Moving to Des Moines has been an adventure from the last look I had of my empty apartment in Omaha. I had many reservations about taking the leap and moving to a brand new city but I knew I would have regrets if I did not go. 10 years later, a lot has changed since that cold February night as I drove out the home I had known for twelve years.
As I am feeling nostalgic for one of the major decisions I have made, I really had no idea how this move would change my life...for the best. In the past 10 years, I let go of shit that was weighing my whole being down, holding me back and crushing all the greatness inside of me. What gave me strength and the ability to value my worthiness, came from the prettiest and most beautiful souls in the world, my tribe from Des Moines. This place, these people made all the major decisions to follow not any easier, but manageable and hopeful.
I am not exactly sure what Jack meant with this excerpt from On the Road, but I think it is very similar to my own journey of meeting those "pretty" people I was meant to add to my family and to continue the adventure.
Nutrition Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation.
My conversation today is with nutrition communicator expert, Stephanie Cundith.
A few years ago, I was invited to attend a nutrition communicator event hosted by Midwest Dairy. Being new to the communication aspect of my job, I was very excited for this opportunity thanks to Stephanie Cundith. Stephanie has a very unique journey in becoming a registered dietitian with communications always being her underlying superpower. For the past 11 years, she has been working for the dairy farmers of the Midwest and has found her professional and personal passions. Stephanie is someone who inspires me and I know she will inspire you too!
Nutrition Nosh Three. Week(s) in Review.
I hope I am always enticing you to visit Des Moines. If you are finding yourself intrigued, hell yeah! I also hope I am encouraging you to get out and really explore the city you live in. I think sometimes we feel we have to get away and travel to new places, when there is so much to discover in your back yard. Since I am a dietitian and I love food, many of my explorations involve the food and these past couple weeks were no different.
Even a trip to a new place to dine is an adventure to me. It feels like a mini excursion or trip and a Wednesday afternoon venture to Mad Meatball fit the bill. It is a funky local pizzeria with a love for the Chicago Cubs and local flair. Located just outside downtown Des Moines, many bicycle and motorcycle riders stop by for cool vibes and tasty eats. I went 3 of my man friends and we ordered appetizers so of course we had to get the meatballs. I am not a meatball lover, but Mad Meatball changed my mind. The sauce was perfect and the meatballs had the best taste and texture, nothing like the grade school mushy and flavorless meatballs I remember. The next trip with be for the pizza, which they are known for.
The following weeks, I found myself wanting to explore the new up and coming dining establishments in suburb I live in. Waukee is booming. There are new homes and strip malls popping up everywhere, exactly what you would expect from suburbia. I hit up Global Brew Tap House a new addition to the hood and a small chain of brew houses, mostly in Illinois and Missouri. There are 50 beers on tap and over 200+ bottled beers available for the craft beer connoisseur. Which is not me, but I do like to enjoy the adventure of different beers. One thing I love to do is flights. Flights let me try a bunch of different things and not have to commit to more than 4 ounces. Since my recent trip to Michigan, I have been all about cider beers and Global had the perfect flight of more sweet beers. My favorite was the Tallgrass Keylime from Kansas. They also have a Brew Club for all you beer die hards. Maybe I will turn into one, I wonder if there is a Brew Flight Club.....
This week, my food stop in my hood was 2 fold: I wanted tacos and I wanted cake, so I ended up at R Taco and Miss NiNi's Desserterie. R Taco is a chain that touts "Tacos are the most important meal of the day" and yeah, I think I can get down with that. The concept is fun and there are some tasty taco options. I choose to be safe and ordered their basic taco or their #1 and then took a walk on the wild side and ordered their fried chicken taco with a side of chips and queso. The #1 and chips and queso, I liked. Perfect amount of spice to keep wanting to eat more AND they use corn tortillas, a hell yeah in my book. Fried chicken taco was a no but I will go back and maybe try a different one or go in the am for a breakfast taco. Right down the strip mall sidewalk is a Iowa local dessert spot with Miss NiNi's. Right when you walk in, it is warm and cozy and beautiful desserts in a well lit case. I couldn't decide, it was too hard. There were cheesecakes and cakes and dessert breads and cookies and brownies and blondies. I am a sucker for tiramisu, so I ordered that and got 2 free samples of other baked goods. There was also a tiramisu cheesecake, which I wish I would have gotten. I think she is known for her cheesecakes. Miss NiNi is a local celebrity (which I am just learning) and has been featured in Midwest Living and The New York Times. The sample of the lemon raspberry cheesecake made my taste buds smile. I will be coming back for a slice of the cheesecake anddddd maybe a blondie.
Nutrition Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.
Ok, I have been a little off on my "getting buff" workout goals, so as I have been "savoring the flavors" of Des Moines, I am also getting my muscles re-motivated. Does music motivate you? This is why I create these playlist, I get much motivation from music and enjoy putting the weekly themes together. Enjoy this weeks Right Here, Right Now Playlist on Apple Music and Spotify.
Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be a sous chef for one badass babe and friend, Stacey. She is the author of the blog Embracing My Chaotic Life where she shares her whole life "in the kitchen with humor and a dash of vodka." She concocted this amazing menu for the Iowa Premier Beer, Food and Wine Expo downtown Des Moines. For the past couple years, she has a featured partnered beer or wine pairing dinner and creates a menu that will make you slip on your drool. This year she partnered with Odell Brewing Co from Fort Collins.
The entire menu she created was delicious (because of course I ate after I plate). It had this cohesive fall theme and basically is everything I want to make for Thanksgiving instead of the usual fare.
This started the meal: Glazed Donut Crostini topped with brie cheese, bacon, cranberries and arugula. Followed by a red pear salad topped with a luxurious dressing, honey goat cheese and maple pecan popcorn. I remember a lady at the dinner saying "this is the best salad I ever had, I mean come on, it has popcorn on it!" I couldn't agree more sister...
I loved it so much, I even kind of tried to create it myself for my TV segment I had the next day. Cranberries and caramel popcorn on a salad. It wasn't as good as Stacey's. But nothing ever is. I love that Stacey inspires me to even try to be a little more creative than I ever have been and to try new things. Another one of the prettiest girls in the world who lives in Des Moines.