Friday 1st Jan 16
Here we go. Bring on 2016. Who knows what it will bring. I am enjoying running, writing and brewing. The Docorate in Education is providing plenty of food for thought. I am thinking about the way we exclude children from schools at such an early age. I am also reading an excellent book at the moment about the Incredible Edible project in Todmorden. I need to go over the hill and have a look. The book is inspirational because it isn’t really about food. It is about changing the world and starting with what you can do. I like the line about not being a victim. One of the founders said that the town of Todmorden was like a wife whose husband had left but refused to date anyone else. It has stuck with me.
I am enjoying eating in this new Maffetone type of way. I have just had a deliscious caronation chicken which I made from scratch.
- 2 egg yolks beaten with a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and salt.
- I gradually beat in about 200-250ml of extra virgin olive oil (A little strong tasting but what I had)
- 1 table spoon of cider vinegar (too much – teaspoon next time)
- A big handfull of frozen blueberries for sweetness
- big teaspoon of curry paste
- A little honey to sweeten it up.
- Plenty of chicken saved from chicken legs for lunch.
Also saw a book called ‘Rules to Break’. Like the idea of that. ‘Running Rules you should break’ could be a way to go.
Also had a great roasted veg soup at lunchtime and a chopped veg (in blender0 omelette for breakfast.
Starting the year at 11st 5 lbs.
Sat 2nd Jan 16
Woke up with mouth like the bottom of a birdcage. Been like that for a couple of days which is a surprise because all natural food yesterday. Maybe it is coming form the day before which was New year’s Eve and I let loose and had chocolate and sweets with the kids at the cinema. Makes sense. I am aiming to get things right almost all of the time but still allow myself to let go now and again. It has happened 3 times in the last 2 months. Once on my dad’s birthday when I had a few malteesers, again on Christmas day where I had a piece of cake that my daughter had made. It was important that I eat something she had made specially for the occasion. I am not going to become too self centred about this whole thing. I find that once I have one sweet, I eat the bag.
First thing I did this morning was start with a pint of water as Maffetone says that we are a little dehydrated when we wake and then I put on a big pot of coffee which I am going to have with a splash of honey because also our glycogen is going to be a little low. Caffeine is an interesting one.
The 2 week test had more of an effect on my mood than I anticipated. I swung from periods of euphoria to feeling low and I have noticed that unless I make an effort, my diet becomes almost carb free. I haven’t put any rice or oats back into my diet because I don’t miss them. I get my carbs from fruit and honey (and real ale now and again). If I forget then I can feel it. I get a little low in mood or at least that is my perception.
I have a day of leftovers coming up. I have some roasted veg soup that I made yesterday which is nice with a blob of soured cream and some coronation chicken which I made with my own mayonnaise. First time I have ever made mayo and I was surprised how much oil there is in there. I tasted good. Honey and blueberries in there too instead of mango chutney. Yum. I will have that with a big salad later.
No run today. One of the biggest changes was dropping off running everyday which has been a feature of my life for the last year. It was a wrench but I couldn’t understand why my MAF times where slower than when I started. I thought it might be not having enough rest so tried it and it worked. My MAF test has improved noticeably. I am going to add running every day back into my life again at some point because I miss it. Maybe between Spring and Autumn equinox or something like that.
I have ASDA bringing my groceries later. That has been a whole new experience too. My last oder had no ready prepared food at all which was a first. I have found that now that I am not eating convenience food that I am spending less because I have less waste. I throw very little away and leftovers become part of the next meal or a meal in themselves. That feels like the way it should be.
I need to get my children gradually converted but that will take time. It is on the way and I can see it happening but one step at a time. I need to feel comfortable myself first.
Couple of interesting and easy recipes here that I spotted whilst looking for today’s football fixtures. I like the look of the eggs (without the flatbreads). I make a sort of tomato sauce but it is good to see how the pros do it. Those little added extra make all the difference. http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spiced_north-african_82972 and one for smoked salmon omelette. I am eating more eggs than ever and that is one where my 12 year old son has changed too. He loves a fried egg. Good to get him onto omelette.
Sun 3rd Jan 16
Mouth fuzzy again. I think that it might be dairy. I have got to then point where I am loath to throw any food away and I ended up eating a stack of natural yoghurt with blueberries yesterday. I will eat little dairy today and see what happens. Ate to much overall yesterday. All the right things but too close together. They were just so appetising. I think I need to eat less and put in some more fruit in between times.
4.5 miles this morning in VFF Spyridons. Felt full of food from yesterday and a bit sluggish. My HRM kept playing up and jumping around to 180bpm. I am able to run within my MAF range pretty well without it now but it is good to have. I find that I break into a walk spontaneously at the right times. I cannot remember the last time that I ran without being rained on. The weather is miserable.
Mon 4th Jan 16
Starting new job today as head of Bolton’s Primary Pupil Referral Unit. This is where children go when excluded from mainstream education. Our job is to help children in crisis get back on the rails and back into mainstream education. Really looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see how the kids take it when I arrive with my big box of’l eaves’ for lunch.
I have been trying to improve my children’s diet as well as my own without coming across as some sort of crazy evangelist. They have grown up eating like me which is why their diet has always consisted of convenience food.
We have a few green shoots (excuse the pun) of progress. My daughter joins in and shares the homemade soups and likes a salad with dressing. She has been making her own. My son has always been a fruit bat and eat loads of it. Last night, we had a stir fry. Turkey with loads of stir fry veg. I did them separately at first and put some turkey on my son’s plate with some veg on the side. He then had a flat bread(step by step) go with it. The rest of has a good old stir fry with my daughter having slightly less than us with a flat bread too.
My son has started to make himself eggs fried in olive oil. He has an addiction (too strong a word but you know what I mean) to Warburtons thick thinned white bread. It would be very easy to say ‘well don’t buy it then’. but I am the reason their diet is the way it is. I am not going to make them cold cold turkey. I want them to gradually grow to love this way of eating and not hate it from the outset. It should be enjoyable and fun so I am going by by bit with them.
Tuesday 5th Jan 16
My first assembly at my new school today and I told them a bit about my running and that I had something in the box that would help me run faster. They had lots of guesses and then I pulled out a big box of salad which I had taken for lunch. I have told them that I am eating this way from now on to please keep an eye on me and to take me down if they see me with chips and fishfingers. I also had a few pieces of different fruit in there. They had some good guesses but I have never confused a pear with a pineapple before.
Up nice and early for a barefoot 5 miler this morning. My heart rate monitor went all dicky again and I just used my judgement. It sorted itself out eventually and was fine. I felt really good this morning and was running a pretty long uphill this morning well within my MAF range of 124-134bpm. It was even falling below that at times. I felt as fresh as a daisy at the end and ran the 5 miler in 61 minutes.
I wore a new pair of bluetooth bone conducting headphones ad listened to one of my favourite podcasts as I ran. I have never run in headphones because I worry about nor being able to hear other things but these were great. I know all the reasons for leaving everything behind but I just fancied it this morning.
Used the leftover roasted veg soup as a base for a sort of beef mince chilli sort of affair which I had with a big dollop of soured cream. Pretty good and a good way to get the veg in.
Wed 6th Jan 16
My new job is all consuming at the moment. It is brilliant and really enjoying it and is giving me a bit of a kickstart in other areas of my ‘things to do’. I have shamefully not added anyone to our Facebook group for a while and am now doing that a few at a time. I won’t just click everyone in. I welcome each person individually and explain a little about our group and what we do (and don’t). I am very proud of our little group. I enjoy the chat and the overall positive mood. I know that some of you have found some great advice in there from members from all over the world. Bravo barefoot folk. Bravo and remember, We run, we chat and we smile.
I started the day with a pint of water (5.40am) and a cup of tea made with a drop of whole milk and a small dash of honey. Listening to Endurance Planet yesterday. It was with DR Tamsin Lewis on the dangers of a Keto, low carb diet for women in particular. This was quality from someone who really knows. It provides a bit of balance as I have been listening to Endurance planet’s Maffetone interviews which are pretty regular. I am confident that my diet isn’t keto but I am naturally heading towards low carb. Not really low but low enough to make me listen.
