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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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

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?

what’s your morning routine?

Roll over and sleep until you’re too late for work.

 

Nah, that’s not me but to be honest I’m always too late, especially in the morning.

 

Lately I became obsessed with time efficiency,lifehacks, anything that could save me some time in the morning. Every time I read articles about morning routine I think I should wake up at 4 am to meditate, run, do yoga, prepare green smoothie and cherish the sunrise.

The thing I find the most upsetting is the claim some people make: I wake up so early because I’d like to have time for myself before the day starts.

Which doesn’t mean all those people live their lives in service of others, it just means they don’t have time for themselves or they think they don’t. I get it, time before work is the time when I have energy and focus to do something for myself but is it right to do so?

 

My focus and self-concentration should be limited to the lonely hours at the break of dawn? Only in solitude can we find our true self?

 

I’m really quite self-concentrated person but somehow it gets me that only the time I spent by myself is considered ‘me-time’. That solitude has gained this supreme value.

 

I guess a yoga class is me time and although I won’t make the conversation with others I still feel their presence is essential to me.

 

Time on my own is often hectic while time with others have different rhythm. I like being on my own but I don’t believe that once you’re in the world you loose yourself. You let yourself to do so but it’s you, not the others that make this happen.

Book review: eat sweat play

I took a liking to non fiction only recently and it was because  of the running related books.

 

I heard about “Eat sweat play” few times from a non running women and admittedly I snobbed it. Because reasons.

 

Well I thought that’s the book about how sports can be fun written for women who don’t like sports. So I never thought of reading it. Months later I read an extract from the book and it wasn’t actually bad. I bought the book and it was one of the more interesting books I read in the last months.

 

What is it about?

 

Women and their relationship with sports. Amateurs or professionals we all have to face the same problems.

Everyday women often think that sport is for men or that they won’t like it (after almost always horrible school experience) or, even if they finally get into physical activity, they still feel bad that they won’t be feminine enough while sweating.

Professional athletes have to face the femininity issue plus the amenorrea or how the period affect their performance. This last issue is still not addressed by the coaches if not by advising a pill to suppres period. Can you believe that Paula Radcliffe has to think about it? Well, we all do.

 

New things I learnt, new things I remember.

Apart from the chapter about period and athletes I will remember that even if you’re a pro it still counts if you’re pretty or not (in the eyes of media and public). When Venus Williams was winning all there was to win it was ….. Who was signing all the major sponsorship contracts. Venus was called names because she was considered masculine.

 

Who is it for?

Honestly: for everyone. At least for every woman. I thought it would be only for women who are reluctant to move but..I was really pleasantly surprised.
More books like this! Go and read it!

A life of a morning runner

I’ve never been a morning runner, rather a ‘before lunch’ type of runner. That’s my thing and in ideal world that’s what I would always do: sleep (not too much, just the right amount), have breakfast and 1 to 2 hours later I’d go for a run.

I still do it on Sundays. Ah, Sundays.

Now I have to squeeze my runs in the morning before I go to work. I still consider myself quite lucky as I start at 9.30 am and i have to go out at 8.45am. And I don’t have kids.

I can plan my workout as I want to.

 

On my running day my alarm sets off at 6am.

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I fight with the feeling ‘fuck it I want to sleep’ for a few seconds and then I dash to the kitchen and I light fire under moka. Then I dress (I have to say that preparing everything the evening before helps a lot). Coffee is ready and I sip it careful not to burn my tongue and I chew on a date or two or on few almonds.

I learnt to do few things in advance or in contemporary so I don’t waste time. Like putting my garmin outside before putting on shoes. None of this would be possible without caffeine.

I go out and I run (writing it is much easier than actually doing it but #Irollwithit), sometimes I win sometimes I just have to be glad that I got out. Sometimes fresh air wipe my brain off the bad thoughts and sometimes it brings out all the things I wish I’d said but I didn’t.

Once I’m done I go back and I drink a big mug of water&lemon, I put my running clothes in the washing machine and I take shower. Yes, I worked out this routine to save time. #efficiency

Then I have breakfast while reading the news on my phone and/or scrolling down my Insta feed. #glamlife

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As you might have guessed now none of this is epic and it doesn’t resemble a nike ad.

 

Why do it then?

 

Once it’s done you don’t have to worry how the day goes.

Sometimes you have to work late, sometimes you’re more tired in the evening or just something comes up.

Strangely it gives you energy for the day or at least for some part of it

 

You’re less hard on yourself.

I’m quite pissed when I don’t hit my optimal pace or the scheduled pace but I know that running is a blessing, managing to squeeze your run into a busy day is sometimes a miracle so why bring yourself down?

 

You feel like a badass afterwards.

I think I should make myself an according t-shirt. #lifegoals

 

Why it sucks?

 

Waking up early. I don’t know about you but I’m a solar battery and I fuel with sun. Getting up when it’s dark for me is a nightmare.

 

Going to bed early. Sometime it’s hard to explain that you have to go to sleep when people want to party/dine/watch films until dawn (when it’s dawn that you have to get up).

 

Planning. I plan a lot and sometimes I really don’t want to think about spreading my clothes out to have the ready the morning after.

 

Energy. Like I said running gives you a burst of energy for a start but there are days that it’s not enough (on the other hand it happens also on non-running days).

 

At the end of the day the choice for me is run or not to run. After work I want to do other stuff, relax, meet with other people and so on.  Sometimes I’m just exhausted and I want to lay on the sofa. It’s up to you, put running into your daily routine based on your priorities. Don’t apologize. It’s your choice. As three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae said:

“Yeah it sucks some days, but you get up and do it anyways.”

 

Make it pure, make it last

I know most people fall into 2 categories: those who make New Year’s resolutions and those who get a rash when you even mention them.

I get both sides and I’m such a smart and annoying person who will say “I don’t make resolutions, I have objectives”.

Well, not this year. Sort of. What I want to do this year is to declutter and purify.

I don’t mean decluttering my apartment (although I know it would be a great idea) but my head.

Getting rid of bad emotions and stopping the train of thoughts just for a while is so liberating yet so difficult. That’s what I’m aiming for (not stopping my thoughts those can be useful sometimes), of course it would be great to get rid of all unnecessary stuff like too much clothes or clean up diet but I’m somehow convinced it all can fall into place once your head is ready.

I’m waiting for spring, for days to become longer and light to become warmer. For now I’m just hiding under my warm hat, warm blanket holding a cup of warm (rice) milk or glass of wine. I’m not waiting in vain, I’m planning, doing, swiping the remains of the 2016 and looking out for magnolias to bloom.

I don’t know where you live but for me when magnolias are in full bloom it’s the sign of rebirth. Each year I wait for them and eventually they arrive. Nope, I don’t sleep and wait for them, that would be terribly romantic of me. I have to be dead honest with you, being romantic is something completely different than waiting for the flowers.

Keep your fingers crossed for me so I arrive safe&sound to the day magnolias will bloom.