Looking back [with food]

Two What I ate Wednesdays in a row? I’m surprising myself here but I really think these weekly food parties are a great way of keeping myself accountable in terms of changing up my meals and inspiring new creations. Today’s edition of looking back at how things have changed over the past years came about thanks to yesterday’s snack. You’ll see what I mean in a minute …

WIAW_new2015

Excuse the older picture of breakfast because a) I’m a repeat offender and b) while changing my go-to mixture and the toppings up lately I’m not up for taking pictures early in the day. Only you didn’t see the most important ingredient yet: nutritional yeast. It’s key. Heavy-handed is the only serving size here. What you see below is just the tame need-to-take-a-picture sprinkling …

savoury oatmeal_nutritional yeast_breakfast

Looking back: Upon first trying it I thought nutritional yeast – no, I won’t call it nooch – tasted … weird. Never in a million years would I have believed I’d become downright obsessed with it. Sometimes people ask me for my favourite uses and honestly? Cover everything in it. Or at least every savoury dish.

Because I got a last minute call asking if I could sub in for another teacher at the studying institute I had approximately 15 minutes to get ready and pack some snacks. Two of those minutes were spent trying to take a picture. #bloggerpriorities  Aside from an apple [role model for the students, obviously ;)], chocolate [nerves!] I quickly threw together a little salad to go. Salad? Me? I know. Totally untypical. My opinion on the piles of leafy greens hasn’t changed. Actually, you might not call this a salad per definition. What I did was quickly sauté some cauliflower rice with chickpeas [always!],.tomatoes and green olives. Seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Simple but delicious.

Cauliflower rice salad_snack_tupper

Looking back:  Several years ago this would have been lunch. The amount times three or four maybe. But still: carbs? Hardly any. While it satisfied me in the snack department and until I got home to have a proper lunch yesterday it’d never have been a substantial enough lunch. Eat your vegetables but don’t forget grains, potatoes or your favourite kind of starch, either.

Speaking of grains: Let’s talk rice! Short-grain brown rice, to be specific. I’m not a fan of white rice – the one my parents prefer and have on the regular – so for a long time it was couscous, bulgur, polenta, wheatberries or any other grain for me but never rice. Then I had my first taste of short-grain brown rice and it was the beginning of a love story. Or along those lines. Either way, the even more exciting part of lunch was the return of my cooking mojo. For some reason, I haven’t felt too inspired to get creative in the kitchen the past weeks. On the weekend, however, the mood was on. Say hi to my wannabe-Indian food: Cauliflower Chana Masala. This. Was. So. Amazing. So much so I figured I’d share the recipe with you. Be back on Friday if you like cauliflower, Indian food and quick meals.

Cauliflower Chana Masala_chickpeas_rice
Looking back: It’s funny to think how much things can change. Like I said ## macros are not a concern for me ## yet I can’t deny that there still is a fear holding me back from certain foods – including grains. It’s always been all about calories for me and grains are naturally denser in nutrients than, say, vegetables. See the cauliflower example above. I’m working on increasing my amounts of grains and all I can say is it’s a newfound obsession. I’ve been batch-cooking brown rice these past weeks and: can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Cauliflower Chana Masala_chickpeas_rice_2

Ending on a sweet note – that one will probably never change for me. Rather than talk about my daily chocolate, though, how about changing things up seasonally today? Ice cream. If you caught my post last Thursday you’ll know about the decision I made. And if you’re on Instagram you might have also heard of #pintpartyfriday before. Long story short: I bought my first pint of ice cream in for-ev-er. Or at least in a year and that’s essentially the same thing. After years of getting cherry 90 % of the times I’d buy ice cream at scoop stores now mango is my go-to. This organic mango sorbet didn’t disappoint.

Ice cream_mango sorbet

Looking back: It was amazing to just scoop it out of the tub rather than measuring a serving beforehand like I used to do. I’ll admit I didn’t eat the whole pint but that’s because I was satisfied before and there’s no point in forcing down food we don’t enjoy anymore merely to reach a calorie target. One day I might eat a pint. Or maybe I never will – this is what intuitive eating means to me.

