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April 28, 2013
Hello & happy end-of-the-weekend to you guys reading out there. It’s a beautiful, warm, chinook-y day in Calgary and we are all happy because the forecast seems to be pretty decent this weekend and moving into the week:
Okay. So maybe not incredible, but we’ll take it! Snow Tuesday? Sure. After some warmer temps and sunshine, it’s all good. I thought I’d catch you guys up to speed on a few things I’ve been sent to review on the blog – some paid for by me that I wanted to share and some free of charge for my honest opinion. First up? LockLaces.
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I was contacted by LOCKLACES to review this product for them and was so happy to say yes, espcially after seeing this tidbit of information in the most recent Runner’s World magazine:
As someone who is constantly slipping her shoes off her feet post-run or training (because I often train in the same shoes I run in, for better or for worse), I was extra-interested to give these contraptions a shot. So, what are LOCK LACES? From their website:
LOCK LACES™ is the only patented performance lacing system engineered to meet the demands of endurance athletes such as runners, triathletes, marathoners, and walkers. Also ideal for those who have difficulty tying their own shoes, LOCK LACES™ are popular with kids, seniors and individuals with special needs. LOCK LACES™ is a national sponsor of both the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Fit Feet Program and The Challenged Athletes National Triathlon.
Pretty cool! I had asked for hot pink and was also sent yellow and black. They provide black, brown, white, cool gray, hot pink, cotton candy pink, navy blue, purple, orange creamsicle, red, royal blue, yellow, and sour green apple and retail for an SRP of $7.99 per pair.
So for Saturday’s 18 miler, knowing that on long runs I often re-tie my shoes (probably 1-3 times on average), I laced up with LOCK LACES and gave it a shot.
The verdict? I loved them! I didn’t once even think about my shoe laces, the fit well and they weren’t too tight or restrictive. Plus, I came home and slipped my shoes off easily and this time didn’t worry about wrecking my shoes.
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Next up? Vitamins! Raise your hand if you take vitamins on a daily basis (*looks around expectantly*)… I never have, until now! I know there are some vitamins that we generally need more of (like Vitamin D. Did you know that in Edmonton, just 3 hours north of Calgary, you do not receive Vitamin D from the sun at all from November to March? Crazy! Apparently all Canadians should be taking Vitamin D. Take me back to California! ).So when KOGE Vitamins connected with me to try out a few products, I couldn’t help but say yes. I chose from their simple website (breaks down the different Vitamin options in an easy to understand way) and decided to go with the Daily Essentials line.
Their vitamins are Health Canada and FDA-approved and after a few emails back and forth, I was very happy with their customer service (thanks, Andrew!). One of the neat things about this company is the way they operate and their cause. Check out the difference here as shown in graphics from their site:
They also partner with a non-profit organization called Vitamin Angel, who focuses on “advancing the availability, access, and use of essential micronutrients, particularly vitamin A, for newborns, infants and children in need by mobilizing and deploying private sector resources” (source). Check out the company for more info on their website!
I asked Andrew if he thought I’d notice much difference taking them and wavered between the Daily Essentials and the Energy Pack. Here are his thoughts:
“In terms of product selection, the Energy Pack definitely has the most immediate and tangible effects (since it’s a daily boost). Otherwise, the Daily Essentials and the Antioxidant Collection are both fairly similar. The effects of the Daily Essential aren’t going to be as strong as the Energy Pack, but I personally started feeling slightly more energetic and ‘healthier’ after taking it for a few weeks.”
At this point in time, that’s how I’m feeling too – just healthier. The pack includes two multi-vitamins and one omega-3 pill which help promote:
Andrew gave me a promo code for all my readers to use if you’d like to give this great company a shot. Check them out here and enter “BONNIE” as the code at checkout for 20% off!
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Lastly, I wanted to share with you guys a great headband company created by Katie, a registered dietician turned stay-at-home mom who rocks the BAMRbands: Bad A$$ Mother Runner! I’d seen these bands ALL over Facebook and Twitter and on blogs and finally decided to buy a few. Katie threw a surprise one in for free and I was THRILLED with how quickly they shipped to Canada and with the quality of the bands. On top of that, one dollar from every band purchased goes to Every Mother Counts.
I chose the yellow mini polka dots, the green apple chevron band and the surprise was this fun blue leopard striped band:
So far I’ve logged many miles in them, taught class in them and worn them out (so cute!) and they’ve stayed put! Pretty great. I highly recommend them – just coming from an athlete who purchased them with her own money and is very happy with the product! Thanks Katie.
I’ll be back early this week with a recap of my Banff Marathon training thus far and a fun celebration with Mikey this past weekend. But until then…
Do your laces ever come undone? Would you try out LOCK LACES?
Are you a vitamin taker? Ever heard of Koge?
Have you seen BAMRbands taking the internet by storm? They really live up to the hype and are affordable too!
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! Live well & be well friends,
Full disclosure: LOCK LACES and Koge Vitamin products were sent to me free of charge for my honest opinion and I purchased the BAMRbands and really wanted to share this great no-slip product with you.
April 10, 2013
[Check out the end of the post to see a JUST-RELEASED video of the newest "Valleys" webisode!]
1. Farm fresh eggs from a client! Free run & absolutely delicious (plus one that’s blue!).
2. A drive to a friend’s house…beauty in the foothills of the Rockies.
3. Watching “The Hobbit” on a home theatre system, realizing that friends are gold and my hair is dwarf-like: priceless.
4. Scouting out my Banff Marathon training plan over the weekend with some oats and blueberries…the reality of this race is slowly sinking in!
5. I finally received some gear back from Patagonia that I’d shipped in to have repaired! My down sweater was replaced (yay!) and fleece was repaired…back to adventuring in good gear.
6. A new love seat and furniture arrangement thanks to my in-laws! Oddly enough, the rather outdated blue and pink floral of the love seat kind of goes with our quirky home… Grateful for gifts and family nearby!
7. My favorite ring. #feather #normallyasilvergirl
8. Homemade granola…I winged this one, like I do most of my recipes. Healthy & I’m being great at controlling portions – a win-win!
9. Yoga (P90X-style) on the weekend…felt good to mainly rest and stretch it out, especially while the weather was freezing rain, mist and snow. Wait – aren’t I supposed to be running right now?!
11. Rolling it out after my first “official” run of my marathon training plan: 4 miles at tempo pace!
12. The Simply Bar. Because their stats are awesome, they are Canadian-made and they were on sale.
Want to see more? Check me out on Instagram – I love this app now that I have an iPhone and think it’s a neat way to “see” someone’s life through their eyes.
Also of great importance is the release of today’s newest webisode of “Valleys” which you can watch and check out here on the Huffington Post and watch here:
Please watch & share with others in your life who’ve been through, supported someone w/cancer or experienced what Amy calls a kind of “cruel joke” in life. We share wisdom through stories; hopefully this will help bring light to others!
If you could post a picture to share a highlight from your last few days, what would it be?
Have you seen any of the “Valleys” webisodes yet? No? What are you waiting for?
I’m off to train 3 more clients in a row before hitting the road for today’s run: 7 miles in between clients! Live well & be well friends!
March 7, 2013
You guys know I’ve been enjoying some fresh-made juices recently thanks to SPUD Calgary – it’s been wonderful to partner with them, enjoy trying some different varieties of organic produce and be left with my new favorite juicer to enjoy.
For a quick overview, here’s how SPUD works:
Pretty neat idea, huh? I wanted to finish off this month’s trial with a full review of my thoughts on the product, the juicer and the services offered through SPUD’s website. Ready to hear some thoughts? I’ll let the video speak for it(my)self!
Here’s the bullet point breakdown:
- Love the different juicing boxes you can choose from! We tried the Dynamic Beauty Box (my favorite), the all vegetable box (seemed to lack more “interesting” vegetables” and was more basic), the Divine Defense Box (citrus! tasty) and the Seasonal Box (basic but good!).
- The price seems reasonable! For organic produce, you’re getting a good deal with the $32 – $52 boxes each week. Sure, you can save if you don’t buy organic, and I personally wouldn’t buy everything in the boxes organic so I might save in general, but it was nice to know everything we were juicing (and sometimes incorporating into meals) was organic!
- Love the connivence – that’s really #1 about this service to me, especially in winter! Takes the guess work and the trip to the store right out of the equation.
- Not mentioned in the video specifically but implied: my husband Mikey loves it.
