March StrideBox Reveal

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve seen some of the fun things I’ve received from the great folks at StrideBox over the past couple of months. Well, this month I thought I share an up close look at the recent box I received. (You can also read my first review here).

Each month the box of treats comes all wrapped in tissue paper — this month, of course, it’s green in honor of St. Patty’s Day. And the first thing you see is The Stride Guide – a quick guide to all of the goodness inside. And this box did not disappoint! 

So let’s break it down….

On the nutrition front there is:

Nuun Vitamins – these tablets can be used at any time for a daily hydration boost.

Ultima Replenisher – electrolytes and mineral support with no sugar and zero calories.

CarbBoom Gel — caffeinated and made with real fruit purees, and no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Peanut Butter & Co — a nut butter that combines dark chocolate and peanut butter…need I say more?

Jimmy Bar — peanut butter ice cream?! It’s a miracle I haven’t ripped into this one already!

In addition to the nutrition, StrideBox always offers both personal care items and running gear.

2Toms Blister Shield — a must-have for any runner, as the create an almost frictionless surface and repel moisture to help avoid blisters.

Wrist Wallet — a simple zippered sleeve that slips comfortably over your wrist. It’s perfectly sized to hold a key, money, or possible chews on your run.

I also love that the box included a card with a recipe (Fruity Endurance Gel Blocks) on one side and a workout (Firing Up the Glutes) on the other. 

Pretty awesome mix for just $15/month, right? 

(Disclosure: I was sent this box by StrideBox. All opinions, as always, are my own.)

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5 Things I love about StrideBox & a Giveaway

Rachel, Lacey and Meranda are inviting everyone to share holiday gift ideas for this week’s Friday Five. Since I have already shared my Holiday Gift Guide, I thought I would take this chance to share about a new favorite  –  StrideBox!

(Disclosure: This post and giveaway is sponsored by StrideBox. All opinions, as always, are my own.)

  1.  A great mix! – StrideBox offers a great combination of food/fuel options, running gear, and body care. This month’s box included a Bonk Breaker energy bar, GU chews, two packs of Run Gum, VFuel performance drink, Hammer gel and Essentials reflective safety shoe laces.
  2.  The Stride Guide. – In each box you get the Stride Guide, which is a nice cheat sheet on what’s inside the box with a suggestion on when to use each product (each item is coded for “before” “during” “after” or “always”).
  3. No long-term commitments.  – I really like that StrideBox offers an easy monthly subscription you can stop at any time.
  4. Affordable!  – StrideBox offers so much goodness for just $15/month.
  5. Makes a great gift!  – With each box offering such a great mix for both newbie and seasoned runner alike, and at a price that won’t break the bank, StrideBox is a perfect way to give your favorite runner lots of running treats from both well-known and new brands  – and delivered right to their door! What’s not to love?!
Check out my @StrideBox review & Giveaway! #stridebox #runnersgifts Click To Tweet

Want to try one for yourself? The great folks at StrideBox have offered to give 2 RWA readers a free box to try! The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 p.m. on 12/21. Winners will be announced on Thursday, December 22nd. Good luck!

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Hemp Hearts Review & Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest through my affiliation with Sweat Pink. As always, the opinions expressed here are completely my own.

I was recently offered the opportunity to try Hemp Hearts. Since I’m always looking for an easy way to add a little extra protein into my diet, so I was eager to give them a try.

IMG_1478Hemp Hearts are raw, shelled hemp seeds. These little seeds pack 10g of protein and 10g of health omegas into a 30g serving. In fact, they deliver more protein and omegas and less carbs than the same serving size of either chia or flax seeds. They have a light, nutty taste, and, as I quickly learned, you can use them on just about anything.

hemp in hand

I tried them sprinkled in yogurt and on salads. I also substituted them in my smoothies in place of my usual flax seed. I especially liked them sprinkled on top of a bowl of oatmeal along with a little Macintosh apple.

Hemp oatmeal

 

 

Manitoba Harvest also offers a wide range of recipes on their website – you can check them out HERE. I’m planning to try the pumpkin hemp pancakes this weekend!

Want to try them for yourself?

The nice folks at Manitoba Harvest are offering a bag to one lucky RWA reader. This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Manitoba Harvest through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so another winner can be chosen.

