February Round Up

How has the month been?

I started the month off by visiting my Husband’s family and catching a cold from our germ-infested nieces! This lasted a couple weeks but ever since I have felt really exhausted. I assume this is just a hangover of the virus but I’m going to get some blood tests to see if anything else is going on there. Although I’ve been very tired it hasn’t really affected what I have done apart from less exercise/running and more naps! It was also my birthday this month and I have had a great time celebrating which I’ll share more with you below.

What new foods have I tried this month?

When I looked through my photos this month I couldn’t believe have many new things I have tried. Who said being vegan was boring?!

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I celebrated 10 years with  company at the beginning of the month so I brought in some yummy vegan treats. I made a jaffa drizzle cake, which is an orange drizzle cake with a thin layer of dark chocolate on top. This was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again.

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I went out with some colleagues  to Ekachai as one of our work friends was leaving the company. It is a South East Asian restaurant which is very efficient for lunchtime eating! I had this gorgeous tempeh curry and there are a few vegan or easily veganised dishes on the menu.

I went down to visit my friend Karen and her family in Bournemouth this month it was so nice to pick up some provisions so easily in Waterloo station. I got four vegan cupcakes for us to share from Lola’s Cupcakes and it’s great to see them continuing to expand their vegan range.

We went out to Wagamama for dinner and I had the itame coconut, chilli and lime soup with tofu and vegetables. I’ve never had this dish before as I prefer the noodles to soup but as I had this stinking cold I thought it would do me good! It was really tasty and I had some cauliflower in a lovely sticky chilli sauce as a side.

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We stopped for a hot drink and a cake at Sweet Greens which I wrote about in this post.

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I asked Dani from Vida Bakery to make my caterpillar birthday cake and she certainly didn’t disappoint!

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I celebrated my birthday eating food from Vegan Peasant which I wrote about here.

On Saturday I went to a local independent space and had a lovely chocolate brownie and Earl Grey. It’s nice to see small, local places catering to vegans.

On Sunday we took a trip to Green Bay and I bought all this swag I’m currently working through.

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And finally on the food front we used the sgaia bacon pictured above with some mushrooms in a giant pancake to share to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.

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What have I enjoyed?

I went vintage clothes shopping with my Sister-in-law on the first weekend in February which I wrote about here and I also picked up this fab vintage swimsuit in Bournemouth.

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I had a fab time in Bournemouth as a whole, even the body combat class we did on Sunday morning!

I spent some time catching up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve now known these ladies over 10 years!

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I loved receiving all these gorgeous presents for my birthday.

I completed my second parkrun of the year and felt better afterwards than the first one and I bought myself a Lush giraffe bubble bar to celebrate.

Plans for March

We are heading down to Ramsgate for a belated birthday weekend away. I plan on taking part in a march against racism and we have tickets to see Post Modern Jukebox at the end of the month. If you haven’t heard them, check them out on YouTube.

How has your February been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

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February Round Up

Exercise and Mental Health

I have suffered from anxiety issues since I was a teenager and have had a few flair ups over the years, the latest being through my Dad’s illness, death and aftermath. I was prescribed anti-depressants with an aim of being on these for a short period and had a number of one-to-one CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions. I have being reducing my medication gradually month by month (with my GP’s supervision) and as of last week I have come off completely.

Neither my Husband or I drive so we walk practically everywhere and if you read my weekly food round ups you will have probably read I go swimming with my Mum at least once a week. I have enjoyed these forms of exercise but felt I needed something that got my heart pumping a bit more. I have also wanted to get into running but have been pretty terrible at it (!) so I was really excited when I started reading about Couch to 5k.

If you aren’t aware this is a nine week programme developed by the NHS which aims to get you running for 30 minutes but the end of it. In week one you start by running for 60 seconds followed by 90 seconds this alternates for 20 minutes. This builds up so you are doing more running and less walking each week. You do three runs a week before you move on to the next week. You can download podcasts and a friendly voice called Laura tells you when to run  and when to walk as well as giving lots of tips and encouragement. (If you download the app you get a choice of “voices” and can play your own music). There is also this forum where you can chat to other participants and gain and give advice.

I have just finished week four where I have been running for 3 minutes, walking for 90 seconds, running for 5 minutes then walking for 2 1/2 minutes and repeating the cycle. Before the first run this week I was really anxious as to whether I would be able to run for that amount of time but I just took it slow and steady and I did it! It does get easier as you build up stamina and run longer with more ease each week.

There is a park less than a minute from my flat where I run. Not only do the endorphins I get from running help with my mood and general mental health, I think being in a natural setting with lots of green and trees helps too, something I wouldn’t get from being on a treadmill in a gym. I also enjoy seeing all the dogs in the park even if I am sure some of them are on a mission to trip me up! I enjoy seeing the other joggers in the park too and I am tempted to high five them as we pass eachother although I haven’t gained the courage to try it just yet!

I’m really encouraged by how far I’ve come. Once I’ve completed the programme I’m going to start doing Parkrun. These are 5k runs which are held in parks all round the country every Saturday and are completely free to enter. I took part in one in 2012 and thought never again! But now I’m building up my stamina slowly week by week I’m sure it’ll be more manageable this time around!

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What are your favourites forms of exercise? Have you tried anything new to you recently?

Plumes x

 

Exercise and Mental Health