PrAna has been popping up everywhere in my world recently. What once was a semi-unknown brand to me, I now see EVERYWHERE! A friend of mine recently wore a sweater from PrAna to work. I had to make a stop at REI, and lo and behold – PrAna had its own section!
Why does this make me so excited? Because I love seeing companies that want what’s best for customers (and the world) succeed.
November is the time of year when we take time to think about and appreciate everything that we are grateful for… It’s one of my favorite aspects of the Holiday Season. During the holiday season, it is a time of giving. How awesome would it be to buy gifts for your loved ones or yourself, but then also know that the money you spent would be used to give back to the community? DOUBLE WIN.
PrAna has at the heart of their mission and vision to make a difference in the world: whether its by how they make their clothes and what products they use, to how they give back to the community and to make the world a better place — they have a strong mission of CHANGE.
What Sets prAna Apart
They’re conscious of the way their clothes are made:
If you haven’t heard of prAna or know what they stand for, let me tell you a little about them. PrAna’s clothes are made sustainably, out of recycled, fair-trade certified and hemp items. prAna made a short video on why they use hemp:
As a consumer, I want to know how what I wear affects my body and my system. So I’ve started looking into it and while I’m no expert, I now know that we HAVE to start taking a closer look at how our clothes are made.
1. How they’re made affects the clothing that we are putting on our bodies (which our skin comes into contact with).
2. How they’re made directly affects the quality of the clothing.
3. How they’re made impacts the environment.
It’s time we start leaving a positive impact instead of a negative one.
prAna designs clothes that are comfortable, cute, classy, and are versatile.
Clothing is an expression of who we are. And prAna has made a point to design clothing that will excite people to wear, whether its for work, for an outdoor adventure, or for a sweat session in the gym.
If I could wear leggings and hoodies all day everyday, But prAna has changed the game with their athleisure and athletic lines. I’m absolutely obsessed with the Rockaway Jacket and the Caraway Tights that PrAna sent me.
Side Note about the Caraway Tights: They passed my “Squat Test.” I hate leggings that slip off your waist while you’re trying to do a squat and/or become see through when you are squatting. The Caraway Tights didn’t slip down AND they didn’t become see through. WIN!!
The Number One Reason I Choose prAna
If you have a problem with something you bought, they’re not going to blow you off. They want your feedback. prAna actively wants to make their company and your experience better. That makes a difference to me, personally. Customer service is something that should be common – but it’s not. But prAna’s got it. And it shows!
And along the same lines, they’re giving back to the community because THEY CARE!
The world is in desperate need of positivity. And prAna is dedicated to give back more than they take from the world. During the holiday season, prAna donatse a portion of the proceeds from a select collection of items to Outdoor Outreach, which is a non-for-profit organization that connects underserved youth with the outdoors. This is near and dear to my heart as a middle school counselor.
I could talk endlessly about how great I think prAna is, but they have a whole section of their website dedicated to it. I encourage you to check out the prAna Sustainability section of their website.
prAna has given me a special discount code to share with you all for 15% off if you order before 11/22!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PrAna . The opinions and text are all mine.
Do you have a favorite brand? One that you love for whatever reason? Maybe the company has products that you love the quality of; or perhaps you love the prices; whatever the reason, it’s a brand that you trust. I was given the opportunity to attend an immersion event for a brand in the Health and Wellness / Natural Products industry; and at the end of the event, I’d found a favorite brand. And it is NOW Foods. This post is sponsored by NOW Foods. I am thrilled to be working with the NOW brand. They flew me out to Chicago so I could attend their #NOWGetFit Immersion event. All thoughts and opinions are my own!
NOW Foods | Affordable Natural Products
Before the trip to Chicago for Now Foods’ Immersion Event, I had heard the brand name before and seen the bright orange protein powder tubs in health food stores. I had tried the NOW Sports Amino Powder Pre-Workout (and loved it, might I add!). But my knowledge beyond that was minimal.
Working with FitFluential, the NOW brand sponsored an event for bloggers to attend to learn about NOW. I was lucky enough to be able to attend this event, learn about NOW’s values, mission, and processes, and spread the word. Before I get into the details of the trip and the brand, I want to share some quick pictures from the event.
The biggest takeaway from the weekend was that I can trust the NOW brand.
1. The ingredients they put into their products are of the BEST quality.
Furthermore, one of their promise’s to the consumer is of quality. They have a Quality Control and Quality Assurance Program, which I have seen in action. NOW goes above and beyond the regulations (which includes FDA inspections) and what is required of the supplement industry to ensure pure, effective, and natural products.
While visiting one of the NOW Plants in Illinois, I was able to see some of the thousands of tests on materials and products that they conduct to make sure that products are safe from contamination, adulteration, and ingredient substitution. Not to mention, they are one of just a few supplement suppliers that have a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certification.
