Monday, 26 March 2012

Cycling fuel

Howdy, hope everyone has had a fab weekend. I have done over 100 miles of cycling this weekend, and it got me thinking to do a post on the best foods to eat whilst on the bike. I have tried many things:

It often depends on what sort of ride I am doing. If its a fairly easy pace then something like a nakd bar, and a banana will do every half hour or so. In terms of nutrition I tend to go by the rule of your body weight in kg per hour as how many carbs that I will need. Although if the pace is harder, your body needs more. This is just a general rule as I know many cyclists who will have far less and some who will have more. As I don't tend to stop when I am cycling fast, I need something that is portable and also easy to digest. This has been somewhat of trail and error. But my favourite things to eat mid ride are:

Yep, sweets. They are easy to digest, soft to chew give you a much needed sugar boost. Although not the most healthiest, .when your burning 500 plus calories an hour you need carbs and you need them quick:p 
I find that some cereal bars will give me stomach cramps, especially if the pace is intense. However some of my favourite bars are as follows:

I like the Trek bars towards the end of a ride as they contain 11 grams of protein, so you can start the recovery process on the bike. 

I have also been experimenting with energy gels. Some don't tend to agree with me, and I also don't like the taste of many of them. But so far I have found the Torq and GU energy gels to be the best, and I swear they help me with all the hills around Devon. 


05.710.914.818.222.526.631.736.541.544.548.753.556.2Distance (miles)0200-200400Elevation (m)127.5

(Last long ride) 

The next thing that I will be trying out will be some carbohydrate drinks, as when I don't get a chance to eat or if the intensity is too high they are the easiest things to get fuel to your body. 

It has taken me a long time to realise how important nutrition is, and more importantly that it really does make a difference to your rides. However its not just what you eat on the bike, but also what you eat after that is doubly important. I will do another post on refuelling.  My speeds are best they have ever been,  and I  guess I learnt the hard way about what not properly fuelling your  body can do, hence a stress fracture!!! 

If you exercise more than an hour, what are your favourite carbs? (i've had many bad experiences with dried fruit, more so in running though)
Any foods you stay away from? 

Friday, 23 March 2012

Running shoes

I hope everyone in the UK is enjoying the wonderful weather today, is so nice to not wear multiple layers to leave the house in, and be able to get some vitamin D I always feel so much happier in the summer!!

This is the 3rd pair of running shoes I have bought in around 6 months!!! And its not because they have been overused. The first pair I got was bought at the end of last summer when I was first starting to take up running, I went to a sports shop. They put me on this machine and told me I over pronanted so needed a stability shoe. After having a brief relapse and stopping running I started again around November time, started to get ITB problem. Few months later  I visited a specialist running shop they didn’t do a proper gait analayis just looked at the way I walked said no way I was an over pronator so got a neutral shoe. Then had a stress fracture. I don’t know if it was the shoe that caused it, more like an overuse injury, or perhaps a mixture  of the both. But I didn’t want to start running properly until I had a proper gait analysis done. 

So I visited this specialist running shop after doing some googling, they did a gait analysis. And OMG the guy who I spoke to was seriously amazing, even if I went away I would come back to the same shop to see him. He firstly “chatted” to me asking me about the injuries, past history. I told him that I used to dance, and about my issues with osteoporosis and anorexia. He said that the shoe I had was too heavy for  me, he made reference to my frame size and said I needed a shoe that gave me flexibility in my feet. 

We did a few squat tests and he did pick up that I have fairly weak hips, I do have osteoporosis in my hips so this may be the reason. Then was running on the treadmill barefoot, it felt strange at first, this was also videoed so he could see my running style. I am apparently a forefoot striker. When I was running on the treadmill it showed that I didn’t over pronate, however when I ran on the treadmill with shoes on I did. After trying pair of pair of trainers on where the guy could tell straight away if the shoe wasn’t right. We settled for a neutral shoe, as many of the stability shoes were too heavy for me and I didn’t have any flexibility when running in them. Because I am a fore foot striker I need a shoe that have excellent forefoot cushioning, flexibility, and stability.  I knew when I was running in these

Adidas Supernova glide 4

That they felt right, I could move my feet freely and just felt so light in them. I must have spent nearly two hours chatting to the guy and finding the right shoes!!! And I am so glad I did. I feel more confident when I am running too. It also didn't cost me anything to have the gait analysis done, they charge £10 but if you buy a pair of shoes it costs you nothing. 

