Today was like any Sunday and that’s why I loved it. I could never get bored of my Sundays because they combine nature, activity, socialising, and my favourite of all… lots of eating! So, let me talk you through my favourite day of the week, which as it just so happens is today.
8am – Alarm goes off but we lazily hang about in bed for a bit chatting and listening to the radio. The dog tries to jump on the bed and we let him because we’re feeling good about the day ahead… and a little bit guilty that we don’t spend enough quality time with him.
8.30am – Eventually, I get out of bed and have a wash and clean my teeth while also letting my mind drift to what I might make myself for breakfast that will set me up for a busy morning.
8.45am – I leave the house with Rowdy on one of our favourite and regular walks. This morning, we choose to walk down the canal. It’s so quiet and the only other animals we’re aware of are the ducks we meet near the bridge. They’re quiet as well, not yet ready for their daily raucous giggling and laughing.
9.30am – We head home for breakfast, which I have now decided will be Avocado Grapefruit Smoothie (minus the hemp seeds). I’ll need the avocado and coconut milk to keep me full until lunchtime and the grapefruit will give me plenty of energy. Another handful of spinach gets thrown in for the extra nutrients. I take the positive view that eating an AIP-friendly diet is broadening my horizons when it comes to smoothies – I never would have thought of including avocado, but it works really well.
10am – We catch up on the news and politics for a little while, half watching the BBC on TV and half just throwing our own opinions about.
10.30am – Time to head out. We’re driving to Sheffield to go bouldering in one of their indoor climbing centres. We do this every week and usually there are three or four of us who get together, but this week it’s just the two of us. This means we’ll get tired out quicker as we won’t be hanging around chatting as much, but that’s OK because we’ve got places to be later. It takes us half an hour to get to the centre.
11am – This is the third week these routes have been up at the Matrix. They change the problems every six weeks so it doesn’t get boring. It’s not the best climbing centre in Sheffield, but there are lots of nice little crags and features and it’s only £3 entry with my university staff card, so it’s way cheaper than the others, which can be between £8-11.
I love climbing. It feels so natural and… well… primal. It’s excellent exercise as it uses your whole body and is very dynamic and doesn’t put pressure on just one area of the body. You also use your core a lot, so it gives you great strength throughout your body. For those of you who don’t know, the difference between bouldering and rope-climbing is that bouldering walls don’t tend to be as high… and you don’t use a rope. So even though you don’t have the psychological barrier of being really high up, there is the fact you’re not attached to anything to contend with. But it’s a lot of fun.
I think one of the main reasons I love climbing so much is because it also engages your mind. There’s a lot of problem-solving involved in getting to the top of the wall and the different problems are graded as different difficulties, so you can really see yourself start to improve very quickly. The sense of accomplishment isn’t like the high you get from doing excessive cardio. It’s more of a contentment than an endorphin-release, but it’s very laid back and, like I said, natural.
12.45pm – We leave the Matrix and drive five minutes round the corner to my friend’s house to catch up with him. It’s only been a couple of weeks since I last saw him, but you can never see too much of your friends, right? This is another reason why I love coming across to Sheffield on a Sunday – a lot of my friends live there and it’s so easy to organise to go round to one of their houses for a cuppa. I’ve only been doing this a little while. I used to tell myself the reason I didn’t see my friends for weeks and months on end was because I didn’t have time. But we were there only an hour and it was so worth it.
Lesson learned: Finding time for your friends is easy once you give yourself time to live in the present and not the future and be mindful of their existence as important people in your life.
2pm – Time to set off home. We’ve got a lot of lounging about on the sofa to do and a whole afternoon to do it!
2.30pm – We get home and have lunch. I make myself the same as last night – coconut shrimp salad – but I also include a few capers and some sautéed mushrooms. Boyfriend has a bag of Kettle Chips I frown, but part of me is still envious cos I know how tasty they are.
3.30pm – Lay back, watch trash on TV (Judge Judy is on and then it’s Hoarders), maybe have a little snooze and get an hour or so of video gaming in. I’m a big Sims 3 fan, but I limit myself to weekends. Don’t judge me.
5pm – Start dinner. We’re having a Sunday roast so I get the chicken seasoned with a bunch of fresh herbs and garlic and stick it in the oven. Such an easy meal, and we do a roast of some sort every Sunday with whatever vegetables we decide on that week. This week it’s a whole chicken and it already smells gorgeous.
7pm – Everything is finally ready. The house has smelled irresistibly tasty for well over an hour now and we’re dishing up. There’s roast chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and carrots, savoy cabbage and some homemade gravy (kind of) from the juices. The chicken is from our local butcher, is free-range, pasture-raised, and SOOOO moist.
8.30pm – And the great thing about cooking a whole chicken (or a joint of meat) is you get bones to make broth out of. So, I put the carcus with all the rest of the meat still clinging to it into my slow cooker, add an onion, a carrot and a couple of cloves of garlic and top off with water. That’ll provide the base for the sausage casserole I’m making tomorrow night.
8.45pm – Take the dog out for a short lead walk. This evening walk is a great time for Boyfriend and me to just walk and talk. We tend to talk about things that might be stressing us out at work, gossip we might have, and our plans for the future. It’s one of my most enjoyable times of the day, and tonight was so lovely and mild.
9.15pm – Sit down to write the rest of this blog post. All that remains of the day is to make myself a soothing cup of camomile tea, turn off the slow cooker and decide which book I’m going to read myself to sleep with tonight. The day is drawing to a close and it’s a whole seven days until my favourite day of the week comes back around. But I’m content, I’m pain-free and looking forward to the week ahead.
What’s your favourite day of the week? And how do you like to spend it?
Breakfast: Grapefruit Avocado Smoothie
Lunch: Coconut Shrimp Salad with capers and mushrooms
Dinner: Roast chicken with sweet potatoes, carrots and cabbage
Snacks: One solitary pear
Pain level (out of 10)
Started at about 3, went down to 1 by lunch time then back up to 3 again. Back down to nearly 0 in the evening.