Posts Tagged ‘sponsored’

Staying Fit While Traveling

Hey-o!

Since I just unpacked my suitcase* from a jam-packed week back east, I thought it’d be a good time to talk about sneaking in fitness while traveling. Ya’ll know I grew up in Las Vegas, and I was recently approached by the Vegas.com folks about exactly this subject as part of their #TravelFit2014 campaign. Obviously I was more than happy to share some of my favorite tips and suggestions.

So, here ya go!

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1. Pack healthy snacks in your suitcase.
What’s that Girl Scout motto about being prepared? I was never a Girl Scout, however I am totally down with being prepared when traveling! I’m that girl who packs 10 granola bars and random pieces of fruit in her carry-on. The thing is, having healthy snacks handy limits the possibility of you gobbling up those Biscoff cookies on the plane (I KNOW, but they’re so yummy) or shoveling gummi bears into your mouth because it’s the first thing you see when you reach your hotel.

Try to choose portable snacks that are high in protein and low in sugar (I love some of the Kind bars and mini bags of trail mix) and hardy fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas, which travel well getting jostled in your suitcase.

2. Take the stairs.

No brainer. When given the choice between elevator versus stairs, take the stairs. It’s an easy way to sneak in some fitness, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you could always walk up and down a flight a couple of times before, say, heading to your breakfast buffet.

3. Walk. And then walk some more.

I feel like walking gets ignored as a way to stay fit, but seriously you guys… it’s so good for you. Granted driving is required on a lot of trips, but walking around the airport or fitting in an evening stroll is a great way to squeeze in some extra movement.

4. Wake up early and just. do. it.

Utilize that hotel gym or lace up your running shoes and get your sweat on first thing in the morning! Wake up a little bit earlier than the people you’re traveling with – even just 30 minutes – and you’ll be sweat-tastic  before any excuses can be made and everyone else is just waking up.

5. Seek out adventures that blend fitness with sight-seeing.

I’ve heard of hotels leading running tours of cities (such as here), and here in San Diego there’s stand-up paddle boarding and bicycling pub crawls. 😉 Heck, even Las Vegas has developed indoor “hotel hikes,” such as at the Aria Hotel! Many yoga and cycling studios often give free classes to new people or have out-of-towner specials, so ask the concierge at your hotel what studios or gyms are nearby, and check it out. Chances are, there will be some sort of workout opportunity nearby and it’ll help you explore a new part of town!

6. Pick and choose your meal “splurges.”

Vacations should be amazing and relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you have to necessarily go buck wild with your diet.

But that pink frosted doughnut and chocolate mousse cake and margarita the size of your head though!

Ugh, I know – everything on vacation tastes extra delicious right? I’m all about soaking in your vacay and savoring the local specialities, but moderation is key. Pick what you especially care about enjoying, like the famous gelato or that waffle shop that was featured on the Food Network, and skip the side of fries at lunch.

7. Something is better than nothing

You’ve heard this one before, but seriously you guys! It’s so true. Little things add up. Any activity you can squeeze into your vacation in between lounging by the pool and sipping mai-tais is clutch – that includes a 10 minute stroll around the corner or 10 push-ups and some downward facing dogs before you flip over to even out your tan. Just get moving!

 

Got any tips of your own to share? Leave them in the comments!

 

*and by my suitcase is unpacked, I mean it’s sitting flung open and partially unpacked  in my living room still. 😉

 

 

Sara Lee Sweet Treats {for Mother’s Day}

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How is it already May?

Anyone know? Time is FLYING. I’m pretty sure Christmas was yesterday, but somehow next weekend is Mother’s Day. I don’t know. It’s weird.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, I have an easy little dessert I think you guys might like that would be great to serve on that special spring day! The lovely folks over at Sara Lee Desserts (you know, the queen of desserts in the frozen section of your grocery store?) invited me to try on one of their products as a part of their Sara Lee Sweet Treats blogger program.

I. Was. Stoked.

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See, I grew up on Sara Lee desserts! My dad was a huge fan of their apple pie, and we often had pound cake at family dinners! My family does not believe in a life without dessert.

I hadn’t had pound cake in seriously forever (I’m actually not a huge cake fan – cookies are my jam), so I figured that would be a great cake to sample and review here on the blog for you guys. Talk about a blast from the past. It’s so simple, but the taste is classic and unforgettable.

I forgot this little guy is kept in the freezer – you simply defrost the cake for about ten minutes to serve (or zap a couple slices in the microwave for 10 seconds if you’re impatient, like myself).
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Perfect if you have surprise guests come over and whoops-  you didn’t have time to make that layer cake and brownie trifle. {Um, what the heck is a trifle and how did that just pop into my head to write?? Anyways…}

Pound cake alone seems naked, so I made a quick little strawberry mixture to add on top. Simply sliced strawberries with about 1/2 tsp of sugar mixed together gently with a spoon (trick from my mama– helps encourage the berries to make their own sauce), and voila! A dessert ready for guests in (literally) minutes.

IMG_2109Perfect.

I’m actually surprised that the cake’s flavor didn’t become lackluster over the years (or from chilling in the freezer til I served it), but Sara Lee’s pound cake is still just as yummy as it was back when I was a kid (a million years ago).

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? 😉

Happy Thursday!

**Disclaimer: I was provided a coupon for a complimentary cake and compensation for my review, but all opinions are 100% my own and honest. I only review items I believe in sharing with you guys!

 

What is your favorite dessert? Have you ever tried Sara Lee?

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Sara Lee. This could include the Sara Lee providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Review: Kodiak Cakes

Someone recently told me that if I was a food, I’d be a pancake. It just about made my day.

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Honestly, there is not much I love more in life than pancakes. I mean, certain people and running and sunshine top the list of things I love too, of course, but pancakes…. Gah.

We go waaaay back.

Needless to say, I was beyond excited when Kodiak Cakes asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their new pancake mixes. I nearly leaped for joy when their special delivery arrived on my doorstep. Better than Christmas, you guys.photo 1

Although homemade pancakes are always number one in my heart, I’ve been a fan of the original whole wheat Kodiak Cakes mix since I first learned about them about a year ago. They’re truly one of the most nutritious (and tasty) boxed mixes I’ve ever tried, and I’m no stranger to the pancake/waffle mix aisle in the grocery store. Let’s be honest – mixes require a whole lot less bowls to wash after you’re done cooking.

As you may recall, I ate pancakes just about every week on the nights before my long runs for my past two half marathons.  90% of the time they were made using Kodiak Cakes mix (that I bought with my own money, unbeknownst to the Kodiak Cakes powers that be).

Pancakes = running fuel. Even Ryan Hall agrees with me on that.

The mix that Kodiak Cakes sent me last week, though, were for their new “power cakes,” aka pancakes packed with protein – 14 grams per three-pancake serving. photo 5Um, awesome! Even more perfect for pre-long run fueling.

To be honest, I was a little nervous about trying the mix, because a lot of times products that promise to be jam-packed with protein actually taste like chalk. These power cakes (<–catchy, right?), though, do not taste the teeniest bit like chalk. Quite the opposite actually. They’re pretty darn delicious! My boyfriend even enjoyed them and he usually says he hates pancakes (I know, I KNOW).

In fact, I think I like this protein mix even better than their regular, old fashioned one! The pancakes are definitely more filling per serving, and the taste was a little bit more complex. And per usual, just the right fluffiness level and flavor — not too sweet, not too dry.

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I made a batch on Saturday morning after going to Body Pump class and devoured my stack  within seconds, paired  with a runny egg and some syrup.  I used unsweetened almond milk per the alternative directions on the back of the box for even more protein and flavor, and added some banana slices into a couple of the ‘cakes, just because. Breakfast Brunch of champions.

