Saturday, March 31, 2012

Banana Almond pancakes (gluten free & low fructose)

A seriously good start to the day! I added a little granulated sugar because I knew there would be no syrup, just natural yogurt. The pancakes cooked up really well and were lovely, moist and filling. The batch made three pancakes with a 3.5 inch diameter.

Banana Almond pancakes (gluten free & low fructose)
Combine the following:
1 ripe banana mashed
1 egg beaten lightly
1 TBS almond meal
1 TBS brown rice flour (or coconut flour)
1 TBS nut butter (I used natural peanut as it was all I had)
1/4 tsp baking powder

Additional options (I added them all!):
Vanilla essence
2 tsp cacao nibs
1/4 tsp granulated stevia

Cook as per regular pancakes. The only difference is that bubbles tend not to appear on the surface, so I just flipped them when the outer edge started to firm up.

Strength: 25m. Abs and arms.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stick o' pain

But good pain! Why oh why has it taken me this long (an estimated 8 years) to get a foam roller? Truth be told my massage therapist and several physios have being suggesting I get one for my ITB for quite some time, but I never got around to it. This year is the first time I've ever used one and oh, I love it. It makes for some good therapy when I can't make it in for a massage.

I've been avoiding running this week. My left hip/ITB is causing me a little grief, even on the bike the other night I could feel it. I'm hesitant to run (a) because I haven't run in a week and I know it will be hard and (b) the ITB flare up. I'll try a run over the weekend.

Swim: 42:28 | 2km | 2:07/100m. 200 warm up. 800, 2x 500. I could feel yesterday's strength session.

Wed; strength: 30m. Mainly abs & upper body.

Tues; bike trainer: 30 mins. I just did my thing on the bike for half an hour, gradually raising HR until I'm ready to get out of the saddle. It was a bit of a sweat fest, but the boys at work told me the next day they were impressed with my calves!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ironman Melbourne

So Ironman came to Melbourne and it was an honor to be part of the volunteers. Hell yes, the footage made me want to compete. From all reports the bike course was amazing. I did ride Eastlink the weekend they opened it to the public back in the day and it's a seriously smooth surface, to ride 180km on that would be awesome.

Thankfully there were not too many athletes that had to drop out. It made our day easier and it meant we could keep an eye on the finishing chute to congratulate friends who'd had a massive day out on the course.

Top tips for IM watchers/supporters:
• A fully charged phone
• Plenty of water & snacks for the day, sunscreen if required and layers; it is Melbourne.
• If you're meeting your athlete after the recovery area have a designated spot to meet.
• If handing them their phone as they're running down the chute is an option, take it.
• Have a jumper/jacket handy for them once they're done. So. Many. Cold. Athletes. I remember it being the same when I was done, all I wanted was food and to be warm. Getting food was easy...

Strength: 25m. Tired after yesterday, but I figured I could do something while I waited for my mouse batteries to charge.

Sun; race volunteering: 12:30:00. Oh yeah, twelve and a half hours!

Thurs; run: 17:41 | 3km | 5:53/km. I was meant to be meeting a friend but she bailed on me, frustration galore given I'd battled morning traffic to meet her. Did a bit of a lap of the Tan, felt awful, had a stitch running from right abdomen to left shoulder. Walked the rest.

Thurs; cycle: 36:30 | 16.23km | 26.56km/hr. Ahh the luxury of riding to work. I love it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fructose free experiment continues

So I'm week three into fructose free. I'm doing my best to avoid it in all processed foods. That said I am having 1-2 pieces of fruit a day; limited to ripe bananas, oranges (now crazy sweet) & berries. Air popped pop corn and red capsicum are my snack saviors.

The Glucodin tablets have hands down been the best find. They are pure glucogen and I've been using them prior to running after work when I'm all out of energy. They do provide an almost instant lift and I haven't found the crash heinous.

I did have a hankering for chocolate and the "...well, naturally" bar was it. It was expensive and not something I'm prepared to purchase readily. There wasn't a whole lot of melt-in-your-mouth like regular chocolate, but it did hit the spot as far as dark chocolate goes.

I made these gluten free pancakes (omitting the oil & maple syrup) and served them with a fructose free salted caramel sauce.

Fructose free Salted Caramel Sauce (with rice syrup)
80g rice malt syrup
100mls cream
25g butter
pinch sea salt

Heat the rice malt syrup until it bubbles and turns a slightly darker colour, remove from heat add cream, butter and salt. Stir until combined.

I couldn't help but experiment over the weekend with some leftover cream. Almost wish I hadn't, it's pretty good!

Tues; ride: 36:40 | 16.23km | 26.56km/hr. Getting there was easy, coming back not so much, particularly into the headwind.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend snapshot

The weekend was filled with good things; dog sitting, swimming, first birthdays and pasta making.

Ride: 36:47 | 16.23km | 26.47km/hr. Commute to work! It's been forever and while this afternoon's ride was awesome, this morning's was a touch stressful given I didn't quite give myself enough time to get to work on time. Thankfully I'm a speedy changer!

