Category Archives: Original Articles

Manduka eKO Yoga Mat & Foam Roller Review

This is my Manduka eKO Yoga Mat & Foam Roller Review.

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Manduka eKO Yoga Mat + Foam Roller Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Manduka:

“At Manduka we are committed to making the world a better place. We’re grateful to be part of a community that’s committed to doing the same. Together we celebrate the deep and profound bond yoga shares with the world. The idea of respect for all living things is core to our company’s philosophy, and sustainability is our standard.

We are committed to eco-responsibility, and are mindful of every decision we make in the manufacturing process. We support fair labor practices and toxic-free emission facilities. Wherever possible, we use natural, recyclable, sustainable and/or biodegradable materials, and constantly search for new green technologies. Each detail is a conscious decision.

We’ve constructed bags from recycled polyester fabrics and zippers made from recycled plastic bottles. Our eKO line of yoga mats is produced using biodegradable rubber sustainably harvested from rubber trees with no toxic glues. Designed to last a lifetime, the PRO Series mats minimize impact on the environment and ensure years of superior practice for our community. Our prop collection was developed using materials including sustainable cork, natural unbleached cotton, and recycled wool fibers. With growth, we pledge to protect and honor our earth and its beings. Let’s continue to walk the walk together. You help us and we’ll help you. And we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas at any time. Better choices mean a better tomorrow for all of us.”

eKO Yoga Mat

About: “The eKO Mat is new and improved, and now offers an unparalleled grip to perform even in the sweatiest of conditions. This eco-friendly yoga mat made from biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber provides cushion and support for your practice while protecting the planet.”

beLONG Body Roller

About: “Show your muscles some love- the beLONG Body Roller is a great way to reduce muscle tightness, increase blood flow and stretch tendons.”

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My Thoughts:

I am no yogi, by any means of that word. However, I truly value stretching regularly and recovering properly after grueling workouts. Not only does this help me relieve soreness, but it helps me prevent injuries and keeps me on top of my game. So, since I don’t do a ton of yoga, you might wonder what I use this mat for…

For me, this mat is the EVERYTHING mat. It’s the foundation for all of my indoor workouts. On this mat I do squats, lunges, pushups, kettle bell work, bridges, and every other move that I do indoors. This mat serves many purposes for me. For one, it simply feels better beneath your body than carpet or other flooring does. It provides some cushion and gripping ability, and also keeps me from over-working the carpet beneath me during my workouts. I don’t know what measurement is standard for a yoga mat, but this one is long enough for me, a 5’9″ girl. I LOVE this mat and would recommend it to anyone, even those who do not practice yoga. Don’t let that fact stop you–as I’ve found this mat to be so useful for so many non-yoga related exercises.

My Stance on Yoga

I have a love/hate relationship. Mainly love, because it hurts so good. Simply allowing your body weight to relax down onto this roller helps alleviate soreness, targets lactic acid build up and just plain feels good when you’re exhausted. I used this roller a lot prior to the marathon I ran in April and the half marathon I ran in May. My legs were constantly exhausted, challenged, sore, achey and constantly in need of some rest and relaxation.

This roller was an integral part of my leg recovery routine. I also used it to help break up some muscles soreness in my back (like a feeling that I slept in an odd position). It works wonders.

This duo (the mat and roller) are essentials for anyone that makes fitness a regular part of their life. I was someone that didn’t think I needed a yoga mat nor a foam roller–but now that I have them, I have no idea how I did it without them. I’m certainly a more prepared, less injury prone athlete because of it! Check out Manduka’s site for these products and many more.

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Jay Robb Protein Powders Review + Coupon Code

This is my Jay Robb Protein Powders Review. Use code GOODER20 for 20% off!

jay robb protein powders review

Jay Robb Protein Powders Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Jay Robb:

“When you follow your dream with passion, you will never work another day of your life. Even if I didn’t get paid for what I do, I would still do it. That is how you know you are fulfilling your purpose in life. Like Mark Twain said, “Make your vocation your vacation and you will never work another day.” Anyone can be successful if they will stop thinking about money, follow their dream with passion, roll up their sleeves, and go to work. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I merely have used what talents and gifts I have been given and made the most of them. That is life’s secret formula for success.

My love affair with health and fitness is a beautiful experience that will never end. Teaching others how to be happy by living in harmony with nature is my purpose on earth. It is truly an honor to share my knowledge and wisdom with the world. I have also been blessed with an absolutely gorgeous wife, Beth, who is the love of my life along with our four beautiful children. I live in Jupiter, Florida with my family and enjoy surfing, meditation, the beach, working out, writing, sunbathing, and spending time with my family.”

Jay Robb Protein Powders Review: Whey Protein Powder

Jay Robb’s Description:

“Jay Robb’s Whey Protein is made from the finest natural ingredients available and delivers 25 grams of first class protein, 0-fat, 0-cholesterol, 0-sugars, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate per 30 gram serving. Only cold-processed cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate is used as the protein source and this material comes from farm-raised, pasture-grazed, grass-fed cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH.

Whey protein isolate, which is used exclusively in Jay Robb’s Whey Protein, is created by microfiltering liquid whey through a special ceramic membrane to create the highest grade of whey protein possible. This unique process also yields a whey protein isolate that is much higher in protein than a whey protein concentrate and is also rich in immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoalbumin and other immune boosting factors.

Unique natural flavors and the herb stevia are used to create a flavoring system that is palate pleasing and has made Jay Robb’s Whey Protein famous across the nation. Their tagline, “The Best-Tasting Protein on the Planet,” says it all.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I first learned about the Jay Robb brand through following professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. They used to sell these products on their website–and any product they advocate I will at least try. Most times, though, when I try what they recommend, it becomes a staple in my pantry. This protein is no exception. I have tried several different flavors and though I have my favorites, they are all excellent. Though I am aware that the egg protein has been deemed the gold standard for proteins, I would choose the taste of the whey protein over the egg white protein if I had to pick. Here is my breakdown of each flavor:

  • Vanilla: this one is definitely the most versatile for me. The vanilla flavor goes well with so many fruits and other ingredients that I add to my smoothies. The flavor is excellent–very rich and satisfying.
  • Tropical Dreamsicle: I am a big fan of tropical fruits, thus, this protein immediately sparked my interest. It goes well with pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, and any other similar fruit you can imagine. The protein itself is so yummy and you forget you’re drinking a nutritious drink when you add it to your smoothie.
  • Strawberry: This flavor is also very versatile. I like it best when mixed with bananas. Chocolate almond milk, or something similar is also yummy with the strawberry flavor.
  • Pina Colada: If I could pick a favorite flavor for a drink/smoothie/slurpie/snow cone it would, without a doubt, be Pina Colada. That said, this is my favorite flavor. It tastes like such an indulgence. It goes well with a lot of the same fruits that the “Tropical Dreamsicle” flavor does: pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, and bananas.
  • Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? I certainly do. The flavor tastes similar to the real thing. I like it best with bananas and strawberries. I made a chocolate shake for my brother as well (who is open to trying new health drinks, but gives his honest reaction and feedback) and he loved with bananas, almond milk, and ice.

Also, in regards to organic, Jay Robb states this on their website:

Is your whey protein organic?

We are guaranteed by our supplier in writing that the whey comes from cows not treated with rBGH. The product is not certified organic due to limited supply of organic whey protein raw material at this time. We hope this will change in the future as the demand for our product grows.”

I have come to learn that that there are some companies like Jay Robb that merely hold themselves to the same standards as companies that use the “organic” label. Jay Robb simply does not have the certification. They provide a laundry list of ingredients they never use, which is a lot more that can be said about many popular protein brands.

Jay Robb Protein Powders Review: Egg White

Jay Robb’s Description:

“Jay Robb Egg White Protein powder is unique and famous for its natural flavor systems. The egg white protein raw material is derived from chickens not treated with growth hormones. The protein is flash pasteurized for safety, with no additional heating used during the final processing.

We believe that nothing on the market out-performs Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder. In the world of protein, egg albumen is nearly perfect! And our egg white formula is chock-full of PURE egg albumen! plus our Egg White protein formula contains no cheap fillers or sweeteners like fructose, malto-dextrin and glucose polymers. Plus it contains NO FAT, making it ideal to blend with a high quality flax seed oil.

Our ingredients contain NO gluten, NO msg, NO casein, NO artificial colors and NO artificial flavors.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I first learned about the Jay Robb brand through following professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. They sold these products on their website, and any product they advocate I will at least try. Most times, though, when I try what they recommend, it becomes a staple in my pantry. This protein is no exception. I have tried several different flavors and though I have my favorites, they are all excellent. Although I prefer the whey protein flavor over the egg white flavor, I include the egg white protein in my routine because it, like the whey, is high quality and has a great reputation. Here is my breakdown of the flavors:

  • Vanilla: like the whey protein vanilla flavor, for me, this vanilla flavor goes with the most things. I have not come across an ingredient (fruits, milks, seeds) that it does not go well with. The flavor isn’t as satisfying as the vanilla whey protein for me, but it does provide a good dose of the egg protein benefits.
  • Strawberry: like the whey protein strawberry flavor, the strawberry flavor goes with many things, but I like it best with bananas. Again, the whey protein strawberry flavor tops this one. It does, however, still tastes a lot better than other strawberry protein powders I’ve tried.
  • Chocolate: this chocolate flavor isn’t as rich, to me, as the whey protein version–but it still tastes excellent and beats other chocolate protein powders I’ve tried. It goes well with bananas and strawberries.

Jay Robb Protein Powders Review: High-Protein Jay Bar

Jay Robb’s Description:

“I’ve raised the bar on bars and created the JayBar—a great tasting protein bar without sugar, corn syrup, casein, artificial sweeteners, maltitol, acesulfame-K, evaporated cane juice, aspartame, or sucralose!

Gluten, wheat, Soy, MSG, hydrogenated oils, transfats, artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K, aspartame, sucralose, splenda, casein, glycerine or maltitol.

About Xylitol
Our xylitol is naturally extracted from NON-GMO corn cobs (they are Kosher too) to produce pharmaceutical grade xylitol that is basically NON-ALLERGENIC due to the processing and purity of the product. Our xylitol is not derived from birch fiber. Xylitol created from birch trees must be extracted with sulfuric acid, which is a highly corrosive chemical used to manufacture paint, detergents, fertilizers, and explosives. We chose to avoid that.

  1. It is corn based (Kosher corn cob specifically)
  2. The corn is NOT genetically engineered, (Non-GMO) (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism)
  3. Corn is used to avoid the use of sulfuric acid necessary in birch fiber extracted xylitol.
  4. The xylitol we use is naturally extracted, non-allergenic pharmaceutical grade.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I am normally not a huge fan of protein bars for several reasons:

  1. Normally they contain a plethora of preservatives to extend their shelf-live.
  2. They are not satisfying, have a strange taste, and are not fulfilling.
  3. They have very few natural ingredients and a lot of fillers.

These bars are different, and have thus changed my perspective on protein bars. They are free of the laundry list of preservatives common to other protein bars. They also taste really delicious and are convenient to grab when you’re in a hurry, traveling, or simply want the satisfaction of eating a fudge brownie, peanut butter, or a cashew-coconut flavored bar without the guilt. Here is my breakdown of the flavors:

  • Fudge Brownie: this is my favorite of the three. It’s really yummy and provides a nice chocolately flavor. It has just the right moisture to it and it will give you a healthy chocolate fix. Yum yum.
  • Peanut Butter: this is my second favorite of the three. It reminds you of the real thing, yet doesn’t contain all of the calories from fat like ordinary peanut butter does. This one is nice and moist also, and gives you a salty fix. Delicious.
  • Cashew-Coconut: This one was good, but was not AS good as the other two. I figured that it would be my favorite judging from the flavor names, but the flavor was not quite as satisfying as the fudge brownie and peanut butter bars. This is definitely a good change of pace and is excellent in it’s own right. This flavor is more unique than chocolate and peanut butter–which many other protein bar companies make.

I enjoy protein in my smoothies more than I like the bars, but you cannot replicate the convenience that these bars provide. As far as protein bars are concerned, these are the best protein bars I’ve ever had. 

Even though these bars are intended to be meal replacements, I had the idea to chop them up into cubed chunks and add them to yogurt to make a dessert. I do not normally include much dairy in my daily intake, so I would use a almond or coconut alternative yogurt.

Thanks for stopping by my Jay Robb Protein Powders Review + Coupon Code. Be sure to use code GOODER20 to get 20% off!

One Love Organics Review

This is my One Love Organics Review.

one love organics skin care review

One Love Organics Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

What a beautiful name for an organic line! Here is a bit about One Love Organics:

“Artisanal Beauty. 

One Love Organics is a natural, ethical and environmentally driven cosmetics company created by skilled cosmetic artisans. Our products are hand-made and hand-filled, using only the highest grade of ethically sourced raw materials to ensure the most effective, luxurious and guilt-free application.

Our philosophy is focused on a few supreme products—not up-selling a medicine cabinet full of mysterious jars. We give skin what it needs, using only ingredients that provide direct benefits. (Hint: water isn’t one of them.) And because our products are so pure, they work for everyone in the family, from the newest babies to greatest of grandmas.”

To be frank, I became excited as soon as I saw the packaging of these products. This rich pink is the same pink that I picked for my September wedding. 🙂

Skin Savior

One Love Organics’ Description:

“Pure, cold-pressed plant oils, rich mango butter, and three super-critical extracts break down dirt and makeup, cleansing your skin, without stripping its natural protective layer. And you can use the very same balm for moisturizing, illuminizing, hair taming and creating your own custom treatment foundation (click here for tutorial video). A little goes a loooong way.

Smooth a few drops over clean skin whenever you need a boost. Use alone or under Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm.

*Every single ingredient listed is plant based. Visit our ingredients page to learn more.

Ingredients: organic wild raspberry leaf, organic lemon balm, and organic sweet mint, capric/caprylic triglyceride, organic essential oils of lemon, ylang ylang and peppermint.”

My Description & Thoughts:

This skin savior is just absolutely wonderful. I don’t have one bad thing to say about it–Just read the ingredient list! This product is like a utility player in my beauty cabinet–it has so many purposes, which ultimately result is nourished skin and hair. On the little jar of product that One Love sent me, there are instructions to apply and then wash off with warm water. I tried that way first and also tried using it as a serum. Both ways are fantastic. The consistency is so incredibly rich–a little truly does go a “loooong” way. I feel so good putting products like this on my skin; entirely plant based and organic. I am thoroughly impressed with this product and how it heals and pampers my skin. The commitment to great ingredients is refreshing and worthy of a rave review!

Morning Glory

One Love Organics’ Description:

“As seen on the Zoe Report!

Be it morning, midday, or date night, this luscious lightweight serum will wake up your skin’s natural radiance.

Raspberry Leaf—a rich source of polypeptides, flavonoids, tannins and niacin—works to stimulate, tighten and tone. Peppermint and lemon balm deliver a refreshing zing of anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help brighten, enliven and de-puff. And vegan-sourced Omega 3 fatty acids smooth the appearance of fine lines and help shield skin from everyday environmental damage. Just a little Morning Glory and your complexion will be coming up rosy.”

My Description & Thoughts:

You, perhaps, just read how much I applaud the first product, “Skin Savior.” This review will mimic that one–as I give this brand two thumbs way up. As wonderful as it is to have a product with so many uses and purposes, like “Skin Savior,” it is also great to have a product with a specific purpose. My experience with serums is that they are meant to heal and nourish by way of a potent mixture of ingredients. There is no mistaking: this this product does its job and then some. I will be a sad girl when I run out of these products–will need to replenish!

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

Thank you for stopping by my One Love Organics Review!