Earth Fare: Healthy Grocery & Giveaway!

earth fare florida grocery store

Last month, I hadn’t heard of Earth Fare grocery stores. I should have, because there is one about 5 minutes from daughter’s apartment in Gainesville. (Chomp, chomp.) When I heard they were opening a new store in Seminole full of healthy food, I was quite intrigued. And when I was offered a tour and preview two days before the grand opening with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was thrilled!

Here’s the thing about health food – I’m a skeptic. I’ve done a lot of research, and I don’t buy into fad diets or crazy eating habits. I do think much of the standard American diet is junk and not real food. If you are looking to avoid that junk, perhaps lose weight or just get healthier, Earth Fare can actually help. Here’s why:

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Some stores have many products that fit in this box, but at Earth Fare, every item on the shelves meets these standards. I can’t promise you sugar free or gluten free, but I can promise you food free of red dye #6 zillion.

I’m going to tell you a bit about Earth Fare. And then I’m going to tell you how you can try to win a $25 gift card to go try the brand new store out for yourself! #Giveaway!

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Earth Fare started in Asheville, NC in 1975 with the commitment to providing Healthy Food for Everyone, food safe for the community. They have 75% organic produce. The store uses a reverse osmosis to mist the organic produce, so it’s not great stuff doused in gross water.

trail mix at earth fare

Walking past the produce section around the perimeter of the store, next you’ll find bulk nuts, candy and granola in bins, along with bulk liquids such as vinegar, honey, maple, olive oil – which you can take home in a small container or bring our own container. You can also grind your own peanut butter, dark chocolate peanut butter, cashew butter or almond butter.

Next come the seafood and deli sections. The seafood is traceable and sustainably sourced. We tasted some smoked salmon that was full of flavor and super juicy.

Yum, I've never seen these before... Apple chardonnay! No casing!

Yum, I’ve never seen these before… Apple chardonnay! No casing!

I also learned some stores have animals raised on antibiotics.Then before animals go to  the market, there is a withdrawal period for antibiotics, meaning any food or milk from animals that have been treated with an antibiotic may not enter the food supply until a predetermined amount of time has passed since the animal’s last dosage. But the animals at Earth Fare have NEVER been exposed to hormones or antibiotics. They’ve also been a leader in supplying cage-free eggs for over ten years.

If there's a cheese you're not sure of, they'll let you try before you buy!

If there’s a cheese you’re not sure of, they’ll let you try before you buy!

You can get organic or biodynamic wine, pet products, cleaning products, build your own six pack of fun beer (some local) – and they also offer catering.

The Earth Fare bakery offers 7 varieties of breads baked fresh in house daily from organic flour. I also hear they have gluten free angel food cake and amazing vegan cookies!

chocolate at earth fare

I would like to try every fair trade dark chocolate bar please!

The Seminole store will help try out their new Heirloom juice bar. You can get fresh pressed juices, smoothies, coffee and tea – and there are a few small tables to stop and enjoy them at, or you can take them quickly to go.

The store has partnered with the Edible Peace Patch project, a local nonprofit, and they are helping to fund a $10k garden at a Seminole public elementary school.

The last area we visited were the sustainable and environmentally friendly wellness and beauty products. The products represented a great variety of brands, and the prices were great!

You can wait till some of the newness wears down if you want, or get right on over to Earth Fare for their Fall Festival on Saturday from 12-3pm with activities just for kids, such as face painting and pumpkin decorating. They are open every day from 7am – 10pm at 7774 113th Street N, Seminole , FL 33772. I drove around a little at the new shopping strip going up behind the store, and there will be a Bealls, Steinmart, Homegoods, Ulta, Five Below and more. It looks so pretty!

Giveaway

So here’s how you can join in the fun and try to win a gift card from Earth Fare and ME for $25. It starts with you heading over to my Instagram account, @rafdarrow. There I have a slideshow from my Earth Fare tour. Hit like and leave a comment letting me know what you are most looking forward to seeing at the store – and in your comment use the hashtag #earthfaresem (for Earth Fare’s Seminole store.)

If you have something really strongly against Instagram, you can Tweet to me instead. Tag me @rafdarrow and use the same hashtag #earthfaresem. In your tweet tell me which weekly deal you’ll probably take advantage of first at Earth Fare.

And, yes, you can do BOTH and get entered in my drawing TWICE. But only one tweet or Insta-comment per reader please. You can leave a comment here, but it will not enter you in the giveaway. It will just give me a smile 🙂

Good luck, enjoy the store, and I will be tallying answers on Tuesday, 10/4 after 6pm so you need to tweet or Insta before then!

If you don’t live near me, here’s where to check to see if there is an Earth Fare in your neck of the woods.

