It’s four in the morning. Heidi the dog’s barking. Jellbaby the wife’s snoring—I mean, exhaling like a princess in her sleep. The CLARINS, Super Restore Total Eye Concentrate that Jellybaby the wife dabbed around my left eye last night is stinging my eyeball, worse than a snakebite. And somehow, don’t ask, my mouth tastes as if I’ve eaten a whole tub of CLARINS, Super Restorative Rose Radiance Cream (tastes good). Talking of taste and food, because I’m wide awake, I’ve decided to get up and blog about my new, all singing, all body-popping, nutrition plan: Stazza Scran.
Outside, the birds are twittering. Inside, I’m drinking coffee (half decent stuff). I’m hungry but I have to go run soon. I’m caught in the nightmare zone: not having enough time before running to eat and a good bit of time before I’m going to run. The bowl of fruit, on the table in front of me, looks delicious: pineapples, bananas, avocados, and apples. (I’m telling porkies: I hardly ever eat fruit, except for goji berries.) And now, Bear the cat’s biting my toes. Time to get cracking…
Rather than scrummaging around all my nutritional garbage and rucking out a raft of nutritional facts, let’s spice things up. When new clients start with me, the first thing I do is get them to complete a Profile Questionnaire (PQ)—it’s about eleven pages, covering personal information, medical history, nutritional analysis, sporting and running background, and all that malarkey. A key part of the PQ focuses on nutrition. And as it so happens, right now, I’m at a crossroads…
About five years ago, aged forty-nine, one of the old epiphanies life tends to dish out gave me a decent crack in the smacker: I realised that my days as a runner were over—never again, would I break 15’ for 5000m. I knew it was time to become an ultra runner: the graveyard for runners—the home of the talentless.
Since flying out of the starting blocks and launching into my much vaunted successful career as an ultra plodder, I’ve pottered about, dabbled with no real conviction, and for a number of excuses, never raced.
But now, I’ve decided to give it a real go. Next year—Zeus willing—I’ll turn fifty-five. So, I’ve decided, because the journey into the eternal nothingness is fast approaching, I’m going to lift the training and give this ultra plodding flummery a lash. To kick-off the journey, I’m going to complete the nutrition sections of my PQ and reveal all. Next week, I’ll follow up with an analysis and from there, we’ll press on and get into the meat of all this nutrition baloney.
NUTRITION & LIFESTYLE
Do you feel your diet is good/provides adequate nutrition?
Rate your level of stress at home and work. 0= no stress. 10= extremely stressed:
How many hours sleep do you average a night?
Except for last night, 8(ish); if I’m running 100-160 miles per week, I take a nap in the afternoon—about 50’.
Rate the quality of your sleep. 0= very poor. 10=excellent:
List any allergies:
Do you drink tap water or use it for food prep/cooking?
Not for drinking but yes for food preparation
If any, what nutritional supplements do you take?
Do you live/work where there are pollutants in smog?
Are you exposed to industrial or environmental pollutants or toxins?
Do you live/work near high voltage wires?
Do you frequently use a computer video display monitor?
When you sleep, do you have vivid dreams that you remember in detail?
How often do you eat fried foods?
Depends. If I’m researching/experimenting with High Fat Low Carb (HFLC), then most days. If not, then rarely.
How often do you eat any of these: ground beef/mince, pork products, burgers, processed meats (bologna, salami and paté)
If not experimenting with HFLC, rarely.
How often do you eat/drink any of these: cheese, yogurt, ice-cream
Daily. Big fan of cheese and ice cream (not together though)..
Do you use cream/milk in coffee or tea?
Do you use butter or margarine on bread/bagels/toast/crackers, etc?
Butter. Never use margarine.
Do you know which oils/fats you should use for cooking with high heat/low heat, and cold dressings?
Do you use butter for cooking or on baked potatoes or other vegetables?
Yes, especially when experimenting with HFLC.
How many eggs a week do you eat?
When experimenting with HFLC, 15. Otherwise, rarely.
Pick the two you eat most, if any: red meat, chicken, pork, fish (give details of type) or fried foods:
Skinless chicken breast and salmon.
Are you a vegetarian or vegan?
Are you on High Fat Low Carb or a variation of such?
No. But have dabbled in the dark art.
How often, on average, do you eat any of these: pastries, biscuits/cookies, sweets/candy, chocolate, desserts, crisps/potato chips, french fries/chips (chips are the the European name for french fries—crazy stuff )
Jakers! Everyday. All day. I even dream about them.
On average, how many servings per day do you eat of vegetables?
On average, how many servings per day do you eat from these: pasta, rice, beans, peas, corn, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, and oatmeal/porridge?
On average, how often do you eat/drink any food or drinks that are processed/ contain preservatives, artificial flavours, colours, and chemicals?
On average, how many servings of fruit do you eat per day?
Pass/no comment—very rare.
What is your average alcohol consumption? 1-2 drinks per day, 3 or more drinks per day , 2-3 drinks per week, 2-3 drinks per month, none.
When I go out for a meal, I might have 2 glasses of red wine.
Do you eat/drink less than two dairy servings per day on average?
Are you Hypoglycemic (low blood sugar)?
Do you have problems with any of the following: Burning feet or tender heels, teeth grinding, apathy, muscle tremors, cramps or spasms, and nausea? Details:
Do you have white spots on or under your fingernails?
On a scale 0-10, how is your appetite?
Do you have either of these: water retention, infrequent dream recall? Details:
Do you often wake up in the night to pee?
Yes, but mainly because of the dog barking or the wife, gently exhaling.
Is your mouth over-sensitive to hot or cold?
Do you suffer with frequent colds?
Do you have problems with, insomnia or nervousness, and high blood pressure? Details:
Do you suffer with frequent upper respiratory tract infections?
Do you suffer with frequent urinary tract infections?
Do you suffer with/from any of the following: fatigue or listlessness, sore tongue, (Women only) heavy periods or blood loss? Details:
Do cuts take a long time to heal?
Do you have problems with any of the following: muscle cramps, tremors or spasms, muscle weakness, breast tenderness? Details:
Do you have problems with: dizziness or poor sense of balance, sore knees? Details:
Are there grooves/ridges in your finger nails?
Do you have greasy skin?
Women Only: Do you suffer from fibrocystic disease of the breast?
Women Only: Do you suffer excessively from premenstrual symptoms?
Do you suffer, on a regular basis, from any of the following: mouth ulcers, poor night vision, acne, dry flaky skin, dandruff, thrush or cystitis, diarrhoea? Details:
Do you problems with any of the following: excessive or cold sweats, dizziness or irritability after six hours without food, need for frequent meals, old hands need for excessive sleep or drowsiness during the day? Details:
Do you often experience a sore/burning tongue?
Do you have problems, on a regular basis, with any of the following: backache, tooth decay, hair loss, muscle twitching or spasms joint pain or stiffness, and weak bones? Details:
No. Had some dental work done recently.
On a scale of 0-10, how is your sex drive (be honest—I can help)?
12—alpha male and all that jazz.
Do you have soft nails?
No—I eat chia seeds.
Do you have dull oily hair, bloodshot, burning or gritty eyes? Details:
Are you able to ‘fully’ taste food?
Do you have problems with regular nose bleeds and/or frequent infections? Details:
Do your gums often bleed easily?
Do you have problems with any of these: irritability, anxiety/tension, depression, headaches, and poor memory? Details:
Do you bruise easily?
Do you have problems with any of the following: poor concentration, rapid heart beat, tingling hands, constipation, and stomach aches? Details:
Yes, sometimes poor concentration.
Do you suffer with small red spots under your skin?
When you sleep, do you have vivid dreams that you remember in detail?
Do you have any concerns that have not cropped up in this section?
If so, give a brief outline:
I am terrible when it comes to sweet stuff and pastries. Please help me, Coach Stazza.
RUN SPECIFIC NUTRITION AND DAILY NUTRITION
Yesterday—all food and drink consumed:
Toasted cheese sandwich
Panang Curry and noodles: a rich creamy curry with mixed peppers green beans and lime leaves.
Is this typical?
If not, give a typical day:
When not doing HFLC…
Breakfast: 2-3 slices of wholemeal toast/a bagel.
Snack(s): mid-morning 2 pasties (must go get some) or some biscuits…
Lunch: either Muesli with chia seeds and cacao powder or toasted sandwich.
Snack(s): 1 pastry/the whole cookie jar/anything sweet that’s in the cupboard.
Dinner: meat, veggies, and some carb (pasta/rice/ sweet spuds etc).
Snack: Ice cream or cake or both!
Pre-run fuelling (bagel and drink etc):
Bagel with smattering of butter.
Workout recovery fuelling (What you consume and when):
Don’t do workouts but will take skimmed milk with 2 bananas after long runs.
Pre and post recovery/maintenance run fuelling:
Nothing—not necessary (this is a trick question;) ).
Race day fuelling (pre race):
What is a race? I would have a bagel 2.5 hours before.
Race day fuelling (during):
Never raced longer than half marathon, so no need.
Race day fuelling (post run):
Coffee and cake.
Do you suffer with G.I. distress in races?
So there you have most of the nutritional questions from the PQ. Next week, I’ll analyse the answers…