Monday, July 30, 2012

My Monday Run

Finally, finally got out for a run this morning.

I am so happy right now I am about ready to burst.  Running just makes me feel so good, even a short 5 km will keep me smiling for the rest of the day!

Summer is traditionally such a difficult season for me to find the time to run.... we love to cruise on the sailboat and for the first several years we owned her, we would be gone for weeks at a time.  There were often stretches of 2 or 3 days where I never even got off to go to shore or even just to row around whatever little cove or marine park we found ourselves in.  And when I did go ashore, it was often to get some groceries or go on a hike... running was not part of my summer plans.

The past couple of years we have been cruising less, golfing and hiking more, and getting in more running.  The sailing has definitely taken a back seat to our other summer endeavors and although we love it, it is so all-consuming!

So today a 5 km run ... we did our regular neighborhood route in the opposite direction to change things up a bit!  Wow! It seemed so very different and I am not crazy about the couple of long uphill sections... won't be doing that again!

But we finished in 36.5 minutes which is a reasonable time for me at this stage and I made sure we got in a good stretch before we came inside to enjoy a protein smoothie.

W2 R36.5 @11.5/1 W3
stretch 10 minutes

When I walked past the huge mirror in our building lobby on the way in, I realized that I probably looked kinda funny cause I was wearing one long Recovery Sock and one short Fit Sok, but hey, they are both black....

Anyway,  I thought I would show you my running outfit which consists of:

  • Go Girl Sport shirt
  • Handful sports bra (you can't see it but I cannot leave it out!)
  • Reebok shorts
  • Recovery Sock
  • Fit Sok
  • Saucony shoes with Sweat Pink laces
And ask you if you think it looks really silly to just wear one Recovery Sock?  Should I wear the other one even though I don't need it?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Finish It: July

Hey, I found this on Kyria's blog today and I though it was so cute,  Would love to see yours too.

Here is my version of...

Finish It: July

Maybe I should get dressed and go out for a walk.
I love blue sky and soft breezes.
People would say that I’m a bit too opinionated.
I don’t understand cruelty in any form.
When I wake up in the morning I have a cup of hot water with a fresh lemon squeezed into it.
I lost my will to shovel snow.
Life is full of twists and turns; love and happy days. 
My past is full of
good times with great friends.
I get annoyed when
people let their dogs chase the birds on the beach.
Parties are best avoided.
I wish I had more hours in the day.
Dogs are
Birds are pretty but often noisy and messy.
Tomorrow I’m
going for a run.
I have low tolerance for mean spirited people.
I’m totally terrified of
heeling over too far in the sailboat and broaching.
I wonder why I
fall off my food wagon sometimes and eat junk.
Never in my life have I
ridden a snowmobile.
High school was
a means to get to university...  a necessary evil.
When I’m nervous
I giggle, usually inappropriately!
One time at a family gathering
my sister and brother locked me in my camper.
Take my advice: Be the you you want to become.
Making my bed
takes just a minute or two.
I’m almost always
prompt and punctual, upbeat and positive, smiling and happy.
I’m addicted to sunshine, fresh flowers, the beach and the ocean.
I want someone to buy me a bicycle.

What are you terrified of?

And addicted to?

Saturday was The Captain's birthday and he asked me to say thanks to everyone who left messages and good wishes on Twitter and Facebook for him.

Breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and fresh fruit... strawberries from our own container garden.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good to be Home...

We arrived home a short while ago and I want to share some images from our fabulous visit to North Vancouver.  We had such a great time with the family... my BIL is a wonderful cook... mostly Italian fare and delicious!  And I always enjoy learning more about his methods and ingredients.

We got in several hours of shopping at a new IKEA on the way to their house... almost got lost it was so huge!

Bluberry, Pecan and Feta Salad at IKEA

My first ever gluten-free pizza. It was wonderful!

Granville Island Public Market on Saturday morning.

And the view to Granville Street Bridge across False Creek.

My niece's rhubarb and strawberry pie.  She also made a smaller g-f version.  Awesome!

The babbling brook in their back yard.

My fabulous breakfast bowl on Tuesday morning, just before I added a splash of Almond Breeze to it.

Waiting for the ferry in Horshoe Bay to bring us back to the Island.

I am pretty tired!  And we are going to spend the day on our sailboat tomorrow... so an early night tonight and an early morning tomorrow.

