Archive | February 2014

RunnerBox Sample Box Review

RunnerBox Monthly Sample Box Review

Overall Rating: 

About RunnerBox:

“RunnerBox is a subscription based box for runners, triathletes and other active people. It is a mini shoebox filled with running products, mailed to your front door. It has everything from energy products, gels, chews, protein shakes/supplements, nutrition bars, skincare, and other accessories! Some products will be brand new (but personally tested) on the market, and some will be tried and true favorites. With so many products coming out on the market, leave the trials and testing to us, we’ll search out the best and send them to you!”

RunnerBox was generous enough to provide me with February’s RunnerBox as well as the Valentine’s Edition Gift RunnerBox. I have been overwhelmed with the awesomeness of these boxes. I have known about RunnerBox for a long time but had yet to see what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I dove in! It’s neat that there’s a sample box specifically put together for runners. All of the products in the box are relatively ingredient conscious, with several of the products boasting organic ingredients. I will briefly mention and comment on each item that both boxes contained. Here we go!

Klitch Footwear Clip

This clip is such a simple, handy tool for a runner. It’s a cinch to attach it to shoes. This Klitch clip will come in handy the most for traveling (through airports) or during outdoor adventures and hikes. They attach easily to the outside of my Camelbak and allow you to carry shoes without dirtying the inside of your bag.

Honey Stinger Vanilla Waffle

Delicious! This bar is almost entirely made of organic ingredients, which I love. Its the perfect, portable size to throw in a purse or Camelbak for a a quick snack. My husband also found it to be yummy! It does contain wheat, but their chews are gluten-free.

Health Warrior Chia Bar

I’m a huge fan of chia as a plant-based source of good fats, so I was excited to try this bar. It’s robust, earthy and fulfilling-just what you’d want during an outdoor run or bike ride. Like the Honey Stinger waffle, this bar is the perfect, small size to throw in your bag or even in a pant/jacket pocket.

CocoHydro Pineapple

This is a neat idea that makes instant coconut water a cinch. As long as you have some water on hand, you could virtually have a bottle of coconut water in seconds. This little packet makes a perfect addition to an energy bar for for a replenishing snack before, during or after activity.

Amrita Chocolate Maca Endurance Bar

Maca is a great superfood that helps balance and regulate your body’s hormones-I was happy to see Amrita include that in this bar. It’s a yummy, well-rounded bar that satisfies chocolate cravings and replenishes your energy stores, simultaneously. Contains a whole bunch of organic ingredients & is gluten free.

Rani’s Lemon Meringue Granola

I typically stay away from grains and most ingredients that typically contain gluten. However, this granola is a nice, occasional, satisfying treat that I would enjoy eating over coconut or almond yogurt.

Pocket Fuel Vanilla Energy Shot & Chocolate Haze Nut Butter Blend

Doesn’t appear that it contains mainly organic ingredients, but the ingredient lists are simple and delicious. Very convenient for outdoor workouts or keeping in your purse/car for a quick boost.

True Bar

So incredibly delicious. Cashews are probably my favorite nut. The coconut compliments that cashew very well. This bar is a satisfying, dense treat. The ingredient list is not organic, but they are all recognizable. Does contain gluten.

Kay’s Naturals Protein Chips

I was a bit weary of these chips, but they were VERY good. Delicious, actually. A nice replacement for traditional potato chips. Not all organic, but are gluten free.

Natural Ice Lip Protectant

Not totally down with all of the ingredients, but I think the idea of the product is a great idea. I would like it more with cleaner ingredients.

I Heart Keenwah Chocolate Sea Salt Clusters

I (and my 5 year old daughter) loved these! Quinoa is a great, gluten free source of protein and carbs. The chocolate and sea salt make these a yummy treat. I see them as a great way to introduce quinoa to kids, or simply enjoy as an adult! Contains several organic ingredients.

Eden Foods Trail Mix

Just like you would want trail mix to be: hearty and filling. The ingredients are entirely organic. Score! Perfect size pouch to keep in a backpack pocket.

Get Active Performance Tea

What an interesting and unique idea. I haven’t seen many teas specifically formulated for an athlete’s performance. It tastes earthy with a bit of a licorice punch. Contains organic ingredients.

Iced Gingerbread Clif Bar

Clif bars are a mainstay in our house because of how portable and yummy they are. They are 70% organic, which is above average. Some Clif Bar products are gluten-free, but this bar is not.

Jelly Belly Sport Beans Protein Recovery Crisps & Quick Energy

Two unexpected products from Jelly Belly! Not organic, but taste yummy, are gluten free and are easy to tote around.

