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.


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.

Early Spring Weekend: Meals + a Run

You know what the most beautiful thing about outdoor bars in the summer is?  Everything.  Seriously, everything.

LaTaza Tiki Bar

Friday had been a long day that began with the 6:15 and 7am bootcamps, so as was probably pretty clear in friday’s post, that by 3pm I was ready to commence weekending.

Dar and I had a business meeting set up for drinks at LaTaza with one of our new favorite people, and it was exactly the right choice.  The outdoor seating was perfect, the tiki bar had my favorite cider [Bold Rock: Apple Draft] and there was a full dinner menu that was not just an extension of a regular bar menu.  I had the grilled flank steak with veggie substituted sides, Dar had a roasted chicken over a purple cabbage slaw and the first rice she’s had in over two months.  I give the food two thumbs up and a very enthusiastic high five.

After dinner two amazing things happened:

1.) Margaritas began showing up in succession.

2.) The fabulous Sarah Hatch who happens to have just cut my hair the day before (she works at Studio 500 – check her out!) and her fabulous co-workers showed up for their own business social time.

lataza tiki nights

The later it got, and the more the temperature dropped, the closer we all huddled into the fire.  I will say that it was  not smart of me to think having borderline long sleeves on was going to keep me warm enough, but let me tell you, once the weather finally cranks it up a notch, this is going to be the new place to find me on a friday night.  Mark my words.

Saturday morning was as gloomy as it could be for not actually raining, but a successful trip to the market did occur yielding some new meat from Wolf Creek Farms, and a good amount of leafy greens and asparagus from a local farmer.  There was still some meat left in the fridge from a trip to the Organic Butcher on thursday, so the Wolf Creek Farm goodies were stocked away for a later meal.

My body clock was pretty off, so at 4pm I found myself milling around the kitchen starting to prep for an early dinner with the grill warming up outside.

Organic Butcher flank + breasts

The spring mix was put to good use in basic salads with balsamic and olive oil with a little lemon and salt for seasoning.

local spring mix

A zucchini and squash saute with yellow and red peppers added to the meal as a great (and colorful) side that can be an awesome topping for chicken or beef.

zucchini saute spring veggie salsa

Or, top some brown rice pasta as a lighter spring ‘sauce’ that adds flavor to the whole meal.

spring mix + veggie meal

After dinner I took an hour or so to get a few things in order before taking advantage of the extra daylight hours on a quick run.

I have not been running much lately, at all, focusing more on lighter strength and cardio circuits as I build my endurance and immunity back up during recovery, but last night I just craved it.  I ran around the UVa campus for the first time in probably a year, which was a great return to the road.  Running slower than usual, I was able to take more in, inducing nostalgic memories connected to ‘grounds’ (as we call campus here at UVa) —  which is a different and much lengthier post for another time.  For the purposes of summarizing today: I ran, and it was excellent.

There is a ton going on around here right now, lots of announcements on the horizon, so I took the rest of the night to get my closet and life organized, made a post on my personal blog, and let myself unwind into a lazy Saturday night in.