Cranston, Rhode Island.


At least in my humble opinion!


Hello from Connecticut!  I’m in New England yet again for another Operation Beautiful presentation.  If you’re keeping score, that means I was in Boston on Monday, Cincinnati on Tuesday, Charlotte on Wednesday, and now I’m in New Haven!  Whew.  It’s been a fun week.


I had a two-hour drive from the airport to my destination, so I stopped off at WF for lunch and a dinner to go.  Truly – the best hot bar that I’ve ever seen.  It was small but packed with goodies.  We have two more ‘bars’ at the Charlotte Whole Foods location and the overall quality of selection pales in comparison to the Cranston offerings!


Lunch spread:



Grilled zucchini, artichokes, a yummy tofu and onion mix, balsamic mushrooms, roasted potatoes, grape leaves (!!).


And later, for dinner:


A salad with loads of wonderful veggies.  The best part was this quinoa-wild rice cake.  There were cranberries and green onions packed in.  I’m going to try to recreate this at home.




My presentation went well, but when I left the building, I was confronted by SNOW.  Lots and lots of snow.


It’s going to snow TWELVE INCHES overnight. I am, to say the least, terrified.  And praying that I’ll be able to get back home…  I’ve only seen snow like this once before, and the entire city of Pittsburgh ran out of salt and then shut down for days.  I’m hoping Connecticut and Rhode Island are pros at handling a blizzard of such proportions!


Stay warm!



  • Kerry @ Adventures in Healthy March 7, 2013, 9:41 pm

    I’m from Rhode Island, and now I live in MA where we’re getting the same snow storm. We are pros at this stuff, especially since we just had an even bugger blizzard three weeks ago! You should be fine! 🙂

    • Alicia March 8, 2013, 12:01 am

      I agree. Although I now live in TX, I am from MA/CT and snow removal and road treatments are second nature there. And people generally know how to drive in it. In face, the worst was when I lived in PA! Snow, ice, whatever, they did nothing! And I was going on a lot of job interviews at the time, flying out of Harrisburg, which was an hour from the small college town where I was living. It was a nightmare.

  • Kerry @ Adventures in Healthy March 7, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Bugger = bigger

    • Tracey March 7, 2013, 9:49 pm

      It was a bugger of a storm, too :).

  • Tracey March 7, 2013, 9:47 pm

    Former Cranston girl here!! My mom lives down the street from the whole foods but I have never experienced the hot bar. Guess I know where I’m taking her to lunch the next time I visit.

    When I was growing up, Cranston was known for their big haired girls (the 80’s). I went through a can of Extra Super Hold Aqua Net a week. Sorry ozone layer!

  • Sabrina (RhodeyGirl) March 7, 2013, 9:47 pm



    It is a really good Whole Foods. I love the pizza and gelato sections the most, but the hot bar is pretty good too.

    There were some good local restaurants you missed out on though!

    • Hillary March 8, 2013, 7:04 am

      Ditto to everything Sabrina said (considering we grew up a block away from each other!), especially the local restaurant stuff! Cranston has some epic Italian food, that is for sure!

  • Bo March 7, 2013, 10:07 pm

    I hate to say it, but New Haven totally blew it for that last storm. Granted it was three times the amount of a regular heavy snow fall, but still. The residential neighborhoods were a mess for days and days. We should be able to handle this one though. 12 inches? That is cake! Enjoy your stay, and if you get stuck and want to visit some rescued horses and piggies let me know. I live on a farm about 20 minutes from the city!

  • Christy March 7, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Hi. CT resident here, from the New Haven area actually. We’re only supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow tonight, and this storm is a baby compared to the 3 feet of snow we got in the beginning of February. I wouldn’t worry too much. Snow storms are pretty run of the mill around these parts lately.

    • Caitlin March 7, 2013, 11:51 pm

      Oh GOOD! The radio told me a foot!!!

  • Aja March 8, 2013, 12:31 am

    That sounds like a crazy storm! I hope you get home safe.

  • Laura March 8, 2013, 2:00 am

    Be safe! And there was Miso Tofu at our WF last week…firm tofu sauteed in some kind of delicious, brothy white miso sauce. YUM. I need to try to recreate it, it was wonderful!

  • Coco March 8, 2013, 7:05 am

    Hey thats my local Wholefoods!! Glad you loved it 🙂 it is most definitely the best of the three of them we have in RI..

