Friday Favourites – 10/30/2015

Well, hello there, Friday! And hello there, [almost-]Halloween! How in the world did this month – or better yet: this year – fly by that fast [again]??! And Halloween being around the corner means Christmas isn’t far away anymore, either.  My plan to be prepped better and have a few presents by the end of this month already? We won’t get into that here …

While I can’t churn out any Halloween memories for lack thereof – yes, it’s true – I decided to link up with Heather and Katie to talk about some current favourites again.

  1. At the risk of being cheesy I just have to say that a definite favourite of mine this week were all your comments on yesterday’s post. Letting my thoughts flow and hearing other people’s opinion is one of my favourite parts of blogging. Sorry not sorry for cheesiness.

2. One firm favourite that boosts my mood on those gray, cold and at times boring days: kitchen dance parties! Kitchen because mine doubles as a living room – not always a blessing. Either way: feel free to laugh but this oldie but goodie made a return this week:

3. Talking about jam there’s a firm food favourite to mention, too. If you’ve been reading for some time you might remember my fondness of a certain brand of Greek yogurt split cups and especially the jam part? Well, the only store carrying those decided to discontinue selling them. I’m a-okay going with my Greek yogurt cheat but I do miss the fruity spread so I’ve been on a mission to find a replacement. While not entirely the same this one is pretty close. Lots of blueberries and 75 % fruit percentage – I can roll with that.

favourite jam_blueberry

Walks. Always good but even better now I’m not excerising anymore. This is actually really tough on my mind but I keep repeating to myself that all of this hardship is serving a better future. And while running isn’t in the books – I’m even trying to avoid blogs mentioning it because I miss it so much – walks are an awesome alternative to clear my mind. And – TMI 😉 – they help keeping you regular, too.

autum walk

Another favourite? Surprise packages in the mail. Granted, this one wasn’t entirely surprising but the fact how soon it shipped [five days and not stuck at customs!] was. So: Quest bars. Why? How? My last post might have left the impression I was anti-protein anything. Which isn’t entirely true. I’m not emphasizing protein in my diet much and  going with my gut rather than trying to figure out any macronutrient needs. And as you know if you read yesterday’s post you will know I think no foods should be shunned from our diets completely. Just make real foods the largest part of your diet and you’re good to go.

Quest bars_protein

Long story short: I’m generally curious of trying new foods and seeing all the rage around Quest bars wanted to know what the hype was about. However, my curiosity wasn’t large enough to actually shell out money to order them online. Are you aware a bar of ## this amazing chocolate ## is cheaper than a ‘Questie’? I know my priorities ;). Nonetheless, I was lucky to win a giveaway on Instagram and got two boxes of the bars – one of the S’mores flavor and a mixed bestseller box – and I’m excited to see if they live up to their reputation. I’ll keep you updated.

For now, I hope you’ll have a great Friday and a good start into the weekend!

Happiness-inducing today: Many little things like talking to my sister on the phone, finding out one of her former classmates that I happen to know a bit better, too, is pregnant and other things.
 

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What’s your favourite jam – both the edible and audible kind?

If you’re a Quest bar fan: what is your favourite here? And: raw or baked? Because apparently certain flavours are best enjoyed warmed up?!

Do you have any plans for Halloween?

 

Are protein bars actually fuelling your recovery?

Protein ice cream. Protein bars. Protein Bread. Protein Pasta. You name it – there’s a protein version for it out there*.

*Note that I am not saying any of these products were inherently bad, that people shouldn’t eat or I’d never buy them out of curiosity. The focus of my thoughts here is a different one as you’ll see in a minute.

While I’d been aware of the high popularity of a certain brand of protein bars – okay, Quest bars – among bloggers for a long time it wasn’t until I joined Instagram that I noticed a pattern. The seemingly biggest group consuming said bars, shakes and other protein cookies/puddings/ice creams? Not the body builders or figure competitors the companies probably created them for in the first place. No, people recovering from eating disorders. People whose intention [or at least this would be my assumption and personal goal] is to re-learn a normal and intuitive eating behavior. Call me quick to judge but I see protein treats as a potential barrier on the recovery road. Allow me to elaborate.

Carbs? Scary. Fat? Potentially scary, too. Protein? The least scary macronutrient ever to anybody in the #fitfam and people in recovery. But: recovery should be scary. It should mean challenging yourself and facing fears. Having a protein treat rather than a real one deserves the hashtag #cheatclean, yes. Because you’re cheating yourself by sticking to a ‘clean’, non-scary lifestyle. It’s like bargaining with your ED: Fine, you’ll eat more but you make sure it comes from the presumed ‘healthiest’ source of calories – protein. And yes, you might gain the much needed weight. But you might slow down your recovery process and probably won’t loose the fear towards certain foods [sugar, white flour, …].

Quest bar_s'mores_protein

If you’re thriving on a high-protein diet that’s cool. I’m not telling anybody to drop the protein bar and I will openly say I’m curious to try some interesting protein treats, too [see picture above; explanation to follow in my next post]. Yet for me this is merely curiosity and not the belief I’d need to monitor or manage my macros.I know what works for me and also that different people have different needs. I might be off here. There’s always time for diet experimentation but when protein bars or shakes are considered meal replacements, people apparently skimp on the carbs even at family gatherings or special occasions I do wonder about the reasoning. It could be because I – as somebody with a history of [and still in recovery from] an eating disorder – am more sensitive towards these things.

If you declare a protein cookie to taste ‘just like grandma’s’ than I assume/hope you do eat the latter on occasion, too. Or do you bring your own protein treats to family gatherings [and potentially offend grandma]? Recovery is about getting back a life you will be able to sustain in the long term. Is it realistic to find protein versions of all the foods people around you eat in every setting in your life? What about holidays in different countries? Traveling for work? Or simply living in a place that doesn’t offer easy availabilty of high-protein treats like Quest bars, Complete Cookies and what not all? At least from my experiences it doesn’t seem like an easily sustainable lifrstyle plus we don’t actually need all that much protein and can cover our needs eating real foods but that just as an aside.

Mint chocolate

The moral of the story? Like any other food [and what every package of supplements tells you] protein bars can be part of a balanced diet. Just make sure you’re not using them to replace real and/or fear foods. No choices in our lives should come from a place of fear. If you want a protein bar because you really enjoy the taste – go for it. Grandma’s cookies or that bar of chocolate? Same.

Happiness-inducing today: Talking to a friend on the phone while out on a walk. If we can’t walk outside together this is a good compromise.

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No questions but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the topic.

Good good links #113

How many times can I rant about technology driving me nuts before you stop reading? I’ll never try to find out because nobody needs even more negativity and much less whining about First World problems. Just so much: the internet in this neck of the woods is still unreliable at best and it made compiling posts that much harder. Nevertheless, here we go with another episode of good good links.

Also, I’ve been bitten by the writing bug again and appreciate any crossed fingers and good wishes to make sure nothing keeps me from posting these drafts.

Happy and hopefully sunny Sunday to all of you!

 

Good good links

 

 

Good good [food for thought]

To young people who want to be bloggers when they grow up via Forever Amber

Being a blogger is the most effortless job in the worlds, freebies aplenty and everybody likes you? Some people’s misconceptions are too funny.

The Real Reason You Don’t Like Your Body via In My Skinny Genes

Is trying to conform to fit into a certain standard keeping us from discovering who we really are and what we enjoy?

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

You Don’t Have to be Super(Wo)man (or Give Yourself A Bloody Break!) via Jessica Says

A-men. You know I feel this way, too, and a reminder every now and then is nice for all of us.

Creating for the sake of Creating via Inspired RD

Some really interesting questions to answer for ourselves when we get creative.

3 Things That Should Make You Question Nutrition Information via Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

Don’t trust every self-declared expert because good advice is scientifically founded and doesn’t come along the scare-mongering way.

The Wrong Reasons to Compete in a Bikini Competition via Brittany Lesser

Have realistic expectations and remember it isn’t as glamourous it might look like from the outside.

3 Forms of Meditation That Don’t Require Lying Down via Maddy Moon

You might very well already  do these and just need to be more mindful [turn off that phone!] to use them in meditative form.

Hugs Have Healing Power, Study Says via Huffington Post

Reading about hormones has never been this interesting and reassuring. I strongly hope you’ve hugged somebody today already!

 

 

Your ultimate home cleaning routine via Organise my House

If you’re anything like me you’ll appreciate the reminder to do some of these [aside from the obvious ones].

 

 

Blogging

How to Transition Your Blog’s Focus via In It 4 The Long Run

Your blog’s about you and your passions: If you feel your heart’s not into what you’re writing about anymore a change is absolutely possible.

8 Free WordPress Plug-ins For Bloggers via The Blissful Balance

Plug-ins can make a blogger’s life a lot easier – and even better if they don’t cost a penny.

 

 

Good good [posts to make you smile + DIYs]

The Ultimate Guide to a Creative Halloween (125 Last Minute DIYs) via hello natural

Somebody please invite me  over for Halloween because I’ve got the crafting/decorating itch and nobody’s celebrating over here.

 

 

Good good [food]

Triple Chocolate Coconut Granola Clusters [with protein] via Fit Mitten Kitchen

Granola? Chocolate Granola? If this doesn’t scream crazy addictive I don’t know what would.

20-Minute Vegan Fabada via Simple Vegan Blog

A quick and easy bean stew that leaves a lot of room for doctoring up with lots of herbs and vegetables.

Baked Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese via The Healthy Maven

Aside from thinking that all vegan cheese sauces should contain some squash this baked pasta dish looks so amazing I bet both vegans and non-vegans would swoon over it.

Five-minute single serve pumpkin mac and cheese via The Muffin Myth

Slightly more indulgent but sometimes you just want some good old-fashioned comfort food.

Hearty Italian White Bean and Basil Soup via The Vegan 8

Wouldn’t you want to come home to a bowl of this on a cold and rainy day, too?

25 Vegan Soup Recipes via Hummusapien

Too many great ones to pick a favourite – or decide which one needs to be on the lunch menu soon.

 

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Getting in a nice long walk before the day took a turn for the worse. It’s about not letting the bad completely overshadow the good in every day.

 

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Do you dare to go naked?

Wake up, stretch, turn on the kettle to boil water for tea or prepping some coffee, use the bathroom, eat breakfast, get ready and get out of the door. A morning routine. And for most of us, applying make-up falls somewhere into that routine. It’s an almost thoughtless procedure. Just like you wouldn’t forget to brush your hair, I’m not here to offer any solutions or advice on the topic. Rather, I’m using Amanda’s invitation to threw around some questions for discussion and then sit back and curiously await your takes on the topic.

Let's talk

The big question when talking about make-up is the why behind using it. Does it still have that playful appeal it used to when we were little and in awe of our mum’s rouge, lipstick and nail polish?  Do you still go out without make-up occasionally? This is where I see huge differences in people.  Some people don’t bother using make-up or spending money on it at all. Others – and I’ve experienced this first hand with a friend of mine – spend hours a day making sure their make-up is flawless and feel naked without it.

Just like many of us [unfortunately] feel uncomfortable in their bodies and standing in front of a mirror undressed, not wearing make-up potentially has a similar effect. The huge curiosity around and praise for celebrities showing their bare faces made me wonder, too.   Do they really encourage women [or men?] to go out ‘naked’, too, or in reverse effect make it seem more daunting?

The amount of make-up I wear on a daily basis is minimal but yes, I will admit I’m feeling a smidgen less confident without it. I’m naturally very pale and missing the rouge on my cheeks makes me rival Caspar more than Wendy [does anybody remember that movie??].

Rouge

I will admit I don’t see myself stopping to use make-up anytime soon. However, I will keep re-eavaluating how dependent I am on it. Once again, looking at children can teach us a lessson or two here.  Not only do they have Intuitive Eating down to a pat but have an admirable look at make-up in an easy-going and empowering way, too. It helps them turn into a courageous lion, a sparkly princess or whatever else they want to be for a day. For them, make-up is an enabling instrument, not part of their personality or something taking power of them.

Just like not everybody is allowed to see ourselves undressed, I think it’s okay to use some make-up when out and about with a crowd. But there should also be people we trust enough to show ourselves the way nature intended. People that see us ugly-cry, tears all over our faces and vulnerable. Don’t let make-up control you or take away any of your confidence. Confidence shouldn’t be applicable from the outside and easily wiped away with a cotton ball. True confidence comes from within.

 

Over to you: What are your thoughts and experiences on the topic?

 

Happiness-inducing today: Going on a long walk with a friend – walking and talking is the best combination.

 

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Good good links #112

Can you bear yet another rant about technology?? The only reason I’m not sharing as many posts as usual – and missed the post I’d planned for Thursday -is that my laptop decided it didn’t want to collaborate. As in: adding a single link took about five minutes [and at the cost of a few nerves]. Additionally, Arman was spot on with his post earlier this week –I assume we all have some topics we’d rather keep off the blog. If – despite my current intentions – things are a little more silent on here during the next week it will be due to a combination of these two things. I will definitely be back, though – hopefully sooner rather than later.

That all being said I still got to include some – in my opinion – fabulous posts you shouldn’t miss!

Happy Sunday!

 

Good good links

 

 

Good good [food for thought]

The problem with perfection via build my bliss

We long for it, work for it, live for it – but in the end discover that perfection isn’t what actually makes us happy.

When the cult of “wellness” becomes unhealthy via The Pool

A-men. Possibly the best article I’ve ever read on the topic and one you shouldn’t miss.

 

 

 

Good good [advice and inspiration]

How I Saved Over 20,000 $ For Travel l via Smart Twenties

Whether you want to travel the world or save for any other big dream you have  – thi is some seriously good advice.

 

 

Blogging

Why Bloggers Should Stop Working For Free via Skinny Fitalicious

Know your worth and ask others to value the hard work you put into creating quality content.

 

Good good [posts to make you smile + ]

All The Comments On Every Recipe Blog via The Toast

This is so insanely accurate. If you want to be every food blogger’s worst nightmare this is your ultimate guideline.

21 Hilariously Weird Phobias You Wouldn’t Believe People Have via BuzzFeed

Thought you had weird or irrational fears? Think again ;).

