Wednesday, April 26, 2017

beat that "2:30 Feeling" (feat. gomacro!)

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Helloooo and welcome back to my little world of thoughts, photos, and unsolicited advice! Lately it seems as though my focus has been on health and wellness primarily - super appropriate in regards to my current lifestyle, which is pretty focused on working out and keeping myself happy and fueled for whatever the day might bring. I've also taken on something new - I'll be teaching cycle classes at CycleBar Greengate, which is out just past Short Pump. It's an amazing experience, and I'll kick your butt without you even realizing it (because my music and energy will be so fun)! 

So come on out and say hi - but before signing up for a class, take a look at my tips for keeping yourself energized throughout the day - whether or not it includes a total body multisensory cycling experience led by yours truly.

I've always preached about eating to FUEL. Your body does a lot of cool stuff, whether you lift weights or do yoga or just walk your pup around the neighborhood - all of those activities expel calories and put your muscles to work. It's crucial to see food, meals, snacks, etc. as a way to keep yourself going instead of as reward or punishment (or a cure to boredom - hi, me in the office), which is where my tips can come in handy. 

  1. Eat BREAKFAST. And eat a breakfast with PROTEIN in it. Protein is going to keep you full the longest and give you a solid start to the day. Egg whites, a smoothie with protein powder in it, peanut butter, or a gomacro bar - all of these are good options. Need a new recipe? Click HERE for my superfood pancake breakfast, or HERE for a protein smoothie recipe. PS: smoothies with greens and juice and berries are yummy and hit your micronutrient needs, but they won't provide long-lasting energy because they tend to be high-carb and high-sugar.
  2. On that note - meals don't need to leave you feeling stuffed. In fact, they shouldn't - your breakfast should really be comprised of two large snacks that you can eat within a few hours of each other. I eat between two and three small breakfasts each day depending on if I work out early in the morning. 
  3. One huge step toward changing your mindset from food as a reward to food as a necessary fuel is to open your eyes about what's on the label of the things that go in your body. For example, let's look at protein bars. I like gomacro bars as opposed to something like CLIF because I not only can pronounce the ingredients on the back, but I actually know what they are and what they can do for my body.
  4. Pay attention to how you feel after meals, after and while you work out, and when you feel hungry. There might be a pattern that you weren't previously aware of - I have a dairy sensitivity, and I had no idea until I was a senior in college. I finally asked my doctor why I felt sluggish, bloated, and had headaches each time I had anything with lactose -- since then, I've cut dairy out of my diet (except the occasional slip up) and feel way better. It wasn't about losing weight (cheese and milk are great sources of protein and calcium), it was just about listening to the signs my body was giving me.
  5. Start to think about the way you see food. It isn't necessarily a reward. It isn't a punishment. And it isn't a way to (effectively) manage stress. Think about after you finish a kickass lift or spin class - the endorphins are so high that you really don't need a "reward" centered around food - and if you're feeling like shit after a bad breakup or long workday, try breathing fresh air and moving your body instead of downing a bag of chips. Promise you'll feel better!

Try these tips - keep them in mind throughout the day and try to bring some mindfulness to your routine. Diets and pills aren't going to bring immediate satisfaction, but giving your body the respect it deserves by listening to what it feels like to be full, hungry, fueled - that will.

I received a sample box of gomacro bars, which is part of the reason they're mentioned a few times in this post. All opinions are, as always, my own - and I love gomacro anyway! Any source of nutrients that not only tastes DELICIOUS but also includes whole, real ingredients is a winner in my book.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"What's-In-My-Fridge" One Pot Burrito Bowl

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This recipe is titled as such because I made it with all the "extra" food that I didn't really have a plan for. It's a hodgepodge of veggies, protein, and whole grains with a Mexican twist - would be great as a burrito filler, but in the interest of my attempt to stick with a low-carb diet - I skipped a tortilla. You could pretty much add anything you want to make this recipe yours - a can of tomatoes, clove of garlic, swap ground turkey for chicken... the list goes on. I even added some little pieces of ham because I'm trying to get rid of it - everything mixes together well and would prob be great with a fried egg on top or scrambled whites mixed in for a little extra protein (also, eggs are good on everything).  I hate having weird cans of beans and random things in my fridge or cabinet because it means I didn't do a great job of planning meals for the week. 

Pro tip: GO GROCERY SHOPPING WITH A LIST. Mom was on to something the whole time.

Any recipe that only uses one pot is an immediate fave of mine, especially if it's something healthy and something that I can heat up easily on the go. Having food prepped for lunches and dinners keeps me from eating a half of a jar of PB in one sitting (known to happen when I'm frantically in a rush and don't have "real food" on hand) and helps me log my meals in MyFitnessPal more effectively. 

According to MyFitnessPal, this recipe makes about 5 servings. Each serving has about 230 cals and 2.1F/39C/20P making it a bit carb-heavy, but it's super high in Vitamin C and has a decent amount of Iron as well. Can't forget those micronutrients! Plus, you could easily throw in an extra chicken breast or doctor it up however you'd like.

Without further ado, here's my lunch for the week! 


  • 1C mixed grain rice
  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/4C salsa
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1C kale or spinach
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (or whatever type you prefer)
  • Coconut oil
  • Taco seasoning
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Garlic powder


  1. Heat up two tbsp coconut oil in a large pot or skillet. Add diced chicken breast, onions, peppers, kale, and spices to taste. Cook on med-high heat or until chicken is lightly browned
  2. Add 2C water and bring to a boil, then add 1C rice and drained beans
  3. Cook for 15-20 min on low heat at a simmer, or until rice is soft and water is absorbed. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning to taste
  4. Remove pot from heat and cover for 5 min or until all liquid is absorbed

If you try my recipe, comment below and let me know how they turned out - 
or even better, Instagram them and tag me - @thepdxbelle!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The RVA Fit Gal's Guide to BOHO Cycle Studio

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Welcome back to the RVA Fit Gal's Guide - your one-stop-shop to figuring out the best fit for your health and fitness needs right here in good ole Richmond, Virginia (which, by the way, was just voted one of the best cities in the south by Southern Living!).

It's been a while since this series has been up and running - in the winter I coach middle school swimming. And let me tell you - it was a bit more of a job than I had originally anticipated. An absolute blast, YES, but quite a time commitment. I'm back now and trying to get in the swing of blogging again - especially when it puts me in touch with inspiring local businesswomen spearheading unique ideas in really interesting industries (like health and fitness) that I'd ultimately love to get into.

Anyway - you met AnnMarie of BOHO last week. She's awesome, her class is killer, and her story of how BOHO came to be is inspiring - read more HERE
I've kept you all waiting for my review for long enough (SORRY) - so here's the inside scoop.

Classes I Tried:

I went to four different BOHO Body classes with four different instructors, all at the 6:35 PM time slot. It's important to know that with BOHO (and many other boutique fitness studios), class cancellations will result in a class being taken off your pass. In my case, I locked myself and my dog out of our apartment and had to cancel, but it's definitely something to keep in mind when you wake up for a 5:45 AM class and contemplate canceling. Don't. BOHO Body means that there is a portion during class where you will be led through some upper body exercises with light hand weights. Some of the specific exercises remind me of barre - they're small movements with 2 lb weights that end up really packing a punch after a song or two.

I took two BOHO Tag Team Rides, which were cool because I got to sample two instructors in one class. One was with Tessa and Matthew (I LOVED his playlist!) who are roommates IRL, and the other one was with Kris and AM herself. I also took a BOHO Body class from both AM and Kris separately. Kris's class was the most challenging, in my opinion. She kicked my butt - I had a couple moments during class where I felt as though I was digging into a mental/physical place that I haven't been since I swam in college. But in a good way, promise. Instructors create playlists that are designed to motivate the class, the lights are out most of the time, and the music is turned way up - so it's a high-energy environment that gets you really pumped up. 


First class -- FREE
Drop In -- $18 (HIIT $12, Student Rate $13)
5 Class -- $75 (HIIT $55)
10 Class -- $110
1 Month Unlimited -- $150/month
3 Month Unlimited -- $135/month
12 Month Unlimited -- $115/month
Yearly Unlimited -- $1,200/year

Full pricing list HERE, schedule HERE

If you sign up for their newsletter or follow on Instagram, it's likely that you could snag some extra deals!

What Do I Wear?!

You will need clip-in indoor cycle/spin shoes to participate in class, and they do cost extra. For $2/class, you cant rent spin shoes at BOHO - which essentially adds $2 onto the price of a class automatically. If you choose to purchase shoes on your own, they can run upwards of $100 - so it's up to you to weigh it out and see how necessary the shoes would be to your personal workout routine. I usually always rent, but I'm thinking about teaching spin myself in the near future and want to invest in a pair myself. I've linked a few below that you can check out. Otherwise, it gets damn sweaty in there - so I'd suggest wearing a tank top and leggings to reduce chafing. My suggestions are linked below!

I've actually only recently come around to spinning, and I think it might be because I like having a local, super-convenient, and super-motivating place to go - BOHO isn't a chain, and it definitely feels like part of the neighborhood. Every time I go to a class, I practically expect to see someone I know. I liked my experience there, and when I want to mix spin classes (hello, cardio that isn't running!) into my workout routine, you can bet I'll be back on the bike!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The RVA Fit Gal's Guide is BACK - Meet AnnMarie of BOHO Cycle Studio!

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Hey Fit Gals! I'm back in action - partnering with another local, female-owned fitness studio here in RVA. BOHO Cycle Studio is a Museum District gem, tucked between a laundromat and a pizza place - it's a favorite among the gals (and some guys) who flock to the Fan and Museum District post-grad and to attend grad school. "Have you tried BOHO yet?" is a pretty common phrase heard in this part of town - especially among girls my age. I've gone to classes at BOHO on and off ever since my sorority at Randolph-Macon did an event there - I typically HATE cardio of any kind, but I've found that this type of spin class (paired with the energy of the instructors) works pretty well for me - and kicks my ass every time. 

Want to know more? Here's a teaser - get to know AnnMarie right here, and come back later on this week for my full review!

How did BOHO come to be? Why spinning, over all other types of group exercise?

RVA did not have ANY spinning studios prior to summer 2013 - so we needed it! We found a niche that was missing in town and found a way to fill that void and bring some good old RVA feel to fitness. I’m a lover of fitness and a bit of a gym rat, it was right up my alley.

BOHOCore was launched in 2016 to bring the term “wellness” more full circle for BOHO. We know a sweat session is only a portion of the wellness equation - the food you use for fuel makes a huge impact. I wanted to make nutrition information and education accessible to our BOHO riders and Richmond. 

What has been your proudest moment as a business owner?

That first Saturday with full classes! I wanted to shout a la Sally Field, “You like me. You really like me!” - It was a good feeling to see the need for this existed and people were riding with us! Some memorable moments that happen often are when riders tell you they didn’t think they could do this (cycle). Of course you can! Just find your speed, what works for you, and have a blast! Another super fun(ny) moment was our 2016 BOHO Olympics - I love some fun competition and so do all of our BOHO cycle superstars & front desk team! The BOHO Olympics will be back with all new games.
What’s your favorite way to sweat?

Oh - honestly a long trail run down by the river. Running is my first passion - although my body doesn’t it love it as much as it used to :) There have been articles about running as meditation - for me it works! It’s my time to stop the world and just be alone. I don’t take any phone calls or answer texts/emails. It’s amazing how the weight off my shoulders goes away, not to mention the BOHO brainstorms I have while running. Some of the best events/theme rides, business practices etc. have come from a good old run.

Each person has their go to sweat session - their time to stop the outside world, focus, and relax.

What does the term “Girl Boss” mean to you?

I have a love - hate with the term “Girl Boss.” On one hand the number of women business owners is shockingly small. (RVA is crushing it though) - It boggles my mind that it’s such a big hurdle for women to get over to open and run a successful business. Women need to know they can do this so I love being an example.  
On the other hand - I’m just AnnMarie, who lives in RVA and helps people move a little more and eat a little better. I just happen to own a business which provides that for people. It is what I love doing. I don’t need to be referred to as the Boss, you can call me AM!

If you could give your 25-year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

The 25 year old AnnMarie was a little more risky than the 39 year old AnnMarie. But I think I would remind myself that life can get more fun - you just have to wait for it.

I have had more fun in the past 3 1/2 years with BOHO than I ever thought I could. It is a lot of work, sometimes sleepless nights but the fun outweighs all the challenge.

Thanks AM! I had a blast - find out a little more later this week!

Want more #GirlBoss interviews? Click HERE 
More Fit Gal's Guides? Click HERE 

Friday, January 20, 2017

How to Make Superfood Pancakes (that don't taste like dirt)

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It's the new year, and chances are you've pinned a ton of "healthy" or "clean" recipes on your Pinterest boards and made some resolutions to eat better or fuel your body in a more wholesome manner. I've always found (and preached) that cooking my own meals has been a great way to learn about what goes into foods and what types of ingredients make my body feel ready to tackle a barre workout at Turn. For more healthy tips, click here and here

I always do this too - start the year with some crazy ambitious ideas about overhauling my whole outlook, diet, or lifestyle - but what I've discovered (I shared this with my email subscribers a few weeks ago) is that the only thing that will make a lasting difference is making the decision to do the little things differently. Whether that's trying one "clean" recipe, doing one workout class a week, or just taking the stairs at work, those tiny adjustments are going to pay off big time. 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I made these pancakes on my Instagram story a few weeks ago, and a whole bunch of people messaged me and asked for the recipe. They're really pretty good, and you could easily throw anything on top of them for a snack throughout the day. Maybe even freeze some pancakes ahead of time for meal prep? Just a thought.

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ C. coconut flour
  • 3 TBS milled flax seeds
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 3 TBS Chia seeds
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Toppings of your choice


  1. Several hours before preparing the pancakes, stir Chia seeds in almond milk and refrigerate.
  2. Mash ripe banana in small bowl. Mix in cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk two eggs
  4. Add eggs to bananas while mixing slowly to combine ingredients
  5. Slowly mix in milled flax seed, coconut flour, stir until combined. Batter may be a bit lumpy, which is fine.
  6. Melt about 1 TBS coconut oil on a hot pan
  7. Pour silver-dollar size pancakes on the greased pan over medium heat. Flip once side becomes golden brown. Remove from heat.
  8. Remove chia mixture from refrigerator - should be gelled together in a pudding-like texture. Use Chia pudding as topping for pancakes, plus honey and fruit or Greek yogurt - whatever you’d like.
  9. Enjoy!

If you try my recipe, comment below and let me know how they turned out - 
or even better, Instagram them and tag me - @thepdxbelle!

Friday, January 13, 2017

AirBnBs Worth a Return Trip

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I LOVE traveling in ways that enable me to meet new people. Hostels, Uber, train trips, and AirBnB are all sweet ways to make connections - like the time I met one of my grade school classmates by chance at a hostel bar in Munich. Or when I got to tour Linz with a local family and teach their four year old son English (he only could say "garden hose" for some reason). Or the Uber driver in D.C. who carried an umbrella in pouring down rain around to the backseat and helped me grab my bags because he knew I was in a hurry to get to work in Richmond. People are cool.

This is the cafe where I ate in Linz with the family that hosted me on AirBnB

I love the vibes that come with opening culture and home to travelers - so I'm sharing my four favorite AirBnBs across the globe that I think are worth a return trip.

In Oregon - this spot in Sisters was the perfect combination of romantic and adventurous for me and my then-boyfriend. I'm obsessed with Central Oregon, absolutely love Bend and Sisters, and was completely infatuated with the design of this little apartment. Piper, the host, was accommodating and easily reachable.

In Wisconsin - my friend Riley and I stayed in this gorgeous, handmade home on the prairie in Wisconsin. Our host, Kurt, built the home himself and stayed up for our late arrival to tell us about the origin of the cabin (really much nicer than a cabin), his handiwork, and his skills as a potter and also beekeeper. Waking up to the sun shining over rolling hills of crops and seeing red barns in the distance was unreal. We grabbed a $6 jar of honey on our way out, too - "take some honey, leave some money" was the sign on the stand.

In Virginia - I'm writing this post while staying in a suite at Roslyn Farm in Charlottesville. I'm here for a sales training with BH Media (my employer), and had a last-minute pet care emergency revolving around some mixed signals and late communication. Alexia, the owner of this gorgeous farm, offered to walk Holly (my hound/Swiss Mountain Dog mix) while I'm in training from 7:30 AM to 5 PM this week. She also welcomed me into her home when I arrived to meet her friends and her boyfriend and learn about the farm and her experiences - plus, she's a phenomenally talented painter and a Sweet Briar College woman - and we small liberal arts college grads have to stick together.

