Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Want to Excercise Today...

I have no idea why but I really did not feel like exercising today.  Normally I'd give myself the day off and take it as the rest day for the week.  The problem with that is I didn't exercise yesterday either and Sunday was a light day.  Since I'm not sick and there's no real reason I can't exercise I played Let's Make a Deal.  I would do a 10 minute exercise video and then go from there.

I periodically change the rules of Let's Make a Deal to suit my needs for the day.  Today I had to do the 10 minute total body workout and then I could either stop if I was exhausted, go on to do more strength training or just pick a fun cardio workout to do.  This way I know I tried and I could stop at any time.

I felt really good after the total body so I kept going.  I did Bootylicious Buns 3, which has a silly name but has me gasping for air and rubbing out my glutes, and then an arm & upper body workout.  I followed it up with 25 minutes of Yoga to the Rescue to stretch out my sore spots.

Pretty good for someone who didn't want to workout.  I know it's easy to talk yourself out of exercise, I had some really good excuses for years.  But now I know I just feel better when I give it a go.  In all the years I've been playing Let's Make a Deal I've only stopped about 3 times.  I don't regret stopping, my body couldn't handle it and needed the rest more than it needed to be pushed.  Then again 3 times in about 13 years really doesn't add up to much.

How do you get yourself motivated when you would rather log some couch time?

Email me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com to discuss this further or if you are looking for some support during this holiday season.  You can also visit my website:  http://empoweredplate.com/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday I talked about having a good breakfast; lunch or snack, depending on when you eat dinner; and getting some exercise in.  I realize some of you will be cooking and thinking, yeah Janine, I have no time to exercise.  So here's a bonus for you:  Women's Health Magazine posted a 15 minute workout.  3 circuits of:  squats, chest presses, bent over rows and bicycles.  12-15 reps each set with one minute of rest in between.   Here's the link:  http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/total-body-workout.

Enjoy your dinner.  Savor what you eat, eat mindfully and enjoy the experience.  If you are looking to eat a bit healthier take turkey and veggies first, then take a small spoon of the foods you love and aren't as healthy.  Don't deprive yourself but don't eat until you can't breathe comfortably.  If you are a guest you can bring a healthy dish along with you.  My in-laws have plenty of food but I really love roasted Brussels Sprouts with some slivered almonds and balsamic vinegar reduction.  It makes me happy and it's healthy.

Dessert can be my weakness.  I love homemade desserts, boxed I can pass on.  So I either find one dessert that I truly want and enjoy it or I sample two or three (I'm being honest here).  Sample sizes are small so that they're only a few bites each.   (think butter knife width). 

Remember sugary drinks and alcohol are also calories.  If you're looking to curb, have 2 glasses of water for every alcoholic drink.  Skip sodas and go for seltzer with lime and orange or unsweetened or lightly sweetned iced tea, such as homemade or Honest Tea.  (I'm not a fan of diet drinks, I don't like the chemicals).

If you do overindulge don't beat yourself up.  Have some peppermint to ease discomfort (tea or those little round mints) and take a 20 minute walk.  Remember Friday is a new day and the holiday is over then. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

You can reach me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com if you would like some support during this holiday season. I'm happy to do a free health history with you and help you set up some goals and strategies. You can also visit my website for further information: http://empoweredplate.com/.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gearing up for Turkey Day

Right now I'm having a Savory Day.  A Savory Day is a day when I don't eat sweets at all.  It lets me balance out from the anniversary party I went to on Saturday and prepare for Thanksgiving Thursday.  I'm eating oatmeal with strawberries for breakfast, tuna on Ezekiel bread and salad for lunch and dinner is fish and vegetables.  If I need a snack it will be nuts or some carrots & hummus.  It's also a Whole Foods day, nothing I'm eating is processed.  It lets my body regroup from some eating that may not have been the healthiest choices.  These are good days to incorporate throughout the holiday season.  You're not starving yourself nor are you constantly depriving yourself. 

I'm also exercising.  I like getting a good sweat on, my brain is happy and I'm ready for any drama that may occur during the upcoming holiday.  There's something about families in one location that brings out the crazy, but whatever.  I'm ready to deal.

On Thanksgiving it's important to do something for yourself before you have a crowd over or before you're part of a crowd.  Go for a walk or run, do some yoga or dance around the house.  Just do an exercise that makes you happy and gets you balanced.

I make sure to eat a good healthy breakfast.  Fasting until the main event just leaves you hungry and your blood sugar out of wack.  No one wants to hang out with a grumpy hungry person.  It will also keep you from diving into the food.  Having food in your system lets you think about what you want to eat and enjoy the food, rather than mindlessly grabbing and eating.   We eat mid-day so I usually have some fruit and almond butter or string cheese around noon.  Enough to tide me over but not leave me full. 

Tomorrow I'll talk more about the main event.  I believe in enjoying the holiday and not beating myself up over something I ate.  Stay tuned for some tips & tricks.

You can reach me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com if you would like some support during this holiday season.  I'm happy to do a free health history with you and help you set up some goals and strategies.  You can also visit my website for further information:  http://empoweredplate.com/.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Feeling Too Lazy to Cook?

I would say we all have days when we just don't feel like making dinner or forgot to take something out to prepare.  The planning, the prep and the cooking just all seem overwhelming.  Or we're hungry and we really just want to eat.  Wouldn't take out be so much easier and quicker we ask ourselves.  Then again, delivery is not always speedy and they're not always the best food choices either. 

I'm not saying don't ever have take out but treat it as a once in a while plan rather than a staple.  You really do better when you are the one controlling the ingredients and the portion sizes.  We tend to eat more when there is a big portion in the take out container and there is way more fat, sugar and sodium in restaurant meals than home cooked.   (Unless you are Paul Deen of course)!

On those nights I make quick emergency meals.  I have a few staples on hand that will let me build a variety of meals.  Frozen shrimp, canned tomatoes, artichokes (frozen or canned) and brown rice (frozen left over rice) have saved me on a few occasions.  Beans are another go to choice.  I always have some veggies on hand and will use frozen if I'm low on fresh ones.  Quinoa cooks up quickly as does wheat couscous.  Nitrate free bacon along with a vegetable omelet and sprouted grain toast is a fun twist on dinner too. 

Storing leftover soup in indivual containers and freezing is also a quick dinner.  Make a salad or a sandwich to go along with it and you have an easy quick meal.  Sauce can be frozen and heated up by the time your pasta cooks as well.  (I prefer whole wheat or brown rice pasta myself).

The trick is to be a little creative with what you stock.  I buy what I enjoy eating and can be made in about 15 minutes.  By the time it would take to figure out what I want from take out my dinner is on the table.   It's better for my body and for my wallet.

If you would like to talk more about this or for a free health consultation please contact me at:  janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or visit my website:  http://empoweredplate.com/.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weight Loss: Nutrition, Exercise or Both?

I have lost and kept off about 60 pounds.  I did it mostly through a combination of diet and exercise.  I say mostly because the first time I joined Weight Watchers online I had a back injury and really couldn't exercise.  I was in a lot of pain, it was winter and I didn't want to walk alone at night.  I still lost weight. 

When I was able to start exercising I lost more weight and saw my body shape improve.  Things tightened up and looked better.  I had more energy and more confidence which motivated me to keep eating better.  It was a loop that worked well.  Early on my trainer told me that while the gym would help with the weight loss it was ultimately what I was eating that would have the biggest impact.  I could eat well or I could self-sabotage.  Exercise would account for approximately 20 - 30 percent of weight loss, nutrition would account for the rest.

Eventually Weight Watchers and I parted ways.  While I appreciated being taught portion control and better choices I was too hungry to stick with their diet for the rest of my life.  With the help of a Health Coach I found an eating plan that worked better for me.  I still exercise a lot and I eat mostly whole foods.  I don't count calories or points but I do keep track of what I eat.  When I don't keep track of my food I tend to be a little more indulgent and suffer from "food amnesia."  Forgetting what I ate and snacking more than I really should leads me to put on the pounds.  I'd rather keep track and see what foods give me better energy and a better mood throughout the day.

Trying to lose weight and tired of the diet treadmill?  Training for a running event?  Or maybe you just want more energy or to eat better than you currently do?  Send me an email at:  janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or visit my website at:  http://empoweredplate.com/.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Strength Training - A Love/Hate Relationship

It's true, I really don't love strength training.  Going to the gym and lifting weights is monotonous to me.  I would procrastinate going any day when weights were on my agenda.  I loved the way I looked from lifting but it was so dull.  I wanted to incorporate it because there are some really good benefits to strength training besides the muscle definition.  It is the best way to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis; it improves your biomechanics and helps prevent falling; it eases arthritis pain and, my favorite, you boost your metabolism by 15%. 

The trick was making strength training enjoyable.  (I can hear some of you snorting).  For me having a trainer helped.  I learned good form, to trick my muscles by switching routines every few weeks and ways to double up by doing arms and legs together.  The downside was the cost, it really added up after awhile.  I then joined a class that did body conditioning and when that stopped working in my schedule I bought some exercise tapes. 

I also discovered my favorite way to shake up my routine:  Exercise on Demand.  I can access it via the web and on cable tv.  Different routines, different trainers and it's ready when I am.  Maybe not as good as having someone live with you but it definitely makes the workout more enjoyable.  And when I don't like the trainer or the routine, I stop it and pick out something else.  Trust me, there is no way I would choose to do 70 pushups on my own.  When Jari Love or Chris Freytag say do pushups, I do them. 

To discuss ways to switch up your workout or your health goals/concerns contact me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or visit my website at:  http://empoweredplate.com/.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How do you soothe yourself?

I'm having a sad day, I've had a series of annoying days.  Not disasters, just annoying and now it's one of those days when I want comfort and a there there.  Unfortunately most of my friends, as well as my husband, are at work and not available for a walk or talk.  So I've been doing little things for myself throughout the day that mostly don't involve food.  It's easy when I'm sad to look for something chocolatey and gooey to make me happy.  (really, who doesn't love a warm chocolate chip cookie)?  The thing is I know it will only make me temporarily happy.  And I won't be so happy when my jeans don't zip as easily as they should!

So today I decided I'd have a plain Greek yogurt with frozen strawberries and a drizzle of honey.  Still delicous but much friendlier to my body.  Then I played with the dog.  It's hard to stay sad when Missy is getting such joy out of chasing her rope around the house.  Her whole body shakes and she smiles her doggy grin. 

I made sure to work out and do something that would take my concentration as well as make me sweat.  Certain exercises are so familiar you just end up going through the motions and I knew my mind would just wander.  I wanted to be present and engaged so Athletic Agility it was.  The endorphins did their trick.

Finally I turned the radio and Pink Floyd was on.  I turned the dial to something more upbeat and fun.  Lady Gaga makes me dance and that makes me happy.   More endorphins and I'm having a much better afternoon.

So what do you do on a day you need soothing?

To discuss this further or for a free health history contact me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or visit my website:  http://empoweredplate.com/.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I've been craving chocolate and coffee.  Not together but there you have it. I'm picky about my coffee: I don't like it like it weak, when it tastes burned or is articially flavored.  I didn't want to make a pot because I really only drink about 4 - 6 oz of coffee, once or twice a week.  It would be a waste of coffee and I guess I didn't want it that badly or I would have made a small amount.  But yesterday afternoon I had a headache that I couldn't shake and had to have the coffee.  My favorite place had too long of a line.  They brew each cup individually so coupled with a line of 10 people I would have been late for my client meeting.  Hello Whole Foods!  No line and they brewed my Cafe Au Lait for me right then and there.  It was good and the craving is gone.

Today I caved to the chocolate craving, for breakfast no less.  I had a smoothie with banana, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, tablespoon of almond butter, chia and two tablespoons of cacao powder.  It made my smoothie into something special.  Cacao powder is a raw unsweetened chocolate powder containing antioxidants, iron, magnesium (considered the relaxation mineral - bonus) and it's low in calories and fat.  Both chia and cacao are considered Mayan superfoods which increase energy and health. 

Often times a craving is the body's way of telling you you're missing a mineral or vitamin that you need.  Other time it's the comfort we crave.  Either way there are ways to curb cravings with natural foods and better choices than we sometimes make.  For salty cravings olives help and for creamy cravings avocados or bananas might work.  Don't get me wrong, there are days when only a piece of quality dark chocolate or salty tortilla chips will do and I have them.  But most days I'm satisfied with real food and I can move on with my day rather than thinking about the one food constantly.  

If you would like to discuss cravings with me or for a free health history please contact me at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com or visit my website: http://empoweredplate.com/