Race Review: The Color Run

Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining a group of my friends for the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” — The Color Run!IMG_5393

As described on The Color Run website, this race is “Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer.”

The Color Run Graphic

We made it to the start line around 8:15am, which I was a tad worried about since the Race Start was scheduled for 8:30am. However, no worries necessary because since the Color Run is such a large event, they sent off groups of people in waves to run the race.IMG_5399This was my only real dislike about the event. I heard that last year they had sign ups for your Race Start time, but this year it was more “free-flowing”. There were people who were finishing the race by the time we crammed our way up to the Start Line at 9:30am. It felt quite unorganized.

Once the race because we were all quite enthusiastic over the matter. I have run a few races in the past, but there is something special about just getting outside, doing something active (and sparkly) with your friends on a Saturday morning. Sure, you might not be setting any PRs or blowing away the competition with your 7:30 min/mi, but if that’s what you’re going for, you’re missing the unique experience offered by the Color Run. This is about your friends and family joining together for some fitness and FUN.image1The color stations were spread out over the entire course: pink, orange, yellow, blue, and SPARKLEYes, I know sparkle isn’t a color, but it should be. I’m still not 100% positive as to what the concoction is for the color, but we imagined it being something like cornstarch or really fine chalk. (GOOD NEWS: It comes out of clothing really easily. Not so much the glitter, though I didn’t mind!)image2image3The course was jam-packed due to the overwhelming amount of runners/walkers. I loved seeing so many people together laughing, jogging, and enjoying their time along the race. 🙂IMG_5451Once we crossed the Finish Line, we were greeted with a sparkle packet, a color packet, and a Color Run medal! There was a huge party at the end with big color throws, sparkle tosses, and fist-pumpin’ music!image1 (1) Team DyeHard had a BLAST! We crushed the race, doused ourselves in color and glitter, and enjoyed our time together.


definitely recommend this race to anyone who wishes to enjoy an exciting, fun race with their friends and family. If you’re looking for a more solo-running, competitive atmosphere, then you might want to skip this one. However, I encourage you to gather your friends and give it a go.

After all, this truly is the #Happiest5k on the PLANET 🙂
Thank you, Color Run!

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Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

I’m about to change your life.
That may be a bit extreme, but you get it.
Eating Evolved has created the most incredible butter cups I’ve ever experienced. Ever.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups, welcome to my life.
(And if you’re lucky, yours too!)Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cup

You know you can trust a company that states: “Chocolate: It’s food, not candy.” Yeah they have my vote already. Well, I have been hearing a ton of positive comments about Eating Evolved, therefore giving them a shot was on the “To Do List”. I didn’t know where to start. The website has all kinds of amazingly delicious creations. From Sea Salt + Caramel Coconut Butter Cups to the Vanilla Bean + Coffee Chocolate Bar, the list of star-studded chocolate options makes you want to just have all of them at once. Okay, yes, all at once. #sorrynotsorry

In efforts to pace myself, I ordered my first Eating Evolved experience via coconut butter cups. Currently, the company sells three varieties:

Classic Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Mint
Dark Chocolate Caramel + Sea Salt
Is your mouth watering yet?Eating Evolved Coconut Butter Cups

When the chocolatey-treasure box arrived at my door step, my first instinct was to devour all the chocolate, but then the logical-side of my brain kicked in shouting, “No! Then it will all be gone and you will be sad! Pace yourself, lady!” The emotional/impulsive-side of my brain actually listened this time (surprisingly) and I carefully sampled eat one over the course of this past month. A month. Now am I impressive, or what?

The verdict is in!
Likes:
1. EVERYTHING: Well, I am going to try to be more specific than that so this post is actually helpful, but that word was the first thing that came to mind.
2. Ingredients: a Paleo (and Vegan) dieter’s friend. This ingredient list contains zero dairysoyor gluten products. Thank you, Eating Evolved. This is an incredible feat in the chocolate world and we really appreciate it.
3. Flavors: I am not trying to give a cheeky, optimistic answer here. I really loved all three magnificent varieties of these coconut butter cups. I was not disappointed by any of them (in fact, quite the opposite). I will, however, give you my “rankings”: Caramel + Sea Salt, Mint, and then Classic. Again, all of them were AMAZING, but if you put caramel + sea salt on chocolate, you have me wrapped around your pretty little finger.
4. Sugar Content: These treats are not super-sugary at all! One cup has only 3-5 grams of sugar (depending on the variety). It then had me curious about a typical peanut butter cup, which by the way, has 10.5 grams of sugar!! Mint Creme Coconut Butter CupsNeutral:
1. Availability: The company is relatively new, from my understanding, so I know this is just in the beginning stages. My hope is to soon find these at my local grocery store versus online. This isn’t a terrible issue, but just something I am hopeful for in the future!
2. Packaging: This is basically my fault. I live in a hot state. Florida isn’t known for our cool, crisp weather. I should have listened to the website that said, “pick the warm weather shipping option”. Nahhh, it will be fine. I think there is a cold front coming. Silly, Victoria. My cups were a tad melty when they arrived so I stuck them in the fridge for a bit to harden up. Lesson learned. #mybadClassic Coconut Butter CupDislikes:
I always give my honest opinion about the products I review on this blog. I honestly have zero dislikes about this product. I GREATLY enjoyed every last bit of the coconut butter cups. I believe they are fairly priced (although I always hate paying for shipping no matter what the product). The ingredients are of high quality. The company makes me want to jump on board with what they are promoting. No complaints here.

