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This #Skindependence campaign is sponsored by Well at Walgreens, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dri-Fit isn’t only for running tops and workout pants. Just like you don’t want your workout wear to get soaked with sweat or cause chafing, Well at Walgreens pads utilize the same type of technology – the Dri-Fit™ system – to wick away moisture and eliminate friction. This line at Walgreens now has a variety of pads to empower you to regain your #Skindependence.

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During my last period, I took the 7-Day challenge and tried out the Well at Walgreens feminine care products to really put them to the test. My plethora of pads included the Well at Walgreens Ultra Thin Pads featuring the Dri-Fit™ system, Well at Walgreens Long Super Ultra Thin Pads featuring the Dri-Fit™ system, Well at Walgreens Overnight Ultra Thin Pads featuring the Dri-Fit™ system and Well at Walgreens Regular Pantiliners featuring the Dri-Fit™ system.

One of my biggest fears about trying out these pads was just that…wearing a pad. I have no Mean Girls confession to make of a heavy flow and a wide-set vagina. It’s just, it’s been a while since I’ve worn a “sanitary napkin.” I’d even go as far to say AGES.

The last time I can recall wearing a pad ended up being one of the most traumatic experiences of my teenage life. I was at the stage where I had embarrassingly already started my period before all of my friends. At this point in time, my mom didn’t allow me to wear tampons so I was strictly a pad girl. It was a summer afternoon and everyone went swimming. I had my underwear secretly set up with a fresh pad for when I returned so I didn’t have to awkwardly go to the bathroom with a pad in hand. Well this completely backfired when I walked into a room of a completely shredded fresh pad on the floor. My friend’s dog (as dogs do) sniffed out the vagina of my underwear and ate out my feminine hygienic product.

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Shortly after that I’m pretty sure I made the plea to my mom to switch to tampons. Since making this transition, I’ve never turned back. And I’ve continued to maintain this perception that pads are bulky and inhibiting…like your “area” can’t breath. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the Well at Walgreens products, especially the Dri-Fit™ system. It left me feeling fresh and not like I was sitting in a diaper. And this time around I’ve learned my lesson to not pre-set my panties with a pad 😉

Normally my comfort zone is a popular branded plastic applicator tampon, whose name kind of rhymes with “Spandex Twirl”…it’s a product I trust and gravitate towards during that time of the month. However, after trying out these pads, I have a couple of more options to add to my repertoire. I’d say the pantiliners were light and easy for back-up/extra protection on those almost nonexistent days. And the overnight pads were great for night because I didn’t even have to think about the ominous TSS/wearing a tampon to bed. Now I feel comfortable switching it up and grabbing Well at Walgreens feminine care products featuring the Dri-Fit™ systems – especially now that I know, and have experienced, their high quality and affordable price.

couponPLUS, shopping for that T.O.M. at Walgreens means T.O.M. treats 😛

Click here for a coupon to get $1.50 off your next purchase of Well at Walgreens fem. care products featuring the Dri-Fit™ system.  Good for any ONE (1) Well at Walgreens Brand Ultra Thin or Maxi Pads with Dri-Fit™ (excludes 20ct. liners).

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Want to try them for yourself? Enter the #Skindependence Sweepstakes for a chance to win each item I’ve featured above as well as some other fun goodies to help you feel comfortable during your T.O.M. >> Well at Walgreens #Skindependence

Bonus! Join in on the conversation via Twitter on July 7th for another chance to win the featured Well at Walgreens Feminine Care products featuring Dri-Fit™ system, a Walgreens gift card and other prizes! Stay tuned for full details.

 

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Or rather, barely ran.

Since my last race was in May and I was able to achieve what I set out to do (BQ), it’s been no secret I’ve taken quite a break from running this summer. My dad even asked me the other day, “looks like there’s a lot of ‘rest’ days lately…” So, yes. While I still try to run 20-30 15-20 miles a week, other activities have popped up and I’ve tried to capitalize on new opportunities to stay fit and have fun. Whether you’re a runner or not, here are a few ideas on how to stay in shape during the summer months, especially when you go from something so intense (such as marathon training), to feeling like you’re doing nothing…

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Cross-train: for me right now (and I keep saying it over and over…but it is NOT supposed to be 90+ degrees in San Diego), running outdoors is unbearable. Luckily, there is hot yoga available (hahah — I guess from one heated extreme to the next…at least hot yoga is supposed to be hot!). I’ve been incorporating some regular flow and bootcamp classes into my schedule, something I seriously lacked during marathon training.

Other ideas: find other (indoor) gym classes such as BODYPUMP, spin, etc.

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Try other activities: yassss bro, right now I’m like the ultimate surfer girl. Jk. But this summer my boyfriend taught me how to surf and now I’m completely obsessed. Jumping in the water is like 100x better than running in the scorching sun on a Saturday morning (because we all know I haven’t been doing those lately…).

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We’ve also been camping, hiking and just getting outdoors in general a ton, which makes you feel refreshed, healthy and active, keeping things fun without making it feel like you’re purposefully “working out.”

