Five Things Friday – Airia Shoes, ‘Anthrax Smoothie’ and More!

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Happy Friday! Crazy week we’ve had – how about you? It was one of those weeks where I was constantly off on what day it was, sometimes a day early, sometimes a day late. There were some things on the project at work that caused uncertainty on exactly how we are doing things and what sub-projects are doing which things in which order. I had a half-hour call with our HR about a work/employee situation that I was an observer/witness to … Confuzzling week, I tell you …

It has been so bizarre that we didn’t realize that it was today that the school was off, using up the last extra ‘snow day’ (there are bizarre rules around start and stop dates for school, and fixed test schedules for the state, so they can’t just chop off the end of the year). As a result the boys have a four day weekend – and with all of the AP tests, SAT tests, major projects and so on recently this will be a great catch-up weekend for them … and hopefully they can find some summer work!

As I said, the boys have a four day weekend. I have Monday off, but Lisa only has Sunday off. As a result we don’t have big plans – maybe get some bark mulch and work on the flower beds and gardens a little, plan out the revamping of our deck and some other projects … hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can even have a little bonfire in our fire pit.

Airia Running Shoes1

1. Airia Running Shoes

Have you heard about these funky new shoes? They are from Swedish company Airia Running, and claim to be ‘biomechanically perfect’. I haven’t taken them out for a run, but they are definitely the funkiest thing I have EVER put on my feet!

So wait – WHY haven’t I run with them yet? They ship with a warning sheet – telling you what to expect as you wear them, and how ‘different’ of an experience it would be. Yesterday I didn’t have time to really isolate to study myself, and relax for a mile run – and I wanted it on film and video. So I will check them out this weekend and report back!

Check out their promo video:

2. ‘Anthrax Smoothie’

Last week, Sara at Life Between The Miles had a review of the Vega Sport protein powder. She liked it but found it a bit gritty – I mentioned in a comment I’d never tried it, and she offered to send me a sample packet (so cool!).

It came in the mail the other day, and near as I can tell here is what happened: Sara put the pouch in an envelope to mail, but there was just enough air in the pouch so that when it went through the automated mail handlers it went POOF inside the envelope. Then further ‘careful handling’ means a small tear formed in the envelope, so when I came home there was a nice blue envelope on the kitchen table with some yellow-ish powder around it!

Anthrax Smoothie

As I moved the envelope around more powder spilled out, which everyone thought was hilarious – and we started calling it my Anthrax packed – though that really isn’t funny, it is. I decided to include it in my smoothie after dinner, which also had frozen banana (of course), mixed berries and almond milk.

My thoughts?
– The vanilla tastes artificial, and too sweet. Since I make this smoothie all the time it stood out.
– The grittiness reported by Sara (and also Megan and other recent reviews I’ve seen) is definitely there. I’m not ‘texture sensitive’, but my kids found it had a chalky and gritty texture.
– Holy crap adding 26g of protein made it filling! I managed half the smoothie at night, and had the rest after my morning run.

Would I buy it … tough call. I LOVE the packed proteins, but everything else was ‘meh’.

3. Blog Moms

Not to be confused with ‘Mommy Bloggers’! Bloggers are people, and we all have families – but generally they are a passive part of the story. I write about my family all the time, they read my stuff and talk to me about it, sometimes friends and family comment on Facebook – but generally this is my little corner of the universe. Sometimes blogger families enter into things more passively, through pictures and comments in a post leading to discussion between commenters, as happened with Cori’s mom.

Over at TheLyonsShare, I had had a few discussions with ‘Karen’ before I knew that was Megan’s mom. She was insightful and open to discussion, but clearly older than the other commenters. Most recently we had a discussion in a great post Megan had on Being Grateful.

Suz over at SuzLyfe has this phantom commenter called “Your Mommy, Clare”. It took me a bit of intense detective work but it turns out the person is Suz’s mom, and her name is Clare. True story! The post I link talks about a comment-discussion Clare and I had in a different post. It was flattering to be included, but it highlighted the fun and important point of how great comments can be!

Does any of your family participate in your blog? How do you feel if they do/don’t?

