Category Archives: Apparel + Gear Reviews

RunnerBox Sample Box Review

20140207-183016.jpg

20140207-184854.jpg

20140207-184913.jpg

20140207-185038.jpg

20140207-185134.jpg

20140207-185142.jpg

RunnerBox Monthly Sample Box Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About RunnerBox:

“RunnerBox is a subscription based box for runners, triathletes and other active people. It is a mini shoebox filled with running products, mailed to your front door. It has everything from energy products, gels, chews, protein shakes/supplements, nutrition bars, skincare, and other accessories! Some products will be brand new (but personally tested) on the market, and some will be tried and true favorites. With so many products coming out on the market, leave the trials and testing to us, we’ll search out the best and send them to you!”

RunnerBox was generous enough to provide me with February’s RunnerBox as well as the Valentine’s Edition Gift RunnerBox. I have been overwhelmed with the awesomeness of these boxes. I have known about RunnerBox for a long time but had yet to see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I dove in! It’s neat that there’s a sample box specifically put together for runners. All of the products in the box are relatively ingredient conscious, with several of the products boasting organic ingredients. I will briefly mention and comment on each item that both boxes contained. Here we go!

Klitch Footwear Clip

This clip is such a simple, handy tool for a runner. It’s a cinch to attach it to shoes. This Klitch clip will come in handy the most for traveling (through airports) or during outdoor adventures and hikes. They attach easily to the outside of my Camelbak and allow you to carry shoes without dirtying the inside of your bag.

Honey Stinger Vanilla Waffle

Delicious! This bar is almost entirely made of organic ingredients, which I love. Its the perfect, portable size to throw in a purse or Camelbak for a a quick snack. My husband also found it to be yummy! It does contain wheat, but their chews are gluten-free.

Health Warrior Chia Bar

I’m a huge fan of chia as a plant-based source of good fats, so I was excited to try this bar. It’s robust, earthy and fulfilling–just what you’d want during an outdoor run or bike ride. Like the Honey Stinger waffle, this bar is the perfect, small size to throw in your bag or even in a pant/jacket pocket.

CocoHydro Pineapple

This is a neat idea that makes instant coconut water a cinch. As long as you have some water on hand, you could virtually have a bottle of coconut water in seconds. This little packet makes a perfect addition to an energy bar for for a replenishing snack before, during or after activity.

Amrita Chocolate Maca Endurance Bar

Maca is a great superfood that helps balance and regulate your body’s hormones–I was happy to see Amrita include that in this bar. It’s a yummy, well-rounded bar that satisfies chocolate cravings and replenishes your energy stores, simultaneously. Contains a whole bunch of organic ingredients & is gluten free.

Rani’s Lemon Meringue Granola

I typically stay away from grains and most ingredients that typically contain gluten. However, this granola is a nice, occasional, satisfying treat that I would enjoy eating over coconut or almond yogurt.

Pocket Fuel Vanilla Energy Shot & Chocolate Haze Nut Butter Blend

Doesn’t appear that it contains mainly organic ingredients, but the ingredient lists are simple and delicious. Very convenient for outdoor workouts or keeping in your purse/car for a quick boost.

True Bar

So incredibly delicious. Cashews are probably my favorite nut. The coconut compliments that cashew very well. This bar is a satisfying, dense treat. The ingredient list is not organic, but they are all recognizable. Does contain gluten.

Kay’s Naturals Protein Chips

I was a bit weary of these chips, but they were VERY good. Delicious, actually. A nice replacement for traditional potato chips. Not all organic, but are gluten free.

Natural Ice Lip Protectant

Not totally down with all of the ingredients, but I think the idea of the product is a great idea. I would like it more with cleaner ingredients.

I Heart Keenwah Chocolate Sea Salt Clusters

I (and my 5 year old daughter) loved these! Quinoa is a great, gluten free source of protein and carbs. The chocolate and sea salt make these a yummy treat. I see them as a great way to introduce quinoa to kids, or simply enjoy as an adult! Contains several organic ingredients.

Eden Foods Trail Mix

Just like you would want trail mix to be: hearty and filling. The ingredients are entirely organic. Score! Perfect size pouch to keep in a backpack pocket.

Get Active Performance Tea

What an interesting and unique idea. I haven’t seen many teas specifically formulated for an athlete’s performance. It tastes earthy with a bit of a licorice punch. Contains organic ingredients.

Iced Gingerbread Clif Bar

Clif bars are a mainstay in our house because of how portable and yummy they are. They are 70% organic, which is above average. Some Clif Bar products are gluten-free, but this bar is not.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans Protein Recovery Crisps & Quick Energy

Two unexpected products from Jelly Belly! Not organic, but taste yummy, are gluten free and are easy to tote around.

Honey Stinger Cola Energy Chews

I’m not a huge fan of the cola flavor, but I like the organic ingredient list and the portability of this small packet.

Foot Rubz Massage Ball

Boy, did I need this! I love how this little ball feels on the bottom of my foot. I have been making it a habit to roll both feet over this ball once a day and it feels like it stretches and massages the muscles, tendons and ligaments of my foot. A great treat for a hard working runner!

Kind Bar Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

Not completely organic ingredients, but at least the ingredient list is short and recognizable. These bars are hearty and delicious.

Quest Bar Protein Bar Cookie Dough

I am generally skeptical and uninterested in protein bars. This one really surprised me with how yummy it tastes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t boast organic ingredients. Quest seems moderately ingredient conscious, though. In other words, this protein bar seems above average.

RunnerBox Versatile Head Gear

What a neat, unique head piece! I wear a wide, thick headband every time I run–so this piece is a perfect fit into my normal routine.

Thanks RunnerBox for such an expansive spread! You’ve turned me on to a few products I had yet to experience!

Advertisements

How I’m Curing My Hormonal, Cystic Acne

This is a post that I am writing on a whim about my cystic, hormonal acne. It has been a long time coming and I’m excited to finally share. I’ve worked for years on how to get rid of my acne and have found success with Estroblock.

There’s nothing pretty, glamorous, or healthy feeling about having acne; it’s something we all ignore in conversations because to an extent, it’s embarrassing. It is also especially frustrating for me to struggle with mild acne at this point amidst all of my efforts to put good things onto and into my body. You’d think that exercising regularly, eating a mostly organic diet and using only organic skin products would be the fix, right? Well, I am here to tell you that for me, it has not quite done the trick.

Food & Acne

I came to this conclusion after doing several things dietarily, to no avail. You name it—I’ve done juice cleanses, segments of time without gluten/bread and dairy, limiting sugar, and drinking ALL KINDS of homemade elixir concoctions, omitted and added countless numbers of foods in hopes of seeing some progress in my acne healing. Though I have seen slight improvements, these changes have not cleared up my skin.

Not to mention, I’m NOT perfect and I enjoy eating out with my family on a somewhat regular basis as well as enjoying pizza, greasy foods, cheesy foods and sugary foods. There is something about being uptight about food that is off-putting to me. Coming from an organic fanatic, that might be surprising. Something that I can tell you about me is that I do not advocate having an unhealthy relationship with food. Eating organic 80% of the time does not mean you have to be a crazy, neurotic, obsessed individual who can’t live freely in regards to food. It’s truly about achieving balance.

Food Causing Stress

If you are SO stressed about what you are eating all of the time, then you might as well flush all of your efforts down the toilet. Seriously. No really, seriously. The trauma that your body endures when it is stressed causes all of your vital body functions to take a back seat and effects you negatively on the cellular level. This means that your body is not performing like it should be because of this undue stress; which is why stress is the cause of so many ailments and illnesses.

Worrying about food shouldn’t be a badge of honor. It doesn’t make you more responsible or accountable, it just makes you increasingly sicker.

Perhaps the KEY is to find balance. Achieve that balance. Live that balance. Remind yourself of that balance. Write “balance” on your refrigerator to keep your mind healthy about food, because it’s all the little reminders that add up to big change.

True Causes of Acne

What makes the most sense to me is that acne is the result of imbalances within our bodies. You are not SUPPOSED to have acne. It’s not something that you are supposed to live with and endure. It’s a sign that something is off. That’s not to say that it is always easy to figure out WHAT is off. However, it seems there are some common themes in regards to what is at the root of acne:

-Hormone Imbalances (sometimes caused by prior or current birth control use)

Taking a supplement called Estroblock helps. It targets “bad” estrogen, is non-gmo and I recommend the Triple-Strength for acne-sufferers. Also, Chaste Tree Berry (also called Vitex Berry) helps regulate progesterone. Having an imbalance of these two hormones in your body will often result in acne.

-Digestive issues that are causing bad bacteria to effect your skin

Ingesting Apple Cider Vinegar, a Probiotic supplement and Pau D’Arco bark. You can find all three of these at most health food stores like Whole Foods.

-Liver Malfunction

Taking these supplements: Burdock Root, Milk Thistle, or Liv-Tox (can be taken in place of the other two).

-Ingesting too much sugar and/or processed foods

Look to good fats & protein for fuel. Excess sugar causes an increase in internal acity (acne is one results of an acidic body.)

-Over-washing & over-moisturizing your face (this is one that many do wrong–I have been guilty of it)

Give your skin a break! Get past the need to wash your face several times a day and let your skin do what it knows how to. Your skin knows how to regulate itself. I even suggest using minimal products. 

Currently I only use baking soda, bentonite clay and pure oils (like hemp or jojoba) on my skin. I use a baking soda/bentonite clay mixture to gently exfoliate my skin and clean the makeup off my skin. I follow up the oil as a moisturizer.

It might sound crazy if you’re been religiously practicing your skin routine for years. If you are still reading this, though, chances are that routine has not cured your acne. Give this new routine a try and you will be surprised at how your skin improves.

-Too much stress!

Exercising (running, yoga, resistance training), and make some time for YOU helps. You + nature – cell phone is even better. Remind yourself to not focus and dwell on your current acne. Accept it as the beginning of a healing process.

Keep in mind

If you start to take these supplements, BE PATIENT. Your body will take time to recalibrate and rebalance itself. It is undoing several years of imbalance and damage that your body and skin have endured. I, myself, have been taking Estroblock, Vitex Berry, Burdock Root, Milk Thistle and Pau D’Arco root for almost a month now. I am about to start taking LivTox in place of the Burdock Root & Milk Thistle.

I’ll keep all of you posted on my progress after a few more months of using these supplements. Check out Tracy’s blog, TheLoveVitamin.com for a ton more in depth posts about acne and healing it. Here is one of my favorite posts and where I have learned about these awesome supplements.

Here are my recent before/after shots:

photo-1

Check out this link to shop for my favorite acne supplement, Estroblock:

photo-3

Palm Beach Athletic Wear Apparel Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

If you have read the story under my “About the Author” tab, you might know that I was born in West Palm Beach, FL and lived there until about age 10. I stumbled upon Palm Beach Athletic Wear’s site while on a mission to discover new fitness blogs. Two other fellow healthy lifestyle bloggers, Lisa and Lindsay had written review about PB Athletic Wear’s apparel and I was instantly interested and intrigued by the products because of their vibrant colors and unique patterns. You can read Lisa’s post here and Lindsay’s post here. I thought it was the neatest thing that there were two other bloggers raving about a brand based in the Palm Beach area. This brand has been on my radar ever since!

Even before reading my review, I am confident that any active gal can find a Palm Beach Athletic Wear product that they will love. Founder of PB Athletic Wear, Kristen Lemoine, has very graciously offered this to all of my awesome readers:

This code they can be used to get 10% off anything in stock on PalmBeachAthleticWear.com. CODE: “RUNON813”

Here is the back story on Palm Beach Athletic Wear:

CUTKriatenPants-PortraitSmall (41 of 77)

Palm Beach Athletic Wear

“In April, 2009, Palm Beach Athletic Wear was created out of a desire to help woman escape from the boring, basic and poorly made fitness wear available at big box retailers. Palm Beach Athletic Wear has quickly grown to become one of the top fitness fashion boutiques online, offering women of all shapes and sizes quality made and unique athletic wear with high style.

Several years ago, Owner and Fitness Wear Designer, Kristen Lemoine, managed a large chain fitness facility. After hearing countless stories from women that felt too self conscious to work out, Kristen knew she wanted to help women feel confident through quality made fitness apparel that would help them achieve their ultimate fitness goals. Kristen researched and found several top fitness brands and workout clothing that held jiggle in, smoothed out the lumps and bumps and was colorful and gorgeous. Many of the athletic wear brands she discovered were hard to find, Colombian designers that understood the importance of looking good and feeling great when working out.

“As the owner of Palm Beach Athletic Wear, I personally inspect, wear and launder samples of all the items we offer to ensure that the quality and longevity of our fitness wear stands up to our highest expectations for our customers. It’s essential that we provide women with excellent products that stand the test of time and hard workouts.” stated Kristen Lemoine, in a recent interview.

Leading the fitness revolution in fashionable women’s fitness wear and colorful yoga apparel for over 4 years, Palm Beach Athletic Wear and Palmbeachathleticwear.com continues to seek out top fitness fashions that are extremely well made, survive countless washings, make women feel confident when working out and fitness wear that can go beyond the gym and yoga studio, for every day comfort without sacrificing style.

Women today, seek active wear designed for them that is made to last, looks great no matter what sport or fitness activity they do, is colorful, unique and doesn’t lack style…. Exactly what Palm Beach Athletic Wear and palmbeachathleticwear.com is all about!”

Kristen graciously provided me with a top and a bottom to try out in my workout ventures:

image-12

image-11

image-10

image-7

Bluefish Tweety Top

PB Athletic Wear’s Description:

Like silk against your skin this beautiful flowy top from Bluefish Sport is made to be worn during your workout, as a cover up and to and from the gym for everyday wear.  This fitness tank top is made of lightweight, flowy yoga soft material perfect for practicing yoga or pilates.  The front pleating creates a very flattering fit and the drawstring tie that cinches at the hem allows for a more custom fit. Silver rings at straps add a design element only found in the highest quality athleticwear.  We love to pair this top with the Basic Capri Pants or Basic Shorts but can be worn will all your fashion fitness pants.

My Description & Thoughts:

Since I am such an avid wearer of spandex pants when I workout, I tend to lean towards looser fitting tops so that I don’t feel that I’m in one big spandex outfit. This tank top is the perfect mix of breathability, comfort, sass, and ability to stay put while running.

The adjustable tie feature at the bottom hem of the top is a great idea and allows me to secure the shirt more around my torso, when I prefer to wear it that way. This piece is a great example of an item that can be worn around running errands after a workout because the mid section is forgiving, so you don’t feel like you’re showing too much.

The vibrant color reminds me of south Florida. Anything that reminds me of where I was born is an instant-favorite of mine. 🙂

image-8

image-9

Chill Capri Pant Tie Dye Blue

PB Athletic Wear’s Description:

“This fitness fashion artfully designed printed activewear capri pant by Bluefish Sport is the hottest item to arrive at Palm Beach Athletic Wear.  The print lycra blend not only looks amazing it feels amazing and is so comfortable on you can wear them anywhere. From the gym to the street the Chill Fitness Capris have the potential to mix and match with just about any top for any occassion. We love to wear them with the Tweety Top or T Back Top and the Balance Bra.

Product features:

  • Lycra blend keeps you dry
  • Soft to the hand
  • Smooth flattering fit
  • Wide comfort waistband – no muffin top
  • Machine Washable
  • Odor reducing technology.”

My Description & Thoughts:

One item in my closet that I would deem indispensable is the ever-so-useful running tight, otherwise known as spandex. They have been my go-to for working out because I’m a gal who has always had muscular legs. I’ve found that shorts ride up and don’t stay put on me, especially while running.

I was intrigued to try these tights by Bluefish Sport (and sold by Palm Beach Athletic Wear) and see if they worked well for me during my workouts.

These tights are excellent. They wear like a dream–they don’t bunch up, they don’t move around and the waistband stays put & isn’t too tight. They are also figure flattering, especially with the way the waistband doesn’t cut in dramatically on the hip area–they are snug enough to stay put, yet forgiving enough to be comfortable.

The capri feature of this pants makes them versatile and suitable for summer and cooler temps.

I’m excited and grateful to add these two pieces to my daily workout apparel rotation.

Thank you, Kristen for your help and generosity in this process!

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.

Lululemon Athletica Running Apparel Review

I have had a recent affinity for buying (and receiving as birthday, Christmas, and “just because” presents) lots of running apparel from

Lululemon Athletica.

For several years as a runner, I almost exclusively wore Under Armour Frosty Tights when running. They have a great fit, they stay put and they are durable. I was apprehensive to try another running tight simply because of that satisfaction with UA.

I have been tremendously and pleasantly surprised with how much I like Lululemon’s “Runder Under” running tights.

The fabric is extremely comfortable and breathes just enough. They stay put, they fit nicely, and they look super duper awesome & groovy (see patterns & colors below). Also, I’ve heard from other avid Lulu patrons that these tights will last for several years.

Runder Unders

IMG_3206 IMG_3200 IMG_3721 IMG_2478 IMG_2989

I’ve yet to wear them because the weather has not been permitting to wear crop pants, but I am excited to wear these,

Run: For Your Life Crop

I’m sure I will enjoy them just as much as the Runder Unders. During the summer they will get plenty of use!

photo-7

In addition to the tights, I got several other neat Lululemon items, my favorite of which is the

Run: Bundle Up Jacket

(pictured in black, below).

It is absolutely awesome! It’s very warm without being bulky and it fits well through my shoulders–not too snug nor uncomfortable. Pictured separately is the hood that attaches to the jacket (I run without it attached). I love how it adds a lacy feminine touch to this black jacket. 🙂 I also love the two different textures on the back of the jacket!

IMG_3508 photo-9

A long sleeve shirt that Lululemon calls the Run: Ice Queen Long Sleeve

is excellent to wear under my jacket or wear by itself on days with higher temps. I love the detail of the shirt (pictured in black below). It has neat detailing on the shoulders and elbows as well as holes for thumbs the ends of the sleeve. That feature is neat for keeping the sleeve in place while putting my jacket on and also for covering the skin where my jacket ends and my gloves begin.

IMG_3057

I’ve also gotten 2 wide headbands. I so appreciate having these, as I am a headband connoisseur when it comes to running apparel.

Post Headstand Headhugger

They are designed to stay on the head while doing headstands. Although I won’t be attempting many, if any, headstands, I have and will continue to wear these during runs. They are excellent at keeping my “baby hairs” out of my face while also keeping my ears warm in the cold months.

IMG_3228 IMG_1986 photo-8

A blue Lululemon neck gaiter

also has helped me to stay toasty while it’s been in the freezing temps in Indianapolis. I find that if my neck is warm and shielded from the wind, my body temperature tends to remain tolerable. This gaiter has a feature that allows you to pull it tighter to your skin via a grey drawstring type material in the front (slightly visible in picture) which helps it stay up if you wear it up above your nose or mouth.

IMG_3511

BraceAbility: Figure 8 Clavicle Brace and Posture Support Strap Review

IMG_0689

BraceAbility Posture Support Strap

About:

“This figure-8 clavicle brace provides ultimate support, and its simple design and hook-and-loop closure means it is easy to apply. The clavicle support brace is intended for treatment of clavicle fractures and poor posture.

This is a little dry, but ti’s important to know about the brace:

This figure-8 clavicle strap for treatment of collarbone fractures and poor posture has a number of features that make it comfortable to wear. The straps of the clavicle fracture brace are shielded from the body with wide padding and a felt-covered back pad where the straps merge. Breathable, knitted stockinette covers the felt of this figure 8 clavicle splint. This support will fit a wide variety of chest circumferences, ranging from 24 inches to 48 inches. For even smaller sizes, one can check out the child’s version of the support.
Also in the interests of making this posture and clavicle support splint accessible to everyone, the brace is free of latex. (Some are allergic to this material.)

One last thing, the product features:

  • Unisex design
    Available in four adult sizes that fit chest circumferences ranging from 24 inches to 48 inches
    Children’s sizes also available
    Figure-8 design
    Hook-and-loop closure
    Non-irritating felt back pad
    Wide padding
    Latex-free
    Corrects posture
    Immobilizes for clavicle fracture recovery.”

My Thoughts:

I, myself,  fortunately do not suffer from chronic back pain. Thus, this brace is not something that is really helping me in regards to pain relief. I do, however, have pretty poor posture most of the time.

I see this brace as something that I may wear around the house just to help retrain myself to have better posture. I know how important having good posture is for spine health, but I have allowed myself to develop a habit of less-than-great posture.

The design is simple, easy to assemble, put on and is very comfortable when you get the straps adjusted correctly. It reminds you very quickly how bad your posture is! (or at least it did that for me). It serves as a healthy guide & reminder to stand up straighter with your shoulders back and chest out.

I don’t see it as an absolute necessity, but I think it’s a good product for what it is designed for. Athletes or even inactive individuals alike could benefit from this Posture Support Strap by BraceAbility.