I was shopping in Modesto on Saturday when I discovered a Vitamin Shoppe store on Pelandale in the same shopping center as Cost Plus World Market. I had heard from other bariatric patients that Vitamin Shoppe had a great selection of bariatric-friendly products and knowledgeable staff.
I had a little time to kill so I ducked in. It proved to be everything I heard of and more. When I walked into the spacious store, the selection of supplements was almost overwhelming. I was glancing over the events calendar, which features product tastings and events hosted with local gyms when the manager greeted me. I told her I was a gastric-bypass patient and that I was just looking to compare the store's prices with my favorite supplier. She handed me a flier the store has for bariatric patients that lists all the WLS-friendly products they have and a $5 off coupon.
Not only did the store have many of my favorites -- such as Micellar Milk, Zero-Carb Isopure and PowerCrunch bars -- but it also carried some of the products I've been wanting to try but haven't got around to ordering -- such as Oh Yeah! protein wafers and PowerCrunch's new cinnamon bun flavored bars. And to top it off, the store's products were priced about a $1 less than my favorite online supplier, and there's no shipping to worry about if you have a store nearby.
They didn't have all of my favorites, though. The manager said AchievOne RTDs aren't even offered as an option from her supplier. Revival soy chips and Snack & Slim pudding were also MIA. However, the store sells a sugar-free instant protein pudding that the manager mixed up for me to try. I was impressed; it was chocolately and tasty.
While looking over the various supplements, I found out one of the clerks had gastric bypass three years ago. She told me this was her first job since having surgery. She looked great, and she told me she feels great, too. We discussed our experiences with surgery while I looked over digestive supplements. The store carries a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Probiotics can come in handy for people who've taken lots of antibiotics, because they replace the good bacteria in the digestive tract. Digestive enzymes work to break down undigested food in the intestinal tract. This is an important aid for WLS patients. Our new anatomical design means our food doesn't benefit from the chemical and mechanical digestion that typically takes place in the stomach. That's why we have to chew our food to baby-food consistency and stick with foods that chew down easily. Food that isn't chewed well enough can get stuck or irritate the intestines. Depending on the brand selected, digestive enzymes break down protein, fat, fiber and dairy and other foods.
Before I realized it, I had spent two hours at the Vitamin Shoppe and was late for my shopping date. I left in a rush, but I promise to be back.