Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer Review and Giveaway

When I first saw Facebook mentions and blog reviews about Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer I knew I wanted to try it.  What could be better for a coffee-loving , protein-loving girl, than to be able to combine them?  Sounded like the perfect combination to me.

I have been drinking coffee every morning since well back into my teen years.  My first steady  boyfriend taught me to drink black coffee and smoke Rothman’s cigarettes when I was 16.  I have since given up both him and the cigarettes, but the coffee habit has blossomed and flourished!

I  have come to love all kinds of coffee… strong and flavorful and dark, occasional milk-frothed lattes and cappuccinos, demitasses of gritty Greek coffee, and cream-laced espressos… perked, French-pressed, dripped, filtered, and also what I call my Father’s cowboy coffee which is made by putting coffee grounds and a bit of water in a pot, boiling it up and then adding more water to settle the grounds…  sipped hot and black from a saucer.  It's all good.  Heck, I will even drink instant coffee if that is all there is.

I am one of those lucky people who can drink my beloved java all day long and into the evening without any effect on my sleep. I drink coffee till bed time most nights and then drift off into dreamland with no problem.

I like to work out 3 mornings a week on an empty stomach.  Upon arising I have a glass of water into which I have squeezed and tossed half a lime… and then I have my first cup of coffee while I get dressed and assemble my workout gear.  This normally works well for  me.  

I can handle an upper body workout, or a core workout quite nicely with no more sustenance.  However, if the workout involves any cardio at all, or very much lower body work such as squats and lunges, I know that I need a little something more than just black coffee to help me power through.  I have learned to put together a small protein drink to have before I get started.

When The Ripped Cream Coffee Creamer people asked me whether I would like to try their Chizzled Chocolate or their Lean Vanilla Bean, I replied  ‘why choose?  why not send both?’  which they did, quite promptly.

July 24 Ripped Cream 002

Now I don’t normally put anything in my morning coffee, therefore I am using the Ripped Cream only on mornings where I want a little extra something to fuel a workout.  The first opportunity to try it came last Saturday.

The Captain and I were planning to head out for a short run so I poured us each a nice big cup of joe and strirred in some Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer… Chizzled Chocolate for The Captain, and Vanilla Lean Bean for me.

July 27 Ripped Cream 002

The suggested serving size is 2 tablespoons.  The Vanilla has 90 calories, 2.5 g fat, 5 g protein, 11 amino acids, and a whopping 50% of the day’s Vitamin D3 requirement.  It is gluten free and lactose free, too.

July 27 Ripped Cream 003

It dissolves instantly into the coffee….

July 27 Ripped Cream 004

for a really nice, and slightly sweet, Vanilla flavor.  Turns an ordinary cup of coffee into a very special coffee for sure.

July 27 Ripped Cream 001

The Chocolate doesn’t lighten the coffee as much as the Vanilla does and has a slightly different nutritional profile.

And I should admit, that ‘cause we sat out on the balcony in our jammies in the sunshine and the coffee tasted so good, we did linger over it a little longer than we normally do.

We finally set out for our run and I should confess that I put an energy gel in my pocket just in case I started to feel weak or light headed… but I never thought about using it after we got going.  The Ripped Cream got me through 4 km quite easily, although I was ready for an after-run snack by the time we got home and I finished rehydrating and stretching.  The Captain can run quite easily on an empty stomach so the Ripped Cream certainly was enough for him as well.

My second test of the Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer came on Tuesday morning.  I had another large cupful of coffee, this time with 2 Tbs of the Chizzled Chocolate flavor… and finished it just before I started a sweaty full-body 3-2-1 circuit workout. 

The circuit consisted of lunge/squats, overhead presses, push up planks, skaters, jump squats, core work… and I completed 3 full rounds of it in 24 minutes and then added a 5 minute stretch.  I still had lots in the tank and could easily  have done another round but was pushed for time so I didn’t. 

I am really pleased with my ability to perform after using the Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer.  It has just enough nutrients for a quick burst to get me through a short run or a strength workout.  

