Sneaker Review: Asics GEL-Fit Sana

Today we’re talking about these fun new kicks:

Asics Gel-Fit Sana

Through my relationship with Fitfluential, I was recently sent a pair of the new Asics GEL-Fit Sana sneakers. These are a women’s training shoe, and I was more than happy to welcome them into my ever-growing collection.

Asics GEL-Fit Sana

The first thing I noticed when I took these shoes out of the box was how lightweight they were. Designed with a smooth inner lining and lightweight, low-profile midsole, the GEL-Fit Sana proves a barefoot-like sensation. They actually only weigh 5.6 ounces!

Asics GEL-Fit Sana

Because of the stretchable mesh upper and MONO-SOCK® upper construction, the sneaks seriously fit my feet like a glove. I think the sock-like fit is because the GEL-Fit Sana has an elastic internal sleeve instead of a traditional tongue like most sneakers do. Since these are not designed to be a running shoe, I tested them out during my lifts and cross training at the gym over the past few weeks.

Asics Gel-Fit Sana

I really like how lightweight and flexible they’ve been during my workouts, but they are definitely more suitable for cross training than they are for weight lifting. Also, one thing Tim and I were laughing about is that you could totally see my awkward toe spacers through the mesh. Minor detail, but since I love awkward things, I just had to point it out. One last thing to mention about these sneakers are that they are versatile enough to wear around before or after your workouts. I don’t tend to pair many of my workout sneaks with jeans, but these are lightweight and comfy enough that I think I could wear them walking around town or doing errands. A shoe that I can wear with leggings or my everyday pants sounds good to me!

Asics GEL-Fit Sana

If you are interested in trying out the GEL-Fit Sana, they are available online for $80 and come in six different colors. I like my pink and purple ones, but I think the teal and navy and white combo is calling my name next. Also, for what it’s worth, these sneakers shipped immediately and I had no issues with the Asics online ordering process.

Let me know if you decide to try these out!

–Let’s chat–
Do you own a pair of Asics sneakers? What color sneakers do you tend to gravitate toward? Is having a versatile sneaker that you can wear for both your workouts and errands important to you?

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential on behalf of Asics.

Just Add Cooking: Review, Discount, and Giveaway

You know what I think is a growing trend? Companies that deliver food and products right to your home to take the hassle out of having to do it yourself. Don’t you agree? I feel like you can get almost anything straight to your doorstep these days.

I recently had the pleasure of trying my first meal kit delivery service through a Boston-based company called Just Add Cooking. Basically, the company delivers a box of ingredients and recipes directly to your door every Sunday. Every ingredient in the box is portioned to the recipe, and you get mostly everything you need to make it, so there is no waste or need to buy full jars or packages of things you’ll likely only use once or twice in the kitchen. Their philosophy is that all you have to do is “just add cooking.”

Last week was the perfect week to try this out, since I was so busy studying for my test. Time saver!

Just Add Cooking

As always, I get super giddy when I get deliveries right to the front door. Along with the box drop off, I received a text message letting me know my goodies had arrived. I thought this was a nice touch.

Just Add Cooking

The food in the box was packaged very neatly, with all the ingredients perfectly measured out. The only ingredients that aren’t included are the basics (salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil, vegetable oil, and corn starch).

Just Add Cooking

Some of the ingredients were placed straight in the box, some were sealed tight in baggies, and the main perishable items such as the meat and fish came in an insulated bag with ice. The package also had a few envelopes, one that held the spices and another that held our weekly recipe instructions and newsletter. Everything was labeled too, which I think would be helpful for newbies who may not be able to visually tell the difference between something like parsley and cilantro.

Just Add Cooking

Earlier in the week, Tim and I went on the Just Add Cooking website to peruse our meal options. Every week there are seven meals to choose from, and three are always vegetarian. Since the company only delivers on Sundays, you must have your selections made by the previous Wednesday. We opted for the Mexican cod, the couscous marrakech, and the quinoa with shittake mushrooms.

Each meal came with a recipe that displayed a picture of the finished product, a list of ingredients you need, and a dinner timeline of when sequentially to do each step. As someone who likes things in a list and organized format, I obviously found this very helpful.

Just Add Cooking

My favorite meal was the Mexican cod. It was very light, and using chile powder gave the first bite a little heat that nicely contrasted against the cooler tomato flavor you could taste at the end.

