What started out as a game, is…well…still a game.
Eating as close to the ground as possible with organics and naturals.
No Fast Food.
Foods from other countries we have never tried.
Foods prepared with unusual cooking methods or techniques.
Foods prepared with unusual ingredients.
NO FAST FOOD!!!!
We stopped at the new Publix in Anniston to check out the new setup. We decided to enjoy some lunch while we were there. I made a salad with mixed greens, topped with egg, carrots, peppers, and vinegar/oil. Not fast food and close to the ground with no overly processed foods.
Next stop was the World of Coca Cola. The World of Coca Cola is very processed but it is interesting how this drink has made so much money and so universal. I met people from Japan, Nigeria, China, and Brazil all in the waiting area. I strongly encourage anyone who visits the sample area to try the “Beverly” from Italy. It will automatically make you NOT want to taste ANYTHING else. We left there with two kids buzzing on what must be a carbonated high of fizzy sugar. After tasting the Beverly, I had desire to touch anything else. Gag!
That night we went to a restaurant in Alpharetta, Georgia and I ordered steamed greens, boiled squash, and cabbage. I expected to be starving by bedtime but was so tired, food was the last thing on my mind.
The next day I awoke and was ready to hit the road in search of something unusual. What’s unusual in Georgia? Why a cabbage “tree” that gives birth to children.
After grabbing a couple of eggs off the breakfast bar and a cup of oatmeal, we left the hotel and headed north on Ga. 400.
We arrived at The Cabbage Patch BabyLand General Hospital an hour or so later. I had been years ago with my mom and grandmother but it had changed tremendously. However, the one thing that had not changed was the birthing tree. While we were there, Mother Cabbage went in labor and low and behold, gave birth to a girl, “Chloe Crystal.” Sydney immediately went into big sad eyes wanting the newborn but luckily at $199, it was easy to say no.
Mother Cabbage is beginning labor.
After we left the hospital, we headed around the bend to the unique little village of Helen. There is the part of the game where we get to eat food we have never eaten before. This was the perfect place for me to try German food, other than the usual brats and knocks.
For a late afternoon lunch we visited Hofer’s of Helen. Chris and I split the sampler tray aka Schlachtplatte “Hofer” mit Sauerkraut, Bretzenknödel und Bauernbrot or Bavarian butchers platter, smoked pork chop, assorted sausages, served with mild sauerkraut, pretzel dumpling and Farmers Rye Bread.
The sauerkraut was awesome and my favorite part. The smoked pork chop was so tender and melt in my mouth. I didn’t really care for the brats or knocks but Sophie enjoyed her brat on a bun.
For dinner, we walked over to the Hogpen Gap Grill. Chris took advantage of the German beer selection and I took advantage of the chance to enjoy a delicious, crispy pork schnitzel and corn souffle while Chris had the German Faire, which consisted of a variety of german food much like he had experienced earlier. German cuisine is a hearty plate that will stick with you for a while.
True Confession: After visiting the “Cabbage Patch Kids” place, I felt weird eating sauerkraut.
May 3rd: On the road again…
We wake up to a very cold, mountainous air and enjoyed a complementary breakfast, compliments of the Hampton. I had some eggs and a cup of oatmeal (again), while Sophie enjoyed anything that required decorative measures aka waffles, bagels, gravy biscuits, etc. She also managed to pocket an apple and yogurt for her 2nd breakfast. (Did I mention she is a hobbit?)
We arrived back into Alpharetta after my epiphany that Crate and Barrel was located shortly off Ga. 400 and I did not have to go into Buckhead to find the perfect tortilla press. The girls were hungry and just wanted a fun meal so I decided on Fudruckers. No, it’s not fast food, although I did feel like I cheated in the game. I ordered a burger sans the bun and topped the meat with yummy garden bar varieties. My side order was sweet potato fries but my children managed to covet them. That made me sad.
As we are approaching our “short cut” to avoid downtown Atlanta, the angels started singing, the birds fluttered, or maybe it was the other way around…regardless, we looked up and saw this sign…
My inner zen sang!
I thought Chris was going to cry happy tears. I managed to drive like an Atlanta native and pull over three lanes within 20 feet from the entrance. Sydney gasped. Sophie moaned. I squealed. Chris cheered.
FYI:If you are a foodie or just someone who really likes quirky, fun shopping experiences-GO TO TRADER JOE’S.
We loaded up on organic quinoa, couscous, olive oil, polenta, whole wheat flour, fair trade Peaberry coffee, a fresh lavender plant for me, and a delicious array of Trader Joe’s beer.
You must be from Alabama when you have your dog’s picture on your tailgate.
We hit the road again and decided to go backwoods Georgia. On a wing and prayer (or three) and a GPS that keep going on and off (imagine that), we managed to find our way back into Alabama (6 hours later). Did you know Piedmont, Alabama plays host to a variety of quirky fun outlets and side road restaurants?
Dinner: Grilled chicken, limas, and greens.
It’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! I awake to find 1/2 our household gone and the other 1/4 drooling in her bed refusing to wake up. I grab my box of Trader Joe’s Organic Bran Flakes and some skim milk. The day starts out delicious and filling.
Did I mention the day started out around lunch? Therefore, my brunch of bran flakes held me over until dinner.
Chris stops by the local stand and grabs some fresh collards, onions, and peppers. He sautes this all together, makes some delicious Israeli couscous, adds a touch of cut up pineapple, some oven baked bacon and this is the results:
Heaven in a Bowl
To top off my delicious day, I ate three Sea Salt Caramels from Trader Joe’s.
At the end of this day, I had 304 calories left on my 1300 calorie limit.
May 5- CINCO DE MAYO
The day started out with a banana and a trip to FRESHFULLY for some morning yoga. I felt great despite the rainy feeling in the air. On the way home, I was starving and stopped at the local stand and grabbed some boiled peanuts.
Cinco De Mayo was a great way to introduce our new tortilla press. Using simple corn masa and water, Chris carefully fried them. They were not as beautiful as the store purchased kind, but they were fresh, very fresh, and unique. The taste was about the same.
We dipped the fresh corn tortillas in tomato-less salsa, something I purchased at Trader Joe’s. It was sweet and spicy all in one. It received the two thumbs up from me.
Tomato-less salsa- Trader Joe’s.
To complete our Cinco De Mayo experience, we baked Talipia filets, gently seasoned with Mexican spices, grilled onions, grilled variety pepper and stuffed them along with carrot shreds, fresh greens, corn salsa and a touch of cilantro.
Carrots instead of cheese gave it variety and a color.
The ending result was this:
So far this foodie thing is working for me.
Day 6: Seis De Mayo
For breakfast I had more Trader Joe’s Bran Flakes with skim milk. Lunch consisted of leftover Isreali Couscous, which I must admit, was just as delicious as the first go around.
I had a meeting at Starbucks for business and enjoyed a Mocha Light Frap. This was my first time to drink a Starbucks Frap and it was pretty good and not as loaded with calories like I expected it to be.
We had slow cooked some black eyed peas for dinner, along with a sliver of lean ham for taste, boiled some squash and collards, and ate left over tilipia filets. Chris took the squash, added an egg, some white English cheddar, and bread crumbs to make a yummy casserole.
Dinner: Black Eyed Peas-with a silver of Fergie aka Snap!
Since we ate dinner early that night, I later had a snack of Trader Joe’s organic banana chips along with a glass of skim milk.
Day 7: Tuesday was a busy day for me. I am working on strategic plans for Make Good Choices.® and was making or returning phone calls most of the morning and early afternoon. I scooped some lettuce and added some crush tortillas, black beans, and corn salsa with a dollop of sour cream for an instant “taco” salad, minus the taco.
I hustled out the door to beat afternoon traffic so I could have some quiet time before the See Jane Write panel discussion on publishing. The panel was really good and I saw so many people I love to be around so food was not on my mind…
until I was headed home at 8:00pm. Then all of a sudden I was STARVING!
I stuck to the no fast food rule and opted to go in Earth Fare to check out their food bar. Since it was late, the food bar was already being taken down for cleaning. What to do, what to do… I checked out my options and decided to grab a wedge salad from California Pizza Kitchen. I drank water with it and sat at the bar and enjoyed watching them make pizza in the fire oven. My dinner cost less than $6 and was so much better than grabbing a burger and eating in the car.
The first week was fun. I tried new foods and overall stuck to the game plan.
Coming up: Week Two…where I eat Red Quinoa for the first time.