Sunday, August 25, 2013


Going back to school has once again presented me with an interesting challenge to staying healthy. I must face the school lunchroom and challenge myself to avoid the fried, high carb entrees that are  served everyday. This means preparing my own lunch so I can stay on track.

I have been trying to find foods that are tasty! and healthy. This may include wraps with low-fat turkey, humus with veggies, fresh fruit, and yogurt with granola. All these low-carb foods will give me energy throughout the day. Nothing is worse than having lots of carbs for lunch and feeling tired the next day. We encourage students to eat healthier through their teachers as well.

What Teachers Eat

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Luna Bar and a Banana

I am a creature of habit and for the past several years I have been eating the same breakfast each day.  I have a Luna Bar and a banana.  Even after being pregnant and having morning sickness, I still came back to my go to morning routine.  I looked a little bit more into what Luna Bars are offering to me health-wise, besides the delicious flavors such as peanut butter cookie, lemon zest, and caramel nut brownie. 

Luna Bars boast the Core 4 for women.  They provide calcium, vitamin D, iron, and folic acid.  They help with bone growth, make red blood cells and enzymes, and develop cells and essential proteins for our bodies.  They are 70% organic and therefore help to eliminate toxins from your diet.  Besides all the health benefits I have discovered that these are the perfect texture.  Not to dry.  Not to hard.  Not to chewy.  They taste exactly like the description.  I swear that I am eating a piece of carrot cake when I eat the Luna Carrot Cake bar, complete with cream cheese frosting!

I have always heard that bananas are high in potassium and help to lower blood pressure.  That seemed like a good enough reason to eat one but here are some other great reasons to eat them! (click on the link below)

If you want to find out more about Luna Bars, check out their website too.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Stress Free Tips

As we all begin to head back to school I wanted to leave you with some ideas to keep the school year less stressful. The unplanned parent visits, endless meetings, lesson planning, bulletin board hanging, and recess duty can leave any teacher a little weary.  Here are some tips to follow to make the year stress free.

1)  Eat healthy. It would be easy to grab the donut from the teacher's workroom but the extra sugar will only give you a very short amount of energy and you will be tired again.  Plan on adding some healthy snacks to your grocery list.  I love the individual peanut butter containers by Jif!  You could dip pretzels or bananas in them.  Fresh cut veggies with hummus will give you some protein and energy that could last throughout the day.  Or a yogurt with some granola.  Start planning ahead.

2) Exercise.  It can make you happier!  It is good for your brain and your body because it increases your endorphins (which make you feel good).  It is known to lower incidences of depression and anxiety.  It is a great way to forget your troubles and focus on your body.

3) Laugh more often.  Life is going to hand you a few lemons, but you can make lemonade out of most things if you learn how to laugh about them.  Some of the best ways to break the ice in the classroom is to share a joke at the beginning of class.  Take a moment to talk with your co-workers and share stories about your weekend and families.  Laughter must be shared with others!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Am Not Going To A Protein Bar

When I heard the name Protein Bar I immediately conjured up a place where you could get a protein shake, a concoction of whey and malted flavoring. My breakfast stop before Lollapalooza in Chicago was a pleasant surprise. Usually I would not be inclined to stop at a place like this because I would rather have some sugar coated donuts from Dunkin Donuts.

The menu convinced me to stay for breakfast. It was all organic, gluten-free, and healthy. And the best part was that it not just drinks! The menu boasts bowls, burritos, and salads for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I couldn't decide on just one item from the menu so I decided to share with Joseph and he ordered the southwest burrito and I chose the pesto egg bowl. Made with all egg whites and fresh ingredients it was a chance to put healthy eating to the test. Could it really taste good?

The protein shakes were a surprise as well. Boasting flavors that burst when paired together such as peanut butter, bananas, chocolate, strawberry, and blueberry cleverly named Wrigley Peeled and Pier-nut Butter and Jelly. You could have soy, almond, or skim milk with energy boost. 

The food was phenomenal and I didn't feel guilty about eating it! Recreating these foods and drinks at home is my next way to staying happy and healthy. Although this didn't stop me from going to Dunkin Donuts later that day ;)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Snack Time

I usually eat what I want and when I want.  That is very easy to do during the school year with all the treats that are dumped off in the teacher's lounge.  Usually these consist of cake, cookies, chips, donuts.....lots of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.  So why is high fructose corn syrup bad for you and what types of snacks will eliminate this from your diet?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is not a natural sweetener, like fruits which are naturally sweet.  It is injected into our foods in very high doses. It has been linked to problems with obesity, liver damage, diabetes, and may contribute to tumor growth.  High doses of mercury have been found in foods with HFCS which can interfere with the brain or nervous system.  One of the most interesting findings about HFCS was that when it is consumed it can actually alter your brain's ability to memorize and learn new information.  Not good if you are working on your graduate degree, like me!

Avoiding HFCS is not easy because so many of our processed foods contain it.  I was surprised by the amount of foods I was eating that contain HFCS!  Health is about having long term goals for myself and not just about losing weight.  I have provided a list of foods to avoid snacking on that contain HFCS and that do not contain HFCS.  Check out the links below for more information.

Good Snacks to Try
  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Canned fruit (check the label first)
  4. Meats
  5. Nuts and Seeds
  6. Some breads (Pepperidge Farm wheat)
  7. Goldfish crackers
  8. Cheerios
  9. Kashi
  10. Triscuits
  11. Peanut Butter (check the label first)
  12. Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream (avoid ones that add bits of candy)
  13. Nesquick Chocolate Syrup
  14. Maple Syrup
  15. Special K Waffles

Snacks to Avoid
  1. Some lunchmeats (check the label first)
  2. BBQ Sauce and Ketchup (unless it says organic)
  3. Honey Mustard (although regular mustard does not have HFCS)
  4. Pancake Syrup
  5. Most soda pop
  6. Pickles
  7. Breakfast cereals and bars
  8. Processed snacks.
6 Popular Foods with High-Fructose Corn Syrup
7 Alarming Reasons to Avoid High-Fructose Corn Syrup
List of Foods With No HFCS
List of Products With No HFCS

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Golfing: Stressful or Stress Free

I have lived on the golf course a year and a half and have barely made an appearance on the course.  I always watch the golfers walking by and swinging their clubs, sending the ball soaring over the tree tops and eventually coming to rest on the fairway.  Easy, right?  I invited my friend, Josh, who just got a new set of clubs to come golfing with me and my son, Caleb.  We went and took some practice swings on the driving range and set out for hole one.  Josh said that I spent more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff on BayWatch.  Very funny...  I managed to send the sand flying further than the ball.  Frustrated, I decided to go to an expert for some online golf help from Joe Beck.  He makes it seem so easy!  Golf, when played with the right friend, can be stress free and fun as long as everyone remembers it is just a game.  The only stressful part was spending so much time in the sand. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I tried something I have never really showed interest in.  YOGA.  I hate stretching.  I refuse to stretch before I run and I avoid stretching routines when I teach Jazzercise class.  A friend invited me to go with her so I decided to give it a shot.  Downward dog, cobra, pigeon this exercise or a zoo.  We started off with a lot of breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Ok, you get it, right.  Then we went right into some downward dog work to stretch out our legs. Plank, in, out, up, downward dog.  Repeat over and over.  My unstretched body was starting to feel things it had never felt before.  Then off the floor into SUPER hard lunges and warrior poses.  Push those hips down is what I heard again and again form the instructor who was surprisingly a mix of zen and drill sergeant.  The end was beautiful.  Inhale your mind and heart, exhale your stress and negativity.  Keep your palms up on the floor so they can soak in the good energy.  Felt amazingly peaceful after this experience.  We all said namaste at the end of the class. I looked up this ancient Hindu word and here is the beautiful message that I found.