5 Fitness Gift Ideas – Holiday Fit List

Disclosure: My friends at FlipBelt and Fit Approach sent me a FlipBelt for review. I currently own 2 other FlipBelts that I purchased on my own – I love them so they got the #1 spot on my Holiday Fit List. I have purchased many Belli products over the years and was sent samples of the Pre-Treatment Scrub and Facial Wash to try. All opinions are my own.

Looking for a great gift for someone who’s into fitness? Here are some ideas that work with  any budget for people who love to work out!

1. FlipBelt - ($28.99) I am a HUGE fan of the FlipBelt and recommend it to anyone looking for a great gift idea this holiday season. They can hold SO much and come in so many fun colors – perfect for weight lifters, runners, and more!

You can save 10% off right now on your order at FlipBelt.com with coupon code SWEAT10



2. Fitness tracker – There are so many fantastic fitness trackers out there to help people get started with a healthy, active lifestyle or who are already active and want to stay on track or improve. I bought a Fitbit One a few years ago when I was training for my first runDisney race. It was fun to compete for steps with my friends who were also losing weight. Since then, there have been so many more that have come to market. I no longer wear a Fitbit but I still wear my Garmin watch for my outdoor runs. Garmin watches always make a great gift!

3. ENERGYbits - ($115) I love healthy, all natural products! When I first learned about ENERGYbits, I was using sugary, caffeinated gels for fuel during my long runs and workouts. When I bought my first bag of Bits, I stopped using those gels and never looked back. They provide clean, consistent energy without the spikes and crashes I would get from gels. RECOVERYbits are great for post workout and staying healthy too! When you buy a bag of any variety of Bits, they come packaged ready for gift giving in a beautiful black organza bag with complete information on what’s in them and why they are so amazing! 

As a Brand Ambassador for ENERGYbits, I have a special discount code to save you money. Save 30% on your entire order at ENERGYbits.com with coupon code HDF30

4. Gift card – I love to receive gift cards from stores I enjoy. Fitness gear and clothing can be very expensive and it’s fun to have a gift card to buy something you’ve had your eye on or wanted to try during the post holiday sales. Amazon.com and Dick’s Sporting Goods have a huge selection of fitness clothing, gear, and more for men, women, and kids. Great for anyone who loves fitness. Lucy and Lorna Jane are awesome for the ladies on your holiday shopping list. They both carry fun, quality workout clothes in a variety of sizes.

5. Skin care products – It’s so important to use good quality cleansers to remove the sweat and skin impurities, especially after working out. I have tried a lot of different lines over the years. One that I really like is by Belli. Both the Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub (retail $24) and Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash ($22) have been part of my cleansing routine for the past several months. My skin feels clean and soft after every use. Their products are perfect for anyone who wants to avoid harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients. Because of their gentle but effective ingredients, they are also perfect for pregnant moms and new moms. 

Hope you have fun shopping for everyone on your #HolidayFitList!

– Denise

runDisney Dopey Challenge training

Hi friends, hope you are enjoying your holiday season so far!

I’m officially in week 15 of Hal Higdon’s Dopey Challenge training plan. I’m still dealing with intermittent plantar fasciitis pain. Other times I feel good and almost pain free. 

I wear a compression sleeve that gives me a lot of relief, along with continued stretching. It’s my first Dopey Challenge so I want to train well and feel prepared for all four races. I just don’t want to make the same mistakes I’ve made before when training for important races by overtraining and injuring myself further. I used to feel guilty on rest days and push myself to do both more mileage and more days of running than my training plans required.

Learning from my past mistakes, I’m trying to be smarter and completely rest on those rest days. It’s hard though! Some days I really feel that internal struggle and guilt, like I should be doing more – even when I’m sticking to my plan. I think it’s tied into my overachiever mentality ;) 

For my step back run last weekend, I ran the Foot Traffic Holiday Half here in Portland. If I wasn’t training for Dopey, the course would have been perfect for a PR! It’s mostly flat and after the first 1/2 mile or so on residential streets, everyone spreads out so there’s no bottle necks. The weather was cool, in the 40’s and no rain. It was sunny and absolutely my ideal running weather. I remembered to bring my ENERGYbits and my Ultima Replenisher but the one thing I forgot was my compression foot sleeve. I felt so dumb for forgetting it! It was one of my pain free days, thankfully. I took it easy and had only minimal discomfort, no pain.

