Fuel for the fire


Smoothies - I have invested in a Tefal blender - specifically the Freshboost BL181D65 Vacuum Blender which was around £50 on offer direct from Tefal.  I like to eat healthily but I'm not always sure my portion control is the best and I tend to miss certain foods in favour of others so I figured I could make smoothies and play around with the recipes depending on the nutrition I want from them.  So first test was last night. First off this thing is quite loud but it does a tremendous job of blending. I'll log my smoothies here so lets see what we can concoct

Lets not start too ambitious. 1 granny smith apple, 1 banana, 1 orange, 2 spoons of greek yogurt. Tasted - well fruity what else would you expect! To be honest I forgot to try any other ingredients but then again I couldn't fit much more in - need to dice ingredients smaller maybe. learning curves in everything i do.

Ok so i'm not going to list every smoothie I make - I can tell you that spirulina tastes bloody horrible if you put too much in. So far I'm enjoying just throwing a load of fruit together with amond or soya milk, perhaps some protein powder if I feel I need it and let it go!  


Oh man this is a hard one to write about.  I can tell you what I do and what works for me and to be honest I almost hesitate to do so because what worksd for one person may well not work for another, And at the end of the day how do I even know what i'm doing really works best for me.  What I would really suggest is taking the time to figure out what best works for you.

But notwithstanding my reservations here are my thoughts.

Firstly what are you looking to achieve? Weightloss?  Healthy eating? Muscle gain? Identify that first.

I was ideally looking for all three, I knew I needed weightloss to help with my fell running, I was simply too heavy to be running up hills, I was carrying too miuch fat and I knew it.  I wanted to eat healthily - define that as you will. But i knew all the sugars and ultra processed carbs were doing me no favours internally. Once I started on the strengthwork I wanted to gain some muscle mass to replace some of the fat. A stronger core would be ideal, especially as I know I weaken later in ultras due to bad posture setting in and a stronger core would help with that.   from much of my reading it appears that weightloss and muscle gain are mutually exclusive but I'm not so sure thats right. if you get the right mix of training and nutrition it can be done it just takes time.

I think of myself as a hybrid athlete now (and I do consider myself an athlete - for years I would have laughed at that thought but now I honestly do) I do a lot of cardio with my running, some would call it chronic cardio. I also do a lot of weights and strength work these days.  All while losing weight.  

I have plateaued on the weight loss having dropped from 185 to 155 pounds over the period of six months. I feel comfortable at this weight, it certainly helps with the running.  I look at my body and there is muscle definition I've never seen before - because the fat that was covering it has now gone - I was carrying too much fat throughout my running - all because I was eating wrong.

So how did I change my diet and how do I eat now?  I decided to try a variation of fat adaptation.  There has been much written about it so i'll skim over the background but in a nutshell I have taught my body to burn fat as a fuel rather than relying on a constant stream of food to keep energy levels up. So I don't eat before midday in order to stay in the fat burning zone.  I then eat a midday meal - typically all vegetables (im a vegetarian) and some fruit and then wait around six hours before an evening meal which typically contains a large salad with eggs and cheese, beetroot, red cabbage followed by greek yoghurt and then nuts to snack on later.

Really speaking I should switch the two meals so the eggs and cheese come first but it suits my work pattern to do it this way - and yes I eat the same meals every single day - Just the actual fruits and vegetables may change. This is where the discipline really comes in.  People often comment that they couldn't like that way and thats fine. You can be the same just watch what you are actually putting in your mouth.  

I eat large portions of veg, I don't hesitate to eat four eggs plus cheese washed down with wholefat milk as I know I will burn it off and it's how I get my protein. I don't diet I use my diet to make the changes I want. I never lack energy at any time. I can run for hours on end without eating now I have weaned mysfl off sugar.

All sugar does is spike your insulin and give you a short temporary boost, I used to run with energy gels and snack on sweets and chocolate looking for that short term boost of energy - and then would crash again, and the cycle would go on and on. Now I simply don't need to input food for at least 3 hours of running and even then i can just trickle in non sugary real food and my body happily tops up.  The rest of the time rather than running on empty i'm running on my (near) endless fat reserves.

A key word mentioned a little while back was discipline. As with many aspects of Late Rising you need some discipline. It doesn't have to be 100% iron will but you do need to have some discipline so you make right decisions.  So I rarely if ever eat chocolate, sweets or in fact anything with refined sugar in. No soft drinks like Coke. I understamd this sounds horrendous to some people and if you can't cut it out just cut it down. The same goes for refined carbs such as bread and cereals.  Anything with refined sugar or carbs is just going to spike your blood sugar levels causing your body to release insulin to regulate the glucose in your blood which in turn increases your insulin resistance and so on.  It's little wonder obesity and diabetes are an epidemic when you look at modern diets and how processed foods are shoved down our throats by the food industry.