Good good links #31

It’s another Sunday and aside from the fact that last time we talked it was winter still* not much has changed. Same old, same old so we’re talking favourites again. Don’t forget to tell me yours from the week and be back later for some Spill it Sunday action! Until then: Happy Sunday!

*and as Germany hasn’t gotten full alert of spring yet it doesn’t feel like that around here yet, either

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Changing Focus via Nut Butter Runner

The goal in life shouldn’t be perfection but happiness and balance.

Why Everyone Ahould Try Therapy via Better with Sprinkles

Awesome post removing the stigma from therapy – because it’s nothing to be ashamed of and beneficial in every situation in life.

Are you doing your blog a disservice? via Sprouts ‘n’ Squats

Some things you might want to consider before participating in every link-up out there.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

5 Things I Miss About Weighing More Than 300 Pounds via Mind Body Green

A must-read for all ladies.

9 Every Day Stretches For a Healthy Body via the sweet life

Wanting to prevent further injuries I’ve been looking for a few good basic stretch moves and these seem great.

Top Tips for Naturally Nourished Skin via Nourish by Melissa

Good tips for taking care of your skin from the inside and out.

How To Get The Worst Night’s Sleep Of Your Life via Huffington Post

Struggling with sleep? Here’s why we might be.

How Anyone Can Learn to Cook via Mind Body Green

[aside from the fact it’s a bit advertising] Ideas on how to get into the kitchen [or back after losing your cooking mojo].

Do what you can via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Life gets busy at times and none of us are superwomen: prioritize and take care of your health, don’t stress.

Bolder Blogging: Writing With Intention via CotterCrunch

What is your intention when blogging??

What If, For A Moment via Battle of the Bites

A beautiful line of thoughts – or, maybe, hopefully more than that if we try?!

What Paleo Gets Right: A Vegan Cardiologist Explains via Mind Body Green

Even if – like me – you’re far from considering paleo this is an interesting read and might possibly help smoothen the waters between proponents of the vegan and paleo diet?!

 

Good good [food]

Chunky Monkey Snack Bites via Running with Spoons

With only seven wholesome ingredients there’s hardly an excuse not to try these little bites of heaven – unless you’re waiting for your bananas to ripen ;).

Chai Apple Chips via Fit Foodie Finds

If the ice cream last week was any indicator: chai spices are favourites of mine and here they make apple chips even better.

Hazelnut Butter-Chocolate Chip Muffins via Coconut and Berries

The winning combination of nuts and chocolate combined in these sweet treats.

The Best Chewy Vegan and Gluten-Free Brownies via edible perspective

Need I say more?!

Happiness inducing today: Sleeping in.

 

What were some of your favourite reads from the week?

Share your thoughts if you read any of the above already!

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Thinking out loud #14

Looking at today’s randomness I noticed a theme -and you might remember I like that. Without further ado let’s call this ‘the bad, the good and the plain random’ edition of Thinking out loud. Because there’s an upside to most every bad – and then some thoughts that follow no rhyme or reason. The ‘bad’: it’s going to be a crazy day at work because we have a huge event coming up tomorrow. The good: Amanda‘s hosting another round of [more or less] freestyle-blogging. And now let’s move onto the random!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. The bad: If you’re following me on Twitter [link] you might have already seen it

Fun times. Only not. However, as much as I disliked it, I felt empathy for the doctors at the practice whose regular working time was until 7 PM. But when I left at shortly past that there were still more patients waiting. What confused me even more: people annoyedly leaving the waiting room before they even got to see one of the doctors.

For whichever reason this came up searching for “waiting room”. Random post, random pictures?! [Source]

2. The good: Getting a better idea of what’s been causing me serious pain for weeks now. And this girl keeping me entertained while waiting. Blends for the win once more.

