Moving to Dallas from the fittest city in America was an adjustment in more than one way. See, I thought Target stores across the country carried natural and organic items as products and ways of life that were ingrained in the store as much as in the culture of the people that store represented. For example, you didn't go to the "natural foods aisle" to find your cereal - you went to the cereal aisle, and found your organic, non corn-derivative sweetener selections there.
Upon my first trip out in Dallas, I learned that this was indeed NOT the case. First, Target's don't have full service grocery stores nationwide. Second, Tom Thumb isn't just a convenience store, it IS a full service grocery store. Ha! Imagine that. Lastly, there was not even one small aisle dedicated to "health(ier) foods" to be found in said Tom Thumb. To avoid gaining ten extra pounds simply from eating the sugar-laden garbage these southern stores were selling, I quickly learned that shopping at Whole Foods was a must in Texas.
My husband's response upon learning that we would now exclusively be shopping at WholePaycheck Foods, "Jeez, this is going to get expensive quickly..." And that was the first and last comment he made. He's such a trooper for indulging me in all my healthy endeavors!
What I love and hate about Whole Foods is that they don't sell the brands of food items that American's know well. Now, I'm a cold cereal connoisseur, y'all. LOVE ME some cold morning crunch! As such, I've developed my fave and go-to brands. Clearly, none of them could be found at my new shopping locale of choice. So I started to experiment with new brands. This is how I met my new girl, Barbara.
Make no mistake, I suffered through numerous bowls of chewy, flavorless, fiber filled cardboard before I found her. I could be found in my slippers and bathrobe prior to 7am at the kitchen counter, desperately squeezing half a bottle of raw honey over tasteless flakes of *some kind* of whole grain, chasing it down with sips of coffee. Ohhh, the price we pay in attempts to eat healthy! (No, like, really. This stuff is expensive. $6 a box for something that doesn't even taste good? Say whaaa??)
But, lemmetellya, Barbara knows how to make some tasty stuff! It's got a decent amount of protein in it, LOADS of fiber and even bigger loads of whole grains. It doesn't taste like the box it comes in. It also doesn't taste like you just consumed your weight in grams of sugar, nor like you consumed your age in chemicals you can't pronounce. Winner winner chicken dinner!
I know Whole Foods is expensive, and even more so when you're learning your way around the store, selecting new brands to replace the old (and far less healthy - although that's NOT to say that everything in WF is healthy!) brands. It can be extremely frustrating to pay through-the-roof prices for things you end up not even liking. Trust me, making healthier choices IS WORTH IT in the end. And you won't regret picking up a box of the new girl in town, Barbara! Mmmmm, happy eating!
*I couldn't find a product link for this cereal. It can be found at Whole Foods markets in Dallas/North Texas, and I hope it's available for purchase in your area too!