Category Archives: House/Fashion/Beauty

10 Stocking Stuffers for Fitness Lovers

10 Stocking Stuffers for the Fitness Lover.jpg

Can you believe we are only 9 days away from Christmas?! I feel like we were just carving the Turkey and discussing Black Friday sales. Time needs to slow down just a little so I can catch up.

If you are anything like me, the majority of your shopping is done and you started to wrap, but the one thing you forgot about were the stockings! Dammit!  Well, I put together a list of 10 stocking stuffers for fitness lovers, that just might help you out!

Bonus: Each item is at or under $20 and many can be found locally without shipping! Score!

1. Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0 Mic’d Headphones:

skullcandy ink'd 2.0
These feature multi-sized silicone gel tips to deliver the perfect fit. You can also manage device and tunes with the single-button mic and remote. (Find them at Target or Walmart $20)

2. Stylish Beanies:

beanies.jpg

Perfect for outdoor winter runs as well as trips to the gym or the store. Beanies are stylish, functional and completely affordable. Give the gift of warm this year! (Starting at $6 at Target, Forever 21 and Kohl’s)

Apt. 9 ® lurex leopard ribbed beanie • Apt. 9 • $11.99
Merona® Jeweled Solid Beanie Hat – Black • Merona • $14.99
Merona Women’s Microfleece Beanie Hat • Merona • $6.00
Xhilaration® Reversible Star Beanie Hat – Black/Green • Xhilaration • $12.99
Xhilaration® Beanie Hat – Blue • Xhilaration • $6.98
FOREVER 21+ Multi-Tone Knit Beanie • Forever 21 • $6.23

3. Smart Gloves

Touchscreen gloves

In today’s tech world, your gloves MUST be able to work with the touch screen on your phone. Whether you’re running outside and activating your favorite run tracking app, or driving to the gym, these are a must-have for the social-media-driven fitness folks in your life. (Starting at $5 at retailers like Five Below, Target, TJ Maxx & Marshall’s)

4. Degree’s by 180’s Headphones:

Ear Warmer Headphone

Not a fan of beanies but want to keep your ears warm during your outdoor winter workout? Keep your ears warm and your tunes jamming with these ear warmer headphones! They are listed in the men’s section but I don’t see why us ladies can’t use them too! (Find them at Target.com and Kohls $19.99 or click here to purchase them via Target.com)

BONUS: Use the code JOY30 for 30% off these!

5. Quest Bars:

Quest Bars.jpg

Give the gift of the #CleanCheat this holiday season with some Quest Bars. They comes in a large variety of flavors and are heavenly when popped into the microwave for a few seconds to soften up. They are also gluten-free, have no added sugar and come in around 160 calories + 20 grams of protein per bar (depending on the flavor) My personal favorites are Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. There is also a brand new Smore’s flavor, but it’s not in stores yet. (Find these at your local GNC or Vitamin Shop around $3 per bar)

6. Gymboss Interval Timer:

Gymboss timer

The Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch is a small, easy-to-use, dual interval timer. This multi-use timer has many versatile functions that make it beneficial to virtually any type of exercise program and helps keep your workout on track. You can program your work/rest times and not worry about starting and stopping a stopwatch. This little gizmo does it all for you. (Find it on Amazon $19.99)

7. Sparkly Soul Headband

sparkly soul

“I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” Kick your sparkle game up a notch with these non-slip, no-headache headbands that REALLY work. They come tons of different colors with two widths to choose from. Perfect for kids too (think cheerleaders, track stars and tumblers). (Find these on SparklySoul.com or Amazon. Starting at $15.00)

8. iTunes Gift Cards

itunes.png

Do I really need to explain why this is a great gift? From music to apps, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to find one of these in their stocking on Christmas morning! (Find at grocery stores, Apple, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS…etc. Starting at $10)

9. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm:

Burts Bees Lip Balm

Winter leaves our lips chapped and raw, especially if you workout outdoors. Give the gift of relief. Beeswax conditions skin, while antioxidant Vitamin E moisturizes. A final hint of Peppermint Oil provides that one-of-a-kind refreshing tingle. The result? Smooth, supple lips everyone will be buzzing about. (Find it many local retailers like Target, Walmart, Walgreens & CVS for around $3-$4)

10. Pampered Feet:

Pampered Feet.jpg

If you have a runner in your life, their feet take a beating! Give them a treat with a pair of Shea Infused Slipper Socks ($8.50) and some True Blue Foot Cream ($15.00) from Bath & Body Works.

I hope this list sparks some ideas for you as you wrap up your holiday shopping. If I missed a favorite of yours, please share it with me below!

blog sig

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty, Products I've Tried

#HelloKeurig

*I received a Keurig K550 brewing system as part of the #HelloKeurig review opportunity via the Influenster program. All thoughts and opinions on the system are my own and I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.*

Hello Keurig

I LOVE COFFEE! If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, this is not a newsflash. As a matter of fact, if I’m not posting about a workout, sharing a photo of a new recipe I’ve tried or a few motivational words, I’m posting about coffee. It makes me happy. It’s a hug for my soul. It’s the pat on the ass that says “Go get ’em, tiger!”

Obviously when I received word from Influenster that I was selected to take part in the #HelloKeurig campaign, I was super stoked! 

We were already proud owners of a Keurig brewing system and we loved it. I know some people don’t like Keurig’s and if you’re not using a french press or fancy schmancy, professional machine you aren’t a true coffee lover but I completely disagree with that and tend to just laugh to myself about it. With my hectic daily schedule, three coffee drinkers in my house and two kids, I love the fact that we don’ t all have to agree on a coffee. We can each wake up, pick a K-cup flavor to fit our mood, brew, sip and move along with our day. I also adore that my kids can grab a mug, pop in a hot cocoa cup and enjoy a warm treat for themselves. To me it’s the best of all worlds for everyone and Keurig improved upon it with the new Keurig 2.0.

The Keurig 2.0 now features a carafe option which is perfect for when you have company over and want to brew a few cups of coffee in one shot. If also perfect for those of us who want a cup of coffee now and want to have some left over to cool off so it can be added to a post workout protein shake. (Did I mention that I LOVE coffee?) The K550 model, which I received, also boasts a larger water reservoir which I absolutely love. I tend to be the last one to make their coffee in the morning, so I am no longer greeted with the “Please Add Water” message…which was almost like my old Keurig’s sarcastic way of saying Good Morning, to me.

This new system is full of bells and whistles. It has a new sleek design, lots of customization options like a nightlight, clock options, auto turn-on/turn-off, brew strength (which might be my favorite new feature) and a night light! Yes…I said a nightlight! You can also customize the wallpaper on the display and there is a new smart brewing technology (which I will get into in a minute). We were very impressed with the machine as we unpacked it and couldn’t wait to try our favorite coffee’s with the new brew strength option…but that’s were things went a little wrong and my temper started to flare.

Unfortunately, the new Keurig 2.0’s smart brewing technology will ONLY brew the newer K-cups and there is a little false information in the pamphlet that comes with the machine. It says that you can only use K-cups with the Keurig logo on them, but that is not true. We had tons of cups with the Keurig logo on them (like the K-cup pictured on the left in the image below), but the box did not say that they work in ALL KEURIG BREWERS (this is key when purchasing cups for the 2.0) and they did NOT have the silver/white rim around them (which is where the new technology is stored for perfect brew settings). As a result of this technology, you can also no longer use the refillable K-cup to brew special local coffees, which may not offer K-Cups. Bummer…right?! On the bright side, Keurig is aware of this issue and if you contact them, they will provide you with a coupon code for 3 FREE replacement boxes along with FREE shipping from their website! This definitely took my temper back to happy coffee lover as I scrolled through the options I had to choose from on their site. (If you haven’t tried Chocolate Donut, I suggest you go order some after you finish readying this post.)

Overall, we are very happy with the new Keurig 2.0 K550 system. Here is a list of Pro’s and Con’s that we came up with:

Pro’s

  • Ability to brew a variety of sized, from 4 to 10 oz cups
  • Ability to brew 2 t0 4 cups at a time (by using the new carafe)
  • Very easy to swap between single cup and carafe brewing
  • Comes standard with water filter
  • Larger water reservoir (on the K550 model only)
  • Easy to read digital display
  • Auto brew timer option for the carafe
  • Optional night light
  • Ability to choose how strong you want your coffee
  • Ability to choose if you are brewing something besides coffee (tea/hot cocoa) so the brew comes out better
  • Economy setting that allows for you to set the machine to turn off after so many minutes of being inactive
  • Option to brew just hot water

Con’s

  • Can not use older K-cups with the 2.0 system *Must have silver/white outer ring on K-cup or black Keurig seal along with words in ALL KEURIG BREWERS on the box*
  • Can not use refillable K-cup with your own grinds
  • The carafe that comes standard is plastic and does’t hold heat well. There is a stainless steel version (sold separately) which I feel should come standard with the deluxe K550 model. I have not used the stainless steel version, but I would hope it hold heat in better than the plastic one, since there is no warmer option.

Keurig 20 cup issue

We’ve been using our new Keurig 2.0 system for over a month now and the list of pro’s definitely outweigh the con’s to us, especially since Keurig has address the old K-cup issue with the generous coupon. I am also happy to see that the Archer Farms cups available at Target have switched the new technology! If you have purchased these in the past, be warned that only the cups in the new packaging have the new technology. So if you find cups on clearance, skip them since the machine will not be able to read the. (There is a hack around this new technology, but I won’t go into that. If you have a bunch of old cups on hand that you want to use, all I will say is Google is your friend in figuring out how to make them work.)

What are your thoughts on the new Keurig 2.0 system? Do you think you’ll be saying #HelloKeurig anytime soon?

blog sig

2 Comments

Filed under House/Fashion/Beauty, Household Items, Products I've Tried

My New BFF…Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
I first heard of coconut oil a few years ago when my husband was trying to replicate his beloved movie theater popcorn. We bought some and it was used only making popcorn…and I don’t mean the healthy kind.

A little over a year ago, I began learning more about the Paleo style of eating and noticed that many of the recipes called for coconut oil instead of olive oil or other conventional oils. Around that same time, a friend of mine said that she recently began using coconut oil as a hair mask and I had to try it. Obviously curiosity took over and I tried using coconut oil in these new ways. I was instantly hooked and coconut oil has quickly become my go-to item for many different uses. As a matter of fact, I have three jars of it in my house at all times…1 in the kitchen for cooking, 1 in the bathroom and 1 in the bedroom for moisturizing and health & beauty purposes.

Ways I Use Coconut Oil
Cooking – I have been using coconut oil instead of olive oil when cooking for almost a year now. Coconut oil is able to tolerate high heats very well, so I’ve been using it in when I stir-fry or saute vegetables. It’s also great for baking and can be substituted in a 1 to 1 ratio. Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it is cholesterol free and trans-fatty acid free and has actually been shown to help lower cholesterol levels due to its ability to stimulate thyroid function.

Skin Care – NJ winters tend to leave my skin dull, dry and scaly, but not anymore! I started using coconut as a moisturizer and my skin is now silky smooth. I began by applying a small amount of coconut oil to my skin after my showers, but now I even use it in place of shaving cream. You can also use it as a facial moisturizer. It may feel a little greasy at first, but the skin quickly absorbs it and leaves your skin looking refreshed and glowing. Coconut oil has even been shown to help with skin issues such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.

First Aid – Speaking of applying it to skin, I recently found out that coconut oil helps to repair skin that has been cut, scraped or bruised. I noticed it on myself as a side effect of using it daily and after a little reading, found out that it forms a barrier that keeps dirt, bacteria and viruses out of wounds. It also speeds up the healing process and can help bruises heal faster. I was skeptical when I read that it can help reduce the visibility of varicose veins but I tried it and guess what…it works!

Hair Care – As I mentioned above, a friend of mine told me that she used coconut oil as a hair mask, so I had to give it a try. I warn you…it gets messy, but it’s totally worth it. I applied the coconut oil to my hair liberally and gathered my hair on top of my head so I could apply a shower cap (trust me, you want to use the shower cap. I tried it without and was running down my face and neck. Gross). I left it on for about an hour and then shampooed as normal. My hair instantly felt soft and smooth and my curls were more manageable. I’ve also noticed I don’t have issues with flaky scalp or dandruff anymore, which is a nice bonus!

