Pure Vitamin Club Review

Hello friends!

It is 6 am and I’ve got my coffee and the rest of the house is asleep. I love mornings. I can type without wondering where Grayson is or what electrical outlet he’s messing with (toddlers, whew!).

I’ve been wanting to try out Pure Vitamin Club for a long time now since they opened in June, and finally ordered about a month ago. This is Vinnie Tortorich’s company so I hear his ads during every podcast! Shameless plugs but can you blame the guy? I don’t.

The reason I point out that the founder is that is why I know its a good brand. I know the integrity of the company will be second to none. I know I can trust the ingredients he’s formulated and that its not just another faceless company looking to make a few bucks off of my good intentions.

I was surprised by the price, though. He said they were cheap, and they really are. I had no idea they would be THAT cheap. I stopped buying vitamins from the grocery store years ago, so I’m used to buying them online and paying a painfully high price for them. These range from $9.95 for a bottle of the Multi-Cap, to $24.95 for the Magnesium. WHAT? That’s only like a dollar more than what I’d have to pay for a crappy bottle at Walmart. You can get subscriptions and save a buck, or just buy them as you’d like.

We take all of the vitamins now- the MultiCap (Shane only takes this one since I’m still on a post-natal vitamin for breastfeeding), B-12, and Magnesium.

What we’ve found with these:

Yes, they are a good clean vitamin with no fillers, additives, nothing bad.

No after taste!

You can take these on an empty stomach if you need to.

Maybe its just in my head since I’ve heard this before, but I really think the magnesium is helping me sleep better. I’ve felt really rested lately since starting to take these! No stomach issues either like some other brands can give you.

The ordering process was really easy and they shipped very quickly. Overall, I’m very impressed. Once these run out, I’ll be subscribing for Shane and I both to get them regularly- which I’ve never done with any supplement.

If you’d like to try them, here ya go:

https://purevitaminclub.com/products?acc=735b90b4568125ed6c3f678819b6e058

I just saw this morning they are currently formulating a new Vitamin D3 plus K Complex! I know I stay inside a lot more in the winter, thus not getting enough Vitamin D through sunlight. I’m sure I’m not alone in this! I hope they can release it soon!

Have you tried these before? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Some other fun news I have to share is that I’m starting a YouTube account soon! I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how I will be producing it, and I think for starters I’m going with a weekly vlog giving you a little insight into our life! It’ll also contain valuable information I’d like to share with you, product reviews, and workouts. I’m so excited and can’t wait to share it with you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I did decide to become an affiliate for this company because I love them so much! So if you buy from the link I will make a small commission. 

 

Macros Explained

If you’re new to the fitness world- or just don’t live there at all- you may have never heard of macros. And what the heck is tracking your macros? It all used to be so super confusing to me too, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.

Let’s break it down. Your macronutrients aka “macros” are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Each nutrient is found in every food in varying amounts (or sometimes not at all- pork rinds have no carbs!) To lose weight, gain muscle or maintain your body composition- you need to have a general idea of what your ratios are. cIt doesn’t matter if you’re vegan, keto, vegetarian, paleo, or want to eat the “bro diet” with chicken and broccoli… macros matter to everyone.

Counting Calories vs. Counting Macros- What is the difference?

If you go into a calorie deficit, yes, you will likely lose weight. The standard is a 500 calorie deficit per day will lose 1 lb a week. But if you aren’t careful, you can be losing muscle as well. You will also likely feel horrible and have low energy levels if you aren’t eating a good balance of nutrient-dense foods and meeting your macro requirements. Its not just ‘calories in, calories out’ like we’ve all been told a million times.

But how do I track?

There are tons of macro calculators available online, but there’s also an app called My Fitness Pal that is probably most popular for counting macros. This is what I’ve always used and I’ve never really felt the need to go elsewhere. Once you’ve made an account- you set in your statistics and goals. It will preset your macros, but you can always go in and change them if your way of eating is different. Since I personally eat a ketogenic diet, I had to adjust mine to a higher fat ratio.

