Who’s Really Qualified?

Good morning y’all, let’s just get right into things – hold on tight.

Here’s the word of the day:

expert

This past week I had the chance to interview one of “the most sought after” voices in the fitness industry. Chance of a lifetime, right? Probably so but I turned it down. Now, before you roll your eyes and click over to another tab let me explain why I chose not to share his message, not to interview him, and, quite frankly, why it really rubbed me the wrong way.

Fitness is a lot like politics. No one has the same opinion, everyone’s going to judge you, and unless you stand for something you’re going to fall for anything. What works for you may not work for me. Kind of blows the marketing scheme out of the water but you get the gist.

fitness is like politics

My issue comes with the people within the community who believe everything they say is the most correct, most healthy, most universally satisfying. We’ve all fallen for one scheme or another, the newest trend, or even the best friend who meant the best. Heck, there are even days we are sold a bill of goods from the strangers’ faces looking back at us from the magazine rack. Our inboxes are filled with emails with get skinny quick schemes, how to drop 30 pounds in 30 days, and how to turn heads at the gym (PS it’s not because we’re strong and able but that’s a different rant to be had).

Just because someone labelled this guy (or anyone else) the Know-It-All Of Know-It-Alls doesn’t make him the best, most knowledgable “expert.” Period.

The education is varied almost as much as our bodies themselves. As I mentioned, what works for you won’t always work for me. I believe about the only universally satisfying factor is that if you work you will improve.

Onto Part 2: Those with certificates.

what am I doing

Congratulations – you have a certification – that does NOT make you a guru. Yes, you have had to pass a test or two and hopefully apply some job related skills to obtain that certification but you don’t know sh*t.

To become a personal trainer it takes between 1 to 6 months – have you lost your mind?! You want someone who has been looking at bodies for a month or half a year looking at your body and telling you what’s going to work?! I sure don’t.

Athletic trainers, Physical therapists, MDs go to school for years to get into a position to treat patients. Yes, I said it, if you go to a personal trainer you are a patient. Take your physical health as seriously as you would if you were to see a doctor. Many personal trainers see you as a client though, it’s amazing how much verbiage can change things. Do you value yourself enough to consider yourself a patient?

How many times have you gone to the best doctor is XYZ field or physical therapist or, if you’ve been exposed, to athletic trainers and they, themselves have been possibly out of shape or a little less than the peak of their fitness? They are at the top of the field though, they must be doing something right. Physically trainers however make money on perceptions and results. When picking out your next physical trainer it’s likely to look at his or her body first, reviews and recommendations second, and if that person makes the cut, finally (and maybe) their credentials.

We’re fed lies that there are easy fixes, that those fixes are healthy and sustainable. Some of these qualified individuals are even feeding us this BS from the platform of being planted in front of the fitness community and being told to prevent, diagnosis, and treat what symptoms or ailments we have. It’s possible these people don’t know any better (yet another rant) but some do and some see it as the only way to make money. Either way it’s crap and not ok to put our lives, our families lives, or the lives of the community in danger ever but especially for misrepresentation and greed.

PS: I ragged pretty hard on personal trainers but there are plenty of other “experts” and certified individuals who deserve the rag too. If you leave with anything today please, please, please make it: do your own research, work hard, and don’t exclusively listen to anyone willing to give you advice.

Rant over. I’m all ears…What do you guys think?

What Happens with Vega…

Gets shared with all!

Fuel Your Better

I am lucky enough to have been one of the bloggers to have been chosen to review a Vega Sport product of choice. Vega Sport started from a plant-based Ironman who was sure there had to be a better way to be a plant-based athlete who was constantly on the go than being tired and hungry all the time. Vega One, an all-in-one nutritional shake, got the ball rolling and inspired a whole line of plant-based nutritional supplements.

The #FUELYOURBETTER campaign is in full force with bloggers reviewing every Vega Sport product. Check it out on Twitter to get all your needs met and to have valuable fitness and nutrition hacks at your finger tips!