And with that I’m off to grab a snack …

Happy [What I ate] Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today: Walking through the garden and enjoying the beauty of the flowers all around.
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How have your views on food changed in the past years/months?

Have you ever eaten a whole pint of ice cream before? I don’t remember doing it pre-ED, either, but the idea of a pint just to myself? I could get used to it.

 

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Good good links #93

Don’t you like it when the seventh of the month happens to be a Sunday? It might just be me but I find it oddly satisfying. Neat. Tidy. Perfect. Okay, okay … moving on.

Links! They’re back again like every week and because I know you’re sitting at the edge of your chairs waiting to start reading already I’ll keep it short here. Enjoy and let me know if you found any other amazing posts! Without further ado:

Happy Sunday!

 

Good good links

Good good [food for thought]

The Non-Intuitive Side of Intuitive Eating via Full of Life

One of the best posts I’ve read lately and one I completely agree with. Living intuitively doesn’t require following any rules – it’s natural.

How Do You Monetize a Mess? via The Healthy Maven

Something to keep in mind whenever you read blogs. There’sa lot of work and struggles beyond the neat appearance all of us like to keep up online.

Good good [advice and inspiration]
The Importance of Slowing Down via Fannetastic Food

 Stop and smell the flowers. No, really. Or at least put your phone down while you eat every now and then.

Simplify and Unplug via Full of Life

Along the same lines as the post above: technological overstimulation only creates an illusion of being on top of things and actually stresses us so: stop! [Note to self and everybody else who needs it because I know I’m not the only one]

Dare to talk about the problem – stop the stigma of mental illnesses via Life without Anorexia

It’s only when we start making talking that we stop making this important issue a taboo and help many.

Finding balance within veganism via the Real Life RD

This: “true health is so much more than just food” – and that’s true for any kind of diet we might be following.

 

Blogging

How To Keep Up with Your Favourites on Instagram via Blog Clarity

Follow strategically to be inspired and get notifications every time your favourites post.

The $0 Marketing Stack: Free Options to Popular Paid Services and Tools via Buffer Blog

Save money by opting for these alternatives to popular tools to post for you, analyse your stats and more.

6 Social Media Tools to Improve Your Blogging via In It 4 The Long Run

Confused by the hundreds [thousands?] of tools available? Start with these six to up your blogging game.

 

Health and Fitness

Restore Your Factory Settings – 5 top tips for being more human via Chase the Red Grape

 What to do when you’re feeling funky and need to bring some balance back into your life.

 

Miscellaneous

The Ultimate Food Prep Post via The Little Honey Bee

Food prep is SO worth it and a serious time saver once you’ve got it down like a pro.

 

 

Good good [food]
A special shout-out to Margaux who’s currently offering her first e-book for free – full of amazingly creative recipes: Crafty Carrots via Marfigs’ Munchies
Almost too adorable to eat – but you know you want to!
Banoffee Ice Cream Bars via Marfigs’ Munchies
She had me at banoffee. And ice cream. I want and need these in my life!
The solution to the ‘too many servings’ problem. Make it for you and a loved one. Or just you, times two …
Perfect for summer lunches when you might be craving some lighter fare. [But no carb shunning in general, please. :)]

 

Happiness-inducing today: Riding my bike in the sunshine and finally summery temperatures that arrived just in time for the weekend.

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It’s been too long [traveling and a decision]

Take the title of today’s Thinking out loud and the post itself in a two-fold manner. For once, it’d been way too long since my last trip to Berlin. And on the other hand, I’ve finally made a commitment that took me even longer than packing up my bags to head to the capitol again. I’d better start explaninig  before I’m loosing your attention at this point already. So either way: If you’re not interested in recovery rambles [it’s okay, we can still be friends] I’ll throw in some of the [half a bazillion] pictures I took on my visit to this wonderful city.

