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?