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.

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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.

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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

Best Christmas Gifts for Runners – Part 2

Hey there!

I hope all of you are almost done with your holiday shopping.

But if you are not…

Don’t feel bad.

Did you know… according to statistics, Yesterday was the second most busy shopping day, of the year, (black friday being the busiest).

Anyway I have already posted last year’s awesome list which was Part 1.

Now I am going to reveal to you Part 2- this years list – The Best Running Gifts for Runners.

1) Newton Running Shoes 

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I wasn’t going to put shoes on the top of my list, because shoes are tricky. They are tricky because running shoes make or break your runner. The wrong shoe can cause major problems, even injury. However, if you know your runner, runs in a neutral or stability shoe then go head and purchase.

Newton running shoes are my favorite. They are a light weight, natural barefoot running shoe. I have convinced most of my running buddies to give them a try, and they fell in love. There is no turning back now. Above is a picture of Raiza wearing (yellow) Newton Distanceuniversal, Me wearing (orange) Newton Gravity neutral, Lina wearing (purple) Newton Motionstability.

The bright colors are awesome, and because 2015 shoes will be coming out soon, most 2014 running shoes, including Newtons, will be on sale.

2) Garmin Forerunner 620 

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I got this running watch in early fall, after I ran the summer w/o a watch because my old Garmin died. I still need to write a proper review. But this running watch is the Mac Daddy of all running watches! It is AMAZING!! Trust me it does everything, recording pace, mileage, cadence, heart rate, and much more. It is like having a running coach, because it actually evaluates your stride and running form. It is $400 w/o heart rate monitor, but find a bundle for $450 that comes with the heart rate monitor. It is way worth the money. This watch will bring a smile to every runner, because it becomes your running buddy and your running coach!

3) Pay for a Race Entry

Christmas doesn’t have to be all about material things. Races can be expensive and they start to add up. Paying for a future race entry is an awesome gift for any runner who is planning their 2015 race schedule.

4) Running Jar

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This was my favorite Christmas gift I got last year. My sister made it for me. It is a really fun gift because the jar is filled with pink paper, blue paper, and green paper. The pink paper has a song title on it. The blue paper has a motivational quote on it. The green paper has a yoga pose or stretch on it. The idea is when ever you are in need for a new song on your running playlist, you grab a pink paper. When you need motivation to get out there and run your grab a blue paper. When you are feeling sore and need a good stretch you grab a green paper. The jar also was stuffed with running accessories such as socks and headbands. I love this idea.

I hope that helps.

It’s crunch time! So go a head and get that one last gift for your favorite runner.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

xo

 

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Best Christmas Gifts for Runners – Part 1!

I hope you all had fun shopping on Black Friday, Small Shop Saturday, and Cyber Monday. I hope you found tons of great deals. However, if you have a runner on your list to shop for, I know your pain. Buying Christmas Presents for a runner can be difficult because we are so particular in what gear we like and need, and it all depends on what kind of running we are doing.

Well I got your back.

Last year I made a list of the best Christmas gifts for runners. The list was so good I decided to share it with you again. I am going to break this post into two parts. Part 1 is my last years list and Part 2 will be my top picks for this year.

So here it is Part 1.

click on the link below to see last years wish list.

It’s Crunch Time – Christmas Wish List for Runners!

Happy Running. Happy Shopping. Happy Holidays!

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Above is a picture of a fun homemade gift my sister made me last year. It was awesome! I will tell you about it in Part 2!

Attention Runners: I want to hear from you. If you have a favorite running item that is on your Christmas Wish List let me know by commenting below. 

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

 

Because of you, I am Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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This year I am Thankful for so many things…

but just to name a few…

I am thankful that I got the opportunity to travel to Thailand. It was a trip of a lifetime, which I shared with Elissa, Mariana, Chis, and Erik. I am beyond lucky that finally I got to experience that part of the world.

I am thankful that I had the courage to create this blog. Blogging gives me the freedom to express myself and oppinons with words. I am thankful to you, my readers, who I hope I inspire everyday to run, lift, eat, and live a healthy lifestyle.

I am thankful for my clients. To me it is not just cutting and coloring your hair. It is all about creating a customized look for you, so you look and feel your best. Thank you, for letting me create. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. But most of all, thank you for trusting in me. Seeing you feel confident is the ultimate satisfaction.

I am thankful that I can run. I am thankful that I live in an area with such an awesome running community. They organize awesome races of all kinds. I am thankful for the races I ran this year, Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Parkway Classic, ATM, and today’s Turkey Trot, and although, it wasn’t a race Running on my Wedding day was unforgettable!

But most of All (saving the best for last) I am thankful for Erik my husband, and our beautiful wedding day. We are forever thankful to everyone who came to our wedding. We made such great memories. It was the best day ever!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment below!

© 2014 sweat1xdaily

Turkey Trots and Cheesecake

Last year I wrote about Turkey Trots and Pies.

This year it was all about the Cheesecake!

I made a Sweet Potato Cheesecake earlier in November as a test run, so I would be prepared for Thanksgiving. I brought it into the salon and it was gone in 5 minutes. Guess it was good. On Wednesday we had a Thanksgiving feast at the salon. Everyone requested that I make the Sweet Potato Cheesecake again, so I did, along with a big pot of Butternut Squash Soup.  Everything was a big hit!

So when it came to my family’s Thanksgiving, we all, headed to my mom’s house. Along with some mashed potatoes and root vegetables, I brought over a Sweet Potato Cheesecake with some fresh homemade whipped cream. Yum!

As for my Thanksgiving tradition РRunning a Turkey Trot.  Every year I run a different one in the area.  This year, Lina and I ran the Arlington one. It was a 5k of hills. The turkey trot is by far one of my favorite races. I love it  for two main reasons, 1) it celebrates fall, 2) it is all about being with family and friends. There are people of all ages including kids, and even some dogs. But at the end of the day, no matter if you are  running a turkey trot in the city or not, it always has a neighborhood feel.

This Turkey Trot was fun for me because I ran with Lina and….

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P.S. That is NOT a food baby!

Did you run a Turkey Trot? I am always interested in new recipes. What did you make this year?

© 2014 sweatdaily

 

 

 

 

Kara Goucher struggles at the NYC Marathon

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Last Sunday was the New York City Marathon.

Kara Goucher one of my favorite female elite runners ran it. She went to New York, not in it to win, but hoping for a solid 2:28 race.

I remember my run last Sunday. It was windy. So windy my lips got chapped. While I was running, I was thinking… I hope it’s not this windy in NYC. If it is, there aren’t going to be any PRs, marathon times are going to be slow.

I constantly talk about the weather on this blog, as a runner the weather really does make or break us. In Kara Goucher’s case, it broke her.

She suffered…

Hit the wall…

and struggled to finish.

I recently read her blog post, A Bitter Sweet Return, and it almost brought me to tears. As I read her post, I felt like I was running the marathon with her, right by her side. There are¬†so many emotional moments. Ones that include…

Deciding to run the first ten miles with the lead pack.

At mile 9, realizes the others aren’t intimidated and slowed down by the wind. Her game plan back fires. She went out too fast, causing her to burn out.

Slowing down running the next 10 miles solo. 

Goucher spots Edna Kiplagat at mile 18, and uses her as a target. Unfortunately, she barely passes her, and never regains energy. 

Continues running to mile 24, knowing her coach would be there. But being too delirious that she runs right by him, never seeing nor hearing his support.

Finally, Goucher makes it to finish line.
There is a quote that goes something like, “The only run you regret is the one you don’t do…” Goucher says she has no regrets… As a runner, we run races. Some end up good, while others bad.
“I have at times been criticized for showing so much emotion.¬†¬†I wear my heart on my sleeve and have never been good at ‚Äúkeeping it together.‚Ä̬†¬†
Goucher poured her heart out on her blog. And the reason why I found it so important to recap her race and blog post is because of that reason. She is so passionate. And I have always put elite runners in a whole different light. On a different level. Physically they are on a different level, but after reading her blog post I realized elite runners are really not much different then you and I. They have the same mental strategies, and the same mental break downs.
  • The wind effects them.
  • They go out too fast.
  • They don’t want to run alone.
  • They use other runners as a focus target… to run faster in hopes to regain energy.
  • They look for familiar support at mile markers.
  • ¬†They get delirious…
  • ¬†They make it to the finish line.
  • ¬†They never regret running.
  • ¬†They have determination that the next run will be better.
As a runner, I read Kara Goucher’s¬†emotional blog post and totally got it. ¬†I’ve been there, and done that, but of course 2 hours slower.¬†
© 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

 

The story of why I stopped drinking Milk & a Cashew Cream Recipe!

When I was little, I refused to drink milk. I still remember the day my older sister scarred me for life. We were sitting at the kitchen table, and we were both about to down a glass of white rich creamy milk, when she said, “You know, thats from a cow’s boob.” She ran off smirking, when I on the other hand, immediately put the cup down with a look of disgust. I vowed, from that day forward, I would never drink a glass of milk again.

Now a days, if you don’t want to drink milk, or heavy cream you don’t have to. There are tons of dairy alternatives right on your local grocery store shelves. They are available and the variety is endless. However, there are sneaky additives to some of the most popular brands, and it is just as easy and quick to make your own, fresh at home.

When I started to cook more vegan and plant based meals, I noticed that most of the dishes that required heavy cream such as Clam Chowders, used Cashew Cream.

I first came across Cashew Cream in the, Isa Does It, cookbook. But today, I found another variation on the blog I have been reading, My New Roots.

Can you believe I made that creamy goodness from the raw organic cashew nuts sitting in the bowl behind.

Cashew Cream

 

So here it is, the Cashew Cream recipe…

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup raw organic cashews
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  • Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and let soak for a minimum of 4 hours at room temperature or overnight refrigerated.
  • Once cashews have soaked, drain water.
  • Place soaked cashews in Vitamix, and add water, garlic, lemon juice, and sea salt.
  • Blend until completely smooth.

That’s all you do.

That’s it!

Enjoy as a replacement to (dairy) heavy cream in all of your recipes!

Have you made Cashew Milk before? What is your favorite dairy replacement?

© 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

 

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