Fuel Your Better offers motivation where can subscribe for  training tips, articles, delicious recipes, and more; goes through common fitness hurdles including the Wall and overtraining and how to breakthrough each to become a better, stronger you. 

Fuel Your Better

For me those obstacles come in the form of a lot of things but most relevant to recent events (i.e. Summer) I know I have to watch my electrolyte levels and take what seems like extra electrolytes so I chose the Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator because training down south gets HOT and when I get hot I sweat like a hog.

sweat like a pig

Or like a sinner in church…you get the point 😉

I used to lug heavy bottles of Powerade or Gatorade out with me or have an extra bladder on long runs but bottles are bulky, weighty, and awkward (anyone have an Aunt Marg like this?). When out on the trails there was no place to properly dispose of them

When you sweat you lose electrolytes and no matter how much water you drink you will never, ever regain them unless you replenish. Let me back up though, losing all your electrolytes leads to mild cramping, that horrible runner’s tummy, moderate cramping, full body cramping, and (if not replenished, handled properly) can be fatal in rare situations thanks to IVs and doctors. Happy Wednesday? Back to the happy side of things. Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator “replenishes electrolytes and minerals; enhances metabolism and alkalinity; and provides antioxidant protection.” While doing all of this it ensures your muscles stay receptive to the transfer of energy. All very important to avoid cramps!

#fuelyourbetter IG

Now down to the details!

Taste: It comes in two flavors, berry and lemon lime. I was sent Lemon and true to nature first thing I did was try in a smoothie. It was a little strong the first time, the second time was delicious! I put extra fruit in the there the second time (expert hint haha). Then I followed the directions, what a novel idea, and mixed a packet with 16oz. It was still a little strong so I’m probably going to stick to one pack per 32oz, but that’s just me.

Ease of Use: Super easy! We went to the zoo, I carried the bottle in with me and a pack of Hydrator in the bottle. When I was ready I filled up the bottle with water, dumped the packet in the bottle, shook, and volia – I had my very own awesome plant-based electrolyte replacer!
It was just as easy when running. I tried on the TM and despite being somewhat multi-challenged with coordination on a moving treadmill I was able to successfully execute a Hydration Station! The trail was easier too, I run with a second, smaller bladder so all I had to do was open the second bladder, open a few packets, and close again. Shaking done by the running 😉

Overall: I would absolutely recommend Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator. I love the packaging and how easy it is to stick in my purse, pocket, pack , anywhere really! I’m a huge fan of it being plant-based and everyone friendly. It really works, alleviates cramping and replenishes electrolytes quickly; also keeps those icky things at bay!

So guys – what’s holding you back?

11 Ways Personal Blogs are like Nonprofits

GOOOD MORNING! It’s Friday and beautiful here in the South. I’m personally loving the sun and the 70/80 degree weather. Prayers are still going out to those affected by the wildfires.

501(c)(3)s are the organizations we all think of when the vocabulary of philanthropy, giving, charities, service organizations, nongovernmental, and nonprofits come up in conversation. You get a tax break thanks to this section of the third sector. The classification encompasses millions of community minded shops in the US and often bring to mind dedicated individuals who spend their time tending to the sickest, the most underprivileged, and disadvantage. As it turns out running a 501(c)(3) organization isn’t too far of a stretch. The term nonprofit is subbed for 501(c)(3).

11. We come in all shapes and sizes.

Personal bloggers and nonprofits alike cover a plethora of needs and communities. Fashion bloggers, mommy bloggers, fitness bloggers, health nonprofits, immediate need nonprofits, etc. We all have our niches and every blog or nonprofit adds value to the community! Kumbaya and stay awhile!

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10. We work weekends.

Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about, whether it’s taking pictures, scheduling social media, or finishing your posts you work on the weekends. So do nonprofit staff – Saturday events don’t happen all by themselves!

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9. We bicker over what we’re called.

Is a 501(c)(3) a charity, a nonprofit, NGO, NPO? What is it? As a personal blogger what are we? Writers, influencers, journalists, everyday people? No matter what term you use you won’t be 100% politically correct ever – use the least offensive term out there. Good luck with that 😉

 

8. Without our communities we couldn’t do what we do.

Personal bloggers draw from the community around them, so do nonprofits. Community engagement and experience for bloggers to have material and posts; nonprofits rely on community to have a need and to be able to meet that need.

