30 October 2014

Fancy a Whole30 Challenge?

Here we are, about to hit Christmas season full throttle. It's been 2.5 months since I finished my first ever Whole30. A quick 2.5 months where I have tried hard, but struggled at times to stick to my plan of 80:20.

Here's what has worked well:

- My kitchen cupboards have remained compliant. I didn't move back in all the products I cleared out. In fact, the ones I didn't give away are still in a bag, tied up.

- All of my food shopping has still been compliant. Every now and again though I did dip into the storage cupboard to grab a bit of pasta. I've only cooked pasta once in the 2.5 months.

- I baked a pumpkin pie. I cut down the sugar from the recipe and substituted some with agave syrup.

- I am sooooo much more aware of what I put in my mouth and still read labels in the attempt to avoid added sugar (unless blatantly buying something which is made mostly of sugar!)

- I still mostly eat 3 meals per day

- I now know that soya milk actually doesn't agree with me! My first soya latte post Whole30 made me so bloated and uncomfortable! I'm now solely on unsweetened almond milk.

- I've still been collecting recipe inspiration so I will have new things to try second time round. I also picked up a new cook book which sometime has compliant recipes or at least ones I can adapt! 

And what hasn't worked so well:

- I still don't have an off button when it comes to sweet things. I can go a while without any but put 4 cookies in front of me and I will eat 4. I hear you say "just buy one" but it doesn't make financial sense. It cost £0.80 for 1 cookie or £2 for 4 cookies. ...Throw my money down the drain, or get value for money?! That's how the supermarkets work.

- I've become a little less organised and a little lazy when it comes to cooking and organising a menu.


- My skin has improved quite a lot since starting Whole30. I'm not sure if this is down to diet or also to lifestyle such as less stress, getting enough sleep etc

- I weighed myself as a pre Whole30 #2 metric and I'm heavier than when I started #1. This could be down to increased muscle though; all my clothes still fit and feel comfortable.

So why #2?

The biggest reason behind this has to be the fact I want to slay the sugar dragon...some more. Also, with winter on its way that means the mornings and evenings are dark which makes us all a little less inclined to get out and run / cycle / workout. I want to keep my energy levels high and get the most of out my training.

So this is my November Challenge?! Are you in?! Or do you already have a fitness / nutrition challenge planned?! 

Let me know what you're up to! 

Elle :) 

28 October 2014


When you wake up on an October morning and the sun is shining you really should get outside and enjoy it!

Flexioffices - one of the UK's leading office space providers - set me a running challenge and I couldn't think of a better day to step up to the bar!

The Challenge -  Run a designated route (past several Flexioffice's offices on the way as fast as I can)

I got the route through and was pleased to see it was based around Old Street - where my gym has just opened a new location - meaning I had somewhere to drop my stuff off.

According to a study carried out by Bristol University, exercising during your lunch break makes you work better. They found that:

 72% reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days

 79% said mental and interpersonal performance was better on days they exercised

 74% said they managed their workload better

I choose to run at lunchtime to enjoy the weather (21 degrees?!) and work up an appetite. The route started in the middle of a pop up food market outside the first location. I don't frequent Old Street much so this was a good opportunity to connect the dots of the places I have been to and those I've yet to visit.

I had my phone in my hand to follow the map while I dodged all the workers who were out picking up their lunch. A short run and I was on the edges of Shoreditch at the next Flexioffice venue (also check out Queen of Hoxton who do amazing pop ups on their roof, and Swingers, a crazy golf venue where I celebrated my 30th birthday just a couple weeks ago).

The route then took me back towards Old Street and down past a cafe I've been meaning to check out - Look Mum No Hands - all geared towards cyclists!

Before I knew it, I was done! I recorded my route on the Nike+ app:

I cooled down with a short stroll back to the gym to pick up my stuff before heading home to enjoy my lunch!

Do you find a lunchtime run makes you productive? Or what do you like to do on your break?!

Elle :) 

Just so you know, I have been compensated for taking part in this challenge but as always, all thoughts, running and opinions are my own ;) 

27 October 2014

Living the simpElle life: Betty

Welcome Back. Fall / Autumn is well and truly upon us now. The change is seasons is one of the times in the year where we need some motivation more than ever. A reminder of why we do what we do, how we started on our journeys and how far we have come. 

This fortnightly mini series - Living the simpElle life - is where I talk to someone who has been empowered to change.

