Posted by Robin on Nov 27, 2013 in Fitness | 0 comments
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of SD Pharmaceuticals.
(As part of my job at FitFluential, I get to learn about and often try products from all kinds of companies in the fitness and health realm. This is one of them!)
Let me preface all this with: I am 37 years old. I have carried and given birth to three kids, and during one of those pregnancies I gained nearly 50 pounds. I work online.
Which is to say: my metabolism is not what it used to be. I’m pretty happy with where I am physically right now— I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been since I was a teen— but my body fat % has been decidedly stubborn. One might say unbudging. It’s frustrating; the muscle is there, but it’s under a layer of fat that hides how hard I bust my butt. I just look bigger.
So when given the opportunity to try some supplements from SD Pharmaceuticals, I decided to give them a whirl. A little extra help burning off the fat? I’m not emotionally attached to that fat, I wouldn’t mind seeing it go.
A few days and a knock at the door later.
Here’s the rundown of what I received, paraphrased from the SD Pharmaceuticals:
Green Coffee Bean: unroasted coffee beans. The roasting of coffee beans reduces chlorogenic acid levels: research suggests that chlorogenic acid from green coffee bean can have modulating effects on glucose metabolism and help inhibit fat accumulation.
Raspberry Ketone: the main aromatic compound found in red raspberries. Research shows raspberry ketone can improve fat loss by supporting a reduction in fat absorption while boosting calorie expenditure and fat breakdown.
Garcinia Cambogia: plant native to Southeast Asia, often used for cooking in India and other parts of Asia and Africa as a spice and souring agent. It contains a phytochemical called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which can support healthy serotonin levels, help reduce appetite, and can have an impact on enzymes related to fat metabolism.
The serotonin bit is interesting: serotonin is a neurotransmitter affecting mood and sleep patterns. Healthy serotonin levels are associated with decreased food intake, enhanced mood, and reduced weight gain.
Mood, sleep, weight gain: those three are seriously intertwined, yeah? Mess with one and you invite issues with the others.
Dendrobium: one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s been used in China for over 1000 years as a tonic and strengthening medicine, and to promote the health of the stomach, kidneys and lungs.
Diindolylmethane: a natural compound formed during the breakdown of plants and the digestion of indole-3-carbinol, from the Brassica genus of plants (brassicas include broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale). It’s taken to support healthy estrogen metabolism and hormonal balance in the body.
I’d heard of most of these before, but was fuzzy on the specifics. You can read about the science behind them on the site; I thought a lot of it was really interesting. If there isn’t any solid research behind an ingredient, then SD Pharmaceuticals’ researchers won’t use it. They only produce formulas which are clinically validated in human research studies.
I started with the Green Coffee Bean, taking one a day for several days, then added the Raspberry Ketones for several days, and so on down the stack, so as to be better able to see how/if each one affected my day. The pills are really easy to take (I’d grown used to some horse pills in my GNC vitamin packs) with no bad taste, although on occasion if I burped there would be a definite hint of raspberry. Not a bad thing, just funny.
Now, I think it’s hard to tell if any supplement is going to work for you in the long term. A lot of things, especially those that involve caffeine, are going to lose their potency for you over time and I’ve only tried these for a few weeks. That said, I have definitely noticed a general improvement in my energy levels and mental fuzziness over the course of the day. I also managed to get through my RivFit WODs with more focus, less need for breaks and colorful language.
I also greeted my monthly special lady time with great surprise, because it snuck up on me without the usual moaning and groaning and cramping. TMI? Coincidence? Placebo effect? Quite possibly on all counts, but I figured it was worth noting.
How’s my body composition doing? No change in weight, my body seems to like it here (I gained some after starting CrossFit, hit my current weight and have been there for over six months now). According to my scale, my body fat % has dropped a tiny bit this month. That’s all I could really hope for: I wouldn’t expect more with a short trial like this, plus those incremental changes are healthier anyway. Weight staying stable, adding muscle and slowly lowering body fat, that’s pretty much ideal.
To frame it another way, I think of these supplements as being like drinking a coffee or caffeinated soda in the morning and afternoon to wake my brain up & help me power through a workout, only I’m burning more calories without drinking the calories first. With the added bonus of components extracted from natural sources, that have been shown to help trigger bodily mechanisms that support fat loss and calorie burn.
They’re not magic pills— there isn’t any such thing— but I do think they can help kickstart a sluggish metabolism or help move past a plateau, by supporting and enhancing the fat burning and calorie expenditure you get from your exercise.
For right now at least, they’re definitely helping me to do the work, move the needle.
And flavor my burps with raspberries
Posted by Robin on Sep 16, 2013 in Film, Loves, Pop Culture | 0 comments
Image from local production of Into the Woods
Usually when a press release appears in my inbox I kind of glance over it and either think “cool, but I don’t have any time to write that up right now” or “jumping jeebus on a pogo stick, why do these people think I have time to write this stuff up?”
HOWEVER, I actually read this one with a ton of barely repressed squealy excitement and I figured I’m probably not the only one who’s been waiting to read it. I still don’t have a lot of time so this is mainly a cut and paste. Comments in BOLD are obviously me being obnoxious.
DISNEY’S “INTO THE WOODS” VENTURES INTO PRODUCTION FEATURING AWARD-WINNING CAST & PRODUCTION TEAM
Film to Feature Songs from the Award-Winning Stage Show,
Plus Brand-New Song by Stephen Sondheim
BURBANK, Calif. (Sept. 16, 2013) – Disney’s “Into the Woods” kicked off production last week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” helms the film, which is based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine, who also penned the screenplay, and legendary composer Stephen Sondheim, who provides the music and lyrics—including an all-new song for the big-screen adaptation THAT I HOPE DOES NOT DETRACT FROM THE ORIGINAL, AND POSSIBLY PERFECT, PLAY. “Into the Woods” is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca, “Wicked” producer Marc Platt and Callum McDougall. Shooting in studio and on location throughout England, the film is slated for a December 25, 2014, holiday release. <—– SQUEEEE—- MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEE
“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.
The all-star ensemble cast includes:
· Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “August: Osage County”) portrays the Witch who wishes to reverse a curse so that her beauty may be restored. WHUT. I DON’T EVEN LIKE MERYL STREEP BUT I THINK SHE WILL BE FUN.
· Emily Blunt (“Looper,” “The Young Victoria,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) is the Baker’s Wife, a childless woman who longs to be a mother.
· James Corden (Broadway’s “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Gavin & Stacey”) plays the role of the Baker, a hard-working man who desperately wants to start a family.
· Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect,” “Up in the Air”) fills the shoes of Cinderella, who finds herself on a journey of self-discovery.
· Chris Pine (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Jack Ryan”) portrays Cinderella’s Prince, charming and impossibly handsome, who is on an endless quest to find his bride.
· Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “The Lone Ranger,” “Sweeney Todd”) steps in as the Wolf, who sets his sights on Little Red Riding Hood. OF COURSE. 15 YEARS AGO THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN REALLY REALLY COOL, I HOPE IT STILL IS.
· Lilla Crawford (Broadway’s “Annie”) makes her feature-film debut as Little Red Riding Hood, a smart and spunky girl who journeys into the woods, finding unexpected adventures along the way.
· Daniel Huttlestone (“Les Misérables”) lands the role of Jack, an absentminded and adventurous boy who trades his treasured cow for five magic beans.
· Tracey Ullman joins the cast as Jack’s Mother, a poor and exasperated mom who is overwhelmed, yet fiercely protective of her son. YAY YRACEY ULLMAN! WHERE HAS SHE BEEN LATELY?
· Christine Baranski (“Mamma Mia!,” “Chicago” “The Good Wife”) takes on the infamous Stepmother who wishes for riches and grandeur; she’ll do anything to marry off one of her daughters to a prince.
· MacKenzie Mauzy (“Brother’s Keeper,” Broadway’s “Next to Normal”) plays Rapunzel, a sheltered young woman who experiences the world beyond her tower for the first time.
· Billy Magnussen (Broadway’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The East”) is the dashing and eager Prince who courts Rapunzel.
Celebrated actors from the stage and screen fill the supporting roles, including Tammy Blanchard (“Blue Jasmine,” “The Good Shepherd”) and Lucy Punch (“Bad Teacher,” “Dinner for Schmucks”) as Cinderella’s spoiled stepsisters, Florinda and Lucinda. Richard Glover (“Sightseers,” “St. Trinian’s”) is the Princes’ royal steward, Frances de la Tour (“Hugo,” “Alice In Wonderland”) portrays the giant, and Simon Russell Beale (“The Deep Blue Sea”) is the Baker’s father. Actress Joanna Riding (“My Fair Lady,” “Carousel”) portrays Cinderella’s late mother, and Little Red Riding Hood’s beloved granny is played by Annette Crosbie (“Calendar Girls,” “The Slipper and the Rose”).
The big-screen adaptation welcomes songs from the stage musical, including “Children Will Listen,” “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone” and “Agony,” among others. Additionally, Sondheim has penned an all-new song for the story’s theatrical debut.
