Tag Archives: Product reviews

Product Review: Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe @ UnderArmourAust

10 May

I have been a bit slack on my blog posts in the last week or two. Life has been busy and got in the way I’m afraid! I’ve been doing some running and pushing on with trail running as well as starting my LCHF eating plan – more on that soon.

Anyway a little while ago Running Heroes sent me some shoes from Under Armour for me to test and write about. You’ll see my review below.

Before I go any further please note that I was not paid to write this article and my opinions are real and all my own – just in case you were wondering! 

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 Shoe

So when my parcel arrived from Running Heroes – naturally I was very excited as I love new running gear, and when I opened the box I was not disappointed where colour was concerned – the shoes I was sent were a lovely turquoise blue with a pink inner lining – perfect for me.

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

Colour and Aesthetics

The shoe does come in 12 different colours but I quite like the one I was sent as some of the other colours are either way out there or too bland for me. It is quite a light shoe in weight compared to my usual Kayanos and the top back of the shoe where I have been used to it being really sturdy feels quite soft and lightweight which was an initial concern to me needing stability.

There is plenty of padding at the bottom on the sole of the shoe which is a good thing for me as a lot of shoes I see now are very flat looking and I know I wouldn’t get on with them having had issues with very lightweight shoes.

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

Testing it out

Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2 shoe

Just about to go for a session in my shoes

I tried running in the Gemini 2 a number of times and did different types of runs on different types of terrains to test them out including a speed session, a short session, on the road and across fields/grass.

The shoes felt light and comfortable, and whilst I’m not used to lighter shoes they felt stable to run in. When running in them it definitely felt like there was added support which I quite like and I also felt quite nimble on my feet so they worked well in my speed session.

One thing to note is that the shoe has an embedded sockliner which means you can’t remove the insole. For me that was an issue  because I wear orthotics so with this shoe I can’t wear them when wearing the shoe – so I probably wouldn’t wear these on a longer run or should have asked for a larger size so I could fit them in with more room. It’s not a deal breaker but if you wear orthotics make note of this comment to potentially go up a size.

Conclusions

I felt very light on my feet and like I was quite bouncy and I have enjoyed running in the shoes.

Pros

> Great selection of colours

> Nice light shoe but with support and comfortable to run in

> If you are a techno person then there is a Record Equipped version which comes with a chip embedded in the shoe and will give you all sorts of metrics in relation to your run.

> The price is quite reasonable at $225

Cons

> For me the main issue is not being able to wear my orthotics in these shoes – however had I ordered a larger size that wouldn’t have been an issue – so if you wear orthotics consider this when buying them.

Product Review: SKINS Dnamic shorts @SKINSAU

11 Apr

A month or so ago I was contacted by SKINS Australia to see whether I would like to try a pair of their new Dnamic Compression Shorts. I had a look at the range, and already being a compression pant lover – jumped at the chance. Below is my opinion of them. If you read right to the bottom you can also read my disclaimer. I wasn’t paid for this review.

Skins Dnamic women's 1/2 tights

Skins Dnamic women’s 1/2 tights

Look and Feel

I must admit when I first saw the Dnamic range I was a bit nervous as some of the product range designs were pretty funky and out there – awesome if you like big patterns but I tend to wear dark colours on my legs. I was very thankful therefore when my shorts arrived – as the SKINS team had sent me the most conservative of designs:-).

When I took the shorts out of the packaging I sucked in my breath wondering how on earth I’d get my butt into the shorts! I was a bit worried that perhaps I had ordered the wrong size – but after some wriggling around and squirming – I was comfortably into my shorts! One thing was for certain – there would be no falling out of these or over the top – everything felt really snug and nicely compressed😀

As a runner that is not a stick insect I like the fact with these shorts that they are high waisted compared to a lot of shorts on the market. Often I have worn shorts and half way into my run everything has started wobbling, or I end up pulling them up because they are low risers or not tight enough on the waist – and the good old muffin top starts forming!

Compression

SKINS say that they have a unique sizing system, and as long as you have the right sizing you will get the right compression needed. Their system claims to reduce lactic acid build up for more power and less recovery time.

Like I said I found the shorts very comfortable. It is tricky when wearing shorts rather than long tights to give an exact sense of feeling with regards to compression but I did find I didn’t ache too much after my runs I ran in them – my calfs still twinged a bit – but they weren’t covered!

I also found that the shorts fabric didn’t feel like it would wear out any time soon. Being a person whose thighs rub together I am always paranoid that shorts won’t last long, and I do have a couple of pairs that have frayed and won’t be replaced. But these shorts seem pretty resilient which is a plus for me.

