Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Marathon of A Different Kind

Since my gym membership expired a week or so ago and I haven’t been attending those  noon group exercise classes, I have been really making an effort to keep up my daily workouts.. have been getting in some runs, some extra long walks, have tried P90 strength workouts, did a yoga session and have even been swimming!

And yes, I do miss the Body Pump and have been looking for the Jari Love Get Ripped DVD to take its place, but no luck so far in finding it locally.  Guess I will have to break down and order online and pay for shipping, which I really hate to do!

But I am working on a food prep marathon right now!  I have been spending lots of time in the kitchen over the past few days. 

I colored Easter eggs for The Captain…

Mar 27 Easter Eggs 006
and had lots of fun with them this year, coloring the insides of the eggs instead of the shells, just to change things up a bit.

And today we got up early and visited a couple of local markets to get in on some door crasher specials…  after coming home and having breakfast, I got started.

The first thing I did was to separate the pork loin roasts into separate bags for the freezer.

Mar 30 food prep 004 
These are all about 1.25 pounds each so will make nice cuts for the crock pot or the oven.  Freezing them in individual bags makes it so much easier.
Then I started chopping veggies and put together a huge pot of beef chili to start cooking… onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, and carrots along with extra lean ground beef, canned diced and crushed tomaotes, and lots of spices.   I just had a peek under the lid to check on it and it smells very good right now.
Mar 30 food prep 002
After it is cooked, I will let it cool for a bit and then portion into individual containers to freeze.
And I just took some baked eggplant chips out of the oven to turn them over…
Mar 30 food prep 001
They make such a nice crunchy and salty snack!
I have also peeled several pounds of ripe bananas to freeze…
Mar 30 food prep 003
We both love banana ‘soft serve’ for a cold sweet and I often use mashed banana in my pancakes and microwave muffin cakes.
I am about to start the cranberry and orange sauce for tomorrow’s turkey dinner.
Mar 30 more food prep 001
And I checked on the turkey in the fridge, too.  It is thawed and ready to roast when we get home from the Sunday morning draw of the Men’s World Curling Championships that are taking place here this week…  We will be watching Canada take on Finland.
So, it’s almost 10 a.m. and I hope to have my work all finished and stored away before lunch because I would love to spend the afternoon walking on the beach in the sunshine.

What are you up to today?

Do you like to do food prep marathons too?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yogi Clothing Review and Giveaway

A short while ago I was given the opportunity to review some articles of clothing from an American company called Yogi Clothing.   I was not familiar with them at the time, so did a thorough search of their web site and Facebook page and saw lots of beautiful items of clothing… workout wear and outer wear.  I also visited a few other blogs where I read reviews of their clothing and found very favorable reports, so I decided to proceed.

They have so many lovely pieces!  I looked long and hard before narrowing my selection to a couple of items to try.  Both of the items I chose are loose and flowing and not things that I would have typically purchased for myself… which made trying them even more fun for me. 

When they arrived, I took them out of the packaging and they were quite wrinkled so I hung them up and left them overnight…  and when I checked on them I was pleasantly surprised at how good they looked and how soft the fabrics were.

The first garment I chose was this simple grey and white double layered cardigan.    Grey is not a color I wear very often since I left the corporate world of data and finance,  but I knew this top would go really nicely over a couple of grey tanks I already had in my closet.  And I thought it would be the perfect piece to snuggle up in while watching tv in the evening or to pull on after a yoga practice.  It is so soft and comfy.  It is loose enough to almost wrap around me twice, and I love the double layer of soft fabric.  The inside layer is plain white.

