Fun Summer Running Gear

Fun Running GearI participate in various forms of movement and physical activity but I think I would have to say that running is definitely my physical activity of choice, or at least I am most stubborn about it.  There is something about just being outside with your thoughts, listening to your breathing or boom of super loud music in your ears, that just makes me so happy.

I have mentioned before that when I am not feeling super motivated I will purchase a new pair of running socks to get me excited about running.  Socks are my go to because out of all the running gear I could be buying to motivate myself socks are the cheapest.  But this got me thinking what are my favourite running things?  This is when I realized there are very few things besides my running watch (which I honestly feel could be any brand), orthotics and sun block there are only a handful of things I feel I couldn’t live without.

So here they are the items I feel like without them running would be that much more difficult.

Run Gear1. Lululemon Stuff Your Bra: This bra is nothing short of incredible! Not only does it offer amazing support, the bra itself has tiny little pockets for your keys, cell phone, tissue, lip gloss, tiny little sunblocks.  Sure it is a bra so you don’t want to be stuffing a water bottle in there, but for a house key or your iPod or cell phone this bra is perfect.  The addition of items to the bra’s pockets doesn’t compromise the support it offers, this bra is also awesome in the gym to carry around your music so you don’t have ear phone cables all over the place.

2. Lululemon Run Inspire Crop: another lulu gem.  I love these pants because the mesh on the back of the leg.  I am not much for running in shorts on longer runs however that can become challenging on hot days.  The mesh helps to cool down your leg while still giving you some good coverage.  Also as #1 didn’t give you enough options for storing things, these guys have a nice little pocket on your backside for keys, cards or whatever you would like to put in there.

3. Fuel Belt: The fuel belt above is from the Running Room, it isn’t necessarily my very favourite ever but it is one that has lasted me over 5 years and came in at under $25 so I really have no complaints. Regardless of the brand you choose if you are running more than 5k and it is warm out you should be bringing some water with you and for body balance reasons I find hands free is the best way to go.

4. WATER BOTTLES: as mentioned above water and hydrating is an absolute must during your day, and more importantly when you are outside in the sun being active.  Personally I have two of these little guys threaded onto my fuel belt, one is filled with straight up water and the second normally has some type of electrolyte concoction in it. I like these little bottles because they aren’t overly heavy, and to be honest running with water can be annoying but I am always thankful for it after a long run.

5. Running Hats: I am sure I have mentioned this in the past. I don’t do well with sunglasses, I get too sweaty behind them and become uncomfortable pretty quickly.  I prefer a hat, not only for the reduced sweatiness but also for the protection from the sun.  I am a ginger and therefore burn pretty easily, plus who doesn’t want to protect their face from the harmful rays of the sun?  Now there is a difference between a regular old baseball hat and a running hat.  Running hats are so much lighter and breathable than other hats out there.  To be honest I have no idea what brand my hat is, I went to a Sport Check and bought a hat for $20, the back is mesh and the rest of the hat is made of light weight material.

There you have it. These are my tired and true items, if you didn’t notice I am not much for spending huge amounts of cash on my running gear (I guess besides my slight Lululemon obsession). I find the key to good summer running gear is to make sure the materials used are light weight, breathable and whenever possible moisture wicking!   I understand that I didn’t list my running shoes here which are arguably a must have when running, however when it comes to shoes we all have very different needs and feet.  Personally I tend to buy the same brand year after year, but always try on various brands when purchasing a new pair because designs change, shoes fit differently from year to year and you never know when you might find something that is better suited to your needs.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Let me know what your favourite running gear is in the comments below, I am always on the look out for fun new running stuff.

 

Weekend Round Up

This weekend marked my 30th birthday. If you had asked me a year ago what I wanted to do for my 30th I would have said “travel somewhere and celebrate on my own”. I was not looking forward to it. But oddly enough as it got closer I really started to care less about the number and started to just get more excited about celebrating the milestone year with a bunch of people I love.

So a while back myself, my husband and a couple friends started planning and preparing all the crafts, food and decorations for the party. I had picked a lumberjack glitz and glam theme and it couldn’t have been more fun (in my opinion at least).

20140310-074007.jpgMy husband took some time off to start cleaning and preparing all the food so I wouldn’t have to worry about it and everything turned out so delicious. Only problem was we definitely made more food than was needed but that isn’t such a bad problem to have.

20140310-074154.jpgWe had also set up a photo booth so I wouldn’t have to remember to be taking pictures of the party and it is always fun for people to get their creativity on.

20140310-074259.jpgAt the end of the evening we all celebrated with some delicious cake, some dancing, and more chatting.

20140310-074425.jpgI had such an amazing time and want to thank everyone who was there in person and in spirit to celebrate with me. I had such a blast and couldn’t have thought of a better way to turn 30.

Lumberjack photobooth2Lumberjack photobooth1

Sunday as a result was an extremely lazy day. I watched some bad TV, took some naps and just let it all sink in. Then I started this week off right with an early morning workout session with my personal trainer and some grocery shopping gearing up for some clean eating over the next 101 days (more on that later).

