Category Archives: giveaway

Cheer Me Up (+ a GIVEAWAY)

We said goodbye to our pup of 16 years on Wednesday and, honestly, I’m still in the grieving phase. So, to cheer myself up a little bit, I wanted to talk about some of the things that are making me feel really happy right now.

StarburstCabooseSoybu – I’m on a mission to find incredible, easy to wear, doesn’t break the bank workout clothing. So when I got the chance to review some Soybu gear thanks to getting to know them at FitBloggin last year, I jumped at the chance. And you guys? It’s amazing. The Starburst Tank is insanely comfortable and looks incredible on, and the Killer Caboose pants might actually be dangerous! Both of them move beautifully for yoga, and breathe well enough for outdoor bootcamp. So in love.

Want your own Killer Caboose pants? Leave a comment after you complete each step! Every comment is an entry.

  1. Follow Soybu on Facebook
  2. …on Twitter
  3. …and on Instagram.
  4. Join the Soybu mailing list  (and get a 25% off coupon when you do!)
  5. Tell me in a new comment what you want most out of your workout gear

I’ll choose a winner by next weekend!!!

20160101_135606St Ives – I got some amazing St Ives stuff from a recent Influenster box, and I am LOVING it. I used to rock the old school apricot scrub when I was in high school, and I switched away from it for a LONG time. Now that the oatmeal scrub is hanging out in my bathroom, and it smells amazing, I figured I’d give it a go. I’m SO glad that I did. It’s great for getting rid of dead skin without being harsh on my face. They also sent an awesome citrus bodywash and pear lotion that are equally incredible.

Camp Gladiator – I can’t say enough about how Camp Gladiator has given me back a love for challenging myself physically, and the camaraderie is unmatched. Trainers check in on me, other campers friend me and add their support to mine. People encourage each other, no one is out there to judge anyone, and I’m FIRED UP. I hate missing it, and even when it’s incredibly tough and I am DYING out there, I love it. I’m SO glad I found it. You should try it if it’s near you. Check out the locations here.

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I Am a Gladiator (or FREE CAMP GLADIATOR BOOTCAMP)

879957dfc17a10151c7You guys.

I’m not saying everything is perfect right now. I mean, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I’m having an early morning surgery to remove some impressively gigantic ovarian cysts. So…there’s that. And food? Still far from perfect, so I’m still trying.

BUT…otherwise? I just canNOT say enough about how much I’m enjoying my workouts lately.

  • I get sweaty and gross, to the point that my ponytail drips and I could legitimately wring out my clothes.
  • It’s all outside, so the humidity is a beast.
  • I get sore, so sore.
  • I have to drink electrolyte water with BCAAs or I get dizzy.
  • Anytime I can, I get up at 5am to do the 5:30am workout.

And I am loving. every. second.

It’s SO hard, and some days I can only do half the reps I’m supposed to, or I have to skip things all together. But I’ve long since stopped feeling embarrassed or weird about it.

The truth is that the environment is amazing. I can go to any camp, anywhere they’re offered, at any time. I can hang with all different trainers, get used to different styles, and no one cares how slow I might go as long as I keep trying.

There are people at EVERY level, from super beginner to competitive athlete, and we all work together to make our workouts awesome.

The trainers are impeccably trained, and all certified.

The workouts are shockingly fun, and the hour goes by SO quickly.

I’ve never, ever felt this good about working out. The group atmosphere keeps me going, the trainers text me if I bail but aren’t obnoxious about it, and I’m already starting to see some legitimate strength and endurance gains.

So, since I signed on the dotted line and put myself out there for a YEAR of this, I want to get as many people as I can hooked on it too.

Want to try it out for yourself? Live in one of these cities? Check out the links to see when and where there are camps near, you:

Sign up with my code, and get the JANUARY 4 – JANUARY 30 camp FOR FREE. That’s a four week camp, that you can go to anytime you want. And it’s free.

Ready? Here’s how:

 

  1. GO to www.campGladiator.com and click SIGN UP
  2. Click REGISTER NOW
  3. Click Single Camp $189, SIGN UP
  4. Click CAMP January 4 – January 30
  5. Select a primary location where you will attend camp most often, you can attend all locations
  6. Click proceed to CHECKOUT
  7. Create an account
  8. Enter promo code in the Promo Code box (HEATHERHURDCHEER2016)
  9. Click APPLY PROMO and the price will change from $189 to $0
  10. Credit card number is required to sign up for camp, but your card will not be charged
  11. Click PLACE ORDER

 

 

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SmartCoffee? Sure is.

I got an email a few weeks ago from the folks at SmartCoffee. They wanted me to try out their SmartCoffee app, and in return I’d get a free bag of beans from them.

I love coffee, so heck yes! My quiz told me to get the Birder’s Blend, which is not only a Fair Trade coffee, but benefits the American Birding Association. I redeemed my coupon code, got the coffee sent my way…and then had to dig up my bean grinder!

Once I found that and my ‘make your own k-cup’ thing, I was finally ready to try my new, custom recommended coffee blend. And?

It was really nice. Smooth, some natural sweetness, low acidity…basically everything I want in a cup of coffee.

Want to try it for yourself? Take the quiz, and comment below with your results and the coffee blend you were recommended. Once I get to 20 comments, I’ll pick one person to get their blend! Try out the app if you can, since it offers you:

  • Smart Coffee: Find your perfect cup by selecting the flavor profile you prefer in coffee.
  • Coffee 101: Begin your journey to think and drink like a coffee professional.
  • Glossary: Learn coffee lingo that will deepen your understanding of coffee.
  • Picture Gallery: Browse photos from Paul Katzeff’s 40 year journey to find the finest coffees around the world.
  • Blending tool: Learn how to create your own custom blend at your market’s bulk coffee bin.
  • Blend Archive: Recall the blends that have been recommended to you via Smart Coffee.
  • Buy Now: Find ready-made or custom coffee blends from Thanksgiving Coffee that fit your exact flavor preferences.

(Thanks to the SmartCoffee people for the generous offer to not only send ME free coffee, but one of you too!)

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GIVEAWAY TIME!

I have a HUGE amount of great health & fitness stuff to giveaway today! It’s a great batch of things collected from the last TWO FitBloggin conferences and then some.

In the bag (which is included):

  • three Jaybird Sport stretchy bracelets
  • a sample of Cytomax Sports Performance Drink
  • A full container of fitmixer amino acid supplement (fruit punch)
  • a tiny sample of Body Glide
  • a package of BodyKey raspberry appetite control chews
  • a Team Refuel Got Chocolate Milk sweatband/headband
  • 50oz chocolate BodyKey meal replacement shake package
  • 60 packets of NutriLite Perfect Pack supplements
  • 4 3oz bottles of BodyKey Super Green Aloe Shots
  • 180 tablets of NutriLite Slymmetry Weight Loss Supplement
  • HumanaGear pedometer
  • one bottle of chocolate Muscle Milk Light
  • one bottle of NatureMade Calcium Adult Gummies
  • one sample of Perform pain gel
  • The Healthy Beef Cookbook
  • a resistance band from NatureMade
  • a chocolate raspberry Roctane Gu
  • a My Trainer Fitness workout cards pack including a four week workout plan (level 1), plus the Home, Outdoors, At Work, and 100 calorie workout cards
  • the green BodyKey tote bag to hold all your swag!

Enter below, with lots of the entries dealing with PLAY. Click here to read my guest post on MizFit’s blog about why that matters to me. I’ll choose a winner in two weeks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thank you! (#G2KHoliday Giveaway)

17: thank [HOPE] – Write that thank you note that you’ve been meaning to send this year… or would like to send next year…

I have a HUGE thanks for you all. I don’t always spend time on here thanking you for listening. The truth is that my blog is a place for me to feel safe about rants and ugly truths as much as about positives and successes. So thank you all of you.

And as a special thanks, I have a baking giveaway! Thanks to friends at Unilever, I’d like to offer one of you a basket of baking goodies to help you prepare your cookies and other holiday treats.

