Why I’m Not a Fan of Resolutions

Everywhere you look there are ads for weight loss companies & products, for gym memberships and equipment, for quitting smoking and ways to improve yourself.  People are talking about their New Year’s Resolutions and what they want to do in the new year.  The thing with resolutions is by February or March they have fallen by the wayside.
 
The diet, the exercise plan, the no smoking resolution and the other goals have slipped because the plan was too daunting and there wasn’t any support.  I like to set an intention and engage others in supporting me and my goals.  I imagine how I’ll feel once my goal is reached and what the outcome will be.  Setting an intention seems less stringent to me and having support is crucial for a new goal.  Starting a new workout is easier when you have a trainer and someone you are somewhat accountable to or who can show you new moves safely.  Imagine how it would feel to be able to run a 5k or to lift weights:  What would your body look and feel like?  How would your mood improve?  How much more confidence would you feel?

It is possible and doable to start a new eating program on your own.  It’s much easier with a health coach than it is doing all the research yourself.  It’s like learning a new language with a teacher rather than reading it on your own.  I had a coach help me and it opened up a whole other way of eating for me.  I didn’t want to count calories for the rest of my life, I wanted to enjoy food, I wanted to be a healthy weight and live a fit and happy life.  Now I do the same for others and it makes me happy to have someone tell me their energy levels are higher and she’s feeling so much more vital in her daily life.  Imagine not having a 3 pm energy crash and needing caffeine and sugar to keep going.  Imagine fitting into those jeans that are stuck in the back of your drawer or closet. 

The final piece of advice is to keep your expectations realistic.  It will take work on your part to reach a goal and it might not change your entire life but it should have a good impact on your daily life.

So set your intentions and keep the following in mind:
What are you goals? 
Who will support you?
What will it feel like when you reach that goal?
What would realistically change in your life? 

If you would like a complimentary health consultation send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.  Together we will come up with a plan to help you reach your goals in a way that’s fun and unique to you.

Trying to Fit it All In

I know I’m not the only one who has had a busy week.  Last minute shopping, wrapping, food shopping and baking have been in the forefront.  I get tired, irritable and there’s some stress involved.  I’m striving for balance but when my husband works late there’s really no one else to delegate to.  So I’m taking shortcuts where I can and only doing what I really want to have done.  Does anyone care if  the cookies are from a mix or from scratch? My husband does not, as long as they taste good he’s happy to have cookies.

Yes, I’m baking cookies and not only the healthy ones.  It’s Christmas and some things need to be familiar.  Does that mean I’m going to eat them all?  Nope but I’m going to have a few and enjoy them.  And then I’m going to share them with family and friends so there’s not a lot hanging around the house.

Exercise hasn’t been as regular or intense every day but I’m getting at least a walk in.  Most days I’m also doing some yoga as well.  It keeps the irritability and stress levels lower.  It also helps me stretch out my back which is pretty necessary after an afternoon of baking!

As for meals, I’m following the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time my meals are healthy and good choices.  I have plenty of carrots, celery & hummus for savory snacks.  Sweet snacks tend to be a smoothie or some plain Geek yogurt with fruit and some cacao nibs if I feel a chocolate urge.   That leaves room for special foods, treats or some wine. 

The point is not to sress over every detail and still feel vital and energetic.  I don’t want to gain weight during the holidays and I don’t want to count every bite of food I eat either.  That is my balance.

Contact me if you would like support around your goals and your health.  I can be reached at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or on my website, http://empoweredplate.com/.

Have a wonderful holiday!

21 Day Yoga Challenge – Day 22

Yes, I did 21 days in a row of yoga and I enjoyed it.  Some days it was kind of a pain to fit the yoga in but I committed to it and I wanted to see it through.  I like a challenge, especially a physical one. There’s a sense of accomplishment when you stretch beyond what you normally do.  Plus how often do we push ourselves?  Most of us look to avoid discomfort not to embrace it.

Doing yoga daily made me more flexible, both physically and mentally.  I fit yoga in during different times of the day and I tried styles that I never practiced before.  I even gave my nemesis, Crow, a few tries. I liked power yoga more than I thought I would.  I wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t push myself outside my usual practice.

