Sunday thoughts

Well that’s another week gone, and despite having to dig out my winter jacket again and a few slightly restless nights, it has been a fantastic week. Training has been great and I got the first stripe to my belt in BJJ, I managed to watch a movie (albeit in three chunks), I drank a lot of good coffee at work, I had a guest post published, I moved in to Ben’s, I had high tea with friends on a sunny day… just so much good stuff. So let’s look at it a little closer:

New things I have learnt this week

  • By far the most interesting thing I learnt this week was that spending more time outdoors as a child – at least ten hours a week in the sun – contributed to healthy vision, and even reversed some of the effects of near-sighted activities like studying and watching TV.

New things I have eaten this week

  • Continuing on my destruction of UK Vegan Food Swap goodies, this time it was the Tropical Wholefoods Mango & Brazil Nut bar that got it. Unfortunately, maybe because I wasn’t devouring it after an early wake-up call on the way to a spinning class, or maybe because the Pineapple & Cashew version had set my expectations so high, I didn’t find it quite as mind-blowingly delicious. Just not quite as juicy, not quite as chewy, it was good but really just your average snack bar. Which is fine, really, and I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at one! Thank you Michaela for introducing me to these delicious products!
  • Yet more UK Vegan Food Swap goodies being discovered with the huge packet of Ryelands Plain Chocolate – it’s not as dark as I am used to, but sometimes you just need something sweeter, and this hits the spot. Plus, the suggested serving size (ie one “line” of four squares) is 50% more than I would normally eat… but I can’t go upsetting the symmetry of the bar, so I just eat more… Haha!
  • Ben randomly spotted some soy yoghurts by a brand called Joya, which I had never seen before. Despite them being a touch more expensive than the ubiquitous Alpro, I picked them up as I do like to try new things, and the ingredients were slightly more wholesome – just a little less sugar, a little more soy, a bit more substance overall. I really enjoyed them – the strawberry flavour really tastes of real strawberry, and though they are not quite as creamy as Alpro yoghurts, they taste so much more like a food than a dessert. Will keep buying these whenever I have the option in future.
  • As Ben got wedges as a starter when we went to the Karma Free Pizza Company and they always fill me up too much (and I was curious!), I went for the bruschetta for the first time. The bread was delicious, but it just couldn’t compare to the experience that are the doughballs – though I will definitely be trying the garlic bread soon I think!
  • I joined a few friends for high tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace Gardens – obviously pretty much nothing in a traditional afternoon tea is suitable for vegans, but they made me a lovely fruit salad plate with juicy blackberries, sweet pineapple, crunchy grapes and summery strawberries – all on a bed of crushed popping candy which added crunch fizz. Plus the earl grey tea I had with it was gorgeously fragrant – perfect for a sunny bank holiday weekend Sunday in the park!

Other highlights this week

  • I have had a fantastic week of training, feeling motivated again, and back to my pre-Australia strength and fitness – but the real highlight of the week was being awarded my first stripe in Brazilian jiu jitsu! I was not expecting it at all, and it came at just the right time when I have felt like I am slowly starting to pick things up and feel a little more comfortably integrated within the team, so it carried me to new heights of enthusiasm and motivation.
  • Getting my guest post finished and published by Sativa Shakes – I was really nervous sending them my piece but they really liked it, which made me happier than I thought it could.
  • Seeing the initial concepts for the logo and branding of Great Expectations Fitness… I can’t wait to share the finished product with you all!
  • Winning a £20 gift voucher to use at The Natural Store, thanks to Vitality TV – and then getting some positive feedback from them on this blog, and agreeing to contribute a guest blog post for them!
  • Coming to the end of a short training session on Friday, only for Ben to jump in for a couple of rounds with me – I am furious at not being able to tap him out, but quite pleased that I gave him a hard time for 10mins. Plus, Luiz put some music on while we were rolling, so it was the perfect chilled-out atmosphere for training on a Friday night – just what you need to remind you why you are at the gym and not at the pub.
  • Moving in to Ben’s; managing to pack all my stuff in three and a half hours, transferring it all swiftly in two car journeys thanks to Steph who generously gave up part of her Saturday to help me move; and then all chilling out over dinner together at GBK with falafel all around as both Ben and Steph are halfway through their Vegan Pledge Month. After getting up at 8.15am for spinning and strength&conditioning, it was a long long long day, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t get stressed out once thanks to those two!