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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Want a Healthier Alternative to Soda?

I received samples of Honest Fizz to try out myself. No other compensation was given. All opinions are 100% my own.

When I first met my husband, he was full of bad eating habits - one of which was drinking soda daily. I remember trying to educate him about why he should go soda-free in favor of more water. Eventually, he saw the light, and now he happily drinks lots of water instead of sugar-laden soda. 

Do you know the facts about how much sugar is in soda? How is this for shocking?

A 12-ounce can of cola has 33 grams of sugar and about 136 calories (doesn't matter if it's Coca-Cola, Pepsi or any other brand). That's roughly equivalent to eight teaspoons of granulated white sugar. And a typical 16-ounce bottle of soda has 44 grams sugar or about 11 teaspoons.

Yikes!! New guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that we only eat about 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. That is more than what is in ONE can of soda.

The solution is not diet soda either. That comes with its own set of problems.

Besides drinking water to replace sugary drinks, let me offer you a new solution. The company that brings you Honest Tea now has new organic zero calorie sodas!

How does organic Golden Ginger Ale Honest Fizz sound? Or organic Root Beer? Besides those flavors, they also offer Orange Pop, Professor Fizz, and Lemon Limey.  They are using organic stevia and organic erythritol, both natural sugar substitutes, to sweeten these drinks. 

Sound good to you? How about trying some out for yourself?

We are offering a great giveaway! (2) winners will each win (1) box of Honest Fizz (6 cans in a box: 3 Ginger Ale, 1 Professor Fizz, 1 Root Beer, and 1 Orange)!
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Have You Tried a BarreAmped Workout?

I received product for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Have you heard of Barre Amped? Have you tried it? If you are not familiar, it is a barre technique that helps you develop a lean and sleek physique. You do not actually need a bar, but you do get the benefits that are offered in a barre studio.

BarreAmped was created by Suzanne Bowen, who is a veteran to the fitness industry and has been classically trained in The Lotte Berk Method, the original barre studio in the US. I love her newest DVD, BarreAmped Cardio Fat Burn, to help you elevate your heart rate to burn fat using high intensity intervals combined with body changing barre exercise. I have long been a fan of Tabata workouts, as you can see in the free Tabata workouts I have made for you. Tabata workouts go by fast and get you burning lots of calories and toned up fast! In BarreAmped Cardio Fat Burn, you'll do Tabata style workouts, longer cardio intervals, low impact fat blasts, and sculpting exercises to hit every main muscle and truly see what the BarreAmped motto "Shake to Change" means!


There are three main workouts on this DVD - Extreme Cardio Fat Burn, Cardio Sculpt and Cardio Core. I love that they are all under 30 minutes long! During each workout, Suzanne and her two assistants show several different levels you can follow, depending on if you are a beginner or looking for more of a challenge. Each workout is a total body workout - each with a little different emphasis, helping you to burn fat all over!  You can do one workout or mix and match them. There are also warm up and cool down segments.

I personally think this is a more beginner/intermediate workout, since it did not especially challenge me. However, I did enjoy changing my workouts a bit from their normal super high intensity to these BarreAmped workouts. I also loved trying out a few new moves that I do not use on a regular basis. Changing things up is always great for the body! Whether you like high intensity or a Barre kind of class, these workouts have a little bit for everyone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Animal Trackers Club Monthly Program

I received a monthly box for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

With three little ones at home, I am always on the lookout for a new activity to keep them learning and having fun. One of my favorite ways to do this is through a monthly subscription program.

My new favorite is Animal Trackers Club. It is an inexpensive monthly subscription program specifically designed for your Pre-reader/Beginning Reader. Each month your child will "track" a new animal through age-appropriate instructional materials designed to encourage hands-on learning through creative play and activites.

My favorite part is when my kids tear open the package and discover it is a new box full of fun just for them!

Our journey began in the African Savanna, when we opened Animal Trackers Club Safari Lunchbox. My kids were so excited to discover all kinds of animals and the habitats in which they live. The lunchbox held all kinds of fun activities and is a great place to store our new animal play figures, animal information card collection and the “Safari Animal Tracks” ringed set.

To break it down for you, this is what we received in our monthly package:
  •  an Animal Trackers Club Information card with easy to follow and understand information about the animal being tracked that month
  •  a play magnet to add to the lunchbox
  •  a foam animal dress-up mask
  •  a realistic, hand-painted animal play figure
  •  a “Safari Animal Tracks” card for your ringed set containing a real photo of the monthly animal as well as the track it leaves in the wild
  • a learning activity and an art project created to develop the skills needed to become a proficient student and reader
  • Animal Trackers Club Safari Lunchbox
  • Cover and Ring for the Safari Animal Photo Collection


Not only will your children love learning about their new animal, you will too! I had fun exploring right along with them! The best part is, they can continue to play with the items you receive for days and days. Unlike some monthly boxes, the fun does not stop after just one or two projects. My girls are still playing with their zebra fun.

What is your favorite way to play with your children or keep them learning all year long?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tips to Lose Weight After Baby! #PostNatalFatBurner

*This post is part of a Markerly campaign brought to you by Fit Tea. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I hope you can use these tips and tricks to lose your baby weight too!

After having four babies, you would think I would be an expert in losing the baby weight. While I do have many tricks up my sleeve, it is still hard to do.

The first thing I would advise is to be careful about how much you gain when you are pregnant. Do NOT limit your nutritious eating or start excessively exercising while pregnant, but also do NOT think you have a free pass to eat all you want for 9 whole months.

Although I gained a healthy amount of weight with my last pregnancy, I am still working to lose the weight from my fourth baby that was born 9 weeks ago. Yes, I am breastfeeding, and that does help. Yes, I am working out regularly, and that helps also. I am also eating very clean and nutritious foods. Sometimes that weight is just stubborn, and you have to start using a few tricks to help it come off.

A few tricks I would recommend:
  • Eat more protein! That protein is going to feed your muscle, take more energy to digest (meaning you burn more calories) and amp up your metabolism. Plus, you will be fuller longer, and won't want to reach for all those carb-rich foods.
  • Eat/drink a few more things to rev up your metabolism and help you burn fat: green tea, spicy foods, coconut oil, more water, apple cider vinegar, and the list goes on and on. 
  • Look into FitTea PostNatal Fatburner as an herbal supplement option to assist in getting rid of stubborn baby fat. The reason I mention this particular supplement is that it contains 100% natural ingredients, is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and they also say it will help build your milk supply and your baby's immune system. I would not recommend most herbal fat loss supplements, since they may affect you or your baby in a negative way. But this one seems to be different - made with breastfeeding moms in mind. (as always, it is wise to check with your doctor first)
The biggest tip is do not give up! Take it slow and steady. Your body may hang on to some fat while you are breastfeeding anyway. I have noticed that in my own body. I never lose all the weight I want until I stop breastfeeding. Be patient, but be diligent in giving your body healthy food and exercising regularly. Oh, and make sure you get lots of rest! Sleep always helps more than you might think. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Indulge in Healthy Sweet Treats

I received products to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

I definitely have a sweet tooth. The things is, that does not necessarily have to be a bad thing when you indulge in healthier treats in moderation. There are healthier sweets out there, and I want to share a few with you today.

If you love cookie dough, you are going to love Hampton Creek’s Just Cookie Dough. It is all-natural, cholesterol- and dairy- free, while also being more sustainable. My favorite part - the dough can actually be eaten raw! Or if you are dying for the smell of cookies baking, then you can bake cookies with the dough too.
My hubby ate this by the spoonful, and I could hardly get one bite in before he had it finished. It is that good! Find Just Cookie Dough at limited Krogers - parts of AL, GA, SC, MI, limited Whole Foods Markets - SoPac, PacNW, Costco San Diego and Central Market in TX.

Have you heard of Honey Stinger, the leading manufacturer of honey-based nutritional products? Whether you are a fan already or about to become one, you will be happy to know they are introducing two new flavors to their award-winning lineup of USDA Certified Organic products: Caramel Stinger Waffles and Grapefruit Energy Chews.

They also make other convenient, nutritious and great tasting honey-based foods including energy bars, protein bars, organic energy gels, organic waffles, organic chews, and now Kids’ Organic Waffles and Chews. My personal favorites are their organic wildflower honey and their PRO bars, which have added protein, to give you the fuel you need! The flavors (think Mocha Cherry, Dark Chocolate Mint Almond and more) are so delicious, you also feel like you are indulging in a special treat. Fueling some of the country's top cyclists, runners, triathletes and teams, Honey Stinger products may be found at specialty sporting goods retailers, natural food grocers and online.

If you are in the mood for crunchy and sweet, Pistachio Chewy Bites provide healthy snack lovers the amazing benefits of pistachios and cranberries in a delicious and nutritious bite-size bar. Pistachio Chewy Bites are heart-healthy, 100% all natural, gluten and dairy free, low in sodium, GMO free, vegan and a great on-the-go protein snack. They also have no cholesterol, zero trans-fat and are a good source of dietary fiber.
These are so delicious that you will find yourself wanting more and more. The best part for me is that they come in individually wrapped bars with 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber each. Having it already portioned out is a great way to keep your snacking under control. These nutrient-rich snack bars provide a great balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for sustainable energy. You can find them in major grocery store chains across the country and online at Amazon.com and Puritan.com.

There is no need to feel guilty when you indulge your cravings with these sweet treats. Remember to eat in moderation and enjoy each bite!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stay Warm This Winter With a Balaclava

I was given product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Winter here in Minnesota is brutal. That is really the only way to put it. I think I could handle it much better if I did not have 4 little kiddos to take out in this chilly weather. You just have to take the time to really dress them warmly to make sure there will be no freezing noses, ears, fingers or toes.

Thanks to the Ninja Balaclava face mask and neck warmer, my mind rests a little easier as I send my son to the bus stop every day. I now know his head and neck are super warm and covered.

Normally, my son tries to run out the door without his gloves and boots, with just shoes and a coat. I am not sure why he tries to escape with as little warm clothing as possible, but that is just him. Thankfully, he loves the new Ninja Balaclava face mask and neck warmer! He thinks he is a ninja of some sort now, and he loves to wear it everywhere!

Not only is this balaclava perfect for keeping kids warm as they play outside, it is also great for all types of outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, running, hiking, motorcycling, and mountain climbing. And the fleece neck warmer is a great free bonus!

 As you can see, this product really fits almost all sizes - from my six year old son to adults. It is really versatile, and I think it is a must-have for all families who live in colder weather.

We are giving away (1) Ninja Balaclava and Neck Warmer to (3) Winners!! Enter below.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

New Quick, Healthy Meals From Artisan Bistro

As a very busy mom of four who works as a personal trainer in the late afternoons, getting dinner ready can end up being one of the biggest stresses in my life!

Thankfully, I found out about Artisan Bistro a while ago. They have made my life a little easier with their quick, healthy meals.

Artisan Bistro is the creator of organic and gluten free frozen breakfasts, entrées, bowls and now burritos and breakfast meals!

Let me introduce you to the burritos first. Who does not love a good burrito? You will love these even more because they are made with high-quality ingredients including sustainable proteins, organic vegetables, grains and spices all wrapped in a one-of-a-kind gluten free, organic tortilla. Each Burrito contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients and has between 11-14 grams of protein, are non-GMO and include sustainable-caught wild Alaskan salmon, free-range chicken and premium organic vegetables, not to mention a variety of organic whole grains and legumes, including quinoa, lentils and garbanzo beans.



Here are the different flavors:
  • Beef, Jack Cheese & Ancho Chili – A classic Oaxacan-inspired mix made with organic brown rice, robust ancho chilis, red bell peppers, onions and antibiotic-free beef.
  • Chicken Tinga & Chipotle – A traditional Mexican-inspired wrap made with organic brown rice, onions, cilantro, smoky chipotle and all-natural chicken. This was my personal favorite. I love the spiciness - it is jam-packed full of flavor!
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon & Poblano – A uniquely delicious blend made with poblano peppers and wild Alaskan salmon, combined with organic brown rice, spinach and parsley. Super healthy!
  • Meatless Carnitas & Salsa Verde – A savory and flavorful combination made with meatless carnitas, tomatillos and onions.


Now, onto their new Beyond Breakfast meals, which we also love to have as dinner every once in awhile. These are also very nutritious, protein-packed, made with organic, local and sustainable ingredients for a hearty meal perfect for breakfast, lunch and beyond. Like all Artisan Bistro entrées, the breakfasts are gluten free, organic and available in three vegetarian options and two varieties with all-natural turkey. Love that the eggs are from cage-free chickens and many of the vegetables are organic - in the future I hope to see them use the whole egg, from pastured chickens! That would be even better.

 Beyond Breakfast Varieties include:
  • Country-Style Potatoes & Egg – A modern twist on a classic favorite made with egg whites, all-natural turkey, organic kale and red potatoes finished with spicy white pepper.
  • Italian-Style Hash & Egg – A savory blend of egg whites, all-natural turkey, organic asparagus, white beans and crisp bell peppers.
  •  Huevos Rancheros Verde – A south-of-the-border-inspired mix of egg whites, organic black beans, bell peppers and creamy jack cheese.
  •  Mediterranean Breakfast Stack – A zesty vegetarian offering with egg whites, organic polenta, eggplant and sharp romano cheese.
  • Veggie Chorizo Huevos Rancheros – All the flavor of traditional chorizo in a meat-free version combined with egg whites patty, bell peppers and zesty jack cheese. 
 If you want to mix it up with your meals and have stress-free options available in your freezer for you to grab and eat quickly, you will love these delicious Artisan Bistro meals. Give yourself a night off from cooking every once in awhile, and still give your family something healthy to eat!