I need to get myself organised. I am seeing the benefits of twitter for snippets that I find. I will then need to learn how to use it properly.
Thursday 7th Jan16
5 mile barefoot this morning and the coldest run for a while. It was raining hard and my feet took 3 miles to feel normal. Combined with a stressful first week in a new job, it was a challenge to keep under my MAF rate. I kept instinctively speeding up to keep myself warm. It was hard to throttle back. I also ended up walking on a couple of occasions. The stress and the cold definitely had an impact.
Sat 9th Jan 16
I cracked last night and had a few chocolates. This is first for me. I could have managed without but was in the box that my wife brought home before I knew it. It was funny, they tasted sweet and sickly and I didn’t enjoy them at all. I had too many and felt a bit sick. Not badly so but not normal in any case.
The stress of a new job has taken its toll this week on both my running and my diet. I feel better for understanding that. I get it now and will handle it better in the future. I have found it hard to get out. My legs ache and keeping under MAF range was hard on Thursday.
I have had a week of headaches culminating yesterday with a bad one that came on gradually during the day. I started out OK and then it just grew. I made sure that I was drinking enough water. I ate as planned and had a few pieces of fruit in there. Maybe my brain needed sugar boost. It has been overloaded this week and it felt like it was leaking out of my ears yesterday. Not a problem. I am loving it but it has been full on and I have had to gallop full-time just to keep up. Perhaps, I will drop a bit of honey in my drinks next week and see if that helps. Perhaps that it was what led to me scoffing a few chocolates on impulse late on Thursday.
Started the morning with some home made coronation chicken. I used Rape Seed oil rather than olive oil and this was better. I used blueberries and little honey to sweeten it slightly. I have been searching a coronation chicken that is as good as one I used to have on my sandwiches from a butty shop over 20 years ago. I have tried many but none have lived up to it. Where they fall flat is the lack of sweetness usually brought by adding mango chutney. This one I have made is up there. The honey and blueberries give it that much needed lift. Yum. Lots left for later!
Mon 11th Jan 16
OK – Well and truly fallen off the waggon. I had apple strudel with custard and a few chocolates last night. Enjoyed them too. I am not too worried about that but I also didn’t run this weekend and that is unusual for me. My legs felt achy and I just fancied staying in bed. I was much better when I was in a routine and running every morning. I think that I need to go back to that. I may delay rest but I feel better when i am doing it. I am not worried about the food side of things but think that I have not got the carbs right. I ate the strudel because I felt that I needed it.
I have just had a very stressful week and it has taken its toll. The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it is now gone colder. I ran barefoot every day last year even in the snow but this year I may well put on my Vivobarefoots for some of these runs. It is because I am running slower to stay in MAF range that I am getting colder than this time last year. MAF is challenging. I am fed up with it today. I want a blast and it is taking some self control to not go out and go for it. Maybe it is not the running that I am not enjoying but the running in the MAF range that I am not enjoying. I fancy the idea of a 3 hrs run but not one where I am checking my heart rate continually.
It is a shame that I feel like this. I am enjoying the weight loss and am not going back.
Tuesday 12th Jan 16
Ran 5 miles this morning in Vivobarefoot Evos. My feet felt warm but I was sluggish (My digestive system to be honest). Felt good at first but then running on MAF range got harder and I was slower over the route by 2 minutes. Combination of stress, lapse in diet and sluggish digestion. I need to get back on track and run everyday whatever. the nice thing was that during the last mile I wanted to get out barefoot rather than in footwear.
Wed 13th Jan 16
Up early and out for a barefoot mile. Frost on the road surface and after half a mile I was wondering whether my feet would be OK. I usually stop at the turn round for a minute or so to let the morning seep into my bones but it was too cold on the feet this morning. I always feel better for the run and and glad I am back into it.
Friday 15th Jan 16
Feeling much better this morning. the effects of stress last week were enormous and I suffered and was sluggish. Digestion also sluggish. I think that not running everyday has an effect on that. the 5 miles this morning was fine and my him was wonky for the first half leading to me being very cautious and slow. the second half, i was flying along even uphills and stayed in the zone. I pulled back some time. Also lost another pound in weight so it is all going in the right direction.
