My Big Purple Ball

by HEAB on August 10, 2010

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

That title got your attention, didn’t it? ;)

Well, here is the ball I speak of…

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Stephanie from American’s Nutrition, a website that sells a wide variety of products, from fitness gear to skincare, offered to send me one of their products for a review. Thanks Stephanie! I immediately chose the ZenZu Ball, and I am so glad I did. First off, I own an exercise ball that I purchased from Target, and honestly, it’s awful. It’s too small and kind of flimsy. Plus, I can’t remove the plug to add more air. In other words, it sits upstairs collecting dust. :(

I chose the ZenZu ball for several reasons.

A) I needed an exercise ball for my strength training workouts from Lindsey.

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Look Lindsey, I did my workout yesterday. :)

B) I’ve been wanting to get one to use a chair

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Works perfect!

C) I learned from both and Averie and my birthing class instructor that exercise balls are wonderful for pregnant women. By sitting on one, the mama-to-be is able to maintain balance and stability as her belly gets bigger, and the balls help to relieve strain on the hips and low back by forcing women to engage their abdominal muscles. It also promotes better posture, and I definitely need help in that area! The ball also makes abdominal exercises easier since after the 4th month of pregnancy, it’s difficult to lie flat on your back.

D) Exercise balls are wonderful for use in labor as well. According to this article, The birth ball allows you more flexibility in terms of positioning yourself during labor. We’ve all heard that upright and active positions help labor be more comfortable, give you a sense of control, as well as shortening the overall time of labor, however you may find yourself unsure of how to achieve the upright positions once in active labor when you begin to feeling tired. The birth ball allows you to sit in a semi-squatting position without straining the muscles of your legs. It will also allow you to assume a supported hands/knees position, or even place the ball on the hospital bed or couch of your living room and stand up leaning over it. You may find you appreciate being able to use these positions with or without a birth partner supporting you. Some mothers I’ve talked to also appreciate being able to rock side-to-side during contractions and feel it helped move their baby through the birth canal. During one of our birthing classes, CD and I practiced sitting on the ball in different positions for when contractions hit, and I was surprised to learn how useful it will be.

The ZenZu is so much better than the fitness ball I bought from Target. First off, it’s bigger, and since I’m 5’7″, my birth instructor recommended at least a 65cm ball, the size of the ZenZu. It’s also very sturdy, and I feel so supported when I sit on it. Plus, the ball was easy to inflate and came with a plug remover in case I should need to add more air or deflate the ball. I’ve already gotten so much use out of my ZenZu ball, and I know it will last me a long time. It will also be accompanying me to the hospital when it’s time to meet the HEABlet. :) Thanks again to American’s Nutrition – I love my ball! :)

Another thing I love?

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Dearest Justin,

I wasn’t so sure about your chocolate nut butters at first, but now I dream of your chocolate hazelnut butter. Nothing makes me happier…except for maybe your chocolate almond butter. Also, I was never a fan of nut butters in packets. Why, why, why did I ever doubt the packet as they are truly brilliant! As long as you knead them really well, the nut butter oozes out just like frosting, and I love the spreadability factor. Now, if you could just figure out how to make packets of crunchy chocolate nut butter, I’d love you forever.

Sincerely,

Heab :)

PS – Please start selling the chocolate line in Nashville!!!

Do you own a fitness ball? Personally, I think it’s one piece of exercise equipment everyone should own. They’re just so versatile!

{ 111 comments }

Jessica @ How Sweet August 10, 2010 at 5:48 am

The chocolate line is only sold in packets here. I am absolutely obsessed with it!

Rachel @ Suburban Yogini August 10, 2010 at 5:55 am

I have a big pink ball ;) I use it as a desk chair and for weights training/ab work.

I use them all the time when I’m teaching pregnancy yoga too!

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 10, 2010 at 5:57 am

Have you told Chris about your other loves? This is so scandalous! I haven’t tried any of Justin’s stuff. I haven’t found it here. I am thinking I am better off not though! As for the ball…I used to have one before my hernia surgery that popped (the kids told me the cat popped it, but I am thinking it was something else…things for you to look forward to!) and now I am not comfortable with using one sine I can’t do abdominal work. I miss it though. I loved using it as a chair. I wish I knew about them when I was pregnant too, I would imagine it feels great!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:07 am

Sarena, Haha – yes, CD knows, and thankfully, he’s not much of the jealous type. :)

OK, when I first read your comment, I thought you meant your hernia popped, and I thought, wow, that must have been really painful. Then I got it when you mentioned the cat. ;)

Taylor August 10, 2010 at 6:00 am

I’ve wanted an exercise ball for a while now but I feel like if I get it I won’t actually use it. I tend to go through phases with exercise methods and different techniques, so I feel like that would probably happen and then I’d be left with this massive ball just bouncin’ around my house.

