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Picky Bars Review and Giveaway!

What is Picky Bars?

The stars (yes, they are all actually stars) behind Picky Bars are Stephanie Rothstein, Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas. It all started with Lauren wanting to find the perfect bar to fuel her husband Jesse. They were looking for a good and smart balanced gluten and dairy free bar. There were many to choose from on the market, but none of the existing ones hit the spot for the two athletes. So Lauren who knew exactly what she wanted set out to create her own bar for her husband in training.

“I wanted a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, slow releasing carbs for level blood sugar, minimal soy content, and healthy fats making up  25% of the calories.  Oh yeah, and it needed to taste amazing.  No big deal, right?” – Lauren Fleshman

It just so happened that Lauren and Stephanie, Laurens training buddy, were both injured and had time to kill (and knowing how being injured felt for me, I kind of get a feeling it was a good way to stay sane – a project to keep them occupied!) so they spent countless hours experimenting until they had a perfect balanced AND perfectly tasty bar in front of them. This was the start Picky Bars, and since then they’ve released three other bars and they are also just now in the end of July releasing a fifth flavor!

PickyBars and Evelin

The day I got the sample pack of Picky Bars I immediately wanted to go for a run, so that I could justify having one of the bars. Yes, that’s how excited I was about getting to try these bars out! You probably already know that I like snacks that are as clean and natural as possible, and Picky Bars definitely hit the spot for me!

I received a sample pack to try out. This included one of each of the flavors:

  • Smooth Caffeinator – Hazelnut Mocha Madness
  • All-In Almond – Agave Sweetened Awesomesauce
  • The Need for Seed – Sunflower Butter Sensation
  • Lauren’s Mega Nuts – Peanut Butter Booyah

picky

I loved every single bite I took from these bars (and wish I would’ve been able to make them last longer). I used them as fuel before a run, as a recovery snack post-run and as a snack while being out hiking and.. Yes I admit, one of them might have just served as an awesome treat, just like that, with a cup of iced coffee. The bars all filled me up just enough, to that point where you get some energy without the “food coma” part. I have to admit I always get pretty nervous when trying something new before a run or a hike, but just as great as the bars tasted as great did I feel being fueled by them out running and hiking!

PickyBars served as a totally awesome snack while out hiking on the lava!

PickyBars served as a totally awesome snack while out hiking on the lava!

Even though I’m a serious coffee drinker I usually stay away from caffeinated bars, gels etc. before heading out for my runs. No matter how used to caffein my body is I just can’t get away from the fact that my belly tend to get sensitive while running. BUT, the Smooth Caffeinator was actually the bar I tried before heading out for a run and I had no problems at all! In fact, I went for my longest run post-injury being fueled by that Picky Bars! (I’ve smashed that distance by now though!). My favorite..  Do I have to pick one, really? I don’t think so – they all are great! But I guess I’d go for the Smooth Caffeinator. Or All-In Almond (if you are following me on Twitter you might have noticed my obsession with almonds – I eat them daily AND always use almond oil instead of body lotion)..

Let’s have a look at the ingredients in one of the bars? Let’s do the Smooth Caffeinator, just because.. I like coffee?

  • 100% Vegan
  • Gluten & Dairy Free
  • 100% Non-GMO
  • 61% Organic
  • 25mg caffein (1/3 cup of coffee)
  • 200 Calories (8g Fat, 28g Carbohydrates, 7g Protein)
  • Ingredients: Organic Dates, Hazelnut Butter, Organic Agave Nectar, Rice Protein (Protein from Whole Grain Sprouted Brown Rice), Organic Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, Hazelnuts, Organic Chocolate Chips (Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Soy Lecithin (non-GMO), Organic Vanilla Extract), Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil), Organic Apricots (Organic Apricots, Organic Rice Flour), Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Sea Salt, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Safflower Oil, Natural Vitamin E (to preserve freshness).

Looks great to me! And it sure tastes great too!

picky4

Looks pretty darn tasty to me!

I don’t just like the taste and how well the bars treated me, I also like the visual concept and the playful wording Picky Bars use – love the look of the packaging, the names etc. I agree, it IS freaking science dude! And wait, there’s more! There’s a Picky Club, where you can sign up to get a Picky t-shirt, the chance to try new flavors, a discount etc and best of all: you get sent 18 delicious bars monthly! All that for $37/month! Oh and there is a new bar coming out soon, one that would LOVE to get my hands on ASAP! Runners High – Blueberry Vanilla Hemp Hustlin’, how wonderful doesn’t that one sound?! Gotta love the runners high, and I’m pretty sure as a runner you are really hustlin’!

If you are excited about trying the Picky Bars, head on over to their website and order yourself some goodness. They are also sold in several locations, where of REI is one of the places. If you want to see where you can get Picky Bars in your town there’s a store locator on Picky Bars website.

PICKY BARS GIVEAWAY!

As excited I was to try out the Picky Bars as excited (or even more) am I to give you, my friends, the chance to try them too. Picky Bars are giving one of you the chance to win a sample pack of bars PLUS Picky SWAG! How great is that?! Yup, pretty darn great if you ask me!

Head on over to Rafflecopter now and enter for your chance to win, I promise you it’s worth it!

Picky Giveaway

The giveaway is open July 14th 12am(HST) to July 22nd 12am(HST). I will randomly pick a winner and let you know who the lucky one is in a blogpost.

Disclaimer: I was given a sample pack of Picky Bars for free to try and review on my blog, I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions in this blogpost are mine and mine alone and they have not been controlled or influenced by Picky Bars or anyone else. 

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Injinji Review and Giveaway!

What is Injinji?

Injinji is an African term describing when a “drumming circle reaches a climax, the peak in the performance, when all of the participants are at one with the rhythm, when everyone hits a stride and there is unison among all”. This is what Injinji believes in and feel their community of athletes is all about.

Injinji makes performance toe socks (for just about any activity) which will keep your toes/feet happy! Injinji was created by athletes for athletes with the “manifestoe”: “Forever committed to innovation that allows your feet to live and perform at their peak. We are a better way.”.  Injinji offer a variety of socks for different activities and preferences. There are Run series, the Trail, Sport and Yoga socks as well as liners and even Compression socks! There are Light, Original, and Midweight socks to choose from depending on what kind of socks you prefer. They also come in different cuts (from No-Show to Knee highs) and colors, which makes it all even better. I’d say there’s definitely something for everybody (as long as you’re into the toe sock thing)!

From Injinji’s website:

“The advantages of toesocks are so plentiful once you experience them, you may not want to wear any other sock again. The 5 toe sleeve design and superior fiber construction provides:
– Proper Toe Alignment (makes for healthier happy feet)
– Superior Moisture Management (drier and less smelly feet)
– Better posture, better balance (you get full use of your toes!)
– Blister and hotspot prevention (relieve some of that foot pain)
– Tactile Feel (enabling natural feel and movement in ANY shoe)”

Injinji and I

I first read about Injinji during fall 2012 and even though I was curious about them it took me a while before I actually tried them. As I transitioned into my SKORA shoes and got accustomed to actually feel the ground more and running natural and relaxed I wanted to try the Injinji’s. Why not let the toes loose and actually be free to do the thing they are supposed to do? Splay and be a part of the forward motion while running. Another thing I was curious to find out was if the added fabric between my toes would be making my feet warmer/more sweaty or actually prevent that warm/sticky in-between-toes feeling I’ve noticed while running and post running? Yes, basically I was just very curious to see if my feet would agree with the above stated advantages in using toe socks.

Injinji1

I received two pair of Injinji socks from their Run Performance 2.0 collection – the Lightweight and Original Weight No-Show. Being new to the toe sock business it was interesting putting the socks on. It kind of tickled and I couldn’t help but feeling a bit awkward at first but as I’ve gotten used to putting these socks it’s really not a problem. Sure it takes a few moments longer putting these socks on than a “normal” pair of socks, but once they are on they feel amazing! Really, like a hug for every single one of my toes.

Injinji4

So what about actually running with the socks on? The first few runs I did with Injinji’s I could feel the added fabric between my toes, but it didn’t bother me – it was just there if you know what I mean? What I right away came to love was how great they feel for my feet. I can tell that my toes is actually spreading in my shoes and because of this my feet feel more “relaxed” than with other socks. I feel like I’m actually running with my feet, not just on my feet! :)

Running in Hawaii can cause pretty warm and sweaty feet and when I’ve been using “normal” socks I’ve noticed the sweat business a lot more than with these toe socks. I used to have some problems with getting blisters due too the sweat and the moist toes rubbing against each other – well, that’s not happening anymore! I agree with all of the above mentioned advantages from Injinji – these socks are really great for my feet!

