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.