Review: Manitoba Harvest Pro70

These past several months, I've begun to pay a lot more attention to what and when I eat and how it affects me throughout the day. Not just out on a run, but at work and at home.  I drink protein shakes as either a meal replacement or as a supplement on days with long training runs. 

I'm perpetually on the hunt for something that is healthy, satisfying, and tastes good.

There are four factors I had to consider:
  • First of all, I have a sensitive stomach. And running will often trigger it. 

  • I know what I can have during my runs: coconut water or plain water to drink, Clif Shot Blocks for fuel.  Anything else is a gamble.  But for a long while, I was still working out what is the best thing to have before a run.

  •  Second, I can't run (or function at all) on a completely empty stomach.  But some mornings a banana or a toasted English muffin with nut butter is just too much food.  A shake or a small protein-packed snack is what I need.

  • Third, I've embraced a plant based diet. And I don't think I've ever felt better.  Plant-based eating is a diet focused around plant foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

This also means zero animal products: no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatin, or other animal by-product.  As a long-time vegetarian (20+ years), I don't miss meat, but I was unprepared for how great I felt eliminating dairy and eggs.

  • Four, I don't have a lot of time - but I don't want breakfast from a drive-thru either.  As much as I would love to whip up pancakes from scratch every morning, it isn't going to happen.  Now, a lot of  my Disney Princess fantasies have come true, but the forest creatures doing the cooking and cleaning?  I'm still waiting for that one...  So, yes - ease of preparation is key.

Manitoba Harvest recently partnered with Fit Approach's Sweat Pink Ambassador team, and I was one of the lucky ones to receive a sample of their Hemp Pro 70 protein powder.  I got two flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla.  It's no secret I love chocolate - so I wanted to try this one right away.

But before I tore into my samples, I asked myself does this fit all of my criteria above?

A quick perusal of the Manitoba Harvest turned up this:

Choose HempPro 70 if….
  • You’re an athlete looking for a pre or post workout protein shake.
  • You’re experiencing bloating and/or an unsettled stomach from other protein powders.
  • You’re used to a whey protein and curious to try a plant-based protein powder, such as hemp.
  • You want nutrition on the go! HempPro 70 is the only water soluble hemp protein powder on the market. This means you can literally throw it in a shaker cup with some water and take it with you on the road.
  • You’re looking to add extra protein to your diet. HempPro 70 has 20 grams of protein per 30 gram serving - our highest protein powder option.

Yep - that fits all my criteria, and then some!  So I decided to make something really simple with my samples.

Three ingredients:

  • Rice Milk, 6 oz.
  • Chia Seeds (whole, not ground), 1 heaping tablespoon
  • Hemp70 chocolate powder, one serving

1) Pour into two or three small reusable containers. 
2) Refrigerate overnight.

No need to blend - HempPro70 is water-soluble, remember?

The next morning, you have a chocolatey superfood treat with enough protein to fuel you through lunch.

Yes, that's it.  Doesn't get any easier. 

Learn more about Manitoba Harvest and their hemp protein shakes at the following links.
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Also, if you order either the chocolate or vanilla Hemp Pro 70 from the Manitoba Harvest website, use the code:  SWEATPINKPRO70  for 20% off your order.

Disclosure of Material Connection: No financial compensation was received.  Through my affiliation with Fit Approach, I received product from Manitoba Harvest in exchange for this review. Regardless, this blog only recommends products or services we believe will be good for our readers. All opinions stated on this blog are our own. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How We Beat the Blerch (Virtually)

So this past weekend, there was a highly anticipated race: the Inaugural Beat the Blerch Marathon, Half Marathon, & 10K in Carnation, Washington.  Originally planned to be a marathon, the interest was such that a half and a 10K event were added in the planning stages.  Then, the race sold out in record time - faster than a runDisney event - kind of record time, so a second day was added.  And that sold out in record time.  And a virtual race option was added - and that allowed Blerch fans far and wide to participate. 

Disney race events are, of course inspired by cartoon characters.  Similarly, the inspiration behind the Beat the Blerch event is a character from an online comic.  The Oatmeal is a popular digital comic by Matthew Inman.  One of the cartoonist's recurring themes is endurance running, based in part on his own experience taking up the sport.  A central character in the comic is "The Blerch" - a fat little cherub that follows you when you run. The Blerch "represents all forms of gluttony, apathy, and indifference".  For the whole story, you can find Inman's epic comic here.

The impish Blerch has been embraced by the running community. This is due in no small part to the hilarious nature of the comics themselves, but also to what the Blerch represents - the little devil on your shoulder:  tempting you with fatty, salty, sugary snacks, and encouraging laziness.

We were unable to get to Carnation, Washington for the Beat the Blerch race.  But we were thrilled when a virtual run option became available. This allowed us to Beat the Blerch, right in our backyard.  We were not the only ones in Tallahassee to sign up. We found a Facebook event for a locally organized Blerch run. It would be run on Sept 20th - the same day as the actual race in Carnation, Washington.

