Monthly Archives: July 2014

Staying Healthy Without the Exercise

It has been a crazy few weeks.  I have learned the hard way that my body needs to physically take some time off from exercise.  That lingering cold just won’t go away.  I finally went to the doctor last week, and I was told that if I wanted to get better, I would need to lay off the cardio.  Sigh.  Instead of listening to my body early on, I have now spent the past two weeks doing toned down workouts and ultimately ending up on the couch.  Depressing.


Being forced to be inactive has left me feeling SUPER sluggish.  Since I won’t be getting my calorie burn on at the gym, I have focused more than ever on getting the right nutrients into my body and resting.  With the extra time, I have been able to research easy, healthy recipes that we haven’t tried before.  Take a look at the salmon below.  We picked up two filets from the local grocery store.  Look at how deliciously flakey that cut is!  Even better, we made this in less than 20 minutes.  My daughter even practiced putting her chef hat on (see above).


Simply Baked Salmon

  • Preheat oven to 450.
  • Place salmon skin side down on a non stick baking sheet.
  • Rub a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon pepper over the top of the filet.
  • Toss in the oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on how well done you like your fish).

photo 1-102Healthy eating was not limited to what we cooked at the house.  I grabbed a much needed father daughter dinner with my dad over the weekend at Bricktop’s in the Southpark area of Charlotte.  The weather was incredible, so we grabbed a table outside.  I decided to get a light, barbecue chicken salad.  Baby greens, corn, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, topped with cilantro.  The dressing came on the side, but I didn’t really need much with all of the fresh vegetables topping the salad.  I have to say, we could have brought my daughter to this restaurant.  There were kids all over the patio enjoying the courtyard fountain and comfortable seating.

photo 2-102We live right off the beaten path of the Charlotte 24 Hours of Booty race course.  Over the weekend several riders pledged to ride a specific number of miles during a 24 hour period in order to raise money for cancer.  I have talked a lot about my husband’s workout group, F3.  Again, F3 went all out for this event. A member of the group lives in close proximity to the start of the race, so the family hosts a barbecue picnic for F3 families. Those riding in the event can also use the yard as a break point in the ride.

photo 3-88My daughter was clearly having a great time with her dad.  In fact, she even met another F3 2.0 (or child of an F3 athlete) named Madison.  I love this.  With her mom being cooped up in the house, my sweet girl truly enjoyed getting out and socializing.

photo 5-32

Trying to Kick That Caffeine Habit? Turning to Decaf Might Not Be Your Safest Bet

I am a sucker for a warm cup of coffee in the morning. Admittedly, I sometimes pour myself a cup before I even get on the bike to teach an early morning Flywheel class. No big deal. The problem arises, when I get to work and have my second, then third and maybe even fourth cup. I mean how many cups are really in a large? In order to stay focused on my busy lifestyle, sometimes it seems like I need caffeine to pull me through.

photo 3-21This is all new to me. I didn’t enjoy my first cup of coffee until I was promoted to senior associate at my former public accounting firm and had to be on point one Monday morning after a late flight back from Vegas the night before. I was exhausted. I watched my co-workers pump out cup after cup from the Starbucks brewing machine outside of our conference room. As I began to realize that we would be working a late night, I decided to make my move. Black and bold.


I first started drinking coffee because of the caffeine rush, but over time I have truly begun to enjoy the taste. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I was informed of the harsh reality that I would have to kick my coffee habit (at least the caffeinated kind). Like any self diagnosing Type A individual, I did a lot of research on substitutes for caffeinated coffee (since I actually enjoyed the taste). The obvious would be decaffeinated coffee right? Wait, not so fast.


When I actually took the time to read how decaf coffee is made, I was alarmed at the amount of chemicals used in some of the caffeine extraction methods.

  • One method uses methylene chloride, which is used in various industrial processes including paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, metal cleaning and degreasing. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) even considers this chemical to be a potential occupational carcinogen.
  • Another uses Ethyl acetate, which is used in nail polish remover and to kill insects.

Finding out that certain chemicals might be involved in making the decaf coffee that I was substituting for my caffeinated coffee, prompted me to research the extraction methods for the coffees that I drink. We have a Keurig one cup brewer at our house, so we drink a lot of Green Mountain Coffee brands. Green Mountain will proudly display the methods of decaffeination including the processes using the chemicals listed above. If I didn’t know what to look for, I probably would have never thought twice about the extraction methods listed. However, knowing what the chemicals above are used in was eye opening (especially while I was pregnant!).

