Dublin City Marathon 2022

Deciding to run 26.2 miles continuously is an act of sheer madness to most people. This year, a record 25,000 tickets have been sold for the 1st in person Dublin City Marathon since 2019, which makes this the biggest Dublin Marathon yet. I have completed this marathon on three different occasions, so here are my top tips for making it through what could be one of the best/worst days of your life.

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3 things to watch out for going Vegan

Deciding to switch your diet is one of the hardest things to do in the long term but can also be one of the strongest levers you can pull to improve your health. I am not talking crash diets for a few weeks here just to drop a few pounds for that big night out coming up. Anyway I digress here, back to your decision to go vegan. I was vegan / plant based for a number of years, and these are my top 3 things to watch out for.

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Macro Oats

I’ve adapted this recipe from Daniel Davey’s book “Eat up and Raise your game”. I have been having this for breakfast for the last 6 or 7 months, often with little twists to freshen it up but here I will go through the basics. This breakfast takes your ordinary breakfast cereal oats to the next level of nutrition with a balanced protein, fat, carbohydrate and fiber profile for just under 300 calories. A good spend that will keep you going right up until lunchtime with steady blood glucose levels.

This recipe serves 2 but I always double it to get 4 beautiful brekkies, all ready to go with minimal work. There is no cooking here, just assembling the ingredients together and leaving them to get to know each other overnight, ready to be devoured the next morning. It could not be simpler. Let’s go!

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The Endurance Compounding Effect

Ever wonder why you go to the gym? Or why you get up early to write another few crappy pages for that book you want to publish? Or why you bother to cook a healthy meal? Or why you continue to make sales calls when you never get a response? Or wonder why the weight scales is not moving? Or maybe you do none of those things and you are fine with that?

Whichever side of the fence you find yourself, you are likely experiencing what I call the compounding effect.

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4 Bean Chipotle Chilli

When it comes to a weekly staple in my diet, look no further than this mixed bean chilli. It features on my food plan most weeks and the weeks when it’s not on there, some variation of it usually shows up.

This takes about 30 minutes all in, serves 5 and delivering a nutrient dense punch of protein and fibre for only 252 calories per portion, this one should be on your to cook list.

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How to Lose the Christmas Weight

Christmas is a tricky time for weight management, that’s for sure. It follows hot on the heels from Halloween at the end of October, which is itself often a sugar-fest. So by the time December 1st comes around, we could start compounding any weight gain experienced from Halloween. On top of that, in Ireland, the darker wintry months start to kick in around November and this can often be a trigger for many people to consume more food than is necessary, in an almost hibernating fashion.

So this year I tracked my own experience of the holiday season for Christmas 2021 and here’s what I learnt.

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How to Build a Base of Wellbeing

Tonight I’m going to discuss a concept that has helped me a lot over the last number of years. It’s a simple concept which helps you identify what builds and what destroys your health and wellbeing. It takes a little time to complete the exercise but it is well worth it. So let’s dive in.

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How to Navigate Christmas Alcohol Free

When you are starting out on the alcohol free journey, every social occasion is hard. It is a battle of will versus temptation and if you are not committed, it is likely you will cave on your promise to yourself. For a few short hours, even minutes of indulging in alcohol, the next day will be full of guilt, shame and negative self-talk which could well lead you to drink again. 

Starting out going alcohol free at Christmas time is just a bad idea, end of. You are stacking the deck in favour of failure as your mental resolve is not calloused yet and social invites are everywhere. That being said, this Christmas could be different…

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Time Alone

Time is the ultimate gift
But in a world that is so full
So loud and so fast
Time alone is often last

It is only when we stop
The volume of life
Is allowed to drop

When we strip away the noise
The everyday commitments
The responsibilities
The endless to do lists

That we make space just to be
To listen to the little voice inside
And what he has to say to me

Some call this intuition
Others call it your gut
Whatever name you want to use
It’s time to listen and muse

But too often we spend our days
Looking outward
Rushing around in a haze

That we forget to listen
To what he has to say
Until all is quiet
At the end of another busy day

Much love x

JP

900 Days Alcohol Free – But Why?

To give up alcohol for any length of time is admirable in my opinion, whether it is for 10 days, 100 days or even 1 day depending on where your relationship with alcohol is at. When I started a challenge with oneyearnobeer back in June 2019, I had reached a point of just being so fed up of the booze and the impact it was having on my life – the hangovers, the excuses, the irritability, the poor food choices, the impact on my body (beer gut, liver damage) and brain (the fog), the “fear” the following day, that awful feeling of not being in control of what you said or did on a night out and the general feeling of being dragged backwards in life instead of forwards. 

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Gut Health

Gut health is a hot topic out there right now. Since Covid-19 has made PCR testing a household phrase, it seems gut health testing might be a little easier to understand now for some. But what do we actually mean by “gut health” and how do we test it?

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This Fragile Life

Today, I attended the funeral of yet another one of my neighbors growing up. I grew up in the house right next door to this lady. She was the mum to 7 kids, which we all knew so well. There were 6 of us kids growing up so between the 2 houses, there were 13 kids running around. Unimaginable by today’s norms.

This was typical of Ireland in the 1970’s and 80’s. We had very little in the way of material possessions but we were rich in the ways that mattered – community, friendship, fun, play, family, love and connection. In fact, the very things that we, as a society today in 2021 are lacking more and more. I’m thinking about the inverse correlation between wealth and the accumulation of material possessions (houses, cars, clothes, stuff to fill your house with) and to what degree community, fun, family, love and friendship play in our modern lives – are these inversely correlated as one goes up, the other goes down? I starting to digress here so let’s get back this post….

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Contracting Covid-19

It was December 28th 2020 on a cold, wet and wintry afternoon trip to Ikea to pick up some much-anticipated online purchases. Delivery was not an option on this occasion and after spending much of Christmas house bound with restricted movements under the latest Covid-19 restrictions, I was glad of the excuse to collect some new furniture. Long queues and physical distancing were maintained outside but once inside, the usual Ikea busyness took over and it was not uncommon to bounce off people as you wandered nosily from room to room letting your imagination run wild. Interesting to note how easy it was to spot a few people that chose to not wear a mask indoors, as they now stood out from the crowd. It was an enjoyable day and the retail therapy worked, I felt good.

5 days later, I tested positive for Covid-19.

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