Eating Evolved Coconut Butter CupsNow head on over to Eating Evolved and get yourself (and maybe your friends if you like them enough) a package (or three) of these incredible Dark Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups. They will not disappoint! Just remember, if you’re in the heat of the South, CHOOSE WARM WEATHER SHIPPING. That is all.

Enjoy every delicious, sweet, chocolatey bite! 🙂

East End Market

Call me Captain Jack because I just found treasure.
That line was disgustingly cheesy, I know, but you need to understand how incredible this place is.East End Market

Rejoice! Calling all foodies, yoga moms, and business men on lunch! Plus, everyone in between. East End Market, located in Audubon Park District in Orlando, Florida, is absolutely a hidden gem.

The Market showcases some of Central Florida’s top food entrepreneurs, tradespeople, artists, and chefs. The two-story structure is home to a dozen merchants, a large event space, a demonstration kitchen, an incubator kitchen, offices, retail shops, a full-time, award-winning caterer and a world-class restaurant.

East End Market is not only a hub for local food and culture, but also a community space fostering creativity and collaboration.

Inside the MarketThe entire property was stunning. There seems to be something for everyone: coffee, sushi, smoothies + juices, a bookstore, craft beers, local farm produce, bakery items, floral + plant gifts, and MORE. Seriously, something for everyone!

Of course, I had a few of my own favorites that I would LOVE to share with you all.

Skyebird

SkyebirdSkyebird 2This place was my favorite (with a close runner up). Skyebird captured my attention immediately– the colorful display of produce and teas, the mouth-watering menu, and the fresh atmosphere. I simply had to give it a try. After checking out the menu, and getting a few recommendations, I went with the Skye’s Favorite Smoothie. Skyebird's FavoriteNot only do you get the opportunity to pull up a chair and watch the magic happen, but the beautiful part about the “magic” is that they actually are slicing and dicing the fruits and veggies in front of you! How many smoothie/juice places have you seen that just pull out a container of pre-sliced produce that makes you wonder how long it was sitting there? Now that is fresh. I would also love to add that the adorable glass jar it comes on is your to-go cup! If you bring it back for a refill, you get $0.50-off your drink!All Things DeliciousThe staff was amazingly friendly and happy to help with decision-making, which I often need help with. My smoothie tasted wonderful and from some of the “regulars” I talked to agreed that the menu items were always fresh and delicious. I highly recommend swinging by Skyebird when visiting the East End Market.

Lineage

LineageIf there is good coffee, it will be found. I am a coffee fanatic and as soon as I walked into the market, Lineage was the first place I stopped. Lineage serves all kinds of coffee in various styles: French press, cold brew, pour over, and Chemex. Fresh BrewTheir incredible roasted coffees take on an art form when being brewed. The aroma lures you in as your walk by and begs of you to stay. When you stick around you’ll meet wonderful staff and down amazing brew. Relax and enjoy the experience. ahhhhh. 🙂

 Porch Therapy

Outside PorchSucculentsWhen first arriving to the market, I was greeted by the loveliest of plants and flowers sprinkled throughout the patio area. I noted the signage that indicated Porch Therapy was responsible for the beautiful display and that customers were welcome to pick any plant of their choosing and bring it inside for checkout. The abundant array of plants and flowers were such a colorful greeting into the market and Porch Therapy’s interior was no different. I had a wonderful conversation with the owner, chatting about her business, along with the ins and outs of the market. This place makes my “Top 3 of East End” with ease.Indoor Porch Therapy


East End Market was an experience. I love when places capture all your senses and allow you to enjoy the present moment! This is a place where community gathers, feasts, and learns. Speaking of learning, East End also has fun events and cooking classes for the public, if you’re interested! I highly recommend you check out East End if you’re local. If not, whenever you happen by Orlando and are sick of the theme parks, a stroll over to East End Market will not disappoint!East End Outdoor 2

I hope you find a local gem of your own! And if you have a favorite in Orlando (or anywhere really) leave a comment!

Cheers! 🙂

Suja’s Organic Juices Review

Suja™, meaning Long Beautiful Life, embodies the promise that flows from the cold-pressured beverages it delivers in each and every bottle.

Rainbow of JuicesI first discovered Suja Juices through the Ibotta App (which gives cash back on purchases and I highly recommend) and was instantly intrigued. I love fresh juices and smoothies, especially when I make them at home, but I wanted to give this cold-pressed juice phenomenon a shot.

