South Block Co. Review

2015-05-10 19.56.38Run, juice, repeat with South Block Co. juices and smoothies. This Arlington based juicery and cafe has been around Northern Virginia energizing, educating, and inspiring thousands through their cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and aci bowls on living a healthy and fit lifestyle through healthy drinking and eating. With over 15 different cold-pressed juices, this Clarendon based company offers a wide range of juices for anyone. Along with their famous juices, South Block Co offers a wide range of amazing smoothies and aci bowels to help fuel your body post run or workout. So amazing that they’ve won DC’s City Paper Best Smoothie cafe for the past 2 years.

As Summer approaches and my Chicago Marathon training session kicks into full swing I love finding myself planning my long runs from my DC apartment to South Block Co Clarendon store to reward myself one some of my favorite juices. These include: Activate, Cure, Renew, Hydrate (Seasonal Juice), Greens, Cold Brew Mylk, and many more. These refreshing juices along with my regular Herbalife24 routine help keep my body in tip-top shape for marathon session. Not only am I replenishing my body with the right nutrients from the cold-pressed juices but I’m also getting in the right nutrients from the right vegetables to help rebuild my muscles, increase my overall speed, and of course live a happier and healthier life. As mentioned in a previous post, since drinking cold-pressed juices on a weekly basis I’ve found myself living a happier and healthier lifestyle through monthly cleanses, not craving junk food, and increasing my nutrients and veggie intake. 2015-05-18 11.23.27

Outside of the great juices, smoothies, and aci bowls the next best thing I love about South Block Co is their community involvement. As an individual who loves working and volunteering with companies that give back to their community I have found that South Block Co continues to amaze me by giving back to the Northern Virginia community through partnering with local retail stores and fitness facilities. These partnerships show that South Block Co is devoted to expanding individuals fit and healthy lifestyle by introducing them to juices and smoothies that can help increase their overall exercise routine. Some of the partnerships include Clarendon’s LuLuLemon weekly fun runs, Revolve cycle rides, and Downward Dog Yoga events which I would encourage you to look into and join.

Run, juice, repeat with South Block Co. That’s what I do and you should join me. If you are ever in the DC area and are interested in getting in a long run followed by some great juices contact me so we can run to South Block Co in Clarendon, VA. For more information please visit, or follow them on Twitter @SouthBlockCo.

South Block Co. Review

Fuel Your Next Race

Training for a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon is much more than just lacing up every week and logging miles, it’s also about starting and keeping a healthy lifestyle. Set the stage this year for your next PR with these top healthy foods that I incorporate into my diet everyday!

Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
On average, non-fat Greek yogurt contains 18 grams of protein in a six-ounce serving. High in calcium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins B6 & B12, all of which help promote strong bones, increased energy, and immune function. For more energy try topping your six-ounce serving with high-fiber cereals or even blend with fresh fruit to make morning smoothies.

Start kicking brown rice out of the house and start incorporating Quinoa into your meals. This gluten-free carb source is not a grain but actually a seed that contains all nine essential amino acids, complete proteins, and full of dietary fiber to help lower your cholesterol and boost all the good stuff!

Hands down Eggs are the best whole food with the highest quality of protein. Incredibly versatile and loaded with protein, runners can add this protein packed food to any meal or snack. Recent studies show Eggs are great for post-run workouts do to mineral choline which helps get rid of inflammation which may occur right after a hard, long run.

As runners we see this easy-to-carry food after every race. Bananas are a great on-the-go source of energy that are packed with potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese. Eating foods like bananas can help runners stay fit and healthy throughout race session, while helping repairing tissue damage during recovery time.

Peanut Butter
My all time favorite food, Peanut Butter! When it comes to fueling for your next run, peanut butter is one of the top rated best foods for athletes. Packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, peanut butter provides runners with sustained energy throughout a long or short run. The healthy fats are digested slower than carbs, providing a feeling of fullness for longer periods, while releasing nutrients at a slower pass to help provide more energy throughout the run.

