Four Munros and a Marathon: week 3

This September and October, I’ll be running two tough races, three weeks apart: the inaugural Ring of Steall Skyrace and the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon. Every week, I’ll be reflecting on my training – what worked, what didn’t, changes made, fueling, diet, sleep, etc.

What I learned this week:

  • One of the reasons the Ring of Steall has a huge elevation gain (8200 feet or 2500 m) in so little distance (16 miles or 25km) is that it starts, and finishes, at sea level. There is a sea loch at Kinlochleven, the site of the race start/finish. This means, that rather than the usual inland ascent of say 2000 feet (which is still a lot but doable), we’re climbing from the very bottom to the very top of a munro, immediately. That’s over 3000 feet. Good thing I’m still in the early phases of training.
  • Take more clothes on long trail runs because you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you!
  • My fitness is much better than it was a few months ago. This training is paying off big time.
  • Never drink alcohol, even a small amount, the day of a long trail run. You’ll find out why!

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{FUEL} Rumbledethumps

25 January in Scotland is Burns Night: a day to celebrate the work of Scottish poet Robert Burns. People don tartan, recite Burns poetry (in Scots no less), and dine on a traditional meal of haggis, neeps (mashed turnips), and tatties (mashed potato). Across the country, local Burns Suppers are held, all culminating in a ceilidh.

While we didn’t have haggis for our actual Burns Supper this past Monday, we did have Rumbledethumps, a traditional Scottish dish originating from the Scottish Borders, close to England. Aside from being delicious, Rumbledethumps is a marriage of root and cruciferous vegetables, as well as tubers, all grown in Scotland. Typically, it contains potatoes and boiled cabbage, but this is a recipe of variables: you could also add sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, turnip, or even parsnip to the mash. My recipe adds carrots. You can add your preferred cheese too.

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Have Yourself a Completely Paleo Christmas

Christmas + Paleo can seem like an impossible task when dinners of Christmas’ past were laden with sugar, bread and other wheat flour foods. Furthermore, scouring the internet to find good paleo recipes for you conventional Christmas favourites can seem like a tiresome and time-consuming task. That’s why, one week from Christmas, I’ve compiled one mother of a round-up of paleo recipes for all aspects of this year’s Christmas feast. Peruse the links below, and decide if you want a traditional turkey dinner with all the gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free trimmings; or, try an unconventional Christmas dinner of roast beef or lamb, and a chocolate dessert. Good luck and enjoy!

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Last year’s completely Paleo Christmas dinner

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How to Stay Paleo this Holiday Season

Christmas 2015 is heavily upon us! You’re probably already in the thick of work Christmas parties, one last meal with friends before the big day, and starting to plan your Christmas dinner. You may have read this post and thought “I actually could’ve done with this post two weeks ago;” but don’t worry. While I acknowledge that this post could’ve been published two weeks ago, let it be a used as a guide on how to possibly continue your festive celebrations, and also reassure you that the extra alcohol and non-paleo foods you may have had these past few weeks are actually okay; being Paleo Perfect shouldn’t be a huge priority right now, (or ever really because that’s too much unnecessary pressure and standards by which to live). This is when, of all times, you should truly exercise the 80-20 rule Mark Sisson advises. Below, I’ve highlighted what I think are the five main concerns us paleo peeps might have around this time of year, as per the series I posted this past week on my Instagram account (follow me?).

 1. Alcohol: 

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Sometimes WIAW

Sometimes I write a post on a Wednesday, showing you what I eat on a daily basis, to celebrate What I Ate Wednesday. It answers the question I get asked often: but what do you eat?!?!

Sometimes, (on the weekend), I eat my fruit + Nutter Bomb + coconut cream as my only breakfast. Sometimes, I run out of Nutter Bombs, so I make a lazy one instead: a small sprinkle of nuts and seeds, with nut butter on top.

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What I Ate with my Coconut Friend

I know my blog has been a bit quiet lately, but for good reason. Last week, my very good friend, and Coconut Friend, Alicia, came for a visit. This was a most special visit because, after living in Berlin for two years, she is now moving back to Canada. Alicia’s visit was the last time we will see each other for a while. The two paleo friends were reunited, albeit temporarily.

Something I’ve always wanted to do in her last two visits is take Alicia to another part of Scotland. I got that opportunity last week. We went to the Cairngorms, the mountains in the centre of Scotland. We did some mountain biking, we hiked, we talked, we played some Farm Heroes Saga (aka Paleo Candy Crush), and of course, we ate paleo food! We were staying in self-catering accommodation with a fully equipped kitchen, which made staying paleo second nature. Below are some highlights of the delicious paleo dishes we enjoyed together.

Breakfast

Even though I was away, with my friend, I didn’t deviate from my usual creature-of-habit breakfast. How can you when it tastes so good?

My usual 3 fruit bowl of crumbled Nutter Bomb with Coconut milk instead of cream. I didn’t premake my cream like I normally do.

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{WIAW} 70.3 weekend

It’s What I Ate Wednesday, where I show you all the paleo-primal food I eat in a day. This past weekend was Pat’s big triathlon, and we were on the road, so today’s post will show you how we do primal, on the road and for races. No link ups, no ‘blog parties,’ just real food. And racing.

Pat was competing in his first 70.3 triathlon, a half ironman distance, although not put on by Ironman. It was the Aberfeldy Middle Distance triathlon, which was also the Scottish National Middle Distance Championships.

Race weekend actually began Saturday, the day before the race, at home. Pat wanted his pre-race meals to be the same as what he would eat at home, so we took our own food for Saturday night’s dinner, and breakfast and lunch Sunday.This involved some cooking of chicken breast, boiling of organic white potatoes from our garden, making of multiple salads, and packing all sorts of primal essentials, like supplements, our espresso maker, coconut oil and my xylitol, (because I like sweet coffee). All non-perishables were packed in a cooler with ice packs. We then hit the road to Aberfeldy, in the middle of Scotland.

When we arrived, Pat picked up his race pack, and we attended the mandatory pre-race briefing. I was effectively Pat’s ‘sherpa’ wife for the weekend, and went to the race briefing as an extra set of ears, just in case. Then, it was off to our B & B for pre-packed dinners and an early bed. I went for an 8 mile run around the B & B, which coincidentally was also part of the half marathon route the following morning. When I got back, I ate a salad of chicken breast (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic granules and paprika), with organic Swiss Chard from our garden, cucumber, tomato, snap peas, pepper and avocado; tossed in Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar.

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I also enjoyed a delicious, but melted, fat bomb. And a cup of peppermint tea. Both not pictured.

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Paleo Quiche (primal, whole30, keto, gluten-free)

Something I’ve learned as a teacher is to reflect on my practice: What went well in that lesson? What didn’t? Is this task I’ve created really doing what it’s meant to be doing? Are my students getting the most out of this assignment?

As I continue along with my primal journey, I’ve made changes to the way I do things, including adapting recipes along the way to maximise the benefits from the foods Pat and I eat. While there’s nothing wrong with my current Whenever Quiche recipe, I personally would like a tad bit more protein in the morning. I’ve increased the number of eggs used in my recipe, which equates to one egg per slice of quiche, rather than the less-than-one-egg per slice of quiche before. Yes, I’m being protein pedantic….

This dish is very versatile – just like most of my primal recipes – and should be used as a basic guideline for you to develop your own quiche flavour combinations over time. You can serve the quich hot out of the oven, or let it chill and serve cold. It’s great for any meal of the day, but if you’re already primal, you’ll have no issue eating, say, non-breakfast food for breakfast, (leftovers anyone?).

In terms of ingredients for the filling, the sky is the limit! I always aim for at least three vegetables, one of them being leafy, like spinach, Swiss Chard or kale. This recipe has spinach, mushrooms and brocoli, but you can do any veg you want, don’t just follow this particular recipe. For meat, you could try bacon, gluten-free sausage or even prosciutto in it. I’ve often thought smoked salmon would be delicious in it, given it had the right ingredient combination. And, if you eat dairy, any cheese would add nice flavour. In the past, I’ve put cheddar, parmesan, cream cheese, feta, and a raw, unpasteurised Scottish cheese.

This quiche so versatile, I made it for a primal travel day going home to Canada. And coming back.

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More than enough food for a 14 hour travel day

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What I Ate THIS Wednesday

Confession: Sometimes when I write a What I Ate Wednesday post, the photos aren’t what I ate that specific day. Today, is different. Today, my post is actually everything I’ve eaten on this day, to give you a clear idea of my primal food choices. I believe this is important; people need to see different food options are always out there.

*hint: click on the links for some delicious paleo, primal, keto and Whole30 compliant recipes.

Breakfast

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