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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The low-down on sports supplements

The path to getting fit and healthy can be long and arduous, and there’s a tendency to look for shortcuts. For people looking to lose weight, or get in better shape, sports supplements are a tempting offering. Just like anything else, supplements should be used in moderation, but if used wisely, can help you towards your goals a bit faster. Here’s how.
Keep it balanced
This may not come as a surprise, but even the latest and greatest nutritional supplement will not work without a balanced diet and exercise. The key word is supplement; it’s used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, and not as a replacement. Nothing will ever replace healthy eating and exercise, but sport supplements can help you along the way.

What’s in them?
There are many different kind of supplements out there, but at their core they are designed to give you more energy and stamina. Depending on the supplement, it may include ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, or a combination of these.

How should they be used?
The key to taking any type of sport supplement is knowing why you’re taking them. A vague reason like, “getting more energy”, is not enough. You need to know exactly what it does, and how that lines up with your fitness goals. For instance, if you’re looking to lose weight and stay lean, a supplement like creatine, which adds muscle and bulk, would not be exactly useful.

How they help
The biggest benefit of supplements is that they help you get the most out of your workout. If, for instance, you have an especially rigorous workout, a recovery drink/supplement can supply carbohydrates and amino acids that replace and rebuild the muscle fibers that are broken down during this training session. Sport supplements can also help keep your body healthy and better able to withstand the rigors of training. Even with a healthy diet, you may not be getting enough nutrients that help you recover (think iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids). Some studies have shown that these may help reduce post-exercise soreness and boost recovery times.
As you can see, sports supplements can help you towards a healthy lifestyle, as long as you’re smart about what you’re taking. Exercise and healthy eating are irreplaceable, but supplements sure can help.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beauty products I can't live without

Top | Skirt | Necklace: Similar| Sandals

Just a few weeks ago, I spent 5 hours on YouTube looking at tutorials on how to put on false lashes.  I have done the lash extensions and I don't like the look of the Younique mascara, I wanted to try lashes since I can take them off whenever I want plus they are much less expensive than other options.  I tried the Kiss Lash brand and have been obsessed ever since! It took me a few (hundred) tries to get it just right, but now I am like a pro! I wear them almost every day! I just love the extra thickness it gives.  My favorite glue for them is duo which I bought at Target.  

Another product that I have been loving is not really beauty related, but more skin care related.  Ever since I have been really serious about running, I get really dry skin around my nose.  I don't know if it's just dryer weather or I wipe my nose more, but it was really bothering me! I tried lots of products to see if they would help and most just irritated it.  I started using Cortizone 10 Eczema cream.  It has cleared up so much and I feel so much better! 

My last beauty product that I just love and I have mentioned it on here before is Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade.  I purchased mine in blonde which is actually a little darker than I thought.  I posted my tutorial in a post if you want to check that out. Brows really frame the face and if you have a thin over plucked brows like me, the pomade helps to fill them in and make them look full without looking unnatural.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cooking Planit and Colavita Eat Fresh Challenge Week 3

2 weeks ago, I said yes to the Cooking Planit #eatfreshchallenge.  I was a little hesitant, but knew it would be great because I eat pretty fresh as it is.  I guess the only hesistancy was trying out new recipes and cooking with fresh ingredients that I wasn't used to.  I rarely use fresh seasonings in my cooking.  You can read here about week 1 and week 2.

In the past, I have been guilty of throwing out produce that has gone bad simply because I didn't use it.  This week, I really made a point to use them all until they were gone so that I didn't have to throw them out.  Another great thing about the cooking planit app is it tells you to clean dishes as you go.  I hate doing the dishes after a meal.  It seems like I am always left cleaning up and that is the last thing I want to do after making a meal for my family.  However, it's been really convenient to have the app tell me to clean certain dishes that I am done using so that once everything is cooked, I have basically cleaned up the entire kitchen! I am spending less time in the kitchen while preparing really delicious healthy meals for my family.  That's a complete win!

I have to say my favorite Cooking Planit meal this week was the Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  I had a lot of the ingredients on hand.  Although, I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken since I already had that.  I was nervous to use fresh ginger and water chestnuts.  I have never used that in my cooking before! It turned out great.  I had to find my grater for mincing the garlic.  That's one piece of kitchen equipment I rarely use, but I think I am going to incorporate that more into my meals.  Using cilantro is something I always forget how much I love.  I have heard you are either a fan of cilantro or you are not! I definitely am a fan!  Asian cooking for me is definitely intimidating! I only know how to cook rice and call it good! This really took me out of my comfort zone and I like how the results came out!

I mentioned in the previous post my favorite Colavita Products.  The Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been amazing! I put a little bit with the vegetables as they were cooking and the flavors after they were cooked through were amazing! I have always been a huge Pesto fan and have even tried making it myself in the past, which never turned out great! The Colavita Pesto Sauce is amazing and I had to refrain from just taking spoonfuls, is that gross? 

Check out these other bloggers and how their week went with the #eatfreshchallenge!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Recipes I want to try

I look on Pinterest for ideas to come up with healthy recipes.  There are so many great things out there and I have used them quite a bit in my life.  Check out my healthy eats board on pinterest! Follow me there too at Livy Loves to Run.

If you are looking for more recipes, my e-books are 50% off this week with code HALFOFF! Both books are 50% off! Go my store to purchase!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Blouse: Forever 21 |  Skirt: Forever 21  | Shoes: Piperlime

Whenever I see someone extremely successful at whatever they do, I instantly think they have it all together and nothing in their life is hard.  Since they are so amazing, they obviously have never dealt with trials or weakness so that is why they are so successful.  Totally false! I quickly realized that once I started to lose weight.  I realized how even though we may seem like we have it all together, behind the scenes there is a sink full of dishes, 450 tantrums thrown by both me and my kids, and lots of self-doubt.

I like to keep things real and honest on my blog and social media.  I have never wanted to sugar coat or make it seem like I know exactly what I am doing because honestly, I am trying to figure it out just like everyone else.  The only difference is I just started sooner at losing weight than someone else.  I struggle with food still.  Food will always be a weakness of mine.  I know that I am a food addict and I have come to terms that for the rest of my life. I just have to monitor that and balance the good and bad.  In the beginning, I can remember waking up in the morning, crying because it was so depressing that I would never be able to just eat a cookie and not care.  I now consciously decide what foods go into my body because I care about how my body functions and looks which is opposite from the past. I lost weight so fast that now I am having to remind myself not to be afraid of food.  For so long, my brain just kept on the path of weight loss, not even caring about unhealthy food whereas now since I have lost this huge amount of weight, I am more comfortable with who I am.  I don't sweat a bowl of ice cream once a week.  However, that complacency has been difficult to adjust to.  

Besides weight loss, I struggle with the desire to have more kids.  I want more children, but the selfish thought in my mind is not wanting to give up my hardcore workouts or gain who knows how much weight.  Ideally, I plan on working out whenever I have another child and I plan on gaining a healthy amount of weight, but of course plans never go the way you want.  I just struggle with the idea of not being in control. 

Accepting my body has been hard for me.  I want to look perfect.  I focus on that goal so much more than I focus on the actual progress that I have made.  I honestly do feel good in my skin! I love the way I look.  But just like the next person, I have more goals for myself. We all want what we don't have.

Moral of this post is that even though I have lost 100 lbs, I am just like everyone else.  I just struggle.  I do not have anything together! Realizing this about myself has been much easier to accept and I don't feel like beating myself up over every day.  Even though I may not be at my ultimate weight goal, I am pretty close.  I have worked pretty hard and recognizing that is just as important as getting there.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Skechers Pink Ribbon shoes for Breast Cancer Awareness

October has become a very special month of the year for so many reasons.  One very high on the list is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I have had very close relatives lives taken from this cancer and this month really lets me focus on the importance of being aware. My aunt died of breast cancer right before I met my husband and even though I was just a teenager, I can remember feeling so sad that she passed away. She fought for many years, but I know now she is much happier.  Knowing that this particular cancer runs in my family and since I am a female, the awareness for it does not go lightly.  I can remember running my first 5k 5 years ago and it was a Breast Cancer Awareness run.  I met so many women who had gone through this terrible cancer, who survived and then family members who were running for loved ones who passed on.  That was a really memorable moment in my life not just because it was my very first 5k run, but because I saw the huge influence this community has on awareness.  

Skechers is supporting the American Cancer Association and has created a new line of apparel for Breast Cancer Awareness.  When you wear these shoes or clothing, it can help remind you of those fighting for their lives and those who have lost the battle.  I think the best thing you can do is raise awareness even if you aren't directly affected.  I am wearing the GoRun 3 Shoe and have really enjoyed wearing them. Not only are they very cute, but they are super comfy.  It feels like my feet are walking on foam.  I wore mine to the gym this morning while running on the treadmill and felt so much comfort.  It's a really great shoe. They have several other style of shoes as well! Click on links to see other styles: GoRun Sprint and GoWalk 2.  

For myself, I personally stay active to have a healthy body and mind.  There is nothing worse than constantly feeling like you aren't good enough, not having enough energy or just wishing you could be something else.  I stay active because I want to feel good about how I look and feel.  I also want to be a healthy mom who is always keeping up with her kids.  I can remember being so exhausted most days when my kids were even younger and feeling like the end of the day was never going to happen.  While the end of the day is still an eternity some days, I am always able to keep up with my 4 and 2 year old.  They see me running and they understand how happy that makes me. 

 Combining my love of running and spreading awareness of Breast Cancer are something I am in full support of!  I know that I may not find a cure by spreading the awareness, but saving someone's life is enough for me.  Click here to go to the Skecher's Pink Ribbon Products to see their comfortable shoes!

Top: Old Navy | Leggings: Meet Ellie 20% off coupon with livylovestorun | Shoes: Skechers

 I would love to know which shoe you would be interested in and which one you would buy!

This post was sponsored by Skechers, however, opinions on products were my own!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cooking Planit and Colavita Eat Fresh Challenge Week 2

Last week, I committed to the #eatfreshchallenge presented by Colavita.  I have been using Cooking Planit to help me prepare my meals for myself and my family.  You can read more about the beginning of my week found here.  I was a little weary starting this challenge only because I eat pretty healthy as it is and didn't think I needed much more help in the kitchen.  However, I have noticed a few very distinct positives from embracing this challenge that I would love to talk about.

The first is how I have never ever used fresh herbs and seasonings in my cooking.  Salt and pepper have sometimes been all that I need.  A lot of the recipes ask for fresh garlic, parsley, cilantro, etc.  I knew that using them could only benefit my cooking, but didn't realize how flavorful they make any food.  Plus they are very good for you! It's a double win.

The other thing that I was surprised with was how simple it was to cook a complete meal.  Most recipes online just tell you to make one thing and then you have to find other recipes to make it a complete meal.  Cooking Planit gives you a complete healthy and delicious meal.  It shows you how to make it complete, start to finish! I mean come on, that is reason enough to want to use this app.

During the week, I made this delicious meal called English Comfort.  It's essentially Shepherd's Pie.  I replaced the white potato for sweet potato and instead of ground beef, I used ground turkey.  I couldn't believe how tasty and healthy this meal was.  I have had the regular Shepherd's Pie growing up and this tasted basically the same.  I ate the leftovers everyday after until it was gone!

The next day, I made Quick and Tasty which was so good as well! I only got a photo from the cubed chicken cooking, but it was so tasty! It called for Caramelized Brussel Sprouts which both my kids and husband gobbled up! I think what also helped was I had them cook with me and that made then more interested in eating the finish product.  When I just present the food to them, they usually turn it away and ask for something else.  Having them involved gets them really interested in eating it.  

I have already decided what my meals are going to be for the coming week.  I am excited to try them out!
Monday: Twist on Italian
Tuesday: A Few Favorites
Wednesday:  A la Herbs
Thursday: English Comfort (again!!)
Friday:  Curry Craving
Saturday: Burger Fresh
Sunday: Roasted Strawberry and Pineapple Salsa

Along with using Cooking Planit, I have been using Colavita cooking products which I will say has made everything much tastier. My favorites are the Pesto Sauce and the Roasted Garlic Cooking Oil Blend.  I have also been using Colavita Olive Oil and my chicken has been so much tastier.  You can get 20% off your Colavita purchase with promo code: EatFresh20 at checkout. Plus you get free shipping on all orders over $99!  

Now you all have a chance to enter and win a Colavita Pantry Essentials Basket which is a $120 Value!! All you need to do is 1) Snap a pic or video showing how you used Fresh Ingredients for your meal.  2) Post it on instagram Twitter or Facebook.  3) Create a free Cooking Planit account and Follow Cooking Planit on Instagram.  4) Submit your name, Email and instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter URL through Rafflecopter. Good Luck! Winner will be announced here next week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You are all lucky enough to enter to win on all 11 blogs!! More chances for more winners.


This post was sponsored by Cooking Planit and Colavita.  All opinions are my own.
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