Thursday, December 31, 2015

That's a Wrap... 2015!

I just went back and looked at my year-end post for 2014 wherein I discussed my main health and fitness goal for 2015.  It was to have more fun with my activities and not take it all so seriously.

Well, I think I was successful with that. I did try lots of new workouts.  I played more tennis and golf. I ran somewhat less and walked a lot more. I did more swimming and overall really had fun with my exercise activities.

But on the food and diet front, it was certainly scattered.  I tried carb depletion, carb cycling, the new Weight Watchers Smart Points program, and the 21 Day Fix.  I never really committed to any of them whole-heartedly and ended the year 10 pounds heavier than I started it.  Yowzers!

So what lies ahead for me in 2016?

Well, as I sit here typing, I am surrounded by empty cardboard boxes... we have begun moving to a new apartment and my first priority is to get that finished and get us settled and organized in our new place.  I know I have been stress-eating a bit lot and not making the best food choices.  It will all be over soon enough.

As we muddle through the mess and mayhem, my fitness goal for January is to keep taking walking breaks and get out for a few runs where and when I can.  The monsoons seem to have let up for now and it is cooler but drier.  YAY for that!

I used to set a new goal each month and have decided to do that again for 2016.  It is better for me to have something to focus on each month.... a theme, if you like.  For January, it is going to be JUST DO IT! 

I already have some fun things on the horizon for February but I need to get the work out of the way first.

What is on your radar for 2016?  Have you begun making goals?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day at Our House

In Canada, the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day... it comes from our British heritage. In the United Kingdom servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their masters, employers or customers.  I believe the holiday is celebrated in most of the British Commonwealth.

Well, at my house we have no servants,or masters for that matter, but we do have boxes!  As a matter of fact, lots of boxes... we are moving!  And starting today, I am going to be boxing up some of our apartment in preparation.


We are not going very far... a couple of neighborhoods away... about 3 km on the car odometer and we plan to do most of the move ourselves.  Then, after the middle of the month, we have a couple of guys with a big truck coming to move the larger pieces of furniture.  We have chosen to do it over the month of January instead of all in one day.... less stress, and more time to organize on the new end.

I am excited about it... or rather, having it all done!  I am looking forward to having a new neighborhood to explore but know I will miss this proximity to the waterfront.  Mixed blessings for sure.

Yesterday... Christmas Day... we finally got out for a run! It has been so rainy and windy here over the past several weeks that I didn't want to go... we did lots of walking and have been working out at least twice a week, but no running... yesterday's 5 km really was a Santa Shuffle... slow and steady.  But it was great to get out there and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

How did you spend Christmas?  What are you up to this Boxing Day?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours.... hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Is it Worth it?

That is what we talked about at the Weight Watchers meeting I attended this morning....  sometimes, even though I am a meeting room receptionist, I just like to attend a meeting as a member.  And today I did just that... I am still feeling my way around this new SmartPoints program so I went to a meeting to connect with other members that are getting used to the program as well.

It is a meeting that I used to attend regularly when we still lived on the boat, and before I started working for Weight Watchers.  This leader has become a good friend and her meetings are lively and well-attended, and it is fun to get together with other members as one of them.


I think I mentioned in my past post, that the SmartPoints values of foods are now based on calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein.  In the previous program, Points Plus values were based on carbohydrates, fibre, fat and protein... so there have been some big changes when it comes to the numbers.

Yes, some things have not changed at all... fresh eggs are still 2 points, and 5 ounces of red wine is still 4 points... but there have been some significant increases and decreases, and today we talked about some of them, and what it means to us in the overall big picture.

Here are some examples from the Pocket Guides of both programs:

  • Dried apricots, 1/4 cup have gone from 2 points to 4 points
  • Raisins, 1/4 cup have gone from 3 points to 6 points
  • Chocolate, any type, 1-1/2 ounces has gone from 6 points to 12 points
  • Potato chips, regular, 1 ounce have gone from 4 points to 5 points
These are due to the higher values for items with sugar and those with saturated fat.

  • Egg whites, 1/2 cup have gone from 1 point to 0 points
  • Chicken breast without skin, 3 ounces has gone from 4 points to 2 points
  • Tuna canned in water, 3 ounces has gone from 2 points to 1 point
  • Shrimp, 3 ounces has gone from 2 points to 1 point
These are due to the lower values for items with high amounts of protein.

The general consensus among the members at this meeting is that Weight Watchers is steering us toward getting more protein into our daily diets, and away from sweet and fatty snack foods.  Yes, we can still have those things, but likely fewer of them and perhaps only as flavor enhancers in some casesinstead of main ingredients.... 1 Tbs of dried cranberries on a salad instead of 2Tbs or even 4Tbs.... a piece of chocolate every couple of days instead of daily... that sort of thing.

And something else that came up was in regard to fruit and vegetables when they are used in recipes and especially around the RECIPE BUILDER function on the Weight Watchers web site.

In fact, most fruits and vegetables have zero points... and if you add them to soup, or stew, or make a fruit salad, they are still only zero points.  But when you BLEND or LIQUIFY them, they take on different characteristics... they are quicker to digest, and sometimes you will consume many more servings than you would if you were chewing whole raw or cooked food.  And the body is not as satiated by eating these emulsified foods either.

So, when you add a fruit or a vegetable as an ingredient when creating a recipe in the Recipe Builder, the overall SmartPoints value will not include any points for it UNLESS you check BLENDED as one of the steps.  If you do check BLENDED, then points values for the fruit and vegetables that have been used will be calculated and added to the overall value.  

I tested it when I came home today... I used 1 cup of blueberries in a recipe.  When I checked BLENDED as on the above illustration, 4 SmartPoints were added... when I unchecked BLENDED, 0 SmartPoints were added.

Now know there is going to be some personal tweaking going on around this situation. If you make a protein shake and you only put in a handful of blueberries or half a banana, or some other small amount of fruit, you may balk at counting that... and that is totally up to you.  I think you need to use your own common sense, and gauge things by your scale in this case.

Overall, I am happy with the way my week is going... and I will keep ya posted!

What kinds of fruit and in what amounts do you put in your own protein shakes?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Trying the New Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Program

Last week Weight Watchers rolled out a new program called Beyond the Scale.  Apparently their members asked for a more comprehensive, whole-person approach to weight loss and the company has delivered.

Beyond the Scale focuses on the three areas of Food, Fitness, and Fulfillment to help members reach more personalized goals.  And they have changed the Food plan in a major way.

Members will now be counting SmartPoints which are based on calories.  Saturated fat and sugar increase a food's SmartPoints value, while protein decreases it.  The old PointsPlus system only used grams of carbohydrates, fat, fibre, and protein in its calculations.

And there is still a no-counting option as well, called the Simply Filling Technique, wherein the member eats from a huge, long list of whole, real, nutritious foods... and only needs to count SmartPoints for any indulgences not on the list... chocolate or wine, anyone?

Beyond the Scale

Unfortunately, through most of last week, the digital tools for the new program were not working round the clock. There were lots of glitches with the web site itself, and the apps were not functional as well.  I know there is written material, and there are paper trackers and a hand-held SmartPoints calculator, but once people get used to those digital tools, they tend to panic and get kinda cranky when they are not available.

But today things appear to be working somewhat better, and my head seems to be in the right space, so I have decided to commit to following the new plan for this week and see what I think of it compared to the old one. I was not immediately a fan of PointsPlus when Weight Watchers converted to it many years ago from the former Points system.  I thought they were allowing too much food every day and as it turned out, they were, because after a couple years, they decreased the lower allowable daily target.

