A reader left me a great comment the other day. It had to do with running and how she had tried to start running many times in the past according to training plans or how other people do it, but how running didn’t become enjoyable or easy until she learned to run her own way – until she learned to OBSERVE her own body.
Observing my own body is exactly my guiding light as well. I have never followed any training plan (I wrote up my marathon training plans myself, based on my baseline fitness and my weekly schedule) or a diet or a detox or a juice cleanse or a 30-day six-pack program. I am just trying to observe my body when it comes to fitness and food, learn from that and adapt what I’m doing accordingly.
I started running just as slowly as was enjoyable for me. I did not look at any plan or read advice on HOW I should be running. I only started reading about running technique and fuelling after I knew that I can run and that I love running.
I ran slow, I ran long, I started to run faster. I thought my path would lead me to ultra marathons, I thought long distance running was my thing, but after a bit of observation over the last year, I’m preferring short and fast races and runs right now. It’s a surprise to me, but it feels good and I’m going with that flow.
The same is with what I eat, my diet is not set in stone, it has changed a lot since I first had to tackle my hypoglycemia by totally giving up sugar and my digestion issues by giving up gluten. I went through a period of strictly no gluten. It helped me to run my marathons with a solid digestion. I went through a period of strictly no sugar. It helped me to kick my sugar addiction.
These days I let myself eat a little bit of both. Gluten doesn’t give me major stomach issues anymore, although it can make me very bloated so I do limit it. I also, shock!horror!, have a bit of sugar now and then. I stay away from foods that would make me overeat, like anything baked with regular sugar. I have observed myself for years and I know what happens to my brain when I eat that kind of stuff. But I eat chocolate once in a while and when we went to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant a week ago I ate all three desserts that came our way 😀
My general rule is eggs, veg and sometimes rice bread for breakfast. Fruit for 10am snack. Protein, veg and rice or quinoa for lunch. Nuts and sometimes a banana too for 3pm snack. Dinner is usually a bit more random but it’s usually a combo of some kind of protein and veg again, followed by a bagel or home made non-ice cream.
Sometimes I eat crisps (chips, for those of you not in the UK), sometimes I drink alcohol, sometimes I have pizza or a burger from GBK.
I drink lemon water in the morning, black coffee, a macchiato and more water during the day, and Kombucha or cider in the evening. I’m not into juicing and rarely make smoothies these days. The smoothie obsession comes in waves though, right now I’m not riding it for whatever reason.
Some of my other (good) food habits include only cooking with only coconut oil, using plain old butter instead of butter-like-spreads and buying organic produce most of the time. I eat very little dairy because I still don’t have my hormones under control and my face is a bit clearer when I stay away from dairy. I used to have several lattes a day but now I have most of my coffees black or with goat’s milk. Almond milk doesn’t go well with coffee in my opinion and goat milk is not full of hormones.
Anyway, I actually started this post just wanting to show you a pretty picture of my butter box.
I hope that everyone knows by now that butter is much better to eat than anything that comes in a tub and has a word ‘spreadable’ on it? I usually buy Kerrygold butter because their cows are grass fed and not grain fed. There is no need to keep the butter in the fridge – in a box like that it’s nice and soft and naturally spreadable 24/7.
The box, by the way, is from Helbak. I found it in Australia even though it’s a Danish company. The boxes sell for £26 + £16 shipping. A bit pricey but there is a shop in London that sells some Helbak stuff, they don’t have these boxes at the moment but I might let them know to get some.
So anyway, pretty box aside, that’s how I roll these days. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and just being as mindful as I can of my body and my digestion and my energy levels.
And I’m really content with this kind of no-rules thing at the moment – I am just able to go with the flow and enjoy the fact that I’m constantly evolving, learning and changing. I don’t want to be in the no-sugar box or the Paleo box or the gluten-free box. I have needed a box at times in my life and might again one day but right now the only box I love is that butter one (and my Crossfit box as well of course 😉.