Author Archives: ssalloums

Needing more skills to navigate VideoScribe…

Image Credit: Wesley Fryer

This week I am reviewing VideoScribe for its strengths, weaknesses, and usability for classrooms and other professional contexts.

VideoScribe is a type of software that allows you to create drawn animations on a whiteboard while providing music and voice over.

 

In order to evaluate this program I decided to try it out as a possible presentation tool for my Summary of Learning. I can see how it would be a useful tool for teaching courses or for public engagement/education. Some of the strengths of VideoScribe include:

  • it looks professional;
  • the media (images and music) are part of the program and don’t need to be licensed;
  • there are lots of images to choose from that reflect different industries or topics;
  • you can record voice-over right into slides/animations;
  • there are tutorials available to support the development of your scribe.

It was essential to utilize the tutorials to learn how to use this program. Without the tutorials it was hard to know what to do next.

Some of the weaknesses of VideoScribe include:

  • the features in the free trial version are quite limited;
  • it costs money and there is a lengthy sign-up process;
  • some of the images look a bit outdated;
  • the interface is user-friendly if you have at least some experience with video-development interfaces;
  • you need to have internet access to be logged in to your account.

As a first-time user of any type of animated video creation tools I found VideoScribe to be challenging to use. Like others, including Marley B,  who are new to using video creation programs (Adobe Spark), the tutorials are really important to helping you understand the steps.

It was a fairly significant learning curve, in part, because of the unclear navigational tools and interface. The following is my attempt to begin my Summary of Learning using VideoScribe.

I can definitely see VideoScribe as being a useful tool in my professional context in the non-profit sector. However, organizations like the one I work for, who are just scraping by since the provincial government budget cuts (2016), would not be able to shell out any cash for an unnecessary expense. Same goes for Saskatchewan schools/classrooms since their budgets keep getting slashed. It would be better if it were free for non-profits and schools!

Via Giphy

I have decided to no longer pursue using VideoScribe until I develop a few more skills. For those of you who have used VideoScribe or who also evaluated this software did you find it equally challenging? If not, do you have any helpful tips for a noob?

Thanks for reading!


What are birth preferences and how do you decide?

As I get closer and closer to my due date, April 17th, 2018 I have been talking to my mommy friends about their experiences with labour and delivery. I have learned that they have either enlisted the support of a doula or wished they had.

I started to explore this idea by looking into the role of a doula. According to Angie Evans, a doula in Regina, “[a] doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and partner during pregnancy, birth & early postpartum. In much of the world today and throughout history, women support women through labour & birth.”

I really liked the idea of having a larger support system extended to someone who is connected with other doula’s and who has supported over 100 births. This kind of community, knowledge, and advocacy was exactly the kind of resource I wanted/needed for my first pregnancy. I am excited to have an experienced birthing partner in the room who can help me and my husband move through labour in a good way.

Now we needed to find and choose a doula! We sought recommendations from doula’s in Regina for a doula in Saskatoon and we interviewed Karen Slater. After we met, talked, and learned (a lot) about each other and the birthing experience we decided that she would be a good fit for us. Since then Karen has provided us with resources, books, and things to think about as we prepare for delivery.

Via Giphy

She indicated it would be good to consider our birth plan/preferences. Now that I have a doctor I am able to take all of the resources I have to construct my preferences. However, I didn’t know where to start to begin creating my birth preferences, and so I turned to the internet for help and found some questions to answer or consider. This is my first attempt to develop my preferences and it is based on information I have heard about or learned from friends, family, various websites, my doctor and my doula. I choose to use the bolded questions and answers as a starting place and know that these may change over time and as we get closer to child birth.

Where would I like to give birth?

In a different circumstance I might have liked to give birth at home, but because we are currently living in an apartment waiting for our house to be built I would prefer to deliver at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

Describe ideal labour environment.

The type of labour environment I hope to construct will involve the following items for optimal relaxation:

  • ability to walk around
  • dim lighting
  • soothing music playing
  • private room (if possible)
  • personal items (blanket, pillow, robe)
  • lavendar aromatherapy

Who Do I want Present?

I would like my husband, Kyle and my doula, Karen to be present during labour and delivery.

Is there a special birthing apparatus and/or position that appeals to me?

Some birthing positions that appeal to me include:

  • kneeling on the lower part of bed with arms or upper body resting on upper section
  • on all fours with stomach facing down, supported by hands and knees

Both these positions help to relieve backaches which I am expecting to have plenty of. If there are other positions that relieve backaches and are more natural/gravity-centered please share with me!

