Does Eating a Healthy Lunch Seem Impossible?

takeoutMost of my clients seem to have a problem with lunch. It’s hard when they order food with co-workers or have limited choices in the area. Being able to eat a bagged lunch isn’t always an option when you are an EMT or detective on call so we talk about making the best choices possible with the options available.

I also talk about how they actually feel when they order the General Tso’s chicken or loaded pizza. Usually it’s never a good feeling: tired, bloated, gross and/or nauseous. “But it tastes so good while I’m having it. And the healthy choices aren’t really fun.” (and yet it’s fun to feel gross)?

Lunch doesn’t have to be a salad in order for it to be a healthy choice.And it’s not the best choice if it leaves you hungry and raiding snacks 2 hours later! There are plenty of foods that are filling, delicious and leave you feeling energized.

So how do you meet the challenge of ordering a healthy lunch without feeling deprived?

  • Think about how you are going to feel afterward.
  • Order a food you actually enjoy.
  • Order a salad, sautéed vegetables or a broth based soup to start.
  • Choose foods that are not covered in batter, fried or drenched in sauce or cheese.
  • Add vegetables to your entrée.
  • Have a half-cup of whole grains (about the size of 1/2 a baseball)
  • Stick with water for your beverage or unsweetened iced tea.
  • Choose fruit if you need to have something sweet after eating.

Many menus have lighter choices or special diet options available. It’s a good way to see what the better options are and lets you tailor your order accordingly.

Need help making better choices in your eating plan? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a consultation. We can come up with a plan that works for you and your busy lifestyle.

Surviving a Long Run on the Treadmill

treadmillI signed up to run a 10 miler last weekend. Even as I signed up for it I wondered what I was getting myself into. On the other hand I had to train anyway, I hate to run indoors and a lot of my friends also signed up This race promised to be held no matter what the weather would be.

A few days prior to race day the weather predictions were grim: bitter cold temps, snow and heavy winds. Oh joy. The day before the race wasn’t too bad and I thought about running. I was committed to the race, though, so I decided to just bundle up and go for it.

I was out most of the day with my husband and didn’t see the email until 7 pm. The race was canceled. I was a little disappointed but also relieved. I really didn’t know how I would be able to run in 30+ mile an hour winds in 10 degree temps and now I wouldn’t have to.

Unfortunately I still had to do my long run, it was now after 7 pm and snowing out. There was no way I was getting a long run in and would have to run on the treadmill the next day. Blech, 12 miles on the treadmill did not sound fun at all. I recently read a blog post on how to survive a long run on the treadmill and decided to follow those tips.

I had music, movies, nutrition, sports drink and water. The benefit of running in your own home is the things you like are easily accessible and so is the bathroom! I couldn’t get the dvd player to work so I listened to music for the first 5 miles. After that I decided to grab my laptop and watch The Birdcage for the rest of my run.

The movie let me focus without thinking how many miles I had left or how much I dislike running in place for hours. I focused on the brilliance that was Robin Williams and made a plan to walk during my next nutrition break. (it’s very sad to think Robin Williams is no longer in this world).

Breaking the run into chunks also helped. it’s less daunting to think of the run as a 5 miler then a 12 miler. At mile 5 I walked a bit and had and half of my energy gel. Another 4 miles in I had the rest of my energy gel. (I will never buy Vega gels again, it was one of the most disgusting gels I’ve ever had). Then I only had 3 miles left, which didn’t seem daunting at all.

I finished up my run and felt like I really accomplished something. I may not want to repeat the experience any time soon but knowing I could do it was pretty empowering.

Do you run outdoors regardless of the weather?

How do you get through a long run on the treadmill?

Cross-Training Through Minor Injury and Some New Nutrition

guI haven’t been able to run for the past week. I did my long run on Saturday and my back was achy. No big deal, I thought. I got in 11.5 miles with the help of my training buddy and one of my coaches. I got home and stretched. As the day wore on the pain got worse.

I waited a day or two and tried again. Nope, the jarring was killing me. Even on the treadmill I just couldn’t take it. So, more cross-training this week. I figured out if I do the low-impact version of my workouts I could still get some cardio and strength in without the agony.

Then I did a not so brilliant move. I tried getting rid of some of the melting ice on our sidewalk. That’s when I knew exactly why my back was aching. I stopped and just sprinkled down more snow melt. The melt is working and my back thanks me.

I’ve been using the 21 Day Fix workouts by BeachBody. There are about 10 different workouts and my muscles know they’ve worked. It’s kind of funny that I work out consistently but this can kick my butt. They’re not all new exercises either. I’m glad it’s working, I’d like to avoid further injuries as marathon training progresses.

I usually stick with Honey Stinger chews as my fuel. I tried the Pomegranate Passion this week and I really liked it. It reminded me of a jam my grandmother used to make. I will definitely get more of those.

I also tried Gu’s Caramel Macchiato. I usually find gels sticky sweet but this was quite enjoyable. I used it prior to a 6 miler. (It had been a while since breakfast and I needed a boost). I may get a few to break up the chews. I also purchased Salted Caramel but haven’t tried it yet. I hope it’s as good as the macchiato. Yes, I love caramel.

I’ve signed up for a 10 miler Sunday. I’m hoping that my back is fine and I get through the hella cold weather they’re predicting. The race is on, no matter what the weather is. At least I’m running with friends.

What’s your favorite fuel?

What do you cross-train with?

Tips for running in 10 degree weather?

Rest Days and New Workouts

WeightLiftingRest days, I love them. I know fellow runners and fitness fiends who hate a rest day. I see it as an essential part of training, it’s the day my body repairs so I reap the benefits of my training. If I go too many days in a row without a rest day I tank.

I pushed it too much last week. I ran, walked around Universal Studios, worked out, and shoveled ice two consecutive days. Thursday was supposed to be a run or workout since I like to keep the day before my long run as a rest day. It would have been the 7th day of working out and I just could not do it. My back was sore and I was tired. I took the much needed rest day.

Normally I might have taken Friday off as well but I was feeling restless and I decided to work my upper body. I just started Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix so I knew I could choose the Upper Body Fix and not have if affect my legs for running. It was 30 minutes, worked arms, back, chest and abs – perfect! I worked but didn’t go crazy.

I have to say I really like the workouts that I’ve tried so far. They’re not crazy long and I can do two if I feel I need more exercise on a particular day. My legs tone fast but my arms take longer. I’m liking the exercises since they’re effective and simple to follow.

I belonged to a gym for nine years and I got tired of it. I now prefer working out at home. I am not motivated to go to the gym and wait for equipment. It drives me crazy. I like taking classes once in awhile but for the most part I like being home and doing my long run with friends.

I like Beachbody’s workouts and their Shakeology so much that I’ve decided to become a coach for them. Shoot me an email,  janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, if you’re curious about the workouts or want to try the shake.

I added spinach and cherries to vanilla, hence the odd color. It tastes like cherry vanilla.

Do you prefer working out at home or the gym?

Do you run alone or with others? (I do both. Some days I need to be alone and work stuff out. I like doing my long run with others though).

 

Winter Break, Running in the Warmth

OrlandoI went away with my husband for a long weekend last week. He booked a trip to Orlando for our 21st anniversary. It was wonderful to be warm for a few days! I took advantage of mornings that were in the 50’s and 60’s by running outside.

The hotel had a running path but it was .6 miles and even going off path didn’t bring me to a full mile. After 2.5 miles I left knowing I would be bored out of my mind trying to get to 6, no matter how lovely the route was.

I felt the kind of happy freedom I used to get when we were on break from school. So much so that I went out way too fast without realizing it. It was humid out so I thought maybe that was why I was getting tired. I started incorporating a few walking breaks into the run.

I did my usual pep talk. “You’ve got this, you’ve run in warmer temperatures with this humidity. You can do it. If you need to stop and buy water there are plenty of places to stop.” Yes, I should have brought water along too. Flying tends to dehydrate me which I didn’t take into consideration.

Still by the time I finished I felt pretty good, even though my watch told me I ran 20 seconds faster per minute than I have been. This is while following a run/walking plan! The next day I did a slower recovery run which felt easy.

Our flight home was cancelled due to winter storms. I fully took advantage by running on Monday morning, the businessmen in the lobby looked at me like I was crazy. I should have checked at the desk to see where a good place to run was but he was busy so I just went out.

It turned out to be perfect. The hotels and corporate park had man made ponds, gardens, ducks and the Marriott even had a vegetable and herb garden. Props to the Marriott, they had a beautiful outdoor area. Hammocks and Adirondack chairs by their lake, gardens, comfy seating around the pool and outdoor bar. I imagine the inside was also lovely if they took this much care with the outside.

I’m back in the cold and not looking forward to the layers and freezing cold!

What weather do find optimal for running?

Do you run or workout while on vacation?