#PoweredbyBits: Review & Giveaway! + Winner!

Travel tin

Travel tin

Recently I joined a weekly #Runchat twitter chat sponsored by ENERGYbits. I was very intrigued to learn more as I had increasingly spotted their travel tin all over on Instagram by fellow runners and plant-based athletes. Organically grown spirulina for energy? Heck, I’ll try anything once. I was very excited to receive a sample to review and tell you how you can win a sample for yourself. I also have a discount code for you!

What is spirulina algae?

Spirulina algae is a super hero in the world of super foods. Research done by NASA showed that that 1 kg of spirulina had the nutritional  equivalent of 1000 kg of fruits and vegetables! (Yes, NASA feeds astronauts algae!)  Spirulina’s nutritional pedigree is so impressive that The World Bank, NASA and Olympic athletes have all declared spirulina to be the most nutritious food in the entire world. Why? Well for starters, it effortlessly and naturally boosts your energy like an energy drink, energy bar or coffee  but without the downside of chemicals, caffeine, calories, gluten or sugar. Gram per gram, there is no denser source of nutrition than spirulina algae. (www.ENERGYbits.com)

What are the ENERGYbits tabs?

Have you ever (un)intentionally drank ocean water? The tabs remind me of the salt water and of seaweed. They’re very small and can easily be swallowed with any liquid.

I looked at the tin of dozens of tabs and thought, ‘How on earth am I going to take 30 right now?’. For those of you who aren’t the pill popping, vitamin consuming types, this may pose a problem. I decided to start easy and take a few at a time.  I took 5 tablets every 90 minutes and found them to be remarkable. I had sustained energy throughout the day, which included numerous exercise activities (swimming, running and lifting). The tabs are VERY green, so it’s best to swallow them instead of chewing.

They have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64% protein which is three times the amount of protein in steak), over 40 nutrients, and are just one calorie per tab. 

The next couple of times I took the tabs I was expecting similar results, and I tried them at different times of the day, knowing when I would be at an energy deficit. I was pleasantly surprised that the bits delivered every time.

Just a handful of 30+ bits will not only fill you up, they will meet most of your daily nutritional requirements, and all for just ONE calorie per tab.  

I’ve taken my fair share of energy gels which often leave my stomach unsettled. I had absolutely no negative after effects from the tabs.

Why does this product work?

Spirulina is a nitrogen based algae, and since nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels, taking our ENERGYbits® will give your brain and your body a steady and natural supply of oxygen and nourishment.

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As any plant-based athlete knows, searching for protein sources can be a full-time job. These bits not only sustained me with energy throughout the day enduring multi-sport training, but it also curbed my hunger, revved my metabolism and helped me avoid the infamous 3pm slump. Perhaps the best benefit from the product was that the day after I did a mini practice triathlon, I was not sore or overly fatigued in any way. These tabs are essential for endurance training. Here are some listed benefits of the algae spirulina tabs (and I most certainly can vouch for most of them):

Best used for:

  • Increasing Energy

  • Increasing Endurance

  • Increasing Mental Vitality

  • High Protein Snack

  • Curbing Hunger

  • Meal Replacement

  • Reducing Fatigue

***Leave a comment below, or click HERE to enter yourself in a raffle to win a sample tin of ENERGYtabs! They also provided me with a discount code for you. Enter the word “BLOG” into the coupon box and the 10% discount will be instantly applied.***

 

** Raffle winner–>

Congrats!

Congrats!

To learn more about ENERGYbits, join their Health and Fitness Twitter chat, held Tuesday nights at 8pm (EST) at #PoweredByBits

You can also find them at http://www.energybits.com or at http://www.pinterest.com/energybits/fit-with-bits/

They say carrying a tin of ENERGYbits is like carrying around a salad and a steak! Check out the nutrition label:

ENERGYbits Nutritional Information
ENERGYbits Nutritional Information

Naperville Half Marathon Recap

It’s done. I’ve joined the club. My journey to the sub 2hr half marathon club started one day when I decided (on a whim) to run a half marathon. I had no idea what I was in for, and had only run 6.2 miles prior to signing up. In 2010, I trained myself and enjoyed every minute of it all to myself at the Inaugural Monster Dash Half Marathon.

2010: Inaugural Monster Dash Half: 2:24

Ran it again in 2011 with my brother and my time improved.  

2011: Monster Dash Half: 2:09

I knew I could have run it faster because I had not trained as well second time around. The improvement was enough to make me wonder what life was like on the other side of 2. I ran four more half marathons to find out:

2012: Inaugural Chicago Women’s Half: 2:01:31
2013: ING Miami Half: 2:01:18
2013: Oak Brook Half: 2:24 – Oops, What happened there? Worst. Race. Ever. .

Because that race was awful, I trained so hard for Naperville. It was my last chance in 2013 for my legs to prove they were capable. Race week my friend sent me goal pace text messages every day that read: “8:45”. My mind was ready. I sprinted, I ran hills, I boxed, I jumped boxes, I practiced fast feet drills from my track days. I cross trained with spin class, I hit PRs with weights on leg press and squats. I built a better body to run faster.

and…***drum roll please***

2013: Inaugural Naperville Half: 1:55:03.

In addition to my improving time, it looks like I have a thing for inaugural races. I love the smaller ones (Miami being the only exception of course) 

When you run for charity, as I did for Naperville, you can’t help but think about all the people who donated to your cause. How could you let them down with anything less than what you consider an epic race?

The homestretch!

Homestretch, baby!

Homestretch, baby!

The race itself was excellent. Maybe the ridiculous cold weather has something to do with being able to sustain a faster pace for longer. The course was beautiful, slightly hilly and packed with spectators with great signs. The weeks before the race, I worked hard to avoid the mistakes, aches and pains I experienced with the Oak Brook half, which were primarily due to dehydration. I foam rolled my calves almost daily and worked on the minor tibialis anterior pain I experienced upon dorsiflexion – again all related to dehydration. I drank water and electrolytes like it was my job. The thing is that when you want something so badly, you won’t let anything get in your way when it’s dangling right in front of you. So what’s next for 2014? Is there another club I want to get into?

Happy but completely FREEZING. It was 35 degrees.

Happy but completely FREEZING. It was 35 degrees.

Maybe the 1:45…we shall see. For now, I’m retiring my racing legs with a smile.

10 life lessons I’ve learned from running

What running has taught me about life.

Disclaimer: I was inspired to write this post after reading some #runchat comments between a couple of bloggers, check them out here> http://www.happyfitmama.com/life-lessons-running/ and www.pavementrunner.com.

It’s definitely a list that I’ve thought of over the last several years, and resonates with me in daily life.

  1. “Be Somebody”.

    "Be Somebody"

    “Be Somebody”

    This is what ultramarathoner Scott Jurek signed in my copy of Eat & Run. I met him a couple years ago for a fun run. When you read the book, he talks about his running coaches and pals who have said this to him along his way. Really, are you going to go out there and simply pound the pavement, or can you really ‘be somebody’. Always leave a dent, make an impact, make yourself better every time.

  2. It’s okay to leave your gadgets at home. I ran my fastest 5k unplanned, no watch, ran on feel and surprised myself. Sure it’s great to run with a Garmin but trusting in technology takes away from being in touch with yourself. Lose the gadget, free yourself. Disconnect from technology every day; turn your phone off after a certain hour, don’t be used by tools.
  3. You reap what you sow. When you toe in at the starting line, there is nothing but your training (or lack thereof) that will make or break you. Much like life, what you put into your life comes back to reward you. Work smart, get rewarded.
  4. Always have a plan B. Start a run strong, cramp up, trip, slow down, bump into a friend, whatever it is that stops you from what you initially intended to run cannot be the ‘end all’. Always have a plan B and be okay with it. This has spilled into my life as an educator for the Epilepsy Foundation – the first training I did was in a special needs room with a sight dog barking and running around the room and the L training buzzing by every five minutes. It wasn’t my ideal situation, but I adapted to something just as perfect.
  5. Don’t give up when life presents you with a challenge, you are about to make a breakthrough. You know this when you are planking and are about to collapse – don’t! It is said our true character shows when we are facing hardship or difficulty – that is when we are making a breakthrough. Be your best self when it counts the most. No one regrets trying their hardest.
  6. Injured? Figure out what happened and prevent it next time. I can’t say this enough as a public health practitioner. There is a public health impact in everything, and I approach my life this way. My goals are to prevent disease, increase awareness and promote health education. My brother recently ran the Chicago Marathon and developed a meniscus tear at mile 25. Diagnosing his knee means understanding the mechanics and kinesiology of the knee, basically going deeper into the injury. Life lesson? We have to take that extra step to solve problems. I’ve written a lot on the negative impact of media on girls’ self esteem, which basically puts the onus of responsibility and accountability back on corporations, movies, and the music industry. Why are they interested in selling a concept of weak women and images of photoshopped girls and women? Who is their audience? There is always a cause and effect. I could go on…
  7. Start what you finish. This is so hard for me as an aquarian (yes I read those signs from time to time).
    Still don't know how we finished this trail run without snowshoes!

    Still don’t know how we finished this trail run without snowshoes!

    Can’t see the pavement because of yesterday’s blizzard? Well, just do your best and have fun with it. As someone who has multiple interests, it can be overwhelming to get it all done. But in general, we should always strive to finish what we start, hopefully at 100%, but sometimes it at less.

  8. Be empowered. Embrace your strengths. Being a mid-distance runner has somehow elevated me among my acquaintances and friends to a different echelon of ‘fitness people’, hardcore, they say. I don’t know how it happened, I hit the perfunctory 5 mile mark one April day and knew I was in a new club.  From that day onward, I started going out for 10 mile runs no big deal. If you find yourself saying to someone, “I only ran 5 miles today”, then you know what I’m talking about. You’re a beast and you know it (at least now you do). Life lesson here (and verse from the Qur’an) is we are always capable of more than we think we can handle. Stop that negative self-talk and rise above it. (I love Runner’s World’s columnist Marc Parent’s article on getting to five miles).
  9. Running is for me, myself and I. I love to run alone on the pavement. But I do enjoy running with company, and do so 1-2x a week. We build our self efficacy when we are alone, and increase our self esteem when we join others. We feel good about ourselves when we do something good together.
    races are always more fun with friends

    races are always more fun with friends

    Consider volunteering, it is always more impactful to the community or organization in aggregate, and we get to hang out with family and friends. However the true benefit you get from making a difference is an individual experience. In the end, YOU have to feel good about yourself when giving YOUR time to a cause, not the time of your friends or family.

  10. Have a sense of humor. Seriously, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re fooling yourself. Yes you are important but there are bigger things to worry about around the world.  Life is too short and unpredictable, make the best of every day, count your blessings, and be good to others.

    It's totally okay to hang out on the lakefront path and take silly running photos.

    It’s totally okay to hang out on the lakefront path and take silly running photos.

Peace out.