Taking a break from the not-blogging for a moment…
When the Whole Foods in Milford, CT first opened this fall, I was kind of disappointed. Sure, it’s a Whole Foods, and has nice produce and many of the basic vegan products a little cheaper than some of the small natural foods stores, but it really wasn’t worth the trip to Milford, unless I was going to the area for something else anyways. Like um, Trader Joe’s, which is awesome at what it does. And my mom sends me gift certificates to TJs for pretty much every holiday, so, free food!
The last two times I’ve been to WF though (in conjunction with bringing a pair of pants to Banana Republic for alterations and picking them up- I was in the parking lot anyways, so I might as well shop there), I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Their vegan offerings have increased dramatically. They now have just about every major vegan processed product out there, which is awesome for those times when you’re busy and don’t have a lot of time to cook- and I’m grateful for that.
Then I realized that it’s kind of sad, too. One of the things that’s pretty awesome about being a vegan is that for years, I’ve had to cook real food for myself for the most part. These days, I don’t have to eat very differently from the Standard American Diet- we have it all in vegan form, now. So I’m left to wonder, is this good or bad? Don’t get me wrong, most vegan processed food is healthier than its non-vegan counterparts, and I’m glad that those vegan offerings are out there for everyone (heck, I saw an older couple looking through the cold-bakery case, and picking out a vegan carrot cake- and I don’t think they even realized it was vegan, and I’m sure they won’t know by taste, and that’s awesome), but while it might be great for the cause, it can make us pretty lazy, too.
Before I started changing my eating habits in the ways that led me to be a vegetarian, then a vegan, I was a lot more overweight that I am now, my skin looked awful, and I had a host of other issues to go along with all that. Last semester was horribly stressful, and I started gaining weight again, in part to the majorly processed foods diet I was eating and a lot of poor choices. At any rate, I’ve been working at that for a bit now, and I’m starting to eschew some of those processed foods again.
I did pick up a couple of the new Amy’s vegan Mac & Cheese frozen meals and a Twilight bar. Most of my purchases ended up coming from the produce department, though I am feeling guilty for buying grapes in February. Then I went over to Trader Joe’s and picked up a bunch of tofu, tempeh and chickpeas (I could have gotten all those at Whole Foods, of course, but I had a TJ’s gift certificate). True, those are also processed foods, but I need to be making a lot more effort to get my diet to focus on fresh foods and lightly processed ones. But for an occasional treat, trying out Amy’s vegan Mac & Cheese is still a-okay.