Monday, September 30, 2013

New Routine and PUSH Challenge Update

Today I started a new strenth training program (yes, in spite of my full-blown sniffles).   I found it in a book I have been reading called The Body Fat Solution.

Sept 29 TV book 001

I was first introduced to Tom Venuto by Kammie at Sensual Appeal, when she wrote a post about some programs she had tried and liked.   We touched bases, and then I did a lot of research about this particular program, including reading the book and checking out Tom’s Inner Circle, and decided to give it a try.  I did a couple of Tom’s other workouts with Kammie and some of her #FitBuddies group… and quite liked them. 

Aside from the exercises, which is the reason I was drawn to the book, he offers very good and very straightforward advice about ending emotional eating, along with tips and calculations for figuring out what you need in the way of nutrients. 

The program has me doing 3 strength workouts each week – there are 2 different groups of exercises and the program prescribes alternating between them.  So, after 4 weeks, I should have done each group 6 times.  I will reassess my interest at that point… I get bored easily but I do KNOW that I should stay with a given program for 8 to 12 weeks to see any real results. 
I am also adding 3 sets of push ups at the end of both workouts.  I love them and think they really do add to my upper body work.

I have been looking for some heavier dumbbells.  The heaviest I have now are 8 lb. and I would like to have a pair of 12 lb. I think.  I also have a 10 lb. kettle bell and I use it for some single arm work.  There was a 15 lb. bell at Winners a couple of weeks ago which I passed up… now I wish I hadn’t!

We are planning to get away fro a couple of days to Washington in October, so I will continue looking for weights while we are there too… Seattle is not on the agenda, but Silverdale is, and that is a good big box store area… and now there is a TJs there too.  Yay!

I understand now that I should be lifting heavier weights and doing fewer reps.  Ah, so much to learn and understand.

And on another note…

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Today is Day 30 and the final day of the Chalene Johnson PUSH Challenge. It has been a real eye-opener and I am glad to have completed it.  Very helpful in getting organized and setting goals and gearing myself up for success.

Unfortunately the workouts in this book do not appeal to me at all.

I have also selected a winner in my CLIF/Builder’s/LUNA bar giveaway… check out the original post to see who it is… could be YOU.

Sept 16 CLIF bar pics 001

Where do you find your  strength workouts?  Do you follow a program or just wing it from session to session?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rain, Rest, Regroup

What a soggy and wet week we have had here!

Aside from getting out for a few walks, I haven’t done any workouts since the kickboxing session on Tuesday morning.  Nope, not running in the rain… and the folks I do see running past my windows don’t appear to be enjoying it much either.

I have been on the edge of a cold or sore throat all week too… making sure to wash my hands a lot, using hand sanitizer at work at my Weight Watchers meetings…. taking zinc and vitamin C lozenges through the day… drinking green tea, and RESTING.  I am out of Epicor, darn.

But feeling a bit more energetic this morning so heading off to do a 15 minute upper body and core workout before breakfast and getting to work on day 28 of the Chalene Johnson PUSH Challenge.  I am almost finished and have been enjoying all the insightful lessons.

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My CLIF/Builder’s/LUNA bar giveaway is still open so get your entry in by leaving a comment on the original post HERE.

Do you go public with your health and fitness goals?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fat-Free Friends and Nice Surprises

One of the reasons I love blogging so much is that it enables me to connect with other people who are interested in eating well, having fun through fitness, and sharing their experiences…  LIVING WELL, is what I like to call it.

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Like Chalene Johnson says in her PUSH Challenge…  Find yourself some Fat-Free Friends.  

And I have found so very many of them through blogging, and also through my association with FitFluential as well.

One of those people is Margo Donahue who writes Brooklyn Fit Chick.
Yesterday The Captain brought the mail to me and there was a nice big puffy envelope from Margo – what a lovely surprise… one of her cute, bright pink tee shirts, and a copy of GI JAYNE’s Kickboxing Workout.  I was very happily surprised, and quite giddy with excitement because I have been wanting to try this particular workout!  And who doesn't love a nice bright pink tee?

Sept 23 tee and DVD from BFChick 003

Sept 23 tee and DVD from BFChick 001

This morning, the water in our building is going to be turned off at 8:30 a.m., and will likely not be turned back on until around 4:00 p.m…. so to make sure I got my shower in before then, I got up at 6:30., drank a couple of sips of coffee, ate one of my Frozen Protein ‘Bites’, and put that DVD into the player.

