Sunday thoughts

Well I guess it’s always a good sign when Sunday thoughts get posted so late – I have been busy pretty steadily throughout the week, with a couple of days which were spent entirely out of the house, lots of meals out, and a day with Ben’s family. Overall, it has been a good week full of positive achievements.

New things I have learnt this week

  • This week’s Coursera lectures dealt with overweight and obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Most of it was fairly obvious and self-explanatory, discussing BMI and different approaches to weight management. The most interesting talk was a 20 minute lecture by Robert Lustig, about the effects of sugar and its interaction with fibre. At first I got worried he was going down the rather quacking route of “sugar is toxic and it will poison you“, especially when he mentioned that fructose is the sweet stuff we crave and is not the glucose our body needs to fuel its daily activities – but luckily he was brought back in by Katie Ferraro’s prompt that we actively encourage people to eat vegetables and fruit, which contain fructose. Then he changed his emphasis to the importance of fibre, which really struck a chord with me and prompted me to write a fairly meaty post on eating more fibre-rich foods to solve most of our dietary issues. I guess he needs to be quite heavy-handed in his messaging for the masses, but his basic message of “eat real food” cannot be argued with.
  • As I mentioned last week, one of my clients had some pain in her hip, so I learnt a few deep tissue manoeuvres and stretches to use on her, which was really interesting.
  • Ben and I had a little random fact exchange, in which I found out that the longest stick insect ever recorded measured almost 57 centimetres long – or just over 22 inches – from a species called Chan’s megastick. I, in turn, offered the fact that the first mention of the sale of fudge dates back to 1886, and that while the origin of the sweet confection is unclear, it is thought to have been the delightful result of a caramel- or toffee-making mishap, hence the use of the term “fudged” for something that has been ruined.

New things I have eaten this week

Again, not my best week for this one but Ben did buy me a packet of cacao nibs, which I have been going on about for ages, so I will finally be able to start playing around with those next week!

  • However, we did eat at Bill’s in Wimbledon which was very pleasant. We both had the mezze board – on which they replaced the halloumi skewers with a small mixed salad – and it was really quite a nice and tasty little lunch!
  • We also had lunch in the gym on Wednesday as we were both in early and hadn’t had time to make anything. There is a little café within the gym and Natalie does a lot of salads and quinoa and roast veggies, so she put together a plate of quinoa, roast sweet potato, roast onion, roast peppers, and some salad – and it was simple but fresh and tasty and healthy! Most of the time I begrudge going out and having something I could make at home, but when I haven’t had time, that’s exactly what I look for. I tried one of her juices for the first time too – I went for the strangest one I could see: apple, banana, pineapple, avocado, and spirulina – and it was so good! I have had green smoothies before, and avocado in smoothies, but this was by far the best in terms of texture and taste. In fact I’m still thinking about it!

Other highlights this week

  • Ben and I went to 222 on Friday night as I haven’t been in almost two years and have been dying to go back. Although the service was pretty terrible (quite cold staff, a 45 minute wait for our starters, then one main coming out at the same time as the starters and not the other), the food was delicious as I remembered, and I would still happily go back. It was nice to be able to go back and to spend some time having a “proper” dinner together for the first time in a while, rather than sitting in front of the TV or grabbing something purely out of convenience.
  • I got my photos! More on that during the week I think…
  • Even more excitingly, I got my Great Expectations Fitness t-shirts!!! They are every bit as good as I was hoping, and perhaps even better. I can’t wait to start wearing them when I train clients, and being able to sell them when my shop is up and running. Again, more on that to come!
  • Being able to practice my first Swedish full-body massage on a friend. It was great to be able to let the techniques flow, and knowing that she had just finished a batch of stressful exams it was nice knowing I could help her feel a little bit more special and relaxed.
  • Cooking dinner for Ben’s family when they got home late on Saturday night after a 13 hour drive with two young children in the car. Dinner was great – Ben made vegan shepherd’s/cottage pie with sweet potato topping, and a summer sponge cake with strawberries and soy whip – and it was nice to be able to have something ready for them when they got in looking slightly worse for wear.

I think that’s about it, so I will wrap that one up and wind down ready for what seems like a fairly insanely busy week. Hope you have all had a great weekend, and that if you have experienced the forecast rain and thunderstorms they have not ruined any of your summer plans!

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