Gifts for the low-carb love in your life

I love this time of year! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are my favorite! The food (oh so much of it), the parties, the decorations, the music, family, friends, all of it. Shopping has evolved for me a little over the years. I now much prefer to shop online and I’m more careful about what I spend our money on. I’d rather buy someone something they really want than 5 things that they maybe want. So, I’m going to do a 2 part series on a few Christmas ideas that I would love and maybe someone you know would love as well.

This post contains affiliate links. 

First up, are the low carb / keto people. Do you or someone you know eat low carb? I’ve made a list of a few things my husband and I use and have tried, they would make great gifts for someone watching their carbs and sugar.

I LOVE Mexican food. Specifically, tortillas. Imagine my dismay when I realized tortillas aren’t exactly keto friendly. I was beyond ecstatic to come across these wraps that are only 9 net carbs for a 12 inch wrap. We have used them for quesadillas (both for dinner and breakfast), chicken salad wraps and I really love them fried as chips. I just cut them into strips or triangles if you are fancy and very quickly fry them in coconut oil. I’ve also seen some people bake them. There are tons of ways to use these wraps from Cut da Carb. There’s usually a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on Instagram too!

Here’s a photo of fajitas and the chips. So good!

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Next would have to be Good Dee’s Baking mixes. SO GOOD. I think I tried her Blondie’s first, I’m not even sure what my favorite is anymore. I currently have Blondie’s, yellow cake mix and pancake mix at home. The Yellow cake mix is amazing with lemon extract, and I added a powdered sugar glaze made with Swerve. The pancakes were a game changer for us. I really, really miss pancakes. These are a good substitute though. The muffins are unflavored, you can customize with your own ingredients and extracts or eat them plain with butter!

I have a 15% off code for any of Good Dee’s mixes, use HMWR15.

Here’s the Yellow Cake Mix with the Swerve Confectioner’s drizzle.

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And my half eaten pancakes!

Pancakes

Next on my list is a book called Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore. I read this book while on our cruise this summer. I learned a lot! And there’s so much research being done on how the keto diet can help. I found it very interesting and helpful. Not just for newbies either!

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Next favorite is MCT oil and MCT Powder. John prefers the oil for his coffee, but since I don’t drink coffee I prefer the powder. The kind we buy is unflavored from Perfect Keto. I actually mix it with my Crystal Light. I’m actually on auto-ship every 30 days for the MCT oil powder.

The MCT oil is Bulletproof. John did some research and found this company on Amazon. They do not use palm oil. Some companies that use palm oil are cutting down rain forests which in turn destroys orangutan habitat. The bottle says “100% orangutan friendly oil”.

MCT oil has many benefits, including healthy fats (Medium chain triglycerides), and eating healthy fat can help you lose fat (hence the Keto diet). Also claims to aid in digestion, helps clear your mind, keep you focused, improve mood as well as a few other benefits.

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The next one is Swerve Sweetener. I tried a few others to bake with and nothing has tasted as good as Swerve. I’ve seen several bakers that mix their own, I have not tried that yet. There is a “cooling” effect with Swerve, it’s less than others I’ve tried. Stevia is awful to bake with, in my opinion. They have a granulated version and confectioners version. I have made cream cheese frosting and a drizzle with the confectioners. See below muffin with frosting. So good! They sell them each individually or as a 2 pack.

swerve

That’s my list of favorites! These would make great gifts for yourself or someone else. We have really adapted to this life and normally I don’t even think twice about skipping the sugar or carb-laden foods. These items can make that easier and hopefully you don’t feel deprived.

Contact me if you have any questions about any of the products here. Keep in mind there are affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing you help keep this little blog up and running. Thanks for stopping by!

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Marathon Monday: training update + Nuun review

The Dallas Marathon is in 2 weeks! It’s taper time! I cannot believe it is already here. It’s been a rough training season, but I think I am finally ready.

marathon training

Training last week:

Monday: Light gym workout, stretching, abs, 10 minutes on the elliptical and sauna

Tuesday: Track workout, 8×300 with 200 recovery, 2 mile warm up, 2 mile cool down

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 15 miles

Friday: Shopping (this would be cross training!)

