Day 21, one week to go (ok, 9 days)

September 21, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I’ve been sailing along through this round of the Whole30. It has been so much easier than the first time I did it. I guess there is a learning curve. I definitely learned that preparation is key, so I have continued to do bulk cooking on the weekends and always making double recipes so there will be leftovers.

Here’s a few of the things I created to eat the past two weeks…

Roasted eggplant:

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Grilled a bunch of chicken thighs:

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Roasted spaghetti squash:

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Using Melissa Joulwan’s method it comes out al dente and not mushy. Perfect. Cut in half. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Save the seeds to roast. Place halves face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of water around the squash. Roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Pad Thai from the cookbook Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan, using the spaghetti squash and grilled chicken thighs:

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You can find the recipe on her blog here. The secret is the delicious Sunshine Sauce.

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The boys loved it and didn’t miss noodles. Maybe Cal only sort of loved it.

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I made collard greens wraps, stuffed with a salad I made with roasted eggplant, grilled chicken thighs, pecans, other veggies and homemade mayo dressing:

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I used some of the leftover spaghetti squash and mixed it with a homemade curry sauce:

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The spaghetti squash seeds, roasted with macadamia nut oil:

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A couple of breakfasts I photographed:

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A “hot plate” a la Melissa Joulwan and Well Fed, with a roasted golden beet.

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I have been using that cookbook a bunch this time around. Last time I used Paleo Comfort Food more. There are so many awesome recipes out there…an endless supply of other people’s culinary genius to exploit.

Roasted cinnamon/ginger delicata squash, based on the recipe here:

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Bacon/almond roasted Brussels sprouts, based on this recipe:

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Boy approved:

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I’ve become addicted to kombucha. I drink 1/2 a bottle every night. It is the substitute for the nightly ice cream thing that was happening all summer.

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My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-32(wide shot of my kombucha and another view of our living room…taken late at night)

Many of the veggies used in the above creations are from my bi-weekly Annie’s Organics Buying Club share. I haven’t been taking pictures of all my shares, but here is the last one:

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I have some ideas swirling around for what I’m going to make from some of this goodness. I love how the deliveries help to narrow down that nefarious question of what to make for dinner. It gives me a direction to go in. Got delicata squash? Find a recipe! And by the way that stuff is amazingly delicious. I think it is my favorite winter squash. Easy to cook. You can eat the skin. Tastes a little like sweet potato.

I’ve been thinking about the “after” this time. Last time I immediately took off for a girls’ weekend in Charleston after my whole30. It was a great weekend of fabulous food and cocktails. That was pretty much it for my clean eating. I never did get back on track.

This time I am planning to stick with a mostly #NSNG (no sugar, no grains) diet after my whole30. I am going to add back in dairy and beans judiciously, but really try to avoid added sugar and grains as much as possible. I WILL have the occasional cocktail or three. I’m going to do more research on more paleo-friendly cocktails and try to stick to those.

My friend Kate introduced me to the whole #NSNG movement, and I am IN. I just read the book by their spiritual leader:

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It was pretty good. What is even better is the testimonials by all of the #NSNG folks. It’s like the awesome testimonials from the Whole30 veterans, but regarding a lifestyle and not just a temporary challenge. It’s not that different than the Whole9 lifestyle.

Cooking and eating hasn’t occupied all of my time the past two weeks.

I went to a great Yelp Elite event at NOVA 535 Art Lounge. My friend Valarie was my date.

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This venue is only about a mile down the street from my house and I have driven by it tons of times. I never knew that behind that façade lay this beautiful space:

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NOVA 535 hosts amazing weddings and parties. I loved the upscale urban décor and artwork.

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Downstairs there is a huge banquet room and long bar.

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Upstairs is a VIP area and another smaller bar.

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Also upstairs is a large balcony overlooking the bamboo-lined courtyard.

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They have private spaces upstairs where a bridal party could get dressed or changed, and also have very lovely restrooms.

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The event was catered by ExecChef Catering, and according to Valarie everything was amazing. Here are some of the things that I couldn’t eat:

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There was also reportedly delicious lobster mac & cheese and what Valarie described as, “possibly the best crab cakes I have ever eaten.” Good for you.

They had a made-to-order stir-fry station set up…

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and the chef was nice enough to make me some stir-fried veggies that were whole30 compliant (no sauce).

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They were tasty and kept me from doing nothing but nurse a glass of water all night.

TapSnap was there taking photo-booth style photos.

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Their computer was pretty cool and you could edit the photo and add text or drag and drop props to the photo right there.

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They e-mail you the photo and were also printing them out that night for us.

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Awesome. Despite not being able to partake of all the amazing food, I still had fun socializing with my Yelp friends and Valarie. Thanks for being my date Val!

In the past couple of weeks (since Cal’s bus stop was finally changed to be closer to our new address) Mack, Chewie and I have gotten back into the routine of walking to school.

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On our walk the other day we witnessed a car crash. It was just a fender bender, but still scary to see.

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I am back to volunteering at Mack’s school once a week.

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Here’s one OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day) GIF thanks to Google+.

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It creates these things even when I immediately delete all of the outtakes from my phone. And I always love them.

I finally drove out to the boon docks and got my Level 2 volunteer badge which I was approved for 10 months ago.

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Better late than never.

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We went to an open house at Cal’s school to meet all his teachers.

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I loved the ceiling in the art room.

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I drove out to the beach one day to meet up with my friend Amy and check out their new Treasure Island home. This is their back yard:

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Not too shabby, huh? We crossed the street to the beach…

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and had a nice long walk.

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I also went antiquing/thrifting with Amy a few days later:

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We got our irrigation system completely overhauled:

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We didn’t have a sprinkler system at our old house and have no experience with them. This one was in dire need of some maintenance. I don’t want anyone to have rage against the sprinkler because of me.

I sustained some bacon-related injuries:

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I went to a Depeche Mode concert with my friend Ali:

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We were in the grass at the amphitheater, but our tickets were free. That’s VIP enough for me. The concert was killer. Thank Ali!

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I had a long-overdue dentist appointment.

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The whole house-hunting, old home improvement, packing, house-selling, moving, new home improvement, unpacking, and decorating thing really threw me off the past six months. I’m overdue on all of my doctor appointments (dentist, OB/GYN, GP, Ophthalmologist). I hate the lecture you get because you are so overdue for a check-up, so I’m still procrastinating on those other doctors. Plus, I hate doctors. Sadly the boys are also overdue for doctor and dentist appointments, but I’m proud to say that at least I have called and scheduled them and Mack actually had his doctor’s check-up last week.

Mack got a new hoodie that has something to do with Minecraft.

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Gratuitous photo of Chewie for Angelika:

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Okay. That’s it. Caught up to today. Well, except for Part 4 of my “what I did on my summer break” series (August). I’m hoping to get that done before the end of September and then I really want to stay caught up. I’m tentatively planning a post-a-day marathon for October to really try to get back into the habit.

Cya.

Mega catch-up

May 14, 2013 at 9:54 am

I have totally gotten out of the habit of blogging. So much going on! I haven’t even been taking too many photos the past week or so. But of course, there are always SOME photos that must be blogged and there is fascinating stuff going on around here which the world must see.

The first thing on my mind this morning is my new niece, Vivi Lee, born yesterday! Here she is with my mom (Grandma Viv) and her big brother Cody.

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Congratulations to my sister Janet and my brother-in-law Bob! I can’t wait to meet her in person in a few weeks. I wish I was there now! My arms are literally aching to hold this baby.

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Send more pictures please!

The next thing on my mind is the fun evening I had Saturday night. I was invited by the Tampa Bay Rays to attend the game versus the San Diego Padres on Saturday and to stay for the Kenny Loggins concert afterwards.

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{Disclosure: I was given free tickets to the game and VIP field passes for the concert in exchange for helping to spread the word about the Rays Summer Concert Series.}

My friend BJ agreed to be my date and we had awesome seats right behind home plate.

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It’s always cool to be at Tropicana Field. I have been there many times for Rays games and for other events (like when I did a bootcamp workout on the field, and when I ran through it during the Women’s Half Marathon), but it never gets old.

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After a few innings we met up with my friend Ali and her boyfriend Mark and moved over to their seats near the outfield.

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We were ready for some ballpark food, and on Ali’s suggestion Bobbi-Jo and I got these awesome turkey carver sandwiches at a kiosk called Carvers.

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There was like a pound of turkey on this thing, and the thick-cut chips were awesome also.

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We had instructions to head down to one of the outfield field entrances during the 9th inning. While we were waiting in the VIP holding pen (feeling very important) we watched the game on a television that was down there and got to see the Rays win the game!

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We felt pretty special to be one of the first few people allowed onto the field after the game.

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We were positioned right in front of the concert stage!

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The Rays have been doing a Summer Concert Series for a few years now, and the concerts are very popular.

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The field filled up behind us and there were tons of people still in the stands for the concert.

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We were so close to Kenny!

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Thank you so much for the VIP treatment, Rays!

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We had a blast singing along with all of Kenny’s 80’s hits like “I’m Alright” (theme song from Caddyshack), “Footloose” (theme song of Footloose, duh), and “Danger Zone” (theme song from Top Gun). He’s the sound track king! 

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I got pretty nostalgic and a little emotional when he sang “Forever”, remembering what it felt like to be 16 years old in 1985. We were surrounded by a few Kenny Loggins superfans, and I thought one lady was going to faint during this song because she got so emotional.

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It was so fun. Thanks again, Rays, and thanks to my date BJ and my BFF Ali. You guys are always awesome.

Be sure to check out some more of the Rays Summer Concert Series: Martina McBride (June 8th, Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles), Imagination Movers (June 16, Rays vs. Kansas City Royals), Carly Rae Jepsen (July 14, Rays vs. Houston Astros), One Republic (August 17, Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays), and Victoria Justice (August 18, Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays).

Also last week, there was tons of improvements happening at our old house including professional cleaning, interior painting, new carpet, and a few odd jobs for the handyman.

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It’s now gleaming because it’s so fresh and new and clean. And it’s on the market!

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It feels so weird to see that realtor’s lock box hanging from MY doorknob. We are really hoping that it sells quickly!

Because now we have this other house…lots of unpacking going on last week.

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I pretty much have the kitchen and dining room unpacked and set up now, but there are still boxes everywhere.

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I escaped the madhouse on Friday to go on a Principal’s List fieldtrip with Mack.

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It was at a local gymnastics place, in case you couldn’t figure that out.

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Good times. Probably the last fieldtrip of the year, I guess.

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It’s hard to believe there are only a few weeks of school left!

Finally, I had a great Mother’s Day.

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I pretty much spent it ordering the boys around and unpacking because that is what I most wanted to do. I can’t wait to finally have the house set up so we can actually just LIVE in it. I’m so tired of digging through boxes and not being able to find stuff!

That’s it for now…

Cya.