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The week where I bought a bicycle...

Week 36: Monday 13th September - Sunday 19th September 2021

Since the car incident last week, I've been thinking more and more about getting a bicycle. I used to cycle everywhere, until one day a few years ago, my bicycle got stolen.

I was nearly in tears on that day. I was so gutted. I loved my old bicycle.

It was the most beautiful bicycle, with it's curvy frame, painted with black and white swirls. It's shape melded perfectly with my body; it felt like it was an extension of me. It used to glide along so effortlessly, smoothly soaking up every bump, making a gentle humming sound, almost as if it had a little engine within it.

It was the best bike I ever had.

The only picture I have of my beautiful bike which got stolen :(

After that dark day when it got stolen, I somehow fell out of the habit of cycling. (I did still have an old bicycle I could have used - but it just wasn't the same).

Then last week happened.

Deciding to get a bicycle

My run in with the lamp post put me off driving - and also got me thinking about bicycles. Actually, getting a bicycle is an idea that has popped into my head on a few occasions just recently, since starting all of this health and fitness stuff.

There are so many reasons why it would be good to have a bicycle again:

Cycling is fun and freeing - there's nothing quite like zooming down a big hill, with your arms and legs stretched out like a starfish.

Cycling is healthy - I've still got about 3 kilos to lose to get to my ideal weight, and those final few kilos seem to be really stubborn to budge. So I'm thinking some additional exercise, in the form of cycling, may help to kick those final few kilos out of the door.

Cycling is great for the environment - something which is more important than ever, given the magnitude of the climate crisis we're currently facing.

So last Saturday I decided to pop into my local bike shop. Just to look. Just to double-check what frame size I'd need. Just in case I decided to get a bike. As it turned out, they had the bike that I'd been looking at online. They only had one left though - and the one bike they had left in stock just happened to be in my size, and was also in the colour I wanted.

The signs from the universe

I left the shop, saying to the sales guy that I'd have a think about whether or not to buy it - but even as I was walking away, I knew my mind was made up.

It felt like there were too many signs telling me to get this bike.

First there was the car incident, which got me thinking about bicycles in the first place. Then there was the fact that the bike shop just happened to have only one left in stock in the size and colour I was thinking about. Finally, earlier that day I had come into a small sum of money, almost exactly equal to the price of the bike.

It was like the universe was saying, "go on, buy the bike, here's the exact bike for you, and here's the exact amount of money!"

So I went back to the shop and bought it.

Collecting my new bicycle

My bike was ready for collection on Tuesday this week.

It felt slightly strange and wobbly at first, being on a bike again for the first time in several years. After a short while though, it felt completely natural, and like I'd never taken a break from cycling in the first place.

Here is me on my new bicycle - I can definitely say it feels a lot more natural and comfortable to be behind two wheels, than four!

An update on my flexitarianism

You may remember how a couple of weeks ago I decided to become flexitarian. I've enjoyed a lot of my veggie meals.

But I won't lie - I'm missing meat.

Feeling hungry

I'm finding that vegetarian meals aren't always as filling as meat meals, so sometimes I'm still hungry when I go to bed. I've taken to adding a bit of bread, with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip, to some of the meals, to bulk them out a bit more. Yet, I'm concerned that adding bread to my meals is probably not so good for weight loss.

Breaking out in spots

I also seem to be breaking out in spots this week. I don't normally suffer from spots - and whilst it could be unrelated, I suspect it may be due to the change in my diet. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing, and my skin will settle down and adapt to the change in food.

Discovering a new type of aubergine

On the theme of vegetables, in this week's Mindful Chef box, I find myself presented with a new vegetable that I've never seen before.

Well, at least I thought it was a new vegetable.

As it turns out, it's just an aubergine. But a cunningly disguised aubergine - with purple and white stripes.

The Mindful chef recipe booklet informs me that this is a special type of aubergine, called a graffiti aubergine, and that it has a more sweet and juicy flavour compared to the more usual, dark purple aubergines.

These graffiti aubergines have been provided to me as part of a recipe for an aubergine and pesto bake, and 'sweet and juicy' is definitely a good description for their taste. Combined with the sweetness of the tomato and onion sauce, the crunchy almond topping, and the crispy kale, this meal is delicious - definitely one of my more favourite recipes from Mindful Chef - and good for people with a sweet tooth.

I could easily have eaten twice as much!

Mindful Chef - the best recipe box for effortless weight loss and healthy eating
I would love to have a personal chef.Someone to take on all of the time and effort that goes into meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. Someone who knows about...

Rediscovering jackfruit

I think I may have tried jackfruit tried once before and I'm pretty sure I didn't like it a lot. Now that I'm trying to eat less meat I thought I'd give it another try. So in this week's Mindful Chef recipe box, in addition to my beautiful graffiti aubergines, I also have the ingredients for pulled barbecue jackfruit with avocado salad.

I've been delaying cooking this meal all week due to being a little suspicious of jackfruit, but now that it's the only meal I have left, I have no choice but to cook it.

So tonight - Saturday night - is jackfruit night.

The verdict on jackfruit

After cooking this meal, I'd say jackfruit is inoffensive, but underwhelming.

I'm not sure why I thought I disliked it.

There's not a lot to dislike really, as it doesn't seem to have a lot of taste. The texture seems a bit unsubstantial, soft and flimsy too. Luckily, the strong and spicy barbecue sauce adds some flavour to this meal.

This is not one of my most favourite meals but I'd be open to giving jackfruit another try. Maybe it will grow on me.

Thank you so much for reading this post!

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This week I have been eating...

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two cups of black coffee.

Snack: A spoonful of grain free granola mix.

Lunch: Two scrambled eggs on one piece of white Irish soda bread (from my local bakery - myloaf), buttered and toasted, with spinach.

Snack: A banana. Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's Brazilian black bean stew and brown rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two cups of black coffee.

Snack: A piece of toasted Irish soda bread, with butter and marmite.

Lunch: Mindful Chef's Brazilian black bean stew and brown rice.

Snack: A banana. Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's aubergine and pesto bake with roasted kale.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two cups of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: Two poached eggs on one piece of buttered brown sourdough toast, with spinach.

Snack: A banana. Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's aubergine and pesto bake with roasted kale.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: A piece of toasted Irish soda bread, with butter and marmite.

Lunch: A salmon sandwich (with butter and brown sourdough bread). A boiled egg.

Snack: One cup of tea with a dash of oat milk. A caramel, almond and sea salt snack bar from Kind Snacks.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's apricot harissa baked salmon with spinach quinoa.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: A salmon sandwich (with butter and brown sourdough bread). A boiled egg.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's apricot harissa baked salmon with spinach quinoa.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two cups of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: A salmon sandwich (with butter and brown sourdough bread), a boiled egg and some spinach.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's pulled barbecue jackfruit and avocado salsa.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: A banana.

Lunch: A salmon sandwich (with butter and brown sourdough bread), a boiled egg and some spinach.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's pulled barbecue jackfruit and avocado salsa.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Up next - my weight loss journey week 37

The week where I jogged to castell coch, the fairy tale castle
The last part of the journey towards the castle gets quite hilly. It is my dream to one day be able to run all the way up the hill, to the castle, without stopping.

Thank you so much!

...for reading my blog!

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