Review: Grokker Online

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Have you ever wanted to work-out in peace and quite in your own home?  To try new workouts without being embarrassed for not knowing the routines completely? Or maybe that’s just me :).

Grokker and Fitapproach gave me an opportunity to try GrokkerPremium free for 3 months.  What is Grokker?  It’s a online community and resources for people like me, who are super busy but want to still lead a healthy lifestyle, or anyone who just wants to workout at home or pretty much anywhere.

I’ve been visiting Grokker while on the road for the last month or so and it’s great.  There are so many videos of all levels, time frames and sports.

Grokker allows you to customize your wellness program because we all have different interests and fitness levels.

The videos are broken up into 3 main categories, Yoga, Fitness & Cooking.

There are tons of videos under each category and lots of sub categories so there is definitely something for everyone.

I am loving this Grokker Premium workout HIIT Workout from Sarah Kusch.

From the Grokker website: Designed to improve strength & cardiovascular fitness and burn a ton of calories, this high intensity workout is appropriate for fitness enthusiasts of all skill levels. Don’t have hand weights? Don’t worry. This workout is still plenty tough without them! If you like this video, be sure to check out Sarah Kusch’s Get Tight in 28, a workout program designed to help you lose weight and build total body strength.

This workout is just over 33 minutes and what I like most is that it doesn’t have any jumping in it.  I love some of the other workouts, but I hurt my low back years ago and so jumping isn’t the best thing for me.

Wanna try Grokker for yourself?

There are 2 ways to get started and access Grokker’s workouts.

#1 Basic which includes 2 Free Grokker Premium videos per week, 4 bonus Grokker Premium videos just for joining and full access to non-premium videos. Grokker Basic is always free and no credit card is required

#2 Premium includes Unlimited Grokker Premium videos, full access to non-premium videos, you can enjoy Group Classes online, you can watch on mobile, tablet, web & TV and you can ask Grokker Experts questions. Premium is as low as $9.99 a month for a yearly plan vs $14.99 per month for a month to month plan.

What is the difference between Premium and Non-Premium videos?

Grokker Premium videos are videos that are filmed and produced in house by our talented production team with our hand selected Experts. These videos pass the highest Video Quality standards, and can be identified with a Premium badge.
Non-premium videos are videos that we curate from all over the web and make available to you on Grokker.  You can easily identify Premium videos by their Premium badge.

Want to try Grokker for yourself? I’m giving away a 3 month premium membership or you can try Grokker Premium for 99 cents for the first month ($9.99 per month there after) by using code 99CENTS.

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Mighty Nut Peanut Butter Recipe & Giveaway

Have you ever seen those memes that say something to the effect of if you don’t like peanut butter then we can’t be friends? Well I love peanut butter and I kinda feel that way.  Which is why Fitapproach and Mighty Nut gave me the opportunity to test out the new powdered peanut butter, come up with a recipe and then give away a jar, I was the one jumping up and down in my living room.

I did receive 2 containers of powdered peanut butter and a cool scoop in exchange for my review, recipe and giveaway – as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 
So what is powdered peanut butter and how is it different from the regular stuff?

At Mighty Nut (from the bottle) they’ve taken quality USA grown peanuts, roasted them and pressed them to remove most of the fat.  What remains is protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste.

There are 4 flavors of Mighty Nut, Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Flax & Chia.  None of them have more than 1.5g of fat, which is 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter.  The original and vanilla both have 6g of Protein while the chocolate and flax & chia both have 5g of Protein.  The powder can be rehydrated by adding water and can be used for shakes, as spreads or for baking.

I’m pretty picky about my peanut butter, and I’ve tried powdered peanut butter before and wasn’t super impressed.  I have to say though, that Mighty Nut is really tasty.  I’m not sure what they’ve done to make it different but it’s really good.

If you know me IRL, you would know that I know how to cook, but I don’t do it very often. I do however love to bake.  I used to make cookie cakes for holidays and for my high school graduation I made them for my own party and for a bunch of my friends as well.  But here’s the caveat or the burnt toast moment, I am not very good at baking without a recipe, I’ve made my share mistakes, like the 2 tier cake that never rose, not sure what happened there so I like to have a recipe and more specifically a photo so I know if what I’ve made is right lol.

In honor of our honeymoon in Italy and my love of sweets, I decided to make a Peanut Butter & Nutella muffin.  I found a peanut butter muffin recipe on the Real Simple website which was by Richard B. Stolley, adapted from Stella Stolley’s Recipe Box and then adapted to become my own.

