FitFinds

My blog about fit & healthy discoveries!

Nike Lunar Elite+ 2

With 5 marathons and 10+ halfs completed thus far, I don’t mess around when it comes to my running shoes.  From Asics to New Balance, Saucony to Mizuno, I’ve run in a good portion of the top brands.

Finding my ‘perfect shoe’ however, hasn’t been so easy.  For starters, my feet aren’t the tiniest of sizes (10.5/11).  They’re also quite narrow, requiring a slim fit.  And because I’m a neutral runner (no obvious pronation), I don’t need a ton of support or cushioning… But they must be mileage-friendly – oh, and look good too!

Enter: Nike Lunar Elite+ 2.   Not only do they fit my shoe-criteria, they’re a total steal for just $70. Hence why I bought  another pair for back-up!  (Good thing too, as I hear they’ve been replaced by another Lunar edition.)

In any case, I must throw yet another shout-out to Nike.

In-addition to your Training Club App that I do (and tweet about) regularly (while sporting top-to-socks Nike apparel), I now have your  Women’s Marathon in San Francisco on my radar.  A future marathon perhaps? In these shoes, anything is possible…:)

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Unjunk Your Junk Food

Potato chips, pop and ice cream – part of a healthy diet?  They can be, IF you know which brands to skip and those to enjoy.

Enter: Unjunk Your Junk Food, by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer (the creative force behind NaturallySavvy.com) with chief nutrition expert, Lisa Tsakos.

Whether you’re a salty or sweet person, inside this guide you will find healthier, just as tasty alternatives to your favourite snack brands -from Doritos to Oreos, Vitamin Water to Special K bars.

Beyond food swaps, it’s also loaded with tons of information about commonly used ingredients, what to look for when reading labels, and how best to avoid the worst of the bunch.

For example, I knew high fructose corn syrup (found in colas, ice cream and cereals) was bad, but didn’t realize when consumed it goes directly into the liver where it is converted into fat. What’s more, new research shows fructose (like that in HFCS) causes cancer cells to metastasize in a way that other sugars don’t! Lovely.

Bottom line, the more informed choices you can make when it comes to your diet, the better your choices can be.  In the case of junk food, this couldn’t be more true.

And thanks to Unjunk your Junk Food, you really CAN have your cake, and eat it (guilt-free) too!

For more healthy inspiration, I highly recommend NaturallySavvy.com as your go-to resource. Bookmark it now and visit often for the latest news, product reviewsFacebook/Twitter give-aways and more.

Also join their edible (R)evolution, and get a free excerpt of Unjunk your Junk Food! Visit: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/book/unjunk-your-junk-food                                             

Genuine Health’s activfuel+

For years I’ve taken supplements to boost my overall health, workouts and recovery.  The list of what I take daily varies, but it often includes greens+, whey or vegetarian-based protein, fish oil, Vitamin D3, a bone-building formula, joint support, magnesium, a probiotic and melatonin. (Seems like a lot, but it’s not – really!)

And thanks to Genuine Health, I’ve recently added another to my routine, specifically new activfuel+ (with caffeine).

Designed for exercise-enthusiasts like me, its unique formula helps boost my energy, endurance and speed – along with promoting faster and better recovery.

For the past few weeks, I’ve added a half-scoop to my morning smoothie and/or in my water bottle during spin classes.  Right away, I noticed a difference in my energy and endurance, definitely adding more ‘spin’ to my spin, more reps to my intervals.

Containing whey protein (providing essential BCAAs), brown rice, taurine, coconut water and Vitamin B1 among other ingredients, this formula delivers the very best pre- and during- workout nutrition.

Now you’re probably thinking because I’ve run marathons or workout hard I NEED to supplement, and you don’t. Think again!

All of the ingredients in activfuel+ play an important role in proper health – including weight maintenance and energy.  For example, study after study shows the benefits of whey protein to increase lean muscle, immunity and metabolism.

What’s more, you can drink-it-up knowing it contains no suspect ingredients or artificial sweeteners such as fructose or sucralose.  (Sweetened with stevia, its natural black raspberry lemonade flavour provides a really tasty ‘kick’!)

Look for activfuel+ in leading health and grocery stores.

To learn more about its ingredients and benefits, visit: www.genuinehealth.com

Joe Fresh Racer Back Tank

Those who see me at the gym regularly know that I’m not a fancy dresser.  Far from it!

