THE BLOG

How Not to Refuel

23/03/2016 11:39 GMT | Updated 23/03/2017 09:12 GMT

1. Biscuits

I can't pinpoint when my love affair with biscuits started but my workplace is very well versed in the tea and biscuits department and I could often chomp my way into double figures without even noticing. When I became a vegan, life suddenly simplified and biscuits were off limits.... Except that they weren't! One only has to read the ingredients of Rich Tea biscuits, for example, to realise that actually, there are no animal products in them! Wait a minute, what's this I see? Hobnobs don't contain animal products either? Or Ginger Nuts? Party Rings? Before you know it, it's all back on the menu and today, for example, I'm back in double figures between Rich Tea and Ginger Nuts. Now I'm fully aware what terrible fuel biscuits are for running. They're basically baked sugar with some flour thrown in for good measure. I hate refuelling for a run with sugar because it's short-term energy and I often run far and for many hours so short spikes of energy are not a good choice. Yet it is the choice I keep making.

2. Bread

Every so often, I get worried about my biscuit intake and try to reign it in. What always happens, without fail, is that I redirect my insatiable appetite somewhere else. I try to redirect it somewhere positive - carrot sticks, perhaps, and houmous. Yet for about a week and a half recently, I didn't seem to be able to get all the way home without stopping at a shop and buying something from the baguette/ciabatta family and demolishing the whole thing before I got home, where I would have the normal size evening meal that I was anyway planning to have. None of the things listed here are part of my meals, by the way. It's all extras. A stupidly huge amount of extras to my meals. Bread is not something I like to eat because it's not really proper food in the sense that I think of food. It looks nothing like anything that grows out of the ground. It is processed and I want my body to have natural unprocessed foods.

3. Hot cross buns

Once I'd started to worry about my bread intake, I needed a new thing to fixate on and, being near Easter time, hot cross buns are everywhere to be seen. Never fear, I thought, they're surely not vegan. Let me tell you that many actually are! The ones sold by the online company where I buy my groceries, for example, are vegan. What a nightmare! Now I have to get some. Of course I do. One week and fifteen hot cross buns later, I'm starting to worry. Hot cross buns are a bad choice in the way that biscuits are. They are glorified sugar intake - take out the raisins and the flour and that's basically what you're left with.

4. Bread and jam

Now this one was an absolute curveball. I wasn't expecting this 1950s treat to turn up on my doorstep and start dominating my evenings but, sure enough, one day, I bought some sliced bread to take to work with my soup and before I knew it, the jam thing was happening. My jam love seems to know no boundaries. The online grocery company brings me a jar of apricot jam every week and it barely makes it through three days. I have to go to the shops to top up. I've had Fortnum & Mason's ginger jam, I've had fancy Tower of London blackcurrant jam, I recently discovered blueberry jam, which is rather pleasing. Sometimes, to add a bit of spice into my life, I go American about it and spread a layer of peanut butter first, then put my jam on. Yes, I am fully aware that this is an even worse choice than just all the bread I was eating a little while ago. Now I've added a layer of sugar on the top in the form of jam. Terrible refuelling choice, Laura. Terrible.

5. Biscuits

Thus we arrive back at biscuits. After not eating biscuits for about a week and feeling quite proud, sometimes biscuits can feel like the tamer option, given the carbohydrate and sugar fest that has been my most recent late night obsession. I took so much food into work yesterday, in order to stop the biscuit distraction. I had strawberries, nuts, dried fruit, dates, bananas, crackers. I ate all of these things plus the biscuits, whereas before I would have just had the biscuits. Does this make it any better, that I'm simply eating the biscuits as well as the healthier snacks I've brought?