On Wednesday was my first little run in them. As I’m training for a triathlon I did a 20 mile bike ride followed by a 1 mile run. It was also the first time running straight of the bike, it felt strange for the first minute or two. But once I was running it felt so good, I can’t describe how wonderful it felt to run. I came back downed some strawberry soya milk followed by one of my paellas.

This week has been a pretty good week, had a nice catch up with a friend in nandos,  had a good swim lesson, managed a rest day yesterday, had a trip to waitrose with my boyfriend and treated myself to some food doctor granola its so good!!!, especially over porridge and banana:

I am actually quite relieved their isn’t a Waitrose too close by as I would seriously spend far too much money!!! I've also been doing some baking,  these 

Peanut butter protein bombs

And these

Taste just like the banana bread nakd bars

I’m looking forward to the weekend too as have my Boyfriend over and tonight we are making bellini cocktails. These are my favourite kind, I have expensive taste:p  although not too many as we are going on a ride together tomorrow morning. I've just come back from a 57 mile cycle ride over many hills, my laps were around 16mph, it just shows how strong my body is getting, and will hopefully continue to get strong. I am trying to use this as motivation, as my body image is starting to get difficult again, I'm looking in the mirror an not liking what I see. Determined to plod on though, despite what the ed tells me. 

Have you ever had a gait analysis? 
any plans for the weekend?
Are you  a cocktail drinker? 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

WIAW-Mothers day

This WIAW is based on mothers day. For those of us in the UK last Sunday was mothers day; where we celebrate our love for our mummies:) I love my Mum so much and don't know what I would do without her. I will really miss her when I go away to Bournemouth. I treated her to a michael Jackson top, a photo with a picture of me and her in it:

I also got her this journal, called from you to me. My mum has quite bad memory problems, it has gotten worse over the past year to the point where she has sent money to people and not even realised what she was doing. She's still having tests to get a proper diagnosis its not dementia, but is most likely caused by previous overdoses, as a recent scan showed a decrease in her brain matter. So I am always trying to find things that can help with her memory and this seemed ideal; its basically something for her to fill in to tell me all about her life,and what I was like as a child. Their is more info here if anyone wanted to check it out. gifts. 

After I had exchanged gifts. I had my breakfast; I tried the Philadelphia cream cheese and cadburys chocolate and it was so so nice!!!, the other side was honey

Then had a pressing date with my lovely boyfriend. This involved a cycle ride with a tea stop. We usually stop halfway through the ride, the place we planned to go to was actually closed!!! But knowing the area fairly well we cycled to the Cranks Resturant in Totnes. Its a quite famous vegetarian resturant.  Andy had his usual cream tea  which I had a piece off, and I had some wholemeal toast and jam. after the stop we did a loop, overall I think we did 25 miles. Was a fairly easy ride for me, as I seem to climb like a goat in my new bike:p 

Came home showered, and turned from a sweaty cyclist to a less sweaty cyclist. I love wearing red. Think it looks quite nice with blonde hair. 

I had booked us in a local resturant, that is always so hard to get booked in too. At xmas they get fully booked by AUGUST!!!!! They do a really great carvery, and it also pleases me as they do my favourite veggie nut roast:

I had it with a huge side of vegetables:

 Okay this is where I felt the ed was starting to annoy me. I do love the nut roast, but I kind of wanted something different, but wasn't sure how it would turn up, what would be in it etc.  Sometimes the internal battle can be so tormenting,  I just wish I could go out for a meal and choose what I wanted not what the ed wanted. Although it was a really nice meal, and the nut roast is one of the most nicest things that I have tried. It was also really nice to spend some time with my Mum as we don't often get to do, as she never goes out.

