Philly’s Own Women’s Summer Camp!

I remember it like it was yesterday…

Imagine one week to focus on yourself. A better body, confidence, lessons learned, fabulous food and fitness, inches and pounds lost (without going hungry), and unparalleled results.

The first time I ever seriously considered a “Wellness Retreat” was through the former Golden Child of the Philadelphia fitness scene, Lithe Method, their “lithe escape“. It sounded great… until I saw the price point.


Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 2.07.08 PM.png

Not including the flight there, the time taken off work for a week vacation, etc….


Having only recently finished grad school, my bank account (and accrued vacation time) could NOT handle that.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 10.41.38 AM.png

Luckily, the gang from Rise Gatherings knows that, though luxurious, these week-long tropical yoga- or fitness-retreats are NOT for everyone. And they managed to bring the best parts about a retreat (i.e. gorgeous natural scenery,  healthy foods, opportunities for fitness, workshops focused on body and mind) and pack it into 42 hours just down the road from Philadelphia (well, about 120 miles down the road, but no flights required!)

Rise Gathering is a summer-camp-for-women experience “designed to promote personal growth, enhance overall well-being, inspire collective connection and share some serious fun.”

Sounds good, right? Well, there’s more.

What’s got me excited about Rise Gatherings?

  • 305 Fitness – This insane NYC-based dance fitness class is 90% cardio, 10% toning and stretching, and looks 100% badass. Like Zumba turned up to 11. I’M IN! (especially since the class hasn’t yet made it’s way to Philly)
  • Kayaking and Waterfall Hike – Since Rise takes place at Camp Canadensis, we’re actually going to be able to do things as if we were at summer camp. HECK YES.
    Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 2.36.45 PM.png
  • Bonfire – The night you arrive is kicked off with a bonfire celebration to welcome everyone. I only pray they have enough s’mores for the rest of the women….
  • Options – I like yoga, but I’m not obsessed with it. I could use some more mindfulness in my life, but I don’t want to spend the whole weekend focusing on it. Plant-based cooking is a part of my life, but not a HUGE one. Rise Gatherings is offering you the chance to make this weekend exactly what you want. By bringing in a number of women all focused on different practices and specialties, it’s like a “Choose-your-own-adventure” book.
  • Connections.

According to one of the producers:

Rise Gatherings is much more than a one time event.  We are launching a community of empowered women of all ages who want to raise their voices, spirits and hands.

There are few things more inspiring than a community of empowered women of all ages. This is why I’ve already convinced my mom and sister to join me May 12-14 (That’s right, it’s Mother’s Day! Bring your mom!)

AND because I’m slightly obsessed with the concept and wanted to share it with everyone, I reached out to Rise Gatherings and got a special code in case you’d like to come along.

Use code: food_sweat_beer at Checkout for a $50 discount off your ticket OR a double ticket for you and a friend/mother/sister/soul-sister.

I can’t guarantee there will be enough s’mores to go around after I get a crack at ’em, but I can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be an amazing weekend!

Six Pack Sunday: First Edition

Over the past week, there have been a few little snippets of my life where I’ve thought to myself “man, that was funny/silly/weird/awesome.  I’d like to blog about that, but I doubt I could write a whole entry regarding it.”  Then it hit me like a brick over the head (which is an extremely effective way to hit someone): I’ll merge them all into one silly wonderful post!

Once a week, on Sunday (barring any natural disasters that discourage me from writing it on Sunday) I will write a post titled Six Pack Sunday which will contain SIX things that I’ve been thinking about or excited about or disappointed in or anything like that.  Sort of my way of tying up loose ends from the rest of the week, so I can start fresh and new on Monday.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you

The Inaugural Six Pack Sunday

  1. There’s nothing worse than finishing a pack of Arnold’s Sandwich Thins. It’s like saying good bye to a delicious friend that has been there for you through thick and thin(s). Breakfast to dinner. Sometimes snacktime. However, I have found a way to cope with this grief, this sense of loss.  And it involves tuna fish sandwiches. If you are not a fan of tuna sammies, feel free to look away, skip to #2, or substitute your favorite tuna sandwich-esque salad like chicken or egg. Make the tuna as you normally would (I like mine with a can of Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore and about two spoonfuls of Hellman’s Low Fat Mayo). Add whatever seasonings you normally do. Now, here’s the sad part: Remove your final Sandwich Thin from the bag (this works best with 7 grain or, in my case, the Naturals Whole Wheat Flax and Fiber.) Placing that aside, here’s where it gets glorious. Dump all the seeds, the bits and pieces of flax and goodness that have fallen off your sandwich thins in days of old, into your prepared tuna.