Just Add Cooking: Mexican Cod

My second favorite was the quinoa. I wouldn’t say that this quinoa dish was anything crazy since we prepare quinoa all the time, but it definitely gave me another recipe to add to our quinoa rotation! I usually don’t buy shittake mushrooms, so that was a nice change of pace, and I enjoyed cooking with leeks instead of yellow onions.

Just Add Cooking: Quinoa

Finally, my least favorite was the couscous marrakech, but that’s just because I don’t particularly care for sausage. We got this one to please my meat loving boyfriend, obviously. I liked this for something different, but we wished the sausage we received wasn’t pre-cooked. Just a personal preference.

Couscous Marrakech: Just Add Cooking

Overall, we were pleased with how each of the meals turned out. I won’t lie, we weren’t expecting anything that awesome because we somehow turned into food snobs over the past year, but these meals all had a lot of flavor. We were also nervous about portion size because our friends Cate and Joe used a similar delivery service from another company, and they were really disappointed with how small the portions were. However, all our JAC meals were right on par and filled me up.

Just Add Cooking

My only complaint is that one of our red peppers went bad within the week. Luckily I had another random one in the fridge that I added to the quinoa instead. We did wait until the following Saturday to use it, and this really could happen with any produce you buy.

If I had to make a pro/con list (okay, obviously I just want an excuse to make one), here’s how I would rate everything from Just Add Cooking overall:

Pros

  • Convenience — With this service, meal planning and grocery shopping is minimal.
  • Size options — We tried the 2-person, 3-meal delivery, but there are also options to order a four person box to feed more people OR let two people have leftovers. You can order three, four, or five meals a week with either option, and you always have the choice from seven meals (three of which are always vegetarian).
  • Quality — JAC states that their ingredients are always fresh and natural, and when possible locally produced, in-season, and organic. All their food is locally sourced from markets and farmers in the Greater Boston area.
  • Pricing — Based on some of the research I did on related companies, JAC’s prices seems to be very comparable. You can read more about their pricing here. As with most things, the more meals you buy, the better the value.
  • New ideas — This can introduce people to new ingredients or ways to cook. Even we tried a couple of new things we hadn’t before, such as cooking with turmeric in the couscous dish.
  • Accuracy — Like I mentioned above, portion sizes were accurate but not too small. Also, each meal was true to the thirty minutes the recipes said they would take to make (another convenience factor).
  • Flexibility — When signing up for this service, there is no minimum commitment. You are also free to skip a delivery anytime before the weekly cut-off without getting charged, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Cons

  • Personal choice — For people who actually like to do their own grocery shopping like us weirdos, this doesn’t allow you to pick your own produce, etc.
  • Creativity — This takes a lot of creativity out of the cooking process for those who don’t like to follow a recipe (Tim).
  • Delivery day — JAC only delivers on Sundays, if this day isn’t preferable for you, there aren’t any other days to choose from.
  • No ingredient swaps or allergen free options — While choosing my meals, I found that some of the recipes used ingredients that I otherwise would have swapped. For example, the Mexican cod dish came with regular diced tomatoes, but I always buy the no salt added version. There was another meal that I may have opted for, but it used a regular or wheat flour where I normally will try to use coconut or almond flour when possible. That said, it would still be easy to omit something if you didn’t like it or were allergic to it since delivery is in whole ingredient form.

Based on my experience, I recommend Just Add Cooking for people or families with busy schedules looking for time savers and/or people who are new to cooking or timid about their cooking abilities and want to expand!

Just Add Cooking

Discount

JAC would like to extend a $20 discount to any F&F readers. This is a $20 credit on any sized box, and it is good through 5/31/14 for new customers only. The code is SPRINGBLOG at checkout.

Giveaway

Just Add Cooking has also kindly offered to giveaway a 2-person, 3-meal box worth $79 to one lucky F&F reader! Just like I did, the winner will be able to select his or her choice of whatever recipes are available in the week they get their delivery.

How to enter the giveaway

Required steps

  • First, create an account on the Just Add Cooking website. To create an account, all you have to do is click “Get Cooking” at the top right of the site. Please note that this does NOT require you to buy anything or input any credit card information; it simply sets up your account to allow you to view the menus.
  • Second, leave a comment on this post telling me which meal on the website you’d most like to try or if you’ve participated in a meal delivery service before.

Optional steps (one comment per extra entry please!)

