zaterdag 14 januari 2012

why is giving up coffee so hard? I feel better when I don't drink it. when I give up other vices I don't mind so much. it's so difficult! I think to myself, oh I'll just have one cup when Rick is making it, but I know that means another cup tomorrow, then 2 cups and then it's all over again. I can make one month surely, how much of a wimp am I?
I haven't had headaches since I stopped. I'm not all tensed up. My flexibility is increasing. My teeth are white. And I don't drink 4-5 teaspoons of sugar a day.

zaterdag 7 januari 2012

coffee makes you stiff. it dries you out, makes you tense and saps energy. it's not good for breastfeeding, it gets into the breastmilk and caffeine is not good for babies. sugar in coffee! yellow teeth!

maandag 2 januari 2012

Let's see- I gave up coffee on my birthday, dec. 27 so it's been- 5 days? yes. Giving up coffee is in one way easy- it's obvious what coffee is, so once it's out of the picture, it's out of the picture (unlike sugar which is hidden in all sorts of places). But you see it everywhere! Commercials, people on the street holding their paper cups of lattes, etc. Constantly reminded that it is around and what a delicious beverage it is and why am I giving it up again? Oh yeah, cause it's bad for me. I do feel better when I don't have it. I have to remember that. Today's factoid. Coffee creates an acidic environment in the stomach. The body has to create fat cells to fight the acid. Also cancer thrives in an acidic environment.
The sugar fight has begun too. I have agave sirup for my chicory coffee-replacement, although the goal is to get off that too. I have locked up my baking sugar, chocolate chips and table sugar. I'm going to buy some raw cacao today to make choco-balls with dates, nuts and cacao. I've discovered that banana bread doesn't need sugar to taste nice and carrot cake is not too bad either without it. Maybe apple cinnamon muffins might work too with the date substitute.
I'm back on my calorie counting regime too- still would like to lose 2 kilos of baby weight.
I went to a website last year to figure out what my calorie needs are per day, and at my age and rate of activity it was calculated to be 1900 per day. So to lose weight last year I had a daily goal of 1400 to lose one pound a week (500 calories per day deficit x 7 equals 3500 which is approx. the amount of calories in a pound of fat). Now my goal is 1500 which seemed to be working before the holidays. I use a calorie counting website to keep track of everything I eat- writing it down and counting helps keep me on target. Some tips I remember from last year:
-although I abhor carb-free diets, when on a restricted calorie diet, more protein and slightly less carbs does help. Protein lasts longer in the stomach (so not as hungry) and also leaves a satisfied feeling that combats the sweet tooth urge.
-lots of fruit and veggies. Baby carrots are my diet trick- I keep a bag of them on the counter at home and in my bag in the outside world. They are sweet and delicious and filling and a pound has like 50 calories. It's important to record the fruit in the diet counter as fruit does have calories and they add up. Still, a snack of an apple or pear will not break your diet the way a few cookies will!
-dried figs. Super sweet and rich and only 20 calories a fig
-plain (soy) yogurt. It is rich and satisfying and only 50 calories for 100 grams. I add fruit, dried fruit and nuts, and just a touch of honey or agave.
-exercise. If I go running or swim or do yoga, the extra calories burned give me a little leeway if I go over my number of calories.
- meals. I found that if I had either fruit for breakfast or a salad for lunch, the other 2 meals could be reasonably "normal".
-snacks have to be fruit or veggies or soy yogurt.
I love the calorie counting method of dieting. There are no restrictions, you can eat whatever you like, as long as you stay within your limit of calories. I get antsy and weirded out by diets that rely on no this or that. The calorie counting is just basic math. To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you eat. So cravings can be satisfied, to a small extent.
So although this blog is for me to keep battling the sugar and coffee, these diet things have been bouncing in my head for awhile now and wanted to get it out.

maandag 19 december 2011

New Year

so I've decided my New Year's resolutions will be- again, giving up coffee and I want to give up sugar as well. I think writing about it will help me keep focus on why I want to do it and will help me keep to it.
So why do I want to do it? Coffee is bad. Sugar is bad. Right? Coffee makes my teeth yellow and I can feel how it affects my body. Depending on what you read, it's a real horror story to your body- it makes you feel like you are in a constant state of stress which is why it has that awakening effect. Sugar is the same thing- simple sugars elevate the blood sugar level in the blood in a rush and then there is a crash after, all of which is bad for the body. And both coffee and sugar create acid in the stomach and acidity bad, akaline is good.
And I've been having headaches since my baby was born and both sugar and caffeine restrict the blood vessels- which causes headaches.
And I want to lose the last couple of kilos from the baby weight.
And I shouldn't really be having caffeine while I'm breastfeeding.
So I have lots of good reasons to stop. I've tried stopping with coffee before and have had some success (not complete success obviously). I've never tried stopping with sugar before other than in connection with weight loss.
My body seems really sensitive to sugar since I've given birth. I notice more keenly how addictive it is- once you have a little you immediately want more. Also how insiduous and seductive it is. In my head I don't eat that much sugar but on a day to day basis I think I really do. Cereal with soy milk in the morning, a cookie after lunch, a bit of ice cream after dinner, it really adds up. And tying in with the other problem, I like sugar in my coffee and in my coffee substitute! :-)
I think I'm going to give up the coffee on my birthday, Dec. 27 and sugar actually in the new year, so I can enjoy my coffee substitute for a few more days before going cold turkey.
I plan to:
-get rid of all granulated sugar in the house
-not have any sweet stuff in the house
-have lots of fruit, vegetables, dried fruits and nuts and plain yogurt in the house
-find raw agave and stevia for the yogurt and coffee substitute

