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Pranamat ECO Review

I’ve never done acupuncture or tried any other acu-thing before – in fact, I was pretty skeptical about it all. I do believe in internal healing and non-western medicine techniques; but truth be told, I have never tried any of them outside of oils and some natural supplements.

When I was approached by Pranamat, I honestly thought “this will never work for me & I don’t need a mat”. In reality, I decided to take on the challenge because I wanted my grandparents and mom to try it. I read up on the mats prior to replying to my initial email and saw how good they were for insomnia, arthritis, back pain and swelling – all of which were symptoms for my mom and grandparents. I read EVERY review online and noticed that it either worked extremely well, or not at all for a few. I figured, if it even helped just a little, it was worth a try!

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The actual mat is just under 29 by 19 inches. The mattress inside is made of 100% natural coconut fibre. The mattress cover is 100% untreated cotton and the top cover is 100% pure linen. I love that they are eco friendly!

Don’t let the cute little rosebuds fool you, they are constructed from medical-grade HIPS plastic and are very durable! I was SHOCKED to feel how tough (and sharp) they were. It is almost like laying on a bed of nails – that looks like a relaxing day spa. These little buds help to channel energy throughout natural pressure points in your body.

Enough of the design details and on to the actual review!

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I read that you needed to build up your tolerance for lying on the mat. Not being one to shy away from a challenge – I went full force from day one. I relaxed on the mat for 45 minutes with no shirt until (let’s be honest here) the show I was watching was over. I know, I know, you are suppose to meditate and think inward…. but, I only get a half hour of tv a night before I go to bed and why not kill two birds with one stone? =)

I put a foam roller under the top of the mat so that my neck would be fully supported and the buds would be able to fully connect with my skin. After peeling myself off the mat 45 minutes later, I felt pretty damn relaxed!! That night, I didn’t wake up ONCE. I typically wake up 2-3 times a night, but I actually got a full night of sleep! I was pretty impressed AND I have had better sleep since using the mat.

I didn’t have any back problems or anything else starting out, so I cannot attest to that claim… but my mom and grandma can!

My grandma lies on the mat every afternoon for about 20 minutes; she honestly swears by this thing now! It has helped her back and neck pain immensely, while also helping her sleep at night. The rosebuds are a tad too intense for her, so she keeps her shirt on and we cover the neck portion with a towel. She gets the benefits without it hurting her skin. My mom has also gotten relief in her neck and shoulder pain that comes from arthritis. The proof is in the grandma pudding!

The only complaint I would have is that the mat should come in more sizes.

My uncle (who has a chiropractor and acupuncturist on call) tried out the mat yesterday (as my grandma kept insisting he do) and he really loved it. He mentioned that he would like a longer mat so that he could hit his lower back and neck at the same time. Longer torso’s don’t quite fit on this size mat.

I don’t have that problem though =) (YAY me!)

Overall, I love this mat and think it’s great! And hey, you have a 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked! If you don’t like it, no harm – no foul.

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Find your mat here.
Read more on why it helps, usage programs and more!
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BLEND 2015

 

I had the AMAZING chance to attend an event held in Boulder, CO that included swag galore, great people and amazing experiences! I hiked, practiced yoga, ate great food and got to network with some of the best companies (including Quest Nutrition, WB Kitchen, FlapJacked, Sizzlefish, Earth Balance, Detour, Arctic Zero, Justin’s, Gaiam, Soybu and A LOT more!).

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Tickets to the Blend Retreat are only $125 – a STEAL for everything you get. In three days, I was fed almost every meal (excluding Saturday night dinner), gifted an amazing yoga mat & pants and filled with products galore. My husband attended the event with me (DOUBLE the merch!!!) and we had to go BUY ANOTHER FULL SIZE SUITCASE to bring everything home – so, let me tell you, $125 is crazy!

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Aside from the Blend Swag and the generosity of the companies who contributed to the retreat, I was able to meet and connect with some great new friends. The Blend Retreat is not just for bloggers, but also for blog readers, fitness enthusiasts and people who generally just want to live a healthy balanced life. It was refreshing to talk with so many wonderful people who had amazing stories!

