My Vegetarian Whole30: Week 4 Recap

Monday, September 28, 2015
I'm so close I can taste it*.

*it = wine, of course.

Week four was a breeze, y'all. Simplicity was the theme of my meals last week, and though they were pretty basic, I adored them all. I still don't really think there's "tiger blood" running through my veins or anything, but this was probably my best week week in the program, and I put in the least amount of effort! Isn't life HILARIOUS <~~~(not hilarious) like that sometimes?

It probably doesn't hurt that I started to see single digits in my "Days left on the Whole30" calendar that I have plastered all over my bedroom taken mental note of.

Okay, so here's what my week looked like in meals:

M1: 3 fried eggs + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2: hard boiled egg + steamed broccoli w/ghee + carrots + strawberries + avocado
M3: zoodles w/roasted garlic cauliflower sauce + yellow squash + asparagus
Snack: larabar

M1: 3 fried eggs + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2: hard boiled egg + steamed broccoli w/ghee + carrots + strawberries + avocado
M3: sweet potato w/avocado & ghee + side of asparagus, yellow squash
Snack: larabar

M1: 3 fried eggs + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2: hard boiled egg + steamed broccoli w/ghee + carrots + strawberries + avocado
M3:sweet potato w/ ghee + side of asparagus, yellow squash

M1: 3 scrambled eggs w/ghee + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2: hard boiled egg + steamed broccoli w/ghee + carrots + strawberries + avocado
M3:sweet potato w/ ghee + side of asparagus, yellow squash
Snack: larabar + tangarine

M1:3 scrambled eggs w/ghee + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2: hard boiled egg + steamed broccoli w/ghee + carrots + strawberries 
M3: Potluck
Snack: larabar

M1: 3 scrambled eggs w/ghee + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2:  hard boiled egg + zucchini + carrots + blueberries+ avocado
M3: paleo veggie burger, avocado, sweet potato w/ghee, yellow squash
Snack: larabar, apple
M1: 3 scrambled eggs w/ghee + banana + almond butter + zucchini
M2: hard boiled egg + zucchini + carrots + blueberries+ avocado
M3: veggie tacos w/avocado, yellow squash

Snack: larabar

The crowning, glorious element of my meals last week was the almond butter I made last Sunday that I had every morning for breakfast on top of a banana (with a side of sauteed zucchini and three eggs). I'm not going to lie to you - That almond butter was absolutely the biggest pain in the ass to make. It took me well over an hour, having to take several breaks since my blender kept overheating. And the sound was so excruciating, I'm surprised we didn't get a noise complaint. But the end result? 

h  e  a  v  e  n  .

Seriously. It's better than any store bought almond butter I've ever had, as well as healthier. I only used three ingredients: cashews (just kidding. almonds), coconut oil, and cinnamon. UnFREAKINGbelievable. I don't even care that preparing it was such an ordeal, I will 100% make it again.

The beginning of the week my eggs were sunny-side up, but towards the end of the week I got a little "wild" and scrambled my eggs in 1 teaspoon of ghee. This resulted in warm, pillow-y, cloud eggs. Cloud eggs are a thing folks, and they are alive and well! 

#cloudeggs. It's the new #yolkporn.

My lunch was primarily a deconstructed salad I threw together of a hard boiled egg, strawberries, carrots, avocado, and broccoli with ghee. I LOVED it.

And dinner was mostly a sweet potato, yellow squash, asparagus combo, because again, I LOVED it.

After week three I mentioned that I had irritated my right hip flexor, so I took all of last week off from working out. While I was itching to get back to the gym, it was nice to have a little extra downtime, and my body definitely needed the recuperation. I feel mended now, so I'm planning on getting back in the workout saddle this week!

I attended a few social gatherings towards the end of the week. On Thursday night, I went to a Houston Food Blogger Collective Happy Hour at The Counter. I've been super pumped because I was recently named Marketing Chair of this awesome group, so I brought my video camera to the event and got to work! (The camera also served as a distracting barrier between me and the much-gushed about parmesan french fries, which was an added bonus). I truly enjoy every minute spent with this bright, driven, and beyond-friendly group of people, so this was a major highlight of the week. If you are involved in the Houston food scene in any way, I definitely recommend applying to be a part of this group. Also, a big thanks to The Counter for their hospitality - I can't wait to go back and actually try some of their food, like their veggie burger everyone seems to go crazy over!

