Recent Adventures in Food & Fitness

Happy Friday, friends! I’m so glad many of you enjoyed my Simple Tweaks for a Healthier Life post. I loved the tips you all added in the comments section, too – please keep them coming!

Throwing whatever you’re eating on top of salad/spinach is one of my favorite tips that was shared – I do this all the time. Exhibit A: yesterday’s lunch! I usually do a huge handful of baby spinach and then microwave it for a minute so it wilts down a bit. Yesterday, I topped it with brown rice (buried underneath the other stuff), black beans, avocado, and a fried egg. Hit the spot!


I enjoyed some crackers and cheese on the side, too, for a little crunch.


Speaking of good food, I went to a really cool event on Wednesday night at Union Market in DC: a beer cooking demo/dinner hosted by Negra Modelo and celebrity chefs Rick Bayless and Chris Cosentino.


The event began with some beer, of course! I don’t drink a ton of beer in the winter, but come warmer temps, I really love a nice, cold beer at happy hour. The Negra Modelo was delicious – very smooth and flavorful but not too intense or heavy. I’ll absolutely be ordering this next time I see it out and about! Negra Modelo is a Munich Dunkel (dark) style lager made by slow roasting caramel malts, a technique that makes the brewing process last twice as long as other beers. This helps it to pair really well with food – and is probably why it tasted so smooth and not at all bitter!

While we sipped our beer and mingled, we also enjoyed some appetizers. My favorite (probably my favorite dish of the evening, actually – I love a good taco) was these beer braised pork tacos with guacamole, pickled cabbage, and Chipotle crema. Insanely good – amazing flavor combo. Matt has been talking about wanting to cook with beer more – might need to start with by recreating these at home! :)

beer braised pork tacos

After we’d had time to get settled, sip our drinks, and enjoy the appetizers, the chefs began the beer-inspired cooking demonstration.


They had screens set up showing an overhead shot of what the chefs were doing – cool!


Both of the chefs made recipes that came together really quickly, which you know I’m all about. Rick Bayless made a red chili, noting that the nuttiness of the toasted malt in the Negra Modelo goes really well with it because of the sweetness. He said that beer that is too hoppy can get bitter when reduced – not the case with this beer!

They passed around samples of the chili after he was done – delicious.


As for Chef Chris Cosentino, he whipped up clams with fennel, chorizo, and chickpeas. This was right up my alley – and I had no idea clams were so fast to cook! This sounds really fancy but I bet it would actually make an awesome quick weeknight dinner.


SO good.


A big thank you to Negra Modelo for hosting us at such a fun event, and for sponsoring this recap! My college friend Kathleen came as my date (Matt was sad to miss out – he had a grad school group meeting to attend), and we had such a fun time sipping on beer and watching the beer-inspired food magic happen in front of us. Here we are with the chefs – Kathleen watches Rick Bayless’s cooking show all the time, apparently, and was really excited to meet him!

Negra Modelo union market event

Click here to download a PDF with the recipes from the event, and check out Negra Modelo’s website if you’re interested in some more beer-inspired recipes and tips – they have a bunch!

As for workouts this week, after an active weekend and Monday’s big hike, I took a casual swim day on Tuesday and a full rest day on Wednesday. By yesterday, I was ready to get back after it with my morning track group workout! They had me do a steady 15 minutes at around an 8:10 pace, then do a couple laps of jogging the curves and speeding up on the straights to loosen up my legs. I did 2.3 miles of speedier running, and then did about another mile or so worth of warming up and cooling down. I felt a little tired at first, but pretty good by the end of it.


The coaches made sure I didn’t go too crazy on distance or pace yesterday because I have the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler coming up this weekend on Sunday! It’s looking like the cherry blossoms are actually going to be out for the race – that rarely happens, so I’m pumped!

As for this morning, I was up early to hit up another barre class via ClassPass with my buddy Chelsea! This time we went to Barre Tech in Clarendon to try their 6:15 a.m. Barre45 class.


The studio is small and really hard to find, but luckily I had a heads up from Chelsea that I should arrive early just in case. I made it in with plenty of time!

