about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Counter Burgers & A 30-Day Yoga Challenge.

Last night we were excited to head out for a fun dinner on the town.  Less than TWO weeks left to enjoy the pretty green views from our front porch…

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With just a few short weeks here in Charlotte, we had our final visitors!  Casey’s Aunt Tracey and her friend Steve are in town for a business meeting, so we met up with them to enjoy Charlotte’s best burger joint – the Counter in Southpark.  (Why did I not get a picture of them?  Fail.)

I was the only one of the group who had been to The Counter before, so I guided our group through the menu, starting with two Hobo Packs for the table.  Parchment packs of freshly grilled vegetables – soooo good, without too much extra butter or oil like you typically get in restaurants.  One of the healthiest appetizer options I’ve had to date!  After running 15 miles that morning, our veggies went from this…

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To this…

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In about 30 seconds.  I was starving!  Next up – the main courses.  I love these clipboard checklists, even though I always choose waaay too many things.  Check out all my X marks!

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I went with a veggie burger on top of a salad of mixed greens with avocado, roasted corn and black bean salsa, grilled onions, black olives, sprouts, pineapple, and dijon balsamic dressing. 

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Believe it or not, there is a veggie burger underneath all those toppings.

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Check out Casey’s monster stack – he opted for the 2/3 lb burgers instead of the 1/3 lb, which ended up being two huge veggie burgers stacked on top of each other.  Quite the mouthful!

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Our group also split a trio of sweet potato fries, onion straws, and regular french fries.  Pretty sure I dominated 90% of the sweet potatoes.

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At dinner, Tracey and Steve gave us this mysterious unlabeled bottle that looked just like wine…

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But clearly wasn’t, since they know we don’t drink anymore.  Turns out it was organic grape and blueberry juice – YUM!

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I took a sample straight to the face.  This juice makes a delicious mocktail mixed with sparkling water – thank you Tracey and Steve! 

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She also brought me a few avocados, because clearly I have a problem.  Looking forward to devouring these for lunch, mmmmm.

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After a fun night out, it was early to bed for us since I had a 6:30am hot yoga date with new friend Jen!  Which brings me to my next topic…

Life has been so crazy and disorganized these past few weeks that I haven’t even gotten to TELL you guys about m
y fun yoga challenge!

My 30-Day Yoga Challenge

When August 1st hit (weeks ago!) and I knew I was going to be moving in a month (sniff), I decided to give myself a yoga challenge – go every day for 30 days.  My teacher has told me that the only way to really see the effects of yoga is to do it a LOT.  So with one month left at my favorite studio, I bought an unlimited pass and have gone every single day since.  (Confession:  I have missed three days due to Chicago travels, and long runs.)

Today was day 23, and I am just NOW telling you about it.  Better late than never, right?  I’ll be back with a full recap on day 30 to assess how 30 days of straight yoga has affected my practice and my flexibility.  The best part of all?  Look who is doing it with me!

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Casey even went by himself when I was in Chicago – true dedication to the challenge.  We are both really excited to see if yoga can make us better runners and athletes.  And with that, a fun yoga tutorial post coming up this afternoon… (Two posts in one day, what?  I promised you guys more, so I hope you’re ready for it!)

Namaste.

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54 Comments so far
Leave a comment

wishful nals     at 10:16 am

good for you! i am going on a yoga retreat over labor day — better get going! :) by the way, loooove your yellow shoes. so cute!

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Ginna     at 10:20 am

That burger place looks awesome! I wish we had something here like that. I too love avocado and grilled pineapple!

Wow, 30 days of yoga! Are you doing all types or just hot yoga? Can’t wait for the recap!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I’ve been doing hot vinyasa and power mixed.

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Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)     at 10:26 am

Wow – that’s an impressive looking veggie burger!
cute dress too =)

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Betsy     at 10:33 am

excited to hear what you have to say about your 30 days of yoga! i want to do that sometime. something i am curious to hear your perspective on – do you think hot yoga/power yoga is an acceptable substitute for strength training/weights?

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Well I will definitely talk about that at the end of the 30 days, but to answer your question – YES. I think if you do tough, power yoga consistently over the course of the week, you can replace strength training. We both feel amazing!

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Adrianne@ Flex-appeal     at 10:37 am

I love the concept of that restaurant…so cool! I am very interested to hear what you think after 30 days (ok minus 3 LOL) of yoga!

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Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward     at 10:37 am

Love that outfit!

That’s so nice that Casey is going to yoga with you. I’ve been trying to convince my husband to come with me but it hasn’t worked yet!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

He has actually really enjoyed it!

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Katie     at 10:42 am

1. The Counter is amazing. Kirt and I need to go again soon. 2. I didn’t know Tracey and Steve were in town. 3. I really wish I could find a good (and cheap) yoga place close to work or our house that offered early morning or late evening classes. With all of the stay-at-home moms around here they only have classes from like 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. – not very accommodating for my schedule! :-(

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yep! Only here for one night. That sucks that your studios don’t have earlier or later classes – I usually go at 6am!

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R @ Learning As I Chop     at 10:46 am

So jealous of yoga everyday. It’s so hard to get to it in terms of scheduling etc.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

That has been the biggest challenge, but we just committed to doing it and stuck with it. Even if we have to go at 6am!

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Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes     at 10:54 am

I LOVE the idea of a 30 day yoga challenge! I only wish I could get my hubby to do it, too. :)

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Jen     at 10:58 am

Love the veggie burgers at the Counter. Sad that they’re closing and turning into a weird sushi/burger hybrid.

I’m going to miss seeing you at yoga. So glad you could do this 30-day challenge before you move! Can’t wait to hear your overview at the end.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I talked to the waiter about the change – he claims they are pulling out of the Harper’s Group franchise, and going to just do a local thing. He said he got to do a tasting of the new menu, and that the burgers are even better! Crossing fingers.

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Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef     at 11:03 am

that is quite the burger! love it :)

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Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 11:27 am

I need those bean burgers! I have been craving bean burgers like crazy. I guess it is time for me to soak some beans and get in the kitchen! Enjoy your day!

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katherine     at 11:48 am

LOVE that you’re doing the 30 day yoga challenge and I can’t wait to read your recap!

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Kristy     at 12:20 pm

#1 Avocado #2 (GOOD Quality) Sweet Potato Fries #3 Drinking out of the bottle = Does not get much better!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Avocado is number one on my list too. :)

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Stacey (The Habit of Healthy)     at 12:23 pm

Yep, I love those checkbox menus too and I always pick too many things, or things that don’t really work well together. We don’t have them in the UK though, I’ve only seen them in the States. Looks like a good meal with good company.

[Reply]

ilana     at 1:01 pm

First of all, you look super cute in your dress and yellow heels! :)
Second, good job on the yoga challenge! I have been trying to do that for years, but something always breaks my stride (usually it was school). Enjoy your time at your studio, and I can rec’d a few here in DC/Arlington area.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you! I am very excited to find a new spot in DC when we get there,

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chelsey     at 1:06 pm

oh my goodness… that burger joint looks to. die. for…. i am honestly getting really angry at my lunch right now because of it! :)

I need to get into yoga more. I constantly say that, but I really do!!!

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Amanda (tomboy that wears makeup)     at 1:11 pm

That is awesome! A challenge I am going to try is yoga and hiking everyday for a week straight. First day tomorrow!
I love yoga, but don’t do it nearly enough, and i am feeling stiff!!!

Good job-30 days in a row-wowzers!!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome – good luck!

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Natalie Rae     at 1:23 pm

Oh my goodness- so funny- I have been craving a burger for a while when I saw your post this morning… I jumped on the phone and called my dad to meet me at The Counter tomorrow when I saw that I could do bunless from your post- perfect option! Thanks!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Haha that’s awesome! The bunless salad option is totally the way to go, because you and load up on the toppings without a big mess.

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Jean     at 1:37 pm

I’ve been doing yoga almost every days for a few years now and it really has changed my life. Hope you are having fun with it and keep it up!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I am loving it – planning to continue when we move!

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Tina     at 1:38 pm

I bet 30 days of yoga feels fabulous! Can’t wait to hear your reflections on it.

And that dress is adorable on you!

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Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner     at 1:52 pm

I’ve been to the Counter once in LA and I must go back. Your burger and fries look amazing, especially those onions!! I just bought an unlimited monthly pass to Bikram that I plan to start after Labor Day. Do you feel different from doing your month of Yoga?

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I LOVE cooked onions. I was pretty excited about that massive pile. So far, I am LOVING the daily yoga – makes me feel great every day!

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Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner Reply:

I’m nervous for it, since Yoga isn’t my strong suit but I hope I really keep it up.

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alexe @ soyaetchocolat Reply:

I’m a big fan of cooked onions too! I wish we had a Counter here in Montreal! Everything look so good…

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Neen @ Broad Bean to Runner Bean     at 2:33 pm

you look so pretty in that dress, on your balcony, very healthy and glowing! your lifestyle pays of for sure! how nice of them to bring you a lovely non alcoholic drink! very thoughtful!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Ahhh you are so nice! Thanks :)

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Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 2:35 pm

I want to try some of those sweet potato fries. We ordered house-made sweet potato chips at a restaurant last week, but I was disappointed in them. I think the fries would have much more of the sweet potato flavor.

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Andrea     at 2:45 pm

I’m so excited to hear about your 30 days of yoga. I really want to do something like that too but there are no convenient classes near me. Boo!

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Liza     at 2:59 pm

I’ve been wanting to do the 30-Day Yoga Challenge at my studio! I know I will do it at some point. Can’t wait to hear how it was!

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Emily @ Run Emily Run     at 3:34 pm

Gotta love the pick-your-own toppings joints. I’m interested to hear more about your experiences with yoga. I’ve never quite gotten into it, but maybe I just need to try it more frequently!

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Amber from Girl with the Red Hair     at 3:34 pm

Oh exciting, I can’t wait to hear about this yoga challenge because I am doing one in September. I bought an unlimited yoga pass to my yoga studio in September. It’s a Hot Yoga studio that does mostly Bikram but sometimes has flow and moksha classes. I did a 7-day challenge before and found that going for 7 days in a row made a HUGE difference to my practice rather then just going once a week or so (what I usually do)!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Same here – I typically went once a week before. Now that I’m going every day I feel completely different.

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Chicago Cuisine Critique     at 3:44 pm

That veggie burger salad, sounds awesome!

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Samantha     at 5:06 pm

I completely agree, the more you do yoga, the better your practice becomes. Even 20 minutes a day on busy days beats 5 day breaks. Getting to the studio is a challenge for me with 2 kids (that are in school, sports, etc), a regularly deployed husband, my business, etc. But I try to go when I can, and do what I can at home as well. Life is better with yoga!

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Janine     at 6:43 pm

Let me tell you that I really appreciate the frequency with which you post. It is truly a highlight of my day to see a new post from your blog. I look forward to even more in the future.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome – that is so nice to hear! :)

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Hangry Pants     at 10:17 pm

My 30-day yoga challenge was seriously the best thing I’ve ever done for myself!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

YES! I hope I can keep it up when we move, maybe not every day, but most days. I feel so much better and more centered with yoga in my daily life.

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Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen     at 2:20 pm

That veggie burger salad looking amazing and totally inspired my dinner last night!

Way to go on the 30 day yoga challenge. I started doing Bikram earlier in the year. I’m training for a half ironman and my first marathon, and I’ve noticed that yoga has made a huge difference in my running & how I feel!

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Amanda @ Bakingwithoutabox     at 3:08 pm

That burger dinner looks great. So glad you’re enjoying your last few weeks before the move.
Congrats on coming so far in the 30 day yoga challenge and convincing him to stick to it too! Hope you find a studio you like in your next town.

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Danielle     at 3:18 pm

Emily, I’m really curious to hear your feedback on the 30 day yoga challenge, especially in the context of marathon training. Doing a 30 day challenge is on my constant “to-do” list but I always end up prioritizing running- feeling like dedicating myself to yoga will somehow impact my running performance. And that burger looks AMAZING.

[Reply]

Jordan     at 2:42 am

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[Reply]

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