This Little Piggy Went to Market.

Some people look forward to Friday nights so they can hit the bars with their friends (I know this, because sometimes I am ‘some people’), but this week, I looked forward to a night of absolute nothingness, at the end of a long week.

So, instead of getting dressed and going out to a bar, I got in my sweats and made my way over to C’ville Market to re-stock my fridge for a weekend staycation.

fuel sweat grow - food blog
on Meade Rd, next to Belmont Pizza, in Charlottesville

I love the fact that we have such a locavore community here in Charlottesville, and this market is such a huge part of it.  I used to come here once a week to get my produce, but once my route changed and the City Market went out of season, I found myself (and the majority of my income) going to Whole Food or Trader Joes to get my groceries.  Well, yesterday that all changed, and I had the best time spending part of my friday evening picking out my eats of the next week.

amazing produce. rows of it. virginia grown.
amazing produce. rows of it. virginia grown.
my favorite section: zucchini, yellow squash + BEETS!
my favorite section: zucchini, yellow squash + BEETS!
grains, beans, gluten free flour, etc
grains, beans, gluten free flour, etc

This was such an exciting trip out that I almost couldn’t contain myself, and I certainly didn’t limit myself.

(I probably should have put this disclaimer at the beginning of the post: I’m a huge dork.  A huge food dork, and a I prefer cooking over going out to dinner, pretty much all the time.  I typically go out as the simple product of social obligation and the fact that I actually do like to talk to other humans.)

So brace yourselves, I’m about to throw a pretty proud moment your way in the form of numbers and quantities.  Since I’m not certain I could execute basic functions on a graphing calculator, I wouldn’t be too afraid of the math coming at you.  I don’t think it even qualifies as ‘math,’ persay.

Here it is: 1+1 = I got ALL of these groceries for under $100.

green beans, beets, brussels, cantaloupe, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash + baby spinach
green beans, beets, brussels, cantaloupe, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash + baby spinach
sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, 6 avocados, bella mushrooms
sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, 6 avocados, bella mushrooms
spinach fettuccini, pumpkin seeds, snack (nut) mixes & eggs
spinach fettuccini, pumpkin seeds, snack (nut) mixes & eggs
apples, pears, lemons, limes + chocolate covered mini pretzels (YES!)
apples, pears, lemons, limes + chocolate covered mini pretzels (YES!)

There is food in the house, and it is everywhere.  After I finished putting everything away, I un-puffed my chest, cranked down my sense of accomplishment and got down to business turning some of these newly stocked ingredients into a friday night dinner.

I was craving avocado (per usual), and really anything green, so I got creative and threw in a few additional colors to make it look more appealing.

Here’s what happened:

diced zucchini + carrots
started with diced zucchini + carrots
threw in red pepper, mushrooms + simmered in coconut oil
threw in red pepper, mushrooms + left simmering in coconut oil (stirring occasionally)
halved the fingerling potatoes
halved the fingerling potatoes + mixed around in ziplock w/warm coconut oil
mixed the potatoes around in a ziplock with warm coconut oil + then squirted lemon over top
then squirted lemon over top
added cajun spice, salt + Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning
added cajun spice, salt + Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning; put in the oven to broil
halved avocado w/side of tomato, cucumber, balsalmic vinegar + olive oil
halved avocado w/side of tomato, cucumber, balsalmic vinegar + olive oil
boiled brown rice spaghetti
boiled brown rice spaghetti

Once the pasta was finished, everything was ready to go, and what was going to be a small friday night meal turned into an awesome feast that will undoubtedly be eaten as leftovers for days.

brown rice pasta w/ zucchini, mushroom, red pepper + carrot blend mixed in
brown rice pasta w/ zucchini, mushroom, red pepper + carrot blend mixed in
avocado packed w/tomato + cucumber salsa
avocado packed w/tomato + cucumber salsa
roasted cajun fingerling potatoes
roasted cajun fingerling potatoes
Oh yeah, and there was steak! Pan seared, medium.
Oh yeah, and there was steak! Pan seared, medium.
jklkjk
My plate was full, and it was good.

From beginning to end my friday night culinary adventure was a total theraputic energy boost, and fed whatever need I had for down time in the kitchen.

Plus, I got to spend time with my littlest sous chef, Bug!
Plus, I got to spend time with my littlest sous chef, Bug!

This was definitely one of my favorite meals to date, but that review is strongly linked to the extreme hunger and fatigue that I was feeling at the end of a long week.  If I were to make one change it would be for more protein, and I would have either added ground chicken to the pasta mix, or white kidney beans.  Otherwise, it served as great fuel to recover from the week and fuel up for my Saturday on the go.  Mission accomplished.

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I’m Dar. You Can Call Me, Coach Dar.

fitness blog - darWelcome to Fuel Sweat Grow, I’m Dar.  You can read the guts of my bio on the sweatworker page, but I wanted to share a little bit more of the personal side of me, and my passion for fitness.

I’m motivated by human interaction.  There’s nothing better than to work with an individual or a small group of people to motivate, educate and coach them to achieve their goals, feel better and even look better. I have strong convictions when it comes to fitness, but mostly this is based on years of trial and error, working with hundreds of individuals and experiencing first hand things that work, and things that don’t. I’m always working on my own fitness goals, welcoming new challenges, and trying to get a little stronger in my weaker areas.

I spent the last year trying to master double unders.  mission (mostly) accomplished.
I spent the last year trying to master double unders. mission (mostly) accomplished.

Any blogs or articles that I can find, I read, and I am always attending trainings and seminars to evolve with new methods.  I’ve done it all or at least tried it once.  Ok, that’s a lie – I never did step aerobics in the 80s and refuse to do any step class.  I never have done Zumba and you wouldn’t catch me in a Zumba work out.  It’s not because these workouts don’t work – it’s because I lack coordination and rhythm. Then again, I said I’d never take Pure Barre and as someone well on their way into the 100 class club, I should probably never say never.

The people are truly what make working in fitness so rewarding for me.  I love working with awesome people who are passionate and motivated in the same areas as I am, and are invested in building stronger and healthier lives.  It’s a very personal journey with each client, and I really value the personal relationships and connections that grow out of the shared experience. When my boot campers call me Coach Dar, I love it, but really, that’s just a bonus.

fitness blog - dar training
one of my favorite all-time WOD buddies

My contribution(s) to the blog will be focused greatly around the “Sweat” section, with a few guest appearances in the fuel pics.  My cooking has historically been boring to others and mainly features the same three ingredients on a steady rotation, but I’ve been working on my own personal ‘growth’ in the kitchen, so you never know, I may shock everyone with an amazing culinary masterpiece.

To wrap this up and keep in short, I’ve always been active.  My real personal fitness journey started in my college weight room back in the ‘80s, and I didn’t know just how much it would change my life.  I’m lucky and very fortunate to do what I love.  For a long time, fitness was something I did as a personal passion and interest, planned around my regularly scheduled ‘9-5’ life.  It wasn’t until recently, in the last five years, that I took that passion and transformed it into a lifestyle and career of working with others.

I’m excited to share my passion and sweats on the blog, and am so glad that you’ve clicked over to see what we’re up to.