Each day, or however often you decide to track, you’ll enter in all the food and drink (I skip water) you consume that day- you can scan a barcode or search for the food listing closest to what you’re eating. You can also enter in recipes if you’re eating homemade meals. You will edit the servings (if you’re eating a 4 oz steak, you can select “serving size: 1 oz” and enter 4 servings, or “serving size: 4 oz” and enter 1 serving. There are usually plenty of options for this. It will give you a breakdown of what percentages you’re hitting and how many grams. This can be pretty time consuming if you are really dedicated to tracking. I usually go through phases of dedicated tracking for weeks, and then I won’t track for several months.

Let’s take my personal macros for example. Some may see mine as extreme- and they are. Eating keto is one of the most extreme ways of eating, but the benefits are also extreme. I’m 10 months in of eating this way, and I’ve never had more energy (even with a toddler!), I’ve had no problem with keeping my weight off, my blood work is great, and I’m seeing cognitive benefits that are through the roof. It is amazing.

So the macros I’m using- 5% carbs (20g), 20% protein (78g), and 75% (130g) fat. There is no doubt that’s extreme- but it works because my body makes ketones with that low amount of carbs. I’ve found that I can run just as well off higher carbs- so if I want to add in sweet potato to my dinner one night, it isn’t a problem.

I usually eat the same breakfast every day, so I know my day usually starts off with the same percentages. If I already know what lunch or dinner I’m having, or if I want to eat ice cream that night, I can enter it in early to see where that lands me with the rest of the foods I will need for the day.

Don’t obsess with tracking macros!

Keeping track of your macros can be a great tool for weight loss, but it can cause problems. If you currently have an eating disorder or have had eating disorders in the past, this may not be for you. This is meant to be a guideline, not something to make you miserable or send you into a panic trying to get your numbers perfect! Like I mentioned earlier, I go through phases of tracking.

A word about intuitive eating….

I may do a whole post on this sometime, but I think the opposite of macro tracking is intuitive eating. In a nutshell, it is just how it sounds- letting your body guide your eating. When you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re full, you don’t have to clean your plate. You aren’t looking at your macros, but you still need to have a general idea of what ratios you’d like to be eating. For me, mostly fats, moderate protein, and very little carbs. Pretty simple, and it works for most people living in the maintenance stage.

Hope this helps you have a better understanding of macros! Leave a comment or message me with any questions!

New Relationship…New You?


We’ve all been there. Or at least, I think most of us. We get in a new relationship, and that guy starts changing us. Not saying in a bad way, but they say that you start becoming more like the people you’re around- you pick up their habits.

Shane and I knew each other in high school, years and years before our first date. I kept score for the wrestling team, and he was one of our star athletes. I never really worked out, but he lived in the gym. He was chiseled and I was infatuated. (Never would have guessed I’d be having his children though!)


Fast forward 8 years, I was the one who lived in the gym, and Shane, well Shane was burnt out from so many years of keeping up such a grueling schedule of lifting. We started dating, and my weekends in the gym were no more. My Saturday long runs were spent sleeping in, trips to the farmer’s market, and whatever else couples do.

My strict meal prepping turned into Shane cooking dinner (he is an AMAZING chef!) and our weekly pizza date. Or Mexican. But my point is, not strict. At all. He was always surprising me with little things like my favorite ice cream or a bag of candy. How sweet, right?

Once we get in relationships, we find ourselves a lot of time more relaxed and confident, and in turn, less strict on our fitness goals. He loves me just how I am- I can skip the gym again today. These things are so subconscious- we don’t recognize what is happening until our  abs have gone missing and you don’t recognize half of the new gym staff.

This is what happened to me! Part of my fitness journey began- as I’m sure a lot of women can probably relate- had to do with self-esteem issues. I had bad experiences with boys throughout high school, college, and my early twenties, and I translated it to I’m not good enough. My sophomore year of high school, I started “talking” to a guy who seemed really into me, we were on the phone for hours every night for a few weeks after meeting at a football game, but suddenly dropped off the face of the earth, no explanation. My best friend confronted him and asked what was up, and literally guys, literally, his answer after saying I wasn’t his type, was “Erin’s not skinny enough, blonde enough, and her butt isn’t big enough.” This scarred me for YEARS. I’ve never been more than 5-10 pounds overweight, so for him to say that, my confidence was absolutely shot. This crushed me and took me a long time to let go and realize that his opinion was only that- one jerk’s opinion.