Oral Health – While I’ve seen pins about brushing your teeth with coconut, I have not tried that. What I have tried is “oil pulling” which  involves rinsing (swishing) approximately one tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes and then spitting it into the trash before rinsing your mouth out with water. As the oil hits your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as if they are being pulled out by a powerful magnet, then bacteria hiding in the gums and in pores within the teeth are sucked out of their hiding places and held firmly in the solution. The oil needs to be swished until it turns a milky white which means it is full of bacteria. It takes a little getting used to and you may need to start with a smaller amount of oil and work your way up. Just make sure you spit the oil into the trash and not the sink or toilet. Coconut oil turns hard at certain temperatures so it can clog drains. You also want to make sure you don’t swallow any of the oil since it is full of bacteria. People that “oil pull” claim that it helps to whiten their teeth, reduces halitosis, relieve gum and tooth sensitivity and reduce gingivitis. I began trying it when I heard it can help to alleviate jaw pain and it’s worked!

Digestion – The saturated fat in coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties that help control parasites and fungi that can cause indigestion and other digestion issues. The fat in coconut oil also helps to aid in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Coconut oil has also been shown to improve your metabolism and thyroid function, while increasing your energy levels.

These are only a few of the many uses for it…and as you can see it’s pretty damn versatile!

Do you use coconut oil in your daily life? Have a use for it that is not listed above…please share cause I’d love to hear how you use it!

blog sig

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beauty, Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty

{ 21 Day Fix } Week 1 Review

Last week I began the 21 Day Fix and I’m loving it! What makes this experience even better are the people who decided to join me in a Challenge /Accountability Group. Over the years I learned that accountability partners are essential to success, so organizing one and watching people succeed is just full of awesomesauce!

The aspect of the 21 Day Fix that intrigued me the most was the color-coded,  portion-control container system that it uses. I have really cleaned up my diet over the past 5 years but portion-control can still be an issue for me and believe it or not, you can overeat healthy foods. Crazy, right?!

Here is some basic information on the program for those of you who have never heard of it or are not sure about the details:

21 Day Fix

What is 21 Day Fix?
• A 21-day program of simple portion control and 30-minute workouts that anyone can do (there is an exercise modifier for every workout)
• Simple, fast weight loss—no weighing food or counting calories, carbs, or points
• You can potentially lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days

What makes 21 Day Fix unique?
• Portion-control containers take all the guesswork out of losing weight
• It’s the simplest way to control how much you eat
• 30-minute workouts that anyone can do and fit into everyone’s busy life

Who is the target audience?
Men and women who:
• Want to lose weight
• Don’t want to make long time commitments
• Have tried and failed at complicated diet plans
• Don’t want an extreme fitness program
• Are new to fitness, dieting, and weight loss
• Don’t like “off-limits” diet plans or deprivation

How does it work?
• The Eating Plan shows you how to use the portion-control containers
• Simply put your choice of food in the color-coded container—if it fits, you can eat it!
• Do one 30-minute workout per day according to the Fitness Guide
• Follow the simple plan, and you can lose up to 15 pounds in 21 days

One of the unique features of this program is that it involves no counting of any kind. Outside of a quick math equation to figure out your calorie level, you don’t have to worry about numbers…well…just how many of each colored container you are allowed to have daily. That means you will not need to worry about weighing your food, fat content, carbohydrate counts or calorie amount in the foods you consume during the plan.

Each color-coded container is used to measure a specific type of food. You can eat as much of that food as you can fit into that container and the amount of containers you are allowed for each color depends on that one, simple math equation that you use to calculate your calorie level. The container colors and their specific use are as follows:

  • Green—Vegetables
  • Purple—Fruit
  • Red—Protein
  • Yellow—Carbohydrates
  • Blue—Healthy Fats and Cheese
  • Orange (2)—Seeds and Oils
  • Shakeology Shaker Cup—Drinks

In my opinion, the most important part of this nutrition program is being prepared. Meal Planning is key with the 21 Day Fix and I think Meal Prepping helps a lot, too. To keep my Challenge Group on track, I designed a meal planner, grocery list and color-coded cut out visual to help them plan their week with ease.

21 Day Fix Custom Tools

Another great tool are these colored sandwich bags that I found at Target. The come four colors to a box (Red, Yellow, Blue and Green) and are perfect for meal prepping. All you do is measure your food in the container and then put it into the colored bag to match. I do this with frozen veggies that I use in my omelets, rice and protein items so I have plenty of grab and go/grab and cook items on hand through out the week. I wish they had a Purple bag for my fruits, but I just use a clear sandwich bag for those. Another useful bag size to have are the snack size ones. These are perfect for storing nuts, seeds, flax and other items that go in the Orange container.

