Sunday, December 28, 2014

I am NOT Waiting for 2015

Nope. For me, the New Year starts today!

I am one of those neat-and-tidy-in-the-box types when it comes to scheduling things on my calendar.  For me, a new week starts on Sunday… so how could I possibly begin a new workout plan, or a new food plan on a Thursday just because the date on the calendar happens to be January 1st, 2015?  Sorry, just cannot do it.  Sunday it is... and that is today!


So, hello December 28th.  Hello Elle’s New Year!  And I am so excited about getting it started.  Here is what I have planned to kick it off:
  1. I am back on track with my Weight Watchers food plan.  Yes, tracking on my smartiepants phone app instead of paper makes it much more interesting for me. Tracking my food intake keeps me honest and very mindful of portions and food groups. It is not about a huge weightloss, just making sure I am getting what I need.
  2. I have joined Gigabody – a subscription service to online workout videos. This opportunity arose through my affiliation with Sweat Pink so I am taking advantage of it and I will be reviewing it toward the end of January. Watch for that. I have been exploring their programs and workouts and have come up with a schedule for the first 2 weeks of January.
  3. I have joined Laura’s January 21 Day Mindfulness Challenge to help me focus on what makes my body feel good food-wise and to help with accountability and motivation. I love the idea of having a FB group to check in with, too. This begins on January 5th.
  4. I have also signed up for Laura’s 5 by the 5th Running Series again this year. It is good to know that I have committed to at least one 5km run during the first week of every month.
That is just the beginning. I intend to stay open to opportunity this year… trying new things… exploring new options…. finding ways to improve my fitness while having as much fun as I can.

The goal is to nourish and challenge my whole self... mind, body, spirit... without imposing self-limiting labels.  I intend to face some fears and conquer a few mountains.  

I promise to keep ya in the loop!

How about you?  What do you have lined up for the New Year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

With Good Intentions…

I am going to sail through this last week of December into the New Year.

I finished up the third and last week of Fitknitchick’s 21 Day Re-Boot Bootcamp with a bang! I did change the order of the workouts around to accomodate my own schedule and our local weather but it was all good.  I think having a Facebook group to help hold me accountable was just what I needed to stay focused and moving.  Thanks to Tamara for putting it all together and for being such an inspiring leader.

Some bits and pieces from the week:

I have several appointments on my calendar this week so will be limiting my workouts to walking... there will be a run on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day, weather-dependant.

Yesterday morning I made up a batch of Nutty Truffles (recipe on the food blog) to have around over the next few days. I know I will want a little nibble here and there and it is better to have my own treats prepared.

Nutty Truffles

Later, The Captain and I wandered through the Festival of Trees at the Empress Hotel on our way to Itami Sushi for a late lunch date. The trees are decorated by local businesses, schools and organizations and it is always fun to see how creative the decorators get.

Lunch was fabulous.  We shared several different items off the menu and thoroughly enjoyed it all.  Aside from all the pictures I took myself, the sweet waitress snapped this one of the 2 of us with my phone.

2014-12-23 14.41.38

Today is Christmas Eve and I will be making cranberry sauce to go with the traditional turkey dinner I am cooking tomorrow.  I think we will pick up some takeout Chinese for our dinner at home this evening.  Afterwards, if it isn’t pouring rain, we will go for a walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights.  One of my favorite things about this Holiday Season.

And so tomorrow is Christmas… hope yours is Merry and Bright!  Do get outside for a walk if you can… such a fun way to spend a bit of time with your loved ones, too.

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Happy About Tommie Copper

I was so excited when these Performance Compress Running Tights from Tommie Copper arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday afternoon.  They were a thank you for my participation in their recent #LivePositive campaign… I immediately ripped open the package and after oohing and aahing over them for a while, posted a pic to Instagram and to Facebook.

Hmmm… my blacks never quite look black.

Dec 16 TC pants 001

I wanted to get out for a run and try them right away… but life got in my way... work, weather… and actually, today I was supposed to do a strength workout, but decided to put that off till tomorrow because the sun was shining and the temps were mild and I couldn't miss the opportunity for a run.  During our wild Westcoast Winters, rain can happen at any time.

I put on the new Performance Compression Running Tights and my Performance Active Fit Long Sleeved Mock Neck Shirt… and I sorta felt like a sleek Catwoman in this stylish all-black suit.  And then I topped it with my awesome Performance Active Wear Jacket… all the same styling and ergonomic stitching and played at some posing while The Captain snapped these pics….  ignore the nice hair, I was supposed to be getting ready to go running!


Unfortunately,by the time I got ready to head out for my run, it had started to rain, so I opted not to wear the jacket in favor of one that sheds water a bit better…. it was supposed to be a 5km run but got shortened to 3km… but it great to get out anyway.

It turned out to be a light shower and only lasted about 15 minutes, so we were almost completely dry by the time we got in and got our shoes off… some dry shirts and a few glasses of water and some stretching.  A couple of hours later (no I have not had my shower yet) I am still wearing these comfy tights, and I honestly don’t want to take them off!