It is all too common for supplement brands and suppliers to skip out on quality ingredients and quality checks in order to push a product to the public.
2. The price of their products is literally unbeatable.
When you look at the quality of the ingredients and the precision of their health and safety checks, you’ll be shocked at how affordable the products are.
Throughout my time with NOW, it was very clear to me that their mission is to produce the best products at an affordable price. When speaking with the CEO and the founder’s son, they both said that they didn’t want people to have to choose between paying a bill and living a healthy life. As a counselor that primarily works with children and families that live at or under the poverty line, this truly struck a chord with me.
3. The company and it’s employees feel like a family.
And along those lines, every consumer and purchaser of NOW products brings you into that family as well.
Have you ever met a CEO of a huge corporation or business that knew the name of every employee? From the men and women on the board to the men and women who pack the boxes for distribution? I hadn’t until I met Jim Emme, CEO of NOW Foods.
We heard a lot about how NOW values its employees. For instance, the company gives a bonus to all employees every quarter (and the size of that bonus depends on how well the company does that quarter) but every single employee, from the CEO to the plant workers, gets the exact same bonus. Additionally, the Board evaluates the salaries of the employee’s yearly to make sure that they can support themselves and their families with their earnings. It was so refreshing to hear how they treat everyone like family.
We also saw how NOW values their employees. During our tour of the plant, Mr. Emme greeted and conversed with every employee in the building. He knew their names, knew their families, and genuinely cared about what they had to say. I was floored! It was clear to see that the employees truly enjoyed their job… We even met an employee that had been working with NOW for 25 years. That is a true testament to how the company treats their employees.
4. You can get a variety of products and know that with every item you purchase, it’s top quality.
Like I mentioned before, I had a very limited knowledge on the NOW brand and it’s products. In case you aren’t familiar either, here are the different NOW lines.
Dietary Supplements: Dietary supplements help make sure that you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs! I personally take their ProBiotics. They’re life-changing. I’ll be publishing a post on these this month. Stay tuned!
Sports Nutrition: This includes things like: Protein powders, BCAAs, pre-workout, and SO MUCH MORE!
Natural Foods: In almost every person’s fitness journey, they struggle with their Food and Diet at some point. NOW Foods has some AMAZING foods, and cooking aids (oils, nut butters, etc.) to help you reach your goals! I have tried out some new recipes with their foods that will be posted on Instagram in the coming weeks! NOW Foods also has some awesome recipes and pointers that they post as well on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Essential Oils: I had no experience whatsoever with Essential Oils prior to the Immersion Event. But I was able to learn some of the basics and uses. They even taught us how to make a gym cleaning spray and massage oil with some of the oils!
NOW Pets: Their Pet Line is their newest and I am so excited about this! I have 2 labs (who are basically my babies) and I want them to live happy and healthy lives, too!
My Favorite NOW Products
Pea Protein Powder: I’ve been using this post-workout for the last 2 weeks. LOVE IT! The taste is phenomenal… and that is one of the most important things to me. I can’t eat or drink something that I can barely get down!
Better Stevia: Zero calorie, low glycemic natural sweetener. I’ll never go back to others after trying Better Stevia. They also have French Vanilla Better Stevia which is PERFECT for my morning coffee!
Avocado Oil: Notice that the label says Ellyndale, which is part of NOW. So you know it’s the same top notch quality!
Probiotics: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. THESE PROBIOTICS ARE LIFE-CHANGING!!!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Reebok. I received these shoes for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Qualities of Good Shoes
Over the past few years, there has been a spike in the importance of what shoes you’re wearing. The shoes on your feet have become a status symbol. Working in a middle school, I see this on a daily basis. “WHAT ARE THOOOOOSE?!” can be heard regularly, referring to what shoes you have on. But this isn’t just a middle school, teenage trend. This spans across all age groups, genders, ethnicities, etc. If you need convincing, hop on Instagram and search for the hastag “shoegame.” Nearly 3 MILLION posts come up with that tag, and I’m sure there are even more with other popular hashtags referring to shoes!
For me, personally, I will admit that I like for my shoes to look good… but COMFORT and QUALITY are the most important factors for me. If I’m lucky, I can find a shoe that has it all! I was fortunate enough to be able to try the Reebok Harmony Road and I am thrilled to be able to work with Reebok on this sponsored campaign! All thoughts and opinions are my own. And I cannot wait to tell you (and show you) how wonderful these new shoes are. Fair warning though, you’ll want to snag a pair of your own ASAP!!
The Reebok Harmony Road was designed with distance runners in mind. In fact, the Harmony Road is such an impressive shoe that is the winner of Runner’s World 2017 Best Debut Shoe.
