Washing Stinky Activewear? No Sweat

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Fitness Gear

Washing Stinky Activewear? No Sweat

NO SWEAT LAUNDRY DETERGENT

What It Is: High-potency, eco-friendly laundry detergent specifically for your workout clothes and activewear. Promises to banish B.O. from your fine fitness fabrics while protecting clothing from pilling or colour-fading.

What You Might Not Know: No Sweat is the only “green” laundry wash for fitness and sportswear that’s also certified as environmentally friendly. A little is all you need – they recommend 1 oz. per load. And in addition to laundry detergent, there’s a yoga-mat spritz cleaner, allowing you to enjoy wafts of freesia during Down Dog.

Feelin’ the Love: I dig this product, but it took me a load or two to clue in that I didn’t know what a 1 oz. application looks like (2 Tablespoons). Even with my high-efficiency washing machine, I was being too stingy on soap. Still, my clothes came out smelling really pretty, either like Sweet Freesia (my favourite) or refreshing Citrus Rush.

Ready to get personal? Truth be told, my fitness clothes generally smell OK even after a major sweatfest. For me, sudsing up my lycra with No Sweat is about getting them clean and fresh for my next workout.

Odor aside, what I love best about this product is how it makes my clothes feel. Yes, feel. No Sweat promises to treat your fitness clothes well in the wash. And it does. I never put exercise garments in the dryer, so as I’m hanging them on the clothes rack post-wash, I take a moment to appreciate how soft – almost luxurious – they feel compared to when I use a standard laundry detergent.

If I Could Change One Thing: Well, my dog sheds and his fur sticks stubbornly to the No Sweat plastic bottle sitting on the floor of my laundry cupboard. It’s strange, but no fault of the No Sweat company.

If I could change one other thing, I’d want to correct the typos I spotted on the product bottles.

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Should You Buy It: Yes. It costs a little more than some other laundry detergent, so you have to really love laundry. Which I do.

Other reasons to buy No Sweat: You care about the environment. You care about keeping your pricey fitness clothes looking and feeling like new. You care about smelling nice at the gym.

Cost: $36.99 will get you 4X 500ML/16-load bottles; prices vary according to product size; www.NoSweatLaundry.com

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Chocolate, Goji Berry Energy Bites

peanut_butter_bitzPROTEIN MINI BITZ     (April 15/13 update: The company just sent me an email saying their new name is KEWAZA.)

What It Is: Decadent, chocolatey energy balls that are also good for you because of super-food ingredients such as organic dark chocolate, unpasteurized honey, gojo berries, hemp protein, flax seed and more. These protein-packed snacks hit plenty of today’s health-food buzz words: gluten-free, raw, dairy-free, organic. Plus, no eggs, no added sugar. Comes in peanut butter (45 calories/ball) or coconut (70 calories/ball) flavors.

What You Might Not Know: Gojo berries=a complete source of protein.

Feelin’ the Love:  This was a love-at-second-bite experience for me. My first bite of the peanut butter Protein Mini Bitz Kewaza was, like, “Hmm, this is good. But I bet a chocolate truffle full of fat and sugar would be better.” Then came bite #2. Very tasty. Bite #3. Downright delicious!

Protein Mini Bitz Kewaza are bite-size, but pretty rich, so one is more than enough to satisfy a day’s worth of chocolate cravings. They aren’t what I’d reach for to fuel a workout, but they’re a satisfying and healthy alternative to treats full of junk.

Apart from feeling good about eating a slew of natural ingredients, I was especially drawn to the texture: a cross between fresh fudge and a slab of high-quality chocolate. Goji berries rolled into each ball added just the right amount of chewy, tangy sweetness.

coconut_bitzMy final testament to the power of these goodies: I have just as many good things to say about their coconut flavor, and I don’t even like coconut.

If I Could Change One Thing:  Availability. After I agreed to test-drive this product, I found out they’re only available on store shelves in Toronto, or you can order online.

If I could waltz into a Toronto store and pick up a bag, I would. But I was disappointed to discover that shipping charges to the rest of Canada (I can’t tell if they ship to the U.S. and elsewhere) are about three times the cost of the product (see below).

Should You Buy It? Toronto residents: yes. Everyone else: Prepare to spend $15.99 in shipping for a $5.99 product. Buy in bulk for a better deal on shipping.

