LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – week 12

Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. I’ve felt a little lacklustre this week but have still had some good runs. I’m definitely enjoying the more social aspect when I run with others.

Long run: 18 miles. A truly lovely run. I ran 14 miles with 2 of my run club friends which was just a delight. We had a beautiful route too taking in some great countryside views which I did not capture on camera so please enjoy this photo of a muddy path instead.

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Nutrition: I’ve kept is simple this week with wraps for lunch and chilli’s , salads and rice and beans for dinner. Also, rediscovering my love for quinoa. It’s meant I’ve had lots of energy for my morning runs.

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What am I listening to? I may be a few years behind, considering this show started in the 1940s, but I am absolutely loving Desert Island Discs which are available as a podcast. Kirsty Young interviews various celebrity guests including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards and Tom Hanks, who choose the eight records they would take with them to a desert island. They’re all about 35 minutes long so they’re perfect entertainment for my week day runs.

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Cross Training: I’ve been adding in some at home workouts using weights and focusing on arms and core and also went back to Spin class which I find is great for strengthening my hamstrings.

Lessons Learnt: Running with friends really does help pass the time and taking in beautiful routes makes me appreciate living where I do.

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5 Vegan Egg Substitutes

One of the questions I get asked the most, is how do I make the most amazing vegan cakes they’ve ever tasted (or something like that) without eggs. Well, turns out there’s quite a few easy substitutes that work just as well as and taste even better. Here’s just 5.

Cornstarch

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This is actually my favourite easy swap as it’s so easy. For each egg in the recipe, use 1 Tsp mixed with 2 Tbs of plant based milk (I tend to use unsweetened soya or almond).

Flaxseed

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A really simple and cheap alternative is Flaxseed. Just use a Tablespoon of flaxseed and mix with 2-3 Tablespoons of water and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Great for making fluffy pancakes. You can get the milled variety here.

Apple sauce

apple-sauce-544676_1920Often used in cookie recipes, this is also a great natural sweetener too. Either simply stew and mash an apple or  get from the supermarket where it’s readily available. A good tip is to go for the apple puree available in the baby food section where the sauce will be lower in sugar.

Egg Substitute

Including the much hyped Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg, which is great for making scrambled eggs and the Orgran Egg replacer , which works well for baking.

Chia Seeds

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Lastly, the versatile and nutritious option is chia seeds. Very similar to using flaxseed, just mix 1 Tablespoon chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and set aside for 5 minutes. Wonderful for cakes or use in a smoothie for added health benefits.

What is your favourite vegan egg alternative and what do you use it for? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

 

 

LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 11

Distance clocked this week: 39 miles. 5 runs. Some great runs this week. My hamstring was feeling quite tight at the beginning of the week but I eventually got my groove back with some short and speedier runs.

Long run: 20 miles. Something different for this week’s long run as I took part in the MK Festival of Running and chose to do the 20 miler. It was a great atmosphere as the event also included a 5k, 10k and Half Marathon options. The run itself wasn’t the most exciting route but mostly flat and enjoyable. I found a lovely running buddy the whole way round which meant the time flew by.

IMG_6950Nutrition: Still trying to keep it clean with healthy meal choices and attempting to curb my super sweet tooth with better options such as dates, fruit and nuts. My new fave lunch has got to be this multigrain wrap with hummus, veg and olives (a tip from the great vegan ultra runner, Scott Jurek).

IMG_6914What am I listening to? Another week, another new podcast discovery. I’m loving Ted Radio Hour from the people who bring us those amazing Ted Talks. Check it out here.

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Cross Training: Not as much as I’d like this week, but a few gym sessions and some at home workouts focusing on my core and stretching out my problem areas.

IMG_6993Lessons Learnt: Unfortunately, I experienced quite a few stitches on my 20 mile run. I’m not sure if these were due to nutrition choices or going out a little faster than normal to begin with so I’ll keep experimenting on my next long runs.

