My Thoughts on the Bulu Box

Guess what I got in the mail last week?

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The Bulu Box is a subscription box that you will get monthly, containing 4-5 nutritional supplements from top brands.  From the Bulu Box website:

bulubox

I love the concept of the monthly subscription box – it makes it easier to try different supplements without having to invest $30, $50 or more dollars just to find out that you don’t like or can’t tolerate the product.

Wanna see what I got? Check out the pictures below, match the numbers on the products with the numbers on the descriptions:

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I’m super excited to try the Pure Matters Vitamin D, as I’m sure I don’t get enough.  The Life Omega3s will be great as well, although I do wish there were more than 2 pills as it will be difficult to determine if the product works for me (although I suppose with that amount I’ll know if my stomach can tolerate it or not).

I’m intrigued by the RevHoney – if it tastes good and provides the energy it says, then it will be excellent for triathlon or CrossFit.

The only two I’m hesitant on are the Nightfood and the Cellucor Super HD.  I’m not big on sleep aids but it is melatonin which I have taken before, so I will definitely give this bar a shot.  I don’t know that I would use the thermogenic long term as those sorts of supplements freak me out a little, especially without knowing too much about the ingredients.  However, I’m sure for a lot of people it would be a great introduction to a product that they would like to try, but were afraid of purchasing.

Overall I love the idea of the Bulu Box, and I’m really happy with the samples that came in mine.  Interested in checking it out for yourself? Visit the Bulu Box website, their Facebook page, or connect with them on Twitter.

Below are close ups of the products I received, in order for you to get a better look at them.

Happy 4th of July!

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Disclaimer - I was provided this Bulu Box for free, but all opinions are my own

My First Triathlon–Guelph Lake One

I’m going to try to recap Saturday as succinctly as I can, but no promises. 

The nerves set in Friday night and I had a hard time sleeping.  After a restless night I woke up a bundle of nerves on Saturday morning.  We were meeting my mom around 6:45 so were up and out of the house by 6:20am.  Guelph is about a hour from Ajax, where we met my mom, and I wanted to be there around 8 am.  Registration started at 8:30, and I wanted to be set up and have enough time to figure out where I had to be when before my start time of 10am.

The trip to Guelph was uneventful, although a little longer than we thought.  We arrived around 8:15am.  The conservation area was clearly marked and easy to find – my fee to the conservation area was covered but we had to only pay $5 for the car to cover my mom and Shawn’s entry to the park.  Not too shabby.  Parking was easy to find and we had arrived early enough to get a good spot.

Transition was located close to the parking, so I left my “entourage” and claimed my spot on the rack.  I only have my mountain bike, so no fancy bike shoes to worry about, so my transition area looks so little!

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Headed over to registration after racking my bike, and again everything was easy to find and figure out. The different registration areas were numbered, so all I had to do was go from #1 to #2, etc.  Loved my swim cap (bright pink!) and my t-shirt.  How cute is the design?

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At this point I had probably 45 minutes until I wanted to get into the water to start warming up, so we went down to the water and tested it (cold but not freezing – like an unheated pool rather than a lake.  Which is good, since I was without a wetsuit).  When I’m nervous, I can’t sit still, so I left my mom and Shawn by the swim start and headed back up to transition to fiddle around with things and find out exactly where the run and bike started.  And then it was time to put on my pink cap and head down to the water.

This is when the nerves really set in and I wanted to back out.  I’m not going to lie, I was so scared that I really did contemplate being a complete baby and going home.  Getting into the cold water and trying to swim some warm up strokes helped, but only a little.  The cold and waves caused me to start hyperventilating and it was all I could do to not walk back up onto the beach, up the hill to my car and go home.

Standing back on the beach with my wave I found a few other girls to start chatting with, and they eased my mind a little.  Then it was 10am and the first wave headed into the water.  And at 10:03, we joined them.

As soon as I started swimming I knew I was in over my head – literally and figuratively.  My swimming had not at all prepared me for the current, or the waves, or how hard swimming with both would be.  I made it my goal to finish the swim and not be pulled out.  I wouldn’t drown (although I felt like it a few times) but I wouldn’t be out of the water very fast, either.  The plan changed from swimming to surviving, and I swam from kayak to kayak, taking breaks when I needed too, and shamefully swimming on my back for most of the swim. 

I have never in my life been so happy to be able to touch ground as I was when I reached closer to the shore.  As soon as I could touch I started walking through the water rather than swimming.  I wasn’t last out of the water but I was pretty frigging close. Embarrassing? Most definitely.

I calmed down a bit on my lengthy trudge up to transition and started to mentally prepare for the bike and run.  (Off topic but I’m SO glad I bought a number belt to wear – it made transition so much easier.)

The bike was fantastic.  I passed a bunch of people on both the out and back.  I felt strong the entire time and unlike my duathlon last year, I never wanted to quit on the bike.  The scenery was nice, the other athletes were lovely, and the route wasn’t too hilly.  There was one big hill that was worse on the back part of the out and back, but overall it was more “rolling hills” than big hills.  I can’t speak enough about how happy the bike made me, I still get a little giddy thinking about how it turned out.  I hit my own time goal perfectly for this portion of the race, and still had a tonne of energy left in the tank at the end.  Maybe I need to start biking more…

Back to transition! Racked my bike, took off my helmet and put on my hat, and headed out for the run.  I ran by my mom and Shawn who were cheering – I just shook my head at my mom and she laughed and yelled “You’re still standing!”

I was more than still standing – I was running.  My legs felt strong, way stronger than after my duathlon last year.  as with the bike, I passed people on both the out and back portions of the run. By this point it was really, really hot.  Both the water station and the gentleman with the hose were greatly, greatly appreciated.  As I came closer to the finish, I again saw my cheering section and this combined with being able to actually see the finish line made me push it a little bit harder (and I actually passed a girl right before the finish line. That never happens).

The food after the race was okay – I got a veggie sub from Subway and a pop.  The expo was nice too – lots to look at and buy, but I was too nervous before the race to look and too tired (and hungry) after. 

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So what did I learn? I learned that I need a swim coach.  That I’m tougher than I think sometimes. That I’m stronger than I know, and that I really should have and could have pushed it harder on both the bike and the run, as I had so much left in me at the end. I learned that triathlon is HARD.

And I think I’m addicted.

August 12 – Niagara – Try A Tri #2?

Let’s do this.

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Boys of Summer & A Love Grown Granola Review

First things first – my poor car is dead. Well, he’s not really dead, just in “limp” mode as Shawn says.  The car can only go max 20 km an hour and sputters like a lawn mower, and while he’s not a big car he shouldn’t sound like a lawn mower.  So off he’s been towed, to hopefully get fixed and not rip a huge hole in our wallets.

Anyway – one thing you probably don’t know about me (unless I actually know you, or you follow me on Twitter – and if you don’t, you should, c’mon now) is that I’m a huge baseball fan.  I’m a Blue Jays fan through and through, although with the trade of Johnny Mac and Aaron Hill to the Arizona Diamondbacks last year I kinda have a loyalty to them as well.


The house I grew up in had a pool, and some of my favourite summer memories are of lounging in the pool while listening to Tom and Jerry commentate the ball game. My boys had the best record in spring training this year, and while that means nothing when it comes to the actual season it still brings all of us Jays fans some hope.  They are playing more aggressive baseball this year and I hope that continues throughout the season.

My parents both have birthdays in April, and so to celebrate we are heading to the ball game tomorrow night.  First one of the season!

Next: these lovely things arrived in the mail yesterday:

I’d contacted Love Grown Foods on Twitter, asking where I could find their product locally. They were kind enough to send me three coupons just for asking – one free bag and two $1 coupons.  How nice is that?

At my local Loblaws all I could find was the Simply Oats variety of granola, so I used my free coupon yesterday to scoop some up.  I paired it this morning with some greek yogurt for breakfast.

While the serving size is small (1/4 cup), I really liked this granola.  It had just the right amount of crunch and a nice cinnamon flavour, and was good on it’s own and mixed in with the yogurt. The ingredients are decent, and I like that it’s certified wheat free. Definitely a keeper.  Now, if someone from Love Grown happens to read this, I’d really like to try the Dried Apple or Chocolate varieties of granola, too (pretty please!).

As for workouts, yesterday I ran on the treadmill and took the day off from CrossFit. Today I have no idea what I’m doing, as my plans got screwed up with the car going into the shop.  Hoping to go to CrossFit and if not, then yoga.  I’m planning on going with the flow today (is that possible? To plan to go with the flow?).

