SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review & Giveaway

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review

I was so excited when SL3S contacted me and asked if I’d review their new belt with a generous and amazing offer below.

Click on this Tweet link box and share the love with your friends!

SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review - Get 40% off and enter to win a free belt! Click To Tweet

It so happened I was in the market for a new belt because the one I’d had for 3 years just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I hope you’ll keep reading (and watching below) to learn why I think this belt is the best thing since sliced bread.

SLS3 is a German company that creates and develops their products from scratch, is thoroughly tested by athletes and then, if deemed awesome, put into production! They know that runners, cyclist and triathletes want high-performance gear that does its job without getting in the way.

WATERPROOF

I really liked the SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt, primarily because it is waterproof!

As you know, I love photography and my phone is permanently attached to me at all times so I can catch the perfect shot. However, when the weather is bad, I am always putting my Samsung Galaxy S6 in a plastic sandwich baggie for protection from the elements.

Now I don’t have to worry because the belt has a top-grade stretchable waterproof polyurethane lining with water-proof zipper.

CAPACITY

Another critical benefit is the large capacity of the belt when needed.

I run too long and with my allergies and asthma, I need to carry extra junk that most people don’t have that could literally save my life… and save you from having to call 911 and perform CPR on me as my running partner! And, I run long enough that I also need to carry fuel with me, but not necessarily water since our trails have tons of easy access, so being as minimalist as possible on these runs, is great!

The bonus? My large Samsung Galaxy S6 (and your new iPhone) will also fit easily in either of the pockets. I think the Samsung Note might also make it, too!  There is plenty of room for cash, credit cards, sports gels, energy bars, inhalers and any other essential supplies.

The SLS3 belt is soooo roomy, it’s almost ridiculous!  Watch this!

ADJUSTABLE

I appreciate that it’s a fully adjustable belt fitting sizes 24″-38″. I’m a woman’s size 8-10 with hips and there is still room for the belt to expand (like I do!). It’s very comfortable to wear while running.

Use it every day if you want to – this belt can take a beating. I thought it might be a great alternative to keep my money and phone safe while going down Splash Mountain at the amusement park this summer, or take it on our bike rides into town for ice-cream. It is fully washable, so any spilled ice-cream can come right out!

If you’re fashion conscious, it comes in several great colors, too!

BONUS!

SLS3 shared a special 40% off coupon especially for my readers when you use the coupon code on anything in their store. Use coupon code: BLOG40.

You can also purchase this belt on Amazon for a bigger discount here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DRIKFY

This is a limited time introductory price for the dual pocket run belt. The belt retails at $29.90 and the Amazon store has it listed for $16.90 (43% Off).

And, if you want a chance to win a SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt of your own, sign up right here! Winners will be announced in a week.

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*SLS3 sent me a lime green SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt in exchange for a comprehensive review. All opinions are my own. Thanks SLS3 for the opportunity to showcase your great product!*

Why Do I Run To Fruitful Yield?

Do you ever wonder why the grocery store has only one ‘health food’ isle? I guess that means the rest of the store is junk food, right?

While I’m not perfect every day, I’ve gained a real appreciation for real food for my family and fur-babies. I’m especially interested in optimal fueling and recovery as an athlete and distance runner, which means I’m always on the lookout for healthy, natural resources.

Sometimes finding great choices for healthy food at the store is challenging.

But, I have an answer for you if you live in the Chicagoland area!

About 3 years ago, I had to drive over 20 minutes to the nearest health food store… until they put in a new store in my town that was even better!

Say hello to Fruitful Yield! The health-food store I run to! #FYWellness Click To Tweet

Moment of Truth

I love this store.

If I have extra time to ‘window shop’, you won’t find me at the outlet mall. You will find me perusing the Fruitful Yield essential oils or homeopathic displays getting all nerdy learning what combinations work for stinky clothes different ailments. (I’d probably be a holistic doctor if I could do it all over again).

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Or, I’m checking out the protein bar isle reading all the yummy ingredients and nutrients to figure out what to carry with me on my next long run!

All the ingredients are on the label!

All the ingredients are on the label you see here!

So you can imagine my excitement when I was invited by Karen at Trading In My Heels to join her for a tour from the store manager, Tina, and her amazing associates over at the Elmwood Park, IL  location. They are getting ready to celebrate their one year anniversary with some fun which I’ll share in just a few moments…

But first, there are some very specific reasons why I choose to run to Fruitful Yield as my store of choice and maybe why you’d like to check them out, too!

