Surfcoast Century and Magellan Echo Review

This is not a sponsored post. I was given a Magellan Echo watch to review and all opinions are my own.

With just 43 days to go until I take part in the Surfcoast Century with 3 other women, I’m getting a little nervous. I don’t normally get pre-race jitters but I’m just a little concerned that I haven’t put in enough training.

Surfcoast Century

There are three key runs scheduled into my training each week that incorporate a tempo run, some interval training and a long run. The longest I’ve run so far has been 8kms. I’d better get moving hey?

Admittedly, I’ve missed a couple of runs due to a couple of sleepless nights but that’s to be expected with a newborn.

Now I’m a bit of a gadget junkie when it comes to my fitness. I have my own section in one of the cupboards at home that is full of my gadgets. Anything that makes a run easier, warmer, faster, I’ve got it.

Whilst in training for the Melbourne marathon back in 2012, three things really did my head in on my long runs.

My headphones that kept falling out, my iPhone4 that would completely die at the 24km mark (which meant that my music would completely stop and so would my legs), and having to pause my iPhone every time I got to a traffic light. I always seemed to get the red ones.

The only way I could pause my run would be to pull my iPhone out of my arm band, manually pause it then re-start it and place the phone back into my arm band.
VERY. VERY. FRUSTRATING.

I still haven’t sorted the headphones out yet but I have found a watch that lets me control my music and pause my runs through the actual watch. I’d like to introduce you to my new bestie – the Magellan Echo.

Image Source - Magellan.com

Image Source – Magellan.com

Some key features of the Magellan Echo include:

-The watch pairs with popular apps (Strava, Mapmyrun) that then streams data from your smartphone straight to the watch. (Via Bluetooth technology).

-At a glance, you can see your time, distance, pace, and much more.

-The funky style of the watch allows you to wear it as an everyday watch (which I just love).

-Comes with a heart rate monitor so you can track your heart rate on every run.

-With your phone tucked away in a pouch, (protected from the elements), remote controls make it easy to perform app functions such as Start, Stop, Lap as well as Music controls like Play/Pause, and Next Song.

-You can also tap the screen to turn the page to see additional data screens.

-The battery runs on a coin cell battery which is as cheap as a protein bar to replace. No charging! I love it. The battery life is 6 months depending on how much you use it.

-The watch is waterproof

Overall I have found the Magellan Echo to be a clever little watch that serves its purpose to me as a runner.

The watch itself has very basic functionality so it doesn’t have the vibrating or beeping function to notify me of key checkpoints but I’m ok with that. All I’m really interested in is the number of kilometres, my pace and my heart rate. Perfect.

The only minor issue I encountered was connectivity whilst at the gym. As the Magellan relies on the brains of the smart phone, if there was no GPS service available, then it can not easily track the run.

If you’re new to running or, like me, a casual/social runner, then I highly recommend the Magellan Echo. Oh and go the blue, it’s the best!

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Going Coconuts

Coconut tree

I’m casting my mind back to our honeymoon in beautiful Fiji in February 2013. Ahh the serenity, the crystal clear waters, the beautiful coconut palms, the welcoming coconut lei, the coconut oil massages, the cocktails being served in, you guessed it, coconuts.

Back to reality and fast forward a year and a half. If you open my pantry you’ll find coconut flour, coconut oil and shredded coconut. Open my bathroom cupboard and you’ll find coconut moisturizing cream, coconut balm and coconut hair serum.
You see, there is more to the furry brown nut than meets the eye. Here are a few fast facts.

-Coconut is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
-Otherwise known as “The Tree Of Life”, the coconut palm is a main source of food for the Pacific Islanders and is also well known for it’s healing qualities.
-Coconut Oil has been described as the “healthiest oil on earth.
-Coconut reduces sweet cravings. The healthy fat in coconut slows down any rise in blood sugar (good bye 3pm sugar fix)
-Coconut is gluten free, contains no trans fat and makes cauliflower rice taste AMAZING.

Pete Evans

Now I’ve saved the best for last. If you ever find yourself in my kitchen, open up the fridge and you’ll find boxes of coconut water. Lots of it.

Someone introduced me to coconut water a couple of years ago and I just couldn’t seem to acquire the taste for it. It took me some time to re-visit it and I’m pleased to say that I have found one that I absolutely love.

Rawc prides itself on providing 100% coconut juice with no added nasties in it. The fact that Pete Evans is a member of the Rawc team and happens to appear on the side of the box is an added bonus. Hello Pete.

As a busy mum to 3 littlies, there is nothing better than whipping up a healthy juice packed full of goodness with fresh fruit and rawc coconut water.

Coconut smoothie

I was provided with a box of Rawc coconut water to review but I was already a big fan so writing this post was a walk in the park.

Are you as mad on coconuts as I am?

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Getting My Fit Back On Update 2

Where have the last 12 weeks gone?? Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun or looking after 3 kids under 5.

As many of you know, I’ve been getting my fit back on since gaining 27kgs after the birth of our third child in May this year. You can read my first post here.

So what have I been up to over the past 8 weeks? Well lots.

