Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe


Coconut Milk is one of my favorite plant based milks to drink and cook with. I love creamy Thai coconut curry! I love drinking a creamy coconut milk based smoothie. And although, I have been making all of my own nut milks at home, I have been a little intimidated to make my own fresh coconut milk. How the heck do you do that? Doesn’t the milk come straight from the coconut?

Facts on Coconut Milk:

Coconut milk comes from the flesh/meat part of the coconut. Mature coconuts have more natural milk, while younger coconuts have more water. In order to obtain the natural milk from the coconut, you have to grate the flesh of the coconut and squeeze the milk, in most cases you have to add water to the freshly grated coconut flesh to obtain more milk. 


While I was in Thailand, I drank coconut water (not milk) right directly from a fresh coconut. However, because I live in the USA coconut trees aren’t available, darn! But my local organic market has organic shredded coconut or frozen organic coconut flesh, which makes it easy to make your very own coconut milk at home. 
Coconut Milk Recipe:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded organic coconut.
  • 3-4 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 sea salt
  • Vanilla bean

Directions 

  1. Add all ingredients to your Vitamix or high speed blender. 
  2. Blend well.
  3. Once blended pour milk through a mesh cheese cloth and squeeze through.
  4. Enjoy creamy smooth coconut milk.
  5. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. (It is so good I highly doubt it will last that long.)

You can use this coconut milk in smoothies, lattes, curries, etc. Just keep in mind that coconut although full of vitamins is also high in fat, because if this I like to incorporate it into my diet along with other plant based milks, so I’m not over indulging in just coconut milk. 

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite nut milk? Have you made coconut milk before homemade? 

New Years Resolution time!


New Years Resolutions…

Some hate them.

Some love them.

Some set them and easily reach them, while others struggle. 

Some bullet journal.

Some set a resolution/goal for each month.

Some set resolution/goal for each part of their lives. 

I have written about New Years Resolutions before on this blog. You know… I am pretty big on goal setting.

I normally set a detailed goal with a plan of action. That way I have a strategy of how I’m going to reach the goal and by when. 

This year, I want to do the opposite. 

People don’t set Resolutions because they assume they won’t ever keep them. Well guess what?! You don’t have to reach every goal. 

This year, I’m going to set a crazy, dreamy, big goal, that is almost unreachable. I want to see where this goal will take me, and what amazing things I will learn and discover along the way. This goal isn’t about reaching the goal, it’s about he journey. 

Happy 2017! 

Do you set New Year Resolutions?

copyright 2017 sweat1xdaily 

2016, the year I became a badass Mother Runner! 

2016 was a very SPECIAL year! 

Zoe was born, August 2015, so by the start of 2016, she was 4 going on 5 months old. By this point, I knew my daughter pretty well. And although, she was constantly changing and growing, my confidence as her mother had grown.

It is a weird thing to say, but in the beginning even the most confident woman in the world, feels, life is a little bit out of control when they become a new mom. But eventually, I discovered a new normal, and created a consistent, but flexible routine, that brought order to our busy household. (Side note: This routine and order also allowed me to train for my fourth full marathon.)

Also by the beginning of 2016, my fitness level had finally started to improve. At this early part of the year, I wouldn’t say my fitness was totally back to the way it was before Zoe, but I was feeling a lot stronger, and my runs were more comfortable and enjoyable. I knew by the time Zoe was 6 months old, I would feel confident running with her in the BOB running stroller. I was so excited for that day!!

2016 MADE me a MOTHER RUNNER!!

Before I became a mother, I always admired the BAMRs on the trail. Effortlessly running, all while pushing a stroller and caring for a tiny human. I only hoped that once I had a child, I too would be out there running those stroller miles. 

In late February 2016, this dream came true, and I was finally able to include Zoe on my runs. We went out for our first stroller run together, and we both loved it! 

I feel so fortunate to be able to work out with my child by my side, instead of having to find a babysitter. It makes it so much easier to just bring her along.  I now have two tiny eyes watching every move I make… so making healthy choices is very important, now more than ever. Living this healthy lifestyle is a priority to me, and I am so glad I can include Zoe at such a young age. 

However, it wasn’t easy at first, it took some time to adjust to running with the stroller, but I got the hang of it. Again, runs became enjoyable, and I felt strong and confident. Nothing feels better than passing another runner on the trail while pushing a stroller. Plus, Zoe loves being out there, taking in all of the sounds and colors of nature, and the fresh air is great for both of us! 

Soon, with Zoe by my side, I began to train for all the races I had lined up for 2016.

Race Recaps
In 2016, I ran six races! Each of them, were VERY special. 

Race 1 – The Cherry Blossom 10 miler was my first postpartum race. It was so cold and windy that day, and I really didn’t know how I would do. It was more of a test race. I decided not to look at my watch and just run by feel. I ended up surprising myself running it faster then I thought I would, finishing in 1:31:12. (Side note: At the Expo, I met Meb, the Olympic marathoner, Boston Marathon winner, and I discovered Mana Threads a new awesome athletic clothing line.) 

Race 2 – The Parkway Classic was my second postpartum race. This was a beautiful run, and again I ran it faster then I though I would. My goal was to finish under 1:30, I reached that goal finishing 1:28:49. 

Race 3 – The Navy Half Marathon was my 3rd postpartum race. This was also my first time running this half marathon. I registered a couple of weeks before because it fell in place with my marathon training plan. A lot of other runners I knew used this race as a training run for marathon training. I ended up racing it and I’m so glad I did. I ran it faster, then I thought I could, I finished in 1:53:54, which made this my 3rd half marathon under 2 hours. Woohoo! 

The summer heat was making me have some long slow training runs. I was getting worried about running the Marine Corps Marathon. Would I be ready? After running the Navy Half, I felt great! It felt amazing running that fast, and it brought my confidence back. My marathon training was paying off, and I was ready to run with the Marines. 

Race 4 – The Marine Corps Marathon was … my fourth full marathon, my fourth MCM, my first full marathon as a mother runner, my first race that I ran a portion with my dad. Overall, this race is my all time favorite, and was the most special I ran this year! I ended up with a new marathon PR, finishing in 4:17:01. I loved this race so much, that I slowed down a bit, just so it wouldn’t end. 

The marathon distance is my favorite distance! And once again, this race reminded me of that. 

I had so much fun at MCM, that I experienced the marathon blues after, and almost signed up for the Richmond marathon which was two weeks later. 

Race 5  – The Operation Turbo 5k was a race that a friend of mine was organizing in order to raise money for her foundation. I signed up a couple of days before hand in order to show my support. I couldn’t remember the last time I raced a 5k.

I was very excited to do it, because it was my first opportunity to race with Zoe. Although, I had done most of my marathon training miles with her, I had yet to race with her. 

It was awesome and we placed second for females. 

Race 6 The Alexandria Turkey Trot was by far the most crowded race I ran. It was my second race with Zoe. It was hard to maneuver the stroller around the crowd for the first two miles. But once we got around the crowd, we started to fly. The best part was hearing Zoe laugh, pointing out the doggies and demanding me to run faster, shouting, “Go, Go, Go mama!”

Some other RUNNING highlights!

2016 was a year of connecting with others.

I’ve always been a solo runner, and now because I am a working mom, sometimes it is hard with my schedule to meet up for runs. However, in 2016, I found ways to connect with other runners and other mothers. 

*I joined two running team/groups in 2016… I joined Mom’s Run this Town, (MRTT) and Oiselle Volee. Both of these teams were inspiring and motivating in different ways. I didn’t get the chance to run with these groups because of my work schedule. However, I did follow along with them through social media. 

Oiselle Volee is a team I run for. I had been wanting to join this team for a while and finally in 2016 I got in. I love what this team stands for… it is all about empowering women. 

It is also nation wide, so I was able to follow most of my fellow Oiselle teammates on instagram. And I was able to meet some birds at races! They had an awesome cheer station at mile 20/21 at MCM. I am hoping in 2017, I will be able to go to more Oiselle runs and events! 

I also joined Mom’s Run this Town. Again I only had the chance to meet up with them once, however I followed the MRTT facebook page, and was very active on it. Again I hope to meet up with these ladies more in the upcoming year.

Even though, I was only involved through social media, these groups inspired me and held me accountable

*I started using a running app in 2016… I also found ways to connect with other runners by using Strava. This running app is awesome. I still wear my Garmin 620, but Strava allows me to follow other runners training, while they follow mine. It also immediately shows me my mile splits! I love Strava and I am so glad I started using it in 2016. Again helps inspire, track, connect, and holds me accountable.

I have a couple of favorites for 2016

*My favorite piece of running gear for 2016… was with out a doubt my BOB REVOLUTION PRO! 

This running stroller allows me to take my daughter with me on my runs! It is the reason why I was able to train for the Marine Corps Marathon and set a new marathon PR. 
*My favorite race of 2016… was the Marine Corps Marathon. 

The marathon is my favorite distance. I trained hard for that race, training in the record breaking heat. All of the hard work paid off and I was happy with a new marathon PR. Plus, I made a very special memory running with my dad. 

*My favorite cookbook of 2016 is Run Fast Eat Slow. 

I am always trying to find new fun recipes, even more so now that Zoe is eating solid foods. 

Also nutrition is huge, especially while training for a marathon. This was my go to cookbook! I love the story behind the book. The authors are inspiring on their own, and each recipe is based on fueling the runner’s body. Every recipe I have made is easy, delicious, and healthy. 

*My favorite place I ran this year… was the Green Belt in Boise, Idaho. 


In the beginning of October, my husband, daughter, and I took a trip out to Idaho to visit family. I brought all of my running stuff, knowing I had to continue marathon training and find some place to get my long run done. 

Turns out I ran almost every day when I was in Boise, even running a 12 miler. I ran on the Green Belt and it was one of the most beautiful refreshing trails. Running in Idaho felt amazing because the cooler temperatures was a great break from the heat wave we were having back east. 

(Side note: I also had the opportunity to run in Martha’s Vineyard which is my favorite place to run. It too was refreshing because of the ocean breeze.)

*My favorite training moment… was all of the stroller miles I did with Zoe.

In 2016, stroller running became my thing! I never knew I would love it so much, but I do.

*My favorite things I saw while running, were not necessarily the gorgeous views, but rather when I randomly came across this amazing piece of street art. 

After seeing one mural, I started to notice them everywhere. I decided to make it my thing. Instead of always focusing on the mileage, I decided to also embrace city running and try to discover more art. 

Then while running in Martha’s Vineyard I randomly came across a huge spider web. I didn’t see any street art because it’s the beach life up there. But after seeing this spider web, I was reminded that nature has its own little artists always creating. 


I later saw a spider web on almost every long run. When you are out there running a 15 or 20 miler you are going to see some interesting stuff. 

*My favorite Running Podcast is… Another Mother Runner. I couldn’t get enough of these BAMRs. 

I never really listened to podcasts in the past. But in early 2016, while taking Zoe on walks, I needed something to listen to. So I came across Another Mother Runner Podcast. These ladies have a couple of books, which I bought and read while I was pregnant with Zoe, but once I found out they had a podcast I was hooked. I tune in every week and I am now a pretty loyal listener. 
*My favorite most inspirational runner of 2016 was Shalene Flanagan. 

Olympic Marathoner Shalene Flanagan was the most inspirational runner for me. And her moment at the Olympic marathon trials with her bestie Amy Hastings was by far the most inspirational moment

There were other inspirational runners as well such as Jen Shelton, the Ultra marathoner from the book, Born to Run. On some of my long runs I would listen to the chapter about her over and over again. 

Speaking of books, I read a couple of running books and reread Born to Run. 

*My favorite new running book I read was… My Year of Running, Dangerously by Tom Foreman. 

I also read a Running a Love Story, by Jen A. Miller. Both of these books were inspiring because they were about mid packed runners. 

Goodbye 2016, you were great! 

So that sums up my Running the Year 2016. For me, 2016 was a year all about my two favorite things: motherhood and running. The highlights were definitely watching my Zoe grow into this incredible, smart toddler. And as for running finishing the Marine Corps Marathon, with a new marathon PR. 

I am very proud that I was able to time manage and fit marathon training in, while also being a new mom. 

This proves to me, that you don’t have to sacrifice the things you use to do, because you have a child. It is possible and important to continue to do the things you love, while also being Mom. 

2016 has been an inspirational year, which built my confidence more than ever before. I became confident and comfortable in my new role as a mother.  I regained my fitness and began to run stronger with more confidence and passion. 

Ultimately, 2016 was a teacher. The most important thing I have learned is… that I don’t have to travel to an exotic place, or hit a huge life milestone, to have an incredible year. The year doesn’t have to be a huge one… It is the small, everyday, ups and downs that are so beautiful. 

And although, running a marathon is a pretty big deal, I ran that marathon in my backyard. My point is … as I watch my daughter grow, she has taught me… you don’t have to go far in search of greatness and growth. This greatness and growth is right in front of your eyes or with in yourself.

Thank you 2016 for making me a BAMR!! 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily

Christmas with Zoe at 16 months. 

Christmas is a magical day, especially when a toddler is involved.

This was Zoe’s second Christmas, and I had plenty of friends tell me, that at 16 months she would still be to young to understand. Well this little lady, understood plenty, and had a blast.

Let me start from the beginning…

Thanksgiving ended, and I was ready to start getting in Christmas mode. My favorite part about Christmas is the Christmas Tree. 

December is for Tree Picking…

I always get a live tree.

