Friday, March 29, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Protein Bars

Jamie Eason's Chocolate Protein Bars taste like a light cake! Two squares is a serving size and only 96 calories. She has other flavors but I didn't care for the lemon flavor and the pumpkin one didn't have a strong enough pumpkin taste. But the chocolate flavor I've made a number of times so I made a few notes in the ingredient list below. Oat flour is just oatmeal grinded in a food processor.

Ingredients:
1 cup Arrowhead Mills - Organic Oat Flour
4 Egg Whites (if using a carton of liquid egg whites use the measurement for 3 egg whites)
2 scoops plain Protein Powder
½ cup Truvia or Ideal (I use Zsweet found at Whole Foods)
½ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
8oz Berry flavored Baby Food (I couldn't find this so I just mashed up berries in my food processor)
3 tbsp Baking Cocoa (I use naturally sugar free raw cocoa by Navitas Naturals found at Whole Foods)
4oz Water (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients (oat flower, protein powder, baking soda, salt, baking cocoa) together in a large bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, sugar, Berry flavored Baby Food,Water) together in a medium sized  bowl.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
5. Spray cooking dish with a non stick spray and add batter to dish.
6. Bake 30-40 minutes in oven or until knife comes out clean.

Makes 16 squares, serving size=2 bars.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Peeps!

Don't know what to do with all the peeps you bought for Easter? Instead of eating them you can have some fun with them! Check the super creative dioramas people have made at Today show and the Washington Post's annual peeps contest. I'm amazing by the creativity in these! There's also yoga peeps! lol

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Anna's Super Oatmeal!

Here's my clean eating oatmeal recipe! Rolled Oats are a healthy start to your day because they help lower your cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. It's a superfood for athletes because it's a slow releasing carb so it will give you long lasting energy. It's also packed with vitamin B and iron. If that's not enough to convince you they're it's cheap if you buy it by the tub!

I don't use those prepacked instant sugary oatmeal, instead I buy Whole Foods brand 365 Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats. The difference is that they are larger and have a fuller taste; which also means they take longer to cook than instant oatmeal. So to avoid having it cook forever in the morning I soak the oats in water overnight.
 

I know you've heard of the Ch-ch-ch-chia Pet, but did you know chia seeds were a staple in the diet of the Aztecs and Mayans? Chia seeds are packed with healthy Omega-3, fiber, calcium and antioxidants. It helps curb your appetite with the fiber slowing your digestion. Definitely a key food for weight loss!

If you add a liquid to chia seeds you can easily make a gel! I make chia seed gel the night before (which by the way you can use a substitute for half the butter in any baking recipe to cut the fat). I find this really thickens up the oatmeal and makes it more filling.

I find chia much easier to use than flaxseed because with flaxseed you have to grind it first so you body can absorb it but you can only grind one serving at a time because it goes rancid fast. Chia seeds you can swallow whole and your body will still absorb it and a package can sit around for 2 years and not go bad. They have no taste on their own so it makes it easy to add into any food you make. Chia seeds are a great super food because you get the maximum vitamins with minimum calories. Chia is one of the amazing ingredients in shakeology.

I've made it dry, with lots of liquid, or in between
Ingredients:
1/3 cup oatmeal
2 ts wheat germ (adds protein, fiber and vitamin B)
2 ts chia seed
3 tb almond milk (more if needed)
½  tb maple syrup or raw agave nectar (optional)
½  scoop protein powder
pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

The Night Before
In a small pot combine 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1 cup of water and pinch of cinnamon. (This may not seem like a lot of oatmeal, but it grows in volume over night plus you're adding other volume ingredients to it.)

Mix 2 ts chia seeds with 3 tb almond milk, shake it up real well, then come back 20 min later and give it another shake so it doesn't settle unevenly. Refrigerate overnight.

In The Morning
Turn stove on high under the pot and come back in a couple minutes when it's boiling and turn it down to simmer. Then set the timer for 8 minutes.

If I don't have fresh berries on hand I will put frozen peaches in the pot and it defrosts in the 10 minutes it takes to cook this oatmeal.

Once done pour oatmeal into a bowl that already contains the chia seed gel, wheat germ and protein powder and mix well. If you want a more soupy oatmeal boil another 1/4 cup of almond milk and pour that on top of your bowl.

Nutritonal Info
With the fruit it ends up being about 250 calories, 14 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber and that fiber really keeps me full!

