Conundrum Hot Springs Backpacking Weekend

I was craving a backpacking getaway weekend, and so I booked a ticket to Colorado to go hiking with my best friend from college, Betsy, and my sister, Jenny. I flew in to Denver Thursday night after work, and Betsy picked me up from the airport. We had some girl talk before we hit the hay.

Friday morning and I went for a run in City Park. It is beautiful. I was LOVING all the greenness, everywhere! I had to run 8 miles for my training for the Temecula Half marathon I’m running at the end of October. It was fun to be at a higher altitude (although Denver isn’t in the mountains, but it’s still higher than sea level), but because it’s flat, I was running sooooo much faster than my typical min/mile in San Diego. I averaged 9min/miles for all 8 miles. It felt great!

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After that, I had a little photo shoot with Betsy’s kitties, before heading to a local coffee shop to get some work done.

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There is the cutest bike shop/coffee/bar a few blocks from Betsy’s house, called the Denver Bicycle Café. I got some good work done there, and then had lunch at The District next door. My lunch was amazing! I had a delicious sandwich and a Strongbow for lunch. J I was lovin’ it. Then headed back to Betsy’s to get some more work done.

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Took a nap at around 5, before Betsy got home at 6. Oh my goodness. I hadn’t taken a nap since probably before I got employed again. It felt sooooo good. I was knocked out cold. Then we cleaned up and headed to REI to get some last minute stuff for our weekend backpacking trip.

We had dinner at the coolest place, Linger. I’m obsessed with it. The food was fantastic, and they have a really cool rooftop bar. The bar is a “food truck” bar. Who knows how they got it on the roof, but it’s awesome. Then it was home to pack our backpacks for our hike. My sister drove down from Fort Collins late Friday night, and slept at Betsy’s, so that we could all wake up early Saturday morning and drive to Aspen together.

I had never been to Aspen, and was excited to see a part of Colorado I hadn’t seen, because I have been nearly everywhere else. The drive was beautiful, and all the Aspen trees were starting to turn yellow. It truly felt like fall. Sometimes I miss the seasons living out in San Diego, but I just LOVE the ocean. We parked at the trailhead, grabbed our bags, and started walking. :)

 

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I was soooo excited to disconnect from the digital world for a bit, and just be in nature. No headphones, no phone, no t.v, nothing. Just Betsy, Jenny, and I and nature. I LOVE to camp and hike, and hadn’t done so in too long. Every step of the hike, I just felt so in love with nature. It was beautiful. Betsy had been wanting to do this hike, and I was of course so excited to do it too. She had picked out a hike that takes you to these beautiful natural hot springs up in the mountains. We couldn’t wait to get on our swimsuits and sit in the beauty of nature. The hike is 9 miles to the hot springs (8 miles to the start of campsites). It is 2,400 feet of climbing, and we had to cross rivers and waterfalls. We had our balance challenged a few times, and I just couldn’t get enough. All I could think is I need to do this more often. After a little over 4hrs of hiking, we got to the Conundrum Hot Springs, and it was packed. It was seriously like a party on top of a mountain. It was crazy! Everyone was camping, and sitting in these beautiful hot springs. I just love that everyone had to do this amazing hike to get there. It was cool to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who love being in nature and adventures and fitness! So, we got on our suits and hopped in with everyone else!

 

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Because it was like a mini-city, it was tough to find a campsite. We ended up having to camp in a non-designated camping area, just like a few others, but we got to sleep to the sounds of the rushing rapids of the river. It was unreal. Seriously, I thought, is this real? Is this real life? We get to do this! How amazing.

 

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It started to rain while we were in the hot springs, so after a few hard ciders, and people starting to get naked. Haha. Yes. It’s a “hippie” hot spring, where nudity is allowed if you so choose. We headed back down to our campsite to cook dinner in the dark and the rain. My sister brought a mini stove, and we had bought dehydrated meals where we just add water. And let me tell you, they were soooo good! Seriously. Sooo good. We had garlic mashed potatoes for all of us to share. My sister had pasta primavera, and Betsy and I split Meat Sauce Lasagna and White Bean Chicken Chili. I was shocked at how good the meals were. And we had Bananas Foster for dessert. After our bellies were happy, we climbed into our tents, and listened to the rain and the river. My dream. I just love falling asleep to any kind of water. It’s so peaceful and soothing, and just makes me happy. It was pretty cold. I slept in a hat, long sleeve, long pants, tall ski socks, and a down jacket. And then snuggled into my sleeping bag (I had borrowed Betsy’s friend’s sleeping pad, which man those things have come a loooong way, they are like mini air mattresses, haha.) I fell asleep pretty fast.

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It stopped raining during the night, but then as soon as we woke up at 6:45am, it started raining again. And all I could think about was how much I was loving it. I just love the rain. It felt good, and made me feel alive. We packed up our tents and backpacks in the rain, and then headed out onto the trail again. It was pretty muddy, but beautiful. 9 ½ miles later (longer on the way back because we got a ride from where we parked to the trailhead, and this time we had to hike to the car), we were back at the car and in reality. Stopped at Whole Foods for a warm sandwich on the way back to Denver, stopped by Betsy’s real quick to pick up some of my stuff, and then straight to the airport. Haha. Didn’t even have a chance to shower. I’m sure the people on the plane are loving how I smell. ;) (I’m writing this on the plane right now)

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It was a short trip, but it was just what my soul needed. A weekend in nature with some of my favorites. I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully soon! And it makes me sooo excited to go camping and hiking in Thailand. Ahhhh! Only 2 months til I leave!

If you are looking for a rad hike to do, I highly recommend doing this one. It was an unbelievable hike and the hot springs are worth it! The party was awesome, but I would love to do it again on a weekday when there are less people, and we could have the hot springs all to ourselves. I bet it is crazy tranquil and lovely.

What a fun weekend! I hope you all had a good weekend too!

Xoxo!

Katie

Weekday Wardrobe

 

 

This week’s weekday wardrobe! I got a NEW StitchFix box this week. I still LOVE getting my boxes. In fact, I get them more frequently now, because I love adding new things to my wardrobe. It just makes me feel fresh, and excited about what I’m wearing, and makes me feel confident and sexy. If you are interested in trying StitchFix, feel free to use my referral code here. :)

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Top – DanielRainn (StitchFix) // Joe’s Jeans // Tom’s

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Top – StitchFix (don’t have my cheat sheet with me, here in Colorado – so don’t know the brand) // Jeans – StitchFix // Toms

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Top – StitchFix // American Eagle Jeans // Target Sandals

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Top – StitchFix // Pants – StitchFix // Toms

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Top – SunDiego // Shorts – StitchFix // Toms

Solo Travel Adventures

Being the baby in the family, I always have been well, babied. And, so I never really have been given the opportunity to travel by myself. Not only that, but financially, to be honest, I haven’t always had the luxury to travel by myself. And when I say travel by myself, I mean everything from taking the flight alone, to touring a city/country solo, and not just for one night, like a week of backpacking, or a two week vacay in Europe, whatever it is, just something where you can explore solo.

When I moved out to San Diego three years ago, that was my first really big independent move. Growing up, I have always been really close with my parents, brother, and sister. In fact, when I was a kid, I told my mom how I was going to go to college at the community college right down the street from our house, because I never wanted to leave home. And even when it came to college, I honestly, wasn’t interested in going somewhere where my parents couldn’t easily come visit. It was still a 4 ½-5 ½ hr drive depending on traffic from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to DePauw University in good ol’ Greencastle, Indiana, but it was the perfect distance where if I wanted to go home, or needed my parents they could easily come visit. Also, they barely missed a single soccer game, because I was within driving distance. It was the perfect taste of being off on my own. But, then after college, I moved to Chicago, and my parents were a 90min drive away. I liked it that way, but the truth was, I never saw myself in Chicago long term, and my mind, body, and soul craved the ocean and the sunshine. And the second I stepped on the beach in San Diego, my soul felt at home. I never felt more like myself, and I never felt more comfortable. I was surrounded by tons of like-minded individuals who loved health, fitness, and the outdoors.

 

So, I moved out to San Diego, with no job, no friends, and it was definitely the start of my true independence. I still see my family at least 2-3x a year, let’s be honest probably even 4-5x a year. It was a rocky start, I needed a job, and I wanted to make friends of course. But, within a few months, I was employed and started making friends. But, San Diego, somehow was familiar to me. I had visited there before, but it also was right in my comfort zone. It was my dream to live here.

This is the first photo I took when I moved to California.

 First Pic I took in CA

I am turning 30 in 2 months, and well, I may have moved all the way across the country, but I have never truly vacationed by myself, or gone on a solo adventure. I’m a really social person, but I love being by myself too. I love to just be inside my head, write, explore, get my camera out and shoot photos, and just kind of do my thing. I got a little taste of a solo adventure when I went to Miami back in March. I went to Miami to visit a friend for her going away party. She had lived in Miami since college, and she was moving, and I had never been to the Miami before, so I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to go, because I had heard great things. Since, I was unemployed at the time, I decided to go for nearly a whole week, so that I could explore. She had to work, so it was perfect. I stayed with her, but for the most part, I went exploring during the day. It was so much fun! I just loved it.

Exploring Miami

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That’s when I decided, I wanted to take a BIG solo trip to celebrate my 30th birthday and ring in this new decade. Sooooo much has happened in my 20’s.

  • College
  • Living in Chicago with some of my best friends
  • Started my own personal training business
  • Dated a guy for 4 yrs and lived with him for 2yrs, and then broke up.
  • Moved out to San Diego
  • Got my dream job in Social Media
  • Started two blogs (which is now merged into this one)
  • Completed 4 marathons, qualified and ran the Boston marathon
  • Completed 4 ironmans, 10 half ironmans
  • Fell in love a few times
  • Laid off twice from work
  • Became an aunt

I learned that 20’s are a big decade for change, growth, growing pains, and discovering who you are and what you want.

I’m hoping that I can take all the things that I’ve learned in my 20’s and apply them to my 30’s and truly live the life that I want to live. So, I want to kick that off with pushing my limits and stepping outside of my comfort zone. It is time for a true solo adventure, and that is why I booked a 12 day trip to Thailand!!! I am soooo excited about it. It’s scary and thrilling and exciting all at the same time. I have traveled other countries plenty:

  • Spain 5x
  • Dominican Republic 2x
  • Mexico 4x
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama 4x
  • Peru
  • Canada (I lost count)
  • British Virgin Islands (2x)

I speak Spanish pretty well, and so I honestly feel comfortable traveling to any Spanish speaking country. I wanted to go somewhere that would really challenge me. I had been looking for cool getaways on Groupon, when a trip to Thailand stood out to me. But, in addition to going somewhere I’d never been, and somewhere that had a culture I had never experienced, a language I didn’t speak, I wanted to do a trip where I could be active. I love hiking, backpacking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, running, you name it, and there is no other way I would want to see a country. Museums are cool and all, but I’d rather get outside and see the beauty of a country. And well, there is NO WAY I could go on a 12 day trip and not get some type of physical exercise, I would go crazy!!!

I had googled “solo adventure trips” and a National Geographic article came up with the top 5 outfitters/travel companies that offered trips that did not require you to have a partner to sign up with you. The one I landed on and loved the most was: Intrepid Travel. What I loved was not only that they offered TONS of Active trips full of lots of physical activity (you can even rank how physical you want your trip to be, and it sorts trips that way), but it was affordable, they organize everything, and you are with a group the whole time. It’s kind of like camp but in a foreign country. I’m excited to meet new people, and experience a new country and culture!

Some photos of some of the places I’m going to be visiting.

Photo from: www.travelfrombangkok.com

Kanchanaburi Photo from: http://www.travelfrombangkok.com

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Chiang Mai – intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com

Side Note: I know there is a civil war that is about to break out any second there, and that there are lots of protests going on. I’m also aware that it’s dangerous to go anywhere alone there. My brother’s company has an office there, and he has been there a bunch, and has informed me of how to be safe, so don’t worry. I also will have a group leader the entire time, and the itinerary has already been created, and travel/sleep/activity/food arrangements have already been made, as well. All I have to do is show up, and keep my wits about me. :)

So, in two months, I take off to Thailand for a 12 day “solo” adventure with people I don’t know, in a country I don’t know, and where I don’t speak the language. I’m ready to learn, grow, and enjoy the beauty that Thailand has to offer.

If you are interested in learning more about the trip I’m going on and Intrepid Travel click here.

I haven’t even gone yet, and pretty much I already know I would recommend going on a solo adventure to everyone. I think it’s important for all of us to spend time getting to know ourselves, and feeling comfortable alone. It’s exciting, different, and I think helps us become confident in who we are and gives us a true sense of independence. It also helps us to trust ourselves. So, even if it’s a 4 day road trip in your own country, or a backpacking trip, or a crazy trip to a country you’ve never been to, do it! I didn’t get the chance to study abroad, and well that is one big solo adventure for most people. I wish more than anything I could go back and do that, but we unfortunately only get to keep moving forward, so I’m working on continuing to live the life of my dreams. Life is a journey, a learning process, and all we can do is try to keep making our lives better by learning from the past. It is never to late to be who you want to be, or do what you want to do.

