Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eating Healthy - It's a lifestyle

Eating healthy is on everyone's minds. Even if you're at the drive-thru of McDonald's reading this, you're thinking about 'how healthy is this for me?'

Well, the first comment I always hear (and sometimes think), 'eating healthy is expensive, and I just... well, can't afford it.'

Alright, I only sometimes accept that excuse. Food that is organic can be really expensive, but I think some people would be surprised at how many items in the grocery store are organic. Everyone would be just as surprised at how many items contain Genetically Modified ingredients.

The real reason I'm posting... I just watched a film "Genetic Roulette - The Game Of Our Lives". It is about how the genetically modified foods found in almost all our foods, besides those that are organic or GMO free, are causing so many of our illnesses. The reason these items exist is because a business created a product that had attractive attributes (by genetically modifying) and lobbied farmers to buy the product.

As most things, we didn't know the dangers at the time of first implementation. Just as you didn't realize that you were going to fall off that ladder when you first stepped on it.

Unfortunately, we now realize that GMs have a huge impact on digestion and disease. It got me thinking of how when I first moved to Mississippi I was on this path of eating organic/local in an effort to be healthy. When I go on these kicks, the clean-out my body goes through is amazing. For a few days my body just gets rid of the toxins and I feel the transition (in more ways than one).

Once I am through with the transition phase, I seriously feel like a different person. I, since then, have stopped eating so healthy and have relied on eggs, peanut butter and pasta to get me through the day.

I'm going to try this challenge... Eating healthy, GMO free foods, on a budget. We'll see how it goes, but it's a challenge I'm up for.

I also must shout-out the Mississippi Food Corps members in Jackson, MS that have inspired me to find a connection with food and how it's something we can't live without.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Positive Speak - Beneficial for my students or me?

To be honest, I've known the power of speaking in almost 100% positive terms prior to teaching.

It's just natural that people feel better if we hear positive words. For the first part of the semester, I have to be honest, it was hard to think about outwardly giving this positive encouragement. My students knew that I expected a lot from them and that I believed in them, but it was all in their face "YOU CAN DO IT!"

I've now realized that it's super beneficial to my students to hear it out loud. When they're doing some independent work cheering them on saying "You don't need me, you've got this! You got that first one right, now you can do them all!" has become the norm.

Not only have I gotten my students believing in themselves, they're feeling better about getting things right because it was them, not me, that got it right!

But, I've noticed that this positive encouragement isn't only helpful for my students. When I walk back and forth in the room, cheering my students on and casually checking their work -- I FEEL EMPOWERED. I feel like I've gotten them on this train toward success. I feel a little bit better about what we're doing and how we're doing it.

This is the double-edged positive sword that I play with on the daily. Break the material down for my students and build my students attitudes up.

I dare you to use this tool in your work and life. Challenge accepted? Do it.