Good good links #67

With the spirit of Thanksgiving still in mind – yes, despite not celebrating it – this week’s picks will once more  have a strong focus on enjoying the holidays with a relaxed mind. But also – and this probably even more – I am a huge proponent of gratefulness in everyday life and this is what Thanksgiving is [or at least should be] all about, right? Well, that and good food but that goes without saying.

Ending on a confession: I’ve noticed these posts becoming longer and longer.  and because a) works getting more stressful as we head into December = less time for blog reading and b) I don’t want any great posts to get lost in the huddle of one and a million links I already saved some from this week for the next. Smart cookie? Just agree. (:

Good good links

Now all that’s left to say for me is happy Sunday and happy first Advent!


 Good good [food for thought]

 Why I’m Completely Giving up the Scale via Better with Sprinkles

The scale tells you exactly one thing reducing us to a part [weight] of a part [physique] of us and we are so.much.more.

Present via Long Drive Journey

 Are you always trying to max out every waking minute by multitasking life like crazy, too? Time to stop, focus and be present.

If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be? via Fit Woman

A must-watch! Further proof that children are still so much more connected to their own true desires not heavily influenced by society’s idea of ‘flaws’ and body image.

9 Things That Shopping Can Never Deliver via becoming minimalist

Gratitude, freedom, significance: what’s truly important to us isn’t available for money. “If you are not content today, there is nothing you can buy this weekend to change that.”

 10 Great Privileges We Forget to be Thankful For via Marc and Angel

It’s easy to overlook all the blessings we’re experiencing on a daily basis.


Good good [advice and inspiration]

The Secret to Feeling True Gratitude via An Avocado a Day

Taking in all the details of an amazing situation intensifies the thankfulness we feel and makes it last. I’ve noticed this with my happiness-inducers where I could often write a short paragraph rather than just a sentence.

16 Ways to Infuse Your Days with Gratitude via Blissful Basil


Express yourself, start every day on a positive note [yes to morning rituals!] and make gratitude a choice every day.



my guide to thriving on thanksgiving via Jamie Mendell

Setting an intention of how you want to feel, moving your body and being present are keys to happiness. Again: not just for Thanksgiving but applicable to all holidays surrounded by food.

Honor Your Inner Child via Healthy Helper

No matter what others say we never loose the child within us – and we should listen to its wise words and needs more often.

10 Signs That Your Best Friend is Your Soul Mate via The Balanced Blonde

Aren’t friends just amazing?! Everybody deserves to have a soul mate in their lives.

It’s worth it by Carly (Snack Therapy) via Fit Swiss Chick

Words to live by. All of these things and YOU are worth it.


 Healthy Ways to Handle Stress via hello healthy eating

We can’t entirely eliminate stress from our lives but mindfully develop strategies to cope with it.


6 Reasons You Can (And Should) Feel Hopeful Every Day via Mind Body Green

Nobody actually wants to feel hopeless and look at all the benefits of hope: it’s free, contagious and keeps you looking forward rather than resign.


5 Things not to say to someone who’s making a healthy life change via Diary of an Ex-Sloth

 … unless it’s been your life-long dream to be awarded most discouraging person ever.

Are you making this mistake in conversations? via The Nectar Collective

Never underestimate how much being a good listener matters.


12 Valuable Tips For New Bloggers via Serendipity and Creativity

Not just for the complete newbie but those – like me – who’ve been in the game for a while and are looking to improve.


25 Exercises You Need to Be Doing via Popsugar

If you’re like me and don’t know where to get started with



 Good good [posts to make you smile]

12 Types of Runners — Which One Are You? Via Popsugar

I’m not entirely sure where I fall but definitely not the Morning Person. Don’t talk to me before breakfast.


Good good [food]

 Bananas Foster Overnight Oatmeal via Super Glue Mom

Dessert-style oats are where it’s at and these look super sweet, too.

 Danish pebernødder via Milking Almonds

 A traditional Danish Christmas cookie with a unique spice mix including pepper.

Butternut Baklava Bites via Peas and Crayons

When Jenn tells you to eat your vegetables and serves them up this way there’s no way to resist. Seconds, thirds and, um, fifths are totally fine with these, no?!

Peppermint Black Bean Brownies via The Healthy Maven

The combination of peppermint and chocolate in flourless good-for-you brownies is a surefire way to make a hippie happy.

 Marmorkipferl mit Tonka via transglobal pan party [German]

Doesn’t marbled anything look impressive?! These are like my mum’s Vanillekipferl only even more amazing.


Somebody pinch me! The name is enough to make me drool. Time to finally overcome my yeast fears.

Vanilla Almond Milk Latte Rice Pudding via Fit Foodie Finds

During these cold days my cravings for rice pudding are at a max and this version is easy yet pure genius.

Cookie Nookie Peanut Butter Crumble Baked Apples via Nutty for Life

Baked apples are a childhood favourite of mine and adding peanut butter? Yes, please.

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Carrots via back to her roots

A super simple flavourful side dish featuring the best of autumn’s bounty.


Happiness-inducing today: A surprise package by my mum. Did I mention lately that she’s awesome [not like I was biased] and a person I’m eternally grateful to have in my life??

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Benefits of Rituals + Three of Mine

Let’s get to the mot important part for many of you today first: Happy Thanksgiving! We don’t celebrate it over here but I hope all of you doing it have an amazing time filled with family, food and all other kinds of wonderful Thanksgiving rituals.

Rituals.  That word makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Not only because it’s the name of the store where I got one of my favourite scarves. Though that probably adds to it. Consider thinking out loud on Thurdays a ritual, too. Thanks to Amanda for creating that one with all its benefits.


The real reason I’m a huge fan of rituals is their ability to give me instant comfort. The moment I start one of my daily rituals the World – no matter the outside conditions – becomes a blurr and I’m at ease. Or at least in 92% of the cases. There is a lot of evidence on the importance of rituals for mental and physical health.  Just naming a few:

– They reduce stress in speaking to the creature of habit in all of us.
– once a ritual is established it allows you to run on auto-pilot and perform tasks faster

– rituals help create breaks and room to breathe because you don’t need to think

– Help turn bad habits into healthy ones.
Happiness-incuding powers: Like some of my examples below show rituals can be something you know will happen at a certain point in your day/week so you’ll be able to look forward to them when time seems to pass extra slowly [who doesn’t feel that way at work at times?!]
– The timing factor: If you’re like me and prone to running late rituals will help you get more structure into your day. After performing a rituals a few times you’ll know pretty much exactly how long it takes. Proof is that I leave the house at closely the very same time every day.

[Sources: Lifehacker, feel happiness. Marc and Angel, Lifehack, Huffington Post]

Depending on the individual ritual there are obviously even more rituals. Journaling, writing gratitude lists, praying, going for a walk during lunch break, calling a friend at a specific time every week … the list is endless as are the benefits.

Here are three of my daily rituals:

1. Morning routine: Right when I wake up I walk to the kitchen – dark at this time of the year, light a scented candle and start  my breakfast prep. Then I head back to my bedroom for a little morning stretching to wake me up. I finish this one by holding the  child pose for at least a minute.  Then dry brush,  get dressed, pretty up,  eat breakfast.


2. Car drive back home after work: This one’s funny because it’s relatively new. The moment I hop into my car for the 30-minute commute home I pop a gum. Funny because up until now I never chewed gum – and still only do while driving.  But now I do as I’ve found it keeps me awake and focussed. I usually take a second piece – why are they that small?? – after I leave the highway. That’s because the highway is pretty easy to navigate but after-work traffic in the city can be a pain in the butt and requires all of my attention. Chew gum, breathe, relax.

3. Dinner routine: With my breakfast being semi-savoury and lunches decidedly hearty I crave a sweet dinner in 99 % of the cases. Okay, and I’m lazy and   Brinner?! Cocoa banana oat bran with almond butter – and as of late coconut oil, too – is my heaven in a  bowl  pot [unless I’m eating out or with others]. If you asked my family they’d tell you the way I prepare this is a ritual in itself already. More important to calm down,  though,  is the way I eat it: a newspaper or one of my favourite magazines  on the side I’ll start by reading a few articles. The finish is a sudoku or crossword puzzle. Again, this is something I look forward to all day.


There you have it: more glimpes into my weekday life and routines. Now it’s your turn…

Happiness-inducing today: Mails from blends and joking around with colleagues.

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 Tell me some of your [daily] rituals!

How do rituals help you?

What does your night time ritual look like? Mine is a work in progress so I wouldn’t mind some inspiration.

Back on [the Pinterest] food track

It’s been a while since my last Pinterest-inspired What I ate Wednesday post – too long. For some reason I tend to put unneccessary pressure on myself to create own recipes rather than follow others‘.  Ridiculous much? Absolutely. But this is me and I never claimed to be normal.  Anyway,  as an attempt to fall into good habits I tried a few dishes by fellow bloggers. And  put my own spin on them . Don’t tell me you were surprised by that bit.

wiaw fall into good habits button

Inspired by Khushboo who created a chia pudding like no other I finally broke my snack rut. With December and all things Christmas right around the corner I [obviously] couldn’t follow her recipe but had to tweak it. Can you say Coconutty Cocoa Gingerbread Pear Chia Pudding?  It looks like mush but tastes so good – a recipe coming your way soon. I’m not a fan of regular chia pudding because while a staple in my oat bran for me the texture of the gelled seeds isn’t appealing in large amounts .  Here,  my dear favourite coconut flour is the main player with the chia seeds as a pleasant side kick.

 Gingerbread chia pudding

We’ll get a little sweeter again in a minute but first I have to proudly say I tried another dish featured in my very recent good good links. I wasn’t kidding when I said Hannah’s hash was totally up my alley.  The only problem I had when adding the recipe to my post was not having any butternut squash on hand.  Yet I couldn’t get over how delicious the dish looked. Enter zucchini aka summer “squash” jumping in.

Kale_chickpea_lentil hash

That’s a huge stretch because I never think of zucchini as a member of the squash family. But it was what I had at hand so I followed Hannah’s instructions loosely. Here are my changes : zucchini and cauliflower instead of squash,  chickpeas for the kidney beans called for, canned lentils. Also, I turned this into a casserole for my work day lunches so added tomato sauce, poured the “stew” into a baking dish and topped it with creamy polenta post-picture. What will I not casserole-ify*?

*[That should totally be a word because it’s so true for me these days. It’s cold, soup won’t cut it, so casserole-ifying it is.]


Do you feel the urge to spread the Christmas cheer with others when the temperatures drop and cozying up inside becomes a lot more appealing than setting foot outside? Just me?? Either that or I’ve just been bitten by the baking bug. After last week’s no-bake sweet action  I felt like turning on the oven for the first Christmas cookies of the season – and the first time playing my favourite Christmas tunes. These so-called Traumstücke were  a hit with everybody last year so I knew my first pick was going to be a success. Honestly,  it’s unbelievable how a recipe this simple can be so incredibly amazing.


My neighbours also accepted several packages for me lately because I’m at work when the postman rings.  I’m glad they saved me the trip to the overcrowded post office on Saturday morning so cookies seemed like the perfect thank you gift. And because they – like all of my meals in this post – are vegan, too, I’m joining Vegan Wednesday, too. Whether you’re stopping by from there or WIAW these cookies should totally make it onto your baking list.

Happiness-inducing today: My first Yogi wisdom of the day becoming reality.

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Have you started baking Christmas cookies yet? Which ones?

What’s the latest recipe you pinned and tried?

Good good links #66

Some things happen even if you had no intention for them to do. Case in point? Right in time for all of our favourite holidays coming up you’ll notice a focus on posts sharing advice on how to approach them the healthy way in this week’s round-up. That’s because I was happy to find some with a truly healthy idea among the many coming under the guise of health but actually promoting restriction. Thankyouverymuch – no.