Mar 17 Yogi clothing 005
You can check it out on the Yogi Clothing web site here.
The other piece I chose is a cardigan as well…. it is loose and flowing and quite lovely.  There is a bit of grey tweedy trim to break up the black. I have worn this piece to work with black pants and tank top,  and also a black pencil skirt and black shell, and it also looks great with black tights and black workout bra or tank.
Mar 17 Yogi clothing 013

You can read more about this piece on the Yogi Clothing web site here.
I know that my American friends will be happy to learn that Yogi Clothing is made in the U.S.A.
I am so very excited that Yogi Clothing is offering a giveaway to one of my lucky readers.  They would like to give you one of the grey and white double layer cardigans, like the one I am wearing in the first picture!   And because there are so many different ways you can enter, I have decided to use Rafflecopter this time around.
The first entry is mandatory, and you must visit the Yogi Clothing web site and then leave a comment on this post in order to fulfill the entry requirement.  None of the other other entries will be considered if this mandatory entry is not fulfilled.
The other entries are optional and include:
  • Liking Yogi Clothing on FB
  • Following Yogi Clothing on Twitter
  • Following Yogi Clothing on Pinterest
  • Pinning a Yogi Clothing item and providing the url
  • Following Yogi Clothing on Tumblr
  • Tweeting about the giveaway and providing the url
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway is open to entrants with Canadian or U.S. mailing addresses, and please make sure to read the Terms and Conditions.
Yogi Clothing provided me these 2 pieces to review but the opinions are my own.
Thanks so much for your interest and your entries!  I have selected a winner, as you can see in the Rafflecopter widget, and just emailed her about the win! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

What’s in Your Fitness Closet? #FitnessCloset

If you look into my closet, what would you see?
Lots of IZOD golf togs and Champion capris,
a few Jones New York jackets and Eddie Bauer jeans,
navy striped sailor shirts and khakis… Dockers, please.
But the drawers are more enlightening.
That’s where you will learn lots more about me.
They’re full of Handful bras and tank tops, Tommie Copper tees,
compression shorts and calf sleeves, all to suit my needs.
I have Titika  Active yoga wear, and Running Divas tees
to go with Reebok shorts, and Yogi Clothing sweaters,  colorful indeed.
No shortage of socks, likely way more than I need…
Fitsock, Swiftwick, Recovery, and Pro Compression up to my knees.
There also are some bamboo fabric Moeben sleeves.

I  am such a lucky gal to be fitted out so wonderfully!

Do you sense a recurring them here…. in the color department?

Check out my Pinterest Board if you would like to see some more pictures of Things I <3.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

A few weeks back I was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Jamie, at Rise Run Repeat Mom…  I first started reading Jamie’s blog when she was writing about kettle bell workouts and do enjoy it immensely.

What is a Liebster award? You might be wondering...

The word liebster is a German word meaning sweetheart, dearest or beloved and then applied to blogs that one likes.

Thank you, Jamie, for the nomination!

There are a few rules that come with this nomination:
  • Add the award icon onto your blog
  • link your nominator and say thank you
  • post 11 random things about yourself
  • answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you
  • nominate 11 bloggers (and let them know)
  • post 11 new questions to the bloggers you nominate
I know that this award has been making the rounds so I am going to bend the rules somewhat….

You all know that I am terrible at coming up with these random things about myself so I am going to to jump to answering Jamie’s 11 questions…

11 questions for Jamie's nominees:  1.  What's your favorite reality TV show?

The Biggest Loser is my ONLY reality TV show.  I think it was so much better this last season.

2. Do you play an instrument?

Piano, accordian, and I pluck at the guitar and mandolin a little.

3. Have you ever broken a bone?

Yes, a small one on the outside of my foot but darned if I can remember if it was the left or the right as it was so long ago.

4. Are you scared of bugs?

Not afraid, but not particularly enamoured of them either.

5. What is is your favorite movie?

It has always been Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, but Life of Pi is pretty darned spectacular.

6. Do you like to cook?

I do!  That is why I write a second blog called We can begin to feed…

7. Do you have any pets? If yes, how many and what kind?

Not at the moment.  In the past I have loved dogs, cats, fish, turtles, guineau pigs and hamsters.

8. What is your favorite job?

Tending my balcony garden maybe.

9. Are you afraid of the dark?

Nope, but I have never spent any scary or tense time in the dark.

