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Monday, May 07, 2007

Vitamin Shoppe

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.


Danyele said...

I saw that store the last time I was in Modesto with my parents but didn't have a chance to stop in. I'm going to on my next visit. And - guess what?! There is a store closeby that sells AchievOne(singles and by the case)! Harmony Healthy foods is in San Ramon and they not only have some of the best protein products (Micellar Milk, AO), they have a huge selection on low-carb foods and specialty products. The first time I went I spent over $100! The owners are really friendly and very knowledgable. Check them out the next time you're on the other side of the Altamont :-)

Danyele said...

Oh - and here's the link to their website!

Tonya said... are tempting me greatly, my dear. How are their prices on AO? I found a place in Sunnyvale that sold them to me for $20 a case, but I forgot the name and how to get there :-(

Dagny said...

Be sure you get the Vitamin Shoppe frequent shopper card thing or whatever they call it. I buy my protein powder there periodically and I ended up with a TEN DOLLAR CREDIT!!!

Sometimes they will have freebies too. Spend $40, get free body wash, that sort of thing. They also carry OSTRIM, an amazingly good ostrich meat snack! Just trust me and try it.... Jen discovered it!

Tonya said...

I did get the card, but thanks for mentioning it!

Danyele said...

I believe it was $29 a case. Not something I would buy to drink every day, but I love having them in the fridge, cold and ready to go when I need them. Reminds me that I need to stop by there on payday!

Suma Valluru said...


thats great to have all the vitamins at one stall...

Suma valluru

Candis said...

I love to buy my vitamins from Vitamin Shoppe...