Reintroduction - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Whoo hoo! I'm on my last day of Whole30! But the program is not quite over yet. The next phase of Whole30 is called the "reintroduction phase." This is where you slowly add back foods from the no-go list to see how your body reacts. This part of the Whole30 program is essentially the whole point of doing it. It teaches you which foods your body may have a sensitivity to. By the end of it, you should have an understanding of what foods make you feel awesome, and what foods make you feel not so great. The way reintroduction works is that you add a food from the no-go list back to your diet for one day, and then go back to eating strict Whole30 for two days... those two days will give you time to decipher how your body reacts (if it does at all). You can't have foods from multiple categories (like peanut butter and jelly on bread) until the entire reintroduction phase is completed.

Reintroduction - Whole30 - DanaChirps

My reintroduction plan:

  1. Legumes (peanut butter, black beans, hummus, soy sauce, edamame, peas)
  2. Whole30 for two days
  3. Gluten-Free Grains (quinoa, oats, corn, popcorn, rice)
  4. Whole30 for two days
  5. Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, froyo, sour cream, butter, coffee creamer)
  6. Whole30 for two days
  7. Gluten Grains (bread, bagels, pretzels, pasta, crackers, muffins)
  8. Whole30 for two days
  9. Alcohol
  10. Whole30 for two days
  11. Sugar (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar)

There's are couple of categories that have foods that I might break up - I might do a variety of legumes, and then peanut butter separately at the very end of my reintroduction phase. I'm also considering breaking up alcohol into wine, cider, and vodka (that's what I drink 90% of the time). For some reason I find the reintroduction plan to be more nerve-wracking than full throttle Whole30! Wish me luck! 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 25-29 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Whole30 - DanaChirps

I'm at the last stretch of Whole30, and I can't believe it is almost over! Overall, this program has been much easier to implement than I ever could have imagined. Below are my thoughts on the process of doing Whole30... I have a separate post coming to discuss results.

The hardest parts:

  • Traveling for work - I had to really plan and pack a tonnnnn of compliant food. But by doing so, I successfully avoided eating noncompliant food. However, I was glad the trip was a short 3 days. Had it been longer, I'm not sure if it would have been feasible. 
  • Going out to eat - This was tough. We barely went out to eat because most restaurants didn't have compliant options. The few times we went out, I hated having to spend money (or have Brett spend money) on something bland/compliant. On the plus side, I'm sure we have not spent nearly as much as we typically do wining and dining out.
  • Time - You spend a lot of time dealing with food. Reading labels, researching recipes, meal planning, grocery store trips, cooking, and Lord have mercy - the dishes - SO many dishes! But this does get easier as time goes on because you naturally learn which recipes are going to be a bigger time investment.

The best parts:

  • I feel way more competent in selecting the food I buy. I read every label!
  • The food. It is SO.STINKIN.GOOD! I tell people that even if they aren't doing Whole30 to buy a Whole30 cookbook just for the sake of having awesome recipes. I have sincerely loved nearly everything I've made. 
  • I've learned to appreciate and enjoy cooking. This is the first time I've really been adventurous in the kitchen, and I've really gotten into it. 
  • Picking recipes. Even though it takes a little time, I love meal planning. I think it is fun to select the yummy foods I'm going to make. Brett and I tag-team grocery shopping, and I actually enjoy this process more than I thought I would. I typically plan 5 days at a time. This is largely due to the fact we have a smaller fridge/freezer, so space is limited. 
Cherry Chipotle Chicken Thighs - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Cherry Chipotle Chicken Thighs - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Recipe Rundown:

Asian Sesame Meatballs Over Zoodles - This one was ok. I think I would have really liked this one more with less zoodles. 

Seared Scallops with Ginger Blueberry Sauce and Asparagus - Um, yes x1000. The scallops with the sauce... so flavorful!

Cherry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Thighs - This was a giant hell yes kind of recipe! It has a little kick to it, but the cherries are seriously like these flavor bombs that are so scrumptious.

Spicy Pineapple Steak and Chicken Kebab - I think we just love all things kebab'd... another winner!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 18 - 24 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Bison Burger - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Bison Burger - Whole30 - DanaChirps

It is Day 24, and I'm coasting now! At this point, the key is to not get burnt out. I'm countering this by making and planning a mix of of simple recipes that I've made before, plus new/exciting recipes. 

Our friends Alex and Amanda came over to watch the Patriots game last weekend. It was my first time cooking Whole30 food for friends. We did veggies, and plantain chips to dip in guacamole, and buffalo chicken sweet potatos with a homemade "dilly dilly ranch." I whipped up a buffalo cauliflower rice version for Amanda because she's a vegetarian. I also made compliant chili lime drumsticks, and offered a few noncompliant foods (and drinks!) for our guests as well. It was a ton of fun to cook for other people, and they seemed enthusiastic (or REALLY polite) about the food I made them.