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The retreat lasted 3 days, Friday through Sunday. On Friday, there was a trail run followed by a very nice cocktail hour hosted by Sizzlefish (my absolute FAVORITE fish ever!!) and then dinner. Everything was amazingly tasty ALL weekend long.

The next day, we woke up early for a bootcamp (which was a fun partner experience!), ate breakfast, went hiking and then enjoyed downtown Boulder on our own. The CO natives were able to give us some advice on where to eat. We enjoyed Pearl Street before getting caught in a rain storm and having to take cover (with a beer or two)…. which we didn’t mind =)

Sunday morning we practiced yoga and it was one of the best classes I have taken! Shannon Paige was fabulous and I was so honored to learn from her. AND, I got to break in my new yoga mat from Gaiam. This is the best mat! I had a non-slip mat before, but it didn’t work for me. I was super skeptical of this one based on my first experience, BUT I didn’t slip, it was very thick, never moved AND my sweat didn’t just stay on the mat throughout my practice. I would highly suggest looking into this mat if you are in the market!

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My hubby and I had to catch our flight so we ended up missing the final breakfast and closing ceremony (where they raffled off MORE goodies!) and I was really upset about that. Overall, with some better planning on my part, I am SUPER DUPER EXCITED FOR NEXT YEAR!

I hope that more of you will join me for some fun, laughs, and new friends!

Thank you so much to Lauren, Lindsay and Janetha for planning and executing a FABULOUS retreat! I cannot wait for 2016!!!

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Until next time Blends! I look forward to seeing you all next year!

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Your NEW BFF!

Have you ever completed a workout or run that was so strenuous you KNEW the next day (or next hour) you would be so sore you could barely move a body part?! I HAVE!

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When I ran my last half marathon, I decided it would be fun to walk through the main event area with all of the vendors (I love doing this to see whats new and upcoming!) —- I was casually minding my own business when I was distracted by a good looking guy and a weird massager thing… Upon further investigation (and a long rub down by my good looking massager friend) I decided to purchase this weird thing that looked like an old table sander!

Here’s why this massager is so awesome:

1. It’s easy to use and the industrial chord makes it convenient to plug in and get your massage on anywhere!
2. Deep tissue massages never need to be scheduled again with this gem… you can do it yourself! Work the massager in different angles to get deeper into the muscles.
3. You can buff your lotion in!! Say hello to smooth skin!
4. You can remove your stubble!!! SAY WHAT!? YEP! There is a pad you put on to remove extra dry skin and hair stubble. I used it on my heels too and they are SMOOTH as a baby’s bottom now – all that gross gym shoe foot is gone! =)

Buffing with the exfoliator

Buffing with the exfoliator

Lotion on!

Lotion on

5. Different speeds allow you to adjust intensity
6. My whole family is on the BFF bandwagon… seriously, even my grandparents.
7. Use it for post workouts, or just stiff or sore muscles. My mom has been using it on her arthritic knees and has noticed a huge difference! Breaking up that tight muscle fiber helps to make the body work again =)
8. It comes in pink (but I got it in blue for the speeds…. still worth a mention though lol)

Massaging post 1/2 marathon! Feels SO good!

Massaging post 1/2 marathon! Feels SO good!

 

So what are you waiting for!? I know, I know… it’s a bit steep when you are on a budget… trust me, if you can make it happen – do it! My cheap ass did… and I am glad I did!

Plus, here’s a code for 15% off your entire purchase to make it just a bit sweeter…. use code “KFAB” at checkout. Get yours HERE.

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FRS, The Natural Energy Challenge!

I am a coffee junkie… I love a tall steaming black cup of joe every morning, especially when I start training at 5am! When I received the FRS Two-10 Discovery Challenge Pack  to try, I was skeptical. I thought, how could a natural energy drink ever replace my coffee?! BUT, I was up for the challenge since I LOVE trying new things and sharing products with everyone!

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For $19.99 + a money back guarantee, this is what you get:

That’s right! 4 full size products =) 1 32oz. bottle of FRS concentrate (with a low cal option as well), 1 sample pack of FRS soft chews (4 pieces total), and 2 regular sized FRS drinks all in your flavors of choice!

frs3My favorite product would have to be the concentrate. I started drinking a serving every morning (4:30am) before clients and I have to tell you honestly, I felt energized, full (usually I get a rumble in the tummy lol), and focused (no yawning)! I feel like it tastes just like orange juice (which I personally love but don’t drink since it is so high sugar/calorie).

