A weekend of Desert RnR?

This past weekend went on a delicious girls’ retreat at the Palm Springs Hilton!

A few highlights: the huge pool and free time I had all to myself: people watching, getting a drink as I read my book, the nice hotel amenities like the fitness center and massager soap


And most of all 90 minutes of blissful solitude with God, reading and journaling from a guided meditation…And Holy Yoga!

What’s that you say? Yes, Christians do yoga! I never had a problem with it because to me it’s a stretch or just a workout but I know some people don’t like it (if they feel it’s against their religion, which is ok, to each his own) BUT Holy Yoga is nice when it’s pleasant inspiring music (praise and worship or contemporary Christian), and the certified instructor leads you with Scripture to meditate on.  You can google search Holy Yoga to see if there’s a church or a park hosting classes!(nominal fee or donation).


It was awesome. I am so thankful for this amazing time!

A few low lights, though: there was a dust storm that first night so for some reason there was hardly any sun with a huge grey cloud cover and haze, and what was so weird was that it was super humid. Ugh. I am spoiled living out here, I am still not a fan of humidity!  So when I expected to get a desert tan with the cacti, that didn’t happen but that’s not a big deal.

I had a very talkative roomie.  I’m not complaining because I do love to talk, but she kept wanting to stay in the room and chat, when I wanted to go down and be on time for our sessions (it was a church women’s leadership retreat)!  It hit me that maybe I need to learn to be quiet, be a better listener, slow down and not be so rushed…But the more relaxing the room was, the more she wanted company and the more I wanted to go find the fitness center, pool, or a quiet coffee corner.  I realized we came for solitude and rest, and I wasn’t getting that. I struggled with learning to love her and meet her where she’s at (a physical disability from a stroke, no filter, cussing or complaining about health issues) poor thing. “She can’t help it, bless her heart” as we say in the humid south!  I had a great time, just not as restful and quiet as I had hoped. Here’s a couple highlights:

Me and Marilyn


Me and Lucy:


Me by the pool:


My carpool friends and I had the best time, one brought a great play list and one brought lots of car snacks for us! And a date shake for the road:

I am very thankful for such a wonderful time!

Bob’s Red Mill Protein Powder is Delicious!

Once again, Fit Approach helped me team up with Bob’s Red Mill and look what I got in the mail to review!: 

(All opinions are my own).

Oh my word! I never really get that excited about protein powders because sometimes here just way too chalky or bland or too sweet or something but man I loved these!

You know what’s cool? They have FLAX and CHIA inside! So I don’t have to add those to my smoothies or my vitamins.  Best of all, these are not chalky, not bland, and not too sweet!

I was sent a nice box of a big bag of Vanilla, with samples of Chocolate(yum!), Plain, and…my favorite flavor: CHAI!!!  So yummy! Inside was a cute blender bottle and recipe booklet!  

I love that the big scoop gives you a whopping 20 grams of natural pea protein powder, and 12 grams of fiber (chicory root and Psyllium) and even Organic Probiotics so no tummy trouble and so I found it to be quite satisfying!! You know the more I work out the hungrier I get? Well, that is why:). But this really helps me feel full. Here’s me with my BRM smoothie:


All us sweat pink Ambassadors with Fit Approach are over on Instagram this week showing how we fuel with protein, we work out during the summer and sharing our updates:) 

Go here to get a coupon so you can try this stuff! 

Sweet run + Sweet Green

My November Project friends introduced me to this new restaurant “Sweetgreen” ! On the first day they opened they were giving us free salads! It was amazing!

  
On Saturday we met around 11, downloaded the app and were given a free salad code. We ran in the warm February sun down the star Hollywood Boulevard of fame about 2.5 miles and by the time we were back (they gave us 30-60min to finish), our salads were ready! It was so refreshing!

Favorite things about Sweetgreen: 1. The fresh juices and teas.  Cucumber and ginseng, a seasonal one, a chai iced, and a lemonade or a green tea. All healthy, not a ton of processed or sugary ingredients, just pure fresh goodness.

2. All of their ingredients are fresh, organic, and local sourced!   That day they listed everything was from CA except two things: the Pacific steelhead (salmon) and the WA apples, both from Washington state! It was so cool!

