Orange Theory Fitness #KeepBurning

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I Burn for Tacos, Craft Beer, and Date Nights. #KeepBurning #OTF

When you first sign up for Orange Theory Fitness they ask you, “What Do You Burn For?” I wasn’t sure what to write down, or what it really meant so, I went with ‘Family.’ In my head, I was like, yea, I burn for my family. I want to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled lifestyle, and I want to be around for a very long time for me and my family. At the time it seemed very legitimate and like a “Nailed It”, moment. While it is still a legitimate reason, I now understand what “Burn For” truly means, and if you’re an OTF goer like myself, you know what I’m talking about. #KeepBurning

I do still “Burn For my Family”, but I also “Burn For”, tacos, craft beer, date nights, late-night snacks, pizza Friday’s, Ice Cream, specifically Two Roosters Ice Cream, Mitch’s famous Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Honey, and Banana Toast, and Lasagna at Christmas time. I’ve realized now that every time I come in here and Burn, it’s not so I am never allowed to treat myself, it’s to work off those times I treat myself. I absolutely am head over heels for Orange Theory Fitness and everything it stands for. For as long as I can remember, I’ve owned a gym membership. I’ve been going to OTF since August of 2017, and have had more progress in my health and weight in 4 months, than 4 years with a normal gym account.

I have never been a fan of group fitness and always thought the people who took those classes at the gym were absolutely crazy. It was like a nightmare for me to even think about being trapped in a room with 30 other sweaty and smelly strangers, getting yelled out by another stranger.

I joined the OTF location in Holly Springs specifically because one of my very dear friends, Racheal, got a new job there. She had been training me in her personal time for a few months, and when she was offered this amazing job opportunity and accepted the position, I was so proud of her but also a little sad. When she informed me so was no longer going to have time for our sessions I was heartbroken. She kept telling me to stop in and see her, and I kept telling her I was trying to save money and that I didn’t have it in my budget to join a gym.

I finally caved and decided to accept the OTF offer by taking 1 class for free as a trial. Well, the rest is history. I was hooked. It was exhilarating, challenging, awful, fantastic, personal, sweaty, adrenalin pumping, and terrible all at the same time.

Now, don’t go taking “awful and terrible” out of context. It was both of those adjectives because of how it made me feel afterward. Again, don’t go taking that out of context. I am a person who needs to feel something from a workout. I need someone pushing me, making the decisions, controlling the music, challenging me to do better, run faster, and try harder. I need someone paying attention to me and making sure I’m not slacking off; what I need is a coach, and that is exactly what Ginger from Holly Springs OTF does for me. She knows when I’m not giving it my all and she calls me out every time. She doesn’t even have to say anything, all she has to do is stand behind me when I’m on the treadmill, or in front of me when I’m rowing, looking at her stopwatch, and I know she’s standing there because she knows I try harder when she’s around.

I feel all these emotions and more after a workout, and it’s the greatest feeling in the world. I feel tired, exhausted, relieved, and proud of myself. Sometimes I even feel like laughing and crying at the same time. It’s incredible how 1 hour out of my day can make me feel like a better person. Sometimes I’m literally bending over backward to try and accomplish the task at hand, and other times I’m rowing like I’m trying to qualify for the Olympics. I’ve honestly never been happier with a gym. When I used to go by myself to the gym, I would lift a few weights, hit the treadmill, and call it a day. With OTF I’m inspired by the people in the room, I’m pushed by my coach, and listened to by the incredibly knowledgeable staff they have on hand.

Explaining to my boyfriend, Mitch, what a “Splat Point” is, has been hilarious. He now asks when I get home, “How’d your splat points go?” So sweet that he cares, or is pretending to care, that’s why he is so great. I could continue on about my love of OTF and why I joined, but hopefully, you get the picture by now. I want to be and feel like a good, stronger, better person, and I get that by attending twice a week here at OTF. This is not a paid or sponsored post. The only thing I am getting out of this post is the satisfaction of inspiring someone else to feel like anything is possible. It doesn’t have to be with OTF, it just has to come with you trying to achieve something you don’t think you can do. Once you do something that you didn’t think you were capable of doing, it’s an unexplainable feeling. My “FitFam” here at Orange Theory makes me happy and I’m so proud to be a member. I look forward to my workouts again, something I haven’t done since my basketball and soccer days as a teenager.

Another major reason I #KeepBurning, is because I am a cook. I run a food blog that allows and requires me to constantly be in the kitchen cooking, creating, and trying out new recipes. Some of them healthy, some of them,…not so much. I am also the General Manager at the Hibernian Pub on Glenwood Ave. in downtown Raleigh, NC, which sometimes requires late-night shifts with late-night meals. Always knowing when my next OTF class is going to be, keeps me grounded and has helped me to make better decisions when it comes to those recipe developments and late-night snacks! In particular, my new favorite On The Go snack was just posted on my blog, and you can find it here –> Gilly’s Power Up Feel Good Snack Boxes!

