February 28, 2013

Goal Setting From the Heart; Polar HRM Giveaway

Yep, this is another Goal Post!

Which means it's time for another chance for clever and inspiring Cranketeers to chat and offer support around our various goals.

Are your goals perennial old favorites that you return to time and again? Or are they all fresh and new and shiny? Are they easy-peasey no-brainers, or are they awe-inspiring challenges or are they just plain crazy-ass outrageous?

It's all good!  I'll be very curious about how the last part of February went and what you're all up to in March.

As it happens, my thoughts on goal setting aren't really all that "from the heart."  It's honestly more of a "head' than "heart" post. But hell, "Goals From the Head" doesn't fit in very well thematically since we're just about at the end of National Please Don't Croak From A Heart Attack Month*** plus we've got a nifty Polar FT7 Heart Rate monitor to give away designed to keep your ticker tickin' throughout the year.

February 25, 2013

The Alzheimer's Diet! Interview & Giveaway & Mini-Review


Good luck clicking.
 Image swiped from Amazon 'cause I forgot (!) to ask for one.

Alzheimer's is one of those tragic diseases many of us don't like to think about, despite how common it is.  I know very few people whose lives haven't been touched by it in some way.

And no lifestyle intervention can guarantee a healthy brain in old age. Let's hope for a cure, pronto.

Hurry Up, 'K? Thanks!

But in the meantime, there is a lot that clever scientists have discovered about stuff that you can do to make contracting Alzheimer's less likely.

Is it worth making a few changes now, perhaps decades ahead of Possible Trouble, in order to lessen your risk?  Admittedly, it's not as sexy a goal as having six-pack abs or buns of steel. So I worry that books like this The Alzheimer's Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach for Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment may have an uphill battle in the Diet Marketing Wars.  But it would be great if resources like this found an audience. Plus, many of these suggestions are targeted at memory boosting now, even ahead of dire diseases.

So stick around, we have an interview with the two very thoughtful authors, plus 4 copies of The Alzheimer's Diet to give away.  Note:  one copy I'm going to reserve for Canadians, even if it means confronting my laziness and shipping it myself. And another copy is specifically set aside for Cranketeers who've been participating in the monthly Goal Support Group post,  aka ¡Toma! (And there's a fresh one coming soon!)

February 22, 2013

It's Free!

As anyone knows who has seen me scarf up 20,000 calories worth of junk food samples at Costco, I am very fond of stuff that is Free. Often my lusting after Free leads to poor choices, but sometimes, free is good!

For others who like Free, I wanted to pass along a link for a free 12 week lecture series on self acceptance by some of the rockstars of evidence-based personal growth. Hosted by Sounds True, the Self-Acceptance Project has presentations by folks like the awesome Brené Brown, my geek-crush Rick Hanson, Harville Hendricks, Kelly McGonigal... the list goes on and on and on.

And yeah, the skeptical cranky part of me still cringes a bit inwardly at enthusiastic advice to embrace "Self-Acceptance" or to "Love Ourselves" or "To Be Our Own Best Friends" or whatever.  In fact, I couldn't help noticing that the acronym for this series is "SAP."

But wait, what the hell is that about?  It's better that we should all go around feeling crappy about ourselves?

I'm finally getting it that those of us who tend to feel reflexively barfy when we encounter the earnest vocabulary of self-improvement often miss out on cool stuff. So I'm gonna try to suck it up and watch some of these myself; anyone else?

Oh, and a couple more things to alert you to, including a link I couldn't stop laughing at...

February 20, 2013

Do You Wait Until Things Break to Pay Attention?

So I am writing this on a laptop that appeared to have totally crashed this morning.  I kept getting an error message that gave me only one option: turn off the computer.

Have I backed up my important documents in the last several months? No! But I've sure as hell been meaning too, especially as I've been noticing all kinds of suspicious computer behavior of late.

After the first 3 tries rebooting, I figured it was hopeless.  But I so WANTED to deny reality that I tried 3 more times.  Nothing.  And then once more... and voila, suddenly after the 7th try it's back from the dead!  Sure, it still freezes up every so often for no reason, but it looks like I can at least crank out a quick blog post.

Of course I am sorely tempted to go on my merry way and forget any of these warning signs of impending computer disaster because hell, it's working again now.  I really don't want to go without my precious pc for who knows how long, leaving it in the clutches of some brightly lit and hideously overpriced National Chain, or at the workshop of some cheaper yet possibly creepier random geek from Craigslist.

And as I contemplate my course of action, it occurs to me that this issue comes up a lot for busy people: when to ignore signs of trouble and when to take the time to fix them.

It seems an especially common dilemma for those looking to get fit and strong in the most efficient way possible, yet who may be dealing with body parts that are sending out subtle or not-so-subtle signals that they may need a break and/or some maintenance or repair work.

