Some of you are probably wondering if I’m still on my diet. The answer is a qualified yes! I have found it much easier than I anticipated in terms of cravings or missing certain foods and a little harder than anticipated in terms of preparation and expense. After the initial strict 6-week phase during which I lost about 16 pounds I happily entered into the more relaxed stage of the diet. This stage allows some small amounts of meat protein (not a big problem with me) and you can add back in a few treats like a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Although at times I’ve allowed myself to relax a little too much, in general I’ve kept to the overall diet. I decided to try to stick with the whole raw foods, no oils, sugar and salt at least 80% of the time and to not beat myself up if I sometimes indulge in a butter croissant and latte on the way to class or the glass of wine and cheese and crackers on Friday evening to celebrate surviving another week. I’ve now lost more than 20 pounds and dropped from a Large in tops to a small/medium and am in one size small pants. For the most part my blood pressure hovers around normal or below. In general I find I sleep better at night which is a big plus for me as I’ve dealt with a lot of insomnia over the past four or five years. I recently read a study that says sleep allows the brain to clear out toxic waste including proteins linked to Alzheimer’s so I’m really happy that I’m getting more of it!
As I mentioned the issues for me are preparation – salads take longer, as does the preparation of fresh vegetables. Salad is also not as attractive as a cold weather dinner as it is in the summertime. I load mine with black beans, tomatoes, cut corn, and other veggies to make it hardier but there are cold evenings when I give in and have a baked potato topped with lentil soup instead of a big bowl of leafy greens. I appreciate the soup recipes you have shared – I am enjoying them. Eating this way requires more trips to the store to keep fresh raw foods in stock and I’m pretty sure it is more expensive (although that might just be me picking up other things every time I go to the store for more lettuce)! If any of you have given this food regimen a try I’d love to hear how it is working out for you.
Someone asked me that the other day – “how’s school going?” I replied, “Which school?” Each of my four children are at a different school, I’m attending courses at IU and twice a week I ‘observe’ at a Middle School. My life is full of homework, lesson plans, parent teacher meetings, and extracurricular activities! So school is BUSY!
He meant how was my experience as a classroom observer/student teacher, of course and it occurred to me that some of you might be wondering the same thing. On Mondays and Wednesdays I spend the entire school day hanging out in a 7th grade science classroom with Mr. Johnson and a whole lot of kids. There are nine 50-minute sessions in the day, six of which are classroom instruction. The other three are lunch, prep session and a team meeting session. It makes for a long day, most of which is spent on your feet. Despite all the warnings about middle school I am finding it an enjoyable experience and almost wish I didn’t have to switch over to the high school observation in a few weeks.
The classroom observation schedule is supposed to be 6 weeks in a middle school and 6 weeks in a high school but due to a 2 week fall break I will end up spending just 4 weeks in my current posting. We are finishing the break now and when we resume on Monday I will have the chance to do some teaching. Ironically enough my first day of teaching will not be in the science class and I will not be teaching science! Instead I will be in a language arts classroom teaching a session on current Chinese culture. I am planning to discuss it in the context of Chinese teenagers and a friend who has been living in China with her children for the past few years is helping out. I’m hoping to highlight both the differences in our two cultures and the similarities. We will start with a music video!
On Wednesday I will be back in the science classroom teaching 3 classroom sessions on the properties of waves. I have a nice video of big surf on the beach back home that I’ll start with before we get into the nitty gritty of wave types, and how to measure amplitude and wave length. I think I’ll dub some surfer music over it!
When I’m not working on lesson plans for middle school I’m busy with papers and other homework assignments of my own. I’m also studying for the Praxis II exam in Biology so that I’ll be certified to teach both Earth/Space science and Biology. I’m afraid I’m not as available to help my children with their homework these days. This year school has been tougher for all of them and I attribute that to a combination of the classes they are taking, a busy mommy, and the 10 hour day and long bus ride. We are all looking forward to moving into our house where I hope we can be more organized as well as hooking up to the internet for some homework help. In fact, just having the house finished will be a big load off my mind and time!
Here’s a quick update on the house situation.
- The house is level – but we are not sure the wooden shims are ‘code’ so it hasn’t been anchored down yet as I’m not sure we could loosen the anchors once they are tight.
- The floors are all done (yay!!), but imperfectly since I was the one to do them. I cannot hire myself out as a laminate installer (and I hope never to have to install another floor)! I am still working on putting edge and transition pieces on.
- The shed has a roof (thanks to our relative). We need to put the doors back on and put some shelving in and then it will be ready to go.
- The electric company finally came and installed two electric poles and ran wire connecting those poles to ones across the field. They did not install a meter box or connect the house. When I inquired about connecting the house they sent me an email saying “consumer to wire pole hold for call when that is done then you call us and we connect.” Presumably we have to hire an electrician for this work.
- We have unpacked most of our belongings and are moving the things we originally brought with us into the house – that has been fun.
What’s not done:
- We still have no water. We will have to have a cistern installed but do not have funds for that at this point.
- We need to replace the gas water heater with an electric or propane version.
- We need to get propane gas installed for our stove.
- We need to buy a refrigerator.
- We need to have the entire thing inspected and get an occupancy permit. Can’t wait for that day!