Stimulating those neurons

Is that title a bit weird? Maybe. Books I’m really enjoying influence me a lot [my family and friends would confirm this right away] and one of those I’m currently reading inspired this title. Because it’s been mentioned quite a lot already, you might know that loneliness is considered a major risk factor for developing dementia later in life. It’s not a fact anybody would be proud to reveal about themselves but yes, I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself in past years. In part this is natural for being an introvert but at the same time, even us introverts need other people in our lives to be truly happy. It’s not that I’m never around others but it’s not enough for my own needs. Which is a fact that an ED masks. It makes you feel like you preferred staying home and sticking with comfortable routines. Only this isn’t true but if you’re struggling/have struggled with an ED yourself, you’ll know it can be hard to differentiate your own voice from that of the ED. The one that’s telling you lies about who you are, what you like and at that heavily limiting you in following your dreams.
Long story short: This past week fell under the motto of stimulating those neurons [= preventing dementia] aka breaking routines, making good memories and trying new things. I will say it feels uncomfortable to write these confessions because I’m afraid of what kind of a person it makes me look like. Please note that these things don’t keep me from working or interacting with my colleagues; it’s outside of work that I struggle. Yes, I’m in my twenties and struggle with these things but mental illnesses know no age limits and while I wish I’d taken action a lot earlier, late is better than never.

On a blogging note, I’m sorry I’ve been MIA since the past Monday and neither commented on any of your posts nor published the good good links. Traveling for my aunt’s 50th birthday in Berlin [leaving Thursday night and getting back on Sunday] and feeling a little under the weather got in between me and blogging. I’ll definitely catch up on your posts this week and will also post the link lovin’ on Friday. Hope you understand.

Thanks to Meg for hosting our fun little Monday gathering!

Week in Review

In the past week, I …

Worked just a few days and was thankfully able to some off to allow for the trip to Berlin, leaving on Thursday afternoon.

Made an overdue appointment I’d been postponing forever.

Met a friend who was housesitting her parents’ place on Tuesday night and talked for hours. You know you’re with a truly amazing friend when you don’t even realize time passing by in the blink of an eye.

Spent Friday with abovementioned friend who spontaneously decided to meet me in Berlin again. It was one of the best days in a long time and I couldn’t be more grateful for this friend.

Berlin

Spontaneously bought another book while in Berlin. I don’t think I ever made a decision on a book that fast and spending on myself twice in this close succession? Definitely an accomplishment. Granted, having a friend around convincing me it was fine helped.

Went out to eat at a fully vegan Vietnamese restaurant, 1990 Vegan Living. Funnily enough, it wasn’t me but my very much non-vegan brother suggesting this. Their concept is best described as the Vietnamese version of tacos, as in: you order several small bowls, at best to be shared around the table. We admittedly didn’t do a lot of the latter because all of us were pretty hungry at that point but it was an amazing experience nonetheless. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t tag along for the journey and the pictures on my phone didn’t turn out due to the dim lighting situation in the restaurant. I did find a few pictures on Instagram, though. Too bad we didn’t have another opportunity to eat out because I really wanted to go back.

Ate intuitively during my whole stay in Berlin. This is something I find really hard at home but being in a completely different environment and around people who make me feel good, food was barely an issue most of the time. Note to self [that I already knew deep within]: travelling is a key to getting unstuck and closer to [food] freedom.
One more note on this that might be relieving for anybody struggling to eat intuitively is that listening to my hunger cues, I actually ate less than usual. Please note that this was neither my intention nor will I ever promote restricting your intake, much less sell intuitive eating as the “how to eat less” solution. I was careful in still eating enough to not loose weight but it was relieving to see that I can trust my hunger. Now to develop this trust and ability to listen to my intuition at home. Pictured below is merely a stand-in of a past Asian meal to make up for the lack of photos taken this past week.

Eating out_cha cha_September

Did a historical  tour of Berlin. This was part of the program my aunt had organised for her birthday. Fun fact: history was one of my least favourite subjects in school but my aunt’s old friend does the best job of getting anybody interested in it. We had been on tours with him before and he’s amazing. The only unfortunate bit this time were the ungodly temperatures. My feet were frozen afterwards. Thank goodness for hotel bathrooms with floor heating …

Proved my anxious mind wrong by experiencing all of the above rather than the version of this trip my brain had pictured. The only unfortunate bit of the trip is that I’m now home with an icky cold. Lots of tea and sleep for me today.

Happy Monday!

 

Happiness-inducing today: My sister trying to cheer me up via WhatsApp because  being sick is so boring,

Stay in touch!

