Archive for August 9th, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

Today was one of those mornings I wished I had a camera as I rounded the Central Park reservoir on the bridle path – the sky was a soft purply blue and the sunrise so perfect. 7.5 progression miles later, I’m still thinking about it.

From earlier this year:

Corny, but when my love for running isn’t enough to get me out of bed in the morning, the promise of seeing a great sunrise always does the trick.

Anyways, I’m really happy with my training last week and got in a lot of quality miles. Here are the deets:

  • Monday: 35 minutes spinning, 25 minutes elliptical; lifting
  • Tuesday: 2 miles w/u, 3×1 mile repeats (7:47, 7:37, 7:45) 3 miles cooldown (8 miles total)
    Wednesday: 8.65 miles
  • Thursday: 7.35 miles, 3 @ MP
  • Friday: 5.5 miles easy
  • Saturday: 17 miles, 5-ish miles @ MP
  • Sunday: 6 miles super easy

Total: 52.5 miles. This week I’ll bump up my long run to 18 miles and then scale it back the following week to 15-16 miles for a little break (heh, love that I’m already considering 16 miles a “break”. Oh, marathon training…).

When my mom was here last weekend, we talked a lot about food choices both at restaurants and while grocery shopping. See, she is making a huge effort to change her eating habits from a heavy cheese and red meat diet to one with more vegetables, lean meats and whole grains.

Sometimes I take for granted how much I know about nutrition, or at least forget that not everyone has been sitting in lectures and labs about nutrient structures, optimal carbohydrate/protein/fat ratios and vitamin/mineral absorption (etc., etc.) for the past bajillion few years.

My mom has no nutrition background, so for once it’s time for me to teach her a few things.

Since we’re basically starting from square one, here’s what we’ve done so far and how I’m going about it.

Slow and Steady
I think it’s important to implement change in patients like my mom gradually. Forcing them to give up everything they’re used to and totally overhaul their diets in one day is never something I would do.

Here are some of the small changes my mom is making now:

  • Cooking with lean ground turkey instead of red meat; limiting red meat to once per week
  • Limiting (but not removing) her cheese intake
  • Incorporating one additional serving of vegetables that her usual on most days
  • Drinking water instead of soda while at work (right, mom?)


  • Starting the day with a balanced breakfast – usually Kashi cereal, milk and a banana

My theory is that making changes is easier if you actually understand why you’re making them. So for each change she makes, I make sure to explain why. For example:

  • Cheese and red meat contain high amounts of saturated fat (in addition to lots of calories), and are likely one of the reasons why she has high cholesterol
  • Red meat may also be associated with a higher risk of some cancers (‘nuff said)
  • Vegetable intake is associated with a lower risk of some cancers, they pack tons of necessary vitamins and minerals and are low in calories


  • Soda is a pointless, nutrition-less beverage and I’m annoyed that it was ever invented (ok, I guess I’m a little opinionated on this one). Drinking lots of water flushes out toxins and keeps the body working properly
  • Eating a decent breakfast will help keep her satisfied until lunch and give her more energy at work. Kashi cereals pack good doses of fiber, which helps keep you full, and are low in sugar


Continuous Dialogue
My mom emails me what she eats on some days, and asks questions about cooking, recipes and her meals on a regular basis. This is important because it helps keep her nutrition goals top of mind, holds her accountable for food choices and decisions and I can give her feedback and answer her questions before she forgets them.

Since I want to make sure my mom keeps making progress, once she gets comfortable making the changes above we’ll revisit them and I’ll give her new goals. For example, eventually I’d like her to limit red meat intake to once per month (or even less) and branch out on the vegetables she eats.

I will also bother her until she does it strongly encourage her to start an exercise routine.

So far, so good (right, mom?). She’s a great patient, because in addition to wanting to make changes, she understands that it takes time to see and feel results. And she has me to help her stick with it 🙂

Now if only I could get her to quit smoking…

Question: Do you ever “teach” your parents anything? I love being able to help when I can, even if they don’t always listen (ahem, Dad with the never eating vegetables, ahem). I guess it’s payback time for my teen (uhh, and pre-teen) years…


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