You will receive a Good to Know baking set (just like I did!) which includes:

·         Silpat® baking sheet liner

·         Steel Cooling Rack

·         Nonstick cookie sheet

·         Stainless steel cookie scoop

·         $10 gift card to purchase your Unilever spread of choice and baking ingredients

I used mine to make my favorite no bake cookies this weekend, which I further modified by using Barney Butter instead of peanut butter. The result? TOTAL AWESOMENESS.

No Bake Cookies

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE OATMEAL COOKIES
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spread
1/2 cup fat free milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup Barney Butter
Mix together sugar, cocoa powder, butter spread, and milk in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for ONE minute. Quickly remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients until fully blended. Drop onto aluminum foil and let cool.
These are my absolute favorite cookies, and making them with the spread was so much easier. I was worried it would mess with the final product since it’s got a different consistency, but it was perfect for these.
How to enter?
  1. Leave me a comment and tell me what recipe you’d like to try with a butter spread. (Check out the Good To Know recipes here!)
  2. Leave another comment to let me know you’re following @icbinotbutter on Twitter.
  3. One more comment if you “like” the ICBINB page on FB!
Winners chosen on Friday! Also, don’t forget to enter the Confection Perfection giveaway – where a KitchenAid mixer is given away every day!

 

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Defunkify GIVEAWAY

Febreze & TideCan we talk about stench for a minute?

When I get a good workout in, I smell like a dumpster. Seriously. It’s awful. I have to buy wicking workout gear because it’s the only thing that won’t offend fellow gym-goers. At FitBloggin I was pretty concerned about that, along with how to get my funkified workout gear home again without permanently stenching my clean clothes and/or killing my family in the car.

So, I was pretty excited to try the Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator and the Tide Odor Absorbing Sports Laundry Bag. I was a little skeptical about both, but happy to give them a try. I shoved my dirty clothes in the bag and tossed it in my suitcase. When I opened the suitcase at home (ahem… several days later…) there was ZERO stench outside of the laundry bag. Color me impressed.

This weekend I finally got around to using the Febreze. It works along with your normal detergent, so I tossed it in with my clothes and my everyday detergent, and gave it a try. I was worried about too strong a smell, since we stopped using scented laundry stuff when Evi was a newborn and just never started again, but this turned out really well. The smell is nice and clean without being overpowering or perfumy, and the clothes have kept smelling fresh several days later. I’m pretty happy and I’d definitely recommend this stuff.

So? You want to try it too? I’ve got five bottles to giveaway, and I’m not asking much for it.

  1. For one entry, leave me a comment that somehow pertains to stinky laundry, laundry detergent, or gross workout clothes.
  2. For another entry, share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter or your blog or wherever and leave a second comment with the link to where you shared.

That’s it! I’ll pick a winner next Monday!

GLUTEN UPDATE: It’s day six of my gluten free adventure, and for the first time since February, I have not yet had any stomach cramps this morning. So… maybe it’s working? I’m pretty excited about it, and it’s helping me stay on track. I’m finding myself not craving gluten at all really, although I think I will pick up some gluten free bread or tortillas this weekend just for convenience sake. Any suggestions on affordable stuff?

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W1D3 + Jigglypuff

C25K - Meegan & Me

I finished week 1 of the C25K this week! Honestly, it’s going SO well. I really wasn’t feeling motivated to get the run done today, but I finished it anyway and I felt really good knowing I was done with the first week already. So far the runs feel… a little easy? I’m intentionally not pushing any harder right now though, because I know it’s going to get harder quickly. In fact, in the shower this morning I had a mini panic attack thinking about having to run for FIVE minutes, which then led to horror that I might have to run for TWENTY. If I’m honest, right now I don’t really believe I can do it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying!

FOOD

I’ve cut my calories way back for 5-6 days a week, and then I’ve been eating more of what I want on that final 1-2 days, and it’s working so well. I’ve learned that my hunger signals are all askew and that I don’t really know what hungry means for me. I’m finally learning it though. I’ve also learned that eating some things only once a week or so makes them SO MUCH MORE SATISFYING that it’s worth the wait. It’s so much better than eating them all the time, losing the joy of having them, and feeling run down every day from all the food.

BODY IMAGE ISSUES

Today something happened that made me realize I’m not as far removed from my body image issues as I once thought.

At the gym, I had a guy make a comment that was meant to be a compliment. He’s seen me there before, and he complimented my form once. He’s a trainer there, and today he told me that he’d seen me there a lot and thought it was awesome that I was so committed to coming. I was pleased and flattered, said thank you, and felt smiley for the last few minutes of my workout. And then I got into the car, and I thought more about it. I decided that no one would compliment a fit person for coming to the gym all the time, that it was only the chubsters like myself who someone would feel needed the motivation, and that as such his intended compliment was really a back-handed one that simultaneously suggested I’m still just the fat kid.

Whoa. Right? My head, it’s a weird place to be sometimes. I’m just sitting with this right now, trying to figure out what it means and whether it even deserves further attention.

MY KID ROCKS

Strong EviYesterday Evi decided she needed to show me how strong she was, so every few minutes she’d show off her strong man pose. She wanted to show me her awesome muscles, and then talk about how lifting heavy things (but not too heavy!) made them stronger. She then proceeded to haul around anything she could lift for a while, and then we did some pushups together.

Last night in the bathtub, she was exploring her bellybutton. I explained to her that everyone’s is a little different, at which point she wanted to see mine. Her’s is a sort of half-innie half-outie thing, while mine is WAY an innie. I showed her mine, she stuck her finger in it and laughed. Then she observed that my belly was MUCH bigger than hers, followed immediately by “because you’re much bigger than me since you’re a grownup, and when I’m a grownup I want to be big and strong just like you.” No judgement. No concern. Then, lest we get too serious, she stuck out her belly, used it as a drum, and did the butt-wiggle dance she’s fond of these days.

This morning, we were sitting around in the morning and she decided we all needed to go on a family walk. SHE walked the dog (who we brought because Evi said the dog needed exercise too), pointing out along the way that walking AND walking the dog was making her body stronger. We walked for two miles, and she would happily have kept going, but the poor old lady that is our dog needed a break. I guarantee we’ll walk again around sunset.

All of this just makes me so… PROUD. I’m raising a little girl who loves to move, who thinks about the importance of strong bodies, and who uses her poofed out belly as a drum. I’m raising a little girl who tells me she’s proud of me when I go to the gym, who honestly believes fruit trumps cookies, and who gives championship hugs. She doesn’t care what my body looks like, only that I treat it well enough to have the energy to play with her.

Huh… well that unexpectedly put a new spin on that whole body image gym issue. See, sitting with it works. I think I’ll sit with it some more.

In the meantime, wander over to my last C25K post if you want a chance to get one of my favorite protein bars mailed to you!

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C25K W1D2

C25K - Meegan & MeThis morning I took on Week 1 Day 2 of the C25K treadmill workout I’m following. The treadmill workout seems to be a pretty close mirror to the road running version I did before, but I’m finding it a little (or right now, a lot) easier this time for two reasons. One, I’m in better shape… but two, (this is the big one) I’m running slower. On the treadmill it’s much easier for me to keep my pace consistent and under control. I know it will probably make the transition to outdoor running tougher, but I’d rather this beginning part be easier and worry about the tough stuff once I can run for a much longer period of time.

So today’s run plan was exactly like Tuesday’s, although I did bump the speed up a hair. I did 3.6mph for the walk, 5.1 for the run, and 3.3 for the cool down walk, so I ended up with 1.97mi instead of 1.92. I won’t make it any faster than that though, despite my urge to do so, because I really want to get through the whole program this time without killing myself in week 5. Oh, week 5. I’m already having nightmares about you.

