Let’s ROCK Our #Journey2aMillion, Team Scootadoot!

Today is the BIG DAY, Team Scootadoot! What’s the occasion, you ask? We’re so glad you asked! Today kicks off our #journey2aMillion miles together! Starting today, we’re pooling our miles and our fundraising efforts to tell cancer to SUCK IT. Our team has certainly grown over the last week, and we’re SO HAPPY to have all of you join us on this journey! We’re doing good things here, folks.

2015_CCA_FB_bannerFor the last two years, our team has come together to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and it’s not too late to join this year’s team! You can join us anytime this month, but everyone who joins the team by midnight tonight will be entered to win a pack of Racedots!

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Today at 3:00 pm eastern (noon Pacific), we will take our first steps in our journey together in the First Mile kick-off event. Let’s go out there and get in our first miles knowing that we’re united in our intention to do good, feel good, and make an impact.

Gooooooooo, Team Scootadoot!

The First Mile is the Sweetest (On Our #Journey2aMillion )

Every year since our blog started we have hosted a team for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Million Mile month. During the month of September we get together, all over the country, and log miles to raise awareness while telling pediatric cancer to SUCK IT. Over the last two years, our team has logged a total of 3,413 miles and raised over $4,100.00 for pediatric cancer research. Not too shabby at all, we thinks!

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We would love for you to join us! You can join the team now, or anytime in September. There’s no fundraising required (unless you would LIKE to) and it’s a great way to join in a community driven campaign! We have A LOT of fun supporting this important cause, it’s super easy to log your miles, and we’ll be giving away some fun prizes! This year, we’re mixing it up by giving away prizes randomly throughout the month, and everyone will have an equal chance of winning any of the prizes! After all, we’re a team!

A peek at some of the treasures in the #Journey2aMillion Giveaway Kitty

Once you join the team, you can log your miles using your FitBit, the MapMyFitness App, or you can track your miles manually like always. You can read more about that here. We love that we can use our FitBit to track our mileage, it means every step we take will count toward the Million Mile goal!

The month long event kicks off on Tuesday with the First Mile. Imagine people all over the country (and the world), raising awareness and fighting cancer by walking, running, or biking their first mile at the same time. YES. We’re talking POWERFUL, people! At 3:00 PM ET we’re walking together in spirit and in cause, our hearts untied and our legs in unison! You’ll need to register for the First Mile, but it’s a snap! And we’re a fun bunch, we promise!

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No #lemonfacechallenge is required of course, but there *might* be a giveaway for anyone who does it. Maybe. Possibly. Probably. Yes.

City Fit Girls – Fit Retreat PHL Jawn!

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Oh my goodness.

GOODNESS. I think that’s really the best way to describe the Philadelphia Fit Retreat hosted by City Fit Girls.

It’s no secret that I’ve been sort of meh when it comes to my workouts lately. Dealing with an injury has kept me from running and while I have been going to the gym twice a week, I’ve been in a rut. But the goodness that was Saturday’s Fit Retreat really shook the cobwebs from my workout soul.

Before we go any further, I learned a word this weekend and that word is JAWN. Apparently it’s has been around awhile – at least in Philly. So please, just smile and nod. I don’t get out much. If you are like me and don’t venture out often, jawn is an all encompassing word that can be used for anything. If you take anything away from this blog post, let it be that.

(But I hope you take away more!)

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Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you why this Fit Retreat PHL jawn was the best ever.

First and foremost: THE PEOPLE. 

From the co-creators of City Fit Girls (Kiera Smalls and Takia McClendon), to the top-notch instructors (Diva Richards, Mark Donohue, Rachel Rubin, Veronica Dilzer, and Brittany and Gillian from Grace and Glory Yoga), to the 150 attendees… this was a quality group. I felt comfortable, welcomed, and appreciated from start to finish.

My dear friends: Sue, Maureen, and Jen. It's always nice attending an event with friends. By the end of the first session, I felt like I was surrounded by new friends!

These are my people: Sue, Maureen, and Jen. It’s always nice attending an event with friends. By the end of the first session, I felt like I was surrounded by new friends!

We were greeted as soon as we arrived and because of the small amount of attendees, we were always able to find a familiar face.

During the introductory speech we were encouraged to test our limits and also cheer for each other. And I promise you, it was not just lip service. The good vibes were flowing through the Philly Impact Hub; the space was fantastic and, even more importantly, the people were fantastic. The cap of 150 people was perfect for the space and for each session (two-three were going on at any given time).

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While chatting with Kiera toward the end of the day she said that City Fit Girls are excited to work with a variety of brands to introduce the women in our network to new and exciting products.

Therefore, they don’t just stick with one way of doing things; they’re presenting new and different workouts constantly. I appreciated the concept and from chatting with other people there, it gave them warm fuzzies too. No ruts to be had! Plus New Balance sponsored this year’s FitRetreat and that, in itself, was pretty amazing.

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Awesome is the watchword. (You know, besides jawn.)

The VIP ticket for the event was less than $40! The way I figure it, that is about 10 cents a minute of AWESOMENESS. Worth each and every cent and then some.

After posting about it on my Facebook page and recruiting a couple of awesome friends, Jen and Sue, we were quickly planning our trip to and from the city’s Impact Hub -a really awesome co-working space in Fishtown. Thanks to City Fit Girl’s agreement with Lyft, we were able to get in and out of the city for mere peanuts and not have to worry about parking (and honestly, I do worry about parking – cost of parking, parallel parking, not hitting other cars while parallel parking – I could go on).

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The cost included an awesome shirt.

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It also included an awesome lunch from Sweetgreen. (And awesome MIMOSAS – YES, PLEASE.)

And an awesome massage (which I skipped but Jen didn’t, so I know it was awesome – she said that it actually released her emotions!).

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Did I mention the very awesome workout sessions? I was able to participate in three workouts and a few informational sessions including healthy eating tips with Whole Foods and skin and facial care.

Dear Whole Foods, we love you. Please come to south Jersey!

Dear Whole Foods, we love you. Please come to south Jersey!

You know how you sometimes you don’t realize what’s missing in your life until you experience it? That was the case with ALL the sessions at the Fit Retreat. How often can you say that?

Work it out!

The main reason for the day (at least for me) was to hit up some amazing workouts and try things outside of my comfort zone bubble. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a group fitness class like the ones that were being offered at the Fit Retreat.

Diva Richards at the start of the session.

Diva Richards at the start of her session.

Unfortunately a time turner hasn’t made its way to Philly yet so I had to choose a few sessions that really spoke to me. I went with Killer Kardio with Diva Richards, Mid-Morn Workout Jawn (there’s that word!) with Mark Donohue, and Vinyasa Yoga with Brittany and Gillian.

Jen during the Kettlebell Kundalini session - this was limited to 50 participants because kettlebells were provided and Jen got the last spot! Score!

Jen during the Kettlebell Kundalini session – this was limited to 50 participants because kettlebells were provided and Jen got the last spot! Score!

The sessions were no joke. I thought that they might get progressively easier through the day but nope. They did not. The intensity was strong from start to finish but the words were encouraging and we were reminded to do our best and to think of where we are in our own journey.

There was everything from kickboxing moves to burpees to oh, approximately one billion squats. Mark Donohue played Flower and with every “down” we had to do a squat and hold it until the word “up” was said. I might have been cursing.

We did planks, planks, and more planks, and in between the planks, since we were down there, we did pushups.

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The biggest surprise for me was how difficult the yoga session was for me. Because, hello, YOGA. I can handle yoga, right? But my foot was already tired from the rest of the sessions and didn’t want to ground itself.

It made for a wobbly experience and there were a few times I had to chill in Child’s Pose rather than take part in all the poses. It made me angry. Yoga isn’t supposed to make you angry, I know. But it did. I think it’s mainly that I’m so used to reminding myself “I can and I will” and I couldn’t, right then and there.

However, thanks to the gentle reminders from Gillian and Brittany, I was able to focus on what I was able to do within those moments and let the rest go.

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I’m sure I’m forgetting something or many things. Oh, like the vegan Watermelon What What drink from Gangster Vegan Organics that was pretty gosh darn awesome.

The entire day was so good for me and my soul. Every event should flowed as well as this one did. The sessions reminded me of my strengths and also gently nudged me to forgive my weaknesses. And it was good. So very good.

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Kudos to the City Fit Girls and all the sponsors of the Fit Retreat Philadelphia! You hold another event and I’ll be there, no doubt about it.

Soybu for You Giveaway – Winner, Winner!!

Congratulations to Jacelyn, winner of our Soybu Meryl Wrap Giveaway!!

