Monday, April 29, 2013

Think Pink… and a Giveaway Winner

Sunday’s run was brought to you by the color PINK

The run itself was a short and sweet loop around the park…  3.35 km as calculated by Map My Run afterward.  But it was enough. Although it was deceptively sunny and bright, the wind was pretty darned cool and blowing strong in our faces on the final kilometer.

And it was a rest day on my Best Body Boot Camp shedule too. So, no shame in short!

W2 R24 W2
stretch 10 minutes

And our smoothies after were delicious.  Mine was egg white powder, original unsweetened Almond Breeze and a few fresh strawberries with some cinnamon.

Apr 28 pink smoothie 002

And The Captain’s was vanilla whey protein powder, half a banana, some strawberries, and half and half sweetened/unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

We enjoyed them thoroughly while stretching in the sunshine, out of the wind on our balcony.

I just announced the winner of my Knuckle Lights giveaway on the original post…. and I am off to do my Best Body Bootcamp workout before breakfast.  The Captain is cleaning our oven… what a guy!

What's in your favorite smoothie?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Another Reason We Love Tommie Copper

I think that sometimes thing were just meant to be!  Does that ever happen to you?

A few weeks ago, The Captain won a prize for participating in a virtual event at Running With Spatulas.  He participated with me in the 5 km run, the 10km walk and we also submitted a photo of  him.    When Ali emailed us with the news that he had won a $50 Tommie Copper gift certificate, we were both very happy.

To say that we love Tommie Copper in this household is an understatement!

The Captain selected to get himself a new short-sleeved compression tee… he has a black one that he runs in regularly cause it keeps his back toasty warm, and so this time he chose a lovely cobalt blue.

And its arrival on Wednesday this past week was very timely.

After my boot camp workout and breakfast on Wednesday morning, I packed a lunch for The Captain and he went off to spend the day waxing and polishing the fibreglass deck and the rub rails on our sloop.  I felt a bit guilty watching him drive off, as I was secretly quite happy not to be going. It is hard physical work, this boat detailing, and I actually hate it don’t like it a whole lot.

But I had a very good reason.  The day before, we had arrived home from a shopping outing, to find a notice taped to our mailbox about a missed parcel delivery. The note said that they would attempt delivery again on Wednesday, and I didn’t want to miss it again by spending the day on the boat.

So not only did that parcel arrive, but The Captain’s package from Tommie Copper was delivered too.  Very good thing that I had stayed home, right?

When he got home at about 4 p.m. he was bushed.  He had a nice long hot shower and when he got settled with a drink  I surprised him him his parcel.   That brightened up his day very considerably.  And he was really happy with his color choice.

We spent a lazy eveing in front of the TV and his back was stiffening up and his shoulders were sore from the day’s efforts.  So, when we were getting ready to turn in for the night, I suggested he sleep in his new Tommie Copper shirt.  I reminded him about how well the copper infused fabric works to warm his muscles and encourages blood flow, and how good that feels…and how snuggly warm he would feel in it so he agreed to try it.

In the morning he said his back and shoulder felt quite a bit better - not nearly as stiff and sore… so he decided for himself to sleep in the shirt again on  Thursday night.  Friday morning he woke up feeling pretty much back to normal.  Of course the rest itself helped soothe the aching muscles and joints… but we have no doubt that the Tommie Copper shirt played a huge part in helping the process.  And I kinda liked snuggling up against the luxurious soft fabric too!

Apr 27 Rod TC 003

So, big thanks to Tommie Copper for being one of the sponsors of Ali’s virtual event this year and to Ali herself for all of the love and work that she puts into it.

I hope you follow Running With Spatulas.

Are you a Tommie Copper fan too? What is your favorite garment?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Seeing Results and Staying Focussed at Best Body Boot Camp

I have just finished breakfast and my arms and legs are still shaky from my first-thing-in-the-morning workout.  I have come to really love getting my sweat on first thing and then sitting down to well-earned and delicious brekkie.

I have to say I do love this feeling because it makes me think I know that the effort I am putting in is doing me some good. 

I like to tell myself I can FEEL my muscles growing…

It’s week #4 of Best Body Boot Camp and I am pleased to report that I have not lost any enthusiasm for this venture at all.  That surprises me, and makes me happy, and  I know it is because there is so much variety.


The way that Tina structures the workouts keeps them interesting and challenging and that is so important, not only physically, but mentally, too.  I am fickle, I know… I get bored pretty easily and then I want to try the next newest thing and that is why I pretty much have had limited results in my quest for muscles over the years.  I work at it, but I haven't ever followed a set program before.

