Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Book Review.... SUPERLIFE by Darin Olien

I am a voracious reader of anything and everything nutrition or fitness related. When I was given the opportunity to receive a free copy of Darin Olien's book, Superlife, I eagerly accepted.   It has been a most interesting read, I can assure you.



Darin Olien holds a BA in exercise physiology and nutrition, and an MA in psychology.  One of his more notable accomplishments was partnering with Beachbody to formulate the popular whole-food supplement called Shakeology, and the comprehensive plant-based Ultimate Reset 21-day detox program.  Just to make it clear, that I have no Beachbody affiliation and did not know this when I opted to read and review the book.

So... what does Darin have to say about a Superlife?

He puts forth the theory that we can maximize our body's natural potential by focusing on five simple forces... Quality Nutrition, Hydration, Detoxification, Oxygenation, and Alkalization... that determine whether we will be fit, healthy, and free of illness.

Having travelled the world, doing research and exploring the health properties of various foods that have sustained indigenous cultures for centuries, he explains in an easy-to-read manner how to use these foods and practices to maintain healthy weight, prevent serious illnesses, and feel great.

The book is full of simple ideas and easy-to-follow to-do lists and guides to putting his ideas into everyday practice.  He explains each of the five forces... what it is and why it is important, and then tells us how to go about applying it to our own lives on a daily basis.

And, finally, he gives advice about how to purge and re-stock our pantries and kitchens, and offers a simple eating plan with some recipes, and finally, daily tips to help along the way.

It is a terrific read for anyone interested in nutrition and healthy living. It is packed with useful information and tips that are practical and easy to apply.  I have already put some new ideas into place in my own household.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at Harper Collins online.  And you can learn more about the author, Darin Olien on his website.

Although I was given a copy of this book for review purposed, all opinons are my own.

What about you?  Do you like to read about nutrition and healthy living?


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Patience... Yeah I am Finally Claiming That Virtue!

I did not make any New Year's resolutions for 2017.  I am always open to new challenges as they present themselves and like to follow up on new ideas and fitness/food trends to see how they fit me so I don't like to lock myself into long-term resolutions.

I was planning to start the 12-week Metabolic Prime workouts again on January 9th along with The Captain. We have been through the program once, and really liked it so thought we would start again, with a large group in a challenge organized by founder Jade Teta... but it was not to be.

A couple of days before the end of the year, I was hit hard by a nasty virus that seems to be going around my city right now.  It has been mostly a head cold, with a non-stop runny nose and a bit of coughing... but more than that, for about 8 or 9 days it left me as weak as a kitten and I could barely sit up for more than a few minutes at a time.  Of course The Captain caught it from me and has been a couple of days behind me in getting over it... some symptoms linger even now.

So, the theme for the month of January has been PATIENCE... never my strong suit. Nope, not me. I have never been one to call this one of my virtues. As a matter of fact, I always like to say that my older sister got it all and there was none left for me.  She has it in abundance... to the point of being annoying at times.

But I am quite pleased to report that it is something that I have learned... through no choice of my own... these past few weeks.

In the past, on the very rare occasions when I have been ill, I have always just chomped at the bit to get back to my normal activities and pushed myself to my physical limits at times, to get back to running, to working out, to get on with my daily activities.  But not this time.  I allowed myself to rest, to sleep, to watch endless hours of Downton Abbey on the television... and to sleep some more.

And I think it has been really good for me to take the time I needed both physically and mentally to get over the illness.

I have been paying attention to the signals my body is sending and being really mindful of how I am feeling and reacting.

When I started to feel better, I began reading some nutrition books by a Canadian trainer named Harley Pasternak, and found that his food and exercise philosophy suits me quite well.  It is mostly common sense I think.   I have been making sure to give my body the proper nutrition and fuel it requires.




And I began very slowly with my exercise again... from having no stamina to doing some short outdoor walks when it has been warm enough.... some more vigorous indoor walking and stretching and lower body work with just body weight so far on colder days.


And I am ready to begin the Metabolic Prime workouts again.. or will be by Monday... so only a week behind the group.  And I will approach it gently but with enthusiasm.

What kind of start has your new year had?

Any new lessons learned so far?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Last Run of the Year

Well, I am pretty darned sure it was anyway!

In Canada many people are still on holidays... government employees and school teachers for sure... because Christmas Day and Boxing Day are both stat holidays so many people get both Monday and Tuesday off work... so we decided to skip using our building's fitness room today to avoid the possibility of having to share it with anyone else, and The Captain suggested we go for a run instead of working out.

