!



Also the camera Sharon, my MIL got me is incredible BYE.

DSC_0223I worked the Gu booth with some really fun partners 🙂

DSC_0226The Brooks “booth” which I’m working tomorrow, is a small city.

DSC_0228Literally not kidding.  It’s a planet.

It has been so fun.  I am working the expo tomorrow as well, and really excited to work and run this race.  I also ran into Benjamin and Juan, the two boys from ESPN walking around the expo, and they said that I was gonna be really really happy with the footage.

After the expo, I ran over to Whole Foods, where Mexican Champagne Mangos were 69 cents each, so I stocked up on about 40. Don’t judge me, you’re being rude if you’re judging me right now, and I’m not interested in hearing it.

photo 1There were actually more mangos…

photo 2So I dehydrated some, I cut some up for smoothies, and made some mango baby food (mango sauce, sorta like applesauce but with mangos) with the help of my little sister, who’s pretty dank as a chef.  If you like the idea of mango sauce, shoot me an email, and maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll post you a recipe.

DSC_0229Austin got me these mason jars, which I sorta guess I need for our wedding anyways, so it worked out for my mango baby Cheri food.

How was your Friday? 

Here’s What! What three things are you obsessed with?

By now, I think you’re familiar with my here’s what, a little slice I stole from Bravo Andy.  If you’ve missed any of my ‘Here’s What’ segments, I’ll fill you in.






Okay, so go there, and review…

Now come back!

Here’s what three things I’m obsessed with this beautiful Carolina Friday.


  • Whole Foods Soup.  Mama doesn’t cook on Thursday evenings because I usually teach my Thursday evening Zumba classes, try to get a few miles in after.  By the time I get home, it’s late, and I don’t feel like cooking.  I try to avoid the fast food trap and go for something a little cleaner, and soup was perfect on this kind of blustery night.  Tonight’s soup was a roasted garlic sweet potato.  A little weird. Mostly awesome though, especially when the spice kind of hits you


  • Amazon.  Is there anything you can’t buy off of Amazon?  I ordered two bras off Amazon and because they were Prime, they showed up like two days after I ordered them.  New Balance isn’t paying me to say this (quite unfortunately) but this bra, the “Discreetly Sassy Psyche” is awesome.  It’s minimizing, it won’t give you a uni-boob, and a little bit of underwire lifts and keeps you from bouncing all over the place.  Try this bra!



  • I found chocolate malt balls in the bulk section at Whole Foods.  It’s Whole Foods related, so it can’t be bad for me, right?

MMkay, that’s what I’m up to this week with what I’m obsessed with.  What three things are you obsessed with?

Random schtuff.


I’m back to civilization, and while I absolutely loved my visit with my parents, I am super glad to be back.  I missed my honey, and my cat, and hanging out with my frands.

You guys ready for some Wednesday randomness?

  • First and foremost, I am so freaking sick of winter weather.  I mean, how much more can we take?  I have run so many miles on a treadmill this year that I am sick of every single song, and every single movie I’ve been watching all winter.  But hey, at least I have a warm bed to sleep in at night. 
  • How cute is this Sweaty Band?  I wore it for a few hours while I taught/grabbed a quick dinner from Whole Foods tonight and I got compliments on it (those are mustaches on it, in case you can’t tell).  But not to fear, we’ll be having a little Sweaty Band giveaway really really soon 🙂
    photo 4
  • This dinner from Whole Foods tonight. 

photo 3I could not muster the energy to cook anything tonight. So I grabbed this cup of carrot ginger soup, a beer, and grabbed some extra soup for lunch tomorrow.  It’s SO good.  If you have it at your WF, totally grab some (as long as you’re into spices – the ginger really really spices this thing up.)  Heat it up super super hot, and it is amazing 🙂

  • photo (24)This horrid creature has taken residence on my ceiling.  I’m too grossed out to do anything to him, and he’s disappeared now, so I’m really just hoping with all my heart that he hasn’t fallen into my hair.
    photo 1
  • Lily Allen has further proved how amazing she is by donning this Yonce belt.  I’m still extremely bitter that Bey only felt the need to release Partition, but I think I’ll manage to get over it somehow.
  • This Geico commerical. 

