Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top 10 Gifts For the Runner in Your Life - 2014

Here is my annual top ten list of gifts for runners. For even more ideas don't forget to take a look at my Fit Favorites Shop. Lots of great gift ideas for that runner in your life!

1. Running ornaments:
My friend and I designed these ceramic ornaments that we are selling on our Etsy website so of course I think they are great but any runner would love a running specific ornament! Great for stocking stuffers and we are also donating 10% of all ornament sales to a local Crisis Nursery.



2. Stay hydrated:
It's so important for athletes to stay hydrated during the day even when not working out. Do it in style with one of these beautiful hand painted textile collection water bottles from S'well.


3. Runner's Read:
Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally: A must read for runners, this book will help your runner empower themselves against injuries and improve performance.

4. Running Top: 
Runners can always use another wicking long sleeve top for winter. Make your gift a bit more unique with a fun print!

                        Ania Top                                        Nike Pro Hyperwarm Embossed Crew

                                                      

5. Gloves: 
Running specific gloves will keep your runner warm but not overheated with special breathable fabric like the pretty Under Armour Cold Gear Infared Gloves shown below.  The Torch LED Gloves have a cool added feature with an integrated LED light for added safety.

6. Great Bag:
Runners never splurge on bags for themselves but they always come in handy!
Nike C72 Legend 2.0 Bag


7. Pain Relief:
Doctor Hoy's Pain Relief Gel  comes highly recommended as an all-natural pain reliever that can soothe your runners joints, muscles or feet.

8. Take Care of Yourself: 
The 3Q MG-F18 Foot Massager features shiatsu massage, kneading massage, air pressure and heating all in one ultimate foot massage unitWith great reviews, your runner will kiss you for this one!

9. Pretty Pants: 
Tights are a must in winter and while most female runners have a basic black pair its always fun to get a pretty color or printed pair. (Even more styles in the Fit Favorites Shop tab above)

            
                                        Illusion3 Leggings               Animal Print Leggings              

10. Arm Warmers: 
One of my favorite running accessories although I love the fact that I can use them on the bike as well!

                             
                    Nike 360 Dri-Fit Arm Sleeve               Smartwool PhD Knit Arm Warmer


Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Best Workout Capris

I've worn a lot of different brands of workout capris over the years and probably own more than my fair share but I just love the seasonal versatility of them. Out of all the pairs I currently have, I find myself reaching for my Zella 'Live In' Reversible Capris first. With winter coming up I'll be grabbing a pair of the 'Live In' Reversible leggings as well.

They are not only comfortable but they wear well and look great. You can't go wrong with them and I'll tell you a little secret...order one size smaller than you would normally. Not because they run big (as your regular size will fit great too) but the smaller size just hugs and smoothes everything out. Trust me, they are like the Spanx of capris and you will love them even more if you have a post-baby body like me that will never be the same. However, whatever you decide regarding size, you will LOVE them!



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Goodbye sweet friend.

I've been dreading writing this post but I know Clare would want me to be strong and continue on with my blog. Unfortunately my beautiful friend lost her long battle with cancer on August 1st. I will miss her so incredibly much but am also thankful she is no longer in pain. Thank you to everyone who contributed to her fund as her parents are forever grateful that her last months of life were as comfortable as they could have been.

Clare & I 

Her family asked me to update her blog and you can read the touching post here. I miss and love you my sweet friend. xoxo

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fit Friday: Group Workouts to Gain Fitness

We all know working out with a group helps with accountability but I think the biggest benefit is a harder workout. More often than not when I ride/run/swim with others I go farther and/or faster than I otherwise would on my own. That means a group workout = more calories burned & fitness gained. I'll take that!

Below is a great cycling workout to do with a group of about 3-5 riders. The time will fly by as you catch up with your friends but you'll also get in a tough workout too!

Happy riding!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cancer sucks!

It's been awhile since my last post and I promise to get back to blogging more regularly soon. I decided to take a bit of a break due to life getting busier for a few months but also because of lost motivation due to a friend being sick. Blogging about apparel and fitness just didn't seem all that important when one of my good friends whom just had a baby was fighting for her life. Yes, cancer SUCKS! I can't help but write this with tears streaming down my face.

It's hard to feel helpless in her battle so I am doing whatever I can to help the family in any way that I can. I set up a fundraiser on YouCaring.com to help with the overwhelming costs that a chronic illness brings with it. Please contribute if you can as any amount, even $5 will help ease the burden that this young family is going through.
You can donate HERE 

Baby Sidney is truly Mom's Super Hero



Clare's father wrote a very touching letter as to what the family is going through right now...

