Welcoming the New Whole Foods

Hey ya’ll! It’s hump day. To be completely honest, it always takes me a few hours of each day to realize what day of the week it is. Oh how I am going to miss break. Luckily I get to ease back into school next week with only one day of class and one day of work. Thank god or I might die from the exhausting schedule that I have. Now I have some big news. A new Whole Foods opened up in Austin today in the Domain. I have been waiting for this thing for two years. It is just like the one downtown with a few different twists. When I extended my trip home, I was so excited that I was going to be home for the opening ceremony.

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For those of you that don’t know, Austin is the headquarters for Whole Foods and it is where the company originated. I feel like that is one of our cities claims to fame. I’m proud of it too because I am all about my healthy living and nutrition agenda. Austinites love keeping Austin weird by supporting local businesses. Whole Foods is something that most Austinites can’t live without (on the list are Longhorn football, yoga, Torchy’s Tacos, etc). This is why this place was a freaking zoo. My brother and I had to park in a parking garage so far away because every spot was taken and the dirt lot was full. This was insane.

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One of the cool things that Whole Foods did was that if you were one of the first 500 people at the opening then you would get a free Austin bag with goodies. I’m Jewish. Obviously I woke up at 7 am just so I could get a bag filled with free things. It wasn’t that bad actually. I ended up being 447, barely made it! I was so glad I got it though because it was a really good deal. I love reusable shopping bags not only because I hate dealing with plastic bags, but also because they can be used for so many other things like carrying my laundry to the laundromat or returning items to clothing stores. The bag also came with a nice sized freezer bag. That can be used for chilled bottles of wine or icecream, but maybe both for Galentine’s day that is February 13th (for the reference PLEASE watch Parks and Rec)! While we were waiting in line, staff from Whole Foods came around giving out stress balls in the shape of fruits and vegetables. I got myself a carrot. These were super cute and I was like I could totally do something like this for my future dietitian practice!

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Hello to you dark chocolate peanut butter cup. I love you too. This was just one of the many delicious treats that was in the bag. I love Justin’s more than anything. Seriously one of the best companies for organic peanut butter treats. One of my favorite things of theirs is the 80 calorie squeeze packs. I discovered them at a Whole Foods in NYC and I died. Other things in the bag include Lucy’s Gluten Free Cookies, black bean chips, tons of different types of tea, a bottle of soul water, omegabar, chocolate chip cookies, and so much more. It was a nice thing to do for the loyal customers in my opinion. Plus I now have more shopping bags, so win win!

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One of the best parts about a grand opening is all of the samples. Once again, the free things. I swear it is just something in my genetics that calls to me when I see the word free. The samples at Whole Foods were on point today. This was a piece of salmon that was grilled outside and seasoned with some spicy cajun spices. Amen. There was also an amazing piece of flank steak outside on the grill. It was incredibly tender and juicy. Other sample highlights include ramen broth, lobster tail meat, a shucked oyster, and tons of fresh fruit. I felt like I was in foodie heaven.

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Oh yeah, you heard right. I said a ramen sample because guess what? Our new Whole Foods has a ramen bar. Now that is what I am talking about. I ended up sampling the pork ramen broth, which was simple yet delicious. I will definitely have to come back next time I’m in town when the heat dies down, so I can get a huge bowl of ramen. The line was ridiculous. I hate crowds also, so that was a huge problem for me. People were walking so slow in the store that it was impossible to move around. I had to bust out my New Yorker moves a couple of times in order to get around.

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Wait, you don’t have a restaurant in the middle of your Whole Foods? Well we do. There was the cutest open building in the middle of the new store. It was a draft and oyster house. Beer and oysters. I could particularly do without the beer since I don’t drink a lot, but I would definitely line up for the oysters. They are really good. We got free samples of the oysters, so I can definitely vouch for this place. Also the fact that the inside was extremely crowded vouches for it too. I would definitely love to be able to sit down next time and enjoy an entire plate of oysters instead of just a sample. The ambiance was really cute too because it reminded me of a country porch. A place to kick back with a beer and some oysters.

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Speaking of oysters, this Whole Foods actually has a serving station where you can just make yourself a box of oysters to go and shuck yourself. I don’t really like the idea of shucking oysters myself, but I like that they have this option available for the real seafood foodies out there. There were so many different types of oysters to choose from, which was also really nice to have access to. That way in case you don’t like a specific type of oyster, you aren’t stuck to just having that. The Whole Foods really went all out on the seafood part.

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When it comes to Whole Foods, you definitely can’t forget to mention the desserts. You can’t live without a huge cookie cart that has three levels of different types of cookies on all four sides. My brother dug into this station and got a ton of cookies. I ended up sampling a pistachio shortbread, which was to die for. All you could taste was the tasty pistachio flavor, which was great because I hate when things say they are some flavor and there is only a small hint of that flavor. This cookie was great.

