The Wheels on the Bike Go Round and Round

If you know me, you know SoulCycle has become a regular part of my routine, so much so that as I was walking into class on Sunday I was told it was my 250th ride.  I was pretty surprised, I remember my first class like it was yesterday.  A fairly self-conscious person, group workout classes were never my thing.  Instead, I had always been the one to run down to the gym in my building at 11:30pm.  But after moving to DC and into a building without a gym, I had managed to get as far as level 1 yoga at the little studio down my street.  I had more or less given up on exercise while studying for the bar, and the non-judgmental atmosphere at Tranquil Space was a welcomed start on my journey to get back into shape.  This slow moving approach was quickly changed when my best friend, Jaclyn, moved to DC at the start of 2016.  By MLK Day she had decided we were going to SoulCycle together.  I was aware of the spin craze and knew Soul was the trendiest of the trendy.  I was also pretty sure I was not physically, emotionally, or mentally on that level.  But, she confidently told me I was going to love it, and I basically trust her with my life, so I grudgingly signed up for that first class and off we went.  I was surprised at the genuinely welcoming front desk staff who made me feel at ease as I walked into the bright studio.  I had, of course, insisted we sit in the back so I could hide anonymously in the group, and, as the lights dimed, we were off. I’m not going to say I was an instantly great rider, I was totally lost for at least my first four classes (some might say I still am today), but I was addicted after just class one.  I pushed through the newness and soon found myself clipping in several times a week.  As I gained strength, got better at the choreography, and generally back into better shape, Jaclyn insisted we move forward row by row until we were riding in front (something, I’m pretty sure I never, not even today, would be doing without her).  But the confidence I built at SoulCycle was not limited to the confines of the studio.  I was feeling better about myself, and more connected to my new community.  I even built up the confidence to try other workout classes and soon found another home at B.Fit Barre, also on 14th street.  SoulCycle gave me the start I needed to push myself to be the best version of myself.  Since starting Soul, I have doubled down on exercise and focused on my diet, and as a result I not only look better, but feel better.  That being said, I am pretty sure I still have the same 15 thoughts every class…

  1. I love this, so dark in here, just moving to the music, lessgo
  2. Its song two and I’m not dripping with sweat, maybe I won’t sweat as much this class
  3. What was I smoking? “Not sweat as much” that’s funny, I’m dying
  4. Why am I right handed and yet I naturally pick up the beat on my left foot, maybe I was supposed to be left handed and never realized it…
  5. Oh no, I went down that mental rabbit hole and wasn’t listening, what are we doing?!
  6. It’s getting really hot in here, how does Pauline wear a sweatshirt, I am literally dripping sweat and wearing as little clothing as socially acceptable
  7. How do I do this everyday and still not know where to look, I feel weird just staring at myself in the mirror for 45 min, I’m confused
  8. This is kicking my ass, I can feel my abs, YESSSSSSS
  9. I think I am on fire, maybe no one will notice if I pour water on my legs … no, that’s definitely weird
  10. LOVE THIS PLAYLIST, there should be a little screen on the bike that tells you song and artist… shit, I need to focus
  11. Yup, push up, tap backs are still my favorite
  12. We are already to weights?!
  13. Please, no triceps, please, no triceps
  14. Triceps
  15. Fastest 45 minutes of my life, can’t wait to do it all again.

Things Aren’t Always Picture Perfect, Spills Happen

Last week I had the opportunity to grab dinner with two of my good friends from my old office.  Thrilled to catch up on the latest news, we took the opportunity to go to one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Le Diplomate.

If you know DC, you know Le Dip.  My best friend, Jaclyn, and I used to have a standing, post SoulCycle, brunch date there every weekend, ordering the warm shrimp salad and champagne rose like regulars.  Since she has left DC, my Le Dip experiences have become less frequent, but even more cherished.  (Jaclyn, please come back!)

So, while perusing the menu over a glass of bubbles, I decided to shake up my order and go for the steak frites.  Born and raised in the Midwest, I have been a carnivore since birth.  Any opportunity to order a good steak is hard to pass up, and anything you order at Le Diplomate is guaranteed to be good.  So, as we eagerly awaited our meal we spent time sharing our most recent, newsworthy information with one another, laughing, gasping, and nodding in agreement.  When the food did arrive, it was nothing short of picture perfect (although we restrained).  Now, before I continue, what you must know is that I am a Goddard.  Why might that be relevant?  Because it means I come from a long line of elegant people who manage to spill at nearly every meal.  (Seriously, I think its genetic.)  True to fashion, not four bites into my fantastic dinner, my steak did some sort of inexplicable twitch, and, in the blink of an eye, juice was down the front of my jumpsuit.  Now, you would think that after 27 years I would be relatively used to this scenario, but I’m not sure a clotheshorse, which I am, ever becomes used to constantly having near ruinous experiences with her most prized possessions.  In fact, the possibility of ruining clothes has, at times, pushed me to order two of things, knowing that inevitably one will get ruined.  And, (pro-tip) if you’re going to take a picture with me, best to do at the beginning of the adventure.