Sun; swim: 35:39 | 1600m | 2:14/100m. 300 warm up, 500, 400, 100 breaststroke, 100 free
100 breaststroke, 100 free. Swam outside at Harold Holt given MSAC would have been impossible to get near due to the Grand Prix.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Revisiting goals

This week marks the twelfth week of the course. We've covered a lot of the basics and from here on in it gets exciting with placements out in the real world to apply our knowledge. We've been given our work dates for up until mid September which for me, as someone who likes to plan, is freakin' awesome.

There's a couple of less awesome things. The May Sri Chinmoy Running and Fitness Festival has been canceled this year due to organisational changes. Major bummer because this 21.1km was fitting in nicely with the schedule. Run Melbourne falls on a weekend where there's a 99.8% chance I'll be on night shift. And the half associated with the Melbourne Marathon falls right when I need to be available for any rostered shift. I feel it's a little to early to be making availability requests just yet.

Instead I've enter two races I've never run before. Sri Chinmoy Princes Park 15km in April and in May The Great Train race, that involves racing Puffing Billy over a hilly 13.2km. For both the aim will be to average 5:41 per kilometre.

I'm also looking forward to returning to Mt Buller over Easter to take on Mountain High Fun Run and take in the spectacular scenery.

So it remains to be seen whether I'll run a half marathon in 2012, let alone a sub 2 hour one!

Bodyrock: 12 mins. Glad you Came workout. Mountain Climbers set 1:59 set 2:51 Squat Lunge Back & Side Lunge set 1:12 set 2:14 Ugi Jump (using scooter helmet!) set 1:49 set 2:40 Push Ups (ladies version) set 1:24 set 2:25 Straight Arm Plyo-metric Jump set 1:24 set 2:26 Tricep dips (was meant to be Reverse Pull Ups) set 1:25 set 2:30.

The plyometric jump caused me the most issues today. Feel the quad burn!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Into the weekend

More half day eats! I tried a Carrots 'n' Cake protein pancake recipe. I opted for only half the banana and found them to be a little dry. So on a repeat of the recipe this morning I added a little almond milk and they were spot on. Delicious with natural peanut butter and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs.

I stocked up at the market yesterday and found kale, it was a little pricey, but I treated myself and was finally able make my own kale chips. Tasty indeed. I've still got half a bunch, I'd love to try it another way. Ideas welcomed!

My stomach seems to have tolerated banana, which is good news seeing as I'll be all about the portable snacks when I return to work next week. In preparation I cooked up a huge batch of brown rice that I've frozen in half cup portions to mix with tuna and spinach or broccoli for an easy lunch.

I'm pretty happy to take my experiment of no/low fructose eating into a second week. At home is easy, out is tricky. I'm not going to be super extremist, but I'll attempt to make good choices. I tell you giving up the pistachio macaron that came with my coffee at Bisto Guillaume the other night hurt a little, that said tomorrow as part of the food and wine festival we're set-menu-lunching at the hands of a three Michelin star chef, the kitchen is already taking into account the fact that I'm pescetarian, I decided not to push my luck with sugar.

Tennis: 40m. The Man and I headed into the glorious afternoon to make the most of the free courts around the corner. We're hack players, just a bit of fun to run around and have a hit.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Half the day

I'm just going to post half my eats for the day. I'm heading out for dinner tonight with friends. There won't be photos, just good food choices. Trust me!

Breakfast: Full fat milk latte (did not upset my stomach - apparently the fats slow the journey of the milk through the intestines and allow the lactase enzymes more time to break down the sugars, whereas low fat/no fat milk speeds through the intestines and skips the usual digestive process and is partially broken down by the bacteria in the intestines. This fermentation process causes excessive wind, bloating and associated pain - which is what I have a tendency to suffer from) and natural peanut butter on rye. Seriously natural peanut butter, I wish I'd discovered you earlier.

Snacks: Soy latte between jog & run (I wasn't prepared to overload on milk just yet) and an almond milk/cranberry protein shake after running. Choc nib chia cookies after lunch.

Lunch: Sardines with Dijon mustard and diced tomato, capsicum, cucumber & basil. Sardines have not won me over. I'll be sticking with tuna from here on in.

: 36:07| 4.3km | 8:23/km. I met G at the Tan and slow jogged a lap. She's lost 22kgs and still has 20kg to go. For a long time she didn't have the right mindset/attitude with regards to her health and weight loss. She sure does now, it's so good to see the shift.

Run: 44:27 | 7km | 6:21/km. After a soy latte with G I embarked on my own run. I struggled - under fueled. Still it was a beautiful morning for it and I felt lucky to have the time to get out and run by the river.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Plenty of errand running today, of the beauty variety. Mani/pedi, waxing & hair appointment all in one day! Productive.

Breakfast: 2 crumpets, vegemite, almond milk latte
Post run: Cranberry/almond milk/Aussie bodies protein shake
Snacks: Popcorn, almonds, Fruit free Gluten Free Bar (last two not photographed, and pretty stoked to find the Fruit free bar fructose free!)
Lunch: Zucchini salad based on this recipe. I omitted chickpeas & added baked ricotta and I'm partial to a light mayo/horseradish dressing.
Dinner: Zucchini cheesecake based on this recipe. I omitted the Parmesan & added spinach.
Dessert: Choc nib chia cookies. They didn't hold together as well as I'd hoped, but I still ate far too many of these for my liking.

Run: 36:13 | 6km | 6:02/km. Vibram run. I procrastinated on this run big time. I thought it was going to be harder than it was. I keep putting pressure on myself to maintain a 5:41/km pace. I need to get over that train of thought and just get out there. I probably should have run in shoes to give my feet more of a rest after Sunday's Vibram run.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Definitely closer to where I want to be on days of little exercise. Day two of low/no fructose and my tummy is still happy. Had a chat with the doc today who suggested I stick with what's working rather than go for testing. At this stage there's been no major cravings for sugar, I'm waiting for it to hit. Not included in the photos is the glass of red the Man and I went out for. Everything in moderation right??

Bodyrock: 12 mins. Glad you Came workout. Mountain Climbers set 1:53 set 2:51 Squat Lunge Back & Side Lunge set 1:12 set 2:12 Ugi Jump (using scooter helmet!) set 1:25 set 2:40 Push Ups set 1:18 set 2:22 Straight Arm Plyo-metric Jump set 1:27 set 2:30 Tricep dips (was meant to be Reverse Pull Ups) set 1:25 set 2:30

Monday, March 5, 2012


Calorie consumption is probably a little higher than I'd like considering I didn't actually exercise today and while I ran errands this morning, there wasn't a whole lot of moving this afternoon. That said, I just wanted to see where I was at while attempting my first day fructose free.

There's definitely reduced bloating and gas. Yay for me! Yay for you! At about 3pm I kind of felt the need for "something" as I was feeling a little light headed. I fed that need with green tea instead. Hence it's pictured twice.

And seriously the "peanut mousse" is awesome. I used granulated stevia as a sweetener and now I'm thinking cocoa powder could be a good addition too.

Fructose free experiment

On Saturday the weather was conducive to staying indoors, it enabled me to catch up on what was happening in blog world and do a little research. Particularly around the issue of fructose malabsorption and the benefits of a reduced sugar/fructose free diet. I know I can't eat raw apples or pears without being in a world of gastrointestinal distress. Of late I've been suffering all sorts of bloating/gas/stomach cramps I'm keen to try anything if it's going to be beneficial to my quality of life! A lot of people who reduce their sugar intake report reduced bloating.

I'm well aware I could go and get tested via a Hydrogen Breath Test. But I can't see the harm in cutting out fructose to see if it's good for my health.

Sarah Wilson went sugar free, she's got heaps of useful information on her site and this week I'm going to follow some of it. As an experiment in giving up the sugar if you will. As a general rule if it has more than 6g sugar per 100g I ain't eating it.

Over the weekend I packed all the sugary items in the house and popped them in the top cupboard. I have to get a stool to reach that shelf. Hopefully I can be mindful enough not to go there!

Massage: 1 hr. Oh yeah. THE perfect way to kick off a week of leave.

Sun; run: 34:02 | 5.6km | 6:05/km. Vibram run around Albert Park, before the swim. With so much rain on Saturday I had no chance of getting out.

Sun; swim: 42:45 | 2km | 2:08/100m. Ladder time. 100, 200, 300, 400, 400, 300, 200, 100.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Almond milk

I seem to go through stages of tolerating milk. Usually I can have two lattes over the course of a day and suffer no ill consequences. On the other hand I know that if I drink a 500mL ice coffee I'll be in a world of pain. However of late, just one latte is causing me grief. Oh the bloat! I can't forgo coffee just yet, but I can forgo milk.

Purchasing almond milk can be expensive, and can contain a heap of sugar... So good Almond milk, I'm looking at you.

I've had success in making my own almond milk in the past and I'm at it again.
• Soak 1 cup of almonds in a cup of water over night
• Drain the water
• Blend the soaked almonds with 3-4 cups water depending on your preferred consistency (I've also used a stab mixer with success)
• Drain. I use a sieve, but if I find a nut milk bag in my travels I'll get one.

You can add a sweetener or some vanilla essence at this stage, but I prefer mine unadulterated.
Lasts 4-5 days in the fridge.

Don't throw the nut pulp out! I've been known to freeze it only to throw it into baked goods at a later date. I'm currently experimenting with roasting it lightly and forming nut butter.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Monthly totals: February 2012

February was certainly a better effort than January. March should be even better. The amount of study required is easing. I've got a week off next week and hope to get some running and riding done between the forecast showers.

Bike: 45:36 | 19km
Run: 5:14:29 | 52.93km
Swim: 2:32:40 | 6750m
Bike Trainer: 1:37
Boxing: 40m
Fitness testing: 15m
Strength: 1:20
Stretching: 45m
Rock climbing: 1hr

Weight: -0.5kg. 61kg. While I did use Fitday, I didn't use it every. single. day. Having a consistent food diary may help with bloating issues I'm still having, so I'm going to attempt to keep the logging up. I'm still keen to lose a couple of kilos too.