Do you get the opportunity to shop at markets where the individual vendors have their own little stalls?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Was Right, it Has Been a Great Week!

I knew when I got out for a run on Sunday that my week was off to a great start!

Sunday evening we had a lovely dinner with the folks where we spent the winter, house and kitty sitting.  Was great to catch up on their news and see the furry babies too.  The girl kitty especially was really happy to see us and it is no secret to anyone that she actually prefers us!  The boy was very well-behaved which is actually a nice change... he went out before we had appies and didn't come back in till we were playing a dice game after dinner... very nice kitty!

We ran again on Tuesday and I finally mapped us a new route.  It was 6 km and I was happy to finish in 44 minutes.  We followed it up with lots of water, a good stretch and then a nice lunch on our sunny patio.

Wednesday, yesterday, was a great day!  We went out for a sail in the afternoon.  So nice to be out, in light winds and warm temps.... just floating along.  I love that kind of sail.  Makes all the cleanup and put-away so worthwhile.  And then after dinner we walked around the neighborhood and enjoyed the sunshine over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the view to the Olympic Mountains in WA.

Today we did a bit of shopping and had lunch on the balcony.  I took some pics of my container garden because the strawberries are bursting out and I finally have little tomatoes growing on the vines and the cilantro is at its peak. 



Gonna eat this baby today!

Cherry tomatoes

Regular tomatoes

Tomato plants

Whoever knew I could get so excited about gardening again after so many years of not doing it?

Tomorrow we are heading off-Island to go to Canada for a few days.... well technically we are in Canada, but that is what we call going to the mainland.   The Captain's sister and her husband are having us come visit for an extended 'weekend' and we will also get to see our niece and her man, and their adorable little French Bulldog pup.  I am so especially excited to meet Lewis, the doggy... already know and like the man!  And we will get to see our nephew who has just become a police officer and perhaps his new lady as well. 

And I am really hoping we will get a crack at the Grouse Grind while we are there too... a steep rocky trail up Grouse Mountain, which is just steps away from their house. 

Naturally there will be some shopping involved and lots of good food and laughter.

So, off to get my butt-kicked by Jillian before I shower and pack a few things and then decorate the hostess gifts.

Hope you have a fun weekend planned.

What is the appropriate label for a man with whom you live but are not married to?

'Boyfriend' sounds kinda juvenile and non-committed... and for some reason 'Partner' makes me think of a same-sex love. 'Mate' or 'Lover' seem crude.    'Man' works for me but not sure.. I guess I should ask her how she refers to him!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Off to a Great Running Start

Last week I actively worked on Amanda's 30 Day Ab Challenge.   And I do mean worked.  So far I have not been able to complete even 1 of of the daily video workouts offered, but I am staying with it!

And, because I currently have a membership, I sweated along to Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 week 1 workout.  If you are a Jillian fan you know how these SHRED style workouts go... a warm up followed by 3 different circuits of 3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio and 1 minute abs, then a cool down.  This first week has a couple of ab moves I cannot do!  Yikes.

But I am going to do the week 2 workouts a couple of times this week and see how it goes.

And I got the week off to a great start yesterday with a nice 5 km run.

My Sweat Pink Laces in my Saucony shoes and my Recovery socks!

I haven't taken the time yet to map any new routes around the neighbhorhood, so we keep running the same 5 km over and over... so I am thankful the views are lovely and the course is relatively flat.

W2 R35.5 @10/1 W3
stretch 10 minutes

At least it is getting a little quicker!  I wore my Recovery socks during the run and kept them on through my cool down and my legs felt great for the rest of the day and into the night.  No cramping at all.

We have a busy week ahead.... with a visit to The Captain's sister on the mainland at the end of the week... will be there for a few days... so really looking forward to that.

Do you have anything special planned this week?

What are you doing for workouts these days?

Running in the heat?  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Setbacks and Getting the Workout Done

Does your fitness schedule go out the window when summer arrives? 

The kids are home from school, or maybe your spouse is on a 'staycation' from work... you have relatives land on your doorstep for a week's stay... or perhaps you are going on a vacation of your own... or even travelling for business.

