Monthly Archives: March 2015

Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge

Coast to Coast Route Map

Coast to Coast Route Map

I’m very excited to announce something that I’ve been planning for several months.

This summer I will be cycling the Coast to Coast (C2C) Cycle Route from Whitehaven to Sunderland, a total of 135 miles, and raising money for Invest in ME along the way.

I will be cycling with my husband, 3 kids and my sister in law. I’ve planned our route and booked accommodation along the way, so we are now committed to 5 days of cycling 20-30 miles per day.

I’m so excited about this trip. It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since Sustrans launched the route in the 1990s.  When I had my relapse in December 2012 and was mostly bed bound for several weeks, I promised myself that if I recovered I would cycle this route.

Last summer I managed a 26km (16 mile) bike ride and I started talking to my husband about the possibility of doing the C2C. Fortunately for me he’s cycle mad and thinks it’s a great idea to go on a cycle touring holiday with 3 kids!

This will be a huge physical challenge for me.  Although pre-illness I cycled the London to Cambridge a couple of times (58 miles), I haven’t cycled as far as that 16 mile ride since the summer, and for the winter months my cycling has been confined to the 1 mile round trip to school twice a day. As soon as the weather warms up I plan to start training so that I can hopefully manage the distances involved (and the hills – eek) with no problem when the time comes.

Keen cyclists will scoff at the distances we are doing each day, but just over a year ago I was using a mobility scooter and electric bike to get around, so for me this is a big deal.  Also the youngest member of our party will be only 9 years old, so this is a huge challenge for him too.

I’m hoping this ride will prove that I am fully recovered and give me more confidence in my abilities going forward. One of my main symptoms was Post Exertional Malaise, so  multi-day physical activity is the ultimate challenge.  If I have any lingering symptoms they will appear after a day or two of physical exertion and I will then struggle to cycle the following day.

My parents will be our support crew for the ride, carrying luggage and driving our car from the start point to the end point.  This does mean that if it turns out I’m not fully recovered there is a plan B involving the car.  However, I plan to stick firmly to plan A and pedal my bike all the way from Coast to Coast.

I have set up a just-giving page for the ride.  If you would like to support Invest in ME then please head to my fundraising page.  If you don’t wish to donate, but wish to support my efforts then please leave a comment below.  I need all the help I can get to help me over those hills!


I haven’t written about supplements sooner, because I don’t want people to think they are magic pills which are going to suddenly cure everything.  I believe that you need to be eating the right foods, and make lifestyle changes – such as pacing and meditating, the supplements may then give you a boost.

Before I got ME the only supplement I took was Evening Primrose Oil, which effectively reduced pain/tenderness in my breasts.  This had been recommended by a specialist nurse after I had a mammogram.  I ate relatively healthily, and didn’t see the need for other supplements.

After I got PVF, I was feeling so rough that after a few weeks I started researching what I could do to help myself.  It was at that point that I found the website  I also came across the book Natural Energy by Dr Erika Schwartz an Carol Colman, and also From Fatigued to Fantastic by Jacob Teitelbaum.  Based on what I read I began taking the following supplements:

  • Fatigued to Fantastic Energy Revitalization System – half a scoop a day
  • D Ribose 5 g morning and evening
  • CoQ10 150mg
  • L-Glutamine 1500mg
  • L Carnitine 1000mg
  • Evening Primrose Oil 2000 mg per day
  • Viridian Licorice Root 1 capsule

After a few months I began to consult my Nutritional Therapist.  Over the time I consulted with her we changed my supplements several times. Here is the list of everything I remember taking under her direction.  These were not taken all at the same time.  Sometimes I stopped one tablet and replaced it with another.  At other times the importance of taking taking two supplements together was stressed.  Where I can remember that information I’ve included it here.  However, please note that throughout most of the time I was consulting with my nutritional therapist I had brain fog and very little energy, so my memory is not great!

  • Solgar Energy Modulators  – 2 capsules per day
  • Nutri Adrenal Extra (not taken with Solgar Energy Modulator) 2 tablets per day before 1pm.
  • Nutrigest Pancreatic Enzymes (always taken with probiotics)
  • Udo’s Choice Super 8 Probiotics
  • Pukka Herbs Ashwaganha & Shatavari (instead of Nutri Adrenal Extra)
  • Higher Nature Valerian Sleep aid
  • Biocare Multi One a Day Plus (vitamin and mineral supplement instead of fatigued to fantastic powder)
  • Biocare Magnesium Taurate
  • Magnesium Citrate

I am not advocating that you go out, buy all these supplements and start taking them immediately.  I’m not qualified to give advice on what you should take, all I can do is share what I took and what I think helped me.  If you’re considering taking supplements you need to be aware of possible interactions between different supplements or and/or your prescription medication.

Nutri Adrenal Extra

The supplement that I noticed the most direct benefit from, and felt worse when I stopped taking it was Nutri Adrenal Extra.  I initially took this for 1 month, after a saliva test showed I had adrenal fatigue. I saw noticeable improvements within two weeks, particularly in my sleep.  After 1 month, on the advice of my nutritionist, I tried to stop taking Nutri Adrenal Extra and replace it with Ashwagana and Sharavari instead.  I noticed my symptoms and sleep worsened and after consulting with my nutritionist we quickly swapped me back on to the Nutri Adrenal Extra.  I took this for about 18 months in total, before gradually reducing my dose and removing it altogether.


Magnesium also made a huge and noticeable difference to my symptoms.  It really helped my restless legs, muscle pain, constipation and sleep. I am still taking magnesium citrate tablets, having recently experimented with removing them only to discover that my restless legs  and constipation returned.

Current Supplement Regime

As my health has improved I have steadily decreased the number and quantity of supplements I’m taking.

I am currently taking:

  • 500mg Evening Primrose Oil (reduced from 2000mg)
  • 1-2 tablets of Biocare Multi One a Day Plus.  I experimented with removing this, but have decided to add it back in.
  • Magnesium Citrate – 1 tablet per day

I also ensure I eat or drink probiotic foods daily: homemade yogurt, kimchi and/or kombucha, to replace the probiotic tablets I used to take, and I still pay close attention to my diet to ensure I get a nutrient dense diet.