Day 34 – Sunday 26th April

Inspired by the beautiful weather again, we had great plans for another real bike ride. However, we only got as far as the church before David’s bike got a puncture so I was ‘forced’ to sit in the garden!

I got to pondering over the journey we have been on and looked back at the first day of my JoGLE diary, where you may recall I started with seven aims and comments. Number 2 on the list was:

Eat more healthily – I’m doing my best working round what’s currently on offer.

So, I thought I would jot down a few notes about the other side of my fitness story – eating healthily. 

When people discover my husband is a three-times Olympian, who won gold medals at five different Commonwealth Games, held records at world junior through to master levels, was awarded an MBE for services to weightlifting (and some would say is just a little bit vain!), they have two questions:

How much time do we spend in the gym?

Are we always on a diet? 

If you are reading the diary you already know the answer to the first question and the short answer to the second is: yes, we eat healthily but we are always trying to improve on that. 

If you Google the meaning of diet it gives these definitions:

1. the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats

2. a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves, either to lose weight or for medical reasons

Most people assume we would be in the second group: we would say we are in the first. David and I both have a weight at which our bodies function best and we try to stick around those numbers. Maintaining a healthy weight just means balancing the calories you consume with the energy used. So, if my clothes tell me I need to decrease the first or increase the latter then that’s what I do. I don’t rely on scales as they can often give odd messages. For example, after a restaurant meal my scale figure can shoot up the next day only to fall back to normal on the following day (due to the higher level of salt used in catering).  

If any of you have read David’s book you will know that David suggests eating food in its most natural form. For example, eat apples but rarely drink apple juice (actually we never do!) and never eat apple pie (although I wish we did, sometimes!). So, this is the philosophy and pattern we generally follow.

Healthy eating for us means variety, if I had to put a label on it that would be a Mediterranean diet the basics.

We aim to eat 30 different types of plants each week to ensure our gut bacteria are happy. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds because it includes pulses, grains, fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds. This is easily possible in three meals so in a week it’s certainly achievable.

Healthy doesn’t always mean low in calories though, so you do need to be aware when adding nuts, seeds or oils. A popular healthy choice is avocado – a good fat, heart healthy but nutrient dense super food. One-third of a medium avocado (50g) has 80 calories but contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, so actually making it a great nutrient-dense food choice. Just don’t eat the whole avocado! But too much of any food isn’t good for your body, that’s why we eat the 30 different plants. 

As you will have seen from reading the diaries, we love our food – but we also recognise that what we eat plays an important part in the whole fitness journey. So, yes of course we eat out occasionally (or we used to before lockdown!) have an ice cream or a glass of wine, but we are always mindful of returning to the optimum eating plan. Thankfully, supermarkets are returning to more normal stock levels and with all this extra time on our hands, it’s an excellent opportunity to experiment with different meal ideas. We hope you enjoy the recipes and we will continue to pop them into the blog.

In the meantime, in the short time we did have out on the bikes on Sunday, we came across this stunning display. Spring continues to delight!