10. Have you ever travelled to another country?

Many times to the U.S. and Mexico.  Also Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Holland.

11. If you run, do you enjoy running in the rain?

I don’t mind running in a warm rain but cannot honestly cross the line to ‘enjoying’ it.

Now I know that many many of you have also already received this nomination… so I am not going to tap anyone in particular… but if you would like to answer the following questions, I would love to read the answers!  Please let me know if you do.
  1. Where is your favorite place to run? 
  2. Do you travel to take part in running or fitness events?
  3. Name one thing you never leave home without.
  4. What is your favorite piece of workout gear?
  5. Do you think music enhances your workouts?
  6. What is your favorite food?
  7. Is there any food you don’t allow yourself for health reasons that you would really like to have?
  8. What was your best friend’s first name when you were a kid?
  9. Oranges or apples?
  10. Favorite color to wear?
  11. Best vacation ever?
There we have it!  Thanks again, Jamie, it was so sweet of you to include me in your nominations… and I shall continue to enjoy reading your blog!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bye Bye Gym Membership... It's Been GREAT!

I have just returned home from an awesome workout at the gym... I ran a couple of miles on a treadmill, and then cycled a couple of miles and then ran another mile before cooling down, having a snack and then heading in to a wonderful Yoga Flow class.  I do love this yoga instructor.  She seems to sense the moods and needs of the group and chooses her poses and flows accordingly.  Love it. Love it.  LOVE it.

And then I walked home in a snotty wet Spring storm.. yes, it IS the first day of Spring... ate my lunch and am now taking a bit of time to reflect on my gym membership this past month before I enjoy my hot shower.

I won the membership in a Facebook contest.  And although I was pleased about it, I was more pleased that it came with a gift card to a local Canadian sport retailer.  I really didn't think I would even use the gym membership because I have always thought I didn't care for gyms, fitness centres, and the like.  And yes, I have tried a few in the past.

But, when The Captain settles in to watch The Scotties and The Brier (that's curling and it is a big deal for Canadians, especially those who are or have been champions at the sport themselves) on tv for a few hours each day off and on from mid Februrary through mid March, I get antsy and definitely need to entertain myself. I like a bit of it, but not for hours at a time.

I realized that activating this free gym membership and taking advantage of it, would not only entertain me, but do me some good! And so I checked their web site and found out they had lots of group exercise classes that I would like to try,  along with several different kinds of cardio machines, spin bikes, weights of course, and a group of machines that make up a circuit for strength training.  There are personal trainers available, tanning beds, blood pressure monitors, and all kinds of other amenities, too numerous to list.  It is a well rounded, and seemingly well-run facility.

So I have attended several different group exercise classes.... All Terrain Spin, Body Pump, Body Flow, and Yoga Flow. I have run and walked on the treadmills and ellipticals and ridden the recumbant bikes. I tried the strength circuit machines, and made good use of the stretching area. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the time I spent there over the last 30 days. And I really loved being exposed to all the new activities.  But I elected not to extend the temporary membership... and do have some mixed feelings about it as I mull it over.

The Cons...
  • I thought it was pricey compared to other facilities.
  • the classes are either very early morning, at noon, or at dinner time. I would prefer 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. and found that going to a class at noon just broke up my day. It really took from 11 to 1:30 or longer. Then I still had to shower and have lunch after I got home. Very time consuming and I never felt like I could fit in any other exercise on a gym day.
  • the floor in the group exercise area is always kinda dirty.... petty maybe but it bugged me.
  • there is one member who is very annoying and 'in your face' and he attended all the yoga classes I did. I learned to make a point of keeping my back to him at all times.
  • the whole month I was there, 2 out of the 3 commodes in the ladies locker room were out of order... call a plumber, someone.

