Countdown to BlogFest 2015 + FREE Momentum Fitness Jewelry

Yes, I took another unintentional blogging break because I was busy working on this:

BlogFest, IDEAWorld, Nutrition, thevalentineRD, RD,CDE


On Thursday, July 16th at 2pm PST, I’ll be presenting “Busting the Top 5 Nutrition Myths” at IDEAWorld BlogFest 2015.  To say that I’m excited (and nervous) is a major understatement!

While I’m sad that some of my blogger buddies from BlogFest 2014 won’t be there this year, it’s hard to think that anything will be able to top last year BUT I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and making some new ones!

I’m sure I’ll be making some friends because I’ll be at reprising my role as a Momentum Jewelry Ambassador during BlogFest (like I did at FitBloggin’)!  If you don’t know Momentum, it’s motivational fitness jewelry that’s not only easy to wear while working out, it also goes from the gym to the street with ease!

Momentum, Motivational Fitness Jewelry, Motivate Wrap, Foot Notes


If you’re attending BlogFest, make sure to watch my Instagram and Twitter accounts for ways to win FREE Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes during the conference (7/16 – 7/19).  

Momentum, fitness jewelry, FitBloggin'



If you’re attending BlogFest and you’re the first person to come up to me and tell me one of the 3 musical artists I saw in concert this week, you will win a Momentum Inspire Necklace (you will get bonus applause if you sing a song from the artist as well):

Momentum, Inspire Necklace


If you’re NOT attending BlogFest, you can still get lucky!  Tweet me with #BlogFestMomentum between 7/16 – 7/19 and I’ll DM you a special discount code that you can use to buy yourself some fabulous motivational fitness jewelry!


Wishing you all a wonderful rest of your week!

I’m looking forward to sharing the recap of BlogFest with you soon…after I recover!

Disclosure:  As a speaker for BlogFest, I did receive complimentary registration to both BlogFest and IDEAWorld.  I also did receive compensation for my Momentum Jewelry Ambassadorship.  Cards on the table, if I were not a speaker, I likely would have paid to attend this joint conference and I have previously purchased Momentum Jewelry for myself and friends out of my own pocket.




An Injured Person’s Best Friend – A TENS Unit

When you’re a fitness enthusiast with a chronic injury, you constantly battle to keep your body from pain.   You hate it, but your fitness life does become a cycle of good days and bad days.  On January 30th I hit a particularly bad day and I’m still recovering from it (that ugly spinal curve in the x-ray below is evidence of my QL muscle shortening and putting me in considerable pain).

X-ray, back injury, spine, L4/L5


When those bad days hit, your doctor will most likely give you immediate pain medication but will also prescribe Physical Therapy to gain long-term mobility, strength and pain management.  Every PT session ends with some ice or heat and TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to promote healing.  TENS always feels like an intense mini massage (for me it’s one of the best parts of going to PT), so when Carex Health Brands reached out to me to test their at-home AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

CAREX, Dual Channel TENS, Electrotherapy Pain Relief Unit


In case you’re not familiar with how a TENS machine works, a low level electrical current stimulates underlying nerves via electrodes placed on the skin (see the 4 grey squares on the bottom left in the photo above) to assist with pain management.

There are two underlying ideas for the effectiveness of TENS:

  1. The Gate Control Theory:  High pulse rates delivered to the nerves reroute pain signals preventing the brain from registering pain.
  2. Endorphin Production Increases:  Low pulse rates stimulate the nerves to increase the production of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.

The idea that the technology of a medical grade device could be used in my own home was a game changer.  In most medical facilities, you only have a specific time slot that can be utilized.  My TENS sessions usually range between 10 – 15 minutes but with the AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS unit, I can have a 30 minute session (which is an ideal amount of time according to my Physical Therapist).

If you’re unfamiliar with using a TENS unit, the AccuRelief™ Dual Channel is actually very easy to use.  After you insert the 4 batteries (which are included), determine your pain area and utilize the visual electrode placement guide (the sticky electrode pads aren’t too sticky and don’t hurt if you need to adjust placement) to ensure the best coverage of your affected area.  

Once set with your electrode placement, check out the instruction guide to determine if you want to to tailor your own treatment or utilize one of six preset body programs available.  The middle button helps you determine your program and the side buttons help you adjust to one of 25 intensity levels (levels do NOT have to be symmetrical).

I will say that I’m still not sure I’ve figured out which is the positive and the negative electrode in each pair when I place them on my skin (be happy that there are no photos of my lower back, right glute and hip) but I can say that my home treatment sessions have been nothing less than fabulous!  


I’m usually a glutton for punishment when it comes to my treatments (I’m also that weirdo that likes massages to almost hurt) but when I went to level 4 on my Preset Lower Back Treatment, it was more than enough!  Since I’m still on the mend from my re-injury in January, I know that the AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS unit will become a staple as I rebuild my strength and stamina going forward.

