Good good links #58

Does anybody feel like either a) hiring me as a full-time blogger/ blog reader/ link-up composer or b) conving my boss it’s conducive to the quality of my work to allow blog-reading at the office? Because I’m convinced it is. And I’m also sure I miss out on dozens of great posts every week only getting a chance to read blogs in the evening. Often Sometimes at the sacrifice of sleep. I didn’t say that. Either way, these are some of the gems I didn’t miss out on and hope you’ll enjoy as well.

Have a great Sunday – the last one in September!

Good good links


Good good [food for thought]

 10 Reasons to Questions Health and Fitness Magazines via Bagels to Broccoli

… and that’s true for magazines all over the world.

The Appalling Responses To A Woman Who Wore A Fat Suit To Meet Her Tinder Dates via Huffington Post

Did you see this before? It’s shocking to see some of the guys’ reactions yet: are all men like that? How would we [as women] react in the opposite situation?

Dear Stretch Marks via Full of Bliss with Jennifer Lynn

Yes, you know the blogger and yes, it’s the sweetest letter to a seen-as-flawed part of ourselves I’ve ever read.


Good good [advice and inspiration]

Natural Ways To Reduce Your Cholesterol via Cleans Eats, Fast Feets

Cholesterol’s just an issue for old people? Not quite. We start building bases for age early on so: Eat all the oats and beans!

5 Pieces Of Health Advice You Should Never Follow via Mind Body Green

Calories are not created equal, pushing past your pain isn’t healthy and in the end we’re best off following our gut feeling.

How to Cultivate Body Respect (+ Two Common Weight Myths Busted) via Mindful Meals

Accepting ourselves no matter what we look like is a long  journey – but we can make good choices to keep going every day.

Ways to alkalize your body via Khushboo’s Blog

If the title of this post leaves you puzzled – it did for me – at first: go read it and know how to be healthier afterwards. We never stop learning.

How to tame a bloated belly via Eat spin run repeat

Too many raw vegetables, too many artificial sweeteners but also too much stress can take a toll on our stomaches.

A Guide To Intuitive Eating (Infographic) via Mind Body Green

Nothing new here but who doesn’t like handy-dandy infographics that – printed out? – can  serve as a daily reminder.



How I’m Leading a More Minimalistic Life via Clean Eating Veggie Girl

I absolutely need to do this – especially in terms of food and – humor me – tights [about a few dozen in my closet right now …].



Writer’s Block — Seriously I can’t even come up with a catchy title via Commitness to Fitness

When the block keeps you from the blog: The bane of every blogger’s/writer’s existence – and can’t all of us relate?!


Cooking and food

How to achieve the perfect pancake “Fluff Factor” via Casey’s Wholesome Kitchen

For all of you pancake fiends on a quest to find the ultimate ‘cake.

How to pick out perfect vegetables via Mind Body Green

Does anybody else feel like running to the store or Farmers’ Market after looking at this? Hello, overbuying … Still awesome.



Good good [humor]

18 Weird German Words You Won’t Believe Exist via Fluentu

Fellow language fiends, this one’s for you. Or anybody who wants to have a good laugh at how ridiculous us Germans can be.

Figure out German animal names with this handy flowchart via 22 words

… and another one. Now tell me, which pet did I own years ago: not quite not a pig.


Good good [food]

Blackberry Hazelnut Crumble Bars via My New Roots

Did I mention I have a soft spot for crumbles? Any remaining self-control would be crumbling when faced with this dessert.

Just Peachy Buckwheat Chocolate Salad via Veg Fiend

Salad for dessert? Yes and not just any old fruit salad but one with sprouted buckwheat and healthy chocolate sauce (!).

20 Paleo Breakfast Cereals via A Girl Worth Saving

Homemade cereal can be a way to impress and this is proof paleo people* don’t have to miss out on variety, either.

26 Vegetarian and Vegan Crockpot Recipes via Rate your burn

[Quite] oldie but goldie. However, I found it just this week and it fits perfectly right now. ‘Tis the season for warming bowlfuls of food.

Carrot-Ginger “Hibachi” Dressing + 3-Bean Salad via Veg Fiend

The kind of salad even I would go crazy about. We’re talking three beans after all, f(r)iends!

Hearty Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup via The Healthy Maven

Lots of vegetables and lentils creating a full-bodied stick-to-your ribs texture: This is all I want in a soup and more.

 Vegan Chili Cheese Dip via Delish Knowledge

I’ve never had the original but with cashew-based cheese sauce, mashed beans as ‘meat’ and lot of salsa I’m completely sold here.


*I can’t help the alliterations when there’s a chance to go for the,.

