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Dec 16

How to Stuff Your Whole (Foods) Face

If there’s one thing I love almost as much as running, it’s eating!  I love to eat and eat well.  Food is the fuel that allows me to be at peak performance…that and I just seriously love to eat!  I’m always asked if I’m a vegetarian.  I think it’s because people don’t associate being healthy with eating meat.  Not so for this girl – I never met a petite filet I didn’t like and, if you recall, one of my most fav post-race meals is a cheeseburger, preferably with an egg on top.  So when I was invited to a blogging event at my local Whole Foods store I was psyched!  Not only is Whole Foods a mecca for healthy eating and delicious food, they offer a plethora of ready-made holiday specials that I couldn’t wait to taste!

The irony of the event was that it was held on a night I usually teach a Power Sculpt class.  Instead of burning calories, at almost the exact time my class was being taught by someone else, I was shoving them into my face with fury.  Fa la la la la la la la la…

Now, I know people think I’m depriving myself when I skip dessert.  This is truly not the case, I’m just not a sweets person.  I prefer having a piece of dark chocolate or a truffle if I’m going to eat anything for dessert, however, almost the very first thing I saw inside the cafe area, that was set up for our feast tasting, was a Bourbon Pecan Pie with this guy:

He wanted an "action" shot!  Love this guy...

He wanted an “action” shot! Love this guy…

Since I’m at my very first blogging event and this actually looks amazing to me, I start my “meal” with Pecan Pie.  My husband would never have believed it if I hadn’t gotten it on film!  Let me tell you people – it was AMAZING.  Truly.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Pecan Pie in my entire living life and I’m so glad I saved it for this one!  It’s like saving your virginity for the “right” person.  It was THAT good.  Unfortunately it’s only available by pre-order at this particular Whole Foods (Bishop’s Corner in West Hartford for the locals) but let me know if you want one and I’ll freeze it and ship it to you.  You’ll thank me later.

Moving on down the chow line, I spy this:

Presentation is everything.

Presentation is everything.

We’ve already established that I can’t cook, right?  When I see something like this and the chef who made it tells me it’s “easy” I know what new runners must feel like when I refer to running 5 miles as being “easy.”  Yeah, easy for you because you’re a freakin chef at Whole Foods!  These sweet potato risotto balls were as delicious as they were gorgeously laid out on this platter.  Perhaps I’ll just order them pre-made, pop those suckers in the oven and viola!  Hot balls anyone?

Moving right along to what the amazing chef Devin referred to as a “meat popsicle.”

Can I interest you in a meat popsicle?

Can I interest you in a meat popsicle?

Ordinarily, if someone made a reference like that, I would throw-up in my mouth.  However, being able to see and smell this amazing lamb had me vigorously nodding my head, “yes please!”  They did not disappoint.  In fact, these may have been the star of the show.  They truly were melt in your mouth and full of flavor lamb heaven.  I actually picked up the recipe as if I would ever even try and recreate this!  Why don’t I just “try” running sub 6-minute miles? HA!

Was it time for dessert again already?  Oh wait, I need to wash some of this down with the Almond Nog that’s calling my name:

She looks like a runner!  I can identify with this nog already!

She looks like a runner! I can identify with this nog already.

The hits just kept on coming.  I know you will find this shocking but I’m not an egg nog drinker.  You may as well go Rocky style and just drink an entire cup of raw eggs and wash it down with a bag of sugar and buttermilk.  Well, the answer for what I should drink out of my Wally World Moose Mug is Almond Nog!  It was seriously so delicious and light.  And this is truly easy to make!  (recipe at the end of the post)

If Eddie had some Almond Nog in there he maybe could have pulled off the "dickie" look.  Nah...

If Eddie had some Almond Nog in there he maybe could have pulled off the “dickie” look. Nah…

Now it’s time for my second dessert!  The creator of this “cheesecake” was especially proud.  It’s a “dairy free” cheesecake.  Say what?  How the…?  Of course I had to try this phenom of baking!  The chef claimed he served it incognito to a group of guests expecting real cheesecake and they couldn’t tell the difference.  Ok so, I’ve had plenty of cheesecake in my time and there’s no way in hell this will pass for anything other then a “dairy free” cheesecake but it will be the best one you ever had!  Wow!

Are those real?

I was now sufficiently stuffed but there were so many more things to try!  I couldn’t do it.  But then I thought, that’s not the attitude of a champion!  I’m no quitter.  So I pushed on and had some Chocolate Biscotti and then a small slice of Quick Rustic Cheese Bread because I never met a carb I didn’t like!

I asked if I could just swaddle this thing up and take it home baby Jesus style.

