Q & A

  1. Are you a nutritionist or other health expert? I am Certified as a Personal Trainer by the American College of Sports Medicine and have been a distance runner for many years. I also have been a health writer for more than 10 years, and in doing so, have researched and reported on many health-fitness topics, including weight loss/weight gain, nutrition and healthy eating, stress management, and more. My passions for running, nutrition, and writing have now combined to create this blog, where I hope to share what I’ve learned and how I try to live the healthiest life I can.
  2. What is the purpose of your blog? Through my blog, I want to show how one person can incorporate many healthy living and overall wellness principles into daily life and the results that come from this lifestyle. It is my hope that you will read this blog and feel inspired to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and live healthy lives.
  3. What’s with all of the product/brand mentions? I want to make it quite clear that I am NOT paid to endorse ANY brand/store that I mention on this site. Also, if I do receive a free item in the mail for review or as a “thank you” I will note that upfront in the review of the item. Although I am very loyal to certain brands/stores, any brand or store that I mention by name in my posts is mentioned for one main reason – to let my readers know the products that I use and how I feel about them.
  4. What is a healthy living strategy? My healthy living strategy includes eating the correct portions of nutritious food, participating in regular cardiovascular and strengthening exercise, and engaging in overall wellness strategies. My healthy living plan also involves finding a healthy balance between family, fun, and work.
  5. What is your healthy eating plan? I strive to eat the healthiest, most natural foods whenever possible, otherwise known as clean eating. For the most part, this includes eating the recommended portion sizes of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and pork, grains, dairy, and fats. I also try to avoid snacking throughout the day, but rather eat 3 more substantial, balanced, meals that carry me through one meal to the next. It’s not that I’m against snacking, I just find that it’s hard to stop snacking, once I start. However, if I do need a snack, I try to stick to healthy, nutritious options. In addition to eating healthy, I also try to drink healthy. I drink a ton of water (about 4 16oz water bottles a day) and tea on a daily basis. I do drink at least 1 can of diet coke a day, but am trying to wean myself off of it! It has no calories but it does have artificial sweetener.
  6. Do you ever eat “unhealthy” foods? Heck yeah! Of course I eat unhealthy foods (or those with little nutrients). I love all sweets, but especially peanut M&M’s, as well as chips and French fries, but I try to eat them in moderation. When all else fails, I just don’t keep these things in the house.
  7. How do you feel about natural foods? I love clean eating,  enjoying foods in their most natural state. Although natural foods include whole foods like fresh fruits and veggies, they also include foods or recipes made from all natural ingredients (ie. homemade chocolate chip cookies v. prepackaged cookies). My belief is that if you stick with all-natural foods with all natural ingredients (and normal portion sizes) you really can’t go wrong. But, that’s not to say that I will not eat processed foods that contain manufactured (and sometimes questionable) ingredients, I just do my best to choose natural over processed.
  8. How do you maintain my weight and stay healthy? People often ask me what is my secret to staying healthy and maintaining my weight. I tell them it’s all about balancing food/nutrition with exercise. But, it also includes a true dedication to wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. I love just about all forms of exercise, but I really love running, walking, and yoga. I run at least 20 miles a week and practice yoga one day a week. I also do 2-3 days of strength exercises. For me, and for many, running burns the most calories in any given amount of time and burns them quite efficiently. Running also makes me feel strong, empowered, and in control of my life and surroundings. But, Yoga is awesome too! It’s a great cross-training workout that has improved my balance, flexibility, and has toned my arms and legs so much! It also helps me feel more relaxed and in-tune with the world. Although exercising regularly is important, I try to balance my fitness program with healthy eating. Even with eating, it’s all about balance. I don’t eat all health food, but I don’t eat all junk. But one thing I DO do is try to eat natural. Preservatives and artificial ingredients are NOT my friends, so I try to avoid them whenever possible. I do, however, watch my calorie intake in a daily basis. I do this to maintain my weight but also to see how my daily calories are divided between food groups.
  9. If I follow what you do, will I lose weight? My blog is not intended to be a diet or weight-loss blog. Although I eat healthy and exercise regularly, my wellness strategies may not work for everyone. Just as some people swear by Weight Watchers or Adkins, others will not lose on pound on either. Finding a healthy balance between food and fitness should really be determined on an individual basis. However, the health and fitness strategies that I mention on this blog are those that I have been practicing for many years and they have helped me look at feel great!
  10. What diets do you recommend? I don’t believe in dieting or most so-called “diets” out there. Quite frankly, they are usually restrictive, eliminating one food or another and potentially important nutrients. Also, when you are “on” the diet, you may lose weight, but when you go “off” the diet you gain weight. This means that in order for your “diet” to continue working, you have to be on it for the rest of your life. Why put yourself through this trouble (and stretch marks)? I say, adopt a healthy eating plan, healthy exercise plan, and overall healthy living plan, and steer clear of diets – unless your doctor specifically recommends one.
  11. What is your mantra? Indulgence in moderation. As Marie Antoinette said, “let them eat cake”. I agree with this strategy as it applies to what we eat, but you need to eat the cake and any other indulgences in moderation.
  12. What are your overall diet and fitness goals? First, let me say that I am not on a diet and don’t to go on a diet. As for weight loss, I don’t need to lose weight. I’ve been at a very healthy weight (I’m 5 ft. 1 in and weight 108 pounds) and have been within 5 pounds of that weight since my high school years. I am not following my healthy eating/exercise principles to lose weight, but rather to maintain my weight and to look and feel better. If I ever do feel that I’ve put on an extra few pounds (around the holidays or on vacation), then I modify my exercise and food intake to reflect this.
  13. Do you write down everything that you eat? Although I have done this before, for months on end, I do not keep a log of everything that I eat. However, I do find it very helpful to record what I eat and the calories/nutrients that are associated with what I eat. I notice that when I do keep a log of my eating habits, it is much easier for me to stay on track with my healthy living strategies.
  14. What eating principles inspire you? Although I do not advocate dieting, there are culture specific diets (diet meaning the typical food/drink of a particular group or culture) that provide a great foundation of healthy living principles. The classic Mediterranean and French diets are two culture-specific diets that are more of a lifestyle, focusing on eating all-natural food, in moderation, combined with regular physical activity.
  15. Are you a foodie? I do love gourmet food, but would only consider myself a borderline foodie. But I will say that I am very loyal to certain gourmet foods, food brands, and gourmet markets. So, I’m not a foodie or a food snob – just a food loyalist.
  16. Why the name Running With Cake? My blog is about finding a balance between food, fitness, and life. RWC symbolizes that no food should be off limits as long as you are practicing an overall healthy lifestyle. Besides, being an avid runner, I just HAD to include running in the title somehow!