Hi all! I hope you’re having a great week. It’s HUMP DAY! Anyway, last night I had to say see you later to my girl Heather. We always laugh that we could literally be the best roommates because we are just chill & do our thing in sync. It was so nice to have her here & my family was bummed to see her go! I can’t even begin to explain to you the gift that this girl has. She started her journey as a food/fitness blogger whenever we first “met” but then as our relationship grew, I watched her spirituality & intuition grow to eventually be her career. We both are at the point in our life that is pretty scary – the unknown, right? We both are taking risks to go for our dreams, even if that means stepping way outside of our comfort zone.
We planned for Heather to spend 5 days here without realizing all of the lives she would touch while she was here. She helped my mom & I get through a speed bump in our relationship as we both realized & came to agreement on different things we need to work on while still living under the same roof. She also tapped into so many feelings from people we met & family members of mine. She was able to feel their energy & would give advice to help them get through their own speed bumps. It’s unreal the things you can go through but accomplish with a shift in mindset & positive thinking.
Heather is a strong girl. She is going through a rough patch in her personal life but you would never know based on the way she carries herself. She is positive in her future & knows that sometimes we all have to go through some tough shi*t to get where we want to be whether it’s in your personal life or your future career.
These few paragraphs don’t even do her justice because the feeling she left here was something we will never forget. She IS moving mountains & her gift is spreading. I can’t wait to be a part of her journey as well as collaborating on a project we both feel strongly about & will help others that are going through & went through experiences that we also did. Can’t wait to share with you all what we’ve got up our sleeves!
So other than the healing that happened this weekend & the mountains that we moved, we also got in some awesome girl time, workouts, trips, & food prepared by yours truly, as well as a culinary recap of the food we enjoyed! After all, I love taking pictures of delish food.
I picked Heather up from the airport Friday & we were both hungry so we headed right to my favorite Mediterranean place – Alladins! I knew Heather would love the food as much as I do.
We got baba ganoush for an app with tons of raw veggies for dipping. Heather got a raw juice & I enjoyed the blueberry pomegranate green tea – so refreshing!
I got a seared tunas teak salad & heather got a hummus salad that she enjoyed while playing with her food, ha!
Friday night our girl Jen came over & I couldn’t wait to Heather & her to meet. I knew it would be an EPIC girls night with these two inspiring forces combining. If you haven’t read Jen’s story, I HIGHLY suggest you read a little more about her – [Prepare to be inspired by Jen’s Weight Loss Journey], [Jen’s Anniversary of Kicking a Habit While Kick Starting Her Life], [Life’s Most Thrilling Roller Coaster; Ourselves. Part ONE], & [Life’s Most Thrilling Roller Coaster; Ourselves. Part TWO].
I used a Sami’s Bakery (found at a local health food store) Millet & Flax pizza crust & topped it with pizza sauce, nutritional yeast, roasted beets, sautéed veggies in garlic, & roasted carnival squash.
Baked at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or so then sprinkled with fresh dill, basil, & onion powder.
I also made us a fresh side salad with greens & tomatoes tossed in balsamic, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, & a few drops of liquid stevia.
After a much needed girls night full of good conversation & good food, we were fueled up & ready to his the StepTrek in my city with Mamacakes!
The StepTrek is an over 1,600 step tour that goes for about 2.7 miles around neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. You climb steps while walking a set path to see so many amazing views & cool houses along the way.
While Heather wasn’t paying attention, I saw this moment to snap a pic of her cool view of the steps & greenery we were around.
Some more pictures of the view we had in between the houses that overlooked the city.
I really like this shot. The weather was perfect for a walk while the sun shined through.
We also hung out with our angels for a little as we toured some of the local churches.
After our hike we were ready to EAT. Fresh Mexican food was calling our name along with chips, guac, & salsa.
I got a mahi mahi salad with avocado & chickpea corn salad. Heather had a Portobello salad & so did mamacakes!
After an afternoon of relaxing [insert a picture of comfy clothes & laying on couches] we got ready to head out to dinner. We walked up to the place we initially wanted to go only to find a closed sign on the door while there was an event inside. As the clouds rolled in & it started to thunder, I used my AroundMe App to figure out a new route of action. I remembered there was a Thai Place right across the street & sure enough, it was a great choice!
We ordered veggie Spring Rolls [I’ve never had them before & OMG so good! Can’t wait to use my rice wrappers in the pantry to create a recipe inspired by these].
I ordered the Butternut Squash Curry & enjoyed it over rice. I LOVE when you pour the curry over the rice & it absorbs the sauce for a delish meal.
[Insert picture of hanging on the couches for the rest of the night while chatting away some more]
Sunday mornings around here are something very special to my fam. I grew up always having family brunches on Sunday. It was the day we all looked forward to where there were no other obligations but enjoying a family meal together. Papacakes would make Powercakes & we’d all sit around the kitchen table for hours & chat.
I was so excited to have Heather with us! Papacakes made an amazing peach balsamic chia reduction [I’m either going to get him to bottle this stuff or weasel out the recipe from him] & we put it over buckwheat waffles with some added peanut fluff.
We spent the rest of the day hanging at a local coffee place where we got some [adorable] steamed coconut milk lattés! They made homemade sauces so I got a pumpkin spice & Heather got a peanut curry.
We worked all afternoon on our next project that we are collaborating on. It’s amazing how our minds work so well together & we are able to combine our stories, although different, together to share how we went through such similar feelings. We truly cannot wait to share this with you all & we set up deadlines for ourselves to hopefully have it done within a year!
[Insert pictures of relaxing the rest of the night & watching Oprah’s Life Class – which was exactly what I needed to see! That is a whole other post in itself that I will definitely be sharing.] It was all about getting comfortable in the uncomfortable & how the “perfectionism” feelings that we go through is really “what will others think of me?” This really hit home with us & I’m sure can resonate in others as well.
The next morning I made us some Toffee Apple Steel Cut Oats to FUEL UP before we met our girl Jen for a workout at my old College.
Jen was such a sweetheart & set up a whole station for us before we got there! It was fun to have someone else plan the workout & it was such a good one!
We walked out to leave & realized we were wearing the exact same color scheme – who would’ve thought?
We did some kettlebell work too which was awesome.
Then we ended the workout with some med ball plank holds & push ups! My girl Jen is SO STRONG & inspirational. She showed us her skill so Heather & I was tried it out as well.
Now the personal side in me comes out – PLEASE be careful if you attempt these. They are definitely a challenge for the core & full body. We had each others back [as obvious in the bottom right pic, ha] but in all seriousness, I suggest having someone spot you before you jump right into these.
Now with that being said, this is such a challenge! The core needs to be tight as well as the legs. It was not that easy to go down into a push-up, especially after working beforehand. BUT it was fun to see how far we’ve all come in terms of our own strength.
It’s amazing that not only did we have a great workout & cheer each other on the whole time, but we all had some pretty epic moments within ourselves. On our ride to lunch, I showed Heather this picture I snapped of her while she was doing some muscle rope action. Now Heather will be the first to tell you that this kind of workout was a bit out of her comfort zone. She doesn’t usually work with TRX or muscle ropes but with the encouragement from Jen & I throughout the workout as well as challenging herself personally, she CRUSHED it & worked so hard.
It’s pretty amazing how we all deal with similar challenges. I went through a time where I restricted my food intake [Checking myself before wrecking myself] thinking I wanted to look a certain way and I was completely losing sight of why I was working out to begin with – to become stronger & stay healthy starting from the inside. I used to worry about calorie burn instead of how my strength was increasing. I used to restrict certain fats & carbs thinking my diet had to be perfect when I wasn’t properly FUELING my workouts. The 3 of us aren’t perfect, but we are honest about our struggles. We all can relate to each other while helping to encourage one another with our new healthy mindset.
Our workouts are fueled by the food we eat & the mindset we have. I am so passionate to help others find their own healthy balance with enjoying food as fuel & not worrying if your diet is not perfect. Enjoying all types of foods while still paying attention to getting those good quality proteins, fats, carbs, fiber, vitamins, & minerals while also enjoying those once deemed “off limits” foods we honestly used to fear.
Like I said before, this weekend was way more than just fitness & food…it was a weekend of stepping back & realizing how far we’ve come in our own lives while encouraging one another to continue to live their own truth & work through our struggles that we all may deal with.
After our hour of working out our bodies & minds – we REFUELED those muscles with some lunch! We got an epic Bruschetta hummus plate with gluten free bread, apples, & veg.
I got a salmon salad with homemade balsamic, fresh veggies, & added a squirt of lemon!
[Insert pictures of traveling home during the sunset with the windows down & a night of relaxation]
We got home & both looked at each other with that “I’m hungry” look which led to some amazing coconut milk ice cream sundaes topped with chocolate sauce, peanut fluff, & Vega karmalized savi seeds on top with banana. This combo was LEGIT.
So, as you can see it was a jam packed weekend! It’s always fun to recap times like this to recap all of the fun times. As you can also see, although there was a lot of good views, good food, workouts, & events – this weekend was way more than that.
All of my [insert here] images that weren’t taken were the times spent talking & connecting on an amazing level. Heather & I are very thankful for our friendship & the encouragement we give each other throughout our own journeys. It’s not always easy to put our stories out there but our hope is to help others & connect.
One of the main themes that we chatted about this weekend was letting go of the old to make room for the new. It’s scary to step out of a comfort zone but through the support of others & the positive mindset within yourself – you can do it.
I’m off to an awesome leg workout I have planned – hope you enjoy your day!
Have you had a fun friend weekend lately or got to spend time with a friend you haven’t seen in a while?
Do you ever feel the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone?