Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hemp Heart Bars

This past month, I got to review Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Bars. Hemp Heart bars are a great source of protein and Omega 3 & 6! Each bar contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of Omegas. received two bars, one in the chocolate flavor and one in the apple cinnamon. There is also a vanilla flavor available which i have yet to try.  

I paired my Chocolate Hemp Hear Bar with my morning coffee.  It was a great way to start my day with proper nutrition and a pick me up! If you've never tried Hemp Hearts,  you'll find the texture to be a bit different, and for some a bit off putting.  Since i had the opportunity last year to review hemp hearts,  I had an idea of what to expect.  

As you can see in the picture, Hemp Heart Bars are very textured and filled with hemp hearts!  I found the 45g bar to be the perfect serving size. The chocolate flavor was great and I really enjoyed having this as my breakfast.  Hemp Heart Bars are great for on the go, be it for a grab and go breakfast or a quick pick me up before a work out. 

The apple cinnamon bar was not to my liking.  I am not a fan of that flavor combination so i wasn't able to eat the whole bar.  However, if you are a fan of that flavor combination, give it a try! 

Right now, Manitoba Harvest is having a Hemp Heart Bar giveaway, so if you want to try these amazing bars for free, enter their photo contest!! You have until March 31 to enter and can get details here :)   Or if you really want to try them now, you can use code hhbarlaunch1015 to recieve 15% off your order! 

I highly recommend the chocolate! Happy hearts eat hemp heart bars! 

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Should Talk

I'm sitting here at home, on my couch, giving myself the "should" talk.  This morning i missed my bus to get to the other side of town to take 2 yoga classes.  I should've gotten up 5 minutes earlier, because i should work out today.  I shouldn't be so lazy.  I should do a home practice now, or i should take the later bus and should take the later classes.   How often do we do this to ourselves?  What i did this morning was put myself down.  Telling myself all the things i should do- things that if i do, i will be able to tell myself I'm better for.  I put myself down every time I tell myself I should've done something.  
Recently, I've decided to take a bit of a social media break.  I post things here and there, but I'm not going to be as active as i have been.  I kept telling myself I should participate in Instagram challenges- they would make me feel better.  Wrong.  They stressed me out.  I didn't always have time to do an Instagram Yoga pose of the day. And then the should talks would start all over again.  I would put myself down for poor time management.  I would get upset if i didn't have a TON of likes on my pictures and then i would start the comparison game.   So and so has 500 likes, has 100000+ followers,  is prettier, is more fit, is more liked. Whats wrong with me? Why don't people like my pictures? Why isn't everyone following me?.  Oh cry me a river.  I set myself up to put myself down.  I didn't start my social media accounts to gain followers, that's not my goal.  There are some people who use social media to network with companies, to grow their business' and to gain sponsorships, but guess what- I'm not one of those people.  So WHY am i beating myself up about such petty things.  

I started my twitter account years ago as a way to vent without judgement.  I was going through the worst of my eating disorder and needed a place to find a community that understood and that i could vent to.  I no longer use the account that served that purpose, and honestly, twitter is hardly something i use these days.  I started Instagram when it first came out because i thought it was cool.  I hardly used hashtags, and I just liked being able to add filters to my pictures. Since then, I overuse hashtags, i try too hard to get likes on my pictures, i stress myself out with trying to do 8 Instagram challenges at once- again to gain likes, and none of it is worth it or necessary- for me.  Facebook is Facebook.  I mainly use it to see funny videos and stay in contact with my family.  I hardly post to it and I will continue to keep my posting to a minimum.  