3. The random: Picking up a new hand lotion a few days ago I noticed the ’24-hour moisturization’ claim on the packaging. Now that’s all fine and well but: who needs that? Like everybody else I expect my hand lotion to keep my skin nice and smooth but Unless you were to wash your hands just once a day which would be gross. In that case please listen to me and go wash your hands now, please?!

Weekend March 14th to 16th 156

4. Are you ever lured into buying something just because it looks cute? Case in point was the above-mentioned hand lotion. I wouldn’t absolutely have needed another one to add to my ever-growing collection – though it’s nice to have one in every handbag.

5. The bad: a strike taking place that involved all public transport being closed down. Good job choosing a busy Wednesday for a strike – only not so much when you aren’t part of the strikers but those who still need to get to work.

6. The good: My boss offering to pick me up and drive me back home after work.

7. The random: Nonsensical product declarations #2. My coconut flour. The label gluten-free obviously makes a lot of sense on this one but lactose-free??! I don’t remember ever wondering if any flour contained lactose so this seems very redundant and isn’t it in a way suggesting we as customers didn’t know this obvious fact? Really, now …

coconut flour

8. The weekly life-changing quiz: Haven’t you always wondered which high school you actually belonged in?!

9. Will I ever learn not to write my posts way too late at night? Probably not but for now I’ll just leave it at saying …

10. Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: Randomly getting a chance to read a book I’d been interested in for a while but couldn’t find at my library.

Stay in touch!

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

What are some of the most redundant or odd product claims you have come across yet?

Share something bad, something good and something random!

In and out [of the cooking mojo]

Writing my intro after finishing the remainder of the post – typical – I’ve decided you don’t really care about long intros on What I ate Wednesday – and Vegan Wednesday – in anyway. And I know at least Courtney agrees with me here and I hope Jenn won’t mind less wordiness and more talk about food, either. Thanks for hosting either way!

wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2About the cooking mojo … Way back when I was still in school reading issues of the single one women’s magazine [the only actually interesting one on the market] my mum would buy occasionally there was one topic that surprised me. More often than once I’d find advice for working women feeling ‘too busy or stressed to grocery shop and cook after work’. Not feeling like cooking after work? Really?! Unbelievable. Who wouldn’t want to come back home, head into the kitchen and chop vegetables for a great meal made from scratch? The answer nowadays: me, too. Yes, I can relate. No, that’s not to say I’d become best friends with the delivery services around or that my idea of dinner was a bag of chips. It just means I’ll go for simple, quick meals for office lunches that I can easily prepare while simultaneously cooking dinner. Like … soup.

Chickpea cabbage soup

Luckily, my worries about losing my kitchen mojo completely were unneccessary when I found it again last weekend. First off was Friday’s afternoon snack after getting home from work earlier. I’d been eyeing Becky’s mug cookie for a while and decided it was a better – read: more interesting –  option than going for straight-up chocolate chips.

Coconut flour mug cookie_I

More interesting, yes, and more filling. The only changes I made were using vegan chocolate chips instead of M&Ms, subbing baking powder for soda and adding less of it. On a very random note this goes to show I know zilch about baking chemistry. Swapping baking powder for soda might make a decided difference but I don’t have a clue. Feel free to enlighten me if you know better 🙂 . What I do know, though, is that – powder or soda – this turned out to be a very photogenic snack. Becky knows what she’s doing so if you happen to have some coconut flour sitting around you might want to give it a go.

Mug cookie_II

The highlight of my cooking weekend, however, was a creation of my own that helped me tackle two fears in one: Eating Pfannkuchen – no, not calling them pancakes [that’d be the direct translation but I feel it’s off] but I’ll explain that in the recipe post! – and Pfannkuchen-making. As in: not having tear apart what were actually delicate crepes apart when trying to flip and transfer them onto a plate. Doesn’t that always happen?? Luckily, I had the crepe-flipping powers on my side for my first batch of them after years. Not that it’d have played a role, here, though, because I had much better plans than eating them as is.

