Monday, May 15, 2017

NOW Foods: Why this company will change the way you do supplements, oils and more. #nowgetfit

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Now Foods. All opinions are, as per the usual my very own. 

A few weeks ago, I was asked to attend an immersion event at the NOW Foods headquarters with a group of my fellow bloggers. Now Foods is located outside of Chicago, and I was thrilled to receive this invitation. But, life happened. My grandmother passed away.

I stayed home with my family instead of making the trip to Bloomingdale, IL. I had to, it's where I wanted to be. And I'll forever be grateful to social media for giving me the opportunity to follow my fellow bloggers on the adventure. It was a nice break from the tears.

I will also be forever grateful to FitFluential and NOW Foods for understanding why I had to back out at the last minute—and especially grateful to Now Foods for sending me the box of goodies I would have received upon my arrival at the event.

Many bloggers out there talk about NOW Foods. And now I know why. As a certified personal trainer, people ask me all the time about supplements. What they should use and why, and from where they should buy them. My ability to respond is very limited because I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, and I don't live in a bustling metropolis with a lot of shopping options. But now (pardon the pun), I can tell them about NOW Foods.

supplements, natural products, now immersion event
This company is wonderful and I've only just begun to learn all there is to know about them. They manufacture natural products which, when you're talking about supplements and personal care, is very important. Plus, the products themselves are quite affordable.

Supplements can get expensive, yes?

And then there's this: NOW is one of the largest independent manufacturers of natural products in the U.S. health food store channel. Buy local, just on a bigger scale! Bonus, their quality control game is on point, something I would have loved to see firsthand at the blogger immersion.

Let's talk about some of the products they offer.
First up, dietary supplements.

probiotic, fiber, curcumin
I'll admit, I'm ultra hesitant about supplements. I'm a daily multi-vitamin kind of girl. But NOW makes it so easy to learn about supplements, that it makes them super approachable. Conversations with your doctor about supplements are enhanced by detailed product packaging and a library full of additional articles attached to each of the product pages online. So super helpful!

Admittedly, I have not yet tried any of the above, but am extremely interested in the respiratory care probiotic after a recent dance with some seasonal allergies. I think I'm going to switch out my normal probiotic for this one for a few days to see if I can finally get myself over this yuck.

Next up, natural foods.

organic living, healthy foods, eat healthy, clean eating, #nowgetfit
I love that, in addition to supplements, they offer healthy foods from which you can get essential nutrients. That organic triple omega seed mix is the perfect addition to any smoothie. Normally, I hesitate to throw nuts and seeds into a smoothie because I don't like that gritty, sand-in-mouth texture. But this stuff blended up wonderfully and added a great pop of nutrition.

A post shared by Tara (@adailydoseoffit) on

Of course, the quinoa penne pasta was quite good, too. My family had no idea that it wasn't your stereotypical noodle. Chunky sauce for the win:

natural foods, whole foods, pasta, pasta sauce, noodles, healthy carbs
Time to talk about sports nutrition:

NOW Foods, natural supplements, protein powder, BCAA, pre workout mix.
As I said before, this is a hot topic at the gym for obvious reasons. Everyone wants to get the most out of their workouts, and the supplement industry is winning the game. But, not all supplements are created equal, and not all supplements are essential. Here's what I like about NOW sports nutrition products: World-class research and development standards and high-quality ingredients go into every product. No artificial ingredients, colors or flavors. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a premium product.

I put the plant protein complex in the aforementioned smoothie and it was delicious. I've always been a little hesitant about pre-workouts, to be honest. So much caffeine (and it's not even coffee), but I'm learning more and more about BCAAs. Branched chain amino acids. Good for muscle retention and recovery. Long story short: When you exercise, your body breaks down carbs for energy. When it runs out of carbs, it starts eating away at your hard-earned muscles in search of amino acids. Enter the amino acid supplement, which can help prevent this particular type of muscle loss.

I'll play around with the BCAAs and let you know what I think...oh, and I'll also play around with that MCT oil. Word on the street: Bulletproof coffee. You know I'm game for anything coffee.

I also love essential oils and natural home remedies.

essential oils, diffuser, arnica, pain relief
The arnica warming relief oil? So great. I've been using it on my knee and it seems to be working.

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Speaking of oils, NOW essential oils are certified organic and 100% pure. There are a TON of essential oil companies out there. If you want to avoid the "order from me" scheme, you can NOW essential oils from a variety of different places. The store locater on the NOW website will tell you exactly where those places are.

To keep up with NOW Foods, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

If you want to hear what my fellow bloggers are saying about NOW, click through some of these links. You'll get event recaps, and see some of the products being put to use:

1) What a Healthy Obsession Looks Like
2) Natural, Pure Products for a Happier Healthier Life Now
3) Triple Omega Seed Chocolate Energy Bites
4) Now Foods #NowGetFit Influencer Immersion is SUPER!
5) Blueberry Protein Smoothie
6) Now Foods Immersion Recap

Keep in touch with me, too, as I'll be posting more about NOW moving forward.

Question: Do you use any products from NOW? How do you feel about supplements?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ellie Activewear Subscription Box Review, May 2017 #loveellie #ad

The following post is sponsored by Ellie. I received a free box of clothing in exchange for my opinions, They are, as always, my very own.

I have way too much activewear in my closet. When I have to wear real clothes, I feel like I never have anything to choose from. Remember this: I work at a gym (and a running store), so activewear is my professional uniform. But I live in a small town, so shopping is limited. If I find a cute pair of leggings, chances are good that I'll run into someone else wearing them because #tjmaxx and #target. That's all we have to choose from, basically. So when Ellie offered to partner with me, I said yes because #activewear.

activewear, fitness fashion, clothing, fitgear, Marika, Balanced Collection
Ellie is a company that curates a monthly subscription box for fitness folks like you and me. Price? $49.95/month for five items. And yes, they make it really easy to adjust your subscription. Cancelling is easy, and you can also skip a month. If you don't, you'll get a box with a bag that contains one complete outfit and two accessories.

I received the May box.

activewear, fitness fashion, clothing, fitgear, Marika, Balanced Collection
This is not a surprise box, so if you see someone opening their box on Instagram while you wait for yours, you'll be getting what they got. This month, however, they're getting crafty and making a few swaps here and there. This goes along with May's theme: #SquadGoals and #DifferentButSame. Every month has a theme, which is super fun.

So, if you order May's box, you might get an outfit that is "different but same" as the one I got:

activewear, fitness fashion, clothing, fitgear, Marika, Balanced Collection
I've had two Ellie boxes so far, and it looks like a majority of the pieces are coming from Marika right now, with the exception of the leggings above.

Quality: Great.
Fit: True to size.
Style: On trend.

Take a closer look at the back of this month's tank top:

tank top, fitness top, yoga top, fitness clothing, fashion, Marika
It kind of looks like a zipper, yes? I like it. And then, some strap action on the front of an otherwise plain black sports bra:

sports bra, fitness top, fitness gear, fashion, fitfashion
As you know, I am SUPER picky about my workout bottoms. Someone at Ellie knows what's up because both pairs I've received from them were far from see-thru. And incredibly comfortable from a movement standpoint. These leggings are from Balanced Collection, a brand I have never heard of:

activewear, fitness fashion, clothing, fitgear, Marika, Balanced Collection
That mesh, though! Anyone else obsessed with this trend? I think it's really fun in small doses.

Let's get to the accessories:

activewear, fitness clothing, fitgear, marika, balanced collection, monthly box
So, I don't really use an arm wallet when I run. I have a FlipBelt, but...who knows. This may come in handy some day. And speaking of hands, I'm really looking forward to using the hand therapy set. Probably after I type this post. I got a yoga mat towel in last month's box. And a water bottle. So the accessories are well-picked, too.

Verdict? I like the box! I've done other fitness clothing subscription boxes and haven't been as satisfied. I don't like having to send items back that I don't want, and I don't like paying over $50 bucks for something I can't pick out myself. But $50 for an entire outfit (and then some)? That's a pretty good deal, yeah? Especially when it's a deal on stuff that's actually pretty great.

Question: Have any experience with fitness clothing subscription services? Do you like the mesh trend on leggings?


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