The Pros...
  • great variety of classes.  I loved All Terrain Spin, Body Pump, Body Flow and Flow Yoga.  I would also like to have tried RPM Spin, Body Step, Body Attack and Zumba but the timing of those didn't work for me.
  • the equipment is state of the art; there is lots of it; there is a great variety of cardio machines.
  • there is lots of room for everyone.
  • it wasn't ever very busy... however I did avoid that work-home transition time and apparently it is busier then.
  • the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.
  • loved the towel service.
  • it has 2 local locations, one of which is woman-only but I never went to it as the main location is just a short walk from home.
and to add to the Pros... and what I can take away...
  • I have discovered a whole new appreciation of yoga.  Since I have taken some classes with a live instructor I know now, for sure, that this is something I want to pursue and spend more time doing.
  • I also discovered a love for Body Pump and for listening to energetic music when I work out. This was a real surprise to me and I just never 'got' the music thing before. I do now and loved it.  I am on the hunt for some Jari Loved DVDs as I think her RIPPED series is about as close to Body Pump as I am going to get at home. 
and it is not a Pro or a Con, but a simple observation...
  • I reconfirmed my dislike for running for any length of time on a treadmill... I do know they have their place, but I am just not a fan.  Even with a tv screen and earbuds for entertainment, I get so bored and so HOT running on a treadmill... give me the great outdoors, wind and rain and snow included, ANY day!

I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to try out all of these facilities and classes over the past 30 days.  I know that my arms and legs and abs are happier too!

And now I can look forward to getting back to some other workouts, and figure out how I am going to fit yoga and Body Pump in as well.... I really think I am going to need a schedule!

What is your favorite exercise... other than running of course.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Faves

I can hardly believe it is Friday already! This week has just flown by me…

Started out the week with a Flow Yoga class on Sunday, an All Terrain Spin class on Monday, a Body Pump workout on Tuesday, another Flow Flow yoga session on Wednesday… Thursday I worked back to back Weight Watchers meetings at noon and then another at dinner time… then today I enjoyed another Body Flow class.

I am loving going to these classes but honestly they just break up my day so awkwardly – I feel like my whole day revolves around whatever class I am taking  cause they all are at noon, and I don’t get much else accomplished… however, I know when it is all over next week I will miss it a lot!  There is just no pleasing me sometimes… 

That thought prompted this post because I want to showcase some things that are pleasing me a LOT lately and focus on the positive, the good, and the delicious!

Jan 6 Tommie Copper review 005
Like this Tommie Copper long sleeved compression tee, so snuggly and comforting…
Jan 11 socks 001
and these bright pink Pro compression socks…

Jan 13 apple and almond butter snack 001
and afternoon tea with an apple and some crunchy almond butter…
Feb 8 Carrot Chips 006
munching on carrot chips right out of the oven…
Jan 8 baked eggs 001
and baked eggs….
Feb 26 other coconut pancakes 004
and coconut pancakes smothered in fresh fruit….
Feb 2 signs of spring 014
and Spring busting out all around...
March 15 turtles in the lake 001
like today there are turtles basking in the sunshine on a log in the little lake across the street from our apartment…
March 15 turtles in the lake 002
and the new growth on the giant weeping willow is the most beautiful and delicate green.
What are your particularly enjoying today?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My First Spin Class... Loved it!

It has been a fun time for me in the fitness arena lately... since I won this one-month gym membership, and activated it on February 18th, I have made a real effort to get there several times a week and try out some new activities.

So far I have done Body Pump, Flow Yoga, Body Flow... run on the amazing treadmills and the ellipticals, cycled on the recumbant bikes, and tried out the circuit training equipment... but yesterday I really stretched myself to the limits!

I attended an All Terrain spin class. It was a really hard and sweaty workout and when I climbed down off the bike to do a bit of stretching, my legs were like jelly and I thought for a split second I may actually fall down!  It was awesome. 

I love coming out of a workout, feeling like I have given it everything I had. feeling completely spent.  And this spin class instructor really motivated me to do that.  I arrived early, and she knew right away that I was new so she introduced herself and asked my name.  Then she told me what the class entailed, asked what kinds of workouts I normally do... showed me the bike and helped me set it up for my body and then the rest of the group trickled in... I warmed up my legs with some gentle cycling and BOOM, off we went.