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7. Content is king.

If you write well or do good work in the community people are more likely going to be ok overlooking the less than perfect site design or the less than stellar location you rent. Do good, be good. <- life lesson right there.

 

6. We are community minded.

Where it is obvious nonprofit organizations are community personal blogs are probably a little bit more murky. Why are personal blogs here though? To further XYZ usually, I want to spread the word that a healthy lifestyle means you can also enjoy your cake and exercise doesn’t always have to make you miserable.

 

5. You always have to ask yourself “does this opportunity align with my mission?”

Emails come in asking to review all sorts of things and the more you have to offer a brand the more those kinds of requests come in. I know the first question I ask is “will my readers respond,” and the second is “does XYZ align with where I’m trying to take my blog?” Those in mind I often turn down opportunities that don’t answer YES to both questions. If a nonprofit has to search for a way a $1,000,000 grant fits into it’s mission or redo it’s mission or board to fit that nonprofit will have created “mission drift” which is often fatal to the organization (and to bloggers).

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4. Our marketing isn’t always what it could be (and we don’t typically have a marketing department).

Large, national nonprofits have marketing firms or departments but it’s pretty unlikely to have one staff member entirely devoted to marketing, especially when one staff member can fulfill it well enough. It’s not perfect but in order to make the most of donations you run a lean ship. More often than not blogs run the same way, more out of necessity though – the blogger is a great one man or woman show!

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3. Success is almost inevitable when you’re passionate.

Take a look at the March of Dimes, they cured polio; or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, they have more than doubled the life expectancy of patients with CF in the last twenty years. Personal blogger have built their influence and their brand so much that even outside of the niche community they’re respected.

 

2. Just like the corporate world nonprofits and personal blogs fail at 50% in the first year.

It’s true, no one can seemingly escape the 50/50 rule of success (or failure) but it’s an awesome feeling for when you do and when you keep trucking on for 5-10 years without an intention of stopping. To longevity!!

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  1. We know how to tell a story.

Successful nonprofit use to raise funds, personal bloggers use it to raise readers and we both use stories to keep the community informed.

 

That wraps it up for today! I hope you guys have an amazing weekend and tell me all about it Monday! For now go on and have a little fun with this fill in the blank:

Blogging is like ____________.

You Want Me To What?

The giving of love

I’d like to think of myself as a go-getter. Really. I typically take every opportunity that comes my way and utilize it to the full extent but when my cousin came to me last fall I did one of these:

Scared

Just like that really, I was even dressed as The Captain…maybe.

She had asked me to come nanny for her this summer, at first it was an immediate no. As the months went by (and the baby bump was getting cuter) she kept pestering asking me if I was going to come “hang out” this summer. Sure babies are cute and eventually it will probably be nice to have one BUT by no means am I anyone else’s first pick in the nanny department and yet I was hers. It was sweet but I still wasn’t sold.

I did tell her in January I would test drive the kids for a week when I got out of school and if all went well, well, we’d see. AND THEN Baby J was born, I was sent a picture, and…I kinda said yes immediately. Oops. They were just too cute to resist.

Courtesy of Courtney Yarberry Photography

See what I mean? How could you resist these two?

So for the next three months I will be changing diapers, experimenting with toddler entertainment, cherishing every moment, and, of course, blogging all about it. The blog may change a little. I may start talking more children, staying fit with kids, and everything else these two bring.

I am excited but I am also just as frightened as I was the first day she asked (refer to .gif above 😉 ). Let’s just say I’m going to wing it (isn’t that what parents want to hear?) and I know it’ll be ok!

My favorite advice to date has been “Well, as long as they’re both alive and in one piece by the end of summer I’d say you’ve succeeded.” Thanks. Needless to say I’m sure I’ll outperform on the minimum standards and, who knows, by the time August rolls around I may not want to leave. Yes that was a threat!

