My Favorite Workout Moves | Best Ways To Wake Up Your Body! | With Beyond Quest Cereal Bars

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Quest Nutrition but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Ever wake up feeling sluggish and a tad out of if? I know I do! That's why I've created my five favorite workout moves and best ways to wake up your body in partnership with Quest Nutrition featuring their Cereal Protein Bars. 

These high protein cereal bars are an easy on-the-go snack and with only 110 calories, 2-3g net-carbs, an impressive 12g protein, 6-7g fiber, and 8g of Allulose, (Allulose is a new, naturally occurring sweetener found in raisins, figs, and dates, and it's not metabolized like regular sugar. These cereal protein bars are the perfect companion to my favorite morning workout! These bars come in three flavors, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate, and Waffle (although my Vitamin Shoppe is currently out of the waffle flavor) they are a fantastic pre and post workout snack and are awesome when you are in need of a sweet treat, but don't want all of the sugar and calories to go along with it. 

I know that I function my best when I do my workout first thing in the morning and I've designed this workout to be all levels friendly. This workout can be done anywhere, indoors and outdoors, and is also perfect for when you need a quick pick me up throughout the day. You can do these moves at any level, as the video below features the beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions of the moves. This workout mainly focuses on the lower body, but it works your entire body- core, arms, shoulders, and back muscles. 

My Five Favorite Workout Moves! Check them out below:

  • Move 1: Shoulder Rolls-1 minute each, front shoulder rolls and reverse shoulder rolls. These work your entire upper body and can be done virtually anywhere. When you are stressed out, try this move and you'll immediately feel better! Plus, you can add weights to this move for even more of a burnout! 
  • Move 2: Squats- Squats are a fantastic, lower body move that works the glutes, thighs, quads, and legs. You can do squats every day, just make sure you have proper form when you do them. Make sure to stick your but out and tuck your tailbone in. If you don't have the flexibility to go all the way down, do a modified version. Always remember proper form over length. 
  • Move 3: Lunges-Lunges are one of my favorite lower body moves and are actually better for your core than doing traditional crunches. They work the glutes, thighs, quads, and calf muscles. Do 1-minute on each side, and you can even alternate between jumping lunges, lunge pulses, and traditional lunges. 
  • Move 4: Wide Legged Squats- Wide legged squats, are a fantastic total body move that works your arms, core, glutes, and thighs. They also work the outside muscle of the glutes which are hard to get to with regular squats. Do this move for 1-minute. 
  • Move 5: Modified Push-ups. Push-ups are a tough, full-body move, and requires you to be able to hold up your entire body weight, so if you can't do that yet, I've provided the modified version where you put your knees on the ground with arms a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Push-ups work your arms, shoulders, back, and core. Do this move for 1-minute. 

Check out my video on YouTube for the full sequence below: 

I hope you guys enjoyed this workout and let me know if the comments section below if you've tried Quest Beyond Cereal Protein Bars and what you think of them! 

The Beginner's Guide To Rock Climbing

I'm harnessed in 30 feet above the ground. My palms are sweaty, I reach back into my chalk bag to chalk up my hands for the next phase of the climb. My right calf muscle is tired and starting to cramp up. I stretch my leg out and put my left hand on the blue rock a foot above me. The blue rock is going to get me to my next rock which will get me to the top of the wall. I lift my left leg up and reach for the next rock with my right arm. Sweat is dripping down my forehead and I'm huffing and puffing. I reach as high as my arms will let me and I make it to the top of the wall! I feel elated and happy and although I'm tired, I just climbed my first 5.13 wall and it feels really good. This is what dreams are made of, this is rock climbing.

My love affair with rock climbing started when I made the decision one cold, January morning that I needed to conquer my fears. I made 2016 the year of facing everything that terrified me, and although rock climbing sounded fun, it scared me and I knew it was something I needed to do. On Valentines Day of last year, my amazing husband surprised me with passes to Granite Arch, our local rock climbing gym and upon entering their space, I fell in love. I learned everything there was to know about rock climbing that day, and now it's become a strong passion of mine. I'm training each day to get good enough to participate in rock climbing competitions this summer.

Rock climbing is a unique way to train your body, and it's tons of fun! You'll conquer your fear of heights, and you'll feel like a monkey when you climb the walls. Rock climbing gives you a strong core and upper body, and the confidence you'll gain from rock climbing will carry on into other areas of your life. Not only will you feel strong, but learning how to rock climb will give you the confidence to try other new things you were fearful of trying before and you will feel stronger in your decision-making skills. This post will guide you through everything you need to know about the basics of rock climbing, what gear you'll need, and the best clothing to wear on those rocky walls. 

The most important thing when learning how to rock climb is having the proper gear and keeping an open mind. You'll need shoes, a chalk bag and chalk, a harness, a locking carabiner, and climbing ropes (optional since most rock climbing gyms have them). You can find all these items at decent prices at any major outdoor, retail store.

You'll also want to make sure you have cool, comfortable clothing. My favorite clothing brand for climbing clothes is Athleta. Their clothes are durable, breathable, and functional, and made for a female's body. The outfit I'm wearing in these photos are made by Athleta and the pants are the Sculptek Stealth Capri in the color Constellation Blue. The Sculptek line is one of my favorite lines from Athleta, with it's breathable, but durable fabric, and super flattering lines, these pants won't let you down. They move with you on the rock climbing walls and are super comfortable. These pants were made for climbing tough walls, running high hills, and lifting heavy weights! The top I'm wearing is also from Athleta and it's called the Inversion Tank made with Powervita fabric in the color Lotus Lady Neon. This top is soft and the fabric feels great on my skin especially when I sweat. This top kept me cool and dry and didn't get snagged on the rock climbing walls. I was impressed at how it stayed put throughout my entire workout and I never had to adjust my top once. Everything stayed put and in its place. The entire outfit is made in a Fair Trade Certified Factory which is really important to me because I know where my clothes are coming from. 

Gear you'll need:

  • Harness- The harness is the belt that keeps you locked into the rope and is required at all gyms. Make sure you chose a harness that fits your body. There is nothing worse than having a harness that is too small or too big. 
  •  Locking Carabiner- The locking carabiner attaches your belay device to your harness.
  • Shoes- Invest in good climbing shoes, trust me, they will be your saving grace and the right ones can keep your feet from getting blisters. Your shoes should fit snugly, but should be flexible enough to have movement in your toes. Try on a few pairs before making your final decision. 
  • Chalk and Chalk Bag- Chalk keeps your hands cool and dry and keeps your palms from getting sweaty. Throughout your climb, you'll reach back and chalk up your hands as needed.                                                                                                                                

Types of indoor rock climbing:

In rock climbing, there are three ways to go, bouldering, top rope climbing, and lead climbing. Lead climbing is for the much more advanced climber, so here will focus on bouldering and top rope climbing. Bouldering is where you free climb on walls that have routes that fall under the V-scale starting from V1 (novice) all the way to V16. You will always have a thick crash pad under you, and the only gear bouldering requires is good climbing shoes, chalk, chalk bag, and breathable climbing clothing. You will learn to boulder by climbing the beginner's climbing wall and climbing up and down as many times as you can. Some exercises that will help your bouldering skils are push-ups, pull-ups, and downward dog exercises from yoga. When you first start bouldering it's easy to get frustrated, but keep trying, and before long you'll be a master at it! The other benefit of bouldering is it will make you super confident when you are top rope climbing. 

Top rope climbing is the most common way to rock climb for the beginner climber. Top rope climbing is where you are secured in a harness, and there is rope that is secured to an anchor on the wall at the gym. You tie into the rope by making a figure-8 knot and the other end of the rope is held by your climbing partner, aka your belayer. Your belayer is the person who manages your climb and will catch you if you fall. Make sure you find a climbing partner you trust and who is a certified belayer. Any rock climbing gym you go to will teach you how to make a figure-8 knot and use of the belay device. I've included instructions to refer to below to see how it's done. 

How to make a figure 8: 

  • Grab your rope and make sure it's long enough, (arms span length is perfect). 
  • Form a large loop in the rope.
  • Elongate the rope, tucking it over and under the line, then feed it back through itself.
  • Make sure to pull it tight and that it's snug and secure. 

Once you've made your figure 8, check in with your partner and ask them if they are ready. They will usually respond with "climb ready, or ready." Once they are ready, you are ready to climb! The standard training routes in climbing gyms range from 5.0-5.15. The 5.0's are usually white colored rocks and your goal will be to stick to the white colored rocks when climbing up the wall. There are two ways to climb the wall called "tracking" and "all feet". Tracking means that you have to follow the same colored rocks with your hands and feet, while "all feet" means your hands need to stay on the same colored rocks, but your feet can go on any colored rocks. Begin with the 5.0-5.5 walls and practice those for a few weeks before you move on to the more advanced walls. Before you know it, you'll be climbing those 5.11 and 5.12 walls and teaching your friends to climb! 

Once you get confident in your wall climbing skills, there are many places in Norther California that have bouldering rocks to train on. Bring your friends, some yummy snacks, a landing pad, your chalk and chalk bag, along with your climbing shoes and you can climb to your heart's content. Bouldering is a fantastic way to build strength and helps you train for the more advanced walls at the rock climbing gym. 

I hope my beginner's guide to rock climbing helps and inspires you to try rock climbing. Once you put that chalk on your hands and finish your first successful climb, you'll be hooked!

And remember, it's not about how high you can climb, it's about the journey you experience along the way. 

A special thank you to Athleta for providing me with the clothes featured in this post. I truly love Athleta's clothing, the brand, and their message to all powerful women. 

How To Sustain An Active Lifestyle, Even When Life Get's Hectic

Your phone is ringing off the hook, the e-mail pings are coming in by the 100's, your dog needs to be fed, you need to be fed, your to-list is miles long, and you cannot remember if you did the face to face call with your boss this morning of if that was scheduled for next week.....Does this sound anything like your typical day? Going in a million different directions and not being able to remember which task has already been done. It can be very challenging to maintain a busy schedule and live an active lifestyle. But don't you worry my friends, I've got a list of tips and nutrition tricks to keep you active, happy, and healthy. 

Tip 1: Make sure you are hydrating, hydrating, hydrating. I know when it's cold it can be very hard to keep your hydration levels up, but staying hydrated is so imperative to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With the colder temperatures it can be really hard to intake a gallon of water a day, but drink up friends! I love staying hydrated with Essence Ph10 Alkaline Water! It has all of the antioxidants I need and helps me maintain normal Ph levels. Do you want to know something else really cool? It has 66mg of organic hibiscus added to it naturally. This is the first water I've found that has all of the antioxidants including hibiscus. Essence Ph10 water also detoxifies your system. I know that when I'm drinking it I have to go to the bathroom more than when I'm drinking regular water. This is a good thing! This means that my body is getting to it's normal pH levels which is imperative to never getting dehydrated. Staying hydrated will keep your body temperatures regulated, will keep those pesky hunger pangs away, (you know the ones you get when you are not actually hungry, it turns out your body is probably thirsty!) Drinking the proper amount of water will keep you from getting dehydrated. The quickest way feel to faint or sick at some point during the day is from not drinking enough water. Here are some easy ways to make sure you are drinking up and staying hydrated.

