Showing posts with label sponsored. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sponsored. Show all posts

February 20, 2017

4 Reasons Why I'm Using Collagen Peptides {Vital Proteins Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure: I was 2 complimentary tubs of Vital Proteins for review. The giveaway is fulfilled by Vital Proteins. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Like me, you may have read or heard of people (particularly in the paleo crowd) taking gelatin for health benefits such as a drinking bone broth. However, you may be wondering what do gelatin or collagen peptides actually do? Gelatin, like that JELL-O stuff?  

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and collagen peptides have the same amino acids as gelatin, however they are just processed differently.
Collagen peptides are hydrolyzed a.k.a. broken down into smaller amino acid chains so they are more easily digestible (I will forever be a chemistry nerd so I LOVE learning about food science). 

I had heard of Vital Proteins from reading about them on various blogs, and then had the chance to talk to the lovely people at the Vital Proteins booth and snag some samples at Natural Products Expo East 2016. Vital Proteins was nice enough to send me a tub of their collagen peptides and collagen beauty greens to try out. 

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The Collagen Peptides powder in the blue container come from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides so they are not vegetarian. At first I thought it was a little weird that it was powder from cows, but after that initial moment of weirdness now I love how they are a natural and sustainable source of protein.

The green container of Collagen Beauty Greens contains marine collagen peptides along with greens, probiotics and skin healthy helpers like hyaluronic acid, all in a yummy coconut vanilla flavored powder. 

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Because collagen is a protein in our own hair, skin, nails, bones, cartilage, and joints, the powder will help all of these parts of our body. Besides containing protein, studies show that collagen peptides can improve gut health, skin health, bone and joint health, and hormonal balance. There is a lot of research out there on the use of collagen for hair and skin health, which I found from just doing a quick search of a research database.

I've been taking the collagen peptides about 4x a week (mostly because there are always a few crazy days where I am rushing out the door), and the collagen beauty greens more sporadically. It's hard to tell from only a month, but I think my hair and nails look healthier and less brittle. 

So now that you know a little bit about collagen peptides, why have I been using them? 

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1. They are easy to take every day.

The collagen peptides are dissolvable and unflavored (no, they do not at all taste beefy). I most often easily mix a scoop in with my coffee or tea in the morning-I can’t even taste that it was added. I have also mixed collage peptides into smoothies, juices, yogurt, and oatmeal. I’m not a huge protein powder person lately so I love that these can dissolve in both hot and cold beverages easily and add a nice protein boost to whatever I'm drinking. 

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2. Collagen peptides are great for my bone health.

After my stress fracture I was interested in focusing on my bone and joint health. While the DEXA scan I had showed normal bone density, I figured supplementing and ensuring strong bones and joints couldn’t hurt. Basically bones are made up of minerals and collagen fibers. Collagen makes up 90% of our bones so ingesting collagen peptides may help bone metabolism and help increase bone density. You can read more and find links to specific research studies here. This is one of the bigger reasons why I started using collagen peptides. 

3. Vital Protein products are natural and not full of junk. 

Literally the only ingredient in Vital Proteins collagen peptides is collagen peptides, so I know exactly what I am ingesting. You can read on their website about how they exclusively produce their collagen peptides in Brazil because their cows don’t have hormones too. 


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4. Skin health is important to me.

No matter how young I look or feel, I am getting older every year (and quickly approaching 30, eek). My body will continue to change and dreaded wrinkles (or what I will call my happy lines) will one day in the future start to appear. I have always been conscious of my skin health after having to go to a dermatologist and have some suspect moles removed starting at a young age, but making sure my skin looks great as I age is important too. If I can supplement with collagen and get the added bonus of helping out my skin, that is a win-win for me. 



So if you are interested in adding collagen or collagen peptides to your diet check out Vital Proteins. They offer all different sizes of products including travel-sized pouches and free shipping in the U.S. 


Vital Proteins was nice enough to offer (1) 10 oz. tub of their Collagen Peptides to giveaway to one reader. Enter the Rafflecopter below (U.S. residents only, sorry!) before the giveaway ends on March 6 at 12 AM EST.


Have you ever taken a collagen supplement? Have you read about gelatin or collagen supplements before? 