The AccuRelief™ Dual Channel unit is available without a prescription and FDA cleared for safety. It is a simple, drug-free solution for arthritic, muscular, joint and back pain relief but check with your medical professional to see if it is right for you.  You can purchase a single or a double TENS unit directly via Carex for $52.49 or for $29.73 via Amazon Prime* AccuRelief Dual Channel TENS Electrotherapy Pain Relief System

Disclosure:  I did receive a complimentary AccuRelief™ Dual Channel TENS unit for review but all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.  This post does include affiliate links designated by (*).

Fabulous FitBloggin’ Folks You Need To Know + Giveaway

If you’re attending FitBloggin’ this weekend, there are a ton of wonderful people that you’ll meet.  I’ve met some of my favorite people on the planet because of this conference.  FitBloggin’ attracts unique hearts, minds and souls that don’t often all assemble in the same room.

It’s nearly impossible to list all of the fabulous people that you might meet in Denver but here are 12 that are definitely worth seeking out: 

FitBloggin', Accounts to Follow, People To Know


There’s a don’t miss BONUS at the end of this post

if you’re attending the FitBloggin’ this weekend!


In order from left to right, row by row:

Row 1:

Kelly@No Thanks To Cake:  Kelly is girl with amazing style – few people are as well put together as this gorgeous woman.  She has a great health and wellness story to boot.  This self-proclaimed picky eater loves to cook and shares some awesome recipes on her blog.  Get to know Kelly via her blog, Facebook, Instagram, PinterestTwitter or via her Guest Post here.

Jill@Tree Fitness: Jill and I met as roommates for FitBloggin’ 2013 and we’ve been buddies every since.  We’ve been roommates for FitSocial 2013, BlogFest 2014 and were teammates for Ragnar Socal 2014.  Jill is an amazing athlete, fierce personal trainer, mom of 3 and an wonderful person all around.  Get to know her via her blog, Facebook, TwitterInstagram or via her Guest Post here.

Melissa@Melissa Running It: So maybe we were destined to be friends since we had the same name?  No, I found Melissa on the Internet way before we actually met each other but yes, since then we’ve become good friends.  Melissa is one of the strongest people I’ve ever met both emotionally and physically (check out her guns, people).  She’s not only pretty but she’s also wickedly smart and sensitive.  Few things make me laugh harder than when Melissa posts things that her mother says in everyday life.  Just ask her or learn for yourself via her blog, Twitter, Facebook,  Instagram or via her Guest Post here.

Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood:  You know those people you meet randomly and just connect with?  I met Carrie the last day of FitBloggin 2013 during the goodbye run.  We fell into step and just clicked.  Since then we’ve done a Mud Run, Ragnar SoCal and attended Wanderlust 108 Los Angeles together (not to mention a meet-up after a Billy Joel concert with our spouses).  Carrie is a runner, a mom of 2 kids and like me, she’s over 40 (and still fabulous!).  Get to know Carrie via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via her Guest Post here.

Row 2:

Stephanie@FoodandFitness4Real: Stephanie and I met via FitBloggin’ also (even though we conversed via social media).  Stephanie is a working mom (she’s an engineer!), a runner and she loves food.  Stephanie’s love of travel, fitness, food and family is evident on every social media outlet. She’s also a really nice person.  I know she’ll be in Denver with her family but she’s definitely someone you should say hello to if you see her!  Get to know more about Stephanie via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or via her Guest Post here.

Tammy@GingerMantra: Tambra Means is a powerhouse.  Tammy is an accountant and a group fitness instructor in Florida who radiates positivity.  Tammy is woman dedicated to health and happiness in work and deed.  Tammy loves to play with healthy food, fitness and the love that she has for her family is evident in every post you read or see.  Get to know this exceptionally sweet and inspirational lady via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via her Guest Post here.

Alyssa@LaLaLyssa: Alyssa used write at DoubleChinDiary with her sister but now she’s out on her own…well, she’s pregnant so maybe not so on her own.  Alyssa is a fitness enthusiast and likely knows more about social media than anyone else you know (she has a masters degree in Mass Communication).  Alyssa is friendly, funny and smart – all things I appreciate deeply in other humans.  She also gets my high anxiety about flying so I’ll forever sing her praises to anyone who will listen.  PS – She knows how to use Snapchat so if you’re like me and are clueless, ask her.  Get to know Alyssa via her blog, Facebook, Instagram, TwitterPinterest or via her Guest Post here.

