#RISEANDSWEAT December is HERE!

Hey you guys!

Well here we are, another several months gone buy without a post… ! MAN I SUCK!! However, what better post to get back into things than a new #RISEANDSWEAT! So excited about this one you guys! We start tomorrow (December 3rd) and we’ll have our last day and I’ll draw the winner on December 23rd!

      

I figured it’s pretty much the PERFECT time for a little workout challenge because it’s just getting into the heat of the holiday season with drinks and food, late nights, sweet treats, repeat x a million different parties and events. So… I figured I would do my best to motivate you guys to try and get some sweatin in amongst all the eating, drinking and late nights! At least try and offset some of those potentially poor decisions haha. 

Alright guys โ€ฆ here are your instructions for the December #riseandsweat. The concept couldn’t be simpler. The point of the challenge is to be more active than you are right now! This doesn’t mean crazy intense workouts every day (unless that is what you’re into, and if you are, I can totally point you in the right direction where to find some!). But if that’s not your jam, then just get up and MOVE. Go for a walk, do a little yoga or just a nice 5-10 minute stretch, try out a new class at your local gym, or challenge your kids (or pet) to a race around the couch. I really don’t care what you do, just do SOMETHING to get the blood circulating and ideally get your heart rate up! Just get your booty up a little earlier each morning and do something active!!!! Your future self will thank you.

I’ve done these in the past, and they’re always so much fun! One thing I hear is ‘what if I can’t do it in the morning’? Yes, this challenge is called ‘riseandsweat’, and I would LOVE for you to TRY getting up a little earlier and starting your day with some movement… but if you absolutely can not, just get it in when you can! After all, this challenge is just about getting people moving and more active! So any time of day is great!

However… Here are a few reasons why I’m promoting AM sweat sesh’s vs evening.
* Boost your metabolism and gets your digestion started
* Boosts your mood! Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy — why wouldn’t you want to be in a great mood to start the day
* You’ll ACTUALLY workout – If you wait til later in the day, the chances of something ‘getting in the way’ are pretty good
* You’ll sleep better! – If you workout later in the day, those same endorphins that are putting you in a good mood in the morning can disrupt your sleep at night (if you save your workout until too close to bedtime!)

OK, so hopefully I’ve convinced you to try sweating first thing in the AM… 
Now, how does this challenge work? … Easy.

> Get up and start your day with some form of activity. (Anything from a walk, to yoga, to stretching, to a full on workout)
> Take a pic or video of what youโ€™re doing for your #riseandsweat. *Note: This can be a pic of your workout equipment, your    space, your recovery drink… anything you want! It doesn’t have to be your face! haha
> Tag me (@andreagnys) and hashtag #riseandsweat

Every time you post, you get an entry to win one of the prizes from the challenge! (I’m giving away a couple #muttmalas , as well as everyones fave, a head to toe Under Armour Canada prize pack (your choice of shirt, pants, shoes, sports bra/boxers for the boys, and a bag!)

**FOR EXTRA ENTRIES
>> Share challenge (repost it on your facebook or insta)
>>Tag friends that you want to do the challenge with you!!
>> You get an entry for every post… so if you’re feeling extra ambitious, do a double header! Yes I want you to workout in the AM, but if you’re wanting to do something else in the evening, you’ll totally get credit for it! 

I am going to be posting 1 exercise each day. I will post it the night before (IE: tonight, Dec 2 I am posting the workout for tomorrow, Dec 3rd…) 

โœจ OTHER IMPORTANT INFO:โœจ
๐Ÿ‘‰you DO NOT have to do the exercise that I post – this is just a ‘move of the day’ I’ve chosenโ€ฆ these are simply guides or ideas for those of you that arenโ€™t really sure what to do and want some inspiration
๐Ÿ‘‰You DO NOT have to do something every day of the 21 days to win โ€“ each time you post you get an entry. Of course โ€“ the more you do, the more likely you are to win!

I will be drawing a winner on December 23rd for the Under Armour prize pack. There will be some random prizes throughout the 21 days, so be sure to be as consistent as you can, and always tag me (@andreagnys) and hashtag #riseandsweat!! 

Canโ€™t wait to sweat with you guys for the next 21 days ! You knowโ€ฆ 21 days form a habit, so get on it!!!!

Any questions โ€“ let me know! 
xxx
Andrea

PS. If you’re looking for somewhere to start with workouts, I’ve got a couple options for you! 
๐Ÿ‘‰Beachbody On Demand – my fave option! I’ve been doing CoreDeForce for a month and I’m ADDICTED. But there’s tons of options and there’s a ridiculous deal going on right now – for 100 bucks you have access to every Beachbody workout out there
๐Ÿ‘‰Tone it Up – these gals are wicked. And a lot of the workouts on here are free!
๐Ÿ‘‰Kayla Itsines – Haven’t done these myself but I’ve heard amazing things.
๐Ÿ‘‰And then of course, there are some options right here, on andreagnys.com! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Mutt Malas One year (+ a couple months) anniversary! AND, a giveaway!!!!

You guys, omg. I said I wouldn’t wait forever to do another post, and here we are… a month and a half later. UGH! I love and hate summer at the same time, because it’s just SO dang busy!!!

That magical wedding I talked about in my last post (My sisters wedding!!!) – it has come and gone, and hooooolyyyy crap it was absolutely perfect. She looked like the most beautiful princess and it really was a glorious day! So happy for her and her new hubs! 

Note her right wrist… proudly rockin a #muttmala!

I know this post isn’t supposed to be about the wedding, but how could I not include it ? Look how great everyone looks!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

ANYWAY… on to the #muttmalas!

This is honestly so exciting! Incase you missed it, or you’re not familiar with what Mutt Malas is all about, you can check out the story behind it here

So MuttMalas was created last June, just over a year ago…. and it started as my passion project. I just wanted to raise as much money as I could for rescue animals. I know that mala beads are popular right now, and I’m really interested in their healing properties, what they’re all about, and I just really love the creative outlet! Honestly though, when I started the #muttmalas page, I kinda thought I would get some orders from friends and family, and that would be it!

The thing that I thought would make me stand apart from all the other pages that sell malas, is that I don’t keep ANY profits at all. I cover the cost of my materials, and I donate the rest. I price accordingly to ensure I am donating $10 from EVERY bracelet and $20 from every necklace! 100% of the proceeds donated!

I was absolutely overwhelmed with support. Seriously. Honourable mentions must go out to my BC #fitfam who always seemed to be the first to support whatever crazy idea I had. They purchased so many of the bracelets right outta the gate and I am beyond grateful for their purchases, but also for their sharing! They took tons of pics, used the hashtag and spread the word about my little passion project. (Byron, this means you! haha)

I’ve donated a lot to Tierra De Animales in Cancun (where our little meximutt Pedro came from), as well as Lost Dog Foundation (also focusing on mexican street dogs). I’ve also donated to HugaBull (in BC), and Emmas Dog Rescue (GTA, Ontario).

I am SO stoked to share that in the last year, I’ve donated just about $4000 from the #muttmalas bracelet and necklace sales!!! AHHHH It’s so amazing!!!! And to be honest, I’ve sort of taken my foot off the pedal promoting in the last few months because I was just so busy with other things. I was still blessed enough to have some orders trickling in here and there… but I am so excited to see what I can do now that the following is growing and I’m ready to dedicate more time to them again come fall!!!

I’ve actually had to turn a couple small businesses here in Niagara Falls away. They wanted to carry them but I didn’t have enough pre made stock ready to go for them to have! I have been doing mainly custom orders over the last 6 months or so as those seem to be most popular! People wanted to create their own… and I love that! But I’m so pumped on trying to grow this page and spread the #muttmala love!! 

I’ve done orders for so many different occasions! 

Custom order for bride/bridesmaids (These ones are from my sis’ wedding, but I have done others as well!)

  

Some parent/child pairs! (these are actually father/child pairs which are so freakin adorbs!)

 
Tons and tons of custom orders

Processed with MOLDIV

And even some mala making for minis!

And of course I have my own collection! I may have a problem… haha

My dad made me this awesome shelf/mala holder to hold all my creations! I was running out of room!! How cute and functional is it!?!?!

I am going to do my best to get better and more diligent taking pics of all my creations… posting on the #muttmalas pages more often (especially facebook, that one has been super neglected) and I am going to do everything I can to keep this little project growing!

Recently, I’ve had orders from all over… all different parts of Canada and the US, New Zealand, AND I sent my first shipment to Australia last month!! WOOOO!!!! They’re EVERYWHERE!

These little babies make awesome gifts because they not only can be customized to fit healing needs of the person you’re giving it to, but it’s for a good cause!! 

Anyway… just wanted to share a 1 year (plus a couple months) update, and say THANK YOU! Thank you so much for the support on this project and for having great taste and big hearts! I honestly feel so blessed this has taken off the way it has, and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

OH … lastly… the giveaway! haha DUH! ๐Ÿ™‚ 
As a thank you for all the support over the last year, I’m going to give away a #muttmala bracelet, custom order to one winner AND a friend! 
– comment on the post and let me know what stones are your fave/what you would want it made with
– tag a friend you think would love #muttmalas and the cause
* for extra entries, share the post!!
– I will draw a winner on Friday at 5pmEST
GOOD LUCK!!!!

THANK YOU for your shares of #muttmalas… They could help save a little fur babes life! 

xxx
Andrea 

My transition to vegan

Hi Friends,

Holy smokes it’s been a minute. I have absolutely no excuses either! Just been crazy being at home with all these family and friends that want to see us!! We’re not used to it. Not to mention, my sister is getting married in just over a month! CRAZY!!!

I wanted to talk for a minute about my transition to veganism. I completed the transition on May 1st… so just over two months ago and it was so much easier than I expected. 

Here’s kind of how it went down…

4 1/2 years ago when I was working at Vega, Greg and I did a challenge with some of the people there. Some people did a vegan challenge, Greg and I did vegetarian (eat totally vegetarian for a month). We did it for 4 weeks, and decided to continue until our trip to Mexico in the coming weeks. Once we got to Mexico, I was starving so I had tacos – allll kinds. Pork, chicken, beef… etc. I felt SO SICK. So so so sick. And that was it for me. I decided I wasn’t going to have meat anymore. I did still continue to have fish though, up until this past May.

About 4 years ago I did a food sensitivity test because I have having digestive upset. It revealed that I was sensitive to gluten (not celiac though, which is good!). So I cut gluten out, with the exception of the odd beer with my hubby. About a year later, I retested to see where my levels were at. I had a feeling they were still not great, because I was still having some digestive upset and eczema flair ups. This time, the test revealed that I still had my sensitivity to gluten… but I was now showing a reaction to about 75% of the foods on the test. What the heck?

The nutritionist explained that I had what was called leaky gut. With leaky gut, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body via your bloodstream. Scary stuff! So anyway… I had to cut a lot of things out… but the big ones were still no gluten, NO dairy at all (not even goats products which are sometimes easier for people to digest) and no eggs. So for about 3 years, I’ve been basically vegan + fish… and I would cheat every now and again with some cheese or greek yogurt. 

I had been following a bunch of vegan bloggers/trainers on Instagram, and I also have some friends that are vegan as well. I was kind of just looking for that little extra push to get me fully transitioned.

So the first two people that ever got me thinking about vegetarianism are two of my closest friends Laura and Sarah. These beauties have both been vegetarian since they were quite young, and made the decision on their own. They got the wheels turning many many years ago for me, but not enough to make the shift I guess. They also taught me that being ‘preachy’ isn’t necessarily the way to go. They are proudly vegetarian, but they don’t force those beliefs or practices on people, and aren’t always talking about it either! I admire them both for that and I strive to find that same balance.

Now for a few of the pages I’d been following:

Deryn – Running on Real Food – http://runningonrealfood.com/start-here/ 

My friends, Elizabeth and Collin >> @elizabetheats, @cmcdougs


(they’re going to be so mad at me for putting up a pic of them… especially Collin. haha! – thats what you get for being inspirational you two!! Not only are they both vegan inspos to me, but they’re probably the cutest couple of all time!!!)

And the guy that shares some of the most interesting vegan facts that will get ya (they got me!)
@conscious_muscle

>> NOTE – that he’s rocking a #muttmala!!!! <<
He’s a vegan fitness coach that helps people with the transition and helps them to meet their fitness/nutrition goals. I actually worked with him end of last year, but had some health issues and also ended up moving across country, so I didn’t get to execute his plan to the best of my ability. However he’s amazing to work with and very reasonable – for those of you interested in transitioning!

He posted something end of April that got me.

And he was right… Just like that, done! To be honest, I had seen Forks over Knives, as well as Cowspiracy… both really well done, but it was Earthlings that got me.

That’s really it you guys. About 2.5 months ago I transitioned and it’s be SOOOOO much easier than I thought. Sure sometimes when I’m out on the road for work, or with a client, it can be a little tricker. I am getting much better at packing lunches (or at the very least snacks!), and places are becoming much more vegan friendly! Places like Pita Pit (and super recently from what I’ve heard, starbucks!) have vegan options! Amazing!!!! 

I would love love LOVE to hear from my vegetarian and vegan peeps out there. This community has been so welcoming and supportive and I would love to chat with other people who recently made the transition, are thinking about it, or have been vegan/vegetarian for years! Please share your fave blogs, recipes, people to follow ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for sticking through this post if you did – I know it’s long, but it was important to me to share ๐Ÿ™‚ 

xoxo
ANDREA

PS — next post will be coming before long (not 2 months like this time!) and it’s going to be about #muttmalas !!! 

My first experiences with LIVE CLEAN products

 Ohhhhh my goodness you guys I am super pumped about these! 

So I am always on the hunt for good cruelty free, natural products. But the problem is they’re usually SO expensive! I have no problem paying a little bit more, because I do believe in the good old saying ‘you get what you pay for’… but sometimes I do feel like these natural/cruelty free companies are gouging us a little bit. Live Clean is different! 

These products are absolutely fantastic, and they AREN’T double or triple the price of their non natural/animal tested counterparts (which I LOVEEEEE). The wonderful folks at Live Clean sent me out a little sampler pack of some of their best selling products. I emailed them to tell them how stoked I was on their shampoo, and that I was going to do a blog post on it because I was so pleased, and they sent me a few more things to review — amazing!

I have to preface the rest of this post by apologizing because for some reason I am still having trouble with my photos uploading. It’s SO FRUSTRATING. I would have had this post done weeks ago but the photos kept giving me trouble and finally I said screw it, I need to do the post anyway. So I’ve borrowed photos from the Live Clean site for now, so you can still see what I’m talking about.

So – why am I all about this brand? Their ‘why choose live clean‘ page says it all.

“We only use plant and natural sourced or non-petrolatum ingredients that are renewable and sustainable. We donโ€™t use anything that will deplete our natural resources.  Weโ€™ve formulated all our beauty and personal care products without the still commonly used chemical ingredients โ€“ like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Diethanolamine (DEA), silicones and phosphates. And our products are free of parabens and other harsh preservatives.” 

*Made With Minimum 97% Plant and Natural Ingredients / Petrolatum Free

*Live Clean uses plant sourced, renewable, sustainable and non-petrochemical based ingredients

*Recyclable Packaging / Biodegradable Ingredients

That right there is amazing…. and the best part… of course, they’re cruelty-free! WINNING!!!!

Ok, so lets talk about some of the things I’ve tested out.

Travel Kit Essentials 


This is SO PERFECT for people like me that are on the go all the time. Honestly, I HATE having to pack everything up all the time. So this is great. They stay in my travel bag, and I’ve got everything I need with me. I received my package from these guys right before my trip to Cabo, so all of these came with me. I’ll talk about a couple of the individual products below, although the Night Cream and Facial Scrub I don’t have in full size so I’ll highlight here.

Night Cream — It’s actually quite light feeling for a night cream which I don’t mind. Some night creams I find really heavy when you first put them on, but this one is good! It does still moisturize well though, so I wake up feeling fresh and hydrated (my face, I mean!)

Facial Scrub – This product is magical! I am not one for using face scrubs all that often because to be honest, I’m just too lazy. I forget about them. But this travel size was great because it sat on our counter while on vacay, so I used it every day ! Which is so important when you’re in the sun all day… even though I try to keep my face covered, I’m still putting sunscreen on a hundred times a day, so it’s nice to get a good scrub. When I used this and then put the night cream on… O.M.G. My face was softer than a baby’s butt. Seriously!

Biotin Shampoo


So I had already tried the apple cider vinegar shampoo and LOVED it… so I knew I would really like the Extra Body Biotin one too. Anddd I did. Soooo much softness and shininess to my head these days! haha. Just today actually my sister in law complimented me on how good my hair looked! It foams up really well, which I like. I’ve had some natural shampoos that don’t foam up – there’s something about that foaminess that makes my head feel more clean.

  • TIP – If you have a dry scalp like me, you don’t need to buy Head and shoulders, just add a little bit of tea tree oil to your fave shampoo. It will alter the smell for sure, but it will help with a dry scalp!

Biotin Conditioner 

    

I use a really small amount of conditioner because otherwise my hair gets greasy! But this stuff is fab. It makes my hair feel silky smooth, and really shiny – but no greasy residue. LOVE!

 Face wipes 

These are a must for me! I LOVE love love having wipes handy! I do make my own eye make up remover pads (with some coconut oil, baby shampoo, water and a little essential oil), but for the rest of my face, these are soooo wonderful. I guess they’re mainly supposed to be used when travelling, or if you’re feeling greasy? Good after/during a flight? But I use these when I’m too lazy to wash my face with cleanser and a cloth. They’re awesome! And they’re not too drying either. I find some a little harsh.

Daily moisturizer

This, like the night moisturizer I find fairly light. And I’m no moisturizer connoisseur, but I do know what I like and what I don’t. This is definitely hydrating and packs enough punch to keep my face from feeling dry, but it also absorbs into the skin quickly and easily so I can apply my make up on top fairly quickly! My only request that would make this even better… add some SPF to it pleaseeee Live clean!! ๐Ÿ™‚  

Daily Cleanser,

Like I mentioned above, sometimes I’m too lazy to use a cleanser and I just use the wipes. But I ALWAYS make sure to remove my make up before sleeping! This is a GREAT cleanser. It foams up into a great lather and feels awesome on the skin. Just like with the scrub, my face really does feel fresh and clean after use. And also like the scrub, I don’t find it too drying at all. 

Body Oil

My girlfriend Laura introduced me to Body Oils YEARS ago. She loved the Neutrogena  one, and naturally I set out to look for a cruelty free, all natural one after falling in love with hers. This oil is sooooo so so so wonderful. My skin LOVED this while I was away on vacay AND when I came back. The sun is SO drying and this is extremely hydrating (duh! It’s an oil). But the nice thing is, it absorbs super quickly and won’t stain your sheets/clothes. My ONLY complaint with this product is it gets a little messy for travel. But how do you fix that really? Again… it’s an oil!

So where can you get these wonderful products? These retailers don’t have all products, but they’ve definitely got some!
– Shoppers Drug Mart
– Walmart
-Overwaitea
-Walmart.ca
-Amazon.ca
and my personal fave (I find they have the most selection) is well.ca!

Alright, I think that’s a good little summary on some of the products I’ve tested so far. I’m working my way through all of them, so stay tuned for more! 

One last thing – they have a WHOLE Baby Line too! So for those of you with little ones… have a look!!! There are tons of awesome options  ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you tried anything from Live-Clean that I haven’t listed? Would LOVE to hear about it!

xxx
Andrea 

A new dog rescue + Los Cabos AMAZINGness

Seriously, I can’t believe our vacation has come and gone already! I mean, you amp yourself up for SO long… get all prepped and ready to go with cleanses, workouts, new bathing suits, cute dresses etc etc, and bam… the week is over! But what a time we had!!! 

More on the vacay and some of the workouts we did after, but I want to first talk about one of my FAVE parts of the trip (okay, probably my fave part of the trip lets be honest.. haha). My Aunt and Uncle came to this resort a couple months ago, and told us that we need to check out a hike called Mount Solmar. She said it’s a beautiful hike, and the best part is, the base of the hike is on a small dog training facility/rescue. Ummm, WHAT ? Hiking AND a plethora of dogs to play with? This place was MADE for me!

We called ahead, like we were advised to do, to let Enrique know we were coming and he greated us very happily. He told us all about what he does there. He boards dogs while people are away, he trains dogs that are having socialization/potty training/walking/aggression issues, AND he will take dogs from the shelter or ones that have been surrendered from owners, work with them and adopt them out FREE OF CHARGE!

