Motivation, Part Two and Team in Training

This post is going to be slightly different from what I usually blog. 

Some of you know I got my start in running with Team in Training, which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I was looking for a challenge, I was a little bored with my job and I wanted something to shake up my exercise routine.  I got all of that and so much more. I received step by step training from trained coaches, cross training tips, nutrition tips, hand holding and fund raising assistance.  I met some really amazing people, developed a real liking for running and had a commitment to something important.

I was able to run a half-marathon, 13.1 miles; a distance I never dreamed I’d be able to run.  I did not start running until I was 40 years old and to go from no running to 13.1 miles was something that was incredibly empowering.  And I’ve done it more than once!  I went on to become a mentor for Team in Training so I could encourage others the way my mentor, Patti, encouraged me.  Patti has gone on to become the coach of our team and I do nutrition talks for the different groups.  I’m also mentoring again for the 10K Mini (named for the mini-skirt).  It’s all female race and it’s full of energy.  I really look forward to running it again.

When I’m tired and I don’t really feel like running I think about those who want to be active and just can’t at the moment.  I think of those we’ve lost to cancer, including my father and various family  members.  I think of those who are undergoing treatment and those who have survived.  I run for all of them.  And I know the money I’ve raised helps pay for medicine, research, gives patient support and information and helps patients families as well. (there is an annual statement so you can see what the costs are and where the money goes – gotta love that). 

I would love for you to join me this Saturday as we kick off our training.  Walkers, walk/runners and runners are all welcomed.  There are various chapters throughout the country so you can be involved no matter where you are located.  A final way to help is to donate.  My page is not up yet but it will be very soon.  I welcome all donations, no amount is too small.  With your donation if there is a family member you would like honored or remembered and I’ll put his/her name on my running jersey. 

Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, if you want further information or have questions. 

What Motivates You When You Really Want to Stop?

I was heading for the shower when my husband asked how my run was.  “It sucked,” I told him. “It was one of those runs when you look at the mileage and see you’ve only gone 1.25 when you just want to be done.”  He was very sympathetic and wanted to make sure I wasn’t in pain and that my foot was okay.

Yes, everything was okay.  I had the usual twinges and things but nothing that was horrible.  It was just one of those runs, if you run you most likely know what I mean.  I couldn’t really find my rhythm and had to walk a little bit during the run.  I don’t mind the walking but I do hate feeling like I’m slogging along.  I even took 1/2 a gel packet to see if I’d get a burst of energy.  It worked, whether it was real or psychological I had the energy to finish. 

I did think about just walking but I really wanted to get a run in.  I also thought about a woman who posted on a friend’s facebook page.  She was raising her granddaughter, working full time, going to school, undergoing treatment for breast cancer and she still worked out three times a week.  If she can do that I can run 3 miles, even if I need to take a walk break. 

Honestly, we all have bad workout days at some point.  I stop if I’m ill or in real pain, I’m not crazy.  When it’s just twinges or muscles I haven’t said hello to in a while I keep going.  I may slow it down a bit but I find the motivation to keep going.

So what’s your motivation?  What is the one thing that can get you moving?

Not sure what motivates you?  Are you looking to start taking better care of yourself?  I may be able to help you.  Visit my website, http://empoweredplate.com, fill out a health form and I will contact you to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation.  I am available for in person and phone consultations. 

5th Day of the Cleanse

I’m on day 5 and it has been okay.  I had a few hungry moments and some sugar cravings the first day or two.  I don’t miss the snack foods so much but I do miss eggs, fruit, and the occasional teaspoon of honey in my tea.  I also wanted a glass of wine last night but I lived without it.  I had plenty of other food choices so it’s not a terrible cleanse, just more restrictive than I normally eat.

I feel fine, I have energy and I’m eating good clean meals.  I did this so that I would be more mindful of my snacking.  I feel I was reaching for things when I wasn’t really hungry as well as reaching for sweets a little more often.  Healthy or not I really don’t need the extra sugar.  My other reason for participating is that I like to avoid dairy during my prime allergy months and this would help me stop eating it.  I feel less congested and suffer less when I don’t have cow’s milk during allergy season.  I miss yogurt then but there’s coconut milk yogurt and ice cream if I really want a treat. 

What I am aware of are that these are choices I make and not a plan that I have to follow.  I can be flexible because it’s not detrimental to my health.  For others skipping gluten and/or dairy is not a choice, it’s something that must be done for health reasons and is a way of life.  Going on a ten day cleanse is a good way to see if you have a food sensivity, 5 days doesn’t really give you enough time for that.  After ten days you would slowly start adding foods back to see if there’s a sensitivity. 

It is one of the services I offer in my practice.  If you think you would like to try a cleanse or talk more about your health send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com

Turmeric Coconut Water

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI fell in love with this spicy beverage at a tasting in Whole Foods.  The thing is, it’s pricey and I don’t have a Whole Foods near my house.  So I decided to find turmeric root and get a container of coconut water from Trader Joe’s, which is happily near my house, and try to recreate this drink.  I think I did pretty good with the help of recipes from blog posts by Ruth on Tera Werner’s site, http://www.terawarner.com/blog/2010/07/raw-recipes-fresh-turmeric-juice/,  and The Starving Fox, http://starvingfox.blogspot.com.

The Middle Eastern grocery store up the block from my house carries turmeric root, it’s ugly and looks like grubs.  It’s bright orange inside and stains your hands yellow, so wear gloves to protect your hands if you decide to make this.  And you might want to put some newspaper over your counter as a precaution.  I know I’m not the only messy person out there.

Turmeric root is touted for it’s anti-inflammatory properties; helps to guard against cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s; reduces the negative impact of a high fat meal; and helps improve skin related issues such as psoriasis, acne and sun damage. But, best of all, I love the taste.

Turmeric Coconut Water

5 – 7 pieces of turmeric root (about 3″ or the size of your index finger)
1 piece of ginger root (about 3″)
1/2 cup of warm filtered water
2 cardamom pods
2 Tbs raw honey
1 lemon
2 cups of coconut water or plain filtered water
1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (plain sea salt will work)
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
A pinch of cayenne

Juice the turmeric root, ginger and lemon.  Put the turmeric root pulp through another time or two to get all of its juice out.

In the meantime warm the 1/2 cup of filtered water until it barely comes to a simmer.  Add in the cardamom and the honey, whisking the honey until it’s dissolved.  I let the cardamom sit in there for 10 minutes.

Pour this mix through the juicer when you are finished juicing the turmeric root & ginger.

Add in the sea salt, cayenne, black pepper and the coconut water.

4 oz is a serving, store the rest in a covered glass container in the fridge.

Notes:
You could add orange and/or pineapple and leave the honey out.  I like the antibacterial properties of honey so I added it in.

Another option is to put the roots in a high-powered blender and then strain the liquid out.  (then you could just mix in the other ingredients).

Let me know if you make this and how it goes.

What Is In Our Food?

This week I’ve received a lot of emails and Facebook posts on things that are in our food that shouldn’t be.  It’s disturbing and I wonder how many people are aware of just what they are eating.

I had a conversation last night about organic foods and someone told me she does not believe in them because organic milk lasts too long.  Yes, the sell by date is longer because it’s ultra-pasteurized.  I’m not a fan of ultra-pasteurization but I’d rather not have antibiotics and growth hormones in the milk my family drinks.  Truth be told, I’m not a milk drinker.  I tend to use unsweetened almond milk to make smoothies or oatmeal but it’s rare I sit down and drink a glass of milk.  I do enjoy Greek yogurt and cheese though and I don’t want those added ingredients.

I buy evoo because I don’t want to use corn oil and yet certain olive oils are being cut with corn, palm and hazelnut oils.  I’m allergic to hazelnuts so that can be dangerous as well as deceptive.  Mass market honey is often cut with corn syrup.  These extra ingredients are not put on the label.

I don’t want beaver anal gland extract, aka castoreum, in things that are artificially raspberry flavored.  (really, does that not make your stomach turn)?  Propylene glycol is anti-freeze and is added to some cake mixes.  Sodium Laurel Sulfate is what makes shampoo sudsy and it’s in a box of angel food cake mix I had in my cabinet.  I specifically do not buy shampoo with this ingredient as it is an irritant and it can cause diarrhea if ingested. Not what I want from a cake mix.

I’m not suggesting to never buy a packaged product but I am saying that you need to read labels, read up a little bit on companies and buy brands that are more committed to your health.  I do not always have the time to bake from scratch, although it is what I prefer.  I have a few brands that I trust and I use them.  Sometimes they cost a little more and sometimes they do not.  Knowing I’m not eating anti-freeze or shampoo ingredients kind of makes it priceless.

Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, if you would like to talk further about what is in your food and ways to eat better.

Snacks – Part of a Healthy Eating Plan

As a health coach I inevitably get asked two questions:  Can I have snacks?  What should I be eating?

Yes, of course you can eat snacks.  I like snacks and find that if I go more than 4 hours without eating I start to fade and my concentration isn’t the best.  A lot of people think of snacks as chips, pretzles, candy, etc. I think of those more as treats.  A snack is something to tide you over until meal time and a treat is a special item that you don’t eat regularly. 

There are some great snack choices available, no matter where you are.  I carry snacks with me when I know I’ll be out working, running errands or out of the house all day.  I keep portable items such as fruit, yogurt, nuts, trailmix, or a healthy energy bar, like a Larabar, in my bag.  This way when I’m hungry I’m not grabbing for the first thing I see.  I know the ingredients are healthy and it’s something I enjoy.

On the off chance that I do forget my snack or I’ve missed a meal and need an additional snack, I know I have options.  At a deli or convenience store  I will get a piece of fruit and either a string cheese or a yogurt.  Sometimes they have the small servings of hummus and baby carrots – I love those. At the drug store I’ll pick up a Larabar or a Bora Bora bar – something made with fruit, nuts and other ingredients I recognize.  If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t buy it.  I’ve even run into a fast food place and purchased the small yogurt parfait or a salad.  I just go in with a plan and stick to it so I’m not walking out with french fries and then wishing I ate something healthier.

What are your favorite snack strategies?

Are you looking to put together a healthier eating plan but not sure where to start? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and we can see if I am the one to help you get started.  You can also visit my webpage: http://empoweredplate.com/.