Wild Salmon
When it comes to fish, Salmon is the best. Not only is it flavor and filling, but is also a very high-quality of protein and healthy fat source. Per ounce, Salmon has 7 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of saturated fat, and a healthy dosage of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is great for recovery due to the anti-inflammatory agent found in the food, along with great healthy fats to help prolong your long runs and workouts. As a runner this means you can perform at your best for a longer period of time while recovery faster during your recovery periods.

Fuel Your Next Race

JRINK Juicery

Whether you are looking to get healthier this year or looking to detox, JRINK Juicery has you covered. These DC cold-pressed juices are made up of 5 pounds of fresh fruits & veggies that yield the highest quality and quantity of essential nutrients to help fuel the body. Conveniently located in DuPont Circle and Logan Circle these juices can be purchased as individuals or in 6PK’s with a wide range of juices. One of the main differences between JRINK and other juicery’s is their cold-pressed method. Cold-pressed juices are not pasteurized, no added sugar, and are not heated during the juicing process, all of which help lock in the best flavors and nutrients.

2014-08-23 12.03.34As an elite runner I really enjoy these great juices after morning runs to help boost my workout and jump-start my day. With over 15 different juices there is always something for everyone, including some of my favorites; Wake Me Up, Buzz Me Up, Clean Me Up I & II, Sweeten Me Up, Build Me Up, and Freshen Me Up. With each juice different they provide great nutrients to help with digestive support, calcium, heart health, muscle repair, and many more nutrients to rebuild your body.

Since starting JRINK juices I’ve notice a difference in the way my body responds to the different nutrients, how my muscles are rebuilding faster, and how my speed has increased overall during my runs. I would highly encourage anyone who is looking to drink more juices to look into JRINK Juicery or stop by one of their stores in DC, I mean you may even run into me there 🙂

Juices, juices and more juices, that’s what JRINK Juicery is all about, learn how you can start thanking your body with great juices at or contact me!

JRINK Juicery

Make This Year The Year!

Happy New Year!

Each year millions of Americans start the New Year by setting New Year resolutions. Starting fresh, dreaming big, setting goals, and continuing to improve themselves from previous years. Most, unfortunately, will either give up or fail to meet their goals, however research has shown that those who do set New Year resolutions are 10 times more likely to achieve their goals. So as we begin another year and you reflect on the previous years accomplishments use these helpful tips I always share with individuals to help accomplish your New Year resolutions.

Set A Goal:

Setting a goal is the initial foundation of success. A goal can be anything you want; starting to run, running your first 5K, training for a half or full marathon, or just getting active. The goal should be both inspirational and outside your comfort zone. Inspiration should help get you started while fear keeping you motivated throughout the year. As for timing, I would suggest setting your goal several months away, long enough so that you can still make a difference, but close enough to make it urgent.

Be Realistic:

When setting your new goal be realistic, think outside the box but keeping it something you know you can achieve. If you are just starting to run remember to start slow with rest days included. If you are aiming for a half or full marathon remember to train smart, don’t over train, don’t continue to train while injured, and listen to your body. Take time to build your fitness and you’ll find the most success.

Get Social:

Share your accomplishments with your family, friends, and coworkers as well as train with individuals who are aiming for the same goal. Camaraderie among participants helps individuals inspire each other to work harder than they might on their own. Join your community running group or gym class to keep you accountable for your goals as well as using new fitness apps that help share your accomplishments via Social Media.


Smile, I can’t stress this enough. If exercise is fun then you’ll be more willing to get started and stay on track. Research has shown that the more fun an activity, the more likely individuals are to participate and keep going. So remember, smile while you’re running or training.

Commit and You Won’t Quit:

If you want to make exercise work, commit to a schedule. Add your workouts/runs to your daily calendar to keep you accountable and motivated to continue with your goal. If you suck at scheduling, hire a trainer to meet once a week, join a community run club, or join a local gym’s fitness class that meets once a week. Finding a way to stay committed will help you along your journey as well as helping you meet your goal. Joining a gym is easy, staying committed isn’t find your committed and start the New Year off strong!