Thankfully, there are safe methods of decaffeination, but I just don’t have time to do the research to figure out what brands use them.  So what is the easiest way to try to decrease the amount of caffeine that you have in a day? Simple. Gradually limit caffeinated coffee intake, remove decaffeinated coffee from your diet, and drink more water (at least until the information is easily out there about what chemicals are in your decaf coffee).

Resistance Band Workout

I can appreciate a workout that can be done anywhere.  A friend of mind was headed out of town this week and requested a workout that could be done in her hotel room.  The catch was, the only piece of equipment she had available to take with her was a resistance band.  I remember all to well trying to get a decent workout in on the road.  It is hard to get motivated to  exercise in a hotel room sized gym.  Even when you do get to the hotel gym early, there is always the chance that all of the equipment will be taken.

photo 2-100Today’s workout utilized body weight and resistance bands.  This workout could really be done at home, in a hotel OR even at the gym.  I even clocked in right under thirty minutes.  Perfect if you are short on time.

photo 1-10

Station 1 – Complete 10 reps of each exercise sequentially.  Repeat station 2 more times, for a total of 3 times through the station.

  • Rotating Stationary Lunge with Row – Stand in a lunge position (one foot in front of the other), holding band in front, shoulder height with no slack.  As you lower into your lunge, pull your hands apart as band comes into chest.  After 10, switch the forward leg before moving to the next exercise.
  • Resisted Push up –  See starting position below.  Lower down into a push up and come back to starting position.

photo 3-86

  • Jump Squat – NO resistance band.  Squat down and explode up.
  • Standing Bicep Curl – Stand upright  with feet on resistance band, while holding each end.  Slight bend in knees, complete a bicep curl.  Change tightness of band to increase/decrease resistance.
  • Ab Crossover – Do 10 each side.

photo 4-64

Station 2 – Complete 10 reps of each exercise sequentially.  Repeat station 2 more times, for a total of 3 times through each station.

  • Bridge Kick Press – see start picture and extension picture below.

photo 1-101photo 2-101

  • Squat with Side Leg Lift – Start standing on band, feet shoulder width apart, one end of resistance band in each hand.  Lower into squat.  On your way up, raise your right leg out to the side.  Repeat on left side.  Do 10 each side.
  • Burpees – NO resistance band.  Your typical burpee.
  • Tricep Press – See starting position and exercise position picture below.

photo 3-85photo 4-63

  • Lean Twist – Starting position will be the same as the triceps kickback.  Exercise position picture below.

photo 5-31



New Charlotte Knights Stadium is Rocking!

Over the past few weeks, we have been fortunate enough to enjoy several Charlotte Knights games in the new uptown stadium.  What a great decision for them to relocate!  I have been to more games this season than I had been since 2007 (when I moved to the city).

photo 2-97We have been to both night games and weekend day games, with baby and without, and every time we go, we seem to really enjoy ourselves. When designing the new stadium, the outfield was built such that it opened up to a gorgeous view of the Charlotte skyline (really making it look bigger than it really is).  You can actually see the action from your uptown office if you are lucky (and have a good pair of binoculars).

photo-40There is really no bad seat in the house.  We took a walk around the entire stadium, stopping at several points to watch parts of the game, and I have to say, the seats in the outfield have their own appeal.

photo 3-84Let’s talk food and drink.  I have never been to a stadium (much less a minor league baseball stadium) that sells local award-winning craft beer out of mason jars.  They are plastic replicas nonetheless, but I love the idea.  Prices are reasonable.

photo 4-59The variety of food is unbeatable.  There really is something for everyone.  Typical stadium food, on top of local barbecue (from Queen City Q), an air conditioned frozen yogurt shop, healthy meal items from Just Fresh, and of course Chick Fil A.  We helped ourselves to one of our childhood favorites – Dippin’ Dots.  They even sell the ice cream in the plastic Knights baseball hat!

photo 1-97Since they moved the stadium, we are making new memories at a place that we probably wouldn’t have ventured out to much.  It is a great place to spend time with your family, escape for a date night, or get together with friends after work.  Really, it is affordable in every way (our individual tickets were $18 each).  You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to have fun at this new (easy to get to) uptown venue.