Roadtrip ready!

It’s the last week of school! Woah! I can’t believe it’s already here. I’m very excited for the summer but sad that I won’t be seeing my students for so much time. I’m really going to miss them. I get to loop with students to eighth grade next year which I’m really looking forward to. The opportunities will be endless. I feel like we will be able to learn so much more because we already know each other. I know how my students learn and what they like, so all of that time spent each year getting to know your students — that’s all instructional time now. I plan on larger inquiry units putting my students more in the driver seat of their learning. So obviously, my summer will be spent planning these ideas 🙂

With it being the last week of school, most people think that teachers stop teaching and just play videos. Which, yes, some do. I know plenty of teachers who do. Last year I was teaching high school so I was proctoring exams and grading exams up until the last day of school. This year being with my seventh graders, I get to teach them all the way up until the last day, and that is exactly what I plan to do. Last Thursday and Friday we took our students on a two-day field study. People thought we were crazy, and maybe we were, but the smiles and positive comments from students made it all worth it. Everything I do, I do with my students in mind. Going on this field study to the Genesee river and them using vocabulary that they learned this year to explain their observations they were making of the gorge and the waterfall warmed my heart and put a gigantic smile on my face. Taking them hiking on a pretty rough trail that follows the river and having them comment “This is so fun, it’s like we’re in the Hunger Games!” made my day.

Tomorrow evening we are hosting a celebration of learning for our students and their families. We will celebrate the last few months of inquiry they’ve been doing in all of their classes — which has been quite a bit. The biggest project students have just completed is a historical character file, specifically through first-person narrative diary writings as if they were enslaved people during the 19th century. I’ve had the opportunity to read a few so far and most have brought me to tears. It’s amazing what these seventh grade students have accomplished this year. I can only imagine how far they will all go in their educational careers and beyond.

So, anyways — because this week is going to be hectic with the celebration tomorrow night and some other events this week before leaving for my roadtrip (foreshadowing!) I wanted to make something that would be easy to heat up and eat on the go that was loaded with protein to keep more full and energized. I made paleo stuffed peppers 🙂

Paleo Stuffed Peppers-

4 bell peppers, cleaned out & steamed for 5 mintutes

Stuffing-

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 cup brown lentils, cooked

1 lb of ground turkey, browned with red onion and garlic

1 cup tomato sauce (I used “Organic Grandpa’s Sauces goes Vegetarian” from Wegmans)

spices: ground black pepper, thyme, rosemary, cumin

*I simmered all of the stuffing ingredients on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

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*Stuffed my pre-steamed peppers & cooked in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Really excited to have one of these each day for lunch or dinner this week.

I also made this mind blowing salad that a friend brought to a party last week & I just had to make.

Grapefruit Avocado Salad

1 bag of spinach

1 grapefruit, sectioned & cut into bit size pieces

1 avocado, diced

cracked black pepper

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs vinegar (I used apple cider, but I’m sure balsamic would be awesome too)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

*Literally just toss of all these ingredients in a bowl & enjoy. It is so simple, and light, and refreshing. I have a feeling I will be making this a lot this summer for cookouts and just for myself 🙂

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So, I spoke of a roadtrip… my friend and I are traveling to Nashville, North Carolina, and Virgina Beach for 10 days and I am so excited I can barely sit still. We will be visiting a friend from our Master’s program in Nashville and then bringing in the Fourth of July with my brother in VA beach!

Being a nutritarian, as best as I can be, traveling (as I’ve mentioned before) can be slightly stressful. But luckily I’m a type A person and have a whole list created of possible restaurants and grocery stores in every city we will be stopping in. One other factor is eating when on the road. I despise fast food, clearly, and so snacking while driving may become an issue. To prepare for that I’ve created these yummy muffins.

Chocolate Banana Nut Protein Muffins-

3 over ripened bananas, mashed

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 tbs cinnamon (I love strong cinnamon with my bananas)

*I mashed the bananas with these two spices and then added the processed base —

10 medjool dates

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds

1 cup whole grain rolled oats

*I finished mixing this all together with 1/2 cup almond milk & some finely shredded coconut flakes

*I put a heaping spoonful into each muffin tin (lined with paper) and cooked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (really these can be eaten raw, but because they need to last me 10 days – I wanted to slightly cook the banana to keep it from spoiling too fast)

When these were in the oven the chocolatey banana smell filled my house. I know these are going to be a great go-to when we’re on the road and feeling hungry. I am plan on stopping a grocery store and picking up fresh fruit and vegetables as we drive as well for snacking.

Next Sunday I won’t be writing as I will be in a tube floating down a river in Nashville 🙂 But be prepared two weeks from now for a massive post where I will share what I ate while on the roadtrip – hopefully it will be a great nutritarian guide for you in the future if you ever travel to these cities 🙂

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