Aug 20 frozen protein bites 2 002

It is a half hour of sweaty kicks, jumps, punches and squats with lots of core work involved.  I loved every second of it and will definitely add it to my routine.  It’s not a glitzy production – I took a screen shot so you could see what the set looks like… it is not fancy, but it is well done and is a worthwhile, fun, sweaty workout.

Sept 23 tee and DVD from BFChick 004

So now I am finishing my cool down with the rest of my coffee and then it will be time to hit that shower!

What was your best surprise lately?

Are you a kickboxing fan?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

CLIF/BUILDER's/LUNA bars Giveaway

I love to get surprises in the mail.  And I love them even MORE when they come with an invitation to share them with my friends.  Don’t you?

Recently I opened the door to a wonderful surprise delivery of CLIF bars, CRUNCH bars, and BUILDER’s bars…

Aug 21 CLIF 001

I have long been a fan of CLIF bars but had never tried the CRUNCH bars… which are very similar to a granola bar… or the BUILDER’s bars which are very high in protein and taste like candy!

Aug 21 CLIF 002

And then, a short time later, another package arrived, containing more BUILDER’s bars and  LUNA bars.  Awesome. Truly.

Sept 16 CLIF bar pics 001

CLIF offers a full line to help power you through your workouts and your playtime.  We make great use of CLIF Shot Bloks when doing longer runs, and we often have CLIF bars in our pockets or bags when heading out for the day… and you know we have been re-fuelling after our tennis sessions with BUILDER’s bars…. The Captain is particularly enjoying the CRUNCH and LUNA bars. The flavors are mouthwatering and quite delicious, too.  They have a nice texture, and no chemically taste at all…. cause they are made with wholesome ingredients. 


And the best part is that I have been invited to share the CANADIAN assortment with my CANADIAN friends.  This giveaway prize consists of a lovely group of:
  • 1 Builder's Chocolate Mint
  • 1 Builder's Chocolate
  • 1 Builder's Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • 1 LUNA Lemon Zest
  • 1 LUNA S'Mores
  • 1 LUNA Nutz Over Chocolate
  • 1 LUNA White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
  • 1 LUNA Peppermint
  • And, 1 each of our favorite CLIF flavors which are: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Coconut Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Almond Fudge (but honestly we love them ALL)

This giveaway is only open to Canadian residents or those of you who would like the prize sent to one of your Canadian friends…. gotta love that option!  And you will receive your package directly from the sponsor.

Here is how to enter:

Leave a comment telling me your favorite item in the giveaway lineup.

That’s all there is to it… I will select a winner next Monday, and make an attempt to get in touch that day by email so if you want to win, make sure to leave me your email address. If I cannot find you easily, I will select an alternate winner. 

After  I contact a winner, I will come back and publish the name, here, on this post.

Good Luck!

UPDATE!  The giveaway is closed and the winner has been notified.  

It is Jenny @simply be me

Congratulations!  And thanks for all the entries and comments.

The bars and giveaway booty were provided by the sponsor, but all the drooling and lip-smacking is ours alone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Add More Hours to Your Day

I love Day 18 of the PUSH Challenge...

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It’s all about getting up and at ‘em and getting your day off to a great start.  That’s me and I love it!

Making sure you are getting the important things done and not getting side-tracked by the fluff!

How about you?  How do you get your day started?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

You Are My Sunshine, Too

When I was a little girl my Daddy sang and old fashioned song to me called You Are My Sunshine to me quite often.  I can still hear his voice when I think of the the words to the opening few bars…

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are grey

Birthday 3 (441x640)
My 3rd birthday!

I was very honored to be almong the 10 bloggers selected to receive the Sunshine Award by Joanna  at Sports Bras and Sippy Cups very recently.  I read Joanna’s blog posts daily and am genuinely inspired by her hard work and her dedication to her family. And let’s face it, I love the pictures she posts, too.  She is a generous spirit and I am happy to take part in the fun.


The award is circulated to those bloggers to let them know that their posts brighten your day.

The Rules:

1.  Include award logo in a post or on your blog
2.  Link to the person who nominated you
3.  Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4.  Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Here are the questions Joanna asked, and my answers to them:

1. What made you start blogging?
I recall wanting to connect with some other runners.  And I started my food blog to showcase recipes for my Weight Watchers buddies.

2. What is one of your favorite kid movies? 
BAMBI is my favorite kid movie.  But BRAVE takes a close second.   I do love Merida.

3. If you could live in any State, where and why?
That’s a toughie as I do live in Canada. But I lived temporarily and seasonally in WA, and I do love OR., CA, and FLA.  I would love to visit Colorado and Alaska one day, as well as the East Coast.  I love the mountains and mountain lakes.

4. Do you prefer hot or cold weather?

As long as I can enjoy being outside, either is fine with me.  I love Winter sports as much as Summer ones.  I spent many happy times on ski slopes and skating rinks.

5. What is one of your favorite indulgent treats?

Almond butter.

6. If you get a week’s vacation, all paid, where are you going?
I would be happy exploring any new place… I have always wanted to visit Greece and Ireland so one of them, I think.

7. Who has been your biggest life inspiration?
My Father comes immediately to mind.  He was honest; he worked hard, loved and protected his family, had a wonderful sense of humor and a generous heart. And he was a bit of a rascal...

8. Name one thing that terrifies you.
Caves.  Small spaces.  Not being able to see the sky.

9.  Do you have any nicknames, if so, what are they?
My Father called me Bimbo as a child.  My husband calls me Squirrel.

10. If you won the lottery and was to donate part of your winnings, who would you choose to donate to?

I am a big fan of animal rescue/relief agencies. 

I am going to nominate these 10 bloggers to receive this Sunshine Award - they are all blogs that I have been reading for some time and try to look at them daily:

  1. Marcia – Marcia’s Healthy Slice
  2. Rachelle – Livin’ the Sweat Life
  3. Christy – My Dirt Road Anthem
  4. Katrin – Go Goggy Go
  5. Jill – Lipstick and Plimsolls
  6. Carrie – Family Fitness Food
  7. Sara – Words to Run By
  8. Marissa – Let’s Move It Mommas
  9. Kyria - Travel Spot
  10. Lisa - Miss Rainstorm
Here are my 10 questions:
  1. Best childhood memory?
  2. Nicest time of year?
  3. Favorite flower?
  4. Scary food you would never ever even taste?
  5. Zodiac sign?
  6. What spice would describe you?
  7. Snooze button or jump out of bed?
  8. Morning drink?
  9. Song that means something special to you?
  10. Secret crush?
 I would love to know what YOUR best childhood memory is.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clean Eats –> Great Sleep = Tons of Energy

How CAN it be Thursday already?  I just looked and I haven’t published a post since  Monday … the week has just flown by and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  It started with an arms/core workout and a walk to the tennis court... an hour of running after balls there, and a walk home.

On Tuesday morning we usually go for a run, but headed to the golf course instead.  I walk and carry my clubs too, so it is a bit of a workout, albeit a very fun and enjoyable one.  I did score one Birdie, too, on a par 3 hole.

I guess golf is more of a PLAYout really.    Then we ate the picnic lunch I packed before we spent some time on the putting green in practice and a few games, too.  I came home quite tired but happy. It was such a beautiful day and with all the kids back in school, and on a weekday morning, we practically had the course to ourselves.  Gotta love that!

Wednesday morning  found us heading out for a run before breakfast. We did a fairly speedy little 5 km around the neighborhood… then ate and went for a walk to the village centre to buy some groceries.  After putting them away we changed into our swimsuits and headed out to the pool. I put in about 15 minutes of real swimming  before some play and splash time. 

I was ravenous for my lunch… and spent the afternoon doing some paperwork and getting ready to head to a 2 hour staff gathering in the evening.  There were lots of people there that I hadn't met before I came home quite energized and it was quite late before I was able to relax enough to turn in for the  night.

This morning we went for a half hour walk along the Strait before The Captain cooked me breakfast and I got ready for work.  Right now I am home, between meetings… will be heading out again for a second shift in a bout an hour that will last till about 7 p.m.

I keep expecting to CRASH… for all the activity to catch up with me…  but I seem to have boundless energy and I have been thinking about why.  What is the reason for it?

And I have come to the conclusion it is because I have been eating so clean lately… and watching my portion sizes.  No snacking here and there, just real meals.  And lots and lots of water.

When I don’t eat grains, or dairy (other than whey protein powder) or added sugars, or drink alcohol, I sleep like a LOG.  And I am sure that the clean eats and the fabulous restful and restorative sleep that I have been getting, is giving me all the pep.

And I have to say I am feeling great… guess I should keep it up for a while!

I am still working through Chalene Johnson’s PUSH book, and today am looking at SUCCESSORIZING for weight loss.  I have lots of opinions about this topic…  perhaps I will  write about it soon.

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Do you think your diet has an impact on the quality of your sleep?

Do you think your diets has a direct affect on your energy level?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tennis Tired and Happy

I am sitting at my desk, quite elated, and quite exhausted! 

