Broccoli versus lard

September 28th, 2011

Which of these 2 food portions is better for you?:

500 calories of lard or 500 calories of broccoli?

Ok so unless you are a broccoli addict who hasn’t eaten fat for a week then I assume you said broccoli.  Try this one:

500 calories of lard or 700 calories of broccoli?

Aha!  So what happened to counting the calories?!

Bread (How’s that for a creative title?)

September 28th, 2011

Should you eat bread?  No.  Another mini adventure.

Bread features very highly on the glycaemic index meaning it hits the bloodstream very quickly, giving you a short spike of energy and then leaving you empty.

Here are a couple of things to know about bread (including brown bread):

 – Vitamins and minerals are lost when flour is extracted from grinding the grain and then added back in as part of the process.  It’s still no match for the naturally occurring nutrients that were there in the first place and have been lost! The food companies are using them in their synthetic form, which are not able to properly adapt to our bodies.

– A lot of breads contain additives, E-numbers, sugar and salt.

So yes, bread gives you energy, fills you up and gives you fibre but it is ridden with chemicals and lacks a load of nutrients that the body needs. 

So what to replace it with?  Something that gives us what we want from bread AND what we actually need!  The closer your food is to its natural source the better.  Bread does not grow on trees, apples do.  You cannot kill a slice of ham but you can kill a fish.

For breakfast, porridge is often suggested as it is one of the closest cereals to nature that we can get (i.e. no additives like there are in many breakfast cereals and no sugar coated dried fruit like there is/are in many muesli concoctions).  Some people will advise you against it but let’s be honest I certainly haven’t progressed to 4 raw eggs in the morning yet! For most of us, it is a step in the right direction as long as you remember that you need all the other essential nutrients as well:


Essential fats – how about adding some walnuts?  I prefer the taste if I crush them but whole is also fine.

Protein – milk, nuts, how about adding some natural yoghurt either on top or separately?

Vitamins/minerals – add some berries or chopped banana?

Fat and protein are known as ‘gastric inhibitors’ and adding them to a meal lowers it on the GI scale, making you feel fuller for longer.  Maybe then you won’t feel less full on porridge than you do on bread?  If you have a mid-morning snack such as a piece of fruit or a handful of seeds then this could help.

Oh, one more thing; if you still don’t feel full then try this cutting edge new idea – eat more of these healthy foods!

Team GB – What an inspiration!

September 26th, 2011

I know I know you can read about Mark Cavendish winning the World Road Race Championships on any website but it would be positively wrong if I didn’t comment on how incredibly inspirational yesterday was.

Held in Copenhagen yesterday, 209 riders set off in the peloton over a 266 km (165 mile) course (yes that’s not a typo!).  Team GB sat on the front for the WHOLE RACE, killing themselves just to make sure no breakaways stayed away, so that Mark Cavendish at least had a chance of winning the bunch sprint.  I’m gonna say that again, 165 miles into the wind whilst 200 of the best riders on the planet (who have all peaked to win this event) all sheltered behind them, saving up to 30% of their energy.  Oh yeah, if any of you are wondering how fast they went, I know I’ve had a good day out if I can do 65 miles at 18 mph;  they did ONE HUNDRED more miles than that at 28.5 mph!!!

So to the finish, with 7 out of the 8 GB riders completely spent, Cav found himself boxed in with, I’d say, 350m to go.  He must have been 15th at one point but somehow, I don’t know how, he found his way through and past EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM to win by no more than 2 inches, amazing!!

Like he said before and after the race, he knows how hard his team mates work for him and he doesn’t want to let them down.  Fear of failure is a very powerful thing, whether it’s arranging to meet a mate to go for a run or to go to the gym, or riding a Sunday race for your cycle club when they’ve worked really hard for you all race.  To motivate people I often get them to put themselves in a position where they really don’t want to fail and it scares them enough into succeeding, you should try it 😉

This was Britain’s first road race world title (for the the elite men) since the sixties when the great Tommy Simpson last won.

Cav won but the team got him there.  To a cycling fan like me this is like a footie fan watching England win the World Cup, that’s pretty bl**dy special…

This increasing success will I’m sure bring us more cycling facilites, bike shops and people to ride with, thanks Cav and above all, thanks team GB.

