#JoyDelivered with Door to Door Organics [Giveaway!]

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I have a love/hate relationship with going grocery shopping. I love finding new products, and looking through aisles of gorgeous, fresh food. But, I hate spending time and money doing it. I’m not the type of person that can just do one big trip once a week – I function much better by making several small trips throughout the week. And, because of my job, I sometimes find myself at a grocery store multiple days in a row (or going to several different stores in one day to find what I need). There are a bunch of great conventional and organic grocery stores and markets around where I live, and several are within biking/walking distance. Needless to say, I haven’t been walking or biking to the store lately (being on crutches and all….).

Since my car accident this summer, pretty much everything in my daily routine has changed. I’ve been on crutches for the last five weeks, which makes it pretty challenging to do anything, and nearly impossible to walk and hold something at the same time. (When I get better, I will never take that ability for granted again!). As you can imagine, grocery shopping has been a challenge. I used one of those mobile carts the first time I went to the store post-broken pelvis, but it was hard to reach anything and get around aisles and displays. Greg has done most of the shopping- but he does not have a love/hate relationship with it (it’s just hate). Also, I’m kind of a control freak, and just prefer to do the shopping myself. Since it’s been such a challenge to go to the store by myself, I’m grateful for the interwebs for providing me with online grocery shopping that I can do right from my desk. My favorite online grocer is Door to Door Organics. Door to Door Organics provides fresh, organic produce and groceries to be delivered right to your door!

I first heard about this service from my friend Tiffany, who raved about the weekly vegetable boxes that showed up at her doorstep. I signed up for the service too and enjoyed fresh produce delivered right to my house each week. I loved the service, but ended up putting it on hold due to having to travel a lot last fall. I recently started the service back up again, and the timing was perfect! A few weeks ago I got my first delivery (since re-starting the subscription):

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This is what was inside of the boxes:

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Paige’s Birthday Bootcamp GIVEAWAY

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Hello! Today’s post is going to be short and sweet- but I’d like to start out by saying Happy Birthday to one of the nicest, best, most wonderful friends I know- Paige!

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Should I also mention that she’s an extremely talented personal trainer with YEARS of experience?

Paige is actually one of the most talented trainers I know- so talented in fact that I’d even enlist her to train me (and that’s a pretty strong statement coming from a personal trainer!). She’s been offering online training programs for a while now- and let me tell you- you definitely get your money’s worth when you sign up! Paige puts so much thought and effort into executing programs – and is now branching out to offer an online boot camp for an extremely affordable price.

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Here’s what it includes:

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Partner Yoga w/Fairlife Milk [& Magic Bullet Giveaway!]

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I’m going to make a statement here that may seem a little controversial in this day and age- but it’s 100% true: I love milk. And really, I love all dairy. Whether it’s Greek yogurt, cheese or just a plain ol’ glass of milk- I love it all. I also love almond milk. And soy milk. And sunflower milk (you get the idea…) You can tell me that dairy will kill me or cause some crazy disease- but I’ve been consuming it for over 33 years now- and my health seems to be a-okay. To be clear, I am picky about where the dairy comes from and that there aren’t scary hormones added in- which leads me to today’s topic…

This past weekend, I attended a super fun and unique event sponsored by Fairlife Milk. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but was just told to dress in comfortable clothes that I could do a yoga workout in. For some reason, I also didn’t think to ask around to many of my local Colorado blogger friends to see who else was planning on going. I did know that Heidi was also attending- because we planned to carpool together.

When I arrived at The River Yoga studio, I was so happy to see a bunch of familiar faces- including Becky, Marissa, Kait, Heidi, Marisa, Tiffany  Laura and Kia (both not pictured)!

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I was so happy that these wonderful ladies (and many new friends too!) were there- especially Marisa, who I’ve been planning to meet up with for almost a year now! And see those pretty yoga mats at our feet? That was a free gift to us for attending!

As soon as everyone arrived (around 20 bloggers), the Fairlife team talked to us for a bit about what makes their milk so unique and wonderful.

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My New Gig [+ a Giveaway!]

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One of the wonderful things about having a blog is the ability to look back at the events that were going on since I started writing back in September of 2011. There are so many great memories that I’ve blogged about, and it’s fun to read back over old posts, view pictures and read what was going on in my head at that time. Over the course of the two and a half years that I’ve been maintaining this little blog, I’ve also been through quite a number of career changes. The funny thing is- before starting the blog, I held the same job for almost seven years.

From just about the time that I started teaching high school, I knew it wasn’t for me. I came home every day stressed and feeling unfulfilled and knew that it wasn’t something that I could do forever. The fact that I stuck it out for nearly eight years still amazes me, but I really didn’t think I had any other choice. I became a certified Spinning instructor about five years into my teaching career and that was the beginning of the end for me. I taught classes early in the morning and then would head to work (I had to be at work at 7:00 am- so that should give you an idea of how early my classes were!). I also taught on weekends, basically taking any opportunity I could to get paid for doing something that I loved. I later went on to get my Bodypump certification, and that made my attitude towards my day job even worse. I found such fulfillment in teaching group exercise- the kind that I longed to find in my day job (but never did).

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I eventually made the decision to quit my teaching job- something I definitely could not have done without the support of my husband. I know that I am very, very lucky and that changing careers would not have been possible if I was on my own. I hate to say that- but it’s true. I spent the next few months figuring out what exactly it was that I wanted to do. I got my personal training certification, but knew that I didn’t want to be a trainer at a gym for the long haul. I continued to teach group exercise and trained clients at the gym, all while searching for what exactly it was that allowed me to express my creativity and passion. Teaching Spinning and Bodypump were great- but that only covers a few hours each week. I needed to figure out which direction I wanted my career to go in.

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Fuel the Way to a Healthier You [Featuring AllWhites® egg whites]

If I was asked to sit down and write out a list of priorities in my life, items such as family, career and relationships would be at the top of the list. Also at the top of that list and every bit as important would be my health. The way I look at it is, if I’m unhealthy, I’m not going to be able to do anything for myself or anyone else. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting the proper amount of exercise are very important to me and are what I credit to staying to in good shape and rarely getting sick. Most people assume that it takes a lot of extra effort to make time to go to the gym and cook healthy meals- but I haven’t necessarily found that to be true. The truth is, you can easily fit anything into your day as long as you make it a priority. Some of my tips for staying healthy include:

  • Getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Eating balanced meals and snacks that include protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates
  • Exercising 5 -6 days a week, for at least 30 minutes each session
  • Finding activities that you enjoy (such as hiking or dancing) that enable you to move more
  • Not cutting out entire food groups from your diet and indulging a bit every now and then
  • Eating real food including fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that keeping weight off is a much more difficult task. I’ve noticed that the pounds tend to fall off a little easier when I’m actively following the tips listed above and really paying attention to my nutrition. One thing in particular that I have started paying much more attention to is the amount of protein that I’m getting each day. Most “convenient” foods are carbohydrate rich, but often lack a substantial amount of protein. One item that I always have in my refrigerator is AllWhites® egg whites. One (3 tablespoon) serving contains the equivalent of one whole egg’s whites, without any of the fat or cholesterol. And, it has only 25 calories and 5 grams of protein per serving! That’s pretty much the purest form of protein that you can get! I use AllWhites in so many different recipes on a daily basis. I often bulk up an omelet by using one whole egg and three egg whites, which gives me the extra protein I need without adding a ton of calories or fat. I also use egg whites in a lot of my cooking and baking- especially when making protein muffins. Egg whites add protein and bulk to recipes and perhaps that’s why I’m such a fan! I want to point out that I do believe that it’s also important to add a little bit of fat (from a healthy source, like olive oil) in baking and cooking to achieve a desired texture. Here’s a recipe that I recently came up with using AllWhites and a few simple ingredients.

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These roasted red pepper corn cakes were whipped up in less than 30 minutes! The ingredient list includes AllWhites, oat flour, cornmeal and roasted red peppers.

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The Scale that DOESN’T Show Your Weight [Giveaway!]

Hello, friends! I hope that your week is off to a fantastic start- can you believe that it’s the final week of February? That means that spring is just around the corner (yay!)! As I said last week, while I certainly have enjoyed winter this year more than any other that I can remember- but that still doesn’t mean that I love it. Each day above 60˚ that we’ve had recently just makes me long for summer and warm, sunny weather every day. :)

Enough small talk- I’m really excited to share this post with you today because it features a really cool product that I’ve become a big fan of. You’re probably well aware that I’ve struggled with my weight for… pretty much my entire life. I’ve lost weight, gained weight, lost, gained, back and forth, up and down. I’ve gone through phases where I can easily lose two or three pounds in one week, to others where it takes me months to lose the same amount. There’s also been times in my life when I’ve (sadly) let the scale dictate how I feel about myself on a given day- which is just nuts.

While I’m not really about getting to a certain number, I definitely don’t feel so great about the number that I’ve been reading on the scale for a while now. To be completely honest- I’ve most definitely put on a few pounds since moving to Colorado last spring. It’s a combination of going out to eat way too much, mindless eating and just not making weight loss a priority. I’m hoping that things will change, and I’m going to be able to get into that mindset to put my weight loss efforts a much higher priority in my life.

I’m not a big fan of getting on the scale – and never have been. There’s just something about that three-digit number that draws up feelings (mostly negative) so I often just avoid it all together. But, let’s be honest- it’s a good way of tracking progress. Sure- other ways like using a tape measure or how your clothes fit are a great way to tell if you’ve lost weight. I definitely use those too (and the way my clothes fit is probably what I care about the most) but I do think that a scale has it’s merits. Recently, the nice people at Quantum Scale sent me one of their revolutionary scales to try out – and this is one that I definitely don’t mind using to track my progress!

