Monday, May 18, 2015

Home From Spring Vacation

I have just returned home from 19 days away… 2 days in the oddly charming city of San Francisco, and then 17 days on a luxurious cruise ship in a few different ports of call to Hawaii and then Mexico, San Francisco, and finally Vancouver before a short helicopter ride home.  Even though there were a few small incidents and annoyances, overall it was quite wonderful!
 
I had been very concerned about being bored on the ship during all those long days at sea… needlessly as it turns out. I was as active as I wanted to be most of the time.  I did a lot of walking and some running and some swimming on the ship itself, and walked whenever possible at our different ports of call.  I chose not to use the ship’s fitness equipment or yoga/aerobics studio…there were some incidents of illness onboard and honestly, I am not really a gym rat anyway.  I tried to stay outside as much as possible.

I did wear my FitBit and was always pleasantly surprised to see the number of steps I had taken each day and the number of flights of stairs I had climbed too… we rarely used the ship’s elevators in going up or down and some days I logged 163 flights! 

And of course everyone wants to know about the food… it was overwhelming at first.  But I learned that dessert always looks better than it really tastes!  And there was an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies and lean proteins available.  You just have to look past the decadent sauces and soups and salads to find them.

I have been easing back into life at home and slowly unpacking and getting reorganized.  Filling up the fridge with fresh produce yesterday and going for a nice long walk along the waterfront was a first priority… today I get back into my workout groove and back on my food plan.   It’s good to be home.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Yoga For Healthy Hips

I have been making an effort to do at least one yoga session every week in my workout rotation.   I find that yoga is not only a good way to get in a wonderful stretch, but that some of the poses are really beneficial to help build strength and increase flexibility for some of the other activities I enjoy… running, tennis, golf. 

I do have problems with my hips so I tend to concentrate my yoga work in this area.  Recently I was given an opportunity to share this infographic and I immediately responded. I love HALF PIGEON POSE and THREAD THE NEEDLE the very most… cannot even get close to doing DOUBLE PIGEON and was thrilled a while back, to be able to finally get into CAMEL POSE and then lay back into this extended stretch for my quads.


IMG_20141211_101810

Here is the infographic… I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I think it is a great reference!  I wanted to leave you with something helpful as I head off on my vacation…you know I will be practising yoga… see you in a few weeks!


Source: Fix.com
Do you practise yoga?  What is your favorite pose?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sunday Run Day… Monday Insights

I am currently tuned into a television broadcast of the Boston Marathon, and the elite women have just started… if I start to ramble and stop making sense, please forgive my distraction.  You know it’s worth it.

I had a rough night…  up a few times with cramps in the calf of my left leg and on the top of my left foot.  I ended up putting Tiger Balm on it, eating mustard, and then I slept sitting up on the sofa for about 3 hours, before returning to bed at 3 a.m. where I slept very soundly till the alarm went off at 6.  Yup, I was determined to watch some of this race on tv and I am on the West Coast so you know it’s 3 hours earlier on the clock than Boston.

And I am wearing some compression knee highs now, and will be throughout the day today.

So what happened yesterday to cause the leg cramps?

I had a good high protein breakfast yesterday, followed by half a pack of Drip Drop (my medical grade hydration powder) in a glass of water before heading out for a 7.3 km run.  It was a glorious morning… sunny and blue and calm so we ran an out and back route along the Strait.  Lovely, and I was thrilled that the minutes seemed to fly by.  Finished my run in 53 minutes.


shake

When we came in I did a good long stretch and drank  more water before my cleanup and then later, lunch.  It was a huge salad with a whole can of solid white tuna.  Good recovery protein and carbs with a bit of olive oil.


lunch

We have been making a list of things that we don’t have to forget to pack for our upcoming vacation, and discussing the pros and cons of various items. I have decided that I don’t want to take a laptop computer along on this trip, but I do want to take my FitBit.  So, what am I going to use to charge the battery if I don’t have my laptop?  I decided I need  a wall-to-USB charger.  I do have wall chargers for the camera and the cell phones that I intend to take, but not for the FitBit.

This led to a walk downtown, looking for such a device in a few different stores.  I did find something that I think is suitable, and by the time we got home, I had been on my feet another hour and 40 minutes. Looking back, I realize I should have put on a pair of compression tights or socks at that point, but it was so warm that I just didn’t really think about it because my legs felt good.  I enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine with my dinner, and kept hydrating with water and tea throughout the evening and had my usual magnesium powder drink before bed.

I got a message from my FitBit telling me I earned a new badge… It is called the URBAN BOOT BADGE and is for chalking up 15,000 steps in one day.


Urban Boot Badge


Actually, my FitBit recorded many more than that… here is a screen shot of yesterday’s tally.


FitBit

I fell asleep fairly quickly after turning in for the night, at about 11 p.m.  And the first wave of cramps hit at about 11:45. I woke with a start and stood up immediately.  I went to the kitchen, drank more water, and then applied some Tiger Balm. My legs were both tingly up and down the full length… from my ankles to my thighs, so I knew I was in for a rough night.  But I returned to bed, and fell back to sleep, only to be jolted awake again 45 minutes later.

So, I got up again, drank more water, and ate some mustard… which did knock the cramp down immediately, and set myself up on the couch. I thought that sitting up would keep the cramps at bay and it did work.  I slept off and on till 3 when I finally went back to bed.  I was hoping that the worst of it was over as I no longer felt any tingling in my legs.

So, in hindsight, it was probably a combination of the run, the long walk, and the wine that put things into play… and even though I drank my Drip Drop, and lots of water, and wore compression leggings during the run, and had my magnesium drink before bed, those things were not enough to prevent the over-tiredness in the muscles, and the cramps that followed.  I hope I have learned a lesson here.

