Friday, October 17, 2014

Yoga Design Lab Combo Mat Review

Full Disclosure: I received products free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

With my recent injury where I've pulled a hamstring/butt muscle/something, I've been doing a lot of stretching and yoga. In fact, I'm realizing that maybe my lack of yoga and stretching might have led me to this injury. And I'm also finding that I am actually enjoying yoga. I never really thought of it as a 'workout'. Well, trust me, yoga can definitely be a work out, and you can sweat - and a lot.

So let me introduce you to the YogaDesign Combo Mat. It is a mat and towel in one. It's great for hot yoga, but it's also great for regular yoga (and ahem really great for those of you who sweat a lot).


I really found it to be non-slip. But with the yoga mat, there was also a tip included on the packaging that stated to lightly mist with water to prevent slipping if you have dry hands and feet. And that worked great. However, I usually don't have dry hands and feet for very long. 

The YogaDesign Combo Mat is machine washable, free from latex and silicone. It also comes with a carrying strap. And did I mention how cute it was? I love the design on this one. 

Overall, if you in the market for a great yoga mat, I encourage you to check out YogaDesignLab. So far, I have found their products to be premium products.   

Lil Man also approves. 



Full Disclosure: I received products free of charge for the purpose of providing a review. My opinions are completely my own based on my experience.



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Monday, October 13, 2014

Sugar Detox Crashed And Burned Day 4

Well, I'm disappointed to report that my Sugar Detox Journey ended on Day 4. Sigh... so what now?

Well I can't say that I'm going to exactly 'begin again'. I don't believe the no tolerance of  fruits will work for me.  So my plan is to just try to eat healthy real foods, try to ditch as many processed food as possible, factor in a couple of 'cheat' days (if you want to call it that) and see what happens.

Currently the butt/ham/hip is still sore. I think I might try a walk/run tomorrow and see how it feels. I've been resting it for a week. But I'm still having tenderness so I still might not be ready to run. But I'm starting a new workout plan. I'll tell you about The Next Chapter soon. Have you ever heard of Jamie Eason's LiveFit?




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Friday, October 10, 2014

When Bailing Was The Right Choice

My 3rd Marathon was supposed to be this weekend - Sunday in fact. But after training all summer, things started to fall apart. (Another Path Chosen) and (Too Much Training Too Little Fun )

And I have to say that I am very surprised with myself. I thought that I would feel regret, or doubt my decision. But I have so say I have never been so relieved in my entire life that I am not running a race. I think training back to back for 4 marathons to only run 2, really did a number on me. So I believe that I made the best decision (for me) to bail on this race.

In fact, it feels as though a lot of things changed this year with me regarding my running. Running has at times given me a sense of community. But I've also found that running can also be very lonely. I suppose I have tried to use running as a way to try to find my path - no pun intended - here. And in a way it has opened some doors for me, but in some ways it also left me longing for home.

I am that runner - not fast enough for the fast kids - but just a little too fast for the slower kids. So I find myself in a 'what now?' sort of place.

I have actually asked people that I don't know that well. Ok - don't really know that well at all, to run with me to help push me to a faster pace. Talk about putting away your pride to put yourself out there. I'm for the most part currently back to where I started when I moved here 7 years ago - still running solo as most runners have goals of their own that they want to reach. And I do understand. I do totally understand.

But since my races a couple of weeks ago, I've been having hip pain. I took 4 days off and then tried to run. My run on Monday resulted in pain with walking once I got off the treadmill. The pain lasted for a couple of days. I'm now on 5 days rest and plan to do a test run on Monday to see how things feel. But I haven't run a long run since the first weekend in September. The half is two weeks away on October 26.

And I'm not sure what I will do at this point. I will have a better idea after I run Monday. If I don't have pain I will have to access if I can build back the mileage to be able to finish the half. I haven't run consistently in over 2 weeks.

But I'm actually thinking of giving up running races (all distances even 5Ks) for awhile. I am feeling very disconnected from my running community, and disconnected from where I currently live in general. So maybe it's time that I made some changes.

Stay tuned. I'll let you know when I figure it out :-)



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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Sugar Detox Journey Days 1-3

Well, I thought I would let you know how this week has gone. If you read my last post (My Addiction To Sugar) then you know that this week was my attempt at giving up sugar for the week.

For some (like Hubby who doesn't have a problem with sugar), he really couldn't wrap his head around the struggle. He seems to enjoy his vices in moderation which I am very thankful for.

Whether you believe that sugar is a drug, or whatever your thoughts, the following is my journey this week.

Day 1

Well, today you aren't supposed to really have any 'symptoms' other than maybe out of habit or emotionally wanting something sweet. You aren't really supposed to have any physical symptoms. By 10am, I was a bear. I was beyond irritable. I had a headache, felt a little nausea, and wanted all things sweet. I think the reality really hit me that by this time of the day most days I had consumed at least 1 thing sweet. So whether it was 'normal' or not to crave something sweet, I was. To help combat this, I ate sliced almonds (protein) and drank lots of water. By evening the cravings were pretty bad, and I was dealing with some stress. More than once I had the thoughts of just giving up and going to get something sweet. I tried to convince myself to 'start tomorrow'. When the truth was I'm always saying I will 'start tomorrow'. But that tomorrow needs to become today. I had several moments of weakness, but I did not consume anything sweet.

