You Can Do It All, But You Don’t Have To

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market Arlington. All opinions are my own.

I was walking into Whole Foods for my weekly grocery run the other day, when a little sign in front of the store caught my eye.

Whole Foods Market Arlington: You Can Do It All

“You can do it all, but you don’t have to.”

This is the ongoing battle I have with myself, day in and day out, week after week.

Full time, I run a corporate wellness program. And you want to know what programs I want to offer? All of them.

Part time, I teach fitness classes. And while I only teach two classes a week, I want to teach more. Oh my God, how I want to teach more.

Part time, I blog. Even though I consider blogging a hobby and something I do for fun, it’s starting to provide income for me. Fitness & Feta is growing, you guys. And it’s awesome and makes me really excited for “someday.” But someday isn’t today, and today I have all sorts of posts I want to write, all sorts of projects I want to do, and all sorts of events I wish I could attend but can never make because I’m trying to run a corporate wellness program and teach fitness classes. And strength train. And food prep. And have a social life. And clean my house. And spend time outdoors. And plan my wedding. And finish my wellness coaching certification. And start my Christmas shopping. And do all those returns that have sat in my car for weeks now. And read. And think about what to make for Thanksgiving…

I am someone that tries to do it all.

Muscles

The holidays are right around the corner (can you even believe it?!), and this is a time of year that usually sends people like me right over the edge. Sure, they can be a time of joy, relaxation, and cheer, but that’s usually if you are not the one responsible for all the cleaning, cooking, baking, planning, decorating, hosting, wrapping, socializing… right!? Sound familiar?

If you can relate (cough, cough all my fellow Type A friends and readers), I want you to ask yourself something. What if, for one year, you stop trying to be superwoman (or superman)? What if instead of “getting through” November and December, you took the time to truly enjoy these months? Do you ever stop and think that our “I can do it all” attitudes are probably the true culprits of so much stress and anxiety?

I ask myself this all the time.

This holiday season, I encourage you to try to create more space in your life. Even if you want to do ALL THE THINGS, remind yourself that having those margins to breathe is just as important as crossing off everything on your to do list.

Instead of trying to survive, thrive.

Delegate.

Ask for help when you need it.

Give yourself permission to say no or do something differently.

If a tradition stresses you out, change it.

Whole Foods Holiday Menu

As I continued my grocery shopping last week, I realized that Whole Foods actually offers a pretty awesome solution for changing things up. If taking the stress out of your holiday meal isn’t a great starting point, I don’t know what is.

Whole Foods Thanksgiving Menu 2014

After browsing through the 2014 Whole Foods Thanksgiving menu, I realized you can order pretty much anything for your holiday meal. The menu includes turkeys of all kinds, signature sides, relish and gravies, breads and rolls, tons of hors d’oeuvres, fresh fruit, cheeses, soups, desserts, and more. Basically anything you need for your holiday party you can get through Whole Foods. I love that the menu also features Health Starts Here options, caters toward any allergies, and offers Meal Deals for families of 2, 4, 8, and 12. You can even get flowers and candles to decorate with!

Interested? Just visit the Whole Foods online ordering site, select what you want, and pick your items up at your local Whole Foods store. Easy as pie, except easier because you won’t have to make it. Some Whole Foods stores will even have a holiday ordering table set up with a team member taking orders right on site. Look how festive the Arlington store table is!

Whole Foods Arlington: Holiday Food Menu

No matter what you choose this season, whether it be catering your holiday meal from Whole Foods or simply turning down an invitation to a party you don’t want to go to, own your decision. Don’t feel guilty about it. Maybe you get some snide remarks from a crabby relative, but who really cares if you spent three hours trying to make a Pinterest perfect dish? Is that a non-negotiable to you? Probably not. Show yourself some compassion, and accept your decision as important to you.

–Let’s chat–
Are you someone who tries to do it all? How do you accept that you don’t have to? What are your tips for approaching the holiday season with a stress free mindset? Have you ever ordered off the Whole Foods holiday menu before?

P.S. Whole Foods Arlington is also offering some pretty cool cooking classes geared toward preparing for Thanksgiving this month! I might check out the centerpieces and hors d’oeuvres class next Tuesday, but the one on brining and roasting a turkey sounds pretty awesome too. That would totally get me out of my comfort zone! Both classes are free, but you have to sign up online, and donations will be collected to support the Feed Four More foundation.

New To Me Whole Foods Finds

Today I’m here to share a whole bunch of foodie finds with you! Whole Foods in Arlington generously put together a bag of new to me goodies for me to sample.

Whole Foods Finds

Talk about the most exciting grocery store stop ever since I got to leave with a stash with my name on it! Whole Foods made sure to give me a combination of both products from their 365 value brand and other name brands they carry.

Whole Foods ArlingtonWhole Foods ArlingtonI’m curious if you guys have tried any of these products or brands before. Here’s what I got:

Chocolate

Whole Foods Chocolate Bars

  • Taza stone ground organic chocolate: I was psyched to see Taza in the bag because Tim and I toured the Taza factory back in the day and had a blast. Their chocolate is the real deal (none of this processed Hershey’s crap), and 70% dark is my preferred cacao level.
  • Sweetriot’s kickin’ coconut: This bar was one of my favorite goodies of them all! Seriously you guys, this brand is life changing. Paradise in my mouth. The coconut flavor isn’t overbearing at all. I’m sure you can assume that I had a lot of trouble limiting myself to one serving at a time with this one!
  • Whole Foods 365 brand dark chocolate with almonds: This one wasn’t bad, but it was definitely my least favorite of the three chocolate varieties I received. The texture seemed a little grainy to me!

