Vacay (part 1)!

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Last week, I was able to spend three days out of town, visiting my
sister who lives in West Hartford, CT. Since I live in a rural area
and West Hartford is a suburb to a relatively large city, there were
some things there that I don't have in PA. Among other things, this
included Chipotle, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. It also includes a
grocery store called Stew Leonard's and a great restaurant scene. Yes,
most of the trip did revolve around food. Hence the seven-pound weight
gain!

First, let's talk about the grocery shopping. Our first stop was Stew
Leonard's, which promises "farm fresh foods." For those unfamiliar
with Stew's, it's sort of set up like an Ikea. You go in the entrance,
snake in one direction through the store, and hit the checkout and are
then ready to exit. Stew's has lots of great produce, a large fish
counter, amazing-looking prepared foods, meats, cheeses, pastas, and
dry goods. They don't stock every possible brand of every item, but I
could easily do all my grocery shopping there. My favorite thing at
Stew's, however, was their line of "naked" meats. These are meats that
are humanely raised in low stress conditions but are not organic.
After my <i>Food, Inc.</i> experience, I have only been buying meats
that purport to be from animals raised humanely. For the most part,
this means I have to buy organic (read: expensive) meats. These naked
meats fill an important bridge between sticking with my values and
breaking my bank. I wish a grocery store around here (I am talking to
you, Wegmans!) would offer such an option!

We also went to the more well-known Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. This
was my second time at TJ's ever, and it was my first trip to WF. I
live about an hour and a half from my closest locations of these
stores, and I don't make a trip like that for groceries. At TJ's, I
got some of their amazing dried fruit, as well as some frozen items.
At WF, I grabbed some heirloom tomatoes, Justin's Honey Almond Butter
(I can only get single serving packets of Justin's Nut Butters around
here), Larabars (the new flavors!), and bulk steel cut oats (over 3
pounds!). I headed home with two coolers full of food, and we will be
eating well for a while!

Next time, I will share about what we ate while I was in CT. Make it a
great day!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

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