Happiness-inducing today: Sunshine and a surprise package from my mum. Did I mention she’s the sweetest?!

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Tell me which posts got you thinking this week!


What my grandparents taught me

What is it with me and those random anniversaries and holidays lately? First those  snippets on Sunday  [I still don’t know where they came from]. And then the other day I came across a list of holidays I’d never heard of. Then again it’s not too surprising I wouldn’t know about national holidays in the US. Either way,  there are some that should be celebrated worldwide. Or did you know that September 7th was National Grandparents Day?

They say that boys were looking for a girl who’s like their mum – and girls for a boy who’s like their dad.  While I wouldn’t mind the latter,  either, I hope to find a guy who’s like my grandpa when I grow up [because I clearly am not yet …]. My grandpa is not only a talented craftsman like nobody else I know [he’s well known for those abilities and gets a lot of requests], active .. . Plus he’s the world’s best hug giver and that obviously matters.

And my grandma? Like my mum she’s one if the best listeners and sweetest persons I’m blessed to have in my life. Always there to listen to me, calm me down, teach me how to bake the best cookies ever, … But wait, I meant to talk about something else:

During all the time I’ve spent with my grandparents so far they’ve [uninentionally] taught me a lot about life. So let’s take a moment to thank – and think out loud about – grandparents for the wisdom they offer us.


Life would be boring if all of us looked alike and had the same talents.

This is actually something my grandpa told my sister when she was unhappy about something she’d failed at. And it’s so true: we weren’t all born to be either math geniuses or models. All of us bring their very unique personalities and talents into this world  so in cooperation we can change things and create the world we want to live in. We can learn from and help each other and it’s what ties us together and what makes friendships that much more important.

When you have a dream you don’t let anything stop you.

Though neither of them speaks a language aside from German or Polish my grandma and grandpa are avid travelers.  They’ve spent countless Easter holidays skiing in France, used to drive all the way to Spain for a month every year [my grandpa’s a passionate surfer] and even hopped on a plane to the US. They have trust in things working out in their favour. And these times when it doesn’t …

When life hits you hard, you stumble, fall and take up walking again.

Years ago my grandfather had a heart attack that hit him out of nowhere. All of a sudden he, who’d always been active, out and about and unstoppable had to slow down. Got breathless more easily. It really hurt him mentally, too, and we were worried he’d grieve forever knowing he’d never be able to get his old life back. Fast forward to today: grandpa’s [almost] his old self again. He might have had to give up very strenuous activities like surfing but he found new ones to pursue. We have the ability to turn bad situations around if we choose so.

It’s about the people.

This goes along the lines with be thankful. Like many people from the older generation my grandparents worked hard to raise their children and offer them a good life – yet never complained. Being with family is still what matters most to them to this day. Another part of this is finding happiness in non-materialist ways. The generation of our grandparents usually experienced poverty and didn’t pile up goods. They learned to get by with little and find joy in the little things.

You don’t have to like everybody but accept them the way they are.

The best way they taught me this was in their relationship with their neighours. A slightly … eccentric family. Endless chatterbugs, annoying like no others and obtrusive at times. Yet my grandparents don’t show any annoyance or ignore that family. They taught me that I should respect others – unless they didn’t respect me, either.

Forgive – others and yourself.

Grandparents are some of the least resentful people in our lives. The times we forget to call them back. The times we refuse to let them hug or kiss us during our too-cool-for-everything teenager years. When we approach them again they’ll welcome us back and offer help regardless of what happened. And that’s what they’re conveying to us, too. Just like the fact that we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about mistakes from the past.

I could go on endlessly but I think you caught my drift already and can think of additional ones. Life’s biggest lessons aren’t part of any school’s curriculum. We learn them from the people in ours lives. Especially those we love and who love us.

Another couple of warm socks in the make.

Grandma’s handy work: Another couple of warm socks in the make.

**At first I was also going to include what my grandparents taught me about the relationship with food and exercise is a wholly different chapter for another day …

Happiness-inducing today: The fact that while it’d been really cold in the morning by the time I headed out for a walk in my lunch break it had cleared up and I was greeted by sunshine.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Your turn: Brag/gush/ sing about your grandparents and tell me what you learned from them.