  • Start your day with a hot glass of lemon water. Boil some water in the morning, slice up a lemon, and drink your water while you are getting ready. You could make your water and lemon with Essence Ph10 water for extra benefits! By the time you are done getting ready, you will have drunk your first glass of lemon water for the day! 
  • Keep a Camelbak with you at all times. I know they are usually used for runners, but even when I'm not on the trails, I have my Camelbak filled with ice so that I always have easy access to water. They come with a built in straw, so no excuses! 
  • When you go to Starbucks or any coffeeshop on your mid-day coffee run, ask the barista for a Venti Iced Water, their water is filtered and free! 
  • Drink tea! If you are too cold to drink water, order a tea. It's not as good as having plain water, but you'll still be reaping the benefits of water with some added antioxidants. Don't fill your tea with sugar either! Just the tea and maybe some honey. Enjoy the flavor of the tea leaves. 
  • Download the water app "Water Logged" in the app store. For 99 cents, this app is a life saver! It sends you reminders and keeps track of your hydration levels.                                                           

Tip 2:  Mason Jar Salads!

  • Go on Amazon and buy the tall mason jars, for $10/9 pack they are a steal and even come with the lids. Then go to Trader Joe's and buy a bunch of produce in bulk and go home and make mason jar salads.
  • Grab kale, spinach, swiss chard, arugula, ice burg lettuce, dandelion root, all the greens! Wash them and toss them all together in a big bowl and add kidney beans, kalamata olives, avocado, pitted dates, pepitas, sliced, fresh fruit, radishes, garbanzo beans, basically anything you love in salad, combine it all together and fill up those mason jars. 
  • Then grab the small mason jars and fill them up with a combination of EVOO and balsamic vinegar with some spices, and you've got yourself, a healthy, easy, lunch on the go. The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to a week. The salad jars will last for up to 5-days in the fridge. You can also do this with fruit! Slice up your favorite fruits and combine them in a mason jar, and you've got healthy fruit salads that should last up to 3-days in the fridge.                                         

Tip 3: Apple Cider Vinegar! Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing for your body and mind! I use it for literally everything, but it's also great as an energy booster throughout the day. Make mini shots and store them in the fridge. You can oder BPA free containers on Amazon. 

What you'll need: 4-tbs of ACV, 1 tbs of raw honey, 1 tbs to fresh squeezed lemon juice, and some cayenne pepper. Mix all ingredients together and put them in the little containers. When that mid-day lull hits you at 3pm, grab an ACV shot and you will feel energized! ACV cleanses your system, is wonderful for your skin, helps aid in acid digestion, and will give you a pep in your step. You will instantly feel more alert, and it's healthier than grabbing that 3:00 o'clock cup of coffee. Try those ACV shots, you will love them, and you'll start feeling and seeing the results right away. You can also use ACV on your skin, it works as a fantastic skin toner for all skin types, especially oily skin. 

Tip 4: Get those steps in! Even if you don't have Fitbit, you can still get your steps in each day. Move whenever you can wherever you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car as far away in the parking lot as you can, get up from your desk every 15 minutes and move around or even better, build yourself a standing desk (tutorial on that coming soon.) Just keep moving, and keep your blood flowing. You can also do some stretches for five minutes and that will help keep your energy levels up too! 

Tip 5: Kale, kale, kale! I know, I know, you've heard this a million times before right? But Kale is a must have nutrient and it's a famous veggie for a reason. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse that packs a punch. Kale is packed with iron so if you are iron deficient like I am, kale will be a life saver. Your body needs iron and if you don't eat a lot of meat (I rarely eat meat) then supplement that with kale to keep your iron levels and energy levels up. Kale is also low in calories and high in fiber. The more fiber your body intakes, the better everything will move and groove if you know what I mean. Kale also has zero fat, so you can literally nosh on the stuff all day and be fine. Kale is high in Vitamin K which is a cancer fighter, and it helps your bones stay healthy! Kale is also high in Vitamin A which helps your vision and skin. Kale is super high in antioxidants which keeps your immune system up and your vitamin levels healthy. Did you know that kale is also a anti-inflammatory which is essential for keeping bloat down. Do you ever go for a run and blow up like a balloon? If you do, that means your body is not getting enough proper nutrients so eat more kale! Here are some fun and easy ways to add kale to your diet, and if made properly it's addictive, I promise you! 

  • Sautee it in some lemon juice, himalayan sea salt, and, EVOO and you will be wanting kale with every meal. 
  • Throw some kale in your morning smoothie. See my recipe for that here. 
  • Add kale to your salad. 
  • Roll some kale into some chicken breasts and cook them in the oven. 

I know it can be hard to eat right on the go, but I'm hoping my tips will help you maintain an active lifestyle and stay healthy. Remember, the more you take care of your body, the better it will take care of you. 

Comment below and tell me your favorite ways to take of yourself and let me know any tips you have for me! 

 

The Surge Review with Hedstrom Fitness

This post has been sponsored by Hedstrom Fitness via Fit Approach. All opinions and views are my own. 

Do you lift weights? Do you go hiking? Perhaps you prefer to do a daily yoga class or hiit cardio? Have you ever trained with water before? Hydro-interia™ training is the newest thing and if my predictions are correct, training with water is going to be huge! Hedstrom Fitness sent me The Surge® in partnership with Fit Approach to try out and I was instantly intrigued when it arrived on my doorstep in two boxes. Hedstrom Fitness sent me the Surge® in two different sizes, the 30" and the 42" inch. The colors I received were gray and black, but they come in 5-different colors and the pink looks adorable!

I've trained with sandbags before and I'm a swimmer so I've trained in water before, but I've never trained using water as weights. I filled up both with water and got to work! Just carrying them from the bathroom with each one filled half way, I immediately felt the burn and I liked how unstable the weight felt. 

The first move I tried was the basic squat using the 42" one and I felt as if I was lifting a good 32-pounds over my head. I could hear the water sloshing around in The Surge® and could feel the weight on my shoulders. I knew this was going to be a good workout! Both sizes are super easy to fill up. You just unscrew the white cap and fill up to the section you are comfortable with. If this is first time using Hydro-Inertia Training™ don't fill them up too high. It's tricky at first, but once you find the amount of weight that works for you, you are good to go! 

