Running With the Bulls!

So I’ve been MIA from the blog for a bit, but my excuse was SPAIN, where I spent a big chunk of July and went running with the bulls in Pamplona!  Easily the craziest thing I have ever done.  Here are some photos of that day as well as footage of our actual run and our post-adrenaline explanation of how it went down.

Running with the Bulls in Pamplona | Simply Fit & Clean

Running With the Bulls

We did it!

In the paper the next day (thankfully not because we got hurt)

In the paper the next day (thankfully not because we got hurt)


OUR RECAP (We are SO TIRED and worn here)


best protein powderWould you ever run with the bulls?  Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share this post with your friends. 

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Which is the Best Protein Powder for Me?

Which is the Best Protein Powder for Me?

While I generally believe the best way to get proper nutrition is with a clean, well balanced diet, protein powder certainly has a value to offer, especially because it’s so convenient and quick to digest.  While traveling, for example, packing a small container of protein powder makes more sense than filling a suitcase with cartons of eggs and chicken breasts.  For answers to some commonly asked questions about protein, check out this article from  So which is the best protein powder?  Well, that depends. 

Which is the Best Protein Powder for Me? | Simply Fit & Clean

Best Protein Powder

The best protein powder for you depends on what you are trying to accomplish and your dietary restrictions.  LA Fitness posted a great blog answer this topic in detail.  Click here to read it in full.  The abbreviated recommendations are:

For self-proclaimed non-cookers: Egg protein/Albumin 

For vegetarians: Casein or soy

For regular exercisers/muscle building: Whey

For weight loss: Hemp

For allergy sufferers: Brown rice or pea

So the next time you’re in the store or online searching for the best protein powder, first ask what your goals and/or restrictions are and pick from there.

But isn’t protein powder gross? Yes, sometimes it is.  Thankfully we live in the Information Age and can easily avoid the worst of the flavors based on online reviews and recommendations.  Here are some well-liked flavors:

Chocolate powder:

best protein powder

BSN Syntha-6 Isolate

Vanilla powder:

best protein powder

Dymatize Elite Fusion 7

Strawberry powder:

Peanut Butter Powder: 

Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder, Chocolate Peanut Butter


Whichever flavor you pick, don’t forget to pick up a blender cup or personal blender for perfect consistency.  Even powders with great flavor are hard to stomach if they aren’t well mixed. 

Why protein shakes? Modern science has shown that muscle building can be substantially enhanced by boosting protein intake, especially immediately following a workout. Just be cautious not to undo your hard work by selecting a sugary powder high in calories.

best protein powder Do you have a recommendation for the best protein powder? A tried and true favorite? Mention it in the comments.  Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share this beach workout with your friends.

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

adidas Summer Sale: Up to 50% Off Over 1,000 Items
If you’ve put off shopping for your summer sports wear until now, you have just hit the jackpot. The adidas Summer Sale is on and you can get up to 50% off of over 1,000 items! Running shoes, basketball gear, soccer cleats, swimwear—for men, women and kids—everything an athletic family needs to participate in a summer of activity. This sale lasts as long as the supplies, so don’t wait or before you know it, just like summer, the sale will be over.

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Beach Workout by Neila Ray

Beach Workout by Neila Ray

I came across this great piece – a beach workout by Neila Rey- and it’s too perfect for the beginning of summer.  Let’s be honest. Male or female, very few people look forward to bathing suit shopping. I love the beach but I don’t always love the feeling of not being able to hide much! With this beach workout by Neila Ray, you can get your body toned up before flopping on a beach towel.Beach Workout by Neila Ray | Simply Fit & Clean

I plan on spending a lot of time at the beach this summer, so I need to keep this in my glove box.  Neila Ray is a great resource for printable, portable, free workouts all centered on different themes like “Matrix” and “Minecraft.”  Click HERE for her workout card collection.

Do you have a favorite summer workout (other than this beach workout by Neila Ray of course)? Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share this beach workout with your friends.

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Eat This Much

Eat This Much

I came across a cool service today I wanted to share with my readers: Eat This Much. 

Automatic meal planner, Eat This Much, makes healthy choices easy! | Simply Fit & Clean

Eat this much
From their site:

Eat This Much automatically creates meal plans with your personalized nutrition targets, food preferences, and budget, and then sends them to you every week with a grocery list.

