How to find your Swolemate: Fitness friends

Motivation is key Whether you’re just starting out your fitness journey or you’ve been at it for awhile, you will notice that motivation is needed to get your butt into gear. Ideally, you should find motivation and discipline within yourself. But sometimes, it’s good to have fitness friends to keep us accountable and active. How…

How to find your Swolemate: Fitness friends was originally published on Self Evolve

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Motivation is key

fitness friendsWhether you’re just starting out your fitness journey or you’ve been at it for awhile, you will notice that motivation is needed to get your butt into gear. Ideally, you should find motivation and discipline within yourself. But sometimes, it’s good to have fitness friends to keep us accountable and active.

How I met your mother (or father)

Many people reach out to me and ask how can I find friends and/or a significant other to workout with? Well, I’m here to tell you there are many ways for you to find fitness-minded people in and around your local area.

  • Join a local running group. Earlier this year, I joined a local running group that meets once a week for an easy 3 mile fun run. Through the group, I’ve easily made about 25 to 30 new friends who all enjoy running nearly as much as I do.
  • There’s an app for that. Workout Buddies is a great app to find nearby fitness friends looking for a lifting buddy. You never know, you might meet your swolemate through it.
  • Fitness meet-ups. If you haven’t been on MeetUp yet, it’s a great way to social network! Whether you’re looking for a new job, new friends, a date, or a fitness friend, MeetUp is the way to go.
  • Free fitness classes at your local gyms. Pay attention to the local nearby gyms and attend their free classes when they offer them. You never know who you’ll meet in the middle of that Zumba sweat sesh.
  • Talk to someone at the gym (but not in a creepy way). This one is tricky. It’s likely easier to just not try, but I have heard success stories from people just simply saying hi and how are you to people in the gym. You have to ease into it, and don’t force it if they aren’t into it. Also, don’t say hi to someone wearing headphones. That means they’re not there to socialize.
  • Ask a co-worker! Sometimes you’ll be surprised to find a fitness friend out of one of your co-workers. I actually got into running with an ex-coworker of mine. If I never asked her to run with me, I likely wouldn’t have started running when I did. And I likely wouldn’t have ran that Chicago Marathon this past year.

How do you find fitness friends? Do you have any other ideas?

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How to find your Swolemate: Fitness friends was originally published on Self Evolve

Spice up your life: allspice or no spice?

An alternative to cinnamon Cinnamon has many health benefits as we all know. But some people are allergic to cinnamon! If you’re one of those unfortunate people, don’t fear! Allspice is a great alternative with many health benefits as well. I’m here to tell you why you should spice up your life, especially during this…

Spice up your life: allspice or no spice? was originally published on Self Evolve

An alternative to cinnamon

Cinnamon has many health benefits as we all know. But some people are allergic to cinnamon! If you’re one of those unfortunate people, don’t fear! Allspice is a great alternative with many health benefits as well. I’m here to tell you why you should spice up your life, especially during this holiday season.

Allspice benefits

  1. Digestive Benefits. Allspice may benefit digestion. The eugenol components of allspice’s fruit not only provide an unusual aroma but can also ease digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Also, allspice may be gas-reducing. This spice acts as a relaxant to aid stomach cramps and conversely acts as a stimulant to aid digestion.
  2. Anti-Bacterial Benefits. Recent research studies have revealed that a kind of traditional preparation made from a mixture of allspice oil, garlic extraction, and oregano can combat against E.coli, Salmonella and L.monocytogenes infections.
  3. Good source of minerals. Minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, copper, selenium and magnesium are found in allspice. Iron is essential for red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Potassium helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is utilized in the human body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
  4. Good source of vitamins. Vitamin A, B-6, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C are all found in allspice. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant.

Spice up your lifespice up your life

Some great ideas to add allspice to your diet include the following:

  • Adding the berries when making glühwein or chai tea.
  • Sprinkle a pinch on roasted vegetables.
  • Add to sweet dishes when you want a bit more spiciness (i.e. gingerbread, apple pie, or dark chocolate desserts).
  • It’s a great addition to stews, curries, and soups.
  • Jerk chicken recipe using ground allspice.

What are your favorite allspice recipes?

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Spice up your life: allspice or no spice? was originally published on Self Evolve

Importance of Electrolytes

Most people know that hydration is important, but many people are still dehydrated. Did you know that about 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? America, where water is not only free but also clean (other than Flint). How is it that with free, clean water people are still dehydrated? It takes more than just water to…

Importance of Electrolytes was originally published on Self Evolve

Daily Step Goal

Since the invention of the Fitbit and other step-counting devices, most people have been focused on their daily goal of 10,000 steps as a benchmark for a healthy life. While a round number like 10,000 may seem fishy, this one is backed by some good data found by a Japanese team back in 2000. They found…

Daily Step Goal was originally published on Self Evolve

Since the invention of the Fitbit and other step-counting devices, most people have been focused on their daily goal of 10,000 steps as a benchmark for a healthy life. While a round number like 10,000 may seem fishy, this one is backed by some good data found by a Japanese team back in 2000. They found…

Daily Step Goal was originally published on Self Evolve

Tapering off sugar

After seeing a sugar free trend on Facebook, I decided to do some research into the idea of not consuming sugar. What I found was concerning. Not only does sugar lead to heart disease and diabetes, it’s also considered a powerful drug. People get addicted to sugar similar to or even worse than cocaine. With this knowledge…

Tapering off sugar was originally published on Self Evolve

After seeing a sugar free trend on Facebook, I decided to do some research into the idea of not consuming sugar. What I found was concerning. Not only does sugar lead to heart disease and diabetes, it’s also considered a powerful drug. People get addicted to sugar similar to or even worse than cocaine.

With this knowledge and the inspirational posts from friends, I decided to try and taper off sugar about three months ago. I’m not going to lie, it’s been an uphill battle. Some days I’m completely sugar free, other days I’m eating cookies. I’ve taken the proper steps to replace my sugary foods with healthy alternatives. For example, I now eat unsweetened oatmeal for breakfast and stick to nuts and fruit for snacks. I also try to eat more salads and veggies rather than sandwiches and bread.

Overall, I feel better just from cutting back on sugar. I’ve noticed my workouts improving and I don’t feel as tired as I did before. I also have noticed my emotions have balanced out, even when I’m experiencing my monthly cycle. Also, in relation to that, less cramps which means a less cranky Jen.

What’s your relationship with sugar like? Are you addicted? Are you trying to cut back or cut it out completely? What have you done that works?

Tapering off sugar was originally published on Self Evolve

Inner strength

Living life isn’t just about surviving, it’s so much more than that. How you see yourself affects not only your mindset but also how you live your life. And life is too short to not live it to the fullest. Many people rely on other people’s opinions and feedback to determine how they live their life.…

Inner strength was originally published on Self Evolve

Eat your veggies

It’s been a vegetable-themed week. The importance of vegetables is often overlooked, though. A lot of people think they are healthy if they eat a carrot once in awhile, but what they don’t know is that they should be eating 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. This may seem like a lot, but I find…

Eat your veggies was originally published on Self Evolve

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It’s been a vegetable-themed week. The importance of vegetables is often overlooked, though. A lot of people think they are healthy if they eat a carrot once in awhile, but what they don’t know is that they should be eating 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. This may seem like a lot, but I find it pretty attainable through a few lifestyle adjustments.

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First of all, I love salads. This wasn’t always the case, though. I had to find the veggies and ingredients that I liked in order to enjoy salads. Also, protein since just lettuce isn’t filling. Finding ingredients you enjoy is important. In addition to salads, I also enjoy snacking on veggies and cooking veggies as well. Some of my favorite recipes include roasted vegetables (i.e. Roasted Root Vegetable Lamb Stew) especially during the winter. In the summer, I tend to eat more raw vegetables as opposed to cooked ones. That way, I feel like I can keep my body cool as a cucumber.

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Some yummy salads I enjoy creating involve way more than just veggies, but have a solid veggie base. I like arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce, carrots, radishes, green onions, celery, and tomatoes for a few vegetables. I also enjoy adding in sliced almonds, some berries, and some protein such as egg or chicken. A light dressing like oil and vinegar works perfectly, or a sweet vinaigrette. I try to avoid the heavier dressings in order to keep the salad healthy. Also no croutons! haha…

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There are some vegetables that I have a love/hate relationship with. For example, jalapeños. I LOVE raw jalapeños seeds and all, but they make me hiccup like no other. Does this happen to anyone else or am I just weird?

I found that I love certain vegetables raw and others cooked. Some of my favorite veggies are broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts (roasted, yum), kale, carrots, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. What are your favorite vegetables? How do you like to cook or prepare your veggies?

Eat your veggies was originally published on Self Evolve