Beet and Lentil Dip

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Inspired by Hummus. On the right is Beet and Lentil dip.
Ingredients:
  1. 1 large roasted or boiled beet
  2. 1/2 cup of cooked green or black lentils
  3. lemon zest
  4. garlic clove
  5. 2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
  6. 2 tbsp of tahini
  7. sea salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pair with cut veggies and/or pita bread.

Note: This dip is sweeter than hummus. Feel free to add any other ingredients to enhance flavors. Get creative and make it your own.

Enjoy!

© 2013 sweatdaily

I’ve been drinking my sugar.

I don’t eat cupcakes everyday.

I don’t buy bags of candy.

I avoid cookies, brownies, other pasteries.

I never thought I had a sweet tooth, but I am discovering I actually do…

Let me explain…

I have learned tons from the Livefit trainer. Among the many things I have learned how to eat clean. Through the process of adjusting to this eat clean lifestyle, I have learned about macros, and discovered the My Fitness Pal App. This app is amazing. I’ll take anything that will help me stay organized, (my biggest weakness.) After exploring some of my favorite foods through this app, I have realized sugar is everywhere.

Sugar is necessary for good health.

So how much it too much?

How many grams of sugar does the average human need daily?

According to the American Heart Association the average women should limit their intake of sugar to 6 teaspoons, which translates to 30 grams of sugar daily. For men, AHA recommends no more than 9 teaspoons, which translates to 45 grams of sugar daily.

Now there are different types of sugar, natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables, and added sugar found in deserts, drinks, condiments, etc. This measurement the AHA is recommending is for added sugar, and this is where my problem lays. I drink a ton of tea, most of the time sweetened. I also drink a ton of sugar filled coffee drinks. So it is time to make a change.

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Over the last year I have been really good about shopping organic, cooking my own meals, meal prepping. All of this has played a major role in me seeing results. Professionals say in order to see results its 80% diet, 20% exercise. And although, I have been eating clean, what I am discovering is I am drinking my sugar.

So I am going to declare a goal/challenge. I am going to start paying closer attention to how much sugar I am getting daily, no processed sugars. I am going to give up my sugary teas/lattes for 30 days, hoping that when the 30 days are up I won’t desire them anymore. This is going to be a tough challenge for me, especially during the summer when nothing is better than having a sweet iced tea, or an iced latte. But the truth is, I rarely drink alcoholic beverages, so if I can get rid of this bad habit, I will be golden.

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On another note, I can’t believe how stupid I was. Yes, I know that Starbucks drinks are sugary, but honestly my jaw dropped when I saw how many grams were in some of these drinks. My all time favorite Chai latte has in the grande size over 40 grams of sugar, and then in the venti size 66 grams. Ugh. While people talk about cheat meals, I have been having cheat drinks.

Also, I follow tons of Fitness models and competitors on Instagram. They are a wonderful source of inspiration and information. When they are in training mode or preparing for a photo shoot, most limit their sugar intake to 30 grams or lower daily, this includes natural sugars. However, this may seem extreme to some.

So now that you know my challenge, my goal… let me tell you the game plan.

I am going to continue reading Instagram, Tumblr, blogs, books, magazines, for inspiration and information. I am going to keep my fridge stocked with healthy (natural sugars) fruit and veggies, that are colorful and in season. When I drink tea, it will be organic, fresh brewed unsweetened. If I need it flavored or sweetened, I will add fruit or mint, and only sweeten with stevia. Same for coffee drinks. I am hoping this will help limit my sugar intake, but also get me drinking more water and protein shakes.

Anyway, the other day I was craving sweets, so I decided to go shopping. I ended up picking up these colorful organic beauties.

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My favorite part about the seasons changing, is that the food changes too.

Questions for you?

  1. What is your favorite thing about the seasons changing?
  2. Do you eat too much sugar?

Join me with my challenge! We can keep each other on point. For more inspiration follow me on Instagram. 

© 2013 sweatdaily

Getting Lost while Running!

Yesterday, I got lost running!  

I started running on one trail, then I ended up in a neighborhood, then I realized I was lost. Being lost was not a scary thing, it was actually really fun. It gave me the opportunity to explore.

I ran hills I hadn’t run before. I discovered new neighborhoods I hadn’t been to. I saw some gorgeous houses, gardens, I even randomly ran passed my old pool club, I use to swim at when I was a kid.

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I wished I had my pool pass. Jumping in the pool would have felt really good. I miss being a member of AFC.

Although, DC is a “Running City” full of runners, and running trails. ¬†Running the same paths everyday can get really boring, especially after 6 years of running here.

But running totally lost, was very refreshing. It mixed things up. Not knowing where you will be the next turn, made my running route unique. This is something I am going to try more often, I actually tried it again today.

Have you ever gotten lost while running? Do you ever just run, not knowing how far you are going or where the path might take you?

© 2013 sweatdaily

I Challenge you to…

Hey lovelies,

I have been feeling pretty amazing lately…

Because of you, I have never been so inspired.

Because of my hard work, I have never seen so much progress.

The What’s Beautiful Competition has exposed me to some amazing female athletes, who are setting goals, and reaching them. Because of this I am finding myself feeling more organized, and pushing myself to my fullest potential.

The Livefit trainer has done this for me as well. Although, it is not customized to the individual, (the exercises were hard, intense actually,) but it has made things easy. With out this plan, I would have been totally lost not knowing what to do in the weight room, but instead every exercise and meal was laid out for me with directions and videos. I have been amazed with how much I have learned about lifting heavy, circuit training, heart rate, eating clean, macros, supplements, etc.

I now more than ever, want to become certified in personal training, and sports nutrition. (This is something I have thought about for a very long time, but now I am going to do it.)

I have inspired J and L Рthey both want to complete phases 2 and 3.  So I have decided to repeat Phases 2 and 3 of the Livefit trainer. This time I am going to focus a little closer on eating clean.

This week L and I hit the weight room and started the first week of phase 2. I have realized that this is going to be quite interesting. By repeating these phases I  am getting the opportunity to really see my progress, because I am lifting heavier than ever. I am setting new PRs on most exercises. When I first started lifting I was using 5-10 lb dumbbells and a 20 lb bar, now I am using 15-20 lb dumbbells and 40 lb bar. I am much stronger then I use to be.

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Another thing I am setting new PRs in is my running. Because of my new strength I am also running further and faster.

Also, because of the What’s Beautiful competition I am learning new things like how to use the TRX for planks and push ups. And because the What’s Beautiful competition is all about challenges – I will leave you with this challenge. How many push ups can you do in 1 minute?

 

263229_10101135950428286_874631665_n-1See how many I can do by checking out my video on YouTube.

Good Luck on the challenge! And make sure you let me know how you do!

How many push ups can you do?

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

Transformation Tuesday

There are a lot of different themes on Instagram. To name a few, there is Throwback Thursday aka TBT, or on Friday, Flex Friday. All of the themes on Instagram are really fun to participate in.  However, out of all of them Transformation Tuesday is my favorite.

I love Transformation Tuesday because this theme is the most inspiring. It is extremely motivating seeing people’s transformations. How far they have come. How much weight they have lost. How much muscle they have gained. It is the ultimate proof, that if you make a lifestyle change of eating clean organic food and dedicate time to training hard, you will see results.

Because you are seeing yourself every day, sometimes it is hard to notice the positive change. I find it helpful to take progress pics and I label them with the date they were taken, that way I can really compare, and appreciate my hard work.

So here it is my progress pic, my Transformation Tuesday. transformation tuesday

I am hoping my progress pics will inspire you, as much as other people’s have inspired me.

I also came across this amazing blog post,

This Trendy ‚ÄúStrong is the New Skinny‚ÄĚ Thing (and what it could mean for the next generation of¬†girls).

This is a must read so click here and read it now. It basically talks about the American tragedy of how and why a large majority of young girls spend their time obsessing over their weight.  Devoting endless hours, energy, emotions, and effort into being skinny.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

This is my favorite pic from the blog.

The author claims that her new goal has changed from ‚Äúbe a size zero to¬†do a motherfucking pull up.”

 

254cc5b92387a31c8da38770cacaa81dIn the blog post she reveals how painfully awful it was to be 104 pounds- all skin and bones, and how amazing she feels now strong and fit.  Wishing someone would have told her sooner that Strong is the new Skinny, she is now trying to encourage girls to be strong, fit, healthy.

I love everything about this post and honestly couldn’t agree more – Strong is the new Skinny! And as you can tell from my progress pic, I was never fat, trying to loose weight, but rather I was just skinny,¬†scrawny, (even though I was running everyday)¬†Now, after adding weight lifting to the mix, I not only look stronger, but I actually am…

oh and p.s. I can do a motherfucking pull up. 

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© 2013 sweatdaily

Who would have thought… The gym has become my playground!!

I know I have posted this motivational quote time and time again. tumblr_mijzdgHfwG1rwkaswo1_500

But I had to post it again, because it is the TRUTH! I am actually very shocked I have seen such results this quickly. Maybe it is because I have always had confidence in my body, and didn’t feel like I needed to change much. I went into this trainer, hoping to build strength so I could better myself as a runner, not really thinking about what I would physically change appearance wise.

My upper body has always been skinny and weak. My core was by far the weakest part of my body. People always told me strengthen your core and you will be able to run further and faster. So that is what I did, during this trainer, and now I am running better than ever.

PROGRESS PIC

Anyway, I wanted to post a progress pic. I found a photo of me from 6 months ago wearing the same outfit as I was a couple days ago. week 9 results

6 months ago I had already ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2012 and The Parkway Classic 10 Miler 2012. I was running 5-6 days a week and I had been training for the Annapolis 10 miler. In the photo above I was at the Annapolis 10 miler expo getting my bib. So I was very athletic, but running my body was not sculpted with muscle.

As you can see in the photo above my upper body was very weak and skinny. My core was weak as well, and my body overall was just not as toned. I had a different shape. If you look at the current photo, taken April 5th, you will see my shoulders are starting to take shape, my arms and chest are much more toned. My core and hip area are showing strength. Overall my body has a more sculpted shape. I feel stronger and my running has improved.

LIVEFIT TRAINER UPDATE…

At the moment, I am currently finishing up week 9 of the livefit trainer! Week 9 is the first week of phase 3. In this phase we are incorporating (all of these are defined by bodybuilding.com.

  • Supersets:¬†performing the first exercise and then immediately do the next exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
  • Triple set:¬†Perform the first exercise, followed immediately by the second exercise, followed immediately by the third exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
  • Active rest:¬†Do the first exercise, and then instead of resting, perform the active-rest movement (for example, jump rope). Immediately repeat the first exercise.

The supersets is something that was introduced in phase 2, but the triple set and active rest is something that is new to phase 3. The superset and triple set is suppose to help you continue to build muscle and maintain the muscle you have. The active rest period gets your heart rate up so you are able to burn fat. I actually really like the active rest part, way better than just resting. Before when it was mandatory to take a minute or two in between sets, I always felt antsy to continue on. I love having active rest periods, but boy does it kick my ass. 

On leg day, some examples of an active rest periods are squat jumps and jumping rope. So I bought this new jump rope, so I would personally have my own at the gym. 529476_10101060508754006_1519705170_n-1

On upper body days, active rest periods consist of ab work/core strengthening, and tons of push ups. The hardest push ups yet are kettle bell push ups.  (photo found on bodybuilding.com)

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My favorite new core strengthening exercise is the Exercise Ball Pull In. (photos found on bodybuilding.com.)

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Anyway, those are my two favorite new exercises, and above are the new terms added to phase 3 of the livefit trainer! Another new thing added is treadmill sprints. This is something that I can tolerate, because it is switching up routine on the treadmill, so it is not as boring.

I never thought I would enjoy weight lifting as much as I have. The work has been hard, but I really do like pushing my body, and challenging myself. I have seen amazing results, in myself, and my running.

Although, I always head outside for my runs. When it comes to weigh lifting… The¬†gym has become my playground!!

Question for You…

  • Where is your playground? examples:¬†pool, the ski slopes, the¬†half pipe, the trail, yoga studio, the gym, tennis court …
  • Do you prefer to work out indoors or outside?

© 2013 sweatdaily

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