Em from Have a Laugh On Me summed it up nicely today. Don’t Ignore Your Pelvic Floor!

I have been following Lorraine Scapens Birth2FitMum program for the past 8 weeks and geez I’m glad I did.

Lorraine sure does know her stuff. That’s why I had full confidence in the program from day one. It’s easy to follow and can be done at home which is perfect for busy mum’s like me.

Monday, Wednesday & Friday’s, I don’t ignore my pelvic floor! (TVA activation & pelvic floor exercises).

There have been a couple of weeks that haven’t gone as planned due to sheer craziness around here but I’ve been determined to work on my core strength and abdominal separation. If I’ve only managed half a session, I would complete the second half when the kids have gone to bed.

The alternate days are spent running. On bitterly cold, windy, rainy mornings I might add. Does anyone else dislike Winter as much as I do??

Me and my running buddy!

Me and my running buddy!

With the help and support of the fabulous Operation Move crew, I am well and truly on my way to running the Surfcoast Century on the 13th September followed by the Blackmores Half Marathon in Sydney the following week.

I have no problems whatsoever when it comes to motivation to get moving. I love to move. What I have struggled with over the years has been my diet.

The highs and lows, the comfort eating, the addiction to sugar. My weight has gone up, down, every which way over the years.

So, one of the major changes to mine and my families lifestyles recently has been our diet. Although being very fit for many years, I’ve never quite been able to nail what I eat.

Eating well most of the time, I was still always feeling sluggish, caving in to my sugar cravings, comfort eating and drinking alcohol. Sound familiar?

When our 8 week developed eczema recently, I was adamant that I wasn’t going to use cortisone creams like had been prescribed previously to our daughter on numerous occasions. I’m convinced that it is all diet related so it made perfect sense to make changes that would benefit all of us.

We are currently following the Whole30 Paleo lifestyle and can I just say, I feel fabulous. No bloating, no sugar cravings, no comfort eating.

I have had to be flexible with the kids and have allowed wholemeal bread, milk and cheese in their diets. I just don’t think it’s fair on them to make drastic changes too soon. Definitely no processed foods, cereals, take away etc.

Gosh I waffle on don’t I?

Here are my stats to date.

Please note that I am comparing my overall weight with my final hospital weigh in which was 87.5kgs.

I started exercising 4 weeks post partum starting with my pelvic floor.

4 weeks post partum
Weight: 77.2kgs
Chest: 98.5cm
Waist: 100.5cm
Hips: 110.5cm
Right leg: 66.5cm
Right arm: 32cm

8 weeks post partum
Weight: 72.9kgs
Chest: 96.5cm
Waist: 96.5cm
Hips: 107.5cm
Right Leg: 64.5cm
Right arm: 31cm

12 weeks post partum
Weight: 70.3gs
Chest: 94.5cm
Waist: 92.5cm
Hips: 104.5cm
Right Leg: 60.5cm
Right arm: 30cm

At almost 12 weeks post partum, I have lost 17.2kgs and my measurements continue to go down. I am feeling so much better for it too.

Being able to play soccer on demand with my son in the backyard (which seems to be every 5 minutes these days) or taking the kids out on their bikes is the best feeling ever.

All you new mums out there that aren’t working on your core, get on to it. It has made the world of differance and has helped my running and decreased my lower back pain.

Have you been keeping active over the Winter? How do you stay motivated? Do you work on your core strength?

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A Change For The Better – Paleo Update

This week I started a journey with my family. A Paleo journey. I’d heard a lot about this lifestyle and to be honest, I felt that things were a little too restrictive for me.

Seriously, how could I give up milk in my skinny capp and my all time “comfort food fav”, wholemeal cheesy might scrolls from Bakers Delight?

I haven’t made this decision lightly. Three of my children suffer from eczema and 11 years ago, I was diagnosed with IBS and gluten intolerance. Have I taken my conditions seriously? Not really. Now that I have a family, they rely on me to take their health seriously.

I have also experienced a number of anxiety attacks over the years and my husband and my weight has gone up and down as we struggle to find a happy medium with this thing called food.

We are following the Whole30 where for 30 days we cut out dairy, complex carbohydrates and sugar. Sounds extreme I know but 3 days in and I’m feeling great.

Putting the kids on a full blown paleo diet I think is a little unfair particularly when their diet has included bread, legumes, and milk for so long.

What I do think is fair is replacing their high sugar/carbohydrate meals that they are used to eating with alternatives. I have replaced their milo with cacao, (wasn’t really a hit but I tried). Cows milk has been replaced with almond milk, cereal with omlettes, avacado, ham and olives.

It is working and to be honest, I think they are enjoying the variety. I promised myself that I wouldn’t become “one of those parents” that was super strict with foods that my kids could and couldn’t eat but these little people rely on me and the more I become informed, the more I want to teach them.

With children, everything needs to come with explanation so I have been having daily discussions with them as to why we are eliminating certain foods. On the way to kinder this morning, my 4 year old boy asked me why they weren’t having rice bubbles any more. I started my sentence with “They have a lot of…..” and my son finished it with “Sugar mummy?”