I love picking it out, and cutting it down. Cutting down a tree, means it is always fresh.

This year we went to Middleburg Tree Farm to cut our tree down. We went early in the season, so there was an incredible selection. I normally like a Douglas Fir, (yellow green needle), but this year we switched it up and got a Blue Spruce. The Blue Spruce has a blue, gray needle, and our tree was absolutely stunning. 



Once we got the tree set up in the house, Zoe pointed at it, saying, “Tree?” She is use to pointing at the trees on our run, so she was a little confused on why there was a tree in the living room. 

I tested out the Christmas tree lights, while Zoe played with them.

It took me three hours to baby proof the tree. I had to arrange the ornaments in a certain way so that they would be safe for Zoe. But once the tree was completely decorated, I explained each ornament to her. She was very good at just looking, and not pulling off the decorations. Her favorite ornaments were the monkey, and elephant. 


Meeting Santa


We made an appointment at the Tysons Gallaria to see Santa. This worked really well last year, no line. Unfortunately, this year, with no line, and no one else there, which made it really hard to show or explain to Zoe what was going to happen. It is totally normal for children her age to be scared, and that’s exactly what happened. 


After she was finished, two older girls jumped on Santa’s lap and hugged him, naming all of the presents they were wishing for. Zoe watched them, and then looked at me like she wanted a do-over. 

Christmas Cards…

I love to receive Christmas cards. So this year I decided I was definitely going to send one out. So I made one with Zoe on it, and love the finish product. 

Although, I got them out early, I didn’t feel it was early enough. Next year, I want them ready during November, so I don’t have the extra stress of getting them done in time. 
I displayed all of my the cards I received. 


Christmas Eve…

This year I hosted Christmas Eve. Erik and I made lasagna. I made my homemade sauce the night before, so all Erik had to do was assemble the lasagna. I also made a roasted beet and brussel sprouts salad. It was fun having everyone over. 


On Christmas Eve, I stayed up late making my homemade granola. Filled them in mason jars, added a bow and tag, as my homemade gift. 

Christmas Morning…
I woke up early, to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Once all of my presents were wrapped we headed over to my moms. 


Woah! Santa came!!

It took three hours to open all of the presents. Zoe was really into the whole process. She would open the present, then want to open the box to play with the toy. 


Her favorite presents were her Elmo stuffed animal, her tea set, her giraffe bike, and her play running stroller. 


Nap time…

Everyone was happy, but exhausted. We ended up heading home for afternoon naps. 



While everyone napped I snuck out for a Christmas run! 

The sun was shining, and my run felt very rejuvenating.

Christmas Dinner…

We headed back over to my mom’s house for Christmas dinner. Emily and Ryan made a salad and a rib roast. Everything was tasty. 

Zoe played more with her tea set. She kept asking everyone if they wanted any. She would ask, “Cuppy? Tea?


This holiday season was so special! I am beyond thankful for every card, every gift, delicious food, beautiful decorations, and being able to spend it with my closest family and friends. 

Since note: (Zoe had an early bed time so she missed out on the Christmas Eve family photo, but she made it in the Christmas night photo.)


And of course I am beyond thankful that my 16 month old daughter, Zoe, had a magical Christmas season. 





How was your Holiday? I hope it was warm and joyful! 

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 


November Recap, December Goals! 

Before I tell you about November, let’s back track to October…

(For those who are new to the blog, here’s a quick recap of October. If you’ve been reading skip first paragraph.) 

October was such an amazing month! I closed October by setting a new marathon PR at the Marine Corps Marathon. This marathon was my 4th, and my first full marathon as a mother runner. It feels incredible finishing this marathon, knowing my daughter has been with me every step of the way. 

The week after I ran MCM, I got the marathon blues. My training program was such a time commitment, but then my race went by so fast. And with no more future races to train for, I felt a little lost. I ended up almost signing up for the Richmond Marathon, which was two weeks later. I ultimately decided not to do it, even though I was totally trained to.

Because I had just finished running a full marathon, November’s focus was on recovery miles and fun running. 

I went into November with out a plan. I  didn’t track all of my runs – some were tracked on my Garmin, others on Strava. I ran two shorter races for fun- The Operation Turbo 5k and the Alexandria Turkey Trot/ Del Ray 5 miler.  Both races I ran with Zoe, as I pushed her in the stroller. It was so fun!

Now it’s December! Although, it is just the beginning of December, 2016 is coming to an end. This year has been incredible and I’m hoping to end it as good as it began. 

Because I am currently in off season, with no races to train for. I think it might be fun to participate in Runner’s World run streak. It is simply run every day until New Years, even if it’s just a mile. Find me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily, if you want to follow along. Or participate by following Runner’s World on instagram @runnersworldmag and use #RWRunStreak when you post a run photo. 

This December, I also want to spend time focusing on strength training. It’s time to build some more muscle again and get stronger. 

So this December is all about streakin’ with Runner’s World, building some serious strength, and spending time reflecting on 2016. 

Has anyone done a run streak before?

copyright 2016 sweat1xdaily 

Should you run or work out if you are TIRED?

  
Photo above was taken on the trail this Saturday. 

For some reason, last week I was tired. It was probably a combination of being a busy mom and being busy at work. But I definitely didn’t workout/run everyday the way I usually do. And being tired led to missing workouts which turned into a week of bad eating. (In my case “bad eating” always means not eating enough to support my hard earned muscles. Ayes, ladies to support muscle growth you need to eat.) So let’s just say, I’m thankful last week is over. 

Should you workout when you are tired?

I hear it all the time especially on social media. Moms saying, “Never been this tired, but still squeezed in my work out.” Or… “Up all night with teething baby, but still got up early and got my long run done.” 

This made me think… 

Should you work out if you are exhausted?

I guess it depends on the person and what your goal is… But for me, and my goals, it is a NO go. 

The ideas that doing Something is better than nothing, isn’t always true.

One of my goals is to build muscle

Whether I am lifting heavy, or doing more plyometrics and HIIT, I need to be rested to really kill it in the gym. Because of my busy schedule now that I am a working mama, I cherish my gym/run sessions and make the best of my work out time. Every time I hit the running trail, or walk into the gym, I’m focused and ready to give it my all. However, without adequate rest I won’t be able to lift as heavy or complete those active rest periods or HIIT sessions. 

Also many people don’t know, but you actually build muscle after your weight lifting session while your body is at rest. When you lift weights your muscle fibers get broken down, you need rest time for those muscles to repair themselves. The repairing of the muscle is what makes them grow. For someone, like me, who wants to build strength and muscle, rest is important.

Because I am a runner I always have running goals.

Now that I am five months postpartum, I am finally running like I use to. However, for a runner at my level, sometimes less is more. Sometimes being under trained is better than being over trained. It is hard to judge which is better for you, but as long as you have been consistent with your runs, skipping one here and there because you are tired is better and smarter. When you continue to pound the pavement when you are overly tired you are more prone to get injured. 

Now with all this being said, your body needs rest in order to perform to its best ability. However, do NOT use, “Ugh, I’m tired,”as an excuse all the time. In order to see improvement and change, practice makes perfect, consistency is key. To be a better runner, you do have to run on a regular. To build muscle, you need to regularly get to the gym and lift those weights.

Another thing to ask yourself is… Will a good run, or gym session give me energy. Again it is hard to judge, but sometimes getting your sweat on is exactly what you need to actually get the endorphins sparked, giving you the energy you need. 

True Story

After only getting one short run on Sunday and then to the gym on Tuesday last week, on Saturday I went running on the trail (photo above) and then hit gym after for an intense back and core workout. It felt great. That run was so sweet that I finally felt energized. 

So next time your are overly tired, evaluate your situation. Will your workout give you energy or set you back? Listen to your body, it will help you find the answer. 

  
Happy Running! 

 

2015 an unforgettable year!

(I posted this to my IG acount earlier this week, but decided to share on my blog.)

image

2015 was the most beautiful, positively challenging, knowledge filled, sweetest year I have ever had.

As my body transformed from fit to pregnant I began to understand the ultimate strength of the female body.

Through my prenatal yoga practice, I learned the physical changes were out of my control, and I began to let go and trust.

I spent the year reading, writing, exploring, learning everything I could on a subject I knew absolutely nothing about – babies. In the process, I not only gained knowledge, but also a “mama” tribe.

And then… after all the preparing, waiting, planning, my sweet little Zoe entered the world in the complete opposite way as I expected, and I became a mama.

It has been busy, wild, beautiful, amazing, exhausting, challenging, fun, unpredictable… but I can’t stop smiling.

image

Cheers!

Mirror Mirror on the wall… Who is the strongest of them all…

Post Pregnancy Work Out -Phase 2 Livefit trainer.
I forgot how much I love phase 2 of the livefit trainer. This phase is the one that I normally repeat and always go back to. I really enjoy lifting heavier weights while doing more sets with lower reps. However, with that being said, do not lift heavy if you have poor form. People who have poor form have no business lifting heavy weights, that is why phase 1 of the livefit trainer is crucial. If your form is not on point repeat phase 1 and focus on perfecting your form.
Now that I am almost finished with Phase 2, I am really excited to see progress. Not necessarily with the appearance of my body, although I do see some muscle definition, but rather with how strong I am becoming. At 4 months postpartum I am finally starting to feel like the athlete I once was, before getting pregnant with Zoe. There is still a lot of work to do – Rome wasn’t built over night, but I am happy that I am finally lifting the weight I use to lift. I am hoping in the near future to start setting some new PRs in the weight room. I remember stepping in the weight room for the first time 8 weeks postpartum and flopping on my belly not even capable of doing one successful push up, now I am doing 4×10 and sometimes 4×15… Now that is progress.
Ladies stop focusing on what your body looks like and start focusing on what your body can do. Stop trying to diet and start fueling your body with clean organic healthy food choices that will help you perform and reach your ultimate goal. 
Whether I am running, lifting, doing yoga… I always focus on setting new PRs. I focus on strength. Once I flipped that switch and started focusing on setting new fitness goals, not weight loss goals, it is then that I became an athlete…
And guess what?
One day, when I looked in the mirror I saw one too.


P.S. I start phase 3 of the Livefit trainer today! Can’t wait!

Exclusively Lifting

It is day 20 of exclusively Lifting weights – yep that means NO cardio (with the exception of some long walks with Zoe).

I am following (once again) the Livefit trainer by Jamie Eason. Out of all the programs I have tried… Livefit is my favorite. Not only have I been successful on the program, (got me in the best shape of my life) but it just makes since. It is easy to follow and it is the way I personally like to lift in the gym. Of course I always customize the program to my needs, sometimes incorporating different exercises I prefer from other programs.

Anyway, the first phase (4 weeks) is all about gaining as much strength and muscle as you can. And because cardio can eat up your muscles or make it harder for you to gain, cardio is eliminated from the first phase.

And because of pregnancy, I haven’t trained like this in about a year, so it has been nice just to focus on one thing- weight lifting.

My experience so far…

Damn! Even though I have pretty much lost most of the baby weight. I am definitely starting from scratch. Appearance wise- My legs and booty have never been this skinny, my boobs have never been this big. So as you can see my body is the complete opposite of what it use to be. With that being said, it is amazing how with only three weeks of lifting, I am already starting to see some change – my glutes are starting to make a come back.

However, I am not focusing on what my body looks like but rather how it can perform.¬†Muscle memory¬†is an amazing thing. I get to the weight room and it is like riding a bike, right back at it. The first two weeks I took things slow, grabbing lighter weights and working on form. I see it all the time… people lifting heavy who have no business lifting that way because their form is so poor. I definitely do not want to be that girl trying to lift heavy with poor form – I might as well be on my road bike riding with out a helmet. So in the beginning I really focused on form, and now I feel ready and I am upping the weights.

Some of the exercises, I will do a warm up set with lighter weights, just to make sure my form is good and muscles are ready. It is then that I realize I need to up the weight. But there are some exercises mainly body weight exercise, such as push ups or bench dips that I struggle to finish the set. So weird that some exercises surprise me because I need to lift heavier, while others surprise me because they are a struggle when they use to be a piece of cake. I think this is because my core muscles need to be rebuilt. Because of this I am doing as many weight lifting exercises in plank so I am with out doubt engaging my core.

Anyway, I am not weighing myself until the end of the program. I am not worrying about numbers like that because they mean nothing to me. I am more concerned about hitting new PRs in the gym and getting stronger. Plus muscle weighs more than fat, so in this first phase I may not see a drop in weight at all, because I’m hoping for muscle gains. I will post progress pics though.

Diet is 80-90% of the reason why people see results.  This week I am really cleaning up my diet, by eating clean organic mostly plant based. I am also cutting back on sugar, and drinking more water. When trying to put on more muscle you need to eat. Muscle gains are supported by calories. So I will try to eat (clean) every 2-3 hours.
Below is a picture I posted on instagram,  on Day 17 of the Livefit trainer РNO cardio, exclusively lifting!Trying to gain as much muscle/strength back before I start running again. ***FITNESS TIP of the Day: try to do every weight lifting exercise you can in a plank. For example: Tricep Dumbbell Kickbacks or One Arm Dumbbell Row are more challenging when in a plank. That way you are definitely engaging your core. #fitmom #fitspo #girlswholift #liftheavy #livefit

Follow me on Instagram @sweat1xdaily

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

Mommy & Me (Baby) Classes (Yoga and Pilates)

I have been wanting to try Mommy & Me (Baby) classes at Mind the Mat Yoga Studio, since the week I found out I was pregnant. My friend Mariana went with her baby (Jasper) when she still lived in the area and she really enjoyed the classes. Along with her, I also know a couple of other mamas who have participated in the Mommy & Me classes at the studio and they too were really impressed.