Another noteworthy recipe was one I made for Brett and I - Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kebabs. This is easily one of our new favorites, and will likely become a regular meal here!

Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kabob - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kabob - Whole30 - DanaChirps

This week I had a major challenge of juggling a three day work trip while remaining on Whole30. With a lot of determination, and preparation, I managed to succeed in staying compliant! I packed a ton of food, and thank goodness I did because there was next to nothing at the hotel that was compliant. I packed: bananas, grapes, boiled eggs, sardines (yes, really), dried mango, pistachios, almond butter, prosciutto, RX bars, chomps, and Lara bars. Although what I packed was delicious, I'm glad I only had to do it for three days. By the time I got home last night I was so ready for some real food. 

And although I was able to remain compliant at the event I worked, I had an accidental slip up at the airport on the way there. I consumed the Bare brand of toasted coconut thinking they were compliant because I had looked at the "Contains" list instead of the ingredients. I was pretty pissed to have fallen for lackluster labeling, and tossed the bag out immediately. I probably had about a half cup total, and it is likely I will never buy their products again. It turns out there have been quite a few other folks who have been fooled by this, meaning, it's not just me.

Deceptive Marketing - Whole30 - DanaChirps

A Whole30 purist would say that a breach of any kind means you have to start all over. I don't think I'm going to go with that plan mostly because I know I have stuff coming up in the next 30 days that would not make Whole30 feasible. But I may reintroduce sugar last - more on that later.

Recipe Rundown:

Chimichurri Beef and Chicken Kabob - Sweet baby Jesus. SO good... and maybe my favorite recipe I've made. It's definitely Brett's favorite! 

Chili Lime Drumsticks - These were pretty good... the chicken was more moist than I was expecting, but I wish I had been able to marinate them a bit longer. I also think I'd like to try wings next time instead of drumsticks because I feel like you could get more of the chili lime flavor. But Brett really liked the drumsticks because they're (obviously) more meaty! 

Bison Burgers - Ohhhh were these tasty! I wasn't sure if I was going to like bison because I really dislike how beef tastes and makes me feel. But This recipe was a definite hit!

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 10 - 17 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Veggies - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Veggies - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Whew! I'm over halfway through my first (ever) round of Whole30! I'm still going strong, and have stuck to the plan rigidly. I think I've been successful at doing so because of my meal planning, and some good old fashioned will power.

I spend a good amount of time picking out recipes for the upcoming week that I think Brett and I will enjoy. This has been a key element of my success because I genuinely look forward to the food I make! Once I select what I'm going to make, I write a shopping list of everything needed for the recipes, plus any other staple items that may need replenishing. Generally, it takes 2 or 3 grocery stores to get everything we need. It seems like a lot, but it's honestly not that bad. I only get a few items from the local natural grocery store because they're the only ones that carry them - so I'm in and out of there fast. Then it takes one or two stores to get everything else. I'm finding that I stick to the list a lot more when I shop this way, too. With each week and meal plan, it gets easier and faster. I also now know to look at a recipe and assess how many pots/pans/mess it will make (see my note about the enchiladas below).

Recipe Rundown is below! You'll notice I didn't take as many photos of my food this time... that has to do with either the fact the meal was not photogenic, or because it was so tasty I ate it before I could even turn my camera on. 

Melissa's Chicken Hash - So I had high expectations for this meal... sweet potato noodles, chicken, apple, walnuts... not sure what happened but I did NOT like it. This is the first thing I've made since starting Whole30 that I haven't not enjoyed eating. Brett liked it enough to eat the leftovers, but it's not something I intend on making again. 

Sardines - YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT. I was a BIT apprehensive to try them... but they're honestly just a food with a bad rep. I ended up enjoying my sardines, right out of the can quite a bit! I actually like that I can eat them straight without adding anything, whereas with canned tuna, I have to add mayo or avocado. Brett thought he was going to die by the scent of them... luckily he survived, but I'll have to be mindful of when and where I eat those salty delights! ;)

Buffalo Sweet Potatoes with Homemade Ranch - OH.EM.GEE. This was a phenomenal meal, and it was also crazy easy/fast to put together, too. This is definitely a keeper!

Enchiladas Wrapped in Cabbage with Cashew Cream Drizzle - So these were very tasty, but I practically had to use every appliance I own, and every heating method known to man. They were good, but I'm not sure if they were worth the time and the clean up! The cashew cream I was sort of "meh" about when I tasted it on its own, but loved it once I put it over top of my enchilada... sort of has a ricotta vibe to it.

