Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Supplement Store {Review}

a little while back, My Supplement Store contacted me and asked if i'd like to review some products. i asked if i could review some protein powders and preworkout supplements. i always love trying out new protein powders, and although i don't regularly take a preworkout supplement, i do love trying them! the store also has a ton of other supplements at discounted prices, from vitamins to amino acids to even pet supplements.

here's a little review of the four products i was sent.

Allmax Nutrition Isoflex, in Mint Chocolate Supreme
this was my favorite product that i received. it blended really easily with water (there was no chalkiness at all) and tasted like a liquid peppermint patty. it's a whey protein, and also has 19 amino acids - a combination of essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids. this is a top customer pick on their website and i can totally see why.
for 30 servings (2 lb container), this product costs 39.99 on my supplement store. MSRP is 64.99.

Allmax Nutrition Hexapro in Chocolate Milkshake
this protein supplement is unlike any i've had before. it has 6 different kinds of protein in it, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, micellar casein, egg albumin, and hydrolyzed whey. all 6 proteins contribute to the 25g of protein per serving. i really liked this protein supplement, because it blended pretty well and was more like a shake than a drink. i even let my brother taste it and he was surprised at how good it was!
for 31 servings (3 lb container), this product costs 36.99 on my supplement store. MSRP is 59.99.

CTD Labs Noxipro in Pineapple Strawberry
i was really surprised that this preworkout supp actually tasted like pineapple strawberry. it tasted really good! i used about half of a serving before going to CrossFit and noticed that i had more energy (likely thanks to the caffeine). if you're sensitive to caffeine they recommend starting with a smaller serving and i didn't quite know how i was going to react to a new product, so i only used half a serving.
for 45 servings, this product costs 24.95 on my supplement store. MSRP is 44.99.

CTD Labs Noxipro Chrome in Fruit Punch
same as above, i was once again impressed by the taste of this preworkout. this product is a follow up to the original Noxipro and according to the website, is a more advanced formula. i didn't notice too big of a difference in energy between the two preworkout supplements, but i still felt a bit of an increase before my workout (and that was with only taking half a serving).
for 46 servings, this product costs 26.34 on my supplement store. MSRP is 49.99.

while i don't see myself taking a preworkout supplement regularly, i do see benefit in having one around to use on those days where you just don't feel like hitting the gym.

do you take a preworkout supp? 
favorite place to buy supplements? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Paleo Almond Scones.

thanks to the coconut sugar that i bought the other day, i finally made a recipe that's 100% paleo! or at least i think it is. i don't really know all those paleo rules. who follows rules anyway? 

i'm still not paleo, in case you're wondering. i've just been experimenting and i noticed that i feel a lot better when i eat baked goods made with yummies like almond flour and coconut flour instead of that white flour stuff. and i always feel like the best baker ever when i can get my mom to like paleo goodies, because she is the queen of baking.

fyi: these are reeeeally, reeaaally good with almond milk ice cream. i bought some the other day at whole foods when it was on sale and i'm obsessed. 

oh, and you should go check out this chocolate chip cookie scone recipe from taylor at taylor made it paleo. she makes some pretty awesome treats (oh, and she actually eats paleo. she's legit.) and those tasty little scones are what inspired me to come up with this version. 

anyway, here's the recipe - hope you like em!
Paleo Almond Scones

by Julianna Foster
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Keywords: bake breakfast snack dessert paleo gluten-free
Ingredients (8 scones)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (if you don't have this on hand, substitute brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • scant 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine almond butter, egg, almond milk, and almond extract.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined. Stir in sliced almonds.
Place dough on a sheet of parchment paper and flatten into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut dough into 8 triangles.
Place scones on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes or until scones are golden brown.
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Virtual Coffee Date 8.24.13

if we were having coffee this morning, we'd also be eating these freshly made chocolate chip scones (that also happen to be paleo). i'd probably talk about them for a good 5 minutes, i'm so in love with them. recipe coming soon!

if we were having coffee this morning, i'd tell you that i'm ready to head back to school. there's still a month of summer left, but the month ahead looks mostly the same as the months before. work, internship, and crossfit. i'm really going to miss crossfit a lot, and i'm grateful that i have another month to learn some more at the PT office and to make some more money at my other job, but i'm ready to leave. to be reunited with my best friends, to be living in one of my favorite places in the world, to head back to class (did i really just say that?).

if we were having coffee this morning, i'd tell you that i finally jumped back into a #shereadstruth study today. it's been far too long since i just sat there and soaked up His word. i'd tell you how i'm so incredibly grateful and thankful for His boundless grace that every time i screw up, He's right there waiting for me.

