Don’t let your [blog's] size define you.

How is it Thursday already?! Time for some good old Thinking out loud again I figure. Here’s to hoping Amanda won’t mind me once more not pouring a potpourri of mixed thoughts into today’s post but sharing some thoughts I had following up last week’s post.

Thinking-Out-Loud

About that last post: I will say it was one I wasn’t sure about posting. Yes,  it was a topic on my mind and one that mattered to me.  But would it for others? The comments you left and thoughts you expressed made me glad I did and I enjoyed reading every single one. The overthinking and hesitation is a remainder of my early blogging days when I hardly had any readers yet – normal, obviously – and at times considered giving up again. The reason I didn’t is probably that a) I know I should first and foremost write for myself [honestly,  though, who is fully content with that?] and  b) if a post of yours makes just one other person relate to it, think, laugh or get hungry you can consider your blogging duty fulfilled and yourself successful.

SourceTake it with a grain of salt.

It’s easy to get discouraged not only as a new blogger but even if you’ve been around for a while yet don’t have dozens of comments on every post or the most followers ever.  But here’s some perspective: Personally, I read a huge number of blogs – not daily but if I like one I will stop by regularly.  Among the many great posts I’ve come across by now there were some that not only got me thinking in the moment I read them but get stuck in my mind and will have me come back to them. If you’ve seen my good good links before you’ll know these aren’t solely ‘big’ bloggers’ posts.  Just today I came across a great post that changed the way I saw a topic on a not [yet] as well-known blog. And recipes from smaller blogs I tried have turned out just as delicious as those from more popular sources.

It’s not about how many followers you have and not even about the number of comments you – or I as a smaller blogger myself,  really – get. In fact, what matters more to me is reading other people’s stories or hear their thoughts on a topic. Quality over quantity. All that said: yes, I need to remind myself of this,  too, at times.  But I feel when I’m passionate about a topic just writing it out feels great.   The moral of the story: Don’t make yourself smaller than you are. There’s always somebody who will get more comments on their posts 

Your post might just find somebody in need of the advice you’re offering. The random fun story that happened to you could possibly cheer somebody in a funk up. And that ‘almost too simple to call it a recipe’ no-bake cookie you posted?  Somebody else probably just had a craving for something sweet but didn’t feel like turning on the oven or buying a dozen special ingredients.  If you enjoy yourself blogging others will be interested in reading.

On a last note if you do plan on becoming a big and popular blogger: they all started small, too, so never loose hope. And many more experienced/ big bloggers will happily give you advice on how to grow your own little space in the wide web. Don’t give up your plans of blog world domination just yet ;) .

Happiness inducing today: The two most adorable chihuahuas a man walked alongside my apartment. Too sad that for once it wasn’t me scared of big dogs but the little ones too afraid of me.

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No questions today. Just whichever thoughts you have regarding the topic.

[Un]typically me

Today’s not your average Wednesday. Not because it’s What I ate Wednesday [not a surprise anymore] but because it’s the 100th Vegan Wednesday. For any of you who haven’t noticed me linking up with this weekly foodie event yet: think of it as the German little sister [brother?] of Jenn’s link-up. Even if you’re neither vegan – because we areed it doesn’t matter - nor German the pictures on the boards alone are a great source of meal inspiration. Either way: Happy birthday, Vegan Wednesday! And now onto the food:

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You might already know it but I really like spotting patterns in the meals I’m showing you on What I ate Wednesday.  The last days with their ongoing heat had me strain from my usual fare quite a bit. Starting at breakfast already. I’m usually not a cold oatmeal person – unless having to pack breakfast -  or in fact not even usually an oatmeal person. Bran is my favourite form of oats but sticking with Arman’s recipe for Tiramisu Oatmeal Pudding I went with rolled. Or -rolled-  with rolled?! If you know me the mention of Tiramisu should catch ýou by surprise if you’ve been reading for a while already. Coffee?! Yes, coffee.

Breakfast and more 009

Much to my own surprise I actually found I needed to add the whole amount of instant coffee listed after I’d started with 1/2 a teaspoon. The recipe turned out delicious though I think since the cocoa powder I use is a ‘darker’ kind – the best! – mine ooks a lot darker than Arman’s. Also, I modified the recipe using chia seeds instead of the egg and thickened soy yogurt instead of cream cheese for the frosting.  For whichever reason I felt extra productive the morning I ate this … Could it possibly have been the coffee?? So yes, I liked it but if you’re like me you’ll want to double the topping  [or simply not eat half of it before actually using it on the oatmeal]. I might have actually been pondering the purchase of a tin of instant coffee – for oats and baking purposes only. Who am I???

Speltberry salad_apricot chili dressing II

Another untypical meal was salad for lunch. Not the salad salad kind, though. A huge bowl based on leafy greens doesn’t attract me even in the current heat. What does are substantial salads like this packed with chewy speltberries,  chickpeas, sauteed cabbage and covered in a fruity dressing with a little kick … chili. Maybe it was running out of one of my favourite chocolates and longing for the spiciness? We know that makes me do strange things.  As if eating salad for lunch wasn’t untypical enough for me already for once I actually didn’t mind eating a dish cold after I finished shooting the pictures. The recipe will be up on Friday.

Speltberry salad_apricot chili dressing

Now onto the sweet part of today’s post: No celebratory cake for the 100th Vegan Wednesday on my part but how about something that’s much more typically me to celebrate? Ice cream. More specifically: the new vegan Choco Cookie Dough flavour by DasEis.

June 009

Finding vegan ice cream flavours aside from vanilla, strawberry and chocolate is hard enough already in Germany [can I get some sympathy from you lucky guys overseas please?!]. The more special – and challenging – part about this particular ice cream for me: a stellar ingredient list [only real and organic ingredients like oats, agave and almond butter plus it's soy-free] and no nutrition label. Meaning no chance to worry about eating a certain number of calories simply because I didn’t know them. And because I didn’t have to share with anybody I ate it straight from the tub. The benefits of being single.

June 011

For any German readers: To be honest I found this a nice change from the usual sorbets but a little too sweet and the chocolate taste not intense enough for my liking. While this ice cream isn’t bad I likely won’t buy it again looking at the hefty price tag. If you’re curious, though, it’s currently on offer at denns. Just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean others won’t enjoy it.

Happiness-inducing today: Unplugging for a few hours.

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Name one food-related thing/ habit that’s typically or untypically you!

Oatmeal, oat bran, steel-cut, … – tell me your favourite form of oats!

Because the question of favourite ice cream flavour is impossible to answer: What is the most unique ice cream flavour you’ve eaten so far?

Good good links #48

 Long Short time no talk! While you might have seen me highlighting some of my favourite older posts from other bloggers Spill it Sunday-style yesterday today is all about the more recent ones.  I had the hardest time picking only three and even on Sundays I could add more and more posts. But it’s summer and I know both you and me would rather enjoy as much time outdoors as we can so that’s that. Enjoy the links and enjoy the sunshine!

Happy Sunday!

Good good links

 

 Good good [food for thought]

 Do You Need A Digital Detox? via Cotter Crunch

My honest answer: yes. How about you?

My Smartphone, My B*tch: A Letter of Hate, Love and Balance via Huffington Post

Would your letter to your phone read similarly?

 

 

The Scale via Snack Therapy

“We’re the ones who give the scale power” – and we’re the ones who can take it back replacing pounds with unmeasurable happiness and memories.

The Story “Before & Afters” Don’t Tell via In it for the Long Run

Two pictures don’t tell you the story in between their dates of origin.

Yes, You Should Eat 1,200 Calories… via Peace, Love & Oats

That is, if you lie around and don’t actually live your life.

Why ‘Fitspo’ Should Come With A Warning Label via Huffington Post

What starts out as health inspiration can soon become on obsession – it’s a very thin line.

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Stop Obsessing About A Bikini Body & Start Loving Life. Here’s How via Mind Body Green

Good old-fashioned ‘fake it till you make it’, complimenting others and detoxing from media can help.

7 Things That Make A Woman Beautiful That Makeup Can’t Do via Lifehack

The kind of post you want to print out as a reminder for ‘those’ days.

Why you don’t have to quit sugar to be healthy via Mindful Meals

 Some [possibly] surprising facts about sugar and why it’s not the devil the media makes us believe.

 

 Exercise

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How to Find the Best Health and Fitness Routine for You via Greatist

What works for you might not be what others are promoting.

A 6-Minute High-Intensity Workout You Can Do Anywhere via Mind Body Green

For those days when you either don’t feel like going to the gym or can’t make it happen.

 

Food-related

Whole Food Baking Tips via My Whole Food Life

Great ideas and conversion charts to help you make your favourite recipes a little healthier.

 

 

Good good [posts to make you smile]

This Story Of A Dog’s Last Day On Earth Is Beautiful And Utterly Heartbreaking via BuzzFeed

If this doesn’t touch you might want to check your ID for the name Scrooge…

23 Things Every Late-Night Person Will Know To Be True via BuzzFeed

…and I can relate to almost every single one. At least I’m not alone?!

22 Ingenious Products That Will Make Your Workday So Much Better via BuzzFeed

Where exactly do I get that under-desk elliptical and washable keyboard again??

 

Good good [food]

Mini Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups via Coffee & Quinoa

The only way to make a classic even better: If you thought PB Cups were great these are brilliant.

7 Genius Ways to Use Quinoa You Never Would’ve Thought Of via Women’s Health Mag

Some you might know already but others you might have yet to add to your repertoire.

Fudgy Mocha Mint Brownies via nosh & nourish

She had me at ‘fudgy’ plus mint + chocolate are one of the best combinations. Did I mention they’re flourless, vegan and refined sugar-free, too?!

Flourless PB & Chocolate Cookies by Robyn [the real life RD] via Hummusapien

No beans or chickpeas: just lots of peanut butter, banana and chocolate action in these nutritious little treats.

Black Pepper Stir-Fried Noodles via Pinch of Yum

Easy to prepare and irresistible – that’s what the look of this recipe promises.

Pesto Farro Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables via Blissful Basil

Fierce competition for the classic pasta or potato salads out there. I wouldn’t mind a bowl right now.

53 Brilliant Ways to Spice Up Boring Tofu via Greatist

It’s no secret tofu on its own is as exciting as rubber gum so these recipes will come in handy.

23 Deliciously Cold Summer Soups via BuzzFeed

Because Gazpacho is  not the only soup to cool you down on a summer day – or after a heated debate if it’s cold where you are.

Cauliflower Cheddar, Pesto Zucchini Grilled Cheese Sandwich. via Vegan Richa

Cauliflower, what can’t you do?! If dairy cheese isn’t your beef* then you might like this vegan version of the classic.

 

*I’m vegetarian and allowed to make that kind of bad jokes.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Finally getting back into letter-writing and sending one off to a good friend.

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Which posts made you think, smile or got you hungry this week?

Past [and] perfect – [Spill it Sundays Flashback edition II]

If you’ve been around for a while you know I like to share my favourite posts from all around the web every week. Needless to say I was all up for the idea when Arman announced we were allowed – or even encouraged?! – to give a shout-out to other bloggers in this week’s edition of Spill it Sundays. Get ready for the shortest post I’ve ever written – maybe a welcome break from my usual wordiness if you’re not a fan of that?? (: – because these posts can truly all stand for themselves. They’re a blast from the past and perfect.

I’ll see you tomorrow for the weekly round of good good links! Enoy the weekend!

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These are in no particular order because I like all of them just as much for specific reasons each.