Removed: Photographer Removes Phones From His Photos To Show How Terribly Addicted We’ve Become via Bored Panda

This could also fall into the ‘food for thought’ category….

 

Good good [food]

4 Ingredient, 5 Minute, Healthy, Gluten-Free & Vegan Pie Crust via Win-Win Food

Allergy-friendly crust you don’t even need to roll out?! Time to make some pie.

3 -Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce via Plant-Strong Vegan

Now to merge this and the previous recipe OR just eat it by the spoonful The latter scenario seems more likely ….

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado via Cookie & Kate

I stand by my opinion: there can never be enough [vegetarian] chili recipes. Especially not if they involve pumpkin.

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo via eat happy, eat healthy

Creamy sauces are my favourite kind and even more so when they sneak in some more vegetables.

30 Delicious Vegan Meals You Can Make In Under 30 Minutes via BuzzFeed

Mexican Rice and Beans Avocado Bowl via honey & figs

Who doesn’t like reiterations of the Mexican classic? Bonus points for being cheap and quick to prepare.

Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry via Choosing Raw

If you know me you’ll know this is my kind of dish just glancing at the ingredient list.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The fact the weather wasn’t too bad [no rain]allowing me to go for a long walk.

 

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Food Talk Wednesday #7

Would you like me to talk about my dismay if the fact some parts of Germany are getting a first greeting of snow today? No? Me, neither [and luckily, the part of the country I live in isn’t affected yet]. Rather, let’s talk about something we all like: food. Missing last week’s link-up due to those unfortunate conditions I had no control over I’m happy to join Jenn’s weekly party.

Letting go of control is also an issue present in my food choices lately. I’m trying to keep recovery posts to a minimum as I don’t want it to be the focus of my blog. Life is so much more than just recovery or even food – What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday obviously being the exceptions. Yet: it’s something I’m working on and talking about food in an honest way to me requires admitting what I’m still working on. But let’s jump into [some of] the food I ate on Monday right away.


Food Talk Wednesay_logo

In case you were wondering: yes, kabocha is still my go-to breakfast [nd also still using my preferred method of preparation]. Though I will admit eating my way through several sub-par ones lessened my cravings and had me back on the oatmeal train for a few days. But looking at yesterday it was my first meal of the day once more. The harvest is dwindling steadily, though … Send help, please! And by help I mean kabocha!

Kabocha_homegrown_breakfast

After rushing around for the first half of the day, lunch time came all of a sudden and was where I decided to let go of control and [try to] trust my intuition again. For those who don’t know: Spätzle are a – usually homemade – German kind of pasta. I recently found a package of fresh vegan ones at an organic supermarket and knew this was my chance for a challenge. No nutrtional information on the package was what scared me.I’ve  gotten better at eating out but trying new foods at home is still more difficult.

Traditionally served with fried onions and lots of cheese [Käsespätzle], I went with my go-to vegan cheese sauce and some greenery as well as the obvious chickpeas here. The serving looks small but I had more than pictured [honesty, remember :)?]. A very real photo, too, as you’ll notice the sauce spillage – it happens.

Spätzle_lunch_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

For some reasons, I follow pretty much every of my savoury meals wth a bite of something sweet and peanut butter. Because what is following below is of the [far] more decadent variety I will only show the more nutrious part of my snacks here. Also because I ego through apples and peanut butter at a speed others find seriously impressive. No such thing as too much of those,  am I right?!

apple_peanut butter_snack

Usually, What I ate Wednesdays show only my own meals and snacks. But I hope you’ll excuse the exception for some bragging a picture of my brother’s belated birthday* cake. Much to my dismay, he didn’t specify which kind of cake he wanted leaving me to  my own indecisiveness. Luckily, I could make up my mind as I was up for experimentation and had been wanting to try this vegan Coconut Caramel Tarte [for all Germans: from La Veganista backt and found here] for some time already. Only I wasn’t entirely pleased with the caramel’s outcome – especially given how long I had to babysit it while cooking. Because  I’m a fan of honestyI will be here, too: no, I didn’t eat a piece of this. However, this is not for fear of sugar. If you’ve seen past WIAWs you’ll know  my sweet tooth. The past years of recovery have taught me about my taste preferences and cake doesn’t entice me anymore. Which isn’t to say I didn’t try the caramel or taste-tested  the chocolate ;).

Kokoskaramell-Tarte_La Veganista_coconut caramel cake

… and that’s a wrap. Or piece of cake. Either way, this was my little chat about food – not snow! – for today and why not use the bad weather to peek at what everybody else has been eating?!

See you again tomorrow!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Going to the movies with an old acquaintance and being positively surprised by the movie itself.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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How is the kabocha situation in your part of the world? Germany really needs to give more appreciation [as in: appearance in stores] to this wonderful squash.

What was the last cake you baked?

Tell me your favourite meal from this week so far!