Sweating for the Wedding

So I kind of hate when people say they're "sweating for the wedding" because I feel like it implies people creating unhealthy goals for their big day or developing healthy habits that'll be given up once they're no longer a bride.

But I know getting married can be the motivation needed to create healthy habits that will be continued long after the wedding & that's what this post is about!

my furry fitness buddy

my furry fitness buddy

My Fitness Background

I played just about every sport growing up and was always playing on some team all the way through High School. I played one year of college field hockey until some health issues made it too difficult. I did yoga for 6 days a week until that also became too difficult. After getting that sorted out, I did BBG for a bit until starting CrossFit. 

I joined CrossFit in January 2017, but didn't start going regularly until April. In the summer, when I had literally nothing better to do (cleaning doesn't count) and Dixie refused to be outside for more than 30 minutes (no words can describe her level of diva - she's like Mariah Carey on steroids), I went to CrossFit 6 or 7 days days a week. I definitely saw a ton of improvement, but only for 6 months. After that, I wasn't getting faster or stronger, I wasn't burning fat, and I wasn't feeling my best. I also was in no way willing to take it seriously enough to adjust my diet or sleep schedule for further improvements. And why should I? If I want to have a cupcake for breakfast, or god forbid, eat breakfast instead of this crazy fasting fad thats going on, I'm going find my favorite Kate Spade plates and eat frickin' cake for breakfast.

Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC

Okay, also, if I'm being totally honest... I also don't care about being "functionally" fit. I'd rather go for more ‘fashionably’ fit vibe. Less donuts&deadlifts, more shopping-is-my-cardio.

HOWEVER, if you're in a place where your fitness goals seem unattainable and need a serious jumpstart to your fitness, I highly recommend going to CrossFit 4-6 times a week for 6 to 8 weeks. You will be magnificently sore, but after those 6/8 weeks, you will be able to do any workout class & do it well enough to get the maximum benefits from that class. 

I stopped going to CrossFit and paused my membership for two months to reevaluate my fitness goals. After I got engaged, I cancelled my membership for good. I think there are tremendous benefits to lifting weights and I love the olympic lifts, I couldn't justify the cost of a CrossFit membership just to have access to a barbell. Especially when i realized how much veils cost. Like WHAT!?

Mackinac Island, MI

Mackinac Island, MI

 My Wedding Workouts


 1. Body by MG

To satisfy my Doctors' emphatic insistence that I work with heavy weights, I downloaded Madalin Giorgietta's work out guide - Body by MG. Maddy is a former BBG girl who didn't enjoy the cardio or plyometric movements in BBG, so she created a guide that is entirely lifting. Plus, all the movements can be done or easily modified for my apartment gym. It's a great guide to building muscle where you want it (🍑) and toning where you want to be defined, but not bulky (💪). I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get in shape while avoiding cardio entirely. 


2. OrangeTheory


One issue that I had with CrossFit was how much standing around there was. If I'm going to spend an hour of my time working out, I want to be working every single minute of that hour. Enter OrangeTheory, conveniently located across the street from my office (and dangerously, next to Monkees). The moment you walk in the door, you are working and your heart rate is up. I also love how much cardio is incorporated! You're time in OT is divided between the floor (for weighted and body weight movements), the rowing machine, and the treadmill. I've never been able to run on the treadmill, but somehow I can at OT. I don't know how they do it. I don't know if the music or upbeat instructors, but its great. Plus, I love being able to check my heart rate and seeing if I need to step it up or take a breath. You gotta get those splat points!

3. Tone It Up

The only downside to OrangeTheory is its popularity. I have to book my classes a week in advance, and some times, I still have to sign up for the waitlist! On days where I know that I'm not getting off the waitlist, I use Tone It Up.

I've been using their recipes and meal planning guides every now and then, but I love their "5 Daily Moves" concept and work out videos. Even on my most exhausted mornings, I can drag my but out of bed for some coffee and 5DMs. Maybe I get a video done, maybe I don't. Either way is okay with me. The 5DMs are certainly enough to get my day started & they're FREE! 


I like to balance all of this with maintaining a healthy lifestyle & spending time outdoors, which is a little less appealing in the winter. I got my fill of winter & am not VERY ready for spring.

What are your go to work outs?

xs and os


Indian spiced chicken and veggies

Whenever it's chilly, windy, rainy, or the weekend, I crave Indian food. I'm basically always craving Indian food. There was a place by my old apartment in Baltimore with the best buffet on the weekends. For under $15, I could fill up on as much chicken tikka masala, vegetable pakora, tandoori chicken, garlic naan, vegetable biryani, kheer, and Nepali tea as humanly possible. It was a dream.


When we moved to Virginia, we had a  Staunton Dinner Club that would drive 45 mins to get Indian food. For a small town in the mountains that isn't really close to anything, Staunton has some surprisingly great chefs and frickin delicious food.  


After the move to North Carolina, I started making some diet changes. There was no Kenny’s, so my fried chicken intake decreased significantly (if you ever drive on 81 between Staunton and Roanoke, stop at Kenny’s in Lexington, you won’t regret it). I stopped frequenting Indian restaurants because we couldn’t find one we liked as much.

