Hello, my name is Emma Bates and I am a Whole Foods addict. I realised on my third trip in under 24 hours that I may have a problem...
Probably one of the most exciting parts of my week so far, was the news that Whole Foods Market had finally opened in Fulham Broadway, less than 5 minutes walk from my house. I had been impatiently scanning the shop front on my daily stroll to the station and have wondered since November when heaven on earth would be opening it's doors. Day by day my impatience grew until Tuesday, when the day finally came that I saw an open door and streams of happy, healthy shoppers - commonly of the Yummy Mummy species - entering my beloved store.
I adore Whole Foods, it is possibly the nicest way to food shop, I'm sorry Waitrose but you have lost in that battle - my heart now belongs to the Whole Foods Market. They have me in their clutches and I never want to leave. I want to continue my life lost amongst the nutrition seeping out from the cardboard packaging, amongst the aisles of seeds and scooping up kilograms of dried fruit from their pick and mix section.
Whole Foods have a very clever way of making it seem like every item on their immaculately stacked shelves is automatically the healthiest and most delicious, guilt-free version of that type of food. I swat away the brands, which are equally healthy but readily available in other supermarkets, in favour of the swanky yet simplistic, geometric packaging of these new, exciting health companies. Even the chocolate seems nutritious, which I guess the raw stuff actually is. How could you not be addicted to somewhere selling healthy chocolate? Or somewhere where you can package and weigh your own frozen fruit and veg?
Oo what's this I question? Prising my fingers around yet another packet in the cereal section. Naturally sugared, hemp, gluten free, rice popped, chia-seed-coated, linseed endorsed, protein packed granola? Oh I must have some of that.
A superfood powder containing every anti-oxidant known to man, spirulina, seaweed, goji berries, ground nuts and sunflower seeds reasonably priced at around 20 British pounds - well that sounds wonderful to me.
Freshly squeezed mango, kale, spinach, pineapple and apple juice - where do I sign up? I couldn't possibly make it myself or buy a glass bottle that looks identical to the one so beautiful and as Instagramably perfect as the one presented in front of me.
I'm a sucker for anything exquisitely packaged, freshly ground, squeezed or pressed. Anything with a never ending list of the wonderful, eccentric benefits that I could never possibly be bothered to read to the bottom of - I will buy.
Whole Foods provides me with products I could only dream about on my weekly shop around any standard supermarket, an experience that is quite honestly second to none, blue maize corn chips and machines which allow me to grind my own nut butter. Basically I am Whole Foods ideal, target customer - minus the Yummy Mummy tag.
I always spend hours walking up and down their symmetrical isles picking up every possible option of a product, reading it's benefits, before neatly placing it in my wheel-along-basket or stacking it back on the shelf in favour of a more elaborately packaged item.
When I finally emerge, bleary eyed, into the London daylight, laden with fresh, brown paper bags seasoned with perfect typography, I realise just how much of my day I have given to a food shop, yet still the guilt does not hit me.
I love those brown paper bags. So much.
I think we are beginning to find the root of my addiction here, whilst also establishing I have incredibly high standards of food shopping and I am probably never going to recover. I'm glad we're working through this together.
I thought I'd share with you some of the delicious, nutritious and completely unnecessary purchases I have made in the last day, so you can understand a little further quite how bad my addiction is and also so I can get this off my chest.
Veggie burgers - despite the fact I never have been and never will be a vegetarian. They looked pretty so I bought them. Oh and curly kale, despite the fact I buy all my fruit and veg from the market, this one bunch looked like a flower arrangement so I found it hard to say no.
Carrot and Apple Juice... A new type of museli despite already having plenty at home. Rye Bread, even though I don't eat bread... Goji Berries and Linseeds, purely because the company was named Superfoods... And Almond milk, which I did actually need so that purchase is justifiable.
The best tortilla chips in the world, no questions, just accept it.
Spelt, Chia and Flax crispbread, for some unknown purpose.
A new pasta I discovered made from Mung Beans, apparently they're 'protein packed'.
An array of raw, healthy brownies and flapjacks to satisfy chocolate cravings.
And finally green tea because I liked the box and 'three green tea' sounds better than the pure green tea I already had at home.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm just awaiting a reality check. Probably arriving in the form of my parents... annnyyy moment now.