Monday, October 11, 2010

Smart Snacking & PopChips Giveaway!

As one of the 90% of Americans who snack at least once a day, I'm all about picking options that are healthy *and* tasty. Sometimes it can be a sweet, juicy piece of perfectly-ripened fruit, or a crunchy handful of lightly-seasoned nuts, or a decadent piece of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.

... and, when I'm craving something crispy and potato-y, I reach for popchips, which strikes a wonderful balance between regular fried chips (which, obviously, isn't healthy at all) and the baked potato chips (which is super bland with an unappealing rice-cake like crunch.) They are
incredibly light, crispy and flavorful (the sweet-tangy-spicy barbecue is my favorite, with the zingy salt & pepper being a close runner-up!)

Another plus is that they are sensibly portioned,
the individual sized bags are .8 to 1 ounce so you are only sensibly snacking 100-120 calories (compared that to the 2 oz. "snack sized" bags of regular potato chips that amounts to approximately 300 calories - yikes!)

So, I was ecstatic when the popchips folks approached me, and having found out I've been a fan of theirs for years, and
collaborated on a giveaway for more folks discover its healthy AND tasty snacks.

Without further adieu, here are the three simple steps to enter:

Comment on this blogpost with your favorite healthy snacks, twitter username and email address (or if you feel sensitive about your e-mail addy, send it to me via e-mail -- it's just so I have a way of directly contacting you.)
"Like" popchips on their facebook page. (and while you're FBing, might as well check out the newly made Foodie Fitness page too!)
Tweet " I'd like to win the @foodie_fitness healthy snacks giveaway w @popchips! " ~ following is optional but appreciated!

I'll pull winners on Friday, Oct. 15, around 10 a.m. and e-mail/DM for mailing information. Five First Prize Winners will get Popchips' coupon booklets with some serious discounts (incl. free bags and 2-for-1) and Two Lucky Grand Prize Winners will get 10-bag sampler showcasing all their current flavors!

So what are you waiting for? Enter away and good luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My First Trail Race @ Pt. Mugu!

Since I do enjoy a good run and a trail hike, I figure, why not combine the two loves with a trail run? Which is what I did this past weekend with XTERRA's Trail Race @ Pt. Mugu State Park.
Since this was my first trail run ever, I opted for the 11K instead of the 18, and I'm SO thankful I did
Check out the incline/decline on that elevation chart (over 1,100 feet!) And despite being less than 7 miles, running this course, with all its hills, rocky trails, and occasional sharp turns, gave my body & legs a half-marathon esque burn.
That being said, I had a fun time running the trails of La Jolla Canyon, even with throngs of people, I felt really calm & serene and just connected to natural landscape (and breathed a lot better too without having worrying to inhaling car exhaust from nearby roads.)

And, because of their no headphones rule (really understandable esp. when we were in single-file trails and people wanted to pass,) I actually was more attuned to my body, from the way my legs strided to how my feet hit the dirt and how my upper body is positioned.

Marine Layer
And while the marine layer gave the whole route a mystical feel, it also made me uncomfortably wet since my sweat isn't evaporating as quickly as it should--so next time I'll be sure to check the weather reports and dress appropriately (i.e. a top that I strip off & can tie around my waist, or at least one that wicks moisture off my body super-fast)
sweaty & shirtless
My pace time wound up being 12-minute mile, not as good as I hoped or as bad as I feared so gonna work on improving that for future trail races, something I look forward to doing again (maybe even as soon as Thanksgiving for XTERRA's next SoCal event, the Topanga Turkey Trot!)
Unibroue Apple Ephemere
Let's Be Frank's "Not" Dog
Last but not least, to celebrate, I met up with blogger-pal Caroline on Crack where I got a few brews @ Father's Office & a spiced-up Vegetarian "Not" Dog from the nearby Let's Be Frank cart. Probably not the ideal post-race recovery meal, but a well-deserved treat after one of the most strenuous runs I've done lately.
Finisher's Medal
Oh yeah, I also called dibs for wearing this swanky medal for the rest of the day--and look forward to collecting more in the future races!

A few more photos from my flickr set here, and race map & elevation profile images courtesy of XTERRA Trail Run's site.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Refreshingly sensible advice from LA Times Mag . . .

Vanity of the Calves...
Pausing during an Urban Hike to capture a shot of my calves . . .

In a world full of diet and exercise fads, and a media that continually propagates them with ad-libby headlines "shed (number) of pounds/inches from (problem area) in (unrealistically low number) days," I was surprised to see that this month's LA Times Magazine had a really well-written article on personal trainer Tracy Anderson and her balanced approach to eating and exercising healthfully.

Her dozen or so tips include the obvious "don't [crash/fad] diet" & "trust your body to take out the trash" (i.e. no need to detox!) but also a good dose of self- and reality-acceptance advice, like giving yourself the OK to gain the few pounds of "boyfriend/girlfriend" fat when falling in love (due to eating out more frequently than usual,) or maintaining your discretion [and modesty] (which is what I did when I was actively aiming to lose weight, long before I started this blog, I didn't feel the compulsion to broadcast my plans to revamp my habits and have countless eyes watching me onwards -- I just did it solo, and made me my biggest cheereleader & competitor over the last 35-40 pounds.)

Anyhow, check out the article here and love to hear what you think of her advice.