  
3. The speed and friendliness.  I’ve been to other new restaurants where everyone is still learning and kind of slow on the deli line.  The girls at Sweetgreen wear these adorable head bands and are smiling and generous. The guys, while they don’t wear cute head scarves or anything, are just as helpful and kind.  I love the ease of the app too!(for iPhone).

  

SIGGI’s GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW!!!

Hi my friends, did you miss me?

I have been working on transferring this blog over to spillingcoffeendt.com, revamping and rebranding myself!  But it is slow going because I’m a NOOB.  In the meantime, let’s check out a healthy breakfast and snack with:

SIGGi’s SKYR YOGURT!!!

I love yogurt. I love Greek, I like plain, I like on the go tubes, drinking Kefir, and I like fruity, or spicy, or even yogurt dips such as Tzatziki.  When I swore off Dairy once for Lent, I fell in love with Trader Joe’s Goat yogurt.

Yogurt isn’t bad for you – it’s actually good for you because it’s a probiotic.  It’s good protein.

Depends on what you put in it or how they process it, however.  I wouldn’t add sugar because it already has a natural bit of milk sugar.

Enter Siggi’s.  Up in Iceland, they have strained it properly and so it has a low lactose content and I know people who are sensitive to dairy CAN actually enjoy Siggi’s!  My mom used to make yogurt growing up; I have yet to actually get the nerve to try! The siggi’s motto is “Simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar.”  From their website FAQ’s: “Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland. It is made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures.”

I found out about them (a little late in the game) at IDEA World Blog fest.  I LOVE the coconut and the pomegranate and can’t wait to try the pumpkin this season! My favorite thing to do is add it to smoothies, or on the go from the gym to work, or even as a dessert treat.  You can click on their site for a coupon or for recipes!

It has been so nice of Siggi’s to offer ONE MONTH supply of Siggi’s to one lucky reader!  To enter, post on social media:

(first like and follow ME (@Spillingcoffeen on twitter and @spillingcoffee_n on IG, I’m on FB and pinterest and G+ too!) and

Like and Follow Siggi’s @siggisdairy please!) with the hashtag #dailysiggis

If you don’t have any Siggi’s in your fridge or the local market, tag yourself making or eating a bowl of another yogurt and get creative. You can say “I NEED Siggi’s” Or “I want some SIGGI’s coupons please!” or post a comment here or a twitter status or update saying why you want to try it and what flavor looks the best.  I will look for these tags and pick a random winner, but I also love to see people getting creative in their posts!

siggis_in_the_kitchen_green-5435a52f9d4f9 (source: siggisdairy.com)

Twitterpated (Topo Magnifly Shoe Discount and Giveaway!)

I’m in love.

You know I love my husband and my furbaby but no. I am quite twitterpated with my new shoes! Why? Because, like Disney described it, it feels like “I’m walkin’ on air”!

I stepped into one of their display models at the IDEAworld fitness expo and I felt as light as a feather! I literally have been jogging, running stairs, sprinting, and walking on air. I remember being a little girl thinking I needed Air Jordan’s but now I got these.


These babies speak for themselves:

“The Magnifly is engineered for runners seeking more underfoot cushioning paired with a natural shape.  The flexible platform and light weight allow for a more natural gait function, while the 5mm drop and dual-density midsole deliver zonal cushioning and response.”
Ergonomic shoes! For your feet! What!!? Can we shout it from the rooftops!? BEST IDEA EVER!

Now, before I go any further, let’s take a closer look:

Magnifly_W_Spec Sheet

Most important of all:


I love that TOPO has 3 core principles they focus on: Shape (a secure fit through heel and midfoot), Platform with light cushioning, (“Mid stack heights offer ample protection and shock absorption”), and the Weight (7.1 oz in the women’s model) of ultra light materials in their construction.

Just look what Runner’s World (this month’s issue) had to say:

“Topo’s shoes are designed to allow a natural stride with a wide forefoot and moderate heel-toe drop. The Magnifly, the plush model in the line, uses a softer insert in the outside of the midsole to cushion landings.  A contoured foot bed combines with the mesh upper [designed by TLT with Aegis microbe shield to protect against odour, staining and deterioration caused by bacteria and fungus] to hug the foot…Bottom line: Midlevel cushion in a natural-shaped wrapper.”

