Date Night: Cooking Class

Y’all I survived my first week of grad school!! I was absolutely exhausted after the week but am so happy about my decision to go back to school to become a Registered Dietitian. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my supportive husband so I thought I would share a fun date idea!

My husband and I typically don’t do gifts for our anniversary, we would rather do something fun together. For our first anniversary we saw “Book of Mormon,” for our second anniversary we went and got massages, for our third anniversary we were just happy that we were able to leave our 2.5 month old baby with my sister to go out to dinner for the night and for our fourth anniversary we decided to take a cooking class at Central Market.

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Central Market (for those of you that aren’t familiar with it) is an AMAZING grocery store. It is definitely my favorite place to stock up on groceries for the family. They have an amazing produce section, butcher, bakery, cheese, coffee and wine/beer section. They also have an area with already prepared foods that you can purchase and heat up at home. They also do cooking classes throughout the month. The class we signed up for was titled Hatch Steakhouse since it was during the Hatch Chile festival at Central Market (best 2 weeks to shop at Central Market).

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When we arrived at the class, they had a little appetizer of chips, salsa and queso out for everyone to enjoy, as well as water and tea. Once we started cooking, they began pouring the wine. We then began to learn some cooking skills. Not only do they teach you how to make all the recipes but they give you random tidbits of information regarding knife skills and why you sometimes mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately from each other.

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Learning how to cook

This class was JAM PACKED with so much different food. Strangely, my favorite thing wasn’t the steak or the potatoes it was this zucchini side dish we made (Calabacitas). We actually have made it at home twice now – really easy and delicious. As a future RD I’m always trying to get in some more veggies!

Both my husband and I would highly recommend these classes to anyone interested in doing one. It is a great date night – you get both food and entertainment! The classes typically start around 6:30 and end around 9:30. The food is definitely high quality and who knows, you may actually learn a recipe that you want to recreate at home. Cooking classes are also really fun to do as a Girls Night. The only negative (in my opinion) to these classes, is that some of the recipes really are so complex that I personally wouldn’t recreate them at home but it is probably nice for the “more advanced” home chefs to learn some more challenging recipes.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Marathon training starts in about two weeks!

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Date Night in Dallas: HG Sply Co and Steel City Pops

First — thank you to everyone for your sweet comments on my previous blog post! It was amazing to see that kind of support for my goal of becoming an RD! I’m definitely ready to get started on it! Today is my last day at work which is crazy! I’ll miss my co-workers but I definitely know I am making the right decision in going back to school. Now, on to the blog post for the day!

My husband and I try to go on date nights every so often. It is a fun way to make sure we have good conversations, have no distractions (tv, work, phones) and just get out and enjoy each other’s company! Lately my favorite place to go for either date night or a girls dinner is HG Sply Co for dinner and walk next door to Steel City Pops for dessert!

Strip on Greenville Ave with HG Sply Co and Steel City Pops

Strip on Greenville Ave with H&G Sply Co and Steel City Pops

HG Sply Co. is a restaurant based on the paleo diet. HG stands for Hunt and Gather, it was created to have simple clean food, classic drinks, and humble hospitality — which it does! Not everything on the menu is paleo but there are plenty of paleo options and everything is pretty much fresh, local and the best part — DELICIOUS.

A list of some of the local ingredients used at HG.

A list of some of the local ingredients used at HG.


We started with the ginger garlic hummus that came with cucumber, red bell pepper, granny smith apples, jicama, cauliflower and bacon chips (yes BACON). It was fabulous — it had a unique flavor to it and tasted extremely fresh with the fruit and veggies. The bacon was definitely a delicious touch. We are also fans of getting the nachos for an appetizer but decided to go a little healthier this time around.
Delicious hummus plate -- check out the bacon!

Delicious hummus plate — check out the bacon!


We both also started with a cocktail — we decided on the Moscow Mule (my personal favorite cocktail right now). They have a ton of different cocktail options and even have some infused liquors that they can make some specialty cocktails with. For you CrossFit lovers out there they even have a couple cocktails named after CrossFit moves like the Double Under!
Cheers! I love how Moscow Mules always come in copper cups.

Cheers! I love how Moscow Mules always come in copper cups.


Besides having great cocktails and appetizers, Monday-Friday at HG Sply Co they have a sunset toast. This is where they give out a free sample of a drink and thank everyone for coming while toasting to the day. When I went for a friend’s birthday they even announced it was her birthday and toasted in her honor! It is a nice touch to a restaurant that is always full.
Cheers!