I have loved my Tommie Copper compression garments since I first discovered their fabulous copper-infused fabric.  But these tights are the softest fabric you can imagine…. a combination of copper and zinc that apparently offers permanent anti-odor technology inside and out by inhibiting the growth of odor-causing microbes.  How great is that?  For those of you who have complained about stinky workout gear, this fabric could the answer!  Zinc also offers UPF 50+ protection from the sun’s UV rays.

These particular tights are part of a newer line of AGILITY apparel offered by Tommie Copper… garments designed for women to allow full range of motion while delivering superior performance and comfort. These running tights have an inner drawstring at the front of the waist so they can be snugged up tighter and they have a handy little pocket on the right side, just below the hip… for gels or keys, or coins, your Starbuck's card, or even a MP3 player.

I can tell you from experience they are also stylish and cute. I get so many compliments on my TC garments everywhere I go.  I really do live in them.

Check out the Tommie Copper web site for more information.  And do have a look at their Facebook page as well… they have giveaways and contests going quite often.

And one more thing… they did not ask me to write this post… I just really love this brand, these garments, and enjoy working with the different marketing reps I have encountered over the years.  Win win.

Are you a compression gear fan?  Have you tried Tommie Copper garments yet?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's Mid December Already!

This past week has flown by.

I am so happy that I joined Tamara Grand’s 21 Day Re-Boot Bootcamp, and have had that schedule to keep me on track with my workouts… without it I may have skipped them altogether. If you are not familiar with Tamara, she may be better known to you as Fitknitchick – a motivating, down to Earth, fitness professional who is also a busy Mom, author, and scholar (to name just a few roles) who knows very well how our own needs can take a back seat at this time of year.  The daily emails from Tamara and the other members of the private FB group have been a real inspiration to me, too.

I have just completed week 2 and it went like this:
  • Monday – rest
    • And we did. It was good to have the rest after having run the day before.

  • Tuesday – strength training
    • The same group of exercises as last week but performed in supersets instead of circuits. I found this more difficult certainly.  We followed it up with a good stretch and then a nice long walk in the afternoon.  Gotta take advantage of the sunshine when we find it.

  • Wednesday – cardio
    • It was raining monsoons so I did the 21 Day Fix Cardio program.  I have had these DVDs for months, but have only ever used the Yoga and the Pilates programs.  This Cardio routine is tough and I pretty much hated every sweaty minute of it, which means it is very good!  I tagged The Captain to join me in 2 rounds of Tamara’s stretching video afterwards, and was thrilled to be able to pull off a stretch position that has eluded me forever.  YAY!

  • Thursday – stretch
    • We did 2 rounds of that same stretch video of Tamara’s and I got The Captain to snap a pic of me in that final stretch position during the second round.  I have always had tight quads and have had trouble sitting on my feet at all… being able to get into this position is a really big deal for me.

  • Friday – strength training
    • Same routine as Tuesday but managed to get it done in 2 minutes less time.

  • Saturday – rest
    • I worked a morning meeting and was glad to have the day off working out. I talked myself out of going for an afternoon walk because it was gloomy and windy outside.

  • Sunday – cardio
    • It is cooler but the sun was shining so we got out for a short run after breakfast settled.  I am feeling almost like a newbie runner these days with the shorter distances and frequent (5/1) run/walk breaks, but just glad to be out there at all.  A good stretch afterward.

All in all a good week… Here are a few pics from the week:

Dec 11 stretch 001

Yes, it is that stretch position.  I was afraid I might not be able to sit up from it, but I got some momentum behind me and I managed!

Dec 14 stuff 001

You likely know by now that I am a DRIP DROP Ambassador and rave about this stuff all the time.  But honestly, it is just the best… a medical grade hydration powder that actually tastes GOOD and is not salty at all.  We use it before every run and I also use it on days where I am working 2 meetings and will be on my feet all day without a lot of opportunity for drinking enough water.  It comes in 2 great flavors, Berry and Lemon.  Look for it at Walgreens,CSV Pharmacies, and HEB, in the baby aisle.

We don’t have those stores in Canada, but for my friends who cross border shop, I know you will easily find them.  

Here is a coupon that you can print and use. This is a great offer, so I hope you will take advantage of it.


Dec 14 stuff 002

This is something that I picked up in Las Vegas at the Rock N Roll Marathon Health and Fitness Expo… oh my goodness, that was an awesome display… I had never been to one this huge before and was so impressed by all the goodies being given away there.  Loved every minute of it.  Anyway, I shared a package of this powder mixed with water, with The Captain after our Sunday run.  Wow, it is so sweet tasting so if you like that, it might be for you.. It was a good chocolate flavor but I was afraid it was going to trigger a sugar feeding frenzy for me… it didn’t, thankfully, but I think I will let The Captain use the rest of the packets I brought home. He said it reminded him of maraschino cherry chocolates.

I was really happy to read that Laura is going to do the 5 by the 5th Challenge again this year.  If you are a runner, and want to find out about it, check this blog post for the details.  

I am looking forward to the next week of 21 Day Re-Boot Bootcamp.    What are you looking forward to this week?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dashing Through December

Well, I am not exactly dashing… but getting in some short runs, certainly… and it feels great after not having run at all since near the beginning of October.

My focus for the month of December is on Moving More. I spent the last 2 weeks in November doing nothing more active than walking, trying to get rid of a terrible cold… sniffles, sneezes and a runny nose.  It hasn’t worked so I have decided to get more active in December and just invest in Kleenex!

I signed up for Tamara Grand’s 21 Day Re-boot Bootcamp.  You may know Tamara better as Fitknitchick. I  thoroughly enjoyed my first week of the program… partly because it just felt so good to be moving and working out again, and partly because The Captain has joined me and we have been working out together.  That is always fun for me.  The daily emails from Tamara have been motivating, too.

So the week went like this:
  • Monday – rest
    • We went for a nice brisk half hour walk.
  • Tuesday – strength training
    • It was only 15 minutes but later my quads were stiff and sore even though we had stretched.  I was surprised by how quickly I had lost so much flexibility.
  • Wednesday – cardio
    • We went for a short run – my first for about 8 weeks. I was sluggish and still very sore from the previous day’s squats and lunges,so made sure to drink some DRIP DROP before we went out. And we did a nice long stretch after, too.
  • Thursday – stretch
    • Tamara led us through a nice 8 minute stretch that she provided on video, and we went through it twice. I love exercising along with Tamara on her videos. Her timing is great and she is real.
  • Friday – strength training
    • We got through the circuits a bit quicker and had a nice stretch after finishing up.  And no soreness. YAY!
  • Saturday – rest
    • And I did.  I worked a morning meeting and spent the afternoon in the kitchen.
  • Sunday – cardio
    • We ran the same route again… in almost a minute and half less time, and it felt much better to be running without any stiffness in my legs.  We did a nice long stretch after.
You can see that it is an undewhelming amount of exercise, which is exactly what Tamara promised. And it feels just right... getting back into it after a 2 week layoff along with this busy time of year.. if it was much more I would probably not enjoy it at all... and who needs that? 

I am looking forward to seeing what Tamara has in store for us this week.

Some pictures from the week:

Dec 3 Saucony 002

The Captain is loving these Saucony Triumph ISO running shoes that he got through FitFluential a few weeks ago.  You can read the review here if you like. And did you notice that he is wearing tights?  I finally convinced him to give them a try after polling fellow runners about tights for men.  He is wearing shorts over them but at least he is keeping warmer.

Dec 4 eats 001

On mornings that I work, The Captain makes breakfast… usually scrambled eggs with onion, tomatoes, and bacon.  I love these ruby red grapefruit that we are getting from Texas at this time of year.

Dec 7 Spicy Carrot and BS soup 001

I was craving homemade soup so while I was at work on Saturday morning The Captain went shopping and picked up some carrots and butternut squash for me. I made a big pot of soup and put lots and lots of garlic and curry in it.  Lovely!

Coconut Flour Thumbprint Cookies - Copy

I made him some coconut flour Thumbprint Cookies from a recipe that was shared a while ago by Laura of Mommy Run Fast.  He really liked them, but I am wondering now if I should have baked the cookies and then put the jam in them after they had cooled…instead of baking them with the jam already in them. The jam seems to have run away.  It has been so long since I made Thumbprint Cookies, I cannot recall the proper method.  He liked them anyway!

Dec 7 2014 Christmas trees 001

Dec 7 2014 Christmas trees 003

We had a very small 18-inch Christmas tree on the boat and have used it in the apartment for a couple of years.  But, because we get a new ornament every year, we finally outgrew it. So, this year, we graduated to a 3 foot tree!  And now the tiny tree has just our ‘doggy’ ornaments on it… and a few lights.  Simple but cheery.  Mostly I love the lights that brighten up the darker Winter evenings.

All in all a busy and fun week.
What do you think about my cookie dilemma?  Jam in before or after baking?

Have you signed up for one of the Holiday online fitness challenges this year?

Monday, December 1, 2014

5 Tips to Keeping Up With Your Fitness During the Holidays

This time of year can be overwhelming.  Let’s face it… all of a sudden it’s December 1st and if you have any special celebrations or festivals this month… Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa and so on… it all comes upon you very quickly.  The thought of organizing special meals, buying gifts, attending parties, and work or school functions can sometimes take precedence over self care and exercise routines. 

How to manage it all?  Take a deep breath and and think about it….

5 Tips

1.  Schedule your workouts into your calendar along with your dates and parties.  You are less likely to schedule other activities in that same time slot.  And, if you see it written down you are more likely to actually do it because you have made time for it.

2. Get rid of that ‘all or nothing’ attitude.  One or two shorter strength workouts is ulitmately better that just abandoning them altogether.  Be content with shorter runs.

3. Add some exercise to your holiday activities.  Instead of driving around to look at Christmas lights in your area, get your family into their coats and boots and mittens, and explore on foot.  It is a great, fun way to spend some time together.

4.  Simplify your routine.  Instead of doing 8 exercises, just do 3 – perhaps pushups, squats, and plank holds. These work the biggest muscles and can be done in a shorter amount of time.

5. Join an online fitness challenge. There are many of them going around right now.  I signed up for fitknitchick’s Re-Boot Bootcamp this year and am looking forward to the accountability and ‘underwhelming’ workouts that Tamara has promised.

How do you stay active and keep up with your fitness routines during this busy season?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saucony Triumph ISO Review #whoaface

Disclaimer:  The Captain received a pair of Saucony Triumph ISO running shoes through a campaign with FitFluential LLC.

A few days after we arrived back from our Las Vegas getaway, The Captain opened the door to a special delivery, just for him. that doesn't happen very often here so he could hardly wait to see what was inside the carton.


A very unusual box… and when he opened it, it not only alarmed him, but revealed its bright and bold contents…


The new Saucony Triumph ISO running shoes.  Very exciting!



He couldn’t wait to get them on… and he was thrilled that they fit so nicely.  He  has a lot of things to say about them, too.  Here are the main points in his own words:
  • They are so comfortable. I feel like I am wearing slippers
  • I wonder how much they weigh? They are the lightest shoes I have ever put on.
  • They fit perfectly. I have wide feet and there is a lot of room to wiggle my toes in these shoes.
  • The laces are kinda stretchy so they snug up nicely.  And the bow doesn’t slip so they stay done up.
  • I was a bit thrown by the plastic eyelets but I guess that is one of the reasons the shoes are so light.
  • I really like the colors. Do you like the colors? Do you think they are too bright for me?
  • I like lots of cushioning and these shoes have that. They feel very soft underfoot. Running in them is comfortable… no pounding.




But here are some of the highlights according to Saucony:
You can find Saucony at:
Oh yeah.. that box. Really weird.

What is your favorite running shoe these days?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Small Stuff… Faves and Raves

I have been pretty much of a wimp since coming home from Las Vegas last week, with a terrible cold… it moved from my head into my chest and I have done little in the way of workouts since.  Lots of walking, but no running or strength training at all. My stamina is almost non-existant.  So, I rest.

The Captain on the other hand, has been out enjoying his new Saucony Triumph ISO running shoes, thanks to being involved in a FitFluential campaign… more about that next week.  But, aren’t they beautiful?

Nov 27 Saucony shoes 004

I received a nice little package in the mail yesterday with some Footlogix creme mousse.  It is an intensive care dry skin preparation for feet and I won it recently in a giveaway hosted by Janice at The Fitness Cheerleader.  Looks yummy and I know my feet are going to love it this winter.

Nov 27 Footlogix 001

I am starting to get into the holiday spirit a little… yesterday we picked up a new little artificial Christmas tree, some lights for it and a tree topper.  We can’t have a real tree in our apartment.  On the boat, we had a couple of very small trees and we used them here in the apartment for the past couple of years… but the ornaments we have been collecting are too much for them, so a larger small tree was in order.  I think we will decorate this weekend.

Some great blog posts I read over the past couple of weeks… I won’t comment on them individually… they all have good and common sense information… about things we all I need to be reminded of occasionally. 

How about you?  Any holiday spirit at your house yet?  

Does it snow where you live?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

Rachelle, who writes Livin the Sweat Life, tagged me to answer the questions in this fun Q&A that is going around right now.  Thanks, Rachelle!  A great way to lighten things up!

Here goes:

1.  4 names that people call me, other than my real name:
Squirrel, Lewis, Missy, Elle
2.  4 jobs I’ve had:
Retail sales clerk, credit grantor, computer programmer, systems analyst
3.  4 movies I’ve watched more than once:
Ghost, Gone With The Wind, Brave, Dirty Dancing

4.  4 books I’d recommend:
How about 4 authors I love instead… Leon Uris, Sue Grafton, Pearl S. Buck, James Patterson
5.  4 places I have lived:
Calgary in Alberta,  Port Ludlow in Washington, Victoria in British Columbia
6.  4 places I have been:
Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Germany
7.  4 places I’d rather be right now:
I love it right where I am – although I love to travel, I love where I live
8.  4 things I don’t eat:
I have eaten these things but never will, knowingly, again: escagot, squid, octopus, eel

9.  4 of my favorite foods:
Squashes of all kinds, sweet potatoes, nuts, raisins

10.  4 TV shows that I watch:
Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods,  Gracepoint, NCIS Los Angeles
11.  4 things I’m looking forward this year:
New job with Weight Watchers, Spring cruise to Hawaii, golf and tennis in the Summer, whatever comes up!

