Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To Run or Not to Run?

To Run or Not to Run?

That was the question this afternoon! My goal for this evening was to complete a cardio workout. My options were spinning class, elliptical machine, or running outside (cannot pass up the amazing weather). I was laying out my options to a friend at work. I mentioned that I probably would not go for a run and my reasons. To be honest, I sometimes chicken out. Some runs are amazing; some runs are not so good. I am always apprehensive because I hate having bad runs. I realize that not every run will be a great run, but I sometimes do chicken out. It happens to the best of us!

As we were ending the conversation, my friend said, "You're going to go for a run."

I looked back at him with surprise, "I'm going to go for a run?!?" Did he know something I did not know?

"You're going to go for a run."

"Ok, I'm going to go for a run." "Why?"

"Because I cannot."

I knew exactly what he meant. I understood. I smiled and nodded.

"Because I cannot go for a run, you are going to run for me."

My friend was in a really bad bicycle accident and experienced great injury to his leg/foot. He cannot run. I can run. I went for the run. I felt amazing! I sent an email to my friend thanking him.

>> What motivates you to "run?"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Thoughts

I realize that I have not posted in 1.5 weeks! Argh! I am disappointed in myself, but I am not going to beat myself up over it because I have been 1) extremely sick and 2) working long hours. The combination of being sick and working long hours, plus not exercising for 2 weeks, really took a toll on my mood. I even missed the Change the World Wednesday Challenge! However, I am taking this unexpected break from the usual activities as a way to bounce back and keep going strong. My head finally feels clear, I have energy, and I am back to exercising. Here is a little preview of my upcoming posts:
  1. Reviews: Maggie's Organics and Eco Lunch Gear
  2. DIY Tutorial: Terrarium
  3. Update on seeds that I have started.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Unplug Your Exercise Routine [#CTWW Challenge Results]

As part of the Unplug Your Exercise Challenge, I have made a few changes to my exercise over the past few days. My goal was not to use any electricity, which meant: no gym, no DVDs/TV, no music, no lights.

The only time I could fit in a workout was while I was cooking. Assuming that the lights were on for my cooking part (hehe), the exercise part was power-free. I brought dumbells down to the kitchen and used the kitchen mat for cushion. I threw in a few squats and push-ups.

I confess that I would have gone to the gym had I not been at work so late. However, I thought this would be a great opportunity to continue with the challenge. I bundled up and went on a brisk walk outside. My lungs loved the fresh, crisp air, and I felt so much better afterwards.

I highly recommend that you try a few workouts unplugged. There is nothing better than using your own body weight or walking/running outside. Your body will thank you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Unplug Your Exercise Routine [#CTWW]

I am honored to be featured as the source of this week's challenge:

This week unplug your exercise routine by using no power. No treadmills, ellipticals, gyms, TV, music, or anything powered to assist in exercise. Make your workout eco-friendly ... and, as always, let us know all about it.

Of course, this challenge would come up right when the last 2 months have been focused on creating a gym routine...and loving it! Although I do love to run outside and exercise at home, I love being able to go to a class or jump on the elliptical. Nonetheless, a challenge is a challenge! Yesterday at the gym, I thought about the ways I try to use less power when I am working out at the gym:

  1. Attending spinning class - the only power used is to run the fans, the lights are mostly turned off
  2. Choosing the elliptical machine over the treadmill - elliptical machines need human power to get going, but they are still plugged in
  3. Using free weights and weight machines
Going to the gym has an environmental impact because I have to drive there and back, the power used to keep the gym running, the chemicals (ammonia) used to clean the equipment, etc. I am going to make a few sacrifices! My goal is to work out 1-2 days at home. Here is my plan:
  1. Running outside - when the weather is above 35 degrees
  2. Weight lifting at home - we have a weight bench, 100 pounds of weight, hand weights, etc. (today's exercise plan, working out during day time with no light and no music)
  3. Bodyweight exercises - using your own body weight to work out (pretty intense if you have never tried it)
  4. No Jillian Michael's DVDs
  5. No Exercise TV on Demand
I used to run outside and work out at home all the time, but I have been spoiled by the gym. I have worked out with no power before and I can do it again. Exercise can be bad for the environment, but you can make small adjustments to reduce the environmental impact. Plus, there are many other types of activities like running after your kids, cleaning, and gardening that can burn lots of calories.

