Disclaimer: I received a sample box from Sips by to review as part of a partnership. My opinions are my own
Well, folks - summer is here! Those of you in most parts of the country welcome it. Those of us in Arizona kind of dread it due to triple digit temps for months. One way we can beat the heat, though, is to drink copious amounts of iced tea! I just received a collection of teas curated by Sipsby to help us chill out. Let's dig in, shall we?
Red Berry Cooler from Pinky Up
- Hibiscus, Elderberry, Rose Hps, Rooibus, Cranberry
Sunny Sangria from Fava Tea
- Higher caffiene
- Black tea
- Features blackberries and an exotic collection of fruits - pineapple mango, orange, tangerine, strawberry. Yum!
Lychee & Rose Cold Brew from Tea Pigs
- Caffene free
- Blend of lychee and rose with a fruity base
- Light and sweet
Moroccan Mint from Davdson's Organic Tea
- Low Caffeine
-combines organic green tea with organic spearmint
Shop for the Iced Tea Box here. Cheers!
"Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Global Running Day 24 Hr Virtual Relay as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!"
I always try to do something within my local running community for Global Running Day each June - Whether it’s joining a group run with my local run club or participating in a virtual race. This year, I heard about the Global Running Day 24 hour virtual relay. Since I am a self-professed Relay Queen, I couldn’t say no!
Here’s how it works:
The relay will take place on June 3, 2020. There are teams across the country in most major cities. Just search for your city, and find a timeslot you like. They are all 30 minutes each. Each person will walk/run for 30 minutes at their assigned time then notify the next runner on the list to “pass the baton”. That’s it! Easy, right?
And yes, there’s swag to be had! Every participant gets a medal and shirt!
You can join any team you want, whether it’s your own town, or spread across the country with friends. You can even create your own team! I’m currently in talks with one of my running clubs to sponsor their own team.
Anyway you choose to celebrate, being part of the running community is the best way!
Learn more and reserve your spot today! Registration ends at 11:59PM on June 1!
All participants will be entered intro drawings for prizes from sponsors including:
25% of proceeds are being donated to the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. If you're interested in donating, check it out here.
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Fast Lane sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!"
Obviously sunglasses are a necessity here in Arizona year round. I wear the heck out of them and have to have them in my purse, car, etc . I need something that can take a beating but not cost me a fortune!
I received a pair of Knockaround Fast Lane sunglasses. Knockaround is based in San Diego and have been around since 2005. Plus, they start at just $25!!!
These glasses are super casual and up for anything. But are they good for running? YES! I have been taking these sunnies on an endless amount of runs, even in the melting heat we are experiencing in Arizona.
Ok, they are clearly made for more than just running! They didn’t slip with the sweat,or get fogged up. Plus, they didn’t get tangled in my hair, like my aviators sometimes do. I've even dropped them on the concrete, and no scratches!
The “Fast Lane” collection is designed to look great on medium and larger face shapes. And like all Knockaround sunglasses, each pair benefits from FDA-approved and impact-resistant lenses with full UV400 protection.
Available in a wide range of fun colors! Check them out here!
Ok, here’s the coolest part! You can design your own for just $25. Including Shipping!! Say what??!!! I just designed this super cool pair, and can’t wait for them to arrive!
Try it out for yourself! Designing your own pair can be a fun quarantine activity LOL! What do you have to lose???!!!
Disclaimer: I received a sample box from Sips by to review as part of a partnership. My opinions are my own.
When you think of teas that can improve your health, what do you think of? I think of ingredients like Ginger, Tumeric, something with Vitamin C, matcha, and certainly green teas. As we are all trying to stay healthy right now during these unpredented times, I thought this was the perfect time to try out the Immunity Tea collection from Sips by.
This box contains samples of 4 different teas designed with good health in mind:
Tulsi Turmeric Ginger – by Organic India
Boost – By Tea Drops
Organic Rooibox Tea – by My Red Tea
Immunity Booster – by Tealyra
The Tulsi Turmeric Ginger tea is a blend of tulsi, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon , black pepper, cloves and even some stevia for sweetness. It is caffeine-free.
