Sunday thoughts

Well today Wednesday seems like a long time ago, never mind Monday! That always seems to happen when I change locations; Wednesday to Friday in Hay-on-Wye (blog post pending!), back to London, then out to Surrey when Ben and I are house-and-cat-sitting for a couple of weeks.

In the past week I have taught a circuits class, trained clients, been to an important and exciting meeting, ordered some goodies for Great Expectations Fitness and been in contact with other companies about other bits and pieces, had a few really good training sessions, eaten at a few new places, been to Wales for the first time, spent hours trawling second-hand bookshops, bought a few nice things for myself at very good prices, had friends over for a sunny relaxed Saturday afternoon and made dinner for them (well, Ben made the real food, I made salad), and published my hundredth blog post!

New things I have learnt this week

  • This week’s Coursera lectures have been about diet for diabetes and prediabetes, and I’ve been finding everything really interesting. I don’t normally pay much attention to carbohydrate content of foods so that really grabbed my attention. The most interesting fact that stood out to me was that nutritionists recommend eating fewer grams of carbohydrate at breakfast, and more at lunch and dinner. This is strange because everyone always goes on about having a good, solid, carbohydrate-filled breakfast to start the day, but apparently the body doesn’t quite react to carbohydrates in the same way first thing in the morning as later in the day. I will need to do some more research about this and can hopefully get you all an interesting blog post about it!
  • Our assignment this week has been to design a one-day meal plan for a diabetic client. Completing assignments isn’t compulsory but I really wanted to make an effort to get this right. I leant a lot about the carbohydrate content of different foods (as well as calories per various servings, and fibre content), and really enjoyed the assignment. Of course, I wrote up a healthy vegan daily menu, so I will share it on here sometime during the week in case you find it useful and/or inspiring.

New things I have eaten this week

Obviously I ate at a few different establishments in Hay-on-Wye, but they will get their own blog post. Back in London, things have been getting refreshed too:

  • On Saturday, I dragged Ben across London to Venn Street Market just off Clapham High Street. There are already too many vegan establishments in London that I have heard so much about and never get around to visiting, so when I heard that The Mighty Fork were launching their vegan hotdog stall on Saturday 13th July, I had to be there. Turned out to be perfect timing for us to catch them on the way back through London from the gym to Surrey too! The Mighty Fork stallWhen we arrived, we were informed that they had sold out… at first I thought it was a joke… but no. Luckily, they had only run out of the bread, so they promised to save us two sausages while we ran off to get some buns. When we got back, our sausages were waiting for us. Ben went with the Big Chilli and while I was tempted by the Yasai Dog, I decided to stay quite classic for the first visit and asked for a Sauerkraut – although they had run out of mustard by that time, so I still got to try the wasabi mayonnaise, which I think I could probably eat a whole vat of if given half a chance.
    Sauerkraut (with wasabi mayo) on the left, Big Chilli on the right

    Sauerkraut (with wasabi mayo) on the left, Big Chilli on the right

    Well they looked exactly as they did on the website, and they tasted as good as they looked! The flavours and textures were just spot on, and all for a decent price and served with a smile.

  • Now, the Mighty Fork stall turned out to be just a couple of stalls away from Ms Cupcake, whose delightful baked goods I have heard so much about yet never tasted. It would have been rude and stupid not to stop and exchange some money for some beautiful spongey sugary creations – so we got a banana-chocolate chip-walnut loaf cake and because you can’t go to Ms Cupcake without getting a cupcake, we got four cupcakes: strawberry, pomegranate, elderflower-blackberry and vanilla latté. (The other cake, bottom right, was brought over by our friend Steph and was a lovely ginger loaf)Market cakesWe also had to get a couple of goodies to for the road: Ms Cupcake cookiesBen got a red velvet cookie and I decided to go all out with a cinnamon cookie sandwich. The cookie sandwich was unbelievable. Moist, slightly chewy, creamy, lightly spiced – definitely the right choice. I was expecting to feel horribly sick after eating it but I didn’t even feel heavy, bloated, or thirsty! Very impressed.Ms Cupcake cinnamon cookie sandwich

So those are my two big food highlights this week, and hopefully for many more Saturdays to come – I will need to find more excuses to visit Clapham on Saturdays on a more regular basis!

Other highlights this week

  • The obvious highlight was my little mini-country-break to Hay-on-Wye with my mum. Everything just feels different out of London, like all of a sudden your day is extended by at least four or five hours!
  • After our early meeting on Wednesday (8:30am… I know), I suggested Ben and I go for breakfast before I took myself to the station, as we were in Chiswick with plenty of nice places to eat. We went to le Pain Quotidien, who had a vegan breakfast seasonal special of raw “crunola” parfait with banana, almond butter, cashews, red berries, and various crunchy seeds. Pain Quotidien breakfastIt was delicious but the main highlight was being able to sit in a nice sunny eatery with Ben, taking our time over a delicious and healthy breakfast.
  • All of Saturday was just wonderful. Up early for training which was hard but successful, out to Clapham for all the above deliciousness, back to the house for chilled fruity drinks with a couple of friends who stayed for a yummy vegan dinner complete with a decadent dessert. My phone and computer were nowhere in reach, the sun was out, the garden was peaceful, the conversation was fun, and the food was good. What more could I want?

The week has only gotten better as it goes along, and I am excited to see what the next week brings. I hope you have all been able to make the most of the sunshine and if you do nothing else this week, spend a day without your phone/tablet/computer – it really makes a world of difference!