Black Girls RUN!

Don’t judge Me!

January 20, 2015


By Damaris Roulette (@1MrsRoulette) So many diet programs out there, so many opinions as to what one should and should not eat. For me, wellness comes first. Then from there, I choose what should be on my plate. Now, today I had it all figured out, baked pork chops, fresh green beans, and mashed potatoes. The day waned, the chops were defrosting in the fridge and dinner was a wrap, in my head that is. A stop at the post office deflated me of most of my energy. The line stretched to Alaska! Well, almost! That kind of hope and patience, I wasn’t endowed with. Scratch that errand. Energy running low, it wasn’t long before the mashed potatoes plan was scratched from the list. Ramen noodles sounded strangely yummy right about then. A quick run back home to get ready for a 4 o’clock meeting and a stint at the amazing Austin traffic killed the pig. And the farmer could hold on to the green beans till tomorrow…. Some dinner plans remain just that –plans. Some people have a schedule, complete with an Excel spreadsheet smack on the refrigerator or an app for that. I try to plan ahead. But really, I go with what I crave. Moderation is my key. And I do not beat myself up for ingesting gluten when others swear it is the root of all diseases. I should see a little more green on my plate today, but today I was allergic to anything leafy. Maybe tomorrow. I have this love relationship with food.  I browse the fresh foods section for hours, I pull recipes from Facebook, and I bring Pintrest to my kitchen just to experience a new realm with nature’s crop. I bake too, but every once in a while, I order through the drive-through window. My choices are not ideal all the time. Sometimes, convenience overpowers my better judgment. But it balances out with bunny days of carrot cravings, goat days of leafy salads, and even fruity days of Fuji apples with peanut butter dip! So don’t judge me if you see me hogging on that slice of Cheesecake Factory sinfully delicious cheesecake; It might be my birthday. Don’t judge me when you see me crunching down celery. It might be my snack before my lasagna is ready. What is on my plate is not always what should be. But I am well. I don’t ascribe to Adkins, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, or any formal diet program and neither do I judge those who are. Be happy, and enjoy your choices as long as they nourish your body right. Listen to your doctor, know your cholesterol levels, the good and the bad. (My pipes have a way of building up clog, doctor said. So I am overly conscious of that). Balance it all with a fitness regimen, whatever your passion. May you have the kind of relationship I have with food –joyful and blissful. Damaris Roulette is a proud member of BGR - Austin Chapter. Nurse, teacher, wife, and new(ish) runner, she likes to write on varying topics. Check out her natural hair blog and her life ramblings on

By: Michaelle Fields

What could be worse for runners than wearing the wrong athletic shoes? Well, not much! Sure, running can be uncomfortable (especially for beginners), when challenging muscles to work harder than they have before. However, running should never hurt. So before spending too much time or money in less-than-perfect shoes, do yourself a huge favor and take these 3 essential steps to ensuring a safe, productive, and happy run.

1. Check yourself (yes, folks…before you wreck yourself). Arguably, the feet and ankles are among our most delicate body parts. Together, they contain ¼ of the bones in the entire human body and take on a variety of sizes and shapes – including, high/low arches and inward-/outward-leaning ankles). So when running, choosing properly fitted shoes is by far one of the most important things you must do. To help, many specialty running stores today offer free Gait Analysis tests, where they videotape your foot characteristics and running patterns, identify posture or movement-related problems. and match you to shows that’ll help you run more efficiently. West Stride Running & Fitness (the only female-owned running store in Atlanta, GA) is where I recently had this assessment done, identified a slight pronation issue, and discovered that the Nike Structure 18 was the shoe that worked best for me. 

2. Choose Comfort Over Fashion. As you can imagine, athletic shoe companies today offer a whole variety of shoes to accommodate varying needs. So once your own need has been clearly identified, feel free to try on as many as you can. Some will surely fit and feel better than others. But, as experts recommend, look for the shoe that gives your toes plenty of room (at least ½ inch) to wiggle around and fits your heels and ankles nice and snug.

