Thursday, September 13, 2018

Product Review: The Ginger People Ginger Juice

organic ginger juice - ginger people
The Ginger People 5 oz ginger juice bottle.  Photo courtesy of

As many of you may know, I am currently home healing from an inguinal hernia to the right side of my torso.  Shortly after I became aware that I had a hernia, The Ginger People were kind enough to send me two 5 oz bottles of ginger juice as ginger is widely known for its anti-inflammatory health benefits.

Ginger juice can of course be used in place of fresh ginger for many recipes, including a couple of which the company includes on the bottle for you like Grilled Ginger Salmon and a Pineapple Ginger Smoothie!  Both sound delicious.  My purpose however was to simply use the ginger juice mixed with water in order to give my body the anti-inflammatory help it needed while I worked through the medical hoops of figuring what needed to be done so I could get better.  

The Ginger People, as always, use premium ginger, and there's no doubt of that here.  This is the real thing.  It's strong, it's spicy, and it's delicious.  But what I really love with this juice is the smell...long after I have finished drinking a bottle of ginger juice/water during the day at work, I can still smell the ginger in my bottle giving me a kind of euphoric earthy relaxation vibe that comes with the smell of real ginger.  It's awesome.  The taste is awesome too!  You can totally control how strong it is by how much you put into you water or any recipe for that matter.  I usually just put a tablespoon or so into a water bottle, shake it up and go.   But, for today's review, I mixed it into a pint glass of water so you could see what it looks like as well.

The glass is full of ice water.  Here's the ginger juice right above the caption.

Now, here's the ginger juice mixed into the water.  Just gives it a kind of hazy look, but with such great taste & aroma!!!
The Ginger People Ginger Juice comes in 5 oz and 32 oz bottles and can be found at their website along with so many other great products,  Check out my reviews of:

As a disclaimer, I am an Authentic Ginger Tastemaker for The Ginger People and proud to represent them.  I can't thank them enough that during this time of injury and healing, they have cared enough to have my best interests at heart and I appreciate them reaching out to me and providing some help with this awesome ginger juice.  Give it a try and ENJOY!!!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Product Review: Shady Rays Signature Series Black Infrared Polarized

The Shady Rays Signature Series Black Infrared Polarized work great during sunrise out in the open on a trail run.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of  
Shady Rays Signature Series Black Infrared Polarized sunglasses as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to find and write race reviews.

Action oriented, fashionable sunglasses continue to hit the market at much more reasonable costs than ever before it seems like the past couple of years.  Shady Rays is one such company offering great specs specs at a decent price point with a strong lifetime warranty.  Their glasses are shatter resistant polarized lenses in a variety of styles.  They are an independent company and provide 11 meals for Feeding America with every order purchased.  Sounds like something many of us could get behind here in the endurance sports community, but how are the actual glasses?

As with most companies in this market, the Shady Rays come with a microfiber cleansing pouch.

I chose, without looking to be honest, just simply going by the description, to demo the Signature Series Black Infrared Polarized glasses.  One of the ironic things about this pair of glasses to me is, that while the lenses look fire orange/red, looking through them, the lenses actually tone down the environment around you with more of a blue tint.  This of course reduces the glare and makes it easier to see in the environment around you, being especially useful for surfaces such as snow and water.

I liked the black matte frame, choosing to keep it simple always works well I think, and though it's taken me a while to get use to the lens color from the outside, I think these will be awesome glasses come this winter when I hope to train and compete in a local snowshoe series.  

My Shady Rays in action earlier today in the humidity and mosquito craziness of a local trail run.

Glasses at the Shady Rays website range from $35-75 with the pair I demoed running $45 or you could upgrade to the extreme for another $15 and top out at $60 for a really nice pair of specs.  I had a couple of other friends try them out and here's what they thought below:


Well, I thought they looked pretty hip, especially for a night out with the ladies at the local mountain lake.  I think they draw attention away from my thin legs and towards my naturally beautiful face.

Moose, just hanging around and trying on my specs.

Super Giant Lobster, Lobbie, or Super G:

The fire red/orange lenses really blend in well with my sleek red shell, making them almost an extension of my body.  The polarized lenses are great for being able to see in the murkiest parts of the ocean floor.  But I really wish they had included a strap so I could keep them on my head more easily as I trolled the sea floor looking for the ever elusive hideout of Atlantis.

Yo!  Don't eat me!

In conclusion, the glasses work well, are comfortable, come at a great price, have a lifetime warranty, and help proved food for those in need.  Give them a try and enjoy!!!

Added the Shady Rays sticker to my race shelf!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Trail Review: 5 Lakes, 1 Morning: Nymph, Dream, Emerald, Haiyaha, Bear Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Starting the hike up to Nymph, Dream, and Emerald Lakes.

Earlier this Summer in July, I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Colorado with extended family that put us in Estes Park, CO, right down the road about a mile or so from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.  This is the 3rd of 5 trail reviews from that week!  Enjoy!

Nymph Lake.  Are there little fairies living in that water?

Two days after I went up Deer Mountain and one day after my rainy excursion in Beaver Meadows, our immediate and extended family got up early and made the drive out to the Bear Lake Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, not far from Estes Park.  Our goal was to get as many people to Emerald Lake as possible.  The age span in our group was larger than 50 years from oldest to youngest and the elevation ranged around 9,500-10,000+ for most of the 3.6 mile round trip hike, not including Bear Lake and Lake Haiyaha.

Another view of Nymph Lake.

The hike up to Nymph Lake from the Bear Lake parking lot is just a half mile.  It does have a little bit of elevation gain, but it's not bad and a pretty easy hike for most people.  The lake, as seen in the pictures above is filled with lily pads and surrounded by pine trees.  

View from the trail up to Dream Lake.

The second lake, Dream Lake, has a steep section partway into the .6 of a mile stretch from Nymph Lake.  Here though, more and more views of the surrounding countryside start to come into view.  Again, the hike is not strenuous, unless you have to carry a child up one of the steep stair like sections, that's about the only time I got winded!  Dream Lake looks very placid and mirror like, calm and still.

Almost to Dream Lake.

Hallett Peak, Tyndall Gorge, and Flattop Mountain, (L to R), as seen from Dream Lake.

The trail continues as we pass Dream Lake and head to Emerald Lake.

Stairs here as we leave Dream and head to Emerald, but the elevation gain isn't too bad in this .7 mile stretch.
A gentle mountain brook in between Dream Lake and Emerald Lake.

This section of the Tyndall Gorge waters was really flowing as it poured down towards Dream Lake.
Hallett Peak as seem from the third lake, Emerald.  

The push towards Emerald Lake is the longest, but only .7 of a mile.  There is some elevation gain, but again, it didn't seem too bad.  Definitely the trail through this section has a few more tripping hazards and you are now above 10,000 feet.  The views however as you get to the final lake are amazing.  Several years ago when just a few of us made it to this lake, there were rock climbers you could spy through binoculars climbing up the side of Hallett Peak.  While there were no climbers today, I am happy to report, that everyone which started in our group of family, made it to the third lake!  Pretty awesome! One of my relatives who didn't think she could do it, actually cried when she got up there.  She was the oldest in our group.  I am also happy to note, that the youngest two children, both in single digits, also made it!

Flattop Mountain.

Coming back to Dream Lake.  Even prettier on the way back down.

Neat little stretch of trail around the side of Dream Lake.

As we came back down from Emerald Lake to Dream Lake, my wife and I talked about me doing a quick trail run/hike to Lake Haiyaha, about 1.1-1.2 miles from the edge of Dream Lake.  As she had other family with her to help with the kids, she okayed my to go on this quick side excursion, and I am sure glad I did.  The next group of photos is all from this section of the hike.  The trail is a bit more rugged and there was one stretch I'd definitely want little kids to be extremely careful, but otherwise, it was totally awesome!!!  

The junction where I split off from my family and headed to my 4th lake, Lake Haiyaha.

The trail went up pretty quick and was more rugged than the trail to the other lakes.

Caught this awesome picture of the sun breaking through the trees and onto the trail.

The lake towards the top is Bear Lake, the other one is Nymph Lake.  You can almost see the lily pads!

Another hiker took this pic of me with the lakes in the background, very thankful she did this for me!!!

A picture off to the left of the trail, I am assuming based on my map that's Chaos Canyon and somewhere is Otis Peak.

A bridge to get you over Chaos Creek.

Getting closer!!!

Lake Haiyaha

The hike/run to Lake Haiyaha as you can see, has some beautiful views.  Again, after the immediate climb up from Dream Lake, the elevation gain is not too bad, but the last section of trail is really climbing over, under and around boulders if you want to actually get right up to the lake, just an FYI.  This lake is definitely bigger than Nymph or Dream, and according to the map, also Emerald.  The next several pictures are from me scurrying around the boulders and snapping off different shots of the lake.


The hillside behind the lake.  Notice the people walking/climbing on the rocks.

Some boulders I didn't scurry around on top of at Lake Haiyaha.

The way back down, I ran as fast as I could, (around several hikers a few times) but also managed to take the following pictures.  I was hurrying down to see if I could make it all the way to Bear Lake, (2.2 miles away), and catch my family and hike around it, but remember I departed from them when they were only 1.1 miles from the junction back at the parking lot for Bear Lake.

This was the little piece of trail I'd want my kids close to me.

Believe it or not, right about here, I got a phone call from a telemarketer!  What a way to interrupt the beauty!

Almost back to the main trail down to Bear Lake.

I made it back down to Bear Lake and found that one of my kids and my wife were still hiking around it while the others rested and waited.  I sped off, hoping I was heading in the right direction, (the lake is a pretty flat half mile loop), and caught them about 1/3-1/2 of the way around.  My wife mentioned that our youngest had started on this hike, but then promptly stopped shortly into it and proclaimed, "I have hiked enough today, I am not hiking anymore," or something to that effect!  So she took her back to the rest area next to the parking lot and started again on the trail!  Bear Lake is a beautiful lake and almost anyone can walk around it.  It gains little elevation and the trail is fairly wide.  The following pics are from the second half of that hike after I caught my wife and youngest son.

A section of trail around Bear Lake.

My fifth lake this day, Bear Lake, just as pretty as the rest of them!!! 


All in all, this hike is 3.6 miles up and back from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake.  Add on another 2.2 to go to Lake Haiyaha and then another .5 around Bear Lake.  My GPS had it at 5.7 but I forgot to restart it a couple of times after we had stopped for a few minutes.  Therefore, 6.3 +/- miles seems about right.  I was able to fly down the section of trail from Dream Lake to Bear Lake passing people left and right when I was trying to catch my wife.  The elevation change according to my GPS, (again it might be off a bit) was almost 1200 feet of ascent and the same descent.  That seems like a lot, but it is very spread out with certain section gaining it quickly while other flat stretches seem to meander a bit.  A thoroughly enjoyable day of hiking and seeing lots of gorgeous lakes and mountain views.  Try to fit it in if you are out that way and I hope you ENJOY!!!

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Product Review: The Ginger People Ginger Juice

The Ginger People 5 oz ginger juice bottle.  Photo courtesy of As many of you may ...