Bedtime Snacks for Muscle Making & Weight Management

The advice to not snack before bed is much more fiction than fact! The real story on noshing at night has a happy ending for those of us who are always hungry. Turns out it’s perfectly okay, if not a “good thing,” to eat a little something before bed, especially if you are trying to build or maintain muscle. However, before you start feeding your midnight munchies, there are exceptions and caveats – aren’t there always?!

Why You Should Eat Bedtime Snacks and Top Picks for Muscle Making And Weight Management. Casein powder before sleep is best.

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One-in-a-Melon Holiday Gift Guide for Watermelon Lovers

Even though summer season has long gone, the watermelon lover on your holiday list is sure to love any of these gifts inspired by the planet’s favorite jumbo-sized fruit – and, I’m not talking jackfruit.

Holiday Gift Guide for the Watermelon Lover

I’ve got 20 things on my list, there’s a little something for everyone here, from a designer coin bag to a ‘lil ukulele for plucking. While Santa would sure like to deliver real watermelons to all the good boys and girls, it’s bound to break his back — so do him a favor and “live on the wedge” with one of these fun novelty gifts.

Gift Guide for the Watermelon Lover

 

Watermelon KedsWatermelon Keds – These fun classic canvas tennies show how watermelon satisfies the “sole”! $20

 


Watermelon UkeleleWatermelon Ukulele – Pluck out your favorite, fruity tunes on this fun musical instrument.  $22

Watermelon Seed BookThe Watermelon Seed – This picture book by Greg Pizzoli is a must-read for watermelon lovers of all ages. Find out how the crocodile overcomes his fear of swallowing seeds! $12

watermelon growing kitSprout ‘n Go Greenhouse Baby Watermelon Kit – Perfect for the future farmer or budding botanist, this kit has everything needed (except patience and sunshine) to grow a Sugar Baby mini watermelon in less than three months! $9

crochet watermelon braCrochet Watermelon Bra – Bet your knitting granny never made a top quite like this bikini halter top that would be so amazing to show off at a summer music festival!  $6

Watermelon Gumballs by Double Bubble – fill up the gumball machine with these adorable pieces of round gum – the 3lb bag should last all year ‘round. $17

Salted Watermelon Energy GUSalted Watermelon GUs – Optimize performance in an endurance event with these salty watermelon energy gels — yassss, I just ordered some! $29 / for 24

Watermelon KnifeWatermelon Knife by Kuhn Rikon – Not is the blade painted up pretty, it makes an easy task of a tedious job. $20

 

 

Kate Spade Watermelon Coin PurseWatermelon Coin Purse by Kate Spade – Save your nickels and dime to get this awesome leather coin purse by one of America’s favorite bag designers. $48


Watermelon Knee SocksWatermelon Socks by Socksmith – I get a zillion compliments every time I step out in these fun knee-highs. $11

 

 

Watermelon Fitness Headband“Watermelon Crawl” by Sweaty Headbands – This hair accessory holds hair back off face and stays in place for running, CrossFit, yoga or pretty much any fitness activity.

Watermelon PJs – by Carters This four-piece, toddler-sized pajama set is a sweet choice for the little watermelon lovers in your life. $22

 

 

Pandora Crystal Silver Watermelon CharmWatermelon Charm by Pandora – enjoy a little slice of summer all year long with this sterling silver charm with sparkly crystals. $63

Watermelon Tervis Water BottleWatermelon Insulated Bottle by Tervis – Cold drinks stay cold, hot drinks stay hot in this sportym 24-ounce reusable water bottle. $20

 

 

 

watermelon-bike-hoodieWatermelon Bike Hoodie from Design by Humans – Artists from around the world submit artwork that you can then have made into everything from tanks to hoodies and more. There are so many watermelon designs (I’ve purchased quite a few) and this is bike one is next!

Watermelon UmbrellaWatermelon Umbrella – Stand out from the crowd with this whimsical watermelon umbrella, sure to brighten up any gloomy day. $15

 

 

WAtermelon OrnamentWatermelon Christmas Ornament – Deck the halls with this beautiful glass-blown holiday ornament. $7

Watermelon Scented PensWatermelon Scented SNIFTY Pens – the familiar fruity scent takes your mind off whatever boring task is at hand!