WIAW: On the road again

… or actually: on the -train- again. The previously mentioned weekend meet-up with my mum didn’t happen but we got a chance on Saturday. Given I left at 8 AM and didn’t return until 9.45 PM packing food and eating out was inevitable.  So for today’s What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday what a day of traveling with food looks like for me

A lack of kabocha has my deviate from  my usual favourite and back on the oatmeal train [pun not intended] for breakfast again. Rolled oats cooked with water, soy milk,  peanut flour, zucchini and – necessary – salt. Topped with popped amaranth and coconut flour ‘crumbles’. I missed the almond butter. I’m not above using empty soy yogurt containers as oatmeal carriages. In fact, I consider it perfectly reasonable recycling. Only they are big enough for my servings. Oats in a jar are no option because nut butters come in glass jars over here and I don’t feel like lugging one of those around. Hello, weight lifting.

Oats_for the train

Snacks included two cinnamon chickpea protein bars. Slightly smushed after waiting in my handbag so you’ll get the pretty picture. While my favourite way to eat these is cold straight from the fridge they are delicious even Unpictured snacks were apples, a cookie, … I always crave fruit even more than on regular days when traveling. Maybe it’s drinking less – in an effort to avoid using the toilet on the train. If you’ve ever been on a train you’ll know why …

Protein Bars 1

After some – successful (!) – shoe shopping my stomach and mind were calling for a proper sit-down meal. When in Hamburg we usually like to seek out one of our favourite smaller restaurants in the Schanzenviertel. But with a limited time window and shopping downtown we went for another go-to closer by. Cha cha is one of my favourite chain restaurants – only topped by Dolores. I ordered Thai fried rice with vegetables,  sesame soy sauce and cashews. The serving was very generous [the picture doesn’t do it justice] so I didn’t manage to finish it. Especially because my mum needed some help with her dish … Only not really but that’s what she gets for eating out with me.

Eating out_cha cha_September 2014

My Mum got their Yellow Curry Noodles with Pineapple and Seitan. The pasta wasn’t vegan but I ate around it picking out the best part: obviously the coconut milk-drenched seitan. Luckily for both of us, our dishes weren’t overly spicy like some food at Cha Cha can be. Remind me to finally prepare seitan at home because this was good.

Eating out_cha cha_September 2014_2

Dinner was an eat-all-the-food affair – I returned home ready to chew my arm off. Kabocha – found in Hamburg and yes; I buy and travel with heavy squash if I spot the elusive variety. Living in no-mans-country no-[kabocha] squash-country isn’t easy.
Steamed as usual and with the added coconut oil this was all I could have asked for after a long day of traveling. I’ve yet to come to a final result on its added satiating powers but it’s delicious either way.


Happiness-inducing today: The chatterbug but very kind and helpful owner of the small health food store in the town I work.

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What do typical days on the road/ train look like for you food-wise?

How do you transport oats [to work or when traveling]?

Good good links #57

Hello and happy 21st of September! An odd way to say hi? I don’t think so. We’re this close to the astronomical start of autumn [or fall if you prefer]. And I somehow happened upon the fact that September 21st, 1799, was when the French Philippe Lebon invented the first gas heater. Very fitting fact with the colder months in mind, don’t you agree? It was also when in 1983 the first mobile phone – weighing a feathery ~ 1.8 lb – made it onto the US market. Okay, I apparently enjoy some random facts … What I also enjoy and came here to share today, though, are great posts. Rambling be gone, reading may start.

Happy Sunday!


Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

Do Healthy Eating and Being Busy Go Together? via Long Drive Journey

Amy’s speaking my mind here. Juggling the quest to live healthy and leading a busy life can be a struggle.

When Little Girls get called “Fat” via Blogilates
Body shaming starts early on, it hurts and it has to stop.

The Truth About Recovering from an Eating Disorder (and Breaking Free from Emotional Eating) via Hunger for Happiness

Well-versed and reassuring words for anybody struggling. It might just be a phase of acclimatization.


Good good [advice and inspiration]

 5 Tips for Better Sleep via I heart Vegetables

Because sleep  matters way more than we might assume.

Ready to Stop Feeling CRAZY around Food? 5 Lessons from Isabel Foxen Duke via Mindful Meals

 Why emotional eating isn’t necessarily a bad thing and some thoughts on ‘normal’ eating.

 Be Unapologetically, You via Katalyst Health

Great post on why it’s worth being you even if others want you to change. Because who really wants to be somebody else’s ‘right’ version of themselves??


I Tried to Quit Diet Soda 4 Times. Here’s What Finally Changed My Ways via Greatist

Sneaky diet soda … A bad habit that takes some finesse to break and overcome.

13 Ways To Beat Stress In 15 Minutes Or Less via Huffington Post Healthy Living

Stress can take a toll on our health so finding ways to recover matters.

9 Air-Cleaning Houseplants That Are Almost Impossible to Kill via Greatist

Even people with no green thumb deserve to breathe fresh and clean air.