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On Dasher… on Dancer… A 5k Giveaway!

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It’s coming! The exciting ElectroDash5k on Friday March 21 at 8:30pm at the Florida State Fairgrounds. And I have to entries to give away as my Valentine’s gift to you! Check out this video to see what this glowing run party sensation is like…

New in the “fun run” line up, the ElectroDash 5k will be the first in Tampa… in fact it will only be the second event in the US. (There’s already been a great response to ElectroDash5k races in Canada.)

Now, this is not the kind of race you want to shoot for a PR at. I haven’t been to a glow run, but I have been to a color run, and people kind of meander and twirl through the course. There will be lots of people, and kick-@$$ music and glow sticks and 3 miles of hot beats and — did I mention the DJ?

Neon_Pink_blacklighttutuYou’ll want to show up wearing whatever looks best in blacklight. If you love to run in costume, you can search Black Light on PartyCity.com or Yandy.com for items like this glowing tutu. Or just wear black if you want to disappear like a ninja. You’ll be greeted at the glow sticks, but black light makeup, nail polish, or hairspray would be a cool addition. There will be a black-lit photobooth, but some of these events get 12,000 people, so you may want to bring your own camera.

And bring whoever you feel like dancing with! There’s no age limit or requirement here. Pets, however, are not allowed.

best_girls_pic_resized_for_bannerAnd then, just when you thought you were done, there’s the finish line dance party! Music, swag and neon lasers will keep the party pumping!

(And if a 5k is 4ks too long for you, you can also register to volunteer at the race if you’re over 16 years old. All of the fun, none of the run.)

DJs Perspective black light run

Don’t forget people, it’s Valentine’s Day. Need a great last minute gift? Nothing is better than a good time had together making memories with your sweetheart! Promo code TBB15 will give you a 15% off discount when registering for either the ElectroDash 5k Tampa (www.electrodash5k.com) or its sister race Color Me Rad Tampa (www.colormerad.com) coming on 5/24. With your registration for the ElectroDash, you’ll get fun swag like a T-shirt, an LED bracelet, neon sunglasses, and more.
But before you register… enter the contest below! I have 2 entries to give away, and they will both go to ONE lucky winner, because we all need a dance partner to really break it down.

First, check out the event on Facebook and get a feel for it, make sure it’s for you, perhaps hit LIKE, then head back here… I’ll wait patiently.

Next, tell me in a comment on this post, who you would bring as your ElectroDash partner, and if that person is more like glow dancer A, B, or C below!

A. Dizzy Dancer
glow runner glasses
B. Dazzle Diva
black light makeup
C. Glow Show Off
black light leggings

I’ll choose a random winner on March 1… good luck!

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Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to our Salon giveaway winner, Christie B.

Christie is the owner of St Pete’s Baby Boot Camp and teaches a lot of fitness classes around town. She’s also expecting baby #3, so I’m sure she can use all the salon pampering she can get!

My winner was randomly chosen when I asked Steph from http://orangespoken.com to pick a number for me over Facebook chat, and she’s probably still wondering why!

Lucky Winner!

Lucky Winner!

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Salon Day and Giveaway

logoLast month some of the Tampa Bay Blogger ladies and I (and my DD1, Alice) enjoyed a Girls Night Out at Serendipity Salon and MediSpa in Tampa. In addition to some no-cost treatment, we enjoyed spending time together and discussing social media and parenting.

spa group shotI’ve been hearing Denise talk about Dean Downing, her hair stylist, for some time. His location was way north of me. Now that he is also in Tampa, visiting him is much more realistic!

deniseDean

Dean gave us samples of Rusk hair products. He loves these salon-quality products. While working on Alice’s hair, which gets kind of dreaded in back when she sleeps, he said large tangles like hers are a result of using cheap shampoo and conditioner. They contain wax, and wax sticks to wax, causing more knots and tangles. He washed her hair with Rusk shampoo and conditioner, and immediately was able to comb right through her hair without having to stop and detangle.

“You don’t understand,” Alice said, “my hair doesn’t just do that!” She was amazed at the sleekness just a quality washing provided. She had a fun dinner planned with her boyfriend and his parents the next day, so Dean gave her a blow out and some bouncy curls with a flat iron. She had prom hair instantly with Dean’s magic!

Alice Before (unwashed, flat ironed hair)

Alice Before (unwashed, flat ironed hair)

I needed some major layers, STAT. My curls were too thick and bulky.

AFTER

AFTER

We also had our eyebrows done – Alice’s were waxed and mine were tweezed.

Private room for aesthetic treatments

Private room for aesthetic treatments

One woman had a hair gloss added. Afterwards, I thought she had a whole new color, but it just added so much shine to her chestnut hair that the light hit it differently. It’s a great pick me up that is less expensive and not a commitment like full hair color.

