1 Year + Giveaway

It has officially been 1 year since this blog went live – Happy Birthday Dine, Dash, and Deadlift! Can I get a Gigi’s Cinnamon Roll Cupcake over here to celebrate with? Please?

Seriously, how good does that sound/look? Anyways…I wanted to use this post to share some of my favorites from the past 12 months and do a giveaway! First for some of my favorite posts this year:

Nutrition & Exercise Research:



iRunnerBlog Posts:


I also need to give a HUGE thank you to all of you who read this blog and take the time to comment on my posts and/or interact with me on Twitter and Dine, Dash, and Deadlift’s Facebook page. Thank you all so much for reading! Finally – a big thanks goes out to the wonderful designer (and friend of mine) Colin James Tuttle for setting the page up for me and creating my Twitter icon! Get in touch with him if you need design work!

Now for the giveaway! I recently ordered my first Road ID ankle band and have worn it nonstop since it arrived. I like the ankle version because it is out of the way and I never have to take it off. The only downside? Last week someone asked me if I was on house arrest since they thought I was wearing a tracking band. I think they were joking!

For those of you who haven’t heard of Road ID before, it is father and son owned company created on the concept that active people should wear ID as part of their gear when participating in outdoor activities.

Road ID is a durable, rugged, athletic, fashionable line of identification gear. Currently, they offer 6 different forms of ID: the FIXX ID, the Shoe ID, the Ankle ID, the Wrist ID Sport, the Wrist ID Elite, and the Shoe Pouch ID. There are also two options available. Original which includes 7 engravable lines of Medical Information and Emergency Contacts and Interactive which comes with an on-line / telephone housed Emergency Response Profile. To learn more about the two versions, follow this link.

To take some information from the website…

Who needs ID? ID should be as common and important as putting on a seat belt when getting into a car, or strapping on a bike helmet to go for a ride. Identification is important for people of all ages. If you are a runner, cyclist, jogger, walker, hiker, climber, skater, skier, boarder, or someone who doesn’t spend all of their time on the couch, then we encourage you to wear ID. Kids need ID too as they rarely have ID when they go out for a bike ride or walk to school.

Here are some stats for you: Each year over 450,000 of us are taken to hospitals unconscious and without ID. Year after year, over 122,000 runners, walkers, and cyclists are hit by cars. Thousands more suffer blackouts, concussions, heart attacks, heat strokes and other serious accidents. The National Safe Kids Campaign estimates that “every day, 39,000 children are injured seriously enough to require medical attention.”

“Not having ID while participating in outdoor activities is a serious risk — a risk that we no longer have to take. We shudder to think that we could be lying in a hospital and the medical staff would not know who to contact or even who we are — simply because we did not have ID. In the event of an accident, we want our family to be contacted immediately. We want them to be at our side as quickly as possible. We want to ensure that we receive proper medical treatment. We encourage everyone to wear ID and stop taking chances.” – Edward Wimmer & Mike Wimmer, Owners

Eeek! I know, I know…scary to think about. I hope that my RoadID never has to be used, but I think it is important to have. I also think it is important for everyone else to have a RoadID too. Therefore, for my 1 yr blog birthday today’s giveaway is for a $15 RoadID gift card to be used as you wish. If you already have a RoadID the gift card can be used for reflective gear, apparel, and more instead!

To enter, do the following by Sunday, June 10th – winner announced Monday, June 11th:

  1. Comment below, saying what you would use the gift card for (mandatory)
  2. Follow me on Twitter – @NutritionNerd (optional: 1  additional entry)
  3. “Like” Dine, Dash, and Deadlift on Facebook (optional: 1 additional entry)
  4. Send out a tweet and/or FB status update about the giveaway (optional: 1 additional entry)
  5. Subscribe to have my posts delivered to your inbox by entering your email in the “Subscribe” text box on the right hand side of the page (optional: 1 additional entry)

*Note: Leave an additional comment for each entry please!

Disclosure: I was not contacted or compensated by RoadID or anyone else to host this giveaway or talk about their product at all. I truly believe wearing a RoadID is a smart thing to do while out running, hiking, biking, skiing, whatever it is that you do. I won a $15 gift card myself at a local race to purchase my own RoadID with and when I happened to win another I wanted to pass it along to one of you! Simple as that.

Ortholite Fusion Insoles: Review and Giveaway

Earlier this year I was contacted to see if I was interested in trying out Ortholite Fusion Insoles. After looking up some information on-line, I said “of course”! While I had initially never heard of Ortholite that I could recall, I quickly realized that I have probably had their insoles in several of my athletic footwear over the course of my life. Ortholite insoles can be found inside major brands such as Asics, Nike, Adidas, Saucony, and New Balance, just to name a few. I know that my Salomon hiking boots also have Ortholite insoles in them as well! Check out the list of companies they partner with here. The Fusion variety is the 1st aftermarket insole available to consumers from the company.

When I agreed to “test them out” for a review, I said I was going to wear them for a solid amount of time so that I could give a legitimate review. For the past ~2 months I have been trying them out! I put these insoles in to an old pair of Saucony running shoes, which are almost to the point of too many holes to be useful. I mostly only use these shoes for lifting or VERY short runs. Due to the wear on them, I have also been using gel heel insoles to help protect against my terrible heel strike when I do run in these shoes! I know there are some people who are all about barefoot/minimalist running and would probably say that running in worn down shoes is better than running with new cushioned shoes/new insoles. I am NOT in that camp and still sticking with my typical cushioned shoes, and thus why I don’t wear worn out shoes for long runs. Since swapping out my old insoles for the Ortholite Fusion insoles, I have worn the shoes on longer runs, without the heel cups, with success!

Front and Side View of Insoles

The insoles didn’t make me feel like I was wearing brand new, cushiony shoes; but they did allow me to be able to run in shoes that I had all but retired again. So, I will count that as a huge win! Furthermore, the insoles have held up well overtime and are still close to the same thickness as they were initially!

Here are some details from the company about the insoles:

  • Designed to fit all athletic and outdoor shoes or boots
  • Made with open-cell foam, allowing air to circulate around the foot, keeping it cooler and drier inside the shoe
  • Wicks moisture away from your foot leaving your foot cooler and drier
  • Unique spring-back technology ensures that your insole won’t flatten out and it will retain over 95% of its thickness over time
  • Our patented anti-microbial formulation (approved by the EPA and FDA) fights fungus, bacteria and shoe odor
  • Lightweight and fully washable

Also, something to note, is that insoles are sold in full sizes, but are designed so that you will trim them as needed until they are the same size as the insoles being replaced. I actually didn’t need to trim mine down, but just keep that in mind if you wear a 1/2 size that you should order a 1/2 size larger insole and trim them down before use!

One final thing I want to make you all aware of is that Ortholite is a proud supporter of the Level Field Fund. $1 from every Fusion insole purchased will be donated to this fund, which strives to bridge gaps in funding uniquely talented athletes. You can learn more about this program at LevelFieldFund.org

So, if you want to extend the life of your favorite athletic footwear and also help contribute to a great cause, I recommend getting some Ortholite Fusion insoles!!

Alrighty, now for the giveaway! Otholite has generously agreed to send a pair of Fusion insoles to THREE lucky winners. To enter:

  1. “Like” Ortholite on Facebook and/or “Follow” on Twitter
  2. Comment below telling me what shoes you will be putting these insoles in!

GOOD LUCK! (Winners announced on Friday, May 4th!)


Endangered Species Chocolate Review + Giveaway

As promised earlier this week, I am here today with a chocolate review and giveaway! More specifically, today is all about Endangered Species Chocolate, my latest chocolate-based addiction!