crepes

Both gluten-free and vegan these weren’t the Pfannkuchen I grew up with but a take on the classic that will see a repeat more than once in the future. Filled with a spicy vegetable mixture and baked with a quick vegan cheese sauce these were amazing. I’ll try to post the recipe as soon as possible. For whichever reason I had to think of a certain blogger while making these so texted this creative chef to let her know I’d channeled my inner Davida 😉 . So while I haven’t found the ultimate cure for losing my cooking mojo every once in a while looking at blogs – or in this case: just vaguely thinking of certain bloggers 🙂 – can help get it back. Emily knows I have a feeling one of my next bigger kitchen adventures will be influenced by her. Just wait for it …

crespelle_IV

For now I hope all of you are having a delicious and happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Good conversations with friends.

Stay in touch!

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

What do you do/cook when you feel you’ve lost your kitchen mojo?

Which was the last recipe you created?

Me, myself and I in 39 [plus one] questions

Mondays are for … survey fun! And I just had to go with that title for the fact that survey really are self-centered – no way  in denying it, is there? Whether or not I’m the last person to jump on this train I’ve been eyeing the 39 questions Amanda posted way back for a while. We can ignore the fact I don’t like uneven numbers because I sneakily added a 40th one. Either way surveys – uneven numbers or not – are a great way to start the week after a relaxing weekend. Happy Monday and make it marvelous by visiting Katie’s blog. Congratulations to our sweet host who just started her yoga teacher training.

Marvelous

Were you named after anyone?

Actually yes. However, different from many others who were probably named after a family member or important person I don’t know the woman whose name I’m sharing. The sister of a not at all close friend of my parents was an inspiration for this unusual name.

2. When was the last time you cried?
It’s been a while but I wouldn’t mind saying when if I remembered. I’ve mentioned before that I think it’s an important means of letting our feelings come to the surface and has a ‘cleansing’ effect. And mum: thanks for the hugs and kind words.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
It’s not an artsy kind of handwriting but after the many letters I’ve sent to blends recently I’ve come around to being okay with it. The only ‘complaint’ I’ve heard is that it’s a fairly small writing but try as I might I can’t seem to write bigger letters. So yes, my handwriting’s me and I like it.

Letter

4. What is your favourite lunch meat?
Any that doesn’t make an appearance in my lunch 🙂 .

5. Do you have kids?
Can we get back to that question in … due time? One day, one day.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Friends, yes. Maybe I’m interpreting this too deeply here but I think it’s a good question to ask ourselves on the regular. If we’re being honest but also not too hard with ourselves it should help us find an inner balance. Right now there were several days when I had to step aside and honestly admit I wouldn’t have wanted to be my mum or sister in that moment. I’m not sure about you but I know I’m a lot different around friends than family and have given my loved ones a hard time more than once before. But in the end I think we all have our good and bad characteristics and as long as we’re able to see when we’ve hurt others and can admit to it things even out. Talk about a lengthy reply but this question really got me thinking.

 Sheep_September

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Apparently more often than some people would expect from me because I’ve gotten some hilarious responses [read: or lack thereof in the form of speechlessness] to it sometimes before.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Yes, I’m still a proud owner. But before you’re asking: no, I haven’t named them – for fear of losing them after all, obviously 😉 .

9. Would you bungee jump?
Are.you.kidding? Risking my life and paying money for it?! Thanks but no, thanks.

10 What is your favourite cereal?
Hello from Cereal Desert Germany. If we had the same choices you lucky ducks have overseas I’m sure anything peanut buttery would be high up there. But right now I’ll go with plain Saltoos. Think fruit-juice-sweetened crunchy rings made from whole-grain spelt. Fancy. Feel free to mail me those Peanut Butter Puffins I keep hearing about and my answer will likely change in a minute.

Cereal

 11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Boots for the win! Zipping is all I need to do. Talking running shoes: no. Maybe it’s lazy but it’s just a timesaver.

