Update: I’m Running The Nike LA 13.1 Half Marathon! (Cancelled)

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When you are a runner, life can throw you so many obstacles throughout its course, but you are still a runner at the end of the day. I must admit that I have known that I am a runner since I joined my high school track team in my sophomore year, but over the past eighteen years, I have had a love-hate relationship with the sport. Starting is always the hard part, right? I often say when I go on longer runs that the ‘first two miles are the hardest’, and rightfully so. It generally takes me about two miles to get out of my own head and focus on my run and the miles ahead. The weather can be a drag, my gear can be in less than spectacular condition, my mind can be all over the place, etc, but one thing that remains constant? I always feel better after a run.

Since last year’s Brooklyn Half, my running and training have been on somewhat of a downward spiral. Less training and more working and focusing on building my businesses. Sure, with less fitness in my schedule I have been allowed more time for production and events, but there is this underlying feeling of unease. You see, when I don’t move my body in the sense of fitness or dance, anxiety can take over when I least expect it. It is not something that I enjoy, but recognize as I grow more self-aware.

For some time now, I have wanted to run a race in Los Angeles, but haven’t registered for any or not made time to just run the streets while I am there on my frequent trips. I have run with Nike run club over the years and noticed a few weeks back that they were planning a Nike LA 13.1 and I was stoked! I was interested in registering, but as business has been a bit slow for me as the new year began, I decided to wait it out a bit. My patience was deemed successful on the day my good friend Ashley called me up to invite me to be on her team for the race. She, along with a small list of female entrepreneurs in the LA area were chosen as team captains for the race, and allowed a few complimentary registration codes for those that they wanted to have on their team. I was in!

Over the past few weeks, I have started to run again, pacing and reminding myself that I am in competition with no one but myself. As a naturally competitive person, I have definitely been that person who would run past folks in the park just to pass them, but now I realize how important it is to be present and run at my own pace. I am excited as the race course has finally gone live, which you may see below.

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The race is Sunday, April 5, 2020 and spots are are still spots available. You may register here. Looking forward to running the LA streets with friends old and new from both coasts! Look out for me.

*Photos courtesy of Nike

EVENT: Intro To Boxing W/ Overthrow x Recess, Tues. 7/30 @ Recess IRL!

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So, you say you want to take a boxing class, but you haven’t made the first step? Perhaps the imagery, marketing, or overall grit of the sport is overwhelming, and you just need a cool intro class? Well look no further, Overthrow New York x Recess have the PERFECT one-two punch for you.

Join me on Tuesday, July 30th for an intro to boxing class led by one of our world class trainers at Overthrow. The class will be held at Recess IRL, the super-fun pop-up space for the Insta-worthy hemp extract-infused beverage brand.

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The session will begin promptly at 6:30 PM to ensure that folks can make it after class or work. All attendees will be guided through a dynamic class, including warm-up, learning the five punches that are the foundation of boxing, gloving up for partner drills, and ending with ab work.

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Want in? Tickets are $20, including wraps. Here are all the details and purchase info:

Intro to Boxing with Overthrow x Recess
Tuesday, July 30th @ 6:30 PM
Recess IRL
680 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

*Purchase tickets here*

Looking forward to getting active with you during LEO SEASON!

Lead An Active Lifestyle? CBD Living Has The Goods You Need To Relax & Relieve Your Muscle Aches

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Up Close & Personal

So you’ve committed to your fitness goal. You are staying active as much as possible, trying new activities along the way to keep your mind and body moving. But with all that movement, we encounter a few hiccups along the way in the form of soreness, tightness, and even minor injuries. Since fully committing to my own active lifestyle which consists of running, boxing, Samba dance, and yoga, I have had more than a few hiccups, which have usually led to breaks in my training schedule. I fully believe in and practice holistic remedies, so when I was contacted by CBD Living to review some of their products, I was all in.

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Drip Drop

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock, you may have noticed that CBD (cannabidiol) is all the rage now. Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD has a relaxing effect and contains no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the chemical which causes a psychoactive effect on your body (AKA what makes you high). I personally wanted to try products to help with my muscle aches as well as to help me sleep because I tend to be restless at night.

