Life in between goals…

This Summer, I set myself a bit of a vague goal:  Approach training with a ‘healthier balance’. I set this goal to avoid over-consuming myself in training and to make sure I don’t compromise too much from other important aspects of life.

But what exactly is a ‘healthier balance’? Was I not healthy before?

For 10 years, I have consumed myself in specific functional goals in preparation for “Race Day”. It is something I’m really proud of, but sometimes I struggle to find enough meaning behind it all… a reason to dedicate so much time to it.
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So this is what I was trying to accomplish by training with a ‘healthier balance’… less compromise to train and more time with friends and family.

It almost backfired! … I started questioning things way more than before.

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Who cares?

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 6.54.28 PMLately, I’ve been questioning myself a lot… wondering things like: Why do I care so much about healthy living? Why do I care about something that can seem so superficial on the surface and that in the grand scheme of things, is so insignificant in comparison to “real life” and “real problems”? I even started to question why I spend so much of my time in preparation for a race? Who cares?

I haven’t been posting regularly over the past few weeks because I’ve struggled to find a meaningful answer to these questions.

Healthy living in comparison to lets say… living with an illness, or living in a war torn region for example… just does not stack up and I started feeling silly for sharing ways to maximize a privileged first world way of living. But though it is important to have perspective, I’ve been reminded over the past few days that it’s OK to care about it… That even though it may not ‘stack up’, it does matter, it is something I’m passionate about, and sharing my honest approach to healthy living actually does have a positive impact.

So, thank-you to the people who have reached out and reminded me of that. I am officially no longer lost in my thoughts and seeing the Olympics come to a close this weekend has definitely confirmed it for me…  it has been amazing watching the best athletes in the world do their thing and it has been such a nice change of pace seeing positive headlines in the news too.

Just a few days ago I was questioning why I bother racing at all and what the meaning of it all is, and now I’m searching for another race to sign up to. I love competing and I thrive off of keeping an active lifestyle. Is there meaning behind it? Maybe not… but it keeps me sane, it gives me something to work towards and I simply enjoy it. So why not?

In saying that, I have a race report post coming up next and an exciting announcement to make too. Onwards and upwards…

Bircher Muesli for breakfast!

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Morning everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I’m waking up to a delicious bowl of Bircher Muesli to soothe the Monday Blues.

It’s not hard to fall in love with this overnight oats recipe – so easy to prepare and totally delicious.

I was introduced to Bircher Muesli in Mallorca on the RAAMIN4Charity training camp last month. Thanks to Suzanne, I now have a new favourite breakfast!

With the weather warming up too it is the perfect time to really appreciate this refreshing and filling breakfast.

Here’s how…

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My Attempt to Debunk Calorie Counting

IMG_0003So, over the past month or so I’ve been counting my calories. I wanted to try it out because I have met a few people recently who LIVE by their calorie count and use it as a measurement to consider themselves having had a healthy day or not.

I set out to debunk this way of thinking as I don’t consider ‘hitting your calorie count’ an aspect of healthy living. I still believe this to be true but to my surprise, I discovered how apps like MyFitnessPal and MyPlate provide a really great insight to your eating habits and activity levels.

For me, it was a really good reminder of how active I have to be in order to eat what I want to eat! Which sounds little ridiculous maybe… but I’m serious. It poses the question: How lazy do you want to be?

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Anti-inflammatory Super Spices + Curried Chicken Stew Recipe

Whether it’s bloating, heartburn or you feel it in your joints, inflammation causes wear and tear and interferes with you being the best version of yourself. We often get used to the discomfort and consider it normal to feel and react this way.

Over the past 5 weeks, my left knee has been bothering me a lot. I went to the doctor about it a few weeks ago, where they tested my knee strength and joint function. Everything seems OK, so they suggested it is just irritated by inflammation.

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It’s amazing how quickly something painful and restricting can become our ‘normal’… something we get used to living with. My knee is a lot better lately, but I still experience discomfort when running and cycling.

After doing some reading, I have learned that inflammation can be worsened or made better depending on what we eat. Avoiding food that is fried or high in sugar is a good start. More importantly, adding anti-inflammatory foods to your diet can reduce discomfort caused by inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory SUPER SPICEs

Add Turmeric, Ginger, Hot Chilli and Cinnamon to your diet and take advantage of the compounds they contain, which inhibit inflammatory pathways.

Turmeric especially, has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both Chinese and Indian medicine.

 

These four wonderful spices enhance health and well-being in many ways as well as prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease risk factors. Forget about restricting your diet for a minute, and first focus first on incorporating these spices into your daily diet.

Not to mention, cooking with these Super Spices can make any boring ol’ vegetable dish, full of flavour and warmth. It is a great way to enjoy eating healthy without sacrificing flavour.

Here’s a recipe to try that is full of anti-inflammatory goodness…

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The Spiralize Movement, Courgetti Recipe

I have always been mesmerized by the spiralizer, but never fully appreciated it until we invested in one last month.

Live Loosley Spiralizer

I assumed that spiralizer’s would be easy to break, hard to use and difficult to keep clean. It was a nice surprise to learn the exact opposite.We have the Dexam Spiralizer – it’s easy to use, durable (I spiralized a raw sweet potato and it didn’t break) and easy to keep clean.

Some extra bonuses…

  • Using a spiralizer is a great way to fit more vegetables in your diet… AND ENJOY IT.
  • If you’re like me and end up bleeding after trying to peel something, it’s a much safer option
  • Um, it’s extremely satisfying and takes little effort
  • Nostalgic – warming memories of helping my Aunt make homemade relish come flooding back to me

Here is an easy to prepare and healthy Pesto Courgetti recipe (aka ‘courgette spaghetti’ or ‘zucchini noodles’).

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes

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Getting out of auto-mode

Live Loosley London Auto-mode

It’s easy to walk through life in auto-mode.

I do it all the time. I’m in London, a big busy metropolis. You can walk around the city passing thousands and thousands of people and not recognize a single one of them. Usually walking with a purpose to get somewhere the quickest, most efficient way possible; the people in your way are faceless bodies literally just in your way, as you are to them.

No matter where you are, city or a small community, work can get monotonous if you let it. You can sit there 9-5 unchallenged, working for a business you are not particularly passionate about with colleagues don’t particularly know that well.

Then we get home and zone out in front of the TV before heading to bed and doing it all over again.

In one way, I see auto-mode as a bit of a coping mechanism. Life can be overwhelming, hard work and scary otherwise. Auto-mode is safe and easy.

But life in auto-mode is just that, it’s easy. It is uninspiring, unchallenging and spending too much time in it can be damaging to self confidence and general wellbeing.

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Week 3, Sugar Free. Challenge Complete

Well, ending the sugar free challenge on Halloween was definitely not one of my smartest ideas. This post should actually be called ‘The Sugar High’ or ‘The Sugar Crash’ rather.

Let’s not dwell on the sugar binge that occurred last night (candies, pizza and beer) and again this morning (pancakes and maple syrup for breakfast)… Here is a glimpse on my final week of The Sugar Free Challenge and my general conclusions from the whole experience.

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Week 3, sugar free

This week went much smoother than Week 2 but still not quiet as smooth in comparison to how well Week 1 went.

Aside from Tuesday when Dan marinated Salmon with a winning, sugar-filled combination of brown sugar and soy sauce (eye roll!!), I stuck to the sugar free diet for the final week of the challenge.

I stuck with easy snacks that required little preparation – nuts, almond butter on rice cakes and fruit. Lunches involved homemade soup, salad or leftovers from dinner.

My favourite meal of the day is breakfast though and this Portobello mushroom and egg combo was by far the winning meal of the week. It’s one of those meals that seem like a treat even though it is full of healthy ingredients. And when you’re cutting back on treats… a meal like this definitely helps.

I was able to resist the bake sale at work and just barely made it through the week. Knowing the end of the challenge was near and also having slipped up pretty majorly on Tuesday, my motivation to finish the sugar free week was dragging.

It’s not that I was craving sugar so badly that I couldn’t wait to eat it again… I just found that restricting my diet for so long was really starting to wear down my drive. It wasn’t enjoyable anymore.

This brings me into my conclusions of the sugar free lifestyle…

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