When Water Isn’t Enough After Working Out

I have been taking a particularly tough spin class twice a week. Once a week I take a Pilates mat class directly after. I have about 5 minutes to change my top, grab water, and get to the next class. Because I sweat a lot I add an electrolyte drink tablet to my water. It’s been noticed and I have been asked about it by a few women in both of my classes.

We often hear that you don’t need a sport drink when working out for an hour or less. While I do believe that in general there are cases where water alone is not enough. If you are working out hard for an hour and see salt streaks on your skin you probably need to replenish your electrolytes.

There are various options including coconut water or enhanced flavored waters. I use the electrolyte tablets for the sake of convenience, I keep a tube in my gym bag so I can just pop one into my water bottle as needed. I also like that there isn’t added sugar with these. I do prefer a sport drink when running distance but don’t find that I need it for a spin class.

Replenishing what you lose during class without taking in more calories than you spent is key. I see people sipping a sugary sport drink when doing moderate weight lifting and it’s just not necessary. In that case, water will work just fine. If you aren’t a fan of the taste add in a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange to give it a bit of flavor.

Occasionally I will eat half an energy bar in between classes or the whole thing if I didn’t have time for breakfast. I choose one that’s a mix of nuts and fruit. Fruit gives you the quick sugar energy burst and nuts provide a longer term energy with a mix of healthy fats and protein. I stick to bars with ingredients I can identify and are lower in sugar. ( for reference: 4g of sugar is a teaspoon).

Your body works optimally when you fuel it properly. While different eating plans work for different people, clean nutritious choices are a win no matter what dietary plan you follow.

Do you need help figuring out what foods work best for your body and lifestyle? Email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com to see how I can help you find that happy spot.

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.

5 Tools to Help You Reach Your Goals in 2014

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cropped-running-with-dog1.jpgI’m a gadget girl. I love things that will save time and make my life easier so I can stay on track and reach my goal. I’m on the hunt for a running watch this year so I can keep track of my pacing. Below are some things that can help with some of your resolutions:

Is your goal to increase your exercise this year? Why not try one of the fit devices that tracks your activity, food and sleep to help you stay on track. These devices sync online or with your phone so you can get a better overall picture of your  If that seems too complicated  a simple pedometer can also help. It will remind you of how many steps you’ve taken or how much more you have to do to reach your daily goal.

aquazing-sp-blueWant to drink more water? Buy a cute water bottle or to go cup that you will reuse. Plain water not your thing? I have an Aquazinger that lets you put fruit, cucumber or herbs in the bottom of the  container and mashes it a bit so it infuses the water with flavor. There’s a strainer in the bottom so the pulp does not float up into the water. I like to put in berries with a bit of basil or cucumber and mint. It came with a bunch of other suggestions as well.

Do you want to eat healthier? Bring your lunch along to work. There are some great bento box style lunch boxes that don’t look like you’ve brown bagged it and keep your food from getting squashed. I like the salad container from Fit and Fresh Salad Shaker Container. It has an ice pack and a container for the dressing. Twist the container and the dressing goes onto the salad. Give it a shake to coat and it’s ready to eat.

Want to work out at home? Consider buying a subscription to an online workout group, such as DailyBurn or Gaiam TV. You will get access to a variety of workouts that match up with your fitness level. It will keep you from getting bored while letting you try new videos. An added benefit is if the workout is not what you want you can switch to something else, unlike a gym class where you may feel stuck.

Finally, are you like me and lose your jewelry when going to the gym or yoga class? I once lost my engagement ring when I was getting a massage and I almost kissed the receptionist who spotted it in the corner of the room. I received an accessory pouch from Active Activities this Christmas and it’s genius. There is a ring holder, small pouch that holds my bracelet & earrings and slot for money or credit cards. You can even store your Ipod & membership card in it on the way to the gym. Love it! I’ve added photos so you can see what it looks like. I toss it in my yoga bag or purse and no more hunting for my jewelry.

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Need help in reaching your goals this year?  Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com,  for a complimentary 20 minute strategy session and together we can come up with the perfect plan for you.

Note: I did not receive any of these products for review nor do I receive compensation for the review. All opinions are completely my own.

Why I Will Not Do Another Running Streak

I did itI participated in a Turkey Trot Thanksgiving day after not having run for about a week. It was cold and I ran with some friends who were faster than me for motivation. I PR’d and on that high decided I would take part in the Runner’s World Running Streak Challenge. I would do at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. The idea behind the streak was to not lose running fitness during the holiday season.

I figured the days when I was supposed to rest I’d do one mile slow and days when I wanted to strength train I’d incorporate the mile as a warm up or as cardio intervals during the workout. The other days I would run as I normally did.

What I didn’t anticipate was disliking the challenge so much. It changed running from something I generally enjoy or feel good about doing into something I had to do. I started to dread the thought of getting a quick run in. A few days when I was very sore or tired I said to hell with it and walked instead. The mileage got done, even if I wasn’t technically running.

I also slowed down my strength training. Days when I pushed myself to run the mile or two I didn’t always feel like strength training too. Work was busy, the holidays were upon us and I squeezed the run in which left not much time for other workouts. Yes – I know people busier than me were working out but they also had someone making them dinner and cleaning their houses!

I saw it through as a matter of pride, so I could say I finished it. In the end I’d rather keep my fitness routine enjoyable so that I stick with it. For me that means cross training with activities that do not include running. I tell my clients pick something they love so they look forward to exercising, otherwise they will start making excuses not to do it. It’s advice I intend to follow as well.

Do you need help on your path to being a healthier version of you? I am starting a New Year’s Press the Reset Button Detox on January 19th. You will get to eat delicious meals, have support throughout the detox, lose weight and boost your energy. You get to pick the length of the detox. For more information or to sign up, click here.

Holidays Make Working out Seem Impossible?

treadmillAre you finding it hard to workout this season? It seems like there is so much to do; parties, shopping for gifts, cooking, baking and whatnot all on top of the regular day-to-day things that need to be done. It can feel overwhelming and it seems easy to let working out slide.

But a workout can also be the thing that helps you relieve any stress and gives you energy. It seems crazy but working out boosts our energy levels and fills us with those much talked about endorphins. It definitely beats punching out a fellow shopper out over the last item on your list or the boss who gives you yet another year-end project.

I get that time is tight, I signed up for the Runners World Running Streak challenge where you run at least one mile every day. I figure on days I’m so busy I can’t think I can get a little break and some exercise in one shot. I feel compelled to do it because I announced I would do it and tweet my daily runs.

Running from Thanksgiving to New Year’s not your thing? No worries you can go for a brisk walk or do whatever exercise makes you happy. Days when you have more time you work out longer and on days when time is tight you do 10 minutes. I even put a quick circuit together for you; you don’t need equipment just sneakers & comfortable clothing.

  • Warm up with 1 minute of jogging in place
  • Perform 1 minute of jumping jacks
  • Perform 1 minute of squats
  • Perform 1 minute of push ups (regular or modified)
  • Perform 1 minute of mountain climbers
  • Repeat circuit

You can also check out FitSugar or Self magazine’s websites, they have plenty of 10 & 20 minute workouts for the time crunched.

Need more tips on maintaining balance through the holidays? My twice a month newsletter has tips and articles that are delivered right to your email address every other Tuesday. Click here to sign up.

Do You Wear the Healthy Halo?

haloWhat are you chowing down on after a workout? Do you have the what I call the healthy halo effect? What I mean is that clients often tell me: I just worked out so I deserved to eat the doughnut, cake, cookies, bacon cheeseburger, whatever. The thing is you don’t usually work out so hard that you’ve actually burned that many calories.

Most of us don’t work out long or hard enough to actually offset the extra calories. (PSA: Even if you have worked out that hard your body performs best when it is fueled by real food). One large sports drink or Starbucks flavored latte and you may have had more calories than you worked off. If you walk at a moderate pace for an hour you’ve burned about 320 calories. A grande pumpkin spice latte without whipped creme is 310 calories and don’t get me started on the 10 teaspoons of sugar in that drink.

A better choice after your workout? Water, unsweetened coconut water or a coffee that’s flavored with spices rather than one flavored with syrup. Need a snack? Have an apple with some peanut butter or a piece of string cheese. I love tamari with seaweed flavored brown rice cakes with hummus: a little salty, creamy and crunchy all at once. Greek yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of low-sugar granola is another good snack.

You can have the treat once in a while but don’t kid yourself that you deserve it for working out. It’s something you enjoy and you have it occasionally, nothing wrong with that.

Do you struggle with food choices? Not sure what the best foods are to help you lose weight and keep it off for good? Do you want a way to live that’s not full of guilt or denial? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 20 minute power session where we will discover the top 3 issues you are having and leave you with a tip that you can start using immediately.

Too Tired to Workout? 7 Tips to Bust Your Exercise Rut

I did itI’m so busy, I don’t have time to work out. I get bored exercising. I’d do that run if it were another time of the year. I’m just so tired at the end of the day, I need to relax. I feel guilty taking time away from my family.

Any of those sound familiar? I hear them quite a bit from clients, friends and even my doctor as to why they don’t exercise. I understand time is tight, it’s tight for most of us. We have various obligations and things to juggle during the day. It seems so much more enticing to sit on the couch than to go for a run or lift weights.

A healthier you will give you more energy and put in you in a better frame of mind. It keeps you happy and healthy, which your loved ones also benefit from. You can’t take care of everyone else when you are run down.

So how can you make exercise work in your routine?

Partner up with a friend to walk, hike or play tennis, something you both enjoy and will hold each other accountable for showing up. You can catch up with each other and motivate each other.

Make it something the family can participate in. Do you run? Your kids could bike along with you. Put a basket on a bike to hold your water.

Change up where you workout to keep it fresh. Run, walk or bike in a new neighborhood to keep it fresh. Even reversing your route makes it more interesting. Take a new class or buy a new video. If the workout is boring you won’t do it.

Schedule workouts the same way you schedule meetings or clients. Put it in at a time that is going to best work for you. That may mean early morning or late afternoon. Most gyms are empty around 2 pm.

When time is really tight break your workout down into 10 or 15 minute increments. 10 minutes 3 or 4 times a day is a great workout. You can focus on arms for 10 minutes, legs for another 10, do 10 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of abs. Or you could do a full body 10 minute quickie workout, take walk breaks, dance, jump rope – the possibilities are endless.

Figure out what it is that you enjoy doing. You’re much more likely to follow through when it’s enjoyable. I love to dance and it never feels like I have to work out when a dance class is involved.

Sign up for a race or an event that you know you have to train for. Having a goal holds you accountable and you are more likely to keep up with your workouts.

Need help in creating a healthy balance in your life? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 30 minute power session to discuss your top 3 challenges.