I went to and put in 1400 calories over 4 meals, and this is what my results look like: Eat This Much It’s a list of meals with calorie breakdowns and the macronutrients calculated for the day.  Click on the meal and it takes you to a recipe page.  Each recipe can be personalized, especially useful if you’re making the meal for more/less people.  The personalization options include:  

      •  Set units to metric
      • Specific diets: Atkins, Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan, Mediterranean, Zone, Custom, and Recommended
      • Macronutrient target (carbs, fats, and proteins)
      • Micronutrient target (sodium, cholesterol, fiber)
      • Filters to eliminate unwanted foods (like “no red meat” or “no eggplant.”)
      • Meals per day
      • Meal complexity
      • Meal prep time
      • Meal cost

All of the above is FREE, but there is a subscription plan for $7 a month that will send full meal plans to your inbox every week including shopping lists.  The subscription also allows you to customize meals for a given day, like adding more calories for exercise days, and plan for leftovers.

Have you ever tried Eat This Much? It seems like a great option if planning meals is hindering your ability to eat healthy. Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share Eat This Much with your friends.

*This is not a sponsored post*

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Healthy Habits to Implement Today

Yes, I love infographics.  Today’s graphic on healthy habits comes from Mashable:

Healthy Habits to Implement Today

Busy Mom Workout

Do you have any tips for healthy habits in your life? Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share these healthy habits with your friends.

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Can a Busy Mom Workout? Fitting It In

Can a Busy Mom Workout?

I’ve been lagging a bit behind on posting this week for two reasons. First, I recently started a great new job at Camino Information Services, an IT Solutions company here in Houston, so I’m figuring out a new equilibrium.  Second, I have been spending my evenings reading the Divergent series.  I can’t help it.  I’m a bandwagonner.  So this week I wanted to talk about how hard it is to get in a Mom Workout, whether you have one kid or five kids, a full time job outside of the house or are home with the kids full time.  Here are a few tips I have used personally or my friends have used to get some mom workout time.

Can a Busy Mom Workout? 5 Tips for Fitting it In | Simply Fit & Clean

Of course this doesn’t just apply to mothers but also fathers and anyone who has to worry about caring for children as part of their schedule. A blogger’s gotta do her SEO.

1) Gym Membership with Child Care

This is my personal favorite busy mom workout option because it comes with a much needed break.  The drawback is the price per month as well as travel to and from the gym.

2) Workout Before the Kids Wake

After they go to bed is also an option, but it’s better to workout at least a few hours before bed time so you are able to fall asleep easily.  A lot of my friends do workout DVDs like P90x or run on a home treadmill before the little ones get out of bed.  Some even wake pre-5am if their kids are early risers.  Now that’s dedication.

3) Depend on Your Significant Other

When I was training for the half marathon I was fortunate to have a very supportive husband who would take the kids for 2 or 3 hours on a Sunday morning while I ran.  If you are lucky like me and have someone supportive in your life, hand the kids over and get in that mom workout.

4) Involve the Kids

There are lots of ways to involve your children in exercising with a side bonus of teaching them life-long healthy habits.  Some options are running with a jogging stroller, dedicating a set amount of time to jumping on the trampoline with them (set a timer so you don’t quit early because that is a tough workout,) family bike rides, and games that involve lots of running like tag.

5) Wearable Tech

If setting aside a block of time dedicated to a busy mom workout isn’t feasible, try a fitness band like a Fitbit and set a good goal that is ambitious but not out of reach. Busy Mom Workout

Do you have any tips for getting in your busy mom workout? Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share these 5 tips to fit in a busy mom workout with your friends.

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7 Tips for Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau

7 Tips for Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau

Most people who have had to lose weight for whatever reason have experienced the dreaded weight loss plateau.  Things are moving along steadily, a few pounds down a month, habits are being formed, and then bam.  A wall.  The scale stops moving in the direction you need it to move for no apparent reason.  Here are a few tips to help breaking through the weight loss plateau.

7 Tips for Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau

1) Don’t weigh yourself too often 

Maybe that’s cheating since it won’t actually help you lose any weight, but it is an important step to make sure your monitoring has consistency.  If you have a scale in your bathroom and step on it every time you walk in the room, put it away.  Knowing generally how much you weigh is a good thing, but knowing how much you way at every second is not healthy and invites eating disorders and body dysmorphia.  Weigh yourself ONCE per week, at the same time of day. Weighing constantly might disguise an overall trend by the constant (and normal) fluctuations it reveals.

2) Add strength training 

A very, very common mistake in the weight loss game is to focus entirely on cardio.  If weight loss means burning more calories than you take in, then it makes sense that more cardio means more weight loss because it burns the most calories, right?  Not quite.  More important to long term weight loss is raising your Basal Metabolic Rate, also known as “how many calories you burn when doing nothing at all.”  Muscles use a lot of calories when resting, so building muscle along with a solid cardio plan helps your efforts continue long after you step off the elliptical. 

3) Switch up your routine

Do you have a great, healthy breakfast you love so much you eat it every day?  Do you always go to the gym at the same time and do the same workout?  These aren’t bad habits per se, but if you’ve hit a weight loss plateau it is worth exploring the concept of changing things up a bit.  Try different healthy foods, go to the gym at a different time of day, and hop on a different machine while you’re there.  Sometimes your body just needs to shake things up.

4) Try a cleanse

I am not a fan of long term juicing, but there is definite value to trying something that is both different and difficult for a few days.  Just last week I did a two day “juice fast” because I was eating a ton of junk food and needed to reset things a bit.  If juice isn’t your thing, try smoothies, a “fruits and veggies only” cleanse, or going meat-free.  For me it just helps me get my mind cleared out and focused on my long terms goals again.

5) Move more

Outside of dedicated exercise time, try to work movement more into your daily schedule.  If you work in an office setting, rather than standing in the break room with a cup of coffee, spend your break walking around the halls.  If you spend your days caring for children, make an effort to get more involved in their physical activities, like with a game of tag or a dance party.  Moving more often will help keep your metabolism up and burning for longer periods during the day.


Lack of sleep is guilty of a multitude of crimes, including causing the weight loss plateau.  Regular, consistent, undisturbed sleep keeps the body regulated and functioning properly.  (Sorry everyone with small children.)

7) Drink more water

Another point I harp on consistenly here at Simply Fit & Clean is the importance of drinking enough water.  Water helps keep all the body parts working properly.  It helps fight cravings.  Being properly hydrated helps ward off illnesses that can hamper your efforts.  Check out THIS infographic if you need more convincing on the amazingness of water. Do you have any tips for breaking the weight loss plateau? Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share these 7 tips for breaking through a weight loss plateau with your friends.

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What I’m Loving in BLUE Fitness Gear – Light it Up for Autism

Let’s see some BLUE fitness gear! Autism Speaks has designated April as “Autism Awareness Month” and encourages everyone to “Light it Up Blue” to shine a light on Autism.  I decided to light this blog post blue with links to some cute, blue fitness gear that has caught my eye.*

What I'm Loving in Fitness Fashion - Light it Up Blue for Autism (Fundraiser) | Simply Fit & Clean


Nike Premier Wristbands   

I  never understood sweat bands until I started running in Houston when it gets warm. OH the Hu-MIDITY.  Sweat bands are awesome for mopping sweat off the face and keeping it from stinging your eyes without having to carry a towel.

Columbia Fusion I2o Half Zip      

We are mostly back to tank tops and shorts down in the American South, but I imagine a lot of the country has spring weather where a wicking half-zip would be perfect for a walk or run.  (Also only $12 on Amazon for a quality brand like Columbia?  Don’t mind if I do.)

Athleta Sweetness Skort

Admission: I love working out in these type of skorts because they are fitted enough for comfort but don’t show so much that I can’t run to the grocery store in my workout clothes after. Athleta is a great brand to find your blue fitness gear. 

adidas Unincorporated Tee      

I can’t help it, I love a man in a well-fitted shirt, especially one by adidas.

Nike Free 4.0 Print (Women)

A minimalist running shoe that is just plain pretty. (Men’s version here.)

Saucony Ride 6 Running Shoes (Men)   

Saucony Ride 6 are a great shoe for distance runners who opt for comfort cushion over minimalist.  (Also available for women.)

Toddler New Balance 420 Sneaker

My daughter got a pair of New Balance sneakers and calls them “my run-so-fast shoes!” Even in kids, new blue fitness gear is a fun excuse to get moving.

Forever 21 Triple Blocked Workout Capris   

I’m kind of feeling dumb I didn’t know Forever 21 made workout clothes.  Time for a trip to the mall to get pants like these (but blue.)

