Sunday thoughts: 20th April 2014

Happy Easter all! I hope you have ben enjoying the weekend whether it is significant to you or not; whether it means a chance to catch up with friends and family, a long weekend, or just an excuse to eat chocolate!

Well, after last Sunday’s events, would you believe me if I told you it’s been a really good week? Would you still believe me if I told you that I spilled water on my laptop – the first time I have ever spilled anything on any electronic device since I was old enough to own one – and that it hasn’t woken up since then? And yet it has genuinely been a good week overall!

Indeed, it would be too easy to let one’s day/week/life be defined by its low points. I have decided to take all the unfortunate coincidences of the last few days as a chance to exercise my understanding that everything changes all the time, that everything moves constantly and randomly, and to practice remaining rational and peaceful. Surprisingly, it has been working!

New things I’ve learnt this week

  • We sat down with our friend Tom a couple of times this week and had a good chat. One of the main things we talked about that gave me real food for thought was carb backloading, which seems to be the latest hype at the moment. I’ll need to do some more thorough reading into it before I voice any definite opinions, but to me it doesn’t sound like anything particularly groundbreaking, and certainly not like a style of eating I would want to try or recommend to my clients. To be continued.

Not new to me in terms of the thoughts and opinions expressed, but I want to highlight a guest post on Fit, Feminist, and (almost) Fifty. Rhonda Martens talks about her experience with uterine prolapse, explaining how she got very fit but later found out that she didn’t really “know” her body – her comments on core activation and posture during weightlifting are particularly eloquent, and it’s so refreshing to read. The vast majority of my clients have to go through hours of bodyweight exercise focussed on hip stability, core strength, and posture, before graduating to light weights used primarily to “wake up” dormant muscles like rhomboids. I’m sure they find it tedious, but hopefully they have all seen how much it pays off both in everyday life and in the gym – I am committed to this style of training, but this is the first time I have read someone else put it into words on the internet. I highly recommend that everyone read this entertaining yet informative post!

New things I have eaten this week

  • I’ve tried a couple of new chocolates this week, from M&S; a 75% dark and an 85% dark. Both were surprisingly fruity – quite tart and tangy above the deepness of the cocoa. They were good, but I think I prefer dark chocolate with notes more reminiscent of coffee than berries. Is there a way to talk about dark chocolate without sounding so pretentious?!
  • I also finally went back to Banh Mi Bay in Holborn. Ben and I had popped in randomly on my birthday, six months ago, for a snack and a drink, when I spied the word “vegan” beside their vegetarian tofu banh mi. Too close to dinner, I opted for summer rolls (some of the best I’ve had, if I remember correctly) but vowed to return and, six months down the line, I got the perfect opportunity. It was my first banh mi so I can’t really give it a fair review, but I guess I’d have liked a little more tofu to bring a little more moistness. Otherwise, what’s not to like about a white baguette stuffed with pickles and vegetables and salty-sweet tofu, served in a basket?
  • As I’m taking part in a culinary challenge with Maille, I got to try their mustard with White Wine, Red Pepper and Garlic. I was expecting something almost sweet and voluptuous but it was really quite wine-and-garlic bitter, but I think I managed to incorporate it into a recipe that uses it effectively. Unfortunately, I lost a few of my photos to my dead laptop and the deadline for submissions is this week, and although I could re-shoot them that’s a lot of time out for quite an unexceptional recipe on a blog that isn’t a food blog. I’d rather spend the time verbally ripping fad diets apart, or something. Anyway, more on that mustard this week!
  • Ben has been baking up a storm this week! I had to start demanding healthier treats, so he made me a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies with low-calorie sweeteners, and then when I demanded grain-free treats (nothing against grains, but I was on a bit of a grain overload and feeling bloated) he created a batch of nutty bars made with coconut oil and agave, coated in dark chocolate; the former were so good I just couldn’t actually stop eating them, and the latter were so pleasingly textured and rich that I savoured just a couple, and enjoyed a couple for breakfast this morning. Remember guys, do as I say, not necessarily as I do.

Other highlights this week

  • The good thing about being burgled last week is that every day we didn’t get burgled this week (which was every day) was a highlight. Ha!
  • On a more serious note, everyone has been so utterly adorable to us this week and it has reminded us that we still have everything in our lives that is truly important. Our fellow personal trainers (and the osteopath) who work at the same studio as us bought us a beautiful bouquet of flowers – so unexpected and so lovely!
  • Now, the best bit about this story is that as I returned home from work, I spilled some of the water from the bouquet onto my backpack. That water got right in to my backpack, and into the back panel of my laptop – oh the irony!
  • However, there isn’t ever really a good time to have to fork out for a new laptop, so I’m not getting too down on myself. Now that the money is spent, I’m quite excited about getting a new one, and this one is going to be shelled-and-sleeved up to the max! Also, I can’t not be grateful for the fact that just last week I had backed all my files up on an external hard drive, for the first time in at least four years. Such a strange coincidence, eh?
  • In more standard highlights, my friend Mathilde was in London for the day on Thursday (after giving her first presentation at a law conference – how exciting!) and we went to Banh Mi Bay and had a good catch-up. It left me with a sore throat but a happy buzzing soul.
  • I met a new client and started working with her, but mainly I was so excited to see how much some of my clients have progressed in a short space of time. It genuinely makes my day to see them achieving things they wouldn’t have imagined even trying just a few weeks ago!

I guess the biggest bit of news this week which I am eager to share with you all is that we are moving house! It may be my fifth abode in less than four years living in London, but it will be my first one-bed flat shared with Ben, and I am so excited! It’s not perfect, but at our budget nothing will be, and as a one-bed with a separate lounge this is an absolute steal.

Mainly, I just want to be able to put things up on the walls and fill our fridge and freezer and kitchen cupboards with delicious healthy food, and create an ethical and eco-friendly household. We’ll be off the Underground network so no longer plagued by weekend line closures, only one bus away from work, and much closer to Ben’s family.

We’ll have a town centre within walking distance, I’ll be able to go to shows (or gigs, as people here call them) without worrying about train times, and the Healthy Cook Company will become my local brunch haunt. Basically, I’m excited, and I’m optimistic. What more could I want from life?

I hope you have all had a happy week and a relaxing weekend! Share the joy, what have your highlights been this week?