Sunday, June 21, 2009
(Aka the Vitamin Store.)
Every once in a while, I allude to my food allergies around here. I can't eat wheat (gluten) or corn. That includes flour (cake, cookies, pasta, bread, gravy, and most processed foods). It also includes corn syrup, including that ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup.
Life goes on. I learned to cook (against my will) and eat well enough. A little too well sometimes, when my major activity is clicking a mouse or tapping at a keyboard. Most days, I don't feel deprived because of my allergies.
But shopping is another matter. Shopping requires careful diligence, rechecking packages, reading carefully for "hidden" ingredients, and trying not to break the bank. I admit this situation is compounded because I don't particularly care to cook. There about 27 other things I'd rather do with my time than spend it in the kitchen cooking. I WAS the queen of convenience food until a few years ago when life thought it would be "funny" to clock me in the head with this curve ball. So, I try to find easy to eat foods.
My favorite store though, is the Vitamin Company (though we call it the Vitamin Store.) Located on Main Street in Brighton, it's a little shop that caters to people like me. They sell much, much more than just vitamins, though there is a large wall of those. They also sell foods-- allergy free foods. Gluten-free, organic, and other labels that are considered "specialty." They carry Clair-food (as we call call it). And what they don't carry, they have the means to order.
Whenever I go to the Vitamin Store, I pick up a couple bags of Rice Noodles. And usually a bag of Chebe dought (which I use for pizzas or calzones). And most of the time, I pick up a box of Tapioca Flour, which I use to make sandwhich buns.
I also buy eggs at the Vitamins Store. They're eggs from a farm in Brooklyn, Michigan. Real, farm fresh eggs.
And no trip to the Vitamin Store is complete with out a "Dolphin Bar." No dolphins come anywhere near this product, but money from the purchase goes to helping dolphins. There are other animals on other bars, but the Dolphin bar is dark chocolate with raspberry nibs. I put it in the fridge until it's cold. Yum.
One of the best parts about the Vitamin Store is not the products, but the people. I never feel odd or baffling when I go there. It's nothing like other experiences I've had when my allergies come into the discussion. Here, I just am another shopper.
So, while I live gluten and corn-free, I do not go hungry. I only eat tasty, flavor-ful foods. And I do so in large part because of the Vitamin Store.