>> How can you unplug your exercise routine? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Joys of Working From Home

When I have a work day with no meetings or only conference calls, I often choose to work from home. Wouldn't you? Not only do I avoid parking fees, save on gas, and can get more work done, I can also enjoy these slightly "crunchy" activities:
  1. No makeup
  2. No deodorant
  3. Dirty hair
  4. Comfy jammies
Remember: I am home by myself all day. Obviously, I make myself presentable for when my husband gets home from work :)


>> What are the guilty pleasures you enjoy when you are home by yourself?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SnapSac Tote Bundle [Giveaway]

In my review of SnapSac totes, you will see that I am addicted to reusable totes. If you are also addicted, enter the giveaway below for a SnapSac Tote Bundle. I am confident that you will love them and use them all the time.

Please use the Rafflecopter entry form below. All entries will be verified.

  SnapSac Tote Bundle, Pop Colors 
SnapSac Tote Bundle ($12.50 value)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Three Philosophies Essential to My Life

When I began to think about what is essential in my life, so many different thoughts ran through my head. I gave myself one day to process all of the thoughts and come up with three philosophies that are essential to my life: family and friends, eco-friendly and sustainable living, and spirituality.

Family and Friends
– I cannot express how much support and love my family and my friends have showed me throughout my life. I am only now beginning to realize the power of this support network. My husband and I have been blessed over the past year to connect with some great people. We hope to continue building these friendships.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Living – My blog is all about living an eco-friendly, organic, natural, homeopathic, non-toxic, and green life. I am sick of wasting the precious resources that are given to us. Reusing, reducing, and recycling are my philosophies in life!

- I have so much to discover in this area. I am only beginning on the journey to discover my religion and the power of prayer and humility. I find that being spiritual helps me to find peace and satisfaction in this materialistic world.

Although I can think of many more things that are essential to my life, these three philosophies are my goals for 2012. If I continue to enrich my life with family and friends, eco-friendly living, and spiritually, I know that I will live a happier and more fulfilled life.

>> What is essential to your life? Like Nordic Naturals on Facebook and share your story in the What's Essential contest for a chance to win great prizes!

What's Essential Contest: Nordic Naturals wants to hear what is essential in your life so that you can inspire others. The  has been designed to get you motivated by writing about the essential and meaningful parts of your life. You could win a trip to California, a Canon Vixia HF M400 camcorded, or a one-year supply of Nordic Naturals. Contest runs through April 30, 2012 and is open to residents of USA/CAN (excluding Quebec).

Monday, February 6, 2012

What If?

As I am sitting in spinning class, a small room with 24 spinning bikes, and I think to myself...what if all of us were powering the electricity used to keep the fans that cool us?  Or powering the lights used to illuminate the gym? What if every person on the treadmill or the elliptical machine was helping to power this whole building.

An eco-friendly girl can dream...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-D3 for Optimal Health [Review]

Since starting and completing the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart challenge, I have been doing more research about supplements. I learned that the general population eats a lot Omega-6 essential fatty acids, but is greatly lacking in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. The appropriate balance and proportions are vital for optimal health. Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-D3 is the perfect supplement for the nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, and many other Omega-6 rich foods that I eat on a regular basis.

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega-D3        
  $28.95 (60 soft gels)
Rating: total green check marks out of 5.

The Good
The Not So Good
Daily dose in 2 soft gels
Soft gels are big
No fishy taste
Remembering to take with food
High concentration of Omega-3 fats
$30/month cost
Added natural Vitamin D3

Independent testing for toxins

Description: Ultimate Omega-D3 is Nordic Naturals' best selling product. The soft gels provide very high levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA as well as 1000 IU of Vitamin D3. EPA is essential for a healthy heart and a healthy body. DHA provides for a healthy mood, mind, and memory. Vitamin D3 is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system. A serving size of 2 soft gels is all you need to get your international expert recommended dose. 

Review: The soft gels are to be taken every day with food. I found this to be the hardest part because I would always remember between meals. I starting keeping the bottle on the counter to remember when I was cooking. The soft gels easy to swallow. My husband, on the other hand, has a difficult time swallowing big pills, so I could see him having a hard time taking 2 big soft gels every day.

