Monday, June 30, 2014

Ah, June

I started the month of June, with good intentions of spending as much time as possible outside and my mantra for the month has been Take it Outside.  In spite of having a lingering cold with sniffly nose, I have managed to really enjoy the fabulous sunny and warm weather we have had.

I have been walking and running and having coffee dates, lunches, and even the occasional breakfast outside.  Fabulous!  I do think that the sunshine puts me in a great mind frame and also energizes me.  I have not given up hope of getting in some more tennis and golf and swimming as the Summer progresses.

So… some new things for me in June… some good:

I have started a new exercise program called Metabolic Aftershock.  It is a series of 15 minute bodyweight exercises, and we have been doing them about an hour after breakfast, and then following them up with a half hour brisk walk.  I am really loving this program because I can feel the heat for several hours after the workout is over, and I am also energized for the rest of the day.   When I was doing 40 – 50 minute strength workouts with weights, I was tired out and didn’t feel like doing much more.  And, it is only 3 sessions per week so doesn't really even take a lot of time.

We are making some plans for a couple of little getaways – one at the end of July for The Captain’s birthday – we have planned a week in Portland, OR. I am quite excited as I have never been there and it has been many many years since he was last there.  We will drive, and have an opportunity for a few hours visit with an old friend in WA on the way home.    The other may happen at the beginning of September.  We have friends who live in Greeley, CO and they have been inviting us to come visit for years… and we have decided that it is high time we took them up on their offer to host us and show us around Colorado.

We just had a nice visit with them on their 68 foot Queenship on Friday evening as they were over from Anacortes, WA. with some guests.  They are folks we met when we were all new boaters in 2002, and have kept in contact with over the years, and see each other when they are in the area.   We will likely fly to Denver…. this is is all still tentative but in the works… very excited!

I finally got a hair cut that I really love…

Haircut June 2014

And on the not-so-good front… some confessions to make here, hanging my head in shame:

I have made some really poor food choices this month… ice cream? Really?  I don’t really even care for it so it must be the SUGAR MONSTER rearing it’s ugly head. 

And since I have not been strength training regularly I have lost some muscle size and strength, and gotten a bit soft around the belly.

But I have plans in the works to turn that all around in July!  Actually I am starting today!

How did you fare in the month of June?

Any plans for a Summer getaway?

Friday, June 27, 2014

EnJOYing June and Some Faves and Raves

I am thrilled that we have been having such great weather on the Island this month. Even though I have had a sniffly cold dragging on and on, I have been getting outside a lot… even having breakfast on our balcony many mornings in the brilliant morning sunshine.

I started a new workout program this week.  It is called Metabolic Aftershock.  I am sure you have been seeing advertising for it everywhere.  It really appealed to me because each workout is only 15 minutes long… and is body weight exercises that can be done anywhere… including in our small living room (and hotel room).  I can do a 15 minute sweaty, hard workout, and still get outside afterward for a run or a walk or go play tennis or golf.

In the past, I have found that a 40 - 50 minute strength workout tires me out so much that I don't really want to do much else exercise-wise for the rest of the day... and that is just no good for me in the Summer when I want to do it all!

So far so good… the workouts are hard.  And I am loving them. And I do seem to be staying ‘hot’ for a few hours after I have completed them.  But, wowzers, have I been hungry on days I am doing these workouts. I hope that means I am burning calories like a mad woman!

I have been taking part in a challenge this week called #40plantfoodschallenge – the idea is to eat 40 different plant foods in a week… I am doing pretty well so far – well over the 40 and I will be writing a post about it for my food blog at the end of the week. 

June 9 shopping and lunch 002

My favorite articles and blog posts this week are all about food and fitness… surprised?  here is the lineup:

How may different plant foods do you eat in a week?

Does your workout routine vary with the seasons?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Memorable Runs... Favorite Runs

Although I am only running a little bit these days, I am thinking about it a lot.  And recalling just a few of the places around the world where I have been fortunate to go out for run and what makes them memorable...

  • Halifax, NS - gorgeous harbour and steep Citadel Hill
  • Saint John, NB - historic inner city and lovely parks
  • Disney World, FL- so fun to run through the theme parks and on the roads that join them
  • Innsbruck, Austria - running along the river in the early Spring was exhiliarating 
  • Seattle,WA - hilly Magnolia district overlooks Elliott Bay and is gorgeous and Discovery Park is particularly beautiful
  • Port Ludlow Golf Course, WA - hilly and beautiful... especially the Mountain course
  • Waterloo, ON - getting lost late on a Sunday afternoon, alone, without money, and when all the stores were closed
  • Lompoc, CA - hot and dry and flat
  • Pismo Beach, CA - awesome flat beach for running
  • Daytona Beach, FL - miles of wide flat beach and white sand but you have to watch out for vehicles also driving there
  • Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallata, Mexico - great sunsets, and lots of waterfront to run on but a bit of air pollution to contend with
  • Manzanillo, Mexico - the beach is sloped quite a bit so and out and back run evens you up!
  • Santa Barbara, CA - beautiful and hilly except near the marina which made me homesick for our own boat
  • Vancouver, BC - the Seawall is lovely but way too crowded for my liking
And I do have a couple of favorite places to run, too.  There is a theme I believe. It would seem that my favorite runs and favorite locations and routes have a few things in common:

  • they are all near water, or at least most of the route is along water… oceanside, rivers, and lakes
  • they are all quite flat
  • they are not too busy… no fighting skater boarders, cyclists or other vehicles for elbow room

My most memorable recreational run happened on a rainy Saturday morning in  Monterrey, CA several years ago.  The Captain and I, along with our English Springer Spaniel – Scout – had just spent 8 weeks in California, mostly golfing, from mid December to mid February, and were driving back to Vancouver Island, along the Pacific Coast.  Monterrey is one of The Captain’s favorite places in the U.S.A. so we made sure to spend a few days there when we arrived… there are a shortage of rooms for people travelling with pets so we had pre-booked at a small motel we had been at once before.

That particular Saturday morning we set out on our run, from our motel, through downtown Monterrey along the waterfront to Pacific Grove and around the peninsula to the seaside pathways that mark the entrance to 17 mile drive. It started to rain… and actually became quite a downpour but it didn’t matter… it was warm, and the view is spectacular. When we got back we made sure to towel Scout off, feed her, and get her settled for a nap before we made our way into the hot tub to soak our tired legs…. it was awesome.

I used Map My Run to make a map of the area.

The red arrow indicates the pathway alongside the sand dunes and crashing waves.

Another of my favorite places to run is in my hometown of Calgary, AB.   The city is divided into 4 quadrants… North and South in the core are divided by the Bow River, which flows from Bow Glacier, high in the Canadian Rockies to the West.  There are miles and miles and miles of trails on both sides of the river.  And in several segments, the path is actually doubled… one path for pedestrians, the other for wheeled traffic… bikes, skates, strollers… it wide enough for everyone.  And there are several bridges that cross the river, too… some just for foot traffic.

The last time we ran there, we parked the car at Edworthy Park on the South side… ran East along the South trail and crossed the river at a new foot bridge… then ran back along the North side.  It was a fabulous morning run and because it was a Tuesday, there were very few other people around.   And it just happens to pass through a neighborhood that was one of my childhood haunts, so evokes lovely memories, too.

Again, Map My Run came in handy here.


And a bit closer view so you can see some of the parks, islands in the river, and greenery.

Calgary 3

Actually, Calgary has a few of my favorite routes… there are fabulous trails in the Glenmore Reservoir area, and also at Fish Creek Park.  The Elbow River also has nice trails alongside. 

And I have to admit, that the area I have been living in for the past 12  years, on Southern Vancouver Island, has some of the most beautiful and varied seaside and lakeshore pathways and trails, too.  The half marathon that we ran a couple of years ago, is mostly seaside…

May 19 walk 005

And I particularly love to run along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, that divides Canada and the U.S….

June 8 walk 012

Or around the bustling Inner Harbour… even in the morning fog.

Oct 20 leaving Vic 004

And we have several lakes in the area as well, so there are lots of opportunities for trail runs… some quite rugged, as well.

I would love to hear about your favorite places to run, too.

What makes a place great for running, to YOU?

Friday, June 20, 2014

June Focus Update and Friday Faves and Raves

During the month of June, my intention is to Take it Outside.  I am doing pretty well with spending as much time as I can outdoors, in spite of the fact that I have had the sniffles and a cough off and on all week  long.  I have not played any tennis or golf as I had hoped, but am walking and running, and also enjoying some lunches and coffee dates in the sunshine so I am very happy about that.

I am trying to gradually increase my running distance again, without suffering painful and annoying cramps in my legs and feet.  So far, adding an electrolyte drink and more water to my pre-run and recovery routines seems to be helping enormously.  And yes, I am using my Tommie Copper gear a lot, too.  Honestly, this special copper infused fabric just makes my body feel warm, and the support offered by the compression is marvelous.  

