Hemp Hearts Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a sample bag of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts to try as a Sweat Pink/Fit Approach Ambassador. They are also providing a sample bag like I received for a giveaway for one of my lucky readers! All opinions shared are my own.

Hemp Hearts review and giveaway #SweatPink #ManitobaHarvest #HempHearts http://healthydisneyfamily.com

As someone who watches what they eat and works out a lot, I’m always on the lookout for new products to support my healthy lifestyle. I heard about Manitoba Harvest’s Hemp Hearts through my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship and was excited to try a sample.  They are raw, non-GMO hemp seeds full of vitamins, protein, and omega 3’s. 

I poured about a teaspoon full in the palm of my hand and tried them on their own. They tasted a lot like chopped almonds, which I love! I had to have another few samples because they were so tasty! Troy tried them and liked them too. 

Aside from eating them on their own, I like to sprinkle them on my flavored greek yogurt. I usually have one or two greek yogurts a day while I’m training for the high level of protein, to help fill me up, and I really like the taste.  


I hadn’t noticed Hemp Hearts in the store before and now I’m seeing them all over the place. I even saw them at Bed Bath and Beyond the other day. I’m still using the bag I was sent but I’m running low now. I want to try them in a smoothie next!

The nice people at Manitoba Harvest want to send you a bag to try too!

Enter to win here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’d like to order some #HempHearts directly, you can save 20% on your order at ManitobaHarvest.com with coupon code HHSweatPink14 through November 30, 2014.

In addition to the giveaway, there’s also a contest! Manitoba Harvest is also offering a 5 lb bag of Hemp Hearts (yes, 5 LBS!) to one lucky winner!

To enter to win:

Get creative in the kitchen, tag @manitobaharvest, #hemphearts, and #sweatpink in your Instagram and/or Twitter post and you’ll be automatically entered.

Anyone is eligible for the contest – you don’t have to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador. Contest deadline: November 30, 2014

Have a great day :)

– Denise

Weight Loss Guest Post and training

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great week :) I’m guest posting over at Through Heather’s Looking Glass today about tips for losing the baby weight. There’s general weight loss and maintenance tips too, it’s not just for new moms! 

I first discovered Heather’s blog when I was researching runDisney races. She writes detailed Disney race recaps – and wears some really great costumes when she runs! 

You can check it out here

Dopey Challenge training is going okay. I’m irritated about the Plantar Fasciitis pain in my heel but I’m still getting miles in. The 15 miles last Saturday was rough. We had to go furniture shopping for our new house and walked around a lot that whole day. I didn’t start the 15 miles until later in the evening and that was a mistake! I was tired, achy, and bored so I went sloooow. Trying not to feel too awful about it because I still got the mileage in and the time on my feet. The frozen golf ball is still my best friend for PF pain relief.

We’re on our way to a long weekend in the Napa Valley in California, one of our favorite places to vacation. We’re celebrating our anniversary at Calistoga Ranch – a quiet, peaceful resort we stayed at last year. 

Hope you have a great weekend too :)


Dopey Challenge training – week 14

2015 ruDisney Dopey Challenge - Galloway training


Hi everybody :) Hope you’re having a great week! If you’re following Jeff Galloway’s Dopey Challenge training plan like I am, you know we’re all putting in some serious mileage this weekend!

I ran yesterday and today is supposed to be a rest or cross training day. We have a lot of things to do this weekend so I had to adjust the plan a bit. I had to move the 5.5 mile walk up to today which means tomorrow I’ll be doing the 15 run/walk miles. 

Training is going pretty well, considering this dang Plantar Fasciitis pain in my right heel. I’m using the coping strategies for pain that I posted about last week. The frozen golf ball is still a winner. I’m rolling it under my heel right now as I type. I’m also doing calf stretches on the stairs and still rolling with the Moji and lacrosse ball too. The pain is no picnic but it feels better the longer I walk or run. Once my calf and foot muscles are warmed up the pain decreases about 80% and hurts again only when I stop moving. 

Working through pain is something I haven’t done for a while. In the not so distant past I took the advice of my former PT and stopped or dramatically decreased my activity at any sign of pain. I mean any. I think it became an easy cop out for me. My back hurts a little so I’d better skip my short run today. I’ll do it tomorrow. Doing things “tomorrow” and procrastinating does not work with a healthy lifestyle change. Some days I just feel achy and once I start working out, I feel better.  Or sometimes the run sucks but I feel some sense of accomplishment because I did it and know that the next run will likely feel easier because of it.

Which brings me to today…

I saved the Once Upon A Time premiere so I could watch it during my 5.5 mile training walk on the treadmill. I stayed at 3.5-3.7 for most of it, trying to take it easier and not push my pace because I need to conserve some energy for the 15 miler tomorrow. It’s my first time training for a back-to-back race challenge and I’m beginning to think it’s kind of fun! I like having an easier walking day and a long run the following day. It feels like I’m really training for Dopey now!

Weight wise, I’m maintaining the five pounds I lost through consistent exercise, portion control and food journaling. It’s amazing what a difference 5 pounds makes when you’re in the “normal” weight range for your height. I felt so much heavier and my clothes didn’t fit as well. I had to put a few pairs of pants away because they would zip up but were too tight to wear.

When I was over 200 pounds, 5 pounds lost or gained was not noticeable on my body. All of my clothes fit exactly the same and I didn’t look or feel any different. It’s sad because if I had seen progress by feeling or looking different, I likely would have tried harder to lose weight in the beginning. It’s when people have a lot of weight to lose that they need the most support – and it’s tough when no one notices, not even you when you look in the mirror. I don’t think anyone (aside from my husband) commented on my weight loss until I lost about 50 pounds. Then suddenly it seemed like everyone noticed.

Now with a five pound weight loss I notice a real increase in energy, I run faster with less effort, and my clothes fit much better. I’m still working hard to lose the last 10 pounds *again* before I go to Walt Disney World for Dopey.

This trip to WDW has been in the works for a long time. I have been planning it since 2012 when I first learned about the Goofy Challenge at WDW. I was training hard but hadn’t even run my first Half marathon yet. I knew if I kept training – I would go Goofy in 2015.

When I learned about Dopey it was a no brainer for me. I would do both to push myself and celebrate how running and fitness has changed my life for the better. Taking control of my health and wellness helped me to become more of the mom, wife, and woman I always wanted to be. I’m still a work in progress but really happy to be where I am today. 

And finally – after all the miles I’ve run and walked to get here – Goofy and Dopey are now just three months away! I can’t wait :) 

Hope you have a great weekend!

– Denise

5 ways to relieve Plantar Fasciitis

5 easy ways to relieve your Plantar Fasciitis pain - HealthyDisneyFamily.com

Do you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis foot pain? I have twice in the past year – first in my left foot and now in my right. I’ve discovered some really effective ways to treat it. I’m sharing them with you so you can find relief from your foot and heel pain too!

1. Moji 360 Foot Massager – I was sent a Moji 360 Foot Massager to test out and it helped my foot feel much better. Zone 1 of the foot massager has smaller rotating balls that just feel really good on tired and aching feet. I use it on both of my feet alternately when I’m sitting at my desk or watching tv. Zone 2 has 2 larger massage balls and is good for pinpointing certain areas where you need deep tissue massage. You can use it with or without a sock – I do both.  The largest size massage spheres still felt a little too small for my arches so I kept looking for other methods of relief.

2. Lacrosse ball – I tried a lacrosse ball next based on this YouTube video I watched (starting at 4:00). This video has some really great tips and coincides with tip 3.

The size of the Lacrosse ball is perfect for rolling under my painful arches. A tennis ball would likely work too. I keep the Moji 360 and Lacrosse ball under my desk when I’m working from home and roll my feet out on both of them alternately. 

