Saturday, May 25, 2013

KindRunner!





If any of you haven't heard of KindRunner yet, take a look. They are starting a company that is a pretty novel concept. Some of the major points are:

  • You can trade in your old running shoes for new ones. You send them your old ones, they donate those to someone in need through Soles 4 Souls and other organizations, and you receive "Kindness Cash" rewards to use on future purchases of new shoes. 
  • Official launch date is June 1st
  • They will also have Ask the Experts in the hopes of bringing a local running store to you at home! It's not always easy to find a local running store, and they are hoping to change that. 
  • They are actively trying to help reduce the carbon footprint of shoes in landfills!

Places to find KindRunner online:



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Zola Review

I honestly hadn't really tried any sort of coconut water, or Açaí juice prior to receiving this box from Zola to review for Fit Approach/Sweat Pink. The package contained a bottle of Açaí juice, Coconut water, and Coconut water with pulp and a cute pair of bright green sunglasses! The Açaí juice is missing because I had packed it to take with me on a road trip. 




I tried the Açaí juice with my boyfriend...probably a mistake. He lived in Brazil for a while, more than once, and had tried it for the first time there. In his mind, açaí should be made with milk, and this being mixed with water, startled him. He did however say it "wasn't bad but would be great mixed in with a smoothie." I had never tried açaí juice at all so it was new to me! It reminded me of blueberry ish juice without the tart. I really liked it and it was my favorite of the batch. I agree that it would be amazing in a smoothie and next time I find it, I will be making one.

The coconut juice was good. I don't know what I expected when I took the first sip. I think I expected it to taste more like raw coconut (because seriously, I can eat that like some people eat chocolate). It didn't have much of a flavor, just a slight that wasn't over-, or underwhelming. I ended up mixing half of it into a mixer and adding pineapple, strawberries, vanilla protein powder, flax, spirulina and spinach into an awesome smoothie! I definitely preferred the coconut water post workout versus my usual almond milk. 




I haven't tried the Coconut water with pulp yet since I am not a fan of pulp in my drinks, but I already have plans for making it into another smoothie. I'll post when I do!


Since I somehow lost most of the pictures I took with it (ugh seriously), I'm going to post links to other Sweat Pink ladies blog posts where they reviewed this as well! 


Olive to Run made a Mango Coconut Smoothie


Rise Run Mom Repeat


Yoga By Melissa


Adult Ballerina Project


Fighting for Wellness


Urban in Suburbia

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Growing pains

This is a personal post, but one I think is important to share.

As a child, I didn't see my mom much. Honestly, I have two memories of her from before the age of 4 and then none until I was maybe 9. She wasn't around much; too busy in her own messed up world. This sounds harsh, yes I know, but it is what it is. My dad worked a lot and thankfully my grandmothers were around for my brother and me.

This post isn't about my having a rough childhood. As rough as it was, I survived it. This post is about watching my mother go through her eating disorder.

Today she would probably be diagnosed as EDNOS; an Eating Disorder not otherwise stated. I'm writing this from the view of a child watching their parent go through this. You go out to dinner and she picks at her food. The only thing I see her consume is a soft drink (even now, 25 plus years later). She'll order food, or make food for everyone, make a plate for herself but then run around the house because she says she has to pick up after her kids/husband (she is remarried and has three other daughters, my half-sisters). I've never seen her eat more than a few bites of food and the thought it scary. She love sweets but even then, consumes little.

It becomes scarier after what I know are the effects of eating disorders. Organs start to shut down, skin gets rough and papery, hair falls out, menstrual cycle stops, and a host of other symptoms. She is in her 40's and has been on some sort of pain or anxiety medication since I can remember. At 42 a pain pump was installed in her abdomen. These are things that shouldn't happen to a 40 something year old woman, but it is the long term effects of having an eating disorder. Now? She looks older than she is. She is using a walker type chair to get around the house. Her hair, which used to have Nicole Kidman style ringlets, now just looks frayed and lifeless. Her skin color is dull. Her eyes don't have the same glow. Her weight still fluctuates. She's also addicted to exercise which is completely counteracted with the fact that she doesn't eat.