I did a 6 km run on Sunday and then a 5 km run on Wednesday… and so far so good in keeping the cramps at bay.

After my 5 km run on Wednesday, I delayed my shower for several hours just so I could keep these Tommmie Copper tights on longer…(little confession)  in the afternoon when I went out to run some errands I just put a little skirt on over them and off I went.  I need some in black now, I think.

June 18 TC run 003

And you know I am loving these Mizuno shoes too, now that I am getting more used to them. They are much lighter than the previous incarnation and I wasn’t sure they were sturdy enough at first.   And yes, I do need some new running glasses… these old Oakleys are very effective but look ridiculous, I know. 

The week has just whizzed by me… I have been spending lots of time planning a week long getaway at the end of July for The Captain’s birthday.   And I have been doing lots of cooking and food prep, too.  I found some red peppers on sale and so roasted a batch… mmmmm.

June 17 Roasted Red Peppers 001

June 17 Roasted Red Peppers2 001

I found some really good posts this week… here are some of my favorites:

It’s based on almond flour and looks awesome…. definitely going to try it
Some things to think about when selecting shoes for running and walking
Some thoughts about obsession and comparing yourself to others
Other than wall sits, which I never see the the value in doing, these are good body weight exercises
Really good explanation of what bracing the core is and why it’s important
Some tasty ideas for flavoring drinking water
Some thoughts about sleep routines
Tasty recipe and some information about inflammation
Mostly common sense but hey, we can all use a reminder now and then

What do you think about wall sits?  Yay or nay? 

How do you prepare for a run?  Any special fuel or supplements?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Very Unlikely Run

I woke up this morning with a runny nose and a cough… to cloudy skies, big blustery winds, and the threat of rain.  I was determined to get out for a run.. which is very unusual for me because I don’t like to run when it is windy, and certainly not when it is raining.  But, I have been fighting the sniffles and a scratchy throat all week. I thought that resting and not exerting myself would make them go away, so I have been careful for the past several days.  And it hasn’t done me a lick of good… I have developed a full blown cold anyway. And I am fidgetty... I need to move.

I drank my lemon water/Fermented L-Glutamine mixture and then enjoyed some coffee with my vitamins/supplements and a light breakfast… some fresh fruit, and an egg white/mushroom omelet, and then mapped out a new 6 km route.  A simple out and back, mostly along the waterfront.  It was a bit of downhill going out and so would be a bit uphill coming back. 

I was trying to think of all the things I could do to prevent the post-run cramps in my legs and feet that I have experinced the last couple of times I ran further than 5km, so I drank several glasses of water and decided I should take some along, for a change. I put a nuun tablet into my Simple Hydration bottle and filled it with water and screwed the lid on tight… and set it on the counter where it immediately started to leak.  Hmmm… was that another sign that I shouldn’t be running? 

Apparently the lid doesn’t screw on that tight anymore.  I drank about half of the mixture and set the bottle in a glass on the counter, and decided to finish the rest of it after my run.  Honestly, I don’t find nuun/water all that refreshing when I am running anyway and only drink it for the electrolytes it provides me.  I know that it does a good job of that; I just cannot say I love the taste.

And then it started to rain… pour actually.  Another setback.  But The Captain assured me it didn’t look like it was going to last too long, so I went ahead and got into my running gear.  And it did stop after about 15 minutes.  So I pulled on my trusty Mizuno running shoes and wiped my nose a few more times, filled my windbreaker pockets with Kleenex tissues, put the cell phone into my capris pocket, and off I went.  I really wondered if I was making a huge mistake in heading out at all, but for some reason I just felt driven to go.

I had already promised myself that I would run slow… yes, even slower than normal.  And that I would do run/walk intervals of 8 minutes/2 minutes.  I am determined to increase my distance and will do whatever it takes in the way of speed reduction, increased walking breaks, fuel/recovery supplementation, stretching, ETC. in order to make that happen.  I am developing patience.  And I already have determination in spades.

About 2 or 3 minutes into my run, the rain started again… very lightly at first. Thoughts of giving up and going home floated through my head, because I was sure my feet and socks would get wet and I would be miserable, but I kept running.  And then it started to pour, and I kept going.  And I realized after a couple more minutes that I didn’t mind the rain and that I was actually really enjoying myself. I wasn't cold.  I was wearing a light jacket and capris and knee high compression socks, so it was really only my head getting wet.  It reminded me of one of my favorite runs from several years ago which did happen to be in the rain, and I day-dreamed about that for a while.  I did my first walk interval of 2 minutes and by the time I was running again, the rain had stopped…  and my feet were only a bit damp on the top.  The wind came up again and dried my face and my hair and jacket, and I kept going.

I did one more walk interval before reaching my 3 km mark and then turning around.  On the way back I could clearly see the USS Nimitz (American aircraft carrier) anchored just outside the harbour that is the West Coast home to some of our Canadian Navy.  She is enormous and so many people were on the waterfront to get a look at her while she is here.

And I kept running… uphill now.  And I checked my watch and really fought the urge to break my promise to myself and speed up a bit. But I didn’t. I kept my slow and easy pace and realized how much I was enjoying it… and that I had not used any of the Kleenex tissues from my pocket as my nose had stopped dripping almost as soon as I had started running. 

And even when I realized that my final 2 minute walk interval would bring me back to my starting point, I resisted the temptation to run to the finish instead.   I walked an additional 4 minutes to cool down before calling it done and coming inside.  I had thoroughly enjoyed my run and was so glad that the crummy weather, and my sniffles and cough, and the leaky water bottle had not deterred me from going out.

I finished the nuun mixture that I had left in my bottle on the counter. I drank 2 more glasses of water. I stretched for a full 5 minutes, and then showered and had lunch. 

Now, I am relaxing in a tee shirt, my Tommie Copper shorts, and some knee high compression socks…  watching the PGA U.S. Open on tv, and drinking more water every hour.  And, after almost a full 4 hours since I finished that run, I have still not suffered a single cramp.  Hurray!  This is a victory for me.  I intend to keep drinking water the rest of the day into the evening,  and before I go to bed tonight I will have a last glassful with some Natural Calm mixed into it.

Do you ever almost talk yourself out of running when the conditions are not quite great?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th… A Good Day for Faves and Raves

I have been spending as much time as I can outdoors this week… running a couple of times, walking EVERY day and also sitting out on the balcony in the sunshine with coffee, or reading.  It is so beautiful here right now and I love to be outside.  Don’t you think that sunshine and fresh air make you just feel perkier and happier?

I had the sniffles and a sore throat for a few days this week so didn’t over-do in the exercise area.  I didn’t want to get too run down and be miserable at work on Thursday and Saturday so I kept the runs short and didn’t play tennis at all.  But I am feeling very much better today so hopefully the worst is behind me now.  I gargled with warm salt water a few times and it seemed to really soothe my throat. Do you do that, too?

A few things from the week…

For years now I have started my day with either lime juice and water, or lemon juice and water, and lately I started putting mixing my Fermented L-Glutamine into it.  That way I know I get it every day and there is no taste at all, only a bit of cloudiness.

June 13 lemon water and glutamine 001

I had my haircut last Wednesday in a more ‘me’ short style.   I had been wearing my hair short in a variety of cuts and colors all the time were living and cruising on our sailboat, and only decided to grow it long again after we moved ashore 2 years ago… but it got a little overwhelming and time-consuming to take care of it.  It had to go… and I am pleased with the results.  So quick and easy.

Haircut June 2014

It is strawberry season here and I cannot get enough of them!  Appie skewers with fresh pineapple, mixed with yogurt,  and on my pancakes, too.  Are you a fan?

June 8 appies 001

June 11 yogurt and strawberries breakfast 001

June 13 pancakes 002

On Tuesday I picked up some Healthy Choice frozen bars at Costco.  I know, I know… I should be making my own, and I will… but these called my name from the freezer aisle so I didn’t resist.  They are darned good, too.  Have you tried them?

June 13 Healthy Choice 001

I have one little rant today…. why oh why do some people think it is a good idea to tie their dog’s full ‘poop bag’ to their dog’s leash or collar?  I think it is just a horrible thing to do to the dog.  Great that they pick up… but really, can’t they just carry it a ways till they find a garbage can?  Does this irritate you as well?

I found come great blog posts and articles this week… check them out:
Honestly, I don’t this is age-specific at all.  A good read for everyone.
I am doing some form of these – are you?
A good reminder to get in your magnesium on a daily basis.
Really good tips for seeing your way through any long term commitment.
I think these are good exercises… I just need to get the hang of my resistance band.
Do you sense a theme here?  I have vacation on my mind obviously.
For grins!  Have a look!
I am supplementing with Fermented L-Glutamine daily… this article has some really good information about it.
Awesome recipe. Check this one out for sure!