12. 4 things I’m always saying:
I honestly cannot think of anything here... I should probably have asked The Captain. He might say that I am always telling him to turn the radio down!  
4 people I tag:

Anna at Piper’s Run
Karin at Go Goggy Go
Kyria at Travel Spot
Lea at Running With Ollie

If you would like, jump right in and start playing too...

I haven't seen much about MOvember this year.  Have you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My 10 Travel Musts... I Don't Leave Home Without Them!

I love to travel, and over many, many years of travelling both for business and for pleasure, I have become pretty good at packing.  I recently spent a week in Las Vegas and managed to go with only a carry-on suitcase and a large tote (small purse inside).  And I had room for a bit of shopping even with that.

I don’t always travel light  but this trip I was determined not to waste time waiting for baggage to come off my plane, or take the chance of having my luggage lost. I made do with only two dresses and one pair of dressy shoes, but it was worth it.  As it turns out, Las Vegas is not all that glamorous!

I did take trial sizes of my favorite cosmetic items and relied on the the hotel hair drier, but all in all it worked out well.  There are some things that I cannot do without though, and will always make room for.  Nope, not my new smart phone, or my laptop, or even my favorite lip gloss and mascara.  Oh sure, I would definitely take some of those things, but for the most part, I could either do without them or replace them if necessary.

The things I cannot travel without are those I need for my physical well-being and comfort… and here they are, not in any particular order:

1. Protein powders, a shaker, healthy snacks.
Good protein powders are versatile enough to be a meal or a hearty snack. I usually choose those that can be made with water, and in a couple of different flavors.  This time I packed several VEGA ONE nutritional shakes in chocolate and vanilla chai.  The shaker can double as a water bottle if necessary. I also like to pack some nuts and bars.  I never rely on airplane food and don’t like to be caught hungry anywhere at anytime!
Nov 19 travelmusts 004

2. Novitra
This is the only cold sore lip remedy that has ever worked for me and I cannot find it for sale anymore.  I have a few tubes left from previous shopping trips thankfully.  It’s active ingredient is Zincum Oxydatyn 2X, HPUS.  Yes, I have tried others but they don’t seem to be as effective.  If I get run down or am out in the sun too long without a good sunscreen on my mouth, I am in danger of a breakout.  If I put this on when I first feel a tingle, I am confident that it will not develop into a full blown blister..

Nov 19 travelmusts 003

3. Zinc lozenges
On shorter trips I don’t pack lots of vitamins but do like to have zinc/vitamin C lozenges for those times I am feeling a bit run down.  They also soothe a sore throat, or one that has been around too much cigarette smoke. yuk.

Nov 19 travelmusts 008

4. Natural Calm and Fermented L-Glutamine powders
When space is limited I don’t take the jars, but put a few spoonfuls of each in a baggie and label them. I take the Natural Calm mixed in water every night before bed… and when I am particularly active, during the day as well.  It is a magnesium citrate powder.  It prevents leg cramps while I am sleeping… so that I CAN sleep.  I take the Fermented L-Glutamine mixed in water when I get up in the morning.  It is a great start to my day and also supports muscle comfort and recovery.  I rely on these supplements every day at home so would never be without them.
Nov 19 travelmusts 007

5. Plug in water heater, instant coffee, and tea bags.
I normally stay in hotel rooms that have coffee makers or Keurig machines, but they don’t always leave me enough coffee and I hate having to go out for it.  Instant is not my favorite, but it is better than nothing when I need a cuppa.  And sometimes I just want a cup of tea.  I usually take both black tea and herbal blends.  The water heater plugs into the wall socket and brings a cup of water to the boiling point in about a minute.
Nov 19 travelmusts 005

6. ENERGYbits
These little bits of spirulina algae are a good pick-me-up or just a snack when I need a little something.  I hate being caught without them.
Nov 8 Energy Bits

This medical grade rehydration powder is a must. I like to take it on days I am flying or driving long distances and don’t gave an opportunity to drink enough water. It is also great for long days on my feet sight-seeing or sitting in meetings. It comes in two flavors and both are tasty...  and one of the best things about it is that it has no salty taste like some other electrolyte formulations do.

Sept 5 Drip Drop 001

8. Tiger Balm
I have found that this is the best linament to use on aching muscles.  Period. It comes in many forms and formulations. I use the ones that do not stain my clothing or bedsheets.
Nov 19 travelmusts 002

9.  Mustard Packets
I know this sounds crazy, but eating a spoonful of mustard stops a muscle cramp in its tracks.  I KNOW!  I have used it several times when I have over-taxed the leg muscles. Pickle juice works too but is much harder to pack!

Nov 19 travelmusts 009

10.  Tommie Copper compression leggings
There is nothing that feels better after a long day on my feet than having a hot bath and then slipping into some TC compression leggings…  It feels like a giant hug.  I take along a tee shirt too.  I wish they would start making a body stocking!
Aug 14 TC 001

There’s my list.

What is on yours?

