Tag Archives: larabar

Green Coffee Bean – SD Pharmaceuticals

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of SD Pharmaceuticals.

Good afternoon. I hope you’re all having a good day.

I went to physical therapy this morning – my last appointment before BodyPump training this weekend. My hip is feeling a lot better, now it’s my glute that’s painful.

After physical therapy, I had a Larabar. I tried the cashew flavor.

Although I love cashews, this bar wasn’t my favorite. It was a bit bland for me and I prefer the peanut butter, chocolate chip cookie dough, or apple flavors.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out some supplements from SD Pharmaceuticals.

About SD Pharmaceuticals:

SD Pharmaceuticals is the Cutting-Edge, Ingredient Company. The Research Team at SD Pharmaceuticals only produces the most sophisticated ingredients and formulas, and those which are clinically validated in human research studies. If there isn’t any solid research behind an ingredient, then SD Pharmaceuticals’ researchers won’t use it! That’s what really distinguishes SD Pharmaceuticals from every other sports supplement company out there. On top of that, SD Pharmaceuticals only uses the most potent forms of every ingredient available, which includes pharmaceutical-grade synthetics and exclusive standardized herbal extracts.

I was sent the following items:

  • Dendrobium 600 – used to promote the health of the stomach, kidney, and lungs
  • Diindolylmethane – used to help maintain healthy hormonal balance in the body and support overall well being
  • Garcinia Cambogia – used to support healthy serotonin levels and reduce appetite
  • Green Coffee Bean – used to support fat loss, provides healthy antioxidants and reduce weight
  • Raspberry Ketone – used to inhibit fat accumulation, increases calorie expenditure, and increases fat breakdown

The cool thing about these products is that SD Pharmaceuticals provides information on how to stack these products together for optimal results.


After reviewing these products, I decided that I was most interested in the green coffee bean supplement and felt it’s the supplement that would help benefit me the most at this current time. Therefore, my review is solely for the green coffee bean supplement, although that’s not to say that I won’t try the other ones in the future.

I decided to add the green coffee bean to my normal everyday vitamins/supplements.

On a daily basis, I take:

  • Women’s One a Day
  • Biotin
  • Fish Oil
  • Green Coffee Bean

What is Green Coffee Bean?

Green coffee beans are coffee beans that have not yet been roasted. The roasting of coffee beans reduces the chlorogenic acid levels. That’s why green coffee beans have a higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to regular, roasted coffee beans. The chlorogenic acid component in green coffee is what’s thought to be responsible for several of its pharmacological effects, including fat-loss support.

How Does it Work?

Research suggests that it’s the chlorogenic acid constituent of green coffee bean that can support fat loss. Chlorogenic acid from green coffee bean has been shown to have modulating effects on glucose metabolism and it has also been shown to help inhibit fat accumulation and reduce weight in animal and humans studies.     

My Thoughts

I started taking the green coffee bean on Monday, so it’s only been four days. I will do an update post once I have been taking it a little longer.

The directions say to take 1-3 daily. I take one with breakfast and one with lunch – so two daily. It’s 100% caffeine free so you don’t have to worry about taking it too late in the day.

Even though it supports fat loss, I feel like my appetite has decreased a bit, which is a good thing for me because I am one of those people who is always thinking about food. I haven’t noticed any adverse side effects, and I really like that the SD Pharmaceuticals website shows you the science behind their supplements.

Like I mentioned, I have only been taking it for four days, so I haven’t noticed much difference in fat loss but so far, it’s going good!

  • Do you take vitamins/supplements?
  • Ever try green coffee bean?




Filed under Fitness


Today I pretty much have random things to talk about.

1. I signed up for a 5k in October. I asked my physical therapist this morning if I could return to running soon. He said that right now I should focus on making it through the BodyPump certification weekend, and then maybe I could start ease back into running. I took this as Yes, Heather, you should definitely run a 5k in the beginning of October.

Honestly though, I told my PT that I wanted to run a 5k and he said that it should be okay since it’s still more than a month away. I don’t plan on doing this 5k for time. I plan on doing it for fun and seeing where I am at with my running after not running for a couple of months. I’m sure I’ll have to run slow and possibly take walking breaks, I just want to see how I feel and how my body responds.

