Edmonton’s newest fitness craze, the indoor Fitset Ninja Warriors Course inside of Kingsway Garden Mall.Read More
Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation
A few weeks ago I got my Dosha Mat, Accupressure mat and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it.
Accupressure mats have a ton of health benefits, some claims for health are:
reducing pain and muscle soreness
stress and anxiety reduction
reduction of insomnia
creates relaxation and sense of calm
The acupressure mats have 4500 pressure points per the entire surface of the mat through the 190 lotus flowers (25 points per flower). These pressure point stimulate the area of the body and send signals to other parts of the body through meridians to help calm and relax. This is much like acupuncture, however not to specific areas and not puncturing the skin of course.
Looking at it from a yogi/massage point of view, I like using it sometimes in a manner that helps me massage a bit. This is also helping relief stress and tension through fascia releasing.
How To Use Your Dosha Accupressure Mat
You can use this mat in many different ways, in many different places. Here is a couple ways I’ve been using mine:
Simply laying on it. Sometimes I lay down on it and relax, do legs up the wall or at the end of a yoga practice in savasana.
Moving on it. I like to lay down and tuck my knees in and roll back and forth or in circles to get a bit of massaging action.
Sitting down with it. In an office chair or on the couch and leaning into it.
Standing on it. I personally have been loving having it beside my bed when I am doing laundry. I find it’s a bit to intense for me to stand on completely, but I will stand with it one foot at a time.
Want to try one out for yourself? I’ve partnered with Dosh Mat to offer you 15% off your vary own from the Canadian owned company! Offer is only good until November 4th 2018! Use the code BITCHINHOUSEWIFE15 at Dosha Mat.
3 Perfect Spots to Float Down the River In Edmonton
We recently bought kayaks (If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you are already sick of seeing my pictures of it!) I've been getting a lot of questions lately of where to go or how to do it! Realizing not everyone has kayaks or canoes, but float devices seem pretty accessible to most, here is three of the top places to get into the North Saskatchewan River.
These locations are perfect for a float after work one day or you can do an all day trip on a weekend afternoon. Over the course of summer the sun sets anywhere from 10:30pm (June) to 8:25pm (early September)
Terwillegar Dog Park
Bonus to this location: the dogs you get to see and pet along the way. Based at the bottom of Rabbit Hill Road. Park in the parking lot and walk out to ward the water and there is a lot of space to get in from there.
Quesnell Bridge Edmonton
Make you way as if you are heading to Fort Edmonton Park, and before you head into their parking lot, you can park underneath the Quesnell Bridge. There is a bit of beach space, but mostly it's from a concrete pad.
Under Henday between Lessard Drive and Terwillegar Exits
If you park on either side of the Henday at the bridge between Terwillegar and Lessard exits, there are trails that will take you all the way down to the water. You can also park your car at 321 Heath Road and follow the walking path down. This will be a longer walk however.
You can park your cars and/or get out:
- Laurier Park (shorter float)
- Emily Murphy Park (Medium Float)
- Dwson Park (Medium Float)
- Capilano Park (Long Float)
Couple of Tips:
- Pack snacks
- Pack water
- Bring Extra Sunscreen
- If possible, I recommend buying a dry bag like this one from Amazon. Keeps your stuff (including your phone dry) and because it's made for this you can attach it to the side of the float so it doesn't take up float space.
- Grab some friends and tie your rafts together or go in on a big one together!
5 Favourite Podcasts on Self Help and Development
Are you a podcast junkie? I have my ups and downs. I like them running and driving to teach classes. Recently on my Instagram I was talking about a podcast I was listening to that sparked a curiosity, leading to me attempting a no sugar experiment. Then Of course I was asked, well what podcast was it and what am I listening to?
These podcasts are mostly about self development/improvement/help, whatever you want to call it. Depending on the mood I'm in or the title of course I will listen in.
1.The Upgrade. First of all Melissa and Alice have similar sounding voices and I find that hilarious for some reason. But they both have really pleasant voices. In the description of their show they say "Look, you're doing great but quite frankly we think you can be a little better." I love this.
2.Lewis Howes The School Of Greatness. I love that the people he has on his show are athletes, business people, celebrities and hearing their wild stories of how they came to their greatness. Lewis is pretty down to earth which makes it easy to bridge the gap between us regular Joes and the all stars he brings onto the show!
3. Lori Harder Earn Your Happiness. Well the name says it all. She's after happiness. How we get it, how we keep it, how we find ways to detach from things that prevent us from having it.
4. Kelly Covert, In Her Voice. Kelly has a very calming tone to her voice. I love her podcasts for early morning walks and more chilled out activities. Her view is all about women finding their own authentic voice and living out your own visions of your life.
5. Jenna Kutcher, The Goal Digger. This one is certainly more business based, but I see it as more improving things about ourselves to be better at business. Like stepping outside of our comfort zones and being brave to get where we want to be in business. Her Instagram is pretty the bomb too.
Enough is Enough Lululemon - I’m calling you out.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate us Women. All women. Powerful CEO’s, nurses, artists, truck drivers, welders, teachers, stay at home moms, 17 year old high school students, 100 year old great grandmothers. Women of different sizes, shapes, backgrounds, colors, personalities, incomes and sexualities.
And Lulu just had to do it. Just had to abuse their reach and use OUR day to do it.
Let me back up a bit here. I am a white, female, 32 year old yoga teacher, who is in “works out but likes pizza” shape. I spend about an hour to hour and a half each day exercising 5-6 times a week. I have two kids, loving husband and run some boss ass businesses if I may say so myself.
I wear Lululemon clothes to workout and teach, among other lines. I have friends who work for Lulu and some that are ambassadors. They are lovely humans who are totally inspiring and bad ass.
You just had to go and do it didn’t you Lulu?
Lulu created a campaign that launched yesterday named “Enough is Enough”. A campaign where they sell you t shirts that send funds to empowering women through various charities. Seem noble? Sort of is. Sort of.
The charities picked are Yoga Outreach (trauma informed yoga), Red Clay Yoga (Focus on yoga for youth and marginalized communities), Exhale to Inhale (Yoga for violence and sexual assault survivors) and Our Mala, (Yoga for survivors of Violence and Cruelty). These charities are amazing. Yoga is a beautiful way to help with these processes and I don’t want to take away at ALL from these organizations.
Back to Lulu. They launched the Enough is Enough campaign and gave their ambassadors shirts and mega phones. Mega phones so they can be heard. Heard speaking rights for women.
However the flaw here is the women given these microphones (who again I know many and they are amazing) lack diversity.
Beautiful (by society’s standards)
In the 30 “ish” range of age
And oddly enough also mostly Yoga teachers.
Basically they are “Ocean”. If you haven’t heard of Ocean, she is the ideal customer created by Lululemon. Chip Wilson the founder of Lululemon describes Ocean as “32 year old single professional that makes $100,00 a year, is fashionable and has an hour and a half to workout every day.” and goes on to say “if you’re 20 years old or you’re graduating from university, you can’t wait to be that woman. If you’re 42 years old a couple of children, you wish you had that time back.”
Sooooooo what you are saying there Chip is that you are “Empowering” women through your Enough is Enough campaign, however these women are not good enough.
You want them TO WANT to be more than they already are.
YOU GAVE MEGA PHONES TO WOMEN WHO ARE LIKE OCEAN TO SPEAK FOR THE WOMEN WHO ARE NOT.
Browsing through your Instagram feed, you have Oceans and Dukes (their ideal man) and no other diversity.
So what really is your Enough is Enough campaign about? Selling more clothes.
We all know this isn’t the first time you’ve alienated people with an interview a long time ago, claiming you wouldn’t make sizes for women above a size 12. We won’t even go there.
I AM calling you out on your fake campaign.
I AM telling readers, friends, yoga teachers, personal trainers, weekend warriors to make informed choices.
Stick to selling clothes and leave your nose out of the women's empowerment movement.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN OCEAN.
YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH.
Update: This went a tad viral and we created an exclusivity photoshoot event in Edmonton to celebrate our beauty of uniqueness and amazingness.
