What I Eat In A Day: Carb Loading Edition

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I've been asked a lot about what I eat in a day because it can seem a bit like I'm always searching for the next snack. I posted my day in food a little while ago, and it's still one a post that gets lots of views. If you're intrigued by what a normal day of eating looks like for me, check out What I Eat In A Day HERE.

But... Race days and event days are different and for big endurance events (before I ran my marathon or in this case, the lead up to Ride100) it looks a lot different. Pushing your body and being on the move for several hours continuously requires lots of fuel, and that means carbs. There are lots of mixed opinions on how long you should carb load for, how best to do it, and whether it is worth doing at all. All I can say, is that it works for me. Having done longer runs and rides feeling wrung out and drained for a week following, I'm not in a hurry to change my routine. You'll also not I've approximated calories and although the carb content is much higher than my 'normal' day food diary linked above, the number of calories consumed are approximately the same at around 1600.

Welcome to the Ride100 edition of What I Eat In a Day: Carb Loading!

Breakfast - approx 300 cals

Whilst I'm normally a protein & fruit smoothie breakfast kind of a girl, carb loading calls for porridge- yes, the instant kind because I'm lazy like that and not being a morning person, I'm not in a hurry to add 'fight with my dad for space in the kitchen' to my morning routine. I like to add either a spoonful of jam or a teaspoon of my favourite nut butter- MyProtein Triple Nut Butter

CarbLoading Breakfast


As with a more normal day, breakfast is more than enough to see me through to lunch, but down the hatch with 1.5-2L of water. I drink a LOT of water and that means I have to watch my electrolytes and sodium carefully when it's warm and during endurance sports. I've talked about drinking too much water before right HERE

Lunch - approx 550 cals

This is about the time in the day I start to find Carb loading just a bit weird. Lunch is normally heavy on salad, fats, and protein. I tend to reduce my fibre consumption fairly during carb loading too, so no avocado for Chloe, but I'm not quite ready to give up my vegetables just yet...

Cheddar, spinach, tomato and German mustard toastie. Happy Saturday.

Cheese, home cooked ham, tomato & (very minimal) spinach toastie on my own wholegrain bread.

Snacks -  approx 110 cals

Normally I'd go hard and heavy at mixed nuts or a small piece of cheese, maybe a small piece of chocolate for a snack.. Today... These small flapjack bits from Aldi are a bit of a lifesaver. They're around 100 calories a shot and being individually wrapped means I can shove them in my work stuff, I also use them as fuel during exercise whether it's long runs or long rides because they're tasty, small enough to not feel to heavy and again, gotta love the individual wrapping!  Oh, and it's only 75p for five!

Are you loving the table cloth at our temporary accommodation?

Dinner - approx 450 cals

I totally lucked out on this one, I happened to be staying with my parents who are on a mission to empty the contents of the freezer in their temporary accommodation, and it so happened that there was steak to be eaten. SHAME! I passed on heavy buttery sauces (normally I'm a sucker for bearnaise) because they don't agree with me when I have lots of sport to do, but this is carb loading, so say hello to the potato mountain. Not that steak and wedges are an especially normal occurrence for me, but I wouldn't normally be eschewing vegetables or salad, but with 2 days to go before an event, now is the time I start to reduce the fibre in my diet. It's tedious, but I've also learned through experience, that this works for me. My favourite, tried, tested, carb loaded pre-race dinner though? Homemade pizza...

If I say so myself, I make a really rather good pizza. #pizza #primitivo #carbloading

More Snacks - approx 200 cals

Something else that is incredibly unusual is the addition of a dessert or snack. It's not something I often have room for, and I still can't stomach the weighty suggestion of toast or muffins or similar after eating a full meal, but an apple with nut butter, a(nother) small flapjack or a cereal bar type snack I can usually manage. Yay... Carbs....

apple & nut butter

Ride100: A Training Update & #RaphaWomens100 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

So.... I have a nice pretty, organised and highlighted blog schedule sitting there in my diary. And I've managed to get through a grand total of none of the planned content for the last 2 weeks. Who knew an office/business move, house move, endurance event training and social life could get in the way of productivity?

So, what about that endurance event training- because it's 6 days to go until Ride100. The 100 mile cycle that I last spoke about because I was starting to become seriously concerned about my lack of training... Remember this post about my training?

Not only did I not manage to get creep that mileage in, but I also went down a deep dark hole of 'what have I done?!'. The Fear kicked in big style, and I was all set and ready to pull out, and call it a bad job. But. And here's the big but... I did decide to have one last shot at a long ride to see how it went.

I should add in here, this is not a way I would recommend to approach a challenge where you'll be pushing your body. Going into an event undertrained is dangerous especially if you've never done an endurance event before. There are a few reasons I decided to give this a shot...

-I am fitter than I've ever been. I'm more active and I'm more in tune with my own limits.

-On that note, I used to ride 100-120km at a time on a single speed bike (no gears) and I used to do just fine. I'm meeting this particular challenge head on with 30 gears and a bike specifically designed for the job at hand- gotta help with those hills!

-I am stronger than I think I am- this brings me nicely on to the #RaphaWomens100 ....

17th July 2016 marked my 3rd Women's 100 ride, a chance to celebrate and encourage women's cycling and all the awesomeness that goes with it. It's not a single organised ride, it's a day in the calendar on which women pledge to ride 100km world wide- solo, en masse, with friends, in mountains, by lakes and through cities. Pretty cool, huh?!

2 years ago, I rode London-Southend for my Women's 100 pledge and it was horrendous. Essex isn't all flat, and undulation in 28 degree blazing sunshine on a single speed destroyed a little bit of my soul. I didn't have fun, I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment, I could quite happily have left my bike on the rail tracks at Southend Central Station that day.The only saving grace was the ice cream I demanded we stop for at the end of the ride...

2 years ago we rode London to Southend for the @rapha_uk #womens100 and tomorrow despite thinking I'd be unable to as I'm on call, we're planning to do the same. 2 years ago I rode my single speed up 1750ft of climbs and I was miserable at the finish line
Southend 2014 

This year, I decided (with Tom in tow, because anything I can do, he has to have a go at too) to have another shot at London-Southend to exorcise some of those demons and to take one last training ride with 2 weeks to go until Ride100- which is roughly 160km (100 miles). I've mentioned my training has suffered massively, but I also know with endurance sports training is as much about making sure you can keep going for a length of time as it is about running or riding or whatever it is you do for a set distance. I didn't run 26 miles before I ran a marathon but I also knew that if I found 100km tough going 2 weeks before Ride100, it would be time to seriously consider whether I would be putting myself at risk by taking part.

Had the best time this weekend. We adulterous hard, we cycled hard and we conquered all... Well we bought a strimmer, cycled to Southend and demolished fish and chips... #weekend #loveis #onelife #cycling #londontosouthend #womens100
Southend, 2016

I had a BLAST. I'm hoping it'll remain tradition for London-Southend rides to be gloriously sunny. My tan lines are something else. I joined a BHF organised ride with marshalls & rest stops (I signed up officially, I didn't just hijack it...)  and it was lovely to see people of all experience levels setting out for the day. My bike rode smooth and easy, my hydration and fuel were bang on the money- I didn't constantly need the bathroom, but no dehydration or hyponatraemia problems, the hills didn't leave me feeling weak- one or two made me work for it, but for the most, part, I had the much sought grin and feeling of joy that first drew me to cycling outside of my commute. I finished the ride having made an effort to maintain an 'easy pace', and it showed- whilst hungry, I wasn't so shattered I could barely move, and no soreness or stiffness either!

Still trying to even out these stripes from #womens100 last weekend... #girlswhoride #tanlines #womenscycling #cyclingblogger
No soreness.... just tan lines! 