Competitors
Quaker Weight Control Instant Oatmeal only has 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and it's made with sucralose (a poison I try to avoid).

Quaker Instant Peaches and Cream only has 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, the second ingredient is sugar and it's made with colored dehydrated apples and artificial peach flavor, so no actual peaches.

McDonalds Oatmeal is 290 calories with 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. It also has a ton of brown sugar and added "cream" which has 7 ingredients, I thought cream was supposed to be just milk? The fruit and maple flavor has 32 grams of sugar, that's insane! Two Reese's Peanut Butter cups only have 21 grams of sugar.
It’s crazy you think you are making good choices but in reality there are hidden ingredients and sweeteners. It’s best to just buy a big tub of rolled oats which is the cheapest choice anyway.




Saturday, March 23, 2013

Panama Fun Facts

Just booked my ticket to Panama! I've been reading up on the country to prepare for my trip so I wanted to share some fun facts about Panama.
  • Panama has the most varieties of birds anywhere in the world, 900+ including the Fruit Loop bird, the toucan!
  • Panama was the first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. currency as its own.
  • Senator John McCain was born on a military base in Panama. In 1999 all U.S. bases in Panama were closed and our military forces left the country after a 88-year presence until 2009 when Panama reopened 2 American naval bases.
  • The Panama Hat is really made in Ecuador but was shipped from Panama hence it got its name.
  • In Panama, you can swim in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the same day and it's the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic.
  • Panama City is the only capital city that has a rainforest within the city limits.
  • Panama is slightly smaller than South Carolina.
  • The movie Contraband with Mark Wahlberg was filmed in Panama.
I've already looked up if they have vegetarian restaurants and found out they have the Loving Hut which is a chain that I've been to in NYC. I also bought the white linen pants below a year ago with my next tropical adventure in mind so I'm excited to have them make their debut! In the meantime I think I need a countdown clock to my vacation. Do you ever feel like that too? I guess it would be pretty obnoxious to have a big sign on my desk at work! lol
Panama



Friday, March 22, 2013

Healthy Easter Baskets

I wanted to give you some healthy ideas for Easter!

Basket Fillers
Mandarin Oranges
Trader Joe's apricot unsweetened dried fruit bar
Baby carrots
Puzzles
Coloring Book
Character band-aids
Bubble Bottles
Play dough
Stuffed Animals
Crayons

Plastic Egg Fillers
Cranberries and nuts
Stickers
Popcorn
Tokens for Chuck E. Cheese
Teddy Grahams
Pictures of larger items (hidden in the house)
Money
Loose Legos
Silly putty
Toy cars
Yo-yos
Gold coins that can be traded in for a bigger prize like a kite
Glitter putty
Rings
Hair Barrettes
Finger puppets
Plush bunnies

Golden eggs with tickets redeemable for prizes like sleeping in late, no chores for a day, ice cream float, parent cleans their room, movie tickets

I love this idea probably inspired by Lindt Chocolate Carrots.  All you need are icing decorating bags, some green ribbon and fill the bags up with goldfish!

There's no reason why adults can't have an easter egg hunt as well! This is what I want in my basket - Zoya nail polish!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sweet Lemon

I discovered lululemon a couple years ago because I needed a workout headband to hold my bangs and I swore I wouldn't buy their overpriced clothes, well now I'm hooked! Every few months they have a few theme colors that all their clothes will come in. Well I was waiting forever for them to have yellow clothes and now they have a color called burning yellow that is the perfect warm yellow so I had to snatch up the outfit below!  I like to look chic and sleek even in my workout gear. I find lululemon to be stylish, functional, flattering and fits great!
Yellow Fitness



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's for lunch today?

This is what I brought to work today for lunch, morning and afternoon snacks.
 
Lasagna 320 calories and snacks 285 calories
I split up a cashew pack and mixed it with goji berries
2 mandarin oranges and Trader Joe's organic low fat string cheese

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Monday, March 18, 2013

How hard are you willing to work for your goals?



When you start on a weight loss journey you need to create a blueprint of your plan. When you decide that success is your only option, you will find a way to achieve it! But remember success is never a straight line, it's a squiggly one because everyone has bumps along the way to reach their finish line so don't be discouraged by plateaus and setbacks. If you read the story of any famous actress or singer, no one got where they are overnight, it was a difficult path that took a lot of work. Likewise your weight loss is going to be the result of you changing to a healthy lifestyle, and that takes patience to see the results of your hard work.You deserve to achieve your goals! So you need to remove the mindset of being a quitter and turn off that negative voice in your head that says you will always be where you are now. 
 
If you set up a plan, and visualize your success, you will reach it! Not overnight, but baby steps to change your relationship with food and fitness to create the foundation for your plan. Here are the first steps I suggest you start with:
  • create meal plans and grocery lists
  • figure out what foods need to be off your list and throw out all your junk food
  • get a success/accountability partner, find a friend who wants to do the journey with you, or get a fitness coach (such as myself) to motivate you daily
  • buy a food scale so you can eat correct portion sizes
  • track your calories using My Fitness Pal
  • order a heart rate monitor so you know how many calories you burn daily, you will need that info to enter at myfitnesspal because the more you burn the more you get to eat
  • go out and walk everyday for an hour during your lunch break, then come back to your desk and eat the healthy lunch you brought from home (I do this)
  • get off the bus/subway a few stops earlier so you have to walk a bit to work/home
  • calculate your body fat percentage, most gyms have the equipment to tell you
  • take before pictures and your measurements so you can track yourself by not just the scale
  • decide on a fitness routine and create a calendar of your weekly routine
  • buy new sneakers if yours are more than a year old
If you want lasting results you can't just think of it as a diet, but a complete lifestyle change in the way you eat. I want you to re-engineer your brain to create a new lifestyle to attain your goals. Keeping a to-do list will help you stay focused on those goals, the steps you need to take them, and give you a sense of accomplishment when you check them off. Calm organized people stay disciplined by keeping a to-do list, and you can too by keeping it handy on your phone so you can look at it daily. I've been keeping to do lists for as long as I can remember, it's what keeps me organized and focused on my goals both work related and personal. If you have an iphone or ipad download the awesome note app, it's the highest rated personal organization app.

It comes with a calendar synced to google and to do lists that you can organize by category and customize the colors or even have a cheetah print folder if that suits your fancy! So you can start your list with the items you need for success from the list above. I also keep a running list of food items I run out of, so that the next time I go to the grocery store I know I'm out of x,y,z. If I happen to be at the grocery store without my list I'm lost and don't get what I need. Having a list is the best tool to keep your goals in mind. The app comes with alarms you can set to go off before an event and those alarms have a range of ringtones so you don't confuse it with anything else.

For instance you can set an alarm at the time you're supposed to workout at home; to do a 10 min cleaning challenge on your lazy Sunday;  to remind you to respond to your friends emails; or to go off one year from today to ask you how you're doing and if you've achieved your goals. Because if you're in the same place this time next year that's a problem. Another use for it is if you're always late to meet people instead of thinking about what time you have to be somewhere, think about what is the latest time you have to be out your door instead. I have two alarms on my phone for 8am and 10pm. The 8am is my must be out my door now alarm so I'm never more than 5 minutes late to work. The 10pm is my bedtime so I can get up easily in the morning, that discipline comes really handy when I need to workout in the morning before work. I'm not a morning person, but I found that if I go to bed early, it's not a problem getting up in the morning to workout because I wasn't tired. And then my whole evening is free to do whatever. If you have problems falling asleep, going to bed earlier will give you that extra time to lay awake in bed waiting to fall asleep, so in the end you're still getting a full night's worth of sleep, you're just adding on prep time to fall asleep. By going to bed at 10pm I have time to cook breakfast every morning and eat it while watching the Today show and wash the dishes. How much time do you have in the morning? Why add stress to your day by starting off each day in a rushed panic? This brings us back to meal planning, since I planned my meals for the week my lunch for work is already packed and in the fridge.

