Ann on July 30th, 2014
go walk

My Go Walk Skechers while in Amsterdam.

For our recent trip to Amsterdam I wanted comfy walking shoes. I have tennis shoes but I wanted something else.

I bought the Skechers Go Walk shoes. I have a couple of other pairs of Skechers and like them.

The first time I put them on I couldn’t believe how good they felt. They are lightweight, flexible and super comfortable.

The Skechers website says this about these shoes: They elevate the natural walking experience, allowing you to interact with and respond to practically any surface, while offering the additional benefit of real world protection.

My shoe box claims this about the shoes: circular sensors flex and twist so your foot can move more naturally; proprietary lightweight, injection-molded compound with memory retention; anti-microbial insole wicks away moisture; scent protection built-in to combat odor; and lightweight.

We didn’t do a ton of walking. But my feet never felt tired or over walked. They were always comfortable and well supported.

And believe me, with some of the shoes I wear my feet hurt, are uncomfortable, can cause blisters, can squish my toes, etc. But not the Go Walks.

I like these shoes so much that I just might be ordering another pair so when the first ones run out I have back up.

 

4half

I give my Skechers Go Walk shoes 4 1/2 dumbbells.

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Ann on July 25th, 2014

DY Flier-web-version-2As a yoga teacher challenges can come up in a class you hadn’t planned for or expected.

Last night my friend Sandra and I co-taught a beginner yoga class, which is part of the Summer Series fellow Deep Yoga teacher graduates and I are involved in.

We taught a beginner backbend class, which we titled Bringing Your Heart Into Backbends.

In the Bay Area we are having a sort of heat wave. It’s no Arizona heat wave. But when you don’t have air conditioning or ceiling fans it can get pretty sweaty.

With any sort of physical activity you have to be careful with the heat. About a third of our students were true beginners. We wanted everyone to take care of themselves and be safe.

Sandra and I didn’t plan for the heat or some of the challenges some of our beginner students were going to have in class. But all of it was a great learning experience. And that was this was about, learning and getting some teaching under our belts.

I was much less nervous this time than my first class at Mindful Yoga in Tucson at the end of June. (I wrote about my first class here.)

One of the great things about this series of classes for my fellow graduates and me is that after each class we sit and debrief and get feedback from one of our teachers, Richard.

Thank you to all of our students last night. Thank you for letting us teach you and letting us learn at the same time.

There are four more classes in the Summer Series. Great for beginners and a reasonable price for a yoga class. See attached flier above for more details.

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Ann on July 24th, 2014
Wow, I guess I only have three pairs of flats. (If flip flops count then I have a ton of flats.)

Wow, I guess I only have three pairs of flats. (If flip flops count then I have a ton of flats.)

On Tuesday and yesterday I took public transport to work: BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). The Bay Area’s version of a subway.

Normally I drive to a parking area close to my house and jump on a shuttle, which takes us the rest of the roughly 20 miles to work.

But the shuttle schedule recently changed, which means if I take the shuttle I don’t make my evening 5:45 and 6 p.m. yoga classes.

(I was supposed to go to yoga last night. But a last minute decision with friends at work had us having a fun night out drinking and eating, which we really needed.)

I decided to experiment this week with public transport. Besides the long ride and the crowded train where a seat isn’t available until people start offloading into the city (aka San Francisco) there are wardrobe issues.

I usually wear heels to work (yes, I know they are terrible for your feet).

In fact, I did a whole feet week on GFG! a few years ago. (The worst shoes for your feet; It’s feet week; And feet week concludes; and Comment Contest Tuesday.)

And most of my pants are rather long since I wear heels, which means flats are not an option with those pants.

Anyway, I wore flats on Tuesday and shorter length pants. I do have a a few pairs.

As I was on the train observing other women I noticed that there is a wardrobe culture for women riding public transport. Most women were wearing pants, which went to their ankles in length, and were wearing flats.

I tried to find information on this topic and didn’t. I, of course, didn’t do a ton of digging but I spent a considerable amount of time looking. But I did find specific instructions on how to take a bus.

I found a blog post asking us: Will you join the flat shoe society? But this was more about “high heel hell.” There’s one quick mention of public transport: … public transport would cease if women habitually wore high heels.

I normally plan my outfits for the weather. And some days it will also be for easy access to and for public transport.

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Ann on July 22nd, 2014
chia

Chia seeds I purchased at the grocery.

A friend at work recently recommended I try chia seeds. I have heard of them before and knew they were supposed to be good for you. But I hadn’t sought them out.

Recently at the grocery I saw them and decided to buy them and try them out.

My friend uses the seeds in her morning smoothies.

I don’t make morning smoothies. So I have been adding a tablespoon of them into my 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt snack.

I like the texture and consistency of the seeds.

I also like the health benefits. (There are some claims that chia seeds help you lose weight. Not sure if that is true. And frankly, I don’t want to explore it. A healthy and balanced diet is what helps you lose and maintain weight. There is no quick fix or pill for that.)

According to WebMD, chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico dating back to Mayan and Aztec cultures. … Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium.

Livestrong lists the top 10 health benefits of chia seeds: high in fiber; increases Omega-3 fats; contains niacin and thiamine; source of selenium; increases iron intake; contains calcium; source of maganese; provide phosphorous; source of magnesium; and contains copper.

The Livestrong article says you can mix a tablespoon of chia seeds with water, which can be used as a replacement for an egg in baked goods. Hmmm, interesting.

The nutritional information on one large egg: 71 calories; 5 grams fat; 0 grams carbohydrates, 0 fiber; 6 grams protein.

And the nutritional information on 1 tablespoon of Foxy chia seeds: 53 calories; 3 grams fat; 4.5 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 1.5 grams protein.

My snack of a 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of chia seeds is yummy, filling and contains: 113 calories; 8 grams fat; 4.5 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 7.5 grams protein.

Chia seeds seem like a nice supplement to certain foods with some added nutrition.

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Ann on July 17th, 2014
CH

Stand up and the charley horse goes away.

Occasionally I get a charley horse in one of my legs in the middle of the night while sleeping. One time I got one in each calf. Wow, ouch!

Over the past few nights I have woken up in the middle of the night twice with a charley horse in my left leg.

According to WebMD, a charley horse is a cramp, particularly in the calf muscles, caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles.

For me the cramps and muscles spasms are terribly painful. I used to try to massage them out.

Years ago I learned a tip that if you can stand on your feet the cramps will go away immediately. It’s true. But to get out of bed and stand up takes a lot of might and strength. But once I step my feet to the floor the cramps and spasms completely disappear.

I’ve heard a variety of reasons why I could get them. Such as dehydration or potassium deficiency. Many more possible causes are listed in the WebMD article.

According the MedLine Plus, when a muscle goes into spasm it feels very tight. It is sometimes described as a knot. The pain can be severe.

MedLine Plus also says, muscle spasms often occur when a muscle is overused or injured. Things that might bring on a muscle spasm include: Exercising when you have not had enough fluids (you’re dehydrated). Or having low levels of minerals such as potassium or calcium.

I drink a lot of water and eat fairly healthy so I am sure my potassium level is decent.

I guess I just keep doing what I have been doing.

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Ann on July 14th, 2014
mail

The pile of mail I went through today included bills, Netflix and a bunch of junk mail.

I have been on vacation for the past two weeks. Spent some time in Tucson visiting my family, resting and relaxing and celebrating my yoga school graduation and teaching my very first yoga class.

The second week Curt and I headed to Amsterdam with our friend Jacob.

The past two weeks I have enjoyed my time. I ate and drank whatever I wanted. (Definitely didn’t get in enough water.)

I wasn’t as diligent with my yoga practice–but I still maintained a home yoga practice.

I did a considerable amount of walking while in Amsterdam, but not a ton, especially since we were staying in the center of town.

But I am back from vacation, which means it’s time to get back into that healthy routine and lifestyle.

I took today off from work so that I could have one more day to adjust to the time change/jet lag; run errands; go through the pile of mail and pay bills; etc.

I do love to travel. But it is always nice to come home and get back to a routine and back to normal.

And I got back to it today with a morning home practice, healthy eating once again and an evening yoga class.

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Ann on July 10th, 2014
herring from food truck

I had salted herring from a food vendor today.

Curt and I along with our friend Jacob are visiting Amsterdam for the week.

On Sunday we visited our friends Esteban and Loesje and their daughter, Sofia, who live outside The Hague.

At some point we started talking about herring.

Loesje showed us the pickled herring they had in their fridge, which isn’t the typical way to eat it in these parts. Soused (salted) herring is the way to eat it around here.

According to What’s up with Amsterdam, herring is a small fish that is very popular among Dutch people. It is caught in the North Sea and the East Sea (near Denmark) from mid May to mid July. 

So we are here for the end of the season.

pickled herring

The pickled herring in our friends’ fridge.

According to Self Nutrition Data a raw fillet of herring (184 grams) has 17 grams of fat; 33 grams of protein; no fiber; and no carbohydrates. A cup (140 grams) of pickled herring has 25 grams of fat; 20 grams of protein; no fiber; and 13 grams of carbohydrates.

According to Livestrong, having herring is one the time when you want to opt for a protein source that is higher in fat, since higher-fat fish contain more of the heart-healthy essential omega-3 fats. Herring make a nutritious choice, since they also tend to be low in mercury. So even pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces of this fish per week.

Also according to What’s up with Amsterdam, Dutch raw herring is famous for being a remedy for hangovers.

Today I tried salted herring for the first time. I ordered it from a food vendor with onions and pickles, which seems to be the way to eat in Amsterdam. It was quite tasty and delicious.

I am a huge advocate of protein so the herring intrigued me. I also like to try local food, beer and wine when I can. I have tried many beers and food since I have been here. The “very dutch” item I ordered the other day was bitterballen, which was interesting and good.

Ann on July 8th, 2014
bike parking

Bike parking.

It’s a rainy day today here in Amsterdam. Curt and I are being lazy and lounging … sleeping way too late, but there is a futbol match tonight at 10 p.m., which will keep us up late. Plus, we’re on vacation so who cares!

This is my third visit to Amsterdam and the thing that I am always impressed by are all of the cyclists (and a few other things). But this post is about bicycles.

One day Curt and I were at a cafe and we observed a Dutch woman on a bike in a skirt and boots on her phone with a kid on the bike and a bag hanging off of her while going up a slight hill like it was no big deal.

It’s a way of life around here. Our friends who live outside The Hague have five bikes among the two of them. Houses come with a standard bike shed.

According to I amsterdam, cycling is a fundamental part of Dutch culture and that’s especially evident in Amsterdam, where a total of 2 million kilometers (which is about 1,242,742 miles) is cycled every day. The popularity of cycling is often put down to it being fast and cheap, alongside the convenience of being able to travel door to door. Cycling is also healthy and bikes themselves take up a relatively small amount of space.

From the little reading I have done the Dutch overall seem to be rather healthy. That is because of their healthy diets and all of their biking.

bike2

Curt and I were sitting at a cafe watching the bicyclists ride by.

From the Future of News, … instead of driving cars all over the place, the prominent mode of transportation is the bike. Sure they still use vehicles when it comes driving long distances, but for commuting around town, going back and forth to work, and for recreation, bicycles are the predominant mode of transportation. 

According to Cycling in the Netherlands–Mad about bikes, The Netherlands is the only nation in the world with more bicycles than people. In a country with 16.5 million people, there are 1.1 bicycles for each one–or roughly 18 million bikes. In Amsterdam alone, there are approximately 550,000 bikes, vs. 215,000 autos. And 75% of all Amsterdam residents (aged 12 or older) own a bicycle; half of them use it daily.

Since biking is a way of life in The Netherlands, children start riding a bike at a young age and it just becomes a part of their everyday life. Getting outdoors and riding a bike are a great way to start a healthy lifestyle and maintain it.

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Ann on July 3rd, 2014
MYC

Go Fit Girl’s My Yoga Classes page.

My webmaster/IT guy (aka The Husband) created a new page on Go Fit Girl! called My Yoga Classes.

On this page I list all (two so far) yoga classes on my schedule.

As I start subbing and possibly pick up my own regular class or two I will update the page.

I also have a little information on private one-on-one sessions. For more information on that you can e-mail me at ann@gofitgirl.com.

You can find the My Yoga Classes tab on Go Fit Girl’s homepage.

If you are in the Bay Area: The graduates from Deep Yoga 2013/2014 class are hosting a Summer Series of yoga classes starting next Thursday, July 10 at 7 p.m. at Piedmont Yoga Studio.

The Summer Series is every Thursday night through August 21. I am teaching with my friend Sandra on July 24. And I plan to attend most classes to support my fellow new trained teachers. Hope to see you there.

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Ann on June 30th, 2014
I am teaching Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Photo by Hilda.

I am teaching Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Photo by Hilda.

Yesterday afternoon I taught my first yoga class as a certified yoga teacher.

After completing my 10-month teacher training program I planned a trip to Tucson to visit family, get in a little relax time at the Arizona Inn and to teach my first yoga class.

My class was called Do Good While You Feel Good at Hilda’s studio, Mindful Yoga Studio. All proceeds are going to Tucson’s Food Bank.

I had 12 students total, including Hilda and my dad.

A few of the students were invited by me, many were Hilda’s regulars and there was one couple who found the class by looking up a class that fit in their schedule. Plus they liked the idea of the donation class.

As I am not a huge fan talking in front of a group of people (talk about taking myself out of my comfort zone) I was super nervous as the class began.

But eventually I felt comfortable and at ease. I felt confident in what and how I was teaching.

The class seemed to respond well to me, my humor, my class and my style. I just kept things simple and I was just who I am.

I received a lot of great feedback and plan to continue to grow and improve my teaching.

I will be teaching at Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, CA, on July 24 with my friend Sandra as part of the 2013/2014 Deep Yoga graduate Summer Series. See Facebook invite here.

As I start subbing and teaching classes and along with setting up one-one-one sessions I will make updates on Go Fit Girl’s My Yoga Classes page.

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