Nature’s Sports Water + Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral #SparklingDetox Giveaway

This post sponsored by Gerlosteiner, but all editorial comments, opinions and enthusiasm are strictly my own.

I consider staying healthy and at the top of my game my job. In part because I’m a healthy food blogger, fitness ambassador, and competitive athlete, but also, more importantly, I want to be the best version of ME for myself, my kids, my husband, and my extended family and friends.Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water thefitfork.com

If I don’t put my healthy living hydration needs first, then who will? Well, actually, Gerolsteiner will. Gerolsteiner isn’t my coach, my holistic wellness advisor, or even my German masseuse with hard-to-pronounce name – Gerolsteiner is sparkling mineral water!  It’s loaded with essential minerals, like magnesium and calcium, that the body needs and craves, especially after intense physical exercise. Read on to find out some benefits of drinking mineral water, how you can participate in the Gerolsteiner Sparkling Detox Challenge and even how to win a case of this body-beneficial water.
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Supplement Strategy of Middle Age Female Endurance Athlete – Peek Inside my Medicine Cabinet

Friends and acquaintances on social media frequently ask me what supplements I use to support my active lifestyle. Partly, I’ve never really answered the question because it feels like opening up my medicine cabinet and inviting strangers rifle through at their leisure. And, also partly because I don’t want anyone to use MY cocktail of supplements as a cookie cutter solution for their needs. That just won’t work, we are all unique people with different needs. Peek Inside My Medicine Cabinet

However, that being said, I think that many of my supplements, considered individually, could help another female athlete (and in some cases, men) optimize wellness and performance . . . and so, I share! But please consult a medical professional if you thing you want to try one or more of these. Read on to learn about my major challenges as an elite master’s athlete (running, obstacle course racing, and CrossFit) and the supplement solutions I use on both a daily and as-needed basis. Continue reading

Sweat Drenching Days & #SummerHydration Drinks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerHydration #CollectiveBias

thefitfork.com trail runCentral Texas summers are brutal and I know it’s just as hot (if not more so) in other parts of the country —  so I’m not complaining. But, keeping me and my family hydrated sometimes seems like a full-time job, given the active, on-the-go lifestyle we lead.  From traipsing off to an all-day lacrosse tournament then logging a long run on the trails to killing a CrossFit workout in a gym without air-conditioning followed by “playtime” at the pool, it’s easy to see why I’m constantly running the risk for dehydration.

cvs hydraton drinks on grillHeck, it’s easy to go into sweat overload just running errands to get ready for our annual backyard BBQ this weekend. I am so thankful for all the CVS stores on my route that are open and ready to top off my tank with a cool, refreshing drink – and with so many hydration options, it’s easy to find something that suits my lifestyle (and I always bring home something for the kids)! Discover the hydration option you might like best by answering a few questions in my 20-second #SummerHydration Helper.

In a normal 24-hour period (not even hot, sweaty, fitness-filled days), the average person loses 8 cups of water – and, again, this doesn’t even include exercise or sitting out in the sun.  If this water isn’t replaced, the heart has to work harder and other organ functions begin to deteriorate as well. Symptoms of being dehydrated include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle cramping, nausea and vomiting.  Dry mouth, chills and flushed skin are other clues.  I also tend to get quite cranky leading up to dehydration and, oddly enough, the skin on my inner forearm gets wrinkly.

I have two quick little self-checks for dehydration. First, I check the color of my tinkle – if it’s dark or even moderately yellow, I know I need to drink more fluid – if it’s pale or clear, I’m good! Also, I pinch the skin on the back of my hand and pull it upwards. Once released, the skin should snap back rapidly – if not, I know I may be dehydrated. Quick — I pull off the road and run into CVS to cool off and top off my “tank” with a hydration beverage!

I like ALL THE BEVERAGES for #SummerHydration

I like ALL THE BEVERAGES for #SummerHydration

Some experts say drink 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water per day, others say drink an ounce per pound of body weight – that’s probably a good goal in the summer months.

These are just benchmarks, you may need more or less liquid – however, the main point is to listen to your body and look for any clue that you may be dehydrating.  Better yet, be proactive and stay hydrated in the first place.

cvs hydration bucket of drinksCVS Health and The Coca-Cola Company have teamed to help us all attain our quest for wellness with an important campaign called “Life Quenching.”  Check out “Life Quenching” to learn more about the dangers of dehydration and the benefits of hydration.