As for the class, it was good – not my absolute fave, but you never regret a workout, right? :) I think I would like barre classes more in the evenings, when I’m tired and want to wind down a little… I always find the barre movements hard (ohh the burn!!), but if I’m getting up early to work out I kind of want some heart pumping endorphins to join me so I feel amped up and ready to tackle the day, you know? I need to try Xtend Barre – a bunch of you all have been recommending it as a good barre/boot camp combo!


I was tight on time when I got home so I pounded this Organic Balance protein drink while showering, and am now eating a piece of toast with nut butter while finishing up this post. This was the last of the samples that Organic Valley sent me for these sponsored reviews as part of our partnership, and Matt has already requested I pick up some more! The Organic Balance is a bit of a lighter product than the Organic Fuel I’ve mentioned before (which we usually have post-run, or, in Matt’s case, he loves them after his late evening soccer games when he needs something before bed but doesn’t want a whole big extra dinner). Organic Balance has a little less calories, protein, and sugar than the Fuel does, so it’s good after lower key workouts. It has a little stevia in it, but you can’t taste it at ALL, which is good because I don’t love the taste of stevia!


Anyway! I’m racing off downtown now – I’m attending the DC Dietetic Association’s annual meeting today and need to be there by 8:30. Looking forward to networking, hearing some interesting speakers, and racking up some continuing education credits! ;) After it wraps up, my next stop will be the Cherry Blossom race expo to get my bib!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Who else is running Cherry Blossom on Sunday? Hope to see some of you out there – the weather is looking gorgeous – quite the upgrade from the dreary, cold day we had for Rock ‘n’ Roll DC! :) If you’re running it for the first time, here are my previous recaps to give you an idea of what to expect. It’s crowded, so arrive early, but it’s such a fun race and great course (mostly flat, too)! I’m extremely lucky and fortunate to have received a complementary press bib for the event again this year.

Quick Announcement for DC area readers before I go:

  • On the evening of April 30th, I’ll be speaking at Rock Recovery’s signature event, “Building Bridges: Living An Integrated Life.” I’ll be on a panel discussing the importance of prioritizing health and well-being and sharing practical resources and tips to promote self care. There will also be an opening and closing reception for networking. Rock Recovery is a local non-profit that works to promote health and wellness and bridge gaps in the treatment and understanding of eating disorders and related issues. The event will raise funds to support the much needed work of Rock Recovery in our community. Early bird discounted registration ends on April 15, so sign up today! As an added bonus, if you use the promotional code “friends&family” you will get 20% off the registration. I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you there!


  1. 1

    Rick Bayless! So cool!

  2. 2

    I’m going to the next Union Market event next Friday! I am so excited after looking at your yummy pictures :).

    I’m volunteering at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler water stop so I’ll be sure to cheer for ya if I see you :) GOOD LUCK!

  3. 4

    I love fun cooking & beer events like that! What better way to combine two favorite things :) The top looks adorable too!

  4. 5

    IN for Cherry Blossom 10 miler – going to the expo this afternoon to get my bib!

  5. 7

    I’m definitely with you on the Barre workouts in the morning. I love hard, sweaty workouts in the a.m. and something easier at night.

  6. 8

    The cooking from that food event looks delicious!

  7. 9

    I’ll be out there running Sunday, too! Looking forward to some redemption and awesome weather after the dreary RNR last month!

  8. 11

    The food demonstration looks so cool! I always find cooking/food events like that to be super inspiring. If you guys are looking for more beer-inspired recipes, I’d suggest checking out The Beeroness ( All of her recipes look so delicious!

  9. 13

    I love beer and I love those types of event- so cool! Good luck at your race this weekend… I have a 10 miler in 3 weeks and I’m looking to PR so I’m going back to read your PR race for inspiration/tips :)

  10. 15

    Yummy eats! My husband would love that beer event!

  11. 16

    The clams looks beautiful! I’m a huge mussel fan so I assume I’d like em!

  12. 17
    Roadrunner says

    Good luck on Sunday!

  13. 18

    Ah I’m so jealous! I’m a huge fan of Rick and Chris and watch all of their shows! I just finished watching top chef masters when Rick won. That would be amazing to get to see him cook in person and try his food. Negro modelo is a great beer too :)

  14. 19

    Yes, please share the recipes if you get them!

  15. 21

    See you out there! We earned the weather and peak blooms after RnR :)

  16. 23

    What fun happenings this week! Makes me miss DC!

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