Tulsi, which is known as Holy Basil, supports stress, mood, the immune system and detoxification. The ginger even aids in digestion.
Boost tea is a hip blend of matcha, ginger and lemon. It has a medium caffeine rating. This tea is unique because there is no bag, but it doesn’t require steep time. They are “tea sprinkles” that dissolve instantly in your cup. I tried this one first (because it has caffeine!) and it's got a great gingery vibe. I dig it!
Organic Rooibos -This South African tea is full of antioxidants and is caffeine-free and non GMO. It says you can even add it to your bath water to soothe your skin! I might just try that.
This tea has some really fun ingredients – ginseng, tulsi, lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon, rose, and vanilla. It's very fragrant. It’s caffeine free, perfect for a nighttime treat.
No better time than now to strengthen your immune system –and relax your nerves! Learn more about the products in this box here, and then Save $5 on your own tea subscription box with my referral code.
Cheers to your health! Emily
"Disclaimer: I received a supply of Now Foods BCAA Blast powder and Effer Energy tablets to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I have used BCAA’s before – Branch Chain Amino Acids – as part of muscle recovery after a tough strength training workout. I was working with a trainer who knew I would be sore the next day, and she suggested I get some BCAAs. I bought a powdered lemonade formula from another brand and I honestly couldn’t stomach the taste. I was anxious to try the BCAA Blast from Now Foods because I’m still looking for the perfect “pre-workout” formula, and am a believer in BCAAs.
I received a jar of BCAA Blast (raspberry flavor), along with a shaker.
AND 1 tube of Effer-Energy, tropical flavor
So what exactly is a BCAA and why do I need it?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are nine essential amino acids in total, but there's a key trio that helps you maintain muscle: leucine, isoleucine, and valine
In general I knew they were helpful for muscle soreness, but here’s what this product is designed to do specifically: (from nowfoods.com)
Ok, so now time to put it to the test a bit.
I first took it to body pump class. It’s definitely a good test because a) I need extra energy to lift weights for an hour and b) this class leaves me sore, so BCAAs should help with muscle soreness. My thoughts: the raspberry takes a little to get used to, but I can work with it! I noticed the extra sodium right away, but appreciated that. I didn’t feel fatigued during the class, but I didn’t feel a rush of energy, either. I do think I felt a bit less sore than usual, which is great!
Next test was running, obviously! I used it for the Scottsdale Giants 10k that I ran. I carried it with me in that race, as well as the Kiss Me I’m Irish 8k. The added electrolytes kept me going great for both.
This is.comparable to other dissolving electrolyte tablets- but this one has caffeine, yay!
Total Carbohydrate 1 g
Total Sugars<1 g
Niacin (as Nicotinamide) 20 mg
Vitamin B6 (from Pyridoxine HCl) 2 mg
Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin) 6 mcg
Calcium (from Calcium Carbonate) 13 mg
Magnesium (from Magnesium Carbonate) 25 mg
Sodium (from Sodium Bicarbonate) 360 mg
Potassium (from Potassium Bicarbonate) 100 mg
Green Tea Extract (Leaf) (36 mg of naturally occurring caffeine) 125 mg
I tried this for a cardio class,and body pump class too. I found that it broke up a little easier than other brands to drop into a bottle of water and dissolved quickly. I honestly didn’t love the taste, but I was able to drink it and get the benefits from it. There is also a mixed berry flavor that is another option.
BCAA Blast sells for $31.99 for a canister. Effer Energy sells for $5.19 a tube. You can save 20% off your own container of BCCA Blast, Effer-Energy, or any other supplements with discount code NOWSPORTS20 now through 4/30/20
“Offer valid 2/1/20 through 11:59 PM Central Standard Time 4/30/20. Offer valid only on products found at https://www.nowfoods.com/sports-nutrition/sports-nutrition-all-products. Prices are as shown. Some exclusions apply. Must use coupon code NOWSPORTS20 in the Promotion Code field at checkout. While supplies last at nowfoods.com. This offer does not apply to applicable taxes or shipping and handling. Offer cannot be used on previous purchases. NOW Health Group, Inc. has the right to end any promotion at any time.”