Other birthing preferences

  • intermittent external fetal monitoring
  • internal vaginal exams every 2-4 hours after active labour begins
  • no pain relief medication – only pain management through acupressure and massage (the pain control options include narcotics, nitrous oxide, and epidurals)
  • no episiotomy
  • if we have a boy – no circumcision
  • rooming in – keeping the newborn in the hospital room with us unless there are health concerns with the baby
  • delayed cord clamping; we will donate the umbilical cord blood

My doula also recommended taking prenatal classes from the Prairie Birth Collective. We have signed up for the “six-week birth preparedness class. Topics will include childbirth principles and history, signs and symptoms of labour, childbirth choices, breathing and relaxation, the coach’s role, medications, breastfeeding, postpartum, as well as early childhood literacy.”

Learning about labour and delivery from these resources has been instrumental in helping me shape the kind of birthing experience I value and appreciate.


From strollers to onesies and everything in between

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Pregnancy Update: I have fully recovered from the cat bite and I am finished the antibiotics. While I was on them I felt awful for over a week. Now that I am done them I have renewed energy and have been enjoying the pregnancy a whole lot more!

Development: I am 19 weeks along today! The fetus is approximately 6 inches long and about half of a pound – the size of a mango! Now the fetus is covered in head-to-toe vernix caseosa which protects them from the amniotic fluid. The fetus’ legs have also gone through a growth spurt which can create more movement in the uterus.

Check out this video that explains how the internal organs change throughout pregnancy. It is pretty cool!

Symptoms: difficulty sleeping, dehydrated, shortness of breath, and general discomfort caused by my growing belly.

As Christmas approaches, boxing week sales are on the horizon, and as I get closer to my due date I have realized the importance in researching and sourcing all the supplies we will need to bring a newborn home in April. There is so much to think about that I did not expect to be considering while we are shopping. Questions we have been considering include:

  • Will we grow our family into needing a double stroller? Just because we may want to doesn’t mean we will necessarily be able to.
  • Should we buy the cleaning supplies to keep a circumcized are clean? Are we having a boy? Are we going to circumcise?
  • Should we be looking more for deals on these items so that we don’t break the bank? Concerns about how much of my wages will be covered between EI and my work top up.

I looked over the suggested supply lists on a number of sites and found two sites that covered a lot of the essentials. I cross-examined these lists and others to determine what supplies and what quantities make the most sense. See below for a fairly comprehensive list.

As you can see we have only been able to get a stroller, car seat, and crib so far. We have a lot more items to get before baby comes and this requires a significant amount of time and energy to source good quality, ethical (if possible), and affordable items.

So, if you have any ideas of where to pick things up in Saskatoon, Regina, or online that are free, second-hand, or otherwise, it would be greatly appreciated. Or, if you have any other suggested items that you could not have gotten through the first six months or so without, do tell!

Thanks for reading!


Sharing in an over-saturated sharing environment – fears of a noob

Image: Rosenfeld Media on Flickr

I really enjoyed watching the Where Good Ideas Come From, TED Talk by Steven Johnson because he took a simple question and investigates how ideas are formed. Johnson talks about how ideas are not single in nature or magically appear, but are almost symptomatic of discussing and sharing within networks.

Personal Sharing

I have not understood my experience of having ideas to be a result of a network until now. I can see how my ideas have often come to fruition as a result of a collection of both sharing and storytelling. I have been able to learn from others, think through, and enrich ideas or create new ones based on new information obtained from various types of networks. This has predominantly happened in physical spaces like the SCIC office discussing programming with my colleagues or, no joke, in coffee shops like Johnson describes, with friends who share about their work and personal lives. I do think there is something essential to these interactions or networks and that is that they are based on sometimes quite personal interactions with people, and not just information or content.

via Giphy

To be honest, until this class I hadn’t even considered sharing more of myself or ideas through YouTube or in other ways. I have felt that sharing and engaging with social media takes up enough of my computer/tech time and I would rather spend my time with people I care about. Also, I have felt like there is so much being shared in online spaces and social media that it seems over-saturated. I am not sure whether any contribution I make would be valuable or if I would be comfortable being so open, vulnerable, and exposed. It begs the question(s),

  • What could I possibly have to say that is unique or different than what is out there already?
  • Why bother putting myself out there in this way if only to share my experiences or ideas with a select few people?
  • What are the costs to me personally for sharing about my self/experience/ideas?
  • Is this the best use of my time?

I also have concerns about how ideas are credited and the lack of ownership of ideas. Strangers are able to access your ideas without even talking to you! Identifying these questions and concerns has helped me to see that the negative aspects of online sharing that I described have mostly to do with my own fears of engaging in this way. From reading Joe McGurran’s blog post I can see that these concerns are real for him too. Though they are legitimate fears, they may not be negative results of online sharing.

Throughout this course I have seen some of the ‘good’ that can come out of sharing online and contributing to a network and, as a result, I am more interested in sharing online.  My new interest in sharing in online networks is, in part, a result of participating as a consumer in the sharing economy. I do feel a small amount of obligation to contribute to and participate in the networks that I access and consume. Often, I am overwhelmed by all that is available on the internet, on OER platforms, and even on just YouTube. There aren’t enough hours to sift through all of this content or to make meaning from so many options.

Professional Sharing

In Sharing: The Moral Imperative, Dean Shareski discusses the obligations of institutions and their teachers to teach the students in the building as well as students beyond the classroom. Since education is premised on conceptions of sharing, Shareski believes there is an ethical responsibility of educators to share beyond their classrooms and that sharing is no longer an option.

In consideration of my work context I do have experience creating and sharing educational resources in online spaces and networks. I have found that the resources that are most context-specific, meeting Saskatchewan curriculum outcomes and indicators, and focus on challenging topics are valued and appreciated by teachers and community based organizations. For example, in 2015 SCIC launched the Transforming Charity into Solidarity and Justice resource which addresses gaps in understanding the concepts of charity, justice, and solidarity. This resource is available for free and downloadable on the SCIC website. It has also been shared with the Ministry of Education and it appears on the curriculum website under resources.

I do like Shareski’s challenge to consider it no longer an option not to share. This makes me wonder how I can create resources and work with SCIC’s communications team to share our educational resources more effectively and efficiently. Sharing through online networks creates opportunities for greater impact; stronger connection; and idea creation, formation, and inspiration. SCIC has a stake in Saskatchewan specific sharing culture around educational resources and if such a platform existed SCIC would share and collaborate with others in this space. Now that I am more aware of OER’s I think we will be able to add our resources where appropriate, however if you have any suggestions on how to share more effectively please let me know!

I just wanted to end with a quote from Shareskies video, he says, “[u]niversities come to know about things through studies; organizations come to know about things through reports; and people come to know about things through stories.”

I like this idea of focusing more on stories and will challenge myself to get better at storytelling!

Thanks for reading!


Reviewing Open Education Resources (OER’s) – Should OER’s supplement or direct education?

via Giphy

Almost 10 years ago, when I taught in the formal education system I rarely used online tools like YouTube to supplement my class content. I was so nervous using technology in the classroom and did not have any ethics training or understanding of digital citizenship at that time. Since then I have used a variety of social media for personal social interaction and have learned about various ways to connect globally and collaborate with classrooms around the world through organizations and platforms offered by TIGed.

I have only recently, as a result of this class and this particular blog prompt, begun looking at the value of open education resources (OER’s). I scanned several OER’s to learn about their functionality and despite lacking experience engaging with these resources, I can definitely see the value in the resources shared through the Khan Academy, especially those in the area of math and science. It makes sense that math and science content is easily found, sourced, and shared in online spaces. I think OER’s like this are great and can supplement the practices of classroom teachers, but should not take-over for classroom teachers.

Upon quick review of the Open Textbook Library, I agree with the purpose for this OER, which is to provide free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks. However, upon a quick scan of the types of textbooks that are available it seems quite limited in what content or topics they cover and can be quite theoretical. Some of the textbooks look like the support Western epistemology and are often not context or country-specific. I would like to to see more resources that represent various ideologies, Indigenous epistemology, and critical theory.

In thinking about my personal educational preference, I am trying to imagine a class where my professor taught using a textbook sourced from this OER. I think I would really struggle to adapt to solely reading a textbook as an online course material, which I would be engaging with daily throughout a semester. I am not sure if that makes me a creature of habit who struggles to adapt to change, or if it is simply that I learn better holding a textbook and being able to highlight, underline, and write in the margins with a pen or pencil. It is the practice of doing this that has made me a ‘good’ student for years.

via Giphy

Saying that, I do agree with Chris Reed’s perspective on leveling the playing fieled for educators and students across the province by using OER’s. Reed suggests that “[t]he province would save money if instead it paid an expert teacher, or team of teachers, to develop a textbook and made it available online as an OER. Each teacher in the province could then access it and modify it as needed. You could have a shared repository for it and have teachers upload any lessons and modifications that they make.” I think this is a step in the right direction in providing location and context specific resources that can be collaborated on by teachers throughout a geographic/political area.

