Tampa Tuesdays: The Nutrition Factory

Last week, I was invited to a pre grand opening event at a new restaurant concept called The Nutrition Factory. It was built next to/kind of inside Powerhouse Gym in Tampa. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I had heard about possible smoothies? Protein powders? Meals? Once we arrived and were shown around, it all became clear…clear that I loved this place!

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As someone who has been blogging about health and fitness for seven years, I was particularly excited, and equally skeptical of this place. Let me tell you something. The heart and the thought that went into each and every single thing truly shows in the product. We walked in and loved the hip and fun vibe right away. There was a long table to sit at as well as outdoor seating.

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The menu is broken down into proteins, grains, veggies, and toppings. You can customize a bowl, salad or wrap based on this, or choose one of their pre-created concepts. They even have a bowl named “the boring bowl”. HA!

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Knowing I wanted to sample several things, I went with a Junior bowl. I got chicken for my protein, brown rice for my grain, and the loaded it down with toppings like edamame, avocado, cheese, and almonds. I also had a delicious dressing on the side.

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You watch your food as it is prepared, and can customize as you go.

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There is NO LIMIT on the toppings which was the best part!

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There is also a smoothie station where you can get a protein shake, or a cold pressed juice smoothie. I had a birthday cake shake, and Bobby had a S’mores flavored one and one called the Hawaiian Pie. All were amazing! We also got to sample the cold pressed juice smoothies and they are packed with fruits, veggies, and vitamins. There are so many options!

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This is one of Bobby’s bowls. he may or may not have had two. It was just so good!

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The Nutrition Factory also sells lots of product in their store, at great prices. The walls were lined with pre workout, protein powder, and the like. One of the owners, Michael, took a lot of time with us explaining the different products, and even helped my husband figure out what would be the best pre workout for him to start taking.

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Michael also told me of a really exciting concept they are bringing in the near future. He knows a lot of gym goers like to meal prep, but keeping food fresh all week is difficult, and some people just don’t have the time. He plans to offer a grab and go meal prep area, where you can come in and just grab your grains, or proteins, or the whole meals, WITHOUT having to join a subscription service where you have to purchase so many meals a week or month. I love it.

You could tell that Michael is truly passionate about The Nutrition Factory, and has big plans for it. Expansion may be in the future as well, but he and his partner want to focus on getting everything right with this store before expanding. I really hope they do expand, as this location is a bit far from my house, but it is definitely worth the drive. I’m already thinking up custom ideas for my next bowl.

QOTD: Thoughts on this concept attached to a gym? What is your favorite protein powder?

Tampa Tuesdays

Hello friends! Now that I am living in Tampa, I am slowly learning my way around (with and without Google maps) and trying to immerse myself in all things Florida and Tampa. Because Tampa is a MUCH bigger city than the one I came from in Mississippi, there is so much more to explore and to share with you all, so I decided to start a new series called “Tampa Tuesdays”. I probably won’t do this every Tuesday, but whenever I have something fun and new to share with you about Tampa, I will try to do it on a Tuesday. It’s actually a little deceiving because I will also share things from surrounding cities as well, but mostly focus on Tampa restaurants, stores, and experiences. I hope you will follow along as I explore my new area!

Today I wanted to share with you about an amazing restaurant called Pelagia. This restaurant can be found at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel.

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Bobby and I were invited for a special tasting of their Christmas and New Year’s Prix Fixe menus , which were created by Chef Brett Gardiner.You aren’t going to want to miss this if you are local! How it works is you get to create your own menu by selecting one starter, entrée, and dessert from the prix fixe menu. We didn’t experience all of both menus (that would have been way too much food!) but we got to sample items from each.

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We started with an appetizer plate which had smaller portions of four appetizers you can find on the special holiday menus.

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What I loved about the menu is that it paired ingredients together that I would never have thought to put in the same recipe, but they came out amazing! Bobby’s favorite was the duck confit with sunchokes, frisee, pomegranate, and port vinaigrette. (top of the photo). My favorite (which totally surprised me!) was the grilled pear, watercress, maple bacon, and walnut dressing. (Far right in the photo). The pear wasn’t mushy, and the bacon paired with it had the most amazing flavor. I must try tor recreate!