I did keep the shorts on for a while a couple of times after training to see how they improved the aches in my legs (if there were any) – but I didn’t try sleeping in them which a lot of people do! On the whole I found during and after runs in them that I felt good, and my legs felt fairly strong compared to when running in my normal non compression shorts in training runs.

Skins Dnamic

Post run at Kangaroo Point showing off my SKINS

Pros

  • Very comfortable when on – make sure you stick to the sizing guidelines when ordering otherwise they will be very very tight or too loose and not efficient from a compression point of view
  • Nice fit and not low rise – a definite plus for me having an hourglass shaped figure
  • Great range of designs in the range – if you like patterns there are plenty and if you are more conservative like me they have catered for those also.
  • UV protection – 50+ – excellent for when running in a warm sunny climate

Cons

Not really any major cons on this product. I have always loved SKINS and don’t really have anything bad to say about these shorts – although the cost might be an issue to some people at $95 a pair – but you do get what you pay for so they are ultimately an investment to help you in your running.

 

Product Review disclaimer

Please note I am not paid for writing product reviews and if there are links to the product I am reviewing in my post I am not paid for that either. If a post is a paid post or an affiliate post I will highlight at the top of the post. My views are my own and I try to be as balanced as I can. 

Product Review: Stay Lean Tea – Win some for yourself!

9 Feb

I have always been willing to keep an open mind when it comes to alternative lifestyles and I remember living back in the UK with my friend Carol we both bought the Jane Scrivner book – Detox Yourself after we had consumed way to much wine and pizza over a month or so hanging out together and decided we needed to get fit and healthy. As a result we both lost a fair amount of weight and got rid of all the nasties from our bodies.

Other than that I haven’t really been a detox chick and I am always reading lots about different crazy diets but never doing them. So when  middle when Stay Lean Tea contacted me I was very unsure about how a tea was going to detox me and make me stay lean. They asked me whether I would be interested in trying their 14 day tea tox. I wasn’t sure but eventually decided – sure why not!

The claims

Stay Lean Tea says it will:

> Give the metabolism a huge boost

> Burn fat & excess calories while at rest

> Suppress appetite over a sustained period of time

> Remove toxins from the digestive tract

> Enhance nutrient absorption

> Reduce bloating and water retention

> Increase energy levels and boost the immune system

The Plan 

Basically you are meant to be eating a healthy diet for Stay Lean Tea to work and you are given 14 lean burner tea bags and 7 lean cleanse tea bags. You drink a cup of tea with the lean burner tea bags every day in the morning and one of the lean cleanse tea bags in the afternoon every other day.

Stay Lean Tea

Stay Lean Tea

I gave it a spin for 14 days. Here’s what happened….

One of the definite good things that came out of trying the tea out was that it got me into a routine in the morning of having a drink. I am normally racing around sorting things out and by 11am realise I haven’t even had a drink so this was an excellent way to make myself drink.

Taste

The taste was not so bad. I was expecting a bitter tasting tea that I would gag on but it was like drinking camomile or something like that – The lean burner tea not that flavoursome so that was easy enough to deal with. The lean cleanse tea had more of a bitter flavour but it was not really too noticeable that you wouldn’t be able to drink it.

The emergence of ‘hyper bunny’

One thing I had forgotten about with tea is that it has caffeine in it and I don’t normally have much caffeine at all. I noticed after having my first cup of tea I was literally hyper and very alert so my energy levels were very high and I felt remarkably good. The downside for me though was I found I got a headache.

Bloating reduction 

I have to say I did feel lighter and less ‘bloated’ which was great. That could have been simply drinking more fluid but I definitely felt better stomach wise. The tea bags have ingredients in them such as goji berries and the packaging says that they contain an antioxidant rich blend of herbal ingredients that help clean the digestive tract and speed up the detoxification process – so maybe that’s what was happening thus reducing my bloating.

Energy

I didn’t notice a massive increase in energy levels apart from the initial rush when drinking the tea due to the caffeine but I didn’t feel tired either which I have been struggling with lately so that was a plus – possibly a coincidence – who knows.

Results

Regardless of what I thought of the tea and whether I felt it works, whilst I lost a small amount of weight I was quite surprised by the before and after photo that I took. Whilst the loss is subtle there clearly after 14 days is a difference. I hadn’t been doing anything different, training as usual and eating as normal but I was quite happy to see there was an improvement in my lumps and bumps! Some of the photos on Stay Lean Tea’s website are pretty impressive (probably not from 14 days) – I was happy to see a little bit of change:-)

Stay Lean Tea

The results after 14 days were subtle but all the bloating had gone and I lost a small amount of weight.

