Shrimp Not-So-Scampi

Hello there!

It’s been a while since I wrote on the blog, but last week I had put together a simple and tasty dinner at home and wanted to share!! One of the reasons I haven’t written on the blog in so long has to do with the fact that I have been traveling quite extensively! It’s been a LOT of fun!! As a hardcore foodie though, I may have had TOO much fun overindulging with the local food and beverages of the places I have been! I can definitely get trapped in the “When in Rome…” feeling when I’m on vacation.

I actually just used that quote above figuratively and literally! Here’s me in Rome back in June enjoying pizza, wine, and tiramisu – yum!!! ūüôā

Pizza in Rome collage

To an extent, it is OK to indulge and have fun while on vacation, but I know that for me, it’s important to get back on track when I do get home again and return to my normal routines of making healthy, home cooked meals!

One of the first meals I wanted to make was what I call Shrimp Not-So-Scampi! I consider it the healthiest version of saut√©ed shrimp over noodles I can think of! This meal is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free, and pretty much guilt-free!¬†Another bonus – this meal doesn’t take that long to make! And you can do some prep ahead if you like!

At the beginning of the week, I went ahead and spiraled about a dozen green zucchinis so I would have “pasta” or zoodles ready to go to for the next several days! I tend to do a striped peel on the zucchinis before I spiral them. The peel helps to keep the texture of the zucchini noodles intact and has a lot of nutritional value (including fiber) so there are benefits to leaving the skins on. I like to fool myself though (and especially friends and family who are more mainstream-eaters) that these are pasta noodles instead of vegetables, so sometimes the less green you see, the better lol.¬† It’s really a personal preference thing so do it how YOU like it!

Zucchini spiral in action

Quick tip: If you want to soften the zucchini noodles and extract some of the water inside of them, you can pour some salt on and then spin the zoodles through a salad spinner.

Salt on zoodles

 

Zoodles in salad spinner

So that’s what I mean by doing some prep ahead! If you buy a good amount of zucchinis and you’re going to take the time to spiral one or two, you might as well spiral a big batch all at once!

Next, I looked in the fridge and saw we had tomatoes, red bell peppers, and garlic, so I decided to chop them up and start sautéing them over medium heat. Feel free to play with the amounts of chopped veggies you want to add. I grabbed a handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes, 3 cloves of garlic, and about half of a red bell pepper.

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Oh by the way, I prefer not to cook with oil when I can, so I like to use a low sodium vegetable broth and it works great every time! If the liquid starts to evaporate, just keep the container nearby and give it a little refill.

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Next I added about a 1.25 pounds of sustainable, raw shrimp to the pan and cooked for about a minute.

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After that, I was ready to add about 2 TBS of lemon juice, and a sprinkle of seafood seasoning and basil to the pan. If you have fresh basil handy though, I would go with that!

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I had some fresh parsley available so I added that as well!

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Once I added all of my ingredients, I let the pan simmer until the shrimp was cooked through. The flavors do a really good job of combining during this time.

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After a few minutes, the shrimp and vegetable saute mixture looked ready to go! I brought my bowl of zoodles over and scooped the mixture on and drizzled a fair amount of the juices that work as a great sauce!

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In addition to the seafood seasoning mix above, I encourage you to play with other spices including black pepper, himalayan salt, lemon seasoning, and even red pepper! Use the spices and seasonings that work for YOU!

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Ahhh, my final dish in all it’s glory!!! This is seriously one of my favorite dinners!!!

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This dish made for really good leftovers too. I stored the zoodles and the shrimp-veggie mixture in separate containers in the fridge. When I was ready to have the dish again, I started with the shrimp-veggie mixture in the pan on low heat and then very briefly toss in some zoodles to warm up them as well. Comes out DELISH!

By the way, if you aren’t a fish person, try roasting or saut√©ing chicken and following the same above!¬†If you don’t eat meat, then make it a very veggie-heavy dish and get creative with your¬†sauces!

I hope this quick, but visual blog post inspires you to whip up an easy, healthy, and delicious meal at home! I have found that zucchini noodles make an amazing substitute for real pasta and I think they work with just about anything – including toppings for soups and salads!

Spinach soup with zoodles

Green salad with zucchini noodle topping

So tell me, have you tried zucchini noodles?! What’s your favorite way to eat them?

And if you haven’t tried them – will you NOW?!

 

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review & Giveaway!

You would think going for a run would be such an easy task to get ready for – put on your shoes and go right?!! Well, not so much these days lol, because it’s just not that simple anymore! We need extra stuff dang it! Tissues and a house key aren’t new, but cell phones, music devices, gu’s, and running selfies (which requires your phone to be extremely handy so you can get that picture and not mess up your PR ūüėČ ) definitely are!

I think this visual says it best ūüôā

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Luckily, along with the new gadgets absolutely (insert sarcastic tone here) needed, we also have the invention of running belts!! And thanks to¬†SLS3 Compression and Triathlon, I’ve been able to try out a really comfy and useful¬†running belt!

Meet the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt! I was really excited to receive it in the mail!

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I went for the blue finch color, but there are 3 other colors to choose from including¬†purple, black, and lime green. Here’s a screenshot from the SLS3 website:

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As soon as I went on my next run, I broke out the run belt!

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I have to say, I really love the dual pocket design. One pocket holds my iPhone 6 (also capable of holding other large smartphone devices) and the other worked out great for my car key, a tissue, and even lip bam – all at the same time!

I really like how wide the belt is! It’s fits very comfortably and does not BOUNCE!

Here’s a closer look at the dual pocket design with my goodies in it!

SlS3 Belt

The belt itself has a very lightweight, minimalist design. It’s fully adjustable¬†fitting sizes 24″ – 38″ and is also waterproof!

I actually took it kayaking too! And thanks to having my belt on me, I was able to safely bring my iPhone to take pictures and keep it dry!

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I really enjoy the run belt for going on hikes and walks too!

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To me, running belts come in handy for a variety of situations! Here’s a graphic from the SLS3 website:

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Like I mentioned before,  I took it kayaking to keep my phone dry. However, I find the run belt to also be useful at amusement parks (aka Disney), traveling on a plane so I can put my carry on bag in the overhead compartment, going for casual strolls around the block, and even walking the dog!

Overall, I really like the running belt and I would recommend it! It’s not bulky, yet carries everything I need! One thing I would change is the pulls on the zippers. When I was running and needed access, sometimes I struggled to grab the pulls. I wonder if making them a little bigger would help?! That’s me being really nitpicky though! Probably in a more laid back¬†situation (where you weren’t running at the time), you wouldn’t even notice!

As it turns out, I have exciting news to share! SLS3 is hosting a GIVEAWAY for the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt!

Check out this Rafflecopter link to enter!

More exciting news –¬†for a¬†limited time, SLS3 is offering an introductory price for the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt. The belt retails at $29.90 but the Amazon store has it listed for $16.90 (43% Off)!!

You also have the opportunity to get 40% off on the entire website www.slstri.com using the code BLOG40.

Be sure to show love to SLS3 by checking out their social media pages!
Twitter: twitter.com/sls3usa
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sls3compression/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/sls3usa/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sls3usa/

So tell me, have you used a running belt before? If you haven’t used one yet, but you are thinking of getting one for your lifestyle, consider the¬†SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt!

Inspired Endurance: Jewelry For Runners

Whenever I see the combo of Running + Jewelry, I get SUPER excited!!! Recently, I had the opportunity to receive some bangles from Inspired Endurance so I could try out the products and learn more!

They sent me 2 sterling silver bangles with charms that say RUN and 13.1. Both very fitting for me!

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Bangles close up

I love the idea of stacking the bangles! You can keep adding bangles to your collection and your arm will be full of shiny bracelets that represent and celebrate YOU and your running accomplishments! It’s also possible to add more charms to your existing bangles!

I took them out for a spin when I went hiking:

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And then I wore them during the Esprit de She 5k race in Mesa, AZ on October 1!

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I took some screenshots of the variety of bangles they have available on their website!

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If you are interested in purchasing their products, click this link to go directly to the Inspired Endurance website or you can visit them in Florida!

The website is organized nicely, allowing you to Shop By Race, Shop By Style, Shop By Collection, and Gift Ideas.

GoMacro: Review & Giveaway!!

I am always on the lookout for healthy snacks & bars to take on the go, and recently I was able to try GoMacro bars!!  GoMacro sent a complimentary box of assorted MacroBar Minis to some of the CROs (Chief Running Officers) of my #RunEatTweetAZ group for us to review! These bars are organic, vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher! They also use mostly raw ingredients!

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GoMacro Box

Overall there were 24 bars in the box with 11 different flavors including peanut butter, cashew, sunflower butter, and almond butter with carob to name a few!

Flavors of GoMacro

Earlier I mentioned that I am always looking for healthy snacks. Well, with the rate of obesity and diseases going up, it’s becoming more and more important for us to get back to a macrobiotic diet. According to About.com, macrobiotics is a lifestyle and dietary philosophy that promotes health, longevity and healing, through a largely plant-based diet. A macrobiotic diet encourages purchasing organic and minimally treated food to¬†reduce the presence of pesticides, hormones, and other toxins in your food. Purchasing locally sourced is another important aspect to ensure you will be eating foods natural to your environment.

Vibrant Produce

So why do I bring up the subject of macrobiotics? Well, GoMacro is a family-owned company that believes that a macrobiotic lifestyle is critical to a long, healthy life and they are on a mission to promote a healthy sustainable lifestyle. The story of the family members is one of hope and courage. Read about how Amelia went from being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 to becoming a healthy, cancer-free businesswoman, bringing the world wholesome snacks with her daughter Jola!

I was excited to try the bars so I brought some with me to a #RunEatTweetAZ trail run event on June 8!

