Tuesday, June 16, 2009

(Client: Claire) Shopping with New Eyes

Dominique’s food is great, but I have only made a few recipes thus far and really need a little variety. After many, many fleeting thoughts of fast and easy (and bad) food from my pre-Dominique life, I decided that Sushi was a winner—a treat for me and something Dominique mentioned as an acceptable occasional meal. I decided to combine it with a trip to Trader Joe’s , because I needed a couple of staples (olive oil, vinegar, salt) and some produce. Trader Joe’s is a healthy place, but those of us looking for bad stuff can always find it—so I needed to not be hungry when I arrived and to have a ‘prize’ in hand when I left. I ate some potato salad mid afternoon and went to TJ’s at dinner time.

Cruising around TJ’s with new eyes was amazing. I saw different vinegars to use in salads, hummus made with white beans, ‘orange cranberries’ to put in my oatmeal, mini Portobello mushrooms that screamed to be paired with wild rice, and more. And I was able to walk past of lot of my ‘regular’ items that are no longer on my diet, because there were things that I wanted to buy that were okay—like Baba Ganoush, a baby watermelon, and lemonade (to make Arnold Palmers). I also bought a couple of items that I would never let myself buy before because I didn’t know how to buy them or how to eat them—almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seeds. It sounds strange, but after so many years of shunning nut butters as a “not for fatties” rule, a celery stalk with some peanut butter will be a decadent late afternoon pick-me-up. (But now I know not to buy the stuff with all the additives, not to pair it with crackers or bread, and not to overdose on it.)

To my surprise, I left Trader Joe’s happy rather than deprived. I had a couple of treats, the makings of meals I looked forward to eating, a new concept of the store’s offerings, and hope to make it through another day.

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