Tag Archives: healthyliving

**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 🙂

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

Special Spaces: A charity that touches your heart!

It’s August already?! Say what?!

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I cannot believe how fast the months are flying by! I’m not ready for school to start…I’m not ready for summer to end….I’m just ready for time to slow down a little…ya know?  However, it is Friday and that makes me happy….as does this picture…Enjoy!

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First off, let me start off by saying that yesterday was me and the hubby’s 4TH Wedding Anniversary! We have some bad times and just as many good times! I love him more today than yesterday and can’t wait to spend many more years driving him crazy adoring him…oh who am I kidding…driving him crazy with a little adoration thrown in 🙂  We spent our evening hanging out over dinner at Lewis & Clark’s in St. Charles, MO.  Man, I love that place!  Sooo yummy! They did not disappoint this time either…I had the Mahi Mahi, baked potato (w/salsa) and a dinner salad (sorry…no pictures )…okay!…I also had a very fudge-y, chocolate-y, heavenly brownie that I got to bring home and scarf down later.  It didn’t last long after I arrived home 😉

My amazing hubby and I - August 1, 2009

My amazing hubby and I – August 1, 2009

Now on to the major reason for this blog today. I want to tell you guys about something amazing!!!

Last Saturday, I did something that I’ve never done before! I went to…and ran in…a race…ALL BY MYSELF!!!  For me, that is huge! I’m a very shy (dare I say…anxiety-filled) person who constantly worries what others are thinking about me. (Constant thoughts running through my head… “Are they looking at me?” “Oh crap…is there something on me?” “Why are they staring at me?…oh…never mind…they are looking for the bathrooms” “They are probably wondering why I’m alone!” “Oh no…they are talking about me…they must think I’m weird”) It is truly a stressful way to be but it’s who I am and I can only try to push past my insecurities.

Any way…the thought of going by myself and not knowing anyone there was a bit freighting and stressful to say the least.

BUT…..

I DID IT!!!! And I’m extremely glad that I did!!

And I’m glad for a few reasons. One…because conquering one’s fears is one of the best feelings there is. And Two…because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to be a part of something amazing!

I ran in the 1st Annual Running for Rooms 5K that benefits Special Spaces. Special Spaces is a non-profit organization that has one simple mission and that is to “create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses. A place that only the child can dream or imagine while addressing their medical needs”.

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Special Spaces was founded in July 2004 and as of today has created over 90 dream bedrooms. The St. Louis chapter was started in 2011 and they have been able to complete 10 rooms (check one of them out here) and they currently have 9 children on their waiting list.  One room usually costs around $2,500 to complete so any help that they receive is greatly appreciated!  Every little bit helps!!!  Do you wanna help?

There are many ways that you can help out:
Volunteer: Special Spaces is always looking for volunteers to help with room renovations & fundraising in the St. Louis and surrounding communities.
Donate: Your generosity allows them to create beautiful dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses at no cost to the families.
Sponsorship: They welcome individual, group, and corporate sponsorships to provide finances, materials and services to renovate these special bedrooms.
Smile: Every Special Spaces Project has the same reaction, lots of great SMILES from our children, their families and our volunteers.

I encourage everyone to just go to their website and see what they are all about! I know for sure that my family and I will be volunteering our time very soon! I definitely want to get involved in the race planning for next year!  And I would love to be a part of one (or more) of their room builds….Seeing the smiles on these kiddos faces would be the coolest thing ever!

The race this year and most likely in the future was held at Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville, MO. The weather was amazing for once and there was a slight breeze…you can’t beat that!! With 114 participants overall between the 5K and the 1-mile walk, this race ended up with a great group of people. The support and camaraderie that was in the air was refreshing and a feeling like no other!

Me & Lacy Gambill (race director & co-director at Special Spaces.

Me & Lacy Gambill (race director & co-director at Special Spaces.

The course was a bit more hilly than I’m used to training on but the views were beautiful and the course was great! And something else that was cool….finishing the 5K in 28:04!!! That was way better than I was thinking my time would be and was very happy with how I felt during and after!

Question(s) of the day:

Do you have a charity that you believe in? What is it?

How do you feel about racing alone? Yay or Nay?

What is one thing you are doing this weekend?

The Color Run Winner!!!!

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Sorry for the delay in posting the winner!  My lovely assistant (a.k.a. my daughter) was off having a sleepover and ended up staying longer than planned!

Look how cute she is!!!  And yes...that is a very large and empty animal cracker container..YUMMY!)

Look how cute she is!!! And yes…that is a very large and empty animal cracker container..YUMMY!)

So without further ado…..the lucky winner of The Color Run – St. Louis free entry fee is……

I want to say thanks again for everyone that entered and also a huge thanks to The Color Run for providing the free entrie.  Also…please remember that you can still use the discount code (see below) for any city that is not sold out!  So go…go now and sign up for some COLORIFIC Fun!!!!
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