21 Day Fix Colored Bags

The Workouts:

Included with this program is a 30-minute workout for each day of the week and the only additional items you need are dumbells or resistance bands and a yoga mat. If you order the program through a Beachbody Coach you also receive a Bonus Workout called Plyo Fix. The workouts are all challenging but nothing crazy like Insanity. There is a moderator in every workout, so you can either follow her if you are new to fitness or you always have the option of following the group for as long as you can and then switching to the modified move if you begin to get tired. I love this because it offers lots of room for growth and lets face it, not every workout is our best. Sometimes you are tired and not really into it, so while you need to give it your all during every workout, sometimes all you can give is the modified version and that’s okay…cause you’re moving and not just sitting on the couch watching TV and shoving chips into your mouth.

Total Body Cardio Fix
The Total Body Cardio Fix is a fast paced cardio workout that can be done with your own body weight or can also be done with weights and/or resistance bands to up the intensity. The 30 minutes include two exercises done for four rounds. There is a short 20 second rest period in between each round for recovery. The purpose of the Total Body Cardio Fix is to give you a whole body cardio workout while toning every muscle from head to toe.

Upper Fix
The Upper Fix works the upper body, including arms, chest, shoulders and abs. You can use weights and resistance bands with this workout as well or you can simply use your own body weight. There are five exercises that will be done for two rounds with a 20 second rest period in between. You can expect to do push-ups, scissor twists, planks and presses, among others.

Lower Fix
This workout focuses on the lower body, with a special focus on most women’s problem areas, the legs and buttocks. Once again, you will be doing two rounds of exercises with a rest period in between that is 20 seconds long. Everything from your calves to your buttocks will be sore after completing this 30 minute workout.

Pilates Fix
The Pilates Fix focuses mostly on floor exercises that include basic Pilates moves to strengthen your core, elongate your muscles and firm up your lower body.

Cardio Fix
The Cardio Fix is a workout based on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) similar to Shaun T’s workouts in the Insanity and Focus T25 programs. It involves minute long bursts of very intense exercise with 20 second rest periods in between for recovery. Explosive, plyometrics moves such as skater jumps and box jumps are mixed with classics such as jumping jacks and push-ups to give you a sweat inducing, calorie torching workout for the entire 31 minute length of the DVD.

Yoga Fix
Although the Yoga Fix seems less intense than the others, it is by no means an easy workout. It involves plenty of stretching to help recover from the week of more grueling activity, and is to be done on the seventh day of the week in addition to one of the other videos.

Dirty 30
In addition to the six workouts already included with the 21 Day Fix Program, you will also receive the Dirty 30 Workout to add to your fitness routine as a bonus gift. The Dirty 30 is similar to a CrossFit workout, and includes a variety of exercises that will be repeated for four rounds in order to help you carve out a leaner, stronger, more defined physique.

Bonus Workout: Plyo Fix
The Plyo Fix workout is a bonus. It does not come with the program unless it is purchased through Team Beachbody and can be done in addition to any of the daily workout videos on the 21 Day Fix workout schedule. It is filled with plyometric exercises that help improve overall strength and stamina.

As you can see there is a lot of tools included with this program. The information given in this post is based on the Essential Pack. There is also the Challenge Pack which includes all of the above plus Shakeology at a discounted price and 30 Days of Club Membership for FREE (this gives you access to recipes and meal planning tools). The final option is the Ultimate Pack which comes with everything included in the Essential 21 Day Fix Pack, plus an insulated bag to store your food while on the go, two additional workouts, a large “on-the-go” container and a resistance band. The two additional workouts are Flat Abs Fix and Barre Legs. They can be done in addition to the other workout videos already included with the program in order to turn up the intensity throughout the week or as a change of pace.

So far I’m really enjoying this program and the results from week 1. When I weighed in I didn’t have any change in my weight, however I did lose 2 inches in my waist, 1.5 inches in my hips and .5 inches in each thigh! This is why it’s so  important to take your measurements when you begin a new program. The scale does not and will not ever tell you the full story. I would hate to see someone step on the scale, not lose any weight and begin to beat themselves up or worse, quit over that. If you are following the program as laid out, sometimes you just have to trust the process and allow your body time to adjust. Measurements help to give a good insight as to what’s going on and are very important. If you don’t have a change in either weight or measurements, you may want to speak to your coach and tweak a few things to better suite your needs.

If you have done the 21 Day Fix, I would love to hear about your results. If you are interested in the program and would like more information, please feel free to contact me.

blog sig

6 Comments

Filed under 21 Day Fix, Health & Fitness, Products I've Tried

{Product Review} LYFT Energy Stick

Studying, errands, working out, cleaning the house and homework with the kids, typically have me begging for a power nap around 3 pm. Like typical adults, my day begins with a prayer in front of the Keurig machine as I look at the never ending list of tasks for my day. I try to avoid having coffee after noon but every now and then I give in and have some just so I can make it through my day.

I was recently given an opportunity from Fit Approach through their Sweat Pink Ambassador program to try a revolutionary new product called LYFT Clean Caffeine. LYFT Energy Stir Sticks are an innovative “clean caffeine” energy product infused with all natural caffeine from green coffee bean extract, along with vitamins A and B complex that provide a sophisticated energy experience. They contain zero calories, have a clean taste and can be used with a variety of different beverages from water to freshly pressed juices to coconut water and cocktails. The LYFT Energy Sticks contain no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives and have the caffeine equivalent to one tall coffee.

Click here to compare LYFT Energy stick to other energy drinks on the market.

IMG_1174[1]

Today was one of those days where I needed a “pick me up” so I decided to try one of the LYFT sticks. They are very easy to use! All you do is peel off the label, dunk it into an 8 oz drink of choice and then stir it around. I opted for water since I was running behind on my intake for the day and I wanted to see what kind of flavor it gave to beverages. I wasn’t a fan of it in the plain water, which was a little upsetting. It had a sweet, yet “off” taste to it, so I added a bit of juice to my glass and it was instantly better.  Within a few minutes I felt a nice little jolt of energy, without that jittery feeling I’ve had when trying energy drinks in the past.

If you are looking for a “clean caffeine” option to get you through the day or to replace soda and energy drinks, I would definitely give LYFT Energy Sticks a try. They are also the perfect on-the-go option and can easily be stashed in your gym bag, backpack or purse. PLUS…you can get FREE shipping by entering code WELCOME when ordering from their site.

What are your thoughts on energy or pre-workout drinks?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

 

*I received two LYFT Energy Sticks through Fit Approach, as a Sweat Pink Ambassador for review. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own, honest account of the product reviewed.*

2 Comments

Filed under Health & Fitness, Products I've Tried

The Clean in 14 Detox

Clean in 14 Detox

Recently I was given the opportunity to preview Melissa Costello’s new book, “The Clean in 14 Detox“, which was just released yesterday!

I was first introduced to Melissa Costello of Karma Chow, and her recipes in Tony Horton’s book, Bring It, back in 2011, when I followed the cleanse for that program. I was intrigued by the approach and the benefits to following a vegan diet. I managed to stay vegan for 40 days before switching over to vegetarian for 8 months. I learned a lot about nutrition during that time period and it changed the way I looked at food. Meat was eventually added back into my diet, because….well….BACON! (nitrate-free of course)

When I heard about Melissa’s new book, “Clean in 14 Detox” I knew I had to check it out! Cleansing is a good thing, when it’s done correctly. It rids the body of accumulated slow poisons, which can make your metabolism sluggish, lead to stomach inflammation and digestive issues, as well as many other chronic issues and of course…unwanted weight gain. The approach taken in Melissa’s book will  not only flush your body of toxins, but it will free your mind of negative patterns and allow you to find balance in your life.

While there are many detox programs available, “Clean in 14 Detox is the only simple, 2-week plan that’s not about deprivation, frustration or living on shakes or pills. This cleanse is about enjoying delicious plant-based, whole foods that not only taste amazing, but will melt fat, curb cravings and provide your body with the natural energy it needs!

Sounds to good to be true right? Well, if you follow the plan, it’s not. We live in a society hooked on convenient, over-processed food, that is full of chemicals and sugars that we don’t need. The key to eating healthier is changing your relationship with food and Melissa has included everything you need.

  • Detailed shopping lists and mouthwatering mix and match meal plans for 14 days.
  • How to completely eliminate CRAP (Coffee, refined sugar, alcohol, Processed Foods) out of your life
  • How to banish you SAP (Sabotaging Addictive Patterns) that keep you on the diet rollercoaster
  • How to follow through on healthy eating as a lifestyle, not just another fad diet
  • Daily Action Steps to help you stay focused and motivated

This cleanse isn’t just about food, it’s about your mind too. I love that there are daily actions which include journal writing, reflection and even meditation. This book is truly the total package needed to deal with food cravings and sugar addiction, without wanting to kill everyone you comes into contact with, during the 14 day process.

The best part of this cleanse is that it offers a wide variety of delicious, unprocessed foods, like Baja-fajitas, chopped salad with creamy pepita dressing, coconut yam soup, oven-baked sweet potatoes and this yummy protein shake, which is from the Breakfast and Shakes section of the book:

Photo from KarmaChow.com

Photo from KarmaChow.com

Ruby’s Raspberry Dazzle Protein Shake
1 serving

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon raw almond butter

Directions
1. Blend the ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy.

 

If you are looking to kick your sugar addiction, increase your immunity, have better digestion, a more efficient metabolism and glowing skin, I highly recommend that you pick up this book, cut the CRAP and truly take a look at your relationship with food. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Have you ever completed a cleanse? What kind of cleanse was it and how did you feel during and after?

blog sig

 

 

 

 

(I received one copy of Clean in 14 Detox from Dunn Pellier Media to review. All opinions in the post are my own, honest feeling on the item.)

4 Comments

Filed under Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty, Products I've Tried, Recipes, Snacks & Treats

{Product Review} Vega Bars

Recently, I was selected to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador for Fit Approach and I couldn’t be happier. I have met so many fabulous, fit and strong women in this community and I love that we can all share our knowledge, motivate each other and support one another, as we conquer our workouts one squat at a time.

As an ambassador, I had the opportunity to participate in a campaign for Vega, which allowed me to sample some of their newest bars to hit the market…and man were they good!

If you’re not familiar with Vega, they offer plant-based, gluten-free, non-GMO, nothing artificial nutrition options. To view their guiding principles CLICK HERE.

 

Vega Bars

 

As you can see from the photo above, Vega truly has your day covered …and sometimes it’s even covered in chocolate!

The first bar I tried was the Vega Sport Protein bar in the Chocolate Mint flavor. It featured 15 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of BCAA’s and 2 grams of glutamine, which made it a great post workout option. Since your body needs fuel within a certain time period after a tough workout, these would be a perfect addition to your gym bag…because sometimes you need to run errands before going home, right?

vega sport protein

Post workout nutrition is important…don’t skip it!

 

Next up was the Vega Snack Bar! I love to snack and I know you do too. When I opened the box of treats Vega sent me, I couldn’t wait to tear into the Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts and Sea Salt. I decided to show a little restraint and save it for when I was out running errands and feeling hangry. The snack bars are perfect for these scenarios! How many times have you been stuck in a long line at the grocery store and began drooling over the candy bars or chips they showcase up the registers? We work too hard to sabotage ourselves, so be prepared for when hunger strikes with a snack like this! Trust me.

Vega Snack

I always keep an emergency snack in my bag.

 

Then there are the days that are just hectic and start with time not being on your side. Thankfully Vega even offers Vega One bars, which are total meal replacements! This morning I had to grab a Chocolate Peanut Butter bar and it was goooooood. The Vega One bars are packed with 12g complete plant-based protein, 4g fiber, 1g Omega 3, 1 serving of greens, 1 billion dairy-free probiotics, 25 added vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. That’s pretty awesome considering all you have to do is unwrap and eat!

Vega One

Emergency carpet cleaning? Vega One can power you through!

 

The final bar I tried was the Vega Sport Energy Bar in Apple Cherry. There are days were I cram a run or a workout in wherever I can, because I have other things I need to tend to first. These days become tricky because I can’t time my nutrition properly. Having an energy bar like this on hand, gives your muscles the fast-acting, long-lasting whole food energy they need to endure. The energy bars contain 27g carbs from whole food ingredients, high and low glycemic carborhydrates for immediate and sustained energy, as well as 1g Omega 3.

Vega Sport Energy

Your body needs proper energy before you workout. Fuel it right.

As you can see, Vega offers a wide variety of bars to fit your daily nutrition needs. I really enjoyed the taste of all of these. Some were better than others, but that also comes down to personal taste. (I love anything with chocolate). For more info on these items, be sure to visit the Vega Blog.

blog sig

 

 

 

 

 

(I received a variety of VEGA bars from VEGA and Fit Approach to review. All opinions in the post are my own, honest feeling on the item.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Products I've Tried

{Product Review} Lifeway Frozen Kefir

Summer and ice-cream go hand in had to me. They are a perfect duo and few things say summer more than enjoying some ice-cream on a hot summer day or night. Okay, so a juicy burger and a cold beer in the yard say summer too, but I digress.

Recently, I was asked by Influenster to participate in a review for Lifeway brand Kefir. I had seen and heard of kefir before, but I had never tried it, so I figured why not?!

Never heard of kefir? I’ll let Lifeway describe it for you… “Kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage similar in taste and texture to drinkable yogurt, and made from milk fermented with kefir cultures. Originating over 2000 years ago in the Caucasus Mountains-where many people live well over 100 years – kefir has been associated with a long list of health benefits.” 
#LWaySummer

I saw that they made a frozen kefir and since I love me some ice-cream, I decided that I would try that over the smoothies they offer. I’ve also been opting for frozen yogurt instead of ice-cream lately, so I figured the kefir would be similar. Thankfully, one of my local grocery stores had it. They didn’t have Mango, which was the flavor I had my heart set on, but they did have Pomegranate so I grabbed a pint of that and headed to the check-out with my voucher.

Before cracking open my frozen treat, I flipped it over to see what the ingredients and nutrition info was and it wasn’t awful. The sugar was higher than I would have liked but compared to regular ice-cream, I thought it had a decent ingredient list.

Frozen Kefir – Tart and Tangy Pomegranate 1pnt (473ml)

Each of their frozen kefir varieties feature all-natural ingredients and 10 probiotic cultures. Each flavor has only 90 calories per serving, 1 gram of fat per serving and is 99% lactose-free as well as gluten-free. Sounds great, but how is it going to taste?!

I’m happy to report that it was really freaking good! It had a nice smooth, creamy texture and the flavor was perfectly tart and tangy. I will definitely be trying the other flavors that my local grocer has in stock and I hope to find some of the others that I have heard of, too!

If you’d like to locate a store near you and get a coupon to try some Lifeway Frozen Kefir for yourself, click here!

Have you ever tried any of the Lifeway Kefir products? If so, I would love to know which product and flavor is your favorite.

blog sig

 

 

 

 

*I received a voucher for one free Lifeway Kefir item as a perk of being part of the Influenster program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, Products I've Tried

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Last week I announced that I would be hosting my first ever giveaway over my Facebook page and  today a winner was chosen!

and the winner is….

Giveaway Banner Winner

You are the winner of Nora & Jac’s super cute color block infinity scarf and two sailors knot bracelets!

Nora & Jac

A big thank you to Nora & Jac for providing such an awesome prize package for me to giveaway to the fans of this blog, it’s been a pleasure watching your business take off!

I’d also like to thank everyone who entered this giveaway and take the time to read what I write. You are all awesome! (or really bored…I’ll go with awesome, though!)

Hosting my first giveaway was actually pretty nerve wrecking for me, but it was fun and I look forward to hosting another soon!

blog sig

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fashion, House/Fashion/Beauty

{Summer Giveaway} Fashion Edition


Giveaway Banner

I’m incredibly happy to announce, that I have teamed up with Nora & Jac to offer my readers and Facebook fans a chance to win some great items!

If you love fashionable, handmade accessories, this giveaway is for you!

Entering is as easy as 1, 2, 3…:

  1. Visit the Nora & Jac Facebook page and hit “Like”
  2.  Visit my Facebook page and make sure you already “Like” it.
  3. Click the summer giveaway tab on the top to fill out the form.

(There are also links to Nora & Jac’s Facebook page on there if you prefer)

One lucky winner will be randomly chosen on July 1, 2013 by 3:00 pm to win these great items (which are valued at approx $45):

Giveaway Banner 2

So hop on over to Facebook to enter today and keep an eye on the Nora & Jac page….she has some great sales going on now to make way for new items which are in the works and will be launching soon!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Fashion, House/Fashion/Beauty, Products I've Tried