Wow… 43mins To Spare

It’s 06:17 on Friday morning and here I sit with a fluffy fleecy dressing gown on and cup of tea cooling down on the arm of the sofa. I’ve got a some pasta boiling away in a pan in the kitchen and that right there is the most dire mistake I can make. Put pasta on high, leave to blog. It’s a fatal combination of ridiculousness, forgetfulness and stupidity knowing full well that in about 90 minutes time I’m going to have published my drivel onto my blog and then be standing in the bathroom applying my makeup, checking my phone, replying to messages, getting preoccupied with those little products shoved in the back of the containers in the cupboard and thinking about the boot sale I need to have soon. Then remembering those other pairs of trousers I found that can also go in that heap of stuff ready for the boot sale and walking into the bedroom to find those trousers and taking them down to the room where the pile of stuff is waiting to be taken to a car boot and then seeing my treadmill is folded up against the wall but at an awkward angle. Stepping over the tangled wires and lamps and crap left on the floor by ‘Cam’s Studios’ to figure out what’s wrong with it I’ll spend 10 minutes messing with the treadmill only to find Cam and friends were messing with it and folded it up while it was still on incline. So I’ll get pissed off and go have a blast at Cam about messing with my stuff and leaving that crap all over the floor and while I’m stood in his bedroom I’ll notice a letter that I signed several days ago that he was meant to hand in at school laying on the floor under some shoes so I have a go about that too and decide I need cup of tea to calm my nerves. So I’ll wander downstairs into a haze of steamy looking, burnt smelling…………. FUUUCCCKKK PASTAAA!!!!!

Charcoal.

These days are incredibly busy and I have a lot of exciting things going on but the fragments of spare time that I used to have when I had a partner left with him.. Even someone who wasn’t here all week managed to do a few random things that gave me a moment to sit and crank my thoughts out on this site. I’ve also made myself busier than ever this year by taking on more structured and serious training, more bike races of different disciplines and an NVQ3 to become a qualified Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer. I’m still working full time and have a stroppy teenager all to myself… It’s all great, I’m loving life but in the big scheme of things charcoal pasta is a fairly regular occurrence and in the order of being efficient and frugal I just invented a recipe called…..

‘Charcoal Tuna Pasta’.

Racing this year is going well. I won the first couple of warm up rounds prior to the main Mountain Biking series in the region and podiumed in 1st and 2nd places at the second and third main series events. I missed the first race as I was in the states again for a few weeks visiting Jim – albeit it not too much of a relaxing break after we covered around 300 miles on our road bikes in a week… a lot for me but great training and great times spent with someone I enjoy hanging out with.

Inspired by Jim I signed up for my first Criterium Race – a road race on road bikes. It goes a bit like this ..Group of riders (men and women) leave the start to carry out fast laps of a preset course for a pre-determined amount of time. First across the finish line wins… There are a lot of tactics and fitness required to do such a race.. and skills. Skills that require you don’t fumble your pedal on the start line, let the peloton get away and then spend 20 minutes blowing yourself to bits trying to catch them up. I changed my pedals after that incident – it wasn’t the only time I’d struggled with that particular make. However, the whole deal was sweetened when I discovered that I was 2nd of the three ladies that entered and I won £10!

Determined not to let it beat me I signed up for the local crit race series which happens on a week night over 6 weeks. The first race was awful -  I got dropped by the group on the first lap and then spent 30 minutes struggling around in hellish wind on my own only to get lapped by the leaders and finish ready to vomit (first) and then die of an asthma attack (second). The second race was a totally different kettle of fish taking lessons learnt from the previous two races I’d completed I got some great advice from Jim, put myself in a better position and let the group work for me like I hadn’t been able to before. It turned out to be a great race for me and I achieved in that race the goal I’d set out to achieve over 5 weeks… just to stay in the group for the full 30 minutes. Not only did I manage to stay in a group but I was positioned somewhere in the middle of the entire field.. far from last place! I just hope it wasn’t a fluke!

Following that race a local bike shop owner was impressed with my efforts and offered me a place on his team which I gladly accepted. It’s a great opportunity that will bring some new experiences my way. It also means I’m not so completely alone in my training and racing anymore. I’m excited about it… Now I have even more of a reason to push my abilities and do well.

So there we have it.. now that things are settling down a little bit I’m hoping to take advantage of a rare moment that I can get in here to dump my brain out. For now I better get on with getting ready for work and the boy ready for school…

That reminds me, I need to go and sort his packed lunch.. and that reminds me, we ran out of bread.. I’ll have to make him some Tuna Pasta to take.

FUUUUUCKK!!!… PASTA!!!!!

Tags:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Cabbage Soup Diet – Wednesday (Day 3)

Today was soup, fruit (except bananas) and vegetables (except potatoes).

I started breakfast with strawberries, blueberries, mango, grapefruit and an apple, shortly followed by some of the new batch of ‘Creole’ cabbage soup I made last night. I also chased my initial cup of tea down with water and a bit later I exchanged a couple of cups of tea with Liquorice tea.

During the remainder of the day I sat like a contented cow in a field grinding my jaw in a rhythmic motion to put away a packet of baby corns, mangetout, green beans, more fruit, more soup, fruit, veg, soup, rinse and repeat.

Stupidly I only took 2 canisters of soup with me to work and by 4pm I really needed a hit but I was out of soup so I continued to eat another apple and the remainder of the green beans.

And then I started getting a headache. It didn’t take me long to work out that I’d gone from 11am to 4pm without a proper cup of tea and I had the start of a caffeine headache kicking in. Also my stomach felt a little more bloaty and a little less satisfied from the empty calories I’d thrown in it during the day. I think the lack of about 5 cups of tea with milk during the day had not only given me a headache but had also left an empty feeling in the corner of my stomach. Note to self – give up one pleasure at a time woman!

By the evening I felt a bit more unsatisfied than previous days despite having downed two large bowls of soup and a Pear within the space of an hour of coming home. The dull headache was still kicking around and cooking Cam’s dinner – a lovely cheese omelet, with tomatoes and a fluffy brown bread roll with butter was a challenge of resolve. I reminded myself of my goal for the weekend – to be a lighter weight racer on Sunday and also my lovely dinner out that I was looking forward to on Saturday with the girls… and promptly passed the plate to Cam without so much as pinching a tiny mouthful.

Along with the caffeine headache and unsatisfied feeling my stomach bloated up like an air balloon today… and it doesn’t appear to be gas so I’m assuming it’s sheer volume of watery vegetables and fruit composting away in the pit of my soul ready to exit like a Jew from a hog roast.

At this point I had a look at some other nutrient information from My Fitness Pal iPhone App to see what I was good on and what I was lacking between Monday and today:

Carbohydrate intake has been over or at what it should have been for 2 out of 3 days.

Protein has been very low. Continuing at this level of protein for a prolonged period would really screw your body up.

Fat has been extremely low, barely reaching 30% what what I should take in during a day. I believe most of this fat has been coming from the semi skimmed milk in my tea so technically that shouldn’t even exist since although tea is allowed the plan doesn’t intend you to drink it with milk.

Calcium has been met or way exceeded every day.

Vitamins A and C have been over exceeded by 200-700% due to all the fruit and veg. If vitamin C boosts the immune system then I should be able to fight off every conceivable disease… with THIS finger. I should also have amazing night vision from the vitamin A overdose!

Sodium and Potassium have been fair to good. Both levels need to elevate for the weekend as I’ll be cramping during the race if they remain at the levels they are. I suspect the day of Bananas tomorrow will take care of Potassium levels for the rest of the year so no worries there.

Iron levels – are not great – Since Iron is found most abundantly in foods that contain protein and I haven’t had any protein, I’ve only been reaching 50% of the amount of Iron I need. Iron is responsible for taking oxygen to cells, keeping you from feeling tired and lethargic and also prevents you from becoming Anaemic. Since Vitamin A is the mobilising agent that takes Iron from storage to be utilised by the body, I’m wondering if Tuesdays energy was a result of my body using the huge amount of Vitamin A I’d eaten to quickly shove out any stores of Iron I had as a panic reaction to having not taken any Iron on in a couple of days.

By Wednesday evening I was feeling quite tired – whether this was due to the caffeine headache that had just not left me alone or due to low levels of Iron I didn’t know. I contemplated taking an Iron supplement but was a bit skeptical about doing that in conjunction with Banana day on Thursday – if ever there was a route to getting ‘packed up’ fast – Bananas, milk and Iron in large quantities is your one way ticket.

Weight 64.1kg 
Body Fat 28.1%
Visceral Fat 5
BMI 22.3
Muscle 32.1%

Waist 26.5″
Hips 38″
Thigh 20″
Calf 13.50″

Ok, here we go – recorded on Day 4, looking back on Day 3.

YouTube Preview Image

Tags: , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Cabbage Soup Diet – Tuesday (Day 2)

Today was soup, any vegetables and baked potato day.

Eating vegetables for breakfast wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve ever done although I’ve eaten weirder food for breakfast so I didn’t completely turn my nose up as the first Mangetout slipped passed my lips.

I managed 4 bowls of soup today and I also did an hour run and 75 mins in the gym. I’d taken a banana (oooh taboo) with me to the gym in case I needed something to stop me flagging between running and working out but I didn’t need it, neither did I eat it. I stayed satiated and drank two large bottles of water until I returned home where I actually looked forward to eating more soup, even though I was greeted on the other side of my front door by the waft of a freshly baked pizza that Cam had eaten for dinner.

Earlier in the day I’d chomped my way through Baby Corns, Mangetout, Green Beans, fresh Peas, Baby Carrots, Samphire, Cucumber and Spinach/Rocket leaves, topping it all off in the afternoon with more soup and a gorgeous buttery baked potato. And that son of a bitch hit my stomach like a lead brick making my stomach cramp uncomfortably for over an hour. It felt like the potato had been the gate crasher in a party of cabbage and they’d all ganged up to kick the hell out of the fluffy white intruder who’d turned up wearing trainers to a black tie event. That fight continued for a couple of hours before subsiding…..and being drowned in tea. I Think maybe I shouldn’t have woofed it down quite so fast.

I felt fantastic today and I had more energy than I’ve had in a while.

So, upon waking on Day 3 – what are the results from Day 2′s cabbagey eatathon?

Weight 64.1kg
Body Fat 28.8%
Visceral Fat 5
BMI 23.0
Muscle 31.1%

Waist 27″
Hips 38″
Thigh 20.25″
Calf 13.75″

So, we can see there was a drop in weight, body fat, BMI, hips and thigh measurements. Most pleasingly Muscle mass stayed the same.
I still haven’t experienced any bad smelling side effects, I’m not gassy or bloated and despite having read about people experiencing constipation I can report things are running as per timetable here!

You can sleep now knowing that last fact…

Video – recorded on day 3 looking back on day 2.

YouTube Preview Image

Tags: , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Cabbage Soup Diet – Monday Day 1

So Monday was my first day on the diet.

WOW!

I’m blown away by how wrong I had this plan.. and not literally ‘blown away’ either so let me go ahead and address that point.

NO GAS.. That’s right, so far I’ve had no gas at all. Do you know how many opportunities to wrestle with Cam and fart on his head that’s allowed me to miss? NUMEROUS. I’m wondering if this is anything to do with having forgotten to put the green beans in the soup although I hardly think so… more on that revelation in the video.

Ok, so the facts – I haven’t been in the slightest bit hungry, I haven’t craved sweets, I fairly happily refused the biscuit tin at work several times, I’ve had more energy than I’ve had in weeks – (WTF?), I’ve felt in a really elevated mood AND crucially I’ve been able to carry out a 50 minute work out on my bike on the turbo trainer without feeling weak or hungry. I also woke up with a lovely flat, non bloated stomach for the first time in a while. I’ve been suffering with all sorts of stomach problems lately which I can only link to eating certain combinations of foods including museli and bread.

The soup itself is really good and I’m enjoying eating it. Although, by the 3rd bowl on day one I was looking forward to it about as much as the average person would look forward to a visit from their mother in law but once I started eating it I enjoyed it. What I have missed today is eating something crunchy like nuts or a cereal bar. Fruits and soup generally are soft and the crunch of an apple wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

I managed 3 bowls of soup and a lot of fruit on day one. Consumed a hellishly low 963 calories which is way under the recommended lowest you go for dieting. 370 calories were burned up by exercise which left me with a net total of 593 calories. This is STUPIDLY LOW, pretty much starvation and under no circumstances would any professional/Nutritionist/Doctor condone this since it’s actually less than half of what my Basal Metabolic Rate (the amount your body needs just to function without doing anything). Given that figure I fully expect my body to start eating away at it’s own muscle…

So why carry on?

Because I’m really curious and I want to see the end result and given that I’m not suffering/hungry/lacking energy and I’m monitoring the results carefully via my Body Analysis Scales, measurements, weight and how I’m feeling/functioning I know I’m in control. I also know that in September I won a duathlon after not having eaten anything for 4 days and suffering the worst stress of my life… therefore, the body is tougher than we give it credit for. This is also only a short term thing so no lasting damage will be done.

Day ONE body stats:
(First thing in the morning, naked, after the loo and before food or drink)

Weight 65.0kg
Body Fat 29.2%
Visceral Fat 5
BMI 23.3
Muscle 31.1%
Waist 27″
Hips 39″
Thigh 20.75
Calf 13.75

Bad news: I lost weight but the measurements show I gained fat and lost muscle. Could this be, I wonder, a direct result from not having enough protein to fund the exercise? I’ll continue to monitor.

This video has been recorded on Tuesday – Day 2 retrospectively looking at Day 1.

YouTube Preview Image

Tags: , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Time For Another Challenge…

So… brought to you by the same curiosity that drove the trial of the ’100 Push Up Challenge’.. Foxsden is doing ‘The Cabbage Soup Diet’.

Now, I’m fully aware:
There will be those of you that know me and just shake your head in disbelief at the absurdity of reading this.
There will be those of you that know me and just know that this is exactly the kind of absurdity I relish in.
There will be those of you that know me or don’t know me very well who will ask why I would want to do this.
There will be those of you that don’t know me at all and think, ‘Jesus, what kind of unit is this woman that she needs to do the Cabbage Soup Diet?’

The broad answer to these questions can be summarised as follows:
I have some body fat to lose…Approx 5%. I’m not exactly sure how much weight that equates to but last time I was at that % body fat I was somewhere around 7kg or 15lbs or just over 1 stone lighter than I am now. I’m 5’7″ tall so that stone doesn’t look entirely out of place on me, however I want to be as lean as I can to compete in the sporting events I have coming up at a lighter weight.

The flip side of the coin is that I love reading and learning about diets, fads, food etc. I have a huge interest in nutrition, exercise and the way our bodies work and react to things. Therefore I wanted to see if a food lover such as myself could even take on something like this diet and stick to it even for a short time.

It’s recommended you don’t attempt to do this diet for more than 7 days and I plan to run this for about 5 days initially. On Sunday I have a race therefore I will need to take on more energy rich foods at the weekend so I may have to have a short break from the cabbage. But until then I’m going to give it the best I can and document the absurdity along the way and then depending on how I get on I may continue for a short time the following week.

Let me preface any further details by saying this:
I’m not advocating this diet or any diet. If you choose to diet or do anything else after you read it here – it’s on YOUR BACK! I’m not responsible for the stupidity you get yourself into.

The recipe for the soup is:
Cabbage
Onion
Green Beans
Green Peppers
Vegetable Stock
Tinned Tomatoes
Carrots
Vegetable stock cubes
Various spices/herbs to taste.

The deal is you eat as much of the soup as you like as often as you like plus:
Day 1
plus any fruit, apart from bananas.
Day 2
plus other vegetables, including a baked potato with butter for dinner (potatoes are off-limits on other days)
Day 3
plus other fruits and vegetables.
Day 4
plus anything up to 6 bananas and fat-free milk.
Day 5
plus 6 tomatoes and up to 450 grams of meat or fish.
Day 6
plus meat(beef) and vegetables.
Day 7
plus brown rice, pure fruit juice, and vegetables.

Immediate thoughts are:
It’s worryingly low in protein on most days.
Will I have energy to train?
The sodium is quite high (although I think I used one too many Oxo cubes in my recipe). However, being a Pescatarian and not one to eat processed foods I struggle to reach anywhere near what I should for daily sodium intake which causes me to have a lot of muscle cramps. So this will be a benefit.
I will be taking a Daily Multivitamin.
Jesus christ I’m going to intoxicate myself and anyone near me with the gas this diet will produce.

