Week 4 Update: Routine creates habit for NSD!

I am now into my fourth week of what has now gone from a low starch diet (LSD) to a virtually no starch diet (NSD) and while the meals have become somewhat repetitive I have started to form a routine or dare I say it even a habit! The Ankylosing Spondolitis is still ever present, however the symptoms are a lot more tolerable.

My current symptoms have reduced and present as follows;

  • Thoracic pain around my upper back and ribs, have to keep forcing deep breaths and this I believe is still causing the stiffness in the neck (worse looking right).
  • Pain around the hips, especially after being sat down. The pain seems to feel more tendon based than the actual joint!
  • Stiff knees again after being sat down or asleep and slightly worse on the right leg.

My typical daily NSD diet is as follows;

smoked salmonBreakfast

  • 100g Smoked Salmon (not so much bacon as before)
  • Scambled Eggs (2 Large Eggs only)
  • Herbal Tea, typically either lemon or ginger based

ChickenLunch

  • Half a cooked Chicken (Morrison’s or Tesco’s) or Tinned Tuna Fish (in Brine)
  • Salad normally consisting of Spinach, Cucumber and Celery with a splash of olive oil.

Tea

  • Chicken, Steamed Salmon, Tuna Steak or Pigs Liver (I am not so sure about the fillet steak at present!)
  • Salad again consisting of Spinach, Cucumber and Celery with a splash of olive oil or Kale, Broccoli and Cucumber.

Snacks

  • Wallnut halves
  • Dark Chocolate (75-80% Cocoa) and Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 litres of water
  • Sometimes green seedless grapes

I still take a number of supplements which include (Glucosamine, Oregano, Magnesium and Vitamin D3), together with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).

My weight has now dropped to 12st 1lb (lowest in over 15 years) and I expect this to drop below 11 stone in the near future, however I think (hoping) this is starting to level out.

I did start to add Galia Melon  for breakfast this week however last night I seemed to be in flare again so today have dropped the melon, hopefully things will settle again!!! Interestingly this is what I had with my Greek Yogurt last week so there may still be hope for the yogurt yet… fingers crossed.

Exercise has also been key to helping reduce the symptoms, however I still don’t stretch enough and I somehow need to add this to my routine.

Swimtags
SwimTag, Simple!

The swimming has become a little addictive, especially using the SwimTag bands they have at Selby Leisure Centre which tracks your distance, lengths, time and stroke rate and also syncs with Strava. I am typically swimming between 800-1600 metres front crawl per session and keep pushing my PB’s! Some mornings it takes me a little longer to get my arms moving especially after my one hour commute to Selby.

pinarello
Great to be back on bike but still suffering with stiff neck!!

I am also pleased to be back out on the bike again with some respectable rides over the last couple of weeks, just have to watch my neck as my shoulders tense up holding my head still. I am also back on Zwift (Cycling Online with Turbo Trainer), especially as the winter months approach. My blog on Zwift coming soon!

I just need to stretch more!!!!

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints in your spine. Spondylitis simply means inflammation of the spine. As part of the body’s reaction to inflammation, calcium is laid down where the ligaments attach to the bones that make up the spine (vertebrae). This reduces the flexibility of your back and causes new bone to grow at the sides of the vertebrae. Eventually the individual bones of the spine may link up (fuse). This is called ankylosis and can be seen on x-rays and is often referred to as ‘Bamboo Back’!

Week 3 Update: Greek Yogurt is a No!

Now into the middle of the third week on my low starch diet (LSD) to manage my Ankylosing Spondolitis and things have been going reasonably well. When I say well what I mean is that my joints have eased up and while my neck is still stiff it is somewhat more bearable, until yesterday that is.

I decided to see if I could add Greek yogurt to my diet as something to add to my breakfast menu, all seemed OK up until about 4pm when I started to get some stomach cramps. That evening my back had become a noticeably stiffer! Later in the evening in bed was the first time my sleep had become broken in almost a week and both my upper back, neck and knees were giving me hell! I hate this f$%*ing disease, its so energy sapping when your symptoms are flaring!!scream

So back to the base diet again and I will now look to introduce some new foods in a couple of weeks when things have settled, although somewhat gutted that I can’t have yogurt.

dark_chocolateThe one treat that I am enjoying with no issues is dark chocolate (80%+ Coco) dipped into Coconut Oil, just like a Bounty Bar and stops me from going mad and kills a few cravings!!!

