Still Loving Pokemon Go

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This woman dressed as a Pokemon Go trainer was in line behind me at the grand opening of Think Geek in the South Shore Plaza back in November

2016 was rough for me workout wise.

But, one thing I did keep up was playing Pokemon Go.

Part of my getting back to health plan has been taking a daily walk, and playing Pokemon Go gives me additional motivation to get out, since the game is location based and played on my phone.

For the winter season, the game designers allowed you to catch Pikachu wearing a Santa hat – which made me laugh.

I’m level 31 in the game now. I’m only missing 1 of the original pokemon in the game (Aerodactyl – for those who also play and were wondering.)

New pokemon are being added to the game, so for me – it doesn’t get old.

I also enjoy playing the game with my husband and in-laws. It’s been a fun reason for more walks around Castle Island in South Boston.

My in-laws gave me a Pikachu hat for my birthday, which gets great reactions from both kids and adults when I wear it.

Readers – do you play Pokemon Go?

If you’re outside of the US, can I come visit you to get the region specific pokemon?

I have plenty of the US regional pokemon ready for trading once the designers introduce it.

Giveaway – Harbor Sweets Gather

Disclosure:  I was sent complimentary Gather chocolate in exchange for my review.

The opinions expressed are my own.

One of the awesome things about living on the North Shore of MA growing up was having Harbor Sweets chocolates. They’re handcrafted in Salem, MA.

They have a new line of chocolate, with local honey, called Gather.

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Gather Chocolate is six distinctly flavored chocolates each designed to be part of a flight of flavor experiences. Made by hand in small batches, the flight is unified by rich notes of 70% cacao dark chocolate complimented by a lighter note of local wildflower honey. A portion of each sale is donated to the Pollinator Partnership whose mission promotes the health of bee pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through research and education.  

Harbor Sweets sent me a box to sample and they’re delicious!

They’ve also offered to send a box of Gather chocolate to a lucky reader of my blog. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

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Graphic from Frugal Foodie Mama

Readers, you may not know this about me, but I consider myself a coupon queen.

You won’t fine me on an episode of “Extreme Couponing” anytime soon, but I do pride myself on being able to save big using coupons – especially in my weekly food shopping. (Hilariously, the coupons I have the most trouble with being scanned are usually from the supermarket itself, scanning issues caused by low ink in the machines that print them at the register.)

I always check for coupon codes before buying anything online, and see if I can find coupons to print or show on my phone before shopping at a retail location or heading to a chain restaurant.

I recently found out Groupon Coupons. You already know Groupon can save you money on experiences. (The Groupon Health & Fitness section is my favorite.)

Now, they can save you money with coupons too – often with exclusive coupons!

I can see myself using the Groupon Coupons section for Fitness & Diet and Clothing quite often. You can also search Groupon Coupons by store, like Lane Bryant, for example.

Who doesn’t like a great deal? Groupon Coupons will definitely be added to my list of must search sites before shopping.

All the Groupon Coupons are free to use and you don’t have to be a Groupon member to view them. Best part is, most coupons can be scanned straight from your phone, eliminating scanning issues at the register and saving your printer ink!

Have you used Groupon Coupons yet? If so, what’s your favorite coupon find from Groupon?

Ditching the Diet, Healthy is Sexy: Nutrition Workshops

My friend Laura wrote a book on nutrition that launched in paperback the week of the Boston Marathon. (Some of you know Laura as the DJ for November Project Boston.)

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She’s hosting some free workshops in Boston called Ditching the Diet, Healthy is Sexy: Nutrition Workshops on May 11, May 18, June 1, & June 8.

I’ve already registered for all 4 workshops and I encourage you do the same!

Here’s what I wrote in a Goodreads review of Laura’s book:

Laura nails the argument that healthy is much more important than skinny.

I’m a woman in my 30s that’s successfully dieted, but never kept the weight off in the long run.

Thank you to Laura for writing exactly what I needed to hear to stop blaming myself for my body size and focus on health instead.

Will I see you at the workshops?

Also, if you’re interested in reading Laura’s book, the Kindle version will be free for five days starting tomorrow, 5/5.

The Perfect Portion Cookbook

“Getting fit” is not about working out alone.

The saying “You can’t out exercise a bad diet” is true.

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I was given a review copy of The Perfect Portion Cookbook.

I like the concept of healthy makeovers of comfort foods – that have 100 calorie portions.

For a snack during the Super Bowl, my husband and I made the Spinach & Artichoke Dip recipe from the book.

It tasted wonderful! My husband said, “This doesn’t even taste like a ‘healthy’ food! We can totally make this next time we go to a party.”

