Move It Monday Ambassador

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend! I wanted to pop-in and share some exciting news! You probably already know that I’m passionate about health and fitness. I’m not fitness guru and I’m not perfect, I’m just trying to make healthier choices one day at a time. It’s all about changing your lifestyle and creating healthier habits. I really do love sharing my health/fitness journey with others because I know it can be hard, especially when you think you’re out here doing it alone. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and it’s a lot of us on this journey to better health!

I’m excited to share that I have been selected as a MoveItMonday Ambassador!

 Move It Monday Ambassador My Pretty Brown Blog
MoveItMonday is an international campaign which encourages people of all fitness levels to get moving each week starting on Mondays. MoveItMonday offers fitness routines, tips, and inspiration to help individuals, worksites, schools, and communities incorporate exercise into their weekly routines. You can find everything you need via MoveItMonday.com!

In the past, Mondays were hard for me. After making my Monday workout a priority, I realized that it sets the tone for an incredible, productive week! I got up early this morning and completed 40 minutes of cardio (Arc Trainer and the infamous Stairmill. You can find my Stairmill workout here). I’m also on Week 3 of Super Shred! Woo-hoo! You can follow my Shred journey here. I feel confident about the week ahead!

Join me by sharing with others on how you will be kicking off your Monday through activity/fitness! Use the hashtag #MoveItMonday on social media to show the world you are moving and encourage others to get moving too!

 

Have a great week and here’s a fun challenge to start your week!

 

 

 

 

Guess Who Turned 4? It’s My Blogiversary!

Guess Who Turned 4? It's My Blogiversary! - My Pretty Brown Blog

 

First off…May the 4th be with you! You know I couldn’t resist!

Wow! Time sure does fly by! Today, May 4, is my 4-year Blogiversary (Blog Anniversary)! It seems like yesterday I was sitting on my couch writing my first post not having a clue where my blog would be in four years. So many experiences, many of them still in my queue lol (don’t worry they are coming)! Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet, connect, and network with some pretty amazing readers, bloggers, and people (online and in for real-life) who just make this world a fun place to be in. I appreciate you all for showing my blog and me so much love and support. With this new year, I will be embarking on a journey and I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to share it with you all (even the HALF-craziness lol). LOTS of running, fitness…and oh yes, lots of food and foodie finds—and of course, so much more!

 

Here are a few of my favorite posts over the past year and since inception of My Pretty Brown Blog!

 

Running

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon: Marathon Day

Cigna Blogger Cook-off — Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Mercedes Half Marathon — My First Half Marathon

 

Food/Recipes

Babalu Tacos & Tapas – Birmingham

Eat Drink Birmingham!

Baked Parsnip Chips

 

Everything Else

‘Tis the Season To Protective Style: Senegalese Twists Edition

Essence Music Festival 2013 Rewind!

reCreate ’13 (Women’s Conference) – I Was There!

 

 

Four Year Blog Annivesary My Pretty Brown Blog

Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—because I’ll be sharing all about running, food, and fitness, and a little randomness in between!

-XO

 

 

 

Jeff Galloway’s Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain

Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain - My Pretty Brown Blog

I am constantly learning and growing when it comes to running. I just received new tips from Jeff Galloway and it’s perfect timing being that I shared in an earlier post about needing to reboot. Sometimes “life” things happen, but there are ALWAYS better days ahead. All we need to do is refocus and get re-energized—with a little motivation, of course!

Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain
By Olympian Jeff Galloway

It’s natural to become focused on the big things in life, and worry about outside forces, building stress.  A few simple lifestyle adjustments can result in greater control over attitude and energy, while reducing stress and fatigue.  Yes, you can exert more control over your life, produce positive attitude hormones, and blend together body, mind and spirit by planning and taking action.