Dinner was a butternut squash rissoto that I had made previously, I accidently forgot to take it out the lid, well I did think it would be oven proof clearnly not haha

It was edible though once I had transfered it to a plate, had it with  some goats cheese on top, a veggie sausage and a load of vegetables. 

Before bed I had one of my favourite breakfasts:

Dorset cereals gingerbread oats with peanut butter

I have finally been able to run again!!! I went to a running shop on Monday, and got some amazing advice. I have been in the wrong trainers I am going to do a post about this soon, but I spent nearly two hours trying to find the right shoe. 

Do you have a snack before bed? Whats your favourite? I think mine is usually some form of cereal. 
Did you do anything nice for mothers day? 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Swim lesson and feeling hopefull

Woop, its the weekend!!! I am especially happy that it is the weekend because, I am no longer working in a pub!!! No more drunken louts shouting at me, no more not having chance to pee because the bar is so busy. I did hand my notice in early, as I just couldn't cope with working anymore evening shifts especially on a Saturday night.It was starting to effect my mental health and some shifts I was going home crying to my Mum as feel so out of place at work, and was hard to manage eating enough as we weren't even allowed breaks for a six hour shift.  My CRB is now in the printing stage so it shouldn't be too long away, and is nice to have a few weeks off until I start my new job as a health care assistant which I really can't wait for. Want to be doing a job that is enjoyable and I really enjoy helping people.

On Wednesday I had my first swim lesson, I was pretty nervous beforehand... even more so when she asked me to swim some lengths. My stroke was awful I was out of breath after doing less than 50 metres!!!! I bet she thought "This is gonna be hard!!!". The first part of the lesson was spent building my confidence up in the water, my bad habit was not putting my head in right. So spent around 10 minutes working on just gliding in the water:

Basically this, it felt strange at fisrt but I soon got the hang of looking face down in the water We had to firstly get my position right out of the water. The rest of the lesson was spent doing some drills with a kickboard, with one arm on the float the other down by my leg and kicking on the side. Then the arms were brought in, with one arm doing the front crawl. We focused also on my breathing, and lastly was my head action and trying to get me to body roll. When I lift my head to breathe I am not body rolling, I was SINKING haha. So at least I know where I was going wrong. However at the end of the lesson she said she could already see an improvement in my form, I apparently have the speed but just not the technique, and need to work on my arm strength. I also did some backstroke drills but not using my legs just my arms which was really hard work!!! 

I've been to the pool everyday since my lesson, and feel that I am getting the hang of body rolling, and trying not to reduce my drag when I lift my head out of the water. I've also been using more arm weight machines in the gym and did a body pump and combat class today. I actually feel like I am actually swimming, not just paddling in the water hehe. However my swim endurance is rubbish compared to the bike. Can easily go for a 45 mile cycle ride and think nothing of it. But I can barely do less than a mile in the pool. Even after swimming a few lengths have to stop for a minute or two. Swimming I swear makes me the hungriest out of all three, and I'm only in the pool for 30 minutes!!!!


I need to talk about something eating disordered so feel free to skip by. I think I have spoken about this before, but I feel what kept me so controlled and ill by the anorexia was that I was scared of losing my identity.I didn't know who I was without the anorexia, I was so scared of losing something that practically nearly killed me, but I felt I had nothing in my life.

However right now I feel quite damn good about my recovery, my future. I now longer see myself as just my eating disorder. Admittedly it is still their, and I probably know that to some degree it will always be their. But I am starting to see myself as an athelete, a person, a student. People are knowing me know as an athelete. I was in Tescos the other day and bumped into a guy from the bike shop I got my bike from he is also a triathelete and does spinning classes and felt so good to speak to him about bikes, cycling, training. I did lol at myself as felt like a typical athlete walking around tescos with a load of bagels and bananas. Where in the past I guess i have felt like a "typical anorexic" walking around with some apples and salads in my hands. I know which one I would like to be associated with:p And today after my swim session, I was chatting to this women I think we were talking about the lanes in the pool and she was telling me about how she did the london triatlon, she even said I was a fast swimmer lol. 

