Save Our Soles!

13 10 2009
Holy moly FitFeat Friends… there was an explosion of activity on the blog yesterday!  Wow!  A record number of hits to the FitFeat site.  Whatever you guys are doing to spread the word, THANK YOU!  And please keep it up – you’re AWESOME!

So I thought I’d take some time today to talk about another one of my favorite “tools” – but this one is not related to the kitchen.  It’s for our feet. 

Back when I was running half-marathons more often and putting a lot of miles on my feet, I was getting blisters left and right. 

Two friends / running buddies each recommended that I try a particular brand of sock called the Wrightsock Coolmesh.   What’s special about these socks is that they are made of two thin layers.  Instead of your sock and foot rubbing together, the two layers of material rub together and the friction stays within the layers as opposed to on your skin.  

I wasn't kidding when I said I have SMALL FEET...!

I wasn't kidding when I said I have SMALL FEET...!

These socks were lifesavers (well, OK that might be an overstatment 🙂 at the very least they were sole-savers!)  They are a small investment early on, but worth every penny.  I now own about 8 pair and I wear them every day:  running, hiking, walking.  Anytime my sneakers go on, so do these socks.

If you’re a runner, walker, hiker or just someone who is prone to blistered feet, you should look into trying out these socks.

I am grateful to have learned about these socks at a time when I really needed them (thanks Scott!  thanks Lori!) and wanted to pay it forward, so to speak.

In light of the recent FTC ruling about product reviews and blogs, I thought I’d make a note for the record that all of the products I have reviewed and/or recommended to date on this blog are offered up solely because I use and like the products, not because I am being paid to do so or offered any sort of kickback.

On to Monday’s eats:

After the nice Back/Trap workout I detailed in yesterday’s post, I wanted a quick influx of carbs.  So I opted for a bowl of mango-licious.  This one should have been given over to the green smoothie gods though, because it wasn’t as ripe as it should have been.  That’s what I get for being impatient and dying to eat my yummy mango taunting me from the fruit basket on my counter!
 img 230

Shortly thereafter it was time for my real breakfast so I had a bowl of OATSMILE:

img 232

Lunch was yet another leftover serving of Veggie Enchilasagna with a side of spanish rice.  There’s one more sliver of this still in the fridge, but I’m pretty sure at this point that I’ve had my FILL of this particular food for awhile.

img 237

I also had a side salad with lunch (spinach, tomato, dulse,  pepitas, hemp oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast):

img 238

Followed by a little dessert!  Endangered Species brand 72% dark chocolate… mmmm chocolate!

img 239

Afternoon snack time came up FAST!  I was busy on blog hosting study… I decided to forego the standard Larabar for some hummus, Wasa, raw goat cheddar and baby carrots.  Tasty and fiber-rich!

img 241

When MSP got home, we still had some daylight and it wasn’t completely freezing outside, so we decided to take the dogs out for their wog:  a quick 2-miler to work up a little appetite before dinner: another set of leftovers that I tried to make into something different.  I had some of Friday night’s “Warm Asian Thai-Fry” left, so I warmed it up, then wrapped it into red chard leaves.  The ‘dipping sauce’ is just a generic version of Annie’s “Gingerly Vinaigrette” from a bottle. 

img 243

It wasn’t bad at all for a meal that only took about 90 seconds to build!  But I was still a little hungry after so I had a few Mary’s Gone Crackers with some slivers of the raw goat cheddar

OK, friends, I’m off to get Tuesday started!  Have a fantastic Tuesday!  If you’re located in the Colorado are, KEEP WARM!  If you’re located someplace outside of Colorado that is warm, please send some heat our direction!

For today’s discussion, do you have any tips/tricks/tools that have helped any of your outdoor activities, in the way that the Wrightsocks have helped with my blisters?  You FitFeat readers are very FIT-SAVVY, and have lots of great info to share!  Thanks for doing so and keep it coming!  We are ALL learning and benefiting from each other!

See you tomorrow!

— Shari B. =)


Sippin’ for the Cure

6 10 2009

Ahhh I’m soaking up the sunshine today after a very dreary Monday.  The sky is SO blue today!

Monday started with a solid upper body workout that I’m definitely feeling today!

Weight Training (Chest/Back/Shoulders):

  • TM Warmup 5 minutes, arm circles for some blood flow
  • DB Chest Press/Flye Combo (incline) 4 working sets of 12+12, 12+12, 10+8, 12+12 reps per set
  • DB Row (face down on incline bench) 4 working sets of 15, 15, 15, 12 reps
  • DB Pullovers on Ball 4 working sets of 15, 8, 15, 12 reps
  • Overhead Shoulder Press 4 working sets of 15, 14, 8, 7 reps
  • Rear Delt DB Flyes on Ball 3 sets of 15, 15, 12 reps
  • Chest Stretching for a few minutes at the end

My bis and tris got some love on Sunday so I didn’t work them again this time.

Then I had to run to the kitchen to take care of my craving!  Green smoothie time!!  First the basics:  water, spinach, cucumber, celery, sprouts.  Then the accessories:  pineapple & cantaloupe, plus some hemp oil and vanilla rice protein powder. I usually buy flaxseed oil, but decided to switch it up this time and try the hemp oil.  It’s pretty darn good!  And a very pretty green!

img 108

I bought some pineapple to add in to my smoothies for this week because I’ve been quite the klutz lately and have little bruises to show for it!  When that happens I bust out the pineapple juice and chunks for some extra BROMELAIN.  🙂

Mid-morning and it was still chilly, so some tea was in order with my Pecan Pie Larabar.  And in honor of it being October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, I used my “Sip for the Cure” Pink Grapefruit Green Tea.

img 109

Lunchtime was quite the assortment of veggies!   Greek-ish salad (spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, zucchini ribbons, Greek vinaigrette) with a few slivers of goat cheese and Mary’s Gone Crackers on the side.  Then in the Mickey-Mouse ears of this photo, we have leftover mashed fauxtatoes (mmmm warm and comforty on a cold day) and the rest of my tasty kale chips!  It was GREAT lunch!
 img 110

By mid-afternoon, I was chilled to the bone. It was in the 40s and raining (brrr.)  I decided to warm up with some heaven-in-a-bowl (oatmeal!) topped with raisins, almond milk and slivered almonds. 

img 112

For some reason that didn’t fill me up (I really think I’m hungrier when I am cold…) so I sliced half a banana into my bowl with a small smear of almond butter and a squeeze of raw local honey.  

img 113

Adding the banana definitely worked because then when dinnertime came around, I just wasn’t that hungry.  MSP had a grilled white cheddar cheese sandwich dipped in tomato soup, and I had to have another pita pizza because it totally rocks!!

img 115

A few pieces of candy corn for dessert and that was the end of the Monday eats!

So today’s question, since it is Breast Cancer Awareness month:  Have you ever participated in a Race for the Cure or an Avon Walk for the Cure?   I have been lucky enough to participate in both.  Denver has a great turnout for the Race for the Cure, which just took place this past Sunday. There were almost 54,000 participants!   (Go Denver!)  A few years back, a good friend and I also did the 39 mile Avon Walk for the Cure.  What an empowering and uplifting event!  It was so well-organized and you just felt an overwhelming  sense of camaraderie with everyone!  Tell us about YOUR race or walk experience in the comments section!

Have a great rest of your Tuesday friends!  See you next time!

— Shari B. =)

Happy Homecoming!

29 09 2009

Hey there FitFeat friends! 

