It’s been a while!

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So here we are nearly two years on…. I’ve since run one half marathon and know that that will be my last long distance run.  I’ve kept up running fairly regularly, although had a bit of a break last year when my diet and exercise went a little off the rails.

So here I am on a new health drive, running again and I’ve started yoga and trying to eat as clean a diet as I can. I’m going to be posting recipes here that I’ve tried so I can keep a record of what is working and log my culinary experiments!

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Intermittent Fasting

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I’ve been following the principle of intermittent fasting for a while now and I find it really effective when I do it properly.  I think I do a bit too much of the intermittent and not enough of the fasting though…

The 5:2 method seems to be the most popular at the moment.  What I never seem to manage is the two days of fasting; I somehow can’t seem to contemplate fasting on a running day, and as that is roughly every other day, it doesn’t leave me much scope.

There seem to be many different variations.  The Horizon programme last summer highlighted the effectiveness of this way of eating – not just for losing weight but for greater health benefits and also for it’s anti-ageing benefits too.  I had already discovered Brad Pilon’s Eat stop Eat programme.  Brad advocates intermittent fasting following a 24-hour fast from the time of your last meal – i.e. if you eat supper at 7.00pm you don’t eat again until 7pm the next day.  I can cope with that as you’re asleep for the most part of it.

The Horizon programme advocates eating around 500 calories on fast days.  I personally find the former method easier psychologically because if I have decided not to eat at all, that’s easier than limiting what I do eat.

I need to move it on a bit to try exercising in the mix after reading this post by Trainer George.

Does anyone else have any experience about what works best?  I’d be really interested to know more about fasting and exercising.  I do most of my long runs on an almost empty stomach.  We try and go off early on a Saturday morning and I’m not inclined to get up even earlier to eat beforehand (I need to allow a good 90 minutes after eating before a long run otherwise I get a stitch and feel sick).  So I sometimes have an Actimel and if it’s a longish distance (9+ miles) I will take an energy drink or some squash.  But then I’m ravenous when I come home.

Food writer Fiona Beckett has been posting some lovely looking recipes on her blog that are good for eating on the 500 calorie days if you’re following that method.

Please let me know what you think in the comments!

About cake

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Cake.

The one thing that will have me leaving every thought of healthy eating behind.  What is it about this food that does it for me?

Before I did the elimination diet and got rid of sugar from my diet, I was much more likely to eat a chocolate bar than cake.  But I managed to cut all types of sugar out of my diet completely, something I never thought I would be able to do.  When I had lost the weight I wanted, I decided that I could allow myself the odd treat and that home made cake and puddings would be the best thing to treat myself with, as opposed to manufactured processed chocolate bars.

So is this where my recent love of cake comes from? I’m really not sure – but nowadays I’ll take a home made victoria sponge over  Cadbury’s Dairy Milk any day. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved cake but my obsession seems to be growing!)

I recently had the most delicious Victoria sponge filled with raspberry jam and buttercream at the delightful village shop in Freshford (much that I’d love our village shop to be like this, I’m secretly glad it’s not because I would find every excuse to buy cake!).

I was quite proud of my very own Jubilee offering:Image

Another recent cake highlight that sticks in my mind and I dream about having again is the cupcake I had in New York at Sweet Revenge, where I enjoyed the most delicious cupcake – their signature Peanut Butter Cake, Ganache Center, Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting (sounds sickly but was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS).

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If I know there is cake or pudding on the horizon, I will make an extra special effort to exercise beforehand to ‘earn it’!

What foods get you off the sofa and any favourite cake recipes you’d like to share with me?

Keeping on track

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In my last post on my previous blog I talked about how I wanted to use my blog as a way to make myself stay more on track.

Well, this week has gone pretty well so far.  I feel like I’ve had a really healthy weekend – I managed to run on both Saturday (6 miles) and Sunday (5 miles) which makes my total number of runs for this week 4.  I haven’t managed that many runs since I was in hardcore marathon training.  I needed  to make up for a very unhealthy Jubilee weekend which included far too much Pimms!

My chiropractor told me off last visit for not stretching enough so i’ve been making a real effort to reacquaint myself with the lovely foam roller and dynaband to really stretch properly.  It’s the one thing I find it hard to find time to do after a run. Must try harder.

 source: www.foamroller.org.uk
I’ve also been really trying to eat more healthily and be more aware of what I’m eating.  I don’t really believe in counting calories, but I downloaded this app to try and help me keep tabs on what I’m eating.  I’m rather horrified with the amount of food I have been eating without even thinking about it.  After I did the elimination diet 2 years ago, my eating habits have been fairly  healthy and I haven’t really gone back to eating too many processed foods (with the exception of sugar which has made it’s way right back into my diet since marathon training in the form or biscuits and cakes) and bread.  But even snacking on healthy nuts and oat cakes has an effect if you eat too many and I definitely was.  You have to be in the right frame of mind to stick to something and I definitely am at that place now.