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Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Review

Interested in packing a protein punch into your next snack or meal? Check out Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts! Read more to find out  how  to enter a giveaway and what code you enter to get 20% off your order!

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What are Hemp Hearts?

At the top part of the hemp plant you will find the hard hemp seed. This small seed “seeds” nutritiously delicious products like Hemp Hearts, hemp protein powder, and hemp oil. At the ‘heart’ of all our hemp foods is the Hemp Heart (aka raw shelled hemp seed). The flavor is very light and just as advertised:

These nutty little seeds are packed with protein and Omega 3s, and taste delicious sprinkled on just about everything, from salads to smoothies to oatmeal.

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I’ve added a few teaspoons to my morning oatmeal and cereal and even made my own blueberry, flax and hemp heart loaf!  They are very versatile for sure! If you are interested in more recipes, check out the Manitoba Harvenst Hemp Heart recipe site!

Getting Creative in the Kitchen with Hemp Hearts

This past weekend, I decided to create a new recipe involving Hemp Hearts and let’s just say it turned out great! Not only did it smell amazing while in the oven (salivating for it to cool to cut and eat), but tasted delish!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tsp Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts
  • 1 package blueberry muffin mix (follow directions on the box, mine are below)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp ground flax meal
  • greased loaf pan or muffin tins

Combine wet ingredients (milk and egg), then add the dry ingredients (hemp hearts, muffin mix and flax meal), and mix together until combined. The dough should be a bit lumpy. Pour into loaf pan or muffin tins and cook according to directions on the box (may vary depending on mix). Once done baking (check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean), let it cool for 20min, then cut and enjoy!

hemphearts1Discount Code

Think you want to try some Hemp Hearts? Manitoba Harvest is offering you the opportunity to get some at a steal of a deal! Just use the code HHSweatPink14 for 20% off your order (anything on the website) through November 30th! Who knows, you might just love them enough to sneak some into your Thanksgiving stuffing!

And don’t forget to enter the Recipe Contest Giveaway through Manitoba Harvest! See details below:

  • Manitoba Harvest is also offering a 5 lb bag of Hemp Hearts (yes, 5 LBS) to one lucky winner.
  • To enter to win: get creative in the kitchen, tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your Instagram and/or Twitter post and you’ll be automatically entered.
  • Contest deadline: November 30, 2014

You should try some Hemp Hearts today!

Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to review the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts through the sweat pink Fit Approach ambassadorship and received a free sample for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed though are my own.
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Celebrating Active Nation Day!

Happy Active Nation Day!  Can you feel the energy in the air? Find out how you can celebrate with all your fellow sporty sisters!

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This is the third year of celebrating Active Nation Day and the Lorna Jane mission behind it is to encourage women to share in their commitment to Active Living by getting a sweat on and moving their bodies. This is the inaugural year for going global, woot woot! Find out how I celebrated with fellow sporty sisters at a local Lorna Jane event in So Cal!

Santa Monica Active Nation Day Event

ActiveNationDay1A series of convenient events allowed me to attend the Santa Monica Lorna Jane Active Nation Day event (normally I’m in Nor Cal), so I made sure to take advantage of the awesome opportunity!

Mats were set up in an open area of the Santa Monica mall and we got to have a free class with Christine Bullock! She was very cute, energetic and seemed very exited to be leading an Active Nation Day 45 min workout for Lorna Jane sporty sisters 🙂 It was a combo of Turbo Kick, dance, pilates, yoga and represents a blend of what her workouts on her new Evolution20 dvd. Oh yeah and we did lots of #LJMOVE love during the entire workout 🙂

Then after the workout concluded, we got to check out the other sponsors of the event! Thank you for all the freebies, it was wonderful to try them out!

  • Larabar handed out snack sized bars (and lanyards),
  • Zico gave us refreshing Coconut Water,
  • Philosophie prepped some protein balls for us to taste,
  • Cafe Ugo let us sip some of their delicious (and a bit strong) coffee,
  • The Crown Collective allowed us to make flower crowns to wear,
  • Azure Salon gave complimentary hand massages and braided hairstyles,
  • Lorna Jane had a “Believe” board up for us to take pics with cool signs,
  • and Lorna Jane had a pop up shop for us to peruse their outfits!

How can you get involved? There are SO MANY ways!