 

We had an amazing couple hours here to say the least. The hike was absolutely beautiful. Not super challenging until you get to the last 1/4 or so and then you’re climbing up rocks and things. Totally worth it though – gorgeous at the top!

We did spend a ton of time at the bottom though chatting with Enrique and playing with the pups. He told us about all of them, what they were doing there, how the training was coming etc etc. When we were there, he had 3 that were for adoption. We stopped back in to visit 2 days later since we were back in town, and one had already been adopted out. He works fast!!! Which is amazing for the pups looking for homes!

Currently he has only 1 that is still looking for his forever home — Nacho.

This sweetheart is a Chihuahua mix. He was out playing when we were there for a little bit, but was on a time out when we got back from the hike because he took himself for a walk! haha SUCH a sweet boy though. 

Like I said, there is no adoption fee for these little angels, just the hope that they will go somewhere that will love them for the rest of their days! If you or anyone you know might want to give Nacho a home… please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

I also told Enrique that I’d love to keep up to date on any pups he is having trouble finding homes for and help however I can.. so keep your eyes open for some more Mexi-mutts that need somewhere to go!

Alright, so back to a little vacay summary.

 

Greg and I have been blessed enough for the last 6 years to do alternating vacations – we do one year with the Bickell family (which includes my mom, dad, bro, bros girlfriend, sis, and sis’ fiance who also happens to be Greg’s best friend haha) then we do one year with the Gnys family which has changed a little bit in the last couple years since our lovely nieces have joined us!! So the Gnys side is even bigger!

ANYWAY. Amazing week away. First time in Cabo and it didn’t disappoint! We stayed at the Riu Sante Fe and it was beautiful. It has a stunning infinity pool overlooking the ocean and it really is beautiful.

   

Our weather was absolutely perfect every single day. 30+ and super sunny. Not a cloud in the sky. Glorious.

It was also Leanne’s first vacation with the Bickell fam, and it happened to be her birthday during the week we were gone. Splendid!

She took her birthday shot like a CHAMP!

We did a workout every day, like we always do while we’re away. This way, we can eat and drink as we please and not feel as guilty. It is vacation after all!

Here are a couple of the workouts we did.

  

Honestly, I have so many more pictures I wanted to share, but the internet connectivity is so poor right now, if I have to wait for another photo to upload I am going to pull my hair out!!

Thanks for reading about our trip – and please let me know if you or anyone you know wants to welcome Nacho into your home! 
I want to go back already…

Happy (almost!) weekend!
Andrea 

THREADBORNE by Under Armour (AND The Rock’s new UA line!)

Hey guys! 

Holy smokes I can not believe it’s already mid April and more importantly… we leave for vacay tomorrow!!!!!! AHHHH!!!! I can not wait for some serious sunshine and sand! And perhaps a margarita or two! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

Before we head out though, I need to share some new items from Under Armour. You guys… you know I love this company… but they just keep getting better and better. They sent Greg and I (yes, he even got spoiled this time!) a huge box of goodies from their brand new Threadborne line! Honestly… I’m so stoked about this new line. The stuff is AMAZING!  It’s honestly SO SO SO comfy and light weight… The special threadborne technology is made to be light, dry really fast, and not cling! Winning!

Check this stuff out…

Tights       

Seamless heathered tank /Tshirt streaker   

Seamless heathered long sleeve Train hoodie   Seamless heathered long sleeve Train hoodie

Strappy tank 

 

And then… there’s all the mens stuff!
Muscle Tank / Muscle Tank / Threadborne Streaker Singlet / Threadborne Streaker 1/4 zip 

Seamless T / Threadbone Seamless Threadborne Siro

Threadborne Tour PANT

 

Honestly, there is just too much to say about these clothes guys. Give them a try… any of them. Seriously. You won’t be disappointed!

AND… As if that wasn’t enough to be released at one time… there’s also more great stuff coming from The Rock. He was picked up by Under Armour I think just over a year ago but I could be wrong on that. But he’s different than many of the athletes UA sponsors in that he’s SUPER involved in creating his own line. He released shoes last week, and they were totally sold out in under 24 hours. They’re now on back order and will be shipping again in AUGUST! That’s 4 months from now!!! So cool that people are so into what he’s up to! I mean, he’s the Rock after all.

Project Rock

I just want to send a quick shout out to my UA peeps for being so awesome to me all the time.  You sure know how to treat a girl right! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading, and Happy Long weekend!!! Let me know if you have any questions on any of these you guys and I’ll do my best to help. Anything threadborne…. ya can’t go wrong! 

xxx
Andrea 

The new kids in town… Aroma Foundry!

Hey guys!

I have something funnnnn to talk about todayyyy!!!! A brand new essential oils company called Aroma Foundry! And stick around and read on… there’s a giveaway happening at the end of this post! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

So… I did a blog post a little bit ago on Infinity Jars and these two lovely companies are affiliated, so they reached out to me again to see if I was interested in checking out their oils. The first thing I asked was if the oils were tested on animals? I have been doing my best as of late to steer clear of all products that are animal tested. When I was told ‘No, our products are absolutely not tested on animals!’ my response to ‘Would you like to do a post for us and sample some oils’ was ‘Ummm… YA!!!! Obviously!!!’ I was pumped.

