Tag Archives: Health

**Race Entry Giveaway!!**CDM Mind & Body 5K Run/Walk & Wellness Expo

First off…let me tell you a little bit about CDM Mind & Body!

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CDM Mind & Body is a platform for all things health…and you all KNOW how much I love my health and fitness!  They are your resource for health tips, motivation, information, how-to and much more…and I’ll be honest…who DOESN’T need all that stuff in their life?!  That’s right…we all do!!

And we can all thank Cynthia Ringo for making this all happen!  This St. Louis based group was formed in 2010 by Cynthia and was sponsored by Christ Deliverance Ministry.  After becoming a full-time caregiver for her husband (who had suffered a stroke and then developed vascular dementia as a result of that stroke), maintaining a healthy lifestyle became SUPER important to her because she knew if she didn’t care for herself…she wouldn’t be able to care for him.  So…with about 15 other women from their church, she started her journey to become her healthiest while inspiring others.

Guess what happened!

That small group of women (age span from 21 to 65 including two breast cancer survivors) lost over 600 pounds collectively and counting….WOW!!!!!!!

Since then…the original group of women along with others in the community decided to take back their lives and have grown this idea into a day-long health and fitness event sponsored by CDM (Christ Deliverance Ministry – a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving the St. Louis community).

This year, on May 28th,  come and enjoy the day at with this inspirational group!  There will be something for everyone!  The event takes place at Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School in Midtown St. Louis (701 North Spring Avenue, St. Louis, MO) and includes a 5K race (1st place can snag a $500 overall prize), a fitness challenge, a healthy living seminar and many lifestyle vendors.

This is going to be a day of fun that you DON’T want to miss!  Wanna find out more?  Go here and check out the answers to all those frequently asked questions.  Or better yet…just go sign up!  It’s only $35 for the 5K and the rest of the events that day are FREE!

Here is the best part!  CDM Mind & Body is wanting to offer one of you lucky readers and a guest of your choice a FREE entry for their 5K on May 28, 2016.  A winner will be picked by May 27th.  Enter below through Rafflecopter!

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AMRAP Nutrition Bar Giveaway!!!

This post is sponsored by Fit Approach on behalf of AMRAPBar. All opinions are my own.

Hello!!  Amazing review to commence in 3…..2….1…..

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I was sent these amazing bars from AMRAP which stands for As Many Rounds As Possible!  First let’s get the details out of the way and then I will fill you in on my opinion!

First off…let’s check out their mission statement!  Just reading it makes me want to go out and FOR SURE take on the world and make positive changes along the way!

As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) defines our philosophy. Through determination, intensity, and focus, we aim to inspire and empower our community to reach their full health and fitness potential. Join us and together we will change the world. 

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Ingredients are always an important factor for me when it comes to nutritional bars.  We all know that there are some out that are wolves in sheep clothing just gearing up to fill our bodies with ingredients that are anything but nutritional.  Not this company!!!

AMRAP creates food that is 100% Paleo, gluten-free, GMO-free, dairy-free, and unprocessed. Raw whole foods, like almond chunks, are a top priority in our bars because we know from experience it is clean fuel that feeds our bodies’ daily activity the best. Their bars have an optimal research-based combination of good proteins and carbs for well-rounded athletes. They are recommended for a meal supplement or replacement, and especially a pre or post-workout snack.

I received three different flavors from AMRAPCashew & VanillaFig & CacaoAlmond Honey.

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Let’s just say that I was stoked about ALL the flavors because they all sounded AMAZING!!  I tried the Cashew & Vanilla first.  After one of my training runs, I ate it to refuel and it totally hit the spot!  Filled me up without making my stomach feel super full and heavy!  And the taste?!  Can you say DELIGHTFUL!!  It wasn’t too sweet and had a little bit of a salty taste from the cashews.  I even let my kiddos try a tiny bite of it and they loved it also.Cashew Vanilla

Next up, I gobbled up the Fig & Cacao prior to my workout one day.  I had weights and core that day and used this to prep me for the energy I was about to burn!   The flavor of this one was just as amazing.  It was a bit rich so I ate half before my workout and the other half after.Fig Cacao

I’ve not tried the Almond Honey flavor yet but I’m sure it’s just as amazing!  But hey…don’t take my word for it…go check it out yourself!  You can find tons of information on their site at:  www.amrapusa.com

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AMRAP is also making it possible for THREE (YES…I said THREE!!  WOOT WOOT) of my readers to win an 8-pack of AMRAP bars in a flavor of your choice.  Go to this Rafflecopter link for your chance to win!!!  —-> a Rafflecopter giveaway

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And the winners are…….

Theresa Varga Kavouras

Nicole Millheim

Linda Ruamthong

Congrats to all and thanks to all that entered!!!  Winners have been contacted by email 🙂

Rams Football….Lady Rams That Is!

**Disclosure: The St. Louis Rams invited me to preview the Lady Rams and provided me with a complimentary membership. All opinions are my own.**

Football doesn’t just have to be for the boys!  Women everywhere enjoy football as much as the man standing next to them and this year you can get your cake and eat it too!!!  Well…maybe not necessarily real cake!  But…maybe just maybe…something even better than cake! (Could it be so….?)

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Right now, you can join the Lady Rams, and with your annual membership to this rockin’ girls club, you get to experience the St. Louis Rams a little more up close and personal!

Check out all the perks of your annual membership:

Lady Rams Kickoff Event June 12, 2014 – Launch party (to be held at Ballpark Village and includes complimentary food and beverage) featuring the opportunity to meet Rams personnel and mingle with other Lady Rams members…yes please!

Girls Night Out September – Catch the latest fall fashion paired with your favorite Rams pieces at our Lady Rams Fashion Show, featuring food, drinks and guest appearance throughout the night…yes please!!

Ladies Night at Rams Training Camp  July – Get the first look at the 2014 St. Louis Rams at this up-close, private event…Yes Please!!!!!!! The Rams Training Camp might be one of the coolest places ever!!!  

You will also get a Ram’s women’s t-shirt, a monthly newsletter, and monthly drawings for awesome prizes (think autographed items, tickets, etc.).

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ALL for $35.00 

(Say What?!  Seriously…everyone go..sign up for that amazing deal!!)

(**PLUS!!!!...a portion of the proceeds go to local St. Louis charities…win-win!)

Still want more information?  Well you can get it here!!

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I for one, am signed up and ready to party Lady Rams style!  I am excited to be a part of what I know is going to be a blast!!!  I had a ton of fun at the Ladies Rams Training Camp last year where I got to workout on the field, run drills inside on their training fields and mingle over lunch with the others!

Remember this cute guy that I met last year?!

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It was a blast…you can read all about it here.

So…head on over here…read all about it…and proceed directly to the sign up area!!!

You don’t want to miss out on this!!!

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Other ways to connect with the St. Louis Rams…

Instagram: @StLouisRams
Twitter: @StLouisRams
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rams

Official Hashtag: #LadyRams

**Disclosure: The St. Louis Rams invited me to preview the Lady Rams and provided me with a complimentary membership. All opinions are my own.**

I Run 4….Riley! Who will you run for ?!

I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of something big…something amazing…something inspirational…something I want and need to tell you all about!!  Recently I came across a website dedicated to matching runners up with Special Needs children who then in turn run for that child.  It is called I Run 4 (IR4)This group “allows runners to find a whole new sense of purpose in their running while sharing who they are running for and bringing awareness to diseases and disabilities of all types“.  I was amazed at the stories I saw and knew in my heart that I wanted to be a part of this also!  I signed up and after about 6-7 weeks, I was matched with the most amazing little girl named Riley.  She is an inspiration to me like no other!  Meet Riley….

