Meridian Challenge #8

We couldn't wait to hear how James got on with cutting back on junk food, alcohol, processed foods and refined grains and combining this new diet with his daily fitness regime. 


 James's fortnight food and fitness diary:

  Week 1.

week 1 again

 Week 2.

week 2

Here are some of the ‘staples’ that I have used, cooked & relied on as part of the two week challenge:

IMG_0451 2

Reflections on the two week challenge:

Did I lose weight? 

- Well it was not the objective of the exercise & no I didn’t; and would say I didn’t need to either! But it is one of the first associations with a ‘diet’ that is either restrictive or prescriptive & is designed to move weight off the body rather than to nourish it with the right balance of food & build on the body’s strength. The overall diet recorded in the 2 weeks is pretty much standard for what we eat in our household. Breakfast is very important & 80% of the time & I’m wedded to porridge with fruit & nut butters. It starts the day as it should continue, particularly as 90% of any exercise I perform is done pre-breakfast.

- My wife cooks very healthily (big thank you) & we are lucky that many vegetables come from the garden along with soft berry fruit this time of year. Some foods I ate were ‘lightly’ processed such as tuna & one evening we had an ready meal, but it was very good one!

What did I avoid that I would normally eat?

- Some Friday’s I will treat myself to a doughnut or Danish Pastry, but to keep with the challenge, skipped this. Biscuits were also avoided, except oat biscuits.

Did I feel healthy? 

- Yes I did, but I do so most of the time, through a balanced diet. Fluid intake is water mostly & during the 2 weeks avoided alcohol, but again I would only drink maybe 2 x small bottles of beer/week.

Can we conclude anything?

- Well, I was strict, in that in a moment of crisis I may eat something like a Kit Kat, but this is once a month event. I managed to avoid any ‘junk food’ & a spoonful of nut butter put paid to any hunger pangs at odd times of the day. Note also I stayed with the normal weekly exercise routine.

Any vices? 

- Coffee is essential most days, fresh ground, home brewed.

A moderately active life style, eating a good range of fruit, veg, protein foods, such a nuts, oats & cereal fibres should lead to a healthy body. The occasional sweet treat, ready meal or other processed food will not make any long term differences. However, stray from the healthy option, with significant consumption of processed sugary & carbohydrate foods with a sedentary life style is going could lead to long term health issues. Sometimes it is appreciated that peoples weeks are sedentary & trying to find good well balanced food whilst on the move is very challenging.

It is on the move through ‘transport’ channels such as cars, trains, planes & buses, if they contribute to the day in a significant time frame, then it is very difficult to snack/graze healthily, as one is mostly presented with highly processed & refined foods that sit well in vending machines or fast food outlets. Taking jars & packs of healthy food with you is not always convenient & going through any airport, your nicely prepared shakes are removed as you pass through security!

Well done James, we really do admire your determination to stick to a challenge and continue your impressive daily fitness diary. 

Now, for our next challenge we want you to focus on stamina. We know you enjoy a good run when you're at home so we thought we would challenge you to complete a personal best for a 10km run. GOOD LUCK! 

James is our in house fitness enthusiast! He has a true passion for maintaining an active lifestyle and is one of Meridian's biggest nut butter fans.