Atlantic Endeavour – The 2015 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

Back in September, a friend came out to stay with us in Oman and over a pizza I interrogated her about some recent photos I’d seen on her Facebook page……. Something about her rowing the Atlantic?! Yes, it turns out that Sarah (along with 3 others) had signed up to row in the 2015 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge; labelled as the World’s Toughest Rowing Race. Starting in La Gomera in the Canaries, the crews row 3,000 nautical miles to reach English Harbour in Antigua. The crossing time varies from around 40 days to 90 days, depending on (amongst other things) the weather. They were entering an all-girls crew; team Atlantic Endeavour, with the aim of trying to break 2 world records and raise money for the mental health charity Mind in the process. Obviously I told Sarah that I was very jealous; what an awesome adventure!

Fast-forward a month or so, and I get an email from Sarah, asking if I would be interested in joining the crew; there was now a space in their team that needed filling. So I jumped at the chance….. who wouldn’t?! The first thing I did was Google “Has anyone died rowing the Atlantic”. Watching videos of previous years’ entrants battling waves and capsizes did not do anything to calm my fears. Over the next month I had a ‘trial’ period with the rest of the Atlantic Endeavour crew; being able to work as a team and getting on with each other were going to be very important further down the line when we’re stuck on a very small ocean rowing boat together, thousands of miles away from land. Regular crew meetings (thank goodness for Skype!) and admin sessions (and a lot of whatsapp banter) became the norm; before we knew it December had rolled around and we were organising where and when we were going to have our photoshoot. Continue reading

Whole30 round two – week 2.

Another week gone by, another week of lots of photos of my food!! Had a couple of dreams where I ate non-whole30 things and woke up mildly panicking, but apart from that, all good.

Day 8:

  • Breakfast – Half a grapefruit, leftover meatballs & tomato sauce, a fried egg, cauliflower and chopped cucumber.
  • Lunch – Leftover mince & veg stuffed pepper, mashed ½ avocado, dates and a banana.
  • Dinner – Burger, olives, moutabbal, cucumber, raw spinach and tomato & veg sauce. Chopped apple, banana, frozen blueberries & desiccated coconut for pud.
  • Snacks – Orange
  • Drinks – Water, coconut milk coffee.

    Day 8

Day 9:

  • Breakfast – Half a grapefruit, omelette, spinach, cucumber, sultanas, mushrooms and a handful of almonds.
  • Lunch – Lettuce, cucumber, grapes, olives, melon, carrot, sultanas, tomato and tuna.
  • Dinner – Pan-fried chicken breast, moutabbal, onion, spinach & sultanas, julienne carrots and tomato, mint & coriander salsa.
  • Snacks – Nakd cocoa bar (dates, raisins, cashews & cocoa).
  • Drinks – 2 cups of green tea and water.

    Day 9

Continue reading

Whole30 round 2

After completing my first round of Whole30 in August of 2014, I’ve found it much easier to focus on eating healthy, home-cooked meals wherever possible. Generally speaking I eat a fairly paleo diet most of the time. However, even with all good intentions, some junk food did creep back in, particularly on the run-up to Christmas. I love to bake, and I love to eat baked things. What I have noticed however, is that my taste for sweet things changed after I did the Whole30. I don’t put sugar in my tea anymore; if I feel like I need some sweetness I use local date syrup instead. I also don’t tolerate fatty foods in the same way I used to be able to – they just don’t seem as appealing and make me feel gross after I’ve eaten them. Chocolate on the other hand is still as appealing as it always was!!

Christmas cookie swap the day before I flew home, with no-one else to help me eat them! Christmas cake. Mince pies.

Christmas cookie swap the day before I flew home, with no-one else to help me eat them! Christmas cake. Mince pies.

I decided January was as good a time as any to re-focus on what I was eating; I needed to get back on track after a few too many mince pies and Lindt chocolates. In addition I have my first road marathon coming up at the end of January and I wanted to make sure I was in tip-top shape nutrition-wise for it. I’ve been posting daily pictures of what I eat on Instagram as I did last time round; I find that it helps me to keep on track and makes me accountable to what I’m eating if I publish it to the world! It’s also a great way to see what other people are eating and cooking on their Whole30 journeys, as a lot of people have chosen January for another round. Some of the recipes and meal ideas that I’m seeing on Instagram look amazing and are things that I would never have thought of, even though I’m very happy in the kitchen cooking new things. Continue reading