Winner

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If you entered, thanks for playing! We love sharing as much as we can with all of you lovely people.  Did you check out our Freekeh Foods and Cookbook giveaway? You can enter to win that fabulous-ness here!

Freekeh Foods review and giveaway

Food and I have a love-hate relationship.

I’m a picky eater, though far less picky than I was years ago. Ask my husband (and Mer). I often look at a multi-page menu and snap it shut without seeing one item I’m interested in eating. I won’t consume just for the calories. I want to really enjoy my meal.

I love veggies, wheat bread, seafood, creme brulee and coffee. Most other foods? We’re friends, but meh. I could take or leave most of them. Then there’s beef, potatoes, raspberries and coleslaw. Thanks, but no thanks.

Lately, I’ve been playing with my grains – Bismati rice, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, cous cous, quinoa.  I swap them out and combine them with random veggies a la my fridge. So I was thrilled when FitApproach and SweatPink offered the chance for me to try and review a new-to-me product, Freekeh Foods, a Minnesota-based company that launched in 2012.

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Freekeh is an ancient grain that according to legend, was created by accident by accident young wheat fields in a Middle Eastern village were set ablaze. In  an attempt to salvage damaged crops, villagers rubbed away the burnt chaff and found that the roasted kernels inside were delicious.

Freekeh (pronounced Free-kuh) is an organic, wheat-based grain, so note that it is NOT gluten-free.

Here are some other takeaways:

  • Freekeh is simple to make – on your stovetop or in a rice cooker. Add water and let it simmer.
  • It’s flavorful, with a slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture.
  • It’s high in fiber and protein and has fewer calories than quinoa and white rice.
  • it’s versatile for use in a variety of recipes, as part of a main dish or side dish.
  • Each 8 ounce package costs $4 (and includes four servings.) A case of six packages retails around $14.50.

I whipped the flavored package as a side (and um, forgot to take a pic, sorry!)

But I got a bit more creative with seasonal veggies when I tested the original flavor of Freekeh.

The result? Delicious.

I mixed my package of original Freekeh Foods with onion, zuccini and 2 ears of sweet corn, ground turkey and butter beans, 2 Tbsp. of cumin and a bit of salt and pepper.

Treman, kayak, SUP 348In the works

 Treman, kayak, SUP 353The final product! YUM

Like what you see? You have the chance to win one package of Freekeh Foods (winner can pick between original, rosemary sage or tamari) AND a cookbook, which retails at $14.95. U.S. residents only please.

freekehbookClick here or the below graphic to enter the giveaway, which runs though Aug. 30. Good luck!

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Freekeh Foods though FitApproach provided Freekeh for me to try. No compensation was given outside the samples for this post. All words, opinons and cooking skills are my own. Prizes will be sent directly from Freekeh Foods.

Plantar Fasciitis – I’m Just Not That Into You

“Ouch, ouch, ouch.” Those are my first words every morning when I get out of bed. I hobble around my room, attempting to ease the pain shooting through my foot.

Not that you follow my every move (unless you’re my mom – hi Mom!) but you might have noticed that I’m not posting a whole lot about running lately.

Truthfully? The last time I actually ran a race was Sunday, May 1st, The Philadelphia Broad Street 10 Miler. That is a long 3.5 months ago. I’ve been running sprints at the gym but never more than a mile or two at in total and I usually pay for it for the rest of the day.

I’ve been hurting. Seriously hurting. Plantar fasciitis is an old enemy; it shows up from seemingly nowhere and totally messes with my mojo.

Praying, wishing, and hoping that time and babying it (along with my custom inserts, rolling it on various products promising relief, massage, etc.) would fix the foot has proved to be futile. The best way I can describe the pain is that my heel felt like it’s been stabbed with a rusty knife.

No me gusta.

Thanks for letting me know just how much I'm not moving, Fitbit.

Thanks for letting me know just how much I’m not moving, Fitbit.

In the interest of not just “waiting it out” any longer, I decided to finally take action. You know, three months later. Since I’ve visited my podiatrist quite a few times this past year, it’s time for something different.

Enter the chiropractor’s office.

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My visits have been twice a week for the past two weeks. They’re guessing I have about two more weeks to go of treatments but they are confident they are going to cure me.

No, really! They said that they are going to CURE this. For good. I’m skeptical but if they can actually fix the foot permanently, I might have to do something drastic, like get the name of the practice tattooed on my foot in appreciation.

So far, it’s going well. Really well. SURPRISING WELL. Dare I say that I’m actually starting to feel an improvement? (I’m scared to say that out loud, no jinxing!)

The plan of attack:

1. Aleve for a week, three times a day to take the inflammation out of the foot. CHECK

2. NO RUNNING. (My trainer wasn’t pleased when I told him this but the chiropractor actually goes to my gym so he only grumbled a little.) CHECK

3. Twice a week of torture. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant to say massage, ultrasound, and adjustments. WORK IN PROGRESS

These massages are like nothing I’ve ever felt before. You hear the word “massage” and you think good thoughts. You can erase those thoughts.

Guys, I gave birth to my second child with no drugs. After having a c-section with my first. I’m pretty sure these massages hurt worse. (But after it feels really good. I think that’s their plan.)

Like I said, I’m halfway into the treatments and I think this might actually be it. Is my optimism showing? Fingers crossed, pajamas inside out, stroking a lucky rabbit foot… I’ll keep you posted.

Ever have plantar fasciitis or a niggling injury that just wouldn’t quit? What did you do to finally get rid of it?

Soybu For You Giveaway

For the last few weeks, I’ve been testing out some pretties from the Soybu Fall line. Actually, I’ve practically been living in one of the pieces.  So I’m going to tell you about it, and then we’re going to give away a lovely black wrap that is an absolute wardrobe staple. Deal? Deal!

Soybu Package

I know there is a plethora of companies out there making active lifestyle clothes. Some of them I want to try, others I refuse to support. I was eager to give this company a try. Sustainability is a priority for the Soybu, and they also recently launched a plus size line. It’s great to see more and more athletic apparel companies answering that need. Also, I noticed that the Soybu line is at a lower price point than some of their competitors, but the quality is equally good.

Allegro Leggings and Starburst Tank

Allegro Leggings and Starburst Tank

The Starburst Tank in Mandala: I LOVE THIS THING. I’d have one for everyday of the week and never wear a bra again if I could. I love the pattern; I stepped out of my solid-color comfort zone and went for it and I’m glad I did. It’s fun, and goes with lots of colors and bottom styles.  And it’s soooo comfy, once you get it on. Pulling the built-in bra and top over my (little) girls is a challenge in any athletic top with a built-in bra. Or maybe I’m just uncoordinated, either is entirely possible. The tank is long enough to cover my bum, which is essential when in leggings. What I love most about the tank aside from the fabric pattern is the freedom of movement the design offers. The starburst in the back is open and cooling, and lets me feel unrestricted when doing difficult poses. Plus, it really shows off those back muscles!

Lily loves to do downward dog!

Lily loves to do downward dog!

The Allegro Legging in Storm Heather: I seriously love these leggings, too. I love leggings in general and am honestly sad that it’s too hot to wear these with some boots and a chunky sweater. Soon enough, my warm, gray friend! I have worn them during my home yoga practice in the house (which is not air conditioned), and they are just as soft and comfy as the top. I love the waistband design with no elastic, it even has a slit pocket built in big enough for key, cash, ID, or a phone. What I appreciate most is that the leggings aren’t too long for me. At 5′ 2″, leggings usually end up looking like scrunchy socks gathered at my ankles. Thank goodness for riding boots! The Soybu leggings had just the right amount of extra fabric for me and they didn’t accentuate my short legs. I love that.  Maybe now I can wear flats with them!  Oh, glory day!

The Meryl Wrap: Okay, I must confess…I…I…didn’t wear this wrap. I only had it on long enough to snap these photos. If I had worn for longer than 4 minutes, it would be COVERED in pug fur, and I’d never do that to the lucky person who is going to win this lovely piece! It looks heavenly, though, and I have three wraps very similar to it in black, gray, and white. It’s hard to see in these photos but the three-quarter sleeves have cute rouching at the elbow. I promise the Meryl will become a go-to layering piece for you. This one is a size medium, and is a nice, lightweight cotton.

rafflepic2Enter to win this stylish wrap here! Follow Soybu on social media and sign up for their emails, we’ll be announcing the winner on Tuesday, August 25th.

I was impressed with Soybu’s clothes and felt the samples I received were well made, fit well, and fairly priced, not to mention cute and super duper comfortable!

Soybu provided me with the free outfit to review. No other compensation was given. The wrap retails for $48.00, and will be shipped from Colorado, USA.