The best part is that the soft gels have no fishy taste. No "fish breath" after taking them either. The lemon flavor is so mild, that I did not even notice the soft gels were lemon flavored until I read the bottle.

If I were to take these on a regular basis, I would buy the 120 soft gel bottle, which would last me 2 months at 2 soft gels per day. Taking Ultimate Omega-D3 on a daily basis would cost me about $30/month, so I would probably consider taking them on an every other day basis.

What's Essential Contest: Nordic Naturals wants to hear what is essential in your life so that you can inspire others. The What's Essential contest has been designed to get you motivated by writing about the essential and meaningful parts of your life. You could win a trip to California, a Canon Vixia HF M400 camcorder, or a one-year supply of Nordic Naturals. The contest runs through April 30, 2012 and is open to residents of USA/Canada (excluding Quebec). Like Nordic Naturals on Facebook and share your story for a chance to win!

Disclosure: I received the sample from Nordic Naturals in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my personal experiences. This review is objective and completely honest.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Special Discount for Prescription Savings Plan at Walgreens

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you lack prescription drug coverage or have insufficient prescription drug coverage, the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens might be the right answer for you and your family. The Prescription Savings Plan allows you to take advantage of discounted prices on your prescriptions. Walgreens is offering a special discount on the annual family and individual memberships. For $35 per year, the annual family membership covers your whole immediate family (spouse, dependents 22 years old and under, and even pets). The annual individual membership costs $20 per year. 

The Prescription Savings Plan at Walgreens offers the following benefits:

1.       Savings on more than 8,000 brand name and all generic medications
2.       Discounts on flu shots, pet prescriptions, nebulizers and diabetic supplies
3.       Bonuses when you purchase Walgreens brand products and photo finishing services

The Prescription Savings Plan is risk free! If you do not save more than the annual membership cost, Walgreens will refund the difference. Read more about the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens. Preview the Value Priced Medication List to determine how much you can save by joining.

You can also support Walgreens and stay up to date on new features and discounts by following Walgreens on Twitter and Walgreens on Facebook

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Make Your Meals Healthier With Secret Ingredients

kid health fruit
I have the honor of being featured on Social Moms! To go along with my recent vegetarian/vegan theme, I wanted to re-post this article for my readers. Source: http://www.socialmoms.com/food/recipes-food/meals-healthier-secret-ingredient/

Getting your kids to eat fruits and vegetables can be similar to pulling teeth or even moving mountains. For some reason, kids always shy away from anything that resembles a fruit or a vegetable, but that’s about half of the food they should be eating.

Ohio State University conducted a study in 2009 that showed only 22% of kids get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. Furthermore, the number of kids that eat the recommended amount decreases as the kids become older. How is a busy mom supposed to get her kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? By adding one or two secret ingredients into her meals. Here are five practical tips for sneaking fruits, vegetables, and beans into the meals you cook on a regular basis.
  1. Substitute eggs with fruit. For each egg in baked sweet breads, pie fillings, and other baked goods, substitute 1/4 banana or 1/4 cup applesauce. You might need to do some taste tests to determine the right proportions or whether a banana or applesauce works better for your particular dish. 
  2. Puree soft vegetables. Add a layer of a pureed soft vegetables like cooked cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, or root vegetables to your macaroni and cheeses, lasagnas, casseroles, or quesadillas. The dishes will be creamier and healthier. 
  3. Make a bean paste. Mash cooked beans to create a paste to hold a sandwich or quesadilla together. Black beans and pinto beans work very well. Add a few spices and your family will not suspect a thing.
  4. Use bean flour to chicken soups and sauces. You can make bean flour at home by grinding dried beans to replace regular flour. Use the freshly ground flour within a few days to retain all of the nutrients. 
  5. Mash avocados for creaminess. Use mashed avocados in sauces and creamy dishes to take the dishes to the next level. Mashed avocados can also be hidden in smoothies, but be aware of the suggested serving size for avocados. 
Whether your kids love vegetables or hate vegetables, these five practical tips will take all of your meals to the next level by incorporating healthy, fresh ingredients. While you are preparing your dinner menu for the coming weeks, identify ingredients that you can substitute or add to make your meals even healthier with these five secret ingredients. Happy healthy eating!

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