The cancer that my beautiful daughter Clare has been fighting for the past eleven years is now winning the war.

Five different rounds of chemo drugs, months of radiation, and 6 major surgeries have taken their toll on her once beautifully healthy body. She can take no more, and the cancer knows it. In its insidious way, it has now cut off all motor control to her legs, so she is either in bed or a wheelchair, and is pretty much unable to move on her own. She is now on a 24/7 morphine pump, and Yolo County Hospice has been superb for medical and spiritual care. If the World consisted only of Hospice people, we could rename Earth 'Heaven'. Well, almost. 

It's the inability to move herself that has necessitated our getting some in-home care. Marie, David, and I just could not handle it all on our own, in addition to taking care of Sid and keeping our own selves healthy, and enabling David to keep working.

Right now, Clare's comfort and quality of life are priority number one. So without knowing how we'll ever afford it, we went ahead and hired the wonderful Fijian In-Home Care people to come in from 10:00pm to 10:00am each night. The Fijians are another beautiful group of people that we now have the pleasure of knowing and working with. 

I'm sorry, but it's come to the point of requesting financial help for the in-home care so that we can make sure that Clare is as pain-free and comfortable as possible. That is our one-and-only priority in life at this point. 

Anything that you contribute (help with) will go to the In-Home Care group so that we make sure that the rest of Clare's life is as peaceful as possible here at home.

The words "thank you" seem inadequate, but I don't know what other words to use. Thank you.

-Steve Long 

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Year's Resolution Motivation

New Year's Resolution Motivation


1. Namaste Seamless Bra - soft, comfortable and a fan favorite
2. Space Dyed Workout Capris - pretty print at a bargain price
3. Magic Carpet Yoga Mat - love these gorgeous work of art yoga mats made by my friends daughter
4. Nike Gym Vintage Capri Pants - lightweight, comfy, relaxed fit pants
5. Chi Top - made with a special un-stinkable lightweight fabric
6. Roper Flower Print Zip Vest - keep your core warm with this cute printed vest
7. FitBook Fitness Journal - Track your nutrition, fitness and weight loss goals. Research shows that people who write down their goals are more likely to stick to them!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Slow Cooker Savior: Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

I mentioned in my post "Changing How I Eat" that I would share some of the healthy recipes that I've been using.  The first one I wanted to share in 2014 is a delicious quinoa, chicken and kale soup.

I knew this week was going to be a tough one for us cooking-wise so I wanted to find something that was easy to cook and would also last a few days for lunches. I found this recipe from Cooking Classy and since we had most of the ingredients I thought I'd give it a try. It turned out great, was very healthy and best of all so easy to make. I hadn't cooked with my crock pot in a while but thank goodness for a slow cooker! The only thing I left out was the lemon juice simply because we didn't have a lemon on hand.

Here is the recipe again - I highly recommend it. Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top 10 Gifts For the Triathlete in Your Life - 2013

1) Transition Bag: It will carry all of your triathlete's gear and then some. This is a lifesaver when packing for a triathlon and comes complete with helmet pocket and waterproof compartment. The blueseventy Transition Bag is the top of the line and probably the most popular bag out there but if you want something a bit more affordable, the TYR SPORT Transition Backpack does a great job too.



2) Injury Prevention: Anyone who runs will likely experience an injury at some point. The book, Anatomy for Runners is a must have reference for any runner as a guide for injury prevention, rehab and improving your running bio-mechanics. Recommended by many elite runners, this one is definitely on my list this year!




3) Massage: The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller (available here or here) is way better than your typical foam roller, it features a three dimensional surface to help break up those sore knots. It also comes in a travel-friendly size (available here or here) that you can fit into your transition bag or suitcase. Every triathlete should have one of these to help combat injuries.



4) Smart Training: First Time Triathlon or Triathlon Trainer iPhone Apps- Whether they are training for their first sprint triathlon or are training for an Olympic Distance, these iPhone apps can help. The number one ranked training Apps in the iTunes App store, they have helped countless athletes reach their goals. Disclaimer: These were designed by me so of course I think they are great! (Learn how to gift an App to someone here.)




5) Tri-Bling: Congratulate your triathlete on an amazing accomplishment with a dog tag style triathlon necklace hand stamped with the 3 distances of each discipline.




6) Biking Shorts: You can never have enough biking shorts- especially a comfortable pair. Being a triathlete myself, I can tell you that we spend a lot of time training and log many hours on the bike so its important to have well padded shorts. Pearl Izumi makes great shorts and the Elite In-R-Cool Short for men and the Symphony Short for women come highly recommended.