The next move I tried was oblique twists using the 30" one and I loved how it activated my core. The water moves around the time entire time you are using The Surge® so it keeps your core constantly guessing and activated. Jump squats are fun too using The Surge® because the water works your arms, shoulders, back, core and legs. Using The Surge® is an entire body workout and it's fantastic because not only do you get your cardio in, but you get your strength training in too! It's a multiple use workout system! 

I use the 30" Surge® for my abs, obliques, and core. I do a few fun moves like oblique twists, windmills, and even weighted planks! For the weight planks I put the 30" Surge® on my lower back and hold for 1-minute increments. With the water constantly moving back and forth, you must maintain steady balance to keep you from falling to the floor. 

I love doing jumping jacks using The Surge® and shoulder presses because my entire core is activated during these moves, and I can switch between the 42" size and 30" and still get in a fantastic workout! 

The other great thing about The Surge® coming in two different sizes is I can literally take them anywhere. I can take them empty to a park and fill each of them up at any water fountain. Since getting The Surge® I've added hydro-inertia™ training to most of my workouts and it's something I will continue to use regularly! 

You can even pick up your own Surge® right now through February 28th courtesy of the code from Hedstrom Fitness and Fit Approach!

Pick up yours here: Http://www.hedstromfitness.com/SweatPink and use the code: SPHF25 until 2/28 for 25% off The Surge®. This is an awesome discount and a fun way to get in great shape for Spring while building muscle mass from Hydro-Inertia Training ™. 

Have questions about The Surge® ? Feel free visit their website here: https://www.getthesurge.com/surge-42

And leave me any questions below, I'm super excited to be sharing this awesome workout equipment with you all! 

Have you tried The Surge® ? What do you think about? Is this the type of workout equipment you would add to your workouts?

And as always friends, Happy Sweating! <3 

Scaling New Heights

We've been cooped up in our house as of late and have needed a major family outdoors day. Being avid hikers I'm constantly on the hunt for fun trails and I'm always wanting to explore some place new. Luckily, I live in an area that is known as the city of trees and has fantastic outdoor hiking trails. We searched for places high and low and stumbled upon a little place called Pilot Hill, more specifically Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park. Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is full of spectacular trails, waterfalls, and green open pastures. As soon as we got there, I set up our dogs and we headed to the loop trail. There are many different options when you get to Pilot Hill. You can go one way and head up the hills or straight and head to a house that was used in a Lifetime movie set. We wanted to check out the house so we headed the movie set way. 

It was muddy with lots of loose terrain but that didn't stop us. We were determined to have a fun day filled with hiking and lots of puppy play! We started out on the Loop Trail and saw deer, geese, hawks and horses. There were not a lot of people on the trail which we actually really enjoyed. Even if there were a lot of people there is plenty of space to move around see everything which we really liked. We brought our little dog Marilyn and our Border Collie Roxy (Harley stayed home for this one) and even though the trail was quite rocky and muddy, Marilyn our little dog had no problem keeping up with us. Usually, Shane or I will carry her, but she did great on this outdoor hike. The park photographs beautifully as there is plenty of space to move around. 

We arrived at the house where the movie Love Comes Softy starring Katherine Heigl was filmed. The set now is fairly destroyed, but you can still the sign where they talk about the movie and it's definitely a must-see if you visit the Coloma area. After visiting the set where the movie was filmed, we trecked on to a much harder trail filled with jagged rocks. I loved it! I felt like such a strong babe running up and down the hill with Roxy. We then found the amazing Salmon Falls River and watched as river rafters scaled down the river. I told Shane that river rafting is a must-do for Valentines Day. He did not seem to keen on the idea, but I'll get him there. After all, I'm an adventurer at heart! 

Cronan Ranch Regional Trails Park is a fantastic park to go to for all skill levels. Hikers of all ages will find something to enjoy there and it's a great spot for trail runners too. I plan on doing some serious mileage on the dirt running trail they have that's rumored to be 15-mils long. 

What trails or parks do you guys love? What are your favorite hiking spots? Any specific ones in the Sac/Folsom areas I should check out? 

Friday Five Moves | Hedstrom Fitness

This post is sponsored by Hedstrom Fitness and made possible by my affiliation with Fit Approach. All opinions are my own.

Since starting my weight loss journey in 2011, I'm constantly searching for new workouts and new fitness gadgets to workout with. I was so excited when Fitapproach and Hedstrom asked me to try out their new fitness gadget using Hydroinertia training, called the Surge. The Surge® uses water and "fluid shifts create an unbalanced unstable condition that causes the body to constantly adapt to changing forces."  https://www.getthesurge.com/?SID=i0udg25q682t83draso84afsc1

How to use the Surge®: 

You fill up the the Surge® with water based on the amount of weight you want to use. I filled the bigger Surge® halfway with water and I really felt the burn during jump squats and deadlifts. The Surge comes in  two sizes, the compact size and the large size. The compact size is 30" and the larger size is 42". I could really feel the burn when I used both sizes. The compact one is great for taking with you on the go, traveling or to the park. It's also great to be used for ab and upper body exercises. The bigger size is great for deadlifts, lunges, and squats. 

Today's Friday Five moves included Tricep Extensions, Side Lunges, Jump Squats, Side Planks, and Russian Twists. Using the 30" Surge® filled with water during the Russian Twists gave my core a really good burn and I started to sweat! 

FRIDAY FIVE MOVES:

 

Interested in purchasing The Surge®? Well.....Hedstrom is offering a coupon code for Surge/Kamagon products for 25% off. The code is: SPHF25 and is valid from Friday, 1/20 until 2/28. It can be used by anyone in US / Canada.

Have you used the Surge®? What do you think?

Whistle Review + Giveaway

Disclaimer: I was provided a Whistle GPS Pet Tracker for review and giveaway purposes. All opinions expressed are my own, I truly love all of the campaigns I do with the Sweat Pink and Fit Approach community.