When i first started a blog, i was a sophomore in college.   I blogged as a way to journal without having my hand cramp up.  My original blog is long gone- my Dad was scared that random people could search my name and read my blog. Now, the majority of people who read this blog are random strangers.  Its crazy how things change.   But as things have changed, i have lost myself in social media.  I have taken away from spending time with myself.   Take social media away, with no one to like what i do, and what do i want to do for myself?   Social media became a way for me to seek validation.  To know that what i was doing was okay, because, someone liked it.  How screwed up is that.  Now I'm taking the time to figure out myself, to find what it is i really enjoy, to find my path and to stop giving myself the should talks.  There are lots of could've would've should'ves in life, but the more we dwell on those, the more we start to have negative conversations with ourselves and begin to put ourselves down.   Instead, lets talk ourselves up.  I don't need someone to like a picture or a status to know that I'm amazing.  

Today, i challenge you to stop giving yourself the should talk, and start building yourself up. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Make your holidays #FitHolidays

During the holiday season, one of the most common things i hear people complain about is the extra holiday weight they gain.  At the holiday times there are so many delicious foods and desserts being made its sometimes hard to say no, or to know when to stop eating.  Portion control isn't always as easy as it sounds when you have a love affair with mashed potatoes and sweet potatoe pie.  Lucky for me, this holiday season I had a secret weapon to help me stop stuffing my face with deliscous stuffing!  What is my secret?  MealEnders Signaling losenges

MealEnders Losenges are similar to a hard candy with a soft outer shell. What makes these different then just a simple hard candy? Well, MealEnders have a Duo-Sensory Taste SystemTM 
which rewards your taste buds with the flavor but also rests them.  Once you get to the hard candy part of the MealEnder, you begin to feel your tounge tingle.  Its as though all your taste buds are being activiated.  MealEnders described this in the following way:


MealEnders’ active-taste formula rewards and resets your taste buds, distracting you from the temptation to overindulge.  First the delicious Reward Layer treats you to the sweet taste of dessert – a signal we typically associate with the end of a meal.  Then the Inner Core’s Active-Taste Layer releases a proprietary blend of gentle, cool tingling sensations on the tongue, which engage the trigeminal nerve, distracting your mind from the urge to continue overeating.  You can feel your MealEnder go to work instantly.

(taken from MealEnders webpage : https://www.mealenders.com/

To learn more about the science behind MealEnders, visit their webpage and read how it works.

One thing I really enjoyed about MealEnders is that they come 4 flavors- Chocolate, Cinnamon, Mocha and Citrus. 
Chocolate is my ablsolute favorite.  My fiance loves the chocolate ones too, he ate all of them! (not at once though).  Luckily, i had a stash of chocolate ones unopened still. When i recieved my package of MealEnders Losenges, I also recieved a package of sample packs!  I took those to work and shared them with my co-workers who are always trying to find a way to lose weight or cut down calories.  They loved the losenges!  One of the girls was a little scared when her tounge started to tingle, but i assured her that is the way they work and she was fine :)

I love the way that the losenges activate my tastebuds.  I could be tempting myself to have seconds, but as soon as i pop a MealEnder in my mouth, im able to say no to seconds.  Not only do i get that sweet tooth craving, but i also am left with a mouth sensation that tells me i dont need to have extra servings.  Its really quite a cool thing! 

MealEnders make the perfect Holiday stocking stuffers.  I even used mine as party favors!

I highly recommend MealEnders to anyone and everyone! They even make great stocking stuffers and party favors!  You can check them out here!  If you are struggling with saying no to that second helping of pie or have trouble with controling cravings, MealEnders is perfect for you!  My goal through out the holidays is always to have #FitHolidays.  To say no to seconds, to keep working out, to not eat too many cookies! You too can have a #FitHoliday season and MealEnders can help you.  Why wait until the New Year, sure its just around the corner, but there is no time like the present! Dont wait for tomorrow to change what you can do today! So, heres to my secret weapon not being so secret anymore :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nektar Naturals #BeeSweet!

Recently, i had the opportunity to try out Nektar Naturals Nektar Honey Crystals. The honey crystals reminded me of instant coffee, but instead, instant honey! Nektar Honey Crystals are all-natural granulated honey. You can get the crystals in easy to go packets or an easy pour bottle.  Honey on the go with no sticky mess!  

