Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shakeology Samples

Okay, you've heard me rave about Shakeology for a while now. You're probably like, "Shut up already, would you?" Or, maybe you're thinking, "What's so great about this stuff, anyway?" Well, great question.

You can see some testimonials here. You can listen to me ramble about all the benefits it has given me; like higher energy, aiding in weight loss, stronger hair and nails, regularity, curbing my cravings, saving me money, the convenience of one less meal to think about making myself...

Or, you can try Shakeology for yourself and see what the hype is all about (including the brand new Vanilla Shakeology! Umm, YUM!). Yep, try it before you buy a full month's supply.

If you decide to be a daredevil -- you little Evel Knievel, you -- and go for the full size right away, you can still get a full refund. Even if you drink the entire bag. It's called the Bottom of the Bag Guarantee. You can drink Shakeology for the full month, down to the very last granule of powder, and if you still aren't convinced, you can send the empty bag back for a full refund. How awesome is that?

If you don't want to go that route, you can still opt for the individual Shakeology samples first. Step 1: head to this website, and create your free account by clicking "Join." Step 2: Use the PayPal button here to select your flavor options and make your payment. Once I confirm you have done both, your samples will be sent out to you and you will receive a confirmation email. Oh, and did I mention free shipping?

Important: To speed the confirmation process, please use the same name on your free account as your PayPal account or shipping address (your screen name can be whatever you like).

That's it! Then sit back, sip up, and enjoy! Oh, and along with your samples, you will receive recipe ideas to make your Shakeology taste even better. You can make a different recipe every day if you choose. Let the deliciousness ensue!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Lost It

Well, hello there! It's been a while! 

For my renewal post, I'm participating in Mama Kat's Weekly Writing Prompts. Each week, we are given a choice between five prompts to write a post about. This week, I've chosen number 4: The last thing you lost.

For Christmas this past year, my mom bought me one of the most highly requested items on my list: a FitBit One. 

If you’ve never heard of a FitBit, it is a little device that you can clip on to your clothing, and while you move about throughout the day, it will track your steps taken, miles walked, floors climbed, calories burned, hours slept at night, then give you an overall fitness score on how well you are doing each day. 

I know, pretty, right?

Personally, I love it. It gives me more motivation to keep moving, and I love when the little flower stem is as high as it can go -- that’s what tells me I have a high fitness score. 

I would love to say that these pictures are of my FitBit and I’m showing off how active I have been. But, I can’t. Not because I lost the actual FitBit. Because I lost its charger. A while ago. Needless to say, the FitBit is dead and doesn’t even turn on anymore. And all my great active statistics have just fallen from the sky and crash landed in a fiery burst of destruction. But slightly less dramatic. 

I’ve been searching for it everywhere. And really, the only logical places it could be would be somewhere in my room or in one of my bags. And I’ve searched them all. 

I really miss wearing it every day and checking in to see how I’m doing. I also miss receiving badges of honor and wearing them proudly for each milestone, like lifetime floors climbed and miles walked. Sigh.

I’ve been contemplating just buying a new charger. However, I know that the second I do, the second I purchase a new one, the old one will turn up. I know it. Because that’s how life works. I guess there's no harm in having a backup, right?

Monday, February 25, 2013

TurboFire Update! Week 6

Hello there! Oops, it's been while since I've written about anything my TurboFire progress. I'll update you in a second, but first...

Did you notice anything different? No, it's not my lovely new haircut. Okay, well, I did get a haircut, but that's not it. No, I didn't get a pretty new outfit. Although I did get awesome new sneakers, but that's not it either.

If you said a new blog layout, why, yes, you are correct! Do you like it? I thought it was time for something new. Did I mention this in another post already? Sorry, I just felt like it was worth mentioning again.

So, TurboFire! It's pretty freakin' awesome. It's so much fun, and it makes me feel like a champion when I finish each workout.

Do you remember when I said I had trouble with the Core 20 workout, because of the standing ab moves, and that I didn't feel anything? I've done this workout several times since then, and I've been trying to work on that, and really engage my core and my abs when I do this workout, but I just can't get the hang of it. I'm getting really frustrated because I feel like I'm not getting the most out of this workout, and I could be getting better results and improving even more if I could get this down. Dan has tried to help me out, but I either can't grasp the concept, or my core is too weak to begin with and I can't flex those muscles, or he just not explaining it in a way that makes sense to me. I don't know. Hopefully by the end of this program I can finally do it.

This is the beginning of week 6, and I'm still starting new workouts, which is awesome. I like that the workouts are switched up and it doesn't repeat the same one every day. Some of the music isn't really my style, but when I'm in the middle of a workout and pouring sweat and just focusing on form and getting the best workout I can, the music is one of the last things on my mind and I don't even really pay attention to it that much. Although, I know I would definitely notice if it wasn't there. It helps to get me moving. Otherwise it would be boring.

I actually forgot to take Before pictures at the beginning of starting TurboFire, so I'm comparing to the first ones I took, even though they were taken quite some time ago. I also forgot to take pictures at the 30 day mark, so I'm going to take them at the end of this week instead. Hopefully there will be visible results, because I really want that bikini body this summer, and I'm working hard to get it. One day at a time. Of course, I have to always remember my nutrition and eat as clean as I can, because that's where at least 75% of the results will come from. Thank God for Shakeology! I'm not sure I will be comfortable posting my pics for all the world to see, but I will let you know of the changes.

I really like the HIIT workouts. They're short, but high intensity so I'm still able to get a great workout in a short amount of time. I'm still using the "New to Class" option to learn the moves on most days, so it makes them longer (on non-HIIT days), but hopefully I won't have to do that pretty soon.

I do feel like I'm getting great cardio conditioning, and my legs are probably stronger because of the all the lunging, squatting, and jumping, but I don't feel that my upper body gets much of a workout. I want to do more, so I'm going to invest in some weighted gloves so I'm able to put more into each move.

Well, I think that's all for now! I plan to not be such a slacker about writing, so I will update more often on my TurboFire progress. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Epiphany: Okay, I'm Totally Lame

I got my workout in fairly early after work yesterday. I teach part-time, so I leave earlier than the school day is actually over.

I arrived home, settled in, got a few things done, then got my TurboFire on. Yesterday was Low HIIT 25 and Stretch 10. This workout was mostly all HIITs back to back, with short rest periods in between each.

Chalene's favorite motivational phrase to tell us is, "You're not tired!" She tells us we can keep going, we can do it, we're amazing. Somewhere in the middle of this workout, she said, "Tell yourself you can do anything!"

So, I did. I actually said aloud to myself, "I can do anything." Well, it was more like, "Ican (breath) doany (breath) thing."

Do you know what happened after I said that to myself? Well, I'll tell you. I was kind of holding back tears.

I know, I'm totally lame. But you know what? I had a minor epiphany at that moment. Not only that I'm totally lame, but I realized that I almost never talk to myself this way: positively. I almost never tell myself I can do it, or that I can push a little harder, or I can accomplish my goals. Instead, I'm used to listening to that little negative voice that tells me I'm too tired, or it hurts too much, or to take another break.

Chalene basically said that the way we talk to ourselves is the way we are going to perform. Why? Because that's what we'll believe. If I tell myself I'm too tired, then I will be, and I'll stop. If I tell myself I need another break, I'll take it, instead of motivating myself and giving it that little extra push to keep going. And it's absolutely true. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I never told myself, "I can do it; I can do anything." Just saying it once, out loud, ignited a little spark inside me. Repeating it again gave that little spark a flame.

The flame grew a little higher, and a little fiercer. I pushed myself a little harder. I jumped a little higher, I squatted a little lower, and I ran a little faster. And I brought it.

We need to stop putting ourselves down. We need to tell ourselves we are capable of anything. Whatever goal you are after, whatever dream you want to accomplish, you can succeed. You have to tell yourself you can, and you will. Even if you don't believe it yet, it's okay. Keep encouraging yourself. You can do it. And you will believe it. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you speak positively to yourself and believe you have what it takes.

What lies do you tell yourself that hold you back?
Get those negative thoughts out of your head. Turn them into positive ones instead. Then get out there and accomplish those goals and dreams.