One more HUGE shout out to my coach Ginger, and my dear friend Racheal, for encouraging me every day and always helping me to reach my fitness goals. I love you guys! (Shout out to Trevor and Lis who are also very awesome people at the OTF in Holly Springs, NC!!)

Joca’s Big Sexy Dawgs!

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Cold Beer & Meat Sweats Visits Jocas Dawgs in Raleigh, NC at Lafayette Village!

My friend Arlene and I have a Yelp! bucket list that we like to attend to about two times a month, minimum. Considering it’s the 4th of July, hot dogs or cheeseburgers were a must, and Jocas was at the top of the list, so off to Lafayette Village we went. I mean, look at these Dawgs 🙂 

Raleigh can seem so tiny, but yet so huge. My Yelp! bucket list grows each week, and it’s an amazing and delicious challenge to try and get to all of the restaurants this city has to offer.

We went to lunch on Monday July 3rd and it was slower than usual because of the holiday. Which, turns out, is great when you plan on doing a photoshoot before devouring all the Dawgs!

The outside and inside of Joca’s is very simple and straightforward. The menu is handwritten and hung on boards on the wall, and changes from time to time. (He was still finishing the boards when we arrived, so the Sweet Treats board was the only one up at the time.) 

I respect, love, and appreciate small and simple operations that produce large and powerful menus. I also loved the Coca-Cola cooler full of glass soda bottles; took me immediately back to my childhood. 

Let’s talk about these Dawgs!

My first instinct and immediate thought was; ORDER EVERYTHING ON THE MENU!!! Taking into consideration that ordering all the Dawgs probably wasn’t in our best interest, we went with our top 3 choices; The Campfire Dawg, The Mexi-Corn Dawg, and The Philly Cheese Dawg. 

The Campfire Dawg was everything you dream a hot dog should taste like. Nothing says Happy Birthday America!, like a Hot Dog wrapped in Bacon, smothered in Baked Beans, Queso, Joca’s Smoked Ale Mustard, Joca’s Chipotle & Honey Ketchup, and Sweet Relish. OH MY DAWG! This little tiny, enormous beast had so much flavor is was like getting punched in the face, but in a good way! 

(Side note; the Campfire Dawg comes with sweet relish but if you prefer a different relish, just ask because they have both!) 

The Mexi-Corn Dawg is unrealistic. It almost seems illegal by all rules of a good hot dog. First, I have never tried or wanted to try, lettuce on my dog. Second, I’ve never thought to put a corn dog in a tortilla, alongside veggies and cheese, and call it a day. I’ve been doing it all wrong. Life is so much better with corn dogs inside tortillas, covered in cheese, and smothered with veggies. Do not ever turn your nose up to a corn dog in a tortilla, trust me. 

I have to be honest, this picture makes me want to lick the computer screen. I mean, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! This dog will change the way you think about dogs. On this glorious fire grilled tortilla, they layered a mixture of chopped lettuce, green onions, and freshly diced tomatoes, then topped it with an All Beef Frankfurter Encrusted with Sweet Corn Kernels, served it with a combination of Cojita and Queso Cheeses, and drizzled it with Chipotle Mayo. This is a real thing, and it exists in the world, and it happened to me yesterday!!!

It also came with Lime wedges because, why not? 🙂 I hope I have been able to express to all of you, just how enjoyable this particular dog was. What an experience! If you go to Joca’s and try this dog, make sure to tag #JocasDawgs and #ColdBeerMeatSweats because, I want to hear all about it!! 

The Philly Cheese Dawg is a game changer. I feel as if I’ve been to quite a few hot dog shops in my day, and no one has ever offered me sliced hot dogs, in the form of a Philly Sandwich. And now that someone has, I don’t know why all other hot dog shops wouldn’t follow suit?! I wasn’t sure what to expect, it was a love it or leave it type of situation for me, and I absolutely loved it!

The mixture of the sliced and grilled hot dogs with onions and peppers, Jocas Hot Pepper Relish, and melted cheeses on a Amoroso Hoagie Roll, was phenomenal. I know I wrote how amazing and delicious all of these dogs were but, in this case, I saved the best for last. If you don’t go with a friend, or just want to try one at a time, this is the one I would try. It’s so different, and the flavors and creativity dance around your mouth like… the Macarena on your tongue!! 

Unfortunately, we were too full to try a milkshake, or a piece of their “Million Dollar Pie” but, we will be back my friends, we will be back! Also, I love this sign, it makes me so happy! 

Lafayette Village has so much to offer! This place is such a beautiful and fun area, and is perfect for the whole family! (Click on the Lafayette Village link above to go to their website!)

Other places we visited yesterday in this area that I love are; Orrmans CheeseThe Chocolate Boutique, and The Olive Wagon .

*Don’t forget to check out Jocas Dawgs online menu so you can plan for your next trip! *