First impressions are key; and the Reebok Harmony Road was on point. The second I opened the shoebox, I couldn’t wait to try them on. They look sleek, breathable, and
There are a few color options available on the Reebok website but the charcoal grey shoes with the mint and pink soles are by far my favorite. They look sharp and will match any exercise outfit you wear… not to mention, they have that pop of color on the sole for some extra personality!
The comfort of these shoes is, hands-down, the BEST part about the Reebok Harmony Roads. First, I have to mention how breathable and lightweight they are. I didn’t feel like I was lugging 5 pound weights on my feet, like I have with other running shoes. Second, the soles of these shoes have a new, innovative cushioning in the soles made from Kooshlan TPU foam. I’ve never felt a running shoe so comfortable. If you’re a distance runner, you know that the sport takes a toll on the foot, ankle, joints, etc. The Harmony soles absorb a lot of the shock from your shoe hitting the pavement.
The biggest takeaway for me, regarding comfort, was the lack of pain I felt throughout my joints and muscles after a long run from wearing these shoes! The sole cushioning is a LIFESAVER (or should I say – joint saver!)!! I have a tendency to overpronate when I run, and these shoes had the perfect amount of cushion and support for that!
The Reebok Harmony Road’s are fairly true to size. They felt slightly longer than my other running shoes, but not enough to make a huge difference. For my next run, I plan on trying a thicker pair of socks to see how that feels! They also weren’t too narrow or too wide for my feet. That is especially important to me because if a shoe is too narrow or too wide, I can’t wear it (let alone for miles and miles of training).
This shoe features a low cut design; however, that does not impact the overall stability of the shoe. Your ankles have the mobility to move, yet they still feel supported by the overall structure of the shoe itself. They are lightweight but sturdy at the same time.
I discussed the soles of the Reebok Harmony Road in the “Comfort” section. But I want to mention some of the other aspects of the sole that help with stability too. For example, these shoes have a Carbon rubber heelstrike which provides traction. Additionally, these shoes have a high abrasion rubber outsole which is EXTREMELY durable.
Not a long distance runner? Not a problem!
But don’t worry if you are not a long distance runner, you can still see AMAZING benefits from wearing this shoes for other activities. I wore these shoes to the gym for a couple of workout sessions and they worked perfectly! The lightweight and low rise design make them great for gym workouts in addition to running.
This shoe has exceeded all of my expectations. I look forward to training for my 5k, 10k, and next half marathon with the Reebok Harmony Road, as well as continue my strength training workouts in them! To learn more and buy your own, clickhere!
I don’t know about you… but when I have a killer gym outfit on, I completely crush my workout. Have you ever noticed that when you like what you are wearing and/or how you look, you get more accomplished? That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Here’s my theory:
When you feel confident, you can conquer the world.
That feeling, or that mindset, spreads into everything that you do. And sometimes, a killer outfit does just that. It gives you CONFIDENCE!
So, it’s my pleasure to be able to work with a company like prAna and give you a sneak peek into their Spring collection. This line has a TON of activewear pieces that will set your confidence on fire! I received 2 selections from prAna for free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you have never heard of prAna, let me tell you why I love the company.
The California-based company, prAna, that creates stylish and sustainably made clothes. prAna has a strong dedication to their community and the world. From prAna’s website,
“We go out of our way to ensure the impact we make on the world is mostly confined to our aesthetic. By using materials and partnering with companies and factories that adhere to strict guidelines for safety and efficacy, we’re able to make the beautiful and functional products we love, in a way that we can all feel good about.”
But, my absolute favorite thing about prAna is their devotion to giving back.
“Throughout the year we partner with several local and international charities to help make a difference. Whether it’s cleaning up beaches here in Southern California or sending aid to areas affected by natural disasters, we continue to find ways to serve our community.”
My prAna Picks
The first piece is the Mika Strappy Top. As you can see, this top is AMAZING. Nothing makes me feel more confident than being able to (successfully) pull off a strappy back tank. Having a bigger chest has made this more difficult, but the Mika has a built in cami bra. So I can do my stretches and yoga without a problem — and look damn good doing it!
The second prAna piece is the Juniper pant. These pants feel like jersey – and they are ultra comfortable. The are fitted through the knee and flare out at the calf.
If you want to get some prAna gear of your own, use the code “S4P17WPS” at checkout for a discount!
Water. The most essential of all nutrients. We can’t live without it. So why is it so important? And past that, why is alkaline water, like Essence pH10, so beneficial for us?
How Water Impacts Health
1. The human body is approximately 2/3 water. Why? A number of reasons!
2. Our cells need it to function properly as it maintains the health of every cell
3. Our blood is comprised of nearly 90% water – which is extremely important carries nutrients and oxygen throughout our body
4. It aids digestion and the breakdown of the food that we eat
5. Water transports waste and toxins out of our bodies (i.e. pee)
6. Water helps us regulate our temperature (for example, sweating is our body’s natural cooling mechanism)
7. It protects our joints, spinal cord, and tissues
8. Water keeps us from being dehydrated (which is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE!!)
These are just a few examples of why water is essential to our bodies. But it all comes down to this: we cannot survive without water. Our bodies will become dehydrated and dehydration can lead to death. Moral of the story: DRINK UP! However, we want to make sure that what we put in our bodies is clean, healthy, digestible, etc. Which is why we don’t drink straight out of a lake. So, we filter our water.
Furthermore, there are companies and organizations that have continued the process of creating healthy, clean water! I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to try Essence pH10 Water, which is a premium alkaline water that has extra, critical nutrients in it. These include: calcium, magnesium, and zinc acetate. So while you are drinking water, you are also giving your body more of what it needs to survive and thrive.
What Is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is less acidic than your tap water (higher pH level). Therefore, it has pH-balancing abilities (neutralizes / lowers the acidity in our bodies) while also being very hydrating.
One of the best ways to keep yourself out of a fitness slump is to try a new workout or training type. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: You’re less likely to skip a workout if you are excited about doing it! And on the other hand, you are much more likely to get bored if you are doing the same workouts over and over again. Redundancy will inevitably lead to burnout. Don’t get to that point! Try a new workout style, who knows – maybe it’ll be your new go-to workout! Related: How to Get Out of Your Fitness Slump with a Sledgehammer Workout
What is The Surge from Hedstrom Fitness?
Revolutionary. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Hedstrom‘s products. They’ve released the Bosu Ball, the Kamagon, and now the Surge. According to Hedstrom, the “SURGE® is a product that lets you train for everyday life. A product that truly makes you better at everything! SURGE® is “living resistance” that builds an athletic core which can take anything life and sport can dish out through intense and dynamic training.”
The Surge is a long cylinder that you can fill with water. Filling it with water makes it heavier. Theres a nifty, convenient chart on the side that tells you what the Surge will weigh with however much water you put in! It’s basically a barbell at home that you can change the weight on, without having to have a bunch of bulky equipment lying around! Bonus feature: it really challenges your stability because the water moves around inside the Surge.
In case you don’t want to read those bulky paragraphs, let me break it down for you….
1. The Surge is like a barbell.
2. You put water in it to create resistance… The more water you add, the more it weighs!
3. It’s just one piece of equipment… No more bulky gym equipment lying around and creating mess in your home.
4. The water creates a more challenging workout – Hydro Inertia Training! The water moves around inside The Surge and creates an unstable resistance for your workout moves. Every exercise you do is more challenging with these hydro-inertia principles!
5. You can do almost any exercise with the Surge (and the Kamagon ball!) now… anytime, anywhere!
I was sent The Surge from Hedstrom to try out and it is a game changer!! I now have a great way of lifting weights on days that I don’t feel like going to the gym. Try these exercises for a full body workout with your Hedstrom Fitness gear!
Featured Hydro-Inertia Exercises:
Half Burpee: Start in the plank position with your hands in the Surge handles. Jump your feet inward towards your hands. You can either stand up, while keeping your back straight and your chest up, or you can jump your feet back to the start position!
Bent Over Row:Bend forward, keeping your back straight, head in line with your spine, and knees slightly bent, with the weight hanging directly in front of you. Lift The Surge towards your chest and keep your elbows tight in towards your body. Then slowly return to the starting position. You can do these with an overhand grip or an underhand grip!
Tricep Press: Hold the weight above your head. Slowly lower the weight behind your head… but make sure you keep your elbows inward by your ears. Slowly lift the weight back to the starting position. Side Note: It helps to stand with one foot in front of the other so that you don’t strain your lower back!
Bicep Curl: Stand with a split stance (one foot in front of the other), which protects your lower back. Hold the Surge with an underhand grip. Bring the weight up towards your chest, keeping your elbows stationary by your side.
Other Exercises for The Hedstrom Surge:
Lunge (and all lunge variations)
Squat (and all squat variations)
Oblique Twists (also known as Russian Twists)
And the list goes on! Check out this video library which has TONS of exercises to do with Hedstrom exercise products!!
You can get the Surge, Kamagon, or other Hedstrom Fitness products at the Hedstrom website, and you can use the code: SPHF25 for the next month for 25% off!
*Disclaimer: This post is a sponspored post. I am thrilled to work with Hedstrom on this campaign! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hi! Welcome to Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes. I’m a 20-something from Atlanta, GA where I work as a certified school counselor and personal trainer. I have a B.S. in Psychology, a B.A. in Sociology, and a M. Ed. in Professional Counseling from the University of Georgia. I started Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes in 2015 to share my journey in fitness, health, and life in general.