I have managed to get out on my push bike a few times now and have been pleased with the overall progress. I have also joined the gym at Selby Leisure Centre and when working out of my local office try and get a swim in first thing.

The one thing that seems to be taking a while to shift is the pain around my ribs where they join my spine, this I am sure is what is causing most of my neck stiffness.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints in your spine. Spondylitis simply means inflammation of the spine. As part of the body’s reaction to inflammation, calcium is laid down where the ligaments attach to the bones that make up the spine (vertebrae). This reduces the flexibility of your back and causes new bone to grow at the sides of the vertebrae. Eventually the individual bones of the spine may link up (fuse). This is called ankylosis and can be seen on x-rays and is often referred to as ‘Bamboo Back’!

Starting from zero, never mind the back pain!!

Well it has been a while since I posted anything on here and this is mainly due to the fact that once I completed the C2C in 1D, I pretty much decided to take a short break from cycling to not only recover but get stuck into my new company. I did not expect that short break to extend to six months and boy can you tell it has been a while since turning the pedals (bar a few small rides at the end of the summer) and I have also developed chronic back pain.

So it is bad enough I having lost most of my fitness, but I have also developed some chronic muscular back pain/spasms* that are driving me up the wall! Initially I thought it was my new car which I chnaged and then the bed/mattress; which is now version 6.1 (the 0.1 being a memory foam topper). All of this and the problem is still not subsiding so I have decided to try and get back on my bike regardless and start to build some fitness back and see if that can yield some results! So come the first day of 2016 I packed in the beer, set up the turbo in the conservatory and made sure everything was set for the first session on the 2nd Jan (today I still had a hangover from hell!).

The first session was a gentle spin for 30 minutes, with no real resistance while watching some of YouTube’s finest. I can’t for the hell of me find my HRM sensor which is bugging me because I wanted to get a real feel for where I am starting from.

Anyway the first session done and I will look to continue for the first week or so in the same vain.

*The spasms are worst in the morning where it feels like rigamortis has set in and you cant move, this emanates from the upper middle back (between the shoulder blades) and into the neck and lower back. It gets easier as the day goes on but dread the next morning!!!

Update: I now know this to be Ankylosing Spondolitis following my diagnosis in September 2016.

Cycling in Amsterdam

This week I travelled to Amsterdam on business and given the fact this is one place where cycling is part of the cities DNA I decided to use the bike as my mode of transport (where possible) for the week.

amsterdam_cyclingfiets = bicycle, bike, pushbike, cycle

I did a little research into cycling in Amsterdam and what to expect, where to hire a bike and the general dos and don’t s! The main points I took from this is; Continue reading Cycling in Amsterdam

Trying out the track at Quibell Park Velodrome

The more that my lad has got out on his BMX bike for some longer rides, the more he wants to get on and try a racing bike.

After speaking with Stephen Cannings who runs the track sessions down at Quibell Park Velodrome for the Lincsquad Youth Academy, we decided to go down and let him have a go! Continue reading Trying out the track at Quibell Park Velodrome

Yorkshire Wolds 160 Mile Cycle Ride

I decided in the week it was time to do a ‘big ride’ and speaking with my old pal Alwyn Jones we picked the ‘Big G’  sportive route to do on top of our cycle over there (Alwyn had done this route a couple of times already). Continue reading Yorkshire Wolds 160 Mile Cycle Ride

Is Strava changing the way we ride our bikes?

StravaIf you train with a GPS then you will no doubt be aware of Strava and the way it has quite simply changing the way we cycle.

sträva is a Swedish word meaning to “strive for” or “aspire to”

The simplicity of being able to upload/record your rides and then compare against your friends and other riders on a particular segment or climb is amazing. For some the lure of achieving a KOM has become an addiction. For the uninitiated, KOM is short for “king of the mountain.” It’s a term borrowed from the Tour de France and it means you have the top time on one of Strava’s millions of segments; those lactic leg burner hills or pure out and out sprints that Strava users have created. Continue reading Is Strava changing the way we ride our bikes?

My personal cycling blog which also details my recent diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondolitis and how I am trying to manage it!!!!!