I was told I could pick any 4 oils I wanted to test out. I took a good look at their website and there were a bunch of different oils to choose from which made it tricky since I am so indecisive!!! 

I ended up going with one of my absolute faves – Lavender (SO many uses), then I chose a few I was less familiar with but was interested to try out. Patchouli, Tangerine and Ylang Ylang. 

Alright, lets first talk about the packaging! 

I love it! I think it’s super clean, but I also love that it’s in a ‘cardboard’ colour box and not a fresh white one. There’s something about it that makes it a little more approachable to me. Weird? Maybe… haha It’s just a personal preference. I like it

I think the bottles definitely match the packaging (and the overall feel of the branding). Still really simple, clean labels, but eye catching in a really nice way. I also think it’s really cool that on the box, it tells you the kind of oil inside (Obvi) but it also says where the oil is from! (IE: Ylang ylang from Madagascar). I think it’s important to a lot of people to know where things are coming from… especially now a days. (so good job on calling that out pretty clearly on the packaging guys!)  

The oils themselves are quite lovely. As I said, I am a big fan of lavender for a ton of reasons. I diffuse it at night because often times Greg has trouble sleeping and it’s great for that. I also have been dealing with eczema flair ups more often than I would like since I’ve been back home in Ontario. I suspect a combination of the weather and the water has not been so kind to my poor skin. But rubbing lavender directly on the itchy area is really soothing, and I also made a homemade body butter that has lavender in it as well. Check out that recipe here. I added the lavender in myself .. it wasn’t in the recipe!)

I was interested in trying Ylang Ylang out because I knew it smelled awesome, and some of the reasons intrigued me (ie: anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system, acts as a sedative to name a few!). The smell did not disappoint! SO YUMMY! 

Tangerine is the third oil that I chose. I don’t really have any straight oils like this (other than lemon I guess) and this one came highly recommended by my contact at Aroma. I LOVE IT! It’s SOOOOO citrusy and fresh smelling… Immediately energized and uplifted after smelling.

Patchouli was another oil I had read a lot about for various reasons. You can use it in homemade deodorant, or put some of it in your conditioner for a little added benefit (leave it on 5 mins then wash out!). I read it’s also nice as part of a natural perfume blend. Well alright then! Don’t have to tell me twice… 

So after doing some reading, I decided I wanted to whip up a little all natural perfume! Seemed like the right thing to do with this blend of oils ๐Ÿ™‚ SO… I filled one of the smaller size roller bottles 3/4 of the way full with grapeseed oil (which is my carrier oil), and then I added 5 drops of Patchouli oil, and about 8-10 drops of both Ylang Ylang and Tangerine. That was my own little creative blend, and I gotta tell ya… I’m pretty pleased with it! SO nice smelling. Not too strong, not too subtle… just about right!

I would highly recommend checking these guys out if you’re looking for a good variety of oils at extremely reasonable prices!

Alright… and now, for the really fun part!!! 

Aroma Foundry has been generous enough to let me give away 2 oils of choice to one of you guys!! Any two oils you want… 
All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post and let me know which oils you’d be most interested in trying!

Extra entries for commenting on the instagram/facebook post and tagging a friend that might be interested in sampling these oils as well! ** Contest will close and winner will be drawn on Wednesday, April 5th **

Thanks so much for reading, and good luck! Happy weekend!

Andrea

 

Meal prep successes

  Hey guys! 
So last week, I actually had a pretty good week for food prep (which is SOOOOO nice after a long time of just, not)

We currently are living with my in-laws. They have a pretty big house and just the two of them in it, so they were gracious enough to let us move in downstairs (WITH our small zoo of two dogs AND two cats). My mum in law is a FANTASTIC cook. She’s so great working around all of my dietary restrictions, and she generally is cooking really healthy things. So Greg and I haven’t really cooked a TON for ourselves lately because she’s just so dang good at it!! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

An example of a little rice noodle and chick pea patty she just ‘whipped up’

That said though.. I’m trying to get more on track… transition more and more to 100% plant based, and I am trying to get better at counting my macros as well (and using myfitnesspal to do that!). So I did a bunch of meal prep on Sunday and inputted all the recipes into myfitnesspal in hopes of making my week a little smoother.

I am so pumped by some of the recipes that I found this week you guys, I had to share. If you’ve read my blog before… you know I’m not the BEST at capturing food pics. Generally it’s me in the kitchen… making a huge mess and trying to figure out what goes where… getting pretty jacked up when things start to come together and things are tasting good… sampling all the things I’m making… then eating all of the things I’m making… then too late for pics. But I did manage to get a few!

Banana Blender Muffins: So I really like to have things that are easy to have in the morning either pre or post workout. Pre workout its great to have something fairly small, just to take that hunger edge off, but not sit heavily in your stomach. These muffins are PERFECT for that. I made them in the mini muffin tins (because lets be honest, then you gave have 40 of them without feeling like a fatty fatty 2×4). I also love that the base of these muffins is white beans! 

Borrowed from the original blog post at chocolatecoveredkatie.com

 

Flourless Pumpkin Muffins: These I’ve made before… and know they’re amazing. So I make them in the full size muffin tins, and I always make at least a double batch. I have them heated up with a tiny bit of coconut oil on them (instead of butter). DELISH!

