Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quinoa Salad Recipe

The weather has been hot and humid these last few days.  Cooking doesn't seem that appealing and, while I get hungry, my appetite isn't huge when the weather is warm.  This weekend, in honor of the unofficial start of summer, we decided to grill and eat in the backyard.  I wanted something light, nutritious and that could be eaten as a main meal or as a side dish, I'm ambitious that way.  Pasta salad came to mind but I wanted more protein and fiber.  Quinoa was the natural choice since it's quick, full of protein and fiber, and I always have it in my pantry.

If you want a heartier meal you can either add in cubed chicken or chickpeas.  You can also have the salad as a side dish.  Feel free to use what ever vegetables you prefer or have on hand.

Quinoa Salad
1C dry quinoa, rinsed well
2C water
1C chopped broccoli
1C chopped cauliflower
1C chopped green beans
1C cherry tomatoes (cut in half if large)
3/4C chopped zucchini
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4C slivered almond (or almond pieces)

Juice of one lemon
2 - 3 TBS white white vinegar
2 TBS olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 TBS minced chives or 1 Tsp dried chives
1 Tsp honey to sweeten if needed

Boil the quinoa with the 2 cups of water and turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, steam or blanch the broccoli, cauliflower and green beans for 2 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.

Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette.

When quinoa is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain again, put quinoa into a large bowl and add in all of the vegetables and almonds.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly.  You can eat this at room temperature or chilled.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My First Race in About a Year

Sunday I had my first race since last June's 10k Mini in Central Park, I ran the Hair of the Dog 5k at Silver Decoy Winery in NJ.  The race benefits local pet rescues, dogs are welcome and there's wine tasting and a festival afterward.  I figured that would be right up my alley so I signed on.

It was good to be running a race again.  I wasn't out to win my age group or even PR, I just wanted to be back in the game.  It was very warm for May and a bright sunny day.  I forgot my Ipod but that didn't bother me too much; I'm pretty social and will talk to other runners here and there along the way.  I even trotted out my Team in Training mentor skills on people who said they were "dying" along the way.

A lot of people ran or walked with their dogs.  There was no sort of rhyme or reason to line up so I tried to stay away from anyone with a dog.  Let's fact it, I'm clumsy and I didn't want to be caught up in a leash.  As it was a few dogs realized I am a dog lover and would jump on me as they ran near me.  (cats do this too, it's very odd.  I was the child who legitimately said this cat followed me home).

The beginning and the end of the course were in the sun, which was not the fun it's purported to be when you're running.  There were hills but I needed them since I'm doing the 10k Mini at Central Park in a few weeks.  Happily there was a water station going out and coming back.  There were bowls of water for the dogs but I really wish more owners brought water for their pups.  Dogs cannot handle the heat the way we can and they're wearing fur coats.

Around mile 2 I had some self doubt thoughts but I banished them quickly.  I knew I was in good shape and I knew I could finish.  I used to think mantras were corny but now I find them really helpful when I run.  So Yes I Can, Yes I Will and Yes, I Have run through my brain.  I also picked a woman and her lovely dog, Diana, to pace me. I had the feeling I was running too fast so I wanted someone who looked like she had a steady pace.

Diana is a hunter dog and she was able to pick out the less crowded spots to run, was focused and determined.  Her owner was also very nice but I didn't catch her name.  They made the last mile very pleasant and I was glad I didn't have my Ipod in.

So now I'm ready for the 10k and I'm excited.  I ran a moderately hilly course in the sun and heat and I did fine.

What are your exercise goals?  I find that it's important to have a short term and a longer term goal to keep things fresh.

Not sure how to start an exercise program or what your goals could be?  Send me an email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com and we'll see if we can work together to come up with a plan for you!  You can also visit my website at http://empoweredplate.com/.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Healthy Treats and a Video

I received an invitation for a discounted membership for Bestowed, a monthly delivery of healthy treats.  It promised 5 items picked by a nutritionist each month and ideas on what to pair the snacks with.  I am always on the lookout for healthy treats for myself and to recommend to my clients.  (I don't recommend what I haven't tasted).

I received my first delivery the other day.  It came quicker than the promised delivery date which made me very happy.  I love good service so points there.  There were 5 items but one was an exercise video, which I thought was interesting.

The box included the following:

An organic vanilla bean shake by Orgain which I have not yet tried.  I thought it would be good to have before a run when I didn't have time for a full breakfast.

Nature's Path Smart Bran Cereal - A full sized box arrived and it's a healthier take on Fiber One cereal.  I like Nature's Path because they are committed to being organic and not using any GMOs.  It's one of the few brands of cereal that I buy.

479 Popcorn - black truffle and white cheddar - You have to like truffles to enjoy this, it has a very earthy flavor.  Happily, I enjoy that and it's a satisfying savory snack.  (say that three times fast).

The Nutty Bean Co. Chick Pz - sesame crunch - I've never had sweetened dried chick peas so these were interesting.  I love the savory variety and didn't know what to make of these at first.  Then I realized they tasted like the sesame/honey candies and I liked them.  They are on the sweeter side so I've not had a full serving at once but I do like them.

Lastly and what turns out to be my favorite "treat" - Physique47 Express 30-Minute Full Body Workout dvd
Love this!  It was described as "not only fun, invigorating and incredibly intense but produces visible results in as few as 8 workouts."  Yes, it was fun, invigorating and intense.  I'll have to let you know what I see after 8 workouts. Today I feel it in my glutes, legs and abs and I work out regularly!  I now want to try the 57 minute workout.

So far I am happy I signed up for this box.  The dvd alone is worth $25 and I paid just $12.50 with my discount! (it is normally $15 which I feel is still a good deal).

What are your favorite healthy snacks?  Do you have a favorite go-to workout?

Send me an email,  janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, if you would like help figuring out better foods to eat or how to start an exercise routine.  Together we can come up with a plan tailored just for you.  You can also visit my website, http://empoweredplate.com/.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting Up Off the Couch

What gets you exercising?  What motivates you to get up off the couch and move?  Here are some ways to re-frame your thoughts and bust your excuses apart.

Think of it as "me" time.  You get to do something for yourself and have some quality alone time.  Shut your phone off, put on some music or be alone with your thoughts and go.

It's a way to socialize.  If the first suggestion isn't appealing make a date to walk, run or take a fitness class with a friend.  It's a way to catch up and make exercise more fun.

It's an energy boost.  Feeling too tired to work out?  Change your clothes, wash your face with some cold water and go.  Exercise clears away mental fatigue and gives your body an energy boost.

It's a confidence boost.  Trying something new, making yourself stronger or accomplishing something you never thought possible are all huge confidence builders.  Running races was not something I thought possible and I knew if I could run a half marathon I could start a new career.

It's a way to take care of your future self.  Yes, exercise impacts your day to day life but you are also making life easier for your future self.  Keeping yourself fit, strong and supple keeps a lot of the aches and pains of aging at bay.

It's a way to clear your head.  Pick an exercise that you have to fully engage in and what ever else is going on in your brain goes away.  Concentrate on your breathing, your form and what your doing rather than on the endless tape that plays in your head.  Being in the moment lets other moments seem less overwhelming.

It's a way to alleviate boredom.  Pick a new class, exercise or dvd that you haven't tried before.  You will use different muscles and maybe find a new passion.

Leave a comment below and tell me what works for you.

Today is my turn to speak on the Transformational Truths teleconference.  You will learn a bit about what motivates me, how I got my aha! moment and what I did about it.  It's definitely more than I normally share...  You can still sign up:  http://www.transformationaltruths.com/.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Go To Meal

Lately I've had a lot of comments from friends that they just don't have the time to cook in the evening.  Life is crazy busy and by the time they get home they're tired.  I completely understand this.  Some nights you get home, it's kind of late and all you want to do is eat right at that moment.  It's tempting to pick up a quick meal and be done with it.  It's not always the healthiest choice and who knows what's been added in to the food.

I have a few meals that I deem emergency meals.  I know the ingredient list is minimal, the food takes less than 20 minutes to put together and cook, and it's still a healthy meal.  Sounds impossible?  Fish, beans, chicken, and beef all can be cooked very quickly.  Frozen shrimp can be thawed under cold water in 5 minutes, a can of beans just needs to be rinsed, fish fillets cook under the broiler in minutes and chicken and beef just need to be cubed for a stir fry.

Here's one meal that you can vary with shrimp, chicken or make vegetarian by only using the beans.

White Bean and Shrimp Stir Fry
1 serving

10 large shrimp thawed
1/2 cup of white beans, rinsed
A handful of chopped mushrooms (I like Shiitake but use what you've got)
2 cups of chopped vegetables - use what you've got on hand:  leafy greens and broccoli work really well
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Tbs coconut oil (or olive oil)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet (medium high heat for coconut oil or medium heat if using olive oil), add garlic and cook for a minute or two.
Add in beans & mushrooms, saute for two minutes.
Add in chopped vegetables and lemon juice, cook for three minutes.
Add in shrimp, when shrimp start to curl remove from heat.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

That's it - dinner is ready.  You can add a side of brown rice or quinoa if you like.  (I keep Trader Joe's frozen brown, red & black rice medley on hand for emergency meals.  Ingredients are just the grains and water.  It's great if you are in a hurry).

If using chicken, I add that right after I saute the garlic, browning all sides before I add any other ingredients.

Visit my site, http://empoweredplate.com/, for other ideas or if you'd like a complimentary health consultation.  I can also be reached via email at janinemchale@empoweredplate.com.

I will be giving away my 3 Top Quick Power Breakfasts during the Transformational Truths Teleconference.   There will be 15 other speakers who will also be giving away freebies so be sure to sign up.  Visit http://www.transformationaltruths.com/ for more details.

Friday, May 4, 2012

What Food Plan Has You Feeling Your Best?

The other day a colleague of mine posted a link to an interview with a woman who was in her 70's, looked much younger and was a raw foodist.  I immediately thought of Mimi Kirk, who was voted sexiest vegan over 70, but it was another woman.  She really did look amazing and attributed her good health to eating raw.

Now my friend was not promoting a raw diet, she simply thought it was interesting and food for thought.  It started an interesting conversation and then someone took offense and started attacking the "science" behind it.  I know we all believe we need to eat certain things to stay healthy but I don't think we can all eat the same way.  We're all different and what works for those very lovely women does not work for me.  I don't do well on a raw food diet, my digestive track gets overwhelmed. 

I know healthy vegans, vegetarians, paleo diet followers, carnivores and raw foodists.  I know unhealthy vegans, vegetarinas and carnivores.  (I don't know of unhealthy raw foodists or paleo diet followers but I'm sure they exist).  The point is to find what works for you and to feed your body the healthiest form of that plan.  I eat a mostly plant based diet but I'm flexible.  I eat what my body tells me it needs.  And, yes, sometimes my body really wants a cupcake and it gets it. 

Even if you're not into the thought of a raw food diet, some salad and other raw fruits and vegetables are good to incorporate into your diet.  A meal without meat once in a while will do no harm to you, nor will skipping your vegetables once in a while.  It's your overall diet that you need to pay attention to.  Remember:  you're feeding your future self too.  Do you want to be on the sidelines or the spry sexy senior citizen? 

Looking for other points of view and to uncover your inner goddess?  You've got all the tools you need for greatness, you just may need to uncover them.  Sign up for Transformational Truths Teleconference, it's free and it starts May 12.  I'm the speaker for May 15 and I'd love to hear your feedback.  To sign up visit:  http://www.transformationaltruths.com/.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

While I generally don't consider myself a daredevil I do like to do things that make me uncomfortable.  I really had a fear of public speaking and I still get nervous but I do it anyway.  I cannot share news on health, nutrition and exercise if I don't speak directly to people.  Reading a blog is informative but hearing and participating really increases your level of understanding.  I love the energy of an engaged crowd and the give and take that you don't always get from a blog.

I have a fear of heights so I went up to the observation deck on the Empire State Building.  I also took a trapeze class.  The Empire State Building wasn't bad because it's fenced.  Trapeze, even though I was tethered with a big net below, scared the heck out of me.  I did it anyway and it was scary, exhilarating and empowering.

Running 13.1 miles was not something I believed I could do.  I figured I'd walk a good chunk of that.  Much to my delight, I ran that distance more than once. Again it was so empowering to know I could accomplish that.

So my latest crawl outside of my comfort zone is taking part in a teleconference.  I will be interviewed for an hour and I will share my weight loss journey, my self doubts and self sabotage , my aha moments and why I think we have to make ourselves a priority.  Honestly, there is a reason the airlines tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others and it applies to your daily life as well.

You can listen to me and 15 of my colleagues as we share our various journeys.  Some have overcome debilitating illness, some have let go of the body hatred and abuse, others have brought back their zest and passion and all of these wise people are sharing their expertise with you.  And it's FREE!  I really recommend signing up for this.  You can go to http://www.transformationaltruths.com/ and sign up for the teleconference.  It will air May 12 - 27.

Don't let your fears hold you back, if you need help reach out for it.  If not me then perhaps one of the other speakers will be the one to help you break through.  But you have to make that first step so sign up today for the conference.  You won't regret it.  http://www.transformationaltruths.com/