My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


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Resistance Bands: Cheap, Easy, Space Efficient

source: Grit by Brit

I recently acquired some resistance bands. They’ve been popular for a while & the internet is full of info — I’m really lame about trends — so I’m not going in depth here, but I did want to suggest them to anyone who hasn’t tried them & is looking for a cheap, easy way to do strength work at home without taking up a lot of space.  They are a little easier to use than weights, & if you drop them on your foot it hurts a lot less.

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Review: Toadking Mood Tracker app for Android

Toadking version 1.1

I was asked to check out the Toadking Mood Tracker app & possibly review it here if I thought it was useful.

Well, I checked it out & I have to say I am finding it very useful. It’s a really great app, & I’ve tried a few for tracking moods, meds, sleep, a variety of things. It allows you to track any ten things you can rate on a scale of 0-10, so it’s useful for more than just moods. For instance, you could use it to rate different aspects of your runs: like how it felt; how you felt before, during, & after; any pain; breathing; etc. All sorts of things.

The interface is simple & intuitive, & the User Guide is comprehensive & easy to navigate. It’s easy to track as well as easy to check & share you history, both of those give you options for how you’d like to do it.

The app is free with no ads. There is a Paypal button discretely placed at the bottom of the user guide for anyone who would like to pay something to the creator.

That’s the short version. Hit “Read More” for the walk-through review with lots of screen shots! 🙂

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My New Favorite Vitamin, More Stuffs, & A Giveaway

Vitamin Wheel

Vitamin Wheel from Medical News Today

Okay, I’m going to wrap up the last three days of fish oil, inositol, & spearmint tea by reviewing various other things I’ve tried recently.

Let’s start with the basics: multivitamins.

For years I took One A Day’s Women’s multi, switching to Wal-Mart’s Equate version at some point.  They were vitamins.  Honestly, I could never tell a difference between taking them or skipping them.  However, I could tell if I took them on an empty stomach.  They have plenty of iron.  Always take iron with food.  It will tear your stomach up.  I also tried a OAD formulated for energy.  It made me sick, as most energy-touting pills do.

I looked at whole food vitamins at some point, but they cost too much to be practical for me.  However, recently I tried Alive! Once Daily Women’s Ultra Potency from Nature’s Way. From their listing on Swanson’s:

Nature’s Way Alive! Once Daily Women’s Ultra Potency is nutrition you can feel with more energizing nutrients from more natural sources than other multi-vitamin brands. This unique formula delivers 26 fruits and vegetables, extra B-vitamins for energy, and special nutrients for breast health, urinary health, and hair, skin and nail health. Contains no salt, sugar, yeast, wheat grain, dairy products, artificial flavorings, colors or preservatives.

I could tell a difference right away.  My mood & energy have improved.  It’s not dramatic, so not making me feel weird.  I just feel normal, more motivated.  This is my new vitamin.  I ❤ it.  At $10.99 for a two months supply, it’s pricier than what I was taking, but it’s still not bad.  Definitely worth it IMHO.  That’s a lot cheaper than similar vitamins.

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PCOS, Inositol, & My Thinning Hair

chemical structure of D-chiro-inositol

For women with PCOS & other hormonal issues, hair is a big deal.  You get too much hair in some places, well everywhere but your head.  On your head, you lose it.  PCOS causes an excess of testosterone, leading to male pattern baldness, as well as male pattern body hair (excess hair on the chest, back, hands & feet, butt, all the manly places, also thicker & darker) & the the dreaded facial hair.

My biggest problem was thinning hair.  When I was younger my hair was so thick I had it thinned out when I had my hair cut.  Last year I realized I was losing a bird’s nest of hair every day.  No matter how many times I brushed it, more hair was always coming out.  I would brush it before I washed it, still lose lots of hair in the shower, & later I could pull at my hair & come away with several more strands.  The shower was full, the garbage can was full (after I brushed it really did look like a bird’s nest in the can), & there was hair everywhere in the apartment.  Granted, I do have long hair which adds to the volume of my hair piles.

I could see my scalp without parting my hair for the first time in my life.  I’m vain when it comes to my hair, so that was a big deal for me.

What is a modern gal to do when she has a problem?  To the interwebz!

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Fish Oil & Freebies!

Research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, or essential fatty acids (EFAs), can help lower triglycerides, slow the hardening of arteries, regulate heartbeat, and lessen the risk of death in people with known heart disease. It’s also possible that the omega-3 group may aid in treating depression… A few promising studies suggest that natural sources of omega-3s — especially fish oil — may help bring mood back into balance.
~Chris Woolston, M.S., Health Day

Body Vega Fish Oil

source: Amazon.com

I have been researching & trying a lot of different vitamins & supplements, & have been intending to write about them here.  Ta-da!  I’m finally doing it.  I figure fish oil was a good place to start.

A lot of research has been done into fish oil in the last couple of decades.  It has been shown to be helpful for several physical issues, but the research into its use for mental health has been less certain.  Some studies say it does, some say it doesn’t.  There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence out there to support whichever stance you prefer.  The Mayo Clinic’s site rates it an A on the physical health issues, but only a C when it comes to Bipolar Disorder.

I dug up a plethora of links on the issues, including what I wrote previously on fish oil & Bipolar Disorder, so there are lots there if you want to do some digging of your own.  I’ve included three research oriented links from the last year at the bottom.  They are the ones I used writing this.

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New Shoes & Death Sinuses

“People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves.” ~Chuck Palahniuk

My feet wearing my new black Brooks Adrenaline shoes with gray speed laces.

New shoes on my feet!

This will actually be a three-fold post: my new shoes, my first run since the 5K, & the fact that I’m *coughcough* dying *coughdramaticcough*.

First, I went to Fleet Feet Huntsville on Monday planning to get the new version of my beloved Saucony Omni ProGrid.  Sadly, neither I nor the store had anticipated the popularity of my shoe, so they were out of stock in my size (8.5 wide). *le sigh*  Since it was an hour drive & I had a coupon from the 5K I decided to take this as an opportunity to step outside my brand loyal comfort zone.  He showed me the Brooks Adrenaline & some Asics, & I ultimately decided on the Brooks.  I have heard so much about the brand, it seemed like the thing to do.  In hindsight, I wish I had thought to ask for the Brooks Beast since that was a close second when I got the Omni before. Continue reading


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Speed Laces!

You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces & wonder what else you could do while you’re down there. 
~George Burns (Brainy Quotes)

My running shoes with speed lacesSpeed laces FTW!

Here’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for a little while, speed laces (in case you hadn’t already guessed).  I gave up shoes that couldn’t be slipped on years ago – due to constantly running late in the mornings rather than age, but that hasn’t been an option for running shoes.  Until now… (sort of, they have actually existed for a while & I’ve been using them a couple of months).  I had actually pinned some on my running board a few months ago when I was pricing new running shoes, but it wasn’t until a couple of months ago I thought about looking for them locally.  I was inspired to go for it by this post by Cinnamon over at Salty Running.

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