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FitBit Love

7 Feb

I have had a FitBit on my wrist for about 4 years now and I love it just as much now as I did when I first strapped one on. Maybe even more now, since I have a newer, snazzier, version than the one I started out with.

My first FitBit was a Flex, the one that is semi-water proof and the display shows 5 dots. The dots light up when you tap the FitBit to show you how many steps you have taken that day. I had my step goal set at 10,000 steps per day so each dot represented 2,000 steps. While it was good, all tech has it’s flaws. It could go in to sleep mode if you were pushing a grocery cart across a parking lot (from the bumps I guess), it often thought my chopping vegetables was me stepping (it was amazing how many more “steps” I got on days I did veggie prep! lol), and well, it only gave me limited information. For detailed info about how I was doing that day I had to sign in to my app, which yes ok, not like that is a big deal or even hard to do, but c’mon, I’m lazy, which ironically enough, is why I invested in a FitBit in the first place lol

That first FitBit, I had epic plans for it. I bought it a short time before I was going on vacation, what was going to be a very active vacation, and I couldn’t wait to see how many steps I could rack up while in Northern Wales. Well yeah, that didn’t work, because it broke after I had it for a month or so? I was so upset! I contacted FitBit to let them know it broke, actually I think I contacted them to ask what I could do to fix it, and by default let them know it broke. They gave me some things to try, that didn’t work, and then they did something awesome…they sent me a brand new FitBit Flex for free!

Talk about amazing customer service! πŸ˜€

I didn’t get the replacement FitBit in time for my vacation, but hey, whatcha gonna do? *shrug*

Once I returned from my trip my new FitBit Flex and I became inseparable. Literally. The only times I took it off were when I showered and when it had to charge. I even covered it in saran wrap and wore it when taking part in a muddy obstacle course and more importantly, when dragon boating. Well, to be fair, I only covered it in saran wrap when dragon boating if it was pouring rain, on non-rainy days I just made sure to wear it on the arm that didn’t get submerged into the water with every stroke of my paddle. Splashing I knew it could handle!

Two Christmases ago I took the Flex out of it’s wrist band and tucked it in my clothes, in what I thought was a secure spot, because I was going to my work Christmas party and the band was not what one would call fancy looking. I absolutely couldn’t wear it with my dress, so into my cleavage it went. Don’t judge, I’ve done it before and it worked great! That particular time it didn’t work out all that well and somewhere during the night I lost it. Sadness. 😦 I tried calling the party venue, left them multiple messages, describing what it looked like, but nobody ever called me back so I’m assuming they either (1) didn’t listen to their messages, (2) didn’t care, (3) didn’t find it and didn’t care if they told me that or not. Which fair enough, why should they care that I was stupid and lost my FitBit and was now frantically hoping beyond all hope it would magically re-appear in to my life.

I was so upset I posted to social media about having lost it and someone I have never met, who lives on the other side of the country, said they had just upgraded their FitBit and no longer needed their Flex and get this, they sent me their Flex for free! With the band and charger and dongle!

People can be amazing sometimes. Absolutely amazing. πŸ˜€

When it arrived in the mail I was so incredibly grateful that I immediately sent them a Thank You card with a gift card inside. I mean wow, who does things like that not just in general but for someone they never met? Blows your mind a little doesn’t it?

Then another amazing thing happened, for Christmas that year I received a FitBit Alta as a gift from my parents. I had been wanting to upgrade but couldn’t justify or afford the cost and they knew this, so being the awesome parents that they are, that is what they bought me.

So now I had my replacement Flex and a new Alta. For a while I thought I would wear the Alta most of the time but swap out to the Flex when dragon boating but that didn’t really pan out. Instead the Alta and I became best friends and inseparable and now it only comes off my wrist when I am showering or charging it.

Then a crisis!

This happened…

fitbit flex

The strap broke! NoooOOOooo!

I wasn’t even doing anything interesting when it broke, the silicone part just came off of the clip part that attaches to the actual tech part of the FitBit Alta.

Travesty! The horrors! What was I to do??

Well I’ll tell ya what I did, I went searching for my crazy glue hoping I could fix it only to find my crazy glue had become a solid mass, I mean what, did it glue itself to itself? So then I started tucking the tech part in to my sock / boot / waist band / pocket (depending on what I was wearing) because I couldn’t be without it but I didn’t know how best to carry it around. I was constantly worrying it would fall out and I wouldn’t notice and then I’d not only not have a wrist band for it but I wouldn’t have the Alta at all! *cue the dramatic music*

Being the broke person that I am I chose to order a knock-off band from eBay instead of forking over $40 for a real replacement from FitBit and boy did I regret that. It didn’t fit as well, it was different material and not as comfortable, it was starting to give me a rash, just not good things.

So I did what I did last time I had a problem, I emailed FitBit and told them what happened. I didn’t ask them for a new band, I was past warranty and didn’t think that was right. But I did tell them the circumstances under which the band broke, and how it wasn’t fixable, and now I was wearing it tucked in my boot, and maybe they should look in to the problem because if this is a product flaw they may want to address it.

I got a very polite response asking me for some more information, which I provided, and then I got an even better email from them saying I was past warranty but sometimes rules are meant to be broken and they were going to send me a replacement band anyways!

This! This is why I love this company and will keep buying their products! Well, this and the fact that I love their products lol

Not only did they send me a replacement band they sent me the newer version of the band, so instead of a clip type closure it is a, umm, I don’t know what the type of closure is called, it is like a belt or a watch closure…here lemme put a picture in to show you what I mean…

fitbit band

See what I mean? My closure is like that, only my band is black, like I’d ever buy it in baby pink. πŸ˜›Β  lol

Now, my Alta and I are back to being inseparable…on my wrist, not in my boot! πŸ™‚

Here is a link to the FitBit Alta that I have on Amazon…in case you are interested in getting one yourself!

http://amzn.to/2E6jwaY

 

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Dragon Boat Swag

5 Feb

In honour of my dragon boat team’s training season officially starting (we had our first practice of the season this past Saturday at 9am) I thought I’d share an etsy store that sells dragon boat related swag that I love.

Disclaimer! My friend created this shop, and designed everything in it, and arranged for all items to be locally made, so I maaaay be a tad biased…but! I can guarantee you that if I didn’t know her, and I stumbled on to it by fluke I would still love it! (And for the cynics out there, no I am not getting paid to tell you about her shop *rolls eyes*)

Here is a link to her shop:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DoodledeeCreative/items

Or if you are on etsy and want to search for her shop it is DoodledeeCreative.

So far I have bought this key chain…

dragon boat keychain

Which I absolutely love! LOVE! It is hand made, adorable, and well, functional I guess, but something doesn’t have to be functional to be loved by me lol

I want oh so many of the t-shirts she has listed but I am one of those weirdos that lives on a budget and I don’t have a lot of extra money floating around to buy things solely because I want them. Le sigh.Β  Doesn’t mean I’m not planning on buying some of them as the season progresses though, so be warned, you’ll be reading posts throughout the year filled with me sharing my excitement over a new piece of dragon boat swag.

See, at every race regatta and festival there are always booths set up selling tanks, and tees, and various pieces of swag, all related to dragon boating. Don’t get me wrong, they are great, but there isn’t a lot of variety and it doesn’t take very long to have one of every quote that you like on a shirt, and just because a new season has rolled around doesn’t mean the companies bringing those items to the festivals have come up with any new great quotes. I mean sure, sometimes they do, but mostly you’re seeing the same things year after year. Kinda gets old, ya know?

But D’s shop is original, it is designs she has come up with, new quotes and images on the tees and tanks and stickers, it is the opportunity to buy something not everyone has. Plus, the little bamboo key chain can go with me everywhere, so I can show off my dragon boater pride whenever I want lol

So yeah, if you are a dragon boater, or know a dragon boater, or are curious about dragon boating, I highly encourage you to go check out her shop. You can spoil yourself, spoil that special dragon boater that is in your life, enjoy buying something you know is an original design and is made in Canada, all good things people! Good things!

Paddles Up! πŸ™‚

 

Crackslaw

26 Jan

Yes you read that right, Crackslaw, that is the name of a recipe I tried out. It is so named because it is supposed to be freakishly delish and addictive.

It is super tasty, and I guess I could see how it could become a frequently cooked dish, especially if you are someone cooking for a family and you have to find something that will at least partially please more than just yourself while not going crazy over your food budget.

It is a definite keeper. πŸ™‚

The original recipe can be found here…

http://www.food.com/recipe/crack-slaw-low-carb-434863

I of course made variations because heaven forbid I make it exactly like the recipe said to! Mostly the changes were because I wasn’t buying new ingredients for a recipe I might never make again when I had slightly different versions that I figured would work just as well. Also, I have it on good authority it is a good dish for customizing, you can tweak it to your preferences and my preference was to not have to buy any more ingredients than absolutely necessary lol

The ingredients for my version are as follows…

1 package of Coleslaw mix (14oz bag)

2 gloves garlic, minced (I have the kind in a jar)

chopped white onion, I didn’t measure how much, just diced till I had a bunch, maybe 1/3 of an onion?

1/2 tsp tabasco sauce

shake of jalapeno flakes

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp white vinegar

2 Tbls soy sauce

2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 pound extra lean ground chicken

So my changes were:

(1) it is supposed to be sriracha sauce, I didn’t have any, so I used tabasco

(2) it is supposed to be toasted sesame oil, same as above, I didn’t have any, so I used evoo because I had that already

(3) it is supposed to be 3 green onions chopped, I already had white onion on hand so I chose to use that

(4) it is supposed to be beef, I was going to get lean ground turkey but the lean ground chicken was the cheapest of all the meats so chicken it is!

(5) it is supposed to be Splenda but I refuse to use things like Splenda or Truvia so I opted for real sugar

(6) there is supposed to be ginger paste in there but I am not a huge fan of ginger so I left it out

(7) the jalapeno flakes aren’t in the original recipe, shrug, I wanted it a bit spicier than what I thought the tabasco sauce would get me and I had jalapeno flakes on hand so I shook some in

So ya know, some minor changes…but nothing I feel ruins the overall structure of the dish.

To make Crackslaw you…

(1) brown your ground meat, season with salt and pepper to taste (if you so desire…I don’t use salt when cooking and I forgot to use the pepper so I added that later)

(2) remove browned meat from the pan and set aside

(3) put oil in pan, sautee garlic, onions, and coleslaw until the coleslaw is at your desired tenderness…remember it will wilt down so you don’t need as huge of a pan as you may be imagining…having said that I almost overflowed mine so use a decently large one…

(4) mix the tabasco sauce, sugar, white vinegar and soy sauce together, pour in to pan, mix (this is where I added the pepper)

(5) add back in the meat, mix well, keep in pan until meat has come back up to serving temperature

If you want you can garnish it with more chopped green onion (uncooked of course), and more hot sauce, for those who like things spicier.

2017-01-24-17-30-46

A bonus to using a bag of coleslaw rather than shredding your own cabbage is it comes with other veggies mixed in already but if you are really anti carrot you could always just shred a cabbage…ya weirdo πŸ˜‰

It is dead easy to make, and because it is so flexible with what you put in it you can make it as tasty or as bland as you like. I ate a serving of it the day I made it then portioned out the rest for two more servings. I could probably have divided it up to 4 equal portions but the day I made it I was super hungry and took a bit more so I opted for 3 equal portions so I could calculate the Weight Watchers points easier. Cuz hey, this is all about me, right? πŸ˜‰ Just like with pasta the flavours got stronger as it sat so when I heated up the leftovers it was noticeably spicier than my first meal. Β Thank you jalapeno flakes! πŸ˜€