November 18, 2016

{Friday Favorites} Grilled Cheese, BCAAs, and StrideBox

Disclosure: I received 3 complimentary boxes from StrideBox. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Happy Friday! It's been a while so I decided to share some of my favorites from the past couple of weeks. I haven't run at ALL in 2 weeks, and it's been okay. I am letting myself rest and recover while I'm in the boot. 3 weeks of no exercise won't kill me. Besides I have a LOT of studying to occupy myself with this weekend.  Be sure to enter my blog birthday giveaway

Favorite Easy Cause to Support: Tab for a Cause

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So I I'm one of those people who always has tons of tabs open in my Google Chrome Internet browser window. I can't help it. I've always have a few tabs I'm actively using, a few that I am saving to work with later as a reminder, plus constantly am clicking on things. My friend Kate suggested checking out Tab for a Cause, an internet browser extension that replaces your tab page with a beautiful page that raises money for charity. It's free and for every tab you open, you earn hearts which you can choose to give to your favorite charity. The extension's sponsors provide money to charity divide all the money raised amongst the charities based on the number of Hearts donated to each charity/cause. 

 It hasn't slowed my internet down, and if my excessive internet browsing can help a charity that is awesome! 

Favorite Snail Mail: StrideBox

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October's StrideBox goodies

November 3, 2016

SmartyPants Probiotics Review

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by SmartyPants. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I’m a lady with some tummy troubles so probiotics have been a staple in my supplementation for a few years now. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your digestive tract that keeps your insides happy and healthy as well as boost your immune system. When SmartyPants approached me about trying their new probiotic gummies of course I said yes because I’m a twenty-something adult who loves gummies. Aka the coolest kind of adult lady. I actually already knew had tried Smarty Pants gummy multivitamins so I knew they would probably be delicious. 

Obviously if you think you have stomach issues, talk to your doctor but if you have an upset stomach or have a non-descriptive IBS diagnoses from a doctor like I have, probiotics might be something nice to try. 

Their new adult probiotic gummies come in two flavors-blueberry and lemon crème (which I tried). Honestly the lemon crème doesn’t tasty lemony, just really fruity and delicious. The probiotic gummies contain seven billion CFU’s per serving (2 gummies) which includes two clinically-proven bacteria strains, IS2 & DE111.  They also have 99% survivability which means the supplement isn’t a waste because it isn’t getting eaten by your stomach acid (a little more science for ya!).

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SmartyPants probiotic gummies are also vegetarian and non-GMO as well as contain Wellmune® prebiotic immune support which helps out the probiotics and gives your immune system extra support. With flu season starting, now is the perfect time to give your immune system some extra support!

Like I mentioned previously, these are delicious and are also not too chewy or get stuck in your teeth. Remembering to take them in the morning was not an issue-the issue was stopping myself from taking more than 1 serving! They also have a kids probiotic gummies which I received in a grape flavor are just as yummy. 
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Something really awesome about SmartyPants is that for every bottle sold, they made a one-for-one nutrient grant to Vitamin Angels, which provides a child in need with a year’s supply of vitamin-A supplements. So far over 2 million children have received some life-changing vitamin A!

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You can find SmartyPants in a store near you or grab the adult probiotic or kids probiotics on Amazon. You know I’m all about that Amazon Prime free 2-day shipping.  I also grab their regular multi-vitamins at Target, because Target is awesome (and deadly). 

Do you take probiotics?  Have you ever tried SmartyPants vitamins? 

October 21, 2016

Super Berry ProYo Smoothie Bowl

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ProYo. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Right before Expo East this year, I was introduced to the one of exhibitor products, ProYo, a protein-packed frozen yogurt pop.  I really find myself needing to up my protein and not just eat sugar-packed protein bars on-the-go, plus I love ice cream & frozen yogurt. It seemed like a win-win and spoiler alert: they taste delicious! Each 4 oz ProYo tube is made with creamy probiotic yogurt packed with 20g of protein, 2g of fat, 3g of fiber, and only 140 calories plus is rated as low-glycemic. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.  

I love that I get an extra helping of probiotics to help my tummy out as well as 25% of my RDA for calcium. The pops come in various flavors including Vanilla Bean, Dutch Chocolate, Banana Vanilla, and Blueberry Pomegranate. Truthfully, I can tell the pops have that slight whey/protein taste,but despite this I still had to tell my boyfriend to keep his hands off of them! 

Despite being delicious right out the package, I've found that the recommendation on the ProYo boxes to blend with water like a smoothie has been one of my favorite ways to eat them. It's great make 'banana ice cream' with frozen bananas and pop one of these in there for a different flavor plus extra protein.  

When I'm feeling a little more ambitious to whip up a pretty food-blogger inspired smoothie bowl, I've been making a variation of the one I'm sharing on the blog today.  I really prefer eating thick smoothies out of bowls and love being able to top them with all sorts of goodies (chocolate chips is a favorite topping!). This is a berry ProYo smoothie bowl topped with superfoodie toppings like chia seeds. 

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Super Berry ProYo Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients: 

      1 Tube Blueberry Pomegranate ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt
      1/2 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
      1 Tbsp honey
      ½  Tbsp of chia seeds
      ½  Banana
      4 oz milk (based on preference)
      1 handful of ice cubes
Toppings (optional)
-       ½  banana
-       1 Tbsp peanut butter
-       ½ Tbsp chia seeds
-       1 Tbsp hemp seeds

Instructions: 

– Squeeze ProYo Blueberry Pomegranate Tube into blender.

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– Add ½ banana, honey, and ½ tbsp. of chia seeds
– Add 4 oz of milk and handful of ice cubes.
– Blend all ingredients together and pour into a bowl.    It maybe a little thick so use a spoon to help.
– Slice ½ banana and place on top of bowl. Top bowl with peanut butter, chia, seeds, hemp seeds, and anything else you’d like!
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– Eat immediately and enjoy!


If you don't have any ProYo on hand this recipe could work by substituting 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt or various other substitutions. Obviously I totally recommend the ProYo (plus it's simpler), which you can find in the freezer aisle at Giant stores locally in the Maryland area or check out their store locator for more options. Check out more recipes on the ProYo website including mine :) 


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Do you enjoy drinking smoothies or eating them out of bowls? What is your favorite snack topping?

October 13, 2016

My Go-To Post-Run Snacks with Relay Foods MD

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Relay Foods. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Thank you SO much for all of the congratulations on my previous post-yes a race recap for the Chicago Marathon is coming so stay tuned! 

With travelling and a really busy rest of the month ahead, I definitely am in need of some healthy and easy grocery shopping and meal prep options. I've reviewed Relay Foods MD before and even shared a yummy marinated mushroom recipe from Relay Foods that is still a favorite and easy side dish. I was definitely excited to place an order after getting back from Chicago so that food shopping was one less errand I had to run. 

Basically Relay Foods is an online grocery store where you can shop online from their stock of products and groceries from over 200 local farmers and vendors.  Most of their foods are organic, local, or all-natural and allow you to just fill up a virtual shopping cart online and either pick-up your groceries for free at their set pick-up spots or have them delivered right to your door for a small fee.  

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Relay Foods also just released their new rigorous food standards, ensuring that they are always offering foods good for you, the community, and the planet. 

I just completed an order of my favorite easy snacks to refuel with after a run.  I always try to eat something within the 30-60 minute post-run window, even if it's a snack before I get the chance to make a meal. Honestly I'm always hungry so it's easy to eat, but it's good to try to get a snack with a good 3:1 carb to protein ratio that will help my body recover.  

Check out my go-to post-run snacks: 

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1. Bananas with nut butter 

(right now I'm loving Relay's Own fresh ground almond butter). 

2. Michele's Granola and yogurt (like this Liberte black cherry whole milk yogurt) 

Michele's Granola is a delicious Baltimore brand that is not too sweet or heavy on the sugar and is super crunchy. 

3. Organic chocolate milk 

(I limit dairy but chocolate milk has great a great recovery ratio and is super easy to drink a glass of while I'm prepping a larger meal!) or these single serve boxes

4. Trail mix

I'm a sucker for trail mixes especially ones with lots of different nuts, dried fruits, seeds and of course some chocolate chips. This Antioxidant Mix, Berries & Chocolate also satisfies my sweet tooth!

5. Energy Bars

It's easy to have an energy bar in my gym bag or purse to have on hand, especially if I'm away from my apartment or need to drive home from a run. Some of my favorites lately are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate KIND bar, and Coffee Chia Health Warrior bar


Relay Foods has a great Refer a Friend (RAF) program in which if you're a current customer you can refer friends to try out Relay Foods with your link and you both save! 

Currently a RAF link will save a new Relay Foods customer $20 off of their first order of $60 or more and the person who's RAF link it was, will also get $20 credit. During the month of October it has been increased to $30 off of $60 (still for new customers only!) and the RAF link owner will also get $30. 

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If you haven't tried Relay Foods and are curious, please use my Relay Foods link to save $30 off your first order of $60. If you already are a customer, share your code with friends to save! 


What's your go-to easy post-run or post-workout snack? 

October 3, 2016

Running into Fall with Lululemon {gear review}

Disclaimer: Lululemon Baltimore offered me a complimentary outfit for review purposes. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

As much as I love lots of different running gear, there are always some pieces that end up being worn the most. The couple Lululemon tops and tanks I have are an example of that.  I have only splurged on pieces from Lululemon every so often, but have been impressed in the comfort and quality I've found. I've actually worn Lululemon capris or skirts for all of the 4 marathons I've run-no chafing at all!


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Running the 2015 Chicago Marathon in a Lululemon Cool Racerback tank and PaceSetter Skirt 

I dare you to go try things on in that store and leave the store empty-handed! However I gained a lot of respect for the brand after running Lululemon's Seawheeze Half Marathon this summer and seeing what an amazing event they put on.  


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post-Seawheeze Half Marathon 2016 in a (tagged) Lululemon Run Swiftly tee and Speedsport shorts

When I was asked to review a couple piece of running gear for my local Lululemon store, of course I jumped at the chance. By the way, the Lululemon in Baltimore, Harbor East is a great store with fabulous employees and local ambassadors, in case you were wondering. 

With the Baltimore Running Festival coming up and the weather still a little bit variable, it was tough to choose what outfit I wanted to review. I run 'hot' (#thesweatylife) and am still loving wearing tanks so I chose out a Run Swiftly tank (MRP $58) in one of the newer colors for Fall, a mixed black/sapphire blue shade . I always think warm colors for Fall but since blue is one of my favorite colors, I love adding this almost midnight blue shade as a Fall favorite. 


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I love the Run Swiftly material because it feels soft, lightweight and comfortable as well as wicks sweat well. 


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One of my favorite features is that it is prevents you from smelling bad due to the X-STATIC® which inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. The color is a deep blue that is perfect for Fall plus it has that Swiftly tech that I love. 

September 21, 2016

If Girls Ran the World {Free registration giveaway to run/walk challenge}


Through my partnership with Fit Approach and SweatPink, I was given the awesome opportunity to learn about and participate in the If Girls Ran the World program.  Their tag line is "Run Because you Care."  If you follow my blog or me on social media, you know that I am ALL about empowering women and girls to do whatever they want to do, dream big, and realize their full potential. 



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I LOVE supporting women in athletics so I'm excited to share some information about this virtual running challenge for girls. This October, thousands of women like me, around the world will be logging miles and running virtually around the world to benefit charities that empower girls around the world.  I pledge to run 100 miles in October! 

When you register for $25 you not only receive access to the month-long challenge in which you can track your miles running or walking as well as your own personal fundraising page but also insipring emails with tips and recipes, access to in-person and online running groups, and the opportunity to take part in weekly fitness and fundraising challenges.  



When I registered for the event, I choose from a list of charities which one I wanted to support through my running and fundraising with a goal of raising $250. I choose the Women's Refugee Commission Inc because I think that empowering refugees especially in today's world, is so important.

Without getting too political, while there is gender discrimination in this country, women in other parts of the world and especially refugees aren't afforded the same basic necessities, freedoms, and opportunities as women are in the U.S.  $250 can provide a family with training and livestock so they can earn the necessary income to pay for their daughter's school fees and supplies, think about that impact.  


September 9, 2016

#PranaFallStyle: Prana Fall Product Review

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by prAna through my partnership with FitApproach. I was provided with free product from prAna. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I know some people are all pumpkin-crazed and ready for fall, but I am not one of those people. Give me some more summer, please!

