Road Trip Stop #11: Bryce Canyon, Utah

July 25, 2016

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Another day, another National Park! For this leg of the trip, we traveled south, deeper into Utah headed towards the famous hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park.

To get from Park City to Bryce Canyon, we went a bit out of our way to visit Hell’s Backbone Grill (a recommendation from our Fletcher’s waitress in Park City!) for dinner. The restaurant is located in Boulder, Utah (who knew that was a place?) and as far as we could tell, it’s a very popular restaurant in the middle of nowhere. We dined outside on biscuits, deviled eggs, boulder beef braise and the dinner jenchilada . Even though this stop added a couple of hours to our drive, I’m so glad we went. Road trips are all about the random stops along the way, finding those gems in the Boulder, Utah. We were told Hell’s Backbone Grill has an amazing brunch, just so you know, in case you happen to be in Boulder, Utah anytime soon.

Bryce Canyon

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Following dinner, we drove near Escalante and made our way to Bryce. We spent the night at Bryce View Lodge (one of the more bare bones hotels along our trip). Not something I’d go out of my way to recommend, but it was fine. Next door was a nice looking Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand, probably the nicest option in the area.

We called it an early night because one of the best times to be at Bryce Canyon is sunrise. We set our alarms for way too early, and headed to the park around 5:30am for the 6:30am sunrise. Since sunrise is the best time to view the park, we thought there would be a line of cars to get in. LOL, no. While there were lots of people, we did not need to get there so early. Also, it was SO COLD! I think the temps were in the low 40s and for middle of the summer, this was unexpected. I grabbed extra layers from the trunk and we waited at sunrise point.

As the sun rose, the most gorgeous light spread across the park. We took in the views and walked to a couple of overlooks to view the hoodoos. In the pictures below you can see the colors brighten as the sun rose.

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Huddling up to stay warm as we waited for the sun to rise!

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He’s smart and wore a fur coat.

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Look at that light!

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Bryce Canyon

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Even though we only viewed Bryce from a couple of overlooks, it was beautiful. Compared to some of the other National Parks on our trip, it wasn’t my favorite, but that may be because we didn’t explore beyond the well beaten paths. We didn’t hike or camp or dig dipper than main viewing areas, so I can only imagine there is so much more to explore. With a cross-country trip, you can’t do it all, but I’m glad we got a glimpse at the beauty of Bryce!

Refueling After an Intense Workout: What I Eat

July 24, 2016

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Recently I’ve been trying to take my workouts to the next level. I want them to be challenging and I want to feel and see results. When you work out regularly, you can feel the difference between just going through the motions, and really pushing beyond your comfort zone. For me, I get out of my comfort zone with HIIT in the gym and adding sprint bursts to my runs. The workouts that challenge me most–EVF360 in NYC, Orangetheory Fitness in SF (+ tons of other cities) and BBG at home.

One thing these intense workouts have in common is extreme hunger following the workout. I can literally feel my body craving protein afterwards.

You should aim to eat protein within an hour of finishing your workout to help build muscle and aid in recovery. The problem is, that hour can go by really quickly. If you workout before work, that hour is likely consumed as you get ready for the office, and if you do your workouts in the evening, things pop up and your post-workout nutrition is forgotten.

Let’s make this foolproof. Here are the easy ways I get the necessary nutrition after a workout, while staying true to my high protein-low carb eating goals.

Two Hardboiled Eggs + 1/2 an Avocado: A dose of healthy fats and protein which keep you full until your next meal. It’s an easy prep-ahead breakfast option, you can make a week’s batch of eggs on Sunday. I add a dash of salt and pepper, plus a ton of hot sauce.

Berries + Almond Butter: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are low sugar fruit options and the healthy fat from the almond butter makes this is a well-rounded snack.

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Smoothie + Protein Powder: Give you smoothie some oomph with the addition of a protein powder. If you make it just with fruit, you won’t be satisfied. My latest obsession is Daily Harvest (use code ShapinUp2 for 2 free smoothies with your order!), they deliver frozen pre-measured smoothie ingredients. All you do is toss the contents in your blender with water or almond milk and blend. I add in a 1/2 scoop of Premier Protein Powder when I have the smoothies after a tough workout.

Refueling Daily HarvestProsciutto + Melon or Avocado: This is one of my favorite Paleo snacks that takes about 3.2 seconds to make. Cut the avocado or melon into spears and wrap the prosciutto around it. Ta-da.

Protein SnackPhoto via.

Paleo Muffin + Cashew Butter: Bake up a batch of Paleo muffins or bread (I love Simple Mills mixes) then load it up with cashew butter (Trader Joes‘ is addictive). Wrap it in foil, toss it in your gym bag and have it ready when hunger strives.

Refueling Protein Breakfast

These protein-packed options are all a mix of healthy fats and low sugar, low carb ingredients. Don’t skimp on the fats, that’s what will keep you full and satisfied.

I don’t believe that refueling with protein is necessary after every workout. Only some of my workouts have me craving protein right after I finish. After yoga, lighter runs, pilates, etc, I don’t feel the need for protein and if you feel that way too, don’t force it.

Do you have any super intense workouts to recommend? And how do you refuel after? Please share below!

This post is in partnership with Premier Protein. All content and opinions are 100% my own.

Road Trip Stop #10: Park City, Utah

July 21, 2016

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Does it seem like it’s taking forever to get through the road trip recap? It feels that way for me, but I guess we did travel across the entire country, recapping all those miles takes time! The next stop on our journey was by far the most luxurious. We were totally spoiled during our night in Park City, Utah.

First, we made a quick trip into Deer Valley in search of cookies. About two years ago we were in Deer Valley and were told to get the famous cookies. We thought we got them and were underwhelmed, and then I was informed that we didn’t go to the right place. That’s pretty much what spurred our reason to stop in Park City during this road trip.

We met up with a Deer Valley PR rep (so she could tell us about Deer Valley and also so she could ensure we wouldn’t get the wrong cookies again!) at Deer Valley Grocery & Cafe. We lunched at the dog-friendly back porch. I had the salad with curry chicken salad (so good) and if I were to go back, I’d definitely order the gazpacho, looked amazing. I hear the turkey chili is also a crowd pleaser. And of course we stocked up on cookies: chocolate chip, snickerdoodle & double chocolate. They lived up to the hype! YUM. Thank you Lara for pointing us in the right direction & making this a successful cookie trip.

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Next we checked into the Waldorf Astoria Park City.  We had a gorgeous suite with a full kitchen, washer & dryer (key when you’re driving cross country), a patio, and most importantly, the most luxe set up for Ollie. Waiting in the room was a dog bed, filled water bowl and dog treats. Oh and for the humans, a beautiful charcuterie platter (later enjoyed on the patio). And upon check in, the Waldorf gives you their special vanilla mint lip balm, which is kind of random but also kind of amazing.

Ollie was in heaven, as were we. We spent the afternoon laying pool side and couldn’t have been happier.

Waldorf Astoria

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Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.33.07 PMWhile Ollie had a dog bed, he’s spoiled and ended up taking over the king sized bed, per usual.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.34.47 PMThe Waldorf has indoor fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. Lovely in the summer, and I bet feels great in the winter.

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Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.35.54 PMSorry, I can’t get enough of this guy.

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A morning routine we could get used to. The Waldorf has the coziest robes.

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That night, we went into town for dinner at Fletcher’s. It was really good, and extra special because our waitress had recently traveled to Zion, the next stop on our trip. She gave us a big list of things to see and places to eat. Her advice helped guide our trip. Downtown Park City is really cute with tons of good restaurants to choose from. It was hard to choose but Fletcher’s turned out to be a perfect pick.

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Watermelon cocktail, yes please.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 3.33.37 PMParmesean truffle fries, an obvious choice.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to snack on s’mores. The Waldorf sets up complimentary s’mores at an outdoor fire pit, a sweet way to end the night. In the morning, I spent some time at the hotel gym (such a nice place to work out!) and then we stopped by Powder for breakfast before hitting the road.

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Our stay at the Waldorf was perfection. The staff was so friendly and helpful and I really can’t say enough about the hotel amenities. Full disclosure, our stay at the Waldorf was complimentary but opinions are 100% my own. If I could stay at the Waldorf on all vacations, I would. Clearly, so would Ollie 🙂 A huge thank you from the three of us to the Waldorf Park City for giving us this much-welcomed luxurious stop along our journey.

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Ollie stopping to smell the flowers before heading out for the day.

Park City in the summer was a new and great experience. We hope to return back this winter for a longer trip & a chance to hit the mountains.

Next up, we go back to roughing it and visiting more National Parks. Details coming your way next week!

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