Lots of hydration options at CVS from The Coca Cola Company.

Lots of hydration options at CVS from The Coca Cola Company.

And remember, with a CVS on nearly every city street corner (it seems!), it’s easy to make a quick stop to grab the hydration option that best fits your needs and personality.Just head in the front door and make a beeline past the cash registers to the big refrigerated section along the wall bearing a huge sign “BEVERAGES” overhead — you can’t miss it!

Find your hydration option at CVS in the refrigerated beverage section!

Find your hydration option at CVS in the refrigerated beverage section!

Remember, sometimes waiting until you get home to rehydrate is too long! Be proactive, beat the heat, stay hydrated! Also, don’t miss the great deal right now going on at CVS – Spend $5 on these products, get $2 in ExtraBucks rewards in-store with your CVS ExtraCare Rewards Card.  It’s a fantastic hydration deal, I totally loaded up at my last stop!

So, what do you do to stay hydrated? What is your #SummerHydration beverage of choice? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

 

 

Eight Amazing Fitness & Food Products + Giveaway

As a food and fitness blogger, it’s fun (and sometimes filling!) to test out all the new products that get sent my way.  I’m sharing the best from the last couple months (and some perennial favorites) along with any discount codes I might have. If I’ve listed it here, it gets legitimate thumbs up from me – other stuff gets tossed into the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all pile.”

Jennifer Fisher of The Fit Fork with Litehouse FoodsLitehouse Foods Organic Vinaigrette– I develop recipes for this awesome employee-owned company based in Idaho – they have delicious, healthy products ranging from artisan cheeses to Greek yogurt based dips and freeze dried herbs sold all over the US. Right now, I’m really digging their updated organic line which includes new flavors like two of my favorites — Organic Rosemary Balsamic and Organic Ginger Honey. Look for these in the refrigerated section of your produce department, purchase online or enter to win my GIVEAWAY for Five Free Litehouse Foods product coupons (use them on anything they make, not just the dressings – enter at bottom of post).

Salad with Somersaults Sunflower Crackers as croutonsSomersaults Sunflower Snacks – Available in sweet and savory flavors, these yummy little crackers are made mostly of sunflower seeds and offer up healthy fats, protein and vitamin E. My favorite way to use them is as a crouton alternative on my #BombAssSalads !! Use NEWFAN10 to get 10% off your order.

 

 

Nuttzo chocolate syrup and strawberries on my protein pancakesNuttzo Nut & Seed Butters –  My nutty shines through, Nuttzo has named me a VIP Ambassador for their organic and non-GMO Nut & Seed Butters. This stuff is so good, you’ll want to spread it on everything – or just eat right out of the jar. Save 20% on purchase with discount code FITFORK-20

 

 

bright planet skinBright Planet – There is so much to love about this small, woman-owned bath and skin product company – not only are there eco-friendly, human and organic products wonderfully pampering (loved the scent), but they also are mindful of their place in the bigger world. For example, for each purchase made, Bright Planed donates two healthy meals to children in need. Get Bright Planet on Amazon

 

Kevin - CEO of Nuun and Jennifer Fisher of TheFitFork.comNuun Hydration Tablets – This is not your standard Nuun Ambassador shoutout – I’ve been on the team for years, and am so happy to report that just recently the formula has been improved!  They’ve added non-GMO sourced dextrose to help body absorb fluids more efficiently (still keeping under 1g sugar), using only clean ingredients such as plant-based sweeteners, and are gluten, dairy and soy free and given a “Clean Sport Certification” by Informed Choice. Use code NUUNAMBASSADORFRIEND at checkout to receive 20% off order.

Vitamin Dose BeverageVitamin Dose Beverage – I don’t know about you, but I hate swallowing pills. That’s why I was all over these little specially blended cans of drinkable vitamins. They are non-carbonated, caffeine-free, low-calorie and taste good too.  Get your Vitamin Dose on Amazon

 

Gnarly NutritionAltra superior 2TsaGnarly Nutrition – I am a protein powder nerd, I love trying all the new ones I find. Totally into the “Chiseled Chocolate” Grass Fed Whey Protein Supplement. It’s made with quality New Zealand Whey (happy cows there, I guess) and offers 12.5 g protein along with BCAAs, Glutamine and no artificial anything. Also, other full-on sports nutrition products including some vegan stuff.  Get Gnarly on Amazon

Superior 2 from Altra Running – Okay, disclosure, I’m an Ambassador and admitted junkie of their super light and flash-fast The Ones 2.5 (and all previous versions!). So, it took the color golden yellow and the promise of “more grip and less weight” to get me to try the award-winning trail shoe that everyone’s raves on. I was looking for something that was still light on the feet, take me from trail running to gym and me obstacle course appropriate – score!  Get Altra Superior 2 on Amazon

 

Tsamma Juice TheFitFork.comTsamma Juice — Tsamma Juice from Frey Farms makes me swoon plus, it’s another woman-owned biz. Everyone knows what a huge watermelon fan I am (for both healthy recipes and sports performance benefits). It’s so awesome to have access to sweet, yummy handcrafted watermelon juice during the middle of winter – look for it at your grocery store in the produce section, Costco or buy online.
 

Have you tried any of these health and fitness products? What are you favorite new finds? Please share in comments! XOXO – Jennifer

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Hydration For Healthy, Happy Athletes – 50 Shades of Pee

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and DripDrop®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DrinkDripDrop #DripDropHydrates http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Hydrating with Drip DropKeeping my family hydrated sometimes seems like a full-time job, especially in the unrelenting summers of Central Texas when the heat and humidity never let up.  It’s easier to tell that I need to top off my tank when it’s 95 degrees, I’m drenched in sweat and my socks have become sponges.  My running friend and I regularly weigh ourselves before we head out on a run (holding the bottle of water we plan to drink) and then again once we return (holding the empty bottle). The difference between the two weight checks is how much additional fluid was lost and serves as a gauge for how much to drink afterward.

Stopping to refuel with Drip Drop Hydration at mile 18 of a marathon.

Stopping to refuel with Drip Drop Hydration at mile 18 of a marathon.

But in the cooler months, staying hydrated is often harder for me.  That sounds counter intuitative, but it’s true. Even though I don’t perspire at as high of a rate, I’m still sweating . . . . and my brain indicators for thirst are turned off because I get cold very easily.  And, if the weather is really cold, sweat can form into vapor before it even has a chance to settle on the skin. One of my worst dehydration experiences was during a marathon in the pouring rain and temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s.  Boy, I learned a lesson there.

Just on normal days, the average person loses about 8 cups of water — and this doesn’t include the extra needed if you are exercising.  If water isn’t replaced, your heart has to work harder and other organ functions deteriorate as well. Symptoms of being dehydrated include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle cramping, nausea and vomiting.  Dry mouth, chills and flushed skin are other clues.

50 Shades of Pee - Urine Hydration Check - TheFitFork.com

One way to check if you are in a state of dehydration is to pinch the skin on the top of your hand and pull it up a bit. If it doesn’t return quickly to its normal flat state, you could be dehydrated. However, I think a quick peek in the pot is a more reliable way to gauge hydration levels – is your urine pale and clear (good) or dark and murky (bad). I put together this “Fifty Shades of Pee” chart to help you decipher whether you are in danger of dehydration. Tape it next to the toilet paper roll – ha!

One product I’ve been using to keep myself hydrated during long runs and races is DripDrop® Hydration Powder. It’s a safe, medical-grade hydration product you can buy at your local CVS on the baby aisle. Available in Lemon Flavor or Berry Flavor, DripDrop® Hydration Powder comes with 8 individually packaged servings per box. It’s really easy to stash a couple in a gym bag (or even folded over in a running shorts key pocket) to mix into a plain bottle of water when the need to refuel arises. You can read more about the product and the science behind it here.

It’s perfect for taking along to kid’s sporting activities, too. The American Pediatric Association advises that children should be replenishing fluids every 20 minutes during sports — 5 to 9 ounces of a sports drink, depending on weight (5 for a child weighing 88 pounds, 9 ounces for a child weighing 132 pounds). This is in addition to drinking water before and after practice, too.

