I went to Vermont, I ran, and I ate delicious food

I’m back! Between my vacation to Vermont and the Easter holiday, I apologize for not posting. I really meant to, I brought my computer up there and everything. But time got away from me and obviously a blog post never happened. I was obviously distracted by the beautiful view below! Talk about gorgeous. But today I’m back and here to share what I’ve been doing these past few days.

The view of Lake Champlain at sunset.

The view of Lake Champlain at sunset.

1. I ran!

Yes, I ran! On roads slightly different than NYC :)

Yes, I ran! On roads slightly different than NYC :)

I had two runs while in Vermont, my first two for almost two weeks due to plantar fascitiis pain. I tried out my new Mizuno Wave Inspires, which I love love love so far. They are lighter than my Brooks but still offer support. Plus, they are bright blue and color always draws me in. Yes, I am a sucker for neon.

I ran with Karl and his brother on the hilly back roads for one 4 mile run and one 6.1 mile run. It was their first super hilly outdoor run and they did great! Although that wasn’t what my long run was supposed to be that weekend (11 miles), I am easing back in slowly since I also have some lingering knee pain but felt pretty good overall. Hopefully now I’ll be okay for my 15K this weekend and the Nike Women’s Half this month. Crossing my fingers all goes well.

Karl and I post run.

Karl and I post run.

2. I ate delicious food.

When we go visit Karl’s family in Vermont, we always make it a point to eat as much local food as possible. For example, maple syrup, cheese (LOTS of cheese, all types), and bread. We were lucky to have tons of this at his families’ house but we also went out to two amazing restaurants: A Single Pebble (Chinese food) and The Farmhouse Tap and Grill (American food) in Burlington, VT. Both places rival, if not beat, places of the same cuisine that I’ve eaten in NYC. Yes, I am saying that A Single Pebble beats Mr. Chow and Phillipe Chow in my opinion. Especially their Mock Eel… yummmm. Both were AMAZING.

Cheese Plate from the Farmhouse Tap and Grill

Cheese Plate from the Farmhouse Tap and Grill

I am also obsessed with Lake Champlain Chocolates so I picked up a big stock of that to bring home. Hopefully I can make it last but no promises. Its just too good.

3. I celebrated Easter and spent time with family.

This was the first Easter I didn’t spend with my direct family, but with Karl’s aunts and grandma instead. We made it feel like home by doing some egg coloring (with the invisible crayon.. my favorite!) and playing some games with the eggs. We didn’t end up doing an Easter egg hunt because we were too busy that whole day, but it ended up being lots of fun anyway.

Pretty Easter Eggs!

Pretty Easter Eggs!

I think those eggs turned out pretty nice! The multicolored is mine, I was the only one who attempted it! Apparently I’m daring in my egg coloring skills. Who knew?

We also went for a nice brunch on Easter day with Karl’s family and ate some more delicious food. It was great to catch up and see everyone again.

Mark, Karl and I on Easter

Mark, Karl and I on Easter

4. I went to a wine tasting.

I have been wanting to go to a nearby vineyard everytime we go to Vermont, but for some reason we never end up there. But this time we did! We went to Shelburne Vineyard for a nice afternoon wine tasting one of the days we were there and got to try out some of their award winning wines. They were all delicious, especially their dessert ice wines. Oh my gosh.. amazing!

Wine from the Vineyard

Wine from the Vineyard, with medals!

Its a great price too. You get to try out 8 wines for $5, plus you get a nice souvenir wine glass to take home. And a nice one at that! They don’t pressure you to buy anything but it was so good we had to take some wine home. Can’t wait to open them up and enjoy more Vermont grapes!

5. I played with cute doggies.

Karl’s aunts that we usually stay with have two Shih Tzu’s and one German Shepherd. Since I LOVE dogs but don’t have one of my own, I was in doggie heaven. They are super cute and I loved playing with them. The small ones are cuddly and fluffy.

One of the Shih Tzu's named Vita!

One of the Shih Tzu’s named Vita!