Currently I exercise for at least 5 hours per week, often more. This diet is not particularly high in carbs although with the addition of fruits, baked potato and rice it’s not exactly low carb. I’m going to try it, if I find myself lacking energy to train I may have to take action.
I will be monitoring my Nutrient intake via ‘My Fitness Pal’ application on iPhone. This will tell me the amounts of all important nutrients and food groups I’m taking in along with calories and the amount of energy burned via exercise.
OK.. with that – over to the video.
YouTube Preview Image
Body Stats:
66kg (145lbs/10.5 stone)
Body Fat 28.2%
Visceral Fat 5
BMI 23.8
Muscle 31.9%
Waist 27.5″
Hips 39″
Thigh 20.75″
Calf 13.75″
Daily updates and VLOG to follow…

Tags: , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a summary of interesting odds & sods. 

Healthy blog!

 The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.  

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 55,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it.

 In 2010, there were 56 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 332 posts. There were 71 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 39mb. That’s about a picture per week.

 The busiest day of the year was January 20th with 351 views. The most popular post that day was Primark In Purchasing From Underground Sweatshop Shocker!

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were en.wordpress.com, logodesignlove.com, racefox.com, twitter.com, and search.aol.com.

 Some visitors came searching, mostly for primark, malaria, sleeve tattoos, fail, and sleeve tattoo.  

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

 1 Primark In Purchasing From Underground Sweatshop Shocker! January 2009
 2 Well Done. No, Really… Well Dumb You Celebrities March 2009
 3 De-Restricting A Honda Zoomer – FAQ May 2009
 4 De-Restricting My Honda Zoomer May 2008
 5 First Rule About Migraine Remission Club… July 2008

Tags:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Random Items

In the space of 2 hours and 20 minutes whilst riding my bike today I saw the following random items:

A spoon

A shoe

A cigarette packet

A dead Pheasant

A dirty item of clothing

A magazine

A dolls head

A broken ‘For Sale’ sign

A plastic carrier bag

A cabbage

For a moment I thought about going back to collect the dolls head so I could take a photo of the dead pheasant with it over it’s head. And then I decided I’m 38… I need to get my damn head out of the clouds and think of things like how to get my white wash whiter.

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

I Feel Free…

The things you own end up owning you.

It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.

Tags:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Driving, thinking, singing

Tags: , ,

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS

Impending Awkward Moment

Driving on the long smooth road on the other side of the neighbouring village I slowed considerably to follow cautiously behind a bearded man who was riding a folding bike which had an unfeasibly lengthy head tube and ridiculous looking 12″ wheels. His cadence on the pedals was swift and purposeful and he wore perched on his back a massive, completely packed oblong shaped red rucksack. It was the kind of bag more suited to hiking in the wilderness and it looked heavy and cumbersome and I thought to myself how I resented using my 20 litre bag on my back to commute to work let alone his bag which was double the size. I wondered how much his arse hurt at that moment and if he’d wince at the pain between his shoulders when he removed his bag, the same pain I get, when he arrived at his destination. And if his back would be sweaty and his shirt wet as he appeared to be without the luxury of correct technical layers for such a ride at such an effort. I wondered if he’d stand up to reach the top of the upcoming hill or if he’d dismount and walk up or just grind the crankset using the weight of that bag to lunge forward with each down stroke of the pedals.
Slightly ahead of him riding a much more suitable tourer style bike was a man wearing a bright yellow hi-viz jacket and woolly hat. He appeared to be extending quite an effort to keep up a reasonable pace yet the Rucksack Man was closing the 50 metre gap between them rather quickly. And looked as though it was his purpose to do so.
At a clear safe spot I manoeuvred my car onto the other side of the road in order to give both men plenty of room. I passed Rucksack Man and within seconds passed Hi-Viz Man. Checking back in my rear view mirror I smirked and thought how monumentally shit it was going to be for Hi-Viz man to get rinsed by a bearded man wearing a checked shirt, beige trousers and the worlds largest rucksack onboard a shonky steel frame bike that may as well have been mounted on shopping trolley casters.
That impending moment was going to be awkward.

Tags:

  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS