Happy Monday thoughts

Wow. What a week last week was! (and how many Ws was that?!)

Sincere apologies to everyone for not getting my Sunday thoughts done. I know many of you like reading them as a way to think about your own week as it wraps up and builds into a new week, and I was looking forward to putting them together. I was on a real learning spree last week and had some new eats and treats to share with you, but unfortunately this happened:

Broken windowAfter a fun morning at Ben’s brother’s, playing with the kids in the sunny garden, having a family lunch, and following an easygoing journey home planning our evening (what shall we watch on TV? what shall we have for dinner?), we walked up the stairs to our bedroom to see this:

Bedroom burglary

It took me a split second to process the fact that we had not left our drawers on our bed before going out, nor emptied the contents of them onto the floor. My heart sank with a sickening feeling as I realised we had been burgled. We ran downstairs to find a very cold living room and a smashed window pane. I saw the kitchen cupboards hanging open and my sharp knives glinting and was relieved that they had been left where they were; no intent to cause bodily harm, and nobody home to be harmed.

Although many items of sentimental value were taken, nothing that would be too much hassle to replace like passports (thankfully we had our laptops – and phones – with us!). Everything’s OK. Although they took my grandmother’s earrings, and Ben’s dad’s ring, I had to have a little giggle as I thought of our burglars trying to pawn off a cheap plastic gold-painted pendant they had taken.

It was oddly fascinating to see what was taken and what was left behind. Weirdly, some items had been taken from one room to another but ultimately left behind. Drawers had been upended, but my ceramic measuring cups had clearly been put down gently in a corner of the room. Clearly the job had been done in a rush, but they had enough time to grab a bottle of Pepsi and a can of beer from the fridge!

I was touched by all the support from friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and unknown Twitter followers. It’s crazy how much of a difference kind words can make! We’ve learnt our lesson and from now on this and any future home will be properly secured, and we have a chance to exercise our compassion; it didn’t take us long to figure out that pity for the people who had to do this would get us a lot further than anger.

With that in mind, I’m offering a slightly simplified and condensed version of Sunday thoughts just focussing on highlights from last week. I only want happy thoughts today.

  • Last week was busy, but very much in a good way; a new client, solid workouts, getting my head around what I can use as credits towards my the renewal of my personal trainer certification. The week lasted forever, but for all the right reasons.
  • We started viewing new places to live; we want to live outside of London but with an easy commute and closer to Ben’s family, especially as he has a new niece or nephew on the way! I hate looking for flats and houses, but so far although we’ve not seen what we want, it’s encouraging. I’m excited!
  • I got back on the learning wagon with plenty of research into subjects like training with dyspraxia, whether ice baths are physiologically beneficial or not, and the use of active recovery in a hypertrophy workout. I’m planning on putting together a blog post on physical exercise and strength training for people with dyspraxia, as it’s a really interesting area and from what I can tell, it’s totally under-researched and all but ignored.
  • I had some lifting sessions and felt really strong, and Ben and I tried out some pretty cool new exercises too, really focussing on controlling small areas.
  • Food was good this week; I’ve been craving vegetables (aubergine and spinach mainly) and healthy snacks and I’ve not been afraid to admit it. Dinners have been composed of a variety of differently-prepared vegetables all piled up in a bowl, and Ben kindly made me this vanilla custard which was incredible. It immediately reminded me of my French grandma’s crème anglaise and put a smile on my face; healthy and delicious, I enjoyed some of it for breakfast topped with granola and it was perfect!

