28 August 2014

More Whole30 - 14 Days Later

It's been 14 days since I finished my first ever Whole30. I didn't include everything in my last post as that mostly covered the final 10 days of the challenge. Now I'm ready to share with you the results in regards to my goals and what life has been like since. 

Here's a recap of why I chose to complete a Whole30:

1.. For Clearer skin

2.. To wake up feeling energised with no need to hit the snooze button 

3.. Reduce cravings for junk food and empty calories

4.. Increased energy levels, reduce anaemia symptoms 

5.. To supplement my workouts, make the most of the training I do, value the training I do by respecting my body and what I put into it, fuelling well for training, improved performance 

And I guess you wanna know if I achieved my goals, huh?! 

Let's start with clearer skin. I can't say I saw a change at all. This was probably the most disappointing thing for me in a sense but what it does show is that my diet is not what is causing my skin issues. Therefore, I will need to investigate other options maybe after speaking to a professional. 

Waking up feeling energised. This definitely did happen! I began waking up naturally around 6am...before my alarm. At some point, I started going to bed a little later as I had more energy and waking up around 7am. More hours mean more time to get things done! I do need to be more strict with myself about the snooze button though! I may go back to putting my alarm on the other side of the room so I have to get out of bed to turn it off! 

Reduce cravings and eliminate empty calories. This happened for sure! I went to just 3 meals a day rather than what had become normal for me - 3 meals a day plus plenty of snacking. I didn't really crave junk food - I had huge cravings for pineapple which I fed! Closer to the end I did start to crave cookies though. I remedied this when the 30 days were complete. 

Reduce anaemia symptoms. It's hard to tell the results of this one as I have been taking iron tablets since I hit a low earlier this year. I forget to take them some days though and haven't felt this has been detrimental. My body isn't showing signs of excess iron so I am happy I am getting just about enough right now. 

Training. I've survived crossfit sessions and even worked hard in them. I've done all this and not had to sleep for the rest of the day. My midriff is more toned since Whole30 and my abs are more visible! Who wouldn't love that?! It's motivated me to continue to train and keep up the good work. 

One massive benefit which I had forgotten about was my stomach issues. Late last year I ended up in hospital with a bleeding stomach after my doctor prescribed me some pills without giving me the medication that would protect my stomach at the same time. Ever since then, my stomach was never the same - anytime I got hungry I would have pain and it felt like my stomach was eating itself. I'm grateful that now, it seems my stomach has had the time to heal and so far I've had no tummy issues. 

Weight and Measurements 

According to the records, I lost 1.7kgs over the 30 days and 0.6% Body Fat. I also lost 1.5cm from my waist but nothing from anywhere else. These changes show that waist measurement is linked to your diet...considering when I used Zaggora Hot Pants I only saw changes in my thighs and hips! Bear in mind though that these results are by no way scientific I've just sharing out of curiosity! 

80/20 Living 

For me, Whole30 has been an eye opener and a lifestyle change. I'm aware that splurging occasionally is not going to have much of an impact on my health in the long term if I have a great diet, which is why I've chosen the 80/20 rule as a guideline to live by post Whole30.

"Be good 80% of the time with your diet, and the other 20% leaves room for those times when you go to parties, when you don’t have your lunch prepared or when you just feel like some homemade chocolate shortbread"

I'm still enjoying myself experimenting with Whole30 compliant recipes and home cooking has got me fully hooked! I'm happy to save a burrito from Benito's Hat for a treat day...I'm even happier to make my own version of a burrito at home!

FYI, I added white potatoes back into my diet on Day 30 at the wedding I attended. They were boiled and for the meal above they were steamed.

I haven't missed calorie counting. In fact, it's been refreshing not to have to think about calories. I started the 30 days eating some giant portions as that's what my body needed to get over the fact I wouldn't be feeding it every 2-3 hours. Over the 30 days, my portions have been reduced a little. Not actively - just by listening to my body. Post Whole30 I went out for dinner at a rib shack where I took home a doggy bag. This may have been the first time ever I didn't finish the entire meal! What I had leftover served me for lunch the next day to the point that I was stuffed all over again. I was surprised that previously I would have eaten every morsel...

All my meals are home cooked but I think I spend less time in the kitchen. A couple hours can see me prepare enough food for  about 3 days. The accompaniments can literally be thrown together - i.e steaming some broccoli, sautéing some courgettes or chopping up a salad - maybe while I make breakfast or am warming up another meal.

I'm not saying Whole30 is for everyone but I tried it and enjoyed it. I'd go as far as saying I found it pretty easy but that's because I had made so many changes to my diet in the months leading up to starting this. I had the amazing support of good friend and housemate, Alicia who did it with me at the same time. Support from my mum who went all out to ensure my needs were met when I visited, and support from friends and bloggers who have done it before! A special Thanks to Leah for sharing her experiences in the first place and answering all my questions at the start! Thanks too to everyone in the Whole30 community especially on IG where I got a lot of inspiration for recipes and motivation!

If you're out there and are thinking about completing a Whole30 or any other diet / lifestyle change, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Making changes is so much easier when there are people there to support you...

Elle :) x 

25 August 2014

Brixton 10km 24th August 2014 #MyMoments

I woke up this Sunday morning, tired with no desire whatsoever to run 10,000m. Nonetheless, I got out of bed, threw some clothes on and cycled just 15 minutes up the road to Brockwell Park. Any enthusiasm I could have mustered was killed by a freezing cold ride to the park, to be greeted with blazing sunshine when I arrived (wearing two long sleeved tops) ...oh and hills for days!

It took a matter of seconds to pick up my race number which I pinned to my top then spent the next twenty minutes wondering if I would look lazy sitting on the ground. I opted for the middle ground and sat on a tree stump until the warm up began - which I just watched.

9.30am on the dot and we set off. The first hill came just 1km into the route. A route which was 3 laps of the outer edges of the park.

I'm not gonna lie, I struggled on the hills, mainly because I have focused so much on cycling that running has taken a backseat in duathlon training. I used this 10km as thinking time though - to get together a list of everything I needed to do before the duathlon...

- order a new cycle helmet 
- set up lock laces in running shoes and have a trial run 
- order in energy supplies for event day 
- trial kit for race day (with various weather options)
- book train tickets to travel on race day 
- practice running without music 
- work out an alternative way to track my distance / speed while running (no phones allowed during the event) 
- practice cycling hills 
- plan my race day breakfast 

picture from runthrough.co.uk

picture from runthrough.co.uk

The good thing is I finished. Not my fastest 10km by far but I was just aiming to finish - as for the London Duathlon, in which I will need to cycle 22km after and then run another 5km.

I ran through the finish line, took a sharp turn, ran to my bike, jumped on and cycled home as fast as I could. This didn't feel too bad...I only cycled 2 miles but I think I could've gone 22km had I needed to! 

Brockwell Park was so beautifully hilly and close that I think I will be back down there with my bike to practice cycling hills. Richmond Park, where the LD is taking place is known for being hilly too! So I want to turn up on race day prepared...and today was a part of that...

What races did you take part in this weekend gone?! Did you come to any realisations while out running?! 

Any kit tips for my duathlon? How do you track your runs without your phone?! 

Elle :) 

22 August 2014

Elle About Town, August 2014

Time seems to be going faster than I can keep up with! This month has mostly been about Whole30 and training alongside it for the London Duathlon! All the big events got written up in there own post but here's a little bit extra on what I've been up to over the last month and anything interesting that may be coming up...

Classes: Wednesday Evening Run Club with lululemon Covent Garden  

On July 9th, Jen (of Eclectic Cake blog) and I, headed up the first weeknight run club for the new Covent Garden Store. Since then, Wednesdays have been made awesome because of the people we have been running with! Chats, drills and plenty of good weather!

We're going strong and would love for you to join us if you live in or are visiting London! Put it on your to do list! Here is the {LINK} for the next run club on Facebook! It's at no cost whatsoever and we are a lovely bunch!

Classes: Crossfit Level 2

Well, what can I say. It's a workout, a tough one at that! I've been hitting up the sessions every week and been maxing out on effort. Each session lasts an hour going over skills, strength work and ending with a WOD (workout of the day). Usually a killer WOD.

For Time: 
300 skips
25 knee to elbow
25 push ups
25 L pull ups
150 double unders.

I did have to scale down to knee to chest for the second drill and used a band for the pull ups but I finished in 19:18! I'd only tried double unders once before so I was thrilled to be able to do 150! ...it hurt though...the amount of times I slapped myself with the skipping rope!

Crossfit will definitely be my goto workout when the weather gets colder and I'm not cycling as much. I also plan on trying out the adult gymnastics class to help me over the fear and get me into an unsupported handstand!

Watch this space :)

Classes: Nike Training Club at Nike, Gymbox 

New class alert! I start teaching at Gymbox Bank on Tuesday 26th August. A 45 minute lunchtime Nike Training Club session to keep your day going strong! I'm also at Gymbox Holborn on Fridays at 6pm.

I'm also covering some NTC Run to Train sessions in Covent Garden over the next couple of weeks.

My full schedule can be found on the 'Train with Elle' page here on keep it simpElle.

Coming Up....

Brixton 10km... 
A local race for me next Sunday. The plan is to cycle there and cycle home using it as a BRICK session. The London Duathlon is just 4 weeks away now.

Triyoga on the roof
Rooftop yoga in Central London. The views will be stunning. Hopefully the weather will match.

Clapham Common 10km
Another local 10km to be used as a BRICK session. By then I will have just 2 weeks left before the London Duathlon.

Got anything interesting coming up in the next month you would like to share?! 

Elle :) x


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