Borrowed from original post at makingthymeforhealth.com

No Bake Protein bars: Okay honestly… these are the star of the week by FAR!!!!! Angela over at Oh She Glows rocks my world, every time! She’s such a whiz when it comes to amazing gluten free, vegan recipes… and this one is no different. Took honestly, 5 minutes to make and they’re SO FREAKIN AMAZING!!!! She says this is 12 servings worth but I got about 20 servings. I cut them into smaller squares because I found them quite dense (but SO GOOD!) – so I guess it depends how big you want them. When I gave my sister one, she asked WHY I had only given her such a small piece… then when she tried it she said ‘oh, because you’re saving these delicious pieces of heaven for yourself’. 

 

Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad – I loved this one! Everything about it. I am a big fan of edamame in salad because of the added protein and substance, and I just love edamame. Everything else in this salad is rather crunchy and the flavours go together so well. Plus anything thai, I am on board with. I added some tempeh for some extra protein and flavour ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Roasted Chickpea Salad (with vegan ranch!) – Now this salad I have to say… I really enjoyed the salad portion…. the roasted chick peas were absolutely spot on! The rest of the salad had delicious components with lots of substance… but the dressing needs some tweaking to get an A+ in my book! Now to be fair… I was missing chives… which I am sure is a large component of the flavouring, so I just improvised and used some regular onion blended in. I do love the idea of making a vegan dressing with something other than cashews (I love cashews, but holy $$, not to mention lots of [good] fats!). The tofu does make it creamy, but it was just lacking flavour for me. I absolutely will try again though ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Borrowed from original blog post at emilieeats.com

Vegan PB Cup protein shake – You guys this one… holy smokes! I LOVE a good PB and chocolate anything… but this has a twist. I love reading Deryn’s blog because she’s got amazing vegan recipes and she pays attention to macros too (which I’ve been learning to do!). But this recipe is next level. It’s pretty much your standard PB and chocolate smoothie… but she adds NUTRITIONAL YEAST! I know, seems super weird in a smoothie… but don’t knock it til you try it. SO DELISH. I also added about 1/4 cup oats just to take it to the next level!

Borrowed from original blog post at runningonrealfood.com

I am really trying to get back on the food prep train, and would LOVE love love to hear some of your tips and tricks on how to make food prep more interesting, seamless and easier to stick to! Please share! ๐Ÿ™‚

xxx
Andrea

Core de Force… is it worth it??

Hey guys!

So I wanted to do a quick post on the current ‘Beachbody All Access‘ pass, and more specifically, the Core de Force workout.

  

I know I’ve spoken briefly about the Beach body programs… why I like them (or maybe what about them I didn’t like) and which ones are my faves.

Greg and I did Insanity back 5 years ago (omg, where did that time even go!?) before our wedding to help us to get into great shape. This was back when we were living in BC and before we started teaching at Golds Gym. So we did have some equipment in our super modest home gym… but we wanted a program that was going to kick our butts and that we could do anywhere. Enter, Shaun T.

This program (Insanity) was just that… Insane! Really amazing workouts that you could really do anywhere. You didn’t need any equipment, and you really didn’t need much space at all. We got through them, we saw great results too.

Following Insanity, we started teaching at Golds Gym… so we were doing a mix of some home workouts and gym workouts. We did some of Shaun T’s next program, T25 (only 25 minutes a day)… but I am not too sure we completed it. We didn’t like it as much as Insanity. We DID however, do the NEXT workout from Shaun T as well, called Insanity Max 30… and OMG. Once we did this one, we looked back to the originally Insanity workouts and thought.. yea, those weren’t that bad after all!

Insanity Max 30 was my favourite of all the programs (Until Core de Force came out!). It is honestly SO hard… such a great challenge, and it’s only 30 mins a day. But let me tell you.. if you do these workouts all out like you’re supposed to and really push yourself… 30 minutes is MORE than enough.

SO, December of this year, my Beachbody coach Lauren Francois told me about the All Access promo she had going. It was $100 (Canadian) for the year.. and that included any of the Beach Body workouts that were already out, PLUS any new ones that are released in 2017. I was going to purchase the Core de Force workout anyway, which I believe was $75 dollars… so for an extra $25 I have access to literally hundreds more workouts? No brainer.

Just to be clear… This is a totally non biased review because I don’t have any affiliation at all with Beach body… but seriously guys… best $100 you can spend. I mean, maybe for people that have a gym membership and go to the gym daily and just do their own thing… fine. Not for you. But a LOT of people even if they DO have a membership often don’t have time/don’t make the time to go. So this is a really great option. You can do these workouts in the comfort of your own home/hotel room/yard/office… whatever you want! And many of them you don’t need a single piece of equipment.. better still, the ones that DO use equipment always show modifications so you can do the exercises with nothing but a resistance band. I mean seriously… you just don’t have any possible excuses to NOT do these workouts. 

My sister, brother and I all did a month of Core de Force together! It was honestly SO awesome.

I am a huge fan as I mentioned above of the Shaun T style… high intensity, jump squats and push ups like they’re goin outta style kind of training… but it’s really nice to switch it up every now and again. Not to mention SO good for your body… to always keep it guessing!

 

These Core de Force workouts are all MMA style workouts. Sure they have some that focus a little more on strength (hello 20 different types of push up and lunge jumps), and some that are super heavy on the cardio (ground to fighter stance will be your nemesis)… but all in all, they are all inspired by MMA training and there is a crapload of punching and core work in these videos.

Honestly, who knew punching at nothing for 30 minutes could leave you so exhausted. The first work we did these.. I was so sore ALL week. Especially through my back and shoulders.

So in a nutshell… why do I recommend the Beach body all access pass?

โœ”๏ธ Very reasonably priced for all the workouts you’re getting

โœ”๏ธ TONS of variety so you never get bored

โœ”๏ธ Easy to follow programs

โœ”๏ธ Something for EVERY fitness level

โœ”๏ธ NO excuses. You can do these ANYWHERE

And secondly, is Core de Force really worth it? … ABSOLUTELY without a doubt!
In this case, it obviously was included in the whole package I purchased ($100 all access) but I would have paid $75 for the program along and been totally pleased with it! Why?

โœ”๏ธ COMPLETELY different than any training I’ve ever done before

โœ”๏ธ The videos are easy to follow and actually really fun

โœ”๏ธ There is a lot of variety in the workouts – not all the same stuff every day

โœ”๏ธ Once you complete the first month, there are 2 alternate calendars you can follow to challenge yourself and do something a little different in months 2 and 3 (if you want)

โœ”๏ธ Joel and Jericho are HOT. Seriously! They have an awesome dynamic between them and they’re great at keeping you going!

And remember… ALWAYS STRETCH when you’re done!! ๐Ÿ™‚ haha

If you guys have any questions at all about any of the beach body workouts, shoot me a message… I’ve done a lot of them.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xxx
Andrea 

SO MUCH Under Armour Love

You guys, ahhhhh!!! Firstly, happy Friday~!!!

So, my favourite of all the boxes arrived recently (I was having trouble uploading photos or I would have posted this ages ago!)!!! Under Armour boxesssss!

It’s honestly the most exciting for me because I never really know what’s in them.. they’re surprise items from my wonderful UA fam.

           

Most of these items are brand new, and I could not be more stoked on them!
This new Threadborne material is seriously something else. SO soft, super functional for keeping you dry, comfortable and smelling good! Check it out!

Sports Bra
– super comfortable but enough support for working out
Threadborne Shirt (Long sleeve)
– I want to wear this all the time. It’s so soft it feels like I have nothing on. But it keeps me dry and cool at the same time!
Threadborne Tights 
 These tights I will say, are tough to get on… but once they’re on – ohhh so comfy and SUPER flattering.
Threadborne Shoes
 WOWEEEEE~ If you guys have read my blog before you know I’m a sucker for shoes. And these are insanely comfy. And plus, they’re pretty cute, lets be honest!

        

And if that weren’t enough… here are a few more killer pieces.

Strappy Sports Bra 
– LOVE the back. And it’s super supportive (although I’m not large in the chest so keep that in mind!)
Black Mirror Tights 
– GAH. I have a variation of these tights in probably 3 slightly diff styles (in black alone!) and several different colours!
Threadborne Tank 
– I would like this tank in every colour. My only complaint is I am only 5’2 and it’s a little long! I would have maybe gone with a size XS – but it’s still cute and the material… omg!
 Slingride TRI
 I wear these with everything. Seriously. They’re so cute. Grey matches everything, and these are function shoes – absolutely. GREAT for training, but also look cute with tights and a cardi ( I think so … but I’m not fashion guru!)

Underwear / Thong Undies
 the ladies in my family have pretty much gotten rid of all their undies EXCEPT these. They’re so comfortable it’s crazy. Great quality, breathable… what more can you ask for in undies!?

              

Okay guys, so I get asked a lot from friends, family and people that follow my page(s) about UA products, and if I have any I can recommend. I ALWAYS have a million I want to recommend, but I typically need to dial it back to a few. 

It does change from season to season, but I figured I would share a few of my faves that I’ve been loving/living in as of late.

So the first one I’ve been honestly switching back and for between the black and the white pretty much every day is the Essential Demi.. It is SO comfy, it is flattering and it’s long enough to cover your front and your bum (so perfect with tights and a cardi)

Of course I wear Under Armour for my workouts… exclusively, because it’s the best quality, the most comfortable (and so many colours!!). But I’ve been so impressed over the last 6 months or so with the ‘lifestyle’ clothing that UA has put out lately. This shirt would fall under that for me! It’s absolutely functional for working out still, but I love wearing it in my every day wardrobe.

The next thing I’m having a hard time getting myself out of as of late is these Link-Knit tights. Ahhh, you guys know I love tights. I would wear them all day every day if I didn’t have a job that required me to wear real people work clothes.. haha. But these tights come in 2 colours (black and grey) and the BEST part about them is they have POCKETSSSSS!!!!! And the material of them is SO soft… it doesn’t cut into your skin, but they’re still oooo so flattering! Glorious.

 

I could go on and on and on but I will stop there for now!

I would love to know some of your fave workout pieces from UA… Always looking for new ones to try (like I need more!!)

Happy Friday y’all! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading
xoxo — Andrea