I love the upright CLIMB and SPRINT sections the very best.  They were hard and intense but relatively short... the music was fun and very well suited to the cycling and I loved that the leader worked every bit as hard as anyone and kept talking and shouting instructions through the whole class.

After it was done, and we stretched, I thanked her for the great workout, and then I went to the gym's stretching area and did some more calf stretches and hip flexor stretches before heading to the locker room.

I must admit, that my 15-minute walk home took a wee bit longer, but I was thankful for it!  And for most of the afternoon, I made sure to stay on my feet.  I was a bit afraid that if I sat down too long, I may seize up!  About 3 p.m. I drank a nuun in some water - thought that might offset leg cramps during the night... and made sure to keep drinking lots of water throughout the evening too.

At bedtime, after sitting on the couch and watching The Biggest Loser for a couple of hours, I did feel some cramping in my thighs so I put Tiger Balm on them before I climbed into bed and thankfully I slept well and had no cramps.  Yay!

But I slept about an hour longer than normal... and today ... well, I am off to Body Pump... and I just know the SQUAT and LUNGE routines are gonna be killer!

Do you SPIN?

What is your favorite part of the workout?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Loving my bobble... Want One of Your Own?

Have you seen bobble yet? 
Mar 3 Bobble 001

bobble is a patented, reusable waterbottle that filters water as you drink….  made from recycled PET that is free of BPA, Phthalates and PVC, and is 100% recyclable.  It uses a carbon-based filter (that is the colored piece) that removes chlorine and organic contaminates from municipal tap/potable water.

Each filter equates to about 40 gallons/150 litres of water.  With daily use they should last about 2 months… and if you register online, Bobble will send you an email reminder to change your filter!

Before drinking from your bobble for the first time, you just need to fill the bottle with tap water, put the filter in place and then squeeze the water through the filter to activate it and remove any loose particles of carbon.

I was given the opportunity to test drive this product recently and I have been in love with it ever since..  bobble comes in a few different sizes… 385 ml (about 1-1/2 cups), 550 ml (about 2 cups) and a 1 litre jug.  I chose to try the 550 ml bottle because I thought it was a nice, portable size.

It fits perfectly in my hand…

Mar 3 Bobble 002

in my running belt….
Mar 3 Bobble 004
and also in the cup holders on the ellipticals and treadmills at my gym… but I am not allowed to take pictures there to show you that.
I have been taking mine to the gym every time I visit lately, and have been asked by several patrons and gym staff as well, about it. I also carried it in a belt on my recent speedy 5 km run. It has become my go-to waterbottle when I head out for a walk or a drive in the car.   When I come home, I just fill it up with water and put it into the fridge…. next time I want it, it is all ready to go.

Mar 3 Bobble 005

The spout is very easy to pull and push open and closed for quick drinks of water while I am running or working out.  And it does come with a separate little plastic cap that you can use to cover the spout if you like.  I use that when I take it to Flow Yoga and Body Pump classes where it is likely to get knocked over… that way I know the spout is clean to place to my mouth.

A little warning… bobble has not been tested for added mixes or flavorings.  Accordingly, it is not recommended using any liquid other than potable water with bobble.

You can find out more about bobble at:
their web site
on Facebook
and on Twitter

So, are you intrigued? 
Would you like to try a bobble for yourself?
Mann Marketing is offering one 550 ml bobble and one replacement filter to 4 of my readers who have Canadian mailing addresses… so exciting… all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below about how you would use your bobble. If you leave your email address, too, that would make things so much easier to contact you if you win.
For a second entry, follow @bobbleCanada on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway including @eatrunsail and @bobblecanada and a link to this post in your Tweet.  No need to leave a comment… I will find your tweet.
So, 2 entries maximum per person, and you must have a Canadian mailing address to be a winner.  Mann Marketing will ship your prize directly to you.
Entries will close on Thursday March 14th at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  I will attempt to contact the 4 winners by email and will also publish their names on this post on Friday, March 15th.  If I have not heard from the individual winners by email by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March  18th, I will choose alternate winner(s).
Although I was given these products to review, all opinions expressed are my own.
This giveaway is now closed and the winners have been contacted.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

5 by the 5th - March Edition

On Friday morning The Captain announced that he would go out for a run with me after lunch if we could drive to the marina and check on the sailboat after breakfast... I agreed, but was secretly quite sure that the afternoon run would never take place.

