Tag Archives: health

Beat the Banana 2011

I can’t do BTB this year – otherwise engaged at work. But people who like running and hate cancer should consider supporting WCRF’s efforts to promote awareness of healthy eating and lifestyle as key prongs in cancer prevention. Try to get a place via here. I suspect my friend Jimbo will be involved, possibly wearing a banana outfit.

I ran last year – here’s the proof. It’s a fun race where you chase after a man in a banana costume – who runs fast! Well, faster than me, anyway, completing the 5k circuit in about 23-4 minutes.

It’s Cancer Prevention Week so there’s all sorts going on – you can read more about it over on the WCRF blog.

Soft drinks–sugar levels / calorie counts compared

In my calorie obsession I’ve checked the sides of cans of drinks with a view of getting a perspective of what the healthiest of the bunch is. Of course, they’re all pretty bad for you but I put together a little spreadsheet (obsessed, much?) of some of the top brands in the UK and compared the data – all off their own websites. A few interesting insights for you.

chart_1 (1)

The top 5 lowest sugar soft drinks produced by Britvic and Coke* in the UK, for a 330ml serving:

  1. Tango Apple (approx 1.65 teaspoons of sugar**)
  2. Tango Cherry (approx 1.81 teaspoons of sugar)
  3. Schweppes Lemonade (approx 3.31 teaspoons of sugar)
  4. Tango Orange – 3.30 teaspoons of sugar
  5. Lilt – 3.64 teaspoons of sugar

The result of the Coke vs: Pepsi shootout:

Coke – 139 calories to Pepsi’s 138.6. Coke has slightly less sugar at 35g (8.33 teaspoons) to Pepsi’s 8.64. Draw?

Sprite vs 7UP – 144 calories to Sprite, 135.3 to 7UP, with comparable amounts of sugar (around 35g). 7UP is the marginal winner.

Does anyone have 8 sugars in their cup of tea or coffee? Slightly terrifying.

Note: anyone who wants to can edit and add to the spreadsheet, just fill out all the fields you can. My method is not particularly scientific so any thoughts on the methodology, let me know in the comments field. I know this isn’t comprehensive, but hey – I’m not paid to do this. So feel free to help fill it out if you fancy it!

Also – if anyone else has done a better job of this than me, please let me know as I’m interested! I’d also be interested to know if recipes for major soft drinks vary across countries – people always say Coke is sweeter in the developing world, but obviously the Malaysian Coke website doesn’t have nutritional information on it, so my standard benchmark is not immediately useful as a test of the theory!

* Coke’s website was far more helpful, letting you work out caloric counts by serving side. Who needs to know how many calories are in 100ml of something?? Silly BritVic.

** teaspoon of sugar estimated at 4.2g per teaspoon

Moma–the best breakfast?

momaoatiebreakfastSomeone came up with the inspired idea of  blending smoothie, yoghurt and oats together to form a healthier breakfast, and, having had a free sample on my way in yesterday I decided to give it a fully paid trial today. Here’s how it stacks up against some arbitrary criteria:

1) Taste, pretty good. Hence going back to it. I’m a fan of oats and yoghurt (not so much of smoothie) but it works as a combination. If you like two or more of the ingredients it’ll probably tickle your taste buds. I got the strawberry and banana edition, which, oddly enough, tastes of strawberries and banana.

2) Appearance, not so great. It looks like someone has eaten all of the constituent parts and thrown up in a plastic tub. It’s certainly not the artful dollop of compote on a tub of creamy porridge that’s become fashionable of late.

3) Healthiness (1) – from a nutritional perspective, there are a couple of claims in the marketing that are difficult to substantiate in terms of saturated goodness, etc – there’s not much nutritional information on the tub. Certainly its low in salt and relatively low in fat, but its not massively high on protein or fibre either.

4) Healthiness (2) – from a caloric perspective, it stands about even with a mid-sized bacon bap at 430 odd calories for the tub. Helpfully, the caloric values are given per 130g and the pack is 425g, so you need a calculator to scale up. Misdirection? Or am I being cynical?

5) Cost – £3! For yoghurt, oats and some blended fruit!

6) Fillingness – does better than aforementioned bacon sandwich here…

So, in short, I’m probably not buying this again. Taste and endurance don’t make up for everything else, especially not the exorbitant cost. A smaller packet, £2 price tag and maybe…

Diet resumed

Longtime followers of the blog will know the saga of my weight loss. Ahead of the wedding last October, I started dieting, losing about 19-20kg ahead of the wedding. The best part of a year later, I’m holding more or less steady – around 80.5kg to the pre-wedding weight of 79.5kg, depending on what the weighing scales feel like… BUT:

1) I’m on the threshold of overweight against a healthy BMI
2) My doc tells me that my threshold for BMI is lower on account of South Asian origins, so need to aim for BMI of 23 (instead of more normal 25)
3) New BMI target means I need to lose another 9kg or so, which was my long term weightloss goal anyway.
4) I’m not running due to an injury at the moment

So the diet has resumed, and a week in I’m already rediscovering the satisfaction I derived from last year’s obsessive geekery, diet-logging etc. Gyminee is proving invalauable.

I am, however, persistently hungry, quite tired etc., but thanks to quite a bit of exercise I’ve done between then and now, my fitness seems to be carrying me through this a bit more gracefully.

This does also mean that my journey of soupsploration will begin again; however there’s a piteously small selection of new offerings from Eat and Pret a Manger… so hoping for some variety come autumn.

Not sure how Hippo’s arrival in the autumn will change my dieting – some friends have said that they dropped weight on account of sleeplessness and baby-caring-busy-ness, but I can see myself eating more than strictly speaking necessary…!

Anyway, wish me luck and point me to vendors of good, interesting, meaty soups! Sorry for the slightly unstructured brain dump…

iPhone fitness training

Letting my iPhone dictate a chunk of my life right now.

Twohundredsitups tells me what I’m doing on Tues, Thurs & Sat mornings
hundredpushups tells me what I’m doing Mon, Weds, Fri mornings
Couch25k tells me when to run and walk three days a week
Dailyburn’s new iPhone app tells me how much I can eat

Anything else I should be doing?

Last night an iPhone saved my life…

(Amanda’s not impressed at how much time I spend listening to the iPhone. Ah well, no binary solo just yet…)


I’m trying to be more diligent about diet and exercise at the moment, having had enough of being ludicrously unhealthy. Wii fit is helping a bit, but if you catch me at a moment of weakness, please snatch the cheeseburger/pizza/whatever out of my hands and slap me in the face with it, then try to pot it in the nearest bin. Also, if you want to play squash in West/Central London let me know.

Thank you very much.