The Power of Water & Running for Another

Having grown up in Southern California, I’d like to say that I know something about drought and water conservation.  In reality, I know nothing at all.  Sure, my home state is mostly consists of an environment that suffers if it doesn’t receive the annual amount of rainwater to sustain its bodies of water.  Between global warming and human over-consumption, it has become a mega-problem. For some people, it’s a big deal and for others, it’s whatever (I’m making an assumption that some individuals that don’t care too much about this subject may use this fun phrase when referring to the drought).

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When doing a bit of web-search, I found that California has its own man-made circulation system with canals that carries in water from mountains to where the people are.  There are thousands of places to consume water without worrying about disease.

Did you know that the global water crisis takes away 3.4 millions live each and every year??? (*)  Because so many people don’t have access to clean water, water-related diseases kill 1 out of 5 children under the age of 5. (*)

So why am I writing about this?  What’s just another charity or organization?  Well, I have been looking to give back for some time and haven’t found something that matches my interests.  Ok, I have volunteered at some races and at the local soup kitchen through New York Cares but I wanted something that I am truly passionate about (very millennial thing to say).  In its own words, Janji is a running apparel brand that helps provide water for those in need.

All runners understand the importance of water in their daily lives.  There’s the daily routine of hydrating and of course the crucial pre/mid/post run and/or race refuel.  But what about the areas that aren’t so fortunate to have clean water as a basic necessity?  Well, proceeds from apparel purchases go towards organizations that help to end global water crisis.  I’m excited and fortunate enough to say that I will be able to support Janji for the next year and hopefully beyond, raising awareness and funding for this issue.

I’ve got a few ideas rotating around in my head and if you happen to be interested in helping out and actually made it to this part of the blog, please let me know 🙂 All fun things and minimal to no cost of course.

Janji Pop-Up Shop
~ About ~ Men’s Gear ~ Women’s Gear ~ How It Works ~
144 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

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Summer Camp for Bloggers

Yes this Blend Retreat recap is probably a week late but better late than never. Plus I had to break it up from the other lovely blogger’s recaps.  Wouldn’t want to step on everyone’s toes now or overwhelm the readers.  That’s right, always thinking about y’all.

Isn’t it great when you enter an event not knowing a soul and leaving with some honest to goodness best friends?  I went into the weekend with open expectations, just hoping to meet some great people and be outdoors.  What I received was so much more.  I’m not just talking about the endless supply of goodies from Arctic Zero to Quest Bars, but possibly lasting friendships, raw and real conversations, and so much more.

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Where would I even begin on this trip?  Well, let’s just say that I’m still riding the high over a week later.  Sure it’s back to work and the grind of city life but reliving those memories of the outdoors and blogger bliss helps keep me sane.  I’m not so impressed by the 12 hours it took to arrive home on Sunday and lovely humid and rainy weather I was greeted with in the city but that’s another battle.  I have a feeling this summer will be the true test of my strength on the east coast.

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If you didn’t catch on, I’m recapping my trip to Park City Utah for the Blend 2014 Retreat.  Now many people are unaware of the term “blend” just as I was unaware of the term “hangry” for a while.  No fear – it’s another way to say “Blogger Friends” and I personally think it has a better appeal than “hangry”.

But anyways, this retreat was a way for bloggers – most of which fall into the healthy living category – to meet and connect.  Some of us follow one another’s blogs and have connected online a number of times, but have never met in person.  A few of my coworkers think this is odd but in today’s reality of online dating and technology in general, it couldn’t seem more normal.

The adventure began Friday where I successfully took public transportation to JFK and arrived way too early for my flight.  Three coffees and about 6 hours later, I was in Park City.  Those who had actually planned ahead had arrived on time and were off on a group run led by the ever so sweet Janae (Hungry Runner Girl).  I arrived just in time to indulge in a snack break hosted by Arctic Zero.  After all, those travel days are quite exhausting, don’t you agree?

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There I had the chance to meet my roommate Megan (who was uhMAZING) and sip on a smoothie made with almond milk, Arctic Zero and some frozen fruit.  I did feel a bit hipster with my mason-jar like mug, but that’s as hipster as I’ll ever be.  We scooped up a few extra mugs and were on our way.

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The swag bags for this trip were beyond belief fantastic.  But really.  The sheer amount and quality of goods practically paid for the trip and will definitely help my future grocery bills.  I can’t even begin to list out all the goodies we received but just know, I’ll be pumping out some  posts with my favorites.

One of my favorite sponsors was Quest Nutrition. The representatives at the retreat were just a blast to hang out with and get to know.  I found it even more fun to talk with them because they lived near my hometown!  I love those small world connections 🙂

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The whole trip really did seem like a summer camp.  We had a schedule with boot camp on Saturday and Sunday mornings, both of which were oodles of fun.  I love working out in the morning and well just love working out in general.  We had sets of push-ups and burpees and even some sprints. What’s funny is I completely forgot about the altitude and was wondering why it was such a struggle.  Oh, working out in the mountains is not the same as sea-level-ish Manhattan…blonde moment.

Day #1 – Led by ONNIT – Total Human Optimization

Day #2 – Led by GPP Fitness (definitely my favorite of the two)

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Such an attractive picture right?  Hopefully you can’t spot me

Following our workouts, we were treated to buffet breakfasts – day #1 sponsored by Quest and day #2 sponsored by Yoplait.

IMG_4793Picture with my new blend Ashley ❤ Also, there’s something homey about drinking coffee out of a mug.  

I HIGHLY recommend the coconut yogurt by Yoplait.  It may have a bit more sugar than a plain Greek variety but I’ve never tasted a flavor more pure and even enjoy the flakes of coconut stirred in the middle.

I do however have a love/hate relationship with buffets.  This is because while there are a ton of different options to choose from, I feel obligated to take a bit of it all. This usually leaves me a bit full and sleepy but no fear because a hike was near!

IMG_4758Pep talk (nutrition-talk really) by Organic Valley and a quick pic with celebrity trainer Joel Harper

That’s right, on Saturday we took the gondola up the mountain and proceeded to hike around some of the ski trails.  While it wasn’t like the trails I was used to at Mammoth Lakes, it sure was nice to be out in the fresh air.  My roommate and I attempted the long route back home and may or may not have just created our own trail down the hill.  Definitely wouldn’t have passed the scout test there.

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What was truly nice about this retreat is that it enabled the bloggers to hang out, explore the outdoors, and get to know each other.  We didn’t have any seminars and there wasn’t a strict schedule.  We simply were allowed to explore, chat, and get to know one another as well as the beautiful area around us.

IMG_4871_ Fotor_CollageA stop into town with my gals is of course a must.  As is a picture with Mr. Moose.  What can I say, I make friends with all the animals, real or not-so-real.

It was also refreshing to talk to everyone about food, fitness, body image and more.  Really it seemed as though we had been best friends forever.  In fact, I had more heart-to-hearts with these gals than I did with some of my college friends.  I guess it comes with the territory of blogging – you are practically putting your life out there for the world to see and read.

But wait…there’s MORE

IMG_4798We ended the weekend with a giveaway, one prize for every blogger.  I swear it was like Christmas morning or winning a mini-lottery.  This girl came home with a “six month supply” of Organic Valley coupons.  Who knows if this will really last me six months but I’m game to try.  It’s safe to say I won’t have to make too many grocery stops in the future.  That or I’ll be able to bake some more goodies for my co-workers.  Either way, it’s an epic success.

Some of my new blends below 🙂

Candice Bement – http://hungrymotherrunner.com

Heather Blackmon – http://betterwithveggies.com

Danica Buss – http://itsprogression.com

Lindsay Cotter – http://cottercrunch.com

Ashley Cubit-Palms – http://milesonoats.com

Amanda Dewitt – http://semihealthyblog.com

Nicole Handler – http://fitfulfocus.com

Janae Jacobs – http://hungryrunnergirl.com

Molly Keck – http://thislifeissparkling.com

Samantha Kolpin – http://betterwithsprinklesblog.com

Julie Luong – http://juliegoeshealthy.com

Mollie Lyon – http://molliessprinklesoflife.com

Madelyn Moon – http://moonfitness.net

Megan Olson – http://theskinny-life.com

Heather Powers – http://kissmybroccoliblog.com

Bethany Qiang – http://thesmallvictories.com

Stephanie Reiter – http://wholesomebydesign.com

Emily Roark – http://perfectionisnthappy.com

Laura Skladzinski – http://50by25.com

Brooke Stluka – http://wreckingroutine.com

Gina Topley – http://healthloveandchocolate.com

Brittany Trentham – http://delightsanddelectables.com

Kait Welch – http://chickadeesays.com

Katie Wheeler – http://peaceloveandoats.com

Lindsay Wright – http://lindsayslist.com

Until next time my blends…