Fuel. Sweat. Snowday.

Tonight we got snow in Charlotte, so naturally everyone freaked out all day in preparation.  As a Northerner I typically find the southern snow experience underwhelming….and I love it.  Today’s snow drill was met with a cancelled work dinner, so I found myself free to live the dream in my living room: sitting by the fire doing work during the single digit hours.

fuel sweat grow: snow day

I hate cold weather, and I’m not a huge fan of snow (after the initial aesthetic factor), but I’ve really come to love snow days as an adult far more than I ever appreciated them as a kid.  The thing I crave most these days is time.  I’m not talking leisure or wasted time, but more time in my world to get things done without outside world distractions or scheduled obligations.

Today was also my planned off-day from working out, so this could not have come at a better time.  Last week I hit up MADabolic CLT 5 times, including both Saturday and Sunday morning, with a Flywheel class squeezed in the middle so I needed a day of rest.

Sweet pic of Sarah mid-interval at #MADabolicCLT
Sweet pic of Sarah mid-interval at #MADabolicCLT

Yesterday, to wind down and stretch out just a bit, I took the 6pm class at Y2, led by my friend Adam – something I’ve been meaning to add back in to my regular schedule for longer than I want to admit.  I needed a good sweat and a short mental vacation to get me started this week, and it totally worked it’s magic.

I still have some things to unpack, but for the most part my life is beginning to feel organized again, and I’m creating space for the things I need: both mentally and as it relates to my belongings.

fuel sweat grow: office organization

I’m really crazy about office supplies and organizational bins/concepts, so that whole process has been hugely therapeutic for me.  I spent some serious time the last two nights on a few planning pieces that I just haven’t had the time to focus on lately, so while I got a little anxious about the time it took from my extensive to-do list, in the long run it’s going to be huge for me.

fuel sweat grow: business planning

I’m not sure what tomorrow’s going to bring in terms of a snowday or workout, but for a change I’m just going to fully enjoy this moment of bliss: fire, warmth, organization and the kind of sleep that only comes from a cold winter’s night.

It’s off to Charlottesville this weekend for some serious quality time with the MADabolic Cville crew, and a birthday celebration for their fearless leader Dar that will certainly be one for the books.

A Weekend of Workouts, Yoga, Friends + Yum

Last week was exciting, overwhelming, and completely packed.  Thanks to the rain that had been pouring down for days, we had to split up the bootcamp groups to bring them inside which meant early mornings every day.  When the sun finally came out on Friday morning, it was almost euphoric, and a definite prelude to a classically beautiful Charlottesville weekend.
morning bootcamp

The Friday bootcamp workout took us right up to the hour marker with a solid warmup and stretch followed by a chipper-style partner workout that took all the groups between 22-30 minutes.

The rules of the WOD were that both partners had to carry the med ball at some point during the run, and only one person’s work counted at any given time, so the resting partner was either at rest, or holding a plank, while the other was working.  The workout was:

  • 800m run w/med ball (12 or 20lbs)
  • 100 Box Jumps (resting partner held a plank)
  • 150 Kettlebell swings
  • 100 Push-ups
  • 150 Air squats (resting partner held a plank)
  • 800m run w/med ball (12 or 20lbs)

I worked out with the 7am group which was an awesome way to kick off the day.  I love getting a solid workout in early so I can either take the rest of the day easy, or take an afternoon run or walk when it’s nice out.  Dar actually offered an optional Saturday bootcamp to anyone that could make it, and found herself with a full house on Saturday morning for a killer Barbell Complex that I’m going to try out tomorrow morning.

The rest of Friday flew by with meetings and to-do lists in anticipation of a pretty awesome weekend.  As I shared a few weeks ago, two of my favorite people – Katie and Adam – were coming up from Charlotte to teach an inversion workshop at Opal Yoga here in Cville.  Neither of them had ever been to Charlottesville before, so it was game on to try and show them the most abridged version of everything that makes Charlottesville unbelievable.

We strolled the downtown mall, hit up the middle of Friday’s after five, and then made our way over to The Local for a long (and overdue) dinner.

The Local

The weather got a bit wonky as our drinks came out, so our awesome waitress let us move into the private wine room that was empty after a reservation cancellation.

the local wine room

I’m not sure if it could have gotten much better than that; great friends, amazing food, and the ability to hear each other and have very in-depth conversations – all surrounded by walls chock full of wine.  In the words of our friend Brandon: #notbadifyoulikeperfect.

