Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Catching My Breath

I have been so very active this past few weeks that I have barely had time to think about a blog post let alone actually sit down and write/publish one.  But I am not ready to give it up just yet so thought I would just catch my breath, and catch YOU up, too.

Here goes...

Fitness

I have been keeping the promise I made to myself and getting into the fitness room in our building 3 mornings every week to do a strength session. Yes, I am concentrating on my core and my upper body in these sessions because I think the other activities I am enjoying are taking care of my legs.  I am using a couple of my 21 Day Fix workouts... alternating between Upper Fix and Dirty 30... and really seeing good results in my core and my shoulders, especially.  Don't you just love how weak and shaky your shoulders and arms feel for a while after a good hard workout?



I am keeping my eye on the prize... which is wearing a beautiful floaty Summer dress to a nephew's garden wedding in mid July so it has been easy to stay focussed!  #workforthedress


I have also been playing singles tennis with The Captain twice a week.  This is not only great HIIT/cardio work but also reinforces the shoulder training. Wow! and it is fun. I love playing tennis. And I love my purty purple Asics tennis shoes, too. They are so comfortable.




Running is taking a bit of a back seat right now.  I seem to have slotted it into Sunday mornings and then taking the opportunity for a good stretch afterward. I really need to start adding yoga too and have just enrolled in a yoga challenge for runners so hope this will motivate me.

And walking... oh yeah! I have been averaging about 12,000 steps per day on my FitBit for a while now.  We are lucky to live in such a walkable, beautiful city.  Even though we moved a bit further from the water in January, we can still be on a beach walking only 20 minutes in any of 3 different directions!

So what has all this activity done for me?  Well it makes me HUNGRIER I can tell you that. So lets move on to my favorite topic...

Food

Some people would think that my food plan is kind of complicated 'cause I follow a few different programs... but they compliment each other so well that is it easy for me and they all help me choose natural, whole foods and limit junk and processed frankenfoods.

I am a Weight Watcher, and you know I am loving the Smart Points program that is part of the recently rolled-out Beyond the Scale platform.  I find it really easy to live with because it steers us away from sugar and toward protein... it just naturally points me toward healthier choices.

Along with that. I have also embraced the Cheat System Diet.  It is a great program that promotes healthy EATS and limits less healthy CHEATS.  It is so easy to understand and it fits my brain and my lifestyle.  I am a volume veggie eater so this works for me. It focusses leafy greens and healthy fats.

And you all know I carb cycle, too, a la Chris Powell.



I naturally eat in a window that is about 11 hours long and don't snack in the evening.  I am thinking about shrinking that to about 8 hours... we shall see.  I lnow that lots of people workout and run in a fasted state but I have not had any great success with that myself.

Sounds so complicated, all of this, but it works for me and is just easy.

I have been in love with dark frozen cherries for some time now and cannot find enough ways to eat them (on my high carb days, of course!).  This bowl has low fat cottage cheese mixed with a bit of NuNaturals cherry stevia and cinnamon.  OMG. My fave!  If you are counting Smart Points, it is only 2.



And these goodies from Chosen Foods!  Avocado oil is a new love... chia seeds and coconut oil are long-time favorites. I am thrilled to learn that some Chosen Foods products are available in my local markets.



Fun... Frills... Frivolity

We are having a phenomenal Summer here. The weather is spectacular and I am spending as much time as I can outside. I am even doing a bit of reading for pleasure... yes, total frivolity in entertaining novels! I have missed this as when we lived on the boat, I would spend hours lazing in the sun reading.  We had no internet connection when we were swinging on the anchor, and it was great. Life was simpler, and so much less 'connected'. It is a direction I am leaning toward again...

Our own balcony gets wonderful morning sun but we are in the shade in the afternoon.  There is a lovely rooftop lounge in our building with a large adjoining outdoor area that has been really nicely furnished with several bistro tables and chairs and also sun lounges.  That's for me!  Especially cause no one ever uses this area it seems.  I have been reading a few chapters at a time and keeping the sunning to about 30 minutes. I love a bit of color on my arms and legs, but don't want to bake.



'Fessions

I have been using coconut oil to brush my teeth for some time... usually mixed with a bit of baking soda.  Recently I read that coconut oil pulling will, over time, actually remove plaque from the teeth, so I have been faithfully oil pulling again. If I can avoid the hygenist scraping my teeth, I am all for that.  I think my teeth look shinier now after a full week of daily pullling than they did after the last time I had them cleaned and polished!  They certainly feel smooth and shiny too.  It only takes a spoonful of coconut oil and I usually pull it back and forth between my teeth for anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes while I am washing my face and doing my hair.  After I am done pulling and have disposed of the oil, I brush with a commercial toothpaste and warm water.  Here is a tip... don't dispose of the oil in your sink... it will clog up eventually!




