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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Veganuary 2021

Veganuary is back, and more popular than ever, with over 500,000 people signing up in 2021. Inevitably this also means more backlash than ever from the closed-minded meat-chompers who feel threatened by plant-based diets, but I find it’s best not to rise to the red-faced haters! If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is hopefully that we should never take our environment, wildlife, or health for granted. OK, so those are three things really, but nevertheless, they are also the three main reasons that people choose to go plant-based. And unlike Dry January, which, although important, only serves […]

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Christmas promo!

Christmas gift nutrition promotion

🎅 Running out of gift ideas? 😂 Get the runner / cyclist / budding vegan in your life the gift of expert, personalised nutrition! Help them reach their potential and optimise their health with a voucher for Tom Hollis Performance Nutrition. And as my special festive treat to you, anyone who books in December gets 10% off their package price. See my services page for more details. 🎄🎄🎄

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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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Dietary nitrates and endurance exercise – blog 3 and summary

Can nitrates help running performance?

Well done and thank you for getting this far – I know it’s been stodgy and technical at times, but this third and final nitrates blog should tie it all together nicely. I’ve already covered the impact of exercise assessment type, athlete fitness level, dosage and timing on nitrate’s benefit to endurance performance. The final elements to consider are sport type, intensity and duration, after which I will summarise where we are with some practical tips. In blog 1 I mentioned that nitrate seems to be more effective in sub-maximal ‘time to exhaustion’ assessments than maximum effort time trials. Somewhat […]

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Dietary nitrates and endurance exercise – blog 2

Dietary nitrates in sport

In the intro blog, I explained why nitrates had attracted plenty of interest in endurance performance research, and introduced the idea that they may be more effective in improving the efficiency of sub-maximal efforts. Another emerging theory is that the ergogenic (performance-enhancing) impact of nitrates is felt more strongly among recreational athletes. This trend was spotted in one of the early meta-analyses, where there was a large discrepancy in the percentage of trials showing positive results between those involving ‘untrained’ and ‘trained’ participants. An individual study was then designed to look more closely at this, and it found that beetroot […]

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Dietary nitrates and endurance exercise – intro blog

Can beetroot help running performance?

As a curious runner but sceptical scientist, I’m easily drawn to news pieces about enhancing running performance, particularly those that relate to nutrition. I try to view the articles through two pairs of eyes – my own (to critique the evidence and how it’s presented), and perhaps more importantly, those of a running friend or potential client. It’s vital to consider how they would interpret the article, and what questions might soon come my way. Beetroot  juice is a fine example of running nutrition grabbing the headlines in recent years. I had already been following the media stories with interest, […]

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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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A meat free year (and the growing evidence base)

I blogged last year about my steady drift towards a fully plant-based diet, and discussed some of of the key considerations and questions of doing so. I’m happy to report that this drift has continued, and I managed to avoid eating meat for the whole of 2018. Well OK, that is not entirely true, as I had one mishap on the flight back from my own stag do in Porto, when I ate a bread roll with chicken puree which I thought was hummous. Hard to believe that my abstinence was broken, not for a juicy burger or Sunday roast, […]

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Veganism and the plant based revolution (part II)

A week later than planned (as ever), here is the second part to my blog on plant based diets, this time looking at the final four FAQs that come my way as a Registered Dietitian. Some of it is a bit lengthy (and I promise future posts won’t always be), but it’s a huge topic and one that could probably have been split across about five blogs rather than two. I could easily have expanded on all of these answers, but it’s a start at least! Q2. What about protein? Protein remains all the rage, and people often worry that a plant […]

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