The drive to the marina is about half an hour.. we would need at least half an hour on the boat, and I had a couple of shopping stops to make on the drive home.. AND we didn't even get started till after 10:30 a.m.

By the time we got home and got a light lunch into our bellies, it was almost 2 o'clock and I said that I would like to get out by 2:45 if we were indeed going for a run.  There was no comment, but at 2:45 precisely, The Captain was waiting at the door for me to lace my shoes and fill up my water Bobble to head out for our 5km loop around the neighborhood.

It was pleasantly warm but very gloomy and eerily calm.  The first leg seemed a bit hard going up the gentle slopes on the other side of the park, until my quads got really warmed up, and then something sort of magical happened.... I flew along the pathway through the off-leash area that parallels the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and well past our normal walk point.  It was hard but for some reason I just really felt like pushing it.  Everytime I felt like slowing down, I checked myself and kept going. We finished the 5 km at just after the time we would normally be taking our third and last one-minute walk break...

W3 R32:15 @10/1 W3
stretch 10 minutes

Did you see that?

 32 minutes... and 15 seconds !!

I looked at my watch a couple of times just to make sure my calculations had been correct... awesome.  When I told him our time, The Captain said he could tell I was running a lot faster because normally along the waterfront he walks a few times but didn't this time, at all.  Wahoooo!

This was really exciting for me, because a couple of runs ago,  I broke the 35 minute mark for the first time in months and months, and to better that by over 2 minutes is incredible to me.  I was actually sure that an afternoon run would be slower than normal... perhaps I am an afternoon runner?  Definitely will be testing this theory again.

But in a way, I am almost afraid to go out again now.... sort of like a great round of golf.. the next one is not gonna be as good and you have to give one back to the golf gods, it seems... are there running gods... like there are golf gods?

What do you think?  Can you follow up a great run time with another one?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sincerely Seeking Yoga Advice

I attended my second Yoga Flow session on Wednesday at noon... I am loving this yoga class but the timing is just not good for me so I will only be going a few more times... I have decided not to pick up the gym membership when it runs out later in March.

I had done a very hard workout at Body Pump on Tuesday... almost ripped my biceps out of my arms to get in the final few reps and was so elated and exhausted that it actually brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat... but just for a split second... but what an odd mix of emotions that was!

So I went to Yoga Flow on Wednesday, looking for a good stretch for my whole body.  I arrived early enough to set up my mat and spend a few minutes speaking with the instructor. I told her I was a newcomer with very inflexible hip sockets and tight quads so she showed me a couple of ways to modify some poses till I get more limber... and assured me that if I keep practising, I will certainly get  more limber.

It was a really good session. I love the savasana the end.  I am just on the edge of sleep when her soft voice brings me back to consciousness and thought. Corpse pose.  Love it.

I came away feeling very relaxed and I think it delayed the DOMS in my biceps till Thursday.  And wow, was I ever feeling it by then, and still now. I like to say I can feel my biceps growing...

So now, the more I know about yoga, the more I know that I know VERY LITTLE, and I want to learn.. from any of you who may have some advice.

I don't really want to sign up for more classes at this point... I want to be able to get out my mat and do a session whenever I like... so I think I would like to find a DVD or a yoga session online that I can practice... and I am thinking that twice a week would be about right because I still want to run and I still want to strength train, too. 

If you have any titles or links to share, I am so open to help and suggestions... thanks.