Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flower Ridge

Every year I dream of spending my summer exploring new trails and peaks in Strathcona Provincial Park...and every year I seem to fill up all of my weekends with work, races and other adventures before summer even begins.  And list continues to grows\ longer and longer...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Videos: FRIDAY! Film Fest!

Happy Happy Mid Summer Friday people!

I hope that you have a weekend of fun adventures planned like I do;).  Here are some fun video's to help you get in the mood for FUN!
Happy Trails,

Cyanide & Happiness : The Rope.  OK let's start with a little naughty humor shall we?  You may have seen this a while back, but it is always good for another laugh;0.  Warning: contains some, um, colourful language...but it IS funny!!!  Thanks to The Adventure Blog for sharing this one.

BC Bike Race 2014 Crew Video: Happy!  Awesome wrap up video to get your toe tapping and your hands clapping:)

Pet's interupting Yoga.  I've saved the best for last...From Huffington Post Funny.  I am not one who sits through animal videos...but this one is actually awesome.  Watch it and just try NOT to smile! 

In Good Hands acupuncture Friday afternoon... Nothing mellows my body and mind like 50 long, thin needles tapped into my body.  Hee Hee.  You won't get it until you try it;).

 On the north peak of Flower Ridge!  1200m straight up!

Over the past month, I have spent more time in my sneakers than anywhere else, it seems.  I have been building my tolerance for endurance on my feet once again.  Adding time, kilometres and elevation with each run and every week.  Hoping my body would agree to a summer ultramarathon, I put the Squamish 50 (miles that is) on my calendar in pencil and let my preconceptions go...and it is looking like it might actually happen. 

 Flower Ridge on fire with meadows of wild heather.

My body is, however, completely in charge of the plan.  I fired my mind a long time ago.  Many years ago I learned that injury and illness can initiate lasting shifts in perspective.  When you are told you will never run again, you cry with joy when you can walk.   I see the world through my own set of glasses...running, health, adventure and the human body are all gifts...and none of them garaunteed for life.  And so, I run, ride, repeat, but the path and speed limit are not, ultimately, determined by me.

 South Peak of Flower Ridge

That being said...
Athletes must contiually walk the thin line between overload and overtraining to try and create the most effective stimulus and response cycle possible.  Pushing edges is not just part of the is the only way the human body knows how to progress.

And so...
Let's just say that I have had some cranky calves;0.  They have been talking at me since June, with knots and hot spots popping up here there and everywhere.  Nothing sinister or rated high enough (over 4/10) to stop the train.  But I knew I had to support my body if I wanted to keep building, pushing and progressing.  And then I fell through a wooden bridge and nearly broke both of my ankles.  Bad timing!  Did I mention I used to have bilateraly compartment syndrome in my lower legs?  The pressure was building, the tissues were swollen and they had nowhere to go...time to call in my team!

 1000m down!  Don't stand up!

I am in good hands.  Many good hands.  In the past few weeks I have been to see nearly all of my favourite people:
  • Marita Sanchez at Harbourview Massage - to release the pressure
  • Debbie Wright at Bayview Chiropractic- to put my spine back in place after the impact of such a hard fall.
  • Marian Patterson - Reflexology magic that erased my symptoms and made me feel like I didn't actually run 80k last weekend.  Wow.  
  • Michelle Hughes- DCTM and Acupuncture to support my body so it can do the healing it needs to do.  To calm my mind and make me remember that 'it is all good, man'.;)
  • Kim & Kendra at Ascent Physio...luckily I haven't had to see them in a while but I know they are always ready and willing to take me on!

We have a team to help us in our 'regular lives' change the oil, fix the brakes, cut our bangs, crunch our numbers...yadda yadda yadda... I'd say having a team that supports the old body is just as important- if not WAY more.  

Are you supporting your body?  Who is on your team?  Would love to hear what works for you!
Cheers and happy trails,

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: i/Omagic Charger

Wowza.  4:44.  That was a long run.

I like to track my adventures with the Motion X gps ap (which is rad FYI so watch for a review coming soon!) but my iPhone battery would be dead or close to it after a run this long.  So I was tickled pink to see the battery still at 100% after 4.5hours plus today!  How?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Scream You Scream We All Scream for Ice Cream!!

