New (To Me) Whole Foods

I went to a Whole Foods the other day that I had never been to before.  More on that in a paragraph or two… first a quickie gym update:

So I forgot my gym bag yesterday, and I ended up not working out (which was fine – I was due for a rest day anyway).  This morning, I made sure to grab my gym bag, because I had it packed, ready to go, and I had placed it right in front of my door, so I couldn’t leave without picking it up (or tripping over it, which is also a possibility, as I can be a klutz).  It was a long, busy day at the office (and a great day, too, but still tiring), and without thinking twice, I went straight to the gym after leaving the office.

I did 35 minutes of weights (biceps, shoulders, some chest and tons of squats and lunges), and then I wanted to use a StairMaster to add another building to my skyscraper collection, but both of them were in use, so I grabbed an Arc Trainer, and did 25 minutes of cardio on it.  I love the Arc Trainer, because I can burn an incredible amount of calories, and I think it’s fun, and before I started I thought to myself, “It would be great if I could burn 500 calories in these 25 minutes.”  I only glanced at the calorie display a few times during the 25 minutes, but when I looked after I was finished, guess what it said!  No really, guess!

Nope.  Guess again.

Nope.  Guess one more time.

Give up?  It read 498.  So close!  Ha!  Next time.

OK.  Back to Whole Foods.  Many of you know I’ve been frequenting Whole Foods almost exclusively the past few months, thanks to a fantastically generous gift card that I was given.  Stuff I buy at Whole Foods pops up in the blog regularly (most frequently in posts about new types of produce or oddly-colored vegetables).  Most of my Whole Foods excursions are to the location that’s closest to me (makes sense, right?), although I also love the Tarzana store and the Glendale store (which I haven’t taken pictures of, I don’t think).  A few days ago, though, I was hankering for a new Whole Foods experience, so I headed to a Whole Foods that I’ve never been to before: the one in Porter Ranch.

I’ve never really been to Porter Ranch before.  It’s an upscale neighborhood that turned out to be only 15 minutes from me, but it’s 15 minutes in the direction that I never ever go in (northwest), which is why I’ve never been.  It’s nestled up against some mountains, and it’s really pretty up there – if you’ve seen E.T., then you’ve seen Porter Ranch, as a lot of that movie was filmed in Porter Ranch.  The actual house where the family lived in the movie is in another part of Los Angeles called Tujunga, but a lot of scenes, including the one where E.T. makes the boys’ bikes take off and fly so they can avoid the cops, were filmed in Porter Ranch.

I didn’t see any extra-terrestrials when I was in Porter Ranch, but I did see their Whole Foods, which is conveniently located 2 seconds off the freeway:

Remember that scene in E.T. where the mom goes to the store to buy organic quinoa and watercress?  They filmed it here.  Oh, you don’t remember that scene?  That’s probably because I made it up.

Since I began losing weight, I’ve gotten in the habit of judging supermarkets first and foremost by their produce departments.  I’m not a Fresh & Easy fan, because I don’t love their produce aisle.  I love Trader Joe’s for some things, but I’m never impressed with their produce.  The Tarzana and the West Hollywood Whole Foods produce sections are great, but Sherman Oaks East, which is the one closest to me, has the tiniest produce section I’ve ever seen (granted, every department in that store is tiny, as it’s a tiny Whole Foods).  Here’s the Porter Ranch Whole Foods produce section, with a couple strangers that wondered into frame:

It was good sized, well stocked, had good signage, and was easy-to-navigate.

I picked up a new type of produce while there.  Regular readers know that I’ve been enjoying kale lately, so I got super excited when I saw this:

It’s Dino Kale! It has thicker, heartier leaves than regular kale.  I have yet to do any research on Dino Kale, but if you have any tips or suggestions for how to use it, let me know in the comments section.  Can I use it the same ways I use regular kale?  I kinda love the name Dino Kale, too, especially since it does look like something I’d feed my brachiosaurus.

I didn’t take a picture of my entire produce haul from the Porter Ranch Whole Foods (oops), but it also included cucumbers, tomatoes, berries, nectarines, and mushrooms.

And I’d totally go back to Porter Ranch Whole Foods – parking was a cinch, it wasn’t that crowded, and it was clean and bright, and my little journey makes me want to go find other Whole Foods locations to explore.  I’ve heard good things about the Valencia Whole Foods from a friend at Slimmons – maybe I’ll head up there next.

Keep it up, David!

12 Responses to New (To Me) Whole Foods

  1. Kenlie says:

    Oh David…you make me giggle. Can you please lock up your brachiosaurus? I’m sure he’s nice, but I scare easily.. Thanks…
    I guess I’ll be shopping for kale soon. It seems that so many people love it lately. I’ll decide soon!

    Also…your workout sounded major! Keep it up! =)

  2. lanae says:

    David – reading your post always makes me smile. Well most of the time anyway. The new adventure of going to different Whole Foods just makes me smile. I can’t wait to read more! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Jennifer says:

    Dino or Lacinato kale can be used in the same manner as curly kale. It’s easier to clean than curly kale. Both I wash and tear and keep in a container in the fridge with a paper towel so I can grab a small handful any time I steam veggies. (I steam veggies frequently because it’s so easy and my nutrition teacher wants us to have at least 4 different veggies at a meal.) Lacinato kale also makes into good dehydrated chips. I know people eat it raw after massaging it to break down some of the fibers but that’s a bit too fibrous for me. Also, I will throw in a handful when I’m blending up a protein & fruit shake. It’s a too fibrous for me to use as a wrap around other foods (instead of bread), so chard works better for that. Oh, and it’s good rolled up and sliced thinly and tossed into a stir-fry or omelette. I look forward to hearing how you incorporate it into your meals.

  4. venessa says:

    We went to Whole Foods the other day just to check it out. Yeah, I’ll stick to the local farmers because it was just down right expensive to me. And the people working there were very rude to me and my boyfriend. Glad you had a nice experience though!! If it works for you, awesome. They don’t have a good selection of Mexican veggies and fruit but I do love their massive cheese selection!! Have you shopped Wegmans before? I don’t think there’s any up that way. I think it’s an Eastern Shore thing but they’re HUGE!! Tons of selections and it doesn’t feel all ritzy and snobby. They have everything in those stores haha.

    • David says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of Wegmans before. Definitely not in my neck of the woods here, and not in the midwest, where I grew up, either!

      • Mom says:

        I think I remember Wegmans from Central New York state, when we lived in Syracuse years ago, sort of dinosauer times, it seems. They were progressive because they had the first “drop down front” of the cart and the checker removed my items and scanned them. I know I’m dating myself!!

  5. I went to college in upstate NY, (Binghamton) and there was a super huge Wegman’s everyone shopped at.
    Hey David, I saw red celery the other day in the supermarket (at least I think it was red celery) and I immediately thought of you! I need to writing in parentheses, sorry.

  6. joyce says:

    Hello David!

    Thanks so much for this awesome (and entertaining) post! We are so happy that you enjoyed your visit to our store – you look amazing!

    joyce (Whole Foods Market Porter Ranch)

    p.s. We’re running a “Summer of Love” promo right now, come like us on Facebook WFMPTR and you might just win another $100 Gift Card!

    • David says:

      Thanks, Joyce, for stopping by and so glad you enjoyed the blog! I was actually back at the Porter Ranch store on Saturday – it’s where I picked up the crenshaw melon that I write about in today’s post!

      PS Just entered the contest… Hope I win! 🙂

  7. joyce says:

    Yay! I love Crenshaw melons too! Make sure you stop and say hello to me the next time you’re in!

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