Hey y’all, what’s up? How is the first week back after Christmas treating everyone? I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year break … and aren’t as foggy as I am this week ha.
I don’t know about you, but I have felt gross this Christmas. It was absolutely freezing in the week leading up to Christmas – and yeah I know, not compared to many places, but we’re delicate here ;)) and all I wanted to do was be inside with a nice golden latte and a hot water bottle, preferably also with at least four family-sized bars of chocolate. I never really seem to get into the swing of things in December, there’s always so much going on that I never seem to have proper time to exercise and the less said about the quantity of food available the better! I mean – it’s obviously all very enjoyable. And I did enjoy it. But I also couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over so that I could get back into some semblance of a routine! It’s been a bit harder this year as normally I’d just run most days; however, this year of course I’m still bound to only running every third day … or at least I was until I decided otherwise, as below. I ran on Christmas Day for a treat (God I’m so sad) and I’d planned on going to the gym on Boxing Day but sadly those plans were not to be as the gym was – gasp – closed! CLOSED! Rude …! So instead I cycled over to meet my friend Susan for coffee in our favorite coffee house and then cycled back, which was at least something.
After that though came the good stuff – EEEK! As I mentioned last week, I am back into resistance training which is SO MUCH FUN. I mean – crippling myself with my squats work-out last week was a little disappointing BUT I did the same workout this week and I remained a functional human being after it which just goes to show how quickly muscles do regain their strength, which I find quite reassuring. I also secretly quite like that post-work-out ache … it’s so reassuring, like you’ve actually done something worthwhile. I’ve managed to do every resistance workout I set myself this week so far, so that’s been fab – sometimes work etc gets in the way, but I really want to make sure that I build the habit early in the year and don’t break it.
As to running, I’m now up to doing this: 8x 30 seconds on/30 seconds off; 5x 45 seconds on/30 seconds off; 25 minutes steady state running. I’d only been doing it every three days at the most in rotation so that I would do:
- Monday/Thursday: Run
- Tuesday/Friday: Plyometric work
- Wednesday/Saturday: Very low impact work (eg cross-trainer, swim or bike)
- Sunday: Rest
I mean – that works and all but it’s a bit restrictive, so I decided that post-Christmas I’d try running every second day and see how it went. It’s only been one week so far BUT there hasn’t been a flare up so I’m sups excited about continuing to do that, with a view to being able to run – gasp – two days in a row by March! That’ll give me four months before the Race to the Stones to keep building, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED. Almost all my runs are on the river (the Thames) because I both live and work right on its banks, so I’ve been so lucky …. but I’m hoping to branch out to maybe a … park?! It’s so fun planning it all!
On the food front, I obviously ate my own body weight on a daily basis over Christmas, but I actually really enjoy eating well so I am soooo glad to be back to being able to eat normally (though I say that in total denial, since I’ve been out four days this week so far … and it’s only Friday eyeroll). I know I mentioned it briefly in passing last week in respect of my goals, but my food rules are super simple: ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day and protein with every meal (including snacks). After that I can do what I like. However, given that I also swapped milk for fortified oatmilk to increase my calcium intake during #leggate I reverted to being paleo pretty much by default. I’ve been paleo on and off since about 2012 but this is the first time I’ve been more relaxed with it – as I said last week, instead of going hard out on it, I now eat fairly strictly paleo at home but when I’m out it’s fair game as long as I’ve had my fruit/vegetable intake for the day. Whilst I’m normally more of an all-or-nothing kinda person, I find that this approach is absolutely brilliant for me because:
- being strictly paleo makes you a miserable friend, you’re always the one like “Yeah I like Thai but can we actually not because it’s really hard to find paleo there …” which is frankly both boring and antisocial and also selfish;
- being strictly paleo cuts out huge swathes of foods which are perfectly healthy and there’s no reason not to eat them in moderation. Squoodles are fine but occasionally it’s all about that massive plate of creamy pasta;
- I require a certain amount of disgusting, over-processed, refined sucrose in my life for my mental health because #balance #mentalhealth
My favorite website at the moment for paleo recipes is Nom Nom Paleo – she has some amazing Asian-inspired recipes on there and probably my favorite is the wonton meatballs. I literally cannot get enough – they’re so easy and quick and soooo delicioussssssss …. I make them and throw them on top of spiralized raw beets, carrot and cucumber and top the whole lot with a warm dressing of almond/coconut butter (I like the Meridien one, personally), sriracha, coconut aminos, powdered ginger and fish sauce. It’s literally THE BOMB and even including the cooking time for the meatballs (15-20 minutes), food is on the table within half an hour tops. Hummm I might have to have that tomorrow actually … Anyway, back in the room, I’m actually loving my spiralizer generally at the moment. I hadn’t used it for ages but for some reason was just in the mood for spiralized stuff and I’ve been finding it great.
Well I kind of have to go, because I’m actually at work … post-Christmas motivation is at an all-time low here …. but I’ll love ya and leave ya and I’ll keep you posted next week on how things have gone after a full week of running and weights.
Have a fab weekend and speak next week!