On Friday night Jon and I attended a vegetarian potluck at our friend Marissa's, which was also awesome. As I can personally attest, "vegetarian" and "Whole30" are definitely not necessarily synonymous, but I was still able to enjoy a wonderful vegan broccoli potato soup someone brought, as well as my veggie tacos! I also made this pea pesto because it's Jon's favorite thing that I make. It really is divine, and I was a little bummed about not getting to have a taste. Regardless, I was able to enjoy the food that I ate and the people I was surrounded by!

On  Saturday, the organization I work for put on a concert at the Sam Houston Race Park, which featured a bunch of performers, INCLUDING EDDIE MONEY (I was in my 80s glory). So that was fun, even though I had to stay away from the fried foods and ice cream and beer. But I brought snacks! And lived to tell the tale! And once again, I was filming the event, so I had something to keep me occupied.

I altogether stopped having the weird food dreams, which leads me to believe my cravings are completely gone. However, last night I had a different sort of food dream. It was a Life After Whole30 dream where I almost had a nervous breakdown over deciding whether or not to eat a chocolate chip cookie at a cookie tasting event. Um, hullo, eat the cookie Kim.

(I didn't eat the cookie.)

In other news, Adventures in a New(ish) City is now listed on Bloglovin - so if you use that platform for keeping up with your daily blogs, I'd love it if you checked it out!

Week 4 was a good week, my clothes are falling off me, my energy is at a standard level, and my skin is normal. I'm still having the, um, bathroom "issues" (maybe because of all the fiber I'm getting through the insane amount of vegetables I'm consuming?), but it's certainly manageable.

Simplicity was the key last week, and simplicity is what I'm going to carry on through my final days. Same meals, no going crazy or anything. Just staying the course!


Recipe: Whole30 Veggie Tacos [Vegan, Gluten Free, Legume Free and Dairy Free]

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Jon and I have started "gardening".

(No those eggplants didn't come from our apartment patio garden, but I had you for a second there, didn't I?)

By "gardening" I mean, we bought a tangarine tree, a pot for it which was too small, seeds for a bell pepper plant we have yet to plant, beautiful gerbera daisies that Baxter peed on prior to us planting them, and seeds for basil, oregano, and rosemary (before I could blink, Jon had taken all three seed packets and dumped their entire contents into our tiny box of soil because as he says, "with all of the seeds in there, we're bound to get something to grow"<~~ I agree with this logic because, #math). We also forgot to water everything on Tuesday.

I have a feeling this is going to end well.

In the meantime we'll have to continue making our meals using herbs and produce not from our garden. Like my veggie tacos!

So confession time, this is not really a new recipe for me. I made these prior to my vegetarian Whole30, BUT I was stuffing the inside contents into tortillas and adding cheese and sour cream to them. And I have to tell you, I do not miss the gluten or dairy in this new version at all!

In fact, I love these so much, I am making them this week for a vegetarian potluck (<~~Greatest thing ever? Greatest thing ever.) we are going to at our friend Marissa's.


Adventures in a New(ish) City is a partner of this year's Houston Press Tacolandia on October 24, and I am super excited about it! I've mentioned it before, but to recap, Tacolandia is an outdoor unlimited taco-sampling event and festival that will feature Houston’s best tacos, ranging from urban contemporary to authentic street style. Complete with live music, cash bars with beer and cocktails, as well as awards for best tacos in various categories. If you're interested in going, I've got a special promo for you. Click this link to get a four pack of General Admission tickets for $75, which would normally cost you $100. Not a bad deal!

The inspiration for this meal comes from this recipe, but I've tweaked it a bit to my liking. I also used the same seasoning, scaled down a bit, in ground turkey for Jon to have his own meaty version (yes, I've started cooking meat for him. True love, y'all), and he seemed to like it. I can't personally speak to these tacos though since I didn't taste them, but they looked and smelled great.

his/hers tacos.

vegetarian/carnivorous tacos.

whole30/carbalicious tacos.