Why did I just tell that painful story?

Because good or bad, relationships shouldn’t change your goals or your self-esteem. Don’t forget who you are! Shane and I are super happy together and we actually do workout most nights together now. But just because he didn’t want to work out with me in the beginning, I shouldn’t have let go of my goals.

You can’t let go of yourself and your goals because you will lose yourself. In a new, healthy relationship, its fine to loosen up a little to enjoy your new company, but that doesn’t mean you stop  being you.

If you stop being you, you won’t be truly happy anymore- even if that guy makes you happy- eventually the truth will always come out, and it can lead to anger, self-doubt, and maybe even a little resentment. You always have to make time for self-improvement and achieving your goals.

Over time, you may find that your good habits, if your partner doesn’t have these things in common with you, will rub off on him, just like I said in the beginning. Just being you, no pushing, he may get inspired and want to go along for the ride. And that’s the best possible scenario!

Falling In

Friends, it is 90 degrees in North Carolina today, but it is fall. I’m in shorty shorts, but it is finally fall! And with that, comes my busy season. My head is spinning. Thank God for Trello- if only I’ll finally take that Bss Mom Trello training I signed up for a month ago! I’m so grateful for this busy season. If you didn’t know, I have a product-based business, making artisan soy candles. They are a perfect fit in my ‘clean life,’ but honestly I just LOVE making them! I have just enough orders to keep me busy for the minute, and then more orders roll in. I’m grateful.

Another season of my life is about to begin after the holiday busy season- I become a student again. How many times will I talk about this? Its finally happening this time, I swear. I’ve waited for God’s timing on being a personal trainer, and now He is shoving me in. I bought the text books a few years ago and I’m praying they are still up to date! (If not…how bad could it be? Insert bug-eyed emoji!)

I’ve wanted this for so long. Why would you spend your life looking at other CPTs, being envious and thinking I could be doing that! I know I can do that! Friends, if something that strong is on your heart and does not go away, it is from God! Dive into prayer and find His timing. You cannot fail when a job or a dream comes from God!

So God is on my side…that exam terrifies me. You can’t take the text book (you see how long its been since I was a student?) and its 2.5 hours timed. I know I can do it….but I’m not there yet. Luckily, you can schedule it on your own pace, when you know you’re really ready.

One thing that excites me- and confuses me- about this journey, is that the longer time passes, the more I am disgusted by the fitness industry. I’m not speaking to the competitors and those who love body building because my friends in that specific area are phenomenal and I know how much hard work goes in. No, I’m speaking to the greedy and superficial section of the industry. All the steroids and supplements and photo shop….none of this is realistic or really authentic. If you’re spending $600 a month on supplements…is that necessary? What are you feeding your body? Yeah, it may make you bigger and/or leaner, but what quality of life will you have in 20 years? Not all supplements are bad of course, but gosh, some of them have so much crap in them, I just can’t help but wonder why you would do that to yourself? When you look 15 years older than you actually are, are you still into “health and fitness” for the same reasons as when you started? Is this really maximizing your health, or taking you down a completely different road? There’s enough natural body builders in the industry proving every day that hard work can achieve spectacular results. Don’t be guilted into spending a fortune on supplements.

If you’re photoshopping your “gains,” what example are you setting? To those who look up to you, what you are showing them is a lie. When you truly earn that “look,” its so much more satisfactory than editing your photos to get you there faster.

To me, health and fitness is about treating your body as a temple. Treating it as holy, like the Bible instructs us. Yes, I want to look good in my bikini, and show the world that Mama’s still got it! Ha. I’m still human, guys. But health is about accepting and being at peace with yourself, and loving yourself. We should treat our bodies good, feeding it nutritious foods, sweating, resting, and taking time for self care. I want to stay on THIS side of the fitness industry. If you want abs or biceps, let’s get to work. God gave us the ability to build bodies we our proud of! But it has to come from a place of peace and self love.

Marinate on that, and I would love to know your thoughts reading this. I don’t have it all figured out, but I know who I am and who I DON’T want to be.

The Pregnant Life

Has it been almost a year since I’ve blogged? My bad, guys. BUT! To my credit, I have tried to log in a few different times over the past few months, and my computer-illiterate self could not log in. It just kept sending me to Google+. Did that happen to anyone else? No? Just me? Thought so. 

Soooo….incase you missed my title, I am pregnant!! 29 weeks to be exact, so…pretty far along. For a quick game of catch up….

  • I was SO SICK my first trimester! I was nauseous every morning, but the action ::rolls eyes:: was mostly in the evenings. I HATED food (me? hate food? something’s VERY. WRONG.) and as a result, felt extremely weak. My saving grace was having high quality prenatal vitamins. You can find these at many places, but I found a low price at Vitacost. 

The key to a good prenatal vitamin in the first trimester is one that you can take on an empty stomach. Some lower quality prenatal vitamins can make you sick if you’re already feeling low and can’t eat. These are gluten free, organic, and have high quality foods and amounts of each vitamin. 

The only thing they lack is fish oil- which is fine for me. The recommended amount of fish oil for pregnant women is 200-300mg per day, but my chiropractor told me early on that, in his opinion, we need 3000! HUGE difference, right? But let me tell you…once I stepped up my intake, it made a huge difference- especially with “pregnant brain.” I didn’t feel like such an incompetent idiot anymore. Now that I’m further along, I think it is part of the reason I AM SO HUNGRY. ALL THE TIME. Fish oil shoots up your metabolism, and with the amounts I’m taking…well I think it has been my saving grace with all the pizza I eat. (Enter monkey emoji covering his face)

Fitness during first and second trimester was….spotty at best. No I mean, at least once a week, sometimes more on a good week. Definitely more towards the end of second trimester. I was still working as general manager of a local restaurant in town, and with coordinating all catering events too, my life felt completely upside down- even before I got pregnant. At the first of the year, we started opening only for dinner, so my work day did not end until 10:00 or later….and I didn’t get to sleep in. I wasn’t sleeping nearly enough, and by the time we actually opened every day, I was exhausted and ready to be finished. After a long debate, I turned in my notice. I ended up being taken out less than a week later due to a lot of anxiety from job stress. Not the best way to end my career, but taking care of my baby is number one priority, hands down. Luckily, I worked for great people (and with 5 kids, they get it) who totally understood and wished me well.

Now for the last month, I’ve been home playing stay at home mom- minus the baby, of course. I’ve been painting the outside of the house (it still looks like a shack, so….), getting the nursery ready, and actually, I’ve taken over my Mother’s candle company. We completely rebranded the company, check it out! www.cleancandlecompany.com It lets me bring out my semi-creative side, and this fall once Grayson (oh yeah, that’s his name by the way hehe) gets here and is a couple months old, I can start going to trade shows and trot my candles around for people to grab. 

Another plan, because I love having a different day every day, is start doing online coaching. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years, and started studying to get my certification, but with work and renovating my house, it was hard to study and didn’t feel like the right time. I knew this is what I wanted to do when men and other trainers started coming up to me in the gym (not creepers, just actually nice guys) and telling me they had noticed my routines, and I really knew what I was doing and they were impressed. I understand how to write workouts based on the different muscle groups and then of course different goals each individual could have, and I want to bring that to help others understand it and achieve their goals too. 

All in good time though! For now, I’m enjoying growing my bambino. He is due July 14th. 🙂 

Hopefully from now, since I know how to log in (pshhh), I will start blogging more again!

-Erin

The Bread of Life

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believe in Me shall never thirst.”  -John 6:35


One thing I have learned from running is that your conditions are rarely never ideal. It’s either too windy, too hot, too cold, or raining. If the weather is perfect- you probably didn’t get a good sleep last night. Or maybe you had to skip lunch and won’t be able to eat enough before your run. Maybe your knee is still bothering you from your long run a couple days ago. A big part of learning to run for me is how to condition my body to prepare for my next run. 

What I take from the verse tonight as I read my devotion is that we cannot concentrate on our problems. As runners, or just athletes in general, how many times have we heard that it’s all a mental game? It’s all in your head. So why not focus on the Father? Let Jesus be our strength. Let Him fuel your run. Sure, you need your water and your carbs and your sleep. But the next time you feel tired on your run, remember that Jesus is your fuel, and you’ll never run out. 