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Tell me about your past week! Highlights, topics on your mind, news – anything.

How does traveling change you [if it does]?

How did you stimulate your neurons in the past week?

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Week in Review: Spontaneity, family time and books

Sometime this year, I will get back into an actual/reliable/better posting schedule, I promise you that. Though – in my defense – I had plans of posting in the past week. But now that the laptop issue is solved, my internet connection obviously decided it wasn’t having it [read: it was either slower than slow (and ours already is slow) or simply non-existent]. Did I mention technology is frustating me to no end?!

Okay, enough ranting about things I can’t change and onto the things I can’t change anymore, either, but also wouldn’t want to if I could. As in: a Week in Review of only the good parts of the previous seven days. Life still isn’t all sunshine and rainbows here and it will take time to get to that point  [or close because we know perfection doesn’t exist] yet I nonetheless had some really really marvellous moments lately. Thanks to Meg for deciding everybody should start the week focusing on the good instead of the bad things.

Week in Review

In the past week, I …

Spent time with my favourite little human. P. and my sister stayed at my parents’ house for a few days so she could study while the grandparents had an eye on P.. Time and time again, it’s amazing how much a toddler changes us, our priorities and just makes us feel happier. Whether it’s allowing you to see the joy in little everyday things you usually overlook or the – yes, often cited – way they approach food. And when they let you borrow their bobby car and you burst into the deepest laughter in a long time, you forget all about life’s heaviness for an instant.

Nephew_child

 

Did another pantry and all-around-apartment purge. This is a task by no means finished yet but starting to tackle it felt very freeing. It also made me ponder getting Marie Kondo’s book because I have a hard time getting rid of certain items. Have any of you read it? If so; How did it help you?

Spontaneously went to a concert. A few days before, a notification of said concert not too far from where I live popped up on my Facebook account as I liked the band’s page years ago but had almost forgotten about that. Spontaneity definitely isn’t one of my strengths and given going there meant forgoing an evening with P. and my sister, I almost put it off again. A friend deciding to tag along was the ‘accountability’ I needed and I’m so glad I went. The concert was plain amazing. If you like a capella music – or even if you don’t  [yet] -, listen to their version of Get lucky. It’s brilliant.

Got back into food blogging a little. Read: Created a new recipe for a vegan mint chocolate tarte. I don’t even remember when I last shared a recipe on here. It felt good to be back in the kitchen [outside of daily food preparation, obviously] but the photography part reminded me why I won’t go into full-on food blogging anytime soon. It’s the most frustrating part for me. Juli and I should really think about cooperating here because I really enjoy writing the posts while she’s a natural with the camera.

Mint Chocolate Tarte_1

While we’re on the food topic already: Prepared and shared a meal with my family. Our schedules don’t always work out but with my sister around, I really wanted to make this happen. Unfortunately, these dinners always escape the camera but I will have to put my own spin on the recipe I used because it’s one of my absolute favourites ever.

Ordered and immediately started two new books [“The Brain – The story of you” by David Eagleman and “Switch” by Chip and Dan Heath] . Voicing my frustration with not having any good reads on hand in my previous post was the final nudge I needed to place an order. When they arrived, I couldn’t hold myself back from starting both already. If you’re always looking for book recommendations, too, I can talk a little more about them once I finish these. So far, both are amazing and just what I wanted.

And with that, I’m finishing this post and wishing you a happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  You guessed it already: Getting to spend a final few hours with P. before my sister left again.

Stay in touch!

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Tell me about your past week! Highlights, topics on your mind, news – anything.

 

Good good links #204

Hi there,

After putting off writing this intro until way late, I’ll keep it short and sweet. There’s just not a lot to talk about here but if you feel like sharing your thoughts on any of the posts included here or want to add one I missed in the comments, I’d be so happy to see that.

Happy Sunday!

Good good [food for thought]

How does clutter affect you? via Every Little Thing

Why do we hold onto so much stuff and add more and more to our lives? The answer might differ slightly for each of us but this gives some great overall insight and inspiration.

How can I make this feel amazing? via Alexandra Franzen

The ability to make this mental shift and turn what feels like the worst case scenario around is a powerful trait to have [or build over time].

Is the Body-Positivity Movement Going Too Far?   via Greatist

This is one I won’t say much about yet because I’d like to get into a conversation with you. So if/once you’ve read it, I’d really like to hear your thoughts in the comments. [Spoiler because Joyce made me notice me sharing this might come across wrong: I don’t agree with this but shared it to hear your experiences and thoughts].

