Plant-based milks: 6 top tips

plant milk

There is one section of every supermarket and corner shop that is unrecognisable from ten years ago: plant-based milks. Or ‘mylks’, ‘m*lks’, or sometimes, confusingly, just ‘drinks’. I’m going with ‘milks’, partly for simplicity and partly because it amuses me that this offends some people. Terminology aside, one thing not in question is their unstoppable rise in popularity. Ethical and environmental concerns, dairy allergies and intolerances, and health considerations are all contributing factors here. Anecdotally, I’ve also noticed that friends and family find plant-based milks an appealing option even if they have no intention of going vegan or vegetarian. The […]

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Marathon memory lane

I struggle to accept the fact that this week marks two years since my last marathon, but that’s what my phone has been telling me, so accept it I must. And while I don’t have any 2021 races inked into my diary just yet, I am starting to consider options for a winter marathon PB push…and in the process, I’ve found myself having a good old reminisce of the five previous times I’ve covered the 26.2. I have full respect for ultrarunners, sprinters and middle-distance runners, but for me, the marathon is the holy grail. The ultimate test. The perfect […]

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Keto diets in endurance exercise (part II)

Ketogenic diet for runners

I introduced the definitions and basic theory underpinning endurance athletes’ ketogenic diets (EAKD) in the first blog, but what happens when the theory is subjected to scientific research? A recently published systematic review (which by definition should incorporate all relevant, good quality studies) will help us answer this question. I will warn you that this is quite a detailed synopsis, so feel free to skip to my ‘take home thoughts’ at the end if what comes before is a bit too heavy. The review claims to be the first of its kind looking at EAKD and key outcomes for endurance […]

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Ketogenic diets in endurance exercise (part I)

keto diet for runners

Ketogenic diets have been used as an established treatment for epilepsy (particularly among children) for many years, but more recently there’s been a much broader interest in going ‘keto’, especially in certain dubious corners of social media. Most of the attention is based on its potential as a weight-loss tool, but there has also been a growing buzz about its capacity for performance-enhancement in endurance exercise. I’m not going to comment on the former here (especially as it has always seemed to me an unnecessarily restrictive approach to weight management…although each to their own), but I have been meaning to blog on the latter for […]

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Nuggets of running wisdom (part three)

Following on from blogs one and two, I’ll now bring this mini series of blogs to a close with four final nuggets of wisdom that have helped to inform and improve my running performance. Given my role as a dietitian, I’ve decided to finish up with some ideas on nutrition. I’m not claiming to be an expert on sports nutrition (yet!), but I’m starting to move in that direction at least, so I hope you enjoy my thoughts below. 7. Running on ‘empty’ can be a good thing When we train for a marathon, one of the key things we […]

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London Marathon 2017

Reflecting on my time in South America, I mentioned that the unhealthy diet and scorching heat would probably end any hopes of beating my marathon PB this year. Despite my best efforts of catching up on return to the UK, this proved to be the case, although I was still chuffed to come in at 2h 53m, just a couple of minutes over last year’s time. Most people are familiar with the phrase ‘carb-loading’, and I always take this pursuit almost as seriously as the training itself, particularly in the days leading up to the race. Food basically becomes just fuel during […]

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Heart Month… and the saturated fat debate

You may or may not be aware that we’re in the middle of Heart Month. I’m not sure if it’s got anything to do with Valentine’s and the preponderance of heart shaped tat filling shop windows, but February is the chosen month for raising awareness of this most vital of organs. A quick google search suggests USA and Canada do it in February too. Who knows – maybe we copied them. You don’t need me to tell you how important the heart is. Equally, I can’t imagine you need me to tell you that heart disease is, alongside cancer, the biggest […]

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Blue Monday

Once upon a time, ‘Blue Monday’ was just a legendary 80s dance track (the highest selling 12 inch single of all time, no less). These days, however, it has come to mean the point in January that apparently marks the most depressing day of the year. Originally coined by Sky Travel as part of a PR campaign, the ‘formula’ for Blue Monday factors in debt, weather, time since Christmas, motivation levels (or lack of) and failing new year’s resolutions, with the perfect storm deemed to be the Monday of the last full week in January. However, clearly it is just […]

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Ketogenic diet

keto diet for runners

A few weeks back, I advised a healthy dose of scepticism when faced with the fad diets of the new year. In fact, many of my blogs from last year carried a barely-hidden negativity towards ‘dieting’, so you could be forgiven for wondering whether dietitians have anything to do with ‘diets’ at all. So, just to clarify a few points… The ‘anti-dieting’ thing is really just my response to the standard media message that ‘diets’ are a short-term, quick-fix towards health goals, as implied by the phrase ‘going on a diet’. Of course the true meaning of the word ‘diet’, […]

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Should we ban fruit juice from our five a day?

My older brother sent me this article recently – it’s a revisiting of the old fruit juice / sugar debate. As I say, this is hardly a new area of disagreement, but is interesting nonetheless, and fits in nicely with some of my recent posts on sugar and the five a day message. I couldn’t help but notice one of the comments underneath the article, stating: ‘This disjointed approach to healthy eating is counterproductive. We are hit by isolated messages that say eat this, don’t eat that – and then every organisation wants to get their opportunity to gain some media attention […]

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