Sunday thoughts

Well, this week has gone by fast. And somehow it’s March, and I’ve got an hour running slot in Luxembourg’s Relay for Life at the end of the month, and have neither done any running since last year’s event nor booked my flights. Thus begins Mad Hare March. Can I get a hashtag?!

New things I’ve learnt this week

  • A few years ago, I used to routinely get blocked ears whilst training. I think it only happened with Thai boxing, and I half-arsedly put it down to electrolyte imbalance or something sweat-related, but put no further thought into it. When one of my clients experienced the same symptoms, I realised I should find out what it was due to, though I speculated it was linked to ear pressure and breath-holding whilst exercising. I came across this forum thread (unfortunately on, but the relevant post sounds reliable enough); apparently, the ear popping sensation is caused by moisture in the mucous membranes as a result of sweating (rather than as a result of water in a swimming pool, which is when you would be more likely to experience the clogged ear sensation), which prevents air in the eustachian tubes from flowing freely and equalising. Basically, it’s nothing to worry about in most cases and should pass within 30 minutes.

I know there was more, as I distinctly remember thinking, “I should bookmark this for Sunday thoughts”. In fact, I felt like I had a solid learning experience this week. Hopefully it’s all still in there somewhere!

New things I have eaten this week

  • Ooh I am itching to share a pizza I made this week – the first pizza I have made since university, and the best one I have made ever! Unfortunately, I can’t wax too lyrical as Kristy from Keepin’ it Kind will do it much better justice in her upcoming cookbook, but what I will say is that it led me to try kabocha squash for the first time. It seemed to me stuck halfway between pumpkin and butternut squash, and I loved it!
  • I was kindly invited by Sean of Fat Gay Vegan to the Spring collection launch of Will’s Vegan Shoes, where I got to try the new Scoff truffles and fudges. I thought I had seen the best in terms of vegan truffles, but those made me stop halfway through a bite and go wide-eyed. With a thick crunchy chocolate outer and a luxuriously smooth and creamy centre, the flavours were strong but not overwhelming. And for the fudge, well, I’m not normally a huge fan of fudge but I thought these were great, not overly sweet or cloying. I love these and can’t wait for an excuse to buy more!
  • I have avoided opening the jar of Speculoos spread that had been beckoning from the cupboard in our family house in France, for good reason it turns out. I arrived last night, having eaten a packed snack (quinoa, peas, roasted kabocha squash, and my favourite tahini-tamari-cider vinegar dressing) on the way, but needing a little more comfort feeding upon arriving at an empty house in a dark courtyard, I thought it was an apt time to crack it open. After a couple of crispbreads, I had adapted enough to the sweetness to be eating it by the spoon. It took a couple of spoonfuls to realise what I was doing, but it was too good for me to feel guilty. It is exactly everything you love about the dunktastic European biscuit, but in creamy smooth spread form. It’s just begging to be cooked with…

Other highlights this week

  • Waving goodbye to my February intermittent fasting experiment!
  • Meeting up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, catching up over coffee and keeping my mind off my penultimate fast day.
  • Meeting a new client, who made me a lovely coffee and with whom I had a good laugh.
  • Joining in a quick and straightforward circuit with Ben; we did two rounds of a simple circuit of squats, press-ups, lunges, and various ab exercises for a total of 9 minutes of work, and though it nearly destroyed us both it was good to get the heart rate up for the first time in a long time. I sometimes forget that I do actually enjoy training hard. Ish.
  • Making the above-raved-about pizza, and then ordering pizza to celebrate the end of my fasting (what a shame I am now away with no access to weighing scales…).
  • Going to the Will’s Vegan Shoe spring launch, meeting Sean a.k.a. Fat Gay Vegan for the first time as well as many other vegans and/or bloggers, and getting to ogle beautiful ethical shoes whilst unashamedly guzzling canapés and chocolate truffles.

I think I’m going to have to wrap this one up here, nice and early. I have laundry to hang up and I’d like to do it before it gets dark and cold, and then I’m going to have an early dinner and an early night. I’m back in France with my granddad, and the mornings are early and the days are long.

So far today I have eaten an entire baguette, alternately slathered in spiced squash purée or tahini, a small square of chocolate, and a banana. Tonight I think I will just whip up some pasta. After the 5:2 diet, the 100% carb diet! I have to say though, I’m quite willing to encourage a carb coma right now.

I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday evening and is looking forward to what March has in store!