Feed-your-soul Sundays

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Hygge/Brunch with a wonderful Kiwi girl a few Sundays back, at The Clapham North. Highly recommended.

When I was a student (both times, as a BA and MA student) my life was..well..lazy. I studied, yes, I did my work experience and internships and chased opportunities as much as I could, but when I was at home, I stayed in bed, ate junk food, read books or watched movies. I led a sedentary lifestyle.

Later on, when I graduated and started being more like an adult and less like a kid, I made considerable efforts to stop sitting on my ass all day and do things, but I was stressed and depressed and these feelings tie you to bed and make you lose your motivation quickly. My personal life was falling into pieces, with my best friends leaving London and the guy I fancied playing with my feelings and I was working an internship that was essentially my first paid position, hence the stress and feelings of inadequacy and ‘am I as good as everyone else?’. So I became an emotional eater, turning my emotions into sugary, fatty food and avoiding anything remotely resembling ‘real food’. My lunch was a pub lunch that often included eggs, bacon, ham, bread and screamed ‘death if you eat too much’. My dinner was chocolate, crisps and other junk.

I moved and moved and moved, thinking that moving would bring about a profound change. But I was too hasty, settlings for places I didn’t really like.

The middle of August brought me in front of an impossible situation: the guy I was in love with decided to cut me off because I was too emotional and clingy, the house I lived in had plumbing issues not to mention strangers sleeping in the living room on a daily basis, and I had enough.

I looked long and hard, all the while going through an extremely busy period at work. I did not take one single day off, I worked overtimes, and managed to find the perfect place, after a lot of soul-snatching, nerve-wrecking flat hunting. It is by no means a cheap place, but it is worth every penny. It is big, bright, conveniently located and with an ensuite bathroom.

It took me a while to fully find myself. I went through endless dates, disappointments and emotional eating. The end of December / beginning of January came with another crushing disappointment.  Once more, I had enough, so I decided to fix the other half of my life.

On an emotional level, I decided to give more time to people who truly cared about me, and who wholeheartedly enjoyed talking to me. I was lucky. I was overwhelmed by the love I received from my friends, who ran to my rescue from the emotional chaos I found myself swimming into one more time.

I arrived back in London from Greece with mixed feelings. I was sad because all the stability I thought was there crumbled once again. But I did not give into emotional junk food eating anymore. I channelled the disillusionment elsewhere.

I signed up for Spanish classes. I went out with friends, met new people, reconnected with old acquaintances. I went to the Magic Lantern Festival with fantastic company, and had a great time. I decided to take the next step in my career and I interviewed for jobs. I accepted an excellent job offer from one of the 5 biggest English-speaking publishers in the planet. But most importantly: I started taking care of my body, to protect my soul. I started cooking.

Cooking terrified me because of all the things that can possibly go wrong – too much of this, too little of that, house fires, food that ends up tasting like the ground and in the bin. But I was determined to find recipes that I liked, without putting too much meat into them.

My Sundays are all about eggs.

I try to poach them, fry them, and boil them, because I love eating them in every form. I add some whole wheat toast bread, feta, tomatoes and mixed spices and there you go. Simple, healthy, tasty and nothing ends up thrown away.

I got a spice rack with all sorts of wonderful spices to accompany my food. I brought tasty meat with me from Greece which I defrost, and as such I do not need to eat out and spend money on food all the time. I stopped going to the pub for lunch (where I splash out at least a tenner for a semi-decent meal) and got food from the supermarket, always going for the lighter/tastier meals to avoid drowsiness post-lunch break.

So Sundays are sometimes about the meat too. Fried chicken/pork with soft cheese, feta and tomatoes on the side (these are my standard sides). Orange juice sometimes to replace Diet Coke, which I try to wean myself off. Organic chocolate to follow, or fruit.

Sundays are also about brunch. Let’s not kid ourselves; brunch is the meaning of life. Poached eggs on muffin with bacon, and some hot chocolate on the side; not too often, because it hurts your body and your bank account, and the occasional brunch makes it even more special.

Plans for Sundays to come:

  • See special people and spend quality time with them
  • meet more people in cozy little places
  • read my books – I currently started two
  • fitness – yoga/pilates

The meaning of this post is not that you should all have brunch on Sundays because this will fix all your issues. It is that Sundays can be about finding time about yourself and discovering things you like – cooking, fitness, eating out.  Currently, a small part of my Sundays consists of familiarising myself with my well-equipped kitchen – pots and pans, spice rack and a fully stocked fridge that can become the source of small culinary miracles. Food feeds the soul, and bad food means your soul will be underfed. And I am trying to feed my soul properly this time.

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