Less plastic in my life! What I’m doing and what you can easily do

I’m convinced that my waste production is similar to a small European country. And I feel weird (read: confused and guilty) about it.

I started cutting on plastic starting from my shower.

I use a fare amount of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Fortunately some brands, usually the smaller ones, have started producing solid shampoos and conditioners. If you can’t find them on line go straight to Lush. Great quality and they last for ages! I also started using soap instead of shower gel and I find it less drying for my skin. Of course quality matters, the more natural soap the better but even the more pricey ones will last longer than an average washing gel.

This rosemary soap has a very useful string so you can hang it under the shower and grab it comfortably.   No plastic and no makeup day.

Coffee. To be honest I haven’t done an effort here because I’ve been using moka since forever but if you’re using one of those fancy machines with coffee pods I have news for you: every single one takes around 200 years to disintegrate. And coffee is simply better from moka not mentioning that ‘encapsulated’ coffee cost way more than the regular one.

100% Arabica, anyone with me? #coffeislife

Groceries: bring your own bag. I personally hate the plastic or ‘organic’ bags because they get holes just by looking at them. I try to have with me at least one of the fabric bags. You get them at almost every event if you want them or not. Get them and use them for shopping!

Buy in bulk. Of course not many supermarkets or shops offer that option but it’s worth looking for a place where you can stock on nuts, legumes, flour, detergents and so on. It cost less and it’s environmentally friendly. Weather you buy in stock or ‘in plastic’ I encourage you to keep things in your kitchen in mason jars. Plastic is damaging to the planet and it means you as well, so keep your rice, pasta, flour in something else than plastic!

from the left: venere rice, gluten free pasta, arborio rice and on top hemp seeds. In the background empty bottles I use for water.

Bring your own cup and..cutlery. This one sounds really cheap but you’ll get me if you travel a lot. When I’m at the airport I don’t always take coffee because I’m quite picky and I don’t want to get another dose of caffeine so I have my Starbucks tumbler with me. Sometimes I’ll take my favorite herbal tea with me (yes, I’m that boring) but even if I’m ordering a hot drink I don’t use another reusable cup. Coming back to plastic: I get my own fork and spoon. I wouldn’t risk it with bring a knife and I wouldn’t need to use it. Nowadays you can buy a ready to use cutlery kit online or you can make it yourself (aka: get it from your kitchen and put it in an old beauty bag or something similar)

Freedom is your own pair of chopsticks.

What I want to do in the near future

Throw away my plastic toothbrush. I don’t mind using it but it’s battery is getting worse and worse every day. I won’t get another one that will need its plastic head replaced every 2 or 3 months. I’ll probably get a non mechanical toothbrush made from recyclable material. Any suggestions?

Don’t buy cotton face pads. I use them every day in my bathroom but I found out you can buy a set of reusable bamboo pads that can be washed in the washing machine. Great invention. You ask what it has to do with plastic? Well, they always come in plastic confection. Apart from using less plastic I’m into buying less things this year.

Let me know if you’re on board with ‘less plastic’ and ‘less waste’ movement’ and what would you suggest to reduce plastic?

it’s always a detox time

September, the beginning of autumn. Every time I scroll through my Instagram feed I see that the world go on detox. Not just diet, a detox. That supposed to be cleansing after these 2 weeks period called vacation that was preceded by at least 1 month period of read-for-the-beach diet. And before that we had a spring awakening awakening cleanse because as you might have already guessed: we ate like pigs during Xmas.

Green concoction : managing your sense of guilt since..forever

People say that with climate change the seasons just disappeared. I believe it’s our culture that did that. Our year is made of periods of famine, brief feasts followed by detoxes and cleanses. All year round we should be vigilant. Calories are just waiting around every corner.

It’s rarely to hear, both men and women, to admit they ate something without any justification. “I had pizza but I’m going to the gym tomorrow” or “This must be like a thousands calories but I walked a lot today”. Food makes us guilty.

My cleanse juice of choice. Ok, it’s an image from my last race, Marathon du Médoc.

No matter how valuable you are as a person your value is primarily your looks. Looks is the first thing the world will judge you upon.. It’s a natural but it becomes toxic when it stays the main indicator of  your value.

You’d probably say it’s not true and that we value intellect and wit. If that’s true why one of the most common messages in the wellness and fitness community is self acceptance? Love yourself no matter what! You’re worthy and beautiful and even your flaws are beautiful! And you’re smart! You must love yourself no matter what the social media is trying to make you believe! If all of this is true why we’re constantly teated like children binging on sweets?

Don’t get me wrong: I love good healthy food and I feel my best when my body is well nourished with food that makes me feel good. Having said that my looks should never be a fast jump to judgment of my persona. If I loose weight it doesn’t necessary means I’m in a good place in my life but that is what people assume. If I loose weight I might be sad, stressed or ill but the first reaction is compliment. My value is not my looks so don’t try to convince me that I should fit a certain size and then if I feel bad about myself convince me again that looks doesn’t matter and I’m worthy ‘no matter what’.

Superfoods: what are they, do you need them and how to get the best ones

I have to admit: I love following new trends in food/wellness industry and I will try almost everything. Don’t judge.