So, go plan that solo adventure trip!

Life is either a daring adventure – or nothing.

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Twelve Tips for Cleaner and Healthier Skin

When I was growing up, I was one of those kids who was lucky to have good skin. I never really even washed my face other than a rinse in the shower and occasionally at the sink, but never really used soap, and I never got real break outs. But, after puberty, every once in awhile I would get a BAD cystic zit on my chin. It hurt, badly. To be completely transparent, I started taking birth control at 16 (because I get severe cramps). I had heard rumors of birth control helping with acne, but I wasn’t on it for acne, but for some reason, I thought it would help for those times I would get a bad zit on my chin.

Throughout high school and college, every other month or so, I would get a bad cystic zit on my chin. It was humiliating. The rest of my skin was great. How could I fix this?

It was until this past Christmas, when I came up with a routine. Again, 95% of the time, my skin was great! But, who wants that 5% of embarrassment? Where you don’t even want to leave your house, because you have this big f’ing thing on your chin. I can honestly say that for 10 months now, I have not gotten one cystic zit.

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In addition, I’m 29, and I was getting more and more concerned about keeping my skin young and healthy looking. I spend a lot of time in the sun, and well sadly, our skin starts to age before our hearts and minds do. So, I started taking my skin care routine more seriously.

Here are my twelve tips for cleaner and healthier skin!

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1. Never ever ever go to sleep with your make-up on! – I used to be too lazy to wash my face at night, because my bed was calling my name, but now, I make myself do it before I brush my teeth, that way I know it will get done. :)

2. Use SPF in your lotion and/or foundation – My favorite is Super Goop!

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3. Wash your face after every sweat sesh! Yes, this dries out your skin BUT that’s what lotion is for. It’s better to not leave your sweat drying on your skin, than just washing your face again. :)

4. Take Zinc Daily - Zinc helps get rid of bad bacteria in your body. If you are prone to cystic zits, start taking zinc daily, and I promise you will notice a HUGE difference in your skin. This was one of the big changes I made back in December. And it has changed my life.

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5. Take Fish Oil Daily – Fish Oil helps keep your skin clear, healthy, and smooth. It has other benefits for your body as well, but I also started taking this in December, and again has made a world of a difference. I’m not much of a vitamin taker, or supplement taker, but this is worth it!

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6. Use an Anti-Aging Serum – If you want to keep your skin young, invest in anti-aging serum. It helps reduce wrinkles and keeps your skin looking young and fresh. :) Again, I started using this only 2x/week and I have definitely seen a difference. It’s expensive so I don’t use it daily.

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7. Use a Daily Moisturizer – I also used to never use lotion. I know. I know. I know. And now, I use a daily moisturizer. It depends on the day and what I will use, but I tend to use something light, as I know I will be using my Super Goop afterwards. :)

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8. Use a Night Cream – This is what truly makes my skin silky and smooth. I use a night cream every night, and I wake up feeling young and my skin feels as smooth as a baby’s bottom. LOVE my night cream. :)

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9. Zit Cream – I use an adult “zit cream” – I use it as a preventative cream vs. after a zit appears. It helps keep the hormone balance in my chin, in addition to the zinc combatting the bacteria. I put it on before I put my lotion on, and I put it on in the morning and at night. LOVE.

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10. After Zit Serum – I use the BEST stuff, in my opinion, on the market to get rid of zits. It seriously zaps it, and it’s gone over night. This shit is da bomb. Yes. I just said that. ;) When a small zit shows up, I just rub this on and it’s gone within 24hrs.

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11. Toner – I only use this probably 1-2x/week, but I like it to keep my skin tones in balance. I have pretty balanced skin, but with all the sun exposure and occasionally I get some redness in my skin tone, it helps balance it out.

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12. Eye Make-Up Remover – This doesn’t really have to do with skin, but it’s part of your face, and our eyelashes and eyelids need a break just like our skin. So don’t forget to completely wipe your eye make off, so that it can have a breather over night.

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Cheers to Beautiful Skin!

xoxo!

Katie

40 Days til the Temecula Half Marathon

Last week was a good week of getting my workouts in. My first open half marathon in 5yrs is only 40 days away! The Temecula Half – If you want to do it, too, feel free to use this coupon code to get 10% off :)

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Here’s what this past week look liked:

Monday – Soccer Game

Tuesday – 2 mile run (9:30min/mile) + 20min of strength (AM) and 45min trainer bike workout – 15min warm up, 15min hard, 15min cool down (PM)

Monday

Wednesday – REST DAY!

Thursday – 30min swim (AM) and 6 mile run – 1 mile warm up, 3×1 mile at 8:20min/mile pace with 1/2 mile jog in between, and 1 mile cool down (PM)

Thursday

 

Thursday, I also got to play at LEGOLAND! If you haven’t been, you should go! It’s awesome!

Thursday LEGOLAND

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Friday – 2 mile run (9:30min/mile) + 20min of strength (AM)

Saturday – 1hr 20min bike workout on the trainer (it’s been blazing hot here, and I opted to ride my bike inside) – 30min warm up/drills, 30min hard, 20min cool down

Sunday – 8 mile run at 9:30min/mile pace and 30min swim. I’m still feeling pretty slow, but I know it takes time to get speed back. So, I’m trying to be patient, and stick with it. I can’t wait til I’m running around 8min pace again!

Sunday

 

Saturday

Overall, I felt great! I was happy with my week. My goal in the off-season and while I focus on running and working on getting my run speed back, is to swim 2x/wk and bike 2x/wk. So, I was happy that I did just that!

Total Time: 7hrs 10min

Here’s what’s on tap for this coming week if you want to join in!

Monday – Soccer Game

Tuesday – Run 4 miles, Bike 45min, and Swim 30min

Wednesday – Run 4 miles

Thursday – Run 4 miles and Swim 45min

Friday – Run 8 miles

Saturday – Hike!

Sunday – REST DAY!

Reminder to share your photos on Instagram using #projectneonsept to win TYRSport swag – a swimsuit, goggles, and cap! Share your swim photos, you can also tag me @katiehartmorse :)

Also, I found this really cool event – Run10Feed10 put on by Women’s Health Magazine. Have any of you heard of it? I’m going to be participating in it, and I’m super stoked. I love using my abilities to raise awareness about super important issues. You can too! The race entry is only $28, and you can receive $5 off with this coupon code:

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They have a few different locations. BUT, if you can’t make it to one of those locations, like myself, you can run your own 10k! How cool is that? And still make a difference. Who’s IN with me?

Oh! Juice

My new addiction! Oh! Juice. Living an active lifestyle, and being a triathlete, runner, adventurer, and more, I sometimes struggle to get all the nutrients I need. Juicing is becoming more and more popular, and I have dabbled here and there. When I tried Oh! Juice for the first time, I fell in love. I don’t know if it was the glass bottles, that made it taste amazing, or just the uniqueness of ever flavor, but I honestly could feel my body absorbing every piece of nutrients each bottle has to offer. After an Oh! Juice, I feel better, more energized, and healthier.

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So, what is Oh! Juice?

- 100% organic – They partner with local farmers and use 100% organic produce for their juice.

- Cold-pressed

- Raw

- Superfood enhanced

- Bottled in Glass – I LOVE this. Not only is it better for the environment, but it makes the juice taste better too!

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I think my favorite part of Oh! Juice is that the shelf life is only 5-6 days. This is because they truly believe in keeping all nutrients intact. A lot of juicing companies use an HPP – high pressure processing – to make the shelf life longer for their juices, therefore taking away a lot of the raw nutrients, you just paid for. HPP “neutralizes the benefits of the live enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, proteins, and nutrients that would otherwise be retained in raw and unpasteurized juice.” This is why Oh! Juice is committed to being at local farmer’s markets, delivering fresh juice to you, and even overnighting your juice to your doorstep!

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Interesting tidbit:

“Suja, a fast-growing brand with $18 million in sales last year, and BluePrint, whose revenue reached $1.4 billion in 2012, are now under fire for allegedly misleading customers about the contents of their cold-pressed juices. The current debate centers around whether juice treated with high pressure processing, or HPP, should in fact be considered “raw.” And as the $3.4 billion cold-pressed juice industry expands to more and more retailers, from Whole Foods to Starbucks to your local grocery store, that’s a whole lot of bottles being called into question.”

