Sunday thoughts

Quite a busy week for me, but one which has worked out quite well. A 4,500 word translation took up a fair bit of time, but I found some creativity and inspiration left over for a bit of blog-writing, completed everything in my final week of Coursera, and managed to get over 5 hours of BJJ training in – as well as a solid lower body explosivity session, the usual Saturday morning spinning and strength & conditioning, and two massages, teaching my weekly classes and personal training clients.

I also got my back treated twice, made a bunch of delicious healthy breakfasts, got to catch up with a few friends, made a really nice tofu and sweet potato curry, and made gingerbread biscuits with Ben’s nephews to get them into cooking their own treats and give their parents a bit of down-time!

New things I have learnt this week

  •  This week, the final week of my Coursera course focussed on GI tract disorders – allergies, coeliac disease, ulcerative collitis and the likes. A lot of it was quite straightforward, but I learnt about the FODMAPS diet which is used to manage IBS and similar abdominal discomfort. I was quite surprised at the list of foods to avoid, many of which I never would have thought to put together in the same category as having anything in common; such as mango, avocado, onion, spelt, and dairy.
  • Thanks to my translation, which was for a specialist skincare brand, I learnt about the ELISA method which is used to determine the presence of certain proteins. In this case, they were using it to determine the amount of damage that the sun causes to skin at a cellular level – I found it very interesting, and quite terrifying, just how much impact UV radiation has on our skin cells! That’s what I love about translation, you always learn something new and random.

New things I have eaten this week

  • I finally tried cacao nibs! Ben bought me a packet last week and I have been quite conservative with them so far, simply topping my breakfast bowls with them. I didn’t really know what to expect from them, but I was surprised by how much taste they had – I was expecting cocoa bitterness but I wasn’t expecting the fruity tartness that almost reminded me of red wine. The texture also surprised me – very firm and crunchy, but in a strangely smooth way – like peanuts but harder. Strange, but absolutely fantastic mixed in with a chia seed/fruit/yoghurt bowl. I am dying to try some sort of raw chocolate-chip cookie dough type recipe!
  • Another long-awaited first was the Roo’Bar, which I had seen in a few shops recently, and which Ben kindly bought for me last week. I tried the chia coconut first and was taken aback by how different it was from other “raw superfood” bars I have tried before. The coconut gave it a consistency somewhere between a flapjack and a fruit-and-nut bar, and not overly sweet. The goji hemp was more akin to the usual date-based dried fruit bars I have come across, but somehow slightly more substantial and less sweet. The cacao-almond bar was close to being what I expected but again, less sweet and sticky than other similar bars. Really impressed with these three, which are all satisfying and tasty at only about 150-180kcal – and can’t wait to try more!
  • A couple of Ben’s clients invited us to break fast with them at Abu Zaad on Friday night. I have eaten at a lot of Lebanese restaurants but never with someone who was from the region and knew the restaurant, and could recommend dishes. We let Ben’s client guide us through our meal, ordering for us, and I must say the food was great and very vegan-friendly as is much of Middle-Eastern cuisine. They had a vegetarian moussaka which was vegan and absolutely delicious, full of juicy tender aubergine, truly delightful! I would highly recommend it.

Other highlights this week

  •  I really enjoyed being able to get stuck in and get a bunch of work done on the translation, it’s been a while since I had one big task handed to me and I enjoy the challenge.
  • Although overall I didn’t do so well grappling-wise this week, feeling generally a bit “soft”, I did manage to hit three sweeps in one round on a stronger opponent, so that felt great!
  • Getting to wear my Great Expectations Fitness t-shirts for the first time, and giving a couple out as a surprise (one to Eilidh for her work on my logo, and one to my first client to complete her ten sessions with me) – it’s been great to see people’s reactions to them, and I love wearing mine. I am pretty sure wearing my new t-shirts was at least partly responsible for me teaching two pretty great (and tough!) sessions at the gym this week!
  • Getting caught in a massive downpour whilst waiting for a client on Friday morning was not ideal, but being home by 9am to get back into bed with a mug of chili hot chocolate was definitely a highlight!
  • Going for dinner with Ben’s clients on Friday night was really enjoyable. I think everyone in the restaurant apart from me had been fasting (even Ben had completed two days of fasting), so the atmosphere was great. The food was wonderful, and the conversation flowed comfortably and enthusiastically all night, it was a great evening.
  • Throwing together an easy yet delicious curry on Saturday night – babysitting the nephews whilst waiting for Ben to get back – and having it ready just in time for Ben to get back, then enjoying some time to ourselves to enjoy our dinner, was a lovely way to spend a Saturday evening and just what I needed to wind down from the week.

I think that just about sums it up – Ben and I are cooking for the family tonight so I’m looking forward to that, and to putting the computer away for the rest of the evening and truly relaxing!

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