Fitness Journey, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness

Healthy lifestyle vs fad diets? What’s your view?



As we all know, the news is full of the latest ‘death trap’ food that we mustn’t eat but what do we really think the definition is of healthy eating?

We live in a society which is obsessed with food.  I’m constantly hearing conversations about why sugar is the root of all evil, why carbs are a no-no or why we should liquify our food in a juicer because it’s good for us. Funnily enough these conversations are often had by the same people who binge drink every weekend and smoke 20 a day. But does any of it all really make a difference?

I would by no means class myself as a healthy eater.  I like chocolate a little too much,  I only eat about 3 portions of fruit/veg a day and I have been known to have the odd Macca’s here and there.  However, I always eat a healthy dinner, you can count the number of times I order chinese/pizza/indian/whatever takeaway a year on one hand and I drink a lot less than the average person my age.  Thankfully, I never have to go to the doctors (I actually avoid it at all costs) and aside from the odd cold I’m rarely ill.

I run 15-20 miles a week so don’t need to diet to stay in shape so why shouldn’t I eat a little bit of everything I like?  Yes, I probably should make an effort to eat a bit more fruit or veg but I have a healthy emotional relationship with food.  So easily people become so obsessed with what they should and shouldn’t eat, personally I find it exhausting!

So I guess my question is, is it best to live an active lifestyle with a little bit of everything you enjoy or should we be questioning every little thing that passes our lips?

D x


Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness diary: And so it begins!



This week sees an important milestone in my running journey.  I will be embarking on my first proper training plan since completing couch to 5k last year.  The goal of the training plan is to get me to half marathon distance in 12 weeks time with a target time of under 2 hours 15 mins.

I’ve been feeling everything from excitement to self doubt in the lead up to it.  Touch wood, I’ve been injury free since September but I am nervous about increasing the miles and pushing myself, but I am super curious about what I can push my body to achieve.

I am quite hard on myself, I take bad runs badly so a big part of getting through the next 12 weeks will be dealing with the psychological challenges as well as the physical ones.  With that in mind, I recently downloaded the Headspace app.  It was recommended to me by a work colleague after a conversation we had as I had been reading lots about mindfulness and its benefits.  There was also a great letter in Running Fitness magazine last month about how you can apply the theories of mindfulness to race days by mentally accepting things that may not be going quite to plan (such as pain) and how to train the mind to deal with it.

So here goes 🙂  I have all the tools I need to do this so nothing is stopping me!  I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy journey along the way but here’s hoping I come out the other side with a huge sense of achievement, a few lessons learnt and some nice shiny bling 🙂

Races booked so far this year (target is 12): MK festival of running 10k, Leighton Buzzard 10k, Flitwick 10k, MK Half Marathon, BUPA London 10k, Whipsnade Stampede & Royal Parks Half Marathon.

2015 mileage to date: 80.63

Miles to go to hit target: 619.37

Happy running

D x


Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness diary: Has anyone seen my mojo?

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Running quote

Following all the excitement of the last few weeks of trail runs and group outings, this week I’ve found it really hard to keep motivated.  Maybe it’s a sign of being back at work and the stresses that brings teamed with having less free time, but I definitely had to force myself out this week.

Whilst it has felt like I had lost my mojo, when I sit here and review how things have gone, I’ve actually done pretty well!  Tuesday club night was an out and back this week.  I actually really like out and backs, for those who don’t know, these are routes where everyone runs the same route for 25 mins then turns round and runs the same route back.  The idea being that the faster, stronger runners will run further but everyone should finish around the same time. This week, it was a struggle but I managed 5 miles which I was pretty pleased with.

I shied off speed and stamina this week – again because of lack of motivation but did make up for it with a 10k on Friday, my fastest so far!

Regina fastest 10k









I set an ambitious target pace of 10:30 so was over the moon at 10:36 🙂

I guess what I have taken away from this week is, don’t be so hard on yourself.  Never loose site of the end goal, I run because I get a massive sense of achievement after every mile and it gives me so much joy.

This week is a jam packed running week with our clubs couch to 5k starting again this Monday which I’ll go down to help with and on Tuesday it is my one year running Birthday 🙂  I’m hoping to pull something amazing out of the bag to celebrate!

2015 mileage to date: 65.01

Miles to go to hit target: 634.99

Happy running

D x

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: Running fun with mini me

This week has been a busy week for all things other than running 😦  I only actually managed to get out for three short runs this week.

