Review: vega sport

Hello!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted – I’ve been swamped with work! In between working way too many shifts, I’ve been trying to find a place to live come fall. Fortunately, all that hard work and back-to-back appointments with realtors paid off – I officially have an apartment in Boston! I’m moving in with the girlfriend, who is working a corporate job in the Boston area as I go to law school. The apartment is great – a spacious one bedroom on a lovely, tree-lined street off of Commonwealth. It’s a bit over 30 minutes commute for her, and a little over 20 minutes commute for me – very close to the T! One of the best parts? In addition to being conveniently located and close to lots of stores, restaurants, and pharmacies, it is a mere FIVE MINUTE walk to Whole Foods! My life just got so much easier (though I better start clipping coupons now, haha).

In all the craziness and the total exhaustion and the lack of days off, it has taken me until the very last minute to finally get to reviewing products I received through my affiliation with Sweat Pink.

Earlier this month, the fine folks at Vega Sport gave me and a few other Sweat Pink ambassadors the opportunity to review items from their Vega Sport line. Vega is in the midst of its 2014 “Fuel Your Better” campaign to help athletes of all backgrounds nourish themselves for maximum performance. Being the busy gym rat I am, I was of course was thrilled to get a package full of Vega Sport protein powders in the mail!

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I was sent a pack of 12 vanilla-flavored performance protein powder packets. Each packet is generously sized and perfectly portioned to add to 8 or so ounces of liquid – perfect for people like me who are constantly on the go!

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So I took my trusty blender bottle and threw some rice milk in it, and then dumped in the powder. It blended flawlessly (just add powder AFTER!), thanks in part to the blender bottle.

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I was skeptical – I like the idea of protein powders in theory, but often not in practice. In terms of taste, I was pretty impressed. I think I might actually prefer the “natural” flavor (that I sweeten with honey or agave) that I’ve tried from other Vega lines, but the vanilla is definitely pretty tasty – and this is from someone who doesn’t like stevia (the natural sweetener used in the powder)! As for the content? Simply unbeatable. Vega Sport powders boast a whopping 26 GRAMS OF PROTEIN – that’s over 50% of an average person’s daily protein needs! The best part? None of this comes from any “frankenfoods”, unlike many protein powders out there. There isn’t even any soy or whey protein, and instead this impressive amount of protein comes entirely from peas, SaviSeed (sacha inchi), whole grain brown rice, and alfalfa. 

Vega Sport is evidence that a plant-based diet is not incompatible with a seriously active life. As a self-conscious person who doesn’t eat meat, Vega’s dedication to natural, whole ingredients is super appealing.

The bottom line? Go out and try it! I’m definitely going to try chocolate and the natural flavor, as well as any other flavors that are available. I plan on making this a regular part of my recovery routine – especially after strength training!

Peace, sweat and love,

G

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Memorial Day and “Aha!” moments

Hi friends!

Happy Memorial Day! Go out there and enjoy those Memorial Day sales, but remember why we have this day, too. No matter what you think about the military and current/past military projects, remember that there are men and women who fought and died out of their love for their country.

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So over at Fit Approach, new Sweat Pink Ambassadors such as myself are asked to share their “Aha!” moment, or their inspiration to live healthfully. I figured maybe the folks over here not associated with Sweat Pink might want to read it too! Either way, I’ve included it all below. 🙂

*Trigger Warning: discussion of eating disorders*

Like many of you, I did not simply experience one moment that changed my life. I didn’t suddenly come to my senses, so to speak, and turn my life around. In fact, it has been nothing but a series of slow movements forward, and a few obligatory steps backward, that have made up my journey. It was a journey that I actually never wanted to make in the beginning.

