Join the Rebellion!!!

2016 is going to be epic. I know I’ve said that before, most recently about 2015, but I had no idea the curveball life would throw me THIS PAST YEAR. No sooner than I had made my awesome list of things to accomplish in 2015 than I got the best news ever- I was expecting. Finally, after 2 years of pushing hard to get healthy and wanting to be a mom, it was happening. Wish: granted- life: altered. Needless to say, most of 2015 was spent taking care of myself by walking and eating right, so that my baby would grow and thrive and in September I gave birth to the most awesome kid on the planet. We call him Bacon Bits.
When I first started reading the articles and participating in challenges on Nerd Fitness, my life looked very different than it does today. Not only was I constantly stumbling and backsliding with my goals, I was also trying to do it all alone. Before long however, I had developed an amazing network of supporters, cheerleaders, and friends. Legit friends, who had my back and who loved me well enough to speak truth when I needed to hear it. These people are my most favorite thing about the Rebellion.

Without the support and advice I get from others who have been where I am, I don’t know that I would be as healthy as I am right now- which also means that I don’t know if I would have my son. The impact of having positive folks in your life, like the Rebels in mine, is invaluable. They encouraged me to try new things, like lifting, running, rucking and those things have changed me for the better- I’m not exaggerating.

Listen, if you’re not happy with where you are, and you feel stuck in a rut, you need to check out Nerd Fitness and see what could possibly lie ahead for you. Read success stories. Learn about other types of fitness. Consider alternatives to your same old, same old. But, whatever you do, do NOT accept the boring, stagnant, discontent lies you’ve told yourself.

This year is going to be epic, I’ll say it again. I plan on completing a GORUCK challenge. I plan on slashing a few more 14ers off my hiking wish list. And most of all, I plan on getting out there and feeling alive- for my son, for myself, FOR THE REBELLION. You should, too! #JOINTHEREBELLION

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Review: Pure LYFT Energy Stir Stick

Hey everyone!

After my crazy long weekend of working all night Friday, driving to the airport to get my mom, waking up early Saturday to drive 7 hours to Kansas, driving back home Sunday, and then running the Bolder Boulder Monday, I am officially wiped out.

Where did my college youth go?

I decided that since I am dragging, and I already had a couple cups of coffee this morning, I would use this opportunity to sample the Pure LYFT energy stir stick that I was given to try.

Lyft is advertised as a”clean caffeine” that you mix into any beverage. It has 0 calories and is made from green coffee bean extract.

My first note about this product, is that I really wish it had a different name. Not because it isn’t accurate to the product’s desired outcome- rather, it has the same name as a new ride-share company that keeps popping up on my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Am I getting clean caffeine, or am I getting a ride downtown? Confusing.

Anyways, back to the review. I am currently still doing Carb Nite (where I cycle my carbs weekly) so the only things that I am currently drinking are water, coffee, and iced tea. Using this product in coffee or tea doesn’t really make much sense, so I opted to try it in a glass of water.

The product came in a 2 pack (although I’m not sure what retail packaging would be like?)

I took out one of the stir sticks:

Lyft Stir Stick

 

The package says to open it over your beverage, and as I started to do so, I noticed why. The stick is actually a prism with tiny holes towards the bottom where the powder comes out. Luckily, I had my glass of water ready and slid it open.

After a few seconds of stirring I realized that not all of the powder had come out, and there was still some left in the tiny holes. I gave it another good swirl, and then dipped it in and out of the water. That seemed to do the trick and before long, all of the powder was mixed into the water.

Water

 

My thoughts on the taste- it’s not as tasteless as I was hoping, but it was pretty close. I would describe the after taste to be something like a hint of artificial sweetener. I think this product would’ve been better if I had iced the water and maybe added a little fresh lemon. I do feel a pick me up, but it’s not drastic like those terrible pills they used to make that made your heart race (You know, the ones they had to pull off the market? Yeah, those.) I feel refreshed, and given how I was feeling earlier this afternoon, I’ll take it.

Some suggestions that I would make, if I were producing this item:

  • Have a flavor option for those who want to have it in water. Even if it’s just a hint of lemon or lime, I think that would’ve been more appealing.
  • Have them come on a flat stick instead of in a tube (I don’t even know if this is possible, it just felt wasteful to throw the plastic out)

 

I would have to give this a thumbs up. These are each individually wrapped and I think that I could throw one in my purse (or in today’s case, my lunch bag) and not worry about them getting damaged or destroyed.

 

Please note:  I received a free sample of Lyft to review on this blog- I was not compensated for the review.  All opinions are my own, as they should be :)

Review: FlipBelt AND GIVEAWAY

A few weeks ago I did something that for me is wild and crazy…

I went white water rafting! It was so much fun and terrifying all at the same time. My work wanted to do a fun staff day so instead of being a desk jockey, I loaded up into a car and headed to Buena Vista. As a staff we would be cruising down the Arkansas River with Noah’s Ark.

As I was packing that morning I looked around my room to make sure that I had everything the folks at Noah’s Ark recommended to stay warm and dry.

Just as I was about to close up my bag and leave I remember the super awesome thing that came in the mail the night before- My FlipBelt!

My New FlipBeltI chose the gray FlipBelt because it matches my workout stuff and the green that I wanted was sold out (probably because it is super awesome!)

I really was excited to hear that not only is FlipBelt a Colorado company, but they are literally within minutes of my house!

Needless to say, my belt came super fast.

Before I get back to my White Water rafting adventure, here is a cool video from the FlipBelt crew:

So when my belt arrived in the mail I was eager to try it out and let you all know what I thought. I didn’t want to take it on the standard run that most people do- you can read all about other people’s experiences with it running here.

I wanted to do something spectacular. Something special.

My belt and I were going rafting!!!

When I ordered my belt they asked me if I wanted a plastic bag for my iPhone, and I said yes. The bag is thicker than a ziplock and fit my phone perfectly.

As our crew got ready to load into the boats, my coworkers watched me load my phone into my FlipBelt. I put the phone in its plastic pouch, slid it into a slit in the belt, and rolled the belt down so that the slit opening was in the middle of the belt, against my tummy.

They thought I was crazy.

I thought it was ingenious.

Out on the Arkansas River, I got soaked. Our little raft was tossed all over the place, and it was freezing, but an hour later we reached shore and I checked on my phone.

All was well.

I started thinking of all the other places I wanted to take my FlipBelt- hiking 14ers, camping in the woods, walking the dog. There are so many more applications for this product!

What about when you go to a fair or are travelling and you don’t want to get your purse stolen? Just tuck your valuables into the slits and roll the opening to the inside! Boom!

I’m super jazzed to have a FlipBelt, and like I said before, I love to support Colorado businesses! It’s cool to see them at retailers that I go to often!

Sizing was easy- I took a picture of the sizing chart that was on the back of the packaging:

FlipBelt Sizing

If you are looking for a product that will help you be more hands free without being bulky or carrying some sort of backpack, you should probably try out a FlipBelt.

The FlipBelt Highlights:
– Turn items & pocket access up/down/inside as convenient
– Flip to lock in items
– Reflective logo – 3M Quality Reflective
– Non-Bounce, Even Design
– No buckles to cause uncomfortable chafing
– Machine washable & Machine Dryable
– Great for holding medication on the go.  Inhalers, insulin pumps, Epipens, etc…
– EPA Certified, Odor Resistant, Pilling Resistant, Anti-Bacterial High Tech Poly Spandex Fabric
– Available in colors, accent your workout wardrobe

Mine will be going with me everywhere!!!

**Edit- I totally forgot! I get to do a giveaway!!!**

If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, you can order your own FlipBelt with this 10% off Coupon Code: UQL

giveaway

Please note:  I received a free FlipBelt to review on this blog- I was not compensated for the review.  All opinions are my own, as they should be :)

Review: Ripped Cream Coffee Creamer

I love coffee. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted… (sign #1 that you are?) but I do like it very much. I love drinking it on my drive to work in the morning and having it be something warm and yummy. The problem is that I can’t/won’t drink it black. I’m sorry (not really) but I just don’t want to.

When I did the Whole30 at the end of last year I gave it up cold turkey. I didn’t get headaches or anything like that- what I missed the most was this ritual I had created and enjoyed.

I had the sad.

Anyhow, one thing I learned from doing Whole30 is that my body does not like milk products (or gluten for that matter). The effects that I’ve always just dealt with were unpleasant to say the least and went away when I omitted dairy (and gluten) from my diet. After Whole30 as I was reintroducing things one at a time and got to dairy it became glaringly obvious that should I choose to continue consuming dairy products I would knowingly be choosing the effects that they had on my body. Chocolate milk. Ice cream. Cheese. All of it. For me to consume dairy, it really had to be “worth it”.

