Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Pre-race food: What to eat before a half marathon

It’s always important to eat healthy meals, but more so before a marathon. Your performance can be seriously affected by the food you choose, the quantity you consume and when you eat it.

The main purpose of a pre-marathon meal is to fill the liver with glycogen, especially if it’s a race that starts in the morning. Hepatic glycogen assures energy to the nervous system during the night, so after a night’s sleep, you’ll wake up with the liver half empty of glycogen. The muscle glycogen is only consumed in a small amount due to nocturnal inactivity.

Pre-race food: What to eat before a half marathon | UK Lifestyle Blog

A week before the marathon

It’s good to do ‘carboloading’ before a marathon. A week before the race, you should start raising the carbohydrate intake. The most common thing to do is eat pasta a lot, but if you don’t get along with them, you can try natural juices from fruits, sport drinks and special nutritional supplements. It’s important not to miss any meals and not to eat too much, as you may have stomach problems later on, just before the race, so also keep with foods that you already know agree with you.

You can eat meat, but be careful not to eat from fast-foods. Grilled or roasted meat, for example, will go very well. Also, if you’re on a Paleo diet, you’re going to need to make some adjustments.

48 hours before the marathon

Two days before the race, you should start thinking seriously about hydration, as you need to be fully hydrated, so isotonic beverages are recommended, as they do two things at the same time: ‘carboloading’ and hydration.

You shouldn’t drink alcohol just before the race, but before, studies have shown that if you drink moderately, it won’t influence your results. Still, 48 hours before the marathon, you shouldn’t get near it, as it will affect your chances at a good hydration and the assimilation of glycogen and carbohydrates (coffee isn’t good for hydration either).

Pre-race food: What to eat before a half marathon | UK Lifestyle Blog

As far as food goes, in the last 48 hours, you should avoid ones that are rich in fibers, likes beans, grains and broccoli, fried foods and other heavy foods, for they might cause certain discomforts due to extended effort. If you’re not sure about how your body will react to yoghurt and cheese while sustaining such an effort, you should give them up until after the race, as you don’t want to have cramps and pains.

The ideal moment for a meal

The ideal moment for a pre-marathon meal is approximately four hours before starting, as enough time will remain to digest and store a large amount of energy and there won’t be any risk of it being consumed before the it. Most races begin early in the morning, and as sleep is also important, it’s often impossible to eat breakfast four hours before leaving home. Still, this is not a problem – you can eat two hours before.

The quantity of food you will consume depends on three factors: the duration of the contest, your body size and the moment when you eat. The longer the race and the bigger your body, the more you’re going to have to intake more calories. The more you eat closer to the start, the more you’ll have to reduce the quantity. If you eat four hours before, you’ll be able to consume up to 1000 kcal, two hours before – 300-400 kcal.

Pre-race food: What to eat before a half marathon | UK Lifestyle Blog

What you have to eat

At least 80% of the calories you have to consume at breakfast before a race should come from glucides. The protein and fat intake is not so important now. The type of carbohydrates is also not important. Choose foods and drinks that are easy on the body. Here are some ideas:

  • A bagel or a croissant is rich in carbohydrates and easy on the stomach. They can be eaten as they are or with something on top, like a jam or cheese cream.
  • Bananas have in their composition almost only carbohydrates (more than 30 grams, a gram of protein and no fat).
  • Energy bars like Isostar, Sponser of High5 – rich in carbohydrates, with few fibres, proteins and fat.
  • Shakes give a lot of energy in a small volume (like 250 kcal in 40 grams).
  • Oatmeal has the same advantage as bananas, having an almost exclusive intake of carbohydrates.

After the marathon

It’s also important to take care of your body after a marathon and give it what it needs to overcome the exhaustion and effort it was put to. Your metabolism needs a boost, but probably not an extra-large meal at a fast-food, but something lighter and healthy. Remember that hydration is also important afterwards, not only during or before!

This being said, take care of your body and have a good race everyone!

2018-01-08T03:34:43+00:00 October 30, 2014|Health|

Top 5 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter

Get organised by making sure your vegetable beds are packed and prepared now before it turns too chilly. Although it can be easy just to keep out the brisk weather and let your garden run wild, there are actually many benefits to keeping your garden alive through the colder months.

Firstly, it gets you outside in the fresh air and off the sofa! Don’t be a couch potato; go embrace the gentle exercise of gardening and the rewards it brings. Growing vegetables over winter will also give you wonderful home-grown produce, plus the satisfaction of knowing you’ve achieved something rather than getting bored of sitting inside all day.

Make sure you have a cold frame or greenhouse to plant out in, or alternatively sow outside and cover with fleece or perforated polythene. On the plus side of growing over winter, pests are less of a threat as they snuggle up and hibernate in the colder months. However, you shouldn’t forget about them. They can still devastate young seedlings so make sure you keep them out.

Top 5 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter | UK Lifestyle Blog


Ideal in soup or tossed through a healthy pasta dish, asparagus is held dearly in the heart of many. There are asparagus varieties available at the moment for autumn planting to speed up the process of establishing them. Growing asparagus is often perceived as being hard work. If you make sure the bed is weed-free and everything goes to plan, you may find that you are actually working less than you would on annual vegetable grows. Okay, so yes you do have to wait two years before you can actually cut them. The wait is well worth it when you attain a scrumptious homemade supply of tasty asparagus.


Easy peasy – garlic squeesey. This wins the prize for easiest crop to grow. Garlic is an essential to the majority of complicated recipes. However, for an instant and tasty snackjust rub it over some bread and butter to make instant garlic bread!

When growing your flavorsome garlic simply plant the garlic cloves independently to a depth of 2.5in deep on light soils. If its heavier soils you are working with then plant the cloves a lot less deeper, but with a minimum of one inch below the surface. Remember the distance should always be roughly around one foot apart both ways. Spray with a sulphur-based compound to help reduce and avoid rust.

Top 5 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter | UK Lifestyle Blog

Broad beans

Broad beans are delicious additions to many comforting meals, and especially work wonderfully with pork. Cook them as a side dish as sautéed garlic broad beans and bacon with coriander. By choosing to autumn-sow your broad beans you allow yourself so much more time than doing it in spring. The soil also works much better as the nutrients won’t leach through the otherwise fallow soil.

The broad beans won’t get black fly and will also be ready to eat a month earlier than if sown in April. Make sure you put in canes or sticks so that the beans won’t grow too tall. If there are no canes and the beans are in an exposed position and grow above a foot, they are at risk of splitting just above the ground level due to waving around. If you find the canes or sticks still don’t supply enough support then use string also.


Popeye’s favourite, Spinach is becoming more and more popular. This versatile vegetable is perfect when just wilted to save the disappointment of overcooking, but also works amazingly in salads as a substitute for lettuce. We now pick it younger than we used to, and the big advantage of autumn sowing is that there is no risk to bolt. Varieties that are best for being sown now until the end of October are Merlo Nero and Riccio d’Asti. Get sowing in your spinach to enjoy the wonders of homemade spinach within your cooking.

Top 5 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter | UK Lifestyle Blog

Peas & Pea Shoots

If you sow in your pea seeds now they will be ready for your enjoyment just in time for late spring. If you decide to sow your seeds into the ground, make sure you plant them one inch deep and roughly at one inch apart. This will make up for a higher loss rate and ensure you get as many of the scrumptious beauties in spring.

Plant your peas in groups of around three lines all 12in apart to form thick rows. Often with peas people forget that the pea shoots are all delicious. Try picking off the tips and throwing them in with stir-fries to experience the fresh pea flavor. To speed up the sprouting process, place your pea seeds on a dampened kitchen towel on a plate and sow when the root starts to develop.

2018-01-08T03:34:44+00:00 October 22, 2014|Food|

5 great Halloween costumes for tasteful ladies

Even those who would normally blanch at the idea of dressing up give way to this guilty pleasure when Halloween rolls around. With so many parties and balls to go to who can resist dressing up and joining in with the fun. There are generally 2 kinds of Halloween costumes; the cheap, out of the packet jobs such as zombie nurses or witches (yawn) and then the one with tasteful ladies put together themselves so they feel as good as they look.

Here are 5 ideas for the latter category as when it comes to Halloween the rules are there ain’t no rules, and its the make up that defines the fact this is a Halloween costume.


Glamour is the order of the day when it comes to this costume and it is one of the easiest it put together. A long, glamorous dress, gloves and the all important mask are the main essential.

The white face and darkened eyes or bits of (latex) flesh dropping off lets others knows that you are a zombie, or a ghost, whichever tickles your fancy. You can be both sexy and tasteful in a masquerade costume, and if you want to dispense with the make up altogether get an ornate mask which you can wear all the time as opposed to those on the end of a stick.

5 great Halloween costumes for tasteful ladies | UK Lifestyle Blog

Moulin Rouge

Ooh la la, there is nothing quite as tastefully sexy as a Moulin Rouge costume, and yet another one that is easy to pull together. You can buy these ready made of course but they tend to have more flesh on show than your average lady would feel comfortable with.

By creating your own you will have no worries in this department. A flamboyant dress is needed, preferably one that is short at the front or side and longer at the back, this is to give a glimpse of that fishnet stockinged leg and the high heeled; laced boots. How much cleavage you reveal at the top is entirely up to you. Add a choker, a mussed up hair do and make up of your choice and you are all set to party in the 1920s Halloween costume style.


A brilliant choice of costume that lends itself to both Halloween and other times of the year thanks to the white make up. Choose black lipstick instead of red to make it into the Halloween version. Full length kimonos are readily available online, and there are also some great wigs around which are well worth getting as few of us have the long black hair needed to put up into the ornate Geisha style. Once you have the white make up in place you can be as minimalist or as outrageous as you like and a quick look online will give you not only great idea but also tips on how to achieve the Geisha look for Halloween.

5 great Halloween costumes for tasteful ladies | UK Lifestyle Blog

Corpse Bride

Another easy one to put together which looks fantastic. There is any amount of dresses online that you can wear instead of the cheap and nasty nylon garments you can buy from fancy dress shops. The addition of a long Gothic style unkempt wig, if you don’t have long hair, the veil and the make up completes the look. The white make up and dark eyes is easy to achieve and you will look a million dollars as the bride who has risen from the grave to party.

Morticia Addams

The tall and willowy ladies pull off this costume the best as their height allows them to wear the figure hugging dress and carry the uber long hair. With little flesh on display and a mountain of hair to detract from the tight fitting dress this is a long standing favourite with those who don’t want acres of flesh, if any, on display on Halloween.

2018-01-08T03:34:44+00:00 October 19, 2014|Fashion|
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