Coffee

Whole Foods: Organic CoffeeTim and I do really well with eating mainly organic produce now, but I never really stopped to consider drinking organic coffee. After sampling a couple of different Whole Foods 365 coffee flavors (organic breakfast blend city roast and organic colombian cup vienna roast), I’ve tried to buy organic k-cups more often so I can at least drink organic coffee at home. Drinking organic coffee all the time would be unrealistic, but I can taste the difference in quality! I liked the Vienna best since I prefer a medium roast. Coffee snobs out there, do you have any recommendations for me?

Bars

Whole Foods BarsWhen it comes to granola bars, protein bars, energy bars, etc. I find myself very skeptical. I used to swear by certain bar brands, but the more educated I become about food and nutrition, I find the sugar content too high in unless I’m in a bind while traveling. Or hiking up a mountain? If I’m not making a homemade bar, I usually stick to Kind bars or Larabars because I trust in the ingredients.

Here’s the rundown on the brands I tried from Whole Foods though:

  • Bobo’s Oat Bar: I think I was bias toward this one as my favorite of the three because this company is located in Boulder, one of the coolest places I have ever traveled to! I received the original flavor, and I couldn’t even tell that this bar was wheat free or vegan. The sugar content wasn’t out of control, and Bobo’s boasts being organic, having no artificial ingredients, and coming in gluten-free flavors as well.
  • Bonk Breaker Bar: I wouldn’t go as far as to call this one the “world’s best energy bar” like their packaging claims, but the ingredients are all real, and all Bonk Breaker bars are gluten-free and dairy free. Fun fact: these are actually the official bar of the Ironman triathlon series and of USA Cycling! Obviously I liked the chocolate and peanut butter combo, but I’m not sure my workouts are intense enough to need an energy bar like this for my pre-workout fuel.
  • ProBar: Finally, I also received a ProBar meal replacement bar (not pictured). I think I had a few bites of this one and then handed it over to Tim. I don’t like to use bars as meal replacements because eating full meals makes me happy. Why have a packaged bar when you can eat a delicious breakfast and savor each bite?

Oils

Whole Foods Arlington: Oils

I was really excited to receive new oils because Tim and I don’t really experiment with that many oil varieties. We pretty much stick to extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil, so almond and pumpkin were certainly new to us.

  • Whole Foods 365 brand almond oil: I had to research what to do with this one! I learned that it cooks at a high heat, improves vitamin E level, and actually has a lot of uses for at home skin and hair remedies! So far we’ve only used this for salad dressings, but I’d like to try it for under the eye circles or in other kitchen ways. Ideas?
  • La Tourangelle toasted pumpkin seed oil: This is perfect for all you pumpkin lovers out there! We’ve mainly used this for salad dressings too, so I guess we still need to expand our oil horizons. Over the weekend I drizzled some of this on vanilla ice cream with pumpkin seeds for dessert though. I highly recommend it!

Other

Whole Foods Arlington: Snacks

  • Whole Foods 365 brand cashew butter: Yes, yes, yes! This definitely did not disappoint. In the nut butter world, I mainly stick to peanut butter and almond butter, but cashew butter was DELICIOUS. I enjoyed the variety for my pre-workout fuel of choice: cinnamon raisin Ezekial bread with nut butter and sliced bananas. It was also a great snack right from the jar!
  • Whole Foods 365 brand vanilla whey protein powder: Protein powder is something that I still don’t feel comfortable with. I’ve used a regular whey kind from Trader Joe’s in the past, and I’ve used the vanilla from Whole Foods (unpictured) since I received it in my goodie bag. I’ve mixed it into smoothies and made energy balls and cookies with it, but I still don’t know enough from a nutritional standpoint about regular whey, whey isolate, and casein. I recently opened this question up on my F&F Facebook page and received a ton of comments and opinions!
  • Ancient Harvest quinoa flour: I am embarrassed to admit I haven’t tried this yet! Does anyone have any recipes that call for quinoa flour you can recommend?
  • Whole Foods 365 brand summit seeker trail mix: I loved that this trail mix wasn’t too salty. I’m a sucker for salt, so having an unsalted variety helped me keep my snacking in check. This is a trail mix that I can easily replicate making on my own!

Aside from all the above, Whole Foods was also generous enough to leave a $20 gift card in the bag. Tim and I put the money to good use for a sushi and seafood night on a Friday night in together.

Whole Foods Arlington: Sushi

I know sometimes Whole Foods gets a bad rap for being so expensive, but I think it’s just a matter of putting in a little effort. At work, we recently organized foodie field trips to another Whole Foods store so staff could learn tips for shopping at Whole Foods on a budget. During the tour, they talked a lot about the 365 value brand as well as how to navigate the weekly sales flyers. They also talked about their options for buying in bulk at 10% off or paying by weight as to not buy giant containers of things you only need a bit of. Finally, I always try to remind myself that even if I’m paying a little more for my groceries, I can trust in the quality of my food and I’m investing in my health. That’s worth it to me!

–Let’s chat–
What is something at Whole Foods that you’ve always wanted to try? Have you guys tried any of these products before? What do you think? What are your tips for shopping on a budget at Whole Foods? Do you love or hate grocery shopping?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but Whole Foods Arlington provided all the products in this post at no charge in exchange for writing this review. As always, all opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links within this post.