So yeah, I’d say it is a good dish to make. The ingredients aren’t too expensive to procure, the meat cost me $7 and the ready made coleslaw cost $1.47. I was lucky that I already had the other ingredients, or at least things that could stand in for the other ingredients, so minimal shopping had to be done. Bonus is most of the ingredients are things you’d have on hand anyways, like the garlic, oil, hot sauce, jalapeno flakes, soy sauce, etc, so you’d probably only really need buy the meat and coleslaw and maybe one other ingredient depending on how low you are running on other items…I’ll have to buy the garlic next time since this used up almost all I had left. But you get my drift right? Easy to make. Fairly cheap to make. Makes a large portion so if you are feeding a family it is definitely a cost effective dish to make, and if you’re feeding yourself you’ve just food prepped for 3 to 4 meals, depending how you divide it up. Go you go!

Oh, and if you are on Weight Watchers, my version, divided in to 3 portions comes out to 8 Smart Points a serving.

 

 

Day 2 of 12

21 Dec

Alrighty peeps, it is Day 2 of the 12 Days of Fitness and I’m sure everyone has been active today, right? Right!

I was up earlier than any human being should be when on vacation but that is what happens when you are staying with parents who wake up early…and when you are going to a morning WW meeting lol

Today was a happy day, went to my meeting, down a pound, entered a new weight decade, out for brunch with the parents, ate a delish meal at Cora’s. It was a random mixture of healthy and non-healthy foods, as most meals out are.

I got Theo’s Omelette which is an omelette filled with oh so many vegetables, covered in cheese, and served with a side of potatoes, fresh fruit, and toast. I asked them to make the omelette with half the normal amount of cheese because restaurants always seem to drown food in cheese and I think it came out with a pretty decent amount.

img_6016

After brunch it was errand time, borrowed my Dad’s car for a while and bonus points for me, I returned it in the same condition it was in when I left the driveway. πŸ™‚

This evening after dinner I realized that even though I had parked far away and walked when going to all the shops I hadn’t really done anything worthy of being called exercise so I grabbed one of the exercise dvd’s I brought and started working out.

Tonight I did the 5 Mile Walk dvd by Leslie Sansone, it is a “walk at home” dvd which means you are walking on the spot, or forwards and backwards, or side to side, in random combinations and taking her word for it that eventually you have walked 5 miles. I tend to jog for large parts of it, and incorporate more arm work, so I get a better work out.

walk-at-home

The woman, Leslie, is so annoying, ugh. But she keeps you moving which is the important part. Normally I play the dvd on my laptop with the volume down low and watch something on tv while walking but my mom joined me this evening so we kept the volume up high and we kept being told to “walk! walk! walk!” lol Β πŸ˜€

My fear that I would fail this challenge by Day 2 has been relieved. Now on to figure out where to fit something in on Day 3!

Did you work out today?

Day 1 of 12

20 Dec

It is Day 1 of The 12 Days of Fitness! You didn’t think I forgot did you? πŸ˜‰

Like I said in the original post about the 12 Days of Fitness all that is required for this challenge is to find time everyday, for 12 days, starting December 20th, to be physically active.

What the activity is doesn’t matter, it can be a walk around your neighbourhood, following along to an exercise dvd, taking part in a plank challenge. Whatever! Just do something active. Every. Single. Day.

Today I went bowling. πŸ™‚

bowling

See? Not crazy active. Not some big massive workout. But it still counts! I played two games, met up with old friends, had a blast, and most importantly (for this challenge anyways), was active when otherwise I most likely wouldn’t have been.

I contemplated following along to an exercise dvd in the evening but by the time the thought came to me it was already a bit too late. But that is ok because there is always tomorrow and not like the exercise dvd is going anywhere lol

What activity did you do today?