Whenever I’m in the market for good shoes, I pour over Runner’s World and I go all around shoe stores to try different brands or models.  At IDEAWorld’s fitness expo, I couldn’t believe how comfortable my feet felt. They fell into sync, and these shoes totally fit right around my feet just like a glove, as in, so perfect, as if they were made with my feet in mind!

Running in them is even better!  Look, TOPO is giving away a discount code: 15% off an entire order: SIPPING2015, AND (Drumroll, please)

ONE FREE PAIR OF MAGNIFLYs to my selected Winner! Enter by clicking on my rafflecopter link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Starting your day off with Breath, Breakfast, and Movement!

This is it. The most important lesson anyone can teach you (or that I can teach myself).  The importance of balancing your mind, body, and spirit in the morning is so HUGE!  A lot of people who want to lose weight, or those that “really think they don’t have time” just rush into their day, their office, or their kids’ school or a playground, with nothing to eat!  That’s like, um, ahem, THE WORST thing you could do.  And if we are rushing around stressed we can also injure ourselves by not breathing or stretching properly.

Singing and running go hand in hand for me.  That’s why I have to have music.  Sometimes music can be too loud, if it’s over the nature soundtrack (birds, ocean, forest) or if it’s too distracting and you can’t hear the gym instructor (or the yogi reminding you to breathe).  I was just helping my neighbor who is taking the instructor course at Yoga House.  I don’t know anything about teaching yoga, but she happily reminds me to breathe in and breathe out, and that’s number 1!  Proper breath control helps us to sing better and run better!

My friend Melissa and her friends Jen and people from Whole Foods and Karen from The Family Room all reminded us how important it is to breathe, move, and eat a properly balanced diet before, during and after pregnancy at a prenatal workshop last week. (I’m trying to conceive, so I want to get stronger before baby comes).

So, I was super excited to be invited to a yoga event in Santa Monica a couple weeks ago.  My friends Melissa (mentioned above) and Lyndsay invited me to be a part of this beautiful morning at Exhale Spa at the Fairmont Hotel.

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Wow was it an absolute blissfully perfect day or what?!  The weather was gorgeous (we stretched on the pool deck overlooking the ocean) and we had delicious breakfast oatmeal and protein bars from Argo tea and  THINK THIN.  

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First they had free valet parking and we checked out the nice gym above the hotel.

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Then we grabbed coffee or tea, and afterwards they gave us wonderful SWAG bags with an exhale week pass!  The yoga teacher was excellent, and started out a lovely stretch for 30min. and then we ate.  But most importantly, I got to meet one of my heroes, Andrea Metcalf from the Women’s Forum! She shared with us how vital it is to start our day with a balanced breakfast and a good breathing stretch or some way to move.  She teaches amazing classes in Chicago and I got to try her video “pt2go!” where you can choose from lots of great exercises for personal trainers or training yourself.

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Slimplicity

What’s up guys? I got inspired in gym class today. Everyone is talking about their Fix, their wrap, their shakes, and their protein and I haven’t talked to you enough about my favorite life -goal-game Changer!: Reliv Intl SLIMPLICITY!

 In 2007 I was depressed and stressed and overweight. I was sick and tired, eating comfort food on the couch.

Enter Reliv’s weight loss kit, a meal replacement program that helped curb my appetite.  I got off the couch and into the gym. I Had a Personal Trainer friend from the YMCA Annie who taught me strength training for women is a great thing to do! I cycled and hiked and ran with my shepherd collie. I got my confidence back!

Now every day I maintain with Reliv’s basic nutrition but who wants to join me on the weight loss band wagon?

Or if you don’t need to lose weight if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired- contact me to find out more about this supplement. Enjoy your weekend!!

Freaky Freekeh! Product Review and GIVEAWAY!

Come, come my little friends- I would like to tell you a little story.  I have a love affair with starchy carbs. I love salads and smoothies and healthy things, but have always had a hard time saying no to breads, pastas and chips!  I should read “Grain brain” & “Wheat Belly” but haven’t gone 100% gluten free just watch my intake and try to look for sprouted goodness when possible.  *IF you are celiac or allergic, Freekeh isn’t for you.  If you limit your wheat like I try to do, freekeh is an excellent nutritional ancient grain – “Superfood” is the word for it!!  Just check out Kelli Dunn’s article on GREATIST.

