Shopping at Whole Foods (and Product Reviews)

Many of us shop several different grocery stores/markets/online resources to find the types of foods we eat, and at reasonable prices.

In the USA, my primary grocery shopping happens at Aldi. Trader Joe's, my local chain grocery store and Target fill in a few items here and there.

BUT...  for the first time in many years, I found myself near a Whole Foods Market and decided to stop in. I was hungry, which didn't allow for much patience to shop. It was an interesting experience. 

The second I walked in, I was completely overwhelmed by the selection, beauty of the displays... and prices. Whew. 

I wandered aimlessly through the aisles, looking at labels (and all the new products I've never seen before), while adding a very select few products to my basket. I really wanted Leaf & Love lemonade but no luck. What I DID find were a few things I'd wanted to sample and/or write about for some time:


Lily's Dark Chocolate bar, Original ($3.99 for one 3oz/85 gram bar)

I've heard so much about Lily's and while I've sampled other chocolate low-carb chocolate bars (Chocoperfection and Choco-rite), this one was pretty good. The texture was slightly waxy at room temperature (better when refrigerated) but the taste was right on. Lily's contains inulin (a soluble fiber that has been reported to reduce insulin resistance) and erythritol (a sugar alcohol without many of the common digestive upset of other sugar alcohols).

Total carbs 22g, minus 12g fiber from inulin, minus 6g erythritol equals 4 grams net carbs per bar. 

I ate one row, or 1/6 of the bar, equaling under 1g carbohydrates for that serving size. It's great for a sweet fix, but I would never consider eating more than a small serving at a time. 

I liked this Lily's bar MUCH more than the chalky Choco-rite bars. Lily's was about equal to my experience with Chocoperfection. I think I'll have to try both Lily's and Chocoperfection in a side-by-side blind taste test to really determine which is best. :)

Epic Bar, Beef ($2.99 for 1.5 oz/43 gram bar) Measures approx 3.5"x 1.5"

I didn't realize that this was Beef-Apple-Bacon until after I purchased it, but in the name of a good review, and the fact that it's only 4 grams of carbs (2 grams of sugars), I thought I'd try it anyway. I bolused an additional unit of insulin and ripped open the package.

It wasn't offensive, just not what I was expecting. The beef bar had a jerkey-like taste and smell but was much more tender (for lack of a better term). Not chewy, but almost crumbly; it broke apart very easily. It was an odd texture.

The taste had an underlying bite of vinegar. If I'm really looking for low carb snack, I might try the other varieties- being careful to avoid sneaky fruit additives- but at this price, I would not go out of my way to buy these again. Certainly NOT 'Epic' in my opinion.  

**Epic's Bacon bar & Salmon bar appear to have no added sugars, the others have fruit additives such as raisins, pineapple, cranberries, etc.

*** Epic bars are cheaper on Amazon if you buy a pack of 12, even less if you sign up for subscription service. 

GimMe Organic Nori Snacks, 2 for $4.00 (.35 oz/10g per bag)

Not a new item for me, this one is a die-hard favorite in our household. My 4 year old asks for Nori snacks incessantly and I split each pack into three snack size-bags for her to take to pre-school in her lunch. Nori (also called Gim in Korean and thus the clever "GimMe" brand name) is more commonly known as the seaweed wrap used for sushi. Last year, I even posted a recipe to make our own roasted seaweed snacks in the recipe section of the diaVerge site. 

These pre-made Nori snack packs are not cheap, but this brand is double the size of some other brands (10 grams vs 5 grams) and is our favorite because it's as greasy as other brands, so it was worth it to pick up a few more packs as a healthy snack alternative. Next time, I'll buy the full sheets of Nori and make my own again. 

* The best price I've found for this size is through Thrive Market. Amazon offers multi-packs of the smaller .17 oz/5 gram size pouches. 

My takeaways:

  • Yes to Lily's Original chocolate bar!

  • Meh (as in, Not Thrilled) with the Epic beef bar. I am interested in trying epic's other flavors, though. 

  • A resounding Yes to GimMe Nori Snacks. 

Whole Foods? I won't return any time soon. I can get many of the same items elsewhere for less money - and I'm not tempted to buy things I don't need (and blow the monthly food budget).  

That is all. Have a great day, diaVergents! Be kind to yourself. 


For ways to eat a high quality LCHF/low carb/Ketogenic diet without breaking the bank, see our posts 15 Tips For Low Carb on a Budget and Inexpensive, Quality Protein Sources

For tips to help control blood glucose levels for those of us with T1 diabetes, check out the Law of Small Numbers, Insulin Tips and What I Eat- Metrics For A Week