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A healthy vacation week in steps

Sunday, August 21, 2011

So, I want to congratulate myself for last week's holiday.
It was such a healthy one!

Sunday: 8413
Monday: 16652
Tuesdays: 34050
Wednesday: 28060
Thursday: 21770
Friday: 25662
Saturday: 20959
That's 22223 on average per day!

We went to swim every other day, we ran every day 10K, and on Saturday we rode the bike for 15K instead of running. More than 120 every day.

What is strange that we didn't really make any effort to make it healthy, it was coming naturally. It was also encouraging that everybody around us were on bikes, on canoe, or just exploring on foot.

We ate healthy all week, with lots of salad, fresh fruits, low calorie fruit puree and yoghurt snacks, and dark chocolate as a dessert.

Also, I loved the offer of healthy snacks in France, there is a separate long section of 0% yogurts and fruit purees at the dairy section, about 80% of ham and meat are lean (not even "low fat" labelled, just lean by default). And we also noticed that when eating out, 6 out of 7 times the meals were just good both in portion and in calories.

And the best of all: 7-8h of sleep every single night for the whole week!

My weight didn't change last week, but I don't care now, it was such a great healthy week.

This is where we stayed, in Blere, France, on the river Cher, in the Loire region.
Our tent can be "seen" between the 4th and 5th tree from the left, we took a spot directly facing the river. So when I got up in the morining, I saw the sun painting in gold the whole surface. I took this picture from the other side of the river during the bike trip on Friday.

I miss Blere already, it was such a wonderful place, I loved every moment of this week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ON2GOALS 8/25/2011 12:31PM

    Congratulations on having embraced a new way of life. This looks beautiful.

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PEGTIGER 8/23/2011 6:04AM

    Now that's the kind of vacation we should all go on. Sounds so healthy, yet like so much fun, and still relaxing. Wish we had more places around that made that so easy!

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KMICHA 8/21/2011 9:42PM

    Awesome!!! Sounds like it was a wonderful time! WTG! keeping up the moving and eating healthy! I wondered where you had been I hadn't seen post from you lately! It sounds like a place I'd love to visit!

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CLWALDRO 8/21/2011 7:28PM

    I love it when you can make the right choices and still have a nice relaxing vacation. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPBETTERWAY 8/21/2011 6:08PM

    What a fantastic experience. Soak it all in for a life time of memories. Best wishes always. shirley

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Le Stretching d'Anderson, La Cathedrale de Blois, et Le Camping de Blere (Summer 5% W6 D1)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I wrote this last Monday (15th Aug 2011), but it didn't go trough. Unfortunately Orange France's mobile internet was picky about websites, it just couldn't reach sparkpeople.com. So here it is now.

Bonjour les amis!

Greetings from the middle of my 2 week holiday in France.

Le Stretching d'Anderson
On Saturday, we went to the local bookshop in Pithiviers. My girlfriend offered me a "gift voucher" for a book I want. Surprisingly, even in this small town, the bookstore had a very nice selection of books. I asked for the section of sports/healthy living, to see what's on offer in France, and I choose this book.

As a physiotherapist, she was excited about my choice, telling this is a great author, and remembered him from her studies. It has stretching exercises for all sports, and even for sitting at PC and browsing the net.

On Saturday night, I learned quickly the movements for "before running" - and I was surprised there is a different series recommended for "after running".

La Cathedrale de Blois
Yesterday, we hit the road, and our first quick stop for in Blois, for the Sunday evening (and Monday 15th combined) service. As we were about 15 min early, and lady asked me to do one of the readings, so I choose the first reading. That was ultimate fun, in this full church, in French. I used a lot of my recently acquired higher self esteem, so this healthy lifestyle has benefits all across my life.

Le Camping de Blere
We wanted to stay in the camping of Amboise, which is on an island in the river Loire, facing the a famous castle of the French Kings. It's a 400 place, but was full - I guess at least 1500 people there. Unbelievable. The receptionist directed us to Blere, only 5km away. It was already close, too, but fortunately they opened the gate for us. We had to set up tent in the rain and dark, and we were so happy we bought this excellent VauDe tent. It was up in 3 min, and despite the rain, dry inside. Before going to sleep, to squeeze in my 10 min daily exercise, we made a walk in the village. It was a bit dark, a bit wet, a bit late, but in the end we enjoyed the walk so much that we stay for an hour.

Today is Monday, 15th August, a bank holiday in France. I am sitting on a bench, facing the river.
I brought my laptop with me, and bought a mobile internet sim card, so I can update my trackers, and blog occasionally. I also took my small travel scale with me, so I can measure my weight. I also bought chargers for the car, so I can charge my phone for running (music and GPS with endomondo), and also power for the laptop. In fact, I enjoy even more exercise now, during the holidays, as there is time freely to get moving, and the people around us are also into swimming, running, biking, and all sorts of outdoor activities.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGTIGER 8/23/2011 4:26PM

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. Seems like a really great place to visit. You have been able to do a lot of traveling. How wonderful!

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SPARKCHANTAL 8/21/2011 3:17PM

    fun seeing the area i used to live in as a kid!
thx for these pics

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MINDY502 8/21/2011 8:34AM

    Love the pictures especially of that beautiful church a feast for the eyes. Sounds like you are doing so great even on a vacation! You are such an inspiration to us all and I know you will keep accomplishing your goals!

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    Wow! You did the first reading in French.

I am glad that your healthy lifestyle improved your self esteem. I have to work on it. It reminds of something I read from Jillian Michaels : "When you're strong physically, you're strong in every factor of your life."

I am happy to see that you enjoy your vacation. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/20/2011 7:03:11 PM

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Running again - Vite-vite en France! (Summer 5% W5 D1)

Friday, August 12, 2011

After the knee pain last Wednesday I had to take off running.

It was a backlog from a mountain hiking trip to Hochlantsch, Austria, on the Saturday before, we went up to 1700m, and were almost at running-speed walking downhill for 2h30min to catch the train in Mixnitz. It was steep downwards, and many blogs mentioned that this downhill trip is heavy on the knees for casual hikers. My friend told me that it took him 2 years of hiking to get his knees used to downhill.

The pain went away a few days ago, but I still feel my knees when walking downhill or down the steps.

We applied some Kinesiotape around my knee, which covers the joint with an Y shape from both up and down in front, and an Y shape down from the back. I can understand why, but it really helps a lot.

So, today, I did again 10K running, with moderate speed of 7 min/km, on flat surface. We were running together with my girlfriend, which is a great feeling to do exercise together. We explored the surroundings of this small town South from Paris. The temperature was 20C, the Moon shining, now wind - perfect conditions.

Strangely, I feel like I did no exercise, it was like a small warming up.
My knees are feeling ok, but I see I need to keep it gentle.

I am in France for 2 weeks now for holidays. Yesterday, we did a 10K walk in the forest of Orléans, such a beautiful place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKCHANTAL 8/16/2011 4:56PM

    hey, we lived in orléans back in 1967! you're too late for the jean d'arc festivities, though. they're in may

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DINGALLSTOO 8/16/2011 9:57AM

    Someday I will go to France and visit my exchange student. Enjoy your holiday.

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ON2GOALS 8/16/2011 9:53AM

    Great! Glad your knee is doing better. Yeah, you want a lifetime of running, so it's wise to treat those knees well. Enjoy your time in France!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DORIS32 8/15/2011 10:35AM

    Glad your back at it. Take care of yourself!

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LAURIE9404 8/14/2011 8:45PM

    So great to be able to run with your girlfriend! Hope you're enjoying the time together. You definitely need to take it easy on those knees so no real damage happens.

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NOILEDNWAD 8/13/2011 12:22PM

    Smart to give your knees a break after that big hike! Enjoy your Holiday!

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LIVIN4LISH 8/12/2011 10:45PM

    Great! You're right, nothing like exercising with your significant other! Good for you, but be careful with those knees!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 8/12/2011 10:42PM

    Glad your knee is better! How exciting - vacationing in France! Have a wonderful time!

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KKINNEA 8/12/2011 9:04PM

    Wondered where you had gone off to, sounds like you and your girlfriend are having a great time! Keep being gentle on the knees and they'll treat you right.

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Difficult downhills

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I still feel incredibly hungry all day long. Maybe the short sleeps, or the increased exercise, or thirstiness due to the heat. Today I managed to stop at the upper limit of my calorie budget, but it is so difficult.

I've eaten tons of vegetables and fruits, to eat things with lower calorie content, but still have volume in my stomach. This helps, but I'm still hungry.

My run today was more difficult than usual. My left knee hurts a bit, I think because of the downhill yesterday. I tried to step softly, but probably it was not gentle enough. Going up to the look-out tower was a 7K uphill, but then, it is downhill. Usually, the downhills are more difficult for me. To go up, I gained already enough stamina, but downhill is about the joints. I only "fast walked", but still, it was long. Maybe this is the leftover from Saturday, we when we came down from Hochlantsch 1700m to 450m to Mixnitz in 2h30.

I ran again in the dark, and it started to rain for the last 4K.
I took this photo in the weekend at the same place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGTIGER 8/6/2011 9:34AM

    Are you getting enough protein so that you don't feel so hungry? Look for some low cal protein to put into your diet. I think beans are pretty good for that and there are a lot to choose from, black bean, pinto beans, navy beans, ...... I hope the hunger lessens soon. I do hope you have changed the number of calories needed for the extra running you are doing. Just as a car needs gas to run, your body needs enough calories to move!You are doing a lot of moving so you need more calories than most of us.

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MARYCHERRY92 8/4/2011 3:14PM

    I had that hunger problem too, after changing my diet. I solved it with the help of whole grain bread. Do you know Delba bread? It's a German thing, but I think you can get it in Austria too (Spar maybe?). They sell a box containing 10 50g packets of whole grain bread in five different varieties, each about 85 kcal. I used to wake up at night because I was so hungry, but now when I have one of those for dinner, I feel just fine. Maybe you could try that too?

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DORIS32 8/4/2011 11:47AM

    have you taken into account your increased amount of exercise to make sure you are eating as much as you should be?

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    You're lucky to have such beautiful places surrounding you where you can run.

Lack of sleep can make you hungry. http://www.health.com/health/condit

Also, you may feel hungry when in fact you're dehydrated.

I know that when I eat good fats, they make feel replete. I like avocados, nuts, flaxseed oil, salmon. Of course avocados and nuts are high on calories, but when I eat them, I don't eat as much, so it must compensate.

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TYKXBOY 8/3/2011 7:18PM

    Slight downhills are nice. Steep downhills are knee-busters!

My dad once thought that sprinting downhill was a great speed workout. I let him know that the better part of the workout for building speed and strength was the uphill part. Maybe if I had set him straight sooner he wouldn't have ended up with a knee injury. Too much downhill sprinting! Makes my knees hurt just thinking about it!

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SPBETTERWAY 8/3/2011 6:50PM

    Wow! What a challenge - running and being hungry.
You are made of tough stuff! emoticon

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KKINNEA 8/3/2011 6:32PM

    I think downhills are tough on the legs - I try to think strong thoughts to my quads to ensure they're doing their job.

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Stars above me

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Yesterday and today, I ran again 10K.

It feels more and more easy.

Again, I was running at night.
The warm summer night here is beautiful, the stars above me. I ran to the lookout tower we discovered on Saturday. I ran up to the top, and watched the lights in the countryside. It's really nice.

Instead of music, I listened to an audiobook. Due to this, and because it was 7K uphill, my speed dropped to 7 min/km. Yesterday, with music, on a more or less horizontal surface, it was near 5 min/km.

Yesterday, I also bought a Nike Dri-Fit running T-shirt. I enjoy it so much. It dries very fast, and feels good in general on my body.
But, the best thing that it has a minuscule zip-pocket for the keys, on the side over the hips. Wow, such a revelation. I just realized how uncomfortable were the keys in my neck, or in my pocket, always making a noise. This is a small thing, but such a big difference in comfort.

My eating now is full of fruits and veggies, and very well balanced in protein-fat-carbs.
My current struggle is to keep my calorie budget, these days I tend to eat more with 4-500 kcal, every day. I am just so hungry, probably because of all the happenings in my life, short sleeps, and increased exercise.

Anyway, I record everything in the food tracker, even if I'm over the range.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMICHA 8/4/2011 6:22AM

    That is a beautiful picture! it radiates peacefulness. Great job on the running . . . and yes, the little packet is a small thing, but oh so important! Comfort is everything when running, and a constant jingle of keys would drive me nuts!!! Keep up the great routine!

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PEGTIGER 8/4/2011 6:07AM

    Beautiful picture. You have really become a runner. That does burn the calories. Are you sure you are going over? Have you changed the needed calories for all of the running you do? I am amazed at someone being able to run so much every day. Most runners I know only run 3 or 4 times a week.

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NTSOHLTHNT 8/3/2011 7:04PM

    You are doing great. Your blogs are very inspiring to me. Thank you!

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ON2GOALS 8/3/2011 12:30PM

    Great! Glad you are enjoying your new Nike shirt - those tech garments can make a big difference, especially with the distance runs you are doing.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/3/2011 12:32:03 PM

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KKINNEA 8/2/2011 11:45PM

    Have you re-checked your calorie range? You may be able to up it some because of your daily 10ks.

Sounds like you're doing great with your running!I love integrated pockets in clothing - it really does make it easier to tote keys and cash for Gatorade!

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MINDY502 8/2/2011 8:57PM

    Awesome is all i can say. I imagine there is something about running at nite and having the sky lie before you. Whether or not you are staying in your calorie range you are accounting for it. Keep up the great work. Have a great week!

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MISSLORI5 8/2/2011 7:59PM

    Man, Oliver, you are pushing it! This is SO awesome! You are really putting us putters to shame! But I think I'll keep on walking-it hurts less when you fall down like I do on a somewhat regular basis! Have a great night-enjoy those freggies and don't forget the water! emoticon

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