Sunday thoughts: 20th July 2014

Ah… a pretty much perfect weekend after a slightly tense week: a decent lie-in followed by brunch with a friend on Saturday (which only took me 1h to get to!); a relaxed Saturday evening with pizza and a documentary; a solid’s night sleep albeit a bit shorter than I’d have ideally liked; a Skype catch-up with the family; a wander with Ben to a newly-discovered farm shop to pick up some bargains and frivolous purchases; then home for a late lunch in the garden, and now a cup of chai whilst I sit in a big and bright living room harnessing my thoughts.

New things I have learnt this week

After a fairly quiet and relaxed start to the week, a fairly large translation sent my way on Tuesday took up a couple of days’ worth of free time and thought capacity (sure, I had about three hours a day of unused transit time spent sitting aimlessly on public transport, but I cling on to that as time to plan client workouts, my own workouts, to doze off occasionally, and to clear my head). The translations got me learning a little about hairdressing and re-writing my translation-specific CV, but other than that:

  • Complaints of feeling uncomfortably bloated – I felt like I had a rubber floatation device stuck around my waist – led me to think about the possibility of water retention. Basically, with the hot and slightly more humid weather, the body can become coated in a layer of sweat (sorry) and thereby becomes less efficient at expelling more water. Electrolytes become unbalanced, the body starts to get all out of sync. As Ben has spent a lot of his career dealing with athletes and clients trying to regulate their weight, he was pretty switched on to all of this; I started loading up on electrolytes and water, made sure to wear newer breathable clothes (as opposed to some of the very old lycra training tops I still hold on to, which lose some of their moisture-wicking ability), and stuck a little bit of cardio into my week. I feel like the electrolytes made the biggest difference, and within the day I went back to feeling “normal”. My weight is still a couple of kilos higher than it normally is has ever been which could be a sign of fluid retention… but then I haven’t weight myself in months, have been lifting a lot more than I have consistently in years, and anyway I know better than to pay much attention to the number on the scales!
  • With a little time to kill one evening, Ben tried to instruct me how to swing a golf club – or more specifically, how to swing a golf club and hit the ball. Swinging I had no problem with. Hitting the ball proved easier than I thought. Hitting it in the right place so that it actually clears the ground and travels in vaguely the right direction, another challenge entirely. I’ll go back to hitting things with fists and feet (and elbows, and knees) I think. Isn’t that what they’re for?!

New things I have eaten this week

  • I visited Vital Ingredient for the first time with a friend and despite not being hungry and already getting a salad, I couldn’t resist the idea of a green smoothie. I love how you pick up your plastic smoothie cup pre-packed full of greens and take it to the counter to be blended with some apple juice. I did not love how they used terrible blenders and gave me a cup of apple juice with shredded greens floating in it. I still drank it, but I got very little enjoyment out of it, and I was particularly distressed at the thought that this might be some people’s first (and last) experience of a green smoothie. So disappointed.
  • My first visit to Nama, on the other hand, was no disappointment! After much deliberation (and an agreement to get different meals so we could try as many dishes as possible) my friend Necla opted for the “Green” pizza while I chose the Thai coconut curry over the sushi platter I had been considering, mainly out of curiosity for how to produce a curry out of raw ingredients. Nama Thai coconut curryI still don’t know how they did it – and to be honest I was paying too much attention to the conversation – but the vegetables were just tender with some bite to them, the curry was creamy and delicately spiced, and the kohlrabi rice was toothsome and refreshing. Very tasty… buuut I think the pizza might win!Nama green pizzaWe had pretty much both decided not to get the very tempting-sounding juices or smoothies in favour of desserts. I was immediately drawn to the special strawberry mousse cake, though my heart did cling on to the idea of the fermented mocha cake… Luckily, Necla was happy to order the latter so we got to try a bit of both!Nama strawberry mousse cakeThe one big negative about these cakes was that there wasn’t nearly enough of them. Otherwise, super tasty and beautifully presented… I loved them both but was perhaps most impressed with the flavour of the mocha.Nama mocha cheesecakeThe food was good, the decor and vibe were clean and bright and relaxing, the staff were cheerful and friendly… Despite the prices, I will definitely go back!

Other highlights this week

  • Ben has been great this week and made dinner for us while I was either on my way home or frantically working at a translation. Lots of lovely summery grilled dinners they were too, so much fun to eat!
  • The thunder started growling as we went to bed (far too late) on Thursday night… so we stayed up to watch the thunderstorm! I saw the streaks of lightning, and the road outside the house turned into a river… It was fun to just enjoy something as simple as sitting in the dark looking out at the elements on a warm summer’s night.
  • We received a huge order of BAM clothing and I love it all so much. Money definitely well spent.
  • Chatting away at lunch yesterday was the first time in a while I have completely forgotten about the time. I have no idea where three hours went over the course of a light and uncooked meal, but I loved every uncounted second of it.
  • Oh and Necla bought me the sweetest house-warming gift: a multi-section lunch box! It is actually not an overly well-known fact on this blog that I adore Sistema portable-food related accessories – and yet somehow Necla just knew! I promptly accessorised.Sistema lunch cube So many times in the last few weeks I have wanted some fresh bits and pieces to snack on throughout the day, rather than having to save leftovers (doesn’t happen), make a portable meal (too much effort), or buy food while I’m out at work… and there’s only so many sweet and nutty snack bars I can eat in a day (probably about 3) before I start craving something crunchy and savoury. I already can’t wait for my lunch/snack tomorrow!Lunch box
  • When Village Pizza happens, it is always a highlight.
  • Today has just been lovely. With the weather sort of in between two worlds, we were neither up for staying in all day, nor for basking in the garden all day. So we set off in search of Garsons farm shop which I suspected would be underwhelming and overpriced. It was neither; obviously there were some expensive products in there but some of the local produce was actually very tempting and reasonably priced. After much (much) examination and deliberation and hovering around the olives, we picked up a bunch of freshly grown beetroot which called out to me with its jungle of bright green leaves. Ben bought me a jar of salt and peppercorn pickles from the reduced section which I had been eyeing up, mainly because one slice looked like a smiley face (see Instagram). And we found some vanilla chai tea on offer – reduced from a fiver to £1.99! But look at my beetroot:Beetroot and shadows

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend guys! I have a few bees in my bonnet this week so I’m hoping I’ll find some time to put them into words and share my thoughts with you all this week.

Whatever happens, have a lovely week!

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