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Weight Loss Book: Yes, You Do Have Time to Work Out

THE THIN IN 10 WEIGHT-LOSS PLAN

What It Is: Thin in 10 (Sunrise River Press, 2012) is a weight-loss system in a book. The idea is to reach your fitness and weight-loss goals 10 minutes at a time. The program involves three pillars: exercise, diet and lifestyle. You get chapters on exercise plans with how-to photos (e.g., walking, circuits, strength, core, etc.). There’s another section with recipes, and a third section about making simple lifestyle changes.

What You Might Not Know: Tucked away on the inside back cover is a surprise! It’s a free fitness DVD led by one of the authors, best-selling DVD instructor Jessica Smith. Pop in the DVD for six 10-minute workouts that add variety and motivation to what’s already in the book. Nice bonus.

Feelin’ the Love: I’m already a fan of the authors Jessica Smith and Liz Neporent. Both women are established, credentialed fitness experts who are skilled at putting together safe and dependable exercise plans. For that reason, I was on board with the book’s content right away. But what stands out most is the simple yet thorough presentation.

Here’s what I think: Extrapolating an entire exercise plan from the pages of a book can easily become confusing for readers. Not the case with Thin in 10. Packaged like a giant, uber-organized magazine article, this book takes you through the routines with clear instructions and lots of helpful sidebars (“Bra Basics,” anyone? How about “Ten Easy Ways to Trim Calories from Your Diet without Noticing a Thing”?).

I also love the “Simplify It” and “Advance It” graphics, highlighting how you can scale back or push yourself in the workouts. That’s important for being able to personalize the exercises.

If I Could Change One Thing: I appreciate the dietitian-approved recipes in this book. They all sound yummy. But as a reluctant chef, I need to see the meal in living color – displayed in a glossy magazine or back-lit on my iPad – before I’m moved to make it. (Am I alone in this?)

The recipe pages in Thin in 10 are all text – not as tantalizing for me. Although … I suppose I could be convinced to whip up the photo-less Fluffy Frittata on page 159 …

Should You Buy It? If you need inspiration and expert advice for dropping pounds and exercising with purpose, then yes. Thin in 10 is 224 pages of useful guidance and motivation for losing weight and living well. Plus, it comes with that free workout DVD, don’t forget.

Cost: $24.95

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Running, Walking Routes: iPhone App & GPS

WalkJogRun iPhone App 

What It Is: An amazingly comprehensive iPhone app for tracking the walking and running routes around you (its database contains more than a million routes worldwide). Follow the app’s suggested nearby routes based on time or distance (less than a mile all the way up to 20 or 30 miles and beyond). Or, create your own route and save it in the app.

Other features include a place to log your training sessions, calorie-burn estimates, pace tracker and, my favorite, GPS tracking, accurately displaying where you are along the route.

And since any exercise app wouldn’t be complete without the ability to share your workout results on Facebook and Twitter, this app has that, too. “Dear Facebook friends, here’s where I ran today.”

What You Might Not Know: This one’s for Apple folks only right now. But there’s an Android version in the works, according to a recent press release from WalkJogRun.

Feelin’ the Love: I’m not much of a runner, but I walk my dog every day. With this app, I now know how far we actually go – and it’s more than I would have guessed! Who knew our favorite jaunt along the seawall in Vancouver clocks in at 2.5 miles (that’s 4 km, people!).

This app comes with lots of “gadgety” bells and whistles, so if you love gadgets, you’ll love what WalkJogRun has to offer. Trying to figure out gadgets makes my brain freeze, so the highlight for me is the cool feedback: How far I’ve walked and at what point I hit mile 1, mile 2, and so on. The GPS tracking also instills confidence and motivation on less-familiar routes.

If I Could Change One Thing: Usually people try out the “lite” version of an app then buy one with more functions and features. I’d love the opposite with this app – bring on the “lite”! I’ll pay for it.

Why? This app’s got a lot of “gadget” appeal, and that makes my brain freeze, remember? I just happen to love the basics best: mapped-out route, mileage, time, GPS, go!

Should You Buy It: Unequivocally, yes. It’s quite illuminating – and motivating – to see just how far you actually run or walk while tracking yourself along the way.

This is a valuable tool for your own workouts, or, if you’re a personal trainer, for helping clients get a better sense of what they’re actually doing out there with their walk/run workouts. Get it at the App Store, iTunes or the link below.

Cost: $4.99; WalkJogRunApp.com

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