Diets and New Years Resolutions

So first let’s back up…What is a diet?

The original definition of diet was the food and drink usually taken by a person or group. according to the Cambridge English dictionary.

The word “diet” meant just the foods and drinks one consumed (with no negative or positive connotation). Unfortunately, the word “diet” has come to been restricted eating usually associated with a weight loss goal. Well, I’m over it! Sure, at times in my life I have cycled through “weight loss diets” from previous periods of overeating. However, my college weight gain and restricted eating were symptoms of being unhappy.  Personally, I think it’s important to have goals in mind, but not focus on the weight.

Cycling through diets does NOT work. How many people have you known to do a diet (e.g. Akins, Whole 30, Cleanses, etc.) and they have successfully kept the weight off, stuck to the diet, and been happy?

I believe that when we stop focusing on weight and instead focus on positive goals, we can ditch weight loss diets and live our best lives. So, I challenge you to live your best life and focus positive goals to increase your overall health.

And if anyone that wants to share with me, their New Years Weight loss resolutions, please don’t! Choose another resolution or goal to share with me.

Instead of weight loss goals, here are some suggestions:

  • focus on eating more fruits and veggies
  • more movement and mobility (increase daily steps, stretch, do yoga, etc.)

Or if you’d like to focus on a performance goals, here a few ideas:

  • increase lean body mass
  • run a faster race
  • lift or squat more weights

Happy New Year! and P.s. Let’s all skip this diet culture. You do you and live your best life. Your weight or a number on the scale does not define you. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!!


Tempo Thursday- Lolla & Rubber Ducks

Hmmm, my first real attempt at tempo run in awhile. Why did I chose to run the middle of the day in hot & muggy weather?

Classic route: The Chicago Riverwalk to the Lakefront Path.

The warm-up: As I ran down the riverwalk, I wondered why there were so many people, but also how it could be so cloudy and so muggy? I continued to dodge people during my long warm-up and try to relax into the run. I was anxious about “having” to push the pace for 3 miles. Ugh, why is the warm-up 1.5 miles long? From the office to the lakefront is exactly 1 mile, however will I get in the extra .5? I got in my starting my watch slightly early than normal and continuing to dodge people on the Lakefront heading to Lolla. It actually worked out well. Around 3/4 of a mile, I hit the water misted near the architectural tour. I definitely ran through the mister, because again it was hot and muggy. I made to the Lakefront and ran into a fellow Volee member and just wanted to turn around and run with her. I didn’t really have to do these tempo miles, did I? But, I just said hi and finished my  warm-up.

The tempo miles (Lolla playing in the background): Okay, time to drop the pace but to what….I tried to go on feel and what I thought could be sustainable for 3 miles, but the air was thick and my legs were like jelly from the previous day’s massage. The first mile was over and I thought I could drop the pace some more, so I did. After 1.5 miles, I stopped to stretch my shoulder and drink some water, but also rest because the thick air was too much. I approached the Museum and was glad to see it. Hey, when was the last time that I had enough mileage in me that I could run to the museum?! I was thankful for this moment of clarity and remembering that pace shouldn’t matter as much. My mind began to wonder to recent social situations (i.e. why do people lie and cheat? and why didn’t I trust my gut instinct to just run away?). I became refocused on the turnaround and decided to pick the sidewalk closer to lake. Th waves were crashing into the sidewalk and I just wanted to join them- taking a nice jump into the lake sounded great. Instead, I paused at mile 2.5 and watched the waves. I decided to finish the last .5 and as I ran by the bathrooms- I remembered the time that I hid them from a certain jerk (and how I wouldn’t be doing that again!).

The Waves
The Waves

Cooldown: I made it onto the riverwalk and it was more crowded than I’ve ever seen. I looked over into the river and saw all the Rubber Ducks! It was the Rubber Duck Derby 2017 supporting the special Olympics! I was slightly less frustrated by all the people and I paused to watch the Rubber ducks float down the river. I finished my cooldown, knowing that a cool smoothie was in my future.

“Actually, I’m a dietitian” and Avocado Toast

Mondaysss…Am I right? Happy National Avocado Day!