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I asked Riley’s mom if she would want to guest post here on my blog also to tell her side of it all and she was more than happy to put something together to share with you.  Here is her story…

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that Jennifer is a runner, something I am definitely not..LOL. Quite frankly I’ve always thought that people who run for fun were just plain crazy. Until my recent commitment to Herbalife and Fit Camps, you’d only find me running if something was after me. HAHA! That being said. I couldn’t be more thankful and blessed by those crazy people who run for fun… and here’s why!

I was introduced to a group called I Run 4 Michael by a friend of mine who had recently signed up as a runner. She encouraged me to sign my daughter Riley up for the program, hoping they would be matched. So I went to the website (http://whoirun4.com) and signed her up. . Some of you may not be familiar with IR4, so here’s a little background… A man named Tim, who loves to run became friends with Michael, who has Down Syndrome as well as bilateral hip dysplasia. Michael was unable to run and told Tim “You can run for me anytime”. This planted a seed that started this wonderful organization. Runners are matched with children with special needs, and they run for them.

Not long after signing up, we were notified of our match…Jennifer.  We have connected through Facebook and Riley gets so excited to see new messages and photos from Jennifer.  We also send messages and pics from Riley to help keep Jennifer inspired to run the extra mile. The I Run 4 group on Facebook is big, it is so awesome to see all of the people running in honor of those who can’t.

I have shared our IR4 story with many of my friends who have in turn signed up their children. This year at our annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness, Riley carried a sign that said “I walk for Jennifer because she runs for me” and had the Buddy Walk and IR4 logos on it. It was really special, Riley was so proud of her sign!

Riley is 8 years old and has Down Syndrome, she is smart, funny, and super sassy, and she loves making new friends. I think that is the best part of the I Run 4 organization, the friendships! If you are a runner, I’d like to encourage you to join this wonderful group. You never know the impact you could have on a child. It makes my Riley so happy to know that Jennifer is thinking of her and running for her. I would like to take this opportunity to tell Jennifer “Thank You” for allowing me to guest blog on her site, and for running for Riley. You honor and inspire her, and that means the world to me! We are so excited to get to know you better!  Keep running! ~Alena

Soooooo…how awesome is all that?!  I just love the feeling I get from being a part of this special family and being a part of something so huge and inspirational!  I encourage all of you to go to the I Run 4 website and just check it out.  Maybe you will be inclined to sign up and share your love of running with someone who may not be able to experience it the same way you can…and maybe you wont…but I do promise that you will at least be touched by these stories and these families.

I also encourage all of you that read this to pass it on to your friends.  The waiting list of runners who are eager to be matched with a special needs child has grown large…over 1000 and growing!  If you know a child who would love to become an inspiration to one of our runners…please go and sign them up!  You won’t regret it….I promise that!

I leave you with this amazing video that was put together recently to help spread the word about I Run 4 and to show others what we are all about 🙂

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Healthy Twist on Halloween + Giveaway!

Oh Halloween treats…oh how you tempt me with your yummy goodness and your sticky sweetness!!  Why?!  Why do you do it??!!

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Does the thought of this holiday make you feel the same way?  Halloween has been and probably always will be, a huge battle I fight against each year.  I LOVE CANDY AND SWEETS!!….and I’m not afraid to admit it! 🙂

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I’m also not afraid to admit that I rummage through the kiddos candy piles after they fall asleep on Halloween night…Hey…don’t judge 🙂

However, this fun holiday doesn’t always have to be unhealthy.  There are so many options out there for making healthier choices on the Halloween treats that you make.

Yummy goodness + healthy choices = A happy girl!

A few months ago, I did a review for Kretschmer Wheat Germ!  This little nutrient-rich powerhouse has truly become a staple in my household and I use it almost daily in my smoothies as well as a breading for chicken, fish, etc.  I love this product!!!!!

So without further ado, I’m very excited to share these new recipes with you that will make some yummy Halloween treats that won’t make you feel completely guilty 🙂  **Recipes courtesy of Kretschmer Wheat Germ

Caramel Apples with Wheat Germ

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  • Use the handy caramel apple kit found in the produce department, near the (you guessed it) apples. It is microwavable and heats up to just the right consistency (apple sticks are included).
  • Then mix about 1/4 cup wheat germ (Kretschmer Original or Honey Crunch) with about 1/2 cup finely crumbled chocolate-toffee pieces for six apples.
  • As soon as you’ve swirled the apples coat them immediately with the wheat germ-chocolate toffee bar mixture. Let the apples cool for about an hour.
  • While still a definite indulgence, these sprinkled caramel apples taste incredible and the crumbly topping provides a welcome layer of goodness.

Dark Chocolate Truffles with Wheat Germ 

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  • 8 ounces good quality bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons Kretschmer Original Toasted Wheat Germ (or Kretschmer Honey Crunch Wheat Germ)
  • Line baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  • Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl.
  • Heat cream to gentle boil in small heavy-duty saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted. Refrigerate 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to form into balls.
  • Using very small ice cream scoop or melon baller, drop rounds of chocolate onto cookie sheet. Shape or roll into balls; coat with wheat germ. (Note: If chocolate becomes too soft to shape, return it to refrigerator until it is cold enough to manage.)
  • Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Remove at least 15 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature.

Do those sound amazing or what?!  I see some yummy cooking AND eating in my near future!

Kretschmer would like one of you lucky readers to receive a full size jar of Kretschmer Wheat Germ.  Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment telling me which recipe you would make with your prize.  Listed below are other optional additional entries.  *****Please leave a separate comment for any optional entry.

This giveaway will be open until Friday, October 25th, 2013 at 10:00 pm (CST).  The giveaway winner will be selected at random and announced on Saturday, October 26th.  You will have 48 hours to contact me or another winner will be selected. Open to US residents only.

Dreams and Promises….Part 2

….So…..I survived!  I didn’t finish like I wanted to finish but I finished nevertheless!!!
AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS!!!
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I started out this race feeling great!!  I had decided to stick with a friend of mine who was participating in the Half-Marathon Relay.  There was her first timed race, as well as the longest run she has done so far.  Needless to say, she was a little nervous.
We started off and the miles just seemed to slip away and before you know it, we were at mile 5.  At this point, I pulled a little ahead and met up with our other friend who was taking the second half of the relay.  I had planned on sticking with her during her part also.  Little did I know….my body had other plans for me.
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I was still feeling pretty good and until about mile 8 and then I felt it….my knee started to hurt a little and was doing this popping thing.  I stopped and tried stretching out and kept doing that for at least a mile before my knee just went completely.  At this point, I could not run at all.  I could not even bend it without it feeling severe pain.  I continued on though because I was bound and determined to finish this race.  And by continue on…I mean…I walked two miles up a hill (the ONLY hill pretty much on this race) with one leg that would not bend at all.  The weather also decided to turn chilly and the wind came out in full force and then the sun said good-bye to us and hid behind a sky full of clouds.  I’m sure I made a silly sight to watch with my gimpy walk and shivering body 🙂
At mile 12, my knee had rested enough that I could do a slow hobble run which I was able to keep up until I crossed that beautiful finish line.  I was greeted by my two pals who had done the relay and there were congratulations and hugs to go around.  I grabbed my awesome medal (see below), a bottled water and I headed straight for the medical tent where I had an amazing angel of a girl stretch my hips out and my legs.  She also handed me the equivalent of gold to a runner…a baggie of ice!!!  JACKPOT!!
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After getting special love and care at the medical tent, I made my way over to the sea of goodies to eat and stocked up on some cinnamon bread, a banana and some amazing Lays plain potato chips (are they not the BEST after a run?!).  We milled around for just a short time and then it was just so chilly and windy that we decided to head home.  I also passed a guy who seemed to be suffering the same fate as I…okay…maybe a little worse since he was curled up in fetal position on the sidewalk.  Since I was heading home, I passed on my bag of gold (a.k.a. bag of ice) to this poor chap who was GREATLY appreciative!  I was glad to help 🙂
Here I am in all my glory!!  I’m super proud of myself for following through with the training and finishing this race!  I can now proudly say that I’m part of the half-marathon club.
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Of course, I can also safely say that I have also caught the bug…I’m already itching to sign up for the next one (which will be the Go! St. Louis Half-Marathon in April 2014)!
For now though, I’m staying off the knee as much as possible and have become best friend with my ice packs.
Here is my final time….like I said…I was hoping for better but I will take what I got!
Proud either way!
Finished:  3:18:37

My Wakeup (A-HA) Moment…Who am I?!

Hello all!! 

I know I’ve been MIA lately but life has just been getting the best of me.  I thought today I would post my SweatPink A-HA moment.  This was originally posted on the FitApproach website for the Sweat Pink Ambassador Spotlight.  It was a scary thing to do to put my story out there but I’m glad that I did now 🙂

Here is my story below…enjoy!

Fitness, for me, started out in a very unhealthy way.  When I was 18, I allowed a boyfriend to make me feel unattractive and unimportant.  I allowed this to happen for 5 years.  Why?  I wish I could say!  I was young, impressionable…who knows why?

In those 5 years, I started working out off and on in a frantic and unhealthy way, in hopes that I would be skinny enough for him (I was a size 5 at that point which is a healthy size for me…I’m 5’ 6”).  I starved myself some days and purged others until I was a size 1 (which turns out, still wasn’t skinny enough).  Family members started voicing concern over how I was looking (at 5’6”, a size 1 did not look the greatest).

It took five years for me to figure out that it wasn’t me that had something wrong…it was him!  I was fine just the way I was!  A part of me always knew this, but when someone constantly tells you that you need to be skinnier, it starts to skew your thinking.  Eventually with the help of a great friend, I got up enough nerve to just leave.  And that is what I did…I waited till he left for work, packed up everything and left!  It was scary but I haven’t looked back.

I also deal with ADD/OCD/Anxiety so I seem to always be flipping from one thing to another.  Needless to say, my habits didn’t get much better after that, at least not until after I had my second child.  After my son, I was in a serious funk.  My anxiety was off the charts and I couldn’t stop it.

One day, while on Facebook, I saw a post from a girl I had went to high school with and she was talking about running.  I wasn’t really friends with this girl in school and was of course a little scared (social anxiety at its best) to contact her.  I did it anyway!  I sent her a message about maybe running with her one day and I haven’t looked back since.  I was at a point in my life where I just needed something.  Anything to keep the constant thoughts and worries running through my head from running rampant and taking over.  I was also wanting something to help me get back in shape….to lose that “baby weight”.  She replied back that she would be happy to take me on a run with her.  I went….we ran…we chatted…and I fell in love with running and the camaraderie that comes with it!  I had found it!  My thing!  My escape!  My sanity!

Since then, I’ve had a few setbacks (some surgeries…okay…3 surgeries to be exact).  They all “benched” me for a few months each.  I haven’t let that get me down too much though, and I’ve also gained a new perspective on fitness, food, health, etc.  I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t.  I’ve learned about a whole world of foods out there that are healthy and taste amazing.  I’ve learned that I have a choice in how I feel and look and what I put into my body.  I’ve learned more about fitness and the benefits of cross-training.  And I’ve met some amazing people on my health/fitness/blogger journey.

In the end, running is still my first love.  I wish I had learned to love it sooner.  But for now, I will just enjoy my time with it now and in the future for as long as I can.  I won’t say that I’ve completely stopped being that girl who looks down on herself.  I am my own worst enemy and it’s something that I fight with everyday but deep down in my heart, I know that what my mind is saying is wrong.  I am a healthy, strong, beautiful woman!  I’m a mom who is trying to instill all the right healthy habits in my kids!  I’m not afraid to work and train hard!  I am not afraid to sweat…I do NOT consider it gross or unattractive!  It’s a badge of honor showing the hard work I put in!

It’s ME!!  And I SWEAT PINK!