I asked if I could just swaddle this thing up and take it home baby Jesus style.

I was told it was best served toasted and slathered with butter.  Alas, I shall never know because the only thing I “slather” is BioFreeze over my sore muscles.

Sadly, it was time to go so I rounded up my mountain of plates, forks and napkins to dispose of them.  Usually this is not something one needs to give much thought too, however, I was not in Kansas anymore.  I was in the land of the reduce, reuse, recycle at all costs.  There were no less then four receptacles, each with signs bearing which kind of trash was acceptable to toss into it.  I freakin dare you to try and figure this shit out.  Holy wow!!!  It was like a sudoku puzzle of garbage:

IMG_2794 IMG_2795 IMG_2796 IMG_2797

Cross-eyed yet?  Obviously it took me another 25 minutes to sort, clean and nervously throw out my trash.  I hope they didn’t get that all on the security camera because I’m pretty sure I didn’t get each piece exactly where it’s supposed to be but who could?  I’m anxiously awaiting a call from the Whole Foods Recycling Militia.  Be merciful, it’s the holidays.

There was one last treat on my way out:

You'll shoot your eye out!

You’ll shoot your eye out!

I almost forgot the goody bag, filled with holiday favorites…for people other then me:

IMG_2816

 

Peppermint bark?  Nah.  Hot chocolate?  I prefer coffe.  Syrup?  Maybe a drizzle on my whole wheat waffles or oatmeal for breakfast.  I’ll have to check the label, it’s probably made with pure maple syrup tapped from a vegan/gluten-free/nut free tree in the Himalayas. Yum.

The moral of this story is be open to what you think you like or dislike for foods this season, don’t necessarily save dessert for last and for God sake – recycle!

Cheers…

What are you making this holiday?  More importantly – what are you looking forward to eating?

Almond Nog 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 Medjool dates, pitted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ripe banana

1/4 level teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 level teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup ice

Directions: Blend everything in a high-speed blender until smooth.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

54 comments

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  1. The Dose of Reality

    “And now is the time for my second dessert”…a phrase like that is music to my ears!! I have to say…I haven’t had breakfast yet and now I’m STARVING looking at all this beautiful food!! My daughter wholeheartedly embraces the “eat dessert first” mantra…and so do I!!
    The trash can situation looks like a Saturday Night Parody…but it’s real!! Hahahahaha. That’s fantastic…and stressful!! 😀 –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…Every Day Is A Big Day For Giving BackMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I hope you got some food in you!!…and some early day dessert as well 🙂
      The trash situation should be an SNL skit! It would kill. Thanks Lisa

  2. Alison

    Hot balls – YUM!! 🙂
    I’ll have that hot chocolate, thank you very much.
    Alison recently posted…Where I’m From (Again)My Profile

    1. vita88

      Hot balls *with* the hot chocolate perhaps? HA!!

  3. emma @ a mom runs this town

    OMG I need an event like this in my life!!! Everything looks SO good! I’m trying that almond nog. Justin just asked last night if I ever had egg nog and I said no because it’s too… I don’t know but it’s too something for me! Maybe this will be better!
    emma @ a mom runs this town recently posted…Mommy Musings 4My Profile

    1. vita88

      You will LOVE it!! It’s very light and the almond taste is just perfect. Drink up 🙂

  4. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama

    You’d NEVER had pecan pie before?! WTF! Well, I’m glad your first time was so heavenly. I’m not a pie person, but I love me some pecan pie. Yum! And the multiple cans for sorting trash and recyclables. Looks just like our office in Germany. Those Europeans are serious about sorting their trash! They even have a bin for organic waste to dispose of leftover food. It’s enough to make your head spin! If you decide you don’t want to package up that hot cocoa and send it all the way to Alison in Singapore, Tennessee is much closer!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…My Christmas To-Do ListMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I know? Who the hell hasn’t had pecan pie? THIS GIRL! I can’t believe what I’ve been missing.
      That’s funny about the Germans and their trash!? Good for them…bad for you when you’re working there.
      Too late with the hot chocolate – the boys (all of them) attacked it over the weekend…

  5. Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness

    Sounds like you had a blast! Those all look great! I am making a pecan pie for Dad that is similar to that one with the bourbon and all. What I look forward to eating some pumpkin pie!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Continental Quotient, Stories From Both Sides of the Divide Book ReviewMy Profile

    1. vita88

      It was SO fun! Good luck making AND eating pie this holiday Kris!!

