Sell Out Summary plus Cardio Coach winners

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell OutMan oh man all this pimping is exhausting. Thanks for all your entries! That's all the Sell Out prizes announced now, and aside from Cardio Coach, you can still enter up until Monday 1 February  Wednesday 3 February* 10.00 GMT.

Here's a summary of what's up for grabs:

If you'd like to enter please leave a comment on the corresponding entry of the prize. Not on this entry or the terms and conditions entry.

The Day 1 Cardio Coach prize has closed and the random number generator has spoken! The winners were 23 Sheila, 25 Ana, 49 SK, 78 asydfoodie, 109 Ellen K, 131 carrie, 167 FitFunk, 189 Briana, 190 Katie, 194 Fiona. You've all been notified by email.

For those who missed out, you can take advantage of the 25% discount consolation prize if you order by January 31. Just enter the code dietgirl at the checkout. Workouts are already nicely priced at $14.95 USD and even better with the discount.

Also for those who asked:

  1. You can test drive Sean's accent on the Cardio Coach website.
  2. Yes that is Sean himself trying to douse his hotness with water in the picture! Cardio-coach 

* UPDATE: I thought it was Monday then realised I'd put Wednesday on the contest posts. Still a few more days to enter!

WIN! $100 @cathe Download voucher – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 9

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out It's the final day of the Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out and today's prize is a biggun!

The prize: One $100 USD voucher for Cathe Downloads.

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
Home fitness guru Cathe Friedrich recently released her entire 150+ workout catalogue in digital format, so you can watch your downloads on any computer or video-enabled mobile device, like an iPod.

Why do you dig it?
If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you may recall I like working out from home and Cathe is my favourite loungeroom arsekicker. I wrote a comprehensive review of Cathe Downloads back in November, so you can read all about it here, including a list of my favourite Cathe workouts. Or you might want to step back to the beginning and download some Step N Motion, circa 1989!

Vintage Cathe
Ye Olde Cathe

Leave a comment below to enter! This prize is open to readers anywhere and everywhere. Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 12.00 GMT. Winner will be chosen at random.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

UPDATE June 2010: I've now become a Cathe Downloads affiliate, so if you purchase any Cathe workouts using this link, I'll receive a small commission. Any sales will go towards hosting fees for this blog so if you fancy supporting Dietgirl.org I will love you for life. Thanks for your consideration! 🙂

WIN! @dorsetcereals flake and porridge frenzy – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 8, Part II

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out We have a second prize today as this one came a wee bit late to the party. It's UK only, but hold your grumbles… 6 out of the 10 half of prizes have been worldwide! Tomorrow's 10th and final Sell Out is all inclusive 🙂

The prize: Dorset Cereals Fruity Porridge sachets and Tasty Low Fat Flakes

Available to readers from: UK only.

MOAR OATS! You can never have too many oats.

Dorset Cereals

What the heck is it?
Dorset Cereals are another great wee UK company hailing from the rolling hills of Dorset, obviously. They make delicious porridge, muesli, granola, bars and slices all stuffed full of tasty fruit, nuts and seeds. Today's prize is a big box of their brand new Tasty Low Fat Flakes, a marvelous mingling of apples, cranberries, cherries and raspberries with barley and wheat flakes. There's also a box of Fruity Porridge Simple Sachets so you're 2 minutes away from hot porridge, jazzed up with either apple and raisin or raspberry and cranberry.

Why do you dig it?
They make tasty goods without any funny business. There are no polysyllabic ingredients on the box. I particularly like their Fruit Nuts and Seeds bars for an arvo snack – toasted flakes, fruit, nuts and seeds, held together with butter, finely chopped nuts and agave syrup. Just 136 calories a pop.

Dorset Cereals

There are 3 prize packs to give away, consisting of a box of the new Tasty Low Fat Flakes and 8 sachets of Fruity Porridge. Leave a comment below to enter! Sorry, UK residents only. Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 10.00 GMT.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here for terms and conditions of the prize draw.

WIN! Uber Prezzie Box from Natural Balance Foods – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 8

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out The prize: Two lucky gits will win an Uber Prezzie Box of tasty treats from Natural Balance Foods.

Available to readers from: UK only.

