Friday Finds 9-12-14

Friday Finds from Former Fitness Flunky
Happy Friday!  I am ready for the weekend and the cooler temperatures that are supposed to come with it here in Kansas City.  I’m especially looking forward to getting outside and soaking up a little nature.

I’ve found so many articles I want to share with you this week. I hope you find these ones as useful, interesting or thought provoking as I did:

Fitness

10 Do-Anywhere Exercises to Burn 200 Calories in Under 3 Minutes
I do think the title of this article is a bit ambitious as the calories you actually burn will be based on your size, ability and intensity in which you participate. That being said, I am a major fan of short bursts of activity. Try telling me you don’t have just 30 seconds to do jumping jacks… go ahead, try it :)

Food

Is It Time to Start Skipping Breakfast?
Breakfast is such a hotly contested nutrition/diet issue. As a both a personal trainer/fitness nutrition specialist AND someone who has experienced a significant amount of weight loss I can see a lot of different sides to all the arguments, both for and against the inclusion of breakfast. To be honest, I have nearly always been a breakfast procrastinator, pushing eating until much later in the morning. Has this hindered my progress? I don’t feel like it has. In fact, I think it’s silly to shove calories in your body if you aren’t feeling hungry. This is another instance where I think the necessity of eating breakfast really depends on your individual situation, goals, health and nutritional needs.

20 Gluten Free Slow Cooker Freezer Packs from Costco for $150
At this time I have no need to be gluten-free, but when I saw someone post this link on Facebook the other day I was immediately interested. Who couldn’t use more budget-friendly, easy to prepare, home cooked meals in their arsenal? After looking deeper into these recipes I was really happy to see fairly straight-forward, real ingredient meals that truly were easy to throw together. If nothing else, they could serve as a great jumping of point to create your own bunch of freezer packs.

More

‘Fat Shaming’ Linked To Weight Gain
I don’t think the title of this article would surprise anyone who has dealt with being overweight. I think the trendy title of “fat shaming” is relatively new, the practice of bullying people because of their weight certainly isn’t. This is an excellent reason as to why you need to shut up and not judge people for their weight. You have no idea what is going on in their lives and while you might think you are somehow motivating them to not be fat, you are most likely just adding to their problems.

Have a wonderful weekend!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training sessions 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

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Product Review: JAXX Shaker Cup

Jaxx Shaker Cup

I received the 20 ounce Jaxx Shaker Cup in my GoVoxBox from Influenster, along with the Vitamin Shoppe’s Next Step shake samples.  The Jaxx Shaker cup immediately reminded me of my beloved Blender Bottle, but I did notice a couple differences.

About:  The Jaxx Shaker Cup is BPA free and made of food-grade plastic.  The little widget inside is plastic and shaped light a giant jack.  The 20 ounce cup was sufficient for mixing powders or other ingredients with a pretty decent quantity of liquid.

Measuring of liquids was made extra easy because there are markers all the way up the side for various measurements.

Product Impression: I was excited to try the Jaxx Shaker Cup because I am a huge fan of the ease of mixing smoothies/shakes in a cup, rather than dirtying a blender, cup, spoon or any additional kitchen equipment. The handiness of measuring and mixing in one container is highly appealing too.

I thought the shaker was pretty attractive and the fact that it comes with a little handle (not pictured) immediately set it apart from other similar cups. The jack-shaped mixing device also made it different from other similar products in that the insert/mixing tool was not metal. I liked that because I have always kinda wondered whether the metal mixers in other products would rust (even though they are surgical grade steel and promise not to – I worry like that).  The shape was easy to grip and not too big for my hand.

The container felt sturdy and the fairly rigid plastic felt to be of a good quality.  The lid also felt sturdy, but I had to really push on the top to make sure it was fully closed every time I used it.  This was a minor annoyance, but something to be sure you are on top of as you definitely don’t want to shake it up when the top isn’t fully engaged.  This could have just been my particular cup or it may be a slight defect in the way the lid closes.  I haven’t tried out another shaker cup so I can’t be sure at this point.

The Jaxx Shaker Cup is top rack dishwasher safe and I found that it came out of the dishwasher clean and without any issue.

Jaxx Shaker Cup
Final Thoughts:  I love the ease of mixing shakes up in the Jaxx Shaker Cup.  The Jaxx Shaker was able to perfectly mix up any protein or shake powder that I threw in it.  While I don’t particularly find it any better or worse than my old stand-by the Blender Bottle, I would definitely consider this as a fine stand in or replacement any day.

Full disclosure: I received this product for free from Influenster in the GoVoxBox. The opinions and reviews presented here are solely my own. I have received no payment or compensation for this review other than the product.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training sessions 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons at the top or bottom of this article to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest.

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I’m a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador!

Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador

I am super excited to announce that I’ve been accepted as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador!

The Girls Gone Sporty community is chocked full of resources, support, reviews, recipes and more. I encourage you to check it out.

I look forward to being able to contribute to this group!

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons at the top or bottom of this article to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest.

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Product Review: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 Protein Powder

Manitoba Harvest Review

The folks at Sweat Pink and Manitoba Harvest got together to offer free samples of the Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 chocolate and vanilla protein powders. I’m always looking for new products to try out and because I have never tried a 100% hemp protein powder I was excited to test their product.

Product Specs:  Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 proteins powders are pretty slim on the ingredient list which is a bonus for people looking for less junk and more real food. Hemp protein concentrate, organic coconut sugar and minimal ingredients that make up the flavoring are all that that make up these powders. In addition, the hemp protein is non GMO.

Taste/Experience/Thoughts:  Because I wanted to get the full flavor of the product I mixed each sample with 6 oz. of cold water to test them out. The instructions on the package were a bit fizzy, so I hoped 6 oz. was about right. According to the serving size printed on the package a full serving was 4 tbsp of powder. The sample was 2 tbsp. The instructions stated 4 tbsp of powder to 1 1/2 cups of liquid. It also states that this is a serving for 2-3 people (which is pretty odd).

Vanilla –  The powder was green and did not smell particularly enticing. It smelled a bit green and I did not detect any hint of vanilla. Once mixed with water the powder transformed into a greenish/greyish, dirty water looking substance. This did not look very appealing. The smell, once mixed, was still green, but a slight hint of vanilla came through.

The taste was very green. I would liken it to chlorophyll. There was possibly a trace of vanilla, but it was very hard to detect. There was no sweetness to speak of. The powder did mix into the water very smoothly and it was not gritty like some protein powders can be. It left a bit of a coating in my mouth, but nothing too unpleasant.

Honestly, at first I thought this was totally gross, but the strange thing was that the more I drank it, the more I got used to and actually kind of started to like it. Once I got over the fact that it wasn’t sweet or strong flavored it became kind of enjoyable. Since there was not a strong flavor I can see how this would mix into anything from your morning smoothie to a bowl of oatmeal.

Chocolate –   The chocolate powder hid the green a little better. It smelled like chocolate, but still had a green smell too.

Much like the vanilla, the chocolate tasted green, but the cocoa covered it up a little better. There was not much sweetness in this flavor at all. The chocolate powder mixed into water just as well as the vanilla.

This flavor was okay, but I think it would be harder to use than the vanilla, as I don’t think the chocolate flavor is great on it’s own, but I also don’t think it would be as easy to use in smoothies or other applications.

Overall:
The Good
With 14 grams of protein per 4 tablespoons in the chocolate and 15 grams in the vanilla, I would say that a serving of the Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 protein powder packs a pretty good amount of protein.

The ingredient list is short and I think it’s great that Manitoba Harvest hasn’t included a lot of junk, fillers or extra ingredients that you may not need or want in your diet.

The Bad
If you aren’t a fan of green-tasting things you may not be able to tolerate this protein powder.

I would definitely consider using the Manitoba Harvest HempPro 70 protein powders if I was looking for an alternative to more common offerings like whey or soy powders, but I think it would take a little bit of adjustment for my taste buds to get used to them.

Full disclosure: I was provided with free samples in exchange for my review. The opinions and reviews presented here are solely my own. I have received no payment or compensation for this review other than the product.

 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training sessions 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons at the top or bottom of this article to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest.

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Friday Finds 8-29-14

Friday Finds from Former Fitness Flunky
Happy Friday!  Today’s post features a round up of excellent articles from around the web that I have found interesting this week:

Fitness

Fox News guest tells female co-hosts they could all stand to drop a few
You know that saying “don’t ever judge a book by it’s cover”? Well, that applies to people too and it looks like this dude didn’t get the message.
Apparently Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and author, yet I can’t figure out which of his credentials makes him think he is qualified to judge people’s weights without knowing their individual situation as it applies to eating and exercise habits, as well as their medical history. Uninvited comments like his hurt women’s self-esteem. Don’t be like Dr. Ablow.

3 Moves for Your Best #SummerSelfie from Pop Physique’s Jennifer Williams
While the title of this piece is silly, two out of three of these little exercises were new finds for me. I like that they work for pretty much any fitness level and don’t require equipment. They are also something you can work on by increasing your time or reps to keep it challenging and beneficial.

Food

Do gut bacteria rule our minds? In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway food choices
I’m not sure we can blame all our food cravings and woes on our gut microbiome, this article highlights some most interesting findings on how what’s living inside us may exert more control over us than we realize.

More

SafeTrek App
I’ve posted before about the need for vigilance while exercising outdoors so when I ran across this app I was really excited. While I definitely couldn’t foresee holding down the safety button the entire time I was exercising, this particular app would work well for more isolated stretches on jogging paths or areas where things looked a bit shady. I didn’t even realize apps like this existed so I’ll definitely be looking into installing this or something like it on my phone.
 
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
 

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training sessions 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons at the top or bottom of this article to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest.

Like this Post? Check Out These Posts too: