Tuesday, 30 April 2013


This is a perfect 'kick start' the metabolism smoothie first thing, and is also great for pre-run fuel to aid fat adapting. This is full of electrolytes to hydrate, antioxidants and vitamins to replenish and waken the body fast. 

Fat adapting is where the body is forced to use fat stores (which we have plenty on empty) as a preferred energy source, over quick release carbohydrates. I find if I use high carbohydrates as an energy fuel when exercising, it burns me out quicker and drops my sugar levels much faster. 

Although we can exercise on empty using our fat stores, I only recommend this for short periods, which is very effective a few times a week. If you plan to go to the gym or run longer than 30 minutes, a good source of calories is best to provide consistent performance, the muscles strong and an energy to last longer before your body fatigues...

Using fats combined with fruits and vegetables, will not only fill you up for longer, but also provide sustained energy and calories for the exercise about to take place...

I do not follow a low carbohydrate diet, just a balanced healthy and nutritious one. This is not a smoothie I use everyday, I still have a diet with complex carbohydrates, but I find this is very efficient for 3 times a week before my training runs.

Yes this combination works well for me, and I have experimented plenty with different energy fuels whilst training. Experimenting with diet is key to finding the balance that will work well for you too...

1/2 scoop Vegan Blend
2x Broccoli Florets
50g Blueberries
1x tbs Chia Seeds
1x tbs Olive Oil
100ml Vita Coco water
100ml Pomegranate pure juice (not concentrate)

Add the vegan blend, broccoli, blueberries to a blender. Then top with the juice, water, chia and oil. Blend on pulse or a high setting until thoroughly smooth.

Enjoy and go Run Free!


Tuesday, 16 April 2013


This is my new favourite protein source.

Amaranth is an extremely tiny, yet extremely nutritious seed, that cooks like a grain. It is higher in protein than quinoa at 16g per 100g, full of calcium and magnesium, and is also gluten-free. The interesting nutty flavour makes it ideal in salads, baking and as a sweet dish. 

100g Amaranth
few tbs of soy milk/almond milk
chopped banana or dates for flavour
goji berries or chopped pecans
pinch salt and cinnamon 
raw honey or date syrup for those real sweet tooths!

Add amaranth to boiling water and simmer for 25-30mins until water is either soaked up or the texture is firm but glue like. Do not simmer any longer as the seed will turn to mush. This can be prepared the night before and popped into the fridge if short for time in the morning. 

Add approx 100g to a bowl with the milk, (coconut water works just as well) sprinkle a choice of berries, nuts or dried fruits, then heat in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds or on a hob in a saucepan until hot. Served with chopped banana or honey/syrup to taste.

I hope you enjoy


Friday, 5 April 2013


SUGAR is like crack Cocaine, the more you have the more you crave.  It is highly addictive and hidden everywhere. Do you wonder why you cannot stop once you pop those Pringles? Take a look at the ingredients...

So why should I blog about Sugar? Well anyone who knows me knows that I eat a pretty pure diet and for all those fad diets out there, I've pretty much tried all of them. The truth is, that there is NO diet out there, except a healthy nutritious lifestyle. 

You may be fasting the body, skipping breakfast, restricting calories, low-carb, high protein or even eating raw foods. Well, my advice is to forget counting calories and forget anything that claims to be low fat.  In my experience, I believe that a balanced diet abundant in fruits and vegetables, fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates is the easiest and safest option. One thing that I rarely eat  - and I suffer a hungover like effect the next day if I do - is SUGAR.....

Cast your minds back to about 35 years ago, the 1980's when the developed world made a radical change in its diet. We stripped away fat and added sugar. For instance, since 1990, consumption of sugar in Britain has increased by 31 per cent – now we eat on average 1.25lbs per person a week. There are seven spoonfuls of sugar in a can of cola. Lots of people know that. But do you know that more than 60 per cent of a Slimming drink is made up of sugar? Did you know that, in Britain, children get around 17 per cent of their calories from sugar?

Diabetes has sky rocketed and the nation wonders why? Half those folk in mobility scooters you see blocking the aisle (mostly overweight) CAN walk, they just cannot remember how to walk because their joints have given up with inactivity from carrying excess weight. The film WALL:E springs to mind....

So what happened?
One interesting fact is that, year on year, we’re buying fewer actual bags of sugar “visible sugar”. The big increases are in “invisible sugar” the sugar the food industry sneaks into things. Looking around my local supermarket, I found that there is glucose-fructose syrup in one organic yogurt, organic sugar and organic invert sugar syrup in another. 

There is fructose in Müller Light. There is sugar in Hovis bread, sugar in healthy-looking Burgen bread, dextrose in Warburton’s wholemeal bread. There is fructose syrup in dried berries. There is sugar in a steak pie. There is sugar in smoked salmon. There is sugar in seafood sticks. Wensleydale with apricots, which is delicious, is thanks to the added fructose. There is even sugar in sausages.

And then there are those nasty chemical sweeteners, saccharin and aspartame, which were found accidentally when lab workers were doing research.  They had nothing to do with sweetening, the lab workers put a bit of the test compounds in their mouths and liked what they tasted.  What kind of researcher sticks an experiment in his mouth?

I am not preaching to make a massive overhaul in your diet, but I always get asked (especially from the ladies) how can they rid those extra pounds? 

If you want to make one change then the right one is to cut out sugar, hidden sugars and refined sugar carbohydrates (white flour) where possible. After just a few weeks you will crave less sugar and sweet treats, fruits and vegetables will start to become mouth watering and tasty. Add fats into your diet to aid fat metabolism and with an active lifestyle those extra pounds will come off....

I would like to add here that my nutritional advice is based on my own personal experiences and research to aid my own healthy, balanced lifestyle for running and any health advice should be checked with your GP or a trained health practitioner.

Have you noticed that it is from doctors, the NHS and dieticians who claim that too much saturated fat in the diet causes high cholesterol and heart disease?

So why do we need them in our diet? Fat is used as an energy source, we need fat to burn fat as a fuel. The body requires 25-30% of fat daily. With restricted fat in our diet we will encounter health problems somewhere down the line.

Fat will not make you fat, adding sugar and a high proportion of carbohydrates with the fat will eventually make you overweight and cause health complications.

The best start to my day would be either a veggie fruit smoothie with added natural fats like Coconut oil, Olive Oil, or a Fruit Salad with Avocado to kick start the metabolism. I use Bananas as my carbohydrate fuel or German Rye bread if I am going for a long run or to the Gym.

Coconut Oil is my favourite new fat to use in smoothies, cooking, recipes and even coffee! The health benefits of using coconut oil in a balanced, nutritious diet are endless. My current diet has increased my energy levels and endurance performance over the last six months. My body fat is very low but my weight proportion and muscle mass for my size is in an ideal range as a long distance runner. 

I don't like to label myself with my lifestyle choices. I eat a plant-based diet but still eat fish twice a week. I eat raw recipes but still eat cooked vegan foods. I rarely eat dairy. I have 1-2 days a week of a fruitarian diet to cleanse and hydrate my body. Experiment to see what works for you. This balance seems to be working well for me and my body has adapted very well with this approach. Who knows I may try Raw as a detox one day....

Whichever diet approach you choose, just make sure it is the right choice for you, and a healthy one. A varied diet in meat, lentils, pulses, nuts, fish, seeds, whole grains (if gluten is not a problem) fruits and vegetables is the best approach, if you are looking to make any changes. But some may find all these changes too much, but leading a healthier lifestyle is very simple, when you know how. The hardest part is weaning yourself away from sugar and the refined sugary foods. 

If you was given only one thing to change first, then remove Sugar from your diet to start. The rest will follow naturally once you start to feel more energised and healthier from within...

Follow my many tasty recipe ideas, here on my nutrition page. 

Eat healthy and RunFree!

Here are some useful links:

Sugars and Bad Fats explained:

10 Things:

Low-Fat Diet risks: