Friday, 30 April 2010

Back to earth again

Its rained a lot here today, interspersed with the occasional sunny interval. I have only watched that from indoors though, as I decided to make today a rest day after walking so much on so little sleep this week! I have therefore been struggling with the desire to eat everything in sight, but I’ve so far resisted very well. I’m making today (and the next few days at least) into vegetarian detox-ing meals as well – not a proper detox as I’ve no intention of cutting out the bread and dairy elements of my diet, but vegetarian food does enough to make me feel better after eating excessive sugar and sodium for a few days!

Food today:

Breakfast: Big bowl of all bran with tinned pineapple in natural juice and some toast with LC and marmalade

Lunch: Tempeh in hoisin-chilli marinade with a vegetable stir fry

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Dinner: Roasted red pepper soup and a grilled vegetable roll-up (mountain bread wrap from Whole Foods Market. I love these wraps! And only 70 calories each!)

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Snacks: An orange, protein smoothie,

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and protein porridge

Weight today: 10st 4.4lbs (144.4lbs)

Thursday – canals and shopping!

I decided to take things a bit easy on Thursday as my sunburn woke me up at 3:45 am and I was kind of tired! I did plan to go to Paddington and walk along the Regents Canal to the London Canal Museum but in the end I just walked a little way from Paddington to a canal area called Little Venice, then headed down to Oxford Street and Piccadilly for some shopping (nothing exciting, just a couple of ties for M and a pair of jeans and 2 new t-shirts for myself.)

Little Venice was quite picturesque but there was nothing to do there…

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… so I didn’t stay long. After shopping I walked through Whitehall back to the train station

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Food today:

Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with honey and blueberries and some ‘mix your own muesli’ that I made up in Whole Foods on Wednesday. I don’t generally make my own mueslis because I know I’d just use loads of dried fruit and nuts and very little in the way of grains (and so I did!) but I just made up a small amount for one breakfast and it was a lovely change! Of course I also had my bran muffin.

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Lunch: Itsu vegetable dumpling and udon noodle soup followed by low fat frozen yoghurt topped with blueberries.

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Dinner: A takeaway once we got home. I ordered mixed vegetable chow mein and a side portion of mixed vegetables, plus stealing a handful of chips from M, but only managed to eat less than half the chow mein.

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Snacks: A nak’d mini banana bread bar & Starbucks fruit salad;

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and a Frescato and chocolate tiffin triangle from Costa coffee to give me a sugar boost for the last 2 miles I had to walk to meet M – the lack of sleep was really catching up with me by then!

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Way over calories obviously, but the only thing I regret is the Frescato, which was annoyingly hard to drink with a straw because the ice wasn’t pulverised enough!

Glad to be home and able to get back to normal though….

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Wednesday food

Was mostly OK, but not perfect! But then who wants to be perfect on a trip?

Breakfast: I started the day with a healthy breakfast of Greek yoghurt with honey and a punnet of blueberries, plus a small snack pack of pineapple-infused raisins and a bran mufin.

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Lunch: Along the road to South Kensington I found a little restaurant called Tampopo, offering eastern food from various countries.

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I went for their Eastern Express meal – 2 courses for £6.95 – and had some Vietnamese rolls followed by Chicken nasi goreng – very good indeed!

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Dinner: Back to Nando’s, where we shared some peri-peri nuts and then I had a Beanie wrap with a mixed leaf salad and then unfortunately followed it by a slice of mango and passionfruit cheesecake with clotted cream ;-)

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Snacks: A Nak’d cocoa orange mini bar; a Starbucks breakfast pot of yoghurt and granola with honey

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Playing catch up!

Sorry everybody, I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats waiting for the next instalment of my adventures in London ;-)

On Wednesday I went to Barnes for a wander around town and then a visit to the Wetlands centre. Thanks for the recommendation last time I was in London, deisegirl, I didn’t even know the place existed till you mentioned it and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit – especially the ‘Birds of the World’ exhibits. There were some stunning birds and some very weird bird cries were heard as I walked around the trail! And the landscaping was pretty good too! The only slight downside was that I forgot sun-screen and got sunburned on my face and chest – but that’s down to me not thinking I’d need it on a London trip in April!!!