Give it a try and see what you think! If you do try it, let me know your thoughts!
"Disclaimer: I received a full knee compression sleeve from Body Helix to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
Those of you who have been following me for awhile probably already know that I have bad knees – osteoarthritis damage – which I discovered before having surgery for a torn meniscus a few years back. I manage it by running significantly less than I used to, taking supplements, etc. – but my new love of body pump weight workouts puts significant stress on my knees too. So, long story short – I was curious to try this compression sleeve out to see if it could help.
I remember when I first went to the surgeon and he explained that the meniscus area really couldn’t heal itself because it gets very little circulation in that area to help. Wearing this brace, theoretically, could help increase circulation in this troubled area of my knee.
I was very careful about measuring to get the size just right – and I did! It really fits beautifully! There’s a trick to putting it on – there are videos on their website, but basically for the knee sleeve, you fold in half to put it on, then pull it up. It’s not uncomfortable – it’s snug but in a secure way. The first time I wore it, I used it in my body pump workout – which in part consists of sets of squats and lunges. It’s my least favorite part of the class because I baby my knees so much. Anyway, I wore it over my tights which I guess wasn’t the most ideal way to wear it. I still thought it was great! Ideally it should be directly on your skin for best results. I could feel warmth in my knee, and it just felt more stable, like I had the confidence to squat just a little lower.
According to their website, Body Helix is made for “stretching, staying put and rebounding” and consists of “Medical-grade compression: scientifically proven to aid in pain-relief.” I’m in!
Ok, time for the real test – a run! I took it out on a 9 mile run. Within a few miles, sweat was literally dripping down the back of my leg, from under the brace. It stayed perfectly in place, it never slipped at all. It was drenched when I took it off.
I was kind of surprised that it could be machine washed and go into the dryer too! It came out as good as new!
The full knee sleeve retails for $49.99. There are more than a dozen different types of sleeves /wraps for virtually any body part that is giving you trouble!
I have a discount to share - Get 15% off site wide with code BH15BR, now through April 1!
This year I was doing the 10k with 2 other friends. Went to packet pickup on Friday afternoon, which was a piece of cake. I’m not even a Giants fan, but I was really tempted to buy some of their swag they were selling. Nice stuff! They get a significant number of SF Giant fans that come from out of state for this race.
I was able to chat with the race director Brian. We received our bib and shirt, which I really like. It’s super soft and performance tech.
Race morning was an early day! The 10k starts at 7am, so we met at my house and were on the road before 6. I was also able to meet up with fellow BibRave member Laura, who was running the 5k.
There are some fun startline festivities for this race. There is a “singing cowboy” with his horse Dusty. The cowboy hangs out with us at the start, then sings the national anthem. Luckily he’s always up for photo opps! Then there are native American hoop dancers – including the reigning national champion – who performed just before the gun went off. Really unique Arizona touches to this race!
We started right on time, with the 5k folks just 15minutes behind us. The course took us through Old Town Scottsdale, then onto the famous greenbelt, which runs alongside the golf course. This is where we would spend the bulk of our race. It was a glorious sunny day and perfect race temps (50’s)! The course was well marked and plenty of aid stations. I brought my own fuel, so I didn’t need to stop for water.
In the last mile, we merged with the 5k participants , which were mostly the walkers by that point. One of the cool things about the race is finshing on the field inside the stadium. So we came in around the back of the stadium, where the singing cowboy and Dusty were there to greet us. He assured us the finish was just to the right…and it was!
I heard my name announced, which is always a nice touch. I squeaked in just under an hour at 59:59. I met up with Laura for some finish pics before finding my friends. Time for free hard seltzer, snacks and more photos! There were an assortment of chips, fruit cups, yogurt and oat bars. The music was fun and there was a good after party vibe. However, there is a spring training game being held there a few hours later, so the staff did seem like they wanted us to not get too comfortable and move along.
All in all, my friends and I had a great time – we all had a good race experience and said we’d come back and do it again next year. Their only complaint was that there weren’t separate medals for 5k and 10k, but you can’t have it all!