Fall is lovely, but let’s be honest it’s a small jump away from a long, freezing winter so I’m good with sunshine and shorts for now. I may not like bundling up and pants in general (unless they are of the yoga variety), but I do love cozy sweaters and scarves. At least when cold temperatures arrive I’ll be a little more ready thanks to a package of warm & comfortable clothes I received from Fit Approach and prAna recently. I was sent the Lucia sweater in natural and the Kara jean in denim.

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The pieces arrived so neatly folded and wrapped!
In case you missed my previous post, prAna’s mission is to inspire healthy, active, free-spirited living and create versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories (for men & women!) to wear during every adventure.  I also love the brand because they use sustainable practices in the creation of their apparel such as using fair trade materials-the Lucia sweater I received is made from recycled wool too! 
 
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don't mind the glasses glare!
The Lucia sweater is a wool-blend to keep me warm, dry, and comfortable through all my cold-weather adventures. I also appreciate that it’s wrinkle resistant and wearable besides being so absolutely chic-looking. 
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I love the subtle herringbone pattern on the color and sleeves as well as the fact that the sweater is lined and even has some jersey material on the collar and sleeve cuffs so there is NO itchiness with this wool sweater! It feels very high-quality and looks really quite stylish on.

August 23, 2016

#WeirdWorkout Campaign with Prana and Organic Valley & Grouse Grind-ing.

This post is sponsored by prAna and Organic Valley through my partnership with FitApproach. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I wanted to let you all know about this awesome giveaway hosted by prAna and Organic Valley that is happening because who doesn’t love winning things. Especially when the giveaway is offering 10 winners the chance to earn $300 in credit to use at prAna.com, a 2-month supply of Organic Valley, and lots of free swag. To keep it short and sweet, you can go right ahead now and find out more details and enter here
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The contest runs from August 15th through the 31st , 2016  so hurry up and 
If you aren’t familiar with both brands, they are great. I haven’t had the opportunity to own any prAna gear yet although I’ve tried some on at my local yoga studio. PrAna’s mission is to inspire healthy, active, free-spirited living (which is right up my alley) and create versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories to wear during every adventure. 
 Organic Valley’s Organic Fuel shakes are made with only 9 ingredients with protein coming from real organic milk made by pasture-raised cows on Organic Valley family farms. Their product is lactose-free, gluten-free, and free from GMO’s and hormones too which I love.
You can also SAVE 15% on prAna.com purchase right away with my code PFS16BDAS, valid through October 31, 2016.

July 31, 2016

Matcha Green Tea Protein Smoothie {with Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Boosters}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill as part of a campaign through my partnership with SweatPink and Fit Approach. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own!

I have talked about how the new Bob’s Red Mill Protein and Nutritional Boosters packed with 20g of protein have helped me stay #summerstrong. Well I've always been a huge coffee and tea drinker, but this summer's newest drink obsession is iced matcha green tea almondmilk or soymilk lattes. I've been getting them from a local coffee shop (shout-out to 3 Bean Coffee!) in the mornings, and it's always so creamy and delicious. 

They are super refreshing after a hot run or workout plus I'm getting all that antioxidant goodness from the matcha, which is powdered green tea leaves. Unfortunately, right now I can't afford getting a $5 latte whenever I want one, aka everyday. 


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Post #NP_BAL workout iced matcha latte
I decided to come up with a protein smoothie version which is just as satisfying after a run and saves me some money plus gives me an extra nutritional boost! I had this package of Kiss Me Organics brand Green Tea Matcha powder that I used. I'm loving this vanilla gluten-free Bob's Red Mill protein powder so I used that-just a heads up that it has chia seeds mixed in so it's not little ants or anything, haha.  The end result of the smoothie came out a little more brown than green thanks to the banana and protein powder, but it's delicious nonetheless! 

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print recipe

Matcha Green Tea Protein Smoothie

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Ingredients
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup almondmilk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1/8 cup Bob's Red Mill vanilla protein nutritional booster (or any vanilla protein powder!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 handful ice cubes
Instructions
Combine all ingredients together in blender. Blend until fully mixed and serve immediately.
Details
Total time: Yield: 1 smoothie




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Just a reminder that if your local store carries Bob’s Red Mill products, you can get a discount on Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters with this coupon!

This post was linked up with Weekend Snapshots

Do you like matcha or green tea flavors? What is your favorite summer drink right now?
 
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