I'm too tired. I have tons of energy, and working out gives me energy.
I'm too out of shape. I'm working toward my goals and getting better every day.
I'm stupid. I am intelligent.
I'm ugly. I am beautiful, inside and out.
I'm not talented enough. I am talented, and have so much to give to the world.
I can't do it. I can do anything.

My Immune System Rocks!

Back at Mama Kat's Weekly Writing Prompts! I know, I know, it's been forever. But I'm back this week! Out of the 5 possible prompts, I chose number three:

The last time you were sick...

Oh, boy, let's hope I can remember that far back (yes, it's really been that long).

Before I dive in, I think I should ask your opinion. Do you consider getting a cold as being sick? I think most people do, but I do not. The reason for that is when I get a cold, they usually last a day or two and then they're gone, while everyone else I know has them for weeks. Additionally, my symptoms aren't even that terrible. I'll only have one, or a couple. A sore throat and a slightly stuffy nose. A mild headache caused by a cough. A runny nose. Then, after a day or two, they disappear, so I feel like I was never really sick at all.

Therefore, this post won't be about a cold I've had for the last few weeks that won't go away.

Nor will it be about getting hit with the flu, because it is a state of emergency because of the ridiculous number of people who actually have had it or currently have it. I've still never, and I've also never gotten the shot that I can recall.

Nor will it be about catching mono from my boyfriend two years ago when he had it, because I still saw him all the time, took care of him, and still kissed him.

My immune system rocks.

However, there was this one time...

I was nine years old, and in the 4th grade. I don't know how I became ill, but I did, and it was terrible.

My body somehow contracted Bronchitis. It was either a severe case, or I also had something else simultaneously, because I don't think the symptoms I had were all common with Bronchitis. I don't remember everything, but I do remember not being able to eat, throwing up, and being so weak that I couldn't even get myself to the bathroom on my own. My mom literally carried me.

I spent that week in my mom's bed, sleeping, reading, sleeping, and paging my mom if I needed something. Yep, those were the days of the pager, and she wanted me to page her so I didn't have to yell down the stairs or get up myself when I couldn't even stand on my own two feet.

I think I missed four days of school. And then it was over.

That was 15 years ago. I haven't been sick like that since. Again, I don't really consider having a cold to be sick, since they only last a few days for me, sometimes even just one.

When was the last time you were sick? What was it? How bad was it? Do you consider having a cold being sick? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TurboFire: Week 1

Hey there! Of course, once I say that I will try to post every other day, other things get in the way and I get delayed. Sigh. But, here I am! A few days late, sure, but here nonetheless.

As I said in the previous post, Wednesday was supposed to be the rest day, but it felt awkward to have it in the middle of the week, so I planned to postpone it. I say planned to, because it only lasted one more day, and I accidentally ended up taking two rest days in a row; Thursday and Friday. Oops.

So on Saturday I completed what was supposed to be Friday's workout since it was different from the Fire Starter Class I had already done, then continued with the schedule Sunday and Monday. Doing Friday's workout on Saturday, I got my heart rate up to 200 bpm! I hope that's normal.

Sunday was Core 20 and Stretch 40. The Core 20 was all about working the core: abs, torso, and spine. Having a strong core is necessary for all types of workouts, and helps strengthen the rest of your body as well. It started with standing core and ab work, then moved to the floor. This workout also utilizes a resistance band to add difficulty and intensity. I don't think I was doing the standing exercises correctly, because I couldn't really feel any of the moves; it was like I wasn't working them. My form can't be right, so that's something I need to work on with this day.

Afterward, the Stretch 40 was basically a yoga class. Let me just tell you... I hate yoga. Really hate it. I despise it, actually. It's also in the P90X routine, and I couldn't get through it. I know it's necessary. I know I need to work on my flexibility, and I know yoga will help me lean out even more. But for some reason, I can't force myself to stay through an entire yoga workout. It bores me. I don't mind stretching, but I need movement. Some of the moves are just torturous. Plus, I feel like a baby cow trying to stand for the first time. I know, if I do it more and get through it and practice, I'll get better and stronger. But... ugh.

Are you with me? Do you hate yoga too? Or do you love it?

Yesterday, Monday, was crazy! It was Fire 55 EZ Class, but as long as you are working hard, there is nothing "EZ" about it! It can get pretty intense, but TurboFire is probably the most fun workout I've ever done. This one also included two fire drills, which, if you recall from one of my other posts, are minute-long drills of the routine pushing as hard as you can to get your heart rate up and burn more calories -- HIIT workouts. Except that Chalene lies on this one. It's really a minute and 12 seconds.

I was definitely dripping sweat after this one. I think today will be a little less intense, but as always, still fun. I can't wait to see what today has in store!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

TurboFire Day 2!

Hey you! Thanks for stopping by!

Yesterday was Day 2 of TurboFire, and I got my first taste of one of the HIIT workouts. It was Low HIIT 20, followed by the same Stretch 10 class like the first day.

During the HIIT 20, Chalene Johnson set up what she calls Fire Drills. She teaches you the moves for each sequence, practice the entire set once, then you do the Fire Drill. For 60 seconds, you do the entire set, only this time, you give it all you've got for those 60 seconds.

There aren't many breaks during these workouts. You get a few seconds after the Fire Drill, but then you get back into the regular routine. It's not as bad as it sounds, because most of the workout is low impact. However, Chalene makes it clear that low impact doesn't mean low intensity.

Today is supposed to be the first rest day, according to the schedule. However, for me, I feel like having a rest day in the middle of the week is awkward and messes up my rhythm. So, instead, I'm moving the rest day to the weekend and continuing today with tomorrow's workout, which is the same as it was on Monday. The Fire Starter class followed by Stretch 10.

I'm actually feeling a little sore from yesterday as well -- there were a lot of squats and lunging, so my lower half is the sore part, which will make today interesting. But that just means it's working!

My favorite part of every workout? Having my delicious Shakeology! After workouts I add my protein powder from Trutein, but if it's for breakfast or lunch, I might add a little peanut butter or something else, depending on what recipe I'm in the mood for. I love it!

Well, I guess that's all for today's report. Thanks for reading! I'll try to post at least every other day during this program, so stay tuned!

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Time for Something New! TurboFire Day 1

Today, I fired up my fitness routine. I had slacked for much too long, and had planned for much too long to shake things up and start something new. I actually planned to start earlier, but my boyfriend wanted us to do this program together, and he was still finishing up P90X.

So today, I started TurboFire. TurboFire was created by Chalene Johnson, who I wrote a post about once before when I was doing her 30 Day Challenge with her book, PUSH. This program is a cardio conditioning program focusing on HIIT workouts -- High Intensity Interval Training. You have probably heard of HIIT before, but in case you haven't, it is short bursts of intense cardio, giving it everything you've got, followed by a rest period. HIIT workouts keep you burning fat longer, even after your workout is complete. This doesn't mean that the rest of the workout is resting or easy cardio -- far from it. It just means that certain points in the workout are higher intensity than the others.

Well, Day 1 complete! Today was the introduction, called "Get Fired Up," which answered a bunch of commonly asked questions about the program and informed me on what to expect. Then, began the first workout - the Fire Starter Class. Each workout is set up like a class experience. It feels like you are right there with Chalene while she pushes and motivates you to do your best. The Fire Starter Class demonstrates the moves and choreography that will be used in the program. It takes a bit of practice, but once you get used to it, the workout is pretty fun. It has great music, too, that really keeps you pumped up and energized. Also, all of the moves can be modified to fit your own fitness level, whether that be higher or lower than what's going on in the videos.

After Fire Starter, was the Stretch 10 class. It's just like it sounds -- stretching and cooling down the body to prevent injury and to gain flexibility. Stretching is a necessary part of fitness! It keeps you flexible, lean, limber, and prevents injuries.

I knew my cardio had declined big time, because sadly, simple tasks like running up the stairs made me a little out of breath. I had to take a break or two for the first day of the program, but I did better than I thought I would.

Overall, the first day was a success! TurboFire is going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait for tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Glossybox Review: December

Well, hello there!

I finally got a chance to sample all the products I received in the December Glossybox. If you missed the initial unveiling post about the products, what they are, what they do, descriptions, costs, etc., make sure to check that out here first.

The first product, the Ecru New York Acacia Protein Oil for hair, was great. I did an initial reaction review in the other post after using it once. Again, the only negative was that the sample was so small I could only get two uses out of it. My hair has decent length, and if yours is any longer than mine, you'd only be able to get one use of the sample. However, that being said, the product itself worked very well. I actually just purchased the full size to try because I want to see how it will last over prolonged use. Both times that I used the sample, my hair dried faster, was smooth and shiny, and no knots whatsoever the whole day, and woke up with tangle-free hair even after sleeping on it.

Next, the Forest Essentials Luxurious Ayurveda Maduari Jasmine & Magra Bath and Shower Oil. Phew, that's a mouthful. Basically, this oil is supposed to moisturize skin and keep it smooth and silky all day. It can be used in the shower after cleansing, or two capfuls can be poured into a bath to soak. Overall, this product is okay. The sample size is great, because you can get multiple uses out if it and see what it does for you. This oil did seem to leave my skin slightly smooth, but it didn't seem to be anything amazing. Maybe it's because I don't usually have a problem with dry skin, except for my face and scalp in the winter. Though I could feel the oil kept my skin smooth, I didn't feel any extra moisturization or silkiness to my skin after using it.

Heartland Fragrance Co. Epsom Bath Salts in White Tea: It smells pretty good. That's about it. On the front of the package, it states to use the whole sample in a bath, or to massage a handful into skin to exfoliate. I'm really not a bath person, so I chose the latter. I poured a little into my hand and massaged it into my hands and forearms (with water) to test it. I didn't feel much, but wanted to see if I would notice it after it was rinsed off. I rinsed, but my skin still didn't feel any different. I tried again, using much more of the sample, thinking maybe I needed more for it to work. Repeated the process, but I didn't notice a change. It didn't seem to do much. Perhaps it would work better for what it is actually suited for -- a bath. However, I don't particularly like to take baths, so I guess I'll never find out.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Heat Protectant Spray: To be fair, I only used this product once, before blow drying my hair. However, from the one use, I don't particularly like it. I'm not really sure it did anything, and it left my hair stiff and weighed down. It wasn't smooth at all, and I couldn't run my fingers through it easily. It felt like I sprayed hair spray all over it instead of a heat protectant. Maybe I will try it again styling a different way and see if it's any better.

Pleats Please fragrance by Issey Miyake: My first reaction it that I don't believe this product is worth the price. The full size is only 3oz. and the price is $92. That's slightly ridiculous in my opinion. My second reaction is that I have no idea how to describe scents. The fragrance itself isn't bad, but it's not something I absolutely love. It's definitely a more mature scent. It's not unpleasant, just not my preferred personal taste.

Zoya Nail Lacquer in "Storm": I loved this polish. The color is awesome and actually pigmented, unlike some other sparkly glitters that don't have any real color to them and are just sheer with glitter. The sparkle isn't too much or too crazy, which I like, especially because I'm an ASL teacher and that probably coincide well. I paired it with Sally Hansen's clear top coat, and it lasted for a long time. Some polishes chip easily right away, but I put this one on New Year's Eve, and I just took it off this past weekend because it had finally chipped enough to the point of having no reason to keep it on.

Jewelmint ring: I still really like this. I like to wear rings on a daily basis, but it's such a statement piece that I can't wear any others with it on the same hand. The shape is a little odd, as the part that actually goes onto your finger is square instead of round. It works, but sometimes it gets a little stuck, though I don't know if that's because of the weird shape or because my fingers are too fat for it, hahaha. But, I still like it and will definitely continue to wear it.

That's all for this one! I'd say my first Glossybox experience was a success. I like trying out these different products that I would probably never know about otherwise. The January box should be shipping soon -- and is a special -- so I will do a review after I use those as well.

Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading! Have you tried Glossybox? If not, do you think you'd want to try it? Did you get these products in your December box? What do you think?

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