After a moment of shock, I stayed relaxed, laughed it off, and enjoyed the rest of my evening.  Upon getting up to leave the table, I had a two second internal pep talk, telling myself to throw my shoulders back and march home, head high (in reality, its not like anyone is going to notice or care).  However, as soon as I was in the door of my apt, I was simultaneously on the phone to my mother and googling to see if there was any way or chance my jumpsuit could be saved.  Raising me has given my mother nothing short of a Ph.D. in stain removal.  Fortunately, she told me to take a deep breath and run the jumpsuit under ice cold water (I actually used an ice cube).  This did manage to get all of the coloration out of the stains.  She then instructed me to take a tiny drop of Dawn dish soap (“remember, Dawn is used to get oil off of baby birds, Mercy”) diluted in water and gently rub to remove any remaining grease.  By some miracle I was able to execute her instructions and save the jumpsuit.  But, the fact remains, spilling and staining your clothes is a fact of life.  It may not be something we highlight or Instagram, but it happens to everyone (some more often than others).  When it does happen, don’t let it ruin your night, stay chill, keep your head up, call your mother, and always know a good drycleaner.

ACAI YOU LOOKIN’ MY WAY

Anyone, short of a recluse, knows that acai bowls are all the rage these days.  But, what makes these delicious bowls so great, is that while they are incredibly trendy, they are also incredibly good for you.  So when my good friend Laura (@akalekitchen) invited me over the other night to make acai bowls and catch up I was stoked (seriously, I think I used 6 exclamation points to say yes).  I know that if anyone is going to know how to make a good acai bowl its Laura, and I have been dying to start making these delicious mixtures at home.  While quinoa salad may be my staple, life isn’t complete if you don’t have (healthy) savory AND sweet options.  So, I was beyond thrilled when Laura offered to teach me her ways, and I am excited to share the secret here, with you.  While making these tasty (and surprisingly easy) concoctions for yourself may not compare to girls night with champs and gossip, they don’t fall too far short.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Navitas Goji Berries
  • Navitas Cacao Nibs
  • Navitas Hemp Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Frozen Berries (I like to use a berry medley, but that’s a personal preference)
  • Sambazon Frozen Acai (they come in frozen one serving packets)
  • Almond Milk
  • Almond Butter (I use Justin’s)
  • Fresh Fruit (I like to use raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 Banana

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In blender combine:
    1. 1 Sambazon Frozen Acai packet, frozen berries (about 2/3 cup), almond milk (about 1 cup), ½ banana, 2 large spoonfuls almond butter (I actually split this 50/50 between almond butter and peanut butter, whatever works for you)
      1. The more almond milk you use the runnier the mixture, the more almond/peanut butter you use the thicker. I eyeball all measurements.
  2. Blend until completely mixed and smooth
  3. Pour into large cereal bowl
  4. Add on top: fresh berries, goji berries, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, and chia seeds
    1. Amounts are not exact, whatever looks good to you
  5. Stir, and enjoy!

Quinoa Salad is Life

quinoa salad

INGREDIENTS:

Dressing

  • 1 lime (zested, juiced)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)

Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa (Ancient Harvest, Organic White Grains)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 can whole kernel sweet corn (drained, rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans (drained, rinsed)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In medium saucepan combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil.  Once it starts to boil, reduce to low heat and cover for 15 minutes
  2. Make the dressing: In small bowl zest and juice one lime. Add sugar, olive oil, and melted butter.
  3. Dice 3 tomatoes
  4. After the quinoa is done pour it into a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over and mix so that quinoa is completely coated. Add diced tomatoes and mix.  Add rinsed black beans and corn.  Again, mix. Voila!
  5. Enjoy and Keep refrigerated.

 

So far this summer, I have largely filled my Instagram stories with various pictures of my quinoa salad.  Literally, story of my life.  This particular quinoa salad has come to be the staple dish in my diet.  For me, “look good, feel good” requires several elements: food that makes me feel good, exercise that makes me feel like I’m going to die, but ultimately makes me look good, and clothes.  Making this quinoa salad recipe marks a shift in my eating habits.  Since becoming an adult, my body seems to have taken on the role of my mother in regulating what I eat.  So, while I love to snack on a pack of Oreos, I know my body is going to make me feel awful for it.  Sadly, gone are the days when I can survive on sugar.   As a result, I have stopped fighting this fact, and have started looking for healthy options that I don’t hate.  This is by far my favorite one.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

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