Author Archives: runeatplay

Weekend Recap and Ear Tube Surgery

Good morning! I feel like I haven’t around in forever! It’s been a very busy past few days.

Let’s start with the weekend.

Saturday

For the past 12 weeks, I have been training a group of ten wonderful people for a Biggest Loser competition at my gym. The program concluded Saturday morning with a final weigh-in, measurements, and a 5k. My team was the early morning 5:45 am team and I think getting their workout in and done so early helped keep them so motivated. They did amazing!

Out of three teams, my team came in first as the team with the most body fat percentage lost. Out of thirty people, I had the second and third place individuals with the most body fat lost on my team. I also had the first and second place 5k winners on my team. I was so proud of my team and how dedicated and hard-working they were.

They also met with a nutritionist once a week and that’s the part that’s really important. You can work out in the gym all day but if you’re eating like crap, you’re not going to lose any weight. My team had a great nutritionist to educate and help them.

My team’s nutritionist and I ran the 5k together to help keep everyone encouraged and motivated. I haven’t ran a 5k in awhile so it was quite difficult for me. I can lift weights all day at the gym but running will always be my weakness.

Afterwards, I picked up Jaden from my mom’s house and we went to Whole Foods for some sushi.

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I also found this zero-calorie lemonade which was amazing. As much as I like water, sometimes I like to change it up!

On Saturday night, Danny and Jacob came home from Canada after being gone for eight days!  They were fishing with my dad, brother, and grandpa. Jaden and I were sooo happy to have them home!

Fishing in Canada:

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Saturday night, we just hung out at home, listening to stories about their week in Canada.

Sunday

Since Danny was in Canada for Father’s Day, we decided to have Father’s Day again on Sunday. Jaden and I made French toast, eggs, hash browns, and bacon for breakfast. Then we all went mini golfing.

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The weather was finally beautiful for a change.

Danny also was so sweet and surprised me with a pair of Victoria’s Secret sweatpants that I have been in love with. And suckers. I have an intense love for suckers.

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I’ll take workout clothes and sweatpants over flowers any day. :)

Monday

Yesterday, Jaden was scheduled for surgery to get tubes in his ears and to get his adenoids rechecked. He had his tonsils and adenoids out about four years ago but the doctor thought maybe his adenoids grew back. I didn’t even realize this was possible but I guess it is.

Jaden was the fourth surgery of the day and we got to the hospital around 9 am. Luckily, the doctor was running ahead of schedule and Jaden had his surgery earlier than planned.

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The tube surgery is very routine and fast. But since they were also checking his adenoids, there was a possibility that he would need an IV and a longer surgery. We wouldn’t know until the doctor used a scope to check them.

Jaden did so amazing. He wasn’t really scared and I think it’s because he’s so sick of ear pain and was just ready to have the surgery done. They gave him some medicine to help him relax and then they took him back to surgery.

We were in the waiting room for literally 15 minutes when the doctor came out. I initially thought something was wrong but they doctor said the surgery was complete. I couldn’t believe how fast it was! They checked his adenoids and said there was a tiny bit a growth but not enough to make a difference if they were removed so he only needed the tube surgery.

We waited another few minutes and the nurse came out and said Jaden was in recovery and he was awake and eating a popsicle. She said they would wheel him into a room in about 10-15 minutes and then we could go back and see him.

After about ten minutes we were able to go see him and he was doing great! Luckily, Jaden has never had a problem with anesthesia.

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He did tell the nurse that his ears hurt a little when he woke up so they gave him some Tylenol. I gave him a big hug and then all he wanted to do was eat. He ate pudding, cookies, and apple juice. He was a little out of it from being under anesthesia and it was kind of funny. He kept trying to take his own blood pressure and was saying funny things.

After about a half an hour, we were able to take him home. They said he should just take it easy and relax the rest of the day even if he felt fine. We got home and a couple of hours later, he was totally fine. He wanted to go jump on the trampoline and was mad that we told him he had to stay inside and relax.

At one point, he looked at me and said, “Mommy, I can hear you now.” It made me feel so sad that he went so long with ear problems. I brought him to the doctor every single time he had an ear infection and got him antibiotics. He had multiple hearing tests done which all came back fine. The doctor always told me that he was okay and they usually gave tubes to younger kids since ear infections could affect their speech.

I am so glad that we took him to an ENT and they were able to get him into surgery within a few weeks. Lesson is always trust your gut instinct, no matter what the doctor says.

Workouts

I also managed to fit in some workouts over the past few days! I did a 50 minutes session on the Stairmaster that left me tired and sweaty!

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I’m telling you, if you want to sweat, get on the Stairmaster!! I usually alternate between fast and slow for 20-45 minutes depending on how my hip feels. I also did a few planks and foam rolled.

Today

Life is back to normal today. Jaden is doing great. Danny is back to work. And I am teaching Women on Weights later this afternoon and then going to CrossFit tonight.

Have a wonderful day!

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Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Foam Rolling

Good morning!

Yesterday morning, I had my normal oats for breakfast but I put them in an almost empty peanut butter jar to eat. The jar had about half a tablespoon or so of peanut butter left in it so I just cooked the oats in the microwave and then added them to the peanut butter jar.

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Oatmeal with peanut butter is amazing. Actually peanut butter makes most things better – french toast, apples, crackers, chocolate, pretzels. :)

Since I went to CrossFit on Tuesday night, I just decided to stick to cardio at the gym on Wednesday morning.

I ran/walked 3.5 miles on the treadmill. I haven’t gone that far in a long time! Unfortunately, my Achilles tendon still bothers me when I run so I’m glad that I cut back on running lately but I still like to run shorter distances sometimes.

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I make sure to foam roll almost every time I go to the gym. My calves are always tight, my quads are usually sore, and my glutes get sore, so I really focus on foam rolling those three areas.

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If you’ve never used a foam roller before it’s a great way to loosen muscle knots. Foam rolling is also called myofascial release and when you use a foam roller to apply force to a muscle knot, the muscle fibers go from a bundled position into a straighter alignment.

When you apply pressure to a muscle that is sore or tight, you stimulate the Golgi tendon organ and create autogenic inhibition. This decreases the excitment in the muscle spindle, releasing the tension in the muscle. Basically, foam rolling helps break up knots in the muscle.

I usually start rolling back on forth on my calves until I find a spot that is really sore or tight. Then I apply pressure to this spot for at least 30 seconds. It takes at least 30 seconds for autogenic inhibition to kick in. The same goes for stretching -hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.

I usually foam roll all the tight spots on my calves, quads, and sometimes glutes, then I stretch. I break up the knots first with the foam roller and then I make sure to stretch them out.

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I also have a foam roller at home to use! You can find them for less than $20.

Foam rolling doesn’t always feel the greatest. It might hurt slightly depending on the muscle knots but it will really help later so stick with it! You can also use other object like a tennis ball to help break up knots.

When I was running and foam rolling at the gym, Jaden was taking a cooking class downstairs. My gym is also a park district so it worked out that his cooking classes were in the same building!

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Jaden loves to cook. He went to a breakfast and lunch cooking class and today he’ll be taking a dinner cooking class.

Last night, we went to my mom’s house and out to dinner with her to celebrate her birthday!

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We’re off to Jaden’s last cooking class. Have a great day and don’t forget to foam roll! :)

  • Do you foam roll or stretch?
  • Favorite thing to put peanut butter on?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Birthdays, Shoulders, and CrossFit

Good morning!

Happy birthday to my wonderful mom today!

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This picture is old but it’s great picture of my mom with her two kids. :)

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner to celebrate! Love you, Mom!

Monday, I did a great cardio workout followed by a shoulder workout at the gym. I did four sets of 20 reps of three shoulder exercises. Sometimes, I’ll use lighter weights but do more sets and reps. It’s good to change things up! The shoulder exercises I did included:

  • bent arm lateral raises
  • upright rows
  • alternating arm front raises

Then I stretched.

IMG_20150622_130027Crazy eyes or what?!

Speaking of changing things up, I’m usually boring with my breakfast choices. I either have egg whites and yogurt or oatmeal. Yesterday, I decided to do something different and I made an egg white omelet with sauteed spinach, red onions, and feta cheese. It was a nice change from my normal boring egg whites.

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I also had a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter. Yum!

Last night, I went to CrossFit and Jaden came with me.

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CrossFit is like a giant playground to an eight year old.

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He loves the rings.

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Yesterday’s CrossFit workout was great and hard, as usual. We practiced deadlifts and then did our workout of the day which included wall ball throws, push-ups, and ring rows. So many push-ups.

Today, we have a few errands to do and then Jaden has a cooking class later this morning.

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite breakfast?
  • What exercise is hard for you?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, CrossFit, Working Out

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and I took the kids to the splash park and they had such a fun time playing in the water.

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The splash park is perfect for the summer because it’s close and free!

After the kids played for a couple of hours, Jaden and I left to go grocery shopping.

I picked up two Chobani yogurts – watermelon and peach. I ate the peach one for dinner and while it was good, it didn’t have enough peach chunks for me!

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I also picked up some ingredients to make a salad for dinner.

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The thing I love about salads is that you can customize them to your tastes. You can throw anything that makes you happy on a salad. Sometimes, I love topping my salads with pickles.

Yesterday for dinner, I had an amazing spinach salad that was so simple to make yet tasted restaurant quality.

I started with a big bowl of spinach and then I added grilled chicken, blueberries, strawberries, feta cheese, and honey roasted pecans. I topped it with Bolthouse Farms strawberry merlot dressing.

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It was the perfect dinner for a hot summer night!

Have a great Monday!

  • Favorite salad topping?
  • Favorite salad dressing?

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Filed under Dinner, Family Fun, Recipes

Gentle Yoga

Hello! Happy Sunday!

Happy Father’s Day to my dad!

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Happy Father’s Day to my husband!

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Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, stepdads, father-in-laws, and father figures!

Yesterday

Yesterday morning, I went to CrossFit. I’ve never gone on a Saturday before because Jaden usually has baseball but the season ended Friday so I headed to CrossFit yesterday. I wore my new Reebok Nanos.

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We did a great partner workout that left me tired and sweaty! I have a feeling those shoes aren’t going to stay white for very long. :)

Today

I’ve been really sore lately, so today I decided to try out a gentle yoga class at my gym.

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This class really was a very easy and gentle yoga class. It was a lot of easy movements, breathing, and very slow paced. I think it’s the most relaxed I’ve been in months.

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I’m so used to such fast paced workouts that gentle yoga was a welcome relaxation.

After yoga, I came home and made a big salad and a veggie flatbread pizza for lunch.

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So good.

We finally have some hot weather and sunshine today so my sister-in-law and I are taking the kids to the splash park!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

  •  Have you ever taken a yoga class?
  • Any plans for today?

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Filed under CrossFit, Family Fun, Lunch, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Good morning! We finally have some sunshine here in Chicagoland! I hope it stays around.

Let’s talk about today’s favorites!

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This recipe is so cute and perfect for Father’s Day, not to mention protein pancakes are delicious!

Ingredients:

  • Premier Protein vanilla shake
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Make a well in the center and add the shake, milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Heat lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Put batter into a Ziploc bag and cut off the corner. Create a tie shape on the griddle. Brown lightly on both sides. If needed, use kitchen scissors to clean up the tie shape. Spread a thin layer of honey on the tie and decorate with blueberries and raspberries!

How cute is that?! And perfect for Father’s Day!

I am a Premier Protein ambassador but I do not receive any compensation on links. I just had to share these amazing pancakes. :) 

  • Pretty Little Liars

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I love this show. I don’t even care that it’s geared towards high school teen girls. I love it.

  • My New Reebok Nano 4.0s

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I got new shoes! Since I went ahead and joined CrossFit, I decided to invest in a pair of CrossFit shoes. I was finally able to find a size 11 online! I did find one pair of size 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods but they were red and I didn’t like the color at all. The color choices are very limited in a size 11 but I did manage to find this pair!

I’ve only wore them a couple of times but so far I love them.

  •  The Stairmaster

I have been trying to add more cardio into my workout routine and lately I have been loving the Stairmaster.

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It can be a seriously hard workout. I usually do a HIIT workout on the treadmill for about 20-20 minutes. I climb at between level 5-6 for a minute and then I climb between level 15-18 for a minute. I repeat this for the entire workout.

Those are my favorites for today! I hope you all have a great weekend!!

  • What are your favorites today?
  • Favorite TV shows? Any Pretty Little Liar fans out there?!

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My First CrossFit Experience

Good afternoon!

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post on why I tried CrossFit but I realized that I haven’t talked about my first CrossFit experience yet!

I have been thinking about trying CrossFit for a couple of years. I’ve heard a lot about it and read about it on other blogs. About a year ago, I was going to sign up Danny and I to try out a beginner class but I never ended up doing it. I guess I was just too intimidated.

Last month, during the  Now Foods Blogger Event, I met Jill Hanner from Baked Fit. Jill is a personal trainer and CrossFit athlete. During dinner, she was talking about how much she loved CrossFit and I was telling her that I’ve been thinking about trying it but was too scared to actually do it. She said that she felt the same way but eventually you have to stop being intimidated and you just have to do it. What she said really stuck with me (and the fact that she looks amazing!) and I looked up CrossFit places near me that weekend.

Jill and the CEO of Now Foods doing CrossFit burpees:

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Using Yelp, I found a CrossFit box near me that got really good reviews. I liked their Facebook page and would check it every few days just to look at the pictures and get more of an idea what CrossFit was like. At this point, I didn’t sign up, I just checked their Facebook page a lot.

Then one afternoon, I was participating in a Twitter chat and won a $25 Visa gift card. A few minutes later, I checked the CrossFit facebook page and saw that they were offering a Groupon for one month of unlimited CrossFit for only $28. The last time they offered this deal was two years ago.

I took winning the giftcard and the CrossFit Groupon as a sign that I should sign up to try it out. I figured even if I only went once and hated it, I really wouldn’t be out any money. So I bought the Groupon.

I emailed the owner of the CrossFit box about taking my first class. I had to complete at least one beginner class and was then free to go to as many workout of the days as I wanted. I set up my first class for the following Tuesday evening.

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I was very nervous about going to my first CrossFit class. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what to do. I was scared to go alone. But I did it.

Walking into the CrossFit box for the first time was intimidating. It’s pretty much the exact opposite of what I’m used to at the gym.

There is no front next to check-in. There are no fresh, clean towels. There aren’t any nice locker room with showers and a sauna. They are no employees in gym uniforms. There are no gym members working out nicely on a cardio machine. There aren’t any people nicely reracking their weights.

CrossFit is in a giant warehouse. There is loud music playing. There are people lifting huge heavy weights. There are people dropping giant weights on the floor after lifting an incredibly heavy weight. There are people outside doing sled pushes and tire jumps. There isn’t a front desk. There’s people everywhere. There’s a fridge with water and a jar to leave your money in. There’s people running laps around the building and down the street. There are pull-ups bars in the lawn.

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So, first walking in, I was incredibly intimidated. I work in a corporate gym and CrossFit was everything that I wasn’t used to.

When I first got there, I was supposed to talk to one of the instructors about signing a waiver and how the classes worked. I just asked the first person I saw if they knew where he was. Luckily, he was waiting for me and we went to a small back room to go over things. I filled out a form asking if I had any injuries and signed a waiver.

The instructor explained that the beginners class focuses on stretching, warming up, proper form, technique, and the workout of the day. I could do the beginner’s class once or I could stick with the beginner’s class as long as I wanted.

The first class went good. I don’t remember exactly what we did but I learned how to do certain exercises. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The beginner’s class is usually the same group of people and some of them have been doing it for years.

The workout of the day consists of completing rounds of certain exercises as fast as you can or trying to complete as many rounds as you can in a specified amount of time. The actual workout might be short in length but it’s killer.

For example, yesterday’s workout consisted of three rounds of a 200 meter run, 10 jumping pull-ups, and 10 walking lunges with a weight held overhead. We did three rounds at our own pace as fast as we could.