Today’s run was 3 easy miles in the park with a friend. Nothing amazing, just good social time. 😄 

Pictured above 👆 my Brooks Mach 14 Spikelss shoes- if you’ve ever thought about trying minimalist shoes- I highly recommend it! They are great for anyone who has feet/knee injuries, shin splints, blah blah. But listen to me when I say to break them in slow! They advise to build up slowly to your normal running mileage- walk a lot! I didn’t listen and the only way I can describe the pain in my feet would be in a car wreck/blender. Seriously. 

Oceans

I’m a few days late on this, but I had the most incredible run the other morning. And the crazy thing is, it was on the treadmill. I’m sure I’m in the top percentile of all runners when I say I hate the treadmill. It hurts my knees, and when I run at home, its even worse than the gym…instead of watching my treadmill TV, I stare at the tractor because its in the workshop. Borrrrrinnnnnnggggg.

For this run though, I tested out running to a new song. Its been a favorite for a while, and I thought it would give me strength to press on. I’m a little less than a month from my race now, and I’m hungry. Starving, really. I WANT this win. I’ve wanted it for a year now. A lot has changed since last year. I’m not moved in my house yet like I thought I would be- which is actually why I thought I could sign up for this race- because I would have plenty of time to train. ….Surprise! I thought I would have extra time to run since I was finished giving my free time to painting and pulling up floor and….whatever else has taken my time to renovate my house. (COMPLETELY restore it, I may add!)

So this run, though. I’m trying to figure out how my negative splits can time out for my race. The more I run, the better I get at racing. I don’t mean that as in, ‘I’m getting in better shape.’ Well, duh. No, I mean I need to stop going out too fast and wearing out too soon in my race.

So for this run, the song is “Oceans” by Hillsong. Part of the lyrics are- 

  • “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk upon the waters
    Wherever You would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Savior”

This really pushes me when I’m feeling weak. Yes, I run and work out as much as I can, and I would say I’m in pretty good shape. Yay for me. That’s me pushing myself to succeed. But none of this could be done without my Savior. I am nothing. I am a lazy couch potato who loves pizza. I pray for strength and perseverance. 

I’m pretty stubborn by nature, but I’m also weak. If I haven’t had enough sleep, I’m hungry, its hot, its windy…..those all also pretty good excuses for a walk break. If you catch me in the right mood, I can push on. If not….oh well. Its too hot to really run this much, even if it is a race. 

Everyone finds inspiration from different things. I’m happy I’ve found that this song pushes me more to be stronger and better, and remember to rely on the Lord for strength and stamina. 

I ran 3.1 this day, and my splits were 9 minutes, 8:30, and for the last mile, I ran at an 8 min pace for the first half mile, and then each .1 mile, I increased the speed by 1. For the last .2 mile of my “race” I ran at 7:30 pace until I was done. I love finishing my runs pushing myself every now and then, to know I can do it, and to prepare myself for when its actually a race. 

With all the knee pain I’ve suffered in the past and having to taking breaks from running to rest my IT band, I’m so thankful I can run without hesitation now. I could say my clean diet with paleo and drinking plenty of water is giving me that, but I know its also a gift from God. Thank you, more than I could ever express.



Half Marathon- Carb Loading

Finally leaving for the beach today after work with the girls. We are heading to Myrtle Beach, SC for our first half marathon, the Diva Run. Even though its only 3 hours away and a frequent vacation spot for us North Carolinians, it will still be a fun destination race to add to our growing list. 

One major thing to remember when running marathons or half marathons is your diet- CARB LOAD! Carb load like crazy. Eat a ton of carbs, and when you think you’re full, eat some more. 

The reason for this is to stock your glycogen stores. That’s probably one of the most lengthy topics I could write about, but for now, we’ll keep it short and sweet. Your glycogen is stored in your muscle as fuel. All food you eat is either turned to glucose-which goes right into your bloodstream, or glycogen, which is stored for later. 