And yes, technically it’s no surprise these posts are popping up in abundance with Thanksgiving right around there corner – the surprise for me was just realising how many of them had crowded in my own post, too. I’d say that way you get a lot of advice and reassurance that enjoying the holidays without guilt is well possible – and that’s a good thing.

Obviously, there are many other great posts in the mix, too, so I hope you’ll find one, two or lots you’ll enjoy.

Happy Sunday!

Good good links



Good good [food for thought]

The Expectations of Being ‘A Twenty-Something via Birds Words

We don’t need to have it all [figured out] yet. Our twenties are the time to truly get to know ourselves, make mistakes and learn from them.

Burned Out? via Long Drive Journey

 In between work, household duties, trying to keep up a social life it can all get too much. Are you feeling burned out, too?



Blogging Politics- The experiment via The Big Man’s World

Commenting shouldn’t be a game of doing favours but interaction because you genuinely feel like it.

I recently reached my Dream Weight…and why it doesn’t matter anymore via Jamie Mendell

life is no better or worse than it was 30 or 40 pounds ago“. Because our weight really doesn’t make a difference in life quality.





 Good good [advice and inspiration]

 To be free via My Food ‘n’ Fitness Diaries

The place I – and I think everybody – ultimately want to get: “Balance doesn’t include obsession about calories or workouts or fat grams or that silly number on the scale. Balance does include enjoying life to its fullest with those you love.”

10 Tips To Beat The Winter Blahs via Mind Body Green

There’s no way to change the seasons [unless moving to a another country’s in your budget] but the way we deal with it.

Why you need to Disconnect to Reconnect (tales of a social media detox) via Mindful Meals

Realisations that are very good reasons why taking a social media detox might be just what you [I] need.


What to Say When People Annoyingly Undermine Your Healthy Choices via Greatist

Chances are you’ve had to deal with it before, too. Some great ideas to stand in for yourself but don’t offend anybody.



We Are Not What We Eat via Paleo Running Momma

Choosing a certain diet shouldn’t come with any ‘rules’ to follow in other areas of life [like commenting on food not ‘suitable’ in your diet]. If all else fails we can bond over cookies no matter which diet.

5 Steps to a Healthy Thanksgiving via Bagels to Broccoli

Not just for Turkey day but any holiday: great ideas on approaching this special time of the year in a relaxed way. Spoiler alert: it includes eating the mashed potatoes – are you even surprised I liked this??!

Wellness Wednesday: Breaking My Late Night Overeating Habit via Ambitious Kitchen

“Guilty” of night time eating? When there’s a habit, there are reasons for it – and ways to change them. For me, eating enough earlier in the day is key.


Myths About Gaining Weight via Georgia’s Trying Something New

Just because somebody gained weight does neither mean they only ate junk food and didn’t exercise nor that they’re unhappy now. Don’t assume, ask.


How to Bounce Back After a Food Binge via Greatist

No getting down on yourself, no restriction. It’s human.

How to count macros without being obsessive via Brittany Lesser

It’s possible to keep your macros in mind but not stress out and still enjoy life.

4 Health & Fitness Habits You Should Give Up via Mind Body Green

Because being obsessive about food and workouts really isn’t making you any healthier – quite the opposite.

 Workout comparison via the real life RD

We’re all different, lead different lives, eat and sleep differently – why should we all [be able to] workout the same way?? Don’t compare – just do you.

17 tips for getting clean after a sweaty workout—minus the shower via Well and Good

The shameless self-promotion plug-ins aside there are some ideas worth trying the next time you’re in a rush after your workout.

15 Natural Hair Remedies for Every Ailment from Dandruff to Dryness via hello natural

Split ends, frizzy or flat hair: Skipping the chemicals but still getting beautiful locks is possible.


Six stretches for people who sit at desks via A Cup of Jo

For all fellow office workers who just need to keep their muscles flexible.

6 Ways to Forget the Holiday Weight Guilt (Without Gaining!) via Paleo Running Momma

 Don’t weigh yourself, eat the foods you like guiltlessly and enjoy the holiday spirit. Mindset matters a lot.