Although I never thought about using it as a chair! That changes things a bit…hmm…

Ana August 10, 2010 at 6:06 am

We found Justin’s chocolate nut butter packets on whole foods this week, I was so happy!! I got the chocolate almond and hazelnut nut butters and love both! I like the almond best, it has a hint of salt that lingers in the mouth that makes it so addicting!
Now, the chocolate hazelnut butter… omg, move over nutella, this will definitely be my choice when it comes to chocolate and hazelnut together, no transfats of dairy (as nutella has), huge plus for this guy Justin! (Matheus loved the chocolate almond butter and already asked that I put into sandwiches for school lunches sometimes instead of pb!)
I also have a ball and love it! Mine is gray. I mainly use it to sit sometimes when I watch tv or something. I should learn how to exercise more on it though, it is such a good piece of equipment, especially for core workout. I definitely need to use it more!
Ana

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:21 am

Ana, I’m so happy for you too! PS – Love that Matheus. ;)

Sarah August 10, 2010 at 6:08 am

I love the post title. I am 23 weeks pregnant and I really need that purple ball. I am looking for new ways to relieve the pains of labor. Thanks for the great tips.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

Sarah, You’re welcome. 23 weeks – so exciting. Congrats! Hope you are feeling well, and yes, get yourself a big purple ball! :)

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 10, 2010 at 6:12 am

…or even place the ball on the hospital bed or couch of your living room and stand up leaning over it

Does that mean you can give birth standing up??

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

Samantha, Lying on your back is the worst for pushing. Women have been giving birth in an upright squatting position for forever as squatting widens your pelvis and takes advantage of gravity so baby can move down and out faster. However, since births moved into hospitals, the doctors prefer you to be lying down since you’re normally hooked up to a fetal monitor, and if you get pain meds, you have to be lying down in the bed b/c you’re hooked up to an IV. I’m going to request intermittent monitoring and no IV’s unless there is an emergency so that I can get out of bed and move around.

rachael August 10, 2010 at 6:16 am

Justin’s choclate hazelnut butter sounds amazing. I’ll have to look for it. I loved sitting on my birth ball during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It really relieved pressure and helped keep my hips open for labor & delivery.

Heather August 10, 2010 at 6:17 am

i love stability balls! i don’t use mine for a chair at work anymore but I love working out with it…and I can only imagine how it helps the strain on your hips and lower back when pregnant! i’m definitely keeping mine very close-by when I’m preggo ;)

Heather (Perspective Is Everything) August 10, 2010 at 6:21 am

Lookin’ supah cute bein’ all pregnant!
I used a birthing ball while in labor. It was GREAT during the “light” contractions, and was a nice distraction.
BUT, once the major contractions started, all bets were off. “GET ME A FAN! GET ME INTO THE BED! YOU DON’ T HAVE TO ANSWER YOUR PHONE JUST CUZ IT RINGS! (to my hubby).
Yeah-I didn’t have ANY pain meds, so I was a little irritable ;)
I did like the ball, but once in hardcore excruciating labor, I needed a much more stable surface.
Oh, yeah, if Justin’s comes up with a chunky pb pack-I’m all over that. :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:13 am

Heather, You make me laugh. How long was your labor? I think it’s great you allowed your body to do its thang without any pain meds!

lz August 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

I used to have a balance ball chair and it was so comfortable but it broke! I have to get on getting a new one…
And Justin’s nut butters are sooo good!

Tina August 10, 2010 at 6:41 am

Love those stability/exercise balls. They are great for workouts and are amazing for easing pregnancy aches and pains. Love them! And you just gave me an idea for another article. :)

couchpotatoathlete August 10, 2010 at 6:46 am

I used to have a stability ball, but I don’t anymore. I want one again now!