Here’s some quick tips for carb loading before a race:

  • You’ll need 3.5-4 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight per day. Since I’m a smaller female, I leaned towards 3.5- giving me a grand total of 437.5 grams a day.
  • Start carb-loading 72 hours out (my race is Sunday morning at 7:10am, so I started today- Thursday at breakfast)
  • Carbs should make up 70-80% of your diet during this 72 hour period
  • Limit fiber intake- high-fiber fruits and whole grains, for example
  • On race day: pre-race meal should be eaten 3-4 hours to completely digest
  • Pre-race meal: 15-20grams of both proteins and fats is ideal 

Some of the foods I included are quinoa, spaghetti, asparagus, and brussels sprouts. Lots of snacks too. All simple, but do the job! 

But more importantly……BEACHHHHH. Sun. and tanning. and listening to the ocean. Ahhhh. As soon as my race is over, I’m drinking a big Coors Light (or well, a normal size one, whatever) and all the seafood I can choke down. I haven’t had a proper cheat meal in almost 45 days. It. Is. TIME. 

Fasted Cardio…Why even go there?

Hi, I’m Erin, and I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with cardio. But, this half marathon I’m training for? Yeah, gotta fit in the extra cardio. Do I like it? Heck no. Would I rather be lifting something heavy, you betcha. But, gotta suck it up and do it. 

Got up this morning and got in fasted cardio. Here’s the thing. If I’ve gotten enough sleep, I am your most obnoxious, cheerful morning person. But if I don’t get my 8-9 hours of sleep, I am probablyyyyyyy comparable to the devil before I have my coffee. So with that said, I’m trying to get back in my morning routine of waking up at 5 and getting started. Anywhoooo. Yes. Fasted cardio.

For those of you who have never tried it, it actually is better than it sounds. Yes, you are up before your brain is, and you’re working out before breakfast. But there’s the key- do it before your brain realizes what you’re doing! 

Here are  some of the benefits to fasted cardio:

  • Burn extra calories throughout the day 
  • Forces your body to use fat as an energy source (taps into those stubborn areas, like hips and thighs for women/lower abs for men)
  • Burn more fat on empty stomach than with pre-workout meal hours beforehand
  • While fasting and while exercising, your body releases HGH (human growth hormones), which prevents muscle being burned as an energy source 
This is from both researching the subject, and my own experience. This is totally just my opinion that fasted cardio is beneficial. Many academic types would argue it has adverse effects, and this has been a controversial topic for some time. While both sides have merit, I choose to believe it does have benefits from seeing results in myself. My advice to you? If you’re really on the fence, check your own results. Just measure your body fat and calculate your lean mass. This goes for all aspects of fitness- the case studies are still fairly new, and all of the experts all have their own opinions based on their research. How do you know what to believe? Stick with what is working for you personally.

Whether fasting or not, to make your cardio count, you’ve got to add intensity. The joke about the girls who go into the gym and come out looking just as good as they went in- its true. You’ve got to work up a sweat and really work for those results, or they won’t come. Its all up to you! I like to throw HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts in my weekly routine at least 2-3 times a week. No one likes cardio, but it IS vital to every person’s fitness journey, no matter the goals. 

Easy Breakfast Ideas- Egg Whites on English Muffin

As much as I love to meal prep, I do love a good hot breakfast. But who has time in the morning? I just got this egg cooker from Pampered Chef. It. Is. AWESOME!!!! 

1. Pour your egg whites (or a whole egg, whichever you like) in one side of the bowl. Yes, I know it looks like a dog bowl! Cracks me up! Anyways. In the other side, put another egg or water- but definitely don’t leave it empty or it will crack. 

2. I put salt and pepper, but you could get creative…whatever you normally put with your eggs! Peppers, mushrooms…and microwave usually about a minute- more time for more eggs. Makes sense.

3. And voila! Toast your english muffin and you have a sandwich! Who needs McDonalds? I can make this quicker at home than sitting in line, and way cheaper too! And who knows how much more healthy.

Enjoy!

Why I love English muffins- 
  • No cholesterol
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Good source of folate, thiamine, manganese, and selenium
  • Provide a small amount of protein
Why I love egg whites-
  • Lower calorie, fat, and cholesterol content than whole eggs
  • Great source of protein- and same amount as in a whole egg
*The whole egg is where you find your vitamins B2, B12, D, and iron! I do still eat whole eggs as well!