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Here’s a (very short) video from the Discovery Channel talking about how the scale works:

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Cooking With Greek Yogurt [Book Review & Giveaway!]

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There are a few people that you will cross paths with throughout your life that just really get you. I’m lucky enough to have met several women that fall into that category, thanks to the wonderful world of healthy living blogs. Through blogging events, conferences and informal meet-ups, I’ve come away with some pretty fantastic life-long friends. One of those friends is a smart, creative, quirky, talented, gorgeous girl named Cassie. Though Cassie and I only met (in the flesh) for the first time this past September, we’ve been digital friends for a couple of years. I’ve been a big fan of her blog Back to Her Roots ever since I discovered blogs!

Cassie and I bonded over so many different things and immediately hit it off (along with Gretchen!) when we spent the weekend together in Minneapolis for the Healthy Living Summit, where we presented together on a panel.

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One thing that I’ve always admired about Cassie’s blog is its elegant, simple and slightly funky layout and design. She designs every little detail herself, and from a fellow graphic designer, that’s something that I can truly appreciate. Cassie even designed the mountain/sun logo on my blog’s header! I was really excited for my friend when I heard that she was creating a cookbook, and even more thrilled when I got my own copy in the mail earlier this month!

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Before I even get to the recipes, I have to say that just thumbing through this book is a graphic designer’s dream! The fonts, photography (!!) and every little detail are just laid together perfectly and create an amazing visual experience for the reader. There are large color photographs for every recipe and the text is simple and easy to read. The book is filled with lots of color everywhere and it just made me smile as I read through each page.

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Kombucha Brooklyn Giveaway

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Last fall, Kombucha Brooklyn sent me a kit so that I could make my own tasty brew at home. I was a crazy kombucha brewin’ fool after that, making all different flavors including blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. When we packed up our house to move last spring, my beloved kombucha jar was packed up and the scobys were tossed from my fridge, and I haven’t brewed a batch since. Kombucha Brooklyn was nice enough to reach out to me this winter and offered to send me a 1/2 gallon kit:

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As if getting this kit wasn’t awesome enough, they also included a copy of their new book, Kombucha! The book was written by the founders of Kombucha Brooklyn, Eric and Jessica Childs. It includes a forward by Brenden Brazier, who is a renowned vegan athlete. I loved reading through Kombucha and all about the history of the brew, what exactly a scoby is, and the many health benefits that kombucha has. For instance, did you know that kombucha can help relieve acne, headaches, PMS and anxiety (just to name a few!)? Reading this book will teach you the “art” of brewing the perfect batch of kombucha including the best tools to use and when to bottle your batch.

Besides that, the book includes tons of unique and tasty recipes to eat and drink and health and beauty “recipes” for your skin! The food recipes include things like mustard, soups and delicious sides- even kombucha apple pie! There’s also a variety of tasty cocktail recipes. Kombucha also works as a great ingredient for cosmetic “recipes” like a clay face mask (which I’ve made before and love!), a detox bath and even a body mist.

I made my first batch of kombucha in my next kit early last week, and it will probably be ready to drink in a few days. Here’s what the kit includes:

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A Whole Bunch of Winners

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Hey all! Wow, is anyone else incredibly exhausted?! I haven’t really done all that much- but Christmas just sucks the energy right out of me! The holiday itself was lovely. We got together for a dinner and gift exchange with some friends on Christmas Eve and left early enough to drive around and look at Christmas lights and hit the sack pretty early. Christmas Day consisted of FaceTime with family, Greg, the dogs and me opening presents (yay!), a late morning hike in Boulder and a movie date (The Hobbit – finally!). We were blessed with gorgeous weather, which made for a great hike!

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I definitely missed my family on Christmas and wish I could’ve been with them, but I’m lucky to have these three boys in my life!

I’ll be back to normal with posting next week with some more talk about the holidays, some yummy recipes and a stellar book review. But for today- I have some important business to attend to! I had six different giveaways going on last week and the winners are announced below. As always, I wish I could’ve picked several more winners for each prize (and actually did choose an additional winner for KIND) but had to settle with only choosing a few. As for the Quest Giveaway on Instagram- I tagged the winner with a comment on there. If you see your comment listed below, please email me to claim your prize (contact info is at the end of this post)!

The winners are…

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Holiday Treats

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Things are going to be a little quiet on the blog this week (and I’m sure that many of you will be stepping away from your computers as well). I’ll be getting together with a few friends this evening for a fun gift exchange, hitting the sack early and waking up Christmas morning to Facetime with my family on the east coast. It certainly will be strange being away from them, but I’m happy to be enjoying my first Christmas in sunny Colorado too. :)

As you probably know (because it’s all I’ve talked about for the last week), I’ve got a lot of giveaways going on right now! I’ll be choosing the winners on Thursday night and posting them on Friday- so be sure to check back then!

Here’s a review of all of the good stuff you can win:

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QuestBar All Natural Sampler Pack (one winner here and one from Instagram!)

 

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