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Above is the Olympic Studios, where the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and many others apparently recorded.

Barnes itself is a very attractive town, I can see why (apparently) a lot of famous people live there! But the Wetlands Centre was definitely the highlight of the trip! I took literally hundreds of photos, but I’ve tried to narrow it down to only 100 or so!!!

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When I finally managed to drag myself away I walked over the Hammersmith bridge into Hammersmith, where I decided to catch the tube to Kensington to visit Whole Foods Market. Unfortunately I got off at West Kensington and decided to walk the rest of the way – and West Kensington sucks! I ended up walking to South Kensington station and catching the tube again to get to Kensington High Street, stopping to shop along the way.

As I’ve put so many photos in again I’ll stop there and cover the food separately!

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Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Golders Green

You know how annoying it can be if you have plans and something comes along that stops you completing those plans? Do you also know how sometimes that happens and you don’t mind because the thing that stops you in your tracks is so much better than you expected it to be?

Yesterday I finally got to Golders Green (via tube) after failing to find it last time. I planned to wander around, visit the Golders Green crematorium to see Bram Stokers final resting place, then walk back to the West End and Kensington to do some shopping.

When I arrived I did walk around a bit. I really liked the Golders Green area, it was much more appealing than places like Lambeth where I’ve been going, with lots of groceries selling goods from all over the world. I went into a Vietnamese shop selling all kinds of Oriental foodstuffs and put some goodies there. It was far too early for lunch so I didn’t go into any of the Kosher restaurants and cafes that I planned to try, but instead started walking towards the crematorium planning to go back at lunchtime.

Once I realised how huge the place was I pretty much gave up on finding Bram Stoker and was photographing a plaque to Marc Bolan (whose ashes are buried there with his parents’) when I was approached by a man who worked there and started showing me photos of various significant plaques and urns, then offered to show me Bram Stoker. His name was Eric Willis, he’s a maintenance man at the crematorium but also does unofficial tours for visitors sometimes, and he was so helpful, friendly and enthusiastic that I couldn’t drag myself away! I was expecting to spend an hour there at most, but it turned into 3 hours or so including a look behind the scenes at the cremators and other machinery involved into the process. You’re probably thinking that I sound a bit ghoulish, but in all honesty it was a lovely place, beautifully landscaped gardens, friendly staff and had a wonderful atmosphere. I can’t think of anywhere nicer to put a lost loved one, then visit and pay respects. There are lots of famous people buried, stored or scattered on the gardens there – in addition to Bram Stoker and Marc Bolan, there is Sigmund Freud and his family, Peter Sellers, Anna Pavlova, and many more. Some of the plaques had little information but some told you a bit about the person and how they died, and there were a few mausoleums in the grounds as well.

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The gardens, where the ashes are scattered if that’s what the families want, are stunning. They’re intended to provide a peaceful happy place for people to spend time remembering their loved ones, and its so much more conducive to remembering the good times than any church graveyard I’ve ever been in!

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All in all it was a wonderful visit, and I’d strongly recommend it to anyone in North London – especially if you’re lucky enough to meet Eric for a tour!

I was going to separate out the food talk again, but I changed my mind. I didn’t have a very good day food-wise, but I enjoyed it!!!

Food today:

Breakfast: Fage 2% Greek yoghurt with honey, strawberries and a bran muffin (nowhere near as filling as I found this breakfast last time)

Lunch: Not eaten till around 2:35, by which time I was starving! I went to the Cafe Rouge in Hampstead and had a Cafe Baguette (steak in a baguette with fries and salad) then had dessert….

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Dinner: I wasn’t very hungry when I got back to the hotel, but M was so I had to go along since he hadn’t been lucky enough to eat a huge late lunch like me! I decided to try to get the evil stuff out of my system, so we had pizza. Mine was a thin (Italian) crust Vegetable Supreme with only half the normal amount of cheese though!

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Snacks: Just one snack today! A brunch pot from Caffe Nero (Low fat yoghurt with granola & strawberry compote) with a single chocolate and a small pack of Nak’d cherry infused raisins and a fruit smoothie blended with ice.

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