5 Reasons Why You Need Skoop in Your Life and Strawberry Banana Mousse

A couple weeks ago, I came home to this amazing package of goodies from Madelyn.

Skoop Goodies

Madelyn and I met at Blend where she had given me a 5-day challenge of Skoop A-Game to try. I was pretty apprehensive at first, “just another protein powder”, “nothing can do all these things it claims”, but by day 3, I was blown away at how good I felt and was eager to learn more about the company.

5 Day Skoop Challenge

Now that I have done my research and have been using Skoop consistently for the past two weeks, let me give you 5 reasons why you need Skoop in your life:

1. It actually works. I truly notice a difference in how I feel the morning after a hard workout. Instead of the typical aches and soreness, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. Just this past Saturday, after a 16 mile run and 5k mud/obstacle run, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed on Sunday morning feeling up for just about anything.

Not tired, jumping into cold water

This type of energy and recovery is not something I have ever felt when using other types of protein powders and supplements.

2. All its healthy benefits. With a list like this, what’s not to love?

  • A-Game has 41 organic non-GMO ingredients in every “skoop.”
  • A-Game’s probiotics promote healthy gut function & nutrient absorption.
  • A-Game’s antioxidants strengthen immunity and promote a healthy inflammatory response as well as supporting outstanding, sustaining energy.
  • It’s loaded with adaptogens, which actively fight stress and promote faster recovery after activity.
  • Ample fiber helps support the heart, metabolic health and a healthy inflammatory response.
  • Only 50 calories per serving.
  • Easy, convenient and fast for everyone on the go.

3. For every serving sold, they donate a serving of fresh fruits and veggies to school lunches. Take a second and reread that. Now read it again. So, as a teacher I may be biased, but the lunches at my school are atrocious. If buying a 30-serving bag means 30 of “my kids” get something healthy in their bellies, then I am more than in. (Please note the cup-o-noodles on the desk. Point made.)

Working hard

4. The transparency of their website. The Skoop website is just straight up adorable. I love how easy it is to use between the graphics, how the text is displayed, and most importantly, how honest they are about what goes into their products. Nothing is hidden. I mean, they put a picture of their nutrition label right on the site.

5. It tastes delicious in any recipe. My daily Skoop intake comes in the form of my Go-To Blueberry Smoothie. This Sunday, I got a little crazy in the kitchen experimenting with different things I could make using A-Game and B-Strong. Every single thing I made was delicious. Case in point, this Strawberry Banana Mousse (original recipe here) that uses a serving of B-Strong.

Strawberry Banana Mousse

Strawberry Banana Mousse

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 1 cup Bananas
  • 2 cups Cool Whip
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Honey
  • 1 serving B-Strong

Instructions

  1. Blend strawberries, bananas, honey, and B-Strong until smooth.
  2. Whisk the fruit together with yogurt.
  3. Fold in Cool Whip until combined.
  4. Fill ramekins and freeze for 2 hours.
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The unofficial 6th reason why you need Skoop in your life? The 10% discount my lovely readers get by using the code ROUTINE10. I recommend ordering some now so you’re ready for the Skoop Cookbook Madelyn is putting together!

Learn more about Skoop on Twitter, Instagram, and their blog.

*Disclaimer: I was provided with samples of Skoop to review, but I would have begged Madelyn for some if she hadn’t offered. All opinions are my own.

RQ: Do you use protein powders and supplements? What is your favorite recipe to add protein powder to?

Boomer’s Burn

As a Women’s Fitness Specialist, I have been extremely interested in designing a program that caters to the imbalances women, and men, experience with age. What was extremely interesting about designing this program was that most of the imbalances we develop with age are also the imbalances we develop from having desk jobs and sedentary lifestyles. This program is one step in the right direction to correcting and reversing those things.

Introducing the Boomer’s Burn!

Boomer Burn Logo

This program is 4 weeks of movement to help improve cardiovascular conditioning, posture, balance, functional movements, and core development. These are the areas of our bodies that weaken with age, desk jobs, and a sedentary lifestyle.

If you know you want to sign up already, click here!

Why is this Burn perfect for anyone of the Baby Boomer’s generation, who has a desk job, or has been sedentary?

  • There is a max of 4 moves in each workout, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by knowing what to do.
  • Each workout takes about 40-50 minutes tops!
  • Focus on functional movements so you can accomplish daily tasks easier. (Think reaching that top shelf, or picking up a heavy box off the floor.)
  • Focus on posture and core so you can walk taller, sit up straighter, dissipate lower back pain, and stave off permanent postural changes.
  • Focus on balance so you can avoid falls/trips, improve coordination, and keep your stability.

*If you have participated in one of the past Burns, this program contains no plyometrics and no timed workouts. Email me if you want to know more about how it compares and if it’s the right choice for you!

Here is what you will get during the 4 week Burn:

  • Six days a week of workouts:
    • 3 days a week of full body workouts
    • 2 days a week of cardiovascular interval conditioning
    • 1 day a week of sustained cardiovascular conditioning
  • Nutrition guidelines to maximize your workouts and overall fitness
  • Picture sheets of all workouts
  • Membership into a secret Facebook group for tips, motivation, encouragement, and accountability from me as well as other members of the Burn
  • Beginner modifications and advanced progressions for every workout to make it more manageable and more challenging depending on what you need
  • A goal of 150 minutes of cardiovascular conditioning per week.
  • Tracking sheet to monitor your progress
  • Six days a week of motivation, encouragement, and accountability from me (via Facebook)
  • Daily Bonus Workout Challenges
  • Access to your very own personal trainer (me!)

Items you will need:

  • timer/stopwatch
  • light free weights
  • mat, or soft place for floor moves
  • cardio machine of choice, or a place to walk/run/bike/swim

The Reset Burn runs from September 22 – October 18,2014. The price of this Burn is $35, but will go up to $40 on Wednesday, September 17! Click here, or on the image  below, to sign up!

Boomer Burn Logo

Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email from me. The official welcome email, first week of workouts, and nutrition guidelines will be sent on Sunday, September 21.

Please email me with any questions or concerns you may have at wreckingroutine@gmail.com. If you are interested in online personal training, but this program doesn’t fit your needs, check my Training Services page for other options. I would love to work with you!

You can also read testimonials about training with Wrecking Routine here.

**I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, but am not a Registered Dietician. Please consult your physician before starting any new exercise routine or diet. This program is only open to those 18 years of age or older.**

RQ: Are you in?

Energems Chocolate Energy Review

I am not a coffee drinker. Never have been and don’t foresee that I will be (never say never). The taste doesn’t suit me and the morning caffeine fix is not something I need.

However, an afternoon caffeine fix, say around 1:30 pm after 6 hours teaching, is something I do often need. In winter, and on colder days, a cup of green tea is enough for a boost. But in summer, the last thing on my mind is hot tea. (Yes, I know there is iced tea, but that’s just not where my brain goes.)

One serving of Energems

So when a representative from Energems (affiliate link!) asked if I’d like to try their chocolate covered caffeine gems of joy, I jumped at the chance. Energems was also one of the sponsors for Blend and included a box in the swag bag all participants received.

Energems among the Blend Swag

I really put Energems to the test during the Chase the Moon Relay. Around 11 pm, and fading fast, I pulled out a box and had three gems or individual chocolates. Three gems = 1 cup of coffee.

Let me tell you, those little things worked like a charm. Within 10 minutes I was alert and ready to stay up all night (which I did).

Up all night at Chase the Moon thanks to Energems

These little gems do the same thing for me in the middle of the work day. They are quick, easy to store in my desk, and are no-fuss no-muss way to get that afternoon kick I need.

Energems in the desk mess

My favorite part about Energems apart from the fact that they contain B vitamins and are only 15 calories each? They have a mint flavor! Mint chocolate is one of my favorite ice cream flavors, with mints and minty things being a slight addiction of mine. They are definitely a win in my book.