Over the years, my workout attire has shifted away from expensive yoga stuff (lululemon), to a more uniform look that suits me just fine (I think): White and billowy on-topMid-length, somewhat baggy on the bottom.

Long a go I purchased a top made by Adidas that I wore (and wore!) for years.  Unable to find another like it, I was ready to give-up my search….until, low and behold a trip to Joe Fresh!

Enter the Racer Back Bubble Hem Tank, for just $19.  A total score of a top for those with a long torso and who can’t stand tight, stomach-sucking tanks! Not to mention its ridiculously low price tag.

I snatched two immediately, debating going back for more as I know far too well how fast Joe’s inventory disappears.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep wearing my workout uniform – sweaty and proud!

Wilderness Family’s Coconut Spread

Hello new healthy addiction!

I recently decided to give-up peanut butter and swap-it for something healthier. One visit to The Carrot Common, and I found my answer: A sweet, melt-on-your toast coconut spread made by Wilderness Family Naturals.

No wonder the coconut-craze is so bloody popular, this stuff is amazing!

Besides its insanely delicious taste and buttery texture, the coconut (specifically its natural oil), is a super-food unlike any other. Here are just a few health benefits:

  • Used for energy, not stored as fat
  • Promotes a faster metabolism, with easier weight loss 
  • Increases immunity
  • Supports heart health
  • Promotes healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Improves thyroid function

What’s great about this particular spread too – is that not only is it organic, it’s made from fresh coconut meat that is dried at low temperatures, and cooled without heating. (Meaning, it’s pretty close to raw, and not overly processed like the majority of other coconut products.)

For all you almond butter/peanut butter lovers out there, I urge you to give this coconut spread a try! You won’t believe the difference in your energy and digestion…not to mention how wonderful it tastes in baking, smoothies, on toast – pretty much anything!

To learn more, visit: www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com

For more on the amazing health benefits of coconut oil, check-out this article by Dr. Mercola.

Bodyism Formulas

Talk about great packaging, slick marketing and quality ingredients for a leaner body, better skin, improved sleep and more…

Bodyism formulas are all that.

My intro to this Austrailian line came via a British Fashion Mag, however its fitness-trainer-founder, James Duigan, has been well-known for years.  Mostly for his A-list celeb clients (Elle MacPherson, Hugh Grant) and best-selling ‘Clean and Lean’ books.

Jumping right in, I’ve been enjoying the Body Complete (vanilla flavour) in my smoothie for weeks now. Containing pure whey and pea proteins, it’s a good quality formula, tastes great, and makes my smoothies extra-creamy.

The formula I’m most excited about however, is the Beauty Food formula. Containing marine collagen, green barley, spirulina, mango powder, fermented rice bran and tons of other skin-boosting ingredients –  I’ve yet to find anything like this in Canada!   Its lemon-lime flavour has a hint of banana, and goes perfect in my smoothies too.

If my endorsements aren’t enough, maybe one from Elle MacPherson– (the ‘bod’) might suffice? See what she says about Bodyism formulas here.

Sadly, Bodyism isn’t available in-stores, however you can order online.

To learn more, visit: www.bodyism.com

Prana’s Organic Chia Oil

Is it a supplement or a condiment/dressing?  Call it what you will, but it’s definitely tasty and extremely good for your heart, skin, hair, nails, joints, mood and more.

I’m referring to Prana’s Cold pressed Organic Chia Oil.

Made from ground chia seeds, it provides a whopping amount of Omega-3s per tablespoon (8.5 grams!), has a delicious nutty taste and subtle sweet aroma.  And thanks to its naturally occurring antioxidants which protect the essential fatty acids, it’s also a very stable oil (doesn’t go rancid so quickly -unlike flax or fish oils).

Other benefits include:

100% organic-vegan-raw • Shelf stable for 1 year • No fishy tasteNo cholesterol • No risk of heavy metal contaminationEasy to integrate in your daily diet.

I enjoy it most on my salads or rice bowls, as well as in smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal.  I absolutely love its nutty taste, not to mention the healthy fats I know it’s feeding my entire body.

Available at health food stores, learn more about Prana’s Organic Chia Oil here: http://www.pranana.com/en/chia_oil.php

Dr. Mercola’s Tanning Beds

This post isn’t about a product I’ve tried – yet! But hopefully soon.

Background: For years, we’ve been told to stay out of the sun.  Not just for wrinkles, but for increased risk of melanoma. And tanning beds? Hello, the ‘ultimate evil’ if you ask any derm or doctor!

I get that UV rays can be damaging, but no time in the sun (especially for us Canadians) can cause a serious dip in our Vitamin D levels – particularly during winter.  Unfortunately, low levels of Vitamin D are linked with increased rates of cancer, heart disease, depression and Alzheimer’s among other health issues.

Vitamin D aside, who doesn’t love a tan? I know I do!

So much, that I’ve tried a TON of sunless tanning lotions and spray tans to give me a ‘healthy’ glow.  After reading about the toxic chemicals in many of these products however, I stopped.

Enter Dr. Mercola’s ‘Safe Tanning Beds’ 

Featured on Dr. Oz, Mercola says his beds are considered ‘safe’ as they feature electronic ballasts versus magnet ballasts, and emit more UVB rays (which convert cholesterol in your blood to vitamin D) instead of UVA rays.

What’s more, his beds not only increase Vitamin D production, they do not promote excessive skin damage – they actually boost collagen for healthier skin!

Needless to say, I’m very keen to test-tan a Mercola bed, or something similar. Heck, I believe so much in this new wave of tanning, my sister and I have discussed setting up our own tan shop…!

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy 20 minutes of direct, guilt-free sunlight whenever possible.

Sibu Beauty Chocolates

Move over chia, there’s a new superfood on the scene.  Chocolate-covered too! 

Coined the ‘holy fruit’, ‘the fountain of youth in a berry’, sea buckthorn really isn’t new.  Tibetan people have been enjoying it for hundreds of years.   And according to recent research, it may hold the secret to their very long, very healthy (they don’t get sick!) and vibrant lives.

But the real kicker? Sea buckthorn promotes ageless, youthful-looking skin.  For real.

Containing 190 bioactive compounds, it provides a superior source Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9, plus a host of antioxidants and vitamins including  A, B, C & E.  There’s simply no other ‘skin food’ source like it.

Now for the chocolate part…

Sibu Beauty, the world’s largest purveyor of Himalayan sea buckthorn, recently added dark and milk chocolate truffles containing 250 mg of sea buckthorn oil to its extensive line of skin care formulas and supplements. 

For a dark chocloate lover like me, these truffles are decadent tasting, rich and smooth.  Delicious! Available in dark mint flavour or milk orange, just 1 satisfies a chocolate-fix -and then some.

Now will these infused chocolates make my skin more beautiful?  I’m not too concerned. Mainly because I’m also taking a sea buckthorn supplement and enjoy sea buckthorn tea – daily.  

Such is the fountain of youth my friends…I say eat and drink it up.

(For more, check out a recent article in Town & Country magazine.  You couldn’t ask for a better, more convincing article about sea buckthorn!)

Allergic Solution, Muffin Mix

I love muffins.  Like, really love muffins.

Unfortunately, healthy muffins are very hard to come-by.  Hello, a typical Starbucks or Second Cup muffin packs about 350+ calories, 30 grams+ of sugar, 10 grams+ of fat!

So what’s a muffin lover like me to do?  Besides enjoying the occasional Delica Superfood muffin, or my sister’s fantastic creations…. make my own, right?! 

Unfortunately, I’m not much of a healthy baker, nor do I have a a pantry featuring almond flour, coconut oil, flax, etc.

Enter Allergic Solution, a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (everything-free) brand of mixes, designed for those with special food allergies (or not) and want great-tasting muffins, cake, bread, etc. without the hassle of buying multiple ingredients.

For muffins, simply add olive oil, almond milk, your preferred sweetener plus some water (you can also add coconut oil, berries, currants, cinnamon – anything you want really) and bake for about 25 minutes. 

Besides being WAY less in calories, fat, bad carbs and next to no sugar, muffins turn-out plump and tasty!  (I like to top mine with peanut butter/hemp butter, and spread with a touch of jam.)

Now that I’m using my muffin pan more often, I think I’m ready to try Allergic Solution’s carob cake mix for some healthy cupcakes :).

Look for Allergic Solution mixes at Noah’s and other health food stores.

To learn more, visit: www.allergicsolution.com

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