Whole Foods Evangelist

Over the past several years our family has been on somewhat of an odyssey, searching for a way to eat that is more healthy than what we were eating. When we were first married, I was a classroom teacher, and wasn’t making all that much money—not that I am now! So we used a lot of coupons when grocery shopping and purchased a lot of prepared and packaged food. Price was the main determining factor as we planned out diet.

Over the years we looked more and more into the nutritional side of things and came to realize that there was more to planning a meal than finding a coupon for what was on sale at the grocery store that week. We purchased a Vita-Mix, which gets used several times a day, and have invested in a number of kitchen appliances from quality cookware and baking stones to a tortilla press and a dehydrator.

The greatest change in our eating habits probably came from reading the book, The Maker’s Diet, by Jordan Rubin. It is a holistic program, touching on physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. The diet focuses on whole foods prepared in the kitchen, not the microwave or at the factory.

Of course this has affected our shopping habits. Since we prepare all of our food now, we seldom use a coupon. At the grocery store, we spend most of our time in the produce section, filling our cart with fresh fruits and vegetables. And we look for grass fed and organic meats, rather than the cheaper, but mass produced meats we used to eat. We’ve even become members of one of only two food cooperative warehouses in the nation.

The funny thing is, now that we’ve been doing this, many of our friends have asked my wife about why and how she has made the changes, and they have also benefitted from the diet—many have even brought other members of their family on board as well. She calls herself a Whole Foods Evangelist.

I’m going to have to design a business card for her…


There must be more than two food co-ops in the US.. I know of two separate ones in Brooklyn alone. And yes, they do rock.

Do you find that you go shopping for the meal you will eat that day, or do you do the typical american “shop for the week” thing? I’ve found shopping daily keeps the fridge empty of rotting food, and the fresh foods are fresher.

Whole Foods (the chain) is also quite good, as they tell you where from their food has come. You can elect to buy foods only from the surrounding area, and most of the foods are organic, and clearly displayed as such.

Rock on!

Posted by: CM Harrington on February 27, 2005 10:02 PM

Our family takes this same kind of approach as well. I think for us, part of it is nutrition, some is paranoia, and some is simply that the food tastes better.

Nutrition is obvious.

Paranoia - I have a personal issue with choosing man-made, processed foods over naturally available “alternatives.” We use REAL butter (as opposed to margarine, etc), actual sugar (instead of sweeteners), and pretty much stay away from anything “diet” or low fat. After all, there are people all over the world that live without the benefit of all of our low fat, low carb foods here in America, and they seem to be able to survive just fine.

Finally - the tasting better. My wife grew up eating a lot of canned and processed foods, and once I introduced her to fresh veggies, she hasn’t gone back. Aside from that, we have fun preparing our meals together.

Posted by: Brandon on February 28, 2005 08:30 AM

The next step is to have a good relationship with your butcher and fishmonger. They are professionals, and will give you good advice about preparation, etc.

Posted by: CM Harrington on February 28, 2005 09:43 AM


Yes, there are more than two food coops, what I should have written (and have amended in the post above) is cooperative warehouses. These act as suppliers to buying clubs and many food coops around the nation. There used to be a lot of them, but there are only two left. The rest have been bought out by big company distributers which can end up being good for some of the larger whole food chains like Wild Oats, but ends up hurting the coops and particularly buying clubs in small towns that don’t otherwise have access to good, organic whole foods.


Yes, the taste is so much better than the processed stuff, and I’m with you on the paranoia!

As for sweeteners - try Stevia. It is a natural herb, 100X more sweet than sugar, doesn’t affect the glycemic index, and actually has some nutritional value as well. We use that and honey as our sweeteners.

Posted by: Mark Newhouse on February 28, 2005 10:17 AM

Nice, Mark. I’ve been a Whole Foods Evangelist for the last few years too, and in the last year made the jump to being a vegan who never uses a microwave.

One good natural sweetener I’ve found is cane sugar - it can be hard to find pre-grated, at least in Alaska, but you can find it already peeled, which helps a lot. I just use a ginger grater to grate it over whatever needs to be sweetened. I wouldn’t recommend it though, when a recipe calls for a cup of sugar!

Have you gotten hooked on spirulina and kyo-green? You can make a really delicious smoothie with soy milk, a banana, blueberries, a couple strawberries, a dash of vanilla, and some spirulina and kyo-green. I drink it every day! It’s so good, and very scary looking.

I really miss the Whole Foods store in Portland - we don’t have anything like that here in Alaska.

Posted by: Lester Nelson on February 28, 2005 09:42 PM

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In which Mark talks about a better way of eating...

February 27, 2005 | family

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