A few weeks ago I received a bar of the Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Deep Forest Mint as a little “Thank you” gift from a friend. It was the perfect treat to get me through a long Saturday stuck in front of the computer. I assumed my friend had gotten this chocolate from some kind of specialty shop or health food store, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that it had actually been purchased at our local Kroger and I could therefore go back for more whenever I wanted! (To find a location near you that carries Endangered Species Chocolate, click on “Locations” on their homepage…or you can always order directly from the website as well.)

I’m sure you have all read about or heard through the grapevine that dark chocolate has health benefits – and incase you had any doubts, the “rumors” are true! Research has shown that cocoa consumption has a positive impact on various cardiovascular parameters such as arterial vasodilation and blood pressure and thus dark chocolate is often refered to as being “cardioprotective”. In fact, moderate intake (25 grams/day, which is a little over 1/4 of a 3 oz. chocolate bar) of flavonol rich cocoa (aka-dark chocolate) seems to be effective in the prevention of coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction. Some people may be skeptical to incorporate this in to their diet due to fear of weight gain or that it will wreck their diet. However, research has shown that even those following a weight loss diet can incorporate a chocolate snack and still reduce body weight and body fat percentage! (For research articles on this topic simply perform a PubMed search of dark chocolate and health and prepare to be overwhelmed with information!!!) So now that we have established that there are health benefits of dark chocolate, let’s talk a bit about why I LOVE Endangered Species Chocolate more than other chocolates I have tried.

1. There is a picture of a super cute animal that needs our help on each bar/package. I emphasize that “super cute” because I am a HUGE animal lover. I seriously should have made more of an effort to be the next Jack Hanna…but I digress…. Then, on the inside wrapper is information about that animal. For instance, on the Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds (my personal favorite variety that I have tried so far) is a picture of a Gray Wolf and on the inside wrapper I learned that the Alpha pair are the only members of a wolf pack to breed each year as well as information about how I can help wolf preservation. I have also tried the Dark Chocolate with Raspberries (aka- the “Grizzly Bear”) which I also loved, and the Smooth Milk Chocolate (aka- the “Sea Otter). So in case you are a not a fan of dark chocolate, fret not, Endangered Species has some tasty varieties for you too!!

2. 10% of net profits is donated to non-profit groups that support species, habitat, and humanity. Endangered Species Chocolate is also devoted to supporting conservation in all of their practices as well, from shade growing their cacao to help protect forests and purchasing only 100% ethically traded chocolate, to using efficient HVAC and electrical equipment. Read more about their actions, here and what steps YOU can take to help protect our environment here.

3. VARIETY! Just take a few minutes to click through all of the options they have to choose from! Dark Chocolate Bars with Espresso Beans (aka- “the Tiger”), Dark Chocolate Bar with Goji Berry, Pecans, and Maca (aka – “the acrobatic Monkey”), Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries (aka ‘ “the Macaw”), and SO MUCH MORE! Gift sets are also available, and personally I would be ecstatic if I received one of the African Wildlife Foundation® gift sets for Valentine’s Day – or any day! I mean, who wouldn’t want to adopt a leopard??

So, now that I have told you why I love the Endangered Species Chocolate brand it is time for one lucky reader to get the opportunity to try some out themselves!  To enter, just comment below letting me know if you have ever tried Endangered Species Chocolates before, and if so, which is your favorite.

For an additional entry, please tweet out something like ” @NutritionNerd is hosting an @ESC_Chocolate giveaway…” (and include the link) or whatever you want! If you don’t have a Twitter account, how about just a shout out and mention of the giveaway on Facebook instead for an additional entry! Please post a separate comment if you do the additional entry, just informing me of it!

I will randomly pick a winner on Valentine’s Day (aka next Tuesday) and Endangered Species Chocolate will mail you out some samples to try! Honestly, it is a good thing they will be sending the chocolates directly to you, because if I was trusted as the “middle man” in this case, the chances are pretty high that I would consume them all myself and be unwilling to share, haha – but really – they are that good!

What is your favorite wild animal? Have you tried Endangered Species Chocolates before?