I wanted to verbal to NP_ Chi this morning, but I just couldn’t. One of my Instagram friends and a friend currently staying in Oak Park were going (and trying to get me to verbal). I wanted to go.  I even  packed my clothes and food. When my alarm went off, I just didn’t get out of bed. I didn’t feel like getting sandy this morning and I feared too much shoulder calisthenics (due to current injury). I opted to hit snooze…..ZZZZZZ

I could beat myself up for missing a workout and probably a really fun one at that. Sure, I missed my friends and a great workout, but I had to do what was right for me. Instead, I stayed home, stretched, enjoyed a cup of coffee, and went to work. (Side note, I did find out that there was a lot of shoulder exercises, so I think I made the right choice. hehe).

In the parking garage, I met a man in the elevator that was carrying a blender. Before, I even got to ask me about the blender. He started telling me about his morning. He had accidentally left his keys on the roof of his car, last night. I asked if he was tired.  Hey- isn’t that us all sometimes- we all get tired, rundown, and leave things  on the roof of our car (or some other absent-minded thing)?  It’s important to take note when you’re tired and hopefully make changes. Sleep is important, y’all. It’s important, you know you know it. You don’t need me to explain it to you.

So what about that blender? I asked about the blender- apparently his workplace is having healthy challenge. I said, “Actually, I’m a dietitian.” Excitingly, he knew what an RD was and asked if I worked at the hospital nearby. We briefly changed business cards before parting ways to head off to work. (Hi, Chris! and nice to meet you).

I’m inspired that the nutrition field is changing and glad to know that people are taking charge of their health. So all in all, it was an inspiring Monday Morning!

Bonus- our office was having an avocado toast bar in celebration of National Avocado Day. I thoroughly enjoyed 2 pieces of avocado toast (as pictured).

Anyway,  I think my point was that it’s important to be mindful. Be mindful, take mindful movements for you. (I often need the reminder).

P.s. My run will happen later as well as book club on an excellent book called Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg.

P.s.s. This is also for you people that thought I didn’t like avocado toast. I don’t not like, I’m just tired of seeing it all the time on IG and eating it myself a lot. (I need more variety in my diet). I love avocados! They contain healthy fats, fibers, potassium and other vitamins & minerals, but I probably won’t be eating any more avocado toast for a couple days. 🙂 #keepingitreal

Veggie-Herb Bruschetta

Veggie Packed Herb Bruschetta pairs well with Rose for a light appetizer or snack.

Serves: A small group (or yourself a few times)


  • baguette
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup of basil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto (or 1 tablespoon of Parmesan and another 1/2 cup of basil


  1. If desired slice and toast baguette (I prefer my bread untoasted, so I don’t do this), and set aside.
  2. To make the topping, blanch the vegetables.
    1. Grab a mixing bowl and fill with cold water and some ice.
    2. Boil water and steam frozen peas, spinach, and basil for 1 minute.
    3. Immediately place veggies in cold-ice water. This ensures that they stop cooking and sets their bright green color.
  3. Place blanched vegetables and pesto in the blender and process to desired consistency.
  4. Top baguette with vegetable-pesto mixture.
  5. ENJOY with a glass of rose.


Adapted from: The Feed Zone Cookbook

Gifting Weird 2016

Needs some gift ideas for me (or you other favorite weirdo runners)? Look no further! I have compiled a shortlist of  quick gift ideas. (Tip: take a note from Oiselle, always gift weird).

  1. Local Foods. Okay, so I’m a dietitian that’s also part foodie and coffee connoisseur. Food makes a great gift; it can be eaten up without cluttery up my apartment. Plus, who doesn’t love tasty food?
    • Coffee beans from a local roastery.
    • Local honey to soothe a sore throat or paired with afternoon tea.
  2. Underwear & socks- Back to the gifting weird. Somehow, a lady can just never have enough socks or underwear.
    • Socks- Fancy Stance and Balega socks are my favorites.
    • Underwear- O has new Rundies.
  3. Some inspiration B.S. (because we all go through tough times and can use some motivation). A nice  motivational reminder from a loved one is always appreciated.
    • Handwritten card or if you’re uncreative like me, Hallmark always has options.
    • Jewelry (see picture). Momentum, often found a local running store, is a great option.
  4. Essentials Oils- More on these later, but for now- Google Doterra and Ask me!
  5. Giftcard for you copouts and can’t pick out a gift.
    • Local Running Store
    • Favorite Brand
    • Grocery store