Source: http://dailyburn.com/life/health/the-truth-about-hpp-juice-labels/

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#funfacts

- In each juice, you get 3-5lbs of raw organic produce. 3-5lbs!!!! No one is struggling getting their fruits and veggies in with these bad boys

- They deliver to your doorstep, both locally, and they are starting overnight shipping around the country in a few weeks!

- On average it takes 15min to make 1 bottle of juice.

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Below is a bowl of produce – This bowl will make up 6 bottles of Juice. It weighs approx. 24lbs.

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One of my favorite Oh! Juices for post-workout is the Maca Mylk.

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Lastly, what I like about Oh! Juice is that they promote working out and fitness along with their juice cleanses and believe in incorporating juice into your every day lifestyle, too. They ask me for feedback on how I incorporate it into my triathlon training, running training, swim training, etc. Juicing is important for us to get our daily nutrients, and to keep our bodies healthy and alive. After going behind the scenes, and learning about the process that goes into making each juice, I totally understand the cost, but I also understand the benefit oh Oh! Juice. Juicing is a great way to make sure you are getting all your vitamins, minerals, etc. in. On more thing about Oh! Juice, as a company, they are 100% transparent about their processes, how much money they make, cost, etc. I think that’s what I love about them, because I truly think in the world we live in, transparency is the key to brand loyalty, as well as trust with brands.

I recommend trying Oh! Juice. :) #itsworthit

You’re probably wondering…BUT, how much does it cost per bottle? It’s $12.50 a bottle. Definitely on the higher end of juices, but with solid values/passion and best practices in trying to keep all nutrients in tact and give you that true organic and raw juice you want. :)

Stay tuned…next week I’m sharing my interview with the founder!

*I’m an ambassador of Oh! Juice. As you all know, I truly only write about and use products I believe in and I only partner with brands I truly believe in. :) My intention is always to share with you 100% full disclosure of my relationship with brands, and why I love them.

Do you juice? What’s your favorite juice? Do you make it at home? Have you ever tried a juice cleanse?

xoxo!

Katie

FitFluential Ambassador

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into the FitFluential Brand Ambassador program! I’m stoked to be part of such an amazing brand that daily is connecting like-minded individuals and brands who are inspiring the world to live a healthy, happy, and more fit life! I love the positivity that shines through FitFluential.

What is a FitFluential Ambassador?

FitFluential Ambassadors are social media influencers who work with FitFluential’s brand partners. FitFluential’s goal is to successfully connect brands in the fitness space with influential fitness enthusiasts. An ideal match is one where the FitFluential Ambassador (and their audience) matches with the brand’s target market. Our Ambassadors have a strong presence on their social media channels, high quality content with a definitive voice and a passion for fitness-related topics.

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Beach Running

 

Life Lesson – Use Your Words

UseYourWords

We are often told the two following things:

“Less is More”

AND

“Actions speak louder than words”

But sometimes the opposite is true, sometimes not saying anything, or not saying enough leads to questions or miscommunication. Actions people have to interpret, I suppose words we have to, too, to a degree, but the more we use our words, the less there is to “figure out”.

This could be as simple as the date and time of a meeting. I was planning a meeting with a client over the past few days, and there was only true time mentioned, and so I assumed that that was the time we were meeting up, even though it technically was another meeting within that meeting. Thank goodness, I double checked, because otherwise, I would have showed up at a different time than what the client was expecting, even though the client didn’t voice the time they thought I was going to show up.

Crazy, right?

Where this really becomes a problem is when boundaries or expectations need to be defined. People are always worried about hurting people’s feelings, but the truth is, people’s feelings get hurt more, if boundaries or expectations aren’t set. For example, I’m planning a 30th birthday trip, and I really want to do it by myself. I have never traveled truly alone, and so it’s something I want to do to launch this new decade in my life. I know I “hurt” a few people’s feelings who wanted to go with me, but it’s better I communicate it, and let them know the reason, than just going, and then them wondering why I didn’t invite them.

powerofwords

Another example, dating…so you go on a first date, and you just aren’t feelin’ it, and the other person is really into it. Do you say, yea, sure call me! Or, yea let’s do this again. Or, do you be up front, and say you’re just not feelin’ it, you’re sorry, and give you and that person closure, so that they don’t have unanswered questions, and they can just move on, and so can you. Yes, these conversations are tough, but they are important.

Are you afraid of tough conversations? We ALL are! But, the more we become comfortable with having them, the easier it is for everyone to live their lives with closure and feel like they can keep moving forward with their life, and not have questions about what if, or why not, etc.

Going back to more business examples, this is true in terms of employment or potential clients. If you aren’t interested in a potential employee, right on the spot, maybe give them some feedback as to why, and what they can work on. That way they aren’t wondering why they weren’t hired. I realize this isn’t always scalable in a business sense, but when you can do it, do it. :) It helps people improve, and allows them to not wait to hear back from an employer that they really like, and keep looking for jobs (which they should be doing anyway, but still).

A-Few-Nice-Words-Can-Help

It’s not always easy to tell people what they mean to us, in fact, too often, we wait until time is nearing it’s end to tell people, but why? I recently went through a frustrating situation where I knew a particular journey in my life was over, it’s okay, honestly, not everything is meant to workout, but this person couldn’t express the impact we had on each other’s lives, and what the time we spent together meant. It’s kind of a bummer, because it’s something I just don’t understand. Maybe, because I like expressing myself, I like using words, but shouldn’t we all be able to use our words? What’s so scary anyway? We are all just people trying to live the best lives possible. Life is a journey. It has challenges. It has ups. It has downs. And in the end, if there is something we can say to help someone continue to live a beautiful life, I think we should.

So, use your words. I’m not saying that every day all day, you need to oversaturate your life with how important people are to you, or constantly have boundary setting conversations, because life should be fun, but when there’s an opportunity, snatch it up!

Use your words to help, heal, love, support, clarify. Use them for good. This is the only way words should be used. That doesn’t mean people sometimes won’t get their feelings hurt, because they might, people don’t always like what they hear, but it might bring them peace, closure, and then allow them to heal. And it doesn’t mean there won’t continue to be miscommunications, but if we can work harder to use our words, it will help us all understand each other better.

Let your actions be your guide, and let your words provide the clarity. 

Tuesday Twelve – Habits of Always Fit People

Being fit comes down to a lifestyle. The people who never sway more than 10lbs up or down a year, are the ones that truly get it. I mean we all gain a little here or there, and then we lose it here or there. That’s natural. Believe me, I swear every year heading into fall I’m at my skinniest, and then come March, I’m like how did these 10lbs creep back on? It’s impossible to stay at the exact same weight all the time. BUT, there are definitely  habits that “always” fit people do to stay within those 10lbs and never allow themselves to get past that.

Tuesday

1. Eat clean 90% of the time – I like to think of this as a daily 90% of the time. It gets complicated outside of our daily habits, so if 90% of the day you eat lean, green, and clean, then there’s that 10% for a piece of chocolate, or a muffin, or pasta, etc.

2. S L E E P – Good sleep is crucial to keeping your hormones in balance. Getting at least 7hrs of sleep a night is important to a keeping your metabolism up and not overeating.

3. Do something active every day – Honestly, even if it’s taking the stairs all day for one day, and never taking an elevator, or it can be a hike, a swim, a bike, a strength workout, or maybe it’s just taking your dog for a 10min walk. But, every day (for the most part, obviously people get sick, or are traveling, etc.) do something that gets your body up from the sitting position.

4. Push it! – When it’s time to get into the groove and really break a sweat, don’t hold back! You want to feel the burn, and really maximize burning those calories.

5. Love Who You Are – Your fitness level is different from others. Every day should be a competition with yourself, not with anyone else. This helps you keep a positive mindset and not feel defeated. After all, this is your life journey, not someone else’s. So, don’t worry about someone else, just focus on yourself.

6. Ch ch ch change it up! – Don’t do the same class every single Monday at 6pm. Change up your workout routine, that way you don’t get bored, and your body has to keep up with the different muscles that you are working, which keeps the body’s metabolism up, and helps you to continue to see results and/or not lose results.

7. Drink LOTS of Water – Staying hydrated is important to prevent overeating, but it also gives you energy so that you can get after your workouts. It also keeps your skin healthy, and I always feel like drinking water is like giving my body a shower, it keeps all your organs clean and functioning. :)

8. Be Positive – I was going to say “stay” positive, but the truth is, it’s truly being positive. Think positive, act positive, which will allow you to be positive. This is a healthy habit to embody. Give off positive energy to others and also give it to yourself, and this will help you stay fit both mentally and physically.