Today, after putting fuel in the car, my 3 year old asked me if she could have a treat when we went in to pay. I would normally grab her a packet of sesame snaps or a bag of popcorn if she was really hungry.

This was going to be a tough challenge for me. How would I be able to find something healthy when the whole way to the counter, you are greeted with chocolates, lollies and chips, just to name a few.

As I handed over my cash, I grabbed a banana from the counter, walked back to the car and watch her devour it in the back seat. Did that just happen?

They may be young but don’t underestimate what these tiny minds take in.

The theory behind the paleo lifestyle is to eat the way our ancestors did which initially I thought was a little far-fetched but after attending The Paleo Way last night with Pete Evans and Nora Gedgaudas (international paleo expert and author of Primal Body, Primal Mind), it made a lot more sense.

Image source - healthydiscoveries.com

Image source – healthydiscoveries.com

There was a lot of information to take in, lots of scientific evidence that I thought could have been condensed down to a 2 hour session rather than 3.5 hours. Here are a few things that I took away from the evening.

Paleo Way 1

-We consume approximately 90K meals in a lifetime.
-We should think about the food that we are eating as either a medicine or a poison.
-We need to value our families health as much as our own.
-Over 30% of Australians suffer from 1 or more chronic diseases.
-We make glucose through protein and fat therefore we do not need carbohydrates in our diet.
-Fat is where it’s at – scientific studies have shown that our bodies are designed to run on fat not carbohydrates.
-Good fats are satiating so the next time you go to grab a chocolate bar at 3pm, chomp on half an avocado instead and it will get you through until dinner time.
-Pete Evans looks just as good in person as he does on the side of his RawC coconut water.
-Fermented vegetables are better for you than raw vegetables.
-You’ll find only 20c worth of wheat in a Weetbix box and 15c worth of wheat in a loaf of bread. Who knew?
-Gluten has been linked to over 200 conditions including anxiety, depression, autism and schizophrenia.
-The five food group pyramid that I used to love as a kid is not worth the paper it’s written on.

There was so much more valuable information packed into the session and I’m still slowly digesting it.

So, in an (activated) nutshell, moderate protein, eliminate carbs and sugars, eat as many fibrous vegetables as you can and as much good fat as your body needs and you will feel whole lot better for it.

My thoughts so far, I’m impressed. I have spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen this week which means that my evening workouts have taken a back seat but the more I learn, the easier it will get. Hello Sunday cook ups!

What are your thoughts on Paleo and how would your children cope with a sudden change to their diet?

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On A Mission, A Paleo Mission

They say things happen in 3’s. This week it was confirmed that our 9 week old boy also has eczema.

Knowing what we have been through with our 3-year-old daughter but more importantly, what she has been through, I could do nothing but cry when the same red, inflamed rash appeared on our baby boys face last week.

That red, inflamed rash that caused and continues to cause our little girl so much discomfort, so many sleepless nights, countless bloodied sheets, and never-ending mood swings. I call her our difficult child when all she has done is suffer. How selfish of me.

Our eldest boy also has eczema but not nearly as severe as his sister. Only time will tell how much suffering our third child will have to endure with this unforgiving skin condition.

I posted about this on Facebook this week and received over 50 comments. It amazes me that eczema is so common yet there is still no cure.

We have literally tried every lotion and potion there is available. We’ve had creams specifically made for her, tried bleach baths, eliminated dairy, wheat, fructose, had her allergy tested, seen a Chinese doctor and have been in and out of the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Which reminds me. We received a firm letter from the Royal Children’s Hospital on Monday (addressed to our family doctor) asking why we hadn’t attended her last 3 follow up appointments. The answer is simple. I NO LONGER WANT TO USE SEROID CREAMS ON MY CHILDREN.

After doing countless hours of research, I honestly believe that eczema can be managed through the correct foods that we consume. Alisha from Naughty Naturopath Mum wrote a great series on gut health which is an interesting read. http://naughtynaturopathmum.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/gut-health-the-facts/

We are a family who loves to keep healthy and active but I would be lying if I said that we didn’t eat sugar and that our pantry and fridge were preservative free.

We need to get better at it if we are going to improve ours and our children’s health so I am going to try a little experiment. A Paleo experiment.

There is so much information out there on the Paleo lifestyle and to be honest, it all seemed too hard. I have however, recently seen the benefits it has had on a few of my friends.

This Paleo lifestyle has proven to improve skin conditions, increase energy levels, and aid in weight loss. I was lucky enough to have won a ticket to the Paleo Way in Melbourne next week. (Thanks #peteevans)

20140711-071538-26138013.jpg

I’m excited to find out more about this lifestyle by the experts Pete Evans, Nora Gedgaudas and Luke Hines and how to get started on a this journey with my family.

For 30 days, I will be trying a Paleo diet at home and will be interested to see the benefits it has on my family, in particular the children’s eczema.

I will keep you posted after I attend the Paleo Way next week but in the meantime, have you tried the Paleo Lifestyle? Do you have a child with eczema and how did you treat it?

Linking up with Grace today from With Some a Grace on this cold winters morning.

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard

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