And don't forget about my d'vida pre-made smoothie mix giveaway

What’s making you happy this week?

Monday, June 9, 2014

To Run Alone or Not?

I am sitting here, trying to remember if I have ever run with anyone other than The Captain….

When I first began running, in the late ‘80s, I ran with our English Spring Spaniel, Penny.  Eventually, after several years,  The Captain started joining me occasionally on Saturday mornings.

When I first began running I borrowed a book produced by The Running Room for their new runners from a girlfriend of mine in who lived in a different city.  She mailed it to me and I do recall making a running date with her for several weeks down the line when we knew we would be getting together.  But by the time we saw each other again, she had given up running.

Eventually we got a different pooch, another Springer Spaniel, Scout, who ran with me faithfully, too.

I honestly don’t have any friends that run.  They bike. They play tennis.  They golf. They sail. They walk.   But pretty much everyone I know thinks I am crazy because I still run.  I do work with a woman who runs, but she is much faster than me and doesn't live anywhere near me. 

From time to time I think about joining a running group.  On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings I see a large mixed group running past our apartment.  They seem to be in groups of 2s and 3s and they chatter away and look like they are having fun… and I think perhaps I might like to try it too... but then I realize I am not ready to commit to showing up at a particular time every week, and would flake if it was raining or too windy.  And I am always afraid of being too slow and not fitting in anyway.  I think joining with a friend would be better… but if I had a running friend, I wouldn’t need the group!

When I committed to training for a half marathon a couple of years ago, The Captain decided he would do it too and he started running with me quite regularly.  Since then, I bet I can count the number of solo runs I have done on two hands.  Even though I dictate the distance and the route, he is normally agreeable to lacing up his running shoes and going along… or if he has something else to do, I will make a compromise on the schedule and find a time he can go along  with me.

But not today.

We originally thought we would spend the morning on the golf course today… but The Captain has had a cold brewing over the past few days and this morning woke up with quite a cough.  I think he is better off resting than walking the golf course, so I decided I would head out for a short run before breakfast… alone.  Kind of exciting, actually.  Lame, I know.

But after all of the sad events I have been reading about lately concerning runners and walkers being injured, or attacked, I made sure to take some time with my preparation.

I  put my cell phone into the hidden pocket of my new Fit Plus Sound Solutions running capris, and I did tell The Captain what my intended route was and when to expect me home… and off I went. It was quite a different, and very enjoyable run, because I was alone.

I ran on the bark trail around the perimeter of the park and really enjoyed it.  When I run with The Captain we run on the sidewalk across the street from the park because he doesn’t like the bark.  And, because there was no one to talk to, I listened to the screeching of the peacocks wandering in the park, and the honking of the Canada Geese flying overhead, and the heron chicks calling to their mamas from their nests high in the oak trees.  I ran faster when I felt like it, and slower when I didn’t.

When I arrived home, I went through my normal routine of water and stretching, and then we made breakfast and some plans for the rest of the day before I showered.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love running with The Captain.  I love that he is willing to go just about whenever I want and wherever I want.  But every once in a while,I do think it is good to go alone.

When you run alone you can work on your pace or tempo. You can take walk breaks when you want. You can sing out loud! You can change the route or go longer, or cut the run short.  You can stop and take pictures or pet dogs you meet along the way.  You can be totally alone with your thoughts.

I would love to know what you think about running solo, or with one other person, or with a group.

Do you take any safety precautions when you run solo, such as:
  • taking your cell phone along
  • telling someone where you are going
  • altering or planning a particular route
  • taking water or food along
  • wearing your Road ID

Sunday, June 8, 2014

d’vida Pre-Made Smoothies Review and Giveaway

When I was given the opportunity to try out these d’vida pre-made smoothie mixes I jumped at it.  I am always eager to sample new protein powders or meal replacements, particularly when they sound so appealing.  These shakes are designed to be a healthy, on-the-go nutritious snack alternative or meal replacement!

The d'vida sachets begin with a proprietary, low Glycemic Index smoothie base, and contain all-natural ingredients with only the freshest fruits and vegetables. All products are non-GMO, gluten free and act as an excellent source of fibre.