12. Do you think you are strong?
We’ve talked about my favourite strength workout before so if that counts then: yes. But don’t ask me if I’ve ever set foot into the weights area at the gym.

13. What is your favourite ice cream?
Not a fair question for an ice cream fiend at all. Previously an ice cream parlor’s rating in my book would depend on the quality of their cherry ice cream. Trust me, I can tell a good from a bad cherry though I’ve since moved on to make it depend on mango. In the picture below I went against my usual picks and had vegan Tiramisu ice cream – a delicious way of breaking routines.

Ice cream

14. What is the first thing you notice about other people?
If they’re looking overall sympathetic.

15. Red or pink?
Life wouldn’t be complete without either of them. And no, that’s not cheating – just naming the facts. A look into my wardrobe would tell you.

16. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
My lack of time management skills. I might be a perfectionist but there’s still part of me that’s way too chaotic. Is that’s what we call balance?

17. Any tattoos?
Just thinking about them makes me cringe. 1. Because getting them requires a way-too-long for my liking contat with needles [anything longer than ten seconds is, no, scratch that: one second] and 2. Because … did you realize you’ll have them forever?! I occasionally can’t even seem to pick clothes that I’ll still like a year from now so don’t make me choose a tattoo motive.

18. Do you have any hobbies?
For some reason it always felt awkward answering the hobby question in friendship booklets and not just because I’m so indecisive and there’s way too little room. So just to confirm: yes, I do have hobbies.

19. What colour shoes are you wearing?
All the colours of the rainbow. Okay, maybe not all. Favourites are dark red or black.

Shoes

20. What was the last thing you ate?
Almond butter. Typical.

21. What are you listening to right now?
Another sunny day. We could really use more of these again after the past weekend.

22. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
Don’t ask me why but my instant answer was yellow. Really, though, I feel it should be red as that’s my favourite. Does anybody care to let me know what my first intuitive pick says about me?

23. Favourite smells?
Roses, freshly baked goods, vanilla ice cream [the IKEA candles!], … too many to write all of them down here.

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My mum. Next up is my grandma because I’m long overdue calling her.

25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
Mountain hideaway. Maybe it has to do with growing up in the countryside and being a fair skin type but I just can’t get as excited at the premise of lying around in the sunshine all day than hiking around in beautiful scenery.

Autumn walk

26. Favourite sport to watch?
None. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure all of these athletes are doing a great job but my mind drifts off minutes after I start watching. Okay, maybe making an exception for soccer during the European or World Championships.

27. Hair colour?
A light brown my mum used to call “dark blonde” but … it’s not.

28. Eye colours?
Matching my hair colour: light brown.

29. Do you wear contacts?
I wish I was able to but my callus didn’t feel like cooperating the time I tried.

30. Scary movies or happy endings?
Will you believe I’ve never actually watched a whole scary move until the end? And don’t we all need a little bit of cheesy or at times heart-breaking romance in our lives?!

Movie night2

31. Last movie you watched?
The Butler which I definitely recommend watching if you haven’t seen it yet.

32. What colour shirt are you wearing?
Actually, I’m sitting her in my PJs right now and my shirt’s a light rosy colour.

33. Summer or winter?
All the seasons! I might complain about the cold right now but I couldn’t imagine living in the heat all year round, either. Every season has wonderful parts I wouldn’t want to miss.

34. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs. There’s something so deeply comforting and secure about a big warm hug. A good hug says more than a thousand words.

35. Computer or television?
Computer. In fact, I don’t own a TV and feel fine without. Not so much without my computer … [note that I don’t own a Mac book, though. Not an apple addict here.]

36. What book are you reading right now?
Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. After finishing The Heavy I noticed I wasn’t up for fiction right now and this one had been on my to-read list for a while already. If anybody’s interested I can do a review once I’m finished.

37. What’s on your mouse pad?
Is this the outdated part of the survey? Okay, so:  there’s none.

38. What colour is your house?
Our house in the countryside is an old farm house with red tiles. Just looking at pictures makes me feel all cozy inside.