7) Chain Cleaner: Keep that motor moving smoothly with the Finish Line Bicycle Chain Cleaner. Not your typical gift but your triathlete will wonder why they never had one before! This easy to use tool will save them time, greasy hands and money.


8) Pretty Prints: Why not gift your triathlete with an elegant gold foil endurance print that they can frame and put up in their house to help motivate them. Available in my new Etsy store!




9) Functional Fitness: Functional strength training is an important part of any successful triathletes training and the TRX Suspension Trainer is the most popular tool to help them build strength, power and flexibility. Best of all its so easy to use and portable so whether you are a newbie or an experienced triathlete it can help you bring your training to the next level.



10) Race Ready: These are the latest and greatest race day helpers - skip the long lines to have someone write your race number on your body with these professional looking numbers. The TriTats Pro Tattoo are easily applied the night before with the box containing 200 numbers for countless events that are both USAT and ITU compliant.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fit Friday: Changing How I Eat.

While most of us stuffed ourselves on Thanksgiving (myself included!) this post is not meant to make you feel guilty but perhaps help you to start thinking about a few things you can change in your diet before another holiday onslaught of food is upon us.

A few months ago I went through a period of time where I just wasn't feeling good. It started with a bad cold that just wouldn't go away but I also felt lethargic and unmotivated day after day. My energy levels were just sapped and while I could use the excuse of having small kids I knew it was more than that. Something needed to change but I wasn't sure what.

After chatting with a friend about it she convinced me to change my diet for just a few weeks to see if it would help. She had a similar experience and found that changing what she ate made a big difference. So, for two weeks I ate gluten free, sugar free and dairy free. I have to admit I was skeptical but within those two weeks my cold was finally gone and my energy levels returned.

Since then I have adjusted my diet to include dairy again - mainly yogurt, cottage cheese and occasionally cheese but I now drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of non-fat milk. I also must confess that I am not completely gluten free as I don't consider myself to be allergic but have severely cut the amount I eat. I feel more balanced as I don't feel deprived so I can have the occasional piece of pie or bagel with friends. I just don't eat it on a daily basis and so far my energy levels have remained high. (I still buy wheat bread, etc. for my kids and husband but many meals are replaced with gluten free versions which they enjoy and overall are healthier.)

One of my favorite easy lunches, salad mixed with quinoa and topped with tofu.

What foods have you added/increased? I'm eating a lot more fruits, veggies, and nuts so instead of grabbing my typical snack of crackers, I'll grab an apple with some almond butter or some veggies and hummus. In addition, I also eat more quinoa, rice, legumes, buckwheat and healthy fats such as avocado.


Quinoa salad with green beans and tomatoes.

What foods have you limited? Sugar, white flour, wheat and easy to grab snacks that were around for my kids. Less processed foods overall which I feel so much better about as I was finding that I was just grabbing easy to eat foods for convenience rather than for the nutrition.

I'm not going to say it was super easy to change how I eat as it did take time to figure out different recipes to cook but it is definitely worth it. I'm starting to have a pretty good set of dishes to cook and often just make extra to have for lunch or dinner the next day. I'll try to share some of the recipes on my blog in the near future as many of them my kids love as well.

I'm not posting this to say everyone should eat less gluten but more so to encourage you to take a look at your daily diet and see what changes you could make that might help you to feel better or just eat healthier.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victoria's Secret VS Sport Review


I have to admit I was skeptical at first when Victoria's Secret first came out with a fitness line. I like to sweat and am not worried about being sexy while I'm working out. However, after trying a few items, I have to say the quality, fit and price are right.


I bought the cutest pair of VS Knockout Capris (above) with a sheer polka dot window on the legs and I get compliments every time I wear them. I've run many times in them and even did a fast-paced 10-miler with no chaffing or having to pull them up as I ran. While the above style is not available anymore, the same capri is and they always have cute prints and great colors (like the ones below) with more on their website.

          

I also tried on a couple of the sport bras and they were both very well made and supportive. The first one was the VS Runway Sport Bra and I absolutely love it. It is supportive, fun and has a bit of padding which is always a plus for us smaller-busted ladies! The padding does, however, make it a warmer bra so I would probably only wear it for indoor activities during the summer but it's perfect for the fall and winter months. 
VS Runway Sport Bra
The next bra I tried was the VS Sport Knockout Bra but it just wasn't for me. It is better suited for a larger-busted woman as it has underwire and is super supportive. Below are two bras by VS Sport that work well for larger busted women...

Knockout Sport Bra
Standout Sport Bra

And how cute is this brand new bra, the VS Angel Sport Bra? I may just have to try this one too!