They are available in four flavors:
  • vidapump  - Banana and Peanut Butter
  • vidaboost - Pineapple and Coconut
  • vidaslim - Strawberry and Banana
  • vidagreen  - Cucumber, Kale, Green Apple and Spinach
The blending directions (for 16 to 20 ounce smoothies) say to add the packet contents to 6 ounces of cold water and 8 ounces of crushed ice in a blender, and then to blend up to 30 seconds.

Honestly, I was kinda disappointed by that because I don’t have ready access to crushed ice (nope I don’t have one of those fancy refrigerators anymore).  But I do have a shaker cup and lots of cold water, so I decided to forge ahead and give them a try.

May 16 Davida 003

Two of these mixes, the vidaslim and the vidagreen. are available in lower protein formulations and that is what I received to sample.  Rather than 15g of protein, they have only 3g.

I chose the Pineapple and Coconut vidaboost to sample first.  The Captain and I had eaten a very light breakfast before heading out for a 5 km run so we were both ready for a snack while we stretched afterward. I like to make us a high protein snack to help with our recovery, especially when lunch will be delayed,  and decided this was the perfect opportunity to test one of the higher protein d’vida mixes.  We had some fresh pineapple in the fridge and I thought it would go nicely with the Pineapple and Coconut smoothie.

May 27 Dvida pineapple and coconut 001

I  dumped the d’vida pre-made smoothie mix into my shaker and added 16 ounces of cold water. And I shook it wildly and vigorously for a couple of minutes and then poured the drink into 2 glasses and garnished them with a bit of pineapple, for grins.

May 27 Dvida pineapple and coconut 004

It was truly delicious!  So good, in fact, that I was almost sorry I had agreed to share it!  The coconut flavor is wonderful and the smoothie is thick with bits of coconut meat.  If you like Pina Coladas, this high protein shake mix is for you.  Truly!  The added vitamins are just a bonus.   I almost wanted to go find some white rum to pour into it.

The second one we tried was the Strawberry and Banana vidaslim.   Again, it was after a morning run.  We had both only eaten a small banana prior to heading out, and I wanted just a little something to tide us over before we showered and changed because we were going out for a big Chinese lunch.   

June 4 dvida 001

Again, I added 16 ounces of icy cold water to the sachet contents in my shaker cup…

June 4 dvida 002

and blended it well for a couple of minutes.  It was a great little refresher… bits of strawberry really added to the flavor!  Lovely.  No disappointment here for sure.

June 4 dvida 004

Then, just this very morning we sampled the remaining two flavors.  We were watching the men’s French Open tennis finals on TV and I didn’t want to take the time away from the exciting coverage to make breakfast so I made up a smoothie for each of us… the Peanut Butter and Banana vidapump for The Captain, and the Cucumber, Kale, Green Apple and Spinach vidagreen for me.

Jun 8 dvida 001

If you are a peanut butter fan, this smoothie will be a dream come true.  REALS! Wonderful peanut butter flavor…  neither of us could really detect any banana at all.  Thick and creamy and decadent.  Now this I would consider a meal replacement for sure.  Very rich. Very filling. VERY satisfying.

And the vidagreen tastes just that… green.  And I really liked it, too.  Very refreshing.  And the cucumber is quite nice.  It tastes as cool as it sounds.  You won't be surprised that I couldn't get The Captain to taste it.

Jun 8 dvida 002

All in all, I really like these pre-made mixes, and can only imagine that blending them up with crushed ice would result in a frothy, thicker, frappe sort of consistency that really would enhance the delicious flavors and make them seem even more special. 

And would I purchase them?  Yes, absolutely… I think they would be good to keep in a desk drawer at the office, or to toss in a gym bag, or a day pack, or a suitcase and take along for a quick snack or pick-me-up.  You could make one up easily wherever you can get cold water… and now they are available outside the D’Vida Health Bars in New York City and available for purchase online through Amazon. 

They are currently on sale in boxes of 7 packets for $29.99 (which a savings of $5.00) for any of the high protein flavors, and $26.99 (which is a savings of $8.00) for the 2 lower protein flavors.

But if you don’t want to wait… I have great news!

One winner, who must be a U.S. resident, will win one packet of each of the 4 flavors I have reviewed here.  And they will be shipped directly by the sponsor.

I am going to keep the requirements for this giveaway very simple…. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

One mandatory entry…just tell me the following  in a single comment:

Which flavor appeals to you the most?

And optional entries:

Tweet about the giveaway.  You may do this every day if you like.

I will be randomly selecting one winner from the qualified entries and attempting to contact the winner by email.  If I cannot easily find an email address, I will select another winner.   Don’t miss out on the win by making yourself hard to find!