I’m blogging today from my own desk again!  YAY!  It sure feels good to be home

My dogs were SO excited to see me last night, which I truly wasn’t expecting.  Here’s why:  When we take them to their favorite dogsitter’s house (Auntie Tricia’s) and then we get back to pick them up, they act like we’re chopped liver.  They have such a great time at her house that I think they are like “aw, darn – now we have to go home!”  So I figured that since they were already home with MSP, I’d walk in the door and they’d act as if I was just coming in from the grocery story.  But they actually went nuts, especially my Weimaraner, Riley.  And she kept it up most of the evening!  She dropped her ball in my lap repeatedly and she had ‘crazy eyes’ going on (where her pupils are so dilated they are solid black) and she was panting like she’d just been sprinting.  I love that my dogs love me so much.  🙂 

They are going to get one heck of a wog today for sure!

Here’s the recap of my travel day Monday.  I started the morning early again, this time at 4:30 AM.  I read my Kindle in bed for an hour before getting out of the warm bed.  I went downstairs after my mom was awake and had my coffee and a piece of Ezekial toast with a side of more Kindle.  🙂  I’m still trying to finish the new Dan Brown book.  If anyone had told me that I’d go on a 12-day vacation and NOT finish one whole book, I’d tell them they were crazy and must not know me very well.  I thought I’d read at least 3 while I was gone.  But I just didn’t have a lot of time to read during this trip. 

Mich 120

After the sun tried (and failed) to peek out, Mom and I did a couple of miles on this trail in a forest park near her house:

Mich 121

We interrupted the breakfast of these deer:

Mich 130

It was FREEZING outside so by the time we got back I was ready for some oatmeal to warm me from the inside out.

Mich 135

Later, we ate a quick lunch before we had to head out for the Detroit airport.  I used all of my leftover veggies and made a HUGE salad (spinach, cucumber, HB egg, carrots, pepitas, sundried tomatoes, celery, a Gardenburger, pepper and a drizzle of bleu cheese dressing.)  On the side, I had a couple slices of homemade pickled beets.  I really think I am a little burned out on Gardenburgers for awhile. 

img 003

I knew that the minute I was checked in at the airport I’d be hunting down a latte since I was once again near a large city.  I thought for sure they had a Starbucks in this airport, but no such luck.  Caribou Coffee would have to suffice.  This was my first soy latte in over 2 weeks.  I enjoyed every last sip and might have licked the foam out of the lid had I not been in a public place!

img 004

A slice of pie goes great with a latte, so I had a Pecan Pie Larabar as I sipped my beloved elixir.  🙂

img 005

Then I boarded the plane and was headed toward beautiful Denver.  It was nice and warm when I got off the plane.  I practically ran to baggage claim because I could not wait one minute longer to see MSP.  I missed him so much.  I got a little choked up when I saw him waiting for me – he didn’t see me because I’d missed a turn, so I got to sneak up behind him with a bear hug. 

Since I knew I didn’t have any veggies in the fridge at home, we swung by his favorite place (Chipotle) on the way to pick up some din-din.  I ordered a veggie bowl.  Once home, I portioned out half of it, and added some baked Tostito Scoops with which to eat my guac.   

img 007

Then we settled in for some serious couch potato time, since I’d been missing all of the season premieres while I was gone.  We watched Hell’s Kitchen, The Office, and Community.  It was the perfect homecoming.

Eating Chipotle always requires a taste-change afterward, so I had a little chocolate.

img 008

Well kids, now I’m off to tackle this mess: 

img 010

Then do some sort of workout, then grocery shop, then catch up on some blog reading and what feels like a million other things on my list of playing “catch-up”. 

When I grocery shop today I’m going to look for some new and interesting veggies to try.  I’ve missed my kitchen and am really ready to try some new recipes.  Do you have a favorite vegetable?  Or one that you’ve wanted to try but haven’t?  Drop me a comment – I’d love to hear what veggies you are eating as inspiration for my shopping!

Have a TERRIFIC TUESDAY!  I’ve got a LIST of topics that I want to cover this week, so keep checking back for new posts!

— Shari B. =)

Into the Wilderness (or Rewind, Part One)

22 09 2009

It’s Tuesday!  I’ve been out of touch for a while because as soon as we got within 10 miles of the state park we were staying at, this happened:

Mich 003

As we’d been heading toward our wilderness destination, I watched the service bars diminish with sadness, knowing the next two days I’d be roughing it, technologically speaking anyway.  🙂  How did we ever live without cell phones and internet? 

Thanks to all of you for reading along during my road trip!  I’m so enjoying all of the comments you are leaving!  I feel like my blog friends are traveling along with me and keeping me company.  Plus you guys don’t make fun of how I eat…  😉   I will have a TON of blog posts to read in my Google Reader when I get back from some of you who have blogs!  I haven’t forgotten you! 

So, when I left off on the last blog post, we were still about 2/3 of the way up the Lake Michigan coast line.  Allow me rewind a bit:

Sunday morning, I went outdoors to get in a quick workout.  I walked a good distance to get warmed up and also to find a less crowded part of the campground.  It was a very pretty little trail through the trees.

Weight Training (mix)

  • Picnic Table High Step-Ups  3 sets of 15 reps per leg
  • TRX Chest Presses 3 sets of 18, 15, 15 reps
  • TRX Pistol Squats 3 sets of 12 reps per leg
  • TRX Rows 3 sets of 15

It wasn’t a very long workout, but it did the trick.  I could feel the leg work the next day.  While I was in the middle of my step-ups, some guy at a nearby campsite came out of his tent, and literally turned his lawnchair around to face my direction then proceeded to watch me workout while drinking his coffee.  I wanted to tell him he should make himself useful and count my reps or something! 

Breakfast when I got back to the RV was oatmeal with some raisins, splash of almond milk and a drizzle of agave nectar.  I’m so glad I packed a little agave to bring with me.  It’s funny because EVERY time I open the container to pour it on something, my grandma will ask me “Now what’s that you’re pouring there?”  

 1 Post Workout Oats

 Midmorning I had a lemon Larabar.   I’ll skip the photo on the Larabars today since the current connection is still a little spotty.

 We pulled off at rest area to make our lunch.  I found a HUGE Tupperware mixing bowl in one of the cabinets so I have designated that my personal salad bowl for the remainder of the trip (score!! No more tiny paper bowls!)  My salad had mixed organic spring greens,  HB egg, red pepper strips, tomato from mom’s garden, cucumber, dulse, and nutritional yeast.  For the dressing I squeezed a little fresh lemon juice on it with a drizzle of olive oil.

3 Lunch at Macinac

Then another Larabar in the afternoon, Chocolate Coconut Chew.  This one tastes kind of like a brownie to me.  I gave mom a bite and she liked it too.  That’s healthy food number two that she didn’t spit out with disgust.

When we finally arrived at the campsite,  I knew I’d need something to take my mind off of grieving the loss of cell phone and internet  😉

5 Happy Hour snacks

We have there a bottle of Gewürztraminer  for me, and an Arbor Mist “chardonnay” for my roomies, and snack bowls of Mary’s Gone Crackers and goldfish.  Happy Hour!! 

I felt the need for something very light for dinner that night since I’d already gotten my happy hour on and probably took in two dinners’ worth of calories!  So it was time for another attempt at a regular blender green smoothie:

6 Dinner Green smoothie

SUCCESS!!! This one was perfectly smooth.  I let it run for a full minute once all the veggies looked mixed up, and I also left out the celery since that was something I noticed as being chunky in the first one.  This one had 8 oz water, ½ cucumber, ¼ cantaloupe, spinach, sprouts, ½ pear.

Well friends my laptop battery is about to die, so I’m going to hit the publish button quickly while I have a chance and then come back with part two of the rewind! 

I’ll leave you with The Sunday Postcard and then try to be back again tonight if the next state park has cell/data access.  (Oh please please let it have access!!)  This photo was taken during a small hike my mom and I took before dinner Sunday (and AFTER happy hour!  Let’s just say we giggled a lot while ‘hiking’!)  

Pic3 131

Back again as soon as I can!

— Shari B.  =)

Chillin’ with Mr. Bill

14 09 2009

Here we are at Monday again already!  And I’m up exceptionally early this morning.  As I begin this post it’s 4:32 a.m. so I’ll apologize now for any potential goofiness or typos!  (Or at least any goofiness BEYOND my normal level!)

My Sunday was so fun because it was nice and simple.  MSP and I wanted to just have a really nice ‘quality time’ kind of day together since I will be away from home for the next two weekends.  It was our planned ‘rest day’ for the week and a planned day to have a treat or two.  We visited a new outdoor mall area, admired a lot of architecture and landscaping, and soaked up some sunshine while strolling along.

First off, I had to use my Eudaemonic Starbucks mug because not only was I happy about our upcoming day together, but the scale gave me excellent feedback on this morning!  I have been aiming to maintain my weight, not necessarily lose.  But by making just a few subtle changes to my eating style, my body has really responded without any effort.  I can see the visual change in my body composition & in the way the clothes are fitting, so I decided to hop on the scale.   It was definitely an eudaemonic moment!   🙂  I’ll make a future FitFeature about my philosphy on weighing oneself.

Pic3 163

So naturally I had to thank my bod by giving it more of what it loves!  An ENORMOUS green smoothie.  This one started with the usual 8 oz of water, to which I added 1/2 a cantaloupe, 1/2 pear, 1/4 cucumber, big fist o’ spinach, the last of my sprouts, and a celery stalk.)  No protein powder in this one.  MMMMMMmmmmmm the cantaloupe was a nice touch…  

Pic3 164

When I was ready for something a bit more substantial, I made some oatmeal (about 1/3 cup dry) topped with some almond milk, raisins, a drizzle of raw honey and a few crumbles from a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar.  I can’t even tell you how GOOD that Larabar makes the oatmeal – you need to try it!  I break off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bar.  This is seriously like dessert. 

Pic3 166

MSP and I went to a few home goods stores in search of something decorative to put on top of the living room project that is underway so at lunchtime we decided to hit up the brand new Whole Foods over in another part of town.  I had a ‘build your own Asian stirfry’ with shrimp, shitake mushrooms, snow peas, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, rice noodles, thai peppers, edamame, water chestnust and Thai Lime sauce.  It was fabulous and SO HUGE that I will probably be eating from this all week. 

Pic3 173

We then wandered through every aisle of this Whole Foods.  It is SO MUCH BIGGER than the one by our house!  I’m so jealous!  I was “oooing and ahhing” all over that store.  I picked up some Sunshine falafel ‘burgers’ while I was there because our store doesn’t carry that flavor.  I’ll definitely go out of my way to shop at this one more often. 

The bakery at this particular Whole Foods was amazing as well.  So we couldn’t resist picking out some treats to take home for a mid-afternoon snack/dessert.  This little guy reminded me of Mr. Bill!  He’s almost too cute to eat!

Pic3 177

See the resemblance? 

Mr Bill


Pic3 180

I also had this green mini-cutie.  I really think they should put some more frosting on their cupcakes.  😉

Pic3 178

The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent in a sugar-induced fog.  My tummy was a bit unhappy with me for the blast of sugar, so all I really wanted was something light to snack on.  I had some Baked Scoops while I watched some football and later polished off my manchego sheep’s cheese.  
 Pic3 183

It was a great way to finish out the weekend! 

Today’s questions:  If you are one who is normally a healthy eater, do you eat occasional treats?  Or do you find it easier to just exclude them altogether?  Personally I like to treat myself to something sugary that I consider ‘fun’ every once in a while – in part because I usually feel not so great after and it reinforces why I choose to eat nutritious food the rest of the time.  Drop me a comment! 

Hope your week is off to a great start!  See you next time!

— Shari B. =)