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Thursday 21 March 2013

Gluten Free: Whole Foods Gluten Free Tour

A few weeks ago, I was invited to Whole Foods Market in Kensington for a gluten free tour of the store. The tour is aimed at newly diagnosed Coeliacs and people who are starting out on a gluten, or wheat, free diet and introduces customers to all the areas of the store where you can find GF products.

The tour is lead by Krystal, who has a nutrition background and is, herself, gluten intolerant (she eats a grain free diet) so she is able to guide you on good substitutes for various grains and even advises on ways to supplement  your diet on all those elements it might be lacking. Krystal is fresh-faced and energetic and a brilliant advert for a healthy gluten free diet (I'm not sure she'd approve of my black velvet cakes!), her enthusiasm for her style of eating is catching. I'm not sure I could give up dessert and replace it with probiotics, but I did leave the store resolving to cut out all the unnecessary crap from my diet.

The highlights of the tour were the bakery and the gluten free aisle. Whole Foods stocks a huge range of products from GF bakeries including, Sugargrain, Perk!er, Lazy Days and Rebel Bakery, which makes the bakery area one of the most exciting I've been in since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. I'll admit to leaving the store with an armful of goodies, all from the bakery area, and to eating half of it on the train home. The gluten free aisle is a new addition to the store, the gluten free products are all around the store: pasta in the pasta aisle, flour in the baking aisle, but the GF aisle brings all of those products together. The range of GF flour mixes was immense (if I didn't have to lug it all back to Kent on the train, I would have gone mad and bought one of everything) and there were products there that I have never seen anywhere else. 

I'll admit to suffering from a huge amount of store-envy, for someone who loves food shopping this is a massive version of all the shops I spend most of my time in. They have products that I just can't find in my local area, especially gluten free items cakes and I would definitely pay them a visit and stock up on treats.

Even a know-it-all and hardened cynic like me learned loads and I found the whole tour very interesting. The tour would be ideal for anyone who is starting out on a gluten free diet, if you want to take your own tour, you can contact the store through the Whole Foods website.

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