39. What colour is your car?
I don’t actually own a car myself but my mum and share one when I’m at their place – it’s a black Opel.

… and because I mentioned I don’t like uneven numbers:

40. What’s one motto you live by?

An oldie but goodie that I remind myself of every day. A day without a smile is a lost day. And would you want to loose any days of your life?

Happiness inducing today: A blissfully lazy day and many good [text] conversations with friends. Can tomorrow be Sunday again?

Stay in touch!

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

It’s your turn: Answer some of the questions, too!  But definitely the 40th 🙂 .

Good good links #30

Two posts in a day leave me with a lack of creativity when it comes to the second intro so let’s just get right into the matter of this post: amazing reads from the past week.

Good good links

Happy Sunday!
 

Good good [food for thought]

Unapologetic Blogging- I’m not sorry for my content via The Big Man’s World

Great reminder of what blogging should be like for everyone. It’s your blog, your opinions and no obligations.

ED Awareness on Social Media Sites via Blogilates

I hadn’t even known this before but I hope it’ll have one or the other positive impact.
 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Confessions of an Intuitive Eater via Kiss my Broccoli

Proof of the beauty of just eating – no second thoughts or feelings of guilt.

Is sugar evil? via Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish

It all comes back to balance as the key to a healthy diet again. “No food should be demonised.”

Signs your hormones are to blame via the Real Life RD

Never hungry, no menstrual cycle or cellulite in unusual places? There might be something off with your hormones.

 14 Habits of Ultra-Organized People via Huffington Post

Letting go of perfectionism, doing it now and uni- instead of multitasking to get more organized.

11 Food Truths We Should All Follow via HuffPost Food

Yes to these and especially #3 and #6. Life’s too short not to.

Deconstructing our cravings – Part 3 via Mommy run fast

Breaking down the emotional reasons for why and what we’re eating is a tricky issue.

The Serious Eats Guide to Whole Grains via Serious Eats

A compact grain know-how – bonus points for cute illustrations!

How I Feel About Organic Food via My Food ‘n’ Fitness Diary

No need to beat ourselves up if buying all organic isn’t in our budgets – do as good as you can.
 

Good good [things to make you smile]

Umm, excuse me? Is this Target model for real? via Blogilates

Thanks, Target, for unintentionally admitting to photoshopping your models giving yet more proof on how insane it is.

Baby Names for Foodies via Lentil breakdown

A little older already but too good not to share. Do you think Croissandra and Flaximilian or Quinoawanda and Coq au Vinny would make good matches?
 

Good good [food]

Cheesy White-Bean Enchiladas via Glamour 

Cheese, beans and Mexican spices – ingredients for success. Did I mention these are vegan and gluten-free, too?

Quinoa Pizza Crust with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas & Tahini Sauce via Dishing up the Dirt

Way more than your average pizza: vegan crust made from cooked quinoa and many of my favourite toppings.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie via Making Thyme for Health

Comfort in a pie pan.

Homemade Snap Pea Crisps via Cotter Crunch

A slightly more unusual [if you’re from Germany at least] but even more creative veggie snack. I kn0w what’s on my grocery list for next week.

Vegan Chai Ice Cream via Minimalist Baker

Cashew-based ice cream with warming spices? Yes, please!

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie with Caramel and Sea Salt via Pinch of Yum

I dare you to look at this and not have your mouth water. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
 

Happiness inducing today: Sleeping in.

Stay in touch!

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

If you’ve read any of the above posts: what’s your opinion on them?

Which posts did you enjoy this week?

Spill It Sunday [The Protein Edition]

Whereas last week’s Spill It Sunday featuring fats was right up my alley I’ll have to say protein might not rank quite as high. But I just had to ‘meinen Senf dazugeben’* which I’m sure Arman will approve of – or better yet: add my two cents for all non-German readers – in anyway. Following up my discovery of how much blogging has changed my ability to write longer texts this post has actually gotting wordier than I’d previously assumed. Not adding any more words I’ll keep the intro short and jump right in.