Do you have a good cold sore remedy?  Would love to know what it is in case I cannot get more of mine.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

#LivePositive With Tommie Copper

Have you seen the posts, tweets and instagram pics using the #LivePositive hashtag?  Here is what it’s all about…


Tommie Copper has an exciting promotion happening right now and you all know that they are one of my favorite brands... I have been using their compression garments to prevent and recover from muscle soreness and fatigue for several years now.

So that is way, as part of their  Fall #LivePositive campaign, I am very excited to help share the news that Tommie Copper’s BIG ACT OF KINDNESS CONTEST  launched last week!

Contest details:

NOMINATE -  someone you know who is deserving of a BIG ACT OF KINDNESS – Tommie Copper will award one winner $10,000!

SUBMIT -  a photo, video, tell their #LivePositive story, and when you make a nomination you will enjoy 15% off your next Tommie Copper order

(enter at or through social media sites)

SHARE  - using #LivePositive on all your favorite social sites

VOTE – come back to vote November 24th through December 7th. The winner will be announced on December 8th, just in time for the holidays!


Are you a Tommie Copper fan, too?

Can you think of someone who deserves to win this prize?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Help… I am ‘app’less

So you all know I finally made a decision about a new cell phone and am now the very happy ecstatic owner of a lovely little Android device… I am completely enamoured.  I love that I can have all of my email accounts open at the same time and just flip back and forth between them.  And I am slowly getting the hang of the camera, too.  SLOWLY being the operative word here.

Oct 30 stuff 001

But I am in desperate need of some APPS… anyone willing to help a girl out with some advice here? 

I do have the usual social media accounts, but I know I am missing some great practical and fun things… in particular:

  • a photo editor…mostly for Instagram pics. The one in Instagram is really not adequate.  And HOW DO YOU get those PicMoneky collages (if that is what they are) onto Instagram?  So many things to figure out here.

  • a route tracker – would love to track my hikes or runs.  A friend of ours does this on his iphone while out cruising in his sailboat and then uploads to his pc – it is so fun to see where he has been on his latest outing.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg, I know it.  There must be a bazillion things out there that I am not even aware of… and yes, I have not really been paying attention.  My bad.

So hit me!  What is your favorite app or two or three?  Thanks so much for your help.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Faves and Raves Hallowe’en Edition

Are you planning a fun Hallowe’en? 

Happy Halloween

No costumes for us this year… but we are expecting one special little Trick or Treater so The Captain made sure to pick up some candy for her... his favorites! I have not been tempted at all, thankfully.  I am keeping my nose to the low carb grindstone and quite happy with it all.

I am very happy ecstatic that today is our last Metabolic Aftershock workout in the series.  In a few minutes I will be getting out the mats and starting up the final video in the program. It is a toughie and we will be celebrating its conclusion.

Next week we can do some walks, some runs, and some strength work with weights before heading off on Sunday for a week in Sin City….  I am looking forward to the hustle and bustle!  then we can start a new program when we return.

But I do have one little hurdle to get over first… on Monday I am going to spend the morning in the hospital having a colonoscopy.  My GI doc is helping me get to the bottom of my disgestive disorder and we are going to find out what is causing it, if it takes years!  I am also going to be having a small bowel CT scan at some point.  So an altered food plan for me for a few days and I just have to suck it up and endure.  No nuts or seeds for 4 days prior, and that is hard!  Good thing I have PB2 so I can at least have some peanut butter that way.

On a brighter note, I am in love with my new Android phone and getting better at using its camera and other features… it’s all a bit scary but I can see why people spend so much time on them now.  The Captain, who isn’t the least bit interested in social media, remains true to his Blackberry… he doesn’t even want to know what he’s missing.

I found some very interesting posts this week… here are a few of them:

  • Letting Go of Goals at Life as a Running Mom
    • Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.

And finally, a video today… even though I am not a huge fan of vlogs… this one is pretty good:
  • How to Count Macros at FitFluential -  Dr. Mike Roussell
    • A very basic explanation for those who don’t know.

What’s your favorite Hallowe’en candy?

Are you dressing up this year?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Still Smiling in October

This month my focus has been on optimism and for the most part I have taken my own advice and using the 5 way to practise optimism to keep a smile on my face and look towards good results for my efforts.  So far so good… I am pleased.

I have been working out like crazy this month… The Captain and I are almost at the end of the 9th and final week in our Metabolic Aftershock workouts. This last phase has been especially hard and l have not been running at all between workout sessions.  The phase 3 MA workouts are very leg-intensive and other than walking on ‘off’ days, I thought it best to preserve our leg muscles for the workouts themselves.  I am not sorry the program will reach its natural conculsion at the end of the week. I have enjoyed it and found it very good for building up my should strength, as well as firming me through the middle along with my butt and thighs. 

And I have been doing very well in the eats department lately too.  I have finally ditched the Sugar Monster am enjoying some lower carb days again.  It really does suit me better – no cravings whatsoever, and I can even enjoy an occasional glass of red wine as long as I am having a protein/fat snack with it.  YAY!