Just to say I was the first to try maca when the only place where you could buy it was a local shop selling all foods from Latin America, I don’t even know where I had my first spirulina and chia seeds ‘stash’ but I know I don’t regret it and yes, I always hope the next super food will be the ultimate recipe to eternal youth, health and, the most important of all: performance.

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How I ran 100km with no serious preparation

100km, Race to the Stones on July 14th 2018.

I did it and I don’t even know how.

Ok, I know, I wasn’t in coma for 15 hours. What I mean I didn’t train properly, in the last 3 months due to inexplicable feeling of weakness I dialed back my mileage and I didn’t run more than 13 miles in single workout.

My contract wasn’t renewed so I’m jobless, I had some serious personal issues and to be honest I’m not sure where I’m going to live in the next few months. Not the best scenario to run a race where mental shape counts as much as  the physical one. I knew i wasn’t ready so I had to do some damage control before the damage would be done!

  • I realistically estimated how far I could go and in my calculations it was 60 km. Whatever would happen after that wasn’t clear but I knew I’d be able to go that distance. I thought I would walk the rest
  • I had no idea about the pace so I decided to leave my garmin at home and go for an easy pace, in my estimation I shouldn’t feel exhausted at least for the first 20 km
  • I decided to walk every uphill, some of them were quite easy to run, others were more steep. I’m not shy of hills (at least not all of them) but I was on Energy Save mode

That’s about the technical strategy, how about my mental game? I’m not very good at it and as you’ve already seen I’m quite fragile at the moment.

Very often I can’t separate my every day issues from the race and I keep on thinking about them while running. It wasn’t different this time and some of the kms flew by while I was thinking about future and, let’s be honest, about the negative stuff. After some time I was able to abandon those feeling, maybe the meditation I’ve been practicing these days is really helping (I’ll tell you about it in a different post?

The last piece of this success is ‘everyday hero factor’ as I call it (ok, I just invented it on the spot):

lot of what’s happening to you is a patchwork of what you can do and what happens to you and not all of it you can control.

Race, exceptions not included, is your piece of reality where so much more depends on you and you can make it the way you want it.

I was aiming for a lot, I got it all.

last weeks before marathon

I guess marathon training is taking its tool on me as I’m incredibly tired this week after lasts week’s training (70 km in total). I’m behaving like I would after a marathon: running less and taking some rest.

What is bothering me now are…my teeth! One of those will have to be devitalized, I just discovered that and i want to have it done before marathon. I know it’s crazy to schedule your dental care around my race calendar but I don’t want to be on painkillers on the start line.

How was my last long run that made me rest this week? Terrible. My glute was on fire, I was tired, thirsty and slow. And I stopped like a million times. I guess the marathon will go just fine. Honestly, I’m more worried about my teeth than my pace now. Ok, just a little bit more.

The marathon is in less than 3 weeks and I’ve done all I could. It wasn’t perfect but everyday life is like that. You fail but you have to go on #life #wisdom

mud, mud everywhere

On Sunday I ran and easy trail but damn it was muddy like no other I ran.

I didn’t have that much fun: muddy, foggy and cold. Strangely the distance was bearable (30km) so at least I trained the mental part of the race (remember ? the one I struggle with the most)
So each puddle of mud has a silver lining I guess.
And I have a nice colorful pair of Brooks Caldera to run trails.

Trails&co

Last week I went with my friends for a non competitive run in the countryside. It was mostly off road with some uphill parts. I wasn’t terribly fast and it was only 24 km but I ran all the hills, I drank all the hot tea at the refreshment points and I finished happy.

Today I came back even more happy on my normal running route and I realized that for some time I haven’t changed it. So next week I’m running a trail, short one and not very hilly. My legs but also my head need some change sometimes. Overall I like running now and running likes me back.

Time goes by, days are getting longer

Time goes by, days are getting longer

The positive thing about running early* in the morning is that you’re not capable of fully realizing what is going on. Well, you see the pace but you’re not blaming yourself too much for not being at your top form.

And actually I don’t really know how my training is going. Sometimes I’m too tired during the work week, sometimes I don’t care and most of the times I’m focused just at one workout at the time. I hope it doesn’t sound too miserable, I’m just trying to do me best and have some work/workout/life balance. I’m at the ‘trust your training and go with the flow’ stage.

In the meantime I’m reading ‘Alias Grace’ by Margaret Atwood and I’ve seen 5 good films
Darkest Hour
Virgin Mountain
Ladybird
The shape of water
3 billboards outside Ebbing

And a great  exhibition of James Nachtwey’s photos (the photo you see is from this event).

And that counts as something.

*by early I mean 6-6.30 am

not ready yet!

Another week flew by and I have to say I don’t feel any more prepared to the marathon than I was before. It’s going to be my 15th marathon (I think, I lost count) and I still find myself thinking: am I able to run a marathon? I guess you’re always a beginner at running because you have to reset so many times. Running after injury, running in winter, running in summer, it all makes me feel new to it.

So far I’m still struggling to get faster, those intervals ain’t getting any easier. I’d like to speed up and run a half before april’s marathon. Turin, Verona, Lago Maggiore?