Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Today's lesson is on Woodwinds - flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoon, although saxophones were also mentioned in passing...
This class is hosted on Blackboard, and so they usually provide some informational and/or fun videos relevant to the current lesson.
Here's an interesting bassoon interpretation of one of the classic 70's and 80's group Queen:
(or, just in case one of these links does not work for you, here's another link.)
If neither work (like out of USA), try searching on YouTube for:
Bohemian Rhapsody Bassoon Quartet
Monday, September 15, 2014
You know those banner ads from Fabletics.com that you see here on SparkPeople and other places? I don't like them. It's one thing to go to a website that looks interesting, cruise around and discover that all their clothing is not the sizes you need (if you are like me, larger than a size 20.).
It's quite another thing, very humiliating, to land at a website from a banner ad, and then, before you can even go look at the clothing, you have to fill out a survey - maybe they don't collect all the information, but it's enough. In this case, they asked for my first name, email, the sizes I needed for tops, bottoms and I forget what the other category was, my income level (fortunately there was a discreet "prefer not to answer"), and month and date of my birthday. Then the next page I think they wanted me to create a password. My first password was "junk" but it got busted because it needed to be at least 6 characters. So I got that changed.
I've seen other websites like this and usually it's fairly obvious that they are NOT going to have the sizes I need, so when I get those pre-emptive quizzes that allows them to sort out desirable customers vs pond-scum Rubenesque gals like me, I just delete the tab and move on. Today...I got caught in it. I could even see the "Contact Us" and they wouldn't even let me contact them first, before the quiz. So as soon as I was done with the quiz, I let them have an eyeful in their contact us email form. Politely of course, but I let them know in no uncertain terms that I'm not happy with their way of doing business. And I also told them that when I got to a lower weight where I could wear their clothes, I wouldn't be back.
I just felt like their pre-sale quiz was so invasive and hurtful. Can you imagine going to the mall and seeing a cute window display and going to the door to check it out and finding one of those Amusement Park Ride Warning Signs that says "you must be smaller than a size 20" or "you must be within a BMI of 25 or less" or whatever size range criteria? I'm sure that would be wildly popular, would it not??
Friday, September 05, 2014
I've seen a few different websites discussing herbal teas that are helpful for weight loss, and many are somewhat hard to understand or follow - I'm guessing because the articles were written by non-native English users. The information is still helpful though, so I wanted to have it on hand here in one place, rather than having to scroll page after page of advertisements with just little blips of the specific information.
Here's a few that I've found so far, and in some cases have used with decent results (just need to be consistent!). Plus - drinking herbal teas helps with your overall consumption of water, so that's a bonus, right!?
This tea is effective in balancing sugar levels, and hence, making it possible for you to have reduced cravings for sweets and other common foods that can make you fat. This natural appetite suppressant is best taken at night, preferably before having dinner. This will allow you to eat in smaller portions, which will make it easy to digest as you go to sleep.
Chamomile helps improve digestion and acts as a natural appetite suppressant. It is also cathartic, allowing the detoxification and removal of toxins. It is rich in magnesium, calcium, and Vitamin A, among others, and provides a wide array of health benefits while helping you to manage your weight, including improving sleep (and we all know the benefits of sleep in improving our weight).
Chickweed Tea (you know, the plant that gives us garbanzo beans?).
In a research that has been completed at the Washington State University Extension, chickweed tea has been proven to be abundant in diuretic, laxative, tonic, and expectorant properties, all of which are known to be helpful in being able to aid in weight loss. I did not know that! And it also works through the elimination of water...which I did know, as we're all about losing that water weight.
Known as the "little plant that roars", dandelion has natural diuretic and laxative properties to remove water and food weight before digestion begins and help your body reduce the feeling of 'feeling bloated'. Many avid dieters believe that diarrhea keeps their bodies from absorbing calories or fat, but this is not the case and could lead to dehydration and dependency on laxatives. Dandelion is also a beneficial aid for digestion and because of its mild laxative properties, it can help in bowel movements to become more regular. My favorite dandelion beverage is a product called Dandy Blend (which I have bought online or in local health food stores.). It kinda comes off like a coffee, but not caffeinated.
I have only tried garlic tea when I've been very congested with a cold - but evidently the allicin in garlic tea sends signals to the brain letting you know - "you are feeling very very full and satisfied..." yet sending that signal much sooner then you would get if you had simply eaten three plates full of food! Garlic is not exactly the first thing I think of drinking before a meal, because most of us don't like the strong taste of garlic. It will work fine if you combine the tea with some honey and lemon to kill the taste. Plus, the honey and lemons have their own benefits.
One of the things that make ginger tea a favorite for weight loss is that it is calorie free (except for whatever sweetener you might add, if any). Ginger also stimulates the digestive enzymes, and ginger is known to be able to increase the pH level of the stomach. It allows the essential nutrients to be absorbed by the body while the non-essential nutrients are flushed. That's cool - keep the good stuff and kick the junk out!
Green tea is technically not an "herbal tea" - it's a real tea. One of the most important components of green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate or EGCG, which boosts metabolism. This EGCG has enzymes which send signals to the fat cells in the body and tells them to break down. Aside from catechins, it is also rich in caffeine and polyphenols, both of which are proven to have fat-burning capabilities. It's also tasty and blends in well with fruit flavors. Need to be careful if you are anemic though, as it can block your ability to absorb iron.
Hibiscus is a natural source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA, or hydroxycut), the same chemical used in many diet formulas. It also contains other obesity fighting chemicals such as chromium and ascorbic acid. I was recently given some Hibiscus tea from a friend who got it from her friend (who brought it over from their visits to "the old country" - I'm thinking around Croatia or elsewhere in Eastern Europe). My experience was it tasted like rosehips and I did seem to detox, but I did not experience at all the hyperactive heart fluttering stuff that I got with the actual Hydroxycut product that came out a few years ago. I hated that feeling. And so I'm surprised reading a website that this is one of the other ingredients. Evidently those other "Hydroxycut" type diet pills have something else in there I was reacting to, and not the Hibiscus (and at the time I tried those pills, I was not at all aware of Hibiscus as a weight loss tea.). Or maybe having it as a tea just reduces the overall "hyper" impact on my heart, yet still provided the anti-sugar craving effect of the chromium and the general antioxidant properties of vitamin c in the ascorbic acid.
There are many reasons on why oolong is one of the most effective teas that can aid in weight loss. It is rich with antioxidants that are said to help in increasing your metabolism by as much as 10% in as quickly as 2 hours after drinking it. Its antioxidants are also claimed to be effective in burning fat, specifically those that accumulate in your upper arm and tummy. And it's one of my favorite teas! The caffeine in oolong does not affect me the same way as in green or black teas, so I have been able to sleep even if I had oolong tea late in the day.
Peppermint tea is one that I love to drink in combination with the oolong tea. It has proven to be highly effective in being able to control what you eat. Generally speaking, mint tea is good for improving digestion. Some people suggest that it is combined with green tea in order to create a powerful infusion that will be twice as effective for weight loss. Many also liked that it does not contain caffeine, which is great to know if you are drinking it with oolong or green tea.
Rose (or Rosehip) Tea
Also known as rosehip tea, this will help in the promotion of faster and healthier digestion. Aside from its weight loss benefits, it is also good for constipation and in flushing toxins from the body. With the abundance of the vitamins that can be found in this tea, you will also be able to experience benefits in terms of improving the glow and youthfulness of your skin.
Star Anise Tea
This tea is rich with diuretic properties that can prove to be naturally helpful for losing weight. If you have digestive problems, such as an upset stomach, star anise tea can also be helpful. This is a Chinese herb and must not be confused with the Japanese counterpart, which is known for being high in terms of toxicity. I don't know about the Japanese counterpart, but I do know I tend to benefit greatly from a healthy bowl of Beef Pho, and Pho spices typically include Star Anise. And tea? soup? both hot water and spices - what's the difference if it is sweet, savory, or just plain?? Bring it on.
Monday, August 25, 2014
I am taking an online music appreciation class, and we were asked write up introductions, including a link to a youtube or .mp3 selection, and why we liked it.
Well I'm the nerdy type so my link was to an organ piece I like written by JS Bach... but in the process of reading the introductions from my classmates and checking out their links, I've found new songs I'd never heard from and found the lyrics versions of those songs. So I think this is going to be a "blog to add to" from time to time, as I encounter new songs. I think some of these I've mentioned in the past but too tired to go see which blog I mentioned it in and link to it - but if I find them, I'll link to them as well...
Here's a new one for me:
"All about that Bass" by Meghan Trainor
I am sure I've mentioned Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are" but here's a video of it both captioned and signed in ASL:
John Mayer's song "Daughters" - kind of sad but he's making some valid points on how parents can influence their daughters:
Jonny Dias - "More Beautiful You"
Colbie Caillat "Try"
It's come to my attention that the links don't always work, because on my screen they load up with the "https" (secure socket layer). One has mentioned taking the S out, so that it looks like this:
watch?v=MyTJaclSJgo (without the S - I deleted it before I copied and pasted it, and it went to the site, and then while loading, it automatically changed from the "http" to "https" ).
Maybe that will work??
Hope it does. Otherwise you'd just have to go to your YouTube and search the artist and the song name (and lyrics, if you want to see the lyrics, which is generally what I search for - ie. Bruno Mars "Just the Way You Are" Lyrics
maybe this one http://youtu.be/MyTJaclSJgo sometimes youtube does it like youtube.com and other times youtu.be/(rest of link) - I don't know why...
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