WIAW 83: Eggs & Indulgence

pork shoulder

Last Saturday was one of those crazy days where I found myself running all over the place from the time that I woke up until I went to bed. Regardless of the day being a bit hectic and busy- it was super fun and I got to spend some time with a bunch of great friends! Usually Greg and I designate Saturday as the one morning of the week for “sleeping in,” but we got up relatively early to meet with our realtor to look at houses. (I know that it seems like we just moved- but we rented our house out here for a year to figure out where we wanted to buy- and that lease is up May 1st!)

I whipped up a quick breakfast of toast, scrambled eggs (with ham and hot sauce!) and kumquats. I also had a small smoothie made with JAVAPRO (instead of coffee).

eggs

We were out looking at pretty much every single house available in the towns we want to live in- which isn’t a whole lot. The inventory is super low out here (which is great for the sellers- not as great if you’re a buyer!). We got back home with about 45 minutes to spare before I had to head back out to attend the Fairlife blogger event, and I made myself a salad with a hard-boiled egg, avocado and chicken for lunch- and ate a few handful of this popcorn before making myself put the bag away. :)

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WIAW 75: Winner’s Circle Beer Dinner

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Every once in a while, you eat a meal so great that when you state “that was the best meal I’ve ever eaten!” it’s not an exaggeration. I’ve been lucky enough to have two of these meals since moving to Colorado last spring. Both meals were so delicious that I can still describe the variety of textures, flavors and wonderful emotions associated to each and every bite. I have to give a world of credit to Chef Hosea Rosenberg and his catering company, Blackbelly Catering and Upslope Brewery for giving me the opportunity to experience not one but two incredible evenings of delicious food and craft beer.

My latest culinary adventure with Chef Hosea was this past Thursday. It was a meal so beautiful and so perfect that I felt compelled to share it with as many people as possible (as I’m sure you saw on my Instagram feed if you follow!). Today’s WIAW post features the Winner’s Circle Beer Dinner with Blackbelly Catering and Upslope that took place last week. Warning: a million photos are about to follow…

Thursday was a long, exhausting workday full of teaching Spinning and meeting countless deadlines, but knowing what was in store for that evening definitely got me through! When it was time to get ready to go out, I changed out of my uniform of Lululemon crops and a hoodie and put on my finest grandma-esque sweater (that also happens to match the curtains in my bathroom).

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What can I say? I know good fashion.

The dinner itself featured various beers that had won medals at GABF over the last few years. Each beer was carefully paired with ingredients that would compliment its flavor, and some of the dishes even used beer as an ingredient! Because we were so blown away by the last Blackbelly/Upslope dinner we attended, Greg and I went in with high expectations and excitement!

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WIAW 73: Saturday Fun

7and7

It’s hump daaaaaaay… and I’m currently trying to ski down a mountain without falling on my butt (though I can pretty much assure you that I did – at least twice). I know I already asked this yesterday- but please send me some happy, courageous thoughts!

On to the food… So far, I’ve been doing okay with tracking food (which is a must for me when trying to lose weight) and dividing up my macros accordingly. I’d give myself a B, maybe even a B+. I eat “clean” during the week and allow myself a “cheat” meal or two during the weekend. On the days that I know I’m going to have a more indulgent evening ahead, I still make sure to track my food intake for breakfast, lunch and snacks (otherwise the whole day will just be one big calorie fest!).

This past Saturday was marvelous. Greg and I slept in, watched some tv in the morning and eventually got downstairs to make breakfast. I had made a loaf of FlapJacked banana bread (my 5th or 6th loaf so far!) the night before and decided to slice of a few pieces to make French toast! I mixed up one egg, some Silk Pure Almond Vanilla and cinnamon and let the slices of banana bread soak before cooking it up in a pan. When it was ready, I drizzled a little salted caramel syrup on top…

banana bread FT

Yum- it was as good as it looks! :)

After breakfast, Greg and I immediately headed over to Boulder to do a little bit of snow hiking!

snowy hike

It had snowed earlier in the week and there was still a ton left of the trails. Hiking in the snow is so peaceful- I love it! I downed a bottle of water during our hike and was still thirsty- so I bought a bottle of my favorite Kevita for the ride home.

kevita

When we got back home, it was time for lunch! I mixed together some chicken, avocado, tomato and red onion and enjoyed it with some salad greens.

chicken avocado salad

I also had some plain Greek yogurt with (defrosted) frozen strawberries and peanuts (leftover from my day of peanut butter making last week!).

yogurt

Greg and I were pretty lazy for the afternoon- we pretty much sat on the couch and watched football. I whipped up some smoothies for us that contained vanilla protein powder, Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Vanilla, frozen banana and rum extract- they tasted like eggnog!

smoothie

As you can see, my little shadow (Jackson) is pretty much always at my feet!

Greg and I had a fun night planned in Boulder with our friends Brock and Melissa- including dinner reservations at Jax late in the evening! Brock was my friend from back in Maryland and moved out here a few years ago (I was so jealous when he did- little did I know that I’d be next!). I hadn’t seen either of them since Melissa’s marathon and was excited to catch up- they’re always so much fun!

