Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Release Tuesday

Here's a "poppy" feel-good song to add
to your music library.

And how cute is Olly Murs? 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's Officially #FlatoutLove

Y'all know that I love food and that I am basically a fat kid at heart, right??

#LaOffseasonLoca has been really awesome in that I have been able to try different foods and work at being more creative with my meals. This is why I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to review a new Flatout product that hasn't even hit shelves yet!*

*keep reading for a coupon to purchase Flatouts wraps and pizza crust!

Right before I headed to L.A. for TheFitExpo, a package of goodies arrived at my door from Flatout. I was so excited to see what they had sent, I took the box with me to work so I could open it there :) What I had received was packages of Flatout's new line of high protein, low carb flatbread wraps. They generously sent me two packages of each of three new flavors they will be launching. The three flavors are:
  • Core 12 - this is their original wrap recipe made with chickpeas
  • Red Pepper Hummus - also powered by chickpeas
  • Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper - brought to you by navy beans

I left early Thursday morning and since I knew I had a long day of driving ahead of me, I wanted to make sure that I ate something tasty & filling. Perfect time to try out the Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper wrap!

Don't bother me - I'm eating :)
I do not love eggs or egg whites but I am adding them to the "meal rotation" about 2-3 times a week. For this particular wrap, I used 4 medium egg whites. Combining the egg whites with a chicken sausage, a handful of spinach, some goat cheese, and Sriracha made me a do my happy wiggle!

Sunday morning before heading back to the expo, several FitFluential Ambassadors and I were invited to a "First Taste Breakfast" with the amazing folks of Flatout. We were able to see the packaging ideas, try out recipes using the wraps, in addition to learning more about the product we were sent.
Interesting pieces of information that I took away from the breakfast:
  • Beans are high in protein and complex carbs so they can provide you with long-lasting energy.
  • Beans have more antioxidant potential than blueberries.
  • Eating beans has been shown to reduce hunger and overall calorie intake throughout the day.

The Flatout table at the #LAFitExpo

When I got back from L.A. and saw The Mister, he asked me about the "tortilla things" on the counter. I explained to him that they were not tortillas but were flatbread wraps and told him I wanted him to try them.

He wasn't feeling extra adventurous that morning so he just used the wrap for one of his favorites, runny icky eggs :) The Sea Salt & Crushed Black Pepper was not his favorite so I told him he had to try the Red Pepper Hummus (which is my personal favorite!).

The Mister opted for carne asada, goat cheese, and Sriracha while The Princess and I had a shrimp-lentil-brown rice-olive oil concoction I threw together. Y'all know I'm not one for b.s. so when I say that my family is a big fan of these wraps, it's the truth!

Here are some recipe ideas for you to keep in mind when you buy your first set of wraps ;) and while ProteinUp won't hit the shelves for another few weeks, you can still experiment with the Flatout wraps and pizza crusts. Here's a coupon to use when you go shopping! https://www.hopster.com/offeres/flatout/13072852/1

I still have more wraps to use so....here's my question for you....what recipes should I try next??

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Flatout.

New Release Tuesday

I have no idea who Tori Kelly is

but I am totally diggin' this song and her voice!

I have some research to do because I want

to learn more about her & her music!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sights & Sounds - Day 1

Y'all.....Los Angeles was frickin' A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! What an amazing city!! I had so much fun and I can't wait to tell you all about it! I'll save my adventures with my brother for its own blog post so let's start with Day 1 of TheFitExpo!

TheFitExpo was being held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and lucky for me, this was about a 10-15 minute walk from my brother's apartment. Friday night, Jonathan showed me where the Convention Center was in proximity to the restaurant we ate at and his apartment. It was an easy route and I wasn't worried about finding my way the next morning. Umm....ya....except we didn't know they were going to close that particular route because the Grammy's were going to be taking place on Sunday. So, I had to take the "long" route and after a lenghtier power walk than I anticipated, I made it to the Convention Center and headed upstairs to meet the rest of the group.

Made it!

7:45 am and even though the expo didn't open until 10,
people were already in line and waiting to buy tickets!

Our room for the weekend - this was where we could refuel,
charge our phones, blog, tweet, etc in "peace &quiet" :)

I finally met Jody!!!
From my Instagram

Jody, Melissa, and I!
photo courtesy of Melissa Running It

From my Twitter 

After going over some of the logistics of the day, we were able to introduce ourselves to one another and chat it up. The first person I HAD to meet was Jody from Truth2BeingFit. I'm not quite sure how I "discovered" her blog but from the moment I started reading, I was a fan! Jody is 57 and still throwin' around heavy weight almost every day (she has been lifting weights for over 30 years!). I love that her blog is a mix of workouts, reviews, glimpses into her personal life, and lessons about learning the lesson that "I Am Enough". The second she & I saw each other. there was squealing and hugging (which you know is a big deal because I don't hug...lol). Then we spotted Melissa from Melissa Running It. Cue more squealing and hugging! The funny thing is, it felt like we had met before and had known each other for years. FitFluential is not only about blogging or having a presence on social media. It is about connecting with others, finding inspiration from others, and forming bonds and friendships.

The calm before the storm :)

I and the other Ambassadors were then escorted downstairs to where the expo would be taking place and told that we could walk the floor. I'm not saying it was like telling a group of small children that they had Disneyland all to themselves....bbbbuuutttt......it could have been :)

Spotted these leggings from J Fitness Wear!
Went back and bought them once their booth was officially opened!

From my Instagram

There were certain brands/companies I was looking for including RSP Nutrition, 6 Pack Bags, Smart Shake, and of course, Nubreed Nutrition. I found almost all of them (except RSP) but Nubreed is the only booth whose table I jumped on for a picture :)

Before we knew it, it was time for the doors to open to the public. There was a rush, literally, of bodies through the doors. I could hear people talking about who they wanted to see, what workouts they wanted to do, what they wanted to buy, and more. There was this excitement in the air that I can't quite describe. It almost felt as electric as the Olympia Expo.

From my Instagram

As I made my way over to the stage where the Ironman Naturally competition was being held, I walked past the Met-Rx booth. I glanced at the booth, glanced away, and then glanced back again. It took me a minute but my brain finally processed that I was staring directly at the current Ms. Figure Olympia Nicole Wilkins! I pulled out my phone and tried to be as sneaky as possible while lifting it up to take her picture. She looked right at me, laughed a little bit, then asked "Do you want to take a selfie??" DO I WANT TO TAKE A SELFIE?!?!?! While I wanted to jump up and down like a crazed fan, I calmly told her that I would love to take a selfie. Priceless moment!

Pro-Tan was right behind the seating area for the competition -
perfect location :)
The  competition color/tanner I use.
Yes...I use tanner....lol...

When you get up to walk the expo, you lose your
seat in the front for the Bodyspace Spokesmodel finals :(
Winners of the Bodybuilding.com Bodyspace Spokesmodel Search
photo credit
Over the course of the day, I watched the prejuding and finals portions of the Ironman Naturally competition. I also had the opportunity to watch the Bodybuilding.com Bodyspace Spokesmodel finals. Both competitions made me itch for the stage. The music, the Pro-Tan, the glaze, the posing. I missed it all as I sat in the crowd.

I have no idea what I was saying....
but I'm obviously I'm excited...lol
OMG! Krissy Chin!
In between competitions, I did a few more laps around the expo. I made my way back to the Nubreed booth because I needed to stock up and guess what?? As I'm walking by, I hear a voice yell "MrsFitLibrarian!" I turned and recognized one of the Nubreed guys that I met at Europa. We started chatted and while I was  paying attention to what he was saying, I could see that Krissy Chin was working the booth! I made a comment about Nubreed being smart to make her one of their sponsored athletes and next thing I know, I'm standing next to Krissy Chin - chatting with her - and posing for a picture!

From my Twitter

Jody showing them what a beast looks like!

Tasty samples!

