Spring is Ideal for Greens

Since I’ve been on the theme of cleansing I’m going to stick with greens today.  Greens are perfect for this time of year, especially since they help clear out mucus.  The mild winter we’ve had has given way to an early spring season.  My allergies have started up and greens help keep my sinuses clear.

It’s also the season for asparagus, which, while not a leafy green, is ideal for a spring cleanse.  It has a high fibrous content, it’s low in calories, high in folic acid, potassium, vitamins K, C and A.  It was also favored by King Louis XIV as a delicacy.  Lightly steam or roast this for a wonderful addition to your meal.  (Yes, it makes your pee smell funny for a little while.  It’s harmless and doesn’t last long).

Leafy greens are also a wonderful choice.  They are also filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals, they help purify the blood, strengthen the immune system, give you a light, flexible energy and help lift depression.  I use spinach, dandelion, and arugula in salads; kale, chard and beet greens sauteed; and bok choy, cabbage and collards in stir frys. 

The varities go on and so do the possibilities.  Throw a handful of spinach in your morning smoothie.  (the fruit will hide the taste, don’t worry).  Toss some kale in with your scrambled eggs for your own version of Green Eggs and Ham.  I add in greens to my soups and chili as well, especially if I’m using a canned version.

Give a new green a whirl and see how you like it.  You might just find a new favorite.

I am leading a spring cleanse on April 16, your choice of 5 or 10 days.  Send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com if you are interested and I’ll send you the details.

What Brings You Joy?

That which brings you joy is something you are more likely to practice on a regular basis.  I love dancing, it’s so freeing and expressive.  I am not the next great dancer but I enjoy it none the less.  It doesn’t feel like exercise to me, it’s just fun.  Is it exercise?  Heck yeah.  I am high energy and my heart rate goes up.
Hah, you thought I was going to say running didn’t you?  I do enjoy running and miss it when I’m not able to do it.  Dancing is definitely my fall back though, I’ve been dancing since I was a child.  My mom would put records on and we would dance together.  When ever I’m tired of what ever exercise I’m currently doing I dance.  I load up the ipod or put a good cd on and off I go.  It brings back good memories and, at the same time, lets me do my own thing.  Plus, I get to choose what music I want to hear and that also lifts my mood.  That’s a big bonus.

I know plenty of people who have an unused gym membership.  Why give your hard earned money away if you don’t like going to the gym?  There are plenty of things you can do without a gym membership.  You can workout at home, the park or find a class that excites you.  To keep it consistant find someone who will hold you accountable.  That could be a workout partner, a friend or a coach.  Someone who will say,” hey – how’s the dancing, fencing, tennis, etc. going?”

What is your bliss? 

Need help being accountable?  Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and we can set up a time to chat and see if I’m the one to help you.

 Have a fantastic weekend.

Time for Spring Cleaning

I was never one much for a cleanse.  I figured my body knew what to do and didn’t really need much help from me.  I also like to eat and not chewing for a few days was not something I was going to do voluntarily.  Then I was introduced to cleansing via foods, whole foods that a person could eat three times a day.  It would give the body a rest from allergens, rev up the metabolism, help me shed a few pounds, get my eating back on track and I was intrigued. 

So why does the body need a break?  You may have a pretty clean diet but still breathe in toxins from the air or absorb them through your largest organ, the skin, if your water isn’t filtered.  Maybe you drink socially, have a lot of caffeine, eat sugary treats or just a few too many healthy treats.  It could be that you’re having a little too much pasta, bread, potatoes or cheese.  Many of our convenience foods have ingredients that our bodies do not recognize as food and they confuse our system.

A cleanse is not a fast.  It’s more of a rejuvenation and a reminder to feed your body what it really needs and not just what you are craving.  It’s something I like to do in the spring and the fall, a sort of prep for the upcoming seasons.  It’s especially great in the spring when we’re prone to congestion.  Clean foods have a way of helping congestion leave the body. 

I am leading a 5 and 10 day cleanse beginning April 16.  You will have daily support, recipes, instructions for what do pre and post cleanse, as well as instructions for the cleanse itself.  Please email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com if you are interested and I will send you the details. 

Meditation for the Blues?

I’ve had a mild case of the blahs.  Nothing crazy but I hate that sad slightly weepy feeling.  And it seems so whiny to say it too.  Most of us get them from time to time.  Some wallow in it, watch sad movies and get the emotions out.  I’m not that person.  I’ll feel sad for a while and then I have to get rid of the mood.

Running, exercise and good mood boosting foods are my go tos for the blahs.  But recently I found that meditation helps a lot too.  I’m not a steady meditator.  I signed up again for the Chopra Center’s 21 day meditation challenge and, true to my nature, I missed a few days so I’m not finished with the challenge yet.  That’s okay, I am finishing it out and I’ve meditated most days in the last 22. 

I’m the person who has hamster brain.  The wheel spins and I go along for the ride.  The meditation challenge lets me focus on something else for 15 minutes or so.  That is not to say my mind does not wander, it does.  I bring myself back to my breath or a mantra more than I’d like to admit.  That’s okay, it’s a practice – not a perfect, so I’ll keep trying.

Interestingly I’ve noticed that I’m a little more tolerant of others when I meditate, including myself.  I’m calmer, more centered and able to look at things a little differently.  It spills over into my daily life and I appreciate that. 

What do you do to counteract the blahs?  How do you center yourself when things are not going the way you would like?

Running, Better Foods and Epiphanies

I was telling a colleague “my story” today and it occured to me that I haven’t really told it here on this blog.  Here’s my journey and why I decided to become a health coach.

The Empowerd Plate stands for empowering others to reach their goals through better food and lifestyle choices.  Your plate is not going to look like my plate, we all need different things to be our best.

Some of my earliest memories are of my mother carrying around two booklets, one with calorie counts and one with exercises.  We did those exercises together and I always thought that was great fun.  To her credit I still enjoy exercising. 

The food thing was weird though, my mother is anorexic and I don’t remember her being any other way.  I had a love for vegetables and fruits but really had no idea what appropriate food servings were.  We also had junk food in the house because that’s what my mother craved and would treat us all to on the weekends.  When I started dating my husband we ate out a lot and I wasn’t exercising much.  I gained a lot of weight without really noticing.

I started exercising again but still was eating out a lot and knew something had to change.  I started taking yoga and becoming very aware of my body.  I felt my belly was in the way of certain poses so I started Weight Watchers.  I learned portion control and better food choices; I lost over 30 pounds and felt pretty good.

Weight started creeping back over the years so I joined Weight Watchers again.  I lost a lot of weight, hit goal and started running.  I was training for a half marathon and was hungry all of the time.  I was tired of counting points, being hungry and frustrated so I met with a holistic health coach.  Suddenly things started making sense.  I began adding healthy fats into my diet and ditched the diet foods.   I had energy for my runs, for my family and didn’t need a caffeine or sugar boost at 3 pm.  I don’t count calories and my weight is stable.

At the same time running was helping me work out what was going on in my head and heart.  I knew there was a different career path out ther for me.  I liked being an administrative assistant but my passion was definitely helping others find what foods would empower them to take the next steps into their lives.  So I enrolled in school and started The Empowered Plate.  I love what I do and helping others reach their goals. 

I’d love to empower you to reach your goals.  The right foods play a big part in healing what’s going on inside of us.  Send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or visit my website, http://empoweredplate.com/, if you are ready to take that next step.

Back to Running

It’s been at least 8 months since I have been able to run.  On Saturday I got the go ahead to give it a try and run as tolerated by my podiatrist.  Whoo hoo!  Of course, I was a little nervous as well as eager.  I’m cautious when returning from injury and I tend to be concerned when I feel pain around the same site.  (I had a stress fracture in my hip a few years ago and when I started running again any pain in my hip freaked me out).

Now 8 months is quite a while to stop running so I’ve been run/walking. The first run was cautious with quarter mile intervals.  The second run was slightly more ambitious with walking a fifth of a mile and running a third of a mile.  Today’s run/walk was even better and I wore compression pants so my legs didn’t feel so achy.  (Really, bless the makers of CWX compression tights, they make the experience much more pleasant).  I forgot how much harder running seems when you haven’t done it in a long while!

It’s tempting to just let myself go but I know that’s the quickest way to re-injure myself.  For now I’m on the treadmill and I’m incorporating the walking intervals in my run. The treadmill is not my favorite but it is softer on my heel and the weather here hasn’t really inspired me to wanting to be outside.  I entertain myself with music, tracking my intervals, planning out what ever is going on in my head and writing my blog.  I get some of my best ideas when running. 

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.  I really want to do the 10K Mini in June.

Do you need some inspiration to exercise or try something new in your life?  Send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com and I’ll be happy to help you get started.  You can also check out my website at:  http://empoweredplate.com/