Sunday, March 31, 2013

Diet, Exercise, and Energy Tips for the Music Teacher

Ok, I know this isn't exactly "music related" but, if these tips or experiences of mine help anyone out there who happens to read it, then I think it is worthwhile.  Music teachers should be the "sunshine" of the school - after all, who wants to sing silly folk songs with you if you're yawning?  Who wants to learn a circle dance if you can't do the moves the best?  A big part of our job performance, and no great performance occurs without some MOTIVATION (and practice).

5th graders (at our morning dance rehearsals) have commented, "No one has as much energy as you."  Is it the tea I usually have a mug of?  Maybe...
But I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my husband and I entered into a New Year's resolution bet with my parents (which we won, in case you were wondering).  We challenged each other to be healthier this year.

I've noticed that, at work, I usually have increased energy (I mean, we all have those days).  I've had better endurance during dance rehearsals or movement activities.  I'm just as hyper as the kids, and have been known to shout for joy when they sing some thing correctly or jump around the room when something is played well on the recorder.

What's my secret? I'll tell you - only, if you should injure yourself in some way, that, my friend, is your problem.  My med-school hubby says, "Always consult a  your doctor before you begin a diet or exercise program."

Jillian.  Jillian Michaels.  You know her - the bad-BEEP Biggest Loser Coach?  She has an entire set of incredibly awesome DVDs with a variety of workouts that you can do IN YOUR HOME in under an hour (some of them are just TWENTY MINUTES).  I don't know how busy you are, in fact, music teachers are some of the busiest people I know, but seriously, who can't give up 20 minutes to improve their health, weight, and energy level?

We started with her 30 Day Shred.  There are three levels of difficulty (and even though I'm only 26, I had to start at Level 1 - for sure) that you progress through in 30 days.  Get ready to loose those pounds.
Here's an example:
These are only about 30 minutes (warm-up, 20 min workout, cool-down) so you can even squeeze them in before school (which means 4:45 AM for me - gross).

Then, we moved on to No More Trouble Zones because hubby had some love-handles (not any more, he lost 25lbs) and I have a huge butt.  Well, it isn't so huge anymore (I lost 11lbs - from a size 6 to a 2).
And we are currently enjoying Banish Fat Boost Metabolism which is just really killer.
Sometimes, I incorporate the moves into listening movement lessons (I'll post about that next weekend hopefully) and I get the kids moving around.  Childhood obesity is just a sad sad thing - we can work to prevent it.

Now, eating healthy?  That was much harder.  While luckily I'm not too into sweets and candies, I LOVE bread and cheese.  Love it.  But the Good Lord Said, "Men cannot live on bread alone."  Honestly, we don't have to live on bread at all!

Heard of Paleo?  It is all over Pinterest (I even have a board dedicated to it, called "Me Hungry", haha).
Here's a quick overview:

Basically, it is a list of foods that humans were designed to eat.  Lean proteins, fruits, veggies, nuts, and healthy oils.  No dairy, no grains, no sugar.  Sounds like no fun?  Not really - there are many great recipes out there.  Plus, your body will feel soooo much better once you ditch all that stuff you don't need, can't pronounce, and aren't sure exactly what it is.

We love The Paleo Diet CookBook
We really like the bison peppers and holy guacamole!  Yum!

And here are a few more of our favorite recipes:
Paleo Chicken Fingers

 100 Recipes - yum!

 Hubby and I are following the rules strictly - except for one meal a weekend.  We don't too crazy on this cheat day - but we sure look forward to it.

Not sure how to get your family on board? Check out this article from Paleo Diet Lifestyle.

Being on the Paleo diet can be a little expensive, I've found, if you're looking for quality produce and protein.  I suggest planning out all meals and snacks and sticking to the list that you create.

Another thing that helps me in the morning is my playlist.  I have a long (about 50 minutes) commute to where I teach - and there are plenty of rude drivers and road hazards on my way.  I really quite hate it.  However, when I plug in that playlist (sometimes its something Romantic and Russian, sometimes my favorite 80's hits, and sometimes songs that I'll be teaching in the future) and get going, the commute seems to fly by and I'm in a great mood.  Music teachers, more than anyone, know how music can affect you.

I hope these tips help - if you're looking to shed a little weight, get healthy, and grab some energy!

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