  • jen March 8, 2013, 7:46 am

    i just read that opening line and literally gasped out loud…i am in the cranston whole foods twice a week and am pretty sure if i saw you in there i would have had one of those suttering moments haha. i saw those very same quinoa cakes !

    • Caitlin March 8, 2013, 9:32 am

      I may go back for lunch 😉

  • Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) March 8, 2013, 7:49 am

    Don’t worry, New England knows whats up when it comes to snow! This is so standard for us. 😉

    I do hope your flights don’t get canceled or anything though and that you can make it home safe and sound!!!

  • Beks March 8, 2013, 8:32 am

    Did you upgrade your rental car to the SUV? You said you wished you had when you were in Boston, I think?

    • Caitlin March 8, 2013, 9:31 am

      this time, YES!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 8, 2013, 9:12 am

    I hope you make it home safely! The best Whole Foods hot bar by far that I’ve ever experienced is the big WF in Chicago on Kingsbury.

  • katie March 8, 2013, 10:12 am

    I make this rice dish for family thanksgivings. I have made it vegetarian with veggie broth for vegetarian family members and its still wonderful of course! You may be able to sub quinoa in for the brown rice. Its seriously delicious! No green onions but you could add those!

  • Sara March 8, 2013, 10:14 am

    Wow that is a trip. As a New Englander I would predict that CT should be fine, we are kind of pros at this. The roads right now are horrible with a capital H BUT should be getting better soon! HMM and WF is my favorite! This looks good!


  • Rebecca March 8, 2013, 10:35 am

    I guess a foot of snow is crazy when you’re not used to it, but some places in MN got at least 8 or 9 inches a few days ago. There was a good almost-foot of snow behind my car on Wednesday that my roommate helped me shovel away. My school actually called off all classes on Tuesday, which hasn’t happened in two years–or about ten years before that. Hardcore much? Haha. We’re supposed to get some rain/snow tomorrow–I’m hoping it doesn’t freeze so that I can get to my internship and then home on Sunday okay.

  • Lucy March 8, 2013, 10:54 am

    I live in New Haven!! Too bad I didn’t know you would be here, you’re one of my favorite bloggers and I would have loved to hear you speak.

    The storm won’t be too bad…. we normally have it pretty easy on the shoreline. Good luck getting home!

    • Leah March 8, 2013, 2:04 pm

      I second this. I wish I knew you were here too! Are blog fans allowed in where you speak too?

  • Courtney March 8, 2013, 11:02 am

    WHOA that hot bar looks incredible! Good luck in the snow 😛

  • Ruby Leigh March 8, 2013, 12:39 pm

    You know it’s horrible, but it always brings a smile to my face when southerners have to deal with what we experience ‘all the time’ in MN. Forgive me for taking delight at your expense… and I hope you get home safe.

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut March 8, 2013, 12:50 pm

    I might be the only person in the world who feels this way, but the bars at WF are a bit off-putting to me. I don’t love the mish-mash of random things I always seem to end up getting, although I should learn to navigate better because it is a great healthy option on the go!

  • Steph @ Smiles through Miles March 8, 2013, 3:31 pm

    I went to college a town over from Cranston. I’ve been to that Whole Foods but it was in my pre-hot bar days! I guess I was missing out!

  • Jackie March 8, 2013, 3:57 pm

    I go to school in Providence, and I LOVE the hot bar at the Whole Foods in Cranston! I was there the same day as you and got pretty much the exact same meal! Those quinoa cakes were awesome. I also love the cereal bar and trail mix bar. Enjoy the snow!

  • Sarah March 8, 2013, 8:52 pm

    You’re in Connecticut? I wish I had known! I would have LOVED to have come to your presentation!! And don’t worry, we’re really old pros at snow here in Connecticut. We got almost 2 feet where I am in CT. You’ll be fine. I heard the airport was still flying out this morning. Hope you made it home alright.

    I love the salad bar at WF. It’s so amazing.

  • luv what you do March 8, 2013, 10:34 pm

    Oh my gosh! I love the WF bar and that one looks A-MAZE-ING!

  • Erin @ The Elliptical Chronicles March 9, 2013, 9:20 am

    Holy cow, that is a rockin’ hot bar!! I actually had my first experience with Whole Foods’ salad bar and hot bar just the other week, and I was blown away. I don’t care much for the Whole Foods as a grocery store, but that salad bar has some solid eats and I wish other buffet-style restaurants would offer items as delectable as these…

    Good luck with the rest of your whirlwind Operation Beautiful travels!

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