Sunday, June 30, 2013

Kona Kase {Review}

I received a complimentary Kona Kase to review as a participant in a Fitfluential campaign. All opinions are my own. This is not a compensated post. 

Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far.

I started off my morning with a latte, a trip to Whole Foods (right when it opened, naturally), a short run, and a nice plate of coconut flour pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Perfect Sunday right there!

Anyway, today I have a fun review for you - Kona Kase!

A Kona Kase is a box full of eight different nutritional products that gets sent to your doorstep once a month. Each month there's new goodies, and it's only $15/month, with free shipping, and you can cancel at anytime if need be.

In addition to the goodies in each box, there's different motivational quotes in each box as well as information about each of the companies' products that were included in the box. For some products there's even discount codes if you want to purchase more for yourself, which I thought was really cool!

I was sent the June box to review; here's what I got!

  • 18 Rabbits Cheeky Cherry Chocolate Granola Bar: I thought that I wasn't going to like this bar because I'm not a fan of fruit and chocolate together, but I ended up loving it! It was a great snack before I went mountain biking with a friend & kept me full for quite awhile. 
  • Madagascar Vanilla Almond KIND bar: This bar wasn't my favorite KIND bar (almond cashew still holds #1) but it was still pretty good. 
  • HalfPops Natural Butter & Pure Ocean Sea Salt: These babies were interesting! It's half-popped popcorn, and they kind of reminded me of Corn Nuts. They were a bit salty but other than that I really liked them. 
  • Doctor Will Bar: The bar was kind of small, but it was delicious! Similar to a Larabar and very peanut buttery, which I loved.
  • Mango OneBar: The little kid in me loved that this was included in the box. I love dried fruit anything and this mango bar was delicious. 
  • Mamma Chia Apple Cinnamon Chia Squeeze: Although I like chia seeds, I still can't get used to them in a pudding/drink sort of way. The flavors of this squeeze pack were spot on, just like apple pie, but I couldn't get past the texture. 
  • Osmo Nutrition Orange Active Hydration Packet: I was really excited to try this packet on one of my longer runs last week, but when I took a sip, I didn't taste any orange at all. I had to check and make sure I dumped the packet in! This was my least favorite item included in the box.
  • Double Espresso Clif Shot: I LOVE espresso flavored gels, so this one was right up my alley. I hadn't had the Clif brand before, but it was really good when I had it during a run. It also had 100mg of caffeine, which was perfect for this girl because I need a lot of caffeine to affect me (coffee addict alert)!
(You can also take a peek at past month's boxes here.)

Overall, I really enjoyed my box! Kona Kase is definitely geared towards more endurance athletes, and would make a perfect gift for a runner or a biker. My mom even thought it was a really cool idea and is going to buy one for a friend in her spinning classes. 

Have you tried a monthly subscription food box before?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIAW: Home.

finally I have some good eats to share with you guys on this WIAW!

i love these Naked juices! delicious, filling, and get more greens in (which is always a good thing).

lattes from peet's coffee are my favorites

can't go wrong with a bacon cheddar burger grilled by my dad! with sides of sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli

half a cantaloupe filled with plain greek yogurt and almond meal

grilled shrimp and sweet potato fries. lots of orange!

homemade protein waffle with peanut butter, maple syrup, and fresh berries

sweet potato fries dipped in almond butter = best. snack. ever. 

the before photo of my bowl..

and after! this was shrimp, kale, goat cheese, and three eggs. noms.

dinner at work: baked sweet potato chunks, grilled chicken, and goat cheese

big smoothie with frozen berries, vanilla protein powder, almond milk, and lemon juice

two farm fresh eggs with goat cheese and pepper

hummus, spinach, and cheddar wrap

whole wheat pasta with red lentils, free range chicken meatballs, vodka sauce, and parmesan

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whitewater Rafting on the American River.

Hey guys! I just had to pop in and share some sweet photos from my adventures yesterday.. my dad and my brother and I went whitewater rafting on the American River (middle fork) and had the most amazing time! Definitely a highlight of my year, that's for sure.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves.. our photographer who kayaked the whole river was great!