As we head into another year my hope is to get more individuals up and active. To introduce them to things they’ve never tried or are too scared to start. My hope for 2015, is to help individuals achieve something they never thought they could. I look forward to seeing you on the trials!


Make This Year The Year!


“Today is my tomorrow. It’s up to me to shape it, to take control and seize every opportunity. The power is in the choices I make each day. I eat well, I live well, I shape me!” – Unknown

Recovery (n) – when someone suffering from a disease regains possession or control over the issue. Over 10 months ago I faced the hardest obstacle of my life, disordered eating. Disordered eating is abnormal eating behaviors that, by themselves, do not warrant diagnosis of an eating disorder, however have common features such as chronic restrained eating, compulsive eating, binge eating with associated loss of control, and self-induced vomiting. Disordered eating also includes behaviors that are not characteristic of any eating disorder, such as irregular, chaotic eating patterns, ignoring physical feelings of hunger and satiety (fullness), use of diet pills, emotional eating, and night eating.

Since facing my disordered eating obstacle over 10 months ago I’ve made huge progress, including cutting my weekly workout/runs down while increasing my food intake and implementing personal training. Through my progress I was able to see that life wasn’t about being skinny but more about being healthy. This progress of course didn’t happen overnight and I still very much battle with the issue everyday, fighting with myself to remember that there is much more to life than being 115lbs, being skinny and always worrying about my weight. Even during the rough days I always remind myself of the progress that I’ve made, the inspiration that I’ve given to other individuals and the overall happiness I’ve gained. Yes, I still run, which I’m sure you can tell. Running for me is therapy, it reminds me to keep going, to continue to push through this obstacle that no matter what, I’ll never let this issue relapse or define me. Many have argued that running is only fueling the fire, however I’ve learned that through moderation, healthy eating and a strong mindset running is not causing the issue but rather reminding me of my past and how I need to continue to push forward. As my most recent tattoo says, “Progress not Perfection.” Something that will always remind me that there is no such thing as perfection and that all I can do is to continue to strive for progress, to continue to push forward and better my life not for others but for myself.

So as my opening quote says, “Today is my tomorrow. It’s up to me to shape it, to take control and seize every opportunity. The power is in the choices I make each day. I eat well, I live well, I shape me” is exactly what I am doing!


How to Motivate Oneself to Keep Going

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is one of many different psychological perspectives to help one stay motivated with running. As with many other aspects of life, one can hit a wall with running, rather it be while you are, staying active, or just getting started in running. Different professionals use different psychological perspectives to help individuals with running motivations, and many different perspectives will help with motivation, but MI is one of the most well known and used to help encourage change in individual lives.

One aspect of MI is the OARS of motivation to change. Mental health professionals use change in many different ways. In Substance abuse it is used to help individuals quit using their substance of choice and continue to stay sober and live a more productive life. When talking about eating disorders, professionals re-frame the individuals thoughts from “I need to look a certain way or I wont be happy” or “I am worthless so I will starve myself or continue to eat until that emotion goes away” to “I am happy with the way I look” or “Misusing food as a coping skill will not help in my current situation.” In the current, change is used as a way to describe one’s thought process from “I cannot” to “I can” start, continue, or finish this run.

The first component of OARS is Open-ended questions. Typically, a mental health professional will ask their client open-ended questions to assess the current situation that is blocking the runner’s motivation. One can do this on their own too. All an individual needs to do is ask themselves questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no answer. For example, “Why do I run?” “What is preventing me from starting/continuing/finishing this run?” “When will I follow through with this run, if not now?” “How will I feel after the run?” “Whom am I running this run for?” These are all common questions that a professional will ask an individual during the first session to help assess the mental wall the client is experiencing. (Notice open-ended questions start with a question word.)

The next component of the OARS of change is Affirmation. Once an individual has answered the open-ended questions, the mental health professional will provide affirmation, empathy, and understanding to the client’s answers. Now that an individual has asked themselves the hard questions and answered them, they now need to believe in the answers and affirm that they will run for that reason. For example, “Why do I run?” could get an answer like, “I am running to get my marathon time down to a sub-three.” Now that an individual has that answer, they will continue to tell themselves that is an achievable goal and continue to do that while running and training.

