Monday, September 28, 2015

Home Sweet Home

It's nice to get away, but it is so good to be home again!   And I am very thankful to The Captain for hauling in all my bags and organizing the storage locker once again.

Today we were back to our normal routine of working out and walking after breakfast.  Felt great for sure!

We had a very busy week away... lots of visiting with family and friends, good eats, good drinks, site-seeing, and lots of laughter and fun.  We had very limited amounts of exericise, other than the hours and hours spent walking and shopping... so I made pretty good food choices overall, and came home weighing 2 pounds less than I started. YAY for that!

Our first stop, after getting off the ferry on the mainland, was at IKEA where we stocked up on candles and some kitchen goodies, and The Captain enjoyed Swedish Meatballs for lunch in their restaurant.  Then we drove on to Low-Carb Grocery where I was thrilled to find some bags of a new-to-me Protein Plus peanut flour that I have been eyeing up on the internet for several weeks.  I haven't tried it yet but it is quite a bit less expensive here than PB2 so I hope it's good!

It was nice to be able to pick up some things on my sister-in-law's shopping list too, and take them to her.  We had a lovely weekend visit with her family and caught up on the news... a bit of wedding planning going on there and a doggie fix with Lewis, our funny little doggie-nephew!  Isn't he the sweetest little thing?

After we crossed the US./Canada border on Monday morning, we made our way a bit further South to Bellingham... first stop, my beloved Trader Joe's of course!  Along with the usual array of plaintain chips,  artichoke hearts, cookies and low-fat cheesies for The Captain, pumpkin butter, salsas, nuts, nut butters, chocolate bars, and wine, we found a few new goodies to try this time...

And we also visited the big box stores and department stores and made a trip to the outlets in Burlington, too.  They do have some of my faves there... GH Bass Shoes, Nike, Reebok, Van Heusen, Wilson's Leather, and some nice ladies wear shops.  I had promised myself that I wouldn't buy anything that wasn't a great price AND that I didn't love and all in all, I think I  did very well... I showed some awesome restraint... but some highlights...  I have been looking for a pair of navy blue pumpsfor several months and lucked into a pair of leather Ralph Lauren shoes marked down to $26 and also found a few nice dresses and tops.  And at Eddie Bauer, I presented the clerk with a $C10 coupon to purchase a lovely mauve tee shirt that was on sale and she actually GAVE me the shirt and 25 cents change!  How does that happen?

At Reebok I picked us up some new yoga mats...

Once we got to Port Townsend on Wednesday,  there was a package waiting for me that contained a jar of PBfit... this is another peanut butter powder that I have been jonesing to try, but that I cannot get in Canada, as they do not ship it here. So, it was very nice of the folks at Better Body Foods to send me a jar to sample in care of my friend's address.

We spent 3 days and evenings playing cards and reminiscing with our elderly friend. We rented a guest suite at his lodge rather than staying at a hotel a few miles away, and it worked out very well. Coming and going was so much easier.  It was a beautiful little suite, all decked out, so we made our own breakfasts, took breaks for a while around noon to go out for lunches, and then took him out each evening for an early dinner.   A shout out here to the Bayview Restaurant near the ferry dock downtown... I had an amazing dinner one night of cod baked with a ginger-vinegar sauce and some roasted veggies. Awesome. Excellent and friendly service, too.

I always love to visit this Victorian seaside town because we spent 3 Winters nearby while living on our sailboat and it feels somewhat like coming home to me.  The local council has worked diligently over the years to keep the chain stores and fast food restaurants away, so the shops are locally owned and there is a real timeless charm to the place.  

It was kind of sad to leave...  but we amused ourselves with more shopping on the way to catching the ferry in Port Angeles that brought us home on Saturday night.  We made sure to fill up the cooler with some of The Captain's favorite Tillamook cheeses before boarding the ship.

A great trip, and it's good to be back on the Island. 

I can't wait to catch up on YOUR news, too.

Friday, September 18, 2015

And Into the Weekend

It's Friday. It has been a long and busy week.  I worked; I worked out; I ran; I walked; I shopped; I ran errands and did some favors for my co-workers. I got my hair cut; I cut The Captain's hair.  But the most important thing I did this week was print and organize all the material that I think I might need for my upcoming jaunt over the water to the mainland and then South of the border to do some shopping and visit familhy and a friend.

I have maps, shopping lists, hotel and ferry reservation confirmations, coupons, passports, money and credit cards... and lots and lots of great ideas as to how to fit it all in.

I am on a concerted hunt for goods I cannot purchase in Canada... some supplements, some food items, and some clothing items, too. I know that one of the highlights of the whole week will be a couple of hours at Trader Joe's... I admit to becoming like a child at Christmas when I walk into any one of their stores.

Part of my last haul at TJ's

Hopefully, I will have some fun stories to share when I get home again... till then.... workout hard and eat light!

And to all of my Canadian friends who are running on Sunday to honor Terry Fox... have a wonderful event. I will be with you in spirit!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Slow and Steady Sunday Shuffle

Well, at least that is how it felt!

After a bit of a sleep-in this morning (till almost 8:30!) The Captain and I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and a then after a bit of a wait, we headed out for a run.  I decided that we should go late morning so that we could just have lunch after our stretch instead of having a protein drink and delaying lunch a couple of more hours.

It is a gorgeous day here on the Island... blue skies and the temperature is about 18C right now which translates to just under 70F... perfect for running along the Strait.  And I must admit to loving seeing all the dogs playing in the off-leash area at this time of day, too.

So... a shuffle, yes... it was 3.35 km in just over 25 minutes, but I am not going to complain!  It has been a couple of weeks since I ran at all so it was wonderful to just get out there.

I remembered to make us a Drip Drop drink to split before we went out. This medical grade rehydration powder makes such a difference for me in how I recover but I do wish it didn't have so much sugar in it. Is that a necessary part of it's magic?

I like the taste of this... not salty at all, and not fizzy either... but I cannot purchase it in Canada and DRIP DROP has cancelled their ambassador program in Canada so they won't be sending me any more of it.  I have also not seen it in the stores when I travel to the U.S. so have not been able to purchase it on my own either.

I am open to suggestions for another brand if you have one you particularly like.

How did you start your week?

What is your post-run recovery routine?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Five

Hey, it's Friday!  This week has flown by and I am looking forward to the weekend.  A Sunday run is in the plans and it has been a bit too long since I have been out pounding the pavement.

But till then I have a few things I am excited about that I want to share with you.

First... have you checked out our Tommie Copper Review of their 2 great men's back support products... and there is a giveaway for Canadians and Americans, too.

Second...  several weeks ago I won a  Twitter contest josted by Fajo Magazine and Reebok Canada and the prize was a pair of Nano 5 shoes.  They arrived yesterday and I was all over  Instagram with them.... aren't they purty?

Third...  My carb cycling food plan is going really well... I am particularly loving my low carb days. 
Who knew?  It has helped me get away from the processed foods that I had started to gravitate toward and reconnect with whole, real food again.  YAY!  And yes, I am doing it all within my Weight Watchers program guidelines... those help me with making sure I am getting in my nutrients and watching my portions.

Fourth...  We are getting off the Island next weekend for a little getaway... going to make a circle tour and visit with family in North Vancouver, then head South to shop in Washington state for a few days before visiting a friend there for another few days. I love to cross border shop and my list is growing.  Trader Joe's... here I come!  Oh my... is it fortuitous that this month's Fearless Flyer is featuring wine?

Fifth...  I have been really loving this round of Metabolic Aftershock workouts.  I have been doing them Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and following each with a very brisk half hour walk.  I can feel that my shoulders and legs are getting stronger... and I can see shapely muscle in my arms and legs too.  It's good for me to take this break from traditional strength training and do these whole body workouts.  They are only 15 minutes long, after the warmup, and I feel the heat most of the day afterward.  

So.. how is your week shaking out?   

Do you have any non-perishable faves at TJ's that I need to hunt down?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Tommie Copper Men's Comfort Back Brace and Recovery Compression Core Band Reviews and Giveaways

Wow!  That is a long post title!

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Tommie Copper Women's Compression Core Band and the Tommie Copper Women's Comfort Back Brace and the company was very generous to give away 2 of each of those garments to 4 different women who won those giveaway contests.

Well, today, we are featuring my husband, whom I refer to as The Captain, because he has been wearing and testing the men's counterparts of these products for the past couple of weeks.  And we are going to be hosting a giveaway for one of each... so read on!

The Men's Comfort Back Brace is a taller version of the women's... makes sense as most men are longer through the torso than women are.  The Captain has been wearing the back brace during long periods of sitting at his computer, and also for doing strength workouts... particularly while lifting and doing planks.  He is actually better about remembering to wear it than I am about mine.  And darn, his posture is better than mine too!

It is a very easy garment to get in and out of... it opens completely and then you just fold one end over the other, in front... there is a lot of room for custom fitting... and he has been taking care not to make it too snug.  After all, you want your back and core to be supported, but you don't want them to have so much support that they don't do any work at all!  It can be worn over clothing for quick on-and-off, or underneath if you prefer to hide it.

The Captain said he would loved to have one of these Comfort Back Braces when he was still an active carpenter... it would have been a great help with all the lifting and toting materials around the job sites.  Actually it would be great for anyone who does any kind of manual labor... or gardening, too.

The Recovery Compression Core Band is quite different from the women's model. It is made to be worn around the middle so it is shorter, and it is also thicker.  But it still hides nicely under a shirt and it is really handy to have for back and core support while away from home when you don't want it to be seen... long periods of sitting in concerts perhaps?  It is also great to wear for after-workout recovery when the muscles are sore and tired.  The Cool Copper fabric has moisture wicking properties and also eliminates odors.  Nice.

The Captain says he will likely wear this Recovery Compression Core Band when we get back on the golf trail this Fall. He loves to keep his back very warm while golfing... with all the twisting and turning... and with the band, he will be able to avoid sweaters and vests till well into the late season.

So, are you interested? You know you are...

If you would like to win one or both of these garments for yourself or a man in your life, enter the giveaways through the Rafflecopter forms below.

The prizes will be supplied directly to the winners by Tommie Copper... and you can have an address in Canada or the U.S.A. to qualify.

Good luck to you!  The giveaways will run till 11:59 p.m. September 14th and winners will be named on the Rafflecopter forms and emailed the next day.

The giveaway is over and the winners have been notified.  
Thanks for your entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to check out both of these great products on the Tommie Copper web site for yourself. If you are in Canada, you will be directed to a Canadian site where you can purchase these items.
The Captain was given these products but the opinons are his alone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Transitioning from Summer to Fall

We have had such an unually warm and dry Summer season that I almost hate to see Fall coming.  Not since the first year we lived on the sailboat... in the Summer of 2002, has the weather been as good as this.... only a fraction of the rain that we normally get, and hot, hot days.  Lovely.

But for the past couple of day it has been raining off and on... the temps are cooler and now that the days are noticeably shorter, too, it does feel like Fall cannot be too far away.  It is September 1st after all!

I know I have to make some changes.. in my eats and in my food prep, and also in my workouts and most important of all, in my mindset and attitude.   I am one of the few people I know (other than The Captain who is like a heat-seeking missile) that has not complained about the hot and dry weather one time this Summer.  Yes, I know we needed the rain.  I am not complaining about that either, but...

I know I cannot forestall the changing of the seasons... I cannot control the weather, so I really must get ready and embrace what I do love about Fall in order to continue to have fun with my workouts and my eats and not be miserable.

I will miss the horse-drawn carriages that bring the tourists past my home... I will miss the turtles basking in the sunshine on the log in the lake across the street... and I will miss the beautiful Summer flowers... but there are so many things about Fall that I really do love.

Here are some of my favorite things about this time of year:

  • Pumpkin everything!  I love pumpkins and squashes and so making soups, and stews, and exprerimenting with waffles, and pancakes and protein cakes is going to be amazing!

Love TJ's pumpkin butter and hope to pick up more soon.

  • I have new rain jackets and rain shoes so I can get outside and walk and hike even when it is wet for days on end, and not be soggy!

I couldn't make up my mind between these Eddie Bauer jackets so I got them both!

  • I like running in the cooler weather and would actually rather run in longer capris and long sleeved shirts than shorts and tanks.  

And on a gloomy day, bright colors make it all more fun.

  • I love candlelight and now it is getting dark enough to light dinner candles again.  YAY!
Funny how our special at-home dinners often include sushi!

What about you?  What is your favorite thing about the changing of the seasons?

Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to with the coming of Fall?