The devastation of running less, eating less

Taper-chart

This incredibly scientific chart shows my desire to eat all things unreasonable high, even as my weekly mileage is drastically reduced.

Starting about 3 weeks from race day, most marathon training plans call for a taper. Tapering, if you’re not familiar with this particular for of torture, is basically a decrease in mileage to help your body be in top form come race day.

The first week of tapering feels good. The mileage reduction isn’t so crazy, and a little free time feels nice. What’s that? Sleep in an extra half hour? Don’t mind if I do.

It’s not until the second full week of tapering when I start to lose my cool. I crave longer runs, question whether my pace goal is attainable, and go all anal retentive on race day planning, creating list upon wildly unnecessary list. Continue reading “The devastation of running less, eating less” »

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Fighting my fall eating habits

I do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT need all the pie. FILE - DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS

I do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT need all the pie. FILE – DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS

I have a hard time when this time of year creeps around. I drink all of the pumpkin spiced lattes. I eat all of the apple butter, apple pie, pumpkin bread and sugary treats. I stop exercising because it gets dark too early or it’s a little too chilly for me to step outside the comfort of my front door.

And my love of all things loose fitting (cozy sweatpants, cozier sweatshirts and sweaters in general), help me mask the extra fluff that suddenly appears around my middle. The joke of storing up for a harsh winter stops being funny when I can’t button my pants.

I’m not one to give up on the foods I adore, but I am learning as I age to practice moderation – in all things. Moderate eating with moderate exercise have helped me keep my waistline in check while still enjoying all the things I love.

So, I still make apple butter in my slow cooker as the crisp hits the air, but I give a lot of it away to neighbors so I don’t eat it all myself.  Continue reading “Fighting my fall eating habits” »

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Keep up your fitness routine even as the weather changes

Afraid your fitness routine will flop as the weather changes? You can stick with it. (AP/Dan Joling)

Afraid your fitness routine will flop as the weather changes? You can stick with it. (AP/Dan Joling)

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. The cooler weather, football, the changing leaves, school, and the cool, crisp smell of the fall season that hits my nose when I step outside to go for a run. I love it, and I look forward to the change of seasons all summer long.

Of course, not everybody shares the same feeling that I do about the hot summer days relenting to the cooler days of fall. In fact, when the cooler days break through, it can derail many people’s exercise routines that they had remained committed to throughout the summer. Especially if those fitness habits were established on the basis of training outside. Continue reading “Keep up your fitness routine even as the weather changes” »

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CSA Autumn: Shrimp and grits with corn

Convinced this would be our last week of getting sweet corn in our autumn CSA program, I had thought to write a swan song for the conclusion of sweet corn season. Turns out, we’ll be getting corn throughout October as long as there’s no freeze.

I’m completely okay with that.

Nothing has changed since last week — I’m still obsessed with The New York Times‘ Cooking website. Which is how I ended up using four ears of corn to make caramelized corn:

Caramelized corn with oregano. Photo by Jeff Lautenberger.

Caramelized corn with oregano. Photo by Jeff Lautenberger.

The original recipe calls for mint, which I’m sure is also delicious, but I wanted to use freh oregano from our container garden, since that herb’s flavor profile is more versatile. This is definitely one of those “it’s so simple, it’s stupid”/”why didn’t I think of this?” recipes that yields a sublime corn that can be eaten on its own or incorporated into another recipe.

Which is precisely what we did when we made shrimp and grits with corn:

Shrimp and grits with corn. Photo by Jeff Lautenberger.

Shrimp and grits with corn. Photo by Jeff Lautenberger.

Continue reading “CSA Autumn: Shrimp and grits with corn” »

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5 Things To Do Besides Emotionally Eat

Previously shared on Lindsay Weighs In.

If you’re like me, you may have struggled (or are still struggling!) with emotional eating. It seems to fix the problem, at least for a bit. EXCEPT, food only makes you feel better for so long. I learned this the hard way. Afterwards, you’re stuck with a stomachache, and still have the same problem you did before you ate.

I’ve lost weight before, but I always seem to gain it back, and then some. This past year, I had reached my highest weight ever.

There are other things to do when you’re upset, and through the LL&S challenge, and the incredible team I’m working with, I’m finally winning the battle with emotional eating.

Emotional Eating

Obligatory disclaimer, I’m not a doctor.

1. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. There’s no shame in breaking down every once in a while, and pushing those emotions down with food doesn’t help anything. Remember, pain demands to be felt. Allow it.

2. Work out. Although I’m having some trouble finding my mojo lately, I can’t say enough good things about what exercising regularly does for my mental health.

3. Listen to a sad song, watch a sad movie or sad TV show. This kinda goes along with allow yourself to feel what’s wrong, but it gives you an outlet. If you’re holding the tears and emotions in, a little bit of star-crossed lovers will get it right out of you.