How To Stop Negative Thoughts From Getting You Down (Infographic) via Mind Body Green

This is awesome!



 Good good [posts to make you smile]

18 LOL-Worthy Tops For All Your Healthy Friends via Popsugar

Or for yourself, really, because laughing is healthy, too. Pie and lattes, anybody??


 Good good [food]

28 Healthy Holiday Cookie Recipes via Fit Foodie Finds

Time to start baking [or practicing to bake if you’re holding off the official start until December 1st] and these are sure to make your heart and health-conscious mind sing.

Whole Wheat Berry Coffee Cake via iFoodreal

Crumbles, berries, coconut milk drizzle and healthy at that – what more could you want??

Triple Chocolate Vegan Pumpkin Cake via

This might just convince me to try pumpkin in sweet baked goods. But doesn’t adding some [triple] chocolate action make everything better?!

Double Chocolate Muffins via Katalyst Health

These should be called honey bee happy dreamy bites of chocolate heaven. To sum that up for you: honey-sweetened oat flour-based good-for-you muffins studded with chocolate chips. 

The Best Healthy Recipe Substitutes for Cooking via Fiterazzi

A few little subs can turn a not-so-nutritious recipe into a ‘better for you’ one without sacrificing taste.

From Savory to Sweet: 1 Month of 150-Calorie Vegan Snacks via Popsugar

A plethora of new snack ideas because who doesn’t like snacking?

Butternut Squash and Lentil Hash Via Clean Eating Veggie Girl

Anybody knowing me would be able to tell this is SO my kind of dish: two [always better than one!] kinds of legumes, squash, plenty of spices – perfection.

Healthy Green Bean Casserole [vegan] via Hummusapien

Not your average green bean casserole: cashew cream, whole grain bread crumbs and lots of other delicious ingredients.

Vegan Cornbread Casserole via The Pretty Bee

Another US classic I haven’t had before but it looks like the perfect dish for a cold and rainy night in.

33 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes Made With Real Food (Not Tofurkey) via Greatist

We might not celebrate Thanksgiving over here but I could see some of those on the Christmas table.



Happiness-inducing today: A chat with the owner of the Asian food store where I finally [!] found edamame again.

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Why I don’t want to be famous [anymore].

For as long as I can remember I’ve admired other people. Some might call them role models but I can’t quite agree here. More on that in a minute. Some of those people for me were:

Singers for their amazing voices when I can hardly hit a few tunes right.

Models for their [seemingly] flawless appearance and traveling the world [and really, how many girls’ answer to the question of their dream job is model, too?!]

Actors for being in movies all over the world and leading exciting lives.

In short there have always been people I looked up and wished I was alike with.  However, there’s a difference between showing respect and admiration for others achievement, their talents andlives –  and making yourself small. I firmly believe that God created all of us with our unique talents and destined our ways in life. I firmly believe that God created all of us with our unique talents and destined our ways in life. None of us are scarce of talent, passions, lovable traits. Yes, you, too, are special. Just because you’re not playing concerts in sold out stadiums or jet-setting the world doesn’t mean you’re less worthy.

What I do when I’m feeling so small in this huge  world again is reminding myself that no matter how far some people have come and how famous they are: they’re human,  too. Sensible to criticism. They have the same essential needs like you: they need to eat, sleep, pee  – why, yes? They’re not looking any more graceful in certain situations, either [think: bathroom]. They don’t feel super hot and are sparkling in their heavenly bubbles all day every day, either.

And think about it that way: we’re better off than them at times. While yes, we feel the pressure to perform best at work, in school or at the gym – we’re not under the constant hawk-like attention of millions of people all over the world. Isn’t it nice to leave the gym sweaty and not give a damn about who sees you? Not having to go for a run when you’d rather lounge on the couch? To go on however many dates with whichever guys without seeing it in every tabloid the next second? Being “normal” not famous sounds pretty good now, don’t you think?


So sorry, Miranda Kerr, you might be taller than me, travel the world  and date hot guys  [what about that Tom Cruise Gossip, though?  Not cool.] but I’d rather be eating chocolate, not strut my stuff in a bikini on a catwalk with thousands of people watching and be as grumpy as I want occasionally instead of putting on a happy face every day.

For further perspective I’ll highly recommend this great post  by Irina once more. We all are made from the same material and none of us matter any more or less in the vastness that is the universe.

And now get thinking out loud, too, and tell me any thoughts you have on the topic!


Happiness-inducing today: Turning a task that started unsuccessful around at work and talking to my sister on the phone.


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Oh, crunchy crunchety!

Oh, hi, we haven’t talked about food in a while, no? I’m a fan of keeping things  [semi-]regular  [interpret that whichever way you want to …] so here goes another What I ate Wednesday. I can’t promise I’ll be able to keep up the weekly or even bi-weekly posts but I’ll just roll with the flow and sprinkle in some food posts every now and then. Because we all need to eat and at least sometimes I actually remember/ am not too lazy to get out my camera.

One more note on the title of this post – or two, actually: a) I like themes and the amount of crunchy, crispy food made this a[n almost] no-brainer and b) I’ve been crunched for time [what’s new?]. No matter how little in general, though, there’s always time for food. Good food. Let’s get talking!

wiaw fall into good habits button

Breakfast. .. is such a classic over here I can’t wow you anymore.  How about we skip to snacks right there? Good. The first one is proof I can’t resist new products all the way even if they bite a hole into my budget before I can get a bite of them. Pretzel Thins, friends.  How good are they??! They’ve only been making appearance on store shelves around here since earlier this year. Too bad these are so. very.  good … I don’t like macro talk but: why am I even surprised they are? They’re crispy. Carbs.  Salt. A winning combination.

November - 2nd swoosh 109

While we’re at carbs,  salt and winning combinations let’s add cheese – I know Meg agrees. Gah. So good. I could easily write a whole post on this dish.  Actually,  I  will because this recipe needs to find its way into my personal recipe book. For now I’ll leave it at saying it is another autumnal dish with an addictive crunchy cheesy potato topping.  Who said healthy food was boring?  I’m a smidgen proud to say it got my mum’s seal of approval – a rare happening – when I prepared it on Saturday.  Another bonus of her stopping by – aside from the fact itself: help in shredding potatoes. And by help I obviously mean she did the whole task.

Crispy potato topping

On the sweet side another classic made an appearance again to save me. Save me  because the current intern at our office brought in storebought cake on Friday. Am I sensing a competition for employee of the month?  Watch out, friend, I’m up for it ;). Only I couldn’t be bothered to turn on the oven so no-bake it was.  Amanda’s krispie rice cereal energie squares have yet to disappoint me.  I’ve made them more times than I can recount and don’t think I’ve used the same combination of cereal twice so far. Though the best part is obviously that non-optional chocolate drizzle …

Chocolate drizzle_cereal bars

In its whole beauty below.  Preparing it Saturday night/Sunday morning was dangerous because I had to break of those imperfect bits and bites. Pre-breakfast nibbles of cereal bars? Why not. Probably mention-worthy would be that I just try to keep up the volume of cereal when making these, sub peanut for almond butter [more budget-friendly and there are no almond butter jars that haven’t undergone double-dipping action around these parts …] and omitting the protein powder. If the cereal mixture appears too sticky I’ll add some quick-cooking oats. Et violà: cereal bar perfection.

Cereal bars_whole


Wouldn’t you want me to be your colleague?! I hope my colleagues will appreciate the huge lot of work that went into these 😉 . [Edited: Demolished and my boss asked what kind of cake I’d bring tomorrow. They clearly hated these treats.]

And speaking of work that’s where I’ll likely be the moment you’re reading this so:

Happy Wednesday and see you again tomorrow for some Thinking out loud!



Happiness-inducing today:

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Are ’employee of the month’ run-ups actually a thing? Enlighten me! And: Do you think I’d win 😉 ??

What are your favourite treats to bring to work?

Pretzels, pretzel things, chips: what’s your salty snack of choice?