Weekend Highlights March 18 2019

I hope everyone had a fun St Patrick’s Day weekend. Did you do anything Irish inspired to celebrate the holiday?

Puppy Socialization

I spent Friday night at a puppy socialization class with my boyfriend and his English Bulldog Winston. There were 5 other puppies there that night and they all had so much fun running around, playing with each other, and learning to interact.

I didn’t take any photos because I was just having fun petting the other puppies and watching them play. There was a golden retriever puppy that had her super fluffy puppy fur still. She was so incredibly soft. She felt exactly what I imagine a cloud would feel like! (I had to share a photo of Winston even if it wasn’t taken at puppy socialization, because who doesn’t like a photo of a cute puppy?)

Winston had a lot of fun like he always does when we take him there. He started out running around fast, and by the time we left he was definitely worn out and moving a lot slower. He’d successfully gotten out all of his excess puppy energy.

Rhubarb Schmubarb Beer

Once we got back from puppy socialization class, we decided to split a beer. This Rhubarb Schmubarb one from Rogue was delicious. It was made with strawberries and rhubarb as you can tell from the can. I didn’t taste much of the sweetness from the strawberries, but the sour rhubarb really came through. It was perfect because I really like sour beers.

St Patrick’s Day Dinner

My boyfriend and I decided to make a St Patrick’s day inspired dinner on Saturday night. He put the corned beef in his slow cooker on high for 6 hours along with some little potatoes and carrots. Later on in the cooking process he added a bag of shredded cabbage.

The kitchen smelled amazing at the end of the cooking process. The corned beef turned out super tender and flavorful. The carrots and potatoes were perfectly cooked too along with the cabbage. It was super easy to make too, which is always nice.

Corned beef is actually a favorite of mine, but I usually only end up having it once a year at St Patrick’s day. I clearly need to make it more of a priority at other times during the year.

The Umbrella Academy

A couple weekends ago my boyfriend and I started watching The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. We’re three episodes into it now and I have to admit that I’m liking it more than I thought I would.

It basically follows a group of young adults who have superpowers and grew up together as they try to prevent the end of the world in 8 days. The only actor I recognized from it is Ellen Page.

It’s an action packed show with a bit of a sci fi/superhero slant to it. Give it a try if you’re looking for something new to watch on Netflix. I think you’ll know if you like it or not pretty quickly.

Cupcakes from Sweet Relief

I decided to pick up some cupcakes from a favorite bakery of mine, Sweet Relief. Every single thing I’ve bought from them has been absolutely delicious – and so pretty. They really know how to decorate everything from cupcakes to cookies.

They had some St Patrick’s Day inspired cupcakes, so I went with Bailey’s (on the right), salted caramel (left), and vanilla (unpictured). My boyfriend said that the Bailey’s one was really good, and my salted caramel cupcake was delicious too.

It’s always a treat to go buy something from Sweet Relief for me. You can tell everything they make is created with really good ingredients because it’s always delicious. It’s probably a good thing I don’t live anywhere near the bakery or else I would be by there a lot more often.

What was one highlight of your weekend? Share about it in the comments below.

Weekly Workouts March 16 2019

Sunday

Since I was at yoga teacher training on Sunday, my workout obviously yoga. We didn’t practice in the morning, but we spent the afternoon doing some student teaching in small groups. Two people led classes in my group, so I got two hours of yoga in.

Monday

Rest day.

Tuesday

I was feeling like a sweaty workout, so I decided to go to yoga. I went with an ashtanga unwind class at my favorite yoga studio, the Yoga Shala. The first 40 minutes of the 75 minute class was a very brief primary series of ashtanga yoga followed by a few restorative poses held for 5 minutes or longer before ending the class with savasana.

I’m growing to really love the flow and restore format. In fact, the last class that I taught at teacher training was a flow and restore one. For me it combines the best of yoga – working hard, and then allowing my body to take rest and be present. If you haven’t tried a flow and restore class before I would highly recommend it!

Wednesday

Rest day.

Thursday

I took a restorative yoga class on Thursday morning. I hadn’t been to one in quite awhile, so I thought it would be a good idea to attend one again. It also helped that one of my favorite restorative teachers was teaching it.

It was super relaxing and I left feeling so great. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my to do list and getting things done. I can get into the mindset of always looking ahead, and as a result it can be tough to be present. It didn’t take long for me to leave the to do list behind before I was feeling connected to my body and in the present moment.