  • When we did have less healthy snacks, we indulged with abandon rather than feeling guilty. Multiple batches of classic chocolate chip cookies from Oh She Glows were made, but only about half of those actually made it into the oven; we shared the rest straight from the mixing bowl with a little spoon!
  • We ate out at Hare & Tortoise for the first time; slightly cheaper than Wagamama, with separate tables, and more Japanese than pan-Asian. Staff weren’t overly friendly and they charge a pound for replacing ramen noodles with rice noodles, but overall a little cheaper, and the food was tasty if a little simpler in flavour than Wagamama which I sometimes find a little too salty and garlicky. Mainly, it was nice to eat out together again, just the two of us, for the first time in a long time.
  • People have been cool this week. I’ve been tired and irritable for a lot of the week, but in those times when I was too tired to do anything but sit and stare into space, people have come over and had genuinely nice chats with me. Had some really good conversations with our local coffee shop staff this week; one of them even came up to me to give me the link to this recipe, knowing I was vegan. How sweet!
  • I got my first delivery of ProteinMunchies bars! Healthy vegan protein bars designed by me, for me! I love them, and I have a full review ready to go as soon as I can get a discount code for you guys (fingers crossed).
  • The weather has been great and although it’s a cliché, it does make a difference.

Finally, after the burglary, we realised we really didn’t want to stew in our misery all night, so we invited a friend around and ordered pizza. It was great to catch up with him, and pizza is always a happy occasion (and he brought us the most incredible Saudi Arabian dates!). Not to mention that I spent most of the afternoon connecting with friends sending me messages of support. It really is in dark times that you remember what really matters.

That’s about it, time to move on with this week and into the second half of April – how crazy is that? I hope your weeks have all gotten off to a good start, and I hope to give you some interesting reading this week!

Tip of the day: invest in a burglar alarm! The forensics officer particularly recommended window-mounted vibration detectors, which will detect glass being smashed even if the window-frame doesn’t get opened. And, of course, keep valuables with you or locked away. Be safe :)

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Don’t believe the hype

Although our bodies that have evolved over centuries, it seems that we need a new and groundbreakingly different fitness regime about once every few months.

I understand; variety is the spice of life and with physical fitness being a vital part of life, it makes sense to keep your training routine fun and varied. I’m as susceptible to new fitness kit as anyone – and I’m especially loving the new trend for bright, bold patterns – but I’m no fan of jumping from one workout format to another with no purpose or preparation. Continue reading

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Sunday thoughts: 6th April 2014

If there was a graph relating social media and online activity to real world social activity (there must already be one, surely!), then I imagine it would be a smooth bell curve; the more socially active you are in the real world, the more you tweet/facebook/instagram/blog… to a certain point. Beyond that point, it becomes irrelevant and inefficient to publicise your social exploits. Continue reading

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Do as I say…

not as I do!

Some of you may know that I ran in the Relay for Life in Luxembourg last weekend. Some of you may also know that I haven’t run at all since the same event last year. I may have run for buses and trains a couple of times, but I avoid doing even that because then if you miss it you feel like a complete tool, and also because I seem to think I walk faster than I run (factually incorrect).

Now, you might think not running for a year and then trying to run for an hour and a half would be a really bad idea. I covered about 17 or 18km, so it’s very nearly like running a half marathon off no training. So yes, you’d be right, it is a terrible idea. Continue reading

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Sunday thoughts

Happy British summer time to everyone this side of various oceans! I hope you are making the most of an extra hour of daylight. I suppose I’m making the most of it by still being awake and fairly productive despite being pretty much exhausted, but I’m not sure how much of that is due to prolonged daylight and how much is due to the fact that I refuse to stop knowing that once I flake out, that’ll be me done until tomorrow.

Of course, the week has been totally dominated by Luxembourg and the Relay for Life, which I have already talked about ad nauseam, but I’ll try and remember the earlier portion of the week! Continue reading

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Fuelled by compassion

Hello from sunny Luxembourg! No, honestly, the weather is gorgeous here – perfect weather to sit at an outdoor terrace catching up with friends over white wine, beer, or sparkling water depending on your preferences (or coffee, when your caffeine withdrawal headache kicks in as you woke up too late to gulp down something caffeinated before bursting out into the sunshine). Slightly less perfect weather to run around an indoor 200m track for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. Continue reading

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Walk this way

You guys know my friend Vivien, right? Who guest-posted on here about her month on a plant-based diet? Who runs her own blog on her medicine studies-related travels? Who I have mentioned so much that occasionally I have felt it might be less weird to just use a different name and pretend it’s someone different, lest the internet think I have only one friend?

Viv’s walking from London to Brighton over the May bank holiday weekend, in the hope of raising £500 for WaterAid. Continue reading

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