Trek Protein Energy Chunks Review

My review of the new Trek Protein Energy Chunks, from the company that have brought us our favourite afternoon slump pick me up, Nakd bars. These Trek energy chunks are great for pre and post exercise. Each bag contains 12g of protein and wholefood ingredients to give you a sustained energy boost that won’t cause a sugar spike! They currently come in 3 flavours.

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Toffee Triumph 

img_6670The Toffee flavour really is a trumph. Tastes like a treat as it has a rather buttery flavour. Made with dates, cashews, soya protein crunches (that give all these chunks that lovely crunch), raisins and oats.

Cocoa Peanut

img_6671This Cocoa and Peanut combination is great. I would say more peanut than cocoa but that’s no bad thing. The main ingredients are dates, peanuts , cocoa and peanut butter.

Cranberry Kick

img_6674Also a really lovely taste. These seem a little sweeter than the other varieties with a nice hint of fruit. Dates, soya crunchies, apple juice concentrate , almonds and cranberries are included in this yummy snack.

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Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

I am running the London marathon this year for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 10

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Distance clocked this week: 42 miles. 6 runs. Some good runs outside of my long run this week, including some of my fastest miles on a short run and a really enjoyable Run club 7 miler.

Long run: 15.5 miles. A hard one this week but mainly mental. I based it on a route I’ve done before round the nearby country villages but adding on a few more miles. Physically I felt ok but my head just wasn’t in it for some reason. I also stopped about 7 miles in to visit these guys.

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Nutrition: I’ve not tried anything new this week. Still sticking to healthy meals and trying to stay away from the sugary treats. See my post about  my favourite vegan protein bars here.

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What am I listening to? I listened to a great episode of the Run to the Top podcast that featured Sports Psychologist, Evie Serventi called Train Your Brain For Success. Some great actionable tips to help with the often overlooked mental side of running.

Cross Training: A little limited this week with just a few weights and gym workouts. However, I concentrated on stretching out my hip flexors and trying to look after my tight hamstring.

img_6900Lessons Learnt : The mental side really is as important as the physical side and I need to focus on learning some techniques to help me when the going gets tough.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

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I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Protein Bars

As I’ve been upping my workouts recently, I’ve found myself increasingly hungry and often after a long run, I want to refuel quickly so have been turning to some of these bars.

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Nakd Berry Cheeky Not strictly a protein bar, but I wanted to include a lighter option that’s great for an afternoon snack. The added oats means they keep you fuller for longer too.

Trek Cocoa Chaos Definitely one of my favourites and most eaten of all the protein bars. I love that the bar can be split into 3 chunks, so I tend to eat them separately. Great before a run in the morning.

Clif Bar Coconut and Almond Butter I had to sneak this one in despite the fact these are only available online and I actually purchased these when I was in Florida last year. I love them so much that I’ve been eeking them out to make them last longer. My absolutely favourite protein bar ever, the coconut and almond butter tastes indulgent and delicious.

Cliff Bar Crunchy Peanut Butter High in calories but also so tasty. I usually pick one of these up after a long run when I need to get some calories in me quickly.

9Bar Superseeds Almond and Raspberry I actually love to sprinkle this bar over porridge especially as a bit of extra fuel and nutrition pre long run day.

I would love to know what are your favourite bars and pre and post workout snacks.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – Week 9

Distance clocked this week: 43 miles. 6 runs. A bit of a mixed bag this week. Some good runs including some speedy recovery runs but also some not so great runs (thanks Storm Doris).

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Long run: 20 miles. I know! A little early on the plan for a 20 miler but I managed it. Another route error for me. Course took me round some back roads and main roads which meant a little less picturesque route than usual. The last 4 miles were tough but I listened to some tunes and got it done. img_6658

Nutrition: I took a High5 Zero tablet and added to water after about 10 miles.  Washing my Lucozade gel down with it probably wasn’t the best decision but not sure if it was the gel or the combination that made me feel less than sprightly. Meals this week have been the usual veg and been snacking on nuts and raisins mainly. Also, highly recommend corn cakes with almond butter.

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What am I listening to?  This week’s podcast discoveries were the Ali on the Run show and the wonderful Run Selfie Repeat.

Cross Training: I added in an extra strength training session and also had a Spin class, something that I incorporated a lot of last year when I was training for my first marathon and seemed to really help my hamstring so let’s hope it has the same affect.

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Lessons Learnt : See above re. gel/electrolyte sports drink combination. Think I’ll stick to water for now.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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5 Vegan Supermarket Yoghurts

Yoghurts are underrated in my book. A great healthy pudding, the perfect breakfast accompaniment to granola or muesli and makes a wonderful creamy smoothie. Here are 5 of my favourites.

Koko

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Probably my favourite vegan yoghurt right now, these are super creamy and satisfying. Available in Coconut & Lemon and Strawberry varieties and I love them both. Stockists include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado.

Alpro Go On 

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Alpro’s latest offering are these thicker and more substantial yoghurt pots that are high in protein and high in taste. Available in Mango (my fave), Blackcurrant or Passionfruit. Just delicious. Find them in Tesco and Waitrose.

Provamel Soya-Coconut

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For a lower sugar alternative, this Soya-Coconut yoghurt from Provamel is great, A lovely natural taste and wonderful for desserts or to use in baking. Available in Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic and Whole Foods.

The Coconut Collaborative

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If soya is not your thing, try these coconut yoghurts that come in Blueberry, Mango & Passionfruit, Limited Edition Strawberry and Natural. Available in Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic and Ocado.

Tesco Free From Natural Soya Yoghurt 

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Great over granola and berries for a delicious breakfast or try it in a smoothie for a more filling and creamy option.

If you want to check out 5 Vegan Falafels, you can find my post here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – Week 8

img_6532Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. Let me tell you, even when you think you’re strong and you’re smashing out the long runs every week, short runs can be tough. 2 days after my epic almost 18 miler, I was just not feeling it. Freezing winds, muddy trails and my hat blowing off. But I did it and that’s the most important thing. Keep pushing on guys.

Long run: 17.7 miles. I had actually planned on a 15 mile run but the route that I followed was a little further than I realised so ended up at 17.7. I opened my door to snow so felt very pleased with myself for braving not my favourite conditions. I did 3 or 4 miles along a very muddy canal and then veered onto the road passing through country villages and fairly busy country lanes. Half way in, it got a bit quieter and by the 10 mile mark, my legs were starting to feel a bit tired from all the hills I’d already tackled. I plodded on, took in  a gel and that gave me a little lift to push on. I finished tired but happy to have ran for longer than planned with no hamstring niggles.

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Nutrition: I purchased the vegan SIS nutrition pack, which includes gels, pre and post recovery powders and bars. On this run, I had an electrolyte pack in my water and a gel. When I got home, I had the chocolate recovery powder. I seemed to have a speedier than usual recovery so fingers crossed this routine is working.

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What am I listening to?  Mostly old episodes of The Ginger Runner with some Little Big Town for some added motivation for the last few miles (they’re an American country pop band).

Cross Training: The now usual strength training. Would love to fit a bit more strength work in too so that’s something I’m going to work on next week.

Lessons Learnt : Switching from podcasts to music for the 3 miles or so really did give me an extra push when it got tough.

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You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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5 Supermarket Falafel (vegan)

Vegans and Falafel go together like peas and carrots or Sunny and Cher or indeed, Kylie and Jason, so here’s my pick of some of the best readily available in our British supermarkets.

Tesco Sweet Potato Falafel £1.50

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Great Food Mediterranean Falafel £2.40

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Stockists include Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Costco.

Biona Organic Falafel Balls £3.49

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Stockists include Ocado, Planet Organic and Amazon.

Fry’s Quinoa and Cilantro Falafel Burgers £2.77

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Stockists include Holland and Barrett, Ocado, Morrisons and Whole Foods.

Sainsbury’s Falafel £2.30

img-thingI would love to know your favourite falafel choices. Have you tried any or all of these? Check out my top 5 supermarket veggie burgers post here

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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