    It should look like this.

    Seriously. It’s like a farewell kiss from your sandwich thins to you, a way of giving you one final benefit to the countless they’ve bestowed upon you already. It adds flavor, texture, and general good vibes. Do this, and be happy.

  2. If you’re a fan of Family Guy, you might be familiar with this skit:

    And that’s great.  But what’s even better is when you pass one, IRL, and can recite the entire thing by heart.

    Yes. Getting up close/personal with a real Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man

  3. My feet are size 13 in most every style/designer of women’s shoes. Being that I’m 6’1″, this isn’t all that hard to believe. That being said, I went to Nordstrom Rack today with high hopes of finding a classy sandal.  The selection (of approximately 30 shoes in my size) all looked basically like this:

    Your pick: White lace doilies, bright red suede booties, or cow spotted heels?

    No wonder I spend most of my time in Men’s sandals/Sperry’s/sneakers…  It is my gift, and my burden.

  4. It’s almost Fourth of July. Which means that I could not resist running over to Old Navy (inspired by Courtney at Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life) and picking up my new favorite bathing suit.

    So much patriotism, so little fabric!

    I am sure to be the bell of the ball (and the beach.) All this (both pieces of the bikini and a pair of shorts) ran me a cool $3 (I had a groupon that I purchased for 10, entitling me to 20 dollars worth of goodies. Even still… I felt like a recessionista. (Please, don’t hate me for using that word, it’s the only one that seemed to fit here.)

    Look! Even bottles of wine in the shape of cats are getting into the American Spirit!!


    (Side note: on my beau’s 21st birthday, one of the first things he legally bought me was a bottle of this Black Cat Riesling. Few things taste sweeter than wine out of a [glass] cat’s head.)

  5. A little while back, I signed up to receive a free sample of one of Power Bar’s newest products: Protein Plus Bites.

    Yay, protein! Cakey, gross, dry protein.

    These were definitely not a win in my book, and I would never buy these (at least not these exact ones…) There are about 8 in a pack I think, and offer 20 g of protein and 300 calories. I thought I’d have two after my workout today on the elliptical. About 33 minutes racing myself and the 6 other people in the entire gym, and some lower ab exercises at my favorite workout spot (O2 Fitness-Falconbridge Club) I thought these would be a great way to get some protein easily. Unfortunately, all I could stomach was one.  Dry, with a very chemical tasting chocolate taste, and a gritty texture, I almost threw away the pack. I just can’t waste stuff, so I left the rest in there…. maybe my beau will want to try someday. I doubt these things even could expire, though, so they’ll probably outlive me.

  6. After my disappointing protein snack, I opted for a much tastier lunch. Frozen Yogurt!

    They had patriotic sprinkles!!

    The beau and I swung by Tutti Frutti, which is officially our new spot for frozen treats this summer. It was SO affordable (6.25 for two of us, and we did not skimp on the toppings). I went for a combination of cheesecake, birthday cake, orange, papaya, and blueberry yogurt with toppings like sprinkles (red, white, and blue of course), mochi, gummy bears, pineapple, strawberry, and a few sunflower seeds covered in chocolate. For a full review, feel free to check out my Yelp post, but to sum it up: AH-MAZING! got the taste of those yucky protein balls right outta my mouth.

Now, I’m off to watch the end of Resident Evil: Afterlife and have a date night courtesy, of course, of LivingSocial (feel free to click to sign up, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year+).  Until then, I’ll be making sweet cinematic love to the finest men and women fighting the umbrella corporation. Namely, the badassery that is: Milla Jovovich.

You keep eating that Froyo, I got this.

Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday, y’all! I hope it’s full of tasty foods and maybe your own personal six-pack!