if we were having coffee this morning, i'd be freaking out a bit that my first crossfit competition is in a week. i'm really excited for it at the same time, but i'm also super nervous. it's team competition, and i'm on the novice team from my box, but i don't want to let anyone down since i'm still pretty new to crossfit. but i'm also super excited because i get to spend two days doing something i love, learning a lot, and being challenged. i'm also really happy that i got a chance to do a competition before i leave to head back to school, because i won't be doing any while i'm down there.

if we were having coffee this morning, you'd be calming down my frustration at the fact that i have to take a CPR/First Aid class for my sports med internship next year... and it costs $140. at ucla, it costs $10. but there aren't any classes down there before the deadline to be certified, so i'm stuck taking it up here, and everywhere around me, it's $140. yayyyy spending money. not. // rant over

if we were having coffee this morning, i'd tell you that i'm so excited to have a day off this weekend to hang out with my momma. i haven't gotten to spend much time with her lately because of our conflicting schedules (she's coming home from work after i've already left for work and she's in bed when i get home) so i'm really excited!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Products I'm Loving

happy almost-friday, everyone! i'm so excited for the weekend because i actually have a day off- i think i might finally get myself to the beach or go see a movie. anyone have any fun plans for the weekend?

today i thought i'd share with you some random products (mostly foodie finds) that i've been loving lately. i always love reading these types of posts, especially since usually i find out about something i hadn't seen before!

**this post isn't sponsored - just my own opinions and love for these products**

this coconut milk creamer is to die for. i've been having it every morning in my coffee! it stirs right in and gives my coffee a little bit of sweetness. 

guys, i am OBSESSED with these clif bars. i seriously can't get enough of them and broke down and bought a whole box of them at whole foods today. i've never bought a whole box of any sort of bar there before, that's how much i love these. the ingredients list is short and sweet (dates, almonds, unsweetened chocolate, coconut, coconut oil, and sea salt), and they taste like a brownie. and not in that 'healthy brownie' kind of way, either- they're soft, fudgy, and oh so good. go buy some. you won't regret it.

i absolutely love this juice, but most of the time it's way to expensive to even consider buying. then a few weeks ago i discovered this huge 64oz bottle of it for only $5.99 at costco! (side note: my dad calls it barf juice because it looks so gross, haha) i love having about half a cup in the morning when i wake up. the whole bottle lasts me about two weeks!

i've been trying to get better about foam rolling and stretching lately and this little guy has been a lot of help. it's a trigger point roller and hurts a ton but you feel a lot better after you use it. i also tried out a theracane at the PT office today and absolutely loved it - it's basically a more intense sensation than a lacrosse ball or a myofascial release ball, and it feels even better afterward. i'm considering buying one since they're not too crazy expensive and would help a lot with getting knots out of my upper back. 

so remember how i went on that paleo rant the other day? you know, that all sugar is still sugar and that i wasn't about to go out and buy fancy ingredients to make a recipe paleo. well, not even a day later and i went to costco with my dad and saw this huge bag of coconut sugar for $9.99 and couldn't resist buying it. the bag is so huge it's going to last me forever, and it was a pretty decent price too. so far i've been loving it! i had some on a sweet potato yesterday and in my oatmeal this morning, and it reminds me of brown sugar. i can't wait to bake with it!

along with the aforementioned sweet potato, last night i had the best post-WOD feast. i thought it was worth mentioning because it was so good. trader joe's turkey burgers are my favorite - no weird ingredients and they taste fantastic. i also love their fresh brussels sprouts and coconut oil spray! 

guys, my brother was the one to discover this cereal. not me, the foodie that loves grocery shopping. my brother. the guy who could survive off of honey bunches of oats, burgers, and pizza. he bought healthy food. excuse me while i go freak out. say whaaat? i'm glad he's finally getting on the healthier food bandwagon now that he's living in an apartment on his own, but i'm still shocked. can't believe the day finally came! ;) anyway, this cereal is super good - i love the chewy little pieces of apple and raisins and am really glad my bro brought some home for me so that i could try it! 

i've also been loving this chipotle-esque corn salsa from trader joe's lately. i could eat chipotle every day (my wallet would not be able to handle that, though! haha) so i figured i'd try my hand at making a burrito bowl at home. i just cooked up some turkey meat with taco seasoning, topped it with some black beans, this corn salsa, and guac - perfection. 

i've been loving the target brand of athletic tape lately. i bought some when i ripped my hands for the first time (it was the day that i finally got kipping pull-ups), and then watched a bunch of videos on how to tape my hands. and then, of course i forgot my tape at home for a WOD with a bunch of pull-ups in it and ripped my hands in two places again this week. needless to say this tape has been my lifesaver for all of my WODs recently since my hands still aren't in the greatest shape. 

i also bought some almondmilk ice cream at whole foods today since it was on sale (i also got a huge bag of sweet potato chips for $1, score!) and i'm going to try it tonight - i'm really excited to see if it's any good. 

what products have you been loving lately?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Link Love 8.21.13

i haven't done a link love post in forever & have been reading some great stuff lately, so i figured it was about time to share! <3

what have you been reading lately?