The giveaway will end at midnight PDT on the evening of Sunday, June 15th, 2014.

This giveaway has now ended and the winner has been notified. Thanks for your entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever used a pre-made smoothie mix?

Are you a tv sports fan?  What do you like to watch?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Catch-up and Some Faves and Raves

While I am doing my best to get outside every day this week to exercise, it has been somewhat of a challenge.  I have at least walked outside every day, visiting the Government House gardens, a local kite festival, gone on some Starbuck’s outings, and I have done some running, too… but didn’t get in a tennis game or a swim as I had hoped.  Sometimes life just gets in the way!  especially work!

But I had a good week overall. 

On Tuesday morning we walked to a nearby Starbuck's... I was determined to enjoy my birthday reward before it expired.  I put my card in my pocket, and off we went.  I walked up to the barista, handed him my card and told him I thought I had a birthday reward to claim.  He just looked at me, blankly. I looked down at the card in my hand and realized it was a local food market's loyalty card, not my Starbucks' card at all!   Thankfully The Captain was there to buy me a skinny latte and ease my embarrassment somewhat.

But this morning we did walk downtown to do some errands and I claimed that birthday reward, and picked up a lovely and gooey peanut butter cookie for The Captain too.  We sat in the morning sunshine and watched the world walk by. I love doing that and have decided that this particular location is actually quite good early in the day.  Most of them here are really not very good. They are either too shady or quite shabby.

My own hairdresser is back to work part time after having had a baby in December.  Yes, in Canada, new Moms can take a full year’s maternity leave if they like, but thankfully she was ready to come back to work and I was more than ready to visit her. I had my hair cut in February by someone else and although I kind of liked it, I knew immediately that I wouldn't go back to that stylist again.   Now, I have an edgy short new haircut which I still haven’t taken pictures of, but I am thrilled with it.

I have been really loving these d’vida smoothie mixes. Watch for a review and giveaway at the beginning of next week.

May 16 Davida 001

I am still running (and carrying my cell phone) in these Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions running capris.  Check out my review and see if they might be for you, too.

May 27 pants 005

I scored some lovely new pieces of NON-fitness clothing this week.  The Captain and I went shopping on Tuesday afternoon.  I don’t normally have enough patience to look through racks and racks and try things on, but I found a cute jacket, a long skirt and a long dress, that can all dress up to go to work or down for casual outings.  And when I went to pay for them, they were all on sale for less than the marked prices.  Gotta love that.    So I went to work on Thursday with a new hair style and a new outfit and I felt great.

I have to admit I have been struggling a bit with getting back on the Clean Eats wagon after my birthday week.  I seem to be into the almond butter and nuts too much so today I put the almond butter in the back of the fridge, and the almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and raisins in a container in the back of the cupboard.  I need to regain some control here!    The Captain grocery shopped yesterday while I was at work so the fridge is full of freggies and now there is no excuse not to make better choices.  And I am working on portion control too.  Today my lunch salad was a good size, but honestly not as big as it usually is, and I was satisfied and happy.

June 6 lunch 002
Mixed greens, slivered cabbage and onions, cucumbers, mushrooms, dressed with sundried tomatoes and olive oil, topped with white albacore tuna and guacamole.  Mmmmm.

I am thoroughly enjoying the French Open Tennis Tournament this year.  Now that Eugenie Bouchard is out (our lovely young Canadian phenom) I don't care who wins the ladies' final but I will be up early on Sunday watching Rafa and cheering him on to a victory (I hope) in the men's.    I love our new HDPVR.

And I am thoroughly looking forward to the 2nd episode of Crossbones tonight.   Are you watching?  It is even bloodier than Vikings, I think, and the storyline is very intriguing.

I read some great blog posts this week and here are the links in case you missed any of them:

Do you have trouble eating well again after you have had some indulgences?

Do you have a favorite TV show?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions Capris Review

Don’t we all love to try out new workout gear?  That is especially true for me when the garment has something unique or special to offer… And these Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions running capris fit that description very nicely.   So I was eager to give them a look and was happy to receive a pair to try out and review.

So just what is unique about the Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions Capris ?  Well, They have a flat pocket on the right hip that is just the right size to hold a cell phone.  No need to wear a belt or an arm band to carry your phone anymore.

May 27 pants 001

I have been reading more and more blog posts and newspaper articles over the past several months about runners encountering dangerous situations.  Sometimes they are attacked, or grabbed,  or even kidnapped and murdered..  They may be hit by cars, or fall and twist an ankle.   They might have a seizure… or perhaps they come upon someone else who is injured and needs help.

I would imagine that there are very few of us these days who do not own a cell phone, but I wonder how many of us run with it on a regular basis?

I am guilty of not taking my phone along when I run.  I normally run with my husband and so I have incorrectly surmised that I don’t need to have the cell phone with me.  I don’t care to wear a belt or water pack and I don’t have an arm band with a pocket, so I don’t really have anyplace to carry my phone.

Now, I no longer have that excuse.

The pocket on the right hip of these Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions Capris is large enough to hold any cell phone.  And it is a nice flat, inner pocket, with a flap that closes over on the inside as well. Very convenient, and surprisingly comfortable.  I was kind of sceptical at first… but it’s true!  It is large enough to hold some money, or cards, and even a key, along with your phone.  Which makes them a great pair of running pants to take along when you travel, as well… hotel room key, money, phone, and off you go.

May 27 pants 005

May 27 pants 003
The pocket inside and the flap that covers it.

May 27 pants 004
My Blackberry is quite a bit smaller than any Android phone so you can see how room this pocket is.

The Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions Capris are made of a lovely, nicely weighted, soft fabric with flat non-chafe seams.  I was pleasantly surprised at how comfy they are and how well they moved with me. I did not rush to get them off  before stretching like I do with many of the capris that I normally wear to run. These capris are my new favorite workout pants and  I may just run in them all Summer instead of switching to shorts. 

If you are interested in the Fit Plus Wear Sound Solutions Capris, check the out at and enjoy a 20% price reduction with the discount code 2HE90CGR5Y4U – a great deal!

I was given these capris to try and review, and the opinions and enthusiasm expressed are honest unsolicited.

Do you carry your cell phone when you run?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rolling Out June

What an exciting May I had this year… it is always a fun time for me 'cause May is my birthday month, but the focus on the new was an added bonus.

We tried some new restaurants, some new running routes, some new foods, along with some new combinations and recipes, and some new food products.  I also tried some new fitness gear,  started following some new blogs and found out about some new health issues.  [sigh]… never a dull moment around here!

It took some serious thought to come up with a theme for the month of June… I intend to keep adding new experiences to the mix, but it is time to move on.  I had thought about going with a clean eating theme because June is Nations Fruits and Vegetables month in Canada… or getting back to basics on my food plan because I did gain a couple of pounds in May and I need to get on that.  But, I have decided to stay away from the EAT aspect of this blog, in favor of the FITNESS aspect… and have decided to TAKE IT OUTSIDE during the month of June.

We are supposed to have an especially warm Summer season here in the Pacific Northwest… like the ones we enjoyed the first couple of years we cruised here in our sloop.  We really thought it never rained here because the first 2 Summers we were here, it only rained on the Sundays of long weekends in July and August.  Hah!  Little did we know... but  if the weatherman is promising hot and dry... bring it on!

The darkest tan I have ever had was in the Summer of 2002 – our first cruising season.  Oh yeah, and the blondest hair too. Haha!

I love to be outdoors in the warm and sunny weather.  It never gets too hot here with the moist breezes coming up off the water, and most days are perfect for outdoor activities.  June is often our nicest month, and the days certainly have the most hours of sunshine… so TAKE IT OUTSIDE is what I plan to do.

I started the month off right with a 3.35 km run before breakfast this morning…  in a new pair of Mizuno Wave Creation 14s that I won in a giveaway last Fall and have been saving for just the right day!  They are awesome… fit like a glove and I have to say I ran a bit faster than normal today. The shoes?  Perhaps… but definitely the enthusiasm.  And don’t they look snazzy with these Swiftwick socks?

June 1 Mizuno shoes 002

I would like to have gone further but my right knee has been a bit cranky since playing singles tennis for an hour earlier in the week and I didn’t want to push the issue.  And I knew that The Captain wanted to head back up to Government House today, to enjoy some of the gardens that were coming into bloom.

Which we did, after lunch. We walked almost 2-1/2 hours… up to the grounds, around the gardens, and then home.

June 1 2014 Government House 022
Peonies that open as peach and then turn white. Lovely but no fragrance.

And now I am going to enjoy loafing for the rest of the day.  Dinner is almost made, in the crock pot.  And there might be a glass of red wine waiting for me, too.

What have you got on the agenda for June?

Do you like to take your workouts outdoors when you can, too?