Try some for yourself

The Stay Lean Tea 14 Day Detox Program costs AUD$45 and can be shipped world wide from their website.

Stay Lean Tea gave me a second 14 day detox to give away in a competition worth $45. I’m running the competition via my Facebook page and on my Instagram page, and it is open to anyone world wide since SLT ship world wide. Closing date is 14 February 2016 – how romantic! and the  winner will be announced on 15th February.

 

Product Review: 2XU Elite Compression Shorts

12 Nov

RunStopShop sent me a pair of 2XU Elite Compression Shorts to try out and the plan was to wear them whilst I was overseas on holiday. I did try them once in Macau but wanted to try them a few more times before reviewing them, and on arriving into the UK it was way too cold to run in them – and then Singapore had a problem with fires in Indonesia so it wasn’t safe to breathe all the air in outside…. so to cut a long story short I am only just writing up this review!

When I was asked whether I would like to try the shorts out to be honest I wasn’t sure as they looked shorter than I would normally run in. I am not blessed with tiny thighs so the thought of tiny shorts and my legs wobbling about didn’t appeal. I was assured by the team that they were great shorts so decided to give them ago. What you read below is my own account of how I experienced them and this is not an advertorial!

2XU Elite Compression shorts

Shorts design and comfort

When the shorts arrived I took them out of the packet and freaked out as there did not look like there would be enough fabric to cover my thighs and butt and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to review them as they looked quite short – but when I tried them on they actually were not as short as I had anticipated and felt quite comfortable.  I was still a bit worried my legs might rub but figured I’d give them a go on the treadmill at the hotel I was staying in in Macau on a boiling hot day in a gym with no air conditioning!

The shorts have a drawstring which I liked as I have worn a fair few pairs of shorts which either end up with a muffin top or pulling them up all the time so I figured you have more control with drawstring.

They also come with UPF50+ sun protection which living here in Queensland is a real plus so I figured they would come in really handy for running outside, and the compression feature seemed to be comprehensive on the information on the box so I was intriegued to see how I went when trying them out. I also liked when I tried them on how they actually held everything in – i love that about compression pants😀

20151112_0913552Any good to run in?

So i put the shorts on and went for a run on the treadmill at my hotel in Macau and have since run in them a few times back here in Queensland and I have to say they are comfortable and I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that the short is a bit shorter than I would normally go but I didn’t experience any rubbing or chafing at all. I ran for an average of 30-60 minutes each time I have tried the shorts out so far and found them to be great. I haven’t worn 2xu shorts before so all in all I was happy and that I’ve found some shorts that are good in the warmer weather as I have lots of longer pants.

Size matters!

I think size really counts on the short though as when I got back from holidays whilst I hadn’t put any weight on I was not as toned as I was and the shorts felt a bit more snug the first couple of times I wore them – so really be conscious of the size you are ordering as they may not be as comfortable if you get a slightly too small size or alternatively a size that is too big as the compression element won’t work.

There is a sizing chart on the back of the packet and on the website to help you ensure you get the right size.

Summary

So all in all these are my thoughts on the shorts:

Pro’s

  • They didn’t ride up my legs for me which is a major plus point. I have had a number a shorts that did just that and made it really uncomfortable to run in
  • Compression pants – I’m a big fan of these and think they are a real asset to these shorts
  • Drawstring which means you don’t end up with a muffin top and they are not low rising either!
  • There is an inside key pocket to store your key or car fob when running which is good

Cons

  • If you don’t like shorts that are well and truly above the knee then these are not for you
  • They can make you look even curvier if you are an hourglass like me, I felt a little bit self conscious to begin with but am embracing my curves!
  • They are not the cheapest shorts so if you are on a budget these are not for you

You can buy the shorts on RunStopShop‘s site and if you sign up to their newsletter you can get $10 off your order :-) (this was correct at the time of writing the post 12 Nov 15)

Product Review: Running Bare Sports Bra – finding a good sports bra @runstopshop

20 Sep

I don’t know about you (if you are female and reading this) but finding a decent sports bra has always been a tough one. It has either ended up being too small and cutting into me, or too loose and chafing my skin. I had one sports bra that when I was running it completely broke and there I was in the middle of a run thinking ‘ok what do i do now?!?’ – to cut a long story short I walked home and chucked the bra in the bin!