Mango MagicI noticed while grocery shopping that Publix was having a sale on Suja Essential Juices. On top of that, Whole Foods was having a sale on Suja Elements Juices. And since I am a coupon-crazy person, I had several coupons and combined them with my Ibotta cash back.
I walked away with 5 juices for just over $2.
Man, I impress myself.

Likes:
– Taste: Man, oh man these are DELICIOUS. It was VERY hard to put the silly bottle down. It tastes significantly different from juices using the conventional pressing method. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted so fresh; it was as if I made it in my own kitchen (possibly even better than that).
– Packaging: This may seem ridiculous, but I’m all about presentation. Maybe it’s due to my artistic nature. I love when products’ packaging catches the eye and makes your mind go, “Oh! I wonder what this is!” Quality packaging is functional and draws in the consumer at first glance. The colorful array of juices on the shelf instantly causes you to gravitate towards them. I believe God made all that colorful produce and Suja displays it beautifully.Beets Me
– Variety: So. Many. Decisions. This is one of those cases when you stare at the shelf, pick one up, read it, put it back, pick up another, and then another, compare the two, etc. Or maybe that’s just me? Whatever you’re in the mood for, including tea or coconut water, it’s here.
– Charity Work: It is awesome when a company gives back to its community. Suja has created a specific line of juices for that exact cause: Suja Elements. Each individual juice has a designated organization that Suja will donate $0.20 to for every one of those bottles purchased. For example, each bottle of Blutrients bought will result in a $0.20 donation to Whole Foods Kids Foundation, an organization that is devoted to children’s wellness and nutrition.

Colorful SplendorDislikes:
Price: Oi vey! The price: $3.99 – $11.99 depending on the bottle size & variety. I know fresh, cold-pressed juices are stupid expensive. There is a lot of organic produce squeezed into those bottles. It is good to know that Suja was not the most expensive cold-pressed juice on the shelf. In relation to other juices, I’d say Suja is about average in price. As for Victoria, I am broke as a joke, so this isn’t something I would purchase on the reg. This situation was perfect because I sales on top of coupons on top of cash back dealsSCORE! Unless that occurs again, or I hit the lottery, Suja Organic Juices will be a special treat for this gal.Sweet Beets

Now, I understand there is some controversy over whether juices are okay if you’re Paleo. For me, when making juices at home, I do my best to use not only the juice, but the fibrous pulp that is typically left behind. This can take place in the form of Paleo muffins, pancakes, or breads. Also, I constantly drink water, so fresh fruit juice is a nice way to get a new flavor, but not in the form of sodas or energy drinks. The choice is yours, from my stance I would usually go for a whole apple, but the fresh juice from one is a delicious treat! 🙂

Overall, I became an even bigger juice fan in just a few sips. Incredibly refreshing and nourishing, these juices are a fresh, organic take on liquid fruits and veggies!


On another note, does anyone have any input on whether or not barley grass is considered Paleo? I’ve read both sides and haven’t come to a final conclusion. Let me know! Have a wonderful Wednesday! 😉

 

EPIC [Turkey] Bar Review

This is gonna be EPIC!! A choice saying of mine.
So as you can imagine… with a food bar titled “EPIC”, I am all about it.

EPIC Bar is a protein-packed, Paleo, gluten-/dairy-/soy-free, and grass-fed bar created by Taylor Collins & Katie Forrest. Here is a snip-it of their story as described on their site:

Due to an ingredient label unlike anything else, EPIC epitomizes REAL food. Based on our deep-rooted evolutionary biology, EPIC specializes in creating nutrient-dense animal based protein products for people on the go. EPIC foods will always be humane, pasture centered, and most importantly, delicious. May you fill your life with epic adventure and epic health!

Sounds pretty epic if you ask me. Therefore I had to make my way on over to the nearest Whole Foods and check them out! Currently, these bars are on sale at Whole Foods for $2.29, although I didn’t catch the regular price (my apologizes). To start it out slow, I went for the turkey and beef varieties. Bison and lamb are a little risky for me, but I’m willing to test it out eventually. All I can picture is a silly cuddly lamb! Ah!EPIC Bars

Likes:
Ingredients: All of the EPIC Bar animals are vegetarian-fed, humanely treated, antibiotic-free & hormone-free. They are gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, and just an all-around awesome whole food experience.
– Convenience: It’s not always the easiest task to cart around beef, lamb, bison, or turkey, unless it’s in jerky form. This creates a great healthy alternative when you don’t have access to refrigeration for your grilled chicken breast snack. Plus, if you pair it with some fresh veggies and a fat source (almonds, anyone?), you can turn it into an emergency meal when you are hungry and need to buy groceries (which is exactly what I did).
– Philosophy: Plain and simple, I like what EPIC is about. Their take on health and importance of food (and food quality) is very well portrayed in their story, on the site, and even on the bar packaging. It makes you feel like you’re joining a movement toward better health simply by partaking in their product. It’s pretty impressive when a company can do that.

EPIC Turkey


This won’t be my last time trying EPIC Bars. All the things I really like about the company makes me want to keep trying the product. I’m definitely interested in the other varieties.

Have you tried EPIC Bars? What is your favorite flavor?