I am not following any program in particular, although I have been reading a lot this week…

Oct 28 low carb books 001

Right now I am just watching my macros, keeping net carbs (carbs – fibre) to about  50g per day.  It is working very well for me and I feel great, have a ton of energy and am sleeping like a baby.

Low carb isn’t scary… or difficult. It just takes some planning. I am eating lots of leafy greens, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, zukes, etc… and somewhat limiting fruit, squashes, sweet potates, beats, peas, and carrots.  And of course I am getting lots of protein and ample healthy fat… that is the key to staying satisfied, for me.

I have been going through my own food blog We can begin to feed… looking for some of my favorite low carb recipes to make, too.  I thought I would share a couple of my staples with you here today.

The first is a lovely little Low Carb Flatbread… made from eggs and cooked cauliflower.  No, you cannot taste the cauliflower!  And these flatbreads freeze and thaw very nicely.  I always have some in my freezer and use them for quick sandwiches. You can use them open-faced or fold-over style too.  Love them.

Low-Carb Flatbread

And this next one if a special treat. It is my High Protein Angel Food Cake.  It is perfect for when you want a nice dessert or even just a ‘sweet’ with a cup of tea. The ‘sweet’ comes from the taste of vanilla protein powder in it… or you can add a bit of stevia if you use it and want a sweeter taste.  I made one up last night and we enjoyed  some of it with some whipped cream and a few berries.   I have also eaten it with some melted peanut butter drizzled over the top. Truly delicious.

High Protein Angel Food Cake

I plant to keep it up because I feel so good, and then once we get back from Vegas, delve more deeply into it… as well as start on a new exercise program.  Perhaps get back to some lifting… and running, of course.

Do you have a favorite low carb dish?  I would love to hear about it.

Friday, October 24, 2014

What a Week… Faves and Raves

It has been a fly-by week… where do the hours go?  The days?

I finally made a commitment to a new phone on Wednesday and walked downtown to pick it up and upgrade my phone plan after lunch and a doctor's appointment.  I came home quite elated and pleased with my purchase, although I didn’t play with it too much as I wanted to make sure to let the battery charge up fully.

Thursday I worked 2 shifts and then spent some time at home in the evening with my feet up, sipping a glass of wine, and watching some favorite tv shows on the HDPVR.

I must have been tired because I didn’t wake up till almost 8:30 on Friday morning… made a promise to The Captain to do our 3rd Metabolic Aftershock workout with him on Saturday morning if we could spend Friday running errands and shopping… which we did. And they took all day with just a quick stop for a bite to eat at noon.


I had no idea that setting up my new smartphone would take as much time as setting up a new computer. But I love it. I can see now why people are married to their phones… I can keep all of my email accounts open at once and alternate between them with a flick of my fingers… instead of opening and closing each one like I do on the pc… and that holds for Twitter and Google as well. 

Lots of other excitement around here this week too… to tell you just a couple of things…

This box arrived from Temple Scott Associates… the PR firm for CLIF bar in Canada. I love it when they send me goodies and this was no exception… CLIF bar is introducing 2 new seasonal flavors in Canada this year and they shared one of each with me.  Lovely!

Oct 21 CLIF pkg 001

Oct 21 CLIF pkg 002

Pecan Pie and Spiced Pumpkin Pie… I could have devoured them both immediately, but I am waiting for an occasion to share them….  have you tried them yet?

I purchased a couple of new carry-on bags for us to take to Vegas and they arrived while I was at work on Thursday. They actually measure a bit larger than the tag on them reads.  We are going to take them to the airport and see if they fit into the airlines luggage holder… if they don’t, and we would have to check them instead of being allowed to carry them on, I will take a larger bag.. why skimp on pretty dressy clothes and shoes if I don’t have to, right?

A local market had Celestial Seasonings teas on sale.. BOGO so I got a few boxes of this delicious Rooibos blend. Love the flavor and it is naturallly caffeine-free so nice for The Captain in the evenings.

Oct 22 Rooibos tea 002

A few favorite blog posts this week:

  • Why Cross Train? at Go Believe Conquer
      • some benefits of cross training and ideas for workouts.

  • Avoiding FOMO at Beast Mode
    • it is contagious… have you been struck with FOMO?

Anything fun happen at your house this week?

Would you need more than a carryon holds for a week in Las Vegas?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 Reasons to Take a Break From Your Exercise Program

The Captain and I have been working our way through a second round of the Metabolic Aftershock workouts.  For those of you not familiar with the program, I will share a bit about it.  I bought the program and downloaded the workouts, in video format, led by the creator and performed by 3 different 'trainers', each one doing an easy, normal,  or harder version of the exercises.

It is a series of bodyweight exercises and each session takes 15 minutes to get through. There is a warm up provided, then the workout.  And you are instructed to do your own cool/stretch session and then go for walk.  Our stretch and cool down takes about 4 or 5 minutes and then we put on dry clothing and head out for a brisk half hour walk… we love these workouts, and the way they leave us energized for the day… but that is another post.

The program is broken down into three 3-week phases.  Each phase has 3 workouts… A, B, and C which are to be performed on non-consecutive days of the week.  For example, during weeks 1 through 3 we did phase 1 A on Mondays, phase 1 B on Wednesdays and phase 1 C on Fridays… then weeks 4 through 6 we did phase 2 workouts and weeks 7 through 9 we are getting through phase 3 workouts… the 9 weeks will end nicely just before we head to Las Vegas for a week… and that got me to thinking about the the subject of this post.

For me, there have been lots of different reasons, or perhaps excuses, to take a break from my current exercise program.  Some of them pretty lame, when I think back over the years… but for the most part, once I start something, I tend to see it through. But there are times and circumstances that give way to legitimate reasons to take a break.  Let’s look at my top 5.

5 reasons

1.  You are injured or become ill.

This is probably the most important reason, in my opinion, to take a break.  You need time to let the injury heal properly and completely... or to recover from your flu or chest cold, whatever it may be, before you can resume your workouts.  Sometimes you can change to a different exercise but sometimes you just genuinely need to stop and  rest.  And if you see a doctor, make sure you discuss your concerns with them and follow their instructions.

2.  The program has come to its natural/planned conclusion.

The Metabolic Aftershock program I am following right now is 9 weeks long.  In the past I have done strength training programs that are 12 weeks long. I have done bootcamp sessions that are 3 months long. Perhaps you have been training for a half marathon and the race is run and done.  When the program is over,  it is a great time to take a few days off and then start something new.

3. You are not enjoying it anymore.

Not every type of exercise is for everyone.  I love to try every new workout and exercise style that comes along… well most of them… but sometimes I get myself into something that I just don’t care for… and I eventually get bored or decide really hate it and quit.  I did #plankaday for weeks but really started to feel like it was just annoying. It’s okay.  Find something different and move on.

4.  You are mentally burned out.

Our lives get hectic… busy… stressful.  And very often, regular exercise is just what the doctor ordered to help ease our tension and give us an endorphin lift.  But if the diffucult schedule, or the cost of coach or trainer or classes, or the rigors of it all are just adding to the stress in your life, it may be time to take a break till things settle down.  Or, it just might be that you have hit a stalemate and cannot face another day of burpees in your bootcamp, or one more uphill mile in your 10k training… you’ll know.  Do yourself a huge favor and take a rest.

5.  You are  not making any progress.

Sometimes our progress just stalls.  We can’t lift any more weight. We can't do any more reps. We can’t shave any more seconds off our 5k runs.  It  just might be time to give the body a rest… then get back to it with fresh muscles or a new plan of attack.

Have you ever taken a break from your exercise program?  How did it help or hinder your performance or your attitude?

Friday, October 17, 2014

This Week… Faves and Raves

It has been a really good week of eats and workouts… and some other fun things.  Here are some of the highlights…

The Captain and I both volunteered at the GoodLife Fitness Marathon expo last Friday afternoon/evening, passing out shirts to the race entrants. It is always such a fun experience as everyone is excited about their upcoming race and full of energy. 

We got nice volunteer shirts this year… I have actually worn mine already… they are roomy and a very soft technical fabric.  This is front and back.

Oct 11 stuff 002

My Sweat Pink swag arrived… and I immediately laced up my indoor workout shoes.  And, I have already been passing along pink shoelaces to friends and acquaintances.

Oct 11 stuff 001

I tried the Vanilla Chai nutritional shake mix from Vega One that I purchased last week… it’s an odd color but I loved the taste. And it really kept me satisfied for several hours. I  will definitely be packing some of these in my suitcase when we head to Vegas in a couple of of weeks.  Now to try the Chocolate….

Oct 10 Vega 001

I picked up some new frozen yogurt bars this week… Chapman’s is a Canadian company so I was pleased to find them locally.  They are delicous… and just the right size when you want just a wee bit of creamy sweetness…. they also come in Strawberry and Tiger Paw as well as chocolate-dipped.  Yes, please!

Oct 12 Chapman's icecream bars 001

Oct 12 Chapman's icecream bars 002

It was Thanksgiving in Canada on Monday so of course we went for a nice long walk before sitting down to a lovely turkey dinner… with a stop at Starbuck’s for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, non-fat no whip.  Such a beautiful day.  We wore our rain jackets to start out but ended up in just shirt sleeves for the walk home.  Funny, it seems lately when  go out prepared for rain it doesn't happen!

Happy Thanksgiving

The terrible quality of that picture has prompted me to finally make a decision about new cell phones and service providers and plans so getting on that, probably Monday.  YAY!  Instagram here I come…

I have been reading some very good blog posts and articles… here are my recommendations this week:

  • Ways to Measure Body Fat at Running Rachel
    • Rache had her body fat measured 3 different ways and talks about the experience. Interesting and informative.

What’s your favorite frozen treat?

Do you take most of your pictures with your phone or a camera?

Android or iphone or Windows 8.1?  Which model?