Blueberry Cheesecake Protein Shake + WIAW

Water makes me pee.

As it should.

I drink a TON of water.  In addition to it being a standard part of any competitor’s diets, I live in the South and it’s August.  Cold water is like gold.  There are many benefits of drinking a lot of water – I did a post on it.

5 Benefits to Drinking Water

Someone commented on last Wednesday’s post asking how many times I got to the bathroom with all the water I drink.  I’m sure she was kidding… but I took the opportunity to count.

Yesterday I peed 15 times…. 

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No Room For the Blues + WIAW

Coming home is hard.

 

Some might say it’s downright depressing…

I fell in love with Colorado last week.  I will move there one day.  Atlanta is getting older by the minute.  I love my city – we have gorgeous parks, amazing food, and my friend and family are here.  But I was born here.  While I’ve been lucky to travel a lot, the time for a change of scenery is growing near.  Since I can’t exactly pick up and move to Switzerland, Colorado is a good second.

I think the goats miss me too.  More on this adventure to come!

mountain goat

 

In lieu of an after work hike, I got my nails done.  Nothing like a little pampering to soothe the travel blues.

Speaking of blues… my toes are now No Room For the Blues!  The nail color is Wooden Shoe Like to Know.  Gotta love OPI!  They were totally talking about my nasty feet after all the Colorado adventuring.  Not that I’m paranoid…

Mani-Pedi

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This WIAW I’m back from Colorado but OUT of groceries.  Desperation has set in…

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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I’m a Big Dill + WIAW

I’m a big dill.

 

In my head.

Really though.  I posted the pic below on Instagram heading into leg day on Monday, but there’s a reason other than humor.  Legs days with my trainer always kick my butt.  He’s brutal… in a good way though.  One of the reasons I love training with him is that he pushes me to do more than I even imagine to be possible.  

When I walk into a session with him, I psych myself UP.  So much of lifting is mental.  If you tell yourself you can and approach the weights with confidence, you’ll be amazed by what you can do.  That’s also a good example of how I #MoveHappy. ;)

Big Dill

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This WIAW I was STARVING from leg day.  I wanted a little bit of everything, so that’s what I had!

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Read on for my eats, and then check out Jenn’s blog for everyone else’s delicious creations!… 

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Bread, Breakfast, & Jackson Pollack

Weekends are for wandering.

 

But don’t get lost.

I did lose a car key… but I had a spare!  I have no idea where it is.  This is not at all relevant to this wandering post.. My weekend started out strong with an attempt at homemade bread on Friday morning.  I had bookmarked Sarena’s gluten-free bread recipe when she shared it on Lindsay’s blog weeks ago.  I have a fear of making yeast bread, but I’d had bread made by Sarena before and couldn’t wait to try it for myself.

The flavor was great, but I think the chef was to blame for the too-dense texture.  Sarena’s recipe says to use a mixer.  I used my hands.  Next time I’ll try whipping the eggs first to get some air in!  Or I may crash my mom’s house to use her mixer. ;)

Gluten-Free Bread

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5K Comeback + Fiesta Night

I used to be fast.

 

I also used to run a lot.

It’s funny how must faster you get when you get when you run a race.  I’ve been running a little bit.  Slowly.  On a whim I decided to run a 5K Saturday morning.  It turns out I hadn’t been pushing myself as hard as I thought I had been on my jogs.

I lined up for the 5K not expecting much out of myself.  It was already pretty hot and incredibly humid at 8am when the race started, but once I took off I felt like running a little faster.  Half way through I realized I was pacing pretty well… so I went for it.  25:52 went it, to be exact.  I finished 3rd in my age group (which is now 30+ – when did that happen?!) and 14th out of the women!  Kind of a nice surprise… and now I feel like running more 5Ks.

Pride Run 2014

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France: What I Ate (and Drank) in Burgundy

Eating and drinking wine are my 2 favorite activities.

 

Well, the 2 that are most appropriate to blog about.

I took a whirlwind trip to France during my travels last week.  The purpose was (obviously) wine.  Burgundy is one of France’s most notable wine districts.  It’s home to red and white Burgundy wines – better known to many as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Specifically, I was in Côte d’Or.

Burgundy_Areas_France… 

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A Day in Basel, Switzerland + WIAW

When in Rome…

Or Basel.  Whatever.

On my first full day in Basel, Lucie took me on adventures fit for a blogger!  But first we began in a predictable way… taking pictures of yogurt bowls before breakfast!

My bowl was goat’s milk yogurt (which Lucie bought special for me!) with cinnamon, Growing Naturals Vanilla Rice Protein, oats, strawberries, cacao nibs, and more of Lucie’s bread.  We took our beautiful bowls outside of a photo shoot in natural light.  Priorities!

Yogurt Bowl photo shoot… 

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Marvelous New Beginnings

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

 

Anyone remember that song?

This weekend my family celebrated endings and beginnings.  My baby sister, Madison, graduated from college!  She’s the youngest, and the last to finish school.  Mom is celebrate not having that tuition bill – hahaha!

My cousin came along, and my other sister flew in from Portland to surprise Madi.  We loaded up the family and drove to Auburn, AL to celebrate the end of Madi’s college career.  Naturally, this started with a toast.  Or 20.

 

We dined in style at Auburn’s nicest restaurant, Acre.  I have been wanting to try it ever since sampling a collard wrapped sweet potato tamale the chef made at Atlanta’s Food & Wine Festival 2 years ago!  Seriously – here’s the post.

We ordered all the foods.  This is just a fraction of it!  The butter bean gnocchi was the coolest thing… but the dessert won the night.  We ordered the dessert board (bottom right below) with a sampling of everything… followed by seconds of the sweet potato bread pudding and the goat’s cheese-filled doughnut holes.  I get my love of food and wine honestly!

Acre in Auburn, AL

 

Let’s not talk about how we *almost* missed the graduation ceremony the next morning…

Once we safely made it to the ceremony, we toured the arena patiently waiting for Madi get her diploma.  Turns out the Tigers like to hate on my Yellow Jackets!

Auburn graduation 2014

Madi graduation

Hooray!

 

Back in Atlanta Saturday afternoon, I squeezed in a beautiful 5K run by the Chattahoochee River before heading to my mom’s for a grill out.  Those delicious eats must have done some good because it was my fastest in recent memory.  It could have also been the fear of what mom was going to say when she found out I went running instead of coming straight home for dinner as instructed.. ;)

The warm sunshine and home cooked food were the perfect way to celebrate a new chapter for everyone.  Change is in the air!  It’s an exciting time… the unknown can be a bit nerve-wracking, but life goes on and the future will be marvelous!

Chattahoochee River

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I’m spending the day wrapping up things here so I can board the place to go visit Lucie in Switzerland tomorrow!!!

Do endings/new beginnings ever rattle you a little?

What did you do to celebrate your graduation?  I ate really good food.  Obv.

 

5 Things I Love

Last week was a long one.

 

Understatement of the year.

This past weekend I made sure to savour every blissful moment.  I took an extra moment to appreciate new product finds, watch my sister’s music video on repeat, and enjoy dinner at a special restaurant for no particular occasion.

In this month of love, I wanted to share a few apples of my eye with you guys! 

1. Jojoba Oil

It is saving my skin from winter.  My skin is dry in this crazy weather, yet it is also oily in spots and prone to breakouts.  Slathering it with oil was a terrifying thought… but I trusted my sister’s advice and gave it a shot.  Lo and behold, it works!  

I now use Jojoba oil as a nightly moisturizer, along with a bit of tea tree oil on any acne spots.  Both can be found at Whole Foods or most natural food stores.

Jojoba oil… 

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A Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was relaxing.

 

My version of relaxing… which is active relaxed.

This was the first weekend in a long time where I didn’t HAVE to do anything productive.  I still did lots of things, but it was nice to not have a set agenda.

Friday night I had an impromptu dinner with my mom at local Italian restaurant Double Zero.  We had a great time catching up and eating. I hadn’t seen her since my competition!

My favorite dish was the grilled octopus with pancetta hash, asparagus puree, and citrus vinaigrette, but the lamb farro was a close second.  It was a smoke and braise lamb shoulder with apricots, figs, fresh ricotta, and a poached egg.  Next to all that the beet salad was underwhelming.

Double Zero

 

This next morning I woke up ravenous, so I threw together some quick pancakes.  I am not the Pancake Queen, so I was surprised when they turned out to be quite good!

I posted this Almond-Chocolate Pancake recipe here.  The topping was the icing on the (pan)cake. I used Lorann Oils Irish Cream flavor in it!

Almond Chocolate Pancakes

 

Then it was off to the gym for a glute workout with some of my teammates.  I normally workout solo and forgot how much fun it is to have a gym morning with friends!

After the workout we stood around talking about food (of course), and my friend Rachael revealed she hadn’t been to Whole Foods before!   I suggested a post-workout trip and off we went.  2 hours later, we were full of samples and hot bar boxes and Rachael learned why we lovingly call it “Whole Paycheck.”  She Instagrammed her finds – have you ever tried any of these items?  Black bean pasta and no-salt mustard are awesome!

Whole Foods finds

 

Saturday night I had a friend date with Kat.  I’ve been looking forward to catching up with her for weeks!  We talked and laughed for hours. You know those friends who just “get” you?  That’s Kat.

We ate at the bar at Kimball House.  Their cocktail program is incredible!  Their take on a Manhattan used cola bitters – coolest thing ever!  The food was ok… I’d go back for a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap.

Their take on a Manhattan with cola bitters, sautéed mushroom salad, and beef tartar

 

I took an “artsy” shot!  Sort of:

kimball house

 

Sunday was a beautiful day in Atlanta.  It was sunny and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky!  I decided to go for a run and enjoy the weather… as soon as I stepped outside I realized that – despite the sun – it was in the 30s.  About a mile into it I thawed out and enjoyed myself.

I love the trees with the red leaves.  They look like they’re on fire!

 

When I returned I had a lot to do in the kitchen.  All fun creations!  It was kombucha-brewing day.  I have been brewing my own for over a year now.  It’s really easy, especially if you have a starter kit (you need a “mother” called a scoby).  Mine was from Brooklyn Kombucha, but you could also beg a friend who brews for a scoby.

This week’s flavors are cranberry-ginger-lemon and blackberry-lemon-mint.

kombucha

 

I also did some baking for the Sunday evening end of season party at my training gym, House of Payne.  I’ll share my #strangebugood brownie recipe next week. ;)

This is what happens when a bunch of competitors get together for a post-season party.  It’s ok… we’re bulking… 

 

There were plenty of green veggies, clean sweet potato casseroles, and protein.  That pic just wasn’t as much fun.

I am so thankful to have found Steve and his gym.  This group of competitors is top-notch.  Everyone is kind and always willing to lend a hand.  They are funny, genuine people who I am proud to be associated with.

Team House of Payne

 

Linking up to Katie’s MIMM again – I’d say this “relaxing” weekend was pretty marvelous!

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I’m 100% enjoying food freedom again.  Bulking season is my favorite.

When was the last time you had an agenda-free weekend?

Have you been to Whole Foods?  Do you remember your first time?