How do you manage to stay on the fitness track when your routine is derailed.  Or do you?  Maybe you just put it all on hold and resolve to get back to it when your life gets back to normal.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and I have done both... sometimes I have really good intentions of keeping up my runnning mileage or my strength workouts and manage to do that, and other times end up coming home with a FAIL in my suitcase.  For me it depends on where I am going and who I will be with.

When I travelled solo on business, I did very well at keeping up with my fitness goals. I made sure to stay at a hotel where there was a decent gym that I knew I would use.  And I made sure to pick one in a neighborhood that was safe to run in ... and often close to the office I would be working at so that I could walk to and from my daily appointments.  (And honestly, these days with the internet and phone apps there is no excuse not to be able to find out anything you need to know about the area you are choosing and can even map out routes and contact local clubs if you like, before you go.  I confess to getting lost once when out for a run while staying in a hotel and it was really scary.  Dumb.  Don't do that.)

But when I attended business conferences, I was lucky to get in walk every day or two.  The evenings were full of social commitments well into the late evening and the breakfast meetings started very early.  Doing situps and pushups in my hotel room before my morning shower would be almost as much as I could fit in on those trips.  Often there was no break during the day other than a chance for a 10 or 15 minute walk at noon before the meetings started again.  I would come home exhausted, but eager to just move.

When The Captain and I travel, we usually select a resort where we can play tennis, use the gym, run on the beach, swim, sail, waterski, kayak, attend aerobics classes and walk and hike to our hearts' content.   Or when we go on a winter holiday, we choose snow skiiing and also enjoy skating and snow shoeing where it is available.

Even when we take the sailboat out for a cruise that lasts several days or even weeks, we can walk or hike on shore, and row the dinghy for exercise and enjoyment.

If we are visiting friends or family we like to go walking and hiking and will often sneak away on our own for a run here and there.   Sometimes it has been hard to break away and go off and do that, but if you say you are training for something in particular, the exercise seems to become more important and palatable to those who would otherwise resent your doing it.

And sometimes visiting someone else is a wonderful opportunity to try out something new... play softball, go wall or rockclimbing, go horseback riding or cross-country skiiing.  I attended a NIA class with a girlfriend I was visiting a couple of years ago and it was so fun... I would never have thougth to try it on my own.

It is also good to get your hosts to take you their favorite park or beach or hiking trail.  You can do some very special bonding and make some great memories getting sweaty and having a good workout together, too.

Up until a couple of years ago, our visits with my older sister and her husband were pretty sedintary... but now she has lost 165 pounds and we can hardly keep up with her.  She is always the first one up in the morning, dressed, made up, and wondering what we would like to do for the day.  It's wonderful.
Sometimes it just comes down to how important it is to you to keep up your workouts.  Decide before you go what your fitness goals are for that time period and decide how you are going to meet them.

If you are having company at your house, I think it is much easier to keep to your regular routine, for the most part.  Yes, you may have to get up a bit earlier to fit in a run... but you can take your cousin Margie along to your yoga class or get the whole group together to take the dogs out after dinner for a walk.  We usually take our guests out for a sail, or at least a walk on the beach.

So, do try to think about the situation you will be faced with and think about ways to keep moving, even if it isn't your normal workout...
  • Will you go for a walk at the airport instead of having that margarita before you board your flight?

  • Will you take your running shoes in your suitcase or just some flip flops?

  • Do you have a repertoire of body-weight exercises in your arsenal in case the resort gym is too small and stuffy and hot to use?

  • Can you safely go for a walk after dinner near your hotel or do you need to get some exercise in during the day?

  • If the kids are home from school all summer, do you need to go running before your husband leaves for work in the morning so you will be home to supervise them during the day?

  • If your husband has a stay at home vacation time planned this summer, will you still be able to go to your yoga class or will he expect you to spend your time with him?  Or will he want to go with you?

Give it some thought BEFORE the situation arises...  Think about what is going to be different, and decide on some options as to how you will handle it.

And do have a great summer... who knows... if you keep your eyes and ears and MINDS open, you might discover a new fitness love!

How are you coping with summer fitness routine setbacks?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shining Up the Sloop

So yes, I HAVE been around this week, but so far spent EVER day but today in our marina town, at the dock, continuing our boat work.

She is looking pretty darn tiddly... bristol as a matter of fact!