Tina has obviously taken the need for variety into consideration when designing her routines.

Every two weeks she chooses a new goal.  And she assigns exercises to help us focus on that goal.  We are given 3 new routines to do the first week and repeat the second week.  And then we leave them behind and start a new two-week cycle with a new set of routines.   And she also includes links to demos of the individual exercises and offers ideas and suggestions for the cardio she assigns as well.  I really like that I am able to fit some running and power walking into the whole mix.

I am learning so many new exercises.  And I am enjoying seeing myself make real progress in my strength and flexibility and range of motion, too.  Today I noticed that my squats are getting deeper… not ‘ass to the grass’ at this point, but definitely parallel to the ground which is big improvement for me.

And I have started doing my exercises in front of the glass doors on the curio cabinet in our living room so that I can see my muscles moving and working as I lift and lower my dumbbells.  I love the way my arms and shoulders are shaping up.  And today at breakfast, I rested my hand on my thigh and noticed that there is real definition and bulk in my quads.  Wahoooo!  I am coming out of the closet as a narcissist.

I am not to the point where I am flexing my muscles and making scary faces at myself in the mirror yet, but hey, who knows... maybe one day...

I am so excited about all of this.  And I have honestly come to love the harder exercises because I know they are the ones that are doing me the most good.  I mean, I am even doing burpees when they aren’t even part of the routine, just because I can.

Which reminds me of a little story I want to share… there is a lovely park across the side street from our building which I can see from our dining room window. During the school day it is restricted to use by the young pupils at the school on the other side of the park, but on weekends and evenings, it is often used by people training their dogs, and by young guys playing ball hockey on the basketball court there.

Sunday afternoon I looked out and there was a young Mom, doing her workout on the lawn.  She was doing burpees, and walkout pushups and some plyo lunges .  There was a baby in a stroller nearby, and also a very little girl who was cheering her Momma on and doing her own little jumps and moves. It was so neat to see that and I was so happy for them… they were having a PLAYout together.

Are you lifting weights?  Or doing body weight workouts?

Who inspires you to move?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Knuckle Lights Review and Giveaway

When we lived on our sailboat, we often would go for evening runs and walks in the small town where our marina is located.  About one third of the people that live there are over the age of  65 and the traffic is slow and there is never a worry about getting hit by a car… a bicyle, or a scooter?  Well, maybe.

When we moved off the boat and into the city last Spring, that certainly changed. There is hardly a week goes by when we don’t hear about a pedestrian getting hit by a car or a truck or a bus.  It is so common and sadly we hear reports a few times a month about these senseless fatalities.

We live across a busy street from a very large park that is popular with runners and walkers.  And there is a lot of foot traffic in front of our building.  It starts in the early morning hours with people walking downtown to go to work.  Then then the runners come out, and all day long there are people walking to and fro, and many people run past on their lunch hours.  Then the workers return home, and after dinner, the runners take over again.   There are a couple of running shoe stores here who sponsor weeknight runs and there are often many groups running past our window in the early evening hours after dinner.

For the past several months I have been so intrigued  by their lighted and reflective gear… headlamps, arm bands, shoe blinkers and especially the lights on their hands….. these runners are normally in groups of 2 or 3 and are so much more visible because of the red or white lights they wear. 

Later in the evening still, when it is even darker come the solo runners and walkers, often with dogs… and sometimes the dogs have lights on their collars or leashes, too.

I have been so tentative about going out in the dark, alone or with The Captain… even after I was given the opportunity to try out these Knuckle Lights.

Apr 18 Knuckle Lights 001

Now I had seen these lights reviewed on other blogs.  And one of the women that I work with every week is a long distance runner and she wears them faithfully when running after dinner… even just at dusk, for visibility sake.

I had to try them.

So I have been wearing my Knuckle Lights quite faithfully when outdoors at night… and I have to say that I do feel quite a bit safer when I have them on.

They fit right on my hands so easily… and are not at all uncomfortable or cumbersome as I was afraid they would be.    They fit me very well right out of the package but the strap across the inside is easily adjusted.

Apr 20 Knuckle Lights 001
For wear in cooler temperatures they will they will easily slide over a thin glove too.  And  if I felt the need for a warmer glove, I could just loosen the strap a bit.

Apr 20 Knuckle Lights 002

The best part about them is that you can shine the light wherever you want so that you can light your path as you go, or shine the light in any direction to get a better look at something in the dark.  By wearing Knuckle Lights you are not only more visible to others but you can use the light to help guide your way when there is limited visibility from darkness…. such a great idea.

There is a button on the top of each light  that is easily accessible by your thumb that allows you to turn the light on and off.  With a simple click you can also cycle through 3 different power options, too .  There is High Power for bright light,  Low Power for a dimmer light, and Blinking Mode which gives you a flashing light.

Apr 20 Knuckle Lights 004

Each Knuckle Light requires 2 AAA batteries, which are included in the package so you can use them right away.  And there is a note that suggests that if the lights get wet, you open them up and remove the batteries till all the pieces are thoroughly dry again.

Would you like to have a pair of Knuckle Lights of your own?  

The folks at Knuckle Lights have generously offered to give one pair to one of my readers.    They will ship directly to you, so to enter this giveaway you must have a mailing address in Canada or the U.S.A.

Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter.

There is one mandatory entry:

Leave a comment telling me how you keep safe when running or walking in the dark.

There are additional entries for:

Liking Knuckle Lights on Facebook
Liking eat run sail on Facebook
Following Knuckle Lights on Twitter
Following eatrunsail on Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will be open till 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, April 28th, 2013 and I will attempt to contact the winner by email an/or by Twitter, and also post the name on the Rafflecopter form on this post.  If the winner does not contact me by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, I will select a new winner.

I am happy to report that Stacey and I finally connected and her Knuckle Lights will soon be on the way to her... Hurray!

For more information about the product and other interesting company information, please visit Knuckle Lights at their web site or their Facebook page.

I was given this set of Knuckle Lights at no cost to me but the opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I am not good at perceived exertion when running

I was so happy to get out for a run in the sunshine this morning… it was breezy but just an absolutely beautiful day with all the trees here in bloom and the Spring flowers showing their finest colors.

We ran the same 5.55 km that I ran solo last week and it felt quite a bit easier than when I was alone, keeping an eye on my HRM.  But when I checked my watch, we had finished in a full minute and a half less.  Obviously I have no real concept of perceived exertion or time, when it comes to running anyway.

Did it feel easier because I had someone to talk to along the way, and wasn’t just thinking about my heart rate?   I would have thought that it would be harder, with using some of my breath for talking, not just running.  And I did 10/1 run/walk breaks today, too, which you think would take longer than just running.

W3 R42.5 @10/1 W3

When we got in I decided to make smoothies for both of us.  I used chocolate protein powder for The Captain’s and mixed it with a cup of ice cold water and a piece of an orange that I had pulverized in the food processor before mixing it into the smoothie.

Apr 20 Smoothies 001
I think that the bit of pulp in it made the smoothie even thicker… and he loved the chocolate and orange flavor… said it tasted like one of the those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges that we see at Christmas here.. and smash into individual segments to eat.
Apr 20 Smoothies 002
I made mine with some leftover cooked sweet potato, a couple of tablespoons of dried egg white, a bit of cinnamon, and 3/4 cup of original unsweetened Almond Breeze.  It was wonderful and thick… and kept hunger for lunch at bay for about 3 hours.
Apr 20 Smoothies 003
Are you good at telling how hard you are working when you run?  Any hints for  me?
Is is Spring at your house yet? What are your favorite signs?
What is your favorite after-run snack?
Inquiring minds want to know!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

26.2 minutes for #Boston victims and survivors

I came very close to not writing this post today…. I had a hard afternoon of washing and waxing the sailboat with The Captain… the hot sun beating down on my back and I was dressed in clothing more appropriate for cooler, gloomier temps today…. but once I got home I realized I needed to write… needed to get my thoughts down, even if they are hours behind….

Apr 16 Boston Tribute 002

Today I woke up with an ache in my heart and immediately remembered yesterday's events at the Boston Marathon finish line.

Today was already slated to be a cardio day for me and I had planned a run.  But I also knew that if the weather was fine, that we really ought to get up to the marina, about a 45 minute drive away, and get some more Spring cleaning done on the sloop.

When I got up at 7:15 and looked out the window the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the ducks were already pecking at the grass across the street by the lake in the park.  So, I quickly downed a cup of coffee, then a glass of water and changed into my workout gear.  I did 7 minutes of hard core work on two yoga mats, and then made a very lovely and nutritious breakfast, based on the recommendations in the  women’s body building book I have been reading.

The Captain packed us a lunch while I dressed, and I threw my my running gear into a gym bag, choosing the only racing shirt I have… because I had already read on Facebook that today runners across the globe were choosing to wear racing shirts and bibs today in support of the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

We arrived at the marina after an easy drive, and I asked The Captain what his game plan was for the day.  He suggested that I go and get my run done, because he knew I needed to do it and saw no point in delaying it… he would get started with his work and I could join him when I was ready. 

I changed clothes, had a sip of water, and off I went…. I ran for 26.2 minutes remembering the events of the previous 24 hours…. and dedicated each minute:
  1. Waking up to rain on Monday morning and being happy that I could stay home to watch the Marathon on tv instead of heading to the marina to wash the boat.
  2. Being disappointed that I could not find a live internet or tv feed from the Marathon to Canada.
  3. Blog hopping and commiserating with a buddy who was injured and sidelined, who should have been at Boston but was not.
  4. Happy when The Captain found me a Roger’s Sportsnet tv feed that was 3 hours old.
  5. Excited and inspired by the first woman to cross the finish line.
  6. Wonderment that she stopped so suddenly and didn’t keep moving.
  7. Excited by the close men’s finish.
  8. Confusing at seeing a streaming news feed that there was an explosion at the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
  9. Unease as we changed channels to CNN to watch the breaking news that there had been two explosions.
  10. Watching in disbelief as the film footage of the explosions were replayed.
  11. Seeing 4:09 etched in my mind’s eye and my heart forever.
  12. Fear errupted within me when I realized that many of my blogging friends may be in the area.
  13. Sadness watching those filmed scenes replayed over and over on tv and seeing that elderly man falling down, over and over and over.
  14. Gratitude realizing that my blogger buddy who had not been able to go to Boston would be safe at home with her husband and sons.
  15. Wolfing down dinner in front of the tv glued to every new development.
  16. Happiness at seeing that elderly man who had been shown falling down interviewed, and learning he was all right… and impressed that this was his 45th marathon.
  17. Finding solace on Facebook when I realized that people I ‘know’ were posting messages that they were all right and news of others being all right, too.
  18. Elation that all of my ‘friends’ were safe and unharmed.
  19. Sadness, and grief that 3 people lost their lives and that over a hundred were maimed and injured.
  20. Disbelief at the chaos.
  21. Anger at the perpetrator.
  22. Wonderment and respect for all of the emergency personnel and first responders.
  23. Gratitude to the wonderful and generous citizens of Boston who took strangers in need into their homes and hearts.
  24. Love for the global running community who has rallied together in support.
  25. Gratitude that I am part of it.
  26. Tears and joy mixed together as I ran.. such  mixed emotions and finally
…… HOPE ….

I kept running and finished my 4.09 km a few minutes later…. and  as I walked back up the dock to meet The Captain at our sailboat, I looked forward to my stretch, my water and the rest of our day.

He seemed to know why the hug was a bit tighter than usual.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Getting the Most from My #BestBodyBootCamp Workouts

I have completed my first strength training workout for this week's Best Body Boot Camp and my legs are like jelly. Don't ya love that feeling when you have done a hard workout and you just know it has done you some good cause you feel weak, even after you have stretched a bit?


When Tina said that this phase of the Boot Camp would target muscular endurance, she wasn't kidding!

I love how she organizes all of the information that we will need for the next 2 weeks, and sends it out so that    we have a couple of days to look it over and get familiar with it all before we need to start working with it.  There is plenty of time to research and ask her questions.  I love Best Body Boot Camp.... did I say that yet?

Today's workout was a real challenge for me, not only because the exercises were effective but because I added an additional element to my workout today....  I am quite excited about it.

This book almost jumped off the shelf at me the last time I was in the library and I have been reading bits and pieces from it ever since I brought it home.

I don't have any illusions/delusions about becoming a body builder, or a fitness model, but I like to read about these things.  I am intrigued by the workouts, the preparation, the food, and the mental aspects of it all.  And let's face it, looking at pictures of women's beautiful muscles certainly inspires me to put more effort and time into my own workouts.

I thought this book might give me a little extra boost of motivation and go hand in hand with the workouts that Tina has prepared.  I want to learn how to use nutrition to enhance the results of my workouts, and I want to use my mind to increase the effectiveness of my workouts to get more out of them, as well.

So I used two tips from the book with my workout this morning... 

The first was to do the workout first thing in the morning, before breakfast.  The author says that if you work out on an empty stomach you will burn 300% more body fat this way.  Apparently, when you don't have any carbohydrates in your system, your body uses stored fat as fuel.  And at this time of day growth hormones are at their highest levels.    

So, after I got up and made the bed, I had a cup of coffee, drank some water, changed into my workout gear and got moving.  I drank a few more cups of water during my 60 second breaks, and although I was afraid I would be feeling lightheaded and hungry during the workout, it didn't happen.  I felt strong and mentally focused.

Which leads me right to the second tip I used today.  Mental  focus.  I made a point of concentrating on the muscle that I knew the exercise was intended to work.  Tina does such a great job in providing demos of the exercises she prescribes, (along with modifications) so you know what muscles are involved and where you should feel the work.

Before each exercise, I spent a few moments concentrating on the muscle I was going to work, then during the exercise I made sure to focus on that muscle, making sure it was creating the motion.   For example, during hip abduction, I made sure it was my hip that was starting and sustaining the movement.  And I made sure to hold it a split second at the peak of the movement. It made such a difference... this mindful action.

By the time I was done, I was really spent. And I felt great and I know that I did everything I could do today.

Now, I am off to read more about diet and food in this book, and decide what my day's cardio is going to be.

What time of day do you like to work out?

Do you practice mindfulness during your workouts? 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Such a Happy Run

I haven't been running much lately... I have been faithfully doing my Best Body Boot Camp workouts, and getting in lots of power walking and other cardio, but just haven't managed a run.  We have had several rainy days over the past couple of weeks so that is my official excuse reason.

But when I got up this morning, I was determined to get out for a run today, no matter what the weather had in store for me.

I enjoyed a leisurely couple of hours working on my computer this morning, with half an ear to the tv, listening to all the golf wags go on and on about the penalty controversies that happened yesterday and again  this morning at The Masters, while The Captain painted one of the walls in our living room a lovely sea blue.  (He had already painted a few walls in our suite that color several months ago and decided to do another.   I wonder what the building managers will have to say about it next time they need to come in for something.)

Then I made breakfast... all the while keeping an eye on the downpour happening outside and hoping I wasn't going to have to run in the rain.

But after I got the breakfast dishes done, it started to clear up.  A few hours later, by the time we had a light and late lunch in our bellies, I knew my run was really going to happen.

And I opted for a fun run.... no predetermined route or time, no set pattern for run/walk breaks.  I cannot remember the last time I did that.  I need to do it more often because I really enjoyed it.

It was breezy so I wore a wind breaker over a long sleeved tee, and I wore a new pair of capris that I had picked up at Costco a few weeks ago... they fit perfectly, I am happy to report, and are very comfy.  When I was running through then neighborhood I didn't really notice the wind, but when I took a turn toward the Strait I could feel it a bit more.  And I certainly noticed the darkening sky.  I even took my sunglasses off at one point to see how dark and grey it really was getting and what direction the storm was moving.

When I got to the waterfront and started running over the crest of the hill I could feel the Westerly wind almost stop me in my tracks.... so I ran a few more blocks facing it and then veered off into the residential area again to avoid it.  Finally a light rain started to fall... so I started to head toward home and a few minutes later got pelted by hail.  And it hurt! Thank goodness I was only a couple of minutes from home at that point, but even so, I was soaked by the time I got into our building....

But happy!  It was a great run and I thoroughly enjoyed every step... even if  I would have liked it to be a bit longer.

I did wear my heart rate monitor today.  When I run alone I really have no idea of my pace... whether it is too slow or waaaaay too slow, or possibly even just right... so wearing the heart rate monitor helps me with that.  I meant to keep my run around the 80% mark, for the most part.

And I did... I did notice a few times that it was around 72% to 75% and even as high as 95%, but it was mostly at 80% - 84%.  A few times I tried to gauge how hard I was working and how fast I might be going.  I never got out of breath so I know I was not working to capacity.

W3 R44 @ 30/1 W3
stretch 10 minutes
distance = 5.55 km

Ah, it is hailing again now and the stones are getting bigger.... good thing I came in when I did.  Those poor birds in the park...

Ducks near the lake...

Geese and a sea gull..

and on the street.

Did you run today?

Do you head out for a run if it is raining or there is the threat of rain?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Starting Strong in Week 2 #bestbodybootcamp

I am so excited about Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp.


This opportunity could not have come at a better time for me.  I was looking for something new take the place of my noon-hour group exercises classes after my gym membership expired the third week in March. I knew it needed to be something organized and purposeful.  For years now I have been doing strength workouts that I find online, and on DVDs, in a willy-nilly fashion, and as much as I enjoy them, I wanted a more defined program cause I want to see some real results!

I started gaining some strength and getting  back some muscle definition in my upper body with the Body Pump and yoga classes, and really did not want to lose that… but to progress and see even MORE.

So when I read that Tina offered to give away some spots in the 5th round of her Best Body Bootcamp, I entered the contest immediately and was so happy to learn that I had won one.

I have no intention of wasting this wonderful opportunity!

Bootcamp began on Monday, April 1st.  I participated in the Week 1 workouts with enthusiasm and gusto… and the commitment to completing them all kept me on track …. even on Friday… when I had such a busy day that I didn’t get to my workout till after 8:15 p.m.  Any other time I would have just said ‘forget it’ and spent the evening otherwise engaged and in a much more leisurely fashion.

But I wanted to get it done. I wanted to be able to say that I did it.  And I found out that I really like working out in the evening… now I cannot say I had the best sleep because of it, but the workout itself was thoroughly enjoyable, even if very difficult.  After I finished it my arms and shoulders were shaky and I was elated and felt strong and satisfied.

So I am happy to report that I did get in all of the week’s scheduled workouts, did lots of walking on the weekend, and met both my goals of drinking 8 cups of water and eating no added sugar, all 7 days.  I am sure that taking part in Laura’s sugar detox challenge and being on another Whole30 paleo challenge helped me there, too.

Yesterday, in anticipation of starting Week 2 today,  I got out my weekly planner and pencilled in the workouts for this week and reviewed the exercises I would be doing today.  I also  decided on two goals for this week - the first is to continue with the 8 cups of water per day, and the other is to limit my evening snack to before 9 p.m.  Sometimes a bit later than that I just want a little something, and I know it is likely not a good idea for me to eat that close to bedtime.

Knowing that we were spending the day at the marina so The Captain would work on cleaning the boat, I got up an hour early and did my  scheduled strength workout before breakfast… and then later while he swabbed the deck I got in a 60 minute power walk before lunch and then a 100 minute power walk after lunch.  Yowzers!  My calves were very sore as I slowly strolled down the dock to the boat as I completed my second session, only to find he wasn't ready for coffee break till I towelled off the just-washed cockpit seats. It felt sooooo good to finally sit down.

I am really looking forward to a long epsom salts soak later.

Can my commitment and enthusiasm for this program last?  I have been known to be a bit fickle in my past so stay with me… I will keep you updated.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Guilt-Free Chips... Make 'Em Yourself

Do you ever crave a salty, crunchy snack?

Do you love potato chips but feel guilty about eating them?

Here are some ways you can still get that crunchy, crispy chip texture, and salty flavor, without the guilt!
I have been asked several times over the past few weeks about the different veggie chips that I make and talk about, so I decided to get organized and share them with you.

I cannot take credit for these ideas, though, so I am going to post links to the original recipes and instructions…. I just really want to share them with you here.

The very easiest are these Eggplant Chips. I like to slice them just under 1/4 inch thick and then bake them.  Spritz them with a bit of olive oil and salt before baking.  They are really easy and very good!  The dark spots on the baked chips are where I sliced them a bit thin but they are still tasty, they just don’t LOOK as good.  I know there is a pesto dip recipe there too, which I plan to try after my cilantro grows a bit more!

Mar 23 eggplant chips 001

Mar 23 eggplant chips 002

Mar 23 eggplant chips 003

Mar 23 eggplant chips 004

I make Sweet Potato Chips the same way.  I don’t have a mandolin slicer, so I get The Captain to use his more-developed-than-mine patience muscle to slice through the thick sweet potatoes.  The key is get thin and uniform-in-thickness slices. I find that about 1/8 inch is best. That way you still get a nice thick chip, but it is crispy and crunchy.  And yes, I do leave the peel on them.
If you can manage to leave them alone till they cool somewhat, they are even tastier.  I just took a batch out of the oven and am writing this post to keep myself occupied while they cool!  Sometimes I have them with ketchup…Mmmmmm.

Apr 6 Sweet Potato Chips 002

Apr 6 Sweet Potato Chips 003

Apr 6 Sweet Potato Chips 005

Apr 6 Sweet Potato Chips 004

Now, I have to admit that Gabby’s Carrot Chips are somewhat fiddly, and they don’t yield a lot, but they are really tasty so if you have some time and patience, give them a try.  The addition of the cinnamon works!

Feb 8 Carrot Chips 003

Feb 8 Carrot Chips 004

Feb 8 Carrot Chips 006

Oh, I almost forgot one of my very favorites... Kale Chips!  And yes, I do eat them with ketchup... which I make and the recipe is on my food blog too.

April 16th Kale Chips 011

I make them quite often... usually just spritz the washed and dried kale leaves with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and then bake for 15 minutes at 350F.  Parmesan cheese sprinkled on them before baking is good if you eat it and I have heard that nooch (nutritional yeast flakes) is tasty  but I haven't tried that yet.  

About a year and half ago, I picked up a little microwave crisper for veggies, and did a post about it on my food blog We can begin to feed…   It makes truly awesome veggie chips so if you have access to one of these inexpensive little devices, you can make your chips in a couple of minutes in the mike and completely fat free, if that appeals to you. 

It did come with a small mandolin that would be good for small veggies.

The crisper is especially great for potatoes and sweet potatoes but I also made zuke chips with it and they turned out really well.

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I know that Kierston, who writes CaNdyFiT, also has a microwave crisper… a different one than I have, and everytime I walk by the display in the store, I think I should have one!  As a matter of fact, last year she did a review/giveaway about the time I first started reading her blog and it looks great. Have a look if you are wanting a device to make chips in your mike.

There are a couple of other good looking chip recipes out there that I want to try… Gina’s Butternut Squash Chips look wonderful… she boils them before she bakes them... and I have heard that Beet Chips are lovely too.

These veggie chips make good snacks and side dishes… and they are gluten-free, paleo, vegan, Whole30 friendly… use healthy oils, have tons of vitamins and antioxidants and are truly delicious.

What more could you want?

Oh, and for those of you who do eat good ole white potatoes, of course we know those make splendid chips, too!

Do you make your own chips?  What veggie is your favorite?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Organize for Exercise

I love being active.

I love to workout and to run …. to exercise along with fitness DVDs in my living room, to take group exercise classes when I am able, and to join in the various virtual fitness challenges and races I find online… to have fun doing all the fitness activities that I enjoy with The Captain such as swimming, walking, lawn bowling, tennis, occasional biking, hiking, and yoga, sailing and beachcombing…  and sometimes I get so wrapped up in it all that I feel completely overwhelmed.

I wonder if I will have time to do the required exercises in the bootcamp I joined, or to get in a 5k run before the 5th of every month for a virtual race series I took on… if I will be able to make it to the yoga class I love or finish that 5 mile walk before I have to to to work at noon…  it makes my head spin. 

So, I sat down and made some notes to myself and also listed some ways that I could fit it all in and make it easier on myself and less stressful, too.  After all, exercise and fitness activities are supposed to help relieve stress, not cause it.

Would you agree?

I realized that I needed to call on my organization skills.

The first thing I have done is to sort and organize my fitness clothing and exercise gear.

I have put all of my fitness devices on a single shelf in my closet… my heart rate monitors, Gymboss timer, stop watch, water bottle belts, swimming goggles, etc. etc. etc.  It’s all there.  And I make sure to put it away when I am finished using it.   Now I never have to go hunting for things…. they are in that bin.  PERIOD.

Dumbbells, kettlebell, weighted gloves, and resistance band are in a bin on the floor of the closet.

Exercise DVDs are in a box on a shelf near the TV stand. 

I have one tall bureau in the bedroom that houses only my fitness clothing… capris, tanks, shorts, tees, calf sleeves, bathing suits, running skirts, and so on.  Running socks are all  in one other drawer.  Fitness shoes are in 2 different closets, but close together on their respective shelves. 

And I also have a bin on the floor of my closet in which I fold and place fitness clothing that has been worn but is not ready for the laundry…when I need a yoga top or a pair of capris for a light workout I look there first. I may find a tee that I can get away with wearing for one more run… you get it.  This way I never put worn clothing in my clean clothing drawers, but I am also not laundering items more often than necessary either… once something goes in the laundry hamper, that is it for me… it is the washing machine after that!  If I am going to handwash an item it never makes it to that laundry hamper.

This makes things so easy and frees up my mind!
I also needed to spend some effort in organizing my time.

When I worked in a very busy corporate arena… data and finance, I travelled a lot and attended too many conferences and meetings every month.  I lived by my Day Timer.  If an activity wasn’t scheduled, it just didn’t happen.  And that included social events with friends,  and dates with The Captain, too.  It was the only way I could deal with it all and not feel stressed and unorganized.
I don’t miss those days at all, but I do realize that schedules and calendars can be very good tools when trying to fit in the various exercise and fitness activities that I would like, as well.
For me, a month at a time is reasonable.  So, I looked at the month of April and here is how I proceeded…

I dealt with already-known items first.  I wrote in the Weight Watchers meetings that I am already scheduled to work.  Those are on Thursdays.  I work two mid-day meetings back to back, and then another at dinner time.

I also need to get my hair done very soon.  And I really need a manicure and a pedicure as well.  So I scheduled them and wrote them on the calendar.

As each week approaches, The Captain and I generally have a chat about what activities we each have on that week and what we might like to do together.
This month I am doing a Whole30 paleo challenge and this first week, a sugar detox, to kick it off.  That requires food prep time.  And I am taking part in an online bootcamp that has 5 days of activity each week.  I also want to do a 5 km run before April 5th for the 5 by the 5th virtual event.  And I want to swim with The Captain and spend some time cleaning the boat, too.

The Captain will want to have some TV time to watch The Masters Golf Tournament so I made note of that and can schedule some 'me’ activities during those hours.

Somehow, it all works… and it all fits… and of course it is ALL subject to change.  But it gives me a place to start and the confidence to realize that I can fit it all in… and that there may even be room for one more virtual race or one more coffee date with a friend who is dropping in from up-Island… or taking on an extra work shift for a co-worker who needs some time off.
And it also helps me say no to a few things as well should that become necessary.

Here are some of the notes I wrote to myself to help organize my exercise time – perhaps they will be helpful to you as well:
  1. Start with a calendar and pencil in the MUST do’s first… work, medical appointments, family activities.
  2. Then, schedule in the WANT to’s… personal care appointments, dates, parties.
  3. Get everyone on board… make sure everyone in the household is sharing information and no on is making commitments for each other without checking first.
  4. Kill 2 birds with one stone… so to speak!  Do two for ones when you can.  For example, I know that some days when we go to the marina to do boat cleaning, there will be time that I will be idle, while The Captain is doing chores that don’t involve me.  So I can go for a run or a nice long walk walk he is otherwise engaged.  I also walk where I can to do errands like grocery shopping or returning library books.
  5. Keep your workout gear organized, and clean!  Don’t let the laundry pile up.  I regularly hand wash my Handful sports bras and my compression socks so that I always have clean gear to use and wear. 
  6. Put things away in their designated place so they will be there next time you need them.
  7. Replace worn out gear as soon as possible.
  8. Keep yourself motivated by signing up for activities with other people… even if they are virtual.  The fact that you have to report in will keep you honest and involved. 
  9. And wear good quality, appropriate (and yes, cute) clothes to work out.  Your workout gear is an investment.  You will want to wear it and you will want to take care of it.
  10. Have fun and keep moving!
Do you have any other tips to share?

Monday, April 1, 2013

It’s April!

It’s April!

And I have so many exciting things starting today that I was eager to jump out of bed and get my day started!

I am doing another Whole30 for the month of April, and kicking it off by taking part in Laura’s Sugar Detox Challenge for the first 7 days of the month.  You can read all about it and sign up here.


I have registered for the Detox Challenge that not only eliminates sugar and artificial sweeteners for the week, but also processed foods including energy bars... this fits so nicely with Whole30 and gives me that extra incentive to stay with it and eat according to the plan.

I feel so much better when I am following the Whole30 program… it is a slippery slope for me once I start adding back non-approved foods and liquids.

I am also going to Boot Camp! 


That would be Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp!  I won a place in the flash giveaway she did over the weekend and I am so very excited about it!  I have been looking for something to take the place of the structure of going to noon-hour group exercise classes and this fills that bill quite nicely.

I printed off all of the intstructions and trackers, and this morning, coffee in hand, I did my fitness tests and took measurements that will become benchmarks to note my progress in the 8 weeks of bootcamp.  And I have some definite goals in mind, too, for these 8 weeks and after reading other great reviews of these bootcamps, I know I will meet them!

The timing couldn’t be better as the bootcamp ends just 2 days after my next birthday!

Apr 1 Boot Camp start 001
Selfies in the bathroom...

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And my measuring devices and checklists....

Later I will be doing my first workouts… but I had better get some breakfast into my belly first!

Do you have any special plans for this month?

Is it Spring at your house yet?