I’m seeing this as good thing though, best that it happens now before my training plan kicks in in a couple of weeks. It has highlighted to me though how easy it can be to fall out of the routine.  I’ve actually been doing lots of fun things but at the same time, I’ve been dying to go for a run!

One of the things I finally did get round to this week was taking my six year old niece out for a run.  She did the Santa Dash with me in my local town and ever since then she’s been dying to join me for a run.  So after a quick trip to Sport’s Direct, I picked her up some cute little running gear from Karrimor and some little Adidas runners 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 14.14.56 Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 14.15.24 Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 14.15.38 Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 14.16.50






She absolutely loved running with me!  I didn’t want to take her too far, I’d read about how you should be careful with too much running for growing bones but she just didn’t want to stop!  She managed 2 miles and even had a little sprint finish at the end.  She is already bugging me to take her out again!

Regina della cucina

Focus is back on this week, the plan is two short runs, stamina training and a long run this weekend all being well.  My training plan start date is fast approaching and I’m actually getting really excited!

2015 mileage to date: 45.08

Miles to go to hit target: 654.92

Happy running!

D x

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: What a difference an insole makes

This week has been a mixed week.  Some real successes but a few blips too. Following all the trail runs we did over the Christmas break, this week it was back to road running.

I’ve been using my new runners which I bought from Sweatshop over Christmas along with some customised insoles.  They had a hefty price tag at £45 so was expecting really good things from them but unfortunately after a couple of 3-milers at the beginning of the week I was feeling a little pain in my ankles, so I swapped them out for my old Sole insoles.  I’d been sent these a while ago to review but due to my injury and break in blogging, I never actually got round to it.

Sole insole





You can pop these in the oven to help mould them to your foot shape or just pop them in your shoe and they will over time adapt to the shape.  I opted to just pop them in and go and thankfully, I’ve been injury free since using them for the last 5 months.  I’ve been out in my new shoes with these insoles in a couple of times now and my ankle pain has gone again.  I think it’s because I have high arches.  The Sweatshop ones don’t seem to support my arches sufficiently but the Sole ones are much more supportive.  I’ll be sticking with them for now and returning the sweatshop ones – that is the great thing about sweatshop, the customer service is fantastic!

So what didn’t go so well this week?  I ran a quickish mile before speed and stamina this week and then started the one mile loop sessions.  Aiming for 3 in half hour, I actually only managed just under 2.  I think a lot of it was to do with the ankle pain and I probably went out a little fast on the first one!

Successes this week, Tuesday night we had a 5k time trial, my first proper road run since before Christmas.  I didn’t get a PB but I did come in just over 30 mins so that’s not too bad for me.  My biggest success was today when I ran my first proper 10k attempt in 1.09:50. My aim is to get under an hour by the end of this year so I’m pretty proud of that.  Hopefully I’ll soon shave off those 10 mins with a bit of stamina training – my legs felt really good and I probably could have carried on.  I actually found the first 3 miles a lot harder than the second three.

All in all a good week!

2015 mileage to date: 33.79

Miles to go to hit target: 666.21

Happy running!

D x


Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: Where we are now

So with the long break in blogging it’s been a while since I did a diary update.  Things have moved on quite a bit since I last posted so thought I’d start with a little stat update from last year and some highlights for what’s in store for 2015.  I did end up taking about 3 months out with an injury from May – July but since August I seem to have found my mojo from somewhere and am loving it!

2014 achievements

  • Completed 3 x 5k events, each one a little faster.
  • Ran 1 x Santa dash
  • Ran approx 241 miles (70 of those were in October)
  • 5k PB 29.46
  • Furthest distance: 10.5 miles
  • Was voted runner of the month at my running club in November 🙂

2015 goals and whats to come

  • Run 700 miles minimum – hoping to beat this, it’s a little under 60 per month (So far, 4 days in and I’ve done 17)
  • Complete 12 events – to date I’ve booked 5 x 10k, 1 x half marathon
  • Finish 10k in under an hour
  • Complete at least a 15 mile distance
  • Trail running – make the most of all the lovely routes we have locally. I’ve done a few trails this week and actually really enjoyed them (and the mud).  Looking forward to the spring and better weather to do more!
  • PB’s – lots of them at all distances!
  • Push myself to achieve but remember its all about having fun too!

I’m really looking forward to smashing all of the above!

