TeaDM: Drink the Vibe

TeaDM Lounge is a bubble tea bar at Eden Center (a Vietnamese American strip mall) taking the DMV by storm. It currently shares its location with another restaurant called Pho Va, allowing guests to enjoy Pho with their tea creations. While visiting California 3 years ago, owner, Jay realized that the bubble tea trend was really catching on in the states. After lots of research and lots of practice brewing tea in his home, Jay perfected the art of bubble tea making. He decided to open his own shop in September 2016. Brooke Silverman (who took all these great photos) sampled teas with me and captured the moment.

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(TeaDM owner Jay telling us his story)

TeaDM 411:

  • Unlike other bubble tea, TeaDM’s tea is made with a 90% natural tea base and uses very little syrups and powders
  • Jay makes his bubble tea’s with 2-3 flavors layers in a cup making every sip a new experience
  • TeaDM’s bubble tea can stay fresh for up to 5 days
  • The business’s name is based off a combination of Tran’s two passions: tea and electronic dance music (also known as EDM)
  • Menu item names are were created as a spin on popular EDM songs and artists

What’s on the Menu?

Brooke’s Choices:

Thai Milk Tea:

Thai tea and sea salt creme

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(Thai Milk Tea in all its glory)

Sea Salt Matcha Green Tea:

Green Tea Matcha with Sea Salt Crème  with aloe vera jelly

Antioxidant with chia seeds:

Honey and Lemon

Brooke’s favorite was the antioxidant bubble tea. Jay gave her a to-go bottle to take home. Brooke drank the tea in the morning as a breakfast drink and she loved it. It gave her a great boost of energy at work in the morning. While the taste was light and refreshing, the chia seeds in the bottom filled her up.

Lauren’s Choices:

Rated R:

Rose, Raspberry, and Pomegranate tea

Protein Milk Tea:

Yummy milk tea with protein powder. Not on the menu yet!

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(Exclusive protein milk tea)

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(Where tea gainz meet protein gainz)

Vietnamese Sea Salt Coffee:

Coffee, Condense Milk, Sea Salt Crème

The sea salt coffee was my favorite. It was the first Vietnamese coffee I have ever had and it will not be my last. The coffee was rich and strong and perked me right up.

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(Vietnamese Coffee makes me giggly)

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(Mmm look at that)

Shared Favorite:

The sea salt matcha green tea was by far our favorite! Their sea salt cream is homemade and super rich. Since TeaDM’s bubble teas have a 90% tea base, the matcha flavor was prominent but balanced with the sea salt cream. Fun fact, as a caffeinated drink, matcha not only gives you and energy boost but it also relaxes you as well due to the amino acid L-Theanine. It promotes the productions of alpha waves in the brain which induces relaxation without causing you to crash after having an energy boost like coffee and other energy drinks can sometimes cause you to do.

TeaDM is really left an impression on us both. Brooke, an avid bubble tea drinker swears it is the best bubble tea she has ever had and I think the service is great and the tea is tasty. The amount of different combinations, Jay’s very apparent talent and passion, and the overall TeaDM vibe will make you fall in love with this bubble tea shop as much as we did.

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(Me zoning out with the Rated R and Vietnamese Coffee, LOL)

Go visit TeaDM at:

6765 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044

Phone: (703) 901-2384

Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/teadm-lounge-falls-church

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Teadmlounge

Instagram: @TeaDMLounge

*All images captured by Brooke Silverman of calmprettyinsightful.com*

Book Brooke for your photography/promo here: http://www.calmprettyinsightful.com

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Powerlifting Form Check with My Coach Dylan Smith

This is my 10th week being a part of the True Fitness & Nutrition family. My strength coach Dylan Smith is a fellow JMU alumni where he graduated with a BS in Kinesiology. Dylan is a well-known strength coach and powerlifting competitor in the Northern Virginia area holding many certifications. Dylan is a USAPL Club Coach and NPTI Certified Trainer in addition to being a former instructor for the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI).

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(Dylan making 600 lbs. look easy)

From my personal experience working with Dylan so far he has superior attention to detail, strong emphasis on achieving optimal form in all lifting movements and is very responsive and attentive to client questions.

I met up with Dylan at his awesome gym, True Fitness & Nutrition in McLean, Virginia, where we went over my fitness goals, nutrition, and proper form for all 3 powerlifting movements: bench, deadlift and squat. He was so helpful and helped me improve all of my lifts significantly with just a single two and a half hour session. Below I will be sharing some of the great advice I have gained about powerlifting technique and form from working with Dylan so far.

General Powerlifting Tips:

  • The lifts to use wrist wraps on are bench, squat and military press. There is no need to use wrist wraps on pull ups, rows or deadlifting.
  • We discussed breathing & bracing and how they are essential when performing basically any exercise. If you combine both every time it will help you maintain proper form and increase your powerlifting total.

Breathing & Bracing are two different things that you must do together:

  • Breath deep into your belly (360 degree expansion and pressurization of your core with air)
  • Brace (360 degree expansion of entire core with muscular contraction)

*A neutral spine allows for optimal function of the diaphragm leading to proper belly breathing

  • It is also important to be consistent on every single rep for every single lift. Habits are hard to break so let’s make sure we are making the correct form choices and forming the right habits.

Squatting:

*Before you lift make sure you are wearing Olympic lifting shoes if you can. (Like these http://www.reebok.com/us/lifter). Unless you are one of the few lifters that feels strongest in flats, Dylan recommends squat shoes for optimal squatting. Wrist wraps are very useful in the squat so make sure to wrap up tightly with wraps completely covering the wrist joint for best support. Additionally, a quality powerlifting belt will improve your ability to squat due to enhanced bracing especially on heavy lifts.

Focus on This when Squatting:

  • Set your grip evenly on the bar outside of shoulder width. Typically, the best grip for an individual is the most narrow grip possible that allows the lifter to retain a depressed and retracted shoulder position along with an extended upper back. Many lifters cannot take a narrow grip due to range of motion issues so use the grip you find allows for the strongest squatting positon.
  • Step under the barbell and “break the bar over your back”, the bar positon should be somewhere close to resting across the rear delts or top of shoulder blades although some lifters will feel stronger with a slightly higher or lower bar position. Again, find what works best for you.
  • Get both feet under the barbell and make sure that you are loaded directly over the middle of your feet with about a hip width stance. Un-rack the bar by locking knees and hips.
  • Use a 3 Step Walkout: One foot straight back approximately one foot-length, second foot step back and out to the side, first foot step to the side. This should allow for a repeatable and consistent walk-out which will set you up for long term squatting success.
  • One you are in a proper squat stance take a deep breath into the belly (maintain a proper brace throughout!)
  • To descend, simultaneously break at the hips and knees and squat until the crease of the hip is directly below the level of the knees.
  • Hit depth and then immediately come back up in a controlled manor while exhaling forcefully into the lockout.
  • Make sure to remain tight the entire lift

Video of Squat Form

Benching:

*Before you lift make sure you are wearing Olympic lifting shoes if you can. (Like these http://www.reebok.com/us/lifter). If desired, wear wrist wraps with them wrapped tightly and completely covering the wrist.

Focus on This when Benching:

  • Keeping shoulder blades pulled down and back together like you’re trying to squeeze a pencil between your shoulder blades.
  • Driving your feet through the floor to anchor your upper traps into the bench and reinforce good upper back position. (retracted and depressed shoulders)
  • Sustain a quality back arch while benching making sure to keep your feel fully on the ground and your shoulder blades down as previously stated.
  • Keep strong wrist (knuckles up).
  • When benching, keep elbows beneath the barbell throughout the movement. This will create a bar path that arcs down and forward onto the body and then up and back as you press.
  • Remember, if you can reset your upper back tightness at the top of the repetition, this means you lost it along the way during the previous rep. Strive to maintain position and tightness for optimal benching.

*Make sure that when you un-rack the bar that you take bar out of rack by just locking out your elbows

*Keep your shoulders retracted (pulled back together like squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades) during the entire set, from un-racking to mid benching.

Video of Bench Form

Deadlifting:

*Before you lift make sure you are wearing completely flat shoes such as converse and are wearing a proper powerlifting belt

*A powerlifting belt should made of thick leather and be of one width and thickness all around in either prong or lever design. Good companies to purchase from are Inzer, Best Belts, and SBD which are all high quality as well as IPF Approved. Do yourself (and your spine!) a favor and get a quality lifting belt. The brands listed above will last a lifetime (Inzer “Forever” Belts even come with a lifetime warranty)

Dylan’s Tips on Proper Deadlift Form:

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  • Step to bar with mid-foot beneath barbell
  • Hinge to grab bar with arms locked in straightened position
  • Set back flat as you take the slack out of the bar (pull tightly against the bar by pressing your feet through the floor). *You can drive your hips up and back while doing this
  • Big air into belly after you have taken the slack out of the bar (you can feel and hear the “click” when using metal plates)
  • Pull chest up while keeping shoulder blades above barbell, and allow shins forward into the bar as you wedge into the start position
  • Pull!

*Shoulder blades must be aligned over the bar in order to initiate the lift off the floor. If you rock behind the bar when setting up you will “tip” forward until shoulder blades are above the bar.

Video of Conventional Deadlift Form

Video of Sumo Deadlift Form

Overall make sure to maintain proper form and be consistent on all your lifts. Make you have the proper gear when you’re lifting and that with every lift you are conscious of your body and how it is moving. In order to get the most out of your workouts, record your lifts and review your form with your coach or compare yourself to the videos I provided above.

(Inside True Fitness & Nutrition)

Make sure to check out True Fitness & Nutrition across all social media platforms and to consider any of their amazing certified strength coaches. Follow Dylan on IG @Dylan_C_Smith

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Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites Review

The cake bites do not have exact cake texture but are soft and tasty. Personally I think they are much more exciting than your typical protein bar. They make a good occasional treat or dessert. I honestly enjoyed all three flavors and would get them again.

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Birthday Cake: my favorite, tastes just like funfetti cake mix, I love the adorable rainbow sprinkles. Be careful on lots of websites they charge more for this flavor.

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Red Velvet: These bites have a white chocolate shell with a delicious moist red velvet filling. These treats make a great sweet craving buster. They contain only 5g of sugar. They are soft and decadent. Not chalky, easy to eat and light and fluffy. They nailed the white chocolate shell also.

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Chocolate Dipped Cherry: They have a good taste and are appetizing. This a creative and unique flavor for protein treats.

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I cannot wait to grab more of these. I love treating myself to this amazing snack.

Make sure you are following Optimum Nutrition across all social media platforms for giveaways, news and coupons:
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Copperwood Tavern Restaurant Tasting

My first tasting and review at Copperwood Tavern with my foodie photographer friend, Brooke Silverman (who took all these awesome photos!) was an absolute blast. We were generously invited in to try a bounty of delicious meals, apps, desserts and drinks.

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Copperwood Tavern is a farm to table restaurant with two locations in Northern Virginia (one in Ashburn, Virginia at One Loudoun and one in Shirlington in Arlington, Virginia). The original location in Shirlington has been open for a little over 3 years. It serves lunch, dinner, and on the weekends it also serves brunch. The executive chef James Duke and the beverage director Jody Hessler work with an array of local vendors and suppliers to incorporate seasonal and local ingredients into the menu including True Farms, Sun Power Farms, and Earth and Eats. James and Jody are very passionate about bringing quality food to the table of their customers.

Copperwood 411:
• The proteins come alone on a plate and all sides are Homestyle and meant to be shared.
• Candlelight dinner experience
• Come hungry, leave happy

What’s on our menu?

Lauren’s Choices:

  • Bacon Rebellion
    Wild Turkey 101, house-made maple-orange syrup, aromatic bitters, and bacon

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  • Baby Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad
    Garlic and anchovy dressing, sourdough croutons, shaved Parmesanhfghfg.png
  • 8 oz Grassfed Filet Mignon
    Topped with bourbon and green peppercorn sauceiuiu.png

Brooke’s Choices:

  • Southern Sparkler
    Georgia Peach Moonshine, house made pear syrup, sparkling winehgfhfghf.png
  • Farmers Salad
    True Farms mixed greens topped with poached pears, pomegranate seeds, crumbled bleu cheese, and pomegranate balsamic vinaigrettefhfghftgh.png
  • Baked Lump Crab Cakes on top of a cornmeal crusted tomato
    Topped with tarragon remoulade, and dressed arugulautyuytut

Shared:

  • Grilled Rappahannock Oysters
    Topped with Parmesan, parsley, butter, and garlic crumb with a grilled lemon on the sidejhgjghjg.png
  • Bruschetta
    Topped with wild mushrooms with herbed goat cheese and balsamic reductionhgfhgf.pngghgfh.png
  • Truffled Mac
    Topped with garlic panko breadcrumbsuyiuyi.png
  • Sautéed Broccoliniyuytu.png
  • Chocolate Truffle Cake
    Vanilla Punch Soaked in Devil’s Food, dark chocolate, and chocolate dipped strawberry.iuiuiiuyi.png

Brooke’s Favorites:

  • Farmer’s Salad: Brooke got the small portion of the farmer’s salad which we were pleasantly surprised to see how large it actually was. The greens and toppings in the salad were super fresh, full of antioxidants and the ingredients were nicely paired. What really stood out was the poached pears. The dressing was slightly sweet and invigorating.jhgjh.png
  • Grilled Rappahannock Oysters: This Brooke’s first time having grilled oysters. She enjoyed the taste of the oysters and said that the butter and lemon on the oysters really elevated the taste.

Lauren’s Favorites:

  • Filet Mignon: The steak was melt in your mouth delicious. The sauce added a nice flavor without overpowering the delicious meat. The mushrooms were well cooked and lightly seasoned.iuyuiu.png
  • Bacon Rebellion: The whiskey drink I got came with super crispy thick cut bacon strip on top of my drink. The best strategy to enjoy this drink is to alternate cocktail sips with bites of bacon. This beverage was surprisingly refreshing and light regardless of the rich whiskey flavor. This is actually very perplexing. The salty bacon compliments the sweetness of the drink perfectly. We were also told that you can stir your beverage with the bacon strip, I tried this and it resulted in soggy bacon so I think I will stick with eating it on the side.hfghfghf.png

Shared Favorite:
Truffled Mac and Cheese: As you can see we had to get through a TON of food and had to save ourselves to an extent to make sure we could taste each of the dishes. There was not a single dish that we could not stomach all of except the truffle mac and cheese. The secret ingredient that got us hooked? Smoked Gouda. Trust us, once you start eating this you won’t want to stop.

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Overall we were super impressed with Copperwood Tavern. Farm to table restaurants are always refreshing because you can feel good about eating locally and you know what you are putting into your body. It’s also nice to know that Copperwood puts an emphasis on serving seasonal and fresh produce. The freshness and quality shines across all their dishes to us that is reason enough for us to highly encourage that you try Copperwood Tavern the next time you get a craving in the Loudon County area.

Make a reservation today:
Copperwood Tavern Shirlington: (703) 552-8010
Copperwood Tavern Ashburn: (703) 724-4006

Check out the menu here: www.copperwoodtavern.com
Book Brooke for your photography/promo here: http://www.calmprettyinsightful.com

Keep up with Copperwood online:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/CWLoudoun/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/copperwoodtavern

*All images captured by Brooke Silverman of calmprettyinsightful.com*

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Pronuts

Who doesn’t love chocolate dipped strawberries! These donuts bring together the best of both worlds. They are great for on-the-go or you can even make them to impress your friends. Let’s keep it our little secret how healthy they are and easy to make. 😉

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What’s a pronut? Simply a protein packed donut.

Ingredients:
-1/2 Serving almond butter
-2 egg whites
-1 ripened mashed bananas
-1/2 cup oat flour
-2 strawberries
-1 spoonful baking Truvia
-1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
-
-1/2 scoop true nutrition strawberry whey
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp vanilla extract
*Optional: Chocolate Dollop vegan frosting (Discount code Eatingbrofood)

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Directions:
-Mash the banana
-Mix all ingredients but frosting in a bowl.
-Spray donut tin with coconut oil spray
-Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 16 minutes
-Once the donuts are done, melt 1 tbs of frosting and drizzle on a donut if desired

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 1 unfrosted donut 2.4g 10g 6g 84
Macros for 1 donut + 1 T Dollop 8.4g 15g 6g 164

*Makes 6 donuts*

You’re So Much More Than a Body

Let us love ourselves unconditionally independent of the confirmation we may get from others.

Seek confirmation from within.

Are you happy with yourself?

Think beyond appearance.

Ask, are you happy with your heart?

What have you done for others?

How have you treated those you love?

How are you treating those that hurt you?

How have you treated yourself?

NewPop Product Review

NewPop will be your new favorite snack when dieting and living a healthy lifestyle. NewPop is only 32 calories a cup and is bursting with flavor. Although it is low on calories it is surprisingly satisfying. Their popcorn is the worlds first skinless popcorn. It has no oil, no butter, no salt, no GMOs and is gluten free. NewPop comes in 3 flavors: Original, Hot & Sweet and Sweet Cinnamon.(I apologize in advance for the festive photos a little late in the game. hehe).

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My personal favorite was the Sweet Cinnamon because as my friend pointed out during our tasting. It’s flavor profile is almost identical to Honey Smacks cereal without all the added sugars to weigh you down. It is light and flavored deliciously.

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Runner up was the Hot & Sweet. I love how when you first taste this popcorn it is sweet but after a while you feel a slight burn at the end. This will definitely keep your snacking interesting!

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Finally we have the original flavor NewPop this one is good but is the most bland. It is slightly sweet.

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I highly recommend this for those of you counting your calories and eating in a deficit or just anyone looking to consume less”empty calories”. You can purchase NewPop here.

Make sure you are following NewPop across all social media platforms for giveaways, news and coupons:
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