Saturday, March 31, 2012


I meandered out to the 'burbs to check out Whole Foods Market's Extraveganza featuring vegan and health starts here samples and store tours by volunteers from the Animal Rights Coalition. Well, actually, I drove on two highways to get there. My fiance meandered on his bike and met up with me (I wasn't feeling a 32-mile bike ride today.) Before the tour we got lunch, and I was super excited to see Whole Foods offered a vegan burrito bowl that had oil free vegan chili, seitan and charros beans mixture and brown rice (in your face, Chipotle!)

Here's my synopsis of the tour:

1. Veggies are your friends. Meet new ones, do new things with them and surround yourself with them.

2. Buying in bulk saves money and there's lots of new things to try!

3. Whoa, there are a lot of different oils out there (but why not skip the oil and eat healthier fats like the things the oils are derived from (i.e. olives, avocados, nuts, coconuts, etc.?) -- This was not on the official tour --

4. Vegan alternatives to dairy and meat are vast and improving (and cholesterol-free.) Gardein, daiya, lightlife's gimme lean and tofurky are all great options if you're missing that stuff.

5. Surprise! Some things are vegan you might not have realized:

Boathouse Vanilla Chai Latte - non-dairy, very little caffeine, no sugar and high in protein  (the other flavors have dairy milk.) 

Doritos' Spicy Sweet Chili chips - not Engine 2 approved

Jalapeno Pop chips - half the fat of the doritos, a little less sodium as well. Still not Engine-2 approved.

Not-Chick'n and Not-Beef Bouillon Cubes (also not low in sodium)

I liked the tour because I learned new products that are vegan (including shampoos). However, it was very clear that this was about not eating animals for ethical reason and not about eating plant-based for health reasons. Different people approach eating this way for different reasons and it would be good to note (and accept) that.

Also, big props to Whole Foods Market for using green building practices in their Minnetonka store. My favorite was the recycled walnut shell bar table in the seating area. But, you should really have a bike rack...even in the 'burbs people bike. :)

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