How to apply bronzer like a pro via A Beautiful Mess

Getting that gorgeous glow without looking like a child that played with mum’s make-up.

Make-up-less Monday and what beauty means to me via girl meets life

This: “How we choose to define beauty and/or let it control our lives is what is key.”



The 25 Best WordPress Plugins of 2014 via WordPress Hosting SEO Cloud Social Media Strategie

What a difference plug-ins can make:  I’ve yet to switch to self-hosted but for anybody who already did broken link checkers, SEO help and the likes will be great little helpers.



Good good [food]

 No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Tarte via Marfigs’ Munchies

Excuse me while I try to recollect my ability to form proper sentences. Just see how incredible this looks while being packed with nutritious ingredients.

 No-Bake Vegan Oatmeal Fudge Bars via Running with Spoons

 Getting fudgy with dates! It’s apparently a no-bake kind of week on here but honestly: who’d be able to say no to these?

Buffalo Chickpea Pizza with White Garlic sauce and Celery Ranch via Vegan Richa

Chickpeas on pizza are already a must for me but this takes a to a new swoon-worthy level.

Butternut Squash, Kale and Chickpea Massaman Curry via Conoisseurus Veg

Many favourites of mine mingling in one bowl of autumal comfort food heaven.

Red Pepper Recipes via love and lemons

If you bought an overload of peppers [ahem] or just really like this flavourful vegetables.

Samosa Soup via Yup, it’s vegan

Want samosas but not the whole assembly effort? This will do the trick – and it looks like a great new potato soup idea by itself.


Happiness-inducing today: Meeting my mum and sister and talking to strangers once again.

Stay in touch!

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



Tell me which posts got you thinking this week!

Peas over nuts [Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars]

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious: A one-bowl vegan and protein bar reminiscent of  a slice of soft vanilla cake. Free from gluten, refined sugars or weird additives.

Protein Bars 8

Chances are that if you’ve been around the blog world for any time yet you’ll have noticed two trends: 1) a fondness of bars and 2) protein as many bloggers’ favourite macronutrient.  Me, however? That’s where I’m not like your average blogger. I’m not fond of bars in general [at this point I expect some people gasping for breath in shock]. Me and protein bars?  Much less. I’ve always considered these a) exclusive to body builders or b) anybody doing strength training. The way I see it I don’t fall in either category. Unless you’d count lugging around [way too] heavy bags every day weight-lifting. Hmmm …

Protein bar

Which didn’t bug me much because the protein bars available at stores around here are nasty. The only one I ever bought years ago – I can actually recall the time, brand and flavour of the bar – wasn’t awful in terms of taste. But it was a candy bar disguised as a healthy snack.  The ingredient list: Sugar. Sugar.  More sugar. Oh, and some protein. Processed soy-derived. Aren’t you getting hungry reading that?!

Protein Bars 1

These? Are the opposite. Granted, that other bar won the award for appearance – how hard is it with a thick chocolate?! coating – but we already know it’s the inner values that count.  Protein not only from the powder but the peanut flour and even in the chickpeas, too. A funny story or realization about those: I had my mind set on using salted peanuts here. -But-: you haven’t seen my overflowing cupboards yet. No unneccessary purchases for me.

Protein bars 3

So I went for the closest sub and – chickpeas. Before you turn up your nose or click away: Think about it. Chickpeas are legumes – as are peanuts.  There isn’t much of a difference with that in mind. Clearly a case where peas [won] over nuts. And I’m nuts about those peas – my stash is dwindling by the day. If you’re still doubtful just let me tell you about the great texture and crunch they add to these bars …

Protein bars 4_neu

A realization and my only regret about this recipe is my habit of preparing small batches. The one I prepared Saturday was meant to last me for the week. Yet there I was whipping up another pan a day later. I’m officially addicted. But it’s a good one.

Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars [about four generously-sized bars or more smaller ones]

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (20 g) [I used SunWarrior]
  • 1/8 cup peanut flour [15 g]
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour [15 g]
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon + additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1/8 cup NuNaturals oat fibre OR psyllium husks* [15 g] OR oat bran*
  • a pinch of salt [generous for me and any other fans of sweet-and-salty combinations]
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup (could sub agave or honey)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dry-roasted salted chickpeas [20 g]
  • about 1/2 cup non-dairy milk [I used coconut]
  • 1/4 cup dried mulberries
  • Optional [but actually mandatory] raw or 99% dark chocolate, chopped**


  1. Combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Stir in milk and syrup to combine.  You’ll want to reach a slightly drier cookie dough texture.
  3. Put the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish and press down firmly.
  4. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the top feels firm but not dried out.
  5. Take out of the oven and dust the top with additional cinnamon inmediately.
  6. Let cool before slicing into bars. These keep best in the fridge.