I did manage to get in a long walk every day and my abs work too... also one run...  but really looking forward to getting the weights and kettlebell out again this week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Wonderful Wednesday

I had such a great day on Wednesday, I just want to tell you about it... nothing life-altering or out-of-the-ordinary, but just a series of lovely little events.... the simplest things make me happy!

The day started out with a chocolate protein pancake topped with mixed berries and a bit of syrup! I am starting to really embrace this wheat-free lifestyle and the challenge of finding new and better things to eat!

I realized afterward that I forgot to mash a half banana to put in the batter!  So good to know I don't need to do that in case I want to have this again when I don't have any bananas on hand...

At about our normal lunch time we set out for a 5 km run... it didn't start out great as my legs felt heavy (even with my Recovery socks on) but I kept plugging along and ended up really enjoying it.  We ran along the waterfront for part of the way and during the lunch hour, the offleash doggie area is bustling! I managed to get through it without stopping for a pet, not even one!

W2 R37 @10/1 W3

Back at home we drank lots of water and stretched outside on the balcony in the sunshine.

The Captain does love his Tommie Copper tee.

I have my Sweat Pink laces in my Sauconys.  And yes, that IS my favorite Running Divas shirt!

After we had lunch, also outside on the balcony, The Captain checked the strawberry planter and found several beautiful berries, perfectly ripe and ready to eat.

And so eat them we did!  I have never picked and eaten fresh strawberries right off the plant before and was amazed at the flavor and texture of them.... So delicious!

Then we put on our bathing suits and headed to the pool for a couple of hours of easy swimming and lazing in the afternoon sunshine.  Later, after an early dinner we drove up to our marina town to visit the sloop and check on a few things that we need to take care of tomorrow.... but that is another day and another post....

So it was a really great day... nothing special, nothing earth-shaking, but just a series of happy events.  I am just so easy to please!

Did you have a good Wednesday too?

What little things just make a day seem special to you?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#Wheat-Free Day 7 and Counting

Today is Day 7 of my experiment with giving up wheat.  If you want to read about why I am doing this I will refer you to this post rather than repeating it all in this one.

Going into the first day I armed myself with a package of rice cakes and a bag of brown rice rotini.  I was afraid that I might experience bread/cracker/junk snack withdrawals and thought that rice cakes with peanut butter and banana or Nutella would be a healthier solution.  And yes,  I know I can eat spaghetti squash instead of pasta, but not all the time.

After dinner I read the ingredient list on the box of M&M Italian Meatballs that I had used in our pasta topping and found they contain wheat.  Good grief.

Determined to be more vigilant with processed food on Day 2, I made sure to take gluten-free Taste of Nature bars along on our morning walk.  I had eaten a gluten-free cereal with yogurt and strawberries for breakfast, but knew I would need a mid-morning snack... and I did. 

Brown rice with our dinner was an easy choice - in the past I might have used faro or barley in this particular dish but chose the rice instead to avoid not only the wheat (faro) but the gluten in the barley as well.

I did eat a few Finn Crisp crackers and some cheese later in the evening.. rye flour, no wheat.

On the morning of day 3 I noticed that the edema in my right foot and leg was gone and much reduced in my left foot and leg... I weighed myself and was delighted to see I had lost 4 pounds.  Yes, water.  But I am thrilled.  The Captain spotted it right away too.

I ate a rice cake with my lunch, brown rice again at dinner, and popcorn in the evening.

Where has that sugar-monster gone? My sweet tooth seems to have gone into hiding.

Day 4 I ate a spoonful of that same gluten-free cereal and some yogurt and strawberries before heading out for a walk in the morning... then had a substantial breakfast of flourless whey protein pancakes with berries when we got back.

That was the only grains I ate all day.  I can hardly believe that!

At cocktail 'time' The Captain poured us each a glass of red wine and I opened a package of Skinny Crisps from my a Healthy Surprise shipment.... gluten-free almond flour crackers with an onion flavor.  They are wonderful and filled the need to munch with the glass of wine.  In the past wine has always set off my sugar cravings, but I think that the almond crackers must have helped offset that because it didn't happen.

We had some potatoes at dinner, for a change.

Day 5 presented a few challenges.  The morinng went well and it was a busy day... Canada Day and we walked to the Inner Harbour after lunch.  None of the food booths held any appeal for either of us and we came home at enjoyed some of the Frozen Vanilla Protein Pops that I had made.

