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Running Free

Horsetooth Reservoire

Last week I decided to kick running up a notch to see how I would handle back-to-back runs.  I accidentally (trails were blocked off and so I ran more than planned) ran just shy of three miles on Wednesday and then ran 2 miles on Thursday.  I did well!

The three miles went really smoothly.  My hip wasn’t any more sore than after a 2 mile run so I’m considering that a gain.  I stretched really well afterwards and was pleased with how my hip was holding up.

After the run the following day, my hip was a little tight and a little more sore but nothing that would cause me any concern.  I really was hoping that I could push it and go for another run on Friday but that wasn’t going to happen.  When I woke up, my hip was tight and a little stiff.  I didn’t want to risk a run so I went on a 4 mile hike instead.

So far I’m very happy with the progress that I’ve made with this stupid hip issue.  I can still run and even though there is some slight soreness afterwards it’s not a big deal.   As long as I continue to work on stretching it out and do strength exercises I should be back in tip top shape pretty soon.  I’m also going to start rotating in some three miles runs.  It may sound silly but I’m super excited about that!

Hopefully I’ll be able to add running back to my routine full time!  I love working out but nothing makes me feel as awesome as running does.

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Review: Safe Catch Tuna

Safe Catch Tuna Salad

I was contacted by the people at Safe Catch to review their new tuna.  Since we eat a good bit of seafood I was up for tasting the newest tuna on the market.

The idea behind Safe Catch is that every tuna is tested for mercury levels before purchasing.  Since mercury is such an issue right now with fish, this is a new line of tuna that provides a safe product with 100% of it’s tuna tested for mercury levels.

From the press release: Safe Catch is also the only canned tuna to be able to surpass the purity and Omega 3 criteria for “best seafood” as set by the Environmental Working Group.

Their tuna also comes in BPA free cans and they raw pack their tuna.  There’s no additives or water added, the tuna is cooked right in the can so all juices in the can are from the fish.  Making it extra tasty and still full of nutrients.

Pretty interesting, right?

I was sent a can of tuna to test out.  I made some basic tuna salad with it, nothing fancy.  I wanted to get a taste for the tuna to see what it was like.

It flaked nicely and wasn’t overly strong in aroma.  It had a pleasing fish smell, nothing overpowering.  Both Scott and I enjoyed this tuna.  Plus we felt good knowing that it was low in mercury, packed well, and canned in a BPA free can.

The tuna is currently available at our local Sprouts and runs between $3-$4 per can with the albacore tuna in the $4-$5 range. That’s actually not a bad price considering everything you’re getting with this tuna; tested for mercury levels, raw packed so all the nutrients remain, and a BPA free can.  Pretty good deal!

I don’t shop at Sprouts all that often but when I do stop in, I will most likely pick up a few cans of tuna.  It would be great to see this tuna expand to other markets as well making it more accessible to people.

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a can of Safe Catch Tuna in exchange for a review article.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated further for this post.

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Grains and Gains

cheese danish from farmer's market

Recently I talked about how I was going to start adding in some whole grains back into my diet to see how I handle them.  I’ve been focusing on old fashioned oatmeal and whole grain breads.  So far things have been going well with that.  Those grains aren’t causing me any sleep or digestive issues.  This means I can get back to eating oatmeal (I do love it!) and having a sandwich on occasion.

I pressed my luck and splurged a bit.  I got a cheese danish from the farmer’s market last week and had that for breakfast with coffee.  It was delicious and decadent.  And it caused me a lot of problems.  Booo

It left me feeling bloated and crappy.  Plus I couldn’t sleep that night.  The bloaty feeling stuck around for two days after eating that danish.  Bleck!  So while delicious, I know that those are the types of things I need to stay away from.  I can have a few bites if I really want it but otherwise, white flour based treats are out.  Which is fine because I typically don’t gravitate towards that stuff anyway.

My gains are with running and this makes my heart sing!  I took some time off running since it was starting to bother my hip.  Instead I started focusing more on HIIT workouts (Insanity Max 30) and weight workouts with 21 Day Fix Extreme (21FX). Both of these have helped me get back on track and being able to start running again.

Max 30 helped me keep my endurance and cardio levels up.  21DFX helped me strengthen my core and work on my leg strength.  That program has a lot of one legged exercises (think one legged squats) that helped me with balance and to make my legs and hips stronger.

I started running again last week and it went well.  My hips were only a little sore after the run but the soreness didn’t last. It did not linger through the next day and I could walk up stairs without limping.

Score!  This is amazing!  Running is so much my jam and we have so many amazing places to run here.  I love getting up early in the mornings and knocking out a run.  Nothing makes me feel as amazing as a run does.  It always puts me in a good mood and starts the day off on the right foot.  I love it.  I can’t go run every day but right now I’ll take something over nothing.