What the heck is it?
Natural Balance Foods are "a little young British company dedicated to promoting health, humour and helpfulness. This means we make really delicious, natural nibbles that taste good and do good." This prize contains 20 of their finest treats:

  • 3 Trek bars: Mixed Berry, Cocoa Brownie & Peanut & Oat
  • 2 Trek Flapjacks: Oat Crunch & Cherry Crunch
  • 3 Nakd bars: Berry Cheeky, Apple Pie & Cocoa Loco
  • 4 Nakd Nibbles: Berry Cheeky, Apple Pie, Cocoa Loco & Banana Bread
  • 4 Nakd Raisins: Cherry, Orange, Lemon & Pineapple
  • 4 Nakd Nudies Gluten Free: Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Orange, Ginger Bread, Pecan Pie

Natural Balance Foods
Why do you dig it?

I was looking for a UK alternative to Lara Bars and had even tried making my own by blasting dates and cashews in the food processor. All I got was sludge and a smoking applicance. Then I found Nakd bars in a health food shop. They are ace for a 3pm snack or a great energy boost on a long walk. My absolute favourite is the Nakd Nudies in Cocoa Orange – it tastes like a squishy Terry's Chocolate Orange but it's just dates, cashews, raisins and cocoa and a hint of natural flavour. And only 130 calories, bonus.

There are 2 Uber Prezzie Boxes to be won. Simply leave a comment below to enter! UK residents only. Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 12.00 GMT. Winner will be drawn at random.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

WIN! The Spark book from @sparkpeople – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 7

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out The prize: Four readers will receive a copy of The Spark, courtesy of SparkPeople.com.

Available to readers from: Worldwide.

What the heck is it?
The Spark is a book from the experts who created SparkPeople.com. It distills the wealth of information, plans and tips on the website into handy book form. Best of all it draws on the wisdom of "successful losers" from the site with inspiring before and after photos. The book is out now in the US and out in the UK from tomorrow.

Why do you dig it?
I was invited to read an advance copy of the book last year and now you can find my verdict on TheSpark's website:

TheSpark
How novel to see my floating head next to a quote that I actually said, as opposed to all those fake ass acai berry testimonials!

There are 4 copies of The Spark to be won. Simply leave a comment below to enter! Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 12.00 GMT. Winner will be drawn at random.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

WIN! SuperJam 100% pure fruit jams – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 6

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out The prize: One reader shall winneth six jars of SuperJam 100% pure fruit jam, courtesy of the jam man himself, Fraser Doherty.

Available to readers from: UK only.
But read on, globetrotters, if you like a good enterpreneurial tale!

What the heck is it?
SuperJam is a range of 100% pure fruit jams; sweetened with grape juice and made using Super Fruits, such as blueberries and cranberries. Nothing artificial is added and SuperJam is much lower in sugar and calories than regular jams.

SuperJam was created by Scottish teenager Fraser Doherty, after being taught to make jam using his Gran’s secret recipes at the age of fourteen. From humble beginnings, the company now supplies major UK supermarkets and is even included in a museum exhibit as an example of an ‘Iconic Scottish Food Brand’.

He also runs huge SuperJam tea parties all over the country for elderly people,wth live music, dancing and of course scones, tea and jam. You gotta take your hat off to this guy. See here you cranky grown-ups, not all the youths are doing nowt but drinking and spewing up kebabs in the street!

Superjam

Why do you dig it?
Because it's Scottish! And it's a fantastic story. And the labels are groovy. Oh yeah, and the jam is good. It's sweet but in a fruity, not sugary way. I love a blob of it in my porridge or on toast with almond butter. It is also magic on a freshly baked scone. Mmm mmm.

Simply leave a comment below to enter! Sorry, UK residents only. Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 12.00 GMT. Winner will be drawn at random.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

Is barefoot running good for you?

This post was imported from the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast blog.

Another running question for Coach Julia:

What's your take on barefoot running? Is there really any scientific evidence to support it?

Julia says:

When I was in high school in the mid 70’s I had a history teacher that was a recreational runner. He would go running every single day at lunch circling the perimeter of the football field, barefoot on the grass. After more than thirty years barefoot running has made a huge comeback in the States, mostly after the success of Christopher McDougall’s best seller book “Born to Run”. If you haven’t read his book yet, I highly recommend it. It’s probably the most entertaining book I have ever read on running, and I’ve read them all!

In the second week of my Base program I wrote a paragraph about the importance of using your feet while you run:

“Most of us think about our legs while running, but the one most important aspect of how well you run is how you use your feet. In running your feet not only land you as you “fly” through the air, they’re used to push you off the ground as your body is propelled forward. How you use your feet is going to determine how fast you run and help you fend off a lot of running related injuries. In fact, people that complain about knee problems when running are most often “shufflers”. They land flat on their feet, absorbing all the impact on their knees.”

What Christopher McDougall emphasizes quite strongly in his book is on how running shoes are now constructed to immobilize your feet rather than allow you to use them the way they were meant to function. With all the cushioning, wedges and “air”, we can now run with no pain, and that is not always a good thing. Your feet need to move and push and “feel” the ground so they know how and when to shift or change position based on what kind of surface they’re on. A good runner has good biomechanics while running, and that starts with landing properly on your feet and then pushing off with them.

That said, I am not ready to go out and run barefoot. I think there are many ways that you can rehabilitate your feet so that you are using them while you run without taking off your shoes.

  • Buy no frills, light weight, running shoes. Look for a running shoe that allows you to move your foot. The soles should be solid but flexible. Do not buy anti-pronating correctors or super padded, wedged soles, running shoes. A nice basic shoe like the Asics DS trainer are a good example. (no endorsement!). They’re lightweight with the right amount of padding but they don’t have all the “motion control” plastic that keeps your foot pegged in the shoe.
  • Go barefoot at home. As soon as you walk in your front door, slip off your street shoes and go barefoot. I know someone out there is saying, “but I just wear slippers at home…” It’s still not the same as going barefoot! If your feet get cold or you’re not used to walking around the house without slippers, buy a pair of thick cotton or wool socks and slip those on. In our house we went as far as putting in a floor heating system so that we can go barefoot all year round.
  • Regularly practice foot perception exercises. If you’re not used to using your feet because you wear shoes all the time, you need to rehabilitate them so that they regain balance and feeling. The easiest foot perception exercise:

    Stand on one foot, stork style, hold your other foot behind you with the knee bent. Now just stand there for one minute. If you lose your balance you cannot put the other foot down to regain it. You’ll need to hop around in order to get back in balance. While you’re doing this, feel and notice the foot that is in contact with the ground. Use your big toe to balance yourself. Switch feet after one minute.

    You might notice that you’re better at keeping your balance on one side rather than the other. Keep switching back and forth for up to ten minutes total time… each day! You can do this anywhere (on the phone, in front of the television).

    Once you’ve mastered it you need to start making it more difficult: do a windmill movement with your arms or move your upper body around. Anybody that has a little yoga experience should have no trouble doing this. Note that your ankles might me sore after just one session but his is normal and goes to show how much you need to practice!

  • Foot awareness while running. Pay attention to your feet while your run for just ten seconds at a time. It’s enough to just say to yourself, “Okay, now I’m going to pay attention to my feet” in order to make a change. How are you using your foot? Are you pushing off with your forefoot to move forward? Are your ankles flexible? Can you hear yourself run? (you shouldn’t!). Only do this exercise ten or fifteen seconds at a time, otherwise your feet will be too sore, and really, we don’t want to take the fun out of running!
  • Try a metronome to help you shorten your stride. A large percentage of recreational runners overstride. They take these big, huge, bounding steps thinking that this will move them foreword faster. It might for a few miles but it’s tiring and taxing on your quadriceps and biomechanically incorrect. You must shorten and quicken your stride, something very natural to barefoot runners. If you want to try and change from overstrider to quick strider an instrument that can help you change that is a metronome. Seiko makes a nice one (model DM 33, approx. $ 20,00 USD). You’ll want to first measure how many steps per minute you take running now, and with the help of the metronome, increase it gradually. This whole subject might merit another article if there’s any interest.

  • Go barefoot…on a well groomed field. Find a nice, well groomed football field. Warm up on the track WITH your shoes first, then hop on the field and take your shoes off. You can start by doing some walking and then spurts of running. After you’re used to being barefoot you can try out a 10 x 100 meter strides, running them diagonally across the field. When you’re done, put your shoes back on and run another mile wherever you want (track or field).
  • If you’re not ready for the complete barefoot experience, there are a few shoes you can use that are close:

    – Nike Free is an unconstructed running shoe that works quite well if you want to flex your feet but keep them warm. I wouldn’t use them for really long distances, anything up to 6 miles is fine. I use them when I want to do running drills like skipping and bounding.

    – Vibram Five Fingers – this is surprisingly an Italian shoe! Even though you see more and more people running around with these on, they are the closest thing to barefoot running and you will have to go easy on them at the beginning. I have friends with lots of running experience that have never gotten past mile TWO with a pair of five fingers on. Your mileage may vary!

