Eating Healthy with Factor 75

The past couple of months has been one of the busiest periods of my life. On way-more-than-one occasion between October and December, the only thing I did at home was sleep and, if I was lucky, eat. With ClassPass and physical therapy and dance and the holidays, I just did not have free nights. I fell in love with the concept of cooking a big meal on Fridays and/or Saturdays and freezing the leftovers for weeknight dinners a couple years ago, but lately I haven’t had time to put together a meal on Friday or Saturday, either. My leftover stash quickly dwindled, but on most of those busy busy nights, I didn’t want to take the time to even boil water for pasta, meaning dinner often looked like Subway or a woefully expensive trip to the Whole Foods hot bar. When Factor 75 contacted me to see if I’d be interested in trying out their service, I jumped on the opportunity. I had heard of Factor 75 before (I believe I even sampled some of their food at the 2013 CARA Super Clinic before marathon training), but I had never actually used the service for myself. Factor75 Factor 75, if you haven’t heard of it, delivers healthy, fresh meals to your doorstep (if you live in Illinois or certain areas of the Midwest, that is.) Using high quality protein, low glycemic carbohydrates and heart healthy fats, Factor 75 creates meals designed to help you perform at your highest level, whether that be at work, in fitness, or just in life generally. The meals arrive at your home all ready to be eaten — you only need to warm them up. Factor75Unboxing I tried three meals: the tostada bake, Factor chili and the ever-popular butternut squash lasagna. Like I said, meal prep could not be more straightforward: Factor75TostadaBake1 Just popped that (minus the top and condiments) in the microwave and voila! Dinner! Factor75TostadaBake2 This was the tostada bake, and I’ve got to be honest: it defeated me. WHOA BABY does this have a kick! Granted, I have barely any spice tolerance (I can’t do anything more than mild salsa), so if you happen to love spicy food, I imagine this tostada bake would be right up your alley. The Factor chili, made with ground turkey, was much more my speed. Factor75FactorChili2 Absolutely delicious! Plus it came with cornbread (not may-as-well-be-yellow-cake cornbread, but cornbread nevertheless), and there aren’t many food combos I enjoy more than chili and cornbread. I’ve gotten the impression that Factor 75’s butternut squash is its “classic” dish, and I can see why. I’ve made no secret of the fact that squash is pretty high on my list of Foods I Don’t Like, but this business was delicious. Factor75ButternutSquash I actually ate the butternut squash before my dance graduation back in December. I often have trouble during dance as a result of whatever I ate during dinner, and based on the volume and vegetable-y nature of this dish, I really though I was setting myself up for disaster. Much to my surprise, I had no problems getting through dance class or graduation afterwards (well, at least not from a tummy perspective. I had a lot on my mind in relation to graduation which made class a disaster of choreography forgetting on my part, but that had nothing to do with dinner ;) ). Overall verdict: Factor 75 is great. I will say that the meals are a bit $$, but the price is equivalent to what you’d probably spend on dinner if you went out in Chicago, and if your options are going out or eating in with Factor 75, I imagine most of the time your Factor 75 meal would be fresher and/or healthier than what you’d find at a restaurant. Interested in trying Factor 75 for yourself? Sign up here (<–affiliate link), and order at least five meals to receive your free meal! Hooray free things!

*Disclaimer: I received three Factor 75 meals (and one snack of Superfood Bites due to delivery confusion — they were also delicious) for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own, etc. etc.


Filed under Fitness

Thursday Things

1. YOU. GUYS. Can we discuss this year in music? Or more specifically, this year in Bethany’s super eclectic music tastes? Because I am DYING over how epic the first three months of this year are shaping up to be.

Thing #1: New Fall Out Boy album next week (!!). They’re pre-released a few songs, and I’m already in love. The Kids Aren’t Alright, Irresistible, Jet Pack Blues, Fourth of July. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Save Rock and Roll was my JAM for a fair portion of the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, and I am BEYOND stoked for American Beauty/American Psycho, especially since Fall Out Boy put the ENTIRE album up on YouTube on Tuesday.

We will not discuss how upset I am over the fact that I was not able to snag tickets to their show at Lincoln Hall next week, which would’ve been one of the most epic shows of my life. We will also not discuss how EVEN MORE upset I am over the fact that my BEST FRIEND works at Lincoln Hall and can’t get me in because the show is “sold out” and apparently that “makes a difference.”

In other news, I’m now in the market for a new best friend.