Brock and Melissa came over to our house and we all drove in to Boulder together. We got there about an hour before our reservation and grabbed a drink at Absinthe House (which I didn’t realize is more of a night club than a bar- we were the only ones there at 6:30!). In honor of my girl Tiffany, I ordered a Seven & Seven.

7and7

We headed over to Jax after finishing our drinks and got sat right away (even though we were early)! Greg and I had only been to Jax once – during our very first trip to Boulder in 2009. Hosea Rosenberg used to be the head chef there and he had just won Top Chef before our trip. Being the Top Chef geeks that we are, we had to book a table there! I remembered us loving our meal there, and can’t believe that we hadn’t been back since!

One thing that I remembered the most from that dinner in 2009 was this incredible cocktail: a Pimm’s Cup. I know that it’s a pretty common drink, but the one that I had there was just so good. So, I ordered it again!

pimms cup

I’m not a fan of the fact that it came in a wine glass, but the drink was fantastic!

Then came the tough part… choosing what to order! Jax is one of those places where I want every single thing on the menu and have trouble even narrowing it down to four different options…

jax menu

Brock took the lead and ordered two rounds of oysters for us to start- the first was an apple fennel oyster:

apple fennel oyster

The second was a buffalo fried oyster (think buffalo wings):

buffalo oyster

Oysters aren’t something that I’m all that familiar with- but these were really good! The apple fennel was my favorite. :)

For dinner, I decided on the Steelhead trout entree:

steelheadtrout

The flavor of Steelhead trout is similar to salmon- and definitely not something I would normally order (I almost always order rockfish if it’s on a menu, followed by another white fish or scallops). The lentils won me over- and the whole dish was delicious!

Instead of having dessert, I suggested we head over to one of my favorite local breweries (since Brock and Melissa hadn’t been).

upslope taproom

That little taster beer was mine- and it was full of Sticke Altbier.

tasting beer

YUM. Three drinks in one night is a lot for me- even if one of them was just a taster- and I felt it a bit the next morning!

It was a fantastic, fun Saturday- can I repeat it every single weekend?!

What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Colorado Breweries Doing The KIND Thing

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I work for a pretty great company. I’m a big fan of the taste of the products that we make (which now include granola bars!) and that makes it really easy to promote the business. Our bars and granola are truly delicious, but what I’m an even bigger fan of is the message behind the brand: Do the KIND thing (for your body, your taste buds & the world). The idea behind the KIND movement is to surprise others with (big or small) unexpected acts of kindness to create a KINDer world. It doesn’t have to require a lot of effort- just simply sharing a smile, helping someone in need or planting a tree can have such a positive impact. It feels really good to work for a company that spends so much time and effort promoting these efforts and I’m proud to be a part of that every day!

KIND thing
As you know, I am also a big fan of craft beer. I was totally in my element at GABF last month where I was surrounded by hundreds of the nation’s best craft breweries and got to practice KINDness by handing out bars and sharing a smile with event goers. Beer in itself is a really great thing- we all know that. But, did you know that there is a large amount of breweries that Do the KIND thing on a regular basis?

After the devastating floods in Colorado in September, I noticed a lot of local breweries stepping up and helping collect money for flood relief. It’s pretty amazing how everyone just came together in such a great time of need to help the communities that were most affected. There are a lot of breweries in Colorado and pretty much every single one of them immediately hopped on board to start raising money. I spoke with representatives from five of my favorite local breweries to gather some information about how they helped with the flood relief efforts and Do the KIND Thing all year long.

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WIAW 61: It’s All About Balance

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I won’t sugar coat it here- I haven’t been doing my best at eating mindfully or super healthy all of the time ever since we moved to Colorado. When it comes to eating for weight loss, I pretty much suck. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all and accept the fact that I’m not one of those folks that can work out a bunch and be able to eat whatever they want. Boy, do I envy those people!!

I do pretty much always choose foods that are organic, whole and local whenever possible. That being said, you can still easily overdo the calories by eating grass-fed burgers on whole grain buns and organic fries! My biggest weaknesses still remain to be sugar and beer. I don’t really drink a lot, but what I do drink is definitely not light. I like good beer- bold beers, heavy beers, hoppy beers… none of that 64 calorie sh*t. Unfortunately those good beers often contain 200 calories or more. But hey, every once in a while it’s okay to indulge, right?

Technically I’m supposed to be sharing ideas for healthy snacks here. Let’s just pretend beer fits into that category…

Saturday began early with my favorite breakfast:

savory breakfast

Applegate Organic chicken maple sausage, saurkraut, mushrooms, avocado, tomato and an egg on toast. It looks like a lot of food, but the calorie content here is still fairly low (around 350) and it’s pretty filling! I also had a cup of coffee with almond milk in the car.

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Saturday Road Trip

Mtns

Hello! Did you have a good weekend? I hope so!

Greg and I had originally planned to go away for a mini-vacation (to either Durango or Crested Butte) this past weekend, but it wasn’t in the cards. That’s okay though. I have to (often) remind myself that we have plenty of time to explore other parts of Colorado in the future- especially since they’re all just a car ride away!

