What do you do when it’s 95 degrees, and your power has been out all weekend, and you are fun parents? You take your daughter wine tasting. My parents have had no power ever since Friday night’s huge storm, so they’ve been camping out in our air conditioning.
By Sunday afternoon we got restless, so we decided to brave the heat and go to some Virginia wineries. Mike and Danny stayed home to watch the Euro Cup final, and to nap, respectively. My parents and I headed out I-66 west to The Winery at La Grange, which was decorated with cheery American flags. We sat outside on the shady lawn, sipped some white, and ignored the temperatures. It was just what we all needed.
I got this message recently on Facebook.
Charlotte, I enjoyed your DC run. Can you write about protein bars? I am using shakes in the morning and a bar in the afternoon in between sensible food… Wondered about your thoughts. Your joy in fitness helps me.
I’d be happy to share my thoughts, but first I want to add a disclaimer that I am no expert in medicine or nutrition. I can definitely share what works for me, though.
I don’t use protein supplements. Instead, I aim for a balanced diet of mostly whole foods. I prefer to get my protein from minimally processed foods, such as nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, and vegetables. Most people in the US eat more than enough protein for their daily requirements. In the words of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “It’s rare for someone who is healthy and eating a varied diet to not get enough protein.”
Normal, healthy usage of our bodies includes 30-60 minutes of daily exercise. As I understand it, people who are training for endurance sports such as marathons or triathlons may need additional protein. But those of us who enjoy jogging a few miles through our neighborhoods aren’t exceeding our standard nutritional needs. We’re just using our bodies the way we’re supposed to.
I do like snack bars as convenience foods when I’m away from home. If I want a snack bar with protein, fats, and carbs, I go for a peanut butter chocolate chip Lara Bar. These things are delicious, and they have only four ingredients: dates, peanuts, chocolate chips, and salt. They have 220 calories and 6 WW points, so they are a little pointy, but they are yummy, healthy, and invigorating after a workout.
While I’m at it, here are some more of my favorite things that help me with my weight loss and fitness:
I use the Nike+ mobile app every day. It’s been a big source of exercise motivation for me. It tracks your mileage by GPS, and gives you updates on your speed and distance as you go. I use it for running and walking. It makes me want to go a little further each time — I find myself thinking things like: “I’m at 4.59 miles so far. I should go further for an even 5.” Last year I used to walk 1.5 miles a day, but now I’m up to 5-6 miles on most days.
I don’t think our neighbors recognize me when they see me walking around without our Bob jogging stroller. I’m always pushing this thing around. We bought it long before I ever decided to take up jogging, just as a means for transportation. It’s a wonderful stroller even for non-runners. It’s easy to steer one-handed, and it keeps Danny comfortable even when I’m bumping him down stairs. I walk most of my errands with Danny in the stroller. It’s been our #1 best baby purchase.
Finally, NuNaturals liquid vanilla stevia is so good that I feel like it must be too good to be true. Stevia is an herbal extract that is a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. It has virtually no calories and does not raise blood sugar levels. I put 5-6 drops of this liquid stevia in my coffee with some milk or almond mild, and it makes it taste like a vanilla latte.
Since I don’t have a picture of stevia, I’ll end with two more wine tasting pictures.
Does anyone have suggestions about protein bars or protein shakes?
Hi, I’m Charlotte! I’m a photographer in Reston, Virginia. I love hiking, running, and exploring the world with my husband and young son.