On Tap for Today

A fun loving, inspired living blog


48 Comments

Today: My fairy WODmother. {and a Reebok #getafterit giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]The downside to being an adult is that when something breaks, you sort of need to fix it (or in many cases, have it fixed… because you don’t always know how to repair machines).  Our water heater peaced it on Monday night, making for several cold showers, one very hot shower taken at my parents’ house, an excessive use of deodorant (I am convinced cold showers do nothing other than lower one’s core temperature), and some general crankiness this week.  On Thursday night, we came home to a freshly replaced water heater… aaaand a freshly broken kitchen sink.  The plummer giveth, and the plummer taketh away.  And he leaveth dirty footprints and greasy paper towels all over thine condo.

I don’t really understand how any of this happened.  I just know that it annoyed me.  And that I got a headache.  I fought the temptation to wallow and I checked the mail instead.  Of my many quirks, an obsessive need to check the mail is right up there with my obsessive need to check the weather.  Incidentally, I don’t think it was supposed to rain on Friday.  But it did.  With just twenty-one days until we get married, I live for the sight of a response card (or twelve) tucked in among the bills and magazines.  Thursday night’s mail was slim on responses, but included a package from Reebok.   I like to think of the brand as my Fairy WODmother.  I opened the box to find two new CrossFit Tri Blend tops, one with short sleeves and the other with long sleeves.  This was just the kick in the pants short shorts I needed to get out of the faucet-less condo, and into the box.

Both tops fit perfectly.  I tend to wear tank tops to class, but knowing that the garage door at our box would be open, the temperature is dropping, and I was still recovering from my last cold shower– I opted for the grey long sleeve.  It’s lightweight but still warm, it stayed dry throughout a tough workout, didn’t itch at all, and was really comfortable.  I had my first attempt at rope climbs last night, and I think wearing long sleeves definitely helped protect my arms.  I added a whole 25lbs. to my high bar box squat PR (since my first attempt two months ago), cranked through 100 kettle bell swings and 50 ring dips (with a blue band).  As I’ve said before, the clothes don’t make the athlete, hard work does… but wearing perfectly fitting, high performing fabrics definitely helps.  Need proof?  Ask me about the time I ran a 10k with a wedgie.  Needless to say, I can’t wait to break out the short sleeve top this weekend.

Because my Fairy WODmother is extra generous, I have a little something to share.  If you were at Healthy Living Summit 2012, Fit Bloggin or other events, you may have seen the Reebok team outfitted in eye-catching  #getafterit shirts.  These shirts are now available for men and women online, and I have one women’s top (size M)  to giveaway.  To enter, please let a comment below.  I will select a random winner at the end of the day on Tuesday.

UPDATE:  This giveaway is now closed.   Congratulations, Caroline!  And many thanks to everyone who entered.

 

Caroline: I saw so many #getafterit’s at the Tufts 10k…even tried keeping pace with one (literally got after it)! I would love to sport my own…thanks!

[For the record: I received these Reebok products at no cost.  I was not compensated for my review of these items, and my opinions are entirely my own.  I write about brands I respect and enjoy, and Reebok fits this criteria.]

Also On Tap for Today:

How are you planning to get after it this week?


4 Comments

Today: Give your soul… and soles. {Allstate Life Insurance Boston 13.1 Marathon® giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]What could be better than a free entry to the upcoming Allstate Life Insurance Boston 13.1 Marathon® ?  How about that, plus the chance to support the Boston Rescue Mission and the work they do to prevent and end homelessness in our city and beyond.  At this year’s Allstate Life Insurance Boston 13.1 Marathon®, runners and their friends will have the chance to donate their old shoes.  Every pair collected will benefit the Boston Rescue Mission as a result of Allstate’s partnership with Give Your Sole.

For over 100 years, Boston Rescue Mission has provided invaluable services and programs for men and women in need, including:

  • Meal programs
  • Outpatient counseling
  • Day treatment programming
  • Overnight shelter
  • Residential recovery programs
  • Safe Haven program for chronically homeless veterans
  • Women’s parole re-entry program
  • Spiritual development
  • and partnerships with agencies overseas to fight “poverty in all forms”

Those of you who know me beyond this tiny website know that ending homelessness is something I care deeply about.  I encourage each of you, whether you’re running or not, to dig into the back of your closet for a pair or two of gently or moderately worn shoes.   The BRM’s programs are not simply a quick fix; they have lasting results and are helping to change the lives of so many deserving individuals.  In case you need a little added incentive (and the chance to extend summer a bit longer), runners who donate their shoes on race day will receive a free pair of flip-flops to wear home.   

Shoe donations will be accepted at the following locations:

  • Friday, September 14th (packet pick-up): Friday, Sept 14th at Karhu and Craft North American headquarters (200 Cummings Center 273-D, Beverly MA) from 12 PM – 7 PM
  • Saturday, September 15th (packet pick-up): Saturday, Sept 15th at Fast Splits (612 Washington Street Newton, MA) from 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Sunday, September 16th (race day): Suffolk Downs, 111 Waldemar Ave, East Boston

***Thanks the event sponsors, I have two race entries to give away.  Free on September 16th and ready to crush a half in Boston? Or know someone who is?  Leave a comment below.  I will announce two random winners on Saturday evening.***

UPDATE: Congratulations Emily and Becki!  I will email you with registration details. 🙂

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your go-to running shoe?


16 Comments

Today: I miss you, garlic. {plus a Fire + Ice giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I’m now solidly in Week 3 of my elimination diet (no gluten, no high FODMAP foods, no fun… just kidding… sort of).  As much as I would like to assert that I felt my absolute best when living on Annie’s Shells & Cheese and Cool Ranch Doritos, the past few weeks are proving otherwise.

[Image source]

If Week 1 were a work by Victor Hugo, it would be Les Miserables.  I had a raging headache the entire week, and felt compelled to slap the Diet Coke straight from the hands of people passing by.  While I did my best to pack enough food for the day, inevitably I came home starving.  And tempted to fall into a big bowl of hummus.  I did adopt one very important habit during Week 1, though: consistently eating breakfast.

I’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but then again, I grew up being told that Pluto was a planet.  I’m a born skeptic.  Regardless, I carved out time every morning for this meal– most important or not– and have stuck to gluten free cereal, unsweetened almond milk, heaps of fresh berries, and more bananas than any person should consume.  While I’d rather spend that time getting stuff done (like working, or talking to my dog), It’s refreshing to not want to eat my keyboard during a mid-morning conference call.

Week 2 was a vast improvement over Week 1, but that’s not saying much, considering I felt like hell on wheels for the first seven days of the diet.  By the second week, my deep longing for an IV drip of caffeine had waned, and I no longer sought physical violence against people who freely sipped the Diet Coke.  Avoiding all caffeine has three major upsides:

  1. I’m sleeping better.
  2. I’ve eliminated the risk of hitting a pole at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through, resulting in a dangling side-view mirror… again.  Yes, that really happened.
  3. If I can quit caffeine, I must be unstoppable.  Maybe.

I survived a weekend away, thanks to a stash of low FODMAP foods and some careful selection at meal times.  I was captain of the nerds with my handy allowed/not allowed food list always at the ready.  More than anything, I have such a better appreciation for those dealing with allergies.

[Image source]

I gave myself a free pass (which is less cool than a fun pass) to eat a small portion of baked penne, and a bite of a brownie after my grandmother’s funeral.  Oh, and a vodka and soda, light on the vodka, which is technically not forbidden… but not encouraged, either.  I soon regretted that free pass, but hey.  This is a learning process.

While I’ve experimented with various dairy-free, lactose-free, and gluten-free packaged foods, I’ve been trying to stick to unprocessed foods whenever possible.  I’ve been packing salads, low FODMAP fruits and veggies, a bit of almond butter, sweet potatoes, precisely measured wedges of hard cheese (file this under confusing: brie is considered a hard cheese, according to my handy reference guide), and the occasional rice cracker or one of Lucy’s Cookies.  Dinner has been similar.