  • Walk or run, one day and a walk (or cross train) the next.  While the exertion will wake up the muscles, you’re away from the phone, allowing the mind a little freedom.  Most who start with a blank mental state, finish their exercise session with the day planned, and a few new ways to deal with problems.  Others like to walk/run during lunch hour, while munching on an energy bar.  This can clear out morning stress and prepare mind-body for the challenges of the afternoon.  Many evening exercisers believe that the weight of the day’s stress is erased or contained with the after-work workout.  Scheduling these outings gives you control over your existence.
  • Don’t sit—walk! The addition of a few extra short walks, throughout the day, will energize the body and activate the mind.  Park farther away from work, the food store, the transit station, etc.  Many of my clients use a step counter for motivation and calorie counting.  It helps to find one that is consistent and reliable (usually @ $30).  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day.  You are rewarded for  getting out of your chair (or  the couch) more often.  These short walks burn fat, which adds up (up to 30 pounds a year!).  The best reward is the head clearing effect, which can power you through the mid morning or mid afternoon energy crises.  Even a 3-4 minute “recess” walk at work, can result in clearer thinking, more energy, and greater self-confidence.   
  • Eat more frequently.  Each time you eat, even a small snack, you’ll boost your energy level. The longer you wait to eat, the more likely your metabolism will slump into drowsiness and laziness.  This also means that you’re not burning many calories.  If you divide up your daily calorie budget into 6-9 snacks a day you’ll burn more fat (up to 10 pounds a year).  Eat a snack every 2-3 hours, and you can feel better all day.  It helps to choose foods that have (percentage of calories vs total calories) about 20% protein, about 15% fat and the rest in complex carbohydrate.  This combination will leave you satisfied longer with fewer calories consumed.  To experience a fat loss, consumption can be managed through websites or journals.  For more information, see A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO FAT BURNING by Jeff and Barbara Galloway.
  • Help someone exercise. The psychological benefits are significant when you help someone improve the quality of their life.  Offer to walk (run, hike) with your spouse, parent, friend co-worker, child—or all of the above.  My books WALKING & GETTING STARTED have proven programs with motivation which can lead you  and your “coach-ee” through the training. 

 

Mental well-being plays a big part in effectively running and training, which ties back into ways to run injury free. I hope you enjoyed these exclusive Galloway Blogger tips! I love sharing with others about running, because I know there are others seeking knowledge just like me. There’s something about learning from those who have experienced the very things you may need help with. Getting tips from a well-respected athlete and Olympian makes it even better! For more updates and wisdom from Jeff, make sure you follow Jeff Galloway on Facebook!

 

Jeff Galloway 13.1 - My Pretty Brown Blog

 

Have you registered for the Jeff Galloway 13.1? If not, you can do so by visiting: http://www.jeffgalloway131.com. You can also get updates via Jeff Galloway’s’ 13.1 Facebook Fan Page here. I hope to see you there!!!

 
If you missed the last few installments of Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips, you can read them here:
 
 
Run Happy and Injury Free!
 
 
 
 

Magic City Running, Football Family, & Furry Friends

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I haven’t posted in a minute so this recap will be all over the place. Training is going well. I have my second to the last big training (long) run this weekend. Less than 40 days until the big day! So excited (and nervous)!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I helped volunteer at the Magic City Half Marathon with my running group. I ran it last year, but this was my first volunteer experience and I really enjoyed it! We were the first water stop for the runners, so it went by so fast! I was happy to cheer on so many friends, runners, and walkers participating in the race. It was raining on and off and I was hoping I wouldn’t get sick. I wanted to enjoy my Thanksgiving eats! A few sniffles, but nothing a Hot Toddy and some meds couldn’t fix.

mch1

 

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I was so excited to see my sweet friend, Kristin (aka BamaGirlRuns), pass by during the race! She is such a sweetheart and one of the reasons why I started to run Disney! She is the Queen of Race Selfies and she makes running so much fun! LOVE-HER!

mch5

Photo credit: BamaGirlRuns

 

Training didn’t stop for the holidays. Thanksgiving Eve I had 8 miles to complete. I know, it was rough out there dealing with the wind and having a cold–but I got it done! Glory to God!

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Hello Gump Town! The Gump is another name for Montgomery, AL (not sure why). Maybe I’ll get on that. Downtown Montgomery is a beautiful place to run, so of course Thanksgiving morning I had to get it in. I’m planning to run the Montgomery Half Marathon in March. I can’t wait! They will also be bringing the inaugural full marathon to tour the city.

Here is my mini-tour of my Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning!

State Capital

Alabama State Capitol Building

The Riverfront

The Riverfront

 

Davis Theatre

Historic Theatre

 

Fountain

Fountain

 

family

Right before Thanksgiving dinner! Just the girls + Cousin Love!

 

Okay, so Black Friday I opted NOT to hit the streets and get tangled up in that mess of a crowd. A few years ago, my sister and I were shopping from 2:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. and I vowed to never do that again. Online shopping or catching sales the days following is what I do. I did manage to get a few items that I wanted. I found a $9 waffle maker (still on sale from Black Friday) and a heated throw. My baby Sis-in-Love has one and I fell in love with it!

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Rivalry Week, Iron Bowl Saturday (Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers) for us, I had to make everyone’s favorite–Slutty Brownies! You can find the holiday edition to this amazingly, delicious recipe here.

gump

 

Speaking of football…if you haven’t heard all over the news and on ESPN–The University of Alabama at Birmingham (my Alma Mater) football program got cut. I’m absolutely heartbroken by this news. It’s just not right. Please visit here and sign the petition to help SAVE our football team and the other athletics affected! Those students, coaches, and staff…DESERVE a chance! I still believe we can do it! This is bigger than football, bigger than athletics. It’s about being selfless and being a light for the world to see. Go Blazers! You can show support by helping us get the word out and by adding #FreeUAB #SaveUABFootball to your hashtags on social media.

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To end on a happier note, how sweet is this little, Love Muffin? Isn’t she the cutest!? This is Kashmir, my cousin’s baby girl. My HB and I have been discussing adopting a sweet face just like hers. She was getting all the love and we were getting all of the puppy kisses. As you can see my HB and Mom adored her!

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 collagewithkash

That about sums up the happs over the past few weeks! Did you catch any great Black Friday deals? Are you getting excited about Christmas? I sure am! 

Until next time…Happy Holidays!

 

Sweat With Your Sole 5K/15K Recap!

Marriott PeachtreeLast weekend my HB and I took a road trip over to the A (Atlanta) for the Black Girls RUN! Sweat With Your Sole 5K/15K! I won a contest for a free registration of my choice (5K or 15K). I registered for the 15K. For those who don’t know, 15K = 9.3 miles. Since the Women’s Running Series—Nashville and Walt Disney World Marathon was coming up, this would be a part of my training schedule.

 

welcome! We stayed downtown and our hotel was perfectly placed in the midst of restaurants, quick stores, etc. I’m so glad because parking was $20/per day (no in or out)—so we weren’t driving anywhere. It helped that the race start line was a few blocks away. After checking in and getting a few items from the expo, it was time to get some nourishment. The rain had stopped and the sun was out. Boy…was it HOT and humid! We walked a few blocks and found the Hard Rock Café. We were being greeted by chants of “Who Dat” from fans that were in town for the New Orleans Saints vs. the Atlanta Falcons game. WHO DAT! Yes, I’m a part of the Who Dat Nation. Not die hard, but I love the team and the city!

 

Race Day!

The race start time was 7 a.m. so BGR! Birmingham met in front of the hotel around 6:15-ish to walk over to Centennial Park where the race would start. We took our group photos, warmed up, and headed to the start line! By the way, Atlanta is a VERY hilly place to run (in my opinion and many others). I experienced it for myself back in 2013 when I ran the BGR! Inaugural 10K. You can read that recap here. This was the first year for the 15K, so I don’t think I really grasped what the course would feel like. It was so hilly, humid, and HOT! I see why most races are held during the cooler months. I started off strong with my long run pace, but before approaching mile 3, it was so hot and I couldn’t breathe. I was seriously thinking…I can just finish (not strong like I wanted to, but finish) the 5K. I kept pushing. It was a very hard course for me—so hard, I decided to walk the last 2 miles. I wasn’t worried about my pride, my ego…I just couldn’t do it and I wasn’t. I had given all I had at that moment. I was done. This was probably one of the HARDEST courses I’ve run to date.

I’m happy to say that I made it to the finish line! Had there not been any hills, I’m pretty sure it would have been a PB (Personal Best). I am happy that I stayed the course and did not give up. I know for the most part, running is mental. When you can keep pushing through the doubts, fears, humidity, leg cramps, the smell of BBQ, and everything else running through your head (there goes that mental thing again)…you’ve accomplished something.

  flat runnerI was excited to find a new Bondi Band to match my Sparkle Athletic shwings and shirt! My armband matched perfectly too! You can find them here.

 BTR1 BGR! Birmingham (Just a few of us)

  swys14

 swys

 swys3One more to go!

 wpid-img_20140907_151230.jpgI did that!!!

 Bgrbham1

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BGR15K!!! Yes, I clean up pretty good. I EARNED this medal!!! And you know who else did too?!

 

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swysinspiration

Instagram: heartbeat4many

This great woman (pictured above, R) completed the 15K with a smile on her face! If you could have seen the outpour of love and support as she crossed the finish line…it was beyond amazing! I cried like a baby because she showed me and everyone else witnessing that great moment that ANYTHING is possible! #TeamNoExcuses

 

And We’re Off…

swys2a

A little bit of “blurred lines”

It was a short stay, but it was fun while it lasted! Glad I had my HB with me to carry my bags while I was in recovery mode!

 swys1Time for some grub! We headed over to one of our favorite spots in Atlanta called, Gladys Knight and Ron Winans Chicken & Waffles! I’m pretty sure you’ve heard both of their names before. They are music legends! You can’t go to ATL and not stop there. We prepared to wait. I’m so glad I wore my compression socks!

 Gladys KnightsI had my usual…the “Midnight Train” + Mac!

 

GK Sweet Potato Cheesecake Dessert to go, please! Even though I felt like I earned it and wanted one all by myself…moderation = 1, Artney = 0. My HB and I decided to share a slice of Sweet Potato Cheesecake. One word…DIVINE!

 

Inspirational Moment!

If you didn’t know, Oprah Winfrey was in Atlanta for her The Life You Want Tour!  Then this happened…

TLYWTour

Instagram: officialblackgirlsrun

Co-founders Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey of Black Girls RUN! were honored at Oprah’s The Life You Want Tour! They were presented with the Toyota Standing O-vation Award by Amy Purdy (Paralympic bronze medalist snowboarder/Toyota brand ambassador)! What an honor!!! Congratulations Ashley and Toni on such a remarkable accomplishment! Being presented with an award by Mother O? It can’t get any better than that!

Thank you again, Black Girls RUN! for my registration and for creating such an awesome space for women to come together and celebrate each other! Also, congratulations to everyone who participated in SWYS14 Festival weekend and race! I love my BGR!

 

About Black Girls Run!

Many people have comments and/or questions about BGR’s name and how it came about…

The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.

In March 2011, Black Girls RUN! launched more than 60 Black Girls RUN! running groups across the nation. The groups range from the most novice to the most experienced runner in hopes to educate African-American women about health and fitness and provide a support system to help them reach their goals. The movement has been extremely successful with thousands of women joining in and making a commitment to defy the odds and take charge of their own health.

Black Girls RUN! is open to women of ALL races and all levels (runners, joggers, sloggers, and walkers). This movement was created to change the statistics of African-American women by combating diseases, to get AA women active and moving, to provide education regarding fitness and health, and to show that black girls run! We would love for you to join us in helping put an end to the statistics.

You want to know more? Learn about Black Girls RUN! here AND join the movement!

 

 

 

Why Lisa Runs! | Fitspiration Friday

Lisa-winner

 Why I Run

By:  Lisa Frost

It’s plain and simple. I was never a runner. If it involved running, sweating, breathing hard—I went the other direction. As life evolved, I realized that my family and I suffered from different diseases such as diabetes and congestive heart failure. One day I took a different perspective on life. I realized that my family is in heaven and it’s just myself and my daughter. I desire to live a long and healthy life for her. I will beat the odds against diabetes. I desire to be a fit, fabulous, and a healthy mom! I confess in Jesus name that my daughter will not lose her mother to diabetes!

My journey began with a trip to Urgent Care, which could have possibly ended in a hospital admission. The doctor explained how high blood sugar could lead to coma or even death. I knew this already because I had experienced a diabetic coma and almost lost my life. If that were the case, my daughter would now be in this world without any immediate family. I had to make a change for the sake of my daughter, Elisabeth. I had to make a change NOW!

I didn’t have any fancy runner gadgets or fancy running gear, but what I did have was the determination and desire to run for my health, my life, and my child. I put one foot in front of the other and BELIEVED! So, I started ‘Walk B4 U Run’ with a local running group (Black Girls RUN!). Running has helped me decrease my insulin dosage and lose a few pounds. Needless to say, I am proud of myself. This gave me the motivation to do more!

Now, I have a passion to run! I am motivated to keep running. Running has opened many doors that have been shut for several years of my life. Because of running I now enjoy Pilates, hiking, and aerobics…just to name a few—but most importantly a new, healthy lifestyle. These were all activities that I never had a passion for. I now celebrate the benefits of running to improve my health.

I completed my ‘Walk B4 U Run’ program with a feeling of accomplishment. I can’t even explain how I felt crossing the finish line! The best thing about running is the universe opened up and delivered an amazing group of women in my life. Women who are positive, motivating, encouraging, and living healthy lifestyles.

Now I buy running apparel, run magazines, and gadgets that are simply amazing. I used to say, ‘I don’t like to sweat. I don’t have time’—but I know I need running for my health and that makes me a better and healthier person. I have achieved so much and have received medals and certificates that I now display proudly to let the world know I AM A RUNNER!!!!

 

“I run for my lungs.

I run for my heart.

I run for sexy calves.

[I run to wear cute Bondi Bands]

I run for fresh air.

I run to organize my thoughts.

I run to race.

I run to get away…

I run in the morning.

I run at night.

I run for goals.

I run alone.

I run in company.

I run to move forward.

I run to be in the moment.

I run for the cute shoes

that hide my beat up feet.

I run to sweat.

I run trails, I run roads.

I run on good days

and I run through the rough ones.

I run to be the strongest healthiest version of me.”

 

Congratulations Lisa on being one of our Bondi Band Ambassador #WhyIRun Contest winners! Your story is so inspiring! Keep running and sharing with the world Why You Run!

To find out more about Bondi Band visit www.bondiband.com

 

 

 

 

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Family, Food, Football–A House Divided

*peeks in and looks around*

Whew! I had to wait a few days and recover from the holiday/Iron Bowl Weekend before I posted.

closedchick

photo via

On Thanksgiving morning, I was so excited about heading to Montgomery (aka The Gump) to spend time with my HB’s family. After the recent passing of one of his favorite Uncles, that was just what the doctor ordered. It’s the little things. We figured on the way out we’d grab some Chick-fil-a, but of course they were CLOSED! I always want Chick-Fil-a when they are closed, which is usually Sunday’s. Womp! I think that’s a mind game they play with us loyal customers. Anyhoo…we found some grub and kept it moving!

20131128_121826Road Trip!

mifamiliaI was so excited to see everyone! There’s nothing like family–and this is not all of us!

 

BGR! BIRMINGHAM MEETS BGR! MONTGOMERY….

Since I was in The Gump, I figured I should meet up with Black Girls RUN! (Montgomery Chapter) to “Preserve My Sexy”. You know ya girl had to work off all that dressin’ and pecan pie. This was my first run since the Magic City Half. It was a great, chilly morning for a post-Thanksgiving I-Already-Ate-The-Turkey Trot! I was given a mini-tour of downtown Montgomery thanks to my lovely Soror/BGR-MGM Ambassador, Cecily!

stcapaState Capitol

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mooRan past the MOOseum and look who I ran into?

(Alabama Cattlemen’s Association)

 

 thanksgivingIt was such a beautiful morning!

bgrmgmGreat run with the ladies of BGR!

neatpw1Game Ready! Decided to pull out my Phillip Lim for Target sweatie, found here.

THEN THERE’S FOOTBALL…

ironbowl

You can’t have an Iron Bowl Party without good eats! There was SO MUCH food! Everything was delish! My HB seriously makes the best pasta ever. I’m working on him to see if I can share the recipe! :)

jezzybrowniesMy infamous Slutty Brownies, found here, made an appearance. Please excuse how they look…that’s how they got their name! *wink* I made TWO pans and they didn’t stand a chance.

unnamedA few of the cousins. They are always talking trash! They are Michigan fans. Go Blue!–I guess…

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Let me just say, if you are an Alabama fan in this family, you are totally outnumbered! I didn’t see that win coming, but…Congratulations to the Auburn Tigers…Roll Tide and Go Blazers!