Blog Archives

Winner of the FUEL THE FIRE Giveaway announced!

We’re in the midst of a lot of traveling to spend quality time with family spread out all over these great United States, and before I go any further, I just want to pause a second to say, “Thank you,” to all of the men and women who have fought for our freedoms. For those who have paid the ultimate price by laying your lives down for us, I pray we never forget your sacrifice.  To those who have returned from battle weary, worn, scarred and struggling – I pray for your peace of mind, and once again, I thank you for your sacrifice. 

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Old Glory proudly flying on my porch

I pray for our Country, for her leaders, for peace and that we should always be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I hope that today, on this Memorial Day, you pause to reflect on what this day means. I hope that you pray for the fallen, the wounded, our beautiful United States of America,  and our leaders.

Now, here’s the big announcement…

The winner of the the FUEL THE FIRE Giveaway – Jacqueline W.!!

CONGRATULATIONS!

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I hope you enjoy your goodies!!

#PoweredWithBits Smoothie Recipe – Kid-tested, Mother Approved!

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This past weekend I decided to make a smoothie with RecoveryBits to help ward off another round of impending sickness. Baby Girl had a snotty nose and a cough, and The Hubster wasn’t feeling 100%. I was feeling good, and wanted to keep it that way.

Baby Girl isn’t quite yet 11 months old, and though she does have several teeth and eats pretty much EVERYTHING, I was nervous that she might choke on the algae bits, due to their size. So, I decided a smoothie would be the best way to get them in her and I ransacked the kitchen for some tasty ingredients. I came up with what you see above.

Happy Mama #PoweredWithBits Smoothie

30 RecoveryBits (or EnergyBits) algae bits
1/2 Avocado
1 Banana
1/2 cup Organic Carrot Juice
1/2 cup Almond Coconut Milk

Pulse in blender. ENJOY!

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Baby Girl enjoyed it!

I enjoyed it!

Hubster didn’t even taste it.

Can you guess what happened?

Baby Girl and I have been as healthy as horses all week. Poor Hubster has been down for the count, terribly sick all week.

Now, I’m not into Snake Oil and such, and I’m not saying taking the bits would’ve prevented him from getting sick. There are many factors that lead to illness. He comes into contact with many more people in a day than I, which puts him at greater exposure to pathogens and viruses. His job is more stressful than mine, which leads to a depressed immune system. Improvements in diet and exercise can help to overcome those stressors, though, and this is where I believe ENERGYbits and RECOVERYbits play a role.

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So, here we are at the end of the week and my #PoweredWithBits Smoothie of the Day is slightly modified. I had no bananas, so that didn’t make it into today’s recipe.  I did have organic cherry juice, and I love the tart kick that it adds! Baby Girl really loved this one, too. She gulped down a half of a sippy cup (without the lid… it’s too thick for the lid) at once!

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#PoweredWithBits Happy Baby Smoothie

30-40 RECOVERYbits (or ENERGYbits)
1 avocado
1 cup Organic Carrot Juice
1 cup Organic Cherry Juice
1 cup Almond Coconut Milk

Pulse in blender. Pour into Mason jar for an on-the-go treat! Pour some into a sippy cup for the baby and watch her SMILE!

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Want to give ENERGYbits a try? Checkout my giveaway for a chance to win an ENERGYbits sample, a PocketFuel sample, and a SpiBelt!

Fuel The Fire Giveaway: EnergyBits, Pocketfuel & SpiBelt

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I promised back in March that I would be offering a giveaway, and then all of my plans got derailed by sickness. But, the day has arrived – FINALLY here it is!
I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers in a giveaway bloghop. This gives you so many chances to win a LOT of great prizes. It’s pretty simple, too – when you’ve finished entering the giveaway I’m offering here, just scroll to the bottom of this post and you will see the list of bloggers that are participating in this bloghop. Click on any one of them to go on to another great giveaway!

Now, on to the prizes up for grabs… I’m giving away a nice little package to help you FUEL THE FIRE!

If you follow me on Twitter, you may notice I’m often #poweredwithpocketfuel…

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A handful of PocketFuel samples! YUM!

and also like to be #poweredwithbits.
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I often use PocketFuel when I skip lunch to run or workout, and ENERGYbits have been a great source of long-lasting energy during long days and hard runs. ENERGYbits most recently carried me through a taxing 24 hours filled with mommy-duty, working overtime through the night, and leaving straight from work to drive in a kart race, the Mini Corvette Challenge. You can catch that action on my youtube channel – Jenni On The Run.

Thanks to the wonderfuel folks at PocketFuel and ENERGYbits, y’all have a shot at winning samples of both, and, to carry it all in…

I’m adding a lovely pink SpiBelt to the mix!

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You can read my review of PocketFuel here and my review of ENERGYbits can be found here.