Next we were given four samples of the main course to try as you can see from the above menu. Bobby and I both agreed that the rack of lamb with the blackberry sage demi was our favorite. So tender and juicy.

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Lastly, we were treated with samples of four of the sweet desserts on the prixe fixe menus. Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, so I was most excited about this part, and it did not disappoint.

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My two favorites were the apple crumble dessert at the top left, and the eggnog panna cotta at the bottom right. It’s always fun to have festive holiday desserts, and these hit it out of the park. (The other two were wonderful too with great rich flavoring, but if I had to pick…) As a chocolate lover, I was surprised my two favorites were non chocolate, but that just goes to show how amazing they were.

The restaurant was beautiful and easy to get to from the front of the hotel, and the staff was warm and friendly. Even the private dining room had a unique flair, and a fun and funky chandelier.

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Reservations are available for seatings from noon to 8 p.m. on Christmas day, and throughout the day for New Year’s eve. The cost for Christmas day is $45 for adults and $18 for children 13 and under. For the New Year’s meal, the cost is $70 for adults and includes a glass of Prosecco (which I can attest, is delicious as well!). Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Please call 913-313-3235 for reservations, or you can make them online here.

*Bobby and I were provided a free meal from Pelagia, however all our thoughts and opinions are our own as we explore our new city! 

Farmer’s Market Date Night

Last night, Bobby and I had a date night. We decided to eat at a restaurant called County Seat at the town of Livingston, and it just so happened it was also opening week for their farmer’s market! You may remember me posting about Livingston before when we went there for Santa pictures with Emma Kate. We hadn’t tried this other restaurant so thought it would be a great opportunity.

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The décor was adorable, and we had a super cute booth. I love the tables!

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I ordered one of the drink specials. It was really good, but all I remember is it had prosecco and hibiscus in it.

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I ordered a burger on a pretzel bun and brie mac and cheese. The mac and cheese was delicious, and the burger was good but had a little too much pepper on it. Bobby got a tuna melt and sweet potato soufflé. It liked the sweet potato’s but we were disappointed in the portion size for the sandwich.

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I know I’m dorky, but check out how cute the bathroom is!

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After we ate, we walked over to the farmer’s market. It has been yucky and rainy all day so the turnout was small, but it was fun and we walked away with some lettuce, sweet potatoes, and a tomato.

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They had music playing and Home Depot was there doing crafts with the kids.

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The rain held off while we were there, which I’m sure the vendors were happy about!

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After that we drove around and looked at some open houses of new construction homes in the area. I may be in the minority, but I LOVE touring new homes. There is just something so fun and exciting about it to me, talking about what you love and what you would do differently. I rally enjoyed myself and am glad we were able to get away for a couple of hours. We will for sure be back at the farmers market this summer. If you are ever in the area, you should stop by!

QOTD: Do you ever go to a farmer’s market? Do you like looking at new homes?

Phonecia Gourmet Restaurant

 

Last night, my sweet husband took me out for a nice dinner.

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We tried a new place (to us) in the cute little downtown area near the beach in Ocean Springs. per a friend’s request, we pulled into Phoenicia Gourmet Restaurant. It’ was in a small older building, but the waiters were all dressed up in bowties, and there were candles on the tables and flowers. It is a Mediterranean restaurant mainly. Check this out on the wall.

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While we were deciding what we wanted, this was put on our table. It was pretty good!

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I decided on a steak, and Bobby got fish, amberjack I think.

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The steak and potatoes were REALLY good. The veggies were just so-so, and Bobby really enjoyed his meal as well. It was a relaxing atmosphere, and a live musician even started playing midway through our meal. We left full and happy!

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Overall: Food was really good, atmosphere was also good. Service we just so-so. We had some teenager who kept talking too fast I couldn’t understand him (boy do I sound old) but we had other workers refill our water, clear our plates, etc. and they were all very friendly. One drawback, it was pretty pricey. Definitely not your every weekend type meal. I would go back here for a special occasion though (or if I won the lottery!)

