Good morning, I can’t believe that it’s Monday morning again. I’m feeling quite chirpy this morning as this time next week I’ll be on annual leave. I’m counting down the hours; I need a lie-in and a break from trains. I’m also looking forward to spending a couple of days back in Wallingford.
As I’ve not done a weekend update for a couple of weeks, I thought that I’d share what I got up to during the weekend. I feel I need to add a disclaimer here; if you want to read about an action-packed weekend, this isn’t the blog for you. My weekend was mundane with a couple of not so mundane moments.
My weekend started at a reasonable time as I worked from home on Friday. Much as I miss working in Wallingford, I don’t miss the three hour journey home on a Friday afternoon. I switched off my work laptop at 15:00, put it away and was instantly able to switch into weekend mode.
Friday evening was productive but quite dull, I know I’ve said this before but I’ve no idea how people head into Birmingham for a drinking session on a Friday night. I always feel far too tired. After a spot of housework – I’ve no idea how one person can generate three loads of washing – I sat down and watched a couple of episodes of Holby City. Much as I hate feeling like I’m wasting the weekend, sometimes it’s good just to sit down and to chill out.
On Saturday, I woke up well before my weekend alarm at 05:30 and as I felt like I’d had plenty of sleep, decided to get up. I somehow managed to faff around until I needed to set off for parkrun at 07:30. Who turned up the humidity? I quickly realised that I’d worn one too many layers, luckily for me it rained for a few minutes.I encountered my first dog and owner by Little Bracebridge Pool. The owner was friendly, and the dog was well behaved. I encountered my second dog and owner near the Jamboree Stone. This dog was completely out of control. One minute it was running around the cows grazing in the park causing them to run, I had no idea cows were so speedy. The next, it was baring its teeth at me. I like dogs, but I honestly thought I was going to get bitten. The owner made no attempt to put the dog on a lead until I pulled out my phone and started recording what was happening. It’s a shame the actions of a small number of dog owners ruin Sutton Park for everyone else. Dog attacks are an almost weekly event.
I was so wound up, I decided to run to the start of parkrun. I ran my fastest mile for 12 months. Every cloud and all of that.
I reached the start area at 08:30, collected a high-viz vest and the finish tokens and then spent an enjoyable 20 minutes catching up with the regular volunteers. Although it’s a shame the same few people seem to volunteer every week, it’s also quite good as you get to know everyone. I also got to spend some time chatting to Ellen who had come along to hand out flyers for the 10k her running club organises.
Holding on to the finish tokens 🙂
[Photo: Peter Heafield]
I don’t think there were too many finish area related issues this week. The first finisher was so speedy we had only just finished setting up the finish area. I think he was a couple of minutes ahead of the next finisher, amazing. Two more speedy runners from my old running club completely bypassed the finish funnel and then demanded finish tokens.
I like to think that I was reasonably supportive in my role as finish token support 🙂
[Photo: Peter Heafield]
The results were online before midday, so I don’t think this caused too many issues. I’m not sure what can be done to make the finish look more obvious, 99.999 per cent of people seem to be able to work out where to go!
I’ve now volunteered 10 times and I’ve decided that as my right knee can’t cope with the Sutton Park parkrun course, I’m going to do my best to volunteer 25 times before the end of the year. Next week, I’m having a go at barcode scanning. I may or may not be trying to collect more of these badges.It reminds me that I used to be
slightly obsessed with collecting badges when I was in the Brownies. Brown Owl used to have to remind me on an almost weekly basis that Brownies was about making friendships and not collecting badges.
The rest of my Saturday was somewhat mundane. Ellen kindly dropped me home, so I was able to watch Wolves beat Manchester City. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a poor set of penalties, even I could have saved some of them. I do love Wolves’ new away kit; I’m meant to be saving money, so I need to resist the temptation.
Once the football had finished, I’d run out of excuses, I needed to make a start on some adulting tasks. I like to think that vacuuming counts as exercise. See, I warned you that this blog wasn’t very exciting. Housework complete. I had a go at making this pasta bake recipe. I was reminded that although I’m not very good at preparing food, I’m world-class at making a mess when I’m in the kitchen.
I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the finished product looked nothing like the photo on the website. I ended up treating(?) myself to a takeaway.
Yesterday morning, I automatically woke up at 06:00 so decided to head out for a run while it was reasonably cool outside. I struggled to complete a four-mile ‘Jeffing’ session and spent the entire time wishing I was as fit as I was a year ago. I love Strava but I need to avoid overanalysing all the stats it provides. I know I was faster 12 months ago and that I ran the same four-mile route faster, I think that there needs to be some sort of ‘coming back from injury’ setting.
