Is Quiche the answer ?

The holy grail of running food ?

After the obligatory long run on Sunday me and the posse sat down at Clancy’s Café in sunny City Beach to mull over the weekly events. Due to a suicidal café manager they have stopped serving the best pancakes in Perth and instead offer waffles. This has not gone down well with the boys but needless to say we all ordered the waffles anyhow, after a slight protest which was of course ignored.  ( In Perth the customer is always wrong apparently. ?) As we all wolfed down our coffee’s imagine our surprise when the waiter came over with a quiche for the table. There was much laughter among the lads at the thought of one of the boys eating quiche but then Jon put up his hand and took the offending article from the waiters grasp. After a period of stunned silence the banter began in earnest. It started with the obvious comments about Quiche being invented by women so they could enjoy bacon and eggs and not feel guilty, where as there is nothing a man enjoys more than a bacon and egg sandwich smeared all over this face. We then moved into the old Wife’s tales about Quiche affecting a mans sexuality. True to his ‘Banting diet’ regime Jon even ate the quiche but left the pastry, as I tucked into my waffle I wondered if Jon was enjoying his quiche as much as I was certainly enjoying my waffles, with extra maple syrup.

After my post earlier in the week regarding diet, and Jon ordering quiche, the conversation again turned to weight, diet and running performance. The table agreed as a whole that the most important thing is to get to your racing weight and how you get there isn’t important as such. If Jon wanted to eat quiche and test his masculinity then that was his choice. The rest of us ‘real men’ chowed down on our waffles confident our sexuality was not being compromised.  Of course the quiche was probably helping Jon’s cause where as you would be hard justified to argue the case for waffles (with extra maple syrup) and weight loss to be perfect partners. I made a conscience effort to put in an extra hour on the Elliptigo in the afternoon to counter the waffles , a small price to pay me thinks.

I have attached the 10 golden rules of Banting below but, of course, have issues with a few of these. The first four are , at a push, do-able but the problem starts at number 5. Imagine skipping a meal, it just seems to alien to me (and all runners really. ). As runners we are normally always hungry as we exercise , the old adage calories out, calories in. The more calories we lose the more we need to refill, common sense surely ?  Thus skipping meals is something that never happens. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is a bare minimum. This lead me to number 6, to quote John McEnroe ‘You cannot be serious!’….No snacking ! Runners love to snack as we’re always hungry and truth be told we enjoy snacking.

Unfortunately  things now take a big turn for the worst as we look at rule number 7. No sugar, which means no sugar I assume, I had to reread it a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing something?  Oh dear, Mr. Banting just lost about 90% of the population with this ‘bad boy’ rule. No sugar means no waffles, muffins, pancakes, do I need to go on ? This for me is a show stopper but we’ll continue on,  rule 8 is another hard one to stomach (excuse the pun) as they’re taking out bread, pancakes, waffles again. (Banting really wasn’t a pancake fan was he?) Rule 9  is another tough one because there goes banana’s, our staple go to food after most runs.  Banting does redeem himself with rule 10 as eggs are a runners friends but in the Banting diet they become your number one food source. This must have serious consequences for the people around you on a daily basis as eggs can certainly cause some unpleasant smells to be offered to the world, if you know what I mean. (I’m sure Quiche does not have this unpleasant side affect and any aroma would smell of ‘elderberry’s’ ?)

So that about sums it up for me. It ain’t going to happen. I’ll get to my racing weight with extra hard work and it’s a price I’m willing to pay. So as Jon sits at home eating his quiche reading ‘Good Housekeeping Monthly’ I’ll be out on the pavement putting in the extra hard yards needed to justify the pancakes, waffles and ‘all things nice’ I’m about to devour and I wouldn’t have it any other way……

10 golden rules of Banting

1. Remember: this is not a high protein diet. It’s a high fat, medium protein, low carb way of eating

2. Choose real foods that look like what they are, and cook them from scratch

3. Fat is not the enemy. Enjoy it!

4. Eat only when you are hungry; eat until you are satisfied – then stop

5. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry. You won’t die if you occasionally skip a meal you don’t feel like eating.

6. Stop snacking. You won’t need to – it’s just a habit.

7. No sugar. It’s an addiction, and it’s probably best to go cold turkey. But if you need to make it a transition, substitute with Stevia, Zylitol or Erythritol – NOT artificial sweeteners.

8. No grains of any kind

9. No (or very, very little) fruit. Think of it as a sweet rather than a health snack.

10. Embrace eggs. They’re healthy, satisfying and very good for you.

So to sum up this post there are diets out there for all people but to me a diet should be defined as a ‘temporary’ change of eating habits that is long term unsustainable. I see it so many times at work where people go on the ‘liteneasy’ diet where the food is delivered to them daily and costs a kings ransom. They do lose weight but look miserable every time lunchtime comes around as I tuck into my smorgasbord of meat, rice and pudding (runners love pudding!) while they are faced with something that looks like it was prepared for a small child who has an allergy for anything that tasted good and loves tuna. Eventually they come off the diet and the weight returns like an old friend as they sneak to the comfort foods that made them smile and they enjoyed eating. This of course is the fundamental flaw in diets, you are changing peoples eating habits by giving them food they don’t really enjoy eating or quantities that are not satisfying. What a diet should do is couple the diet changes with a change in attitude towards nutrition. Once you enjoy eating the food offered it is no longer a diet but a lifestyle change, which is sustainable.

It looks like Jon has embraced quiche and thus he is enjoying the Banting diet and does not see it now as a constraining factor in his daily diet choice. Thus he is at or near his racing weight and running the best I have seen him run in many years. This is a double positive, a new diet that he is enjoying and a performance spike. Of course this is the sacrifice Jon is prepared to make but now he is at his racing weight he can control his urges and maybe treat himself to a ‘macho‘ waffle and maple syrup in the near future. Maybe next week there’ll be more than one quiche making its way our table, we’ll see.


  1. JON | 11th Jul 17

    Great post Kev & sums it up well! I’m more than happy to share/entertain the wider running community 🙂

    My lightbulb moment commenced as I was 2nd time (unrelated) on same day called Mr.Squishy! First one being as my son gave me a cuddle goodbye in the morning (cheeky git), and the 2nd one being by yours truly out on a lunch time run as i found myself dropped at the back of the pack (on an ‘easy’ run!)… what happened to me pushing the pace at the front, seems longer and longer ago in fact i think my age began with a 2 back then !! (approaching 36 now) Enough was enough, time to do something.

    It was then I started an unsustainable ‘calorie restricted diet’, this is truly short term focus as never works long term, however a few weeks in I remembered an Ironman mate Toyney had mentioned several years ago about Banting (LCHF), I laughed it off at the time thinking along lines above loving my carbs too much !

    Anyway, i looked at some of Toyney’s material he had given me at the time, and what i read seemed like perhaps this is what i had been waiting for all along ! Forget ‘calorie restricting’, instead eat and eat how much you like, caveat being based around a Traffic Light system (good enough for kids at school, yet as adults we have instilled good eating habits and moderation being the key?); Green eat as much/Orange in moderation/Red to avoid: Note: This list has actually been modernly adapted to now green/light orange/dark orange/light red/dark red ! (I’d recommend reading ‘The Real Meal Revolution 2.0 by Jonno Proudfoot’, about $30)

    Bingo. Weight came off, week by week, in fact around 10% in 10 weeks. About 15/16 weeks in now, and weight has plateaued (anyone looking at me would say nothing left to lose !) – food seems and feels ‘sustainable’. To me, it doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’. Truly a clean way of eating. Who doesn’t love eating fresh food every day, it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact its equal if not cheaper than the way i ate previously (but wasn’t about the cost). First weeks hardest adapting over to carb depletion, but since then training as usual.

    Where to from here, well i haven’t missed my carbs (mostly); training and volume consistent. Still have plenty of energy for double days/long runs etc. I have several new gears in my training regime not seen for many years. I have new motivation to achieve some real PB’s so watch this space. I am testing out a shortened carb load in the marathon for that ‘intense’ effort, but otherwise carbs are gone (for now).

  2. Darren | 12th Jul 17

    Reading this reminded me that Matt Fitzgerald has a new book for me for me to read:
    “The Endurance Diet: Discover the 5 Core Habits of the World’s Greatest Athletes to Look, Feel, and Perform Better”.
    I’ve heard him promoting it on a few podcasts:
    Sounds interesting in light of your current discussion!

    • | 14th Jul 17

      G’day Darren, I am in a quandary when it comes to diet. I understand the logic behind the HFLC diet but I just can’t see myself giving up my carbs and sugars. I read an article from the Tina Muir website where she advocated the HFLC diet and attributed this new diet to her success before she gave the running away to concentrate on her family. Personally I think you can judge your diet on your weight and how you feel generally. i.e. if you are at your racing weight and don’t always feel hungry then you’re probably where you need to be. On the other hand if you’re over you racing weight and always feel bloated or full then you’re probably on the wrong diet. It really isn’t rocket science but it becomes so confusing with all the possible different diets out there. I must admit Tim Noakes ripping up the chapter on nutrition in his ‘Lore of Running’ bible was a powerful statement for the HFLC diet but again I ain’t dropping my Yelo muffin for no man !

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