Style Never Stops [Reebok Skyscape Shoe Review]

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The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

A few weeks ago, I didn’t really see myself as the kind of gal that would walk around sporting bright pink shoes all over town. I have to admit- ever since I received these Reebok Skyscape shoes via Fitfluential – I’ve had a hard time taking them off!

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:)

A few weeks ago, the nice folks at Reebok sent me this adorable little package all wrapped up with a bow:

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I have to admit- when I first opened up the box, my initial reaction was something like “whoa… those are pink!” I really wasn’t exactly sure how I’d feel about these shoes- they’re quite different from what I usually wear. But- seconds after slipping my Reebok Skyscape shoes on for the first time, I knew that they were a keeper.

I must say – these shoes 100% match the description:

“So lightweight and comfortable, you’ll forget you have them on.”

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Healthy Homemade Fish Sticks [Featuring The Better Chip]

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Fish sticks are not exactly a food that I would associate with the word healthy- and they’re also not something that I generally have on hand. In fact, before this past week, I don’t think I had eaten a single fish stick of any kind since I was a kid. Growing up, I remember large, frozen bags of fish sticks (and other various fried convenience foods) stuck in the freezer for nights when dinner needed to be made quickly and easily. Those days are long gone- but I still like to keep a few “convenience” foods in my freezer for easy access. I’ve come to realize that those types of foods can be made just as easily at home (with a lot fewer ingredients and calories!) and stored in the freezer for future use. I don’t know about you, but I feel much better after eating a healthy, home-cooked meal over something that came out of a box (with a mile-long list of ingredients!). And right now, I’m enjoying these delicious (healthy) fish sticks that I just heated up from the freezer!

healthy fish sticks

Let me rewind a little bit…

Recently, the folks at The Better Chip sent me a box of goodies, including bags of their five different flavors of chips. The various flavors include Fresh Corn, Jalapeño, Spinach & Kale, Beets and Chipotle.

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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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Four New [Foodie] Finds

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It’s Thursday, March 6th- a day that I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while now- because I’m headed to sunny Anaheim, California for Expo West! If you’re going to be at the Expo, please come by the FlapJacked booth (Hall E, booth 5352) and say hello! And while you’re there, try some delicious pancakes. :)

Expo West is pretty much any natural foods & products consumer’s dream. Pretty much every single brand of anything that I eat, drink, use on my skin or in my hair or in my home will be there. I’ll have a little bit of free time to walk around and check out the other vendors. The problem is- where to even start?

In the spirit of delicious, natural foods companies, I wanted to share a few of my favorite new finds with you all today. I’m constantly on the lookout for “new” products that catch my eye and have a tendency to impulse buy (and rack up my grocery bill to some ridiculous amount). I think that if I actually 100% stuck to a list while grocery shopping, hell would freeze over. ;)

Here are a few new (to me) products that I am loving lately:

1. Yasso Dark Chocolate Raspberry Greek Yogurt Bars

Yasso was kind enough to send me a coupon to try out some of their new flavors, and I chose to start with dark chocolate raspberry. I’ve had Yasso’s bars in the past (and enjoyed them!), but this flavor was totally different than any I’ve tried before. The bars are coated with a thin layer of decadent dark chocolate, which is complemented perfectly with raspberry frozen Greek yogurt underneath. Each bar contains 5 grams of protein at only 110 calories.

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Yasso recently came out with several new flavors, which all look incredible!

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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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[I Dream of] Halo Top Creamy Ice Cream

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I’ll be the first to admit that I definitely have a sweet tooth. If I had to choose my favorite dessert the answer would always be ice cream, hands down (and is only made better if it’s top of a piece of fruit crisp or pie). When it comes to ice cream, I don’t like to mess around. I don’t eat it that often, so when I do I want full-fat, full-sugar, creamy, calorie-laden ice cream. I’ve tried many light varieties over the years and haven’t found anything to comes remotely close to the real thing. That is… until now.

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I ran over to Sprouts one day a few months ago to grab a few things after the gym when something in the freezer section caught my eye: Halo Top Creamery Light Ice Cream. The label on the front caught my eye: 7 grams of protein, 70 calories, 4 grams net carbs. There were four different flavors to choose from: Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, Chocolate and Lemon Cake. I was definitely skeptical, but my curiosity won over and I bought a pint of the Lemon Cake flavor. I’ve tried a few high protein, low calorie light “ice creams in the past and have been less than impressed… but that was definitely not the case with Halo Top. It tastes incredible!

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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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Armour39 Performance Monitor

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The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Under Armour.

I recently had the opportunity to review Under Armour’s new Armour39 performance monitor via my ambassadorship with Fitfluential. I’ve used heart rate monitors during workouts for years and find them to be an effective tool when tracking various exercise statistics. Armour39 is much more than a heart rate monitor because it tracks everything you want to know: workout duration, heart rate, calories burned, real-time intensity, and WILLpower™.

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I’ve had other heart rate monitors track workout duration, heart rate and calories burned, but real-time intensity and WILLpower are totally new concepts to me! Real-time intensity is a percentage indicating how hard your body is working at that very second. You will also be given a WILLpower score during your workout, which is a number (on a scale of 0.0 – 10.0) associated with how hard your body is working during a training session. The overall score is an average from the entire length of your workout, which takes a number of factors into account: the length of your work out, body position, user profile, and key heart rate information like your maximum heart rate, ventilatory threshold, recovery rate, activity level, and dynamic changes in your heart rate. This allows you to objectively measure a hard day versus a light day (so you can compare how hard your work during your workouts).

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Paying Attention to Protein [with Designer Whey!]

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Designer Whey.

Right now, in that weirdly wonderful week between Christmas and New Year’s I’m feeling a bit…unhealthy. I don’t necessarily regret the extra calories I’ve consumed in the form of sugar, alcohol, butter and more sugar over the last week, but my body certainly feels and performs very differently when I’m not feeding it with respect. Up until the beginning of this past week, I had actually done a pretty good job of eating a balanced diet and eating foods that provide proper nourishment (and not just empty calories!). I gave myself permission to just “eat a bunch of crap” for a few meals and not feel bad about it. I definitely enjoyed every cookie and cocktail that passed over my lips- but am definitely ready to get back to eating an adequate balance of carbs, healthy fats and protein. Getting the proper amount of protein in my diet is definitely something that I’m going to focus on in the new year!

One of the things that has really helped me eat better lately is paying attention to how my macronutrients are broken down. I only just started paying attention to macros this past month, but am definitely going have that play a big role in the way I eat in 2014 (I’ll write much more on this in a post next week!). I really didn’t realize how carb-dominant my diet was! (And just so you know – I’m a big fan of carbs and know how important they are for functioning properly and provided energy- but you have to have balance!).

I started looking at a specific balance of macronutrients when planning out my meals and noticed one little problem: getting enough protein. Often I would fall short of my protein requirements for a meal and struggle to think of what I could easily add in to hit my goal. And then I found a very simple solution:

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5 Tips For A Healthier Holiday Season [with Nutrex Hawaii]

supplements

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Nutrex Hawaii.

Keeping a healthy diet during the holidays can definitely be a struggle. So many of us tend to “throw all of the rules out of the window” during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve only to wake up on New Year’s Day feeling fat, tired and bad about ourselves in general. Besides keeping a less than optimal diet, we often run ourselves down with all of the craziness of the season. We sleep less, stay out later and place working out as a very low item on the priority list.

Between all of the extra calorie consumption, lack of exercise and lack of taking care of ourselves in general, it’s not wonder that so many people get sick during this time of year (and no one wants to be sick over the holidays!). Admittedly, I’m definitely guilty of giving in to some of the holiday temptations (and I think that’s a-ok!). But, I also do my part to try to stay as healthy as possible during this crazy, wonderful season. Here’s a few tips on how I make it to January 1st without feeling sick, tired and 10 lbs. heavier:

1. Choose your indulgences wisely.

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I will never, ever promote eating 100% “clean” 100% of the time. When you deprive yourself of everything that you really want, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. I’m sure you know that having a frosted sugar cookie or a high-calorie cocktail isn’t going to cause you to gain 5 lbs. overnight. But, if you eat that cookie and have that cocktail every single night it’s going to add up.

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