Balance So Far this Week: FGM + Barre Sweats

It seems strange that at the end of June I find myself being thankful for several days of warmth and sun, but this year those days are so few and far between that the warrant some abnormal gratitude.  So, thank you sun for last week, and please, feel free to join us again soon.

I’m trying really hard right now to balance life, work, and my sweats, but work and computer time seems to be outweighing the rest.  Bug tried to hang with me for a while this weekend, but it did not look good for her little spirits which are almost always up.

fuel sweat grow: exhaustion

I guess she’s lucky that she usually gets so much constant love from her camp family, Tank, and Dar (and most every human that she encounters), so her devastation was only temporary.  I just wish it wasn’t on my watch.

I have been doing a ton of writing lately for a number of different projects, including but not limited to an exciting announcement coming out tomorrow, so when the sun came out I took my work out to the daylight and soaked in a little extra vitamin D.

fuel sweat grow: blogging

I had about 10 different word documents, safari windows, and assorted projects happening all at once, as well as a teensy bit of time crunch anxiety, but thankfully I had chosen a happy color of my manicure with Amity this week, matching both the Fight Gone MAD colors, and the turquoise side of her new spot coming to Charlotte: Carolina Barre + Core.

The method is an extension, and the first solo satellite location, of Core Fusion and powered by Exhale Spa.  It’s really awesome to see it popping up in Charlotte, and I could not be more excited for them.  I got a sneak peek of the space (it’s next to Nolan Kitchen on Selwyn) and I love it.  It’s still in the buildout phase, a phase that I am all too familiar with, so no finished pics yet, but it is already shaping up to be a very welcoming and warm space.

I had the pleasure of taking class from several of the new teachers last night, and can not say enough good things about their energy and excitement to bring you this new fitness option, Charlotte.  Right now they are projecting to open the doors, officially, in mid-july, so follow them on Facebook for all updates and news.

With that in mind, my sweat schedule transformed on Monday from a simple one-shot Fight Gone MAD day, to an FGM (and a killer workout at that) + Barre Fusion, so this morning I’m taking things a little slower than normal.  I may give FGM a go in one of the evening classes, or just take a rest day with a walk or run.

I have a special addition update coming to you later today or tomorrow, so stay tuned!

From the Beach to the MADness

This week started out at the beach, on what was a last-ditch attempt to get away and have some semblance of a vacation before all the MADness hits the fan, and ended with 4 days that felt like 4 weeks, with hours of to-do’s crammed into half-hour time slots.  We’ve all been there, so I’m sure you get the picture.  It was chaotic, it was all over the place, and despite some major logistical debacles, was pretty productive.

My sweat schedule went like this:

Monday: Run

Tuesday: Flywheel w/Jenna!

Wednesday: Fight Gone MAD w/Brandon (and the ever present coach, Kirk, working out with us)

Thursday: 16 oz curls (read: pool grilling and drinking)

Friday: Fight Gone MAD w/Kirk

Saturday: a last minute, totally stressed out squeeze into an empty bike in Jenna’s class.

Today: another Flywheel, because it’s so darn convenient, and tomorrow it’s time to roll back into the MADness.

I haven’t been cooking much as of late, so I’ve been subject to the menu options of restaurants all over Charlotte.  Before I get into that, I’d like to personal thank Starbucks and the fine iced coffee brewers over at Sunflour Baking Company for sponsoring my caffeine fixes, and keeping my brain functioning.

As for food, here’s some of what fueled me this week

A (very) late breakfast at Cheesecake factory consisted of their Energy Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, roasted tomatoes, and grilled chicken over a spinach + mushroom sauté.  It’s one of my favorite daytime items on their menu, and if you’re so inclined can be requested to NOT be cooked in butter.

cheesecake factory

Another on-the-go lunch took place at one of my favorite spots in Charlotte, The Cowfish Sushi + Burger Bar.

CYO burger at Cowfish

This particular meal was a create your own with a regular burger on a lettuce wrap (sort of…the lettuce wrap was kind of weak) with lettuce, tomato, onion, roasted red peppers, avocado, and a side of grilled veggies).  I have to say, I have infrequently (in the past) opted for the veggies over their sweet potato fries, but the squash stalks were amazing.

