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Cutting Back on the Crap

Oct 2, 2013 | Uncategorized | 11 comments

If you’ve been following along with my New York Marathon training updates, you will know that we are just over a month away from the big day.

Training is going pretty well, I’m trying to fit in all of my runs and stick to the pace targets set by Gia. This week I’ve scheduled in Pilates, Yoga AND weights, as well as all of my runs, and am aiming to get plenty of sleep. One thing that I know I can improve on in the 32 days (but who’s counting?) is my nutrition. I am asking my body to knock out back to back days of hard running, as well as pushing it down the Thames Tow path for 20 miles at a time. The least I could do is fill it with the right kind of fuel…

Last week I was in Denmark with work, where I ate a lot. We were treated to 5 course lunches, tasting menus and double breakfasts, as well as mid-morning snacks of mussels and soup (slightly odd, I agree).

It was amazing, if a little indulgent. I didn’t hold back, clearing my plate on most occasions and tucking into the steaming bread baskets overflowing with delicous rye bread and freshly baked sour dough with salty butter.

And yet, when I got back to London and hopped on the scale (covering my eyes slightly), I discovered that I’d lost weight!!

So I had a little think about everything I’d eaten, and realised that it was all fresh, seasonal, unprocessed products. Nothing artificial at all. When chatting to friends, some have said they’ve experienced similar weight loss when they’ve cut out processed food.

yum…Shake Shack!

So… maybe it’s time to cut back on the crap.

According to James Duigan, Crap stands for

C- Caffeine
R-Refined Foods
P- Processed Foods

“Toxins and acids makes us fat: “Anybody who eats and drinks too much alcohol, fizzy drinks or sugar and processed food, will struggle to keep their weight down. That’s because toxins are stored in fat cells, so they encourage your body to cling on to fat. If you are dieting the regular way but still taking in toxins, you’ll lose weight, but the toxins have will have nowhere to go except back into your system”. source

As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I hate diets. They don’t work for me, partly as I can’t cut anything major, like dairy, out of my life completely. With my lifestyle, a strict diet simply isn’t sustainable; I work in food, I enjoy eating food and cooking. I love going out for dinner with friends and family, or staying in with a homecooked meal on a Sunday night. Additionally, midway through marathon training is not the time to be overhauling your diet as you don’t know quite how your body will react to the change.

I do drink coffee, but am a wimp and only have 1/2-1 shot when I buy them, so limiting my intake is not a problem.

There are however some positive changes I can make to my diet to improve my nutrition over the next few weeks.

  • No more Diet Coke (or fizzy drinks other than sparkling water)
  • Drink more water- 2 litres a day!
  • Swap squash for Nuun– still get the fruity taste, but with way less calories, and far more benefit
  • Cut down the amount of processed food I eat, homemade is the way forward! Apart from energy gels- I have no idea how to make Gu at home.
  • Eat 5-7 pieces of fruit and veg a day
  • Cut back on Alcohol (I am thinking of giving it up completely for a month, but have never done this before, and to be honest, I am a little nervous!)
  • Snacking sensibly, on the right kinds of foods, not a family sized Dairy Milk at 4.30pm!

I am not actively trying to lose weight, sure there are a few Kgs that I would be happy to see the back of, but I’ve plateaued at a weight that looks and feels about right on my 5ft 6 frame. I do however want to feel better, sleep well, have glowing skin, fight off illness and feel less lethargic, and I know cleaning up my food will help with this.

I am still a firm believer of ‘Everything in Moderation’, so if I’ve run 20 miles, I am probably still going to have a cupcake or two to celebrate!

What is your number one tip to improve your diet, health, nutrition?


  1. Beki Cadd

    Definitely don’t cut out cupcakes! 😛

    I agree though, that eating fresh homecooked food makes you feel so much better than a lot of processed rubbish. And diets def don’t work – besides it’s not good to cut out dairy (calcium) as it impacts on your bone strength which is really important for impact sports. Anyway, good luck with it! 🙂 x

    • Charlie

      Agree that calcium is really important, and I love yogurt and chocolate too much to cut it out! Thanks Beki x

    • Leah

      Don’t get hung up on dairy girls – it’s not ALL that! I don’t eat dairy (due to intolerance) and I have super strong bones. I get all my calcium from leafy green veges, spinach, broccoli, almonds, salmon etc. It’s alll good in the hood! Although, sometimes I do just want to murder some camembert – so I am with you there!

      Balance is definitely key – that way, the treats taste SO much better! hurrah!

  2. Sarah Packer

    Mine is without a doubt eating unprocessed foods, the fresher the better. Watch your skin glow and your hair grow when you do it xx

    • Charlie

      I hope so! Although hair is currently in desperate need of a trim!

  3. Zoe M

    I have started drinking chocolate milk – only with a little chocolate powder. The nutritionist at the marathon talk I went to said it was great for post work-outs as it’s protein + a small amount of carbs, and as Becki mentions ticks the calcium box!

    • Charlie

      yum, might even make them into a mocha???

  4. anniegetyourrun

    You’ve inspired me to also cut out the diet soda. I am a diet Coke fiend and we have it readily available in our office. I might still use it as a mixer for drinks, but I won’t be drinking it with my lunches anymore! For me, the easiest way to make better choices is meal planning. I’ve been trying to make one big veggie side dish a week and mixing up the kind of protein I include with it. My fridge is a little bare at the moment, so it’s time to get creative, but I’ve been eating better meals and spending less money!

    • Charlie

      Amazing, that’s great. let me know how you get on, I think it’s going to be tough for me, I love a DC! I agree meal planning is a great way to stick to budget and not over indulge too much!

  5. FitBits Tess

    I’ve just got back from a weekend bootcamp and it was all about prioritising protein and cutting down on salt and sugar. I’ve got a bit of an addiction to diet coke, so that’s the hardest thing for me to cut, but you’d be surprised how much sugar is in fruit so don’t eat too much and if when you do try to combine it with some protein such as a few nuts as it makes it easier for you to digest the sugar.

    Good luck with your nutrition changes – and keep smashing your training! x

  6. Catherine

    A very good philosophy and conclusion! The food on your trip looks awesome by the way, that little mushroom thing! Aaaw! I would have munched allll the things. It’s reassuring to see the proof that eating good stuff pays off. And I am excited for you that you’re so close to marathon big day 🙂


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