The Voyage: Roz Savage
Gizmos Galore
Roz Savage
19 Jul 2005, Emsworth

Photo: Roz receiving a brace of VHF radios from Jeremy Harrison (right) and Tim Davies (left) of Simrad

The observant may have noticed that my boat floats very high in the water - almost ON the water. This is because she has absolutely nothing on board, but that situation is being rapidly rectified... boxes full of strange gadgets and gizmos arriving almost daily. Dining room filling up rapidly, and bank account emptying equally rapidly. First Direct were on the phone to me today to check nobody had stolen my credit card - it was suddenly taking such a pounding.

The good news for my bank manager is that I got an exciting new sponsorship deal with Simrad on Friday - they'll be supplying me with my VHF radios - fixed and handheld. The best things in life are free...

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Solo International
Roz Savage
11 Jul 2005, Emsworth

Alby McCracken of Para-Anchors Australia rang this morning, replying to my e-mail asking about these essential items in the ocean rower's armoury. He sounded remarkably cheery, considering it was 9pm in Australia and he was still at work.

We've arranged to meet at the Southampton Boat Show in September to discuss the ins and outs of para-anchors - a large fabric parachute that I trail from the bow of my boat into the sea, to stop me being blown too far backwards if the winds turn against me.

Seems I'm going to have a truly internationally-equipped boat - kangaroo skin gloves and oars from Oz, biltong from South Africa, homeopathic remedies from New Zealand, iTrip from the USA, and what no ocean rower should be without - an alpaca-skin seat cover from Peru. Sheepskin? - pah!

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Proof of the pudding
Roz Savage
10 Jul 2005, Emsworth

Porridge with mashed strawberries and salted cashew nuts may sound a bit weird, but it's a surprisingly acceptable low-GI alternative to my previous preferred option - porridge with banana, dried apricots and demarara sugar. Maybe this new eating regime isn't going to be as tough as I imagined. Quite fancy a coffee though, and that's definitely off-limits.

The principle underlying my new diet is to moderate the fluctuations in my blood sugar levels. By avoiding caffeine and refined sugar, and moderating alcohol intake, the objective is to maintain more consistent energy levels. In the long term this should also lead to leaner body mass, as the body isn't confused by sugar crashes into thinking it's starving and has to lay down reserves of fat. I've just hit half a stone over my ideal weight, and no, it isn't muscle - unless the muscle is extremely relaxed and centred around my midriff.

I don't believe in diets in the sense of a short-term bikini-motivated fad, followed by a return to the eating habits that created fat in the first place. But if by eating differently I can enhance my energy levels and improve my longevity, I'm all in favour.

So let's see how the GI goes. If it's good enough for Kylie, it's good enough for me. But the proof of the pudding, so to speak, is in the eating.

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You are what you eat (and drink)
Roz Savage
09 Jul 2005, The fridge

The new dietary regime starts tomorrow. So obviously today I have to somehow dispose of all forbidden foodstuffs, and I hate to see good food go to waste so it seems best to eat it all.

Yesterday I went to see my new nutritionist (or 'nutritional therapist') Natalie. Natalie was my crewmate in the Oxford Lightweights Eight in 1989, and by coincidence lives about 50 yards from my house in Emsworth.

She reminded me of some important nutritional principles - of course I've read the books and KNOW that caffeine and sweet scrummy things set me off on a rollercoaster of sugar highs followed by sugar crashes - I'd just chosen to ignore the fact. But it seems my insomnia and fluctuating energy levels are symptoms of this blood sugar imbalance, and I need to mend my ways before we can move on to greater refinements of my nutritional programme. 'Otherwise', as Natalie eloqently put it, 'we're just polishing a turd.'

So it's out with the coffee and cookies, and in with the decaf and nuts and seeds. But not just yet. My friend Angus came down from London to visit me last night, and we sat down on the quayside in the sunshine and polished off a bottle of rose with some fantastically fresh prawns from Starr's butchers and fishmongers. And then we went to the Crown for a glass or two. Then another bottle of wine with dinner... so of course the blood sugar levels are all over the shop today and I'm munching my way through all manner of forbidden foods.

Just a final hurrah before going cold turkey, honestly, Natalie.

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