    – When professional athletes want to put their feet in action again, they put on a pair of spiked running shoes. For experienced athletes only!

WIN! Enell sports bra from @lessbounce – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 5

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out The prize: One Enell sports bra in the colour and size of your choice, courtesy of LessBounce.com.

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
The Enell sports bra allows the large chested lass to exercise without discomfort. It may not be the sexiest garment, but your boobs will not go anywhere in this thing!

Enell
Stern expression may or may not enhance your workout.

Why do you dig it?
Before I got my Enell I couldn't do high impact cardio without pain. I'd hug my chest when we did jumping kicks in Body Combat class so things wouldn't jiggle. But that all changed in 2004 when I strapped myself into this beast and found I could finally gallumph around to my hearts content, pain-free.

I bought my Enell from LessBounce.com, who kindly donated this prize. The company was started by fitness instructor and personal trainer Selaine Saxby when she couldn't find a good sports bra locally. Now they stock sports bras suitable for all sports for chests of all shapes and sizes. They have great customer service, a handy bra finder on the homepage and they ship worldwide. You and your boobs cannae go wrong!

Simply leave a comment below to enter! This prize is open to readers anywhere and everywhere. NB the bra is designed for the more generous bosom, 32C and up. Click here for the measurement chart.

Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 12.00 GMT. Winner will be drawn at random.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

WIN! Weight Loss Resources membership – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 4

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out The prize: Courtesy of Weight Loss Resources, one winner will receive:

Available to readers from: UK only.

What the heck is it?
Weight Loss Resources is a cracking set of online tools to help you bust the lard. Features include:

  • The biggest UK food database
  • Food diary and analysis tools
  • Calorie requirements calculator
  • Goal setting facilities
  • Monitoring of weight, body fat and BMI
  • Reports and charts on weight and nutrition
  • Add your own recipes and automatically calculate nutritional information
  • Exercise activity database
  • Members forum
  • News, features and tips including a monthly column by me!

Why do you dig it?
I've been a member since 2004 but didn't really put the site to good use until early 2005 when I was in a desperate rush to fit into my wedding dress. I found the site to be a no-nonsense way to track my food and goals. You enter your height and weight, you decide how much you want to lose each week (from 0.5 -2 pounds) and it tells you how many calories a day to eat. It also tallies up carbs, protein, fat and fibre.

You can also run little reports which appeals to my inner geek – I sleep better knowing precisely how many grams of apples I've eaten in a week, ho ho ho. Best of all it has a comprehensive UK food database – I've tried other sites but most of them are US-based so you have to manually enter foods. Only thing missing from WLR would be a dedicated iPhone app, although the site works fine on a mobile browser!

Weight Loss Resources

One winner will receive 6 months membership to WLR plus the Calorie & Carb Bible and journal.
Leave a comment below to enter! Sorry, UK residents only. Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 10.00 GMT. Winner will be chosen at random.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.

WIN! ‘An Honest Kitchen’ magazine – DG 9th Birthday Sell Out Day 3

The Dietgirl 9th Birthday Sell Out The prize:
Three lucky winners will each receive one copy of An Honest Kitchen, the e-magazine all about delicious, simply prepared seasonal food.

Available to readers from: Worldwide

What the heck is it?
An Honest Kitchen is the creation of nutritionist and writer extraordinaire Limes & Lycopene and food blogger and ace photographer Lucinda Dodds of Nourish Me. The magazine is about, "Food that’s balanced and made up of ingredients which improve your health, served in realistic portions. Along the way we’ve tried to simplify, cut back on processes, find ways of making the cooking easier and show the food as it really is. Honest food."

An Honest Kitchen
Why do you dig it?
It's a stunner of magazine. The photography is gorgeous, the writing is delicious to read, and the recipes are great. How do you like the sound of Spiced North African Chicken, Beef Medallions with Cauliflower & White Bean Mash or a Lentil, Ricotta and Rocket tart? Hubba hubba. The mag is also full of great tips and nutritional information in a helpful, non-jargony way. You can feel the care and hours of effort that Lucinda and Kathryn have poured into it!

There are 3 copies of An Honest Kitchen e-magazine to be won. Winners can choose from the Winter edition, or the bumper Spring/Summer edition which is out on 26 January.
Leave a comment below to enter! Winner will be drawn at random. This prize is open to readers anywhere and everywhere. Entries close Wednesday 3 February 2010 at 12.00 GMT.

Check out the other prizes on offer here.
Click here to view the terms and conditions for the prize draw.