3. Stretch and roll your calf muscles – In the video, he also talks about stretching out and rolling your calf muscles. I use The Stick to roll out my calves. I bought the 19″ Sprinter version at the Portland Marathon expo a few years ago. It’s my favorite roller – and I’ve tried a bunch of different roller styles over the years.

I also do calf stretches on the stairs. In the How to Fix Plantar Fasciitis video (starting at 2:50) he does a good demonstration. 

4. Foot stretches and massage – The stretches and massage (starting at 3:10) in the Simple Stretching for Plantar Fasciitis video is really helpful too. Watching the entire video is good for understanding where the PF pain comes from. 

5. Frozen Golf Ball – My newest favorite tip for Plantar Fasciitis pain relief is a frozen golf ball! I learned the tip from my friend Colleen, the leader of a local running group I’m involved with. Rolling the frozen golf ball under my foot relieves the pain in less than a minute. The first time I tried it I was in disbelief at just how perfect the size was and how the good the icy coolness of the ball felt! 

I hope you’re able to find some Plantar Fasciitis foot pain relief from these tips too! Have you tried any of these before? What have you tried that has worked for you?

– Denise

Disclaimer: I was evaluated by my doctor and physical therapist for foot pain and these are the treatments that work for me. As always with any medical issue, please consult your doctor or health practitioner for a personal diagnosis and help as needed. Moji provided the Moji 360 Foot Massager to me at no cost in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions expressed are my own.

Get Your Run On Giveaway Blog Hop

Get your run on giveaway blog hop! HealthyDisneyFamily.com

Yay! It’s time for another giveaway blog hop!

For the Get Your Run on Giveaway Hop, I’m giving away something to help you recover from your tough workouts and runs. It’s the Moji 360 Mini Massager, a great portable and easy to use handheld roller to help your sore muscles feel better.

Quick Facts

Relaxes sore muscles
Targets hard to reach areas
Works on all sore muscles
Super portable & easy to use
Three sizes of massage spheres
Adjustable clasp
Easy to clean
1 Year Warranty

How to Use

Slide Moji 360 Mini Massager onto your hand, with the massage spheres on your palm side. Position massage spheres on sore muscles and roll!

Neck & Shoulders: Pinpoint your massage by pushing your fingertips into the top sphere, called the “Target Sphere” and apply pressure while rolling.

For Deepest Massage: For the most intensity, use the heel of your palm against the bottom “Intensity” sphere and apply pressure onto your calves, shins, IT Bands, or PSOAS.

Watch this video for more information:

Enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please make sure to stop by and check out the other blogger’s giveaways for more great giveaways! :)  – Denise

Disclaimer: Moji provided the Mini Massager at no cost for use as a giveaway on my blog. I am currently testing one of their other products for review. As always, the opinions I share are 100% my own and related to my own personal experience with a company and their products. Product description and YouTube video are courtesy of GoMoji.com.

Dopey Challenge training – Week 11

2015 ruDisney Dopey Challenge - Galloway training

Hi friends, I hope this week is going well for you! If you’re participating in runDisney’s Walt Disney World Marathon weekend like I am, the realization that it’s now less than 4 months away may have hit you like a ton of bricks. Or maybe it’s just me panicking?!

I can’t fully believe I will be doing a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Marathon within only 4 days. I’m freaking out about it but at the same time I will trust my training. I’m following Jeff Galloway’s training plan for experienced runners who have run at least one marathon. His training helped me and so many others finish the Tinker Bell Half last year feeling strong and healthy. I have reason to have faith. Aaaagh, it’s such a big goal to do 48.6 miles in 4 days though!!! 

I don’t always start off my run by crying – but on Sunday before my 11 mile training run, I did. The emotions of Dopey being just 4 months out really hit me hard – can I do it?! On top of that, the bottom of my right heel has been sore and I’m getting over a lingering cold. I felt like a mess but I started up the treadmill and began walking.

The first 4 miles felt like 10. It was like time was standing still. I knew I had to push hard to both keep up my pace and finish that training run.  It’s not an option for me to miss any runs long or short. I will not give in to any excuses, no matter how easy it has felt for me to just give up in the past.

That’s been the hardest thing for me with maintaining such a huge weight loss – to find balance and know when I can slack off a little and when I need to push hard. Right now I’m 15 pounds from where I want to be. The three pounds I lost a few weeks ago keep hopping back on and off again since I started training hard and pushing my pace. I know it’s my body building up stores of glycogen but it still sucks. I miss seeing those lower numbers on the scale, especially after I worked so hard to lose weight to begin with! I realize it’s not all about the number on the scale, I do. I know I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, eat foods that fuel my body, get a lot of sleep, and take good care of myself. It’s just that number on the scale…grrrr.

When I was morbidly obese after having Chase, I would usually do fine with eating during the day and screw up by snacking on high calorie foods late at night. I’d always tell myself, I’ll do better tomorrow. And 99% of those tomorrows, I screwed up again and the weight stayed on.

The end result was being obese for nearly 5 years of my life. I can never get those 5 years back. It really hurts to think about, even today, just how much of my quality of life was lost because I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was always tired, suffered from migraines regularly, and believed I was a failure at everything except for being a mom. Being a mom was the only thing I really felt like I was doing right, and I wanted to be the best mom I could be.

Even though people often say you can’t lose weight for someone else, you have to do it for yourself – I don’t believe that. I lost weight to be the mom I really wanted to be for Chase. The mom who could go down the slide with him and could run around with him at the park. Not the mom who felt winded just getting out of the car. Or the way I felt in this picture – feeling powerless about how to change and shocked at just how big I’d gotten when I saw it.

110 pound weight loss by running, weights, and eating cleaner. HealthyDisneyFamily.com

One of my before pics – taken on the beach in Oahu on vacation in 2007

I look at my before pics to remind myself of where I’ve been and exactly why I need to stay focused. So I don’t become a statistic and regain all of that weight plus more like so many people do. To remind myself why I do hard and crazy things like sign up for a 48.6 mile running challenge after completing 5 half marathons and 2 marathons already. I wish I could say that felt like enough but it’s not to me. I wanted to do something more than a marathon but felt no desire to do an Ultra. I had already planned to go Goofy in 2015 and when I heard about Dopey, it felt like a no brainer. What’s another 5k, right? ;) Remind me of that when I’m getting up at 11pm my time to race 4 days in a row…

So here I am, this 15 pounds heavier and mere months away from doing the Dopey Challenge. I tear up at the thought of it, I just can’t help it. I’m emotional about doing such a HUGE thing. One person asked me a few weeks ago if I was even capable of doing it. I told her “I think so” but the comment still stung. In all fairness, she doesn’t know me well. She’s only known the “thinner” me because we’ve only recently met. She also doesn’t know that even though hard things scare me, my determination is solid as steel and I do it anyway.

I don’t quit.

I’ll stick faithfully to my training and count on it to prepare me for all the races. I’ve started reading though the recaps of this year’s Dopey that some of you posted here and making my way through them. Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly about your race experiences! You really are helping people. I’d love to read as many recaps as I can, learn what has worked for people and what hasn’t. I bet you would too. We can all learn so much from other runners and walkers.

One thing I’m looking forward to is finally running through the Magic Kingdom when I run the Dopey. We didn’t get to do that at Wine and Dine so it will be my first time. I’ll also be back for the WDW Princess Weekend Glass Slipper Challenge in February 2015. 19.3 miles should be a cakewalk after 48.6, right?!

I have another 45 minutes for training tonight. If my heel is still sore, I’ll walk most or all of it but I will get it done!

If you have a Dopey or Glass Slipper Challenge recap to share – whether it’s yours or another blogger’s recap that has helped you – please feel free to leave a link to it in the comments. I know I can’t be the only one feeling nervous and looking for all the help I can get to prepare for these races. We’re all in this together! :)

– Denise

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