Back to the list, don't give yourself too many items to put on it, just a manageable amount of tasks and do the hardest item first because completing that first will give you the most amount of accomplishment.  For instance last Saturday I opened itunes and lost all of my music and playlists. You can imagine how frustrating that was! I already had 10 things on my to do list for that day and the last thing I wanted to do was waste time on a complicated computer issue but really I can't function without my music so I tackled that task first and an hour later I had a huge sigh of relief when I solved that problem! Just the act of crossing it off my list created a sense of accomplishment for me. Sometimes I'll add things I did already to my list just so I can cross it off! Do you do that too? lol

Success is all about doing the right actions consistently, so with a to do list you will accomplish more on a daily basis leading you to your ultimate goal. Making excuses that you don't have time to exercise or eat healthy will only keep you in the same place you are now, but I'm sure you make time for plenty other things less important than your health. Listen once you figure out what you want out of life and lay down the steps to achieve it, you can stop saying I'll start “someday”.  Someday is today, and today you are going to lay down the ground work to achieve your goals! Craig Holiday always says “there’s only 7 days to the week, and none of them are named someday”, so what day are you starting?
What I want you to get out of this if nothing else is time management will lead to success in any area of your life. Think of the to-do list as a way to simplify your life! And it just takes a few minutes a day to organize your day and life. Whether your goal is to lose weight, be a professional makeup artist, be a magazine writer, start your own computer business, you need a to create a to do list to keep you on target to reach your goals.  So if you want to challenge yourself to transform your life, start your list of what your first steps need to be (refer to my list up top) then make it a habit to keep up with your list.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!


    I'd say this is my favorite holiday after Halloween! No you don't have to be Irish or like beer to celebrate it.
    You can make the day fun by eating green food! Start your day off with green pancakes, waffles or green eggs by adding food coloring to the mix. For lunch you can have a cucumber tea sandwich and avocado deviled eggs. Then for dinner get some green pasta (the semolina mixed with spinach) or regular pasta with a pesto sauce and a side of asparagus, peas, or broccoli. For dessert  you can have green grapes, kiwis, and honeydew. For a fun cocktail mix midori with champagne for a shamrock cocktail.

    I made Chalene Johnson's Greenberry Shakeology Shake recipe:
    • 8 oz of almond milk
    • 4 oz of water and ice
    • splash of peppermint extract
    • 1 tsp of peanut butter
    • 2 tbsp of sugar free vanilla or cheesecake jello instant pudding mix
    • packet of greenberry shakeology

    Another recipe to try is the Shamrock smoothie:

    1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
    1 kiwi fruit, peeled and diced
    ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
    1 tsp. pure maple syrup
    1 scoop Greenberry Shakeology
    1 cup ice cubes

    Both recipes are a whole lot healthier than McDonalds Shamrock Shake, read what the ingredients are.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    Target Finds

    I wanted to share a style collection I made that you can find affordably at Target this month. Thought this would be a great outfit to wear to work and happy hour afterwards. I already have similar pieces myself so you will see me in this combo.
    Target



    Sheer dress
    target.com




    Down jacket
    target.com




    Pointy toe shoes
    target.com



    Friday, March 15, 2013

    How to follow your favorite blogs

    Sure you could bookmark the blog but will you remember to go back? The easiest way to see all your favorite blogs at once is to use a free service like Bloglovin. It installs a tiny button on your browser and puts a number next to it when your favorite blogs have new posts. Then you click on the button and it takes you to a site that shows a preview of all your favorite blogs all on one page, how neat is that! It's like pinterest but for blogs. You can also chose to get a once a day email with the same summary. If you're like me you have a long list of bookmarked sites, so long that you don't bother to go through the hassle of scrolling through them because you can't remember what most of them are for anyways. Bloglovin makes reading blogs fun and easy!

    If you're currently using google reader, its shutting down in July. Feedburner that most blogspot users use to send out email updates was bought by google and last year said they were no longer supporting it. It's still up and running (for some people) for now, but without the bells and whistles so don't expect it to last for long.

    I personally love blog lovin, it's takes 30 seconds to sign up, it's easy, no ads, there's no catch. There's even a free App for iphones.

    If you'd like to link to my blog in the links section of your blog feel free to use my button below or use the grab and go code on my sidebar.

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Trader Joe's just a handful of cashews

    These have been my favorite snack for years! You  can also get this pack with almonds. I  find it to be a great filling snack for work and when I'm on the go! The individual packets are perfect for me because I love cashews and this way I don't eat too many. One bag has 210 calories and 6 grams of protein.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Water bottles

    I wanted to encourage you not to use disposable plastic bottles so I'm sharing my favorite containers that I use.

    First up is the Tervis Tumbler which I have in amethyst. They're made in America and it's made of a strong polymer that is hard to break or dent and is BPA free. You can see through the bottle that its two layers with a space between which makes the bottle sweatproof so if you like to have a lot of ice in your glass, the outside stays dry so you don't have to worry about using coasters. That's why I bought one of these for my boss since she had to use so many napkins under her glass in staff meetings. The Tervis also keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. They have a plethora of designs or you can create your own. You can also customize it to come with a lid or handle. They come with a lifetime guarantee so if it becomes defective at any time you can mail it in for a free replacement and they recycle the old one. It's dishwasher safe.


    I drink my shakeology on the go in my purple mini sportmixer from BlenderBottle. It's made of BPA-free plastic and has a stainless-steel whisk that mixes the shake so you don't need a blender. It's dishwasher safe but not meant to be used with hot beverages.

    My SIGG bottle is my original sports water bottle that I customized with a sports top. Made in Switzerland, these bottles are made of  aluminum and the liner is BPA-Free. It's really popular with people who don't want to use any type of plastic. It can not go in the freezer, store hot beverages, or go in the dishwasher. I bought a special ice cube tray that makes long slender ice cubes to use with this bottle. I dropped my bottle once, which left a small dent and now it's hard to get the top off, so word to the wise!

    I also have the new shakeology storage canister because sometimes I don't take care to make sure I really sealed the bag shut.  With this you can keep it fresh and organized in your cabinet, in an air tight BPA free container. It makes it easy to see when you're getting low and you don't have to worry about getting powder on your arms as you reach to the bottom of the bag to grab the scoop.




    Monday, March 11, 2013

    What to drink besides water?

    I'm sure you've read all about the dangers of soda and how harmful high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners are to you. So I wanted to suggest some drinks other than water that you can consume.

    My favorite tea is Tazo Passion, you can get it at Starbucks, Whole Foods or Safeway.  It's described as "an exuberant herbal infusion of hibiscus, cinnamon & tropical fruits." It's a sweet red tea. I love this tea hot or cold. In fact I've found that you can make 2 cups out of one tea bag, so I'm saving some money there. I boil water, pour it into 2 cups, then rotate the tea bag between each cup and add a drop of liquid stevia (for added flavor I squeeze a lemon slice in). Then I put both cups in the fridge, and the next day I have iced tea! I will also mix this into my shakeology.
    I don't drink regular Crystal Light because it contains aspartame, one of the most dangerous artificial sweeteners. I do drink their new Pure version in the summertime when I have a craving for lemonade.
    I buy the Trader Joe's label called fast flavor sticks lemonade but I gather they are the same product. One packet is 2 servings but makes a tall glass of 30 calories with no sugar.

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Do you have a fun playlist for the gym?

    I've had the same purple ipod shuffle for 7 years, can you believe that! Never lost it and don't have to worry about playlists, because I can dump all the songs at any time and reload a new list. I find that having a fun playlist makes working out much easier! With the DVDs I know really well, I will blast my own music while I workout with it. Here are some of my favorite songs right now:

    Casely, Lil Jon, & Machel Montano - Sweat
    Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris- We Found Love
    David Guetta & Nicki Minaj - Turn Me On
    Rihanna feat. David Guetta- Right Now
    Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing
    Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry
    Katy Perry - Part of Me
    Havana Brown - We Run the Night
    Dev - In the Dark
    Shakira - Waka Waka
    Jennifer Lopez - Dance Again



    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    The healthy way to tan

    I'm a big Kathy Griffin fan and was watching the episode of her reality show where she was a host for an awards show and got an airbrush tan right before the event and that was the first I'd ever heard of this. Then on another occasion I was watching Denise Richards reality show and someone came to her house and sprayed her before a date. One day when a groupon popped up to have someone come to my home to spray me I jumped on the opportunity and felt like a celeb for the day! ha!

    Now I know you're thinking but you already have tan skin, yes, but I'm still pretty pale and just enjoy the look of tan skin. When I was younger I used to love to tan at the beach and occassionally at tanning salons, but now that I'm older and am worried about fine lines I've stopped all of that. I now buy groupons for spray tans and airbrush tans, with the groupon the cost is $15 for a spray tan and $25 for an airbrush. The solution gradually washes off in 2 weeks. Unfortunately it does mean I can't use my facial products because I don't want the color removed quickly. If you sweat a lot when you workout, that will streak the color. Before you fake tan you need to exfoliate your skin and then afterwards keep it well moisturized to prolong the color. You prep for the tan by putting lotion on the underside of your hands and feet so that they don't come out colored as well. I do it the night before an event so I can sleep as the color continues to develop and then I shower the morning. This way the color does not come off me, unlike Adrienne from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills who would sit in chairs and stain them with her tan color.

