Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky and a Giveaway!

I was a vegetarian for a long time in my life – on and off since I was a child. Partly because I am an animal lover and partly because I simply did not like meat. A few years ago, when I started trying to lose weight and started strength training, I realized how important protein was and how much I actually needed in my diet. I made the decision to start eating meat again.

I don’t really eat red meat like steak but I do eat and like chicken and turkey.

Recently Jack Link’s came out with a new Chicken Jerky and I was so excited! I’ve mentioned the Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky on my blog before and how it tastes great, is easy to eat on the go, and provides a good amount of protein.

As a FitFluential ambassador, I was able to recently try out the Jack Link’s Chicken and Turkey Jerky.


The Jack Link’s chicken jerky is made of white-meat chicken breast, is 98% fat free, and has only 80 calories per serving with 11 grams of protein.


Mostly importantly, it tastes great. If you’re a fan of jerky, I recommended tying out the new Jack Links Chicken Jerky.

I also really enjoy how portable this snack is – you can eat this healthy chicken snack anywhere! It’s great to throw in your purse or car. It’s also handy to have during those times when you’re on the go but might need a snack – waiting in line, after a workout, that weird time at a wedding when you’re starving but it isn’t actually dinner time yet. :)


Since I know the importance of eating protein within 30-45 minutes of a workout, I like to keep some of the Jack Links Chicken Jerky in my gym bag.


It’s also great for traveling and having it as a healthy low-carb snack especially if your indulging a lot during vacation. It’s also important to stay active if you can during your vacation.

Since we are at Wisconsin Dells this week with my family, I thought I’d share a workout that can be done in any hotel room as well as what I pack in my pool/beach bag!

Hotel Room Workout     Repeat 2-3x

  • 25 squats
  • 15 push-ups
  • 60 seconds jumping jacks
  • 20 lunges
  • 15 tricep push-ups
  • 60 seconds burpees
  • 25 crunches
  • 20 supermans
  • 60 seconds mountain climbers
  • plank – hold as long as possible

This is a great workout that can be done anywhere and body weight exercises are awesome!

After a workout, it’s time to hit the pool!! With two kids, I always have a giant beach bag filled with everything we need! My beach bag usually includes:

  • Jack Links chicken jerky – lots of protein post workout and to help keep us feeling full while swimming
  • Easy to eat fruit – apple slices, oranges, grapes, etc.
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • magazine or book
  • towel
  • toys for kids – water balls, diving sticks, etc
  • goggles for kids
  • bottles of water
  • chapstick with spf
  • phone

And there is it – a great vacation workout and well stocked beach bag!

You can try out Jack Link’s for yourself with today’s awesome giveaway!! 


Jack Link’s jerky comes in three flavors:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky – lean white meat chicken breast seasoned and marinated with cracked black pepper along with sweet and savory spices.
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky – solid strips of lean, white meat turkey breast seasoned and smoked over mesquite. It’s 98% fat-free.
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky – Soy, ginger, a little onion, and a whole lot of perfectly smoked turkey.

One person will win an awesome Jack Link’s gift pack that includes:

  • Jack Link’s Chicken Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Turkey Jerky
  • Jack Link’s Sweet Teriyaki Turkey Jerky
  • Water bottle
  • Headband
  • Sweat towel
  • EOS lip balm

Danny has actually been using the Jack Links headband during his long runs for marathon training and he loves it (and it always seems to match his outfit :)).



Enter to win your prize pack below!! US residents only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Jack Link’s.


Filed under Giveaway, Product Review, Working Out

Food, Workouts, and Parties

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

On Friday night, we went out to dinner with my family.


I had a delicious gorgonzola pear salad with pecan crusted chicken. It was amazing!


On Saturday morning, Danny went out to run 14 miles. It’s his longest run so far for his marathon training. His average pace per mile was 8:17. He is fast – I don’t think I’ve ever run even one mile at an 8:14 pace, let alone 14 miles!

While Danny was running, I went to CrossFit.


The workout was awesome and included lots of ring rows, push-ups, and goblet squats.

On Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym together and worked on legs and glutes. We started out our workout with a few minutes on the arc trainer. We tried to see how long we could go at level 100.


That only lasted a few minutes.

Danny also threw some weighted push-ups in there. :)


We did leg presses, calf raises on the Smith machine, squats with an overhead plate press, weighted step-ups, hip thrusters, jump squats onto the bench, and a few core exercises. Another great workout!