And that wasn’t even all.  When we got home we had the most amazing treat, literally: cupcakes from one of our favorite friends, Anita, who is the sweet-genius behind Maliha Creations, and happens to also be our neighbor.  We had received (hand delivered by her three adorable children) lavender cupcakes with vanilla + lemon icing on Thursday night, only to be surprised with a second box of carrot cake cupcakes with caramel drizzle on Friday afternoon.

maliha creations - cupcakes

They were amazing.  Seriously amazing.  I love carrot cake, and these were especially good, but there was something so different and appealing about the combination of the lavender and lemon that I couldn’t get enough of.

lavender/lemon cupcake

They were the perfect way to end the night.

Saturday was a crazy morning that included, but was not limited to, 90 minutes of walking for me, getting locked out of the house with all of the keys and dogs inside (thanks Kristin for saving our lives with the million keys at the bottom of your bag), and the Charlottesville City Market.  With all of the bustling around town we got home with just enough time to make a quick salad before the yoga workshop.

grilled chicken salad

Pretty simple no-drama salad here: romaine, cucumber, avocado, grilled chicken, tomato.

The workshop was awesome, and we had a great group of well-intentioned, fun, and engaged yogi’s at Opal, which made it even more amazing.  Here are a few pics that Katie took to capture the event.

Opal workshop w/ Adam + Katie

Opal Workshop with Adam + Katie

Opal workshop with Adam + Katie

Even Dar got into it, and was able to knock ‘crow’ off of her to-do list in her first-ever attempt which is both impressive and really annoying to anyone who has ever struggled. But hey, coordination is coordination I suppose, and you know how she likes those functional movements.

After the workshop we took up four tables at Moto Pho Co AND One Meatball Place and played musical chairs (meals) for a while, getting to know each other a little better, inducting Katie and Adam into our culture (it wasn’t difficult) and enjoying the beautiful day that it turned out to be.

Since Adam also teaches music he and Katie had to head back to Charlotte last night so we capped off their visit with a necessary trip to Paradox Pastry, and then a tour of our top-secret, never been revealed location for the new Fight Gone MAD: Cville.  I think it’s safe to say you can expect to see them here again, hopefully sooner rather than later, and most definitely for some events around the grand opening of Fight Gone MAD, and anything else we can think of to bring them back.  If you have ideas of your own, inbox me, I’m taking all suggestions.

They gave me this awesome spice kit from Savory Spice Shop in Charlotte as a Thank you for having them, and I could not be more pumped to use them in some meals very soon.  Thank you guys!

spice kit

We already miss having them here, but I can’t exactly put into words how devastated Tank and Bug were that they left.  Tank took to Adam more (and faster) than he has ever taken to another human in his life, and bug was sure that she was going to get to live with Katie (and Mitch, wedgie, ralph + weaz).  They even practiced their own versions of sun salutations on the deck for an hour before giving up and settling into the couch. IMG_3454

What they don’t know is that we’re all heading to Charlotte tomorrow so they’ll get to see them again soon.  Until then, I’m going to take a few minutes to unwind before another crazy week begins.   Happy Mother’s day to all you moms out there!

A Week of Updates: From coffee to wine

This has been ‘one of those weeks.’  You know the kind where your workouts and meals seem like they’re wedged into 30 minute blocks and the rest of life slops out of it’s designated time slots to overtake your day?  Yes, it was that week.  Thankfully those brief windows of fueling and sweating managed to persist, and I have lived to tell the tale. Next week I will update you on the actual contents of my to-do lists, with big announcements coming out of FemCity Charlottesville.  Ah-mazing upcoming events.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but coffee is the only reason that I’m alive.  This is one fact that I’m certain of.   One of the hardest things about running around town on a crazy schedule is getting my coffee fix, but also getting some good food into my body to start the day.

LaTaza coffee

One of my favorite spots in Charlottesville, LaTaza, has the awesome coffee house community vibe, with great coffee, and great food to back it up.  The breakfast menu is awesome in and of itself, but they are also amazing about modifications.  I’ve found myself there several times this week for meetings, but Wednesday morning after bootcamp I desperately needed a re-fuel.

Scrambled eggs with zucchini, tomato and a side of avocado. If that’s not an awesome healthy dine-out breakfast, I don’t know what is.  Oh, also, it was delicious.  It’s so hard to find a spot that has great coffee and great food, so this was such an amazing find.

laTaza breakfast

As I was heading back out into the world, well fed and caffeinated, I caught a glimpse of this flyer for Adam & Katie’s yoga workshop next weekend at Opal Yoga, right here in the heart of Charlottesville.