The award-winning production team includes Dion Beebe (“Collateral,” “Chicago,” “Nine”), Oscar® winner for the Marshall-helmed “Memoirs of a Geisha,” as director of photography. Dennis Gassner (“Skyfall,” “Quantum of Solace”), who won his own Oscar for “Bugsy,” serves as production designer, and three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago,” “Alice In Wonderland”) is costume designer.
“Into the Woods” premiered on Broadway on Nov. 5, 1987, at the Martin Beck Theatre. The production, which ran for 764 performances, won Tony® Awards for best score, best book and best actress in a musical. Among other awards, the musical received five Drama Desk awards, including best musical. “Into the Woods” has been produced around the world, including a 1988 U.S. tour, a 1990 West End production, Broadway and London revivals, in addition to a television production, DVD recording and a 10-year-anniversary concert.
Now, a lot of those names I do recognize but don’t really have an opinion about yet; quite literally I found this in my inbox maybe 5 minutes ago. If you have more insight pretty please do share.
In any case I’m excited for Christmas 2014! Who will join me in dressing up and singing along at the theater?
Posted by Robin on Sep 10, 2013 in Fitness | 0 comments
720 kids are diagnosed with childhood cancer every goddamned day.
Childhood cancer is and remains the leading cause of death by disease for kids under age 15.
Research is consistently underfunded.
I apologize for the swearing, really I do. But it just makes me feel angry and helpless.
I don’t know what to do. So I’ll do what I can.
September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is going the distance with the Million Mile Run. Collectively, people who care about stomping out cancer in our kids are walking or running one million miles to work toward better treatments and research for a cure.
The Million Mile Run will act as an easy way for walkers and runners of all abilities to contribute to the fight against childhood cancer and raise the profile of the awareness month…Though some people have commented that one million miles might be a crazy goal, and maybe they are right, my daughter Alex taught me that when you set your mind to something and garner the help of others, anything is possible. She reached her million, and I think we can too.
-Foundation Co-Executive Director, Jay Scott
I haven’t been running a whole lot lately, as I’ve had some nagging heel pain I don’t want to aggravate before I do Spartan Race at the end of the month. But I’m walking and softly jogging my part of a million miles.
I’m signed on as a member of the Delaware Valley Bloggers team— localish ladies who I love and who are doing a great job organizing and lighting a fire under our collective butts.
Our team was inspired by two local childhood cancer heroes, Lily & Maggie.
Lily was diagnosed with a brain tumor called ependymoma when she was 14 months old. Lily endured five brain surgeries and a month-long hospital stay at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Brain surgery left Lily unable to sit, crawl or walk. But now, Lily who is 7, is cancer-free. Lily can walk and she can dance and jump and rock it on the soccer field! Lily can run! Lily will be running along with our team as we work to reach our goal of 1,000 miles and $10,000 for a cure for all kids with cancer!
Maggie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastomic leukemia (B-ALL) just a few months ago in May at 2 years old. All of her life, Maggie has been a whirlwind of giggles and red curls. And even though cancer and aggressive chemotherapy has temporarily stolen those lovely curls, they did not steal her tenacious spirit. Maggie and her parents fought this disease with everything they had. Finally, on July 5, Maggie was declared cancer-free! However, she will continue to receive a variety of treatments and testing to ensure that she stays healthy. As she works on regaining her physical strength, we will walk and run for Maggie!
I seriously have read that passage probably a dozen times now and it hurts my heart every time. I’ve been so lucky to raise three relatively healthy, carefree kids. Lily and Maggie have happy cancer-free endings, but their childhoods have already been so hard and there are so many kids and families out there that need support to find the happy endings they deserve.
Our team goal is 1,000 miles and $10,000. We’re at 371 miles now and $603. Won’t you help? It’s so easy.
Join our team to help us reach our mileage goal or or create your own.
There is no fee to sign up. If you use MapMyRun, you can make it so your miles count automagically, or you can manually log your miles daily. Every mile helps.
Every dollar helps. Seriously. One dollar. Two dollars.
If you really wanted to light a fire under me you could promise a certain dollar amount for every mile I manage between now and the end of the month. Just sayin’.
Spread the word.
This infographic is a good place to start.
Cancer sucks, y’all. Let’s kick childhood cancer’s ass.
About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $60 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 300 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
Posted by Robin on Jul 5, 2013 in Fashion | 0 comments
I’m officially obsessed with this kids’ clothing store. Seriously badass designs and I want them all: clever without being overly cute.
They’re Hatch for Kids— pics below are from their Instagram feed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that their logo is an homage to the Dead Kennedys ( and you can get it as a temporary tattoo).
They have onesies too. And they’re running a 15% off sale until July 7th.
Awesome, amIright? Do you love?