Since posting those reviews, I’ve had many more opportunities to use PocketFuel, and I must say – I’m addicted. I fueled solely with PocketFuel during my first marathon and I felt FANTASTIC throughout. I do wish I would’ve had some ENERGYbits with me for that race, though, to bounce back more quickly from soreness. Just as I wish I would’ve had some RECOVERYbits back in February/March to boost my immune system and possibly prevent those tortuous weeks of infirmity. Oh well, what’s done is done. At least I am now well stocked with both ENERGYBits AND RECOVERYbits!

If you’d like to give these wonderfuel products a try, just enter giveaway by visiting the rafflecopter link below! (U.S. residents only!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And when you’re done, come back to hop on over to all the blogs listed at the Linky Tools link below to enter to win more great goodies!

(P.S. Sorry for all of the links, but WordPress doesn’t allow the Javascript that would make it possible to embed the rafflecopter widget and LinkyTools list. Whoever wins this package will be glad they took the time to enter, though. Good luck!)

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

FUEL THE FIRE: Cedars Frostbite Race Recap & EnergyBits Review

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This week’s scheduled 14 mile long run coincided with The Cedars Frostbite Half Marathon, an insanely inexpensive and fairly local-to-me race that runs through the Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Lebanon, TN.

For this race, I fueled SOLELY with EnergyBits, which is 100% pure organic spirulina algae. These one-ingredient bits of real food contain the highest concentration of protein in the world, over 40 nutrients, and have nearly twice the antioxidants of goji berries. EnergyBits meets FDA regulations (I tried to do some fact checking on the consumer-unfriendly FDA website, but gave up after two hours of searching only produced a non-comprehensive database (that may or may not have even been what I was really looking for) that I couldn’t access because the .xls spreadsheet had “too many cells” for my iPad to handle). Anyhow, moving on…

EnergyBits algae is grown organically in fresh water tanks. I was impressed by what NASA has to say about algae: “1 kg of algae has the nutritional value of 1,000 kg of fruits and vegetables.” Apparently astronauts and Olympians have been eating algae for decades. And here I just thought it was a hippy thing!

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Honestly, I probably never would’ve tried EnergyBits if not for their wonderful Brand Manager, Jonathan, reaching out and offering a free sample. I normally use gels for fuel, and I was fairly content with them… except for the sticky mess they make when I put the empty packets in my pocket. When Jonathan reached out and I started learning about EnergyBits, I became excited at the idea of an organic, real food alternative. And…. well, I struggle with eating enough fruits and veggies, so this could really help me in that department, too.

THE GOOD

Yes, I’ve already stated lots of good, but here we go with some good I personally experienced in my own little trials. Originally, I planned to test EnergyBits on a short run, and then my race. but then…

Life happened.

Sometimes it sucks when “life happens” and sometimes something great happens. This time, something great happened. My first trial ended up being 13.1 miles on the treadmill early in the morning before working my 7 am shift. I took 20 bits just minutes before running… and I forgot all other forms of backup fuel in my locker downstairs. I was not about to quit my run to go get any gels, so I decided that this would be a truly good test.

I never felt an energy spike. I never felt an energy crash, or lull of any kind. Throughout the entire run, powered by only 20 bits at the start, I felt like a well-oiled machine. Just a steady energy flow. My knee gave out before my energy did!

So, I felt extremely confident in my choice of fuel leading up to the Cedars Frostbite Half Marathon…

It is one of the last stops on the Tennessee Running Tour race schedule, and all of the races on their calendar have the same fee – $20 with a tech tee, or $8 without. I sprang the extra $12 for the tee, and ordered mine 2 sizes larger than usual. I’m glad I did, because it is perfectly oversized, soft and supremely comfortable. I’m wearing it now as I lounge around, icing my ankle and typing this.

Another good point, for me, was the small crowd. I don’t know how many runners there actually were, but it was a small pack of runners from my view. I was near the back of the pack at the start, and you see how close I was to the starting line.

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This was nice as it allowed us to really thin out on into the race. Not being stuck in the midst of a crowd allowed for greater enjoyment of the forest, and running in general.

I absolutely loved that, just past the first aid station, not quite 4 miles in, we turned onto a dirt/limestone/gravel/mud road that made for a much nicer trail than road.

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We stayed on that for a few miles and I had fun squishing along and jumping mud puddles.

The feeling of being off the pavement did wonders for my legs and put a smile on my face. My right ankle had been stiff and sore (the reason I’m icing it now) causing my left hip to hurt for all the compensating it was doing. Leaping, hopping, and just enjoying the mud seemed to ease the pain and was refreshing.

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At mile 6 I took my second helping of EnergyBits. I had swallowed 20 or so little discs of algae without chewing about 20 minutes before starting the race. I knew an aid station was coming up after the 6.5 mile marker, so I decided to experiment… and chew my bits.

THE BAD

First, the bad with the race… Nothing much to report here, except for only two things.

1. When I entered online I forgot to change the year on my birthdate on the electronic form. I caught the error on my confirmation email (it had my birth year as 2014). I immediately emailed the contact listed on the Cedars Frostbite website, notifying them of the issue. I received a reply that my birth year would be updated in their files. Last night, I saw an email from a different person with Cedars Frostbite, asking for my age. I emailed back, but today, when I went to check results on the board, I was listed as “unknown” for the age groups. Honestly, it didn’t matter on this day, as my time would’ve put me in the 20th spot in my age group, but it is definitely something to keep in mind for the future – DOUBLE CHECK ALL FORM FIELDS BEFORE CLICKING THE SUBMIT BUTTON!

2. They ran out of pizza. Huge bummer. I actually got to the counter just in time for the last slice. I felt bad for all the runners still coming in. There were some cookies, oranges and lots of bananas still left, but nothing beats pizza after a long run like that. It’s so good, we stopped on the way home and got a couple for supper!

Now, then, I’ll address the only bad thing I found about EnergyBits – the annoying rattle of the bits inside their tin. I noticed a few looks from other runners as I rattled along, but I just acted oblivious. About 2 miles in, my head was sweating, so I pulled my beanie off and stuffed it in my pocket (so now you know why it looks like my belly is pooched out in that photo above!). That nicely muffled the noise. On my next run with EnergyBits I will try putting cotton balls in the tin to keep the bits still and silenced.

THE UGLY

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Picking them out of my tin left my fingers covered in green, but that wasn’t really that bad. I just wiped them on my jacket – it’s getting washed after this run anyhow. I had been warned about the taste. Some say EnergyBits taste very GREEN, others call it earthy. I’d agree with earthy. It’s really not bad. The really ugly part was my teeth!

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So, THIS is why I say “It’s ok to swallow!”

As I chewed, they seemed to grow in my mouth, becoming a big wad of cow cud that stuck in my teeth, coated my mouth and made my lips green. (Hmmmm, sounds great for a Shamrock Shuffle!) I was picking at my teeth for the next 3 miles, trying to clear them out and get every bit of nutritious goodness into my belly where it could do some good. By the time I finished the race, my teeth were mostly clear of all the algae, but my tongue was still green!

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SUMMING IT UP

Coming in at 2:18:08, I finished the run in the 2:15 – 2:20 time range I had HOPED for. My 13.1 treadmill run two weeks ago took me 2:25:00, and that was with my knee acting up in the final mile, causing me to mix in some walking. I didn’t know how many hills this course would have and how big they would be or how they would affect me… or how my knee would behave. My knee was fine throughout the run, thankfully. This time it was my ankle and hips, but I pushed through. The hills weren’t bad at all – nothing like the ones I train on. I did walk some on the hills, though, trying to find relief for my ankle.

All my little personal pains aside, this is definitely a race I would do again. It had a friendly, laid-back atmosphere and was family-friendly. There was a big playground near the start/finish, so I know in the future baby girl could be having fun with that while I run. There are also lots of trails to explore. On this day, Mr. Incredible enjoyed about 5 miles of the hiking trails while I ran. It really meant a lot to me that we both got to enjoy the great outdoors.

As for the EnergyBits, I’m sold on them. Once again, I experienced a steady energy flow and never felt like I needed something extra. On my treadmill run, I was absolutely starving afterwards and INHALED my breakfast. This time, though, the second portion of bits sustained me even after the run. I took my time stretching, I ambled over to the results printouts, I shuffled through the crowd to get a plate of food… all without feeling hungry, much less starving like before. Hunger came a little later, but by then I had my pizza in hand… and a bagel with peanut butter… and a banana… and a peanut butter Clif bar… and later a few more slices of pizza at home. Hmmmm, maybe next time I should eat a few more EnergyBits post-run and see if that helps the pizza craving?

STAY TUNED

I know as I increase my distance to the marathon, and onwards to my plans of running Ultras, I’ll need more calories to fuel my run. So, I’m experimenting as I go, and I’ll share with you what I find as I test more products. Hopefully, I’ll find some more companies as generous as EnergyBits so that I can share more than just words of experience. So, keep your eyes peeled for more to come in the FUEL THE FIRE series!

And, stay tuned for a FUEL THE FIRE giveaway in March! I’ve teamed up with some other bloggers for a Blog Hop Giveaway in March, and I’m putting together some goodies for you so that you can FUEL THE FIRE in you! If you want to give EnergyBits a try, then this is a giveaway you will want to enter as the friendly EnergyBits team has offered a sample to include in the prize package. If you’d like to know more about EnergyBits, visit their website at www.energybits.com.

So, tell me, did you run this weekend? How did you FUEL THE FIRE?