"Disclaimer: I received a variety pack of Built Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!"
The first thing that struck me right away was the low caloric count for many of the flavors (110 calories!!!), while still offering high protein (around 15G!). Most high protein bars are double that amount of calories, which I really don’t like. So this was impressive.
I received a box of mixed flavors which included 2 of each of the following flavors: Coconut, Banana Chocolate Chip, Mint Brownie , Black Cherry, Salted Caramel Chocolate, Double Chocolate Mousse, Orange, Vanilla and Raspberry – plus a full box of Coconut Almond and a full box of Peanut Butter. Wow!
Built Bar really looked at the science behind nutrition in choosing their ingredients carefully, from the type of protein to fiber and sweeteners. Whey protein isolate was chosen for the bars because it is a complete protein, which means it has all the essential amino acids, it has high digestibility, and a mild taste. The isolate version we use does not contain casein or lactose, which are the components of milk that some people are allergic to. Very few individuals are sensitive to whey protein isolate. On the negative side, whey protein is more expensive than some other proteins and it is not vegan. Read more about the science behind their decisions here.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the reaction from my family. Both my son and husband IMMEDIATELY tried them and decided these were awesome. Now they are both taking them to school and work for snacks.
These bars arrived just days before Ragnar Del Sol, so I was able to share an assortment of them with my very hungry teammates, which were much appreciated!
So, as I said at the start, I’m more of a crunchy texture person than chewy. The consistency of these bars is very nougat-like. Very chewy. I found it helpful to put them in the refrigerator to make them a bit more firm. My favorites are peanut butter, chocolate almond. Peanut butter flavor has 20G protein! yes, please.
I hear they have a new smores flavor out now, plus oatmeal cookie and banana bread flavors – now I want to try those too!
Ready to try them for yourself? Use code BUILTNOW for 20% off your order!. You can either order a mixed box, a box with all one flavor OR a build your own box where you can choose from several different flavors. Each box contains 18 bars. Check out all their flavors, nutritional info, and order here!
"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Scottsdale Giants Race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
There’s nothing like Spring Training in Arizona. If you’re a runner, and a baseball fan, why not combine the two?
Last year, I ran the 10k and really enjoyed it. The race goes through Old Town Scottsdale with the majority of the course along the greenbelt. Sunshine, golf course views, and finishing on the field in the stadium. what more could you want?
There is both a 5k and 10k option. I’m currently registered for the 10k, Join me and save $10 on either distance with code GIANTSAZBR! There’s even a virtual option if you can’t make it to beautiful Scottsdale! Afterwards, hit up brunch In Old Town, then stay for the game vs. the Angels!.
This year's race takes place on February 29, 2020. Leap Day!
Sign up today!
"Disclaimer: I received a $25 gift card to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!"
Where do you get your healthy food inspiration? Recently was introduced to Raley's, a fresh grocery store chain located in California. They take the time to provide endless inspiration for their customers on overall health and wellness, no matter what health and dietary plan you follow. They are a proud sponsor of the Napa Valley Marathon in March.
Everyone knows that weight loss success is 90% due to nutrition and only 10% exercise. We all know it,but we don’t necessarily practice it! Nutrition is also obviously key when it comes to race preparation. Even after being a distance runner for over 20 years, I still struggle with the discipline of eating smart for race day and recovery.
Raley’s knows a thing or two about helping runners with race and recovery nutrition. They are a sponsor of the Napa Valley Marathon and provide some of the food at the finish line.
Nutrition strategist, Yvette Waters MS, RDN, CISSN of Raley's Nob Hill Foods created a helpful guide for runners. She explains how to prep for your race with good nutrition during training, the week before you race, and after your event..
My next half marathon is just 6 weeks away. I am committed to doing a better job fueling in the weeks leading up to the race, especially the week before. My next race is actually in Napa, where there is a Raley's. So you’d better believe I’m going to stop there when I get in town and load up on pre-race fuel and recovery!
Read the full article here. It’s super helpful, even if you don’t have a Raley’s near you!
Check the store locator to find the closest Raleys to you!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!