Monthly Archives: April 2015

Sending a Message of Apology.


Someone close to me has removed me from Facebook now. It’s not from my post the other day about leaving groups. It’s because I pushed them too far with my constant questions around diet and nutrition. This person I felt very highly about and I still do and it’s really sad to see the friendship has come to an end.

I have been on a journey for some time. Sometimes I may come across as being a bit selfish. I don’t mean to be. I don’t know if it’s because of the abuse I endured as a child or what. I spend each day trying to better myself and to fix all the wrongs my parents taught me. I have been exploring myself, developing myself and been trying to grow into being the kind of person I want to be and others would like me to be.

Someone who is loving, caring, compassionate, generous, giving. Someone who is generally happy, joyful and peaceful. Someone who can pass on the positive energies of these qualities to others.

This post is my apology to the people involved. I can not contact them now but I can send out a message telepathically. Getting it written down also helps me put it into perspective. I also apologise to anyone else who may believe I am rather selfish. I do not mean to be and I am trying to be better.

I’ve 3 books on spiritual transformation to read while I’m on holiday. One a week… I was going to start them before I left but wanted to hold them for the holiday. I’m sure they will help even just a few % in personal development. 🙂 Cus of course also me being a better person gives you a better friend… and we both deserve that. Thanks for your patience 😉

To my dear friend who I have lost I wish him all the happiness in the world. For this life and all the many lives ahead of him.

All I truly want is to love myself and be happy and to be able to pass that on to others.

On and up.

1 Year With no Shampoo. What’s next?

I think it’s silly how we are apparently supposed to use things like shower gel, shampoo, conditioners etc. Humans were more than happy to not use them at all until someone spread the seed of doubt and came up with a product to fix that doubt.

I believe today marks a year since I gave up using shampoo, conditioner or hair styling products in my hair.

All I have used to wash my hair is water and the results were so great after the first few weeks, that I just kept not putting chemicals on my head.

I am thinking about starting a new challenge now though not sure how it’ll work on holiday. It depends how greasy the sun lotion is. I am going to try not using any shower gel or soaps on my body.

I’ll see how it goes over a few days first then I’ll try a week. I’ll have Philip keep me in check and tell me if I stink or not 😉

Meditation and Shrinking “The Cloud”.


I have been meditating for about 4 months now, though I have only recently taken to guided meditation through HeadSpace. This can be found as an app or online.

During my earlier sessions I was told to imagine the sky, and see the clouds clearing if it was overcast. I could then either imagine a bright clear blue sky or see a small white bubbly cloud.

I have been thinking about this over the last few days and instead of the clear blue sky during meditation today I decided to accept that there are some negative things in the world. The thing is though we have the choice whether we wish to feed that cloud and make it larger or if we want to keep the skies almost clear.

So today during my meditation I decided the small cloud will stay there. Inside of that cloud is where I put all those little demons that I have already dealt with or don’t want to deal with right now.

So one day I may be walking down the street, I’m whistling and smiling and just generally darn right happy as usual! Then someone or something steps into my space and tries to pull that energy down. I begin to notice my emotions slightly change and this small cloud is directly over my head, it roars and strikes and then starts to rain.

Then within just a few seconds I look up, I laugh. That cloud is so small. I take 2 steps forward in the direction of sunlight and all of a sudden all my problems have once again gone away.

I thought if the sky was completely clear then if a storm did brew up all of a sudden I wouldn’t have made a connection with the small cloud to easily be able to step away from it. The danger then would be the feeling of being pulled under a storm that you can’t get out of.

and all it took was just the simple choice to take a few steps forward and choose to step out from under the cloud.

My Option to Leave Birmingham Vegan Area Support Groups.

I became vegan 10 months ago and only started to socialise over the last few months. There is a huge divide within the vegan community in the Birmingham area, and it’s really making me quite drained.

I am not here to take any sides with anyone, or any group. I am a vegan who loves not only animals but every person, regardless of what their beliefs, their actions, their behaviour or who they do or do not like etc. I love all life and I can not keep having my energy pulled down when I see so many other vegans fighting.

So with regret I have decided to pull myself from all Birmingham area Vegan groups.

