Monday thoughts: 7th July 2014

So it looks like all the good I did by posting twice this week, I undid by neglecting my Sunday thoughts. Knowing my Sunday was going to be uncharacteristically jam-packed, I could have prepped them on my quiet Saturday, but my heart wasn’t really in it… and what are Sunday thoughts without peace and love?

New things I have learnt this week

I have toyed with removing this section to hide the fact that I don’t seem to be doing much on the academic front these days. I have to say, I have spent a lot of time with clients, thinking about how best to train clients (especially those with injuries), training and soaking up the sun. The little computer time I had was spent putting together this week’s two blog posts, catching up with new vegan companies cropping up, and translating. I don’t feel I have been idle, but I really do need to nail down a topic I can read around, don’t I?

New things I have eaten this week

  • Having become well and truly addicted to Raw Imagination foods, and having twigged that every day they get reduced to half the price around 6 or 6.30pm, I have now managed to taste test their pizza, BLT, and falafel sandwich – which I think was my favourite. The BLT is tasty but the amount of coconut bacon makes it hard for the sandwich to hold together, making it a bit challenging to eat in public/on the go/without getting grease all over everything. Meanwhile, the pizza is mouthwateringly delicious but the slice format makes for a less satiating mouthfeel than a big bite of sandwich. I am already planning my day around a new haul of goodies before my last client tonight…
  • I took advantage of an Ethical Superstore (affiliate link) order to try out some new chocolates as I was running low; Divine dark chocolate with raspberries, and mint dark chocolate. Surprisingly I wasn’t blown away by the raspberry version of one of my favourite chocolates, but super impressed by the timeless classic combination of mint and chocolate.
  • And then Ben gave me another push to update my Chocolate review pages by getting me a bar of Vego – which I had been lusting over but too scared to fall in love with. It was love at first bite – we were trying to do our grocery shopping when I broke my first chunk off and my world just stopped, leaving me incapable of any rational thought. I thought I had experienced the best of vegan “milk” chocolate in Moo Free, but friends… this is a whole new level of creamy smoothness. With the generous scattering of whole hazelnuts, you could almost believe you are eating a highly non-vegan Ferrero Rocher. It even made Ben go a little wide-eyed. An absolute winner!
  • As I got to catch up with a friend who lives in the Notting Hill area yesterday, I suggested we catch up at the newly popped-up Lotus Cucina – thanks for the heads up, Sean a.k.a Fat Gay Vegan! I knew from looking at the menu and photos from other reviewers that it wouldn’t be anything I couldn’t make myself… But for a tenner, I got a huge and delicious green smoothie (I ordered the Green Banana but swapped the frozen yoghurt for avocado, making it barely sweet but a great accompaniment to breakfast) and a generous açaí bowl, and a good hour to chill with a friend on some astro-turf on the outskirts of a bustling Portobello Market. [I did take photos… but my camera is at home and making this post wait any longer would just be ridiculous!] I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit, apart from to support a vegan business in West London, but I would go back.

Other highlights this week

  • It’s hard to think beyond my Sunday; getting dressed in normal clothes as opposed to sportswear, wandering through one of my favourite parts of London, having a smoothie and a healthy breakfast with a friend, dragging Ben around the closing moments of the V Delicious expo (we pretty much ignored all the other shows co-locating for time, efficiency, and sanity reasons) and getting ourselves some DAMN good deals – more on those this week – then meeting a friend who has just returned from 9 months in Canada, to go to an incredible promenade performance of The Drowned Man. Then a burrito the size of my head from Chipotle for dinner, and home with enough time to massage Ben’s foot before still getting to bed at a decent time. It was perfect.
  • I enjoyed working on a translation this weekend too; completely out of my comfort zone with a technical hairdressing translation, but I love having to think my way into a totally different world with its own language.
  • I can’t believe this was only last week, but one of my clients invited me to stay after training to break fast with him and his family. They made me my own vegan-friendly rice and salad, which I scoffed with heaps of the most delicious potatoes I have possibly ever had (except my mum’s super crispy roast potatoes…). They also sent me home with another parcel of dates, a new variety I had never encountered which taste – both me and Ben independently pointed this out – of toffee! It’s incredible what nature can give us if we just take a moment to tear ourselves away from nasty gelatine-filled artificial sweets.
  • I had some real fun times with other clients this week too. Good progress from all, good efforts from all, good laughs and good humour all round. Really good times.
  • I had an exciting delivery this week: an ethical, sustainable, UK-made dress by Nancy Dee! Delivered in a pizza box! I normally have so much trouble finding nice dressed-up dresses as I have very small shoulders, an even smaller waist, and approximately no bust, and this was a complete gamble – but it is perfect and is probably the best dress I own all-round. And I got it 20% discount off for signing up to the newsletter (though it is now 40% off in a flash summer sale… grrr)! 

    Best delivery box ever! #fashion #ethical

    A post shared by Claire De R (@claireoftherocks) on

    I will post a photo of me wearing it this weekend for sure 🙂

  • Finally, Ben and I finally took ourselves out for a casual dinner on Saturday night – partly to escape a yet again non-functioning toilet, but partly because we’ve been talking about the need to go out just the two of us; no computers, no TV, no cooking or cleaning looming over us… We just popped into our local Wagamama but it was so lovely to have that little break from life and have a real conversation again.

Other than that, training has been good, food has been delicious (plenty more smoothies!), and I got a great meditation session in on Wednesday morning which was one of my best ever.

I can only hope this week will be filled with so many good times – but I’m sure it will, with two more friends back in London, a whole Wednesday off, dinner at Bonnington Café already in the works, and a wedding reception to attend. So instead I shall hope that you all have a delightful and happy week! Make the most of it (and stay tuned for a short V Delicious report this week)!