So how much attention do you pay now to stuff that is not actually "broken" yet?

February 18, 2013

Doing "Real" Push-Ups Without Pain? Ask the Trainers!

Lots of people, women in particular, would like to work up to "real" full-body push ups. They're a great upper body workout, and wouldn't it be cool to one day have such awesome upper body strength you get compliments like "wow, check out those guns?"

Er... OK. A tad too literal?

Well, as long as we're trolling around in public domain images (and hoping that Wikipedia is correct in asserting that an image which is "a work of a U.S. military employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties" is indeed in the public domain, because who wants to piss off gals with guns?) lets just go with a classic.

There, that's better.

Anyway, despite the awesomeness of push-ups, many folks seem to have wrist or shoulder or other bio-mechanical issues that make them problematic.

We, (and by "we" I mean the entire imaginary Cranky Fitness Editorial Staff), asked four knowledgeable personal trainers for their advice.

How to do push ups without pain?

They also coughed up instructional pictures and videos, hooray!

And of course the least-expert fitness blogger on the planet had to weigh in at the end too. Let's start with the smart advice, shall we?

Who Won the Nutripro Juicer?

Yep, we have a winner in the Bella NutriPro Juicer giveaway!  But there's another post coming up in a few minutes... so if by some cruel twist of fate your juicer was won by someone else, please don't go off in a huff and miss four smart personal trainers and one half-assed fitness blogger giving some thoughts and tips about one of the worlds most versatile and kick-ass upper body moves.

And the winner is...

February 13, 2013

Happy Accidents

Of course not all accidents are happy ones.

However, some of my favorite personal (and often bizarre) discoveries only happened because something Frustrating and Annoying and Seemingly Pointless preceded it.

And btw, on a totally different topic, 'cause why not, this is not a freakin' textbook, my search for an "accident" picture led me to a terrifying (photoshopped, thank god) image that so succinctly captures one of my many phobias that I just had to share it!

February 11, 2013

NutriPro Juicer Giveaway!

Brand New! Efficient! Easy! A Few Quick Minutes and You're Done!

And yeah, this may perfectly describe the Bella NutriPro Juicer but...I was actually speaking about this blog post.

Because this is gonna be brief folks, as there is a comprehensive and enormously helpful NutriPro Juicer Review over at MizFit's blog.

Check it out! It will fully explain the awesomeness of this machine, plus there are lots of adorable pictures.

And just how stupid am I?  I mean, um, how just how generous am I?  I figured since I was a "blender person," and not much of a "juicer person," I'd do this as a blog giveaway because I know many of you like to juice the hell out of things and I wasn't sure I was mentally prepared to cheat on my beloved healthy smoothies. Even if it might be tempting to start spending my mornings with a thinner, lighter, sexier breakfast companion.

February 06, 2013

Multifarious Musings, Minutia, and Miscellanous Mentions

I kinda love the word "multifarious." To me it sounds a bit like a combination of nefarious, mischievous, and mellifluous.

"Multifarious" seems likely to misbehave, doesn't it? Perhaps it might steal our silverware or tell dirty jokes when children are present. But on the other hand, it could suddenly launch into a sweet ballad from the old country that reminds us of one our grandmother used to sing.

February 04, 2013


Yep, this is the post where you can discover who won the "Rugged Readers" reading glasses.

So what's the second WIN?  Well, this post is also the commencement of a monthly version of our January weekly goal "support group," which has been a huge "Win!" for me personally.

[And there is also more info on the Resolution/Goals Support & Life Coaching Giveaway. Of course this should be the day I announce that winner as well, but, instead I'm conducting a clever Anti-Perfectionism Demonstration exercise.  To those who are overly-conscientious: watch how easy it is to screw up and get over it quickly!  I realized I need some help from interested contestants and will announce the winner in a few days. More details below, and sorry about that!]

So why was I so psyched about the Goal Support posts?  Well, not only did you guys help me rock one of my New Year's resolutions all month, but many of you chose goals that resonated with my own self-improvement efforts.  So I got all kinds of great ideas about exercise and healthy eating and mindfulness and simplifying and saving time and getting organized etc from reading your comments!

OK, maybe no one actually suggested this particular winner, but there was plenty of creative thinking.

So anyway, let's find out who won the reading glasses and get straightened out on the coaching giveaway, and then finally get this monthly "support group" fired up!

February 01, 2013

Food For Thought

Since I've embarked on my recent food-tracking frenzy I'm happy to report that (a) I seem to be slowly but surely dropping a bit of the weight I gained recently and (b) I am even more bat-shit crazy than I anticipated.

But it's a Happy Crazy, I swear!