Start Living Your Legacy. Win a $100 Gift Card to Help

Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s conversation.

 

Live On. Give On.

Imagine facing a life threatening illness. We are faced with many challenges in this world, and overcoming a serious disease can take all the energy, determination, and courage that most of us have. I’d like to introduce you to a group of 10 people who, after overcoming their own illness then in turn used that life saving determination and courage to help others.

Live On Infographic

These 10 people are the 2014 Bakken Invitation honorees. People who not only saved their own lives, but used their “extra life” to help others. People like David Watkins, who after finally being diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve, asked himself as he was being wheeled into surgery, “what is my legacy?” After undergoing multiple surgeries, a complicated recovery which included a stroke, David finally recovered and decided that he needed to use his second chance at life to create that legacy. To that end, he started the Ironheart Foundation, and began connecting with recovering heart patients who were getting active through sport.

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As one of the Bakken Invitation honorees, David will direct a $20,000 grant to the Ironheart Foundation. David’s words of inspiration, which speak to me personally, are “Start living your legacy.”

David Watkins

While I could only hope to have the courage and determination that David and the other Bakken Invitation honorees have shown, I, along with my husband Alan, try to do our own part with the animals in our community. Most of my readers know about the dogs that we rescue, but I don’t write as frequently about the feral cats that we care for. Not only do we feed and take care of their medical needs, we also spay and neuter as many as we can, plus try to tame the inevitable kittens so that we can find them homes. It is expensive, sometimes heartbreaking, and always rewarding, as we work to take care of the feral cats while trying to reduce their numbers, frequently dealing with city and county officials, negotiating with veterinarians, and working to keep the neighbors happy.

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Medtronic would like to help you “Start living your legacy” by giving you a $100 Visa gift card to do good in your own community. To win, simply visit the Bakken Invitation website and tell me which of the honorees most inspires you. Then let me know how you could use a $100 to help your community.

The Visa gift card winner will be randomly selected on December 30 from among the commenters who followed the above instructions. The winner must be 18 or older and be a resident of the US. While the winner can use the gift card in any way that they like, they should use it to benefit their community.

Getting Outside with LÄRABAR (plus a Giveaway)

Today’s post is sponsored by LÄRABAR but my love of their bars is all my own.

Get Outside

I love to exercise outdoors. I am a runner first and foremost, and as I have, ahem, gotten a little older, I appreciate more and more the joy of trail running. Some days, though, it’s great to slow things down, lace up my hiking boots (or retired running shoes in my case), and hit the trails for a hike.

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I am so fortunate that I live less than a half mile away from some of the best hiking trails in the world. While not your typical woodsy trails with lovely streams running through them, the desert has its own subtle beauty, and your hike or run can be as easy or challenging as you want to make it.

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Do you want to put some effort into it, find hidden desert treasures, and spend several hours exploring the trails? Try the Bear Creek Oasis Trail. Would you rather have a more moderate, flat, sightseeing hike? Try the Bear Creek Canyon Trail or simply circle the Oasis. There is even a trail that will lead you about 14 miles up the Santa Rosa Mountains, ending up at 4,000 feet elevation! There truly is something for everybody.

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I kept it simple on my hike this week. I was alone for one thing, so I felt more comfortable with the Oasis loop, plus I just got over my cold, so I really didn’t need any challenges. That makes the packing simple too. I just loaded up my backpack with water, a handful of LÄRABARs, and a couple packs of RENOLA. Easy breezy!

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Eat Clean

I have been a huge fan of LÄRABAR for years. I’m always looking for plant based snacks, and most LÄRABARs are not only vegan and soy-free, they are all gluten free, non-GMO, and made with simple whole ingredients. For example, my favorite, Pecan Pie, has only dates, pecans, and almonds. You can’t get more real than that.