Ran into my friend Liz who founded the annual Ladybug Run for CDH Awareness. Look at our cute medals!

It was my first race wearing my Ultimate Direction Jenny Ultra Vesta. I wrote about it in my holiday gift guide for runners here. I bought it earlier this month to train with on my long runs. After Dopey I plan to wear it at the Princess Half Marathon in February, at the See Jane Run Seattle, WA Half Marathon in July, and while doing one of our favorite pastimes, hiking. Hiking is big here in Portland and we enjoy doing it as a family and with our friends.

Even with both 10 ounce bottles filled, the vest felt very comfortable and secure, like it was part of me rather than a bulky accessory pack like some vests. It’s designed for a woman’s body and fits beautifully – just make sure that you get the right size. When I went into the Sellwood Foot Traffic to buy it, they only had the Medium/Large in stock. I didn’t realize they came in different sizes at the time. I tried it on in the store over a sweater and it fit fine. Once I got home and adjusted it while wearing running clothes, I had a lot of strap left over and the overall fit was off. I saw the sizing tag on it and realized by the measurements I should have had the other size. I called and they transferred in the Extra Small/Small size for me to exchange. It felt perfect! 

Tomorrow I start the final Dopey Simulation before taper – 37.5 miles in 4 days. I have never run or walked that much in such a short period of time. When I ran my previous two marathons, I took a minimum of 2-3 rest days beforehand so this will be COMPLETELY different. Higdon’s plan calls for 2.5 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, and 20 on consecutive days. I’m cautiously optimistic about it. The idea of a 20 miler on tired legs is a little scary though!

If you’re training for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend too, I hope it’s going well for you :) I never expected to develop plantar fasciitis in my right foot as I started my training but I’ve worked through it the best I can. It was hard for me to let go of my time goals I initially had and be realistic – that maybe for me Dopey should be a goal of “Just finish and finish healthy”. I think that’s the best thing to remember abut goal setting. It’s good to set a goal that feels big and huge but has some fluidity and flexibility to it so you can still achieve it, even if circumstances unexpectedly change.

The closer WDW Marathon Weekend gets, the more real it feels! 

– Denise

Sweet Pomegranate Protein Smoothie

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Puritan’s Pride through my Sweat Pink/Fit Approach Ambassadorship. All opinions expressed are my own. FDA Disclaimer: *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The nice people at Puritan’s Pride generously provided me with some wonderful supplements and protein powders to try over the past few months in their Seasonal Smoothie Challenge. I really enjoyed the December ingredients! I created a delicious protein-packed seasonal smoothie with two of the items – Dynamic Health Pomegranate Juice Concentrate and Puritan’s Pride’s Natural Soy Isolate Protein Powder that I’m sharing with you.

Sweet Pomegranate Protein Smoothie
Serves 2
A delicious, protein-packed smoothie made with pomegranate juice and fresh fruits
Write a review
  1. 2 tbsp Dynamic Health Pomegranate Juice Concentrate
  2. 1 1/2 c ice
  3. 1 scoop Puritan's Pride Soy Protein Isolate Powder
  4. 1 ripe banana
  5. 1 c fresh or frozen pineapple
  6. 1 c cold water
  1. Put all ingredients in blender. Mix thoroughly and enjoy!
Healthy Disney Family http://healthydisneyfamily.com/
And a giveaway for you :)

Puritan's Pride December Smoothie Challenge giveaway - HealthyDisneyFamily.com

Puritan’s Pride will send the following items to one lucky winner! These are the same items I received for the month of December.

Puritan’s Pride Soy Protein Isolate Powder Natural (002660): Unflavored – makes a great base for any protein smoothie.

Lehi Valley Natural Ginger: Natural ginger is from the ginger root and is perfect as a spicy snack, for a cup of tea, or an ingredient in cooking and baking. Dried naturally with a unique combination of sweet, spicy, moist and chewy. It is SO good!

Dynamic Health Pomegranate Juice Concentrate: Convenient, delicious way to obtain the beneficial compounds in pomegranate fruit. Love this in smoothies.

Vanns Peppermint Flavor Extract: Few flavors are as distinctly tantalizing as the cool, minty vibrancy of Peppermint Extract. Use in cake, cookies, frosting and ice cream dishes.

Stevia: Natural sweetener with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Enter below and good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are some more recipes you might like to try! Check out these three mocktail superfood smoothie recipes developed by Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., of B Nutritious, author of The Sugar Detox and paid spokesperson for Puritan’s Pride.

Passion Pear Smoothie
Focus Ingredient: Pear
Pears are a source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K. The good source of vitamin C may help the immune system! Vitamin K helps support bones.

1 pear
½ banana
1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
8oz almond milk
½ cup kale

Cocoa Smoothie
Focus Ingredient: Cocoa
Cocoa isn’t just a delicious treat! It’s a nutrition powerhouse. Cocoa is a source of antioxidants, which help support numerous facets of health and total-body wellness.

1 banana
2 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
½ cup spinach
1.5 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)

Spiced Apple Smoothie
Focus Ingredient: Apples
Apples do more than just keep the doctor away. These crunchy fall treats are rich sources of fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps support the immune system and fiber supports digestion and heart health.

1 ½ apples, seeded and chopped
½ cup Kale
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup ice cubes

Here’s the Social Media links to follow Puritan’s Pride for more recipes, coupons, and more!

BLOG: http://blog.puritan.com/
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/puritanspride
PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/puritanspride/
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/puritanspride
YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/user/PuritansPrideTV

– Denise

ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo

Disclosure: We received complimentary zoo and train tickets for my family during ZooLights Media Nights at the Oregon Zoo. All opinions shared are my own.

One of our favorite family holiday activities is visiting the Oregon Zoo for ZooLights. It’s so exciting to see our beautiful local zoo in Portland transformed into a winter wonderland! This year they’ve added exciting new light displays all around the zoo. The giant one with the lighthouse and boats is across from the insect zoo is definitely a must see.

While the animals were sleeping, some of their costumed friends came out to interact with the kids. A few were set up in little covered areas beside the line where you wait for the train. Great idea to keep the kids entertained while they wait. 

This year the train is up and running again so visitors can have the full ZooLights experience. The train loop is different this year, a bit shorter (likely due to construction) but still impressive and worth the wait. There’s a new light experience on the train that had us oohing and ahhing – it was simply breathtaking!

Here are some pictures from our visit:

Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo - HealthyDisneyFamily.com #zoolightspdx IMG_3974 IMG_3980IMG_3987 IMG_3989 IMG_3991

A few tips: Before you go, remember that the wind sometimes picks up and it gets COLD. Bundle up well to stay warm and comfortable.

I also recommend getting there early. We arrived right as the gates opened at 5 on a Sunday and the crowds were quite manageable. We went directly to the train and had less than a 15 minute wait. If the train line is really long, you might want to walk around the zoo first to see the lights, then get a hot cocoa before you wait in line. The train keeps running as long as there are people in line so you don’t have to worry about missing it.

Members: Free
Adults (12–64): $10
Seniors (65 and up): $9
Children (3–11): $7
2 and under: Free

General train admission is $4, $3.50 for members and free for children 2 and under.

Parking is $4, paid at the gate. 


Sunday – Thursday: gates open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: gates open 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Grounds remain open an hour after gates close.
ZooLights is closed December 10, 11, 24 and 25.

Helpful links

Oregon Zoo website – http://oregonzoo.org
ZooLights landing page http://oregonzoo.org/zoolights
Twitter: https://twitter.com/oregonzoo
Facebook: http://facebook.com/oregonzoo
Instagram: http://instagram.com/oregonzoo

5 Holiday gift ideas for Runners

Disclosure: My friends at PRO Compression and Fit Approach sent me a pair of their Marathon Tall compression socks for review. I included them in my post because I truly believe they are a wonderful gift for runners and awesome. The rest of the items I have included are items I have purchased myself and love A LOT!


Looking for Holiday gift ideas for the runner in your life? Here are five great items I have – and love – that make wonderful gifts!


PRO Compression Marathon Tall socks in Black

 1. PRO Compression Marathon Compression Socks – retail $50.00 Compression socks are great for runners both during and after runs. These PRO Compression Marathon socks support muscles and tendons with graduated compression to improve blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance with less fatigue and faster recovery. Wearing compression socks can reduce inflammation, swelling, and soreness. They are sized by shoe size. I wear the Small size and they fit me well in both the foot and calf areas. The polypropylene, nylon, and spandex blend fabric feels lightweight yet supportive and comfortable and not at all itchy like other compression items I’ve tried before. They are wonderful socks for running, training, racing, walking, recovery and travel.  Special deal! You can save 40% on your order at PROcompression.com with coupon code PINK - expires 12/15/14


Magenta, Green, Gunmetal, and Pale Blue Sparkle Skirts

2. Sparkle Athletic skirt - Retail $25.00 These #TeamSparkle skirts are so fun and lightweight to run in! I’m training in these for the runDisney Dopey Challenge, Glass Slipper Challenge, and our local Portland Shamrock Run. Sparkle Athletic skirts fit right over shorts or running tights and really perk up any running outfit. They are available in all sorts of fun colors as well as a cute new rainbow style! Mine are size Small


Front of Ultra Vesta


Back of Ultra Vesta

3. Ultimate Direction Jenny Collection Ultra Vesta hydration vest – Retail $124.50

Another great gift idea for the distance runner on your Holiday list is a hydration pack. I’m training for Dopey with the Ultimate Direction Jenny Collection Ultra Vesta and love it. It holds everything I need it to on my long training runs and races including two 10 ounce water bottles, my phone, ENERGYbits, and more. It will also hold a 70 ounce water reservoir (sold separately). It’s designed by Scott and Jenny Jurek, runners who know how to put it through it’s paces. It’s built to last and doesn’t rub or chafe. It’s available in two sizes XS/S and M/L. Mine is the XS/S.

Save 30% on ENERGYbits at ENERGYbits.com with coupon code HDF30

4. ENERGYbits – Retail $115.00

ENERGYbits are 100% organic, clean energy to fuel any distance runner. I started using them earlier this year and loved the steady, consistent level of energy I felt without the spikes and crashes of the gels I used to use. RECOVERYbits are wonderful too! I take a handful 1/2 before a long run to aid in recovery and during cold and flu season for overall wellness. You can save 30% on all ENERGYbits.com orders with coupon code HDF30


If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It medal holder

5. Running Medal Holder – Retail $ 75.00

Allied Medal Hangers makes really wonderful medal holders for runDisney fans and fans of running in general. I picked this one because it has my running mantra on it – “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

These gift ideas are wonderful for any runner, no matter how much distance they plan to cover in 2015. Hope your holiday season is starting off great!

– Denise  

Lorna Jane Portland + coupon

Disclosure: Many thanks to my friends at Lorna Jane and Fit Approach for this fun shopping experience! Lorna Jane gifted the outfit of my choice to me in exchange for sharing about their awesome clothes and new Bridgeport Village – Oregon store on my blog and social media. The thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.


The new Lorna Jane store at Bridgeport Village in Tigard, Oregon


Lorna Jane – Move, Nourish, Believe

Lorna Jane has come to the Portland area! Founded in Australia by Lorna Jane Clarkson, Lorna Jane is on a mission to empower every woman to lead her best life through Active Living and their Move, Nourish, Believe campaign. Lorna Jane’s fashionable, well designed clothing fits into any woman’s lifestyle. Whether they are currently living an active lifestyle or wanting to take the first steps to become more active – there’s something for everyone at Lorna Jane.

The Bridgeport Village Lorna Jane store is conveniently located at 7243 SW Bridgeport Road, Tigard, OR 97224. When you visit, be sure to park near Crate and Barrel for the easiest access. They are located across from Gymboree and next to the big Barnes and Noble store. It was very easy to find and the store is setup beautifully. They will have an active living room soon where you can meet up with friends, take classes and more!

I got to visit the store the day after it opened for my styling session. The ladies at the store were amazing – so helpful and had many suggestions of what would work for my needs and my lifestyle. I worked mostly with Tiffany who I knew through social media and as a fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador. It was fantastic to meet her in person and she really knows her stuff! 

If you’re like me and hadn’t tried on Lorna Jane clothes before, here’s what you need to know about sizing. Most items run true to size with other major activewear brands I wear like Lucy and Nike. I wear a Small in their lines and for the most part wore size Small at Lorna Jane.

I tried on approximately 82974 things (okay slight exaggeration, everything was just SO cute!) and narrowed it down to two choices. 


One of the outfits I tried on – Animania Tank/Bra combo and All Day Full Length Core Stability Tight

Love the detailing on the Animania Tank/Bra combo

Animania Tank/Bra Combo $85.99 retail http://www.lornajane.com/101409/Animania-Tank-Bra-Combo I’m wearing Small. I really loved the colors of the bra and the fit of the tank. Overall the bra part was too small for me and sizing up to Medium made the tank too baggy. 

All Day Full Length Core Stability Tight – $99.99 retail http://www.lornajane.com/091430/All-Day-CoreStability-F-LTight I’m wearing Small. Really wonderful tights with lots of support for your core – would great for running! 


So many fun and bright colors!

Here’s the outfit I picked!


Awesome to meet fellow Sweat Pink Ambassador Tiffany (@RunningHutch) at my styling session

LJ Proverb Tank – $39.99 retail http://www.lornajane.com/1014100/LJ-Proverb-Tank I’m wearing XS. I saw this tank on Lorna Jane’s Instagram before my appointment and knew I had to try it on. It’s on my short list for shirts to wear during my Dopey Challenge and Glass Slipper Challenge races. It’s super soft and lightweight and I love the message (it’s in a close up pic below). It felt amazingly light to wear on a long training run last week. I run hot so I appreciate anything that keeps me cooler when I work out.

Acrobat Sports Bra – $65.99 retail http://www.lornajane.com/101408/Acrobat-Sports-Bra I’m wearing Medium. This color is amazing and the bra itself is pretty supportive. Super cute criss cross detailing on the back. I love the combo of the cupid red with the white LJ Proverb tank. The bra would work well for a short run or just about any other kind of workout.

and Lorna Jane’s best seller ever – LJ Originals Flashdance Pant – $64.00 Retail http://www.lornajane.com/LB0013T/Flashdance-Pant I’m wearing Small. They are a looser fit and are just sooooo comfortable! The ladies at Lorna Jane said they wear them while traveling, walking, running around town, even dance class. They’re just a great go-to casual pant. I really liked the core stability tights and was ready to pick those until I tried these pants on. They have a sweatband type of waist with a drawstring and cargo pant styling. They even roll up to capris, perfect for a day at the beach. I’m thinking I need to pick up some in white for spring and summer :) This is their top selling pant of all time and they carry it year round. 

The Acrobat sports bra – this is the one I got in Cupid Red. Love it!


LJ Proverb tank – love the message!


The heart in Lorna Jane clothes, with love

Want to order some of Lorna Jane’s amazing clothes online?  Lorna Jane is offering a special discount coupon code for you too! Just enter promotional code HELLO20 at checkout to receive $20 off your order of $100 or more at http://lornajane.com through 12/31/14.

Thank you so much to the wonderful team at Lorna Jane and Fit Approach. I loved my styling session and look forward to shopping at Lorna Jane again soon!

– Denise

Check out Lorna Jane on social media:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/lornajane.active
Instagram: http://instagram.com/lornajaneactive
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lornajaneactive
YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/LornaJaneActive
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lornajaneactive/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LornaJaneActive

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