Healthy Living: Fitness or nutrition questions? Ask Julia
by Julia Blanton
Sep 27, 2012 | 1290 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

While I work with clients, questions often come up — some repeatedly.

The following are a few inquiries I’ve responded to recently with various clients, whose names have been left out for privacy. Perhaps one of these will strike a chord with you, prompting positive changes toward a healthier lifestyle.


Late-night nibbles

Dear Julia,

Every night around 10:30 p.m., I find myself combing the cupboards and freezer, possessed with late-night munchies. I know this is not healthy, but how do I stop?

— Muncher


Dear Muncher,

Instead of reaching for cereal or ice cream, try soothing your snack attack with a cup of hot herbal tea. Also, brush your teeth at 9:30 p.m., putting a symbolic end to eating for the day, and go to bed 15 minutes earlier, so you are asleep before the hunger pangs begin.


Planning for 10K

Dear Julia,

I am running my first 10-kilometer run in a couple months and wonder if it is realistic to set a time goal of 60 minutes based on a 5K race I did two years ago where I finished in 30 minutes.

— Newbie


Dear Newbie,

It's hard to predict your performance based on a race you did two years ago, but generally, when you double the distance, you can’t simply double the time. Average running pace usually slows as distance increases.

My advice for this race is to simply do your best and enjoy it.

Don't set specific time goals this time — next time, definitely. Rather, make your goals to pace well, push yourself within your current abilities and finish with a smile.


Dealing with cravings

Dear Julia,

How do I satisfy my cravings for something salty and crunchy without downing an entire bag of Fritos?

— Chipaholic


Dear Chipaholic,

Steer clear of the Fritos. Instead, try some of these healthier options to satisfy your cravings: roasted seaweed, kale chips, root vegetable chips (just not the whole bag), pickle wedges or air-popped popcorn with a drizzle of flax oil and salt.


Weight loss with wine

Dear Julia,

I really want to lose about 20 pounds, but I do not want to give up my evening glass of wine. I drink only one glass per day, and it helps me decompress after a stressful commute. Can I lose the weight and have my wine, too?

— Wino


Dear Wino,

I get it. At the end of a long day, a glass of wine says, “I am done working. Now it is time to relax.” As long as you pay extra attention to eating healthy, fresh, whole (unprocessed) foods throughout the day and keep your portions modest, you can lose weight and enjoy your glass of wine. Cheers!



Becoming a swimmer

Dear Julia,

I can swim, but I am not what one would call a swimmer. I get winded after each lap and have to rest at the wall. How can I drink less pool water and integrate swimming into my weekly fitness routine?

— Wannabe


Dear Wannabe,

First, make a one-time investment and hire a coach for two to four private lessons to improve technique and efficiency. Next, find a local masters swim program. There are coached group swim workouts for all levels that typically cost $5 to $7 per workout. Inform the coach that you are a beginner and jump in the slow lane. Gradually work your way up to completing the entire 60 minutes. Before long, you will be calling yourself a swimmer.


If you have fitness or nutrition questions that you’d like to submit for the next “Ask Julia” column, please contact me at

- Julia Blanton is a nutrition, fitness and wellness coach. An avid runner, she keeps a health blog at

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