WIAW: Guacamole.

apparently, i really like guacamole. and eggs. and sriracha.
that is all. happy WIAW! 

cheerios, kashi golean, strawberries, blueberries, almond butter, almond milk

dinner packed for work: carrots with guac, blueberries, almonds, string cheese, and a paleoish brownie

breakfast burrito with eggs, laughing cow, and guacamole

coconut oil roasted brussel sprouts (one of my favorite foods ever!)

sweet potato fries, chicken with guacamole

an open face sandwich on california black bread with guacamole and eggs

a salad at the counter, with mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, pickles, onions, a 1/3 pound beef burger with cheddar cheese, and avocado

only the best pizza in the entire world: golden boy pizza.

post run smoothie with berries, vanilla protein powder, lemon juice, and almond milk

eggs with spinach, goat cheese, sriracha, and a trader joe's chicken sausage (i love the spicy jalepeno kind!)

eggs with spinach, chicken sausage, laughing cow wedge, and sriracha

a brunch at Denica's: an egg scramble with mushrooms, green onion, andouille sausage, and pepperjack cheese, with a side of toast and fruit 

a bowl of grilled chicken, spinach, shredded cheese, guacamole, and sriracha 

what food are you currently loving right now?

Monday, August 19, 2013

MIMM 8.19.13

happy almost-tuesday, everyone! thought i'd participate in katie's marvelous in my monday link-up since this is a random post and what better way to tie it together than some marvelousness?

marvelous is... snuggles with my baby girl. who apparently had a question while she was sleeping, haha!

marvelous is... saturday morning coconut flour pancakes with dark chocolate dreams PB and fresh raspberries. 

marvelous is... this awesome sign i found in chinatown! regretting not buying it already..

marvelous is... a beautiful day in the city!

marvelous is... being reunited with one of my best friends from school for the weekend! she matches my crazy.

marvelous is... brunch with friends! i got a spinach, mushroom, and avocado omelet that was delicious. 

marvelous is... iced skinny mochas from starbucks. i'm obsessed and it's kind of a problem because my wallet isn't happy about spending $4 every other day on a drink, haha. 

marvelous is... going shopping & finding some good deals! i love this dress, and i also got a pair of mint shorts for $10 (score!) and a few pieces of jewelry (like the ring in the above photo for $3).

marvelous is... the toasted marshmallow latte i got at biscoff in SF. soooo good! 

 marvelous is... RX'ing a WOD! even when it's one with tons of pull-ups and you forgot to tape your hands and now they're ripped. #worthit

marvelous is... luke bryan. and his new album. playing it again. and again.

what was marvelous in your monday?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Monterey Spartan Beast 2013

hi guys- hope you're all having a wonderful week! i got some photos from my Spartan Race today so i finally get to share my experience with you guys. i did the Spartan Beast in Monterey last Saturday with my good buddy Ryan. the Beast is the longest of the 3 Spartan Race distances, aside from the Death Race. it's 10-12 miles (ours ended up being 12.49), over 25 obstacles, and some of the steepest hills i've climbed up/down in my life.

the net obstacle/the entrance to the race!
on race day, my start time wasn't until 2:00pm, which was perfect because i still got enough sleep and had time to put together my stuff in the morning.

here's what i packed:
  • towel
  • sweatpants
  • sweatshirt
  • spare shorts
  • spare shirt
  • spare bra/underwear/socks
  • face wipes
  • advil
  • blister bandaids
  • sunscreen
  • water and vitamin water
  • 2 clif mojo bars, blueberries, cashews
and here's what i wore and what i had with me:
  • older pair of Nike Lunarglides
  • sweat wicking socks (from my cross country days, actually)
  • nike capris
  • nike sports bra
  • an old nike pro combat shirt 
  • a plastic bag with my driver's license, $25, and my headlamp
  • 2 hammer gels
i probably brought other stuff, too, but i think that's most of it! i'm actually really happy with what i brought along to this race. i also was concerned about my outfit and debated back and forth between wearing capris and shorts, but in the end i'm glad i went with the capris. more coverage on the rocky/muddy terrain! i ended up ditching my shirt about 1/3 of the way into the race after the first barbed wire mud obstacle, and i felt a lot better after i did. running in a muddy, rock filled, wet shirt is never fun!

tip: BRING money if you do a spartan race. you will be absolutely starving at the end and half a banana is not going to cut it, so i was really grateful to have the money to buy some food. they also were having major sales on reebok apparel so i got a couple of cool shirts for super cheap.

