This week, we had the opportunity to try out Speed Flex in Dallas. We were stunned to find out that the studio has been open for 3 years! It is the first of its type in the entire country. This 30 minute class uses machines that elicit isokinetic contractions. This class is meant to provide a personalized intensity of workout, because it’s resistance-based, meaning it allows for “a professional athlete to train alongside a retiree”. There should be little to no muscle soreness after taking the class, because it is made up of solely concentric movements. The class we took was a HIIT-type modified Tabata, spending 20 sec at each station & 8 sec to rotate. We wore heart rate monitors around our chest, and mine said that I burned 360 calories in 30 minutes. I did wear my Polar watch, as well, but that only said I burned 180. It was a fun upbeat class, and we would definitely attend again! Info can be found at the link below.
On Saturday, we went for a walk along the Katy Trail in Dallas. Once upon a time, I lived Uptown and brought Zach to the Katy Trail on his first trip down to visit me. Maybe it’s the sentimental part of us or maybe its just the paved shaded path, but this is one of our favorite places to get some outdoor activity. We love to park near Knox/Henderson, grab a coffee at Starbucks and walk about 1.5 miles and back. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely give it a visit.
Last week, I attended Silent Disco Yoga in West Village. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew that I’d see some familiar faces and get the chance to try something out of the box. When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how many yogis showed up! Upon sign-in, we received two bottles of Muscle Milk to use as hand weights, and we got our headphones!
These headphones made me crave a pair of wireless headphones, because I loved the feeling of moving all over the place and never having the earbuds fall out. I mean, we were running in place, doing jumping jacks and inversions, and these babies stayed perfectly place! Once we all got situated, we could hear both music and the instructor’s voice through the headphones, and you could adjust the volume to your own preference.
We started in child’s pose and made our way through a combination of (what I would consider) traditional yoga poses, a lot of barre-esque pulsing movements, good core work, and some plyometrics to get our heart rates up.
After the class ended, I wandered through the amazing vendors that were a part of this event! I had my hair braided and got awesome recommendations/product samples for my chronically dry hair from Avalon Salons.
From Muscle Milk, I took home the two shakes I’d used for weights AND two of their protein bars (which are delicious). Buda Juice and SimplyFit Meals also showed up to share samples of their nutritious goodies. Some of the other vendors that I saw were Soul Cycle Uptown and Mini Luxe.
It was so much fun to know we were in the middle of a bustling area–shops, restaurants, fitness studios and the like. But with our headphones and vibe, we were totally in our own zone.
Last week, we had the privilege of attending Sunset Yoga with CorePower at NorthPark Center. This Dallas Fitness Ambassadors event took place in the CenterPark Garden, along with many of the NorthPark retailers. While we rolled out our mats and waited for class to start, we snacked on a few delicious treats from GreenHouse Market. Talk about making healthy taste GREAT! First we tried a dairy-free chocolate brownie-esque yummy that was made with dates, cocoa and a few other healthy things + a raspberry on top. It tasted so indulgent but was made with fresh real ingredients. The second thing we had was chia seed pudding made with coconut milk. THIS inspired me to try to make chia seed pudding at home. Wish me luck!
The weather had been cool for the past few days, but it ended up being near-perfect conditions. Jay from CorePower led us through 60 minutes of yoga and it felt glorious to be outside looking up at the blue sky throughout it! I honestly think we would take yoga more often if we could be surrounded by beautiful weather. But we live in Texas, so that’s a long shot.
After the class was over, DryBar offered braids, MakeupForever offered lip touch-ups, and MiniLuxe did polish changes! It was such a fun way to feel glam after getting some fitness in! Fresh & Sugarfina provided samples, too. If you haven’t tasted Sugarfina candies–DO IT! They’re so tasty.
We both feel so lucky to be a part of Dallas Fitness Ambassadors! We’ve met some really sweet friends and gotten the chance to explore our city a little bit more! Make sure to follow the account on Twitter and Instagram so that YOU can attend the next event!
One of our favorite places to visit on weekends is the Shops at Park Lane. This cute little area is home to the J.Crew Mercantile, Old Navy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, St. Bernard Sports Outlet, Zyn22 and more. They have a few restaurants too, and one of their newest foodie spots is I Love Juice Bar. We stumbled across this place one Saturday and after buying a delicious smoothie, ended up leaving the credit card in the slot. We returned the next day for the credit card and more goodies.
This past weekend, we were able to spend some time trying out the menu and chatting with the store manager, Kavita. One of the first things we should mention about I Love Juice Bar is their customer service. During our hour in the store, we noticed that Kavita knows so many of the customers that visited. When they walked in, she asked them how their recent juice cleanse went or she knew their typical drink order. She is knowledgeable about each product at I Love Juice Bar and can answer any questions.
We started with smoothies. Pictured above are the Matcha Green smoothie (left) and the Peachy Greens smoothie (right). You would never know that these two yummy drinks are filled with superfoods like spinach, spirulina, or maca powder. They had such great flavors–nothing “green” tasting about them. One of the great things about I Love Juice Bar is that they don’t use ice in their smoothies, so nothing gets watered down. It’s all real and fresh ingredients.
After smoothies, we moved on to shots. Their inventory of shots seemed endless, but Kavita showed us the most popular items and explained their purposes. Left to right, the first is their ACV shot. For those of you who have tried to shoot apple cider vinegar at home (I tried it making my own today-yuck), this blew it out of the water. They blend coconut water, cayenne pepper, and himalayan salt to take away some of the acidity. This would make taking ACV daily much easier! The second is the toomeric shot, which is huge for anti-inflammatory purposes, among others listed here. The third is the allergy shot, which basically everyone in Texas could use…right? This one was actually the tastiest in our opinion. The last is the sniffle stopper. We found this one unique and interesting, because it has an essential oil blend in it!
Obviously, we can’t go without mentioning their namesake–juices. We tried the We Got the Beet, Orange you Glad, Fresh Greens, and Sweet Greens. All of these had great tastes, are pretty low in calories, and are freshly made. They’re made fresh daily (several times a day), but if a customer does not want a pre-made juice, he or she can request a made-to-order juice! If you become addicted like we did, buy a growler for $8 and fill up on Fridays for 15% off. The juices are sold by the ounce.
I Love Juice Bar has a great selection of food and snacks from local companies in the area that you can take to go and know that you’re getting whole nutrition ingredients. We tried the Sprouts Sandwich and Pad Thai Noodle Cup–delish. All of the nutrition info is listed online or on the packages, if you want to check it out before you choose!
Obviously, we saved the best for last. The Acai Bowl was not only GORGEOUS to look at, but tasted INCREDIBLE. Like, we would go back for more daily. It’s topped with granola, honey, berries, cacao nibs (yum), bee pollen, chia & hemp seeds, and the holy grail-almond butter. We’ll definitely be returning soon for another one of these beauties.
If you try it out, let us know what we should order next time!
Lauren and Zach
I love Juice Bar Dallas provided complimentary food and drink items in exchange for this review. All opinions remain our own.
Anyone who read my post last week about “Why you Should Compete” knows that I was going to be competing in my 4th Strongman competition this past Saturday. I want to start off by saying that this was hands down the most fun I have ever had competing! This is for a multitude of reasons, the venue and location were awesome, the events were an absolute blast to perform, I got to compete in a group of 11 very solid competitors and was surrounded by a multitude of strong and elite men and women. But most importantly, I had the best cheering section in the building: my beautiful wife Lauren, my parents came down from St. Louis, and also my mother and father in law. I couldn’t have asked for a better cheer squad (wish my little sister could have been there though).
Coming into this competition I knew I was going to be a little light for my weight class, but that’s ok. Biggest doesn’t always mean strongest. This particular competition was made up of 5 events, basically designed to tax every muscle in the body and be very heavy….luckily they all only last for 60 seconds or less.
Event #1-The Conan’s Wheel- I have to admit, this was the event I was most terrified of, and lucky me…it was the first event of the day. I had done my best to prepare for this event with yoke, stone, and sandbag carries as well as some Zercher squats and carries, but nothing can replicate the real thing. I have never had the opportunity to train or compete on a Conan’s Wheel before so I had pretty low expectations, especially at a weight of 450lbs. I wound up surprising myself and getting 2-1/4 revolutions with the weight. It wasn’t enough for top score, but I wasn’t even expecting to get one full turn, so I was thrilled!
Event #2- Axle Clean and Press- Overhead pressing is traditionally one of my weakest lifts, so I was a tad nervous about this one, but had also put a lot of preparation into building my overhead strength. The goal is to get the axle onto my shoulders and then press it overhead for max reps in 60 seconds. Might have been a little too ambitious with my goal as I fell short a few reps, but still managed 4 reps and a close miss of 5 reps at 205lbs.
Event #3- Arm Over Arm Pull- Another event that I truly had no expectation for, since I never find myself training for this particular movement. Fortunately I do a lot of rowing on the rowing machine through my love of CrossFit. I was able to use the same type of mechanics to pull the rope and sled to me with pretty good speed! Was able to drag about 350-400lbs 50 feet in about 22 seconds!
Event #4-Axle Deadlift- Anyone who knows me is very well aware that the deadlift is my favorite movement of all time. Not only is it my favorite, but it is perhaps my strongest lift. I had my expectations set pretty high for this one, only to find out that the bar height I had been training at differed from the competition height. Oh well, no excuses. The goal was to hit a max weight in three attempts, so I had to choose my attempts wisely. I was able to hit my opener at 465 with ease, with my next attempt being 495, and my goal to finish at 525. Didn’t really go according to plan, missed my first attempt at 495, then came back to try and get it again on my third attempt, with the crowd cheering me on I was able to get it just above my knees before losing it and failing the lift. That one stung, but there was still one more event!
Event #5- Carry Medley- This may have been the most fun event of them all, and the biggest ass kicking. Simple idea, carry a 460lb frame as fast as you can for 60 feet, drop it and then pick up a 200lb sandbag and sprint back another 60 feet…as fast as you can. After all of the other pulling and carrying my lower back was pretty fried, but luckily my grip was able to hold on, the plan was be slow and steady on the frame and go full speed on the sandbag. Was able to get the carry with no drops and pick up the sandbag fast, that speed resulted in me losing my balance and wiping out across the finish line….video will be on Instagram soon!
My efforts in all of these events wound up giving me 6th out of 11, which is better than my goal of “Don’t come in last.” So I will take it. Yes, I am competitive, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to have fun and as I said before, it was the most fun I have ever had competing. No I didn’t win, but I left it all out there and gave it everything I had…and I have already signed up for my next competition so time to just keep having fun and keep getting better!
Lift something heavy!
For a while now, we’ve been searching for a new watch for Zach. He’s been looking for something comfortable but professional–something that he can wear with a suit OR with shorts and a t-shirt. We found this perfect option at Fossil.
I love that it has a blue face with the brown leather strap. Zach’s favorite suit is a unique blue (not quite navy) that I could not find online, so I linked similar ones here and here. This watch will pop so nicely with that blue. The cool thing about Fossil watches is that they have so many interchangeable bands. We had our eye on this one, which is on sale–how fun would this be for summer?
As for me, my favorite new item this week is these shoes! My mom asks me every day after school, “Are you going to Target?”, because I go almost every day. We’re always needing something–usually a jar of peanut butter or more eggs. I can never help myself when it comes to browsing the entire store. When I walked through the shoe section the other day, I was so surprised to see shoes that were total dupes of shoes I’ve been eyeing at Nordstrom!
Our last favorite is a restaurant in Plano called Sixty Vines. We watched this restaurant transition and waited anxiously for them to open. Once they did, we struggled to get in, because their reservations fill up so quickly. One of the reasons we love this restaurant so much is because you can go full-out #cheatmeal with pizza, pasta, charcuterie board, and dessert, or you can find some relatively clean options too!
Definitely check this place out if you’re in the Dallas area. It’s called Sixty Vines, because they have 60 different wines on tap. They have a cool iPad that describes each wine (bottle, glass, tap) or beer and what to pair it with. You can order by the half glass, glass, carafe, or bottle. I always get two or three half-glasses to taste different wines each time I go.
As January comes to a close, here are some of the things I have found myself LOVING all month long.
Fresh flowers: We were gifted this stunning vase as a wedding gift, and I have not let it go empty since we received it. I have been finding roses at an amazing price at Trader Joe’s. This combo of pink and white may have been my favorite so far.
BaubleBar everything. Choosing which color for these tassel earrings might have been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in a while. I may be adding more to my collection soon.
I also picked up this adorable Bauble of the Day, and I can’t wait for these to arrive!
Adidas Superstars: My Nike Metcons have gotten a little ratty from all the use, so I wanted some comfortable athletic shoes to wear that look a little more polished. These run BIG…so big that the sweet people at Nordstrom sent me upstairs to the kids’ section. I bought mine in a kids 3.5 for reference. I love how comfortable they are–I’ve even paired them with jeans, colored denim, or leggings for work. They make running back and forth to the copy machine a lot easier!
Concealer: Obviously I bought this in the shade “very fair”. Usually, I can find the shade I need easily just by choosing the lightest one. So far, this one seems to have the correct undertones to brighten my undereyes while concealing dark circles. I don’t know if it’ll be able to top the Kat Von D Lock-it concealer, but we’ll see!
What? More Bauble Bar? Yes. I think these Flouro Crispin Drops are the cutest statement earrings, even though my husband thinks they look ridiculous.
These Metcon 3s are SO.COOL. I’m unashamedly jealous of Zach’s brand new Metcons, and now I think I need my own. How does someone even choose what color combo?
Book 6 of the Penn Cage Series is available on March 21 of this year, and I’m already counting down the days. I mentioned this series in an earlier post. I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on this next installment. It’s titled Mississippi Blood, and it’s available for pre-order now.
Over the long weekend, we kept ourselves moving for the most part. My little sister is leaving to go back to Ole Miss today, so we had to try to fit in some of her “lasts” while she was still in town for Christmas break. One she’d been begging for was Cane Rosso. This was an easy one to agree to. I saved up my cheat meals (usually 2 per week) for this baby. It’s called the honey bastard, and it’s not featured on the menu. It has mozzarella, hot sopressata, bacon marmalade, and spicy honey. I wish I had a picture of the dessert pizza we had afterwards (I know–cheat meal extreme), but just think cookie butter, nutella, mascarpone, and marshmallows, all on the same huge pizza crust. And can we note the size of those things?
On Saturday, Zach had to work until 12, then stopped at the gym on the way home. I did some cleaning, a glute-focused workout, and got ready for the day. We celebrated my 26th birthday at Ocean Prime with my family and absolutely loved it! The flower arrangement at the Rosewood Court, which is connected to the restaurant, was absolutely stunning, so we had to take a photo in front.
On Sunday morning, we went full-on Lolo birthday celebration day. After getting our normal Sunday routine down, we went to a 90s themed spin class. I have a write-up about our experience coming next week, but we absolutely loved it.
Post-spin, we fueled up at Breadwinners at North Park and walked a few laps at the mall. We went home to relax for a bit, then ended the night at Water Grill. It just opened last week, and we will be returning as soon as we can! We ordered the Cioppino and the Homemade Orecchiete. I think the Cioppino was the winner, because we left nothing in that giant bowl. We are definitely adding this restaurant to the list of Dallas favorites.
Monday, I forced Zach and my sister Sarah to watch The Bachelor while we ate homemade crockpot chili. Zach’s chili is to die for. This is one of the first seasons of The Bachelor I have not googled spoilers, and I’m trying to be good! Let me know in the comments who you’re rooting for!