I live in a world of love, care, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, peace, joy and happiness. That’s what I believe should be spread across the board and this includes to non vegans.

Over the last few months it has been suggested, who I should and shouldn’t speak to and support. I am good at switching off from these, but it’s taken it’s toll now, where I feel that I am in a corner. I am in a corner that I can’t get out of. I’m being asked to choose, and in doing so another party will condemn and judge me. Therefore I choose to step out.

I have met some wonderful people. Many of those people are directly involved with the things that are going on right now in this area. I have met people from both sides and they are absolutely wonderful people. I wish everyone the absolute best ever possible for their future. I hope one day a balance can be found and people can be reunited. We are so much better together rather than being separated, we can be so much stronger together. Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes terrible things happen… but should the whole community go to war over it?

I shall continue to support any vegan business I know of based upon what I know of that company. It’s especially important to think about all the other small vegan business that some of the larger companies help out. Without that help they’d be without a job and no way to feed their families. Also in not supporting vegan business I can’t see how new vegans can come to us so easily. That’s one the key important things to get as many people to become vegan as possible and help save animals from getting hurt. (of course people are animals too). There are some named companies I will no longer use but overall I’ll support most business.

Know that I love you all and I’m sorry my choice has come to this. Though I couldn’t see any other way.

Peace and love

Letting Companies Know Why you no Longer Use Their Products


Since going vegan I have learnt that’s it’s important for us to let companies know why we no longer use their products. If we don’t let them know, then they can never change. If there is enough push for change then companies may well make those changes. Even if it only happens very slowly.

From time to time I see myself getting in touch with companies to let them know why I no longer use their products. This can be by email, Facebook or by letter.  I have got in touch with companies that have changed ingredients that were accidentally vegan and now aren’t. I have also contacted running footwear companies to say that I hope when they make new batches of trainers they will switch to plant based glues instead of animal based. I have also contacted zoos, aquariums and other such places to tell them that I think their place is cruel and I will never use them.

Thinking that one letter or email wont make a difference is probably right… but many concerned customers getting in touch with them will. That’s why it’s so important we all do this, as we are really all in it together.

Anyway I found this list online of companies which still test on animals. I went through it today and pulled out all the ones I used to buy from. Then I went to their Facebook pages and posted why I was no longer using these products. For many of these, it has been a long time since using them, but it’s still good for awareness to post them regardless of how long it’s been.vaseline

If you have a few minutes perhaps you could do something similar and get in touch with them via Facebook, email or letter too.

Thanks Vegans for all your continuing support for our beloved animal friends.

Peace and Love

Eating Healthy is Just Like Trying to Quit Smoking!

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So I have decided that eating healthy is just as hard as quitting smoking.

I smoked regularly from age 13 until age 24 (I’m 27.5 now). Up until about the age of 22 I enjoyed it all the time and never thought twice about quitting…. well, I say I enjoyed it; I was in denial about it! I guess I refused to accept that I didn’t want to quit because I knew it would be tough. Plus back then didn’t really care about my health.

When I was 22 I wanted to quit every single day. I remember waking up and telling myself “this is the day, no more, I’m never going to smoke again”. At best I would last about 5 days, at worst a few hours and on average it would have been about a day or two each time. I found the longer I stopped for the more I smoked again when I took it back up.

I am finding a similar challenge with food. It’s so easy to keep tucking into whatever you want rather than what you know you should be eating. I find it particularly easy because of my almost constant athletic frame. I may look healthy but behind closed doors I do shift some absolute crap through my body. Most crap apart from animal based crap, alcohol and drugs (these things are long gone from my body now).

All in all I find myself being very sensible about the whole thing…. most the time. I do make most meals from scratch even unhealthy ones. Compared with most of what I see in other peoples shopping trolly’s we buy very good foods. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of room for improvement though. I read labels and avoid heavily poison processed foods. Then other times I gorge myself on unhealthy meals, for everything I eat that day. After I have done this I know I wont put on weight but I feel rotten. I can feel it clinging onto my body, and mentally I feel even worse. I start to think about all the great athletes of the world and perhaps what their diet is like. I think of my role models. I feel ashamed.

Sometimes when I am told “it’s ok in moderation, it’s just a treat”. How is this even possible? Since I quit smoking completely I would never just have the odd one or two and say “it’s fine it’s just a treat”. I know how bad it is for my body. Yet when it comes to food, cakes and sweets we have this idea that it’s fine just once or twice? This doesn’t seem to sit right with me.

Me and my husband recently tried going 80:10:10 (fruitarian, raw, Vegan) which is 80% of your calories in carbs, 10% in protein and 10% in fat. We had planned to do this for a month and managed 7 days as a detox. After this we slipped into old ways again. It’s now been about a week since we finished this detox. We keep talking about how we miss it.

We are in Turkey on holiday for 3 weeks soon and we are most likely going to eat a lot of fruit in the day and maybe one cooked meal in the evening. Once we return we have been discussing gradually making the change to 80:10:10 on a more permanent basis. There may be some slight modifications throughout the colder months though with an emphasis on hot soups and stews packed with veges.

Who knows where things will go but I need to make better choices RE my diet, and I must work out a way to sustain it properly. I am now starting to find myself in a situation where I was when trying to quit smoking. Every day trying to quit bad foods and diet habits and it’s driving me bonkers 😉

I’m hoping much like quitting smoking, and quitting drinking that with continuous persistence eventually the bad foods will just slip away and the desire to eat them will too. I think a fruitarian diet is perfect and with this upcoming holiday I can’t think of any easier way to eat. Almost everywhere can provide fruit 😉

Anyway rant over
Lots of peace and love

Tendonitis at the Insertion of the Peroneus Tendon (outer foot pain).


Tendonitis at the Insertion of the Peroneus Tendon is an injury that is usually associated with pain of the outside of the feet.

I have been trying to work out for a while why I have been getting so many injuries. The latest being pain on the outside of my feet. Initially I thought it was plantar fasciitis which is a breakdown of the fascia along the bottom of the foot. This injury is slow to heal too. I treated it as such up until now.

Tendonitis by the Peroneus Tendon tends to be from people who over supinate. This means they land on the outside of their feet when running or walking. Most people over pronate which is landing on the inside of the their feet.

As you can see here very clearly by my sneaks, I have been landing on the outside. It’s more noticeable on these as these are the first pair of trail sneaks I have had. It is said those who over supinate tend to use their trainers twice as fast as other runners and need to replace them much more often. This definitely has seemed the case for me. These sneaks I have only had for about 200 miles.

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When I think about how I land it’s been obvious all along really. Not only do I run and walk on the sides of my feet but I also stand with my feet apart and almost balance my weight on the outside of my feet. I have been doing this ever since I began walking as a baby. These injuries only came about though over the last few years on and off.

The first advice as a runner I have found is to stop running fast. Luckily training doesn’t need to stop with this injury. So no speedy hills, no speed at all. At least not until the pain has completely gone. So I shall keep running at a slow pace and also focus on trying to stop over supinating and landing on my heels. I shall also focus on walking correctly and standing correctly.

To strengthen this area I shall do calf rises off the edge of a step so my heels can sink off of it. This shall be done daily even for some time after the pain has completely gone. I shall also place toes on the ground on tip toe (one foot at a time) and do 20 seconds on each foot of large circles. This shall be done 20 seconds every hour. These 2 strength training exercises will help strengthen and give flexibility to the affected area.

The foam roller may help by rolling out the calves, remembering that no pain no gain when it comes to rollin’.

To reduce inflammation I will ice my feet several times a day for about 10 minutes each time.

Hopefully I can deal with these problems and my injuries will go for good. It’s not been stopping me running lately but I still know it’s there. I’ll update with progress.

180 Miles Cut Short

This last 6-8 months I have been getting more and more dreams about taking off and going for a long hike and run. They have been getting more and more vivid and I would wake each day DYING to get out there and do something. Obviously the weather hasn’t been great in the UK through winter, but this last week has been wonderful.

I woke up Friday 10th April 2015 and I decided that was the day I was taking off to do something. I didn’t know what to do initially. I knew I had a Harvey Map, part 1/3 of Pennine Way which covers all the south of the trail from Edale up to Ribbersdale. In total it should be about 160-180 miles there and back.  I didn’t think I’d actually go but after looking at trains I found a value priced open return for £48, so I booked it after checking weather.

It said there may be a little rain Sat and Sunday but then all next week would be glorious weather again. This sounded perfect. I quickly packed my bags and off I went to the train station.

As soon as I left I realised I had taken the tiny old samsung phone as battery lasts weeks but I had a NANO sim from my iphone. So I had to get an EE temp number and top up £10 to text my husband.

I went from Northfield to Birmingham New St. Here I had to stop and get a compass from Cotswold and some Cliff Bars. To my surprise they only had 3 left. So I took them all. Then I carried on to Sheffield, here I asked a bakery if their vegetable pasty was vegan, she said all these with cheese are Vegan and vegetarian. I asked if I could see the ingredients list in her book. She showed me and I asked if they glazed with egg, she said no they use soya milk. YAY a pasty for me! 😛  Next I went from Sheffield to Edale. I remember laughing on the train to Edale because it was like a bus on rails. It had all bus seats rather than train seats and reminded me of the older trains from back in the day when I was a little nippa 😉 I also chuckled at the oh so familiar accents becoming broader and broader.

I arrived into Edale just before 6pm and it was cooling a bit but still warm. From here I followed my map to find a campsite for the evening before starting my journey the following day. I stayed at Field Head Campsite. It was meant to be £6.50 but I only had £6.36 in change. Instead of her breaking my note she let me have it for £6. As usual my name was spelt Hassell rather than Hassall 😉 I chuckled and went to find myself a spot for my tent.


I pitched my tent and then took out the pegs and re put them in again 4 or 5 times. It was also annoying trying to get them in when everywhere I put the peg there were rocks underneath stopping me getting in. I was also trying to not have the inner sleeve touching the outer. This seemed impossible so I did the best I could and left it. Meanwhile I could hear children laughing and playing and people talking and generally having a good time. I had a laugh when a family turned up  and the daughter said “OMG Dad you seriously need to learn to put up a tent it’s going to kill someone that! Look at the state of it… now pass me those pegs!”. I thought to myself yep I know how he feels”, as I looked at my terrible attempt at putting up my own tent.

I blew up my NeoAir Thermarest sleeping mattress, which by the way I have to say I’m disappointed with. I lay on it to check it and it kept making pop sounds but they were really loud and scared other guests at the camp site. I couldn’t for the life of me work out what it was. Then I noticed the head part of it wasn’t pulled in like the rest of it if that makes sense. I think it came away in parts from pressure and each time it did it went POP! POP! POP! It was still inflated, but at £100 for an inflatable mattress you would expect a little better! I tested it at home and typically it was fine there! I had to learn what I did when it popped and lay on it differently without putting too much pressure around the head area of it. After I worked it out right it stopped popping. I also found there just is not enough room for the mattress to go inside an OMM Raid 1.0 and you as well. Something is going to go BANG!


I then went down to The Ramblers Inn and asked if they sold any fruit. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t any shops at all here. They told me if I want fruit I could go to the next village; called Hope, which is 5 miles in the wrong direction. I went back to my tent and lay looking at the map so I could work out where the nearest food shop was on route. I knew it wouldn’t be too far as I have researched about carrying food on Pennine Way before. So many advising you’ll not have too many issues getting something on route. I could see on map there was loads of place on route that were shops selling food so didn’t worry too much about it. I had 3 cliff bars in my bag but I went to bed hungry and saved them for tomorrow to give me the energy I would need to get up Jacobs Ladder (590ft) and then onto the food shop. I set my alarm for 5am and as it got darker, the park got quieter and I shut my eyes.