Anyways, Happy Monday everyone I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week.

Food Fridays – 5 Benefits to Watermelon

Keep with the trend of giving some tasty little tid bits about different foods I figured I would pick one of my summer favourites. I know I have talked about delicious this one is in the past but I didn’t get any further than that.

Well friends, I am talking about watermelon. The glorious orb of sweet watery goodness.

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This wonderful little number is more than just delicious it is also great for your health and energy levels.  Here are just a few of the great things that watermelon can do for you:

1. Good for your heart – Watermelon like tomatoes are full of lycopene. Lycopene has been proven to be responsible for helping keep your heart healthy so load up!

2. It will load you up with energy – watermelon contains vitamin B6.  B6 is used to help convert proteins into energy giving you the boost you will need to keep moving through your day.

3. Cancer fighter – watermelons have been proven to have some of the highest amounts of lycopene of any fresh fruit.  Lycopene has not only been linked to heart healthy, but it has also been linked to cancer prevention, in particular to the prevention of prostate cancer.  So boys and men of the world out there get eating.

4. Great for weight loss – Every 100g serving of watermelon has only 30 calories. Although the fruit is high in sugar it is primairly made up of water helping your body to feel satisfied earlier and with less. So not only is it refreshing but it might also help you when to resist that “snacking” feeling.

5. Keeps you healthy –  Watermelons are full of vitamin C which plays a huge roll in your body’s immunity and healing.  No one likes a summer cold so make sure to stock up on watermelon while it is in season to keep you healthy and your immune system strong.

I am sure none of us need another reason other than “it’s delicious” to keep eating watermelon, but if you did I hope these five reasons have won you over!

Have a happy long weekend!!

Food Friday – Summer Eats

I figured this week I would do a bit of a recipe round up.  Over time there end up being some many different recipes posted on Gingersneezes that even I start to forget what I have and have not made in the past.  So I figured this refresher would be a good way to highlight some great recipes for the summer months.

Seeing how it is the summer I want to highlight as many light and refreshing dishes as possible, while keeping it easy because let’s face it we would all rather be running about and basking in the sun than be stuck in the kitchen making elaborate meals, that’s what winter is for.

Smoothie – Dairy Free, Gluten Free, High Protein, Sugar Free
Granola Bars – Dairy Free, Gluten Free, High Protein, No Refined Sugars
Pineapple Surprise – Gluten Free, Juice
Green MachineGluten Free, Juice

Grapefruit Chicken Kabobs – Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Tilapia with Cherry Salsa – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Fish

Kale and Quinoa Salad – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan
Asian Steak and Shrimp Salad – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sea Food
Shrimp Asparagus and Grapefruit Salad Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sea Food
Watermelon and Feta Salad – Gluten Free, Sugar Free

Pina Colada Sorbet – Dairy Free

I hope some of these recipes help with your summer time meal planning and I hope to bring you some more delicious tasties in the next couple of weeks.

Before I head off for the weekend I figured I would share a little gem with you. A couple weeks back my gym was sweet enough to support my progress by putting my “before and now” photo on their success wall. Since it was posted a girlfriend of mine who also goes to the same gym has been wanting to take a photo of me in front of the photo of me so last night after our workouts I caved and let it happen.  The product was pretty comical so I am happy I posed for her. So enjoy this little gem before heading out for the weekend:
show case 3I hope you all have an awesome weekend, and are all up to something fun!  Happy Friday!

Food Time Fridays – Canada Day Addition

So for this installation of Food time Fridays I wanted to attempt to make something a little festive and summery. With Canada day just around the corner I wanted to attempt to represent in our national colours of Red and White.

So after some thinking about how to make something red and white that wasn’t a cookie or a cake I decided to go with salad. Now I LOVE watermelon, like completely love them. I could most likely eat an entire watermelon to myself in one sitting. I would probably feel ill in the end but I guarantee you it would be worth it. With my love of watermelon making a salad with it as the main ingredient was just the natural progression.

So I hope you like it as much as we did…the flavours sound like they are going to be weird together, and they are but in the most delicious way.

Feta & Watermelon Salad:

We do run run

Serves 4

2 lbs cubed Watermelon
1/2 cup Feta
1 tbsp chopped fresh Basil
1.5 tsp Olive Oil
1.5 tsp Balsamic Vinegar

1. Mix watermelon, feta and basil together in a large bowl.
2. In a small container place the oil and vinegar and shake until combined.
3. If serving immediately pour vinaigrette over salad and toss. If not keep separate until ready to serve.
4. Serve and enjoy.

Happy Friday and I hope you all have incredible long weekends if you are getting them!

Another Glorious Weekend and another Recap

This weekend was pretty great. Now with summer definitely being here I have a feeling most weekend are going to be pretty glorious which is going to make Monday mornings all the more difficult.

I started off my weekend with a Friday evening workout. It was leg day and it owned me. After having a rough week the week before (I didn’t make it through my whole leg day) I was excited to get a full workout under my belt. I know I sound crazy when I say this but I absolutely love leg day. I know most people like push and pull type days (generally speaking back, arms and core) but there is something about leg day that just makes me feel like a powerhouse, so I am always stoked to do some squats and deadlifts.

20130617-070128.jpgAfter the gym I came home to a wonderful meal of grilled tuna steaks with asparagus and mushrooms cooked by my wonderful husband. Just a side note the tuna steaks were so huge they provided both of us with a second meals.  It is also getting nice enough out that we are able to eat out on our deck, which is always so nice and relaxing. After supper we tidied up and then just relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday started off early with a glorious run with Susan.  We have started a new training program to start lengthening our distances and it has, so far, been pretty easy to stick to, we will see what my tune is once the distances start to exceed 10k.  After our early morning run we both decided that it was a great day to pamper ourselves, so we stopped by Starbucks for some shaken iced teas and headed off to get our nails did. Once I got back home I was definitely ready to dig into some lunch, so I whipped up a quick salad with the leftover tuna steak and it was fantastic!
nails and salad

After lunch it was time to run some quick errands and stop off at Art in the Park. The art was awesome and it was so fun to look at everything.  Also check out the house that looks like a castle, how awesome would it be to live there?

art in the park Collage

Following Art in the Park, we headed over to a BBQ for a friend’s birthday and what a perfect day for some outdoor activities and mingling with friends. I also had the chance to see one of my favorite little ladies, and boy is she getting big! She is such a little ham.

bbq babes

Following the BBQ it was a quick stop at home to change for an engagement dinner, and then off we went to a lovely supper at one of my favourite restaurants in the city, Fresco’s. They are always super tasty! I probably should have taken pictures of my Arctic Char but I am always way too excited to eat my food to remember to snap a photo of it. I used my last “cheat” that evening so I could have some wine and indulge in the nut free dessert, it was tiramisu, I had never had it before and I am definitely a fan now! After supper everyone else continued the festivities but having started my day pretty early I was tuckered and ready to just unwind.

Sunday started off same as most Sundays with a visit to the Farmer’s market to stock up on my weekly groceries.  June is my favourite for the market because the amount of fruit and veggies really starts picking up, and  as delicious as asparagus is it is always fun to have some variety in what’s available.  I also finally purchased some plants to start a mini backyard garden.  I picked up some tomato and kale plants and I can’t wait for them to get bigger and start producing.

garden party

After finishing off at the market and getting the rest of our groceries for the week it was time to fully engage in some lazy sit on my butt time, so my husband and I loaded up Pirates of the Caribbean and got ready to enjoy a marathon movie watching day, while it rained outside. Basically a pretty fantastic ending to a weekend.

Now it is Monday and there are 3 days left of the Gingersneezes Eats Clean challenge so a huge congrats to everyone who is sticking with it!

Happy Monday everyone! 

Weekend Round Up

This weekend was a bit of a mixed bag. It was great in that I got to see a bunch of friends, and their rapidly growing babies and it kind of sucked in that I was sick and had spent most of it resting, with intermittent dog walks (I got to babysit this weekend – just look at his face!).

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So instead of harping on how awful I have been feeling and how many echinacea, garlic and vitamin D pills I have been taking I figured I will focus on the happy fun things that I participated in this weekend instead.

So for some weeks now my running buddy, Susan and I have been planning a lady’s party in the form of a tea party. We planned the menu in accordance with the Gingersneezes Clean Eating challenge and made sure to have loads of flowers, and cute little rustic decorations to really bring it all together.

The tea party was a great hit, and we seriously couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Originally the event was planned for indoors but when the Weather Network was forecasting 25 degrees and sunny we moved the party outside. Besides a lack of shade it was great and we all had a chance to bask in the glory of the sun, while we sipped on naturally infused water and tea, and ate a host of delicious finger foods.

Tea Party Decor Collage

We made small jars of raw jam for everyone as a parting favour, and their tiny little containers were just so adorable and went with our rustic theme so well. DSC_0327

The guests were all happily surprised to find out that all of the food was acceptable for the Gingersneezes Clean Eating challenge, as well as encouraged about how tasty the food was.

Tea party food Collage

Just a little note the chocolate moose is made with organic non-GMO silken tofu, and those deviled eggs are actually made with hummus not with mayo, both are super tasty snacks packed with protein and low in calories. 

After the tea party we quickly cleaned up and I promptly passed out from exhaustion. Even with taking some DayQuil to make it through the event my body was in a full out revolt and it was time for me to get on the couch and not move for the rest of the day.

My Sunday was much of the same, after a brief trip to the farmer’s market in the morning for some groceries I was quarantined to the couch. With my 10km race coming up in less than a week I figured it was time to rest this body up, so I am respecting my body’s wishes for some rest and doing my best to slow down and listen to what it has to say.

Considering today is still a part of the long weekend I hope you are all still enjoying your long weekend! and Happy Monday!

PS. Don’t forget to go and sign up for the Gingersneezes Giveaway, the contest ends this Thursday!