The expo also had a "Healthy Living Pavilion" where various presenters had food demonstrations. I've never taken the time to attend a food demo so I decided that I would definitely do it this time around. Jody and I attended a demo by Dymatize and they started the demo by asking who wanted to be in a "flex off". Jody walked up with no fear, busted out her guns, and walked away with a box of Supreme Protein Bars! #winning

The expo in full swing!

Ms. Bikini Olympia Ashley Kaltwasser
*she told me to make sure to use flash for all of my pics! :)

CT Fletcher!! ISYMFS!

By 6:00 pm, I was still very excited but exhausted! I decided that it was probably a great time to head out. I knew that Sunday would also be a full day and I wanted to make sure I had enough energy to make it through it. :)

Walking home...
I'm pretty sure that as I walked back to Jonathan's apartment, I had a giant grin on my face. I would have never imagined that I would be doing this. This being driving to L.A. by myself....attending an expo on behalf of a large influential company...meeting people that I look up to and admire...exploring downtown L.A. on my own....

What an adventure.

And this was only day 1!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Release Tuesday - Theme Song Edition

A couple of years ago, I started picking a theme song for my year. I felt like I should have a song that represented my goals for the year and so I began choosing a song that "spoke to me". I would then proceed to play the hell outta the song for the year at any given moment :)

Last year's theme song comes from the same artist as the song I have chosen for this year. My 2014 theme song was "Good Life". Whenever I was feeling pouty about the direction my life was going, I would play the song. Whenever I needed a reminder about why I was making certain decisions, I would play the song. When I won my show in July, I played the song. You get the idea.

This year, my theme song is "I Lived" by OneRepublic. The first time I heard the song, I stopped everything that I was doing at the time to listen to it. And then I started crying.

I'm serious.

I started to do the ugly cry, especially when the chorus came on.

Finding this song came at the perfect time. I had just discovered a quote by Henry David Thoreau that reads "Oh, God, to reach the point of death only to realize you have never lived."

My goal this year is to live.

I will do things I have only talked about doing.

I will bend, possibly break, the rules.

I will set lofty goals for myself.

I will break out of my comfort zone.

I will take chances.




Friday, February 6, 2015

City of Angels

A couple of days ago, I wrote my LA, Here I Come post and shared that I would be traveling to Los Angeles to cover TheFitExpo for Fitfluential. As I hit publish on the post, I knew that there was a possibility that I might not actually make it to the City of Angels. Issues/hiccups/speed bumps were appearing out of nowhere and I started to stress....BIG TIME! For days my stomach hurt, there was a pounding in the center of my forehead, and I wanted to cry. #idontdocrying

At the eleventh hour (Wednesday evening), everything fell into place and there was nothing left to stress/worry/cry about!

After sending the Princess off to school and doing a few chores Thursday morning, I hit the road. The drive from Tucson to Los Angeles is about 7 hours and while I have driven to California before, this was the first time I would be doing the drive by myself. I had my snacks and fruit punch HelixBCAAs handy, music and book to listen to, and I made sure to pee! :)

After 1 stop to fill up the gas tank and take a potty break and almost 7 hours later, I arrived. I may or may not thrown my arm in the air and screamed "yes" when I saw downtown...lol...I had survived the drive (which really wasn't that horrific) and rush hour traffic.

I will be staying with my brother Jonathan while I'm in town and I have to say, the man knows how to introduce you to his city! He took me to Katusya, which is owned by the company he works for, and is right by Staples Center. The food was perfection. The service was impeccable.

It was a really proud moment for me to see the managers of the restaurant come over to talk to my brother and to watch how professional he is and how well he carries himself. The kid (technically he's not a kid...but he will always be a kid to me! #bigsister) is definitely going places. Don't believe me? Check out this film project he and his friends created in less than 48 hours. They are currently one of the top 5 projects in the nation and are 1st in the online voting for People's Choice!

I'm off to see more of the city and enjoy some good eats. Tomorrow is the first day of the expo so stay tuned - follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter for updates!