So lets get to the things that I didn’t like about the Whole Foods. For one the dessert section was very tiny compared to the downtown one on South Lamar. Also since the dessert section is small, there is no chocolate fountain. That means no caramel apples, which my mom loves. I think that there is a smaller amount of actual products to buy in comparison to the other massive location too. However I definitely won’t complain because I’m very happy that there is a massive Whole Foods near my mom’s house now. It is very convenient to us. I will definitely come here every once and a while when I’m in town.

Have you ever been to the Whole Foods in Austin?
What is your favorite thing(s) to get at Whole Foods?

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French Pastries Make Anything Better

Hey ya’ll! It is Monday. For the first time, I’m actually pretty excited that it is Monday. It is the last day of class for me and the best part is we are having speakers in some of my classes because they assumed that most people would go out of town, so class is optional (well except for my applied physiology class, but I have to turn in my review paper, so weeeee). I have a delicious treat for ya’ll this Monday. FRENCH PASTRIES. Seriously I think that French pastries make anything better. One of the best places in the city is Mille Feuille, which is located over near NYU. Man if only Columbia was over there. I would be probably 5000 lbs (haha jk because that would kill me). Anyways there is nothing like a delicious pastry and some hot chocolate on a cold day.

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It is a really small shop, but it is packed with delicious treats. I was so cold, but the inside of the bakery was so warm that I think I was almost sweating. I made Carrianne sit outside with me, so I didn’t die to death inside while I nommed on my treats. It is a really cute shop though. The interior is decorated nicely, there is some stools to sit on, and it smells amazing. One of the coolest things about this little bakery is that they offer cooking classes for french macarons and croissants. Let me tell you, this is definitely the place you want to learn how to make either from (they have amazing macarons!).

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Ummm look at these containers of french pastries. I think I died and went to heaven. I have actually been here before on a trip with my dad and little brother to New York. That is how I knew about this place beforehand since pastries isn’t the top thing I’m creeping on yelp for. It was really hard to choose what I wanted to get because I was torn between so many things. Look at those cronuts, they look so good. If we go back, I’m definitely going to be getting one of those because they had chocolate, raspberry, and almond. I would have gotten the chocolate or raspberry, but anyways on to what I ended up eating.

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Look at this beautiful piece of croissant. It is pink, my favorite color. I think that is probably one of the main reasons that I gravitated towards this treat. The pink on the outside was beautiful. It was a raspberry flavored sugar that was sprinkled all over the top of the croissant. It was beautiful, but it was definitely a mess. When I was done eating this, I had pink stains all over my mouth. It was a pretty cute look for me.

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Look at the flakiness of the croissant. When you bite into it, the crust just falls apart in your mouth. It was so buttery and delicious. It was definitely one of the best croissants I’ve had in a long time. Although nothing will ever compare to the chocolate croissants I have had in Europe (the funny thing is, the best chocolate croissant I had was in Germany). The sugar had soaked in a little bit in the pastry, so there was also a nice hint of raspberry in every bite.

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Look at the inside of this croissant. It was an almond raspberry croissant, so the inside was filled with raspberry jam and almond paste. OMG. HEAVEN. When the two were mixed together, it was a sweet bite. The raspberry jam was perfect. It was made from fresh raspberries, so it didn’t have that artificial taste to it. I really hate when pastries just use pre-made fillings because having everything made from scratch makes it so much better. The almond paste was not too overwhelming, which was good because that helped it go along with the raspberry jam. I gobbled this thing up. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that goes here. Just be prepared to get messy.

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This place has some of the best macarons of my life. These little things are packed with so much flavor, which is what makes a good macaron. I hate when they are cooked perfectly, but do not taste what the actual flavor is. These were coconut and pistachio. The pistachio is definitely a favorite. It tastes like freshly roasted pistachio nuts. If you closed your eyes, you would think that you are actually eating pistachios. The coconut was the same way. It tasted like fresh coconut bursting inside your mouth. Other macarons that I have had from this shop include salted caramel, passionfruit, lemon, chocolate, and raspberry. Every single one of those is delicious. The salted caramel and passionfruit are definitely at the top of the list though. This place even made Carrianne enjoy macarons, so you know that Mille Feuille is legit. Noms.

Have an awesome Monday! I know I am going to! No case of the Mondays over here.

What is your favorite kind of pastry?
Have you ever had a pastry from France?

The Bakery of the Gods

Hey ya’ll! This weekend has been a blast so far, and there are still two days left. I’ve loved having my best friend back in town. It is like she has never left. I’m sad that she is going to have to leave, but I can’t wait to go visit her in NYC. I think the Big Apple needs a little Lindsay.

Back to the real world. Today I’m going to post about the greatest bakery in the world. Maybe not compared to bakeries in France, but at least places in the United States. This bakery was the bakery of the gods. It was that amazing.

