Nail art, burning thighs and Ryan (Gosling, of course).

CatRun

I am in no way an athlete, in fact just typing that made me spray my peppermint tea everywhere (in a laughing, coming out my nose kind of way). But what I am is someone who is currently running around four times a week, and one of those weekly sprints (by sprint I mean as slow as you can get without actually walking) is often around the 20k mark. So, I say I have a small (or teeny tiny) authority on the question of how exactly to best handle running a decent distance.

My best runs are, in all honesty, when I forget I am running. I don’t continuously check my GPS watch, or have empowering quotes filtering through my brain, nope, when I completely ignore everything around me and go into a world of my own imagination, that is when I do my best times. It’s also when I enjoy myself the most.

Got a party coming up? Sort it out on your run. Going traveling? Plan it all while you are pounding that pavement. Can’t find time to work out your weekly meals (a la my previous post)? Do it while you jog. Seriously.

Now, I know there will be people out there crying “I have NOTHING going on to plan”, well, why don’t you picture what would happen to make the next day perfect. Like blissfully perfect. I’m not talking about, “wake up, marry Ryan Gosling, live happily ever after”, I’m talking every small detail. What are you wearing when The Gos first clamps eyes on you? Does your nail polish match your lippy or do you have some cool quirky nail art going on? Are you wearing Dior, Gucci or Topshop? Plan every inch (you know, to be prepared for when the day actually arrives). Hopefully, if you are like me, you will get so lost in those details (like the cool hipster picture that will be printed on Ryan’s t-shirt) that you will literally forget that your thighs are burning and your feet would quite like to pack it in.

You will also probably run into a few lampposts and trip over some small people, but everything has a downside, right?

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All images from Pinterest

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A week of noms (and runs).

As I said I would, last week I took a photo of literally every morsel I shoved into my little mouth. No snack was undocumented and no meal ignored. I did however skip taking pictures of the numerous cups of tea and water that washed everything down. I also noted down my exercise because, to me, those two things go hand in hand. So, here is what a week of my food (and movements) looks like…

WeekOfFood

Breakfast A poached egg on a bed of peas and fresh spinach Snacks Green tea, Peppermint tea, A small handful of raw almonds, Green tea Lunch 5 x Homemade crackers with left over roast chicken, fresh parsley, avocado, cucumber and iceberg lettuce on top, plus some carrot sticks on the side (about half a carrot), Earl Grey tea Exercise Run (recovery after Sundays long run, 6k) Dinner Baked salmon with mashed swede, broccoli, garlic leeks and a sprinkling of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and fresh parsley. Dessert Natural yoghurt (full fat) with roasted almonds, walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon Snack 1 x Homemade cracker with a teaspoon of almond butter

WeekOfFood2

Breakfast A poached egg on a bed of peas and fresh spinach with green tea Snacks Small handful of mixed nuts (roasted and lightly salted) Lunch Leftover veggies from last night (leeks, swede and broccoli) with 4 x homemade crackers and chicken Snacks Peppermint tea, Handful of raw walnuts Dinner Roast chicken with roast carrots, parsnip, pumpkin, beetroot and onion with blanched beans and homemade gravy Dessert Chia pudding (homemade with chai seeds, almond milk, cinnamon and vanilla powder) with cacao nibs, almonds and roasted coconut flakes

WeekOfFood3

Breakfast A poached egg on a bed of peas and fresh spinach Snacks English breakfast tea, Flat white (full fat milk) Lunch Left over roast dinner from last night Snacks 4 x Homemade crackers, 2 x Crisp crackers with cheese and just hummus Exercise Bikram (90 minutes) Dinner Blackened chicken with kumera chips, coleslaw and homemade sesame dressing (mustard, yoghurt, toasted sesame seeds)

WeekOfFood4

Exercise 4k run and 40 minutes of weight training Breakfast A poached egg on a bed of peas and fresh spinach with Snacks Peppermint tea, Green tea Lunch Leftover chicken, kumera chips and coleslaw Snacks Peppermint tea, 4 x homemade crackers, Green tea, Cup of seeds with almonds, walnuts and coconut chips all roasted and tossed with lots of cinnamon (because I work late every Thursday night I pack extra snacks with me. Not only do I eat dinner later, but having something to munch on keeps me away from all the chips, lollies and chocolate that come out around deadline time) Dinner Homemade paleo pizza with asparagus, tomato, chicken, spinach and leeks

WeekOfFood5

Breakfast Paprika scrambled eggs with spinach on peas and avocado, Peppermint tea Lunch Leftover paleo pizza with rocket and tomatoes Snacks 2x Handfuls of raw peanuts, 2 x Homemade crackers, Peppermint tea Exercise Run (outdoor, 8k), 4o minute weight training Dinner Homemade salmon tart with spinach and cherry tomatoes with a side of leeks and asparagus

WeekOfFood6

Breakfast Kumera hash cakes with poached egg and mushrooms, Peppermint tea Exercise 50 minute weight training Snack Small protein shake (nuzest powder with almond milk) Lunch Leftover salmon tart with side salad Dinner (at Orphans Kitchen) Flaxseed sourdough with burnt butter, Brussels sprout salad and goats cheese, Gnocchi with hazelnuts sage and a poached egg, Kumera chips, Boiled boar with dough dumplings and swede Midnight Snack Peppermint tea, Cheese and crackers

WeekOfFood7

Breakfast Kumera hash cakes with spinach, mushrooms peas, fresh spinach and a poached egg, Earl Grey tea Exercise Run (outdoor, 18k) Lunch Homemade crackers with homemade hummus, cucumber, tomatoes and carrot sticks, English breakfast tea and cows milk Dinner Roast chicken with roast onions, pumpkin and parsnip Dessert Roasted almonds, walnuts, cashews and coconut flakes with full fat natural yoghurt, Peppermint Tea

Hopefully through this 7 day documentation you can see that I eat a simple, clean but varied diet (with large quantities of nuts, ridiculously large) and that it is healthy. I don’t feel that I deny myself a thing. The boy and I also don’t let it stop us going out (hello Orphans Kitchen), and we don’t stick to our paleo ways all the time (I know you spotted all that sneaky, sneaky dairy in there).

I’m now 24 days through my 42 days (or six weeks) of detoxing and, unless someone is cruelly eating a block of chocolate in front of my face (and cackling), I don’t even think about it. I barely miss it (except when my mind wonders to that cronut I’m yet to try). And I’m really surprised by how easy this entire thing has become.

So, if you want to give clean eating, or paleo or sugar free a go, or if you just want to make health conscious choices when it comes to your food, here are my top tips.

  • Plan and organize your meals, but throw in some exciting new recipes each week to keep food fun.
  • Make sure you plan for snacks too (nuts, homemade crackers or carrot sticks are my favourites).
  • Shop the perimeter of the supermarket (except for a quick nip into the aisles for your all important weekly magazine, New Idea).
  • Read the labels of EVERYTHING you’re buying. Even if you aren’t doing sugar free, take ownership of what you are putting into your body and know what is in your food. (I’m yet to find bacon, salmon, stock or shredded chicken in the supermarket that doesn’t have added sugar, to name a few.)
  • The internet is your friend (well hello there friend), use it to help you get pumped for new foods, recipes or quirky ingredients (like the amazing chia seeds).

I found it really interesting to document my food last week, in fact I loved it so much that I missed it today. So, I downloaded a food diary app that stores photos too! It’s pretty much an app like the above photos (called MealLogger). Although I believe this is a completely honest idea of what I eat in a week, I do think I tended to snack slightly less (if you can possibly believe that from the vast amount of snacks documented) because I could SEE that I really didn’t need them. It could be a really simple way for someone to watch what he or she eats (quite literally).

OR you could just instagram everything and piss off your friends*.

*I joke about this, but am painstakingly aware I do it myself, I also post too many picture of my cat. But who doesn’t love a furry feline clogging up their feed? Crazy people, that’s who.

The “what’s in my bag” smelly edit.

I love looking at the posts of fabulous fashionistas who take incredible photos of what’s inside their handbag. They usually have sophisticated purses with a perfect pile of the latest apple products, a single Dior lipstick and a COMME des GARCON coin purse in brilliant red. As much as I would love to do a look into my handbag (not that it would look a thing like that), I thought it might be more useful or perhaps more interesting to look into my gym bag(s). Lucky for you they are yet to invent smellavision.

I have three main types of workouts I do each week (sprinkled with a few random ones to keep the manically ‘spur of the moment’ boy happy), running, bikram and the gym. Here are my top picks to make sure you have all you need packed and ready for any of these.

Edit

The most important tool in running (apart from your legs) are your shoes, make sure you are wearing the right ones for your feet. For me, those are Skechers GOruns. I love them. If I could I would buy them flowers and take them out to dinner. The boy might get jealous though.

If I want to date my shoes, then my Garmin Forerunner is probably my secret mistress. My running changed the second I got a GPS watch, and I have since not stopped tracking my distance/time/splits etc etc. I still don’t know if obsessively watching my stats helps my running or not, but it’s great for the competitive streak in me. Every run I try to time beat my last.

Edit2

I seriously love that my Country Road gym bag is big enough for a change of clothes, my hot yoga stuff, two towels, all my post yoga essentials and the mat! It makes it so easy. So I would recommend, spending a bit of time to find something that you can literally shove EVERYTHING you need in.

The only other note I would give about bikram is go for as teeny tiny an outfit you feel comfortable with. Believe me there will be someone there in less and when you are head down, bum up in the middle of the triangle pose in a room heated at 45 degrees, you won’t want any extra clothes. That and drink water. As much as you can pre and post.

Edit3

Runners and gym shoes should be different. If you will be doing any sort of weight training, lifting, squatting or lunging (which covers large amounts of gym activities) you need shoes that ground you at the heel. Other than that, wear what you want (I would strongly recommend against denim).

So, no designer lipsticks here, just the streamlined packing of a seasoned fitness freak.

I can hear all my past travel companions lol-ing (yes literally lol-ing) at the idea that anything packing I have every done could be “streamlined”. But this is (pretty much) exactly what you will find in my gym bags (give or take a few extra kilos of unidentified bits of paper, extra towels and the endless supply of extra undies*).

*I have a serious phobia of finding myself without undies (seriously). I don’t know how I convince myself that in the process of my day I will manage to loose the pair I am wearing, BUT IF I DO, I am always very prepared. You don’t even want to know how many I pack when I go on an actual holiday.

I didn’t impulse buy. Snaps.

So, after finding out that my Map My Run had been lying to me (how rude) and tricking me into thinking I had in fact run both further and faster than I actually had, I though it high time I invested in some actual GPS hardware. So I hereby introduce you to Gary, aka a Garmin Forerunner 10.

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For the first time in my life I actually did a little research and read some reviews about this purchase (I’m like a changed person). I was quite taken with the fact that this particular watch came in three colours, pink obviously being my favourite. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles the others did – which was reflected in the price, and as I’m not a whizz when it comes to things like numbers (or machines that go and stop and stuff) the simplicity was just what I was after. I wanted it to go when I ran and stop when I stopped. And it does (yay). It gives me a break down of how far I am going, how fast I run, the time it takes me and how many calories I’m burning.

It has been a few months since I have purchased it now and, apart from the one time it decided to not record a run, it has been great. It has helped to keep me motivated and I have started challenging myself to keep my speed up and consistent through out my work outs by keeping an eye on my minute per km breakdowns.

Most importantly it congratulates me when I finish, and who does love inanimate objects complimenting them?

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