Sat 16th Jan 16
Ran 10.5 miles with Phil yesterday and that means going at faster than MAF rate. Still slow but faster than I have been running. One thing about both berating and MAF is that I have ended up running on my own so that I don’t slow anyone down. We had a good run along the canals and River Orwell towards Salford. Fascinating. I was flagging bit by the end. I could have gone quicker but I was trying to run quickly but remain economical and not go for it up the hills. His rate was 134 which is my MAF upper limit. I am usually about 5 more than hime so I was over.
It was then my daughter’s birthday so I had a bit of a pudding whilst out. I am going to do that now and again. I am going to stick to things as best I can but not be antisocial or evangelical. i have never really suited to being an evangelist.
Sun 17th Jan 16
A mile in the snow this morning and my confession is that I wore a very old pair of Asics conventional running shoes that were sitting in the bottom of a storage box. Not sure how I ended up with them on. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I am not berating whilst there is rocksalt about.
Mon 18th Jan 16
Feels normal to be up and about early and heading for a run in the ice and snow. Only a mile this morning to test out my new Bikilas. They are good straight from the box. Easy to put on by wriggling toes backwards and forwards. It is good to get out each morning even if I am not barefoot all the time. Easy to understand, easy to remember and a good routine to be in.
My salad today is Bistro with beetroot and some Feta cheese cubes with a few pieces of chicken thrown in. Just used a small kilner jar to put in olive oil and cider vinegar and then mix. 2/3 olive oil 1/3 vinegar and then shake. Goes in a little dressing pot which I throw in salad box so that it can go on fresh just before I eat it.
The running helps with early morning bathroom ritual too. That needs more discussion. there has been a distinct change since eating this way. I haven’t struggled with constipation badly but would do if I didn’t run, I think. It is much better though. A lot less messy and smelly a process. My body odour has changed too. I am not sure how good a thing that is though. I smell like someone else.
Tuesday 19th Jan 16
A good 5 miler this morning within MAF range. I was able to run it in under 59 mins which is a significant improvement. I actually felt like I was running normally most of the way and really enjoyed it. I feel light today. What a difference a week makes. Back feeling optimistic. I am looking forward to getting out for a mile and having some fun in the morning. I was on a course today with lunch provided. I sat and had my box of salad at lunchtime and enjoyed it. when most were having a biscuit at break, i have a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit. Much better and I felt good about it. Something about having the fruit to keep the carb flowing to the brain. I was alert all day. I am always having a piece of fruit after a piece of cheese at the moment to stop that spike.
Wed 20th Jan 16
A barefoot mile this morning and it was nice to feel the knots developed over the past few shod runs melting away. I have been avoiding rocksalt but there was still plenty on the roads this morning. ended up on the pavement.
For more excitement, turn off your head torch on unlit sections. I am viewing my head torch like shoes at the moment. Needed sometimes but do without if possible. I like feeling my way.
If I were to write a full post this morning it would have the title. ‘Running keeps you regular’. Say no more.
Thursday 21st Jan 16
A 5 miler this morning and it was the quickest yet. I was surprised that I crested a shallow hill near the start of the run without topping out over 134bpm. I then felt like I was running happily and for a while forgot that I was in the range. It juts felt normal. I was more likely to set a beep off by going to slow rather than too quick. I reached the half way point and was surprised at how quick I had gone.(All relative but 27.5 mins for 2.5 miles) and then forced myself to stop for a minute for a it of mindfulness . That is a loose term but I wanted to enjoy being out and stoop to celebrate for a moment that I am out running at this time in the morning and enjoying myself.
The run back is uphill mostly and slower but I still managed to get there in 57 mins and a few seconds. About 4 mins faster than normal which for a 5 miler is something. I was in Bikilas rather than barefoot and that may well have everything to do with it. I forgot I had them on. Easy to slip on and comfy.
Sat 23rd Jan 16
I have a headache this morning and it made me realise that I have not had a headache or had a headache tablet for a long time. Amazing really. I used to crunch ibruprofen and paracetamol all the time. I often had them before I went to bed or I would have a disturbed night due to headaches. I would often wake up with a headache and have a tablet or the pain would just get progressively worse as the day went on. I always put it down to dehydration and drank pints of water. I would have a pint before I went to bed. Since getting rid of sugar and only eating real food, I have hardly had a headache at all and I cannot remember the last tablet I took.
So…why have I got a headache today?
Yesterday was our family get together for my daughter’s birthday. I joined in with everyone else and had pastie and peas, crisped, chocolate and birthday cake. I had planned to do that. I am not planning to be a martyr or evangelist and I am not going to turn down a piece of birthday cake on my daughter’s birthday. Plenty of party food left over but I am not going anywhere near it. happy to be back eating proper stuff.
The good thing was that it was nice to join in with everyone and not abstain but not feel worried about it. It isn’t falling off the wagon or the start of a slippery slope. It was what it was. Me enjoying a family get together. It gave me a headache but it was worth it. It makes the whole thing feel more sustainable in the long term which is what it is all about.
Sun 24th Jan 16
19.5 miles this morning in a pair of VFF Spyridons. Practising fuelling with real food so was eating cheese and apples at regular intervals. Ran within MAF range so took forever. Felt fresh as a daisy afterwards. Must be doing something right.
Mon 25th Jan 16
A brief pitter-patter of a barefoot mile this morning. I kept slowing down to get my form right and loosen everything off from yesterday. Forced myself to stop and enjoy being out otherwise my mind just jumps ahead and starts to sort out the day and I end up tense.
It was noticeable yesterday that I didn’t finish the long run in a ravenous state. That has always happened in the past and I have binged for the rest of the day on sugary stuff. Today, I just felt normal. I drank a lot of fluids but mostly water and a couple of big cups of tea but ate normally for the rest of the day. I had no cravings for anything in particular.
Friday 29th Jan 16
Has a couple of 5 milers this week. The one on Tuesday was the quickest yet but Thursday’s was slow again. Why?? I didn’t feel right when I woke up and knew it would be slower. I was barefoot and it was cold. 1 degree which I can handle but my feet took a while to get over the shock of the sudden dip. Wednesday was a very challenging dat at work. My stress levels were high for quit a few hours and this carried over into the evening. My dips in speed have coincided with stress at work consistently. Never even considered that before.
Did my first weight check for a month and I am 11st 2lbs which is either 2 or 3 lbs lighter and 1st 5lbs since starting this. In no rush. The menu of foods now available is good and I am not going back. Steady as she goes.
Sat 30th Jan 16
I am pleased with the weight loss that I have going on. It is a good motivation to keep going. Yesterday at work was a good example. Friday is takeaway lunch and chocolate day and the temptation is to join in. Of course, I could but it felt like the start of a slippery slope. I want to join in sometimes but I need a reason. Sometimes, it just being Friday will be good enough but other times it will not and yesterday I stuck to the Maffetone menu that is working for me. 3 lbs in Jan is not amazing but it is steady and feels proper. 11st 2lbs down from 12 st 7lbs in 3 months is good enough for me. A lb or 2 a month from now on will get me where I want to be. Where is that? 10st 3lbs was my fighting weight a few years ago when running well. it would be amazing to be there. It is now less than a stone away and slow and steady wins the race. Maffetone mantra in many respects. Of course, I was around 9 stone when I was at University and setting pbs. That seemed impossible but ti funny how what seemed impossible can change when you start and make some progress.
Sun 31st Jan 16
January ended with a 10 miler in Bikilas listening to Phil Maffetone on Endurance Planet’s podcast. One thing that came up and that I have noticed is that I am not starving any more when i get back from a long run. I ran for 5 hrs last weekend and was fine when I got back. I didn’t raid the fridge. I just ate normally. It probably means that I am burning more fat than I used to so I don’t have that burning need to refuel the carbs when i get in. Feel much better for it. Things heading in the right direction. I am learning that there is much more too it than I thought and that I will probably go through phases then plateau for a bit whilst my body sorts itself out and then it will kick on again.