Energems ingredient list

If you’re a coffee drinker, or a caffeine kick needer, Energems are extremely reasonably priced at $8.50 for 9 servings, or three boxes. What would 9 cups of coffee from your favorite coffee shop cost you?

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a 3-pack variety of Energems to review. All opinions are my own.

RQ: Are you a coffee drinker? What do you do to overcome the afternoon slump? What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Tall Tales Tuesday: 5 Things to Expect at the Cliffs of Moher

Similar to the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher are on the must see list of Ireland. Unlike the Ring of Kerry, I would absolutely, 100% agree.

Trail walking along the cliffs

Here are 5 things you can expect if you visit the Cliffs of Moher.

1. Awe-inspiring beauty. As you walk up the steps from the parking lot, past the touristy souvenir shops, you come upon a view  unlike any other. The cliffs extend almost further than your eyes can see in either direction. The vibrant greens, the ocean crashing on the rocks, stretching your eyes to the horizon. It truly is a breath-taking view.

Cliffs of Moher

2. Warning signs. Once the paved, ledged path ends, visitors can continue their time at the cliffs by walking along the narrow trails that extend out from the paved areas.

Private Property Warning Sign  Before you make it onto these paths, stern signs with clear warnings might make you think twice about crossing the gated threshold.

Unstable cliff warning sign

Or they won’t.

Past the signage

3. Dizzying views. The vastness of the cliffs spreading out in either direction and the sheer drop of them right below you makes for some dizzying, depth-perception confusing views.

A little close to the edge

4. People doing handstands and jump pictures on cliffs. Being able to get to the edge of the cliffs makes for some serious photo opportunities. Including your typical yogi handstand and group jumping pictures. With a fear of heights, standing up fully with my arms over head was as close as I was going to get to handstands or jumping.

As handstand/jumping as I'll get

5. Cows. While most of your time will be spent admiring the view of the cliffs, take the time to turn your head the other way out to the green, cow-filled pastures. They are extremely well taken care of and some of the best looking beasts I have ever seen.

Cow

Rob and I lucked out with the weather while we were at the cliffs. It stopped raining right before we got there and started again right as we left!

RQ: Would you cross over onto the unofficial trail? Are you a handstand/jumping picture taker?

Becoming a Women’s Fitness Specialist

For the past few months I have neglected to share some exciting news with all of you. In June, I become a National Academy of Sports Medicine Women’s Fitness Specialist!

Women's Fitness Certification

 

As a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, I have to keep up continuing education credits and one of the programs I opted for was women’s fitness. I really enjoyed studying for this specialty and thought the program was well put together. Today, I want to share with you why I chose it, how I studied, and what’s next now that I have this certification.

Why I chose a Women’s Fitness Specialty:

Coming from a family of five women, focusing on women’s health seemed like a no-brainer. If I can help my family be even one step healthier, then it’s all worth it.

The women of the family

Sneak peek from my sister, Jackie’s, London wedding

Another reason I chose this specialty is because women are multi-faceted. We have to train differently at specific times in our lives (teen years, pregnancy, menopause, seniors). Not only does that keep my job interesting, but it ensures that I will continue to learn. Something I love to do.

How I studied for the test:

Since the program materials, and the test itself, were all online, I scheduled specific times in my week to sit my butt down and study.

Online Video studying

First, I read and took notes on the “textbook” portion.

IMG_5503

Once done, I printed my notes and watched the corresponding videos, adding notes, underling key points, and just trying to solidify the information.

Taking those notes

After reviewing everything, the 60 question test seemed relatively easy. My favorite part, besides learning new strategies and techniques to use with the different life stages, was the review it gave me from my initial personal training test.

What’s next now that I have this certification:

So many things! The first one being a Burn designed specially for those of the Baby Boomer generation. (It’s not only a program for women, men can join too!) Stay tuned this weekend for more information on that!

RQ: What are your best study techniques for online courses? Is women’s fitness something you’d be interested in learning more about?

