Welcome to your weekend by Flex! Every Friday on the blog, we’ll include a roundup of the week and our top tips for the weekend and the week ahead. As always, if you have any suggestions, please let us know, we love hearing about what you love and seeing/reading/drinking/eating it!
I read this so quickly and laughed out loud at every second page. This is hilarious! Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward. Sunday Times Number One Bestseller for over eight months and winner of a record FOUR National Book Awards: Book of the Year, Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year and Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year. This edition includes extra diary entries and a new afterword by the author. Oh and he choses to specialise in Obs & Gynae and girls it can be GRAPHIC! But all good to know… I think…
If you haven’t had brunch at Ali’s Kitchen, are you even a millenial spending your house deposit on avocado toast?! Open for brunch and treats from 9am on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday, the specials are always phenomenal (make sure to follow https://www.instagram.com/aliskitchencork/ ) and the eggs benedict is the best in Cork in my opinion! The food is great, the atmosphere is the best – you’ll meet all Cork’s foodies here at the weekend when the place is hopping, all under the expert guidance of Ali in the kitchen and Lucu at front of house. You might have to wait for a table at busy times but that’s usually when you’ll see Ali popping out to give everyone a taste of one of the cakes or bakes while they wait so it’s definitely worth hanging on for!
‘Selling Sunset’ on Netflix
Ok so I feel like I might lose serious credibility here but stay with me, I’m easing us in and there is no more easy watching than ‘Selling Sunset’! The basic premise is two brothers own a real estate agency in LA and they employ 5 of the best looking women in all of California. The show is 100% scripted and all the in-fighting and bitchy scenes are really manufactured which only makes it funnier. Plus the outfits, the weather and the houses are like the weekend paper property supplements on steroids! One to put on in the background while you’re cooking on a Sunday.
At Meades on Oliver Plunkett St.
Don’t all go there at once because this is a real hidden gem in Cork! Electic in the authentic sense of the world, think if Cork Coffee Roasters was a wine bar that nobody knew about! Everything is delicious but I love the Malbec (Mendoza Malbec, Domaine Jean Bousquet 2012) or the Rioja (Hacienda Grimon 2011 Organic Rioja Tempranillo). Meades is full of little nooks and crannies and they do a cheese board and charcuterie board on the weekends (and sometimes dessert, when the mood strikes). Great spot for a glass of wine if you are on the list for dinner at Elbow Lane.
Meals for the week
I know it’s a boring one but sitting down for 10 minutes and sketching out your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week ahead will take the pressure off when you are busy and tired mid-week, allow you to get your food shop done faster and save money (to spend on books, wine and avocado toast!). I like to plan for Mon-Fri and keep it simple – breakfast is usually a frittata I can make ahead of time and add avocado to (there are a million recipes online, you definitely don’t need mine but my basic plan is to cook off lots of veg in avocado oil, add is some franks red hot sauce and feta and then add the mixture t0 12 eggs and cook in enamel tins so it doesn’t stick). You could make the exact same recipe in muffin shapes so there isn’t even any portioning to do! I don’t like to prep every single thing on a Sunday but I will prep veg/sauces because I find that takes time during the week so I will peel and shred brussels sprouts, make a tomato sauce (I use a generous amount of olive oil from the Olive Company in the English Market and add garlic and chillis – I use frozen garlic and chillis that you can get in Tesco by the frozen veg, they are so handy and really speed things up and there is zero waste – and then add good quality tinned tomatoes (I think you can’t beat Mutti tinned tomatoes) and just let it bubble away until it is the consistency I want, then add a pinch of salt (I love Maldron sea salt flakes) and let it cool and I’ll have it with meatballs etc during the week. Having vegetables prepped means you are more likely to use them and you’ll throw weekday meals together so much quicker! I have also been making an effort to eat a white fish and an oily fish at least once a week and I have been loving haddock loins for dinner and smoked salmon in lunch salads.
Planning snacks can be helpful as well, especially if you are going straight from work to a workout and it’s been a while since lunch and dinner is still a while away. I love coconut yogurt (the CoYo brand is a firm favourite, especially the salted caramel one and I add some raw cacoa nibs for texture and flavour or the raw cacao one with raspberries and blueberries). You could make energy balls (again, there are a zillion recipes online) or I like the Deliciously Ella almond and raw cacao ones. Even just having a banana on hand can be enough to give you a boost before your workout if you haven’t eaten in a while.
You’ll know QueenB from their phenomenal quality and possibly the best customer service in the whole country (also their insta stories are hilarious!) but they have just launched 2 new colours – their Daisy leggings now come in navy and their Sammy sports bra (the only sports bra you will ever see me wearing!) comes in an ice blue and I am all over it! A gorgeous combination especially as the days get brighter and the fabric is just so luxe – think a second skin if you actually exfoliated and moisturised as often as you’re supposed to. Kit designed for women by women who get luxury but also seriously get fitness – not just pretty, this is hard-working Lycra – stays in place, keeps your girls in place and leg in reformer straps circle proof – that’s like squat prof but better! We. Are. Weak.
I have been trying to add a cardio session or two in to my schedule these last few weeks and I enjoy running but I have been loving getting some rowing sessions in recently. It improves your fitness and really works up a sweat and you work your abs and upper back and arms to get an extra bit of toning in which never hurts coming in to summer.
Out and About…
As the weather starts to improve, try to make an effort to get out in the fresh air and light early in the day. Getting natural light early in the day, especially before midday can help to keep your circadian rhythm in check which can help to improve your sleep quality. Getting even a little bit of sunlight on your arms and face can help to boost vitamin D3 levels and helps to improve your mood and your energy. Try a walk around the Lough or along the Marina to Blackrock Castle. Do it with a friend, boosting the benefits of being out in nature by connecting with others and catching up after a busy week, reaping all the extra benefits of building and maintaining a circle of relationships that are important to you. Or leave your phone at home and head out by yourself and let your mind reset while you move.
What are you up to this weekend Flexers? Let us know and let us know if you get an ideas from the blog and try them out!
See you all soon,