4. ‘What I See’ and Male Eating Disorders

OK, so back to seriousness – I have talked about myself as having ‘disordered thinking’ about food and that regardless of how healthy I eat, whether I get proper calories and nutrition … I will always have a disorder – and that I truly believe that ‘an eating disorder is for life’.

Over at Buzzfeed they had a great post with 28 quotes from Whisper from men with eating disorders. It is heart-wrenching because not only do they bear all of the normal shame and anxiety and self-loathing of an eating disorder … they bear secondary shame for being male and feeling totally alone and weak as a result.

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Over at The Oatmeal he looks at a similar subject – what we see when we look in the mirror. For anyone who has struggled with weight I think this rings true. I know on a rest day I tend to feel fat … and that is stupid.

5. Sleep and Rest

Another great recent post from Megan was on Rest – you know, that thing that separates running around at night and running around in the morning?

With the new Garmin FR-15, I can track sleep movement. I just wear the watch to bed and then enter the sleep and wake times on my Garmin Connect page. For one lousy night sleep this week … THIS is what I got:

Sleep Pattern1

Yeah, about an hour of good sleep. Thing is, most of the week doesn’t look much different. I have written about it before, but since Christopher was born (16.5 years ago) I have slept very lightly and not needed as much sleep. That definitely reflects in my patterns – and one of the boys dropped their phone in our room (a requirement) before bed at 11:30 last night, and I could see it on my graph this morning – I remember it, woke up, then went back to sleep.

It makes me think – I am getting ~5-6 hours of sleep, loads of movement, yet feel well rested. Hmmm … not sure what to make of that.

Bonus: The TRUTH About Running

OK, so over at Competitor they have this ‘fake PSA’ video that is just hilarious … nothing more to say, just check it out!

So what do YOU have going on this long weekend?

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20 thoughts on “Five Things Friday – Airia Shoes, ‘Anthrax Smoothie’ and More!

  1. They must have changed the vega formula, because that used to be my favorite smoothie mix… If I was rich, I’d try to buy up all the old stuff. And funny but not funny about the powder… Good thing it was blue, right?

    I’m actually very interested to real more about male eating disorders. They are even scarier because of the stereotypes of masculinity in the US that makes it even harder to talk about it. It reminds me a bit of the stereotypes about male elementary school teachers, and is another reminder that gender socialization and the male hierarchy hurts men as well as women. Thanks for sharing those links!

    • Thanks Laura – yeah, apparently with Vega they have different types, and this new ‘sport’ stuff seems to be getting mixed reviews.

      As for issues with men, I have mixed feelings – on the one hand there are ‘where is my white history month’ type non-issues, but then there are gender norms enforced that make it hard for a man to be a nurse, teacher, dancer … or have an eating disorder.

  2. Bahaha Anthrax smoothies. I remember all to well the Anthrax scare because I lived in Atlanta (home of the CDC) and was also put on Cypro right when the scares were going on because we were trying to get my Crohn’s under control (right after I was diagnosed). I echo Laura’s sentiment re: male eating disorders and that they are more terrifying and threatening at times because of the stereotypes that persist as to what men should and shouldn’t feel. But I know an older male who absolutely has one, and it is tough to watch. I hate to hear my husband say that he is “fat” because he isn’t (he says he doesn’t really think he is, but sometimes, I’m not so sure)–I thnk self depreciation of that sort only works when you are totally anti whatever you are claiming to be. Weight discussions especially make me uncomfortable because I too have struggled from weight issues (both up and down), and I need his support to help me. So I try to impress my support upon him as much as possible.
    And I think my mom is more popular than I am! Hahaa thanks for giving her some blog love, she deserves to know that she is bomb.com. And you have been KILLING it this week–just amazing commentary and topics. A JOB WELL DONE SIR. Have a beautiful weekend with your family!

    • Hey, I know you – you’re Clare’s kid, right? haha Yeah, I know that talking about something like Anthrax isn’t really funny because of the reality of the situations, but it was just a crazy situation.

      Agree on the male eating disorders – and you’re right about uncomfortable discussions, and it is hard. I hate the scale because I know how it will trigger a reaction in me.

