Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Aisle of Forbidden Pleasures

This is a bit Berlin related, but then isn't everything in my life this week? But it is interesting, honest.

Tonight was the great carb loading shopping trip. Of course I have plenty of brown rice and wholemeal pasta in the house, and I'd managed to buy enough fruit and veg on my normal Friday night shop to get me through til Friday. But what I hadn't bought was any of the carb loading stuff I wanted to buy. Did I think I'd start eating it too soon if I had it in the house? I don't know, but the fact remained that I hadn't bought it, but realised that I needed it.

So tonight's trip to the supermarket involved buying very little other than carbs. And unlike my normal sickeningly healthy shopping trolley, I instead looked like the cake fiend from hell.

You see, it transpires, that in terms of sports nutrition, some things I haven't touched for years aren't forbidden after all. Not that I completely ban anything from my diet, but there are some things that I generally treat as not being as good as other things I like, so I rarely eat them.

But today I had to force myself down... the biscuit aisle. And the cake aisle. And the jelly babies aisle.

Ye Gods.

There it was, all lined up before me in its sugary, trans fatty "goodness". It actually surprised me how little of it I craved, and I managed to make a beeline to the recommended products I'd come for. I looked at the cookies and the muffins, and I ruled them out. The chocolate digestives too. I was strong. Ish.

I haven't picked up a packet of Jaffa Cakes for years, and it surprised me when I noticed on the side the following "recommendation"

Each McVittie's Jaffa Cake contains lots of energy, and only 1.0g of fat per cake. That is why they are recommended by sports nutritionists.

I suppose some people might interpret that statement as "good for you", whereas at least I'm now starting to read behind the statement and work out for myself what it means. Actually, looking at the nutritional info they're under 50 calories per cake, which isn't bad for a pre-run energy boost if that's going to mean you run 6 miles instead of 3. And despite their startling lack of pretty much anything other than carbs, they have been recommended to me as a good, quick release snack. And they'd been on the list even before I read that. So in the basket they went.

Also in the basket went some malt loaf. This has much less fat than the jaffa cakes (the 1g of fat per cake isn't quite so impressive when you work out that each cake isn't much over 10g), although I suppose it depends how much butter you smother it with. Again, it's been recommended, and I suspect it's lower GI than the Jaffa Cakes.

And finally, Jelly Babies. These are, I think, an integral part of the race plan - to be carefully counted out and eaten at pre-determined intervals to mark the achievement of certain distances.

(Actually, not finally, some individual pecan pies sneaked their way in from the marked down section. But if you can't treat yourself when you're carb loading, when can you?)

I was almost ashamed when I got to the checkout. There I was with a pile of sugary treats, no fruit, no veg, no complex carbs. I felt like telling everyone, I don't always eat this stuff, honest. I'm half expecting a call from Tesco asking if someone's nicked my clubcard it's so different to what I usually buy.

But for me the important thing is that I'm not using this as an excuse for a free for all. Well, apart from those pecan pies. I'm looking at the nutritional information, and at what I need, and I'm making considered decisions about what my body needs.

Of course, I have yet to see whether I eat all 24 Jaffa Cakes in one sitting, but I do seem to have developed a more considered, mature attitude to food, and maybe now I've discovered the nutritional gems living in the biscuit aisle I'll be strong enough to visit it now and again.


Blogger Fluffie Bunnie said...

Hi Gym Bunny, I've been reading your blog for a while now and just wanted to say, GOOD LUCK for Sunday. I'm sure you will do great. Your weight loss and fitness achievements are awesome. You should be sooooo proud of what you have achieved.

Also, I love the blog. You say so much that I identify with and you make me laugh too!

Beth x

11:39 AM  
Blogger M@rla said...

Your shopping trip is hilarious! I feel the same way when I'm buying food for a dinner party, there's so many things I don't normally eat that I think the cashier will interrogate me.

I'll check in again before Sunday, but in case I miss you, good luck on the run and congratulations ahead of time for just being in it!!!!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck for Sunday Gym Bunny! I will be cheering you on from the blog sidelines! :) Amanda

7:36 PM  

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