It is something HOT in the Valley.  Mmmmmmm...I love it:).  Time to whip up a few cool treats!  Read on for my faves...

Too often 'cool treat' synchs with crazy sweet frozen treats loaded with additives, preservatives, colouring and multiple words we can't even pronounce.  There IS a better way to cool off!!   Break the cycle.  Get creative.  Think outside the icebox;).  Create your own healthy cool treat menu and say goodbye to the crazy non-food 'treats' more often...

Here are some of my faves to get your wheels turning!

Best Ice Cream Ever .  (No joke)

Sunday Afternoon Goodies (Including frozen banana pops and coconut lime ice cream - oh my!)

What natural cool treats do you and you family enjoy when the temperature climbs?  Comment below!


Friday, July 11, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest

Happy Happy Happy Happy Friday!
It's going to be an amazing sunshiney weekend on the Island!  Time to ride/run/hike to your favourite swimming hole;)  Or, why not do all three together like the boys in 'The Picnic' film, below?  Get ready, this weeks film fest might just be my favourite threesome of videos to inspire adventure...have a great weekend!


100 Miles High - Darcy Piceu Africa and the 2013 Hardrock Ultra Marathon.  If you want a taste of the 'rock' without the pain of the altitude, sit back and enjoy it from that comfy chair of yours...and just imagine...


Seven: The BC Bike Race Movie.   It has come and gone once again...the best week on a mountain bike...the BC Bike Race!  If you missed out or are dreaming of doing it 'one day'... this video should help convince you to sign up next year...stop 'one day'ing it and go for it!  This video was filmed in 2013, the year that I was lucky enough to experience the race and I managed to get about 1.5 seconds of fame...see if you can spot the blue ELM jersey...good luck;)

Seven: The BC Bike Race Movie from BC Bike Race on Vimeo.


The Picnic: a Teton Triathlon.  OMG I LOVE this little video.  A group of buddies create an epic Triathlon that combines cycling, swimming and summiting Grand Teton.  Real dudes on a real adventure...Inspiring me to create my own Valley 'Picnic'...I have some

The Picnic: a Teton Triathlon from KGB Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Review: SOLO Bars

 "Energy that sustains"  
"Low Glycemic & Gluten Free"
"Energy & Nutrition Bars"

Have you heard of  SOLO bars yet?  If not, watch for it, they are about to make a big move onto a grocery store shelf near you, very soon.  A few weeks ago I received a sample kit from SOLO, who asked me to review their 5 different flavours of energy bars.   Here goes:

"Another energy bar?" you say!  

Well, the folks at SOLO have come up with something very unique and it definitely sets them apart from the rest. They have created a bar that is 'clinically validated' to have a Low GI.

GI.  Glycemic Index.  You've heard the term before.  But what does it really mean?

The glycemic index is a scientific system of classifying foods according to how quickly they are digested and absorbed into the body. It was invented by scientists at the Canadian University of Toronto many years ago.  The GI rates foods based on how quickly their carbohydrates are converted to glucose (sugar) and released into the body.   Foods with a higher GI value are released faster and have a greater impact on blood glucose levels. Pure glucose receives a GI value of 100 and pretzels come in at 83, for example.   Foods with a lower GI value are released slower and have a more gradual impact on blood glucose levels. Foods like peanut butter and yogurt receive lower GI values of 14 and 33 respectively.  Foods that are higher in protein, fat and fibre tend to have lower GI values and therefor release glucose into the bloodstream at a slower rate.

"So what?" you say!

Low GI foods provide a slower release of sugar into the system which is believed to provide more sustained energy and increased satiety (feeling of fullness).  You know when you eat those pretzels you're going to be hungry again in 30 minutes right?  How about when you are running, biking or paddling hard?  You know when you eat that gel you are going to need another one in 30 minutes right?  Super energy spike and then crash.

In addition to the 'slow release' energy benefits for athletes and the general public, SOLO bars fit within the recommendations for a very specific population... people living with diabetes.  The SOLO bars are being marketed directly to this group. According to SOLO, their GI Bars address the 'Key Recommendations' of the Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guildelines Expert Committee:
  • "Replacing high-glycemic index carbohydrates with low-glycemic index carbohydrates in mixed meals has a clinically significant effect on glycemic control in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes."
That is the BIG angle that SOLO bars are taking to stand apart from the rest of the energy bars on the market.  They have been clinically validated to have a GI of 23-30 (low).  And they weren't just tested anywhere.  SOLO bars have been validated by the actual inventors of the Glycemic Index at the University of Toronto and used in multiple clinical studies. 

So...I asked a friend with type 1 diabetes, who is also a runner, to help me with my research;).   He woke up, ate one bar and went for a 6 km run.  When he returned, he tested his blood sugar and reported a reading of 7.  This was the magic number that he said he would have hoped for after exercise.  He noted that his post run blood sugar reading would normally be higher, up to 8 or 9, after having a banana beforehand.  His testimonial was very positive: "SOLD." he said.  "Where can I get them?" 

"What's IN them?"  you ask!

Good question!  The other side angle SOLO bars have going for them is their ingredients list.  Many energy bars AND diabetic snacks contain a nasty long list of wild and crazy chemically altered, indigestible ingredients that you cannot likely pronounce.  Now, nearly anything living in a shiney package on a store shelf has been added to or subtracted from in some way.  But on the scale of nasty-packaged-non-foods, the SOLO bar is at the VERY good end of the spectrum compared to the majority of energy bars on the market today.  Sure, it isn't just nuts and fruit like my number 1 choice, Lara Bars.  But it has many of the other bars beat for what IS and ISN'T on the ingredients list.  Specifically:
  •  190-200 calories per bar
  • 24-27 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7-8 grams of fat
  • 10-13 g protein- that's higher than most 'energy bars' but mid range for 'protein bars' IMO. They use a whey protein source.  Highly usable by the body- but yes, processed, protein source. 
  • 3-4 g fibre- small but significant enough to effect GI
  • No artificial sweeteners- I like that!
  • No high fructose corn syrup-I like that too!
  • No sugar alcohols- good!
  • No Trans Fats - phew!
  • No artificial preservatives- yes! 
  • In addition the SOLO bars are GLUTEN FREE- key for many living with celiac disease.

"OK OK! But how do they taste?!" you want to know!

Depending on who you are, what your taste buds are into and what other energy bars you are used to eating you will likely rate them as ... Pretty YUM.  

Chocolate Charger was the big winner.  I'd say YUM actually.  It was chocolate on the inside and chocolate on the outside and all that chocolate hid any non-food flavours I might have otherwise detected.  The Dark Chocolate Mandarin was a close second...there is a trend here.  The texture was lovely- light and chewy.  Different texture and flavour coating on the outside and a firm but soft centre.  Not too heavy- lighter for the caloric count,  of approximately 190 calories, than I anticipated.

The Peanut Butter and fruity flavors of Lemon Lift and Pineapple Coconut were tasty...but we got off to a bad start.  I ate these on a hot day.  Their 'coatings' had melted into a liquid pool within the wrapper.  It wasn't a good first date for us.  Never order messy food on a first date.  The solid, chewy centre of the bar was not nearly as appealing once it's 'coating' had melted away and I can't say I enjoyed eating these bars because they were messy and not as tasty.  Reminded me of the old protein bars...and I was hoping to move on from that old relationship.  I will have to try these flavours again, on a cold day;)

The moral of the SOLO bar review is this:
  • Good choice.  I will definitely pick this bar if I need something in a shiney package and there aren't any Lara Bars around;). 
  • Note: I do not know the GI of a Lara Bar...but guess they would be close with the mix of nuts (fats/protein/fibre) and dates that are the main ingredients.  That in itself might be enough of a reason for persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to actually choose the SOLO bar over another bar, including Lara Bars, even though they may have a more natural ingredients list.
  • Awesome choice for diabetics and those who NEED to know the GI of the foods they are eating so they can regulate the effect on their blood sugar.
  • Bad choice for hot days in the car or workouts in the sun! They melt.  Be warned.

Have you tried the SOLO bars?  Let me know what you think!