It was hard growing up that way. For a short period of time, I thought that was what girls did; they weren't supposed to eat. I was 9 years old and that definitely wasn't the way of thinking I should have had at that age. I do remember rarely eating in front of her because I thought it would disappoint her. She used to complain that I never ate. My dad and grandmother were both aghast at that statement since I ate voraciously at home! Thankfully, I wasn't around her enough to really have it sink in and me imitate it much. My grandmother told me, as I got older, that she knew my mother went back and forth between not eating at all, throwing up after she ate, or abusing laxatives and diet pills. I've looked at pictures and her weight yo-yo'd constantly and I remember that she never had any energy. Her pictures go from her looking overweight, to the bobble head effect of losing too much weight too fast, to somewhat normal.

I worry constantly for my little sisters who are at the age where what their mother says and does, leaves a huge impression. She is constantly telling one of them to lose weight, calling her a "cerdito," or piggy, in Spanish, or tubby. My sisters are all small, very small and petite girls, they are in no way overweight.  But it's already not the impression they are getting of their lives. Two are very headstrong and I think they will be okay since they mostly ignore it, but regardless, it has to sting.

I think most women have some disordered thoughts with eating. We think "oh if I eat those donuts, I'll weigh 300 pounds." or "If I just eat salads, I'll be fine." But most of learn to balance those thoughts. We think we look like we weigh more than we really do and that's usually the extent of it.

Mayo Clinic has a good list of signs/symptoms you can look out for if anyone in your life may be at risk of having or developing an eating disorder.

My advice? Watch what you say to and around your children about your weight, others weight, how clothes fit (unless of course you are screaming about how badass you look), or weight related things. Your kids pick up on it and it can affect their entire lives in ways you don't realize. It still affects me as an adult. I know my mother's habits are unhealthy but sometimes it still rings in my head. And it doesn't just affect females, males have a hard time with them as well. Be encouraging. Never tell them to diet, or to cut back on their foods. Don't groan or sigh when they need to up a bigger size. If their weight is truly out of control, take them to their doctor.

I was on a health/wellness research team in college, and my professor was active in the community, and research that focused on eating disorders. This woman, Lauren Greenfield came, and showed us her incredible documentary on life inside a treatment center. If you are curious, and want to learn more, please watch the documentary by her entitled Thin.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Books I've liked recently

One of my favorites for sure, and definitely one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read, is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

It's written by a Texas professor who did a TON of research on people and what makes them vulnerable, and how that affects everything. And it's amazing. Even if you didn't study psychology, sociology, or social work in school, it's understandable. It has opened up some amazing dialogue between my boyfriend and myself, my son and myself, and even the way I think about certain things. I have only gotten halfway through it because sometimes I need to process things, or write down something I loved in it. I started it last fall. Seriously, read it! If you really want to delve in to it, she has a work through written up and even podcasts available to go through parts of the book with. I know earlier this year she did a couple of shows with Oprah.


Another eye-opening but fairly easy read, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

I've read a few of his books, (Brida was interesting as well) and while they are fairly simple to get through, they almost remind me of unintentional modern day Aesop's Fables. I enjoy them and I'm about to start on his newest book, Manuscript Found in Accra.


If you liked the movie Silver Linings Playbook, and you like reading the books of movies, definitely read it. I just finished it last night and it was great. The movie missed one key element that the book focuses a lot on (God/religion) but it's not so in your face that it screams Christian book. It's great though and I must say, even though I saw the movie first, the book is my favorite.

One of my favorites that I read a while back but recently popped back up was The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.

If you have ever been through a tough personal loss, and just wish for someone to understand, this is it. It reads (and maybe it is) a diary from the year after her husband died. It's beautiful, and heartbreaking and real. I just read her newest book a few days ago dealing with the death of her daughter, but it just didn't compare to this one.

Jeffrey Eugenides is another personal favorite specifically The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex. As well as Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Khaled Hosseini, who wrote The Kite Runner, also wrote an amazing book called A Thousand Splendid Suns. Neil Gaiman can be grittier, but he also wrote Coraline and Stardust, which were semi-popular movies as well.

I'm also about to start reading Kara Goucher's Running for Women. Most of the running books I have come across have been written by men for women, so I was definitely curious about this one.

I normally read a lot of classics as well, and they will always be in my favorites but thought I'd reserve this for newer books. 






Friday, May 10, 2013

Nike Fuelband-my personal review

I started this post in July and just now getting around to updating it. Oops? I've seen a lot of people talk about bands lately, and since I've owned this one for quite a while, thought I'd review it.


Pros of the FuelBand:
Lightweight
Easy to see face
Easy to use interface
Compatible with iPhone
Plugs in via self-enclosed USB
Watch display
Availability with sizes!
Three colors
Can challenge friends on the Nike site
Firmware updates frequently
About a 10 day battery life
One button to view everything and to sync it via Bluetooth
Not bulky
Simple
Comfortable
Syncs with all Nike applications.

Cons:
Inaccurate with everything, not usually by much...
Except when driving.
Gives more points when driving
I'm on number 3 in just over a year
Not compatible with any other device (solely Apple and computer)
Only available in black, clear white, and clear black
Not waterproof
Damage on the inside and not sure why (second time this has happened)

Nike's customer service is great about helping you out. My first one never worked, and it was in the first month they were available. Second one stopped syncing and a small gouge appeared around one of the screws about 6 months later. The third one, the one I am now, is starting to do the gouging thing as well and hasn't ever clasped well together (though it has never fallen off). I am not very rough on it; it doesn't get wet, and I never wear it in the shower even though Nike says you can and I know many people who do so without issue.

There is a cord for charging, but if you lose it, you can plug the clasp straight into the computer! It's a USB device built into it which is my favorite part honestly. You do have to install Nike software that will then open up the Nike site. It's also comfortable to wear, doesn't ever feel sticky like watches do, and ergonomically fits well because it's more oval than round.


Tracks Fuelpoints-Nike's combination of activity points from all areas, steps, calories and has a watch. I love it, simply because it is simple. I have no interest in tracking my sleep, using a watch as an alarm, or tracking heart rate but I know many people are interested. If so, this is not the band for you!

It will light up and tell you GOAL once you've reached your daily Fuel points goal, but I turned that off months ago. The picture above shows how it tracks your Fuel points. As you progress, the bar at the bottom adds colors, and it also gives you a numerical read out. It's great for a general idea of how you are doing, or how active you are during the day.

Fuelband Link on Nike

Now, pictures! All the pictures below are my own. Excuse the fuzzies all over the band, it was from the cleaning cloth I used! If you have any questions, please ask. I'd be more than happy to answer them.

I made this one bigger, you can see how it is starting to gouge around the screw. I've been wearing this one for about 6 months. 

How the face looks. It stays lit up for about 5 seconds. 

How the USB is self-enclosed in the device. 

Size small FuelBand next to a bottle of OPI nail polish. 


I put back in the biggest extender so you can see that you can add a full inch to the size. It's really simple to do as well. Everything is included. You can add half and inch to a full inch to every band.

All opinions are my own, and the band was purchased for me last year by my boyfriend. The pictures, except for the first one at the beginning, are my own as well.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Interesting Health/Fitness Kickstarters

I was looking around Kickstarter after someone posted a link on Twitter and found a few interesting ones, so I thought I'd share.

First is a small, almost backpack like thing to keep your ipod in, and headphones attached to for easy access.

It's called a SpyderGrip and you can look at it here. It helps keep your headphones from getting snagged. My only concern is it chafing your underarms with the straps.

Another one, and the reason I ended up on Kickstarter, was the Ring Cozy! I wear gloves sometimes, but might back it regardless because it's pretty neat!


It seems interesting! If you don't wear rings, don't lift, or wear gloves, might not interest you, but I think it's a pretty cool concept. The link to the Ring Cozy Kickstarter is here! For $10 you get one in the color of your choice, and for $28 you get three. I know I've caught my finger on things before when wearing rings so this actually interests me!

The next one I was interested in, until I saw how much they were going to cost, and how much they were doing for Kickstarter. Maybe it's worth it but I'm not sure. It's called Night Runner (link on the name) and are clips with lights you can attach to your shoes while running in the dark. Looks really neat, but unlike most Kickstarters, they are charging an additional price for shipping, and a very small discount, which with shipping, is expensive. The minimum donation to get the lights is $50 plus $8 shipping.


National Geographic sells something similar for $20. It's uglier but it would work! 

And on the go Yoga mat/rug is next. It seems good, and if goals met, will come in about 6 colors. It is called the YogoMat (Redux) and for $45 you receive a mat, sticker and personal note. It folds up for convenience, so it isn't bulky or heavy.







This one looks fun. It's called Pedal, Stretch Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling and it's yoga with your bike! To  get a copy, it's only $10 and sounds interesting. It shows yoga positions that include your bike. May sound simple but also sounds pretty neat. She's a yoga teacher and cyclist and originally had done an e-zine, smaller edition that sold out quickly.






Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Food!


I thought I'd post some pictures of what I typically eat. Everyone loves food and I am definitely one of those "live to eat, not eat to live" people. Probably a bad thought process, but I'm working on it.

First are some examples of food I make at home taken from my phone.


This one was a simple meal when I didn't have anything thawed out. Grapes, asparagus and a whole yellow squash. I seasoned the veggies with olive oil and garlic, and baked them. Sometimes I add a bit of sea salt.







A spinach salad with strawberries, onions and fresh lemon juice instead of dressing. Main meal was two eggs, ground turkey and more asparagus.
















 I get bored and this happens! It's a roasted hash of sorts. The sausage is by Aidell's (no preservatives- I can pronounce everything in it!), onions, bell peppers, yellow squash, and zucchini. Zucchini and squash seasoned with olive oil, or coconut oil, garlic and red pepper.












More eggs, half an avocado, and an Ezekiel Sprouted grain English Muffin toasted with maple almond butter.


Restaurant food!

Kerbey Lane cafe in Austin. Bacon, home fries, biscuit, eggs and gravy. Was a 2 am and I had just finished a 4 hour drive.

Chicken mango salad at North by Northwest


TacoDeli in Austin. Brisket taco and something else. Pinto beans and Mexican rice. Delicious!

Kind of dark but it is a candied walnut mixed green salad. Was sooo good.

The best rotisserie chicken I have ever had. And I eat a lot rotisserie style chicken. I had green beans and a Caesar side salad. At North by Northwest.

A burrito bowl from Freebirds! Steak and chicken with corn salsa, lots of jalapeno's and onions, fajita cooked veggies, rice, cilantro, roasted garlic, and lime juice.

I eat a fairly wide variety of foods. Normally there is some pasta and rice somewhere as well. I eat more chicken then steak, and I get in moods where I eat a lot of fish. I'm trying to incorporate more vegetables into my routine as well. Lots of smoothies exist in my world too! I'll be doing a post later this week on them.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rogue Running ATX



I saw that Rogue Running was having a Midnight Moontower Run (Dazed and Confused reference). Link to the Facebook event HERE. It sounds fun! They have it split into a 7-mile, and a 16-mile. Plus a party thing afterwards, and giveaways. My boyfriend has even agreed to do it with me! I'm a new runner, so this may kill me but I figured it was worth a shot. If I can walk 10 miles in flip flops, I can run/walk 7 miles in running shoes!

The maps are available here:
7 mile run
16 mile run

Goes through the middle of Austin, but honestly it sounds like a lot of fun! It says a supported fun run, so I'm assuming they will have drink stations and what not.

My boyfriend's runner friend saw we were going (he ran the Austin marathon a while back) and decided to go too! I might've backed out if it hadn't been for that now, but now I'm actually really excited to participate!

They partnered with Fit Approach for the Pub Run during SXSW, and I know they all had a blast, so I'm looking forward to being around so many runners, and especially at night when Austin is fully alive! Oh, and this even is also FREE! What better way to test my limits, so where I need to improve, and what works best during runs, than a free, supported run.

I'll let you know how it goes. My boyfriend may have to carry me back!