KatieAdamYoga

I can not wait for next weekend not only to see those two jokers, but to show them around our beautiful city. Since I know that they’re on the same page when it comes for having locavore hearts and a love for all things farm to table, one of the stops on the docket will undoubtedly be the city market. This way I can fulfill my produce needs for the week, buy my local meat, and see the ever-loving ever-amazing creative soul, Erin McDermott, who will be selling her jewelry there.

Quick sidenote: check out this guide from Real Simple on the best spring produce.  It’s a great one to keep seasonable vegetables in mind, and generate some new fresh meal ideas.

spring produce

Dinners have been mostly grilled or left over this week, with my personal favorite meal of grilled flank steak and vegetables.

flank steak grilled

When it comes to grilled vegetables, the most commonly grilled for me are usually asparagus, squash, eggplant, and peppers/onions when it’s kabob time, so I wanted to throw in something different.  A few weeks ago I had some grilled cauliflower at Zinc that I absolutely loved so I gave it a shot at home.

grilled zucchini + cauliflower

Truly, it was awesome.  Cauliflower doesn’t have the same crisping tendency that broccoli does, so it gets nice and tender without the same burning/dry tips.  You can lightly brush with olive oil and season with salt (or whatever you want – maybe throw in a little cayenne for a kick) and grill it up.

The other upside to grilling a little firmer of a vegetable is that they really hold up well as leftovers to use with other meals, and in the case of this week, in scrambled eggs.  Seriously, it was good.

My sweat schedule this week consisted almost exclusively of Bootcamp, with one simple quick and dirty run that may have actually been my first run in a few weeks. I’ve been nursing a tight back thanks to some not-so-smart adventuring that I did, so my goal was to keep moving, but take it all in stride.  Rest can be a good thing.

I’ve hit my limit of work interest for the day, or maybe the week, so I’ve planned a walk into the afternoon and will be shutting down for the rest of the night with a couple productive but social (socially productive work) meetings to kick off the weekend.   As I  always say, ‘when in doubt, wine,’ and that’s exactly what’s on the docket.

wine

Until next time, keep it local + cook it clean!

Yoga + Doing (Fooding) Good

Sometimes I think about the amazing people who I’ve been lucky enough to meet, and work with, throughout my travels and I feel a little taken aback by how disproportionately amazing my friends and networks are.  I can never keep track of all of the inspiring projects, developing passions, and flat-out good that is happening around me, and never tire from getting excited by other people’s biggest goals.   There are so many amazing possibilities to create in this life, and so little time, so sometimes the only way to stay connected to all of the different tangents is to live vicariously through my friends (read: divide and conquer people, divide and conquer).

When it comes to inspiring a love of Yoga, healthy living, and giving back, there are two people who just fly off the charts in terms of their inspiration rankings.  These two people are Katie Levans and Adam Whiting.

Adam + Katie

I met both of these rock stars back in 2011, when I moved to Charlotte for the second time, and was working with lululemon.  Katie was working at lululemon (with me), going to grad school for her Masters degree in Nutrition (occasionally tossing around the idea of getting her PhD), religiously taking + talking about Tanner’s superflow class at Y2, and blogging on her always witty and entertaining blog: Sweet Tater Blog.  Impressive as that list is typed out, my first two thoughts about Katie were: 1) this girl has crazy (awesome) hair, and 2) she really loves cats. and yoga. and probably cats doing yoga (?). Yes, most definitely.

The more I got to know Katie the more I came to understand that she is passionate about honesty, about animals (on the whole), about nutrition and healthy living for happiness and balance in life. Most importantly she is incredibly real.  With Katie, what you see (or read) is what you get.  It’s the truth, no frills, no embellishments, and absolutely no fake self promotion – which is a very refreshing and rare quality among bloggers and reality stars (oh yeah, you might have seen her on TV before).  Cliffs notes: Katie is awesome.

I met Adam around the same time that I met Katie, centered partly around yoga since he was teaching at Y2 in Charlotte, but mostly because when I insisted on having our lemon team do two nights of consecutive midnight yoga to support and promote 24 Hours of Booty, a bike race to honor and support the cancer community Adam volunteered when none of our other ambassadors could do it (despite having to get up early for his own marathon training in the morning).

late night Yoga @ the Epicenter to promote midnight yoga at 24 Hours of Booty

When your first experience with someone is them selflessly giving their time, passion, and energy to benefit others, and something much larger than themselves, it makes a pretty big impact.  The almost unbelievable thing about Adam is that it wasn’t just a one-time thing.  Adam is constantly inspiring others, living his passion, and building a community of amazing yogis and people everywhere he goes.   This week he is in Whistler representing lululemon Southpark at the Ambassador Summit, and undoubtedly spreading his greatness.