Any way you slice it, you can create the two at the same time suuuper easily!

And the veggie tacos? They're good y'all. Seriously good. Mind-blowingly good. The eggplant/mushroom/onion combo gives them a nice "meaty" feel, and the spice mixture is exceptionally flavorful. If you make them, you won't regret it for a second!

I would never lead you astray.

Whole30 Veggie Tacos

[Vegan, Gluten Free, Legume Free, and Dairy Free]

(Serving Size: 12 tacos)

  • 1/3 C. olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice (juice from approx. 5 lemon wedges)
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant (or 2 small), diced into 1/4"-1/2" cubes
  • 1 1/2 C. mushrooms - remove stems and dice
  • 3 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 TBSP paprika
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, leaves separated to make taco shells


1) Heat 3 TBSP.  olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and lemon juice, and cook for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add jalapeno and onion. Bring to simmer, and cook until onion softens, about 3 minutes.

2) Stir eggplant, mushrooms, and spices into the skillet. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant softens and reduces in size, about 15 minutes.

3) Spoon mixture into lettuce "shells" and add any additional toppings. I like to add my easy weeknight guacamole, diced cherry tomatoes, and a little bit of hot sauce.

Enjoy on your own, with a meat-eating partner, or at a vegetarian potluck!

Bonus: If you'd like to bring some freshly-picked gerberas to the potluck, I've got some for you.

My Vegetarian Whole30: Week 3 Recap

Monday, September 21, 2015
I stopped being a mopey monster last week.

^  I did not consume one single crumb of those tortilla chips. That's a first.
Seriously. My demeanor and overall mood between weeks two and three could not have been more different, THANK GOD. I don't know how much more I could have mentally taken if that down-in-the-dumps nonsense had continued any longer. I'd have been all, "It's been real, Whole30. Time to eat this chocolate chip rice krispie treat now!" *

*Despite the lessening of cravings I'm having in real life, I continue to have food dreams about wine and potato chips (like you'd expect), as well as incredibly odd things I'm not sure even exist. Like chocolate chip rice krispie treats. Don't worry, I'm keeping a list of all the things I've been dreaming about, and of course I will share said list with all of you at the end. Because this is what true love means.

So yes, I felt really good last week! I wouldn't say I reached Tiger Blood levels, per se, but I felt great. I truly don't have too many issues anymore in social situations, so I went out more with friends and family, which I'm sure also contributed to my lifted spirits. Also, it sure didn't hurt that I hit the Whole30 halfway mark!

So onto the stats - Here's what my week looked like in terms of food/exercise:

M1: paleo oatmeal w/pumpkin + side of sauteed zucchini & fried egg

M2: broccoli salad w/creamy avocado dressing + carrots

M3: sweet potato egg boat w/avocado + side of sauteed asparagus + plum

Snack: larabar

Workout: arms/abs-PM
M1: paleo oatmeal w/pumpkin + side of sauteed zucchini & fried egg

M2: broccoli salad w/creamy avocado dressing + a hard boiled egg

M3: zoodles w/pesto + roasted eggplant & yellow squash & avocado

Snack: cashews

Workout: cardio-PM (30 min)
M1: paleo oatmeal w/pumpkin + side of sauteed zucchini & fried egg

M2: broccoli salad w/creamy avocado dressing + a hard boiled egg

M3: paleo veggie burger, avocado, roasted eggplant & yellow squash, asparagus

Snack: larabar + blueberries

Workout: OFF

M1: paleo oatmeal w/pumpkin + side of sauteed zucchini & fried egg

M2: broccoli salad w/creamy avocado dressing + a hard boiled egg

M3: zoodles w/roasted garlic cauliflower sauce + roasted eggplant & yellow squash + fruit

