Tag Archives: vegans

How to Keep Running When You’re All Puffed Out.

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The door closes behind you and off you go on your run. All being well you start out nice and slowly and build momentum… or like most people you go out too quickly and pay for it a few miles down the road. Regardless either if you are doing a training run at home, on the Dreadmill or you are in a race, from time to time we all get a little puffed out. In this blog I’m going to talk about ways in which we can deal with being puffed out and keep running, rather than the dreaded alternative mid training…. walking!

Being puffed out is normal for us runners. Some people get it at mile 1, some at mile 2, some at mile 20 and others beyond 30 miles. Regardless it happens to the best of us. It’s that feeling when your breathing just doesn’t feel right all of a sudden. You may or may not have even been going too fast for this to happen. Sometimes it can not be explained. It’s a complete mystery. All we know is that, unless we are speed training, we would like to get back in that zone!

There are many symptoms of being puffed out on a ran and some may include:

  • heightened heart rate
  • added perceived effort even at your normal pace
  • wide open mouth breathing
  • wide open eyes
  • slouching over
  • tense shoulders
  • complete lack of focus
  • feeling as though you can’t carry on and must walk
  • wishing you had never took up running

There are a few things you can do to help with this situation. You do not need to walk 9/10 times. In fact I would suggest not walking unless absolutely necessary. Reducing to a walk can kick your self esteem and confidence and make you feel as though you are not good enough. This simply is not the case. Next time you are on a run and you are feeling all puffed out, just try and reduce your pace a little. Even if you are going at your normal pace and you are usually fine. I often find that I can be running my normal pace and I get really puffed out. I hardly ever walk. I reduce my pace so it’s very easy to run, my breath re regulates itself and I then find I can push my pace back up to normal without any of the above symptoms any more.

Another method you can use to help when you feel puffed out is to alter your focus onto something more productive. This method I am going to share with you has helped me on many occasions. Including recently on my 4:05:03 marathon. I also used this method when I fast-packed (ran and walked) 90 miles in 50 hours including sleep time. On day two my feet were so sore. I had hardly ran much and at about mile 20 I was forcing myself forward with each step lugging my 10kg bag and sulking. At mile 30 when I wasn’t sure I could go much further I came to a hill from the top. I saw a man running up that hill. He didn’t see me at first and in an instant I swore I wouldn’t allow him to see me in my Vegan Runners Club technical T-shirt walking down a hill he was running up! Regardless of whether he had maybe only done 3 or 4 miles and I’d done 30! I started counting, I used this method I’m going to share with you and it allowed me to run an entire 10 miles more non stop. So in total I covered 40 miles that day. Here is what you need to do.

Every time your right foot hits the ground count 1,2,3,4 right up to 20. Once you hit 20 start right over again. Just keep doing this over and over and over. What you are doing here is changing your focus from how hard you are finding this part of your run onto the counting. When you do this you may find that your form and posture gets better, your breathing regulates itself again, you never needed to stop and you may even be going faster than before.

Now sometimes our focus is so far gone we can’t even work on 1-20…. that’s fine. All you need to do is focus on counting each right step 1,2,3,4 and then again 1,2,3,4 over and over and over. Once your focus strengthens you can extend this to a count of 1,2,3,4 up to 10 and then up to 20.

This can also work when you have given up hope and stopped as well. Now let’s say you are on a long run or in a race. How many of us have just stopped dead in our tracks and felt like they can’t go on any more? Usually when we are miles away from anyway of getting home right? Running right away is not an option as we are struggling to barely even consider walking! But we can maybe walk a few steps can’t we? Use this same practice. Gently walk and count your steps. Because your cadence is much slower in walking you can count on each left and right step. I would recommend starting with a count of 1-10 and if you find that easy after a few times repeating go on up to 1-20. Keep going until you feel comfortable enough to just very slowly start running again. You don’t even need to go your normal pace. Just barely even running. You’ll still make a better time than walking and build endurance. Often is the case shortly after that you’ll speed up again and bag a good few more miles with ease…. how did we do this? A few moments ago we never even thought we would make it home!