I really enjoy having a cup of tea at night when i want to relax and prepare for bed and I love pairing natural honey with my tea.  I often end up with a sticky mess and honey on the counter top.  What i love about the Nektar Honey Crystals is that they are all natural, non-GMO and are naturally gluten-free.  I just added a teaspoon to my tea and i was good to go. 

The Nektar Honey Cystals have the same flavor as regular honey. I received the bottle of crystals with a set of measuring spoons which made adding honey to my tea easy.  I also added the Nektar Honey Crystals to my plain Greek yogurt. I ended with the same great honey taste and an extra texture to my yogurt. 

The Nektar Honey Crystals are also great for cooking and baking with.  I love to bake granny smith apples with cinnamon in the oven.  I saw the idea when i was a kid on a PBS show and have been obsessed since.  I added the Honey Crystals to the inside of the apple as they baked and ended with a delicious flavor.   For more great baking recipes, check out their webpage
image from google images
Another beneficial thing about the crystals that i love, is that they contain natural electrolytes. Being a very active athlete, this is a great benefit for me. When I add them to my tea is not only adding great flavor, but benefiting me! You can also add the crystals to a bottle of water for added flavor and added electrolytes.  
I really enjoy how easy the crystals are to use and look forward to creating more with them.  If you love honey but hate the mess, i highly recommend the Nektar Naturals Honey Crystals to you! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Santa Hustle 5K

This past Saturday, My fiance and I ran in the Santa Hustle 5K.  For the race being on the lake front and on a December day, we had great weather.  The sun was shining and the temperature reached a high of 47 degrees- i think it only got to a high of 39 while we were running though.  

The morning of, we woke up at 6am to start getting ready so we could leave by 6:45.  My routine on a race morning is very simple- make coffee and get dressed. I always lay out my clothes for a race the night prior so I'm not scurrying around in a frenzy the morning of trying to find what i need.  By 6:45 we were out the door and driving down to the east side.  The race was held right off of Lake Michigan at Veteran's Park downtown Milwaukee. 

We arrived around 7:10am for (we had to stop and get me gum on the way- i cant run without a piece of gum). The race didn't start until 830 but we had to pick up our race bibs and packets, and we knew parking could get crazy so wanted to make sure we got a spot.  After picking up our packets and bibs, we went back to the car so we could stay warm.  At 8:15 we did a final bathroom stop and headed to the start line.

At the start line, we placed ourselves towards the front so we wouldn't have to battle through people while running.  Before the race started, UW-Badger alum and Heismann Trophy Winner, Ron Dayne spoke and gave a pep talk. 

 Then the count down began and we were off.  The start was very congested and i felt like I was tripping over people.  Once we spread out more, My fiance and I started to pass people and fall into our rhythm.  I think a lot of people placed themselves in the front when they shouldn't have.  

The course took us onto Lincoln Memorial drive to North Ave and then turned back to the finish line.  I enjoyed the course a lot, as its one that i have trained on consistently in the past.  The first mile, we found ourselves passing a lot of people and ran past the "Cookie Stop".  I hit mile 1 in 7:31

A mile 1 1/2 we passed the Water Stop and we nearing the turn around.  My legs felt a little dead, but overall i felt like i was doing pretty good. As we neared mile 2 i could feel that i had slowed a little but I thought i had been holding a decent pace.  (i didn't check my watch the entire race so until i finished didn't know what pace i was holding).  I hit mile 2 in 7:50.  

As we turned around and headed back to the finish, i could feel myself dying, but i wasn't giving up.  I thought i was on track to run faster then i was running and that kept me motivated. Entering back into Veterans Park, we passed the "Candy Stop".  Neither of us took anything from the stops, but they were cute to see.  Throughout the course, there were also funny motivational posters.  The one near the candy stop was of two snowballs and one saying to the other, the more i run the more weight i put on.  It took me a minute to figure it out (im a bit slow with jokes) but then i had a good laugh. 