Big thank you to Kodiak Cakes for sharing their new product with me! As always, all reviews are 100% my own honest opinion. (Full disclosure: I even told the kind Kodiak Cakes folks that I had to try it and like it before I’d recommend it to you guys. 🙂 )

Have you tried Kodiak Cakes mixes before? FYI, they’re running a special 25% discount on orders if you use promo code SHARKTANK through May 4! 

Dinner at Luna Grill

It’s no secret that I love food. IMG_1352

I mean looooooooooooooooove. As in, I usually take down double the amount of food people twice my height consume in any given meal. And when I’m running a lot, like in half marathon training? Watch out.

Clearly even people who don’t know me have come to recognize this fact. I was recently invited to try dinner at a local Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Luna Grill. This southern California chain was new to me, and I was excited to give it a try when they kindly asked me to stop by.

Pita bread and falafel and hummus, all promised to be freshly made and natural? Sold.

My mom was in town yesterday, so she and I stopped by the Luna Grill location near my apartment and enjoyed some dinner. I ordered a chicken kabob entree, served with pita bread, rice, and salad, and we split some spinach pie (aka spanokopita).IMG_1354IMG_1357

OMG.

If I’m being honest, I was pretty surprised at how yummy the food was, not to mention how fresh it all tasted. And for a hungry girl like myself, my plate was packed! I was actually expecting more of a fast food sort of experience, and this was nothing like that.

I enjoyed my whole meal, and was impressed with how friendly the staff was at this location, too. I’m allergic to cucumbers, which usually means a giant headache at Mediterranean restaurants, but the folks here were accommodating and left off the vegetable of death for me. 😉

Luna Grill also lists the calories for each item on the menu in plain sight, which I appreciated — particularly because the calorie counts weren’t frightening! I have to admit, I’m not entirely convinced they are 100% accurate judging by the portion size and my own personal nutrition knowledge (my rice serving was pretty generous for the 340 calories they quoted, and topped with their signature safflower oil), but it’s a positive gesture in the right direction nonetheless. I’m all about empowering consumers to making healthier choices.

I’m already planning to stop by again for a falafel wrap, especially now that it’s Lent aka meatless Fridays.

A big thank you to the folks at Luna Grill for inviting me to try their food!

 

What’s your favorite healthy chain restaurant? When I lived on the east coast, I was obsessed with Zoe’s Kitchen, but now Luna Grill might be the west coast winner.

 

 

*DISCLAIMER: Luna Grill compensated the cost of my meal, but, as always, all opinions were 100% my own.

 

#GiveThem10 For the Troops

Hey friends!

This week, the fine folks at CSX reached out to me about a really cool campaign they’ve started to support our troops in honor of Memorial Day! I’ve mentioned this before, but I work with the military and have a lot of friends/loved ones who have or are currently serving. I don’t think anyone at CSX even knows that, so this was a neat surprise.165408_610711302275134_1610795210_n

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From May 20-29, whenever you do 10 push-ups and tweet or Instragram about it using the hashtag #GiveThem10, CSX will donate $1 to Wounded Warrior Project! CSX will donate an additional $1, with the goal of reaching $50,000 total – how cool is that?!

Last night, I went to a Body Pump class and ending up pounding out about 20 push-ups. Some were with some REALLY jelly-like arms that could barely push anything, but I still tried to get ’em done!

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By the way, for those of you who are diehard ‘Pump fans, I finally get what the hype was about!  I looooooooooooove it!

Anyways, you can learn more about CSX’s Drop and Give Them 10 movement by browsing their push-up gallery (there are lots of different ways to push-up for a good cause!) and visiting dropandgivethem10.com.

I’m headed to California today (woohoooooooooooo).. um, in a few hours actually……….. so I should probably consider packing.

Happy Thursday!

 

Are push-ups a regular part of your fitness routine? They’re such a great way to tone your arms and an easy exercise when you don’t have access to a gym!

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