Sunday, 16 February 2014

Running from the Runs has moved!

If you currently follow me, I promise I haven't left, I have just changed addresses.  You can now find me blogging here.  Check out the new space and let me know what you think.  It is still under construction, so will continue to undergo some changes as I update existing content and add new features.

Thank you for your support!  If you are on bloglovin' you can also follow me here

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hydro Rider - Worth a Try?

For those of you who have never heard of Hydro Rider (like me), it is basically spin class in the shallow end of the pool.  The great thing about it is that it is easier on the joints.  As soon as I found out Hydro Rider was a real life exercise and that the Canada Games Centre in Halifax offered it (thanks Chatelaine!), I could not stop thinking about it.  I was so excited at the combination of two of my fave things - swimming/water and spin class - that I became obsessed.

Before I could go I had to answer the age-old question - what do I wear?!  I figured a bathing suit was a given, but what else?  I promptly launched a full-on Google search, complete with YouTube video analysis. I was not satisfied with the lack of coverage on this very important issue.  So, I finally settled on a bathing suit and wetsuit booties.  I must apologize if you were at the pool that day - it was perhaps the least fashionable hour of my life.  The booties go halfway up my calves and I was in my Nike racer-back one piece.  It is also winter and I am one pale redhead  - hope you were wearing sunglasses!  This was not all - ever prepared, I brought biker shorts - would I have to contend with a case of the plumber butt?

Finally, the day arrives, I enter the pool area in all my glory, and instead of the serious athlete-types I have come to expect in spin class, I was greeted with smiles likely from your gran.  And the outfit of choice? Generally floral in nature and non-racer back suits with water shoes.

The instructor threw a bike in the pool upon my arrival.  I dragged it into the remaining spot right up front.  It rocked on the bottom of the pool - which was to become my cross to bear for the next 60 minutes.  With the bikes all set-up - cue the Euro-pop.  Think Mr. Saxobeat, but not quite as catchy.  I have spent too much time listening to RPM tracks and become accustomed to the well-thought out tunes from our Tuesday/Thursday instructor, Cynthia, over at Spinning Music.

Perhaps my legs are strong from two to three spin classes a week, but I found the class less than challenging. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not their target demographic.  This was further confirmed when we suddenly stopped pedaling to do odd arm movements for a whole song.  I believe this was the arm toning segment (completely unanticipated).  Honestly, the hardest part of the class was lifting the bikes out of the pool.  And the 20 laps I swam afterwards.  And trying to rein in my rogue water bottle that was determined to float away.

Needless to say, I will stick to spinning or swimming in the future!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Monday Musings Grab Bag

Below is a completely random collection of links, I hope you find one that piques your interest.

Art Fido - Photographic Series Showing What 200 Calories Looks Like in Different Foods

After using tools like MyFitnessPal to track my food and exercise, I have a fairly good sense of how many calories certain foods contain - especially the ones I eat regularly.  But, this photo series can be a little shocking when you actually see 200 calories on a plate - the Hershey Kisses and peanut butter were a particular let down.  On the other hand, that mountain of celery was shocking - I can't even begin to imagine eating all of that!

a pair & a space - Travel: My Favourite Books

As an avid reader and someone who loves to travel, I just loved the idea of this post and I appreciated the nod to Newfoundland with The Shipping News.

Living Low Carb - The Most Important Supplement for Your Health

You have probably noticed references throughout some of my posts to my love for probiotics.  I cannot imagine trying to cope with IBS without them.  This is quite an extensive post that explains some of the science behind what probiotics can do for your body and how certain foods like sugar can disrupt your gut flora.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Take it to the Barre

A few weeks ago JWow and I decided it was time to try "barre" class.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with barre, the class is rooted in ballet exercises at the barre.  It has a reputation as a tough workout and seems to be all the rage right now.  So, when an intro class became available at Core Essentials in Dartmouth, we thought we'd give it a whirl.

To be honest, when I thought of barre class I was pretty much channeling Centre Stage, Step Up and even Black Swan (just the dancing).  I felt like I was about to uncover my destiny as a tutu-adorned dancer, certain of being partnered with ripped men who were Channing Tatum look-alikes. JWow was a bit skeptical about this destiny.