On Sunday afternoon, we went to a family party for my nephew because he’s home from the Navy for a few more days and then will be leaving.

The desserts were so creative. There was US Navy and American flag jello and the cupcakes were in the shape of an anchor.



My nephews:


We visited for most of the afternoon and evening and then headed home.

Today, I have some errands to run and will try to get to the gym late morning.

Have a great day!!

  • How was your weekend?


Filed under CrossFit, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Running

Climbing the Wall

Happy Friday! I’m so happy that it’s almost the weekend! :)

Yesterday, I went to CrossFit. For a warm-up, we were doing weighted sled pulls outside and the instructor said that we could try climbing the wall if we wanted. I wasn’t planning on trying it at first because your basically climbing straight up a wall and then throwing your leg over the top and I wasn’t sure if my hip could handle it.

Then two other girls tried it so I figured I’d try it too. I didn’t think it would be too hard but I was wrong. It was very hard especially since there’s nothing for your feet to grip to or stand on. The first two times I took a running start  but couldn’t get enough power to boost myself up to throw my leg over the wall. It takes a lot of upper body strength too.


On the third try, I got it! I took a running start and climbed the small wall and barely managed to get my leg on top of the wall. I got it up and I went over the wall! Yay! I was so proud of myself! That shorter wall was so tough, I can’t even imagine going up the big wall!


It’s nice to be able to accomplish something and feel proud of myself in a non-running activity. :)

After the warm-up, we did the workout of the day. It was tough especially those box jumps. I think my time ended up being 11 minutes and 30 seconds.



I went to the gym this morning and worked on back, core, and a little bit of cardio.

For abs, I did some leg raises.


I try to do as many as I can with straight legs but it starts to bother my hip after awhile so I have to switch to bent leg raises.

After the gym, the kids and I went to Goodwill to get some books.


I’m lucky that my kids share my love for reading. Jacob will pretty much read anything that he can and Jaden just started reading chapter books by himself. And yes, I got a Nancy Drew book to read. Who doesn’t love Nancy Drew?!

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner with my family. My aunt and uncle are in town from California and they go back next week so we’re getting together for a family dinner!

Have a great Friday!

  • What are your plans for the weekend?
  • What’s the last book you read? What’s your favorite book?




Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Working Out

Biceps and Triceps Workout

Good afternoon!

On Tuesday night, I went to CrossFit and it was a great workout. I was really feeling it by the time we were done!


It might not look too hard but all together, that’s a lot of deadlifts and burpees!

I’ve really been loving CrossFit. I only go twice a week but it’s a great change from my regular gym workouts and it really challenges me!

Yesterday, I stopped at Target and found these peanut butter chocolate cookie bites.


They were so good and perfect for an after dinner treat. I pretty much love anything with peanut butter and chocolate!

I went to the gym yesterday and did some leg and glute exercises. My legs were still a little sore from CrossFit the night before so I added some of the exercises that I used to do in physical therapy including band walking.


We went to the gym again this morning. My niece was the only one who would take a selfie with  me. :) I think Jaden was just trying to blind me.


Since, I’m going to CrossFit tonight, I just did a short biceps and triceps workout. The exercises I did included:

  • bicep curls 21s (7 full range, 7 top half, and 7 bottom half)
  • skull crushers
  • alternating dumbbell bicep curls
  • close grip barbell presses
  • reverse bicep curls
  • tricep dips on bench

I did each exercise for four sets and 10-20 reps depending on the exercise. I finished with about 15 minutes on the arc trainer.

Post workout, I had a Premier Protein strawberries and cream shake. I really love this flavor!


I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday! This week has been so busy!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite sweet treat?
  • What are you looking forward to most this weekend?




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Filed under CrossFit, Fitness, Working Out

Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5k

Last Saturday, Danny and I ran the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5k.


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Humana’s theme for this race is “Rock Your Health.” Rocking your health isn’t about being the best or the fastest. It’s about finding ways to make health and fitness fun and enjoyable. It’s about taking an active roll in your health and inspiring yourself and hopefully others to get active.

I knew going into this race that it wouldn’t be my best race. I’ve been having a lot of leg/hip/quad issues with running lately so keeping Humana’s slogan of “Rock Your Health” in mind, I took this race slow and at my own pace. I was more focused on being healthy than I was pushing myself to even more injury.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to attend the race expo on Friday, but the race allowed packet pick-up the morning of the race. Danny and I woke up about 5 am to make it to the city by 6:30 am. Parking was an issue but we eventually found a lot to park in – it was crazy expensive but that was partly my fault for not planning ahead. If we run next year, I’ll definitely reserve a parking spot beforehand!

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We found our way to the packet pick-up and got our bibs and shirts.



I love the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll shirts – they’re so brightly colored!


I was nervous going into this race because I knew was limited in my running but I really think Humana’s message that everyone has the power to rock his or her own health really kept me going. I didn’t have to break any records, I just had to cross that finish line.

Since my legs were so sore from the previous weekend’s 5k, I made sure to use KT tape and wear my calf sleeves.

We got into our corral about 20 minutes before the race started. We were in corral 5 and there was such a huge crowd behind us ready to run!



The weather was extremely hot on Saturday with heavy humidity and a heat advisory. Luckily the race started early at 7:30 am but the heat was still terrible. I just made sure to go nice and slow.


The race started at exactly 7:30 am and they let the corrals go about a minute or so apart.



Danny ran with me and we started out at a good pace. In the beginning of the race there was a group of party rockers with music cheering everyone on and giving high-fives! They were so much fun.


The heat and quad pain hit me pretty hard so most of the race was an incredibly slow jog – I’m sure it was hard for Danny to go so slow! I did walk through the water station and up one hill towards the end of the race. I actually needed Danny’s support to help me up the hill or I wouldn’t have made it.

My goal was just to finish the race with having to walk as little as possible if at all and I definitely accomplished that! The finish line was one of the best sights I’ve ever seen!

I crossed the finish line in 37:01 and was just happy to have made it. I did what I could and I am proud of every step that I took. It might not have been my best race (it’s actually one of my slowest races) but I really felt like I earned that finisher’s medal. I gave it all I could and rocked my health. :)


Post race, I was very happy for the bottle of water (and iced coffee!). It was incredibly hot and humid. I give tons of credit to the people that ran the 10k and half marathon the following day. At least they had the Humana Vitality Cheer Squad supporting them that last mile!

At the race there was a stage with a live band on the course as well as music. There was also an after race party, but we weren’t able to stay for it.



Humana was a great sponsor for this race and I really believe in their message that health and fitness are important. Everyone has the ability to take their health in their own hands and shouldn’t be afraid to get out there and get active. Whether your running a 5k or walking a 5k, running a marathon or walking around the block, it’s important to stay active and do what you enjoy!

In future, after my hip and quad start to feel better, I definitely plan on working on my goal of running a faster 5k or a longer distance race.

After the race, we picked up the kids from my dad and stepmom’s house. Since Danny was supposed to run 9 miles that day for marathon training, he ran the 3 miles with me and then about 6 miles home from my dad’s house. I don’t know how he managed in that heat but he did it!


Have a great day and don’t forget to rock your health!!

  • What health and fitness activities do you enjoy?
  • Do you ever run with your significant other?


This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Humana.

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Filed under Race, Running, Uncategorized

Parties, Cupcakes, and Workouts

Good morning! Happy Monday!


On Saturday morning, Danny and I ran the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago 5k. Check back for a post on the race tomorrow!


On Saturday afternoon, we went to my niece’s 4th birthday party.


She had a princess super hero party and my grandma made the cutest cupcakes for the party.


Super hero and princess cupcakes. They were delicious!


She even Baymax cupcakes because my niece loves Big Hero 6.


On Sunday morning, I went grocery shopping but first I stopped at Starbucks to try out their cold brewed coffee.


I got it with non-fat milk and one splenda. I’m not usually a huge fan of Starbucks regular brewed coffee but I loved the cold brewed coffee. I stopped and got another after the gym this morning but I got it with only Splenda and I prefered it with just the Splenda and no milk.


On Sunday afternoon, we went to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s new house to visit with our nephew who is home from the Navy for two weeks.


We cooked out and the kids had fun swimming.


They just adopted a new dog and Danny had fun hanging out with him.


Jaden and I made cupcakes to bring with.


Betty Crocker recently brought back the rainbow chip frosting which is my all time favorite frosting so I had to buy a tub of it! It is so good.


Good thing we made cupcakes or I would have eaten it all myself! :)


With all the parties and food this weekend, I ate a lot. Way too much. Today, I’m back on track and trying to eat good all week because we have another party to go to this weekend.

I went to the gym and did a few shoulder exercises. Then I did intervals on the Stairmaster.


For 30 minutes, I alternated between one minute at level 5 and one minute at level 16. I did a couple of ab exercises and then foam rolled for a few minutes. I ended up burning 560 calories.


Today, I have a few errands to do and a few workouts to plan! Have a great Monday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Do you prefer cold or hot coffee?

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Fun, Running, Working Out

Easy Workouts and Peach Oatmeal Yogurt Parfait

Good morning!

I’ve been taking it pretty easy the past few days since my calves were still tight from Saturday’s race as well as pain in my quad and ankles. I’ve been sticking to upper body workouts at the gym and today my calves finally felt better so I did some cardio at the gym.

My quad is still sore so I did really light and easy cardio: 25 minutes on the arc trainer, 20 slow minutes on the treadmill, and 12 minutes on the stationary bike.


All while watching the Kardashians because you have to pass that cardio time somehow. :)

This past weekend, Danny got some new shoes for marathon training and of course I had to get myself a new pair. I found a pair of Nikes for pretty cheap and I decided to get them since I have been wearing my old Nikes for everything and they’re getting some wear on them.

I wore them to the gym today and the kids wanted me to take a picture of their shoes too.


Danny got Brooks Ravenna 6 for his Chicago Marathon training.


I’m debating whether or not I should go to CrossFit tonight. I missed Tuesday so I haven’t been all week but we’re running a 5k on Saturday so I don’t want to be too sore for the race.


I made a delicious breakfast the other day. I used to make this all the time but I haven’t made it in forever – peach oatmeal yogurt parfait.


You can check out the recipe here. It’s really easy and so good. I cut up a peach and mixed it with a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon. Then I added oatmeal to the bottom of the jar, added the peaches, a few blueberries, and topped it with plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet.

The warm oatmeal and cold yogurt make such a delicious creamy combo!

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite brand of shoes?
  • Favorite breakfast?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago

The Humana Rock ’n’ Roll race event is coming up this weekend in Chicago and I am so excited to be running it! Danny and I will be running the 5k which takes place on Saturday. The 10k and half marathon take place on Sunday.

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Humana is the sponsor of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Race series and they really believe in making health and fitness fun and something that everyone can do. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series is a great way to inspire people to get up, get moving, and have fun while doing it! They offer three different race distances so you can run no matter what your fitness level is!

Humana is working towards its goal of a 20% improvement in health of the communities they serve by 2020 and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is a great example of how they’re working towards that goal. Not only do they want to improve health and wellness but they also help charities a very unique way – with a Charity Miles app!

Charity Miles App:


You can download the free Charity Miles app on your Android or iPhone, select one of twenty-five charities, and for every mile during the race, Charity Miles will donate 25 cents to the selected cause. How cool is that?! You’re running anyway, so why not help a charity of your choice while doing it?!

All you do is pick your charity and then choose outdoor walk/run, indoor walk/run or outdoor bike.


Another great way Humana is helping people become active is to involve family and friends. Everyone can benefit from a good support system. Long distances races can be especially hard so Humana has a HumanaVitality Cheer Squad located at mile 12 which is known as “Humana’s Inspiration Mile”.  Displayed on a digital billboard are personalized cheers from family and friends for that extra boost at the finish line.

Runners, family, and friends can share words of encouragement by visiting http://humanavitalitycheersquad.com/ or by checking out the Humana booth at the Health and Fitness expo. Along with the digital billboard, Humana’s own personal Cheer squad will line the last mile of the race to provide motivation for that last push towards the finish line. How awesome is that?! Sometimes all you need is that extra cheering and support to get you through a race.

I’m lucky that I have a very supportive family that runs together and supports each other:


Humana will be at the Health and Fitness expo in Chicago this weekend for the race. They will have lots of health and well-being activities including:

  • Participant’s stories – this gives people the opportunity to share their health & wellness stories and their motivation for participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll race event.
  • Charity Miles app assistance – to make sure every mile is logged for charity.
  • Free biometric screenings to make sure body is running fit.
  • Humana Health and Well-Being quiz to test your knowledge and educate you about healthy living.

I am really looking forward to running the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k this weekend! I think it will be a fun race that Danny and I can just enjoy running together. Danny and I have only ran a couple of races together – the last one being right before my hip surgery last year.

Last race we ran together:


Danny just has to slow his pace down quite a bit when he runs with me. I’m not quite as fast as him. :) Also, why do I always stand with my leg looking all crazy?!

I also look forward to using the Charity Miles app and seeing everything Humana has to offer.

