Tuesday, October 21, 2014

REVIEW: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

I was lucky enough to be asked to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador earlier this year. One of the (many) perks of this relationship is I get to sample and review some kick-butt products.

Fit Approach

Most recently I was sent some Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts to give a whirl. I was sent a 2 ounce bag of the Natural Harvest Hemp Hearts (they also have an Organic version as well).

2 ounce Bag of Manitoba Harvest Natural Hemp Hearts
What arrived in the mail :)

A little about the Hearts:

About Hemp Hearts

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Infographic

Like the info-graphic states, they are TASTY, easy to use, and full of good stuff (i.e. protein, Omega 3's and Omega 6's, etc). I have had tried them on their own, threw them into the blender while making my smoothies, added them to my morning cereal, dipped bananas in them, and have also layered them into parfaits. The flavor is like that of almonds (can you say YUM?!) and it helps to keep me full longer (read that as "no snacking between meals" and "making healthy choices").

Layered Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts in a Parfait
Layered the hearts throughout my parfait 

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts with my Morning Cereal
I also add it to my morning cereal (but it is hard to see
since they are similar colors ;))

As a vegetarian, I am often asked (or maybe scolded) about how I get protein. Their are MANY choices out in the plant-based world and HEMP HEARTS is just another amazing VEGAN option!

I would highly recommend picking up a bag and sprinkling some goodness on your next meal (whether it is yogurt, cereal, smoothies, salad, fruit, etc)... that is if you can restrain yourself from eating them straight out of the bag :).

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts on my Tongue
They are delicious to eat on their own as well :)

And it MUST BE your LUCKY DAY! The fabulous folks over at Manitoba Harvest have provided me a promo code for 20% off your order... Simply use "HHSweatPink14" and enjoy another one of my perks ;) [The code expires November 30th, so order NOW and SAVE!]

Oh yeah, and Manitoba Harvest is also currently running a HUGE contest! You can enter to win a 5 POUND bag of Hemp Hearts! To enter: get creative in the kitchen, tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in you Instagram and/or Twitter post and you'll be automatically entered. ANYONE is eligible for the contest. The winner will be selected after the November 30th deadline! (You better believe I will be entering...)

Have you ever tried hemp hearts before?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sour Faces

I just don't get it... Why are there so many sour faces out there? It's like the ANGRY CAT has become a way of life for so many folks...


To be honest, I notice it a lot when I am out running or biking. I will try to say "HI" or "Good morning/ afternoon" to everyone I pass. You would be STUNNED at how many people won't even make look up. I mean honestly, what does it take to acknowledge someone?!


And even though I notice it more frequently when I am out running or biking (maybe it is because I do that rather often ;)), it happens EVERY WHERE I GO! Whether I am checking the mail, shopping for groceries, going to CHURCH, eating at a restaurant, etc... It's like people think if they make eye contact with me I may attack... Or that you will get "stuck" in a conversation for hours. I promise, I don't bite and am only saying HELLO!


Now don't get me wrong! I'm NOT saying you need to always be happy or plaster a smile on your face 24/7 (although some folks think that's my life), but I am just flabbergasted at how BLESSED we are and yet folks can't even crack a smile or give a head nod to those around them.


Sometimes I think we just need to get out of our own heads (and selfishness) and look for ways to make those around us happy (even if it is just for a brief moment)! Hold the door open for a stranger, buy the person in line behind you a coffee, drop off cookies for your local firefighters, or simply SMILE at everyone you come in contact!

WARNING: Making others smile often will cause you to smile yourself ;)

Are you a smiler? Or a sour puss? 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 42

Sunday, October 12th – Rest Day (walked around Disneyland for the morning)Foam Rolled & Stretched

Monday, October 13th –  4 mile (easy pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Tuesday, October 14th –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Wednesday, October 15th 5 mile (tempo pace) run, 8.1 mile bike ride (commuting to and from the office), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Thursday, October 16th – 19.2 mile bike ride, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Friday, October 17th – 18 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Saturday, October 18th – 4 mile (long run pace) run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Another week of Marathon Training down! 

We have started to get a little fall weather here in SoCal, but I hear it isn't supposed to stick around for too long. Definitely took advantage of "sleeve" weather, but with the temps heading back up in the high 80s by mid-week, I will probably be able to keep them in the closet for a few more weeks. 

How were your workouts this past week?  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FanGirl Confessions (& Discount Codes)

Before I get into the MEAT of this post, I must make a confession.

Maybe it's just me, but I have some folks I follow on Instagram, Twitter, etc that I think are pretty much AMAZING. And I don't just mean amazing, like they are pretty cool, but more like if they happen to like my stuff it makes me giddy and I talk about it for days ;)

I mean, I still have the screenshot of when Nate Burleson (the ex-Detroit Lion football player) started following me on Instagram and then liked one of my tweets :)

Well, since I started running about 2.5 years ago, I obviously follow a lot of runners on social media. Most of them probably have NO idea who I am (and why would they?!), but some how I have been blessed enough to actually be able to interact with some FABULOUS runners!!