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Medicine Mama’s Apothecary Review

Have you ever stopped to consider what’s in your skincare products? Last week, for work, I attended a webinar that discussed the potential risks from the chemicals used in many personal care products currently on the market. It was eye-opening to say the least! This webinar was a great reminder that while a lot of us spend time thinking about the quality of food we put into our bodies, reading labels and buying organic, do we put the same thought into personal products we use every day?

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Medicine Mama’s Apothecary about trying out some products from their organic skincare line. I had never heard of this company, but after poking around their website for a bit and learning about their story, I was eager to see what these products were all about.

I received three products to try:

MMA CollageStraight out of the box I loved the Sweet Bee Magic Wand lip and facial balm. It was not waxy, and kept my lips moist without  a greasy feel. I also used it to treat an irritating patch of dry skin that had developed on my ring finger and was keeping me from wearing my wedding ring – took care of it in short order. I loved that it has so many potential uses. I think this Wand will be my go-to especially when the dry winter air takes hold.

Bars of soap typically leave my skin dry and taut and craving moisturizer, so I approached the Zinc Facial Bar with some trepidation. With the first use, it was clear I had nothing to worry about. The Bar just left my skin nice and clean – no dryness or irritation. According to their website, research shows that zinc aids skin imbalances by helping cells to regenerate. I will say, that overall I’m not a big fan of bars of soap because I don’t keep soap dishes in my bathroom. I’m more apt to use a liquid cleanser that can easily be dispensed, but this is just a personal preference and has nothing to do with the quality of the product. I’m hoping the folks at Medicine Mama will figure out a way to translate the goodness of this bar into a liquid form.

Ultra Facial Scrub is an amazing mix of honey, sugar, beeswax and olive oil — all organic. Seriously, this smells so delicious and left both my face and neck feeling luxuriously hydrated and smooth. And, while labeled a facial scrub, I found it did wonders for both my elbows and the heals of my feet. So much to love about this scrub!

All of Medicine Mama’s Apothecary products are made in small batches with only certified organic ingredients and no chemicals. Without a doubt, I would recommend giving these products a closer look!

Do you pay close attention to the ingredients in your skincare?

I was sent the skin care products by Medicine Mama’s Apothecary in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions expressed here are completely my own.

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Journal Menu Review & Giveaway

Journal Menu provided me with a Running Journal in exchange for a product review.  As always, all opinions are my own. 

I’ve shared here many times that I am a bit a planner obsessed – using my planner is a key part of my morning routine, helping me to stay on top of a busy family schedule, work, to do’s and long-term goals. When I first started running I use to track my workouts and progress in my planner, but it quickly became too much and I switched to using a separate training log. I like having one place dedicated to my running, and I’ve kept a training journal for each of the last 4 years. So when Erica from Journal Menu reached out to me and offered me a customized journal, there was no way I could turn her down!

Journal2

Well, let me just come right out and say that there’s so much to love about this running journal! There are sections for:

  • goal planning
  • sample training plans and space for your training plans
  • race planning and reviews
  • pace charts
  • interval training
  • personal records
  • inspirational quotes throughout, and
  • the daily entry covers everything from food journal, weather, pace, mileage and notes

Best of all is the level of customization Journal Menu provides – you pick the cover art, the pages to be included and the tracking template. Journal Menu also offers journals for yoga, triathlons, general fitness and a running/crossfit hybrid. Each journal is unique – you build it the way you want it. Seriously, what’s not to love!?

After spending these past couple of months working my way back from injury, this journal’s already got me dreaming big for next year!

So how’s you like the chance to create your own customized journal? Thanks to Journal Menu one lucky RWA reader will win their very own customized running journal!

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Good Luck!

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Wahoo Fitness Review & Giveaway

I received the Wahoo Tickr X for the purpose of a review. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own.

With school year-end events, the boys lacrosse tournaments, work and life in general, I am sometimes finding myself needing to be more flexible than usual to get a workout in. And in these situations of late, my go to workout has been to strap on my Wahoo Tickr X and crank out a few rounds of their 7-minute workout.

Wahoo Fitness

The Tickr X is a heart rate monitor with lots of fun features. With the Wahoo Fitness App (both iPhone and Android), the Tickr X syncs with your phone to track your workouts, runs, cycling and swimming. Best of all, it has up to 16 hours of memory so you still track a workout sans phone and sync up later. The Tickr X measures your movement so beyond your heart rate, it will track your distance and stride rate when running and your cadence when cycling.