Honey Stinger Cola Energy Chews

I’m not a huge fan of the cola flavor, but I like the organic ingredient list and the portability of this small packet.

Foot Rubz Massage Ball

Boy, did I need this! I love how this little ball feels on the bottom of my foot. I have been making it a habit to roll both feet over this ball once a day and it feels like it stretches and massages the muscles, tendons and ligaments of my foot. A great treat for a hard working runner!

Kind Bar Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

Not completely organic ingredients, but at least the ingredient list is short and recognizable. These bars are hearty and delicious.

Quest Bar Protein Bar Cookie Dough

I am generally skeptical and uninterested in protein bars. This one really surprised me with how yummy it tastes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t boast organic ingredients. Quest seems moderately ingredient conscious, though. In other words, this protein bar seems above average.

RunnerBox Versatile Head Gear

What a neat, unique head piece! I wear a wide, thick headband every time I run-so this piece is a perfect fit into my normal routine.

Thanks RunnerBox for such an expansive spread! You’ve turned me on to a few products I had yet to experience!

More Than Alive Diatomaceous Earth Review & Giveaway!

More Than Alive Diatomaceous Earth Powder

Overall Rating: 

I have reviewed and given away several More Than Alive products and have loved every last one of them.

I am excited for one of you to win this Diatomaceous Earth Powder! I’m sure you’ll be just as pleasantly surprised as I was to discover its wide range of uses.

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Diatomaceous Earth

More Than Alive’s Description:

Dia

My Description & Thoughts:

I get really excited when I find a product that has SO many uses. It really makes me feel like it increases the value of the product ten-fold. As More Than Alive mentions, diatomaceous earth has many health benefits (regulates blood pressure and cholesterol, detoxes the colon, relieves joint pain, strengthens hair and toughens nails) which would benefit everyone. As far as using this powder, there are several ways to do it:

-Combine with water and make a paste. Use as a facial mask.

-Blend with water and ingest as a supplement. This aids in detoxification and digestion.

-Sprinkle around house as a natural pest eliminator. (how interesting that you can drink it and use as a pest-repeller!)

-Apply to wet toothbrush and brush your teeth. This helps with removing plaque and naturally whitening teeth.

-Sprinkle over dog food to deworm.

-Use in pet shampoo to fight fleas.

-Apply paste to scalp to help promote hair growth.

To Enter this Giveaway:

1. Like my Facebook page: Run On Organic on Facebook

2. Follow me on Twitter: Run On Organic on Twitter

3. Follow me on Instagram: Run On Organic on Instagram

4. Follow me on Pinterest: Run On Organic on Pinterest

5. Comment on this post and let me know how you see yourself using this diatomaceous earth!

If you already follow me on the various social networks, just let me know that. Can’t wait for one of you to get a free 1 lb. bag of More Than Alive Diatomaceous Earth!

This giveaway will conclude on 3/4. I will email the winner!

Amazing Grass Organic Superfoods Review

Amazing Grass

Overall Rating: 

About Amazing Grass:

Harvesting_Process_2013

Amazing Meal

Amazing Grass’s Description:

“Amazing Meal Original Blend is a satisfying blend of protein and superfoods that provides amazing energy and amazing health. Organic, raw, and cold processed, this drink powder is gluten, soy and dairy free.”

Energy Bars

Amazing Grass’s Description:

“Bring the good stuff with you on the go. Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Whole Food Energy Bars pack all the nutrition you need in a portable and affordable bar. We combine fruits and vegetables with our organic Green SuperFood drink powder for a treat that’s Mother Nature approved.”

Greens Packets

Amazing Grass’s Description:

“Get your daily dose of nutritious whole greens with Amazing Grass Green SuperFoods. Every serving is chock full of all of the necessary vitamins and minerals you and your family need. Plus it tastes great! Add our superfoods to any beverage for an energizing start to your day.”

My Description & Thoughts on the Meal, Bars & Packets:

Amazing Grass is one of my very favorite organic health food brands. I specifically have always been a fan of their green powders. The bars and meal were new products for me to try. In many ways, the meal and bars are absolutely the ideal health fix for being on the go with a smoothie or a quick meal.

The only teeny tiny scrutiny I have is that the meal and bars are not compatible with those eating “Paleo.” That is, omitting grains from their diet. The meal and bars both contain a rice & hemp protein blend. If I had it my way, I would like to omit the rice protein and have these products containing solely hemp protein. I would recommend those two products to anyone if that were the case.