Pork Butt a La Crock Pot - I put a 2lb pork butt in the crockpot for 10 hours, and the flavor was outstanding! The meat itself was unsurprisingly fatty (as it should be). Next time I may try to find a leaner cut. I lovvvved the seasoning though, and it smelled sooooo good.

Banger Sausage Patties and Sweet Potato Mash with Caramelized Onions - This recipe caught me off-guard because I can be pretty picky with meat, and I didn't have high hopes. But those bangers were UNBELIEVABLY good. As in, no condiments needed. As in I'm making them again this week. As in, there were no leftovers. Same with the sweet potatoes... this is a major feat because I'm not a huge potato person, and have been just sort of forcing myself to eat them in this program for sustenance. But I actually ENJOYED them.  

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Days 6 - 9 - Whole30 - DanaChirps

Whole30 - DanaChirps

So I survived the first full week of doing Whole30! I am shocked at how much I am enjoying this experience. I thought it was going to be a dietary form of torture.

It's been extremely eye-opening to read the ingredients of every single thing we buy. It was cumbersome at first, but it's getting pretty easy. At times I have to look up a foreign sounding ingredient, and if I can't find the answer I err on the side of caution. It's shocking to realize the sugar and junk that companies sneak into our foods!

The hardest part of doing Whole30 isn't the diet, it's the social aspect. It is hard to go out to eat because most foods are prepared with off-limits ingredients. The good news is that because I'm new to Portsmouth, I'm not exactly getting a ton of invites just yet, so it's perfect timing to do this program.

And honestly, it's not impossible to go out. For example, when Brett and I went on a last minute double date at The Library, I was able to quickly look up the menu prior to figure out what I could eat. I ended up having shrimp cocktail with lemon for an appetizer, and ordered the lump crab meat (which is technically an appetizer) and put it on top of my house salad that I dressed with balsamic vinegar. It wasn't what I would have eaten otherwise, but it was still pretty good! And more importantly, Whole30 didn't prevent me from attending a fun dinner with wonderful people.

The social situations Whole30 brings are actually quite fun. I recently met these two friendly girls through my neighbor and one of them hosted us for a ladies' brunch. She knew from social media I had started Whole30, and was so thoughtful to let me know that there would definitely be food I could eat. I was so excited to cook something to share, too. I made a breakfast pumpkin custard recommended to me from a pal in my Whole30 group. Yummy! There was also fresh fruit, and sweet potato hash with eggs over top! The only thing I had to pass on was the bacon because I wasn't sure what the ingredients were, but I was plenty full anyways. Regardless, high five to my will power for turning down bacon! But the three of us had such a fun time discussing Whole30 vs. Paleo (one of the girls follows that diet) vs. too much ice-cream. Food, and "diets" are such a fantastic topic of conversation!

Below are my food highlights. I don't have as many to share because Brett's been out of town, so I've been eating a LOT of leftovers!

Basil-Avocado Baked Salmon - This is a HOMERUN meal, and hands down my favorite quick and easy recipe. Loads of healthy fat to help me stay fuller longer! 

Lemon Garlic Tahini Sauce - Holy cow. This stuff is good on pretty much any/everything, but I love it on top of veggies.

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Black Truffle Salt + Black Pepper - This was pretty good, but now I need to take a break from squash because I had so much of it!

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Greatest Onion of Them All

Garlic. It is the greatest onion of them all. If I had to choose between chocolate and garlic - I'm choosing my stinky bulb of deliciousness. And if I had to choose between garlic and red wine... well, let's just pray to the taste bud heavens that I won't ever have to make that choice. ;) Recently I met a couple of cool cats who share my obsession enthusiasm for garlic. One of them was kind enough to send me a recipe that uses elephant garlic, which is essentially the mac daddy of garlic because it's about the size of an orange. After reading the rest of the short list of ingredients, I was pretty stoked to make this with my mom who is in town visiting.

Recipe Source: Herb-Grilled Elephant Garlic, from the "Cooking on the Weekends" blog by Valentina.

This was my interpretation:

The ingredients
The ingredients
Mt. Garlic
Mt. Garlic
Mix everything.
Mix everything.
Add S&P to both sides. Strike a pose.
Add S&P to both sides. Strike a pose.
Cook em'
Cook em'
Make a snack
Make a snack
Eat at least 12 of said snack.
Eat at least 12 of said snack.

I ended up taking a cracker, spreading some goat cheese on it, and then topping it off with the garlic (and some thyme to garnish). It took brute will power to not eat the entire batch of garlic. I will absolutely be making this again. This is a perfect snack to eat while watching hockey! (BTW - is it October yet?!)

In the meantime... I'll be sweating garlic out at the gym... but I'm pretty ok with that. :)

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

A Dessert Like No Other

A couple of my girlfriends and I wanted to get dessert somewhere, so we walked around the corner from my apartment, and went to Steak 954. I saw a picture of their baked alaska on their instagram, and knew that was what I wanted to order. This was one of the best desserts I've ever had in.my.life. It's a light key lime flavored ice-cream that is surrounded by porcupine looking meringue. All of that goodness swims in a pool of berry blended amazingness. Also worth noting - this was the only time EVER that my girlfriends and I have been silent while together, because we were too busy inhaling this masterpiece.

Key lime baked alaska
Key lime baked alaska

We also ordered the chocolate souffle. Of course Steak 954 has to go over the top with it (in a good way). A server breaks the souffle open in front of us, which in turn fills the air around us with a chocolatey scent. Then he pours this hot chocolate sauce INTO the souffle, which is what you see in the picture below. Oh, and it is served with salted caramel ice-cream. I think I just found the cure to PMS.

Chocolate souffle
Chocolate souffle

With it being a "cool" 70 something degrees (oh how I love south Florida weather), I wanted a warm drink to wash down my dessert. I opted for their Vietnamese coffee. The bottom layer is condensed milk, then coffee in the middle, and foam on top. Once you mix it, it's like a light and sweet coffee.

Vietnamese coffee
Vietnamese coffee

I don't know for sure, but I'm convinced there is some sort of sugar genius in the kitchen of Steak 954. Also - shout out to our server, Kevin! He had such a friendly, and accommodating personality - we'll be asking for him whenever we go.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

S3 (Sun Surf Sand) Review

I have a new favorite restaurant, and it is right around the corner from me! It's attached to the Hilton Hotel, right on Fort Lauderdale Beach, and called "S3" which sands for "Sun Surf Sand." My girlfriends and I went to this tapas style restaurant on Friday, and we all loved it! First up, the almond crusted Goat Cheese Croquettes, served over a red chili guava sauce. I can't even begin to describe how delicious these balls of holy goodness were. The sauce it was served with was unlike anything I've ever had before. Also, it was not spicy (I'm a huge wuss with spicy things, so I get scared when I see the word "chili" in the description). Absolutely fantastic.

                                    Goat Cheese Croquettes ~ Almond Crusted ~ Red Chili Guava

                                    Goat Cheese Croquettes ~ Almond Crusted ~ Red Chili Guava

Next came the Rosemary Fittes, served with a parmesan aioli.  They were "good." But I've had better fries elsewhere. I liked the aioli more than the fries. 

                                                           Rosemary Frittes ~ Parmesan Aioli

                                                           Rosemary Frittes ~ Parmesan Aioli

One of the girls that was at dinner, LT, truly cannot turn down an opportunity to order deviled eggs. So she selected the Deviled Fresh Farm Eggs which are served with smoked sea salt, and espelette (yea I don't know what that is either). I didn't try any, but Lauren said that they were very good. And unlike most deviled eggs, she said these were light, and had a good pickled flavor.

                                            Deviled Fresh Farm Eggs ~ Smoked Sea Salt ~ Espelette

                                            Deviled Fresh Farm Eggs ~ Smoked Sea Salt ~ Espelette

Then we had some mac & cheese with smoked gouda and crispy prosciutto. There was a lot of fuss made on yelp about how good the macaroni is here. I can see where a lot of people would like this dish, but it was not for me. Joy pointed out that the "crispy prosciutto" tasted just like bacon bits - we all agreed. But if you are someone who likes really "hearty" meals and flavors, you would probably enjoy this better than we did.

                                               Mac & Cheese ~ Smoked Gouda ~ Crispy Prosciutto

                                               Mac & Cheese ~ Smoked Gouda ~ Crispy Prosciutto

Last but not least, was my favorite dish of the night! Grilled octopus! It was served with gigande bean, tomatoes, and a salsa verde.  Hands down, this is the best grilled octopus I've ever consumed. It was not rubbery at all, and all of the flavors went beautifully together.

                                                    Grilled Octopus ~ Gigande Bean ~ Salsa Verde

                                                    Grilled Octopus ~ Gigande Bean ~ Salsa Verde

All in all, I'd give S3 a 4.5/5 . The dishes that we liked best were phenomenal, and the ones that we didn't like as much were still quite good. The service was good (Shout out to Dylan who wasn't our server, but stopped by our table and had such an awesome personality that we are going to request him next time!). They offer indoor/outdoor seating.

I'd order the goat cheese, and octopus again for sure, but also can't wait to try some of the other menu items!

                                                                               The view.

                                                                               The view.

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.