3. Try Before You Buy. If at all possible, give your favorite selection a trial run before final purchase. Either take a brisk walk or jog around the store or (better yet) ask to take the shoes out for a quick run. Most specialty stores, like West Stride, will oblige. Alternatively, check their return policy and confirm that they’ll allow an exchange or refund after a trial run, if needed. So rather than risk pain or injury when running, take time to get yourself the perfect shoes! Running, after all, is an experience to enriches and gives joy. And, running in the most fitted and comfortable shoes most certainly will help you achieve that. A new member of BGR, Michaelle Fields is an educational materials sales consultant; certified physical fitness trainer; Spinning® instructor; and founder of California Radiance, a health and beauty brand offering a fresh and natural approach to personal skin care. You are invited to stay connected with Michaelle on Facebook ( and on Instagram (@californiaradiance)!



Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 1.49.41 PMFood-Is-MedicineBy Michaelle Fields “Let thy food be thy medicine” is a quote I often reference when food shopping or eating out nowadays, as it’s a helpful reminder that food has clear and direct purpose – to nurture and fuel our bodies for performance! Trying to navigate misleading propaganda (from grocery stores, restaurants, GMO producers, and organic food manufacturers, for example) seems to have made selecting good, quality food really complicated and confusing. Equally problematic, a whole host of other personal and emotional factors too – i.e., stress, boredom, easy access, special occasions, etc. – have caused this once mindless task to be one of our society’s most pressing health concerns today. For these reasons, I offer this quote to help others too filter through the distractions and misinformation and instead focus on three (3) easy tips for selecting foods healthfully and happily today. Nutritional Balance Without question, calories matter – as do where those calories come from! Consuming 150 calories from a slice of frozen pizza, for example, is substantially different than consuming 150 calories from a lean chicken breast. So the first priority when selecting food (whether eating in or eating out) is to take note of each food’s nutritional value (i.e., vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, hydration levels, etc.). Fresh, lean proteins and bold, colorful produce, for example, are a surefire way to receive much-needed nourishment and fuel.The next priority is then to select from a whole variety of foods, including different food types, textures, colors, and flavors. In turn, this will help supply a whole range of nutritional benefits too.  Chemical Additives If processed, enriched, freeze-dried, or preservative-heavy foods are a must, then apply the 80/20 rule as a guide ensuring that at least 80% of your selections are still mostly beneficial. As for the other 20%, pick the smallest package sizes possible. This way, you limit the impact of their low-nutrient and high-toxin levels. Enjoyment & Results A serving of fun should also on the menu! So don’t be afraid to try new things and new preparation methods too. In fact, make it a challenge to try something new each week or each month. I recently starting adding fresh beets to my salads and smoothies, for example, and now I pick them up from the grocery store each week as I do any other staple item too! Ultimately, the goal here is to keep the process of food selection purposeful, flavorful, and fun … because the more you embrace and apply this quote (“let thy food be thy medicine”) when making food selections, the more you will expand your personal journey, make new and exciting discoveries and, experience the benefits and results intended.

You’re about to get your fitness on, but you’re hungry! So you decide to grab some fuel before hitting the pavement! However, pre-run food is delicate in the sense that it requires the eater strike the perfect balance between an energy-dense snack and a treat light enough to digest properly! You don’t want to weigh yourself down. So what do you eat in order to have the best run possible?

Here’s a list of the best pre-cardio foods that are excellent sources of nutrition. You should definitely stash these yummy snacks in your bag!

 1. One Medium Banana and One Scoop of Nut butter (Almond, Peanut, etc.)

 This is a wonderful snack because the potassium in the banana helps prevent workout cramps. And if you tend to go on long runs, there’s a good chance you might suffer tense calves and quads once you stop moving.

 The nut butter has lots of protein and slowly releases energy. So the fruit gives you an instant blast of carb fuel and the peanut butter sustains you! (Plus, it’s just generally delicious!)

 2. Half of a Bagel With Jam or Honey

If you’re really hungry, feel free to have the whole bagel. Just remember, more food might be hard to digest before a long workout. The bagel is key because the carbohydrates give you lots of energy. The same goes for the jam or honey… the sugar gives you an instant boost. And unlike cream cheese, jam is unlikely to leave you feeling lethargic mid-workout. (Dairy can be difficult to digest, making your body divert energy from your workout into digestion.)

3. Fresh Superfoods (and Superfruits)

 One of my favorite pre-workout snacks entails grabbing a handful of blueberries and/or strawberries. They’re wonderful antioxidants, provide a lot of energy, and are easily stored in your purse. Blueberries are also a great source of fiber and Vitamin C, helping to keep you trim and healthy! Dried fruit is also a fantastic option and a bit more convenient. (It doesn’t go bad, so you don’t have to consume it as quickly.) Sometimes, I’ll pair the snack with organic granola; the granola adds a satisfying crunchiness that leaves you feeling both energized and satisfied. They’re also great for your skin!

4. A Bowl of Quinoa

 This energy-packed superfood is superb because it has high doses of magnesium, is healthy, and easy to make. Also, it’s easy to make large quantities and then store it for later.  Add in some fresh vegetables (or steamed veggies) for a light, satisfying pre-run snack! (Note: Quinoa-made pasta also makes a delicious snack or meal and can be found in most health food stores).

5. Greek Yogurt with Almond Slivers

This is a staple for many highly active people because it’s packed with protein and healthy fats. Plus, it’s inexpensive! Make your snack even more delicious and nutritious by adding some fresh fruit and/or honey into the mix. The possibilities are endless.

 6. Avocado Toast

Avocados are wonderful because they help your body absorb other important nutrients, and like nuts, they’re a good source of healthy fats. Remember that avocados ripen quickly, so pick a firm one and eat it within a day or two of purchase.

So there you have it…

six sensational snacks that will energize you without weighing you down. Do you have a favorite pre-run snack? Sound off in the comments below!



Do you know where you signed up for your REI membership?
What was the first thing you bought with your REI dividend?
What's on your REI wish list this holiday?

Black Girls RUN! + REI  wants to celebrate all of our BGR! members that are also REI members!

To enter, simply follow these instructions:

  1. Follow @officialblackgirlsrun and @REI on Instagram, as well as on twitter (@blackgirlsrun and @rei)
  2. Instagram/Tweet/Facebook a photo and show/tell us how you use your REI membership. Don't forget to tag it with #REI #BGR

We will choose three winners and each winner will receive a $100 gift card.

Not an REI member? Easy, breezy! Check out to find out how to become an REI member.

Enter now through Dec. 30. Contest ends December 30 at 11:59pm EST. Winner must be a REI member. Winners will be announced on January 1. 

NYC: Free Class at the Mile High Run Club


By: Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

There's gyms dedicated to spin, crossfit and weightlifting, but what about running? Now there is! Allow me to introduce you to NYC's  first and treadmill-only gym, Mile High Run ClubWith daily group treadmill classes and endurance focused strength training led by elite runners, everyone trains like an athlete regardless of fitness level. Their program challenges the body differently than simply getting a few miles in. Expertly structured intervals and smart purposeful training guarantee you will reach your goals more quickly. The studio features a distraction free flex room for foam rolling, gait assessments, or one-on-one time with its team of elite coaches. Let me also introduce you to one of the amazing instructors at the Mile High Run Club AND, also one of the fiercest ladies I know, Andia Winslow. She's bad*ss. No, seriously. I met Andia earlier this year at SXSW and she had me at hello. Not only does she have an impressive record as an athlete (golf and bobsledding!), but her innovative fitness and wellness efforts have been recognized globally! Andia MHRC Bio   Her class, #Dash28, is a group interval running session that also incorporates kettlebells and core work. For those curious, classes are held on top-of-the-line Woodway treadmills. Although it is a "running" studio, her class is for runners and non-runners alike.    Desmond leads a class in New York
So, I DID mention the words free, right? Now through the end of the year, you can take advantage of Andia's class for FREE!
Saturdays, 8:00AM
Mondays, 7:15AM
Tuesdays, 6:00PM
Tuesdays, 7:00PM
Wednesdays, 6:30PM
Fridays, 7:15AM
To receive Andia's complimentary class, visit, create an athlete account and enter promo code RUNFORFUN-G1231. Next, email Andia ( which day/time you've reserved for your introductory class. Offer expires December 31, 2014.
Mile High Run Club
28 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
Don't forget to tell them Toni sent you!

Watch This 2015!

#GiveAGoal with TomTom

By: Toni Carey (@toni_carey)


Truth: Running and I have had a rocky relationship since 2013 Truth: In 2015, my love for running and fitness will be reignited Truth: 2015 will be my greatest comeback EVER!!!!!!!! I’m not ashamed to admit it. Between running Black Girls RUN! and pursuing other passions, running took a back burner. I haven’t run many road races and I haven't made myself a regular at any of Atlanta's group runs. I'm still missing my Norfolk BGR! crew and my fave running buddies and running became a chore more so  than something I actually wanted to do. I was/have been/am at all time low with running. But 2015 will be different! Here's I'm upgrading to toni4.0. Running/Fitness Goals
  • FINALLY run the Chicago Marathon: Good thing my life hasn’t depended on this race. Each year I register and don’t run. Fourth time has GOT to be a charm. I will not punk out!
  • Get stronger/build muscle: Basically I want a butt like Beyonce’, a body like Allyson Felix and hair like Tracee Ellis Ross. Thanks to my peeps over at Built 2 Last Sports in Atlanta, I’ve already started the journey and am starting to see results. (Minus the hair part…that’s thanks to my hairstylist Giselle). You will see me running in these this summer!
Screenshot 2014-12-08 17.29.44
  •  Stay consistent: My name is Toni Carey and I have a wee bit of a problem with consistency. Okay, a huge problem with consistency. I won’t bore you with all the ways I’m a moving target, but I WILL say that 2015 will be the year that I stick with a training plan and execute on a weekly basis (with the help of my personal trainer of course). I’ve found the key to be actually scheduling my workouts, and not only that, adding them to my calendar and treating them like any other meeting.
  • Get back into my skinny jeans: Word from the wise. When you get married, you WILL gain happy weight. It’s inevitable. You’re married, you’re happy, you eat. But, eventually you settle in and the work of getting off those extra lbs. will begin. And by eventually, for me, it’s four years later. Yikes! 


  • Focus on ANY other measurement besides weight to determine my progress: Oh the scale. It’s my kryptonite. While, I do think there’s a place in my life for the scale, I understand that it’s not the end all, be all to determine my success. So whether it is inches, beating a personal record, getting into those pants, the scale will not negate the progress I make in other areas.
The great thing about all of these goals is that I only need one wearable device to get er’ done. I’m LOVING the new TomTom Runner Cardio watch!  The coolest feature it offers is accurate heart rate monitoring directly on your wrist, NO HEART RATE MONITOR STRAP TUCKED UNDER YOUR BOOBS! And of course it also tracks metrics like calories burnt, distance, pace, time, etc. It is super simple to use and also has cool features like heart rate zones, interval training (which is great for Cross Fit & HIT-like workouts) and race yourself functionality as well that users can use for running, biking, swimming and all sorts of other sports.  It’s been given several awards, five stars reviews and a magazine recently said, "This is the best damn fitness watch. Ever." I agree!! tomtomwatchdisplay But don’t get it twisted, there’s more than fitness goals to strive for.  Personal Goals Say ‘No”, more than I say “Yes”: In the article, “17 Things Happy People Say Every Day”, the author says,
 “The danger is that sometimes people who make other people's happiness their priority can wind up doing so at the cost of their own happiness. We all know some people who take advantage, or who simply aren't going to be happy no matter what your efforts amount to.”
Not only that, if you don’t put yourself and your interests first, who will? It sounds a little bit selfish, but say, “no” more often and you’ll probably find yourself less bogged down by the requests and expectations of others. Be more present and aware: I spend the majority of my time inside my own mind. It’s the blessing and curse of being a self-proclaimed creative. I’m ALWAYS thinking and while that’s AWESOME for me, it’s not so awesome for people I interact with. If you’re like me, here’s five steps to being more present.  Focus on the 25%: My business coach gave me some really great advice. She said,
“25 percent of people absolutely will not agree with you, 25 percent are fickle and can agree or disagree with you depending on which way the wind blows. Another 25 percent are more likely to agree with you but aren’t totally on board and the last 25 percent of the people in your life are on your team and will be there for you no matter what. Instead of focusing on the 75% that will never agree with you or that are wishy washy, give your time, energy and love to the 25 percent that is 100 percent on your side.”
That philosophy has totally changed my perspective and has given ME permission to focus on everything that I am and striving to become. And the best way to get these goals done? A little bit of patience, a whole lot of prayer AND accountability! Statistics show that sharing your goals with others helps you stay on track and be more accountable.  Since I pretty much shared my entire vision board with you, I want to help you reach your goals in 2015! Now through Monday, Dec. 15, we’re hosting a #GiveAGoal contest for a chance to win a healthy lifestyle package from TomTom, which includes a TomTom Runner Cardio watch, water bottle, fitness attire and coupons for healthy eats! Just complete the form below and share with your friends using the hashtag #GiveAGoal!

Get Your Stocking Stuffed with Brooks!

By: Toni Carey (@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

Christmas is just three weeks away and I have purchased nothing......NOTHING. And while I want to give the gift of running to my running/walking family, I'm not trying to break the bank. You know what I mean??? But where there's a will there's a way, and this season Brooks is helping to get those special stockings stuffed with a few winter running essentials! adaptgloves These gloves are simply GENIUS!!! Not only do they transform from mitts into 5-fingered gloves, they also have a clasp that keep leftie and rightie paired together while they aren't in use. Hallelujah! But it get's better. There's a detachable LED light on the right hand.  Trust me, it comes in handy when Rover stops for a potty break during your pre-dawn run.   Pureprojectbeanie I don't get to wear beanies often, but since I straighten my hair during the winter months, I rock hats (and high ponytails) like it's nobody's business. I particularly love slouchy beanies because they are much easier to dress up than regular ones. The PureProject beanie is super soft and WARM. I wore it yesterday morning during my run and didn't want to take it off for the rest of the day.   Pureprojectwarmer This is definitely my second favorite item on the list. Whether you want to rock it as a scarf, hood, or skirt, the PureProject warmer has you covered, figuratively and literally.   racedayarmwarmer Last, but not least, it's always a good time for arm warmers and they are more popular than ever. Think outside of just wearing them with a tank. Wear them under your favorite long sleeve tee for extra warmth when you don't want to commit to wearing a jacket. So, for the sake of trying to get into the Christmas spirit, we're gifting each of these items to one lucky lady! Tell us YOUR favorite way to stuff the stocking! Just complete the form below. Contest ends Tuesday, December, 9 at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 10!     

Thursday Runavation

December 04, 2014


Today's Runavation

"Forget about the coach who made you run as a punishment.

Forget about those childhood memories of not being 'the athlete.' Just because running wasn't fun for you in the past doesn't mean it can't be now."

-  Sara Johnson, a coach at Reality Running.




The WALKB4URUN Virtual Race for Dec. 20 is OFFICIALLY sold out! You can sign up for the waitlist if you are still interested in participating. Please note that if are waitlisted and accepted into the virtual race, delivery of these medals will be delayed. Additional information/details and the expected delivery date your shipment will be communicated to you.

To be added to the waitlist , click here.


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