Minimalist Style Ladies Watches
Recently I read an article in Time magazine that gave the suggestion for wearing a watch as a social media mindfulness technique. This way when you need to know the time, you look at your watch, instead of your phone that will get your distracted if you notice notifications.
The sandalwood is so soft and beautiful on the skin, and I feel like it pairs well in relaxed style and when I’m actually dressed up! Since I’m not a huge fashion guru, (I wear A LOT of spandex since I workout/teach so often)I like that it works with different styles. I’ve worn it with some jeans going out for dinner and with yoga pants heading for a hike.
Which of course this versatility feeds my minimalist approach to life. I like simplicity that can transfer into many different options.
But let me tell you how impressed my husband (builds wood furniture for a living) was with the care of the watch and the box it comes in . The watch has it’s own humidity control box and finishing oil to keep it looking new and in good condition. The box itself is also very beautiful and has a drawer to tuck away all the extra items that come with it. Once again, ,adding to the minimalist in me that likes clean counter tops and beautiful functional things.
Additionally, I picked a Sandalwood watch since sandalwood is something I wear often. They are very commonly used in malas. The scent of sandalwood actually comes from the wood itself not the leaves like some plants. Sandalwood scent is known to help the mind unwind according to this article from Mala Collective.
Each person will receive a 10% discount code as well (nice consolation prize if you don’t win)
The contest will close 03/11/2018 at 11:59pm CST. Both the $100 and the 10% off codes will expire on 04/08/2018
For those of you that read my recent post about How I Got My Fitness Motivation Back, you would have read that I am now training for the Spartan Trifecta races this year. Which means.... lots of extra running.
I used to love running a lot and gave it a break to try different things. Now I'm back, but my body is a bit older and needs more support and love.
I started using the Body Helix knee compression sleeve on longer run days for some extra support on my right knee. My right knee over lots of running (and some aging) seems to seize up a bit sometimes after runs or hurts while I am running. The support from the knee brace has been helping this pain and seizing. So I am able to run longer and with less pain!
So I've teamed up with Body Helix to giveaway a knee brace! You have THREE ways to enter!
- Comment below with your sport/workout of choice. What do you love and why would the knee brace support that?
- Head over to Instagram. Follow Bitchinhousewife and Body Helix and tag a friend in the post.
- Head over to my Facebook page and do the same!
No get out there!
What is floating you ask? This recent trend is gaining popularity and for good reason. It is suuuuper relaxing and in my opinion, one of the ultimate self care "me" times.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go check out the Float House Edmonton. It was basically pure bliss. But before we get into my review of the Float House, first let's chat about what floating is.
What is a float tank?
Basically it's a tank you lie in with a high salt water content so that you actually float in the water without effort. The tank is enclosed to block out noise, light and basically most sensory stimulation. It's sometimes called a sensory deprivation tank.
What's the point?
By removing the stimulus of noise, light, draft etc the body can go into a deeper state of relaxation and/or meditation.
What if I'm claustrophobic?
This is a REAL question. I 100% have claustrophobia issues. about 5/6 years ago I had my first experience in a tank and it wasn't too bad (I had already done lots of work on my claustrophobia), but I was able to keep the door of the tank open to ease my anxiety. That said the tank I was in was on the smaller side so I found myself not completely relaxed. Personally at Float House Edmonton in particular their tanks are so big that I was completely comfortable and even closed the door all the way .
What do you in there the whole time?
Well, whatever you want to do I guess. Dominic did a great job of explaining some things about being in the tank. He suggested some things like playing in the space a bit, ways to find comfort, doing a body scan or meditation. I personally found it comforting to play around with my positioning a bit, make waves in the water and feel around the walls a bit before coming into a settled position. The great part is that whenever you feel ready you can leave. The tank is in it's pwn room and you can get out and shower whenever you feel you are ready too.
What are the benefits of floating?
There are tons! I go for the relaxation and meditation. But check out the Float Houses #WhyWeFloat page for the best resource on this subject.
So about Float House.
I love the vibe in there. Located just off Whyte Ave it's amazing to come off a busy street into the chill setting. The space is very clean, relaxed and inviting. Sitting down with Dominic, he helped put me at ease about the process, giving me a lot of good tips.
The room itself is beautiful. A private shower in the room, just outside the tank. It makes it easier to have a cleansing shower before the float and a nice warm shower upon stepping out. There is a few lighting options. You can choose total darkness, which sets on a timer. You set it to total dark and it gives you time to get into the tank and settle before it goes all dark. Additionally you can choose more light or a little bit of light. There are a couple of small holes in the ceiling of the tank that let in the smallest amount of the room light. I chose this option to help keep me oriented.
The tank itself is really large. I'm 5'2" and had lots of space to bounce back and forth from foot to head. Additionally height wise I'm pretty sure I could actually stand up in the tank. So It felt more like floating in a room then a tub.
One of the best parts however is the post float. There is this beautiful room where they encourage you to sit and have some tea, or maybe read, write or reflect. I had a beautiful conversation with Dominic and another floater afterwards. It was like hanging out with long time friends.
Overall, I really love this place. Personally every Sunday I have a morning bath and I think I will be replacing that time once a month with a float.
Have you ever floated?
Have you ever tried switching to a all natural deodorant? I made the switch about two years ago after I learned some staggering statistics regarding the harmful things put into our deodorant and the relation to breast cancers. At first it wasn't good. I will admit. There is a couple week phase as your body sort of detoxes from the chemical filled stuff. But after that, life gets better. I promise!
Since switching I have tried MANY natural deodorants. Some good, some just plain bad. I may however have found the ultimate deodorant from Pure Living. I am not even kidding people. I am a busy mama. I get up at 5:30 am to workout, rush kids to school, teach bootcamps and yoga all day and night, and add all the usual life of a mom (laundry, cooking, boo boo kissing and basically everything else am I right?). I have found in the past, about 1/2 way into my day, I start to smell a bit. I either just let myself smell or need to reapply.
Well, let me tell you a little something. I put this deodorant to THE TEST yesterday. Let me set the scene:
Tuesday evening I come home from teaching hot yoga, shower and sleep.
Wednesday morning apply deodorant after being up early with a sick kid and missing the gym.
Teach bootcamp, pickup kids, make lunch, teach yoga, do a fast and hard leg day workout, meditate, teach two more yoga classes, put kids to bed and pass out on the couch.
I do not shower. (sorry hubby)
Thursday morning 5:30 am head to the gym, back day and 30 minutes on the stairmill (or sometimes referred to as the Death Machine)
Get back home to make breakfast and have coffee.
I DO NOT STINK!!! Yeah re-read that. Seriously guys. I am 100% impressed.
So I think it's safe to safe I 100% recommend this deodorant. And of course another side benefit? They are local to Edmonton! You can support our local city and get a great product. Win - win right? Check out the Pure Living webpage and check back on the blog here for a more reviews of their stuff coming!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
I LOOOOOVE aromatherapy. But sometimes burning incense or diffusing oils isn't always practical in everyday life. Like when I'm driving in the car or running errands and so on. I'm not always home!
I came across Authentically Healing you and couldn't wait to get my hands on one of these rollerballs! And now I have one I'm obsessed. I carry it in my bag with me all the time (luckily it's small and fits in a purse or diaper bag).
When I'm feeling a little wound up or sometimes before I teach I put the Balancing and calming blend on my wrists and behind my ears. I take a deep breath and carry on calmly.
I love how sweet these rollerballs look and that the container is see through so you can see all the gorgeous ingredients inside
Mala’s have become very popular lately. They look gorgeous but they also can serve a function.
What are the made from?
Many different materials are used in the making of mala’s. I’ve seen beads made from animal bone, different stones and rocks.
What are they used for?
They can be worn with the intention of the stones/gems they are made from protecting/helping you. Traditionally malas have been used in helping meditation. Using the beads on the necklace to help repeat an intention or a point of focus in meditation.
I had surgery on Monday and since I have been spending time meditating on healing. With each bead I repeat to myself over and over "I am healing and healthy".