Have a great Thursday folks!

Max says hi

Friday Favourites

1. These individual oatmeal bakes from Sugar Free Mom. When I made the recipe I ended up with way more than she did, plus I added cranberries to the batter.  But these are fabulous and filling, especially warmed with a bit of maple syrup. Divine.

2. My new Run:Pacesetter Skirt from Lululemon.  I’ve wanted a running skirt for a while, just because they are so cute. This is the one I got (please excuse my fantastic iPhone photo and wicked lighting. I swear I do know how to take pictures)

I love this pattern

I wore this skirt combined with the Cool racerback tank to CrossFit on Wednesday. It was fun to clean and jerk 90lbs wearing pink and a skirt (and my silver sparkle BIC Band).  Who says you can’t look cute while lifting weights?

Awkward smile, check!

3. Running! I don’t think I’m going to make it out for my second run this week, I probably ran a little harder than I should have on Tuesday and I’m afraid to hurt myself by pushing for a second day.  Or I’m a wimp.  Either way, it was so awesome to slap on my Garmin and actually get out and do a real running workout. Yay running!

Another awkward smile, and now complete with windblown hair. I'm a class act

4. We have mourning doves that are living on our porch.  They pirated a nest that other birds had built but never used last year.  The Mrs bird is always in the nest, while her Mr comes and goes, bringing her food and company, I guess.  I named them Pierre and Margaret Trudeau, and this joke is probably only funny to Canadians, and probably then only to people who remember anything about politics from high school. And clearly I need to learn to write in less run-on sentences.

The love birds (I know they aren't really love birds)

5. Fringe.  Fringe is one of my favourite shows of all time.  Yes I realize this makes me a science fiction nerd, but that is a whole other post in and of itself.  There is a huge social media campaign happening by the show’s fans to bring attention to the popularity of the show to Fox Broadcasting, and so far it seems to be working. Last week the hashtag on Twitter was #WhereYouBelong, and Fox even got on board and displayed the hastag during the episode.  This week the hastag is #ChangeYourWorld.  Watch for it on Twitter and, if you can or want to, please RT and help support this undervalued, awesome show. The world needs more Fringe, and way less reality TV.  Check out Fringenuity for more information on the current campaign.

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend! See ya next week!

Review – Topical Pain Relievers

Over the last 3 weeks of my knee disaster problem I’ve tried various pain and inflammation relief remedies.  Advil, oral Arnica, topical Arnica, ice, etc and I think I’ve *finally* found the right combination. Here’s what I’ve tried, topically:

Rub A535

I started using Rub A535 Dual Action as that’s what I had at home (and I like the weird sensation when it goes from cold to hot – I dunno, I’m not normal).  I don’t know that it actually did anything but I felt that it did, probably because it just felt like it was doing something, based on the weird tingling sensation.  The smell was really strong though.

The next topical I tried using was also made by Rub A535 but it contained Arnica.

“Arnica montana, known commonly as leopard’s banewolf’s banemountain tobacco and mountain arnica,[1] is a European flowering plant with large yellow capitula. Arnica has been used in herbal medicine and, according to double-blind studies, has demonstrated pain relieving attributes in osteoarthritis patients.”

(Wikipedia)

This one didn’t smell as strong but I really didn’t experience any difference at all in the pain in my knees.

Topical #3 was Traumeel, which had been recommended to me by numerous people.  I actually experienced a fair amount of pain reduction using the product, but I ran out of the free sample I had and it is really expensive to purchase. Which brings me to yesterday.

My doctor had recommended me using Voltaren Emulgel for joint pain in my hands (more on that next week when I get some blood results back) but I just never got around to using it.  After a painful night at work on Wednesday night, and a sale on Voltaren at the grocery store on Thursday I decided to bite the bullet and try it.  I applied it to my knees 3 times yesterday (instructions are 3-4 times a day as needed) and let me tell you, I woke up this morning and was able to walk without pain for the first time in about a week.  IT IS A FREAKING MIRACLE.

I’m not healed, this stuff isn’t a miracle worker and hasn’t magically fixed the damage in my knees.  However, the chance to walk without pain and to not limp is going to greatly improve my ability to heal.

Maybe running isn’t as far in the future as I had originally thought!