PUMA Archetype Backpack    

Perfect for people like me who prefer a small gym bag that I can keep at my workout station if I need to.

Nike Golf Tech Colorblock Polo    

I love these wicking polos for the summer.  And colorblocked?  Where have I heard that is on trend…?

Polar FT2      

An affordable heart rate monitor good for running, gym work, or at-home workouts. As

I’ve mentioned before on this blog, Autism Speaks is my favorite foundation, and I am happy for the chance to offer some support.  If you would like to donate directly to their cause, please click HERE and learn how. Also, be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to help light it up for Autism. 

*These products are linked through my affiliate program at ShopStyle.  Any profit generated through this post will be donated to Autism Speaks. This is not a request to click links.  Please only visit the product site if you have interest in the items linked. 

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What Does 200 Calories Look Like? by asapScience

We are just rolling in from a lovely (and exhausting) weekend of camping, and I returned to find this lovely video and accompanying link in my inbox asking me “What does 200 calories look like?”

 What Does 200 Calories Look Like? | Simply Fit & Clean

“This is 200 Calories” by asapScience, which incidentally makes a lot of great, easy to watch videos to make you feel a little smarter in less than five minutes.

If you’d rather see 200 calorie comparisons in picture form, click HERE to visit wiseGEEK for a bunch of “what 200 calories looks like” photos.  200 calories isn’t some sort of magic number, just an example to show how junk foods, oils, and refined carbs can spike your calorie intake without making you feel very full (since they take up almost no room in your stomach.) This photo comparing 400 calorie servings is another good demonstration of that point: Caloric Density So if you’re feeling snacky and monitoring your weight, consider filling up on a clean option like apples or grapes where you get a whole bowl full guilt free instead of a half a candy bar with a hard-to-resist second half.  If your healthy options are limited, pay attention to portions.  A bottle of sugary cola and a bag of chocolate candies will feel like a snack in your stomach but contains the same calories as a full meal.

What’s your favorite healthy snack? Enjoyed finding the answer to “what does 200 calories look like?” Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share the what 200 calories really looks like.

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10 Bad Exercise Habits to Break

10 Bad Exercise Habits to Break

Time Magazine recently published “10 Exercise Cheats to Blow Your Calorie Burn,” click HERE to read the full contents.  If you feel like you’ve been working and working to reach the next level but aren’t making any progress, you might have fallen into some bad exercise habits. Breaking those bad habits can help you break through a plateau, exercise more efficiently, and better prevent injury. Here is there list of ten things to avoid while exercising:

Stuck at a plateau? Here are 10 Bad Exercise Habits to Break (pin now, read later) | Simply Fit & Clean

  1. Swinging movements – maintaining control through a move increases effectiveness, especially in weight lifting
  2. Holding the handles – letting your arms swing on the treadmill or elliptical encourages calorie burn
  3. Short stretches – stretching moves should be non-bouncy and held for 20-30 seconds each, not 2-3 seconds
  4. Waiting for equipment – if someone else is using your machine or weights, find something else to do
  5. Stretching between exercises – stretching mid-routine can decrease the amount of weight you can lift immediately after
  6. Not pushing through the tough times – if you want to run for a full minute, run for the FULL MINUTE.  Staying in the comfort zone makes change harder to realize “Tell yourself, ‘I am strong’ or ‘I can do this’ to get through tough spots.”
  7. Skipping warm up or cool down – arrive to classes on time and don’t leave early (same applies to workout DVDs)
  8. Reading/Texting/Facebook on a machine – if you are moving slow enough to read comfortably, it’s probably too slow and un-focused
  9. Channel flipping – entertainment is great for a workout, but if you spend half your gym time finding the right channel or album, you probably aren’t working out as much as you think you are (think: I exercised for an hour! reality: I was at the gym for an hour and exercised for twenty minutes)
  10. Not enough time spent in high-intensity mode – the “fat burning zone” is sort of a deceiving name

…while 60% of the calories you burn come from fat at a low intensity and only 35% come from fat at a higher intensity, you burn more calories total at the higher intensity, which is the by far more important factor for weight loss.

Have you had to overcome any bad exercise habits? Be sure to subscribe to the blog, like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, and use the social media buttons below this post to share the 10 bad exercise habits to break with your friends.

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