Sigh.

With reluctance, I decided that I really ought to cut back. The easiest way for me to scale back my dairy consumption would be to eliminate my creamer- being the one thing I consumed daily. Crap.

I tried drinking tea with honey for a while, but it just wasn’t the same.

Then, I found Ripped Cream– I swear choirs of angels sang.

Ripped Creamer

While Ripped Cream is not a dairy free product (it does contain milk proteins) their formula is gentle on my system and for me does not carry the same side effects that creamer or half and half do. I’m not sure why- it just is my reality. Also, the added protein is something that I was desperately in need of! I was so happy to have an option with the great taste that I loved from other creamers in a form that didn’t upset my tummy. Then I found out it had added protein. Yes. This must be a part of my diet. 

The creamer came really fast in the mail and I was back in my routine before I knew it! I made my first cup the day I got it and was impressed. The flavor that I chose was Lean Vanilla Bean and it was spot on. I only used 1 tablespoon in my cup and it was the perfect amount. (My husband still uses our old creamer, and he accidentally took mine one day, and couldn’t taste a difference!)

Coffee!

Here’s some awesome info about Ripped Coffee Creamer from their website:

Ripped Cream is a high-protein, all-natural, gluten-free coffee creamer enriched with vitamin D3 and 11 amino acids. Ripped Cream is made with simple and healthy natural ingredients that follow the stringent guidelines of Whole Foods.

Each serving of Ripped Cream contains as much protein as an egg!

75% of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D, the so-called “sunshine vitamin” whose deficits are increasingly blamed for everything from cancer to heart disease to diabetes, according to new research. Each serving of Ripped Cream contains 50% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D3.

I can’t tell you guys how nice it is to have Ripped Cream in my pantry. Seriously.

You can buy it online (lots of sites will have it on special now and then) or in store that carry high quality/ high nutrition products.

If you are looking for a gluten free, high protein option to replace your regular creamer in the mornings you really need to get your hands on some of this.

Ripped!

Please note:  I received a sample of Ripped Coffee Creamer: Lean Vanilla Bean to review on this blog- I was not compensated for the review.  All opinions are my own, as they should be :)

Review: Bokos Sandals

Spring is here and I could NOT be happier! I feel like the weather in Colorado has had us trapped in its bipolar cycle of heat and snow. FINALLY we have a reprieve!

I knew that things had made a change for the springy side of things when I left work and the skies were pouring rain. I drove home in the torrential downpour and as I pulled in I got a call from a friend. She wanted to know if I would come along to help her with a Flat Stanley project- how fun! We were going to take him up to Buffalo Bill’s grave site and if we had time we would swing by Red Rocks Amphitheater. I agreed and went to get out of my work clothes while I waited for her to pick me up.

Sitting in my kitchen, going through my mail, I realized a package had arrived for me! It was my Bokos Sandals!  This was so exciting! (please ignore my need for a pedicure!)

Upclose Bokos

 

My Bokos would be perfect for today- they don’t absorb water and are super easy to clean! Here’s some more info about their story (from their website):

The Bokos Story

Bokos was created by two brothers from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After spending time overseas, they returned to the United States with sandals styled similarly to Bokos. The unique design and material made for a durable, easy to clean, and fun to wear sandal.

The founders began wearing these sandals everywhere. Around the campsite, after mountain biking, hosting barbecues, and everything in between. Soon, friends and family (and often, strangers) started asking how they could get a pair – to wear to the beach, after a workout, or just to wear around the house.

It was then that Bokos was born.

We created Bokos for people like us, people like you. People with too much to do and not enough time.

Whether you’re a camper, cyclist, hiker, surfer, shopper, or gardener, Bokos are made to keep up. The one-piece design gives superior durability and versatility and makes Bokos easy to clean, anti-odor and anti-slip. 

From your gym bag to your camping gear, your front closet to your back porch, we’re confident that wherever your Bokos end up, they will soon become 

your new favorite sandals.

So as you can see, these were the perfect thing for me to wear out on our rainy day. I planned on puddle jumping!!!

Puddle Jumping!

 

We had so much fun taking pictures of Flat Phillip (the kiddo we were doing it for was named Phillip). We got him all over the park- and the great thing is that my sandals were super easy to walk around in.

When I got home that night I gave them a quick rinse and put them up for next time!

The following week I walked Lily, my in laws’ yellow lab, and I wore my sandals again. They are so versatile!

Colors of Bokos!

Some things I really like about my Bokos:

  • The cost is super low for such a durable sandal
  • The don’t smell like other rubberish type sandals (you know which ones I mean…)
  • They don’t make that horrible “flip flop” sound
  • They have enough stickiness to where I don’t slide around in them
  • They have super fun colors (although I chose black- I wear them with everything)
  • They are all one piece, so there are no straps or anything to make them tear or fall apart
  • The texture where your foot touches is ridged and feels great on me feet after a long run
  • Most of all, I love that they are comfy and light- they go with me to the gym, pool, anywhere!
  • I fully support small business!!!

My only negative with my sandals is that I should’ve ordered a 7 instead of an 8, and the only time I miss the difference is when my feet are cold- after a run when they are hot and slightly swollen they fit perfect!

If you are looking to replace your sandals from last summer (you know, the ones that smell like everything you walked in and are falling apart…) you should check out Bokos. They shipped fast and you could be in them in no time!

Sassy sandals

 

Please note:  I received a pair of Bokos to review on this blog- I was not compensated for the review.  All opinions are my own, as they should be :)

Review: PowerIce

I wouldn’t say I’m a fair weather runner, really. But maybe I should

I prefer to run when it is perfectly pleasant, overcast, a nice 50 degrees, no hills or stop lights. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

While all of that is fine and good- it’s not realistic, and after a while it does NOTHING for my training.

The only time the weather is exactly how I want it is at 6:00am. Unfortunately, I am not conscious that early in the morning. I’ve tried to be a morning runner, especially given my cooler temperature preference, but nothing in me wants to be out of bed before 6:30 and I have to be walking out the door at 7:30 to get to work on time.

So what are my options?

I can run after work, at 6ish (like I do once a week for Run Club), delaying dinner until 7:30/8 or so, or I can run on my lunch in the middle of the day. Have you been in the Colorado sunshine in the middle of the day? Let’s just say, I’m glad we have a shower at my office…

Anyhow, so I decided to get back into my training this week (Bolder Boulder 10k is in 11 days! See: Post Marathon Absence…) and I knew I wouldn’t have time before or after work to get anything in. I planned a lunch run (we call it Runch) and brought all of my running clothes with me to work. I also threw a PowerIce into my lunch bag and when I got to the office promptly put it in the freezer.

Orange Blast!

PowerIce is like the old ice push pop things I used to have in the summer when I was younger (you know the ones that came in a box of 50 and were like a buck? Total? These are like those except not just sugary garbage.) They are free of caffeine, gluten, and high fructose corn syrup– really high quality. They also have electrolytes and vitamin C– the exact reason I brought one for after my run. Today was slated to be hotter than it has been (thanks for skipping Spring, Colorado…) so I knew I would need SOMETHING.

Temp for 5/13/13

So I headed out for my run and at first I felt really good. There was a little breeze and things weren’t that bad. But, as I kept pushing on (uphill) I realize that it is way more humid out that I thought… Am I in freaking Houston? Geez! Every breath in is thick and I swear I was breathing in ALL the pollen. The path I chose was hot and without any shade- I think my face was melting off. I also realized at that point that I had taken off without water. Dumb move, folks. In the heat you always want to be hydrated.

The only thing that kept me going was knowing that back in the office I had a yummy treat waiting for me in the freezer.

I only got 2 miles in, one at my race pace, before Mr. Sun benched me. I tried to not feel defeated, but I was whooped.

I went into the office kitchen and opened my PowerIce and nommed. It was freaking delicious. The flavor I brought with was the Orange Blast, but they also have Lime Kicker. I love it when companies actually take the time to make sure the flavor is good instead of just throwing a product out there and telling you to just get used to the taste (Come on. You know you’ve had those protein bars, shakes, supplements etc…)

Here’s my obligatory “watch me eat it” face. I would like to point out that my face is indeed melted as it is the same color as my neon pink shirt…

So yummy! I'm a kid again!

So yummy! I’m a kid again!

Before I move on to some awesome info that I didn’t write (from their website), I wanted to let you all know that my hubby (who works from home) had 2 of them after his run! He likes the Lime Kicker 🙂 We agree to disagree…

Anyhow, for all you nerds out there here’s some facts:

pi-product-pgv3

So I have to say, I know that there is a time and place for any fuel, supplements etc that you use in a workout. This wouldn’t be something I would take with me on a run in the morning, or a super-long run at the park (I don’t have a mobile freezer yet) but I think that I can confidently say that not only would I bring these with me to work, but they would encourage me to get more midday runs in, without worrying about my energy levels and whatnot when I’m finished!

I like them so much that I am sharing the rest of my sample with my hubby’s mom and my best runner friends, because they really need to try them!

If you want to check them out or connect with them so you can pick up some of your own they are on Twitter @PowerIce and FaceBook: PowerIce and their website is here.

Side note: I’m all about local products and some of the best come from here in Colorado! PowerIce is up in Steamboat Springs!!!

Please note:  I received a sample of PowerIce to review on this blog- I was not compensated for the review.  All opinions are my own, as they should be :)

Review: ENERGYbits

Hey everyone!

Today was an awesome Mother’s Day and the one thing my mother in law wanted to do was go for a hike! I decided that this would be the perfect chance to try out my ENERGYbits.

ENERGYbits Bag and Canister

For those of you who have never heard of ENERGYbits, they are “100% organic spirulina algae. They deliver energy and endurance all for just ONE calorie per tab. Spirulina has the highest concentration of protein in the world (3 times as much as steak) which is why NASA astronauts & Olympic athletes have used it for over four decades.”

Our hike up Mesa Trail was great, but as we reached the top of our path I realized that the sun was starting to wipe me out.

I decided that I would get out the bits and try them out!

Here is what a serving of 30 bits looked like when I took them out of their handy canister:

ENERGYbits

ENERGYbits

I was a little nervous to have to take this many pieces as I usually have problems taking pills. Also, the literature that came with my ENERGYbits said that while you can chew them, they are an acquired taste and they don’t recommend chewing them the first time around. I put on my brave face, and threw about half of them in my mouth and took a huge swig from my CamelBack.

The ENERGYbits went down easy and I had zero issue with swallowing them. This was a huge plus for me, and I finished off the other half of the serving easily.

I supplemented with some mixed nuts and banana chips and we started our decent down the hill.

I felt great. Truth be told, I’ve always been a bit skeptical for supplements and what not having an immediate impact on my body. However, I felt awesome heading down the hill.

I love hiking!

I love hiking!

Being someone who tries to maintain some sort of paleo eating most of the time, these were a perfect option to have some protein in my system. I typically suffer from crabby blood sugar drop issues when I don’t eat regularly and today I didn’t experience that! It was such a refreshing change.

Here are some things (from the ENERGYbits website) that they are great for:

 ENERGYbits® Health Benefits

  • Helps improve physical energy
  • Helps improve endurance
  • Helps reduce fatigue
  • Helps speed athletic recovery
  • Helps healing from brain concussions and reduces brain fog
  • Helps build muscle
  • Helps improve mental focus and clarity
  • Helps reduce anemia
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Helps reduce cholesterol
  • Helps balance blood sugar
  • Provides natural nitric oxide
  • Provides most daily nutritional needs, especially greens
  • Provides high quality protein and nutrition on the run or on the road
  • Helps fight free radicals with high concentration of antioxidants
  • Helps balances all body functions – is100% alkaline
  • Helps improve skin, hair, nails, bones and eye health
  • Helps build healthy blood, cell tissue and muscle
  • Helps improve mood
  • Helps remove hunger
  • Raw food, great for vegans or those who hate greens
  • Safe nutrition for anyone of any age, from children to seniors **I was also informed today that it’s safe for pups!**

So there you have it! Something to note about ENERGYbits is that being that they are a really high quality product, their price tag can seem out of sorts, but compared to the low potency spirulina tabs you can buy at the store, they are well worth the money.

Also, by entering the coupon code “BLOG” into the coupon box you can save 10%!!!

Guys, putting the right thing in our bodies is one of the best things we can do for our sport, passion, and life in general. What could be better than fueling your life without caffeine, chemicals, sugar, gluten or soy?

Check them out- follow them on Twitter @ENERGYbits or on Facebook-ENERGYbits

Who ENERGYbits is for!

Who ENERGYbits are for!

*various photos borrowed from the ENERGYbits website*

Please note:  I received a sample of ENERGYbits to review on this blog- I was not compensated for the review.  All opinions are my own, as they should be 🙂