Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Answer to "What's That on Your Wrist?"

It took me nearly a year but I finally decided on a fitness tracker that fits my needs. The Polar Loop!

How I chose the Polar Loop
1. Observation and Word of Mouth
The 1st band style fitness tracker I saw in person was the Nike Fuelband. Our friend Andrew, who is not a huge fan of formal exercise, was using it and loved the way it motivated him to move more. I loved the idea of something that tracked your daily activity, not just your workouts.  I started my informal research by checking out the gear my #fitfam was using. The fitbit seemed to be the most popular online and in person. I saw some Nike fuelbands, Jawbones, and my fitness coordinator used the Shine.  There were so many options it was overwhelming!

2. Everymove FitTracker Selector
During my review of Everymove I discovered their free fitness tracker database. You can enter your fitness need, style of tracker, and even brand to narrow results.  My main needs were crosstrainng and a sleeptracker. Enter the Polar Loop! Until using the site I had never even heard of the loop.

3. Brand Loyalty
I was surprised that I had never heard of the Loop. It was a fairly new product from Polar to give their consumers a tracker to fit their needs. When I 1st started my search my 1st though was I wished Polar had a fit tracker band. I used the Polar FT2 when I first dove into fitness and learned the benefit of HR tracking. Then when I started training for the Peachtree and longer runs I upgraded to the FT7. Then I stopped running and started lifting and using my HR monitor less. So, I was already very familiar with the brand. Once I found the Loop it was an easy choice to make!

My Experience So Far
I love my loop! It tracks all of my daily activity.

My steps and my sleep,

As well as the quality of my sleep.

It alerts me of prolonged inactivity

It motivates me to meet my goals by alerting me of my progress so far and how much additional activity is needed.
The fireworks that go off when you meet your goal are pretty awesome too!

My only complaint so far was that my loop and mobile app don't always sync. During the 1st 30 days the bluetooth technology was not syncing with my phone app, even with manual attempts. I later saw this was a common issue for users. I wish it was more consistent.

I have been using my Loop since September and overall I love it. It serves all of the functions I need and I can check all of my primary activities at a touch of a button on my wrist. The syncing would be a bonus, but does not detract from my overall enjoyment of my Loop. If you are looking to purchase a band style fitness tracker I highly recommend you check out the Polar Loop.

What fit tech do you use? Leave a comment and shout out your favorite brand.

Health and Happiness,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What's on my plate? Cooking with Plated

I learned about Plated through my work with Everymove. One of the rewards I earned was a discount on a Plated membership. Then I saw an ad on Facebook offering 4 meals for $20.

I set up my account but never ordered. Then last week I got an email saying my plates were going to expire. It was now or never.

I decided to choose 2 recipes that looked tasty and used ingredients I had never cooked with before and that I probably would not try on my own. I few days later my package arrived! 

I love the packaging, 
"This is your moment of glory!" What a great greeting for my foodie adventure!

In my box were all the major ingredients: fresh spices, carbs, veggies, and protein. I just had to supply the oil, salt, pepper and cookware. Let the fun begin!

Meal 1 I prepped for date night with the husband: Quail with Quince

I have never cooked quail or quince before. With a little help from The queen of quince I figured out how to core and pit the fruit. 

Then I prepped the potatoes, seasoning, and quail.

The final product was quite fancy.

The final product was delicious. I loved the taste of the Dijon seasoning on the quail. The balsamic have the quince a nice balance of sweet and tart. The plated description was pretty accurate, Quince taste like a blend of an apple and a pear. We had some leftover cucumber tomato salad so we added that to our meal for some added color and vegetables.

Meal 2: Pork Chops with Cider Gravy 

This time, with a little help from Martha, I learned how to chop a fresh fennel bulb and mince shallots.

It took me about an hour to prep this meal, it took a lil while to find videos and mince and chop, but it was soooo worth it. This was soooo good. 

We ate every succulent bite! The sweet and savory of the roasted fennel and apple salad was a perfect compliment to the pork chops. The cider gravy was an amazing glaze for the pork chop. Absolutely delicious! My favorite recipe of the 2 of tried.

Plated made me feel like a gourmet chef! I absolutely loved it.  The meals I picked were full of healthy oils and fat, low carb, high protein, paleo friendly, and were between 630-500 calories. So it is easy to fit them into my healthy lifestyle.

From the packaging to the positive feedback on Twitter and Instagram I loved the experience.  I look forward to my next Plated adventure!

Have you tried plated? What new recipe did you try?

Health and Happiness

Monday, November 10, 2014

Flag Football, Baby Shower, and Friendsgiving

Saturday was back to back events!

Started the morning with a trip into the city for the husbands flag football playoff game. 

They did not win, but it was fun to watch. He did manage to successfully recruit me and my sister for next season. If they need ladies for their roster, we're in!

Then we cleaned up and rode OTP to celebrate our friends baby shower.  

So neither me nor my husband have lots of baby experience. We did not win at 1 handed baby diapering. 

After a few more shower games we headed home to prep for Friendsgiving. 

The annual gathering of my UGA/APO friends, their spouses, and new friends.  The hubs prepped a cucumber tomato salad, yup the Brown's brought a salad, no one was surprised. 

It was so great to see everyone. We even scheduled a play date for Gus with our friends new pup.

We had a very busy weekend. But so much fun!

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Health and Happiness

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite holiday.
Decorations, costumes, scary movies, and fall flavoured treats!  My sister and I joke that I prep for Halloween the way most people prep for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We had pumpkin oatmeal cookies

And pumpkin caramel blondies, 1st attempt and these were amazing!

A Witch's Brew of Apple Cider Sangria

And my traditional Sweet Potato Shepard's Pie and kale.

My own tradition as of Halloween 2010. 

I appreciate the DIY costumes. So I try to piece together character costumes based on as much of my own clothing as I can. This year I was Marge Simpson and my husband was a Halloween Hipster.

Last year I discovered that Halloween is a pretty big deal in our neighborhood. They block off our culdesac to keep kids safe and cars out. People from neighboring communities and apartments park all along the entrance of our community down to the pool house. Then they get out and trick or treat.

Last year I got stuck in Halloween traffic and ran out of candy. This year I was home and had a surplus of treats!

We had a great time handing out treats to the kids. I think our door turned out great!

We even had sound effects connected to our lights.

The rain and drop in temperature slowed things down compared to last year. 

A little before 9 we closed up shop to head out to Halloween part 2 at our friends home. All in all I'd say another great Halloween at our house.

We saw many Elsas, superheroes, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

So what costume did you see the most often?

Do you have any Halloween traditions?

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Health and Happiness,