Making our favorites at home was the next best thing, but what to do about the rice? As much as I love cooking, rice has always been a challenge to me. It’s always to sticky or steamed, and I may have caused a few microwave fires via ‘microwaveable’ rice in my day. Something has to soak up all that yummy sauce. No ancient grain seemed to do the trick and, I'm sorry, but cauliflower rice is flavorless and stupid. But regular cauliflower? That can be crisped and roasted and spiced to perfection. 

So I went with a roasted cauliflower as a base and then started experimenting with other veggies. I’m not a fan of potatoes, and chickpeas aren't my favorite. But golden raisins are amazing! I finally settled on carrots, cauliflower, peas, onions, and golden raisins, but feel free to substitute any of those with your preferred vegetables! 

So customize as you like & enjoy some paleo-friendly butter chicken!  



  • 1 bunch small carrots, with tops

  • 1 head cauliflower

  • 1 can peas

  • 1 onion

  • 1 cup rehydrated golden raisins (to rehydrate, let sit in a cup/bowl of hot water for 30 min)

  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds

  • 2 tablespoons Garam masala

  • 6 chicken thighs

  • any type of Indian sauce - i've included my easy, customizable recipe below, but I also like Maya Kaimal sauces

01.  preheat at oven to 400, remove tops (set aside for later & peel carrots, cut cauliflower into florets, & chop up a handful of carrot greens

02. toss carrots (and any other veggies that take a while to cook) with oil and salt and roast for 10 minutes.

03. if making your own sauce, go ahead and make it now - my recipe is below. If using canned sauce, add it to a  large heavy pot and bring to a simmer. In a separate pan, sear chicken on both sides.  

04. add crisped up chicken to the sauce, bring to a steady simmer, lower heat, and cover. 

05. add the other veggies, lemon, and at least 1 teaspoon of garam masala to the carrots. stir and return to the oven. 

06. Once the veggies are soft, remove from the oven. Add any extra seasoning you want. Serve chicken on top of veggies with extra sauce. Enjoy.

...sauce recipe below


spicy sauce

  • 1 tbsp grass fed butter, ghee, or oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons garam masala

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 can coconut milk

optional spices:  

  • ground turmeric

  • ground coriander

  • ground cumin

  • paprika

  • extra garam masala

01. Heat butter/ghee/oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.

02. Add onion, tomato paste, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste has darkened and onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

03. Add garam masala and stir to let flavors deepen, about 4 minutes.

04. Add tomatoes with juices, crushing them with your hands as you add them or using an immersion blender. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot.

05. Add coconut milk and let simmer, stirring occasionally. Taste sauce during this time and add optional spices to taste. This is where you can customize the sauce to your personal preference and make it as spicy as you like. In total, let the sauce simmer for 30-40 minutes.

06. Freeze whatever sauce you don't immediately use. 



Happy cooking! 


Coming soon

I reeeaaally told myself that 2017 was going to be the year I post regularly, and I'm about 50% there.

I've been brainstorming and writing new posts regularly; I just haven't gotten to where I am ready to share them.

instagram :  @hellodarlingsblog

instagram : @hellodarlingsblog

I've been doing a TON of recipe development, and I've been pretty good about keeping at least a general idea of measurements. I even have a few that I've gotten the measurements down (YAY), but haven't photographed yet. I SWEAR THEY'LL BE READY SOON.

A few to look forward to:

  • Indian Spiced Chicken & Veggies

  • Protein-Packed Banana Bread

  • Clean Eating Pot Pie

  • Sweet Potato Nests Breakfast

instagram :  @hellodarlingsblog

instagram : @hellodarlingsblog

I've also been much more consistent with CrossFit - which for me means going 5-6 times a week. The workouts have been very snatch-heavy recently and I hate snatches oh so much, but I've been going anyway. uhg. Tomorrow's WOD has three segments and TWO of them are snatches.

It's really important that I get my body used to consistent CrowsFit because I'm going to add in triathlon training in early-April! Cardio is not my favorite, especially running, but I found a little spin studio that also offers cardio-circuit and tabata-style classes, so I've been mixing those into my workout schedule 2-3 times a week.

(PS. I hate tabata workouts more than snatches.)

instagram :  @hellodarlingsblog

instagram : @hellodarlingsblog

I'm starting to really enjoy stand up spin classes, especially now that I can manage to keep the beat and move the right direction (an embarrassingly huge improvement). Hopefully, stationary bike training translates to outdoor training! My sprint triathlon is in June,  but what I'm really worried about is a century ride I have scheduled in October.

The time I'm putting in at the gym inspired these upcoming posts:

  • Gym Bag Essentials

  • Best Post-Gym Shakes

  • 500 Rep Challenge

  • Best Benchmark Workouts

instagram :  @hellodarlingsblog

instagram : @hellodarlingsblog

I've been testing out a bunch of Clean Beauty-Swaps for my gym bag essentials and have found a few that I am OBSESSED with. I can't wait to share them!

Thanks for sticking with me during the radio-silence. I am regularly updating my instagram, even when I'm not posting here. Follow me here: @hellodarlingsblog