The best seats on the train are the single seats in the back corners of carriages, preferably downstairs. I call them hobbit nooks.
I spend a lot of time on trains these days. I could take the car, ’tis true, but I’m trying to be green. Plus the OH has usurped Twoflower, my luggage on wheels, while his metal behemoth is in the garage with a dodgy tire problem.
The reason for all my training about is that I have returned to the illustrious world of academia and now have to split my week between being a teacher at one university and a student at another.
And I’m loving it!
Studying linguistics as a Research MA is rather like being in one of those large buffet style restaurants, or the dining room at Hogwarts. The setting is cosy and traditional, but there are also lots of interesting gadgets to play with. And the choice! There is so much to choose from in terms of possible knowledge to acquire that I am often guilty of eyes too big for my brain-stomach and want to know it all. But that is a little too ambitious for a two year program and so begins the journey to find that branch of linguistics that fits me best.
And that’s another advantage of travelling by train; one can get lots of reading done.
The other things that is wonderful about trains with Wifi connections is that it also allows the random blogger to engage in a spot of blogging on the go. So, what do hobbits, Hogwarts and trains have in common on today’s blog?… Food, that’s right, food! Or at least, food that helps the brain.
As writers (or readers, or researchers) we spend an inordinate amount of time on our bums staring at screens or blank notebook pages, fingers and pens poised to write the next great novel or groundbreaking paper. If any of you are anything like me that means the intention to exercise (or in my case contort myself into different yoga positions in a sauna like environment) is well meant but often gets shunted down the list of priorities to make room for writing, editing, reading and more writing. Another thing some of us are not very good at is eating properly.
Hence, this post, which will give you my three favourite recipes for the more physically inactive but mentally spry indidvidual.
Muffins and Jo(e)
I love muffins because they are small and filling and I can eat them quickly. While I do enjoy my food, I have discovered that the busier I am the less time I want to spend eating it. I cannot chew each morsel a hundred times before swallowing. I also hate breakfast. I would rather sleep a little more and skip it but experience has proven that this method is not best for moi. So, Sunday night I set one hour aside to make up a batch of these and this takes care of breakfast for the rest of the week.
(recipe found at http://www.paleomazing.com)
I also love my coffee, and this is an awesome way to kick start the day with a twist on the usual cappuccino. (I got this recipe from Coconut Mama)
1 cup of coffee
Spoonful of coconut oil
Put it all in a blender and blitz until foamy… Yum! (and coconut oil is great for the grey matter!)
Lunch – The Ultimate Smoothie!
Smoothies are my perfect idea of sci-fi food (and as I love to read sci-fi I am very comfortable with this method of ingestion). You can put anything in a smoothie. It can be sweet or savoury or anywhere inbetween, but there is a trick to the perfect smoothie combination and this blueprint will show you how.
The perfect smoothie goes as follows:
1 cup of liquid (runny yoghurt, milk, almond milk, tea, water)
3 ice cubes
Half a soft fruit (I use banana or avocado)
A handful of frozen fruit
A tablespoon of nut butter/oats (as a binder)
A tablespoon of protein powder (optional but if you’re a veggie like me it’s a great way to get protein and brains love protein!)
(Blueprint courtesy of No Meat Athlete)
That’s the basics of a brilliant smoothie. This recipe allows you to make all sorts of interesting combos to find your perfect smoothie. My personal fave is banana with coconut yoghurt, frozen blackberries, cashew butter, pea protein and a tablespoon of cocoa powder to add a chocolatey hint.
And those are my three recipes. When it comes to dinner, I usually steam some veggies or make some soup, but those are recipes for another post.