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Full line-up: Sleep Aid, Freeze, and Tincture

I requested the CBD Living Sleep Aid Grape Flavour, CBD Living Freeze, and CBD Living Tincture 500mg. Here is my experience with each product:

  • CBD Living Sleep Aid Grape Flavour: Very cool packaging. Flavor of the syrup is almost identical to any grape cough syrup you may have had in your life, so a very familiar taste. The sleep aid contains 120mg of CBD and 16mg of melatonin to prepare for a restful sleep. My first few nights in a row did prove to be a bit more restful, but I believe my body got used to it quickly, so nights after, I still had some issues with sleep. Perhaps a higher dosage of CBD & melatonin in the formula would be helpful for people like me? MSRP $26.
  • CBD Living Freeze:  A roll-on pain reliever with cooling properties containing 120mg full-spectrum Nano-CBD, along with menthol, aloe vera, arnica montana, and tea tree oil, among other ingredients. Reminiscent of other roll ons I have used whilst in physical therapy, I find that the relief does not last as long as I would like. So far I have used it for menstrual cramps directly on my lower abdomen, lower back, knee, and hip. MSRP $30.
  • CBD Living Tincture 500mg: A 500mg full-spectrum Nano-CBD tincture to be taken orally, formulated with organic MCT oil. The oil formulation of the tincture can be taken on its own via the 1ml dropper, or added to food or beverages. I have used it a few times in its own, and a handful of times in a beverage. The relaxing effect has been very slight on me, so I will consider upping my dosage. MSRP $60

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Casually Chilling On The Roof

My conclusion is that CBD on its own is not a cure-all. As I am incredibly active with a now increased appetite, I believe the oral products may not have been as effective on me because of my high metabolism. For the topical products, I believe using them alongside extensive stretching, foam rolling, and massage would be the method to fully reap the benefits of the products.

In addition to the products I tried, CBD Living’s range includes water, teas, lotions, bath bombs, and more. All in all, I definitely believe CBD is a natural alternative worth trying.

 

Photos by Victoria Morris

I received complimentary product from CBD Living for my review.

EVENT: Fight The Stigma, A Mental Health Awareness Class + Discussion @ Overthrow NYC 4/20!

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Mental health awareness is a topic that is very important to me, having struggled with anxiety and depression, and having many friends and family members who live with these conditions and more, each and every day. My cousin Ashley introduced me to NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness a few years back when she was fundraising for their annual 5K Walk and Run in NYC. When she mentioned her idea to me of holding a fundraiser for her NAMI Walk team this year at Overthrow New York, the boxing gym that I currently work at as Event Manager, I was all in. Together we bring you Fight The Stigma, A Mental Health Awareness Boxing Class + Discussion. We will begin with a high-intensity boxing class, followed up by a panel discussion fighting the stigma of what mental illness looks like, as well as highlighting the therapeutic uses of CBD for anxiety, depression, and muscle aches.

Panelists include:

  • Ashley Johnston- NAMI Advocate + Athlete
  • Ida Lomibao-Kashif – Former Bodybuilder + Raising Awareness for Postpartum Depression
  • Cynthia Scott- NAMI Volunteer
  • Steven Phan- Owner of Come Back Daily
  • Moderated by Andrea K. Castillo (me!)

All info is below. You may register here. Looking forward to fighting the stigma with you!

 

FIGHT THE STIGMA

Date + Time: Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 4:20 PM

Location: Overthrow New York | 9 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012

CBD demonstrations by Come Back Daily

CBD cocktails by Care Division

Refreshments by KeVita & KIND

Benefiting: NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party @ Cumbe, Sat. March 2nd

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I started off 2019 expressing my thoughts as an artist, and now, I am putting it all into action. In the month of January I was contacted by the wonderful team at Cumbe: Center for African And Diaspora Dance to take a class and learn more about their organization. As of now, I have been taking Samba class on Tuesday evenings with Danielle Lima, and am very excited to announce that I will be performing!

On March 2nd, Cumbe will be holding Carnaval Kanaval Carnival!! A Diasporic Celebration & Party. The format is an informal dance party with pop-up performances by Careitha Davis, Danielle Lima, Azriel Wallace, Cumbe students (me!), and DJ THECAINMARKO. Food and drinks will be available.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. You may purchase here: http://bit.ly/CarnivalMar2. Come out and get your carnival fix in Brooklyn!

Tone Up That Body for FREE at The Sweat Sessions in The Meatpacking District

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It is the most wonderful time of the year in NYC. We are in mid-May, meaning without warning we can experience anything from torrential downpours to sweltering heat at the drop of a dime. For natives like myself, May signifies the beginning of pre-summer ’18, and you know what that means? Tons of opportunities to explore the city on the cheap, and get that body in check with so many different fitness classes that are FREE 99.

One of my favorites, The Sweat Sessions, held every summer in the Meatpacking District at 14th Street Park, is back with their Summer 2018 line-up, and of course, they are bringing heat (pun intended) with their class offerings. The sessions kick off on Tuesday, May 22nd, and are held every Tuesday evening, with the exception of holidays, with 45 minute classes held at 6PM, 7PM, and 8PM. Check out the lineup below for the first two weeks, and be sure to RSVP ASAP!

 

EVENT: Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party With Cas Rum Beverages Fri. 3/9/18

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Your girl has been a little quiet on the blog front, but it is all for good reason. If you have been following my adventures on Instagram, you would have seen that I have been traveling a lot more, maintaining my fitness, and pouring up dranks. For the past few years, I have been testing out Cas Rum Beverages, a line of bottled rum cocktails with Belizean flair. My goal in creating these beverages has been to share it with the community, and in doing so, share my Belizean heritage with each glass.

For the past month, I started taking the Wukkout community class at the Athleta flagship store on 5th Ave. Founded by Krista Martins, a dancer and choreographer of Guyanese descent, Wukkout is a Caribbean dance fitness class led by soca tunes to have you feel like you are “pon di road” (aka marching on the road for Carnival). I really love the energy of class and immediately thought it would be great to collaborate on an event with Krista, and HERE WE ARE!

To kick off Women’s History Month, Wukkout is holding a special class and shopping party, with ya girl providing delicious rum punch to chill out after class, and encourage purchasing of lovely fitness apparel from Athleta. You may RSVP here. Class spots may already be gone, but you can definitely slide through for the shopping party and fashion show!

Wukkout!® x Athleta Friends & Family Class & Shop Party

Fri, March 9, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

And if all that wasn’t enough, and you can’t make it, all friends of Wukkout receive 25% off their purchase at Athleta.

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See you there!

Lookbook: Just Kicking It With Wear It To Heart Holiday ’17, Captured By Kermit Mercado

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Oh, hello there!

For those of you that have been following my musings on this here blog, you know that I am big into fitness. Even when I am not breaking a sweat, I gravitate to active options, whether they be a fly pair of running sneakers, cool leggings, or a cozy hoodie, as I truly value the intersection of comfort and function. When the wonderful team at Wear It To Heart reached out to ask if I would be interested in collaborating to showcase some goodies from their Holiday ’17 collection, I immediately said yes. I have featured the brand on my site in the past, and own a few pairs of their leggings already, so I felt it was the perfect fit.

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Will I get taller if I continue stretching this way?

I was given a few options of looks to pick from, all including a sports bra and leggings, and like the TRUE Yorker that I am, gravitated to the mostly black option from the Foxy collection.  I chose the  Foxy Crewneck Bra and Foxy Boundless Leggings. Once I received the products, I was so happy with the hand-feel, super soft to the touch with a dense denier, so no see-thru leggings over here! I tried on the full ‘fit and immediately fell in love; it felt like a second skin. Wear It To Heart’s garments use a 4-way stretch, so they move the way you move.

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Welcome to the gun show!

I brainstormed a million photoshoot ideas. Would this be a purely product-focused activewear shoot? Would I show the versatility of the look and how it can transition from the gym to the streets? Would I be wearing cool kicks or barefoot? I went back and forth for weeks, admittedly, and decided to call up one of my buddies and fave photographer collaborators, Kermit Mercado. We decided we would just keep it simple, and this is what we created.

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Details on the Foxy Crewneck Sports Bra

The details on the sports bra were too good; a thoughtfully created narrow racerback to allow maximum movement with sheer laser cut elements. There are removable cups in the shelf bra to give shape and maintain modesty.

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Bedazzled legs & fancy feet

The pattern of the collection is reminiscent of fox fur, given the name. I enjoy the textural element it adds. With a sprinkle of black rhinestones below the knee on both the front and back of the left leg, you get a touch of pizazz that can likely lead your super comfy leggings from day to night.

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Kung Fu Dre

It is important for activewear to perform when you are active, yes? I tested this out by jumping, kicking, stretching, and just moving my body in all directions. While in action, the crew neck bra and Boundless leggings moved where I moved. I enjoyed the higher waist on the leggings. Being a woman with a near 15 inch waist to hip ratio, lower rise leggings are problematic as they slide down south and can be quite uncomfortable. Since this sat at my natural waist, I had no issues of peeking when I bent over.

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Are you excited to see me?

We played around a lot on camera, and while we did get so many amazing shots, the silly ones are some of my favorites. I call this look the “I haven’t seen you in ten years and you brought me my favorite dish.”

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That’s All Folks!

Are you digging the look? Head over to Wear It To Heart to get the lowdown on my look, and scope out the entire Holiday ’17 collection.

Purchase here:

Foxy Crewneck Bra

Foxy Boundless Leggings

 

Hair & Makeup by Andrea K. Castillo

All photos by Kermit Mercado

 

*I received complimentary apparel for this post

My Summer Hydration & Sun Care Tips To Have You Glowing!

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Caye Caulker

Welcome to the first week of July friends! Have you made it out to the beach or park yet to relax and catch some rays? After a pretty miserable winter and gray spring, our bodies our eager to soak in all the Vitamin D we have lost over the months. I personally prematurely did this in March, when I took a weeklong trip to Belize solo. I was so excited to get in the sun that I forgot a few things along the way, and ended up sunburned a la Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. I peeled terribly for weeks, and since I have learned my lesson, I want to give you some tips on how to stay hydrated and protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun!

 

1. Drink Water!

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Essential Alkaline Water

At any point in your life, your Mom, your doctor, your friend, or basically anyone you have probably come into contact with has probably mentioned that you should drink water, or drink more water. Water seems to be having a moment right now as at any point on social media, you can come across a post that reads “I drink more water, and mind my business”.  That is a slightly snarky variation, but rightfully so. When we are hot, or are in direct sunlight, our body’s natural reaction is to sweat to cool down. When you are in sustained sunlight, you sweat more, losing more water. To keep balanced, it is so necessary to stay hydrated by drinking your H2O. Dehydration can catch up quick, in the form of headaches, lethargy, or dizziness. I generally have a 32 oz bottle of water wherever I go, like this Eddie Bauer Freezer bottle I may have permanently borrowed from my Mom. If I forgot my bottle, I usually prefer to drink an alkaline water like Essentia or 1907 in the liter size.

 

2. Sunscreen!

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EIR NYC Surf Mud SPF 30

Let us start by letting it be known that the sun’s rays can wreak havoc on individuals of all complexions. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB rays, and are the primary cause of skin wrinkling, and in more extreme cases, skin cancers. UVB rays are shorter, and cause skin reddening and sunburn, and tend to damage the skin’s superficial layers. With so many sun protection products on the market, it can be very difficult to discern which products are actually useful. As I have been on a bit of a health kick lately, I personally have been fixated on all-natural hair and body products, with sunscreen being high on the list. When looking for your next sunscreen, be sure to look out for zinc oxide on the ingredient list. The white powder compound blocks UVA & UVB rays of ultraviolet light.

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