Snack: cashews

Workout: legs/cardio-AM
M1: paleo oatmeal + side of sauteed zucchini & fried egg

M2: avocado, blueberry, almond salad w/oil & vinegar + a hard boiled egg

M3: paleo veggie burger, avocado, sweet potato fries, zucchini

Snack: cashews, larabar

Workout: OFF
M1: 2 eggs over sweet potato/onion/ spinach hash + avocado

M2: El Tiempo

M3: sweet potato with ghee, fried egg, side salad w/oil & vinegar

Workout: OFF
M1: 3 eggs over sweet potato/onion/ spinach hash + a banana

M2: sweet potato egg boat w/avocado & ghee + grapes

M3: veggie tacos

Snack: banana "frappucino," larabar

Workout: OFF

On day 17 I joined Jon and his coworkers for Happy Hour at Local Pour, and on day 18 we played kickball with our friends, which generally involves alcohol and merriment (fortunately, the merriment was still accessible to me). I had a double social outing day on Saturday (day 19) - My sister Emily was in town for the weekend, so the family went to lunch at El Tiempo (my AWESOME meal was vegetables grilled with olive oil, plus a side of guacamole and limes), and Jon and I took Em to an Astros game that night. I planned to have a salad at the Minute Maid Park restaurant Green Fork, but they only had pre-made dressings (no oil and vinegar), so I waited until I got home to throw a quick dinner together.

 ^ L to R: me being sad about not eating spinach dip at Local Pour (while being photobombed by Jon's coworkers), me being sad about no beer at kickball (while standing next to our coach Jake, who makes me look like a yard gnome), and me being sad about not getting to drink a margarita at El Tiempo (even though I don't really like margaritas). Just kidding, I wasn't really sad. I did my undergrad in theatre, so I know how to "act".

So lots of social things where delicious (read: non-compliant) foods and boozy drinks abounded. And I was okay! Actually, I was more than okay. Which was awesome. (Though wine would have been nice of course).

My breakfast last week was a paleo oatmeal, which I adapted by adding some pumpkin, and leaving out the vanilla. It was a nice change from all of the egg-centric breakfasts I'd been having previously, and I really did enjoy it. I also made a wonderful broccoli salad for lunch, which hit it out of the park, as well as a simple spinach salad with blueberries and other goodies. For dinner I basically had leftovers that I'd frozen from previous weeks. I also started up a new round of my paleo veggie burgers. Additionally, I had read online that several flavors of Larabars are Whole30-compliant, so I went out and bought a box....

...of the world's tiniest fruit and nut bars. Maybe you can't really tell in the packaging, but these things are like bars for ants! They certainly were delightful little treats, but I could easily house three in one sitting. I DO like them, even though I find them highly comical. They are handy to have around for social situations (like at a Local Pour Happy Hour), as well as for nights when Jon and I watch a movie, and he decides to heat up a giant bag of wonderful-smelling popcorn.

Confession time: I had a freakout during the beginning of the week. We're not supposed to weigh ourselves (which is still driving me nuts), or measure ourselves during the 30 days, but I've been sort of cheating by taking a selfie (ew, I know) on the first day of each week to see a comparison. Well on day 7 I was so excited by the big changes I saw from day 1. But on day 14 it looked like nothing had changed from day 7. It almost even looked like day 7 was better? Writing this down and reading it back to myself makes me realize just how insane I sound.

What I need to focus on is that there has been an improvement, and more importantly this is about my health and how I feel. I do not have the strength to put myself through all of this for purely vain reasons. Because of my minor freakout though, I decided I was eating too much. So I COUNTED MY CALORIES (a big no-no in the Whole30 world) and found I was eating over 2,000 calories a day, which freaked me out even more, so I went ballistic on my meal plan, slashing avocadoes and eggs left and right. When I woke up from my non-drug-induced haze, hair frazzled, and face completely covered in red sharpie marks, I realized I needed to chill the bleep out, pull myself together, and trust this process I agreed to trust. The eggs and avocados would live to see another day!

Speaking of my face, my skin was better this week! Not glowing or anything, but more back to normal. 

Also, I've debated whether or not to bring this up with you all, but #honesty, so here goes. Several days a week, my stomach does something crazy mid-morning, and I have to run-not-walk to the bathroom. I AM SO GROSSED OUT RIGHT NOW. I thought this would have stopped happening by week three, but I guess my body is still, um, getting rid of stuff? OMG, I'm stopping. I've stopped. You just needed to know.

