Gift Guide for Food and Fitness Lovers + Giveaway

Gift giving is a big part of the holiday fun.

 

Almost as fun as gift-getting.

It is December 3rd whether the weather got the memo or not.  I went on a jog yesterday in shorts and a tank top and was sweating while passing houses decked out for Christmas.   Bizarre.  My iPhone said it was 66 degrees, but I think it cleared 70.

 

Since it is the month of giving, I wanted to share some of my favorite things (aside from whiskers on kittens – that goes without saying).  These are tried-and-true items – I already own most of them!

Whether you are brainstorming something for your favorite food-lover or for someone whose idea of fun is working out, I hope this will give you some ideas.

 

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

 

1. Shun Knife

This is my favorite knife.  It’s a fantastic tool, but what makes it even better is that they make a left-handed version!  Santa brought me one last year and it’s basically the only knife I use.  Speaking of… I need to get mine sharpened for Christmas!

2. Magic Bullet

I used this thing religiously before I got my Vitamix.  It can take some abuse, and you can blend smoothies right in the cup for a quick breakfast or post-workout refuel.  I still use mine for small tasks like whipping cottage cheese for Apple Cupcakes or single-serving dips.  But if you really loved the giftee… you’d buy them the $450 Vitamix.

3. FitBit

My FitBit inspires me to walk 10,000 steps and 20 flights of stairs a day, something I need since I am a cube monkey.  I don’t use all the features, but it also can track sleep and calories (though it’s not entirely accurate as it can’t tell when you’re lifting weights or at a standing desk).  Warning: If you are a little OCD, this may not be the best thing for you.

4. Handful

Greatest sports bra ever… if you’re a member of the itty bitty titty committee.  It’s not a super-support bra, but if your pecs are biggest part of your chest (like mine) it’s perfect.  There’s even a little layer of padding so you don’t like like a flat-chested 12-year old when you’re at the gym.  AND they are having a $12 closeout sale on the size large.

5. Peanut Flour

I talk about it all the time.  If I were to find peanut flour in my stocking, I’d be one happy girl.  Better yet, if I could just get a year’s supply… Mom, are you reading this?  If you order through iHerb.com, use discount code USO924 for $5-10 off your order!

6. Grow Your Own Wheatgrass Kit

Wheatgrass is awesome stuff.  It’s full of amino acids, chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.  It’s also expensive.  I want to grow my own!  You don’t even need a juicer to use it if you have a Vitamix!  It will blend up the grass like a champ.  The Wheatgrass Kit can be found on OpenSky at Robin McGraw‘s new Insider page (yes, it’s Dr. Phil’s wife).

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Here’s the giveaway part….

To celebrate Robin’s new healthy living collection, OpenSky has offered to give one reader a $25 credit to use anywhere on the site!

 

OpenSky is a “social shopping site that helps people discover, buy and share unique goods that match their individual taste. Users can connect to friends and industry insiders in Food, Style, Beauty, Healthy Living, Electronics and Home Décor for exclusive information, advice and insider product recommendations.”

I’ve been a member for over a year now and have found lots of great products.  They will often have sales on my favorite vegan protein powder (Sun Warrior), and its where I found my Kombucha homebrew kit (I’m on batch 8!).   My favorite Insiders include: Robin McGraw, Bobby Flay, Dorie Greenspan, Tracy Anderson and Jackie Warner.

 

 Receive up to 4 entries by:

  1. Join OpenSky
  2. Tweet: You could say something like: I entered to win a $25 @OpenSky gift certificate in the @sprint2thetable #giveaway http://wp.me/p16jDn-1OI
  3. Be Social: Pinterest Follow Me and/or Pin Something of MineInstagram Follow Me, Follow Me and Open Sky on Twitter
  4. Comment: What is on your wishlist this year?

 

Please leave a *separate comment* for each entry!

Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Thursday, December 6th.  The winner will be announced on Friday, December 7th.

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I quit posting a workout recap on Mondays… it seems like it was getting too repetitive/boring to read.  If anyone has thoughts on that… feel free to share.  For now I’m going to do away with it. 

Is it still warm where you live?

Have you ever tried any of the things on my gift guide?

 

The Long Run + Peppermint Mocha

Perspective is important this time of year.

 

Today’s guest post from Kat is all about the Long Run.  I love that she chose this topic at the beginning of the holiday insanity.  Sometimes it’s all too easy to get caught up in the rush and forget to enjoy the moment.

I’ll be keeping this in mind over the next few crazy busy days!  I’m off on a work trip before heading out of town for Thanksgiving.  If you saw the disarray my kitchen is in (food prep and office Thanksgiving party baking).  And let’s just pretend the rest of my condo doesn’t look like a tornado of clothes and suitcases…

Here’s Kat!!!

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Firstly, I have to say that after the rash of comments from my last post, I was surprised, happy, and blushing!  Seriously!  I love that people want to read what I have to say.  Thanks for the extra cheek work-out!  No wonder so many of you are hooked on blogging.  It’s a feel-good mechanism!  (Editor’s note: agreed!  All you guys ROCK!)

Because the past two weeks have been SO crazy, I have had to focus on the long run.  I baby-sat a very time-consuming young puppy, Maggie.  She had to be crated and couldn’t be left alone for more than about 5 hours.  This is typically not conducive to my schedule, but sometimes you have to make things work!

 

It was time to focus on what would help me succeed in the long run (both metaphorically and actual running).  Three things I have kept in the front of my mind in the past two weeks were to relax, be present, and set no expectations about results.  I know I will get it all done, I just have to believe in myself.

 

In the long run, stressing will NOT help you succeed.  Besides adjusting my schedule for the bundle of joy that is Maggie, I also had to go to Arizona for my cousin’s wedding.  That same weekend, I also had to write a 15 page paper, coordinate with a partner to draft a buy-out agreement, and do business tax problems.  (This is in addition to my usual and regular workload. UGH!).  Initially, this all felts extremely unmanageable, but ….dun dun dun… it all got done and I did not stress.  I found an hour here and 20 minutes there to fit it all in.

However, I almost had a fit when the flight attendant on my flight to Phoenix told me I was not allowed to use the blue tooth keyboard on my iPad!!!!!!  That almost added some stress to the weekend, but I seriously made it work! The three things kept me sane.  Relax, be present, and set no expectations about results.

 

In the long run, you will remember the special moments with your family if you are really able to allow yourself to just be with them.  At my cousin’s wedding in Arizona, I was a bridesmaid, met my cousin’s baby, my god-daughter (luckiest girl in the world!!).

What is the point of pushing yourself if you cannot relax and be present, and enjoy the moments you get with friends and family.  Stress happens, but keeping perspective on things that are truly important can really help.  I hardly ever get to see my family, so with a little effort to shove my work into the back of my mind, I was able to really be there and enjoy moments with my family, and the new additions to my family through the marriage.

 

In the long run, not planning your run might just make you happier.  I also squeezed in some GREAT runs.  On Saturday, I ran the wrong way.  Not that there is a wrong way to run, but I didn’t realize that if I ran the other way, I could run all the way to the mountains and unsuccessfully look for a trail to run.  Sunday, I did this, and was my longest run since my ultra, and it left my IT band screaming a little (thank god for my foam roller!), but the beauty, scenery, and peace of mind it gave me were priceless! It really helped to go out, relax, and not set any expectation about pace, distance, or how I might feel afterwards.

On my run in phoenix—someone is a lucky girl (me!)

 

In the long run, the little things add up to a LOT of happiness.  That being said, enough about craziness.  Today I actually want to share something I’ve been DYING to write about since it’s inception, and I think it’s perfect timing with the holidays around the corner.  

Coffee is one of my favorite things in the entire world.  Honestly, I can turn anyone into an addict if they have my coffee.  It’s the way I make it… OMG. Coffee is a production at my house.  I recently started doing my own version of a peppermint mocha (but with fewer calories than Starbucks or your local coffee shop).

Please try this – you will not regret it – and do you like my very first edited/stitched picture? – *becoming a blogger*

 

It might look like I dropped some illegal (now legal in Colorado and Washington) substances in with my coffee grounds, but it’s not… it’s dried peppermint leaves from Penzy’s Spices (a favorite).  I bet you can do this in a regular coffee maker, or a French press, but I use what I refer to as a “drip drip”.  I have no idea what it is actually called.

I make it with two scoops of coffee grounds, a half-ish or more scoop of the peppermint leaves, then just pour on the hot water to brew.  IN THE CUP: I add a pinch of sea salt, a scoop of dark chocolate cocoa powder, and splenda/stevia/sugar to taste. It’s the most peppermint-y delicious cup of coffee you will ever have, and this little thing will add up to a LOT of happiness!!!  I Promise. :)  (Editor’s Note: Kat… do you deliver?)
In other good news, Maggie was actually a foster dog, and she got adopted today!!!  Yay!  See the picture of her with her new mom:

Tooooo adorable

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I’m continually blown away by Kat and her productivity.  I’m working on a recipe to bottle her energy!

What helps you in the long run?

What little happiness-es help you get through stressful days?