It felt like an age lay there with my eyes closed not overly tired. I remember thinking how I just can’t wait to be on that trail on my own without all the noise. The noise was good and there was so many cheery people. But I was looking forward to quiet time if you know what I mean. Then eventually I started to nod off just as a younger kid started crying his eyes out for an hour and half bless him. He was then quiet and drunk teens walked past making the usual drunken disturbance lol. Now I was thinking “hmmm why didn’t I bring those ear plugs? I have like 25 pairs at home… FOR THIS kind of thing too! lol I need to put them on my checklist spreadsheet as compulsory next time”. I was really toasty at first until about midnight then I started to get really cold so I put my other top on and my jacket, then it got colder so I put another jacket on and a beanie hat on top of my buff. I began to wonder why I hadn’t learned my lesson in winter when I tried my OMM Raid 1.0 sleeping bag…. this is a ONE season bag! Not a 2 and certainly not a 3!. I just thought now I had the Thermarest mattress it’d be much warmer. I was just about warm enough but not comfortably warm. Borderline shakes.

My alarm went off at 5am. I packed the stuff that was inside the tent into my bag then I packed the tent. I refilled my water and used the bathrooms. I ate a cliff bar and then off I went by 5:30am heading to the start of the Pennine Way Trail.
The views here are breathtaking they really are. Though I held off on taking too many pics yet as I knew there was better stuff to come. Also it was still pretty dark. I saved my battery and kept going. I set my Garmin to Ultra GPS recording. I haven’t got a clue how that works. I checked how to do it before I left but when I actually did it, it was asking me for a time which I had no idea what it was for. I set it to 90:00:00 which probably means update every 90 hours? oups!

It was an awesome feeling to be up so early no one else in the camp site was. I was the only one leaving. Made me even more determined. Little had I realised they had probably read the weather warning signs on the info windows. They were staying in bed for a reason!


It was dry as I head onto the trail. Then it began to drizzle a little. I walked along flagged pavement fields, past lots of sheeps, through lots of gates that stated that sheep are just stock “STOCK grazing make sure gate closed”. I passed Lee farm and then came to the bottom of Jacobs Ladder. Jacobs ladder is awesome! I kept wanting to take a pic but kept thinking it would look even better the further up I got. But it got windier, and rained harder. The ladder was becoming a log flume! I was being blown around, but I kept soldiering on in my piss wet through non waterproof tracksuit bottoms. Before I knew it I was completely covered in fog, hail, 40mph winds and sleet and rain. I got to the top quickly so I could find a flat surface to pitch my tent for emergency cover. Of course on top was even worse.

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Putting up my tent was near impossible. The ground wasn’t flat at all but massive bumps of thick grass. The wind was blowing the sheets like crazy and I couldn’t figure out which end went where. By the time I secured it and got inside (which wasn’t very long) I was absolutely drenched, the inside of my bag was soaked, my footwear, feet and socks soaked and inside the tent. The wind was so strong it pushed the height of the tent right down so it was touching me no matter what I did. I tried to quickly go out and reinforce it but it didn’t make a difference. I looked out to the sky and I could tell the storm wasn’t going to go any time soon. Then noticed I was started to shiver and shake and was lay in a big puddle in the tent. I knew then I had to go back down to Edale.

I got out to sort out my tent and the top sheet was just blown away, SWISH and it was gone out of my hands. It very quickly disappeared in the fog/cloud. I packed everything else I could soaked in my bag and made a move for it back to the base. I am NEVER one for littering in the wild. I tell people straight when I see them do so, but on this occasion there wasn’t much else I could do… and I wasn’t exactly impressed myself losing my expensive tent.

I ran back down Jacobs Ladder with the wind behind me pushing me quickly down those death steps. It was actually pretty fun until I lost balance a bit and thought I twisted my ankle. After keeping on going it seemed fine. I told myself I was fine and that if I was going to get any joy out of this trip, then enjoy this run I’m doing back.

The weather was now also treacherous at the bottom of Jacobs ladder. Even as I ran past the sheep, they were all pushing into the side of the bricked fences to keep the hail and wind off of them. It was an amazing sight. I’d have loved a pic but at this point I had no idea of where my camera was in my bag and so I just kept going.

When I got back to the camp I tried to find the “drying room”. I found my change expecting it to be a pay per 20 min drying machine. It wasn’t though and the sign said “The HEATERS in this DRYING ROOM will come on at night AFTER a wet rainy day”. Oh lord haha! There was a free to use washing machine though 😀

I worked my way to the notice boards and that was when I saw the other sign I wish I’d seen earlier;
“Mountain Weather Warnings Sat 11th April 2015, Low pressure coming from south west 30-40mph winds.”
Then I noticed the next sign
“Mountain Weather Warnings Sun 12th April 2015, Low pressure coming from south west up to 50 mph winds”

:O Thank god I didn’t carry on. I knew I couldn’t sleep a night soaked and only had one emergency foil blanket. Shame I couldn’t hold in till Sunny Monday I could have dried everything out in the sun 😉

I headed back to Edale Train Station and had just missed a train so I had a chance to sit in the cold wind for an hour and look upon beautiful scenery, and watch a train spotter taking snaps.

When I got to Sheffield I went to Sports Direct so I could buy new cheap trainers, tracksuit bottoms, underwear, socks and a top. My marmot waterproof jacket had dried again now thank god. I changed into these in the changing rooms and realised I got children’s socks but had ripped the packaging off. I pulled them on tightly and made do with it. I got myself 2 more vegetable pasties and a Soya Latte and then came home back to Birmingham. Of course at this point everywhere was lovely and sunny!

So I have learned so much from this experience. Sadly I did 6 miles at best rather than the anticipated 160-180. I can’t wait to go again, though my husband has said I’m not having another tent any time soon. Which is completely understandable lol. I’m a complete noob with a thirst for adventure. OK so things didn’t go to plan on this occasion but at least I’m not one to let anything stop me. If I want to try something I’ll go for it regardless of experience. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger hey? I’m still up for running and walking the whole Pennine Way at some point and I’m still up for doing the UK South West Coastal Path too and that’s some 640 miles and equivalent to 3 Everest’s in overall elevation apparently!

These little things keep cropping up pulling you back a bit. They are tests though to make us stronger so it’s easier next time. I am an ultra runner and I am going to be a successful one too! My determination and stubbornness keeps forcing me to keep trying, and I will. I’ll succeed or die!

I need to work out what the hell to do with your tent as emergency cover when it’s absolutely belting it down already. How do you not get everything completely soaked? What happens if everything does get soaked? Say I was in the middle of nowhere and it’d take days to get back? Also my Salomon Speedcross 3s were demolished within minutes going up that bitch hill in the rain/sleet/snow/hail! I now also know to read information notice boards! Also I have come to realise that although I love my WAA ULtra 20L bag it’s not enough for these kinds of things. The 4L front pouch is very handy though and without being able to clip it in properly to another bag it’s pointless as a waistpack as bounces all over the place. It’s also pointless in rain as gets soaked. Next time more planning rather than just jumping for it and going.

So that’s that then. Next adventure is Turkey May 1st for 3 weeks. Let’s see what trouble I can get myself into shall we? 🙂  Any tips or advice pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease post away. Thanks 😀


Brief Update

Hey everybody,

I thought I’d better make a blog post to give you all an update of what’s going on right now. I have not got home broadband set up yet until 15th April 2015 and have found it hard getting on here using my iPhone as a personal hotspot for my PC.

So on 12th April I was meant to be doing a 40 miler at A Coventry Way. This is a hiking/running event with a laxed cut off of 15 hours. Which would mean that even walking it you’d pass if you did around 22 minute miles for the duration of the course.
As you are all aware though I have recently been injured and I haven’t recovered well enough yet to think about attempting this event.

The good news is that my injuries seem to be going again now. The week commencing 16h March I managed 31 weekly miles and the following week I did 24. Although my feet weren’t getting better they weren’t getting worse so I continued to run low miles. This week my feet seem to be getting better, but I’m going to keep with these low miles.

I am registered on the Great Birmingham Fun Run (8.5 miles) at Sutton Coldfield Park May 31st. So I’ll be getting in some training this month and then again in Turkey next month. I’m in Turkey 3 weeks from May 1st so I’ll start tapering when I’m about to come home on 22nd I think 😛

At this moment my main focus is on JW Ultra 12 September 2015. This is a 30 miler on the Canal from Stratford Upon Avon to Bournville so it’s right on my door step 🙂