Friday, October 17, 2014

This Week… Faves and Raves

It has been a really good week of eats and workouts… and some other fun things.  Here are some of the highlights…

The Captain and I both volunteered at the GoodLife Fitness Marathon expo last Friday afternoon/evening, passing out shirts to the race entrants. It is always such a fun experience as everyone is excited about their upcoming race and full of energy. 

We got nice volunteer shirts this year… I have actually worn mine already… they are roomy and a very soft technical fabric.  This is front and back.

Oct 11 stuff 002

My Sweat Pink swag arrived… and I immediately laced up my indoor workout shoes.  And, I have already been passing along pink shoelaces to friends and acquaintances.

Oct 11 stuff 001

I tried the Vanilla Chai nutritional shake mix from Vega One that I purchased last week… it’s an odd color but I loved the taste. And it really kept me satisfied for several hours. I  will definitely be packing some of these in my suitcase when we head to Vegas in a couple of of weeks.  Now to try the Chocolate….

Oct 10 Vega 001

I picked up some new frozen yogurt bars this week… Chapman’s is a Canadian company so I was pleased to find them locally.  They are delicous… and just the right size when you want just a wee bit of creamy sweetness…. they also come in Strawberry and Tiger Paw as well as chocolate-dipped.  Yes, please!

Oct 12 Chapman's icecream bars 001

Oct 12 Chapman's icecream bars 002

It was Thanksgiving in Canada on Monday so of course we went for a nice long walk before sitting down to a lovely turkey dinner… with a stop at Starbuck’s for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, non-fat no whip.  Such a beautiful day.  We wore our rain jackets to start out but ended up in just shirt sleeves for the walk home.  Funny, it seems lately when  go out prepared for rain it doesn't happen!

Happy Thanksgiving

The terrible quality of that picture has prompted me to finally make a decision about new cell phones and service providers and plans so getting on that, probably Monday.  YAY!  Instagram here I come…

I have been reading some very good blog posts and articles… here are my recommendations this week:

  • Ways to Measure Body Fat at Running Rachel
    • Rache had her body fat measured 3 different ways and talks about the experience. Interesting and informative.

What’s your favorite frozen treat?

Do you take most of your pictures with your phone or a camera?

Android or iphone or Windows 8.1?  Which model?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Penchant for Pilates

I discovered Pilates in the Fall of 2001 and practised it faithfully 2 or 3 times per week during the Winter months. Even though I had room on the sailboat to perform the Pilates mat exercises, I didn't feel inclined to do them during the Summer when we were sailing and hiking every day.

By the Fall of 2006 I had developed an inflammation in my head that wreaked havoc with my balance and caused terrible dizziness when I would move from a prone position to sitting or standing.  I had to give up Pilates and yoga altogether, until a couple of years ago, when I learned, through trial and error, that my inflammation was caused by eating gluten.  Once I gave up the gluten, the inflammation and it’s unpleasant side effects disappeared and I am happy to say that I can now practise both Pilates and yoga whenever I like.

I have never been to a Pilates class with a live instructor.  I became familiar with the moves by using a couple of different DVDs that were aimed at a beginner audience.   I still use them even though I have tried others.

I love the flow of the movements. I love the way I feel after I complete a Pilates mat workout…. sleeker, longer… and I am very aware of how I carry myself for the rest of the day. My posture is much improved because I am paying attention to it.

Elle Childs Pose

For me, Pilates is the most enjoyable way to strengthen and tone my core, my back, my thighs, and my butt.  It is a lovely compliment to running and body weight workouts.  It builds stamina and endurance and aids in concentration because it makes you focus on the present... it is a wonderful sleep aid and stress reducer, too.

When Lynda Lippin offered to let me try out a couple of her Pilates routines, available in audio format, I readily agreed. 

Lynda Lippin is currently a Master Pilates Specialist at Real Pilates in Tribeca and also maintains a small, exclusive, private client practice. Lynda worked overseas for several years at Parrot Cay (an exclusive, A-List, private island resort and spa), and currently recruits Pilates teachers as needed for overseas positions in A-list spas.

Lynda is the recipient of numerous awards in her field, including 2003 Best of Philly® Pilates Studio and the 2011 SpaFinder Magazine Reader's Choice Award for Best Pilates in the World. She is a Master Reiki practitioner and holds certifications in TRX as well as Kettlebells.

