Lemon Ginger Echinaca Juice = Comfort in a Cup

erWhenever I’m in Trader Joe’s, I pretty much end up buying anything they give out as a free sample. Genius marketing really, giving out samples of delicious, healthy foods and beverages that sell at affordable prices. Why didn’t I think of this?!

Normally when food shopping, I try to be good and stick to “the list” (at least when I remember to make “the list”. Or when I actually remember to bring the dang list to the store with me). This list rule works just fine at most places. It’s not very often I walk into one of the large local grocery stores around here and get blown away by some amazing products they are offering. I’m usually blown away if the meat doesn’t expire well before the sell by date….

Trader Joe’s is a different story. I go in each time excited about what new experience I will have and what new discoveries I will make. Today, Ross and I discovered Trader Joe’s Lemon Ginger Echinacea juice. I’m not even a juice person (I’d rather eat a piece of fruit, feel fuller and consume less sugar and artificial flavoring), but there is something special about this beverage! Similar to apple cider, I’m told it’s good hot or cold (I’ve only had it hot, and probably only will!) It tastes more like a tea than a juice (and since ginger tea is a main ingredient, this makes sense). The spicy ginger, zesty lemon and soothing honey are the perfect winter warming combo. Since apparently everyone and their mother currently has the flu right now, I think we can appreciate the health benefits of echinacea.

Echinacea aside, if you’re looking for a fitness drink, this isn’t it. It’s more of a cozy treat to help get you through the long winter months and the even longer colds that we often suffer during these months. If you’re already getting a little tired of the hot cocoa and herbal teas you’ve been drinking all season, I definitely recommend giving this a try! If you’re feeling extra ambitious you could even add whiskey and concoct your own Hot Toddy recipe using this.

LGE Juice

He put a ring on it, now what? Thoughts on working out with your engagment ring on

Fact: I didn’t go to the gym for a whole 2 weeks after Ross and I got engaged. Some of that was due to the champagne consumption and celebrations that ensued post-engagment, but some of it was just dealing with the logistics of what I would do with my engagement ring while I worked out.

I have no problem running with my ring on, but I really don’t like the idea of it getting scraped up or damaged on dirty barbells. I also really don’t like to take it off. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and when I do I’ve been known to lose plenty of it by taking it off in bathrooms/locker rooms. Luckily everything I’ve lost was either cheap or given to me by ex-boyfriends (or most likely, all of the above ;)), so it was never completely devastating.

Losing this ring or having it stolen would be devastating- and the idea of leaving it in a bag or locker somewhere just doesn’t sit well with me. So, I’ve been wearing my engagement ring during my workouts, but not on my hand. I’ve been wearing it as a necklace. This allows me to still have the ring in my possession during workouts, and let’s face it, since I’m pretty vain constantly watching my form in the mirror to make sure it’s correct, I can even see the ring the whole time. This has been working pretty well for me so I thought I would share, just in case anyone else newly engaged is having similar issues and avoiding the gym like I did at first! This is assuming you actually want to work out of course, if you don’t, not wanting to work out with your ring on is a great excuse, FYI!

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Do you wear your rings during workouts? Do you have any other tips or tricks to share about working out with your engagement ring/wedding band on?

Wicked Frosty Four – A New New Year’s Tradition!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great time ringing in 2013. I think Ross and I started a new tradition- running a New Year’s Day Road race! We woke up early this morning and drove to Salem to run the annual Wicked Frosty Four. We’ve done road races celebrating a lot of different holidays (Turkey trots, Jingle Bell Runs, Leprechaun leaps, etc.) so why not New Years? I couldn’t think of a much better way to start off a year than running outside in the freezing cold sunshine with about 800 other crazy  fun runners.

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The course was beautiful; it was very flat and it took us through cute sides streets in Salem and along the coast (although it was hard to fully appreciate the beauty of the winter beaches as the wind whipped sand in our eyes). Ross has been a bit under the weather lately, so we weren’t trying to PR, but our friend Caleb did (ie he left us in the dust!). Granted, it was his first race so anything would have been a PR, but I think we’ve converted a new runner!

Burger

Diet

Post race, we headed back to Tavern in the Square for a burger and beer breakfast. I’ll work on that healthy eating New Year’s resolution thing later 😉

New Year’s Day races probably aren’t for everyone, but I absolutely loved it. I also loved how knowing I had a race in the morning actually helped keep me refrain from overindulging on NYE. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a lot of fun. Similar to last year, we got all dressed up and stayed in  playing games with great company. Unlike last year though, we didn’t stay in all night! At about 10 to midnight we decided to bundle up  and walk (or ice skate, given the condition of the roads) to the Bunker Hill Monument and watch the fireworks over Boston Harbor! We certainly didn’t need to worry about our champagne staying chilled 🙂

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My 2013 goals are to work on organization (work/life/home) and try to enjoy a little more down time. 2012 was a really busy year, which was great, but sometimes being too busy makes it to easy to lose sight of what’s really important. Some days seem to go by slow (hello Monday, I’m looking at you), but the years go by so fast.

I saw a quote on someone’s shirt at the race today that said “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” Like everything in life, to complete something and reach a goal, you simply need to begin. It’s all downhill from there. To kick start my process I’m doing a little vision board project and I’ve subscribed to Real Simple magazine.

Did you make any resolutions or set any goals this year? If so, what are your first steps to achieving them?

Happy New Year!
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