One of them goes by the name "RunEMZ". If you don't know her, YOU SHOULD! She is a FAN-FREAKIN'-TASTIC speed demon of an ultra marathoner, treadmill runnin' MAMA! Yep, she just had her second baby (oh, sweet Baby B) 2 months ago! For some reason she started following my on Instagram (um, can you say YEAR made?!) and actually likes some of my pictures (I still have a fangirl moment every time I see a like or comment from her and squeal to Ryan about it). [PS If you missed it, she participated in our #18withfriends virtual run we did yesterday]

Anyway, as you probably know (since I can't shut up about it - sorry if I am annoying, but you will have to continue to deal with it for the next 4.5 months), I will be running the Phoenix Marathon in February. This is my MAIN full marathon, the one where I am trying to go sub-4.

Well, low-and-behold RunEMZ (along with a crew of WONDERFUL friends and soon to be friends ;)) will BE THERE! Not only that, she asked me to help her spread the word about the race. No... wait a second... let that sink in... SHE ASKED ME TO HELP HER! I am still sort of in shock that she even thought of me... Okay, I am completely stunned!

And with that being said, I gotta step it up and get my booty in gear! I don't want to let her or the Phoenix Marathon down.

Now I am not being compensated for this in any way (I actually registered a few months back at full price), but am just trying to promote the crap out this race. Obviously I can't speak to the race itself (other than what I have heard or read online), since the 2015 Phoenix Marathon will be my first time running it, but I can spread the hype, right?!

To help promote the race, the lovely folks at the Phoenix Marathon (since RunEMZ vouched for me - holy crapoly!) created a coupon code for my friends, family, and followers to use while registering.

The code is "McDot10" (it IS case sensitive) for 10% off your registration. As I'm sure you've noticed, I run A LOT of races, so I totally know how expensive race registrations can be. EVERY PENNY HELPS, so use the code, spread the word, and let's ROCK THIS RACE together!!

Tell me I'm not the only fangirl out there... Any of you get stoked when someone likes your stuff?!

Friday, October 17, 2014

18 With Friends

Last night, before I went to bed, I casually mentioned I had an 18 mile run on tap for this morning. pointonemiles saw and said he wanted to join in the fun. Then RunEMZ said she wanted to run with us as well. scgiancasp said she had 16 miles on the schedule, but I talked her into throwing in an extra two (#AllTheCoolKidsAreDoingIt)! Quickly word spread and a hashtag was created - #18withfriends.

So this morning I went out on a virtual 18 mile run with friends. Don't get confused, I physically ran all 18 miles, nothing virtual about that, but I "virtually" ran with friends. pointonemiles running in Texas, RunEMZ running in Arizona, scgiancasp running in Oregon, me running in SoCal and the list just kept on growing (and continues to grow!).

My weather app said it would be cool and cloudy, so I decided to leave my hydration and sunnies at home... BIG MISTAKE...


I realized when I started running it was an extremely humid one. There are two major traffic lights I have to cross within my first 2 miles. I knew it would be a soggy run when I stopped at the first one and the faucets of sweat turned on... YUM!

Thankfully my turn around stop was at a local park, which had a drinking fountain. I decided I would grab a quick drink, take 5 of my PROBAR Bolt energy chews, and post a selfie to Twitter so everyone could join along with me in the process.

The next 6 miles were great. I felt like things were "clicking". Not that I was going fast (I was averaging around 9:30/mile the whole run), but I wasn't having any funny aches and it seemed pretty effortless to stay at a consistent pace. Oh yeah, and I was running with my back to the sun which was now out in full effect :)

Around mile 14 I hit my next stop - another drinking fountain. I got some water (was a bit more parched than I would have liked to be at this point), took 5 more PROBAR Bolt energy chews, and posted another picture to Twitter of my view (the Pacific Ocean, not too shabby).

Rough to get made at a run when you've got this to look at!

You know I gotta #KeepItTight with PRO Compression
socks on my long runs! My new BOOM socks came in
the mail yesterday - just in time to try them out!

The last few miles were a bit rough. I was getting hungry, extra sweaty (and salty from the sea air), and a bit thirsty. Want to know what help me going?! Knowing I had friends running around the country at the same time as me. It was the virtual push I needed. Sure, I may have been running on my own, but I definitely wasn't alone!

Don't laugh... I'm still trying to get the hang of where to look
when taking a selfie on my phone ;)

The running community ROCKS MY SOCKS!! We would LOVE for you to join in on the virtual fun! Run where you can, when you can, and how far you can. Use the hashtag #18withfriends and HAVE A BLAST! I know that StuftMama and PavementRunner are planning on getting their miles in tomorrow, while others are breaking the mileage up over the weekend for 18 miles total. RUN WITH US!! 