  6. Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady

    Now I feel like I didn’t eat anything for breakfast! I am salivating over the lamb! This was an awesome first blog event! Amazing how much we have in common. I don’t do the sweets thing. I’d rather save the room and calories for real food! I love good food as well! Ha, I know you missed that class you were supposed to be teaching, lol!
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted…Ladies, Do You Want Viagra for FemalesMy Profile

    1. vita88

      YES I did miss teaching!! You know me too well Miss Joi.

  7. Kate

    You can send that gift bag my way 😉 The risotto balls look delish!
    Kate recently posted…Sunday CurrentlyMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Sorry but my kids and hubs attacked the goody bag over the weekend! The risotto balls were heavenly.

  8. Dana

    I am totally a sweets person (and a carb person) – but what looked the yummiest to me were the sweet potato risotto balls. I wonder if Whole Foods will do a blogger event by me – you get all the fun stuff, Allie!
    Dana recently posted…A Jew in DecemberMy Profile

    1. vita88

      The risotto balls were amazing!…everything was, truly. You should contact Whole Foods and ask. They were overly accommodating so you never know. Just be sure to brush up on your recycling skills before you go!

  9. Hope

    What an awesome first blog event. I ready this earlier on my phone but none of the pics loaded. Presentation is everything (although I still can’t see the cheesecake nor cheese bread pics). Sweets are my down fall, but certainly there was something for everyone. Whole foods really take recycling to next level. I enjoyed reading this. You are too hilarious Allie!
    Hope recently posted…Testify!My Profile

    1. vita88

      It was a great event for sure! Thats weird about those two pics? Thanks for letting me know! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  10. Karen @ Baking In A Tornado

    Sweet potato risotto balls? Pecan pie? I will totally pay you to bring me as your date next time.
    Karen @ Baking In A Tornado recently posted…Secret Subject Swap: Buried TreasureMy Profile

    1. vita88

      I would take you free of charge my dear! Of course you would have to then recreate all the recipes for me 🙂

  11. misszippy

    I’m so glad you shared that recipe–i really want to try it! I love eggnog but never have any, so this is a great substitute. I also love WF–did a dinner there at a blogging event a few years back and it was amazing. The best news is that we are getting one a couple of miles from my house later this summer. SO excited!
    misszippy recently posted…Five things to try in 2014My Profile

    1. vita88

      OMG that is awesome!!! The closest one to me is 40 minutes away so I don’t get there very often.
      I hope you try the Almond Nog and don’t forget a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

  12. Kim

    I’m like you – I rarely do dessert because I usually prefer salty or wine!! My grandma used to make a pretty good pecan pie – can’t even remember the last time I ate any since she is no longer alive. And I don’t do egg nog either. Now I wish we had a Whole Foods here (actually I’ve always wished that but even more now!!).
    I think any sort of risotto/hot balls could be tasty!
    Kim recently posted…Does Simple Count?My Profile

    1. vita88

      No Whole Foods near you? That is tragic! The risotto balls were so delicious. I hope they have another event for the New Year!

  13. Tamara

    I had my first pecan pie this year too! My friend is a baker and he made one for our Thanksgiving dinner. I agree about the virginity comment. If you’re going to save yourself, save yourself for a good one.
    I hope you saved me the peppermint bark. I’ll send you meat popsicles in exchange!
    And I also don’t cook so when people tell me something’s easy, I say, “My brain doesn’t work that way. Can you do it for me?”
    And I’m not vegetarian or vegan at ALL, but I do get decaf coffee since caffeine makes me jitter. When I order caffeine, five times out of ten they ask me if I want soy milk? Soy milk?!! No, I want heavy cream! Not sure why people equate health with vegetarian and decaf with vegan.
    WRONG.
    (I wrote you a book because I like you)
    Tamara recently posted…18 Things For 18 Months.My Profile

    1. vita88

      You can write a book here anytime my friend! I love it.
      I also love how you get asked if you want soy milk – too funny. It’s strange the way people think or how their train of thought works about “healthy.”
      Good to know you don’t cook either. We can sit back, relax and let all that yummy food come to us!

  14. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Lucky lady- that is one delicious feast! And I am so glad you posted the almond nog recipe, I was just thinking I’d have to try to re-create that, and then saw it at the bottom. Definitely trying it soon!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Find Joy in the OrdinaryMy Profile

    1. vita88

      It was an awesome event and yes, that almond nog is fabulous!

  15. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    You lost me at the nog until I saw the ingredients. Now that’s a nog I can down. Yum!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…One Marvelous MileMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Right? I feel the same way – obviously 🙂

  16. jenn @ runnderlust

    this made me really, really want cheesecake. dairy free or not.
    jenn @ runnderlust recently posted…Motivation Monday: GoalsMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Ha ha ha! Go get some!!

  17. Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama

    I LOVE whole foods, what a great event!! You would be surprised how many new things I have tried there and loved! They have some really great frozen foods–my husband loves when I get empanadas from there! That garbage puzzle is hilarious.

    That lamb sounds yummy, honestly a taste test from Whole foods would only make me spend more money! Everything in there is just so GOOD!

    Thanks for sharing this event with us, now I wanna try everything too!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Getting My Holiday Fix at Duane Reade! #DRholidayMy Profile

    1. vita88

      Ooohhh empanadas – now I’m hungry! I’ll have to check those out next time I’m there!!

  18. Michelle

    I love Whole Foods!! We just got one in Danbury and while it’s too far for me to go to on a regular basis, I always stop in for grocery shopping when I am over that way. And if I am traveling to a soccer tournament and there happens to be a Whole Foods nearby, I do some grocery shopping while I am there. When we went to Long Island over Thanksgiving, I brought groceries back!! One of my favorite places to grocery shop!!
    Michelle recently posted…Mom Meltdown? Why This Hasn’t Been My Month!My Profile

    1. vita88

      I do the exact same thing! In the summer, I bring a cooler for the cold stuff and they give me ice! It’s like a grocery field trip.

  19. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    Looks like such a fund event!! You know what??!? They are opening a Whole Foods literally a block from my house TOMORROW! I’m in trouble 🙂
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Snowy Morning Run and Still BelievingMy Profile

    1. vita88

      You are one lucky girl! OMG you are going to love everything about it…but your wallet my not 🙂

  20. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I look forward to my daily meatsicle… Every day. LMFAO – Oh so dirtttyyyy! Well, that’s cause I am just a DURRRTYYY girl. Ha! Remember that Christina Agulera song?

    AND UHHH WHOLE FOODS has YET TO INVITE ME TO ANYTHING AMAZING LIKE THIS – I AM PISSED, I AM WHAT KEEPS THEM IN BUSINESS!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Michelle Bridges Kicked My Booty, & I Liked It!My Profile

    1. vita88

      Oh yes you are one durrrtyyy girl GiGi – that’s what I always say! 🙂
      If I had known that whole foods hasn’t invited you to a blogger event, I wouldn’t have gone!! Ok, that’s a lie but I would have been nastier about it.

  21. Marcia

    Yummy! It all looks delicious! Ok so there’s one other person besides me who has never tried pecan pie. Well now you have!

    1. vita88

      Try it! It’s amazingly delicious.

  22. Mrs. Pancakes

    I usually just buy bolt house drinks from the whole foods bth have to give these options a try! Love a good recipe!!

    1. vita88

      So many amazing things there. It was really hard for me to leave with just the goody bag they gave me!

  23. Carla

    What a fun time! I do not normally eat dessert either. I’m much more satisfied with extra veggies. Nor do I drink egg nog (either) but the almond nog sounds so good! The goodie bag was a nice touch even if you aren’t going to use it. 🙂
    Carla recently posted…Badass Shannon Is Badass Fit!My Profile

    1. vita88

      The Almond Nog was so good – light and smooth with a rich taste. The goody bag was used up by my husband and kids before the weekend was over!!

  24. Becky @ RunFunDone

    That food looks fantastic! It looks like it was a pretty great event!!!
    Becky @ RunFunDone recently posted…Lazy vs. Champion…who will win?My Profile

    1. vita88

      It was! I can’t wait for the next one!

  25. Andrea

    Cool event! I want that goodie bag. My husband and I just started discussing our Christmas menu. I have no idea what we’re going to eat, but I better get it together, and quick! I’d like to try that Almond Nog though…
    Andrea recently posted…Can We Enjoy Beyoncé’s Album without Making it Into Something That it’s Not?My Profile

    1. vita88

      I know, it’s approaching too fast! The Almond Nog was so good. I’m definitely making it a part of my Christmas menu!!

  26. Britton

    I LOVE whole foods! I hate the fact that our is waaaay on the other side of town, so I barely go. I don’t even eat pecan pie, but that pie looks sooo dang on good. We are serving brunch for Christmas, so our menu is mostly breafast items: grits, eggs, bacon, a quiche, and a couple of breakfast casseroles. We’re doing dinner with extended family. I’m looking forward to it! 🙂
    Britton recently posted…Shea Moisture Hair Color System Review + PICS!My Profile

    1. vita88

      That sounds delicious! I love making a good brunch. We usually do that at Easter and it’s the best!! Have fun 🙂

  27. Leah

    Now that is an event I would love to attend!!! I love that you started your “meal” off with pecan pie!!
    Leah recently posted…Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    1. vita88

      It was pretty awesome! Somedays blogging has its perks 🙂

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