EDUCATION

I learned so much on this trip and now I’m loving it even more, especially because Fruitful Yield provides such personal AND knowledgeable service.

Everyone I talk to knows something about the product and if they don’t, they find out from someone who does. The company is very serious about making sure their employees receive training every week to help the customers make informed decisions about the products in their stores.

Noa helped guide me with several general product suggestions to help me with my head cold and asthma. I learned about the benefits of black elderberry and how research shows it may strengthen immunity and reduce the severity and time you have a cold (it worked for me and I’m a convert!).

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Please say hi to Noa and thank him for me when you see him!

PRICING

I was really impressed with the prices.

Every health-conscious person can agree that healthy can sometimes seem expensive. To me, you can’t put a price on having the best health possible. However, being able to save wherever I can is important to this mother of three growing and very hungry boys!

I think my little athletes would love this cereal that quite honestly is the same price as some of those sugar laden choco-puffs you can buy at any regular grocery store. In fact, this same Pro-Teen cereal is cheaper than the regular price at Wal-Mart!!!

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Love the play on words and this healthy option for kids with allergies!

How can Fruitful Yield afford to do this?

Easy. They limit their advertising so they can pass on the savings to their customers. 80%-90% of their products are at wholesale pricing which is 20% cheaper than retail!

TIP: When you see this little “everyday low price” sign, you know it’s 35% or more cheaper!

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I even went home and did a little google searching and sure enough, Fruitful Yield had very competitive pricing often times beating out the big names like Amazon!

Yes, organic, healthy foods and products CAN be affordable when you shop smart.

SELECTIONS

You name it, they have it!

Vegan, organic, non-gmo, grass-fed, nut free, gluten-free, soy free, sesame free!

Sometimes you go into a health food store and they have just a couple (or one) options for a specific item, but this store had so many choices!

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Their frozen and refrigerated section full of great foods!

I was really happy to see all the Asian foods, especially wild caught seafood, Japanese kimchi, shirataki noodles, kombu kelp, organic soy sauce and more. Usually, I have to go to the Asian grocery store to get some of these specialty items.

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This store even had Honey Stingers and Vega endurance gels… wow! I’m in heaven.

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In fact, if you have a store near you and you don’t see a favorite product you’ve found in another store… or that you love. Just ask! They listen to their customers 🙂

GENEROSITY

The best part of Fruitful Yield is their generosity with their time, smiles and samples!

Come to any store and you’ll find free samples when you walk in the door and often tucked into other locations within the store. There’s also tons of free educational materials, recipes for healthy eating and always great conversation!

We met this gal from Vega who let us try several samples of her yummy protein shakes! I liked the Coconut Almond and Mocha flavors the best.

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It’s only fair that I mention I was given this amazing goodie bag filled to the top with wonderful products created with the athlete in mind and a gift card for helping Fruitful Yield get the word out about their store and event this weekend. I’m so very thankful for their thoughtfulness.20160121_204801-02.jpeg

The sunflower seeds & rolled oats cookies? Inhaled and devoured. I was really excited to receive a few Now Foods items and new products I’ve been wanting to try and will let you all know what I think about them in future posts.

So here’s the fun news I want to share with you!

This weekend, Fruitful Yield is celebrating its first anniversary at all its stores in the Chicagoland area with a Fruitful Yield Get Fit – Get Healthy Expo. 

Check out the new Elmwood Park store on Saturday, Jan 23rd from 10am-4pm and Sunday, Jan 24th from 12pm – 4pm. They will have lots of demos, drawings, gift bags, and many samples for you to try!

Have you been to a Fruitful Yield store before? What’s your favorite health food product you can’t live without?

Founded by Elmwood Richard in 1962, Fruitful Yield was opened in Elmhurst, IL to give consumers direct access to natural and healthier foods and products. Today, Fruitful Yield is known as Chicagoland’s leading natural food market with 13 stores across the West and Northwest suburbs. Still owned by the Richard family, Fruitful Yield promises only high quality standards, helpful and educated staff, a wide selection of products and everyday below-retail pricing!

Giveaway! Get Your Freekeh On!

Don’t freekeh out… get your freekeh on! Oh YA!

Do you even know what freekeh is?!!!

I had never heard of freekeh before, but, I was extremely curious and raised my farm-girl hand really high when they asked for taste-testers to review their organic product. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and received two different flavors to try: Original and Rosemary Sage.  Yum!

I really liked that it was certified organic, non-gmo and grown in the USA. Most of all, I was excited to find a new whole grain to add to my running fuel repertoire. What’s really great is that it’s a good source of fiber and protein, too.

