A New Challenge

I’ve really enjoyed setting myself monthly blogging challenges. I think it gives me something else to focus on other than training and adds some spice to my blog. So, I’ve decided to set myself another challenge. This one is a bit more personal than #Augustbreak2013 and Blogtember. I am going to record what I eat, why I’ve eaten it and when. The reasoning behind this challenge is because while I try to eat healthily, I don’t think I’m particularly aware of how much I eat and whether I’m actually eating properly. I want to use this month to really see how I eat and where I can change or modify my eating habits. I don’t want to diet, because that is completely pointless, but I am interested to see where there can be modifications to improve my training and my general well-being.

With that in mind, this challenge is really about becoming aware and mindful of what I’m eating. Rebecca Dent (performance nutritionist and clinical dietitian) suggests that self-awareness of the feelings around food and eating habits can help instigate change. She outlines the following steps to become mentally aware of our nutrition:-

Start by mentally keeping note of what you are eating and ask yourself questions such as;

  • What exactly are you eating and drinking?
  • Why are you eating?
  • What time is it?
  • Is it a meal or snack?
  • Are you hungry? How much have you eaten? Are you full?
  • Are you thirsty?
  • Engage your senses, what does the food smell like? taste like? What is the texture?
  • Do you chew your food well? (16-20times is how often it is suggested to chew each mouthful).
  • What are you doing whilst eating? e.g. watching t.v, reading, sitting at your desk, on the train, during training, after exercise.
  • Are there any triggers to your eating? Hunger? Emotional? Social? Certain foods?
  • Has what you have eaten around exercise benefited? or hindered?
  • How are you energy levels during the day? Do they vary?

Remember these can be positive comments!

  • Keep a note of all of the above, include the food/drink item eaten, time, quantity and note any feelings around eating.
  • Include your schedule of work, training, exercise timings, duration. (Source)

I’m going to follow her suggestions, for this month and simply record exactly what I eat when, etc. I hope to have a good indication of my eating patterns, and also become more mindful when eating by the end of the month. Who knows? It could help, but even if it doesn’t, it’ll give me something else to blog about!

With this in mind, here is what I ate 31 October:

Breakfast:

Coffee for breakfast - I wasn't feeling that hungry

Lunch:

lunch: half an avocado, 2 slices ham, handful prawns and mixed veg with roasted carrot and parsnip. Large cup of Barleycup

Pre-climb cappuccino:

Cappuccino from the climbing works

Pre-dinner snack:

Snack: small piece of red pepper

Dinner:

Dinner: roast veggies; salad; chicken wings; blue cheese sauce; butternut squash

Wine: Chateau Reau 2010  (bordeaux)

Additional chicken wings

After dinner dessert:

Pudding: Lindt 70% dark chocolate (doux)

After dinner wine:

Small glass of the same wine.

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