 
Unfortunately, the muffins were a bit dry and I didn’t put enough peanut butter powder so they weren’t perfect.  So I went back to the drawing board and decided to just make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I got a bag of Nestle chocolate chips and added about 3/4 cup of the Mighty Night Peanut Butter powder.  The batter tasted soooo peanut buttery and yummy.  But when I baked the cookies, you couldn’t taste the peanut butter.

So third times the charm right?  I decided to keep it super simple and just made Peanut Butter & Apple Overnight Oats.  Which was awesome and super peanut buttery.

 
Here is my recipe.

1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c milk (normally I would use Silk soymilk but I was out and didn’t want to buy a big container since I was leaving in 2 days :))
1/2 small Honeycrisp apple chopped
2 scoops Mighty Nut Peanut Butter Powder

I layered everything in a mason jar and then mixed it up and put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I had a super yummy and super peanut buttery treat.  

Now, for the fun part…Time for a giveaway!  One winner (if you have already won another sweatpink ambassador’s giveaway, you aren’t eligible unfortunately) will win 1 container of Mighty Nut Peanut Butter powder in your choice of flavor and a logoed scoop.

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The Food Dare Book Review

The Food Dare. One thing you can do everyday to eat healthier.

The Food Dare. One thing you can do everyday to eat healthier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the opportunity to get an advance copy of The Food Dare by Lindsey Banks http://fitlifepursuits.com/thefooddare/ through my association with Fitfluential to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you are alike me, you want to eat healthy all the time but with all the travel and being so busy, it’s a lot easier to eat out or just grab something fast.  And when you are like me and love french fries and sweets, that’s not quite as healthy as it should be.

The Food Dare is written on the basis that if we we can make one small change a day it will help us be healthier. It is not a diet, but a way to slowly make lifestyle changes. Lindsey tells us that this is not a dare that is to be taken lightly, you have to be ready to commit and be determined to finish.  With all my travel in the last month and this coming month, I’m not ready to commit yet (I’m going to Italy and I’m going to eat what I want on my honeymoon :)), but I plan to when we get back.

The Food Dare is a 30 day program is broken down into 3 phases, Water, Color & Clean.

Phase 1 (Days 1 – 10) is Water.  As water takes up over 60% of our bodies, this phases teaches us to increase our consumption, through drinking more water and getting it from whole foods, specifically fruits and veggies.

Phase 2 (Days 11 – 20) is Color.  Color stands for fruit & vegetables and this phase teaches us ways to eat more of them.  By incorporating them into every meal and substituting fruits & veggies for unhealthier options.

Phase 3 (Days 21 – 30) is Clean.  Clean means eating more whole unprocessed foods.   This sections is devoted to teaching us about what types of grains, proteins & fats that are the best choices.

The Food Dare is meant to teach us healthy habits that we will incorporate into our daily lives.   I am really looking committing to the Dare when I get back from Italy.

As we enter into the Holiday Season and have so many temptations around us, this is a great way to get a head start on making healthy choices.  If you would like to try The Food Dare for yourself Lindsey is offering a 20% off coupon to  The Food Dare Essential and Premium Teams. Coupon code is “idareyou” and will expire on Nov. 30th. You can find more information about the teams here: http://fitlifepursuits.com/thefooddare/

RACE RECAP: The North Face Endurance Challenge: Park City, UT

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The North Face Endurance Challenge Utah as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Two weeks ago, Sean & I went to Park City, UT to run the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k.  This was going to be my second 50k although I was a bit nervous for several reasons.  #1 I didn’t train quite as much as I should have & #2 the race was held at much high altitude than I am used to.

I have lived in Florida, Arizona & now San Diego in the last 15 years.  With the exception of the times I’ve been in Lake Tahoe, I don’t make an effort to go to places at elevation.  I like sea level, lol.

But, I’m definitely up for a challenge and having hiked in Lake Tahoe multiple times this summer, I figured that it would be ok, slow during the climb but that I could finish.

Sean & I flew up Friday morning and arrived mid-afternoon.  We immediately went to the North Face store in Murray, UT to pick up our packets.  We would have gone later, but Sean wears an x-small/small in shirts and they tend to run out of those sizes early.  It wasn’t really an expo, persay, it was more of just a packet pick-up.  They also had another packet pick-up at the start/finish area at the Park City Mountain Resort – we were there later in the day :).  They had sent over a virtual goodie bag, which I briefly looked at but didn’t see much.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave

The race shirts were interesting, I don’t feel like they were very representative of the race, they had a saying on the front, Dirt the original proving ground, and I found out later they were made by Repreve and out of water bottles, which is really cool.

