I run. I eat. I travel.

Well, here’s a powerful reminder to actually think about the race choices I make. Monday night before my half marathon I got asked whether I’d like to replace a team member at an obstacle course. An easy 8k. Nothing too bad. Not that any of the team members had done that race before.

I thought about how I’d actually like to make it through my 21k on Sunday and then did the thing that any runner running for pure fun and enjoyment would do: I said yes.

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So here’s what I thought I’d do: let’s say the running takes me around 50+ minutes, throw in a few obstacles and a hill, maybe some waiting time and we’re at a duration of 1:15h max. Didn’t sound too bad or strenuous before my half. All good then.

 

Aaaaand here’s what really happened:

That was the toughest race I’ve ever done. Ever. No matter the distance. Oh. My. God.

It started out easy enough. Crawl under some obstacles, climb a wall and jump off, get into a pool filled with freezing mud, all good to get the heart rate up but nothing too bad. The run around the other half of the court was great and then things started to get… jungle-y. It was all hills up, hills down, here’s a rope so you don’t tumble down that slope and use your hands to climb up the inclines and hold on to roots to get yourself up there. I think I actually ran less than a kilometre, the rest was up and down and up and down all over again.

 

At km 1 I literally wanted to cry. A frickin kilometre has never seemed as far is it had that day.

At km 2 I cut my hand.

At km 3 I was more than excited to see food and drinks.

At km 4 I was not entirely sure I was ready to do a second loop.

At km 5 I was doing it. (Here’s to being stubborn and not giving up.)

At km 6 I heard the winners were safe and sound back at the finish line. Great for them.

At km 7 my left knee was over it. It was painful at every step that I took downwards.

At km 8 – and a crazy 2:11h later – I made it to the finish line. No pauses, no energy left and no spot on my body not covered in mud.

Also: I was super proud that I fought through it and excited about the medal that was also covered in mud shortly after.

 

Apparently, one of the girls on our team won the race in an incredible time of 1:21h – training for an Ironman gives you supersonic speed as it looks like. I’m totally in awe and incredibly impressed.

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That night, I joined my running girls for a pasta party and was so exhausted that I wasn’t even hungry anymore. Whoa. That was new. I’m never not hungry. Seriously. The gloriously sweet panna cotta brought some life back though.

At home, my knee got some nice tape work after my shoes and I enjoyed a loooong hot shower. The start of my half marathon was less than 12 hours away by that point and looking as unlikely as ever.



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Ingredients

(yields 1 baking tray)

For the cake:

250g butter

250g brown sugar

peel of 1 orange and 1 lemon

4 eggs

1 pack baking powder

100g almonds (grated)

100g walnuts (grated)

200g peeled carrots

200g peeled apples

1 pack vanilla sugar

cinnamon

a pinch of salt

For the frosting:

150g greek yoghurt

1 dash rum

100g caster sugar

 

Combine the butter, 2/3 of the sugar salt, vanilla sugar, cinnamon, orange and lemon peel and mix until fluffy. Slowly add the egg yolks and keep on stirring. Beat the egg whites until stiff with the rest of the sugar and fold into the mix.

Sieve flour and baking powder, mix with the walnuts and almonds. Grate the apples and carrots and blend everything well into the butter mix.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Spead the mix onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake 50 minutes.

Take out the cake, leave to cool.

For the icing, put the yoghurt into a bowl, add the rum and slowly add the caster sugar. Spread on top and store in a cool place to allow the icing to set a little. If it’s too runny for your taste, add an extra bit of caster sugar!

 

Happy Easter!

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Easter bunnies, beware!

 

The #40daysofeatingclean challenge is over and it’s been amazing. The support and spontaneous people that joined in meant so much to me and the things I’ve learned were priceless.

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So, what were the most important lessons I’ve learnt during those 40 days?

 

First of all, 40 days without chocolate aren’t as impossible as it seems. It’s tough at times but it’s far from the level of suffering that I thought it’d involve.

 

Habit is everything. It’s amazing how fast your body adapts to new habits. And how fast you’ll get used to devoting those 15 mins to prepare something for work.

 

I’m a total sugar addict. Oh my God. I didn’t realise it was THAT bad until I found myself in all the (many many many) situations where I’d order some sugar bomb. The challenge has made me so much more aware and the decisions I’ll be making in the future will be made a lot more consciously.

 

Race days are the most wonderful cheat days ever. The feeling of ‘I DESERVE this’ is hard to beat.

 

I think it was super important to have a goal that I was working towards – with the half marathon coming closer and closer I could stay motivated way more easily.

 

Variety is key. I tried so many new and exciting recipes, mixed it up with all time favourites and was incredibly happy with the food I had at hand.

 

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I add sugar to things that NEED no additional sugar. That’s an easy one to cut out.