Nellie@BrooklynActiveMama: You won’t need me to bring Nellie’s name to your attention because if you attend the Zumba class or the Small Group Discussion about How To Obtain Sponsorship, you’ll get a glimpse into this effervescent human being.  Nellie is my Brooklyn touchstone.  We met at FitBloggin’ 2013 because she (and her blogger buddy, Kimberly@ManifestYourself) both had something that drew me to them.  Nellie might be the only person who could ever even get me to think about taking a Zumba class (I have no rhythm).  This working mom is now a runner and is getting ready to run her first 26.2 for the Ronald McDonald House in November.  Get to know more about Nellie via her blog, FacebookTwitter, Instagram or via her Guest Post here.

Row 3:

Erin@ErinKreitzShirey:  Erin Kreitz Shirey has more energy than anyone I’ve ever met in my life.  I met Erin as the BootCamp Instructor at FitBloggin’ in 2013 and even pregnant with her 3rd child, she had more energy than anyone alive.  Erin is a triathlete, mother of 3 and is one of the more giving and motivating people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.  She is small but mighty!  Being around Erin, you feel like you can conquer anything – physically or emotionally.  This woman is a born coach.  Get to know Erin via her early morning BootCamp during FitBloggin’ or check out her blog, Facebook or Instagram

Julie@JulieGoesHealthy:  Julie is a FitBloggin’ newbie.  She’s also a twenty-something California girl who is relatively new to me in the blogosphere.  Julie has battled obesity and anorexia and has a no nonsense attitude in the way she looks at food and fitness – it’s about enjoyment.  I got to know Julie at Wanderlust (with Carrie above) and I’m glad I did. Julie’s got a good head on her shoulders and I like reading about her health and life journey.  I might covet her youth a little bit too.  Get to know Julie via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Alan@SweatingUntilHappy:  You can’t go to FitBloggin’ and not know Alan Ali (He’s also the Official Conference Instagrammer).  Alan is one of the most inspirational people you’ll ever meet.  He’s all Southern gentleman but he’s also a triathlete, marathoner and half marathoner.  The man has also lost over 100 lbs in his lifetime!  Alan is sweet and he’s a motivator.  Alan recently participated in the Raleigh IronMan 70.3 for the charity Smile Train and ended his day with a smile on his face like only he could.  Get to know Alan via his blog, Facebook and Instagram (he might have the best Instagram account of all time).

David@KeepItUpDavid:  David Garcia is one of the most well spoken and real people you’ll ever meet.  I was blown away by his ability to be so articulate while sharing some of his pain during a FitBloggin’ 2013 Discussion Group.  David has lost over 160 lbs and that feat in itself is amazing but it’s the sensitivity with how he shares his past and his present with his readers that draws you in.  Keep up with David (and his stair climbing races) via his blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You made it to the BONUS – BONUS – BONUS: 

I’m giving away 15 pieces

of Momentum Motivational Fitness Jewelry

at FitBloggin.

Momentum, Motivational Fitness Jewelry, Motivate Wrap, Foot Notes

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for daily prompts

to win a Motivate Wrap or Foot Note onsite

but the BONUS is….

If you are one of the first two people to find me

on Thursday, Friday or Saturday

and you mention the name of the

12 Fabulous FitBloggin’ Folks above,

you will automatically be a winner!

It’s that simple.  I look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Disclosure:  I have been compensated by Momentum and have been given complimentary jewelry pieces to giveaway during the FitBloggin’ Conference.  The above featured bloggers have not been compensated to be featured in this post.  The featured bloggers are just people that I admire, like and believe that attendees of FitBloggin’ should get to know.  All attendees of FitBloggin’ are eligible to win only one Momentum Jewelry piece.

#Giveaway for IDEA World Fitness BlogFest 2015 in Los Angeles!

Big announcement!

Did you know that I’ll be speaking about Busting the Top Nutrition Myths at 

IDEA World Fitness BlogFest with SweatPink in Los Angeles this July?

IDEA World Fitness BlogFest brings health and fitness bloggers together for education from amazing speakers , celebrity workouts and exclusive access to the largest fitness event in the world!

Check out the awesome schedule of speakers and workouts here!


Wanna go?!   

Enter to win 1 of 2 tickets to

IDEAWorld BlogFest

in Los Angeles 7/17 – 7/19

right here!

BlogFest Giveaway

For giveaway rules and entry details, see below.

Hope you can join me this July in Los Angeles for some fun and fitness! 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Fitness Tips For #NationalJerkyDay from Jillian Michaels and Krave

I had no idea that #NationalJerkyDay existed (it’s Friday, June 12th).  Until recently, I wouldn’t have even paid attention to a day that included the word “jerky” but that changed when I got the chance to work out with Jillian Michaels a few weeks ago at an event sponsored by Krave Jerky.

KRAVE Jerky, Jillian MIchaels, KRAVEBetter

I’ll be honest, I don’t eat red meat or pork but I originally decided to go to this event for the experience of working out with Jillian and as potential giveaway option for my readers.  I’ve seen Jillian debut her BodyShred class at the EFC Now Conference in a large forum and I became a fan after hearing her speak at IDEAWorld BlogFest 2014, so a chance to workout in a small group with this fitness phenom was a no-brainer.