4. Talk it out. I’m not great about talking about what’s wrong, and prefer to hold it all in, though it rarely works in my favor, and causes me to bottle it up and then explode later. Talk it out, with your friends, your family or a medical professional. Just talk it out with someone! You’d be amazed to see how much of the same things your friends are going through/how supportive those in your life are.

5. Paint your nails. I’m not kidding here! Nobody wants to stick their hands in a bag of something with wet nail polish. Mostly, give your hands something else to be busy with. Read a book or knit (and then teach me). I find the urge passes over time if I keep my hands busy and think about what’s really going on.

Food is meant to be nourishment, and fuel to live a happy, healthy, long life and it isn’t the enemy. I’m facing my demons with emotional eating, and am so thankful for Woman’s Day and Joy Bauer’s team for showing me the way.

Life is so much better when you don’t use food to solve your problems.

What do you do besides emotionally eat?

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Running 5 miles was a milestone that felt good

A milestone captured through the MapMyRun app.

A milestone captured through the MapMyRun app.

Although my lower body was feeling pretty sore, I was feeling pretty good about hitting a milestone recently during a run.

I only started running regularly about six months ago. In recent years, running had always been difficult. Even after only a quarter mile, my feet would begin to hurt. Better shoes didn’t help. A year or two ago, I got serious about exercise and lost about 30 pounds by doing mostly in-home cardio and strength training.

After that, I could run. It started out early last spring with a mile or so here, combined with walking.

Earlier this week, I ran 5 miles. It was slower than my usual time — it took about 55 minutes, or 11 minutes per mile, compared with my usual 9 1/2 to 10 minutes per mile — but that is now my longest run. I typically run about 3 miles at a time in around 30 minutes, give or take, with some 4-mile runs sprinkled in.

It’s a small thing, and an arbitrary marker to celebrate, but such progress can help keep me going on days when I wake up and have zero desire to get out there.

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Healthy cooking: Crispy chickpea patties with yogurt dill sauce

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I have complained about meat prices on more than one occasion.

Can I just tell you that chicken breasts were $4 a pound this week? Are you kidding me?

I refuse to pay such prices for chicken. So, we skipped that and I threw some discounted ground pork in the grocery cart instead. Poultry be damned.

I also stocked up on some garbanzo beans. I used to hate these little beige balls of protein.

I never found them to be very appetizing. But, alas, things change. Life goes on. I learn to love things my heart never believed could be so.

I present one of the EASIEST EVER chickpea patty recipes. So many call for potatoes or bread crumbs, and I’m just like, that’s too much work.

I did some experimenting, a they say, and this is by far my favorite, easy peasy version. Please make the yogurt sauce. It makes them sing. Continue reading “Healthy cooking: Crispy chickpea patties with yogurt dill sauce” »

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Change the way your kids eat at snack time

Change the way your kids view snack time by adding fruits or limiting processed snacks. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - FILE

Change the way your kids view snack time by adding fruits or limiting processed snacks. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – FILE

By Julie Stefanski, WellSpan Dietitian

Unfortunately, kids today are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, or high calcium foods and are getting more treat foods than necessary.  It’s up to us as caregivers to make the smart choice at the grocery store or farmer’s market to keep our kids healthy at home.

Julie Stefanski

Julie Stefanski

We certainly have lots of options here in the Snack Capital of the World.  A great concept, which was shared by Lisa Leake, blogger at www.100daysofrealfood, is the idea that snacks should be thought of as a particular TIME of day to eat, not a particular TYPE of food to choose.

Why not use snack time as a chance to catch your child up on the food groups they’re falling short in?  If you’re always offering a fried snack food, baked good, or brightly colored candy option, consider limiting these treats to one specific day of the week.  Offer that treat less often and try switching to a healthier option the other days. Continue reading “Change the way your kids eat at snack time” »

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Helping girls cope with the stress of perfectionism

The discussion will focus on helping teenage girls deal with the pressure to be perfect. FILE - DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS

The discussion will focus on helping teenage girls deal with the pressure to be perfect. FILE – DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS

Kathleen Hassan, a national expert and author on self-esteem and empowerment, will discuss “Under Pressure: Helping Teen Girls Cope with the Stress of Perfectionism,” 6:30 to 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 13, in the Wilman Business Center at York College.

In today’s competitive culture, the pressure on girls to be perfect and No. 1 at all cost is pervasive and insidious, according to Hassan.

Teenage girls (age 13 and older) are invited to attend this free session with a parent or significant adult. Continue reading “Helping girls cope with the stress of perfectionism” »

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The wonderful miracle of coconut oil

Coconut oil has become a fad item for moisturizing but you can expect it to be one that sticks around. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

Coconut oil has become a fad item for moisturizing but you can expect it to be one that sticks around. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

My mother-in-law bought coconut oil for the first time last winter, and I guess that’s when it first gained popularity. My sister-in-law was using it to remove her make up and moisturize her skin (yes, her arms and legs and face). People use it in cooking and as a deep hair mask.

It took me a long time to finally catch on, but I’m here. And I like what I see. Continue reading “The wonderful miracle of coconut oil” »

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