Tag Archives: vegetarian

What’s your favourite post training meal?

28 Dec

After long/important races I generally don’t feel like eating much, although after I’ve showered and had a nap I’m usually tempted by treat food, such as a pizza or ice-cream. However, I try not to indulge in those items when I’m training.

After training, I try to ensure that I get enough protein, which isn’t always easy as I’m a vegetarian. I also struggle with absorbing iron and can end up anaemic if I’m not careful. Post-training, I often feel tired, so I need to ensure that whatever I eat can either be preprared in advance or is easy to make .

Here are my go tos…

  • A protein shake
  • Scrambled eggs with avocado or spinach or cheese and chives
  • Natural yoghurt with protein powder added to it
  • Apple and peanut butter

OK, admittedly, some of those are snacks rather than meals, but as I said, I don’t often want to eat straight after exercising… and who doesn’t love peanut butter?!

Scrambled egg on toast with cheese

Scrambled egg on toast with cheese and chives

I’d like to try some new things in 2016, so please let me know what your favourite post-training meal of snack is.

Fuelled by nature

27 Dec

I was recently given the opportunity to try:

Purition

which is described as “real food nutrition for exercise, recovery, health and weight loss”.

The suggested times to drink this ‘meal in a glass’ are:

  • Breakfast – it’s fast and filling
  • Lunch – as a natural alternative to meal replacement products
  • Pre exercise – fuel your workout two hours before with natural nutrition
  • Post exercise – provides easily digestible protein and replaces lost nutrients naturally

I don’t want to replace my lunch, so I think I’ll try it as my breakfast for a week and see how I go. I usually eat porridge (often with protein powder), or scrambled eggs, so it should be easy to see whether I stay full for as long as I usually do.

Six flavours of purition

Six flavours of purition

I’ve been sent six flavours to try:

  • coconut
  • chocolate
  • pistachio
  • macadamia nut and vanilla
  • almond
  • raw vegan hemp

I’m particularly interested in the pistachio one, but as a nut-lover the macadamia and almond ones also appeal to me.

I’m going to try one a day and will sharing my thoughts here 🙂


 

Purition run a monthly instagram competition that you can enter:

  • Follow @fuelled_by_nature
  • Upload a picture of you with Purition with the hashtag #winpurition

The team choose their favourite picture to win 3 x 500g bags of Purition.

 

Food, friends and supraspinatus problems

22 Feb

I need to get back to being organised as I’m not blogging very consistently these days. To try to catch up, I thought I’d share a few photos that illustrate what I’ve been up to.

Stu and I went for a Valentine’s Date to a new coffee shop that has opened up. GL has a lovely range of home-made cakes (although they seemed a little pricy) and the decor was cute and quirky.

Valentine's date with Stu

Valentine’s date with Stu

I’ve also been trying to eat more healthily – sometimes it works, but I’m not winning often enough as I seem to be addicted to sugar at the moment.

Scrambled egg on toast with cheese

Scrambled egg on toast with cheese

Vegan chipotle chilli with ‪quinoa‬ and ‪amaranth‬

Vegan chipotle chilli with ‪quinoa‬ and ‪amaranth‬

I’d love to share a recipe for my vegan chipotle chilli with quinoa and amaranth, but it was mainly throwing in what I could find in my kitchen and hoping that it turned out OK! A very simple recipe that I made this week and can share with you is for a delicious, healthy, paleo, vegan chocolate mousse:

Avocado chocolate mousse

I’ve read several variants of this recipe that call for the addition of almond/coconut milk and something as a sweetener (agave nectar/dates/sugar/honey – yes, I know that’s not vegan), but I didn’t feel the need to make it sweeter.

Have you ever tried this dessert? What ingredients do you use?

As you may know, Stuart and I are fundraising for the Chestnut Appeal this year, via justgiving. The charity kindly sent us some running vests this week. Stuart wore his out for a training run, so I made him pose for a photo. I’ve also worn mine for a training run with some work colleagues, but I didn’t take a selfie… maybe next time!

Stuart in his Chestnut Appeal vest

Stuart in his Chestnut Appeal vest

Despite a hailstorm yesterday, spring finally seems to be on its way. Buds can be seen in gardens and I’ve left work in daylight a few times recently, which is fantastic. I’m looking forward to being able to go out for bike rides after work.  Another advantage of arriving home before it’s dark is that I get to see my neighbour’s pug. I have no idea what his or her name is, but they’re s/he’s adorable!

Neighbour's pug

Neighbour’s pug

There are also likely to be some big changes at work soon with some colleagues leaving and new staff being recruited. The first person to leave is my friend Kerry who is going to work in Australia. I’m so jealous of her! My colleague Anna and I took a quick selfie to bid farewell to Kerry.

Farewell to Kerry

I admire Kerry for being brave enough to change her life in such a dramatic way. A lot of people talk about how they want to change their situation, but never do anything about it.

On Monday, I went to swimming as usual and ended up being observed by not one, but two coaches for almost 45 minutes. Everyone else was carrying on with the planned swim set (I think it was 400m reps), whilst I swam up and down, 50m at a time, with fins on whilst being given a whole stream of adjustments to make. Coach Peter has been trying for over a year to make me a good swimmer and I think he’s starting to run out of ideas. He regularly tells me: ‘You’d be a good swimmer, if you didn’t have to breathe”… of course, the problem is that I do need to breathe. I try so hard to do exactly what I’m told, but I always seem to end up lifting my head out of the water. This week, Peter go Coach Jo to come over and observe me as well. Jo told me that I needed to lift my head higher in the water. This felt more comfortable, but very different as I’ve never tried swimming with my head in this position before. I’m hoping that it will create a bow wave so that I can breathe without choking. Peter also identified that there seems to be a timing problem with my breathing, but I’m not aware of it myself. It would make sense for me to be filmed soon so that I can see the problem – I find that this makes it easier for me to work out what I need to change.

At the very end of the session, Peter got me to stand against the wall with my arms stretched out against the wall (palms outwards) at shoulder height. I then bent my elbows at 90 degrees, so that my hands were at head height. I then had to rotate my arms at the elbow, until my palms touched the wall. I found this very difficult and told coach peter that I have tight shoulders. It turns out that was what he was looking for… I could have told him that a year ago! I now have to do exercises twice a day every day in the hope that increasing the range of movement in my shoulders will improve my swimming.

On Friday, I had a fantastic shoulder massage from my running friend Becky, which has helped to loosen up my shoulders a bit. Becky thinks the problem is probably located in the supraspinatus muscle – as it was gristly when she massaged it there, I reckon she’s right!

Saturday morning’s swimming session turned out to be a session that focussed on legs and kicking drills, so I didn’t really get to feel the benefit of Becky’s massage. Hopefully tomorrow, I’ll be able to see whether there has been any improvement!

If anyone can recommend any shoulder exercises that will benefit me as a swimmer, I’d love to hear them 🙂

#GiveIt100

8 Feb

At the start of the year, I signed up for #GiveIt100 with the aim of focussing on healthy eating and making sensible food choices for 100 days. Unfortunately, I got thrown off track by some personal events and have struggled to get back on track again.

I know a treat every now and again is part of a balanced life, but indulging at Sprinkles with waffles like this is not healthy:

IMG_3824

Tomorrow, I’m working in London and I know it’s going to be a hectic day, but I’m going to commit myself to my goal again. It’s going to be tough, but losing weight is the only way that I will meet my goal of getting a PB at Southampton Half Marathon.

I’ve been preparing healthy food at home. I intend to have frittata with spinach for lunch this week, and have a lovely selection of grains and pulses that I’m going to experiment with this week.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 18.12.09

If you’ve any great vegetarian recipes that include amaranth, please share them 🙂


 

I’ve read a number of interesting articles relating to nutrition recently:

Catching up, CrossFit, Ironman Dublin 70.3, Marafun, stir-fry and Santahampton.

7 Dec

I’ve been so busy recently that I’ve not had enough time to blog. I hope that I can find more time in 2015 – I think that perhaps I need to be more productive in my lunch breaks. As I’m struggling to find enough time, I’m trying to add more frequent social media updates:

One of my aims for 2015 is to focus a little more on my diet and nutrition. I’m good at sticking to a training plan, so I think I need to be as rigid about what I eat to try to stop me from making unhealthy choices. I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve… more will be revealed later.

I’ve been busy for several reasons – one of which is work, but the main one is that I’m trying to get back into regular training, so that it’s not too difficult for me to pick up my half marathon training in January. I’m also desperate to get a 5km PB before the end of the year as I feel like I’m making some progress with my running. I’m also back to Run Leading/coaching with Lordshill Road Runners. I now regularly help Ben on a Wednesday, which is great. It means that I get a rest day in the middle of the week whilst helping other people to achieve their goals.

A month ago, I blogged that I had achieved my best ever race pace. Later I looked at my run on Strava and was surprised to see how well it ranked against my other runs:

Strava results

I know that I’ve run 1 mile faster than 7:32 (my PB is 7:27), but I’ve never run 5k in under 25 minutes! 🙂 This is great as it means that I’ve a little hope that I might get a 5k PB before the end of the year.

I’ve also been doing a lot more training with SUTRI. I’ve regularly been attending Tuesday night spinning classes. They’re quite different from what I was used to at Bournemouth University. I used to do 30 minute classes and these are an hour, but I don’t find them as challenging – I think this is because I’m fitter and now ride a bike every day. The music is also very different from what I’m used to.

I’ve also been going to SUTRI strength and conditioning classes which are led by Ollie at the local CrossFit box. CrossFit seems to be a Marmite activity, as it divides people into those who love it and those who hate it. The lovers enjoy the group mentality and camaraderie about working with others to push yourselves to the limit; the haters point out the extreme risks that are taken in some gyms where the instructors have received minimal training and rhabdo is common. What we’re doing is a modified version of CrossFit that is tailored to triathlon. Also, I’m confident that the coach knows what he’s doing and isn’t going to get anyone doing multiple reps of an exercise that they don’t understand with a weight that’s too heavy for them.

So far, I’ve been to three strength and conditioning classes. The first one was the day after Gosport Half Marathon, so my legs were a little bit tired. We did a whole range of things that I’ve not done for many years including some pull ups using rings and some squats… lots of squats. There were squats with a medicine ball, squats throwing a medicine ball and just plain squats. I’ve no idea how many squats I did, but the next day my legs hurt and by Wednesday I wondered whether I would ever be able to stand without groaning again!

In my second class, the focus was on inversions. This was much safer territory for me. I stopped doing gymnastics in 2008, but muscle memory means that I still know how to do a handstand. We did a variety of handstands in groups of three and also had to walk up the wall into a handstand position for me. It felt good as I knew that I could do it. We also had to balance in crow position (from yoga). I used to spend a lot of time doing various balance on the beam and have practised this position in yoga, so it was something that I knew I could do. I felt great when the class finished and was pleased that I did not ache afterwards.

Last week, my friend Roelie came along to the class with me. I’m significantly older than the other participants, so it was great to have a friend who’s not in her early twenties to train with. The focus of the session was using kettlebells. A few years back, I did a kettlebell workout with my karate instructor, Sean, but I’ve not used them since then. We spent quite a bit of time working on doing a Russian/Turkish get up (as demonstrated in this video). We also had to do knee-lifts, which involved working the lower abs by raising our knees to our chests whilst hanging from a bar. We had to do this in sets of 10. My biggest concern was whether I’d be able to reach the bar. Some of the taller blokes could reach up and touch it with their hands, whilst I was hoping that I would be able to jump high enough to reach it! Fortunately, I managed it, but it’s a long time since I’ve done anything like that, so my hands didn’t like it!

The only frustration that I’ve had so far is that each class seems to have some burpees in it. Unfortunately, my low blood pressure means that I’m not allowed to do burpees as I always end up fainting. I’ve been told to do the burpees slowly, but I’m not convinced that it has any benefit for me and just makes me look like I can’t do them 😦

Ironman Dublin logo

On 24th November, entry to Ironman Dublin 70.3 opened for people who had pre-registered. Stuart and I were fortunate enough to get places, along with three of our friends from Southampton Tri Club: Suzanne, Huw and Steve. Unlike Weymouth, I won’t be able to train on the course in advance, but I’m more confident now and I’m hoping that I’ll head into HIM training on the back of some successful half marathon training. My aim is to finish in under 7 hours, which will require me to improve on all disciplines. I think I wasted a lot of time in T1 at Weymouth and my run was poor, so they should be easy places to lose some time.

On 29th November, Rob and Stuart agreed to pace me at parkrun. I had several aims:

  • Beat my fastest time at parkrun this year (25:45)
  • Beat my Southampton parkrun PB (25:12)
  • Beat my 5k PB (25:08)
  • Finish in 24:59 or faster

I’ve blogged about how it went – I didn’t achieve all of my goals, but it was my 3rd fastest ever parkrun and I’m confident that with some consistent training and a healthy diet I’ll get there.

I’m now running again with Lordshill on a Monday evening. The pace of the groups is a little inconsistent at the moment, so it’s not always easy to work out which group to run with. I was dithering about joining Stu’s group (Group F) for some sprints when I was asked to help out with Group D on Monday. I agreed to tail run, which was probably a good decision. Before we started running, Teri got me to pose for a quick photo with James who won the Best New Male Athlete award by Southampton Tri Club. Teri humorously referred to us as the ‘king and queen of tri’ – I’m not sure I’m at that level yet, but I’m still proud enough to keep polishing my trophy!

Celebrating my tri club win with Jmes, who was awarded best new male

Celebrating my tri club win with James, who was awarded best new male

After running, I headed down to swimming. It had been cold outside, which meant that the pool felt warm for a change… the pool at The Quays is always really cold! It was a tiring session, but it’s always hard to swim for an hour when you’ve already done an hour of strength and conditioning, an hour of running and have spent nearly an hour commuting by bike!

On Thursday evenings, I’ve been running at the track with Huw from STC. He’s a great coach – I find him very supportive and motivational and I love running on the track as it has such a lovely bouncy surface. This week’s session was 600ms. We had to jog/walk/recover for 200m before running 400m at 5k pace followed by 200m at faster than 5k pace. I managed to do six reps before calling it a day. It was a tough session, but I know that it’s what will make the difference when it comes to getting a 5k PB.

On Friday evening, I did a 750m swimming time trial that I’ve blogged about. It was tough!

Yesterday, I didn’t go to parkrun. I’ve been considering having laser eye surgery for a while, so I booked a consultation for Saturday afternoon. I was not allowed to wear my contact lenses for 24 hour beforehand, which meant that I couldn’t do parkrun as I cannot run with my glasses on. As an alternative, I went swimming with STC. I knew it would be tough as it was only 12 hours after I finished swimming with SUTRI.

I hardly ever swim with STC on a Saturday morning, so I had no idea who would be in my lane or what I could expect. Fortunately, it wasn’t too busy and the other people in my lane were not significantly faster than me. I was quite proud of myself for managing 4 lengths of butterfly (my previous best was 1/4 length). It wasn’t great – I’m quite surprised none of the lifeguards tried to save me – but I didn’t drown. Sadly, Garmin thinks I was doing freestyle… but at least it recognised that it was a swimming stroke! I should probably admit that I had fins on… But I also had to do another 4 lengths single arm without fins, at which point I nearly died! Afterwards, we went for a hot drink with some of the others swimmers. It was so difficult to recognise people without their swimming hats and goggles on!

On Saturday evening, I made a lovely dinner: sesame, honey, ginger and tofu stir-fry.

Sesame, honey, ginger and tofu stir-fry

Sesame, honey, ginger and tofu stir-fry

It’s based on an old recipe that I had for cabbage stir-fry.  Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped clove of garlic
  • Small piece of chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Some sesame seeds (I used a mixture of black and white seeds)
  • Any stir-fry veg (I used mangetout, red pepper [capsicum], baby corn, spring onions [scallions], broccoli spears and a red chilli
  • Tofu

It worked out really well 🙂

Today has been a busy day. This morning, Stuart and I ran up to The Common for another training run with the Marafun crew. I dithered a bit, but went into the 9 minute mile group again. If I’m going to get a PB then I’ll need to manage faster than that pace on race day!

After we finished the group run, Stuart and I ran home, where I made some spirulina smoothies.

This afternoon, we joined Coach Ant’s fun run: Santahampton.

We arrived a little late, but it was easy to see where we needed to go as there were plenty of people out with costumes on:

Arriving at Santahampton

Arriving at Santahampton

The local newspaper had sent a photographer and also a journalist (who turned out to be one of my former students. I love it when I hear about my people I’ve taught doing well).

Coach Ant briefed everyone about the route, and then we were off.

Ant starting the run

Ant starting the run

I jogged with some people that I know – we were at the back, but that was fine as it was a fun sociable event. I really enjoyed having a chance to say hello to people that I know.

Afterwards, we were all rewarded with a mince pie.

Any with Sandra and her huskies

Ant with Sandra and her huskies

My favourite Christmas elf

My favourite Christmas elf – Liz and her medal.

Secret Santa (aka Rikki)

Secret Santa (aka Rikki)

Papping the photographer - a quick snap of Jules

Papping the photographer – a quick snap of Jules

How’s your week been? Have you got any festive runs scheduled?

Starting my half marathon training

9 Nov

Muddy cross-country run or a sociable long run? Decisions, decisions. This morning I had to choose between doing a cross-country race or a long run with other people who are training for Southampton Half Marathon. Although the weather forecast was good, I decided to avoid the cross-country race as my chest was still feeling the effects of yesterday’s run and also the heavy rain meant that it would be a very muddy course.

I was feeling quite tired, so I didn’t get up as early as I had planned, which meant that I didn’t have a lot of spare time before we were due to meet others. I ran up to The Common and met Teri on the way. Shortly afterwards, Stu caught up with us. It was quite a cold morning, but I had decided against wearing a headband and was just wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Teri was concerned that she wouldn’t warm up, but I knew that if I was moving at a reasonable pace there was more risk that I would overheat than be too cold.

We met other people outside The Hawthorns and were divided into ability groups. I considered joining the 8:30-9:00 min/mile group, as my half marathon PB was run at a pace of 8:34 min/mile (5:19/km), but I decided to be sensible and stay with the 9:00 min/mile group. This proved to be the right decision as I was quite tired by the end of the run.

After a quick warm up, the coaches and run leaders were allocated to various groups. I was in a group of about 10 with Nic leading and Stu back-marking. We went for a lovely run along some of the route of the half marathon, going through town and towards the Itchen Bridge before heading back to our starting point.

The run up to The Common had been quite slow with my first km (uphill with no warm up) taking me over 7 minutes, so I was quite pleased that until the final km of my 15km run, I managed to maintain a pace of under 6:00/km. My average pace for the run was 5:47/km. I’m hoping to maintain a pace of 5:40/km next weekend, so I think that may be possible, although it will depend on the wind.

I think that Marafun have hit on a great idea of organising regular long training runs in the build up to ABP Southampton Half Marathon and they’ve got some enthusiastic local runners to lead them. I’ll definitely be back for more!

Enjoying the sunshine with Stu at the end of our long run (15.08km)

Enjoying the sunshine with Stu at the end of our long run

As I had worked quite hard, I felt really hungry when I got in, so I treated myself to a cinnamon bagel and a glass of tropical nuun.

IMG_3610

The rest of today has been spent catching up with chores – there is never enough time during the week. I’ve just been watching Downton Abbey and although I don’t need a large retinue of servants (my house is tiny), it would be lovely to have a housekeeper!

I’m trying to get back to eating more healthily, so I made a frittata that I can eat for lunch this week at work. I also wanted to use up some kale that I had, so I adapted an Isa Chandra Moskowitz recipe to make a kale and sweet potato stew. I’ve made the ‘proper’ recipe several times before and really like it. It includes quinoa, but I didn’t have quite enough, so I supplemented it with some bulgar wheat. The parsnip and potatoes were subbed with sweet potato and the navy/white/haricot beans were replaced by pinto and kidney beans. Delicious and vegan!

Sweet potato, kale, quinoa and bean stew

Sweet potato, kale, quinoa and bean stew

If you’re interested in more photos of the food that I make, please follow me on instagram: http://instagram.com/tamsynmsmith

This week is going to be busy. I’ve got a new fitness class to try tomorrow as well as leading a running group and swimming. Then on Tuesday, I’ve got swimming. However, the workout that I’m looking forward to most is Thursday night’s track session. I feel that my speed work is starting to pay off and I’m desperate to do more.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Fresh veggies and super swimming

16 Jun

Happy Fresh Veggies Day! How many portions of veg do you eat every day? Five? Seven? Ten? …and, no, potatoes don’t count and neither does wine!!! Nutritionists agree that when it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, most of us just aren’t getting enough. How about going vegetarian for a day to celebrate this event? (It’s also Fudge Day, but that’s not healthy, so I won’t dwell on it!) I’ve eaten plenty of fruit today, my lunch was a salad with plenty of veg and this evening I ate some delicious home-made veg bhuna.

I’d love to hear your favourite vegetarian recipes to celebrate this day.

This evening, I did another Tri Club swimming session. It felt like a tough session:

  • 100m breaststroke warm up
  • 25m sculling high hands
  • 25m sculling medium hands
  • 50m sculling wide hands
  • 200m steady swim
  • 300m steady swim
  • 400m steady swim
  • 400m fast swim (20 secs recovery)
  • 300m fast swim (20 secs recovery)
  • 25m breaststroke
  • 25m backstroke
    1850m in total

I’m seriously starting to panic about this weekend’s swim, but after I uploaded my Garmin data, I  found an email from RunKeeper in my inbox:

New PB for swimming - time

I’m trying really hard, but swimming doesn’t come easily to me. I just hope that it’s good weather on Sunday, and that the sea is calm. I have no idea how sheltered the cove is, but I’ve just looked up the results for all of the events from the last two years and was really surprised to see that only 15-25 people participated in each event… and almost all of them completed it in under 45 minutes. Oh dear – what have I got myself into?!