When running it is crucial to run in a decent sports bra. An article from the Daily Mail Australia writes that “Going without the correct support can cause sagging breasts, breast pain and upper back and shoulder problems”.

My friends at RunStopShop have been amazing this year and they asked me if there was anything I would like to try out and I jumped at the chance to try a new running bra – so as a result I got a Running Bare ‘Zip Me Up, Push me up‘ Crop in post as well as some 2XU shorts which I have yet to review. Below is my experience with the bra:

RB Top RB top

Features

  • Yes the bra has features! It has removable cups for those people that don’t need them!
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Easy to get on and off with the zip design

Overall look and feel  

I haven’t tried any Running Bare clothes before as they always looked a bit too jazzy pattern wise for me (I’m pretty boring most of the time but getting better!) but the crop I chose is just beautiful  in colour, look and feel – very happy. It’s a moroon colour with a kind of marl effect and has a zip up the middle. I was a teensy bit worried about the zip and it busting open when running but there is a hook inside to clip into before zipping up. It’s a little bit tricky to hook into place but having run in the bra 3+ times I’m getting used to it!

Comfort

The first time I ran in the crop top I had to fiddle around comfort wise to get the to where I needed it to be but now I am used to it. it is very comfortable and you hardly realise it is there. I like the extra padding too! I need all I can get!  I was worried that it might not hold everything in place enough but it did and I find it really comfortable.

This crop comes in sizes ranging from 8-16. I think if you were any larger than a 16 that it wouldn’t necessarily be the right bra as if you are fairly ample up top you might need something a bit more structured.

Price

The price is not on the cheaper end but is comparable to most technical bras on the market. For me and it is a personal preference I would pay more for a running bra as I have gone cheap too many times now and paid the price in the form of chafing, blisters after races and general discomfort as the fabric was not right.

Summary

I’ll definitely get another one of these crop tops and I was pleasantly surprised at my first experience of a Running Bare top. It’s not for everyone – if you are on the larger size up top I am not convinced it would be the most comfortable although with the removeable cups that might help.

Pros

  • Love the colour and fabric
  • Very comfortable
  • Removable cups for those that need it
  • Easy to put on and off with the zip
  • I had no chafing!
  • Great quality

Cons

  • Hook takes a bit of getting used to and is a little bit fiddly the first couple of times running (or maybe that’s just me lol)
  • Price is higher than the cheaper end product – you do get what you pay for…
  • Not really suitable for ladies with a lot up top I would say – but try without the cups perhaps?

Please note that I was not paid for writing this review and the opinions above are entirely my own and based on my experience with the product.

Product Review: Karma Wellness Water

25 Aug

I’m not the best at drinking water and generally am not great at taking supplements either so when I was sent some Karma Wellness Water to try it was a challenge – water and vitamins!

I’m not a nutritionist or doctor but according to Karma Wellness their research showed that “only 40 per cent of vitamins are absorbed from a multivitamin pill, whereas 90 per cent to 95 per cent of vitamins are consumed when dissolved in liquid”. That’s a pretty big difference!

Karma Wellness Drinks

My three different flavours.

Karma Wellness Drinks - push peel and shake

So you peel the sticker off the lid, push the vitamins down into the drink and shake!

So the idea with the Karma vitamin drinks is that the drink and vitamins are kept separately until ready to drink unlike other vitamin waters. The vitamins are preserved in the cap at the top and when you are ready to drink you peel back the sticker on the cap, press the button to release the vitamins into the water, shake then drink. Easy right!?

So I gave it a go with three flavours they sent to me – an acai one, a mango one and a lime one. The flavours for me were a little bit artificial as I don’t tend to drink soft drinks let alone ones that have added sweeteners like stevia as I am not keen on the taste – but in my head I figured ok this is much needed vitamins I am drinking and it was more palatable:-)

Each bottle contains plenty of vitamins including vitamins A, B3, B5, B6, B12, D and E. They do have added stevia and are only 20 calories a 600ml drink.

Thoughts

Pros

I like the idea in principle – as being someone that generally isn’t great at remembering to drink water and take vitamins it’s a great way to do both.

Great range of flavours that are light and not too heavy like a juice

Handy for the gym bag. All three that I tried I took whilst at the gym after a workout and the drink was refreshing and handy and me being bad at drinking water meant I knew I was getting some fluid in!

Cons

The price if you were to take these regularly would be higher than your average multi vitamins over 30 days

If you aren’t keen on stevia style flavouring you might not like the drink

Sugar free living and running – sugar free bars product review @well_naturally

4 Jun

Whilst I was pregnant I was completely off sugar. I just didn’t want to touch it – whereas normally I had a real sweet tooth so it wasn’t a bad thing actually. Since my son was born a year ago I have made a concerted effort not to eat much sugar and looked into sugar alternatives – as both my husband and I are real believers that less is most definitely more when it comes to sugar. My husband has completely cut sugar out of his diet and I have to an extent but just try to use alternatives and have less than I used to.

Did you know that “the average Australian’s sugar intake is 27 teaspoons per day!”

There are so many fads and diets out there it can be tricky if you are a follower – I tend to take bits from each in terms of what I eat and eat as healthily as I can and avoid sugar and wheat where I can but if I turn up at someones house since these are life choices rather than my being coeliac or anything like that I will eat what I am given:-)

I am no nutritionist but i feel it’s pretty simple – eat little in moderation and as close to coming out of the ground as possible. I don’t normally eat too many carbs but with the marathon coming up I have had to as I was finding I was running out of energy and with sugar I have found with the energy gels etc I have had to have a bit more than normal at this time.

Product review

I have reviewed some low sugar/sugar free products before from Well Naturally but they got in touch with some new products they wanted me to try and yes they too are no added sugar yay. Well Naturally product Review - The Girl That Runs

I am not too good with products that taste artificial hence I don’t eat much protein powder these days – so I wasn’t sure how I would get on with the chocolate mint and the protein bar but below are my honest opinions of the bars that they sent. I don’t get paid – I just get sent things to try and to write about!

Nuts & Seeds Almond Sesame Seed Linseed bar

I took one bite of this and absolutely loved it! It reminds me of some nut bars I used to get from Whole Foods back in the UK. I am not normally a huge nut bar fan but this bar is yum and is wheat and gluten free as well – bonus.

It’s naturally sweetened with stevia and again I don’t normally like stevia as it tastes a bit artificial to me but I didn’t notice it in the bar this time so it gets the thumbs up from me.  There is 1.1g of sugar so very happy with that too unlike a lot of fruit and nut bars out there.

Fruits and Seeds Currant pepita seed sunflower bar 

This bar was a little bit sweet for me because of the extra fruit but it was nice again and the nuts balanced it out a little bit. My definite favourite was the nuts & seeds almond sesame Linseed bar above. Again this is wheat and gluten free and sweetened with stevia although the sugar is a bit higher at 4.2g but probably due to the fruit in the bar. but still only 494kj which is not bad for something with nuts in it.

High Protein mini bar 

I wasn’t a fan of this as it was a little bit artificial and dry for me but my friend tried it, loved it and finished it off! so just shows that one person can like something and someone else not so. If you like protein bars then you would probably like this and it is a great snack and quite small so it would fit into your handbag and be great for after a workout.

No Sugar added dark chocolate with mint 

I’m not a huge fan of dark chocolate so again i wasn’t a big fan of this but again my friend was. The flavour to me was less artificial and tasted like dark chocolate just without so much sugar which was great but like I said I am not a huge dark chocolate fan so i wasn’t that keen. I love Well naturally’s Milk chocolate bar – i reckon if given the chance I would wolf the whole bar down!!

The thing I love about Well naturally is that you can get their products from Coles, Woolworths as well as other places and Target so they are very accessible and nicely priced. Anyway this is just my opinion – go and try for yourself:-)

Reduced Sugar ideas/websites 

I have a few cookbooks I have been using lately that if you are into reducing sugar in your cooking and also eating healthy might be worth a read – the websites are below for the authors:

I Quit Sugar – Sarah Wilson has become a bit of a no sugar leader in the last few years. I have all of her cookbooks and regularly follow her across her social media and agree with her way of thinking 80% of the time:-) Whilst she doesn’t use sugar she generally replaces it with low fructose favourites such as Rice Malt Syrup which I use so technically her desserts are still sweet so if you are avoiding anything sweet just go off sugar or anything sweet such as fruit or sugar replacements completely is my advice*.

Lola Berry – Lola Berry is a recent blogger, cookbook success. I like Lola’s books too as they have some good healthy dishes – i bought both of them but she replaces a lot of the sugar in her recipes for maple syrup and coconut sugar which again is sweet and technically kind of sugar so bear that in mind but she has some greta healthy recipes across the two books that I have cooked and love.

David Gillespie – David wrote  the Sweet Poison books which I found interesting and agree that sugar is bad – but he replaces sugar with xylitol and dextrose so again the food is sweet so it all depends what you are into.

Anyway hope these are helpful. Have a great weekend and Happy Running:-)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,201 other followers