The ‘R’ in OARS represents Reflections.  This is when a mental health provider will reflect the client’s answers back to them throughout the session. When an individual is running or training and wants to give up or stop, they need to reflect the answers to the open-ended questions and affirm that those answers are still valid. This stage is to help remind individuals of the goals that were set and to stay on track to these goals.

Last is Summaries. Normally a mental health professional will summarize the whole process with the client after the client has achieved the goals set in for the sessions. When running, this is when the individual has finished running or training. After completion of the event, the individual will look back at the goals they set, how they asked the questions on how the goal will be accomplished, affirmed that the goal is realistic, continuously reflect on the goal, and the achievement the goal.

These are simple steps to take when wanting to get motivated to run and to change one’s mindset to a more positive outlook for running. Set realistic goals on for each run and use OARS to motivate oneself to achieve the goal. Change is not easy and will not happen overnight, but is possible over time; one just has to be motivated to make it happen.

Happy Running!

Jeffery Garrison, Jr
MA* Forensic Psychology

How to Motivate Oneself to Keep Going


As a runner, personal training and person living a healthy & fit lifestyle I’m always on the go and looking for something to give me the energy I need for my runs and workouts. I’ve tried numerous different pre-workout supplements through my running life however, none have truly done what they say. They either taste horrible because you have to mix with water, make you crash at the end of a good run or workout or just don’t do anything in general (which typically happens). Due to this I’m always looking for the next best pre-workout product.

Recently, thanks to Twitter, I was able to test ENERGYBits Algae tablets. ENERGYBits were founded to help individuals get energy faster, easier and healthier. With more than 97% of American chronic illnesses caused by nutritional deficiencies ENERGYBits felt as they needed to create something to help. With no caffeine, chemicals, sugar, gluten or soy, just plant-based nutrition. These 100% natural, certified NON GMO organic green algae tablets are made of over 40 vitamins/minerals and contain 64% protein, which are both essential for athletic performance and health. With only one calorie per tablet ENERGYBits will help stop your craving and give you the steady stream of energy one will need to get through any run or workout. With the slogan, “It’s OK to swallow,” each single serving package is swallowed before any run or workout. I would highly suggest that you don’t chew, I tried and they taste horrible, so stick to the label and swallow!

ENERGYBits I recently tested these tablets for my Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in Washington, DC last weekend on April 6th. Before any race I’m always looking for a boost of extra energy due to waking up so early and needing to get focused. Typically I take any pre-workout supplements about 30-45 minutes before my race or workout. Since I was new to ENERGYBIts, I decided to take the tablets on the way to the race, about 20 minutes before the run. As you read earlier, I tried to chew them due to the lack of water nearby and it turned out horrible. Due to this I waited until I got to the race to finish the single serving packet. While waiting at the start line I could already start to feel the effect of the tabs, the hunger that I woke-up with went away as my mind started to focus on the race. As a frequent runner getting focused is one of the most important yet difficult aspects of getting ready for a long-run, but with the ENERGYBits I didn’t have any issues. The best part, I didn’t have to guzzle any unnatural and bad tasting pre-workout drinks like I’m use too. At the beginning of the race I could feel the energy kicking in as I begin my 10-mile journey. It felt as if I could run through anything, at any speed and nothing could stop me. Through the whole race I felt great, had amazing energy and didn’t feel my body crash or get hunger spells. Following the race, which I completed in 1:02, I felt just as fine. I didn’t crash and still had the energy and drive that I had during the run.

Following my first time experience I would highly suggest any runner, trainer or anyone looking for a boost of energy to try ENERGYBits. They are super easy to “swallow” and give you the energy one will needed to complete any task throughout the day. Since my Cherry Blossom 10-Miler I’ve continued to take the tabs for regular runs and workouts. Due to their small packaging and easy to swallow tabs I can carry them wherever I go and use them whenever I need too. If you are looking for extra energy while monitoring what goes in your body I would highly suggest you check out ENERGYBits website to learn more and try the product our yourself, I mean what do you have to lose, energy?