 

Junior Snowmaggedon

9 Dec

Snowmaggedon didn’t quite happen. Did we get snow? Sure. Was it at levels that made functioning outside of a person’s home almost impossible? Nope! The more important question, was it pretty? So freakin gorgeous! I once again took a stupid amount of pictures of snow. SNOW! *rolls eyes*

When I left for work it was big fat flakes falling, I was grinning like a fool the entire time I was getting snow off the suv aaaaand while I was driving to work. Snow like that gives tires great traction so the driving was a breeze…well, for me. Some people appeared to be having trouble but it seemed like most people remembered the horror that was last Monday and were taking extra care with their speed and such.

It continued to snow for pretty much all of my work shift, at some point it turned in to more of a slushy snow instead of the pretty stuff which is unfortunate but oh well, had to happen at some point I suppose. shrug.

By the time work was over it was raining and everything was melting, sadness. If temps get to freezing over night tomorrow will be interesting, what with every surface being like an ice rink but that’s a problem for another day.

When I got home from work it was about 9:45p and I reeeeally wanted to go for a walk but most of the sidewalks were not cleared and I had no desire to be picking my way across uneven terrain so instead I grabbed a shovel and started shoveling.

Get this…I really enjoyed myself!

Shoveling the snow turned in to a multi-tasking dream lol

(1) I am counting it as my exercise for the day – hey don’t judge, I’m lazy and have to count whatever I can!

(2) I not only did the path and sidewalk for the place I live in but also for the neighbour and then for the house beyond the neighbours so that’s my good deed for the day

(3) I made tomorrow’s shoveling easier by clearing what had already built up today

I maaaay not have done my poor back / shoulders / neck much good since they are still hurting from this past Monday’s car accident but I’d like to think it is better to be at least partially active so the muscles don’t all seize up and become unhappy with all movement then to be lazy and doing nothing. Besides, shoveling snow can be quite soothing, especially when no one else is out; it is so quiet, so pretty, so zen like.

All of that is only here fyi, in any other part of the country I’d be shoveling snow in bitterly freezing temperatures and I’d be complaining louder than anybody else out there. Here though, it was pleasant out, didn’t even need to bundle up. πŸ™‚

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Don’t mind all the pictures of trees, I just really like trees covered in snow. πŸ™‚

12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge

7 Dec

Tis the month to gain ridiculous amounts of weight super fast if not careful! With so many social gatherings, and treats, and just general feelings of wanting to eat alllll the food this month it can be easy to wake up January 1st and realize your jeans aren’t fitting quite as well anymore.

I so don’t want that to happen to me!

Yes I know that being healthy is 80% what you eat and only 20% exercise but let’s be real here people, there will be food aplenty all over the place and I am sure I will end up eating more than planned.

So the idea is to help minimize some of the food damage I will end up doing by ensuring I stay active this month.

Here is the plan…

12-days-of-xmas

The challenge begins December 20th and goes to December 31st. You don’t have to be out there running marathons, or making massive gains at the gym, I’m not looking for crazy changes in fitness activity. All I’m looking for is fitting exercise in to the daily routine over those days when so many of us skip exercising.

Just because there are a million and one things to do over the season doesn’t mean we should stop finding time each day to take care of ourselves. How else do you expect to enter 2017 feeling your best if you load up on food in this last month and don’t at least try to burn some of it off?

Some ideas for exercise could be:

  • a walk around the block
  • mall walking if you are somewhere cold
  • during the commercials do some squats, or sit-ups, or planks, or push-ups, or whatever you are able to do
  • take the stairs instead of elevators
  • park far away from the doors of the places you are going
  • snowball fight! build a snow fort! basically anything with snow!
  • pop in an exercise dvd
  • play tag with your kids, or nieces and nephews, or your friend’s kids

You get the idea!

So who is with me? Who is willing to try reeeeally hard to make the time everyday, for 12 days, over the busiest time of the year, to be good to ourselves and fit some exercise in to our days?

C’mon, you know you want to!

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