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Then some carb loading at Olive Garden and we headed off to check into our hotel.  We were planning on heading back to the store to see the Q&A with Dean Karnazes & the race director but I had forgotten that Sean needed to get in his streak run.  So instead of making the 30+ min trip back to the store, we headed to the course.  We weren’t going to go too far since we were racing the next day but since we had to run, we might as well run a mile or so of the course.  Now, what we ran wasn’t actually part of our course, but it was a beautiful run.

The resort was really pretty, they had these massive super slides and a coaster and some of the Alpine skiing (giant slalom) and snowboarding events were held here in the 2002 Winter Olympics.

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There were a bunch of different races ranging from 5k to 50 miles over the weekend.  The longer races, marathon, 50K, 50 mile and a marathon relay were on Saturday with the shorter distances, 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon on Sunday.  Since we were running the 50k our race didn’t start until 7am which meant we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn. Yea!

I got my Flat Jenny ready, lots more gear since I was anticipating being out there for a while and then sleep.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave, buffusa, running4thosewhocant, flat jenny

We left for the start line around 6:15am, it was a little chilly out, but the forecast was calling for an 80 degree day so we didn’t want to be too warm.  So off came the jacket and pants and shorts and short sleeves it was.

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We headed up to the starting area, they had a decent amount of port-a-potties, maybe 10-15 and I didn’t ever see a line so that was sufficient for this race.  Sean wanted to be in the first wave, so I took his photo and then he went to the start area.  I ran into my fellow Bibrave Pros and we got a photo up on the Podium – very exciting!

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave, bibravepros

Then it was time for the first wave to go so I jumped off to get some photos of Sean.  And then 2 seconds later it seemed, we were up and away we went.

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I started off pretty quickly and was following the crowd.  We were going downhill for a bit through the trees and it was so pretty.  We got to a spot where you could see the sun rising so I had to stop and take a photo.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave

I was having a hard time with my breathing so I was letting others go past and started hiking a bit as we went up the mountain.  I was breathing pretty hard but just chugging along, trying to make my way through the beautiful course, keeping an eye on the cut-offs for each aid station.

I got to the first aid station and was about 35 minutes ahead of the cut-off.  I ate a few oranges and got my water bottle refilled before taking off again.  Once on this section, there was a lot of climbing, up a fire road and then a lot of switchbacks as we headed up the mountain.  It was so pretty, I know I keep saying that, but it truly was a gorgeous course.  I took a bunch of photos, tried to run, twisted my ankle, walked and then ran the downhills, which there weren’t a lot of during the first part of the course.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave

I finally got to the 2nd aid station at mile 9.7 or so.  One of the volunteers was like welcome to 9000 ft. I ate some more oranges, some potatoes with a bit of salt, got some water and then headed out again after asking when Sean had come thru.  He was there an hour before I was.

I started off to the 3rd aid station (which would be 6 miles away and another 800 ft or so of elevation).  I was heading up and getting really tired, I sat down to catch my breath for a minute, then kept going.  I got to another spot and still hiking, I sat down again.  I was starting to feel really lightheaded and after sitting down for the 3rd time, I felt like it was time to turn back.  So back I went.  Going the wrong direction as the last 50k runners passed me and then the marathon leaders (who started 2 hours after us).  I finally got back to the aid station and was like, I’m done.

The aid station captain, I believe, an Australian guy, was super nice and got me a chair.  The medics asked me how I felt and then if I wanted some oxygen.  At first I said no and then they were like, you know, it’ll really help and people pay good money for this stuff.  I said ok and they gave me a mask and opened the O2 tank.  I didn’t feel like I noticed a lot of difference when I was breathing in the oxygen, it was cold but I did tell the Australian guy, if I am going to do this, you need to take my photo 😉 lol.  Gotta document it.  He told me that this was altitude sickness and that I wasn’t the first person to have issues or DNF.

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As I was breathing in fresh O2, they were talking to me about how I had plenty of time to get to the finish.  The sweeper was there and she said that she would wait a few minutes so I could catch up and we could go together for a while so I decided to continue.  I would hike up to the top and then I could try to run down from there.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave

We left and I heard her on the radio telling them she was with the last runner (50k) and then I never saw her again.  As I hiked up, I wasn’t going very fast, at some points it was taking me almost 30 minutes a mile or so I thought, according to my nike+ my slowest mile was 23mins give or take.

I made it up to the first peak, not the final one, sat down and chatted with this other runner who tweaked her knee at mile 8 of the marathon.  This was probably about mile 13.  And then there was a little downhill, but it was pretty rocky so I wasn’t able to do a lot of running until I got down the steepest section.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave

And then more climbing, up and up again.  I finally got to Jupiter.  When I got there, one of the volunteers was like, I was just about ready to come find you, he asked me some questions about how I was feeling as we walked together up to the very top of Jupiter.  He and another volunteer told me that it was just 2.7 miles to the next aid station and mostly downhill/flat.

I sat on the chair they had up there (a lazyboy style chair) for a few minutes and then I continued on.  The downhill section they were talking about?  It was soooo steep and sandy.  This was my slowest mile of the whole race (even slower than the climbing miles) because it was so steep.  I was afraid I would slide down the mountain so I had to go super slow as I searched for deep rocks to keep myself from falling.

Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave

I finally got down from there, I tried to run a bit down the hill, then we would climb and I would start to feel not so good.  I finally gave up and just walked/hiked the rest of the way.  I remember thinking this was the longest 2.7 miles I’ve ever done.

When I finally saw the aid station, I looked at my watch, it was 1:10ish and I knew there was no way I would be able to do another 15 miles in just over 4.5 hours walking, plus I wasn’t feeling perfect, it was hard to get in deep breathes.

Selfies, Park City, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Park City Mountain Resort, TNFEC, 50k, bibrave, buffusa, running4thosewhocant

So, for the first time ever, I DNF’d a race.  It was a hard decision, but it was ultimately the right decision.  I was kind of in tears when I told them, but I almost think that was more because I couldn’t breathe well.  The medic came and sat with me, he took my pulse, which was 130 and he said that I was cold, which I was, I don’t know what the temperature was but I was cold the entire race.  They gave me a bit of water and I asked if I could get some food.  I was starving, I ate a few potatoes, some orange slices and a few m&m’s before the husband of another runner drove me down to the finish area.

While I was on my way down, I texted Sean to let him know.  It took a few minutes until I was able to get the text to go thru, but almost immediately Sean called me and was like where are you, I’ll come get you.  He had just finished his race in 6h 15 min or so. I had gone 17.2 miles (I had to double back a bit to get back to the 2nd aid station) in about 5.5 hours.  Looking at it now, it could have been possible to finish, even at the speed I was going, but it would have been tough.

I made it down and congratulated Sean, who gave me a huge hug.  We didn’t go to the finish line festival, we just went to go get lunch, I was starving.

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We did go back the next day to cheer on the shorter distance runners.  Here we were able to get a pair of free Repreve socks (made from water bottles), which they gave out to all runners.  Side note: These are awesome socks, I’m definitely going to be getting a few more pairs.

While there, we ran into the Ultramarathonman himself, Dean Karnazes and got a photo.  We also ran into one of the main volunteers for the Tahoe 200, who got 3rd place in the marathon!

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We watched a bit of the awards ceremony, cheered for some other runners before packing up to go home.

It was super disappointing to not finish the race, more at the time then now, but this was truly one of the most beautiful courses I’ve had the privilege of running.

Now for the nitty gritty:

Race fees: While I received a free entry from Bibrave, I did pay for Sean’s entry – I believe with the 15% discount it was about $85 which wasn’t very expensive for a race this long.

Expo: Not really an expo, but they did have 2 places you could pick up your packet. Either at the North Face Store or at the Park City Mountain Resort.

T-Shirt: Cool idea to have the green shirt, but it’s not the most comfortable of fabric.

Parking: Lots and lots of parking.  The Park City Mountain Resort had a ton of parking.

Course: Definitely a challenge course, but so beautiful.  There was over 5,000 ft of climb throughout the race, I think in the first 15 miles, Nike+ showed over 3,800 ft (although I did do one section twice).  We started off at just over 6,400ft of elevation and made our way to 9,800 or so ft. in the first 13 miles.

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Course Marking: They did a great job of marking the course, there were different color ribbons for each race and it was really easy to keep track of where you were.  Whenever there was even a question, they had a sign saying wrong way.