Heather you are such a fit pregnant Mommy! :)

Nicole - yuppieyogini.com August 10, 2010 at 6:54 am

Mmmm—I must try this hazelnut butter. Not like I need another nutbutter to be addicted to ;)

Texas Gunslinger August 10, 2010 at 6:57 am

I almost bought a stability ball just yesterday! I knew I should have grabbed it while I was thinking about it HA! I’ve been wanting to use it in my office as well as exercises during my favorite show to stay busy. Guess it’s affirmation I need to BUY IT this time:)

Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 10, 2010 at 7:00 am

i bet i have the same target ball you too; def too small. but i do w/ it what i can!

Sarah August 10, 2010 at 7:10 am

I have one, but right now, it serves only as an office chair. I think I just learned a lot about the possibilities of that big plastic ball!

sweetersalt August 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

I’ve really been wanting a fitness ball, actually 2. One for home, one for work. I may be the weird girl, bouncing away in her office, but I think it would improve my posture!

Laura

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:12 am

Laura, Do it! Be the weird girl – you have my full support. :)

Nicole August 10, 2010 at 7:17 am

I have been wanting to buy a balance ball chair for years. They have backs on them but they don’t defeat the whole balance ball chair purpose (alignment, core strength, etc.) I don’t have a balance ball but it’s been on my list for a while.
I’m so bummed that I can’t find the chocolate hazelnut butter here! I guess I’ll have to order it online!

Lindsey August 10, 2010 at 7:26 am

And you look fabulous doing it, too! Good job, Heather!

homecookedem August 10, 2010 at 7:30 am

I don’t own a fitness ball… can you believe it? I definitely need to get my hands on one in the next few months. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

Em, Yes, you do – they are wonderful!

bubblegumgymkat August 10, 2010 at 7:30 am

I have a few of those balls. I really should sit on one at work though. My posture needs help.

rebecca lustig August 10, 2010 at 7:35 am

fitness balls are so fun– even when you’re not using them for conventional exercises!

sometimes you just need to roll around the room on your back….. haha

hope you have a fantastic day!
love, becca
http://fromheretothereinpurple.blogspot.com

Evan Thomas August 10, 2010 at 7:35 am

I was JUST thinking I should get one of those balls to sit on while I’m in my dorm. I think this is a sign. :-)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

Evan, Yes, you need one!

Sarah (See Sarah Eat/River City Fitness) August 10, 2010 at 7:35 am

My husband got me a ball for an anniversary present and he just inflated it for me last night. I sat on it for a while and it was so comfy. I can’t wait to start using it for workouts and maybe even as a chair at home :)

Christina August 10, 2010 at 7:50 am

The packets are brilliant and they are good for portion control; I can not be trusted around chocolate nut butters ;) . Most of the time I find that adding it to oatmeal or an apple takes away from the enjoyment, so I have it straight up. I’m hardcore like that :)

Lindsey’s workouts are kickin’ my patootie, in a good way!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:09 am

Christina, Ha – I love that you eat the packets straight-up. CD likes them that way as well. :)

S August 10, 2010 at 7:50 am

Years ago my physio told me to get a ball. I’m short, and was told “you want a 90 degree angle with your knees when sitting on it”. So the ball that I have is tiny, and I can only use it for working out. If I try to use it as an office chair, I look like I can’t see over the desk. :) Time for a new purchase!

Dorry August 10, 2010 at 7:59 am

Everyone is commenting on the ball – I’m commenting on my obsession with Justin’s packets! So glad you agree with me. :)

It All Changes August 10, 2010 at 8:02 am

I have the standard swiss ball. But it is my office chair and I like to just stretch out over it when watching tv since I’ve had my back surgery. And it is much better than a bench when I do weights because it is not as rigid for my back. LOVE IT!

Carbzilla August 10, 2010 at 8:04 am

I have a great ball but it’s my pump that’s bad so it’s never been firm enough. I’m going to have to bring it to a friend’s house to use their pump and that seems so lame. Meanwhile, I’m on a pump hunt….

Jill M August 10, 2010 at 8:16 am

Hang on to that ball! When our babies were tiny, my husband and I figured out that you could sit on the ball and gently bounce while holding your baby. We spent hours on that ball, bouncing our babies to sleep, particularly when they went through their colicky stages. It really saved us.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 8:19 am

Jill, One of my friends did the exact same thing with her colicky baby – said it was the only thing that soothed him. I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

thedailyoatmeal August 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

I bought my first exercise ball this May. It does more sitting in my office than I would like, but I always feel awkward on it! Based on what you showed, I think I may try sitting on it a couple hours a day. I’m a little over 5’9, though, so the ball I bought is quite big. It might be too tall to sit at my desk!

your best advice August 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

I have one and use it….but have not tried it for a seat,yet!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 10, 2010 at 8:41 am

I knew the ball was supposed to help posture and all that but I had no idea it had so many other benefits! We used to have one here but I have no idea what happened to it..hopefully it didnt pop, cause I kinda want to trade in my desk chair for it :P

eatmovewrite August 10, 2010 at 8:46 am

I really want a ball and I had no idea about using it during labor. How cool! (Crunchy!) chocolate nut butter sounds so good I’m almost afraid of trying it. I might get addicted.