Download the new Lorna Jane smartphone App to track your movement, register to participate one of their Events, and get your Active Armour sorted! Oh and did I mention Lorna Jane has a $1000 shopping spree giveaway going on? Read on to learn more!

The Lorna Jane app

First of all, I LOVE the Lorna Jane app’s motivational images! Not only do you get inspiration from the app, but it will track your movements as well! Check it out and download it today in the AppStore or GOOGLEPLAY (free!)

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Don’t forget to enter Lorna Jane Social Media Giveaway!

The #LJMOVE is our way of asking you to show us just how you get moving, by taking a photo (or even better, filming it) of you incorporating the signature #LJMOVE into your daily workout! Have fun while doing so and get involved in moving on Active Nation Day.

To get YOU excited to show us your moves, we are running a competition to WIN some fresh new Lorna Jane threads! (Read competition Terms and Conditions at the end)

  1. DO THE #LJMOVE anytime, anywhere – video it or take a photo
  2. UPLOAD your video or photo to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook
  3. HASHTAG your entry with #LJMOVE #ACTIVENATIONDAY
  4. INSPIRE a sporty sister (or two) to do the #LJMOVE too by passing this on

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Check out how I did my #LJMOVE with the “Believe” photo-op and motivational signs at the Santa Monica event on the left!

Overall I had a wonderful, exciting and sweaty Active Nation Day! Thank you Fit Approach for allowing me to participate in this Campaign since it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

You can follow Lorna Jane and Fit Approach via:

Twitter: @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach
Instagram: @lornajaneofficial @fitapproach
Facebook: Lorna Jane & Fit Approach

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 Terms and conditions of #LJMOVE contest: Competition begins, Sept 10th 2014, and ends Sept, 30, 2014. Contest is open to entrants aged 18 and over only. This is a competition of skill. The user judged to have created the most creative and entertaining entries, will be selected as the winner by a representative of Lorna Jane. Multiple entries are accepted. Any fraudulent entries will immediately disqualify user from competition. The competition winner will be drawn no later than Oct, 1, 2014, in Brisbane Australia. The winner will be notified though Lorna Jane social media channels and winner posted on http://www.lornajane.com and/or http://www.lornajane.com.au. The prize is one $1000 Lorna Jane gift card. The Lorna Jane gift card is not available for return, exchange or redeemable for cash. Lost gift cards are the responsibility of the bearer and will not be replaced.

Fuel Your Better: Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator Review

Hey everyone! I had the awesome opportunity to review a product called the Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator through the #FuelYourBetter Campaign with Vega Sport and Fit Approach! Check out how and when I used this in my training below!

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What is Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator?

The first all-natural, plant-based recovery drink mix specifically developed to address all six key elements of post-workout recovery: muscle glycogen replenishment, muscle tissue repair and protein synthesis, hormonal support, soft-tissue repair, immune system support, inflammation reduction and rehydration. –  Vega Sport Website

Why Vega Recovery?

Vega Sport does have a huge variety of products to suit your needs before, during and after your workouts, in both drink and food/gel forms. I chose this product, Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator, to review because my body has been taking a beating lately between training for my first tri (and tri series) and additional cross training (yoga, body pump).  I figured I could use all the help I could get!

IMG_4775Testing Vega Recovery:

  • Brought a packet of Vega Sport Recovery to the gym with me after longer workout sessions: body pump or a swim/spin class combo (tri training). Shook it up in water bottle filled with 1.5 c water.
  • During the weekends after a long bike (5-10mi)+ run (3-4mi) combo for tri training). Made it in a glass of water with ice (tastes sooo good chilled!)

Taste and Mix-ability Results: Gritty but Tasty!

The flavor I was sent was Tropical (orange) and it tastes like a mix of citrus and other ‘tropical’ fruit (can’t tell if it is mango, papaya or what). On the right shows a picture of what it looks like in a glass when it is all mixed together.  It is a thick orange color and it does taste slightly gritty. I’m more of a berry girl, but the Tropical flavor works for me, not too sweet, nor does it leave a weird aftertaste.  However after consuming it, you can see little brown specks on the bottom of the glass (I assume are the plant extract grinds?). But overall, I do recommend this flavor, especially to people who enjoy ‘tropical’ mixes.

Initial Post-Workout Results: Less Hungry.

After my workouts, I followed the suggested time frame usage: consume within 20min of finishing a workout.  During the weekday gym visits, I normally eat a small breakfast before working out and wait until after I get to work to chow down on 2 packets of oatmeal.  But by then I was always starving since after a workout I have to shower/change and then drive or bike back to work.  I’ve estimated it takes about 30min between finishing a workout and actually eating breakfast (too long for me for a morning workout). However, having a Vega packet handy, I am able to drink in some calories (90 per serving), which satiates me just perfectly until I get to work to make some oatmeal. And I don’t have to make breakfast the utmost priority as soon as I stroll into work either, I have more flexibility and feel less rushed.

Following Day Workout Results: Less sore!

I have to say that I do feel less sore the following day, especially after body pump or bike/run sessions (which of the three workouts listed prior, those two make me most sore). When I first started using the product I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m all for less sore! Since I’ve used about 10 of the 12 packets (comes in packet or diy container mix forms), I don’t know how it affects my overall performance (since I haven’t used it after a race), but I would be interested in actually buying more of this to see longer term results.

Verdict: Yes for Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator! And again, Vega Sport has a variety of products to support every stage of a workout, so be sure to check them out!

Prices:
Box of 12 individual packets (tested in this review) = $26.99
Container of ~20 servings = $39.99

What is your post workout recovery routine?

PeopleTowels

After I received the Cascadian Farm Simplicity Box at the end of last week, I’ve been looking into the companies that they included in their package. Turns out one of the brands, PeopleTowels, is local! If you looking to decrease your carbon footprint, then keep reading to find out why PeopleTowels are a MUST have in every purse, pocket and home!

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What are PeopleTowels?

PeopleTowels are the newest concept in sustainability, and the latest in eco-chic fashion. PeopleTowels is an idea borrowed from the Japanese, who have been using reusable, personal hand towels for decades. This on-the-go, sustainable alternative to paper towels in public facilities, are made of a patent-pending fabric that’s 100% certified organic Fair Trade cotton.  The light-weight fabric is absorbent, yet dries quickly. PeopleTowels are printed with eco-friendly dyes, and come in a variety of designs to appeal to different tastes and styles.  Convenient hangtags even allow you to clip or loop your PeopleTowels to your backpack, belt buckle or purse. PeopleTowels are machine washable and will last for years. The towels will soften and fade slightly after repeated washings.  You may see slight variations in the towels. -PeopleTowels website

So no, these are not people that are towels, they are just meant for people to carry around and use instead of paper towels! Plus, I think its a very cute name 🙂 As an environmentally conscious person (marine scientist after all) I’m always looking for changes I can make to reduce my carbon footprint.

Why invest in PeopleTowels?

  1. Check out graphic above.
  2. Check out their Mission Statement below:
  3. Get a 10% discount on 2+ towels using: ambassadorvzir8 at checkout!

The PeopleTowels’ mission is to empower ordinary people and socially responsible companies to contribute to a sustainable environment by replacing paper towels with reusable PeopleTowels.

Below is a picture of me using the PeopleTowels I got from the Cascadian Farm Simplicity box before yoga! Since I didn’t have a clip, I just wrapped the towel around my shoulder strap and through the little tab (so handy! HA pun…) to dry while I was in class. Doesn’t it go perfectly with my bag? I think they were meant to be together, so that one will probably live with my yoga bag. After a few more uses, I’ll be sure to throw it in the wash to get clean!

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I was so stoked about this company’s product and message (why didn’t I think of it?), that I jumped at the chance to be an ambassador as well as order a few more of my own! Since I am in Marine Science, I just HAD to get the 3-pack of the fish and waves designs (SO CUTE)!  I highly recommend getting a 3 or 5 pack supply since you can (1) choose your own design combo pack (or get a themed one like I did) and (2) its cheaper per towel! Also check out their super sale items, 50% off! I got a dog themed one too 🙂 (normally $6, sale are $3)!

Finally, I am also very excited to participate in their future design contests! They have one coming up in March and once I finish my design, I’ll be sure to share it with you!
Remember: Get a 10% discount on 2+ towels using: ambassadorvzir8 at checkout!
What steps do you take to reduce your carbon footprint?
Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary from Cascadian Farm, but all opinions expressed are my own.

First Barre

Happy Friday everyone! Another goal of mine for this year is to try a couple new fitness classes and Wednesday morning, I survived my first barre class!

IMG_3548To prepare for the new class (since the gym website didn’t offer info about what to bring) I googled ‘taking your first barre class’ and discovered it wouldn’t be too different than yoga. Suggestions included: bringing a water bottle, wearing athletic clothing (tight capri length preferred), grip socks and a yoga mat (for some places).  Fortunately I have grip socks (I like to wear around the house), so I brought a couple pairs just in case. Turned out, I didn’t need the socks or my yoga mat! However, I decided to use my mat when I saw some girl put her yoga mat on top of the small foam one.  Seemed like a smart idea because I’d rather have my own sweat all over my own yoga mat than have contact with some old mat that had probably never been cleaned (icky germs).

Once I got my mat set up, I noticed everyone grab a squishy ball (like arm balance clinic!) and a set of weights. Let me just say that I am so thankful to myself for grabbing a set of LIGHT weights (3lb-ers) because that was all I could handle…more on that in a bit. Then I spent time stretching my quads and hammies since I went on a 3 mi run/walk just before this class (yes, a double duty day!).

Then class started.

At first we did a ‘warm up’ with some plie squats and leg kicks with sweeping arms, then quickly moved on to the weights for the next 15 minutes. For example, while continuing to hold a bouncing squat we would do arm raises and holds, punches, etc… aaannnd my arms were dying.  There were only a few counts (of the whole 15 minute period) where I had to put the weights down to give my arms a break.  After the arms were warmed and worked, we did some light stretching. Then we moved to the barre.

IMG_3551Did I mention that I almost fainted?

During that warm up (not super rigorous by the way), I started to feel light headed and nauseous.  Not sure if my breakfast wasn’t sitting right or if I should have eaten a larger breakfast or hydrated more for the back to back workouts…though I did eat a couple bites of my odwalla bar with gulps of water after the run/walk for a little extra fuel. Whatever the reason for my body’s rebellion, I just walked out of class and sat on the floor around the corner for a minute with my head between my legs. After a few big deep breaths I felt much better and went back to class. Didn’t have a problem after that.

The barre.

So innocent looking…yet its the place where my legs turned to jelly. Plies flat footed with some transitions to releve (on the toes), back leg raises, back leg raises with front leg ‘squats’… some small bouncing, over and over until everyone’s legs were quivering.  Which is the point of barre, to get your muscles to shake aka. fatigue the muscles.  It is customary for the teacher to walk by and compliment you if you are shaking, like “Nice shaking“! Between these different exercises we would do some light stretching. I only wish the stretching lasted longer…felt so nice…Even though the actual movements don’t look like much (if you were to watch a class, check out youtube video below), holding them for minutes on end and doing them over and over for a half hour…is tough work!

The floor.

After the barre, we went back to the floor for the final 15 minutes to do core work and stretching. Modified bridge poses with squishy ball between thighs, plank poses (side, front), crunches with legs high up in the air…and then finished with some light stretching.  I was pooped. But I didn’t feel like my body was locking up at any point! Due to my paranoia about injury I did stay an extra 10 minutes after class just stretching (fortunately no class after for another hour). Pretty sure everyone thought I was weird for doing that. Oh well!

The next day.

Yep, I was sore. But at least I could still walk (was a bit worried)! Definitely stretched a few times yesterday, rolled out my muscles with my sprinter stick and slathered BioFreeze all over!  Hopefully I won’t have too much residual soreness for yoga tonight 🙂

What I learned (from this particular class)

  • IMG_3549Stick with my yoga mat and forego the small foam mat.  Being 5’7″, the not-even-4 foot mats were not long enough for me to hold a plank comfortably.  The extra ‘cushion’ just got in the way and didn’t offer any additional benefit to me personally…. but then again I am used to doing poses on the floor in my yoga class.
  • Socks not required (would likely change if I went to a real barre studio).
  • Stick with light weights (for now, add more weight later).
  • It will kick my butt again, but at least I know what to expect and that I can actually do a full hour.

Consensus: Loved the challenge! Even though it was my first class, I feel that my regular yoga and strength training routines over the past year made a HUGE difference in my ability to keep up with the class! I certainly wasn’t struggling, but I wasn’t ‘the best’ either. Not that I’m supposed to compare myself to others….There will be more barre in my future for sure!  🙂

Have you ever taken a Barre class?

If so, what have you learned? If not, would you ever try one?