Why 108 beads?
I've heard many reasons behind the 108 beads. The number 108 comes up in many ways, including even the fact that the suns diameter is exactly 108 times the size of the earth's.
What about the bracelets?
I also love bracelets. I think they look pretty stacked on wrists with different colours, but I use them for quick little reminders. While I'm waiting in the car to pick up my daughters from school or while I'm teaching and people are laying in Savanasa. A moments to align with my intentions for myself and my day. Sometimes I use no mantra and just use it to count a few deep breaths.
The mystery of the mala solved.
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
There is a newer fitness clothing line right here in Edmonton named True Life Fitness and I've got my hands on a pair of the pants they first launched the Blaire Legging! These are super fun and well you know me... I LOVE to support local business.
The first time I wore these I wore them to teach hot yoga, and yeah I was sold for a number of reasons. Probably my favourite being that I was dry minutes after teaching and sweating. After I teach I rarely ever change and usually just take me and my wet clothes home in my car. Which can be uncomfortable especially when it's cold out! I noticed that within minutes of coming out of the hot yoga room all covered in sweat, my pants were dry! No uncomfortable walk out into the cold air and drive home!
I was worried about the zipper in the back and doing anything where I would be laying on my back. I didn't even notice the zipper to be honest. Wasn't in my way at all. Which is great because I also LOVE having a pocket in pants for keys or music as I workout.
The top waistband is the bigger control design type. I like that I feel supported in the "mommy tummy" area without it digging in. Sometimes I find the tops of pants kind of roll over when I'm doing yoga specifically, but these stayed put through all my vinyasas.
Now I'm not normally one to wear light colored pants, but paired with a neutral shirt I felt comfortable. I've got the whole black widow look going for me some days so I probably SHOULD add some colour to my life. I had a lot of people ask me about them and compliment them too. I guess maybe I would avoid wearing them during "that time". (Sorry I am so TMI).
Overall I feel supported as I wear them, but without it being too tight I cant actually move.
BUT the BEST part.......... k not about the actual pants but $2 from every purchase goes to Women Win helping support women get involved in sports! How amazing is that?!?!?
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
I had a chance in December to check out a couple of Next Level Martial Arts classes and then went back yesterday. I went for the ladies kickboxing classes and even tried one of the open gym nights on a Friday with my ass kicking actual fighter sister! Located on the southside not far off 91st street and Anthony Henday it's super easy to get too as well.
This is probably one of my favourite things about this place. There is a space where the kids can play and/or watch tv, or sit on some chairs and eat their dinner. And in the room I'm getting my sweat on there is a tv monitor so I can see whats happening. They are also allowed to come sit in the room at any time and watch what I am doing.
The space is pretty new and it's bright and they have fun motivational sayings written on the walls to. My favourite one is "If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits" -Don Ward.
The class is only 45 minutes, I think it should be 60 minutes, but it's good to get in and get out too. 60 would be nice for when there is some newer people and things need a bit more explaining. THAT said, once you get into, it kicks your butt!
We started with a warm up that's a mix of cardio and strength and then we hit pads. You get partnered up with someone around your size and skill level. A quick instruction of whats happening and you get into it. I like that we build on things. So we started off with one punch, got good at it then add another, then add another for the combo afterwards, so you can take it step by step.
It may sound intimidating to go by yourself and get partnered with someone you don't know, but you certainly get to make a new friend fast. Being that close in proximity to another and you sort of have to have a bit of instant trust. Each time I've gone and I've been paired with someone I didn't know, I felt like I made a new friend, making it feel very community based.
Well, I wouldn't say there is one really, aside from at the end of class when the teacher says "see you Wednesday right?" and you feel bad saying no because you work..... ha ha. There is a free week trial so you have some time to try out a few classes to decide.
Overall I'm a big fan of this place. The staff are great and fun, I love I can bring my kids for no extra cost or trouble (there is actually a kids class that goes on at the same time too to be extra efficient) and it's great to try something new!