After looking at several OER’s I decided to take a look at TED-Ed. The brand TED has a good reputation for dealing with a vast number of issues, topics, ideas, and challenges the status quo. I have enjoyed many TED Talks and can see from the education resources that these videos follow a similar recipe. The website is super user-friendly, easy to navigate/search, and is well-organized. I would argue that it isn’t the most visually appealing though it is more visually appealing than some of the other OER’s.

I think what is perhaps most important is the quality of the content on the site. TED-Ed seems to be more critical with titles in the Series like:

What I like most about some of these resources is their focus on social justice and taking action. As Jackie Gerstein describes, the TED-ED site offers teachers the option to “design their own web-assisted curricula, complete with videos, comprehension-testing questions, and conversational tools. The Think and Digging Deeper questions are, I assume, prompts or guides for the higher level thinking.” This could be useful for math, science, social sciences, but also for language learning as indicated by Thanh Hoang Nam Le, who talks about the benefit to Vietnamese students using TED-Ed to learn English as a second language. I believe that TED-Ed is a valuable OER that educators can and do use and work with.

I think there will be concerns with any OER if it intends to direct education too much or take over the role of educators. I think OER’s, especially the Khan Academy and TED-Ed, are currently effective supplemental tools for teaching curriculum content.

  • Do you think we should be moving in the direction of education directed by online videos?
  • Do you think it is possible for online education to be as effective or more effective than more traditional education (teacher directed learning based on specific ideology, epistemology, and theory)?
  • What kind of classroom or education do you hope for future generations?

During pregnancy, is it safe to treat infections from animal bites with antibiotics???

On Saturday night I was playing board games at a friend’s place and was petting their cat. After playing a couple games of Settlers of Catan we switched games and during the intermission I spent some time giving the cat some pets. Unfortunately, as I turned and looked away momentarily the little monkey bit my hand.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Marland

via Giphy

Not thinking too much of it, I began to pull away and he sank his teeth in further and punctured my skin. I have grown up with pets my whole life and am confident in reading their body language…but in that moment that I looked away, he got upset, and I didn’t notice until it was too late.

 

I regularly play with animals, but never has my skin actually been punctured to the point of bleeding, with exception to the odd scratch that bleeds for a short time. I was upset with myself for not paying attention and it reminded me how quickly things can become dangerous with animals if you aren’t paying attention. This was a good reminder for me to consider the health and safety of both animals and baby as we bring a baby into a family with a cat and dog.

The puncture wound immediately started to hurt, so I cleaned it out with soap and water. After a few hours my hand was swollen and was burning up. It was clear that it was infected, but I didn’t know what to do or take because I was pregnant. When we got home, my husband suggested I ice my hand and try to sleep. In the morning it hurt so badly and I had limited mobility in half of my hand. I decided to go to the walk-in clinic to get treatment.

The doctor took this issue quite seriously and asked me a number of questions about the cat and about my vaccinations. Fortunately, I was up-to-date on tetanus and actually had the rabies vaccine in 2015. This was good news because the risk of serious infection without the vaccines is more significant.

Now, it was time to get a prescription for an antibiotic to fight off the infection. The doctor explained the drug to me (Amoxicillin 875MG and Clavulan 875/125MG) and said that this drug could be harmful to the fetus, causing issues with its bowel development.

I hoped to stay away from all drugs that can be dangerous for a fetus and wanted to know if this prescription was the best option for me. I called my brother, who is a pharmacist, and he explained that this drug is probably the safest option for women who are pregnant since the drug is less dangerous for women who are in their second trimesters. Lucky for me, I am, and can rest a little easier knowing that the risk of complications for the fetus is low.

As winter sets in and cold and flu season arrives I am curious what over-the-counter drugs or alternative remedies/healing practices others have used to treat their symptoms during pregnancy. If you have any suggestions I am eager to learn.

Thanks for reading!


The Knowledge Economy and Living Through Creation

Open education is one way education has been revolutionized and may be provided to and accessed by students and teachers globally.

 

via Wikipedia          via Wikimedia

As discussed in the vimeo, “Why Open Education Matters”, open education has a significant amount of capacity to provide education to people in densely populated and remote communities if the telecommunication infrastructure exists. My colleague Joe McGurran describes his experience “[a]s a teacher in a community school, I see the impact of unequal access to education on a daily basis, and agonize at the potential consequences for our kids’ prospects.”

Open education, if considered to be part of an Education for All “(EFA) movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults.” In 2015, UNESCO tracked the progress on six internationally recognized education goals and the 2015 review indicates that only a third of countries reached all the goals with measurable targets.

Certainly there are problems with traditional access (financially and physically) to an education for all people worldwide, but, I am perhaps too skeptical to believe that Education for All, seeking equal or equitable education using digital spaces is more possible. Similarly, Danielle Hackel suggests, digital (re)sources still need to be evaluated for their classroom appropriateness and quality to ensure students get the best education.

I am eager to learn more about whether there are examples where open education breaks the digital divide and provides quality education respecting local knowledge and overcomes the social, economic, and infrastructural issues facing remote and/or impoverished communities. If you are familiar with any examples, please share!

via Professor Iona Novak

The culture of sharing and collaboration that open education and social media creates is inspiring. Teachers have the ability to adapt and improve shared resources and lessons regardless of where they are and how much money they have. I think this is great in theory, however, I have concerns over the regulation of the quality of education.

  • I wonder whose knowledge is being promoted and shared?
  • Is that knowledge culturally, socially, and geo-politically appropriate?
  • Are local and/or Indigenous perspectives and histories the focus?
  • Do people actually have access despite the digital divide?

The TED Talk by Larry Lessig, “Laws that choke creativity”, and the Ze Frank’s TED Talk, My Web Playroom, were particularly inspiring. Lessig was clear in describing all of the ways that we live our lives against the law and that is a corrupt way of being that is not good for democracy. He inspires us to do better and work towards a better democracy – our laws need to change and reflect social realities. Lessig talks about the necessity for two types of change:

  • “artists choose that their work be made available more freely (free for non-commercial use),” and
  • “businesses that are breeding out the read-write culture need to embrace this opportunity expressly” and engage with user-generated content.

Lessig explains that kids are different today because of technology. We come from a culture of watching and kids today come from a culture of creating. He suggests that government or corporations:

  • “can’t kill the instinct that technology produces we can only criminalize it;
  • can’t stop their use of it only drive it underground;
  • can’t make them passive again only pirates.”

There are unknown consequences for people growing up knowing that they live their average lives as digital criminals. The effects of it are assumedly not good for a healthy society, but realizing this is useful in raising awareness about unjust laws and creates solidarity for people standing up for what they believe to be their rights (free speech, fair dealing, etc.).

Ze Frank is kind of an inspiration! Or at least, watching his videos I was inspired.

Throughout this class and as I become more immersed in social media and online collaborative tools I think about how someone like Ze Frank comes up with these brilliant ideas for engaging people and creating online communities. For example, the love the young me now me prompt created an artefact of images of people taken of them as a child and then staged now as an adult. It was interesting to learn about the buy-in this idea received and the potential connection it makes between people globally.

Though my online engagement is increasing, I do not feel like I have the capacity to come up with online collaborative ideas like his on my own at this point, but I would like to try out some of Ze Frank’s ideas in my own professional context. Not sure in what ways this makes the most sense, but I do see the usefulness of ideas like these within activism, advocacy work, and classrooms. Perhaps this would spark some creative ideas for other ways of collaborating online and thinking about new forms of identity.

In the RIP: A Remixer’s Manifesto they use Girl Talk as an example of how remixed content is considered copyright infringement. They make the point that most of what we know today and share has been remixed and that according to the law, it would all be illegal. I believe that if the way the average person lives violates the law, then the law must change. This video clearly describes

A Remixer’s Manifesto

  1. Culture always builds on the past – new knowledge and culture is built upon what has been created or known. It would be like saying using quotes in an essay you are writing or singing song covers is illegal.
  2. The past always tries to control the future... in order to preserve the business model that made them rich.
  3. Our future is becoming less free – Wild Fact: “6 major corporations own more than 90% of media holdings in the United States. All these are represented by two lobby groups: the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America.”

RIP: A Remixer’s Manifesto

  1. To build free societies you must limit the control of the past. – Creative commons was born to set culture free!

So, why aren’t we updating copyright law to reflect the sampling, sharing, and copying that exists in the 21st century? It sounds like these major corporations have too much influence over government. It also sounds like the vocal chords of the people must be re-ignited to make meaningful social change which has both national and international implications.

The artefacts I viewed this week that dealt with open education, the legalities of creative commons, the copyright system, and collaborative online sharing were instrumental in helping me understand the differences between copyRight, which protects old laws while corporations get paid, and copyLeft, which is more democratic. I definitely have a better understanding of how copyright/left works and feel empowered to engage with these concepts socially and professionally.

 


Fit(ness) as a state of being during pregnancy…

Pregnancy Update: 16 weeks along and feeling great!

Development: the fetus is between 3-4 ounces and 4-5 inches long. It’s muscles are growing, their eyes function, and the fetus is getting more and more sensitive to touch.

Symptoms: headaches, constipation, gas, and bloating.

In efforts to continue this healthy pregnancy I wanted to learn more about fitness activities I am interested in and can do while pregnant. As an Ultimate Frisbee competitor I am not used to inactivity, however during the first trimester I was not feeling up to doing much.

via Giphy

Now that I have more energy in my second trimester I am excited to get back to exercising! I searched several websites to learn about safety concerns and precautions when exercising during pregnancy. Learn more about some of the myths.

In order to get me through the winter months I have decided to get a membership to the YMCA. There, I will take prenatal exercise classes when they are offered and otherwise try and do activities from the following routines.

I am interested in doing some yoga, strength training, and meditation throughout my 2-3rd trimesters.

Yoga and Cardio – I will plan on doing yoga and cardio 3 days a week. and then the strength training two days a week.

                                                     via Fit Momma Clean Baby

Strength Training – I will plan on doing strength training two days a week and using either workout plan.

via Fit Momma Clean Baby

Meditation – I will work on my meditation practice 2 days a week until I am 8 months along in the pregnancy. In the last month I will increase the amount that I meditate to 3-4 days a week.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for how well I keep up with this fitness plan. If you know of any videos for pregnancy exercises or meditation please share!


Food consciousness for a healthy pregnancy

Just when I thought it would never come, I made it to the second trimester!

Pregnancy Update: I am feeling much better than I felt in the first trimester and my appetite is back. It is as if a major brain fog has lifted and I am better able to re-engage with the world.

Development: the fetus is about the size of a fist, and is developing hair, straightening out, and the left and right hemisphere of its brain is developing.

Symptoms: bloating, gas, constipation. More energy and less nausea – starting to feel like myself again!                            Source: Wikimedia

However, my body is changing and it is hard getting used to it. When I bend down to tie my shoes I lose my breath; after I eat I get hungry again almost right away and if I don’t feast I am super moody; when I see something that triggers happiness or sadness I weep; etc. All this to say, I feel like my hormones are so wacky right now and I think nutrition and exercise will help keep me more balanced.

In order to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby I need to learn more about good nutrition during my 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

By simply doing a Google search on ‘pregnancy nutrition’ there are many articles that come up that provide suggestions for how to gain weight, eat well, and warnings not to pack on too many pounds during pregnancy. It is all quite overwhelming.

Via Giphy

In order to get a better sense of how much weight I should be gaining, so that I can avoid pre-term labour or a baby with a low-birth weight, I went to visit the What to Expect website. They suggest the first step is to determine my Body Mass Index (BMI) to  Since I started my pregnancy at 128 pounds, in the normal weight range (22.7 BMI) I am supposed to gain 3-4 pounds in the first trimester, 14 pounds in the second, and 10 pounds in the third. Based on this calculation, by April 2018 I should be a healthy weight of 158 pounds.

How am I going to put on all of this weight in healthy ways?

Pregnant or not, I have never followed the old or new version of Canada’s Food Guide. However, since I need to eat for me and a fetus I want to make sure I am following a trusted source on Canadian nutrition. Health Canada suggests that Canadians eat the following servings of food each day and it is broken down by sex and age. The new version does not have specifications for pregnant women.

Now that I am equipped with the knowledge of how much food I need to eat based on the food guide and how much weight I need to gain, now all I needed was a food tracker or menu planner. I looked at a couple of websites to try and find one that would work for me, and then I came acress the Eat Right Ontario Weekly Menu Planner, which served my needs.

This website was such a useful tool! Once I was done the process of developing my menu, I received a 40 page report of my selections along with a grocery list and recipes to go with these meals. I plan on getting groceries the rest of this week and begin prepping the foods so that I can begin this diet on Sunday.

If you have any healthy vegetarian recipes that align with my diet (daily servings) please share them!!

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!