Cheers!


We both really enjoyed our dinner, I had the Tex Mex Bowl, my husband had the ribs. Both of us were really satisfied without being overly full. Every dish I’ve had has been amazing but the Tex Mex Bowl is definitely my favorite — the egg just adds an extra touch!
Tex Mex Bowl

Tex Mex Bowl


Ribs with Fries

Ribs with Fries


My tips for HG Sply are — MAKE A RESERVATION, it is impossible to get a table inside without one without a long wait. You may be able to get a table at the bar but if you know you want to eat there, make a reservation. They do have the rooftop bar that does serve a limited menu as well if you don’t have a reservation. Cilantro is on almost EVERYTHING. If you don’t like cilantro make sure to request your dish without cilantro as it isn’t listed in the descriptions for most dishes. Have dinner around 6 or 6:30 so you can enjoy the sunset toast during the week. It is a fun little touch and a free drink! After dinner we headed up to the roof to check out the scene – it is a great place to enjoy a drink and they help combat the heat with numerous fans and shaded areas.
Great view of downtown

Great view of downtown


They normally have live music playing on the rooftop

They normally have live music playing on the rooftop

Herb garden growing on the roof

Herb garden growing on the roof


Finally it is time for dessert! We walked next-door to Steel City Pops. The entire shop is popsicles! They have fruit pops and creamy pops — both are equally delicious.
Lots of choices!

Lots of choices!


Both of us went with a fruit based popsicle — I had watermelon, Jim had pineapple jalepeno.
Delicious! Sitting outside on one of the many benches they have outside the shop.

Delicious! Sitting outside on one of the many benches they have outside the shop.


I’ve now had five different flavors at Steel City Pops and they have all been delicious. It is the perfect treat on a hot summer day! I highly recommend trying out the HG Sply Co and Steel City Pop combination — it really is the perfect date!

Do you and your significant other have regular date nights?
Any date night suggestions?
What is your favorite treat on a hot summer day?

Weekend Wrap Up and Becoming a RD!

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Here is my weekend in pictures!

Coffee and Doughnuts with the Husband to start off Friday

Coffee and Doughnuts with the Husband to start off Friday

Party on the Lawn at the Blake Shelton Concert with my Mom and Sister.

Party on the Lawn at the Blake Shelton Concert with my Mom and Sister.

Run in the rain in my Oiselle Gear! Distance shorts, Flyte tank & Oiselle baseball cap!

Run in the rain in my Oiselle Gear! Distance shorts, Flyte tank & Oiselle baseball cap!

Pretty Latte on a Rainy Day

Pretty Latte on a Rainy Day

Meeting our Friends' new pup!

Meeting our Friends’ new pup!

The pup rickin' out in some beats.

The pup rickin’ out in some beats.


Now my latest news….

I recently decided to quit my job in the technology industry and to go back to school to become a Registered Dietitian! It is a huge change and will require a lot of science classes! I graduated with a degree in Business back in 2007 and haven’t been in class since! I have about a year’s worth of prerequisites to take and I couldn’t be more excited (definitely nervous) to get started on this journey. I will start by taking a few classes this summer and then will continue to take classes in the fall. If all goes according to plan, I should finish my prerequisites next summer and hopefully will start grad school in September of 2015! I also need to take the GRE.

I am so lucky I have the support and encouragement from my husband to start this journey. He understands I may not have as much free time as I do now as I will definitely need to study and concentrate on doing everything I can to get accepted into graduate school. It is also amazing having the support of so many of my friends and family to pursue this goal — I thought everyone may think I’m crazy! Instead everyone is supportive and interested in hearing how I am going to accomplish my goal, knowing I have the support of my husband, friends and family makes this process so much easier.

Why a Registered Dietitian?
I am constantly reading about fad diets and different foods and trying new recipes at home. I realized that something I spend a lot of my free time doing (and really enjoying learning about) could become my career if I wanted to take a risk and go back to school right before turning 30! I have a huge passion for food and am very interested at how changing your diet can affect your health in so many different ways besides weight loss/gain. I think it will be interesting to learn WHY certain foods are good to eat to fuel your body from an athletic standpoint and it will also be interesting to learn how to help people by creating meal plans and understanding what they go through emotionally. I have always wanted to be super passionate about my career and feel that this will be a step in the right direction.

I am a little nervous about being the “old lady” in school (especially in community college where I will be taking my prereqs), but in the long run almost 30 isn’t that old! My last day at my job is on Friday and then my husband and I are going on a little vacation and then I’ll have a few days before I start classes!