Other ideas: swim laps in a pool, swim in the ocean/open water, ride bikes, etc.

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How do you stay in shape during the summer months?

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I’ve spent a good amount of time this summer complaining about the heat, while simultaneously soaking up sun and submerging myself in water at the beach. And while summer technically “ends” this upcoming weekend, San Diego doesn’t experience seasons, so as a result this activity will continue well into September/October…

However, due to all this sun exposure and water play, my tan has developed but I’ve noticed dry patches of eczema creep up that have created white splotchy sections on my arms. And while I appreciate the tan…sometimes I feel like a spotty banana!! I’ve started using a new product that I wanted to share because I feel like you wouldn’t normally pick up and decide to use for your whole body — SkinFix Hand Repair Cream. But strangely enough, it works. I’ve started to apply it on my arms after every shower, and even within the first few days I started to notice a difference.

My favorite part though is that it’s a natural formula (free of steroids, fragrance, and soy) that uses healing botanicals, rich natural butters and emollient oils to rebuild the skin barrier.  It’s a good investment and addition to the medicine cabinet because I know come fall/winter (when the seasons sort-of change) I’ll be using it for it’s actual “hand repair” use to deal with dry and cracked hands.

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Bikini Top  // Bottoms // Skinfix

Tell me: do you have any natural products or regimens to deal with dry skin and/or eczema?

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Lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to remember to drink green smoothies after my morning workouts.  Right now this is my go-to green smoothie to make, combining a ton of greens, protein, and maca for an added boost of energy!

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Get up & glowing green smoothie
INGREDIENTS:
2 cups almond milk
1 cup frozen fruit
2-3 cups baby spinach
1 scoop protein powder
1 tsp. Sol Raiz Organics maca powder
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.

What do you eat or drink right after a workout?

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I don’t think it’s a big secret that I’ve been having fun, living it up, and maybe enjoying myself a little too much. Thankfully, the new year came around to re-instate a #newyearnewme :-P. However, this past week I really got back on track and started to kick my butt into gear. Here’s are some steps I’m taking to re-start my fitness/healthy lifestyle:

  • Set a goal: For me, this is to have a really strong spring marathon (Mountains 2 Beach). It would be great to BQ. However, even just giving it my all for this training cycle (within reason) and having a solid race would be a success.
  • Find something new: I honestly have not cross-trained since before the Chicago Marathon. But at the same time, I find myself burnt out on the usual workouts I used to opt for on the side (e.g. yoga, yoga sculpt, Pilates). This week I got a new gym membership and started swimming again. And I’m SO EXCITED TO SWIM! I find myself waking up (willingly) before 6am to get a lane and get a workout in early.
  • Step outside the gym: I’m also striving to be more active, aside from running. Whether it’s playing a sport recreationally (we might start a kickball team), shooting hoops, or hiking, I want to be more active/outdoorsy and not always focused on just running as a means of activity.
  • Cut the booze: well not all of it (because alcohol is kinda great…). But I’m definitely trying to make more conscientious decisions and break out of the habit of having a casual beer some nights.

What do you do to help get yourself back on track?

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The Fit Foodie 5k is part of one whole weekend dedicated to Food & Fitness. This Saturday race started at 8:30am in front of the Hilton Bayfront in Downtown San Diego. London, Andy and I opted to pick-up our packets and bibs the day-of, and were able to do this around 7:50am with no issues.

At 8:30am we were lined up, off and running out on the bayfront path towards Seaport Village. Around the edge of Seaport Village we hit a turn around point, at which point we headed to make our way around the closest Marina Park North. Then we presumed to head back towards the Hilton, and hooked around the second park (Marina Park South). This is one of my usual morning running courses, so it was all very familiar to me.

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My only complaint would be that the pathways are small to start with, especially for a race and just running in one direction. But then when you had to come back against the traffic, it made the pathways even slimmer.

Originally I was planning on running around a 7:30 pace, but Andy started off fast and I tried my best to keep up. I ended up staying around a 7 minute pace, sometimes dropping below. And in the last 1/2 mile I really put the hammer down (even passed Andy 😉 ) and came in with a PR!

I didn’t really know how I felt going into this race. Actually — I was quite tired and grumpy. But I came out like a champ! The night before London and I might have indulged in a drink or two, and some Jack in the box drive thru…looks like that just might be the fuel for a fast race 😛

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After the race we met up with Kate (SoCal Runner Gal) and Nicole (Fitness Fatale) before venturing into the overwhelmingly awesome and generous finisher’s village. We collected an abundant amount of goodies before calling it quits for the race day.

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I ended up with a time of 20:59 and got 2nd in my age division, 4th for women, and 19th overall.  

Mile splits recorded by my Garmin:
Mile 1 – 6:53
Mile 2 – 7:04
Mile 3 – 6:48
Last .05 – 0:14

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My good friend Kelli recently launched a new website called Glimpse of Healthy!

“Glimpse of Healthy brings you everything you need to know about the wellness, health and fitness happenings around sunny San Diego. You’ll be the first to know about the locals-only yoga class on the beach next week and the new juice spot that just opened up around the corner.”