Larabar8I was first introduced to RENOLA at IDEAWorld Expo, where I picked up a couple packages at the LÄRABAR booth. RENOLA is a blend of fruit, nuts, and seeds, like a combination of trail mix and granola. It is gluten and grain free, and super easy to stash in your purse or bag for a quick snack on the go.

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I received a LÄRAbag full of goodies from LÄRABAR so that I could fuel my hike and let you know about the pure clean goodness of their products and also to make sure that you knew about National Take a Hike Day, which is on November 17. It’s a great day, and a great way, to #GetOutside and #EatClean.

larabar12The story behind LÄRABAR is very simple too. Founder Lara Merriken was hiking in the Colorado Rockies one day, and began to wonder why there wasn’t a convenient, wholesome alternative to trail mix that was easy to carry and eat. In that instant, in May 2000, LÄRABAR was born.

Win a LÄRABAR Prize Pack of your own!

Here is your chance to win a LÄRABAR prize pack with 16 assorted LÄRABARs and packs of RENOLA! All you have to do is visit the LÄRABAR site and tell me in the comments what flavor of LÄRABAR and what flavor of RENOLA that you are excited to try. There are over 20 flavors including some seasonal ones that will make your mouth water. The contest ends at midnight on November 7.

Save with this Coupon on your next LÄRABAR purchase!

Can’t wait? Live from La Quinta readers can get this coupon for .50 off any LÄRABAR! Click here for your coupon.

National Take a Hike Day

Don’t forget that National Take a Hike Day is on November 17! You can join LÄRABAR and me, and get outside to enjoy a hike on trails near you. You can share your stories and photos, and read about others’ adventures by using the hashtag #getoutside and #eatclean. I can’t wait to hear your stories!

Contest Rules: Must be 18 years old and a resident of the US to enter. To enter visit the LÄRABAR website and tell me in the comments the flavors of  LÄRABAR and RENOLA you would like to try. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entrants who answered the question in the comments. The contest ends at midnight November 7 and a winner will be selected and notified within 24 hours. The winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be selected.

What flavors of LÄRABAR and RENOLA would you like to try? Do you have a #getoutside story to tell?

Bondi Band Review and Giveaway

Bondi BandI was given an opportunity to try a Bondi Band and to host a giveaway through Fit Approach. All opinions are my own. I received one Bondi Band for myself, and three to give away.

 

I thought there was something wrong with me.

Everywhere I ran, I saw women wearing headbands. Flowery ones, sparkly ones, headbands with cute statements on them. They served a double purpose, they kept one’s hair off one’s face and they looked cute while doing so.

I jumped on the headband bandwagon.

Maybe I should have tried one on before I invested bought a variety of pretty headbands.

Try as I might, I simply couldn’t keep a headband on my head. I’d put it on, adjust it so that it felt secure, but as soon as I moved, it would slip right off the back of my head. I finally just assumed that my head was shaped wrong and that I just wasn’t meant to be a headband wearer.

When I was offered the opportunity to try out a Bondi Band headband, I thought I’d give it one more try. I remembered Carrie wearing her Bondi Band during our Ragnar Relay, and how comfortable and snug it looked on her head, and I was hopeful.

Because of the Ragnar connection, I was happy when I received this in the mail:

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I wore it for my run the very next day. First off, let me tell you, it stayed in place. It did NOT slip off my head! I kept touching it to make sure that it was there because while it doesn’t slip at all, it is also really light. The weather is really warming up here in the desert, even though I run early in the morning. I was afraid that it would make my head feel too hot. In fact, the opposite was true. The Bondi Band kept me dry and cool!

Because I just ran a few recovery miles, I had time to practice a little yoga before I needed to get ready for work. I chose a 30 minute flow class, and kept the Bondi Band on. It kept my hair off my face, and again, it felt so weightless I’d forget I was wearing a headband.

Bondi Band 5I always get a little help with my at-home yoga practice.

As I mentioned, I have three Bondi Bands to give away! Not only that, if you use the coupon code SWEATPINK when your order you will save 10% on all items (except Bargain Basement, Design Your Own, and Custom Items) through June 28!

Bondi Band

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win one of the three Bondi Bands above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Bondi Band 3

Random Things: A Giveaway, a Guest Post, and 3 Fun New Things

I just wanted to pop in for a moment to share some random things that are going on right now!

Kindrunner

Random Things - KindrunnerAs you know (or maybe not), I am a Kindrunner Ambassador. I love representing this “kind” company that gives back to humanity and the environment by recycling your old shoes (and giving you store credit in return!). You can get details about their return program and Kindness Cash here.

This week I am featured on the Kindrunner blog! I hope you will enjoy my post. The topic? 6 Reasons to Date a Runner Dude. Check it out!

Giveaway! Healing Natural Oils

Healing Natural Oils - Random ThingsDon’t forget that you have three more days to enter the Natural Healing Oils Giveaway! I loved the idea of using essential oils to treat my headaches more naturally, so when I was given an opportunity to try the H-Headache formula, plus give another bottle away to one of my readers, I was pretty excited.

Here are a few items that I have been given a chance to try out and share with you guys, and even though I just received them I can already tell they are going to be fun (and/or delicious).

Skin Authority

Skin Authority - Random ThingsEvery woman wants healthy, younger looking skin, right? I am pretty excited to try the Skin Authority Youthful Skin Kit, which was provided to me through my connection with the company through my work. It is a full line of skin care products that promises to deliver that beautiful skin. I just received my package a day ago. Don’t worry, I am taking a “before” picture, so we can all see my progress.

Nature Box from PopSugar

Nature Box - Random ThingsI just received a NatureBox through my relationship with POPSUGAR.  Finally, a snack subscription program that lets you pick your snacks! Even if you choose the “Surprise” option, it can be customized to your tastes/needs. NatureBox has a wide variety of selections that are vegan, gluten free, non-gmo, soy, nut, or dairy free! So far I’ve just tried the Lemon Pucker Pistachios, which were great. You can check them out yourself! For a limited time, the POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox will be 50% off when you join.

Disclosure: POPSUGAR and NatureBox provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own. Popsugar and Naturebox did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

My Yoga Works

My Yoga Works - Random ThingsThe timing of this opportunity couldn’t be any better. With my Spring into Yoga Challenge scheduled to start on May 1, this partnership with My Yoga Works is so exciting I can hardly contain myself. My Yoga Works has over 500 videos for all levels of yoga experience. After subscribing, you have unlimited access to all of their videos, which can be viewed on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. I even hooked up my phone to my television for a better viewing experience. A full review will be coming soon, but even after trying just one video I can see that this will be an excellent experience.

Disclosure: I received a free product trial in exchange for an honest review.

 

So, a few things to get going on and look forward to! Is there anything that interests you?

Kind Bars Review and Giveaway

The contest is over (and the winner listed below). I hope you’ll stick around to read the review!

I was so excited when Kind Snacks recently offered me an opportunity to try some of their Kind Bars and to sample two different Kind Healthy Grains! I have been a fan for a long time. What’s not to love?

Kind Bars - vegan

After all (from their website):

We believe if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body. Actually, it shouldn’t even go into your pantry. That’s why all KIND Healthy Snacks are made from all-natural whole nuts, fruits and whole grains. No secret ingredients and absolutely nothing artificial here. Just a delicious way of getting your body essential nutrients like fiber, protein and antioxidants (to name a few).

My delicious care package included a bag of Oats and Honey Clusters with Coconut (I try to avoid honey so Alan got to enjoy it), and a bag of Dark Chocolate (chocolate!!!) and Cranberry Clusters. All of the Kind Healthy Grains are made with unique 100% whole grains like amaranth, quinoa, and millet, and contain superfoods like blueberries and chia seeds. As with all their products, they use only whole foods, and they are all gluten free and always non-GMO What an inspired idea to put antioxident rich dark chocolate in a cereal/snack!

Kind Bar Review

I also received a supply of Kind Bars, including a few newer ones that I hadn’t heard of before!

Kind Bar Review - vegan

These Kind Nuts and Spices Bars offer a variety of nuts with spices such as ginger and cinnamon. Oh, and dark chocolate too! Plus they all have only 5 grams of sugar or less. These bars were definitely my favorites, though I’d have a hard time choosing between Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt. Oh, don’t forget Cashew and Ginger Spice. Or perhaps my all time favorite Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.

Kind Bar Review - Vegan

I also received a few Kind Plus bars, all of which come with an extra boost of protein, antioxidents, fiber, or omega 3 fatty acids. I love to throw one in my purse, just in case I need that boost.

The best thing of all? The kind folks at Kind Snacks want you to have a chance to try out their bars! Enter the giveaway below and you can win a dozen Kind Bars!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Kind Bar review

Bottom line, I love Kind Bars and Clusters! Great tasting, whole food that will fuel your body naturally.

Disclosure: I was sent the Kind Healthy Grains and Bars at no cost to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Feel Confident with Poise (and win a $100 Visa Gift Card!)

As a personal trainer and coach, it is something that I hear frequently. A client will pull me aside, and tell me, usually in a whisper, that she “has a little problem.” Even though I can guess, I always stop to listen. She may have a hard time telling me, but finally, she’ll say that she has “little accidents” when she exercises. She will feel embarrassed by this, and maybe even think that there is something wrong.

What my client has is Light Bladder Leakage or LBL, and she, along with about a third of all women, may leak a little urine when she laughs or coughs suddenly. Physical activity such as running can also cause LBL. It is embarrassing and inconvenient, and may cause some women to limit their exercise or even their social activity.

Although LBL is associated with getting older, that is not always the case. Many women are affected with light bladder leakage in their 20s and 30s. While age can be a factor in LBL, so can childbirth, pregnancy, weight gain, bladder irritation or infection, and even stress.

Poise, with their line of light bladder leakage products, is bringing the conversation out in the open by encouraging women to share their LBL stories and offering support to women who suffer from LBL.

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I am happy when my clients open this discussion with me. It gives me an opportunity, first to let them know they are not alone, and then to guide them in the right direction to find solutions so that LBL won’t inhibit their lifestyle. What should you do if you notice that you have leakage when you laugh, sneeze, or exercise? Here is the advice that I give my clients.

  1. Don’t be embarrassed. There is nothing wrong with you, you are not abnormal, you are part of a large group of women who share the same issue.
  2. Make an appointment with your doctor. While LBL is not a disease or a condition, it can be a symptom of something more serious.
  3. Do your Kegels. At some point in their lives, most women learn about Kegel exercises, but few practice them on a regular basis. Well, we should. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help relieve LBL. The Kegel exercise is very simple and can be done anywhere at any time. Simply contract the muscles that stop your urine flow and hold for several seconds. Release. Repeat 10 times. Aim to complete three sets a day.
  4. Use an effective panty liner or pad. Poise makes a complete line of panty liners and pads designed specifically for light bladder leakage. They absorb effectively and neutralize odors better than period pads, which usually aim simply to cover up odors with scent. Poise liners and pads don’t have to be thicker because they are made for LBL and instantly absorb wetness and neutralize odors so they are less likely to leak. Click here to learn more about Poise LBL liners and pads.

I had an opportunity to try out the Poise liners. I wore them during normal activities, and tried them out on the run too. I was concerned that they wouldn’t fit properly or feel comfortable in my running shorts. I discovered that I wasn’t even aware of the liners while I was running. They stayed in place, and didn’t come loose or bunch up during my six mile run. 

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Here is your chance to make the Clean & Fresh switch! Click here to get a free sample or coupon for Poise pads and liners!

And now for the Sweepstakes! Just answer the question “What do you do to feel clean and fresh?” Each comment will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!  

 

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/13/13 – 9/12/13.