And the German Shepherd is a big 8 month puppy who loves to play. She can also entertain herself forever, e.g. she chased a leaf blowing in the wind for about 20 minutes. It was fantastic.

The German Shepherd puppy Tilda.

The German Shepherd puppy Tilda.

6. Lastly, I learned about this:

I am going to be posting more about this upcoming NEW Thrive Forward Sportprogram that I think most of you will LOVE. Stay tuned :)

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PS. Be sure to enter my Fit Four Gloves GIVEAWAY which ENDS TODAY! Click here to enter.

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What did you do this weekend?
Do you celebrate Easter? What are your traditions?
Have you ever gone to a wine tasting?
How are your pre-summer workouts going?

24 Comments

Filed under holiday, restaurants, shopping, Thrive Forward, vacation, videos, weekend

Abs By April & Fit Four Gloves Review & Giveaway

For those of you participating in the Abs By April Challenge, you know that its almost over! I cannot believe how fast the time went and can’t believe its spring already. Next week will be the last chance workout and then I will be posting results for those who wish to share! I can’t wait :) Here was this week’s workout, all participants should have already received the email with this info.

Abs by April- Week10 PNG

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In the spirit of Abs By April and my goal of building muscle before the summertime, I have recently started seriously lifting. In the past I didn’t really push myself with strength training, but lately have been taking it up a notch. I LOVE the feeling after a good strength session, the moment where you can increase your weight, and lifting the same or more than the guys at the gym :) Girl power!

The only downside though is that I’ve been lifting to the point where I started developing calluses on my hands. Yuck! I won’t share the visuals with you because I doubt anyone wants to see that. That’s why I was SO excited when I was contacted recently by the wonderful people at Fit Four Gloves to try out a pair of their gloves, it was just perfect timing!

My Fit Four Gloves at the gym

My Fit Four Gloves at the gym

Fit Four Gloves are fitness gloves designed with a minimalist approach. Ever see the guys at the gym with the full-length gloves? Yeah, these aren’t like that and I think it works way better. The gloves have a four finger design that covers your hands where you actually need it without all the excess traditional gloves have. At first glance, they look pretty different but, trust me, when you try them on you’ll love them!

Some other things I like about these gloves: durable synthetic leather with “extra skin” for tough workouts, ventilated palms, and stretch lycra material on the back of the hand. Having my hands comfortable when I work out has helped in making me excited to go do strength training. Before when I lifted without these, I wasn’t thrilled because of all the damage weights were doing to my hands. But not anymore!

FitFour1

The back of the box.

I’ve been using these in the gym for a few weeks now so I’ve had the chance to really put them to good use for this review.

What I like about them:

  • Forms nicely to¬† the contours of your hand (i.e. good materials)
  • Only covers the part of your hands you need covered; no excess
  • Stretchable, but strong
  • Air holes for ventilation. As someone who gets sweaty palms when they are warm, this is perfect!
  • Stay put and don’t move during tough workout sessions or exercises
  • Cost: Priced well at $25.95. This seems to be a very competitive price for fitness gloves, so this is in the pro category.
  • Comes in four sizes (small->extra large)
  • Machine washable

Some cons:

  • Takes me a little adjusting at first to find my “sweet spot”. Ordering the right size is REALLY important!
What they look like on my hand

What they look like on my hand

The verdict: In my opinion these are worth it and, as a newbie at strength training, I have fallen in love with them fast. I have also fallen in love with not having calluses on my hands anymore! So in summary, go get yourself a pair :)

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Luckily, I am able to offer the chance for one of you to WIN YOUR OWN PAIR of Fit Four Gloves! Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter, its super easy.

*** Fit Four Gloves Rafflecopter Link ***

The giveaway will end April 3 at 11:59PM EST and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

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Disclosure: Fit Four Gloves sent me a free pair of gloves to review. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

26 Comments

Filed under Abs by April, crosstraining, product review, shopping

Aqua Running & NEW Vega One Bars

So my foot has been acting up the past few days with Plantar Fascitis pain, so sadly there was no long run for me this weekend :( But I made the best of it anyway!

First off, I made my lifting session intense and tried out new minimalist Fit Four Gloves during the workout too. They were a lifesaver, especially since I started to get some small calluses on my hands. I love lifting for so many reasons: the looks on peoples faces when I pick up heavier weights than them (you know you love that too!), the feeling of my muscles working hard, and the post-lifting pump.

Trying out my Fit Four gloves while lifting.

Trying out my Fit Four gloves while lifting.

I also tried out aqua running this weekend since I can’t run normally on my foot yet. I haven’t done this in a while but it was actually really nice. I did some laps as a warm up/cool down with running in between. Since the pool is shallow I didn’t use a floaty belt and it worked out fine. I’ll be doing more of it this week so I’ll update you about my workouts!

Running in the pool!

The pool I run in!

Now for some food finds. Firstly, I found this deliciousness which is an awesome way to get chocolate milk taste without all the sweetener, especially since I don’t drink regular milk anymore. Its so good!

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Yum!

Second, this week I also have another super amazing food find to share with you.. NEW Vega One Bars! As you know, I’ve been singing the praises of the Vega Thrive Forward program all year and have learned so much about how to eat more plant-based. Yes, I now bake with beans , use nutritional yeast for everything, and am addicted to bok choy. Who am I?!

Since I have all this free time right now I also have been making many of the delicious Thrive Forward recipes. But pretty soon its back to work for me :( which means time will be more limited. Cue on-the-go Brendan Braizer-forumulated Vega One Bars to save the day…

My Vega goodies

My Vega goodies

Dum dum dum dummmmmm!! There they are in all their beauty. Vega has been hinting about them for some time and officially released them in three equally tasty flavors:

Double Chocolate
Chocolate Almond
Chocolate Cherry

Basically, this is a Vega One Nutritional Shake in a bar form with a ton of antioxidants and probiotics to keep your body from going crazy. I mentioned the other day about my annoying running stomach issues (ugh) but these bars have caused no problems in the stomach department. I had one before a medium-length run the other day and the tummy was happy as a clam (PS. How can you tell a clam is happy?)

The three tasty flavors.

As the self-proclaimed number one fan of anything chocolate, these three flavors are perfect for me. Just perfect. It was hard for me to pick my favorite, but the Double Chocolate may have a slight edge because I’m convinced its a little bar sent from heaven right to my door. Thanks Vega angel, fairy, whatever you want to call it! Seriously though, the chocolate is delicious and tastes natural (because it is!) unlike so many products these days.

Double Chocolate. Enough said.

Double Chocolate. Enough said.

When I first bit into it, the texture was different from what I expected. The ingredients include rice crisps and white chia seeds (you can see the seeds in the below photo) that I think give it the cool texture that is so hard to describe. Now, I really am anti-bland food so after the initial surprise I fell in love with the way it made each bite unique and exciting.

While the texture varies from the average bar, this really works and the flavors in general are perfect. This is not your average bar.. its wayyy better! They must have done a ton of work on them before sharing, and it really shows. Hard to believe its all plant-based too! Just so you can see the inside of the bar, I’m sharing with you my partially eaten, teeth mark showin’ bar.

Teeth marks and everything.

Teeth marks and everything.

For the nitty gritty details, each bar is slightly different but has about 250 calories, 10g of fat, 15g of protein, 6g of fiber, and tons of healthy vitamins, Omega-3s, probiotics (1 billion!!), and minerals that would take me forever to list. Oh yeah, and there is NO gluten and contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Since I avoid artificial colors/sweeteners (yuck!) at all costs, this is a major SCORE!

Especially if you are a fan of the Thrive Forward program, clean eating, or just delicious food in general, I suggest you find and devour these bars. There are also going to be some more super exciting things offered by Vega pretty soon.. stay tuned for more!

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What workouts did you do this weekend?
Have you ever tried aqua running?
What flavor of these bars do you think you’d want to try?

17 Comments

Filed under aqua running, crosstraining, food, health, product review, Thrive Forward