Are you planning on doing #18withfriends?! 

REVIEW: Project Repat

What do you do with all of your race shirts?

If you are like me, you have TONS of them... Most of them ill-fitting and never worn... But even though I haven't physically worn them, they are treasured possessions; reminders of what I have accomplished. Even so, mine have been sitting in a pile in my closet, waiting for SOMETHING to be done with them.

What do you do with all of your race shirts?

A few months ago I told hubby that for Christmas I wanted him to get them made into a blanket for me. We normally don't get each other gifts (the past couple years we have done tattoos), so I thought this would be something he could do for me that I would LOVE.

That is where Project Repat comes in.

Project Repat Mailer

I found Project Repat through Krissy. She recently had some of her running shirts turned into a blanket (hey, great minds think alike), so I thought I would check them out.

Project Repat Disclosure

The process of sending your shirts to Project Repat is easy-breezy! First, select the size blanket you would like to make (I had about 35 race shirts at the time I started the process {and have since added a few more to the stack since}, so thought I would go with the "Full" size since it took 30 sides to make). Then pick the color of PolarTec fleece for the back of the blanket (they just added TWO NEW colors of fleece since I placed my order!).  Finally, select the size of the "squares" (the standard size is 12"x12", but they do have specialty blankets you can do with 8"x8" or 14"x14"). After that, pay for the blanket. Once your order is processed, Project Repat will mail you an eco-friendly bag you will use to return your shirts in to them.

The bag you receive to mail your shirts back to Project Repat in

The "hardest" part for me was to decide which shirts to use and what order to put them in. Instead of a chronological order, I decided (with the help of my designer hubby) to lay them out by color. It took us a little while, seeing as I had so many shirts, but we finally decided on a pattern that was just right.

My shirts laid out in the blanket arrangement

If you would prefer, Project Repat will design your blanket for you with the shirts provided (in a pattern of THEIR choosing), but there is an additional fee for this service.

To help Project Repat with the process, they ask that you provide the "side" of the shirt you would like to use (if the shirt has images on both sides). Since most of my race shirts had sponsors on one side and the race image on the other I went through and cut the shirts so there would be no confusion. [NOTE: YOU ARE NOT CUTTING THEM IN THE 12"x12" SIZE, JUST SPLITTING THE SHIRT IN TWO.]

Cutting the shirts into two sides
You know you have a problem when you are WEARING
a race shirt while cutting up 30 more... :)

The next step is the hardest... Shipping your shirts. No, the physical process is not hard, just put them in the bag and mail them. I was just worried that I might lose my shirts forever, or that I wouldn't like the blanket, or that _________ (who knows, you fill in the blank, my mind is crazy like that and tends to play "worst case scenario" all the time).

Oh yeah, and the waiting game. Don't get me wrong, Project Repat hand cuts and sews all of the shirts, so a labor of love like this takes times, but I was still anxious to get the blanket back. They say it normally takes 2-3 weeks (of course with the holidays the wait time can be longer, although they do offer an expedited option if you are willing to pay the additional cost).

Confirmation Email from Project Repat
They even sent an email letting me know they got the shirts!
Peace of mind! YIPEEEEEE!!

It took about 2.5 weeks for my blanket to return. And when I got it, I FELL IN LOVE!!

Final Project Repat
I ordered the FULL size... 30 sides ;) 

Snuggling with the pup and blanket
Snuggling in my PJs with the pup!

It was PERFECT! I mean, better than I was expecting! Although I had laid the shirts out on the floor before I sent them, they were sort of haphazardly placed there. The blanket that returned to me was so exact and AMAZING!

I do want to say - this is NOT a quilt. One of the reasons that Project Repat can offer their services at a lower price is because they are not quilting or putting in backing into the piece (which can leave it feeling stiff anyway). It is more of a blanket. And a blanket that is meant to be cuddled up in, used, loved and even washed (I mean, it is just shirts).

One last thing about the company as a whole. If you know me, you know I LOVE to support local companies, ones who keep their products in the USA, etc, which is exactly what Project Repat does!

Project Repat Economy

Project Repat Economy

Although I never wore my race shirts, they were a "trophy" of mine. But let's be honest, they weren't doing anyone any good being in a big pile at the back of my closet. I can now say that they will get a lot of use.

The deadline to send in your shirts to guarantee you will get the blanket back for Christmas is November 1st. PLACE AN ORDER TODAY! But even if you can't get your order in by then it doesn't mean you still shouldn't place your order! (Get your creative juices flowing on how to wrap something to TELL your loved one about their gift.) And if you want to place an order before the end of the year, use discount code "cmcdot" and save 20% off your order!

Now to start hoarding collecting shirts for my next blanket ;)