I can also see enjoying it in the afternoon if I need a bit of a pick me up and don’t want to have a snack. It would be easily portable, too.  Just put a couple of spoonfuls in a baggie in your pocket our purse to tote along.  And if you are someone who normally puts a creamer in your coffee, you will certainly appreciate this as well.

Would you like to try some Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer, too?  Here is your chance!

The generous folks at Ripped Cream are going to send one person two full bags of Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer in the flavor of their choice… Chizzled Chocolate or Vanilla Lean Bean.  You must have a U.S. address to enter.

All entries will be counted through the Rafflecopter form on this page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The first 2 entries are mandatory and must be completed before you may earn any of the bonus entries.  If the mandatory entries are not completed, any bonus entries will be deleted and not considered.

The first entry asks for a comment on the post, and the second comment asks you to leave a contact email address.  These are mandatory.

The bonus entries are Twitter follows and Tweets.

The winner will be selected and notified before being announced on this page.  Entries will be taken till Sunday, August 4th at 11:59 p.m. and the winner will be contacted by email on  Monday, August 5th.

Good luck to you!

I was provided samples of Ripped Cream Protein Coffee Creamer in order to write this review but the opinions are my own.

Are you a coffee fan?  What is your favorite way to drink it?

Three for Phase 3... and Beyond

We have just completed phase 3 (week 6) of this round of Best Body Boot Camp


At the beginning of week 6, Tina threw out a challenge to answer the following questions, in her weekly newsletter to participants.

I didn’t get to it right away… but now that I have had some time to think them over, I wanted to answer these questions, finally.  After my little whining session last week, I find this very timely and helpful.


1. gives me a sense of accomplishment
2.  makes me feel good – endorphins
3. helps give me a sense of community with other people interested in the same things I am


1. allows me to get where I want to go and do the daily activities I need/like to do

2. gives me a sense of pride of achievement when I see/feel changes
3. makes me feel confident because I am strong and capable


1. allowed myself the luxury of not being GOOD at everything – being nicer to myself
2. proved to myself that I am not a quitter when things get tough
3. I am making sure to fuel myself properly before and after my workouts.. an ongoing learning process

So what about you?   Can you answer these  Three for Three questions for yourself?

Friday, July 26, 2013

I Think I Was Feeling Sorry For Myself... Who Knew?

I am working very hard right now on maintaining my focus on my Best Body Boot Camp strength workouts… Actually on any workouts at all… running, swimming… even getting out for a nice long walk.


I have lots of irons in the fire right now… and am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by everything looming in front of me that needs to be done, all seemingly in a short period of time.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing any exercise.

I know that this little panic is fleeting…. I will sort it all out and put my nose to the grindstone, so to speak, and get it all sorted out, and yes, DONE.   I am pretty sure that being BUSY is just an excuse.

Do you ever feel like that? That there is just too much to do and your workouts sorta slide… or you want to let them slide?

Why is that?

I am really seeing good results with the hard physical work I have been doing in this and the previous round of Best Body Boot Camp.  I am doing lots of new exercises that I have not been exposed to before, and I am finding some of them very difficult, and some of them actually impossible… it has taken a bit of a toll on my attitude lately.  I have found myself procrastinating and taking more time to getting to  my morning routine these past couple of weeks.

I am not sure just why.   I need to sort this out because I don't want to go down the road to self sabotage.

It is time for an assessment.  It is time for an attitude adjustment.  It is time for a recommitment to the process and to remind myself why I am doing this work in the first place.

Just getting my thoughts out in front of me in no particular order:
  • I know that when something is easy it really isn’t doing me a lot of good.
  • I find that I mostly want to work my upper body – my shoulders and my arms especially.
  • I love feeling worn out and really spent after a hard workout.
  • If I haven’t lifted weights I don't feel like I have really worked.
  • I don’t like ‘focused’ core work.  I would rather work my core/abs as part of the overall workout.
  • I am happy to do lower body work but I don’t want to dedicate a whole workout to it and not do any upper body work at all.
  • I like working out 3 days a week and having the other 4 days to do cardio/run or active rest – walk, yoga, dance, hike and so on
  • I am doing all of these things for me and me alone.  No one makes me feel like I should exercise.  No one is disappointed if I don’t exercise. There is no competition or comparisons with other Boot Campers going on here.
  • I love to sweat.  I love to work hard. It makes me feel good.
  • I love seeing and feeling the results of my hard work.
  • Sometimes I don't want to do the workout I see assigned for a particular day.
Ah... there is the real problem, I think.  WHY don't I want to do the particular workout I see laid out before me?  