As I arrived before class our instructor was finishing up a personal training class with all of Eminem's best songs as the soundtrack.  Little did I know that 'Till I Collapse would take on a new meaning in less than an hour.

Our instructor, Laurissa, made sure to give us a quick run through of the relev├ęs, battements and other postures that we would need to know.  She also let us in on the secret to barre - that we would be working each side of our body to the point of exhaustion. I can assure you that she was not kidding.  We proceeded to do a series of exercises while using the barre for balance.  We started on the right side and then just when we thought we might truly collapse, we switched sides and did it all over again.

While the workout was quite effective, I had pictured something similar to that scene in Centre Stage where she attends a "fun" dance class whilst dancing to Billy Jean.  Unfortunately, the workout felt like just that - work.  I was searching for something that would not feel like something I had to push through.

Overall, I would try another barre class, but would try to find one that was a little more "dancey".  I did like the Core Essentials space and am headed there this weekend for my first kettlebell workout along with my workout partner JWow.

Also, in other news, I am participating in Spin4Kids with Goodlife Fitness on March 1st in Halifax. I am a strong believer in maintaining an active lifestyle and establishing healthy habits when young. In support of fighting childhood obesity my team, the Pedal Sweats, will be spinning for eight hours to help raise money for this cause.  I would be most grateful for your support.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Monday Musings and Giveaway Results

I have a lot I want to share with you over the next week or two, including reviews of Barre class and Hydro Ryder.  Stay tuned for those!

In other news, I wanted to announce the two winners of the Bimuno IBAID giveaways. Congratulations to Susan and Ross - please email me to claim your prize!  

As for this week's musings.  Well, where to begin?  On Saturday I "celebrated" my 29th birthday with one year experience.  I can't say I was overly pleased about this milestone, but I managed to make it through the day without breaking into tears.  Success! The worst moment was using the elliptical a day or two before my birthday and putting age 29 in there for the last time.  The second worst moment was when my husband and I were looking into symphony tickets and we found out that he could claim a discount for under 30, but I could not.  

On a more positive note I enjoyed pedicures with some of my lady friends, two lovely dinners, a play and a brunch.  I also received a new DSLR camera.  More on that below.  And without further ado, my links!  

So first of all, wow excited and wow overwhelmed.  I was successful in opening the box and charging the battery.  I even attached the strap to the camera.  After that, I was lost, to say the least.  It has been a long time since I felt so ill-equipped to do something or to learn something new.  I followed the instructions for putting on the lens - 15 minutes later I was successful.  Then I tried to remove the lens.  That was a complete and utter mystery to me.  So much so that I had to turn to YouTube to find out how to remove it (it was so easy!).  I also turned to YouTube to learn how to use the monitor instead of the viewfinder.  Don't even get me started on all of those settings.  As a result, I sought out some beginner articles on using a DSLR and came across this one.  I can't wait to sit down and try some of this out.  I did snap a few pictures, with my model Hugo, of course!  

We are big smoothie lovers in this house and have one pretty much every day.  Recently we have been adding frozen kale and we have found out we prefer it over spinach in our smoothies!  But, every once in awhile it is nice to mix it up, so I was happy when I came across this post.  I am dreaming about the chocolate-covered strawberry and peanut butter and jelly smoothies - delish!

We are trying to kick our savings into high gear for a few home projects we would like to take on and are working on de-cluttering our lives.  De-cluttering is one of the goals I have set out for myself this year.  The first of these projects is to organize our utility room, which is currently in very dismal shape.  This particular post falls in-line with these goals.  

We have been working on a few of their suggestions already - for example, eat everything in the pantry. We haven't necessarily eaten everything in there, but we have really been working to clear out produce as much as possible instead of allowing it to land in the green bin. The go free suggestion seems a little daunting, but I had one major success this past week through GetGifted.  I claimed a gift for Foreign Affair in Halifax and discovered that my gift was a $50 gift card.  I was certainly excited about this, but was skeptical about whether or not I would find anything for $50.  Well, serendipity shone on me that day - I scored a pair of cobalt blue 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans (regularly priced at $295) from the "now or never" rack, marked down to $50 on a tax-free day.  I walked out of there without spending a cent and on a shopping high like no other!  

Monday, 13 January 2014

Monday Musings: Motivation Monday

Here are your links - I had so many to choose from this week.  With the return from Christmas break the blogging world has boomed again and there are many inspiring posts and posts that will help you get your butt in gear for 2014.  Hope you enjoy these!

Let's Make 2014 Your Best Year
Some of you who have seen my Facebook feed may have already watched this video, but in case you did not... - it is fabulous!  A friend of mine suggested it and to quote her it will put "the fire back in your belly".  Wow - what a description!  And if you think her description is good, just wait until you watch the video.  Not sure about you, but I have decided that 2014 is the year I take over the world (or at least my world) and this certainly gave me that extra push.

Green Plate Rule - Sunday Night Prep to Eat Clean All Week
In keeping with the taking over the world theme - or at least getting myself organized and my life under control, I thought this post was filled with great ideas to make healthier eating easier throughout the week.  Not only does she have great suggestions for getting organized and making quick meals, but I just adore that image of her organized fridge.  Need I say more?

Ghost Parties - Five for Redness
As a shout-out to my fellow pink-tinged, pale or redheaded friends out there, this post has some suggestions on products for reducing redness.  If only someone could find a product for blushing...

Glitter Guide - YouTube Channels for Exercise at Home
I do a lot of my workouts at the gym, mostly on a spin bike or yoga mat, but sometimes I like to mix it up and try some workouts at home.  This article gives you some suggestions on YouTube channels to check out.  I have recently tried Blogilates and have enjoyed it so far.  I also like Z-Wow and Sarah Fit.

Into the Gloss - Best Beauty Advice of 2013
This was a really interesting article to read.  Some of the perspectives are a little out-there, others are insightful.  I am especially intrigued by aqua cycling and love the references to epsom salt baths - I swear by them!

On a final note - if you haven't done so - ENTER my giveaway before it is too late.  Contest closes tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Product Review: Bimuno IBAID

In early December I received a shipment of the Bimuno IBAID pre-biotic supplement to test out as an IBS sufferer.  First and foremost – I did receive samples of the supplement but did not receive any other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own. 

What is it?  It is a supplement that works to restore the good bacteria in your gut and can help promote a healthy bowel.  It is a pre-bioticas opposed to the more well-known pro-biotic.  Prebiotics can live longer in your digestive system and help to increase the good bacteria.  The other big difference between pre-and-pro-biotics is that prebiotics do not require refrigeration and most probiotics do. Click here for more answers to FAQs.

How much is it and where do I buy it?  The supplement is available directly through the Bimuno website and shipping is available internationally – specifically to Canada and the US.  To receive a three-month supply the cost would be $43.55 including shipping (90 chewable tablets). 

My review…
Normally, when I am approached to complete a product review I proceed with extreme caution, especially when supplements are involved.  Before deciding to try this out I did online research into other reviews and found that generally, they are extremely positive.  I do take probiotics on a daily basis and have come to view them as an essential part of my IBS maintenance.  In fact, they are so crucial that I double my intake whenever my IBS begins to act up.  After reading that the prebiotics would last longer in my system and that I didn’t have to remember to put them in the fridge – I was sold! 

I received a two-week supply to test out.  They are chewable tablets – similar to a wine gum in texture.  In terms of flavour – I can honestly say there is no flavour.  I realize this is an odd statement, but really, it is flavourless.  Trust me, if this tasted disgusting I would not have finished the package!  They were a bit chewier than I would have liked, but I do have jaw issues, so most people probably wouldn’t be bothered by this.  

I was in the middle of a short IBS episode when I began the supplement and the episode eventually tapered off.  I cannot say I noticed a difference while on the supplement, but it certainly did not make anything worse.  My symptoms were comparable to my regular probiotic routine (which I stopped during the two-week period I was taking Bimuno).  I would be interested to try it for a full month to see if things improved longer term.

Would I buy this?  If this was available in Canada for purchase from a drugstore or grocery store, then I would.  However, I would not purchase online because of the extra hassle and my fears of what the customs charges might be.  If I lived in the UK where it was readily available then I would definitely try it out for a longer period of time. 

Now, here is the part where I giveaway a two-week supply to two lucky readers so that you can test it for yourselves!  Please follow the giveaway directions below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
How do you manage your IBS?  Do you find supplements helpful?  If so, which ones do you take?