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I am honored to be an ongoing contributor and just wrote my first article: 3 New San Diego Juice Companies You Should Be Trying NOW!

Make sure to check out Glimpse of Healthy – your one stop spot for the best of San Diego’s health and wellness scene!

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photo 2photo credit: Anna Johnson Photography

On Saturday afternoon, I attended the Practice of Leadership panel at the Yoga Journal LIVE! Conference in San Diego. The Practice of Leadership is an ongoing discussion, first originating at the Yoga Journal LIVE! NYC conference. That session had an emphasis on social responsibility and corporate leadership while Saturday’s session was primarily on body image in current yoga culture.

The panel was made up a variety of speakers, creating a dialogue between Yoga Journal, Lululemon and the community.

The first question of the day set the intention for the rest of the discussion: “what is body image?” Body image was defined as not our actual bodies, but rather a psychological blueprint, an image we’ve conjured up about ourselves based on experiences we’ve had. Our bodies are reality, whereas body image is subjective.

A particular ideal that is perpetuated by yoga culture is the image of a “healthy body”: the skinny, flexible caucasian woman. This is what we are taught “health looks like.” But you can be healthy (active, happy, free of disease) without fitting this ideal image of “health.”

We’re constantly being pressed with certain ideals (namely the tiny, chiseled athletic woman who stands as the definition of health), whether its through magazines, tv, advertising, apparel, social media (primarily Instagram).

This discussion reminded me of a post I had written earlier this year in January titled, “Letting Everything Go on The Mat,” where I talked about negative thoughts and self-loathing that entered my mind while on the yoga mat.

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For the longest time, one of my goals was to “do yoga in a sports bra,” meaning being skinny enough that yoga bends and forward folds wouldn’t cause unsightly stomach rolls. I’ve also been guilty of having thoughts like, maybe if I do 30 consecutive days of yoga, I’ll look like a “yogi.” Maybe if I only focus on yoga (instead of other activities), I’ll look like a “yogi.”

However, even in the months since this was written, I’ve come a long way in loving my body. Even though I exercise and eat clean, I’m striving for positive change and improvements, rather than hating my body.

I used to think people were lucky if they didn’t carry an ounce of body issues. However, I’ve realized everyone has body image issues, they’re just formed in a variety of ways. I’ve learned over time that everyone is so involved with themselves — what they look like, what others think they look like — that they hardly place judgement on other people. They’re too busy placing judgement on themselves to be judging you.

So breathe. Relax. Be active. Be happy. And be your own kind of healthy.

What are your thoughts on body image and what’s perpetuated by yoga culture?

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I’m always curious about two things that advertise to be the same thing. Two brands, one 100 calorie greek yogurt.

IMG_5385Consumers across America participated in a national taste test and results show that they prefer the taste of Yoplait Greek 100 Strawberry yogurt to Chobani Simply 100 Strawberry. Today I’m sharing a taste-off between the two to encourage you to try them both for yourselves!

IMG_5399Nutrition: This is something I look at for all yogurts. I don’t even buy fruit flavored yogurts too much anymore because of the added sugars. So the two things I mainly look at are the grams of sugar and the amount of protein.

Yoplait – 100 calories, 9g of sugar and 10g of protein. Fiber ???

Chobani – 100 calories, 7g sugar and 12g of protein. Also listed 5g of fiber.

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IMG_5413Appearance: We judged this both on packaging and the actual yogurt.

Yoplait – Coloful and eye-catching, with a call out for Weight Watchers points. The yogurt had a pinkish dye to it to signal “strawberry.”

Chobani – Simple, with an emphasis on the nutrition. We also liked the message inside the lid. The yogurt itself looked more natural.

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IMG_5434Flavor: Based on which yogurt embodied the strawberry flavor better.

Yoplait – had an evident strawberry flavor. The yogurt itself was flavored strawberry and had ribbons of fruit flavoring throughout.

Chobani – the flavor was much more subtle as the fruit was at the bottom and you mixed it in to get any strawberry flavor.

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Taste/texture: Aside from just the flavor.

Yoplait – Tasted more artificial and had a lighter, whipped texture. Didn’t feel like typical greek yogurt.

Chobani – Tasted more natural and had the typical thickness of greek yogurt.

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Ingredients: This is another big thing I look at for all groceries.

Yoplait – had a far longer list and uses fructose and sucralose as its sweeteners.

Chobani – a little shorter list and uses monk fruit, stevia leaf and evaporated cane juice as its sweeteners.

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IMG_5443For someone who has gotten used to eating plain greek yogurt, and actually enjoys the almost “sour cream” like taste of regular greek yogurt, I would opt for the Chobani 100 greek yogurt vs. Yoplait. For me, the Yoplait was a little too sweet. For other people, the Yoplait might be great and the Chobani lacking in flavor.  Overall, Chobani won for us.

I’ve taken the Yoplait Taste-Off, now it’s your turn! Let me know who wins your taste off!
Have you taken the Yoplait Greek 100 Strawberry Taste-Off challenge yet?

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Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by Yoplait, however, as always, all thoughts, ideas, and opinions are my own.

 
 
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