My Favorite Things: 2016 Edition

As the year quickly comes to an end, many people are already looking ahead to 2017.  From goal setting to resolutions, it’s all about making the next year bigger and better!  For those of us who are athletes or who are looking to get in shape in the new year, priorities typically include staying healthy and injury-free, as well as having gear that helps us perform at our best.  Check out some of my favorite things from 2016 that are sure to get your 2017 off to a great start:

Ora Organic Probiotics + Prebiotics

Let’s be honest.  As the holidays roll around, many of us tend to indulge (and maybe over-indulge) in goodies and beverages we’ve deprived ourselves of during our training and racing season.  Probiotics, like the ones from Ora Organic, are a great way to get our guts back on track, improve our immune system, and aid in nutrient digestion.  Not good at remembering to take supplements?  Don’t worry!  Ora offers their probiotics + prebiotics in a powder, deliciously flavored with organic apple and organic raspberry, so you can just add it to your morning or workout smoothie!

Eden’s Garden Essential Oils

This year was a toughie for me – tons of stress.  And, eventually, that stress started affecting my health, and of course, my training and racing.  I started doing some research into essential oils and found that they could be beneficial in helping me manage my reactions to stress as well as help with the aches and pains of tired muscles from training.  Truthfully, there is a million and one ways that essential oils can change your life for the good, but selecting which brand to go with can be a headache.  Not all essential oils are created equally.  After reading review after review and researching for hours, I decided to go with Eden’s Garden over the very popular Young Living and doTerra EO.  Eden’s Garden consistently ranked high in reviews and their price was reasonable.  I haven’t been disappointed yet!  These oils have made a huge difference in my overall well-being!  If you haven’t given essential oils a try, you must!

On Running: Cloudsurfer

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of On Running!  I’ve been running in Ons for over 3 years and it’s been the best 3 years of my running time!  This year was a big year for On with the release of new models and running apparel.  I have nearly every model of running shoe that On makes and I use them all for different distances/runs, but by far my favorite is the Cloudsurfer.  On’s focus is to put the fun back into running and the Cloudsurfer does just that.  Every run, no matter what pace, truly feels like you are surfing on clouds.  Seriously!  These shoes feel amazing whether you’re out for a recovery run, working on speed drills, out on a long run, or just getting started with running.  They’re pretty darn comfy for walking, too!

Zoggs: Podium

Goggles.  Oh, goggles!  For some people, finding that perfect pair of goggles is like finding a needle in a haystack.  I found Zoggs quite some time ago and swim in a few of their models, but my favorite is their Podium goggle.  With soft gaskets, easily adjustable straps, and 3 nose bridge sizes for a custom fit, you can’t go wrong with these!  The podium also comes in a variety of lens color options, including polarized.  The best part?  They are very reasonably priced and Zoggs often runs specials up to 50% off!!

Munk Pack

These pouches of oatmeal and real fruit are awesome!  Not only are they tasty, but since they’re filled with real food and quality ingredients, they are perfect for breakfast, workout fuel, or just anytime you’re craving a snack.  With five flavors to choose from, your perfect Munk Pack is out there!

Zealios Skin Care

I’ve written a detailed review (found on my review page) on these guys and their products, but I just can’t say enough good things about them.  If you’re into the active lifestyle, they’ve got you covered.  Sun Barrier for protection from the sun’s harmful rays while you’re outside doing your thing.  Performance body wash to clean you up and remove the smell of chlorine (if you’ve been swimming).  Performance shampoo and conditioner to keep your wavy (or bleached) locks looking their best, even after you spend hours sweating and getting dirty.  Performance lotion that revitalizes your skin after hours outside in the sun or in the pool.  And finally, Betwixt to keep you feeling comfy and chafe-free while you spend hours in the saddle.  I use these products year-round, but every summer, after training for hours in 100-degree weather, I come home to a shower with Zealios and I feel like me again.  I’m so thankful I found them – amazing stuff!  If you haven’t tried Zealios, they do offer a travel pack, which is a great way to sample their goodies!

Native

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For the longest time I wanted to make the switch to a natural deodorant, but I wasn’t willing to have a funky, oniony smell.  I wanted a deodorant that was safe for me in terms of the ingredients it contained, but one that was also safe for those who had to hang around and smell me.  I tried several name brands that can be found at Whole Foods and none seemed to be what I was looking for.  After all, I spend a lot of time sweating as an active teacher and athlete.  Finally, with the help of the wonderful web, I came across two brands that seemed to get rave reviews:  Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant and Native Deodorant.  Both are pricey compared to the typical chock-full-of-chemicals deodorant you might be familiar with, but I managed to try out several scents of both brands with Black Friday coupons and free shipping deals.  Lucky for me, they both work wonderfully – from work to play.  Right now, though, I’m digging Native as my #1 with Schmidt’s as a close #2, simply because Native goes on a little smoother.  My hubs, on the other hand, also a teacher and athlete, prefers Schmidt’s.  You can’t go wrong with either of these brands if you’re looking to make the switch, too.

So what are you waiting for?  Go check out some of my favorites from 2016 for yourself!  Trust me.  You’ll be impressed and glad you did!

Cheers!

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