Also this 5k is kind of important to me because it was the race when I won my first and only age group medal.

Running has never been easy for me and I am not very fast so even though it was a smaller race that 2nd place for my age group medal was a huge accomplishment for me.

Of course, I know that after not running for months my chances of winning a medal again are zilch, it’s still an important race to me. Not to mention the fact that I have a coupon code, making the race only $15 which is the cheapest 5k I have ever ran.

2. Bars. Every time I eat an Alt bar, I always say that I am going to stick to the regular Larabars. Then I go to the store and buy another Alt bar. I guess I’m hoping it’ll taste better than the last Alt bar? I actually think I am drawn to the Alt bars because they have more protein – 10 grams. I like the regular Larabars better but they only have about 4 grams of protein.

So, I picked up an apple cinnamon Alt bar to try.

I also bought a white chocolate Macadamia Nut Clif bar to try. I thought I had tried these before, but I was wrong. If I had tried these before, they would have been stocked in my kitchen because that bar was so delicious. They are definitely my #1 favorite Clif bar.

3. Bulu Box. If you have never heard of Bulu Box before, it’s a monthly subscription box featuring health, nutrition, and weight loss products.

I mentioned it awhile ago in a post along with a code to try out a box totally for free! The coupon is still active, so if you missed the code last time you can still you it. (It’s only a one time code, so if you used it before, it won’t work again).

Just enter code BULUGAN972 at checkout for your own free box!

4. Duck Dynasty Duck Dynasty isn’t the type of show that I’d normally watch or even think about watching but one night I was up late because I couldn’t sleep. I came downstairs about 1 am to watch tv until I felt sleepy and Duck Dynasty was the only thing on tv. It was so funny that I was instantly hooked. I told Danny about it and we’ve been watching it ever since.

I recently saw on Skinny Runner’s blog that there is a Duck Dynasty book called The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built A Dynasty.


I immediately bought it on my Kindle and finished it in a day -it’s a really easy read. If you’re a Duck Dynasty fan, I recommended this book. It’s told by Willie’s point of view and some of Korie’s point of view also. It was very interesting and I learned things about Willie’s childhood that I would have never though to be true.

The best part is the BTB (before the beards) pictures at the end of the book.

Well, that’s all my randomness for today. Have a good afternoon!

  • Tell me something random about you.
  • Are you a Duck Dynasty fan?
  • Any good book recommendations?





Filed under Book Review, Fitness, Running

Foods I Have Been Loving Lately

This morning started out with physical therapy. Luckily, they are fine with me bringing the kids along. My kids pretty come with me everywhere all the time. I let them bring their iPods to play and they’re pretty good for an hour. I only caught Jaden trying to squeeze Jacob’s face off once.

Physical therapy was pretty much the same as it usually is  – 10 minute stationary bike warm-up, followed by a few hip and glute exercises and stretches, and then I end with about 10 minutes of ice.

After PT, I decided to go to the gym for a while. I forgot that the fitness room that I usually use is closed on Tuesday mornings for Spin class, so my workout was kind of all over the place.

Today’s Workout

  • 5 minutes recumbent bike
  • Biceps curl machine (10 reps, 3 sets, 30 lbs)
  • Triceps extensions machine (10 reps, 3 sets, 20 lbs)
  • Last 20 minutes of Butts and Guts class - ab exercises and stretches only

Next time, I’ll have to remember when the fitness room is closed!

Food (and drinks) I’ve been loving:

Well, the first one I don’t actually love yet because I haven’t tried it, but I am excited to try it.

I saw that Kashi just come out with a new Go Lean cereal – vanilla graham clusters. I like the Kashi cereals because they don’t have too many calories and are high in protein and fiber so you feel fuller longer.



I am a huge water drinker. I carry my Tervis tumbler with me everywhere. Luckily, I also really like water and have no problem drinking it. But sometimes, I do get a little sick of plain water and like to find a way to liven it up without adding calories. I like saving all my calories for food.

I recently got a Glaceau flavored water in one of my Goodies boxes and fell in love with it. It’s a great change from regular water but has no calories or sodium. There are so many different brands of flavored water but I really like the Glaceau and Sparkling Ice brands.


These are great for my kids too. They aren’t huge water drinkers but they love the flavored water. Jaden picked out the grapefruit flavor today. I didn’t think he’d like it, but he loved it! I really like the lemonade flavor.


I have found myself switching between the Larabars and mini Clif bars after a workout. The peanut butter cookie is my favorite Larabar flavor and I had one after the gym today.



I really like the Lara Alt bars because they have a lot more protein but they are a little harder to find.

Fruits and veggies.

I am still trying to eat healthy most of the time, so I eat lots of fruits and veggies.


I have a sweet tooth so I have been trying to reach for fruit like grapes instead of candy or chocolate. I know that too much fruit isn’t good for you because of the natural sugar but I figure that eating a handful (or two…or three) of grapes is better than eating M&Ms. :)

That’s the food and drinks that I have been loving lately! Have a great afternoon!

  • What foods or drinks have you been loving lately?




Filed under Fitness, Working Out

30 Minute Ab Workout

Well, my hip is back to hurting a bit. Not too terrible since I have been taking it easy lately. This was to be expected though because the doctor said that once the numbing medication wore off, it would take 2-3 days for the cortisone to start working.

Hopefully, it’ll start feeling better tomorrow because I do not want to get an MRI.

Today’s Workout

  • Ab workout
  • Hip stretches

I did an upper body workout yesterday, so I decided to do a 30 minute ab workout this morning.

My workout looked like this:

If you’re not familiar with all these exercises, click on the name to learn more: oblique crunches, Russian twists, reverse crunches, and Pilates 100.

After my ab workout, I did about 20 minutes of hip, quad, and glute stretches.

I wore my heart rate monitor just to see how many calories I burned during an ab workout.

Not a lot – that was abs and stretching. I can’t wait to get back to my regular workouts!

After the gym, the kids and I stopped at the store.

I have been looking for Larabar Alt bars for awhile and my grocery store finally got them!

I am excited to try out the pumpkin pie flavor. It makes me excite for the fall time! And apparently, the grocery store is also excited for fall because they’re already putting out Halloween magazines!

Fall is my all-time favorite season, but I like to enjoy summer first!


Lunch this afternoon was an English muffin with pb, pineapple Greek yogurt topped with some granola, and some watermelon. I have been loving English muffins with pb lately – I think I have eaten one everyday for the past week.

Tonight, my stepmom, sister-in-law, and grandma are coming over for dinner and a movie night. I rented Identity Thief. It looks funny and I love Melissa McCarthy! (I’ve loved her ever since Gilmore Girls). Did you know she’s Jenny McCarthy’s cousin?!

  • Any other Gilmore Girl fans?
  • What’s the last movie you rented?
  • Favorite season?
  • Any workout today?

Don’t forget to enter the Ortholite Insole Giveaway!



Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Hot Yoga

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Hot Yoga – 60 minutes
  • 2 miles outside (7x 20 sec strides)

Two words – hot yoga. Hot yoga.

Yesterday, I had my first hot yoga experience. Hot yoga…is hot. It’s not just hot, it’s humid, blazing, burning, parching, steaming…hot.

As one of the Zooma Half Marathon Challenge Athletes, Zooma set up a yoga session for all of us yesterday morning at Core Power Yoga…only we had no idea it was going to be hot yoga. I have nothing against hot yoga, it’s just something that I never felt the need to experience. But I’m up for trying out any exercise class at least once, so hot yoga it was!

A hot yoga description from the Core Power website:

CorePower Yoga’s Hot Yoga is a series of 26 postures performed in a precise order, set to music, in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees. This class systematically works the entire body, toning your muscles, promoting weight loss, reducing stress and increasing your overall vitality. Incorporating strength, balance and flexibility, CorePower Yoga’s Hot Yoga teaches students how each pose stimulates the mind and restores and shapes the body. (source)

Yes, that says 105 degrees – our yoga room was 104 degrees yesterday. 104 degrees.

Before yoga, a few of the girls met up to run the 11 miles that was on the training plan (unfortunately not knowing it was going to going to be hot yoga afterwards). I was able to make an appointment with the sports doctor on Monday, so I decided to skip the 11-mile run until I went to the doctor.

Let me tell you, those girls were champs – they ran 11 miles and then did hot yoga. If I had ran, there was no way that I would have made it though the hot yoga class. You don’t just sweat in hot yoga, your sweat sweats. I didn’t even know that I had that much sweat in my body. It is humid and terribly hot.

Of course, the first thing that I thought is why do people in their right mind actually pay to do hot yoga? So, when I got home, I turned to my good friend, Google, to find out some of the benefits of hot yoga.


  • It detoxifies your skin and cleans out dirt from the pores, giving you that healthy glow that no amount of cosmetics can.
  • It increases blood circulation throughout the body.
  • It acts as an excellent tonic for the liver and other organs, getting rid of all accumulated toxins.
  • It helps to relieve stress.
  • It gives you an excellent cardiovascular workout and helps you to burn calories and lose weight.
  • It boosts your digestive system, reduces craving for food and stabilizes your appetite.
  • It has a beneficial effect on the endocrine system thereby helping to speed up metabolism and normalize blood sugar levels.
  • Digestion is improved leading to less flatulence, easier bowel movements and less hyperacidity.


Since I wasn’t expecting to go to hot yoga, I spent the whole class thinking that I’d never do it again in my life. But afterwards, I realized that it wasn’t so bad, and I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it again, but I also won’t be running to sign up either.

I ate breakfast on the way to the yoga studio – a peanut butter and jelly Larabar.

Happy…before hot yoga.

After hot yoga, I debated whether or not to run. I ended up meeting Danny and the kids at the running trail. The kids brought their bikes and Jaden made it about a mile before he was done. It was about 11 am, hot and humid outside, so I decided just to finish up two miles and work on my strides.

After, we spent the rest of the day at the pool.

We finished up the night with some frozen yogurt.

  • Have you ever been to hot yoga? Would you ever go to hot yoga?
  • How’s your weekend going?





Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Running, Working Out

Clean Eating…For The Most Part

Good afternoon!

For breakfast this morning, I tried out the new Jif Whips peanut butter.

It tasted just like regular peanut butter except it was more…fluffy. Can I use the word fluffy to describe peanut butter. Airy? It was more airy than regular peanut butter. Either way, it tasted good and had less calories and fat than regular peanut butter.

I had it on some toast with eggs whites and a clementine.


Yesterday, I took the kids to the library, and I picked up a couple of books.

The Eat-Clean Diet and Eat Clean Cookbook both by Tosca Reno.

I have mentioned before that I am trying to get back on track with my eating. I tried keeping a food journal again, but I just can’t seem to get back into the habit. I’ll write down a day or two and then I’ll stop. I think it’s because I was measuring out everything single little thing that I eat to keep track of the caloires.

I did keep a detailed food journal for over a year which helped me lose almost 30 pounds, and while I think it helps, I was maybe too consumed with doing it. I think it’s great to write out your basic meals, but I was measuring every single food item and it was becoming obsessive.

Tosca Reno points out in her book:

Calorie counting is not a part of Eating Clean. What I dislike most about calorie counting is that it destroys our relationship with food. We get obsessed with numbers instead of what our bodies are telling us.

While calorie counting did help me lose weight, I totally agree with this statement. Calorie counting was making me a bit obsessive, but I was losing weight and I thought that was the best way to do it.

So, I am trying something new. Instead of writing down everything I eat and counting every calorie, I am trying to focus more on eating clean and healthy foods. Eating foods that aren’t processed, avoiding sugars and refined foods, avoiding chemicals and trans fats.

Instead I am trying to focus on foods that don’t come in a box or package – healthy foods that you could grow in your own back yard. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, complex carbs, lots of water, etc.

There is a list of clean eating basics:

Now, I’m not jumping into this clean eating thing with both feet. Rather, I am dipping my toes in the water and trying to start out slow. I have been eating a lot of clean foods – oatmeal, salads, fruits, raw almonds, veggies and hummus, fish, brown rice fruit smoothies.

At the same time I am also eating foods that might not be considered “clean”- Clif bars, peanut butter, fruit flavored Greek yogurt. But I am eating these in moderation and think that’s it’s all about baby steps. I don’t eat chicken or beef, so instead fruit flavored Greek yogurt is a good source of protein for me. Yes, I could buy plain Greek yogurt and add my own fruit but I really love those Chobani Greek yogurts.

I am making sure to avoid foods that I know are especially not good for me – chips, fries, sugar cereals, cookies, candy, frozen pizza, frozen meals, waffles, etc.

Another good point of advice which I have heard everywhere (a healthy eating seminar, a nutritionist, the Biggest Loser program) is to always eat a complex carb and a lean protein together during snacks and meals. Protein is metabolized better with a complex carb.

Carbs give you energy while protein helps build muscles and keeps you fuller longer.

I always make sure to have a protein when I’m eating. If I have an apple, I make sure to have some almonds with it. Or, if I’m having toast for breakfast, I’ll have some egg whites along with it.

Protein + Carb

So, my goal is just to take baby steps in order to start eating better and healthier food. :)

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

After BodyPump, I had a Larabar and a clementine.

The Larabars are probably better than Clif bars because they have minimal and healthier ingredients, but I still love Clif bars. The peanut butter chocolate chip Larabar was awesome!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you try to eat clean and healthy foods?
  • What’s your favorite thing to eat?
  • Any workout today?




Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Chocolate Tasting Fun

Jaden and I got into a tiny argument yesterday. Maybe you’re thinking who gets into an argument with a six-year old? Well, the argument was about chocolate. So, the answer to your question is everybody. Everybody needs to argue when it comes to being right about chocolate.

Jaden, being the six-year old that he is, insisted that dark chocolate tastes the same as milk chocolate. What? You must be crazy, kid. I nicely tried to explain that no, dark chocolate does not tastes like milk chocolate because dark chocolate is more bitter.

Jaden, being the six-year old chocolate connoisseur that he is, still felt the need to disagree with me, insisting that they tasted the same.

Well, my argument automatically wins because I am the grown-up, but just to prove my point, we decided to have a chocolate tasting party. We went to the store and bought three different kids of chocolate – two dark chocolates and one milk chocolate.



Then the chocolate tasting fun began. We did a blind taste test to try them all out. I do not like dark chocolate but I decided to eat it in the name of our science experiment.

We put on the chocolate on a plate and tried each one.


The Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 86% Cacao was terrible! That stuff was bitter. Danny, Jaden, and I all spit it out. Jacob actually liked it and said it was his favorite. I wonder if he said that because he actually liked it or because he’s the one who picked that one out at the store…


The Dove dark chocolate was actually pretty good. If I had to eat a dark chocolate, I’d pick that one. That was Jaden’s favorite. The Cadbury milk chocolate was okay. I’ve had way better milk chocolates. My favorite chocolate is just regular Dove milk chocolate which sadly we didn’t buy.

In the end, Jaden admitted that I was right. Dark chocolate does not tastes like milk chocolate. It just took the 86% cacao to convince him.

After we ate the chocolate, we watched the Blackhawks game. Thank goodness they won :)

Today’s Workout

  • 10 minutes stretching and foam rolling
  • 2.53 miles treadmill
  • 10 minutes stretching

I was still sore this morning from Tuesday’s Butt & Guts class and yesterday’s BodyPump class. I hadn’t done BodyPump in a week, so my glutes were feeling it. I stretched and foam rolled, then went to the gym to walk on the treadmill.



After walking on the treadmill, I stretched again at the gym. It felt so good.

Post workout, I had the peanut butter cookie Larabar. Oh my goodness, that thing was delicious.



I’m off to take the kids to the pool! Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite kind of chocolate? I love chocolate with almonds in it!
  • When was the last time you stretched?
  • When was the last time you went to the pool?


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out


Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout

  • Butts and Guts Class – 60 minutes

My calves were still tight when I woke up this morning. Luckily, once I started moving around a bit, they loosened up a lot. The last time they were this bad was last year when I had to go to the sports doctor and go to physical therapy.

Now, I know how to handle them a little bit better. I know not to push myself if they’re too tight and painful. I stretch and foam roll more and I take ibuprofen when needed.

And of course, we did tons of squats and lunges in Butts & Guts class today. I just went at my own pace and regressed some of the exercises if I needed too. I did made sure to put on my Pro Compression socks when I got home though.

Post workout, I had a Larabar.

Larabar recently sent me a few of their bars to try out.

Two of their regular bars in Apple Pie and Peanut Butter Cookie. Two of their Uber bars in Roasted Nut Roll and Bananas Foster.

I had a hard time deciding whether to try the peanut butter cookie or roasted nut roll first. I have never had an Uber bar so I went with that one.

It was so good. I loved all the different nuts in it – roasted almonds, cashews, roasted peanuts, pecans, and roasted macadamia nuts. Yes, it tasted just as delicious as it sounds.

Larabars are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher.

I think I might try these as pre-run fuel.

Speaking of running, I can’t remember if I mentioned that Danny and I are running a 5k on Saturday. I think Marlene is going to come out and run it with us too!

It’s just a small local race and raises funds for the Sarcoma Foundation of America. It’s a nice race. It’s close to home and last year they had raffles and free Italian ice, which the kids loved (okay, I loved it too).

Last year, Danny and my stepmom both placed for their age groups.

Last year’s race:

The kids are signed up for the 1k again this year!

The only thing I’m worried about is that it’s supposed to be 90 degrees on Saturday. Yay.

Have a wonderful day!

  • Ever have a Larabar? Favorite flavor?
  • Any races coming up?
  • Do you like small races or big races?

Larabar sent me some of their bars to try out and review on my blog. All opinions are my own.


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

Best Friends


I finally bought a pair of calves sleeves. I always shied away from claves sleeves because I figured that they were for long distance, hard-core runners. But after all the problems that I have been having with my calves, I am willing to try anything. After reading Alyssa’s recommendation on the Zensah calves sleeves, I decided to go with those, only I bought mine on Amazon. The Zensah website was out of my size, but Amazon wasn’t. I ordered them in black. I love the hot pink ones, but I don’t want to call any more attention to my legs than necessary.

Amazon also had free shipping, and I had a $20 Amazon gift card, so I only ended up paying $14.95 for them.

I was able to get my lazy butt out of the house last night and go to yoga. I haven’t been in so long!

Do you see how light it is outside at 7:15 pm? Love it!

The instructor was asked me about the Spin class that I told her I would take, and I told her about my calves. She agreed that it’s best to wait until I hear back from the doctor. She also said that if any of the yoga poses bothered my legs, just do the downward dog position. But since my wrist still hurts, I couldn’t do that pose either. I just ended up doing some poses on my elbows rather than my hands to relieve the pressure on my wrist.


I finally opened up the Ben & Jerry’s frozen Greek yogurt. It was as delicious as I expected. I loved the graham cracker crumbs in it. I plan on trying the strawberry flavor next.

Today’s Workout

  • 33 minutes elliptical
  • 12 minutes stationary bike
  • 10 minutes stretching

My calves felt pretty good on the elliptical today, and I was going pretty hard. I actually even almost fell off a couple of times. Now, that’s talent. I finished up with an easy 12 minutes on the bike, to make my workout 45 minutes. I made sure to stretch my calves when I was done.

After my workout, I had a lemon Lara bar. I haven’t had a Lara bar in forever and forgot how good they are.

Lucky you! You don’t just get one self-pic of me in the car today, you get two!! And they’re both gross picture of me too, so that’s even luckier! Go buy a lotto ticket, it must be your lucky day.

I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with my BFF, Jenny. We have been best friends for about 18 years, and we might not always see each other or talk all the time, but we always pick up right where we left off, and are always there for each other. Isn’t that what being a best friend is all about?

Me and Jenny:

Questions of the day:

  • How long have you and your best friend been friends?
  • How often do you see each other?


Filed under Fitness, Working Out