Category Archives: Charleston

Review: Forever Flex Exercise Ball

I received the Forever Flex Exercise Ball for free to review via Tomoson.com.  My views are my own and I do not recommend anything if I don’t believe in it.

I love lifting weights, but lifting doesn’t always love me.  During the times when my bones and joints are particularly sensitive, Pilates and yoga are my jams.  When I need to get off the floor for lifting or ab work, I get on a ball.  Well, I used to until the dogs made a chew toy out of my last one.  It’s my fault for leaving a partially deflated ball within their lines of sight.  I loved that thing.  I’d sit on it when working at my desk or reading in addition to using it in place of a weight bench.  And it was purple, too! Sigh.

I was on the market for a new one when a review opportunity brought one to me.  Live Infinitely’s Forever Flex Exercise Ball is perfect!  It’s available in several sizes, two colors, affordably priced, strong, and comes with a pump, extra valve plug, plug remover, and training plan.  Thanks to Amazon Prime, I had mine in my hands two days after placing the order.  I went with the dark gray instead of purple this time.  Hopefully the pups won’t mistake it for one of their toys.

exercise ball ball 2
Have you used an exercise ball?  If not, you need to make sure you get the right size for your needs.  Since I’m not the tallest person, I selected the 55 cm size (for those of us under 5′ 6″).  Live Infinitely has them available for people in the 5′ 6″ to 5′ 11′ range (65 cm), 6′ to 6′ 4″ (75 cm) and taller than 6′ 4″ (85 cm).   Using one that’s too small or large will throw you out of proper alignment.

Oops, looks like the man and boy will need their own since mine is too small for them. 

Once I inflated this baby, I decided to get some ab work in.  This industrial PVC ball is strong!  It holds up to 2200 pounds (way over my weight) and anti-burst tested.   I finished my workout and was beginning to regret but not regret how hard I went.  I sat on the ball for a while before making a recovery drink.

The Forever Flex Exercise Ball is  easy to clean and has non-slip ridges that came in handy on the hardwood floor.  It also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and fantastic customer service.  Would I buy this?  Yes, and I will buy a bigger one for the man and boy if they request it.  I might make that one purple.  You know, so we can tell them apart at a quick glance.

So, do you use an exercise ball?  Tell me about it.

 

Semi-wordless Wednesday: Books

You know I have a cookbook problem.

SAMSUNG
A few of my favorites, including books from authors I have a girl crush on. HInt – all of them.
al fresco
I reviewed this book and still pull ideas and recipes from it from time to time.
ice cream sandwiches
Don’t think any commentary is necessary.
Supercharged-Juices-Smoothies
Because your friendly neighborhood Sherrie does not fear the green,
meal plan bb
Meal planning was in full effect here.

 

Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules!
Raw or cooked, plant-based comfort food rules! Noms!
A classic.
A classic.
One of my go-to's for healthy vegan eats.
One of my go-to’s for healthy vegan eats.
HappyHerbivoreLight-2526Lean_FrontCover
I’m digging the recipes here. They help me stick to my eating plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter if the books are from the library or part of my personal collection.  I have one within reach daily.

By the way, if you’re in or near Charleston, SC, you can meet Happy Herbivore herself, Lindsay Nixon at the College of Charleston on Thursday!  I missed her back in 2012, but will be there this time.  Hope you can make it, too!

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

See ya, January! Happy February!

I’m glad to see January 2015 go. It was a craptacular month and I don’t think I could easily handle a second month of it. An annoying reason I hated the month is the setback. Grr, the setback. But, January is over and February is here. I’m ready for it.

I tried to post this yesterday, but the January Kick Ass continued for an extra day. My saved pots disappeared three times.  I was not amused.

My goals this month are to get my eating back on track and learn more about what ails me. Research might drive some people crazy, but it helps me feel like I have more control. The Fibromyalgia quirks and tummy issues don’t bother me as much since I have an idea what to expect. I hope that makes sense. I wonder sometimes if it does. If it doesn’t, I blame Fibro Brain. :-)

And speaking of research, I picked up this goodie a few days ago. candida

Ricki Heller‘s blog is one of my favorite stops and I know the advice in this book in my hands will make a huge difference.  I’ll share more about the book and recipes here and in my Examiner column.  If you need sugar-free, gut-healing whole food recipes, take a look.

I was advised to consider the possibility of candida overgrowth a little over a year ago.  I took the assessment and scored in the top range before I completed the whole thing.  Oy.  Overachiever, I am.  These recipes work with my eating plan.  I just have to tweak things here and there.

For fitness, I’m starting another round of 21 Day Fix starting on February 8.  21 Day Fix Extreme drops today, but I am not ready for that one.  Both 21DF and 21DFX are designed to get you on track with 30 minute workouts (yes), an easy clean eating plan, and quick results.  All moves include a modifier front and center and only minimum equipment is required.  I’ll use resistance bands and my favorite exercise mat.  If you’d like more information on either program, give me a shout or visit my store.

21 day fix dvd
30 minutes a day, clean eats, and modified moves that even I can do. Love it!

 

Do you have specific plans or goals for February? If you need or want support and encouragement, give me a shout.  If you’re following a different program, it’s all good. This is all about support for whatever your goals are. Swing by Facebook and say hi.

Until next time, be good to yourself.  Remember that you are not alone and that you are your competition.

Peace!

 

Review: Number One Nutrition’s Advanced Probiotic

nin adv probiotics

 

I’ve learned a lot in this past few years about the importance of a happy and healthy gut. Probiotics play a huge role in the process. I treat my body like a lab at times. One experiment involved cutting the use of a probiotic for 30 days. That was a huge mistake. The bloating and, um, irregularity were painful. Use of the wrong probiotic wasn’t good for me, either. My gut is pretty wrecked after years of antibiotics and other medications along with previously unknown food sensitivities. Limited peanut butter, coffee, and wheat, and no more dairy, period. The peanut butter and coffee hurt the most, but that’s another story for another day.

I noticed that my daily dose of nutrition in a glass wasn’t giving me enough gut protection, so I went back to a separate probiotic. Number One Nutrition’s Advanced Probiotic fit the bill. It’s vegetarian-friendly and dairy-free!

n1n 2

I gave Advanced Probiotic a try and it made a big difference. It worked as well as more expensive brands I’ve tried and I felt the difference almost immediately when I ran out for a few days. Finding a good probiotic without dairy is huge when dairy is an issue. I picked up a bottle of a different brand for comparison and will go back to Advanced Probiotic as soon as I finish this jar. When I find something that works, I stick with it.

Give Advanced Probiotics and other products from Number One Nutrition a look. You might find the supplement you body’s looking for.  Pick it up directly from Number One Nutrition or on Amazon.com.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

How was your 2014?

It’s the time of year when people make grand resolutions after looking back at the current year. I’m not making any grand resolutions myself. Goal setting seems to work better for me. I’m happy to have reached the majority of goals I’d set for myself and plan to do more of the same in 2015.

I’m ending this yer on a healthier note than I started it. I have more answers than questions about my health and am on the healing track. I’m not 100% there, but I am much better than I was. I still hurt daily, but I hurt a lot less.

I’m still working on my fitness. Yes, Beachbody programs play a huge rule, but walking and flexibility training are in the mix. I plan to take on Body Beast in 2015 and hopefully hubs will join me.

body beast
Body Beast works for men and women. Muscle burns fat, baby! Sherrie Thompson photo.
meal plan bb
To train like a beast, I must eat like a beast. Yes, I will be plant-based because that is my way. Sherrie Thompson photo.

As for family stuff,  I plan to keep doing what we do.  I’ll love and accept them for who they are as people and not just because of ties.  and I’ll beat the girl in her games, dammit.  I can’t help it that I’m a dedicated PS person and shen bounces around.

As for swearing, that’s not going to change.  I know when to reign it in and when to let loose.  Letting loose is when I’m lifting heavier or tripping over the dogs.

Here’s to you.  Set goals, work toward them, and live well.  Do your thing.  Compete only with your former self.  Love yourself as you would anyone dear to you.

Peace.

