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August 2015

What's in a Bulu Box?

 I was chosen by Sweat Pink to review a Bulu Box in exchange for my honest opinion of the service. 

Monthly subscription boxes can be nice little monthly gifts in the mail. From clothing to jewelry to snacks and supplements, there are boxes for nearly everyone, including dogs.

BuluboxI checked out Bulu Box, which is a wellness-focused subscription service. Every month, you get a box filled with a new mix of four to five samples to try. Every sample should be sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you.

My box contained Runa Focused Energy ginger-citrus guayusa tea, Movit Energy Gummies, Simple Being Simple Diet weight-loss supplement, Earth’s Care anti-itch cream, and Fusion chicken jerky.

The chicken jerky was the first to disappear -- the husband and I split the 3-ounce bag of lemon pepper flavored jerky, which was nicely spiced and chewy but still soft enough to sink your teeth into. The bag of jerky retails for $6.99, so that's quite the premium sized sample.

The teenager snapped up the energy gummies for band camp. While he said he didn't feel any palpable jolt from the gummies, which have a small amount of caffeine plus B vitamins, he said they tasted good. 

image from assets.bulubox.comThe anti-itch cream has camphor and menthol, so the minty cooling felt great on my gym boo-boo. (Who scrapes their arm on the locker-room locker latch? Me.) It wasn't necessarily itchy but I can see how it'll soothe bug bites and minor eczema.

The tea was smooth and citrusy and had a green tea vibe, but I didn't try the weight-loss supplement because green coffee beans and their ilk haven't been proven to do anything and I don't want to go down that road again.


The cost for a box is $10 per month, and readers get 50 percent off a 3-, 6- or 12-month subscription with the code SWEATPINK on

Give a hoot, don't pollute (yourself)

woodsy owl give a hoot don't pollute
Remember Woodsy Owl?

My experience with the scale this morning can only be described as lovely. It usually isn't -- I'm normally an anxious, making-deals-with-the-diet-gods babbling fool.

As I walked to the Withings, I thought to myself "It is what it is. The number is only that -- a number."

I really was going to feel OK with whatever the scale read. Why? Because aside from one Friday evening ziti-garlic bread-cookie dinner (it's what band members and their parents eat ... OK, there was salad, too ...) I felt like I made good food choices, drank enough water and exercised consistently.

I lost 2 pounds, despite Friday's cheesy carb fest.

And that meal had me feeling like GARBAGE all weekend. For lack of a better word, I felt polluted. It totally wasn't worth it. I had reflux and heartburn all weekend, and it didn't matter what I ate. It's like all that wheat and dairy set off a digestive monster that didn't go away until today.

Ah ... feeling better.

I'm still following my super top-secret book eating plan and I did count the ziti dinner because pasta and cheese is allowed. But dairy and wheat tend to make me feel crappy, so the rest of the weekend I kept things clean and wheat and dairy free, aside from a little Greek yogurt.

That's the one big thing I learned from my dietitian -- when my digestive system starts to rebel it's time to "detox" -- and I use that word in the broadest sense. I don't really do anything specific. I just ramp up the produce and cut out the wheat and dairy and things fall back into place.

In case you missed it ...

I'm doing a great Soybu activewear giveaway and you still have plenty of time to enter! Click HERE to check it out.

Stuff I Love: Soybu activewear (a giveaway!)

Soybu sent me an outfit to review and is also offering a piece of clothing to one lucky reader.

I pretty much live in workout clothes, so I'm always in search of activewear that's cute, comfortable and performs well. I used to workout in a uniform of baggy T-shirts over black capris but a few years ago I realized that 1.) The baggy T-shirts get in the way of working out 2.) It doesn't look good. So I stepped up my style game at the gym.

I had heard of Soybu activewear but hadn't had a chance to try it out until I got back from this year's FitBloggin' in Denver. As a speaker at the conference I was given a pair of Soybu leggings, which I immediately fell in love with. Super comfy and great looking. 

