What to remember if you didn’t reach your goals this past year.

This might be my most spontaneous not-entirely-random Thinking out loud post ever. Originally intended in a slightly different way, the fact I didn’t get a chance to post earlier today [in my mind: at the only time fitting] turned this around with a new realization or better yet reminder. When I had to realize I wasn’t able to post in the morning I figured all was lost. I tend to get into this perfectionist mindset where I need to hit publish by [insert time] or else the chance is lost for the day. And with that my mood plummets a smidgen upon the realization that – once again [obviously overlooking the many days I did get post published in time] – I failed my own . Which leads me to the topic of this post …



2015 was a catastrophe.

Not my words but the ones by a lady I heard when turning on the radio the other day. Granted, knowing what exactly made her feel this way would have been enlightening but the radio show’s task for its audience to use five words or less didn’t allow for more. Nevertheless, she wasn’t the only one summing up the past twelve months in less than kind words. Which got me thinking.

Was my 2015 what I’d hoped for? No. But rather than consider the whole year a fail or lost I’m trying to see the positives. I’m not pretending this was easy every day but it’s worth it. Life is never just sunshine and while there was a lot of rain – to stay consistent with the metaphor here – I know the sun will shine stronger again. And never forget to see the silver linings. Even if there’s no way you can see the positives of the past twelve moments now remind yourself the past year was one wasted. Remind yourself of this:

You can still make your life worth living. You still have the power to create awesomeness.

It bears repeating: mindset is everything. Just like we’re told to see our diet in the big picture rather than fret about a few indulgences more every now and then life in itself is a big picture issue, too. Not to get too scientific here but with a current life expectancy of about … years even having one or two – though I do hope you can see at least a few happy moments in every day/month/year – won’t weigh too heavily.

On a walk

I refuse to consider 2015 a year lost. Despite the many sad moments I had, the frustration and thinking I couldn’t move on: it had its beautiful moments – many, in fact. I might not be where I’d hoped to at this point but that’s okay. We need to forgive ourselves and I’m not saying this with myself in mind only. I see so many people beating themselves up for slipping up in recovery, messing things up in relationship or not meeting their expectations in whichever area of life.

It’s okay. We are okay. We still have time to accomplish your goals. Whether it be in the next 366 (!), 388 or 460 days. There are obviously things we don’t get a second try at. In my life, in yours. But those again are the cases where we have to forgive ourselves and eventually move on to try better at the next chance we get.


If, by the end of January, you feel like you haven’t made progress in area x or y in life yet: it’s okay. See where you went wrong, learn the lesson and keep trying. Just don’t ever give up on yourself. Never.

And with that I hope you’ll have a great New Year’s Eve – as relaxed or wild as you please – and I’ll see you again on the other side … of the calendar page.

Happiness-inducing today: Winning a game of Yathzee when spontaneously playing wit with my mum. The fact she suggested it alone made me happy [she swears she didn’t like playing games].

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No specific questions. Just let me know how 2015 was for you or any other thoughts on the topic.

Lessons learned from a traditionally untraditional Christmas

When life hands you limes an unconventional Christmas you can either feel disappointed looking at everybody else’s recaps of their celebrations. Or enjoy reading about those different from yours and see the marvelous parts and lessons learned in the latter. Needless to say I’m going with the latter today in sharing our very untraditional holiday.


A tree is a tree is a tree. Not!?

Do you know the famous picture by Magritte? Because: this is indeed a Christmas tree. Yes. Anybody saying differently shares my initial opinion is highly intolerant or narrow-minded. This is a tradition I wish my family hadn’t broken for the second year in a row. While I approve of eco-conscious lifestyles celebrating Christmas without a tree just didn’t feel right at first. I will admit, though, that – once we’d sat down for dinner and “lit” it – our home-built non-tree tree did a pretty good job adding the necessary atmosphere to the room. Also, I can’t remember the last time my family had this much fun having a photo shoot in front of the tree. Or actually the last time we ever did that.

You win, un-tree, you win.

Christmas Tree


When your heart is full food becomes secondary

Okay, yes, I cringed a little at how cheesy this sounds but allow me to explain. So: Intuitive Eating. It’s the ultimate goal. The means that is supposed to help us eat without worry and … It also is really scary to me. I haven’t shared much of my [food] background on here yet. But what I’ll say for now is that I’ve never NOT struggled with food and at that finding balance is hard. Extremes I can do – either over- or undereating – but listening to my intuition? It’s hard.
Back to the point. We had a very late dinner and I found myself snacking yet never satisfied for long all day leading up to it. Worried about going way overboard. Yet once we sat down, shared the wonderful meal – obviously including Rotkohl – I felt calmed and at mostly at ease. Finishing dinner we moved on to gift giving and playing a game afterwards. No space for overthinking and worrying about what I ate. In fact, I ended up not reaching my calorie goal and eating past my point of satisfaction to reach my calorie target for the day later on. A relieving experience when going through times of endless hunger on the regular. It’s good to realize there are moments when food becomes a second thought only. So much so you forget to take pictures and have to recycle some … #bloggerfail.