It’s more than the calorie burn, and there is a greater burn the more you push your limits.  It’s the aha moment of yes, I can do this.  It’s not comfortable at first but I can finish.  It’s not going to stay at that level of uncomfortable for long.

I never ever thought I would be a runner.  Now I’ve run a few small races, a 10k and two half marathons.  It wasn’t easy in the beginning, I didn’t like it and some days I questioned my sanity.   But I ran with other people so I had accountability.  I had a coach and a mentor so I had other voices to listen to than just the negative one in my head.  Now it’s something I enjoy, go figure.

So do a challenge that’s just beyond whatever you are doing now.  Don’t exercise at all? Try doing 10 minutes a day for 4 days a week.  Exercise 4 days?  Try for 5.  Do you exercise for 30 minutes?  How about going for 40?  If you run, swim or bike regularly, try a race.  You will be surprised at how good you end up feeling. 

Want some encouragement and support around fitness, goals and food?  Send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com and together we can come up with a plan that’s fun and works for you. 

Holiday Parties

I know the holiday party circuit has started, I’ve been to two of them so far.  It’s not always the healthiest food and if it’s a dinner event you need to make the best of it.  Take the foods you enjoy and savor them.  If there are veggies available that you enjoy and aren’t fried or soaked in sauce, stock up!  Make sure to have some water in between drinks as well.

Since I don’t know what to expect from other people’s holiday parties I eat well during the day.  Breakfast is simple and filling:  an egg or two scrambled with veggies and sprouted grain bread, oatmeal with fruit and nuts or a smoothie.  Lunch is a sandwich and salad or soup and a salad.  I like to sneak as many vegetables and whole grains in as possible, especially if I think I’m eating fried or sauced foods later on.

I have a sweet tooth so I don’t skip dessert.  I take a few bites of cake, 1 or 2 cookies (normal sized) or 2 mini pastries.  It’s the first few bites that are satisfying anyway.  I find if I skip it I’m looking for something later on or I’m eating stuff that I don’t want to make up for what I skipped.  I’d rather eat and enjoy then move on with my night. 

I also take advantage of dancing if it’s available.  I love to dance and I get to burn off some of what I just ate.  Plus, I drink less when I’m dancing.  I’m more likely to go for water than alcohol when I’m that thirsty. 

The next day it is back to eating the way I eat every other day.  Another option is to take a savory day and not have any sweets or I might just eat only whole foods that day.  It let’s your digestion take a break and your body to get back on track.

Send me an email if you would like support around the holidays, together we can come up with a plan designed just for you.  I can be reached at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or via my website, http://empoweredplate.com/.

Do You Live Juicy?

Get up, get ready for work, commute to work, work, skip lunch or eat quickly at the desk, commute home, make dinner, eat dinner, watch some tv and collapse.  Maybe you fit in exercise, maybe you have kids or a spouse to add in to the routine.  It’s go, go, go but where is the time for you to nuture yourself?  It just sounds dry rather than succulent.

Do you remember what you enjoy doing when you’re not rushing around?  Write down a few activities that you enjoy or used to enjoy.  Now think how you can creatively fit that into your day, week or even once a month.  Can you start taking lunch?  A 15 minute walk to get you out of the workplace and outside may be just the breather you need.  A walk before or after dinner with your kids or spouse could be the time you reconnect and catch up on what’s happening.  Or you can have a dance off in the living room, put on your favorite music and just go with it. 

I knit, not always wonderfully, but I enjoy it.  I really don’t care if the project doesn’t always come to fruition (although it’s nice when it does).  It’s the act of knitting that I enjoy.  It’s calming, I’m still and I like the texture and colors of the yarn.  I don’t have children but sometimes I color for no other apparent reason than to see the colors on the page.  Some people scrapbook and others do stamp art, it gets the creative juices going.

It could be you just set aside a few minutes for yourself at the end of the day to do some gentle yoga or breathing.  Meditation or prayer are also a good way to close the day.  A few minutes to connect with you and see how you are doing.  We get so busy, especially this time of year, that we don’t always take time to see how we actually feel.  It’s not until we’re exhausted that we realize how much we’ve been running around.

If you’re looking for more inspiration check out works by SARK or read a book by Kris Radish. 

Or contact me and we can brainstorm together.  You can leave a comment here or email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com

I leave you with this quote taken from the tv show Saving Grace:

Embrace Your Grace

I want to bust the world wide open the way you do when you’re filled with youth
I want to engage with people and lovers and fellow cops
I want to be physical and I also want to ask the big questions
I want to taste the taste and fix the problems
I want to run headlong into chaos and bad guys and darkness and pranks and fun and laugh, laugh, laugh.
I want to be the best friend and I want to be the greatest aunt and complicated daughter
I want to be the mystery in the room
And I want to be known. Embrace your grace.

Listening to My Body

After a few very busy days my body tells me it’s time to take it easy.  I woke up in a bit of a fog, appropriate enough considering it was so foggy outside this morning I couldn’t see across the street.  I used to push myself when I felt this way, suck it up buttercup and get moving.  Then I’d end up sick or just run down and irritable. 

I’m learning to be more patient and caring toward myself.  I had a good breakfast of oatmeal and tea.  I would like to say I had vegetables at lunch but I didn’t.  I felt that I needed some comforting, grounding and fun food for lunch.  I went with multigrain pancakes, a pear and turkey bacon.  I wanted to head to the diner for pancakes but I know it’s a caloric hit and I prefer my bacon uncured and nitrate free.  I wasn’t ambitious enough to make multigrain pancakes from scratch but Bob’s Redmill makes a really good mix to which you only need to add an egg, oil and milk.  I used unsweetened coconut milk, the one that’s in the refrigerated section rather than the canned kind.  Dinner is going to be a turkey meatloaf and vegetables of some sort.  Good, grounding and comforting foods. 

There will be yoga later, something to realign me and get me moving.  It will be the seventh day of my 21 day yoga challenge.  Yoga also gets me listening to my body.  I’m more aware of both my posture and how my body actually feels during the day.  The awareness helps me decide what type of yoga to do on any given day.  I don’t think today’s going to be the power yoga I was planning on doing.  It’ll be something a little slower and holding the poses a little longer. 

I think there might be a nap in store for me too.

Want to take better care of yourself?  What would it feel like to be energized and full of vitality every day?  Think it can’t happen?  I know it can.  Contact me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com and we can talk further about this.  You can also visit my website at http://empoweredplate.com/.

Why a Yoga Challenge?

I was reading a newsletter from Yoga Journal and they had an ad for a set of dvds they are selling, a 21 Day Yoga Challenge.  I’ve been kind of stiff and sore lately and my brain has been on overdrive so I knew I could use this challenge.  I don’t want to buy more dvds because I have enough of my own and there’s always Exercise on Demand and Yoga Journal podcasts for inspiration.  I decided to practice for at least 20 minutes a day for 21 days.  I post my daily practice to keep myself accountable.

I’ve been practicing yoga for about 14 years now but I think you always learn something new or a new way to be in a pose.  Stilling my mind is always a work in progress and it’s more challenging to me than Crow pose (my nemesis).  I like that there’s something  for how I’m feeling each day:  power yoga, vinyasa flow, gentle yoga, Bikram (hot) yoga, yoga that focuses on breath and restorative poses. 

To be honest I felt my best when I did at least 20 minutes of yoga every day.  I workout with cardio or additional strength training on top of the yoga but there’s something about hitting the mat that works for me.  No two days are ever the same and I’ve stopped expecting them to be.  I’m stronger or more flexible on some days and others not so much.  It doesn’t matter, it’s about where you are at that moment and honoring what you can do. 

When I’m practicing consistantly I find I stress less and am able to remind myself that today is what it is.  Tomorrow will be a new day and maybe I can look at things in a different way.  I find myself less irritable and more patient.  (a miracle in itself).  I think that’s something I can use anytime of year but it’s pretty essential during this crazy holiday time.  I’d like to be calm during the storm. 

You can make up your own yoga challenge, maybe you want to try different types of yoga practices or a new teacher or studio.  Pick how many days you would like to practice per week and a minimum amount of time that you will practice.  Let me know how it goes. 

Leave a comment or email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com  if you want chat further about yoga challenges, how to begin a yoga program or would like some support around your health goals.  You can also visit my website http://empoweredplate.com/ for more information.