I'm starting with the big stuff first, and after that I'll start reading labels and going after the processed food next. I want to start making some stuff myself anyway, like pasta sauce and veggie burgers so my baby can eat them (no salt, no sugar for her!)

vrijdag 4 december 2009

Week 9: The End (okay, THE BEGINNING)

This week has really been action packed and full of Bikram. We had lectures with him Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the evening and also Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. And class with him Tuesday. We had demo tryouts on t
Tuesday- I didn't get picked. When I saw the selection process I could see I really wouldn't get picked but I was glad to have been there. Monday night was another optional movie (why does he do that?) and I stayed. I was disappointed though- it was a war movie in black and white from the1950's. No romantic comedy bollywood movie with lots of dancing and costume changes. Wednesday, another optional movie, I stayed, but only for an hour. So I've had 2 nights of 3am bedtimes this week. This last week has been so exhausting- our breaks have been shorter and we've been up till 1am at least every night. We had a demo of the advanced class on Wednesday which was cool. Very strange to just sit and watch a class! It's amazing what people can do with their bodies and great to have a front row seat to watch it.
We've had posture clinics all week with Bikram, and for most of the postures we could go up and have them fixed by Bikram. This is where he really shines, and it's amazing to see what he can get people to do. I went up for standing separate stretching- still no forehead to the floor but much closer than before. Craig Villani was here this week, he used to be the director of the trainings. There are lots of stories about him from the past, I found him to be fun and informative. I have a feeling he is quite different as a guest than he was as the director. His famous awkward pose was for us a minute long- that's not too bad. And he has a lot of experience and knowledge about teaching and this yoga.
Last day of training- can you believe it? Tomorrow is an optional Saturday morning class and then graduation in the afternoon.
I'm too tired to have any philosophical moments about the whole thing.
Oh, and apparently I am teaching at HQ next week- I haven't gotten the day and time yet, but my first class will be in LA before I go visit my family. I'm both excited and terrified. I need to practice my dialogue!
My good friend Julie from LA is coming today for graduation, so this is my last post before training ends. I'll have a wrap up post though sometime next week!

zaterdag 28 november 2009

Week 8: The penultimate week.