The studio offers Mommy & Me classes in pilates, yoga, and barre. However, because I was recovering from my c-section I wasn’t able to do any type of exercising with the exception of walking, until I got cleared from my doctor. This was disappointing for me, because I really wanted to take Zoe to the Mommy & Me¬†classes earlier, during my maternity leave – instead I finally just got to take her, this last week. We joined Piper and Lindsay at the Mommy & Me pilates class on Tuesday, and then went to the Mommy & Me yoga on yesterday (Friday).

Both classes are for babies before crawling age.

MOMMY & ME PILATES

The pilates class focuses on lower body, mainly glutes. This class is definitely a workout for the mamas. I was squatting and sweating while Zoe stayed in her car seat napping. It is especially important for breast-feeding mamas to get a good booty workout in considering breast milk is made from the fat from your booty.

zoe at pilates

MOMMY & ME YOGA

The yoga class is less intense then the pilates class. The first half of the class is for the mamas and focuses on the core muscles. The last half of the class is for the babies. This part was by far my favorite part, because nothing is better then having your baby smiling.

Zoe absolutely loved it. During the first half, while I was stretching, Zoe was watching me, smiling. Then during the second half, it was Zoe’s turn. I took her out of her car seat, and stretched her toes to her nose. I bicycled her legs, rotated her hips, stretched out her arms, and legs.

These classes are great!

While taking care of a baby, it¬†is easy for a mama to forget to take care of herself. However, taking care of yourself is one of the most important things. It can be really hard to find time to work out especially when you don’t have family to help watch your little one. This is why I love these classes. There are very few workout classes that allow you to bring your baby with you, and most gym daycares don’t allow young babies.

I will admit that I have never been to a louder class. Some babies were screaming their heads off, but because we are all mamas in the classroom, screaming babies do not even phase us.

If you are a mama in the DC area who has a baby who isn’t crawling yet, I highly recommend trying these classes. And if you are a mama to be, try their¬†prenatal yoga class¬†– it is amazing!

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Post Pregnancy Training Plan and Goals

Last Tuesday, I got cleared by my doctor to start working out again. This means I am free to lift heavy and run far. I usually have no problem pushing myself and I actually enjoy it, however, because I had a c-section I want to take things slow. My worst nightmare would be to over do it and then have a major set back with an injury.

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you probably already know, but one of my fitness idols is Jamie Eason. It was because of her, and her Livefit trainer, that I fell in love with weight lifting, and got in the best shape of my life.

She had a child two years ago, and she had a c-section as well. It took her three full months to feel good enough to even start working out again. This was really refreshing to hear coming from a fitness model/trainer. So many times you see people in the fitness industry jump right back into shape, but do they really, or are they just posting the good pictures.

Anyway, Jamie Eason has created a post pregnancy work out plan. It is available for free on bodybuilding.com. Her post pregnancy trainer focuses on the core and back muscles. The daily work outs are circuits, which builds endurance. She also has a 15 minute training day, which is great for the days you may not be able to fit in a long work out. My favorite part about the trainer is that she creates a training day  that includes your baby using a carrier or a stroller РI love this idea.  Most exercises are ones that use body weight and can be done anywhere РSo there is no excuse.

My Game Plan

My game plan is to spend the next month building back the muscle I lost, by completing the Livefit trainer again. I saw great results with the Livefit trainer, so I know it works. However, I also want to include some ideas and work outs from the post pregnancy trainer.

Because of hormones from breast-feeding, it may be difficult for me to build muscle. Plus, as long as my baby is taking in breast milk, I am not allowed to use any supplements. So for the next month, I am going to do minimum cardio, only long walks with my baby, and maybe a short run once or twice a week. My main focus is building muscle and strength back, and to much cardio can also deplete some muscle growth.

With my schedule, I should have no problem making it to the gym, however, I am also confident that I will be able to complete the work outs, outside of the gym.

I definitely want to do some yoga as well. And I’ll let you know when I am 100 % back to running again -trust me, I miss running most, and have already began to think of what races I will be doing in the future.

Mommy and Baby classes

I really love being with my baby, and enjoy her being by my side while I work out. I can’t wait to try some Mommy and Baby classes at Mind the Mat. I think it will be really fun for Zoe to be in a yoga studio with other babies. I’ll be going to my first class tomorrow.

So there you have it…

Last weeks work outs consisted of long walks on the trail with the baby, and some free weight exercises along with some walking lunges.12072767_10102786043199146_8981504843243271286_n Then on Saturday I hit the gym for the first time since having the baby. It felt so good being back. I’m really excited to share this next chapter of my fitness journey with you. I can’t wait to start seeing some serious results.¬†12074791_10102789844281746_6007220832008158331_n

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

How to create a Baby Registry…

Just like the Wedding Industry, when it comes to pregnancy and baby stuff, it is quite the business. There is so much stuff out there that creating a registry becomes a very overwhelming task, especially when experts say, what may work great for one baby, may not work well for another.

2013-04-24.Rachel_BabyRegistryShuffle

  • Start your registry by prioritizing what items are most important to you. I started my registry, by¬†prioritizing what was the most important baby and pregnancy items, for my husband and I. For example, stroller, car seat, and carriers were on the top of my list.¬†Once I narrowed it down, I researched these items in detail. Also some of the baby books I read, touched point on some important must have items.
  • Next, determine what is important to you based on your lifestyle. Are you on a budget? Do you travel often? Do you live in a small space? Do you hike or run? What kind of car do you have?¬†We decided what was important to us based on our lifestyle. One of the¬†main thing that was important to me was I wanted my baby products¬†to be green, organic, chemical free, and as environmental friendly as possible. This meant, glass baby bottles instead of plastic, environmental friendly diapers, an organic mattress etc. Because your baby only uses some of these items for a short time, my¬†husband was more worried about the cost and staying on a budget. We both wanted to try to stay as minimal as possible, registering for things we really needed. We also live in a small 1950s duplex, so having space for a lot of big things were out of the question. I am a runner so I definitely felt having a running stroller was a huge necessity for me, plus it is sporty for my husband to use as well. My friend, Mariana, who recently had a baby, her main priority was all of her baby items had to be light weight and portable, since she travels and moves often.
  • Ask other moms, ask a friend to help you. I was also lucky enough to have my friend Mariana help me with my registry. ¬†She was the biggest help walking me through Buy Buy Baby, pointing out the things she loves and the things she just didn’t need. I also have a couple friends who just had babies in April and May, and some that are due in July. I took a look at their baby registries, just to see if they had items on there, that I may have forgotten to put on mine.
  • Where should you register?¬†There are a lot of great places to register at. I ended up choosing Buy Buy Baby and Amazon. Buy Buy Baby is affiliated with Bed Bath and Beyond. You can use your Bed Bath and Beyond coupons there and they match prices. Amazon is great because a lot of people have amazon prime. Also some items that I couldn’t find at Buy Buy Baby, I found on Amazon. Another great place to register is with MyRegistry.com. This is a website that lets you combine items from several different stores. Also take note: If you are going to get a running stroller, you may consider getting it at REI. My husband surprised me with our running stroller and car seat. He ended up getting it at REI on sale during Memorial weekend.
  • This brings up a very important question… what do you need? ¬†Do you really need all of this baby stuff? Our moms and grandmas raised us just fine with out all this extra stuff. When choosing baby items, it really depends on your lifestyle and living space. At the end of the day, the ultimate question is not do you need all this stuff, but rather, what will make your life easier?

If you are in the process of making a baby registry, check out my registry for ideas. Or if you have already made one, you can compare your registry to mine.

My baby registry at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon.

What is your must have baby item? Was there a product you or your baby couldn’t live with out?

© sweat1xdaily 2015

BellyBuds: One of my favorite Pregnancy Item!

During this pregnancy, one item, that I would have never thought I needed, but absolutely love are the BellyBuds. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I saw an advertisement for the BellyBuds and was very curious about them, and then around 20 something week I ended up receiving them as a gift.

bellybuds

Your baby can start hearing around 20 weeks. BellyBuds are similar to head phones, but instead of putting them in your ears, you stick them to your belly, allowing your baby to hear. There is an area where you can plug in you own head phones as well. That way you and baby can listen at the same time.

bellybuds3

The Bellybuds also have a VoiceShare option, which allows you to record your voice or one of a loved one. That way your baby can hear your loved one’s voice. After birth, your baby’s eyes are not fully developed, so they will use their ears to follow your voice. This ¬†VoiceShare option is especially good for military fathers/husbands¬†who are deployed during their wife’s pregnancy.

Babies memories begin at 30 weeks. Allowing a baby in utero to hear soft music has many benefits. One of the many reasons why it is beneficial to play soft music is because when your baby is born, during anytime when they may be feeling stressed, you can play the same music you played while they were in the uterus. In most cases, they will recognize the music and immediately feel soothed.

“The advantage of singing to your baby during pregnancy is that he will learn the songs while he’s still in the womb and will respond to them well after birth. A great lullaby is a way of calming yourself and your baby at the same time, and a calm baby usually nurses better.” ¬†– Ina May (midwife)

My experience with the BellyBuds has been awesome. Any question I had regarding whether they work or not, was thrown out of the window, when my baby started kicking more than ever.  I have been playing Lindsay Sterling, and plan to play Lana Del Ray in the future. I also like that this is a green product.

bellybuds 2

If you want to connect a little closer with your baby, I highly recommend the BellyBuds.

Has anyone used BellyBuds during their pregnancy? What was your experience? 

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Eating for two: What to eat while pregnant!? Pregnancy Cravings, and good reads!

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf

EATING FOR TWO

In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was really concerned on what to eat, and what foods/drinks to avoid? I already ate a¬†healthy, mostly plant based, organic diet. But I knew I drank too much caffeine, and struggled with drinking enough water. I also worried that I wasn’t eating enough. Being pregnant means, it is no longer just about me. I have become less selfish, and put my needs aside, thinking mainly of what will nurture the new life, that is developing and growing daily.

I am lucky that Thanksgiving and Christmas were during the early stages of my pregnancy. I eat really well during the holidays. All of the food I cook is organic and locally grown. My plate was filled with a variety of different foods, everything super colorful and in season.

Whether you are pregnant or not, most of the same nutritional rules apply. ¬†For example… You are what you eat. Eat your colors. Purchase things that are local and in season. Avoid the nasty – preservatives, pesticides, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and GMOs. ¬†And although this may be obvious, limit your caffeine intake, absolutely no smoking, no alcohol, and no drugs.

In the beginning there were some things that totally through me off. My doctor told me it is safest to eat pasteurized foods. The reason why is that the process of pasteurizing kills harmful bacteria. This meant no “raw milk” soft cheeses, no farmers market honey, no free range local eggs (unless they are cooked all the way through.)

This made me read labels a little more closely. I shop at farmers markets, and organic grocery stores, so this may surprise you, but some things are not pasteurized. Some soft cheeses like feta and goat cheese are made from raw milk. Organic free range local eggs are raised on pasture, but are not pasteurized. I still eat free range local eggs, but I just cook them well. I loved poached eggs before, but for the time being, I am making egg scrambles and frittatas.

Although, many eat vegetarian and vegan during pregnancy, my doctor wanted me to eat well balanced meals. So for me, to easily achieve balance and make sure I am getting enough protein, I decided to include organic meat, eggs, and dairy (greek yogurt, and cream cheese) to my daily diet. It’s no longer just about me and my needs, I’m eating for two.

When it came to fish, I was confused. I always eat wild caught, but because of dangerous mercury levels found in wild caught fish, it is almost safer to eat farmed raised fish during pregnancy. The reason why is because it is mercury free and more controlled.  Although this may be true, I still have been eating wild caught fish, but in moderation. Oh and raw fish and sushi is off limits.

I also am a tea drinker. However, because I am limiting my caffeine intake I only drink a small amount of black tea a day. When pregnant you can have up to 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. I normally keep my caffeine intake under 40 milligrams.

Two of my favorite types of tea are Chia tea and Green tea. Chai tea has star anise in it. To much star anise can cause contractions. Green tea is also controversial because some say to much green tea can make it more difficult for the body to absorb folic acid, which is essential. However, Raspberry Leaf tea is the best tea to drink while pregnant. Midwives have claimed for years that it strengthens the uterus and pelvic muscles, resulting in an easier labor.

I found three books really helpful…

GOOD READS

  1. The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy, by Allison Tannis and Jonny Bowden. This book is very straight forward. It basically lists the healthiest foods to eat for each trimester and beyond. It talks in detail of why each food is beneficial. It also talks about some to avoid and the reasons why.
  2. The Kind Mama, by Alicia Silverstone. This book was by far one of my favorite baby books. Alicia Silverstone is very green, earthy, hippy like. She is also a vegan.  This book not only talks about fertility and pregnancy nutrition, but it also has many recipes to try. She takes the book beyond nutrition, by discussing co-sleep method, what to register for, how to make your own belly balm, prenatal yoga, and much more.
  3. Skinny Bitch, Bun in the Oven, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.¬†This book is a gutsy guide to becoming one hot healthy mother. These are the girls who wrote Skinny Bitch, a book I read a couple years ago. They use Skinny Bitch in the title of this book simply because it is their brand. Trust me they do not expect us pregnant ladies to be skinny, and they open the book saying that now is not the time to worry about dieting and body image. ¬†These ladies are also vegan, so be aware because they get really into it. However, they are also quite hilarious. I’m still currently reading the book, so I’ll get back to you once I am finished with a final review.

FOOD CRAVINGS

One of the top questions that every pregnant lady gets asked is What foods have you been craving? Honestly,¬†I haven’t had any weird cravings, however, all this baby wants is fruit. In the fall/winter I ate a lot of apples and citrus fruit. Now that it is summer time I am eating watermelon, honey dew melon, peaches, strawberries, and other berries.

To get my daily dairy intake, I eat a lot of organic greek yogurt. When I traveled to Greece a couple years ago, I remember the greek yogurt being amazing. Wallaby Organic yogurt reminds me of the taste and texture of the kind I ate in Greece. It has become my favorite kind, because it is high in protein, (17 g) but very low in sugar (4 g). I get the plain flavor, and add berries.¬†YogurtNow that the farmer’s markets are up and running, I stop by as much as I can. After yoga, on Saturday mornings, I have been stopping by the Del Ray farmer’s market, and picking up some amazing strawberries. I have never eaten strawberries so sweet. I added blackberries and raspberries for a great berry mix.

berries

 

I also am pretty obsessed with tomatoes. I eat them every day. Sometimes, I will eat a bagel with cream cheese and tomatoes. Other times I will eat tomatoes and hummus. But on Saturday, after yoga, while at the farmer’s market, I spotted these beauties. I am also growing tomatoes in my garden.tomatos

While walking though the farmer’s markets, I immediately started to think of lunch, a tomato sandwich would be perfect. I haven’t eaten a tomato sandwich in years. The way I use to eat it as a kid was simple, white bread, mayo, tomatoes and salt. I went to MOM’s organic market in search for organic sour dough bread, and a healthy alternative to mayo. I found Earth Balance.

earth balance

This mindful mayo is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free. There are no preservatives. It is vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free!  It is awesome!

I decided it was time to clip some of my basil I have been growing in my garden. basil

So the ingredients for the ultimate tomato sandwich is organic sour dough bread, tomatoes, basil, earth balance mayo, sea salt.

Drinking while Pregnant

When it comes to drinks, it can be quite boring during pregnancy. ¬†I don’t drink soda on a regular, and I can’t drink too much iced tea because of the caffeine. So I have been drinking lots of water. To spice things up I add fruit to my water. However, a coworker introduced me to La Croix sparkling water.

sparkling water

My favorite flavors are the coconut and the passionfruit. This sparkling water is awesome because you feel like you are drinking a soda. However, there are no calories, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and it is sodium free.

So that is my answer, to the oh so popular question, “Have you had any cravings?” Some say you crave what your body is in lack of. Others¬†say while pregnant you crave what your body and baby need. If this is true, maybe those who don’t have any real cravings, are eating a well balanced diet and living a stress free healthy lifestyle.

Thats all I can hope for!

And always remember… ¬†When pregnant you are eating for two. But that doesn’t mean you need a ton of extra calories, it is more about the quality of food you eat.

“The cleaner, more cell-loving, oxygen pumping, nutrient-rocking food your put in your body, the better your body can do what you ask of it.” – Alicia Silverstone : The Kind Mama

What foods have you been eating lately?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Prenatal Yoga at Refresh Yoga Studio (28 weeks pregnant)

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

 -Buddah 

This Saturday morning, I met up with my friend Rita, for some prenatal yoga. bumps rita and meg

Rita is about one month a head of me, due date July 19th. She too is expecting a baby girl. So many baby girls are being born, these days.

If you have read my previous posts, you may already know… for the last month I have been doing prenatal yoga, and it has become my new found love. I have tried prenatal yoga at JounreYoga and Mind the Mat. But today, Rita invited me to join her at the studio she has been practicing at – Refresh Yoga Studio in Old Town, Alexandria.

refresh yoga

Rita and I started our morning with a 40 minute walk around Old Town. The weather this Memorial weekend has been amazing. So our walk was refreshing. I also saw another mom, with the BOB running stroller, and asked her how she liked it. She claimed it was the best baby item she owns. Everyone loves the BOB! I haven’t heard one negative thing about it.

Our walk ended at the front door of the yoga studio. Although, the studio space was small, it had positive energy and a very zen yoga like vibe to it – my favorite type of vibe! The room was small and so was the class, only six moms to be, and one instructor. But the smaller class size was nice, and more personable. The less people you have the more attention you get.

Erin was the instructor, and she was fantastic. Like most prenatal classes she opened the class with us introducing ourselves and telling the class how far along we are. This week I am 28 weeks. Happy – first day of the 3rd trimester – to me!! She also customized the class, by asking us what we wanted to work on. Most of us wanted to work on hip openers. She also wanted it to be an individual practice, so we quietly chose our own word to focus the class around. I chose Courage.

This class started out relaxing, but as the class went on became more strength building, with some squats, warrior poses, down dog, and prenatal push ups. It ended relaxing with a gentle scalp massage, and a cool towel over our eyes.

yoga mat prenatal

Some of my favorite things during this class was the breathing techniques, and the combination of relaxing and strength building. This combo really made the class a full body workout.

I also really enjoyed some of the postures, such as, down dog, dolphin pose, goddess pose, pigeon pose, warrior pose 2, peaceful warrior, triangle pose. I also like the squat work and the prenatal push ups. I use to be the push up queen, but didn’t know they were safe for pregnancy, but I am definitely going to include more push ups to my workouts during the week.

Over all, this was a great yoga practice, and a lovely studio. I definitely plan on going on a regular. Being pregnant, has opened my mind to different kinds of work outs and yoga poses. I have been having a lot of fun trying the different studios and instructors in the area. Each class is so different, and each instructor has something to offer.

PREGNANCY UPDATE

It is hard to believe that today, I am 28 weeks pregnant, or in other words 7 months pregnant. It is the first day, of the 3rd trimester for me. I really can’t believe how fast this pregnancy has gone by.

In a way pregnancy is much like long distance running. The first few miles you feel uncomfortable, but once you find your groove, you can comfortably keep running. When you take it one mile at a time, you begin to really enjoy yourself.

When it comes to pregnancy, most women are the most uncomfortable in their 3rd trimester. For me so far, everyday that goes by, I am feeling more and more comfortable. And¬†because I don’t have much more to go,¬†I am living in the moment, and enjoying this pregnancy more and more.

It is a pretty amazing thing, creating life.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

The Courage Wall in my neighborhood goes VIRAL!

Every Saturday, at my prenatal yoga class, Sarah, my yoga instructor sets a theme for our daily practice. Two weeks ago, the theme was Courage. She was inspired by the Courage Wall that sits across the street from the studio.Courage wall

The wall is a big chalk board that reads¬†the words, “I wish I had the Courage to…”¬†Courage wall words

There are buckets of chalk provided, to allow people the opportunity to express their deepest fears, challenges, goals. The wall has inspired, motivated, and opens up the Courage conversation to the community.

So at the beginning of yoga class, we went around the room and verbally expressed what we wish we had the courage to do during our pregnancies. It was very awesome, because we could all relate to each other. I found myself nodding my head when one yogi said, she wish she had the courage to ask for help. Another yogi wished she had the courage to stop working sooner with out feeling guilty. One wished she had the courage to physically slow down. Many of us think we can do exactly what we were doing physically before we got pregnant, but that is not always the case.

Then just last week, my jaw dropped, while I was watching the Today show and saw the Courage Wall. I had no clue the wall went viral. But there it was on TV, with Matt Lauer interviewing Nancy Belmont, from Alexandria, Virginia, as she explained the community chalkboard project.

Courage Wall Today show

After yoga this week, while I was heading to the Del Ray farmers market – they have the best strawberries. I walked passed the wall, and saw Nancy the lady from the Today show interview. I immediately congratulated her for the interview on the Today show, and told her how amazing the Courage wall is. She had a film crew with her, and asked if I would do a small interview on film. So I did.

I wrote on the wall…

I wish I had the Courage to…

Let loose, and be less controlling. Be carefree, go with the flow. Courage Wall Aspiration

I explained to her, that I have never thought of myself as a controlling person, until I got pregnant. I’m not controlling when it comes to other people, but I like to be in control of myself, physically and mentally. But one of the hardest things I have learned is during pregnancy, you have no control over anything. ¬†All you can do, is be the best healthiest person you can be. But at end of the day, you really just need to trust in your body, to create and grow a baby for you.

She totally agreed with me…

Then she asked me, “What’s going to happen when the baby comes…”

I told her… I’ve read one baby book, and am currently reading more. By reading the baby books, I will definitely have the information I need. But I don’t know exactly how it will be… I need to meet my baby first. I can plan as much as I want, but it may not go as planned or maybe it will. ¬†I am hoping to have some control, but again, I don’t know exactly what will happen, so I need to be a little flexible and just roll with it. Although, it may sound that I am unsure right now, one thing that I am very confident about, is that everything will be amazing and work out just the way it is meant to be. I’m excited and can’t wait!

As she smiled, she agreed with me, telling me she has three children, and that’s exactly how it goes.

Has anyone else seen the Courage Wall? Do you have one in your neighborhood?

If you are in Alexandria, Va, I highly recommend you, stop by the Courage Wall and write an aspiration. Reading others, will bring you inspiration too.  Also watch the interview on the Today show, here.

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

 

Prenatal Yoga at Mind the Mat Yoga Studio

One of my absolute favorite times of the week are my Saturday mornings. Usually, I wake up early, and hit the running trail for a long run. But now, because I am pregnant, my body has changed so my fitness goals have changed. Now that I am pregnant, I have been using these mornings to practice prenatal yoga, at my local yoga studio Mind the Mat. When else will I have the opportunity to do prenatal yoga, better take advantage now.

Although, I am really missing my long runs, at the same time I am loving my yoga practice. Because the class is so popular, I arrive to the studio early, to find a spot close to the mirror. I lay out my mat, make sure my water bottle is full, and patiently wait for class to begin.

prenatal yoga bag

At the beginning of class, we go around the room introducing ourselves, telling the class how far along we are. Sarah, the class instructor, also gives the class a focus theme. Last week I was 26 weeks, and the class focus was courage. We each revealed, what we wish we had the courage to do. Today, I am 27 weeks, and the class focus was on our favorite childhood game. We each laughed, as we went around the room and exposed our favorite game.

Then the yoga begins. 

It ends up being a full body workout. The major focus is on  strengthening areas of the body that need to be strong for labor. We practice deep hip openers, preparing us for labor. We also work on arms and back, for carrying baby later. We work on strengthening the pelvic floor, and do some core strengthening poses that are safe during pregnancy. We also practice some poses that are great positions to use for natural child birth.

About the Studio

mind the mat

Mind the Mat yoga studio has two locations, but I have only practiced at the Del Ray location. I love Del Ray. It is an awesome area, filled with lovely local boutiques and delicious restaurants. It is also a very artistic neighborhood. Today, after yoga, I hit up the farmer’s market, which I plan to do more often.

About the Instructor

Sarah, the instructor for the class, is awesome. She provides us with the yoga poses we need that are both safe for pregnancy, but also the ones that strengthen, and make us sweat. Her class also is very yoga like, and when we need to cool down, very relaxing. She definitely provide a great balance.

My favorite part

One of my favorite things about the class, is the community feel. Its a class full of mom’s to be with the same priorities and goals. We all want a healthy, fit pregnancy, with the ultimate goal to bring a child safely into the world.

prenatal yoga class

Last week, Sarah did a head count, because the class was so large. We had 20 mom’s to be, 22 babies to be, and 2 instructors. This was a total of 44 yogis. I thought this was amazing!¬†

Have you practice prenatal yoga?

© sweat1xdaily 2015

 

Pregnant Fitness goals and Prenatal Yoga

In my last post, I talked about our amazing spring vacation, aka, our Babymoon.  It was during that post, I revealed a secret that I have been keeping since November РErik and I are 6 months pregnant, with a baby girl arriving August 15th.

bump selfie 2Because fitness/healthy lifestyle is my passion, and the theme of this blog, I am going to continue focusing blog posts on sweating. And trust me, now more than ever, I get questions daily about my fitness routine. People constantly asking, what I am doing fitness wise, now that I have a baby bump.

Everyone is different, and every pregnancy is different. And what I have found is, the fitness things I use to do, I am not preforming at the same level as I did before. My body is working hard on developing another human, that has become the priority.

Also, because this is my first pregnancy, and I don’t know how to be a pregnant woman – I’m just following all the rules. I’ve never done this before, I’m just learning, and now at 6 months, I am finally content and ¬†comfortable with being pregnant.

When it comes to fitness, I have taken it down several levels. No bikram yoga, heavy lifting, or marathon training for me, my fitness goals have changed from setting a new PR in my next race, to bringing a child safely into the world.

Although, I have taken it down a notch, there has been a lot of things I have been doing to stay active during this pregnancy. I have been taking long walks with my dogs. I have been focusing on body weight exercises, and doing similar weight lifting routines as before with lighter weights. You haven’t seen me in the gym though. I have been doing all of these exercises, outside near the running trail. ¬†I also took on swimming, and now that the outdoor pool is opening soon, I plan to swim every morning. I also plan on getting a hike in at Great Falls.

But out of everything,  over the last month, I have been doing Prenatal yoga, and it has ironically become my favorite thing.

My running buddy, L, just had another baby, and when I mentioned I was going to try prenatal yoga, her response was… “Oh, you aren’t going to like it.” She thought, because I am use to more intense work outs, I would be bored.

Well for the last month, I have been going to prenatal yoga. I have tried two different studios in my neighborhood, JourneYoga and Mind the Mat, and I have to say, I love it.

prenatal yoga

The opportunities to train for a¬†marathon are endless…

There will be plenty of times to get my sweat on at Bikram…

I can always hit the gym to lift heavy…

But what other time in my life will I be able to participate in prenatal yoga? Only when I’m pregnant. So now is the time to be in a yoga room, with a community of mamma’s to be. All of us safely practicing deep hip openers, that will prepare us for labor. All of us, with the same, priority and goal.

To all the mom’s out there – What is your favorite prenatal workout? How did you stay fit and healthy during pregnancy?

© sweat1xdaily2015

Spring Cleaning: New Season, New Goals

Although, we are still having some chilly days, Spring has officially sprung. My winter blues are finally gone. It is amazing what a difference the spring air does to my mood. I am much more energized these days.

Along with the start of this new season, and this new found energy, I am setting some new goals. These goals range from, diet and fitness to house and garden – this Spring there is a lot on my agenda.

Home & Garden

I am going to begin with my home.

My husband and I have owned our 1945 duplex in the DC area for about 3 years now. I have written blog posts about it in the past, but for those who are new to reading this blog, when we moved in we had absolutely no furniture. It sounds a bit weird, but none of the furniture we owned previously was worthy enough to move over to our new place. By leaving our old stuff on the curb, it left us with a blank canvas for designing our new home together. I highly recommend this! It is important for couples to move into a place together and build an interior space that really reflects both of them as individuals, but also expresses their identity as a couple.c44fe257f8631560a0f6e3f0a5e135f4Over the last 3 years, little by little, by collecting things we love, our house has become our home.

Having patience is key!¬†Although this is a tip of mine, it definitely was a struggle at first. When moving in I desperately wanted to feel settled. This unsettling feeling can make you take the easy way out, and just buy whatever for the time being, but I didn’t want to waste my money on temporary pieces. I wanted to purchase higher quality furniture, that would last. However, along with higher quality comes a greater expense. I also didn’t want to just fill the space with pieces because I need them, I wanted the right furniture for the space. Older houses have smaller spaces. So this put me on an epic hunt, for furniture that had the charm I was looking for, but was small enough. I had to get creative, and have patience, but as time went on, I fount my house filling up. It is a successful mix of new higher quality staple pieces, with vintage finds.

This is how we went about it..

The first year we were here, we focused on purchasing some big items, couch, bed, dining room table. We wanted these items to be high quality pieces that would last. So we spent the money on custom made pieces from Ethan Allen.

The second year, we focused on accent pieces, such as side tables, lamps, rugs, shower curtain, etc. We also used our front porch to make a peaceful outdoor space. It is there that, we can enjoy a latte while lounging on the wicker love-seat.

shower curtain

This last year, I finally purchased some major pieces that I was on a desperate hunt for. My major challenge has been finding furniture to fit such small spaces. Because most USA furniture is larger, I had to get creative. I ended up refinishing an old antique dresser. I finally found a beautiful hutch for my kitchen/dinning room, to store my Vitamix and other kitchen appliances. I replaced the ugly old dinning room over-head light with a beautiful rustic chandelier. And then, my husband made a coffee table from an old whiskey barrel, that we found in Fredericksburg. It is the prefect hight, width, and gives us that rustic feel that I love.

light

dresser diy

 

coffee table

This spring we have some new house projects to accomplish. Some are fun, others are necessary.

  • Replace Windows – which we just accomplished on Easter Weekend! They are beautiful!¬†
  • Replace Furnace
  • Replace Fence
  • Put up new blinds or shades
  • Paint 3 rooms
  • Clean up Yard
  • Start Garden

We did our research, and finally in March, we decided on a custom made window replacement. And this Easter weekend, Window Nation came over and completed the project. So one of the necessary house project is now checked off the list. The windows are beautiful and much more energy efficient. Soon we will be picking out blinds or shades.

dining room

As for the others on the list, we are still coming up with a game plan, but I would have to say one thing I am most excited about is my veggie garden that I will be starting up again this season. I normally do a garden every year, but last year, because of my wedding, it was impossible for me to devote the time to a garden. I missed it so much.

This year I can’t wait to watch things grow, and enjoy fresh veggies from my backyard. I also can’t wait to hit up all the local farmer’s markets. I hope you look forward to some gardening posts in the near future.

Diet & Fitness

As for diet, like always, my plan is to eat well balance meals that are made up of fresh organic food. Lately, fruit is the number one thing I crave and my refrigerator has been stocked with it. However, fruit taste so much sweeter when it is in season. I am really excited to eat watermelon again, and have tons of fresh fruit to make juices and smoothies. I want to be cooking and grilling up a storm this summer. I am looking forward to trying new recipes and keeping things colorful.

Fitness wise, I will admit I have taken it down a notch. When it comes to running, it was too snowy and icy this winter. I look forward to getting some short easy runs in once the weather warms up. But what I have really am getting into is yoga and swimming. I also want to attempt some hiking this season.

So those are my future healthy lifestyle goals. Yesterday was 75 degrees. And this week is suppose to continue to stay in the  60s.

This weekend, my husband and I are heading down to Del Ray Beach, and South Beach Miami. I can’t wait to soak up some sun, and eat some Cuban food.

I want to hear form you…

What are some of your home projects? What are your goals for the spring?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

Body Butter recipe: prevent stretch marks, relieve dehydrated skin

February is over – Thank God! This winter has been brutal for the East Coast. New Englander’s got slammed with white out conditions, one blizzard after the next. As for my home,¬†Washington, DC,¬†¬†we haven’t had it nearly as bad as up north. But there also hasn’t been a February this cold since the 1970s, and some temperatures were record breaking.

Last week, we had an ice storm followed by a snow storm. Thumbs up to all of the runners out there training for Boston and other spring marathons. I don’t know how you do it, training in the slippery dark winter conditions. However, on a brighter note, I am very excited to say, March is here. Day light savings time has come, the sun is shining and almost all of the snow is melted. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the arrival of Spring.

In the mean time, I am still trying to tolerate the cold, and what it has done to my skin. With such cold winter conditions,¬†it is no surprise that my skin has becomes dry, dehydrated, and chapped. This year has been more extreme than ever, and nothing seems to relieve it. Trust me, I’ve tried lotion after lotion.

I have recently become obsessed with Coconut Oil. But while on the search for an amazing lotion to use, this winter, I have had a difficult time finding one containing the main ingredient, Coconut Oil. I also have been very sensitive to smell, so the ones I did find, ended up smelling to strong, and not having enough Coconut Oil.

So after some research, I have decided to stop the never ending hunt for the perfect lotion, and instead make my own body butter. By making my own, I am able to really customize it to my needs.

Some needs¬†that are important to me…

  1. High quality ingredients. Organic and raw ingredients. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know how high the quality the ingredients used are. Just like in food, ingredients used in beauty products that are processed or low quality, do not have the same health benefits as those that are organic and raw. When making your own product, you have complete control in which ingredients you choose to put in your recipe. I chose raw for my butters, and organic cold pressed for my oils.
  2. The amount of ingredients found in the product.¬†¬†When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you never know the exact amounts of each ingredient. It may say it has coconut oil in it, but it may only contain a tiny amount. Many lotions are mostly made with water. Also some may have other fillers and¬†preservatives. When making your own product, you have complete control in the amounts of each ingredient.¬†I didn’t put any water, preservative or fillers in my body butter.¬†I wanted coconut oil to be one of the main ingredients so it is.
  3. Texture. When purchasing a lotion or body butter, you have no control over the texture. This drives me crazy! The two coconut lotions I tried were really liquid like in texture. I felt they were too light. Some body butters I used were to greasy, while others were to waxy. I just wanted a really creamy, rich, whipped texture. When I made my own I was finally able to achieve that.
  4. Smell. ¬†I am very sensitive to smell. I tried a lavender coconut lotion that at first I loved the smell, but then I got really sick of it. I also tried a lotion that smelled like coconut. ¬†At first I loved it, because it reminded me of the beach, but it didn’t take long, soon I was over it. When making your own body butter, you can control the smell. Either, keep it natural with the fragrance that comes from the ingredients used, or you can add any fragrance you want, by adding an essential oil.¬†I kept mine natural, so it smells like coconut and chocolate.
  5. Quantity.  You can make as much or as little as you wish, but keep in mind that an organic product only lasts one year or 18 months if refrigerated.

Body Butter

A client of mine gave me some homemade beauty products this Christmas, made with a focus of essential oils. And although I loved them, it wasn’t until I started reading Alicia Silverstone’s¬†book,¬†Kind Mama¬†that I got the urge to make my own. In this book, Silverstone, has a recipe for a homemade oil, and a homemade body butter. These recipes help keep a mother-to-be’s skin hydrated, and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

How to make the Body Butter…¬†

body butter

Ingredients and Health Benefits

Ingredients

  • Raw Shea Butter:¬†Shea butter comes from a nut from the shea tree found in Africa.¬†It is extremely hydrating and has inflammatory properties. It is usually a whitish color and has a very mild smell.¬†Always¬†use raw like I did in this recipe because while in the raw state it contains vitamins A and E along with other minerals.¬†In this recipe use¬†1/2 cup of raw shea butter.shea butter
  • Raw Cocoa Butter:¬†Cocoa butter is from the cacao bean. When found in the raw state, cocoa butter is a tan color, that smells like chocolate. ¬†Also when used in the raw state, cocoa butter is high in antioxidants that fight off free radicals, making it an anti-ager. It is extremely hydrating, moisturizing even the most severe dry skin. But ultimately, it is best known as the ultimate¬†Stretch Mark Reducer¬†and that is¬†why I used it in this formula of body butter. There are no guarantees, but the secret has spread by moms and moms to be, to liberally rub cocoa butter products all over your growing belly, to prevent or reduce stretch marks. So if you are expecting cocoa butter is a must ingredient to include in your homemade body butter, or one to look for in your belly balm of choice.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of raw cocoa butter.Cocoa butter
  • Organic Coconut Oil:¬†Coconut oil has been used for many years in Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It has recently become trendy here in the USA. It is a clear white wax consistency, that has a mild coconut smell. It has amazing healing properties. However,¬†when it comes to including it in skin care products it is best know for being a great moisturizer with anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.¬†In this recipe use a 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil.coconut oil
  • Organic Jojoba Oil:¬†Jojoba (pronounced ho-hoba) comes from the seed of the jojoba plant found in south west USA. It has many vitamins and minerals essential for healthy skin and hair. Jojoba similar to the others above is a moisturizing, anti fungal, stretch mark reducer, anti inflammatory, and has many other healing properties including unclogging hair follicles to promote more hair growth. Although, it does it all, the most unique property about jojoba oil is how gentle it is for sensitive skin. It is a yellow oil, that has a mild smell. ¬†Please read labels on the back of the bottle to ensure it is pure jojoba oil and not mixed with any other oils. ¬†In this recipe use 1/4 cup of Jojoba oil.
  • Vitamin E Oil:¬†Vitamin E oil is best known for its healing properties. It can heal scars, stretch marks and sunburn etc.¬†Warming:¬†I don’t have a bad reaction to Vitamin E oil, however some do. It is strong and can cause irritation, If you experience irritation do not add vitamin e oil to your body butter. If you do not experience irritation, in this recipe use 1/8 a cup of Vitamin E Oil.¬†

Directions

This body butter recipe is vegetarian/vegan and raw/organic.

  1. Heat all solids, (1/2 cup raw shea butter, 1/2 cup raw cocoa butter, 1/2 cup coconut oils,) in a water bath. A water bath is used to slowly melt the ingredients with out altering their integrity. To achieve this, you will place all ingredients in a bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water. Let the steam from the boiling water heat the bowl, which melts the ingredients.
  2. Once ingredients are heated, set out to cool. Once cooled to room temperature place in refrigerator and let cool for 1 hour, until ingredients turn into a soft solid.
  3. After cooling process, remove from refrigerator, and add oils (1/4 cup jojoba, 1/8 cup of vitamin E oil,) to the bowl.
  4. Once oils are added, use electric mixer to combine all ingredients. Use electric mixer until desired whipped texture is achieved. This doesn’t take long, with in minutes the recipe will almost look like a whipped frosting or whipped cream consistency. This is what you want. It smells amazing and becomes a rich, whipped, creamy, soft, body butter.¬†whipped

 

There are lots of great body butters and belly balms out there, but by making your own, you have complete control over what ingredients you use and how much of each ingredient you use.

Other body butter and belly balms that I love.

x354 I have yet to try this one, but I have heard it is very good. And it looks like it is made from the same ingredients I used minus the vitamin E oil.

StorQ belly Balm

Beauty-Square-Belly-Balm_1024x1024_16bbda39-8040-4d7f-8b95-806c9647c764

I have this, and love it! It is a very small amount, but perfect to put in your purse and so you can reapply through out the day.

Have you ever made your own body butter? What is your favorite ingredient found in skin care products?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Love your Body.

It is Valentine’s day.

And, in honor of¬†Valentine’s day, we are going to celebrate LOVE.

But I’m going to challenge you…

for a moment to forget about the red roses, the jewelry, the chocolate, cupid, and whether you have a valentine or not.