It was an epic day, that's for sure! We got lucky and had two guides in our raft (one had guided this river for 5 years but was coming back to take a trip down and see how it'd changed), one from Denmark and one from New Zealand. They were a lot of fun! It was really nice because it was just them and us in our raft, so we got to be adventurous (hence the raft flip, lol)!

The weather was perfect, the scenery was absolutely beautiful, and I had an absolute blast. This was my family's 6th or 7th time whitewater rafting and we all agreed that it was our favorite trip!

have you ever been whitewater rafting before?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CrossFit Update.

prepare yourselves.. lots of CrossFit talk ahead!
This one's been long overdue! I've gone back to CrossFit three more times since i last blogged... and guys, all i have to say is i LOVE it. It feels like home. 

I love having a coach to give me pointers and to tell me to add just that little bit of extra weight or eek out that one last rep when my brain's telling me that I can't. 

I love being competitive with myself. 

I love pushing myself far beyond what I thought I could. 

I love how everyone sticks together, and everyone cheers the last person on til the end. 

I love the sweat, I love the challenge, I love it all. 

Yeah, I've tasted the crossfit koolaid.. and I'm never going back! The funny thing is, I really was doing a lot of this before in my IFT Barbell class and didn't even realize it. But I also know that there's so much I don't know how to do, and every class I go to I learn something new. 

sweaty post WOD happiness. classic excited Julianna face of course!
Anyway, here's a little recap of the past few days. 
Sunday 6/16/13
Against a 10 minute clock:
1 shoulder press (135/95)
1 L pullup
2 shoulder press
2 L pullup
... continute pattern as high as possible in 10 min
For time: 
3 rounds:
10 squat cleans (135/95)
20 KB swings (70/53)
30 Double unders
I used 58# for the shoulder press, and used a blue band for the pull-ups. I barely made it through the pull-ups by the end of the 10 minutes, it's definitely one of my weaker skills! Then for the WOD, I used 63# for the squat cleans, a 26# kettlebell, and did 90 singles instead of double unders. Obviously, scaling everything. I could have gone heavier on the squat cleans, but there's always next time! I have no idea how women at my box were using a 53# kettlebell. It's so humbling to see how hard everyone else works, I can't wait to get to where they are someday. 
I took Monday off because I was sore, although I really wanted to go since this week is PR week and we were doing back squats, which I actually haven't done before, surprisingly. Not to mention the WOD was Cindy, which I've only done 10 minutes of before (and I died) and it is 20 minutes long. But I figured that taking the day off was a little bit smarter since I haven't ever done more than 2 days in a row of this type of thing before. 

Yesterday was my kind of workout! I'm great at running and bodyweight stuff (for the most part) so when I saw this WOD I was so stoked. 
Tuesday 6/18/13
Take 15 minutes to establish a 1RM deadlift
Max effort 1 mile run
AMRAP 7 min:
I PR'd my deadlift (183 pounds, woot woot!) and on the mile ran it in 6:14. I came in first at my box on that one! And then I did 91 burpees in 7 minutes. I *think* that would've been a PR, but the last time I did the same sort of thing, it was 100 burpees for time and I did them in 8:03. I think I might have been able to fit in 10 more burpees in a minute. I can't wait to beat it next time! Goal is to get 100 in 7 minutes. 

Today, I really, really did not want to go to CrossFit. I've never done clean and jerks before, and that was the entire WOD. I can clean just fine, but I've never done a split-stance jerk (where you basically jump into a lunge as you launch the bar overhead). Because of that, though, I got myself out of bed and I went because if I don't challenge myself, when am I ever going to get better? 

today's WOD:
Wednesday 6/19/13
Take 20 minutes to establish a 1rm Clean and jerk
For time:
30 clean and jerk (135/95)
My coach was awesome and helped me make sure I had the movement right in the beginning. I think I caught on pretty quickly, and got up to 103# for the 1rm. I think I could've gone heavier, but with this type of lift, it's so easy to let your head get to you (I mean, you're holding a bunch of weight right over your head!). I almost stopped at 98# when I didn't get 103 on the first try but then tried again after my coach came over and gave me a few pointers, and I got it! 