9. Balance – Allowing yourself to have busy weeks, where you might only get in 3 workouts, and you might have to eat out for most meals, and then have weeks where you are able to workout every day and cook every day/night. Give yourself the ability to change and adapt to your own life. Not every day or every week can be the same. Life happens. So, be adaptable. And understand that it’s okay to not have every week be a perfect week.

10. Don’t Dwell -The above brings me to not dwelling. Always fit people don’t dwell when they indulge in ice cream, or don’t get their workout in. They simple just move forward. Tomorrow is a new day, and sh*t happens.

11. Thank Your Body – You get to workout. You get to be active. Be thankful that your body is able to do the things you make it do. So, when you it’s time to workout, instead of dreading it, think, “Yes! I get to do this. I can’t wait to get after this workout!”

12. Find What You Love To Do – If you are dreading doing a workout, maybe it’s not the kind of workout for you. Some people LOVE group fitness classes, some people LOVE team sports, maybe you’re thing is running, maybe it’s stand up paddleboarding, maybe it’s hiking, maybe it’s yoga. There is something for everyone, I promise. Find out what it is that you love and do it often. And it doesn’t have to be just one thing, in fact, it usually isn’t, which is why it’s good to change it up, like I mentioned above. But, the key to always being fit, and loving how you stay fit.

Would you add anything else to the list?

Fitness Monday – Nature Inspires Me

I’ve always enjoyed nature. I grew up playing LOTS of team sports, and pretty much was outside all day, every day, as much as I could be, growing up in Wisconsin. Then, I discovered running after playing soccer in college, and I found the treadmill. To me, the treadmill became a love, not a dread. I loved seeing the numbers, and pushing harder, and having a controlled environment where I could see my progress. As much as I love the treadmill, and honestly I am motivated by seeing numbers, and seeing improvements, there is nothing compared to the inspiration that running outdoors in nature gives me.

Nature 1

 

Nature 2

After leaving Chicago, where most of my workouts were inside, since it was a major city and bitter cold or thunderstorms, or too many people, you name it, it was a breathe of fresh air when I picked up and moved out to San Diego. Every day, I have the option to go outside for my workouts or inside. It’s crazy, how seriously, every day it’s an option. I never have to workout inside because of the weather or traffic, etc. I can choose to. It’s easy to fall in love with San Diego for that very reason. I mean I just did a 24hr swim challenge at an outdoor pool. Not only did I swim outside, but we slept outside. No tent, no bug spray, just us and the stars. Granted I didn’t really sleep, but the point is, this place is amazing.

Nature 4

 

Nature 3

This past week has been filled with beauty that is indescribable. All I’ve wanted to do was get outside and capture every moment. I mostly ran this week, as I’m training for the Temecula Half marathon, and running is an easy way to get outside and enjoy the scenery.

What inspires you most?

The Ocean? The mountains? The prairie? Lakes? Rivers? Forests? 

I LOVE it all, but to me, the ocean is where my soul finds peace, love, comfort, happiness. When I see the ocean, every single worry, trouble fades away, and I feel F R E E.

Nature 5

Nature 6

Nature 7

 

Here’s what this past week’s workouts looked like:

Monday – 5 mile run Nature 8

Tuesday – 6 mile run

Wednesday – 3 mile run

Thursday – REST DAY!

Friday – accidental rest day – was exhausted still from Swim24 and thought I’d better catch up on my sleep.

Saturday – 3,000yd swim and an 8 mile speed workout on the treadmill. 2 mile warm up, 4×1 mile repeats at 8:20min/mile pace (yup, I’ve gotten real slow from Ironman, who knew that I would get this slow. I mean I’ve run an entire marathon at 8min/mile pace. So, it was a bit of a rude awakening, but it will be fun to see my progress), 1/4 mile jog after each, 1 mile easy cool down.

Treadmill

Sunday – 2,000yd swim

It was a great week! And I’m really enjoying having a little extra time back in my days by not having to workout 2x/day. It’s given me time to catch up with friends, have fun with photography and polish up my photography skills, and just recoop from a very busy year with 3 ironmans. My body is very thankful for this rest I’m giving it. :)

Happy Monday!

It’s still summer! So, get outside and enjoy what’s left of this daylight and warmth that we have.

xoxo!

Katie

P.S What is your favorite treadmill workout? AND, where’s your favorite place to run outside?