Almost as good as the Dikembe Mutombo commerical from last year. But still pretty good 🙂

Tell me something random about your Wednesday!  

Mommy judgement.

So, after the memorial service on Sunday, we were close enough to the Whole Foods in Charlotte to grab some lunch/dinner, and chat before we all had to go our separate ways that evening. 

If you haven’t been to the Whole Foods in Charlotte, it’s time to go, PS.

Photo via Kelly Davis/Creative Loafing

Deb made fun of me and said that I always force her go go when I come up.  But whatever, it’s awesome, and I need my hot bar every now and again.

So here’s where the mommy judgement came in. 

As we were about to check out, I noticed a mom with a slice of pizza in one hand, and a screaming child hanging off of the other.  I might have imagined this, but I think she was wearing workout clothes, and she was practically begging this child to use her own feet and stop flipping out.  As she wove her way to the workout, one mom after another caught my eye and gave their best judgmental looks as if to say, “my child would NEVER!” I was embarrassed that these women thought I was in their same club, and I didn’t want them to think that their judgment was okay, like their kids had never flipped out.  

As all three of us, Mom, baby, and me approached the check-out line, I did the best thing I knew to do. 

Y’all knew I was a baby whisperer, right?  

“Would it help if I picked her up?”

Mom wearily mumbled something, which I took as a yes, and I reached down, scooped up little miss cranky-because-she-just-woke-up, and we chatted for a second while mom could pay for something.   When mom was done, I handed her back, and all was right, plus the cashier gave me my sparkling water for free.  

So what was easier?  Making faces at a struggling mom?  Or getting to snuggle with a really cute kid while the mama pays? 


Shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t do it.

Christmas Eve 2011, I was working at Whole Foods Market, in the bakery.  It was nearing 6 pm, and the store was doing what was called a “soft closing,” where you sorta close, but you let anyone who comes screeching up in the parking lot come in, for fear that they will write you a bad review on Yelp.

I peered over the counter, wearing my antlers as a pretend signal of good tidings, when really, I wanted to murder everyone who was shopping, including a woman on the cell phone, who was leisurely strolling through the aisles.  Like it wasn’t 6pm on Christmas Eve, like simply because I was being paid an hourly wage, that I didn’t deserve to get to go to Midnight Mass with my family, sleep in, and wake up leisurely to open presents with my family.

Instead, around 6pm on Christmas 2011, I was hauling a clear bag full of old bread and bagels to the dumpster in the ran, and shivering in a chefs coat while last-minute Christmas shoppers milled about.  Close to 7, I finally filled up on gas, and I’d made it to my parents’ house by 10:30 pm. On Christmas Eve.  My parents were already asleep, and I only had a few hours the following day with my siblings before I had to head back for my shift in the coffee bar.

If you shop on Thanksgiving Day, you are a jerk.  Plain and simple, I’m not sorry to say.  I have had the unfortunate opportunity to have to work on holidays, on holiday eves, and on the day after holidays and it always sucks.  Each time I had to show up at my parents’ home at an ungodly hour, or each time I left while my siblings were still sleeping or spending time with relatives, I began to resent my work, and swore that I would quit my job the next day.  I never did, I needed the money while I looked for full-time work in my field, but it made me resent my job and truly hate people more than I care to admit, temporarily.  The “hate” feeling returned with each holiday I had to celebrate by doling out lattes to stressed party hosts.  And I really do dislike it when I feel so angry towards others – it’s not at all healthy.

“Well if you don’t like it, just make sure you ask for that day off! Target said on TV it’s only the employees who really want to work that day/night.”

First off all, no one, even the person who lives only with his or her cats,  wants to bundle up so they can stand on their feet all night and serve you.  It’s barely fun on a regular day, and super unfun on a chilly holiday.  And that’s not exactly how it works.  When I worked bakery retail, and in the coffee bar at Whole Foods, and the same went for when I worked in a restaurant for my stint in graduate school, you’d get your choice of which holiday you want off.  If you get the days around Thanksgiving off, you won’t get days around Christmas off.  Maybe you’ll get the days at New Years.  It’s all a trade.  But the choice is only which holiday you’ll work.

Please, please, please, before you leave your plates on the counter and run out on Thanksgiving night, think about the folks who are having to leave their families to ring you out.  Not only did they have to leave their families, they hate you, and they’re hoping that you slip and break that flat screened television you dragged them out to purchase.  The employee break room is intermittently filled with folks snacking on lame, stale holiday treats that management put out for them as an attempt to boost morale, but guess what?  It isn’t working, and they’re seeing red with every e-reader you buy.

So regardless of what some of these retailers choose to do, don’t make it worth their while – avoid shopping on Thanksgiving and let them know that our families are a little more important to us than cheap electronics.  That’s what shopping online is for, anyways.

Went to Food Lion today…

And you know, no story that begins this way ends well.  (And let’s keep in mind that Food Lion has launched a new brand strategy.  Lower prices, better shopping experience,  and revamped produce are supposed to be a part of this. Well…)

Let me back up.  I skipped my grocery shopping on my usual Sunday because Deb was over, and I waited til today, when I really had no food left, to do it.  I’m not a poor person, it would be a lie to say I was.  But I’m a recent graduate who’s on a fairly tight budget.  I usually do my grocery shopping at Super Target, and I save the special stuff for Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.   I say “special stuff” to mean my vegetarian supplies.  I’ve been a vegetarian for like 5 or 6 years, after I went to Elon and was not at all impressed by the quality of the meat they served in the dining halls.  No shade, Elon was totally great otherwise, but I saw some questionable meat items come through those dining halls.  Anyhoo, I drink a lot of smoothies and eat some tofu-type things that require those special trips.  At any rate, I thought I’d head down to Food Lion to save a few bucks on groceries.  Part of my thing with being a grown-up is actually packing my lunch to save some money.  (Plus it makes lunchtime at work so exciting when you know you cooked something delish that all your coworkers can be jealous of.) I went, armed with a list, and a resolve to get all the stuff I needed for another of my famous crock pot creation of the week.

First mistake?  I didn’t know where the closest Food Lion was, so I GPSed it.  The GPS took me to an unsavory part of town.  No problem, I can blend!

Food Lion

I went straight for the dairy to find my favorite brand of Greek yogurt, Fage (with the total split cup girl!). No Fage. Okay.  My eager attitude is beginning to dwindle.  But my resolve would not be tarnished!

I headed over to the soup aisle to grab some things for my crockpot.  Some coconut gel stuff in particular.  Couldn’t find it, and asked a gentleman in a uniform where to find it.

Me: Excuse me, where could I find the coconut cream canned stuff?

Food Lion Guy: ::finishes his text conversation:: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Finally, I headed over to produce.  Saw some tumbleweeds blowing through, some floppy looking potatoes, and some sad-looking apples.  I poked down the snack aisle to see what the Oreo aisle is looking like, however?  And there were so many varieties of Oreo, one called a “mega-stuf”, that I was stunned that I’d never heard of!  But to find 5 non-rotting Russet Potatoes was a task?! Wth?!

Okay. ::deep breath:: Just because someone is poor, doesn’t mean they need to be relegated to stores that aren’t clean, with poor lighting, poor customer service, and with a wider variety of Pop-Tart and Oreo, than of apple.  The disparity between the poor and the wealthy as far as obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension, Type II Diabetes, and heart disease is concerned is staggering.  And part of the issue is that it seems like folks with a lower socio-economic status aren’t afforded choices.  Check out the produce section of a Harris Teeter, a Whole Foods, or a Trader Joes. There are choices!  And the choices are between fresh, fresher, and maybe, once in a blue moon, a little too ripe.  My point is, folks like me, folks who want to save a few bucks, still deserve a choice when it comes to what we put in our mouths.  I don’t think I will be returning to that Food Lion, however, in the next few days, I will be drafting some constructive comments to the manager, and I hope that my obnoxious letter will even raise some awareness about the fact that people in my tax bracket deserve better as it pertains to our sustenance.