IMG_5077Welcome to Bakery Nouveau. It is a delicious French bakery in Seattle. They have pastries, a chocolate case, bread, sandwiches, and drinks. Going only once was a crime. We should have at least gone twice, maybe even three times. My brother has his love for French bakeries, so of course when we were in Seattle we had to frequent a couple. We yelped it (typical of us), and saw that it has 4 and a half stars. WIN.

lHello to this case of goodies. Unfortunately we weren’t there for the chocolate. Although now that I’m thinking about it, I definitely wish we would have gotten some chocolate to go. I have a weakness for chocolate.

DSCN0127Get in my belly right now. Welcome to the greatness that is called the twice baked chocolate almond croissant. The pastry was so flaky and soft as you bite into the croissant. Then you taste the soft creaminess of the chocolate and almond paste inside. Heaven in the mouth. I’m not even kidding. This is probably the best croissant I have ever had in my life, and trust me my family and I are connoisseurs of croissants. We’ve had them in Paris, Berlin, and various US bakeries. This one is the cherry on top. Try to get this in your life immediately.

DSCN0128 Pear danish? Yes please. One again the pastry was extremely flaky and soft when you bit into it. Once you reached the middle of the danish, you got to experience the fruity flavor of the pear mixed with an almond cream that was underneath it.

DSCN0129Oh what is this delicious treat? I forgot what specifically it is, but I know it had apple and cinnamon in it. Oh god it was delicious. The crust was perfectly baked. The inside of the pastry had chunks of apples and a sweat thick cream that tasted amazing when it entered your mouth. Pure perfection in a little bite.

DSCN0130What a beautiful piece of art. I love the shape of this pastry. It was an apricot danish. It was delicious. The crust on this was was more cooked than the other ones, so the flaky factor was a little less than the other ones. However it was still delicious in its own way. The apricot in the middle was delicious and once again there was a surprise of cream underneath the fruit. It was delicious. Yum.

BakeryNoveau09I stole this picture from bing, but this is what my dad ordered for himself. It was a pistachio cake with various layers of cake and cream. It was an interesting dessert, but definitely not my favorite thing we had eaten that day. I love pistachio, but it wasn’t that rich in flavor. I was disappointed in it. Oh well the rest of the pastries were so mind blowing amazing that it didn’t even matter to me.

This is a must if you go to Seattle. I hope ya’ll have a good football Sunday and for those that have off on Martin Luther King day enjoy it. I know I will be enjoying it with some margaritas with my roommate. Probably some cupcakes too. We know how to have fun!

WIAW #4: The Breakfast Club

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week: What I ate Wednesday. Shout out to Jenn for hosting such an awesome blog link up party online. While everyone else is having epic Wednesdays, I’m sitting around my apartment all day waiting for the energy company to come hook up the gas. Yeah, no fun. Luckily I have my computer, books, and my roommate’s cat to keep me entertained. Let’s get to the good stuff. Today I’m doing a post all about breakfast. Seeing as it is my favorite meal of the day, I thought it was appropriate. However, I’m also going to give you a little nutrition lesson too.

Black Forest Oats Parfait

Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day because it gives you a healthy start to the day. Most people think that by skipping breakfast, they will be able to lose more weight. However this is actually a myth. Eating breakfast actually increases your metabolism, which in turn helps you lose weight quicker. Also, if you don’t eat breakfast by the time lunch rolls around you are hungrier and therefore more inclined to eat more food than you would have. This leads to more weight gain. Obviously the key point here is to eat breakfast, but there are also many other benefits that can be connected to eating breakfast.

Studies have shown that breakfast has a huge impact on cognitive function. Most studies have been done on school aged children showing that by eating breakfast they perform better on tests and in school. However this information can be used for adults too since our brains need fuel to function properly. Breakfast is also connected to concentration. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast have an easier time focusing on the task at hand compared to those that do not consume a morning meal.

S’mores Oats

Another reason that breakfast is an important meal of the day is because of energy. By eating breakfast, we are supplying our bodies with nutrients and substance. From this, our body gets energy. When you sleep at night, the body goes through seven to eight hours without eating, so it is important to eat breakfast. Otherwise you will lack the energy needed to get through the day. No one wants bad grades or to get fired, so EAT Breakfast.

Pistachio Pancakes

A healthy breakfast doesn’t have to take long to make or be super fancy. All you need is plenty of fiber and a healthy source of protein. These are things that help you stay satisfied for a long period of time, provide a good amount of energy, and keep your metabolism going. For fiber, one can consume whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. For protein, there can be a variety of sources based on the diet. Obviously you can have meat, but other choices include beans (for vegans and vegetarians), eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, or tofu (I saw a great recipe at Jenn’s for Tofu french toast – definitely going to try it out soon).

The lesson is you need to eat breakfast. I find that breakfast is fun. Don’t worry. I will share all of these recipes pretty soon! I wouldn’t show you pictures without telling you how to make it. I hope everyone has an awesome Wednesday. I’m just hoping that the energy guy comes soon, so I can finish unpacking and doing stuff that I need to do.

What is your favorite breakfast?
Do you ever skip breakfast?