Foot pain

I’m still having that weird foot/heel pain. Well, the pain isn’t weird at all. It’s actually fairly normal for me since breaking my foot, but it hasn’t been this consistent or long lasting in a while. Running actually seems to make it feel better but I’m still a little worried about it. Are my shoes wrong? Should I see an orthopedist? Do I need inserts? Help?

Progress pics

In other news, I’m feeling pretty and like I can see real progress today, so you get gratuitous pictures of ME. The pride mostly stems from something super interesting. Yesterday my coworker turned to me and asked how much weight I’d lost since I started here in February. She said she could really see a difference and was curious. Since I’ve been weighing myself less consistently and MUCH less often, I wasn’t sure either. Instead of telling you how much I’ve lost (no cheating!) let’s play a game. The person with the closest guess will  get mailed one of my all-time favorite protein bars, the Yogurt Peanut ones from Premier Nutrition.

You can click the pic to see it full size. So what do you think? I’ll tell you in my next post, along with picking a winner. Now on to more gratuitous pics…

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One Week (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!

I’m alive! I’ve actually had a great first week at my new job. My coworkers are awesome. The job is challenging enough to keep me interested, but not so bad that I’ll be stressed all the time.

I am having a little bit of a hard time managing my time with the job, commute, sideline freelance writing, and trying to maintain exercise. It also doesn’t help that the office is constantly brimming with candy, cookies, and junk food. I’m managing, but it’s definitely a challenge. I’m hoping next week will be a little smoother now that I have a feel for the job.

And now, as a reward for being so patient with me, a giveaway!

thinkThin Creamy Peanut Butter Protein BarthinkThin® thinkWellness Bars GIVEAWAY CLOSED!

thinkThin sent me six of their bars to review, and over the last week I’ve been bringing them to work with me as breakfast or snacks. I tried their Cookies & Creme protein bar first and while the size was nice and it kept me full for a while, it had a really obvious “protein” taste that bothered me.

The next day I tried the brownie crunch protein bar. This one was better, had a smoother texture, and a less obvious protein taste. Next up was the peanut butter protein bar, which I actually really liked. It had a nice peanut butter flavor.

Pros: good size, very filling, NO SUGAR, gluten free

Cons: mild to moderate protein powder flavor

Next I tried their cherry and mixed nuts crunch bar, and I LOVED that one. Chewy and crunchy, sweet without being overwhelming. I thought it was a great bar with no cons. I’ve still got a few more of the crunch bars to try later this week and I’m excited to taste them. This one didn’t keep me full as long as the protein bars, of course, but it was really nice in terms of flavor and still a lot more filling than a granola bar and relatively low in sugar.

GIVEAWAY CLOSED!.

 

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Chobani Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Chobani Champions

Chobani Champions

I love Chobani yogurt. LOVE IT. We use it in our green monster smoothies a few times a week, and we eat in plain all the time. I buy the plain yogurt for cooking/baking, and we buy the big packs for breakfasts.

Sadly, I still haven’t tried the blood orange, which is the flavor I’m most excited about, but I have plans to remedy that at Target this weekend along with grabbing an apple cinnamon for Aaron.

In what I considered to be ridiculously exciting news, I got an email from Chobani yesterday! I seriously have NO IDEA how this happened, since I’m not a big huge blog. The good news? They’re launching two new flavors of their kids Champions line, and they’re sending us some to sample! I loved both the berry and honey-nana flavors that we’ve already tried, so I’m SUPER excited for us all to try the two new flavors:

Chobani Champions Chocolate Chunk

Chobani Champions Chocolate Chunk

Chobani Champions Orange Vanilla

Chobani Champions Orange Vanilla

As soon as they show up, we’ll review them officially. In the meantime, Chobani has also offered two of you the chance to try them as well! Here’s what to do:

  1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Chobani flavor or your favorite way to use it.
  2. Share the giveaway on Facebook and leave me a comment with the link.
  3. Share the giveaway on Twitter and leave me a comment with the link.

I’ll choose the two winners on Monday morning! (Seriously people, I am so excited about the chocolate and orange. Would it be wrong to mix them together?)

UPDATE: Check out our official review here!

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