This morning I actually slept till 7:40 a.m.  It was a deep and restful sleep… the wonderful kind that I enjoy when I eat clean… no grains, no dairy other than whey protein powder, no added sugars, and certainly no alcohol.  Great sleep.

And I woke up eager to get my week started.

I had coffee and then changed into my workout gear, got out my dumbbells and exercise mat and after a short warm up, got to work on a great upper body/core workout.  It took about 20 minutes and I tacked on 10 pushups for good luck and then did a full body stretch for 5 minutes.

I made breakfast for both of us and then we changed clothes and gathered our new tennis gear.

Sept 9 boots and tennis gear 001

Several months ago, I won a Sport Chek gift card from Tara Martin (@tidbits_of_tara) and another from Sport Chek directly… and finallly got around to spending them this past week.  For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Sport Chek is a Canadian retailer and they sell it all.

Tennis has been on our minds for some time now.  We are finally land based and living in an urban neighborhood that has 2 sets of public courts within a nice walk from our apartment.  We played years and years ago, but without any regularity and we both thought it would be a great way to have some fun together… outside, and moving.

So, we lucked into some nice racquets on sale, and I spotted the last tennis gear bag in the store, and we jointly decided on the Slazenger balls.  A CLIF Builder’s bar almost polished off the balance on the card… see that little bit of silver in the middle of the picture?

Sept 9 boots and tennis gear 002

Yeah, that one.    There is 20 cents left on that card.  I should really have passed it to the next person in line at the store but didn’t think of it till we already outside… Love the Sport Check slogan.

So I packed some water, that CLIF Builder bar, a towel and some fresh socks, and off we went… a 15 minute brisk walk to the farther set of courts from our home.  And when we arrived there were 2 courts being used by a bunch of men who were playing doubles on some kind of rotating basis, and an empty court.  YAY!

We hit balls back and forth for a whole hour!  Thank goodness I was wise enough not to do any leg work in my morning strength routine today.  It was hot and sweaty and I was actually a lot better at running down and returning shots than I thought I would be after such a long absence.  Must be the all the inspiration I got watching the ladies at the U.S. Open these past 2 weeks… getting ready to watch the men’s final shortly, actually.

It was so much fun. I think my lips hurt from smiling for that whole hour.  I ran and ran and jumped and spun and lunged and squatted and reached and wore myself out.  Now I really know why they say 'play' tennis. It is play and it is wonderful!

And when we were done, we towelled off, shared the water and the Builder bar, changed our socks and walked home… a longer route along the Strait so we could enjoy the moist breeze blowing off the water, and at a much slower pace. 

When we got home we both drank a lot more water and I made sure to stretch out my tired legs, too.

Okay, lunch done and I am finally ready to hit the shower… tired and extremely happy and looking forward to going again!

Oh, and more more thing… got these rain boots yesterday at Joe Fresh, marked down to $9.94 – aren’t they cute?

Sept 9 boots and tennis gear 003

Have you ever played tennis?  What is your favorite way to get some active play and fun?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

To-Do or Not To-Do…Lists that is…

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I am really enjoying all the work I have been doing during this 30 Day PUSH challenge, that has me thinking about my priorities, setting goals that support and match them, and back in the groove of making to-do lists - daily.

When I was in embroiled in the corporate world of data and finance, I lived out of my day-timer and got right out of that habit when I left that ratrace and moved onto our sailboat many years ago.

Still a list maker at heart, I am whole-heartedly jumping back on the daily to-do list band wagon!

What about you? Are you a list maker? 

Do you have a day-timer?  Smart phone or pen and paper?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits and a Run in the Rain

On Tuesday mornings, for the past several weeks, The Captain and I have been getting up, sipping some coffee, then a small protein smoothie, and heading out for a nice run together.  I am really beginning to love these early morning runs.

Last night I mapped out a new route for us to follow today, but when we woke up this morning, we could hear a light rain falling outside… sure enough, it was gloomy and wet.  We checked the Weather Channel while we drank our coffee.

And then we agreed to go anyway… our weather forecast does look a bit soggy for the next few days so it wouldn’t be a matter of just putting it off till tomorrow.   I made us each a deilcious smoothie with some banana, vanilla protein powder, and cinnamon for incentive.

We both put on a light vest over our running tees, and off we went.  It was drizzling very lightly and as we ran along, it actually almost quit.  The Captain calls these light showers a Scotch Mist.

Instead of running along the Strait, or around the park, I took us through our neighborhood past the Legislature Buildings, and on to the Inner Harbor.  We followed the waterfront path past the marinas for about 1 km before heading back into the centre of the City and completing the 5 km loop.

It was kind of neat to be out and about as the city was just waking up.  And we noticed a few policemen setting up radar traps because today is the first day of the new school year here.

Once home, we enjoyed a leisurely stretch, some water, and some brekkie.

So, dishes are done, laundry is in the washer, and now I am getting ready to work on Day 3 of The 30 Day PUSH Challenge.  And I can see a much heavier rain falling now, outside my window.

Aug 31 PUSH pics 005

Out of the 10 goals that we set yesterday, ONE of them will stand out as the FIRST one we should work on… it won’t likely be the easiest to achieve.  But it WILL be the one that sets off the domino effect for all of the others.

Chalene says, and I agree, that easily-achieved goals are not as satisfying, usually. 

Sometimes an important goal is easy to achieve.  But most of the time, I would say that things that are harder, that take more time and /or effort, or even $$ to achieve, seem to be SWEETER and make us feel better after we attain them.

Do you think you have a PUSH goal?  One that you need to achieve before going after the others?

On the food front… The Captain cut up a kabocha squash for me yesterday. I spritzed it with olive oil and sprinkled cinnamon on the pieces before roasting them in the oven for half an hour.

Sept 2 Roasted Kabocha 001

Then for lunch, I had a few pieces drizzled with a mixture of vanilla protein powder and unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, a spoonful of Maranatha Almond Butter, and a couple of spoonfuls of Manitoba Hemp Hearts.  So filling and delicious!

Sept 2 Kabocha bowl 001

What special foods are you enjoying now that Fall is on the way?

Do you like to run in the rain?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Setting Goals for the Next 12 Months

Day 2 of the Push challenge is all about setting goals… we are asked to set 10 goals that mesh with our 3 most important priorities… things we want to have happen or achieve over the next 12 months…and then make sure they are:

  • specific and quantifiable
  • achievable
  • challenging and BIG enough

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An interesting exercise certainly because it helps one distinguish between thought bubbles and actual wants.

For example,  I have day dreams about one day looking like Ernestine Shepherd….

But I know this is just a thought and will never be a goal, because I am not willing to do what it takes to attain and maintain that level of fitness.  I don’t want to spend the money, or the time, or limit my food intake like she does.  So, it becomes something I admire, but do not aspire to….only in my fantasies.

On the other hand, last year my goal was to run a half marathon, and I was able to achieve that goal because the training fit my lifestyle, schedule, and level of motivation during that particular time in my life.

I am excited to work on this exercise and see what I can come up with!

My workout today was an upper body/core circuit with dumbbells, and then I did the first routine on my Reebok Kettlebell DVD... love my little 10-lb kettlebell.  Worked up a great appetitie for breakfast!

Do your goals match your priorities?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Realizing and Defining My Priorities

I am so excited to get started on Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day PUSH Challenge as laid out in her book, PUSH.

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The book is all about building habits that help you achieve goals…

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and the first step, on Day 1, is to realize that we need to set goals that are based on our priorities.

And we need to realize and define our priorities.

I won’t say SET priorities, because I think we all already HAVE them… but Chalene prescribes an exercise that helps you discover and define them.  And then she walks you through another exercise to help you write a mission statement about your most important priority.

It reminds me of a meeting I had with a former employer, when I was the I.T. department in the local branch of a very large life insurance company.  I developed a mission statement regarding the service I would provide to his staff and sales agents, and then described the measures we would use to determine if my mission was being accomplished.  Then I created action steps/goals to achieve those measures. 

It offers a frame of reference.  And guidelines for making decisions. It gives you direction and helps you stay focused. Very common in business, I am sure.

But how interesting and clever to apply it to our personal lives as well.  It seems so obvious.

For me, my intrinsic values with regard to my marriage and my most personal boundaries need no clarification.  They make me who I am.

intrinsic - Definition [in-trin-sik, -zik]
(a.) Belonging to a thing by its very nature

But my FITNESS priorities, and my FOOD/DIET/NUTRITION priorities certainly do need some attention and this is what made me pick up this book in the first place.

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So I am off to do some thinking and face my truths about what is really important to me with regard to these issues.  I am going to query myself and find out what I really want and am willing to do, or perhaps more important... not do.

In the meantime, I am planning to carry on with my current workout schedule and food plan until I come up with something better or different!

Do you know what your fitness and nutrition priorities are?  Do your goals and actions support them?