Sunday thoughts: 15th June 2014

Sunshine and heat that occasionally approached the right level for summer (to all who complained about it being too hot – you’re wrong), lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of water and just the right amount of tea and cardamom coffee, something like a good amount of sleep, some heavier lifting than I’ve done in a while, meditation, a pizza, 11 avocados (yes, I got through 11 avocados in a week – and I have bought 6 more), Orange is the New Black, and a bunch of smoothies.

It’s been wonderful.

New things I have learnt this week

I seem to be coming up a little short here:

I did a fair bit of reading around about superfoods and nutrients for my post on the former, and this week’s post on Fit is a Feminist Issue (a blog I highly recommend following) about the newly publicised impossibility of long-term weight loss, and the following posts it spawned, gave me heaps of food for thought;

I also chatted to Ben a fair bit about back and knee injuries for a client, and learnt to perform some knee integrity tests;

I researched the staples of Emirati cuisine and their nutritional values in order to compile a culturally-sensitive diet plan;

And Ben and I had a good chat this morning about the importance and purpose of de-training;

But I don’t really have anything to report back with this week – sorry.

New things I have eaten this week

  • Balaleet

    Balaleet – photo from

    As I continue to train one of my clients in his home, I continue to be educated in Emirati culture through home-cooked national (vegan-friendly) specialities. This week, as well as the usual plentiful supply of fresh and dried dates, I was served a traditional breakfast of balaleet minus the egg (a sweet dish of vermicelli cooked in sugar and olive oil, spiced with cardamom and saffron). Some bits were soft and oily, other bits were crunchy and caramelised – it was a delight that I was unable to get out of my head for the rest of the day week.

  • I was also introduced to sago, a tapioca-like starch extracted from the pith of a tropical palm (I actually thought it was tapioca). It was cooked into a pudding (yes, like tapioca) using a base of caramelised sugar – because when you start with caramelised sugar, what could possibly go wrong? – flavoured with cardamom, and topped with pistachios. I know the texture would repel a great number of people, but I loved it! Unfortunately I have no photos to show for it all, as I feel it would be highly disrespectful of me to start taking photos of the food that a client kindly serves me in their home.

Other highlights this week

  • After feeling like we were running around London with completely opposing schedules last week, Ben and I got to spend a little more time together this week; on most days we were able to travel into work together, train together during the day, and on a couple we even got to travel home at the same time. It really makes a world of difference to me.
  • It has also been weirdly nice to get back into a slightly more regular routine, and getting up and about a little earlier. I’m nowhere near being up at the crack of dawn, and I delightfully get to miss rush hour, but I’m enjoying the extra hours in the sunshine and the sense of purpose an earlier start fills my day with.
  • I also thoroughly enjoyed being able to get some writing done again. I have been struggling lately what with the lack of routine and the sunshine, but I have missed writing and I felt that my post on the purpose of fitness as well as my post on superfoods was something I really needed to write, at least for myself.
  • Despite being very much a solid food girl, especially at breakfast after my jaw has been inert for ten hours or so (is that a weird thing to say?), the combination of very ripe and smooth avocados in the fridge, a packet of super sticky dates, and 2kg of unflavoured soy protein in the cupboard simply demanded that smoothies be investigated. And damn am I glad I listened! Along with the protein, avocado, and dates went some non-dairy milk, frozen berries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. And a spoon. I’m glad the colour is so off-puttingly sludgy as the result is so delicious I wouldn’t want to be sharing.
  • I’ve been having some lovely healthy, simple fresh meals again; big bowlfuls of colours and textures. This is one dinner I pieced together after coming home fairly late on Thursday night, while Ben was out at his brother’s to watch the football (excuse the terrible phone photo – I was hungry and it was late):

    Healthy summer dinner bowl

    Coconut oil-sautéed new potatoes with paprika, avocado-spring green salad, grated raw beetroot, and sautéed mushrooms with nutritional yeast – plus some crudités and olive tapenade

  • I finally meditated again for the first time in a couple of months. I started with 20 minutes last night, and got 40 minutes in this morning. I wasn’t in the right place to do it over the last month, but I am so glad to be getting back into it.
  • Ben and I ordered pizza from Village Pizza again last night and I think it was some of the best I’ve had from them. There is just something so relaxing about sitting back with a pizza box on your lap… I went for one of my usual combinations of Margherita Plus with aubergine, artichoke, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. I am salivating just typing this.
  • And watching my clients continue to make improvements not only in shape and size but also in strength, coordination, confidence and mental determination continues to be a massive daily highlight for me – I don’t think I can describe how wonderful it is to see.

I’ll leave it at that as frankly, this whole week has been lovely. I am feeling myself again for the first time in weeks – maybe even months – without ever having realised how “off” I felt. I can only hope you have all been making the most of June, particularly if it is sunny where you are, and enjoying the little (i.e. best) things in life!


3 thoughts on “Sunday thoughts: 15th June 2014

  1. Sue says:

    Thanks for the raw beetroot inspiration. Have just made a salad with 1 large beet, 2 Granny Smith apples, all grated, with dressing made from raspberry vinegar (artisanal, present from Laine), olive oil from Tuscany, blackcurrant mustard from Dijon and Laine’s apple chutney. Taste test in an hour or so 🙂

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