anyway, onto the race! we got to the parking lot about an hour and a half before the start time (running a little behind, the spartan race website suggested being there two hours beforehand), and had no problems getting onto the shuttle that took us the 40 minutes to the race course. when we got there, there wasn't any line for getting our bibs which was really nice - i think it was because we had such a late start time! with our bibs came a timing chip wristband, and a headband with our bib number on it. i think the headband is a genius idea, since a lot of people ended up losing their bibs along the course.

after using the restroom and walking around a bit, it was almost time to go! i was getting really pumped up at this point - i love obstacle course races! and then right around 2:00pm we set off. the first mile or so was nice and flat and the obstacles weren't too bad - a few smaller walls to climb over and under, some mud hills and mud pits, and then we hit the trails.

the entire race was one big HILL! if we weren't going up, we were going down. my friend Ryan and i tried to run as much as we could, but on some of the uphills it just wasn't possible. for the most part we ran all of the downhills though! it was kind of cool because we had a lot of people - mostly these huge buff 20-30 year old men - tell us that they were just trying to keep up with us. it was also pretty funny because we were all swearing and asking why we paid $200 to have someone torture us (but really, you knew that we were all secretly loving it, haha).

as for the obstacles, i absolutely loved them. here's a list of some of the ones that i can remember!
  • 6 foot wall 
  • bench jumps 
  • dragging a rock attached to a chain down and up a hill 
  • carrying a sandbag for a little loop
  • dragging a tire back and forth
  • monkey bars 
  • a VERY long mud section with barbed wire. we found the easiest way to handle this was to roll, since you had less chance of getting hit by the wire. however, this section was also uphill, so sometimes it was really difficult! the people spraying water on the mud had a lot of fun soaking us, too. 
  • filling a bucket (that didn't have a handle) up with sand and carrying it up a super steep hill and back down <-- HARDEST obstacle of the race. everyone died. 
check out that face.. LOL!
  • an inverted wall 
  • mud hills/pits with a rope climb at the end - i was pissed about this one because i know i can do rope climbs, but my shoes were super muddy and i just couldn't get a grip, and only made it halfway up the rope. since i couldn't complete the obstacle, i did my first set of 30 burpees. 
  • traverse wall - basically a wall with sparse footholds and handholds that you had to make your way across, and it was after the mud pits so of course i slipped right off. second set of 30 burpees! 
  • a huge net that you climbed up, rolled across, and climbed down. this one was cool because under the net bridge was the entry/exit for the race so everyone below could see you and was cheering you on! i ended up getting a huge leg cramp in the middle of this obstacle so i'm sure i looked ridiculous to those below because i was practically hitting my leg trying to get it to stop cramping. should have taken that salt that they had at the aid stations!
  • a second mud and barbed wire obstacle
  • tire flips
  • a spear throw - which, of course i missed! third set of 30 burpees.
  • carrying a heavy block of cement about 25m, doing 5 burpees, and carrying it back
  • a bucket/pulley obstacle where you pulled up a bucket filled with concrete using a rope. my friend wasn't able to do this one, so i did about half of his burpees with him!
  • the spartans at the end of the race with this huge toothpick looking like things that were hitting as many people as they could! 
i know i'm definitely forgetting some obstacles but you guys get the idea! i also have to say that the hills in and of themselves were a huge obstacle. i didn't do much trail running and didn't run very many hills before the race, but was surprised at how well i handled them. it was also really fun because we had to go down all the hills we went up, and some of them were super steep - so steep that you couldn't walk down them. everyone was sliding down and it was so much fun! it actually didn't hurt at all - we just put our feet first, hands out to the sides, and kept our butts off the ground a little bit. most of the time these downhills were pretty sandy, which was nice because my hands didn't get too cut up. 

overall, i have to say this is my all time favorite race to date! it was like a combination of a cross country race, a super steep hike, and a bunch of CrossFit style obstacles - some of my favorite things all in one. also, the aid stations were well placed (and they never ran out of water - hallelujah!), and i'm so grateful for the volunteers out there helping the racers out!

we ended up finishing with a time of 3:50:06, which i am really proud of. i was expecting to take around 5 hours to finish this race, and we completely crushed that goal! i also got 3rd place out of 17 girls in my age group, got 77th out of 973 women, and overall finished 721 out of 3697 racers. 

even almost a week later i'm still on a high from this race! i would do one again in a heartbeat. being surrounded by that many people just as insane as i am about doing crazy stuff like this was awesome. it was so incredibly inspiring!

and a huge thanks to my buddy Ryan, who took most of the photos in this post. he was the only person insane enough to do a half marathon and a Spartan Beast less than a week apart with me!

have you ever done a Spartan Race before?