     Here's a breakdown of your two salon options:

    Mystic spray tans are when you stand in a private booth and a machine sprays you with solution. The machine has a numbered foot pad that you stand on and the machine talks to you and tells you when to turn to put your feet into each position so every side of your body gets tanned. Some people say this color isn't very natural, but on me it's fine. 
     

    Now the pricer option is an airbrush tan. It's when a person sprays you with the solution. People say this looks more realistic than spraytans, but you have to be comfortable standing in front of a stranger spraying you. I do one or the other before vacations, birthday, or NYE.


     

    I tried Jergens self-tanner years ago and didn't like the horrible smell and the color. So I reluctantly tried St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse with a mitt and not only did it not smell, it didn't streak, and by using their mitt the color didn't get on my hands. It dries in one minute, but if you put it on the night before you get 5 days worth of color. You do need to do a couple applications at once to build up the color.



    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Yoga

    I took my first yoga class in college and I was hooked! Yoga is great for stretching out your body and it tones your abs, I've seen the difference! All those chaturanga pushups will tone every muscle in your arms, I usually feel sore the next day. The best part about yoga is that if I do it in the evening I  find it helps me sleep better, it truly does the trick for me!

    Now that I have my videos down I put on my own music to it. For yoga I love new agey music like the song Krishna Das - Namah Shivaya  for flowing yoga. Then I dim the lights, put 3x4 pillar scented soy candles on a gold charger to create atmosphere while I do yoga, as if it were candlelight yoga.

    I've spent a lot of time in yoga studios taking classes and really discovered the meaning of a quality mat. It really does make a difference, they're not all a like. Manduka mats are thicker and easier on your knees. Your average yoga mat is made of plastic while Manduka mats are made from natural rubber and are eco-friendly because they use toxic free materials in manufacturing. They're also longer than your typical mat and 99% latex free. Once you break them in, ultimately they are less slippy. When I splurged on my mat it was the best investment I made into my yoga practice and my knees thanked me because I no longer needed to double up for cushioning.


    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Soy Candles

    I read this awesome book titled Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin where the authors discussed why it matters what kind of candle you use. The authors recommend to use soy candles because traditional candles are made from paraffin wax which is waste from petroleum production. Soy wax was only invented 17 years ago and is American grown, biodegradable and cleans up with plain old soap and water.  The black smoke/soot you see coming out of regular candles pollutes the air and your health. But even with soy candles you have to find out what kind of wick they use and that it's not made from lead, but rather cotton and fragranced with essential oils. I really like Archipelago's soy candles available at Whole Foods.  100% soy candles can't hold their shape so they will be in jars, but you can find candles that are a mix of soy and palm oil that are free standing pillars. Soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin wax and because of this soy candles will burn longer than paraffin candles. You'll see the difference when you burn them as there will be no black soot coming out and you can feel good that it didn't emit any toxins into your air.

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Warrior Dash


    Are you looking for an adventure that's crazy, fun and dirty?! Remember all those fun obstacle course TV shows when we were kids? Well last year I participated in Warrior Dash which is a 5K obstacle course race and they have 40 races around the country, so check and see if there's one near you!
    I was terrified to go! I had never run a race before, but I found out that it was more about your strength and endurance to do the obstacles than speed running. The race does require you to train before hand with both strength training and cardio. So competing in a race like this could be your motivating factor to get in shape with the goal of getting through the race! The race involved jumping over fire and crawling through mud; and that's the easy part! ha! The other 11obstacles involve climbing a 20 foot wall with nothing but a rope, crawling under barbed wire, jumping over cars and high stepping through tires, wading through chilly water, and scaling horizontal cargo nets. And since this is not your average race, people dress up in fun costumes, tutus were popular! My friend and I dressed up as superheros. Here's the metal we got!
    This is what my shoes looked like at the end! lol My friend lost her shoes. Believe it or not I was able to wash those shoes off and they're good as new! I can't begin to tell you the feeling of all that mud weighing down my clothes! lol But if you want to ditch your shoes they had a huge pile of shoes that they donate to a non-profit that recycles them and gives shoes to people around the world. 
     
    If you're up for the challenge, sign up! It sells out long before the date.
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