You gotta youtube it…



Putting on a cycle race

September 21st, 2011

I promoted my first ever cycle race on Sunday at the legendary Hillingdon cycle circuit where Bradley Wiggins grew up racing.  6 months of planning and hard work from both myself and some wonderful volunteers, spectators and of course riders made it an awesome day out in the sunshine.  My goal was to provide an accessible introduction to road racing for my club, Sydenham Wheelers and 2 other clubs, Avanti and 7Oaks Tri Club.  I even raced and came 4th myself – what a day!  The feedback was amazing, take a look below, I think they’re going to persuade me to put on another one and maybe invite a few more clubs too…….

Can’t believe the feedback:

“Well Done PB for yesterday. I know what hard work and the effort you put in and the risks you took and I hope that you feel what a great achievement it was.  It will be an annual event I’m sure. Who knows, it might compete for the social event of the year!  Even the result came out right, well, according to the form book anyway.  Congratulations again.”

Thank you for yesterday. I think the day will have encouraged more Sydenham Wheelers to try road racing, and I think it’s success will snow ball. I am looking forward to next year already.  I know such events take a lot of time and effort – we are very fortunate that you did all that you did. “

“Hi everyone,Id just like to say a huge thank you for yesterday, it was thoroughly enjoyable and a great introduction for me into road racing in a friendly environment.  However it wouldn’t have been possible or such a success without your hard work.  Many thanks”

“Well done Paul and the Syd’s. A brilliant event.”

I think you can mark that one down as a huge success. As previously mentioned good racing, Good food and great way for a lot of people to either meet for the first time or catch up with old friends.   On behalf of the club I would like to thank you Paul for getting the idea off the ground and getting a great event together”

It feels good 😉 Watch this space!

Cycling for a living

September 16th, 2011

Took people cycling for 3 hours today in the end – beautiful sunshine – it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it!

Everyone said how beneficial they found it.  Sometimes all I am is the catalyst.

If you have a bike and a helmet then the hardest part of going cycling is getting out the front door – once you’re out, you can often ride further than you imagined – find someone to go with you so you can’t duck out or you would be letting them down.  Take water and some fruit and your mobile at the very least and most of all…………………………ENJOY!

Or do 10 mins on the stepper in the gym, yaaaawn 🙁

How do you value your gym membership?

September 16th, 2011

I have learnt that very few people lose weight by exercising and now I have decided to launch a parallel product to help them with their food.  I suspect since you joined the gym you have seen at least 1000 people exercising.  How many of those have you looked at lately and thought “wow you’ve lost loads of weight?”  Maybe 3, maybe 1, maybe none?  I bet 999 of them joined the gym to lose weight so the results are very poor…..I have learnt the hard way….I have now accepted that I don’t lose weight when I exercise, only when I improve the quality of my diet.  This what I am teaching people so they see results quicker than I did.

Cycle Skills

September 16th, 2011

Felt like I made a difference this morning, love it!
Took a lovely lady cycling and after she said she now feels much happer checking her bike over, changing gears and riding in traffic.  She did really well, just needed that bit of belief.  Isn’t that what we all need, someone just to reassure us that it’s going to be alright and maybe teach us a bit along the way.  Believe in yourself and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

Weight Loss – Finally there’s a magic pill

September 10th, 2011

How many of you can identify with the following?:

You want to lose weight, you have paid your monthly gym membership, your joining fee, possibly rented a locker, bought all the fancy clothing, made the effort to pack a bag and travel there and missed Eastenders.

You then use 350 calories on an assortment of machines (bearing in mind watching Eastenders uses about 75 calories so you’ve only used an extra 275).  If you then you buy the super low fat, low salt, sugar free, low calorie, diet Chicken Caesar Salad at 400 calories then aren’t you going to walk out of there fatter than you walked in?!

Oh and you have paid a hell of a lot of money for the privilege!!

I’m sure there are some exceptional Chicken Caesar salads out there but on the whole you must have noticed the croutons, cheese and dressing, all helping the chicken and salad to rack up way more (useless) calories than an hour of exercise could ever burn.  I’m picking on the Chicken Caesar Salad a bit here but then again it’s probably the healthiest meal your gym has to offer.

My Lawyers have asked me to tell you that some gyms offer some extremely healthy menus and yours might be that gym!

And the magic pill?  Yeah right! But losing weight doesn’t have to be hard.