It’s just simply refocussing your attention to the steps instead of how tired you are, and it really does work!

Sometimes when you do this your mind will drift off to other things and you may become tired again. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just simply gently remind yourself to bring your attention back again to the counting. It’s the minds nature to wander off, but in practising this and refocussing you will become better at it.

I hope you get a chance to practice this in your training. I can’t describe how much it has helped me and I really hope it will help you too.

Happy running everyone
Peace and Love
-ScottyRunner

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Vegan Attacked at the Dinner Party.

debutart_jacquie-boyd_15739I was at a meal last night.They were all sat round laughing and smiling and it felt good. I felt at home. I tucked into my vegan meal as Chris shared around carved roasted beef slices. Freshly sliced from the cow. The person sat next to me sniggered as she looked at my meal.
“You should get some of this in ya mate. Eating all that crap you need meat!”
Everybody else began laughing. They started to make comments of their own. Another friend began to bounce the meat around on her plate going
“moooooooooooo mooooooo splat”.
I tightened my fist and slammed it hard on the table, rattling everything sat ontop of it. There was a deep silence and faces of shock looked upon me. I stormed over to Chris in anger. He was still holding the knife. I lifted his hand up and pointed the blade directly at my heart.
“Go on guys do it. Kill me, stick that knife right here RIGHT NOW and cut into my heart so that I die! Then you can eat me! I am meat just the same as that cow you are eating there.”
Faces staring and everyone in shock.
“DO IT NOW!” I screamed
“Can’t you see? That…” as I pointed to the roasted cow…
“That is no different from me, from you, or any of us. The sooner you realise this, the better! I for one will NEVER be joining any of you for meals again.”
Then I walked out the building in mind that I would never return.
I woke up from this dream shortly after. I never knew the people in my dream but they were good friend IN the dream, at least up until the end anyway. Thought I’d share. Maybe some of you could use this. I know many of you have to put up with this crap time and time again. Although I generally advocate spreading our cause with love and compassion to all live (including humans), I would not allow myself to be attacked like this.


Birmingham & Black Country Half Marathon – 4th July 2015

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I had been looking forward to this race for a while. I did the Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon last year too. Last year and I completed 13.6 miles in 1:58:12.

The few days prior to the race I had been seriously carbing myself up with lots of raw vegan fresh fruits and vegetables. I believe lately that this type of eating is dramatically helping with my previous injuries, which have now completely gone after nearly a year, and recovery. Look at Wednesday 1st July 2015 for example. Only 3 days before the Half Marathon I ran 30 Miles. I got home and ate 1kg of cherries (which are great for inflammation), had an ice bath and when I got out of the bath I felt great. The next day I felt as if I had never even ran the day before… let alone 30 miles. I was gobsmacked.

On the morning I ate 4 bananas and 175g of dates about 2.5 hours before the run. I also had 75 cl water.

Aaaaaanyway. So me and my husband Philip met my friend Steve at Northfield Train station and set out to Birmingham New St where we would meet Thom, and get a connecting trail service to Wolverhampton where the run starts.

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Here is a picture of Philip who can’t go five minutes without a coffee and Steve looking a bit sleepy as well.

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Here’s a pic of Steve kindly helping Philip set up the Garmin 310XT I let him use on race day to keep an eye on his average and actual current pace.

When we got to Nw St station we were all over the place with the typical switching platforms. They switched platforms one minute before the train was due to leave. Though they switched it to a platform in which they had closed off the escalators. I have seen this a lot lately. I’m not sorry if someone from the station reads this but I think you need to start using your brains. That station is supposed to be an upcoming better and mega big modern station. At the moment it’s a pile of wank! Get it sorted please. What a mess! Finally we found ourselves on the right platform after a massive detour. We found a table seat to sit at and Thom found us on the train and sat with us… Yay the group together.

We nattered about expected times etc and helped settle our nerves a bit as we watched others already running down the canal, as we took the train parallel to it. This race is done in waves which is good for those wanting faster times I guess. 😀

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Here we all are. Finally made it after almost following another runner who was obviously going the wrong way to the start line lol. Aren’t we a sexy bunch of runners? Gotta be the plants! 😀 Philip decided to do a bit of a meditation before we set out on the course.

