I can't tell you how much I appreciate the existence of Trader Joe's. It allows me to get fresh, organic items cheaper than Whole Foods. It's my budget conscious utility store. My favorite items there include honey plantain chips, gf toaster waffles, organic onions, apples & potatoes. They make being gluten free so easy! There is a small "g" shaped symbol they print on their gf items and put on their shelves where the item is sold. They're easy to look for and if you are looking for something specific, just ask the customer service person for a gluten free list. They will give you a printout of all the gf items in the store!
My only complaint is their ability to let the shelves get bare. There have been a lot of times that they will be out of something I need for several days.
Whole Foods on the other hand, is a store that has saved my life. When I started removing gluten from my diet, it was difficult. Difficult but worth it. When I started cutting out dairy, it got a lot harder & a lot more emotional. When I also figured out I had to avoid soy... I really started to panic. What in the world will I eat? Whole Foods gave me a place to stand in the dairy aisle and stare. I stared at all of the options and my anxiety slowly eased. Finding coconut milk Kefir has fulfilled my love of yogurt. Finding coconut milk ice cream has made me feel like a girl again, a real girl who wants some ice cream when I read a magazine. It's amazing all of the little things you do with food that make you feel happy. When I cut all of these foods out, I knew it meant a lifestyle change. I'm excited about that! My body was telling me something and I know now to listen to it. But I also wanted to feel like I had the ability to treat myself on occasion. Whole Foods has given me that freedom. So Trader Joes, thank you for having easy, quality items at a great price. Whole Foods, thank you for the fresh and diverse foods along with a side of sanity. You've saved my life.