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fitness tracking with the EveryMove app.

10 Aug

[Disclosure:  I was given the opportunity to try out the EveryMove app through my #SweatPink ambassadorship.  All of my opinions are my own.]

I have been quick to jump on the fitness tracking bandwagon in the past — I recently purchased a FitBit and wore it with the goal of getting 12,000 steps a day.  I started to get frustrated when I didn’t hit that goal during bar prep – and by some weird fluke, my FitBit also fell off my wrist on July 4th – clearly a sign I needed to take a step back from compulsive fitness tracking.

That being said, it is nice and fun to get rewarded for logging those miles sometimes, and I track my runs through Nike+ (because, hello, they have excellent Instagram integration).  Enter: EveryMove.  This app allows you to sync your pre-existing fitness trackers (everything from FitBit and FuelBands to Nike+ and RunKeeper).

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After you’ve logged a few miles, you are given the opportunity to redeem them for rewards.  A lot of the lower-level rewards feature coupons for discounts for health products — but since a purchase was usually required to redeem those, I opted to donate my miles to charity.  I’ve so far kicked a couple of bucks toward the Make a Wish Foundation and toward cancer research through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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Overall, the app is easy to use  — once you sync it with your existing apps, it does all of the heavy lifting for you!

Head over to the App Store to download EveryMove for iPhone here.

Weigh-in: What do you use to track your workouts? 

 

NOURISH. {Lorna Jane Cookbook Review}

8 Jul

{Disclosure:  I was given an advanced copy of the Lorna Jane Cookbook to review and was asked to write a review.  I was also given a gift certificate to Lorna Jane through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own}.

As some of you may know, I recently got more into cooking/meal-prepping since I switched to a *mostly* paleo diet a few months ago. (Okay, I cheat sometimes, but leaning paleo has worked for me, so I’m sticking with it).

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I jumped at the chance to check out NOURISH – billed as a Fit Woman’s Cookbook.  The roughly 130-pages are filled with gorgeous options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert, as well as LJ’s fitness and food prep tips, and some of her healthy living mantras and suggestions.  I really liked Lorna Jane‘s definition of what “active living” means to her:

active Living: [ak-tive; liv-ing]
verb
1. to get more out of life by giving more of yourself every day.
2. to strive to be better each day than you were the day before.
3. to practise moVe, nourIsh, beLIeVe
✱ moving your body every day
✱ nourishing your body with delicious food
✱ believing anything is possible if you are willing to work for it.

(Fun fact: Lorna Jane is Australian so some of the spelling is cutely non-American).

There were a BUNCH of recipes I wanted to try, and all of them use mostly healthy ingredients.  The one thing I noticed about many of the recipes, though, is they included many ingredients and some of them were not necessarily things I had on hand.  Luckily, a lot of the recipes are adaptable and can serve as inspiration in the kitchen.

I am three weeks out from the California bar exam (eek!) so cooking elaborate recipes is sort of out of the question right now, so I opted to test out two of LJ’s snack options.  Study snacks are crucial these days.

First, I was intrigued by the honey & sesame spirulina balls.

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LJ’s version:  honey & sesame spirulina balls

  • 1 cup macademias
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconuts
  • 1/3 cup unhulled tahini
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon spirulina powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black chia seeds

Process together, form into ball shapes, and freeze for 30 minutes.

I didn’t have “dessicated coconuts” (no idea what those are), couldn’t find tahini, or vanilla bean paste, and opted to forego the spirulina powder (because, paleo) and created my own version.  Thanks for the inspiration, LJ, I will DEFINITELY be snackin’ on these again in the future:

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 my version:

Combine the following in a blender:

  • 6 dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Roll together in ball forms and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  These were DELICIOUS, #ifidososaysomyself.  I meant to save these for study snacks throughout the week but they didn’t last 24 hours – they made a great pre-run breakfast this morning to take the edge off. I’ll definitely make them again as study fuel, for sure.

