Lush Bubble Bath and Food For Thought (Day 14)

Its day 14 and it’s my one day out of every 7 days off. I’m not exercising today, nor am I writing a blog post. I’ve been writing everyday for the last 13 days. I need a day off! 

My weight stayed the same at 68.8kg, however my fat went down 0.1% to 18.1% and my other readings both went up 0.1%. Body Water was 56.3% and Body Muscle was 42.6%

I had a hot lemon juice in the morning and muesli with fromage frais. 

Orange Wednesdays

Orange Wednesdays

I wanted to have a day out and relax. I decided to go to the cinema and watch Toy Story 3 with my wife. As it was Orange Wednesdays, I text Film to 241, queued up at Cineworld in Ilford and waited for my code to allow me to buy one ticket and get another one free. We had missed the 2D showings of the film and so the only option was to watch it in 3D. By the time we got to the front of the queue I had not received my code. I spoke to the ticket issuer and told her what the problem was. I asked her if she’d let us come straight to the front of the queue if it did arrive, as we didn’t want to queue all over again. She agreed. We went outside of the building. Still nothing. We walked into the High Street. Still nothing. I thought of what else to do. I text Orange two more times. Still nothing. Buying two 3D tickets was out of the question, it would have cost a fortune! I thought I’d get on Facebook and ask if someone had a spare Orange Wednesdays code. Such pleas have worked successfully in the past, thanks to some generous friends on my friends list. However it seemed there was a problem with reception in the area and I could not get online. It was getting quite frustrating. I switched my phone on and off. Still nothing. I started walking home to get online at home or maybe reception would be better at home, but then I checked my watched and realised that even if I went home, by the time I got back to the cinema with a code it would be too late and we would have missed the start of the film! I wanted to relax today, and instead felt stressed at not being able to get hold of an Orange Wednesdays code in time for the movie we wanted to watch. 

Josie Lawrence from The Comedy Store Players

Josie Lawrence from The Comedy Store Players

I decided to give up waiting for the Orange Wednesdays code, try and stay positive and do something else in the mean time, and perhaps watch the movie later on in the evening by which time the code would hopefully have arrived. I decided to go to the Comedy Store in Piccadily Circus. As it was a Wednesday it was improvisation night. These nights are always good. The comedians have to be comical on the spot in response to suggestions from the audience. If you go to watch someone doing stand up, they can be hit and miss. Sometimes the comedian isn’t that funny, or if he is famously funny you might have seen some of his routines before. 

As we swiped our oyster cards in at Ilford station and got on the platform I finally received my Orange Wednesdays text! Grrr… the timing couldn’t have been worse. 

Covent Garden Apple Market

Covent Garden Apple Market

We had some time to kill before the doors opened at 6.30pm so we stopped off at Covent Garden for a wonder. I vaguely remembered it had a few eco-friendly shops and hoped I might find something of interest there during this detox. There were lots of street entertainers doing their thing. We had about an hour or so. I wasn’t hungry but as we were in Covent Garden I imagined there might be a vegetarian or vegan restaurant about. I’ve never been to one and was looking for a new experience. As we walked about half looking for somewhere to eat, half looking for something interesting to pique my interest we walked past a Lush a fresh handmade cosmetics shop. I was on the hunt for a natural bubble bath that could make me feel as relaxed as Radox. 

Lush Covent Garden

Lush Covent Garden

We walked in, downstairs and around. It was like an underground maze. Actually it was more like an underground science museum! There were lots of staff handy. There was a member of staff at each display and they were doing lots of demonstrations with their products. We went around sniffing the merchandise. They all looked colourful enough to eat, however upon smelling each cosmetic we noticed most of the products smelt very similar to each other. And they had a very soapy, dull fragrance to them. Nothing like The Body Shop, where each line has a very distinct fruity smell. Their cosmetics were really expensive as well. A bath bomb for example would be used for just one bath and would set you back £2.95. I hadn’t tried their bath products before, so maybe after trying one I would find that it was worth the money for treating myself on the odd occasion after all.

The Comforter from Lush

The Comforter from Lush

What I really loved was the energy and enthusiasm of the staff. They were all clearly very passionate about the company, the products and the ethical business model. I felt obliged to buy something just from the joyfulness of the staff. We found one Bubble Bar that had the aroma of a delicious fruity sweet. It is called The Comforter and has the scent of blackcurrants. Its fragrance made it seem good enough to eat. It set me back £3.95 but can be used four times. Its scent made every penny seem well spent. 

At the till I asked the member of staff if there were any vegetarian restaurants around worth checking out. Whilst pointing out that most if not all Lush members of staff were either vegetarian or vegan she said there was a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Food For Thought on Neal Street. I said thanks and we made our way there. 

Food For Thought, Neal Street, Covent Garden, London

Food For Thought, Neal Street, Covent Garden, London

At first glance it didn’t seem like a posh restaurant. It looked more like a local café. To eat in we had to walk down into the basement area. It seemed quite busy. We looked through the limited menu and tried to figure out what was what. There was some food on display. I recognised a salad dish that was made from quinoa. I hadn’t tried quinoa as a salad dish before but had read somewhere that it was worth a try. I’ve been eating quinoa hot as a substitute for rice. I asked the lady behind the till what it was. I knew what it was. But I had never heard anyone say it before and I wanted to make sure I had the pronunciation correct. With the warm look of someone who imagines themselves to be more civilised sharing her knowledge and wisdom with a heathen she said: “That is keen-waaaaaaaah”. “Thanks” I replied. It sounded like an oriental food even though it is South American in origin. Fantastic. I had the pronunciation correct down to a tee. Whilst trying to discern what the different things on the menu were, a couple of customers ordered ratatouille. It may be a sign of me being uncultured, but I have to admit I wasn’t sure what it was. So I waited with anticipation to get a glimpse at what they had just ordered. It had vegetables in it, was grainy and seemed warm. It looked quite nice. But I also wanted to try the quinoa salad.

Quinoa Salad, Lettuce Salad, Beetroot Salad, Ratatouille and Stir Fried Vegetables

Quinoa Salad, Lettuce Salad, Beetroot Salad, Ratatouille and Stir Fried Vegetables

I ordered. My wife wanted stir fried vegetables and I ordered the ratatouille with a little bit of the quinoa. The lady looked at me, thought something, paused and then said: “Do you want all four salads or just the quinoa?” “All four salads!?” I thought. I just wanted to try some of the quinoa that’s all. Not two portions of food. But as it seemed she was going to charge me for the ratatouille and a full blown salad meal, I considered my options. I looked at the salads on offer. Quinoa salad – good. Lettuce salad – good. Beetroot salad – good. Pasta salad – bad. No white pasta for me as it is out for the purpose of the detox. “I’ll have the quinoa, beetroot and lettuce but no pasta thanks.” As she gathered our meals together I was gobsmacked by the large portions she gave me. I don’t like wasting food, however there was a whole day’s worth of food on my plate. I wasn’t even hungry. I had some time to kill so wanted to try something new. This was going to be a tough task ahead of me.

We took our seats. I sat with my back to the stairs whilst facing the rest of the room. I don’t like facing the wall when eating or in any situation I guess. I like to be fully aware of my surroundings. I guess it’s partly a security-conscious thing. I looked at the food on my plate, thought here it goes and dug in. First the ratatouille. It was warm, grainy, quite nice. I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10. Next quinoa salad. Nothing special to be fair. 6 out of 10. Lettuce, well lettuce is lettuce, 6 out of 10. Beetroot salad. Now this was good. It had a creamy texture and tasted lovely. 8 out of 10. I tried my wife’s stir fried vegetables. Had more flavour than my ratatouille. 7.5 out of 10. To me good food is amazing, if it’s capable of momentarily making a theist out of an atheist. When you look at it, when you taste it, feel it, and indulge in its aroma, if it doesn’t make you thank God or sing praises to Allah – even though you’re not necessarily a believer at other times then it hasn’t quite hit the spot. Overall I thought the food we tried at Food for Thought was so, so. Nothing special. And frankly I believe over the last few weeks I have really enjoyed the food both I and my wife have been making. Many times a day, the food we have been eating has made a believer out of me for those few moments.

One thing that stood out for me at Food for Thought was the punters. At Lush the staff were young and looked healthy, with smooth skin, good complexion and just had a great vibe about them. However in Food for Thought the customers were generally an older crowd. To my eyes most of them seemed very pale and they also looked as if they might be a little bit neurotic, like grumpy, stern. I started to wonder… does a vegetarian or vegan diet over the long term have that effect on people? Do you become more neurotic? Does it make you pale and make you look like a zombie? It seems I may well be onto something.

Michael Cera at the Premiere of Scot Pilgrim Vs the World in Leicester Square

Michael Cera at the Premiere of Scot Pilgrim Vs the World in Leicester Square

After eating, we made our way to Leicester Square. Scot Pilgrim Vs the World was premiering at the Odeon cinema and the stars of the movie were given the red carpet treatment. We were walking by just as Michael Cera, the lead playing Scot Pilgrim came out to greet his young pubescent screaming fans. I wasn’t sure who is was at the time; he just looked like any old regular nerd. It turns out he was in Superbad, which I vaguely remember was pretty funny. Oh yeh! How could I ever forget McLovin!?

The Comedy Store Players Line Up for Wednesday 18th August 2010

The Comedy Store Players Line Up for Wednesday 18th August 2010

We queued outside The Comedy Store. My wife pointed out how one of the bouncers was quite rude to me on a previous visit. He was tall, stocky, black, shaved head with a beard. I have to admit, I think I pull off the shaved head and beard look much better myself. It was very strange… as she mentioned him; he came over to us and asked me if I was paying by cash. I said yes. But then he carried on checking and explaining that the credit card machines were not working downstairs and I needed cash to pay. I’m not sure why he took his time emphasising this to me rather than the other people in the queue. I wondered if it had something to do with my apparent race or class. We were the only Asian/Black people in the queue. I was wearing a white blingy t-shirt with a silver necklace. Most other people were white middle-class in suits that had clearly come from work. Throughout the evening we communicated with each other and overall it seemed he was really polite to us this time compared to his poor attitude last time we had seen him working there.

We took our seats at the front. I was in the middle seat on the front row. On a stand up night people on the front row get picked on by the comedians. This was less likely to happen in this case as it was improvisation night. I wanted to laugh hard tonight, and thought if something happened by sitting at the front it be something interesting to blog about. Nothing of the sort happened. Overall it was an ok night. I didn’t laugh as hard as I have done in the past. Maybe it was because I was sober. Or maybe we were sat too close. Or maybe I just didn’t find it that funny anymore. The comedians looked stressed and warn out prior to starting their performance. Maybe it had become a job to them and it had lost its spontaneity? Or maybe I am the one who is too stressed at the moment?!

On the way home we stopped off at a few cinemas but by then it was too late as they were all closed.

Moong Dal Chilka, Lemon Zest and Almonds

Moong Dal Chilka, Lemon Zest and Almonds

For my evening meal I ate Moong Dal Chilka with a sprinkle of lemon zest and almonds.

 
August 21st, 2010
40 Day Detox Diary

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