So no, my training hasn't gone to plan. No I wasn't entirely sure, and I'm still not entirely sure how 100 miles will go. But I know that I am fitter and stronger than ever before. I know that I have a better understanding of how my body performs during endurance sport than ever before, and I'm now looking forward to Sunday more than ever before.

Over the course of the week, I'll be sharing a few more Ride100 posts- I'm very lucky that I'm working with Skoda Cycling for this event- they are one of the sponsors and you may also have seen thier sponsorship of the Tour de France as well as having their own pro team. I've got some really incredible kit to show you thanks to the lovely people at Altura Cycling(seriously though, clever kit AND it's green....). And I'll be doing another 'What I Eat In A Day' post to show how I prepare myself for big sporting events. It's been a bit quiet over here on my blog lately, but I'm back, and ready to fly the flag for Team Skoda, for women who like to kick sporting behind, and for myself- let's do this!

OMFuckingG I'll have hopefully completed #ride100 by this time next week! Bring it on! #teamskoda #girlswhoride #cyclingblogger #fitnessblogger

Chloe Likes To Eat: 3 GIMME RIGHT NOW Salad Toppings

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I like salad. I eat a lot of salad, especially in the middle of the year, it's my go-to easy lunch, and I rarely find it boring because for me, salad is not just lettuce. That said, we've all heard salad toppings such as heavy dressing or fried croutons blasted to kingdom come for making your salad unhealthy. I try and stay away from referring to my food posts as healthy, because I don't think I'm qualified to tell you what's good for you, but these are 3 of my favourite 'good for you as part of a balanced diet' toppings that I love as a everyday kind joy as opposed to the treat myself nature of say... crispy bacon, croutons and deep fried cheese.

1. Seedy

Today's lunch... Spinach with avocado, crayfish, feta & sweet pepper salsa & a generous dose of toasted seeds. #workinglunch #aldesko #salad #lowcarb #foodblogger #lblogger

I love seeds & nuts. Both Aldi and Lidl sell 75g pots of mixed seeds including sesame, pumpkin & sunflower seeds. I like to toast them all off in a nice hot, dry pan and store for sprinkling onto salads for a bit of crisp nutty crunch. Seeds & nuts are great for a plant based protein boost, they are high in so-called healthy fats (the ones that are good for heart health mono & polyunsaturated fats) and they deliver a dose of fibre which is good for satiety and digestion BUT if you're on a tightly calorie controlled diet, use a measure or way your seeds because they are high in calories.

2. Roasted Chickpeas

Lunch. Eaten in stages because phone calls and a zillion messages on the business phones. Can it be 1900 already please?! If what I eat intrigues you, I posted a 'what I eat in a day' blog last week. Search Chloe Likes To Eat or click link in bio. #workin

Can you tell I have a thing for texture? Crispy roasted chickpeas deliver a nice little crunch and a moderate level of carbohydrate boost to a salad. drain and rinse 1 tin of chickpeas, season with salt, pepper & garlic powder, and roast with 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil for approx 35-40 mins. Allow to cool completely for optimum crisp-ness. These store well in an airtight container for about a week.

3. Alternative Meat & Fish additions

Weekday lunch treat- smoked salmon burger. Recipe coming on my blog next week.

I think one of the main reasons people get bored with salad is because they don't mix things up. If I ate cold chicken or ham, hard boiled eggs, lettuce, tomato and cucumber each day, I think I'd likely get bored too. Adding texture and bulk to salads is great, but if you're after an added meat or fish fix and you're bored with leftover roast chicken or the same ham you always buy, it's worth keeping things like my Smoked Salmon Burgers recipe in mind, Sarah has this great Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe over on EssBeeVee and homemade kebabs make great leftover additions to a salad.

If you're struggling with boring salad, think about the flavours or the types of food you love to eat- cook your chicken in piri piri spices or a homemade teriyaki, mix your avocado & tomatoes together with some garlic, chilli and lime for a Mexican style guacamole fix, think about using different leaves- my favourites are spinach, watercress and lambs leaf- personally I find romaines and little gem to be bitter.