#1 Pseudo-Recovery via Better with Sprinkles

This post is one I keep going back to whenever I feel stuck in recovery and need either a) a kick in the butt or b) the reassurance that – no matter how long it takes – full recovery is possible. It takes time and the mindset plays a huge role

 

#2 You’re Allowed to Love Your Body via Snack Therapy

There are a million things I could say about this post but Carly does it best herself already.  Go read this post – and all others by her – and then spread the self-love.

#3 Guilt vs. Goal – this is MY style via Swiss Fit Chick

If you’ve ever been judged, accused of having an ED or not being on your way to recovery/ recovered this post will resonate with you. Choosing a healthy lifestyle isn’t necessarily a sign of a disorder and only you know why you live in a certain way. Live and let others live.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The country bumpkin in me coming out and needing to carress two horses in front of a wedding carriage standing in front of  a church. Some days I miss living in the countryside and riding horses a lot.

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Have you read any of the posts above? Did they resonate with you?

Are there any posts from the past you keep getting back to for advice or inspiration?

wedding carriage

Don’t stop and stare.

It’s time to think out loud with Amanda – or step on the soap box in my case?! – again. Instead of sharing the latest Yogi wisdom or roommate stories with you there’s something else on my mind…

Thinking-Out-Loud

What’s the first thought you have when you see a very thin girl on the street or in a picture on a blog?

She clearly has an eating disorder.

Goodness, somebody feed her.

Or how about the thoughts when seeing a curvier woman?

Lazy couch potato.

She shouldn’t eat that burger and move more.

… and then people usually either stare, whisper to whomever is walking with them – or: spread rumors. Yet all of these points are assumption. This is what you can’t tell from a person’s appearance. If I wanted I could further to the many times I got wrong first impressions of people – non-ED-related -  who later became good friends. But in light of the fact there are whole forums dedicated solely to gossiping about [or at least that one huge I'm sure many of you have heard of before]. Analyzing their appearances, diets and whole lives. This as well as several bloggers’ posts adressing the topic of [presumed] EDs on their part – like this one by Katie – I felt like sharing my thoughts and experiences on the issue. Not because I’d personally been subject of any rumors or mean commentary lately – not for a good long while. Simply for the cause it’s an ever-occuring topic on- and offline.

When there is so much you’ll never know. Even I personally will admit I have these thoughts when I see an underweight person. That’s when I remind myself I don’t know her story. I don’t know if she actually has an ED. Just naming one example would be a friend of mine who’s still very skinny as a result of battling cancer. People who know won’t look or ask. But if outsiders saw her they might come to wrong conclusions.

Don’t stare at people who are on either end of the weight spectrum [or in non-weight-related ways different from the norm] – because chubby people have to deal with hurtful commentary as much as thin ones.  Stares, finger-pointing and gossiping behind the person’s back hurt – online as much as in real life. If you’re concerned about somebody: ask. Maybe offer help. Don’t spread rumors. Give them a chance to explain their story. Or if they don’t want to: accept it.

The weight of a person doesn’t open her mind to you. If you saw me right now you’d probaly have similar thoughts to those mentioned above, too. In fact, I’d assume I look similar to what I did when I started my blog. But my mindset has changed a lot since. And mindset plays at least as huge a role as weight. I’m not naive and saying weight didn’t matter in recovery – it does. But just because somebody is at what is considered a healthy weight doesn’t necessarily mean their mind was at the same stage of recovery. Just like – as mentioned – somebody being over- or underweight doesn’t automatically mean that person was [still or at any point] excessively over- or undereating.

Progress can be made or on its way even if somebody doesn’t look like it yet. Weight gain and recovery don’t happen overnight. Like I said: I’m not immune to the automatic assumptions, either. But I’m trying to keep in mind there’s so much more to a person her weight doesn’t tell and stares hurt.

Happiness inducing today: Having a surprisingly productive morning [for a night owl this is a big deal].

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No questions today. Just whichever thoughts or experiences you have regarding the topic.

