Healthy & Easy Snacks for Teachers

Happy Monday! I had a WONDERFUL first day of work. This morning, McNair Middle school teachers returned to work for a jam-packed week of professional development and intense student data analysis–Woohoo!

So far, everyone I’ve met is incredibly helpful, generous, and devoted to their job. I very much miss my Luling crew and my New School crew, but I know I will love my new co-workers just as much :)

Of course, being the happy eater that I am, I have to turn today’s chit chat towards food. I don’t know about the rest of you teachers out there, but something about the schedule makes me SO hungry for much of the day.

I eat breakfast before work, and then lunch is about 6 hours later. Then dinner is about 6 hours after lunch. I don’t know about you, but it would take a lot of food to hold me over for six hours. Sometimes snacks are necessary, but those teacher lounge vending machines full of candy and chips aren’t doing us any favors. So in the spirit of a new school year, I thought I’d put together a list of healthy snacks that are easy to eat on the go…because we all know you have to sneak these foods between classes because God forbid you take care of your hunger needs like a real adult!  Anyway…

easy and healthy snacks for teachers

HEALTHY & EASY SNACKS FOR TEACHERS

PISTACHIOS

Pistachios are a wonderfully delicious and healthy snack. Shelling them inconspicuously during class might be difficult, so I suggest buying the pre-shelled ones. Compared to other nuts, pistachios are lower in calories, higher in potassium, and higher in vitamin K. A 160 calorie serving packs 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 15 grams of fat. Those are awesome stats! (If you’ve been here before, you know that fat content generally doesn’t bother me. Blame sugar!) Pistachios also deliver significant percentages of essential vitamins. And last but not least, they are so yummy!

LARABARS

Okay…so I just made a comment about sugar a few lines above, so this suggestion should be adjusted according to your daily needs!

Larabars are made of 100% natural and normal ingredients. The coconut macaroon Larabar above has 8 grams of sugar per bar. That’s not great, but it’s reasonable. These delicious bars make a great on-the-go snack :)

I would, however, watch out for the original flavors. Apple pie, peanut butter, pumpkin pie, blueberry, and most other original flavors pack anywhere from 16g-25g of sugar per bar! Those bars are too tiny to pack that much sugar! Granted, the sugar in Larabars usually comes from dates. But this is why I said you should take a look at your own daily needs…do you exercise a good bit? Then it’s fine. Do you have a pretty low sugar diet? If so, 20g of sugar from dates may not be a big deal. Just do what works for you!

PALEO “GRANOLAS”

I love this stuff! I discovered Nograinola at my local Whole Foods in Decatur, GA. What is it actually made of? Almonds, coconut, prunes, carrots, and Himalayan salt. That’s it. It’s actually quite good :) You can buy one of two versions: unsweetened or sweetened with Stevia. I’ve only tried the unsweetened, and it’s awesome. It’s a great yogurt topper, it goes well with milk (like real cereal!), and it can be added to just about anything and complement the flavors. And with only 3g of sugar per serving, this snack is definitely a winner!

KRAVE JERKY

This one is a little pricey, but it’s quite good! Krave jerky can be found just about anywhere now…Walmart, random gas stations…it’s not a Whole Foods exclusive product.

All of the ingredients are a little different (meaning some do have added sugar), so read up and purchase the one that works the best for you!

And last but not least,

FRUITS & VEGGIES

A tried and true option, portable produce is obviously an awesome snacking choice. Next time you’re at the grocery store, grab carrots, grapes, apples, bananas, grape tomatoes, mini peppers, mini cucumbers (mostly found at Costco), or celery. Just pick something that’s easy to carry around and eat quickly!

Earlier today I bought pistachios and Uber Larabars to hide away in my classroom :) What snacks or back-to-school tips do you have?

Fun Cross Training Ideas

Ryan and I are in our third week of half marathon training. In my last post, I wrote about running the Smoky Mountain Half Marathon! We’re super excited, and we’re both sticking to our running schedules :)

My running schedule, clearly a beginner’s I-don’t-have-enough-time-to-train-properly schedule, has a minimum of three runs per week (potentially 4) and a minimum of one cross-training workout per week (2 workouts if I do only three runs).

Online running websites and forums offer up a few yawn-inducing cross training ideas: get on the elliptical, stationary bike, or go for a walk. There’s nothing wrong with those suggestions…it’s just that the thought of them brings on one big yawn. And let’s be honest…sometimes running can be boring, so additional cardio is not on my agenda.

Here are a few cross-training activities I’ve included in my training that have kept my interest:

FUN CROSS TRAINING IDEAS

fun cross training ideas

Ballet

Ballet? Yes! Ballet is actually great for running. It strengthens your ankles and feet. It improves your balance, and you’ll also get a great stretch! Your muscles are being used in a completely different way, so it won’t negatively affect your next run. And if you think it sounds just as boring as another run, I challenge you to try a full class :)

Here are a few videos to use on those in between days:


12 Minute Athlete

This app, developed by blogger Krista whose motto is “Don’t Waste Life in a Gym,”  randomly generates 12, 16, or 18 minute circuit workouts. You can choose the equipment you have (dumbells, medicine ball, dip bar, pull up bar, etc) or select no equipment at all, and the app will count down through the intervals of your workout!

I completed this one the other day:

12 minute athlete cross training

I did a little more ab work at the end, for a total of 20 minutes. It was quick, efficient, and the perfect strength workout to fit in between running days.

Sprints

There’s no hiding that this cross-training workout is, in fact, just a shorter, speedier running workout. But that’s okay because you’ll be done in less than 15 minutes! There are two sprint workouts I’ve done:

  • Tabata Sprints: sprint for 20s, rest for 10s, repeat until you reach a total of 4 minutes, or 8 eight sprints
  • Hill Sprints: find a steep hill, and decide how many times you want to sprint up! In New Orleans, I did this workout on the levees. In Georgia, there are a variety of hills to choose from :)

YouTube Fitness Challenges

There are so many awesome fitness videos online, but sometimes I sit through 10 minutes of a video before realizing it’s just plain awful. I prefer combining a few shorter, more challenging videos! Here are a bunch that you could combine to make a longer workout!

“Run the World” Ab Workout

“Bring Sally Up” Push Up Challenge


“Scream and Shout” Squat Challenge

“Dark Horse” Cardio Leg Challenge

“Uptown Funk” Whole Body

Question: Runners, what do you do on your off days? Any suggestions for those in between days?

Smoky Mountain Half Marathon Training!

Good morning, and happy Friday! I have a bunch of fun things to share today, so let’s get started!

FIG & GOUDA FRITTATA

Yum! The nearby Whole Foods has the most delicious figs in their produce section! I’ve been throwing them in to a bunch of my meals and snacks throughout the week.

The other day, I had sliced figs, Greek yogurt, and this new NoGrainOla snack I found.  NoGrainOla is made from almonds, carrots, dates, and coconut. It’s a perfect snack and is low in sugar :)

figs and nograinola

Then, this morning I had the brilliant idea to make a sweet frittata with figs, gouda, and cinnamon.

Here’s the quick recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 figs, sliced
  • 1 gouda babybel (or a higher quality gouda…I’m sure that’s better!), sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Mix cinnamon in with scrambled eggs. Heat coconut oil in an omelet pan over medium heat. Pour in scrambled eggs and allow to cook for about one minute. Lay slices of figs and cheese into the eggs. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 more minutes, or until egg is cooked through.

fig and gouda frittata

Now that delicious food has been covered, let’s talk half marathon training!

SMOKY MOUNTAIN HALF MARATHON TRAINING

smoky mountain half website

Those who know me well know I LOVE the Smoky Mountains. They’re like a fairytale land, and I’m always in awe of the park’s beauty. So when Ryan sent me this race day video (which I included below!), we decided that night we should do the race. Here’s the catch…it’s in less than two months.

The Appalachians are so beautiful that I don’t even care that this won’t be my best race time. I’ll run slow and steady while enjoying the scenery. I am SO EXCITED.

Last week, I made a training plan that gives me eight weeks to train, not including a final easy week before the race. Take a look:

half marathon training plan

Those of you who are more seasoned half marathon runners might point out some mistakes or some abnormal training choices, but that’s okay. I’ll be running near the SMOKY MOUNTAINS. My plan is to run at least three times a week. I included two cross training days, one of which is an optional run day. So, sometimes I’ll run four times a week. I generally run more than that when training for a half-marathon, but because I’m not really in distance-running shape I want to be careful and not injure myself. (Last time, I ran on a stress fracture…not something I recommend.)

September is going to be packed! We have the race, then my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law’s engagement party in New Orleans the following weekend, and my parents come to visit us in Georgia the weekend after that! It’s a busy month, but we’re excited :)

What fun things are you looking forward to this Fall?

Ballet Pilates & Grown-Up Problems

Happy Monday!

My free Mondays are quickly disappearing. My first official day of work is August 3rd, although I have been doing a little work in my classroom. Come August, I’ll be teaching 8th grade Georgia history and English/Language Arts.

Usually during this time of year, I’m in my classroom everyday getting everything set up, writing lesson plans, and generally preparing for the school year. But at the moment, I’m trying to finish up some major graduate school assignments. The semester ends on July 31st, which leaves me exactly one weekend before work begins…then two weeks later my Fall semester grad school classes begin!

Attempting to blog, take classes, and start a new job is not easy! That’s why I’m pretty much a huge slacker right now when it comes to blogging. Speaking of which…I do have a quick workout video to share with you today :)

WORKOUT – Ballet Pilates

Yesterday, Ryan, his friend Sean, and I went for a run around Stone Mountain. First, we ran the beautiful 5 mile loop around the base of the mountain, and then we went to the top for an added uphill mile. Needless to say, we were pretty exhausted!

So my workout today was quite simple. After yesterday’s run (and a little bit of a climb), I didn’t want to go for another run or do a challenging 45 minute boot camp workout. Instead, I chose a nice ballet/pilates workout I found on YouTube!

This video is about 20 minutes long, not including warm up and cool down. I paired this exercise with some planks and push ups to give my upper body some love! It’s not a huge calorie scorcher, but it’s perfect for toning and practicing balance.

Find another ballet inspired workout here! You can also visit my Workouts page for circuits and cardio ideas :)

Question: What’s your “easy day” workout?