“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
John Bingham, running speaker and writer

I am a certified RRCA Running Coach.  If you would like to discover the joys of running, run your first race, improve your speed or endurance, contact me.


How much sugar can I have and why can’t I have more since it tastes so good?

From what I’ve read, and what you already know, it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, obesity …. etc. But why were we created with the “sweet” detecting taste buds if we can’t have sugar?  It’s a set up!  No matter how we try to fight it, we should limit the sugar in our diet to make room for more nutritious foods.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Set your limits.  If your caloric limit is 1600 cals/day, try to limit sugar to 22g/day. 2200 cals/day, limit sugar to 44g/day. 2800 cals/day, limit sugar to 66g/day.
  • Read your food labels.  Typically if an ingredient is listed as one of the first 3 ingredients, it is the largest in quantity in that item.  Be aware of all your -ose’s:   sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, lactose, maltose. These are sugars. Also, honey, maple syrup, molasses. Then there is the corn sweetener, high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, and other syrups.
  • Select fresh fruit first. Then opt for fruit packed in either water or light syrup.
  • Soft drink will effect your teeth. Not only because of the sugar but the acid in soft drinks promote decay.
  • Some low fat food items will be high in sugar because sugar has no fat… just causes it.
  • If you reduce the sugar in baked goods, add spices.  Spices tend to make food taste sweeter.
  • Don’t be afraid of sugar, simply opt to put more healthy items in your diet rather than filling up on sweets with no nutritional benefit.

Why am I CRAVING BREAD?!!! A thing or two about Carbohydrates.

We need carbs in our diet because they give us energy.  Limit the simple carbohydrates such as cakes, soda, candy.  Satisfy your cravings with complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, pasta, fresh fruit and vegetables.  Even most dairy products are a super good source of carbohydrates with the added benefit of calcium.

How many carbs do you need?  It is reported that 60% of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates.  If you want to get really technical, use the following calculation:

Multiply the no. of calories you need per day by .6    Since there are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate,  take your result and divide by 4.  Now check your food labels and add it up at the end of the day.

What about fiber?  It’s a carbohydrate that is derived from fruits, veggies, and grains.  There is soluble and non-soluble.  The soluble kind controls our blood sugar and … rumor has it… might lower your cholesterol.  Non-soluble helps prevent constipation … if you know what I mean?!  As an adult, we need about 20 – 35 grams of fiber daily.  For your soluble fiber eat your oatmeal, beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, strawberries, other fruit.  Some non-soluble sources might include whole wheat breads and cereals, brown rice, cabbage, the skin on fruits and veggies.

Here is an interesting “Did you know”:  All carbohydrates eaten are converted to blood glucose within 5 minutes to 3 hours after the food is eaten.

Hold the Fat and Calories Please:

Energy in our body comes from our fat stores.  If you eat too much and the body can’t readily utilize it, our body will pack it away like a little squirrel for when it might need it later. This is our fat storage. This is why we get fat:  eating too much, and not using it.

Fat is important because it helps the body maintain healthy organs, bones, skin, hair, nails. Yet not all are created equal.  Saturated Fat = Solid Fat = BAD FAT (butter, cheese, shortening, tropical oils, fat in meat, poultry skin… you need to limit these.  Notice something here? Solid at room temp.

Unsaturated Fat = Mono or Poly.  Monosaturated fat has been shown to help raise our good cholesterol. Don’t go nuts yet!  Speaking of which, you can find your good monos in limited amounts of nuts, nut butters,  olive and canola oils.  Polyunsaturated fat might contain free radicals that lead to tissue damage so you need to limit them although some healthier ones are vegetable oils, high fat fish (salmon, tuna).   So when the unsaturated fats replace the saturated fats in your diet, you are definately onto a good thing.

Trans fat is to be avoided. Partially hyrogenated oils are also trans fats.

How much fat?  About 30% of your daily calorie count. Try to keep those saturated fats to 10% or less.  Here’s a great way to measure a gram of fat ( 9 cals per gram). Picture 1 tsp. fat which is about 4 grams.

To use up your body’s fat stores, you need to exercise on a regular basis. Try to elevate your heart rate through exercise (NOT stress!!!) every day. Exercises using weights will help build muscle and will also help burn calories because muscle is more dense than fat and therefore requires the body to burn more calories when carrying more muscle.

The above tips were summarize from a great source site:  and since I am not a professional of fitness nor nutrition, recommend you read up on the whole story.  Now, go grab an apple and go for a walk!