This blog is rapidly turning into an essay so I’ll summarise the rest of Sunday in five words; gardening, writing, reading, napping and relaxing.
And finally, I’ve got a short product review for you. I hope that you find it interesting.
Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition Bars review
Now like most bloggers, I love being sent food to review. I sometimes wish that I’d started a food rather than a running blog. So, when I received a press release with the heading – Would you like to review the most nutritionally dense organic food in the world? – I responded saying that I’d love to write a quick review.
Unfortunately, when I checked out the allergen advice I discovered that Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars are made in a factory that handles nuts, sesame seeds, milk, soya and cereal containing gluten. I quickly realised that thanks to my nut allergy, I wouldn’t be able test them out myself. Luckily, it didn’t take me too long to find a willing volunteer!
A quick introduction to Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars
As I’d not come across the Human Food brand before, I thought I’d include a bit of information about the brand here.So, why is it called Human Food?
“Human Food contains no artificial flavours or sweeteners, no added sugar, and no synthetic nutrients. It contains only organic whole-foods and whole-food extracts which have always been part of the human diet. Also, Human Food has been made specifically to support a plant-based diet, making it easy to live in a healthy, sustainable and humane way”.
Human Food describes itself as “the world’s first organic Daily Nutrition Bar made specifically to support a plant-based diet, but that’s good for anybody”.
According to the website, Human Food is a combination of 20 organic whole foods and whole food extracts, selected and balanced for optimal taste and bio-availability. Each bar contains essential nutrients that can be difficult to obtain from a plant-based diet, plus whole daily amounts of functional ingredients.
All three bars have been developed to have a smooth, non-specific, delicious taste.
The review process
I’m not in a position to provide a lot of detail here as I didn’t get to sample the three Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars myself. I’m pretty much sure that it was straightforward and went something like unwrap packaging packet, eat bar and repeat.
As, thanks to my nut allergy, I didn’t get to test the three bars myself, I’ve decided to share the feedback my friend gave to me.
The Green bar
According to the Human Food site, the Green bar has a subtle, just-detectable flavour of Spirulina. My friend said that he had never heard of Spirulina so he went away and did a spot of Googling. To be completely honest, neither had I, so I had to do the same.
To say that my friend wasn’t very keen on the green bar is probably a bit of an understatement. Apparently the green bar had a “strong liquorice taste” and was “so chewy it was quite difficult to eat”. My friend didn’t manage to finish the green bar and so awarded it 3/10, things could only get better!
The Yellow bar
According to the Human Food site, the Yellow bar has a just-noticeable spiciness from Turmeric. I know my friend isn’t a huge fan of spicy food so I hoped that the spiciness from the Turmeric really was just noticeable.
My friend loved the yellow bar and I received some incredibly positive feedback. Evidently the yellow bar “tasted great” and was “easy to chew”. I was actually asked why I’d only sent my friend one yellow bar to test, the verdict was more yellow bars please. Anyway, my friend awarded the yellow bar an impressive 9/10.
The Red bar
And finally, the red bar, which according to the Human Food site, has a slightly more fruity flavour from Goji Berries. I know my friend is a fan of Goji Berries so I was reasonably confident this bar would do well in the taste and texture tests.
I was correct; my friend enjoyed the red bar “not as much as the yellow bar as it was fruity but not quite fruity enough”. I guess you can’t please everyone. My friend awarded the red bar 8/10 and asked for more bars to review.
So thanks again to Human Food for sending me a trial box of Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars to review. I’m just sorry I wasn’t able to review the bars myself. For more information on Human Food please visit their website or check out the FAQs. Human Food organic daily nutrition bars are available from Human Food and start at £9.90 for a taster pack.
What did you get up to during the weekend? Did you run? Did you go anywhere exciting? I hope that everyone who reads this at least had a relaxing weekend.
Have you ever got really excited about trying something only to discover that you can’t actually eat it? I think I’m going to have to accept that the vast majority of healthy energy/nutrition bars will contain nuts.
**Full disclosure: I was sent a trial box of Human Food Organic Daily Nutrition bars for free in return for a review. I did not receive any payment for this review. As always, all of the slightly unprofessional looking photographs are my own. As my friend forgot to take any photographs, the photographs showing what the three bars look like are from the Human Food website **