Some thoughts on yoghurt

Stick with me on this one.

Recently, Arla (Denmark) released a new dairy product in the UK called skyr. You’ve probably seen the advert –

(They’ve got a couple of other cute adverts, too, here and here)

Unsurprisingly, Arla have come under a bit of fire from furious, patriotic Icelanders. Because Arla isn’t an Icelandic company, and this is not an Icelandic product, even though it’s pretending to be.

I feel for the Icelanders, I really do. But Arla are a business, and skyr is a product (which, as far as I know, is not PDO) and Arla just got in there first. If Iceland felt they had a unique and wonderful product, then why didn’t they produce it for export long ago?

That said, apparently Icelandic company MS will be releasing their own skyr on the British market later this year. I look forward to it.

In the mean time, a word on Arla’s skyr!

I really, really like it. I have tried some of the flavoured skyrs (and they come in some fun flavours – lingonberry and the like) but I’ll be sticking with plain from now on. It’s all it needs, and if I want added sugar, I’ll add it.

Which brings me on to macronutrient break-down: Arla skyr claims to be uniquely healthy in that it has high protein, fat-free and with very low sugar. But a lot of yoghurts claim to be healthy, so how does it compare?

I made this handy table. Enjoy.

Yoghurt Plain Skyr Honey Skyr Plain Greek Fat free Greek Natural yoghurt Low fat natural yoghurt
Calories 65kCal 73kCal 124kCal 55kCal 81kCal 65kCal
Fat 0.2g 0.1g 9.5g 0.4g 3.8g 1.4g
Protein 11g 9.4g 4.2g 7.3g 5.0g 5.0g
Carbohydrates 4g 7.8g 5.5g 5.3g 6.6g 7.0g
of which sugars 4g 7.2g 5.4g 5.3g 6.6g 6.9g

(values given per 100g of yoghurt. Greek & natural yoghurts as Tesco own brand)

Lower fat, lower sugar, higher protein than any other major yoghurt on the market. And it is REALLY THICK.

p.s. this one time, I went to Iceland, and pretended to fall off a glacier.


Why I Run

I am not a runner.

It’s a crass phrase, but: I am built for comfort, not for speed.

I’m good at picking up heavy stuff, and punching things.

I am not a runner.

But this is exactly why I run.

Running frustrates me. I’m not fast, I complain a lot, running makes me very “phlegmy”, it ruins my feet. I do not enjoy running. I enjoy the feeling of having run, but that is different.

Physical exercise is important – everyone knows that. I’m bored of saying it as much as you’re all bored of hearing it (but here are a couple of articles if you want to know more…). But we thankfully have a broad spectrum of methods of exercise available to us – some of the more fun ones in my opinion are kickboxing and swimming, but hey, these look fun too.

My younger memories of running are pretty awful – in secondary school, because I was not popular, I didn’t really get a look in expressing a preference for participation in school sports days. If they’d have let me do the shot put, we would have killed it every year. But no – I got lumped doing the 1500m, i.e. the Four Laps Of Shame.

But things have been better since – I did the ol’ Race For Life 5k, but more than that I did a Spartan Sprint 2 weeks before my wedding. But then in some ways I’m more built for Spartans than I am for straight-up distance running – we didn’t really do much running in Spartan Sprint, but hey I am BOSS at pulling-a-massive-weight-on-a-pulley-until-it’s-at-the-top-of-the-thing, and drag-a-massive-lump-of-concrete-around-a-short-course, and at climbing-over-a-wall. So I would argue that was no more or less of a personal achievement than Race for Life.

So why run? Having said I am not a runner, that I’m not built for running, that I do not enjoy running…

I am not a natural runner. And that is EXACTLY why I run.

I find it very difficult, genuinely challenging, misery-inducing on particularly bad days, but when I’ve finished a run, I have beaten it, not let it beat me. For the heady minutes following a good run, I genuinely feel that having done that, I can do anything.

Because if you can master something you hate, you can do pretty much anything else.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

Health & Appy-ness

Oh, I do love a pun, me.

I thought I’d share some brief reviews of health related apps I’ve been playing with. This lets me indulge three of the things I enjoy:
1. Health related behaviour
2. Apps/tech
3. Me talking about my views, because it’s my blog, gosh darnit.

So let us begin.

First off: Google Fit.

OK, on first use, I was excited about Google’s “Fit” app, because you need to do very little to get started, there are minimal features (sometimes this is a really good thing – I don’t like an overly fussy app), and it has good potential to seamlessly fit in alongside all of my other Google…stuff.


But the honeymoon period was swiftly over. Google Fit is still pretty buggy – when it’s tracking and saving, hurrah! But it randomly dumps info: today I might see “oh cool, I’ve done 12,000 steps today” and then tomorrow? the record for the previous day has mysteriously disappeared. Also, it doesn’t always sync properly. I was over-joyed to find I could sync my RunKeeper account, which I’ve used since 2011, but it’s not perfect, to say the least. For some reason, even though I ran over 3 miles yesterday (dutifully tracked with RunKeeper), Google Fit still hasn’t realised…

The Google Fit app is pretty good in principle – it’s pretty accurate at judging when I’m walking or running or cycling (no, I don’t tell it – it guesses based on average pace!!). However, the syncing problems are really frustrating and pretty unforgivable.

That said, Google Fit’s read-outs can be pretty insightful (when everything works properly!!) – you can see a good overview of your activity over the month, both in terms of active time, and in total steps taken. You can see a total for all active time, or separate out data for walking, running, etc. You can also manually input other activities, e.g. weight training, yoga, etc. so you can get a good overview of whether or not you’re getting enough physical exercise over a week.

At the moment, it’s a measly 2/5 for Google Fit. Fix the bugs, Google, and then we’ll talk!