Recently I was reading an article in Muscle & Body, November issue which indicates that it is not necessarily the amount of protein you get but when and what kind you ingest.  Do we believe this pro protein muscle bound generation?  I can’t argue with it as I’m not a Dietician nor a Fitness professional in any way.  I do believe that this article might be correct based upon my own gains when I switched from being a fruit and carbohydrate maniac to one who religiously ingests 10g to 20g of protein pre and post work out, at least a little protein added with every snack and 18g to 25g with my 3 main meals.

My favorite proteins:  For fast delivery, pre & post workout, I like ….

Fast Delivery Proteins

Fast Delivery Proteins

For meal substitutes or if I’m hungry before bedtime, I enjoy the healthy Vegan friendly Arbonne protein mix because its delivery is over a longer period of time: *Vegan friendly. Natural. Healthy.


So what does this article say?  It tells us first thing to do in the morning – before brushing your teeth, take in some fast delivery protein such as whey protein isolate.  It is delivered fast into your system which is needed after going 6- 8 hours without any – your body is feeding off of whatever it can (even your muscles) for fuel.  After you workout, you need this fast delivery protein as well, to refuel your body.  Now, in between, we want to intake slower delivery protein sources such as casein  or soy, or egg. Usually you can find a great mixture of these proteins for slower digestion.

In summary, if you want to stay trim, but keep your muscle, you must ingest protein every 2 -3 hours.  Reminder:  This is Joanne’s version of the article and only a summary.  There is so much more that your body needs by way of Fats, Carbohydrates, and Fiber in addition to Protein.  Also, as a Vegetarian, I was reluctant to use so much whey protein, however, you will note, if you read any of my workout routines, I work out hard almost every day of the week.  Therefore, I have to supplement with at least 20 g of high quality, fast digestng protein. Whey Protein Isolate was my option and since I am a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, considered it a viable source.


The following is an excellent reference in summary, which I copied from the following site: (Find out more about Betterbodz at, or call 800/335-6740. Copyright © 1995,1996,1997,1998 All Rights Reserved. ) Intact Protein Isolates are normally about 90% pure protein. Generally, they have properties that are very similar to protein concentrates with the exception that they are inherently more pure. In other words, protein isolates are better manufactured, more expensive protein sources.

Whey is by far the best selling form of protein in the marketplace today. Whey is one of the two ingredients that is separated from milk (casein is the other). Now, before going any further remember that a protein like whey can either be a concentrate (about 80% protein) or an isolate (about 90% protein). So 20 grams of whey concentrate will yield about 16 grams of pure protein while 20 grams of whey isolate will yield a more respectable 18 grams of protein. Whey has become the best selling protein product in the marketplace. Certainly it is a decent choice for protein gourmets, however, it lacks many of the highly desirable properties that soy protein possesses, especially for women.

Soy is an ingredient that comes from the soybean. First, soy is extremely rich in the muscle critical five amino acid cluster (the 3 branched chain aminos, glutamine and arginine) that will help to develop lean tissue. In fact, nearly 35% of soy protein is made up of these aminos as compared to 18% in whey protein or 16% in beef.  Second, soy protein can be a key to increasing health as it is extremely rich in phytoestrogens and isoflavones. Third, soy is highly digestable and scores a perfect 1.0 in scienceís best, current protein quality standard test known as the Protein Digestability Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS).

Casein: The real knock against casein is that natural casein sources tend to contain moderate to high levels of the milk sugar lactose. Although this isnít necessarily a terrible thing, many people are lactose intolerant or suffer from digestive irregularities if they eat products containing too much lactose. Again, casein is not a bad choice for protein but is not nearly as good for women as is soy. Casein was the “other” component produced from milk in the cheese making process. In fact, casein is really just cottage cheese with a higher amount of the milk sugar lactose and the mineral calcium.

Egg Protein: decades egg was judged to be the single most superior source of protein. For use as a powdered protein supplement, compared to other sources such as soy, casein or whey, eggs isolates taste terrible, are absurdly expensive and donít offer the functional body shaping value that the other products possess.

REMEMBER: I have summarized and “cut” this article. Please see the reference above to read all about proteins.


This is from www.SparkPeople.comTop 5 Reasons to Love A.M. Exercise

  1. Exercising early in the morning “jump starts” your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours! As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long–just because you exercised in the morning.  
  2. Exercising in the morning energizes you for the day–not to mention that gratifying feeling of virtue you have knowing you’ve done something disciplined and good for you. (Much better than a worm!)  
  3. Studies have shown that exercise significantly increases mental acuity–a benefit that lasts four to ten hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower, instead of wasting it while you’re snoozing.  
  4. Assuming you make exercise a true priority, it shouldn’t be a major problem to get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier–especially since regular exercise generally means a higher quality of sleep, which in turn means you’ll probably require less sleep. (If getting up 30 to 60 minutes earlier each day seems too daunting, you can ease into it with 10 to 20 minutes at first.)
  5. When you exercise at about the same time every morning–especially if you wake up regularly at about the same time–you’re regulating your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms. Your body learns that you do the same thing just about every day, and it begins to prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you actually open your eyes. 

Exercise Extra: More than 90% of those who exercise consistently have a morning fitness routine. If you want to exercise on a regular basis, the odds are in your favor if you squeeze your workout into the a.m.



This is a super clarification regarding the different types of yoga and other helpful info. from

Types of Yoga
Yoga, started in India more than 5,000 years ago and springing from a Sanskrit word meaning “union,” has many forms but generally centers around techniques for breathing (pranayama), postures (asanas), flexibility, and meditation (such as the technique called dhyana). It can be very spiritual, linking the mind, body, and spirit. Other popular types seen today in videos and in gyms include: 

  • Hatha: basic introductory yoga poses, usually gentle and slow-paced
  • Vinyasa: more aggressive stretching, with a focus on sun salutations and connecting breathing with movement
  • Ashtanga: fast-paced and more intense (sometimes referred to as “power yoga”), this form focuses on constant movement from one pose to the next
  • Bikram: Also referred to as “hot yoga,” this form is intended to be practiced in an environment where the temperature is 95-100 degrees, to promote intense sweating that will loosen tight muscles and facilitate cleansing of the body. (Please note that this form is NOT recommended during pregnancy.)

Time Involved: Usually 30-75 minutes  

Body Benefit: Greater mind-body connection   


SparkPeople Experts Answer Your Fitness Questions

Question: How often should I walk? Should I focus on miles or minutes?

Expert Answer:

Frequency: Number of Days Per Week
Aim for a minimum of 3 days a week, and gradually work your way up to 5 or 6 days a week. The more the better–especially when it comes to weight loss. But don’t forget the importance of rest and recovery–give yourself at least 1-2 days off each week.

Intensity: How Hard To Exercise
You can use your target heart rate range or the “Talk Test” to make sure you’re working out in a good range (not too easy, not too hard). If you can comfortably answer a question during exercise, while still feeling like you’re exerting yourself, you’re in a good calorie-burning range. This range is ideal for the general health benefits that come with exercise, and for weight loss.

Time: How Long For Each Cardio Session
The recommended time for most people ranges from a minimum of 20 minutes (for simple general health), all the way up to about 60 minutes. Of course, it’s smart to work your way up gradually. The further you go over 20 minutes, the more fat you are burning, so that can be a good motivator.

Type: Activities That Count
Any activity can count as cardio/aerobic exercise as long as it meets the 3 requirements above – that you can sustain a target heart rate intensity for at least 20-60 minutes, and do it several times a week. Walking, of course, meets those requirements.

Things to keep in mind:
1. Time can be cumulative: You don’t have to do 60 minutes all at once. You can do several 5-10 minute mini-workouts each day and add them up. 2. If you can’t reach your target heart rate with walking, then add intensity by increasing speed or incline.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  • At 2010.07.02 11:27, Indi said:

    What a fantastic resource!! I see I’m going to be spending tons of time on your blog 🙂 TRying out all sorts of new recipes too!! AWESOME!!

    • At 2010.12.21 14:29, LauraJayne said:

      I constantly struggle to control the amount of sugar in my diet – but I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. What are your thoughts about artifical sweetener. I have always thought that sugar, in moderation, was still better than most artificial sweeteners out there – what do you think?

      • At 2011.03.26 11:58, kate said:

        A lot of people are scared of certain artificial sweeteners and i guess it’s up to the individual to make that decision if they want. I know from what i’ve read from that i am not worried about using artificial sweeteners

        • At 2011.02.09 02:00, Trinidad Chaddlesone said:

          Very Good Article! nice and informative tips. I already bookmark your blog.

          • At 2012.07.18 07:41, said:

            Food plays very important role in our life. Because sometimes some type of food is beneficial for our body and sometimes it harmful to our body. But we require all types of food in specific proportion for healthy growth of our body. Vegetables, fruits, etc is helpful diet for our body. Here you are giving very helpful information about nutrition. Thanks for sharing with us.

            • At 2016.11.19 09:06, Freya said:

              This is why we always… ALWAYS… have to make sure that we use all that energy so it won’t be stored as “unwanted body fats”. And eating is healthy is really important. I love your blog, Joanne. Looking forward to your next posts. 🙂

              (Required, will not be published)

              Add video comment