Everything’s sweet about [my] food…

If there’s lessons to be learned – I’d rather get my jamming eats in first so … [I'm still doing it]

It’s been a while since I gave you a whole half a day of food in my life*. Why not make today that day?! And that’s where the sweet part sets in. Granted, I actually started on a savoury pre-breakfast note with some mushrooms dipped in salsa but they didn’t make the picture. Long intros are only sidetracking from the actual posts, though, so I’ll get started with the food already. Thanks to Jenn as well as the Vegan Wednesday hosts!

*not to be confused with an actual full day because I still doubt I’d ever remember or want to snap pictures of every morsel that makes its way into my mouth. Sorry.

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If you – like me – have a slight overbuying tendency combined with a mum coming for a visit and surprising you with a huge punnet of blueberries you might suddenly find yourself with a few pounds* of berries. A few more than I could possibly eat all by themselves soon enough. For whichever reason cooked fruit seems to go down easier than raw so I decided to bake some of it. Starting your day with fresh local strawberries? Not the worst idea. I didn’t mention it yet but polenta – yes, the ingredient I used to snark at – has been making frequent appearances. Either my tastebuds changed a lot since last year or getting more relaxed around food and preparing it the right way [think: cooked in soy milk not water and with coconut butter/ oil stirred in]. While this wasn’t bad and in fact reminiscent of the semolina pudding I was fond of during my childhood I still prefer polenta the savoury way and oat bran for my first [sweet] meal of the day.

*German [500 g] not American [454 g] pounds which does make a difference when we’re talking about  not one but a few ;)

Polenta_Strawberry

In an attempt to clean out my cupboards I took care of an old favourite: frozen Alpro dark chocolate dessert. Seriously, if you haven’t tried freezing these: do yourself a favour! And here’s where things got [in] explicably #strangebutgood. Why, yes, mid-way through eating I remembered a store-bought ice cream favourite from years ago – Dark Chocolate Chili – and decided to spice up my snack. Anybody who’s been reading for a while and knows my fondness of  a certain bar of chocolate actually shouldn’t be too surprised. Chocolate and chili were meant to meet.

Chili_Alpro Pudding

[and I'm apparently five years old still making a mess when eating pudding - some things don't change]

Lunch was a case of lacking creativity but I decided to pick up some phyllo dough at the store to see if what it’d inspire me to. Because everything tastes good wrapped in crispy buttery pastry. The result was a mix of sauteed bok choy,  mushrooms, tomatoes and – big surprise! – chickpeas covered in the cheesy pumpkin sauce I used in my  tortilla bake before. It was a good and delicious decision.  Phyllo, you can do no wrong.

Phyllo_pastry

You know my preference to end on a sweet note and oh do I have a recipe recommendation for you! Ever since Amanda posted her Banana Bread Mug Cake last week I’ve had at least one per day. Addicted?  Quite possibly. I’ve only been introduced to banana bread through the blog world because it’s not a classic over here. The first recipe I tried was Jenn’s browned butter [veganized in my case] chocolate chip version quite a while ago. So maybe I’m not the most trustworthy judge for banana bread authenticity. What I know, though,  is that this is a pretty awesome mug cake and I have no plans on ending the obsession soon.

 Banana bread mug cake

There you have it: the first half of my day in meals and sweet snacks. More chocolate in the form of several squares of Lindt followed so my salty tooth wasn’t beckoning overly in the second half of the day, either, which is unusual so I’m curious about tomorrow’s cravings…

Happiness-inducing today: the baby on its mum’s shoulder flashing me the cutest smile when I was walking behind the two for a few metres. Adorable.

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Are there days where you’re predominantly going for either sweet or savoury food?

What are your favourite mug cake recipes?

Do you have a go-to no-fail recipe you turn to when not feeling creative? Wrapping whatever I need to use up in phyllo dough has yet to disappoint me.

Chocolate and chili: yay or nay?