Instead, I am going to challenge you to celebrate yourself, your accomplishments. I am going to ask you today,¬†to start loving your body, no matter what…

I have been very inspired by some amazing ladies who are going above and beyond. On facebook, Paige, Fran, and Sophia have been working hard on living a healthy fit lifestyle, during pregnancy and post baby. All of them have had babies with in the last year, and they are not only looking amazing, but defining every day, what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

Paige has taken her yoga to the next level, and actually has started teaching classes, while cooking healthy meals for her kids. Fran has taken a different approach, by focusing on a nutritional program, cleansing her body. Sophia has been hitting the gym hard, and eating clean, even on days when she hasn’t gotten much sleep. All of these ladies have been making their healthy lifestyle one of their top priority, even with little ones by their sides. Pretty amazing!

So this Valentine’s day, lets celebrate YOU. ¬†Always remember, it is not about¬†what your¬†body looks like, but what it can do. ¬†Because what it looks like… doesn’t really matter… When you are running faster, running further, lifting heavier, stretching deeper, climbing higher, and for the mom’s out there, creating life. Your body is capable of some pretty incredible things. So lets start loving it! Earning your dream body is a perk, but the long lasting health benefits is so much sweeter. A pretty body is nice to look at, but can it perform? At the end of the day health is the ultimate goal, and nothing compares to, a Strong Healthy life.¬†

Screen-Shot-2014-02-05-at-6.01.39-PM

 

Paige, Fran, and Sophia РThanks for always inspiring me, you ladies  are beautiful in every way. Not only do your results look amazing, but they prove your bodies can perform. You define a healthy lifestyle and continue to inspire! Keep up the hard work!

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

Start Something New!

Hey lovelies!

I know, I know, I have been MIA! But honestly, I needed a break. So after my last Christmas post, I stopped writing and reading blogs, and just shut down… I barely checked facebook or instagram either. Social media was actually becoming overwhelming. So I knew it was time to take 2 weeks away.

Quick Update

During this break, my best friend, Mariana, came home from Sri Lanka. She is so pregnant. So we have been hanging out, and catching up. The baby is a boy and he is coming in 5 weeks. Her baby shower is this weekend. Exciting!

Together, we got to check out the health and fitness expo, and Union Market.

The expo was not what I expected. Because I am use to marathon expos, I expected it to be more fitness focused. But instead it was catered to people who are interested in starting a healthy lifestyle, not ones already living it. I expected more supplement vendors, and equipment vendors. On the positive side, Mind the Mat yoga studio was there, and they were worth seeing and supporting. (I’ve been to Mind the Mat, and it is an awesome studio.)

Union Market (although small,) is more than I expected. If you are a foodie, you will love it. It is basically a gourmet food court. There is also a really awesome shop, with house stuff, baby stuff, jewelry, lotions, etc. great for gifts. Because Mariana was with me, we loved all the super cute baby stuff! I definitely will be going back. If you come to the DC area, you must check it out.

Start something New!

2015

2014 was very hard to say goodbye to. It was a very special year for Erik and I. In February, we shared an amazing adventure to the oh so exotic country, Thailand. And then in June, we exchanged vows, and promised to love each other for eternity, aka, we got hitched! So although, 2014 has come and gone, it will always hold a special spot in our hearts.

2015 a lot has happened

But now, two weeks in 2015, the new year is here in full force. I usually by now have a new years resolution. In the past, I have had pretty creative ones, such as, Try one new interesting exotic food, I have never tried before, once a week. (Want to loose weight, try this one.)
2015 this is my year
But this year it has been hard to come up with one. I have been having a hard time because in 2014 I have become a huge goal setter. By constantly setting goals and reaching them, I don’t feel the need to set a new year resolution as much as I did in the past. Anyway, because it is tradition, I am going to set one. I don’t really want it to be too fitness focused because I am not weak in that area. I’m bored and just want something new and different.
My main focus this year for fitness and food is BALANCE. I want to be healthy, not obsessive. I have a pretty addictive personality so balance is something I need to work on.
Food and Nutrition: New Years Resolution, Goal
When it comes to food and nutrition, my goals are simple, boring, but necessary, drink more water, quit eating sugar, bring my lunch to work. 
Fitness, Running: New Years Resolution, Goal
Continue to Run and lift consistently Рto be healthy and have fun. Focus on yoga! Not bikram, I want to be upside down more.
2015 New Years Resolution: Goal, focus on Balance, Creativity and Start something New.
New Years Resolution: Goal- Balance
This year I am going to focus on balance when it comes to fitness and food.
New Years Resolution: Goal- Creativity 
I am also going to be even more creative in everything I do. This means more fashionable. Creating more art. Knitting more.
New Years Resolution: Goal- Start
But my main goal in 2015 is to Start something New. I don’t know what that new thing is yet, but I’m excited to report back to you guys, once I discover what it is. I am excited to write a blog post at the end of this year, with what I have explored. Can’t wait!
2015 best
What’s your focus for 2015? Are you planning on starting something new?
If you need tips on keeping your resolutions and goals click here.
© 2015 sweat1xdaily

Carpe Diem & Balance

6a011168668cad970c016302eba872970dLately, I have been craving yoga, and thinking about Balance, and being present.

I read a lot of fitness and healthy lifestyle blogs. Whether it is the sport they participate in or the diet they choose to follow, some of the athletes of these blogs, seem obsessive and extreme in some way or another. For example, body builders are putting on more gains during the off season and become even more lean weeks leading up to their show, claiming they are bringing an even better package to the stage. They are counting every macro, and the debate of which diet plan is constant – should I eat clean, or will IIFYM be a better choice? When it comes to long distance runners… They are running even more races, and some are choosing to run further distances.

All of these athletes are inspiring because they show passion, dedication, and hard work.

It is hard to tell in blog world, what the truth is… Just because someone only blogs about running, or prepping for a show, doesn’t mean, that is all they do. No doubt about it, these sports are time consuming and those who participate in them are very passionate about the sport they choose, but they do have rest days, and some are parents, and they go to work everyday. See my point?

Lately… I have been seeing these athletes ease up a bit and begin to talk about some of the other things in their life, and some have even talked about the importance of balance.

The more I think about it, the more I realize I need to work on balance in my own life. It is hard to juggle everything, and when one point of life gets busy others need to take the back burner, right? Not in all cases. By planning ahead and setting time aside for each task things can get fit in. It is important to figure out what your priorities are… Don’t let one part of your life take over.

I have read a couple blogs where the athlete made their sport and diet their life, and they ended up getting burned out or injured. They realized they needed to be more balanced. Actually, by being balanced they saw better results mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Balance is important in diet as well. Stop choosing a label (paleo, gluten free, vegan, low carb, clean eating, IIFYM,) ¬†to describe your eating habits. Start eating balanced healthy meals. Instead of obsessing over food, lets fuel our bodies. Nutrition isn’t restrictive, it’s healing.

 

Another aspect of life where balance is important is when you goal set. As I said in previous posts, I am a “goal digger.” I always set goals, and try to reach them. Once I reach them, I set new goals. Goal setting is very important, it is a glimpse of what you want for yourself in the future. It helps you challenge yourself and keeps you on track. However, you need to be balanced too. By always worrying about the future, you make forget to live in the present.

This is true for me as well. I love the word Carpe Diem – seize the day, but I don’t always live that way. I need to stop focusing on the future and start being more present, seizing the day.¬†large

 

How do you stay present? How do you stay balanced?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Hello December, I am a Goal Digger!

After getting my wisdom teeth pulled at the end of October, my stress level finally went down. November began stress free, and I became aware of the cheerful holiday spirit, which was making its first appearance. The month was full of crisp fall runs, colorful leaves, and lots of big bold fall flavors. November ended, with a relaxing thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends and family- there was lots to be thankful for. Yesterday, I said my final goodbyes to November, and today I am saying Hello to December.

goal hello december

December is an interesting month, because it is the last month of the year. People get so wrapped up in the traditions of Christmas that they forget to focus on goal setting. Yes, December is the the month to celebrate Christmas, but it is also the month to reach your final goals of 2014 and start to set new ones for 2015. In 30 days we will be saying goodbye to one year and hello to another. goal1

Time to be a …goal digger

A couple of my December Goals are…

 

Personal Christmas related:

  • Celebrate Christmas! Get my Christmas tree, and decorations up. Christmas only happens once a year, so the sooner I can get my Christmas decorations up the better. Time is flying by and if I wait too long, I won’t have much time to really enjoy it. I don’t over decorate. I have a tree, and a few things here and there. One of the joys of being a home owner is the fun of decorating, but if you rent you can decorate too. I choose pretty Christmas decorations, over funny tacky ones. One of my favorite thing about decorations is the warm white lighting the Christmas tree lights give off. I also love the smell of a live tree. The reason why it is important to decorate is because it really does lift your spirits and reminds you to take in all of the holiday cheer.
  • Decide if I am going to give out Christmas cards this year. We only have 25 days until Christmas.
  • Figure out who I need to buy for. I already bought a couple gifts, but I need to finalize my list and shop, shop, shop. I want to shop at Christmas markets and specialty shops.

Health and Fitness Goals:

  • Continue cooking my own food. The more I cook, the more I know exactly what I am eating. Plus cooking is fun, and eating my own food is satisfying! Abs are made in the Kitchen! Update blog more with delicious recipes.
  • Continue to read labels and reduce sugar intake. I QUIT SUGAR remember (wink wink) Set goals for 2015.
  • Run, Lift, Yoga. Start thinking of goals for 2015, and races.

House and Home:

  • It is amazing how much we have done with my little 1950’s duplex. Two years ago we started with nothing, (we¬†were sitting on beach chairs in the living room, because we didn’t have a couch.) But thats what it takes when you want to start from scratch. Things have really come along. I can’t wait to share with you some of our DIY projects.

Blog:

  • This month on the blog get ready for a lot of GIFT IEAS.¬†I’m going to be telling you the best gifts for runners, yogis, and gym unicorns. I am also going to be talking about what to get your foodie. So if you need Holiday Gift Ideas. Stay tuned.

Happy December 1!

goal holidays

 

What are your December Goals? What are your December traditions? What do you want for Christmas? Leave a comment below.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

The MUST HAVE hair Product for Athletes

As a hair stylist I tell my clients that they should not be shampooing their hair everyday. Some agree with me, while others sit there pondering the idea, followed by tons of comments and questions. I hear most often…

My hair gets so greasy, so I have to shampoo everyday.

But I work out everyday, and get super sweaty…

But you are a runner… Don’t you shampoo after your daily runs?

Do you shampoo after Bikam yoga?”

The answer is simple…

No I don’t shampoo after every workout, run, hot yoga class, etc…

To much shampooing strips the scalp of it’s natural oil, and dries out it’s ends. Natural oils are suppose to be on your scalp, so when they are continuously washed away, your scalp naturally produces more. Also, when you scrub your scalp daily, you are stimulating the sebaceous glands¬†on the scalp causing them to produce even more oil than necessary. The result is a head full of oily hair, and dry ends. (Side note: The result above can be worse, depending on shampoo brand and type. So please seek professional advice for daily hair care regiment.)

I know it sounds scary to stop washing your hair everyday, but it will do your hair some good. Changing up your routine is hard, and it may take some time for your hair/scalp to get use to skipping daily shampooing, but trust me it will adjust.

The key to not shampooing daily is using DRY SHAMPOO.

As a runner Dry Shampoo has become my best friend, I have even used it after Bikram yoga.

Dry Shampoo:¬†¬†is a product that absorbs oil from hair, and refreshes hair on days you don’t shampoo. It comes in a powder or powder spay form.

Wondering how to apply Dry Shampoo? It is NOT hard at all…

Watch this quick Dry Shampoo Tutorial I have made and follow the steps below…

Note: On days I don’t shampoo my hair, I actually don’t wet my hair in the shower. So keep in mind, when applying Dry Shampoo, hair must be DRY, not wet from a shower.

 

  1. Begin by taking medium sections and spray dry shampoo at the root, section size will depend on how much hair you have.
  2. Leave the section and move on to the next section. This allows the previous sprayed section to dry and absorb oil.
  3. Move down to the side of the head spraying up and down.
  4. Continue to crown of head and nape if necessary.
  5. Go back through using hands to blend product in until it becomes invisible.

If you have dark hair and you are concerned the dry shampoo will make you hair white. Don’t worry, as shown in the video, the dry shampoo that appears white when blended correctly will dry invisible. Also remember for longer lasting hair only focus on oil areas.

Besides absorbing oil, dry shampoo can also give lots of volume on days when hair goes flat. This holiday season, try using dry shampoo to add volume to your holiday up do. 

MY FAVORITE DRY SHAMPOOS

Dry Shampoo 2I hope this helps. Now stop washing you hair daily, and start using Dry Shampoo. Dry Shampoo  should be in everyones gym bag!

What’s you favorite Dry Shampoo? Leave a comment below, for your chance to win one of the Dry Shampoos above.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

 

 

 

 

Fit Shaming, Skinny Shaming & my Woman Crush Wednesday

It’s Wednesday!

Wednesday is known for so many things.

It can be HUMP DAY – one of my favorites.

To a fashionista, it can be What I wore Wednesday.

To a foodie, it is What I ate Wednesday.

To photographers, it can be Wordless Wednesday.

To everyone who wants to celebrate amazing women, it is Woman Crush Wednesday, aka, #WCW!

Last Wednesday, I posted this picture on my Instagram. 1456750_10102115232803556_452203037258612468_n

This is Misty Copeland and she is my WCW. The hashtag in the photo is #Strengthisbeautiful and I couldn’t agree more. Misty Copeland is proof of that.

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend about body image. I was trying to convince her that because of the way the female body is made, it is almost impossible  for a woman to add muscle and bulk up like a man. But there was no changing her mind. She thinks muscle on women makes them look masculine. (posted on my instagram.)

Does Misty look masculine?

Far from it… she is strong, beautiful, and is as girly as you can get, in her ballet slippers.

However, I have seen a lot of Fit Shaming going on all over social media. Fit Shaming is degrading one because they look too fit, or because their workout schedule seems extreme. I have seen people comment on other athletes photos/posts saying,

“Too muscular…

Eww…

Looks like a dude…”¬†

Maria Kang caused controversy when she posted…mariakang

and she claims she is a victim of fit shaming. I agree.

Body image is always being talked about… I can’t escape it.¬†

Even one of the top songs right now, All About that Bass, by¬†Meghan Trainor is about body image. Honestly, I am soo over this song. Originally the song was promoted as one that embraces positive body image, but recently I have read several articles that argue quite the opposite. The articles¬†claim, the song is guilty of “Skinny Shaming.”

Skinny shaming is the act of degrading or bullying one because they are thin. Our society has labeled thin as beautiful, so one may laugh at the idea of skinny shaming. But skinny shaming is a real thing that is happening. And bullying someone because they are skinny is just as hurtful as bullying someone because they are fat. In Meghan Trainor’s song she talks about skinny bitches, but the shaming continues beyond just this song.

The other day, I came across the article, What a Real Runner Looks Like?¬†The article is written by Runner’s World editor Hannah McGoldrick, who started Run Outfit Of The Day on Instagram. She had a video of her RunOOTD and the comments directed toward the video were not comments about her clothing but rather her body.

She could use a sandwich.

We don’t want to see thin models.

Why doesn’t Runner’s World show real runners with real bodies?

This girl looks like she weighs 90 pounds.

She‚Äôs anorexic.”

 

If you want to read Hannah’s response to the hurtful comments check out the article.

The comments above are real comments and example of skinny shaming. This whole situation annoys me so much. First of all, we don’t really know Hannah, but what we do know is that Hannah is a real runner, who writes for Runner’s World and has run three full marathons. But because we don’t know her, don’t be so quick to comment negative on a person who is only trying to be positive by inspiring others.

Another reason why I am annoyed is because I have always LOVED the RUNNING COMMUNITY.¬†But comments like the ones above, from other runners, disappoints me. I have only seen runners support each other, until now…

My Advice to you…

Whether you do crossfit, run, barre, spin, yoga, lift… Whatever it may be… Do what you love!

Stop focusing on what your body looks like.

Instead start focussing on what your body can do.

Focus on being strong, healthy, and happy.

Stop worrying about the negative comments, because there are many different ways to define beauty, and one’s opinion of what is beautiful may be different than yours.

Oh and please lets stop bullying each other and instead start supporting each other again.

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Who is your Woman Crush Wednesday? What is your definition of beautiful?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Goodbye October, Hello November!

Halloween has come and went.

And, you probably feel like this right now…

halloween candyBut thats okay, because day light savings time gave us an extra hour of sleep… So now we are well rested and ready to take on November!
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November is here, and I am excited. It is probably my favorite months. 

These are my top 3 reasons why I heart November and my November goals…

 

1.    I love November because it is so damn colorful!

On the first day of November, my husband and I left the city to spend some time in the country. The fun thing about living in the DC area is that you only have to drive 90 minutes out and you hit beautiful country roads. Virginia is also very historical! Lots of history are among these country roads.

fall leaves country roads2.   Another reason, I love November is because it is so damn tasty.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. And this November I will be doing lots of cooking. I want to come up with some fabulous new additions to our traditional Thanksgiving. So be prepared for lots of food posts.

3.   And the final reason, I love November is because it is the perfect month to run. 

I wake up every morning with a strong desire to hit the trail. There is only a short time that the leaves are this colorful and I don’t want to miss it. Plus, soon it will be really cold and I’ll have to pull out my winter running gear. So these are the last weeks where the weather will be perfect for running. Also, I must run, to counter act all of the cooking, food testing, eating, tasting I will be doing in order to find the prefect Thanksgiving addition. So I will be participating in Pile on the Miles. (More on that later.)

NYC MARATHONAlso CONGRATS to everyone who ran the NYC Marathon! You guys rocked it out!

What is your favorite thing about November? What dishes are you eating this Thanksgiving? Are you going to pile on the miles?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Butternut Bisque with Coconut Swirl

Besides running and cheering on the marathoners. I have been cooking and eating. It is my all time favorite season. The leaves are changing. The air is comfortably breezy and crisp. Lucky us! ¬†We have been having some absolutely beautiful FALL days here in Washington, DC. And although it hasn’t been too cold yet, I am still craving everything fall.

One thing that defines fall is butternut squash. When I was growing up it was a special treat that my mom made only at Thanksgiving, but now it is a staple in my house. I love everything about it. I eat it all different ways, but my favorite way is in soup form. That is why when I came across the Butternut Bisque recipe in the cookbook Isa Does It, I knew I had to make it asap, plus its Vegan!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • oil (olive oil or coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you desire)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk (extra for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

DIRECTIONS

ROAST SQUASH

TIP: (you can do cook the squash in advanced, and the soup will come together in 20 minutes.)

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the squash in half.
  • Remove seeds.
  • Brush the parchment paper with olive oil or coconut oil and place the squash pieces cut side down.
  • Roast for 45 mins. until squash is tender.
  • After squash is cooked let cool and continue with the soup recipe. If you are making squash in advanced, refrigerate the squash until ready to use.

LETS MAKE THE SOUP

  • Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat, add coconut oil.
  • Cut up onion, and add to the pot, saute until caramelized.
  • Add ginger.
  • Add garlic.
  • Mix in red pepper flakes
  • Add white wine and deglaze bottom of the pan, by scraping with a wooden spoon.
  • Peel and scoop squash.
  • Add squash to the pot.
  • Add vegetable broth (if you don’t have vegetable broth on hand you can use water.)
  • Add coconut milk.
  • Add maple syrup.
  • Add lime juice.
  • After everything is heated all the way through, add soup to you Vitamix. I actually use the soup setting, which continues to heat everything. Blend until smooth. If you are using a Vitamix it shouldn’t take long.
  • Pour bisque into a bowl, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and swirl coconut milk on top.
  • Enjoy!

What is you favorite way to eat butternut squash. I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think about this recipe. 

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

The time I kind of ran the Chicago Marathon.

It is the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.

I am not running it this year, but I will be running, The Army Ten Miler, a very popular local race here in the DC area. Although, the ATM has the same amount of runners as the Chicago Marathon, it is no 26.2.

In 2011, my sister and I signed up for the Chicago Marathon. I had run Marine Corps Marathon two times before. The 2011 Chicago Marathon would have been my 3rd full. Unfortunately, the summer was brutally hot, and I ended on antibiotics, because of stomach issues most of my training. It was hard to fuel my body for my long runs. At the end of the day, I decided I just couldn’t continue training. I was really disappointed, but I run to be healthy and have fun, not to injure myself.

Because hotels and flights were already booked, I decided I would still go to Chicago. My mom and younger sister were coming with me. My older sister was running the full marathon, and we all wanted to be there to support her. My mom had a brilliant idea. She told me to go to the expo, get my bib number, and run a portion of the race. I paid for the race, so why not? I decided to meet my sister at mile 16 and run the last 10 miles with her, as a pacer, as support.

So I went to the expo. It was the best expo yet! 313001_10100216570772486_192728463_n

I got to see Hal Higdon. Hal Higdon is guy who created the marathon training plans I follow. I have always had success. It was cool seeing him!

 

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315509_10100216570483066_1713784094_n-1We took a selfie together.312941_10100216568921196_1160650670_nHe signed my bib!

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Em had fun at the expo too.

The next morning I woke up early with my mom and little sister and we headed to mile 2 to cheer my sister on. She was doing great. Once we saw her, I jumped on the ‘L’ waited around mile 16. Once, I saw my sister I jumped in and ran the last 10 miles with her. It was a hot one! But she made it to the finish.

301209_10100218174598406_769512413_nThe picture is small, but there Em is wearing her Chicago Marathon Medal. I am hoping to run the full Chicago Marathon sometime in the future and get a medal of my own.

The Spirit of the Marathon

Today in honor of the Chicago Marathon, I watched The Spirit of the Marathon. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should watch it, especially if you are running Chicago tomorrow. ¬†It is about a couple different people who decided to run Chicago. They are of all different fitness levels, and have different running goals.

So go ahead, rent it off of itunes or amazon. It is only 1 hour and 40 minuets, so you still have time to watch it. Crawl into your hotel bed, get comfortable, and I promise you will be inspired.   The documentary will totally get you pumped to run.

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As for me, I am doing my night before race ritual, laying out my race clothes. And getting a good night sleep. I am very excited to wake up at 5 am tomorrow morning and run the ATM. I haven’t raced since April, and this will be the first race since my running buddy had a baby, that we will be running together. Can’t wait!

G O O D    L U C K   C H I C A G O   M A R A T H O N E R S ! ! ! ! !

Have fun! 

and to everyone running Army Ten Miler! See you at the start!  xo

 

Questions for you…

  • Whose running a race tomorrow?
  • Which race are you running?
  • Have you ever seen The Spirit of the Marathon?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

I Quit Sugar (8 week detox) review

I am a really competitive person, and I absolutely love challenging myself.

So that is why I am very excited to tell you guys about my new challenge.

I am trying my hardest to quit sugar.

I have talked about my sugar addiction in the past. I have written about it in the blog post, I’ve been drinking my sugar. I also have seen, Fed Up, the latest documentary on sugar addiction. It is a must see and is available on iTunes to rent. ¬†Now, that I have all the facts on sugar, it is time to really get serious. I don’t want sugar to control me anymore.

Do you have a sugar addiction?

I realized I had a sugar problem, when I woke up every morning craving it. I would get my sugar caffeine fix and neglect eating breakfast, but still feel full and energized. Then I would head into work and around 2:00 pm, I would began feeling sluggish again. The craving would start and I would go get my sugar fix. When I was feeling stressed, or my day was not going well, I would immediately want some sort of sweet treat, whatever it may be, it made me feel better. I never thought I had a huge sweet tooth, but I knew I was drinking to many sweet drinks.

I usually don’t pay to much attention to my diet, I just try to eat as many organic plant based whole foods that I can. However, after reading the book, I Quit Sugar, I began to analyze my daily diet even closer. It was then that I realized that all of my healthy snacks was secretly laced with hidden sugars. Did you know you body can not tell the difference between a natural sugar or¬†an added sugar. Your body processes these sugars the same way.

The American Heart Association sets the sugar limit at 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, which translates to 25 grams of sugar. I was getting way more than that. Are you?

Finding the Detox

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A couple weeks ago, I was at the book store picking up a new cookbook, when I came across the book, I Quit Sugar. I thought to myself, “I need this book.”

This book is awesome. It not only has a sugar quitting program, but it also has a lot of amazing recipes.

What I have discovered about quitting sugar….

I have been doing this no sugar diet for a couple weeks now. Unfortunately, I am not very good at it. It is very hard, because sugar is in everything.¬†Compared to this, eating a plant based diet is easy for me. Being vegan or vegetarian you always face the question, “Well what do you eat?” A common answer to that question is… everything, but animal products. Well when it comes to no sugar, I found myself asking the same question. Does this mean no carbs? In the beginning I was very confused.

During, the first week of this no sugar detox, I found myself asking the question, “Well what do I eat?” ¬†I always knew that I drank my sugar, with my daily indulgence of a sugary chai tea latte from Starbucks. But now I am really becoming more aware of all the sugar I have been eating. My daily diet seemed to be a heathy one, but it was laced with hidden sugars. The author of the book, Sarah Wilson, had a similar issue. She too ate tons of health foods, but they were all sugary.

Now here’s the deal…

This detox is sugar free, low carb, gluten free. The foods that make up this detox is organic meat, dairy, and whole foods. The detox is only no sugar for 8 weeks. After the 8 weeks you can add natural sugars back into your daily diet, but remember keep in 6 teaspoons or less, in other words, no more than 25 grams of sugar a day.

My experience and what I have learned so far…

This detox (sugar free) and then diet lifestyle (low sugar) is very similar to paleo. For me this detox has been especially hard because I eat mostly plant based. I am finding that a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes have a good amount of sugar in them. If you eliminate both animal products and sugar form your diet, it is more difficult to find things to eat. For example, a friend of mine is also participating in the I Quit Sugar detox,  but because she eats meat, I found her nibbling on an organic chicken breast though out the day. Chicken breast is sugar free, so it works for her, but you will NOT find me nibbling on chicken, thats just not my style.

So the first couple weeks of the detox, I have been reading labels and have now gotten a really good idea of how much sugar I eat and drink daily. Because I was confused on what to eat, and didn’t have time to meal prep, I have not been cold turkey off all sugars yet. I also didn’t necessary feel like I was eating healthier. For the next 4 weeks I am¬†planning on keeping all of my sugars under 25 grams a day.

In conclusion…

So that is the plan. I will be updating you through out the next couple weeks about my experience. I also will be sharing with you some of the recipes I have tried from the cook book. And when it comes to a very meaty dish, I will be substituting the meat with a veggie option, while keeping everything organic and whole.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you a sugar addict?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

I’ve Moved (from WordPress.com to WordPress.org)

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No, don’t worry I didn’t move from the DC area where I was born and raised. But just in case you didn’t get the point from above, I have moved from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. My blog domain has changed from sweatdaily.wordpress.com to sweat1xdaily.com.

Why did I make the move? Several other bloggers have told me that wordpress.org is very rewarding, and less limiting then wordpress.com. So after months of contemplating, I finally decided to make the switch. So, now I am the proud ultimate owner of this blog, sweat1xdaily.com.

How do I follow this blog? A lot of people over the last week has asked how they can follow this blog. Well if you are interested in getting notified that new posts have been published or this blog has been updated, please subscribe. You can find a subscribe form, by pressing the menu button on the left hand side. Fill it out the form and posts will end up in your email inbox.

Have you heard of Bloglovin’? ¬†I am also now on bloglovin’. If you are a blogger and not on bloglovin then you are missing out. Go get on there NOW! If you are a person who doesn’t have a blog, but loves reading blog you need bloglovin’ in your life. This site is a place you can easily follow all of your favorite blogs in a organized fashion. It is also a great place to find new blogs. I love it. To follow me on bloglovin’ you can press the follow me on bloglovin’ button in the menu section of my blog. Or head over to bloglovin’ and search for my blog, it will come up and you can add it to your bloglovin’ reader.

Well anyway, I am really excited about the new changes for this blog! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

© 2014 sweat1xdaily.com

Hello Fall…

Fall has arrived. It is my absolute favorite season.

The air is crisp and it’s time to get cozy.

happy fall

The things I am most excited about are…

I love the touch¬†of soft warm colorful hand-dyed yarns that are later handmade into chunky knits. (I’m a knitter.)

I love the feeling of a hot and steamy Bikram yoga classes.

I love running, running, and more running. I love seeing the trees which are colorful along the running trail, then hearing the leaves crunching under my running shoes at each stride.

I love tasting… Spicy soups, smoky chili, butternut squash, pumpkin everything.

pumpkin beer

First pumpkin beer… 2 years ago at October Fest!

I love the smell¬†of… Gingerbread, cinnamon, pumpkin spice…

I love hot tea, chai tea, hot cocoa with coconut milk.

 

Those are a few of my favorite things… What are yours?

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

I don’t like labels.

Last weekend, I went to DC VegFest. It was totally cool hanging out with all of those vegans and vegetarians. ¬†The Veg community¬†is a very friendly group, and most wanted to know my story. I was asked by a couple different people, ¬†“What brought you to VegFest today? Are you vegan?”

My answer to that questions is…

No. I don’t feel it comfortable or necessary to label myself as anything. I don’t want to follow rigid rules of any kind, when it comes to food – I am too much of a foodie to be so restrictive and disciplined. I simply want to eat a healthy well balanced diet – full of color, flavor, and texture. And although, I eat and cook mostly organic plant based, I¬†am opened minded, adventurous, and willing to explore all different types of food lifestyles.

I recently found my new favorite blog called, My New Roots. When reading Sarah’s (the owner of the blog) About page, I thought to myself, ” Wow! She nailed it. This is exactly how I feel.”

Sarah says, “The only label I‚Äôll slap on myself is ‚Äúwhole-food-lover.” Nothing makes me feel better, think better, and look better than whole foods! And the big bonus? I¬†never¬†count calories or worry about my weight because I know that if I eat this way, my body will be in a perfect state of balance and health, naturally.”

I agree with her 100%. Although, my diet is mainly plant based, consisting of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds, I still can not label myself as vegetarian or vegan.¬†There has been weeks in which I have gone meatless, but there are days you can find me eating a greek yogurt. ¬†I absolutely love eggs and eat them a couple times a week. I also can’t live without fish. My favorite thing about summer time is eating a Maryland crab feast or a Lobster bake on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you are vegetarian or vegan, your main priority is eliminating all animal products. But the most important thing to me is that everything I eat is organic and whole. It is a very rare day, if you find me eating something that is not organic. I avoid GMOs and processed foods. I try to buy everything from local farms, and eat seasonally. If I am eating eggs, they are from cage free hens eating an organic feed. When I eat fish, I only eat wild caught. And on the rare occasion that I eat dairy or any other animal product, it must be treated as humanely as possible, free of antibiotics and hormones.

There are times in which I love labels, and there are times in which I hate them. There are some labels that are simple, while others are more complicated. The times in which I love them is when they are simple and define ones identity. The times in which I hate them are when they are complicated and become stereotypes.  I can label myself as a marathon runner, simply because I run marathons. But, I can not label myself as vegan or vegetarian, although I often cook and eat that way.

I bought this pendant from a vendor at VegFest…

 

Plant Strong 2Plant Strong

 

It says, Plant Strong.

So if I must come up with a label, Plant Strong is a pretty awesome one. I also love the label that Sarah from My New Roots came up with РWhole Food Lover.  Add organic to it and slap it on me.

What’s your label?¬†

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

DC VegFest

Today was a fun and fulfilling Saturday.

The sun was shining and there wasn’t a drop of humidity in the air. It was the perfect day for a quick five mile loop around the monuments. 10653611_10102009897351646_5078060190360476724_nI wore my new running shoes, Newton Gravity. I also wore my new running watch, Garmin 620. It was my absolute first time wearing the watch and I loved it. ¬†However,¬†I will be writing a detailed review on the Garmin 620 later this week so stay tuned.

10702231_10102009114106276_1414548754899070551_nThen it was off to DC VegFest

The DC VegFest was located in South East DC at the Yards Park right along the river. Growing up in the DC area, South East was a part of the city you always tried to avoid, it was poor and dangerous. But now, it tells a different story. The famous Eastern Market is located in South East, and eastern market is one of my favorite markets in the area. There are also some really cool bars and restaurants on the neighboring streets.

But today, the VegFest took me to another area in South East. I would have never thought to go down to the waterfront. Wow! Things are changing everyday. Check out how cool the South East waterfront is…

dc water

DC waterfront

DC water rest

After walking around the waterfront my friend and I headed over to DC VegFest. 10625143_10102009396749856_5438624594030666857_n

DC VegFest

DC Veg Fest

At the DC VegFest, there were some fabulous vendors, delicious plant based food, free samples, and amazing guest speakers.

SPEAKERS

I didn’t get to see all of the¬†speakers, but I saw a couple. They discussed the health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. They also touched on politics, and environmental reasons for becoming vegan. They touched on animal cruelty, and some told their personal stories of why they went veg. The last speaker of the event was actually on the October cover of Runner’s World, wearing vegan compression socks.

VENDORS

Veg Fest soapsThere were some awesome vendors at the festival, but this soap vendor was by far my favorite. I have been using this sugar based shower gel from Blue Mercury which has been irritating my skin. Sugar is bad for you in every way.¬†¬†So when I saw this vendor, I thought perfect just what I needed. Buying soap here, saved me a trip to Sephora or Blue Mercury. All of the soap is free of animal products and both of the bars of soap I purchased have coconut oil in them. Coconut oil is my new obsession… (I will be writing a detailed post on the health benefits later this week so stay tuned.) The only negative thing I saw is that some of the soaps contain palm oil. Palm oil is in everything, and although it is not an animal product, it is not very vegan. Palm Tree farms in South East Asia, are taking away food and habitats from Elephant, Tigers, and many other animals. Anyway, I went home with two soaps a coconut one and and oatmeal one. The coconut soap is free of palm oil, but the oatmeal one may have some small amounts. Unfortunately, palm oil is hard to avoid.

FOODVeg Fest lunch

Going Veg is all about eating your veggies. If you go to DC VegFest next year, make sure you come with an appetite. There were tons of amazing food vendors and food trucks. A lot of the vendors only took cash, so make sure you bring cash. However, there are ATMs for those who forget. The food ranged from pizza to Indian, Ethiopian to mexican. There were sweets, and southern cooking, even greek.

Overall, I enjoyed DC VegFest!

I highly recommend VegFest for anyone who is already living a plant based lifestyle, and for those who are just interested to see what it is all about. At DC VegFest I learned a little more about animal cruelty, politics, and the environment. I also got the chance to eat some awesome plant based food, while learning how I can help create a better food system for the USA. And in my eyes, at the end of the day that is the most important thing. You are what you eat.

‚ÄúThat‚Äôs when I heard part of the secret. What we eat is a matter of life and death. Food is who we are.‚ÄĚ ¬†~ Scott Jurek

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts…

  1. Review on Garmin 620
  2. Coconut oil health benefits.

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Curry Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potatoes!

I love mixing the sweet flavor of sweet potatoes with salty and spicy. So when I came across the recipe, curry sweet potato fries, in the cookbook Isa Does It… I was thrilled.

This recipe is simple, delicious, and addicting. It is also vegan for all those who eat plant based.

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Ingredients
1) sweet potatoes (as many as you want)
2) olive oil
3) sweet curry powder (Penzeys Brand)
4) sea salt

Directions
1) Wash, peel, cut sweet potatoes in to thin pieces.
2) Place sweet potato wedges on cook sheet.
3) Smother sweet potatoes with olive oil.
4) Liberally sprinkle with curry powder and sea salt.
5) Bake in 400 F preheated oven.
6) Bake for 30 mins or until tender. Cook longer if you want crispy.

Enjoy!

Do you like sweet potatoes? How do you like to prepare your sweet potatoes?

September Goals

It’s a new month…helloseptemberIt’s a new season…

I love new beginnings. It’s time to make some exciting plans for the fall. It’s time to set some new goals.

My ideas…

Fitness:   I worked out like a crazy person before my wedding. I alternated every other month with heavy lifting /active rest periods, and circuit training/HIIT. I ran 5 times a week and participated in two 10 mile races in April.

After my wedding, work got busy, and I felt exhausted and burned out. The last place I wanted to be was the gym.   So I spent the summer resting. I got some pool time in, and started doing some other things I love, such as, cooking, knitting, reading, organizing the house.

Now, I am ready to get back at it!

I feel energized.

So tomorrow will be my first time back in the gym since early july. I’m going to ease back into it. I’ve lost some muscle because of all the running and resting I have been doing. So for tomorrows work out I am going to slowly work on upper body, isolating my back muscles.

I also want to participate in a couple hot yoga sessions, once the weather gets cooler.

Running : This summer, I have been running shorter distances. I have been really enjoying my runs, but running during the fall is my favorite, feeling the leaves crunch under my feet.

  • Marine Corps Marathon:¬†I ended up not deferring my bib for MCM. I am definitely not running the full marathon. I have been to busy and have not had the time to train at the intensity level I usually do. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. So with that being said, I need to come up with a game plan and decide what I am going to do about the marathon.
  • MCM 10K: Because I am no longer doing the full. I may want to do the 10K.
  • Army 10 miler: I randomly got a transfer bib for this race, and I couldn’t be more excited.¬†¬†I will be running this! I want to start stepping up my training. Just waiting for my new shoes to arrive. I need them desperately. I got blood blisters on both feet yesterday only after a 5 miler. ugh!
  • Turkey Trot:¬†Figure out which turkey trot I want to run and sign up.

Running training plan: Because I am not doing an intense marathon training plan, I have decided that I will do the running form training plan from the book, The Cool Impossible, by Eric Orton.

I read the book earlier this year, and loved it. I have the equipment to complete the running form training plan. I also want to try the nutrition plan as well. I may skim over the book one more time, but I have always wanted to complete this trainer, and I am very excited to start it now. I think it will really improve my form and take my running  to a different level.

Other than that…

I want to sign up for my art class.

Finish reading Gone Girl.

Start reading Wild.

Go to a concert.

Paint my bedroom lavender.

Finish knitting my sweater.

Start knitting socks.

Cook delicious meals.

Organize my recipes.

Sweat more.

Blog more…

Hello September, glad you are here.

What are you fitness goals for fall? Are you doing a fall race?

© sweat1xdaily 2014

 

 

Change is good!

September is right around the corner. I can’t even express how excited I am. I love fall, it is my favorite. I don’t know the technical first day of fall, but in my book, once September begins, fall begins. So with the start of September and the start of fall, I’m going to change a couple things on this blog.

I’m a hair stylist. It is my job to transform, make over people all the time. However, for some reason I have not changed the look of this blog since it was born. With that being said, this little blog of mine needs a fresh new look. So these last couple days in August I am going to be working hard on this much needed transformation.

If you are one of my dedicated readers, you may know that the main focus of this blog has been about running. This focus will NOT change. So don’t worry I still am running and will be covering my training, reviews on running gear, and I will never neglect writing posts about my race experiences. However, I have much more to offer. Although, running is my passion, I have other passions as well, so along with writing running posts there will be a variety of other posts, such as, more recipes and nutritional posts.

Summer has been overwhelmingly busy, so I haven’t had much time to blog. Honestly, I also have been bored with writing posts on this blog. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I have been bored writing then you must be bored reading. So my idea is to transform this fitness blog into a healthy lifestyle blog. This healthy lifestyle blog will cover the same fitness posts as before, but I will be adding other type of healthy lifestyle posts as well, including recipes, and a little hair/beauty and fashion/design/art posts. I’m really excited for these changes and can’t wait to get started!

I hope you all enjoy the changes!!!

Help me out…
What do you want to see on this blog!?

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