Monday, March 30, 2015

Soggy Sunday Blues… and Pinks and Yellows and Greens

I spent a great deal of Sunday waiting… waiting for the rain to quit long enough for me to get out for a run.  This was the result…


puzzle


A brightly colored jigsaw puzzle… full of decorated Easter eggs… it certainly cheered up the gloomy day!  Eventually I gave up and put on some rain gear and headed out for a nice long walk.  You get the idea.

I had a good week of workouts though… some yoga, some Pilates, some strenght training sessions, a run to start the week, and lots of walking.  Lots and lots of walking. It is really nice for me to live so close to my grocery markets and work so that I can walk to do shopping and the to library, etc. as well as just for pleasure.

Some highlights from my week..

This H-U-G-E gift basket arrived on Friday. It is from Granville Island Brewing Company… nope, no beer, but just crammed full of decadent treats that I would never buy for myself… all kinds of nuts, chips, jams, honeys, variety of s’mores, crackers, cheese, crab pate… and so much more. We did sample a couple of items, but this is special occasion, and VERY occasionally food in my lineup!  Apparently we were selected to be part of their Date Night promotion.  Lovely!

gift basket


I have been looking for frozen cherries at my local markets for some time now. I have heard how great they are for making frozen fruit soft serves and for mixing into smoothies and have been really disappointed in not finding them… till The Captain spotted these at Costco the other day and picked them up.  YAY!  Can’t wait to try them out.

Frozen Cherries

Information


On Monday I am starting a 3-Day Refresh… it is 3 days of eating only high protein, high fibre foods and drinks… a light detox of sorts and I am excited to get going on it. It fits my WW program quite nicely and because we are heading off on a 17 day cruise in a few weeks, I am ramping up my food/exercise programs to make sure I am in tip top form before we go. 

It’s a Beachbody program, and NO, I am not a Beachbody Coach… just a so-far satisfied customer.

3-Day Refresh Kit

So… are you a wimp like me who refuses to run in the rain (unless it’s tropical)?  Or do you get out there anyway?

What is on your agenda for the week?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Runner’s Choice Review and Giveaway

I was recently given an opportunity to try a product called Runner’s Choice. It is a combination of 100% natural botanical oils of almond, eucalyptus, eucalytol, wintergeen, peppermint, and spearmint.



I have used it several times now, and I have to say that I really like it.  A lot.  Here’s why:
  • It smells wonderful
  • It is easily applied and doesn’t need to be rubbed or massaged into the feet
  • It is readily absorbed doesn’t feel oily on the skin
  • It soothes and cools tired or achy feet
  • It does not stain my clothing or bedding
Apparently Runner’s Choice can be applied before or after a run… I have used it several times now, but only after I come in from a run, or a very long walk, or after being on my legs at work for several hours. I find it very soothing.  Did I say I like it a lot?

I really wish I had discovered this before I spent so many days in a row walking for 7 or 8 hours a day when we were in Las Vegas in November. I will be travelling with it from now on for sure!

There are a couple of ways you can get some Runner’s Choice too:

TRY IT FOR YOURSELF

For a limited time, you can apply to have them send you one bottle FREE (pay shipping charge). This is a one-time only offer!  Click here to get your FREE bottle now!



OR


WIN IT FOR YOURSELF


For addresses in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia Only.  The manufacturer will give one bottle of Runner’s Choice to each of 3 winners.  If you have already won on a previous giveaway you are not eligible to win again.

Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter form below.  There is one mandatory entry.  The rest are optional.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided with a bottle of Runner’s Choice free of charge. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are all my own.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring it On!

Yes, it is finally Spring… and even though I am lucky enough to live in a part of the country that has been having nice warm weather for most of the Winter, really… having the calendar officially turn over to Spring is a good thing… For me it means that my Spring vacation is coming up soon!  I will tell ya about that soon… but I am quite excited, and it involves a cruise.

We got our for a shortish run just before lunch today. I kept it short on purpose, only 3.35 km, around the park. I didn’t sleep well last night and had leg cramps in spite of the magnesium drink I had just before bed. I drank 4 small gasses of wine over the course of the evening and I am sure that did me in… one too many for sure!

So, the first run of the season was short but sweet. It is a warm day in the neighborhood and there were lots of people out enjoying the day and the lovely views along the Strait today.  After a good stretch and some lunch we walked downtown to pick up a couple of grocery items I need for dinner later.  For some reason, walking doesn’t tax my legs like running does. Odd, I think, cause it’s all time on the feet, no?

Some highlights from my week:

On Wednesday The Captain didn’t feel like playing tennis so we packed a lunch and went for a walk along the Strait and then climbed the steep hill to Government House where the Lt. Governor of our province resides. The mansion sits on 35 acres of fabulous property. Some of it remains in wild Garry Oak meadows, and  the rest is divided into many different gardens.  We love to wander there and take pictures… all in all we were gone just over 3 hours and it as a lovely way to get in some sunshine and fresh air after a wee bit of a St. Paddy’s Day celebration the evening before!

March 18 2105 walk 051


March 18 2105 walk 033


March 18 2105 walk 019

Had a really nice surpsise in the mail this week.  I recently won a giveaway from Jody at Truth 2 Being Fit and this week a package of NuNaturals products arrived.  I have come to love this brand and their customer service.  I cannot purchase this stuff retain in Canada so this win is really special for me.


NuNaturals

On Thursday I visited a co-worker, who has become a dear friend, in a local hospital. I was nervous about going to see her as I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew only a little bit about her condition so I wasn't sure what I would find or what shape she was in. But, she had texted me and asked me to come… what a relief to find her sitting up in her bed, with a bit of makeup on her radiant, smiling face. She has been very, very ill, but now on the road to recovery, thankfully... even though it is going to be a long one.  I was so emotional that I cried a little after I left the hospital. I think it was just a way of letting go of the pent up feelings that I hadn’t even really been aware of beforehand.  I am planning to go again this week.

I have finished up my 21 Day Fix… I followed the diet fairly closely this week, and followed the Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique, too… which is based on lean proteins, fruit and veggies, fat free dairy products and whole grains (if you eat them)… we call them Power Foods at Weight Watchers.  I also worked out every day and was rewarded with a 3.6 pound weight loss. YAY!   I am working on building my upper body and leaning out through the core and this weight loss was a big boon to my efforts.  I have decided to follow through with another week and see if I can’t drop and other pound or 2. I want to have some wiggle room on my vacation!

March 13 TC gear 002


Do you ever find yourself crying to release pent up feelings or stress?

Okay, please tell me something fun you are looking forward to this week cause I love to catch up on your news.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I am Spring Cleaning… It’s Time


It’s been Spring in my neck of the woods for over a month already and I am well on my way to getting my Spring cleaning done.   When I was a child, I would help my Mother with the annual cleaning chores around our home. You know… those deep cleaning chores that we only get to occasionally…  it just seems right that they be done in the Spring when the days start to get longer, brighter, and warmer. 

Spring makes me thing of rebirth, renewal… shedding the old Winter layers, and emerging fresher, lighter, brighter.  Our wardrobes are usually brighter colors… lighter fabrics.  My very favorite time of the year.  I just love,  LOVE,  LOVE Spring!

And house cleaning is such great exercise!


Spring Cleaning

One of the things that you can do immediately to welcome Spring into your home, it to open the windows and doors and let in some fresh air and sunlight!  So invigorating and energizing, don’t you agree?

And if you bring some fresh flowers or a flowering plant into the house, it makes the atmosphere cheery and Spring-like as well... especially if the flowers are bright and colorful like these daffodils The Captain brought me as a surprise one day a while back!

Daffodils

But getting to that cleaning... here are some of the things on my list of Spring cleaning projects… some done, some not yet.  I certainly don’t try to do them all in one day, or even in one week… but for the most part, by the end of March, things get pretty spiffy around here!
  • Change the bedding
    • Put away the darker Winter bedspread and pillow shams and replace with brighter, lighter ones
    • Buy new sleeping pillows
  • Clear out the clothes closets and drawers 
    • Put away Winter jackets, boots, scarves, mitts, and sweaters into storage bins
    • Make up donation boxes and deliver to appropriate agencies
  • Clean the kitchen cupboards
    • Wash, the cupboards, and replace shelf liners
    • Remove damaged or unused dishes and containers
    • Remove/discard any expired foodstuffs
    • Wash or replace garbage and recycle bins
  • Clean kitchen drawers
    • Wash the drawers, replace liners
    • Remove unused gadgets/tools
    • Remove/replace damaged gadgets/tools
  • Clean the refrigerator
    • Remove everything and wash the shelves, bins, and doors
    • Discard anything not being used or that looks old
  • Clean the freezer
    • Defrost
    • Wash the shelves and doors
    • Remove any old foodstuffs
  • Take down and clean/replace light fixtures
  • Wash the windows and window sills
  • Clean or replace the drapes
  • Clean out storage locker
And of course there are some personal things I like to make sure to do in the Spring as well.
  • Dental hygiene
  • Haircut
  • Pedicure
  • Discard/replace makeup and skin care products
And a few administrative tasks as well.
  • Update address book, phone lists and birthday list
    • Discard/edit addresses, phone numbers, email addresses
  • Update email accounts
    • Sort through folders and discard old messages
Oh, I know that there are lots and lots of cleaning jobs that I have not mentioned… bathrooms, and dusting, or vacuuming, for some examples. But for me,probaby they are things that we do more often or look after if some particular need arises. 

Are you a Spring cleaner?  Have you started yet?

Are you as excited about Spring as I am?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Marvelous Magnesium


A few years ago I began to experience leg cramps during the night while I was sleeping. They came on suddenly. Generally it was when I would stretch one leg or the other, and a cramp in my calf would occur and wake me up with a start! I had to jump out of bed and stand on that leg until the cramp disappeared. 

When I started running longer distances in 2012 while training for a half marathon, they got worse.  Sometimes they would be in my calves, and other times in my thighs.  And they seemed to be much more frequent and more painful on those nights after I had run hard during the day.



One of my friends who is registered nurse suggested that I might need to take a magnesium supplement.  So I started doing some research.  I checked a variety of medical web sites and did have a conversation with my general practitioner.  I discovered that magnesium is found in leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. And I learned that most people just cannot eat enough of those foods to get the daily required amount for optimal health.  Magnesium deficiency is more prevalent amongst women.  And I also learned that magnesium absorption in the body can be affected by a variety of stressors, including heavy exercise.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include cramps, migraines, fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, nausea and vomiting or high blood pressure.

I wondered what magnesium is actually needed for in our bodies.  I read that it is is an important mineral. Magnesium is required for the growth and maintenance of bones. Magnesium is also required for the proper function of many parts of the body including nerves and muscles. It also helps neutralize stomach acid and moves stools through the intestine.

I started experimenting with a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm. It is a powdered form of magnesium citrate.  I mixed it with water and drank it before bed every night. I had great success with it.  Most nights there was no cramping at all, or if there were cramps, they were less frequent and less painful.   It comes in a variety of flavors, although I actually prefer the non-flavored, and is quite palatable.  I have purchased it in both Canada and the U.S.


Aug 24 Natural Calm 001

When I travelled in the U.S. during the Summer last year I visited a Vitamin World store for the first time and was tempted to purchase a different brand there.  It is called Stress-X and I decided to give it a try.  It has a slightly different taste from the Natural Calm and took some getting used to… but not awful.  It is also effective for reducing my leg cramps.

StressX

Both of these products are gluten free, so they are suitable for my diet.

Now, I have not  ever been tested for a magnesium deficiency but through my own experiments, find that I am better off using a supplement.  I do still get the occasional leg cramping when I really overwork my legs.  So, on those days, I have started taking an additional dose of my powder mid-afternoon with good results. 

I think that, for me, the magnesium supplements have helped tremendously.

So, what might the side effects be, if one takes too much magnesium?  It’s simple. Diarrhea. Because magnesium is a stool softener, an overdose could cause diarrhea. I have never had this happen so it’s not something I even think about. Sorry if that is TMI.

Other than the symptoms I mentioned, what might make you suspicious about a magnesium deficiency?  I found a web site called ANCIENT MINERALS and an article there that suggests that if you can answer YES to any of these questions, you might have a magnesium deficiency:
  • Do you drink carbonated beverages?
  • Do you eat refined sugars?
  • Do you have a lot of stress in your life or are you recently recovering from a major surgery?
  • Do you drink caffeinated beverages on a daily basis… tea, coffee, cola?
  • Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy?
  • Do you drink more than 7 alcoholic beverages a week?
  • Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium?
  • Do you experience any of the following:
    • Anxiety?
    • Times of hyperactivity?
    • Difficulty getting to sleep?
    • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Do you experience any of the following:
    • Painful muscle spasms?
    • Muscle cramping?
    • Fibromyalgia?
    • Facial tics?
    • Eye twitches, or involuntary eye movements?
  • Did you answer yes to any of the above questions and are also age 55 or older?
You know I am not a doctor, or a medical advisor so I am not giving any medical advice or suggesting you need to take magnesium. I am only sharing my experiences and my own research. You should do your own, certainly.

Do you have any experience with magnesium deficiency or supplementation?