P.s. Run Fast and Break Things!!! 🙂

Cranberry-Pumpkin Risotto

This unique risotto is rather simple and vegan. Originally called Thanksgiving risotto, it’s a great dish served anytime during the fall. In fact, I just had some leftovers for lunch. The fresh tart cranberries give it a nice punch and the creamy pumpkin really brings the dish together. Carrots and kale also star in the veggie packed risotto.

Time: ~ 1 1/2 hours (okay that’s a lot of time, but most of it is taken up by cooking the brown rice and later stirring. You can text and stir at the same time, carefully)

Serves: A lot. Still eating leftovers over here.


  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots (or 6 baby carrots), chopped
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (my favorite broth- Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/4 cup dry brown rice (cooked 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Cook the rice to package directions (typically 45 mins).  Set aside.
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop your veggies and herbs- carrots, onions, kale, sage and thyme.
  3. Rinse the cranberries in cold water. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Roast the cranberries in the oven at 425°F for about 15 mins. They will pop. Set aside.
  4. In a very large pan, take 1 cup of broth and onions and carrots, cook until veggies are very soft.
  5. Put the pumpkin puree, step 4 veggie mixture , and 1/2 cup broth into blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. Bring rice and puree mixture together in pan. Add remaining broth-1 1/2 cup.
  7. Stir in greens, cranberries, and cloves. Cook about 10 mins on medium and stir.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in herbs- sage and thyme.
  9. Plate and garnish with pecans.
  10. Enjoy
  11. I’ll probably be making this again for Christmas, because Mom likes it now. 🙂


Adapted from:





Chicago Marathon 2016

All the Miles (from what I remember)…

Mile 0: Cool, calm, and collected. Shockingly, I have never felt this relaxed before a race. Just chilling in corral F.

Mile 0.1: Pacer dude ran into me (he did apologize), coming back from port-o-potty. Someone was having issues…(laughing on the inside).

Mile 0.5: Huh, why do my shorts keep falling down? Oh, I forgot to tie them. I better tie them. Seems like too much effort to tuck the drawstring in, I’ll leave it, that’s cool right?

Mile 1-6: Okay nice and easy. Hmm…I am around this pace group.

Mile 3/4: Family!!

Mile: 6-10: Hmmmm….still with the pacing group. Can’t decide if it’s helpful to stay with them to get by other people or just annoying.

Mile 10: Family!!

Mile 10-16: Settling in. Okay, I’ll pick it up a bit…I got this.

Mile 12: Ashley said, she’d be around here… runs to right side…Hmm, I don’t see her. Mile 13: Bummer, I must have missed her (and apparently the best signs ever- see below).

Mile 13.1: Halfway done!! Wait, I just ran a half!

Mile 13.5: SWATI!! I see SWATI! It’s so cool, she’s rogue with all the bananas. Do I want a banana? Nah, its not part of my fueling plan, but it sounds cool. I’ll just say HI!!! (Swati is a BFF and the coolest most supportive lady! She’s also a vegan. 🙂

Mile 15: Hey it’s dude from work! I can’t believe I see him. HEY YOU! (Race mind aka what is his name?) Johnny, it’s Johnny. I call him by his name everyday. lol.

Mile 16: I am getting away from this pace group. I can’t deal with them.

Mile 17: HELLO OISELLE! Only clearly recognized 2 ppl. Kinda wanted to stop and hug everyone, but also wanted to keep running. Was afraid of what might happen if I stopped.

Mile 17.1: Family!!

Mile 18: Best Foot Forward and Oak Park Runners Group!! EMILY FROM TRACK! YAY!! This is where I volunteered last year. Maybe, I should volunteer again. Why am I running?

Miles 20-26: is when things got weird. Right before mile 20, I was getting ready to tear it up. I was in the mindset and felt strong. Mile 20- got more crowded. I didn’t know how to not run into people, I kept running into people, because I refused to slow down.

Mile 20.1: searing neck pain (perhaps more on this later, currently in PT and going to the doctor), and I just wanted to quit. All this training, legs injury free, and I have neck pain, I’m done, I’m out. HELLO MED TENT? Ok, I skipped the med tent. I knew I was okay, but I just wanted the neck pain to go away; I couldn’t fight through it. I decided to walk, stretch my neck, and try to finish.

Miles 20.2-24: Blur miles, I’m doing this, but pain… What mile is it?

Mile 22: November Project!! Oh, it’s so good they are cheering for people and hugging. I don’t wanna be cheered for…I’m sucking at this…bye, I’m hiding. Embarrassed, just feeling embarrassed.

Mile 22.1: I see another Emily from NP. I say Hi. I can deal with 1 person! I also saw her encouraging another NP’er (from LA, I think). Way to go everyone, we’re doing this.

Mile 24: Hey only 2 more miles! Still lots of ppl, let’s finish this. I wonder if I can catch up to the pace group that passed me….lol. Nope, they too far out. All the med tents, should I stop? Nah, I’ll stop at the end.

Mile 26.2: Hey look I finished STRONG and still under 4 hours…Okay, that’s acceptable.

When your best isn’t really your best. I did my best? But really I did. I keep trying to convince myself. Okay, so it was my best effort despite some issues- namely a cold. A giant head cold. When you have to add RICOLA (yes, I always sing it), you know it’s not gonna be the best run.

Also, I’m not a runner…I didn’t run on a HS or college team, so some things are still strange for me:

  1. running with others or in this case I kept literally running into others…
  2. pacing is still difficult for me…(cough, cough I may have accidentally done some speedy miles during taper time).

Focusing on the good!

  1. I RAN A MARATHON- A WHOLE MARATHON! 26.2 Miles in case, you didn’t know. It feels like the first time, because 2 years I did the marathon injured with a run/ walk strategy. I made it through this time around, injury-free!
  2. FUELING- I have really dialed in my nutrition and fueling. I have found what works for me and am so thankful!
  3. COACH SUPPORT- Coach is the best. Everyone get a coach, very beneficial.
  4. CROWD SUPPORT- Oiselle Cowbell Corner was the best. November Project  Also huge shoutout to anyone that was along the course.
  5. FAMILY SUPPORT- My family made it to 3 locations along the course! Very impressive.

What’s next….Another marathon, maybe?  Maybe a smaller race for a BQing purposes? But definitely more running!!

Psss…If you want the full gory story,  look up my finish line photos and laugh with me. Real running….SMH.

Peanut Butter Balls

My favorite recipe from high school. High energy treats perfect for a quick pick me up after an intense workout or run!


  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup local wildflower honey (for the best flavor)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • unsweetened coconut flakes

Mix the first 5 ingredients together! Roll in the coconut flakes. Then boom, you have your balls. So simple, right? But so delicious. Go make your PB balls, now.



Portions, portions, portions….How much to eat?

Portion vs. Serving size: A serving size is what is labeled on the food package, however this may be more or less than what you should be eating at one time. For example, sometimes I eat 2 servings of pasta for dinner and sometimes I eat half a large apple before a run. To figure out what you “should” be eating either try “the plate method” or go to Food Tracker.

The Plate Method (aka the simple method)

In general, I like sticking to plate size of about 10-12 inches in diameter. This tends to be significantly smaller than many plates. Try looking for “salad” plates or medium sized plates. Note: don’t go to small or you’ll be tempted for seconds and end up over eating.

The Basics

  • 10 inch plate
  • 1/2 vegetables and fruit
  • 1/4 protein
  • 1/4 carbohydrate/ starch


P.s. I like these Corelle divided plates. They also keep you foods from touching each other, if you like to keep your foods separate.

What about weighing food?

Do I weigh my food? No. Should you? You can, if you wish, but I think the plate method is a simple way to get portion sizes under control. Weighing food does work. You’ll know exactly how much you are eating, but I think its important to include some balance.