So, what’s my point with all of this?  First to give some props to two of my favorite people.  And secondly to let you know that they’re hitting the road together to share their passions with you (hopefully).  On May 11th they’ll be coming up to Opal Yoga in Charlottesville to give us a visit, and workshop with us on inversions and backbends.

Against Gravity: Yoga Workshop
email OpalYoga@gmail.com to reserve a spot! cost: $30.

So, the yoga was just part 1.  Part 2 of this trip to inspiration station is Katie’s ‘dream it, do it’ approach to creating more significant global change when it comes to ending hunger.  Feeding the hungry, and equitable distribution of our available food resources (healthy food, at that) is a common thread through most of Katie’s soap box moments, and she just recently put into motion a brain child of her own to take the fight against hunger to a simple and social platform.  It’s called Plate Share.

plate share

Check out Katie talking about Plate Share with Southpark Magazine (via the Charlotte Observer).

plate share

plate share

I absolutely love everything about this.  Using social media for good, using change to create change, and supporting the notion that having (good) food should be a right of all human beings.

Cliffs notes: Check out Adam and Katie at any of their current places of business, on any of their social networks, and if you live in Charlottesville, come out and meet them when they’re here in May.  They’re awesome, and we will be peddling them around to all of our favorite locavore establishments, which is to say: everywhere.

A Little luluLovin’ + A Sweet Sweating Week

While I like to eat clean and whole most of the time, I definitely abide by the 80/20 rule because a girl’s gotta live!  This week, being one of the most traditionally sweet I squeezed a little more of that ‘living’ into my life, but rounded it out with some pretty sweet sweats.

We’re in the middle of the 20 class challenge at Pure Barre (20 classes in 30 days) which is universally kicking some butt, so I went a little lighter than last week on the LTB getting two classes in early with Kristin and Amy Jo.  Consider yourselves acknowledged not only by this blog, but by all of the muscles in my body.

Pure Barre Challenge

Classes have been packed full lately, which makes it a little more fun, and definitely helps keep the energy up as we soldier through the last two weeks of the challenge.

The beginning of the week looked a little like this:

Monday:  5.5 mile run + spin w/Mahogany at ACAC

Tuesday: 3.5 mile run + Pure Barre w/Kristin

Wednesday: Pure Barre w/Amy Jo (followed by the Beer Master Dinner at Blue Mountain Brewery. more to come on that soon!)

By Thursday I was ready for a little stretch, and in the spirit of the ‘holiday,’ ready to give a little love to my body.  And guess what? The stars aligned for just that.  I was able to bookend my day with a short run early, and some yoga (VINYASA!) at Opal Yoga‘s grand opening night.

lululemon love

The lovely ladies from lululemon were there spreading love, and giving the gift of The Mat to Opal’s first few students, ever.

this one is better?
sweatworking at it’s finest. R to L is our gluten-free favorite Kristin, me, Alex + Hannah all ready to go.

I was spoiled when I lived in Charlotte to have fantastic hot vinyasa heavy, and awe inspiring teachers and studios at nearly every corner, so when I moved back to Charlottesville to find a severe lack of vinyasa studios, my heart hurt.   As I said to Opal Yoga’s owner, Karen,  I have been waiting for this day for almost a year now.  Considering she’s been working up to this same moment for her whole life, my sacrifice seems small, but still, it was a very exciting moment for all.

beautiful yogi's full of love on LOVE day
beautiful yogi’s full of love on LOVE day

Opal’s space is beautiful and full of such love and energy from Charlottesville’s most enthusiastic, open hearted, and engaging yogi’s.  If you live in Cville there are grand opening events and raffles going on all weekend, and classes happening forevermore.

I finished off the ‘work’ week with Dar’s Bootcamp this morning, and a nap around 1pm that was so very needed by my body.  Tomorrow I’m jump starting the weekend with my third installment of Pure Barre this week, and am then venturing over to the lululemon showroom to teach their complimentary Saturday class at 10am, so if you want to LTB surrounded entirely by luon, come join us.  We’ll be sweating and shaking our little hearts out.

Hope you had fabulous Valentine’s Days filled with the people you love.

put a little love in your heart
put a little love in your heart