Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ultra Disco Stu's Primal Energy Bar

Fuel for going Primal.....

So if you can't eat gels, GUs, sugary sports drinks, energy bars, highly processed chocolate, flapjacks, jelly beans etc then what can you eat to fuel your long runs (+30 miles). In theory you don't need to eat at all as your body adapts on the Paleo/primal diet to become the ultimate fat burning machine. And certainly you can eat WAY less than someone relying on a carb loading and topping up strategy. However this is no reason not to reward yourself on a run with a little primal treat to keep the fires burning brightly.

And to do this I found a great recipe on the interweb which I've slightly adapted - So I give you Ultra Disco Stu's Primal Energy Bars:


2 cups raw almonds (skin on)
1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sultanas

1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup almond butter
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
4 ounces of crushed dark chocolate (go for highest % coco you can get - 85% is perfect!)


Wizz the almonds, seeds, dried fruit, and coconut in the food processor until they are coarsely ground. Add almond butter, salt and mix. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil over low heat until it becomes liquid. Stir in honey/maple syrup and vanilla extract. Combine the melted coconut oil with the nuts and fruit, and then add the dark chocolate chunks last working with a few pulses in the food processor until it forms a coarse moist mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the 8 x 8 inch baking dish, letting it chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Easy!! Cut into bars, then wrap individual bars in greaseproof paper. Store in fridge for weeks! Yields about 16 bars but can easily reduce or increase quanitities to make more or less.


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

WSER Training and Paleo diet

Its been a while since my last post. However this is not because nothing eventful has happened in the last month or so. Quite the opposite is TRUE actually. I haven't stopped and continue to enjoy my most consistent training period ever. From the 31 December i have maintained my weekly average mileage of 50 miles (49 to be exact but I'm rounded up which is what all runners do ;-) However I'm not simply trying to log the miles at the expense of everything else e.g. Quality. Again the opposite is true. I'm mixing up the long steady trail runs with shorter tasters road efforts. The result two weekends ago was a new Half Marathon PB at Milton Keynes. I smashed by previous 1:27 best effort (Royal Parks) and managed a 1:20.23 :-D to say I was happy with this is an understatement. I simply didn't believe i had that kind of speed so early in the season and I'm training for a trail 100 miler not a marathon however the consistency I'm achieving is the key. The race itself was run on a freezing cold day with snow falling however running in compression tights, club vest and arm warmers i didn't feel the cold at all. I ran by 'feel' and didn't look at my Garmin after the second mile. Only looking at it again in the 12th mile to see i was averaging a 6:06 pace :-0  I couldn't believe it especially as 1:25 was my target time. So a breakthrough race for me and I'm now back to upping the weekend long runs in distance.

This past weekend I enjoyed two back to back 17.5 milers on the Ashridge Boundary Trail starting and finishing at Ivinghoe Beacon. A great trail even despite the rain, mud and gale force winds.

But now to the main point of this post - my new diet. If you've been unfortunate enough to see any photos of me then you may be asking why I have to diet. There's not a lot of me! However this 'diet' is not conventional in the sense that I'm not looking to lose weight (although this is an unintentional side-effect!). I was listening to Talk Ultra podcast which is a really good listen and well worth checking out. Anyway the topic of conversation was the Paleo Diet, also refered to as the caveman diet or primal. I was intrigued. The basic message was that the food pyramid which promotes a high carbohydrate diet is a big fat lie and to compound this at the same time as we are encouraged to eat whole grains, with plenty of pasta, wheat, rice and sugary processed foods, told not to eat high fat foods. Going 'primal' turns this completely on its head and says no to any type of grain, bean, processed sugar etc. There is a lot of science behind the reasoning for such a shift in diet but essentially scoffing carbs prevents your body from burning fats which is an essential component of good health. Shifting to a low carb, high(er) fat diet 'promotes' fat burning which your body is designed to do. FATS are good for you and carbs aren't the good energy source that we have be led to believe for so long. But the prove is in the (paleo) pudding and after a month now of following the 'Primal Blue Print' i can categorically say that i have NEVER felt better both generally, and with increased energy levels, improved performance, and most notably of all my recovery time from hard and long efforts has drastically reduced. I did a lunchtime group interval session the day after the MK half with no fatigue in my legs whatsoever.

So if you are even the slightest been intrigued as to what eating 'primal' is all about then check out (the same author as the book - The Primal Blue Print) which i can also highly recommend. And for awesome paleo recipes check out and
Both these sites have opened my eyes to the amazingly delicious meals you can prepare. And if you are following me on Facebook you will be no doubt aware that i like to post pics of my recent culinary creations :-)

Next up is the Lakeland recce Easter weekend and then the Fellsman at the end of April. Can't wait!!!