Tag Archives: run

Pro Compression Sock Review

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Pro Compression Socks

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Pro Compression:

“Experience maximum benefit with the Marathon full-length, graduated compression sock. Compression technology helps improve blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance with less fatigue and faster, more efficient recovery. In addition to improving vascular performance, Marathon compression socks provide support to critical muscles and tendons, helping reduce inflammation and soreness.

Put it all together for the perfect sock for endurance, recovery and travel.

Features

Full-length, graduated compression design for maximum blood flow
Non-slip design, even after hours on your feet
Lightweight construction for incredible feel
Blended materials provide maximum comfort and support
Moisture control keeps you dry during your biggest efforts
Made in USA.”

My Thoughts:

To be completely honest, if you were to rewind a year from now, I would have been very skeptical of a sock like this and what it claims to do. I’ve always been a pretty simple runner with minimal gear and recovery aids.

All I know now is that I am absolutely a believer in compression socks since trying them out. I have worn them both during my run and through an entire night’s sleep. Both ways have proved to be beneficial to me. I love sleeping in them–they help my legs feel rested and fresh in the morning. When I wear them during a run, I always have more endurance in my legs. Typically on a longer run (10+ miles) my knees get a little bit achey at mile 7 or 8. With these socks on, my legs and knees feel fresher for longer. I don’t know and completely comprehend how that is. It almost doesn’t matter though–it just works and that rocks!

These socks have been an integral part of my marathon training (my race is April 26th) and I am grateful that I’ve had the chance to benefit from them amidst all of these miles. I would recommend them to any runner looking for that extra edge that gives them better/quicker recovery and extra leg endurance and comfort.

Like Pro Compression on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/procompression

Follow Pro Compression on Twitter: https://twitter.com/procompression

Pro Compression has graciously provided me with a code to share with you: Use “BLG14” at checkout at http://www.procompression.com/products/ to save 40% off of marathon socks & sleeves, plus free shipping (US address only).

I encourage you to join the Sock of the Month email list for great deals and new product announcements; sign up is located at the bottom of our home page: http://www.procompression.com/

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Natural Force Organic + Paleo Workout Supplement Review

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Natural Force

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Natural Force:

“Our mission is to tap Mother Nature’s bounty of raw superfoods to provide you with the highest quality training supplements ever created.

Just like you, we strive day after day training to improve our bodies and quality of life through hard work and proper nutrition. We formed Natural Force® because we were frustrated with the supplements available to us. We realized that the products we were using contradicted our principles of good nutrition with fillers, artificial flavors, and ingredients our bodies just didn’t need.

Natural Values

Here at Natural Force, we value quality and honesty above all else. Our products are always comprised of the purest, highest quality, all-natural and organic ingredients. They never contain any coloring, flavoring of any kind, and no unnecessary fillers. Each and every one of our products has been carefully and intelligently designed to deliver superior performance for a specific purpose. In doing so, we strive to create a base of loyal and knowledgeable, lifetime Natural Force customers.

A New Approach

Next time you grab your favorite supplement, take a look at the container. Look past the flashy label to the list of ingredients. Do you know what all of them are and what they do? At Natural Force we are dedicated to using only the best ingredients directly from nature that provide you with the performance you need. Period.”

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Raw Tea

About:

Natural Force Raw Tea™ is a unique blend of natural herbs, roots, fruit extracts, and superfoods to help give you a naturally powerful energy boost unlike any other supplement on the market. Although it is natural, don’t let that fool you… its extremely powerful ingredients will help provide you with the energy and endurance you need to meet the demands of your grueling workout. It will nutritionally support a sustained vascular pump and improved sense of well being hours after you work out!

NATURAL FORCE RAW TEA IS DESIGNED TO:

  • Improve blood flow and circulation to the muscles for increased power and endurance.
  • Build, harden, and protect lean muscle mass by providing essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Utilize stored fat as an energy source to decrease body fat.
  • Increase mental concentration to keep you focused on your workout and goals.

CERTIFIED PALEO!

The first and only Certified Paleo Pre-Workout on the market. Certified by The Paleo Foundation. Train like a caveman!

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS!

Natural Force is proud to offer the first line of training supplements ever made with organic ingredients.

100% BS FREE.

There are a ton of pre-workouts on the market, but lucky for you, you have found the cleanest one ever created. Period. Natural Force Raw Tea is entirely whole food based and contains no flavoring whatsoever. What is the point of a great diet if you continue to poison your body with chemical filled supplements? You don’t need fancy flavors or synthesized vitamin powders to get a great workout. In fact, we think using them does more harm than good, so switch today and make your training sessions 100% BS Free™.

FLAVOR:

Natural taste of herbal tea. No flavoring added… Tastes Great!

CONTAINS NO:

Coloring, Flavoring, Unnecessary Fillers.”

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Iskiate Endurance

About:

Natural Force Iskiate Endurance™ is a unique blend of superfoods designed to help provide you with sustained energy during your workouts.  It will nutritionally support intense physical endurance and help delay muscle fatigue so you can train harder and longer.  Let’s be honest: nothing is worse than running out of gas before the finish line.  Drinking Iskiate Endurance before you get there will help your mind and body stay completely fueled and operating at peak efficiency… no matter what you throw at it.

NATURAL FORCE ISKIATE ENDURANCE IS DESIGNED TO:

 

  • Help provide sustained energy for the body and mind from whole food sources.
  • Nutritionally support the delivery of energy efficiently through B-vitamins and minerals.
  • Assist in combating muscle fatigue by providing a full range of amino acids.

CERTIFIED PALEO!

The first and only Certified Paleo Pre-Workout on the market. Certified by The Paleo Foundation. Train like a caveman!

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS!

Natural Force is proud to offer the first line of training supplements ever made with organic ingredients.

IS KIA WHATY?

Alright, so we know it is hard to pronounce… but this stuff is the bee’s knees! Our Iskiate (IS-kee-ah-tay), is a traditional blend of the finest organic chia seeds and honey, plus some other cool stuff for a Natural Force twist. This incredibly refreshing drink is inspired by the Tarahumara, a tribe of super athletes who would drink Iskiate during their runs of up to 200 miles on end without stopping. That is running for two days straight… talk about some serious endurance! The power of Iskiate lies in the carbohydrates, omega-3’s, and amino acids provided to help prolong physical endurance to a remarkable level. You can talk the talk, now make like the Tarahumara and walk the walk—or should we say RUN THE RUN!

FLAVOR:

Natural taste of honey & chia seeds. No flavoring added… Tastes Great!

CONTAINS NO:

Coloring, Flavoring, Unnecessary Fillers.”

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Recovery Nectar

About:

Natural Force Recovery Nectar™ is a unique blend of all-natural plant-based ingredients formulated to help maximize recovery, decrease soreness, and recharge your body. No other supplement on the market can give you a cleaner, more direct way to infuse your body with the nutrients it needs after your intense workouts. It will help you feel completely refreshed and revitalized.

NATURAL FORCE RECOVERY NECTAR IS DESIGNED TO:

  • Help repair torn muscle fibers through clean plant-based protein.
  • Assist in replenishing depleted glycogen stores, lost electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to decrease recovery time and soreness.
  • Help recharge your body with nutrient-dense superfoods.
  • Aid in combating inflammation of joint tissues and boosting immune function.

MADE WITH ORGANIC INGREDIENTS!

Natural Force is proud to offer the first line of training supplements ever made with organic ingredients.

A WORD ABOUT COCONUT WATER…

We use only the finest Organic Freeze Dried Coconut Water as the base for our Recovery Nectar. So you may be wondering, is coconut water the same thing as coconut milk? And the answer would be: not by a long shot. Coconut Water is the liquid inside a young, green coconut before it matures. It is at its peak electrolyte content when harvested during this specific period. In fact, Coconut Water contains over five different electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous) and has even been used intravenously during World War II to hydrate and save lives when medicinal saline was not available! Coconut Water is hands down the best natural sports hydration and recovery drink that Mother Nature has to offer!

FLAVOR:

Natural taste of coconut water. No flavoring added… Tastes Great!

CONTAINS NO:

Coloring, Flavoring, Unnecessary Fillers.”

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My Thoughts about what Natural Force calls “The Natural Stack”:

Such a breath of fresh air! This brand has wow-ed me from the beginning. In a supplement market ridden with garbage (for lack of a better word), Natural Force truly stands out to me. Organic ingredients (reading the label, you’ll see that these products are made up of one organic item after the next) and they are even Paleo friendly. Ok–where do i start?!

Trying out these products couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m training for my first full marathon, which will take place in a few weeks! I have been using these supplements daily, before, during and after my runs & workouts.

Here’s the thing about workout supplements (specifically, pre workout supplements). In writing about them, maybe you are expecting to hear that you drink this and you are just bouncing off the walls full of energy, ready to rock and roll. In reality, these organic supplements (specifically, the Raw Tea) have a much more practical, desirable impact on my body. It provides me with a steady uphill incline of energy and alertness. Theres nothing jittery about it & no skin-crawling feeling (strangely enough, I have experienced that with others that are full of malarky and sweetened with Sucralose). It provides a similar feeling for me that coffee does–but with even more vitality as a result of how nutrient dense the Raw Tea is. Supplements, perhaps, effect everyone differently. That said, this one does exactly what I would want it to–give me a gradual increase in energy and intensity. In regards to taste, it is herby with a subtle sweetness–pretty good!

I’m typically not a huge fan of refueling during training runs (during a race is a different story). When training, I want my body to be burning off fuel. Yes, my performance (pace) might suffer, but I train that way to stay lean. I have been using about half of the recommended dose of the Iskiate Endurance powder to experience it, but to not completely replenish myself. It tastes awesome and provides me with a noticeable refueling feeling. I am excited to use this on the day of my race–if I have any left! 🙂

Both the Iskiate endurance powder and recovery nectar taste especially delicious.

When I finish a run, I’m not generally very hungry right in that moment, but my body does feel in need of hydration and vitality replenishment. This recovery nectar is perfect for that. I mix it with water in a blender bottle and gulp it down within 10 minutes of concluding my run/workout. In regards to effectiveness, my energy is not as depleted as I feel it would be without taking it. I also have been running the most mileage and doing intense weight lifting & plyometic exercises without feeling the need for a recovery day. I can’t help but think that these supplements are to thank for that. And–how awesome to have peace of mind knowing that the ingredients are not crappy! So elated to have discovered this great brand–I HIGHLY recommend it!

Onzie Active Wear Review

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Onzie Active Wear

(pronounced “own-zee”)

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Onzie:

CREATION Created by a 20 year Bikram Yogi, Onzie blends the best of traditional yoga wear with modern innovation and a touch of whimsy. The result? Active apparel that is functional, flexible and flattering. At Onzie our philosophy is “keep your practice challenging, and your wardrobe simple!” Onzie’s no-frills one-pieces and separates are best worn while sweating, swimming, or simply lounging around. In keeping with the principle of being inclusive, rather than exclusive, Onzie is affordably-priced and suitable for all activities and practices. Onzie products are made with love in southern California.

PERFORMANCE Utilizing Free-Flow Fabric Technology that is durable and breathable, this fast-drying material keeps bodies cool, dry and comfortable. Onzie yoga gear is perfect for hot yoga, but can also be used for pilates, spinning, swimming, surfing, running or hooping. Our clothes can be worn as everyday wear or into chlorine and salt water environments. You can transition in and out of yoga postures as seamlessly as you can the rest of your day. From straps to bottom, Onzie helps keep your body in check. You’ll feel supported from the inside and out…shaping the entire body. So embrace the awareness of your being, sense your core, and feel secure. Focus on your strength and beauty. And for goodness sake, forget about those so-called flaws. You’re perfectly you.

AMERICAN MADE Did you know that Onzie is 100% made in the USA? All parts of our process including knitting, dyeing, cutting, sewing, photography, marketing, distribution and design all happen in Los Angeles, CA.”

Elastic Tank top

About:

“The Elastic Tank Top will become your new favorite tank! The racer back design includes a fun pop of color and the deep scoop sides allow you to show off that sports bra underneath!

  • 100% Free Flow Jersey
  • Hand or machine wash cold
  • Tumble or hang dry
  • Made in USA.”

My Thoughts:

As the warmer temperatures approach, I am getting increasingly excited to wear this piece on my runs more. The weather has only allowed me to wear this tank two times thus far. However, this tank top will get a lot of wear in the future.

It does everything right. By that I mean: it stays put (whereas some tanks drift off your shoulders or move around too much), it is lightweight and breathes well, it is loose at the bottom (which flatters all body types), and it has a unique and cute accent with the elastic strap on the back. It does all of that while allowing you to absorb some sunshine on your run. I was already a fan of tank tops, but this one has me excited all over again for summer runs.

Capri Pant

About:

“With fun and unique prints, our Capri Pants are great to spice up any work out! With a low-rise waist band, they are designed to be form-fitted and will stretch and move with your body. For most women, these capri pants will stop about mid-calf length. *These select colors/prints are now available in L/L: Black, Skull, Cheetah, Illusion, Meadow, and Black Magic

  • Inseam on size S/M (in inches): 20
  • 100% Free Flow Fabric
  • 80% nylon / 20% spandex
  • Hand or machine wash cold
  • Tumble or hang dry
  • Made in USA.”

My Thoughts: 

These pants are AWESOME. They fit like a glove, which is exactly what I want when I’m headed out for a long run. Any extra gathering of fabric can prove to be irritating after several miles. With these pants, It’s just like second skin. I forgot I even had them on. I have worn many brands of tights to run in (many specifically designed for runners) and these Onzie capris trump many of them.

The fabric is also great for resisting plying and chaffing in between the legs–which comes into play with pant longevity. In other words, the best running pants (to me) are the ones that don’t wear out after a year or two of use. I see these pants being in the rotation for years to come.

On a girly note–I love the pattern and slight texture of the pants. They are a nice change of pace from your basic black athletic tight. They’re fun while still being figure flattering.

RunnerBox Sample Box Review

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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!

If You Do 5 Things for Your Health…

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It seems to me that many individuals are seeking a healthier lifestyle, but struggle with where to start. Some questions I often hear are: Is it bad that I eat this? What should I start eating? What’s the best work out? 

In my opinion and based upon my own experiences, I believe that there are 5 great places to start. There are no overnight fixes, but if you implement these small changes, then you will be on the road to forming habits that will serve your health, not hinder it.

1. Stop cold-turkey or ween yourself off of soda.

-I understand what it’s like to have a routine with what you drink (I’m a coffee drinker). That said, I also understand that some people fail at quitting soda cold-turkey. Whichever way you choose to stop drinking soda, do it. It’s worth it–and there are plenty of alternative drinks that are chock full of nutrient dense wonderment. Swap the soda for Kombucha, coconut water, or something as simple as adding lemons & limes to your water.

2. Fill your refrigerator with food you would be proud of eating.

-There’s nothing that will enable you to keep making poor food choices more than having that food around you all the time. Shop for good, whole, real food. Think: vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, plant based milk (coconut or almond milk), free range eggs & grass fed beef. Also, find a non-gmo protein powder that you like and keep that around for a quick protein smoothie. Buy organic when you can.

3. Practice the 90-10 rule.

-Nothing turns me off quicker than hearing about over-obsessed eaters who are on the verge of a full blown mental disorder because of their relationship with food. The point is not to fear food, it’s to focus on good food and eat that the majority of the time. Aim for this: 90% of the time, eat the good stuff–like I listed above. The other 10% of the time, let yourself eat dinner out at your favorite restaurant, or enjoy a glass of wine with your significant other. It’s about balance, not being neurotic about food.

4. Find a fitness routine that you have fun with.

-There’s a great quote for this one; I can’t say it better than Laird does:

“Fitness doesn’t have to be a duty. It doesn’t have to mean charts and graphs and heart rate printouts. It should be a pleasurable part of your life, and it should include things that you do purely because you enjoy them. Fun is an ingredient that people often forget in their fitness program.” -Laird Hamilton (professional surfer and world-class athlete)

I can tell you first hand that I have not been a runner since a young age because it’s a chore that I must do. I run PURELY because of how it makes me feel. I feel happy, relieved, de-stressed, empowered, strong and revitalized every time I run. Nobody else has to understand why you do what you do, or why you run 10 miles a day, or why you spend hours in the gym. The important thing is that YOU are being true to what makes you happy in fitness. So, find a routine that makes your inner light shine and do it daily. Turn on your favorite music, dance a little if you want to, and challenge your body. 🙂

5. Don’t forget to lift weights. (this elaborates on #4)

-I think this one is incredibly important because of my own experience with lifting. So, here’s a story:

I have been an athlete for as long as I can remember, training for various sports. The running aspect of my training was always easy for me–I went out and did it because, at the risk of sounding corny, it fueled my soul.

However, I knew that I “should” be lifting too.

But, I didn’t enjoy it as much. I was so stubborn. I thought, “I like to run, it’s good for me, so that’s what I’m going to do. Screw lifting.” Luckily, with age I’ve become increasingly less stubborn about fitness. I am more open to new things if I believe they will truly benefit me.

About a year ago, I started lifting. I mean, REALLY dedicating myself to lifting–making it a priority. I lift every day now, with a rest day every week or so. Despite being sore and feeling a little weak at first, I almost immediately felt stronger and more powerful. My body started to change, I was becoming a bit leaner.

But, how could I be enjoying this process? I didn’t like lifting. My point in all of this rambling is that sometimes if you step outside of your comfort zone or what you think you’ll have fun doing, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised. You’ll find out that you grow to love it because it is positively impacting your body.