Have you ever made a major career change?
Any advice on my journey to becoming an RD?
Did you take a GRE prep course?
How was your weekend?!

Collin Classic 2014

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there — in particular, my dad! Love you dad!

On Saturday, my mom, husband and I participated in the Collin Classic. The Collin Classic is a bike rally held in McKinney, TX (just north of Dallas) and they have four different distances that you can participate in – 22 miles, 35 miles, 48 miles and 64 miles. Originally my mom and I were going to participate in the 35 mile ride but we both hadn’t been riding at all and since this was supposed to be “for fun,” we decided to do the 22 miles ride. The routes ended up being 4 miles longer due to road construction, so my mom and I ended up doing just over 26 miles.

What is a bike rally?
A bike rally is an open course ride. It is NOT a race. Key intersections and corners have corner marshals stationed to help you stay on course.

Bikes and bikes and more bikes

Bikes and bikes and more bikes


The Collin Classic supports the charity City House. City House’s vision of success is that every child, youth and young adult develops the skills and confidence he or she needs to succeed in life, especially while coping with difficult relationships and circumstances.

I personally love this bike rally (it is the only one I have done) because I think it is such a fun way to get in a nice bike ride without having to really worry about traffic. The only thing you need to be cautious about is the other bikers on the road! Also – my favorite part of the bike rally are the aid stations! You get to stop and have refreshments along the ride! I can definitely see how this would also be a great thing to participate in if you are training for a triathlon – it is a good way to get in a ride with some company.

They Collin Classic is a great event, it is really organized and all the volunteers were so friendly! There were about 2500 riders out there, people of all ages and ability levels! They also have a kids clinic to teach bike safety. My only complaint would be that there weren’t enough bathrooms at the start line.

Stopping and having some watermelon along the course!

Stopping and having some watermelon along the course!

All the variety of snacks available!

All the variety of snacks available!

Mom and I started wayyyy back in the pack. We started off pretty slow and slowly passed people along the route. We had a lot of fun, we just chatted and it was nice that mom held back and rode with me ;-). Jim decided he needed more of a “workout” and did the 34 mile route and ended up getting in 38 miles for the day!

Jim and I before he left us to go ride further :-) He smoked it!

Jim and I before he left us to go ride further ๐Ÿ™‚ He smoked it!

Riding is definitely something I enjoy doing, I just have a hard time fitting it in with running and crossfit. I love my bike and it is definitely something I hope to do more of in the future. I am hoping I can start fitting in some bike rides on my Sundays to help me recover from my Saturday long runs.

We finished!

We finished!

Have you ever rode in a bike rally before?
What kind of snacks are your favorite?
The watermelon we had was so delicious and refreshing!

Bark in the Park & Throwback Thursday – Twin Cities Marathon 2013

Last week, one of my friends and I (along with my family) took our pups to Bark in the Park at the Texas Ranger’s Game! It was so fun to bring the dogs to a game. We got there about an hour and a half before the game and stood in a pretty long line to get our tickets. Once we got our tickets and got in the stadium, we immediately joined the line to parade the dogs around the field.

Best Friends Walking around a MLB park - They had no idea how cool this was!

Best Friends Walking around a MLB park – They had no idea how cool this was!


Once we looped the stadium, we headed to our seats to meet up with my family. What is really nice about Bark in the Park is that they give you extra seats for your dogs! With my family, we had 2 full rows to ourselves in our section! It was nice having so much space.
Cute sign in the stadium showing where the dogs were allowed.

Cute sign in the stadium showing where the dogs were allowed.


Selfie in our seats! Kara was sitting in my Dad's lap and I actually got her to look in the right direction.

Selfie in our seats! Kara was sitting in my Dad’s lap and I actually got her to look in the right direction.


It was a pretty long game that the Texas Rangers ended up winning, I think the pups had a good time at the game. They were EXHAUSTED when we left, they both fell asleep as soon as we got back to the car.
Pup watching the game.

Pup watching the game.


My Kara - love this pup so much!

My Kara – love this pup so much!


Now that I have caught you up on what I have done recently, I thought I would do a Throw Back Thursday Race Report! This one is about the Twin Cities Marathon (LOVE!).

The Twin Cities Marathon was honestly one of my favorite marathons I have run (I have run a total of 10). I loved everything about this race — the course, the expo, the size, the weather, the group I went with, the location — EVERYTHING.

The marathon is on a Sunday, we flew out from Dallas on Friday and got into Minneapolis on Friday Night. We slept in on Saturday morning, got some coffee (duh) and headed to the expo. The expo wasn’t huge, wasn’t small and was pretty easy to get through. We went and got our bibs and then did a little shopping! I ended up purchasing 2 Brooks jackets with the Twin Cities Marathon logo on them. The rest of the day we took it really easy — we got some lunch at Whole Foods and then went and saw a movie. We then went back to the hotel for a bit before heading to go eat some Italian Food for dinner. My favorite part of this day would be when my husband realized how far he was running the next day. This definitely was not his first marathon but it was hilarious how all of a sudden it hit him that we were running 26.2 miles tomorrow. My mom was supposed to be running this race too but was injured but still came along to cheer us along the course! We had another friend also injured and one of our friend’s girlfriends cheering as well. I cannot tell you how much better it makes the race knowing that you will see friends along the way!

Picking up my bib at the expo! Love the coffee wall!

Picking up my bib at the expo! Love the coffee wall!


Race day morning we woke up and walked over to the Vikings Stadium (where the starting line was). We LOVED getting to wait inside (pretty chilly outside) and getting to use real bathrooms before the race! It was so seamless about 20 minutes before the start, we checked our bags and then walked over to the start line.
My first race in my Oiselle Team jersey!

My first race in my Oiselle Team jersey!


Once the race started, we ran through downtown before getting to the scenic lakes we ran by. When the race descriptions state “prettiest course” that is not a lie, this course was gorgeous. With the leaves changing colors and the lakes and all the runners, it was just perfect. This race was also a perfect size for me — I had people to run with but I wasn’t completely surrounded by runners (the bigger races can make me feel a little claustrophobic) . My favorite part was seeing our cheering squad! It helped break up the course and gave me something to look forward to!
Waving to my mom around mile 6! And yes my shoe is untied.

Waving to my mom around mile 6! And yes my shoe is untied.


I was definitely hoping to negative split this race but it wasn’t in the cards that day. I was hoping to be in shape to run a faster marathon but with my inconsistent training due to sickness/injury it wasn’t in the cards on that day. However, this is the best I had ever fueled during a race and I didn’t slow down nearly as much as I had in the past. I am lucky I finally figured out that my stomach can handle honeystinger gels/chews and not any other brand. I finally had a race where I didn’t feel nauseous the last half!
My husband, Jim, running. He loves to get the spectators excited.

My husband, Jim, running. He loves to get the spectators excited.


I had been warned by numerous people about the hills from mile 20-22 and I have to say they weren’t nearly as bad I was expecting. I felt like I really didn’t slow down too much because of them and it was really nice that the last few miles were slightly downhill.
Running up Summit Ave - getting so close to being done!

Running up Summit Ave – getting so close to being done!


I was so happy to see the finish line and it was such a beautiful scene – so many American Flags and so many people cheering me in! I didn’t hit my “A” goal but I did finish with a Boston Qualifying time of 3:33. Not too long after I finished, my husband finished. He also loved the course and survived all 26.2 miles.
We did it!

We did it!


We then headed back to the hotel, showered, took a short nap and then had a couple drinks and went to dinner! It was a pretty low key celebration as all of us were pretty tired after running 26.2 miles (and cheering for 26.2 miles) — just ate some bar food and watched some football!
So. Cool. Matching Jackets.

So. Cool. Matching Jackets.


I HIGHLY recommend this marathon – it is one of the best ones around!! Thank you Twin Cities In Motion for such a spectacular experience!

What is your favorite race?
Have you taken your dog to Bark in the Park before?

Beer Dinner and Links!

Memorial Day weekend was great here in Dallas! My husband and I had a great weekend of pretty much doing nothing. We did go and see “Neighbors” which was HILARIOUS. We did not stop laughing the entire time.

Last night, Jim and I attended a Beer Dinner at a bar/restaurant in Dallas — The Libertine. A beer dinner consists of numerous courses paired with different types of beer. Luckily for Jim, this was a beer and whiskey dinner! There were a total of 5 courses served, each course paired with a different beer and/or whiskey. Unfortunately, I’m new to blogging and totally forgot to take a picture of most of the courses. I would HIGHLY recommend this type of dinner to anyone that loves beer and food. The Libertine also has a brewery come in and talk about their beer and why it was paired with each course. The featured brand of beer at this dinner was Wasatch from Utah — I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the IPA.

Jim and I at the Beer Dinner at the Libertine - good food and drinks!

Jim and I at the Beer Dinner at the Libertine – good food and drinks!