I also opted to try another of Lorna Jane’s easier snack options — frozen raspberries and grapes! 

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These were so easy – literally just throw some grapes and raspberries in the freezer and enjoy!  The grapes hit the spot during some study sessions, but I didn’t love how the freezing basically took all of the sweetness out of the raspberries and left them super sour.  I’d freeze grapes again but maybe not raspberries.

I’m excited to check out more of Lorna Jane’s recipes once I have a little bit more time to get creative.  (There are some veggie wraps that look incredible).

Want to win a copy of NOURISH? 

Come party-it-up with the Sweat Pink Community and Lorna Jane on July 9th at 6PM PST / 9PM EST with the #LiveLoveNourish Initiative!  Join us on Twitter and follow #LiveLoveNourish with @LornaJaneActive and @FitApproach! You could be one of 10 winners of a hard copy NOURISH Cookbook, and the most active participant will receive both a cookbook AND a $200 Gift Card to Lorna Jane!

** Click to get started in the #LiveLoveNourish campaign**  =>

Tweet: Join the #LiveLoveNOURISH initiative w/ @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach! Giveaway of: 10 NOURISH Cookbooks + $200 Gift Card to #lornajane!

  • Are you a Lorna Jane fan? 
  • Favorite study snack? 

#fuelyourbetter [vega sport protein bar review]

15 May

I am always interested in trying new-to-me protein bars and supplements and am always looking for healthful pre- or post-workout snack options.  I was especially excited when I got the chance recently to sample some Vega Sport Protein Bars through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship.

Vega was started by Brendan Brazier, a vegan athlete and a former professional Ironman triathlete.  My friend Alexis had raved to me about Vega products so I was excited to try them.   Their current campagin — #FuelYourBetter — also resonated with me. Although I love to work out,  sometimes I need something extra to motivate me to get to the gym (especially if I’m tired) and I’m ALWAYS looking for a healthy post-workout fuel option.

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Although there is a whole range of Vega Sport fuel options — everything from pre-workout energy supplements to mid-workout electrolyte replacements and post-workout protein bars and drinks —  I selected the Vega Sport Protein bars because often after the gym I like to eat something as opposed to drinking protein because I stay fuller a little longer.

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Vega Sport Protein Bars contain:

  • 15 g complete, multisource, plant-based protein
  • 2.5 g BCAAs
  • 2 g glutamine
  • 1 g Omega-3
  • 27g carbs
  • 260 calories

This bar is NOT low-calorie, but that’s the point. It is protein-packed and designed to aid in re-fueling your body!  It is a great post-workout option, but I also have used it before a big workout (weights + teaching spin) for a healthier alternative to a carb-laden bowl of oatmeal.  I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter bars but they will also have Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Mint – yum!

I enjoyed the texture of the bars a lot — they taste WAY more like a candy bar than the Power Bars I grew up on, and they are dense so you feel like you are actually eating something.  The consistency is not chalky at all.  I gave one to my mom and she was raving about it, too!

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Right now, I am trying to lean paleo, so these bars are slightly too carb-y for my goals right now (Quest is a good alternative).  With that being said,  these are delicious, nutrient-packed, and flavorful.  I’d love to try some of Vega Sport’s other protein and electrolyte products!

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What are your go-to protein bars?  Electrolyte drinks?  Weigh-in in the comments with how you #FuelYourBetter

[Disclosure:  I was given one box of Vega Sport Protein Bars through my #SweatPink Ambassadorship/Fit Approach in exchange for a review.  As always, my thoughts and opinions are completely my own].

nah, i’ma stay. [myyogaworks review]

10 May

[Disclosure:  I received a free six-month trial of MyYogaWorks in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own].

Yes, this post’s title is a line from the Yoga Girl video.

