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June 22, 2016

I have been supported by Tim and Chia Charge for a good year or so now and his products are not only natural and delicious they are super for general snacking as well as providing energy for endurance sports or even fuelling those high intensity sessions.

I found them a great help in fuelling my training for Triathlon, however I am now the participant in a challenge travelling 1800km across Europe

There is a saying of failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Well actually I agree with this and with the Me Mover European challenge now only 2 weeks away I have been trying out nutrition and some longer rides. Through these I have learnt a lot especially after my first long ride of 98km down to the beach. It was a fantastic although tough day out where I tried out my nutrition strategy, when I would eat and how (should I eat on the go or stop each hour?) but it didn't go as well as I would have hoped. I have been chopping up my chia charge flapjacks and protein bars then putting them into a container with some sweet peaks and some oat cakes that I can just grab as I go (it's quite tricky to let go so I have to slow down to do this). Having spoken with top dietitian Renee McGregor I know that I should consume 60-90g of carbs per hour which is a lot more than I actually did consume this day and although at the end of the ride I felt fine just a little tired even finishing with a well earned ice cream and chips (just has to be done when at the beach!), the next day I felt rough. Just not 100% and very lethargic, all down to not eating or hydrating well enough as my efforts apparently burned approximately 5000 calories... Lesson learnt.

Here are some photos and the stats of my trip to the Beach:

After my learning experience I decided to do a two day trip where I was going to travel somewhere and camp then travel home, simulating how it would feel going for more than one day and also the original plan was to camp. Things have changed slightly now though as I am actually staying in hostels and B&Bs but I still did two days in a row of Me Moving. The first day involved a 105km ride around the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, very undulating and with a massive 20% hill that I had to push the me mover up (it was just too step to ride!). I absolutely loved it (even with the rain) and tried a slightly different nutrition strategy. This time I had brief stops every hour where I would have a snack of oat cakes, sweet peaks or chia flapjacks and this really helped. Then I also had a lunch stop around half way through where I had a couscous and tuna salad as I will have couscous or mugshot pastas when I am away, after this I felt so refreshed and really good meaning that some breaks will be hugely beneficial. I also paid a little visit to costa for a hot chocolate and toast before the last 12km push home, it's amazing how a stop can really boost you when you start to feel tired. Once home a protien shake, quick bath and the body therapy body oils applied before eating a main meal simulated how I will end each day when out in Europe.

This really helped aid my recovery as the next day I felt fine, just a very slight ache in my legs. I went out and completed a 49km ride, it did feel a lot harder than the previous day but was great practice in keeping going when I am feeling tired. I am pleased I did this as I now feel a lot more prepared about how to fuel, hydrate, recover and do back to back days of me moving.

Fuelling the body and hydration are huge factors in the success of the trip, so I have prepared daily ration style food packs for each day which will include: oats, nuts, chia charge flapjacks, protien bars and trail mixes, bounce balls, sweet peaks, gels, oatcakes with chia nut butter, couscous or a mug shot, main meal (BeWell dehydrated expedition meals) and a dessert along with drinks pack and protien powder.

I think the moral of the story is preparation is very important as its during this time you make the mistakes and learn from them. I am really looking forward to the challenge however some nerves are kicking in too.

As well as showing how great being active and healthy is for you along with how much fun it can be I am also raising money for charity by doing this and have a just giving page for Diabetes UK, if you would like to you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MeMoveEurope

Check out some of the other Chia Charge blogs where you can find recipes and some different ways of using the products and also the shop which is here: http://chiacharge.co.uk/shop.html