A New Hike Adventure: Exploring Vanalden Cave!

July 30, 2017

I learned a few months ago that there was a cave, accessible by hiking, not too far from me, in the Santa Monica Mountains. Heck yea! Let’s go check out that cave! It’s completely awesome… but kinda hard to find.

It’s called Vanalden Cave, and it’s in the mountains just south of Read the rest of this entry »


Full Cart at Whole Foods

February 1, 2011

Yesterday, I made a shopping list of groceries that I wanted and needed, and last night I took all my reusable grocery bags and headed off to Whole Foods.  You may recall I went to Whole Foods briefly last week, but that was more of a quick stop to pick up a few things than a full-on grocery shopping extravaganza.  I decided to go to the Whole Foods in Tarzana – I had heard that it was wonderful and huge, and I like huge, especially since the Whole Foods closest to me is kinda tiny.  I never really hang out in Tarzana, but it’s a straight shot on the freeway, and only took me about 20 minutes to get there.

Here’s the Whole Foods there – it’s the newest Whole Foods in the Valley, having opened last May:

And the word on the street was correct – it is gigantic.  Probably three times the size of the one nearest me.  Here’s the produce section:

They have a bulk food section that I’m excited to shop in (although I didn’t do any shopping there last night):

I’ve never seen so many varieties of rice in my life!  I couldn’t even fit them all into one shot:

They also have a huge prepared foods section, with a wine and tapas bar in the center:

Now, on to my purchases.  According to my receipt, I bought 63 items, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve bought so much food at one time.

I spent $32.64 in the produce department.  Here’s my haul:

It’s all the usual suspects: carrots, celery, pears, tomatoes, and other things that I’m sure you recognize.  The large tub in the back right is spinach.  There’s a mini-watermelon back left.  My mind was racing as I walked the produce section – so many new things to try!  I do love trying new things (read prior posts about trying buddha’s hand, seckel pears, and passion fruit, just to name a few), but today I limited myself to two new things:

On the right is a delicata squash.  I read about these in the December issue of Eating Well magazine, and they intrigued me because the skin is super thin, so you don’t need to peel them, and squashes are pains in the ass to peel.  I had never seen a delicata squash at the store before, though, so when I saw them last night, I immediately threw one in my cart.  I don’t know what I’ll do with it, but perhaps one of the Eating Well recipes, which you can read here.

In the middle is a pummelo.  I had never heard of pummelos until last week, when Julia, another blogger documenting her weight-loss journey, tweeted about them (you should definitely check out Julia’s blog, here.  She’s lost 148 pounds and well over 100 inches off her body – completely amazing).  A pummelo is the largest citrus fruit in the world, and according to what I read online, is a milder, sweeter version of a grapefruit.

On the left is an apple – it’s just there as a size comparison.

In the dairy section, I picked up yogurt, cottage cheese, and a carton of egg whites:

And a variety of other proteins and veggies in the refrigerated cases, frozen food aisle, and at the service counter:

What’s wrapped in the butcher paper is a surprise, for now, but I’ll definitely blog about the contents!

And here’s everything else:

There’s pantry items (beets, cannellini beans, jam, olive oil), snacks (raisins, rice and corn cakes), condiments (ketchup, mustard, 2 bottles of light salad dressings), sparkling water, and a bag of whole wheat pitas.

The total damage was $129.12.  I swiped one of the gift cards I was given on TV (I was given a stack of cards in smaller amounts, as opposed to one card for the entire amount), and the cashier waited for the receipt to print up.  As she pulled it from the machine, she said, “Thank you very much, you still have a balance on the card of… whoa!”  She stopped mid-sentence as she look at the figure, which was in the $300 range.  “That’s some gift!” she exclaimed, as she handed me the receipt.  “You have no idea,” I said, then thanked her and headed to the car.

Here’s my favorite part of the Tarzana Whole Foods:  The parking garage is underground, beneath the store, and they have one of those escalators for shopping carts!  Call me a nerd, but I think these things are soooo cool.  Here’s my cart coming down the escalator:

Keep it up, David!