Friday, April 29, 2016

Quick and Easy Recovery Nutrition AND Giveaway!

As marathon training begins, and longer, earlier runs commence, free time becomes even more precious and the need for quick, essential recovery nutrition is even more important. I made it a priority last summer to aim to finish all of my long runs by 9-9:30am on whichever weekend day I ran them (usually Saturdays, but this summer it looks like most will fall on Sundays), so that it wouldn't interfere with our weekend much at all. As a wife, and mom of both a young boy and young pup, the time post-run used for recovery and to prepare and eat something that would both aide in recovery and provide the necessary energy to power through the rest of the day, was limited. The weekend hours are still too few, and the demands of having a family remain. Marathon training takes up A LOT of time, and unfortunately, registering for one doesn't add hours to your days. (darn!)

On a mission to find something quick, easy and affordable for my post-run eats, I didn't have to go far. My trusty pals at Fit Approach offered me the opportunity to try a new product through an awesome company called Amazing Grass. If you're like me, and had never heard of Amazing Grass, you're probably thinking...grass? She's eating grass? In fact, the founders, Todd and Brandon, developed this company after harvesting the grass on Brandon's farm and realizing the benefits (more energy, less illness, quicker recovery) of green, plant-based drinks. While the process of developing the products from Amazing Grass sound scientific and brings me back to my college chemistry days, it's pretty simple. The greens are harvested, dried and naturally preserved as pellets until they are ready for use. The pellets are then ground and formed into a powder, which is what you receive as the product. Pretty straight forward, if you ask me!

Their newest product is the Protein Superfood, and I was so thankful to be able to try it myself. The Protein Superfood contains all of the awesome green-food blend as found in their other products, plus an added protein-punch including chia seeds, hemp protein, quinoa and pea protein. One of my favorite parts of the powder is that I recognize and can read every ingredient on the package. Imagine that!!
Chocolate Peanut Butter, Pure Vanilla and Original
I'm a chocolate lover, so any time someone suggests I have chocolate after my workout, I jump at the opportunity! Because of the ease, and speed of throwing a few things in a blender to make a smoothie, that is the main way I have used the powder so far, but you can find more recipes on their website. For someone who eats a vegan or vegetarian diet, the products are all vegan, kosher and certified organic. As a non-vegetarian, I did not go out and purchase vegan smoothie mixes for myself. I added a scoop of the powder to about 1-1.5 cups of regular milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a half of a banana (you could replace the cows milk with almond or coconut milk, and the peanut butter with any other nut butter, if you'd rather). I added a few ice cubes and blended it all up! Honestly, it's a chocolate shake with lots of bonus energy-giving, muscle-fixing goodness inside. It has no sign of the sometimes chalky-dirt taste that some plant-based products have. It smells and tastes like chocolate and peanut butter! What more could I ask for!?
Just on Saturday, in a rush to get to Cameron's tee ball opening day, I was able to get changed from my run, wiped down, make my smoothie and be on my way to opening day in eight minutes. I wasn't starving an hour later and didn't feel like I was dragging, plus I didn't miss a thing. As a mom of a non-enabled picky eater, I couldn't help but also notice the Kidz Superfood and really can't wait to try it for Cam! (I'll get back to you all on how that goes. ;))

If you're ready to try your own Amazing Grass, head on over to their website and enter this code: SWEATPINKCassie16 to get 30% off your first order! (Note, this is a ONE TIME use discount code for 30% off, expiring 5/31/16. Discount codes cannot be used for gift cards, recurring orders or holiday blends. You must register to use a code at checkout, meaning you cannot checkout as a guest.)

I am able to give away ONE FULL-SIZE Protien Superfood product to a very special reader! All you have to do is comment below and tell me which flavor you would chose (Chocolate Peanut Butter, Pure Vanilla or Original). One winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, May 2nd at 12pm EST! 
Disclaimer: I was compensated for my reivew of the product. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Here we are again.

Every CHaD parent has a story.
Often, a heart-wrenching, tear-jerking story that lead them to becoming a CHaD parent.
And every CHaD kid has a story, some of them too young to remember when it began.
April 2011 - 7 months old
Unfortunately, our story is not much different than many of the ones belonging to the children and families walking the halls of The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth today. If you haven't read it before, I suggest jumping back a few years and checking out this post. I remember writing that post as one of the first times in Cam's three years of life that I had publicly shared Cameron's struggle with epilepsy. At the time, we didn't know a lot, and life went on its merry way, with med dosage increases here and there, finger pricks to check levels every once in a while and our every-3-month visit to Pediatric Neurology always planned out on our calendars. When I wrote that post, we were just starting the months of testing leading up to his surgery in October 2013.
October 30, 2013 - Temporal lobectomy
As we enter, what feels like, new-old territory, with Cameron having two uncontrolled, non-responsive (to his rescue medications) seizures within two months of each other in January and March, we're beginning again to talk with Dr. Richard Morse about what we can do going forward. With our recent overnight stay at CHaD, and the struggles that 2016 has brought, it fueled our fire going into this year's CHaD HERO. I've shared before that, while this is our sixth year as CHaD parents, I was never out of the water enough to pay attention to the incredible things happening around us at CHaD. I didn't realize we were part of a community of loving families, surrounded by the incredible care provided by the most wonderful, caring clinicians. Luckily, I do now and MAN, am I thankful!
March 23, 2016 - Our most recent CHaD stay
This year's CHaD HERO has kicked off, and we couldn't be more excited to make this a family-affair! Last year I ran the Baystate Marathon the day of the CHaD HERO, so we were unable to attend the events of the day, though it was on our minds. While I was thrilled to have been able to raise money as a virtual participant, I knew I didn't want to miss out on the day again.

Shawn will be joining 49 other cyclists to venture on a half-century (50 mile) bike ride.
Cameron is registered to kick-butt on Cam's Course Fun Run (we can pretend it was named after him :-P )
And I will be running the 5K, all on October 16th!

We hope you will join us for some fundraising events over the summer and I'll continue to share updates and information here. We're upping the ante this year and shooting for $1,500 as our goal! Thank you to all of you who donated and helped me reach my $1,000 goal last year.

Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright.

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