Now some life stuff. I mentioned before that in the beginning I thought I would have more time on my hands, but the reverse has been true. I feel like I am constantly prepping, cooking, doing dishes, and working out. Therefore, on Wednesday after work when I was on my way to yoga, I thought about how supportive Jon has been through all of this, and how we really haven't spent much time together, so I turned my car around and headed to the Happy Hour he was at with his coworkers. I do need more yoga in my life, yes. But I also need to make sure I'm spending quality (and fun!) time with the people I love. And we had a great time!

As far as workouts go, I have an irritated right hip flexor that only got worse by the end of the week. So I'm taking some time off from exercise (hopefully no more than a week, but whatever it takes). This is going to be difficult for me to do during the final week and a half of the program, but I don't feel like getting a full blown injury just because I was being a little stubborn.

I've also been working on some personal development as of late. Inspired by the blog Boho Berry, I started a bullet journal, which is basically a narcotic for any Type A person out there. It's super helpful and fun, and I've started using it to work on short- and long-term goals! For example, every day I have a task in there to do a 5 minute morning meditation and a 5 minute evening meditation. When it's done, I cross it off the list! (I plan to increase my meditation time, but baby steps people). I also add pages dedicated to life goals and personal reflection, such as the "Yes" circle, an awesome activity we did during the 40 Days of Yoga program at Big Power Yoga.

^ You like how my first meal at Coltivare is already scheduled?

Whereas variety was the theme of last week, this week my focus will be on simplicity. While Sunday prepping was in order, I want to be able to throw my meals together this week with minimal effort. So I have a plan in place for that. The end is in sight, folks! This week is my last full week of the vegetarian Whole30 program, I seriously can't believe it. It's been challenging at times, but all in all, I feel great!

Nine days til wine! 

Treat Yourself! An At-Home Spa Day

Friday, September 18, 2015
When life gets you down, sometimes you just gotta Treat Yourself! <~~(watch this clip, thank me later.)

"It's the best day of the year!"

If you all have been following along on my vegetarian Whole30 journey, you may have read about the hellish start I had to week two. In plain terms, I was incredibly depressed. So with a free Saturday on the horizon, I decided the best way to lift my spirits would be to treat myself to an at-home spa day!

Let's walk through my guide to a great at-home DIY spa day, shall we?

1) Restorative Yoga. I kicked things off with an at-home restorative yoga session. If you have never done this type of yoga before, I highly recommend it. It's basically guided meditative nap time with lots of pillows and blankets and some easy stretches for a tired body. Sign me up. This is one of my go-to ones I use, which features a British lady with the most charming voice you ever heard.

2) Make spa-water. You know the lovely fruit-infused water they have at spas that gives your insides a cleansing, purifying massage? Yeah, make that. Here's the one I made, though I think I maybe did it wrong because it came out super strong (I put the lemon zest and juice into the water, and I think maybe I was just supposed to put the zested juiced rinds in? oops). No biggie though, I combined two parts lemon/mint water with one part filtered water, and voila! A lovely refreshing infused water to sip on as I spahhh'ed.

3) Set the mood with candles and music. Jon and I love candles, so we always have plenty to spare around the apartment (unrelated, Jon is really happy I just outed him and his love for candles on the internet). I have a lilac blossom candle I bought from Bath & Body Works in the spring that made my bedroom and bathroom spa smell amazing! Then I searched Spotify for some good spa playlists featuring pan flutes and waves and seagulls squawking and gongs and what have you. And the mood was set!

4) Give 'yo body a scrub! The great thing about DIY scrubs is you probably already have all of the ingredients lying around your kitchen, so they're free! This is the scrub I made, and I LOVED it. Strip on down to your birthday suit, stand over a towel (because it's super duper messy), and scrub it in using slow circular movements all over your body. I often find body scrubs to be a bit abrasive for my sensitive skin, but this was lovely. Also my dog was very interested in eating it off the floor, which I did my best to combat, so beware!

5) Inhale some lavender/turn your shower into a sauna. You're going to have to rinse off the scrub (because it really is a total mess), so why not turn your shower into a sauna? Taking on this suggestion, I got my shower hot and steamy (which only takes my shower a matter of 30 seconds, so I didn't have to waste water for 20 minutes as the article suggests), then put a few drops of lavender oil onto a microwaved washcloth. I stepped in the shower, put the washcloth over my eyes/nose, and breathed in deeply. It was seriously intoxicating.

6) Give your hair some coconut love. After I showered and dried off, I lathered heaping amounts of coconut oil into my hair to give it a deep conditioning. Then, without rinsing it out, I put it all up in a hair wrap. A regular towel will work fine here, of course, but as I had more spa things planned ahead, I found this to be a worthwhile inexpensive investment. The wrap never fell off or got in my way. I kept it on for the duration of spa day, then had to wash my hair with shampoo a couple of times at the end to get all of the oil out.

7) Mask your face. There are several DIY options out there to do a face mask, so by all means go forth and conquer! But I wasn't crazy about what I was finding online, so I just went ahead and bought Alba Even Advanced Face Mask from Sprouts. Five minutes on, and your face will be happy!

8) Splish, splash, take a bath. While my face was masking, I filled up the tub and threw in a bath bomb from Lush. Then I got in, relaxed, put some cucumbers over my eyes, removed the cucumbers from my eyes because they were annoying me, listened to some whales grunting over the sounds of a midnight tide and a silvery moon, put some tingly awesome Lush Mint Julips lip scrub on my lips, tried not to lick any of it because the ingredients are not Whole30 compliant, and just chilled the heck out. FYI Lush products aren't always cheap but I LOVE them (they're not only fabulous products, but they use natural ingredients, believe in ethical buying, have charitable funds set up, don't do animal testing, etc.), so I always have some lying around because Jon has found their products to be good special occasion gifts. So use whatever you love/have lying around!

9) Give your hands and feet some much-needed TLC. Once you're done rub-dub-relaxin'-in-the-tub, towel off, put on your favorite bathrobe (I clearly went on a Target shopping spree recently and found an incredible one for $25 that I've been using every day since), put lots and LOTS of lotion on your feet and hands (I used this lavender cream from Becker Vineyards that I bought on our trip to Fredericksburg), and cover them with gloves and socks. I used these spa gloves/socks, but I think regular ones would probably work just fine. Then grab your favorite trashy mag and veg out for 30 minutes!

10) Mani/Pedi Time. I am THE WORST when it comes to manicures and pedicures. Nail salons? I can't be bothered. I go in, I absolutely cannot relax, my feet get tickled, I'm checking the time, and all I can think about is everything else that needs to be done that day. Then I invariably walk out way sooner than I should because I'm anxious about getting stuff done, and I completely mess up my nails. Does anyone else experience this? So at home is the way to go for me! First I applied some cuticle cream and pushed my cuticles out of the way a bit with some sticks (that's what you're supposed to do right?), then applied two coats of Sally Hansen Green Light nail polish, topped off with a coat of Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat, which gave my nails a super cool, flat look.

After all that, I read more of my magazine and lounged about in my robe some more. It was lovely! As you can see, many of the products I used were things I already had lying around, or stuff that came from my kitchen/pantry. With the added things I bought, it probably cost around what a service or two would get you at the spa. Now that I have everything I need for an at-home spa day, I can use these products again and again several more times at no cost. So it really is getting a bang for your buck! Taking a few hours out of the day to relax and be kind to yourself and your body really is a wonderful mood booster. So sit back, relax...

...and treat yourself!

*None of the products mentioned in this article were endorsed by anyone. I just love them a lot and wanted to share!

Dining out Whole30: Corner Table

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Y'all, I had an amazing experience dining out last week.

Maybe it's because I'm seeing the world through Whole30-colored glasses at the moment, and anything that isn't an egg, wrapped in an avocado, wrapped in a sweet potato is exciting to me (though who am I kidding, an egg, wrapped in an avocado, wrapped in a sweet potato will ALWAYS be exciting to me).

Or maybe it's because the company I was surrounded by (Jon and our good friends Dan and Heather) was nothing short of awesome.

But putting those two factors aside, I do genuinely think the dinner experience I had last week at Corner Table was stellar.

I had been to 1919 Wine & Mixology - the eclectic and beautiful bar located at Corner Table - for a Houston Food Blogger Collective event once, but never to Corner Table for dinner. So I was excited to finally try it!