People from my job knew me as a runner a cyclist, and this is who I want to be known as. Even though I am injured from running I am still a runner. I love the fact that my body is getting stronger, my cycling is improving, I'm able to increase the weights, my concentration is improving. I can go out to eat, and not worry. I can drink cocktails and eat pizza well with a salad in the middle:p But I feel that for the first time in my life I am building my future, I am finding out who I am as a person, and I am determined to not let anorexia steal anymore of my life. I am doing things I never thought ever possible, I honestly never thought my life would be anything but living in an anorexic bubble. I never thought I would have a boyfriend, be able to eat what I felt like eating, get to University. But my folks it is possible you can come from the deepest of holes and still find a light at the end of that tunnel. 

After than somehwat long drifted post time for some of my yummy eats. I've been trying to have different breakfasts, it really is my favourite meal of the day and will often have two breakfats one before training and one after. I've been craving bagels recently and am pleased that tescos has my favourite food doctor bagels on buy one get one free!!!

Bagel with jam and Houmous

oats in a jar

chopped apples, peanut butter and banana on rye bread

Lunches have been fairly simple and light, as I've been quite busy so been having more snacky time things. The food doctor pittas are my favourite:

Filled with some goats cheese

Have you ever had a 1to1 swim lesson? 
Favourite pitta filling? 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

WIAW-cooking togeather

. Thanks to Jen @peasandcrayons for this fab idea. Their is some great blog giveaways at the moment laura giving away some hemp protein shake, and Gemma at celery and cupcakes is giving away some fab Sharpham Park cereals.  

For this weeks WIAW, I thought I would share a little task me and my boyfriend did togeather one evening. I usually always do the cooking, its not that I don't like his cooking. He does cook me very nice things:) But I guess my eating disorder likes to stay in control, likes to know what is in what I am cooking, likes to portion it up so I know what is in it. I think I did find it enjoyable to cook togeather, but I guess also challenging. But overall it was enjoyable. 

We cooked a paella, I always thought of a paella as quite a challenging thing to cook but this was actually really easy. You can even make it veggie too. We used prawns and quorn chicken style pieces, but tofu would also work well or even some chickpeas. 

This was the recipe I adapted from the BBC good food website. Although the recipe didn't call for it we used a pinch of saffron thread, and this really made it taste so nice. Strange fact about saffron its more expensive gram for gram than gold!!!!  The rice was really creamy, we used peppers, mushrooms, and red onion; Andy's task was the chopper!! Which he very much enjoyed. 

Of course I added extra greens to my plate:), this was some kale. I've been having it with every meal as its such a great source of calcium, and its also so cheap for a huge bag. 

Well this day of eats is in a bit of a strange order:

. Snacks: 

 Banana with almond butter

Soya nuts


 Protein oats with almond butter and banoffee flavoured protein powder
stuffed aubergines with my chickstew, side of kale and cottage cheese

I think protein oats is probably my favourite post workout meal. It took me ages to work out how to use protein powder in my oats lol, I used to add it at the start. But now I add it right at the end as it tends to mix best that way. 

Do you cook alone or with others? 
How do you use protein powders? 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Listening to my body

I think the comment from my Dad has limited its impact on me, and am not feeling quite so bad. I think men in general can be quite insensitive.

The weather this weekend has really been so nice, and is defiantly the perfect weather for cycling!!! On Saturday I went on a nice cycle with my boyfriend to Totnes, which was around 22 miles. We stopped off half way at a cafe, which catered both of our needs. Scones with jam and clotted cream for Andy and some wholemeal toast and jam with a soya latte for me. The toast was so thick though that I saved half and  I took it home with me and had it for my lunch later on. It actually tasted just as nice, pressed reheat on my toast and alas

random plate of roasted kabocha squash, aspargus, kale, red onion and chickpeas, with blobs of cottage cheese. 

Yesterday I went to a body pump class, I haven't been for about 4-5 months. The arm workouts nearly killed me, but I did enjoy it and am going to try and go once a week, as strength training has really been helping my cycling.However today have a bad case of DOMS. 

In view of my March Goals, I have been trying to listen to my body more which is a hard task, but feel I am sloly getting better at this. I have realised that my body still isn't strong enough to run, as I was getting the pain again in my knee. So am going to rest it for another 2 weeks, which includes no running:( I guess I can focus more on cycling and swimming. Although I still really suck at swimming. However I am really loving cycling at the moment, and love getting stronger on my bike. In April time I will be doing a 10 mile time trial with a cycling club I was member of and my goal for that is for a 20mph average, which depending on how hilly the course is I think is achievable. After I've got used to my bike for a bit will be having some tri bars fitted. 

Exercise plan this week is 4x cycle rides, 4x Swims, and two strength sessions. Today was my easy day where I swam for 1000 metres and did some walking. I've also been using the foam roller daily which has been killing me, but guess good pain. 

I've also been trying to increase my fat intake, I probably eat minimal fat. I know its a really great anti-inflammatory,  so been adding nut butter to my oats and in my cereal snack bowls: 

Oats, banoffee flavour protein powder,and almond butter

Bran flakes with yogurt, cottage cheese, and almond butter. 

I think nut butter is  defiantly my favourite fat. 

Favourite fat? 
Ever done a body pump class? 
are you good at listening to your body? 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me

So, the week is nearly over, and I am feeling a  little bit wobbly emotionally at the moment. Stresses of my job, waiting for my CRB, dealing with weight gain, thinking over people whom I have lost is turning my head in to world spin. 

Anyway, my ever so lovely Dad whom has a very bad habit of saying the wrong things to me, has done it again!!! We went out for lunch today with my mum, at this carvery place. I love it because you get so much free veg, if anyone is wondering what a carvery is, its basically where they give you meat or veggie alternatives I had two yorkshire puddings and you get to have as much fresh veg, stuffing, potatoes etc as you like. So I piled my plate high with veggies, and some stuffing. Roast potatoes aren't a safe option for me. Well to cut a long story short, my mum said she would like to go sainsburys and I said I wouldn't mind picking myself up some things from sainsburys as was cooking me and andy something tonight. My Dad then tried to make a "joke" that surely I wouldn't need anything tonight with "all that I have ate", this made me feel awful, greedy, fat, huge. He knows my issues around food, I am trying to rationalise the comment in my head and not let it effect me, but it has. I remember when I as younger he would make silly comments like "eating again" geez its no wonder I developed issues with food. My mum was very supportive and we spent some time in sainsburys and I got some things for this evening. 

I guess the moral of this tale, is it is just that words. Even though I know rationally what I ate was more calorie dense than my Dad's which was piled high with roast potatoes,  I know reading this seems a bit silly to an outsider but I am fairly over sensitive, and do take things personally. I just I guess have to learn to deal with comments. So instead of wallowing thought I would blog instead.

On to more positive news, I am loving my new bike. Managed to understand the gearing, and not have any clipless moments. Oh boy I am going so fast though, one lap I did was an average of 17.9mph, I did 12 miles in 40 minutes. This is good as I have found a route that I can practise for my triathlon as this happens to be 12 miles. Going up hills is also a breeze. My power food this morning was:

Oats cooked with soya milk, chocolate powder, and a banana

Defiantly rocket fuel!! Was comparing a ride from back at the end of January, check out the difference in my lap times 


SplitTimeDistanceAvg SpeedTimeDistanceAvg Speed

I did some foam rolling this morning which hurt like a buggery, but guess its good pain. 

How do you deal with unhelpful comments? 
Do you love seeing your times improve? 
Favourite rocket fuel?