I have a confession to make. I am addicted to chocolate. I also LOVE peanut butter. But being dairy-free, it is not easy to find snacks that include things like chocolate, or peanut butter (which can be hard to digest). I love quick and easy snacks for my busy teacher lifestyle. Seriously, these are the easiest recipe to make and it makes a lot! I can just pop a couple in a baggie and I am out the door! They are also perfect right before a workout. 🙂
What you need:
2 c. of rolled oats
1 c. organic peanut butter
1 c. dairy & soy free chocolate chips (or regular if you don’t have dietary restrictions)
1/4 c. chia seeds (I moistened mine)
1/4 c. ground flaxseed
1/4 c. of chocolate protein powder (I used Isagenix dairy-free–click here to order)
1/3 c. of local raw organic honey
1 c. toasted unsweeted organic coconut flakes
Mix together. Spoon out 1 in balls. Chill in refridgerator.
On those chilly winter days, all you want is a nice hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate. So when I had to cut dairy from my diet a few years ago (still a work in progress!), I naturally started to look for dairy-free recipes of foods/drinks that I love! But hot cocoa was never on that list. I just didn’t think there was any that weren’t also extremely processed.
Fast forward to today…I wanted a nice warm beverage (and I’m not a fan of coffee), so I decided to play around with different ingredients. Here it is! I think it’s delicious…hope you do too! 🙂
Guilt-free Dairy-free Superfood Hot Cocoa
1-1 1/2 c. almond or coconut milk
2 tbsp. of organic cacao powder
1 tbsp. of local raw organic honey
Warm milk on stove or in microwave to desired temperature. Add honey and cacao powder to the milk and stir. Enjoy!
One thing my students love to do more than ANYTHING is to MOVE!! I may be a millenial but even I sometimes forget to get my students out of their seats or give them a brain break that lasts longer than 5 seconds. Www.gonoodle.com is a favorite of my students and it is easy for me because I don’t have to explain/talk to them during the break! Double plus! All I have to do is pick the short video and CLICK. It’s that EASY! (I do realize some of you already use this site–is it not AWESOME?!) My kindergarten students LOVED it but it took some work to get my fourth graders on board. Now they absolutely LOVE gonoodle & think it’s a treat when I play one. It’s hard when you have to undo that cool kid attitude and teach them how to be silly & fun again! 😛
One of the benefits of using brain breaks that are HIGH ENERGY, is that while it does get them riled up, afterwards we take a few short breaths and then they are LASER-FOCUSED! My heart bursts with joy the moment my class starts to self-monitor their ability to stay focused and on-task…they ask for a brain break and I let them have it (within reason, of course!). What I get at the end is more quality work, more time focused, and less time wasted on trying to keep my class under CONTROL.
Click here to go to GONOODLE. It’s FREE!
Another great tool I use in the classroom is BREATHING EXERCISES and YOGA. When I think my class might get out of control with too much crazy dancing, I like to do calm stretching and breathing to set a quiet tone. GUYS. IT. WORKS. My students also LOVE it! It’s pretty entertaining the first couple times you try it too…(I admit, I do laugh at my students from time to time–they are so funny!)
Here are some yoga moves you can do with your class:
Get those kids MOVING!
Want to see how I break down my days to stay productive and leave work at a decent hour? And I’m not talking about taking home hours of work…or coming in over the weekend! (Though, as teachers, there will always be times of the year where we have to put in those extra hours!)
1. Get to work 30 min to an hour early. Make sure everything is set up and ready to go. Go over lesson plans once more to make sure you have everything & can explain to students what they will be doing.
2. Have a procedure in place for students when they get to school. Give students jobs like checking in homework, etc. Have a morning message or checklist. Meet with them (no matter the age) to check in & talk about what will be happening during the day.
3. On your break, use the restroom, check your mailbox, say hi to other teachers.
4. At lunch, spend time eating and socializing. Do set aside 15-20 minutes to clean your work area, grade some papers if necessary, set aside projects/papers that need copied/prepped, and/or look over the plans for the afternoon.
5. After school, if you don’t have meetings, spend the time productively. Don’t wander aimlessly for 30 minutes chatting up everyone. If this is hard for you, give yourself 10 minutes to talk to a different person each day. And if you are a chatterbox like me, set an alarm on your phone! ☺
6. This is what my daily after school schedule looks like:
Check in with the office/mailbox
Run last-minute copies/prep
Do a quick clean of classroom (my area—I have students clean the rest before we leave for the day)
Prep for the next day (make sure everything is ready)
Set an alarm to leave work by 4pm
Work will always be there for you to do! Have the willpower to leave it there where it belongs!
Okay, so switching to a more natural way of life has definitely been a process and can be challenging at times, but is also fun and super rewarding! One of my first “attempts” at making my own homemade products was a sugar scrub. Sounds easy right? Wrong!! The educated, teacher-side of me wanted to research what to use to make the best sugar scrub out there. So I looked up a bunch of different sugar scrub recipes and then read on every possible ingredient variant to come up with my favorite. The information on what is beneficial to your skin can be overwhelming! So I’ve taken what I’ve learned…and like what I do with my 5 year old students, I will simplify it for you (unless you want to go do your own research–the please do!) 🙂 I will admit, I did use the moms of my kindergarteners as “guinea pigs.” And you know what?! They loved the sugar scrub!! They loved it so much, they asked me for the recipe and for the essential oils that I used in them.
I added a cutesy little label to them and then voila! I wanted to share my recipe with all ya’ll out there so here it is:
1 c. Sugar (Turbinado for a coarser, more exfoliant-type scrub–one you’d use once a week or as needed to slough off dry skin….or choose a finer sugar for a scrub you can use on your face or to polish the skin)
2 Tbsp. Raw Honey
2 Tbsp. Fractionated Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp. Sunflower Oil
2 Tbsp. Almond Oil
1 tsp. Jojoba Oil
1/2 tsp. pure aloe vera
1/2 tsp. Vitamin E Oil
10-20 drops of Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
(click here if you want to learn more about the essential oils company I use)