 

One more thing: baking cupcakes for others when it’s not cheat day sucks. It’s torture. The smell, the dough, the rising little miracles in the oven. And then you take them out, hot and sweet and perfect and… weeeell, nothing. Ugh.

 

I’ve created some new habits and I just generally listen a lot more to how my body responds to certain kinds of food. I’ve read a lot about the topic and loved it. My instagram follow list grew and grew and the timeline is now full of clean deliciousness that makes me hungry every time.

 

And: I looooove cheat days. Duuh.

 

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From now on, I won’t restrict my nutrition that much, but I’ll certainly look at patterns and question ingredients and just generally be more aware of what I eat. I couldn’t be more grateful that we were given the chance (and support!) to challenge ourselves.

Will I do it again? I think especially during times where I put lots of strain and physical stress on my body (lots of races, high levels of training) I benefit from paying that much attention to the fuel I’m giving my body. So I’ll take the learnings and I’ll try to implement as much as possible in my everyday life, but especially during race prep I could very well see myself to going back to eating completely clean. It ain’t so bad after all – or actually, let me rephrase that: it’s absolutely delicious, if it weren’t for the occasional bite of chocolate or scoop of ice cream🙂

 

 

Mediterranean couscous

This is one of my post run favourites – warm, easy to make and absolutely delicious. Do those 5 minutes of prep work as soon as you’re back home and while this goodness is simmering hop into the shower, get back to life and food is almost ready. I mean, how great is that?! No runchies with that one, I promise.

 

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Ingredients

(serves 2)

1 cup couscous

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1 small onion

 1 garlic clove

1.5 cups cherry tomatoes

2 rosemary sprigs

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

sage leaves fresh/dry

optional: feta to sprinkle on top, 1/4 cup white wine to add with the water

 

 

Chop up the onions, rosemary and sage, grate the garlic and heat olive oil in a pot. As soon as the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and sweat until the skin has almost popped and has some color to it – just be careful not to burn them and stir. A lot. As in: stir more than you’d think is necessary to keep the tomatoes moving. Add the herbs as soon as the tomatoes are almost done, sweat lightly and add 3 cups of water (and the wine, if you’re using some), also add the bay leaf.

Simmer on very low heat for about half an hour until the tomatoes are super soft and the water has completely infused with the herbs. When the water has reduced a little – if it really did reduce too much, add a bit more and wait until it’s simmering again, then add the couscous, spinach, salt, pepper, stir for some 3-4 minutes until the couscous is cooked. Voila, ready to serve!

 

If you follow a certain diet – pale0, vegan, no wine (sorry, but who in their right mind would do such a thing?!), the optional ingredients may not be for you – just keep an eye out, you’ve been warned.

 

Enjoy!

 

Sunshine morning

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Ingredients

1 banana

1 apple

5 kumquats

1 passion fruit

1 greek yoghurt

1/2 lime

cinnamon

 

Wash and chop up all the fruits, remove the seeds from the kumquats and cut the passion fruits in halves, then scrape out the seeds with a spoon.

Mash the banana, add cinnamon and yoghurt and mix well, add the lime juice and then top with the rest of the fruit.

Enjoy a bowl full of sunshine and deliciousness that will brighten even your most tired mornings.

 

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Uhhhhmmm… yeah. Duh. They’re fries and therefore delicious! We’re not talking soggy, terrible, over salted and tasteless fast food fries but fragrant, crisp and amazing homemade sweet potato fries that are whipped up in no time.

 

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Ingredients

1 big sweet potato

1 sprig rosemary

1 clove garlic

1 tbs olive oil (or coconut oil)

salt, pepper to taste

 

For the dip:

1/2 cup greek yoghurt

1/2 lime

 

Cut the potato in half lengthwise and slice it into bite sized wedges.

Fill a big bowl with water, add the potato pieces and a cup of ice. Leave the mix in there for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

 

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Dry the potatoes with a paper towel and add oil, chopped rosemary and garlic. Toss until all slices are covered well with oil, then place them on a cooling rack lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt an pepper.

Bake for 30 minutes until well browned and flip at halftime.

 

Mix the greek yoghurt with lime juice and serve immediately.

Enjoy!!

March recap

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April has started which means two things: we’re past half time in #40daysofeatingclean AND the half marathon is coming closer and closer.

Last week I had a few bumps in the road doing the challenge. It could’ve gone a lot better. I could’ve paid more attention to what I eat. I shouldn’t have taken the easy way out. Shouldawouldakouda, 3 out of 7 days there were some things that weren’t clean. Which means: I clearly broke my own rules.

But you know what? That happens. I really does. For many reasons. I can’t say I’m happy about that, but the most important thing, however, is, that you don’t feel defeated but just get back in the game, refocus and and try to make it better the next time around. This week’s been perfectly clean and is intended to stay that way.

Bring it on, April!

 

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