Made Ya Sweat EMOM Workout

This afternoon the cross country team competes in its second race! I am pretty excited to see what the team can do since a lot of them are new to the sport and last week’s race was more of a learning experience. Hopefully their shin splints don’t give them too much trouble today.

A stormy starting line last week

I will probably post a picture or two on Instagram, so be sure to follow along if you’re interested!

One of the biggest challenges many of my clients face is finding the time to get in a quality workout during the day. When meetings, studying, and children take up all your time, it can be hard to carve out the time, and energy, to get to they gym.

This Made Ya Sweat EMOM Workout only takes 20 minutes to get in one heck of a butt-kicker that works your whole body. The 20 minutes does not include a warm up. Please warm up and stretch for at least 5-10 minutes!

Made ya Sweat EMOM Workout

Since this workout is designed to be every minute on the minute (EMOM), your body has less time to recover, thus improving your strength and stamina.

Made Ya Sweat EMOM Workout

For burpees, instead of doing a push up at the bottom, get your chest to the ground and put your arms out into a T shape. This adds a little extra arm building strength if push ups just aren’t your thing!

RQ: What’s your favorite workout when you don’t really have time to workout? What do you think: videos or pictures for workout sharing?

Sierra Trading Post Grand Opening

Last Wednesday evening, Heidi invited a bunch of other bloggers and myself to the opening of the new Sierra Trading Post store in Greenwood Village.

Sierra Trading Post in Greenwood Village

I have perused Sierra Trading Post‘s website before, but have never purchased anything from them. After exploring the store on the Wednesday, that is definitely going to change. If you’re unfamiliar with Sierra Trading Post, they offer name brand outdoor equipment at up to 70% off regular prices.

After a tasty Qudoba dinner (I had just come from cross country practice and was starving), we were split into groups based on a picture of a Colorado landmark stuffed into our name tags. It was a really fun way to meet and chat with different people! My team included Heather and Trevor.

Name badge with Great Sand Dunes

Heidi and the rest of the Sierra Trading Post team planned a few competitions for all the teams to complete as a way to explore the store and get to know what it has to offer.

My team kicked butt in the unpacking, assembling, taking down, and repacking a tent competition. Good thing Tyler owned the same tent!  The assembly took place in the back room of the store and it was fun to peek behind the scenes at all the racks and shelves of outdoor gear.

Tent assembly domination

Knot tying did not go so well for my team, but myself in particular. I learned that I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to what specific knots are called and how to assemble them. Note to self: Don’t go rock climbing without a very skilled knot-tying companion.

Knot tying failure by me

Our final competition had was exploring the aisles of the store as we collected ten items that we would need when on July day trip in Canyonlands. My team did pretty well with a jacket, sun protection, food, compass, and hydration, but we failed to get some sort of shelter.

Sierra Trading Post goodies for survival

The evening ended with some photo booth randomness, chatting with Amy and her husband, David, and picking out all the things I want to buy when I have time to head back and try them on (It’s all about pant and sleeve length.).

Not how crowded the store was when we were there, but look at all those awesome clothes!

Not how crowded the store was when we were there, but look at all those awesome clothes!

Heidi and her team really put together an entertaining evening. If you live in Denver, you should definitely go check out the new store. If you don’t, take a gander online!

RQ: Have you ever shopped at Sierra Trading Post? Photo booths: yay or nay?

Tall Tales Tuesday: Dingle Peninsula

When Rob and I were planning our itinerary for Ireland, the Ring of Kerry, on the western side of Ireland, kept popping up as must see. The gorgeous views, the quaint towns, the sheep. Of course we had to do it.

However, the day before we drove the 111 mile Ring of Kerry, we drove the 30 mile loop of the Dingle Peninsula. If you ever find yourself in Ireland, I highly recommend skipping the Ring of Kerry and just exploring the Dingle Peninsula. Dingle is more beautiful, more peaceful, and only takes half a day.

Road side beauty

Rob and I used this Smithsonian guide to help navigate our tour of the Dingle Peninsula. It was so helpful to have some knowledge about what we were looking at and suggested places to stop along the way.

Gorgeous views, tiny road

The loop starts in the uber cute town of Dingle which has a bunch of places for breakfast and/or lunch for the start and end of your drive.

The loop starts in the town of Dingle and it is recommended that your drive it counter clockwise since the roads are so incredibly narrow.

Narrow roads

From the start, Dingle just felt manageable. Thirty miles afforded us time to stop where we wanted, explore as long as we wanted, and just move at a slower pace.

Dingle is actually known for having more sheep on the peninsula than people. Though they didn’t seem overwhelming in number, you definitely noticed them.

Sheep

One of our first stops was off a little side road that lead to a gorgeous beach. I was really surprised at how blue the water was! Families were body surfing, setting up picnics, and just enjoying a beach day at their local spot.

Beautiful beaches

Another highlight was parking at a pull off and walking about a half mile to a small peak (really a hill if you live in Colorado) that gave us 360 degree views. We could see islands out in the ocean, the farmed and cultivated hillside, and a small town resting on the coast. It’s was the perfect way to stretch our legs and just enjoy the views.

360 degree views

The oratory, though not much to look at itself, was set on a peaceful hillside.

Oratory

The best part about it was the honeysuckle lined path leading to the oratory from the secret parking spot. It felt almost magical.

Secret path to the oratory

The secret parking spot it just up the road from the paid parking spot. It’s a short walk to the oratory from there. Worth it to save 3 euros.

Oratory Pathway sign

If you are an attractions person, than this is probably not the trip for you. The only attractions were a falling down fort, restored beehive huts, and a stone restaurant. Locals charged about three euros to see these things. Even though Rob and I didn’t go into them, I have to say that the views you get simply from driving are worth way more than what three euros would get you.

A 3 euro attraction

If you’re super lucky, you might encounter a runaway cow headed straight for your car as you head back towards Dingle. Nothing like ending the day with a little adrenaline rush!

Runaway cow

Since Dingle only takes half a day to explore, we still had time to check out the Torc Waterfall in the Killarney National Park. Two gorgeous things in one day? Win.

RQ: Do you like to stop and explore on your own, or keep a schedule? What would you do about a runaway cow?

11 Ways to Prevent and Cope with Shin Splints

With the cross country season in full swing (we just had our first meet last week!), the athletes have put in their fair amount of miles after a period of doing nothing much over the summer. As a result of the new demands on their bodies, and lower legs in particular, many of them are suffering from shin splints.

The team waiting out the rain

Oh shin splints. How familiar I am with that dull ache, all the way to sharp pain, that plagues the lower legs. My senior year of college, I ran through shin splints and ended up with stress fractures, which I also ran through because I would be damned if I was going to miss my senior year of collegiate cross country. I do not recommend doing that.

Young and foolish running Brooke

What are shin splints? When the muscles and tendons in the lower leg are inflamed to the point of pain from overuse. In the more extreme cases and cringe-worthy definition: when your tibia and calf muscles are being jarred so much from high-impact sports that your tibia starts to break (i.e. stress fractures).

Instead of running through the pain, like yours truly, try these 11 ways to prevent and cope with shin splints.

1. Ice. After you get home from a run, grab an ice pack (bag of peas, french fries, whatever), elevate your legs and ice for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off, then 15 minutes back on. The cold will help decrease inflammation and soothe the pain.

2. Run on the grass and trails. Avoid pavement and concrete running whenever you can. Stick to grassy areas and trails. The softer surfaces will not be so shocking to your legs, therefore preventing your shin splints from worsening.

Preventing Shin Splints - soft surfaces

3. Walk funny. Either before or after your run (I have my team do it before), spend 3 minutes doing the following walks for about 20 yards each. These walks will help strengthen and stretch your lowers legs while also providing ankle stability.

A. Walk forward and backward on your toes.

Preventing Shin Splints - walk on your toes

B. Walk forward and backward on your heels.

Preventing shin splints - walk on your heels

C. Walk on the inside and outside of your feet.
Preventing shin splints - walk on the inside and outside

4. Fidget. While you’re sitting at your desk at work, place both feet on the floor and raise your toes up one at a time while keeping your heel on the floor. Continue doing this until you can barely lift your toes anymore. This move helps create some endurance in your lower legs while stretching out the front of your legs.

Preventing shin splints - move your feet

5. Stretch and strengthen your calves. Calf raises (all three ways!), wall stretches, walking up a hill on your toes. Making your calves stronger will help support your tibia and prevent your shin splints from getting worse, or hopefully showing up at all!

6. Go low-impact. Work in one or two days of low-impact training per week. Cycle, elliptical, swim. Whatever it is, your shins will thank you from the break in impact.

Rowing - low impact for your shin splints

7. Check your shoes. Older shoes can have a huge impact on your shin pain. Try a new pair of sneakers on your next run. (see #8)

8. Get fitted. If you have flat feet, you may suffer from overpronation (your arch collapses inward when you step). Head to a running store and have them check your gait. They will film your stride and help you determine if you need a stability shoe or an insert. (I have both.)

9. Ibuprofen. Taking an anti-inflammatory can work wonders on your pain management. That being said, keep in mind that you are using a temporary solution to what can be a much more serious problem. Use it if you need it, but keep an eye on your pain when it wears off.

10. Be patient. The thing about runners is we like to run and when we are told we can’t run, we freak out. Shin splints take time to heal and you need to be patient. Your pain free shins will thank you.

Be patient when you have shin splints

11. See a doctor. If your pain becomes unbearable, even after you’ve tried just about everything, go see a doctor. They can help determine if you have stress fractures, or if something else is going on. This is your body, don’t mess around and don’t wait if the pain gets to be too much.

RQ: Have you ever suffered from shin splints? How do you cope with being told you can’t run, work out, etc?

15 No-Equipment Workouts

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but around here, it seems as though fall is on it’s way. The mornings have just the faintest chill in the air and the breezes just a hint of that tell-tale fall smell.

Though I adore fall, the dark, cold days that follow are not my cup of tea. As a result, I have been completing all my workouts outside in the sun soaking up the last of the long days. I know I will be stuck in the gym and treadmill bound soon enough.

In case you’re feeling like me, here are 15 no-equipment workouts you can take anywhere, outside in particular.

15 No-Equipment Workouts Two Move Gut Buster - Though this is only two moves, it will leave you a sweaty mess!

Two Move Gut Buster

3-3 Total Body Circuit - Three sets, three moves per set, one full body workout.

3-3 Total Body Circuit

Ten Minute Cardio - Nothing but plyos in this one!

Ten Minute Cardio

5 for 5 Plyos – Five moves, five reps, five rounds. Bring it.

5 for 5 Plyos

Tabata Run - Complete a tabata style run, then complete four moves before repeating.

Tabata Run

10 Minute Body Buster – Have 10 minutes? This workout is a sweat-fest!

10 Minute Body Buster

Tabata Abs – Feeling like your core needs some attention? feel the burn in 20 minutes.

Tabata Abs

20 Minute Boredom Fighter Workout – Lots of jumping between moves in this one.

20-Minute Boredom Figher Workout

Switch Around 1,000 - Almost nothing repeats, except the beats of sweat that will roll down your face.

Switch Around 1000

Altitude Adjuster - Simple moves, simple reps, and a quick sweat session.

Altitude Adjuster

Powerhouse - Get those legs toned and powerful!

Powerhouse

Basic Card Workout – Grab a deck of cards and start flipping.

Basic Card Workout

Obsession Confession #2 – Five moves on repeat. Get ‘er done.

obsession confession 2

Hotel Room Workout - No equipment, and can be done in a small space? Win.

Hotel Room Workout

Mixed Bag Quick Circuit - Your arms, plyos, and abs are going to feel the burn here.

Mixed Bag Quick Circuit

My suggestion to you: Get outside and get moving while you still can in this beautiful weather!

RQ: Is fall heading to your neighborhood? What is your favorite workout to do outside?