I recently heard about MyYogaWorks from Lindsay @ Fit and Awesome.  One of my goals for 2014 was to do yoga 50 times this year — I was right on track for the first couple months, but post-LA Marathon my desire to do yoga has dwindled noticeably.  I was really excited to get the opportunity to check out MyYogaWorks in the hopes of re-vitalizing whatever “yogi” may be lying dormant inside me.

MyYogaWorks is a subscription-based website with hundreds of yoga videos available.  Here’s just a short list of the different types and styles they offer:

  • Road Trip Yoga Classes
  • Yoga for Runners
  • Stability and Balance
  • Mindful Fitness Classes like Pilates, BarWorks, and SculptWorks
  • Relentless Flow
  • Nap Time Yoga for Moms

The videos range in length (from short 5-minute flows to full-on 90 minute sessions) as well as skill-levels, goals, and target areas.  I am not the most “zen” of people but yoga has helped my strength, speed, and has been HUGE for injury prevention for me.

I signed up for MyYogaWorks and got an email soon after suggesting a class — I liked this aspect a lot!

I spent part of last weekend at home with my parents (slash recovering from a friend’s really fun wedding).  I wasn’t up for a run, but I had my mom join me for a quick yoga session.  We did the 20-minute video suggested to me in the welcome e-mail, seen below.

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We both really liked the instructor’s style, pace, and structure of the class.  The stretching felt great and it was the perfect 20-minute yoga practice.

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My mom used a towel and let me borrow her yoga mat. She’s the best.

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Later that week, I incorporated a “stretching for runners” practice into my day after doing a morning run with Back on My Feet and a 5-miler in the afternoon.

There are so many other MyYogaWorks classes I want to try — and I know MyYogaWorks will be helpful when I start studying for the bar exam in a couple of weeks!

Do you want to try MyYogaWorks?  You can get your first month for only $5 using the coupon code “Blogger14

How do you incorporate yoga into your life?

my oatmeal [review].

19 Mar

I am an oatmeal fiend.  A few years ago, I realized a bowl of oatmeal with fruit and a little nut butter kept me fuller longer than ordinary cereal, and is also delicious and flavorful.  Ordinarily, I use instant or plain oats, and nuke them in the microwave for 60 seconds before topping with some combination of peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, bananas, berries, nuts, or dried fruit. Of course I was excited to hear about an opportunity to create my own customized blend of oatmeal with some toppings mixed in from My Oatmeal!

I tried two creations.  First,  I concocted a mix consisting of peanut butter (duh), blueberries, cranberries, and almonds.  This would retail for a little over $8.00, before shipping. I also ordered a “mystery blend” – a cheaper variety that consists of leftovers from other people’s mixes.  The mystery blends are the same size, but a little cheaper since it’s more of a grab bag approach and you lose control of what you’re ordering.

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First, I tried “my” mix.  I didn’t include any sweeteners in the mix, and they instructed us to do so when we cooked it, so I added a little brown sugar.  I like my oatmeal on the drier side, so I didn’t really follow the cooking directions and instead eye-balled the water and popped it into the microwave for 60 seconds and the texture was perfect. I still topped it with berries and a little extra PB before chowing down.

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This oatmeal was delicious – much closer to restaurant quality than, say, my usual Quaker instant variety.  I didn’t really taste the peanut butter that was pre-mixed in (I think next time I’ll try not adding extra brown sugar – that overwhelmed it).

This morning, I tried the mystery flavor.  I couldn’t discern all of the flavors, but I found dried fruit (apricots, I think?), chia seeds, and brown sugar.  It was tasty!

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Breakfast has been a treat the last two days and I am looking forward to experimenting with different toppings/mix-ins.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll order My Oatmeal regularly, but I think it could make a great gift, especially if someone has a specific oatmeal obsession like I do!

So tell me:

(1) Would you ever order your own mix from a company like My Oatmeal?

(2) What is your ideal oatmeal combination? 

(3) What do you normally eat for breakfast? 

{I received product via Fit Approach in exchange for my original thoughts and opinions on My Oatmeal.}

i went to the lululemon warehouse sale and lived to tell about it.

15 Sep

A few weeks ago, someone RT’d a tweet that mentioned a Lululemon warehouse sale taking place in Los Angeles.  I added it to my calendar and made a mental noted that my morning of Friday, September 13th would be spent at the LA Convention Center.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get up at 4:30 am that morning to get in line with the rest of the fitness population of Los Angeles. I got there around 9, stood in line for 90 minutes, and realized I would still have a good 3-4 hours ahead of me. I cut my losses and went and enjoyed the rest of my day. It was a SPECTACLE there on Friday. I enjoyed the tweets of @bretturig who was dragged to the event with his wife and was sort of poking fun at the absurdity of all of these people waiting in line for clothes they sweat in.

I pretty much gave up any hope of scoring any sweet deals, but then I saw that one of my friends from law school had waited 15 minutes (at 5:30 p.m.) and walked away with a ton of cute stuff. I was going to try again.

On Saturday, I had my afternoon relatively unscheduled (after my spin class, that is), so I stalked the warehouse sale twitter account (@lululemonWHUS), and as soon as they said the wait was under an hour, I bolted out of my apartment and walked to the sale. I stood in line exactly one hour before I headed into the sale. I spent about 90 minutes perusing the racks. Some of the items weren’t THAT discounted, but as time wore on, the deals get better.

Day 2 prices.

Day 2 prices.

My best deal was the Vinyasa Before You Vino Bag for $29, a couple of cute crops (the pink ones were $9), a Fast Track tank in black, and the Puri Tee Short Sleeve shirt. I also grabbed a few things for my mom and a friend or two.

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On Saturday, I managed to snag 12 items for $300. I’d call that a success. The 12 items were:

– Gym Bag

– Warm-Up Jacket/pull-over (2)

– Fast Track Tank (2)

– Power Y Tank in Blue Laceoflauge (1); for a friend

– Pink Crops

– Amped Crop in Blue w/ Yellow Stripe

– Boogie Short (Pink)

– Puri Tee Short Sleeve

– V-neck tank

– Cream colored yoga pants

I am NOT a huge shopper. I would rather go to brunch and laugh over mimosas or go hiking than go shopping, just about any day, but I have been in the market for new workout gear. I use workout gear just about every day – and sometimes more than once. And now that I am teaching spin twice a week, I feel like it was time to upgrade my workout wardrobe.  Seriously, I was wearing old Nike shorts that I’ve had for 5+ years that sag when sweaty. TMI? Probably.

Anyway, the event was fun. Lululemon did a pretty good job of carrying the elements that make the in-store experience into the convention center – they had women on kangaroo jump type shoes, people doing yoga, break-dancing demonstration, and a DJ bumping some great beats. They also had people come around and take pictures of people standing in line so they could write a “goal” down and have a picture taken with it.

I like lululemon because I have had great experience with the quality, and look. Before this sale, I have owned exactly 4 lululemon items: a tank, a pair of shorts, a running skirt, and a different tank I bought for spin purposes.

fav tank + shorts. [seriously my fav things to wear running].

fav tank + shorts. [seriously my fav things to wear running]

running skirt convert on my first 20 miler.

running skirt convert on my first 20 miler.

spin tank.

spin tank.

After my success on Saturday, I decided to monitor the Twitter account on Sunday. Since I live so close to the sale, I really didn’t have a reason not to go if there was no wait. Around 5:30 I walked back in. To my delight, I found that tanks were now 5 for $50. I also scored a super nice rain jacket for $19 (I know it never rains here, but maybe I will travel sometime to a place where it isn’t always sunny and gorgeous), a pair of bright yellow crops (good for body pump/lifting) for $9, a few running skirts for $9 (one for me and two for my mom), and a few tanks for friends. Lulu success Pt. 2!