This past Saturday was a stark contrast to the one the weekend before. It was definitely not… healthy. But that’s okay (it’s all about balance, right?)! Instead of spending Saturday hiking and burning a crazy amount of calories we decided to be totally lazy, sit on our butts for most of the day (either in the car or on a bar stool) and drink some delicious Colorado beer.

We hopped in the car early in the morning and hit the road to drive up north to a place I’ve never been: Wyoming!

Wyoming

(source)

The Wyoming border is about 80 miles from my house (a straight shot up 25 North where the speed limit is 75 mph!). Since I’ve never set foot in that state, I’ve been dying to go! I’ve heard that there isn’t much going on in Cheyenne (which is the closest city in WY over the border) but I found a good excuse to go. Sierra Trading Post has an outlet store there and Greg and I both really wanted to check it out. I’ve been an REI addict for a long time, but ever since I (re)discovered how wonderful Sierra Trading Post is (and the people that work for them), I can’t stay away!

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Hanging on to Summer [Weekend]

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I never want summer to end. Even though I’m looking forward to fall (and all that comes with it), I’m going to be really sad to see summer go. I love warm weather, wearing shorts, tank tops and flip flops and spending every free moment outdoors. Lucky for me Colorado hasn’t shown any signs of giving up on summer just yet (although it’s supposed to cool down during the week…). I know I have just a few precious weeks left where I can hike comfortably without having to wear a ton of layers!

lily04

It was downright hot this weekend and I enjoyed every minute of it! I woke up bright & early on Saturday morning to represent KIND at Yoga on the Rocks. I had worked this event last month and really enjoyed it, so I was happy to go again. It was a gorgeous, sunny morning and you really can’t pick a better location for an outdoor yoga class.

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I took some promotional KIND shots before the class ended (I love doing those!)

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WIAW 55: Hiking to 14,265′

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Happy hump day, friends! If you haven’t already – go check out this COOL giveaway from a GoodPop!

Last weekend I hiked my fourth 14er- Quandary Peak!

quandaryBottom

Source

Hiking at 14er is a whole different ballgame than going on a day hike around Boulder. The elevation here is around 5,300′ which seems low in comparison to the 14,000+ feet at the summit of these very tall peaks. Most of the hikes start above 10,000′ and there is a considerable difference in the oxygen at that elevation. There’s also a big difference in how much energy it takes to just walk up the street! I like to wear my heart rate monitor when I hike 14ers to see just how much harder my body has to work (and how much energy it’s using). Just take a look at my stats from my hike to Quandary Peak:

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I can’t remember a time that I’ve ever burned over 4,000 calories in less than seven hours. That’s just crazy!

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Me and the Mountains [Hiking Quandary Peak]

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Hello former Oatmeal after Spinning readers! You probably noticed a big change on the blog today- the name!! I am very pleased to unveil the new version of my blog: Me and the Mountains. If you type oatmealafterspinning.com into your address bar it should redirect you to the new URL meandthemountains.com. Other than the URL and the header, not much else has changed. I’m still working on a header design and tweaking the layout a bit so there may be a few other design changes coming soon. I’m also working out a few kinks, but hopefully everything will run (and load) smoothly. Right now I know that the header image is getting cropped when the size of the window changes- but hopefully I’ll figure that out soon.

So why the big change? Well, as I’ve stated before- I’ve never been too happy with the name Oatmeal after Spinning. I just kind of picked a random name (my former favorite breakfast and workout) because I wanted to get my blog started. I’ve never really felt like it fit me or what I wanted to share. I’ve been thinking of changing the name to Me and the Mountains since last winter and it was finally time to just do it. I’m fairly certain that I don’t need to explain why I think the new name fits me better- you guys know just how I feel about the mountains. :) And in case you didn’t see it before- I also changed my Twitter and Instagram handles to @mountainlauren1.

It’s pretty fitting that my first post on the “new” blog is all about one of my most favorite things: the mountains!

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This past weekend Greg and I hiked our fourth 14er!

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Weekend Adventure: White Water Rafting!

travis

Happy Monday, kids!

And to all of my teacher friends in Maryland: have a great first day of school- there’s only 179 more days to go after today!

Whew, this weekend wore. me. out. I mean that in the best possible way of course! I went hiking with Paige at El Dorado Canyon on Friday morning and then worked at an event for KIND most of the afternoon and evening, which should’ve set me up to sleep like a brick that night. For some reason, my ability to sleep has just sucked lately and I need to amend that asap! Regardless, it was easy to get up on Saturday morning because a super fun day of white water rafting was in store!

AVA Rafting Company contacted me about doing a free trip with them earlier this summer and this past Saturday was finally “the day!”

paige

My partner-in-crime and her husband also joined us and we set out to Idaho Springs in the morning to meet up with the guides for our trip. There were about 30 people total (give or take a few) for the trip and we divided up into five different rafts. We were each given a guide who would take us down the river and guide us along the way. Our guide was Travis – and he was awesome!

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