A number of you (but certainly not all of you!) found your respective ways to fitness and balanced living because of weight gain. I actually came to fitness because of serious weight loss. I struggled with an eating disorder that ruled my life (and threatened to take my life) from middle school onward. Essentially I was baseline ill from the 7-8th grade until my junior year of high school when things became dangerous for me. I lost about a third of my body weight – which was alarming and staggeringly unhealthy for someone who was never “overweight” by any measurement. I hated myself and I took it out on my battered body.

I was lucky enough to have an extremely involved and supportive set of friends and family to come to the rescue. These people quite literally saved my life. I also benefitted tremendously from medical intervention, both physical (nutritionist appointments, weigh-ins) and psychological (therapy appointments) in nature.

The closest thing I have to an “aha!” moment that I can recall is moment during a therapy session when my therapist told me that former anorexics often end up being overweight. As a very sick and disbelieving teenager, I snorted at this comment at first, but then realized its significance. It’s because their bodies can no longer handle the starvation, she told me. They either kill themselves slowly or, when they finally begin eating normally again, cannot maintain a normal weight.

However shallow it may be, this is what finally got through to me through my sickness. I realized that the choices my ED was making for me were in no way sustainable. I realized that my ED didn’t make me more beautiful or special, it made me sick and it encouraged me to ignore everything else that actually did make me beautiful and special. I realized that this was my life, and I had to, well, begin living it.

Recovery was slow. Very, very slow. In fact, I’m not sure recovery ever stops. But I made it here, and today I can run and ride horses and do all the things that I was too weak to do when I was at my sickest.

So, today I sweat. And I eat when I am hungry. Sometimes I even eat just because I want to. That is what my healthy looks like, and I am so, so grateful that I am here today to share it with all of you.

Peace, sweat and love,

G

A Highly Belated Update

You guys. I have been SO BAD. My last blog post is from February 8th. It’s March 1st! Harumph. I know there’s not anything I can do about it, but stiiiiillll…

I am just coming off of the busiest of weeks. It’s ~*midterm season*~ so I’ve been totally blessed with huge amounts of work + extracurriculars + jobs + trying to make it to the gym + feeling slightly under the weather + not sleeping enough.

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So as I write this, I am currently sitting slumped in my bed like a burned-out college zombie catching up on blogs I follow, attempting to figure out how to write such a belated update, and eating delicious yogurt.

I don't know what constitutes "Australian style" yogurt, but I do know that this organic banana vanilla flavor is delicious.

I don’t know what constitutes “Australian style” yogurt, but I do know that this organic banana vanilla flavor is delicious.

I think the best way to catch up in my blogging absence is stick to the handy ABC- format. So, What have I been doing between now and my last post?

A) Celebrating Valentine’s Day with my lady 🙂 I, of course, was not going to mess up our Valentine’s Day/Anniversary (we like to call it Vanniversary), so I made reservations at a fancy restaurant in December. Naturally, I was feeling like I pretty awesome girlfriend/human.

How the gf woke me up on Feb 14 <3

How the gf woke me up on Feb 14 ❤

We dined at Bondir in Cambridge where they offered a crazy prix fixe menu. I wasn’t able to get any decent food pictures because they had dimmed the lights for a romantic atmosphere, but suffice it to say that it was so delicious that my all-American, sandwich-loving gf ate snails and liked them (as did I!).

Pre-dinner selfies

Pre-dinner selfies

B) I finally bought new sneakers. I went to a local running store and they did a gait analysis, and apparently despite my flat duck feet, I do not over-pronate and have a pretty neutral, normal gait. Great news! I still went for my tried-and-true Nike Lungarglide, this time updated from my old and desperately worn out Lunarglide 4’s to the Lungarglide 5. It’s already so, so much better. My old sneakers were so bad that even just putting them on and walking around in them would make my shins start to ache! These new shoes feel like amazing, arch-supporting clouds on my feet.

I bought them in black - goes with everything! And I like to be creative/bright with the rest of my fitness ensembles ;)

I bought them in black – goes with everything! And I like to be creative/bright with the rest of my fitness ensembles 😉

C) I went running! Finally, with the help of my new shoes, I am experiencing barely any shin pain. That, and I’m making sure to put the new Pro Compression socks and Trigger Point foam roller to good use (they couldn’t arrive soon enough!).

D) I went to yoga. I’m in love with the fact that Lululemon stores hold free yoga classes – crucial to a college student/athlete like myself who can’t afford the expense of yoga classes! I’d love to go again tomorrow, but we’ll see how things work out.

Bad off-to-yoga-class selfies FTW!

Bad off-to-yoga-class selfies FTW!

E) I treated myself.

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I found of the the Cool Racerbacks from Lululemon on sale – $29 as compared to the usal $42. Feeling pretty good about being fabulous but also thrifty.

Best part? I'd been eyeing this cute color combo for a while.

Best part? I’d been eyeing this cute color combo for a while.

F) I fueled my body. I gave myself healthful, nourishing foods, but also remembered to let myself live and enjoy food, not fear it. In honor of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I give a big middle finger to the ED that used to rule my life. My favorite means of doing so? Brunch.

A gruyère, mushroom, and fresh spinach omelette, homefries, and a raw-sugar encrusted scone topped off w/ organic coffee and fresh grapefruit juice. HEAVEN.

A gruyère, mushroom, and fresh spinach omelette, homefries, and a raw-sugar encrusted scone topped off w/ organic coffee and fresh grapefruit juice. HEAVEN.

Peace, sweat and love.

G

A post of gratitude

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Look at that! 363 of you read my post about the Wellesley sleepwalker. THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE. My blog started with a grand total of about 7 views.

More important than just clicks, of course, are the reactions that I got to my piece. People called me, sent me messages, with a spectrum of positive reactions ranging from tears to (unfounded) apologies. I even had one fellow survivor come out to me and tell me that my words had validated her own feelings about this debacle, and thanked me for sharing them. I was scared to do so, but I am so glad that I did in fact share these words.

This, then, is a post of gratitude and of humble admiration for you all. Thank you for your kindness and your support. By telling me that you appreciated my words, you made me feel appreciated and validated the complex set of emotions I’ve been dealing with all week. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am simply overjoyed that at least one person found peace in my writing.

In other (good) news, I have started running again! Another thing to be grateful for 🙂

I am about 4 weeks from my next 5k and really want to beat my PR. If I can, I would also like to come in under 30 minutes (about 9:40 pace). It’s definitely doable for me –  I just need to work on those hills and get off the treadmill… But the crazy amount of snow has totally been messing up those plans, in addition to my sad little shin splints! Finally ran yesterday, easy 3 mile tempo run, and felt AMAZING.

ah-mah-zing I practically leapt off the treadmill beaming with joy. I’m trying to be more conscious about how I land, and so far the pain in my left shin is better, but unfortunately still present at times. I’ve already done the responsible (and expensive *sadface*) thing and invested in some Pro Compression socks in the cutest Valentine’s day print that Run Eat Repeat included in a recent blog post. Also, because it’s me, I bought them 40% (saving a significant $20 off the hefty price tag of $50 – nice!).

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I love them already! Can’t wait to wear them 🙂

I also made another recovery investment in a foam roller. Groupon was offering a discounted Trigger Point “The GRID” mini foam roller at about 30% off, so I snagged it at its sale price, because these things simply don’t go on sale. The mini size appealed to me as a beginner, and because of how travel-friendly it is.

GRID Mini - Multiple Large

I bought it in pink because, duh.

Reviews to come soon!

I’ll definitely have to look into different running shoes – likely my old sneakers are the cause of my newly problematic shins. I’m not complaining (well, except about the price tag…), but I just need to do some research on good, stable running shoes for novice-intermediate runners with absurdly flat duck feet. Any suggestions? I’ve been using the Nike Lunar Glide 4, and have really loved them to what appears to be their death.

xoxo,

G