To start, I ordered us the beet root hummus (no beans! Whole30 approved!) with a side of vegetables to dip in it.

I'll shoot straight with you here - This was my least favorite thing of the night. But admittedly, it's probably my fault. I think the brightly flavored, sweet, acidic hummus really needed to be on the paleo flatbread it came with. Once again I altered something that shouldn't have been altered. The flavor combination with the ripe, fresh vegetables was way too much, and I think a neutral, spongy, grainy base is much better suited for this type of hummus. Don't get me wrong, I still ate a ton of it, so it certainly wasn't bad! But it should be paired with the flatbread as God intended.

Next up, I ordered the curry cauliflower soup.

This puree of cauliflower, leeks and garlic, drizzled with coconut milk and cilantro was great. It was super smooth and creamy, and the flavors were nutty and earthy with a little kick! I was basically licking the bowl by the end, I enjoyed it so much.

For my entree I ordered the vegetable lasagna...

... in the cutest little red vessel there ever was!

Besides the dish being absolutely adorable, it was absolutely outstanding as well. The lasagna "noodles" are actually thin slices of butternut squash, which are then layered with zucchini, spinach, portobello mushrooms, and cashew ricotta. The flavors were full, rich, nuanced, and satisfying. This healthy little dish surprisingly provided a blanket of warm, enveloping comfort. I did not miss real pasta noodles or real cheese (CAN YOU BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT) for a second! I would go back there just to order this again, Whole30 or not.

The lasagna also came with a little side salad drizzled with olive oil and vinegar, which was nothing remarkable, but it didn't have to be, while sitting next to the fantastic lasagna.

Then my friends ordered dessert. And I stared at their dessert for a very long time. Because it looked so good.

s o .

g  o  o  d  .

In addition to the chocolate cake above, Jon ordered the cheesecake, which was topped with POPCORN.

Sorry for the out of focus picture. My body was shaking too hard from all the sobbing I was doing at the time.

Just kidding everyone. I ordered a decaf coffee with coconut milk, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! All I had to do was keep telling myself I was really drinking chocolate cake and popcorn and potato chips, and I was totally fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I had a lovely experience at Corner Table. The staff was informed and efficient, and the food was not only healthy, but delicious fare that made me feel as if I was indulging myself. This paleo-centric spot is definitely not one to be missed!

Save me a seat by the popcorn.

Corner Table Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My Vegetarian Whole30: Week Two Recap

Monday, September 14, 2015
I promised you transparency and honesty, and by gollee today's post will be filled with transparency and honesty!

But first, congratulations to my Sprouts $25 Gift Card Winner, Lauren M! Thanks for playing, and check your inbox, lady!

I'll come right out and say it: Week two sucked. Well, the first part of week two. Days 7-10 specifically. I've discovered that I do this thing where I plunge myself all excitedly into something extreme and awesome, and after the shine factor fades, I grow to really really REALLY resent it.

I started resenting eggs.

I started resenting soup.

I started resenting anything that wasn't potato chips.

Once the luster of week one had worn off, I became quickly down in the dumps. My energy levels were pretty low, and despite not attending any social events/going out to eat, I still felt like I had no time at all on my hands. This is due I'm sure to me amping up my workouts to get the most out of this program, as well as devoting HOURS to cooking (cooking not pasta, while munching on not cheese, and drinking not wine).

I am passionate about food, food with friends, wine, wine with friends, etc., so the diminished occurrences of these things from my life seemed suddenly intensely jarring. In addition, my skin was still resembling that of my 12 year old self's, which certainly didn't help lift my spirits. Needless to say, I was feeling incredibly depressed and moody for four days straight. I've read that there's a period during Whole30 where your body actually goes through withdrawal from sugar and other foods you've been "hooked" on, so this is probably what was going on.