 

 

reload-watermelonReload Watermelon helps your muscles refuel, recover and rebuild after a hard run or intense workout with just whatcha need including branch chain amino acids. $22

 

 

 

FYI, this post contains affiliate links.

Do you eat watermelon in the winter? Do you have traditional fruit of the season (like my mom always put an orange in my stocking). What is the most fun or funniest gift you are giving this year? Lemme know — xoxo, Jennifer

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10 Holiday Gift Ideas For Fit Foodies

Okay, this may seem like a random collection of Christmas and holiday gifts, but trust me the fitness-minded foodie on your list is sure to love one or all. I mean, is there anything else to life more than working out, running, eating, sleeping, and repeating?! Seriously, though! 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Fit Foodie

Spartan Race Gear – Head to the Spartan  Race Shop for some great holiday deals. Since my husband recently completed his first Trifecta, I nabbed him some Trifecta Tribe gear for Christmas – not only did I get the daily deal sale they had going on, but also got free shipping with the code FREESHIP – YAY!

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Spartan Fit Book – An new book by Spartan Race founder, Joe De Sena, is a must-read for the obstacle course racer in your life. This essential training book includes a 30 fitness and diet plan to get you in shape for a Spartan Sprint or just a healthier, more fit life. No gym needed! Order HERE

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The Original Worm Looking for another holiday gift that will worm it’s way into the heart of the recipient? How about The Original Worm?! This “ahhhhhh” body roller is like a little foam roller, therapy ball hybrid.worm-rolling-700The four neoprene encased balls target and attack stiffness, pain and stress in all those over used muscles and joints. It’s also super portable, unlike a big foam roller, so you can stick in gym bag or even carry on bag for travel – I actually keep one in the care. Save 25% on your web order with discount code FITFORK25 at TheOriginalWorm.com

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ECLIPSE ROLLER from ACUmobility will soon become your new best friend.  This bad boy features all the benefits of the traditional foam roller but also has trigger point release mechanisms that target multiple muscle groups at the same time. Hey, since I really don’t like to slow down to stretch, roll and work on my mobility, I’m all about efficiency! Hit up their holiday sales and save 20% more on your order at Acumobility.com with my discount code ACUMOBFITFORK

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ZayzeThis company makes the cutest compression shorts and leggings – not only are there a zillion different cute styles, but they are super flattering.

naked-compression-leggings-zayzeThis new pair of naked “muscle” leggings is crazy, and sure to turn heads at your next workout. The wide waistband is slimming and gives support running and lifting weights and I swear (my opinion only haha) that my but looks better wearing Zayze! Lots of holiday sales going on right now, use my discount code THEFITFORK at Zayze.com for an additional 10% off.

 

 

Must Have Box from POPSUGAR  – The November box couldn’t have been more perfectly timed for a whirlwind of entertaining this holiday season – not only did I put on Thanksgiving for my family this year (we usually travel), but I also hosted a 50th anniversary party for my wonderful parents. Seriously, everything in the Must Have Box was used this weekend from the lovely table runner, festive star party picks and wire basket (I used these to hold my “Still Nuts for Each Other” party favors) to the treats for me personally, like the eyeshadow kit (yes, I wore eye shadow) and the gorgeous Kendra Scott bracelet.

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must-have-box-pop-sugar-closedIf you are looking for a Christmas, holiday or hostess give that keeps on giving all year long, you need to check out the #MustHaveBox – it’s a specially curated assortment of fabulous full-sized, “elevated” brand products touching on categories like home décor, fashion, beauty, jewelry, gourmet edibles, wellness and more. Every month, when my subscription Must Have Box arrives, it’s like finding a treasure trove of gifts that 1) either I always wanted but didn’t want to splurge on OR 2) never knew I needed until it showed up and I fell in love. Seriously, how does the Must Have Box from POPSUGAR always know what I’m going to like?! Use the special coupon code SHOP5 to get $5 off your FIRST Must Have Box.

GripSling Raw Training Straps –  These functional workout strap that promotes creativity through simplicity are really cool– you don’t need a ton of workout equipment to get the job done. Check out these videos of workout demonstrations on their site and then nse code thefitfork20 to save 20% on your order at GripSling.com.

