Summary of Learning- an unNawmal Experience

I was excited to tackle my summary of learning project! I knew after the assignment was presented to the class I wanted to make sure I incorporated some sort of technology I could also show my students.

Dallas, Kayla and I decided we would have some fun with an animated video for our summary of learning.  After we did a quick google search we came up with the product Nawmal .  Kayla downloaded the free trial of the program.  We decided that we would each speak about different thinImage result for nawmalgs that
we had taken away from the course.

After we organized our thoughts on a Google Doc we were set. I figured I would be adventurous and attempt to put our video together.  I first selected a talk show setting which I thought would allow for back and forth dialogue using an interview strategy, this was perfect as we each could share our learning.

The next part of the process was selecting the characters.  I chose four characters to allow for a host and a representation of each on of our summaries. Seating the characters on the couch was a process in itself.  The next step was adding robotin the dialogue for back and forth question and answer type exchange.  As I got a few lines in, I figured I should listen to the dialogue between my characters.  I quickly realized they all had the same voice, so I explored around and downloaded different voices for all of the characters.  Some of the voices were very robotic and others were not so bad.
The download time was extremely slow, moving at 2% per minute.  After only one voice option showed up, I had to go back and download a certain voice for each character not just download voices and assume I could choose from a list.

Image result for scriptI continued adding more dialogue for the characters until I had our script perfect.  I attempted to listen to my progress but as I typed more dialogue the buffering time increased to the point I was waiting for 3 minutes for it to playback.  I also realized that I could add gestures to the characters, making them move their hand and even look at the host.  This was sort of fun as some of the actions were bold.

I was nearing the end of my adventure and thought I should show Kayla my progress on our project, then we would have an idea about changes and the timing.  I also realized that listening to it allowed me to catch my mistakes.  Aaaahhh one final listen and we would we ready to put it on the web.  Kayla and I waited and waited and the buffering time was ridiculous, I and been saving along the way so I knew that I wouldn’t lose my work. After about 15 minutes of waiting for our animated video to play I decided yolo and exported it.  I was confident that it would be alright and I could always go back to my saved version.

20160409_152005_resizedWell was I wrong.  After I pushed that export button our stomachs quickly sunk as a pop up appeared saying we needed to purchase the full version to see our video. We thought we could go back to my saved version and worst case just record it as the trial version using a cell phone and upload it from there.  

Kayla quickly whipped out her credit sickcard as there was no other choice but to upgrade.  After deciding to buy the paid version for $9.99 US/ month we figured our problem was solved. After we attempted to open up the saved files, another popup appeared saying the version we paid for did not support the features I had used.  There was another choice in subscribing but we did not want to pay the $99.00 a month so we opted for the discounted version.  After 3 hours of creating the video and buying the subscription we still had nothing.

Kayla had the bright idea to email for support.  I pointed out that it was 4 PM on Friday, good luck with that.  Kayla tech-support-planquickly composed and email asking for help as we were sick about our project being trapped.  Within 10 minutes we received a reply.  Apparently we should have bought the expensive version.  The email offered to convert our file for us if we sent it to them.  Kayla and I were so very thankful for the quick reply from Nawmal.

I will admit that this is an unedited version of our project, and we have no choice in going back and making changes.  This Nawmal experience taught us that we should definitely have read some reviews about the program, if we would have know that many of the features were not compatible with the free trial we would have chose a different animation program.  I guess this goes on to say we are always learning, and we will make mistakes along the way!! Hope you enjoy the video.

Nawmal seems like a cool program but do not cheep out, just pay the $10.00 and you will know exactly what features you can use from the start. Some of the Nawmal videos are online look so cool, and we got stuck with such a cheesey video haha.

Thank you to Alec and Katia for facilitating my learning! And a big thanks to all my classmates and colleagues it was a pleasure to collaborate and learn from everyone.

 

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Reflecting on my Healthy Lifestyle Journey

I can’t believe it has been four months since I first started on my healthy lifestyle journey. I will give full credit to ECI 831 and the Major Digital project that was assigned to me. This project has started my initial push to to move from the idea of becoming healthier with the action plan, and then putting the plan in motion.

I have always wanted to learn more about healthy eating and lifestyle.  Not often do you get to choose something that you want to learn in a University course. I wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity to focus on me and something that I typically wouldn’t have time for and reflecting on my journey through blogging.  I highly enjoyed learning and documenting it all online.  I could post whatever I like and each week, I managed to choose my recipe and try something new.  I loved the fact that the comments would roll in, as others wanted to try my recipes or had their own to share.

This project taught me a few lessons other then learning how to lead a healthier lifestyle in terms of nutrition and exercise.  Learning from others online was so uniquely new for me.  I have been taught that learning comes from book and research.  This course taught me that I could be responsible and in control of my own learning.   I managed to find many online communities to help motivate me and learn from.  I have come to understand that with the rapid rate of growing technology and MOOCs I should facilitate an opportunity like this for my own students.

I looked forward to taking the time to work on my digital project every week.  Even one new recipe a week, in a busy lifestyle we often don’t make time for ourselves our own learning.  It did not feel like homework, it was fun, the shopping, the creating and the blogging. I never once felt the grad student stresses of having to complete assignments and hand in lengthy papers.

This semester I managed to plan and take the time for myself and work on my healthy lifestyle.  I also believe that I will continue acquiring knowledge as my little one is coming into this world.  Health is so very important as we get older but also to teach our students and children about managing their health and investing in their selves.

Image result for nutrition for kids

I hope I have inspired my readers to learn something new, or at least try a new recipe. It doesn’t have to be a healthy lifestyle journey! Whatever you choose to learn it is never that hard with the support of online communities and other bloggers.

Who doesn’t like cookies???

So one thing that I miss is sweets, I do my best to avoid sugary snack but show me a cookie and it’s gone.  I received a recipe from a guest teacher at our school, the recipe is called Dr. Mike’s Power Cookie. The recipe she gave came from a cook book, but a quick Google search and I was able to find them online too.  I just went on the Dr. Mike Wesite . She even gave me a sample mmmm delicious.

I will warn you that I like to experiment in the kitchen and use different ingredients that I have on hand.  This recipe calls for specific ingredients that I substituted.  I think to myself that all recipes were created by someone just throwing random things together then tweaking it until it was perfect.

****The substitutions that I made included: pumpkin puree (frozen from my garden) instead of apple sauce, didn’t use almond paste, used cooking oil, brown sugar instead of sweetner and 20160403_142629agave ( I have decided that I should avoid sweeteners while pregnant), I didn’t have cherries or almonds so I omitted them.  I am an avid baker so I made sure the consistency for a
cookie was right, I did add more pumpkin as I though the batter looked dry.

Dr. Mike’s Power Cookie

cookiesINGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons almond paste
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • 10 packets of Truvia
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup vanilla whey powder
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together applesauce, almond paste, flaxseed oil, Truvia and agave nectar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and whey powder. Beat thoroughly. Stir in oats, cherries and almonds. Mix well. Drop the batter by large tablespoons onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Divide dough so that you have 18 cookies. Flatten each cookie with the back of the spoon. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Cool and store in a plastic container.

These smell amazing in the bowl and even better in the oven. So next attempt I will defiantly add the nuts and cherries or raisins, and try a lil more sugar just to sweeten them up, but they are still good.20160403_145905

Mmmmm Farm Favorite Oatmeal Pancakes

20160402_100917Tasty Delicious Breakfast

This morning a friend had made a post on Facebook about pancakes, and I thought mmm I would like pancakes haha, and defiantly not those yucky banana ones.  I did a quick google search and decided on Farm Fresh Oatmeal Pancakes.  I like the idea of oatmeal as it is considered a protein and not just a ball of flour.  I also though you could put peanut butter or fresh fruit on top instead of syrup.  The ingredients are very simple, and I had everything on hand.  I only made half the recipe and  used some oil instead of melted butter.

My husband though I should have left the cinnamon out, but either way they were yummy!!  I also kept his in the pan a little longer, hence the extra brown ones!!

Ingredients20160402_102113

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats

2 cups (500 mL) Milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted
Butter, for cooking

Directions

The directions were super simple and easy to follow.

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats and milk, let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, s20160402_095918ugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

Whisk eggs and 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter into milk mixture until blended. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until combined

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush with a thin layer of butter. Ladle about 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter per pancake into skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 min or until bottoms are golden and edges look dry; turn and cook for 1 to 2 min longer or until golden and puffed. Repeat with remaining batter, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Nutritional Info20160402_100101

I also enjoyed that the recipe had all the nutritional info as well.  I am not sure how many pancake this serving is, as my calculations for the half batch is about 34 calories per pancake!! Which is very good as these are super filling, just try avoid all the syrup and margarine on top!  I will definatly be making these again and again.

per serving

Energy: 93 Calories
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrate: 12 g
Fat: 4 g
Fibre: 1.4 g
Sodium: 116 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

Nutrient % DV*
Calcium: 6 % / 69 mg
Magnesium: 10 %
Selenium: 9 %
Thiamin: 9 %
Phosphorus: 9 %

Connecting with my community

Over the past few weeks I have managed to find support for my health goals online.  I found the website Spark People awesome in terms of setting health goals.  There are also plenty of articles and support to guide you on your journey.  I also enjoyed participating in the online community, where you can post within different forums.  I defiantly suggest looking into his online tool for some education and support!!

I also focused on connecting with other healthy eating bloggers.  I explored 2 different website.  My first pick is called Thestonesoup.  I enjoyed that all of the author’s recipes were simple,  as she works hard to post delicious recipes that encourage us to become healthy home cooks. I also enjoyed the organized recipe index.

stonesoup-screenshot-best-healht-blogs-by-healthista.comScreenshot from The Stone Soup

The other healthy recipe blog that I was able to check out was Hungry Healthy Happy.  The tag line is ” a blog that will motivate you to change your lifestyle”.  I like the blog as it is very supportive and motivating.

hungry-healthy-happy-screenhot-best-health-blogs-by-healthista.com

Screen shot from hungryhealthyhappy.com

I also follow a few different Facebook gals for motivation: curvy girl on the lose, Bree gets fit.  I enjoy when recipes or little victories come up on my news feed. I also want to mention that I attend a fitness center called Fearless Fitness.  If anyone is looking for a great workout, I suggest checking out one of there classes.  I attempted to attach the schedule, but it was a blur, just check out the link above or look at their Facebook . Comment on my blog if you are interested in attending, as it is invite only.  I tend to do Waist trimmer on Mondays, and Cardio-kickboxing on Thursday, come on and join me, you won’t regret it!

Need something for supper , try Quick Turkey Chili

This week I decided that I would try a new recipe, again using my favorite lean meat, you guessed it turkey!  The price is just so much better compared to ground beef.  I also through this recipe would be great becauschillie I planned to double it, as I know chili freezes well.  This week I am Quick Turkey Chili.  I found the recipe on the real simple website. Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed and will defiantly appreciate something quick that produces leftovers!!  Check out my first YouTube video!

The recipe is very simple and basic.

INGREDIENTSmm

  1. tablespoon olive oil
  2. small yellow onion, chopped
  3. pound ground turkey
  4. 114.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  5. 115.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  6. bell pepper, diced
  7. tablespoons tomato paste
  8. 1 1/2teaspoons chili powder
  9. kosher salt
  10. 1/4 cup sour cream
  11. 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar
  12. 1/4 red onion, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the turkey and cook, crumbling with the back of a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and their juices, beans, bell pepper, tomato paste, 1½ cups water, chili powder, and 1¼ teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  5. Divide among bowls and top with the sour cream, Cheddar, and onion, if using.

The sour cream adds such a nice touch, so don’t hold back.  I did skip the cheese to cut a few calories but it didn’t matter cause I ate two bowls.  The chili is delicious and I have lots to freeze.  Oh yeah and lets not forget what showed up as I was making supper.  I can wait to tell you all about the fun and features the Fitbit Alta has. fitbit

 

 

Recipe of the week Protein Balls

TSnapchat-2095508849808886167his week I figured that I would make a snack that I could munch on whenever I needed a little something.  I got this Protein Ball recipe from a friend Jen,pballs but there are many variations available online. I added some flax, chia seeds, and chocolate chips to make the recipe a little more hearty.  Next time I think I will add some coconut, hemp hearts and raisins. I will keep them in a container inpballs1 the freezer and just take out what I need.  I decided that they are best cold or semi frozen.  These little bite size protein balls were absolutely delicious.  I just need to convince my husband to try one.  I brought them to work and Kayla thought they were delicious too.  Have you ever tried a protein shake or using protein powder in recipes ? If you are interested in adding a protein shake to your routine I can suggest some of the ones I have tried, just let me know!

Ups and downs of health

Well this past 2 weeks have been tough on me in terms of fighting off my illness.  Just when I have started to feel better my Fitbit decides to malfunction and quit syncing.  I guess that goes with technology.  I did call for tech support, they offered meimgres  25% off a new one purchased from Fitbit.  After checking out their website I decided that the Fitbit Alta was the one for me.  It is just so beautiful and has many features.

I am also a fan of the Charge HR which has more of a watch style clasp.  I did lose my first Fitbit so clasp security is important to me.  After I lost the Fitbit Flex  I called tech support and asked if there way anyway that imgresI could locate my lost tracker.  They suggested that I used the Bluetooth, but it would no sync so it was obviously out of range.  I was so lucky that they sent me a replacement, I went from the saddest to the happiest girl all in about an hour.  I needed a way to secure my Flex.  I went online and was lucky to find that their is a product called Bitbelt that adds security so that your Fitbit or any other wearaimgresble will never fall off again.  I have no clue why Fitbit won’t change their clasps, okay maybe I do, people will just buy another.  People who use Fitbits just love them.  There are challenges that you can enter with friends who have Fitbits.

I did find this chart that compared the two that I was interested in but the more I think about it I don’t think that I need to know my heart rate, in fact I would probably obsess over it haha.  I did find a complete comparison of the Alta vs Charge HR.

FITBIT ALTA FITBIT CHARGE HR
Price $129.95 from Fitbit $149.95 from Fitbit
Color Black, plum, blue, teal Black, plum, blue, teal, tangerine
All-day activity tracking Yes Yes
Sleep monitoring Yes Yes
Call notifications Yes Yes
Text notifications Yes No
Heart rate monitoring No Yes
Battery life Up to 5 days Up to 5 days
Buy on Amazon
BuyFitbit Alta
BuyCharge HR

My friend just returned from Costa Rica and was heart broken that her Fitbit disappeared from her hotel room.  She was also offered the 25% off.  I think she will be going with the Alta as well, but the heart breaking part is that it is not available until end of March.

The next challenge I am having is joining an online community for healthy eating, one of the sign up questions that I came across on SparkPeople was about pregnancy. Surprise I am pregnant which has thrown off my whole eating plan.  I usually drink a Herbalife protein shake or 2 a day and now I have focused on getting my nutrition from food. I did find a community at Baby Center but I am finding that they are focusing on other things beside nutrition.. So My search continues!!

2 Ingredient Banana Pancake Fail!

Wow, my whole week off has flew by.  sadly, I spend many days in bed with possibly the flu.  I did make it to the doctor’s to get some antibiotics for a lung/ throat infection.  I would have never guessed that the flu (Influenza) is more of a respiratory illness, I always thought of it as stomach issues, but that is usually only with children not adults. My husband and I were both useless for the week.  Well now that I have my appetite back I thought I would try a recipe that I have been curious about for awhile. Today I gave into one of the popular recipes that is always showing up on my Facebook news feed, 2- Ingredient Banana Pancakes.

The recipe is super easy.  Mash banana, scramble eggs in a bowl, combine and fry. I love pancakes so I thought, mmm a nice healthy version of one of my favorites.
20160221_10463820160221_10483920160221_10473920160221_104911

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After mixing the eggs and banana, I knew the consistency of a typical pancake was not there.  After they were cooked, I tried the pancake, not what I expected but it certainly was banana flavored egg.  I had a bite and decided that it wasn’t really for me.  I also had my husband try it, yeah he didn’t care much for my creation either.  However, my dog Kodah loves bananas.  He was very excited for the recipe fail.

I will note that while hyperlinking the recipe I noticed “These are pancakes in the sense that they’re cooked on a stove top and are lovely drenched with syrup, but they are definitely not a replacement for your favorite Saturday morning recipe”.  I guess lesson learned always read the  whole recipe, even if there are only 2 ingredients!  I hope the next week finds everyone healthy and happy!!  

Petite Turkey Meatloaves

imgresThis week I decided I would try another turkey recipe, mysteriously it is Turkey Tuesday.  I like to use ground turkey in most recipes in place of ground beef.  At Costco you can get a 4 pack  for around $20.00, if you buy each package separately at your grocery store they can cost between $6.00-8.00 each.

I ha20160209_180012ve really become a fan of the website Skinnytaste, I enjoy browsing recipes that have been shared on my Facebook feed, then I just click save on the ones I like.   Today my recipe of choice is Petite Turkey Meatloaves. I have all the ingredients that are needed for the 20160209_165038recipe with exception of the spice marjoram.  There are not many ingredients in the recipe so I think I will add some random spices from my cupboard in place of the marjoram.

 

20160209_16473520160209_17024720160209_170450This recipe was super easy to prepare.  After I did my mixing I was able to do a few other things while they cooked.  I like putting meatloaf into my muffin tins as they are perfect portions and they also freeze well.  I have learned that you need  to spray your muffin pan if you don’t want a headache after you are done cooking, and then the cleaning is even worst.  When I first started using my muffin pan in meal prep I actually bought new ones as I thought that would help the release factor.  The new pans are better but the spray is mandatory!

I really love my20160209_171446 rice cooker, just set it and forget it.  I have started mixing my brown rice with quinoa.  It always comes out great and super healthy as opposed to white rice.

20160209_165836

Well I have to say that I have tried many types of lil turkey burgers in my muffin tin, but the glaze on these is what makes them so yummy.  I also have learned that sauteing the onions is an important step, better flavor, as they onion wont cook well from raw.  I recommend giving this recipe a try!!  Let me know how it goes!