Friday, August 28, 2015

Celebrating Girlfriends in August

I missed the boat!

It has just come to my attention that August 1st was National Girlfriend Day... but I am going to jump aboard now and get in on the fun before August is over!  I love my girlfriends and do celebrate them in a variety of ways,  and I also love to share great information with all of you.

I discovered this infographic recently from Oscar Insurance, as they are creating awareness on women's health and preventative care along with their  New York based health insurance.

It outlines the tests, screenings, and vaccinations that women might want to have at various ages throughout our lives, in order to stay on top of our health and wellness. it outlines the tests, screenings, and vaccinations that women might want to have at various ages throughout our lives, in order to stay on top of our health and wellness.

I know that I am somewhat lax occasionally about these things too.... but honestly, I have just booked a mammogram and a Pap test for the beginning of October when I return from a little time away.

Have a look... are there any items on this list that you need to take care of soon?

Are there any other tests or screenings that you think should be added to the list?

How do you celebrate the special girlfriends in your life?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

5 Lessons I Have Learned From Exercise

I have been playing the fitness game for most of my adult life... as a child, I was a chubby bookworm, who would always opt for a book or a game or a puzzle rather than playing outside running or playing sports.  I loved to do crafts, and paint, and I spent lots of happy time alone with those activities.

But as I got older and opened my social circle, I was attracted to very active, very adventurous people and I wanted to tag along with them on their fun and exciting activities. It started with outdoor activities such as hiking and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains, downhill and cross country skiing, and even running.  But eventually I started working out to enhance my abilities in those activities. Soon exercise and fitness became part of my daily routine, and now I wouldn't have it any other way.

I really feel like exercise has been a gift in my life... and has taught me some amazing lessons. Here are some of them:

1.  Exercises gives me a feeling of empowerment and confidence.

I have learned that bearing down and pushing through a workout or a run when I don't really want to, or don't really feel like it makes me feel stronger both mentally and physically.  I have learned that I am more capable of challenging physical activities than I ever thought possible.  Hiking narrow, slippery, gravel trails in the mountains and also sailing in less than perfect conditions are mentally difficult for me, and the feeling of accomplishment these things have given me affords me mental strength to draw upon when I am faced with new and scary situations.

2.  Exercise gives me balance.

I still have a tendency to withdraw, be introverted, put my nose in a book or in my laptop, and spend idle hours in mental workouts. I know that being physically active helps me be more well-rounded, more social, and more outgoing.

3.  Exercise gives me a mental lift when I am feeling a bit down.

There is nothing like the endorphin rush from a sweaty, hard, outdoor run to put a smile on my face. If I am cranky or unsettled for any reason, putting on my running shoes and heading outside gives me a chance to sort it out and I always come back feeling better.  Getting sweaty offers me great mental release.

4.  Exercise gives me the opportunity to learn more about myself.

I love paying attention to the way my body reacts to various movements.  I learn where I am weakest, less flexible, and also how my body functions.  I have learned that I cannot out-work a lousy diet. It's all good information.

5. Exercise has taught me patience.

This is a big one for me as I was born a bit deficient in this area. I like to say my older Sister got all the patience and there was none left for me.  But training for a half marathon taught me to add mileage and distance s-l-o-w-l-y to my routine so that I didn't get hurt.  Weight lifting has taught me that building muscle takes time and effort. Nothing happens overnight.  I have learned not to give up, but to perservere, with patience and sometimes even grace!

What lessons have you learned from exercise?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

And This Week...

... got off to an wonderful start with a quick cup of coffee and a banana followed by a short but speedy run around the neighborhood. It was quite warm already when we headed out at 8:45 a.m. so I kept it short and sweet, just over 3 km, and tried a new route.  I think my speed work is paying off.

We somehow got caught up in the middle of a Sunday group from our local Running Room store and kept pace with them for a few blocks till they veered off in a different direction.  Actually it was kinda fun and that is something I may pursue.

We came home and drank lots of water and then I stretched while I put together a wonderful breakfast for us both. I had part of a leftover baked sweet potato in the fridge so mashed that together with some vanilla protein powder, eggs, flax, and cinnamon, and made waffles... Mmmm... topped with a bit of syrup (sugar free for  me) and some shredded coconut.  I am good for hours now.... oops, sorry for the fuzzy pic!

Here are some things I am looking forward to this week:

Continuing our Metabolic Aftershock workouts... we are doing this 9 week series again and taking a break from traditional strength training.  The leg workouts are killer and I hate love them.

Eating these yummy cherry tomatoes that are growing in our balcony garden.  Does anything taste better than fresh tomatoes?  I cannot imagine what it would be.

Reading the inspiring and motivating articles in these Weight Watchers publications.

Making more of these lovely little High Fibre Egg White Muffins. You can find the recipe on my food blog We can begin to feed... if you are interested. I love them for after workout snacks, particularly on my low carb days.  And they are really good slathered in nut butter or creamy cheese.

Trying this recipe for Tumeric Tea or Golden Milk.  Isn't that a lovely name? I am jumping on the tumeric bandwagon and going to make sure to have a cup of this every day this week.  On my low carb days, I will use stevia instead of honey as the sweetener.  I have been reading more and more about the health benefits of tumeric, particularly when it comes to inflammation and I am going to see if it will help me.

Tasting these new North Coast Naturals vegan protein powders that just arrived in my mail box. Thank you NCN.  I can't wait to use them in some new recipes.

Adding some ENERGYbits back into my diet on a daily basis.  I tend to use them very sporadically and forget to take them regularly. This week, I am going to start filling a tin and keeping it on the kitchen counter so I see it when I get up each morning.  I really do like the benefits that a daily serving gives me.  If you are interested, I have a discount code EATRUNSAIL that will give you 25% off your purchase of ENERGYbits or RECOVERYbits.  And yes, if I ever in my lifetime, have it used a certain number of times, I would qualify for a free bag... dreaming!

Planning a little trip off-Island in September. We are heading for a week's getaway to Vancouver, and a bit of shopping in Bellingham/Burlington, WA and then to Port Townsend, WA to visit another old and dear friend. It involves 3 different ferry trips and lots of scheduling but  I am looking forward to seeing some family, some friends and doing some cross-border shopping.  Yeah, the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar is awful right now!

So, what are you looking forward to this week?

Have you used ENERGYbits or RECOVERYbits before?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Get Lean Gluten Free Cookbook Review


I am reviewing a new cookbook that I have been using a lot the past several days over on my food blog today....

Why not head over there and check it out!  Even if you don't live gluten free, it is chock full of great recipes using whole, real foods... ingredients you likely already have on hand.

Have you seen it yet?  What do you think?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Here is How My Summer is Shaping Up

I have had a couple of things happen lately that set  me back on my heels a bit... so to speak... but I am bouncing back and want to do a bit of a catch up post.  I am going to sit down with a cup of my favorite coffee and fill you in a bit.

Let me start with some bad stuff... that way I can get it out of the way and then get on to sharing some happier new.

Last Saturday night there was a huge crowd of 500+ party-goers on the beach below the bluffs a couple of blocks down the street from us.  It was almost midnight before the police began to disperse the revellers and unfortunately there was some vandalism involved... we had just gone to bed for the night when we heard a loud crash in our living room.  Someone had tossed a broken yard lamp fixture into our living room window from the street. Our building manager saw three youngish boys running away. There was a gaping hole in one pane of glass about 3 feet wide and 5 feet high... lots of broken glass inside the room and on the balcony. No injuries, no other damage.  But a terrible mess.  

I was pretty shaken up and kind of scared. But the police that attended tried to assure us that we were not targetted, that it was totally a random act. All the same, quite creepy and unsettling.  The window has now been replaced and I am trying not to be worried about it anymore.  I know these things happen in the city... just never to me before now.

We were planning a late Summer cruise with our dear friend from Colorado... you may recall we visited him and his family in Greeley last August.  His wife called us a couple of days ago to let us know he passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  It was not completely unexpected, somehow, but very sad news and we will miss him so much.   He was almost 85.  This picture of The Captain and our friend, Bud, was taken in Fort Collins on that visit.

Now, for some happier news...

I have been working out consistently and diligently!  The Captain and I are exercising together these days and have been attacking 21 Day Fix workouts three times per week, alternating Upper Fix and Dirty 30 mostly.  I like them, and have been seeing good results in shaping up my upper arms and shoulders, but I think it is time for a change.  Next week, back to the Metabolic Aftershock routine.  I kinda miss Dr. Jade yelling at me!

We haven't been playing tennis or golfing lately... will get back those things once school is back in session here... and the running... yeah, still doing that as well... and lots and lots of walking, and a bit of swimming. We are lucky to have an outdoor heated pool here at our apartment building.

I love that we live in the thick of the urban core and can do much of our shopping and errands on foot. 

My balcony garden has been doing really well in the hot weather we are enjoying this year.  We have had a few feeds of cherry tomatoes already and they are truly delicious! Does anything taste better than a freshly picked tomato?

My wonderful husband, whom I have been calling The Captain since we first bought our sailboat in 2001, celebrated a birthday recently.  It was his day for food selection... pancakes (with candles) for breakfast, burgers for lunch and sushi with white wine for dinner. Yum!

I have lots more to share... but will save some for another time.

All in all, it has been a pretty good Summer so far.

How is your Summer shaping up?  Are you getting to all the things you wanted to?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

SLS3 Compression Socks Review and Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was the lucky winner of a pair of SLS3Compression Socks from a giveaway hosted by Wendy who blogs at Taking the Long Way Home.  I chose these beautiful Butterfly socks as my prize.

It was kind of a tough choice because they do come in some seriously beautiful colors!

But I was so thrilled with them, and have loved running in them and wearing them for recovery so much that I accepted a pair of the SLS3 Allrounder socks to test and host a giveaway so that you can try out some for yourself.

I do love compression socks and I wear them almost daily.  I normally put them on first thing in the morning and wear them for walking, for running, for doing my strength training and bodyweight sessions, and I usually keep them on for recovery.  I have been known to even sleep in them after particularly long or gruelling runs.

On cooler days I also often wear them to work under slacks and have even been rumored to wear them in the Winter under black tights with dresses... shhhh!  Which is why I chose the black Allrounder sock to test. These will hide nicely under black tights.

And the Allrounder comes in some lovely bright colors, too.  I know that those of you who love to make up cute running costumes will drool over these!

The SLS3 compression socks really are unique in that they are designed with a graduated compression for increased blood circulation, muscle oxygenation and stability.  There are slight differences between the Buttefly socks and the Allrounder socks, in both design and fabric, and suggested uses.

I have also found that the Allrounder sock is a bit easier for me to get on and off... however, I really think that both of these models are much easier to get on and off than other popular compression socks I have tried.  And both designs are very comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

The Butterfly socks and the Allrounder socks are designed to reduce muscle vibration drastically, resulting in less soft tissue damage and less sore muscles. I can certainly attest to that statement.   I believe that the longer I can keep wearing them, the better it is for my legs... on days that I get in a morning workout, and will be home the rest of the day, I usually only have a quick sponge bath after my cool down, and put off my shower for several hours, just so I can keep wearing my compression socks longer.  I am a firm believer in the benefits of compression.

And both of these models come in compression socks or compression sleeves.

So, if you are interested in trying out a pair of the Butterfly socks or sleeves, or the Allrounders socks or sleeves for yourself, enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway is open to both Canada and the U.S.A., and the prize will be shipped to the winner directly from SLS3.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UPDATE - A winner has been chosen and notified... the Rafflecopter form is not working properly today and so the winnner does not show here.... but it was LEA GENDERS.  

Congratulations to you!

If you can't wait a week to see if you have won, go ahead and order now!  SLS3 has kind offered my readers a discount of 40% off by using the code


on your purchase at checkout.

How do you use compression?  Are you a fan of socks like me, or do your prefer sleeves?