  • Would having extra support at the end of a race help you get through it? I know whenever someone cheers for me, I always run a little faster! :)
  • What’s your favorite race?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Humana.

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Filed under Running, Working Out

The Worst Race

Splash N Dash 5k: 3     Heather: 0


Yesterday I ran the Splash N Dash 5k and it was my worst run to date. Terrible. I have officially been defeated by the Splash N Dash three times. It wasn’t my worst time-wise but it was the most pain I’ve ever been in while running.

Before the race:


The course was through the forest preserve on limestone. There was small hills, bumpy terrain, and brides to run over. The first mile started out okay but by the second mile, I was in pain. Although my calves have been okay lately, I wore my calves sleeves in case. I have compartment syndrome so my calves are always tight.


By the second mile, my calves were rock hard, my ankle hurt, and my quad was very painful. However, I had a brand-new pain this time – my shins. Damn. Really?! I really wanted to give up and walk. My goal for this race was to run the whole thing without having to walk like I did the previous year I ran it. I was able to run the whole entire thing even if that meant an incredibly slow jog at times. At least there’s that.

I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in running. I was able to finish the race and the photographer was there to capture all the pain showing in my face.


It was a terrible race and I refused to let Danny take my picture after the race. I was frustrated with myself and with my body for not being able to run something as short as three miles.

The whole day after the race was terrible – my calves stayed tight, my quad was on fire, and my shins killed. I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs without a lot of pain. I finally came to the realization that I have shin splints. I have never had shin splints before and I can’t believe how uncomfortable and painful they are.

After researching a little bit about shin splints, I am actually surprised that I haven’t had them sooner. They often happen with compartment syndrome and hip issues. Yup, that’s me.

So, I spent the day icing and elevating my shins/ankles and taking ibuprofen. I think it was the uneven running terrain that left me in so much pain. My final time for the 5k was 32:55.

This morning, they still hurt a lot. And I can’t even talk about my quad pain without wanting to rip my leg off. I went to the gym this morning to foam roll and stretch. I worked on upper body – biceps and back. Then I foam rolled and stretched some more.

And of course, I have another 5k this weekend. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking I’m crazy. But I already committed to running the upcoming race as a FitFluential Ambassador. It’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series in Chicago. Luckily, I am only running the shortest distance, the 5k. Hopefully, the course is a little flatter, and Danny will be running it with me to make sure I’m okay and don’t overdo it. After that, I think I’ll take a nice break from running. :)

I plan on taking it easy this week, focusing on upper body workouts and the stationary bike, and foam rolling and stretching. We’ll see how Saturday goes!

Have a great day!

  • Have you ever had shin splints?




Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out

My Legs Are Tired

Good morning! Happy Saturday!


On Wednesday, I worked on legs and glutes at the gym. Thursday  morning, I ran sprints on the treadmill and went to CrossFit that night. That probably wasn’t the best idea because that was the hardest CrossFit workout of the day yet. My legs were just so tired!

There was a lot of us in class so the instructor said we could row 1000 meters or run a mile. Only one person volunteered to run the mile so of course the instructor asked me if I want to run the mile. I had to politely decline because my legs were sore and I wanted them (and my hip/quad!!) to have time to recover for tomorrow’s 5k. So, I rowed the 1000 meters instead and let me tell you, that’s no picnic either.

On Friday morning, I went to the gym and worked on delts with a little bit of ab work. I only did upper body so my legs could take a little rest.

I also made sure to stretch and foam roll. Post workout, I had my favorite Premier Protein shake – 30 grams of protein!



After the gym yesterday, Jaden had a check-up for his ear tubes. And I actually wore real clothes for once. :)


The doctor said the tubes looks excellent. They gave him a hearing test and said his hearing is perfect. Yay!


He was really excited for the hearing test because they gave him a button to push. Kids love buttons.

After the doctor, we stopped and picked up my race packet for tomorrow.


As I mentioned, I have run this race twice before and wasn’t happy with my performance either time. Of course, tomorrow is supposed to be hot with 93% humidity and possible thunderstorms. Great.

My plan for today is just to take it easy, stretch, foam roll, and drink lots of water! Danny has a 12 mile run this morning for his marathon training and then we’re going to Dick’s Sporting Goods so he can look for some new running shoes!

  • What are your plans for today?
  • Marathon runners: any tips for hydrating on long runs? Do you carry water?




Filed under Fitness, Running, Working Out