Archive for the ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Category

“Help! My Motivation Is Missing – How Can I Get It Back?”

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Getting your motivation back couldn’t be easier.

It’s simply a matter of “choosing between what you want NOW, and what you want MOST.”

Do you believe that?

I read that quote recently, somewhere, but since I can’t remember where, I’m unable to give the author credit.

Anyway, I get it.

Yet even if you get it, too, you may be hard pressed to believe it’s that easy, or actually put it into practice. Especially now, when we’re well into 2016, and all of those intentions made eight or so weeks ago are gone.

Here are three ideas to get you back on track.

  1. Identify what you want most, more than anything, when you think about your long-term health. Is it. . .
  • Permanent weight loss?
  • Eradication, avoidance, or management of disease?
  • Taking no or minimal medications?
  • Aging strong – the ability to do anything, anytime, anywhere?

Whatever “it” is that you want most, that’s your decision driver.

  • Do you want the extra cookie or your clothes to fit better?
  • Do you want to stay up an extra hour or be able to get up and exercise?
  • Do you want to load up on sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives, or eat to reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence?

You decide what you want most. You act with intention. You get the outcome you want most.

  1. Create a “Jar of Awesome!”

Awesome Jar

Jar of Goodness 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote in my January enewsletter about the “Jar of Awesome”. Essentially, take a jar (a BIG one), label/decorate it with “Jar of Awesome” – or something close – on the outside. For the remainder of 2016, every time you do something awesome for your health, fitness, or nutrition – write it down on a slip of paper and feed it to the jar. At the end of each month (or the year, if you can wait that long), dump out the contents and review all of your awesome accomplishments. Bam! Instant motivator.

3. Use a visible tool that speaks to YOU and works for YOU.

Donna Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my clients came to the studio last week with this calendar. She fills out a sheet for each week, recording all of the actions done to support improvement in the areas of her life she’s working on: exercise, meals, balance, blood sugar testing. She found this calendar at Walgreen’s, for heaven’s sake! It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive, it’s not high-tech. . .but she knew it would work for her, because it spoke to her through its simplicity.

And there you have it. Three ideas to help you in “choosing between what you want NOW, and what you want MOST.”

I hope this helps – let me know if and how. I’d love to know about your successes!

P.S. Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share on social media! [Follow me: Twitter @cathylemanrd]

 

 

“Celebrating Sue Wilsey – NutriFit’s January 2016 Client of the Month!”

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Sue Wilsey knew that it was time to make the move to get healthier. Lots riding on her “feeling” better in her skin, and of course, improving her overall health; her daughter’s upcoming wedding, plus a “milestone” birthday for Sue, herself.

Read on to be inspired by Sue’s commitment to getting back to fit, and how we at NutriFit are privileged to play a role!

SUE Client of the Month

  1. What is your favorite exercise and why?

So happy that Emily put those pink boxing gloves on me. Great way to sweat and blow off some steam.

 

  1. What is your least favorite exercise and why?

I have a nagging knee issue that hinders my success at balancing exercises. I’m not going to give up on those however.

 

  1. What fitness achievement are you most proud of?

Beginning this journey. For the first time in my almost 60 years on this planet, I actually look forward to my workouts and miss them on my days off.

 

  1. What goals or challenges do you have set for yourself now?

To add at least one day of doing strength exercises at home, now that I’m getting the hang of them. I also want to add a day or two of yoga and more walking!

 

  1. What do you like most about NutriFit Personal Training?

Cathy and Emily really care and it motivates me and makes me accountable.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for prospective NutriFit Personal Training clients?

Don’t waste any more money on joining gyms you never go to or buying DVDs you never watch. I’m approaching this as a very valuable fitness education, one that will remain a part of my life forever. What is a better investment than in a healthier you?

 

 

 

 

 

(w)Ringing Excuses Out Of The Old Year, And Leaving Them Behind.

Friday, January 1st, 2016

As I write this missive in anticipation of the final day of 2015, I’m recalling the multitude of reasons people have shared with me throughout the year as to why they don’t take better care of themselves.

The litany of “yes but’s”, “if only’s”, and “I can’t’s” littering the previous 12 months is enough to goad any mere mortal doing my job into throwing up her hands in an act of despair and surrender.

Fortunately, I’m no mere mortal – or so I like to think.

My unwavering personal and professional belief is that every person has the ability to elevate their health from any level; and because I’ve seen it demonstrated time and again, I can say with 100 percent confidence and conviction that excuses be damned, it’s never too late to care!

I’ve had the inordinate privilege of walking the path of improved health and wellness with so many clients this past year, helping them slay excuses left and right, and I feel incredibly grateful for the lessons they’ve taught ME along the way.

Like, for example, the “Turkey Pan Process.”

One of my newer personal training clients told me about encouraging a friend who is considering engaging the services of a fitness professional (a friend who has long struggled with his weight, fitness and health) to work with someone who will hold him accountable and call him out on his excuses – something she feels is absolutely essential (and one of the main reasons she’s working with US) when undertaking the “turkey pan process.”

Which is this.

Say you’ve prepared a gorgeous turkey for your holiday meal, a turkey enjoyed immensely by all in attendance, a turkey designated “the best ever.” Yet once the festivities are over and you’re faced with the dregs of turkey cookery, are you thinking about how delicious that turkey was? Of course not!

You’re face-to-face with a cold roasting pan full of cold turkey juice. Blobs of grease. A layer of fat.
Charred turkey bits. In effect, your pan is A DISGUSTING MESS!

The mere thought of cleaning it is enough to make you want to toss the pan and simply purchase a replacement. But because it’s a family heirloom, something that HOLDS VALUE, no way could you do that. So you begin to clean.

You dump out the juice, scrape out the grease and the fat, dislodge the charred turkey bits. And as you begin to make your way through the sludge, you see it – a small, shiny twinkle of that beautiful heirloom roasting pan, winking at you through the diminishing turkey sludge, and it encourages you to keep scrubbing and cleaning and scraping, because in the end, what are you left with?

A shiny, sparkly, beautiful roasting pan that you take pride in tucking away until the next big turkey roasting occasion.

