Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A low-key weekend of enjoyment

After the excitement of the last few weeks, it was quite nice to have a weekend that was thoroughly enjoyable in a normal sort of way. Don't get me wrong - I am still incredibly grateful and thankful for the bigger excitements of the last little while. Overwhelmed by them in fact. However, we all know that the 'big' things can't happen all of the time and sometimes the small-scale pleasures are all the more pleasurable because they are small.


The weekend started off with on a high note when I ran, miraculously and almost inexplicably, without pain. I mentioned my difficulties with plantar fasciitis earlier this year, but haven't been going into details on the ongoing, incredibly irritating hip pain I have been experiencing since late last year, with the working diagnosis of iliotibial band syndrome. On Saturday, I ran for 30 minutes with no pain and it was an experience beyond amazing. I hope it lasts! Perhaps being engaged has blocked my pain receptors?!

Saturday also involved a cafe visit with school friends, an increasingly challenging scenario as the six in our original friendship group scatter geographically. This year saw the first baby born to this particular group, and having a 10-week-old baby girl join the afternoon was remarkably fun.

The enjoyment continued on Sunday. Many, many posts ago I talked about Fremantle, with its arty vibe, organic foods, fresh bread, and raw and vegan meal and snack options, most notably at The Raw Kitchen Cafe. With Mr Bite happily settled at the football, I wandered Fremantle for a few hours and had a thoroughly fun time.

I found raw carob pieces:


I like them very much indeed. These are quite literally just the edible parts of the carob bean, meaning they are slightly but not too sweet, and don't have the palm oil that goes along with so many carob products.

I also found raw kale chips, seasoned with a barbecue spice blend that includes raw cashews and carrots.


If we're being honest, I liked these less than I was expecting, and will probably stick to fresh kale in future. However, they win points for novelty value and make for an easy vegetable-based snack.

With advance planning, I also settled myself at The Raw Kitchen Cafe with a book. It is a delightful place to take a book to, with comfortable chairs and non-matching furniture.

I took pictures of the menu on my phone, which means the quality is quite appalling, but I thought the menu's first page was worthwhile including anyway. As the following shows, this is a good cafe to visit if you want to find real, natural foods.



I had a green smoothie and a raw, nearly vegan (it contained honey) macaroon with acai and vanilla flavours.

 



My current book, Cutting for Stone, is set in Ethiopia and it is a book that is beautifully written. The language pulls you in and it turned out to be a perfect match for settling back with the smoothie and macaroon. The smoothie was cold and creamy and just slightly sweet from the banana. The macaroon was slightly too coconut-y for my tastes, but it isn't fair to hold coconut flavour against a macaroon. I did enjoy the texture, which was crumbly but dense, and the fact that it was sweet without being artificial in its flavours.


The lovely thing about these sorts of small pleasures, too, is knowing that they are possible again. My bank account may not welcome purchases of carob kibbles, kale chips, and raw cafe treats on a weekly basis, but they are accessible pleasures nonetheless. Friends and running and books - those too.

What about you - have you had any small pleasures lately? Do you have a favourite set? Books and food always seem to make it on to my list!

24 comments:

  1. I am always on the hunt for good book reccomendations. I will have to check out that Cutting For Stone. We do need to treat ourselves once in a while. that smoothie looks refreshing!

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    1. It really was :) And I hope you enjoy Cutting for Stone if you do find it. I'm a complete nerd with reading and jot down my books on my Books page, so you might find some other book ideas there too if you're in need of any!

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  2. Ahhhhh! It just deleted my long comment! I talked about how I'm loving laughing (and yes, sometimes snorting) out loud whilst reading The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, and that I'm glad you're having little blissful joys and also that I'm envious, of course, of the raw cafe treats! xo

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    1. Thank you for commenting twice! Snorting out loud is the best sort of laughter in my opinion. Whilst reading - absolute bliss.

      One day, I am sure, you will miraculously visit Perth and see the raw cafe treats of Fremantle first hand :)

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  3. I'm so pleased to hear you've had a wonderful and relaxing few days. And so pleased you've been in less pain - I certainly hope that continues for you. I like to think I'm attracted to healthy foods but I don't think I could enjoy kale chips! xx

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    1. Neither did I really, so I wouldn't worry too much :P And thank you!

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  4. I've seen those kale chips but just can't bring myself to buy them - probably should try them once! Reading books is one of life's little pleasures - especially in pleasant surroundings. My other little pleasure lately is listening to sylvia singing the sound of music songs - always makes me smile!

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    1. There is something about children singing that is quite magical - nice to know that your household has been benefiting from Sylvia's tones of late! And on the kale chips, I think perhaps you are the more sensible of us. I can't find it in my to recommend them strongly...

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  5. OMMMMGSHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! HAPPPY ENGAGEMENT AND CONGRATULATIONS!!!! eeeeeeekkkkk!!! ahhhh it brings memories to me as well, lol. If you need any bits of advice or tips for wedding planning, let me know! cuz you know...I just got married too. ;) And if the thought of planning is too much, just take a breather and know that regardless of everything, the wedding will be perfect--and really, it's the married life that truly matters in the end. :D

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    1. Thank you so much Ellie!! Your excitement is making me excited all over again :) But you're so right about the wedding / marriage aspect - it is the latter that is important and I will keep reminding myself of that if the planning gets too much!

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  6. I've heard good things about that book and want to read it- thanks for the reminder!

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    1. You're very welcome...it's my current book club one actually, and I'm looking forward to discussing it when the group meets up next week!

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  7. glad u had a great weekend and HURRAH for pain free running!! ugh, IT band is a tough little bugger and i've spent many a nights on the verge of tears with my foam roller working on that sucker...lol. keep it up and hope u're week is going along great!

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    1. Thank you Cait...the foam roller has definitely been my friend and enemy of late :P I hope I can keep it at bay. Hurrah for pain free running indeed!

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  8. Yay for pain free! My Mum has a terrible bad back but this week finally had some treatment that has given her relief. Now we just need to tie her down so she doesn't do so much she reinjures herself.

    I try to find small pleasures in every day. Last night it was the luxury of S rubbing my feet while I drank a glass of wine.

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    1. Your focus on the small pleasures is one of the (many!) things I enjoy about your blog :) A foot rub with wine definitely sounds like a good one!

      I hope your Mum's back stays improved. My back is also prone to flaring up (I'm sounding like a real hypochondriac in this post!) and I know how debilitating it can be.

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  9. I know what you mean about enjoying more low key weekends. After going last weekend, I am happy that there isn't much going on this week. :)

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    1. It's nice when they can balance out isn't it? I find it a bit too much having hectic weekends back-to-back! I hope your low key week is proving enjoyable.

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  10. the food looks so healthy, and the book cover reflects nature with its green color.lol

    Latest: The Healthy Bar

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    1. So it does! I hadn't notice before!

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  11. Oh man...those karob nibbles sound fantastic!

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    1. I am definitely enjoying them! Such a great snack.

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