What Feeds Your Soul?

glowing skinI gave a talk to my business group on Wednesday morning. I presented on knowing what was out of balance in your life and what was working well. When something is out of balance it spills over into other parts of our lives, including our eating.


Think about the times you are stressed over money, work is busy or family time is sliding. It’s hard to keep those stresses contained to one little chamber. You may not think about it much during the day and then lie wide awake at night. Some of us reach for comfort foods or sit watching way too much television.

I didn’t do the exercise since I was speaking, however, I know things have been out of balance for me. This morning I was working in Pinterest and realized I was pinning a lot of summer fun activities and craft projects. I haven’t been creating much lately and it’s having an impact on me.

I took a little time and realized I’m not feeding my creative self, I need a little more time for self-maintenance and some sort of daily schedule so I’m not constantly eating dinner at 8 pm. I know once this is in balance my stress levels will drop.

I’m pretty good at having my clients figure out what they need to do but I’m not regularly following my own advice. I’m not perfect but I do want to walk my talk. It will benefit me and it will benefit them.

What’s out of balance in your life and who is it affecting? Sitting down for 15 – 20 minutes and filling out the Circle of Life can help you figure out what’s working and what’s not working in your life.

life-wheel-300x249This is similar to what I give my clients. 10 is very satisfied and 0 is very unsatisfied. Mark each section and then connect the dots. You will get an idea of what is out of balance. This will shift periodically, which is normal. The goal isn’t to have all 10s but to find a balance that is satisfying and works for you.



Need help on nourishing yourself, bother literally or emotionally? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to set up a strategy session.


Why I Laughed at the Trainer’s Ideal Weight For Me

WeightLiftingYesterday I had my complimentary training session with a trainer at my gym. I wanted a few tips on form and ideas on what to incorporate as I strengthen my hips and glutes. He was cool and I liked the moves, almost all of which I already do. We talked about goals in the post session assessment. And, of course, this always includes weight loss.

I have started to lose the extra weight I’ve gained over the last year, I have more to go. Stress over my husband and training for a marathon had me eating more than I should. (The food might be healthy but there was too much. I’m sure there were instances my choices could have been better as well). The goal the computer picked for me had me cracking up though.

Um, no, I may look good at 142 but I feel like crap. I’m tired and my body aches at that weight. A few pounds more and I’m a happy camper. I also will not count calories, calories are not created equal. And counting calories tends to lead me to crazy town. I’d rather focus on hitting nutrients and getting in my 9 servings of veggies. (Yes, 9. A serving is a 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables. It’s not that hard).

You could tell the trainer thought I was a bit nuts. I did explain why I won’t count calories and he understood. We both understand that there are many healthy, nutrient dense foods and that’s what I need to focus on with my training.

My current weight isn’t unhealthy, it’s just too much for me. My ideal weight is also well within healthy norms, just not as low as charts say it could be. As long as your body is healthy and strong don’t get caught up in a specific number or size. I have a few people who are my height and weight and none of us wear the same size. I’m no longer stuck on it.

I can run 18 miles. lift weights, touch the floor with straight knees and carry my 30+ pound dog when she’s afraid to go up stairs. That all means more to me than if I can wear a size 6 or 8 jeans.

Do you struggle with weight and body image? I’ve been there and it sucks. Shoot me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to discuss whether working with me is right for you. No blame, no shame – just getting healthy.

Do You Know What Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean and Macrobiotic Diets Have in Common?

Assortment of High Fiber FoodsDo you ever look at all the diets out there and think, who is right? Paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, macrobiotic and the raw foods diet all make a case as to why they are the healthiest choice for you. Some of their arguments make a lot of sense and others give me pause. I have a hard time believing all grains are bad for me but if it makes you happy to skip them, rock on.

They all actually do have their good points. They’re full of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein and low on refined sugars and packaged foods. Their common ground is that they are based on whole foods.

It’s easy to twist some of the principles of the various eating plans. Vegans may find themselves buying “fake meat” products and Paleo may be relying a bit too much on less healthy cuts of meat. But if you stick to the basic principles you get a pretty decent eating plan.

Another part of what makes this work is finding an eating plan that you can live with long-term. I’m very happy with a more Mediterranean style eating plan; I love fish, vegetables and salads. I can eat that way pretty much for the rest of my life. I can’t see myself living without having any type of grain, it doesn’t feel good to me; neither does eating a lot of wheat.

You may find that you are happiest without animal products. Or, perhaps, you really don’t care for grains and find the Paleo diet works for you. You are the only one who knows how food makes you feel.

My challenge to you is to pay attention to how you feel during the next week. Did your meal and snacks leave you feeling happy and satisfied? Were you grumpy or looking to pick afterward? Did you reach for certain foods when your mood was good and others when you were in a bad mood? How did you feel after you ate the foods you were craving?

These are clues that will help you find what foods best sustain you. The trick is listening to your body and then nourishing it in the best way possible for you.

Do you need help in figuring out which foods work best for you? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to set up a consultation. We will create a plan that works specifically for you and your busy life.