Natural deodorant

I have been experimenting with natural deodorants for years, ever since I read a few studies about antiperspirants and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and breast cancer.  (Here’s one report – “may” and “more research needed” is enough for me to find an alternative.  You can web search and find more.)

However, the elimination of aluminum, parabens, and antiperspirant has been a tough one for me.  I work out, HARD.  I don’t always have time to take a shower immediately post-workout.  Sometimes I need to be near people, and I don’t want to smell bad.  I tried Tom’s of Maine, which I heard good things about.  It made me smell nice after my shower, but it couldn’t hold up during exercise.

I made my own natural deodorant for a while – just baking soda and coconut oil.  Easy breezy.  This worked really well, but I couldn’t get the mixture just right.  The baking soda irritated my armpits easily, and then when I would sweat things would really hurt.

I read a blog review recently, and I took their advice.  I am telling you guys, I have found the holy grail of natural deodorants.  Primal Pit Paste.  The name is funny, but the stuff is amazing.  I bought some two months ago, and it WORKS.  The basic ingredients are the same as my home recipe – baking soda and coconut oil.  However, they add essential oils and a few other ingredients to keep it from being irritating.  Also, the smells are fantastic.  I finish my workouts and I do not smell.  I can run a few errands post-PiYo and not feel self-conscious.

I bought the Pit Paste Sticks, because I went the jar route when I made my own deodorant and it was pretty messy.  I like the stick method because I am not getting deodorant all over my hands.  The sticks work great – just hold it under your arm for a few seconds to warm the coconut oil, and the product glides on.  I am a huge fan of the coconut lime currently.  I smell like a margarita.

Plus, sign up for the e-mail list to get 10% off!  I did, and then stocked up.  Life changer, ladies.

 

 

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New Year? New workout clothes!

It’s January, guys!  Know what that means?  Awesome workout clothes on super clearance at our favorite stores!  I was just in Athleta, Lululemon, and Lucy and there was so much inventory on clearance – it was heaven!  Here are some of the items I scored:

Athleta Ponte Skinny Pant on sale for $39.  This pant is so good it’s ridiculous – looks like skinny jeans, feels like yoga pants.

Athleta High Rise Bloom Chat Tights for $28.  I love the high rise, as it keeps all my stuff covered and warm.

Athleta Frost Chat Tight for $28.  These are so COOL.

Splendour Bra

Lululemon Splendour Bra for $39 online (but I got  mine for less in store!)  I should note that I got five different tops at my local Lululemon for under $30 each, but I am not seeing those prices online.  It is worth checking the sale rack if you have one in town.

It is January, after all, so how about a few options to cover up with post-workout?

This cashmere cowl neck is 75% off ($85!) at Nordstrom Rack.

I love the slouchy V-neck in this 360 Cashmere sweater, also on sale at Rack.

I love the lean look of this Quinn Cashmere sweater, on sale for $70 at Nordstrom Rack!

Vince cashmere for $150?  YES.

Foam Roller Shopping

As a follow-up to my foam roller post the other day, I want to do a shopping post!

Here are the foam rollers I considered buying, and why I did (or did not) choose them for my home gym.  First, I think the mantra “different strokes for different folks” is going to apply here.  We all have different bodies and different issues and different pain thresholds.  What works for me is not going to be what works for my husband, momma, dad, or neighbor.  BUT.  I can do some legwork for you and make your googling a little easier, right?

LuxFit Premium High Density Roller – Not going to lie, people.  I bought this because it was the #1 rated foam roller on Amazon and I am a sucker for the ratings.  However, I did put a little more thought into it than just the rating.  First, the price.  Can’t beat the price on Amazon.  Next, there are three sizes available – 12″, 18″ and 36″ lengths.  Not being an experienced foam roller, I went for the middle size.  I am really glad I did.  I am not a big person, and I am pretty sure the 12″ would have been too small for me to maneuver on well.  I like that I can shift from one side of my back to the other easily, without falling off the end of the roller.  Similarly, I think the 36″ would have been too big for me – again though, just based on my frame.

LuxFit Foam Roller (hollow and bumpy style) – this one looks way cooler than the one above, but it is more expensive.  Plus, I was reading about how rolling can be painful at first, and I was nervous that the bumps might make the process even more painful.  If you are an experienced roller looking for some added pressure, this could be for you!

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller – This is the #2 seller on Amazon, and it looks really awesome.  However, it was 3x as expensive as the one I bought, and because I wasn’t sure I was going to love foam rolling, it seemed prudent to be budget friendly.  Also, some of the reviews noted that their roller had cracked or broken because the roller isn’t one piece.

AmazonBasics High Density Foam Roller – Guys, this could be my foam roller’s twin.  They look the same and are the same price.  Mostly, I didn’t order it because it was the #3 seller.

Master of Muscle Foam Roller – How cool looking is this guy?  I almost bought this one because of the claims that it is like your own personal massage therapist (Um, YES!!!!) but the 13″ length gave me pause.  This might be a good one to take along to the gym or when traveling, but in the end, wanted a roller that was a big longer.

I hope this helps you shop for a foam roller that meets your needs.  If you have one you love that I haven’t mentioned, please post!

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling!  So easy, so amazing!

I must have been living under a rock, because for a gal who runs, goes to yoga and ballet barre, and blogs about fitness, I had never EVER heard of foam rolling until recently.  I googled it, and apparently foam rolling is a THING.  And lots of people do this THING.

In case you have been living under the same rock, here’s the deal:  a foam roller looks like this.

According to breakingmuscle.com, “myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling,” has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness. Recent information, technology, and affordable products have introduced an increasing array of training and recovery methods to the average person.  Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.”

So, basically, foam rolling is a way to massage your muscles to reduce knotting, tight spots, and soreness.  You know how when you have a stiff neck, you can use your finger to push really hard on the knot for a while, and then when you remove your finger the knot is gone?  Same idea.

However, the foam roller finds knots I didn’t even know I had.  I roll my thighs at five different angles, and the roller finds tightness in all kinds of places.  I have been using the foam roller on my upper back (please do not EVER roll your lower back) and I can feel there is much less tension in my shoulders and neck as a result.  I also can tell that the roller releases a ton of tension in my glutes.  It is seriously painful while I am rolling, but I feel amazing afterward.

Are you ready to give foam rolling a try?  I like the examples given by 12 Minute Athlete to begin.  Are there other muscles that I can roll, now that I’ve mastered these basic moves?

Sports (and Life) Hydration

I know I’m supposed to drink water.  I have great intentions to drink water.  I carry around a water bottle most of the time, but when I really think about it at the end of the day . . . I don’t drink enough water.

I KNOW.  There are so many great articles about the benefits of enough water and how your body is mostly water.  I know about the comparison to plants and how they wilt without enough water.  I know all these things.

I also know that I am more likely to drink my water if it is flavored by something.  Sometimes I cut up watermelon and throw cubes in, sometimes I make iced tea, sometimes I use lemons.  I love coconut water, but it is pretty pricey.  So, I was super excited when I found this recipe for a natural homemade electrolyte drink.  I like that this will help replenish me after a workout, and honestly, I’m more likely to drink it if it tastes like something.

Homemade Electroyte Drink (reposted from Wellness Mama)

Ingredients
  • 1 quart of liquid
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
  • ¼ to ½ tsp crushed Calcium magnesium tablets or powder (must research where to find)
  • ¼ cup or more of juice
  • 1-2 TBSP sweetener (I plan to use honey or organic sugar)
Instructions
  1. Warm your base liquid (water, coconut water or tea)
  2. Add sea salt and calcium magnesium
  3. Add juice and mix or shake well
  4. Cool and store in fridge until ready to use

Refreshing Strawberry Watermelon Protein Shake

I don’t know about you, but workouts in July heat make me THIRSTY.  We had watermelon chunks left over from dinner, so I used them in my shake this morning. It was so cold and refreshing!  My kids say it is the best shake I’ve made yet…

Strawberry Watermelon Protein Shake

  • 2 cups of cashew milk (any milk would work)
  • 2 cups of watermelon chunks
  • 4 scoops of IsaLean strawberry cream 

  

Turn on the blender and let run until smooth. Makes two large or three small shakes.

This drink has the protein I need, and the refreshing taste I crave this time of year.My daughter wants me to make popsicles using this recipe next!