In Austria - Linz is in Upper Austria, and it's a much bigger city than Salzburg, more modern than Vienna, and a really interesting mix of old and new. Mario and Rebecca welcomed me into their home in charming Aldstadt (Old Town) as though I was a family member. I spent one day exploring on my own, and spent the next accompanying them to breakfast in the neighborhood, playing with their children, and tagging along to a local flohmarkt (flea market). I wish they needed an au pair - I'd be there in a heartbeat!

Have a favorite of your own or a favorite way to travel? Chime in below!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Windy City? Deep Dish Pizza?

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You may have gathered from my last post and some of my recent Instagrams that I spent NYE weekend in Chi Town with some of the gals I met while studying abroad in Salzburg during my senior year of college.

One more argument in favor of studying abroad (I could go on forever) - you make friends who could live anywhere in the U.S. More about my study abroad experience HERE.

My friends in Chi live in Lincoln Park. They both rent really cute old apartments near DePaul University, where they'll be finishing up school this semester. I didn't know what to expect from Chicago - I'd been there for less than 24 hours last summer on my road trip back to Oregon with my brother and stayed with cousins, who at the time lived in Wrigleyville. After this last trip though? I'm honestly kind of sold on Chicago. It's affordable, I ate amazing food, did some good shopping, and found that the public transportation is easy to use and many neighborhoods are walkable. Also - the weather helped. I didn't experience the biting winters Chicago is known for at all - I don't think it got below 30 more than once.

Sipping on some Austrian wine at the 3 Arts Cafe in Restoration Hardware Chicago!

Want the lowdown on my trip? Here goes.

Stayed in Lincoln Park. It was super walkable, felt safe, and was really pretty. We walked to the bar on New Year's Eve, walked to brunch the next morning, and walked to coffee and window shopping on Monday morning.

Ate so many things at so many places. The Bagelers for breakfast on NYE straight off the plane, lunch at Corridor Brewery in Southport (get the burger), brunch at Homeslice (wood in the restaurant is reclaimed from Oregon), dinner & drinks at Homeslice's sister Happy Camper in Old Town (get a pizza and goat sticks) where we were seated in a refinished Airstream trailer. Munched on mini donuts at Glazed and Infused (get the mini pomegranate old-fashioned), snacked at Devil Dawgs (got my Chicago Dawg!) lunched at Eduardo's Enoteca in Gold Coast (get the gnocchi).

Drank basically everywhere we went but of note would be Corridor Brewery (had a decent IPA and cool bike logo on the pint glasses), sold-out NYE party at State, morning mimosas at Homeslice, wine or fancy cocktails at Cindy's Rooftop - which has a killer view of the waterfront and part of downtown plus a rooftop bonfire and cool indoor vibe (spendy though - get a glass of wine for the view and call it a day), Pink Flamingo pitcher at Happy Camper, wine at Restoration Hardware - this is actually such a cool experience, I'll mention it again in a second!

Explored Lincoln Park - browsed at some of the adorable boutiques in the area, including Art Effect on Armitage, a personal fave. Southport - (where my cousins actually live now) has great shopping, although the majority of the stores I saw were something you would typically be able to find in most big cities. Downtown - we took the train (El?) to walk through Millennium Park and see the Bean because, well, Chicago. The Bean is something you see just to check off the list, in my opinion. Seeing the sheer expanse of Lake Michigan lapping right up to the edges of Downtown Chicago is more impressive.

Restoration Hardware - clearly not a neighborhood, but an interesting experience nonetheless. It isn't just a furniture store - it's a four or five story concept store that provides shoppers and tourists alike with an immersive experience in fully designed rooms and spaces that flow together as though you were touring a giant mansion. Plus you can drink while you walk around and then plop down on a massive leather sectional next to a floor-to-ceiling gilded mirror under a gorgeous pendant light. I was drooling over product, design, and experience all at once. Also, it's great for Instagramming, as you can see above.

All in all, I was really pleasantly surprised by Chicago. I didn't go in with much expectation other than to have a great time connecting with friends and reminiscing over our experiences abroad - but it only makes sense that when visiting with women I met while traveling across Europe, I'd be treated to a pretty cool little tour of Chicago, tons of good food, and wonderful hospitality.

By the way - I never had deep dish. Guess I'll be heading back!