Jen the Bitchin' Housewife
I'm sure you've seen or heard about Orange Theory Fitness. They seem to be popping up everywhere lately. But just what is it all about? I went on Tuesday to the Jasper Gates location off Stony Plain road and 149 street and checked out a class.
I went in the week before to check their schedule and sign up for a class and she told me I had to be there 30 minutes before class for orientation. Since I was in a time crunch she let me fill out the form ahead of time and only come 15 minutes earlier then class.
I got a walk through of the space and quick meet up with the trainer before class. They went over everything I would need to know in order to be effective without stopping the workout to much, which is great to be able to just do my thing!
The workout room is kind of cool with the orange lights. Definetly a different experience from a traditional gym light. The music was upbeat and fun and the trainer was that hard to find balance of perky, motivating and not irritating. (As someone who instructs fitness it's really a hard balance to find!)
It was a great workout for sure. I enjoyed that it was a group thing but you were able to really individually push yourself, especially since you wear a heart rate monitor. The monitor is then put on the screen and you can see what zone you are at any given time. The idea being you spend most of your time in the hard work but not dying "orange zone" or recovery "green zone. That's the THEORY anyways..... see what I did there?
K kidding aside though. We did some strength training and rowing and then switched and did cardio on the treadmills half way through. The strength training was a tad easy for me, but you can add more weights to moves making them harder for sure. I suppose you want to reserve some energy for the rest of class too!
The cardio was good. I like they give variations for those who wish to be more power walkers and those more into running. I noticed they even had a few bikes and an eliptical for those who have knee/ankles issues or whatever.
The workout was great. Since you wear a monitor it racks your calories burned which I love. I use my MyZone Heart rate monitor all the time, so knowing my caloric range I was in to compare to a normal workout of mine was great. The workout gets emailed to you after so you can keep track as well. Only thing I wish they did in the email was tell you who was the teacher. I wish I remembered her name for in case I wanted to go again. She was pretty awesome.
They certainly have got their sales plan down on working with you after the workout. Not to much pressure, but they get to the point. I've heard people say it's expensive and some say it's not bad. The pricing seemed a bit awkward to me with basing it off working out twice a week for the month. My three thoughts on this:
- Interval training (which this is) should really only be done every second or third day, so makes sense to sell it that way.
- It misses the fact that maybe you need to run or have weight in between and you either still need a membership or something else to supplement. For people new to fitness, likely not so much, but since I like to workout 6 days a week I would.
- Considering the fact there are only so many people allowed per class and you don't have to think about making your own workout AT ALL, paying the price is similar to as if working with a trainer at a gym anyways.
So with that info you can decide if it's pricey for you and your lifestyle.
- GREAT workout
- I love the heart rate tracking and caloric tracking
- The place has certainly got a fun vibe.
- You don't have to plan your workouts. You just go and do it! Great for beginners.
The not so good:
- It may seem pricey
- You might have to supplement workouts still
- No childcare
Have you tried out a class yet?
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
My friend BMS Bootcamp posted a couple of days ago on her personal Facebook page about the Costco Protein bars and I just had to buy them and put them on the blog.
Special dietary : Gluten Free
I’m impressed Costco. Pretty impressed.
I usually find knock off brands horrible, but Costco did a fairly good job here. I have so far opened the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavour. It actually tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough. The texture is good without being to chewy or hard as well.
The real test was my stomach. I find a lot of bars leave me gassy or with an upset stomach, but I was just fine after consuming these bars.
The calories/macro content is comparable to most bars, while still maintaining flavour and fibre content. I definitely recommend this bar. It’s great to leave them in the car as quick snacks while you are out and about or throw into your lunch for snacks at work.
Best part? The price. $25 for a box of 20 is something most bars can't even come close to. Don't tell my husband but I just paid $35 for a box of 12 Quest!!!
Jen The Bitchin’ Housewife
Recently The Chopped Leaf launched the new Beet Bowl. Now I will let you in on a secret. I hate Beets. *gasp* Okay I should say I USED to hate beets. I tried. I really tried to like them, but I've never found a way I like them. They are super good for you. They are high in vitamin c (good for immunity) and fiber (good for nutrient absorbtion) and other essential minerals.
From an Ayurvedic standpoint they are good for all constitution types and are known as a powerful blood builder and treater of ailments because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
So last week I went into try the new Beet Bowl for lunch. It came in this pretty bowl. And we all know we eat with our eyes first right? The colorful bowl certainly makes a pretty display.
This bowl is packed full of nutrients and deliciousness. The blueberries create this nice sweetness, and the smooth feta adds a bit of saltiness getting that sweet and salty taste just right. The pecans add a wonderful crunch with the crisp lettuce, and the brown basmati rice adds a heartiness to the dish, leaving you feeling satisfied. Add the beets and top with the honey dijon dressing and perfecto! The sweet, salty and slightly sour from the honey dijon make a trifecta of tastes. In Ayurveda these three tastes are even known to be the three of comfort.
I topped my bowl with smoked tofu since I'm a vegetarian, but they have other protein options or eat it on it own! At just 190 calories for the starter size this bowl is super satisfying and easily added to most's eating plans.
Make sure you check out The Chopped Leaf giveaway and enter to win prizes they are giving away weekly!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
I've been teaching yoga at the RVX gym all summer and they have all their athletes wear these heart rate monitors. There is a big t.v up on the wall so the trainers can see their efforts in real time. Pretty cool. I enjoyed watching the heart rates go up and slow way down from the yoga I was teaching them.
I was so intrigued that I just had to get myself one of these My Zone Heart Rate Monitors. I have to admit, I'm a little obsessed with it.
Since it goes around the torso, rather then the wrist as in a watch there is constant contact getting the results of monitoring to be %99.4 accurate.
It's easy to wear and you can't even see it under a shirt.
It shows you on an app on your phone your effort. Showing where your heart rate is in different "zones". Where I am assuming where they get their name from.
The brilliant thing about these zones is that you are rewarded points or as they call it MEP's for every minute you are in a different zone. The harder you work the more points per minute you get. Hence their slogan "Effort Rewarded". These points can be added up for challenges, personal goals or competing against friends. You can add your friends and see where they are at with their workouts. You can help motivate them by a little friendly competition. Not that I know about this or anything........ Oh and they just added an update where you can post a photo to your feed with your workout!
Since you also plug in all your personal info, including your age and weight etc it tracks your caloric burn during a workout. It's fascinating to see the difference from what the cardio machine at the gym is telling you and your actual amount.
I have found myself pushing a little harder in workouts, if not because I see my heart rate in a lower zone, but because I want more MEP's! Either way I'm motivated!
The thing that super impressed me about this monitor is that I wore it during the Spartan Super race I did, running through mud and swimming across a river and it stayed in place AND it still works! I wasn't near my phone, but it will track up to 16 hours of your workout for you and upload it when you are near your phone again.
Overall, I'm super happy with my purchase and continue to love my new workout gear. I believe you can get them online at the My Zone website or you can buy them through a local retailer like I did at RVX Factor Gym here in Edmonton.
Jen the Bitchin' Housewife
Every thought about trying out a barre class? Yeah that was me. A friend and I have thought about it for a while and weren't sure. I figured I would try and blog about it so you can see if it's something you wanted to try! I'll experiment on my body for you like that. We cool.
Thursday night my two friends and I went to Xtend Barre in south Edmonton and tried out a class! First of all this brand new studio is super gorgeous and the people that work there are amazingly friendly and inviting! I mean I know I have tried many different things in fitness, but always embarking on a new journey can be a little intimidating and these guys treat you like a best friend the second you walk in the door.
So we walk in and fill out our forms and get ready for class. Fist thing is we grab some equipment. Some straps, mat, ball and choose our size hand weights. Now, let me tell you a bit about my ego. There are 2, 3 and 5 lbs weights. And I'm all like, "I lift weights, where's the 15 lbs weights?" and Cheryl is all like "3 lbs is challenging and 5 lbs is like hard core". I almost grabbed the 5lbs, but last second thought, I'm a newbie I'll go 3. *Insert rolling laughter from everyone ever who has taken a barre class*.