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

How to eat intuitively while traveling via Delish Knowledge

Being removed from our usual environments – at least that’s what I’ve found – can be a good start at letting go of old [food] rules even if only temporarily for a start so we can enjoy other places fully.

17 Unhealthy Habits You’re Probably Ignoring via FitSugar

These are really good reminders. One thing I’d like to add is that for some people [especially those in ED recovery], #2 and 9 – maybe #7, too – can be healthy in reverse.

10 Reasons It’s Okay to Skip Your Workout via The Hungry Caterpillar

Or also: yes, it’s perfectly fine to skip your workout and you don’t owe anybody – yourself included – any excuses.

Things You Might Not Know About Your Reproductive Health & Hormones via The Real Life RD

Many of us ladies experience one or the other issue [aka PMS or amenorrhea] and Robyn’s posts always offer great insight into the hormonal side of things and real talk.

How to turn a bad day around (even if it’s 8 pm) via yes and yes

A great reminder that it’s never too late and simple actionable steps to take.

How to Listen to Your Intuition via PopSugar

Gut instinct and intuition – two different ‘things’ and how to train/sharpen the latter. Definitely an encounter worth while.

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo—Are They Worth the Hype? via The Everygirl

What I like about this one is that she’s honest about both the pros and cons here and her overall conclusion [yes!].

4 Simple Recycling Best Practices That Make A Difference via Mind Body Green

We all have an impact, responsibilty and chance to change the way we live and this is one small but important one.

Blogging

7 Truths I’ve Learned From Blogging  via This Renegade Love

This is amazing. So very relatable and good reminders for all of us bloggers.

 

Good good [food]

White Bean and Rice Bowl with Kimchi Hack via Parsley Vegan

That hack alone sounds so worth trying [hint: it’s quick and more easily done anywhere in the world or at least my part of it …].

Cheesy Chickpea, Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole via Emilie Eats

Crunchy, cheesy and filled with many of my favourite ingredients – looks like a winner.

 

Happiness-inducing today:  A text from a friend.

Stay in touch!

Twitter:@MissPolkadot21
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Currently … January 2018

Oh hi,

It honestly feels like forever and a million years ago since I hit the keys to draft a post. You’d figure blogging was the riding a bike: once you get a hang of it, you never forget how to do it again [or at least that’s what my parents told me and as a child you tend to believe them]. Anyway, it doesn’t feel quite as easy with blogging right now.  Though I have a few [slight understatement] drafts at hand, I figured a little update/currently post would be the best way to ease into the game and also, I hope you’ll share some of your current happenings with me, too. Given the laptop situation and other not so amazing life happenings, I haven’t been reading/commenting as much as I would have liked.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Current book:
Thank you for being late by Thomas Friedman. It was a Christmas gift but if I’m being honest, I’ve been having a hard time getting into it, only reading a chapter every other day. The book’s about today’s fast-paced society, the reason for it being that way [technology] as well as the impact on us humans but also nature. Especially him taking into account the latter was interesting but unfortunately, a large part of it so far goes into technological intricacies that really weren’t for me. So no recommendation yet though I wouldn’t want to waste a book I might still get back to reading it at some point. If you have any book recommendations along the lines of Malcolm Gladwell’s work/psychology, please let me know.
Current food:

No second thoughts: yoghurt bowls. Soy in my case and a re-discovery, actually. Mixed with peanut flour and something for crunch [popped amaranth works great], I can’t get enough. And I really wish I could because a) that yoghurt’s not cheap and b) soy. Granted, I think the bad rep it gets is a little exaggerated but I still want to keep my consumption moderate. Also, peanut flour? It’s amazing. Up until around November, it wasn’t available over here at all. After years of envying you lucky ones in the US, I’m now going a little crazy with it. A little disclaimer: This definitely isn’t replacing peanut butter for me. Ever. It simply adds to my overall peanut addiction. On a more serious note there: Can you develop a peanut allergy from overconsumption …?

Greek

 

Current happening/kitchen success:

Hosting brunch for my colleagues. Or breakfast at lunch time, really, because as far as the definition tells me, it’s not brunch without hot dishes? Oh well. With it being my birthday on Monday, I brought a little array of homemade spreads, fresh whole-wheat rolls from the local organic bakery, vegetables and fruit for my office yesterday [fit the best with out work schedules]. The special item, though, were my first homemade simit (see below), a Turkish kind of sesame bagel not regularly found in bakeries around here. It was my first time trying these at home and even though it involved my not-so-friend yeast, it worked a charm and I sighed in relief when my colleagues gave them two thumbs up [always having that little self-doubt in my head]. Or actually, the highlight was having a wonderful time with my colleagues and once more noticing how lucky I am to have them. Even though I don’t enjoy the job as is much, I work with the most amazing bunch of people and I’m so thankful for that.