I was quite surprised as I cannot recall the last time he suggested we run... and I knew it had been ages since we have even been for a run. I had to check my Daily Mile account... November 27th was our last, and it was cut short due to rain.  Okay then... a run it would be.

I made us each a good breakfast, veggies and egg white scramble, with turkey bacon for me... and an egg, toast, hash browns, and turkey bacon for him... and waited the requisite one hour before we could head out.

I took a pre-run selfie while drinking some nuun and trying to decide what to wear.


The bottom layer was easy... Tommie Copper shirt, Tommie Copper capris, Tiux compression socks on the correct feet for a change... and after conferring with The Captain, and learning it was 5C and quite windy with a humidity level of about 95%,  I opted to overdress. I am such a wimp.  5C and damp is so much colder than 5C and dry.

I added another long sleeved technical fabric shirt, and a light hoodie topped by a fleece vest, an earband, light gloves and my Mizuno running shoes, with sunglasses to protect my eyes from the wind. Even with all those layers I was quite cool the first several minutes after going outside... but I had selected a new route through a nearby neighborhood with lots of large homes and trees which I hoped would serve as windbreaks. For the most part they did.

It is a quiet morning in my neighborhood. Eerily quiet actually.  We saw very little traffic and no other pedestrians.  

And the run?   Well, it was not pretty. It was very, very slow.  But we did run 3.31 km and then did a short walk before coming in to stretch and drink lots of water and also eat a banana.  I am all about the refuelling these days and being really careful with my electrolyte balance and hydration. Seems to really been working to ward off the dreaded evening leg cramps.

Oh, and it started to rain after we came inside. Thank GOODNESS we got it done before that happened!

So, yes, it was likely the last run of 2016.  And even though I have been running less this year and my runs have definitely gotten shorter, I am happy to be doing them at all.

How about you?  Have your done your last run of the year yet?




Friday, December 16, 2016

ENERGYBITS RECOVERYBITS Samples and Swag Giveaway

I first became a fan of ENERGYBITS when I won a giveaway and received a sample as my prize... I thought they were odd little tablets...  made of spirulina algae.  I chewed them. Yup. Yuk! But I started eating them on a fairly regular basis, and eventually I bought a couple of bags and registered as a program ambassador, mostly so I could purchase them for myself at a discount.

Now I know to just swallow them whole with water.  And I do. I take them when I need a little boost or when I need some nourishment when actually eating something is not an option.



Fast forward a few years later and I wonder now if there is anyone left who has not heard of ENERGYBITS or RECOVERYBITS and all of the health benefits of both spirulina and chorella algaes?



ENERGYBITS provide runners with energy and focus.

RECOVERYBITS speed muscle recovery.  

Both are 100% organic algae - the most nutrient-dense, plant-based, eco-friendly protein in the world and contain no chemicals, caffeine or sugar.


RECOVERYBITS 


ENERGYBITS


I could go on and on... but it is really not my intention to try to educate you here. Instead, I want to offer you a chance to try them out for yourself.  If you are interested, use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway.  The company will ship your prize directly to you... some samples of both ENERGYBITS and RECOVERYBITS along with some fun swag.

You must have a U.S. address for shipping purposes and there is one mandatory entry - You must leave a comment about how you would use BITS... and fill out the form... all other entries are optional.

I will contact the winner as well as announce the name on this post after the giveaway is over.

UPDATE... the giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified and verified.  Thanks for your entries!



If you want  more information about the health benefits of the various kinds of BITS, click on this holiday promo picture. You will be taken to the ENERGYBITS website.... and also given an opportunity to get in on this special holiday pricing if you want to purchase some for yourself or for gifts.  Buy 4 bags and get 1 bag free with the code JOY.


You are welcome!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My First Week on the 21 Day Fix

I started the 21 Day Fix food plan on Sunday, November 27th and committed to following it for the week.  You can read about the how and why NOW here if you like.

Just a quick recap....

According to the formula suggested, I calculated my food allotment by colored container.

GREEN holds about 1 cup and is for vegetables. I am allowed 3 each day.
RED holds about 3/4 cup and is for protein. I am allowed 4 each day.
PURPLE holds about 1 cup and is for fruit. I am allowed 2 each day.
YELLOW holds about 1/2 cup and is for beans and grains and potatoes.  I am allowed 2 each day.
BLUE holds about 1/3 cup and is for cheese, avocado, nuts and hummus. I am allowed 1 per day.
ORANGE holds about 2 Tbs and is for seeds and olives and chopped nuts. I am allowed 1 per day.
I am also to have 2 tsp of healthy oils or nut butters.

I know myself and my limitations pretty well. I am going to allow myself all the leafy greens, ie. baby Spring mix and spinach, that I want without measuring or counting them.  The 3 GREEN servings of veggies will be for everything else, and if I am hungry, I will have more of them.

So, here is how it has been going so far. 

Sunday, November 27th

Breakfast at 9 a.m.
  • 1 egg and 2 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 red grapefruit
1 RED, 1 PURPLE


After run snack at 10:30 a.m.
  • 1-1/2 scoops vegan protein powder
  • 10 ounces water
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 6 raspberries
RED, 1 PURPLE


Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
  • homemade Butternut Squash and Red Pepper soup
  • baby Spring mix, spinach
  • white kidney beans
  • cucumber, tomato, onion
  • avocado oil/apple cider vinegar dressing
2 GREEN, 1 YELLOW, 1 tsp oils


Snack at 3:00 p.m.
  • baby carrots
  • raw almonds
1 GREEN, 1 ORANGE


Dinner at 5:45 p.m.
  • shrimp
  • white rice
  • avocado
  • green onion, cucumber
1 RED, 1 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1/2 GREEN


Snack at 6:30 p.m.
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
1 tsp oils

Totals for the day:

3 RED, 2 PURPLE, 2 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 3-1/2 GREEN, 2 tsp oils

My Fitness Pal calculated 1062 calories and I was a bit concerned that this number is too low.  I was only at 82g of protein for the day which is not enough for  me. When I reviewed the day's menu, I realized I only had eaten 3 RED when I should have had 4 RED.  This will make a difference going forward... I am determined to get the hang of this thing!

For those Weight Watchers reading... this was only 20 Smart Points for the whole day.

I ate dinner somewhat earlier than normal after a smaller-than-usual afternoon snack, so I fully expected to be hungry during the evening.  But I was not.  I really only at the peanut butter because I had already recorded it. I did have a cup of coffee, and a few glasses of water throughout the evening, like I usually do, and went to bed at 10:30 p.m. feeling quite pleased with myself!


Using the containers to measure some lunch ingredients.


And eventually there was soup and salad for lunch.


White rice is not on the 21 Day Fix food list, but I had already planned this dinner and cooked the rice so went ahead and had it anyway. Love sushi bowls!


Monday, November 28th

I expected to wake up famished... I did not.  And I made up the day's menu while enjoying a cup of coffee.  I forgot to buy lemons on the weekend and so have not had my warm lemon water the past couple of days. Drat.

Pre-Workout Snack at 7:30 a.m.
  • 3/4 scoop chocolate whey protein
  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/2 banana
1/2 RED, 1 PURPLE


Breakfast at 9:45 a.m.
  • 1 egg and 2 slices of turkey bacon
  • shredded zucchini and white onion
RED, 1 GREEN


Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
  • baby Spring mix, spinach
  • 1/2 cup white kidney beans
  • cucumber, tomato, onion
  • light feta cheese
  • avocado oil/apple cider vinegar dressing
GREEN, 1 YELLOW,  1/2 BLUE, 1 tsp oils


Snack at 3:45 p.m.
  • 1 mini Baby Bel cheese wedge
  • 2 low fat turkey pepperoni
1/2 BLUE, 1/2 RED


Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
  • barbecued chicken breast
  • steamed green beans and baby carrots
  • baked sweet potato
1 RED, 1 GREEN, 1 YELLOW


Snack at 7:30 p.m.
  • Greek yogurt
  • blueberries
  • hemp seeds
  • peanut butter
1 RED, 1 PURPLE, 1 ORANGE, 1 tsp oils


Totals for the day:

RED, 2 PURPLE, 2 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 3 GREEN, 2 tsp oils

My Fitness Pal calculated 1170 calories and I am more comfortable with that.  116g of protein is much better for me. It was 22 Weight Watchers Smart Points.   Confession...  I am kinda missing my PB2, and my raisins and dates, and handfuls of nuts, too.  But I am going to persevere and see if I can find a way to work some into the food plan.

I admit to being fairly hungry for my afternoon snack by the time 3:45 rolled around... I took myself out for a long afternoon walk at about 2:30 when I might normally have a snack, for diversion sake... and a couple of bottles of water along the way helped too.


Always love a warm breakfast after a workout.


Quite a substantial evening snack.


Tuesday, November 29th

 Again, I made up the day's menu while enjoying a cup of coffee. It took some juggling but I managed to work in a couple of my favorite food items that I have missed... PB2 and my High Protein Puck at breakfast.


Breakfast at 9:30 a.m.
  • High Protein Puck made with: 
    • 1-1/2 Tbs pumpkin seed protein powder
    • 3 Tbs egg whites
    • 2 Tbs sweet potato
  • 2 Tbs PB2
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 slices turkey bacon
1RED, 1 PURPLE, 1/2 YELLOW


Snack at 11:00 a.m.
  • baby carrots and mini cucumbers

GREEN

Lunch at 12:30 p.m.
  • apple
  • 2 Tbs dried cranberries
  • chopped pecans
  • feta cheese
  • fat free Poppyseed dressing 
  • barbecued chicken breast
1/2 YELLOW,  1/2 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 1 PURPLE, 1 RED


Snack at 3:45 p.m.
  • grape tomatoes and cucmbers
  • 2 low fat turkey pepperoni
1 GREEN, 1/2 RED

Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
  • edemame pasta
  • olive oil
  • parmesan cheese shreds
  • green onions
  • green and red peppers
GREEN, 1/2 BLUE, 1 RED, 1 YELLOW, 1 tsp oils


Dessert Snack at 6:30 p.m.
  • Greek yogurt
  • peanut butter
1/2 RED,  1 tsp oils


Totals for the day:

RED, 2 PURPLE, 2 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 3 GREEN, 2 tsp oils

Entered into My Fitness Pal, it totalled 1226 calories with 106g of protein... 23 Weight Watchers Smart Points.  I was a bit fidgetty in the evening and would have loved to nibble on something around 9 o'clock but didn't give in. It is a slippery slope once I break the rules!

One of my favorite breakfasts.


I don't normally snack on veggies but really enjoyed nibbling on these baby carrots and cucumber slices while working at my desk.


I love love love this apple slaw, and adding the chicken made it a complete and filling meal.


 Each morning I use my colored pens and notebook to plan my day's menu, and then enter it into My Fitness Pal to track the macros.  Once the day is planned,there are fewer decisions to make and I am not food obsessed all day long wondering what I am going to eat.



Wednesday, November 30th

Finally picked up some lemons so I really enjoyed a lovely glass of warm lemon water after a great night's sleep.  Then I planned the day while having my coffee.

Pre-Workout Snack at 7:30 a.m.
  • 3/4 scoop chocolate whey protein
  • 8 ounces water
1/2 RED


Breakfast at 9:45 a.m.
  • 1 egg and 2 slices of turkey bacon
  • sauteed onion, red pepper
  • campari tomatoes
RED, 1 GREEN


Snack at 11:15 a.m.

  • Greek yogurt
  • dark cherries
1/2 RED, 1 PURPLE


Lunch at 1:00 p.m.
  • baby Spring mix, spinach
  • albacore tuna
  • tomatoes, onion, capers
  • avocado
  • avocado oil/apple cider vinegar dressing
GREEN, 1 BLUE, 1 RED, 1 tsp oils


Snack at 3:45 p.m.
  • quinoa
  • blueberries
  • chopped walnuts
1 YELLOW, 1/2 PURPLE, 1 ORANGE


Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
  • pork loin chop
  • apple slices sauteed in butter and cinnamon
  • green beans, baby carrots
RED, 1 GREEN, 1/2 PURPLE, 1 tsp oils


Snack at 7:30 p.m.
  • Weight Watchers salt and vinegar chips

1 YELLOW


Totals for the day:

RED, 2 PURPLE, 2 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 3 GREEN, 2 tsp oils

All in all a good day.  Sometimes on the 4th day of a new food plan my resolve starts to slip a bit and I cheat.  Not this time. I am determined to see this through the week.  Today my calories totalled to 1222 with 109g of protein... satisfying and enough.

My huge lunch salad... delicous!


I wasn't sure about this snack of quinoa with berries and walnuts, but it was really tasty.


The apple slices sauteed in butter with a bit of stevia and cinnamon really added to this meal.




Thursday, December 1st

I sipped my warm lemon water while I planned the day.  Then I had some my coffee.

Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
  • Cafe Latte Shakeology
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
RED, 1/2 YELLOW, 1 PURPLE


Lunch at 11:15 a.m.
  • homemade Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
  • chopped broccoli salad:
    • broccoli, green onions, orange bell pepper
    • chopped pecans
    • crumbled low fat feta
    • dried cranberries
    • chicken breast
    • sugar free raspberry dressing
1-1/2 GREEN, 1 ORANGE, 1/2 BLUE, 1/2 YELLOW, 1 RED


Snack at 4:30 p.m.
  • Baby Bel cheese wedge
  • baby rice rusks
  • turkey pepperoni
1/2 BLUE, 1/2 RED


Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
  • wild Pacific salmon burger
  • baby Spring mix
  • tomatoes, cucumber, onion
  • avocado oil/balsamic vinegar
  • low fat fudgsicle
RED, 1 GREEN, 1 tsp oils, 1 YELLOW


Snack at 8:30 p.m.
  • Greek yogurt
  • chopped apple
  • peanut butter
1/2 RED, 1 PURPLE, 1 tsp oils


Totals for the day:

RED, 2 PURPLE, 2 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 3-1/2 GREEN, 2 tsp oils

I was quite surprised that my lunch, even though a large salad, kept me satisfied for the whole afternoon till snack time at 4:30.  And just a note... the baby rice rusks that I have occasionally with cheese for my afternoon snack only have 15 calories total, so although I do record them in My Fitness Pal, I am not counting them here.  So total calories for the day were 1220 with only 95g of protein. The Shakeology protein powder has only 16g of protein but is considered a whole RED serving.

Love the taste and I know it is a healthy start to my day.


My lunch salad was fabulous!




Friday, December 2nd

Again, I really enjoyed a tasty glass of warm lemon water while planning the day's meals.  Then I sipped my coffee.

Pre-Workout Snack at 7:30 a.m.
  • 3/4 scoop chocolate whey protein
  • 8 ounces water
1/2 RED


Breakfast at 9:45 a.m.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of turkey bacon
  • 1/2 red grapefruit
RED, 1 PURPLE


Lunch at 12:00 p.m.
  • chicken breast
  • green peppers, onion, tomatoes
  • quinoa
  • avocado oil/ACV
  • homemade Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Pepper soup
REDGREEN, 1 BLUE1 YELLOW, 1 tsp oils


Snack at 2:30 p.m.
  • 1 apple
  • peanut butter
 1 PURPLE, 1 tsp oils 


Snack at 3:30 p.m.
  • 2 mini Baby Bel cheese wedges
  • 2 baby rice rusks
  • 1 BLUE, 1/4 YELLOW

Dinner at 6:00 p.m.
  • pork loin chop
  • green beans
RED, 1 GREEN


Snack at 7:30 p.m.
  • Greek yogurt
  • PB2
  • raisins
  • pecans
1/2 RED, 3/4 YELLOW, 1 ORANGE


Totals for the day:

RED, 2 PURPLE, 2 YELLOW, 1 BLUE, 1 ORANGE, 3 GREEN, 2 tsp oils

Yes, I counted the 2 packages of rice rusks today as they total 30 calories which I think is a bit more than I consider negligible... and they complemented the PB2 and raisins in my evening snack to make up a YELLOW container.    Today's calorie count came out a bit higher at 1302 with 114g Protein.

The addition of the quinoa to my lunch salad was a real change for me.


Saturday, December 3rd

On Saturdays mornings I like to attend a local Weight Watchers meeting... to catch up with some friends there and also get weighed.  So, I did not do my planning while I drank my lemon water and then coffee.

 knew that I was going to add some extra YELLOW foods to my menu and also enjoy a gluten free beer with my late afternoon snack.  I did record my eats, though, and it worked out to just over 1600 calories on My Fitness Pal... about 120g protein.

And my weigh in results on Saturday morning?  Well, all of this effort rewarded me with a .8 lb loss on the scale.  Now I know that doesn't sound like much, but it was over 6 days and honestly, even though I was a bit disappointed in the amount, I was happy for a loss.

Lunch was zoodles sauteed with onion and green pepper and chicken.   Mmmm.


And some parting thoughts...

  • I know that planning my menu for the day first thing in the morning is a good idea for me.  It helps me make all of the food decisions at once.  After that, it is a matter of timing.  That has helped release me from the what am I going to eat obsession.
  • The macro numbers I recorded this week are very close to the numbers I was aiming for before starting it... yes, the carbs are lower somewhat, but the protein and fats are almost right on.  
  • I think that ignoring the leafy greens in my colored container count is the right way for me to go.  I do not want to feel too deprived or get too hungry.
  • I have learned to make little deals with myself, trading one food for another, or putting it off till tomorrow even. It works for me.
  • The colored containers are a good way to measure for portion control.
  • The program itself leads one to a variety of food group selections, and appropriate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It allows limited/reasonable amounts of cheese and nuts and healthy oils/fats.
  • It is not a crazy, unhealthy fast weight loss diet and it is liveable.
  • And yes, I am going to continue with another week... I have already planned Sunday's menu.
Thanks for hanging in with me this week.