Spring Evenings

There’s something about spending the evenings outside with kids.  These last few days have been picture perfect. 

Bubbles

 

 

Stur

In an effort to become healthier and more aware of what I am putting  in to my body, I decided to cut out diet soda.  I needed to be drinking more water.  There is a catch.  As always.  I really do not like to drink plain water.  And at that time, the water flavoring I had used previously all had some sort of chemical artificial sweetener.  I am looking at you Mio.

Water

After some searching I came across Stur.  Stur uses no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and uses Stevia for adding a hint of sweetness.  If you are expecting a sugary sweet additive Stur is not for you.  But if you are looking to drink more water, cut out artificial chemicals, and give your water a taste improvement then Stur is for you.

 

Spring

Waiting is Tough

Waiting can be really tough.  I have heard our current society referenced to many times as the “got to have it now” society.  I can relate.  This winter was brutal.  We got way more snow than we usually do, it was very cold – all the time, and the days had a constant dreariness to them.  It seemed like every time it would start to warm up, we would get another snow.

Spring Flowers

As you know, and as I knew, spring finally came.  The days lately have been beautiful, I have been able to get outside at lunch and walk.  The flowers are blooming.

I am always amazed at how everything seems to spring to life during this time of year.  We see the birds again, we get to experience the warmth of the sun, the trees grow back their leaves, and flowers bloom.

The Valleys and Mountains

Life can be this way too.  You will go through periods of certain hardships.  Life will feel dull and grey.  But please know that spring is waiting right around the corner.  Keep doing what you do.  Keep looking forward, keep hoping, and keep striving.   When we can finally quit depending on outside influences to keep us happy, we can focus on us, and our own happiness.

Vivofit Update

Vivofit Update

I have been using the Garmin Vivofit for a little over two weeks now.  My old Fitbit Force and Flex are a distant memory at this point.  After spending some time with the Vivofit I have had a chance to think it over.  At this point in time, would I go back to a Fitbit product?  The answer is a definite no.  Fitbit at this time doesn’t have what I am looking for.

Vivofit Pluses

What I am looking for is a wrist wearable device that not only tracks my fitness, but also tracks my sleep, and displays the current time.  The Garmin Vivofit meets everyone of those needs.  Toss in the bonuses of water resistant, no charging needed, and the move bar – I am sold.

It takes some effort Vivofit Step Goal

One feature that I really like is the personalized daily goal.  The Vivofit will monitor my day to day activities and nudge me to a more healthier lifestyle.  Of course, this all takes work on my part.  I have to be willing to try to meet these goals.  I could toss it in the trash and go back to eating boxes of Oreo cookies for a living.  If I am willing to put in the work, it should get me walking more, and to an overall healthier me.

 

 

Protein Bars

Protein Bars Save the Day

As I have tried to make healthier eating decisions, protein bars (and energy bars) have been a big part of eating healthier.

Breakfast has always been my trouble meal. Over the years I had developed a horrible habit of grabbing something quick as I left the house. Pop-Tarts, snack cakes, doughnuts, and any other sugary treat. That worked fine while I was younger. The last few years, not so much.

I tried eating healthier things – but was always very hungry before lunch.

Enter the protein/energy bar.
There are a zillion different choices available, but here are the few I have tried that work really well for me. These are in no particular order, I jotted them down as I thought of them.

Larabar ALT Bar
Not, the highest in protein – but the lemon pound cake bar tastes amazing. Not overly chewy, and as I mentioned, they taste amazing. The bar is mostly made up of fruit and nuts.

Power Crunch
This, is my go to bar. I eat more of these than any other bar. All of the flavors are excellent, but triple chocolate is my favorite. The nutritional profile is spot on, and they are very low in sugar. Taste is really good. I am not a big fan of the chewy bars – this one is more on the crunchy side (kind of like wafers).

Premier Nutrition Protein Crisp Bars – Mint
Thin mint cookie with 15 grams of protein. That is what I first thought of when I tried these bars. Great texture and delicious chocolate mint taste.

I will toss in a free bonus. My favorite protein powder is Beverly International Muscle Provider – Cookies and Cream. MP is a pricey protein powder, but you are not going to find a higher quality protein supplement. All the necessary amino acids are included and the taste is great. This powder is a mix of fast acting milk proteins mixed with slow acting egg proteins for a shake that is perfect in the morning or at night.

Vivofit Review

Vivofit

After the Fitbit Force was recalled, I started wearing my older Fitbit Flex again. After having the display and longer battery life of the Force, I felt like I had truly taken a step back. I briefly thought about going with the Fitbit One but really wanted a wrist fitness tracker.. After much searching, and reading reviews, I decided to take a chance on the Garmin Vivofit.  I am on day two of wearing the Vivofit.

Jogging Trail

Garmin Vivofit is a wrist wearable fitness tracker, it is the first tracker offered by Garmin. I will apologize in advance, but at this time all I really have to compare this device to are the various Fitbit devices I have owned. If you want an outstanding review of the Vivofit from beginning to end, take a look at DC Rainmaker.