Volunteers: Truly amazing volunteers.  I can’t say Thank You enough to all the amazing volunteers that were at the 2nd aid station.  They were so awesome to help me and keep me moving.  And to make sure they were keeping track of me, as I made my way up to Jupiter.  I was really touched and grateful.

Finish Line Festival: some of the longer distances would receive a hot meal as part of their registration fee, since I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t get mine and can’t really speak to it.  They did have a tent where you could look up your results, some booths, a beer garden, etc.

Medals: Ok, but not great.  Because there are so many events, they did the same race medal for all the races and I believe that all TNFEC races have the exact same medal.  The only difference is the ribbon, which was color coded to match the race.

Would I run this race again?  I’m not sure about this particular course, just because I know the elevation was an issue, but I would definitely do another TNFEC event.  I love trail races and while this wasn’t exactly the same atmosphere as the other trail events I’ve been to, it was a great event.

Becoming #TeamNakamura: Giants vs. Brewers

We’ve talked about the choosing the dress, the ceremony location, the vows, the food, cake tasting, the flowers and now for fun at AT&T Park with the San Francisco Giants.

The evening of our first date, Sean surprised me with amazing seats in the Club level at AT&T Park so after we picked our wedding date, I immediately went to the Giants website to see if there was a game on the night of the July 27.

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The schedule wasn’t up for a while but we finally saw that there was a game, so we thought about trying to get the same tickets so we could be in the same section that we were last year, but the club level tickets are really expensive and with paying for the wedding, we were debating.  But then, Sean’s sister and boyfriend, who have season tickets through work, surprised us with 4 tickets.  We were so grateful and excited.  They were great seats too!

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Fortunately the Giants/Brewers matchup isn’t a big one so we were able to find tickets at a reasonable price for our families to come too.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to get them in the same section, but we could get enough tickets that everyone would be able to sit together.

SF Giants, San Francisco, Giants, AT&T Park, Wedding Night, Baseball

We took a little break between the reception and the game, taking a taxi from our hotel to the game.  The taxi driver was like you guys are a little dressed up for the game 😉 but we wanted to wear our wedding gear to the game, although we did both wear our Altras to the game vs our dress shoes.

We met up with Sean’s sister and boyfriend outside the stadium to go inside.  The lines were pretty long, so we took a shortcut through a bar that had an entrance to the park.  We headed upstairs to check out the Customer Service area where they give out first timer certificates to the park and Sean’s brothers had already been there and had 2 awesome certificates made for us.

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Sean’s sister got us Giant’s ball caps, which we love!  I wasn’t able to wear mine during the game because I didn’t want to mess up my awesome updo :).

SF Giants, Baseball Hats, San Francisco, Giants

A few innings into the game, this lady looked up to us from the Giants dugout and was like did you guys get married today?  I said yes, and she was like ok and then went back into the dugout.  A little bit later she said, don’t go anywhere, you are going to be on TV.  Well we thought she meant the Jumbo Tron at the stadium, but a little while later the young girls sitting next to us, were like, you guys are on TV!  The lady was Amy G and she’s the Giant’s reporter.  It was super cool.  And a few of our friends in the Bay Area even saw it live.  It was pretty awesome because it was her 14th wedding anniversary as well!

Amy G, SF Giants, San Francisco, Giants, AT&T Park, Wedding Night, Baseball

Sean’s mom has a client who knows Amy G and he asked her about talking to us that evening.  She wasn’t roaming the stadium like she does sometimes, but she did do a quick recap of us on Giants TV. So cool!

SF Giants, San Francisco, Giants, AT&T Park, Wedding Night, Baseball

After that we started making our way around the park to see the rest of our family.  We headed to sit with his mom for a few minutes, and they got us on TV a second time!  This time we were smiling and laughing and not quite so serious :).

SF Giants, San Francisco, Giants, AT&T Park, Wedding Night, Baseball

A short inning or so with them, we headed over to see my family and Sean’s siblings.  There weren’t any open seats near them so we were only able to stay for a few minutes before they ushered us out.

SF Giants, San Francisco, Giants, AT&T Park, Wedding Night, Baseball

We got some traditional ballpark food, hotdogs and chicken fingers and headed back down to our seats.  Just in time to see some awesome baseball.  There were 2 challenges and the Brewer’s coach got kicked out of the game!  It ended up that both challenges were in the Giants favor, which was even better.  What an exciting way to finish off the game.

SF Giants, San Francisco, Giants, AT&T Park, Wedding Night, Baseball

We had an absolutely fabulous day.  And getting to cap it off with an exciting game made it that much better.