40apples August 10, 2010 at 9:19 am

I love sitting on exercise balls. So good for you!

I wish I could sit on a ball at my desk at work. I used to be in an office that was pretty relaxed and one of the women there got rid of her chair and only ever sat on a ball. My posture would be so fabulous if I sat on one every day! Unfortunately, a ball in the current office would likely be very frowned upon…. We have a “decor code” – which resulted in a plant of mine getting kidnapped and presumably trashed, I might add. (Still very bitter about that ;) )

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 9:37 am

40apples, I’d be bitter too. Poor plant. :(

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather August 10, 2010 at 9:20 am

my cat deflated my exercise balls and I miss it so! Sounds like a great sturdy ball that’s really going to benefit you the next few months a lot.

Tracy August 10, 2010 at 9:53 am

Heather, Whole Foods One Day Only Sale for today includes Justin’s Almond and Hazelnut Butters! $5.99 for a jar (reg. $9.99). Are you still in Michigan? Whole Foods anywhere close?

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 9:57 am

Tracy, Yes, we’ll be in Michigan for another month…no where near a Whole Foods. However, the Whole Foods in Nashville doesn’t carry the Justin’s jars anyway. Sadness. :( Please buy yourself a big jar and enjoy some for me! :)

Katie August 10, 2010 at 10:03 am

Are you sure you’re pregnant? You can’t tell at all in the photo!

I’ve been meaning to get a stability ball for months now. I think I’ll do it today. You’ve convinced me. :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Katie, Oh yes, I’m sure. The bump is large and in charge today! Enjoy your ball! :)

Michelle August 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

I love my big blue ball! I actually shouted that out once in middle school and my friends still repeat it to me. I’m in college.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Michelle, That’s hilarious. Made me laugh out loud – sounds like your friends will never let you live that one down, but I don’t blame you for exclaiming the big ball love. :)

Emily August 10, 2010 at 10:17 am

Oh my gosh chocolate nut butter! Does it taste different than Nutella? Maybe a little healthier?

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Emily, The Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter is not as rich or sweet as Nutella, but in my opinion, it’s just as delicious and doesn’t leave you with the sickly sweet feeling. Also, the ingredients in Justin’s are so much better:

*Nutella:* Sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

*Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter:* Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

Note that the first ingredient listed in Nutella is sugar, and it contains 21 grams per serving while Justin’s only contains 7. Also, Justin’s is dairy free. Hope you can find some in your area soon!

eatmovelove August 10, 2010 at 10:25 am

P.P.S Dear Justin – please start selling in Canada!!! ;)

Funny – I found a Hazelnut Almond Nut Butter in the store yesterday – by Nuts 2 You – can’t wait to try it :)

Great review by the way.

eatmovelove August 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

…and your gone for a month?! You do have stores nearby right?! …and without your Vita-Mix for a month? – wow, you are tough HEAB! (not that I have one, just I know you like it :) ).

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Eatmovelove, I hope you like the Nuts 2 You nut butter! Sounds divine. :)

Yes, we’re staying in Michigan for 5 weeks sans Vita-Mix, and yes, there is a grocery store nearby, but it’s very small and has no “health food” aisle. I can’t even find oat bran here. There is a Super Wal-Mart about 25 miles away, but it wasn’t the greatest either. However, I’ll make do. I did find avocados here in town yesterday which made me very happy, but the produce selection kind of stinks. :(

momsgottheruns August 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

Hey Heather! We use the birthing ball for women who want to do natural labor at work. Many of my natural patients really like using the ball during labor, especially as it gets more intense. My only suggestion would be to bring your own ball to use. We have a couple at work for patients to use, but labor is messy business, and even though we clean them, there’s just something about the thought of it that makes me think “ew”. : )

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Momsgottheruns, Yes, “ew” is right! Definitely planning on my bringing my own personal ball to the party. :)