I blogged every day this week for a change, here's how it went...
Monday was mellow enough. We had a teacher from LA in the morning who got everyone riled up- he was calling people out for drinking water in and between postures and leaving the room and just fidgeting in general. I think he was right in principle, but we are allowed to be a little lax here in TT and I think it was his tone that set people off. Posture clinic in the afternoon and we finally finished rabbit pose. I had people purposely doing things wrong in my clinic, and handled it okay but lost a lot of dialogue which was not good. We had Lisa from San Antonio and she is a lot of fun and gave some good general advice. Monday night was lecture with Bikram. We are back on the Mahabharat trail and saw 3 episodes before leaving at 2am. Ahh the Mahabharat- 70's style. I'm surprised they haven't made an updated version of it, it seems like it would be right up Bollywood's alley- plot for days! A cast of thousands! Costume changes! How can they resist?
Tuesday morning the staff brightened our mood with a fashion show! Yeah! The staff came out in some of the new line of Bikram yoga togs. I think we are not buying enough in the store. I had a very good class Tuesday night- I felt less stiff and was more open. Right after having a very stiff and painful class in the morning.
So far... teacher training isn't as hard as I thought it would be. Yes, the days are long and my body is inexplicably stiff after all this yoga- but the classes have been pretty normal and the nights not too late, for the most part. I guess I read too many teacher training blogs and thought mine would be all the worst things combined. Either that or it sounds bad when you read about it but when you are coming home at 5am from a night of movies, into a 8am claas, it's just something you deal with and then move on. It does seem though, that we have been a bit more lucky. It's dry and cool here and they haven't really been able to make the tent very hot or humid, like in Acalpulco. We haven't had the marathon string of late nights from the last training. Having said that though, this week did have quite a few late nights....
Tuesday night lecture with one of the senior teachers and then bikram came down for a couple of episodes of Mahabharat. We were invited to stay longer if we chose and I stayed for one more. I find it a little sad that almost no one wants to stay, even though it's late and we are all tired. It's teacher training ! With Bikram! We are supposed to be tired and sore! I don't know... the one good benefit of staying a little longer is that even though I was quite sleepy on Wednesday morning, I felt like it was my choice, not like I had been forced, and I was in a better mood than most people.
Wednesday: We finished our postures! Hooray. It is a good feeling and kind of amazing to think we have plowed thru 20 something postures and now are ready to go out and teach them. I'm excited and panicked at the same time- I need to do some more practicing for sure. I think I was pretty okay overall in the clinics- my main notes were to keep the energy up and to breathe and I feel confident I can do those things. Wednesday night Bikram taught a good class and then we had a lecture with a senior teacher/studio owner. It was good- he knows Bikram very well and has a more educated opinion of him and his world than I do and I appreciated getting a little insight.
Thursday- Thanksgiving! We had a morning class and then a dinner at 4pm, but otherwise were free and it was such a welcome break. The dinner was good- good food, some impromptu music from some of the musicians in the group and nice to see everyone dressed up in grown-up people clothes for a change. Thursday night after dinner my roommate and I both crawled into bed and watched holiday-night tv- just what we needed.
Friday was business as usual, with a really good posture clinic where we got to “start” a class, I was glad I got a chance to do it here before the real thing.
This week was also very emotional for me- I was tired in body and mind for a lot of it. I am having some financial difficulties at home that I have to resolve while I am here and that has been causing some additional stress. The holidays made me miss my family and my home. Week 8- we have been here two months, my god! One more week, but of course when I am in the moment it doesn't matter if I have one more day or 1000 more days- in this moment I am still here in Las Vegas, still going to class, still going to lectures. The good news is of course, weekend does roll around, next week we have a lot of good lectures and classes coming up and next Saturday I will be graduated!
I am “trying out” for the demonstration group. At graduation about 30 students (I think...) will demonstrate a fast version of the class. I assume they want students who look good and have full expression of the postures- which I TOTALLY do not have, but I can't help trying out. I want to do it, and I have a tradition from Amsterdam to uphold. I don't have high hopes but I'm going to wear my cutest outfit, smile a lot and try to get picked anyway. I'm hoping Bikram remembers who stayed for optional movies, Mahabharat and make-up classes!

zaterdag 21 november 2009

Week 7: Light at the end of the tunnel

Well, they can throw “trust the process” at us, they can keep telling us to cherish every moment here, they can still crank the heat and pile on the movies for the next two weeks, but they cannot deny the truth- only two more postures to learn, only 22 more classes to go- we are definitely approaching the finish line to this teacher training. I am finally admitting to myself that what they say is true- the 9 weeks DOES go fast and I probably will miss it when I go. They tell us to enjoy every moment here because it's so special, but the problem is that so much of it is not very enjoyable. Classes or posture clinics in a single serving can be fine, but doubles of everything for weeks on end can be very tiring and even tedious. The posture clinics are in hotel rooms and we sit on the floor for 3 ½ hours which is uncomfortable. The lectures are in the lecture tent on hotel chairs which are also uncomfortable. We need the yoga just to survive the rest of the sitting time in training! The yoga too, though- 2 classes a day is starting to feel, to me, like a lot of work. My thighs are aching, my hamstrings are tight and I've (incredibly) regressed AGAIN in eagle- that hard fought for toe-around-the-calf is popping out again- frustrating!
This week started kind of gloomy for me- so close to the end and yet still so far to go! We had class and lecture with Bikram on Monday. I'm a girl who likes to plan and know what is going on from day to day and that is something that you really can't have here- one day to the next we don't know if we'll have one posture clinic or two, one lecture or two, lecture on top of two posture clinics, 4 hour bollywood movies on top of lectures- I hate not knowing! So I have to be honest and admit the week got 110% better when we realized on Tuesday (it wasn't announced) that Bikram went out of town after monday and won't be back until next week. So the rest of the week has been a reasonably regular schedule of lectures and posture clinics. Even more impressive- good lectures! We've had a lecturer who has explained about fascia (connective tissue running thru the whole body) and has had some pretty controversial ideas- that fitness is not, for most people, a health tool, 12-step programs for addiction are not recovery programs. He is also an advocate of The Laws of Attraction, which says that you are in control of your total reality. Which is great if you are talking about bringing good things into your life. It gets more difficult to accept when you follow the logic all the way- that you are also responsible for the bad things that happen in your life.
It's hard to believe we are almost done with learning the dialogue. THE DIALOGUE. We are at the last two postures. It will be so great to start practising sets of postures we know instead of having to memorize endlessly. I may have a chance to teach at the Asheville studio when I go there and now I'm looking into possibly teaching a class when I'm in LA. I don't want my first class to be in Amsterdam in front of students I know!
We have CPR this weekend and I may go to the make up class this week as it is on Sunday. Otherwise I think I am going to spend the rest of the weekend curled up in bed or downstairs at the sauna. My body is cranky and tired like a bear. Two more weeks! And Bikram is back in town so we have to be prepared for anything.