You are Better Than the Free Cone

DQ2Dairy Queen was giving out free ice cream cones last week and I mentioned to a past client that I didn’t like their ingredients. She commented leave it to a nutritionist to suck the joy out of a free cone. Ouch. I was going to apologize but I really wasn’t sorry.

I stand by it and own it. There are way better choices out there. Just because something is free doesn’t mean I need to go have it. (If Van Leeuwen wants to hand out free ice cream I will definitely wait in line). Read the labels on your ice cream, do you know the ingredients and do they belong in your food?

It reminds me of super-sizing an order. We go for it because it seems like such a good deal without regard to what it does to our bodies.Do you really need a jumbo soda, double burger and enough fries to feed a family for yourself? Do you need the Venti Mocha Frappucino from Starbucks with whip? (My friend had one of these every day and asked me what I thought the calorie count was. FYI: it’s 520 calories with 80 g of sugar. That is 20 teaspoons of sugar).

I love ice cream, it’s one of my favorites. My advice is to try to be mindful about the ingredients and make the better choice. Keep your portions manageable and enjoy every bite or sip of your treat.

Want a quick and easy treat? It’s not really a recipe because it’s ridiculously simple. No ice cream maker needed.

Banana Soft Serve

Freeze a large very ripe banana (peeled). Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes and put it in your blender or food processor. Instant banana soft serve. You can add cacao, peanut butter, coconut or another frozen fruit if you like. I like mine with 1 – 2 TBS of cacao powder and a little almond butter. It’s satisfying, fun. and easy.

Need help in making better decisions in your eating plan? Not sure what portions should look like? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, and we can come up with a plan that works for you.

 

 

Ran My First 18 Miler in the Fog and Drizzle

P5030008A huge first for me – I ran 18 miles in one run. What a feeling of accomplishment! Yes, I know I’m going to be running a marathon next month but it’s really empowering to know I can go out and do 18 now.

Yes, I was tired and I didn’t do much that evening. My legs are sore and I did my recovery run today rather than yesterday. Instead I walked a bit, did upper body strength and stretched my lower half out with some yoga.

Today’s recovery run was tough and it was slow. Well recovery runs aren’t supposed to be speedy. I did feel like my gait was off, especially with my right leg. I stopped to stretch along the way and I used the foam roller while dinner was cooking. I’ll be icing it in a bit as well.

It was pouring when I woke up and it was cold. The forecast was for light showers in the afternoon and happily my running partner was fine with running later.

What got me through the run? A few things. I was smart about hydration the day prior and the morning of my run. I made sure to eat enough carbs to keep me full but not make me feel bloated. I took my nutrition with me and made sure to take it early and regularly. I also varied what I was having: chews, a gel and a Honey Stinger Waffle. The waffle is like eating a thin cookie and I LOVE it. (a little too much truth be told – I don’t keep many on hand so I only use them for runs rather than snacking away on them)

I visualized running strong and completing the 18 miles. I read a post that the brain cannot tell the difference between an event that actually happened and one we imagined happening. Visualize finishing a race and feeling good and your brain thinks it actually happened. I’m hoping this really lessens my pre-race jitters!

The biggest motivator on my run was my friend who met me for the last 9 miles. She knew I was a little tired and was easy-going about our pace. She kept up a nice conversation and didn’t get offended if I wasn’t overly chatty back. I was very grateful that she came out in the drizzle and getting me through that run!

How do you motivate yourself on a long run?

Do you prefer to run alone or with someone?

What’s your favorite nutrition when running?

A Surprising Good Run

a normal shot before my extra gear.

a normal shot before my extra gear.

I had a miserable sinus and respiratory infection that knocked me on my butt. The doc told me no running last weekend and to be honest, I couldn’t have even if I wanted to. A week later I felt okay so I did an easy 3 mile run. In theory it was easy, in practice it was pretty tough. I wanted to get some runs in before Sunday’s 10 miler in Prospect Park. I figured it would be miserable to have that as my first run after being sick.

Saturday I went out for 5 so I could get my 15 in. It was crazy cold again and it made the run harsh. I was feeling dizzy at times and after 4 miles my coach told me to pack it in, knowing I would run the mile home. Mission accomplished but it wasn’t a fun one.

with my buddies, in my crazy person garb.

with my buddies, in my crazy person garb.

Sunday, however, was much better. I felt better, it was warmer out and I’m not really familiar with the park so I had some new sites to look at. It’s a good thing my friends like me because I looked like a crazy person. I grabbed a sweater and sweatpants out of the clothing to donate pile. The sweater was covered in cat hair and the sweats were two sizes too big and cropped. All I needed was a bag on my head to complete the look…

The race was three laps of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The first mile was downhill followed by a long rolling hill that felt like it was never going to end. By the third time I was pretty sick of the damn hill. The good part is 3 wonderful people stood out there loudly cheering runners on. I think they were with the track club and I enjoyed their enthusiasm.

I did a walk/run after the first 2 miles. I knew I wouldn’t get through running straight since I was still congested and coughing a bit. My time wasn’t too far off from what it would have been had I run the whole race, which made me pretty happy. I wasn’t expecting anywhere near as good a race as I had.

How do you get through races when you aren’t feeling your best?

How do you stay warm pre-race?

 

Does Cheating on your Diet Mean You Can Eat Junk All Day?

Most mornings I eat oatmeal. I like it, it’s easy and I don’t have to think too much about it. Changing the toppings changes the taste and keeps me from getting bored. (If you think oatmeal is boring check out these ideas from Greatist). In the summer I switch to overnight oats or a smoothie.

Every now and then I want something different. This morning I was craving a muffin. Usually I will make a healthy version of a muffin and call it a day. Not this morning. There were double chocolate muffins in the freezer downstairs and that is exactly what I wanted, topped with peanut butter. It was delicious and I won’t pretend it was healthy, it wasn’t.

I don’t beat myself up on the days I eat a muffin for breakfast or have a cookie after lunch. Nor do I use it as an excuse to eat whatever junk foods I feel like eating during the day. Eating healthily is not an all or nothing proposition. If your eating isn’t stellar at one meal make up for it with a healthy choice at the next meal.

Lunch was a green protein shake: vanilla Shakeology, raw cacao powder, kale, avocado and strawberries. It was nutrient dense, delicious and it felt good on my sore throat. (I’ve been sick, which is why my blog was sporadic this week). I could have had a number of healthy choices but this sounded really good today. Snacks included a blood orange and almonds, dinner will also be a nutritious choice as well.

Trying to eat on point at every meal is not going to work in the long-term for most of us. It’s a crazy-making and ventures into the realm of disordered eating. I had a friend who used to cry after eating dessert, she felt like a failure. Over.one.dessert. I used to chew a cookie and spit it out. Now I eat the cookie, enjoy it and add extra vegetables and less starchy carbs at the next meal.

It’s about balance and maintaining your sanity.

Do you need help achieving that healthy balance in your meals? I can help you with that, email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com and we can set up a time to talk. Are you interested in learning more about Shakeology? I’m happy to answer your questions about that as well!