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Spiralizer Attachment for Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer  – I received one for Chrismas last year, and simply put, it was life changing. Peel, core and slice fruit, veggies and other produce to make easy salads, zoodles, veggie noodles, healthy desserts and more – since it attaches to the stand mixer, all you do is flip the “on” button – super easy clean up too! I actually leave this spiral attachment on my machine nearly all the time, because I use it so much more than the actual mixer.

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The Original Airfryer from Phillips  Fry healthy food with 75% less fat. I was very skeptical to believe that it uses only 1 tablespoon to make delicious, crispy, crunch foods — but it works, it’s amazing, I’m declaring this counter top appliance a mini-miracle.  There are three sizes available to suit your family-size needs, price range $100 – $300.  But. So. Worth. It. phillips-airfryerCitrus Knife / Zester by Kuhn Rikon – The pair up of pairing knife and zester make this tool for tackling lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruit practically child’s play. citrus-knife-zester

The blade and zester fold into the cute sleeve for safe storage – perfect for the fit foodie who makes a lot of salads, dressings, baked goods, fish and other recipes featuring citrus (which is sooo in season right now, btw)

Isopure Coffee Protein with Colombian Coffee – Perfect way for your coffee-loving protein fiend to perk up a workout. With 50g pure whey protein and a kick of real coffee, this is the perfect way to start the day when you’re in a rush.  isopure-coffeeThe huge 3lb tub means that your giftee will be thinking of you and thanking you profusely for several months to come! If you order from Vitamin Shoppe, get 20% off this (and anything else sitewide) with code CM2016CM

Take 20% Off Site wide with promo code CM2016CM at VitaminShoppe.com! Offer only valid through 11/28!

 

And, here are a couple bonus gift ideas I couldn’t resist! CrossFit Dice? Now this is a game I want to play – haha! And, the Yog2Go container, I use mine almost every day – it’s the BEST!

What’s at the top of your holiday wish list?! What do YOU wish for? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer 

Please note, I received products in exchange for my consideration and review of some products in the post, however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own. Post also contains affiliate advertising links. 

3 Companies Keeping Me Happy, Healthy and Running!

1) MilestonePod Running Wearable

Milestone Pod wearable gadget for runners

I’m fairly low tech when it comes to running, oh how I do love a good pair of shoes and cute outfit, but sometimes all that data at my fingertips pushes me over the edge. In the past, I was a die-hard stat tracker, but today (although I do check in with my running benchmarks now and then), I don’t always record every lap, loop and interval of every run (but when I do, a good GPS watch can’t be beat). Recently, MilestonePod sent me their brand new wearable that provides easy access to “just enough for me” activity data to keep me in touch with my general performance (like overall distance, pace and calories burned that I can check at the end of my run but not every insufferable second), along with insights on my personal running style and how to improve it.  What I REALLY love is how MilestonePod also tracks an assortment of additional metrics such cadence, foot strike and stride length. For example, I’m always trying to keep my cadence between 180 and 200 and this easy to wear gadget keeps the count for me – it also breaks out the percentage of time I strike with heel, forefoot or toes – it makes your shoes smart! Very interesting and useful feedback!  Very reasonably priced (under $30) with a free user app that is downloaded for both Android and iPhone, there is no reason for a runner to give  MilestonePod a go! #GoBeyondPace

2) POPSUGAR Must Have Box

I love LOVE getting these POPSUGAR Must Have boxes in the mail every month – it’s like having twelve birthdays a year!  There are usually around six to eight “gifts” that sum up the season perfectly
(sometimes more)– the July subscription box included sunscreen for your hair, darling emoji fabric cocktail napkins, a lightweight scarf, a cute pineapple pin, an inflatable drink holder that looks like a swan (how cute is this for the pool?), yummy old-school style potato chips, brow highlighter (ooh, middle-aged me needs the lift) and a gift card for $20 towards customizable jewelry from an online boutique!

You need to try out a subscription to POPSUGAR Must Have Box yourself, I’ve never been disappointed!  Get $5 off your first #MustHaveBox box (no expiration date) with code SHOP5 at http://bit.lt/2ao52ns 

3) EverlyWell

everlywell logo

I also just mailed in my Sleep Balance Profile and Home Collection Kit from EverlyWell to identify hormone-related sleep imbalances. Yeah, I am not a champion sleeper and am at my breaking point. I need to know what is going on with my body and EverlyWell makes it simple and convenient to #KnowYourNumbers and I hope the results well help me work with my pharmacist and/or doctor to find the right seep relief I need. They have all sorts of home tests including Food Sensitivities, Cholesterol & Lipids, Heavy Metals, and more. I’ll be posting a full review and the findings from my Sleep & Stress Test in a week or two – but, in the meantime, if you want to save 10% use the code EVERLY10 at checkout.

