Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Taking a day off

Not from work, but from going into the City. I seem to have found my limit. I've been trekking into the City every day for the last few weeks, and running about doing lots of Things. Art classes, interviews, writing, Pilates session, and getting home late in the evening, having exactly enough energy to say good night to the cat, climb into my jammies and fall unconscious. The alarm goes off at 5:45 every morning and I do it all again. And my body seems to have finally had enough.

I like Rome, (as long as I don't have to live there) especially the part about walking through the little windey streets, the little shops, the antiques in the windows, the Baroque art on the corners of the buildings. I like turning a corner and finding mysterious ancient things embedded into medieval walls; busy little out-door fruit and vegetable markets; little out-of-the-way churches with their hidden treasures, incorrupt saints, 5th century mosaics and icons, a Roman temple in the basement, a Caravaggio in a side altar...

But man, is it tiring! I don't mind the train ride, I can put up with the buses and know how to avoid the crowds, and I'm happy with the amount of exercise I'm getting and the unexpected bouncyness I've been experiencing, but last night I found The Wall. I was up at 6, had six hours of classes, dashed back to the office to do an emergency article (on my supposed day off) and literally ran to my Pilates therapy session at eight (let me tell you, running up the Via Angelico in tourist season is a feat of nimble agility that I'm surprised I'm capable of, when just walking down a street in Rome is like playing Asteroids); back to the office, clicked send, and on the 10:30 train. By the time I got home at 11:45 I was so close to sleepwalking that I'm glad I didn't bother to make anything to eat - I would have set the house on fire. After gulping down a few spoonfuls of yogurt I was almost unconscious before face-planting into the pillow.

So today, I called Andrea and said I was staying home. I guess even on a diet of green vegetables, fish, raw whole-milk diary products and fruit, with plenty of fresh air and exercise, there is a limit. Good to know.

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Here's a recipe:

What's the worst thing about the healthy, no-sugar, low-carb lifestyle? No chocolate, you say? No more dessert? What a lack of imagination...

Mascarpone chocolate mousse
(Single serving)

1 oz unsweetened mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
a little home made full-fat yogurt
2 tsps raw, unpasteurised honey
1 fl. oz. whipping cream

Mix the mascarpone, honey and cocoa powder in a bowl (use a fork or the cocoa goes all over) until you've got a nice thick dark creamy paste. If it is too dry, add a little full-fat yogurt (recipe to follow). Whip the cream until very stiff and fold into the chocolate and cheese mixture.

That's it. It's a chocolate mousse that is quite stable (the milk products don't separate) and is jammed with protein, calcium, vitamins and chocolatey, creamy wonderfulness.

1 0z mascarpone - 127 cal / 0.6g carb. Vitamin A and calcium
1 fl oz. whipped cream - 97 cal / 1g carb. Vitamin A and calcium
1 tsp honey - 43 cal / 12g carb. Vitamins B6, C, Riboflavin
1 tbs cocoa powder - 12 cal / 3g carb. Iron, protein



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