The new SmartPoints system is very personalized and every member gets a Daily Points Target and an additional Weekly Allowance based on age, sex, height and current weight.  They are also encouraged to earn FitPoints throughout the week and can be assigned a target for that as well, based on an assessment about current activity levels. Yes, we Weight Watchers tend to get quite numbers-oriented!  Along with adding Me Time and encouragement to take care of ourselves, the picture is complete.

So today, Sunday, is the beginning of my new week.  I have done an assessment and have been assigned a Daily Points Target of 30, a Weekly Allowance of 28, and am aiming to earn 28 FitPoints throughout the week... 4 per day.  It's on!

I have chosen to use both the paper tracker that is given to members at meetings...

and the Android app on my Samsung smartphone.  It has a working barcode scanner which I am somewhat excited about.

I spent some time looking up the SmartsPoints values of some of my favorite foods... happy to see that most veggies and fruits are still zero points... and I also did some calculations from the nutrition labels on things in my pantry that I could not find in the food listings, or that the barcode scanner didn't locate in the database.  I am happy to report that coffee, tea, and herbals, along with water, are still zero points.

Now I know I do better on any given food program when I do some planning.  Makes sense, right? So I made some mental notes about what my day's menu is going to look like and did a rough calculation of the SmartPoints it will all cost me... and here is how it turned out.

Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

This is my go-to breakfast and I enjoy it a couple of times a week at least.

2 large eggs scrambled in non-stick pan with 2 grape tomatoes and 2 slices of white onion
1 small mandarin orange
SmartPoints used = 4

Lunch at 12:15 p.m.

It is a gloomy and wet day so I decided against my normal salad and chose to have something warm and filling.   Comfort food. 

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup zucchini
3 grape tomatoes
3.5 ounces canned chicken breast
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 ounce light parmesan cheese
SmartPoints used = 7

Afternoon Snack at 3:00 p.m.

This is a common one.  I love powdered peanut butter.

1 medium gala apple
2 Tbs Chocolate PB2, reconstituted with 1 Tbs water
Green Matcha tea
SmartPoints used = 1


Glass of red wine at 5 p.m.

Love that I can now measure right in the glass!
SmartPoints used = 4


Dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Candlelight.  Bad picture.
4 ounces baked chicken breast
3 ounces baked sweet potato
baby carrots
5 ounces red wine
Smart Points used = 9


Evening snack at 7:45 p.m.
2 fresh medjool dates
1 Tbs raisins
1/2 ounce roasted and salted cashews
SmartPoints used = 4


So, in total, I used 29 out of my allotted 30 SmartPoints, and, because I walked for 55 minutes I earned 4 Fit Points... the proof in a screenshot from my app...

There are still a few questions... and I will be be addressing those in future posts this week.  

Oh, and, in case you forgot... yes, I do work part time for Weight Watchers... and these blog posts are in no way endorsed or even encouraged by them.

What is your favorite snack these days?  Have you tried fresh medjool dates?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

5 Inexpensive Holiday Gifts for the Runners on Your List

Do you ever find yourself needing a little 'something' to give as a gift at this time of year?  Especially something that doesn't cost too much?

We might draw names at work, or in our book clubs for gift exchanges... or we need a little stocking stuffer or two at Christmas, or even something to bring along to lunch with girlfriends.  And very often it is a good idea to have a few things on hand for those unexpected situations, too where an impromptu gift becomes necessary.  You may have an extra guest at your festive dinner, or perhaps your son brings a new girlfriend home with him for the holidays...

Big costly gifts would be inappropriate at times like these, so I have put together a list of things that you can pick up for from $1 to $20, that would be welcomed by the runners on your list.

5 Inexpensive Gifts for the Runners on Your List

Colorful Gloves

I have several pairs of these little gloves in all different colors.  I keep them in a bin in my hall closet where I can easily grab a pair on my way out the front door. They peel on and off quite easily and are small enough to fit in a pocket.  And if they get lost, not a big deal!  I pick them up locally in drugstores and supermarkets for under $1 a pair.  And yes, even the men on your list will appreciate them in darker colors.

Colorful gloves

Blinking Lights

I discovered these last year when I found one on the street.  And this year I scoured the outdoor stores until I finally found them at Eddie Bauer for under $9 a pair. They are actually made to fit on bicycle spokes but you can easily put them on coat buttons or shoes... they blink on and off... and make you visible in the dark. Very practical and kinda cute, too. They come in all different colors.

Blinking Lights

Individual Protein Powder Packets

I love the convenience of these pre-measured packets.  They are so handy to tuck in a gym bag or a suitcase and I never travel without them.  They make up quickly for a snack or a meal on the fly.   A box of 4 of these Clean and Lean Protein packets is $14.   If you use my affiliate code eatrunsail at NuZest-USA you can get %15 off  your order.

Clean Lean Protein


I won my Spi-Belt in an online contest a couple of years ago and was pleasantly surprised by how handy it is.  I can put all kinds of things in it... keys, credit cards, money, gel packs, tissues... and keep my hands free.  Some will hold your smartphone.  They come in a wide assortment of colors and styles starting at under $20.


Lip Balms

I don't favor any one brand over another when it comes to lip balms... for myself, I prefer one with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30... but when purchasing for gifts, I tend more to think about seasonal flavors and cute containers, honestly.  You might try Burt's Bees or Chap Stick or even The Body Shop if you are looking for something a little fancier. You can spend as little as $1 on a tube... check around.  Men like them too.

Lip Balms

What is your favorite go-to inexpensive gift for the runners on your list? Anything you buy in bulk to have on hand?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Putting the FUN Back Into Fitness #holidaysweat

Putting the fun back into ftness has pretty much been my whole focus this year.  I have not worried about mileage or speed in my running, or reps and sets in my strength training.  I have not timed my planks nor have I paid much attention to the stats that come in my weekly FitBit reports.

This girl just wants to have fun!

These past few weeks, after finishing up a gruelling and tough 9 weeks of Metabolic Aftershock workouts, I concentrated on getting my food plan under control.  And while I was doing that, I only walked for exercise.... it was enough, given the carb depleting I was doing... but on Sunday, yesterday, I finally got out for a run and it felt just great!

The Captain and I did an easy 4 km loop around the park and along the Strait.  It was enough, after not having run at all for several weeks.  It took 30 minutes.  But that is okay.  It was just so exhiliarating to get out in the late morning sunshine and brisk breeze and move!

Running for the love of it... for FUN... has always been my main motivation.  In the past when I was in training for a particular event of some sort, running didn't feel like fun.  It was an obligation.  I had to do it. I had to keep to a schedule and get it done, whether I really wanted to or not, whether it was raining or windy... not fun for me and so I don't do it anymore.

And this week, starting today, I am back to doing some strength training, too.  I have decided to use the 21 Day Fix workouts again for a while. I really enjoy the Upper Body Fix and the Dirty 30 routines so those will be my main focus... should get me through the holidays... that and running!

And of course walking... there is always walking. This city has so many wonderful places to walk! And with the holidays quickly approaching, there are so many lovely and festive displays to take in as well.

What makes fitness FUN for you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tommie Copper Contoured Compression Knee Sleeve Review and Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was given a new garment in the Tommie Copper lineup to wear test.  I was not asked for a blog review post, but have decided to go ahead and publish one anyway... I am always happy to share great finds and new products with my friends and readers... this is one of those great new products that just needs to be promoted.

It is a new knee sleeve.  Doesn't sound like anything too special, but this is a CONTOURED knee sleeve and it really is very special, and quite innovative.

It offers targeted isolated compression at the knee joint... and fits comfortably around the thigh and calf.  There is a soft elastic band around the thigh and an encased elastic band around the calf... no slipping... extremely comfortable.  Because it is contoured, there is less fabric behind the knee joint so there is no bunching.  It is sleek and fits easily under other garments.

I have been wearing it under tights as well as jeans and capris, and it is almost invisible.

If you have knee problems of any kind... and I know most runners do, from time to time, this just might be a great tool in your recovery arsenal.  The fabric promotes increased blow flow and it provides a soothing, calming warmth to the area of your body it covers.

The sleeve is made from patented Copper Znergy fabric combined copper and zinc for permanent anti-odor protection and is easy to care for. I admit to babying my Tommie Copper garments by hand washing them and hanging to dry... but you don't have to do that.

I think the the key to making this contoured knee sleeve work for you is to use the sizing chart and making sure you select the proper size. You don't want it to be too tight and you certainly don't want it to be so loose that it is falling down.

As with all of the Tommie Copper garments and gear I have tried, this is another winner in my books.

If you would like to try a women's sleeve or a men's sleeve, and live in Canada or the U.S., leave me a comment on this post.  I will pick a winner on November 30th and my contact at Tommie Copper will outfit you with a sleeve, too.  Make sure you leave contact information as well, because if I cannot notify you, you will not be the winner!

Check out the sleeve on the Tommie Copper web site.

Do ever have knee pain?  How do you deal with it?

I am happy to announce that the winner has been selected and notified. Thanks for your entries and comments.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Clean Lean Protein

For the past many many months, not a day has gone by when I have not consumed a protein supplement in some form, at some point during the day.

After I play tennis, or during a round of golf, it is convenient to unwrap a protein bar.  When I am on the fly and need a quick breakfast, I will put together a protein powder shake or make up a smoothie 'bowl'. When I have more time for breakfast I make waffles or pancakes or 'puffs' with protein powder and egg whites.

If I am wanting a little extra 'sweet' after my lunch or dinner, I may mix some protein powder with a bit of nut milk and add a handful of cashews or walnuts or almonds, and call it dessert.  And sometimes I mix protein powder with a bit of nut milk to make fruit dip.

But most importantly, after a tough workout, or a sweaty run, I make up a protein smoothie to help make sure I have a comfortable and healthy recovery.  I like to use a powder that mixes readily, and completely, that tastes great, and that has a favorable nutritional profile.

Well, have you met the latest and brightest star in the vegetable protein lineup?  It is pea protein.

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to sample a variety from Nu-Zest USA called CLEAN LEAN PROTEIN... they sent me 4 sample packs to test.   I was so happy with the taste and texture and nutritional information, that I decided to become an affiliate.  I liked the Wild Stawberry, the Rich Chocolate, and the Creamy Cappucino, but my favorite is always vanilla and this Smooth Vanilla is exceptional.  There is also an unflavored powder called Just Natural.

For me, the first test of a protein powder is how it tastes mixed with only water.  And these certainly passed that test.  I admit to liking them better mixed with coconut or almond milk, for the creaminess factor.... but in a pinch, water is fine. That makes them particularly handy to carry in you gym bag or purse so that you have a healthy snack or mini-meal at the ready.

And the second test is how long they stick to my ribs... whether they satisfy me for a few hours after I have consumed them. I have found that the CLEAN LEAN PROTEIN keeps me feeling full for at least 3 or 4 hours.  Great.

These powders are very high in protein, low in fat and low in carbohydrates.  They fit into a low-carb lifestyle such as mine, just perfectly.  CLEAN LEAN PROTEIN is formulated from European Golden Peas making it highly and readily digestible.  It is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and GMO free.   It is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids.

I am happy to tell you that NuZest offers free shipping to Canada and the 48 mainland states in the U.S.A. on orders over $50.  Free shipping. That is always good news to Canadians because we pay outrageous fees here for postage and couriers.

Do have a look at the NuZest USA web site for yourself to read all the important and relevant information.  There are even some recipes there for you to try.  Sign up for an email subscription to get a free sample, too.  And there is a giveaway happening for two tubs as well. Don't miss that for sure!

And if you do decide to go ahead and buy, please use the code eatrunsail in order to receive a 15% discount on your purchase. Yes, I will earn a small commission.  But in all honesty, my blog is not about earning an income, and any money that does come to me from these sales, will be donated to my local SPCA.

Have you tried a pea protein yet?  What is your favorite way to use protein powder?  What do you eat after a workout or run to help with recovery?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Holiday Sweat Challenge 2015

I have decided to take the plunge and join in the  2015 Holiday Sweat Challenge!

You may know this annual event from years gone by as the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge that was started by Amanda Brooks from Run to the Finish... well now she has joined forces with Sweat Pink and is has gone through some changes.

It appears to be more fun and less competitive than it came to be in the past so I am looking forward to giving it a whirl.... if you are interested, click on the logo and find Amanda's post with all the details.

It promises to be an 8 week journey of workouts, prizes, support and community building. Sounds like a winner.  Use the hashtag #HolidaySweat to follow along and share your own sweaty efforts!

Won't you join me?  How do you plan to stay active through the holidays?

If you are looking for some ways to keep up with your fitness during the holiday season, check out this post for some other tips.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

So Long, October... It's Been Fun!

Yes, it truly has been a fun October!

The Captain and I  have finally completed 9 weeks of the Metabolic Aftershock workouts and I am so glad to see them come to an end. These workouts are organized in 3 phases. Each phase is a series of 3 different workouts to be done each week for 3 weeks. The phase 3 workouts are killer and even though the 15 minutes goes by pretty quickly, they are tough.  I really need the 30-minute walk after each to shake out my legs and stretch the muscles.  Sometimes we joke about taking bus fare in case we cannot walk for 30 minutes!

This is the second time through this series for us.  I like to alternate it with a few weeks of more traditional strength training just to keep things interesting, and the body challenged.  As much as I grouse about them, I love what these workouts do for my legs especially!

And, we have also done some golfing at a new-to-us course and have really been enjoying that. I do think that a golf course is one of the best places to be on a nice day!

I was introduced to NuZest's CLEAN LEAN PROTEIN and have fallen quite in love!  It comes in a few different flavors and I will be sharing more about it in the future. 

The Captain and I volunteered at our local GoodLife Fitness marathon again this year, handing out race participants' shirts at the expo on Friday night. It is a fun way to be involved in the race excitement and we always get a nice technical tee (New Balance) for our efforts.  I would like to run this race but honestly, with the probability of rain in October, I just cannot bring myself to commit. This year the runners really lucked out as the rain quit for several hours on Sunday morning for all the festivities!

I love the color!  And it is not a bad shirt even if a bit big... it also matches my Mizuno shoes so I used it as an overshirt on my Sunday morning run this week.  

Right now I am enjoying spicy tea in the afternoons. For some reason it seems like a Fall drink to me, especially if it is wet or gloomy outside my window!

I sometimes make a whole pot, but often just a cup at a time!  Do you do that, too?

I have been enjoying a lower-carb food program lately... carb cycling actually, and it seems to suit me very well.  It does mean that I am trying to eat more protein and a bit more fat, though.  And I am also working on eating enough at each meal so that I am not wanting to snack. So yesterday I made a little dessert after my lunch... I mixed some vanilla protein powder with coconut milk and natural peanut butter and a bit of cinnamon and spooned it on some apple slices.  YUMMERS!  It would make a great snack, too!

I love my new Reebok yoga mat. We picked up a couple of them at an outlet store in Burlington, WA when we were there at the end of  September.  The message is great... and it is also a nice sticky mat and I am quite happy with it.

So, how did October shape up for you?  Have you been snacking on Hallowe'en candy?  What are you looking forward to in November?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

CLIF BAR Adds ICED GINGERBREAD to Their Seasonal Lineup

CLIF BAR announced recently that they have added a new flavor to their popular limited seasonal lineup 

... it is called ICED GINGERGREAD.... 

and a few of them arrived at my house yesterday!

Thank you to the PR team that sent them my way....

And the press release...

" CLIF® Bar Adds Iced Gingerbread to Limited-Edition Seasonal Lineup
CLIF Bar Celebrates the Holidays with Seasonal Flavours Iced Gingerbread & Spiced Pumpkin Pie; Giving Back to Protect Our Winters

TORONTO – By popular demand, CLIF® Bar will launch its delicious seasonal flavours, introducing Iced Gingerbread as their latest holiday treat. Made with a nutritious blend of organic rolled oats and wholesome ingredients, CLIF Bar seasonal flavours deliver delicious, holiday-inspired nutrition on-the-go. To spread the spirit of giving, CLIF Bar will also donate a portion of the proceeds toProtect Our Winters, a leading climate advocacy group for the winter sports community. 

“In our second year offering CLIF Bar seasonal flavours in Canada, we are excited to bring a new flavour to athletes and adventurers who love great-tasting and nutritious food,” said Betty Bredemann, CLIF Bar International Brand Manager. “Winter is the time when many Canadians embrace outdoor adventures. Gingerbread and the holidays go hand-in-hand and now you can take this delicious seasonal treat with you on the snow and ice.”

Through this partnership, CLIF Bar will donate one percent of net seasonal sales to Protect Our Winters, which is dedicated to educating, engaging and mobilizing the Canadian and U.S. winter sports community to lead the fight against climate change.

Iced Gingerbread and Spiced Pumpkin Pie CLIF Bars are made with wholesome ingredients like organic rolled oats and molasses and are a source of fibre. They also contain a blend of vitamins and minerals. Seasonal flavours are available now in select retailers in Canada while supplies last.

About Clif Bar & Company
Clif Bar & Company is a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods, including CLIF® Bar energy bar, CLIF® Organic Trail Mix, CLIF Kid Zbar® and Builder’s® protein bar. Focused on sports nutrition and snacks for adventure, the family and employee-owned company is committed to sustaining its people, brands, business, community and planet. For more information on Clif Bar & Company, please visit, check out our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter @clifbar. "

I am a big fan of CLIF BAR products... and am always happy to spread the word about new flavors and items in their lineup.  We enjoy them quite often at our house.

It did seem a bit of a shame, though, to tear into these cute, specially decorated packages in order to get to the goodness inside...

... but I managed!   

Spiced Pumpkin Pie or Iced Gingergbread... what is your seasonal CLIF BAR favorite?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Snacking on the Go... Taste of Nature Fruit and Nut Bars

I rarely leave home without a snack in my bag or in my pocket...  whether I am heading out to go hiking...

or golfing...

to play tennis...

or even to simply go for a walk...

I always want to have something filling and nutritious close by in case I should happen to get hungry while I am away from home .  

If I am taking a bag, I might pack an apple and some nuts... but sometimes that is just not possible or particularly convenient or practical.  On those occasions, a bar of some kind is a much better choice. And since I discovered Taste of Nature fruit and nut bars... I am more and more inclined to choose them.

These fruit and nut bars are certified organic, non-GMO, bluten-free and made with real, simple, whole ingredients that you can see through the packaging.  What you see is what you eat. #RealTastesGood

Here is a list of what they DON'T contain:
  • additives
  • artificial flavors
  • artificial sweetners
  • animal products
  • dairy
  • preservatives
  • simple sugars
  • sulphur dioxide
  • cholesterol
  • wheat
  • gluten
They don't melt. They don't get sticky and messy.  They are convenient and delicious!

You can likely find Taste of Nature fruit and nut bars at store near you in both Canada and the U.S.A... but if not, you can order them online at  - so many great nut and fruit combinations to choose from, too.

I was given a selection of Taste of Nature bars to sample and these opinions are my own.

What is your favorite pack-along snack?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Review and Giveaway

One of my favorite ways to add some flavor, and some crunch, and a bit of a nutritional boost to my meals is by sprinkling hemp seeds over the top.  I normally buy them in a large bag at Costco... Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts... and when I was given the opportunity to do a review and giveaway through my association with Sweat Pink, I readily accepted.

They sent me a 56g bag to sample and review, and will give another to a reader from Canada or the U.S. who enters my giveaway contest.

And just what is so special about Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts?  Well, just 28g (one ounce) of these little seeds packs a whopping 8g of protein.  And they are full of healthy Omega 3, magnesium and manganese as well.  They are raw, about the size of sesame seeds, and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

Sometimes I eat them out of my hand... and other times I sprinkle them on fruits, salads, zoodes, over pancakes and waffles, and even banana/fruit softserves.    They have a slightly nutty flavor and I think they are quite delicious!

If you would like to try them for yourself,  enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.

It's over and the winner has been contacted!  Thanks for your participation.

There is one mandatory entry... a comment on this blog post.  Other entries can be earned through the various methods outlined in the Rafflecopter form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from Manitoba Harvest through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

If you are a Sweat Pink Ambassador who is also involved in this campaign you are not eligible to win but you may help promote by tweeting the following:

#hemphearts #hemplove @ManitobaHarvest
 Win some from @eatrunsail and #SweatPink @FitApproach #ad

Have you tried Manitoba Hemp Hearts yet?  What is your favorite way to eat them?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oh Oh Oh October

I love Fall and everything about it... the changing colors in the trees, the cooler mornings and evenings and sunny warm days... I am glad the tennis courts and golf courses are less busy with kids and teachers back in school.

I am glad to see the prices of squashes, pumpkins, and root veggies dropping in our local markets. And I love to see the fields full of orange and white pumpkins.


Pumpkin Field

But this Fall really snuck up on me, because it seems like our Summer has not really ended!  Even though it is October, we are still enjoying beautiful flowers, lovely hot and sunny days, and warm nights.  And it has also been unusually dry... very little rain since Spring, really.  I am not complaining!


But October has begun and my calendar is jam packed!  We will be volunteering at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon again this year... at the expo handing out race shirts to entrants as we have done the past 2 years. I love being part of this event even though not running.

And this coming weekend is also Thanksgiving in Canada... so that means a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings... I like to do it on the Monday.  Planning the menu and shopping this week.

We have scheduled a few rounds of golf in the next couple of weeks, too.  I am really looking forward to that.  And it won't be long till we start playing tennis regularly for a few weeks, too.  We are about to start the third and final phase of the Metabolic Aftershock program tomorrow. That lasts 3 weeks and then we will be changing gears and lifting weights again.  And I sill have to figure out where we are going to fit in some runs!  I think I need more hours in my day.

I am coasting right along with my food plan. I have found my groove and really loving the lower carb way of life.. I won't say no-carb as I am definitely eating lots of veggies... but overall less fruit and little to no grains or starchy veggies such as squash and sweet potatoes.  It works for me. I feel lighter and have dropped that pesky couple of pounds and I am sleeping like a baby again.  I have also dropped the Greek yogurt and am only eating very small bits of cheese occasionally.  So what AM I eating? Well, to start, lots of protein in the way of lean meats, fish, and eggs/egg whites, ENERGYbits,  and a variety of protein powders.... also lots of vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds, bits of dark chocolate, avocadoes and other healthy oils with limited vinegar. My food plan allows for red wine although I can honestly say I am not really inclined toward it at present, but I am enjoying a wide variety of teas, and also limited coffee.

I have been using My Fitness Pal to track my calories/macronutrients and fitting it all into my Weight Watchers tracker! Yes, it takes time but it's worth it to me.

October is also going to bring some medical tests my way... a mammogram and a Pap smear... it's Breast Cancer Awarenss month after all!

All in all, I am excited to get outside and enjoy this great weather as long as it holds.  How about you?  What are you looking forward to in October?