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I am about to go run ten miles with Bobby, fingers crossed we make it and I have no knee pain!

*Don’t forget, Monday I am hosting a raffle with all kinds of goodies, all to benefit Team in Training!

QOTD: Tell me your favorite thing about eating out for dinner

Play Day and mini goal rewind

 

I feel like I say this every week, but…Wednesday AGAIN? This week has been good, yesterday in particular was super. On Monday, Bobby worked from 8:00 am and didn’t get home till almost 9:30 that night, so he stayed home Tuesday and did some work from home.

He was supposed to have a 2 hour conference call but it ended up getting cancelled, so I drug Bobby along to the grocery store, and to run some errands.  (He did do some work on the computer though!) We also went out to lunch and tried this new place called Villa Rosa. It had things like pasta, subs, salads, and pizza.

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It was a cute little place, and the tables looked like they had old newspapers on them.

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Bobby ordered the pizza of the day which had pretty much everything on it.

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I had pasta and chicken with alfredo sauce

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After lunch (which just HAPPENED to be right next to Frosting… and it just HAPPENED to be Tuesday, Wedding cake cupcake day…) we had to get dessert.

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We all know what I got…

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and Bobby got Boston crème pie.

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I was so full I saved half of mine to eat later last night and I am so glad I did. I thought about the rest of that cupcake all afternoon and it was just as yummy!

When we found out Bobby’s call was cancelled, we went for an easy 3 mile run. I was feeling sluggish and heavy from lunch, and I ran hard the day before, so we took it slow. It was so nice having him home yesterday!

Ok, so onto my mini goal rewind. If you will remember, I set some mini goals for March and they went so well I decided to make some for April. HERE is the original post.

As a recap, my April mini goals are below, and results are in red:

1.) Finish all 6 weeks of my 6 weeks to 6 pack DVD. It’s important to me to finish this. A lot of times I have good intentions but don’t finish what I start, so I really want to do this (and because I want to buy a new swimsuit for the cruise and won’t let myself unless I finish this thing!) I am happy to report I FINISHED this! Review and pics HERE. I also bought my new swimsuit for the cruise!

2.) TOTALLTY unpack. I need an extra little boost to get the rest of this stuff done so it doesn’t end up hanging around for another month! I spent about an hour yesterday going through the last few boxes. I still have ONE box left, and its really just a box of sheets that needs to go in a closet, not really “unpacked” so I am basically done!

3.) Attitude overhaul. Due to some of the yucky things that did or didn’t happen this month, I feel like I need an attitude overhaul. Instead of focusing on my circumstances, I need to focus on having a better attitude and getting through the trials with grace instead of whining through them and wallowing in self pity. Thinking about how blessed I truly am and focusing on what I could be doing to help others is a good way for me to change my attitude. it’s hard to “find my place” in my “new” life, but I keep praying it will become clear to me! Still don’t feel very clear about finding “my place” here, but I do feel like my attitude was better this month. I still wish I had some direction and answers about some things, but I know that’s not always the way God works.

4.) Get our house sold! Yes…we still haven’t sold our old house yet. This would be a HUGE answer to prayer. I know this one isn’t really in my control, but I pray about it every day, and hopefully this will be our month! This one depresses me the most because I really don’t have control over it. House still not sold. Lowered the price yesterday. Again. Our neighborhood is building new super cheap houses by the dozen it seems, and several of them have sold, making it hard for our “used” home to sell. I really hope May is our month…we have GOT to get rid of this thing! It’s been on the market since September! UGUGUG!

So…not a totally successful month but not totally unsuccessful either. I will be back tomorrow with my May goals. Still thinking on these…..

**I NEED GUEST BLOGGERS! If you are interested in writing a guest post, please please e mail me! I have a few spots left I need to fill for the end of the month!

QOTD: How was April for you? Accomplish any goals you had set for yourself?