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: Gym day, elliptical, abs, upper body weights and sauna

I’ve been using Nuun to hydrate for a few years now. I’ve used it exclusively this training season to see if it that alone will keep my dehydration headaches away. Between water and Nuun tabs it’s been a pretty good season.  Nuun sent me these 3 flavors to start with and I’ve already gone through them and purchased more.

I received free product to try. I was asked to write a review. All opinions are my own. 

Nuun tabs

I really like the Lemonade and the Lemon Lime. I do mix up my Nuun the night before, it helps get the fizzies out and gets it good and cold for the next morning. I suggest leaving the top open though. The tab has sugar-free electrolytes that dissolve in water. The tube makes it easy to throw in a gym bag. You can also break them in half for smaller bottles. I will throw a few in a baggy to carry on race day.

Nuun hydration

I grabbed this Nuun energy recently but haven’t tried it yet. I’ll get on that so I can let you know if I like it too!

Nuun Energy

Nuun Hydration has a Cyber Monday sale with 30% today! There’s free shipping and $20 four-packs. Grab a friend or 3 and share a pack to get started.

On Thanksgiving morning my group ran their long run so we wouldn’t have to over the weekend. We all definitely earned our turkey that day! I also earned a shirt and medal for a virtual Turkey Trot with through our running club. Last years shirt is one of my favorite long sleeve t-shirts.

Turkey trot

I did a little Black Friday shopping again this year. It’s a shop til ya drop day for me and my friend Alisha. I snagged an early present for my family, the Nutri Bullet. I love it!

NutriBullet

And my new MRTT tank and car magnet came in, so exciting!

MRTT shirt

Did you race this weekend?

Any big races coming up?

Happy running!

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Hilliest half in Texas, aka Zooma Texas recap

I had the best time this weekend and seriously challenged myself on what I affectionately call the “hilliest half in Texas!” (be forewarned there are lots of pictures in the post)

Zooma recap

Last October I was selected to be an ambassador Zooma’s Texas race. This was by far, one of the greatest experiences of my blogging career. I had the pleasure to meet, work and network with an awesome group of ladies over the last few months.

ZOOMA Ambassador Badge 2014

Last Friday my friend Jennifer and I loaded up my car for a night away. We stayed in Bastrop near the Hyatt because of cost. We both decided that we are starting a Zooma fund so we can stay at the Hyatt next year. It will be worth it!

We got to Austin in time for lunch and stopped on 6th Street to find food. We found a great pizza place complete with free parking. Check out Frank and Angie’s Pizzeria or Hut’s Hamburgers while you are there. We got a slice of pizza and a salad for $7.

pizza from Frank and Angie's

We got to our hotel in Bastrop, checked in, took a 20 minute power nap then headed to the Hyatt. We were going to just figure out where to catch the shuttle and get our packets but we fell in love with the Hyatt so we ended up staying the rest of the day.

We got to the Hyatt Friday and hit the expo, got our packets, did a little shopping, then walked around the resort. It has a lot to offer and will make for a nice weekend getaway. My favorite spot was the rocking chair overlooking the Colorado River.

Hyatt collage

We had plans to head out and find dinner but at the expo they were handing out pasta samples and somehow Jennifer and I were unable to leave. When we arrived for dinner we also discovered they had this chocolate fountain. It was insanely good.

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After dinner we met up with the other ambassadors for a group photo.

Zooma ambassadors

Me / Landi / Tempie / Megan / Farrah / Lora / Amy / Fernanda

Zooma really takes care of their race participants. We had a “mocktail party” that night with Honest Tea and our swag bags were loaded. In the reusable bag was our tech shirt, hat and Feetures Socks.

Zooma collage

We headed to bed about 9:30, the race day alarm was early. We had to be at the bus stop no later than 6:30AM. Race started at 7:30. It was slightly warmer there than in the Dallas area, so we opted for shorts and tank top.

Since we were staying off site we had to park across Highway 71 at the high school and ride a shuttle onto the property on race day. It was nice and easy, no problems at all. Biggest downside was having to get up an hour early to make all that happen.

pre-race Zooma

We got to the Hyatt and found a place to stretch and hang out until the race started. It was probably the smallest half marathon I’ve run, it was kind of odd lining up towards the front. I actually saw the starting line. I lined up with the 1:50 pacers, with the hopes of anything under 1:55 on this course. Started out with them and kept up for a few miles. The hills started getting to me a little and I fell behind but was still on target for my goal.

Zooma elevation2

It was a pretty course, along country roads lined with bluebonnets. The course support was great, from the water stops to traffic control. I was very impressed.

pre-race Zooma 2

I learned that I don’t know how to run down hills well. My toes are very upset with me. That’s something I will be working on. I also learned that when I want to quit I have to dig deep, real deep and find strength I didn’t even know I had. I love running half marathons, they are just enough of a challenge to me without me feeling like dying. Saturday was the hardest half I have ever done. I was struggling mentally and physically. My splits show where I wanted to quit and they also show where I rallied and didn’t give in to those feelings.

I’m very proud of my time. It’s not my fastest but I was trying to compare my PR to the flattest course I’ve ever run and this was the hilliest course I’ve ever run. So considering my time on this one was just over a minute slower, I’m ok.

Zooma shoes and medals

Zooma knows how to do a finish line. There were yoga mats and foam rollers to use. The food and expo was set up, the hotel also had towels out for us to (pass out) on the hill overlooking the river, complete with a band. We laid there in the sunshine refueling and catching our breath.

Zooma foam roll

Zooma post race rest

And here are some of the Zooma Ambassadors post-race. This is an amazing team, several placed in their age groups. I’m proud to know them!

Zooma ambassadors post race

Check out some of the race recaps by the Zooma Texas Ambassadors:

I highly recommend this race, despite the fact that it’s hilly! It’s a challenge and we all need that sometimes. But it was so much more. It’s amazing the feeling you get accomplishing something that’s difficult. You look around you and you see all these other women smiling, laughing and crying because they just did it too. It may have been their first or their 15th but the feeling was mutual.

It was great to spend time with my friend Jennifer. You can’t go wrong with a girls weekend.

I’m looking forward to this race again next year!

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Gone for a Run review and giveaway

I received a complimentary product to review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

Gone for a Run giveaway

Gone for a Run offers lots of great gifts for runners. They contacted me about reviewing one of their products and I gladly accepted. I chose the custom medal hanger since I was just about to complete my first full marathon. I scanned a copy of the race bib after I completed it and within about a week I had my medal hanger in my hands!

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They scanned the exact copy of my race bib and it’s mounted on a wooden plaque with the hook attached. I absolutely love it. It’s a great way to remember my first full marathon. The shipping was fast and the product was delivered as promised.

I had the perfect place for it, right beside my other medals.

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They have something for every runner!

Frames

T-Shirts

Coasters

With so many choices, you will have a hard time deciding what to spend this gift card on. Gone For a Run has graciously offered a $20 electronic gift card to a lucky reader. You have several ways to enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway runs from 8AM CST Tuesday, April 1, 2014 until 8PM CST Tuesday, April 8, 2014. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US residents only.

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Did you workout today?

Do you have any souvenirs from a race?

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Influenster J’Adore VoxBox review

This post contains affiliate links. I received complimentary sample products to try, all opinions are my own. 

Influenster Logo

This VoxBox from Influenster had lots of fun goodies in it. Have you tried Influenster? It’s free and the more you interact on social media, the more opportunities for cool boxes you get!

This box included items from:

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The Boots Botanics clay mask was something I’ve never used. Honestly, until recently I didn’t even use moisturizer (YIKES). I know, I know. Lately I’ve been paying better attention to my skin. I like this mask. First time I squirted it out, I hadn’t shaken the container and runny mud water went everywhere. Rookie mistake. Shake the container so it mixes together. I’ve used it several time and I follow it up with my moisturizer. I like it!

Glammin’ it up.

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Who doesn’t love Hershey’s kisses? That bag was not sample size, it was family size and we are enjoying them. My daughter keeps throwing them in her lunch box every day for her and her friends. That chocolate is some of my favorite.

The John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease product is great. I used to straighten my hair every day and this is a product I would have used. Now that I’m going curly all the time, I have used it to tame frizzy hair but not so much for the straightening help. I’ve been using it on Ally’s hair though. She has thin, in between wavy, straight hair so it has so be blow dried or a straightener run through it.

John has been the one using the Vaseleine men’s spray lotion. I used it once just to test the texture, etc. It has a smell, I think like a faint cologne. I’m just guessing but this might be best in a non-scented product.

