My Top 5 Picks for any Fitness Fanatic’s Holiday Run List

If you’re among those brave souls, who refuse to let frigid temperatures stand between you and staying in shape, here’s a golf clap. I applaud that dedication!

But — sigh! — I can’t sit with you.

Partly, because I don’t wear pink on Wednesdays. But, mostly, because my body and winter weather don’t get along.

In my defense, I’ve spent most of my life in the sub-tropics, so anything below 60-degrees sends me running for a hoodie. If I faced the same conditions  that Northerners (Or, anyone above the Florida-Georgia line, really. Yep, I’m that warm blooded!) deal with on a daily basis, then outdoor workouts could just kiss my booty goodbye until spring.

Fortunately, in my stomping grounds, exercising throughout winter months requires leggings and long sleeves at the most. If you live in a colder climate, though, you’re probably laughing at me right about now. As you should. Your badassery puts my year-round flip-flopped feet to shame.

But, before heading outside to conquer the elements this season, better make sure you’re equipped for combat, right?

Right.

(Or, so I’ve heard. I’m still new at this “brrrrr!” stuff).

The following #HolidayRunList will help you accomplish just that. Although it’s specifically tailored toward runners, fitness enthusiasts of every activity level can also get in on the action.  Below, I’ve featured my favorite winter-ready workout gear — which I may or may not sport in 60-degree temps — that will keep you moving despite Jack Frost nipping at your nose. See what I did there?!

Whether you’re a hardcore marathoner or casual jogger, these seasonal must haves are perfect for running in a winter wonderland. Plus, they make snazzy gifts and stocking stuffers, so you might wanna include them in that letter to Santa. Or, just #TreatYoself.

Since you managed to avoid the Naughty List, and all.

Anyway, without further ado…

My #HolidayRunList (in no particular order):

  1.  Nike Lightweight Tech Gloves ($14.97) — These gloves are made from patented Dri-Fit material to keep your hands cozy, without building up sweat. Added Bonus: the fingertips are touch-screen compatible, so you can easily track your distance, check the time, or crank up your running playlist on a mobile device.
  2. Lululemon Run With Me Ear Warmer ($26.00) —  This ear warmer fits snugly against your skin, with a comfortable 4-way stretch to prevent chafing. Added Bonus: both sides are reversible and provide 360-degree reflectivity, so you can stay stylish, visible, and safe when clocking some miles after dark.
  3. ASICS Lite-Show Favorite Pullover ($60.00) — This pullover top is figure flattering and brightly colored to keep you feeling confident, while working those muscles. Added Bonus: the fabric is climate-controlled to increase breathability and help your body adapt to unpredictable weather patterns.
  4. Fabletics Salar Capri ($39.95) — These capri pants provide a full range-of-motion with smooth, stretchy material that wicks moisture, while warming your legs from the inside out. Added Bonus: eye-catching designs, such as chevron, make these bottoms a sure-bet for effortless street-style, as well.
  5. ProCompression Calf Sleeves ($45.00) — Now for the main attraction! These calf sleeves have recently become my go-to workout accessories. Ideal for a wide range of physical activities, they’re made with graduated compression technology that optimizes blood circulation and oxygenation, supports lower leg muscles and tendons, and prevents stiffness and inflammation. Plus, they’re available in various colors and prints for extra cuteness on Race Day. Read all about the amazing benefits of your new “exercise bestie” — and snag a pair for yourself — on ProCompression’s website. Then, enter the code PINK2 at check-out for a 40% discount (valid until December 15, 2014)!

And, just for kicks, here’s yours truly rocking my ProCompression Calf Sleeves in the pseudo-winter Sunshine State…

ProCompression Calf Sleeves

when they first arrived in the mail

ProCompression Calf Sleeves Resting

they’re not only functional, but fashion-forward too!

ProCompression Calf Sleeves Running

out for a test run…final verdict: 2 thumbs up!!! 

Now, what are you waiting for? Hit the pavement this season without a case of those cha-cha-cha-chills slowing you down.

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Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts: Lots of Love to Go Around {Product Review}

I’ve recently had the privilege of participating in my very first product review through the Sweat Pink Ambassador community. So, here’s a quick shout-out to the fabulous SPA founder Alyse for this opportunity. Much appreciated!

Now, onto the real business. Today, I’ll be reviewing hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest, a sustainable manufacturer of hemp-only foods, based in Winnipeg, Canada.

Confession Time: Until about 20 minutes ago, I’d never tried hemp hearts before. Scratch that, I’d never tried hemp anything before. I thought hemp was just rope material that middle-schoolers use to make friendship bracelets. So, let’s just say…prior to receiving my free sample in the mail this morning, I was a hemp virgin.

But, nevertheless, they arrived to put the breaks on my virginity, and I eagerly tore into the packaging.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

First Impressions: Okay, they’re all natural: check. Each serving has 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegs-3s: check, check.

Moving right along, then…

*opens bag*

Well, they’re not exactly what I’d expected. To be honest, I’m not even sure what I was expecting, — maybe granola pieces in the shape of a heart? I don’t know! — but these disc-like things resemble lentils more than seeds. Hmm…intriguing!

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Heart Seeds

The Taste Test: Nutty. Buttery. Tender. Just a slight crunch. Yep, I can get on-board with these little guys!

So far, hemp hearts get an A+ rating.

And that concludes our preliminary round. Time for the finals.

This company website features several tantalizing recipes, so component number 2 of this product review is to experiment with hemp hearts in one of these recipes.

I’m a sucker for superfood smoothies, so I chose to blend up my own twist on Manitoba Harvest’s Cinna-Butter Bliss Smoothie. The original recipe has been copied below for your convenience:

  • Ingredients:
  1. 2 tbsp. Almond Butter
  2. 1 tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  3. 1 Banana*
  4. 1 Date*
  5. 1/2 tbsp. Cinnamon
  6. 1 cup Hemp Bliss Organic Beverage*
  • Preparation: 
  1. Combine all these ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly smooth (yields 1 serving).

* Notes: I don’t particularly care for bananas, so I substituted roughly 1/3 cup frozen mangoes. I didn’t have any dates on-hand, so I omitted that ingredient altogether (although I’m sure dates would add tons of flavor). Instead of Hemp Bliss, – because, if I barely knew what hemp hearts were, why would I just happen to have drinkable hemp lying around?! – I substituted coconut milk.*

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Smoothie Ingredients

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts SmoothieDespite these variations, the smoothie still tasted absolutely incredible. In fact, I can see it becoming my standard post-workout recovery fuel.

And now, for the overarching question: Do I recommend purchasing Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts?

110% YES!

This product has earned my seal of approval and exceeded whatever preconceived notions I had about hemp (which, by the way, is so much more than just a pre-teen fashion statement!).

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Seal of Approval

So, sprinkle the deliciousness on top of salads, oatmeal or yogurt. Toss them into a protein shake or smoothie, like I did. Cook or bake with them in your favorite dishes (or try a brand new recipe, like those displayed on the website). You can even enjoy a handful straight from the bag, as a nutritious and satisfying snack.

Sold, yet? Well, maybe this will persuade you:

During the months of October and November, you can score 20% off all products at ManitobaHarvest.com.

Use the promo code HHSweatPink14 before check-out (and send a cyber thank-you to the awesome folks over at Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest for making this special offer possible!).

* Reminder: This promotional discount will expire November 30, 2014. *

You (Yes…YOU!) Could Score a Health & Fitness Goodie Bag Unlike Any Other…

GIVEAWAY 1

GIVEAWAY 2

 Hey, readers/health gurus/anyone who knows a deal when they see one! I’ve teamed up with a group of fitness bloggers to bring you all a chance to score a mega-giveaway box during this upcoming week. The featured products are valued at $200, but they could be yours absolutely FREE! (Special shout-out to Lisa over at The Skinny on Health for organizing this fantastic opportunity).

This box is full of our favorite products out there – like custom fitness DVDs, vitamins, workout supplements,  jewelry and hair accessories, exercise equipment and more, from companies like Grace Lace and Iron, PiYo Hardcore, Designer Whey, Vega Sport, Dr. Josh Axe, Shapeology, My Beauty Tea, Bach, Lorna Jane, Shred, Manitoba Harvest, Smarty Pants, FabFitFun and BuluBox. I told you…this box is AMAZING!


And here are the fabulous bloggers making this box possible:

The Skinny on Health:

Lisa has a masters in public health nutrition and is soon-to-be a registered dietitian with a passion for healthy living, delicious food, and enjoying fitness. The Skinny on Health uses science to explain how to live a healthy life to the fullest, with tips and tricks for weight loss, glowing skin, productivity, cooking, and everything in between!

Exploring Domesticity:

Just a Momma trying to learn those domestic skills she never quite got the hang of, and now trying to learn to be a healthy role model for her two little ones.  With kiddos who ask for broccoli and do squats, I think they’re doing better than I am!

Style + Greens:

Style + Greens (formerly Illustrated Nutrition) is a lifestyle blog unlike any other– with a focus on health and design. Kathryn is a future registered dietitian with a love for nutrition and a lifelong creative passion for fashion and interior design. Achieving a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style in the process!

Hungry Healthy Girl:

I love to cook and bake healthy meals and snacks for my family. I started blogging as a way to share my love for healthy cooking and fitness. Come check out my blog for delicious, yet nutritious eats!

Health Be a Hippie (Uh huh…that would be me!):

Health Be a Hippie is a blog dedicated toward empowering women to embrace their true and best selves through natural, nutritious, and active living.

Fitful Focus: 

Fitful Focus began as a way to document my journey to lead a healthier life. The name stems from the three things I believe anyone needs to achieve that challenge: getting FIT, keeping my tummy FULL of whole food goodness, and staying FOCUSed on my goal of leading that healthier, happier life. Over the last two years, I’ve lost 20 pounds, become a marathoner, completed a Tough Mudder, beasted p90x and Insanity, and am starting to get more into strength training and yoga. I love trying new workouts, foods, and products and sharing all my finds with everyone else. I’ve starting creating my own recipes, sharing things that motivate me, and have met so many others that inspire me and hold me accountable as I continue along this amazing journey. I’m no longer dreaming about a better life, I’m living it!

Lauren Lives Healthy:

Lauren Lives Healthy is a healthy living blog where Lauren shares her tips and tricks for staying healthy in the Bay Area. She shares quick and satisfying recipes, training tips for half marathons and triathlons, and motivation to help you reach your health goals.


Click the link to enter (and maybe even WIN!):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is only here for a limited time. Hurry up and enter because we’re wrapping things up by July 29. And trust me…these are some goodies you’ll definitely wanna get in on!

Aaaaaand the Nominations Are In…

liebster award

Muchos gracias to my #SweatPink sister Polly over at Polly Defies Gravity for kindly nominating me to receive a Liebster Award. Go check out her blog; this girl means business!

  • First things first…here are the Rules of the Liebster Award:

1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.

2. Display the Liebster Award and the rules.

3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.

4. Write 11 facts about yourself.

5. Nominate other bloggers (who have less than 200 followers).

6. Write 11 new questions for your nominees.

  • Now onto round two…11 Questions from Polly:

1. What would your autobiography be titled?

Well…to borrow a line from Shakespeare, let’s go with Little But Fierce.

2. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Stubborn. Compulsive. Quirky.

3. You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?

Seafoam green. Is that already a color? I dunno. But it reminds me of the ocean at sunset…one of nature’s pure untarnished miracles.

4. If you had an invisibility cloak, how would you use it?

To track down He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Obvi. 

5. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger by Kelly Clarkson.

6. If you had to plan a parade, what would be the theme?

Broadway musical hits. Don’t judge.

7. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

My boyfriend and I take turns cracking each other’s backs after going to the gym together. Recently, when we had just gotten back from a particularly intense workout, he leaned over to apply pressure on my spine…and right as he pushed down, I – shall we say, released deadly toxins – directly in his face. It’s a good thing our relationship is built on a sense of humor because that could have gone 1 of 2 ways. We chose to roll around on the ground and laugh about it. That’s why I love him.  

8. Name one skill you wish you had.

I’d cut out my own tonsils in exchange for a good singing voice.

9. What super villain would you be?

Do Disney villains count as “super?” ‘Cause I’d choose Maleficent every time.

10. If you could make or change a law, what would it be?

I’d make Saturday-Sunday work days and Monday-Friday weekends.

11. What is the sexiest name you’ve ever heard?

Zayne. And no, this doesn’t mean I jam out to 1D. Or does it…?

  • Next up…11 Random Facts about yours truly:

1. I always try to order the weirdest-sounding entree on the menu at restaurants.

2. I have no idea what my hair color is. It’s like the lovechild of ash brown and strawberry blonde.

3. I can crack exactly 20 bones in my body. Yes, it’s an unhealthy addiction. No, I won’t stop.

4. I make the best hot cocoa you’ve ever tasted. My secret is nutella and rice milk.

5. I adore Moulin Rouge and will quote it all the way through if given the slightest opportunity.

6. I am really into obscure sports and have been shooting archery on-and-off for over 10 years.

7. I can claim residency in 4 major cities: Washington DC, Orlando, Atlanta, and NYC.

8. I live next to a barn owl that hoots 24/7. She’s known as Constance the Constant Owl.

9. I want to break into the writing industry. This blog is my first step toward achieving that goal.

10. I have a photographic memory. And a special talent for never forgetting song lyrics.

11. I absolutely suck at mimicking accents, but I can mimic tree frog croaks. It’s all in the throat.

  • And finally…meet the new Liebster Nominees:

These girls are also some of my #SweatPink sisters, so go follow them!

1. Katie @ Life’s Next Big Step

2. Alicia @ dishouttawater

3. Allyson @ AMP runs

4. Tiffany @ Get Fit!

5. Jennifer @ LiveLearnLoveRun

  • Okay, ladies…here are your 11 Questions:

1. What are you most passionate about, and why?

2. What is 1 physical trait you love about yourself?

3. What is 1 personality trait you love about yourself?

4. If you could travel any place, where would you go?

5. Do you have any random skills or hidden talents?

6. What do you usually crave for a midnight snack?

7. How would you describe yourself to a stranger?

8. Are you more of a dog person or a cat person?

9. What is 1 guilty pleasure you keep to yourself?

10. Would you rather escape to the city or country?

11. Do you reach for coffee or tea in the morning?