Okay, here's what my week in food/workouts looked like:


squash, onion egg bake + avocado, strawberries

tomato basil soup + hard boiled egg

M3: zoodles w/roasted garlic cauliflower sauce + roasted eggplant & yellow squash

Snack: cashews, plum

Workout: circuit: arms/abs-AM

M1: squash, onion egg bake + avocado, apple

M2: cream of broccoli soup + hard boiled egg

M3: zoodles w/roasted garlic cauliflower sauce + roasted eggplant & yellow squash + plum

Snack: cashews

Workout: cardio-PM (30 min)

M1: squash, onion egg bake + avocado, plum

M2: tomato basil soup + hard boiled egg

M3: paleo veggie burger, avocado, sweet potato with ghee, asparagus

Snack: cashews, apple

Workout: hot yoga-PM

M1: squash, onion 
egg bake + avocado, plum

M2: cream of broccoli soup + carrots

M3: sweet potato egg boat w/avocado crema + side of roasted egg plant, yellow squash, and zucchini

Snack: cashews

Workout: OFF

M1: squash, onion egg bake + avocado, plum

M2: spinach salad w/apple, avocado, egg, cucumber, onion, sunflower seeds, oil + vinegar

M3: Corner Table

Snack: cashews

Workout: circuit: legs/cardio-PM

M1: squash, onion egg bake + avocado, plum

M2: spinach salad w/apple, avocado, egg, onion, sunflower seeds, oil + vinegar

M3: sweet potato curry stew + cauliflower rice

Workout: OFF-restorative yoga session

M1: squash, onion egg bake + avocado, plum

M2: avocado, blueberry, almond salad w/oil & vinegar 

M3: sweet potato egg boat w/avocado + asparagus & roasted eggplant/yellow squash

Snack: pumpkin spice "frappuccino"

Workout: OFF

It gets better though! Despite learning a valuable "Don't trust everything you see on the Internet" lesson (which entailed me literally gagging on some AWFUL tomato basil soup. I cannot remember the last time I actually gagged over food. Maybe when I was, I don't know, 5?), the food I ate this week was pretty good. The standout was the summer squash, onion egg bake I created and had for breakfast all week. I cannot stress how awesome this dish is! 

I also tried my hand at a roasted garlic cauli-fredo cream sauce over zucchini noodles, which wasn't too shabby at all.

Another star food item was a sweet potato egg boat, which I then topped with avocado. I could seriously eat this every night.

sweet potato curry stew that I heavily modified for Whole30/my tastes, over a bed of cauliflower rice was pretty darn good as well.

I also upped my mocktail game with a "feax-jito," which was way better than week one's cranberry concoction. I combined club soda, mint leaves, lime, and cucumbers for a refreshing, zippy drink!

For as bad as the week started off for me, the end of the week turned out great! Several things contributed to me changing my down-in-the-dumps week around:

1) Hanging out with my friend Kate. On a random night (Thursday, to be exact), I went over to Kate's house, sipped on some water with lime, and gabbed with her for a few hours. It's incredible what a few hours of quality girlfriend time will do to lift your spirits!

2) On Friday night I went to dinner at Corner Table with Jon and our friends Heather and Dan. I had been looking forward to this all week, and since Corner Table caters to paleo diets (and vegetarians!), it was not a stressful dining situation for me at all. Also, it was wonderful getting to spend time with such great friends, as well as having a date out of the apartment with Jon. But more on that later!

(^ me, looking like a gremlin, not eating the amazing-looking/smelling dessert)

3) I decided a little pampering was in order, and with this being my first empty weekend in a long time, I treated myself to an at-home spa day on Saturday. (I also allowed myself some extra, blended coffee, which was a welcome treat). It was just what the doctor ordered-More on that later as well! Also, I took the weekend off from working out, which gave my body some much-needed rest and recuperation.

I fully believe in this program, and I know that what I am doing is very healthy (I just have to keep reminding myself of that). I do think Whole30 is much more accessible if you eat meat, so variety really is key for me. That said, I'm changing quite a few things up this week. For one, as much as I adored my egg bake, I need to do something that isn't egg-focused for my breakfasts, so I have a yummy sweet breakfast treat in store for this week (which still contains 3 eggs, but they aren't the main feature). Also I became so sick of soup (probably largely due to my scarring tomato basil experience), that I found myself - a self-proclaimed salad-hater - craving salads. So bring on the salads!

Variety, quality time with the people I love, and special treats. Those are the tools I need to get me through week three. Like the pumpkin spice "frappucino" I made myself on Sunday:

Almost halfway there!
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