I enjoyed the moist, nutty flavor (remember in “Ratatouille” how he says “Hmmm…I detect…a slight…Nuttiness!”):)  I enjoyed how easy it is to make. I even like the colorful, creative packaging.  Look what it says:

“Freekeh? What is that?
So glad you asked! 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 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.”

Fit Approach, inc. has teamed up with Freekeh Foods. I got to try not only the original but (my favorite herb) Rosemary! Freekeh is the perfect side to fish, chicken, turkey burgers, vegetables and legumes.  I would next like to try mixing it in some veggie burger recipe!!  I love the texture and nutty flavor.  I love the satisfying fullness even at half the serving size!  You can find it online or at Whole Foods and other natural health food stores.  I can’t wait to try the Tamari version!

I’d love to introduce you to it by giving away 1 package! Please comment or email or like my FB page so that I can hook you up!:) In order to win this giveaway, please:

  •  Like my FB page
  • Comment here telling me which flavor would tickle your fancy the most
  • REGram my Insta post about it:)
  • For entry methods, please include: following @freekehfoods on Twitter and Instagram, liking them on Facebook, and tweeting about the giveaway using the hashtag #getyourfreekehon

Disclosure:  I was sent two samples to try and then share the review with you.  Of course, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Quiet (in)the calm

Agitated and emotional, I ran around frantic after church. The service was great, but I internalized and looked inward, a bit too deeply.

I have been working side by side a negative person. Sometimes she can be so sweet but I feel like I never can quite measure up to her standards. So I’m constantly apologizing and feeling stressed like I’m doing a horrible job and can’t keep her happy.

I thought I felt better after yoga and talking to my sister.  Yoga calmed my rushed hurried harried mind. I slowed my breath and stretched to feel less internal judgment and more flexible and open.

Church helped me but I also felt too weary. I read an article on Burn Out in Redbook and I have a strategy now.  I am going to try to make that coworker smile or laugh just once in the morning to try and combat our personality clash.  I know I can’t please her all the time but I can be open to her helpful constructive criticism and maybe try and laugh it off instead of take it so personally like an attack. I know I’m not perfect but she isn’t my boss. She is hardworking so let’s focus on that instead of complaints or gossip or when she criticizes my lunch my hair my clothes or the way I raise my puppy. If she does correct me or give unsolicited advice get up stretch breathe and drink tea or water! Go outside. I get too stressed worried about what she thinks of me.

I learned a lot in the Blogfest. Last year I sat and compared myself and whined, “I wish I was creative or could make time to focus on good pictures or vlogs or good recipes like her!” But I didn’t do that this year.

I was so excitedly and inspired to meet certain people. Sometimes I felt rushed or overwhelmed in the expo, but then I’d meet or get inspired seeing someone workout or a new tool or piece of equipment that I’d forget everything else and just sit back and relax while I watched and learned.  I feel very frustrated when everyone lately has been giving me advice and I haven’t given them any!  I thought it was growing up in the church, but no it’s people everywhere, all the time, how to live.  I don’t tell you how to live, so please don’t try and run my life:)

I am gifted. I make patients at work feel right at home and I always smile or make sure they have what they need. I have to treat everyone (including myself and negative people)with that same kindness.

From my notes:

7/16 Katy Widrick (cutest runner mommy blogger/pregnant presenter ever!): Makemediaover.com

WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO FIT IN WHEN YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT?

ASK: Why am I special?

Yoast.  Mobile responsive design

Digests vs. daily

Analytics are important. Blog less, share more.

Become an aggregator.  Less life casting, and more Evergreen.

More of what you love, less of what you hate.

Ask and receive: Ask readers for their input and their thoughts.

Parallax

ALYSE & JAMIE (Most adorable gals of FitApproach): helpful apps: Zapier latergramme D= Download (Dwnld)

Haros, list.ly

PR Newswire

Stack Media

She knows=blogher

Chris Mohr (RD): Eat more protein the AM (and spread it around throughout your day, don’t leave it until a big heavy dinner).

7/17: TRAIN WITH BAIN (Elizabeth the lawyer and my running bud/friend!)

Registering a trademark is usually very expensive.

Copyrights are good for 100 years.

Your own rights to publicize or display.  Since 1710.

Fanfic and slash? Counterpoint?

DMCA Twitter Example: Suicide girls/Richard Prince/instagram Chillingeffects.org

[edit: “Big Eyes” movie]

Take Away: Mail in a 3×5 card.

Here I wrote in big letters: GABBY REECE!!!  (I’m a big fan since childhood. Her workout was super tough and it was awesome!)

Any fitness is good – whatever works for you.  Her gym closed so she rented a community center room, charged people like $1-5. The 20 yo’s said “Oh that’s what sixties looks like!”

Once you’re training: Training is still movement.

Guy tells her “Oh you’re just doing the mom thing?”

She’s heard all the excuses

Interview with Jill Brown (from HUFF PO): Don’t complain.  Use what you have to the Best of your ability.

Cecille Renod (her coach): Personal Accountability

Kern Walsh

Tough (not so personal/sensitive)

When injured stay off inflammatory foods!

Learning to breathe

“Natural Born Heroes” book. Functional training

Cell phone neck!

Acceptance is a big part of life. Don’t overcriticize yourself.

If she wasn’t a model or pro athlete: A writer! Or do some kind of manual labor.

Nun – learning cursive helps ADD kids to concentrate.

How do you encourage movement in your kids? (JUST PLAY!) Nutrition: It’s a battle.  Eat this, not always that

Teach by example

Kids don’t listen they watch.

Eat your sugar (FRUIT) not drink it (soda etc).

Is it fun? Don’t force sports.  Perspective is so important.

Jessica Matthews: How blogging has changed

Look up blogger on Urban dictionary!( HAHA)

Micro blog

blog focused

List focused (gathering names)
Subscription fee?
Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sacks

1.Tell the truth

2.Be interesting

3.Live the truth

Propel/Gunnar Peterson: BEFORE a workout: banana or something light During: Gatorade (if you earn it – after a 45min. strenuous workout, not everyday all day just a 30min walk!) AFTER: Most important: mix of protein and carbs

If it gets you from doing nothing to moving don’t knock It! [That’s what Reliv is for me!]

SEO:

THICK high quality content

Button or Advanced SEO positions

NoFollow

No index for better crawl budget (a lot of pics)

Affiliate links > Nofollow so you don’t get penalized.

Define personas

Audience profiles

goinflow.com

READ OTHER BLOGS. TOFU: Top of Funnel

MOFU: Middle funnel

BOFU: Bottom funnel

Social Locker

Adsense/analytics

Google’s keyword planner tool

G’s suggest

G’s Auto fill

G’s Trends

Image alt tags

Meta title

URL

Byline

Meta description<so important

Images

ONE heading (H1) maybe a few tags

Header 2, copy. Not too many cluttered borders or headers

Never ever keyword stuffing or buy links!

Content Audit

Which low performing posts can be nonindexed?

Hire a SEO Company like PPC Yoast Moz (whiteboard Fridays Moz recommended)

Infuse Inbound Marketing

Laura, Katy, and Kathleen: MSW

RRCA

Sugar Addict

Coach tab (services)

Build a newsletter list

Share testimonials/Client Experiences

Mailchimp

Consistency: Helpful content, ways to utilize

Opt in with auto responder

Business plan

1:1 coaching

group coaching

Amanda Vogel (I’m a big fan): Strategize your tweet

Post organically not from IG app etc. [I do this all the time]

CANVA

@mentions vs @replies

Lists: curated group

Create member or subscribe

Social listening

Twitter advanced search

search recommend fitness blog?

-http (minus links)

IFTTT.com

#strategy (hashtags)

1.research 2. collate 3.customize

#fittech tagboard.com

#yourownblog [#spillingcoffeen]

1. strategize tweet format

2.create lists & saved search streams

3.hashtag strategy

Thanks I know this was long. It helped me think and process – and I found I learned a lot of helpful things!! Please don’t hesitate to comment, email, or let me know your thoughts – I won’t take it personally!!!:)