Brazilian Trap & The Musical African Diaspora [Playlist]

So, can I share with y’all how I’ve been making it through my latest restart? I’ve always been prone to a bit of gyrating when soca or calypso is within even the subtlest of earshot but thanks to my beloved Google Play, I’ve embarked on what feels like an endless journey of exploring music of the diaspora. This music could very well be thee most amazing result of the diaspora!

The super cool thing is that 6 degrees of separation is actually not a thing anymore. Everyone seems to know everyone. Communities are getting larger yet more specific and there’s plenty of overlapping. We’ve got everyone and everything at our fingertips. I literally pulled up my Google Play and with one swipe of the finger, found my summer anthem, Bum Bum Granada.

Forget how corny the video is. Listen to the damn beat! That deep, rhythmic ostinato. The gun cock with the deep piano chords-genius! This is the recipe for squat music. But there’s more to my workout than squats, I explored Trinidad for my jogging tunes, Nigeria for my calisthenics, Haiti and DR for my occasional dance breaks. I could go on and on. So, let me share with you guys the beats that are keeping me moving and grooving. Check out my list of favorites below:

  1. Bum Bum Granada – Mcs Zaac & Jerry
  2. Dami Duro – Davido
  3. Heart Beat – Iyanya
  4. Push Up On It – Patrice Roberts
  5. Hands In The Air – Fay Ann Lyons
  6. Kukere – Iyanya
  7. Carnival Tabanca – Bunji Garlin
  8. Zouk-Ls-Se-Sel-Medikaman Nou Ni – Kassav
  9. Lucy – Destra
  10. 5 Metas – Mc Davi
  11. Bust Me Brain – Iyanya
  12. Guh Down – Lil Rick
  13. Mummy Mi – Wizkid

Every workout for me requires a good playlist. This is just a likkle sample of what fuels me during my most recent workouts. Do you guys have anything to share? I’m all ears!

xo,

Jazz

 

 

Falling Off & Getting Back On

If you’ve ever checked for my blog or social media posts, I think its pretty obvious why I chose this topic for my comeback again post. But for those of you who are stumbling across my blog for the first time, things have been slower than molasses ’round these parts. New content is coming but before that happens, let’s chat about why I fell off of my blogging and workout game. For starters, summer ’16 was everything Aubrey said it would be.

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It was my first summer back in the DMV and I made it count. I mean there were boozy brunches galore, day parties, cookouts, rooftop soirees, amusement parks, cooking classes, comedy shows, museums, exhibits, camping, late night sh*t-talking with friends over bonfires, and add to that, I’m on Match.com now so you know the dates just rolled right in (we’ll discuss in another post). I frolicked ’til my heart’s content. Truly. Honestly. A girl just was living her life on the weekends. Cause when Monday hit, things got real.

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This summer was BY FAR thee most stressful summer I’ve had in a long time. Work consumed most of my energy during the week and I’ll be honest in that I did not push myself to go onward once 6 pm hit. I simply said “I’m exhausted so when summer camp is over in 6 weeks, I’ll resume my workouts.” But that was super weak and I know it. I knew it the instant I started telling myself that b.s. There were so many things I could’ve done to offset the fact that I wasn’t working out or blogging. I could’ve funnelled my daily nutrition to the blog and committed to at least one post per week. Don’t get me wrong, I made mindful eating choices (on weekdays) and worked out at least once per week but it was a far cry from the 5 day regimen I was on. By my standards, that meets the qualifications for “falling off”. But if you’re human, like me, you know that sometimes you just can’t go as hard as you normally would but you should try make sure you give what you do have in you. Obviously, I had more than one day a week and smoothies. Like really, Jasmine!?  Since my stress levels have gone back down, I’m back to the regularly scheduled program. Let me share with you how I got myself back in the game.

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First of all, the stress has dissipated. But there are a few factors that also contributed to me getting back on the ball again.

  1. I set a bed time and started “logging off” at least an hour before hand. I’d heard of this sleep improvement strategy before but somehow the Blameitonkway Instagram sketches would keep me locked in right up until I passed out. Anyway, unplugging in advance helps me get better quality sleep. Thus, giving me energy to last throughout the day.
  2. I noticed my family and friends that kept going. For starters, as of July, my dad was down 20 pounds and he always reminds me that I was his source of motivation. Then he turned around and motivated me. Funny how that works. Additionally social media provides me with so much inspiration at different times and from so many different people. I’ve got friends that are slaying the blog game, slaying their workouts and they really motivate me to step my game up.
  3. I ate dried fruit and nuts to give myself an added burst of energy. Dried fruit and nuts are a sure way to get a quick burst of energy and sustained energy throughout your workout.
  4. I bought some new gym gear.Idk about you but a cute new outfit is all the motivation I need. Might I also add that I am a certified maxanista these days. TJMaxx has the hookup on fitness apparel and accessories. You can get things at half the price or even less. It’s disgusting!
  5. I decided that I’d stop overbidding and commit to just a one article minimum per week. I had planned out this lengthy editorial calendar to cover every nook and cranny of wellness but it turned out to be a lot for me. One article a week gives me a small task to start with and of course I’d have the option of upping the ante once I get in a good flow.