I have not tried the Kiss Lashes yet. I’m not sure the fake eye lashes are for me, but I’ll be sure and post a picture if I do!

Are you on Influenster?

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Apera bags review and giveaway!

This post contains affiliate links. I received a complimentary product for review. All opinions are my own. 

I was so excited to get this bag in the mail. I love my current gym bag, but it’s a black hole. I can never find anything in there when I need it. My Apera bag has lots of fun pockets and storage. I don’t have a lot of storage at home to store my running and gym paraphernalia so it gets kept in my bag, things like my flashlight for running, iPod, lifting gloves, headphones, goggles, etc. It goes with me to the gym and in the car when I meet friends for a run.

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It came the day before I was heading out of town for the Cowtown race. I packed just what I needed at the finish line and during the day Saturday. It has side pockets for shoes, yes, even holds running shoes. It has storage in the back for sweaty clothes as well as a separate wet clothes bag.

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It has storage on top for phones and other small electronics and a padded pocket in the front that held my iPad. I think my Chromebook will go in there without the case on it. The main compartment unzips to lay out flat so it’s easy to find stuff.

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It’s also a light color inside making it easier to find what I need.

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I stuffed my bag today with shoes, clothes to change into after work, my watch, gym towel and there was still room for the water bottle to fit in the side pocket.

Apera bags

Apera gives away a bag each month from their website.  To enter the giveaway on Apera’s website, you just have to submit your email for their newsletter and they draw a random winner from those subscribers. The bag for March is the Sling Tote. They also donate a Sprint Pack to Special Olympics for each 3 bags they sell. Currently Duffel Packs and Blue Bags are on sale for 40% off.

Apera Sprint Pack

Enter in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a Sprint Pack from Apera along with a 25% coupon off the bag of your choice from their collection. This is not your ordinary light weight bag. It has an outside zipper pocket and a divider inside the bag. It’s drawstring with adjustable straps and a hook at the top to hang in a locker. This bag is the perfect one to grab for a quick trip to the gym, park, the fair or a school field trip. The giveaway is open to US residents only. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary.

The giveaway starts 8AM CST March 13, 2014 and ends 8PM CST March 20, 2014.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you carry a gym or running bag?

Did you workout today?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

My Race Ragz review and giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links. I was given a complimentary product to review. All opinions are my own.**

I’m excited about new shirt from My Race Ragz. Jenny at MetamorFit gave me the opportunity to make my own shirt and give a luck reader one!

My Race Ragz offers five styles of shirts for men and five for women. I chose the Women’s Synergy Race Tank. Once you choose the style of your shirt, you get to design it. They have pages and pages of pre-made designs and graphics. I spent a few days going through it before deciding on mine. I chose a pre-made quote for the front and added my website to the back. You can change the colors on the pre-made graphics as well.

There’s a tool to center it and change the size. You can change the font on a custom design. There were almost too many options for me, it took me a while to decide!

Once I finalized my order, I had it within a week. It was easy and very quick. Overall it was a great experience and I would definitely use them again.

Logo shirt

If I had to pick one thing I didn’t like about it, I’d say the sizing. I used the chart and my shirt is a little smaller than I would prefer. I went with a medium and for a point of reference I wear a small in shirts at Old Navy. I should have ordered a large. Of course, if I lose just a few inches in the middle this shirt will be perfect!

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I wore it for the Cowtown 5k race and it was perfect. It didn’t ride up or bug me in any way. I can’t wait to wear it more this summer. I washed it in the washing machine, but hung it up to dry. I definitely don’t need it to shrink. I hang dry all my workout clothes.

You can find My Race Ragz online here, on Facebook and Twitter.

If you want a chance to design your own shirt, just use the Rafflecopter below. There are several ways to earn entries. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be a US Resident to enter.

The giveaway starts Friday, February 28, 2014 at 8AM CST and ends March 7, 2014 at 8PM CST. The winner will be notified via email.

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Did you work out today?

Anyone racing this weekend?

What would you put on your custom designed My Race Ragz shirt?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

January Jumpstart Day 21: NeoCell review and giveaway

Welcome to day 21 of January Jumpstart!

My workout this morning was a 5 mile run.

JJS Day 21

I received a complimentary product to review. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been trying out a few new products this month. I’m excited to tell you about it and give you the chance to try it yourself! NeoCell contacted me about trying a few of their products and I chose the Keratin Hair Volumizer and Collagen Sport recovery powder in chocolate.

The Keratin Hair Volumizer are pills, you take 2 at a time, twice a day. I have a hard time with big pills, I have a crazy gag reflex. These pills are easy to swallow and have no after taste. I didn’t have any issues swallowing them. I have been taking them every other day to make them last a little longer, but I’ve noticed a difference in my hair texture. I have crazy, naturally curly hair. It takes lots of product to tame it.

These vitamins have keratin in them which helps with the frizz and I need all the help I can get!

Neocell Keratin

The Collagen Sport Ultimate Recovery  Complex is a powder. You can mix it in a shaker bottle with water or milk or make a smoothie out of it. I made smoothies with mine. I love the flavor! It mixes well and has a good chocolate flavor. This is a great recovery, post workout shake!

Neocell Collagen

It has 30 grams of protein (15g Whey Isolate and 15g Super Collagen), 123 calories and .5 gram of fat, as well as a host of other vitamins. It is gluten free, does not have sugar, lactose, artificial flavors or synthetic ingredients. For more information on the health benefits see this article.

Neocell Collagen.jpg

I found a review for the Beauty Bursts and I want to try those as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open from 9AM CST January 21, 2014 until 8PM CST January 26, 2014. It’s open to US Residents only. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.

Do you have a favorite post workout drink or shake?

Did you workout today?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

January Jumpstart: Day 10, lean legs + Sweaty Bands giveaway

Happy Friday and we’ve made it 10 days!

Sara wrote up another great workout, she included demonstration videos below it. Let’s get those legs in shape! That side plank with leg lifts is definitely getting added to my regular routine!

Leaner legs

Have you ever heard of Sweaty Bands? I found them recently and asked if they wanted to participate in January Jumpstart. I’m so happy I did. I love this head band! I was a skeptic about it staying in place, but it does. I worked out in it and didn’t have to mess with it one time. And then of course, as usual, Ally steals it. She wore it to school and track and I’m scared I won’t get it back!

I haven’t worn mine on an outside run yet, I’ve had to wear ear warmers. I wore it to the gym for 3 miles on the treadmill and it stayed put. Can’t wait to try it out on a run when it gets warmer outside.

Please excuse the 5AM hair-do!

Sweaty band picture

Sweaty Bands was started in 2007 in a basement! Gotta love it. They have grown and now have their own warehouse and Nordstrom even carries them! The prints are cute and bright, with lots of colors and patterns to choose from. The best way to wear your Sweaty Band is close to your hair line.

You can find Sweaty Bands on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!

Sweaty Bands

I’m excited to offer this navy and white Sweaty Bands to give away. You can earn several entries in the Rafflecopter widget. It’s open from 8AM CST on January 10, 2014 until 8PM CST January 14, 2014. The winner will be announced January 15. You must be a US Resident to win. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

sweaty bands.jpg

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you tried Sweaty Bands before?

Did you workout today?

Anyone racing this weekend?

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Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

My favorite posts from 2013

2013 was a good year. It was my first full year of blogging. I had some good ones and some bad ones. I’m still getting the hang of this blogging thing. In case you are new around here, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

2013 faves

January started off with a bang, Sara and I started the year with 30 Day Homies. How many of you were around for that? It was fun! (Watch for January Jump Start soon for 2014!) We had lots going on that month, one of my favorites was Leslie’s Story. Leslie and I went to high school together.

My first sub 2 hour half, the Patriot race.

post race

This post continues to go crazy on Pinterest. I think I probably have more I could add to it. Half Marathon tips for Beginners.

Half mary tips

Probably my favorite race this year, Dallas Allstate 13.1. There wasn’t much to complain about this race.

Allstate 4

My aha moment was another good one.  I was nearing the end of marathon training for Dallas and was really enjoying running.

And of course, my 1 year Blogiversary post.

One of my favorite recipes from this year, Pumpkin Protein muffins.

pumpkin muffins

This is my crew. These are (some of) the girls I run with, laugh with, pray for and share life with.

silly group

RnR3

Luigis

I’m looking forward to 2014 bringing great opportunities!

Have a great week!

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