A Foodies Tour: Wilmington, North Carolina

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Last weekend I spent a WONDERFUL weekend in the beautiful town of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. My best friend Casey is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a visit was long overdue! Casey is lucky enough to go to a beautiful school, surrounded by amazing places for food & drink, and not to mention, the beach! I thought it’d be fun to document as much of the food as possible! As many of you know, I’ve been trying to diet, but this was one trip I was willing to splurge for! Our friend, Jenna, goes to school at High Point University, so she came a long for the trip as well! Not only do the three of us love each other, but we love food. Casey, Jenna and I also have a love for natural foods. Farm to table restaurants are a favorite of ours. We love finding delicious restaurants where we know the food they are serving us are natural, organic, whole foods! Though we all love to splurge on lifes greatest temptations, like tequila shots and pizza, we are great at finding a balance between health and fun. Before I send you on this tour, I’d like to thank Casey for an AMAZING trip in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. No wonder she never comes home to Maryland during breaks, I’d go back in a heart beat!

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Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. This looks disgusting… I know. I thought I’d include my last Tupperware meal before my flight to Wilmington. This was tuna with mustard and rice cakes. I love this meal, sue me.  After four hours of traveling, between two flights and layovers, I arrived in Wilmington starving! Luckily, Casey was also ready to smash some food, we chose sushi, white girl problems.

TOKYO 101

A staple at any sushi restaurant is the Edamame. Extra salty, or no salt at all, edamame is delicious! I do have to say, the salt helps 🙂

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And welcome to sushi heaven. I thought I’ve enjoyed sushi before, but these rolls surpassed all expectations. I had to double up on Gluten & Dairy digestive enzymes, but luckily they provide Gluten Free Soy Sauce for rolls. No surprise here, Casey and I finished all three rolls. This usually isn’t such a challenge but these rolls were huge.

King Kong Roll

Red Snapper and Avocado Cooked Tempura Style, Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Scallion, Masago and Special Sauce

Ninja Roll

Tuna, Salmon & Avocado Topped with Scallop, Crab, Crunchy, Orange Sauce & Eel Sauce

Hurricane Roll

CA Tempura Roll Topped with Spicy Tuna, Scallion and Eel Sauce

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Epic Food Co. 

Epic Food Co. serves up a Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menu. They serve flavorful dishes to fit your dietary needs, as there are many gluten free and vegan options. They have perfect portion sizes, and you leave feeling satisfied, not stuffed! There are many great things on the menu, a long with an option to make it “Your Way”. Casey and I chose to make our own fresh bowl!

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Caseys bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Sprouts, Spinach, epic PICO, and veggie sauté. Casey chose the Avocado Chile Lime dressing as her sauce, on the side.

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My bowl consisted of Brown Rice, Chicken, Spinach, epic PICO, basil, and veggie sauté. I followed in Casey’s foot steps and got the Avocado Chile Lime dressing, on the side.

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Casey and I both got ourselves a side of freshly homemade sweet potato chips! I can’t explain how delicious these were, you’ll have to try them out for yourself.

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Epic does a great job in guaranteeing fresh ingredients and great service. They also include the nutritional values on the Epic menu, or the menu that is already created for you if you don’t choose to make it Your Way. The food tasted fresh and healthy, it was a delicious meal without the splurge! And well deserved after Casey and I hit the gym right before this meal 🙂

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After touring Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach for a bit, it was time to make dinner! We spent the day checking out local markets and picking up delicious ingredients for our homemade dinner we were planning that night! We picked up most of our ingredients at Trader Joes. Not to mention, my new favorite sparkling white wine! (I totally forget what it’s called, I’ll have to stalk Trader Joes next time)

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We made 1 pound of Gluten Free Brown Rice pasta!

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Mixed with 1 pound of White Ground Turkey meat! Seasoned with oregano, garlic, minced onion, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper!

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While that was cooking, we made a small antipasta to hold us over. I live for antipasta. Olives, salami, pepperoni, capicola. All that’s missing is cheese and crackers! Man, I miss mozzarella. #DairyFreeProblems

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Our pasta dish was amazing! The sauce we used was a Basil Marinara from Trader Joes. We had enough to hold us over, and then it was time to hit the town!

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Casey took us out to the beach bars for some drinks and yes, there was dancing! This lucky girl lives right near the beach, just over the bridge and down two blocks!

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We spent Saturday a little tired & drowsy, but we made it to the beach. It was a beautiful day, just not nice enough for bathing suits! After a long day of walking, beaching, and mostly napping, it was time to celebrate National Margarita Day! Casey works at On The Border and they were having $1 Margaritas! We started with happy hour there. Guacamole live was a necessity! We finished the night at Tower 7, Casey’s favorite place for Mexican food & Margaritas! I got the steak fajitas. We all cleared our plates and were home by 9 for a much needed nights sleep!

The Basics

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On Sunday, Jenna headed back to High Point University after a delicious brunch at The Basics. The Basics is in downtown Wilmington, which is an adorable and quant part of Wilmington! Casey got the Quiche special, which looked delicious!

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I got the Carolina Cobb Salad, without blue cheese. I saw someone eating this when I walked in and it looked so fresh so I had to get it!

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Jenna got the Spinach Feta Grill. I was so jealous! This meal was a thick cut toasted baguette with poached eggs, creamy spinach, artichoke and feta. Biscuit on the side, of course!

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We spent the next few hours at Port City Java, where scenes from We Are the Millers was filmed! Jenna left us to do homework. I, unfortunately, had a paper to write, and Casey had some exams to study for. After our homework was finished, we went on a run and got ready to go to the airport for my 5 o’clock flight back to Ohio!

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The struggle is usually so real at places like airports for people with “dietary needs” like me. Luckily, Wilmington had a local eatery right in it’s airport! The women who helped me explained where their meat was from, and that it had no fillers! I got a burger with onions and mushrooms over lettuce. I covered that thing in ketchup, as if we’re surprised.

I hope you enjoyed my food review on Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina! Stay tuned for a Foodies Tour of New York City after my trip this weekend!

Yours Truly,

Stef

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Loaded Balsamic Chicken Pasta

I absolutely just cooked myself the best dinner I have ever eaten! I wish I wrote it down as I went… I waited till the end and hope I got it right!
Measure out 2 oz of Pasta, I used Gluten Free pasta! Start your water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta to water when it boils. Then I soaked about 6 oz of chicken in some balsamic, salt, onion powder, and Mrs. Dash. (See picture of seasonings below) Cook the chicken on medium.

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Seperately, cut up two medium sized tomatos. Pour one tablespoon of Olive Oil (I used Garlic Olive Oil from Roots…I recommend the garlic olive oil!) Add (close to but less than) 1 tablespoon of Balsamic, a sprinkle of salt, garlic nuggets, and onion powder. Put it on medium heat in a frying pan and let it simmer into more of a sauce consistency.

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When your pasta is finished, strain and add it back into the sauce pan. Add your sauce to the sauce pan with the pasta.

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Then sauté your vegetables. Mine were already cooked, so I just needed to heat them up. I added a small amount of all of the seasonings pictured to my veggies as well.

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Cut up your chicken and add it to the pasta & sauce. Once your veggies are cooked or heated, add them to the sauce pan as well. This way, your food is still cooking & heating, and soaking up all the different spices… YUM!

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The finished product! Yes, it’s a huge bowl. This dinner was about 540 calories, 60 carbs, 45 protein, 14 fat, and 8 fiber. I like the look of those macros…especially after my day. I wasn’t able to eat much today at all. I ran, woded, and did some heavy deadlifts! I’ve been adding a LOT of cardio into my workouts. I take a cycling class once a week, run twice a week, and wod 2-3 times a week. I will sometimes go to our schools gym and do intervals or half hour runs on the treadmill or elliptical on days that I wod. Oh yeah…back to the machines. Ha..Ha… I’m trying to make sure that even though I’m adding so much cardio, that my strength is staying consistent. Yes, I want to lean out, but I sure as hell don’t want to lose my strength! I focused on strength all summer. I was PRing on a lot of things at crossfit. Not that I regret it, but I wasn’t focusing on my BODY and how it looked. I got to school and my clothes fit me funny… So Crossfit & cardio is the plan for now! I’ve been adding in little “treat” meals more often. My diet has been so strict for months that I am just worn out from being so concerned all the time. I’ve also been doing this for five years, its a lifestyle, and sometimes it isn’t going to be perfect. When I say treat meals, I don’t mean papa johns or oreos. (unfortunaly…) Treat meals, for example, this meal I posted above. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself some pasta, in moderation, every now and then. I also eat brown rice, quinoa, and rice cakes. Basically just more carbs…which might be OK since I’m doing so much cardio. So yeah, I’ve jumped off the paleo bandwagon a bit. I still base my diet off the paleo diet, with some small exceptions. SERIOUS obsession with rice cakes with peanut butter, banana, ground flax seeds for extra fiber. Peanut butter is another thing I havn’t been able to eat, and I can now. God has answered all of my prayers…
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