Do you guys have any strategies to get yourself back into the swing of things after a hiatus? Drop a comment below!

Get In The Game|Millennial Entrepreneurship

Once you’ve found that coveted euphoria that good credit bestows upon you, it’s time to set your sights on that dream of business ownership you’ve been having for a while. You know it’s true. If you Google ‘millennial entrepreneurship’, you’ll find countless articles and stats supporting the fact that we are thee most business-minded generation, EVER. We are popping up left and right with innovative ideas and monetizing them to the max. Whether we’re influencers on social media, app developers, bloggers, personal trainers, salon owners, boutique owners or network marketers, many of us have begun to nibble at our piece of the American pie-and for most of us, it’s the beginning of something beautiful.

Here’s why. We’re all-consumed with pursuing our passions, no matter the cost or sacrifice. I personally think that freedom to pursue your passion is a HUGE part of well-being and so do most millennials.  We’re also the first generation with access to technological platforms that make marketing as simple as 1-2-3. We live in a time where simply being your regular, likeable self, can translate into dollars…lots of them. Our beloved smartphones have made it nearly impossible to disconnect from one another so we’re super collaborative and we always jump at the opportunity to “link up”. It’s amazing, exciting, awesome and it makes me all googly-eyed when I think about how dope we are as a generation. The only barriers we face are the illusion of simplicity and the business savvy it takes to sustain our businesses ideas. A small business can easily turn into an expensive hobby if you have no real clue what you’re doing. Yeah, its super cute to say “I’m an entrepreneur” but it’s another thing to actually get into the nitty-gritty of it all.

That brings me to why I decided to write this post. I wanted to share with you all the Small Business Workshop series hosted by Operation Hope’s Baltimore team. Of course, I’m signed up and ready to get it in and I want you guys to have access to this resource. They’re hosting a FREE 12 week Entrepreneurship Training from June 9th to August 25th. They’ll be covering feasibility, market research and development, advertising, capital, financial statements, business plans, suppliers, distribution and credit. I’m so excited I could just pass out! EEEEK! I mean, I’ve researched, and programs like this could easily run you $2,500-$3,000 and this is all FREE! They’ve partnered with several banks and financial institutions to bring us the hard facts that are “need-to-know” for business owners. They also offer free home ownership and credit repair programs. Did I mention that they’re FREE?! Oh.

Sign up with Robin at robin.haynes@operationhope.org or call her at (443) 488-0126

Don’t say I didn’t put you on!

-Jazz

 

Here’s Why Your Stability Ball Is Your Friend

You grabbed it during a one off trip to Marshall’s. It was sitting there…shiny, pink or maybe even purple and the price was within your budget. You thought to yourself, let me be cute and get in shape with this trendy ball thing. It started out wonderfully. You used it to work out here and there, and sometimes you sat in it for good posture. You had every intention of spending more time with your stability ball but over time it grew into new age home decor that got the most attention when your nieces and nephews visited. “Where’s the handle?”, they asked. Every now and then your pet would roll around with it. Well, I’m here to tell you, don’t let that thing collect dust and pet dander in the corner of your living room any longer. It’s probably the cheapest, whole body, at home, workout system. At first glance, it looks like an elementary play thing that could never give you an effective workout. But, if you commit to using it consistently, your stability ball can help snap your whole body into beach-ready condition.

For starters, the stability ball helps to build your pillar strength. What is “pillar strength”, you’re wondering? It includes our hip flexors, our core, anterior (front), posterior (back), obliques (sides) and our shoulders. All body movement flows from this region. You can see the importance of strength training this area, right?! There are many exercises that involve this area. Especially if or when you decide to lift, you’ll need a strong pillar before you even venture to that arena. It’s my educated suggestion that you master your body weight before you add any additional weights (20+ lbs) to your workout. The stability ball is a great option for strengthening your pillar and can be combined with an array of body weight workouts to modify the exercise to your skill level. Here’s a breakdown of what I did today. Sorry, I couldn’t record the entire workout but I put them in terms that are simple to understand.

  • Wall squats with the ball resting between your lower back and the wall
  • Single leg wall squats with ball resting between your lower back and the wall
  • Lunges with one leg suspended laterally on top of your stability ball
  • Single leg lunges with rear leg suspended on top of the stability ball
  • Bridges with feet on top of your stability ball
  • Single leg bridges with feet on top of your stability ball
  • Side planks with stability ball in between feet
  • Leg raises with stability ball in between feet
  • Hamstring curls with feet rested on stability ball
  • Plank with feet rested on top of stability ball
  • Push-up planks with feet rested on top of stability ball
  • Sit-ups with stability ball
  • Bridge hold with neck rested on stability ball
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Oh, Hey. I’m just here tightening up my glutes, hamstrings and core with one piece of equipment! 

The key with each exercise is to take your time. Form is everything. You want to make sure you’re taking time to get into the proper position. You’ll probably fall off balance a few times but it’s important not to rush through.