Who knew I’d learn 5 New Things About Fitness (and jerky) in the process?

K: Keep it real.

In Los Angeles, few things are real (including body parts and people) and it can be unnerving sometimes.  No matter how much self confidence you have in life, there’s something inherent in most women that makes us undergo the quick comparison of ourselves to every other woman in the room.  When Jillian Michaels is one of those women in the room, a slight panic might ensue but guess what?  Jillian Michaels is an exceptionally fit and healthy woman but she looks like a real person.  

Jillian Michaels, workout, health, Biggest Loser, Krave Jerky

As a woman over 40, I like to see fitness examples that are made from hard work and healthy living, not science.

In the vein of healthy living and not science, I was also happy to learn that KRAVE Jerky products have no added nitrites (a synthetic preservative) or MSG in any of their offerings.

R: Raise healthy kids (and adults) with healthy food attitudes.

As a dietitian, I believe that teaching people about nutrition takes a lot of attitude adjustment and de-lableing.  It was refreshing to hear that Jillian Michaels has the same philosophy.  Jillian talked about educating her young children about movement and food rather than classifying it as “exercise” and “healthy” foods.

Jillian Michaels, mother, children, nutrition education, KRAVE Jerky

I truly believe that if more people were educated about food and felt empowered to make decisions about their intake and movement without feeling an obligation to be “good”, more people would be leading healthy lifestyles.

Spreading out carbohydrates, proteins and fats throughout the day in enjoyable ways that are also nourishing to the body, is the only way to lead a long term healthy lifestyle rather than following a dogmatic “meal plan” or “diet”.


KRAVE does hydration well.  Food was also provided but my photos were not great.

A: Activity for 30 minutes can be very challenging.

Don’t be fooled.  30 minutes can kick your ass.  Jillian had us working hard (which was not an easy feat after an anniversary celebration that included a bottle of wine on a weeknight) but the full body workout was more than effective.

KRAVE Jerky, Jillian Michaels, #KraveBetter, #jerkylove

In our world of “two-a-day” workouts, it’s nice to know that longer isn’t always better.  As an injured person on the mend, longer isn’t even an option right now.

V: Variety is the spice of life…and jerky.

Ok, so now’s the time to admit that I didn’t know that KRAVE Jerky was more than just beef jerky.  I had no idea that KRAVE currently has multiple meat options including: 2 pork (Black Cherry Barbecue and Grilled Sweet Teriyaki) 2 turkey (Basil Citrus and Lemon Garlic) – see below) and 5 beef (Sweet Chipotle, Chili Lime, Garlic Chili Pepper, Pineapple Orange and Sea Salt Original).  I really liked the Basil Citrus Turkey and my family really enjoyed the Chili Lime Beef (the fam likes red meat and pork).

Krave Jerky, NationalJerkyDay, #kravebetter

KRAVE Jerky is definitely a healthy savory snack with 1 oz of jerky providing 90 calories or less with 8-12 g of protein but there are 2 important things you should know:

  • If you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, you’ll be happy to know that KRAVE recently reformulated their product and they are all now gluten free!
  • If you are watching your sodium intake, take notice because only the Pineapple Orange Beef and the Sweet Grilled Teriyaki Pork have the least amount of sodium per serving at 250 mg of sodium and a 3.25oz bag offers 3.5 servings of jerky.

After perusing the KRAVE website, I noticed the Krave Artisanal line (a small batch extension with Whole Foods) which offers some interesting options (Chardonnay Thyme Turkey Jerky, anyone?).  I recommend that KRAVE take their Artisanal packaging art (which features an illustration of the jerky-ed animal) and incorporating the idea to their main line of products because figuring out which jerky was which isn’t easy (all packages look alike and the word search for the animal takes more doing than most may want to invest).

E: Even Jillian hates squats…but does them anyway.

Yup, even Jillian Michaels admits that she hates squats.  It’s great when celebrities prove their humanity in public.  I know there are people who looooove squats but I’m not one of them.  However, sometimes you do have to do things you don’t like in this world to make yourself a little bit better, right?

KRAVE Jerky, Jillian Michaels, #KRAVEBetter,

Jillian might not like them but she certainly made us do a ton of them.  I may not have been able to do every single fitness move of the workout (due to my injury) but I certainly was challenged and had a lot of fun.  It was a great experience in fitness and food.  I’m glad to add a new fitness equipment and some new savory snack options to my healthy lifestyle arsenal.

What’s your favorite savory snack?

Disclosure:  I was invited to this event by KRAVE Jerky and was given a complimentary gift bag including product, a mat, weights and a workout video.  I have no affiliation with KRAVE Jerky or Jillian Michaels and was under no obligation to write about my experience at this event or with the products.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.