When it comes to snacks, I find myself starring into the fridge, making eyes at the hummus and Greek yogurt.  It’s kind of a bad scene.  I broke out the mustard and Glutino pretzels for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, though, and quite enjoyed the combination.  I think this may be a lucky snack, so they will be on the table for Game 7 tonight, for sure.  Plus, they taste good.  And grainy mustard just plain old rules.

Week 3 has been the easiest so far, which makes sense.  I tried another go at the free pass last night, when I arrived at my front door famished and exhausted.  Rather than going all out (I think the baked penne from Week 2 hit just about every category on the ‘not allowed’ list), I limited myself to one forbidden column, grains, and experienced no side effects (and sadly, no vodka….).  While I am tempted to press my luck… I am not willing to risk a whammy (…best game show of all time).  Back to safe greens today.

I am (mostly) patiently waiting for the results of my blood work to come back, and am (fully) crossing my fingers that it will be clear what foods I should be avoiding from now on.  In the meantime, though, I am feeling surprisingly better.  I am much more conscious of cravings, my hunger levels, and how I feel after eating.  I have gotten so much better at preparing food in advance, rather than leaving things to chance.  With a week and a half to go, I’m thankful for this insight…. and I’m looking forward to a normal night out (at a restaurant that serves garlic and onions, preferably) soon.

To enter, leave a comment below.  I will select a random winner tomorrow evening (Thursday, April 26) after 8 PM EST.  If you’d rather send all your good luck to the Boston Bruins, you can purchase this sweet deal until midnight tonight.

CONGRATULATIONS, Stephanie!  You were the randomly selected winner. 🙂  Stephanie writes a great personal finance blog; you should check it out!  Many thanks to Eversave Boston and all who entered.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • LET’S GO, BRUINS! 🙂
  • Popsicles in Prosecco: a match made in heaven
  • Doing damage with my new label maker (watch out!)

What one food would you have trouble living without?  (Be sure to indicate if you want to be entered to win the aforementioned giveway, ladies and gents.)


2 Comments

Today: And the winners are… {chia giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I had random.org working on overdrive this afternoon, with six winners to choose from over a hundred entries.  The people demand chia, and I plan to deliver (or, drive to the Post Office at the very least).

Many thanks to GNC and FitFluential for making this giveaway possible, and to each of you who entered and shared some pretty great uses for the mighty chia seed.  I am really grateful for all of your entries.  Without further ado:

If you happen to be one of the lovely ladies featured above, please email me and be sure to include your mailing address.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s On Tap for your Saturday?


108 Comments

Today: Totally jamming. {a chia giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]If I know anything about chia, it’s these two things:

  • Without it, there would be many a bald chia pet.
  • Those little seeds pack some major punch.

After doing some research Googling, I can’t help but wonder why we don’t sprinkle chia onto everything we eat.  The benefits seem to be endless.  Sure, they may get stuck in between our two front teeth right before meetings (why didn’t anyone tell me?), but those mighty little seeds serve as an excellent plant-based source of fiber, protein, Omega 3 and antioxidants.  Chia is a gluten-free whole grain that can be eaten raw, and incorporated into virtually every meal.  The Chia Company’s website boasts a variety of chia recipes, including drinks, soups, baked goods and desserts.  Like flax seed, chia seed can be used as an egg substitute.  It can be sprinkled onto Greek yogurt, salads, and soups or baked into your favorite granola recipe (I’ll share mine later this week).

While breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, it’s also my least favorite.  I find I am always rushing out the door on weekdays, and then rushing back in the door because I’ve forgotten my lunch, my keys, and 13 other things.  The last thing on my mind  is a nutrient-rich, tasty breakfast.  The weekends, however, provide the perfect time to up the ante a bit, and put a little thought into my morning meal.  On Sunday, I surveyed the contents of our cabinets and fridge, while ripping open a bag of white chia seeds (I advise caution, unless you like decorating with super foods).  With a quart of raspberries and a few blood oranges left at the end of the week, Bob Marley played in the background, inspiration struck and I knew it was time to jam.

Raspberry, blood orange and chia seed jam

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raspberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 medium blood orange, peeled
  • 1/2 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 packet of Truvia

Directions:

  • Puree the raspberries and blood orange in a food processor, or crush with a fork.
  • Mix in chia and water, and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
  • Add 1 packet of Truvia, or a natural sweetener of your choice (honey, agave nectar).
  • Allow the jam to thicken, by storing covered in the refrigerator for several hours.
  • Enjoy as a topping for oatmeal, or a spread for toast, bagels or waffles.

This recipe yielded two small jars worth of jam, perfect for a week’s worth of breakfasts.

I feel a bit like Oprah today, not because I am gagillionaire, but because I am giving away not one, not two, but six packages of Australian grown chia from The Chia Company, courtesy of the nice people at GNC.  You get some black and white chia sheets, and you get some black and white chia seeds, and you get some black and white chia seeds!

That’s right.  Six of you will receive tw0 10-serving bags of chia (one bag of black chia seeds, one bag of white chia seeds).  This giveaway will close at 6 PM on Friday, February 24th. I will announce six randomly-selected winners shortly thereafter.  To enter, please leave a comment below.  For an additional entry, please feel free to tweet the following, and leave a second comment… so that I don’t space out and miss your tweet:

Want to win @TheChiaCompany chia from @GNCLiveWell and @ElizabethEv? #livewellnow #fitfluential http://wp.me/pySBS-1qO

Full disclosureGNC is the exclusive retailer of The Chia Co. products in the United States.  As a FitFluential Ambassador, I received complimentary product from GNC, but I was not compensated for this post, nor for hosting this giveaway.  I enjoy this product and I think you will too. 🙂

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite way to give your meals a nutritional boost?  Are you a chia fan?


6 Comments

Today: And the winner is… {Sparkly Soul giveaway}

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Well, hey.  I needed to hire an assistant to wade through all of those fantastic Sparkly Soul giveaway entries.  Sadly, my assistant decided to take a nap, and then crawl into his crate with a giant stuffed dinosaur.  Typical.

Without further ado…. the winner! (If you listen closely, you can hear Clark snoring at the beginning of this video. Muhahaha.)  Oh, and that wink was a space filler.  This was all above board, I can be trusted.

Congratulations, Sarah!

Please send me an email at ontapfortoday(at)gmail.com and I will make sure you’re sparkling in no time.  For everyone else, Sparkly Soul is offering a 15% discount on all orders placed now through March 1, 2012 (my birthday… hint, hint).  Simply enter FitFluential at checkout.  Thank you so much for taking the time to enter; and special thanks to Sparkly Soul for the bling. 😉

Also On Tap for Today:

Did anyone else stay up past their bedtime to watch Pee-Wee Herman on Top Chef?


76 Comments

Today: The good, the bad, and the sparkly.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Let’s start with the bad.  And end with the sparkly.

After days spent looped out on cold medicine (due to illness, not recreational use… obvi), I am finally feeling back to (mostly) normal.  The fact that my monster cold came to town during two of the busiest weeks of my professional life was unhelpful, to say the least.  I find that getting all dolled up, giving speeches, kicking ass and taking names, and fundraising are most effectively done without a man voice (unless you’re a man), without a fever, and without an endlessly running rose.  With all that behind me, I free to spend an entire Friday evening doing nothing except talking to my dog in made up accents, listening to Duffy and reading magazines.  Oh, and eating.

Despite being under the weather and working 12 hour days, I’ve managed to fit in a few good things this week.  My Monday night soccer team is blazing a path to glory (or whatever), heading into next week’s championship round.  During this week’s game, I didn’t score a single goal (which is better than scoring one goal on your own net… which has happened before… twice), but I was a veritable fortress on defense.  At the risk of being a sexist piglet, I can’t help but squeal with delight when I shut down burly, athletic men as they dribble towards the net with the ball.  Especially when they look surprised.  Even more so when they look angry.

After getting a bit too caught up in the competitive spirit last season, my goal for this season (besides getting goals) was to not swear on the field.  Or succumb to some sort of rage blackout like I did that time someone slide-tackled Nick and nearly ripped off his leg.  So far, so good.  With two games to go, I have been all manners and grace this season.  (While I apologize for sounding like a complete egomaniac at the moment, rest assured that my ego was placed firmly in check earlier this week, as I bounded out of the yoga studio all high on my back bending abilities and promptly fell down a flight of stairs.  Truly, it has been that kind of a week.)

My Thursday night soccer team has also been a source of goodness.  I arrived late to last night’s game, having come directly from my work event, changed from a cocktail dress into my sweet uniform in the car and flew onto the field with a full face of makeup.  Nothing says, “I’m here to play” quite like a winged eye, Nars’ pinkest shade of blush, and some subtly simmering lids.  While I probably should have gone to bed instead, burning off a bit of stress and laughing with my teammates was the perfect way to wind down a crazy day.  I am really thankful for the opportunity to play with such a fun, supportive, goofy group.

When I finally made it home, my brain would not turn off.  I have it on good authority that turning the TV on does not help you wind down.  I can’t help but ignore the research when my DVR has one of my favorite shows of all time ready and waiting, though.

[Image source]

I can barely make it through the first minute of an episode of An Idiot Abroad without dissolving into a fit of laughter.  I used to listen to The Ricky Gervais Show podcast in the car but got to the point these same laughing fits became an impairment to my driving.  While watching television in the wee hours of the morning is decidedly bad for you, laughter is most certainly good.

Now all that’s left to do is sparkle.

The lovely people at Sparkly Soul recently sent me two of their truly sparkly headbands, and they’ve got a pair tucked away for you, too.  I recently got a shorter and sweeter hairdo (so short and sweet that it barely fits into a ponystub, let alone a ponytail), complete with un-requested side swept bangs.  The haircut is a story for another day, but needless to say, these headbands could not have arrived at a better time.

[Image source]

Not only do Sparkly Soul headbands look adorable, they don’t budge.  Not during yoga inversions, not during flying leaps across the soccer field, not during runs, not turn the most rough and tumble boxing workout and (as I learned last weekend) not during naps or entire days spent in bed.  The soft velvet lining means no headaches, no snarls, and no hair dents.  If you’ve never experienced a hair dent, don’t ask questions.  Just consider yourself one of the few and fortunate.  Given my choice of colors, I opted for silver (to match my engagement ring… just kidding… kind of) and red for an upcoming Valentine’s Day race.  I am tempted to order the rest of the rainbow.  They’re that good.  Let the record reflect that I have no cold medicine to blame for my enthusiasm, just a really great product.

Would you like a Sparkly Soul headband or two for yourself?  The generous people at Sparkly Soul is offering one of their wide headbands and one of their thin headbands (in colors of your choosing) to one lucky reader. Headband Head on over to sparklysoul.com to check out their offerings and leave a comment below with your favorite color(s).  I will announce a winner at the end of the day on Wednesday, February 1st.  Yes, it’s February next week. 

If you’d like to learn more about Sparkly Soul, I recommend connecting with them on Twitter or Facebook.  They also have some pretty great Pinterest boards.  Disclaimer: I received two Sparkly Soul headbands free of charge, but was not compensated for my glowing review, nor for hosting this giveaway.  My opinions are all my own.  Preach it.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Getting excited for Be Healthy Boston 🙂
  • Drinking lots of tea
  • Visting with my parents!  Woooo!

Pick a color.  Any color.  Where do you plan to sparkle this weekend?