Simit_Sesame bagel_Sesamring

 

Current/most recent purchase:

Unless me being back to posting again doesn’t give it away yet: a new laptop. Can you say overdue?! Because if you’ve been following me for a little longer, you might remember I’ve been mentioning my previous laptop’s shortcomings since … more than a year? Minimum. It was a real senior of its kind, that’s for sure. My new one? “A rocket”, in the words of our local electronics store guy. To me, it’s simply amazing. And so eerily quiet [read: my previous one was ‘breathing’ heavily at all times] I felt compelled to check on it when set aside to charge. Yes, make myself laugh. Sometimes.

Current excitement:

Starting to run again. Or, well, run? Taking a long time off from it due to first injury, then weight issues [not as per my doctor’s recommendation but my own precaution], I’m now slowly getting back into it – and it’s humbling. My first run had my legs turn from lead to jello within 30 thirty minutes. The next runs were a lot better already. I know it’ll take time to build my endurance back up and while the itch is there to run more often, I won’t overdo things again. No getting injured again.

Another excitement? Seeing my sister and P. again next week. They’re going to stay at my parents’ for a few days and I can’t wait.

Over to you: tell me your current book, food, favourite happening and excitement!

Happiness-inducing today: See above: today’s breakfast with my colleagues.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Good good links #203

Looks like I’m really out of this blogging game, hm? I promise you I’m not. Finishing this post on my mum’s laptop – she’s out of town so not aware I stole/borrowed it – as my own is not up for blogging at all anymore. Yes, I’m aware this problem’s been there for years but now I can finally say I ordered a new one. Just waiting for it to arrive – why, oh why does that shop constantly change the delivery date? – and then delve into posting more regularly again. It’s been very frustrating to draft posts these past weeks and then end up not being able to share them because my laptop would keep crashing about every five minutes. Fun times … not. Enough rambling, though, here are your good good links for the week and I’ll see you again hopefully soon!

Happy Sunday!

Good good [food for thought]

Is desperately seeking self-improvement always good for us? via The Pool

Not everybody’s going to such extremes but this critical look at our desire to better ourselves all the time is still easily applicable to many people’s lives.

This isn’t just for entrepreneurs but pretty much every one of us putting some of our work outside [aka: definitely every blogger]. “Not one single person has ever reached the pinnacle of what they were working on and thought, “Perfect, I’ll stay here forever.””

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

I’m not an inspiration via Carla Birnberg

We’re all dealing with our own messes and life hurdles that others will never see in full detail or at all. But nobody said that we can’t still inspire others by the things in life we’re passionate about and good at.

Is It Time to Be “Un-You”? via A Cup of Catherine

A really interesting concept for dealing with our anxieties, fear and self-doubt. Definitely one that would take practice but be worth it.

Is Your Fitness Tracker Triggering An Eating Disorder? via Peaceful Dumpling

When something originally well-intended turns bad … This post outlines the dangers and when and when not a tracker makes sense.

Is It OK to Take a Week Off From Working Out? via FitSugar

It’s nice to see PopSugar add good reminders like this one into their mix of diet-focused content.

Eating Shake Shack Made Me Feel Healthier Than Dieting Ever Did via Huffington Post

The essence of this has been said before but it’s worth repeating in today’s world promoting #cleaneating and fad diets all around. Also, it’s important to note she’s stressing that eating a ‘fear food’ once doesn’t mean you’ll loose the fear. Recovery takes time.

What she hears when you say “I’m fat” via Run To The Finish

Children hear and see more than us adults might believe and the way they interprete it can be fatal. This is a good one not just for mums but anybody in contact with children or teenagers.

15 Things You Can Do When You’re Not Dieting   via Rachael Hartley Nutrition

… and they are so much better than it. The money and mental space freed up offer a lot of room for live-enriching rather than restricting things.

How “hangry” became a thing via Heather Caplan

I’d never thought about the [cultural] whereabouts of this often used term but Heather’s thoughts are interesting.

Blogging

The Popularity Game: Instagram, Influencers and The Rise of Engagement Pods via This Renegade Love

So much yes to this! Or: so much no to engaging in any of those activities or tools helping you grow your account unorganically.

Food and nutrition

Is Protein Powder Worth It? via Mind Body Green

Those powders are [still] all over social media but are they genuinely necessary and deserve you spending hard-earned cash on them?  Spoiler: I like this reply.

Good good [things to make you smile + videos]

This video. Or more specifically watch his reply at 1:32 [hint: it’s the truth about a current trend in the healthy living world]. Also: not-so-secret male crush.