The FRS cans are awesome to take for a quick pick me up during the day. I liked them, but I wanted someone else’s opinion on them. My husband is an energy drink junkie (think tall sugar free white can) and he has one or two on his night shift as well as before his classes usually. He tried the Strawberry Kiwi flavor. When I asked him how he liked the drink he said he really liked it because he got the same energy as he does with his usual drink, but no crash. He also mentioned that he didn’t get the jitters half way through class like he sometimes tends to. So overall, win win! And really, for just under $20, why not give it a try? I know I will continue to purchase at least the concentrate =)

 If you decide to order, I want to hear how you like it!

frs2Find FRS : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | FRS.com

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of FRS.

 

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SMS Audio BioSport Headphones

Headphones that also read your heart rate? Say what!? Well…. you heard me!

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I tested these out a few times and here are my thoughts…..

IMG_0419Pros:

– No chest strap while you run or workout – the headphones have a crescent shaped sensor on the right earbud that picks up on your heart beat
– Pretty accurate heart rate reading
– Cool design
– Good sound quality
– Water resistant
– Earbuds stay in place (mostly)
– They come with 3 different earbud sizes and a cool carrying case
– Free trial of RunKeeper Elite with purchase
– Includes a microphone on the headphones for incoming calls

Cons:

– You have to have the RunKeeper app to get a heart rate reading
– The app doesn’t give a correct analysis unless you are outside and it can pick up on GPS
– The earbuds moved slightly while running and sweaty

5 miles later andimage1 the app doesn’t account for how far I ran, which I totally understand (since it is based off of GPS)…. BUT shouldn’t the calorie count still be correct if it is based off heart rate, weight, height and time duration? This is the part that I don’t care for because if you are doing body weight exercises, running on a treadmill, biking indoors or weight lifting, you won’t get an accurate caloric burn.

So I guess all in all, these are great for when you are outdoors working out (running, walking, hiking, biking, etc.) but if you want an accurate indoor reading, stick with a watch (and one with a chest strap if you want the most accurate reading).

The sound quality is really great and I feel like they will last a long time. I would say, think about the type of activities you want these for and then base your purchase decision off of that, because they are definitely great to have while working outdoors.

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Stop At Never.

How long have you been on your journey? Is it directly proportional to how many times you have quit, decided to start over, begin anew? I can’t tell you how many times I yo-yo’d in and out of the gym, through different fads and self doubt. I probably lost the same 10 pounds about 50 different times.

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So what changed? What made me want to commit and lose the weight for good? I decided to stop at never. It is incredible how reading something can have such a huge impact on your life. This morning, when I looked into the pocket of my new Asics jacket, I read the words “stop at never”. I feel like this sums up my new life. I will never stop. I will never give up. I will never go back to who I was.

IMG_6912What motivated me at first was the fact that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I did not want to keep looking and (more importantly) feeling the way I did. For me, it was like a light switch turned on in my head. I decided I was going to go full speed ahead and not let anything derail me. I planned my meals, I gave up alcohol and anything I couldn’t eat responsibly (cheese and peanut butter for example) and I got my workouts in every time. I didn’t cancel on myself. I gave myself the opportunity to become who I wanted to become. To change.

I am still partly that person who was 234lbs – but there is another part of me now. There is this amazing part of me who gets to tell my story and inspire so many others. I used to think that could never be me. I spent so much of my time trying to hide, I couldn’t fathom living out in the open. But now I can, because I do.

I know you probably think you could never have a story like mine – that it is impossible. I used to think that, too. But you CAN be me. I am no one incredible; I don’t have amazing gifts that make me “special”. But I have a heart that won’t give up and perseverance like none other. I have created this life through hard work and dedication. Through trials and difficult situations. I have gone to hell and have come out the other side a stronger, more devoted person. I will not fail simply because I do not give up. I keep pushing until I succeed.

We have exactly 2 days left of 2014. What will you do in 2015? Why not change the direction of your life? Become who you have always wanted to be. Don’t give up on yourself. You are worth the fight.

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