My first Bulu Box!!

I’m pretty sure 99% of the people reading this are going “WTF is a Bulu Box?!”

Don’t worry. I’ll get you up to speed!

So, a few weeks ago, I got an email from FitFluential. In this email was a link to Bulu Box. I know the name sounds weird, but seriously, the person who thought up of this is a freakin’ genius. This company, Bulu Box, partners with a bunch of different health/fitness/supplement companies to provide you with SAMPLES of their new products!!! SCORE!!! I mean, come on, who doesn’t like samples?! Plus, most of the companies that provide samples also  give you coupons for when you want to buy the full-sized product. Now that’s what I call a WIN-WIN! (The monthly cost is $10, and you get discounts if you prepay more than one month at a time. There’s no shipping, and you can cancel your subscription any time.)

So each month, you get a box in the mail with about 5 different samples of things everyday athletes might like. My box this month:

In my box was: (click on the links to get to the company’s site)

~ShowerPill wipe

~Click (yay! a sample of what I already buy! double score!!)

~Protein Shot

~Defend+ Energy

~Vplenish Vitamin Boost

~Probulin (pro- AND pre-biotics)

*All of the stock photos came from Bulu Box’s website*

 

I got a 9″x8″ ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipe. You know, for those sweaty gym sessions when you just don’t have the time (or typically in my case, the energy) to shower afterwards. I’ve seen SkinnyRunner and OnceUponALime talk about ShowerPill, and they love ’em, but I haven’t tried mine yet, so I’ll get back to you on this one.

Click. Come on, seriously? I drink this stuff every day. Sometimes twice a day. (Thank goodness for decaf.) So if you haven’t heard of Click yet, it’s pretty simple: a protein powder that contains 15g protein, 23 vitamins and minerals, and a double shot of espresso. Oh, and it’s only 120 calories. Yes, please! The sample that came in my Bulu Box was the regular Mocha (Click also has a decaf mocha version).

Next up, the Protein Shot. 25g of protein, 5g sugar, 120 calories. All in 2.5oz. Yowza! That’s some concentrated protein! The one that came in the Bulu Box is Fruit Punch, but it looks like there’s a few different flavors that you can purchase these in. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve got a major lifting session tomorrow, so I’ll be having it then for my recovery. I’ll letcha know how it goes!

The Defend+ Energy reminds me of Emergen-C. But instead of just vitamin C and some energy boosting, Defend has a pretty good mix of anti-oxidants in it. I had one last night before my workout, so here’s my breakdown: I found that it didn’t mix very well in room-temp water, it was kinda grainy.The flavor is nice, but there’s a strong “zing” to it at the end that makes you forget about the beginning niceness. I didn’t end up finishing it. It’s probably great to store in your gym bag, just in case, but I wouldn’t keep them in stock in my house. I’d prefer just the regular Emergen-C and a well-rounded diet. But I think it’s a great idea for a product! They just need a bit more development. . .

Vplenish comes in these green little “sweet n low”-type packets. Not gonna lie: kinda creeps me out. hahaha Vplenish is a powder-form vitamin, that you can add to drinks and food (it’s tasteless). So that way, people who don’t like to, or can’t, take pills can still get a vitamin every day. Good idea. Not sure I’m actually going to try these. I already drink vitamins in Click, and eat pretty seasonally, so I’m not sure I’m willing to double up on vitamins. But I’m going to keep the samples in my pantry, just in case!

Probulin. Now this one’s a keeper!!! Thank goodness for the coupon that came with it, cuz I want it!! Probulin is a probiotic: live bacteria that your digestive system can’t function without. This kind of bacteria is important! What’s special about Probulin is the incorporation of Inulin. Inulin is a dietary fiber, and helps your body absorb all the vitamins and minerals that you get from your diet and supplements. See? What’d I tell ya?  Important! The sample was of 15 capsules, and the recommendation is that you take 3 a day. A sample that lasts for 5 days? Whoo hoo!!

Needless to say, I’m really happy with this month’s haul, and I can’t wait for next month’s!!!

Have you tried any of these products? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Can’t live without ’em?

Have you tried Bulu Box?!

 

Summer Lovin’ Fruit

You’re mission, should you choose to accept it:

Eat seasonal produce.

Seriously, it’s that simple. The more foods that you don’t have to cook, that don’t come in packages, the better. Try getting produce from local farmer’s markets, local grocers that contract with local farmers, and companies like Farm Fresh To You that deliver fresh local produce to your door. The more you can eat what grows seasonally, the better your body will respond to the micro-nutrients.

Fruit is more prevalent in the summer simply because our bodies need a bit more help cooling off in warmer weather. And since central air conditioning wasn’t readily available for most of our history, we’ve needed some way of beatin’ the heat.

If you live in an area that’s been bombarded by hot weather recently (and here I’ve been complaining that we’ve had weather in the 80*s, pfft. i’m kinda spoiled), pick fruits that are experts in hydration:

 

And, as always, try to eat organic. I know it can get expensive if you’re not careful and selective, but try whenever you can to buy USDA approved organic foods. Sometimes our budgets demand that we pick and choose which foods we can buy organically, so it helps to refer to the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen.

 

Do you have any favorite fruits? we always have apples (granny smith and fugi) and bananas, but my son loves raspberries and watermelon and blueberries, so summer is always a happy eating time at our house! 

Let go of the water bottle!

Provided that you actually eat fruits and veggies, and that you drink things that are water-based (yes, even caffeinated coffee), then you’re getting water! My fave foods to get water from: cantaloupe, watermelon, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. So while you still need to drink water, lay off the guilt trips and drink when your body tells you to. 🙂

Let go of the water bottle. You’re plenty hydrated, people – TODAY Health.

Scatter-Brained Headless Chicken Mode

Guess who’s back? Back again. Heather’s back, tell a friend. . . Okay, sorry. I’ve been in singing mode lately. . . ever since I started singing “I’ll tell ya what I want, what I really really want” at the hospital the other night.

For me, stress = scatter-brained. I feel like a chicken with it’s head chopped off. (Lovely visual, right? Sorry about that.) Well, the more scatter-brained I get, the more I sing random songs. And the more movie lines I quote. It’s as if my brain has given up trying to think and just relies on what’s already stored in there. . .

And once that starts happening, I lose track of time! Seriously, I’ll be getting ready for something, look at the clock and realize I’m early. Then, somehow, I end up being late! This has happened a lot the past 2 weeks. See? Scatter-brained headless chicken.

The past two weeks have been filled with 3 final projects and 3 final exams. I have learned something very important this semester: I dislike hate loathe despise abhor Financial Accounting. First off, me and math don’t hang out too often; we really don’t like each other. Second, add math into accounting principles, and make 2 people do a project designed for 5 people. . . I think we can all see how this is going. Bad cabbage.

Add in a family event (the ER and hospital were involved, but the docs handled it so well that there wasn’t really a scare) and some friend drama, and I was stressed. The past 2 weeks have been filled with studying (read: sitting on my bootay), writing (again, sitting on my bootay), and eating crap food (while sitting on my bootay). Oh, wow, my eating was terrible! If it had been Girl Scout season, I would gained 25 pounds. No joke.

As of last night, all of the projects are turned in, and all the tests are done. WHEW!! Glad that’s over!! And now it’s time to get back to business!

This morning’s workout was an hour of kickboxing (TKB style, of course!), and an hour of weight training (omg, my poor glutes and triceps hate me already!) with the lovely Megan. I am sweaty and sore and ready for more!!! 😉 Actually, I think I’m done for the day. That was a lot of work. hehehe Thank goodness for my Clif Margarita Bloks!

I’m not a breakfast-eater. Well, not when I first get up. I love breakfast food, just not at breakfast time. If I eat too soon after waking up, I get major tummy problems. I’ll cramp and feel sick to my stomach. Ew. So when I get to the gym at 8:20am, the only thing in my belly is tea. The milk and sugar help keep me sustained, but when I do back-to-back classes, I need something more. Hence the Margarita Bloks this morning. And, come on, who doesn’t like to have margaritas while they workout?! 😉

So I’m standing at the kitchen counter right now making scrambled egg whites, refried beans, turkey bacon, and spelt tortillas for “breakfast” burritos. It’s time to refuel and get on with the day!! (I know if I do’t refuel properly now, our LR tomorrow morning is going to suck. lol)

What’s your workout today?! 

Breakfast anyone? What’s your favorite recovery breakfast?!

Healthy Brownies!!!

No joke. I don’t joke around about the sweet nectar of life brownies.

Alas, my waistline triples in size when I start chowing down on brownies. . . Which is my fault. They’re like frickin’ Pringles! You CAN’T have just one!!!

So imagine my utter delight when I found a recipe for a healthy treat, that when added enough chocolate, tastes like brownies!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! that’s me squealing with joy

So without further ado:

photo from NiaShanks.com

 

Nia’s Brownie Balls!!

  • 1 cup raw nuts (Nia said she uses 1/2 cup almonds, 1/4 cup pecans, and 1/4 cup of walnuts, but that it’s really easy to experiment with other nuts and combos)
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried dates
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (seriously, go for more like 1/3 cup. Plus an extra few.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (approx) water

Put the raw nuts and raisins/dates in a food processor. Blend on high until everything is chopped/mixed together well.

Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla extract and blend/pulse until the nuts are finely chopped and all of the ingredients have combined.

Add in a teaspoon of water. This allows the mixture to bind together. Add very little water and only add more as needed. You just want the balls to hold their shape, but not be wet.

Once you’ve attained the proper consistency, divide the mixture and form them into little brownie balls.

Nia said she puts them in the fridge for a couple hours, but that’s like actually making brownies from the brownie batter: a foreign concept. 😉

for more recipes and ways to be a bada$$ chick, hang out with Nia at NiaShanks.com

Look out! Changing topic! 😉

I have a little secret: I’ve kept my son home from school today, simply because I wanted to. We went on a field trip yesterday to the Natural Bridges Tide Pools, so my son and I were both exhausted by the time we got home in the middle of the afternoon. (I’ll do a post later about the tide pool adventure)

23 wild, crazy 7-year olds. (the one on the far right is my little man)

So this morning when the alarm went off, I made the executive decision that Kael and I were going to have a “family day.” We were both tired from yesterday, and sometimes, you just need a mental health day! I even told the attendance office that we were having a family day. Oh, I guess that means it’s not a secret then. Hm. Oh well. hehe

I love love love my little man!

So after we run our errands, I’ll be running while my son rides his bike. (read: probably not a very successful run)

Anybody else take “family days” from school? my grandma used to check my mom and my uncle out from school early because she was bored and wanted some company at home. My mom never did that with me. I guess it skipped a generation. 😉

Try the brownie balls recipe and let me know what you think!! eating clean doesn’t have to be boring and gross!

The Best Summer Salad

This is the best non-salad salad, and it’s perfect for summer! I say “non-salad” because there’s no lettuce. Seriously. None. But you can add lettuce if you want to, I’m not judging! 😉

This is the perfect salad for summer– refreshing, cold, and goes great with barbecue! Personally, I eat it all on it’s own, but I don’t turn down bbq, either. 😉

Ingredients (for either 1 personal salad, or 2 side salads):

1 Avocado

1 large or 2 medium tomatoes (but I’ve done a kick a$$ version of this with a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in halves!)

1/2 medium cucumber

Canola oil to taste (it has more Omega-3s than Olive Oil per serving!)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional: Pinch of freshly chopped Basil leaves. I do this when I’m feeling feisty. 🙂

Cut up avocado, tomatoes, and cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Place in bowl, drizzle with canola oil and salt/pepper. Mix gently but thoroughly. Careful, if you mix it too much, you’re going to have something that looks like baby barf. It’s the avocado. Be gentle! 😉

Enjoy!!!

What’s your workout today?! 🙂 How are you kicking off a healthy weekend?!

I started my morning by doing Megan‘s kickboxing class, and then moved to the pool, where I taught Aqua Aerobics and Toning. 🙂 It’s been fun subbing the aqua classes! (I will say, though, that I’m looking forward to not having the smell of chlorine in my nose all day.)

Wishing you a happy and healthy weekend!!!  ❤

How to get a trim, fit, feminine physique

I love CrossFit. I love running, kickboxing, weightlifting, shadow boxing… I love a whole plethora of activities, but as of right now, CrossFit takes the cake. (hhmmm, caaaaake… Sorry, I got distracted for a moment) I love the kickassery of CrossFit and the amazing feeling of accomplishment that I get from the WODs. I love love love it!! 

That being said…

Personally, I’d rather look like this: 

Than this:

want to look like I work out, but I don’t want to look like a “gym bunny” or like someone who can kick your ass. I would much rather have a sleek, feminine physique. 

If you’re one of the people who wants what I want: read on. If not: skip this blog posting. Your kinds of posts will come later. 

I used to hear it all the time at the gym: women can’t bulk up like men can. I’m here to wave the Bullshit Flag. Yes. Women can bulk up like men!!! Do we do it to the same extent? No. We don’t have enough testosterone to get to a “man’s level” of bulk. But you better believe that if you train like a man does, you’ll become a tiny version of a man’s body, but with lady parts. 😉 

So this post is all about how to get into functional shape without building up your muscle mass!! 

First off, you want to keep doing functional training with weights! Keep up the cardio, too! If you want a sleek, feminine physique, we’re just going to change how you do these exercises!!

Your objective over the course of a week: 

  • 3 HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio sessions (15 – 20 mins long)
  • 3 long, steady cardio sessions (30 – 90 minutes)
  • 3 days of resistance training and/or yoga

How you break it up and pair it together is up to your body and your schedule, but at the end of a 7 day period, you should look at this list and say, “Yes, I’ve done all of that.” So for example:

  • Monday: 20 min HIIT workout, followed by 45 minute walk.
  • Tuesday: 30 min resistance training
  • Wed: rest day
  • Thursday: 15 min HIIT workout, 60 min walk
  • Friday: 30 min resistance training, 60 min yoga class
  • Saturday: 20 minute HIIT workout, 30 min elliptical
  • Saturday: rest or 60 – 90 min yoga class

Of course, do what works best with your body and your schedule. This is only an example. 

Now we’ll go over what your HIIT workout should be.

For your HIIT workouts, they can be as simple as alternating walking and sprinting. Since over the course of the workout you’re only going to be doing between 6 to 10 sprints, make ’em balls to the wall sprints!! Go all out!!! You can also do this on the elliptical, the stairmaster, the cardio rower, the bike. (Just please note: the bike is going to give you the least amount of calorie burn, and seriously, we’re trying to burn as many calories as we can right now. Make your workout count!) 

side note: my fave HIIT workouts are from Turbo Fire

For resistance training, focus on functional fitness (i.e.~ exercises that mirror daily life). I’m talking about squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, planks, wood choppers… the list goes one. The key is to focus on your muscles working together, rather than focusing on one muscle at a time. Here are some great examples of what you should be doing (you can watch these on “mute” if you prefer. I’m just showing these as examples of proper form):

she’s doing this heavier than you’d do if you don’t want to bulk up, but her form is perfect!

your goal in this plank is to keep your hips as stable as possible, don’t let them swing with the weight shifts

Now that we know what types of exercises we want, let’s discuss the resistance level involved. If you fatigue or lift to failure, you will add muscle mass. Simple as that. So whether you do heavy weights with low reps, or light weights with high reps, if the last 2 – 5 reps are hard, you’re going to get the same results. That means that with all of these exercises, you need to be using weights that make you feel like you’re working, but STOP before you hit the point of “heavy”!!! This will help prevent the muscles from “tearing” and therefore, help you to strengthen the muscle fibers without making them any bigger! 

As for the types of yoga you do, choose the style that best fits you. Since yoga doesn’t burn it’s way through calories, that’s not what it’s being used for. We want to stretch, calm the mind, and focus on feeling what our body is doing. Experiment with what works best: there’s no wrong type of yoga, just maybe a yoga that doesn’t fit your personality. 


Key points: functional exercises, HIIT cardio and steady cardio, yoga, and not hitting the point of “heavy” in your weights. Stop before the reps get hard! 

Of course, eating is also a large part of how your body responds to training. Make sure that you’re following the Zone diet and that you’re getting plenty of water, fish oils, and sunshine!! 

As always, feel free to email or comment want questions that you have! I’m here to help! 🙂

Poor Old Mother Hubbard…

Okay, we all know the rhyme:

Old mother Hubbard went to her cupboard

To get her poor doggie a bone

When she got there

The cupboard was bare

And the poor little doggie got none

This is what went through my head this morning when I opened up the fridge and realized that breakfast was going to be a challenge. Ever have one of those days?


actual representation of this morning 😉

So as we near towards the end of the National Nutrition Month, and since my brain is occupied with my grocery lists, we’re going to talk food. More specifically, I’m going to give you a recipe for awesomeness! 

And by awesomeness, I really mean:

That’s right: The Zone. One of the best ways to eat yourself healthy and lose weight, while gaining lean muscle mass and losing fat. I love The Zone! The gist: 40% of your food comes from carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, standard starches), 30% comes from lean protein (meats, eggs, soy–yes, vegetarians and vegans can do this!), and 30% comes from healthy oil sources (avocados, olive oil). There. That’s it. While you’re learning to change your eating, this is really all you have to keep in mind. Easy!

diet: (noun) a way of living, or thinking, a day’s journey

I want you to check out a copy of the Zone from your local library, buy it at your bookstore, or download a copy from Amazon.com. Look, I even gave you a link! How thoughtful of me!! 😉 (modesty is not one of my strongest suits, hehe)

You can also reference the basics of this style of eating (it’s NOT a diet in terms of losing weight, it’s a diet in terms of healthy eating and living) through the CrossFit Journal. This is where I started, and it was super easy! I definitely recommend just jumping in and trying it! 

Do any of you already follow Zone eating? What types of food make you feel your best?