I tried 2 of Linda’s workouts – Pilates for Lower Back Pain, and the Basic Mat Class.  And I have done each of them several times now.

Linda’s voice is very pleasant to listen to and her instructions are clear, well-timed and easy to understand. Her words are well-chosen.

She tells you exactly how to move and where to concentrate your focus, and how the movements should feel. I think this is really important. In Pilates, the movements are often small, but precise and you need to know what parts of your body should remain still while others move.

I played the audio files on my laptop computer during the workouts. They both take between 30 to 40 minutes to perform and offer a tough but refreshing workout.

You can find/purchase Linda’s audio files at

Other places on to find Lynda are:

Are you a Pilates fan too?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bits and Pieces… Faves and Raves

Some things to share in no particular order...

October is breast cancer awareness month so I guess it is fitting that I got this reminder card in the mail recently… our provincial health care plan pays for women in a certain age group to have free mammograms every year… and they send out reminders to have them done.


I will get to it, soon, but honestly it’s never my favorite appointment.

We have been enjoying a couple of new teas lately…  the Mulled Apple is particularly nice in the evening after dinner, and takes the place of dessert quite nicely.  The Captain doesn't have caffeine after dinner time, so I share a pot of herbal tea with him and then have a cup of coffee before I go to bed.

Oct 6 new teas 001

On Tuesday I shared a DRIP DROP packet with The Captain before we set out for a 20 minute walk to the tennis court mid-morning.  We played 60 minutes of sweaty, hard, fast-paced singles, then changed into dry shirts and socks before walking the 20 minutes home.  We drank about 1/2 of a litre of water each during that time and I am thrilled to report that my legs felt great all day.. no tingling or cramping at all.

Last week we shared a packet of DRIP DROP after we got home from our tennis match when my legs were already feeling quite tired and my toes were cramping from salt depletion… and about 20 minutes later I was feeling good again. I am sold on the benefits of this medical grade electrolyte drink, and I am so thankful that they took me on as am ambassador and sent me some product because I cannot purchase it in Canada… if you are interested and live in the U.S. or are close enough to cross-border shop, it is available at Walgreens and CSV.

Sept 5 Drip Drop 001 

This is Goodlife Fitnness marathon weekend in Victoria… and we are volunteering at the race expo again this year… we will be giving out shirts to the race entrants tonight and I am quite excited about it.  It is always fun to see how excited and eager everyone is. Lots of positive energy and buzz.  And I understand our volunteer’s shirts are really nice this year, too… can’t wait!

I just received an order from Vega… they are offering their nutritional shake single serving packets at a really good price right now because they are clearing out of them.  I like to have single serving packets to take along when we travel so decided to try Vega. I have never had it but I know lots of you like it… so decided to give them a try. Actually, I bought 4 boxes of Vanilla Chai and 4 of Chocolate so I hope they are good!  I think I will have one this afternoon before I head out to my shift at the marathon expo.

Oct 10 Vega 001

Here are some of the great posts I found this week:

Are you a Vega fan?

Do you have mammograms?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Starting October on a Positive Note

And we are well into October already… where does the time go?

I am doing well with my food and fitness plans… eating whole, real foods and only having the odd indulgence… why yes, that grande Pumpkin Spice Skinny Frap at Starbuck’s on Saturday morning was one of them… and it was mighty tasty.

I have had some nice surprises in the mail over the past several days… let me share a few of them with you.

Sept 30 blog stuff 002

A box of goodies from the Canadian PR firm for CLIF bars. I do love Builder’s bars and CLIF SHOT BLOKS, and am looking forward to trying the CLIF SHOT gel. That will be new for me. The Captain claimed the cap and will also get the CLIF bar. The lip balm is chocolate mint.  Awesome.

Sept 30 Pro Compression 002

A pair of Pro Compression Marathon socks. I like these socks and really wanted a black on black pair so I could hide them under my black tights some days at work.  I know they will be good for runs and recovery even if I can't wear them to work... perhaps hide them under slacks?

Oct 3 Tommie Copper 001

And a pair of pink compression capris from my beloved Tommie Copper.  I won them in a giveaway hosted by Carrie who blogs at Family, Fitness, Food last Spring, and due to a variety of errors on the company’s part, I am just now getting them. And I am thrilled!  The rep I work with there is so good at customer service and worked diligently to make sure I was happy.  YAY!

