Sunday thoughts

And thus my first week of self-employment draws to a close. Despite some utterly horrible weather, it has been a good week. It has been great to sleep when I want, wake up when I want (ish), train during the day, eat what I want when I want, and be able to cook dinner for when Ben gets home from a long day.

We also spent a night with Ben’s family, which was really pleasant and relaxing as always – plus dinner was delicious: a sweet potato and spinach stew in a tomato-based sauce with coconut and peanut butter. I never think to mix those flavours in a sauce but I definitely will from now on!

New things I have learnt this week

  • On Monday I spent three hours working on my therapy assignment, and I definitely learnt a lot! I read that ACL tears are the most common knee injury, that they occur more often in female athletes, and that most of the time surgery is recommended and highly successful. I watched some videos of ACL reconstructive surgery, as well as some videos of Lachman’s test and the pivot shift test, both of which are used to determine ACL integrity. After that 600-word assignment I felt a lot more confident in my understanding of ACL anatomy, function, and injury. I also had to think about the risks to ACL stability in mixed martial arts which was an interesting application of knowledge.
  • Ben’s been teaching me a lot about sports, since I am now basing my career around fitness and sport and should really follow organised sports a little more closely. He explained to me the different player positions in rugby, and the basic rules of cricket, which actually I have remembered fairly well so far!

New things I have eaten this week

  • I finally found the right moment to dig into the CocoJack coconut and chia seed flapjack that Michaela sent me in May’s Vegan Food Swap. I love it when you eat something and it just hits the spot. I can’t say this was any different from any other flapjack, apart from the occasional chia seed getting caught in my teeth (and hopefully delivering some omega-3s in the process) but either way, I love flapjacks!
  • I tried a couple new protein shakes: Nature’s Whey Ignition-V in Orange Explosion, and Good Hemp Strawberry Diet Shake. They are both OK. Ignition-V is more OK than the Diet Shake. That is all.
  • Despite being on limited caffeine intake in order to promote the recovery of my torn hip flexor, I did manage to sample some of the Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate that my wonderful colleagues (well, now ex-colleagues) included in my hamper of delicious. It did not disappoint, with a sultry potent cocoa taste more like an 80% bar yet a creamy meltiness reminiscent of a 60% bar. The couple of minutes I spent with it in my mouth were happy ones.
  • Ben had a craving for some sort of butternut squash or sweet potato soup, so I bought a huge squash and used half of it to make soup, the other half to dice and roast. That was nothing new. What was new for me, however, was finally making my own roasted squash seeds – cinnamon and Sweet Freedom roasted seeds, to be precise. I then ate the whole lot about four hours later. Oops.
  • We brought dessert for Ben’s family, as we usually do, and since we got to pop into Waitrose we could pick up some Swedish Glace and a frozen Coppenrath & Wiese apple strudel. The strudel wasn’t amazing, as I think you would expect for a £1.79 frozen pastry, but I don’t often get to eat pastries and it was just right with the vanilla ice cream.
  • I also made my first batch of kale chips! I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make kale chips – as I said to Ben, “every vegan/health/food/fitness blog needs a kale chip recipe”. I still don’t have a recipe – I just chucked some kale onto a baking sheet with some olive oil, salt and nutritional yeast – but I am now a convert!
  • Lastly, once the caffeine ban was lifted, I finally tried some of Lucy’s Luscious Raw Chocolate that I bought with my gift voucher to the Natural Store. I love that the small bar comes split into two “fingers”, I don’t know why but that was just perfect! The chocolate was tasty, much more mild than I was expecting, a little crumbly but totally melt-in-your-mouth yummy, really hit the spot post kale chips!

Other highlights this week

  •  Receiving my first payment as a personal trainer has got to top this list! Although all I did was cover Ben’s circuits class on Tuesday night, it was very exciting to be in charge for once. Then, the following day, my first positive feedback as a fitness instructor!
  • Getting a new phone (my first smartphone!). I feel silly not having had one before now, it really is very practical – apart from the battery running down so quickly!
  • Visiting The Rabbit Hole – a vegan hair salon! I got a great hair cut but the best bit was knowing that I was putting my money somewhere it would make more of a positive impact on the world, and also having a lovely chat with someone with whom I have a fair bit in common with.
  • I have lost about a kilo since leaving my 9-5 job, and I am feeling a lot better for it. A little weaker, perhaps, but that could also be because I have been training earlier in the day.
  • Had a great spinning session on Thursday (still no grappling allowed for me). Worked really hard and felt exhausted for the first time in over a week, which in my world is a good thing!
  • Taking a bunch of friends to the Karma Free Pizza Company, and meeting Marwan of Storm Freerun who is newly vegan. The food is always so good and everyone always has a good time there – plus they had vegan baklawa again, and for once I wasn’t the only one to have dessert!

I just can’t bring myself to put it in the highlights, but I did clean the bathroom and vacuum the house today, which has made me so much happier… Now you see why I couldn’t put it in my weekly highlights, eh? In all seriousness though, it really has been a good week, and I’m really looking forward to what this week brings. Fingers crossed the return to grappling in almost two weeks goes smoothly!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have had a lovely week and are also looking forward to the next week ahead!