I'd love to know what you top your salads with, or your favourite salad bolt-ons to keep them interesting- hit me with your favourites in the comments.

Has Social Media & The Digital World Made Us Rude?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

There's nothing like a political debate to bring out passion and opinions and the EU referendum has been no different. In the digital age, I've been advertised by all the campaigns via Twitter, Facebook, leaflets through my door, doorstepping and a barrage of TV events and interviews. I've been party to the reasoning behind many a vote in both directions, from people I've never met in and in some cases I don't even know thanks to the 'friend of a friend' notifications that land on Facebook. We've had discussions in our office, our home and with visiting family members, but it seems to me that we've all of a sudden become terribly rude.

I choose not to share my opinions on politics and in particular I've kept my digital mouth shut about the EU referendum. That's my choice, it doesn't mean I don't have an opinion, that I don't care or that I haven't voted. It doesn't mean I think sharing your opinions is wrong either- there are plenty of people who feel very passionately about politics and debates of all kind and one of the joys of democracy and freedom of speech is being able to share those opinions and campaign for them. But when did being passionate about a cause become a license to berate people for not sharing their opinions, or shutting down an opposing opinion by merely stating you think they're a waste of oxygen and deleting their connection from your network?

Many of my face-to-face discussion about highly charged issues are heated and lively, but rarely are they so rude as to dismiss me all together because our opinions differ. Rarely has anyone use offensive name calling or shamed my opinion in front of a group of people with whom I'm not already in conversation. I have seen all of these things happen on Facebook & Twitter in the last 12 hours alone, and I'm left wondering, has social media and the ability to convey our opinion in 140 characters, the accessibility of instant news and the opportunities we have to communicate with those who agree (disagree) with us from all around the world made us dismissive, angry and rude?

Maybe I have a missguided sense of the importance of good manners, perhaps I just lack passion, and maybe I'm guilty of living a sheltered existence in some aspects of my life, but I do know this- however 'passionate' you feel about your chosen side of a debate, however strongly you believe in something, we'd all do well to remember that we are humans and that human to human, good manners and face to face conversations can make a massive difference in how marginalised people feel, and that in turn might just help to avoid swathes of extreme views whatever the debate, issue or argument.

Chloe Likes To Eat: Nuts for Nut Butter

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nut butters provided by MyProtein.com

Nut butters are not new. I was the kid who lived for peanut butter sandwiches in their lunchbox- y'know, back in the 90's when we all had sandwiches in our lunchboxes. But over the last 5 years, but butters have exploded into popularity, especially with the rise of 'no added' butters. The ones that are just nuts blended into a yummy, nutty paste. They're a great source of protein and fat, and let's be honest here, I don't think we can still be friends if you can't appreciate the joy in peanut butter.

What continues to surprise me with nut butters is availability. My 1kg tub of peanut butter has to be ordered on an Ocado delivery. The price of 1kg of almond butter actually made me wince recently and I've never seen a large tub of a mixed nut butter available before. Cue MyProtein.com.

Better know for their protein powders and supplements, MyProtein make and sell a vast range of products and packages. I'm well familiar with them because I rate their whey protein for an ├╝ber convenient boost to my usual breakfast smoothie, and my dad is partial to some of the protein bars, but I wouldn't ever have thought about nut butter. Their new range of nut butters includes 1kg tubs of peanut, almond, cashew and triple nut butter, Prices start at £5.99 but MyProtein are well known for their discount codes so it's worth a quick look at their offers and stocking up on a discount.

 photo Nut butters infographic_zpszbuseukx.jpg

I don't normally go in for infographics, but I really like this one- a helpful little reminder of just how good nut butters are, and as well as the above, the very friendly people at MyProtein also sent me a box that can only be described as a dream- full of nut butter! So, obviously, I delved straight in for my favourite snack.... 

nut butter

apple & nut butter

The triple nut is a dream btw... go try it!