I actually have come to the realization that I have been disappointed with MYSELF because I have not been able to do all the exercises assigned these past couple of weeks and have had to use several modifications and even alternate moves.   I cannot do decline pushups.  I cannot do wall sits with a stability ball. I cannot do single leg glute bridges because my hamstrings cramp up every time I try them.

It is not the workout that I find lacking... it is my ability to DO the workout.  I don't want to do it because I think I CAN'T do it well enough to get any benefit from it.   I feel like there is not point doing it at all if I don't do it well enough.

But, just perhaps I am getting MORE out of it because I cannot do it well... because my muscles are working hard just to attempt the moves.... yes, just possibly that is true.


Therefore, I need to allow myself to NOT be able to do something… to be inept… to have struggles… to keep TRYING…. yes, to suck... and to do the moderations or alternatives suggested.

It is okay to not be good at things…. it is NOT okay to not try them.  It is NOT okay to avoid them.

Pitty party over.  I have a workout to get to!

Do you ever avoid an assigned workout because you don’t like it or aren’t good at it?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Calling an Audible

I woke up with a start this morning and discovered I had slept till 8:17 a.m. which is quite late for me.  I went to sleep at around 11 p.m. last night and slept right through… guess the weekend’s activities must have played  me out more than I thought.

On Sunday morning I worked a Weight Watchers meeting, then did some grocery shopping with The Captain before heading home and making lunch.  Then we walked downtown and met up with an old friend from Greeley, Colorado, who was in town showing off the city to some of his boat guests… some from Denver and a few from Georgia… didn’t get the name of the exact place. 

It is always fun to meet Bud whenever he brings his 68 foot Queenship over from Anacortes, WA to our marina town.  We have enjoyed meeting his family and various friends since we first became acquainted in 2002.  This group had rented a minivan and driven into Victoria for the day to site-see and shop for souvenirs.

It was a beautiful warm and sunny afternoon,  and we visited as we wandering around the core of the city, through thousands of people watching different buskers at their craft and admiring hundreds of cars that lined the streets in a display to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie American Graffiti…. and we eventually made a coffee stop at a lovely outdoor cafe, while some of the ladies shopped the local artisan booths.  Then we walked home and made dinner and loafed on the couch and had a movie night.  I know I could barely keep my eyes open till 11…. I think the warmer weather saps my energy sometimes.

So, a late start today… and I decided I would not do my normal Monday morning strength workout, but that I would rather have breakfast and then head out into the sunshine for a 5 km run. 

At about quarter to 11, after letting breakfast settle for about 90 minutes, we changed into our running gear and The Captain noticed that the sunshine had disappeared and that a heavy fog seemed to be rolling in… it was quite cool and moist outside and I closed our windows.

We added light jackets to our togs and off we went.  I thought we would run our normal 5 km route, about 1/3 of which is along the Strait, but decided as we loped along that heading toward the water would only take us into thicker fog and we would be even cooler… so I told The Captain we should continue along the street we were on and then I made up a new route as we ran along… it ended up being just shy of 4 km but I had had enough by then and we walked the last couple of blocks home to cool off a bit before coming in and stretching.

The Captain mentioned that when I called the audible, it was a good decision…  eh what?  When I decided we should not head to the water but continue along the street we were on… that was calling an audible…. apparently.

I recalled that sometime last week we had watched a cute feel-good movie starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson playing the role of a quarterback who discovered he was the father of a little girl and that term calling an audible was used a couple of times in that movie.  

I didn't pay much attention to it but when The Captain used it this morning, my ears perked up.  I had never heard it before the movie the other night so I decided to look it up.

According to the Urban Dictionary:

call an audible

To decide what to do at the last second after seeing all possible options and obstacles that come up.
Comes from football, seen when the quarterback goes up to the line of scrimmage, sees a defensive alignment he wasn't expecting, and adjusts by yelling out a new play.

for example... I'm thinking of going jogging but if it rains I'll have to call an audible and go to the gym instead.

July 22 fog 002

July 22 fog 001

A couple of hours later, the sun is finally starting to break through and burn off the fog…

Have you ever called an audible on your run?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Overlapping Circles of Life

I came across an illustration of the The Overlapping Circles of Health in a book I have been reading called  The Protein Power Life Plan.

I recreated it so I could share it with you here.

Overlapping circles of health

The authors, who are medical doctors,  suggest that the cornerstone of a healthy life is good nutrition, and that without it, not of the other facets can reach their full potential.

I have been thinking about this a lot over the past several months... experiementing with different types of foods and I agree with them. I know that when I eat what I need and in the amounts I need, I feel good and have the energy to take on all of the activities I want… I sleep well,  and my brain functions well.

When I don’t eat properly for me, I am cranky and not able to concentrate or perform physically and I don’t sleep well or feel well at all.

What do you think?  Do you think what you eat is an important base for the rest of your life?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 5 #BestBodyBootcamp Begins

Week 5 of this Round of Best Body Boot Camp has begun…. and Tina has thrown yet a few more new things at us… or at least at me!


During this 2-week long phase, she has incorporated trisets into the mix.  Trisets are similar to supersets wherein you do the exercises one after another before a short rest and then repeating them and so on, BUT trisets use three moves instead of two.

And she has also prescribed a couple of new-to-me exercises. 

Today’s workout called for Wall Sits with Leg Extensions using a stability ball, and something called  YTI which is a move for the arms and shoulders… cautioning to use a light weight on them.

Okay, the YTI moves I can do… but the Wall Sit with Leg Extensions with the ball… not a chance.  I couldn’t even just do a Wall Sit with the ball, let alone add Leg Extensions.  So, I did them without the ball and carried on.  I am just not that good with the ball, although I am determined to get better.  I swear, I have just fallen off of it too many times.

I am loving the challenge of these workouts, though, both physically and mentally.  Really.

And I think I may have neglected to mention a couple of things that have also changed from Round 4 of Best Body Boot Camp.  Tina is now providing video demos of herself doing all the moves AND she has laid out an alternate plan altogether for beginners to strength training.  Awesome.  These Best Body Boot Camps just keep getting better and better.

And so am I.

My arms and shoulders are getting so much stronger and starting to look pretty darned good, if I do say so myself, and I can see the difference in my butt and my legs, too.  It is motivating and feels good.  Just goes to show that it is never to late to work hard and reap the benefits.

So, the stability ball now…. are you a fan?  Have you ever fallen off of one?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Stuff

I woke up this morning from a really deep and restful sleep, and after drinking my lime water with my Epicor and a full cup of coffee, I eagerly started my third strength session of the week. 

It was a full body workout and I loved every second of it… actually that is not quite true, but I do love what these workouts are doing for me both physically and mentally, so I am making my best effort to love them while I am doing them!  I have found these 3 sessions very mentally challenging and physically taxing these past two weeks, and I know that the intensity is good for me.  "Embrace the suck"... yessiree.

Then, after a lovely and leisurely breakfast, I had a quick cleanup and then The Captain and I set out for a looooong walk.  We covered some new streets in our beautiful old neighborhood  and walked for about an hour before heading to the beach to have a quick water and snack stop, and watch the various freighters and sailboats and ferries on the Strait.  The view to the Olympic mountains in WA state was beautiful today… snowcapped peaks and blue sky.

July 13 walk 002

And then we walked about another hour before a second stop… this time at the Starbucks  a few blocks from home.

July 13 walk 004

I just realized, looking at these pictures, that we seem to be making a HANDFUL commercial!

That little orange garment bag is so handy as a day bag to carry water, snacks, the camera, etc.  And don’t you think my arms are looking quite toned these days too?  Now, to get something done with that hair…

What are you up to today?

Are you a HANDFUL fan too?

What about coffee?  Starbucks?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Favorite 5

I am constantly inspired by some of the really interesting and thought-provoking blog posts that I come across every day.

Here are 3 that I particularly enjoyed this last week, and wanted to highlight them and share them in case you didn’t see them yet  - these are running related.

And a couple of other posts too good to miss…

Did you read any posts this week that you would like to share?  Feel free to link up here if you want.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy 38th Birthday, Rachelle

Normally on a Wednesday morning I would be doing a strength workout first thing.   But I decided to put it off till tomorrow and do it before I go to work.   I thought knew today would be a good day for a run.

And a good day to run in Rachelle’s Virtual Birthday Race.  It was her 38th Birthday recently and she is hosting a 3.8 mile virtual race to celebrate.  There are prizes available too although I know I would never win a 'time' prize, perhaps there are some random draws... and some great brands are participating, too.

I plotted a new route because 3.8 miles is just not a usual distance for me.  I really had no idea where in my neighborhood it might take me.  And when I invited The Captain to come along I didn’t tell him we would be going a bit longer than our usual 5 km today so there was no opportunity to have him talk me out of that.

I wore my Mizuno shoes …. mine are white and look so plain compared to all of the new pink Mizuno Sayonara reviews I am seeing.  But I love them anyway.

July 10 Mizunos 001

It was quite breezy out there today and we had into a strong headwind coming off the Strait for at least half of the distance... uphill into a headwind.  Fun.  I had forgotten how thirsty running into the wind can make you so was really glad I had packed some water along.

And because Rachelle asked for pictures, I took the phone along too, and snapped a couple of shots at one point.  These pictures were taken of some BEARS in a yard that faces out to the water.  The bear statues were decorated and then sold as part of a fund raiser in our city some time ago… and these folks have 2 of them. 



I was glad when we eventually turned up a side street and started running away from the water ‘cause the wind was behind us then… refreshing and a nice way to finish up the run.

W3 R 45:05 @ 10/1 W5
stretch 5 minutes

Hope you had a great 38th Birthday celebration, Rachelle…. I enjoyed being part of it with this run in your virtual race.

Are  you entered to run in this virtual race?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rocking My #BestBodyBootCamp Workout Today

Last week I wrote about a Best Body Boot Camp lower body and core workout that left me on the floor, limp, in a pool of sweat!


This morning when I got out of bed, I knew that I would be facing that same workout, with the addition of another drop set in the first exercise of each superset, and I was determined to see it all through and conquer it.

And I approached it quite differently!

I had my usual lime water and Epicor when I first arose.  And then I followed that up with a half cup of coffee while I read some email.  Then, about 30 minutes later, I made myself a protein smoothie to drink while I dressed and got out my workout gear.

July 9 smoothie 001\

Vanilla whey protein powder, piece of banana, frozen mixed berries, unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon…

whizzed up with my immersion blender

July 9 smoothie 002
It was as thick as a milkshake and absolutely delicious!

And then I tackled my workout. 

I wrote in my log the amount of weight I planned to use for the initial set and each drop set and I had a good idea in my mind of how many reps I would do in each as well. 

 I did do a bit of tinkering along the way… but overall this was a much better approach – and as I went along and realized that I was going to be able to finish the whole thing, I actually increased the reps on the core work in each of the final sets.

It was so much better to have some guidelines in mind and some fuel in my belly before I tackled this workout.  I was so happy with my performance that I did 15 pushups after it was all done, in celebration!

Whoever thought that I would think doing pushups was a way of showing happiness.  haahaahaa

I was quite ravenous by the time it was all done… it took me 50 minutes to complete… and I wolfed down some ham, eggs, and tomatoes to appease my growling belly.

Then a bit later we went for an hour long walk, and then a 15 minute swim… I think I will do quiet, relaxing work for the rest of the day.

How do you feel about facing a workout that you didn’t perform very well the first time around?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Here is a Post About Running!

I realize that I don't blog about running very much at all lately... I am only running a couple of times a week at the most, and it's not really worth talking about... much.

Since I have been following a more natural foods 'diet' I have been trying to follow a more natural way of exercising as well.  Lots of long walks, hikes, shorter runs... full body motions and I have been doing a lot more active play, too.

Every week I am practicing my sprint intervals on one of the runs.

Today I woke up quite early and decided to put off  my strength work till tomorrow, and get out bright and early to do some sprints before the day got too warm.

I had my lime water with Epicor, then a few sips of coffee and by then The Captain had decided he wanted to come with me... so I made us each a quick protein shake - vanilla protein powder, bit of frozen banana, unsweetened plain Almond Breeze and a shake of cinnamon.  Quick change into running gear and off we went.

As we walked the couple of blocks to my designated starting point I told The Captain about the 'Running From the Lions' game.

I chose to repeat the same intervals I have been practising which is

10 x [10 second sprints with a 20 second easy run to recovery]

then finish up the loop around the park with an easy lope, about 14 - 15 minutes in all.

I have been running the sprints on a bark trail on the perimeter of the park because I think it forces me to pick up my feet higher which is better for me when I want to run faster.  It also makes me focus more.  The Captain doesn't like running on the bark, but this run was for me so I didn't offer to alter the route.

After the first 7 intervals I started to really feel it in my quads and The Captain laughed and told me I might as well just walk into the lion's grasp cause the last few were so much slower!

I think he enjoyed it though, because normally he just lopes along beside me at my slow pace and doesn't really get much of a run, but today, he could go as fast as he wanted during the sprints and then he ran back to me during the recovery portions.  It was fun to see him run really fast.

I have done these same intervals a few times now and I think I am ready to extend the 10 second sprint to 15 seconds, so next time out I will change my Gymboss timer to 15/15 and do that 5 times to start with.

Do you run intervals?

Do you think this might make my overall running any faster if I keep with it?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

To Tan or Not to Tan… that is the question

Is there any such thing as a healthy tan?

I am talking about the tan we get from being out in the sunshine, not the kind we get from special lights in tanning parlors and tanning beds.

Do you tan?  Do you lay in the sun just to get some color on your skin?

I am getting rather confused by all the conflicting information coming my way this Summer.

Some magazine articles I see say that we should stay out of the sun as much as we can and that if we do venture outdoors during the heat of the day, to cover up with special fabrics, wear hats, and make sure to use sunscreens and sunblocker products with an SPF rating of at least 30.

Some articles I see say that any SPF over 45 is a waste of money.  That 50 or 60 is not really much more protection than 45 and not to be purchased.

But some of the books I have read recently recommend time in the sunshine every day in order to soak up some natural Vitamin D…. and that sunscreens are not good for us.  These are very new publications so should have up to date information, right?

And they say that if you spend a bit of time each day in the sun, that you don’t need sunscreens because we build up a natural immunity to the harmful rays.   That if  you are someone whose mouth breaks out in fever blisters the first time you are out for a prolonged period of time in the Summer, that it can be avoided if you make a point of getting out in the sunshine on a daily basis and get your body used to it.

And if you are particularly fair and really need a sunscreen to prevent burning to make that you allow 15 or 20 minutes out in the sun to get some Vitamin D first, and then apply the sunscreen.

Now I am of Celtic descnet, and I have fair, freckly skin, and have suffered some pretty painful sunburns over the years.  I don’t need to spend very much time outside before I turn pink.  I remember one particular visit to Mexico when I got my feet sunburned the first day there and they blistered and peeled, and that first week my mouth broke out in the worst fever blisters that I have ever experienced as well. 

Yes, I am one of those people.

My nose has peeled more times over the years than I could ever think to remember.  I have even burned my ear lobes and my scalp.  I burn when we snow ski,  when I run, when we play tennis, and especially when we sail. 

So what to do? 

In all honesty, I do feel like I look a bit better with a smidgeon of a tan. 

But I have gone from wanting a very dark one to being happy with just a bit of color…. and I no longer care to have my face get tanned.  Yes, I admit that it is because those little crinkly smile lines around my eyes show up more when I have been ‘kissed’ by the sun.  But I have light aqua-colored eyes, and they just look plain weird peering out of a brown face!

Our first Summer aboard I was so brown already by mid June

When we are on the boat, sailing or just swinging on the anchor, it is impossible to avoid the sunshine.  And why would I want to anyway?  But I now wear a hat, and oversized sunglasses.  And I make sure my face is slathered with a sunblocker – anywhere from SPF 45 to 60 – and I cover and recover my lips with a balm with at least SPF 30 many, many times throughout the day.    I will even use SPF 30 on my shoulders and feet, and usually SPF 20 on my legs on particularly bright and hot days.

But for day to day, now that we are in the city so much, I really don’t think I need that kind of coverage.

I am still using at good higher SPF for my face, especially my nose and under my eyes, and always some SPF 30 balm on my mouth… just not taking any chances with those darn fever blisters no matter what that book said and I will use those all Summer long. 

And when we are poolside, I will keep a hat on to shade my face, too when we are lounging in the sunshine or more likely for me, with my head in the shade.

But this year, I am going to forego the sunscreen on the rest of my body (other than when out on the boat) and see how it goes. 

I like the idea of getting some natural Vitamin D from going 'bare skinned' and I do want to enjoy the visual benefit of a bit of color.  But no burns and dark tans for me anymore.

What is your take on the whole natural suntan issue?

Do you like a bit of a tan?  Darker or lighter, or not at all?

Do you use a sunscreen or a sunblocker?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What I am Learning at Boot Camp #BestBodyBootCamp

Taking part in Round 6 of Best Body Boot Camp is turning out to be a real learning experience for me.  The more I do, the more I learn… the more I love it.


Not only am I working hard and continuing to see changes in my body, I am learning some new things about me as well.  It’s all good, or at least it is all going to be good for me!  And probably even more so when make some mistakes!

Tina has set the Boot Camp workouts up so that we are assigned a new series of workouts every two weeks.  In this 2-week phase, I have been introduced to a technique called DROP SETS.   Apparently drop sets are a popular way to fatigue the muscles being worked and there are several ways to integrate them into a workout.

In these particular sessions the drop sets are used during the first exercise in a 2-move superset and we are to do 3 complete sets of the superset before moving on to the next 2-move superset.  The second exercise in each superset does not use drop sets, but has a prescribed number of reps to perform.

Here is an example.  In Workout A the first superset uses Stiff Legged Deadlifts and Bicycle Crunches.   For the deadlifts we are assigned 6 - 8 reps then 1 – 2 drop sets ‘to fatigue’.  Then we do 10 – 15 Bicycle Crunches per side.  We are to repeat that whole sequence 3 times before moving on to the next pair of exercises.

When I first read the description of how to do them I thought I understood what was involved…  do the reps, then drop the weight down and do more ‘to fatigue’, drop the weight down again and do more ‘to fatigue’.  Then move on to the crunches… then have a little break and do all that 2 more times.

But then I started second guessing myself, so went to the Facebook Group and asked for confirmation of my understanding of it all.  I was assured by other members of the group, along with Tina, that I was indeed on the right track.  It is so nice to have that group of people for support and just wonderful that Tina is so responsive and helpful and completely accessible, too.

I was still concerned about ‘to fatigue’.  Now, I know that when I am working a certain muscle or group of muscles, that I should focus there.  And not start using other muscles to help move the weight.  For example, when I am doing bicep work, I shouldn’t start using my shoulders to help hoist the weight when my biceps get tired.

But I was still not sure about ‘to fatigue’.

Workout A is a good mix of lower body and core, as in the superset I described.  Each lower body move was paired with a core move and I was eager to give it a try… to tackle those supersets and see what I could do.  I love doing deadlifts and squats and lunges and yes, crunches.  Did I really just say that?

Monday morning I jumped out of bed and after my lime water, my Epicor and a few sips of coffee, which is my usual pre-strength workout fare, I got out my weights, my exercise mat and changed into my workout gear. 

I did the Stiff Legged Deadlifts ‘to fatigue’ and then the Bicycle Crunches… and it felt pretty good and I completed all three rounds of those two moves.  Yes, my butt was feeling it.  I admit, I liked it.

And then I started on the second superset with 2 different exercises, and I began to realize that I had likely done way too many reps of the deadlifts in the first superset because it didn’t take much at all to get ‘to fatigue’ doing Split Squats… and as I progressed, I realized I couldn’t even perform 3 rounds of the final 2 of the 4 supersets… 2 rounds of each would have to suffice.

I was done.   I was spent.  I was almost on the floor, out of energy and not feeling very good at all.  And I was kind of annoyed at myself for feeling like this. 

I quickly made and inhaled a protein smoothie and then rested about 10 minutes till I started to feel better…  till I had any feeling of energy at all.  I debated trying to continue, but eventually gave in and called it DONE.

After analyzing the situation I have come to realize 2 things:

1.  Leg/lower body work is very similar to cardio with all the large muscle groups that are involved.  I don’t do cardio on an empty stomach because I just don’t have enough FUEL in the TANK.   Before I tackle this workout again next Monday, I will have a protein shake before I work out.  And I will watch for this in upcoming phases as well.

2. ‘to fatigue’ doesn’t mean ‘to exhaustion’ – it does mean that I MIGHT do 1 or 2 more reps past feeling uncomfortable or challenging.  That still qualifies as working with INTENSITY.   I am only hurting myself by doing too much at the beginning of the workout and not being able to finish it.

Best Body Boot Camp is helping me meet several of my goals… not just the strength work but the cardio component too….  I am LIFTING HEAVY THINGS… and I am SPRINTING ONCE IN A WHILE…  I am USING MY BRAIN and trying to AVOID STUPID MISTAKES.

What are you doing to meet your fitness goals?

Have you learned any lessons by making mistakes?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Goal Setting for the Rest of the Year

I am setting some goals for the second half of the year.

Looking back over the first 6 months of 2013 I am pretty happy with the way things have gone and with the progress I have made, both in my nutrition and my fitness.

I am not usually one to look back, to grade my efforts or ever have regrets.  I like to forge ahead; to make improvements, plan new adventures, set new goals, climb new mountains.

But today I am checking my rear view mirror.

And I see that I  have adopted a food plan that I am extremely happy with and makes me feel good.  And I have come to enjoy an exercise philosophy that works for me and fits me and challenges me.  It works my heart and lungs with running and walking and full body interval work, and it strengthens my arms and shoulders and back and legs and core with resistance work.

I feel stronger, more confident, more playful and more flexible.  There is no drudgery or foreboding or dread... only excitement, determination, and joy.

And I have been putting my one word mantra for the year, KAIZEN, into good practice.  KAIZEN… daily improvement in Japanese.


When I came across a book called The Primal Blueprint a short time ago, I realized that I am in fact already living the 10 guidelines – the blueprint - and was quite pleased to find them articulated so concisely… I know that these 10 points are going to be the focus of the rest of my year… heck, likely the rest of  my life!

June 25 Primal Blueprint 001

  1. Eat Lots of Plants and Animals
  2. Avoid Poisonous Things
  3. Move Frequently at a Slow Pace
  4. Lift Heavy Things
  5. Sprint Once in a While
  6. Get Adequate Sleep
  7. Play
  8. Get Adequate Sunlight
  9. Avoid Stupid Mistakes
  10. Use Your Brain
and one more of my very own - it is so important to me:


I know I will write more specifically about each of these points as the weeks unfold ahead of me.  But for now, I am just happy to see (and share) the list.

I feel like I have a delicious little secret and just want to savor it for a while.

Are you making plans for the second half of the year?  Do you review?