My trip to France

A couple of weeks ago I disappeared off to France for a much anticipated friend’s wedding in beautiful Chamonix.  The weather forecast was pretty horrific, and I was expecting awful thunderstorms every day, but we were blessed with, not exactly beautiful, but certainly not stormy, weather.  Chamonix itself was fantastic – off season it’s pretty much closed down and quiet, but we were a 70 strong party so that didn’t bother us!

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The wedding was so beautiful and magical, the ceremony held beneath a ruined church, on a lake, and the foot of a mountain, and led by one of our good friends.  It was so personal, but also hilarious, he did an amazing job.  There were nine bridesmaids and nine groomsmen (putting my seven of each to shame!) – the boys in blue and the girls in yellow, and everything was very simple and straightforward, no unnecessary fuss for the sake of ceremony and tradition.  Since recently attending a local council meeting which was so full of this that it felt like a badly performed school play, this has cemented itself as my number one pet hate.

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Most of us left our partners at home (and other than me, none of my school friends have had children yet), so it was like a school holiday.  Lots of partying, lots of reminiscing, and a few physical activities.  I actually went running EVERY DAY, which I am still shocked about!  The runs were short and slow, but every little counts!  And my vegan diet of the week before obviously went to pot with all the lovely cheese on offer!!

My intention was to use the precious time to myself to finally read One Hundred Years of Solitude.  But there was too much fun to be had and I didn’t even open it!!  I am hoping however to have completed my black and white photo challenge.  I have got a few contenders but they are still in colour at the moment, I’m hoping Steve will give me a black and white masterclass this evening.  I took this colourful photo, which I love, when we accidentally went through the Mont-Blanc tunnel to Italy for a day!!

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On our last day in Chamonix, a few of us took the cable car up the mountain.  It’s the highest cable car in the world, and we thought it was overpriced at 54 euros each.  But we were so wrong!  It was just incredible up there above the clouds, really magical.  Bizarrely there were gift shops and restaurants up there – it was unbelievable!

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My holiday ended on a bit of a stressful note, with our Easybus transfer to Geneva Airport just not turning up!!  We had to fork out for a taxi in the end, I’ve never EVER been that close to my flight time, it was horrible!!  But I got home safely in the end and that’s what matters.

Holiday!

I’m off on my holibobs! Going to Chamonix for a wedding. Steve isn’t keen on flying so he’s staying home with the boys, meaning I get to go by myself, but also see all of my beautiful friends! I have the feeling it will be like a school trip – my sixth form classmates are a very close bunch even after all these years.

The things I am most looking forward to are:

Seeing lots of old friends, but particularly Asha, who is coming over from America.

Spending hours curled up in a corner reading, without keeping half my attention on children! (But less looking forward to trying to read 100 years of solitude, which I am just not making any progress with.)

Going running whenever the hell I want.

Wearing make up and earrings EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The wedding, of course!

Coming home to my babies.

My week as a vegan

The last week has been spent trying to live as a vegan. I’m already vegetarian so this basically meant cutting out cheese and milk, I don’t really eat eggs anyway.

There have been high and low points. I’ve eaten much more healthily than usual, packing my plate with more fruit and vegetables and eating a more varied, colourful diet. Everything I’ve eaten has felt pretty guilt free so I’ve eaten lots of it, hunger certainly hasn’t been an issue. I hope to keep this up.

Low points were trying to drink tea without cow’s milk. It’s not terrible but it’s certainly not good either. I will definitely be going back. My period is due any moment so I have given in to chocolate a couple of times, and to cheese once. Poor Steve has suffered the effects of a bean and fruit based diet, and I had to make a couple of emergency stops whilst out running, so I know the change of diet has certainly taken effect!

I haven’t found it difficult to think of things to eat, it just takes a bit more effort on my part: checking labels, finding alternatives, and cooking more food from scratch.

What next?

I’m off to France tomorrow so cheese will be making a big comeback. Judging by my previous travel experience, cups of tea are not going to improve for me in France! I will be going back to cows milk for tea, but I will probably continue to use almond milk for cereal and smoothies. Mainly I really hope to carry on eating more fruit and veg and less carbs and sugar now that I’ve had a kick start.

Final Day

Yesterday was the last day of my week trying to live as a vegan. My day started with another smoothie (banana, chia seeds, frozen berries, orange juice, soya yoghurt).  

My (first) lunch was a Clive’s Mexican Bean Pie.  

And my second lunch was beans on toast. Probably the first time I’ve had it without slathering it on cheese (except when I was on £1 a day).  

Later I had another two slices of toast with mushroom pate and finished off my dark chocolate and avocado truffles. Then for dinner I had a tin of vegetable soup.  

 

Sixth Day

So last night I made some dark and chocolate and avocado truffles, and I… accidentally… ended up eating some milk chocolate in the process.

I got back on track this morning with an almond milk, banana, and peanut butter smoothie. I snacked on an apple and a nakd bar, then stopped off at Smugglers for another quinoa salad (out of date so only cost £1!)  

On my return to the office I had ryvita with avocado and walnuts. And then my boss came in with some ferrero rocher and I caved. Those things are just too delicious!  

In my defence, my period is due. No more should need to be said.

Dinner was a butternut squash risotto.   

Followed by last night’s truffles and some “ice cream” made from peanut butter blended with banana and chia seeds and frozen.  

So more slippage today! But I am still really pleased with the healthy eating I’ve been doing – it’s about the journey not the destination!

Fifth Day

I ate some cheese today. It was left on Charlie’s plate and I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste. But I don’t see this as a complete failure (I’m certainly not going back to day one!), just a little slip, and an understandable one, because.. cheese. This is the longest I’ve ever been without cheese ever. The previous record was 18 hours.

This lack of competitive nature is what stops me from improving more at running. I can’t imagine ever teaching the point of injury or even tears. I’ve never had to break through “the wall” because I don’t get to it in the first place. At work we are putting together a team to enter the Great West Run, a famously hilly half marathon in Exeter this October. With that as my motivation I went out and ran 15k today.  

  It was a beautiful sunny morning and I ran a hilly route that I would never even have considered before, but I was rewarded with beautiful views. This was after having just a smoothie and some walnuts for breakfast.

I came home ravenous and started off with some rice cakes, before moving on to a sausage sandwich (yum!).  

  Dinner was a shepherds pie made with quorn mince and topped with sweet potato mash (and no cheese, apart from for the boys: my downfall).  

Not my most successful day, but a good healthy day, which can only be a good thing.

Fourth Day

Yesterday was a FANTASTIC day of fundraising. Volunteering in Health had its annual family fun day on the den in Teignmouth. The sun shone on us all day (a little bit too much in the case of my arms) and the money hasn’t yet been counted, but I’m confident that we smashed last year’s £1800.  

 My breakfast was weetabix with almond milk. I had a bad stomach ache all morning (too much fruit and veg I think) so treated myself to a proper (cows milk) cup of tea and carrot cake muffin, it totally worked, think I’d changed my diet a bit too drastically all at once! Lunch was a falafel salad which was delicious.  

  I got in from the fun day with an hour to spare until going out to another fundraiser in the evening (this one put in by Red Rock Harmony) so just had leftover curry with soy yoghurt.  

I’m over halfway! A little slip today but I can live with that, I couldn’t afford not to feel 100% on such a busy day.