Even with this knowledge, I still didn’t know what freekeh was. Here’s what I discovered:

Freekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and “Eureka!” Freekeh was created.

I love those happy accidents!

So then, my dilemma was trying to figure out how to cook it and what to serve with freekeh. It’s actually fairly easy to prepare… very much like cooking rice and you can go online to their website to find some great recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

One pouch is supposed to serve 4, but as a side dish, we were able to easily stretch it for our family of 5. It’s got a great nutty flavor and texture and goes well with just about every meal.  We ended up making a baked cod, caprese salad, and freekeh.

Wow! Talk about filling! All of us really liked the Rosemary freekeh!

I’m so excited that I have the priviledge of giving away one bag of Freekeh Foods of your choice! The winner gets their choice of Original, Rosemary, or Tamari.

Be sure to leave me a blog comment letting me know if you’ve tried Freekeh before and which recipe you think you’ll try first if you win the giveaway!

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If You Give A Mom A Coffee… She’ll Give You a Winner!

This is my version of the book, “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.mom coffee

If you give a Mom a coffee, she’s going to sit down with it to write her blog.

She’ll look next to her computer and realize she hasn’t opened the mail in two days and will start to pay the bills.

When she sees the American Express bill, she’ll notice the Costco charges and remember to put coconut water, milk, bacon and bread on the grocery list.

Next to the grocery list is a huge mess of recycling to be taken out and on the way to the garage, will see a trail of laundry the boys left in the hallway and will want start a load of laundry.

She’ll then pick up the random socks, underwear and t-shirts and throw a load of whites in the laundry. Once the washer starts, the alarm on her phone goes off reminding her to leave in 5 minutes for work and she’ll want to eat something quickly for lunch.

… three weeks later, she’ll want some coffee to finish that blog post she never started.

#TRUESTORY

Can anyone else relate?

Last week we actually had two nights in a row that we had N.O.T.H.I.N.G. on the calendar!  Love! Heart! Clap! Clap! Clap!  CELEBRATION TIME, COME ON!

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I’m still so happy about my fast (for me) run two Saturdays ago and really think my physical therapy sessions, a little bit of cross training and getting into speed work are helping me. I’m still feeling cautious, but at the same time, I have this little flutter in my heart wondering if I can get in a race PR’s or two this year while focusing on the FUN, too!

Another suprising activity helping me is working on my balance.

This is a totally new concept for me. Who knew my body was so misaligned and out of balance?

I wonder if my twisted ankle caused it, or, perhaps my body was already out of balance and when I twisted my ankle, I couldn’t compensate appropriately.  So I’ve been doing a lot of little exercises… with my eyes closed!

Wierd, I know. Yet, the simplest things throw me completely out of balance and have my world spinning and me leaning left, then right and suddenly throwing my arms out to catch myself. The visual clues we use to help align our bodies in the world are remarkable and something I’ve taken for granted.

Try this simple exercise and see how your balance is:

Stand on one foot without holding onto anything. Normal balance is 1 minute, less than 30 seconds means you should work on balance.

the-balance-test-artTry the same one-legged test by crossing your arms. Now close your eyes. How long can you stand on one leg?

It’s easier on a flat surface than on the carpet, for example, but it’s exercises like this have me falling down in 10 seconds.

My therapist, Bethany at PT Solutions, has me standing on the wobbly Bosu ball alot. Sometimes I just stand on it with one leg doing mini squats, sometimes we play catch and she tries to knock me off, or I jump on and off it!

Bosu

(Okayyyy! Nerd alert!)  The idea is to re-teach my ligaments and proprioceptors know where I am in the world. In the limbs, the proprioceptors are sensors that provide information about joint angle, muscle length, and muscle tension, which is integrated to give information about the position of the limb in space.

Basically, if my foot lands on an uneven surface, my joints will know which way to move  quickly and in the right direction so I don’t twist and fall again!  It can sometimes take 6 or more months for them to get better!  Wow!

I’ll share a few ideas in my next post of the actual exercises you can be doing to help you improve your balance!

OH GOSH! Now that I have coffee… it’s time to announce the winner of those cute FootNotes from Momentum jewelry!!!

CONGRATULATIONS, CINDY SHILLAIR!

She gets her choice of “RUN HAPPY” for her shoes!

Run Happy

Thank you everyone for playing along.

And thank you Momentum for providing me with this fantastic giveaway! You are amazing!

Tell me how you’re balance test goes! Do you work on your balance?

Be Inspired Giveaway… New Adventure!

Tomorrow I get to jump into a new adventure!

Just a little nervous as I’m going solo for the first day… but I’m REALLY excited!!! (Kinda like my first 13.1?)

I’m so excited to share with you that I’ve started working with an AWESOME company on a very part-time basis whenever they come to Chicago. I’m very excited to be able to help them out and play a part creating INSPIRATION!

Do you love jewelry? (Me! Me! Me!)

stronger

The company is called Momentum.  Momentum was founded with the hope to inspire others to be healthy and motivated throughout the day – and especially through a hard workout!

Momentum offers inspirational jewelry including Motivate Wraps™, FootNotes™, suede cuffs, headbands, earrings, and necklaces that blends fashion with function. Everyone gets motivated in different ways and so the pieces are customizable to personalize your workout experience! Whether it be “BEAST MODE” or “find joy in the JOURNEY”, there truly is a perfect match for everyone.
Their jewelry is the ultimate in workout-friendly – comfortable, washable, lightweight, and non-tarnishing. Each piece blends fashion with purpose, is carefully handcrafted, and made in the USA. AND, they hope your jewelry becomes your personal champion and helps you go that extra mile!
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Isn’t that awesome?! I love it!

Check them out here at http://www.designsthatmoveyou.com.

Even better, you can come visit me on Thursday (11am – 8pm) and Friday (10am – 2 pm) at the LOEWS CHICAGO O’HARE HOTEL in Rosemont, IL.

When you come check out the booth, there is an expo special of Buy One, Get One 50% off this weekend at the event only!!! Grab one for you and your best running buddy!

Ooooh – I love a smashing deal!

Do you have your own Momentum jewelry?  Want some?

shut up legsVisit their website HERE and tell me which is your favorite FootNotes™ saying in the comments below. I’ll pick a winner on Friday, so hurry and comment before Friday, March 6th at noon CST so I can bring one home for you!  Repost any of my Momentum jewelry images on Instagram and be sure to tag me @reinventitude with hashtags #reinventitude and #momentumjewelry in your repost and I’ll give you an extra entry!

 

Food Matters 3-Day Detox Review

real-foodI wanted to deconstruct a few of my thoughts about the 3-Day Detox from Food Matters as quickly as I can. Honestly, I’ve been struggling with how to put my gut feelings and the science behind them into writing. I have perfectionist tendencies and for this particular blog, I’m going to just let them go and write.

It’s overwhelming because I tend to get bogged down in the weeds… I can go really deep with my research, but life has a way of taking over all of my extra time!  I have a lot to say, but will add a bunch of links so you can read more of the science on your own if it interests you!

A few Pros:

  1. The plan encourages eating lots of vegetables. If you’re not a veggie eater, you’ll definitely get some great nutrients your body is probably already missing and you’ll be exposed to a few greens you may never have tried before!
  2. The plan is simple to follow.
  3. The soup and salad were really tasty and would be an even better as a complete meal with chicken, fish, tofu, or any of your favorite lean proteins!
  4. They give you a few new healthy ideas for hydrating during a normal eating day (fruit flavored water, green juice, herbal teas) and encourage getting rid of the processed foods. (but you already knew you’re supposed to do that, right?!)

And then there were lots of Cons things that really bugged me:

  1. I didn’t see one bit of science presented as to how and why this particular plan works to help your body detoxify. They just said it would and you would feel great. Where is the registered dietician or nutritionist in this plan?
  2. They say you can exercise during the 3-days. NO! NO! NO!  Even if you’re just beginning an exercise program and walking 10 minutes is difficult for you, your body is not getting ANY protein (according to them you do – see #3), and not enough nutrients, both micro and macro, to allow for proper fueling and recovery.  As you all saw in my videos by the end of day 2 I was struggling to focus and concentrate and I ended up having to take 3 full days off from exercising even though I started eating a balanced diet on day three. I honestly can’t imagine how bad I’d feel if I’d exercised.
  3. During the Q&A video, someone asked if not getting any protein was healthy. The lady said something making me pause the video to do a quick google check. She said, (and I’m getting as close to her words as possible) “If you can go 10 days without eating meat, your body is not withering away…. How do cows get protein? They eat grass all day, they are still getting protein from grass” WOW. That’s a stretch. If you honestly think a cow and a human process all food the same, you are wrong. See here.
  4. Food Matters actually endorsed doing this detox for up to 10 days. Forget it. To be honest, my friend Carrie and I felt like this plan was a precursor to an eating disorder. Even Laurentine said in the video, “Mum was saying, I don’t even feel like eating on day 3… I don’t need to eat.” And that’s exactly how we felt. It was HARD to eat again and I did not like that feeling at all. I ate like a toddler for a full day because I couldn’t eat and I felt hungry all the time. I can’t imagine how someone who has gone through gastric bypass or stomach stapling feels. (A Food Matters documentary review…just more bad science)
  5. Juicing is a big part of their lifestyle. I’m not a nutritionist, but juicing takes out all the great fiber our bodies are designed to utilize in order to properly digest the nutrients we are eating. Granted, the plan was all greens and no sweet veggies or fruits, so no big sugar spikes you’d get with fruit juicing, but I felt like there was so much waste. Their premise was by drinking a high nutrient, low fiber drink, it aids detoxification by eliminating the strain on the digestive system. Plus, you can call me lazy, but cleaning the juicer is a huge pain in the BLEEP. I prefer to be a blender meal-making chick.
  6. Many people mentioned feeling very hungry, light-headed, wanting to pass out, shaking, weak, out of sorts and feeling nausea. Food Matters said they were detox flare ups from caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants like sugar.  By day 2 and 3, those symptoms would ease away. You would experience a detox ‘high’ but recommended not to let that go on because you need to rebuild and regenerate. The analogy they used was “you can’t detox too long because not only will you sweep the dust out of the house, but you’ll sweep out the furniture, too”. (So why can you do this plan for 10 days?!. You lost me.) As an FYI, I don’t use nicotine, drink caffeine about once a week and I cut way back on sugar prior to starting this. Was I detoxing hypoglycemic?
  7. They told me to mediate. UGH. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried in my lifetime – it just makes me irritable and frustrated and then I fall asleep. When I was irritable and couldn’t think during this three days, the only thing I could mediate on was steak. In reality, my meditation time and opportunity to refocus is when I’m running!
  8. Laurentine says “You may feel pain in your spleen or in your liver because unwanted foods or toxins get stuck in there that are coming out through bowels, or you’re sweating it out. Continue for 10 days. It’s not dangerous, it’s super healthy, you are getting the right amount of nutrients per day. You can always increase the amout of juice, soup or salad if you are hungry”. (Where the heck is my spleen? And how would I know if it’s good or bad pain? And since I am not a cow, the same salad every day is going to give me salad aversion and I’ll need to see a therapist… see how this can be a precursor to an eating disorder?)
  9. Remember when I ran the 50K in November and wanted to eat like a monster for days on end after? Ya. This is the same thing. I felt so depleted that instead of wanting to continue to eat healthy beyond the detox, I felt like I would eat anything that would satisfy me. I really tried to eat as healthy as possible, but it didn’t take away my desire for a treat here and there. Eating so few calories for just three days made me want to eat more… um, binging anyone?! I binged on chicken and pasta, just so you know. Which makes me remember that I need to eat more in my next ultra!
  10. My rapid heart rate on day 3 was scary! And this is what I read. “Many early very low calorie diets caused fatal heart rhythms when body levels of magnesium or potassium dropped in susceptible individuals.” If this is what happened in my body, obviously, the detox plan does NOT have enough nutrients for my body. As this article mentions, as soon as I started eating more and adding back in my vitamins along with dense nutrition in the form of colorful veggies, whole grains and proteins, those symptoms quickly went away.

Bottom line: It’s my personal opinion this detox plan is not safe for me (and probably not for most of you, either). I’m a very healthy, active woman with a normal BMI. This particular plan does not provide my body with the nutrients it needs and I can’t say I felt like I had any energy or felt great as Food Matters claims I would be feeling.

For the record, all four of us who started this detox plan all agreed we are not believers in the 3-day detox for healthy living. Three of us actually went through with starting it, one of us had to modify from the beginning for the calories and nutrition for training during the 3 days, I quit after day two and the third quit a couple hours after I did. No one felt more energy and I don’t believe any of us will do this ever again.

You can watch the Food Matters Q&A video here and come to your own conclusions:  Q&A Video

So here’s the skinny. JUST EAT HEALTHY!!! 

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  • Cut out processed foods. No artificial stuff. Eat clean.
  • Shop the outside edges of your grocery store. Have you noticed all the healthiest foods are on the outside and those boxed foods are on the inside isles?
  • Eat organic as much as you can.
  • Drink more water. Quit soda.
  • Sleep more.

Blah blah blah… we know how to do this!  And if you’re working on it? So am I!

Let me know if you’re working on eating healthier and improving your lifestyle!  What are your favorite resources for clean eating recipes and tips?