Coffee, Recovery + the Sweetness of Life

There’s a strange feeling in the air; a slower pace than a typical monday, and a sense of calm that trumps the urgency that usually dominates the start of a new week.

fuel sweat grow: coffee is life

As I sat sipping my coffee this morning, a welcomed change to my typically hurried infusion of caffeine, I took a few extra minutes to breathe, settle into Monday, and embrace the Holiday calm.

The best part about the week of blending nothing and everything is taking more time to focus on what I’m really needing right now — some serious recovery sweats.

fuel sweat grow: sweat schedule Holidays 2014 We’ve gotten pretty into declaratory sweat schedules around here lately, a long-time habit from my lululemon days circa 2009-11, with a little more of the personalized branding to make it feel like home.  I’m pretty excited looking at this because I know how killer all of those days will be (in a good way), but also because I’m heading into a long stretch of…well, stretching…so expect a little revisiting the practice of Becoming a Supple Leopard and some new habit’s I’m forming to complement everything I’m putting my body through these days.  While I’ve been a little lax recently with my stretching and whole wellness routine, I’ve been creating balance with some other life choices that just fill my heart right up.

Last week amid the mayhem I opted to give my body an end-of-week break since it had been through enough with travel, gluttony, and constant pushing of December, and instead, I filled my usual Saturday morning sweat slot with two of the sweetest girls ever, and their amazing parent’s who are undoubtedly beginning a beautiful family adventure.

fuel sweat grow: Erin McDermotte Suki and Coco

Suki, my first (McDermott) White baby love, recently became a big sister to Coco (Collier Carrington White) and could not be more perfect for the role.  She’s lost none of her spunk or smooching skills, but has become an immediate protector and best friend to her sweet sister, as if her role was laid out perfectly for her.

I stopped by for a visit, and to give Coco some ‘welcome to the world’ gifts (any excuse to shop at Pottery Barn Kids + Baby), and of course ended up in my favorite room in the house, and the creative haven for Erin McDermott Jewelry.

fuel sweat grow: Erin McDermott Jewelry and Suki girl

The visit, the conversation, and the re-connection that I love every time I can make it in Charlotte was so much more than any workout I could have forced into the morning haze, and was exactly what my body and soul needed to take that first deep breath, and full exhale out as I moved closer to letting go for the Holidays.

Now, here we are on Monday, wrapping up all the loose ends, and creating space for relaxation.  It’s never a dull moment around here, but here’s to filling them with the joy and laugher of good friends and family to close out the year.  ❤

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By the Grace of Coffee, this MAD week is ON

I know that there are 7 full days in a week, but somehow it always seems to be Sunday night.

IMG_7115

That was the thought that led off this post when I started it late Sunday.  Now it’s late Tuesday, proving two things: another couple of days have slipped past, each closer to Sunday’s return, and I’m constantly up, working, organizing, and writing late at night.  C’est la vie, I suppose, because if I’ve learned anything in the last 30 odd (literally) years of my life, it’s that I function best when in constant motion…as long as I’ve got some sense of organization and structure bracing my schedule.

Which of course leads us to food.  When things are crazy, but still functional, it’s usually a sign that I’ve made time for grocery shopping and cleared some therapy time in the kitchen.  I’ve been in the habit lately of hitting two grocery spots for different items: trader joe’s for produce and the general staples (coconut milk, coconut oil, almond butter, etc) and Whole Foods for the rest (avocados, meat, eggs).  It’s 100% a cost thing for making the two stops, because that’s obviously the only thing that can trump the convenience of Whole Foods, but the difference is substantial.  That’s not to say, however, that I don’t still impulse buy at Whole Foods.  It happens all the time, lately with my new favorite salad add-on: microgreens.

fuel sweat grow: sunflower and basil microgreens

I’m a sampler.  If you offer me a sample and it looks like something I would possibly eat (greens, soup, chili…anything but fish) I’m going to try it.  A year or so ago that habit led me to discover Keswick Gourmet, which has since become a favorite cooking staple; so obviously I’m a target market of sorts.  Last week as I walked into Whole Foods there was a sample table with these microgreens (sunflower and basil) dressed with light olive oil and sea salt.  Um, yes please (I bought two).  I played around a little with it for dinner, added some almonds, and ultimately mixed it in with romaine, some cucumbers, and other ever-loving salad add-ons.

On the stovetop I sautéed 2lbs of ground beef with onion (in coconut oil) and mixed the zoodles/spiralized zucchini right in there to soften slightly and soak up all the flavor. There’s a chance this might be my new favorite quickie meal….but I could just be caught up in the moment.

fuel sweat grow: ground beef zoodlesThe full meal looked like this and was arguably just as good as lunch leftovers, so again, if you have time to make more than you can eat, do it.  You’ll be thankful later.

fuel sweat grow: micro green salad and ground beef zoodles

This was exactly the right way (for me) to start the week, a structural component that has contributed to a pretty packed and productive week –  so far.  The other main contributor has been getting myself up (by the grace of coffee) for the 6 or 7am classes at MAD three mornings a week so I can relax and work without a deadline or a super packed end of the day.  It has been everything.

So, what have we learned here?  Coffee + early morning MADness + all the sunflower basil microgreens you can handle = an amazing start to a grey winter week.

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!