Summer Running with XX2i Hawaii1 + Discount Code

Disclaimer: I received a pair of XX2i Hawaii1 to review 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!

The sun is shining, warmer temps, longer days… summer is here! I am SO happy because summer is my favorite part of the year. I love to run in the sunshine, so you may be surprised to know that I never had a pair of ‘athletic’ sunglasses. I never felt like I needed them until recently, so when I was offered the opportunity to test out the Hawaii1 sunglasses from XX2i, I was very excited! xx2i hawaii1

Before, I always ran in my regular shades. I never had a problem; however the shades were not designed for running. You can get away with regular sunglasses on shorter runs and even on longer runs too, but there is definitely a difference we you use sport shades.  The warmer it is the more I sweat, and my sunglasses started to slip. On really bright days, I found myself squinting even with sunglasses on. Sport shades are made with all these things in mind and using them on long runs has been really great.  IMG_4718

XX2i Hawaii1

 I was really excited to try out the newest model of sport shades, the XX2i Hawaii1 model as this company is one of the best in the industry! The frame is carbon fiber, which means it’s super light weight, and the lenses are polarized with 8K optics. This makes for super crisp vision even on the brightest days. They are extremely lightweight and easily adjustable, which means they fit any face shape and work for lots of different activities.  

See it in Action

 I used these sunglasses on short and long runs. I also used them for reading in the sun and they worked great! I loved that I could easily pull them back on top of my head if it got cloudy and I didn’t need them. xx2i hawaii1 xx2i hawaii1

Pros & Cons

PROS 
extremely lightweight
easy to adjust to fit your face
flexible frame + nose piece 
nice case & cleaning cloth included 
amazing warranty and guarantee!
 
With the frame being so light weight and flexible, you almost forget you are wearing them & there is no pinching behind the ears. Zero headaches with these sunglasses! 
 
CONS
Took me a while to get adjustment right for my face
 
When these arrived, I was seeing the bottom of the lens & I didn’t like that. At first I thought the lenses were smaller then what I was used to, but it turned out I just had not adjusted the nose pads correctly. It took me a few tries, but I finally found a fit that worked. Thankfully these have an adjustable nose piece, so you can adjust according to your face shape & preference. xx2i hawaii1

Discount code

Wanna pick up some XX2i shades of your own?  Use code XX2irocks for 50% off!! They have sport shades and casual shades + an AWESOME guarantee & return policy so you can feel good about purchasing from them. (see below – it’s the best I’ve ever seen!!)

WARRANTY: Lifetime Warranty! No questions asked, you break or scratch them, send them back to be replaced for a nominal shipping and handling fee! 
RETURN POLICY: 365 Days! We know it may take some time to try on and get comfortable with a pair of sunglasses bought online so that’s why we give you a full year to do so! 

My Experience at the Reebok Western Regional Crossfit Games

It really hard to believe that a week ago the Reebok Western Regional crossfit games were kicking off in Portland. It has been such a whirlwind week! Anyone else feel like this week went flying by? My experience at the games was nothing short of awesome. I had a great time working the Quest booth, catching some of the competition and connecting with some really awesome people. IMG_4583As I mentioned last week, I had no idea what to expect. I was surrounded by a bunch of fitness fans, muscle, and some really amazing athletes all weekend. I learned a lot about Crossfit too. I like to compare the games to the Boston Marathon. At Boston, these are some elite runners, qualifying to run that marathon is not for the faint of heart. Same goes with the Crossfit games. IMG_4588The event was Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and all athletes competed every day. There was a team competition as well as individual competition. Some of the WODs (workouts) they were doing were very hard. We are talking rope climbs, handstand push ups, olympic lifts and pull ups. So much upper body strength (hence why I was surrounded by so much muscle). 😀IMG_4624It was great to watch the competition and be in that environment all weekend. It was also a lot of fun introducing the amazing Quest products  to so many people. I love Quest not only because they make quality stuff, but also because they are a quality company. They do what is best for their customers and for their employees, and they will not sacrifice the on quality. Their products are made with the best ingredients. I know I’m gushing, but I was reminded of this over the weekend. I’m so proud to be a part of Quest! 🙂quest reebok western regional crossfit games

We met so many awesome spectators and athletes at the booth. Some were new to Quest & others were diehard Quest fans, like our friends from the Crossfit Brio team.

quest reebok western regional crossfit games
The athletes from Crossfit Brio!
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Our youngest super fan!

IMG_4584We worked really hard this weekend and the days were long, but we also had a lot of fun. I got a few workouts in, including a nice run on the Portland waterfront. IMG_4593We also discovered the most amazing sushi place in Portland. They had such an extensive gluten free menu, I wanted to order everything. I had gluten free tempura (OMG) and a dragon roll that was to die for! I have never eaten sushi at a place with so many gluten free options. IMG_4642

As usual, Portland was so much fun. I wish I had more time to explore, but that just means I have to go visit again soon. The experience at the games makes me that much more eager to give Crossfit a try. I found a box in Seattle that I am going to take the beginners class at. I’ll be sure to report back and let you know how it goes!

What plans do you have for Memorial Day??

I’m heading to the Reebok Western Regional Crossfit Games!

A while back, after I ran my first half marathon, I pondered the idea of trying crossfit. At the time, I didn’t think I was going to stick with ‘this running thing’, but then I realized I loved it and here we are. I never got around to trying crossfit. No particular reason, just never made it a priority. This weekend, I am about to get a taste of it, and I cannot wait!05ed256f7e0fd5357e1098f5025063b1Today, I am on my way to Portland to attend the Western Regional Crossfit Games!! I am not competing (obviously) I am going to work the event with Quest Nutrition. While people have differing opinions about crossfit, what you can’t deny is the community that surrounds the sport. It’s amazing! The history of crossfit is something I will discuss in a separate post. If you take the time to understand the origin of it, it’s really interesting. Once you understand the sport, you understand why they do things the way they do. Check out this video of last years highlights below.

There are going to be a lot of amazing athletes and I cannot wait! I We are going to be at the Western Regional games, so people will be competing for a spot in the games, which is like the olympics of crossfit. So you can get a better idea of what is happening, this is straight from the Reebok Crossfit Games website

The 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games West Regional features the fittest men, women, and teams from the northwestern United States and western Canada. 19,000 athletes from these two regions entered the Open, but only the top-40 men, 40 women, and 30 6-person teams were invited to compete at the West Regional. 
Over the course of the three-day weekend, the athletes will face a barrage of tests designed to reveal any flaws in their fitness. Can they do well in long events? Short events? Heavy lifting? Gymnastics? To make it to the Games, these athletes must be true generalists capable of handling any task thrown at them.
The five men, five women, and five teams who do the best in relation to their peers across all of the events will be invited to compete at the CrossFit Games held at the StubHub Center in Carson, California July 19-24.” source 

Crazy right?!
I have no idea if we are going to be able to see or watch the competition, but I am really excited I get to be there in person. There are going to be so many endorphins rushing around, it’s gonna be awesome! 

I’ll be sure to share as much as I can on social media this weekend. Are we connected yet?! 
Follow me on Facebook
Let’s Connect on Instagram (I’m in Instagram jail right now, but I’m hoping that will all be cleared up by tomorrow!)
Chat it up on Twitter
Snapchat –> @sweetblondefit

Look out for the full recap my experience Western Regional Crossfit Games next week 🙂
Have you ever been to the crossfit games? Have you ever tried crossfit??

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sharing the Quest love!

 

Toning Down Your Food Desires With a Simple Game

I get asked all the time about meal prep and meal planning. It can be complicated, but as you will see today, it doesn’t have to be! In today’s guest post, we’ll learn how a simple and fun game can give you meal prep inspiration and bring your family closer together.  This game has inspired me, read to the bottom of the post to find out how and get some inspiration of your own! XOXO — Sarah

Toning Down Your Food Desires With a Simple Game

Photo credit: pixabay.com
Photo credit: pixabay.com

Face it, controlling the urge to eat non-stop may be one of the most difficult struggles you have to face in your everyday life. Health and wellness website, Prevention, compiled a list on how to control cravings that all starts in your mind. In light of this, you can tone down your desires to indulge, without compromising health and enjoyment, with a simple game called food bingo.

Food and bingo share a common ground when it comes to connecting people. On one hand, you have what National Geographic calls as the “common language of humanity” in food. On the other, you have a game that connects one generation to another. That said, adding the game, food bingo, to your life is pretty easy!

First order of business is generating cards with basic food groups instead of letters and numbers on Bingo Baker. For example, replace B-I-N-G-O with protein, grains, vegetables, fruits, and drinks, and then put the corresponding food items under each. Remember to only place what you have in your pantry or fridge, or better yet, shop for groceries in advance and make sure to get balanced treats. Just like how a typical game of bingo goes, you cross out a certain pattern and come up with three to five delicious and healthy meals during the course of the day.

The purpose of food bingo is not to deprive you of all the ‘good stuff,’ but rather it’s a way to achieve a well-proportioned diet and have a feasible meal plan every week. This is a simple proof of bingo’s evolution throughout the years. In a way, it showcases how an iconic game becomes adjustable to the shifting needs of people and invites a new breed of players with its customizable approach.

With the power of technology, bingo embraces the younger generation with a selection of eye-catching online games. Gala Bingo, for instance, has contemporary themes such as Iron Man and Gladiator, to attract fans of all ages. In addition, this thematic approach makes an already-easy game, into an easier one, as players have the convenience of playing bingo anytime, anywhere.

Bingo is a fairly simple game almost anyone can enjoy. Its mechanics involve letters and numbers, the randomness of each draw, and the prizes at the end of every game. Since this famous pastime is a social venture altogether, fans began creating various game modes such as fitness bingo, horse race bingo, and the aforementioned food bingo. Some like, writer/director William Asher, even made it the central theme of a classic 60’s party film entitled Beach Blanket Bingo. Essentially, with a touch of inspiration and a whole lot of gusto, you can create your version of the game, a variant that will relate to your lifestyle.


So, what do you think? Doesn’t food bingo sound like a lot of fun??  I love the idea and decided to play before going to the store to get ideas of different meals to eat through out the week. Then all I had to do was write the ingredients on my grocery list and BOOM, I was done! Check out the bingo card I made on Bingo Baker for my own game of food bingo! Need help with your nutrition or workouts? Contact me & set up a free discovery call today! Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.55.39 AM

What I did Last Year + Lessons learned [Birthday Reflections]

My birthday was this last weekend, and leading up to it, I didn’t give it much thought. However on Friday, I started reflecting on what I did this last year. Today, in this personal post, I am going to share what this last year looked like for me, some of the lessons I have learned and how I plan to make this my best year yet. 

A Year In Review

When I began to think back on this last year of my life, the first thing I felt was disappointment and regret. I wished I had done more. I’m not getting any younger, so I need to get my butt in gear! This really made me upset because I don’t want to live my life with regret. I want to take risks, try new things and live life to the fullest. If you have ever felt regret, you know it’s the WORST feeling. Wishing you could have a do-over is NOT fun. The things I was regretting were things like not helping more people, not pursuing an opportunity & not growing my business more – not what most people would expect. As I was thinking about all these things I hadn’t done, I asked myself, ‘what about the things I HAVE done?!’

I know I’m really hard on myself. We can be our worst critics, and that is exactly what I was doing. Since I know this about myself, I took a step back and made a list of everything I had done this last year. While I wished a few more things were on the list, I realized don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Ran 6 half marathons
    From September last year till now, I have run 6. Not to mention I will be running a lot more this year. WHAT?! I know, it’s a lot. Like I have mentioned before, 2016 is ‘The Year of Running’. 
  2. Became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer
    This is huge! I wasn’t giving myself enough credit for this. Passing the NASM exam was not easy, it took a lot of time and effort. I am really proud of this & thankful that I am able to help more people with their fitness journey.
  3. I tried snowboarding
    I had always been afraid to try snowboarding; I told myself there was no way I could do it. In 2015, I decided to take on my fear, however I was never able to go because my job always had me working on the weekend. This year I finally overcame my fear & I tried snowboarding. Although I wasn’t the best, I’m proud of myself for trying & I look forward to learning more! 
  4. Changed careers & Quit my job
    If you have been reading my blog for a long time, you know that I used to work in a tax office. I spent about 6 months out of the year doing nothing but that – I’d wake up, work out, go to work for 10 hours, come home, eat & then did it all over again. Not only was the schedule taxing (no pun intended), I also realized that that was NOT my passion. Fitness & nutrition are my passion and purpose. I worked with Andy and we came up with a plan so I could leave my job and focus on fitness 100%. This was not easy for me for lots of different reasons, so it was a huge step for me. Now I own my own business where I do fitness and social media consulting along with personal training. I am also adding in a nutrition element as that is what really changed the game for me personally. 
  5. Bought our first home (!!)
    This is a pretty freakin’ big deal too. We (me & Andy) spent A LOT of time looking at houses, making offers and getting frustrated with the super competitive market. There were times where I felt like buying a house should not be this hard. However all the patience paid off because we landed the perfect house for us. 

Lesson Learned

It was not a bad year! I am thankful for this time of reflection because it reminded me of a few things: I need to be easier on myself, I had an awesome year, I need to be more intentional with my time + realize that certain things have seasons, and God’s timing is always perfect. I am exactly where I need to be right now. 

Best One YET!

I am determined to make this next year one of my best yet.  I know that sounds cliche, but I’m not just saying that. It is going to require time, sweat, sacrifice and hard work which I am more than ready for. If I don’t give it my all, then I’ll only have left the regret of not trying. I am excited to be in my business 100% and help more people. I am truly grateful for all of your support, love and for sharing my content with your friends. You mean the world to me and I am so honored that I get to share this journey with you! 

Connect with me

Nutrition and what you eat is 80% of your results! Let me help you. Click here to see the ways you can work with me & let’s chat! 

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Interested in online personal training? I only take a few clients a month. Get more info here! 

Macro Nutrients: What are They & Why Should You Care?

You have probably heard the term ‘macro’ before. Many people are familiar with it from the IFFYM or the ‘if it fit’s your macros’ eating philosophy. Counting ‘macros’ or macro nutrients is like a fancy way of saying you are counting calories. It is more in depth than just counting calories though because it focuses on the three main nutrient groups that all foods fall into – protein, carbohydrates and fat. Today I am going to teach you why each of the macro nutrients is important, and how they shape your eating. 

I LOVE talking about nutrition, so I may geek out a little bit in this post. One of the main reasons I am so passionate about nutrition is because it is 80% of your results. Exercise is important, and so is sleep, but what you eat plays the biggest role. Once I paid more attention to what I was eating, the results started happening AND they were easier to maintain. The video below explains a LOT about macros. This video is an excerpt from a live Periscope broadcast that I did. I show you one of my favorite meals that I usually eat for breakfast or lunch and what macros I have on my plate. We discuss a few other things as well 🙂 

In case you either
a) don’t have time to watch the video
b) you are reading this at work or somewhere you can’t watch a video
OR
c) you would rather read than watch… 
I have included a lot of the same info typed out below the video. 

Like I mentioned up above & in the video, nutrition is one of my favorite things to talk about AND help people with. Do you want to unprocess your pantry or change what you eat? Do you need help with your nutrition? I would love to help you! With my step by step process I can help you unprocess what you eat and find a way of eating that you can sustain long term. Email me thesweetblondesfitlife (at) gmail (dot) com or CLICK HERE 

Let’s talk about macro nutrients! 

The meal I am eating in the video and use to explain is:
– 2 pieces of gluten free toast (because I am allergic) topped with avocado/hemp seeds & grass fed butter
– 2 eggs + 1/3 cup of egg whites + green salsa

Here is the breakdown of the macro nutrients. This may seem really basic but stay with me! 
carbs: bread
fat: avocado, grass fed butter, eggs
protein: eggs

Macro nutrients are important because each meal should have some carbs, fats and protein. The only meal that you should exclude fats from is your post workout meal. You body needs protein and carbs to recover and replenish muscles.

Protein

Your body can only use 20-30g of protein for muscle synthesis at a time – meaning it can only use up to 30g of protein at a time to build muscle. IE: if you eat 80 grams of protein at one meal, 50g of protein is going to go to waste. You want your body to be able to use the nutrients, so space your protein out through out the day.
Protein also helps you feel satiated (feel full), another reason I always include protein with every meal and snack. 

I usually eat 3 main meals and 2 snacks. This is enough for me to fit my protein in. Some people eat 6-7 meals a day, some people eat less. You have to find what works best for you. Something different works for everyone. 

Carbs

Carbs are NOT bad. Your body AND your brain use carbohydrates for energy. This also does not mean #EATallTHEcarbs! You need to pay attention to how many carbs you are eating at each meal because we want to avoid huge blood sugar spikes.
This is one of the reasons I top my toast with a fat like avocado. When you eat carbs together with fat, it slows down the speed at which your body metabolizes the carbs. That is good thing because it does not spike your blood sugar. Carbs turn into sugar in your body, so the slower you metabolize the carbs, the less of an insulin spike you get. 

Fats

They are also good! Sometimes they get a bad rep, but fats help you stay full & satiated. When you eat fats in your diet, it helps reduce cravings and can also help reduce belly fat. 

Also make sure to include plenty of veggies and greens! I cannot get enough greens. In my opinion they should be their own macro nutrient group haha. I love greens because of the phytonutrients they supply our body with; they give you that radiant glow. As far as I’m concerned you can’t ever have too much glow!! 

Need help? I love educating people about this stuff! I can help you unprocess your pantry and fridge and make getting better nutrition much easier. Let’s chat! Drop me a line: thesweetblondesfitlife (at) gmail (dot) com

What is ‘Paleo’? The Common Myths of the Paleo Diet

I’ve been hearing a lot about the paleo diet recently; it seems to be popping up everywhere! Makes sense because this pre-agricultural, clean-eating approach has a huge tribe: In 2015, paleo-certified foods sales exceeded $750 million, according to Nutrition Business Journal. I wanted to learn more about the paleo lifestyle, started doing some research and came across some great info from Delicious Living. Today we are going to be taking a look at what is means to eat paleo and debunk some of the common myths associated with it.  What is 'Paleo'?Nutrition is always a hot topic. New ideas and meal plans are popping up every day. There are so many ‘diets’ and eating styles out there, how do you know which one is ‘the one’?? Even more than that, how do you even know which one(s) to try? It all starts with research. Often times with research, you can figure out if it is even something you would be interested in.
If you want to talk more about diet, exercise, and/or nutrition, set up a discovery call & let’s chat! I can help you find the right plan for you and/or help you find a workout that will get you results!

Before we dive in, I’d like to mention: different things work for different people. I always encourage my clients to try something long enough to give it a fair chance. If it doesn’t work for you, that is okay. If you already have a workout or way of eating that works for you, keep doing that. No need jump to the latest ‘thing’ if you already found something that works for you. 
I should also mention that this is not a plug for the paleo diet. I’m just sharing information about it so people, including myself, can be more informed. 🙂 I personally do not eat a strict paleo diet. Since I am allergic to gluten, I find myself making a lot of paleo recipes. Check out my paleo granola recipe! paleo granola

What Does Paleo Mean?

 

The premise of the paleolithic (paleo) diet is simple: Eat only foods that existed during the hunter-gatherer era. That means grass-fed meats and wild fish, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds (including their healthy oils), while excluding all dairy, legumes and grains.

Paleo: Common Myths
paleo1-meatMYTH
: The paleo diet means you only eat meat—and lots of it.

TRUTH: Not necessarily. Although paleo certainly emphasizes low-carb, high-protein foods, some adherents focus on nonstarchy, green, leafy vegetables and try to reduce or even eliminate meat (yes, paleo veganism is a thing). One protein-rich, paleo-friendly plant option: hemp seed, which—though it’s not a complete protein—does contain more protein by weight than grass-fed beef.

TRY: Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts

paleo2-healthyMYTH: The paleo diet isn’t healthy.

TRUTH: On the contrary, recent studies point to Western reliance on starchy carbs and sugar, not fat and protein, as the primary culprit behind chronic illnesses like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. As with anything, you will want to watch portions and make sure you eat a balanced diet. Research also shows that eating plenty of fruits and veggies is excellent for health, in any diet. In addition to meat’s benefits, paleo eaters tout easy-to-make (or buy) bone broth for its purported gut-friendly, anti-inflammatory properties. 

TRY: Bare Bones 100% Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth Classic

paleo3-expensiveMYTH: The paleo diet is expensive.

TRUTH: If you slap nothing but bacon-wrapped beef fillets on your plate, then yes, the costs will add up. But before humans hunted animals, they subsisted on fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds—typically the lowest cost-per-calorie foods on the planet. Make those the centerpiece of an affordable and nutritious paleo diet, and occasionally incorporate lean, grass-fed meats.

TRY: Wonderfully Raw Brussel Bytes Chili Pumpkin Seed

paleo4-boringMYTH: The paleo diet is boring.

TRUTH: Hardly. With nearly the entire plant and meat world at their disposal, paleo enthusiasts enjoy delightfully inventive dishes and versatile condiments, such as mayo made from avocado instead of canola or soy. And when the sugar comes from fruit, dates, coconut or maple, you can have your chocolate and eat it, too.

TRY: Primal Kitchen Mayo; Hu Crunchy Fig Chocolate Bar

paleo5-crossfitMYTH: The paleo diet is only for CrossFit fanatics.

TRUTH: It’s true that you’ll find a lot of paleo products at Crossfit gyms and competitions. But according to Nutrition Business Journal, the typical paleo eater isn’t a CrossFitter, but rather a middle-aged, affluent woman trying to boost athletic performance, lose weight or combat a health problem.

paleo6-environmentMYTH: The paleo diet is environmentally irresponsible.

TRUTH: Actually, the paleo movement evangelizes a return to humane, regenerative food and land practices. “Hooves on the ground are essential to grassland health,” says Sarah Gleason of the Savory Institute, a grassland restoration nonprofit. “Properly managed livestock that mimic large, wild herds help restore the land and sequester carbon.” Next-gen paleo: products made from less-used animal parts to create incentives for responsible ranchers.

TRY: Epic Bars

So, there you have it – the paleo diet in a nutshell along with some paleo friendly snacks and food suggestions. 🙂 I hope this information helped you learn a little more about what eating paleo means. If you want to talk more about nutrition, let’s chat. I’d love to help you find something that works for you! contact me here: thesweetblondesfitlife (at) gmail (dot) com