10 People To Follow On Instagram That Will Inspire You via Career Girl Daily

Not agreeing with everybody listed here but some really are great accounts. Just follow the rule of only letting positive and uplifting people into your feed/life.

 

Good good [food]

Gluten-free Vegan Blueberry Muffins via Rhian’s Recipes

Fluffy, maple-sweetened muffin perfection. These really look like they came from a coffeeshop.

The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Yule Log via The Veg Space

Yes, I’m well aware Christmas is over but this is too gorgeous to wait another eleven months to share.

Seitan Jägerschnitzel via Vegan Planet/Robin Robertson

It probably won’t be familiar you but this vegan version of a German classics looks just as hearty and satisfying as the original.

Pumpkin Paneer Curry via Naturally Ella

Coconut and pumpkin combined lend to the creamiest of results hence why this looks all kinds of dreamy and chickpeas as a vegan option? Well, you know I’m so up for that!

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Taking Friday off to visit my sister and P. [poor little boo is sick right now but it was his birthday earlier this week so I couldn’t not go].

 

Stay in touch!

Twitter:@MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Good good links #202

Oh hello there and – not to late to say it yet, right? – happy New Year!

One thing I can say for a fact already is that technology and me haven’t started out in the best way so far. Read: Firefox’ latest update is driving me crazy. As in: no, it’s certainly no faster than before but instead having my internet connection crash every five minutes or so. No fun. Especially not if you’re trying to compile links for a post.  Sigh. When I noticed it’d take me forever to include all the links I’d meant to today, I decided to call it a wrap at what you’ll see below. There’s always the next episode of good good links to share those [and no, that’s not the same as saying “tomorrow”; see the second post in the first category ;)]. So for now …

Happy Sunday!

Let me know how 2018 has been treating you so far!

Good good [food for thought]

How to Treat Yourself in 2018 via Raptitude

Rethinking our personal defintion of treats – and not necessarlly the edible kind – and finding ways to truly enjoy rather than rush through them is a good goal or any year or day.

Tomorrow is not your friend via Medium

That’s some serious tough love. “We aren’t opposed to doing the right things, but we’ve simply trained ourselves to put them off indefinitely because tomorrow is sexy.”

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

A way to practice self-care without feeling guilty. via Nutrition on a Mission

How good of a parent are you to yourself? Vangie suggests a really good way of staying in touch with yourself and take care of your needs.

10 Non-Overwhelming Ways To Minimize Digital Clutter via Peaceful Dumpling

As in: what to do to prevent yourself arriving where I’m at [slow and crashing laptops are no fun] plus also get more organized in general [always a win].

How to Eat Intuitively in a Relationship via Paige Schmidt

Whether it’s with your partner or anybody else you’re sharing meals with: these are great tips on how to not let others influence your choices and stand in for what you need.

Creating A Non Diet 2018 Bubble For Yourself via The Real Life RD

A good guide to cutting out the diet BS that’s particularly prominent this time of the year and surround yourself with postitive messages instead.

18 Things to do instead of dieting this year va Zen and Spice

More inspiration to say eff you to diet culture and actually enrich your life rather than deprive yourself.

8 Reasons Why Being Single During the Holidays Is Actually Rad via Refinery 29

Yes, I’m aware the holiday season is definitely over but  some of these are very relieving for us single ladies at other times of the year, too.

9 Reasons Your Grocery Bill Is So High, & How To Lower It via The Financial Diet

Not all of these will be true for all of us but I’d venture to guess almost everybody will identify with at least one or two of them. Me? 5 and 9 (occasionally) in particular.

 

Good good [things to make you smile + miscellaneous]

At the heart of every restaurant via The Washington Post

The true stars of restaurants that deserve more appreciation? Take a guess and then go on to read. It’s interesting to understand this reality of the industry.

This podcast episode.

 

Good good [food]

Rich Black Forest Skillet Crisp (vegan) by Hannah Kaminsky via Spabettie

For when you want crumble but don’t feel like turning on your oven.

Creamy Polenta with Smoky Chipotle Mushrooms & Kale via Euphoric Vegan

A little more involved, this look like it’d be perfect to serve guests [especially those who think polenta’s unexciting].

Spiced Carrot Soup with Green Tahini Swirl via Vegetarian Ventures

Soup’s boring? Definitely not when it’s as beauti- and flavourful as this one. Just looking at the pictures makes me hungry.

 

Happiness-inducing today:  A short but uplifting conversation with somebody who knew to say just what I needed to hear.

Stay in touch!

Twitter:@MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living