On Wednesday night we had a little Fight Gone MAD ‘owners dinner’ of our own at 1900 Mexican in Elizabeth.  Dar was also in Charlotte getting ready for her big Main Stage Show this weekend, so we met up with Tracie + Roland who recently announced that they will be opening the Fight Gone MAD in Lake Norman (north charlotte).

I love the food at 1900 Mexican, and the food was amazing, but I didn’t take pictures of it.  I did however capture the most important new menu item, and that was this Breakfast Margarita.  The addition of grapefruit juice and either grapefruit or orange zest was perfection.

1900 Mexican, breakfast margarita

Thursday was a really long day for me so I was happy to get a text from Dar and our friend Billy in the mid-afternoon saying that grilling and beer-ing (or in my case, cider-ing) was underway out by Billy and Gwen’s pool, so I hightailed it over there as soon as I was able to wrap up a few more to-do’s and errands.

Food credit on this meal goes entirely to Dar who has in the last year not only learned how to feed herself, but now also others.  And well.

fuel sweat grow: food blog

We had amazing skirt steak and filets from Whole Foods, grilled zucchini + yellow squash, and a huge awesome salad, a la the summer fruit trend.

fuel sweat grow: summer salad

Even Bug, who has recently NOT been eating the same way she used to, enjoyed herself and a new toy that she got for being good (well, pretty much for no reason at all, actually).
bug

Friday I took myself to the mall during lunch to get a few errands under my belt and break up the work day, which worked, and also allowed me to catch up with some of my favorite lemons at the lululemon in Southpark, and then capped off the late afternoon with an early evening Fight Gone MAD class, and dinner at the Peculiar Rabbit with Kelli, another FGM regular and a great friend.

What I didn’t anticipate was the craziness of the rest of the weekend (not in the going-out-hard way), or the impending chaos of the upcoming week.  The good news is everyone survived, no one got injured, and I managed to knock out a big load of necessary tasks in the last 24 hours to ease the harsh return of Monday.

Dog Meets Ocean: A Weekend at the Beach

After a long week of work, and several long months of craziness in general, it was finally time for a quick break.

fuel sweat grow: Myrtle Beach

Welcome to Myrtle Beach, friends.  After an early Saturday morning departure (and a far too long 5 hour drive) it was time to take a breath – and a long nap in the sand.

After the beach it was definitely time for dinner – but first, margaritas.

Fuel sweat grow: margaritas

We went to Twelve, a restaurant close to Garden City, and since they had a $3 margarita special, 3 out of the 4 of us had to give it a go.  It was totally worth it too, there was nothing discounted about it, but it definitely put the happy in happy hour.

For dinner I had the skirt steak with seasonal veggies, and then the garlic mashed potatoes came on the side.  Initially I had no intention of eating the potatoes, but it’s vacation, and they were delicious, so I indulged — but just a bit.

fuel sweat grow: steak at Twelve

Sunday morning came pretty quickly after 3 margaritas at dinner, and kicked off with Bug’s first beach adventure.

fuel sweat grow: bug beach run

So, turns out, she LOVES running on the beach, but she’s terrified of the waves, so there was a lot of zig-zagging around to dodge what she viewed as impending doom.  I did eventually get her into the water, but I had to really coax her, and slowly walk in first.  What can I say, she’s all about safety first.

She spent the rest of the day guarding the house from all other beach goers, and pretty much anyone who considered walking within 100 yards of her perch.

bug

I spent about 6 hours and two solid naps on the beach getting some much needed Vitamin D (yes mom, I wore sunscreen) before heading back to the house to make dinner.

fuel sweat grow: veggie stir fry prep

Veggies chopped and ready to simmer.

fuel sweat grow veggie stir fry

Paired with chicken and steak for an awesome stir fry modification.

fuel sweat grow: stir fry meats

I was really in need of some good protein, and veggie nutrients, so this was a great Sunday dinner.

fuel sweat grow:  stir fry plate

Since my only real exercise of the day had been my wind sprints on the beach with Ms. Bug, after dinner I hit the beach for a long walk.

I’ve been getting back into walking lately since I don’t always want to push my body through a run (usually after a tough workout, but also during rest times), and this was perfect.  I absolutely LOVE beach walking, and dusk walks with the breeze from the water are without a doubt the absolute best.

My recent iTunes adds included the latest Delta Rae album, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for some beach walking music or really honest lyrics.  Double recommend to some of my yogi friends, and I will probably cry immediately (tears of joy?) if you play them while I’m on my mat.  That’s pretty much a promise — the songs are that easy to connect to.