Spill-it-Sunday-option-2-1

*literally translates as ‘add my mustard’  – a condiment I actually neither like nor have at hand so I’m glad we can agree on the two cents 😉

1. What is your favourite protein source?

All the beans. It’s funny because I never noticed it until I started blogging and consequently taking pictures of my food. Apparently I automatically shifted my diet to include more legumes since going vegetarian and then mostly vegan. Right now I’m vegan with benefits meaning I include dairy in my diet when I feel like it but I hardly ever truly long for it. If we’re talking chickpeas, on the other hand, craving is the very best term to describe it. Luckily, my stomach agrees for the most part not letting me experience any major musical effects 😉 [TWSS]. Obviously I’m no expert here but I think this might have to do with my digestion getting used to the amounts of legumes after changing my diet to mostly plant-based.

2. What is your favourite meat (If you eat it)

Any kind of meat that’s still able to run around 😉 . Especially chicken, Arman.

3. Which protein receives unfair flack? Which protein is most overrated?

Not exactly one that receives flack but with the recent popularity of Whole30 I feel legumes have gotten a little less loving than before. And if you’ve read my answer to #1 than you can see why that makes me shed a tear or two. Then again: more chickpeas and peanut butter for me, right!?

chickpeas

Most overrated – from a vegetarian standpoint – would be meat. But I’m not intolerant like that and think it’s everybody’s choice to eat meat or not. So my actual answer for most overrated is protein powder. Yes, I do use it in my recipes every now and then for a little nutritional boost but I don’t rely on it. Seeing some people chug multiple protein shakes a day instead of proper meals seems a little excessive for me. In my opinion, normal protein needs can easily be met by just eating real food. Keep in mind, however, that I’m neither an expert nor a professional athlete the latter of which might have higher protein needs that they find easier to meet by supplementing – not replacing – their meals with protein powders 

4. Link up a favourite protein rich recipe (it can be your own or another bloggers!)

Going with my answer to the first question I could easily link to dozens of great chickpea or other legume recipes. Making use of protein’s good reputation I like sneaking it into elsewise not-so-nutritious recipes so I’ll go with sweet treats in disguise :): my crispy protein peanut bars.

bars_crisp

5. What is YOUR perception of this macronutrient?

I like protein, yes, but I feel it’s overrated and I was glad to see Robyn as a nutritionist agrees because yes, I like to have the expert ‘okay’. We need a balance of all macronutrients so when I see others counting their protein intake trying to reach 100+ grams a day and swapping protein shakes for ‘real’ meals – that’s taking it too far in my opinion.  Egg white scrambles for breakfast, cottage cheese as a snack, protein powder pudding as a ‘treat’ – not for me, thanks. If we were talking about Quest bars, however, that’s one protein snack I feel I could get on board with 😉 …

6. What benefits does PROTEIN play in YOUR personal eating habits?

The idea that protein was the best and most important nutrient as well most saturating hasn’t proven to be true for me yet. Just because it doesn’t do much for me, though, is not to say I didn’t believe others when they put their focus on protein. We’re all different and it’s great to learn from each other’s experiences. I know that to keep me truly satisfied my meals have to contain fat and carbs with protein playing a minor role. However, there are times when I can tell a little more protein might do me well and I’ll likely never tire of yogurt bowls [Greek or soy yogurt mixed with coconut flour – try it!].

Greek yogurt bowl

If you’re daring or just feeling like a little strange but good action: add mashed chickpeas to the above mix. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried this sweet and savoury combination.

Now I’m curious to hear your stance on protein!

Happiness inducing today: Starting a new book and flying through almost half of it in one go.

Stay in touch!

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

Which role does protein play in your diet?

What is your favourite source of it?

Legumes: yes or no?