  1. Follow Fitness & Feta on Twitter.
  2. Follow Fitness & Feta on Facebook.
  3. Tweet the following: I entered a giveaway through @fitnessandfeta to win delicious meals from @addcooking! http://wp.me/p1GYjo-3gP

Rules

  • Winner must be able to receive deliveries from Just Add Cooking. You can check on their site by clicking “Get Cooking” and entering your zip code to see if they deliver to you.
  • This giveaway is open to new customers only.
  • This giveaway will be open until Friday, April 4th at 11:59 EST, and winners will be announced early next week.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided three complimentary meals from Just Add Cooking in exchange for writing this review. As always, all opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links within this post.

FitHouse: Review, Giveaway, and Discounts!

I recently had the pleasure of trying a new class at a local fitness studio, FitHouse.

FitHouse

FitHouse offers cycling, resistance, weight training, and yoga classes. When the studio contacted me to see if I’d be interested in trying any of their offerings, I was drawn to their FitBurn class description:

“Challenge your entire body with our resistance heavy class. Lift, tone, and burn fat through high repetition and specified isometric movements. Build lean muscle, not bulk!”

Totally me, huh?

When I arrived at the studio, I immediately fell in love with its vibe. It just looked different from any other studio or gym I’ve been in before. I know “cool” isn’t a very descriptive word, but that’s honestly what this place is. Super cool and hip. I’m surprised they invited ME.

Here’s a fun panoramic shot:

FitHouse: Panorama Train Room

As you can see, FitHouse has a really modern and open space for their training classes, with the equipment lined up on the side of the room. I got excited by all the fun toys to choose from!

FitHouse: Equipment

At the far end of the studio is a separate spinning room. FitHouse offers five different types of cycle classes: House Ride, Boston Ride, Energy Ride, Xpress Energy Ride, and HouseFusion. I’m heading back this Saturday to try a House Ride class in the morning. I haven’t taken cycle in some time, so I’m pumped.

FitHouse: Cycle Room Woven Wall

Cycle Room blue

Next to the cycle studio is also a smaller space for one on one training.

Fithouse: Training

My favorite parts of the studio were the big words (FitHouse’s slogan) underneath the mirrors, as well as the resistance band hooks at the back of the studio. I really enjoyed the band work we did on those during the class!

FitHouse

I am also a huge loser and snapped pictures of the locker room. Compared to the Y’s, this locker room is luxury!

FitHouse

And has fun inspiring and motivational quotes on the walls:

FitHouse: Locker Room

At the front desk, there is also a small studio “store.” They had so many cute tops! Maybe I’ll get one this weekend when I’m back.

FitHouse Clothes

The FitBurn class I took was taught by studio owner, Britt Vitello, who was super nice and welcoming. I wouldn’t necessarily call her “nice” as she taught though, which is a good thing and a sign of an effective instructor in my book! 😉

The workout, although only 45 minutes, left my legs and shoulders burning. We did a ton of stuff so I could experience a bit of everything, which I appreciated. We used yoga balls, Pilates rings, bands, bars, and mats.

Some of my favorite moves included:

  • 180 degree jump squats with hands touching the ground each time
  • Wall squat series with yoga balls (which I stole for Week 4 of Fall Into Fitness!)
  • Resistance band work: chest flies, shoulder raises, rear delts, and those SITUPS!

I wish FitHouse was just a TEENY bit closer to where I live so I could take their classes more often. However, I am excited to take my spin class this weekend and drop in from time to time moving forward. Their rates are very reasonable ($16 for a single training class and $20 for a single cycle class), and even better for the more classes you sign up for. I will definitely be back. You guys know how much I love workout buddies, so let me know if you want to go together!

Class Giveaway

FitHouse has kindly offered to give one lucky F&F reader a free FitBurn class!

Requirements for your chance to win:
1 – Follow both FitHouse and Fitness & Feta on Instagram.
2 – Leave one comment on this blog post letting me know you did so.

An extra entry can be earned by sharing a picture of yourself doing any workout move on social media, making sure to tag @fithouseboston and @fitnessandfeta in the picture with the hashtag #fithouse. Just remember to leave an extra comment letting me know you did so!

I am leaving this contest open for a full week, so you guys have until next Wednesday 11/6 at 1pm EST to enter.

Class Discount

Even if you don’t win, or you don’t use Instagram, there’s an option for everyone! FitHouse is also offering 10% off a pack of training classes for anyone that uses the code FETA at checkout. If you end up taking advantage of this deal, let me know!

Have any of you local readers tried FitHouse before? What did you think?

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but I was provided a free class at the studio in exchange for writing this review. All opinions are my own. FitHouse is located at 6 Cummings Park, Woburn, MA.