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That’s Better!

February 27, 2012

Hello! I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend. I headed down to Cambridge in the end and the weather was insanely good for the time of year. It’s so hard to believe that just three weeks ago we were trudging through inches of snow. Thank you for your comments on Friday’s post. I don’t often get deep and meaningful on the blog, but it’s useful to talk through thoughts and feelings with friends. It might have been the weather buoying me up, but this weekend was much better in terms of food and exercise. I felt much more in control and able to truly enjoy the treats that I indulged in, rather than feeling guilty about it.

I gathered lots of healthy snacks together to take with me, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to go too far off the rails.


When I arrived in Cambridge on Saturday I demanded that we take a walk along The Backs because I had noticed that the early spring flowers had come out. I’m afraid that my photo doesn’t do the scene justice, but it was just breath-taking and really lifted my spirits.


I have lived through 27 springs now, but I’m amazed that each time it comes around the beauty of blossoming flowers still invokes wonder. After we’d spent some time communing with nature, we headed to The Rainbow Café. The menu has changed since I last visited, so my usual Libyan Cous-Cous wasn’t available. I had real trouble choosing, but in the end I went for the Tagine L’Algerienne, which was quite similar to my previous favourite, and just as tasty.


I find it difficult to resist a slice of cake whenever I visit The Rainbow Café, but this one could be enjoyed guilt-free. The “Miracle Cake” has no added sugar and fat, and I believe that it is gluten-free (although I can’t remember properly). It was made of chestnuts, dates, walnuts and cocoa.


It wasn’t Peter’s cup of tea, but I loved it and will be trying to recreate something similar soon.

The weather was even better on Sunday – one of those days that makes being a runner completely worthwhile. I wanted to step back my mileage a little this week, so I did a nine mile loop. The sun was so strong that I ended up just in my T-shirt, without the multitude of layers that I usually wear. I also felt really good – strong and relatively speedy for me. I’ve come down with a cold today and I’ve heard that you often get a burst of energy in the days before getting cold symptoms – I think there might be something in it.

The only spanner in the works is that my Garmin has suddenly started measuring long, so it says I’m going faster than I believe I am. I have reset it, but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference. I’m getting an ego-boost from it, but it’s actually not that helpful in trying to meet my half marathon goal. Has anyone had a similar problem and got advice on how to solve it?

My fuelling for the run went much better as well. I had porridge with a banana and some almond butter three hours before. I then munched on Clif Shot Bloks on the way round and had a small handful of dried fruit and nuts when I got back. I find that long runs can really knock my appetite off-kilter – I’m either starving or not hungry at all, and both scenarios can cause me to overeat. Yesterday, apart from the fruit and nuts for immediate refuel, I decide to wait for a while to eat lunch so that I could properly gauge my hunger.

After showering, we drove to The Orchard Tea Rooms in Grantchester.


We normally walk, but it’s 3 miles each way and I was tired from my run. There was a long queue, so I ended up eating about two hours after finishing my run and I was just starting to get hungry. I had a ham and apple sandwich:


I’ve had a scone craving for a few days now, so I finally managed to scratch that itch.


The scones at the tea rooms are massive, but it was just what I needed after that run. Lunch was quite big and late, so I raided my snack supplies for dinner. This weekend reminded me that it’s possible to eat well, have treats and feel in control of food when I’m away from home. I think it will be a case of focusing on that every weekend until I’ve formed the habit.

How does exercise affect your appetite and how do you manage that?

Any advice on my Garmin problem?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2012 5:39 pm

    I found on my long runs, that I wouldn’t be that hungry when I came back so usually just settled for a protein recoevry shake and ate more later on even if I wasn’t hungry I wuld have something as often do 2 workouts in a day as training for triathlons. That scone looks lush, its my boyfriends favourite treat to have.

  2. Fifi permalink
    February 27, 2012 5:53 pm

    What a lovely weekend!

    I don’t have much to say to help you regarding your Garmin, but mine sometimes has ‘blips’ where it will struggle to find satellites at all even if I’ve waited outside for a while (which is hard to do at this time of the year!) or won’t count the calories I’ve been burning, but it usually sorts itself out after a while. If it still isn’t I’d ask on the runners world forums, or email Garmin.

  3. February 27, 2012 5:54 pm

    Oh I’m so sad to have missed the flowers along The Backs this year! I love seeing all the crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops come up, it’s the true sign of spring for me 🙂

    Your Rainbow Cafe meal looks fantastic, I know what I’m having next time I go there! Plus that dessert looks and sounds amazing, I love that there’s no added sugar, might have to try that one too…

    You’ve literally done all of my favourite springtime activities, your scones look wonderful, and I love the combination of ham and apple. I love the atmosphere at The Orchard, it’s a beautiful place 🙂

    Sounds like you’ve had a brilliant weekend and I’m glad that you’ve managed to enjoy the treats without feeling bad!

  4. February 27, 2012 6:16 pm

    Immediately after exercise I don’t think I’m actually hungry but I always eat because I feel like I should/can if that makes sense. Probably need to look at that and maybe eat something small immediately after to refuel and then wait til I truly am hungry, but I generally exercise at night so then I wouldn’t be having my tea til late….sorry I am rambling. Your weekend looks beautiful, I’ve always wanted to go to cambridge, maybe this summer I will have to go on an adventure. Those scones look absolutely divine, I love scones so so much!

  5. February 27, 2012 7:21 pm

    Wish I could help on the Garmin problem but I have no clue! That looks like a glorious weekend and I know what you mean about the magic of the spring, Glad you enjoyed your scone guilt free too! Running has always been strange with me usually leaving me with no appetite but recently its been balancing out as I’ve been running less and strangely enough I’m more ravenous now! Hope your cold is all right!

  6. February 27, 2012 7:36 pm

    Nice weekend! The weather is insane for this type of year, I’ve just got back from a long weekend in Somerset, and it was absolutely beautiful! After long runs I never feel very hungry, but it usually hits me a day or two after. This weekend we were staying in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, and I didn’t have a chance to run or workout-other than some walking and hiking-and I have definitely noticed a decrease in my appetite because of that, today I wasn’t even hungry for breakfast whereas I am usually ravenous and inhale it within minutes of waking up! It just shows how activity definitely increases your metabolism, and appetite. I have no idea about the garmin problem sorry, that’s really strange and annoying though!

  7. February 28, 2012 9:07 am

    That picture of the woods is beautiful. I love this time of year when all the early flowers start coming up.
    I am the same with eating- long runs would make me starving to a point (maybe 14 miles) then after that they totally suppressed my appetite, and I would have an energy crash (often spectacular in that I would be lying on the sofa in the afternoon)- I just made my post run lunch bigger (I would have a cereal bar and maybe chocolate milk when I got back before a shower)- as I would only fancy a piece of toast and some fruit, which is not good refuelling!
    No idea about the Garmin- do they have a helpline or something?

  8. February 28, 2012 4:19 pm

    I had a scone last week and it opened the craving floodgates!

    The weather looks gorgeous! What a nice way to spend the weekend.

  9. February 28, 2012 4:24 pm

    I hope your cold is getting better. The food at the Rainbow cafe looks lovely.

  10. March 1, 2012 9:20 pm

    Wow The Backs looks stunning! Are they crocuses? I’m loving this warm weather too. It really does lift the spirits!
    The miracle cake sounds like the perfect dessert for health nuts like us! 😉 You must have a go at recreating it and share the recipe. I’d love to try it!

  11. March 5, 2012 1:00 pm

    Looks like you had such a lovely time, Sarah! I just love scones! I have a wonderful recipe my sister found and I love it. I should come up with some excuse to make them!

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