Day 2

Preschool day where the cute little cafe at school has all kinds of awesome treats - today was cookie brownie and they were loaded with chocolate chips. My mouth is watering as I type this. Usually I will have a little treat with Lil Man, drop him off and head to the local coffee shop for a sugary specialty coffee. Today, I skipped the treat at school. Went to the coffee shop and had black coffee. I'm not going to lie, sitting at the table surrounded by the smell of pastries, baked goods and sugary coffees wasn't easy. But I was armed with my almonds in case I needed them, and I sipped my coffee as I worked on the computer. After lunch I was feeling the urge for something sweet. After meals are usually pretty tough. So I made a cup of green tea. It seemed to help curb the cravings. And I drank more water. I've peed so much today that it's unreal (ha). While usually afternoon is my worse time of the day, at 3pm I'm having zero cravings for sweets. I have noticed if the cravings were really bad that a glass of milk would help. I know that milk has natural sugar, but it also has protein. No, I'm not drinking milk by the gallon, but I have found a glass of milk has helped. The evening was harder, but so far I'm staying strong. I have to admit this isn't easy. I definitely reach for sugar out of stress or frustration. I've been taking a lot of deep breaths!

Day 3

I woke up today with a headache and felt awful. I'm not going to sugar coat it (no pun intended) but today has been rough. I'm cranky. I'm sluggish. And I feel achy. I've checked my temperature twice. Granted my son has had a little cold so it's possible that I'm coming down with something. But I don't feel so great. Cravings have been pretty rough today. But the cravings did get a little less by the end of the day. However, overall feeling cruddy has gotten worse. 

But so far I've made it 3 days without sugar. 

However, I am considering adding natural (fruit) sugars back tomorrow. I miss fruit, and I mean a lot. I wanted an apple so bad today. I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm thinking fruits might return to my diet tomorrow. But I don't plan to add breads or processed foods with sugar for at least another week or so. 

I will say that my joints are less swollen, and that my range of motion in my fingers have increased. 

The journey continues.... 



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Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Addiction To Sugar

I've known for awhile that I've had a problem. I've seen the subtle signs, but lately I'm noticing some major red flags. To the point that I'm actually concerned for both my mental and physical health - I'm talking about sugar.

See, for awhile now, I've been having joint pain in my hands. At times, to the point of tears. My joints have swollen 2 or 3 times the 'normal' size. When I could cut down on my sugar consumption, it would get better. And no, I haven't been to the doctor. And yes, I know that I probably should get checked out.

But lately, my stress level has been through the roof. It's just been a combination of things - personal matters, life in general, too much stress on myself, feeling of inadequacy, lonely, and the list and stress contributors go on and on.

But what I've found is that one candy bar (or serving of ice cream a day) isn't enough. I started consuming 2 (or more). My kid size ice cream turned into a small with a kid size to go and even having Hubby stop on his way home to get more. (He of course didn't know about the previous consumption during the day) What I used to consume isn't enough. I now want more. I've found myself 'hiding' to eat sweets because I don't want anyone to know.

People this behavior is NOT normal. This is not the normal eating of sweets (or any food). This is an abnormal simply put out of control behavior.

And today in a particularly stressful moment (aka Hubby was getting on my last nerve), I drove down the road bought a hot fudge sundae (and not the smallest size) along with a quart of ice cream to go. It was at that moment as I drove home that I had to be real with myself - I am truly addicted to sugar. I was simply eating this because I was upset and needed something to 'make me feel better'. And this treat that I allowed myself (hence the name of my blog) is no longer a treat but a crutch.

And the quantities of sugar that I am consuming on a daily basis is astounding. This week alone I not only had sweets every day, but I had it multiple times a day. One day this week my entire food consisted of nothing but candy bars, ice cream and Pita chips. I wish I was making this up, but I'm not.

Did you know there are actually treatment programs for sugar addiction? And although it's 'just a candy bar or serving of ice cream', if my behavior toward it is the same as an alcoholic would be toward alcohol, well it's a pretty strong addiction. And this is where I am at this point. Enjoying a sweet treat is definitely different than needing the 'high' that comes from the dopamine that is released in the brain. ("Under select dietary circumstances, sugar can have effects similar to a drug of abuse." is a quote taken from this article Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine)

So what's the next step? Beginning tomorrow I plan to do the beginning of the Sugar Smart Diet by Prevention . I bought this book back in December, and  earlier this year I tried to do the first phase of eliminating sugar. But I didn't make it past day 2 - partly because it was hard, but also because I really didn't think that I had a 'true' problem. I don't believe in total elimination of food groups (and that was another reason why I didn't stick with this).

For 6 days you eliminate all sugars including fruits (which is the part that I don't agree with doing). But I understand the science and the reason behind it. The thought is to 'reset' your sugar threshold, especially if it's severely out of whack like mine currently is. After 6 days then you add back fruits etc. So it's only 6 days that you are totally eliminating fruits. In fact, with this book you gradually add back sugars (even sweet treats) as the month progresses.

But for now I'm focusing on the tomorrow and the beginning of the next 6 days. I know that the detox will be difficult both mentally and physically. But I also know that my relationship with food (sugar in particular) isn't healthy and it's impacting my life. And it's time that I took control.

So why am I telling you this? Well, because it's my blog and I can write what I want to ;) ha. But mainly because I need to come clean - with myself - with my readers (thank you Mom since you might be the only one reading this).

Will I enjoy sweets in my future? I hope so. But I hope to do so with a healthy mindset. At this point, that is not where I am.

So wish me luck as I start my sugar detox tomorrow. I hope in 6 days from now I am in a better place than where I am now.

(*Oh and totally unrelated, I had already planned to double up at the gym with adding in strength, extra cardio and yoga to my routine - so please don't think I'm doing that because of the sugar detox). Since I've decreased my running mileage, I had planned to supplement my running with cross training, strength training, and yoga).

Time for some tough love. I have a sugar addiction, and it's time that I took action.





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