Later I nibbled on a rice cake with peanut butter and Nutella.  And at dinner I had a huge salad with a veggie burger and some melted cheese... Later I ate rye crackers with cheese and then another rice cake with peanut butter.  All in all not a lot of calories for the whole day, but I seemed to be craving the carby stuff in the evening. Not sweet, but carby none the less.

I checked my veggie burger box for ingredients, and see they contain wheat gluten.

Yesterday I had a quinoa based salad at lunch time. Was a nice change with beans and lots of crunchy veggies.

In the afternoon I baked a banana bread using almond flour, with a few chocolate chips... It was delicious... I ate 2 pieces of it.  Then froze the rest - not because I couldn't leave it alone, but because I normally do that with baked treats.

But later I ate more rye crackers, brown rice pasta at dinner, then more rye crackers and a rice cake before bed.  Was it the chocolate chips that made me want more carbs?  But again, just carbs and not sugar necessarily.  I wasn't reaching for chocolate, or wanting jam or cookies... but crackers and something to munch.

I am a bit puffier again in the legs this past couple of days.  And the scale is up 2 pounds this moring. 

Looking back over the week I have some early observations that may or may not hold true as my experiment continues:

  1. I need to be more vigilant in reading labels. I was shocked to find wheat in both the processed meatballs and veggie burgers.
  2. The processed carbs such as rice cakes, brown rice pasta, rye crackers, chocolate chips, and Nutella cause my blood sugar to spike and set of the 'carb-craving' cycle.   I am going to avoid them and see it that helps with that problem.
  3. I am not having any problems staying within my normal calorie range using almond flour and coconut flour in my pancakes and baked goods.  And the almond flour banana bread didn't make me feel like I should eat the whole thing like a regular wheat-flour cookie or 2 may have done. 
  4. The edema and water retention may be a bigger problem (gluten) than just wheat - will keep any eye on that. 
Thanks to everyone who left comments on my last post about this subject. I appreciate all of the encouragement and good news stories you shared with me.

I realize that 7 days is not nearly long enough to make any real assessment, so I shall carry on... and keep ya posted!

not my own but sure is cute!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#CanadaDay Frozen Vanilla Protein Pops

Happy Canada Day!

Canada is turning 145 today!  And Canadians across the country and around the world will be decked out in red and white to celebrate!

And we will be eating red and white foods too… angel cake with strawberries was always a family favorite to top off a barbecue or picnic.

I am not eating wheat right now, so no angel cake for me, but I did make some Frozen Vanilla Protein Pops… red and white, and so tasty.

My 6 frozen pop moulds have a volume of about 2 cups… measure yours by filling them with water and then emptying them into a measuring container to find out the volume and then alter the ingredients accordingly.

Frozen Vanilla Protein Pops
Makes 2 cups total – in 6 frozen moulds
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt
  • Dash of Stevia or Splenda (optional)
  • 4 – 6 small fresh strawberries, washed and hulled

  1. Blend the protein powder, Almond Breeze, yogurt, and sweetener, if using. 
  2. Pour the mixture into the moulds till each is about half full.
  3. Cut the strawberries into slivers and place the pieces into the moulds.
  4. Add the remaining liquid to each mould. If any are not completely full, top off with a bit more Almond Breeze.
  5. Freeze the moulds for several hours.
Per serving, 1/6th of whole recipe.
Calories 57; Protein 9g; Carbohydrate 3g; Fat 1g; Fibre0 g.

June 30 Canada Day pops 001
Fill the moulds and then place them in the freezer for several hours

June 30 Canada Day pops 002

June 30 Canada Day pops 003
To eat, remove from the base … you may need to put them in a bit of tepid water for a minute or two to loosen.

June 30 Canada Day pops 006
After a few bites, pieces of frozen strawberry become apparent… this is a really tasty treat!

I posted this recipe on my food blog today as well, but wanted to share it here as well... this is a fun and tasty way to get in an extra shot of protein and would serve well as an after-run or after-workout recovery snack as it has the 3/1 protein/carb ratio that is popularly recommended.

It won't give you a blood sugar spike, either.   Let me know if you try them!

If you are celebrating Canada Day what are you up to?
I think we are walking to the Inner Harbour to get in on some of the internation food booths and check out the day's entertainment... and of course there will be fireworks after dark!