Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Once Upon A Time.

There was a time when I considered health food stores not good for my health. Most seemed quite unclean and were usually stocked with obscure, dusty things on crowded shelves at prices way beyond what they should be.

My opinion has changed. Enter.....

I love this place. (Who wouldn't love a place called Rainbow?) The store is clean. The shelves are dusted. Everything is neat and tidy and nicely organized. The fresh foods they prepare on site carry the dates the food was prepared. The produce is fresh and perky. The staff is friendly, patient and helpful. There's plenty of parking.

There's a beautiful array of personal care products (including Alba's, Burt's Bees, Tom's of Maine and my favorite, their natural glycerine soap) and a diverse selection of name brand & high quality vitamins and supplements. All are reasonably priced. Lots of holistic health books and magazines line a wall and no one bothers you if you just want to browse.

The Hot Bar---Rainbow's prepared foods---offers all vegetarian and also has vegan and gluten free choices. Daily specials include tofu curry, veggie frittata, mushroom stroganoff and vegetarian lasagna. Rainbow's pre-packaged salads, soups and sandwiches make great lunches to grab and go and I've heard they carry the best popcorn in town.....which I have to look for the next time I go. A small dining room offers eat in space. If you can, hang out. Have the mint tea, a slice of coconut pie and some raw veggies with The Best Ever miso dressing.
Grocery shelves carry a very good array of grains, nuts, flours, canned goods. The dairy case has beautiful, well priced local organic eggs (at $3...not bad for organic) and in produce I found two choices of wheat grass: cut and packaged or still in the pot. 
(I brought home some 'still in the pot' just for me to look at, it was so pretty and green).
Now, I will tell you, there is one thing Rainbow does have that every other health food store also has....its array of Very Odd People. 

The last time I was there I was using my phone to take pictures for this blog when the lady standing next to me started to tremble. She crossed her arms over her face and curled into herself while announcing that I was "Emitting x-rays that I'm extremely sensitive to." She went on to tell me, "I'm the only one in the world who is sensitive to rays," and added, "You've ruined me. I can't take them back."

I tried to apologize. I put my phone away. I showed her there'd be no more pictures. She ran from me, she ran from the store. Her arms were still crossed over her head as she disappeared from sight.

Rainbow Natural Foods
2118 N. Decatur Road
Decatur GA 30033
grocery:   404.636.5553
hot bar:  404.633.3538


  1. Great post. Calvin Trillin wrote a tongue-in-check essay years ago about how "unhealthy" all the health food was (he was trying, weakly, to make a case for yummy fat). In truth, I used to be put off by the holier-than-thou attitude that some patrons of health food stores used to exhibit. They're still there, though not nearly in the same numbers. I just ignore them now, because I so enjoy shopping in health food stores - great stuff that you often can't easily find elsewhere.

    Great story about the x-ray lady!

  2. I no longer live in Georgia, and one of the very few things I miss is Rainbow's Miso dressing! Perhaps one day you can figure out how to replicate it and share the recipe on your blog?