Product Review

Product Review: Magnaphones Wireless Yoga and Running Headphones

magnaphones reviewI didn’t think I needed wireless earbuds until the folks at Magnaphones were kind enough to send me their new sweat proof, weatherproof wireless Bluetooth earphones to try out to see what I thought about them.

And… I’m never going back to corded earbuds again. I seriously love them.

Although I only listen to music occasionally when I run, I definitely listen to it when I race. And I don’t know how many minutes I’ve lost during a race frigging around with an earbud that popped out because a) I’m sweating a lot, or b) I accidentally snag the cord with my swinging arm and rip it out of my ear. Never. Again. (more…)

Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016 – Week 2 Recap

bikini RecapWell, week two of of Tone It Up Bikini Series didn’t go as smoothly as week one, but that’s the beauty of causally following a plan with flexible guidelines — you get to make it work for you!

Workouts
I hit all my workouts as planned and then some, which I was happy about. I also did the 5 Daily Moves and 15-20 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill or a 20-minute dog walk every day. All workouts are from Tone It Up Beach Babe 4.

Monday – HIIT Me Up (a 20-minute HIIT workout with dumbbells), Toned Arms (12-minute dumbbell and band arm workout)
Tuesday – Kettle Flow (a 20-minute flow yoga routine that incorporates a kettle bell)
Wednesday – Rock Your Body (a 20-minutes Pilates and Barre workout) and a 30-minute run
Thursday – Upper Body Total Toner (a 23-minute upper body workout with dumbbells and bands), Cardio Abs (standing ab moves with cardio bursts)
Friday – Booty Workout (a 20-minute mini bands and dumbbell glute workout), K+K Slay (a 11-minute cardio/HIIT workout)
Saturday – Cardio Flow (a 12-minute flow yoga routine), Toned Arms
Sunday – 8K run (which was AWESOME, by the way… no pain and ran at my normal pre-marathon pace) Toned Abs (a 20-minute yoga core workout)

I seriously look forward to these workouts every morning. They’re challenging, but also fun. (more…)

Fitness Friday: “Toning” workouts and a running injury returns

fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

As I explained a few posts ago, I finished my 8-week muscle and strength building program (which did help put on some baby muscles!) and started the Tone It Up Bikini Series this week.

I was skeptical about the Bikini Series workouts, because they looked like fluffy women’s fitness magazine workouts with lots of body weight exercises and strength training (or “toning” moves, as they call them) with tiny pink dumbbells. Now, that’s not going to do a whole lot to build muscle or make you stronger. But it’s a good place to start of you’re a beginner and not ready to get into true strength training. While online videos and DVDs are fine for body weight and light dumbbell exercises, I think proper strength training requires the assistance of a personal trainer or coach to ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly, so a) you don’t injury yourself, and b) you actually benefit from the moves. That said, there’s certainly a place for lighter, Pilates-type exercises. They do a good job of working your core and your ancillary muscles (triceps and biceps, etc.), and are particularly great if you’re rehabing an injury and can’t do heavy lifting or more intense exercise.

Anyway, here’s what my week of workouts looked like: (more…)

Try This Thursday: Review of EnduroPacks Sugar-Free Electrolyte Replacement Spray

EnduroPacks Sugar-Free Electrolyte Replacement Spray ReviewHappy almost Friday, friends! You’ve just about made it through the first week back to work (if you took a Christmas vacation) and the first week of 2016. How did it go? Still on track with your resolutions (if you made them)? In an attempt to take marathon training more seriously and to #eattofuel I foolishly said I’d cut back on my chocolate consumption, which kind of got out of hand at the end of the year. Yeah… that lasted about a day.

Today I’m linking up with Jess from Hello to Fit and Ivanna from Petite Heartbeat for Try This Thursday to share my thoughts on EnduroPacks Sugar-Free Electrolyte Replacement Spray, which I received in early December to try and share my opinion on. Of course, I agreed to write a review before I became a Team Nuun ambassador (my hydration solution of choice for endurance training and life in general!) in late December, but I’m sharing my review anyway in case you’re looking for another option to stay hydrated during endurance training. (more…)

The RAD Roller – My review of RAD Roller’s 3 unique self-massage tools

Foam rolling is one of those things I know is beneficial (especially during marathon training) and often recommend to my strength and conditioning clients, but struggle to do myself. Yes it can hurt sometimes, but so can running intervals. And so can injuring yourself because you failed to work out those knots and kinks that caused your running form to break down over time.

rad roller review

That’s why when professional triathlete Dan McIntosh reached out to me to review his RAD Roller system, I jumped at the chance. I have one of those big foam rollers with the dense foam wrapped around PVC pipe, but hardly use it because a) it doesn’t really get into the spots I need it to get into, b) it’s not very portable, and c) I’m too lazy to prop myself up on it after a long run. After a full week of workouts, I want the foam rolling part to be easy, not challenging. And since you often need to use your upper body and core strength to foam roll properly, sometimes I avoid it just because I’m too tired to do it. (more…)

Product Review: NEW Vega Sport Performance Protein

The kind folks over at Vega sent me a few samples packs of their new Sport Performance Protein to try last week, which of course I was super stoked about because I already use most of their product line and love it all. Since I don’t eat four-legged animals and consume minimal poultry and fish, I use Vega to meet my daily protein, essential amino acid and iron requirements and to help my body recover properly from marathon training and strength training.

new vega sport performance protein

In fact — and according to my doctor — if I wasn’t using Vega I’d probably be anemic right now, since I already eat a ton of iron-rich plant foods such as spinach, goji berries, dark chocolate, whole grains, nuts and legumes every day (especially the dark chocolate part). He told me this after I had my blood tested last week — apparently I’m just staying afloat iron-wise with a ferritin level of 18 (since my hemoglobin is good I’m not anemic), but I have nothing left in the tank. He told me I should keep doing what I’m doing but could benefit from a 60mg dose more per day, so I opted to get a ferrous sulfate supplement to stock up my iron reserves. Otherwise I’d be drinking Vega smoothies (or eating animals, which I won’t do) for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

But anyway — on to the review! (more…)

Warm gifts for cold people

Winter is coming. And I’m feeling just as miserable as Jon Snow is about it.

sad-jon-snow

I’m one of those people who is always cold. And not just cold feeling, but actually cold in body temperature. Even in the summer I need to wear layers and can’t hold an icy drink for too long. I may as well be Elsa from Frozen by the way people recoil when I touch their arm or when I “accidentally” place my feet near their bare skin in bed (sorry Matt).

I always joke that I may have been a reptile in a past life due to my desire/need for warmth, but all kidding aside I do actually have a condition where my body can’t regulate cold very well; even the slightest drop in temperature leaves me reaching for a sweater. Β  (more…)

Recipe: Easy vegan pumpkin pie protein pudding

easy vegan pumpkin pie protein puddingSick of everything pumpkin yet? No? Me neither!

I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin spiced lattes, but love love love pumpkin pie. Although I indulged in a few pieces over Thanksgiving (and will again at Christmas), obviously pumpkin pie in all its variants isn’t a regular snack item on my weekly meal plan (because who’s got time to bake pumpkin pie/I can’t have dairy/store bought is yuck)… until now!

Here’s a super simple recipe for vegan pumpkin pie protein pudding. You only need three ingredients, and you don’t even need a blender to whip it up. I’ve been making this for my post-lunch treat lately and it’s so darn yummy. If you wanted to get really fancy, you could pan fry some oats, pecans and currants with a bit of coconut oil for a crunchy topping, or could even sprinkle your favourite granola cereal on top for more of that pumpkin pie taste.

 

 

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{Try This Thursday} NuZest Vegan Protein Powder

NuZest's Clean Lean Protein PowderToday I’m linking up with Jess from Hello to Fit and Ivanna from Petite Heartbeat for Try This Thursday to share my thoughts on NuZest USA’s Clean Lean Protein Powder!

NuZest sent me a few sample flavours of their Clean Lean Protein powder to try last week, but since I decided I was going to run a marathon at the last minute, my focus was on eating as much carby goodness as I could in the few days leading up to the race — I didn’t get around to trying them until now since they’re actually quite low in carbs.

Like Everlast and Vega, NuZest also uses pea protein powder as it’s main ingredient. I prefer pea proteinΒ  because I find it’s easy to digest, plus it generally tastes better and has a better texture than soy or rice protein. Though I don’t necessarily recommend protein powder supplements, I find it’s the easiest way for me to get in an ample amount of non-animal protein to help meet my muscle-building goals. Plus, they’re yummy and convenient. (more…)

{Try This Thursday} New Vega One Nutritional Shake Flavours Review: Mocha and Coconut Almond

Today I’m linking up with Jess from Hello to Fit and Ivanna from Petite Heartbeat for Try This Thursday to share my thoughts on Vega’s new Vega One Nutritional Shake flavours: Mocha and Coconut Almond!

Two weeks ago a rep for Vega reached out to me after I expressed interest in trying their new mocha nutritional shake flavour — I honestly hadn’t seen it available anywhere locally at that point (apparently it is available almost everywhere in Canada now but only at Whole Foods in the states), so I thought, awesome, I’d love to try a sample. I provided my shipping address and this amazing box of goodies showed up at my doorstep…

vega protein mix

Can you say spoiled??? Thanks Trevor!

Even though I’m a whole-foods, plant-based advocate, I love smoothies and find adding protein powder is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to get in an adequate amount of protein for my muscle-building goals. I’ve loved and have used Vega to fuel my endurance sport endeavors since forever — before it was even called Vega, I think. I met Brendan Brazier six years ago through my employer at the time (an Ironman triathlete who happened to be friends with him) when he gave a talk to a few of us in the marketing department on sports nutrition. I had just got into triathlon training at the time, so I was stoked to try his new endurance bars and natural sport drink mixes. A year later, I was sent their brand new sport endurance line of products to test out and review (right around the time I started this blog, I think), but had to decline due to a job I had in the triathlon events industry at the time. It’s been awesome to see how much this Vancouver-based company has grown since then, adding momentum to the plant-based movement.

But anyway. On to the review! (more…)

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