I finally got out to the grocery store tonight. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought to shop according to the Food Rules that I'd read about. The "New Kroger" has a pretty great Organic section. It's no Trader Joe's, but it's larger than the other two I've visited.
The produce section at this particular Kroger is fairly extensive, so I started there. I picked up some organic fruits to pack in our lunches (which is probably where most of the expense occurred), some greens for a salad and one of the largest portabello mushrooms that I've ever encountered in my life! (Food Rule #33 states that it important to eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi because they are a good source of vitamin B12, which you can't get from most other plants. It also contains probiotics, and aids both your digestive and immune systems). And here I thought there was no nutritional value in mushrooms!
The Organic section was fairly extensive, as I said, although I was in shock over the prices of some of the items. The organic shredded cheddar was $3-something, where the Kroger brand is typically half the price. I did discover, however, that the organic Basmati rice (that I use frequently to make rice like Chipotle makes it) was about 50 cents cheaper than the Kroger brand. I think this may have been an exception to the rule. I like to eat yogurt and granola in the mornings, and was surprised to find that the organic yogurt ($4-something) had nearly the exact same ingredients as Dannon's "All Natural" yogurt (on sale for $1.88). The only things I didn't follow the rules with were 1. buns for my black bean burgers and 2. sourdough bread and 3. Corn chips (that have 3 ingredients...but are still corn chips). I think the best way to get wholly organic bread is to make it - even the "organic bread" had some funky-named ingredients in them. (side note: I've had a bread maker for 2 years in my basement that I got for $5 at a yard sale - it intimidates me because I have no idea where to begin with it). There's a co-op that visits Lynchburg on Thursdays that has bread made by Amish women, so I think I'll start there.
It came as no surprise that the grocery bill was higher than normal, but I left feeling great and like I'd gotten some real, quality food. Granted, this was my first trip after reading Food Rules and starting this blog, so it's all new and exciting - so here's hoping I keep up with it when I'm pressed for time. I'm also hoping that my tastes change and I will eventually crave fresh things...right now the celery I bought last week is still untouched in the fridge. The good news is that I tend to make very healthy choices when I make my lunch the night before - and then I have nothing but that to eat at work - so I have a feeling that the celery will find its way into my lunch rotation.
Dinner tonight consists of an Italian salad, grilled salmon (wild-caught) and brown rice. Does anyone know why you have to cook brown rice for 45 minutes?? That is ridiculous - here's hoping it's worth the wait!