Christmas Eve_dinner_Rotkohl


Expectations can ruin your holidays – but only if you let them

Oh, expectations … we love to hate them, right? As a huge fan of planning I do not take changes from the agenda lightly and if you mess with my plans completely – not cool. My family obviously did. When all plans fell wayside I could have let it ruin my mood completely but just relaxing and taking things as they came is the best attitude. Though I still think we should have at least played board games instead of Yathzee for a fair chance of me winning.


A short amount of time can still create a lot of happy memories.


As mentioned before our main celebration is on Christmas Eve and it was very much limited to it this year, too. My brother and sister arrived only on 22nd/23rd so the time we got to spend with each other was limited. Another one of those expectation crushed but we still got to share lots of laughs and moments of togetherness. The same can be said about a way too short but wonderful meet-up with a friend of mine. Sipping tea, catching up and then heading to the movies which proved that …


I’m a hopeless romantic.

Granted, this was no lesson learned or any news but my sneaky way of saying: watch this movie! I wasn’t expecting much and was more than pleasantly surprised by this dramatic love story set in 19th century England. Every woman needs a Mr Oak in her life.

All in all, my Christmas weekend wasn’t perfect but it also wasn’t what I was expecting both positively and negatively [am I making sense?]. Not everything I’d hoped for happened but it also surprised me in good ways. And I’m choosing to keep the positives at the forefront of my mind. Just iike we should any day of our lives.

And with that I’m wishing you a happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today: Meeting a friend and watching above-mentioned movie. You really shoud, too, if you get a chance.


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Tell me about your Christmas and your favourite moments of it!


Good good links #122

Hello, hello. Did you have a wonderfulChristmas holiday spent eating good food and making memories?

Are you feeling it, too? The sadness of the holidays being over again  already – Christmas almost a fleeting memory only* – and the new year so close by? It’s a very very weird time of the year. With Christmas Eve falling on a Thursday I even got the week days all mixed up and almost forgot about the links …  major oops. But here we go!

*allow me to be  alittle dramatic, yes?

Happy Sunday!


Good good links



Good good [food for thought]

Being Sad Is Not a Bad Thing via In My Skinny Genes

All too often we consider sadness a bad emotion but here’s why it’s okay and actually helpful to fexperience hard times in life.

The Medicalization Of Eating Disorders Is Keeping Us Sickvia xo Jane

Is the label of being eating disordered hindering true recovery? I actually agree.


Good good [advice and inspiration]

Read This Before You Watch The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show via The PB Lover

Even though the show is long over this is a great reminder for any time you find yourself comparing with any  model/bodybuilder/other kind of fashion/fitness professional.

Less scrolling, more living via Inspired RD

If you haven’t heard of “second-hand stress” before you might want to read this – it’ll change your look at your online habits.

Does mindful eating work in real life? via Present Perfect Wellness

One of the keys to getting [back] in touch with our intuition and not always easy to practice in today’s rushed world.

The Scientific Reasons Why Introverts And Extroverts Are Different via Huffington Post

Neither advice nor inspiration but a really interesting insight into why we’re wired the one way or the other.


Healthy Habit Forming Gifts to Give to Yourself via hello healthy

While I don’t agree with any of the tracking app suggestions – a given on this website – the overall messages are solid.

20 Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Your Life via Peaceful Dumpling

A different strategy of setting resolutions and ideas of what they could look like.

22 Things People With Eating Disorders Want Others to Know About the Holidays via The Mighty

Tbe holidays might be over for now but this is a good article for any others coming up. Maybe even to mail around if you don’t feel like telling others directly?





Can I Use that Picture? via The Visual Communications Guy

 A great follow-up info graphic on the issue mentioned in the first category of this post. Copyright is a serious topic.

Is It Okay to Loose Followers? via Helene In Between

Obviously an individual issue in how it feels to you but this post offers a great relaxed perspective.


Good good [food]

51 Easy and Healthy Veggie Sides That Will Outshine Any Entrée via Greatist

In case your New Year’s resolution is eating more vegetables. Or if you’re like me and simply ❤ vegetables.

