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It's time to get Get Fall Fit with Skirt Sports!

Don't forget about YOU this fall! We are excited to be teaming up with Skirt Sports over the next 4 weeks to #GetFallFit!

Use your best resource to stay in shape - your community! Participate in the #GetFallFit with Skirt Sports campaign by posting your training over the next 4 weeks in your BGR! group or on your personal page. To sweeten the pot, Skirt Sports is offering 30% off their amazing products for real women. #preservethesexy #blackgirlsrun

The promo code is “BGR!30” (no quotations). You just put that code in the coupon box at checkout and it will apply a 30% discount. This code cannot be combined with other coupons. The discount ends September 11th.

Be sure to post your workouts this month and tag #skirtsports and #blackgirlsrun!

Happy Shopping & Happy Running! 

While, most of these blogs will be about exercise (you know running, yoga, cross training etc.), today we are going to talk about a different form of exercise. The exercise of choice.

Choice is defined as
 “an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.”

We wanted to talk about choice today because like you, we have been watching and enjoying the Sweat with Your Sole Speaker Series. But aside from watching we have also been taking note of the questions. We see how committed each of you is to live your best life, and to being as healthy as possible. And we all know that being healthy comes down, most notably, to our day by day--moment by moment choices. Those choices, however, are not limited to what we eat or how we exercise, but also extend to what we watch, think about, and talk about.

Sometimes our choices are so subconscious and “knee-jerk,” that we aren’t really aware of them. But, here’s a hint. You can tell what you choose and what you have chosen by how your life looks currently.

Everything from the food in your fridge, to the clothes in your closet, to the contacts in your phone are a result of the choices that you have made. The question is: Are you happy with what you have chosen?

This week’s Facebook Live Speaker, Dr. Crystal Jones will talk more about this on Thursday, but in the meantime we wanted to give you few simple things to consider when making choices for yourself.
Check out this cool info-graphic for a few tips on how to make good choices.

It’s hot y'all. Really hot. In fact, here in Atlanta, it’s been close to or above 90 for the past week. We don’t know about you all, but when it's 90 degrees, we don’t feel very motivated to run. However, we all know that our goals don’t stop just because it’s hot. And we can’t simply NOT run for 3 months. So what do we do? We learn to work with the heat instead of against it.

Unfortunately, summer weather usually also means high humidity. Heat and humidity are a double-whammy. The higher the humidity, the more saturated the air is with water, and the harder it is for you to cool off because sweat simply cannot evaporate due to the already saturated air.

Because of this, it’s important to stay adequately hydrated and not just with water, but also with beverages that replace the electrolytes lost through sweating (think Gatorade or Powerade) those types.

Additionally, Runner’s World recommends the following:

  • Avoid running during the middle of the day, usually the hottest time.
  • Plan shady routes and/or routes with water fountains.
  • Wear loose fitting, light-colored, tech clothing that wicks away sweat and dries quickly.
  • Consume adequate amounts of water and sports drink.
  • Wear sunblock/sunscreen
  • Slow your run pace down to adjust for heat and humidity.


We hope this helps! Feel free to comment with any of your favorite hot weather running tips! 

Today is the last day in our mindful eating series. Sad, we know. Today, we are going to talk a little about eating for chakra health. Well, first lets start by talking about what the chakras are.
 
The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga and meditation, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body.

There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet.

These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow. Think of something as simple as your bathtub drain. If you allow too much hair to go into the drain, the bathtub will back up with water, stagnate and eventually bacteria and mold will grow. So is too with our bodies and the chakras. 

There are lots of ways to balance the chakras and eating is one of them. In general, we balance the chakras by eating foods that are the same color of the chakras we are seeking to balance.

Take a look at the chart below to see which foods correspond to which chakra. Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it’s a good start. Happy Healing. 
 
Raise your virtual hand if you have heard of eating for your blood type?

Eating for your blood type is fairly new to popular culture, and there’s been some debate about its effectiveness, but quite a few people have had great weight loss and stress reduction results using it.

The idea is that our blood type is directly linked to the entire internal make up of our bodies. Everything from how much stress we can handle to the digestive enzymes in our stomach hinges on our blood type. It follows that people who have different blood types should have different diets. There is a ton of literature out there on the subject, but according to Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, this is how each blood type is supposed to eat.
  • Type A: Called the agrarian, or cultivator. People who are type A should eat a diet rich in plants, and completely free of “toxic” red meat. This closely resembles a vegetarian diet.
  • Type B: Called the nomad. These people can eat plants and most meats (except chicken and pork), and can also eat some dairy. However, they should avoid wheat, corn, lentils, tomatoes, and a few other foods.
  • Type AB: Called the enigma. Described as a mix between types A and B. Foods to eat include seafood, tofu, dairy, beans and grains. They should avoid kidney beans, corn, beef and chicken.
  • Type O: Called the hunter. This is a high-protein diet based largely on meat, fish, poultry, certain fruits and vegetables, but limited in grains, legumes and dairy. It closely resembles the paleo diet. 
Sounds interesting enough to investigate, right? For more information CLICK HERE. 

By Toni Carey
(@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

***SPONSORED***

This post is sponsored by the American Heart Association Healthy For Good movement. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own. 

Cleaning up my diet hasn’t happened overnight. It’s been a long arduous journey, that quite frankly, I’m still navigating.

As an running junkie, yogi and moonlight weightlifter, healthy eating has (and will probably always be) somewhat of a struggle. Why? Simply put, I love to eat. Like, it’s my JAM!

When I’m happy….I eat.

When I’m sad…. I eat.

[Insert any other emotion you can think of]....I eat

And for me, my diet has become something I have to keep a watchful eye on, maybe more so than most. Why? Hello, I love to eat!! After a happy (or stressful day), I’m the first one to say, “Hey! Let’s grab some French fries and celebrate (or wallow in our sorrow).”

About a year ago, it all came full circle when I discovered that over consuming heavily processed and packaged foods were not helping me towards my health goals and I accepted that the key to health really begins and ends in the kitchen. Sure, exercise is very important, but, I’m a true believer that food has a major impact, too. I’ve experienced first-hand how good foodscan completely transform your life, and nourish you on the inside and out!

So, you can see how this could pose a little conundrum in life. I believe when you know better, you should do better. But, how do you balance your love for Netflix + chill (with a bag of chips) with knowing that everything you put in your mouth is ultimately what you become?

 

It’s tough, but here’s a few things that helped me to arrive at a more balanced place to incorporate more healthy foods and cut out the over processed stuff.

Just Knowing Your Triggers Makes All The Difference

First, for emotional eaters, like myself, heavily processed foods were (and are) my number one go-to. I mean, let’s get real, who says, “I’m so stressed! I think I’ll binge on carrots,” or “Celery would be REALLY great while I watch an entire season of the “next must watch series.” At least that’s probably not the immediate reaction.

But, the great news is, I know that I’m an emotional eater and I know what situations might make me want to indulge in not-so-healthy foods. Knowing is half the battle! Once you know what triggers might make you want to jump in those bag of cookies, you can recognize them and decide to make better choices! At least that’s the hope (or at least maybe just indulge in a moderate portion size). Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way and that’s okay. Better luck next time! But at least you were aware!

It’s Not “I Can’t,” it’s “I Get To”

Okay, let’s get real. Whenever we think about eating healthy, we think, “Sheesh, I can’t have this or I can’t have that,” but honestly that’s not the case. I realized that I was taking for granted my ability to go to the grocery store and have access to tasty fruits and vegetables. It’s truly a privilege. Why on earth would I opt for a bag of chips when I could get nourishment directly from the source? So instead of thinking that you are depriving yourself, realize you actually get an opportunity to eat Earth’s best fast food...fruits and veggies!

Have You Looked at the Ingredient Lists Lately?? Scary stuff.

Because I have a ton of food sensitivities and allergies, I started paying much closer attention to ingredient labels on packaged foods. I was sickened by the long laundry list of man-made chemicals and other things I couldn’t pronounce that were being hocked as “good for you” or “quick and easy family meals.” We have a new house rule. If we can’t pronounce it, we don’t eat it. Let’s not even start on serving sizes! One too many times, I’ve “accidentally” eaten six servings of something when I thought I was only eating one.

Once, I was determined to choose my health over emotions and attachment to my beloved comfort foods, it was a game changer.

Easy? Nah. 

I’m definitely a go hard or go home kind of girl. I love extremes, but when it came to changing my snacking game, I knew it was going to be marathon, not a sprint. Large, sweeping changes, never, ever stick. Slow changes, day-by-day, do. Slowly, but surely, I started subbing out my favorite indulges with healthier options. 

Here are some of my favorite substitutions: 

Soda

Water with slices of cucumber

Chips

Roasted chickpeas (get crazy with the seasonings!)

Carrots with hummus or fresh guacamole

Plantain chips

Cookies

Baked apple or pear sprinkled with cinnamon

Sliced apples with natural peanut butter spread

Fried French Fries

Roasted sweet potato wedges seasoned to perfection

Sweet potato hash with roasted potatoes 

Sliced baked potatoes with salt and pepper

 

The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Healthy For Good website offers an extensive suite of recipes, videos, and articles to help you slowly add more healthy, tasty foods! What I love about AHA’s approach is that it’s ultimate goal is to help people navigate barriers so they can create and maintain behavior change -- they don’t just tell people what to do, they show people how to do it! You can also find other snack swaps if you have children!

June is National Fresh Fruits and Veggie Month and I want to challenge everyone to commit to one food swap! Again, baby steps! Also, join the Healthy For Good movement to get tips, tools & hacks you can actually use!

Run goals. We all have them, right? Body goals. We all have those too. Yet, how often do those two sets of goals meet each other? Our guess is probably not enough. If we aren’t careful it can feel like all our goals exist in a silo (which is what can make them so hard to achieve). Well, we are here to help with that.

Remember, this month is all about mindful eating. And one of the components of mindful eating is eating for your goals. Now, before you get to thinking this is a weight loss post, let us explain. Eating for your goals is NOT the same as eating to lose weight. Eating for your goals is exactly what it sounds like. Its taking a long hard look at what you want to do with your body, and then making sure that what you put into your body is conducive to that/those task(s). Now on a small scale, we all understand this. It’s the reason why the streets of every race are littered with GU packets, Shot Blocks, and Gatorade Prime.

Indeed, during race day we are all hyper aware of what it is going to take to get us to the finish line. But what about before the race? How many of us feed our bodies and muscles what they need on a daily basis so that they can serve us in the long run?

Today, we challenge you to take a moment and contemplate that, and once you do, make a consistent plan on how to execute it. A few tips are:

Long Runs: Distance runners are best advised to eat for endurance. Here, you should be thinking about consuming foods that are sure to give you long term energy. Think complex carbs, leafy greens, and plenty of water. Steer clear of foods or drinks that are high in sugar content because they will likely lead to the dreaded “sugar crash,” before your run is up.

Best food to eat for long runs: bananas, rice, apple sauce or dry toast (adding nut butter for protein).

Short Runs: Faster and shorter runs are more about staying hydrated than anything else. Since you won’t be running that long, you will likely be running faster—so make sure you drink your water. Also, the higher intensity runs give us a just a (bit) more leeway on some of our favorite moderately sweet fruits and veggies!   

Best food to eat for short runs: oranges, watermelon, bananas and yogurt!

Most importantly ladies, remember your body is what YOU make it. Just like you create your goals in the image of the life you want, you can do the same with your body---by virtue of what you put in it, and what you do with it!

Ready. Set. Go!

 

 

Luvvie Ajayi!

Yep, that’s right, Luvvie Ajayi, New York Times best-selling author of “I’m Judging You,” and the voice behind the wildly popular blog, www.awesomeyluvvie.com, will be joining us as this year’s Sweat with Your Sole, keynote speaker!

Ladies, we can barely contain the excitement, and we can’t wait to hear all that she will have to share.

Keep reading to learn more about Luvvie!


"Luvvie Ajayi is an award-winning writer and digital strategist who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology and activism. A twelve-year blogging veteran, she’s the voice behind the respected and hilarious AwesomelyLuvvie.com, where she covers all things pop culture with razor sharp commentary and wit.

Luvvie has been called the Olivia Pope of Social Media for fixing eLives and inspiring students at her popular, frequently sold-out classes. She is a noted speaker on topics related to blogging, branding, digital marketing, nonprofit communications and activism. She’s spoken at numerous colleges and conferences including: SXSW, BlogHer, Social Media Week (Chicago, Lagos and Johannesburg), SAG/AFTRA Broadcast Conference, Chicago Social Media Summit, New Media Expo, FOCUS100, Blogalicious. She launched AwesomelyTechie.com in April 2014 as a resource for writers, small business owners and everyday people looking to use technology to make their lives easier.

 

 Her first book I'm Judging You released by Henry Holt & Co. (division of MacMillan) debuted at #5 on the New York Times best-seller list and has gained major media mentions including NPR, Chicago Tribune, Mashable, and NBC News. Her book was recently optioned by Shonda Rhimes for television. Luvvie has spoken at the UN's Social Good Summit, Consumer Reports, MAKERS Conference, Twitter, Pennsylvania Conference for Women and Facebook, among others"

Join Luvvie at SWYS, 2017. www.sweatwithyoursole.com

 

BGR! Co-Founders Reveal Keynote Speaker for 2017 Sweat With Your Sole Race x Conference

We have a really BIG announcement this morning!! Can't wait to see everyone at SWYS! @luvvie

A post shared by Black Girls RUN! (@officialblackgirlsrun) on

To learn more about the Sweat With Your Sole Race x Conference or to register go to www.sweatwithyoursole.com.

Well, ladies it’s June 5th and that means we are only 2 weeks away from the longest day of the year, and the first official day of summer! *whispers* Are you ready?

If you're not, don't worry, we are here to help. Not only, do we have a ton of cool ways to get your summer time run on, but we also want to introduce you to the concept mindful eating. Now, we know you have all heard the popular saying, “you can’t outrun a bad diet,” but sometimes it not just what you are eating but how you’re thinking about eating, that causes the problems. Eating mindfully can help with that.  

In short, mindful eating helps you distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. It also increases your awareness of food-related triggers, and gives you the freedom to choose your response to them.

Fundamentally, mindful eating involves:
  • Eating slowly and without distraction.
  • Listening to physical hunger cues and eating only until you’re full.
  • Distinguishing between actual hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating.
  • Engaging your senses by noticing colors, smells, sounds, textures and tastes.
  • Learning to cope with guilt and anxiety about food.
  • Eating to maintain overall health and well-being.
  • Noticing the effects food has on your feelings and figure.
  • Appreciating your food.
Sounds easy enough, right? And truly it is. Listen ladies, we know summer is a synonym for cookouts, family reunions, and drinks with the girls! However, fun with food doesn’t have to mean losing control. We hope you will consider some of the points above the next time you find yourself out and about. Remember ladies, our goals don’t stop for anything.

Stay tuned for more mindful eating tips throughout the month of June.
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