Begrudgingly dragging myself to Jackson’s Real Food Market in Bryanston wasn’t how I saw my last weekend panning out. I find social media in general, overwhelming enough, without adding the antioxidant-rich maze of health do’s and dont’s to that as well.
The frenetic pace of our lives doesn’t satiate us, we add so-called fitness inspiration Instagram feeds to it (narcissistic norm-core shaming labelled as inspirational)
We have to balance our chi and soak our Chia seeds! Consume Kombucha to fight cancer and quinoa for fibre or was it protein? We are told to pull coconut oil through our teeth and Gwyneth/Goop tell us to put Jade eggs in our lady parts. This is all before an interval session of running and sprinting in prescribed Nike footwear or don’t run at all, really you aren’t welcome at parks without them.
On my weaker days, I allow social media and body shaming in and lament myself for not juicing a truckload of kale into gurgling swamp paste, to purposefully glug whilst sweating any rage in Bikram yoga, to set up my day for success. I have to believe that we all struggle sometimes, that some mornings the last Tim Tam in the packet and your husbands left over coffee while you run out the door (your zen left behind on your bedroom floor) is the best we can do.
I am no authority on this subject, but my torturous 20’s have shown me that in my humble opinion, balance is the only plan with any longevity and staying power for me.
My inner sceptic was hastily quietened upon arrival at the relatively new and bigger space that is Jackson’s Real Food Market. It’s bright and airy, there are no orca sounds wafting through the heavily patchouli scented air. The shelves aren’t sparsely sprinkled with doomsday pamphlets and shrivelled goji berries. Wiry women aren’t scrambling for the last activated charcoal yoghurt ( I don’t even know if that’s a thing). The general lack of scratchy hemp put me at ease.
There is a wonderful balance to Jackson’s, it’s a happy space, a sense of acceptance engulfs you rather than a ‘you don’t belong to this club’ air about it.
They have trolleys and smiling staff and clean floors (why can we not mix anything sanitary with organic). It boasts fully stocked shelves laden with bright pestos and pasta sauces, nut butter and toasted muesli. Their fridges are divided into dairy, meats and veggies, the cheese section is not to be missed. The small bakery has dark beckoning loaves of crusty sourdough, rye and brioche buns, all slow proved and suitable for diabetics.
Plump antibiotic free chickens and French trimmed lamb racks are at home with smoky bacon, cured hams and marrow bones for hearty winter soups.
They have a cafe attached and before ‘smoothie sweats’ set in (I know they are trendy, but lumpy cold fruit soup and I will never be friends) I spot a beef burger on the menu, these people are alfalfa sprout rock stars. Hedonistic health warriors who understand the pleasure of beautiful packaging, variety and balance. I felt a sense of comfortable freedom browsing the aisles. Bottles of garnet Merlot and blocks of farm butter give me an immeasurable sense of pleasure, but knowing that these products are ethical in every sense of the word gives me even more.
You get the purely selfish indulgence of a wonderfully sensory shopping experience safe in the knowledge that Jackson’s care, and work tirelessly to put good whole foods from reliable food produce hero’s in their store. In the spirit of balance and practice of self-love, I shall be waddling (I’m working up to running) past their store on a weekly basis and will definitely be supporting this whole food emporium.
Sip a coffee or a smoothie (if you must) on their lovely balcony and you can even drag your man along! I know they are modern now and they exfoliate and eat consciously but if you’re honest they’ll be calmer knowing there are ingredients on the menu they can pronounce and a bit beef too!
Thank you to the wonderful team at Jackson’s Real Food Market for allowing us to amble around your beautiful store taking pictures and an even bigger thank you for bringing Jozi a truly worthy whole food supermarket. We can only imagine what must go into sourcing and gathering the best produce for our grazing pleasure, we salute you and all that you stand for.
Follow the Jackson’s Real Food Market blog to keep up to date with their amazing products and the people behind them. Sign up for their loyalty card, if a card with carrots on it in your wallet doesn’t give you a smug sense of 2017 getting off to a healthy start, I can’t help you.
Slight disclaimer: If you do know your Chi from your Chai, I am not undermining your healthy ways, merely standing in awe of them and trying to do better myself. If you are feeling as or even more overwhelmed than me, head to Jacksons for a good start to a better journey. Less brain fog and more happiness here we come!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DILLON DU PLESSIS