For Love of Chocolate and Vitamins: Adora Calcium

A quick running update. I’m still tacking away at my 9+1 for this year for guaranteed entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon, while simultaneously beginning training for the 2015 Chicago Marathon. Since I’m still early in my training, the long runs aren’t too long just yet but I already remember how tough it was to train last year in the heat! There have been some sweaty days and I’ve resigned to the fact that I’ll have to get up early on weekends to get in long runs before the heat gets severe. Oh marathon training, how I love and hate you at the same time!

Here’s to a sweaty summer of training…

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As part of starting marathon training, I’ve become more conscious of balancing my workouts, eating overall healthier meals, and making sure to incorporate the appropriate vitamins since I’m prone to bone injuries (ugh, stress fractures). Specifically, I make sure to take enough calcium, Vitamin D, and magnesium because I’ve noticed a different in when I take these vitamins and when I don’t. But I’ll be honest I’m not always good about taking them reliably and I’ve gone through points where I’ve stopped taking them for a few weeks. It never turns out good for me, let’s just say.

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One of my biggest problems is remembering to take my vitamins and making sure to take them on a full stomach so they don’t upset my belly. I’ve taken gummy vitamins in the past but, even though they’re sweet, they just aren’t satisfying for a chocolate-lover like me. So when I was asked to try Adora Dark Chocolate Vitamin Disks I was immediately excited that this could be the solution to my vitamin-taking problems. Adora offers the best of both worlds–healthy vitamins and delicious chocolate.

Here’s some reasons I’m such a fan of Adora:

-Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Also, as a runner who has had their fair share of bone injuries its perfect for people/athletes like me at risk of injury.
-Each disk provides 50% of your daily value of calcium with vitamin D3, and magnesium for optimal absorption.
-Adora disks come in two flavors: organic, dark chocolate and/or organic milk chocolate made with Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa.
-No GMOs
-Gluten Free
-Each disk has 30 calories, 2g of fat, 2g carbs, 500 IU of vitamin D, 500 mg of calcium, and 40 mg of magnesium.

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What I also love about Adora disks is that since they’re in the form of food they don’t get me nauseous at all like pill-style vitamins.

Adora disks have also helped me cut back on my sweets cravings because I can’t eat the whole bag of them (since they’re vitamins)! But they allow me just enough chocolate to be satisfied. Plus the flavor of the dark chocolate is really delicious just like some of my favorite bars! I’m officially an Adora addict and couldn’t imagine a night where I didn’t have a healthy, tasty, vitamin-filled sweet treat after dinner :)

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Note: I only tried Adora Dark Chocolate disks. I can imagine the milk chocolate is just as tasty but since I haven’t tried them myself I can’t say for sure.

Did you know that last month was National Osteoporosis and Awareness Month? Adora can help you get your daily value of calcium and Vitamin D to support your bone health. Also. the National Osteoporosis Foundation has simple, but often neglected, recommendations for maintaining proper bone health:

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Engage in regular exercise.
  • Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 23 drinks per day.

Disclosure: I was provided Adora product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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How do you take your vitamins?
Are you training for any big races?

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Filed under Chicago Marathon, food, product review

Gnarly: The Love for Clean Nutrition Continues!

About a month or so ago, you might remember a post I wrote about Gnarly Nutrition, a company that offers a full line of all-natural sports drink mixes, supplements, and whey and vegan protein powder. I was thrilled to be able to try out two of their products: Vicious Vanilla” Gnarly Whey and Orange/Mango Gnarly Pump. Both products align with the Gnarly Nutrition‘s focus on “clean” sports nutrition for active people and athletes to help perform at their best while using all-natural products.

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In addition to being made of just plain old high quality products, here are some of the amazing features of Gnarly Nutrition products and some of the many reasons why I highly recommend Gnarly:

High quality: Gnarly uses protein from grass-fed cattle in New Zealand, free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides.
-No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners
-GMO free
-No hormones or antibiotics
-Pre- and pro- biotics are included
-No cheap fillers

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Over the past month I’ve gotten the chance to continue to use the two products I previously reviewed. The first product, “Vicious Vanilla” Gnarly Whey has been my favorite since I’m a sucker for anything vanilla or chocolate flavored that tastes like a delicious smoothie. When I first used the mixer bottle to combine 1 scoop of whey and the suggested amount of water, I was pleasantly surprised at the creamy flavor without having to use any type of milk. Its continued to be just as delicious to me the more I’ve used it, and I’ve even tried it with a little banana to add a little pizzaz to the flavor.

I’ve been consistently using Gnarly Whey post-long run or following a tough strength training workout. Its not only a yummy snack to get to look forward to afterwards, but its also filled with the amino acids and healthy ingredients to promote muscle recovery and growth. I really feel that my muscles recover faster after tough runs when I drink this–so really its a win-win! Delicious flavor and great overall benefits!

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The second product I’ve been trying out this past month is Orange/Mango Gnarly Pump, used primary for a pre-workout energy boost. I don’t use this before every workout, but mostly when I’m feeling tired and need some extra energy to get myself going so I don’t miss my workouts or before a really tough long run. I’ve really felt the difference on those days and have really benefitted from having the extra energy, even at the end of the day, to get my workouts done.

The taste of Gnarly Pump is light, fruity, and refreshing when its mixed as recommended with water. It doesn’t weigh you down before you head out the food but quenches your thirst in the what you would want it to before a workout. Some of the added benefits include creatine for increasing ATP in the muscles, green tea extract (for caffeine), and a nitric oxide booster to increase oxygen levels in the muscles. Basically it doesn’t just provide you with caffeine but also gets your muscles primed for exercise. I love the way pump gives me the energy I need and its especially important for me in the summer to hydrate before working out outside.

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I’ve been incredible happy with my experiences with Gnarly products and am happy to recommend them. The company really cares about producing quality products that are clean and natural, without all the fillers that are common in other similar products. So if you haven’t already, I hope I’ve convinced you to go GET GNARLY!

And you can get yourself some Gnarly. Use the coupon code: “runlikeagirl” on their website for 20% off your Gnarly order!

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Disclosure: I received free product from Gnarly to facilitate my review and compensation for my time through my partnership with the Quality Blue Community. All opinions are my own.

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What is your favorite way to get energized before a workout and recover after a workout with nutrition?
Which of these would you most like to try?

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Filed under food, product review

Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day! Its the day runners everywhere become even more proud of the sport they love, and its the day we get to show off that we are runners without worrying what anyone else thinks because, heck, its basically like the birthday for running. So with that in mind—Happy Birthday Running! :)

I became a runner a few years ago as a way to stay active and healthy. As a lifelong athlete I knew I wanted to find a sport I love but also one that could be done for the rest of my life. And somewhere in this journey I found a sport I used to totally hate–running, of course :) But only now in my 20s I didn’t hate running anymore but instead fell head over heels in love with it. I wanted to run all day, everyday. So I started signing up for races, starting with smaller races and working my way up to my first half marathon in 2012–the NYC Half Marathon.

Finishing the NYC Half!

Finishing the NYC Half!

I ran and conquered that race and proved to myself that I could do anything I put my mind to. After numerous races at a variety of distances, I decided to take on the biggest challenge of my life. In 2014 when I took on my first full marathon. The 2014 NYC Marathon was the most difficult physical and mental experience of my life and was like nothing else I’ve ever done. Aside from getting engaged, it was the best time of my life and every moment of that race will forever be in my memory. In my heart I truly became a runner that day because I proved to myself I could train without injury and accomplish something that many people only dream of.

Finishing the NYC Marathon in 2014

After finishing the NYC Marathon in 2014

Now, you DO NOT have to run a marathon to be a runner, but for me that feeling I had running 26.2 was the reason I felt like a true runner. Whatever gives you that feeling is what you should do and what makes you, too, a runner–whether its 1 mile or a million.. YOU are a runner!

While it hasn’t been all easy, it has been a fun road. I’ve had many injuries that I’ve had to overcome, but I feel like these were great learning experiences for me and helped me to appreciate the opportunity I have in my life to lace up and hit the pavement. Its truly a blessing that I am forever thankful for.

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Brooks Running Company announced its third annual Brooks Run Happy Nation report, a survey of runners around the world. So to celebrate National Running Day, here’s some fun facts about running that I know you’ll love!

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-32% of Americans say they’d choose a friend as their go-to training partner, followed by 24% a digital fitness tracker, and 20% their dog.

-Who needs high heels and hiking boots when you have running shoes? Asked to choose one type of shoe to wear for the rest of their lives, 74% of respondents say they would don running shoes.

-When asked which award-winning running scene they most connect with, 32% of respondents relate to “Forrest Gump” and just keep running; 26% have the eye of the tiger like “Rocky”; and 18% want solitude á là “Silver Linings Playbook.”

-Asked to pick their favorite running surface, 47% of respondents choose the fresh air of the trails.

-When your everyday trails start to stale, it’s time to hit the road for a run-cation. Looking for ideas? Running around the Grand Canyon is the No. 1 choice for 27% of respondents, followed by the Romantic Road of Germany for 24%, and the Great Wall of China for 23%.

-As the weather gets cold and frightful, runners prove their dedication to the sport: 43% of respondents reveal they would hop on the treadmill instead of missing their run. Runners in Germany are most likely to brave the temperatures outside (52%), versus 29% in the U.S., and 28% in Canada.

-Music takes the prize for the accessory runners can’t live without (53%); 18% say pockets are key, while performance socks (13%) round out the top three.

-Running pitfalls can hinder even the toughest athletes. Among the biggest annoyances for respondents: blisters covering feet (43%), nature calling with no toilet in sight (32%) and chafing everywhere (14%).

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Filed under 2014 NYC Marathon, running motivation, running tips