Your 15

Can you believe it? It’s December! This year flew by.

My morning routine is usually the same. I wake up somewhere between 6:30 and 7 a.m.

I practice my home yoga practice for about an hour. I head downstairs for my coffee and breakfast. Then back upstairs to get ready for my day.

The majority of my days I have a morning class. (Four days a week I have a 9:15 a.m. cycle class, one day a week an 8:30 a.m. yoga class, four days a week a noon yoga class …)

When I head downstairs for my coffee and breakfast I usually sit and enjoy my quiet time. Depending on the day and when I actually get downstairs I have anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to have my breakfast.

My goal is to sit and enjoy my meal and coffee. I open the blinds of the patio doors and watch the rain, the birds, the same guy running for the bus or whatever is going on outside and I sip my coffee.

When I was working 40+ hours a week with a usual 2-hour total a day commute finding 15 minutes to just be was tough. I drank … Continue reading

Breaking habits, being more mindful

We all have a comfort zone. Many of us want to stay in it and never stray.

I think it is healthy to get out of our comfort zones. Sometimes we find something out about ourselves, we find something we like or something we are good at by trying something different. We can gain new perspective.

Getting out of our comfort zone is really just about breaking habits.

I used to be really shy and quiet. Yes, I know …

In junior high I was in a drama class and really blossomed when I starred as Baby Mouse in our version of Cinderella.

I’m usually comfortable in groups. Public speaking used to terrify me.

I joined Toastmasters at work (when I was still in the corporate world) to help me get more comfortable with my public speaking.

I decided to take a yoga teacher training and become a yoga teacher. Before my first class I was so nervous. Heart pounding, sweaty, a little freaked out. I thought to myself, why in the hell did I think being a yoga teacher was a good idea? I have to talk in front of a group of people.

Most of my classes start … Continue reading

Exercising Kegel muscles

One of my long-time friends and readers mentioned that jumping rope or jumping in a moon bouncer is difficult … post child birth without … err … umm … peeing your pants.

Since I don’t plan to have children luckily for me I won’t experience this.

But she brought up Kegel exercises.

And what the hell, I decided to do a post about it.

And the stuff I found online, uh, wow!

Wait, does everyone know what Kegel exercises are?

If you get embarrassed easily, you should stop reading now.

OK, you were warned.

According to Wikipedia, in 1948 Arnold Kegel published information on pelvic floor exercise (Kegel exercise), which consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor, now sometimes colloquially referred to as the “Kegel muscles.”

Did you know you can buy an exercise device for this? Check out the Super Kegel’s Exerciser.

I don’t need no stinkin’ exerciser. I can do them myself, in fact I am doing them as I write this right now.

Many women joke about Kegels (the way they are usually referred). But sometimes they can be important for some serious issues.

The Mayo Clinic has … Continue reading

Trying to stay healthy in the month of crazy

Well, we have been launched into a month of crazy. Yup, it’s December 1.

And that means parties, stress, overeating, gatherings, over drinking, standing in long line, baking, cooking, shopping, mailing …

During this month of nuts-O we need to remind ourselves to take a breath and relax (when we can).

It’s important to try to keep our healthy lifestyles this month. And that can be challenging and difficult.

Healthy choices: So for GFG’s December Monthly Challenge make ONE healthy choice every single day this month.

If you can do a whole day of healthy I say go for it.

And of you fail one day, one week or the whole month don’t be so hard on yourself. You can always give it another go.

I took a Restorative Yoga workshop yesterday with one of my favorite people and teachers. I believe Restorative Yoga is important for all of us to take the time to slow down, rest and take care of ourselves.

Vickie gave us a 31-day challenge (for the month of December) to commit to 15 minutes of Savasana each day, which can be easily described as conscious relaxation.

Supported Savasana is even yummier. It’s nice … Continue reading

A Bay Area grateful list on this holiday

For many of us in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving today.

I try to remember to be thankful and grateful every day in my life.

And today  I am going to write about it.

One of the GFG! November Monthly Challenges is the jar project.

Throughout the month I have been adding slips of paper every day to my mason jar (see picture to the left) with positive things I have experienced.

Most of the things I have been grateful for this month have been small. But it’s the small and simple things that we sometimes forget about.

Since this will be my last Thanksgiving in the Bay Area (as we are heading to Portland in the new year) I thought I would focus today’s grateful/thankful list mostly on the Bay Area.

(That doesn’t mean I am not grateful for my family and the friends who don’t live here and lots of other stuff. I am just getting nostalgic about leaving the Bay Area.)

I am grateful/thankful for:

Getting grateful this month

Wow, we are now entering November. Can you believe how quickly this year has gone by?

Since it is November (and Halloween has passed) it means we are thrown into the holiday season.

I love the holidays.

But there is also a part of me that is glad when the holidays are over. This time can be so stressful and overwhelming.

And then there are all the temptations of overeating, so much sugar, lots of alcohol, parties, potlucks, etc.

At the beginning of this year I started a the jar project challenge for myself and shared it with all of you.

I did OK with adding slips of paper in the jar until sometime in April. Though I sometimes felt like I was playing catch up.

I went on vacation and never picked it up again.

We should be grateful all year around of what we have (instead of focusing on what we don’t).

But since it is November and the month most of us celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s do the jar project for the month of November as part of the GFG! Monthly Challenge.

Throughout the month let’s plan to fill the mason jar (or whatever you use) with little pieces of paper … Continue reading

Celebrate Stoptober & be aware this month

I seriously had no ideas for an October Monthly Challenge. I was just not going to do one.

But I decided to post on the Monthly Challenge Facebook page asking friends if they had any suggestions. And I got two almost immediately. Thanks, Rosie and Jen!

My friend Rosie is from the UK and this month is Stoptober, which means being sober and smoke-free for the month. Read more about it here.

If you’re a smoker, this might be a great time to think about quitting. It may not happen this month. But think about how much healthier (and nicer smelling) you will be if you quit.

I told Rosie that this is my birthday month and there is no way I am gonna give up drinking even with the supposed gold pass of one time to cheat this month. I mean, I am going to Tahiti next week and plan on having a lot of fuu-fuu drinks!

But hey, it’s always a good idea to limit alcohol. So maybe keep your drinking to only the weekends. Or cut your usual alcohol intake in half. Or if you really want to get crazy, try not drinking for the whole … Continue reading

Say no to processed foods, yes to glutes

OK, it’s Labor Day and the first day of September, which means it is time for a new Monthly Challenge.

August’s Monthly Challenge was about slowing down. How did that go? I think it a great practice to continue in life moving forward.

OK, onto September’s challenges …

Nutrition: We all know that processed foods, which typically come in a can or box, aren’t great for you. They have lots of ingredients we can’t pronounce.

We are all busy in life and know that sometimes opening a can or box and throwing dinner in the microwave is easy.

We all probably can’t commit to completely eliminating processed foods for the whole month. So maybe for one meal a day, or once a week or just once this month. Try to replace it with something fresh, like fruits and or vegetables.

Exercise: The other day in a yoga class I taught we did some exercises for the glutes.  So I decided to make that the exercise challenge for this month. When you exercise try to dedicate some time to your glutes every time.

If you need more direction then just me telling you to do some exercises, how about each … Continue reading

Trying to stay present

I took the day off from work today.

I ran some errands, had lunch out and got a mani/pedi.

While at lunch I practiced taking my time to eat and enjoy my food. Now I was guilty of checking e-mail, Facebook and text messages while eating. But I reminded myself that I should take the time to enjoy my lunch and be present.

I put the phone away and ate my super yummy thin crust pizza and drank my glass of white.

While eating lunch I also did some people watching and listening, which I may have missed had my face been stuck onto the screen of my phone.

I saw a teenager wearing an Awesome Oakland T-shirt. I overheard a high-strung woman ordering pizza and drinks for herself and those at her table. I watched as a kid struggled with the pizza board and trash. I flirted with a little guy in a stroller. I overheard a woman telling her lunch companion about a guy who is in his 50s and got into a bar fight. I overheard a woman asking, What’s in that pizza? (In front of every pizza on the counter is the name of the pizza … Continue reading

Just slow down …

Hey, ya’ll, GFG!’s Monthly Challenges are back.

Thanks for your patience while the Monthly Challenges went on hiatus. Life is a little more calm so the Challenges will continue … on one condition … participation. I will try to keep them going for the rest of 2014 and evaluate at the end of the year.

It has been months since our last Monthly Challenge. And frankly, it took me some time to come up with challenges. How did I come up with something (nutrition and exercise) every single month?

Nutrition: Enjoy the food you are eating. How often do you drink your breakfast while commuting to work, eat dinner in front of the TV, stuff lunch down your throat while answering e-mail?

This is a tough one for me. I am a multi-tasker, which is not a positive trait to have. Yea, great you can do a whole bunch of things at the same time, but not very well.

If you can’t commit to all of your meals and snacks to just focus on the food you are eating, try it for one meal a day, one a week or if you really find this challenging, one meal the month of … Continue reading