Fitbit Force vs Garmin Vivofit

Like the Fitbit Force the Vivofit tracks your steps on a daily basis. The one thing I like about the Vivofit is that one screen shows your steps you have taken for the day and another screen shows how many steps you have left to meet your goal. In Fitbit you had to declare a daily step goal, I usually kept mine at 10,000. Once you hit that goal – you would get a notification. The Vivofit automatically creates goals based on your activity levels. If you haven’t moved as much for a few days it will lower your goal, or if you have been really active it will raise your goal. I have only had the Vivofit for a few days, I am very interested to see how this works.

Unlike the Fitbit Force the Vivofit reminds you to move if you have sit still too long. This is done via a red bar that runs across the top of the screen. To erase the bar, you are going to have to get up and move.

Both devices track sleep. I think at this time Fitbit does a better job of analyzing that data in their dashboard. You have to remember that Fitbit is more mature in the activity tracking market than Garmin at this time. I am positive as the Garmin product matures we will see better data views.

The band is much like the Force but thinner and more flexible. The Force fell off of my wrist several times. I don’t think this will be an issue with the Vivofit. The clasp mechanism, though similar seems much better.

Garmin Vivofit Conclusion

. . . and here we go. Possibly my favorite feature of the Vivofit. I don’t have to charge the darn thing. It operates on two button-cell batteries that are replaceable. Garmin claims they last about a year. Fitbit needs to go this route. I really like a wearable device I never have to charge AND I never have to sync with a cable. Another plus is the band on the Vivofit is replaceable. This always bugged me about the Force, if you damaged the band in any way you were out.

Giving up my Fitbit Flex was a tough decision. I have been with Fibit for a long time. I will still be using the Fitbit Aria, it is a great product. The market that Fibit once had cornered is now growing at a fast rate, it will be interesting to see what comes next. The Fitbit Force never caused an allergic reaction for me, it was a tough decision to send it back. I thought about keeping it, but didn’t feel like Fitbit was committed to maintaining and updating the Force going forward.

Hello Vivofit

Goodbye Fitbit, Hello Vivofit

While waiting for my refund check from Fitbit, I have been wearing my older Fitbit Flex.

I am just not happy with it, and I am now reminded why I gave up the Flex.  The Flex is a great minimalist fitness tracker, and minimalist it is.  The Flex just doesn’t offer much for me.

I placed an order for the Garmin Vivofit and it looks like it will be here this weekend.  I am excited to try the new offering from Garmin and put it through its paces.  One of the things that appeal to me the most about this device is no recharging.  The battery life on the Flex is horrible, the Force was much better, I didn’t seem to be plugging it in too often.

DC Rainmaker has a great review on the Vivofit:  Garmin Vivofit In-Depth Review

Fitbit Flex

Back to the Flex

Today I am back to wearing my Fitbit Flex and had to retire my Force.

The Force was a short-lived product.  Fitbit ended up doing a voluntary recall of all Fitbit Force devices.

Fitibit Flex

Fitbit Force Recall

As I mentioned in an earlier post many people were reporting burns with the Fitbit Foce.  I still had not been a victim of the burn, but decided I should send it back since Fitbit was recalling the devices.  I have requested my return package and am still awaiting its arrival.

The Fitbit Flex is a great device.  I wore one for about six months before the Force came out.  The Force is still my ideal device, a great display, shows the current time, progress, stairs, and more.  The Flex is a perfectly capable tracker – it just doesn’t offer much beyond tracking.

Fitbit Flex Alternative?

Once I receive the money back, I am going to take a serious look at the Garmin Vivofit.  The Vivofit seems to offer a lot of what I am looking for in a fitness tracker.

Facing Fear

Facing Fear

The other other day I posted a brief topic on fear.  Fear and dealing with fear is a topic that keeps coming up.  Whether it be synchronicity or something I really need to deal with in my life, I am facing my demons.

I have a few fears that I need to deal with.  And I am not getting younger.

I am not sure where these fears come from.  I am sure if I did a deep dive in to my psyche I could find the root cause.

Fear of What?

My focus is on how often fear keeps us from doing the things we could be doing.  And usually this fear is not rooted in a true fear.  It’s manufactured fear.

In my life, I have found the things I usually fear are the things I keep putting off.  Those items on my to do list that I keep passing over.

Taking Action

My plan of action is this:  Each day I am going to pick one item on my to do list that I have been putting off and tackle it.  First thing in the morning, I will select that task and work on it.

Fitbit Force – Burned Arm?

Fitbit

I have been a loyal Fitbit customer for years – starting off with the Ultra model, then the Flex, and shortly after that the Force.  I also own the Aria wireless scale.  As you can see I am a huge believer in the company and their products.  I was very excited when the Force was released, even though I had just purchased the Flex.  The Force seemed like the perfect wearable fitness tracker.

Fitbit Force Skin Burns?

You have to be a member to view the discussion boards at Fitbit, but as of today there is a topic going that is over 154 pages long.  The issue is some users are having a reaction on the area where the Force is worn.   The reviews on Amazon do not seem favorable either.

My experience with the Fitbit Force

I personally, have not had any issues with the Force.  I have been wearing it now daily and nightly for almost six weeks.  The only time I take it off is to shower.  There have also been many posts about the Force falling off of peoples wrists.  The Force does take a little effort to fasten, but seems secure to me.  I do see how you could snag the band on something and it would come lose.

I am interested to hear what the cause is of the rash people are experiencing.  At the first signs of one I will discontinue using the product.

How about you?  Have you experienced any skin issues with the Fitbit Force?

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