And as my client shared, to her, that’s what it’s like when starting back on the path to health. You have to dig and scrape and work your way through the sludge of an unhealthy body, scrubbing and cleaning until you begin to find that shiny bit of healthy – at which point you’re encouraged to KEEP GOING.

And finding that shiny bit of healthy doesn’t take that long, really, once you get over the hurdle of JUST STARTING.

However, if you let that myriad of excuses take over and lead the way, you don’t clean the roasting pan, and you’re unable to appreciate the beauty and value that pan brings to you and those gathered around your holiday table.

Think about that.

Is the value and beauty a HEALTHY YOU brings to the world buried in sludge?

As 2015 fades into a memory, I encourage you to skip the short-lived resolutions and instead, START THE “TURKEY PAN PROCESS”.

If one (or more) of these sounds like you, get out that scrub brush!
* Yes I could go for a walk, but I’m so out of shape.
* If only I had more time, I would cook.
* What’s the point in exercising and eating better, something’s going get me.
* I can’t exercise because I have a bad knee (ankle, elbow, wrist, etc.).
* I have to grab my breakfast where I get my coffee, I have no time in the morning to eat.

WISHING YOU A HAPPY, HEALTHY, SHINY 2016!

SEEING PINK? IT MUST BE OCTOBER.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Oct 1 sunrise

Welcome to October.

31 days of drowning in countless shades of pink while enduring a seemingly inescapable barrage of awareness messages.

You know what I’m talking about.

Some of you have heard this from me on countless occasions, but for the uninitiated, I’ll go on record.

We don’t need more pink anything (I hate pink, btw).

We don’t need more awareness.

We do need actionable behaviors aimed at prevention.

I’ve made it my mission to blog for the entire month of October about the power of nutrition and fitness in fighting the breast cancer beast.

Let’s begin with a question, shall we?

What if we could reduce the incidence of breast cancer from one in eight women to one in eight hundred women through the use of proven preventive lifestyle behaviors, and then, at the time of diagnosis, connect those women to a nutrition and fitness expert who would create programs designed to support their individual treatment plan to encourage optimal treatment outcomes, strong recovery, and reduced risk of recurrence?

 

“3 Reasons to Elevate Your Health”

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

EEEDE26D09FE7595B42F2B5D576FF3EE-main

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve recently fallen in love with the word “elevate”.

Definition: “To lift up, to increase the level of, to make higher”.

It’s not that I just learned the word so it holds new-word novelty making me want to say it over and over and over; that word would be onomatopoeia, which I learned at a recent Toastmaster’s meeting and truly can’t stop saying.

It’s simply that I’ve realized how perfectly “elevate” fits with the work that I do – and it has me a little giddy.

I help people elevate their health.

Which isn’t as easy as it may sound. You see, people must be READY to want their health actually elevated. And that’s not always the case.

Some people need to be convinced that it’s a good idea to take care of themselves.

Those aren’t the clients I work with.

I’m known for saying, “I don’t want to convince you to look after your health – but I do want to help you once you’ve decided that you value your health AND that your health (and you) is worth valuing”.

That’s where the magic happens. When people come to the realization that their health IS PRECIOUS and they’re ready to do whatever it takes get and stay healthy – look. out.

So if you’re on the fence – not really sure if taking better care of yourself is worth it or not – here are 3 strongly compelling reasons why you may just want to say yes.

  1. You’ll stay out of health debt. We all know we must stay out of debt in order to stay financially fit. You know, money in the bank, zero balance on the credit cards, contribute to the retirement fund, spend less than we earn. All sound advice. And easily applicable to health. When you sock away health riches, you simply have a bigger reserve to draw from when (and believe me, we ALL have a when) you need it, thus keeping yourself out of health debt. Your energy, vitality, stamina, strength, reserve, and your ability to recover and withstand medical treatments all hinge on how nutritionally and physically healthy you are.
  • Tweak your diet to be sure you’re fueling versus filling.
  • Exercise weekly for at least the recommended 150 minutes.
  1. You’ll stop bouncing in and out of exercise and weight loss programs. When you do something drastic, such as an extreme (or even not-so-extreme) diet and fitness program, you will not be able to maintain that level of deprivation and restriction long-term. So you stop and then you start. Again. Over and over and over. If you’re not following a nutrition and fitness program that SUPPORTS vs. RULES your lifestyle, you’ll continue to yo-yo. And that means you won’t make progress, and you won’t keep yourself out of health debt.
  • Focus on what you can shave or swap from your current diet versus focusing on what you need to completely eliminate or avoid.
  • Find an exercise that you LOVE (yes, walking counts) and do THAT. Not a runner? Don’t run. Hate swimming? Don’t swim. Seriously.
  1. Your body will respond in kind. You know how when you forget to water your summer flower pots they seem to wilt before your eyes? The vibrancy of the petals is dulled, the leaves begin to crinkle, the stems lose their perk. What happens when you finally give them a big, healthy drink of water? They perk back up right before your eyes, gifting you with the joy of color, vibrancy and vitality. Same thing happens with your body. Give it what it needs on a regular basis and you will be rewarded with vibrancy and vitality – which makes you want to keep giving yourself what you actually need, which helps you stop bouncing in and out of extreme exercise and weight loss programs, which in turn feeds your health bank account and prevents health debt. See? Magic.
  • Remember to eat every 3-4 hours.
  • Move your body in physical activity every, single day.

“3 Keys To Our Business Success”

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

20140626_163805

With so many accessible “tip lists” crowding the blogosphere, it would be reasonable to surmise that the only way to effectively do ANYTHING these days is to come up with a few simple steps and voila’, you’ll experience stunningly speedy SUCCESS.

For example, “5 Ways To Simplify Your Dinner Routine!”, “4 Foods You MUST Eat Now!”, and “10 Exercises For Better-Fitting Jeans!” are all made-up titles by yours truly; yet I’ll bet they got your attention.

Somewhere along the way, breaking big chunks of detail into manageable bites became THE way to share actionable information.

And I think it’s a really good idea. Because everyone is so overloaded with information, if you’re truly invested in making changes and/or moving forward on a project – personal or professional – wrapping your mind around a few simple ideas for getting started can be just the kick-in-the-pants you need.

In fact, I took the same approach when I did a podcast interview recently on the success of my business. Jim Kendall of Kendall Communications hosts a regular business podcast called “Business Owners’ Pod Talk”, and graciously invited me to be a guest. Because there’s so much that goes in to what and how we do things here, it was important to distill my message down and get clear on the core competencies that make us unique.

Here’s the link to the actual podcast, “Adapting Success”, (enjoy!), and below I summarize NutriFit’s “3 Keys For Success”.

1) We are VERY clear that we’re not the right fit for everyone.

  • Unlike “big-box” health clubs that happily collect monthly payments from members, yet really don’t care if they actually show up or not, we WANT our clients to be here. If you’re ready to make the commitment to do the work required to reach your goal, and you’re committed to being here week in and week out, then there’s a really good chance that yes, in fact, we ARE right for you!
  • We pre-qualify each and every client to be sure we’re the right fit.

2) I spend a great deal of time networking and collaborating with other (health) professionals in the community.

  • As a registered dietitian, I’m a healthcare provider. I reach out to other professionals such as physicians, therapists and counselors, physical therapists, and other dietitians and personal trainers. My clients work to be as healthy and whole as possible, which sometimes require services outside my scope of practice. In collaborating with other healthcare professionals who share a similar treatment philosophy, I can connect my clients to individuals that I feel confident about, and have confidence in.
  • These healthcare providers serve as a wonderful referral network, and we definitely support each other in that way. Coordinating care with other respected and competent providers is a win-win for all of us.

3) We deliver our services with integrity, professionalism and respect, and results-based expertise.

  • It is a PRIVILEGE to partner with people to help them reclaim their health, life, self-esteem and self-confidence. We honor that by treating our clients the way we want to be treated.
  • It takes A LOT to take the first step to contact a complete stranger to help you regain your health. We work really hard to put our clients at ease, welcome them into our supportive, warm environment, and meet them where they are in order to walk along side them in their health journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A Lunchtime Tale of Love, Hate, and Obsession”

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

It happens every, single, workday, Monday through Friday. LUNCH.

I LOVE lunch, especially the lunches I make for myself (nutritious, delicious, and FREE!). I’m definitely not a lunch skipper; I’ve got to be on top of my mental game for afternoon clients, meetings or speaking events. Low energy and blood sugar, and foggy, sluggish thinking don’t allow me to do my best work, and that’s a disservice to anyone who entrusts their health and wellbeing to me.

What I’m definitely NOT a fan of, however, is actually making my nutritious, delicious, free lunch every, single, day. Truth be told, I hate it. When I get home from my office, I only want to decompress, eat dinner, and spend a little time with my husband before heading off to my crazy-early bedtime. See? No space for lunch making.

With no private chef or housekeeper to make my noon meal, I had to get creative to solve my love/hate relationship with lunch. Here’s what I came up with; prep once, eat 5 times.

The solution is pure genius, and involves three of my obsessions. I’ve outlined my approach below – I’m certain it will work for you, too.

Obsession #1 – I’ve become obsessed with Snapware® http://snapware.com/, the GLASS version. I use two large rectangular containers,

IMG_1454

and on Sunday I pack them FULL of salad fixings. I haven’t measured the volume (the volume indicated on the bottom is in milliliters, which doesn’t translate well to cups of veggies), but I would say they easily hold 4-5 cups of chopped veggies. These two containers provide five generous salads, which means I only have to do all of that chopping ONCE!

Obsession #2 – A wide variety of fresh, “heavy-hitter” vegetables. I don’t want a salad that’s wimpy on quality nutrition, nor one that’s “just lettuce” – I’d be STARVING within 20 minutes of polishing it off!  Here’s a sample of what I typically include:

  • Carrots
  • Red or green onion
  • Fresh kale or spinach
  • Red pepper
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Red cabbage

IMG_1455

IMG_1453

I top each salad with a sprinkle of raw, unsalted sunflower seeds and raisins. Heaven!

Obsession #3 – Homemade salad dressing, which is ALWAYS tastier (and better for you), than store-bought. I have a few I rotate through, but here’s my current fav; http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-miso-tahini-dressing-172942 (I use white miso). I make enough for the entire week – if there’s any left over, I take it home and use it up over the weekend.

What rounds out the meal is a good protein source, so I’ll add a week’s worth of hummus or bean-based soup. I also bring five pieces of fruit (typically oranges and apples), which serves as a sweet finish to my feast.

I also keep crackers and raw almonds stashed at the office; the crackers serve as a crunchy accompaniment to my salad, and the almonds are a satisfying side to my fruit.

Bring it ALL in on Monday, and essentially, you’re set for the week. So there you have it! My secret weapon in managing my love/hate lunch relationship. Pure genius.

“My VARI Happy Body”

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

I hate to sit.

If I could walk or run to every destination, every day, and only stand once I arrived, I’d be thrilled. Unfortunately time, distance, inclement weather, and the potential for countless awkward situations doesn’t allow that.

It turns out that sitting is a terrific thing to hate, because in case you haven’t heard, sitting has recently been labeled “The New Smoking”. http://www.runnersworld.com/health/sitting-is-the-new-smoking-even-for-runners.

I don’t know about you, but anything that keeps me chair-bound; extended periods of writing, responding to emails, etc., makes me feel awful. My energy slumps, my lower back tightens and stiffens, and it feels like all the benefits of my morning workout are draining away.

So I’m launching my own “campaign against sitting”, and kicked it off by purchasing the office tool I’ve been dying to own; a “VARIDESK”.

VARIDESK4

I’ve tried a number of different ways in the past to raise my computer in order to be able to stand and work – none of them were safe, none of them worked.

Luckily, the VARIDESK is both safe and effective. A height adjustable standing riser that comes already assembled, the VARIDESK sits on top of your existing desk and allows you to move from sitting to standing quickly and easily. I’ve used the VARIDESK for three days now, and haven’t sat in front of my computer once. When I did sit down, it was to actually hand-write something, but even that could be done on the keyboard support. I’m doing a lot of computer writing this week, so it’s the perfect time to really give it a good test drive.

VARIDESK3 VariDesk1

The positive? I don’t feel as fatigued at the end of the day, and my back and hips are less tight – I just feel more alive throughout the day, like all systems are GO! The negative? In order for my monitor to be at the correct height while I’m standing, I had to elevate it – see my book pile in the photo – which then requires adjusting the books if I sit down. But since I only sat down to work at my desk, not on my computer, that hasn’t been an issue, yet I could see how switching from standing to sitting frequently could cause it to be.

And finally, standing for long periods of time requires paying attention to posture – I’m learning how to stand without swaying toward the keyboard – but that’s simply awareness.

So there you have it. The declaration of my “campaign against sitting” is official – and I’m vari, vari happy to participate in the movement! STAND UP and join me, won’t you?

2014 Holiday Season’s Eating & Exercise Challenge #1

Monday, December 1st, 2014

HolidayCheer

 

 

 

I tend to think of Thanksgiving as eating and exercise preparedness for the remainder of the holiday season, which typically wraps up (or hits a fever pitch) somewhere around New Year’s Eve. In other words, it sets the tone for the next five weeks.

Yep, we’re five Monday’s and four weekends away from 2015, unless you push your requisite January resolution off to Monday the 5th (January 1 lands on a Thursday), in which case you just bought yourself an extra weekend.

How did you manage the long Thanksgiving holiday? Did you stick as closely as you could to your typical exercise routine, or abandon it completely? Did you enjoy your favorite holiday foods and bypass those that weren’t appealing, or eat anything and everything simply in the spirit of Thanksgiving excess?

There’s a saying I’m quite fond of, “How you do anything, is how you do everything”.

I think it’s especially spot on when you apply it to eating and exercise. Consider the following. . .

If, regardless of what’s happening in your life you consistently do everything you can to take care of yourself – eat well, exercise regularly, get adequate rest and manage your stress – you’re likely to follow those practices week in and week out. A holiday (or string of them), vacation, tight work deadlines, sick kids or parents will simply present themselves as slices of your day to schedule your self-care around.

Conversely, if you eat well and exercise only when you’re dieting, trying to be healthier, or your schedule allows, you’ll repeatedly drag yourself out of an extended food and inactivity coma and fail to reach the level of consistency that confers vibrant good health and a strong, fit body.

My challenge (the first of several) to you as the holiday season heats up? Identify one thing, nutrition or fitness-wise, that you can do every day for the next week – then do that one thing, every day for the next week.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Eat 2 cups of vegetables.
  2. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier.
  3. Do 10 minutes of stretching.
  4. Eat out one less day than usual.

 

“October Means Halloween & “Breast Cancer Awareness”. . .Coincidence?”

Monday, October 6th, 2014

October OFor me, the month of October has two highlights – my wedding anniversary and Halloween. Other than being great ammunition for bad jokes, they have absolutely nothing in common.

October is also breast cancer awareness month, which compared with Halloween has absolutely everything in common.

I don’t know a single woman, myself included, for whom simply the thought of a breast cancer diagnosis is not terrifying.

A little over a year ago, following news of a cancer diagnosis for two people very close to me, I titled my newsletter “Too Much Cancer, Dammit!”, and received more personal responses than I ever had before or since.

There IS too much cancer, damn it, so much in fact that I would argue that even without a month devoted to breast (or colon, or cervical, or liver, or brain, or ovarian, or prostate, etc.) cancer awareness, our collective awareness would remain steadfastly high.

We’re not winning the war on breast cancer. We may be winning the war on early detection, better screening, and treatment; death rates from breast cancer have fallen 1.9% per year since 2002, yet rates for new breast cancer cases have remained steady for the past 10 years. (1)

The theme of my aforementioned newsletter was prevention. I’ve devoted my career to educating on preventive lifestyle habits, primarily nutrition and fitness. The data is overwhelmingly strong – the choices we make on a daily basis directly influence our health. It’s what I advocate for, believe in, and strive to live in my own life.

Yet, regardless of how staunch my position on prevention and cancer, there is no guarantee; for anyone. In no way (and believe me, I could win a gold medal for trying) can we control every aspect of our environment – an environment that is toxic in so many ways. While we all carry cancer genes, some of us (yep, my maternal relatives) have the added risk factor of genetic pre-disposition. Sometimes the deck is simply stacked against us.

I occasionally wonder what would happen if I were diagnosed with cancer (my secret fear, by the way). I wonder if it would change your perspective on taking care of yourself, as in, “Well, if Cathy Leman has cancer, there’s no hope for anyone – I give up.”

If that were the case, it would make me really, really sad.

We can’t forget to pull back and consider the larger picture. Cancer doesn’t appear as the result of something unhealthy you did last week, it takes literally years to develop (for example, colorectal cancer begins with a single mutation to a gene, yet it takes on average 30 years from that point for the cells to acquire several other DNA mutations they need in order to spread and kill). (2)

If I were to be diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t ignore the fact that I haven’t lived my entire life with the attention to prevention that I have in the last couple of decades. I can assure you, in my early twenties, breast cancer prevention wasn’t even on my radar; many of my habits during that time weren’t exactly supportive of good health.

At the time of a cancer diagnosis, it’s only human to wonder “what caused it?”, yet other than testing positive for the breast cancer gene(s), it’s essentially impossible to know. Excess weight, smoking, inactivity, and too much alcohol have all been implicated in contributing to breast cancer, but so has exposure to chemicals in certain plastics (who hasn’t experienced THAT?), and a dizzying collection of toxicity we’ve not clearly identified, yet couldn’t avoid if we tried.

That said, I maintain that practicing preventive lifestyle habits puts us in a position to fight back hard at whatever health curveball life throws at us – even a ghoulish, macabre cancer diagnosis. A healthy, strong body stacks the deck in our favor, perhaps by slowing the rate of disease progression, having a less invasive form of the disease, or giving us the ability to withstand treatments with fewer side effects and stronger recovery.

During the month of October I encourage you to heed the recommendations for breast cancer awareness; know your risk factors, get screened, know what’s “normal” for you, and practice preventive lifestyle behaviors. . .like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and limiting alcohol; then repeat – over and over and over.

(1) http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

(2) Spotting Cancer In A Vial Of Blood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Travelling Without Unravelling Healthy Eating Habits”

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Out of all the reasons why I adore my clients, the fact that they are an adventurous bunch tops the list.

Whether for business or pleasure, they frequently hit the road chasing adventure and collecting new experiences. The downside? They’re inevitably thrown off their “healthy eating” game.

In my experience, there are three reasons for this:

  1. Limited access to healthier options.
  2. Out of their typical routine.
  3. Adopting an “I’m on vacation” or “What the he#%” mindset.

Being fresh off an end of summer get-away myself, I’ve shared a few of my away-from-home dining experiences, as well as tips for countering the issues listed above. Pack these ideas the next time you’re travelling – and wrap up your trip feeling as great as when you headed out.

Mine was absolutely a pleasure trip; destination, Breckenridge, CO. I was delighted to learn that locating restaurants with healthy options wasn’t nearly as challenging as I thought it might be, although my travelling companion and I had to be menu sleuths and actively seek them out. The operative word being “seek”, which leads me to my first tip.

___________________

Tip #1 – For options that fit your idea of healthy, you must do your homework. Read menus on-line, printed copies posted outside the actual restaurant, and peruse local restaurant guides for specific offerings. If you don’t see options that work with the way you want to eat, rather than compromise – keep looking!

Relish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first night in town, oxygen-deprived, peckish, and en route to an Asian restaurant, we stumbled upon “Relish” http://www.relishbreckenridge.com/, a local spot featuring Colorado inspired cuisine. The posted menu listed options too intriguing to pass up, so we scrapped the Asian plan. We will be forever grateful for that split-second decision.

Quinoa, marinated and grilled Portobello mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and yellow squash “pasta” atop an ample portion of garlicky chimichurri  – an Argentinian sauce – was not only an original blending of textures and flavor, but gorgeous to look at (we eat with our eyes first!).

Relish2

As for the starter, a salad of pea shoot leaves and tomatoes topped with fava bean puree, I couldn’t think of a better choice.

Paired with a spectacular glass of red wine, this was a very fine meal indeed with which to kick off our week – and it fit all of my specs for a healthy, “real-food” meal.

_________________________

Tip #2 – You’re already out of your typical routine, so if a “must-try” restaurant offers options that meet your food specs, but not your dining “clock-time” preferences, move them around! Confused? Read example below:

Warming Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Warming Hut” http://www.thewarminghutrestaurant.com/ completely warmed my heart (and palate). While we weren’t interested in the dinner menu options (reference Tip #2), the lunch menu, with its house-made Edamame and Quinoa Burger – sorry, forgot to snap a pic – got my attention. We visited this darling place at lunchtime on our last day, where upon our arrival we were met with such a packed restaurant, we decided to eat at the bar – always fun.

Not only was the burger delicious, the sweet potato fries accompanying it (of which I’m normally not a fan – not because they’re fried, rather, I prefer my fries “unsweet”) were impossible not to love – nor to stop eating until not a single one was left.

The best ending to this meal wasn’t even dessert, but the opportunity to meet and chat with the restaurant’s owner, Stacey – she warmed my heart, too.

______________________________

Tip #3 – Yes, you’re on vacation (or an expense account), but I’m pretty sure that it’s not as if you NEVER eat out. Eating out, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks is no longer an occasional indulgence, so treat vacation restaurant dining – and choices – like you would at home (except at home no one hands you a menu, I know). Be selective, make choices based on hunger level vs. your eyeballs, and save splurges (see “sweet potato fries” above) for a couple of occasions during your trip rather than daily – or more.

RootDown3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airports may be the last place where hungry, health-minded travelers can expect to get a decent meal, but Denver International, and “RootDown DIA” http://flydenver.com/fooddetails?URI=tcm:8-645in particular, is hell-bent on changing that.

I swear this restaurant was created with me in mind;At Root Down we pride ourselves on striving to solve the ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma.’ We have created a dining spot where all dietary needs will be accommodated, including vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten free. . .”

See what I mean? If you know me, you totally get it.

Spied by my trusty travelling companion on the return leg of our trip (hint: Concourse C), this island of culinary treasures was a jewel in a sea of the same old chain restaurants. We were promptly and oh-so-courteously seated by superbly-trained staff, just after returning our rental car. . .at 8:50 a.m.

Like my predilection for “un-sweet” fries, I’m not always in the mood for a sweet breakfast, so the edamame hummus platter simply screamed “Order ME!”  If this choice strikes you as odd, I can assure you, hummus for breakfast is absolutely delicious – smeared atop a whole wheat English muffin, it happens to be one of my standard at-home favs.

RootDown2

Paired with Medjool dates, real, not canned olives, nan bread, arugula salad that I swiped from my travelling companion, and a killer cup of coffee (with soy milk, no less) this meal made me happy, happy, happy.

 RootDown1

So there you have it – a handful of ideas to help prevent you from throwing in the healthy towel crying, “What the he#%, give me the _________________________” (fill in with your favorite less-healthy menu choice).

 

If you stay focused on your goal – to arrive home feeling as good as you did when you left (if not better!), it truly can happen. . .deliciously.

 

Wishing you happy, safe, delectable travels.

 

“Unbreak Your Heart”

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Heart

 

 

 

 

 

On any given day of the week diet and nutrition are HOT topics, but you know something really controversial, life-changing or ground-breaking is afoot when one or the other makes the front page of the Sunday Chicago Tribune.

A recent issue featured the perfect example; an article advocating for the heart healthy benefits of a vegan diet.

Right in that front page space – albeit below the fold – the article highlighted enthusiastic support, as well as references to research data on vegan and vegetarian diets from Dr. Kim Williams, a Chicago cardiologist. Dr. Williams not only recommends plant-based diets to his patients, he actually eats a vegan diet, an eating plan long considered somewhat fringe, even a bit extreme.

It made my heart jump for joy.

Dr. Williams made the switch to a plant-based diet after a nuclear scan on a patient with severe heart disease showed startling improvement after the patient followed a vegan diet for 6 months. While surprised, the doctor was also intrigued, and after reviewing a number of published studies documenting similar outcomes decided to try it himself. Turns out that despite his deliberate effort to eat a “heart healthy” diet, his own LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one) had been creeping up.

A number of things from this article stood out for me, the least of which was the fact that an actual MEDICAL DOCTOR stood as such a strong advocate for a plant-based diet. Not just any medical doctor/cardiologist mind you, Dr. Williams is a nuclear cardiologist http://www.asnc.org/content_11495.cfm?navID=481, chief of cardiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and the incoming president of the American College of Cardiology.

Having someone in Dr. Williams’ position support the heart healthy benefits of eating more plants and less meat – the opposite of what reams of research suggest contributes to heart disease – is like the president of ComEd suggesting we all work to get off the grid.

There are many healthy reasons to eat a diet based on plants, with vegetarian and vegan diets alike conferring benefits for those interested in using dietary changes to improve obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

And for those who continue to hold the belief that “meatless” diets can’t possibly provide adequate protein (that age-old and frankly, tired argument), consider The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position paper on vegetarian diets which states that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

The key is “appropriately planned”; eschewing meat without adding solid plant-based protein sources, nor including plenty of fruits and veggies is never a healthy, balanced approach. See the example below illustrating this concept.

I encourage you to give plant-based eating a try – even adding a “Meatless Monday” http://www.meatlessmonday.com/ to your week helps. If it’s good enough for a top cardiologist, perhaps you can make room on your plate for more plants!

Low-Nutrition Meatless Meal

Breakfast: Bagel with Nutella | Apple juice

Lunch: Slice of cheese pizza | Diet soda

Dinner: Bean burrito | Iced tea

High-Nutrition Meatless Meal

Breakfast: Whole-wheat bagel with nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) | Fresh apple

Lunch: Slice of vegetable pizza (vegan option, no cheese) | Side salad with garbanzo beans | Water – OR – small fruit smoothie

Dinner: Bean and vegetable burrito | Guacamole | Unsweetened iced black or green tea – OR – water.

1. http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-met-vegan-cardiologist-20140817-story.html#page=1

 

 

“True or False? 3,500 Calories = 1 Pound”.

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Vienna ScaleUp until very recently, I would have said absolutely, unequivocally, emphatically true.

Except now, it absolutely, unequivocally, emphatically isn’t. At least for the time being.

Darn that pesky science. It changes.

Since becoming a dietitian, I have counseled hundreds of clients on weight loss, and consistently used the “3,500 calories equals one pound” that I learned when pursuing my nutrition degree. It’s one of many tools that I use, and a good, reliable one; with thousands of citations in the scientific literature and lay press to back it up, how could it not be?

Yet even with tailoring the nutrition education and approach to match individual needs, outcomes have varied – as have the genetic profiles, habits and histories of those clients. For clients who apply the education and information in an effort to change habits, weight loss occurs, though rarely consistently, and almost never in any sort of predictable pattern. There are times when the 3,500 calorie guideline doesn’t appear to match results, either upward or downward on the scale.

For clients who struggle to reach their goals by applying the education and information, more often than not the psychological workings of food and fitness tend to figure prominently, and when mixed with the physiologic complexity, the sheer amount of sustained effort required to reach a lower weight goal is huge. Not impossible. Just huge.

The mechanism of LONG-TERM, SUSTAINED weight loss (and body composition redistribution) is physiologically complex. Rarely is it as simple as calories in/calories out; although at the end of the day, that’s a pretty hard and fast guideline to start with. Many people have experienced the “eat less, move more” phenomenon, where upon reducing the amount of food eaten on a daily basis and increasing the amount of exercise, weight is lost, clothes fit better, and energy increases. It works.

Then, of course, there are any number of “canned” approaches to weight loss, complete with radical before and after photos, one-size-fits-all-do-eat/don’t-eat food lists and meal plans, rigorous powdered drink and supplement regimens to be followed, and meal timing guidelines and grueling workouts that most people are simply unable to maintain for the long haul. That works, too.

So given that seemingly most everything we do works on SOME level, why kick the poor, now erroneous “3,500 calories equals one pound of body weight guideline” to the curb?

A tiny bit of background. . . .

The September 1958 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition included a report by Max Wishnofsky, MD titled, “Caloric Equivalents of Gained or Lost Weight”. After analyzing the existing literature, Dr. Wishnofsky stated, “The conclusion can be drawn that 3,500 is the caloric value of one pound of body weight lost”. (1)

Dr. Wishnofsky came to his conclusion based on the limited body of weight loss and metabolic literature available in 1958, which didn’t come close to what we know now. Yet although we still know surprisingly little, it’s not the CONCEPT that’s inaccurate, it’s the exact NUMBER that’s problematic. Fairly accurate methods of determining predicted weight loss do exist (here are some simplified formulas; www.pbrc.edu/the-research/tools/weight-loss-predictor and http://bwsimulator.niddk.nih.gov), yet these methods involve thermodynamics, mathematics, physics and chemistry (2) – complexity that dissuades us from hanging exact weight loss outcomes as we have for years, on simply one little number. Looking at it another way, 3,500 is no longer a reliable objective measure.

As for explaining some of that physiologic complexity? Here are a few examples. When you consider that weight loss over time is difficult to measure in a well-controlled metabolic ward (where subjects’ diets are monitored carefully, and blood, urine, and fecal samples are collected – the ONLY way to accurately measure energy balance), or that carbs, protein and fat caloric equivalents don’t accurately reflect the calories produced by INDIVIDUALS from these macronutrients (gut flora, for instance, is an influencing factor on caloric burn), and that exercise can produce wide variations in body weight response among individuals (yes, some people actually GAIN weight with exercise), it’s easy to see how there is more to predicting weight loss than initially thought. (3)

Stay tuned, as the quest for the ultimate answer to our nation’s obesity epidemic continues. In the meantime, I’m no longer using the 3,500 guideline, rather I’ll continue to work individually to apply sustainable practices to nutrition and fitness habits, lifestyles, work and travel schedules, and to educate on the foundations of nutritional and psychological knowledge that I know are solid.

Like these: Eat REAL food. Listen to your body’s hunger/fullness signals. Take a walk.

 

Sources:

  1. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/6/5/542.full.pdf+html
  2. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(14)00111-7/pdf
  3. Today’s Dietitian. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/exclusive0612.shtml

 

 

“Irony Screaming in a Forest of Sugar-Sprinkled Trees”

Monday, July 28th, 2014

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-sugar-image18751962

 

Recently I attended an event where I chatted with a woman who (once she learned I was a dietitian) began lamenting the fact that she eats too much sugar, and sugar, as in “really, I should work on cutting it out of my diet”, became her sole conversational focus.

I could tell she was just getting warmed up when a distraction came along that abruptly ended her continuing to share how awful it (actually eating too much sugar) was for her, and I went on to mingle about elsewhere.

I’ve come to accept (and 100% expect) that once people learn what I do for a living – trust me, I’ve considered lying – the question inquiring which is the best diet, true confessions about junk food consumption, and general comments trending toward “I bet you never eat _____________ (fill in with your favorite demonized food)” are simply as common as conversations about the weather.

Now, I don’t doubt this woman truly believed she needed to pay more attention to her diet, surely she’s her own best monitoring system. And yet, I was absolutely incredulous when later I watched her LIGHT A CIGARETTE as she left the event.

Yep, you read that right. Not slurp from a 32 oz. “big gulp” soda or gnaw a chunk off a super-sized candy bar – but actually light up a cancer stick, I mean, cigarette.

When it comes to lifestyle behaviors, there’s not much that surprises me. I mean, I work with clients who have extremely unhealthy relationships with food and exercise. But the irony of this sight left me scratching my head.

I thought about it again this weekend, as I biked along the Illinois Prarie Path toward my favorite lake spot – cycling past streams and forests and trees. And while drinking in the view of those streams and forests and trees, here’s the conclusion I came to.

Without a doubt, this was your classic forest and trees experience.

Clearly this woman couldn’t see the forest for all of the sugary trees. And I desperately wished it had been appropriate to run after her and ask, ever so gently, “Um, the sugar you were telling me about? Do you think it would be possible to work on that later, after you’ve worked (really, really insanely, desperately, mind-crushingly hard) to stop smoking?”

But of course that wouldn’t have been appropriate. She wanted to know how to stop eating sugar – not stop smoking.

 

“Acting On Body Wisdom”

Monday, July 14th, 2014

If you’re familiar with the concept of mindfulness, you know that essentially it’s a commitment to paying attention; to our breathing, to our stress level, to our hunger and fullness cues, to the beauty that surrounds us – it’s a commitment to actually increasing our awareness of what’s happening in our own little world.

At its simplest, mindfulness is a way to “tune in”. And I’m all for it.

Many of my clients spend lots of time and energy actively ignoring the messages their body sends – or, tuning OUT. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a plea for more movement, less junk, or more solitude – their body’s honest wisdom is too honest, and they’re happy to dismiss it, thank you very much.

Yet, what happens when we do “tune in”, only to disregard the messages because they’re too real, too painful, too scary, too uncomfortable?

Sadly, what happens is more of the same.

The same unhealthy habits, unhealthy behaviors, and a dearth of self-care. We continue a slow, steady spiral into the abyss of unawareness, until our doctor, therapist, even a family member gently (or urgently) reminds us, “You need to take care of yourself”.

Given all of that, while I’m all for tuning in, I’m an even bigger fan of hearing, and then actually ACTING on those messages. That’s right. ACTING on them, not dismissing them.

For example, say your body sends a message that you’re “too” something; too tired, too stressed, too bored, too lonely.

When you ignore rather than act on that message, you become vulnerable, which in turn may lead you to engage in “too much” of exactly the things you’re trying to do less of; eat, drink, exercise (yes, too much is unhealthy), watch t.v., get drawn into Facebook drama.

How can you learn to tune in, and then make the move to ACT?

One way is to listen, really, really well, in order to get a crystal clear message.

Here’s one suggestion for practicing  just that. Recently, a friend recommended this book, “Listening Below The Noise” http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/listening-below-the-noise-anne-d-leclaire/1111740120?ean=9780061353369. The author, Anne LeClaire, declared two Mondays each month – for 17 years! – a day of silence.

Silence Book

I’m not suggesting you jump full-force into that practice, easing in is never a bad strategy, but I certainly think there’s merit in quieting our minds and our surroundings. We’re overdosing on noise and external stimulation, both of which make it close to impossible to listen, hear the message, then act.

Can you make a commitment to becoming more attuned to your body? If this book (which is on my summer travel reading list), or even this blog post help you head in that direction – I’m thrilled.

Shhhhh, what do you hear?

 

NutriFit Nutrition & Fitness Studio Celebrates Four Years!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Oh, the food!

Last week we marked 4 years in our NutriFit studio. What many don’t realize is that NutriFit has been in existence since 1998, offering nutrition counseling, corporate wellness, and in-home personal training.

The main difference now is that we offer personal training in our beautiful studio versus client’s homes. Our mission, however, remains the same; to help people who feel hopelessly out of shape, uncomfortable in their body, and unable to do the activities they enjoy with the people they love reach true, total body health.

Our vision? To be an active participant in the ongoing effort to encourage the practice of realistic nutrition and fitness habits that support a lifelong commitment to robust health and vitality.

To commemorate this milestone in our amazing journey, we held a 4 year anniversary/client appreciation event. Here are photos of the event, and here’s to many more years devoted to helping change lives. . .for the better!

20140626_183310

Raffle Winner #1!

20140626_173458

Raffle Winner #2!

20140626_163805

Raffle Winner #3!

20140626_182423

Happy guests.

20140626_182330

Aerial shot of happy guests.

Countdown To Half Marathon – RECAP – Christie Clinic Half Marathon, Champaign, IL

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

This blog update is something like 6 weeks overdue – but I’ve finally written it! I feel like I can’t continue with new posts until I add this, so here goes.

I ran the race with my brother – so meeting up with him and his grandson (he’s old enough for that; I, on the other hand, am definitely NOT) at our hotel was great fun. And rather than fight the crowds and risk dining on food that left us wanting something delicious and fulfilling, I suggested we bring food and prep it in our hotel rooms. Mind you, we’ve stayed at this hotel before and it’s a laid back spot, complete with microwave and fridge. Simple to pack up a cooler and bring along our own delish/nutrish food. And that’s just what we did! Here I am, ready to heat up my pre-cooked whole wheat pasta. Simple and spectacular.

Hotel Room Gourmet

Hotel Room Gourmet

I realize this suggestion wouldn’t always be an option, but under these circumstances, it worked brilliantly! And because I do so many healthy cooking demonstrations at corporations all over the Chicago area, I’ve got this down to a science.

After a good night’s sleep, we were up and prepping for the big day. The weather was beyond cooperative – sunny and (eventually) warm, no rain or wind – perfect running conditions. I took it as my gift for slogging through all of the horrible winter weather training sessions. Thank you.

Start Line

Start Line

At the start line, complete with my warmer sleeves (best running-with-comfort invention, ever), I was ready to go (that’s my bro just in front of me). I always start slow, conserving my fuel and energy rather than burning through it up front – so after I hit somewhere around the first mile and a half, I fell in with a pacer group running a 10:07 pace. Initially I thought, “There’s no way this is 10:07, it’s too slow”, but somewhere around mile 8 I changed my mind; definitely a 10:07 mile pace. It was challenging to maintain that pace for an extended distance, because I don’t train that way. But it was a challenge I relished; I loved experiencing how my months of training paid me back, it was oh so gratifying.

I’m eternally grateful to Michelle (her name was scrawled on her bib) the pacer. I don’t know her, but I kept her in sight and my body within a few stride lengths. I held that pace until mile 11 when I broke from the pace pack and ran out ahead to finish in 2:11:40. I felt good throughout the run, and finished strong. All my training, good nutrition, and hard work paid off!

Now I’m on the hunt for a September half, and I’m already doing a few summer runs (have a 15k this weekend). Until then, I’ll keep you posted on my running adventures – and please share yours with me; I’d love to hear how good nutrition and consistent training help you meet your fitness goals.

Happy summer, happy running, everyone!

Victory!

Victory!

Countdown to 1/2 Marathon – Day 2

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Tomorrow is the long-awaited, big, big day. I feel ready, I feel strong. I’m excited to be here. I’m honored to be here.

I know I’ll shed a few tears at the start line – especially when they play the national anthem. I’m assuming there will be a nod to Boston – no doubt tears will fall then. I got teary at the packet pickup when I purchased my Boston sticker – I’ll wear it proudly on my bib.

I can’t help but think how only two short weeks ago, thousands of runners felt the same excitement and anticipation, never once considering what was in store.

I’m running for me, for all those who can’t, and I’m running for Boston.

Bring it.

Boston Sticker

Boston Sticker

Countdown to 1/2 Marathon – Day 3

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

48 hours from now, I will have completed my half marathon. I can’t believe it’s so close!

Essentially, I’m finished training – completely. At this point, there’s nothing else physically that I can do to get stronger, faster, or fitter. I follow a religious foot, Achilles, and calf stretching and strengthening routine that I’ll do tonight and tomorrow; can’t really ever overdo that, and it’s helpful, even in this final hour.

Today I walked 1/2 mile to warm up, then ran an easy two miles. By easy, I’m referring to intensity. I followed that up with a yoga class – it felt really good to fit in some extended total-body stretching. The instructor’s emphasis for today’s class was on stretching and opening the sides of the body; loved it! Yoga is a wonderful antidote to running and strength training, and I try to fit it in as often as I can – unfortunately, I’ve been neglecting it because my training has taken precedence. It’s ironic that we offer Vinyasa yoga for beginners here at the NutriFit studio http://www.eatwellgetstrong.com/yoga.html, but since I’m working when class is in session, I never get to reap the benefits. Too bad. . .it’s an awesome class!

A couple of days ago I was kicking around the idea of bringing food along so that once we check into our hotel we’re not held captive by over-priced, underwhelming restaurant food. It’s rare that food bothers my digestive system, but now would be a ridiculously horrible time for it to be one of those rare times. . .bringing my own food just makes more sense, especially since we’re driving. My brother likes the idea as well, so that sealed the deal and I decided to go for it.

In advance, I’ll cook up a big pot of whole wheat pasta (extremely difficult to find at a restaurant), saute’ veggies and vegan meatballs for me, and bring shrimp or chicken for my brother, nephew and husband. I’ll toss a huge salad of spinach, mushrooms, and strawberries, mix up my special olive oil-based dressing, and bring fruit and dark chocolate for dessert. When it’s time to eat, I’ll simply plug in the wok, heat the pasta and toppings, and serve up the rest. Cheap, delicious, nutritious, and smart. Well, except for the dish washing; bathtub? Nah. . .just kidding.

I’ll take pics and let you know how it works out in my post-run follow-up blog.

For now, here’s the recipe for the salad dressing – it’s divine!

VERSATILE VINAIGRETTE

1 tablespoon orange juice

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small garlic clove, smashed

½ teaspoon ground, black pepper

In a small glass jar, combine orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard, garlic and black pepper. Put the lid on the jar; shake contents vigorously until thoroughly mixed.

This salad is actually tossed with this dressing. Yum!

This salad is actually tossed with this dressing. Yum!

 

 

 

 

Countdown to 1/2 Marathon – Day 5

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Taper week continues.

Today I ran the shortest distance that I have run in months – a mere 3 miles. I’m not saying “a mere 3 miles” to downplay how challenging running 3 miles truly is. . .it’s just that when you’ve been logging anywhere from 5 – 13 miles per run for the last few months, it truly becomes “a mere 3 miles.”

Tapering requires a huge amount of mental discipline and toughness; just like the actual training. I wrote a bit about this yesterday, when I lamented just how difficult it is to scale back on my workouts. Think about it. If someone has been religiously training their body to get stronger, pushing themselves a little bit further each week in order to tackle an endurance fitness event of any sort, once they get to that deadline, they’re going to be fit – really fit. Cardiovascularly fit. Muscularly fit. Mentally fit. They’ve been training themselves to GO, and to pull back in the final hours is just so counterintuitive.

But it’s smart.

So today, because I finished my workout earlier than I normally do, I was talking with one of the guys at the gym. He asked me about my Friday night meal, like what it may be. And I’ve actually been thinking about this. Restaurants, depending on what area of the country you’re in, can be completely hit or miss. Last year, at this same race, we unequivocally dined at a miss. Call me crazy, but I’m considering packing my electric wok, a cooler full of prepped ingredients, and cooking up dinner in the hotel room. Why not? I do healthy cooking demonstrations in all sorts of places – corporate conference rooms, exhibit halls, and hotel ballrooms to name a few. Why not a hotel room?

I’ll have to give it some more thought, but I can honestly say it’s one way to insure our pre-race meal is balanced, healthy, adequate, and perhaps most importantly, delicious. What do you think? Am I crazy?