Drip Drop Hydration for Lacrosse Practice

Drip Drop Hydration for Lacrosse Practice

DripDrop® Hydration Powder is an easy and cost-effective way to stay hydrated when the flu or stomach bug hits –  my kids like the way it tastes and the product is safe for children over age 1.  I hope your family escapes illness this winter (we all had the flu at Christmas, ugh) – but if you do get sick, head over to the baby aisle at CVS drug store for some DripDrop® Hydration Powder. And, don’t forget to monitor your 50 shades of pee.

drip drop hydration at CVS

Save $1.00 off with the purchase of any ONE (1) box of DripDrop Hydration Powder with  DIGITAL COUPON available 1/25/15 – 2/21/15. Get your print at home coupon here while supplies last –

http://dripdrop.com/cvscoupon/

Slice & Slurp, it’s National Drink Watermelon Day + Watermelon Ginger Limeade Recipe

nuun ambassador jennifer fisher watermelon

The weathermen don’t need to convince me that July 24th is considered the hottest day of the year.  Here in Austin with temperatures about to pass the 100 degree mark, I think I could sear my favorite spice-crusted tenderloin steak to perfect mouthwatering, medium-rareness right on the sidewalk. Seriously.  I actually enjoy the heat and think in a past life I may have been a lizard. However, unrelenting warm temperatures create challenges when exercising outdoors  — one of the biggest problems is remaining hydrated as sweating increases.  Even becoming moderately dehydrated really puts a downer on the day – who wants to deal with muscle cramps, a nagging headache and lingering fatigue?

july 24 drink watermelon badge

I was super excited to find out today is National Drink Watermelon Day, a pretty awesome proclamation made by the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB).   Drinking watermelon juice is a great way to keep fluid levels topped off – this jumbo-sized juicy fruit is made from 92 percent water and is a robust resource for replenishing electrolytes. Watermelon can even help your muscles recover more quickly from workouts thanks to the amino acid L-citrulline.  I talk about this in more detail in the Running & Watermelon Hydration and Watermelon & Workout Recovery posts I did for my recent week of #LivingOnTheWedge.

benefits of drinking watermelonOutdoor athletes aren’t the only ones that need to stay hydrated during the summer.  A recent Harris Poll commissioned by NWPB reported that nearly 1/3 of us don’t drink enough water – the main reason being lack of flavor. Really, you could just eat an 18 ounces slice of watermelon and it would be like drinking a 16 ounce bottle of water. However, there are so many taste bud tantalizing drinks you can make with watermelon that are so much more exciting than just putting a lemon slice in water. Some of my favorite past recipes are Watermelon Agua Fresca and Watermelon Chia Seed Smoothies. One of my favorite sports hydration companies, Nuun Hydration, even makes a Watermelon-flavored electrolyte replacement tab — I like to add these do watermelon juice for a double boost!

.However, in honor of National Drink Watermelon Day, I’ve come up with a new watermelon beverage that quenches thirst with a kick of ginger – Stevia-Sweetened Watermelon Ginger Limeade. Ginger is an awesome addition to any drink – it boosts the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body and it has anti-inflammatory properties to sooth sore muscles and joints. A glass of this lightly sweet-sour-spicy drink will make you say “hello” to hydration – who doesn’t want to drink MORE of something that tastes so outrageously good. And, please do drink more – I’ve made this healthy recipe with Stevia to keep the carbs lower!

 

 

low sugar watermelon drink for hydration

Stevia-Sweetened Watermelon Ginger Limeade Recipe

  •  4 oz fresh ginger root
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon powedered Stevia (like Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Stevia)
  • 4 cups watermelon juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 12 oz sparkling water
  • Optional Garnish – lime slices, watermelon balls and fresh mint
  1. Wash and thinly slice ginger root, peeling is not necessary. Add sliced ginger to small sauce pan filled with 2 cups water.  Bring to boil and the lower heat and let simmer (no lid) for about 30 – 45 minutes or until liquid reduced by half.
  2. Pour ginger and water through fine-meshed strainer and into a bowl. Mix in stevia and stir until dissolved. Discard ginger or save for another use.
  3. Prepare watermelon juice by pureeing about 6 cups of watermelon in the blender and straining off pulp. An easier way is just to collect the juice that runs off watermelon when cutting it into chunks – I save all of mine and keep it in the freezer for recipes like this!
  4. To prepare beverage, pour watermelon juice, lime juice, ½ cup ginger “syrup” juice into tall pitcher; stir to combine. Pour in sparkling water and lightly stir.
  5. Serve in tall glasses garnished with lime slices and watermelon balls. Serves 4

gingered watermelon lime drink

 

This post was sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board and I received nominal compensation to share my love for watermelon. All recipes and opinions are my own.

Shaking it Up! Salt Strategy for Humid & Hot Marathons

Hanging on despite weather for 14th female, 1st in AG.

I love hot weather; people think I’m weird that I’d prefer to be in 100 degrees rather than an allegedly comfortable 70 degrees. Even during Texas summers, I’ve been known to keep the air-conditioner set at 82-ish degrees and will sometimes sneak away like a lizard to go warm up in a sun-baked car.  But, for the record, I do not like to run races in high heat – let me repeat, I DO NOT LIKE THAT, no sir-ee!

But why does Mother Nature like to mess with me? I ask for crisp, cool and dry race weather (is pleading for 50 degrees every time too pushy?) and I get quite the opposite. This year alone, I ran the Boston Marathon at 90 degrees with straight up sun and both the Rock and Roll San Antonio and the Dallas Marathon in unseasonably warm and extremely humid conditions.

If you’re a runner, you probably know what happens if you sweat a lot in a race, especially in a longer events like a marathons or ultras. You get dehydrated, experience debilitating muscle cramps, and some athletes are even subject to hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which presents with confusion, lethargy, vomiting and other serious complications.  Just look in the mirror after a long, hot run; you can actually see the sodium crusted up on your face and clothing.

People have different amounts of sodium in their sweat, but the average runner loses about 1000 milligrams of sodium per liter (33 fluid ounces) of sweat. That being said, the majority of electrolyte replacement drinks only offer about a quarter to half of this amount per liter as a replacement. That means most people are sweating out more salt that they are taking back in. That’s why it’s a good idea to supplement with additional sodium and electrolytes above and beyond your drink, especially if you are a heavy sweater or the weather is especially extreme.  An article in Runner’s World, “Know Thy Sweat Rate” takes you through all the steps to accurately figure out how much you perspire during exercise.

Experts suggest taking two to four salt-electrolyte capsules per hour during endurance events. At the Dallas Marathon, I used the Salt Stick brand and it worked well, but there are many other options. Look for products that contain sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium.  I rationed out my capsules by taking one every 30 minutes and washing it down with my bottle if I still had one in hand or a splash of water at the hydration stops.

In addition to slowing dehydration and cramping, research also shows that sodium helps move fluids out of the stomach to enhance digestion, a plus if you have digestive problems. To me the perk about taking in the salt stick was that I didn’t have to drink as much Gatorade on the course – too much sugary sports drink seems to give me GI distress.  I did take in one bottle of Gatorade, but then my other bottle was filled with 3Fuel, a great product backed by CrossFit Endurance that fuels athletes with a proven micronutrient strategy of carbs, protein, and fat.  By the way, if you’re interested in trying the 3Fuel, you can get 10-percent off your purchase with the code 3FHUNT  .

Another interesting nutritional choice I made for the Dallas Marathon; instead of eating my traditional energy bar breakfast, I ate salty peanut butter crackers instead (again, more salt and less sugar).  No cramping, no potty stops – I was a happy runner who made it to the finish line without bonking!

 

Helping You Stay Hydrated Giveaway – Nuun Electrolyte Drink Tabs & Swag

In honor of my recent participation in the Hood to Coast Relay on a team sponsored by Nuun Hydration, I’m giving away some sweet swag to keep one lucky winner hydrated for the remainder of the summer. If you’re not familiar with Nuun, you’ve been missing out on an awesome product that features essential electrolytes, no sugars and a light, refreshing taste! Nuun is used by some of the best athletes on the planet, armies of weekend warriors and the crowds of spectators cheering us all on.

Just plop one tablet into a 16 to 20-ounce bottle of water and in about one minute you have a refreshing beverage containing the proper balance of water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium.  Each tube of Nuun is portable and the quick-dissolving tablets make it simple to hydrate on the go. Use of Nuun reduces the needless use of toss-away water bottles and the Nuun container itself is recyclable to be mindful of our beautiful Mother Earth.  Make your water count!

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