One more baby picture…

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Do you guys have any baby advice? Nanny advice maybe? Feel free to tell me how cute they are!

Kiss Me – I’m Organic!

Good morning! What’s up people?!

Kiss Me Organic

I was contacted by KissMe Organics to try out their matcha green tea powder and agreed! Initially I thought what the heck is matcha? The second – I don’t like tea but I knew I liked the citrus green tea from gas stations (long story, related to ag trips – another time, I promise). More importantly though I know you guys love healthy alternatives and FOOD! Y’all are readers after my own heart!

When I looked through the cookbook and saw I could bake, cook, and smoothie with it I was sure I could find another way to love green tea.

PS matcha green tea is “the ancient secret to health, beauty, and longevity”!! I’m a little skeptical about it’s powers but hey, what do I know?!

Kiss Me Organics

It also claims to:

  • All day energy with increased focus
  • Increased metabolism
  • 137 times the antioxidants than brewed green tea
  • Improved skin health

I can say I did notice a little pep in my step when I added it into my smoothies and my skin was a little clearer. I know the energy wasn’t a fluke!!

When it came in the mail I was a little surprised about the quantity but knew that quality tea (and matcha) could have a huge price tag so I wasn’t too concerned. Quick note: Kiss Me Organics sells 4oz bags for $25. Onto the fun stuff!!

I looked through the recipes again and decided to make a smoothie first thing the next morning. My usual smoothie includes fruit, juice, applesauce and ENERGYbits so I just subbed ENERGYbits for matcha, blended, and voila!

Kiss Me Organics

Let’s step back – this is what when in it:
DSCN0378

  • Kiss Me Organics match green tea powder
  • frozen friut (mango, strawberries, peaches)
  • Paradise Blend (a little high in sugar but my favorite)
  • Not pictured: applesauce!

NOTE: When I opened the bag I took a whiff of the powder because, you know, that’s what normal people do – don’t do that, I beg you don’t be normal!

Sounds delicious doesn’t it? It had a slight pond scum appearance with 1 tbsp (the recommended daily allowance) and a stronger taste than I prefer so I scaled back the powder to 1 tsp and tried again – much better still with the energy boosting effects.

 

The recipes had more than just smoothies though, it had everything from sorbet to biscuits and everything in between. True to form here’s a sweet! This recipe was already vegan but, as always, things can be modified fairly easily!

Lime juice -> strawberry hulls -> strawberry perfection

Guys I so wish there was ismell technology (really hope Apple doesn’t sue me over that one -ha)! Oh my goodness did those strawberries smell SO STINKING GOOD!

Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Matcha Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 4 pints strawberries, sliced & hulled 2 limes, juiced
  • 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp. matcha green tea
  • 2 tbsp. pureed ginger

Instructions

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer until sugar is fully dissolved. It should take about 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat to cool completely.
  3. In a food processor, combine lime juice and strawberries to puree. Strain to remove seeds.
  4. When syrup has cooled, add to strawberry puree along with corn syrup and stir well.
  5. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Place in air tight container and freeze for at least an hour prior to serving.
  6. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place mixture in air right, freezer safe container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours then place in freezer overnight.

Makes 8 cups of sorbet.

12 hours later…

“Pinterest Fail” minus the Pinterest: I butchered it. On purpose though – I swear!! After work the Mr. and I put it in punch and had a few drinks! Nonalcoholic in our case but this stuff would be killer as a chiller! Ha, I rhymed 😉

I do think it’s a little ridiculous to need a billion different machines to make this but it was really really good! We used out Ninja with the shred attachment to puree, our juicer to juice the limes but that could be done manually, and we don’t have (or need) an ice cream maker. Can you imagine? We’d be fat all day and by fat I mean eating ice cream. All day! Ha! That sounds rad actually! Take note folk – ice cream maker on The List! Regardless! We did not use the food processor but I did over fill the Ninja and made a HUGE mess of the kitchen. Luckily the Mr. was out by this point and I cleaned it all up before he got back! The lesson learned is the 72oz fill line on the Ninja is no joke!!

My last thoughts: I can appreciate the thought behind the product and I like how it’s so readily available on Amazon, I’m a sucker for online shopping, but if I were shopping and stumbled upon it would I buy it? Eh, probably not. The quality was not premier (i.e. drinkability was low) but was still quality enough for baking and additions. And the recipes, are great! Seriously!!

Disclaimer: While I received this item free for review, all opinions expressed within are my own.

What do you guys think?!

How many machines is too many to need for a recipe?

Search It

You searched what?

Happy Monday! I needed a laugh this morning. Hopefully you guys do too!

Some of you may know Analytics show the blogger how you get to our site (sometimes, don’t freak out). I went into the search options and could not stop laughing. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy 😉

The one that started it all:

fitness

Searched: 1. This past week. Thank you random reader, thanks. I hope you found what you were searching. Probably not here, but somewhere

keep it bahhh sam

Searched: 3. Dates unknown. Three times?! You had search THREE times to figure out I am not the sheep (I am kind of sorry about that). Regular readers: get ready to be inundated with sheep pictures.

interesting baby pictures

Searched: 1. Yeah, I think I’m interesting and I hope you did too. And subscribed. That would be awesome. If you’re reading this give yourself a shout out and tell me you’re interesting too!

dead turkey

Searched: 1. Ok, I really appreciate it; I really do, you wanted to find Thanksgiving dishes, I get it and I am so glad you stopped by but I think you missed the mark. I have vegan Thanksgiving main dishes and beyond for you though? Yay? Oops…

And yes, I know putting this on the internet increases the chance for people finding me by these search terms. That’s fine, I’ll just revel in it some more!!

Bloggers: What’s the weirdest thing you guys have in your ‘search terms’?

Readers: How’d you get here?

Liebster Zwei

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Good morning!! I had and a hot beverage in hand and was catching up on my weekly readings when Autumn let me know I had been nominated for a Liebster (thank you ma’am!) so I thought I would shimmy back on over here and share a little more about myself!

Last time I was nominated I went into more detail about the actual award and how it came to be, this time I’m going to focus on the activities. As a refresher though Liebster is German for beloved or favorite.

Autumn asks:

1. When it comes to blogging what do you struggle with most?

The struggle bus really doesn’t drop off at Blog Central Station. Sometimes it’s difficult to find time to crank out quality info but those are the days things just don’t get posted. In the beginning blog-life balance was a little rough but now it’s more life-blog and works exceptionally well!

2. What’s the story behind your blog name?

I started out as a yogi but I felt like I sweat too much (welcome to my world!) and when you sweat when the water evaporates from your skin you’re left with little salt crystals. This is the way my brain works – bendy + salty must equal pretzels!

3. Which blog post of yours are you most proud of?

Oh, this is a hard one; I’m really proud of my ENERGYbits update because it was first really well done post, my birthday post because it was a lot of fun to write, and my Fit ABCs post because there was great positive feedback on it!

4. If you could live one day over again, what would it be?

I would go back and enjoy the family road trip days. Most recently I lost my grandfather and would love to spend those days with he and my mom again.

5. Tea or coffee? (cheat question: how do you like either?)

I’m on Team Chilly Green Tea! All the way baybee!!

6. What’s the most unusual workout/exercise you’ve ever done?

I haven’t done it yet but 

7. What do you think of Conversational High-Fives: (High-fiving any time other than playing a sport)?

The Conversational High Five is one activity not to be taken lightly! It is one that should only be used among highly coordinated best of friends and more when slightly inebriated.

8. What made you decide to begin blogging?

I wanted to track my Ironman journey and felt called to blogging so I started.
9. What is your biggest pet peeve with society?

 Bad drivers. Confession: I’m a recovering road rager.

10. What’s your favorite quote from a film?

Most said: “Play it again, Sam!”
Favorite: “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.” Animal Crackers

11. What and/or who inspires you?

 The every day people who overcome struggles in their own lives to do their thing. 

Anything TMI? 😉

Thank you Autumn!!

Lovely readers: answer any of the questions!