*Andrea* August 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

these are soooooo good! i tried the chocolate peanut and chocolate almond butters and liked the almond one wayyyy more. i’ve yet to try the hazelnut but i bought 2 squeeze packets of it at whole foods and can’t wait!

i wish justin sold the chocolate ones in the 100 or 80-cal size and not just the 1.15 oz one.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Andrea, Yeah, I thought the chocolate peanut butter was okay, but I LOVE the almond butter as well as Justin’s hazelnut butter. They sell jars of the chocolate nut butters if you can find them, and that way you could enjoy 100 or 80 calories worth whenever you wanted. :)

Dea August 10, 2010 at 11:11 am

I have a couple fit balls, a 55cm and 65cm, I love them. I’ve use the bigger one for both labours and it was invaluable both time. I think you’ll love it! During this labor I would bouce on it between contractions and my 2 y/o would bounce on the little one, then when I’d have a contraction I’d stand up and she’d run over and hug my leg. It was so cute that it made the contractions easier. (I was bouncing to keep them going since they were slowing and I was trying hard for a homebirth) Later in the hospital I’d drape my upper body over one and rock and it was so nice! love love love!
Pre babies I was able to kneel tall on one. I’m not quite there yet, but I can kneel on one and still sit on my legs.
I love my fit ball, so fun!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Dea, I love that your 2 year old held onto your leg during contractions – so adorable. Maybe CD would do the same thing? Hehe. That’s impressive that you can kneel on them – you must have amazing balance!

annecalista August 10, 2010 at 11:17 am

My mom has one and I would use it sometimes when I still lived at home. I’d like to get one of my own! It’s awesome that you are into “alternative” birthing positions- I learned recently how the standard of women lying on their backs to give birth may not be best/easiest for them.

Holly August 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

i am like a child on those fitness balls. i bounce, flounce and trounce. most of all, i try to balance, which usually ends up in me being flung across the room.

happy tuesday heabs :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Holly, I really just want to hang out with you. Someday hopefully. :)

livingfreeforever August 10, 2010 at 11:41 am

I have a stability ball and they are great! Mine isn’t an expensive one, but it’ll do. They are great for ab work! It’s amazing how much more work it takes to do crunches on a ball than it does on the floor.

I LOVE your skirt in the last picture of you! Hope you are having a wonderful restful vacation so far. 8)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Thanks Kimberly, but the skirt is actually a pair of pants and so comfy! My friend brought them back from Thailand. One size fits all and so they’re great for an expanding belly. :)

Sarah R August 10, 2010 at 11:42 am

Crunchy, chocolate nut butter….yyyuuummm… wouldn’t that be magnificent?! I really want an exercise ball, it’s amazing how pricey they can get!

meagan August 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

I looooove my exercise ball. I’m (still) pregnant and it’s all I sit on. I also get on my knees and drape my chest over it and rock my lower back/pelvis to relieve back pain. A friend of mine who just gave birth labored in that position for hours and it really worked for her.

Also, another plus of the ball is that it can help the baby engage in the pelvis earlier.

I hope you enjoy it! I do!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Meagan, Yes, loving my ball. I think every mama-to-be should own one!

Lauren August 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Heather, I use my stability ball as a chair by the computer too! After the chiropractor told my husband and I how much we should be lying on the stability ball to work on our necks, I finally got one and since our house is so tiny, I just replaced our uncomfortable computer chair with the ball. I still manage to slouch, though! I also just have to remember to actually do the back exercises…ooops! Still LOVING Lindsey’s workouts! :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Lauren, I am a horrible sloucher despite all my yoga and always telling my massage therapy clients about the importance of good posture. So, need to work on that one myself! Glad to hear you’re still enjoying your workouts. :)

Michelle (Housewife in the Raw) August 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hi – new to your fantastic blog! I’ll be back again and again.

I used a ball all during labor with both my kids. I only got off when it was time to push. It was awesome! It’s also great for after the birth – my daughter always calmed down when (lightly) bounced and by using the ball, I could sit and watch tv instead of bounce-walking around the house over and over. Ahh, memories.

We had to deflate the ball once my kids starting having near-accidents over and over. It’ll come back out when they get a bit older.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Michele, So glad you found me – and thanks for reading. I’ve had several others tell me that their babies loved to bounce on the ball. So good to know!

Laura August 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm

WOW!! This has just reminded me how much i miss our exercize ball! Unfortunately though….due to….interesting circumstances, ours got ran over by a car!!!!! Yes..you heard me correctly..it got run over!!!! We were having a big BBQ in the garden and the kiddies were playing with it in the garden….we live on a hill……we have a low fence……at the bottom of our street there is a busy road…..this resulted in a rather squashed exercize ball!! I used to enteratin myself for hours on it!! xx

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Laura, Now that’s one you don’t hear everyday. I hope the driver was left unharmed. ;)

Megan (Braise The Roof) August 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I never thought about exercise balls like that- very interesting post, Heather!

I need to try the Chocolate Hazelnut spread…how is it compared to say, Nutella? Does it taste healthier? ;)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Megan, The Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter is not as rich or sweet as Nutella, but in my opinion, it’s just as delicious and doesn’t leave you with the sickly sweet feeling. Also, the ingredients in Justin’s are so much better:

*Nutella:* Sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an artificial flavor.

*Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter:* Ingredients: Dry Roasted Hazelnuts, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Natural Vanilla, Sea Salt.

Note that the first ingredient listed in Nutella is sugar, and it contains 21 grams per serving while Justin’s only contains 7. Also, Justin’s is dairy free. Hope you can find some in your area soon!

gloriousgreens August 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I have a similar story, I have one from Target and I can’t fill it with air so it is basically worthless. I need a new one, so I’ll have to look into the ZenZu

kaztronomic August 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I’ve never used an exercise ball before, but I’ve heard so much about the benefits of them. I should look into one, since I am on my behind (at my computer) most of the time. :P

Cooking in the pocket August 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Hi Heather!
You look HOT on that big purple ball!!!!! : )
I used to have one but not any more. Should have get one big one!!
HAve a goooooood day!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Haha – thanks cooking in the pocket! :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for the shout and what’s funny…I also was contacted by Stephanie at America’s Nutrition and of all the things I could pick out, I picked out a BALL!!! Great minds think alike! I had a ball when I was pregnant w/ Skylar and thought I would like it during labor (but instead I just sat on a chair in the corner and didnt want anyone to talk to me or touch me and I didnt want to move, I just sat there) and then when she was a newborn up til maybe 6 mos old the ONLY way that Miss Colicy would not cry when she wasnt on the boob was by being bounced on the ball in Scott’s arms, while I would sleep for 90 mins and then she was back on the boob. Basically the ball SAVED us! It got lost in a move and so I was thrilled when Stephanie got in touch with me.

I picked out one that has a little bit of sand, it’s weighed, so it doesnt roll around. And it’s gray. Other than that, we have the same ball!

And oh yes sitting with your pelvis tipped and lower than your hip bones helps everything spread on you (I swear I could feel my bones move after sitting on it for awhile when i was preg!) but yeah it encourages an anterior and head-down fetal position for Heablet. Totally such a win-win thing!

Enjoy it..and CD better get used to bouncing on that thing too :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Averie, So funny you chose the ball as well – our minds are so in tune with one another. :) And yes, I’ve had so many mamas tell me that colicky babies love bouncing on the balls, and so I’m glad I got it. Kind of wish I would have noticed the weighted one – you’ll have to tell me what you think.

BroccoliHut August 10, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Hmm I bet I could fit this in my new apartment–space-saving exercise equipment gets two thumbs up from me:)

Erica @ ericaunmasked.blogspot.com August 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Hi friend. Glad to see all is well. We have a ball – yeah. It is great. And when you have the baby – it will double as a toy:) And chocolate PB – I don’t know what is better. Seriously.

Healthy Coconut August 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

It’s great that you are such a fit mom Heather. You are a role model for soon to be mommies out there.

I have an exercise ball but it’s collecting dust too. It was a giveaway for the infomercial. I liked using it and totally forgot about it. I deflated it and haven’t thought it since. Out of sight, out of mind…until this post.

