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The heart of an athlete…

Hello friends, I’m back! Sorry for the one month blogging hiatus… I suppose life got in the way. Good thing for exciting CrossFit events or else I might not have been motivated enough to post…

Balance Gym's CrossFit Dupont, set up for some FGB-ing

I participated in Fight Gone Bad (FGB) on September 17th. This is the 6th annual FGB global fundraiser and community workout, which raises money for Special Operations Warrior Foundation, CrossFit Kids, and Camp Patriot. Want to make a donation …please? :) Need some inspiration? Watch this.

[The workout consists of 3 rounds with one minute rest between rounds. Each round consists of five different stations for one minute each: wall ball, sumo deadlift high pull, box jump, push press and row. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point. The total amount of points is your Fight Gone Bad score.]

Becky on the push press

AKA “17 minutes of pure grit and dedication in honor of those who have sacrificed their whole lives to service.” It’s also fun, of course! The best part is doing it alongside about 20 other athletes at once and then watching several other heats. Everyone pours all they’ve got into the workout and there is no shortage of constant encouragement, screaming and cheering from onlookers.

Sumo Deadlift High Pull (aka longest named movement)

Gotta love a wall ball

Even though I did the scaled version, FGB still made me push myself farther than I typically would. It reminds me why I love CrossFit– yes, even the can’t-breathe, can’t-move, lying-in-a-pool-of-sweat part.

Gene can confirm that this was a true candid.

We survived our first FGB!

Well, do you wanna donate now? Okay, done asking for money :)

I promise I’ll work on more consistent blogging. You can even look forward to a post later this week from a different location ;)

 

The soul of an athlete can change the game.

The heart of an athlete can change the world.

Le Pain (said with french accent)

… As in Le Pain Quotidien (pronounced luh paN koh-ti-dyaN, incase you’re not a French nerd like me). I’ve been to this “bakery & communal table” before but generally thought it was an overpriced place to get sandwiches and salads. But, while it is a bit more expensive, the quality and quantity of the food more than makes up for that. I ordered the Chilled Gazpacho with diced mango and cucumbers…my mouth waters just thinking about it. Sooo refreshing on a 90-something degree day.

I also split a huge salad with my friend: the Local Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with feta, fresh mint, cucumber and organic Mahjoub olive oil.

Le Pain taking a swim in the gazpacho

Highly recommend this restaurant if you want a good quality meal – and make sure to order something from the seasonal specialties menu. And, almost forgot- I picked up a macaroon to go! Made with organic coconut too :)

So, even though I am not a big “le pain” eater these days, the bread that came with the salad and soup was quite tasty. I don’t regret eating it at all, and it definitely reminds me that it’s better to splurge on bread when it’s from somewhere like this!

 

A few sushi-rolling pointers

Earlier this week I went to a sushi-rolling lesson at CulinAerie that I’d purchased from LivingSocial. While I was disappointed that we only made veggie rolls, (I know, how is it considered sushi if there’s no raw fish?!) I did pick up a pointer or two, in addition to some neat sushi history!

Try to keep your hands wet while working with the rice… it’s called sticky rice for a reason.

Hold the ingredients carefully while folding over the seaweed… or else everything falls out.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the roll… but try not to cut off any fingers

Assemble rolls on plate with desired condiments. And if there are extra/ uneven pieces, just eat them… no one will notice :)

(Even the really messed up rolls taste delicious)

And voila! Be sure to take a picture to prove you made the sushi before you eat all of it ;)

A BlogHer Recap

I’m back in DC after a wonderful but exhausting weekend at the BlogHer Conference in San Diego! I returned home with more free stuff than I know what to do with, (and that was after I left half behind) a few new blogger friends, and some great tips and insights about the world of social media and blogging. The exhibit hall was probably the biggest and best I’ve ever seen and had some pretty cool sponsor booths. Highlights included Hallmark’s make-your-own t-shirt booth, the sandcastle builder, the CVS booth with free products, and the endless supply of food samples! (too many of which did not count as food- Jimmy Dean, ew)

Thursday night I wandered around the exhibit hall. It was difficult to take pictures while balancing many bags of STUFF on my arms, but I tried my best!

Garden of sun chips, lays, etc. -- endless samples of Pepsico products distributed by male models, of course

Some "real" food to supplement the samples

BlogHer carved out of Ivory soap

Friday was Day 1 of the conference sessions. As I was walking into breakfast, someone complimented my skirt (thanks Anthro)- and that someone was Kath who writes KathEats – and I just happen to read her blog!  Jess from JessRuns ate with us too. It was so fun meeting other fitness & food bloggers. Especially when Kath started taking pics and posted a blog post by the time we’d finished breakfast– and then my cousin’s gf saw it while she was reading her daily blogs!

Kath & Jess!

The small world phenomenon continued when, at lunch, I happened to sit down at a random table next to Lauren, a crossfitter (and paleo eater!) who writes at Gympressions. Oh and did I mention she also grew up in the 914?

And back to the exhibit hall…

Pepsi can shoe

Statue of Liberty made out of Twizzlers

Raisins!

Money blaster machine game

He makes basically anything out of sand

Hallmark's "Life is a Special Occasion" Booth. My t-shirt said {Making a decision} is a special occasion. (since I am indecisive and couldn't decide how to fill in the blank!)

Healthy make-your-own snack mix in between sessions

Fruit / dried fruit covered in chocolate - not my thing

More chocolately mid-session snacks from Dove. Unfortunately, I happen to fall into the non-chocolate lover category.

Reception on the terrace - and just what I needed, more food!

I'm super awkward when I meet celebs apparently. Bob Harper (looking thrilled) from Biggest Loser at the Quaker Oats booth!!

Interview with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Oh, and did I mention the lunchtime Flash Mob (to Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory) that occurred? It was SO cool!!

And now, I shall attempt the feat of falling asleep when my body thinks it’s only 8:30. If that goes over well, I’ll be up at 6 AM for a ridic yet much-needed CrossFit class. Goodnight!

So THIS is what perfect weather feels like!

Approaching the Grand Canyon!

Greetings from San Diego! I arrived here some amount of hours ago but my body is all confused from waking up at 2:30 AM for a lovely 6 AM flight! I’m happy to say it was smooth sailing the whole way and I had the BEST seat on a plane – seriously people get the exit row if you can. And I happened to be on the right side of the plane for optimal scenery viewing :)

The second I stepped out of the airport and took a breath of the fresh, crisp air I realized what I’ve been severely deprived of in Stuffy McHumidtown, better known as DC. I couldn’t stop smiling and exclaiming to my cab driver, Ohmygoodness the weather is SO PERFECT! He didn’t speak much english, but when I asked him what his favorite part about San Diego was (hoping to get advice about attractions, etc.) he said “the weather!” I mean, I don’t even think I realized how completely terrible the weather in DC (or NY, or any east coast city) was until I had something to compare it to. I’ve been to California before (twice; once to San Fran and neighboring cities, and once to Long Beach) but coming directly from the grossness that is now my home district was a startling discovery.

ANYways, the weather was a perfect backdrop for my one “free” day in San Diego. I’ll be at the BlogHer Conference all day Friday and Saturday, meeting lots of awesome bloggers and learning a TON that I don’t know about blogging! (I’m also working… but no one believes me that a real business trip can happen in San Diego.)

View of the Convention Center from my hotel room

Since my body was screaming with hunger, I started off my day on the west coast with an 11 AM lunch! It took me WAY too long to decide, especially since I am by myself and could have gone to any of the 100 places on the handy map the concierge gave me. However, I wanted to make sure I made a careful decision since I won’t have many restaurant meals while I’m here. Some of the restaurant/ bar names were kinda funny – Tipsy Crow, Hopping Pig, Whiskey Girl, Wet Willies…

Gaslamp Quarter - where all the food options resided

Toscana - cafe and wine bar - where I sat outside to enjoy my lunch

YUMS. I'm telling you this was the best wrap ever. Rosemary grilled chicken, spinach, roasted peppers, tomato, peso spread.

After lunch, I decided to rent a bike and see part of the city that way- it’s much less tiring than walking and the streets are so well-paved with bike lanes. I rode down along the bay and stopped every once in a while to take in the beautiful view…

Note to self: Don't attempt to take pictures while steering a bike.

Safety first!

I stopped along my route because the Summer Pops were practicing!!! I looove these kinds of performances. It makes me sorely miss my clarinet days. #bandgeek

I needed at least one "I'm a tourist!" shot, right?

After a leisurely 2 hour ride, I returned my bike and I couldn’t help but notice what was next door to the bike rental shop:

Heavenly Cupcakes: nothing compared to Baked & Wired, but I HAD to have one...

Anyone who’s anyone knows you can’t go to a new city and NOT try a cupcake. Even if I didn’t research the BEST cupcake joint in the city, I pretty much had no choice but to visit one a few blocks away from my hotel! (even if it only got 3 stars on Yelp)

This is for all you red velvet fanatics out there (there are at least 4 of you, and you know who you are!)

But if you know me, you know I’m a vanilla girl- so I went with a Vanilla Caramel!

Demolished in under 2 minutes. #success

Now I’m off to check out the exhibitors at the conference! Hoping the jet lag doesn’t catch up with me just yet.

And speaking of conferences… I should probably clone myself and be at another conference this weekend! It’s the Ancestral Health Symposium in LA. I know it sounds kinda weird, but it’s for all those Paleo geeks out there :) And even though I don’t quite fall into that category right now- it’s still something I’m passionate about and really want to learn more about. There are some fab people attending who I follow regularly via their blogs/ twitter, and I’m hoping to keep up with all the cool things going on there, while I’m here. Challenging, I think.

Also, thanks for keeping up with my very sporadic blogging habits lately. Could use some pointers for that…

Best of Washington – A Foodie’s Heaven

I apologize for the 24-hour delay in this post. But I was just wayy too full (and slightly tipsy) to post this last night! So here you go- below is a photo-recap of my wonderful evening at the Best of Washington Party 2011! For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, each year Washingtonian Magazine hosts a huge party with 60 of the top-rated restaurants in DC sampling food and drink. I had only ever been to 2 restaurants on the list, so I was quite excited to try some awesome food, some of which I may likely never actually eat in the restaurant because of how pricey they are! The tickets for the event are not cheap– but let me assure you, I got my $95 worth :) Good thing I had my expert foodie friend with me to navigate the crowded booths inside the National Building Museum- she even made a ranked list beforehand so we could prioritize which restaurants were essential to try first. It’s actually amazing that I managed to take so many pictures, while juggling a plate of food in one hand and a drink in the other the entire night!

First view of the party upon entering

First drink of the night: the madras (a taste of summer)

First taste of the night - yellowfin-tuna carpaccio from Central (Chef Michel Richard)

So simple yet one of my favorites - Tomato Tartare from Citronelle

Scallop and blue crab "chorizo" with shaved summer-squash salad from Vermillion

Lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound

Mini cupcakes from Red Velvet. We decided to wait to eat these until we sampled all the dinner food first (That strategy lasted approximately 20 minutes)

Favorite dish of the evening: Salmon sashimi with tomato salad and basil from J&G Steakhouse (unfortunately it was consumed before I could take a picture!)

Macaroons from Adour. Personally I thought these were prettier than they were tasty

Pork dumplings from The Source (okay yes I ate a little pork) - by Wolfgang Puck!

Green gazpacho topped with melon salad and rock shrimp from Redwood that was amazinggg

One of my fav restaurants - Kushi! They went for a more simple chicken dish - still delicious

Yes, more cupcakes. Georgetown Cupcake was giving out regular-sized ones! And yes, I ate one even though when I'm in Georgetown I will ONLY eat cupcakes at Baked and Wired.

Indulging in a chocolate peanut butter cupcake!

Our "to-go" stash of cupcakes... don't judge

Foodies for life <3

Believe it or not, that wasn’t even half the food we ate. But if my pictures weren’t enough, be sure to check out Washingtonian’s video recap of the evening. Next year, I think we will have to pace ourselves better (yet still hit the top restaurants first, before they run out!) and also take some tupperware. (just kidding!) ALSO: Read the program!! We took one look at the map and made a bee-line for the first restaurants we wanted to try without even realizing that the food selections were all listed in the programs! I was so sad when I realized we had missed 2 sushi samples!

Some other not-picutred favorites of the night included: BLT Steak’s tuna crudo with cucumber citrus and burnt-olive jam, Rasika’s Cauliflower Bezule, Michel by Michel Richard’s almond-cherry shooter, Cozumel ceviche (from El Centro D.F. with white fish, citrus sauce, tomato, onion, and avocado) & Perrys scallop crudo with green-tea-and-yuzu foam and tobiko! And my favorite libation was hands down the St. Lemongrass Sangria from Ping Pong Dim Sum. The Raspberry Shock Top was pretty rockin as well.

This night was so fun and it confirmed the abundance of amazing food in DC! Can’t wait to continue eating my way through the city :)

Lazy Summer Days (and Nights)

The perfect way to end a relaxing weekend

Well, I’m back! No, I haven’t taken a vacation… but I blame the 2-week blog hiatus on summer ;) Wonderful, humid, sweet summer. But don’t worry, there has still been plenty of crossfitting and food preparation/consumption.

And lots of what I like to call “picnic-style eating” – rather than big meals, lots of small dishes, shared between friends! Like this lovely spread from Friday evening… It was originally supposed to be eaten at Jazz in the Sculpture Garden, but a torrential downpour put a dent in that plan. So instead, we took it inside, brought out the wine, and had a lovely evening.

I had picked up some fresh fruit at the farmer’s market near my office on Thursday to make a fruit salad. I could (and do) eat fruit at every meal, especially in the summer.

Speaking of farmer’s markets. I also paid a visit to the Glover Park market on Saturday morning. Can’t get enough of their samples, bluegrass music, and produce.

Endless zucchini and squash

And of course… tomatoes. I never seem to buy enough. I could eat one a day. Cannot wait until the day I’m growing these in my backyard.

Tomatoes!

This week has lots in store… including a highly anticipated evening of food sampling from the best restaurants in Washington DC! Get excited fellow foodies…

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