Thing #2: New Imagine Dragons album next month. If Save Rock and Roll was my jam for the end of 2013, Night Visions was definitely my jam for the first bit of 2013. I’m super excited to hear some new Imagine Dragons music — specifically a full album of new Imagine Dragons music.

Thing #3:

Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 12.00.21 PM


I cannot BEGIN to express to you how much I FLIPPED THE EFF OUT when I saw this on Twitter on Monday. So I’m a bit of an EDM fan, right? Or rather, have become a bit of an EDM fan over the past two years courtesy of my best friend, with whom I have attended many an EDM show. Anyway. Over the course of my EDM fandom, I have established my Absolute Top Three. They are, in no particular order (because they all fall into very different subgenres within the overarching genre of EDM):

– Flume
– RL Grime
– Big Gigantic

I’ve seen Flume live on four different occasions (Flume at The Mid, March 2013: #3 show of my life up to this point). I’ve seen RL Grime live two/three different occasions (RL Grime at Concord followed by RL Grime playing his own show’s afterparty at The Mid, November 2014: #2 show of my life up to this point [depending on if you want to count it as one show or two…if you count it as two, then Flume at the Mid was #4, RL Grime at Concord was #3, and RL Grime at The Mid in November was #2]). (My #1 show up to this point was Fall Out Boy at the Metro, November 2013. That’s practically untouchable in terms of AMAZINGNESS.). How many times have I seen Big Gigantic live? ZERO. You know why? Because Big Gigantic NEVER plays Chicago. They play Detroit all the time, but Detroit is six hours away, and they always play on a Sunday night (whyyyyyyyyy? Why do bad things happen to good people?). The ONLY time Big Gigantic has played Chicago since I’ve been a Big Gigantic fan was at Spring Awakening last year, which I did not attend because 1) I am not a junior at New Trier High School 2) I have (to my knowledge) one friend in Chicago who also loves EDM (that person being my best friend), and my best friend had other friends in town from California that weekend who he did not want to drag to Spring Awakening just so I could see Big Gigantic (legit. I GUESS.) Plus they played on Sunday anyway, and on Sundays last summer I had to go to bed at like 8:30 because I had personal training at 6:00 a.m. Mondays.

All that to say I definitely have not seen Big Gigantic live, and this has definitely been a major source of sadness for me for quite some time. BUT! BUT BUT BUT! They are playing CHICAGO on a SATURDAY and I am THRILLED BEYOND MEASURE. I don’t care if the show is 18+ (I really dislike 18+ shows. 21+ 4eva, plz.) I. Am. Going. To See. Big Gigantic. And all shall be well with my concert attending resume.

WAIT. I just remembered that I saw Augustana last May at Double Door, and that was also life changing. Shoot. This throws all of my rankings off. Mmm, I still think Augustana was below Flume at the Mid. Although no strangers at Flume tapped me on the shoulder and declared me Flume’s biggest fan for knowing all of the words, which did happen at Augustana…

Hello, my name is Bethany, and I’m addicted to live shows.

2. The strangest thing happened to me on Tuesday. I always read while eating my lunch at work — I finish the RedEye if I didn’t finish it on my commute to the office, and then I pull out whatever other reading material I have. Usually I read books from the library, but my sister bought me a book for Christmas, so I had been reading that for the past couple of days instead. I read it Tuesday at lunch, slipped it under my arm on my way out of the lunch room, put it away, and then carried on with my day.

On my way home from work, I reached into my work bag to grab my book and couldn’t find it anywhere. I don’t carry that big of a bag to work, so this was odd, but I figured I had somehow put it on the floor by my desk instead of in my bag, and enjoyed a restful commute. (I would have played on my phone, but it only had 2% battery left, so I just sat around instead.)

I completely forgot about all of this until lunch rolled around yesterday, at which point I went to grab my book and remembered, “Right! I left it here! Wait. If I left it here…where is it?”

I don’t have a clue! I can’t find it anywhere! My thought (fear) is that I somehow accidentally threw it away when I was throwing away the trash from my lunch, which would be quite upsetting for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that book was a Christmas present from my sister that she put a lot of thought into when she bought it for me.

I imagine it’s gone forever, especially if I threw it in the trash. But if you happen to find a stray copy of The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty just lying around, it’s probably mine, and I’d like it back, please.

3. For the past five weeks or so, I’ve been gymless and thus relegated to at-home workouts. I’ve been using the NTC app, which is free for iPhones (not sure about Android devices) and WOWZA. I didn’t realize how big of a difference those workouts were making in my body until the other day when I happened to catch my arms at the right angle and realized holy smokes — I have muscle tone! I haven’t had muscle tone in my arms for ages. I haven’t been following any specific program on the app: I just pick a workout that I can do with minimal equipment (I only have dumbbells and my Therabands, and some of the workouts require a lot more than that, though I’ve found I can usually make modifications — a dumbbell for a medicine ball, or just jumping instead of using a box to jump on/over) that fits the amount of time I have that day, and boom. Killer workout. Usually the workouts include both cardio and strength, at least the ones I’ve done, meaning I think they’ve done a good job of keeping me in shape all the way around. The app includes videos of all the exercises and verbal cues, so it’s pretty easy to follow. Plus you can play your own music in the background from your music library! I’m a big fan, and I think this has done more to get me in shape (even with my horrendous diet — I started this in the throes of the holidays, mind you, and I’m still more toned than I’ve been in months/years) than anything else I’ve done in quite some time.

What workouts are you doing right now?
Do you like going to live music shows? What was the best one you’ve ever attended?


Filed under Life

Thursday Things

1. Here’s my advanced apology: the next six weeks are the hands-down busiest time for me at work, and on top of the two major projects we always have in January and February, this year we also have another major project. In addition to that, I recently got a new “half job” at work, if you will, along with the job I already had (I asked for this half job, so it’s not like my boss just handed me a billion new responsibilities for funzies). While I love blogging, I primarily use it as a way to pass time at work, so if I’m more absent in the writing and commenting departments from now until mid-February, that’s why. I’ll be around when I can, and when I can’t, I won’t. I’m also accepting all productivity/sanity vibes/prayers/thoughts, since this season at work last year was a nightmare, and I’m really hoping to make it out this year with substantially less tearful phone calls to my mother.

2. GUESS WHO GRADUATED FROM PT?! :D After six full months of “official” therapy and six and a half months of making visits to my PT’s clinic, I finally, finally, finally broke up with my physical therapist last Wednesday. He seemed to be pretty happy with how everything looked/felt on me, which was great. Not that it makes much of a difference at this point: I’ve annihilated my medical budget, and with my deductible resetting on the first of the year, I was going to be done with PT whether my PT thought I was good to go or not. With more of a running off-season this year, I’m hoping to make it until, you know, at least the mid-point of marathon training next summer before needing to see my PT again. Or much longer than that. That’d be okay, too. In the mean time, I have my own nice little mini PT clinic in my room now.


Try not to be jealous of my Theraband collection. I realize it’s pretty impressive :P

3. I watched The Bachelor for the first (and hopefully last) time in my life on Monday, and I think I lost at least a solid semester of education as a result. I mean, I appreciate mindless entertainment as much as the next girl, but my GOODNESS was I blown away by the idiocy of it all. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, so if The Bachelor is your jam, more power to you, but please don’t invite me to your viewing party. I already looked up season spoilers and know (at least according to the spoilers) who Chris is engaged to just to ensure I have zero reason to watch the rest of the show.

I do have a couple of things to say about the episode, however. (No spoilers at all, for those worried about such things.) Thing #1: Jade is the only girl I find at all tolerable. Also, she’s from Nebraska, apparently, which in and of itself should seal the deal for Chris as far as I’m concerned. Although I’m also rooting for Kelsey, since, though she lives in Austin, now, she’s originally from Hudsonville, which is in West Michigan, and I gotta give some love to my fellow West Michiganders. (Plus Hudsonville Ice Cream is the BOMB.)

Thing #2: Did we all catch the moment when Kaitlyn, the insufferable Canadian, tried to teach Chris to dance? Did we all catch how she tried to teach him how to BREAKDANCE? Now, not to get all up on my high horse or anything (I am absolutely getting up on my high horse right now, btw), but she was SO. BAD. This girl claims to be a dance instructor, but that was legitimately some of the worst breakdancing I’ve ever seen — and I’ve seen (and done) a lot of bad breakdancing since I started taking classes two years ago. could six step circles around this girl, and that is really saying something (though I do, admittedly, have a pretty mean six step. But a six step is THEE most basic move in breakdance. That is Day One material. Saying you have an impressive six step is like saying you have an impressive ability with pinning race bibs onto your shirt at a 5K, i.e.: it’s really not impressive at all.)

If you would like to see what a six step ACTUALLY looks like (and learn how to do it yourself!), please consult this video, NOT KAITLYN, BECAUSE SHE IS TERRIBLE:

This has been Bethany’s Breakdancing Public Service Announcement.

Do you watch The Bachelor?


Filed under Life