      And thanks so much for your comments. Totally agree with the comments we all made on your guest post at Laura’s – new blog friends are AWESOME! πŸ™‚

  3. Great topics. I have never tried a protein powder and don’t plan on it because I feel like protein is probably the last thing I need more of with what I eat. I’ll take steak and eggs any time over artificially sweetened sand or chalk or whatever it tastes like! Actually it’s more of the sweeteners I’ve seen in most brands that’s the real reason i won’t try. I’ve found i’m really sensitive to artificial sweeteners of any kind.

    I have personally known 4 men with disordered eating and the thing that strikes me the most is how it can be completely masked with other “masculine” behaviors (hard core running or training, or even a “skinny rebel” kind of image or the “big jolly guy” image) to the point where it’s never questioned at all. It makes it even more challenging to confront it in my opinion. Interesting stuff!

    • Thanks Michele – the thing about the powder sounds like I could have written it (if you ask Megan, she might say I already have!). I am definitely always wary of powders and pills and anythig but whole, real foods. And since I can eat pretty much anything, have no texture, taste, spice or tolerance issues, I have no excuse to supplement. So I don’t.

      And by eating more naturally, artificial sweeteners and processed foods really tweak my pallette now – yuk!

      And thanks for the comments on eating disorders … I definitely see all of what you are saying.

  4. Anthrax smoothies! Love it! I strongly believe there are so many more many out there with disordered eating that don’t speak out because they somehow feel it de-masculinizes them. Eating habits can become an unhealthy obsession and are gender-neutral.

    PS- Susie from Suzlyfe recommended you to me! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Carson! That Susie … she’s pretty cool, but don’t tell her or it will go to her head, she already talked about ‘spouting awesomeness’ on your blog today πŸ™‚

      And sadly I agree – one of the things that saddens me about some running / healthy living blogs is seeing people who are rather obviously still struggling but saying they are all good. Being older, I have seen what this stuff does over time to people … and it isn’t good!

    • Thanks Lisa – I am intrigued by the Airias and you can be sure I will share the good, bad and ugly. The company has been very active, so I am sure they will take all feedback to heart. Great to be able to help out with something new!

  5. The male eating disorder section hits home. While never “officially” diagnosed with a disorder, I know I have an unhealthy relationship with food and weight. I have it under control at the moment, but there is plenty of turbulence hidden under the outer shell.

    My rational side can read the scale and recognize a healthy number, can look in the mirror and see a healthy body, can look at clothing sizes and realize there are dozens of options that fit me. My emotional side still sees the fat guy who is scared that my fitness and healthy eating “hobby” will fade away like most other hobbies I’ve had through life.

    • Wow – thanks for that comment, it is really powerful, and said an awful lot. Definitely resonated with me – the turbulence we all feel, the battle between brain and scale, and so on. Whether or not we ‘officially’ have EDs, once we know food is at once necessary and problematic, I believe it is a lifelong struggle.

    • They are definitely crazy … and such an tremendously different feel I wouldn’t recommend to anyone prone to injury or recovering. I had my son shoot a bit of video, and will put that up this week.

  6. Aww, as I’ve told you, I love your friendship with my mom! She’s always hesitant to “say something wrong” on the blog, so I’m glad you’ve gotten her to come out of her shell a bit more! And the male eating disorder thing is so scary … something that deserves more attention. True, MORE eating disorder sufferers are women, but that can sometimes make the men who suffer feel even more alone. Great points.

    • Thanks Megan – I think for many who grew up before the internet, many of these things are a bit uncertain, and when our kids are involved we want to be careful as well. So I get it with your mom, but it is great she is an active participant.

      Agreed on eating disorders … I think we just need to recognize it as a problem that crosses gender boundaries.

  7. The description of the protein mix does not sound appetizing. I would say if you are feeling good then why question the system…maybe you really just don’t need as much sleep. I’ve read studies saying that most people need xyz but maybe some people really only need less. It’s like wit most things do what feels right for you.

    • “does not sound appetizing” – yeah, no one else in my family has any interest in this sort of thing. πŸ™‚ For me it was a ‘one and done’, pretty sure. Not big on supplements to begin with.

      As for sleep … I have no idea. Some days I sleep well, some days not. I do know I am a very light sleeper – on my Garmin last night I can see where Lisa got up in the middle of the night. I didn’t get up … but plenty of movement!

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