Q & A
If you have a question, feel free to email me at sweet(underscore)tooth(underscore)email@example.com, OR you can ask me anonymously (or not if you prefer!) on Formspring and I’ll do my best to answer it for you! I love hearing from you!
Why are you ‘mainly vegan’, and what does that mean?
I have been a vegetarian since I was quite young- I’ve never liked the thought of eating animals. As I became older and learned more about animal rights, the dairy industry, etc., I began leaning more towards a vegan lifestyle. Now, I no longer consume dairy, eggs and eat 99% vegan foods. However, I have no problem with honey, or with products that contain traces of dairy, etc. Diet is such an individual thing, and this is what works and is right for me.
Why do you choose to eat healthily?
I think everyone’s definition of ‘healthy’ is slightly different! I enjoy eating ‘healthy’ foods most of the time, because it makes me feel good, and they taste delish too! I believe firmly that chocolate is a health food. It’s good for the soul
Do you use tofu? If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it?
I love tofu! I use it pretty regularly too, in stir fries, in salads, etc. It depends on how you like it, and I vary it a lot, but my favourite way is crispy! So I usually prepare it the way Emily does- check out her Tofu Tutorial for details! Caitlin also has a great tutoral for baked tofu. I actually have scrambled tofu every Saturday for lunch (variation is overrated! ) and my recipe can be found here.
Hi Emma! I love your blog! Your really helping me overcome my ED ways! Just a question on fat…how much are you supposed to have? You seem to have quite a high-fat diet if you don’t mind me saying. Is that the right amount? Fat is a bit of a fear food…
Aww thanks friend!! There isn’t a ‘right’ amount to be honest- I’ve heard all sorts of figures before! How much fat you are ‘supposed’ to have depends on YOU, but I believe in the wisdomness of Paula Radcliffe and in her book she recommends a diet of 35% fat. Sports nutritionists also recommend around that figure, so that’s what I shoot for! Yes, my diet is pretty high-fat, but that works for me! ‘Healthy’ fats like those found in nuts and avocados are GOOD for you, and have great appearance benefits too! LOVE your fats girl, don’t fear them!!
what are your thoughts on ‘intuitive eating’?
Oooh this is an interesting one!! Personally, I don’t really believe in ‘intuitive eating’. Shoot me now! Sure, when I’m hungry, I eat, and obviously I believe that’s right. HOWEVER, especially as an active person, I’m not always hungry, but I still have to eat! For example, I’m never hungry right when I wake up for early morning spin, but I know I have to eat my First Breakfast to fuel me! Ditto after runs/workouts! I’m never hungry right after, but I know I NEED to refuel! I do listen to my body normally, and feed it when it wants, but sometimes it needs the fuel regardless of whether I feel like it! But hey, I like my food, so I don’t mind!
you dont have to be exact but Im just wondering how many calories roughly you aim for each day with all your exercise and such!! love your blog so much x
THANKS!! I don’t actually aim for calories, or do anything by calories really! I just eat what I want to be perfectly honest, which tends to be around 2500- 3000 calories a day from what I’ve calculated with a nutritionist on past occasions. That works for me!
Do you think other bloggers eat enough? Do their eating habits affect yours?
Honestly? From what I see on certain blogs (and I know you never see everything!!) I don’t think many other bloggers eat enough, especially in relation to the amount of exercise they do! BUT like I said, you never REALLY know how much others are eating cos no-one posts everything and anyway, how much they eat is their choice, and I shouldn’t judge them for it. Certain blogs did start to have a negative impact on my food choices though (i.e. made me feel like I was eating too much!) so I stopped reading those blogs, simple!
How do you make sure that you eat enough to not lose weight with the exercise that you do?
Easy! I eat lots, and lots of high-calorie foods. I eat before and after every workout, lots during the day, and big meals. High calorie foods are important, which is good cos I LOVE them!! Nut butters, nuts and dried fruit are just a few of my fave energy-dense foods that I have multiple servings of every day! This works well for me, especially on long-run days when I tend not to be as hungry, but need those cals!
do you plan your meals and snacks?
Nope! I find that too restrictive for ME- how do I know when I’m going to be hungry, or what I’m gonna be craving? Unless I HAVE to plan meals ahead, like if I know I’m going to be out all day and have to pack food, then I usually don’t. The other exception is pre-and-post workouts, when I have my usual foods (PB+banana sandwich before, chocolate milk and oatmeal or something after, etc.). Other than that, I just roll with how I feel!
How did you get into running?
I used to hate running. Seriously. In school when we were forced to run 800m or 1500m, I would die. I even considered bunking rather than having to embarrass myself! However in summer 2010, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was also around this time that I discovered the healthy living blogworld, which gave me the idea of doing a run to raise money and awareness. I ran Cancer Research’s Run 10k in October, and haven’t looked back since! You can read more about that here.
What would you do if you couldn’t run?
Die? No, kidding, but I try not to think about that!!
When I started running, I also began exercising in other ways too, as I realised exercise is fun! Although running is my passion, I love other forms of exercise too, such as spinning, yoga and strength training (BODYPUMP!) to name a few, so I guess if I did have to stop for a while, then I would focus more on these other means of exercise!
I want to start running but don’t know how to go about it. How did you start?
Yaay!! Okay, well I started in the way quite a few people start: the Couch To 5k program! You can see that here. Basically, it’s the idea of running for a minute or so, then walking for a couple of mins, and repeat that. Then gradually you build up your running time, and decrease your walking time and before you know it you can run for AGES, no problemo! And don’t forget to get fitted for running shoes- very important!! It’s not easy starting out, and it can feel uncomfortable and awkward and HARD, but stick with it!!
What is your exercise routine?
I don’t really have a routine! I typically run 4-5 days a week, strength train and have at least 1 rest day. You can see my daily workouts on my Dailymile account here: http://www.dailymile.com/people/SweetToothRunnr
Do you ever feel that you may workout too much?
No. I take at LEAST one rest day a week, and if I feel tired or like my body needs a break, then I’m not bothered and I’ll just chillax! I LOVE working out which is why I do it (endorphin addiction…!) and I truly believe that if exercise had no effect on my body AT ALL then I would still do it!!
Do you work your abs a lot? you have such a lovely flat stomach! just wondering how you get that.
Haha definitely not that much!! BodyPump (which I go to twice a week usually) has an abs track, and I do yoga which works the core. Sometimes I’ll do a few planks or whatever at the gym, but basically I don’t do a lot of abs stuff. Only for a few mins about 3 times a week as part of that stuff. Having a flat stomach isn’t really to do with the abs though, more to do with your diet, etc. Once you find that happy balance in your diet, you’ll see results
how active are you in the day? Like, apart from your workout?
I don’t really know comparitively! Apart from exercise, I walk a lot and tend to bounce around everywhere (all that sugar! ) so fairly active I guess!
how do you exercise before school and stuff? how early do you wake up?
I don’t always workout before school- it depends on the day. Anywhere between 5am and 6am usually depending on the day/workout. For example, my early morning spin class is at 6.45am, so I have to be up at 5.45am to be there on time. Getting up that early definitely isn’t easy for me, but sleeping in my workout clothes and having Breakfast #1 ready and waiting helps!
hey emma! love your blog! Was wonderin if u could elaborate more on ur weekly exercise- i saw you had run and spin and such- but can you tell us like wat kinds of runs you do each week n how many miles roughly? just like what a typical weekly mileage is
Hi! Thanks!! Well as I write this, I am currently injured with shin splints (because of overpronation+pavement pounding), so my mileage is very very minimal! Normally though, it depends on what I’m training for. Recently, around 30 miles a week.
Do you struggle with rest days? Do you think that you eat less on them?
I definitely used to struggle with them mentally, exercise guilt-wise! But now not at all usually! Okay, so if it’s a gorgeous sunny day or something, then yes I will want to run out there, but I know my body NEEDS the rest, so I roll with it! And no I don’t think I eat any less on rest days! In fact, usually more cos I use the running/workout time for baking instead, and basically eat a ton of cookie dough every time!
You always seem super happy! What keeps you so smiley?
Aww thanks!! I LOVE life really!! I guess love (from God, family and friends, etc), endorphins and sugar probably play the biggest part!
What is your height+weight?
I am 5’7 or 8 ish…? I won’t write how much I weigh, for a number of fairly obvious reasons (comparisons, etc.), but I will say that I am at a HEALTHY weight, and have successfully maintained roughly this weight for quite a while! I will also say though that I don’t weigh myself regularly at all. Once every few months perhaps to check I’m still around the same weight, but not regularly or often- I just prefer it that way!
I’ve noticed you use a lot of ‘Americanisms’, like ‘oatmeal’ or ‘awesome’. Why is this?
I am actually half American! My dad and his side of the family are all American, and I also lived there for while, so picked up a few wordies and a slight accent from that.
How old are you?
I’m 18 next year. I am going to celebrate by running 18 miles whilst eating 18 squares of chocolate followed by 18 cookie dough balls. Can’t wait!
Are you at university or in high school? Just wondering because you seem to live at home? or maybe not- im not sure!
I’m still livin’ it up in ‘high school’! It’s a riot.
What are your school hours like?
Long! The usual 8.30-3.30 sort of thing (it varies).
do you know what you want to study at Uni? or what you want to be when you’re older?
I’m thinking of studying Sports Science at the moment, although I’m not set on that yet! Anatomy and physiology, psychology, nutrition and bio-mechanics are core modules on all courses, and that TOTALLY sounds like my kinda thing!! I’d hopefully then go on to do a doctorate, and my current dream is to become a sports physiotherapist/nutritionist or something like that
What started you on your journey to healthy eating?
Blogs did! I came across Oh She Glows first, and then found others which influenced me. I’ve adapted now to a way of eating that suits ME
I read a few posts that said you were doing 80-90 minutes of cardio a day. Wow, that seems like a lot all the time – how do you fit it in with going to school and life, family times, friends, etc?
How much I do depends on the day and situation, and it’s hard to find a balance sometimes, but finding a routine and having a plan helps! Prioritising too- I’ll never skip out on class or miss quality time with family and friends for workouts! Morning workouts are GREAT because they’re over with straight away :)
Hi, Emma; I’m a great fan of yours, and I just had a question. I am recently trying to stop counting calories and practice intuitive eating. I count just to make sure I’m eating enough for my activity level (like, A LOT). What are your thoughts about it?
Firstly, thanks!! I understand actually- about once every few months or so I count for a day to check I’m eating enough too, as advised by my doctor. Counting now and again on a typical day should give you a good indication of how much you get normally. Anyway, the idea of ‘intuitive eating’ should ensure you get enough anyway, because if you’re listening to yourself properly, you’ll (hypothetically!) be eating the right amount. Hope that helps!
How did you know how much food and calories you needed for your body?
Personally, I feel it when I’m not eating enough. My energy goes, my workouts suffer, I am hungry more (and I get hungry normally a LOT, so that’s saying something! ) and it affects my mood too. When I started eating the RIGHT amount, I really noticed the difference! If you need any advice specific to YOU and simply listening to yourself isn’t working out, you should consider seeing a doctor or nutritionist who can help :)
do you always eat when your hungry- or do u find you have to eat sometimes when ur not hungry jsut becuz u burn a lot?
I usually only eat when I’m hungry, which is quite a lot! I’ve found that my activity level matches my hunger…what I mean is that the more exercise I do, the hungrier I get normally, so I eat more and it all balances out! The only time I do eat when I’m not hungry sometimes is straight after a workout for recovery. I’m not usually hungry straight after, but I know my muscles need it.
Why did you start blogging?
Firstly, I love and always have loved writing, and this is a great way to express that! After reading and being inspired by so many blogs, I decided to start my own! I want to make a positive difference to people’s lives, just as other blogs have to mine! I totally love blogging now, and can’t imagine life without blogs! You are all such inspirations to me, and you guys are all SUCH great friends!!
How did you find your ‘balance’ (e.g. with exercise, food, etc.)?
Like I said before, it’s a very individual thing! What is enough exercise for one person would be too much/too little for another, and the same goes with food. When it came down to it, the balance for me was purely what felt right. When I exercised too much, my body definitely felt it, and I felt sluggish when I exercised too little. I find it’s all about listening to myself as much as possible, and just going with how I feel!
Why are you living in England? like what made you come here?
I’ve pretty much always lived in England! My fam are from other places, but I was born in London and have lived here for most of my life.
hello emma! do you ever find urself gettn tired during da days esp with workouts? i eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks n i workout 6 days a week. but i think i eat enuf cals for sure but i get tired! is dis hav to do wit my eating? hav u felt this way before?
Hi! No personally I don’t normally find this, unless there’s an obvious reason for it, like lack of sleep or something. I obviously am not an expert or anything, and you should consider seeing a doctor, but I used to get really tired because I was anaemic, and didn’t know. If you’re sure it’s nothing to do with diet, it could be overtraining? Like too many hard workouts? Obviously, I don’t know, but those were the first things that came to mind and things I watch out for in myself. Hope that helped a bit, and you can email me if you need any advice, but I really recommend you see a doctor! When I did for the same reason, that is when I found out I was anaemic (I’m not any more though!).
How will you manage your vegan diet on holiday? Also will you still exercise on holiday?
If you read this post, you can see how I managed for a few days on holiday in Germany. Basically, I take a lot of food with me, buy as much fresh produce there as I can to eat, and just eat whatever is vegan that I can! Definitely bringing your own stuff, especially if you’re going to a place which isn’t so vegan/vegetarian friendly (like many parts of Europe!) is a really good idea! And for my sanity’s sake if nothing else, yes I do try to exercise on holiday! BUT I don’t worry about it, and obviously doing ‘holiday stuff’ and spending time with family/friends is WAY more important, so if I don’t get in exercise, that’s okay too!
Hope that answered your questions! If you have more you can email, comment or Formspring me