Vegan Lasagna via Ceara’s Kitchen

A sunflower seed-based sauce is the creamy secret ingredient in the vegan rendition of this  all-time favourite pasta dish.

Mexican Black Bean Hummus via Fit Foodie Finds

As much as I like chickpeas I can’t deny this different spin on hummus didn’t tickle my fancy. Also: Mexican!

Epic Winter Veggie Gratin via Peas and Crayons

Creamy, cheesy and – yes! – with a hint of vanilla: this looks truly epic.



Happiness-inducing today: A long walk making the most of the still mild temperatures and unexpectedly happening upon a Robbie Williams concert on TV. Ah, the memories …


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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! – Fröhliche Weihnachten! – Joyeux Noël! – Geseënde Kersfees! – God Jul! – Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas_source_photopin


While I won’t be around the blog world today – Christmas Eve is our main celebration over here – I wanted to wish all of you a happy holiday. No matter where you are, if the temperatures call for fleece shirts or flip-flops: I hope you’ll have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

P.S.: I’d appreciate you keeping your fingers crossed for me faring well in our board game night today ;).

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photo credit: Christmas_DSC2453 via photopin (license)

Rotkohl [Traditional German Red Cabbage]

With a ridiculously simple preparation and only eight ingredients this flavourful side dish is a German winter favourite. Naturally vegan, gluten-free and paleo Rotkohl comes packed with vitamins and minerals for a healthy low-calorie dish to accompany any main.

Having talked about this classic German winter dish for many times before I figured it was high time to share the recipe. And I had every intention of doing so on Monday, right in time with the meteorological start of winter. But …


What to avoid when you’re a blogger and intend on posting during Christmas week:

Not get sick.

Plan ahead [all those posts saying you need an editorial calendar have a purpose …].


Any guesses as to my situation up until today? Right. Teary-eyed sick with a recipe made but yet to be photographed and no post written. Luckily, I’m feeling slightly better today. Okay, now that we finished the long-winded intro/blogger no-do’s/why I should write blog posts way in advance [like every other blogger?!]  let’s talk traditions.

Mother’s Day? Just another Sunday for my family.

Easter? Not a single [chocolate or candy] egg to be found in our house.

Christmas? No tree for the second time, hardly any decorations up and we’re not sending Christmas cards [but do gift homemade cookies to friends].


It’s safe to say my family errs on the untraditional side when it comes to the holidays. The food part of Christmas dinner, though? That’s where we have our traditions.

A little story time: Unlike traditional American Thanksgiving where pretty much the whole country agrees what has to appear on the table – turkey/Tofurkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing – hardly two German families in a neighbourhood will eat the same Christmas dinner. For some families “Weihnachtsgans” [Christmas duck], others need their fish and then again there are people considering – believe it or not – potato salad and sausages THE dish. Usually, my family is in the Christmas duck camp [aside from me and any other vegetarians in the family obviously]. Not this year but it will be an unusual one to begin with. The sides? Up for discussion. Aside from the one can’t-miss dish that’s the secret star on the menu: Rotkohl.


No matter what’s your main – meat, vegetarian or vegan roasts – this easy cabbage dish makes a great side for everything. Serve it with your main of choice, mashed potatoes and optional gravy and have yourself a merry little Christmas. Or just a wonderful winter day because there’s still the whole season to enjoy this.


For the nutrition nuts among us or those skeptically eyeing the ¼ cup of sugar in this recipe: it’s still healthy to boost. One cup of chopped red cabbage packs in 85% of the daily value of vitamin C, 20 % of the vitamin A recommendation and it’s also high in potassium. And I don’t need to tell you that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right?! See: healthy.

German Rotkohl/Red Cabbage

  • 1 medium head red cabbage, sliced [ours weighed about 2.9 lbs/1.3 kg pre-cleaning]
  • 2 medium tart apples [I used Boskoop; about 330 g, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 100 ml/ [about ½ cup minus 1 tbsp] white vinegar
  • 100 ml unsweetened apple juice
  • ¼ cup of sugar [paleo: use a sweetener you find with your diet]
  • ¾ tsp ground caraway seed
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 scant tsp salt
  1. Chop the red cabbage finely or shred it in a food processor.
  2. Alternating cabbage, onions and apples, layer in a pressure cooker.
  3. Mix vinegar, apple juice, sugar and spices and poor on top. Using your hands, mix all ingredients. No need to be super
  4. Cook according to your pressure cooker’s manual. Once maximum pressure is reached, turn off the heat, don’t open the lid and let the cooker sit until



  1. This freezes very well which is great seeing as it makes a large batch [unless you’re a hungry German family …].
  2. While I prepared my Rotkohl in  a pressure cooker you can also use a Dutch oven or regular pot. You’ll need to let it simmer for longer but will get the same delicious result.
  3. One of my grandma’s ‘secrets’ for making this already delicious dish over-the-top amazing is adding some of her homemade currant jelly. Store-bought should work just fine as well.
  4. Just like there are many different Christmas traditions, there are dozens if not hundreds of different recipes for Rotkohl, also called Blaukraut in certain regions of the country. In fact, I think every family might have their own which is – obviously – the best and only.

I’m sharing this recipe with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good,  Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays and Tasty Tuesdays.

While I talk a lot about Christmas here  this dish isn’t just for the holidays  a perfect fit for the whole season. So if you’re looking for a new way to eat your vegetables and vitamins this winter – give it a try!


Happiness-inducing today: My sister and her husband arriving at our house. They’ll leave on 25th again already but any time spent with family is better than none.


Have you ever had Rotkohl?

Does you family follow through with traditions or make up their own?

What’s on your menu for Christmas this year?

Good good links #121

Five days until Christmas*?!! Okay, I’m actually getting both a smidgen sad and anxious now. Sad as the Christmas spirit really didn’t set in for me this year – hardly any decorations up, no advent calendar, Christmas music feels out of place. And anxious because I did what was supposed to be the final shopping for [ingredients for] Christmas gifts yesterday – and we didn’t find much at all. Oh well, it’s about time spent with family, right? As well as eating lots of treats so part of the Christmas ‘requirements’ is covered.

I’m not sure if I’ll post another edition of good links next Sunday or delay them by a day or two but I’ll let you know. Until then: soak up the holiday spirit [if you feel it] and enjoy your Sunday!

*we’re having the main celebration on Christmas Eve around here.


Good good links



Good good [food for thought]

A Letter To People Who Steal Content On Social Media Love, A Former Thief via The Peanut Butter Lover

It’s something I think we’ve all done before – as well as illegal and disregading the artist’s work. [But we’re all human and will be forgiven.]

On Doing What’s Best For You via Ambitious Kitchen

Neither restrict nor eat all the food for the sake of eating all the food: something to keep in mind and let you decide on how to go through the holidays in a way that leaves you feeling good.



Good good [advice and inspiration]

20 Ways to Prepare For the New Year via The Blissful Mind

Looking back on what worked and what didn’t will help us make plans for an successful start into  2016.

How to Give Gifts Without Buying “Stuff.” via Elephant Journal

Giving presents that come from the heart rather than those that disappear amidst the clutter in a few weeks time.

Things way cooler than abs and a thigh gap via Healthy Happy Jaime

Truth. Especially #3 is one often forgotten in the fitness world.

How to be generous via Danielle Zeigler

It’s the season of giving – but these are actions to take all year round to bring a smile to others’ faces.



Blog Posting Frequency: How Less is Actually More via Freeing Imperfections

Not just further reassulance but great ideas on how to break down the work on every single post.



Spot Toning Is Possible (But Here’s How it Really Works) via Greatist

 A bitter truth for anybody who’s trying to ‘shred’ in certain body areas but at the same time a good reminder on what to focus on instead.



Good good [posts to make you smile + DIYs]

If you’re having a bad day this is as good as all of those cat videos.

The Scientific Reason You Love Watching Reruns via Huffington Post

How often are you delving into nostalgia and ‘meeting’ old friends again? I think it’s high time for Love, actually …


Orange coconut or sweet cinnamon: recipes for DIY body butters you might just want to eat …

Good good [food]

S’mores Hot Cocoa (paleo) via South Beach Primal

Okay, I might not be paleo but if I was this would be my hot chocolate dream come true.

Iced Gingerbread Oat Bake via Katalyst Health

This will get you out of bed in an instant so ask somebody to prep it for you in the mornings …

Kabocha Lentil Chili and Kabocha Chickpea Slow Cooker Curry via My little tablespoon

Squash, legumes and lots of warming spices: these are my kind of meals.

27 Healthy Meals (and Desserts) You Can Make in a Mug via Greatist

Cinnamon Roll Mug Cake, Single-serving Spaghetti O’s  or Paleo Pumpkin Pie: the microwave can be fun to have around.

Easy Beans and Greens via Fooduzzi

Creamy beans and garlicky kale plus flavourful sundried tomatoes: so simple, so crave-worthy.



Happiness-inducing today: My mum gifting me early by paying for me three huge favourite scented candles. As well as spending the day with here overall.


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