Race day approached and our packets arrived: tech shirt, stickers, magnets, a 'squeezeball' Blerch, a bib, and a really adorable Blerch medal.  Because we would be missing out on the cake, Nutella, and other snacks at the Inaugural event, they even included gummi bears and cupcake lipbalm - so we wouldn't feel completely left out.  As far as virtual runs go, this was excellent swag.

Race day arrived and we set out to meet our fellow Beat the Blerch runners.  As we arrived at the designated trail, a child's birthday party was being set up in the adjacent playground.  You know birthday parties mean one thing:  Birthday Cake!    The Blerch was hard at work here: encouraging us to do a run by and snag the cake. But in the end we decided against it.  But only because we brought our own!

mmmm CAKE!

The organizers laid out three courses: a 5K, 10K and a 12K.  There were no other takers on running a half (or full)  so I decided to run the 12K. The routes were all well marked on one of our favorite trails: Lafayette Heritage Trail at Tom Brown Park.  

Before the start, (in true Blerch fashion) they told us cookies would be available at the finish.  DisneyBride and I had brought some Blerch-approved fuel/recovery snacks to share.  I didn't fuel with one, but I did have a Zinger at the finish later, and it was delicious.  

Our puppy, Magnus the TrailDog made his race debut!  He ran with DisneyBride and she said he had fun.  Perhaps a bit too much as he was extremely excited to run with a bigger group than usual.

The organizers were kind enough to have a timer at the start/finish area. They also provided a water station at the 2.5K mark. Having course support like this was fantastic! 

Super awesome Blerchy touch from the organizers: at the turnaround for the 5K, they kept telling everyone they had run enough and we should just stop running.  They also notified us that they would be happy to give everyone a ride back to the cookies at the finish line.  Why run when cookies are waiting to be eaten?

Magnus enjoys the aid station

DisneyBride ran with our friend Michelle.  They covered 4.5 miles of the trail.  Since I am in the middle of training for the 2015 Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles of runDisney awesomeness), I had planned back to back training runs this weekend.  Of the three distances offered I decided to run the 12K, which would pair nicely with the 13 mile run the following day.  This Beat the Blerch virtual was a great way to get in some back to back runs.  I had some blistering from my shoes, but other than that, I crossed the finish line feeling pretty good, and of course - hungry for cookies and cake.

More Snacks! More Snacks! More Snacks. 
Who is that on my shoulder?
This is most of the group from Saturday, a few of the 5K runners finished early and are not pictured here.

Beat the Blerch - Tallahassee Edition

After we finished up at the park, we headed to lunch with a friend.  
Blerch Bling was proudly worn.  Cold beverages were enjoyed.

 And yes, DB even got me my very own  magical purple drink

We have heard that Beat the Blerch is expanding next year to the East Coast, so we are keeping an eye out for that.  If not, it would be great to run with the group again next year.  I may even come up with a Blerch suit to wear.

See you on the trails!
~ DisneyGroom

Are you a fan of The Oatmeal?

What is your favorite post-race snack?

Have you ever run a virtual race?

Kicking it off with The Color Run

We are kicking off our fall running events with The Color Run!
Here we are at the "Yellow" station. 

A year ago, we attended our first The Color Run event.  We ran with friends and you can see by the end result - we had a great time! 

Amy, DisneyGroom, DisneyBride, Chaney

We had so much fun, we plan to run again this Saturday, September 13th, in Tallahassee! 

By now, most of you know what a color run event is, but here is the rundown.

The Color Run™ is known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet.  The event is an 5K (3.1 miles) fun run event.  The event is untimed - so whether you race your friends or walk the course with your kids - you are guaranteed a good time.   There is nothing but smiles and laughter at The Color Run.


Everyone is welcome! Kids ages 6 and older must register and get  their own bib. Kids 5 and under can run with an adult FREE of charge and do not need to register.

This year, they have added the Kaleidoscope Tour and there is some pretty cool swag to be had.  Yes, race participants get these goodies in their registration packets.

As always, expect a cool finish line party with dancing, music, snacks, and some neat giveaways.   Also be sure to keep an eye out for the famous The Color Run  Runicorn!  Yep, a running unicorn.  I spotted him last year sending off our corral and then later, leading a dance-off on stage.  Yep - Runicorn has some serious moves.
Hmm... what else....
The Color Run will provide you with a white tee - but feel free to be creative with your outfits   -  I wore angel wings last year and DG wore a big sombrero.  Since you will get blasted with color - a white outfit will get you the maximum results.
Find a The Color Run event near you and sign up here.

Save a few bucks:

  • Enter COLOR5OFF  to get $5 off your registration.  Code is valid in any city that is not sold out. 
  • Register for a team of 4 or more and save $5 on each registration. Add the Promo Code COLOR5OFF and save $10!

Other questions?:  Check out the FAQs here:

Follow The Color Run on social media

Disclosure of Material Connection: No financial compensation was received. We  received complimentary passes in exchange for this post. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will be good for our readers. All opinions stated on this blog are our own. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Will you be running a The Color Run event this fall?  If you are in Tallahassee, please say hello when you see us this Saturday!