Kristin with GoMacro bar

Here’s fellow CRO Corine (a.k.a. Zucchini Runner) and I enjoying our bars!

Kristin & Corine GoMacro

My husband Evan enjoys GoMacro bars after a workout too!

Evan enjoying GoMacro

I love that the bars are made with REAL ingredients! Typically if I can’t pronounce a word on the ingredient list, I AVOID the product all together!

Granola & Coconut GoMacro

And you can actually SEE the ingredients in the bar! For instance, I can clearly see the dates, cranberries, raisins, and gluten-free oats in this bar!

Cherries + Berries GoMacro

Even the sesame seeds in the sesame butter bar can be seen! ūüôā

Sesame Butter + Dates

Exciting news! GoMacro is hosting a GIVEAWAY! Be sure to visit the #RunEatTweetAZ Facebook page to see how to enter!

GoMacro Giveaway

More exciting news – GoMacro is offering a one-time discount code!¬†Head to the GoMacro shop link¬†and enter code ‚ÄúBLOGGER‚ÄĚ at checkout and to get 40% off your first order!

You can also find GoMacro bars at grocery stores near you! Here in Phoenix, they can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and even Safeway! Check the store locater to see what stores they are at near you! You also have the option of purchasing the regular size or mini bars depending on your needs!

Another way to get ahold of the GoMacro bars is to subscribe to their auto-ship program! When you subscribe you’ll get free shipping plus a 5% discount on two or more trays per month. Click this link to learn more!

Be sure to show love to GoMacro by checking out their social media pages!
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gomacro/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gomacro
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gomacro/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/gomacro/

Tell me, have you tried GoMacro before? Are you diligent about the ingredients in your food?! Share in the comments section! I would love to hear from you! ūüôā

RunSafer with Todd Williams

AN ASSAULT OCCURS AT LEAST ONCE EVERY TWO MINUTES! (RunSafer.com)

Do I have your attention? GOOD, watch this video and keep reading!

On National Running Day, June 3, 2015, I had the opportunity to take a free workshop at the Runner’s Den¬†store in Phoenix, led by Todd Williams of RunSafer.¬†Todd Williams is a 2-time Olympic Distance Runner and he has earned a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He came to Phoenix for his 228th workshop on safety tips and how to protect yourself in a dangerous situation. He has at least 100 more workshops lined up so please check the website to find your city on his tour! Todd made a point of thanking¬†Asics¬†for believing in him and patterning with him to keep this a successful and FREE program!

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Todd was so energetic during the workshop!!! His passion for safety was radiating from him every minute! Even though this is an extremely serious topic, he was able to connect with the audience and keep it light and entertaining too. During the talk, he coined the term #BePreparedNotScared and I believe it really sums up the importance of the workshop.

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The workshop had a great turnout of about 70 people! I’m glad so many runners out there are taking their safety seriously!

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After an introduction about himself and why he started RunSafer, he demoed moves with a local woman that practices ¬†Jiu Jitsu regularly.¬†He¬†discussed many different scenarios including grip breaking and what to do if you are on the ground. Some of my biggest takeaways were to protect the neck (it could take as little as 7 to 8 seconds for you to become unconscious) and to use the strength of your legs to kick and/or get away from an attacker’s grip.

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He also discussed what happens if an attacker tries to grab you from behind and pick you up. Hooking your legs around the back of theirs was a great tip to help get you out of that situation!

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Again he brought up protecting the neck. Use your fingernails, teeth, and elbows in this situation!

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Another important tip that I hadn’t thought of, was to practice what he calls a non-aggressive stance if you feel threatened. Sometimes showing your fists in a fighting stance can provoke or invite trouble. This non-aggressive stance helps to warn someone that you are protecting your personal space.

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Todd made sure to bring his postcards for every attendee that provide quick tips to remember!

I’ve listed the 5 Techniques and their accompanying YouTube videos.

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1. Grip Breaking

2. Targets

3. Ground Escape & Offensive Tactics

4. Counters to attacks from the back

5. Demonstration of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 

12 Safety Tips (& a brief explanation/example of each one): image2

  1. Safety Name – Invisible Man (Shout out someone’s name so the attacker thinks you have a loved one nearby to come to your aid!)
  2. Walk With Confidence РEyes Up/Speak Up (Get off your cell phone and pay attention to your surroundings!!)
  3. Don’t Be Predictable (Change up your routine of where/when you run daily!)
  4. Car Parking & Driving (Pay attention / Keep doors locked!)
  5. Social Media Pros/Cons (Be careful about what you are sharing on Social Media!)
  6. Power in Numbers (Reach out to running friends, your local running store, and your community – i.e. RunEatTweetAZ)
  7. Be Smart Listening To Music (Keep the volume low and/or clip off one ear bud!)
  8. Go With Your Gut (Listen to those butterflies in your tummy! Walk across the street if you have to / Ask someone to walk you to your car)
  9. Use Anything To Save Your Life (Water bottle, keys, mace, rocks, sticks, fingernails, teeth, etc)
  10. Dress Rehearsals – Home, Car, Work, etc (Have plans for what you would do in an emergency)
  11. Targets, Mindset, Practice (Think about the soft targets of an attacker like the eyes, ears, nose, groin, & neck)
  12. Safety Clock – Build Time (Creating a few seconds between you and your attacker can save your life!)

Overall this was a fantastic workshop and worth every minute! It was truly inspirational. It wasn’t meant to make you an expert, but it did force you to think about the “What If” of a dangerous situation. I for one, will be more aware of my surroundings and I am now motivated to practice some of the moves. I may even check out the local Megaton Jiu Jitsu studio Todd referred for a class or two!

Also, this class is not just for the ladies!! I attended the workshop with my friend Corine (aka Zucchini Runner) and we both realized that our husbands really would have benefited from the class too! ¬†The good thing is that we’ll relay the info, have them watch the videos on the RunSafer website, and practice!

So tell me, are you going to practice running safer now?!

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Wanderlust 108: A Kind Triathlon

On April 26, 2015, I participated in the “world’s kindest triathlon,” known as Wanderlust 108, here in Phoenix! The Wanderlust website sums up the description of this all day event perfectly:

Wanderlust 108 is a triathlon unlike any you‚Äôve ever known. This ‚Äúmindful triathlon‚ÄĚ brings three events together in your favorite local park: a 5k run, an outdoor yoga experience, and a guided meditation ‚ÄĒ but with a twist. Unlike most triathlons, we place community above competition, inner peace above power, and self-awareness above strength. We prefer slow food to fast run times. For us, winning is measured in laughs shared and new friends made.

Normally, I am a very competitive person (whaaat? who me ūüėČ ), however, due to my recent foot and knee injuries, the idea that this event was NOT focused on competition made it very appealing! This past month I just got approved to get back into low-impact activities like walking, biking, hiking, and yoga. In other words, everything I like to do, but running. So being encouraged to walk the Wanderlust 5k was a good thing for me!

I spent the day with with friends (old & new) and I did my best to take pictures of the event to make sure I could demonstrate the concept with plenty of visuals!

Here’s a display of the event schedule:

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My friends and I arrived at the venue, Tempe Diablo Stadium, around 10am. We needed to check in our bags and yoga mats in by 11am for the start of the 5k.

Here’s a look at the crowd!

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After we checked our bags in, Nicole, Cristina, and I headed over to the Wanderlust sign for a selfie and other fun pics! We were excited to sport our brand new orange Wanderlust headbands! It came with our bibs!

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Here is the crowd heading to the Wanderlust sign for the start of the 5k.

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I was excited to show off my “Yoga, I’m Down Dog” shirt! Thanks mom for the awesome Christmas present!

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Nicole and I snagged a picture during the pre-run stretch session!

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By 11am, the 5k started!

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I got my start of the race selfie!

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After the 5k was complete, I walked around the vendor booths and did some shopping! Check this awesome butterfly top from Yoganastix! They have a Facebook page and a website where you can purchase amazing yoga and/or casual clothes! I love that this a locally-based, small business owned by a husband and wife team! Here’s the tagline¬†from their website: “Your source for yoga inspired clothing. Handmade with love in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.”

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Right before our outdoor yoga class started at 12:30pm, I ran over to the Kaleidoscope booth for some snacks and a green juice! They had some yummy looking salads but they ran out quick, unfortunately! I was able to manage though with my all-greens juice, some hard-boiled eggs, and their healthy version of a rice krispy treat! My husband and I love their cold-pressed, all organic green juices! We like to go their stores in Scottsdale frequently! You can check out their website for locations and products!

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After munching on my snacks it was time for our yoga class to begin!

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It was a huge crowd! About a thousand people!

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As you can see it was a cloudy day! That’s a blessing for Phoenix residents who will be outside all day at the end of April so I was happy!

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You can tell it was humid by the way, since my thick, curly hair was getting more expansive as the day went on LOL. #CrazyHairDontCare #MonicaFromFriendsInBarbados¬†#WellMaybeNotQuiteThatBad ūüėČ

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So speaking of clouds and humidity….when I heard it might rain (we had random bursts of rain the day before so it was quite feasible), I made sure to pack a towel, a light rain jacket, and an umbrella with me in my backpack!

As the yoga class came to a close and we transitioned from¬†Savasana (a.k.a. corpse pose) to our meditation, I began to feel rain drops. Laying there with my eyes closed, I kept wondering if the drops would dissipate or become more and more frequent. Well just in the nick of time, I managed to throw on my rain gear and¬†protect¬†myself from the downfall that rapidly came! I don’t have a picture of it, but try to imagine about 1000 yogis laying in a field, suddenly jump up and duck for cover haha! It was quite the sight!