We also had a giveaway for eyelash extensions.

Winner winner!

Winner winner!

Serendipity is getting ready for their Happy New Year Event!
January 15th from 11am-7pm.
tcaskinpeelChoose 3 for $99:

  • Medical Grade Skin Peel
  • Eyebrow Wax & Lip Wax
  • Blowdry & moisture treatment
  • Shine Hair or Gloss treatment and blowout
  • Brazillian Wax
  • Microdermabrasion
  • B12 injection
  • 3 units Botox (or use 10 units for additonal $99)

Swag bags and goodies for snacking will be available… Call now to reserve your time!

Serendipity Salon And MediSpa
3002 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 384-0460 | On Facebook

Need some help with the price tag? One lucky reader will win two $25 gift certificates for Serendipity Salon & Spa! One is good for new client services, and the other is for getting your hair done by Dean and expires 11/25/14. I’m sure you can find time between now and next Thanksgiving to get cute!

To enter, leave a comment below stating which 3 services you would love to receive from the list above. Comment before midnight Tues, Jan 14, 2014. I’ll announce a random winner Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014. I’ll contact the winner via email for a mailing address so I can send the gift certificates. Good luck! Get Gorgeous!

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Smelling Like a Non-Runner

You can avoid stinky running clothes by dressing like this guy, or just try WIN detergent!

You can avoid stinky running clothes by undressing like this guy, or try WIN detergent!

When I lead teams of runners through a Ragnar Relay, I get a lot of the same questions asked over and over:

  • How do I stretch my aching I.T. Bands?
  • Do you have Vitamin-I in your bag?
  • How fast *is* Brian??

and inevitably

  • How do I get the running funk smell out of my Ragnar gear?

You see, with a Ragnar you might run your first leg at 9am on Friday, and might not do your laundry until 9pm on Sunday. In the meantime, if you care about the other clothes in your bag staying clean while living out of a van, and the noses of those around you, you’ve probably taken the clothes you just ran your last leg in and balled them up in a plastic bag, which is now zipped up in a duffel bag in the trunk of your team’s van. Roughly 40 hours later, that bag will be opened over your washing machine while you hold your breath!

So although any running is sweaty, Ragnar running ferments the scent. Gross.

Here’s my typical answer to the question of “How do I get the smell of running funk out of my Ragnar gear?”

unstoppables161314_90x90I buy the cheapest laundry detergent I can find (like Xtra on sale at Walgreens with a coupon for $2) and add in Downy Unstoppables scent booster (with a coupon from Target) in whatever the aqua color scent is. I use just enough Unstoppables to fill the bottom of the cap for regular dirty laundry, and double that for Ragnar/camping gear/super gross smelling stuff.

winlaundryRecently I was introduced to a new laundry solution for those items that permanently smell like a high school locker room. I tried a free bottle of WIN Sports Detergent. The science behind WIN is made specifically for the technical fabrics of most workout clothes. It doesn’t just cover the scent or clean the clothes, as I understand it – WIN sports detergent goes beyond simple cleaning and breaks down the bond between your leftover deodorant and stench on the garment, eliminating the bacteria and yuck left behind. Bye bye oils and residue! Bye bye odor on synthetic fabrics! Hello fresh scent!

I’ve tried half the bottle – 5+ loads of laundry with WIN. I am happy with the performance of the product. I feel like I had a good system figured out, but this does the same thing in terms of making my clothes smell better with just one product instead of two.

I asked Brian what he thought of how WIN washed his running gear. He actually sniffed the crotch of his shorts that came out of the dryer and said, “This doesn’t just smell not gross, it actually smells pleasant. Without smelling flowery like a girl.”

The question is, will WIN help my athletic gear stay in better condition in the long run? Only time will tell. I kind of want to get a new race shirt and just wash it in WIN from day one and see if I notice a difference over time, rather than rewashing items I was already wearing and washing.

Do your own experiment! Try WIN for yourself on your sweaty, stinky gear! I’ll help you with a coupon code. Use this coupon code for $5 off a purchase of WIN: WIN-IAZQ-YXFZ and it’s not just a code for first time shoppers. You can use it over and over again!

If you don’t like online shopping, I know there are a handful of stores near me selling WIN. You can check their online store locator to see if someone near you is selling it too.

** BLOGGER BONUS **

For one lucky member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers I have one free bottle of WIN detergent!! (I don’t want to ship it, see.) Comment below and tell me which recent fitness activity left your clothes in their WORST state ever! Mud? Lake? Marathon? I’ll pick a random winner who bowls me over with their wit and stench by midnight Nov 5.

Ready – set – comment!

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