Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Product Review: BUFF® Merino Wool Rooibos Tea Dye BUFF®

The Merino Wool Rooibos Tea Dye BUFF® is great for late Fall/Winter Running.
Disclaimer:  I received a Merino Wool Rooibos Tea Dye BUFF® as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Late Fall and Winter running usually have me pulling out different headgear than I tend to use for much of the rest of the year.  While I have one Polar BUFF®, that's obviously not enough for multiple runs during the week.  But, recently, my cold weather arsenal grew with the addition of a merino wool BUFF®.  The name is pretty cool, it's a "tea dye," (since the name is Rooibos Tea), or tie dye, each one unique as they are completely dyed by hand. Awesome!  I noticed today after my run, that the parts of the BUFF® that get sweaty wet appear darker than the rest, just like a tea bag that darkens as water first hits it...awesome!!! (Or maybe gross...depending upon how you look at it I guess...)

It is also ecofriendly, "produced with renewable resources following a respectful animal process" that minimizes the effects upon the ecosystem.  It "is a mulesing free product" and the merino wool originates from Australia.  The merino wool BUFF® offers thermal comfort especially in the 32°F-68°F range, (0°C-20°C).  It of course offers odor control, wind protection, and moisture management.  Check them out at http://buffusa.com/shop-buff/men/multifunctional-headwear/merino-wool-buff/bb1e0a0a0a.  

Getting ready to run with my Rooibos Tea BUFF®

But how does it work and wash?  The same as all of my other BUFF® headgear, simply, efficiently, and excellently...(is that a word?)  You put it on, of course in any number of ways as the back of the packaging displays, wear it, run in it, ski in it, whatever, bring it home, throw it in the wash, (I do tend to do it with my other running gear on "delicate"), then repeat.  BUFF® headgear doesn't fall apart, doesn't go out of style, (I have some originals from years ago), and simply works.  

The merino wool BUFF® is not as warm as the polar BUFF® that I have, but that's actually perfect.  This one is great for those days when the polar would be too much, yet you still need more than the standard, original BUFF® for warmth and ear protection.

The merino wool BUFF® could even be used as a sort of facial wind protection, or for reenacting old western bank robberies.

The BUFF® merino wool rooibos tea dye headgear piece is a welcome addition to my collection.  BUFF® products are one of three pieces of gear and/or nutrition that I typically use on almost every run I do during the year and it's been that way for the last couple of years.  I have never had a problem with any piece of gear that I have from them. Sometimes a simple product well made comes along, and BUFF® headgear is one of them.  As with all the other pieces of their line that I have reviewed, I'd definitely recommend this one to you as you run during these colder months of the year.

Warning: Silly pictures in BUFF® headgear follow...

BB-8 knows a good thing when he sees it, especially when travelling to Hoth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Product Review: The Ginger People Gin Gins

The Ginger People Gin Gins come in several flavors including: (top row, L to R), Original, Peanut, Spicy Apple; (bottom row, L to R), Super Strength, Double Strength (Hard).
I have had the privilege since 2015 of being an Authentic Ginger Tastemaker for The Ginger People. One of their flagship products that I have been using for the last several years, even before I was able to be a product ambassador for them, is their great ginger candy, Gin Gins.  I continue to take and eat at least one Gin Gin on most of my runs and several during my long runs and trail races.  In addition to their great taste, (they come in several flavors), they are also great for helping with nausea. (Cf. Ginger and Nixing NauseaGinger Found to Ease Nausea of Cancer TreatmentGinger and Morning Sickness.)  That is key for long distance trail and ultra running where your stomach can turn on you at anytime.  

Now, how about the actual review of the product and taste!  I have had 6 of the Gin Gin flavors and enjoyed each one of them.  They are made of very few ingredients, (i.e., the original is simply cane sugar, ginger, and tapioca starch), and each have a slightly different yet wondrous ginger flavor.  Let me start with the only one I am currently out of because my teenage boys ate them all:

Coffee: Is there much more to say?  The coffee Gin Gins taste like a hot cup of coffee spiked with ginger.  You will feel a bit of ginger heat as you enjoy these, so they are perfect for cold weather runs in the winter , one of my favorite times to eat them.  Alas, as I mentioned, I am currently all out and we just got a foot of snow!!!

Peanut: This one actually tastes like fresh peanuts and has little tiny pieces of ground peanut in them. They are even better and more enjoyable that many similar chewy peanut candies out there in the marketplace.  Plus, they are good for you!!!  