**The link will take you to my Beachbody page.  If you need a coach, suggestions on a program,  or just want to hear from someone who gets it, give me a shout.**

BodyBeast_COO_250x250

Good and bad days

We all have days when we feel pretty dang good.  Our moods are good.  We sing along with the radio and maybe dance, too.  We hit our workouts with enthusiasm and leave it all on the floor.  The workday flows smoothly and the kids go to bed without a fuss.  Those days rock.

Oy, bad days.  We feel like there’s a rainstorm overhead.  Work is a mess, the kids fight and whine about everything,  and you cannot stop dropping or tripping over things.  We burn dinner.  We feel overwhelmed and fall into bed only to stare at the ceiling most of the night.  Those days do anything but rock.

Today is in-between for me.  I’m singing and dancing in my seat, but there is no dancing.  I’m barely coordinated enough to walk.  And don’t get me started on cooking.  My mind and body are not on the same page and a fibro flare is around the corner.  But it’s okay.  This will pass.  I will survive and thrive.  And dance.

What kind of day are you having?

Throwback Thursday

How do you get your fitness on? If you’re like me and not a big fan of traditional workouts, get more active in general. Play a team sport, dance, actively play with the kids and dogs, or get out and do more. Hubs and I are spending our free time on weekends going around and playing tourist. Sometimes it involves longer car rides, but we make up for the time seated with time walking around the sites. The sheer number of historic sites in Charleston makes it easy to find something to see.

We visited the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial

tuskeege

Drayton Hall

drayton tree

drayton house

Charles Pinkney Site

pinckney cypress

and looked at the water for a while

water view

dragonfly 2

We also went in search of a 4,000 year old Shell Ring, but it was getting a little late to hit this trail.

trail

I don’t care that hubs had a flashlight. Besides, the mosquitoes were pretty fierce and hungry. We’ll go back another day.

How do you do non-traditional fitness?

Until next time, peace.

All of the pictures are mine.  If you want to use them, give me photo credit and send me a link.  Don’t be the guy who steals pictures. 

Handmade beauty with Beauty by Shea

You know how people tell you that many commercial health and beauty products are bad for you and how we should go more natural?  What they don’t tell you is how expensive it is to go more natural.  Sticker shock is a killer!  But once you get over the shock you hit Google and Pinterest.  Once you hit Google and Pinterest, you find recipes for the health and beauty items you need.  And sometimes you realize that you have most of the ingredients on hand.  Then you go into the kitchen and blend, giggling all the while.   Sometimes you share these handmade products with friends and family.

That’s my story.  I drifted away from handmade a little, but learning more about Fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities sent me back into the kitchen.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and skin cream.  The family doesn’t always share my enthusiasm for my handmade concoctions, but the addition of Shea Butter to the skin cream recipes brings them around.

Beauty by Shea photo.
Beauty by Shea photo.

I regularly make my own foot cream and muscle rubs with essential and coconut oils, but the family wasn’t fond of the coconut oil base.  Adding Shea Butter seems to do the trick.  It thickens the base and the products leave no oily or sticky residue when applied.  I had the chance to try Beauty By Shea’s Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter and jumped on it.  This was not my first purchase of raw Shea Butter so I knew what to expect.  My package arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed from the jump. Real, unrefined Shea Butter is firm-textured at room temperature, has a creamy ivory color, and a faint fragrance on its own that blends perfectly with any added fragrance.

I use it straight up on my elbows and knees to help soften the rough skin. Just a touch is all you need. For my hands, I use a 60/40 blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil without added fragrance as a nightly hand cream.  In cold weather when my hands are particularly dry and cracked, nothing beats a 90/10 Shea/Coconut blend, especially when its still warm and has a hint of added fragrance. I reach for essential oils because I’m cutting out as much junk such as artificial fragrance as possible.

This is the start of something wonderful.  Sherrie Thompson photo.
This is the start of something wonderful. Sherrie Thompson photo.

When I need to pick up more Shea Butter, Beauty By Shea is where I’ll shop.  The 1 pound bricks regularly sell for $19, but right now are on sale for $11!  That is an unreal deal!  I may order another bag now so I’ll have it on hand through cooler months and for holiday gifts.

Do you make your own household or beauty products?  What are your favorites?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.