food & nutrition.

Fuel. Calories are burned by movement or converted to thoughts that drive momentum through the trails.

food (noun)

feed feet me

these eats.

3 weeks 6 days ago in food, diet, covid-15

We've fallen into a bad habit.

When the world is collapsing and living through an overwhelmingly epic period of frustration and pain, why the heck wouldn't we crack open the ice cream for a nightly dessert? Or keep some deliciously decadent chocolate squares handy in the fridge for a post-meal palette-cleanser? Or spend Saturday at home baking a massive fluffy and fully decorated cake?

We've fallen into a bad habit of eating dessert almost every day and sometimes not just after our evening meal, but after lunch, too.

It's amazing that I've only put on as little weight as I have, to be honest.

Staying active and eating (otherwise) healthy, helps, but little nibbles of chocolate here and a meal-ending ice cream sandwich there... it all adds up.

I can make all sorts of personal vows and promises to eat better, but it's a monumentally tough decision to make at the end of a long day, after heaps of stress at work and frustrations in the news (yet again) to say, oh thanks but I'm going to skip that bowl of delicious ice cream and just sit here and watch you, my family, enjoy one.

The swimming and extra running and generally trying to be fitter is a tapestry of mini-changes that all accumulate to a broader goal of being fitter and healthier. It's very likely that my knee hurts right now because I'm pounding it with an extra ten kilos of chocolate-fed me. Which means I can't run for a week or two. Which means I sit at home feeling sorry for myself and eating ice cream, right? Well, shit.

Willpower is in short supply, but somehow I need to sort out how to make better decisions without as much of it around.

How do you solve a problem like dessert? If I figure it out, I'm sure I'll write something here.

6 months 2 weeks ago in weight, covid-15

An eating style.

Not that this website has any real audience as I'm mostly writing it for myself and my own amusement, but if someone does happen to stumble upon these words I wouldn't want them to think that I'm some guy whose obsessed by weight or diet because that happens to be what I write about here.

I've been "eating better" for a whole week now.

Whoop. A whole week, he writes as sarcastically as he can.

I write here not because I'm necessarily obsessed by the topic of weight management, but when I went through a big four month long weight loss effort almost ten years ago now I found that between the increased exercise, the managed diet and the various other lifestyle tweaks the biggest factor for me was public accountability. Writing my efforts down on a blog and then sticking to them, even if it was just me and the wind reading it, kept me as honest as I could manage.

So, a week of no sweets, no seconds, no snacking (except sometimes on "cheat days" which are generally weekends) is complete and a week is nothing in the multi-month-long effort that this is going to be to get closer to my pre-pandemic fitness level.

It's yet another lifestyle change, but hopefully one for the positive.

Carrying that little bit of extra weight is hard on my body, makes it tougher to keep up with my friends on the trails (and this will only get worse when those long summer runs roll in) and generally leave me feeling a little grumpy about all that effort yielding lesser results.

I can be accountable to myself and in my head all I want, but writing it down here makes it real outside my own mind. And that makes this eating style real, and not a diet.

6 months 3 weeks ago in eating, weight

It's never easy to change how you eat, but I think the easiest time for me is in that short window following New Years.

I mean, in the last couple years something has always derailed a good effort. To really make a shift, to change your health and the habits around how and when and what you eat, it takes months of rejigging everything. Cutting out snacks and sweets and seconds is something that is easy for a few days or a week, but a stretch of holiday treats, summer barbecues, birthday parties, or a global pandemic... any of it can throw off a plan.

It's that short window following New Years and two weeks back from a Disney vacation where we ate and walked and ate and rode and ate and ran and ate and sat by the pool in the Florida sun, where I bought an infinitely refillable soda cup and drank more Cherry Coke than I have in the past two years, and where dessert was a mandatory part of every, no every, meal, I think it is time to rejig.

As of yesterday I'm doing that thing where I follow that eating ruleset I always try to do. No seconds, no sweets, no sugar except on certain days, like weekends and special days. It worked for me once back about ten years ago now and I'm hoping if I can get in a groove I can get my health back in check for a summer of running.

It's not that I'm on a runaway eating train or anything, but a dozen bad habits spanned across over two years of working from home have accumulated in the wrong direction. I called it the COVID-15 once, and that might be more true now that back then.

No snacks while I'm sitting working.

No desserts every night.

Cutting out the seconds.

And putting all that holiday chocolate out of sight so it isn't so tempting.

I'm going to track this new eating habit switcheroo meticulously here for three months, ending at Easter in mid-April, and we'll see what the results are.

Here we go.

2 years 2 months ago in weight, covid-15

The COVID-15 is a real thing, and working from home has derailed my finely tuned eating routine leading to some lost ground in the healthy living strategy that allows me to run successfully. This is a series I'll be writing over the next few months as I try to set some rules and strategies around a healthier lifestyle.

It sounds obvious, but I need to cut out the workday snacking.

When I'm at an actual office, out of the house, stuck at the top of an elevator ride or the near end of a long walk or the back of a coffee line, second thoughts about stuffing something quick into my mouth have time to germinate, grow, and blossom. When a pantry stuffed with chips and cookies and leftover pizza is a thoughtless few steps away, those second thoughts are still rattling around as a handful of seeds as I'm wiping the crumbs off my hands.

Motivation is largely about decision-making. Deciding to do something is the hard part. Much has been written about the idea of decision-fatigue and the notion that the human brain has a flexible but limited capacity to make decisions, particularly tough ones. So, days full of stress or packed with lots to think about, tend to result in over-eating -- not because of the stress, but because of the vacuum that the stress leaves behind. Stress eating is often just the inability to decide a better option because the brain is out of decision power, and the easy default option is to revert to our baser instinct of stuffing more calories in our mouths.

The pandemic has been nothing if not stressful, full of complex anxieties and subtle decision-making. My personal experience has been days filled with long working hours, responding to multiple requests from business colleagues who were flung into complex and urgent roles. It was lots of thinking, and rethinking, and making decisions on the fly about important things that affected a lot of people.

Food was simple. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

And that while at the office I was leaning on the crutch of having the real barrier of having to wait for an elevator, or stand in line at a cafe, or walk to the food court, at home that crutch was suddenly gone and I never replaced it.

So rule number one for this the first week of my COVID-15 reset, is kill the workday snack-athon. Between breakfast and lunch, no calories consumed. Between lunch and dinner, no calories consumed. The reward? Successfully pulling through a week of snack-free working means I can enjoy a guilt-free dessert on Saturday evening.

Decision made.

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