Okay, time to go watch the elite men run Boston.

Are  you watching the marathon today, too?  Are you tracking any of your favorites runners?

Do you continue to learn things about your body and what it needs from various activities and foods that you consume?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Run Day

I got out for a really good 5 km run around the neighborhood this morning… sunny and calm, even if a bit cool at around 46F.  I wore my favorite Tommie Copper gear… compression leggings, compression tank, compression tee and a jacket. I also started out with a light pair of gloves.  Yes, I am a wimp, and I hate being cold.

And my time wasn't bad either.  Finished in 34:30 which is good for me right now. I am a mouth breather and it seems that when my heart rate gets too high, my breathing gets harder and I have to slow down somewhat to recover. My legs are willing; my lungs are not!


Elle
Sweaty selfie… don’t ya love them?

After I drank some water and stretched for a while… nope, didn’t use that Rumble Roller this time out… I started thinking about my plans for workouts for the remainder of the week.  I have been concentrating my efforts on building a bit of muscle in my upper body.  Summer is coming and I want my arms to have some shape when I bare them in sun dresses, sleeveless tops, and swimsuits.  Yep, vanity is a big motivator for me.  And I continue to work on my core strength as well.  I need a strong core to play tennis and golf and to swim.

So this week I plan to use my 21 Day Fix DVDs and do Upper Fix (which includes a great core workout) a couple of times, and Dirty 30 (which is an all-over body workout).  Of course I will walk as much as I can, too, and I may even get in a swim.  

I am at a crossroads with my running right now.  I am not really content with only getting out for one run a week.  But I am in a bit of a time crunch with the extra work hours I have taken on.  I want to enjoy the runs I do get in, and know that if I start getting up early to go for a run before my day starts, I will start to resent it very quickly… it won’t be fun at all, and that will defeat the purpose. So, for now, I am going to maintain the status quo. I am going to reassess all of these things at the end of the Summer.

What is on your agenda for the week?

What motivates you to keep running or working out?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Do You Really Love and Use Those Products You Review?

So, do you really love and use those products you review on your blog, or do you just say you do, so that other companies will keep sending you things?

I was asked this question the other day and so I decided to write a blog post about it. 

I have just looked over the list of products I have reviewed since I started this blog about 4 years ago now.  I can honestly say I was never given anything to review that I really didn’t like… but then again, I am careful to only select items for review that I think I will like and want to use, or already do like, and want to share with my friends.

But, naturally, some things get used more than others… and some have become ROCK STARS in my little world.  There are items that I have reviewed that I use on a daily basis or at least very often..  Those are the ones I want to share with you again and again.  And in many cases, I already have.

FIRST STAR…. Tommie Copper compression gear

Both The Captain and I have been fortunate to have an onging relationship with the great folks at Tommie Copper.  We love their gear and both of use use and wear it regularly… me, daily.  My natural inclination when getting dressed in the morning, is to put on pair of Tommie Copper compression leggings and a Tommie Copper compression tank or tee.  We also both wear Tommie Copper gear for tennis, running, working out, and for lounging and recovery.   I take compression leggings and tees with me in my suitcase when I travel so that I always have something extremely comfy to fall back on.


2015-02-24 10.40.24


TC shirt 001


Feb 24 2015 tennis outing 010


Feb 24 2015 tennis outing 015


SECOND STAR… Handful Bras

Unfortunately for me, Handful no longer has any Canadian ambassadors, but I still do love their products. I have Handful tanks and Handful bras… and their bras are the only ones I ever wear… every day wear and exercise activities. I love the way that they fit and look.  The tanks are great for workout wear and they also double as camisoles under street clothes.


Oct 27 posing 008


THIRD STAR… Energy Bits

I don’t talk a lot about Energy Bits on the blog, but I do use them regularly… weekly for sure. I don’t eat them on a daily basis like you might a vitamin or Omega supplement. But I tend to swallow  them when food is not appropriate but I need a bit of something to keep me going.  I am enrolled in their ambassador program, but don’t promote it really.


Jan 6 ENERGYbits heart 001


FOURTH  STAR….  CLIF products… BUILDER’S BARS, CLIF BARS, SHOT BLOKS

In my body gluten causes a nasty build up of inflammation in my head that causes dizziness that prevents me from enjoying Pilates and yoga. I do make an effort to eat gluten-free most of the time. I feel better when I do.  Very occasionally I will make an exception and when I do, it is to cheat with a CLIF product. I happen to love their BUILDER’S BARS the very most. They are high in protein and taste great and made from good ingredients.  I sometimes split one with The Captain after we play tennis.  Do I wish they were g-f?  Of course.  But I love and eat them anyway.


Oct 21 CLIF pkg 002


HONORABLE MENTIONS… My choices:
  • Yogi Clothing… a black and grey sweater that I kinda liked when I first got it and now wear it in the evening at home at least 4 or 5 times a week to cuddle into whenever I am cool, and I also wear it to work over a longer particular tunic top
  • Wahini Sport…  always loved the little blue shrug and the long patterned sleeves with the thumb holes. I wear them quite often.
  • Knuckle Lights… we use them in the Fall/Winter to walk outdoors in the dark. Always.  Won’t leave home without them.
  • ToiletTree products …. oral irrigator and personal care brushes.  These are much-used and much-loved tools in my hygiene routines.
HONORABLE MENTIONS… The Captain’s Choices:
  • Saucony ISO Triumph Running Shoes
  • Under Armour Spine RPM Running Shoes
He loves them both and alternates between them when he runs.

So to answer that question, the answer is a resounding YES!

What about you?  Do you really love and use the products you have reviewed favorably on your blog?  What are your top 3 or 4 items or brands?  Here’s your chance to sing their praises!