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(I got more than what is pictured here, but you get the idea…).

I am not a lulu fanatic – in fact, much of what I have read about the company is unnerving and a little weird. (Remember the “Lululemon Murder” in 2011?). Some of the company’s ideology borders on cultish. That being said, I think some elements of the company’s marketing strategy is genius – they really have figured out the whole “aspirational brand” idea, and I love the fact that they offer great community events like free yoga, running clubs, and race support during local races. I also get that part of their marketing ploy is to make you feel empowered or inspired when visiting their stores, but I like the fitspo mantras and the fact their employees have vision boards and stuff.  A location is opening in Westlake Village near my parents’ home…and my fingers are crossed that a DTLA location is next!

Anyway, I had a great time scouring for deals this weekend and now look like a semi-legitimate spin instructor/”fitness professional.” Also, I signed an e-mail “Yours in Fitness” today…but that’s a story for a different day.

The rest of my weekend was spent trying to compensate for the overly girly activities of going to a sample sale 3 different times for cute workout clothes. I saw the Dodgers win the only game of the series against the Giants, watched them lose while drinking (grossly warm) beer with Armita at Public School 612, and drinking wine at Barnsdall Art Park.

Did you go to the Lululemon Warehouse Sale in LA this weekend?

Thoughts on the brand in general? 

 

Equinox for a month.

9 Jun

So I tweet a lot, and apparently Klout thinks I’m “influential about fitness,” so they gifted me with a free month-long membership at the Equinox in DTLA.

The DTLA location just opened in March, and I had never been to an Equinox before, but I had heard good things.  Heck, if they own Soul Cycle I figured it had to at least be decent.

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The month I had Equinox coincided with my last three weeks (errrrr only 3 weeks) of marathon training, and my week of recovery, so I didn’t try as many different classes as I would have normally.

I did get to try the following:

yoga classes  – I took a handful of yoga classes at Equinox and really was impressed with the quality of instruction.  The studio actually felt like a yoga studio – the space is only used for yoga classes which is awesome.  They also had studio-quality yoga blocks, straps, mats, and blankets.  I am not a “beginner” in yoga in terms of number of classes I’ve taken, but I’m insanely inflexible.  When I decided I was going to run 26.2,  I ramped up my yoga to prevent an IT band/hip injury so these classes were great.  They were definitely better than the ones I’ve taken at Gold’s Gym.

view from morning yoga.

view from morning yoga.

pilates – With my membership, I got to do a 55-minute long session with a pilates trainer on the pilates reformer.  I’d never used the reformer before, and it was both a good stretch as well as a decent core work. I didn’t feel my best the morning of the workout (blame it on the alcohol?) but I’d do it again, but not at Equinox prices.

spin – Believe it or not, I only ended up taking one spin class at Equinox. I enjoyed it – it was pretty high quality and the spin room is studio-style.  The instructor was great, but it was no Soul-Cycle (but what is?) 

treadmill – One awesome thing about Equinox is they have treadmills where you can “run” through roads of different foreign cities, projected on the TV in front of you.  I once went on a 20 minute run through different streets in the Bavarian countryside, which was pretty awesome.

power plate – This may have been my very favorite thing. This “power plate” technology is like stretching intensified.  I did a normal IT band or hip flexor stretch, but as I stood on the power plate, it vibrated making the stretch way more intense/powerful/awesome.  If I actually ever joined an Equinox, I would use this every day.

Overall, the gym was really nice – clean, not crowded, and gorgeous locker rooms (they have Kiehl’s products for everything).  The manager who showed me around was nice.  Beyond that, though, there wasn’t enough to make me consider switching to Equinox from Gold’s.  I’ll take the $100 price differential and go to the occasional YAS or Soul Cycle class.

Thoughts on Equinox/up-scale gyms? 

Disclosure: While Klout and Equinox gave me a free pass to the gym, all thoughts and opinions are my own 🙂