We work on double unders, snatches, front squats, pull-ups, deadlifts, cleans, box jumps, overhead squats. CrossFit consists of a lot of functional movements.

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I have been doing CrossFit for about five weeks now and I have stuck to the beginner’s class. I like the beginner’s class because I have gotten to know the people and the class still challenges me. It focuses on technique and form which I need. My hip still tends to get sore quickly so I think sticking to the beginner’s class is enough to challenge me without forcing me to over do it.

Once my trial month was over, I had to decided whether to keep going or not. CrossFit is pricey but the bottom line is if it’s worth it to you. CrossFit challenges me and motivates me. For me, the price is worth it because it’s something that I enjoy and keeps me happy and healthy. It’s not like I’m paying the membership and only showing up once a month. Currently, I go to CrossFit every Tuesday and Thursday and once Jaden’s baseball season is over, I’ll probably start going on Saturdays too.

I still do most of my workouts at my gym but now I incorporate practicing the CrossFit moves or I practice my double unders. I’m not going all out CrossFit but I like the balance of doing my own workouts at the gym and going to CrossFit.

If you’re thinking about trying CrossFit, I would definitely recommended it. Most CrossFit boxes let you try out a class or two for free. Try a few classes and see if it you like it.  If not, no big deal. If you do like it, you’ll meet a great group of people and get an awesome workout.

Have a great afternoon!

  •  Have you ever tried CrossFit? Would you?

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Xlear Care Kit Review

As a Moms Meet blogger, I recently was able to try out some great Xlear products.

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Xlear provides consumers with the health benefits of xylitol, a naturally occurring sweetener, by producing all-natural and health enhancing products.

Xylitol is a naturally forming sugar-alcohol found in fruits and vegetables. It has less calories than regular sugar, improves oral and nasal health, and the Xlear products are non-GMO and gluten free.

The benefits of xylitol include:

  • Preventing ear infections, sinus infections, and helping with asthma and allergies when it’s added to saline nasal sprays, neti pots, and positive pressure bottles.
  • Helps the body’s natural cleansing process to clear away allergens, asthmatic triggers, and other harmful bacteria.
  • Helps improve oral health. Research done in widely different conditions confirms that xylitol use may reduce tooth decay.

Jaden and Danny suffer from allergies and Jacob has exercise-induced asthma, so these products were great for all of us to try out.

The products we tried out:

  • Spry Gum

I was very excited to try out the gum. I chew gum all the time. If I don’t constantly keep my mouth busy by chewing gum, I’ll stuff it with food. :)

I loved this gum because the flavors were so much better and lasted longer than other gums. Have you ever put a piece of gum in your mouth and five seconds later the flavor is already gone?! The Spry gum has flavor that actually lasted!

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It comes in four flavors: spearmint, wintergreen, cinnamon, and peppermint.

I read somewhere that chewing cinnamon gum while studying or taking a test actually helps you remember more – I wonder if that’s true?!

  • Spry Gems

Jaden was so excited for these! He is obsessed with mints especially ones that come in tiny little packages.

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The Xlear Spry mints are naturally sweetened with 100% xylitol. They combine the benefits of xylitol with natural flavorings and calcium to create pH-balanced formula for advanced oral health. They are available in five delicious flavors: berry, cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, and lemon cream.

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  • Xlear Nasal Spray

The Xlear nasal spray helps alleviate congestion due to colds, flu, and sinusitis. Xylitol has been shown to decrease bacterial adherence in the nose.

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These nasal sprays were a life saver because I swear someone is always sick in my house!

The nasal spray also helps hydrate the nasal passages and wash away contaminates that lead to upper respiratory infections. I liked the fact that these nasal sprays lasted over two months even with daily use!

  • Spry Toothpaste Non-Fluoride 

Spry toothpaste contains 1/3 xylitol, which provides 20-25% of the recommended dosage per day.

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I loved that this toothpaste didn’t have an overpowering flavor and left my mouth feeling super clean and fresh!

  • Spry Oral Rinse

Spry Oral Rinse uses a mix of natural flavorings and herbal extracts such as aloe vera, chamomile, and echinacea to help soothe irritated mouth tissues. The four flavors include: cool mint, spearmint, wintergreen, and peppermint. Love the minty fresh flavor!!

Xlear is currently offering a deal for their Xlear Care Kit (valued at $65) for only $25 by using code SAVE50 on their website. Learn more about Xlear on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Do you use natural sweeteners?
  • Do you suffer from allergies or asthma?

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 

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Birthday Celebrations!

Good morning!

This weekend, we celebrated my brother’s 30th birthday!

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Saturday morning, I started out at the gym with an awesome glute/leg workout. I wanted to get a good workout in because I knew we’d be eating and drinking a lot that evening!

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After my workout, I had a  honey caramel Premier Protein bar. I am in love with this flavor!

Saturday night, we met my family at Bob’s Chinn’s Seafood restaurant to start the birthday festivities!

Danny and I:

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I ordered the king crab legs which were amazing.

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The first time I ever had crab was on my 30th birthday and I regret going 30 years without eating them! The king crab legs are amazing. They’re pricey so it’s always a special treat to have them.

After dinner, we went to a bar called the Beer Market to meet my grandparent’s, have a few drinks, and watch the Blackhawks game.

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We watched the game and had delicious cake that my grandma made.

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The cupcakes were red velvet with cream cheese frosting and they were amazing!

After the game, we went to one other bar/restaurant and celebrated Danny’s birthday at midnight! Today is Danny’s birthday. :)

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We mostly celebrated my brother’s birthday yesterday and we’re going to a local pizza restaurant on Tuesday with my family to celebrate Danny’s birthday. My family likes to celebrate birthdays. :)

Tonight, I’m making Danny sloppy joes for his birthday dinner and I also made a funfetti cake!

Have a great Sunday!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite cake flavor?
  • Do you like seafood?

* As a Premier Protein ambassador, I was sent the bars at no charge to me.

 

 

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I hope you all have been having a great week and are looking forward to the weekend. I know I am!

Let’s get right into today favorites!

  • FitRadio App

I usually listen to my iPod at the gym but I’m not really good about changing up the music so I tend to listen to the same playlist for months and months. I recently discovered the FitRadio app and I love it! I think it’s available on both Android and iPhone.

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It’s great for working out or for instructors teaching a group fitness classes. You can pick a genre of music or create stations. They have a genre or station for everything! And a lot of the stations gives you the beats per minute for specific exercises like spin, zumba, tabata, running, crossfit and more!

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I have the free version which mean there a few ads but they’re really short so they don’t usually bother me and you can turn on the feature to give you motivational quotes while you’re exercising.

  • Tabata HIIT Timer App

I don’t think I’ve ever had an app in my Friday Favorites and now I have two! I use this tabata/HIIT timer all the time.

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All you do it set the amount of time you want to work and the amount of time you want to recover and the app displays the number of seconds left on the screen and beeps when it’s time to stop or start.

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You can set the time and amount of rounds depending on what you’re doing.

  • Broccoli Slaw

Most night for dinner, I make chicken and brown rice but sometimes I get bored eating that all the time. Instead, I’ll use broccoli slaw which I love. It’s shredded broccoli, carrots, and cabbage. You can eat a large amount for little calories which is always good.

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I usually saute the broccoli slaw in a pan with some garlic and then I add the pre-cooked chicken to warm it up. I add in one tablespoon of lite soy sauce and yesterday I added some leftover green beans that I had in the fridge.

It’s a nice change from my normal chicken and rice.

  • Double Under Wonder Jump Rope

I have been loving my jump rope lately!

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I have been keeping it in my gym bag so I can practice double unders after my workout. I’m getting better but still working on them. I think it helps me to rest a day in between practicing because my calves get really tight which makes jumping hard. But I’m still going!

  • Chips and Salsa

I love Mexican food and I really love chips and salsa! I recently tried out these Way Better Snacks sprouted blue corn tortilla chips.

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They are awesome with Mrs. Renfro’s peach salsa – yum!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  • What are some of your favorite things today?

 

 

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