After passing the candy stop, we were about a .5 from the finish and i could feel my legs dying and my pace dramatically slowing.  There was a girl in a penguin suit in front of me that I was trying to pass and I told myself to just let her go. I hit mile 3 in 8:19.

As we headed to the finish line, i had a little bit of juice left in me and began to pick up my speed.  We crossed the finish line in 24:58 and of course, as always, finished hand in hand.   
Headed to the Finish
I was disappointed with the time, but not with my performance.  I had really thought i was running so much faster.  My legs definitely were frozen from the cold, so i believe that had an affect on me feeling how i was running.  Just one week prior, i ran 2 1/2 minutes faster in a 5K.  I have noticed the last mile i tend to die and in my training have been trying to work on keep myself consistent in that last mile.  One day I want to run a 5K like i had 2 years ago. I know i wont be running a 15 minute 5K again, but i would like to get into the 18min range once more.  

Overall, Im very pleased with the way Saturday went.  My fiance and I had a lot of fun.  We even hung out for a bit afterwards to take some pictures and say hi to the Reindeer.  

I feel that i have a long way to go in my training, but the run did feel good and I'm proud of myself.  

The next race on my agenda is in February- on my 30th birthday.  We are traveling to Tampa Florida for a half marathon.  So, until then, i will be focusing on my training and gaining speed and logging longer miles with a more consistent pace.  

Until next time:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Thursday, My fiance and I ran the Drumstick Dash 5K here in Milwaukee.  It was a great way to start our Thanksgiving.  We are both very grateful we are able to participate in the races we have done this year. They may not always go as planned, but doing them together is what matters.  

The weekend before the Drumstick Dash, I went to a local running store to get fitted for a pair or running shoes.  My current ones had over 300 miles on them and *GULP* were Nike Frees. The lack of stability in the Nike Frees explains some of my injuries.  To be honest, i didn't even know what i was running in until last week, i just knew i had Nikes and that they had hit the limit.  The sales associate who helped me at Performance Running in Brookfield was incredible. He knew all details on every shoe he showed me- more on that in a later post. After trying on and running in different shoes, I found that the Brooks PureCadence 4 was the best fit for me. The size i needed wasn't in stores, so they ordered them in for me.  Wednesday, I got a call that my shoes had come in but i had to work.  My fiance was amazing and drove out to get them so i could have new shoes to run in at the Drumstick Dash.

The morning of the run, we got up at 6am.  I made myself a cup of coffee and took my time to get dressed (okay, i snoozed a bit).  We left the house at 6:40 and stopped at his parents real quick so i could drop off my green bean casseroles (yes 2) for our thanksgiving meal later that day.  We arrived at Miller Park around 7:10.  The race didn't start til 8:30 but we wanted to make sure we got parking and had to pick up our race bibs. 

We picked up our Bibs and race packets inside the stadium.  While i was giving the woman helping me my name, i felt someone put their arm around me and a kiss on the cheek from someone with a beard. I was trying to figure out who would do this and was so surprised when i turned around and saw my Dad!  He was volunteering and was there helping with the race packets.  Was such a great surprise.  I made sure to get a picture with my Dad- he was doing Novem-Beard and had grown out a Santa white beard.  Last time i saw my dad with facial hair was a mustache when i was 8 years old. (i cried when he shaved that off, i was an emotional child). 

After getting our packets, we headed back to the car to wait until the race start.  At 750 we decided to do a quick bathroom run before the lines got crazy.  And then we headed over to the start and warmed up a bit.  Only to realize that both of us, with out talking to each other, had somehow decided that we thought the race started at 815.  We had a good laugh about that when at 8:10 we were trying to figure out why no one else was lining up.  After we realized that, we headed back into the stadium to kill some time. 

Eventually, one of the volunteers made an announcement for everyone indoors to head outdoors to start lining up. We maneuvered our way toward the start of the lineup, but positioned ourselves about 6 rows back.  No point in starting with the front runners when we weren't racing to win.  (Plus the winner finished in 14:57).  The announcer started the count down and we were off.  I knew that we were going to face an uphill right away so wanted to race smart.  Our training has increased the past few weeks, so i knew we could run this race faster then our last 5K in October.  We fell into stride with each other and took the hill smart.  Soon after the hill, we were running down hill and hit mile 1.  

Mile 2 was mostly downhill and flat. We had a slight incline right at the end of the mile, but it wasn't anything that we couldn't handle.  Mile 2 i started to feel myself holding back. I didn't want to take things out to hard, but i didn't want to go to slow.  I know i die on mile 3 and didn't want to push myself too hard. 
Mile 3 we headed back toward the stadium and the finish line.  There was another sight downhill, but the rest of the course was flat.  As we rounded the stadium, we saw the finish line and began to pick up our pace. Had i reviewed the course map more careful prior to the race, i could have avoided dying, but lesson learned.  So, we've picked our pace up to a sprint- we think we are about to finish- wrong! The course throws you a curve bar and we have to run a loop to come back to the finish line (and finish on an incline).  I wanted to scream.  I think i actually did.  

I have always been able to pull out a strong finish at every race, it doesn't matter how dead i feel, when i see that finish line, i can bring it in strong.  But now, i had used that energy thinking i was headed to the finish line and still had some distance to go.  I was dead.  I felt my pace slow and the defeat settle in.  My fiance was trying to encourage me to finish strong but i just couldn't wrap my head around it.  Had i looked at my watch,  I also would've seen where we were at and avoided this situation. As we neared the final 20 yards, I was able to find that strong finish and cross the finish line hand in hand with my fiance.  

Overall, i was satisfied with the race.   We finished stronger and faster then we had a month ago.  I didn't feel sweaty or that out of breath at the end though, which tells me i had more to give.  This weekend we are racing another 5K which i know is a flatter course so I am excited to see what we can pull of this weekend. 

bib number:1986
overall place:165 out of 2758
division place:7 out of 228
gender place:41 out of 1688

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Turkey Trot Prediction Run

This past Sunday, My fiance and I participated in a 2 mile prediction run hosted by the Badgerland Striders.  There were a couple of things about this run that had me really excited- 
1)The route is one that i have trained on and is about 3 miles from my house
2)There were no clocks or "winners" it was a run your own pace "race" 
3)This was a prediction run, not a race 
4)If I was close to my prediction time, i could win a turkey! 
5) The run was only 2 miles long!  

There was the option to run a 15K, but my training is not strong enough right now to run a "feels good" solid 9 miles.  Plus, I like running with music and being able to check my pace on my Garmin, and I wouldn't have been able to use those on this run.  (I did find out at the run that music was allowed, but I didn't know that at the time of signing up and that swayed my decision to choose the 2 mile run).  Being a prediction run, upon signing up I had to enter a time that iI thought me and my fiance would finish in.  I predicted both me and Paul to finish the 2 miles in 15:48.  I know our training isn't as strong as it could be so i didn't want to estimate too fast of a time for us, but I also know even on weak training, Paul is a strong runner and 16 would be too slow for him. 

The morning of the run, we got up around 7am to start getting ready.  I needed coffee and we had run out 2 days prior, so we left the house early to stop at Starbucks so I could get my caffeine fix.  When we left the house, the temperature was 34 degrees.  Not my ideal weather for a run.  By the time we left Starbucks,  the temperature had already risen about 5 degrees. We drove over to the race site and snagged a parking spot at the picnic area near the starting line.  There were over 300 participants at this run, and the parking lot near the start had about 30 parking spots available.  I should mention, one reason we were so lucky is we arrived an hour early.  We picked up our race bibs around 8:15 and then sat in the car until 9:15 (the race was scheduled to start at 9:30).  

Sitting in the car, we took a few goofy pictures together to kill the time. 

Photo credit @Sizzle_bean
It was nice to be at the starting line in a warm car and not have to worry about walking in the cold, in a hurry, to get to the starting line.  About 20 minutes before the race started, i decided to get out of the car and stretch my legs (and throw out our coffee cups).  I saw a girl I used to work with taking a picture with her husband, so I went over to say hi and offered to take the photo for them.  It was nice to see her and to catch up.  When I got back to the car, we took our traditional pre-race picture together and then headed to the starting line.  

This time, we didn't start right at the front. The run was on chip times, not gun time and this run wasn't about winning, so i didn't feel pressure to be at the front.  The race was scheduled to start at 9:30 but there was a slight delay and the run started around 3 minutes after the scheduled start.  The only complaint i have about the starting line is that the announcer didn't have a strong speaker to broadcast what he was saying, so i had to strain to hear.  I'm glad i didn't run the 15K because i couldn't hear how he was explaining the course. Later, watching some of the 15K runners i heard two runners passing each other ask if they were at the halfway mark. I think the speaker not being so loud left a lot of people not being able to hear how the route went.  It left a bit of confusion for the 15K runner.  The race did have lots of volunteers directing though, so that helped the runners to not get lost.  There were no mile markers for the 15K runners- the 15K course was a 2 loop out and back course.

Once the race started, Paul and I fell into stride with each other and were running strong.  I communicated to him when i felt the pace was uncomfortable and we backed off a little.  I did find myself enjoying running without headphones and a watch.  I was able to talk with Paul and i felt at ease not checking every minute what my pace was.  My favorite part about this run was that it was an out and back run.  I love those!  I always feel as though i thrive on the return; i know how far i have to go and am able to give it my all.  When we turned around to head back to the finish line (starting line), Paul felt something shift in his stomach, i think it was the Tall latte from Starbucks and had a bit of pain running.  Despite his stomach pain, we both felt strong in our running on the way back. Strong as we felt, i did feel like my legs were dying and like the pace was uncomfortable, but that is also how i knew i was running faster then normal. When we could see the finish line, we picked up our pace to a spring and finished strong. Of course, we finished hand in hand- we always do :)

Heading to the finish line. In stride with each other.

After crossing the finish line, we walked for a bit before heading to the car. I needed to grab my phone so we could take our traditional after race photo.  On my phone was an email notification from the run. I had finished 26 seconds faster then i had predicted us to finish, Paul finished 27 seconds faster. We finished in 15:22 and 15:21. When we crossed the finish line (before checking out phones) Paul said to me that he was guessing our time would be 16:05.  We ran faster at this run then we had been training at and felt slower then we were.  To me, this means that we have a bright future ahead of us if we start training more often and more consistently. And by bright i mean our races will be faster and our bodies stronger.  

after race photo:)
After taking our after race picture, I suggested we go get some water and hang out for a little while to watch the people running the 15K.  Also, we realized we were trapped- the 15K was running past the finish line to make a loop and cars couldn't get out.  So we grabbed a cup of coffee and sat on the side of the road to watch the runners. I saw my friend Alyson run by so I made sure to cheer for her and on her loop back snagged a few action photos for her. Paul and I were really impressed with the 1st place runner of the 15K and watched him loop around and stayed around to watched him finish.  He finished the 9.4 miles in 58 minutes.  After he finished, we headed over to the gazebo where the food/coffee/water was to hear the winners of the turkeys from the 2 mile. 

The last turkey winner from the 2 mile run was 25 seconds off of her prediction time.  I was next in line for a turkey! oh well, i cant win them all!  I did finish 1st in my age group and 7th female overall.  I'm very pleased with how Paul and I ran and I'm looking forward to our next race together on Thanksgiving morning.  I definitely want to run the prediction run again next year, and I think with more consistent training, we can run faster and stronger and have a better idea of what our final time would be.  I want to win a turkey next year! 

watching the 15K Runners. 

Questions for you:
Whats the strangest prize you've seen given at a race?
Are you doing any holiday themed races this year?