A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a Health Starts Here tour at Whole Foods and my interest was immediately piqued.
Since I no longer live near a Whole Foods, I figured I wouldn’t be able to attend and was quite bummed since Ryan and I used to love Whole Foods events when we lived in Orlando. (We attended a number of restaurant cooking demonstrations and had a great time at a Greek cooking class! I know I’ve mentioned Whole Foods events on the blog before, but I highly recommend them for fun, inexpensive date nights!)
When I responded to the invitation, I happened to mention my travels to Jacksonville for my sister’s bridal shower last weekend and we were able to set something up since there is a Whole Foods in the area. Woo!
The Health Starts Here tour is free to everyone and I met up with Heather Olsen, the Jacksonville Whole Foods healthy eating specialist, for my tour in the late afternoon. Heather gave me a ton of information about the Health Starts Here program, which I never knew existed at Whole Foods until our tour began!
Health Starts Here is a mindful approach to healthy eating that’s rooted in simple ways to build better meals. The program is essentially an in-store guide that you can use to choose the healthiest foods.
Fun fact I learned from Heather: The average American cycles through the same 10 fruits and vegetables!
The Health Starts Here program includes the following Four Pillars of Healthy Eating:
- Whole foods: Health Starts Here foods only use recognizable ingredients in their purest, unprocessed forms.
- Plant-strong: Plant-based foods are the foundation of Health Starts Here.
- Healthy fats: Health Starts here foods does not use any extracted oils or processed fats but included healthy fats from natural sources including nuts, seeds and avocados.
- Nutrient dense: Health Starts Here meals contain a rainbow of nutritious whole plant foods with high Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) scores.
As Heather escorted me around the store, she pointed out Health Starts Here logo stickers that can be found on a number of food items within the store that follow the four pillars of health.
If you’re visiting the Whole Foods salad bar, hot bar or prepared foods section and noticed the Health Starts Here logo, you can be sure that the food you are eating is a healthy choice. It’s a great way to take some of the guess work out of healthy eating!
The program also offers a grocery list for stocking your pantry the healthy way and tips and tricks for cooking fast and healthy meals using quick-cooking whole grains, canned no-salt-added beans and frozen vegetables and fruit.
I left very impressed with the Health Starts Here program and know I’ll be looking for the logo as I select foods from the hot bar and salad bar during my next trip to Whole Foods!
Whole Foods Giveaway
When I said I’d be writing about this tour on my blog, Whole Foods was kind enough to offer a giveaway to one reader for a $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods. Since I know you guys get just as excited about food as I do, I have a feeling this one may interest quite a few of you!
To enter this giveaway, simply comment below and tell me about one healthy food you’ve recently started incorporating into your diet or a favorite healthy food that has been a staple in your diet for quite a while.
I will randomly select a winner on Friday.