Fashion

This is not normally my topic... but I have picked up a few new Eddie Bauer tees this Summer. They keep sending me $10 coupons in my email and I keep using them!  How can I resist when they match my tennis shoes?  I really think that Eddie Bauer makes the softest tees, but I honestly cannot imagine paying regular retail price for any of them. Wow!



Finally

We will be celebrating Canada Day on Friday, July 1st.  Lots of fireworks and fun things planned for the day and evening.

What about you?  What fun things have you been up to lately?  Have you ever tried coconut oil pulling?



Monday, June 13, 2016

5 Things That You Can Do Now to Make Friends With Your Body


5 Things That You Can Do Now to Make Friends With Your Body


I have spent many, many years bemoaning the fact that I do not have what I consider my IDEAL body type.  I have dieted myself skinny; I have worked hard in the gym to build shapely arms and a tight butt.  All my adult life I have regretted not having lush breasts and creamy skin.  Especially as I age I am noticing freckles and dark spots and my skin is starting to sag with gravity. However, I refuse to give in to the knife or botox... out of fear mostly.

But over the past few months, I have finally, and happily, come to the realization that I actually like my body.  It is strong.  It is relatively healthy.  It allows  me to run... walk... play tennis... golf.  And I am appreciating more and more the things I can do rather than concentrate on the attributes I wish I had.  I can finally say I have made friends with my body and I think you should too! Yes, I said should.

Why should you make friends with your body?  It is all about confidence. When we are not confident we tend to shy away from new challenges, and from new people. We tend to fade into the background at meetings, and events where people might notice us. Even if we have good ideas, or particularly special abilities, without confidence we don't share them or even reveal them sometimes.

Confident people treat themselves better.  They are happier. They have better posture. They walk with a certain little swagger. They take better care of themselves both physically and emotionlly.  They have more to give to others. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. And confidence in one area breeds confidence in others. Think about that for a moment.

So how has this change in me come to pass?  It's been an attitude shift for sure.  And I think it is one that anyone can make with just a bit of work. I have been thinking about it a lot.  This is for you if you are struggling with body image or know someone who may be.

Here are 5 things you can do RIGHT now, to start  making friends with your body:

1.  Go to the mirror and notice 3 or 4 things that you like about your physical body.  Say them outloud to yourself.

For example... I like my nose.  I have pretty eyes.  I like my long legs.  I think I have great fingernails.  I love the little muscles that are popping from my shoulders.

2. Think of 3 things that your body has done for you over the past 24 hours that make you happy or proud.  Say them outloud to yourself.

For example... I increased the weights on my bicep curl/overhead raises today by 3 pounds.  I walked 4 miles yesterday.  I  fit into my skinniest jeans yesterday and wore them all day for the first time in 6 months.

3. Plan 3 things that you are going to do for yourself today. Write them down. Do them.

For example... I am going to have a nice long soak in the tub today with epsom salts to soothe my sore muscles after my morning workout.  I am going to prepare myself a cup of green tea after lunch and make a food plan for the next few days.  I am going to use coconut oil to clean my teeth today.

4. Leave yourself a little love note on your bedroom or bathroom mirror, or even on your computer screen if you don't want anyone else to see it.  A simple note that will make you feel cared for.

For example,... SMILE, YOU ARE AWESOME.  Or YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Or YOU ARE STRONG.

5.  Catch your negative self talk and replace/reword it with positive phrases.

For example... Oh gosh, I wish my tummy was flatter.  Wait, my tummy actually looks better than it did a couple of weeks ago and I am really happy about that.  Or.. Wow!  I hate my big feet, I wish they looked nice in sandals. But I am going to give myself a pedicure today and start taking better of them.

Repeat.

These 5 things need to be repeated of course... if you do them daily you will soon start to make that mind shift and eventually you will find that you have made friends with your body too.

And one more thing, while we are on the subject... be very mindful of the things you are saying out loud in front of children especially.  We model behaviors and attitudes.

Are you friends with your body? What advice would you give to someone else about becoming friends with their own body?


Monday, May 30, 2016

New Workout Gear - Tommie Copper Compression Leggings and Camisole

I have been wearing and loving these new Tommie Copper garments for the past couple of weeks... do you recall when I teased you with this picture of the 2 new pieces that had just arrived?


I was quite excited when my TC contact offered to send me a couple of pieces from their new line.  I am always up for trying out new fitness gear, and especially when it comes from Tommie Copper, as you all know this has been my favorite brand for many years now. 

These 2 new pieces have certainly supported that opinion.  Let me tell you about them.

