All Beautifully Strong

Celebrating strong women! Make this year the best you!

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Oakley Mini 10k – Finish beautifully strong!

The Oakley Mini 10k reminded me of why I started the All Beautifully Strong blog. It was an all female race with inspiring female runners. I love running races with such amazingly, strong women because it is motivating and really brings women together. Girls can be so hurtful and very negative towards other women. I find that it is in the fitness world where women can come together and support each other. It’s when we’re at our most vulnerable, dripping in sweat, gasping for air on the course with no makeup where our real beauty shines.
I remember my first half marathon when I struggled to the finish line. I kept stopping and an older man who was also racing started cheering me on. He pushed me and helped me finish strong. Thanks to him my half marathon time qualified me for Corral A in Disney which was my ultimate goal then. I will never know who that man was but I will always remember that moment and be thankful for having a complete stranger help me achieve something so great.
I signed up for another race, the Disney Princess Half Marathon that is geared towards women. I was looking forward to earning my princess title but not looking forward to the fact that I would be sharing the course with 24,000+ female runners. I had it in my head how women aren’t as supportive of each other and felt I wouldn’t receive the same support as I did in my previous race. It was a great race but I must admit it was a pretty quiet race.  The only noise I heard on the course was the sound of heavy breathing and disney music. The only people I spoke to were the Disney characters. (You know I had to yell out to Gaston and tell him I loved him. He shouted back that he loves himself too.) I do understand it was 5:30am when we were running so maybe we were all still a little tired. By mile 6 we heard the roar of the crowd as we ran down main street USA and I was hoping that would perk us up but the runners, including myself kept to themselves.

After this race I knew in some way I wanted to create a way where women can come together and support each other. That’s where the idea of the All Beautifully Strong blog developed. We want to turn this into a community for women to support each other no matter what fitness level they are at or whatever their fitness goals may be. I truly believe women are so unbelievably strong and not to mention beautiful. We are capable of anything!

Running the Oakley Mini 10k with the NYRR’s was truly an inspiring race. I ran with Olympians and thousands of beautifully strong women of all ages. A few of the professional runners spoke to the crowd moments before the start of the race which was great motivation to get us pumped for a 6.2 mile race. One of the professionals who spoke to the crowd reminded us to never forget why we started running. That really spoke to me and reminded me why I started this blog.
Towards the end of my race I had a great runners moment with another woman. I was struggling during the last half mile and just wanted to stop. I noticed the woman running next to me breathing heavy and struggling just as much as me. I took my head phones out and started talking to her. I told her, “Come on! Let’s keep going and finish together!” She couldn’t really talk she was breathing so heavy but she gave me a nod and a smile. We ran together and I continued to cheer her on. Those last meters were so hard and the woman started to out run me. That’s when she motivated me! If she could push herself I knew I could too. I picked up the pace and ran through the pain to finish. I was walking towards the water station and felt a tap on my shoulder and it was her. She came over to thank me. I congratulated her and thanked her because she helped me just as much. This was my favorite part of the race! I hope my blog can become a community where strong women can come together to let our real beauty shine.

Filed under health fitness oakley nyrr run running runner fast speed race nyc new york new york city central park manhatten 10k mini marathon marathon

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Clean Eat: Tuna and Feta Cheese Cajun Patties

Tuna and feta cheese Cajun patties 

1 can drained tuna
1 egg white
25 g feta cheese
1 tsp Cajun spice
Chop veggies such as colored peppers, onion and carrots
Mix all the ingredients in  a bowl and separate into patties 
Cook in pan sprayed with coconut oil and keep flipping them until crispy on both sides
227cals 39g protein 1g carb 8g fat

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New Food Blogger: Silvia!

Please welcome our new clean food blogger Silvia Lazala to All Beautifully Strong! Silvia is a master of healthy, clean food recipes and loves to experiment with everything from dinner to desserts.
Here’s a little bit about Silvia:
I’m Silvia, 30 years old, living a healthy lifestyle and aspiring future WBFF competitor. However, like most, fitness and health were not something that came easy to me and struggled to find that balance. I was born and raised in Bogota-Colombia but moved to Miami when my parents divorced when I was 7. Growing up in Miami, I was exposed to drugs and alcohol at an early age.
I moved to Massachusetts for college and I continued to party and live a not so healthy life, but knew working out would help so I would still run and try to make it to the gym three times a week. My nutrition was horrible and I didn’t get serious about my health and fitness until 2012 when I got diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and lost 40% of my hair due to inflamed follicles. September 7th of 2012 after a night of indulging and drinking I said: NO MORE!
After this decision I completely Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Program from and started to understand that living healthy needed to become a lifestyle and not just a temporary thing. As I started to learn more and continue to read My hair started to grow back and the positive changes to my body and mind were priceless! Looking back now I can’t believe that things I would put my body through. Now I love clean eating, lifting and generally living an active life.

I’m currently working towards becoming a personal trainer and want to combine it with my passion for production in music and help people that travel on tour constantly to live a healthy and fit life. I’m excited to join All Beautifully Strong and hope you enjoy my recipes as much as I do!

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Banana Oat Protein Cookies

Recipe is from my friend Silvia Lazala!

2 ripe bananas 
1tsp baking powder 
1 cup oats 
1 tbsp natural almond butter 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 scoop your choice of whey protein 
about 5 dates pieces of dates 

Mix. Bake at 350° for 15 min

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Motivate May – How I Stay Motivated

 My biggest fear is the day I stop running. To make sure I never lose my passion for running and fitness I find new ways to keep me motivated. Here are a few things I do to keep myself focused and driven….

1.  Everyday, every week, every month is a new chance to begin new goals. My friends and I came up with a great idea to keep track of our workouts and motivate us to get to the gym. We are all on different levels of fitness but we all need the motivation to get there. We update our calendar by marking the days we worked out. We each have our own symbol to draw on the calendar to represent our workout.  My symbol is a heart so I want to make sure there’s a whole lot of love up there. If we accumulate our goal amount of workout sessions we all are rewarded. We chose to treat ourselves to a tasty but healthy meal. I look forward to drawing my heart on the calendar and it creates some fun competitiveness.

2.   One big motivator, which helped get me started on my fitness journey, was following fitness blogs – mainly Tumblr. Now I follow fitness inspired Instagram’s and Pintrest pages. These are a huge help because they constantly post inspiring photos and motivational quotes. Fitness blogs help motivate but also help educate. I was clueless when I started my trek into the fitness world but the blogs I followed gave great tips. 

3.  Selfies help! Sounds silly but keeping progress photos 
    are very inspiring. It’s amazing to see how far you’ve come. 
    Also, don’t be afraid to post those progress pictures. Be proud 
    of every step you’ve taken to a better you. Plus, you’re going 
    to get great feed back, which is always a wonderful feeling!

4.    A great way to keep motivated is to have a fitness buddy! One of my friends loves to wake up early to workout before she goes to work. I am not a morning person but she helped me get my butt out of bed and into the gym before work. It used to be such a challenge to workout so early but now I don’t even think twice about it and love working out early. I also have a great running partner. On days when I want to skip running they help convince me to go and I’m glad they do. I never regret a run. I just regret the ones I don’t do. I also have fitness friends at work. On days when I’m stuck at my desk they will ask me to go for a walk or to do the stairs (all 18 flights!) Not only do fitness buddies help motivate you on days when you don’t feel like working out but they also make it more fun!

5.     One crazy thing I do that definitely keeps me motivated to run is calculating my splits. I use a split calculator, which can be found online, and constantly calculate my realistic and ideal splits. I study these splits like a crazy person. I even have them taped on my bathroom mirror. I figure why not tape my splits where I look the most.

We all have to start somewhere. No one starts at the top. It’s a hard journey but it will all be worth it. Stay motivated and always remember to enjoy the journey! 

Filed under fitness gym fitspo workout motivate inspire motivation inspiration happy healthy progress weightloss eat clean train mean run runner running eat food love may 2013 driven keep going regret nothing

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After over two years of thinking about it, attempting to plan it, falling short, and wishing I did it, the Five Boro Bike Tour finally came to pass.

Attending the Bike Expo on Saturday (for the primary purpose of hoarding free samples and free food) my friend Nick and I made a few friends and learned about some excellent cycling opportunities. Being from Vermont, Nick immediately bonded with the Cabotcheese representatives. On top of giving away free cheese samples, Cabot also gave away cups of delicious strawberry banana smoothie blended up in an enormous vat to break the Guinness Book of World Records for largest smoothie. They did it! and all proceeds went to charity.
We walked away with racing gear and our bags full of free goodies and coupons.
Sunday, bright and early, I met up with my racing buddy Jeff, for a breakfast of bagels as we prepared ourselves for the 40 mile trek through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. 

Beginning in Battery Park we worked our way towards the Bronx cutting through Central Park and dodging pedestrians attempting to cross the street or jog along the paths. All of whom were in their own ipod induced worlds completely oblivious to 32,000 bikers flying by them. There were a few narrowly avoided close calls. 

The bridges were the most grueling (mainly the Verrazano and the climb leading up to it). Long, steady inclines surrounded by masses of people crawling along, some walking their bikes. This left little room for maneuvering and no room for kicking it up a notch to end the pain sooner.
Excluding those two tough inclines, the 40 miles flew by! Between spectacular scenery at all of the five bridges, random bits of entertainment along the way from local establishments and New Yorkers, as well and good company, a great crowd, and free bananas, the tour was spectacular  It ended with a festival in Staten Island with live music, food trucks galore, and plenty of sunny spots to catch some sun.

 By: Catherine 

Filed under blog blogger bike bike tour fitness gym health healthy happy adventure bucket list inspire motivate

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Double Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes!


This is my all time favorite protein pancake!!!

1 scoop chocolate whey
1/4 cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)
1 ripe banana
1 egg whites
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup Oat Flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp cinnamon

Mix together and cook like regular pancakes!!! I topped mine with melted Peanut Butter Co. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter!

Filed under pancakes eat clean health healthy weightloss chocolate peanut butter recipe breakfast food delicious fitness gym clean eating low fat fat free

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Protein Powders: Myths debunked!

There are so many myths about protein powders like that it will make you bulk up and manly looking or it will make you gain excess fat. When in reality there are so many protein powders out there to help you reach your specific goals whether it be putting on muscle or leaning out.
The only way that consuming a protein shake will make you actually gain excess fat is if you consume it along with an unhealthy diet because it just adds even more calories to your day. Also, steer clear from all those fancy protein shakes at your local gym, they’re packed with even more calories, fat and sugar that you don’t really need post work out.
As for looking manly, protein will not make you bulk up instantly and all of a sudden grow huge biceps. I personally consume 2 scoops of my protein a day. These scoops are worked into my daily macro intake and I only take them when I work out (which is on a daily basis). So don’t be afraid of taking protein post work out. Just make sure you’re taking the right kind for you! Here are some tips when you’re shopping online or at your local nutrition store.

What to look for:
Not all proteins are created equal. When looking for a protein, look carefully at the ingredients and nutrients. Some proteins out on the market are no better than eating a candy bar (actually a lot of protein bars out there are the same but we’ll save bars for another day).  The ingredients in a protein really shouldn’t be that many, around 7-10 is average. Anymore than that and you’re filling your body with a lot of junk that it really doesn’t need.
As for the macronutrients in a protein you want to make sure that it’s low fat (1-5 grams) and low carb (1-5 grams) with very little sugar. The lower on these numbers the better so that you’re not getting added calories, carbs or fat to your diet that is not beneficial to your goals. A good protein will have about 20-30 grams of protein per scoop, which is all you really need since your body cannot digest more than that at a time.
Here’s where things can get overwhelming because there are SO many types of protein out there on the market. 
Types of Protein:
Whey protein is the most commonly used protein out there. This type of protein is derived from milk, which means that vegans and those that are lactose intolerant should stay away from this type! Whey protein is digested quickly and provides a good amino acid profile while is ideal with muscle recovery and growth as well as fat loss. 
Types of Whey:
Concentrate: This type of whey contains some carbohydrate and fat. It’s created by  filtering process, sometimes called microfiltration or ultrafiltration. Filtered whey concentrate usually contains much of the vital fractions of whole-milk proteins. Ion exchange uses an electrical charge to separate protein from carbs and fat, resulting in highly purified protein.
Isolate: Isolate is purer, and it’s valued for its lower carbohydrate and fat content, which is useful when dieting.
Hydrolyzed: When protein is hydrolyzed, which means enzymes break some amino-acid bonds, it becomes faster to digest and absorb. It’s excellent for people who want a fast-absorbing protein post-workout.
Casein is also a milk protein and is a complete protein, however it’s different because it provides a slower and prolonged release of amino acids over time. The slow release is important for reducing muscle damage. This type is beneficial to taking before bed when the body goes into a catabolic state, it keeps you fuller longer and helps in aiding in weigh-loss by helping you take in fewer calories. However, be wary when taking this type of protein. It can cause bad side affects for some people. I’ve heard of upset stomachs and I, myself experienced a break out due to casein. Everyone’s body is different though so try it out for yourself.
Soy protein is an excellent option for vegetarians. While it may not be beneficial to someone that is doing heavy training for a competition or any type of athlete it is a good option for the average person looking to up their protein intake while they are working out.
imageBrown Rice:
While brown rice is mostly carbs, there is some protein in there, which is taken out during processing to turn it into powder. This type of protein is easy on those sensitive stomachs. However, this is NOT a complete protein and lacks lysine, which is an essential amino acid. Matching this protein with milk or soy helps fill that missing amino acid.
This is a great option for all those active vegans out there! Hemp protein contains healthy omega-3s which help aid in muscle recovery. However, like brown rice protein, it is not a complete protein because the amino acid profile is not complete. By matching it with other plant proteins like beans, legumes and other grains you can complete that amino acid profile that your body needs. Make sure that you do your research on how to make a complete protein as a vegan!
When it comes to protein, I prefer a whey isolate. I’ve tried some many brands and flavors and found what works best of my body, goals and tastes. Just make sure you do your research before you buy that 5 pound tub!

Filed under fitness gym workout protein protein powder myths eat clean facts fitspo inspire motivate weightloss