The original flavor Gin Gin.  This one is still my favorite.
Spicy Apple:  This was the second flavor of Gin Gin that I ever tried.  It took me a little while to get use to it as I am not always a big apple/cinnamon type of guy, but it has definitely grown on me over the years to the point where I consider it one of my old standbys along with the Original Flavor Gin Gin. Similar to the coffee, this is another nice one to have on a cold winter run, especially if you like hot apple cider. The taste of delicious apples will great you as you enjoy this treat!

Double Strength: These are a popular one for me to start a run with as I can suck on the hard candy and get my juices flowing, especially if I am feeling a bit dehydrated.  I will almost always have a couple of these on me during a major race.  They pack a punch in the ginger meter, but it's so good to have something to enjoy like this, especially early on in the run/race.  They are also a great digestive aid in the first few miles in addition to a "throat lozenge".

My current stash of Gin Gins.  It's actually pretty low...I need more!!! 
Super Strength:  These pack 30% ginger in the candy!  They are also the only one that takes the form of a ginger caramel type candy.  You can suck or chew on them.  They are a bit smaller than some of the other flavors, but the punch they pack more than makes up for it.  As they melt in your mouth, you can actually get a feel for the ginger itself that is packed into the candy.  If you are new to ginger candy or to ginger as a main ingredient in any product, this might be a little over-powering at first, but you will learn to love it!

Original:  Why would I leave Original Flavored Gin Gins to last?  Usually most people review an "original" flavored something first and then go on to the other flavors.  I saved it for last because it is my favorite flavor and no wonder, according to The Ginger People's website it is , "America's #1 Selling Ginger Candy."  Literally three ingredients.  It's a special time during a long run when I pull out an original flavored Gin Gin.  Many times I take the other flavors with me instead because I don't want to go through my originals too fast.  I kind of like to hoard them!  (I'd probably do the same with the coffee flavored ones if my two teenage boys would stop taking them!!!)  I can't really describe them other than that they are delicious ginger chewy candy and they just feel right in my mouth and my stomach, especially mixed with a great trail run.  They taste great, they work for nausea, and they give me just 20 calories each, a nice little pick me up.  Plus, as with all the flavors, they are super easy to store and take with you where ever you go and for whatever you are doing.

Gin Gins are tasty and healthy candy for anytime use, but for me, definitely excel when I am out running on the trails!
As a disclaimer, and as I mentioned earlier, I am an Authentic Ginger Tastemaker for The Ginger People, and they have given me additional Gin Gins to try and review.  But, I also want to say this, even if I weren't an Authentic Ginger Tastemaker, and even before I was, I love these things!  Get yourself some, especially for long distance road or trail running.  If you find it hard to eat certain things after a period of time during a run or if you get nausea, Gin Gins might be perfect for you. Enjoy!!!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Product Review: XX2i Brazil 1 Matte Black w/Polar Grey AR Lenses

The XX2i Brazil1 sunglasses are for going "cas".

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of XX2i Brazil 1 Matte Black w/PolarmGrey AR Lenses as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

I continue to enjoy wearing the sunglasses that XX2i comes up with to meet various consumer needs. The Brazil1 fits the need of "cas" or casual wear sunglasses.  (Yeah, I might have made up "cas", as in "caswear," not to be confused with "cashmere.")  The fact that they named them the Brazil1 is cool with me too, since I've been to Brazil twice to aid and train people there, and it is a wonderful country of wonderful people, that I could see totally wearing these ultra-hip sunglasses.  

Now at first, they might look a bit boxy...but, in a way, that's the point.  These are casual sunglasses to more or less cover your eyes fully while out enjoying the day, as opposed to streamlined glasses like the USA 1 or Australia 1 that I have reviewed in previous posts.  They have a nice bluish polarized lens, have small silver accents, and fit comfortably.

The Brazil 1's are a rock star!  

As usual, these glasses come with both a soft and hard case, as well as a sunglass wrap you can attach so you won't lose them or have them fall off.  In addition they are fully Rx-able and have a lifetime guarantee.  They come in both men's and women's with a few different choices of color combinations. 

Chillin' w/my moose!
XX2i will be the sponsor of Bibchat on November 22, 2016 and a special code will be dropped that week, Thanksgiving week, that's is only good for 72 hours, so look for it on Twitter and I'll see you there! 

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