03-18-2015

The Plight Of The Honey Bee + Nektar Honey Crystals Review

Disclaimer: Nektar Naturals provided me with product. All opinions are my own.

Did you know the honey bee population in the US is declining? I didn’t know until I started working with Nektar Naturals, who makes Nektar Honey Crystals. I’ll give you more info on that in a minute.

The plight of the honey bee...do you know how it affects you?

According to the US Department of Agriculture:

The honey bee population in the United States has been declining for decades. The number of managed U.S. honey bee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947, to just 2.5 million today.

Last summer, the USDA provided $8 million as “incentives for Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin farmers and ranchers who establish new habitats for declining honey bee populations.”

So why should we care?

When you think of honey bees, you might only be thinking of them pollinating flowers, etc. But bees are responsible for a lot of the crops we might be eating on a daily basis. The USDA Agricultural Research Service states:

Commercial production of many specialty crops like almonds and other tree nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables depend on pollination by honey bees.

I really never even thought of those things in relation to bees. In California, approximately 60 percent of all manage honey bee colonies (1.4 million colonies) are used for the almond industry.

Colony losses can be linked to pathogens, colony collapse disorder (where beekeepers just find dead colonies with no bees), weather (like unusually hot or cold), and more. The USDA is still researching factors and what might be causing this vast decline.

A tip they give to the public is to not use pesticides during the day, when bees might be out looking for nectar or pollinating plants. 

Again, I had never even thought of any of this! So what does this have to do with Nektar Honey Crystals?

Well, I first heard of the plight of the honey bee through working with them. On their website they talk about using eco-friendly materials for all phases of production whenever possible. The company states they support the efforts of the research being done in this field to stop this decline.

So what are Nektar Honey Crystals?

They’re exactly that. Honey crystals! Jeremy Edelman, founder, was tired of the sticky mess of honey bottles and jars. As a tea drinker myself (and someone who eats oatmeal on the go regularly), I can relate. I don’t take my honey bottle with me because it’s just a mess. 

Anyway, that’s how the honey crystals were born! 

Nektar Naturals
The honey crystals are all natural granulated honey. 1 packet is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of honey. They are naturally gluten-free, GMO free, Made in the USA (!), and Kosher.

I’ve tried it in my oatmeal and teas, and have spread the word to my best friend and my family…who also love it. Here’s an oatmeal shot from my friend:

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You can use them for a lot of things, such as baking (protein pancakes anyone?)

pancakes
Or a myriad of other recipes. Here are a few actually from fellow bloggers:

All great ideas I would have never thought of…and that’s why I’m not a food blogger ;)

Nektar also provides recipe ideas on their website, from sweet potato fries to an apple honey cocktail (yum). They also mention using it as a sports drink. Add in honey crystals to your water, add lemon, and you’ve got home made Gatorade. Honey contains natural electrolytes and sugar for that boost you need. I haven’t tried this but will once I start doing longer runs…stay tuned for my review on that!

You can find Nektar at most grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, Earth Fare and Shop Rite (for my NJ peeps). Use their store locator to find a store near you.

Giveaway

Lastly, they are hosting a giveaway that ends March 20. You can win 3 different cannisters of tea from Bare Tea, which makes organic whole leaf teas, 2 boxes of Nektar Honey Crystals and 2 mugs. Want to win? Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m going to keep doing research on the honey bees because now I’m intrigued. I really had no idea. It’s funny how we can take simple things, like honey and honey bees, for granted and not even give them a second thought. 

Did you know about the honey bee decline?

What is one environmental issue you feel strongly about? For me it’s deforrestation. Sigh.

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09-22-2014

What’s In My Gym Bag?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by HerCampus and Affinitas. All opinions are my own.

Now that I work two shifts, one in the office and one as a cross country coach, I need to get all my gym stuff ready in the morning and bring it with me. I go directly to the gym or for a run after work.

Here’s a peek into what I have in my gym bag at the moment:

gym bag

 

Side note: I love my hair brush that says “Is it Friday yet?” No really….is it? :-P

Anyway, here are the items that are always in my bag starting from top left:

  • Sports bra
  • Small towel 
  • Workout top
  • Workout shorts
  • FlipBelt for my runs
  • Hair brush
  • Deodorant
  • Change of clothes for after my shower

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve meant to shower at the gym and forget something, like my towel or underwear…ugh the worst.

Well, that’s where Cupcake Panties come in handy!

What? Cupcake Panties? Yes you heard me right. Now, if you’re like me, you may have immediately thought these were some sort of edible underwear or something. They’re not. They’re underwear that come in a little cupcake packaging, which makes it the perfect on-the-go item to carry in your gym bag or purses!

It’s discreet and you’ll never have that embarrassing moment of grabbing something out of your bag and accidentally pulling your underwear out as well.

cupcake panties

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I really do love the packaging, and the underwear is super cute too! Cupcake Panties come in lacy hipster and lacy thongs, so you can keep them in your bag and always be prepared.

cupcake panties

cupcake panties

I personally love these because, as I mentioned above, I have pulled stuff out of my bag before and had my underwear come out too. This also happens probably because sometimes I pack my gym clothes in my normal bag, but still. The cupcake packaging is cute and very useful! I plan on keeping these in my gym bag so I’m prepared next time I need to shower at the gym.

Hey College Students!! Win a $1,000 scholarship. Find the full instructions here. It’s super easy to enter:

Cupcake Panty $1000 Scholarship and “Super Bakers Dozen”

Prize is $1000, plus a “Super Bakers Dozen” (16) Cupcake Panty

Only three steps to enter:

1) Follow Affinitas on social media: FB, Twitter, Instagram

  • FB: facebook.com/AffinitasIntimates
  • Twitter: @AffinitasIntima
  • Instagram: @Affinitas

2) Post a pic of your acceptance letter next to your congratulatory cupcake

3) Tag Affinitas and hashtag #wearacupcake

Good luck if you decide to enter!

Have you ever had any embarrassing gym moments or forgotten things in your gym bag? I seem to always forget my towel!

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09-01-2014

Philly Half Marathon Training Week 5 + FlipBelt Review

I actually completed all my runs this week! I had been slacking the previous weeks and set a goal to get serious this past week. I missed 1 XT and 1 lifting session, but the runs are the most important right now.

Monday: 3 mile easy run. This was tough. It was so hot and I haven’t been running at all in the heat. At mile 2 I was walking and told my mom we should just do fartleks to finish up, that way we could take walk breaks.

Tuesday: 3 mile run. Still hot out but felt better on this run. We ran 3 miles to the gym and did some lifting afterwards which consisted of:

  • Leg press
  • Leg curl
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Single arm row
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Back extensions

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Wednesday: Rest day!

Thursday: 3 mile run. Felt awesome! First time we’ve ran an easy run in the 10s. It was also cooler out which got me so excited for fall.

Friday: Was supposed to run but moved it to Saturday. So technically should have done XT today but was out all day running errands with my mom so it didn’t happen.

Saturday: Sigh…shins were hurting. Ran in the morning, but only did 2.5 miles which felt like a struggle. At least I had a great view!

lake

Sunday: THE FIRST TIME I HAVE EVER FALLEN WHILE RUNNING. Which is why I only did 4.5 miles instead of 5. We decided to do our run on a local trail. At mile 4.5 I tripped over some rock or something and ate it. It’s so weird because the whole way I was watching my footing. I was honestly a little scared because I looked at my elbow and it had a huge bump on it immediately. Thankfully just a few cuts and bruises which are now pretty sore but it’s fine. Besides that it was a pretty scenic (and tough) run!

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Overall a good week of training and getting back into the swing of things. Shins are a bit sore but that’s expected. Ready to crush this upcoming week!

One last thing…you need to read this review of the FlipBelt. People…if you run, you need this. I love it.

I actually have been wanting to try FlipBelt for a while, but since I already had a SPIbelt, I was waiting until that broke or something to buy another type of belt. I was asked to review FlipBelt and of course said yes!

Not gonna lie – I like FlipBelt better than SPIbelt (and so did my mom who also tried it on a run). The only downside (if you can even call it that), is that you don’t clip it on like a belt, you have to step into it and pull it up (like pants). That’s really the only thing I can think of. I ordered the Aqua FlipBelt in a size Medium.

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It has pockets all around the belt which means it can hold a bunch of stuff. I ran with my phone (Galaxy S4 which is huge) and key. You could easily fit more in it, like ID, money, gels, etc.

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Took pictures with my phone, so the iPhone is shown here in the pocket. All the pockets are connected too, so if you put it in one pocket, you are able to reach in from the other side to get it out too (like a hoodie/sweatshirt pocket).

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Obviously didn’t run with my key hanging out like that but wanted to show the pocket ;) There is also a key hook inside if you want to hook your key onto something.

I also really liked that my phone didn’t bounce around while I was running. That happens sometimes with the SPIbelt, mainly because my phone is too big for it.

This is great for things besides running too. I fully intend to take it to the gym so I can have my music while lifting. No more bulky arm bands or putting your phone into your sweaty waistband (or is that just me?). I’m sure this would be convenient for traveling as well. I love the look of it and how it looks just like it could be your pants waistband. They come in all different colors too.

This is how much I loved FlipBelt!

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My mom is not the best at taking action photos so that’s the best we got…no really, look at how many takes this took:

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Anyway, if you want to order a FlipBelt, now’s your chance! They are offering my readers a 10% discount on purchases with the code Sweat33 until Sept. 7.

 
Tweet: Run, play, explore with #FlipBelt! Use the code sweat33 for 10% OFF your entire purchase! http://ctt.ec/9fPaF+ @flipbelt @fitapproach

Disclaimer: I was provided with a FlipBelt; all opinions are my own.

Do you use a belt or something similar while running?

What do you use to carry gels/water on long runs? I’m considering trying out a CamelBak eventually?

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