After the conference Soybu contacted me to do a review/giveaway and I jumped at the chance. Here's what I chose:

Soybu outfit

That's the Alyse Hoody in Vermillion burnout, the Lola Tank in Ethereal Blue and the Allegro Capri in the Mandala print. The hoody is great for warmer climates because it's super lightweight so it gives you a great layering piece. The tank is versatile in that one side is a rounded neck and the other is a V-neck so you can flip it around. And the capris are WONDERFUL. You can't see in the photo but the bottom of the leg opening is shirred, which gives it even more style. I love the pattern, and there's a little pocket in the front to slip my iPod in. 

The fabric on all three pieces is super soft and stretchy. I did a Pilates workout after I snapped this photo and there was no digging or riding up or down. Just bliss. 

Another great thing about the Soybu line is its extensive size range -- extra small to 3X, which is a welcome change for many activewear companies. All my pieces are the 1X size, and while the arms on the hoody are a little snug the tank runs a little big and the capris are absolutely perfect.

Soybu giveaway

Now, here's the cool part -- I get to give away one of these pieces! (Don't worry, you'll get a new piece in your size.) 

Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions and you're all set!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A speed bump made of muscle

I went up a pound on the scale this week, which at first would be a serious bummer, but I dug into the Withings scale stats and discovered that my body fat percentage went down 3 points while my lean mass percentage went up 3 percentage points.

So while the weight loss hit a speed bump, that speed bump is made of muscle. I actually thought the scale would be down because my midsection felt smaller and my jeans were fitting better, but that's also what losing fat and gaining muscle does, so I consider it a win.


And there are other issues with the past week that may have contributed. I looked back over my Fitbook and saw a couple days where I didn't log all my food. I tend to conveniently "forget" how many almonds or how many pieces of fruit I ate, so I'm keeping that little book by my side from now on. The water drinking also got a little lax but that also changes today. Back to the 8, and no counting coffee!

My workouts were good the past week, but this week I'm adding the 21-Day Fix to the mix. I'm still going to the gym to do strength training but the video workouts will up the cardio and mix in some Pilates and yoga -- two things I really need to help with flexibility. 

Coming up!

Look for a fantastic giveaway later this week ... a pair of Soybu capri leggings!

Stuff I Love: Flapjacked protein pancake and baking mix

Carrot pumpkin flapjacked waffles
Do your waffles have 20 grams of protein? Hmmf. Didn't think so.

I thought I'd kick off a new category today -- Stuff I Love. Most of the time it'll be things that are regulars in my kitchen, gym bag or closet. Sometimes they may be sponsored posts but I'll make sure to label those. This week is not sponsored because I've been buying the stuff for quite awhile now. 

I'm sure you've seen plenty of recipes for protein pancakes. Many are simply things like egg whites, mashed bananas and protein powder, and many are (sorry!) pretty gross.

FlapjackedI first discovered Flapjacked protein pancake and baking mix on a smoothie run at Smoothie King. They sold the 12-ounce bags at the store but I figured I'd Google around and find the best deal on it, which I actually found at the Flapjacked website (they have great sales). Amazon also has really good prices, too, if you do a Subscribe & Save deal. (Pro tip: You can schedule those subscriptions as far apart as every 6 months, so it really does pay to sign up.)

Instead of dipping my toe in the Flapjacked pool, I jumped in head first by buying a sampler pack of all the flavors -- Cinnamon Apple, Buttermilk, Banana Hazelnut, and the newest, Carrot Spice. I started out simply making pancakes but quickly found that you can make a lot more great baked goods with the mix, including waffles, muffins and quick breads.

The line has recently been reformulated and now every flavor has 20 grams of protein per 200-calorie serving. You also get 5 grams of fiber. The mixes are low in sugar, non-GMO and wheat free. 

Still working off my dozen cans of pumpkin that I bought at a Whole Foods moving sale, I added some to the Pumpkin Spice mix and came up with some fantastic waffles.

Carrot-Pumpkin Protein Waffles

  • 1 cup Carrot Spice Flapjacked pancake mix
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons currants or raisins

Mix everything together (mixture will be pretty thick) and let it thicken even more while your waffle iron heats up. I cooked the waffles just a touch longer than regular waffles because they're really substantial.

Makes 2 servings of 2 waffles each.