Monthly Archives: October 2013

Differentiation

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a teacher. A Learning Resource Teacher. Otherwise known as a Resource Teacher, a Support Teacher, a Helping Teacher, a Special Education Teacher. I support students with special needs in inclusive schools. I collaborate with Classroom Teachers in planning lessons and programs for our very diverse classrooms. The teaching that comes out of these plans is what we call differentiated instruction.

What does all this have to do with healthy plants-based eating and healthy living? Don’t you see the connections?

Diversity

Differentiation

Herbivores like you and me need to have diversity in their diet. When we eat a variety of food, we know we are getting the nutrients we need. I, however, live in an omnivore dominated world. I make accommodations for this by preparing vegetarian food for omnivore guests that resembles their more familiar meaty dishes (Mushroom BourguignonLettuce Wraps), even cooking a turkey dinner now and then. I eat at restaurants that have menus that can satisfy both me and my dining companions, or have chefs willing to make some changes to the standard fair to accommodate my dietary needs. In other words, I practice differentiation in my menu planning.

Are you seeing the connections now?

Last month, I posted an entry on my blog about exercising (see below or see here). I’d like to add a bit more to that information. In fact, I want to help you diversify your active lifestyle with a bit of differentiated instruction. I realized, since that last post, that I could provide a few more details about how to get into that bootcamp run no matter what your fitness level is – tone it down, beef it up. Some of you may run and exercise with a partner, perhaps even a mismatched partner. I think you can still have the support and togetherness of a buddy while participating at a level you both feel comfortable with. So, I offer this:

1. If you want to increase the intensity of the workout, try these things:

  • Run quickly between exercise stations
  • Set up quickly for the exercise after each run
  • Move quickly into a run after each exercise
  • Do more sets of the exercises at each station
  • Go for a longer run and add in a few more exercises – either ones you think of yourself, or repeat some of the ones from the bootcamp run program.
  • Do both static and dynamic work at each exercise station. For example, for squats, do your 1 or 2 sets of 10 squats, but also hold your squat for 30 seconds of more.

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It usually takes me between 42 and 45 minutes to complete my bootcamp run. Today I set off on my run a bit later than I wanted and I needed to get home by a certain time. So, I picked up the pace, following some of those tips I just outlined above. I was done in 39 minutes!

2. If you want to decrease the intensity of the workout, try these things:

  • Jog or power walk between exercise stops
  • Walk into the set up of your exercise
  • When you have finished your reps, walk out of it before picking up the pace into a power walk or a jog
  • Do the minimum of 10 reps of the exercises – DO NOT DO FEWER THAN THIS!
  • Play around with how you run between exercises, but do not adjust your exercises. Work slowly and at a comfortable pace, but do them all.

3. If you’re running with a mismatched partner:

  • Run or walk at a pace that is a bit slower for the fitter partner and a bit faster for the less fit partner – this promotes pacing and patience for one and pushing at a supported level for the other.
  • Fitter partner does more sets of the exercises while the less fit partner does the minimum.

Reward yourself at the end of your bootcamp run with this delicious and refreshing smoothie:

Peppermint-Cucumber Smoothie

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2 small English cucumbers (leave unpeeled if organic), chopped in chunks

Several fresh peppermint leaves

Large handful of spinach leaves

1 banana, sliced

large handful of blueberries

1 tbsp ground flax seeds, or chia seeds, or ground hemp seeds

1 cup + non-dairy milk

Throw everything into the blender and blend until smooth. Drink it on down!

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Diet Supplements

I’m here today to tell you about diet supplements. After a statement like that, those of you who know me may be thinking, “Who are you and what did you do with Julia?” Well, you most definitely do need to supplement your diet … with fresh air and exercise!

So that’s what todays blog post is about.

I’ve always been an exerciser. Running has been the love of my life and, for many years, that was the only exercising I did. Over the past few years, I’ve added in a few other forms of exercising, but running is still my love and my base.  I must run a minimum of three times a week to feel happy and content with myself. Some other activities I participate in are Yoga, Pilates, boot camp, hiking, snowboarding, snowshoeing, power walking, dragon boating. This past week I attended a Pilates class on Monday, did a 5 km run on Tuesday, Flow Yoga on Wednesday, another 5 km run on Thursday, Hatha Yoga on Friday, Gentle Hatha on Saturday and today I did a boot camp run. And that’s what I want to tell you about today – boot camp run. I started doing these this summer when I needed to be at home with my old and ailing dog, but wanted to get outside and exercise. I would run around the backyard, stopping every few laps to do some boot camp style exercises, run some more, etc. It turned out to be great exercise and my dog loved having me nearby especially when I was doing push ups and sits ups on the grass. She would lie right beside me, often in the way, while I grunted and groaned through some core tightening stuff!  Then the rainy weather came and I didn’t fancy lying on the ground anymore. So I devised a new routine running on a nearby trail. Ready? Here it goes …

Plot a course of about 5 km (3 miles). Set off on a run. Stop after about 2 to 3 minutes and do this:

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Leg Lifts – put one foot up on a raised ledge such as a curb or a low bench, then lift the other leg up, then back down, then up, then back down – 10 reps each leg. If you feel good and strong do another 5 or 10 reps each leg.

Okay, off on another little run:

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Stop at a low bench or fence or some other ledge and try these:

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Push Ups – find a bench or a fence and put yourself in a plank.

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Come down and then push yourself back up again. Do 10 of these push ups, take a break then do 5 or 10 more if you can.

Off you go again:

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Next time you stop (after running for about 2 or 3 minutes), try this:

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Arm Circles – do 10 little arm circles forward and 10 little

arm circles backwards. While walking.

Now do big arm circles - 10 forward and 10 backward, while walking.

Now do big arm circles – 10 forward and 10 backward,

while walking.

Off you go for a 2-3 minute run:

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Stop at a low ledge and do some of these:

Backwards Sit Ups - with your back towards the bench, put your hands behind you on the bench and put your legs out in front of you.

Backwards Sit Ups – with your back towards the bench, put your hands behind you on the bench and put your legs out in front of you.

Sink down so that your arms make 90 degree angles at the elbows. Stand back up again. Do 10 of these, pause, then do 5 to 10 more if you can.

Sink down so that your arms make 90 degree angles at the elbows. Stand back up again. Do 10 of these, pause, then do 5 to 10 more if you can.

Now go for a little run:

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Stop after 2 or 3 minutes of running and get kicking:

Leg Kicks - kick you leg forward and reach out with your opposite hand. Then kick out with other leg and other hand. Don't worry if your toes don't touch your hand. Keep a straight back. Do 10 each leg, alternating legs.

Leg Kicks – kick your leg forward and reach out with your opposite hand. Then kick out with other leg and other hand. Don’t worry if your toes don’t touch your hand. Keep a straight back. Do 10 each leg, alternating legs.

Time to run again:

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At a low bench do some of these:

Leg Lifts - this is some core work. Start by sitting on the edge of a bench or low fence, hands out to either side for balance, legs straight out in front of you - you are working to get your legs out and up, parallel to the ground.

Leg Lifts – this is some core work. Start by sitting on the edge of a bench or low fence, hands out to either side for balance, legs straight out in front of you – you are working to get your legs out and up, parallel to the ground.

Now, pull your legs towards you while you bend your knees. Straighten and repeat. Do 10 reps, rest, and try 5 to 10 more if you're up to it.

Now, pull your legs towards you while you bend your knees. Straighten and repeat. Do 10 reps, rest, and try 5 to 10 more if you’re up to it.

You know what to do now:

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Stop after 2 to 3 minutes and set yourself up for this more traditional move:

Squats - stand with feet about shoulder width apart. Sit down in the air with arms straight out in front of you. Stand up again, then squat down again. Do 10 squats, pause, then do 5 to 10 more depending on how shaky your legs feel.

Squats – stand with feet about shoulder width apart. Sit down in the air with arms straight out in front of you. Stand up again, then squat down again. Do 10 squats, pause, then do 5 to 10 more depending on how shaky your legs feel.

Running time:

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Stop at a low ledge for a bit of planking:

Plank - this is best done on the ground on your elbows, but the ground is too wet and muddy, so plank it up with straight arms on a low ledge. Hold for at least 30 seconds, but try for 60 if you can. Shake your arms out afterwards.

Plank – this is best done on the ground on your elbows, but the ground is too wet and muddy, so plank it up with straight arms on a low ledge. Hold for at least 30 seconds, but try for 60 if you can. Shake your arms out

afterwards.

If you’re feeling strong you could try these as well:

Mountain Climbers - alternate legs.

Mountain Climbers – alternate legs.

You know what to do:

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Stop after 2-3 minutes and set yourself up for these:

Lunges - stand with feet together, then take a big step forward and lower yourself down so front leg is bent at 90 degrees at the knee and back leg if almost kneeling on the ground. Put arms out in front. Step forward, then lunge forward with the other leg. Take these slowly so that you don't lose your balance. Do 10 each leg, alternating legs. You can try for more, but you're legs will feel this and you still have a bit of running and exercising to do.

Lunges – stand with feet together, then take a big step forward and lower yourself down so front leg is bent at 90 degrees at the knee and back leg is almost kneeling on the ground. Put arms out in front. Step forward, then lunge forward with the other leg. Take these slowly so that you don’t lose your balance. Do 10 each leg, alternating legs. You can try for more, but your legs will feel this and you still have a bit of running and exercising to do.

Just a few more runs to do:

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Time for some fun:

Burpies - these are modified in order to avoid planking down on wet ground. Start in standing in front of a low bench or fence.

Burpies – these are modified in order to avoid planking down on wet ground. Start by standing in front of a low bench or fence.

Put your hands down on the ledge and fling your legs back at the same time to make a quick plank.

Put your hands down on the ledge and fling your legs back at the same time to make a quick plank.

Jump back towards the ledge in a crouch.

Jump back towards the ledge in a crouch.

Jump up in the air to complete one round. Do 10 of these. If you're really crazy, you can do more, but 10 burpies are enough to get your heart rate up.

Jump up in the air to complete one round. Do 10 of these. If you’re really crazy, you can do more, but 10 burpies are enough to get your heart rate up.

Almost your last run:

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And here is your final exercise:

Sideways Lunges - begin standing straight, sideways to the trail.

Sideways Lunges – begin standing straight, sideways to the trail.

Lunge sideways, arms out, forward leg bent at the knee, rear leg straight. Then step back into a stand. Do 10 of these on one side, 10 on the other.

Lunge sideways, arms out, forward leg bent at the knee, rear leg straight. Then step back into a stand. Do 10 of these on one side, 10 on the other.

If you like, you can also do these in addition to, or instead of, the sideways lunges:

Sideways Leg Lift - from standing, lift one leg out to the side, bent at the knee, then step that leg forward to take a step.

Sideways Leg Lift – from standing, lift one leg out to the side, bent at the knee, then step that leg forward to take a step.

Lift the other leg up and out to the side and then step forward. Do 10 to 20 a side, alternating legs as you walk along.

Lift the other leg up and out to the side and then step forward. Do 10 to 20 a side, alternating legs as you walk along.

And now for your final run:

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So there you have it … your dietary supplement of fresh air and exercise. I hope you enjoy yourself.

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