Sunday thoughts

Oh this has been a good week. I think. I’m not entirely sure where last week ended and this week began, but I feel like it’s bee a good one. Perfect work-life balance, good food – healthy and not-so-healthy – successful training (though still no grappling, boo), plenty of socialising but also just the right amount of me time. February, I like you so far!

New things I’ve learnt this week

  • I’ve been reading about pancreatitis and appropriate diets for victims and sufferers. Very interesting to see that it is recommended to eat a very low fat diet, and although I often mind medically-recommended diets to be quite anti-vegan, this particular resource actually encourages sufferers to switch to a “modified” (i.e. fat-free) vegan diet. Of course I’m not a medical professional, and chronic and acute pancreatitis may have different needs, but it was an interesting challenge to put together a nutritive and varied fat-free vegan diet.
  • This week I’ve been watching the Insanity workout DVDs to see what all the fuss is about. More on that in a future post, where I’ll have put together a full review.

New things I have eaten this week

  • I made my own vegan sausages for the first time! I’ve had Isa Chandra Moskovitz’s cookbook Vegan Brunch for about a year and a half, and had always intended to make the sausages first. Somehow I only got around the making them last week, but boy was it worth the wait! I made the chorizo because I’m a sucker for anything spicy and had all of the ingredients (except smoked paprika, so I used normal paprika and liquid smoke), and I was shocked at how easily the recipe came together. I had planned to make a pasta dish using one of them, but I never got that far – I just enjoyed them on their own with various sides of kale, roast beetroot, sauerkraut, and other veggies.PPK chorizo
  • At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I visited Le Pain Quotidien this week for the first time this year, and was surprised to find multiple vegan options on their specials board, including a dessert. Uncharacteristically, I was in the mood for something fresh and savoury, so I went for the avocado and lentil salad – slightly apprehensively after my disappointing Detox Salad experience – but I loved it (despite the lack of avocado, and the under-ripeness of the small avocado half that was present). Unfortunately it was too filling for me to test their new desserts afterwards, but I’m not going to complain about value for money!
  • After trying jackfruit for the first time last week, I finally cracked open the tin I had sitting around and attempted my own jackfruit chilli. It was tasty, but the jackfruit didn’t get quite the right texture – it remained very wet. So that was a bit disappointing, but onwards and upwards I say.
  • I made a tofu fried rice dish to bring to a friend’s. I was limited by what I had in the house but it worked out really well; I sautéed some finely diced green pepper in plenty of coconut oil, added crumbled previously-frozen tofu (which I knew wouldn’t have a great texture if used cubed in any other dish), black salt and a pinch of turmeric, then some cooked brown rice and julienned carrot, soy sauce and sesame oil. My rice was perfectly cooked thanks to Zsu’s method, and the coconut oil and crumbled tofu added the perfect oily dimension, whilst the green flecks and orange strands were perfectly reminiscent of their non-vegan greasy takeaway counterpart. I was proud, but my camera was out of battery so I don’t have any photos for you 😦

Other highlights this week

  • I loved catching up with my friend Laura in Le Pain Quotidien for her birthday lunch. I wandered around Portobello Road for a bit to kill some time, then we sat for hours without looking at the clock, just chatting away and enjoying our salads and beautiful fresh bread. It was one of those days that reminded me about what I love most in life.Pain Quotidien salad
  • I had a few really productive days of working – both with clients and at home – which I genuinely enjoyed. I like what I do, and I find it really fulfilling.
  • With one housemate moving out, a current guest, and a future housemate potentially to move in in a few weeks, Ben and I had to reorganise our kitchen cupboards. Although a pain at first, I was actually grateful for the opportunity to sort through everything, consolidate doubles, and get rid of anything that we were clearly not going to get through (hoping to donate most of it). Plus, I switched us to another cupboard which is much more user-friendly especially for someone short, so I’m pleased. And today I gave the bathroom and the carpets a good clean so that was oddly satisfying.
  • As I mentioned in my post of love, I’ve started using oil cleansing for my face and it has literally never felt better for it. Plus, it’s lovely to have a bit of a routine that means that even for just five minutes a day, I’m doing something nice for myself. I actually look forward to it in the evening.
  • My friend Fran hosted a Pan-Asian night at hers as an excuse to use her Wagamama cookbook and sing karaoke. It was really fun, the food was good, and everyone was game to make a complete fool of themselves singing along to 80s anthems. I haven’t dressed up nicely in so long, it was refreshing to put a bit of thought into my appearance. Plus, I met Ben on the way home so I didn’t have to walk home alone, and then we stayed up to watch the UFC. It was a pretty cool Saturday night.

Goals for this week? To have another week like this one! I’m expecting to start a batch of recipe testing so hopefully lots of good food on the menu, Ben and I are talking about getting some hard cardio back into our workouts which I am desperately in need of, I have a friend’s leaving do and potentially a day out in Brighton lined up, and I desperately need to get back into meditating. I’m actually excited about the week ahead!

What is everyone else looking forward to this week?

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