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!

 

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