Thanks for writing about this.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Healthy Coconut, You’re welcome! Thanks for reading. :)

Emilia August 10, 2010 at 5:34 pm

You look GREAT for being pregnant first off :)

….And I LOVE Justin’s nut butters. No, he has not yet sent me any free samples in the mail (i am yet waiting :) , but I myself have bought my own samples from a place we like to call “Whole Foods” :) I’ve tried the honey peanut butter and almond butter and chocolate almond butter. De-lishhh! That’s all I have to say :)

And where, may I ask, can you purchase that ball? I SO wish I had a friend who offered one free to me, but unfortunately I don’t :(

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Emilia, You can purchase the exercise ball here: http://americasnutrition.com/zenzu-ball-65cm. I love it, and yes, Justin’s nut butters are definitely DE-lish! :)

Maggie August 10, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I really REALLY want an exercise ball. I don’t think Bobby will let me get one though – we have no room in our apartment and I won’t let him get a desk. And if we both compromised then we would end up with 2 extra things that take up space!! Maybe if I get rid of a chair I can get one ;) I am actually really tempted to order one to replace my chair at work, but they already think I am weird enough – that might be overkill.

P.S. I have to email you about something exciting that just happened to me. This is the hint – it hasn’t happened to me naturally in almost 5 years!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Maggie, Oh my gosh – I totally know what you’re talking about, and I guess congrats are in order, although I don’t feel like that’s quite the correct word for this situation??? Anyway, so happy for you – that is wonderful news! What do you think made it happen? Maybe all your intuitive eating these days? I think so! :) PS – Exchange a chair for the exercise ball!

eredblue August 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

gah! the memories! I totally spent the first half of my labor in the hospital on a ball…spent the second half in a rocking chair and the third half ;) in the bed but I swear it was so helpful…also, I think I’m having sympathy cravings. I ate a jar of choco/hazelnut heaven sat-mon…

Pure2raw twins August 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Very cool about the fitness ball being great for pregnant ladies! We have one, and we love it!

Rachael August 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I love my exercise ball – it’s my only piece of “furniture” when I’m moving around – makeshift chair, stretching machine, ab exerciser and (playful) weapon!

eatmovelove August 10, 2010 at 8:08 pm

5 weeks? Wow – did I miss why you went to Michigan for your ‘moon? …and did you know it was in “food isolation” LOL!!! No, in all seriousness though – your eats are amazing for what your working with! Wow.

I LIVE in a small town (that I just moved to and can’t wait to move from) – that requires me to go to about 4 different stores to find what I’m looking for…and there are no organics…everything is very old-fashioned and not “health-forward” if you will…so yeah, I’ll trade your 5 weeks for my year ? (it would be less but I moved and have to take it as I made the decision…and spent a whole ‘lotta money…)

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Eatmovelove, At least you found the Nuts 2 You! :)

I know you struggled with the decision to move, but the year will fly by…it will. Just throw yourself into it and stay focused on the positive.

Laurie August 10, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I love Hazlenut Chocolate spread. Hazlenut Duo spread is also soooo yummy!! The Chocolate Hazlenut is swirled w/skim milk : )

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Laurie, I’ve never tried the Hazelnut Duo…gosh, I bet that is delicious!

Katie August 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Heabs – I definitely loved me a big ole’ exercise ball during labor AND after the baby came – since I was so active during pregnancy she was used to bouncing up and down, and we found it be AWESOME for helping her fall asleep. YOu are looking great!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Thanks Katie, and yes, I have a feeling that ball is going to get a lot of use in our house! :)

Meagan August 13, 2010 at 9:19 am

I just discovered Justin’s too. Oh they are soo good.

Deb August 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Finding your blog is great, cause finally here is someone who has similar food-needs as I do! Even your experiences during early pregnancy match mine (I went from pre-pregnant eating no sugar, to pregnant and so sick and could only eat ice cream and carbs). My son is 4 months old and I’m finally back to a normal no-sugar diet and loving it (no cravings!).
Thanks for blogging. You’ve inspired me to do yoga again!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Deb, So glad you found me and thanks for your encouraging comment. I’m looking forward to those days of no cravings again! :)

Elise August 17, 2010 at 7:43 am

My husband and I love the almond butter packets. We are hooked on the Barney Butter 90 calorie packs you can buy from Amazon. They are the perfect size and my husband takes them on his bike rides or on a run and eats them at his mid-way point. They are so great when you travel, the perfect snack and so delicious and healthy!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

Elise, I now love individual packets of nut butter – so convenient. I’ve had the Barney Butter ones, but it’s been a while. For now, I’m obsessed with Justin. However, I do wish he sold 90 calorie packets.

Miranda August 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

You will also find the exercise ball can be very handy for soothing an upset baby. My youngest was very colicy and bouncing on the ball holding her was the only thing we found to sooth her.

Heather Eats Almond Butter August 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Miranda, Yes, that ball seems to be popular among colicky babies. So many others have told me the same thing – good to know! :)

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