Sunday thoughts

Last “Sunday Thoughts” of the year! No pressure!

This whole week has been fantastic; all of it spent in quiet rural France with the family and more delicious food than I could have thought possible. Every day consisted of sleeping until I woke up naturally, a short brisk walk to wake myself up, then a leisurely day of knitting, watching TED talks or documentaries, long slow walks with my granddad, lots of food and snacks, and of course Christmas! Now back in London feeling ready to tackle the world again – let’s see how long that lasts…

Unfortunately, though I have learnt a lot everything has sort of blurred into a big mass of relaxation. Which is why this Sunday review is all the more important – can’t have those memories and that knowledge slip away unnoticed!

New things I have learnt this week

  1. I learnt that Sweden has a big problem with osteoporosis, which had perplexed people due to their high-calcium dairy-heavy diet, but researchers found that their diet is also high in vitamin A which as been linked to lower bone mineral density and highly fracture risk. I would have argued that low vitamin D levels from low sun exposure may have been at least partly to blame for this, but as the documentary was on excessive vitamin consumption and not deficiency, maybe that’s why no mention was made.
  2. Another one on vitamin A – I heard about a study that was conducted with the aim to demonstrate that vitamin A supplementation reduced the risk of lung cancer in smokers, which actually had to be stopped because they were starting to find the opposite result! Worryingly, studies I have found on the internet still state that it has been shown to reduce lung cancer. Goes to show how little we actually know – don’t accept health claims made on fashionable health food labels!

New things I have eaten this week

  1. Soyatoo Cocos Whip – a coconut-based whipping cream – made a cream a little bit denser than cow’s milk whipped cream, and perhaps a little bit more oily too. Has only a very subtle coconut taste so can easily be used in baking without clashing with other flavours, but enough that it won’t appeal to enemies of coconut. Overall, I think the soy equivalent is slightly better, but it is nice to change your source of protein/”milk”-products.
  2. Mum made the most amazing vegan baked New York cheesecake with a speculoos crust, it was just incredible! She also veganised the galette des rois – a puff pastry pie filled with frangipane typically eaten on Epiphany. I haven’t eaten one of these since going vegan and it always annoyed me that it seemed like it could so easily be vegan. I think the non-vegans at the table were even more vocal about how good it was than the one vegan!

Other highlights this week

  1. Getting my own (acrylic) yarn and knitting needles and embarking on my very own project of a scarf.
  2. Giving out all the presents I had carefully put together, and obviously getting some fantastic ones myself.
  3. Going in to Paris and seeing a friend I hadn’t seen in a while even though he lives in London – we went back to a Lebanese restaurant we had been to before and it was even better than I’d remembered. Lebanese food is much better in Paris than in London!
  4. Coming home to find my two packages waiting for me – one of Builder’s Bars and one of vegan boots which are even better than I was expecting, so it’s smiles all round here tonight.

Also just stepped on the scales for the first time in 10 days, and taking into account the fact that I had just had dinner and was wearing a jumper (among other, lighter, items of clothing…!) it doesn’t look like my weight has changed too much! After carrying my suitcase up and down maybe a couple hundred steps today I am absolutely certain my fitness and strength levels have suffered drastically, but I am genuinely surprised my weight doesn’t seem to have been too perturbed by really quite a huge upheaval of diet and lifestyle. Maybe I do know what I’m talking about after all!