The worst thing you can ever do is go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. The worst thing you can ever do is visit Whole Foods on an empty stomach. Whole Foods has mastered the best thing ever to happen to a grocery store- most stores have a hot and cold bar in the store. Which means- come hungry and leave filled to the bursting belt………
The best part is that you can sample anything and everything from sweet potato hummus to curried rice and beans to beef brisket. The bad news is at $7.99/lb the prepared foods bar is not cheap. I have learned through the years to literally stock up on lightweight items- lettuce, spinach, beans, seeds and veggies like grated carrots and cucumbers. These are lighter in physical weight as opposed to cherry tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli that will weigh the salad down and cost you more money. I prefer to pour the dressing on the side to keep the weight down.
Same goes for the other items on the bar- avoid the creamed spinach and pickled beets- anything in a sauce is going to be heavy in weight. The spinach lasagna? Though probably healthy, it is most likely not the lightest thing there. Opt for the spaghetti and go easy on the sauce. I love loading up on the quinoa and couscous dishes- especially the kind of complex dishes I wouldn’t make at home like the curried Tofu dishes and stuffed Grape Leaves. The problem is that I tend to sample everything……
And by sampling everything….I mean EVERYTHING…which means a $30 meal for me- easily. The good news is that all that food will last me a few meals….
Another perk about Whole Foods is the fresh pastries baked daily in the store. Most of the Whole Foods offer a good selection of vegan scones and muffins- I don’t find much in the Bayhill Orlando store other than an occasional vegan cupcake. This particular Whole Foods does not cater to the vegan/vegetarian crowd like some of the other stores.
However, if you aren’t as picky as me you will find a large selection of homemade cookies, danishes, muffins and scones. Now back to the prepared foods bar. Whole Foods is a great option if you are looking for a variety of items. The prepared foods bar is a great option if you want to sample a lot of different things. Just be ready to pay up. Most of the stores have a separate area to eat also so you can relax and enjoy your meal before you continue shopping.
In addition to the prepared foods bar, there is also a deli and a meat counter where you can buy a slice of pizza, a sandwich or a meal of beef tips to either eat there or take home. And the bakery counter? Let’s not even go there. No, seriously, don’t take me there or I may gain about twenty pounds. Everything is delicious and fresh……Most people would probably not think to go to Whole Foods to actually eat dinner but Whole Foods makes it easy to eat out. And when you are done eating, you can pick up the weeks’ groceries, grab a coffee at the coffee bar and buy some fresh flowers. I just wish my local Whole Foods catered a little more to the vegan/vegetarian crowd….but with a little strategy, Whole Foods can be a great option for dining out.
Find a Whole Foods in your area- Whole Foods Market