The Women's Shaping Compression Leggings are quite different from any of the others I have tried.  I was a bit nervous about the size when I first started pulling them on, but I soon realized they fit me perfectly. They did take a bit of wiggling into!  They are cut/sewn with more body shaping so I think they feel a bit more snug. The compression fabric supports all of the leg muscles very nicely. Once I put them on, I don't want to take them off. They feel that good. 

I really like the inside waistband pocket.  It is well-hidden and just right to hold keys, or a small phone or even credit cards and gels.



The rear back panel is cut and shaped to help lift and support and, yes, FLATTER the butt!




I love this flat seaming. It is comfy to wear and is very durable.  And I do like the styling showing off the logo at the bottom of the leg too.



I was thrilled at the length of these leggings. I am almost 5 foot 11 inches tall and these leggings are plenty long enough. That is always an issue with other brands.

I have been wearing these leggings on my runs, walks and in the fitness room.  I have even tossed a long sweater over top and headed out to the local market.




Don't you LOVE the color of this camisole?  It is my very favorite color so I was extra-pleased to find it in my package.  Actually all of the new colors are quite lovely.

Now I have always been a fan of Tommie Copper Compression Camisoles.... you can wear them on their own or under other clothing. I often wear one under a TC shirt when I need an extra layer for cooler weather running.  And I even use one as a blouse under a nice jacket to wear to work.  The fabric is soft and this new model has adjustable straps - the adjustment is on the back side, and lies quite flat.  


And yes, I have been wearing it to work out in, too... to really put it through the paces. The slightly shorter cut keeps it a bit higher on the hips so it lies smoothly and doesn't ride up.  Compression fabric is great to work out in as it feels so supportive and comfortable.  And it is nice to wear all day, too. I like that it makes me feel supported and cosy.

All in all I am very pleased with these new pieces and they have quickly become my new faves!



So many of you have asked me privately about the different pieces of TC gear that I have reviewed over the past few years and have come to love it as much as I do. The quality and durability of these garments is unmatched. I do baby my TC garments by hand washing them and hanging them to dry but they are machine washable as long as you don't use fabric softeners and harsh detergents.

If you are interested in these new pieces I hope you will check out the Tommie Copper website. 



Do you have workout gear that you hate to take off too?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Marissa Vicario Releases Holistically Hot... check it out!

Marissa Vicario just released her first book, a wonderful account of her personal journey toward becoming Holistically Hot (aka healthy, fit and balanced), without resorting to deprivation or fad diets. If you or someone you know struggles with confusion around nutrition, yo-yo dieting and self-judgment you'll definitely want to check this book out!

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Pre-order through June 5 and get LOTS of FREE goodies!
 http://bit.ly/HHTransformation


If you're tired of fad diets, confused about conflicting nutrition information and sick of negative self-talk and judgment every time you "slip up" or "get off track," this is THE book for you! Your Holistically Hot Transformation by Integrative Health Coach and Women's Lifestyle Expert, @MarissaVicario is available for pre-order through June 5. With your purchase you get TONS of free goodies like Marissa's 3-Minute Breakfasts eBook, a gorgeous downloadable meal planner, a signed copy of the book and more.

I was given a pre-release copy to read and review and I am 'eating it up' .I Love Marissa's honest and direct approach.   You will too.  It is simple and easy to read.  No fluff; just lots of substance, and useful, practical information.  Check it out!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up

It has been a really good week here on the Southern tip of the Island. The weather has been wonderful... warm and sunny... I cannot  make myself stay indoors!  We have golfed 3 times this week, played a sweaty hour of singles tennis, and walked many many miles... even ran on Sunday morning... not bad considering I worked a few shifts as well.

I have done really well with my 'eats' this week too... for some blessed reason I have lost my taste for wine so my daily cocktail of choice has been soda with ice or sometimes a splash of pomegranate juice for color.  I have not missed the wine at all and am happy to report a very painless weight loss of 3 pounds.  A couple more to go and I will be back at my happy weight again.  YAY!  Just in time for my later-in-May birthday.

A couple of nice packages arrived by courier this week...  I will give you a little peek!

The first is from my beloved Tommie Copper... new line of tights and as well as camisoles.  Yes, they are both compression gear and I cannot wait to give them a whirl Sunday morning when I run a few kilometers.  Of course I will be back to tell you all about them!  The top just happens to be my favorite color ever.


And the other is from Chosen Foods. They sent avocado oil, chia seeds, avocado oil spray and coconut oil spray. This is a new-to-me company so I am looking forward to trying out these goodies and sharing those opinions too.


I hope you had a good week too... 

What was the best thing that happened for you this week?