By the way, my friend Nicole was quite impressed that she opened up her eyes to this hilarious image! #RainGearNinja #OnceAGirlScoutAlwaysAGirlScout #AlwaysBePrepared #OnlyOneWithAnUmbrella

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Luckily it only lasted about 10 minutes and then the sun came out again! At this point, it was time for hula hooping and acroyoga for those who wanted to participate!

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I had a lot of fun with the hooping!

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Overall it was GREAT day!

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I may have some suggestions for the folks at Wanderlust though, to make next year even more fun! The method for bag check-in and bag retrieval took a very long time, so making that more efficient would definitely be a better use of everyone’s time! Also, I was ecstatic that Kaleidoscope was there serving healthy food and organic juices, however, it clearly wasn’t enough food to accommodate the large crowd, so inviting some of the local food trucks to attend the event would have been an amazing opportunity!

With that being said, I still thought it was a great event and I would love to do next year if they come back!

What do you think, would you attend a Wanderlust in your city?!

M80 Roller: Review & Giveaway!

“Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river…”

Thanks to my awesome¬†#RunEatTweetAZ group, I am rollin’ in style with the new M80 Roller that I was given to try out and review!! #RunEatTweetAZ is a great local running group that hosts events at least twice a month in the Phoenix area and I just happen to be a CRO (Chief Running Officer)! We like to say we are runners with a social media problem lol!!

Anyways, back to the M80 Roller. Let me tell you – It’s not your typical “foam” roller! The unique grooves are designed to give a deep tissue therapy – deeper than traditional foam rollers!

M80 Roller selfie

Also good to know about the roller –¬†owner/creator Matt Olaya guarantees that the roller will keep its shape! In addition, the M80 is waterproof (although they recommend hand washing it and have the directions to do on their website).

Another unique and very fun bonus about purchasing an M80 Roller is that you have 30 colors to choose from!! With that many choices you can surely find one that fits your personality!!¬†These rollers make great gifts because you can pick a color that will suit the person’s taste, making it more personal!

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So what do I personally like about the roller?!

  • I like the size and shape of it! It’s half the size of my traditional roller which makes it easier to travel with! And since the center is hollow you could roll up some clothes and shove them in there to save space in your suitcase lol!!

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  • I love the color!! This pink really does pop!!!

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  • When I received the roller, I immediately jumped on it! When I rolled over those real sensitive spots – wow did I see stars!! But, that’s GOOD!! That means I really am getting a deep tissue myofascial release!! I even brought out my traditional foam roller and compared the same tender spots – not even close!!!

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  • As an athlete and especially as a runner – I beat myself up. A LOT lol. I have dealt with foot and knee injuries recently, and I believe that lack of stretching was a factor in those injuries. This M80 Roller can help me loosen knots and tight muscles – increasing my range of motion and helping my body recover properly!
  • I am a firm believer in small businesses! My husband is an entrepreneur and his hard work and success has put a roof over our heads! M80 Roller was founded by a young man who saw a problem with traditional rollers and created a product to solve it! Let’s help spread the word for this growing company!!
  • I love that you can¬†customize your own roller!! This is super helpful to anyone with a logo who is building their brand! Hmm, I think I see visions of “Cook and Run with Kristin” on a roller – yeah I like it!! Click on the M80 Roller website for more info!¬†

M80Roller - Cook and Run with Kristin

So now you are probably thinking – how can I try one?! You can purchase the roller you see here on the M80 website for $40!

But this week you are in luck because #RunEatTweetAZ is hosting a GIVEAWAY!!

M 80 Roller Giveaway

Starting April 6th thru April 10th, we’ll give 1 roller away per day. That’s a total of 5 rollers!!

Check the #RunEatTweetAZ Facebook page for details on how to enter! GOOD LUCK!!! And if you don’t win, I still highly recommend this product for your deep tissue needs! ūüėČ

 

Huppybar: Review & Giveaway!

“MAKE YOUR BODY HAPPY, HAVE A HUPPY!”

Huppybar motto

This is the motto of Huppybar, a Flagstaff based company that makes energy bars with real ingredients!! Most of you know that I am super picky about processed foods and ingredient labels, so you can imagine how happy I am to find an energy bar that DOES NOT contain funky scientific words!! Huppybars are 50% organic and they are sweetened with organic brown rice syrup and local honey harvested in Flagstaff, AZ. In addition, the bars also DO NOT CONTAIN: corn, soy, dairy, or cane sugar!

Huppybars ingredients

Lyndsay Hupp, a river guide on the Colorado River, created these bars out of a need for craving real nutritional sustenance. She could never quite find what she was looking for in a typical energy bar, so she decided to create one for herself! Fellow guides and river clients started to take notice of these bars she was bringing on trips and they wanted to try them too! She realized she was on to something when they received such a glowing response!

Huppybar collage from website

(Photo courtesy of Huppybar.com)

Another thing that Huppybar realized is that, “If taking time to prepare healthy meals isn‚Äôt always an option for some people, then perhaps we can increase convenient options that are healthy.” I believe that it is VERY important for more convenience foods to be healthy. I try to consume as many homemade foods in my diet as possible (ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, snacks, etc), but even I need to rely on convenience foods every once in a while and having a bar like this on the market is such a breath of fresh air!

So how did I come about trying Huppybars? My first introduction was from my friend Corine, aka Zucchini Runner, who gave me a sample after a long trail run we did together on South Mountain. Most recently they sent samples to various CROs (Chief Running Officers) of my #RunEatTweetAZ group! Corine is another picky eater just like me, so it told me something right off the bat about the excellent quality of these bars!

I chose Coconut Date Ginger and Chocolate Berry Love to review, but they also have chocolate java, apple cinnamon raisin, and pecan orange spice flavors!

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I love that you can really see all of the nooks and crannies of the bar!! This is what you get from a handcrafted bar instead of a highly-processed, mass-produced one!

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I brought Huppybar as a snack during a hike through the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon this past weekend! I have to say I was the only who wasn’t totally starving after the hike! It really did fill me up!

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In addition to the delicious and nutritious bars they make, Huppybar is committed to helping kids get out and be active! As of July 1st, they implemented 2 For The Youth, where 2% of their sales will be given to non-profit organizations that focus on getting children exposed to the great outdoors! Huppybar believes that being active is not only beneficial for physical health, but also for mental, social, and emotional health Рand I totally agree!!

So how can you try this amazing bar?? You can purchase them right on the website using their Buy Bars link, and you can find them at a few different retail spots located in Sedona, Flagstaff, and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Also, there is a GIVEAWAY going on right now!! One randomly selected winner will receive a box of 12 whole food, all natural Huppybars!

How to Enter:
1) LIKE the post regarding the giveaway on the #RunEatTweetAZ Facebook page.
AND
2) COMMENT with when/how you’d use Huppybars! (pre run fuel, post run recovery, maybe even at the gym!)

There will also be a Bonus Entry for those who SHARE the post!

The winner will be notified on the #RunEatTweetAZ Facebook page by Friday, October 31st, 8am (AZ time). Deadline to enter is Friday by 7am.

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administrated by, or associated with Facebook*

Show Huppybar some social media love and give them a follow!

Good luck with the giveaway!!

Good News! If you missed the giveaway but still want to try Huppybar (who doesn’t right?!), then during the month of November, use promo code:¬†RunEatTweetAZ for 15% off!!!

Tell me in the comments, have you or do you want to try Huppybar?! Also, do you pay attention to the ingredients on a bar that you just grab on the go?

NuttZo: Review And Giveaway!

Have you tried NuttZo yet?! I don’t know about you, but nut butter is a MAIN staple in my house! This brand¬†happens to be organic and according their website, “The Only Seven Nut and Seed Butter on the planet!”

NuttZo¬†offers 3 different flavors, including Original, Powerfuel, and Chocolate, with 7 nuts & seeds in every jar, in both crunchy and smooth. Here’s a breakdown of the flavors. Graphic is courtesy of NuttZo’s website.

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So how did I come about trying NuttZo? Well as it turns out, they sent samples to various CROs (Chief Running Officers) of my #RunEatTweetAZ group!

Look at the generous amount of stuff that came in the mailI! I received 1 huge jar (16 oz) with the crunchy Power Fuel flavor and 15 to-go (0.5oz) packets consisting of all 3 flavors!

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One of the things that I really like about NuttZo is the ingredients panel. The jar lists: organic cashews, organic almonds, organic brazil nuts, organic flax seeds, organic hazelnuts, organic chia seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, and sea salt. I have a real pet peeve when I see funky scientific words on a label, so you can imagine my elation at seeing REAL words only!!! Now this is a product I can gladly bring into my home and consume with delight!!

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So how did I try NuttZo? In many different ways actually! And for more ideas, check out the recipe page on the NuttZo website.

I first tried NuttZo at the gym after 10k run on the treadmill and a 10 minute PiYo stretch session.

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The to-go packets are handy, however, I’m really glad that I was near a sink to clean off my hands and my face trying to get the nut butter out of the packet lol. As a result of that experience, I realized that the to-go packets would be more ideal for situations like traveling, camping, and even the overnight Ragnar race. Trying to rip one open during a run and consuming it would prove to be difficult and very MESSY lol! But if you are in a setting where you have the time to knead it with your hands (like the back of the packet suggests) and use a knife to spread it around – then by all means it would be great to have to make your own PB&J on the go (and then you know you can trust the ingredients!).

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The next time I tried NuttZo was on a banana after returning home from a run. I made banana “sandwiches” where I had the chunky flavor from the jar spread in-between 2 bite size pieces of banana. I added cinnamon too!

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These banana sandwiches were AWESOME. Seriously, look how happy I look in my banana sandwich selfie lol! Another morning, I actually did the same thing as a pre-workout snack instead of a full blown breakfast because I knew I had only a short window of time to fuel my body and get a workout in before going on with the rest of my day. I found it to be a quick and easily digestible snack!

4-up on 9-24-14 at 5.05 PM #9 (compiled)

Then on a nice relaxing Saturday morning, I decided to make my 4 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes. The recipe calls for almond butter so I decided to try the chunky flavor from the jar! They came out great!!

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Most days of the week I usually make my Shakeology shake first thing in the morning. I added a tablespoon of the chunky Power fuel flavor and with just some frozen banana and my Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, and it came out great! I loved the texture of it!

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A quick and healthy dessert that I really enjoy is sliced apples with a dab of almond butter, cinnamon, and honey. I tried the Power Fuel flavor and it was absolutely delicious!

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Another yummy breakfast idea is the classic toasted English muffin! I toasted a sprouted grain, Ezekiel muffin and spread the Peruvian Dark Chocolate! Hmmm, good! This also works as a dessert idea too!

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Are you salivating yet?! Are you ready to stop what you are doing right now and run out and get a jar lol?! Well, I have GOOD NEWS!! You have the opportunity to win a jar and 20 to-go packets!!

For the giveaway:¬†Head over to Run Eat Tweet AZ’s Facebook page, “like” and comment on the post, and you will be entered to win! Note: The deadline to enter is October 6th!

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook*

Show NuttZo some social media love and give them a follow!

Good luck with the giveaway!! If you’d like to purchase any of their products, they can be found in stores or purchased directly from their website.

Tell me in the comments, have you tried NuttZo yet?! Are you a nut butter fan?!

It’s Pumpkin Recipe Time!!

Fall is officially here, which means it’s time to for cooler temperatures, Halloween shenanigans, and of course pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING!!

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As a major time saver for these recipes, I purchased organic pumpkin puree from Whole Foods. Kudos to those who want to roast and blend a real pumpkin! I’ve done it before many times with squash¬†to make butternut squash soup, so I know it can be done. But every once in a while, containers like the one pictured below can really help! Also note that it’s in a carton and not a can. I try to avoid cans as much as possible because of BPA (Bisphenol A) concerns. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children.”

No worries if you can’t find this and have to use a can. In those cases, try to purchase organic and see if the can actually lists “BPA-Free” on the label.

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Below you will see 5 different recipes including pumpkin as an ingredient! There is also a bonus recipe for homemade chili sauce – YUM!

ENJOY!!

1) Pumpkin Syrup Recipe (great for coffee or as a topping)

So, are you going to head to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte? I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to! What if I told you that you can AVOID the artificial, GMO, and sugar-laden ingredients ¬†that Starbucks has to offer?!! I’ve got a recipe for you that you can make at home!! Not only will it be free of toxins and junk, it will also TASTE better!! ūüôā

 

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This was adapted from my Vitamix Recipe book. I modified or “healthified” as I like to say!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¬ľ¬†cups water
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup¬†Pumpkin Puree, fresh or canned
  • ‚Östcup¬†Coconut Nectar (or Coconut Palm Sugar)
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon¬†Vanilla Extract
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Ground Cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon¬†Allspice (ground)
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon¬†Ginger (ground)

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. 

2. Select Hot Soup program. 

3. Switch machine to Start and allow machine to complete programmed cycle.

***For those without a Vitamix or other equivalent blender use a saucepan on the stove!

Stove Top Directions: In a medium saucepan, add water and the coconut nectar (or sugar if using instead). Simmer on medium-low heat until the nectar (or sugar) dissolves, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and whisk in cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and pumpkin puree. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Remove from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth or a clean tea towel. Allow the syrup to cool to room-temperature before stirring in the vanilla extract. Store in a mason jar or airtight container. The syrup will last for 1 month in the refrigerator.

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Please note, this syrup also works on PANCAKES!! Check out the recipe for Pumpkin Pear Pecan Pancakes, on my friend Corine’s page, Zucchini Runner!

For very simple, Paleo pancakes, you can also check out a previous post of mine, “4 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes!,” where I’ve added pumpkin puree as a 5th ingredient and also used the pumpkin syrup as a topping!

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2) Chili Sauce & Pumpkin Chili (2 recipes for the price of one! lol)

The Pumpkin Chili recipe calls for chili sauce. Instead of purchasing store-bought, I went ahead and figured out how to make my own using the same method as my homemade ketchup. I tweaked the ingredients to made sure it would come out like chili sauce!

Chili Sauce:

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Ingredients:

  • 1¬†container¬†Strained Tomatoes
  • 1¬†Onion, peeled, quartered, root end left intact
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup¬†Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup¬†Coconut Palm or Brown Sugar
  • 3¬†tablespoons¬†Tomato Paste
  • 3¬†tablespoons¬†Himalayan or Real Salt
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Garlic powder
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Mustard powder
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Onion powder
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†Cayenne pepper, (or to taste)

Directions:

1. Place the tomato sauce, onion, vinegar, sugar, tomato paste, salt, and spices in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce head to simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 1 hour.

I love recipes that just simmer in a pot!