However, the quality of all of the ingredients is organic & awesome. The meal and bars all taste awesome. My favorite meal blends are the Pomegranate Mango Infusion and the Cafe Mocha. My favorite bar flavors turned out to be the Chocolate Chip Coconut and the Sweet & Savory Almond.

Now for my favorite product of this batch: the green packets. This is the product that first got me hooked on Amazing Grass products. These little packets are the perfect remedy for the busy individual who struggle’s to get a dose of greens every day. I love adding these powdered greens to Kombucha, fresh juice or water by itself. They are also great in smoothies or shaken up in a blender bottle with coconut/almond milk. My favorite flavors are the Orange Dreamsicle, Pineapple Lemongrass and Berry.

Be Pawsitive Organic Dog Treat Review

Be Pawsitive Dog Treats

Overall Rating: 

About Be Pawsitive:

“Our mission is to provide the highest quality all natural, USDA certified organic dog treats for your dog and at the same time give back to those dogs in need of a little extra love. While your dog is enjoying one of our treats, know that a shelter dog is too! Learn more about how treats help dogs get adopted.”

“The Original” Organic Dog Treat

Be Pawsitive’s Description:

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My Description & Thoughts:

I get really excited when I discover brands like Be Pawsitive, who hold dog treats to the same standards as human food. No nonsense, no “natural” label without the ingredients to back it. Just straight forward, organic ingredients. This brand is on it’s own level. There are only one or two other brands at my local Whole Foods that make certified organic dog treats.

I have felt so good about feeding these treats to our 1 year old black labrador, Kona. She devours them and always wants more than the small handful I give her. They are the perfect little size for any breed of dog and are easy for her to chew. The pouch they came in is also perfect to grab and go when I take Kona on car rides.

A neat side note about this brand is that they give back a portion of their sales to animal shelters and rescue organizations. That’s AWESOME. I am happy to support that cause and do the small part that I can to put a big gigantic stamp of approval on this brand. Check out their website and shop all of the yummy flavors for your little furry ones!

Also, check them out on the various social networking sites for photos and animal inspiration!

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Instagram Lately

Hi Everyone!

I tend to share a lot more day-to-day healthy eating and workout photos, tips and ideas on my Instagram account, JesRunOnOrganic.

I like the idea of my blog echoing those same posts-so I’ve decided to do a weekly (approximately) post containing photos from my Instagram feed. I hope you’ll follow along!🙂

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Hybrid Exercises as featured in the Houston Chronicle

Hybrid Exercises

by Jesica Salyer, Demand Media Google


Using a stability ball during lifting can help engage your core and overall balance. 

Hybrid exercises are moves that are comprised of multiple movements. They are designed to target your muscles from head to toe. These exercises are a high-intensity form of exercise, as they ramp up your metabolism, heart rate and calorie burning in a short amount of time. You can perform these moves using weights like dumbbells and kettle bells or simply by using your own body weight. Hybrid exercises are ideal for individuals with little time to exercise.

Squat to Shoulder Press

A squat into a shoulder press is an effective hybrid exercise to target your shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and drop your buttocks down so that your knees form a 90-degree angle. Drive your weight downward and push your body upright. As you come up, extend your arms above you and push the dumbbells up above your head. This completes one repetition. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions. If necessary, adjust your dumbbell weight so that your shoulders, thighs and glutes feel tight after that many repetitions.

Lunge With Torso Twist

Performing a lunge combined with a trunk twist is a hybrid exercise move that isolates your hamstrings, glutes and obliques. You will only need one weight for this move — a kettle bell works well for the twist movement. Start upright, gripping your weight with both hands. Take a large step forward, bend both legs and drop your buttocks down until your front knee is over your toe. While in this position, rotate your torso to one side. Use your legs to push your body back to a standing position. Repeat with your other leg. Complete three sets of 15 repetitions.

Hip Bridge With Chest Press

This hybrid move is excellent at targeting two common areas for fat accumulation: your glutes and your armpit area. You will need two dumbbells for this move. Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Have both dumbbells resting in your hands. Drive your weight down through your heels and elevate your buttocks so that your shoulders, belly and knees are all in line. While holding this position, push your weight to the ceiling. Bring the weight and your buttocks back down and then repeat. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Sumo Squat With Upright Row

A sumo squat is a slight variation of a traditional squat — it also targets some different muscles. This hybrid move targets your outer thighs, glutes and upper back. Start with your feet wider than your shoulders and your toes pointed outward. Hold one kettle bell or one dumbbell on its end in front of you with your arms extended down. Bend your knees and drive your butt down. Focus on keeping your torso vertical. As you come up from the squat, bend your arms and pull the weight up to your chin. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions for optimum effectiveness.

Read the published article here: http://livehealthy.chron.com/hybrid-exercises-9574.html

Jay Robb Protein Review

Jay Robb Protein

Overall Rating: 

About Jay Robb:

“When you follow your dream with passion, you will never work another day of your life. Even if I didn’t get paid for what I do, I would still do it. That is how you know you are fulfilling your purpose in life. Like Mark Twain said, “Make your vocation your vacation and you will never work another day.” Anyone can be successful if they will stop thinking about money, follow their dream with passion, roll up their sleeves, and go to work. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I merely have used what talents and gifts I have been given and made the most of them. That is life’s secret formula for success.

My love affair with health and fitness is a beautiful experience that will never end. Teaching others how to be happy by living in harmony with nature is my purpose on earth. It is truly an honor to share my knowledge and wisdom with the world. I have also been blessed with an absolutely gorgeous wife, Beth, who is the love of my life along with our four beautiful children. I live in Jupiter, Florida with my family and enjoy surfing, meditation, the beach, working out, writing, sunbathing, and spending time with my family.”

Jay Robb Whey Protein Powder

Jay Robb’s Description:

“Jay Robb’s Whey Protein is made from the finest natural ingredients available and delivers 25 grams of first class protein, 0-fat, 0-cholesterol, 0-sugars, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate per 30 gram serving. Only cold-processed cross-flow microfiltered whey protein isolate is used as the protein source and this material comes from farm-raised, pasture-grazed, grass-fed cows not treated with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH.

Whey protein isolate, which is used exclusively in Jay Robb’s Whey Protein, is created by microfiltering liquid whey through a special ceramic membrane to create the highest grade of whey protein possible. This unique process also yields a whey protein isolate that is much higher in protein than a whey protein concentrate and is also rich in immunoglobulins, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoalbumin and other immune boosting factors.

Unique natural flavors and the herb stevia are used to create a flavoring system that is palate pleasing and has made Jay Robb’s Whey Protein famous across the nation. Their tagline, “The Best-Tasting Protein on the Planet,” says it all.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I first learned about the Jay Robb brand through following professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. They used to sell these products on their website-and any product they advocate I will at least try. Most times, though, when I try what they recommend, it becomes a staple in my pantry. This protein is no exception. I have tried several different flavors and though I have my favorites, they are all excellent. Though I am aware that the egg protein has been deemed the gold standard for proteins, I would choose the taste of the whey protein over the egg white protein if I had to pick. Here is my breakdown of each flavor:

  • Vanilla: this one is definitely the most versatile for me. The vanilla flavor goes well with so many fruits and other ingredients that I add to my smoothies. The flavor is excellent–very rich and satisfying.
  • Tropical Dreamsicle: I am a big fan of tropical fruits, thus, this protein immediately sparked my interest. It goes well with pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, and any other similar fruit you can imagine. The protein itself is so yummy and you forget you’re drinking a nutritious drink when you add it to your smoothie.
  • Strawberry: This flavor is also very versatile. I like it best when mixed with bananas. Chocolate almond milk, or something similar is also yummy with the strawberry flavor.
  • Pina Colada: If I could pick a favorite flavor for a drink/smoothie/slurpie/snow cone it would, without a doubt, be Pina Colada. That said, this is my favorite flavor. It tastes like such an indulgence. It goes well with a lot of the same fruits that the “Tropical Dreamsicle” flavor does: pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, peaches, nectarines, and bananas.
  • Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? I certainly do. The flavor tastes similar to the real thing. I like it best with bananas and strawberries. I made a chocolate shake for my brother as well (who is open to trying new health drinks, but gives his honest reaction and feedback) and he loved with bananas, almond milk, and ice.

Also, in regards to organic, Jay Robb states this on their website:

Is your whey protein organic?

We are guaranteed by our supplier in writing that the whey comes from cows not treated with rBGH. The product is not certified organic due to limited supply of organic whey protein raw material at this time. We hope this will change in the future as the demand for our product grows.”

I have come to learn that that there are some companies like Jay Robb that merely hold themselves to the same standards as companies that use the “organic” label. Jay Robb simply does not have the certification. They provide a laundry list of ingredients they never use, which is a lot more that can be said about many popular protein brands.

Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder

Jay Robb’s Description:

“Jay Robb Egg White Protein powder is unique and famous for its natural flavor systems. The egg white protein raw material is derived from chickens not treated with growth hormones. The protein is flash pasteurized for safety, with no additional heating used during the final processing.

We believe that nothing on the market out-performs Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder. In the world of protein, egg albumen is nearly perfect! And our egg white formula is chock-full of PURE egg albumen! plus our Egg White protein formula contains no cheap fillers or sweeteners like fructose, malto-dextrin and glucose polymers. Plus it contains NO FAT, making it ideal to blend with a high quality flax seed oil.

Our ingredients contain NO gluten, NO msg, NO casein, NO artificial colors and NO artificial flavors.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I first learned about the Jay Robb brand through following professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece and professional surfer Laird Hamilton. They sold these products on their website, and any product they advocate I will at least try. Most times, though, when I try what they recommend, it becomes a staple in my pantry. This protein is no exception. I have tried several different flavors and though I have my favorites, they are all excellent. Although I prefer the whey protein flavor over the egg white flavor, I include the egg white protein in my routine because it, like the whey, is high quality and has a great reputation. Here is my breakdown of the flavors:

  • Vanilla: like the whey protein vanilla flavor, for me, this vanilla flavor goes with the most things. I have not come across an ingredient (fruits, milks, seeds) that it does not go well with. The flavor isn’t as satisfying as the vanilla whey protein for me, but it does provide a good dose of the egg protein benefits.
  • Strawberry: like the whey protein strawberry flavor, the strawberry flavor goes with many things, but I like it best with bananas. Again, the whey protein strawberry flavor tops this one. It does, however, still tastes a lot better than other strawberry protein powders I’ve tried.
  • Chocolate: this chocolate flavor isn’t as rich, to me, as the whey protein version–but it still tastes excellent and beats other chocolate protein powders I’ve tried. It goes well with bananas and strawberries.

Jay Robb High-Protein Jay Bar

Jay Robb’s Description:

“I’ve raised the bar on bars and created the JayBar—a great tasting protein bar without sugar, corn syrup, casein, artificial sweeteners, maltitol, acesulfame-K, evaporated cane juice, aspartame, or sucralose!

Gluten, wheat, Soy, MSG, hydrogenated oils, transfats, artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K, aspartame, sucralose, splenda, casein, glycerine or maltitol.

About Xylitol
Our xylitol is naturally extracted from NON-GMO corn cobs (they are Kosher too) to produce pharmaceutical grade xylitol that is basically NON-ALLERGENIC due to the processing and purity of the product. Our xylitol is not derived from birch fiber. Xylitol created from birch trees must be extracted with sulfuric acid, which is a highly corrosive chemical used to manufacture paint, detergents, fertilizers, and explosives. We chose to avoid that.

  1. It is corn based (Kosher corn cob specifically)
  2. The corn is NOT genetically engineered, (Non-GMO) (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism)
  3. Corn is used to avoid the use of sulfuric acid necessary in birch fiber extracted xylitol.
  4. The xylitol we use is naturally extracted, non-allergenic pharmaceutical grade.”

My Description and Thoughts:

I am normally not a huge fan of protein bars for several reasons:

  1. Normally they contain a plethora of preservatives to extend their shelf-live.
  2. They are not satisfying, have a strange taste, and are not fulfilling.
  3. They have very few natural ingredients and a lot of fillers.

These bars are different, and have thus changed my perspective on protein bars. They are free of the laundry list of preservatives common to other protein bars. They also taste really delicious and are convenient to grab when you’re in a hurry, traveling, or simply want the satisfaction of eating a fudge brownie, peanut butter, or a cashew-coconut flavored bar without the guilt. Here is my breakdown of the flavors:

  • Fudge Brownie: this is my favorite of the three. It’s really yummy and provides a nice chocolately flavor. It has just the right moisture to it and it will give you a healthy chocolate fix. Yum yum.
  • Peanut Butter: this is my second favorite of the three. It reminds you of the real thing, yet doesn’t contain all of the calories from fat like ordinary peanut butter does. This one is nice and moist also, and gives you a salty fix. Delicious.
  • Cashew-Coconut: This one was good, but was not AS good as the other two. I figured that it would be my favorite judging from the flavor names, but the flavor was not quite as satisfying as the fudge brownie and peanut butter bars. This is definitely a good change of pace and is excellent in it’s own right. This flavor is more unique than chocolate and peanut butter–which many other protein bar companies make.

I enjoy protein in my smoothies more than I like the bars, but you cannot replicate the convenience that these bars provide. As far as protein bars are concerned, these are the best protein bars I’ve ever had. 

Even though these bars are intended to be meal replacements, I had the idea to chop them up into cubed chunks and add them to yogurt to make a dessert. I do not normally include much dairy in my daily intake, so I would use a almond or coconut alternative yogurt.