2014 running
2014 running

Happy running

D x

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

New Year, New Gear

Like any girl, I couldn’t resist a trip to the sales this year but times have definitely changed.  This year it wasn’t about LBD’s and bargain sandals, it was all about new running gear!  I have a bit of an addiction to say the least and my running attire is quickly taking over my wardrobe.  There has been a bit of a spree so too many to mention all of them, but here are my top picks.

1. Garmin Forerunner 220









I actually purchased this towards the end of last year so not technically a new year buy, but a key part of my daily running gear now.  Still being fairly new to running, I opted for a mid-range model and it does everything I need it to do, I am a bit of a data addict so love analysing all the stats.  My only complaint is that it can sometimes take a long time to find GPS signal but I tend to switch it on and leave it on the window sill about half hour before I head out to be sure.  I’ve been using the pacing function quite a bit recently to as I’m awful for going out too quick and not having enough left for the end!  A must by for any keen runner.

2. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Nike Zoom New Balance Trails


I was happy with my Adidas runners but I was keen to get a proper gait analysis done to start the year off on the right foot so to speak.  Good sports stores like Sweatshop will carry this out for free and recommend shoes suitable to your foot type. After some scans of my feet, a run on the treadmill and running around the store trying numerous different shoes, I opted for the Nike Zoom.  I have big old man feet and these mens shoes just happened to have a little flash of pink which made them feel a little more feminine.  I’ve recently been talked into a few trail runs with my running club which during the winter months is obviously a slippy-slidey experience, and despite my hatred of mud, I’ve actually been loving it a little bit (shhhhh…don’t tell anyone!).  So that I have a better chance of staying on my feet, I invested in some New Balance trail shoes.  The shape of your foot is less of an issue with trail shoes as you want something that is comfy but that your foot can move around a little bit to cope with rocks/tree roots/rabbit holes etc. Both have been out for a test run and so far so good.

3. High-vis wear

Nike Flash Nike Vapor

I’m totally addicted to high-vis wear at the moment! The more reflective the better which just so happens to be great for all the winter evening running I’ve been doing lately.  I’m a bit of a Nike fan so I love their current range.  The Nike Flash tights look amazing and are super reflective so great for keeping me safe on the roads at night.  I also recently got the Nike Vapor jacket for my birthday (best present ever) which has thin reflective lines woven throughout. You’ll definitely see me coming!

4. Proper running socks

Hilly socks








I’ve been running with just normal socks up to now and they haven’t been too bad but I have noticed that since I’ve been running longer distances, I’ve been getting more blisters and my socks have very often fallen down at the back. The running socks seem to be much more supportive and so far, my feet feel better.

5. Warm layers

Under Armour









It’s always handy to have lots of thin layers during the winter months as the temperature can be a bit unpredictable.  I previously bought an Under Armour jacket which has been fab and I have been wearing it to death so thought it was about time I added another one (and it just so happens to match my new trainers).  It a really comfortable soft touch, stretch fabric – perfect for layering up.

Happy running!


Fitness Journey, Uncategorized

Once again…..I’m back!

So it’s a new year and as always, it got me thinking about what my achievements were last year and things I wanted to improve on this year and obviously, I have neglected this here blog once again.  So here I am, apologising for my lack of posts and making a promise to make more of an effort to update it this year.

To bring you up to speed, it has been a busy six months!  I’m running more than ever before after coming back from an ankle injury that knocked me out for two months, I’ve had family visiting from Australia for most of the summer and then there was the arrival of my beautiful little nephew.

But this post isn’t really about what you’ve missed, it’s about what there is to come.  There are lots of personal goals I have set myself for this year.  I don’t believe in resolutions but I do believe in always having something to aim for so here is what 2015 will hopefully have in store for me:

Running Goals

1. Run at least 700 miles this year (3 days in and I’m currently at 9.5 so not a bad start)

2. Complete 12 races (5 booked including 4 10k’s and my first half marathon eek)

3. Finish 10k in less then 1hr

General Goals

1. Write a minimum of one blog post a week

2. Cook one new dish every month

3. Be ‘bikini ready’ for Christmas in Australia


Happy New Year!


try harder

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: The highs and the lows

It’s been a while since my last diary post and a lot has happened in the last two weeks!

At the end of March I completed my Sport Relief three miles and raised a final total of £267.40. Thanks so much to all who sponsored me and to the family who came down on the day to cheer me on. It may have only been 5k but it was tough! A new course, first morning run and it was pretty warm too. I didn’t get the best time but I did it and was really proud of myself. I even got my first bling!



I learnt a few things from that run.  Firstly, running in the evening and running in the morning is different.  My body is not used to running in the morning – must fix that.  Secondly, the crowds do help encourage you to carry on – even when you feel like you are about to pass out across the finish line, you do it with a smile on your face because they are cheering you on.

I’ve done a few 5k’s since then including the big one – my graduation run from the couch to 5k programme.  Last Tuesday us newbies went to ‘big school’ and joined the Leighton Fun Runner club night for our first run with the club members, and it did very much feel like your first day at a new school!  All the older (more fit) kids scoping out the newbies and vice versa.  We all huddled in a corner and tried not to look out of place surrounded by a sea of well tuned runners in club uniform.  We all headed out together to do our graduation 5k, there must have been about 100 runners in total.  Us newbies headed off first – not sure how long the big guys waited before they chased us down but I managed to hit about the 3.5k mark before they all started flying passed me.  They were great though – offered words of encouragement one even shouted “Love your blog” as he zoomed by!  But it must have spurred me on because that night I smashed over a minute off my best 5k time!   Still a way off my target of under 30 mins but I am getting there 🙂

Unfortunately though, after the extreme high of Tuesday night, I came back down to earth with a bit of a bump.  When I got home my ankle was the size of a balloon. I had been feeling some tenderness around the ankle bone but nothing too bad but after putting ice on it that night and still being pretty swollen the next morning I decided it was best to get it checked out.  I didn’t want to see the doctor as they’d just say rest it and then would probably go round in circles before anything actually got dealt with so decided to check out the local physio, Brecon Clinic.  I did try and get a run in on Thursday night but after about 2k I had to throw in the towel.

So I hobbled off to physio on Friday.  I’d never visited a physio before so wasn’t sure what to expect but certainly wasn’t expecting what did happen!  An hour of assessment, poking, pulling, electrocuting, stretching, cracking and god knows what.  But my ankle did feel loads better at the end of it!.  It turns out that I have some hip and foot jouint issues which is causing problems for my tendons, causing the foot to swell.  The physio gave me some exercises to do, told me to ice it twice a day and take ibuprofen and then rest until my next run on Tuesday.  Hopefully it will not hinder my running progress for too long.

I’ve got to admit, I never thought I would say it but I’m really missing running.  I’ve felt great physically and mentally since I started back in January and the last few days have been a real downer 😦  Having to stop has certainly made me realise what a difference it has made to me and I can’t wait to get back to it.  Keep your finger crossed for me for Tuesday!

D x

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: 5 days to go!

Last night I had a big moment, I ran my first 5k, non-stop with no walking!  Am feeling hugely proud of myself for reaching the first milestone in my running career!  Admittedly I have a lot to do to improve the speed (currently at 34 minutes) but I never would have thought I could have achieved this in just 8 weeks when I started back in January.

When I started I had never really run before and in the first week, I struggled to run for 2 minutes solid!  I still remember the dread on my face when I saw that we had to run for a whole 8 minutes in week 4.  Each week I continued to surprise myself and while it didn’t really get easier, I did manage to push myself that little bit more each week.  I’m now running for 34 mins and even managing a little sprint finish at the end 🙂

Running with other people has made it so much easier, for anyone who is just starting out I highly recommend it as a fab way to stay motivated and meet new people!  I’ve met some fab people during this process and I’m sure we’ll continue to be running buddies now its coming to an end.  I have to give huge thanks to my local club, The Leighton Fun Runners for organising the couch to 5k course – they have been amazing and are a true inspiration!  Even though most of them are running marathons and ultra marathons on a regular basis, they still took the time and patience to train us newbies 🙂

Now I just have 5 days left until my first official race – The Sport Relief 3 miles.  I’m actually really excited about it. A couple of weeks ago I marshalled at our local 10k and most of the time I was thinking – I can’t wait for my first race, and now here it is!  I’d love to get in a good time, I’m not expecting to cross the finish line anywhere near the front, in my eyes, the only person I’m competing against is myself, so if I make any improvement on my best time then I will be over the moon.

So I have a couple more training runs to fit in this week and then thats it!  I have to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far, I’ve raised well over £200 which is another incentive for me to get my butt around that course on Sunday!  Still plenty of time to get your donations in and you can do so on my Sport Relief giving page.

Wish me luck!

D x