Remember that everyone starts somewhere!

I hope this read was helpful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips To Fitting A Workout Into Your Schedule

For those of us with a packed schedule, it’s super difficult to find time to meal prep and eat, let alone make it to the gym and get a full session in. We’ve got jobs, relationships, families, school, and a litany of extracurriculars that make it nearly impossible to get to the gym. If you struggle with fitting your entire routine in or even making it to the gym, you’re not alone. The last few months were crazy for me (in a great way) but it became increasingly apparent that I needed to tighten up on my strategy. I’ve thrown together a list of things that helped me get my life:

  1. Pack your bag the night before and review your check-list. I go to the gym in the mornings and I shower there after my workout. My check-list includes flip-flops, a towel and wash cloth, toiletries, a comb, a brush, my scarf, my lock, ear phones and of course, my clothes and shoes I plan to wear to work. It really doesn’t seem like such a big deal but this is similar to packing an overnight bag. For most of us, it’s no easy feat. We can get stalled on something as simple as bobbie pins…the black or the brown? The curved or the ridged? Body wash suddenly becomes a life decision. Caress or Shea Moisture? Bar soap or liquid? I can’t be the only one! Lol. Therefore, I go on ahead and get all that out of the way the night before.
  2. Know what you want to do before you get there. It helps when you have an idea of what you’re going to accomplish that day as opposed to going and just winging it. I’ve winged it a lot in the past and sometimes it’s great, other times I leave the gym feeling like I wasted my time because, quite simply, I did. I could’ve moved with phantom speed, flowing from machine to machine, mat to wall, track to stairs but, no. I couldn’t decide between the inclined leg press or an overhead press. What part of my body needs more work? All things I should have given thought to before my workout.
  3. Create your playlist ahead of time and resist the urge to mess with your player during your workout. I know for sure that when I don’t follow this rule, I get pulled into so many distractions such as JUNKFIT.org, a random text or a work email. Focus on the workout, not your phone.
  4. Give yourself enough time to move between locations. Meaning, if you want a 90 minute workout and it takes you 30 min to get to the gym and another 30 to get from the gym to work, you need to do the math so that you’re comings and goings allow for the workout you want. Don’t let a killer 90 minute sesh turn into a lackluster “at least I made it the gym” 30 minute kinda thing.
  5. Lastly, your workouts should fall under your category of “non-negotiables”. There is no IF you can make it to the gym that day. There is only WHEN. You will make it to the gym because you’ve planted that seed and you WILL see it grow. Remember, being healthy, fit, in shape, whatever you call it, it’s a lifestyle. So, get with it. Fall in love with it. It will only love you back!

JUNKFIT Baltimore “Sweat Sesh” Sunday May 22nd

Join us for JUNKFIT’s first ever “Sweat Sesh” this Sunday, May 22nd. We’ll be pumping it up just in time for Summer ’16. Meet at the YMCA at 33rd Street Field in Baltimore, MD at 1:00 pm. Don’t forget to bring your mat, water and small weights if you have them. It’s free so tell your girls and get with us!

All fitness levels are welcomed 😉

RSVP at junkfit@gmail.com.

-Jazz

 

The Gym Class Dance Party With DCWKLY + Reebok

My Saturday started out as regular as can be. That was until I scrolled down my Insta timeline and found an awesome event hosted by, the popular lifestyle blog, DCWKLY. The first ever Gym Class DC went down in a super dope space with even more dope giveaways!

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Safe to say I’m now slim-thick…or nah?

This was my first time ever hearing of the artistic space, Blind Whino, so it was kinda cool that my first visit was fitness-motivated. It couldn’t have come at a better time because I was literally suiting-up to head to my gym (the YMCA in Central MD). While I love my normal gym, there are always very old and wrinkled women in the gym and most of the classes are catered to their age group (think aquatic workouts and seated bicep curls with 2 lb weights). I very seldom get to workout alongside young, hot and fun young women like myself. So, of course I hightailed it to Southwest DC to get in on the fun. Needless to say, I had a good ass time.

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With my main, Faviola.

Booty exercises were in abundance, which is consistent with the fact that millennials are obsessed with uplifting the almighty junk in the trunk (hence JUNKFIT). I’m talking bridges, single leg bridges, pulsing squats, jump squats, lunges and pulsing lunges. It was just what the doctor ordered because my legs had long grown tired of the mundane leg press and squat combo I’d been lazily doing for the past 6 weeks. Yesterday was just the wake-up my body needed. Speaking of what my body needed, did I mention the free sneakers from Reebok?! Yess, honey. You missed it! Lol. Reebok literally laced your girl with new Mauve Woven Classic Furylites. They retail for $75 (I had to look it up). I hear the event will be a monthly thing, so stay tuned and next time come get you some!

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Footwork 😉

I’m corny so you know I had to share the fact that Reebok tweeted my yesterday…

Have a blessed week and if you’re in B-more, join me for my first ever Meet-Up at the Y at Waverly, Saturday May 21st @ 10 a.m.! More info to come!