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Above is our dip. I like that it isn’t picture perfect! It shows we actually cooked it. 🙂

I’m looking forward to trying other recipes from The Perfect Portion Cookbook

I recommend it to anyone trying to eat healthier food without sacrificing taste.

Walkadoo

Walkadoo

My husband recently asked me how I enjoy my Fitbit verses the Weight Watchers Active Link that I used to use.

I like Fitbit offering a leaderboard so I can see how my activity compares to my friends, but I don’t like that there is no way to change your daily goal from 10,000 steps (5 miles).

Active Link set your daily activity goal based on your past activity levels and your current weight.

The way I’ve gotten around this is I sync my Fitbit to the (free) app Walkadoo.

Walkadoo sets step goals for me based on my previous activity level and sends me a text with the goals each day.

Here’s an example, what my goal for today looks like:

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There are also occasionally unlimited points and all or nothing points challenges.

I’m a fan of using this app to get the personal goals I was missing using Fitbit alone.

Do any of you use apps and/or activity monitors to track your activity?

30 Day Realistic Resolution Challenge & a Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was sent complimentary Gorton’s products in exchange for my review.

The opinions expressed are completely my own.

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Gorton's Blogger Giveaway

I’ve signed up for the 30 Day Realistic Resolution Challenge. Want to join me? Sign up at bit.ly/RealisticResolution

What I like about the Realistic Resolution Challenge is the tasks are easy enough to complete, but add up to a big difference. For example, day 2 is drink more water. (I keep a 17 oz. refillable tumbler on my desk at work next to my computer, to remind myself to keep drinking water.)

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For the day 3 challenge – “go fish” – I added Gorton’s Simply Grilled Salmon to a salad mix for a quick lunch at work.

It was delicious!

Initially, I was skeptical that frozen fish that was then microwaved could actually taste good – but to my surprise it did.

The seasoning on the fish wasn’t overpowering, so I could add a balsamic dressing & tie the whole meal together.

 

Want to try Gorton’s Grilled or Simply Baked products? Download a coupon

Enter Gorton’s Eat Smarter Sweepstakes with a $5,000 grand prize!

Blog Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a package including 2 full-value product coupons, an insulated tote, the SparkPeople cookbook, the Spark book and the SparkPeople Boot Camp DVD

Quick, Easy, Delicious Meal – Smart Flour Frozen Pizzas

Disclosure:  Through my role as a Northeast Bloggers Network member,

I was sent complimentary Smart Flour products in exchange for my review.

The opinions expressed are completely my own.

My house is a wash with holiday spirit.

But with all the present buying, gift wrapping, etc. – finding time to cook dinner isn’t happening.

Thank you Smart Flour pizza for coming to the rescue!

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Their pizza is not only delicious, but bonus, it’s gluten free!

I had planned to invite a friend over that keeps a gluten free diet (due to celiac disease) to try the pizzas with me & my husband – but the winter season is also a season where it seems too many bugs are going around & she’s sick. (Get well soon!)

So, when I had an evening spent wrapping presents, my husband suggested we make the Smart Flour pizzas for dinner.

What a great suggestion!

Now, my husband & I don’t normally eat gluten free food, so we wondered if it would taste as good as other frozen pizzas.

We were pleasantly surprised that it did!

Here’s a photos of the cooked margarita pizza:

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We also tried the pepperoni & cheese pizzas and they were equally tasty. If I had to pick a favorite of the 3, I’d pick the pepperoni.

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The pizzas are a little smaller than the frozen pizzas I usually get from Stop & Shop, so my husband & I made 2 pizzas instead of 1.

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Gifts are wrapped & ready for Christmas

Holiday Run List – Gift Suggestions for the Runner in Your Life

Disclosure:  Through my role as a SweatPink Ambassador, I was sent complimentary PRO Compression calf sleeves in exchange for my review.

The opinions expressed are completely my own.

Do you have a loved one who’s a runner? Are you stumped for gift ideas this year?

Here’s where I can help, with a Holiday Run List – 5 MUST HAVE items for every runner out there this holiday season.

PRO Compression sleeves

PRO Compression

This Thanksgiving, my legs were sore. I’d run stairs with November Project on Wednesday, which is probably where the ache originated, but I had a turkey trot to run Thanksgiving day & the Ugly Sweater Run scheduled for Saturday.

What could I do?

I tried PRO Compression sleeves for the 1st time and they rocked! I wore them for an hour before the turkey trot and the pain went away. They’ve turned me into a believer. I used them again before the Ugly Sweater Run with the same results.

As a bonus, PRO Compression has provided a discount code for all of my readers to use! Enter the code PINK2 at checkout for a 40% discount! The code is valid thru Dec. 15.

Sparkly Soul headbands

SparklyI love Sparkly Soul headbands & I’m super glad their ambassador Dani Holmes-Kirk made me notice their brand. Not much is more annoying than hair getting in your face during a workout. Sparkly Soul headbands are amazing. They DO NOT slip no matter how much you’re sweating. They also adsorb workout sweat well, so they don’t feel uncomfortable on your head. (I wash mine in the washing machine but air dry them.) I wear a Sparkly Soul headband whenever I work out.

Edit: Promo code added! 15% off your entire order now until December 15th using the code “HOLIDAY” and free shipping on all orders over $25.00.

The RooSport

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The RooSport is a magnetic pocket you can attach to your workout pants to be able to run with ID, keys, and phone – without being weighed down.

You can leave your gym bag locked in a gym locker (or car trunk) but still have your essentials on you.

And for your runner friends that like to take workout selfies and/or run with music – your phone is easily accessible.

I wear my Roosport to every November Project workout and every outdoor run. (I run in a city – so I want to have my phone on me in case I come across a law & order intro scene. Also, it’s just a good idea to have ID on you when you run – god forbid you get injured and pass out.)

RooSport gave me a discount code to share with you! Use Roosale for 20% OFF.

ClassPass

Every runner needs to get in cross-training. That’s where the awesomeness that is ClassPass comes in.

ClassPass is a $99 a month service that gives you access to unlimited fitness classes at boutique fitness studios. The only caveat is, you can only visit the same studio up to 3 times per monthly membership cycle.

ClassPass has realized what a great gift they can be, and allows you to gift a membership: https://gifts.classpass.com

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances (book) by The Oatmeal

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This book is hilarious and will make any runner in your life smile. It’s a quick read & I keep it in my gym bag (for pre-fitness class reading). If you don’t laugh reading this, you aren’t human!

In fact, if you have a runner friend and you don’t understand their running – read this book & you’ll get it!

Warmer Workout Gear

Living in MA all my life, I knew it was only a matter of time before wicked cold weather hit, so I’d need to get layers for my outdoor November Project workouts.

I was lucky enough to win the Fitfluential Wellness Challenge Week 4 and the prizes were a Grokker Prize Pack with lululemon gift card. I haven’t received the Grokker Prize Pack yet but the lululemon gift card was just waiting to be spent.

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I headed to lululemon in the Natick Collection on my lunch break to check out some lined running tights.

A lot has changed for me in the last year fitness wise – but I still had a feeling that lulelemon was not a store I belonged in. I may not be plus sized anymore, but even with a 24 pound weight loss I’m still the largest size tight that’s stocked in the retail stores. I was a bit self conscious when I walked in to browse and didn’t see my sizes right away. (They’re on the lowest shelf to the ground – I just wasn’t looking low enough.)

The sales staff approached me and asked if they could help me. At first, I was defensive because when they asked what I was looking for clothes for their first suggestion was “just lounging around”. (My brain went into critical mode and I thought. “Really?! All my hard work this year and they think I don’t even work out?!!”) I responded proudly however, “Actually – I’m a November Project member. Since I was out climbing the Harvard Stadium stairs this morning in freezing temperatures, I’m looking for a warmer layer of pants.” There were 2 staffers helping me and one of them said “What’s Movember Project?” but before I could respond to correct her and explain what NP is another staffer swooped in and interjected with suggestions. (One of the November Project founders is an ambassador for lululemon for their Prudential Center store but evidently that info isn’t shared with other stores…)

The helpful sales woman suggested a pair of lined tights that I eventually ended up purchasing. (Speed Tights – Tech) But the kicker was – she asked my size, and when I responded said, “I think you should try a (1 size smaller than the one I said) in these. I know what you just said, but I’m looking at you and I think the ___ size would fit!” I laughed and said I’d try it but that I heard that the sizes here run small so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I went into the dressing room with those tights, some I’d picked myself, and suggestions from the other staffer.

Well helpful saleswoman was right! Holly cow! Not only did I belong shopping there – but I’m a smaller pants size there!

Here’s what the lululemon blog says about the Speed Tights Tech:

Made with our tech fleece, these babies are crafted in our coldest weather run fabric.

They’re insulating and warm, as well as moisture-wicking, and have four-way stretch that enables you to move in every direction.

Why we love it: Each pair is brushed on the inside for super soft coziness.

I’ll let you know how the tights hold up to NP workouts.

When I got home that night, some long sleeve workout tops I’d ordered from Kohl’s last week had arrived, so hopefully they fit and all I’ll need to look for is some gloves to cover my running gloves & add warmth.