I heard a great phrase last year -

"The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms"

 - so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us...

Meet: Betty Bohane 

I met Betty while teaching Nike Training Club classes. Since then, I've been following her running journey - I'm always excited to see everyones success, especially when I remember them from the "early days". Betty is an inspiration when it comes to running which you will see...

...here's Betty's story...
- {THEN} - 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? ...What were your plans / goals?

Betty: I moved to London in January 2011, and having just come back from over a year away travelling I felt fairly unfit. I was interning, so took up running as the cheapest form of exercise. My first 'route' must have been about 2 miles and I was delighted if I could manage this without stopping. Later that year I also took up cycling as a form of commuting as I dreaded the rush hour journey on public transport. Also-  still skint,  it was a great way to save on travel each month.

I did my first 10k in September that year and remember thinking people that ran further than that were clearly nutters. 

- {HOW} - 

Elle: What's your typical weekly exercise schedule?

Betty: These days I am a bit over-enthusiastic on the exercise front. Each week I will run at least 5 days per week, cycle to work, spin, go to the gym and try and go to at least one high intensity class (NTC.)  I have to stop myself from running every day as through experience I have learnt it leads to injury!

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Betty: From cycling to work the 'changing room girls' have been and still are a massive inspiration - one introduced me to Nike (NTC) classes, another does triathlons most weekends… its a pleasure to chat with them first thing in the morning. NTC classes were a massive inspiration, I first started going in Feb 2013 . They really motivated me and taught me that fitness is so much more than being able to run around the block…it took me 5 months of these classes before I could do a proper press up.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Betty: There's been quite a few proud moments (after the first press up) - mainly with running. After doing two halves, I entered a fairly small marathon in June 2013 -South Downs - mainly as a challenge to myself. I had never run more than 20 miles, and had not followed a plan. I didn't even know it was a trail one until the week before. To the shock of my mother who was supporting, and myself,  I was the first female to finish it (3hrs 27). I think it was only then I realised I wasn't half bad at running.

More recently I was chosen from 2000 applicants to be a team captain for a campaign called the Puma Faster Forever challenge run by The Running Bug.  Over eight weeks I had to motivate and encourage an online team to fun further and faster and ultimately smash personal bests. The team which ran and logged the most miles won. My team (Team Faas) lost considerably, however I enjoyed the challenge so much and received a lot of praise for my captainship and am still a very active member of The Running Bug. 

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Betty: Ive always naturally eaten fairly healthy foods; I feel lethargic if I don't get enough fruit and veg. So my diet hasn't changed dramatically. However I also rarely turn down chocolate, or a glass of wine...(which has always been a downfall of mine). If anything I just eat more these days. No day is complete without porridge for breakfast!

 - {NOW} - 

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Betty: My goals these days are to run more marathons and to motivate others to run…It was a lifelong dream to run the London marathon this year and I now have Frankfurt marathon at the end of October, in which I am delighted to be taking two friends with me who -  after celebrating with me after the London marathon pledged they would do their first one before the year is out… 

I would love to do the New York marathon, so hope to complete a sub 1.30 half marathon which is the qualifying time.

I've also just started being a leader in the Fitness First HomeRun scheme so am hoping to motivate more people to run...and get them to push themselves further. 

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Betty: My friends definitely keep me motivated, especially those into fitness/running. At work my friend and I started a lunch time run club, and I'm lucky that my boss loves running too so he is now a fully fledged member of this exclusive club! We spent the summer training together for a half marathon. Failing that music has always been essential to motivating me through intense NTC classes, or challenging runs. 

My family is also pretty active, and we encourage each other to enter events - Mum just having done her first mud run, my sister just started playing football for the first time. My brother is a super speedy runner - I'll always try to chase his times (but never get there!)

Before the London marathon I was in danger of pulling out from injury so I spent the fortnight before watching motivational youtube videos...once you've watched and memorised enough of those they stick in your head making it much easier to get up and go in the morning.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the "before" you...or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle...what would you say?!

Betty: As much as I love running I can understand why people hate it… so try other exercises until you find something you do enjoy. I put off spinning for years as I had heard the horror stories…now I've tried it I really look forward to that class each week. And get a friend involved...after a long day at work I wouldn't have turned up to half the classes I did, or go for lunchtime runs if it wasn't for my friends doing it too. 

...so what d'ya think?! 

If you'd like to leave Betty a comment below please do! 

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life ;) 

Elle :) 


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