It would be hard to not be upbeat and optimisitc after all of that! 

I started the week on Sunday with a morning run in the sunshine along the waterfront. That always puts me in a great frame of mind. There were lots of boats on the Strait and lots of doggies playing in the off leash area that flanks part of my running path.  I love seeing them run and chase each other.

My motivation to eat properly is always high at the beginning of a new week and I am feeling confidant and hopeful because I am doing more meal planning instead of winging it… I made a huge batch of a new Fall soup and will also be making some low carb flatbread, too. If I have good choices readily available, and put the nuts away in a cupboard where they are not, I will be fine.

And we just booked a week’s getaway in November so I have something a little extra to look forward to keeping me on the right track… we are headed to Las Vegas… I have never been before, and I want to be looking and feeling sleek and slinky in the new dresses I plan to take along.

I just found out that the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon/Half Marathon is being run the day we leave Vegas to come home so I am going to check out the 5 k race… the half of the half is already sold out, I see.  At least we can enjoy the expo and get in on some of the fun whether or not we sign up for the 5k.

Have you ever been to Las Vegas?  Have you run a R’N’R race there?

What are you smiling about these days?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

5 Ways to Practise Optimism

5 Ways to Practise Optimism

In keeping with my theme of selecting a new focus for every month this year, in October, I have decided to continue on with my new found positive mindset… and focus on optimism.  I have been thinking a lot about this word and what it means to me. I finally looked it up in the Merriam–Webster online dictionary and found this:


noun \ˈäp-tə-ˌmi-zəm\
: a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future : a feeling or belief that what you hope for will happen

Examples of OPTIMISM

  1. Both of them expressed optimism about the future of the town.
  2. The early sales reports are cause for optimism.
  3. There is growing optimism that the problem can be corrected.
  4. He maintains a sense of optimism, despite all that has happened.
I think I am not a natural optimist… I have to really work at it sometimes.  Not because I am hoping or expecting things to turn out badly, really, but rather that I like to be prepared for when they do.

And I know that I go a bit overboard with it sometimes.  When we are sailing, I am a fiend for weather reports, current and tidal charts, and such.   If the wind is supposed to rise to 30 knots at 4 p.m. by 3 o'clock I want to be reefing the mainsail so we don’t have to attempt it in a gale.   The Captain, on the other hand, although mostly practical, very safety conscious and level-headed, is always looking for things to go right and just expects that they will.

Another example comes easily to mind… he and I almost never choose to travel the same route when we are driving to any particular destination. When I am at the wheel I will go out of my way to avoid making a left hand turn at an uncontrolled and somewhat busy intersection. And I will drive automatically to the far end of a parking lot to make sure I find an empty spot… whereas he almost never has to wait more than a few seconds to make that same left hand turn, and he usually lucks into an empty parking spot right outside the mall door… see what I mean? He expects those things to just fall into place for him, and they normally do.

He is an optimist.  I like to think I am a work in progress. But I am making progress and there are a few things I am practising to make that happen more often.

Here are my 5 Ways to Practise Optimism:

Realize that the past does not equal the future
  • Just because I didn’t find that parking space in front of the store the last 10 times I looked for one, doesn’t mean there won’t be one there the next time. 
Put yourself out there, and be hopeful
  • Stop worrying about what might happen and take some  risks.  Understand that life involves uncertainties and not everything will go well, but some will.  Hmmm… another confession… I am a control freak so this is really hard for me.
Life is short
  • Worrying and indecision are a waste of time.  No one has enough time to dilly dally.  Do it. 
Strive for balance
  • I know am not going to do a 180 with this .  It is all right for me to still prepare for the worst but hope for the best.  It isn’t black or white. I am never going to throw caution completely to the wind and that is okay. 
Understand that engergy attracts like energy
  • I used to work with a woman that always expected something bad to happen… and she was never disappointed. It seemed like she wore it as a badge of honor. She was always right about things in her life going wrong and she was such a downer to be around.  Happy, energetic, positive people attract others of the same mindset.  I want to be with positive energetic people.  Who doesn’t?

Are you an optimist?  Do you prepare for the worst?