Injinji climbed straight up to the top 5 of my favorite running gear list and I have a feeling they will stay there. I’m already looking into getting more of the Lightweight Run 2.0 socks as they are my favorites to run in!

Injinji5

Yep, I love my Injinji’s!

Check the fantastic toe socks out on Injinji’s website, connect with them on Twitter, connect with them on Facebook, and/or follow them on Instagram. They are a great company with tons of fun things going on, great photos and they have amazing and inspiring athletes in their team!

Now onto the giveaway part of this blogpost. There are TWO pairs of Injinji’s and samples of GU Energy products in the basket and one of you will be the lucky winner of it all! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is click the Rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions. Do one or all of the entry options – it’s all up to you!

Injinji Socks + GU Samples – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This giveaway will run from 7/2/13 at 12am (Hawaii) to 7/9/13 at 12am (Hawaii). I will choose a random winner and let you all know who it is in a blogpost here on Evelinruns July 9th.

 

Disclaimer: I was given two pair of Injinji socks for free to test and review on my blog, I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions in this blogpost are mine and mine alone and they have not been controlled or influenced by Injinji or anyone else. 


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ProCompression Giveaway Winner

ProCompression Marathon Purple

The ProCompression giveaway I had the chance to host  was very popular, as it should be, and I kind of wish I could just give you all a pair of socks. But as reality isn’t always the same as dreams one winner got picked (via random.org), and that lucky winner is:

 

ProCompression Winner

Congratulations Margaret! Please send me an email with your information (which color and size of Marathon Sock you’d like plus shipping address) to evelinruns[at]gmail[dot]com and I will forward your information to ProCompression!

To all others who visited my blog and entered the giveaway – thank you! It was so interesting to hear how you use or how you’d like to use ProCompression socks for working out, running or recovery. I hope you all get to enjoy using ProCompression socks in the future!

Huma Logo

While I’m at it, I’d like to remind you of the 10% off code on the Hüma Chia Energy Gel I get to share with you. As I like to fuel all natural for my runs I love the fact that there are natural gels, easy to grab and go while being great tasting and easy on my belly! You should check them out!


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ProCompression Love and Giveaway

Since I started running in May 2012 thinking that all I needed was a pair of shoes I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot of products out there that will be really helpful and fun while making it more enjoyable to run/recover from runs. Compression socks is one of those things. I’ve used compression socks throughout the years while being on long flights across the world, but most of them have left a lot to wish for. They’ve been stretching out, been too tight or simply breaking due to being too thin.

ProCompression Marathon Pink

But then I heard of the brand ProCompression. And saw all the fun photos uploaded on Instagram, Twitter and blogs. I started craving them, a lot, and finally got a hold of a pair of pink Marathon socks in the start of 2013. Since then, these wonderful hot pink socks have been frequently used by me. They have been working out with me, running with me, helping me recover after strength workouts, runs or just a stressful day with hard work or a lot of walking. Even though I’m “just” 30 years old my feet easily swell up – with the ProCompression socks I quickly recover and feel better pretty much right away. I love it! The fact that ProCompression also comes in a bunch of fun colors doesn’t make it worse, not at all!

ProCompression Marathon Purple

The lovely people over at ProCompression gave me the chance to spread some ProCompression love by hosting a giveaway here on the blog. So if you’re curious about the socks, already have a pair (or many) and love them or if you’re just into trying new fun stuff – here’s a chance of winning a pair of Marathon socks in color/size of your choice.

All you have to do is click the Rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway (opens in a new window/tab)

Good luck!

This giveaway is over and I’d like to send a big thank you everyone who entered! 

Giveaway information: The giveaway starts 4/8/13 at 12am (HST) and ends 4/16/13 at 12am (HST) and is open to US residents. I will randomly pick 1 winner. The winner will be posted on the blog 4/16/13 and will be asked to email me address, choice of Marathon Socks and size.

Disclaimer: All opinions in this blogpost are mine and mine only. I haven’t been compensated in any way by the company.


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Hüma Chia Energy Gel Giveaway Winners & A Good Deal

Thanks to all of you who entered the Hüma Chia Energy Gel Giveaway! It was interesting to see what you currently use to fuel with and I’m happy so many of you are curious about these gels. To me these gels are definitely worth the money as they offer not only great taste, but also (and this is probably more important) natural and pronounceable ingredients. Natural equals win in my opinion!

hüma straw

Here are the three lucky winners (picked out with help of random.org):

Jen

elleroos

Julie M.

Congratulations! Send me an email to evelinruns[at]gmail[dot]com with your address and I’ll forward this to Hüma. Hope you’ll enjoy these lovely gels as much as I do!

Ian over at Hüma offered my followers to try the gels out at a good price. With the code EVELINRUNS you’ll get free shipping when ordering the Hüma Chia Energy Gel Sample PackI’m super excited about this as I hope as many as possible will fall in love with and use these chia powered natural gels. Head on over to their site and get your sample pack!

This promotion code is good to go for free shipping in the Continental US and lasts until March 31st.


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Hüma Chia Energy Gel Review and Giveaway

A little while ago I got in contact with Ian, the man behind the Hüma Energy Gels, and he gave me the chance to review his product which made me more than happy.

hüma straw + eve

I received a Mixed Sample Pack (two Strawberry and two Apple Cinnamon gels) and I really couldn’t wait to try them out. As I’m just now coming back from injury I haven’t been able to bring the gels out for any long runs, but I’ve been using them as a pre-run fuel before heading out on my runs.

This is my thoughts about the gels:

  • Great taste! Both gels taste REAL, it quickly becomes obvious to me that there are no artificial ingredients here. And a plus – it even SMELLS like real strawberry and apple/cinnamon. To be honest I’m usually not the one to pick apple/cinnamon flavored things, but this surprised me with actually being my favorite of the two.
  • Texture is perfect – not too gooey, not to runny. It’s like a puree and this makes it easy to swallow (I’ve been having a problem with when it comes to other gels).
  • The packaging is nice to look at and it’s also very easy to open. I have a hard time seeing the opening of the gels as a problem when actually using them on the go.
  • The few, natural and REAL ingredients (see below).
  • No problems WHAT SO EVER with my stomach. This is something I’ve been looking for when it comes to gels, and I’m so happy to know that there are actually products out there which won’t mess with me!
  • Chi-chi-chia seeds! I’ve grown to love chia seeds and try to add it to most things I’m eating nowadays. The seeds are ground and adds a little bit to the puree-y texture. Love it! The chia seeds are also a real super food full of Omega-3, protein, antioxidants and soluble fiber.
  • What should be mentioned too, is that these gels are Gluten Free which I always think is a great thing.

hüma straw

Straw Nutrition Facts

hüma apples

AppCinn Nutrition Facts

As you can see above there are only a few ingredients in the gels (7 in the Strawberry Gel and 8 in the Apple/Cinnamon Gel), and they are all ingredients I can pronounce (which says A LOT with me being just a silly little Swede with English as 3rd language)! This is something I’m totally stoked about, and shouldn’t we all be considering all the JUNK that’s mixed into so many food products out there nowadays?!

I am so thankful for getting the chance to try these gels, I’ve been looking for something like this for months and now, finally, I can stop my search. This is what I’d like to bring for fuel on my long runs in the future!

hüma apples + eve

And now for the GIVEAWAY…

Are you curious about the all natural Hüma Chia Energy Gel? Ian at Hüma gave me the chance to host a giveaway where 3 of you can win a Sample Pack each. Everyone who enters the giveaway will also receive a promotion code.

To enter the giveaway follow the instructions below:

1. Tell me in a comment how you are currently fueling for runs/workouts?

2. Follow @humagel on Twitter

3. Follow @evelinruns on Twitter

4. Tweet about the giveaway, example: “Enter to win all natural Hüma Chia Energy Gel via @humagel and @evelinruns! #giveaway https://evelinruns.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/huma-chia-energy-gel-review-and-giveaway/” 

5. Like Hüma Chia Energy Gel on Facebook

That leaves you with a total of five possible chances to win! You choose which of the above you want to do, just make sure to leave a separate comment here for each way you chose to enter the giveaway.

Good luck!

This giveaway is now over, but you can read more and get 10% off or just order your Hüma Chia Energy Gel Sample Pack here.

Giveaway information: The giveaway starts 3/6/13 at 12pm (HST) and closes 3/14/13 at 12am (HST) and is open to US residents. I will randomly pick 3 winners (using random.org). The winners will be posted on the blog 3/15/13.

Disclaimer: The product was given to me for free and I haven’t been compensated in any other way by the company. The review is straight up based on my opinions on the product and it has not been controlled or affected by the company mentioned in any way.


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American Heart Month and a Heart Healthy Giveaway – ENERGYbits

February is the American Heart Month and we all know that this is IMPORTANT. Our heart is a fantastic muscle that keeps us going through life and we should give nothing but the best to it as a thank you for the days we live here on the planet, right?!

Even though I’m sure we all (some more, some less) have the knowledge of this the facts are that heart disease and strokes are one of the most common causes of death in this country. Scary facts:

1.      One in three deaths in the USA are from heart disease and stroke

2.      One in three adults in the USA have cardiovascular disease

3.      More women then men have a stroke each year (55,000 more)

4.      An estimated 68 million adults have high blood pressure

5.      An estimated 71 million adults have high cholesterol

6.      An estimated 935,000 heart attacks and 795,000 strokes occur each year in USA

Source http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/dhdsp.htm

I’m all into the ENERGYbits and they happen to not only be great for some extra energy, vitamins and minerals but also for our heart health They can actually help you make sure that you’re doing all you can to keep your most important muscle pumping – taking you through life, runs and workouts safe and sound.

image004

“Our algae tabs are quickly becoming recognized as the easiest, fastest, safest and most natural way to lower blood pressure and heart disease and are even being recommended to patients by cardiologists. This is because ENERGYbits® and SKINNYbits® are 100% organically grown spirulina algae which is loaded with heart healthy Essential Fatty Acids like Omega 3 and GLA which reduce inflammation in blood vessels. This helps blood to flow easily and heals the blood vessels so blood pressure and the chance of heart attack or stroke are reduced. Swallow (or chew) at least 30 tabs a day to experience all the health benefits that Mother Nature intended you to have from algae.”

– Catharine Arnston, Founder and CEO of Bits of Health Inc.

With this said I’d like to give you the opportunity to order your own bits of choice (there are ENERGYbits, SKINNYbits, RECOVERYbits and VITALITYbits to choose from, all of them consisting of 100% PURE algae) for yourself or someone you love as a gift – not only for Valentines Day but for the future. Use discount code EVELINRUNS to get 15% off your order.

heart healthy giveaway

Or.. You can enter this HEART HEALTHY GIVEAWAY.

Through entering you get a chance to win a tin of ENERGYbits (approximately 75 bits).

Enter by following the steps below:

1. Like ENERGYbits on Facebook. Leave a comment on this blogpost telling me you liked them. (Mandatory)

2. Like SKINNYbits on Facebook. Leave a comment on this blogpost telling me you liked them. (Mandatory)

3. Follow @ENERGYbits on Twitter. Leave a comment here when you’ve started to follow them (include your twitter handle in the comment). (Mandatory)

4. Follow @SKINNYbits on Twitter. Leave a comment here when you’ve started to follow them (include your twitter handle in the comment). (Mandatory)

Get additional entries to the giveaway by:

5. Liking evelinruns on Facebook. Leave a comment here telling me you did so (include your account name)

6. Follow @evelinruns on Twitter. Leave a comment here telling me you did and what your twitter handle is.

7. Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment here telling me you did so. Example: I entered the Heart Healthy @ENERGYbits #giveaway over at @evelinruns blog, you can too: https://evelinruns.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/american-heart-month-and-a-heart-healthy-giveaway-energybits

So that’s a total of 7 entries per person and the more you do the bigger the chance that you’ll get some ENERGYbits shipped your way in early March.

Good luck!

The giveaway is open until February 28th 2012 and I will randomly pick a winner and post here on the blog March 1st. The giveaway is unfortunately only open for US and Canada residents due to shipping and customs outside of North America.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

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