Sunday thoughts

How do I always end up feeling so rushed and busy? I am currently in Luxembourg, where I have been since Thursday, where life is easy and I had nothing to do except run for one hour around a track at 2am this morning, as part of the Relay for Life to show solidarity for cancer patients. And yet somehow it is now 10.15pm, I am exhausted, and was about to open this post with “This is going to have to be a quick one”.

New things I have learnt this week

Once again, I have been really slack on this. I’ve had some interesting conversations with friends about moot courts (which led me to finally understand the phrase “moot point”), creativity and the frontal lobe of the brain (paraphrased for me by a friend who had watched a documentary), and had some thoughts about why children don’t seem to feel muscular fatigue in the same way that adults do. However, I haven’t had the time or the concentration to sit down and fully research any of these, despite having planned to use these couple of days to recharge my brain.

New things I have eaten this week

  • Made a good start on my latest UK Vegan Food Swap box with a stick of Panda Raspberry Licorice. I love licorice so I knew either way this would be good, but it was even better than I expected! The licorice and raspberry flavours were both quite mellow and meshed perfectly to give a warm a and juicy flavour to this soft and chewy bar. Think I will be buying some of these for myself…!
  • Finally got to try Alpro Soy Pouring Yoghurt in the vanilla flavour, because my local supermarket in Luxembourg has a ridiculously extensive range of Alpro products (but your vegan options end there). Although I am currently addicted to it, I’m not sure how much more valuable to my diet it is than their regular soy yoghurt, but that might be because I have now realised that I just don’t really concoct dishes that require the pouring of yoghurt onto them (I would imagine it would be delicious with a berry sorbet though…).
  • Visited a new café in Luxembourg, Konrad, which is one of the few coffee-shop style places we have here. I was pleasantly surprised to find they did lattés, and had soy milk, and also had some tasty vegan-friendly sandwiches. Two days in a row I had their grilled aubergine and courgette sandwich without the cheese, and really enjoyed the simple yet effective combination.

Konrad latté

Konrad sandwich

  • Tried Alpro Tofu Mince so Ben and I could have Bolognaise… it was fine. Nothing spectacular but totally inoffensive. Needs more seasoning than other soy mince products I have tried.
  • Also picked up some De Hobbit seitan mince because I wasn’t sure what Ben would be happiest cooking with – it was much more finely minced than other minced products, and had a more rubbery texture than the tofu mince, but really did taste pretty much like straight-up seitan (which, in its defence, is all it was) so like the Alpro Tofu Mince it needs extra seasoning.

Other highlights this week

  • Finally tried “proper” BJJ (i.e. with a gi) this week, and although found it was way more different than I had expected and that I was completely out of my depth, I enjoyed it and will now make it a part of my regular routine.
  • As a result of trying the gi classes, I had two really good 2-hour sessions on Monday and Tuesday.
  • I feel much healthier and leaner, although my weight is still up, I feel like I may have put on some muscle or at least gotten my diet back on track (not in the “weight-reduction” sense, but in the “eating pattern” sense of the word).
  • Getting my UK Vegan Food Swap box!
  • Seeing my friends and being in Luxembourg – spending the first night on my own for the first time in a very long time, having a bath and midnight soaking in salt and olive oil (my favourite and most effective home remedy), whilst watching Girls – eating good bread and being able to sit with friends without looking at the clock – having some time to spend with Ben – being in a warm house despite it snowing outside – going to my favourite Japanese (pan-Asian maybe?) restaurant and having the most amazing fried tofu as a starter…
  • Running in the Relay for Life (and, for that matter, running again!) – there was something strangely pleasant about being around a track with a bunch of my friends (and their parents, and my parents’ friends, and my friends’ parents’ friends…) at 1am, 2am, 3am… then coming home and having a snack at 5am whilst watching the UFC live!
  • Running at an average pace of about 12-12.5km/h for an hour, despite not running for more than 20 minutes in about a couple of years.
  • Finally watching Food, Inc. which I have wanted to watch for ages.
  • Playing guitar again for the first time in years – I can’t believe how much I can actually still remember!

Right now I really am going to have to call it a night, as I still have some Community to watch and some sleep to catch up on!

Hope you have all had a pleasant week, full of friends and loved ones and health and fitness achievements!