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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Ann on June 28th, 2014
djhg

Baxter, my mentor, and I pose with my Deep Yoga Teacher Training certificate Thursday night.

As of Thursday evening I am an officially certified yoga teacher.

Piedmont Deep Yoga 2013/2014 teacher training program had its ceremony Thursday night.

It was a bittersweet evening. The past 10 months I have learned so much. And I have developed relationships with these people every Thursday night, one Saturday month and a couple of Intensive Weekends.

But it has also been a long and tough road juggling school, homework, home yoga practice, challenges at work, personal life, etc. It was a lot to take on.

But I am glad I did it. And proud of myself as well.

Each mentor got up and said something about their yogini/yogi mentees.

I felt lucky to be the very last one to receive my certificate.

Curt took video of me getting my certificate from Baxter. Click here to watch.

I am heading to Tucson this evening to see my family, get some relaxing time in and teach my very first yoga class tomorrow afternoon, which is called Do Good While You Feel Good, at Mindful Yoga Studio. (All proceeds from my class will be donated to Tucson’s food bank.)

As I start getting gigs I will make sure that information gets out there. My fellow teacher training students and I are teaching a summer series at Piedmont. Will post about that soon. I will likely start subbing yoga classes at my gym. And I definitely want to start working one-on-one with people.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive to me as I took this journey. I couldn’t have done it without my friends and family cheering from the sidelines along the way.

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Ann on June 22nd, 2014
TG

Many of us sported our Team Goldman bowling shirts from an offsite last year.

This morning I participated in a charity walk with friends/former and current co-workers to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

We came together this morning to honor a great man who left this world too soon.

Team Goldman ended up being No. 4 in fundraising.

We rallied at the end to get back to No. 3, where we had been during most of the fundraising months before the run/walk.

My team raised $6,244. I raised $1,393, which made me the No. 2 fundraiser on Team Goldman.

The only terrible thing today was that the walk started at 7:45 in San Francisco.

But the great part was I got a walk in, raised money for a great cause and got to have a reunion and hang out with fun people who I currently work with and some who no longer work there.

Oh, and there was a brunch cookout after, which included mimosas. So not too shabby.

Thank you to everyone who donated. You will be getting a thank-you note soon.

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Ann on June 20th, 2014
blocks

One of my classmates showed this set up to help get into Salamba Sirsasana (supported  headstand).

Years ago I was in a yoga class and at the beginning of class the teacher told us what props we needed for class that day.

Someone walked into class after the prop instructions were given. I overheard a fellow student tell the other what props the teacher had requested. She looked at the helpful student and said, I don’t use props.

I almost laughed out loud.

(I typically grab two blocks, a strap and a blanket or two.)

There has been some talk about the use of props as cheating, which I personally find ridiculous. Use of a prop is not cheating.

Last night we discussed props in teacher training.

The assignment for last night was to present a use for a particular prop.

People showed uses with straps, blocks, blankets, sand bags, chairs and a few other non-typcial props, which proved to be fun.

I learned a lot of new uses of various props. Some were eye openers. Others were cool. And some I was aware of but appreciated the reminder.

Props can help you get into a pose you wouldn’t normally be able to or give you a different experience in a pose. Props can help you get deeper into a pose and also help to protect your body. Props have so many purposes.

For my own home practice I have straps, blocks, eye pillows, sand bags, bolsters, wool blankets.

My prop presentation was with blocks and I showed the class how to work to prevent hyperextension in the knees in one pose and how to help prevent hyperextension in the elbows in another pose.

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