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After the chili sauce is made, you are ready to make the Pumpkin Chili! As a time saver, consider making the chili sauce ahead of time. And don’t forget you can always freeze small amounts for future use! I went ahead and saved the onion from the chili sauce! Please note: this is chili has a KICK! Feel free to modify the amount of chili sauce you add and/or chili powder!

Chili sauce

Pumpkin Chili Recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5¬†lb.¬†ground turkey
  • 2¬†containers of 16oz pumpkin puree
  • 1¬†(26.46) container diced tomatoes (I like Pomi)
  • 1¬†container pinto or kidney beans, drained
  • 1¬†(6 oz) bottle of chili sauce (*see chili sauce recipe)
  • 1¬†cup¬†broth
  • 2¬†Tablespoons¬†of chili powder
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†pumpkin pie spice
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†coconut palm or brown sugar
  • 1 ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoons¬†salt
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†pepper
  • 4¬†carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2¬†celery stalks, chopped

Directions:

1. In a skillet, brown the turkey (instead of using oil, I like to use broth).
2. In a separate large pot, add in all the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.
4. After the turkey is browned, add to the large pot. Let all of the ingredients simmer for at least 30 minutes.

I used ground turkey, but feel free to substitute with bison or ground beef!

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Check it out – I reused the onion that sat in the chili sauce! Not gonna lie, it was a bit messy to dice LOL!image

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3) Pumpkin Shakeology Shake

Not all things pumpkin have to be warm!! For a cool refreshing smoothie, check out my Pumpkin Shakeology Shake! Please note the amounts listed are for my 20 oz Magic Bullet cup. If you are using a bigger or smaller cup, please adjust accordingly!

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Ingredients:

  • 1¬†scoop¬†Vanilla or Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ¬Ĺ¬†cups¬†Water/Almond milk combo
  • 10¬†walnuts¬†(can sub pecans)
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup¬†Pumpkin Puree (or more to taste)
  • ¬Ĺ¬†Frozen Banana

Directions:

Please note: These are the measurements for a 20 oz magic bullet cup.
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!

4) Pumpkin Bars (Refined-sugar-free, gluten-free)

I have to credit @mianutrition on Instagram for this recipe! These are a perfect treat for those watching their sugar!

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Ingredients:

  • 1¬†container¬†Pumpkin puree
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon¬†Ground Ginger
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†Baking Powder
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup¬†Coconut Flour
  • ¬ľ¬†teaspoon¬†Vanilla
  • 2¬†Eggs

Directions:

1. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately, then together.
2.¬†Spread evenly in a greased 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.

To grease my pan, I like to used coconut oil!

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I put my wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls.IMG_4830

Then I mix everything together and spread the mixture on my greased cookie sheet.IMG_4833

Next, I used my bash and chop to make squares.IMG_4838
If you want to jazz them up, drizzle a little bit of the homemade pumpkin syrup on them!
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5) Pumpkin Truffles (Refined-sugar-free, gluten-free)
My friend Susie put a picture of these on Facebook and my mouth started watering right away! I asked for the recipe IMMEDIATELY and she sent me the link to My Whole Food Life.
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Ingredients:
  • For the pumpkin:
  • 1 ¬Ĺ¬†cups¬†pumpkin puree (or 1 can pumpkin)
  • 1¬†cup¬†coconut butter
  • 3¬†tablespoons¬†maple syrup
  • 1 ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoons¬†cinnamon
  • ¬ľ¬†teaspoon¬†nutmeg
    • For the chocolate coating:
    • 1 ¬Ĺ¬†cups¬†chocolate chips
    • ¬ľ¬†cup¬†almond milk

Directions:

1. In the food processor, combine all the ingredients for the pumpkin cream. Blend until smooth.
2. Stick the food processor bowl in the fridge to firm up a little. About 10 minutes.
3. Using a cookie scoop, drop mixture onto a lined baking sheet.
4. Place the baking sheet in the freezer to firm while you make the chocolate mixture.
5. To make the chocolate use a double boiler method. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
6. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot with the water. Add the chocolate chips and almond milk to the glass bowl and gently melt the chocolate.
7. Once all the chocolate is melted, use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over each truffle.
8. Place in the fridge to firm up the chocolate.
9. Please keep these truffles in the fridge. They should last a couple weeks.
10. You can freeze them for longer storage. Enjoy!
 I put the ingredients for the pumpkin filling in my food processor!IMG_5007I let them sit in the fridge for 10 minutes!
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Then I used an ice cream scooper to make the truffles!
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I then put the truffles in the freezer to harden while I made the chocolate! My first time by the way – not to shabby!
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Next, I used a scoop to “drizzle” the chocolate on. I say “drizzle” but it was actually still quite thick so I used the spoon and my fingers to get the chocolate coating on!
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After sitting in the fridge for a while, they were READY!!
OMG, these were GOOD!!
Pumpkin Truffles collage
Wow I am so excited for Fall! How about you?!
Which of these recipes are you gonna make? Let me know in the comments!!