A few end of February favorites
Hi, beautiful friends! How are you? I’m doing well over here during this very short week. Dave was off on Monday, so we had an extended weekend, and today, we’re heading out of town (details coming soon)!
Before we go, I wanted to pop in and share some of my latest favorites, which I like to do once a week to round up some things that have been making me happy. Here we go …
Sign up for the Free “Get Your Sexy Back, Mama! Summit”
I’m so excited to share that I’m part of a very cool online interview series called the “Get Your Sexy Back, Mama! Summit,” all about teaching busy ladies how to love yourself and live a truly enriched and healthy life! The summit is totally free and kicks off on February 26, and you don’t have to be an official “mama” to get a lot of great information from it.
So what’s this summit about? It’s going to help you see past the sometimes impossible and overwhelming world of getting and staying healthy, with advice from experts who have been there and done that — and it’s hosted by Jessica Joy, a coach and a friend of mine, whom I had the pleasure of first meeting at BlogFest in L.A. a few years ago.
Jessica has interviewed more than 20 experts, including little old me — and there are some big names, like fitness star Natalie Jill, movement expert Jen Esquer, Dr. Michelle Sands, registered dietitian Whitney English, business-woman Jamie King and many more, who are all sharing advice for busy women to get and stay energized and to feel amazing. You can watch these interviews at home, in your office or on the go, and once again, this is totally free! You’ve got nothing to lose by signing up!
Here are some highlights of what you can expect from the video interviews:
- Simple routines for self-care that will drastically increase your self-trust and self-love, body-positivity, and reduce stress and mental chaos
- Questions you can ask yourself to powerfully shift to an empowering mindset
- How to tune in to your body to give it what it truly needs, instead of forcing the wrong types or amounts of food and exercise that leave you more stressed, tired and frustrated
- How to replace the stress of dieting and deprivation with intuitive and loving methods for lasting health and weight-loss
- How to stop emotional and binge eating – why you do it, and what to do about it so you can finally stop sabotaging your health
- How to rebalance your adrenals, thyroid and improve digestion for more energy, focus and natural weight-loss
- How to add more pleasure into your life, increase your sex-drive and enjoy sex more
- Simple strategies to seamlessly fit health into your schedule
- How to teach yourself to love exercise (This is what I’m talking about!)
It was so fun to do the video interview with Jessica. And I’d love for you to benefit from all of the insight she gathered doing interviews with so many awesome people as well.
Sign up for the series here, and let me know what you think! I’ll be watching all of the other interviews too once it kicks off next week.
Create-your-own custom protein bars with The Bar Shack
Truth be told, as a blogger, I get to try a lot of products, and they often don’t make it onto the blog if I’m not a fan. So when the founder of The Bar Shack reached out to me about creating my own custom protein bar, well — I was crossing my fingers that I would like the experience, because it sounded really cool — also, because The Bar Shack is a company based out of my old home of Orlando, Florida, I had to give it a go.
My friends, not only did I like it, I loved it. It was SO fun and easy to make my own pack of bars, they were delivered just a couple days later to my door, and they taste amazing! I even got to name the bar and choose the color of the label. For a snack person like me, this was right up my alley.
Here’s how it works: You go to the website and decide whether you want to create a protein bar, gourmet bar or a “cheat day” bar, and you know I had to do the “cheat day” one. Then, the system guides you along with categories of ingredients for each, based on the type of bar you want to create. As you add ingredients, you can watch a real-time nutrition label update to see how your creation is stacking up for calories, fat, etc.. And even though mine was a cheat bar, the label wasn’t bad at all, so I’m just considering it a regular everyday snack. Here’s what I chose to include in my bar, per each category …
- Boosters: Cinnamon, flaxseed powder
- Dried fruits: Banana, coconut
- Flavor and texture enhancers: Cacao nibs, coconut oil, sea salt, coconut mana
- Nut and seed butter: Cashew butter
- Nuts and seeds: Brazil nuts, chia seeds
- Protein powder: Brown rice protein
- Protein bar base: Original, datey and soft
After I selected my ingredients, I named my bar the “Nutty Banana Coconut Bar,” chose the label, and that was that. The box arrived a couple of days later to my doorstep, and the bars are so darn tasty, with just the right amount of texture and a perfectly coconut flavor. I guess I chose well! (Also, they are under 250 calories each and have 10 grams of protein, woohoo!)
I think this would be a SUPER cool gift for the foodie in your life. It’s $42 for a box of bars and shipping is an extra $8 — so you’re looking at $50 for the whole deal — 12 bars in total, thats about $4 a bar. And yes, that’s pricey, but oftentimes cleaner bars cost about that much anyhow. And it’s fun to do and a great way to customize your own bar if you have dietary restrictions too. I don’t know why nobody thought of this sooner, quite frankly. (Edited to add: Use the code GOESWEST for free shipping!)
The bars are shelf-stable, but would do better when refrigerated if you think it will take you more than two months to eat them. Not a problem over here, as we’re going through them quickly and have four packed for our weekend trip.
Thanks to The Bar Shack for letting me make a batch, and you can find out more about The Bar Shack here.
Styling in Hot pink Mizuno Wave Sonic shoes
You can never have too many sneakers, right? I’m actually currently at a point where I barely have enough sneakers. I have the amazing custom ones Dave bought me for my birthday, which are my go-tos for training, I have my everyday walking New Balance shoes, and lately I’ve been sporting these Mizuno Wave Sonic sneaks a lot. I was sent these to review — and you’ve probably seen them in pictures on the blog before.
First off — I love the color and look of these shoes, because they have just the right amount of brightness. Second of all — these shoes are very comfortable. They are so light and airy, so it’s like you’re walking on a cushion. And your toes can wiggle around just enough to keep them happy.
I’ve been wearing these for walks with friends (because my older everyday walking shoes don’t go out in public), and for the occasional gym trip. Now, these are technically running shoes, so I’d definitely try them out on the treadmill, however, because the profile is so low, you can do some minor weight-training in them. I’ve done squats, lunges, power walking and plenty of upper-body work wearing them. I wouldn’t, however, wear them for any lateral movement, cardio classes or major weightlifting though. For cardio classes, you’d want a shoe with more cross-training side-to-side ankle support, and for major weightlifting, you’d want a flatter shoe. Either way, these Mizuno Wave Sonic shoes look good and feel good!
Thanks to my friends at Mizuno for sending them along!
Sweating it up in a weekday BODYPUMP session
Because Dave was off on Monday, I took advantage of the child-care and went to a BODYPUMP class in the mid-morning (one that I used to go to regularly before Brady arrived), and it felt SO good to be there. However, it was super crowded, and getting and putting away my equipment was a nightmare — I got knocked around a few times in the battle for bars (you know what I mean?). I forgot what it was like to work out in crowds, as I’ve been alone in my living room every day of the week for the past few months.
Red face much? I’m not back to my pre-baby weights (or pre-baby weight, for that matter), but I’m feeling better with every single workout. Slowly, but surely is my postpartum philosphy. More on my postpartum journey here, in case you missed it.
But truthfully, getting to go to the gym is a total luxury now (outside of the weekly Saturday barre class I teach), and I SOAK it up! For my friends out there who have a gym membership that you’re currently taking for granted — use it, enjoy it, and sweat it up! Do it for me! 🙂
Filling up on a delicious and colorful lunch
And I just had to share this plate, because I had the same thing for lunch every day this week, and I literally can’t get enough of this combo …
So much good stuff! Two Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, a whole avocado, kimchi, two Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs, and some crackers covered in sunflower butter (on this day I used sunflower butter, but I used tahini on the crackers the other days) — all covered in Trader Joe’s everything-but-the-bagel seasoning, nutritional yeast and turmeric. I love food!
Best reads of the week …
- REAL LIFE: Have you guys ever read The Skinny Confidential blog? I’ve been reading it here and there for a couple of years, but I always listen to The Skinny Confidential podcast — so much TMI and realness, because Lauryn says the things we’re all too scared to say. Well, I was pretty moved by this post she wrote this week on her blog about her history with trauma. Real stuff.
- DIETING: I think the reason I don’t track macros or carbs or anything like that is because it just seems so restrictive and strict and unnatural. Maybe I would change my tune if I did track and instantly saw results with leaning out? But for now, I’ll just eat what I like to eat, when I like to eat it. Anywho, this post on why you shouldn’t diet is a good one.
- FITNESS: Here’s a great 30-minute full-body workout I completed this week. Loved the way the circuits were set up to add a move each time. If you do it, make sure you stay through the stretch at the end!
- FOOD: Hope you didn’t miss this one from earlier in the week about my top 10 favorite clean and simple store-bought healthy snacks, which I worked on for my friends at Whole Foods Market 365. Check it out and let me know what you think!
- SWEETS: Loved this round-up of the healthiest cookies on the market. Yay sugar!
That’ll do it for today, my friends! I’ll tell you where we’re going over on Instagram later today, and I’ll tell you why I hadn’t told you yet too (oh and I’m also posting a collagen giveaway too, so don’t miss it)! Be good!Need a little entertainment? Check out these end of February faves on A Lady Goes West today ... Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What are you up to this weekend?
Are you going to sign up for the summit?
How many pairs of sneakers do you own?
Oh I haven’t heard of The Bar Shack, that sounds so fun to create and name your own bar. Happy traveling! We’re heading out for a dinner night out tonight then just hanging out the rest of the weekend. 🙂
It’s SO fun to create your own bar! 🙂 Have such a wonderful weekend, lady! 🙂
What a cool idea from The Bar Shack. I definitely need to check that out.
And thanks for your list of suggested reads. I’m going to look into a few of those for sure.
Happy Friday, Lady! Xo
Hi Court! Happy Friday, my friend!! 🙂 I hope your weekend is both fun and relaxing!
Thank you for sharing my link, Ashley. Have fun on your trip this weekend!
Thanks for writing such a great piece, Sarah! 🙂
Congrats on the summit, I am going to check it out, sounds awesome! Those bars would make such a cool gift, I think my brother would love that! Have a nice trip.
You definitely should sign up for the summit, Emily! Happy Friday! 🙂
That summit sounds great! Jessica is awesome (and so are you!)
And so are YOU, Susie! I feel like online videos are something you can totally do while taking care of a baby heheh — although comprehension isn’t so easy these baby-brain days, right? Happy Friday, lady!
Ok, I need to check out The Bar Shack. Being able to create your own customer protein bar is genius! Oh and those shoes…love!
Hi Melissa! Happy Friday to you!! What would be your top ingredients in your custom bar?? 🙂
Yesterday I did a funny goof. I was replying to Courtney’s blog and address it to Ashley. I tried to explain it that I have so many friends blogs (two) that I follow that I can’t keep them straight. Or just blame it on my age. No wonder a woman has so many shoes. You have a shoe for every class. I have four pair of shoes in the excercise field. I have a pair of good running shoes, pair for working out in, and when they get to worn out become my yard work shoes. I even have a new pair of running shoes still in the box ready to go. Of course all my shoes are New Balance. I don’t think a man takes as good care of their feet as a woman. Our feet takes a beating.
We are heading Monday and Tuesday to Clarmont Fl for college softball tourny. This will be our fourth trip there which means our niece is a senior. They come down from Indiana each spring to play in this tourny.
Have a great weekend.
Hi Richard! You need to pull out your new sneakers and wear them soon! I’m guilty of keeping new shoes in the box for too long too hehehe! And that’s too funny you called Courtney, Ashley! She is so sweet, there’s no one better to make that mistake on. 🙂 Have a great weekend and enjoy your trip to Clermont for the games! 🙂