As for the juicer, it’s the best I’ve tried (and I’ve tried…maybe 3 in all honesty!). But honestly, I love the “slow juicer” idea because it’s not a quick and dirty juicer but rather one that really squeezes every.ounce.of.juice out of the fruits and vegetables and produces a very dry pulp on one side and a very clean juice on the other. I love it! From the Hurom website’s “about” section:
The World’s first patented juicer utilizing the LSTS (Low Speed Technology System) method: LSTS method extracts the most nutrients, vitamins, flavor, and even enzymes from food such as, fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, wheatgrass, nuts and even soybeans.
More than that, it takes very little time to clean up, which is a huge plus for me when I’m running out the door in the mornings! If you’re interested in checking one out, you can do so through the SPUD website here or directly on the slow juicer website here.
I’ve enjoyed juicing a few times a morning and would likely juice daily in the mornings if I didn’t value a bit more sleep on my early days – right now it’s about 2-3 juices a week plus one or two on the weekends and the same for Mikey. It’s been fun, we feel energized from it and we plan to keep exploring and dreaming up new recipes for fun and healthy drinks!
Make it a healthy day with or without organic vegetables or juice – treat your body right and enjoy the benefits! Live well & be well,
I was sent the Hurom Slow Juicer as compensation for my blog posts but all thoughts on the services and my review are honest and completely my own.
March 4, 2013
…because my weekend wasn’t incredibly exciting and sometimes pictures tell a better story that words…
Friday afternoon slow 8 mile run after 6 back-to-back clients – the perfect way to start off the weekend! Check out that sun. And the sunglasses. And the tank top. Wait a second- is this March in Calgary?
Believe it or not, it sure is! Saturday morning kicked off with a great workout: hill sprints!
They are never fun to start, but once you do, it’s a killer workout because you’re only focusing for short amounts of time before you’re already up the hill and recovering on the way down. 8 sprints up, on my toes, arms moving, heart pumping and I was done! Loved running these in my Vibram Five Fingers on my feet (light, quick and fast!) and my Zensah Seamless Power Jacket was perfect in the mild weather (crazy that was all I needed that morning!) – grateful for good gear! Do you have any favorite gear for working out/running?
I trained a client who worked out well with a heavy sandbag and then met my team from work for a lululemon shopping trip. Once a year we get some money for work clothes since we’re required to wear lulu on top and black pants on bottom and then get the tops screened with the club’s logo. Not a bad deal! I got the yellow shirt above, a white long sleeve and used some of my own money for a little jacket. Fun!
And then, this happened:
Yes, winter still IS here. We were hit with probably close to a foot of snow over the weekend after an incredibly pleasant run of spring-like weather. I knew it was too good to be true – winter isn’t quite over yet.
Sure went well with my workout planning and morning coffee drinking, though! We spent all of Sunday at home in robes and slippers while the blizzard raged outside; it was fun to be inside and be cozy as we watched the wind whip the snow around in circles and heard it through our old window panes. Very thankful for a home and husband to be with this weekend!
For the first time, I skipped my parkour class Sunday night because I’d really been wanting to go to our church’s new Sunday night service, The Exchange. We go to a big (BIG!) church and this is a new service that just began and is led primarily by young adults. The snow had stopped falling and the roads were better, if not clear, by the time we left. After a short Sunday afternoon workout TOGETHER (love that Mikey wanted to do a workout!), we cleared off the car and headed to The Exchange.
The service was small and intimate as we met in the huge sanctuary; the worship included a banjo and trombone and the hymns we sang cut right to my heart; the message was clear and an incredible reminder that night of what we’re lifting up as idols in place of God. Mikey and I were so encouraged by the evening and by meeting God there; what a great way to end our weekend and start our week.
A phone call home to talk to my parents on FaceTime (wahoo for all having iPhones now!) and a good sleep later and we’re already into Monday! But now I’d like to hear from you:
If a picture could sum up your weekend, what would it look like? I’d love to hear some highlights from the past few days of your life! [Speaking of pictures, I'm obviously now on Instagram - feel free to follow me there for more life adventures/inspiration for fitness and find me on FB and twitter too!]
Cheers to a full week ahead – let it be full of knowing you have purpose, a hope and that you are loved by a forgiving, gracious, redeeming and passionate God! Live well & be well friends,
Hey guys! Just popping by the blog to say “hi!” before the week gets underway. How was your weekend? We had a great one that was mixed with busyness and low key moments – just perfect if you ask me. We were out in Banff, Alberta (anyone been here before? A touristy but still neat little mountain town about 2 hours from Calgary) for a conference and a film festival…but I’ll let the intro to this quick workout video tell you the rest of the story:
My original plan was to go for a long run in the morning while Mikey was at his conference but it was really dark in the morning, I didn’t know where to run in the area for 10+ miles and the hotel said I could use their gym.
I couldn’t say no to a locker, a shower and no one else in the gym, so I decided to stay in the gym. I started out running on the treadmill and just knew it wasn’t a day to run. So I finished a mile as a warm up and then did the above workout, finishing it off with 50 more burpees to get me to a total of 100 burpees for the morning (I’m taking a note from Courtney, whose blog and personal workouts and honesty – and abs! – inspire me!) and some extra core work. Done and done. Much better than forcing myself ot run long when my body didn’t want to – still burned calories, had fun and pushed myself!
(In other news, I finally bought a watch this weekend since mine busted during the move and I use one every day at work…I tweeted to ask what people think and got some positive responses but I’m still testing it out. Too crazy or kind of neat? I wanted something different than the typical black sports watch but couldn’t find ANYthing – spent 2 weeks of free time during errands looking! Too big or is it okay?)
The rest of the day was spent coffee-shopping-it-up so Mikey could work on school assignments and me on prepping workouts for clients for the week. While we were at the Banff Centre checking out the booths for the Banff Mountain Film Festival, we actually ran into one of said clients, who has been nursing a bad knee and had it go out on her while walking around. We both knew we might run into each other and we did so while she was waiting for the paramedics to arrive to take her to the hospital. It was so hard to see her like that! Sharon, get better soon! I’ll miss you this week!
In between study/prep moments I Skyped with my best friend, Anna. Funny how a Canadian girl ended up in Texas and a California girl ended up in Calgary! It was great to connect, coffee shop to coffee shop (she was doing lesson prep in Starbucks). It was fun to see one another face to face – sure helps when you’re so far from those you love! Crazy how it helps you feel and stay connected too, even if it’s been a while since you’ve physically been in the same geographic place!
We said goodbye to Anna and headed to see some great films – I LOVE being inspired to move outside the gym! One was about back country snowboarding (we’re talking BACKcountry – in real wilderness, huge, stunning mountain ranges around the world) and the other about a group of 4 guys who kayaked the world’s biggest rapids in the Congo – the Inga Rapids. It made the Grand Canyon rapids (which were still huge hits of water) seem like nothing! So inspired to use what we do in the gym to help us get outside and experience life more…isn’t that what it’s all about? Oh man – love the inspiration!
Sunday, after watching the sermon from church online (didn’t get the chance to go in today – daylight savings plus Mikey’s school studying schedule!), I got to work around the house to clean it up and prep for dinner – we were having our small group over! Love connecting with these guys. So I got out in the sunshine for a walk to the local market, bought some overly priced groceries but enjoyed their convenience and made haste in the kitchen!
On the menu: Jessica‘s recent Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas with a big salad, wine from friends, some of Julie‘s pumpkin spice puppy chow and homemade caramel apples (I got this idea from one of Jessica’s posts too)! I bumped around recipes to make the caramel and struggled after a few attempts but finally got something manageable to work with. Have you ever made caramel sauce before? Hard! Especially without a thermometer.
After some time, I finally got it, and here’s the fun, finished product (with a Bonnie twist – of course I don’t have any popsicle sticks or tooth picks so I used our bamboo cutlery – what? You don’t have bamboo forks, knives and chop sticks as a staple in your kitchen? Hmm):
The end result?
It was fun to tackle something a little different for me, but the best part of the night was hanging around with friends, even if I did break a vase and got some baby spit up on me – all in a day’s night. Mikey and I later got on Skype with my parents and it was great to connect with them too – a people-filled evening we both enjoyed.
So tell me…
Do you workout to get outside more? Or do you simply love working out (I do and know others do too!)? Do you do it to maintain or for a specific purpose?
Ever tried to make caramel before?
Want to come hang out in Banff with me and get some workouts in so we can go summit mountains together?
Cheers to a great week – let’s start it off well, friends! Have a healthy, happy day and remember to make a conscious choice to live well & be well today,
(Workout at home in our extra room – don’t you love the black and white tiles + brick walls?! A little messy but you can plank ANYwhere! Remember that and make it happen this week!)