* These are gluten-free if using either psyllium husk or gluten-free oat bran. The texture is most cake-like with the oat fibre but still fine elsewise.

** This will add some sugar so omit if opting to stay all sugar-free.

Protein bars 2

One more note on the Simply Syrup in this recipe: it’s a new product by NuNaturals and this was my first time trying it. There may or may not be a giveaway coming up soon …

Because everybody – now even me – likes protein, bars and protein bars I’m sharing these with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.


Happiness-inducing today: An e-mail from a friend I hadn’t heard of in a while.

Stay in touch!

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


What’s your favourite kind of protein bar?

Chickpeas instead of nuts: Strange or awesome?

Have you made your own protein bars before?

Eight Characteristics of True Friends

Friends are one of life’s biggest blessings. Do you know how many you have? And no, I don’t mean just quickly skip to Facebook and have a glance at the number showing there. We’re talking about true friends. The topic’s been prominently on my mind lately thanks to a lot of those wonderful individuals supporting me all throughout so let’s get Thinking out loud. Before you read on I suggest you put on some good music, specifically Carole King’s ‘Where you lead’.



True friends are interested in you even when you’re not yourself.

Don’t we all feel like the least fascinating person ever occasionally? Unless your ID reads Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus and you consider yourself the centre of the universe it’s likely you’ll have those mini life crisises. But a good friends are genuinely interested in what’s going on in your life and ready to listen even if you’re having a Debbie Downer day. They’ll cheer you up and show you that you’re wonderful just the way you are.

True friends make an effort to stay in touch.

Even if you’re bad at it and forget to mail or call them regularly they won’t grieve you about it. Which would technically be another point: they’re forgiving. No resentfulness and this is another one high on top of my list with many of my friends. Sorry to everybody who continously has to wait for my mail replies forever. It’s not about you but me [duh!].

True friends accept you the way you are and stay loyal at all times.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. I won’t lie: I can be a snarky, moody – in short: not the person you’d want to be around. And don’t we all have those times? Friends accept and like you with all your ‘flaws’. They overlook them or – see above – have the courage to tell you to stop the bitchy ways and realize what you’re doing.

The truest test of a friendship for me is being able to go through thick and thin. The good and bad times. On either side.  Not just listening to your worries but entrusting you theirs, too. I’ve lost contact with several people from school over the years and wondered what I’d done wrong. In the end, I realized the majority of those friendships hadn’t been deep enough. When both try to keep up a happy-go-lucky sunny attitude never admitting to doubts, insecurities and asking for help a friendship can exist – but it won’t be one to count on in rough times.

True friends are brutally honest.

They tell you what you need to hear not what you want to – because they care. It can hurt to have somebody tell you the truth but think about it: Somebody who just tries to please you won’t point out any points of improvement or tell you the colour of the dress you’re wearing makes you look pale [doozy]. I know for myself I wouldn’t have gotten where I am – not just in terms of fashion  – if people had approved of everything I did at all times never criticized me. A true friend doesn’t intend to hurt but help you.

True friends don’t always have time. They make time for you.

We know it: Life gets insanely busy for all of us. A true friend finds the time for you even in a tight schedule. Whether lending an ear on the phone, via texts or coming over when you need it*.  Time is a gift and a real friend will happily give it to you.



 True friends are trustworthy.

This one might seem obvious but I’ve sadly made experiences that proved me wrong. Hence why I appreciate secrecy among friends even more these days. If a friend shares something with you – be it about their cat, stress at work or the name of their secret crush – you keep to yourself. Easy, no?

 True friends help you without any expectations in return.

That doesn’t mean you can’t – or shouldn’t – return the favour. Life and at that friendships thrive off the good old rule of give and take.  But if you are a true friend to others yourself you already knew and did that.


True friends encourage you to follow your dreams in life.

You want to travel the world even though you’re currently still living at home and can hardly do the laundry or cook yourself? Even though you don’t know how in the world you’ll be able to fund that trip? Friends believe in and will cheer on you. And they might even offer to teach you basic cooking and life survival tips …



Say it with me once more: True friends are one of life’s biggest blessings.


This obviously isn’t an all-encompassioning list by any means. Some friends might fill all of the criteria above, some just one or none of these but others.

In the comments let me know characteristics of a true friend to you.


Happiness-inducing today: An actually funny comedy segment on the radio. They’re usually  sub-par so I was positively surprised.

Stay in touch!

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