Sunday thoughts

Quite a monotonous week which dragged on and on, despite the world making its best efforts to make a grey mid-February week perk up with Pancake Day and Valentine’s day, but I felt immune to it all. Felt incredibly tired all week which was odd and not at all helped by three late nights at work – though to be fair I did get two very long lie-ins so can’t really complain!

However, the weekend kicked in and brought some new experiences including trying out the much-acclaimed Riverside Vegetaria, house-sitting and cat-sitting for Ben’s family, and  a cageside ticket to the UFC!

So to sum it all up, although for the first time in a long time I feel like I’ve had time to digest the whole week as it went (slowly) by:

New things I have learnt this week

  • A while ago I very briefly touched on the ludicrous so-called “Paleo diet”. I tend to just avoid the topic for a few reasons; firstly, a lot of people view vegans as deluded extremists, so I’m not going to fall into that trap of pointing the finger at Paleo dieters – if it works for you, by all means go ahead (and keep quiet); and also just because it annoys me and generally I can do with not being riled up. But I did come across an interesting article which looks at the Paleo diet discussion from the point of view of the evolution of our digestive system. Disregarding the Paleo issue, I just learnt a lot from this article about our digestive systems and those of other animals.
  • I found out that there is apparently a single gene which determines not only the type of wax we produce in our ears, but whether our sweat leads to body odour or not. I’ll be doing some further reading here next week. Quite an interesting topic as well in terms of the ecological issues associated with cosmetics and, in particular, spray deodorants. Oh, and wasting money too!

New things I have eaten this week

  • The most exciting new thing I have tried this week has got to be Jusroll’s croissant dough. For years when I was growing up, my dad and I would get up on a Sunday morning, make croissants exactly like these, squeeze oranges, and make my mum a cappucino, which we would bring her up on a tray in bed (usually whilst singing some sort of song). He and I would then have our breakfast downstairs together, watching Formula 1. My parents still have the croissants and the orange juice (and the cappucino for my mum), but usually it’s mum who gets up and makes them so they are ready when dad gets out of bed – and as they are not vegan, I never have any even when I am home. So I was super excited when Mitsu of To Happy Vegans tweeted about her croissants, and informed me that Jusroll’s version are vegan! Unfortunately, I am rarely at home for breakfast, and when I am I am often getting ready for training and prefer to stick to the porridge that I know. But Ben thoughtfully picked us up a can for our weekend away in a beautiful quiet peaceful house, and they were just the perfect Saturday morning breakfast!

Homemade croissants

  • As I mentioned above, we also visited Riverside Vegetaria in Kingston, which we’d both heard a fair bit about. The only way to sum the whole experience up is, “disappointing”. The menu was really quite uninteresting – lots of stews and stir-fries and curries which, although undoubtedly all lovely, I could either make myself or visit an ethnic restaurant for and still get a good vegetarian meal. Now, everything was OK. Nothing was terrible, the service wasn’t rude or slow, but really nothing shone. The bread was quite dry and tasteless, the Teriyaki tofu was not sweet and thick and sticky, but a vaguely sweet stir-fry through which I had to hunt for the little cubes of tofu. Ben’s chocolate fudge cake was chocolate bread, my crumble was tasty if a little dry and sad-looking dumped in its big bowl, and they had no soy cream, soy custard, or vanilla ice cream. To be fair, it’s the kind of place I would happily go to for a quick lunch with friends on a sunny day out, but I won’t be going out of my way to go there again.
  • I bought a box of Cofresh Peanut Bars as part of the UK Vegan Food Swap box I will be sending out tomorrow, and had a sudden craving for one this evening – they are surprisingly pleasant! Lightly crunchy but not the sort of thing you will break your teeth on, slightly savoury from the peanuts, and more satisfying that you’d think, I think I will be buying these again for those desperate “need a crunchy snack that isn’t an apple” moments!

Other highlights this week

  • Going to see the UFC in amazing seats
  • Getting to spend time with Ben in a peaceful house… with a cat!
  • Making those croissants
  • Getting my amazing UK Vegan Food Swap box from Christine – more on that later this week.
  • Ben made us an amazing chilli served over roast sweet potatoes, I can’t get over how good it is – definitely better than anything we ate at Riverside Vegetaria!

I think that’s about it. This week should be much more grounded in routine, with no external visits so plenty of time to catch up on admin at the office and have lunch breaks, and also a free day off to try and make up for all the overtime my department has worked over the past few weeks. I can’t wait to blog about my newly arrived box of amazing treats, and I will also try and post about what I am sending out. Oh, and I’m going climbing for the first time with a colleague this week, so that should be interesting (and probably quite disheartening as I am used to being strong, but I know my upper body strength will get a big shock when it tries to get me up a wall).

Been a bit of a non-event week, but this weekend has totally made up for it, and I have plenty to look forward to next week.

Hope you have all had wonderful weeks and are enjoying a peaceful Sunday evening!