Where do I go from here?  Still going to focus on eating whole grains on occasion and keeping that in check.  Along with adding running back in a few days a week.  I’m also getting ready to start a new workout routine called CIZE.  I have a challenge group that starts next Monday and it’s not too late to join in.  CIZE is a hip-hop dance focused workout routine.  No burpees and no weights.  Just shakin’ the booty and getting exercise at the same time.  There’s still time to join the challenge group if you want in.  Give me a shout and I’ll send you all the details!

How are your workouts going lately?

 

 

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Review: Block Island Organics Sunscreen

Block Island SunscreenSun protection is a big issue here in the mountains and needs to be taken seriously.  The sun is hot and intense.  You can burn a lot more quickly here than at sea level.  Most people doing outside activities actively wear sunscreen along with big hats to help keep their face and head covered.

However most sunscreens are filled with a lot of nasty chemicals.  Yeah they are keeping you from getting sunburnt but at what cost?  What exactly are we putting on to our skin to keep it “safe”?

When I was contacted by Block Island Organics to test out their all natural sunscreen I immediately jumped at the chance. Block Island focuses on bringing natural skin care products to consumers.  I was told that all of their products are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes and artificial fragrances.  No animal testing and all products have a vegan base formula.

I was all in!  Since I’ve been doing more hiking this year, outside yard work, and running, I needed a quality sunscreen.  I like that this sunscreen was made from all natural zinc and didn’t have any junk added to it.

The Pros:

  • There’s no fake smell or fragrance with this sunscreen.  You won’t smell like a beach or attract bugs.
  • It’s not overly greasy or heavy.
  • All natural, made with only zinc.
  • Doesn’t sweat off.
  • Safe to use on face.

The Cons:

  • A little goes a long way, so start off with a small amount.
  • If you use too much, you’re skin will be white or streaked white which can last for a while.

Using this product does have a bit of a learning curve to it because you do need to start off with a small amount and make sure that is fully rubbed in before doing more.  If too much is used, I’ve found that it can streak and not really absorb into the skin as it should.  Leaving your skin pasty white looking or with random white streaks.

That can be quickly dealt with though.  Other than that, I had no problems with this sunscreen. I used it during several different activities and I was pleased that it didn’t come off with sweat or leave me feeling greasy. Plus there’s no fragrance so you aren’t left smelling like a pina colada.

If you’re looking for a high quality sunscreen that isn’t going to break the bank or leave you feeling all goopey, give Block Island a shot.  You won’t be disappointed!

Block Island also offers other products such as moisturizers and cleansers. If you’re looking for all natural products, check out their site.

Bonus for Food Embrace readers! There’s a discount for purchases through the Block Island Organics site!  You’ll get 15% off your purchase valid only from July 30th – Aug 5th.  Enter code “andrea” at checkout.

 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for a review post. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way.

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Testing The Waters

Pizza From Nick's

I have been following a pretty steady primal focused diet since February of this year.  I’m at a point now where my diet is pretty solid and my digestive tract is healed up and in a good place.  Because of this I’ve decided to test the waters and see how I do with adding small amounts of grains and wheat back into my diet.

I’m not a big bread or pasta eater.  I don’t get addicted to or crave carbs. I have always been this way, big plates of pasta are just not appealing to me because they always leave me feeling like crap.

I typically lean more towards a minimal wheat lifestyle just because that is what makes me feel top notch. However I would like to be able to enjoy some oatmeal or some bread on occasion.

Because I used to be able to handle these items without issue before, I feel like I can get back to that status.  Lately I’ve been eating small amounts of wheat and whole grains and making notes in my food journal of everything.

I don’t have digestion issues or suffer from stomach cramps when I eat wheat.  Instead I’ll become a little bloated and it will cause me to have insomnia.  Sometimes depending on how much I’ve had, I’ll have “wheat sweats” during the night.  Those are my symptoms.  Everyone handles food differently and intolerances can have multip symptoms. These are mine with wheat.

So far I’ve been able to handle whole grain bread without issue.  If it’s kept in small amounts it does not affect my sleep or cause me to have “wheat sweats”.  I did have some pizza recently and had the sweats but was able to sleep decently.

I consider this huge success and progress.  I would not be in this position if I didn’t take charge of my health and go down the primal road for several months.

My goal is to be able to enjoy a few slices of bread or some oatmeal on occasion without causing my body too much distress.  I think that I’m on the right track and making great strides.  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll start seeing more and more of these items pop up the more I experiment and keep tracking my eats in my food journal.