Since I’ve only just returned to running I haven’t tried the run features yet – but I plan to! What I have really enjoyed is using the Tickr X with Wahoo’s 7 Minute Workout App. This was my first time working with a heart rate monitor of any kind – I’ve always been leery of the whole chest strap thing. The Tickr X band is soft plastic and much more comfortable then I anticipated, and once I got moving I quickly forgot about it.

The 7 Minute Workout app features 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises, counts reps for each 30 second interval, tells you when to rest and congratulates you when you set a new personal best. At the end of the 7 minutes, it gives you a great recap to show you if you’ve completed more (or fewer) reps than the previous workout and your heart rate throughout. For me, 2 -3 rounds made for a good workout and I was still done in well under a half hour.  Perfect for when you’re short on time! There is also an alternative 7 minute workout and a 7 minute Pilates workout available for 99 cents each if you want to mix it up a bit.

So what do you think? Want to try one for yourself?

Win it! The great folks at Wahoo Fitness are giving away one Tickr X to a lucky RWA reader!

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3-Day Refresh Review

So as I mentioned on Saturday, I did the 3-day Refresh last week and lived to tell about it 🙂

Source

Source: Beachbody

The Beachbody program combines 3 daily shakes, a fiber drink, lots of water and 3 small daily meals of fresh fruits and vegetables to help re-set your eating habits and drop some lbs. I did the program last Monday  – Wednesday and for added fun had both my husband J and my brother join me.

The Pros:

–  lost 4 lbs and my jeans fit much better on Friday!

– helped me to refocus on putting more fruits and veggies into my daily diet – I had definitely gotten lax on this.

– eliminated sugar from my diet.

– made me very aware that my late afternoon snacking is a trouble spot for me.

– three great nights of sleep!

The Cons:

– I missed my coffee.

– the Fiber Sweep drink tastes god-awful — The Sweep is a mix of whole ground flax, chia, and psyllium seed husks that you mix with 8 oz of water and drink mid-morning. I tried sipping on Day 1 and almost didn’t make it – thanks to my brother who suggested just chugging it as quickly as possible!

– Post-run on Day 2, I was seriously hungry…and seriously cranky! I quickly learned yoga was the better choice of workout during the Refresh.

– Pricey – At $69.95 the Refresh runs you about $23+ per day, not including the cost of the fruits and veggies.

I have to say that I’m so glad I had company on this little venture – the group text messages throughout each day were comical…some less than PG language keeps me from re-posting here 😉 It was great to share ideas on how to make the shakes and meals more flavorful (hello spices!), to commiserate over the lack of coffee and the taste of the Fiber Sweep, and just to keep each other laughing (and honest!)

So of course the big question is – Would you do it again? Was it worth it?

As I told a friend the other day who asked me this question over lunch the other day (and yes I was good and had a great field greens salad with fruit instead of the pizza the restaurant is famous for!), I needed good kick in the pants and this definitely provided it. And, it provided that kick in a way that I’m not convinced I would have pulled off on my own. So, if you’re looking for that kind of jump start then I would say it is worth it…but don’t say I didn’t warn you about that Fiber Sweep 😉

*I am in no way affiliated with Beachbody – I purchased the 3-day Refresh, and all opinions expressed here, as always are my own.

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Meb for Mortals – Book Review

Meb-For-Mortals_Cover

A few weeks ago Runner’s World contacted me about a chance to read and review an advanced copy of Meb Keflezighi’s new book – Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner. I’m a huge Meb fan so this was a very quick and easy yes on my part! All opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.

I still remember how thrilling it was to watch last year’s Boston Marathon. My family and I try to go every year to cheer runners on. As the men’s race unfolded, I remember being glued to the set refusing to run the risk of missing history by being in the car driving up to one of our favorite spots in Newton. So we waited and watched as Meb ran an amazing race for the ages, and became the first American man to win Boston in over 20 years. After such an emotional year following the bombings, there was nothing more fitting than seeing an American win. And, of course, everyone wanted to know, how did he do it? How did he beat such a talented field and all just before his 39th birthday?!

In Meb for Mortals, Meb explains this is exactly why he wrote this book – to share how his philosophy and preparation helped him to come out on top. But more importantly, through this book Meb doesn’t just speak to elite runners, but to all runners — to help runners at all levels to improve.

The book is broken down into 9 chapters:

  • Chapter 1 – Think like Meb
  • Chapter 2 – Run like Meb
  • Chapter 3 – Train like Meb
  • Chapter 4 – Race like Meb
  • Chapter 5 – Eat like Meb
  • Chapter 6 – Strengthen like Meb
  • Chapter 7 – Stretch like Meb
  • Chapter 8 – Cross-Train like Meb
  • Chapter 9 – Recover like Meb

While I think you should read the book cover to cover, the book’s set up makes it very easy to jump around to the topics that interest you most. For me, I loved the fact that he begins with the mental side of running. Meb says that there are three key things that determine your long term running success – good goals, commitment and hard work. And, as he points out at the opening of Chapter One:

“Only one of those items is physical. The other two are psychological. That’s how important I think the mental side of running is.”

There is so much good stuff in this book – lots of nuggets of wisdom for runners at every level. So before I go on and on, let me say simply, Meb for Mortals is definitely worth adding to your running library. (You can buy the book here.)

Will you be watching Meb defend his Boston Marathon title? What’s your favorite running book?

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WIN Detergent Review and Giveaway

I received samples of WIN Detergent  for the purpose of a review through my affiliation with Sweat Pink. As always, all opinions express here are my own.

Tech laundry If you follow RWA on Facebook (and really you should!) then you may have seen this photo in my feed a couple of weeks ago. It made me laugh because this is often what laundry looks like in my house. Between my husband’s workout clothes, my oldest son playing football, while the youngest is playing hockey, plus my own workout clothes, you can easily see how this pic is far from fiction! And if any of you have kids who play sports, you know just how ripe their clothes can be…we won’t even discuss my husband’s stuff!

Win Detergent

Suffice it to say, we sweat hard in the RWA house, so when I was offered a chance to test out WIN Sports Detergent I couldn’t wait to try it. I received two bottles of Win – the original and Win green.

WIN offered a nice light  scent, while WIN Green, as you might expect had no fragrance at all. When put to the test, both formulas delivered on de-stinking the clothes. The green formula wash smelled “clean,” while the original formula left the clothes with a pleasant fresh scent, without the cloyingly perfumey smell of other brands I’ve tried that do more to cover than remove the stink. The original formula did fall short on removing the stains from my son’s hockey socks, and does make me wonder how it might  fair against the grass stains of my boys lacrosse clothes come spring. (I only tried WIN Green on my running gear – so no stain-removal required).

Want to see if WIN can stand up to the test of your workout clothes? WIN is giving me the opportunity to do a giveaway for all RWA readers. One winner will receive a full sized bottle of each, the original and the green formulas. If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway and want to buy it now, you can also use the coupon code WINGIVE1 for $1 off a bottle of WIN.

To enter the giveaway, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below:

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Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

 

WaveRider 1

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. As always, the opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Since this pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18s arrived at my door a couple of weeks ago, I have been running in them exclusively. On the road, on the track and on the treadmill, they have quickly become my go-to running shoes. Quite simply,  I love these shoes!

I knew I was on to something good, when I logged over 9 miles in them straight out of the box on a rainy, wind-swept morning. The fit was snug, comfortable, and supported, as the shoe easily formed to my foot.

Wave RIder 2My next run took me to the track for 400-meter intervals  – I felt light and quick, something I haven’t been able to say for a while.  I was sold!

Wave Rider 3

You’ve got to love a shoe with a design that takes inspiration from the Japanese concept of “Hado” – the vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. Um yes I’ll take some of that please! Sounds good doesn’t it?

For me this translated into a shoe that is an ideal balance between fit and performance, providing a smooth ride that allows you to let go and get lost in your run. A welcome change for me during what has been a tough training cycle.

Wave Rider 4

At just 7.8 oz, the Wave Rider 18 is light and sleek, while Mizuno’s patented Wave technology delivers maximum responsiveness and just enough support for a stable, but unencumbered run. A combination that I think would appeal to a wide range of runners.

Mizuno Wave Rider 18s are available in three color combos (I’m eyeing the white-Fuchsia Purple next!), and retails for $119.99.

I am so looking forward to logging many more miles in these lovelies!

What are you currently running in?

Have you ever tried Mizuno?

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