This morning included another beach walk, another dog meets ocean adventure, some sun, and then a run after the long afternoon ride home in the rain.  I’m signed up for Flywheel tomorrow morning before a long day of work, and have a full week of sweats and some awesome new Fight Gone MAD pics to share tomorrow.

I miss the beach already.

Making it Work in Charlotte, Literally

Last Sunday morning came far too quickly, big thanks to the debachary of the post-10 year old birthday party libations, and unfortunately my natural daylight alarm kicked in to wake me up before 7:30. Awesome.

Since I was getting ready to transition my life back to Charlotte for a while I decided to really take time to enjoy my sweet Charlottesville morning with brunch at LaTaza.

fuel sweat grow: la taza veggie burrito

It is a veggie scramble with zucchini, onion, tomato, some sort of cheese and avocado all wrapped up with fruit on the side.  They will also make a wrap-less version of the scramble with a side of avocado if you prefer, but I was feeling like I needed a little carb-recovery on that particular morning.

When I started writing this post, last monday night, I took a much lengthier approach to detailing out the rest of the day (and week), but since I’ve failed even my most lenient timeline for posting this week, here’s an abridged version.

I’m working on a project at Wells so I’m splitting time in the office for the next few months, and thanks to the magic of time blocking (and patient business partners), I’m balancing it with my Fight Gone MAD and FemCity Cville workload.

That being said, here’s what lunch on monday looked like, carried straight upstairs from energy cafe at the bottom of the Duke Energy Building.

fuel sweat grow: energy cafe salad

This salad was mixed greens, grilled chicken, cucumber, apples, sunflower seeds, mozzarella, and cranberries.  I don’t actually love the creamier style of balsamic dressing, but it served its purpose since structured business hours conflict with my preferred 10am breakfast time and I was beyond normal hunger.

Since Charlotte had a huge afternoon thunder storm that was followed by about 43 accidents and an absurd number of fallen trees, the 15 minute drive home took an hour, and dinner at 8pm took the form of two of my prepped lunch salads into one huge bowl with added flank steak.

fuel sweat grow: salad w/steak

It was a solid 10 hour day in the office, and a roundtrip 90 minute commute (that should have been 30), so I was glad to see Tuesday coming over the horizon, but it was still a great start to the week.

holy hell monday is over

Tuesday morning I was planning on going to the 6am Flywheel, but according to the website the class was full (lies) so I opted for a run (an obvious choice over my other option – the erg).

Work was another long day, but ended with an awesome Happy Hour that my friend Gwen planned for me with the girls from the trading floor.  We walked over to Halcyon in uptown Charlotte, and grabbed seats outside to enjoy the rain-free weather.

uptown

For the sake of a quick review – it was awesome, farm to table (LOVE) and will most definitely be a place that I go back to for a full meal.

Wednesday night after work I hit up the 5:30 class at Fight Gone MAD, which completely knocked me back after days of no sleep, constant work, and stupid amounts of travel.  I left the class shaking and in a panicked search of food because I had completely failed my own food preparation rules at work.

I was having a bit of a comfort food moment, something that I haven’t had in a while, so I dropped into Whole Foods and filled my plate at the hot bar with green beans, mac + cheese (so good), and roasted cauliflower.

fuel sweat grow: whole foods dinner

I had actually gone in for some protein, that ended up coming in the form of chicken salad, and then went rogue in the hot bar section.

whole foods

I loaded up a nice glass of wine to go with the meal, and ended up not finishing most of the binge mac + cheese, but it was great for a few bites.

Thursday I skipped the sweat portion of the day on account of my incredible soreness, and to spend the afternoon up in Denver (North Carolina) planning out the opening retail designs for Fight Gone MAD Cville.

Friday afternoon I hit up Fight Gone MAD (again) for a workout with a great group of friends, which was an awesome end to the week, and start of the weekend.

I’m committed to better sweats this week so stay tuned for that schedule, and new updates from a weekend at the beach!

Salads, Sweats + A Little Too Much Celebration

Welcome to the end of the busiest week ever.  Well, not ever, and probably not even close when compared to how this upcoming week is looking like it’s going to roll out.  Regardless, here are some of the amazing highlights of what went down.