I own three dogs and have been lucky enough to have never lost any of them. *Knock on wood* but for anyone who has lost a pet, it can be a devastating and traumatic event. Not to worry though because Whistle has found the answer to your prayers. They have come out with a GPS Pet Tracker for your rambunctious pet. I own three crazy, adorable puppies, but decided to put the GPS tracker on my running partner Roxy. She's gotten into the bad habit lately of chasing after cyclists while we run on the trails, so this GPS tracker fits the bill. 

The package comes with the pet tracker (as seen on Roxy in the above photo) the rubber collar strap, the collar attachment, the charging base station, and the power adaptor and cable. The first thing I noticed is how difficult it was to put the pet tracker on the collar attachment with the rubber collar strap. It was hard to get on Roxy and the items would not click together. I'm hoping Whistle comes out with a better way to attach the GPS tracker to the collar as it was quite complicated. 

The GPS tracker also comes with a free app where you upload your information and your pet's information to it. Your pet's photo can also be added which is a nice touch. The app asks you for your pet's "safe zone" which is the area around your home or wherever they are safe if they ever get lost. I like this about the app because there are many safe places Roxy knows to go to if she ever get's lost and these are marked in the app attached to her tracker. 

The first thing you do when you get your tracker is set up your docking station, charge your tracker up, then input all of your info into the app. Once that's done, you and your pup are ready to go! 

Roxy and I hit the trails immediately after her tracker was set up (we usually run 5-miles at-least 4-days per week. What I love about the app is Roxy can run off leash and I can see where she is from the app. The other amazing thing about this app is it tracks all of Roxy's activity so I can see how much activity she's done from week to week. This is something that is really useful if you want to monitor how much your dog moves. You also get live GPS tracking with, text and e-mail alerts, food and medication reminders, and you can monitor your pet's health trends. It's a really good GPS/Fitness tracker for your pup! 

Need to buy gifts for some pet lovers in your life? This is the gift they are going to want! Use the code WHISTLEFIT for $30 off until November 23rd! 

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things

People ask me every day which products I'm currently obsessing over so I thought I would do a quick round up for you guys and tell you why these are at the top of my greats list right now. There are many wonderful products on market, but you can easily spend a week's paycheck with some of the things influencers are recommending these days. I like to keep my list short and sweet and of course, affordable. 

Without further ado, here's my number one go-to product these days that I literally cannot live without. 

Vital Proteins has been a staple in my daily regimen for months now and every since I moved over to taking Collagen Peptides every day I have noticed a difference in my overall energy levels, skin, and hair and nail growth. If you guys haven't tried Collagen Peptides or you don't understand why taking collagen every day is good for you, I'll quickly break it down for you. 

1. Collagen Peptides help your hair grow long and strong. I got my hair cut a few weeks ago (Like a solid two inches taken off) and already those two inches have grown back. It's like miracle grow but for your hair!

2. Keeps you lean mean. Collagen Peptides, when taken properly can help keep your muscle mass looking lean and your fat count down. It's not a fat loss supplement, but if you work out it will help those muscles grow. 

3. Nails anyone? If you are looking to grow out your nails, take this stuff regularly and your manicurist will be amazing. Seriously, my nails are so long now. 

4. Energy levels: This stuff keeps me going all day long. I actually feel like crap when I don't take it so I know it makes a difference in my energy levels. 

You can find all the Vital Protein products here. My suggestion would be to start taking their collagen peptides once a day and see how you feel after two weeks. You'll certainly notice a difference. 

The second thing I can't live without right now is my camelback that I use for running. I got this gem for my birthday and it's been a lifesaver ever since! The water is easy to access and it keeps me hydrated on my long runs. They're pricey but so worth it if you're a long distance runner such as myself. 

 

Struggle with anxiety like I do? Then Calm is something you'll want as a pantry staple. Take this stuff anytime you are feeling anxious and this stuff will calm you right now. Studies have even shown people being weened off their anti-anxiety meds after taking this stuff. Pretty impressive huh? You can find Calm here. I've been taking it for a couple of months now and although it's not an anxiety stopper, it does help lessen the symptoms and keeps me in an even-keel state of mind. 

The next thing on my current must-have list is something I use every single day. Apple Cider Vinegar! It has a ton of uses, see my list below for all of the various ways I use it:

1. Facial Toner: I swipe this on my skin twice a day with an organic cotton wipe and it's done wonders for my acne. 

2. Meat Marinade: I marinate chicken in Apple Cider Vinegar and some spices and it's easy and delicious and super healthy. 

3. House Cleaner: You can use ACV for everything from mold cleanup to an all natural floor cleaner. 

4. Cuts and Scrapes: Have a skin tag you can't seem to get rid of? Dab ACV on it twice a day and it will disappear in no time. 

5. Drink it straight: Drink a shot of ACV every day and your body will reap all of the benefits. It's an all natural elixir and it cleanses your system of toxins. It's the wonder drink! Can't handle it straight? Try mixing it with some water, lemon, cayanne pepper and honey. 

I will update you guys each month with the things I'm currently obsessing over. What products are you currently obsessed with? Anything you can recommend to me? Comment below. 

Fitness: The Key That Holds It All Together

280 on the left and over 155-pounds lost to date. Although I don't weight myself anymore, I keep track of my weight by how my clothes fit. 

280 on the left and over 155-pounds lost to date. Although I don't weight myself anymore, I keep track of my weight by how my clothes fit. 

I first started working out when I was young, but mainly did dance classes and swim lessons. And then I started swimming for my high school swim team and took up running to beat the stress of AP classes. I continued to workout throughout college but gained a significant amount of weight and really had to take my health into full consideration. My weight kept creeping up and up and the number on the scale got higher and higher. I wore baggy clothes, bought hideous long sweaters and was in complete denial about my weight gain.

It wasn't until my doctor flat out told me that I could have a heart attack if I didn't get my stuff together. From that point forward something clicked in me. I started doing research into why I was blowing up like a balloon My parents are both super fit, healthy people, my family is not heavy at all on either side, so why was I fat? Food. I was eating all of the wrong foods. I immediately cut out soda, fast food, candy, chips, anything you could snack on that was high sodium had to go. And just like that 25-pounds came off naturally.

