Sunday thoughts

What a strange, mixed week again! Monday and Tuesday dragged on like you wouldn’t believe – two fairly long days at the start of a pretty busy week, during which I visited a new site that I am finally happy to train clients out of, spent a while doing lots of little admin bits and pieces, taught a circuits class which was frankly a bit of a handful due to the range of people who attended it, and got home after 10pm every night still needing to cook and eat dinner.

The rest of the week went by smoothly and fairly uneventfully, a bit of a blur of productivity where although I wasn’t insanely busy, I feel like I was constantly doing stuff. Even as I write this, I’m not quite sure what is going to follow in the next few points!

New things I have learnt this week

  • This week my Coursera lectures were all about cancer, and how diet affects cancer risks. Much of it was information that I already knew, or just common sense. But it was good to hear affirmation that there is no evidence that soy products increase risk of any type of cancer, but that there is reason to believe that a small quantity of soy products may help prevent breast cancer.
  • I have a client who has been suffering from pain in her hip and Achilles tendon since she went for a run last week, so I quizzed Ben about it and he spoke to me about the tensor fascia lata and piriformis, and how extra strain on these muscles can have repercussions on the calf and Achilles tendon as they work hard to stabilise lateral movement that is not being controlled by a tensor fascia lata which has shut down. Having spent 14 months working in a running shop, performing gait analysis to help people buy running shoes, and having really enjoyed that feeling of knowing that I was actually quite good at spotting the little movements that needed to be spotted, I am still drawn to anything to do with running gait and lower limb injuries, so I find it super easy to keep reading about these things and to find ways to remedy the imbalances.
  • Originally when I started these Sunday thoughts posts, I had intended to include one random fact a week. I haven’t been so good at that (to be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t missed a single Sunday thoughts post – unless you count the one or two I had to post on the following Monday) but this week I do! Courtesy of my friend Laura, who used this fact in a job application, “all polar bears are Capricorn because they are all born in late December or early January”. Apparently there is a whole page devoted to polar bear facts – my favourite is that polar bear liver contains a fatal dose of vitamin A (though I also really like the one about how if a polar bear spends more than 12 seconds hunting a snow goose, it well expend more calories than it would ingest by eating said goose).

New things I have eaten this week

Ooh I’ve slacked on this one again – after putting on a little bit of weight from my bread and cake adventures in Hay-on-Wye and in Venn Street Market, I wasn’t too excited about experimenting with exciting dishes during the day when I was at home, and it just wasn’t going to happen after getting home at 10pm. We did eat out at Wagamama and Byron for the first time in ages, but I’ve eaten at both places before and they are not the most noteworthy of eateries. I guess the only two things to point out this week are:

  • I finally tried one of the NomNom chocolates I brought back from Hay – I tried the Strawberry & Goose 72 (that’s 72% cocoa dark chocolate with strawberry and gooseberry jam) and was very impressed! The chocolate itself isn’t anything groundbreaking, but they got the ratio of filling-to-chocolate just right, and the jam filling was just runny enough without being messy, even though I have been keeping it in the fridge because of the hot weather.
  • I also made bread for what I realised was the first time in my adult life! I have amazing memories of kneading bread with my mum when I was little, on a marble slate we reserved for that purpose, but since we’re not a big bread-eating family we stopped doing it fairly early on. Inspired by the Mighty Fork offering at Venn Street Market, we decided to have friends around for chilli dogs, but it really hurts my soul to use those awful packaged white hot dog buns – but then it’s not really a hot dog without them! So I decided to compromise and attempt my own hot dog buns using Joy the Baker’s beautiful recipe. It all looked so promising until they went into the oven, the dough rising exactly as it was supposed to, smelling yeasty and sweet, opening up big spongy pores… but in the oven they just flattened out and turned into something between a pitta, a ciabatta, and a sandwich thin! Everyone humoured me and ate one anyway, and genuinely seemed to love them, and I have to say I enjoyed them very much – they taste great and the texture is perfect, they just didn’t look the part. Still, I have now made my own bread!

Other highlights this week

  • Once again, Saturday was by miles my weekly highlight – two successful and just-hard-enough training sessions, a leisurely wander back to the house, an afternoon of baking and food preparation, an evening of fantastic people who all got along and enjoyed their food – I can’t describe how much I enjoyed it all.
  • Monday night’s BJJ session consisted of a brief warm-up followed by three 10-minute rounds of sparring. A sparring session is always daunting because you know it’s going to be hard work, but when the rounds are ten minutes long everyone relaxes a bit, takes their time, works slowly and technically, and I really thoroughly enjoyed the class.
  • Being able to wander around on Monday and Tuesday night in a training vest – until midnight, on Monday – and be just the perfect temperature. That was the first time I have felt properly summery since the summer I finished school!
  • Digging out my favourite summer clothes – a stripy beach dress I bought in Australia in 2008, my weird blue and yellow off-the-shoulder top, my amazingly comfortable jump suit that was one of those true-love purchases and that makes me happy every time I wear it, but that just isn’t too well suited to London life.
  • Licking the mixing bowl when Ben had finished making his summer sponge cake mixture…

I think that had better sum it up as this post is getting long!

Thank you for stopping in, I hope you have all had a wonderful summer week and have another great week ahead of you!

4 thoughts on “Sunday thoughts

  1. Sue says:

    Buns that didn’t rise in oven – could be several reasons – what happened is the yeast was “killed” too quickly. Maybe too much fiddling before or oven too hot. Or quality of yeast (dried or fresh?) Or atmospheric conditions? Or bad vibes? Who knows? Trial and error is the key to breadmaking. Better luck next time! They certainly look yummy!

    • greatveganexpectations says:

      Yeah I figured I had just overworked the dough, and also had a bit of trouble figuring out the oven settings – and I suppose the warmth and humidity don’t really help! I made them again though and the same thing happened but they were still very tasty – perfect with vegan margarine and your strawberry jam 🙂

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