I made this salad. (You’re captivated already, I know.) In the spirit of my summer berry salad obsession, and because I had all the ingredients left over, this salad had romaine, spinach, avocado, cucumber, blueberries, and sunflower seeds.

fuel sweat grow: berry avocado salad

Roasted more cauliflower paired with grilled flank steak.

fuel sweat grow: roasted cauliflower

I’ve been making this a lot the past few months and started to feel a little bored with it, but have found that changing up the seasonings, adding it to the salad, and even adding it to scrambled eggs (with my usual zucchini and some sort of meat) is amazing.  I definitely recommend it for a little crunchy add on.

On the sweat side of things I actually took two days off to let my body recoup, but in between did the bootcamp workouts that Dar coached on monday/wednesday/friday.   Here’s one of my favorite workouts from the week (and a sweet pic of my new kicks) in Dar’s garage gym.

fuel sweat grow: interval workout

It has been awesome to to the bootcamp workouts (I usually do the 6am), but I have been craving a run here and there lately.  With all the rain happening this week it was tough to time an outdoor run, and during the one single hour I had on friday to get a run in, I found myself at UHall, the old (pretty empty) basketball arena at UVa.

When I was rowing at Virginia we worked out in this building through most of the winter, and would frequently run the stadium.  I don’t remember ever being excited about stadiums then, but somehow, on Friday, it was exactly what I needed.

fuel sweat grow: UHall stadiums

There were a few facilities guys playing some pick up basketball on the court, but for the most part it was a complete escape from everything else going on in my world — the perfect setting for running stairs.

fuel sweat grow: UVa UHall

In other news, social events have been a little too easy to come by this week with a summer kick off neighborhood party on Sunday complete with grilling, pot luck, and a moon bounce.

Thursday was the 4th grade graduation at the elementary school next to our development, so we went to support one of our favorite 4th grader, Asha (Uday + Anita’s oldest daughter) as she said goodbye to elementary school.

fuel sweat grow: asha graduation

Her mom (the amazing Anita behind Maliha Creations) put together this unreal dessert table for the grads and their guests.  I’m not sure what we had for my 4th grade graduation, but I assure you, the dessert table didn’t look like this.

fuel sweat grow: Johnson elementary 4th grad graduation

Now skip ahead to Friday night, and we’re faced with another amazing creation, a la Anita, for Asha’s 10th birthday party which completely upstaged any party I’ve ever had.

fuel sweat grow: Asha's birthday

It was a spa party complete with pedicures, make your own bath bombs, and scented oils.

fuel sweat grow: spa party

Dar chaperoned.  Kind of.

fuel sweat grow: dar mask

Uday got to work grilling steak, chicken, and tofu kabobs on the grill, and they were all amazing.

fuel sweat grow: kabobs

Seriously, they were so good that they made today’s Whole Foods shopping list.  Uday’s were actually had made, but today I was feeling a little too overwhelmed to even toy with that idea.

Once the pedicures and gift opening wrapped up (or unwrapped I guess?), the kids were contained in the living room, fully equipped with sleeping bags and 10-year old chatter, and one-by-one the bootcampers started to stroll in from varies places around town.  That being said, I’ll leave you with this inspiring series of pictures.

IMG_3821 IMG_3822 IMG_3823 IMG_3824

I made the pilgrimage down to Charlotte today and have lots of fun updates for the rest of the week, including but not limited to the borderline obsessive meal construction that happened before I left so that week 1 of craziness transitioned a little easier with full fuel and clean eats.

Quick Sweats + a FemCity Locavore Dinner

It has been a long last two weeks, which is only supported by the look of complete contention on Bug’s face.  She goes to day camp three days a week at Pampered Pets, which is probably her own personal disney land, but with people she loves instead of humans dressed as animals (she doesn’t love that).
bug stares

The unfortunate bit of her schedule is that on Tuesdays and Thursday’s she’s stuck at home and usually ends up watching me spend what she likely feels are her ‘best years’ doing work and checking emails.  These days have been especially bleak for Bug since the amount of work happening in the home office (and out of the house) is at a possible all-time high, and that is definitely saying something.

Somehow I’ve managed to fit in workouts most days, and try to take rest days when my schedule is just too full to rationalize creating another obligation.  I’m incredibly lucky to still be able to  go back to the weight room + athletic facility that I trained in when I was rowing for UVa.  All of the equipment is amazing, the strength and training staff is some of the absolute best out there, and it just feels like a second home to me.

McCue Center

Despite the amazing platforms and equipment, since I’m no longer training on a high level I try to avoid olympic lifting at all costs. I typically make an appearance when it’s too hot (or cold, or rainy) to use the Woodway treadmills – they are amazing pieces of machinery.

Last Thursday I stopped in and did a quick workout with a run + a small circuit:

  • 4 mile run
  • 25 wall balls
  • 25 sweepers (laying on the floor holding a bumper plate right above your chest + lift your legs taking toes to plate working on your lower abs)
  • 25 burpees
  • 25 air squats.

Normally I’d shoot for 3 – 4 rounds of this, but I was running out the door to get ready for our FemCity event, so I cut myself off at 2 rounds. It still started the big muscle engines though, I assure you.

Which brings us to the next item on the menu, literally: the FemCity Charlottesville Locavore Dinner Series.  One of the main purposes of Femfessionals, and our FemCity community here in Charlottesville is to connect, promote, and support women in business, across all industries and professional levels, to create a dynamic and powerful group of women actively changing and developing our city.  That being said, we love to have business (and human) connection events where members and future members can meet other women in the community.  The purpose of these events is to connect and share the passions, projects, and businesses that they put their time and energy into, hopefully increasing interest, support, and awareness for their work.

Last Thursday we launched a new dinner series to do just that, with a hyper-local focus that not only reflects our FemCity community, but also Charlottesville as a whole.  The event was limited to a small group of local women and was a dinner event where everyone was able to sit together, around the same table, connecting personally and professionally over a locally sourced dinner.  For this first one, I cooked, in the spirit of representing this very blog as well as many of our local bakeries, markets, and food vendors to keep things, well, local.

local asparagus from FEAST

It’s not too terribly difficult to accomplish an entirely local meal in Charlottesville, but it is somewhat expensive if you’re really committed to a tight radius.  I found some amazing asparagus, strawberries, and a local pesto at Feast! that cost a pretty penny but could not be beat in freshness and quality.

pesto

While I was at Feast! I grabbed some cheeses, including but not limited to, a great cheddar that I used to make some little grilled cheese appetizers, with local Breadworks bread (of course) in two flavors: 1) pesto + cheddar, and 2) granny smith apples + cheddar, all done directly on the grill.

the makings for grilled apple-cheeses

There are no pics of the finished project, but in full disclosure I did break from my typical no-bread stance and indulged in the apple and cheddar sammies, and it was TOTALLY worth it.  They are probably my favorite little treat snacks from recent memory.

I scored an amazing amount of produce from C’ville Market for less than $80, which always seems to be the case there, and had more than enough for all of the dishes, including the salad.

fuel sweat grow: salad

Mixed local greens, topped with avocado, cucumber, local strawberries, blueberries, and last but not least: sliced almonds.

fuel sweat grow: salad

I’m on a fruity salad kick right now, and have definitely been appreciating the surplus of local greens available at the market, so it pretty much just created itself with only a little help from my hands.

For one of the main dishes I went with my favorite veggie topping (zucchini, yellow squash, red + yellow peppers) all sautéd in coconut oil and served over amazing local fettuccine from Mona Lisa Pasta.  Even though they don’t have a gluten free variety yet, this pasta is made fresh in house, and is absolutely amazing.  This dish had half spinach fettuccine and half basil fettuccine to give everyone a little bit of choice in the matter.

fuel sweat grow: mona lisa pasta

In addition to the pasta we had gilled chicken from the Organic Butcher, marinated in either the local pesto or honey dijon, with a side of tomato mozzarella.

fuel sweat grow: chicken and tomato

The meal capped off with some SweetHaus cupcakes (and wine of course).

fuel sweat grow: sweethaus cupcakes

We had amazing conversations, a number of brand new faces, and an awesome night all around.  I could not be more excited for what is to come in our little FemCity, as well as all of the exciting projects and upcoming plans that all of our Fems brought to the table.  It was incredibly inspiring.

It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘work’ and the demands of every day life, and it was so great to have a casual reminder of just how energizing and productive it can be to sit down and share with no particular objective or necessary outcome.  We’ve got great programming coming up, so check our FemCity Charlottesville if you live here, or whatever Femfessionals community is close to you – they’re all amazing.