I liked the direction this was going in so I started to google workout videos and discovered that there were these hidden gems on You-Tube and those gems were FREE workout videos by the ever amazing duo: Fitness Blender. Fitness Blender changed my life, in a matter of days, I was doing their level 5 workout videos and really noticed a difference in my overall appearance, but more importantly my mental health. They kept me sane and continue to do so to this day. If it wasn't for them I would never know how to do a burpee, or how jumping jacks really do tone your entire body. I would have certainly never been able to do a pull-up or climb the tough walls at the rock climbing gym. I thank god every day for me stumbling onto this husband/wife duo out of Washington who did not like the direction the fitness industry was going in so they decided to do something about it. 

I still struggle with anxiety and since my surgery, my anxiety has been ten-fold. I have an appointment to go see a psychiatrist at the end of this month, but doing my daily workouts literally is the key that holds it all together. For without fitness and health, I have no idea who I would be today. I'm a completely different person and I've turned into a better human being because of health and wellness. I turned my life around and lost 155-pounds and you can too! Baby steps is the key! Start by googling workout videos and find the free ones that you like and start there. Then start drinking more water and adding a fruit or veggie with every meal. These small steps may not seem like a lot at first, but in the long run they are life changing. Trust me, I've been there and I do not plan on being there again. I'm simply not that girl anymore. I don't run from my problems, I face them head on and losing the weight was paramount in all of that. 

If you're struggling as I did at one time, I hope this piece motivates you to get started. After all, taking the first step is the hardest part.....

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Aware With Pink Friday Five (A Few Things I'm Crushing on Right Now)

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands the support the Sweat Pink community. 

Here is the Friday Five and five things I'm crushing on lately:

1. I absolutely adore running and my AfterShoz Pink Titanium Headphones really help me that. I'm able to listen to my tunes and hear the outside world around me without going crazy. My all time 3 favorite running songs are "Walking on a Dream" by Empire of the Sun. The song literally describes running in the direction of your dreams. Another favorite is by Selena Gomez called, "Kiill em with Kindness" because the words are perfect when you are upset with someone. Sweat it out and kill em with kindness! And last but not least, "We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel. I'm all about a song that describes sheer motivation and inspirational people. I would love to win a pair of AfterShokz headphones to take along with me while doing SUP, Power Yoga, and of course, running to help me stay #AwareWithPink while I sweat it out! 

2. This month my Mom and I are doing a marathon in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month and I'm going to make sure I have my Pink AfterShokz wireless headphones to help spread awareness for #AwareWithPink while I run in honor of #BCA month. 

3. Self-care is super important and is critical in making sure YOU come first. I self-care by working out, doing yoga, and meditating. I also go on trail runs with my dog Roxy that help me to decompress and relax. I always feel amazing after a run with my Pink AfterShokz Wireless Headphones. I constantly remind my friends and family to take care of themselves and to put themselves first. If you aren't taking care of yourself then how else are you able to care for others? 

4. My favorite new gadget to help me get my sweat on are my Pink AfterShokz Wireless Headphones and the Camelbak I got for my Birthday. I'm super excited to test my Camelbak on the trail and be able to hold my water at my shoulders, rather than my waist which will make my trails run a lot easier. 

5. My hubby goes on all of the adventures with me! We rock climb together, hike together, go zip lining together, we go to the beach and do #stopdropandyoga poses together. We love exploring new national parks and find all of the trails we can conquer wen we get there. 

Help me spread #AwareWithPink in honor of #BCA and the message behind this super important cause.

Who inspires you in your life? Do you have a workout buddy who keeps you motivated? What are five things you are crushing on lately?  

How To Run With Your Dog and Keep Your Insanity Intact

I run anywhere from 20-40 miles per week, depending on what my life and run schedule is. I prefer to run outside on the trails near the water instead of running on a treadmill any day of the week. I also love to bring my dogs with me whenever I can. I have three dogs, one is an American Staffy whose 90-pound and can go about two miles before he's tired. My little dog is a terrier mix who is so tiny that carrying her on the trail in a backpack is actually easier than running with her. And last, but certainly not least my 34-pound border collie and official running partner, Roxy. This gem can go miles and miles with me before getting tired. She can keep up with the best marathoners and doesn't take no for an answer. I'm convinced she's part greyhound. I mean literally, the dog never gets tired. Ever. 

Despite the fact that Roxy never gets tired, it can still be very challenging running with her at times. I've got to make sure she has enough water, has her harness intact, has her leash just long enough to give her room, but not long enough to chase cyclists nearby. It's a lot of work running with a dog! It can also be extremely rewarding and I've got a list of tips to help make running with your pooch easier. 

First things first, always have water on hand for your dog if you are going longer than a mile. I mean it! I get so sick of seeing these "runners" who go miles and miles and miles and never bring along water for their pups. Did you know that your dog gets thirsty 30% faster than you do? Well, you do now! Even if it's cool outside, your pup still needs water to replenish all of the water they are losing when running with you. Think about it, how many times did your dog pee today? They lose water quickly and can get dehydrated easily and it's important for them to stay hydrated all throughout the run. I carry a water belt on me that has two water bottles and one of them I use specifically for Roxy. Another great option is this guy which you can find on Amazon. 

So Border Collies are known for running right? Yes, but they can get distracted easily by all of the things around them on the trail. Having a harness for your pup is key because it helps you control your dog more easily and makes your dog more comfortable while running because with a harness they have more stability. Here is a great option for a harness and it comes in really pretty colors. When Roxy and I first started running together she would run all over the place, every which way. I've learned a few tricks along the way to help maintain a steady pace for your pup and to keep you from tripping and falling on the ground. First things first, make sure your dog is wearing a collar and a steady harness, and always keep your dog in line with your left foot or right side, depending on which side you both are more comfortable with. Keep your dog close to you and make sure their paw is in line with your heels. This will help your dog know who's boss and will help maintain a steady state speed all throughout your run. The one thing Roxy tends to do on our trail runs that drive's me crazy is she like to attempt to chase cyclists. It's anoying, but if I keep her in line with my feet I maintain all of the control, not her. There is nothing worse than having a cyclist make a rude comment to you while you are in the midst of your run. 

If you like to log some serious mileage like I do, keep running! Letting your dog stop and sniff every little thing will kill your mile times and your pup will assume they have the control. Pro tip: I like to warm up with a 1-mile walk which get's my legs and muscles movin and groovin and it get's Roxy ready to go. During that 1-mile warm up she's able to go to the bathroom, smell all of the smells and get any anxiety out that she may have. I see so many runners on the trail who rarely warm up and it's really bad for your muscles and a sure fire way to get shin splints. Always do your warmup! 

The key components to having a safe run with your furry trainer is:

1. Hydration! Always have a water on hand. Having a water harness or collapsible water bowls for your dog ensures they are never left thirsty.

2. Run with your dog in line with your feet and make sure they are wearing and a collar and harness with their leash so you have better control over them. 

3. Warmup, warmup, warmup! Warming up is healthy for you and your pup. 

4. Never let them spend too much time on one thing, keep moving. The second you let them stop and smell everything they gain control of the run and you're left walking your mileage the rest of the way. 

5. Stay calm, cool, and collected. Your dog feeds off of your emotions and the more you have your emotions in check, the more your dog will feel at ease.

I hope these tips help you on your fun adventures with your pup as they have helped me tremendously. Comment below and let me know how often you run with your pup. What type of activity do you do with them? Any tips to give me and Roxy? 

 

 

My Favorite Supplements and Why These are so Effective

People give supplements a bad rep, which is silly because some of them have amazing benefits for the human body. There are some supplements that we cannot get from our daily diet and others that show up in our food but in low quantities. If you're a fitness addict like myself, then you know the tremendous benefits supplementing can have while training. Here is a rundown of some of my favorite supplements and why each one can be taken daily to achieve optimal heath. 

Okay, let's get down to the good stuff! Every day I take multiple supplements with my morning coffee. If you follow me on Snapchat you already know what's coming next. I'm obsessed and cannot say enough amazing things about Vital Proteins and their amazing supplement lineup. I take their Collagen Peptides and their Beef Liver Tablets every single day. Religiously. I find if I miss a day I feel awful, my energy levels become low and overall I'm not too enthusiastic about life. Sound dramatic, but it's true! I truly feel Collagen Peptides saved me and keep me from having 20-cups of coffee a day.

Collagen Peptides are amazing for your hair, skin, and nails and help you achieve optimal energy levels along with a leaner body mass index. The Beef Liver tabs are nature's most potent dense superfood and vitamin A is vital to keeping your immune system in check and helping you achieve healthier skin. This baby also has all the good stuff! Since I started taking the Beef Liver Tablets I've noticed higher energy levels throughout the day. I'm able to get up and go when I wake up in the morning and I rarely need that extra cup of coffee in the evening. Also, I recover fast from heavy lifting workouts and am not as sore after my 5-mile runs on the trails. 

  • 3400 IU (70% DV) Vitamin A per serving, 13.6 mcg (230% DV) B12 per serving AND
  • High in Vitamin A, B12, Folate, Riboflavin, Zinc, Copper, and Choline according to Vital Proteins.com

The next supplement I take on the regular to help me achieve a lean body mass and to help in muscle gain and strength. I've been taking L-Carnitine for over a year now and it has helped me achieve more muscle mass and aids in my weight loss. I take two a day and definitely notice a difference when I stop taking L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that helps transfer long-chain fatty acids such as triglycerides into mitochondria, where they are oxidized to produce energy. L-Carnitine has also been shown to reduce muscle fatigue and helps maintain a lean body mass, according to bodybuiling.com. When I have taken breaks from taking L-Carnitine in the past I have noticed fat comes back quickly on my body and I do not look as defined. You can find L-Carnitine on Amazon, my favorite brand is by NOW Foods. 

Another great supplement for maintaining a lean body mass is called CLA, otherwise known as Conjugated linoleic Acid. I've been taking this awesome supplement on and off for years. It helps with fat loss reduction and is made from Safflower Oil which is great for your body. According to Tonalin CLA's website CLA can "help your body selectively burn fat instead of storing it and has been shown to reduce body fat by up to 10% while increasing lean muscle mass." CLA is derived from Safflower Oil and meat and dairy. Below is an awesome brand of CLA that I purchase frequently. 

For all of my heavy lifters out there, you should be supplementing with Beta-Alanine. Beta-Alanine is non-essential beta amino acid that gives your skin a tingling feeling when you take it. But that's completely normal and goes away after a few minutes. Beta-Alanine is a clean supplement that will increase muscle endurance during high-intensity, interval and sprint training. If you're a heavy lifter such as myself, Beta-Alanine will help you get a few more reps in and will help you sprint faster when running and doing shorter cardio interval training. According to Blonxy.com Carnosine buffers lactic acid build up and slows down that lingering fatigue at the end of a hard workout. Beta-Alanine is great if you're looking to recover faster and hammer out more reps. I take it each time I do a heavy lifting strength workout or when I'm hitting the trails for extended periods of time. 

Let me know if you guys order or are currently taking any of these supplements and what you think of them. 

Happy Lifting 

~Lady G Lifts 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, this blog post is merely an advice blog post on what works for me personally. This post is not sponsored in any way and all opinions are my own. There are affiliate links located throughout my blog which keep my blog up and running. I appreciate your support! Please speak with your doctor before taking any supplements of any kind. 

Are Wireless Headphone's Good for Runners?

Disclaimer: I received Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones to review as part of being a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Learn more about Fit Approach and join this amazing community of inspiring women! 

I have been running on and off for about 16-years now. I started running my first year in a high school to help with stress management. I've used every single headphone you can imagine, from the bulky old-school headphones to ear buds to only playing music while holding my phone. The reason I stopped wearing headphones while running is because I could not hear anything going on around me. When you're at the gym hitting the treadmill, earbuds are just fine, but when you are outside on the trails or running on the streets around people, you need to be able to hear what's going on around you. 

I remember my second year of running outside, I was wearing these awful bulky headphones and I had my music turned up to the highest decibel. I was running through the busy streets of downtown Palo Alto and I could only hear my music. As I was running full speed I looked down at something on the ground and ran smack dab into a dog-walker and their furry friend. Oops. I blame this happening because of the on the headphones I was wearing because I could not hear anything going on around me. After that happened I switched to using earbuds which lasted a week at best, because they would fall out of my ears every time I hit the trails. 

Needless to say, I've had my fair share of tests with different headphones. I adore listening to music on my runs. Music keeps me motivated and I can run to the beat of the song without getting bored or slowing down. When the opportunity came up with Sweat Pink to review Aftershokz Wireless Headphones, I jumped at the chance! I needed to find something I could wear over my ears while still listening to my favorite tunes and be able to hear the outside world. 

My thoughts: Once I received my Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones in the mail, I immediately wanted to test them out on a trail run. The fact that these headphones are sweat resistant and use bone conduction technology is really attractive to me. My main concerns with these headphones are:

1. Will the blue-tooth set-up be a pain?

2. Would my music play loud enough?

3. Will I still be able to hear the cyclists and other things around me?

4. Will they hurt after wearing them for so many hour and will the battery die after an hour of running? 

First things first. The set-up was easy-peezy, lemon squeezy! All I had to do was turn the power button on, locate the Aftershokz Titanium in my Bluetooth settings and wait for the prompt. Once I heard "Welcome to Trekz Titanium" and "Pairing" I knew everything was working correctly. The next prompt I heard was "connected" and everything worked perfectly. Next, I made sure the headphones were in the proper place on my head. The headphones are not meant to be worn in your ears. The headphones are meant to rest on your cheekbones in front of your ears.  According to Aftershokz website, "the transducers rest on the cheekbones, in front of the ears. The frame should loop over the ears, with the band resting behind the head, close to the neck."  I love how these headphones feel, they are super comfortable and feel like they will stay on my head for hours, even when doing challenging yoga poses and going down high hills at a fast pace with my running doggy partner in crime. I love that I don't have to grab a cord either, I'm so used to fumbling around for a wire around my neck or having to unravel a twisted cord that it's almost second nature to me. With these headphones wires a thing of the past, what a relief! 

My second concern was whether or not my music would play loud enough. Yes, I admit that when I'm running hard and logging some serious mileage I love to hear my tunes loud and clear! Volume is not an issue at all with these headphones. My music plays from all of my apps and comes in loud and clear. Phone calls do too and these headphones work perfectly if you're like me and you like to chat with your friends on Snapchat. I was worried once I switched apps that my music wouldn't play correctly or my friends on Snap would not be able to hear me talking through the headphones. On the contrary, my music played flawlessly and I was able to chat just fine on my phone and listen to people clearly too! Aftershokz states on their websites that transducers are used to aid in how the sound is transferred to your ears, “transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.” This is a key benefit when using wireless headphones because you can use these while hitting the trails hard and while driving. Safety is a huge factor with Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones and I'm really grateful for that because being able to hear your surrounding's while doing your daily activities is essential to staying safe.  I've gone on several runs with these wireless headphones and so far I'm still able to hear the cyclist behind me yelling "on your left!" or the runner behind me catching up to me. Afershokz uses bone conduction technology so that the sound travels naturally throughout the ears and bones together simultaneously. 

Another benefit to these headphones is after wearing them for awhile, I don't even notice they are on my head. They are completely painless and do not pinch at all. When I wore my earbuds for several hours, my ears would be red and swollen after. I never have to worry about annoying headphones anymore because Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones feel great around my head.  

My last concern was will the battery life on these headphones last throughout my long trail runs and post-run yoga sessions. The answer is YES! These headphones come with a micro USB charging cable and charging them is easy. You can find all of the information for how to charge these headphones on Aftershokz website, but the set-up is simple. The micro USB charging cable will connect to any USB port or charging cube and the charge time is up to 2-hours and the battery life with last over 6-hours or the span of 10-days. The battery lasts a really long time! So far I've gone on 7-two hour runs with them and I have not had to re-charge the battery yet! I'm ecstatic with how long these lasts and I don't have to worry about charging them every single time I use them. 

I have a found a new pair of wireless headphones that I love and will be taking them on all of my trail runs and fitness adventures. I'm so relieved that I can now run with my music at full blast while still being able to hear the people and critters around me. 

What makes these Limited Edition Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless headphones even more special is that they are teaming up with an organization called Bright Pink, a non-profit dedicated to breast and ovarian cancer awareness and action. Here is the best part, you will be able to purchase these headphones September 1st and 25% of each unit sold from September 1st through October 31st will be donated to Bright Pink and Aftershokz will also donate 25¢ to Bright Pink each time the hashtag #awarewithpink is used on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in September & October.

Bonus!! If you order a pair from their website you will get a FREE small storage case!!! Just enter the code: PinkGift! How awesome is that? 

Pink Aftershokz Trekz Titanium release date: September 1st and you can purchase all Aftershokz wireless headphones here: 

Pink Aftershokz: http://awarewithpink.aftershokz.com/ can be purchased here on or after September 1st and retail for $129.00 for the Trekz Titanium Pink Wireless Headphones and if you enter the code PinkGift you will get the storage case for FREE which retails at $11.95. 

For more information on the amazing non-profit Bright Pink, check our their website here: Bright Pink: https://www.brightpink.org/