We get all set up and start on some warm up movements. It was pretty good, I felt loosened up and got a grasp of hand placcement and footing. I had concerns about how complicated it was going to be, especially after I saw the equipment we needed, but the moves are simple and easy to follow.
After warming up we grab our weights get to some strength. Yeah so I'm a weightlifter..... I can hip thrust a whopping 270 lbs. These 3 lbs weights kicked my ass. Well shoulders, but you get the idea. I seriously part way through had to put those suckers down and do just bodyweight. Which is a wonderful option for newbies to fitness too. It's totally still a good workout.
We got to some more bodyweight stuff......
Then we hit the bar. Where I learned, it doesn't matter how fit you are, you can ALWAYS learn something new. I'm totally proud of my capabilities to perform a very good squat with my butt back and low. But Cheryl had to keep correcting me to tuck my pelvis the other direction. Not a squat but a plie! Let's talk about using new muscles! yowza!
Then my FAVORITE, core work!!!!!
Overall we had a total blast. Chris and Melissa proclaimed to be very sore yesterday. I wasn't as sore since I taught 7 hours of yoga and stretched all day, but I can feel it still in some parts of my body!
My overall take on barre:
- Great workout, with something available for all levels to get a challenge.
- Very simple to follow, with easy transitions between exercises.
- Fun upbeat music.
- What I liked best was it was almost like a taste of being a dancer, without the intimidation or seriousness. We were just some friends hanging out and having fun, while learning a new way of fitness. My friend Melissa was actually a dancer as a child and she said it reminded her of her dancing years and she will definitely go back.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Grip socks are required. This particular studio offers them for sale, but I see them all the time at Walmart or Shoppers or places like Keylime Athletic Wear.
- Keep within your limits and rest if needed.
Overall, I'm a fan and will go back for sure! Have you tried a barre class? Will you?
This week I tried out a Muscle Pharm Combat Crunch Chocolate Cookie Dough Protein Bar.
- Calories: 210
- Fat: 7g
- Carbohydrates: 25g
- Fiber: 12g
- Protein: 20g
- Special dietary : Gluten Free
Again first thing I noticed is texture. On their packaging they say "like eating a soft batch cookie". I would disagree. It was better then a soft batch cookie. More like a chocolate bar. Close to the texture of an Oh Henry. Which I personally like a lot! Chewy with some crunch.
The flavor is delicious. As I said the texture is like a chocolate bar, and honestly so is the taste. I wouldn't say it taste like chocolate chip cookie dough, but certainly a good chocolate bar.
The calories are within normal range, slightly higher and the fiber content is okay. The one issue I had is that it upset my tummy a bit and I was a bit gassy. I am known to have a bit of a sensitive stomach, so if that's you, maybe err on the side of caution or consume half a bar at a time. (If you can resist).
I wouldn't mess with this bar much by baking or putting anything on it. It's pretty good on it's own and the texture is spot on.
Jen the Bithin' Housewife
I get so excited with chocolate protein bars. I LOVE chocolate and I love a good protein bar.
- Calories: 190
- Fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 24g
- Fiber: 20g
- Protein: 20g
- Special dietary : Gluten Free
I tried out the Muscletech Mission 1 Chocolate Brownie Protein bar this week. First thing I noticed was the texture. Rather then a hard bar it was more of a fudge brownie texture, which I'm actually a big fan of. I like that it has the consistency of something indulgent.
The calories and macros on this bar are pretty good. I like the high fiber content. It's good for dieting, rather then some bars that are higher calories meant for bulking.
The downside to this bar is that it's missing some flavor. The chocolate flavor isn't as prominent. I bet a bit for more of the cocoa and/or sea salt used would up the flavor a bunch. The sodium level is 180mg, sea salt/cocoa would add to this sodium level which is why I'm assuming it's not as rich in flavor.
I'd recommend this bar for someone watching calories, but not someone who is a huge chocolate fan (as I am). This bar would probably be good with a bit of Nutella spread on top, then slightly chilled to harden the Nutella and give it that brownie texture with chocolate icing. Mmmmmmm drool......
Jen the Bitchin' Housewife