In fact, I was feeling so good and relaxed that my Fitbit actually thought that I was asleep for most of the class. I’ve done a few hour long yoga nidras, and that’s never happened before. I was clearly relaxed on Thursday.

Friday

My plan yesterday was to go to a friend’s yoga class, but unfortunately on Thursday afternoon the garage door broke and my car stuck in the garage. Not having access to my car means it’s hard to get to yoga. Since I wasn’t able to make it this week, I’m hoping to make it next week.

Saturday

My plan for today is to hopefully get to the gym for a cardio workout. That all depends on if I can get my car out of the garage early enough! We’re having someone come by today to hopefully fix it. If I can’t get to my car I’ll just take another rest day.

What was your favorite workout from the past week?

Friday Favorites March 15 2019

Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to a weekend that finally feels like spring! It’s been a long and cold winter, so I’m so grateful that the weather is starting to warm up. Next week is supposed to get up to 14 C or 57 F. I can’t wait for more sun and less snow.

Will you be doing anything to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this weekend? I’m going to be making an Irish inspired meal with my boyfriend on Saturday – we’ll be cooking up some corned beef and cabbage. Corned beef is actually a favorite of mine, but I hardly ever make it. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to it.

In usual Friday fashion here on Get Fit Fiona, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite things from the past week.

Vagabond

I’ve mentioned going to Vagabond, a pub within walking distance of my boyfriend’s place once or twice before on the blog. We’ve been there 5 or 6 times how, and it’s quickly becoming a favorite of ours. They have a great selection of craft beers.

My favorites so far from the menu are the reuben and the chorizo mac and cheese (pictured above). My boyfriend says that the falafel pizza is delicious too. Since it’s so close to the Saddledome, Vagabond can get pretty busy on nights when there’s a Hitmen game or the Flames are playing. Making a reservation is your best bet on those nights.

How Yoga Works

I’ve finally been able to dive into this book now that I’m done studying for tests and preparing for practice teaching at yoga teacher training. It’s my second time reading it (a good friend was willing to lend it to me again), and I’m still learning lots this time around, just like I did the first time through.

If you’re wanting to deepen your understanding about yoga philosophy, or even just dip your toes into it, I highly recommend How Yoga Works (affiliate link). The writers made yoga philosophy really accessible and easy to understand. If you’re at all intimidated by it like I was, you don’t have to be.

Yappy Hour

The place where my boyfriend took his bulldog puppy for obedience classes holds a puppy socialization play time on Friday nights. We’ve taken him a few times now and every single night it’s so much fun. Winston and the other puppies chase each other, bark, and play with each other.

Winston always has a lot of fun. He’s completely oblivious that he’s the smallest one there – he’s right in the middle of everything with all the other puppies. It’s pretty funny that it always takes him a day or two to recover from all the fun. The day after yappy hour he sleeps a ton and in general has less energy than he usually has. It’s actually kind of a good thing though cause he has a lot of puppy energy.

What’s a favorite of yours from the past week? Share it in the comments below.

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30 Minute Full Body Workout

Today I’m sharing a full body workout that only takes 30 minutes to complete.

I’m so grateful it’s finally starting to feel like spring here in Calgary! It snowed a bit yesterday, but there’s no more extreme cold warnings and -35 temperatures. It’s such a treat to have the temperature hovering around the freezing mark. I’m looking forward to having the snow melt and having the green grass and leaves on the trees. It’s been a long winter around here.

Today’s workout is a 30 minute full body one. You do each of the 15 exercises for 30 seconds, resting in between each exercise for 30 seconds. Complete the list of exercises twice through for a total of 30 minutes.

Since the only equipment you’ll need for this workout are dumbbells, you can do this workout at the gym or at home. For at home workouts I like these dumbbells (affiliate link) from Amazon.

Just in case you need a refresher about any of the exercises in this workout, I’ve described them below.

Alternating lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.

Push ups

Starting on your toes and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your heels to your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line. An easier modification is instead of being on your toes, lower to your knees.

Bicycle crunches

Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.

Step ups

Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

Tricep dips

Using a chair or bench, place hands on the edge with fingers pointing towards the back while stepping out your feet so that they’re hip width apart and your hips are above the floor. Slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself and then use your triceps to move yourself back up to the starting position. Your knees can be bent (easier) or left straight (harder).

Mountain climbers

Start in a plank position. Jump one foot up as close to the hips as possible while bending at the knee and hip. Then jump that foot back while bringing the other foot up.  An easier modification is to use a chair to put your hands on.

Clamshells

Lay on your side on the floor with your hips bent at a 45 degree angle and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. With your legs stacked on top of one another, slowly lift your top knee up while keeping the top heal on the bottom heal. Then lower your knee back down. Make sure to use your glutes do the movement. Once one side is done flip over so the top leg is on the bottom and repeat with the second leg.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Plank

The plank is very similar to the starting position of a pushup. Your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width, and your body is a straight line from your head, through your shoulders, hips, and knees, to your heels. Just like with the pushup, if you need an easier modification, use your knees instead of your toes.

High knees

Starting in a standing position, quickly bring your left knee up in front of you as high as you can. Step back down and repeat with your right leg. Repeat.

Squats

With feet hip width apart and dumbbells in your hands, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Crunches

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feel flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Make sure your neck stays in a neutral position. The upper back should be moving, not the neck. Slowly lay back down on the floor.

Bicep curls

Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Skaters

With your knees slightly bent, jump to the right and land on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you with your foot just off the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground. Pushing off with your right foot, jump to the left and land on your left foot, keeping your right leg bent and right foot off the ground behind you.

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Talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. As always, honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

Yoga Teacher Training Weekend 11

This was a big weekend of teacher training for me. I took my last test, and while I still have one more weekend to attend, it’ll be more tying up loose ends instead of studying for exams or preparing classes to teach.

Friday PM

We spent Friday doing some student teaching. Since I taught my one hour class the last weekend of February, it felt good to know that I didn’t have to worry about that this weekend. We all get feedback after we teach, and even though it’s meant mostly for the person who taught, I always learn a lot. I can apply a lot of the feedback to my own teaching.

I ended up betting in two hours of practice in which felt really good. I hadn’t done much yoga throughout the week, so it was really nice to do it on Friday night.

Saturday AM

We spent the first part of Saturday talking about assisting. We watched a few video clips of Pattabhi Jois (he developed ashtanga yoga) giving assists back 20 or 30 years ago. It was quite eye opening to see how assisting has changed so much since then. Assists are much more gentle now, in part I think because we know how much individual anatomy can effect how poses look on different people.

Someone with short legs and a long torso and long arms will have no problem touching the ground with their hands in a standing forward fold. Someone else with long legs, a short torso, and short legs, will have a harder time reaching the floor.

Saturday PM

We spent the afternoon practicing how to lead meditation. We were each given 30 minutes in which to lead a small group through a meditation. Since we weren’t given more than a few minutes to prepare, it was a bit nerve wracking for me. I’m one of those people who likes to prepare, so I was forced to just go with it and wing it.

It actually went better than I was expecting, considering I’m much more comfortable teaching asana than I am at teaching pranayama or meditation. I’m really glad I got out of my comfort zone and did it.

Sunday AM

Sunday morning we took a test on anatomy and philosophy. I did really good on the anatomy part, which I was expecting thanks to my previous classes in anatomy and physiology. I spent more time studying the philosophy part and was more nervous about that too.

I ended up doing better on the philosophy section than I thought I would do, which was a nice surprise. I guess I’ve picked up more of it than I thought I did. I was really happy with my mark on the test overall. I guess all that studying paid off.

The instructor we have for the anatomy content is also an orthopedic surgeon. She decided to spend the rest of the morning talking about hip and knee replacements and how to teach people with them. She even brought in some artificial hips and knees for us to see that she had taken out of patients. They had all been cleaned and sterilized so we were able to actually touch them and get a feel for them. It’s pretty impressive how much can be done with artificial joints.

Sunday PM

We ended off the weekend with some more teacher training. Even though I wasn’t teaching, I still learned a lot hearing the feedback for my fellow teacher trainees.

It’s pretty cool to see people coming into their own when it comes to leading a yoga class. We’re all starting to figure out what kind of classes we’d like to teach, finding our own voices, and just getting more comfortable being in front of a group.

Final Thoughts

Teacher training has absolutely flown by. It’s hard to believe that I’m just about done. I’ve learned so much since I started teacher training back in September. At the same time I feel like this 200 hour training is just the beginning for me. There’s so much I still want to learn. There’s yoga teachers I would love to do trainings with. I feel like that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.