Our dinner consisted of five courses, the first course was two meats paired with two whiskeys, the second course was a lemon soup paired with a lemon infused IPA (this was probably my favorite course and favorite pairing of the evening), the third course was an oyster and a clam paired with a black ale and probably the most exciting thing of the evening to nearly everyone in the restaurant — the whiskey with this gigantic ice cube.
Look how giant and perfect this ice cube is! Apparently this is a huge deal to whiskey drinkers!

Look how giant and perfect this ice cube is! Apparently this is a huge deal to whiskey drinkers!


Jim is so pumped about this whiskey and ice cube :-)

Jim is so pumped about this whiskey and ice cube ๐Ÿ™‚


Finally, the fourth course was this GIANT lamb shank paired with a Russian Imperial Stout and the fifth course was french toast and a croissant paired with a bourbon/whiskey blend. Both those courses were also delicious, unfortunately I ate my dessert before I thought about taking a picture — oops. Our only complained about the fourth course was that it definitely needed some sort of carb with it!
Giant lamb shank! The sauce paired really well with the beer.

Giant lamb shank! The sauce paired really well with the beer.

Finally — here are some links I’ve loved lately!

1. I love the way Robyn writes about food and eating — this is a great blog post regarding calorie counting and hunger.
2. All of the teammates Ragnar Cape Cod Recaps — check them out! Everyone has a unique perspective/view of the weekend. It was especially fun for me to read Van 1 recaps since I wasn’t there!
Ali KellyDriver ShaunMelissaDanielleJessCarolynCaptain Stacey
3. Combining Strength Training with Running
4. History of the Marathon
5. A great blog post by one of my Cross Fit coaches about the myth of “Cross Fit being Dangerous.”

Have you read any great articles lately you want to share?
Have you ever been to a beer dinner before?
Is this giant perfect ice cube exciting to you — are you a whiskey drinker?

Cryo Therapy

My husband and I are always looking for a new way to recover from tough runs as well as a way avoid injury. A couple years ago I was invited to test out this new technology and felt absolutely AMAZING afterwards and a couple days later ran a BQ (Boston Qualifier) in Houston, at the Houston Marathon. While I don’t think the Cryo Therapy is the reason I ran the BQ, I definitely think it didn’t hurt. For this next training season, we got a membership at a Cryo Therapy Studio in Dallas.

What is Cryo Therapy?
Whole Body Cryotherapy is the exposure of a personโ€™s skin to temperatures of -150 to -170 degrees Celsius (-238 to -274 degrees Fahrenheit) for a short time (3 minutes or less). At this extreme temperature, the body activates several mechanisms that have significant long-term medical and cosmetic benefits. (per The Phit Studio)

Some Benefits of Cryo Therapy
1. Accelerates the bodyโ€™s ability to restore and recover
2. Anti-Aging and Skin Rejuvination
3. Decreased muscle soreness
4. Provides anti-inflammatory and pain relieving benefits
5. Burns up to 600 calories a session
6. Strengthens the immune system
7. Improves energy levels
8. Increases collagen production
9. Increases flexibility
10. Improves lymphatic circulation

What to Expect at a Cryo Therapy Session
Cryo Smile
When you arrive at a Cryo Therapy session, you can expect it to be pretty short! You are only in the “tube” for 2.5-3 minutes. Once you arrive, you will remove most of your clothing (guys wear shorts/boxers), and put socks or slippers on (I also wear gloves but you can rest your hands outside of the tube), then you step inside of the tube and close the door. Once inside the tube, the person giving you the Cryo Therapy, will raise you so your head is above the tube. You then will be exposed to the cold cold air for 2.5 to 3 minutes. Afterwards you just get dressed and you are on your way out! A very short and simple way to recover (or do pre-workout). It is pretty amazing how refreshed you feel afterwards and it really isn’t bad! In my opinion, the last minute that is the worst and you can do ANYTHING for a minute.

It really only hurts for a minute and then you are done!

It really only hurts for a minute and then you are done!


I am really excited to see what kind of difference Cryo Therapy will make in my training this summer. I’m hoping it will help me recover from the sweltering Texas heat a little faster as well as long runs and speed workouts. I notice that I tend to recover a little slower over the summer. If you are in Dallas, you should definitely checkout The Phit Studio I can’t say enough good things about this hidden gem of a studio to get Cryo Therapy at! According to the website you can try it for your first time for $20 (this is an extremely good deal!). I definitely used this last week to recover from Ragnar Cape Cod.

What do you do for recovery?
Have you ever tried Cryo Therapy? What did you think?