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

 Like I mentioned before my recent travels have been much appreciated breaks from my daily grind and also helped me stress less about food. What especially my trip to Berlin did, though, was give me that final push to take a cue from Julia. If you’ve been reading for a while already you’ll have seen the many posts about recovery in my good good links. Every single one of them was further encouragement to work on recovery – yet I still found myself stuck in some state of quasi-recovery. Not delving into it and letting go of all my worries.

Maaay and bits of June 015

During the past years of writing this blog I’ve made huge progress in my recovery that I tend to overlook at times fbut luckily I have people reminding me of it. Yet I’m still far from where I want to be: Living a happy and intuitive life.

Maaay and bits of June 049

What was I or – knowing I’m not the only one here –  are we waiting for? We will never feel 100 per cent sure about anything. No doubts whatsoever. Ready to dive heads-on into the unknown. No, it’s not going to happen. Or maybe one per cent of all humans can – lucky if you’re part of that minority. For the remainder of us it’s really about getting fed up with our situation and wanting to change. And long story short: I want to change things.

houses_Berlin

What was or is, really, still holding me back? Several reasons, actually and I’d be writing a short novel if I was to list all of them. Some are:

The fear of loosing all control. That’s a huge one. Have you ever wondered why those weight loss plans promising to loose x pounds in y weeks sell so well when you could just  loose weight slowly but steadily by eating mindfully? Because they make a promise of control. Weight gain, on the other hand, is not predictable.

Similarly, weight loss is cheered on by society and the media while weight gain is by far not [considered] glamorous. This needs to change. If you’re [probably severely so] underweight there’s nothing happy or admirable about that and weight gain is indeed something to encourage – and celebrate.

Old habits die hard. Counting, Measuring. Stressing about exercise or lack thereof. It’s not easy to break the cycle.

The belief that I’m that rare unicorn.  [This post is already getting too long so click over there for an in-depth explanation].

Maaay and bits of June 065

I know what skinny feels like and I don’t want to experience any of this anymore. I’m craving freedom. Happiness. Just living life and not planning 384550 things ahead to make sure I know what I’ll be doing/eating/how and when I’ll be exercising. Just typing it all out exhausts me and again: I’m sure others can relate.

Maaay and bits of June 070

If you’ve made it this far in today’s post: thanks for reading! My intention was to be open, maybe encourage others in the same situation and make myself accountable. Inspired by Julia, Alexa and many others I’m currently working my way up to intuitive eating along the lines of Minnie Maud. I’m not expecting this to be easy – is recovery ever? – but worth it. There’s too much proof of this to stay stuck any longer. Amanda is another huge inspiration – even if she didn’t formally follow Minnie Maud she’s been encouraging me to let go of control – and also travel! – about a million times before.

Maaay and bits of June 037

Oh and to end this on a non-recovery note: If you haven’t been to Berlin before you absolutely need to go. Whenever I visit this city it amazes me anew each time. There’s so much to see, do and explore that I’ve come to the solution I need to move there one day. Now that’s some good recovery motivation, don’t you think?! [and there I failed at truly ending on a non-recovery note …]

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Riding my bike back home from the store, up a small hill and all of the sudden being flashed by bright warm sunlight. It made me smile. Big time.
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No questions today but just your thoughts, questions, experiences – whatever. Or just share what has been making you happy lately.

 

Bowl-ing in Berlin again – the intuitive way

It’s time to talk about food again! But before we get to The pictures I feel like I should open up more again. As long-time readers will know I’m in recovery from an eating disorder and have been for far too long already. While I’ve made noticable progress since starting my blog these past months have shown me how much I still need to work on reestablishing a healthy relationship with food. It’s only become that much more apparent in my current situation. Traveling has proven to help once before and it did again this time. That realisation alone is huge for me because it was leaving my routine that scared [and still scares] me the most. Yet it’s true that growth occurs outside our comfort zones. And it can be delicious growth as today’s What I ate Wednesday will [at least partially because we know I never manage to take pictures of every meal and snack I eat] show. Thanks to Jenn as well the Vegan Wednesday team for coming up with awesome parties catering every blogger’s food curiosity.