For Grace, I used 83# and finished in 8:19. I was the last one to finish at my box (most people were done in under 5 minutes and the last person to finish before me was about 7 minutes) but it was really cool because everyone was cheering me on at the end. I was so proud of myself because I made it through with a weight that was pretty heavy and challenging for me. 

After I finished Grace, my feet were killing me! I have been wearing my Nike frees this whole time, but now I want to look into getting a shoe specifically designed for CrossFit. 

Food + first year + summer bucket list updates are coming! For now, I'm off to work soon & tomorrow I'm going whitewater rafting with my dad and brother. Can't wait! 

for those of you who CrossFit, what's your favorite shoe(s)? 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

home sweet home (& my first CrossFit class!)

i finally came home for the first time in 5 months yesterday!

moving out was bittersweet because the last year has been the best year of my life, hands down. i made the most amazing friends, was incredibly challenged academically, became even more of an independent person than i already was, and so much more. UCLA is the best thing that's ever happened to me. & there's a whole post on that coming later!

one of the last sunsets of my first year! 
anyway, coming home was seriously like discovering a whole new wardrobe. after the long drive i started unpacking right away and then discovered how much crap i have. there were a lot of things that i left at home that i completely forgot i had - so i went through it all and threw away and donated most of it. it felt so good! i still have some more unpacking to do (and a lot of stuff is staying in boxes for moving back in in the fall) but it's so, so, so good to be home. 

i get to hang out with my babies and smother them in kisses. 

and sit on a couch and watch TV on a big screen.

and drive my CAR! (while blasting imagine dragons, of course!) 

and make pancakes & eat loads of berries. 

and, try out my first CrossFit class!

i knew that i was going to miss my IFT barbell class like crazy when i came home this summer, so i looked into crossfit. i found a box that's 10 minutes away from my house and  emailed one of the coaches about a week ago asking how to get started. he told me about the free intro class they have on saturdays so i decided to go to that this morning (even though getting out of bed was reeeallyy hard. i was wiped from yesterday!). 

i was super nervous beforehand because it's really easy to get intimidated by crossfit, for many reasons! i almost bailed out like 10 minutes before i was supposed to leave, but then i realized how stupid i was being. lifting and doing intense workouts is something that i absolutely love, so why not try it? 

so i went! the box is reeeeally cool, especially compared to the room we use at school for IFT. i felt like a little kid at a playground! and the coach that i met was really nice. it was just me and this other girl there for the intro class, and the coach told us about what crossfit is and what a typical class looks like. then he went over some of the movements with us, and had us do a 12 minute AMRAP workout of jump rope, thrusters, kettlebell swings, and burpees. 

guys, i absolutely LOVED it. i knew how to do most of the stuff he went over today, and he told me i had a perfect front squat (using a PVC pipe, haha). this kind of stuff is my favorite kind of workout!! i know there's so much potential for me to really challenge myself, learn a lot, and have a lot of fun. 

after the intro class i was stretching and the coach came and talked to me a little bit - he asked about my IFT class, if we lifted heavy, and if i could a couple of things (like snatches). and then he told me that i could skip the fundamentals class (which is where they teach you most of the movements you do in crossfit)!! the other coach that i'd already emailed had told me that there was a possibility to skip the fundamentals class depending on how much experience i'd had, but i was fully planning on taking the class unless after the intro class a coach told me otherwise. 

i left with the biggest smile on my face! i am so grateful that i took the plunge fall quarter last year and signed up for my barbell class, because if i hadn't, i don't know if i would've been able to get myself to go to that intro class today. i was so nervous, but i'm incredibly glad that i went. i know that there's so much for me to learn and improve on, but i love a challenge. 

here's to a freakin' awesome summer! 

have you ever tried crossfit?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thought of the Day

my joys right now: cherishing these last few days with my best friends here at school, going out to dinner tonight, & having an awesome workout at IFT yesterday and today.
let's chat: what's bringing you joy?