My Week Driving the Lexus CT

Some of you may remember when I had the opportunity to review the 2015 Toyota Pruis C. (If not, feel free to check out that post after this one.) As luck would have it, I was contacted again this year; but this time to test out the Lexus CT 200h. It is another hybrid vehicle like the Prius C, so of course I was STOKED to try it out. And I mean, c’mon, it’s a Lexus. I was much less apprehensive this time around, because I knew the drill. So when they delivered the car to me, I felt like an old pro. 😉 Look at this beauty? I’m so happy I got another fun color too!IMG_1842

I was pleased to learn that even though this is a Lexus, it’s not gonna break the bank. It’s reasonably priced with other cars in its class, so the base model is quite affordable at $31,250.

The CT that I received was the F Sport model, which means that even though it’s a hybrid vehicle, it still has the option to get up and GO! The biggest drawback (for me) with the Prius was the lack of horsepower. So I was very excited to know a hybrid car exists with a little more power. (Now, of course I know about Teslas, but I’m talking about an affordable car.)


At this point, I should emphasize that I am in no way a car expert, so this review is going to be very fluffy. 🙂


The CT200h had the option to go into Eco, Normal or Sport mode with the twist or tap of a knob. Twist to the right and you are in sport mode, the dash light turns red, and the light around the knob does too! Tap, and you are back in normal mode. Now, if you are really economical you could twist left and get into Eco mode… or the drive super slow with no pick-up mode. 😉 Eco mode was blue, and please note Mr. Zucchini Runner took that photo while I was driving.


When I made a list of things I liked, and things I didn’t like about the car, the LIKE list was much longer. For starters, it was nice and small, so it was very easy to park. Because it was a sport model, it had nice bucket seats which help you to stay “tucked in” your seat on turns. There was a very handy phone holder in the center console which gave me incredibly easy access to my phone. Also, to put the car in park you simply pushed a little button on the center console! I should also mention shifting was incredibly smooth and easy as well. One of the drawbacks which is worth noting; the backup beeping. The car beeped the entire time you were in reverse and therefore backing up. The first 3 times I thought something was in my way, or a door was ajar… it was very alarming and distracting. I wonder if there is a way to turn if off or if that is standard on every model?


But back to the good stuff… the drink holder, was the PERFECT size for my water bottle and was nice and deep to hold it snugly in place.


We looked super cool getting our groceries or taking our friends to dinner. 😉 hehe


Overall, I did enjoy the Lexus CT200h… and if you are super passionate about owning a Lexus but don’t want to break the bank, this car might be a good fit for you! One of my favorite things about hybrid cars is how smooth and quiet they are. You can tell the vehicle you are driving is where all cars will be in the upcoming years. When the time comes for me to get a new car, I KNOW I will be getting a hybrid or electric car.


Clif Organic Energy Food Review and Giveaway

I have always been a huge fan of Clif products, because I can read and understand all of their ingredients AND their bars taste GREAT. Recently I had the opportunity to try a new product of theirs called Organic Energy Food. (Of course this opportunity was through the awesome local running group, Run Eat Tweet AZ.) When I first heard about these, I thought they sounded PERFECT! Organic, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, simple ingredients and delicious sounding flavors! (Sweet Potato with Sea Salt, Banana Mango with Coconut, Banana Beet with Ginger and Pizza Margherita.) On the morning of my long run a couple weeks ago, I decided to try the sweet potato flavor, which contains 200 calories, 21g carbs, 12g fat and 4g protein. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to actually TRY them once they were in my possession, haha! I unscrewed the lid, squeezed a little out, stared at it and then tried some… interesting… I could definitely taste the sweet potato, but what overpowered it was the salt. I’m not a big salt person – I think a little goes a long way! And for me personally, this was just too salty. I was a little bummed. I wanted so badly to like these! But Mr. Zucchini Runner tried it later, and he didn’t think it was too salty – so everyone is different! I’m sure if I consumed this mid run, I would feel differently. With the Arizona heat however, warm sweet potato didn’t sound good mid run, so I opted to try it before my run.


The next flavor I tried was AMAZING and absolutely made up for the sweet potato – banana, mango, coconut. YEP! Now THAT was great. This is the lightest food, weighing in at 100 calories, 17g carbs, 2.5g fat and 1g protein. I put it in the fridge the night before so it was nice and cold, and sucked it down right before heading out the door for a 10 mile bike ride. It was perfect and hit the spot. Great flavor, great texture – it even had little bits of coconut too. So far these flavors were 1 to 1…


On my next long run I wanted to try the Energy Food during my run, like the label suggests. 🙂 So I carried it in my Nathan hydration vest, in the front pocket for easy access. At the halfway point of my run, I pulled it out, quickly unscrewed the cap and again, sucked it all down – Banana Beet with Ginger – another delicious flavor. I wanted MORE! I kept squeezing the tiny pouch, hoping I could eek more out, but no luck. I screwed the cap back on, and stuck it back in my pocket. I REALLY liked that. It was easy access, and didn’t make a gooey mess on my hands, clothes or vest. My only regret is that I didn’t bring a second one along for that run. I was out there for 2 hours and 11 minutes and by the end I was STARVING. I really could have used the banana mango, on top of the banana beet! Banana Beet with Ginger is another lightweight with only 110 calories, 23g carbs, .5g fat and 2g protein. I would say for anyone worried about beet flavor, it was non-existent. I only tasted banana and a slight hint of ginger. It sat well in my stomach, no upset at all.


And now for the last flavor I’m sure you are all DYING to know about… Pizza! Of course I saved it for last, because, well let’s face it I was terrified to try it. Most days I run at 5:30 a.m., so there was NO WAY anything about pizza anything sounded good to me at that hour. I opted to simply taste test pizza one evening instead. I was AMAZED. It actually tasted GOOD! My immediate thought was that it would be wonderful if I was doing an endurance run, in the evening and wanted something that resembled comfort food. It was basically just pizza sauce in a tube. 🙂 Well done Clif, well done!

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Overall, I am impressed by the Clif Organic Energy Foods, with the exception of the Sweet Potato with Sea Salt, I really liked all the flavors – and I’m willing to give it a second chance. The packaging makes using them convenient and easy, too. Of course my number one favorite thing, is the organic and simple ingredients.

Want to taste test some for yourself? Run Eat Tweet AZ is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page, head over to enter today! Deadline to enter is Wednesday (7/22) by Midnight.