WIAW_new2015

Breakfast went unpictured and not as planned. The reason? My train was leaving at shortly past 8 AM with a 45 minute drive to the station. Safe to say that being the polar opposite of a morning person I wasn’t keen on getting up even earlier than I already had to rush down breakfast. The solution? Trusty old Tupperware. While not really meal-prepping I’ve been pre-cooking brown rice to have on hand for quick meals lately. So short-grain brown rice with shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and fresh parsley it was. Only it wasn’t a timely breakfast. Thanks [or not] to a major soccer game taking place in Berlin that day – and me obviously being completely unaware … – the train was more than crowded. Long story short: I spent 1 1/2 hours standing and NOT eating.

Tupper lunch_wheatberries_stir-fry[No picture of my actual breakfast but it was similar to this recent lunch]

Luckily, everything was forgotten when I arrived at my aunt’s appartment. And here’s where relaxation set in out of the blue again. Unexpectedly, my aunt and her boyfriend hadn’t had breakfast yet, either, so invited me to join them. Previously: anxiety!  This time, I ate my prepped meal plus some of their spread, too. Because that’s what intuitive [read: normal] eating includes. For somebody like me used to control just about every morsel the change was incredibly freeing. I’ll admit I still roughly track my calories in my head – it’s not as easy to give up as macros – throughout the day. However, by far not as strictly as in previous years.

Whenever I take a trip and leave my daily grind, though, I’ve noticed myself naturally becoming more intuitive in the way I eat [hence the title]. Whatever is the reason for this, I’m embracing it because regaining an intuitive way of living is my ultimate recovery goal.

Blueberries

After strolling around on a flea market, sharing a pint of blueberries [served up in a bowl] and chatting we set out to have lunch. Inspired by somebody on Instagram I’d taken notice of a new restaurant that had opened up just a few weeks ago. The Bowl – as the name suggests – serves clean [I don’t like to associate this term with food but it’s their self-description] vegan food exclusively in bowls. No sugar, gluten or any other nasties. Just delicious real food.

Needless to say I was in from the very first moment. I wish they provided their full menu online because the descriptions of every item sound too good to be true. Picking a bowl*proved to be way more difficult than expected because trust me you’d have wanted to order everything, too! How could you not with items like cashew cheese – covered Brussels sprouts, beet carpaccio or pink kimchi?

Clearly, going to Berlin means breaking out the bowls for me.

The Bowl Berlin_Mexican bowl

Ultimately, I reminded myself I could come back again and chose the Mexican Bowl Just a funny recovery note: I dismissed one bowl right away because it sounded like it was lacking carbs.Not too long ago that exactly would have made me pick it. These days? No way. Even not working out I know I need my grains for energy and – despite not counting macros – they are packed with wonderfully satisfying carbs.  My bowl containing a brown/wild rice blend, Mexican beans, grilled corn on the cob, guacamole, homemade tomato cilantro salsa, some kind of unknown dip [delicious!].  As well as a side of [refined sugar-free] ketchup and mixed greens with a creamy avocado dressing.

The Bowl Berlin_Mexican Bowl_close-up

No dinner picture because we just kept having random bits and bites – including an impromtu tomato soup [another meal from eaten from  a bowl], crackers, chocolate and fruit – throughout the evening due to our fairly late lunch. Instead, I’m offering you my aunt’s choice at the restaurant: the Falafel Bowl. Beet falafel, cashew cheese sauce, raw tabbouleh, turmeric chickpeas with miso hummus, fried eggplant and carrots as well as the complementary mixed greens.

[Snacks escaped the camera again, too, but be assured there were plenty. ]

The Bowl Berlin_Falafel bowl

All in all, this short trip enhanced my happiness level to the max and got me excited for recovery. Which sounds a little ridiculous typed out but oh well. I’ve already written half a novel of a WIAW post here so if you’re curious to hear more recovery rambles be back tomorrow.

Happy [What I ate] Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today: Spotting an article by a friend of mine currently interning at a huge national news agency in our local newspaper. Even if it wasn’t me I’m super excited about seeing his name in print.
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What’s your favourite bowl [as in: combination of ingredients in a bowl]?
Do you consider yourself an intuitive eater?