Our wave was at 10:30 so we all checked our bags in to be taken to the finish line, queued for the toilets, checked if their high energy drinks where Vegan (and they were), and nattered by the start line waiting to be called. A guy who had a Cancer Research top on came and chatted with me a while. He was a nice guy. He talked about how he was doing weight training and realised that it was all just vanity and he really wanted to make a difference. He wanted to run for charity and help a “good” cause. I thought that was so nice of him. Although he can be making better choices…. I’m not going to judge him and tell him about his mistakes just before his first ever half marathon. He took a very keen interest in my Veganism you see, he didn’t judge me or anything but was really curious and asked about how long I’d done it, my energy levels, running, ethical reasons. I decided I would give him just enough basic details to hopefully research it further at home and then maybe find out about Cancer Research too and switch to something else.

So we were called to the start line for briefing at 10:15. They discussed the typical rules of a race, keep hydrated and what to do if injured or pulling out etc. Then we went through a gap in the wall on the little dock to the canal. Here a guy called your number when you got to the front of the queue. You stepped over a black line mat on the ground and your timing chip began… as did my Garmin watch, naturally. I also started listening to a chillout compressed half hour Linkin Park Track. I wanted to listen to their full heavy album to get me going. To my surprise though my iPhone for some reason has removed it when I plugged it into the PC the day before.

I was now running. Steve was by me and we were going out pretty fast. In fact we wanted about an 8:20 minute mile average and this first mile was done in 7:38. About a mile in I called to Steve “hey if we keep this sort of pace up we will be making it in a killer time! We obviously both felt very strong at the time. I think about mile 2 I asked how his knee was after he injured it 3 days before and it was feeling fine. He had a knee support pad on and I don’t think he even KNEEded it in the end 😉 Shortly after that I went on a little as I was feeling comfortable and I saw a geezer with a backpack on who looked like an ultra runner. I thought about keeping up with his pace as it looked like the kind of pace I’d have liked to complete the race in. I was behind this guy for a few miles just tailing him. Eventually I overtook him.

Mile 3 and it was the first check point. I went for a water and no high energy drink this time. I don’t normally hydrate until 45-60 minutes but with the land I was covering at this pace and the hot sun shining down on me I started hydrating early!

I had now changed my music over to a Chillstep track I had on there. I have just got into Chillstep. It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL music to run to. If you search “chillstep” into Youtube you will find loads of tracks over an hour long you can just play and enjoy!

Although the music is beautiful, any music can be a distraction on race day. I turned the music right down to level 1 so I could hardly hear it but could hear nature around me as I wove in and out and round the snaking towpath.
About mile 4 I started to slow down a bit. The sun was belting down on my bare head. I wish I’d kept my headsweats hat and not put in my bag. Hey ho what’s passed is passed and I know for future reference now.
By mile 5 I was down to 8:18 minute miles, but still on target easily for an average 8:20 minute mile race overall.

I had noticed that around mile 4 or 5 we had started to catch up with some people from the earlier waves. This was nice as it gave me plenty of opportunity to spur people on.

I knew my pace was slowing so I started meditating right away. The first thing I do when I begin a meditation while running is to remind my body to relax. I make sure my shoulders and back are both relaxed. I make sure my arms are swinging nicely with lose fists swinging back and forth gently at a 90o angle at the elbow. I make sure my chin is up and I’m looking ahead at the ground in the distance, not right under in front of my feet. I check in with my breath and try to get a bit of rhythm to it. Next I begin the counting. I step with my left foot and then my right and count 1 on my right step. I step with my left foot again and then my right and I count 2 with my right step. Every other right step I count 3,4,5 all the way up to 20. As soon a I hit 20 I start again at 1. I do this over and over and over until I’m lost in trance.

Next checkpoint, mile 6, excellent! This time It’s a water and a high energy drink and on I go! 1,2,3,4,5……20,1,2,3,4,5……..20…… I was now lost again in counting when I heard one of my favourite parts of my music come on. I turned it up full blast and got lost in the euphoria of awesome music and awesome running in an awesome atmosphere. As the track switched to a new one, I turned it back down and started to focus on the counting again. I notice I had slowed to about 8:30 minute miles and I felt that I needed to slow down further, and give myself a bit of a respite should I wish to complete in good form at a good pace.

Check point 3 at 9 miles creeped up on me, and I took 2 waters. 1.5 to drink and 0.5 over head. Which left me feeling like I’d drank sea water as I carried on running. I had reduced my counting now to 8. I learned that as your focus becomes less then you can count less numbers over and over and over and increase them as your focus becomes stronger. I wouldn’t go over 100 though. There were a lot of people from earlier waves at this point who were walking. It’s understandable. There isn’t much shade on this route and the sun was belting down on us all, while we were all trying to push ourselves as much as we could to that finish line. It was an honour to be able to try and push people on. Calling to people to keep up the good work, and reminding them “you got this” and “not far now”.

As I approached mile 10 Steve come up to me. He ran by my side for a few moments as he called “Come on Scotty you are faster than this”. I told him I got too cocky and set out too quickly so was preserving some energy for the end. He went on ahead. This spurred me on a bit to trail behind him a while. I called to him “Go Steve Go Go Go! Show us Vegans proud! WOOOOOOOOOOO”, I must admit I was a little hyped. I was just so happy at that moment. The finish line wasn’t far off, people out here doing the same thing on their weekends off, the sun, the nature, the beautiful green and birds and canal. Also because Steve was limping about like mad a few days before. I was so worried his knee injury was going to hamper his day today, but it didn’t. I kept praying he’d be ok and now here he was charging forward relentlessly, making excellent time on his race!.

Steve got a bit ahead for a while. We past the last checkpoint at mile 12 where I got 2 water. Necked em back and made a final push for it. Funnily enough mile 13 was my slowest at 9:05 minute miles. I did manage to creep back up closer to Steve though. There were 2 girls inbetween us who were from a previous wave. I overtook them. We were so close to the finish line. I saw Steve and I knew if I kept going at this pace (7:10) I’d catch up and we could run through the finish together both wearing our Vegan Runners tops. I knew the commentator would perhaps call our finish and we could show people Vegans can do this shit too! As I got closer Steve turned and saw me approaching. He thought I was going to overtake him, and I certainly didn’t have the energy to explain my idea to him. He looked shocked and he turned and made one final dash for it and over the finish line. I came in 7 seconds later 🙂 I was 249th place which put me just inside the top quarter of 1000 entrants. My final time was 1:52:16 which is a great improvement on 1:58:12. Also it was a slightly shorter distance at 13.4 rather than 13.6 due to changed route.

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Here’s a group of me Steve and Ian Mackenzie at the finish. Well done on your time of 1:38:25 Ian.

Well done to fellow Vegan Runner Mike Tomkins who came 22nd and had an awesome time of 1:27:46. Well done to him getting it doing in that heat and that time 😀

I did my usual stretching routine and then we headed to baggage reclaim and got our goody bags. We then went back to the finish line to wait for Philip and Thom. We also tucked into 4 big bags of Satsumas nom nom nom. These were soooooo refreshing.

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Philip has been commuting to work and back running for a few months now. He hasn’t really done much long running but gave it a good go. This was his first half marathon and he wanted to complete it in about 2 hours 30 mins . He came through in 2 hours 32 mins. Fantastic job Philip well done. I was sooo proud of him.

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Shortly after that Thom came through too. I was really surprised with Thom. Not that I didn’t think he could do it but that he hadn’t done ANY training hardly. He did a 8 miler with me about 2 months ago and one other run since then. He used to run a lot and his previous PB was 1:52 I think (correct me if I’m wrong). I know that doing this today is going to have such a positive impact on him. I know it’s going to give him so much drive to get out there and train again and get fit. There’s no way he will leave this gap between his PB and this run. Which is excellent. Just the inspiration he needs. Anyway to have completed at all given the circumstances shows his mental strength and how AWESOME plant based diets are 😀   11705160_1675415116022807_3794626221627591209_n
We all chatted a while and baked in the sun eating satsumas and then sharing the 2 large punnets of strawberries that Thom brought with him too mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . Steve left a bit earlier as I think he wanted to take buses rather than the trains. We then made our way up the canal path and through the ICC back to New St station.
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For recovery when I got home the first thing I did was have a bath filled with cold water and a bag of ice cubes. This works wonders for the next day. I also had another 700 grams of strawberries and 250 grams of delicious raspberries. The next day? I’m feeling fine and ready to continue training next week as normal 😀

I would highly recommend this event, it’s well organised and a wonderful route. They have also taken off a big hill and off road section, so the whole thing is now on towpaths and really flat. There’s just a few bridges to cross over towards the end, and a loooooong tunnel to go through, but nothing major to stop you getting a decent time on a flat. This was my second year and I’m hoping to do it again next year if it doesn’t interfere with potential of doing Race to the Stones instead.
Summer around the reservoir marathon next 26th July 2015!

Thanks for reading.


30 Miles and 33oC. Birmingham-Stratford Upon Avon

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Yesterday (1st July 2015) was the hottest July day on record in the UK at 36oC. I certainly could tell when we were out there running 30 miles!

On the last day of June my friend Steve said he was going to go for a long run along the canal towpaths from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon. That day I was supposed to be running 5.5 miles on my usual circular route.
I asked if he would mind if I came along and he said I was welcome. Due to the distance I mentioned that I’d likely do 8 or 9 miles then run back to make 16-18 miles I didn’t think 30 miles was a good idea 3 days before a half marathon race!… in the end though I did the whole thing.

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We had arranged to meet at 9:05am by the Wast Hills Tunnel Entrance to the Towpath on the side that heads towards Birmingham City Centre. This was so I could set off at 9am. I did set off at 9am and I don’t know how I underestimated the distance as it took me longer than I thought. I was late and my first mile was done at a 7:45 minute mile pace lol. I certainly wouldn’t be carrying on at that pace for the next 29 miles!

Our plan was to go at about a 11 minute mile average and for the first 15 miles we where at a 10:20 minute mile average.
Obviously at this point I’d decided I was going to run the whole way. We stopped at about mile 13 in Hockley Heath and topped up with liquids. I remember wanting a Lucozade Sport Orange but noticed B6 in it and wasn’t sure if it was Vegan. It was only later asking my husband to check for me online I found out it was. At the time I just opted for old style Lucozade instead. I haven’t had that for years and when I sipped some outside I remember why. That stuff is nasty. I drank just about enough to stomach and get a sugar rush and threw the rest. VOM

After mile 15 we started to slow it down a bit and just enjoy the scenery and winding trail along side the canal. Occasionally passing over the odd bridge. We were lucky as much of the path is over run with trees which kept us a little cooler than being right out open in the sun. The sun was still sweltering though. We found it easier when running than walking. When running there was a bit of a breeze to cool us off lol. I checked the temperature on my phone which said it was 33oC.

As runners we all know what it’s like when you go out on a long run and can’t wait for the journey ahead. Then something, somewhere goes wrong! It’s always something that you would not have thought would go wrong. Sure the heat may slow us down, or my legs may be really heavy from lots of training lately, perhaps I wont fuel correctly and hit a wall or 2. Those weren’t the case. Annoyingly for Steve his knee copped out about half way. I was just as surprised as he was. This is the first time I have known Steve to get a problem like this on a run. I know he’s been contemplating what the reason behind it was since then. I wont go into too much more detail on that, as I’m sure he will be wanting to write about it in his own blog and not read it all on mine haha.

Amazingly though although he was limping from time to time, Steve continued to move forward the entire rest of the distance. He ran and he walked but he didn’t stop.

Around mile 18 we stopped at this little place in Wooten Wawden. They had craft, clothing and farm shops. We went to the farm shop to get more liquids and I also bought some crisps and 2 satsumas and on we went.

As the miles became less and less we were running a bit longer each time and finished the distance off on a run.
As we arrive Stratford Upon Avon we went to get some cash and then Holland and Barrett. I let myself down by getting 3 Veg Out Steakless Bakes and a Veg Out SOS sausage roll. As many of you know I’m trying to be raw vegan high carb low fat. My mind crave them after this run because that’s what I used to do after running 30 milers…. eat crap.

It wasn’t long before I realised my body was actually craving fruit. We took the bus most of the way back and stopped by Sainsbury’s. Steve’s partner met us there, and we all topped up with fruit and a big bag of ice cubes each. She was even kind enough to drive me home so that was very nice of her. It can’t be easy sitting in a car with 2 stinking guys who just ran 30 miles in that heat. Thank you 🙂

Well done Steve. I have done this distance a few times now and it’s taken me 6 or 7 to be “comfortable” with doing it. This I think was your second time running this kind of distance. Though limping a bit at the end you came through looking much better than I did on those first times!

The time in the end was 6 hours 50 minutes. I know without a shadow of a doubt that we could thrash that next time. This route we did is actually the same route as the JW 30 Mile Ultra which we are both doing in September. We did it back to front though. That time is going to be demolished on race day. We have discussed attempting it again before then too.

When I got home I filled the bath right away with cold water and sank myself into it waste deep, then poured in the ice cubes. REALLY cold but it felt really good and I knew that it would make me feel better the next day. After my bath I put the shower on cold. This felt warm in comparison to the leg bath so I could wash myself clean, but not rewarm my legs again.
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The rest of the day was spent lounging about and eating a nice big bowl filled with 1kg of cherries 😀
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To my surprise when I woke the next day I felt fantastic. It felt like I never even ran the day before and I’m soooo ready for my half marathon in 2 days time now.

I seriously believe that my high carb low fat raw vegan diet is helping with recovery. Also I think my HOKA trail sneakers are helping a great deal. I have the roadies version and they have helped keep ongoing injuries at bay and even given them a chance to recede. All other sneaks I have owned I have had an injury in some form or another every few weeks to months, which have kept me off running.

So on and up… half marathon on Saturday 4th July 🙂 That will be a doddle in comparison 😉
Peace and Love
-ScottyRunner


Letting Companies Know Why you no Longer Use Their Products

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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.

http://www.thevegetariansite.com/ethics_test.htm

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

Peace and Love
ScottyRunner


Product Warning – Health Plus Acidophilus and other Probiotic Tablets/Capsules.

Hey everyone I’m just writing you a quick blog as a warning about this product in the image Health Plus – Acidiphilus probiotic capsules.
As you can see below these are still below their best before date up until January 2016.

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With probiotics you can normally tell if they are alive or not quite easily. All you need to do is put them into about 200 ml of milk or alternative milk and leave them somewhere with constant low heat (about 10oC-20oC is what I usually go for) for about 12-24 hours. By this point the milk should have thickened or at least started to. Sometimes it can take a little longer or be quicker depending on temperature. This means that the good bacteria is feeding on the milk and replicating itself, hence the thickening. It’s that bacteria that does your body good.

I tried 2 batches of this stuff and on both accounts the milk stayed exactly as it was. It was completely thin and watery. This means no good bacteria and no benefits at all from your tablets.

If you take probiotics in capsule or pill form I advise you to do this simple test and see if they are inert as it’s a common problem with tablet forms. There’s often no bacteria in there and if there is then it’s often dead. If you find you have this problem you can tell them the test you did and request a refund.

On the other hand if you still want the benefits of probiotics I can seriously recommend this technique I use here in my other blog.  How to Make a Continuous Supply of Cultured Vegan Soya Yogurt.

Lots of love
-ScottyRunner


Daily Dose of Positivity and Awesomeness

Simply as the title states. A Big whopping dose of inspirational quotes to ponder over and some absolutely stunning pictures of life and Earth 🙂

I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Lots of love to you all.
-ScottyRunner

1aca1141437b6301455386efdfd6bac3from; thatonerule.com

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Dont let yourself down