Healthy grocery shopping

There’s a new “sheriff” of healthiness in your town and you probably don’t even know it. It’s a Farmer’s Market style grocery store called Fresh Thyme and, in my humble opinion, offers more true vegan options than Whole Foods. It’s less expensive to boot. I say “true vegan options” because if you look closely, not everything in Whole Foods is healthy. You may think it is simply by its name but read those labels and you’ll discover otherwise. Speaking of labels…you should ABC (ALWAYS BE CHECKING) those labels in any store where you’re purchasing items to put inside your precious body–your temple.

“The mission of Fresh Thyme is healthy food at healthy values,” said Corky Anderson, regional director of operations for the Downers Grove, Illinois-based company. “We allow more people to have access to change their lifestyle (by eating healthy) by making it affordable.”

I found Fresh Thyme in my home city of Columbus, Ohio. My sister told me about it on one of my visits there and I’m so glad I went. Wonderful selections to help keep you on a fast track to healthy eating. The grocer stocks more than 400 bulk food items like coffees, grains, nuts, snack mixes, oils and vinegars.  They produce their own bakery products and other healthy foods such as bottled fresh juices and fruit-infused waters. You’ll also find things like a salad bar and olive and antipasti bar, as well as a large selection of gluten-free foods throughout the store. Its meat department focuses on natural, hormone-free products. You’ll even find some guilty pleasures like Ben and Jerry’s ice cream but you won’t find Captain Crunch (to which your organs would say, “Thank goodness!”).

A new Fresh Thyme is scheduled to open here in Nevada soon but still about an hour or so away from Las Vegas where I reside. So, no hope for me shopping there in person on a regular basis but, fortunately,  if you live within the vicinity of one of their Midwest markets you can shop with them online and have your items delivered to your home:  There, in addition to the right foods and products to bless your soul, you’ll enjoy weekly ads, digital coupons and tasty recipes.

Here’s one product in particular I was grateful to have purchased from Fresh Thyme: Hemp Oil made from hemp seeds.


Why hemp seed?

Hemp seeds are derived from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. This is the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but a different variety. Scientific studies have shown your immune system depends heavily on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. Below are just six of the many ways the seeds (and oil) of this plant can greatly benefit you.

6 Benefits of Hemp Seeds

  • Nutritious

Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat–good fats. Two of these essential fatty acids are linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). A third one is gamma-linolenic acid, which studies have linked to several health benefits. Hemp seeds are a great protein source as well, with more than 25% of their total calories from high-quality protein.

  • Reduces risk of heart disease

Hemp seeds contain high amounts of arginine, an amino acid that produces nitric oxide in your body . Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure, hence a reduced risk of heart disease and a quicker recovery after a heart attack. Hemp seeds reduce inflammation, which decreases heart disease risk as well.

  • May benefit skin disorders

If suffering from eczema, the essential fatty acids of hemp seeds improve blood levels which then relieves your dry skin. It’s also been known to improve itchiness, thereby, eliminating the need for skin medication.

  • Great source of plant-based protein

By weight, hemp seeds provide the same amounts of protein as beef and lamb. So, 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein. As a complete protein source, they provide all the essential amino acids your body needs and cannot be produced from your diet. Hemp seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, as well as very high levels of arginine and glutamic acid. Its protein’s digestibility is better than protein from many grains, nuts and legumes.

  • Reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause

Studies have shown premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause symptoms to be caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin. It decreases breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention associated with PMS.

  • Aids in digestion

Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in your gut making it a valuable source of nutrients for beneficial digestive bacteria. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool to help food and waste pass through your gut. However, beware that de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds — also known as hemp hearts — contain very little fiber because the fiber-rich shell has been removed. Hemp seeds helping in the digestion process reduces spikes in blood sugar, reduces the risk of diabetes and regulates cholesterol levels.


And speaking of cholesterol…

A quick note on cholesterol

Here’s a new study regarding cholesterol that Chef Keidi Awadu brought to his social media’s attention a couple days ago:

Forget Cholesterol: This Looks Like the Blood Test that Really Predicts How Long You’ll Live

For instance, research at the University of Copenhagen shows that having a very high HDL level – the “good” cholesterol that is supposed to protect against heart and artery problems and improve your health – actually can increase your risk of dying from heart disease and other causes.

During this six-year Danish study of 116,000 people, men with the highest HDLs had a 106 percent increased risk of dying compared to men with a lower HDL measurement. Women with the highest amounts of HDL experienced a 68 percent increased chance of dying.1

“These results radically change the way we understand ‘good’ cholesterol,” says researcher Børge Nordestgaard. “Doctors like myself have been used to congratulating patients who had a very high level of HDL in their blood. But we should no longer do so, as this study shows a dramatically higher mortality rate.”…/


In conclusion…

Take a tablespoon of hemp seed oil daily (by mouth or in your smoothies or food); take charge of your health!


RAWspectfully yours,

Terri, aka t-RAW


Ps. Fresh Thyme at a glance

Founded: The privately owned Fresh Thyme Farmers Market was founded in late 2012 by CEO Chris Sherrell and his team, who wanted to bring the Farmers Market concept to the Midwest.

Headquarters: Downers Grove, Illinois

Stores: 59 stores in 10 Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Workforce: 5,000 employees.

Expansion: In 2016, Fresh Thyme opened 20 stores and added 2,000 new hires. By the end of 2017, it will open another 20 stores for 70 stores in all.




Quad City Times. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Opens offering ‘Healthy options at Healthy Values.’ Apr 25, 2017. Jennifer DeWitt.

6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds.

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