Please note: EverlyWell offers laboratory testing for wellness monitoring, the tests are not meant to diagnose or treat disease, or to take the place of a physician’s consultation. Testing is not available in NY, MD, RI, or NJ due to regulatory restrictions. EverlyWell does not provide medical advice and always suggests sharing your results with your primary care physician. 

Disclaimer: I was provided products and/or compensation to review these products and give my honest feedback – all comments, feedback and enthusiasm are my own!

5 Ways to Make Gift Wrapping Less Stressful + Empty Roll Workout

Wrapping presents this holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful. In fact, it can be fun!  I recently visited my local Hallmark Gold Crown store to pick up some wrapping paper. I was so impressed by both the selection of gorgeous designs and also the heavy quality of the paper – plus the grid marks on back are nice for geometry-challenged folks like myself.

Hallmark Wrapping PaperSome people are truly artists when it comes to gift wrapping and others just aren’t – I probably fall into the “aren’t” category, but I actually like real wrapping and not just sticking stuff in a gift bag.

Although, I have to say that wrapping bulky items can be a little challenging – that’s why I like to make paper bows to “wrap” the larger holiday gifts at my house. Usually, I leave a little box wrapped up with scavenger hunt clues leading the recipient up to the hiding place – it’s so fun!

5 Ways to Keep Gift Wrapping Stress Fress

Here are some ways to make gift wrapping less stressful:

  • Have all your supplies on hand: I always keep a plentiful stash of scissors, tape, gift cards, pens, tissue paper, ribbon and of course, wrapping paper from Hallmark Gold Crown.
  • Don’t worry about perfection: You may see the little folding flaws or unmatched ends on your gift, but most recipients won’t care – if they even notice at all. Instead, it’s the time and thought you’ve put into thinking of them that will make the biggest impression! For example, I know my teen boys can’t wrap gifts well, but I appreciate that they make the effort and don’t pass the duty on to someone else!
  • Get creative: There is no rule that says the entire gift has to be wrapped or that there is only one way to get the job done. If gifts are huge, make a little scavenger hunt game as I mentioned . . . or if gifts are very small, wrap them up in a large box to throw off your recipient!
  • There is more than one way to make a bow: While silks and satins are lovely, it’s also fun to make a bow out of wrapping paper. My sister-in-law is a pro at this and she showed me how to take paper scraps and make pompoms, bows, fans, feathers and more – search Pinterest!
  • Get in the right frame of mind: Put on holiday music, make hot chocolate, turn on the holiday lights, make it an EVENT!

May I suggest a little workout to help get you in the right frame of mind for wrapping presents?  Breaking a sweat always lowers my stress level and when I have less to fret over, everything seems more fun – like gift wrapping.  This workout might seem a little silly (who couldn’t use a smile this time of year) but it’s actually based on some mobility workouts I do with a basic PVC pipe — you really need to try the workout, I’d hate for you to pull a muscle while wrapping presents!  Ideally, use an empty roll so you don’t mess up your nice, new paper — or not!

Wrapping Paper Roll Workout - TheFitFork.com

Also, while I was in Hallmark Gold Crown, I was surprised to find so many gift items that would make the family and friends in my life smile.  In the past, I have thought of Hallmark as a greeting card and wrapping paper store — but, WOW, they have everything from grab-and-go gifts to jewelry, home décor, kid’s items (I saw Star Wars and Peanuts gifts galore)!  I picked up a few bars of wonderfully scented soap from the Crafters & Co. Line – the soaps are packaged in the prettiest paper (hey, they almost don’t need wrapping, how’s that for stress-busting) and the scent made my car smell dreamy on the way home.  These  little luxuries are quite affordable and just perfect for teacher, neighbor, work Secret Santa and hostess gifts!

Crafters & Co Soap - Hallmark Gold Crown

So, do you like wrapping gifts or look at the process as a chore? What’s the weirdest shaped thing you’ve ever wrapped up?  What’s your go-to teacher or neighbor gift? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer