Thoughts on blogger guilt

Pinch me, please. Why did the weather gods have the brilliant [irony alert] idea of playing catch-up on winter just in time for my birthday?? If I could I’d remove all therometres around me only so I wouldn’t have to face the facts: – 11.5 °C/11 °F?! Frosty the Snowman might be the only one to rejoice …

Speaking of catch-up in terms of blogging … speaking of guilt …

Don't stress.

[Just to say it right away: What I’m about isn’t supposed to be a rant. It’s just what’s been going through my mind and maybe one or the other can relate?]

Like I’ve mentioned before my internet access or the time I get to use it has been cut down majorly since moving back in with my parents. No access at work and a restricted time at home haven’t allowed me as much time to blog as I used to have. Nonetheless, blogging has become an integral part of my life I don’t want to miss anymore. The friendships, the support, the inspiration … it’s marvelous. Just ask my mum how excited I get about meeting blends, connecting with all of you online, taking pictures and writing posts :D. By now my whole family has understood that blogging is way more than just another hobby to me.

Only there’s a fact that every blogger will agree with [and Amanda put very wisely]:  it’s a hobby that can easily take up hours every day. Fun time for the most part because that’s what blogging is. The ‘trouble’ for me right now was that I wanted to both read and comment on others blogs as well as write posts on here. However – and maybe it’s just because I’m still so bad at time management ;)? – I quickly noticed that I wasn’t able to read and comment on as many blogs as before anymore. And I also noticed I probably won’t be able to post on all days I usually do every week under the current circumstances. Though – trust me – I’d happily do! [Side note: Honestly, how can our office not have WLAN? Don’t you agree a little bit of blog reading in between working makes you more productive, too 😉 ?]

But then it deemed to me: Do I stop reading a blog just because the blogger alternates the days they blog on or doesn’t find the time to comment on my blog as regularly anymore? No. If I like the way they write I will come back no matter what just because I can relate to them, we have things in common, share an opinion on a topic, … Looking at my [non-]resolutions again helped to ease my mind, too: Just live. Life is everchanging. We can’t predict what the circumstances on any day[s] of our lives will look like.

Especially talking to some blends and excusing for my lack of commenting on their blogs lately made me realize that nobody is mad at me for taking some more time to repy to mails or not comment on their blog because I haven’t found the time. It’s just me setting those expectations [and wanting to comment and let you know I’m reading because I still do]. So what is this post all about? It’s about a realization I made to relax. Maybe some of you can relate and if not I hope you don’t mind my rambly explanation.

MiMM_new

So in case I’ve been reading and commenting on your blog regularly before and haven’t lately: please know that I’m still reading. And you’d better believe I’ll be back once I get full internet permission [yes, it feels a little weird to talk about it] again 🙂 .

Happy Monday!

Happiness inducing today: Starting my day with a great relaxing workout at the gym.

Have you ever struggled with trying to fulfill expectations that [you assumed] others had?

Bloggers: Do you feel obliged to stick to a certain schedule with your posts [i.e.: days to post on, a certain number of recipe posts, …] or did you do in the past?

How do you manage your blogging time in terms of writing posts and commenting? I’d appreciate any advice because I’m sure there’s a better way of time management.

Advertisements

The Waiting Game

Where to start? I’ve been a bit wary of writing this post. Putting the idea on and off again until ultimately deciding that I want to be honest about what’s going on in my life on my blog and couldn’t hold back anymore.

One question I’ve been asked a lot lately – and not surprisingly – by people both in ‘real’ life and the blog world is: How is the the job search going?

The honest and not quite awesome answer: I’m still playing the waiting game. As you might have guessed from me not mentioning any success I haven’t found a new job/internship yet. All I’ve done is search. Apply. And – wait. Checking my e-mails even more often than usual probably doesn’t help reduce the anxiety. Doubts about whether I made the right decision to quit and not simply stick with what might not have been a great placement but a job after all arise frequently. Not having any job at all feels worse than a bad one right now. Having people ask me how I was, if I was looking for a new job or else I can’t help but wish I could turn back time. I can’t handle this situation of insecurity about my future. At all. As mentioned before I’m a planner – and this isn’t going according to plan so …

Granted, I haven’t been sending out applications by the dozen. For one because I’m not good at that “selling myself as the best ever fit for the job” part which means I’ve only applied to jobs that I feel I could really be a good fit for. But also because job opportunities [in my field of profession and similar ones as well] are far from abounding where I live. Also, I called many companies I’d meant to send unsolicited applications to in advance. Only to find they didn’t currently hire or mail and didn’t hear back yet.

In case you’re wondering: Moving to another city would be an option in general. But after my previous experience I’m not ready to change places for a job that I’m not feeling totally sure about. That’s why I started applying to coffeeshops, too. Certainly not a way of gaining experience in my field but right now I’d truly be happy to just have any job in the city I live in.

Source. Easier said than done but I’m trying.

Unfortunately, I’ve always had the tendency to let my mood influence my life in general in a vicious cycle. Still searching and while not being rejected not hearing back from companies is seriously scratching on my self-confidence. And when I’m not feeling good about myself I become reclusive which I know deep within is counterproductive. Feeling like I wouldn’t be able to contribute much to conversations or be the cheery person I really want to be. It’s not easy to push aside my worries and I’m sorry for the ramble. But I just wanted to give you an update and be honest on my blog because I value honesty in others, too. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and I’m not going to pretend it was.

All of this being said I’m not a constant Negative Nancy. I’m still making sure to smile every day  – it just takes a bit more effort some days.

Happiness inducing today: A nice long chat with my sister.

Thoughts? Experiences? Ideas on how to deal with this? I’d appreciate any advice.

Back in the kitchen with lentils and cake

Overwhelmed by gratitude. Amazed by all the kind and reassuring words. That’s what I felt like reading your comments on my last post. Thank you so much!  Opening up and publishing that post wasn’t easy for me at all. The reason I did was that my blog has become such a special part of my life and with all that’s been happening I couldn’t just have kept writing as usual. I’m not sure which kind of reactions I expected but you definitely took me by surprise in the very best way. So thank you once more for not judging but encouraging me to listen to my heart.

Right now I feel like hanging in the air, not knowing what’s to happen. It’s still scary. Somewhere deep down I know quitting was the right decision but I can’t completely push aside those twinges of regret. Mostly because I truly want to work and don’t enjoy all the spare time I have at hand right now. Sorry for the rant but it’s on my mind all of the time and I can’t pretend it wasn’t affecting my mood. Nevertheless, you’ve come for the food and it’s not like I had given up happiness or eating when leaving the internship :). Here’s to another fabulous What I ate Wednesday party! Publishing this early I don’t know it yet but maybe even with Jenn’s little chickpea joining us?

WIAWbutton_1

One of the upsides – yes, still trying to see the positive in every situation – of having time off is being able to prepare and eat meals in the comfort of my own home. [that’s not to say I wouldn’t more than happily trade this for a job any time, though.]  During the weeks at the office I’d slacked a little on the kitchen creativity so I’ve dedicated some more time to experimentation the past days. One of the results was a creamy lentil and rice stew. Perfectly fall-ish despite me not being ready for fall yet.

Lentil Stew

If you read my post on Sunday you might have noticed me saying I’d tried one of the recipes I’d mentioned in my previous link-up post. Well, by now I can proudly say I even tried two. First up Jenn’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – turned into mini loaves as I lack a large loaf pan and minis are always cute, right? There are no inside shots as we broke – literally broke as there was no cutlery left  – into it at a friend’s apartment. I visited him the day before he moved to another city so all kitchen utensils were at his new flat already. Sorry. But it was so delicious that I already have plans on baking another batch of mini loaves as soon as possible and I’ll make sure to get some better pictures then.

Banana bread

I actually snapped the pictures shortly before rushing out the door so sorry for that!

Maybe not pretty but absolutely delicious was my second dish to cook from the list: Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry from Pinches of Yum. Follwing the recipe to a T  as well as a notorious kitchen rebel like me can and making substitutions as needed it turned out fantastic. Mine got its lovely [read: not] green hue from the fact that I never peel my kabocha. All that really matters is taste, though, and this dish was absolutely amazing on those terms. I just had to repeat it several days later again. I honestly can’t recommend Lindsay’s recipe enough. Go make it now :)!

Kabocha Lentil Curry

Ending on a sweet note: Not wanting to leave my job in grievance I happily followed the [unwritten] rule of bringing cake on the last day of my internship. Crumbly in the best way , ‘buttery’ and rich without being too heavy: vegan hazelnut cake that made my highly vegan-sceptical coworker go back for seconds. Sorry to all non-German readers for the recipe being in German. I wish I could share it with all of you.

Praktikumskuchen

Now i’m back to writing applications and taking some recipe inspiration from the bonanza of deliciousness that is WIAW. Oh, and happy Macadamia Nut day [can’t forget about those national food holidays even though they don’t apply for us over here]! I have none around so I’d appreciate you eating some more for me, too ;).

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Catching up with a friend over coffee tea.

What’s your favourite recipe using lentils?

Is it some kind of ‘rule’ to bring cake on the last day of internships for you, too?

Have you been on any ‘food kicks’ lately? Kabocha and lentils have definitely been some of my recent ones.

[Not] making the most of everything – and accepting it [for now]

Happy Sunday!

Less than a week left until I start working full-time – from nine till six. Why am I mentioning this detail? For one because it’ll change my current routines a lot. No more doing my grocery shopping at any time I like, no more going on walks whenever I please, no more leisurely eating my lunches in comfy home atmosphere. [Just to point this out: I’m not trying to make working life look like the most horrendous thing out there and there are aspects I’m looking forward to. It’ll just be a huge change for me and I’m generally taking time to adapt to changes.]

Mostly, though, the way how I’ve been spending these past days and weeks has been on my mind. In regards of feeling like I hadn’t made the most of the superfluous time I’ve been blessed with.

The feeling of not making the most starts small for me already. Always wanting to put special purchases – think: a fancy new dress or more expensive or hard-to-find foods – to the best use possible. Not wearing the dress today because there might be a better occasion [and then postponing its first appearance for ages]. Or spending too much time pondering on how to best use a certain ingredient. Sometimes so long that it eventually goes bad before I get around to using it. Clearly something I need to work on though it’s been getting better. But I digress …

When people kept asking about my grand plans to effectively fill the period in between the end of my studies and work I – blanked. I’m well aware they weren’t asking with any hidden motives or trying to put pressure on me – yet I felt like that. Yes, it’s true. I didn’t book any vacation or tried to squeeze in one last big adventure before entering the “real world”. Granted, it’d have been nice to meet friends I hadn’t seen in a while again. But with most of them studying or working, too, and in other counties with different times off at that, we ended up not being able to find dates that fit with everybody’s’ schedule. A trip to Berlin was high up on the list of things I’d wanted to do, too, but my mum – traveling companion of choice – cancelled and nobody else was up for it.  Additionally, if you’ve ever had an ED or travelled with somebody who did you might now that ED doesn’t make a nice travel companion. At times, it can turn the fun down to lowest possible and up the anxiety to the max. Not what you’d want to expect somebody who hasn’t dealt with this before –read: my friends – to endure.

 

Disappointing others is something I try to avoid at all costs and I feel like I did by not making the most of all the time I had while many others didn’t. Yet, even if others expected me to pack up my bags and travel – where would be the sense in it if I wasn’t feeling [comfortable with] it? You travel for yourself, not for others. Add in that – while I genuinely enjoy Even though I know people who genuinely find joy in exploring places all on their own I’m not one of them. In case you’re wondering what I did end up doing: reading, cooking, wandering around, some work for my parents. In short: a whole lot of relaxing.

In terms of food I’d been meaning to get a lot more adventurous: try new recipes, cook and eat with my family, eat out. Seeing how long this post has already become I won’t go into details here. It’s another topic for a whole different post.

Once again, though, I’m taking it as a learning experience. Lots of time and my lack of time management as well as anxiousness keep me from making the most of now. Knowing this, I’ll have to challenge myself on future occasions. Because I truly want to live – not loose even more time.

Happiness inducing today: Talking to a good friend who helped me sort out my head in terms of the above chaos a little.

Have you ever felt like you weren’t making the most of something when you felt you had to?

Do you have any ideas on how to challenge myself to become more daring bit by bit? It seems ridiculous to ask but I’m serious about this. Sometimes it can be hard for me to see the obvious and I need others to point it out to me.

If it doesn’t hit the plate …

Have any of you secretly double-checked their calendars today, too? It can’t really be July 3rd already now?!

Seeing as there’s no avail in trying to pretend it was June still: Let’s get onto the food on this first What I ate Wednesday of the month! Despite June being over I hope Jenn doesn’t mind me sticking with the topic of snacking once more – and a very specific snack attitude, that is.

wiaw sensible snacking button

During one of my recent conversations with Heather I mentioned a curious habit of mine. The “If it doesn’t hit the plate it doesn’t count” approach to eating.  Even during the deepest times of my ED I’d never given up on any foods – besides the obvious non-vegetarian ones but I’m not counting them here. Chocolate? French Fries? Baked good? Never passed up the chance for a bite. A bite only, that is. Never in the world would I have ordered a whole plate of fries or a rich dessert myself. But I happily encouraged others to do so because it meant I’d be able to sneak bits and pieces here and there.

Granola snacking at home

Granola snacking at home

Having a huge sweet tooth it shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise that baking is a hobby of mine. It’s also no surprise that I prefer the process over the final result. Sampling the batter, after all, means  that nothing hits the plate. A dip here, a few crumbs there – it’s never a full-sized snack or even meal. So I’m not even lying when telling people I ate the treats I’m offering them. Just not telling the full truth of never actually having eaten a full serving. Little lies – but lies, still.

Nussecken

On the upside this constant snacking around never gave me the feeling of fully depriving myself during my ED. On the downside, though, it never fully satisfied me. Also, what was true for sampling obviously didn’t help meal times with the family. The last time I ate a full plate of a dish cooked by my mum? I’m ashamed to admit I honestly don’t remember it. It’s not because I didn’t like what she prepares but her generous use of oil and other fear foods of mine. While it wasn’t her cooking the meal at least Christmas was an occasion I was able to relax about foods prepared by others. Only it’s truly been this long already.

Christmas dinner

However much I like snacking and sampling I’m also longing to sit down to a family lunch or dinner without worrying about amounts of certain ingredients. I want to be able to go for ice cream or lunch with friends spontaneously. Nothing will change, though, if I don’t get proactive – taking baby steps, yes, but taking them regularly. First plan of action: Eating out with friends. Next week, no last-minute chickening out. Let’s see how this goes …

 

Happiness inducing today: Seeing the orchid on my windowsill in full bloom.

 

“If it doesn’t hit the plate it doesn’t count”: do you use that approach to snacking, too?

Do you deal well with meals prepared by others? Advice on how to tackle my fears would be much appreciated.

Take two [desserts]

Better late than never here’s the literally sweet follow up of WIAW’s snackyness. Because that’s what desserts actually are, right?! Sweet snacks :).

Thinking about restrictions I noticed one in an area I’d convinced myself I wasn’t struggling with: desserts.  Seeing as I allowed myself a generous amount of dark chocolate daily I hadn’t considered myself to restrict in that area. That was the point, though. I did have chocolate every day without a fail but I wasn’t particularly flexible with the kind I chose and allowing other desserts the same day? Rarely and even then only by downsizing my other meals and with guilt included. Trying an intriguing premade dessert from the freezer aisle wasn’t in the cards. Not because I’d ever gotten really into clean eating or given up sugar.

Fruit – despite its high sugar content – has never been a problem for me.

Fruit – despite its high sugar content – has never been a problem for me.

It was once more my previously mentioned fear of wasting calories and the idea of picking dark chocolate as the healthier dessert choice. What if I allowed myself to have one of those tempting desserts and ended up not liking it? I wouldn’t be able to have my usual sure-to-satisfy snacks and most definitely not my usual chocolate that day anymore because I’d end up eating above my allotted amount of calories. It’s only been during these past weeks or even just days that I’ve dared including not only new lunches but also snacks. More indulgent snacks – or desserts, that is. No healthified treats but real desserts.

Grießbrei

Semolina pudding was one of those desserts I finally allowed myself buying. A former childhood favourite of mine it had vanished when my ED deemed it void of nutrition. Having kept myself from eating this for a long time I had imagined an over the moon eating experience. Needless to say I ended up being disappointed just like with other foods in recovery so far. Of the two kinds I tried – one whole-wheat variety and another regular one with added fruit sauce – none wowed me. Yet I’m not actually bugged by this because it once again was a learning experience. I’ll dare a guess and say that likely many of those intriguing desserts in the supermarkets wouldn’t be able to live up to my expectations – simply because restriction heightened them too much.

Giving different varieties and brands a try was necessary.

Giving different varieties and brands a try was necessary.

Liking the added fruit sauce a lot, though, it was only natural to go for a traditional German dessert next: Rote Grütze*. It’s basically a [more often than not vegan] pudding prepared with various kinds of red fruit like strawberries, cherries, red and black currants. Eating it brought back memories of my mum preparing Grütze with fruit from our garden in Summer. The result of allowing myself to have this despite the amount of sugar in the premade variety? Blissful. Maybe because I hadn’t actually meant to try it and therefore didn’t have any expectations.

*The name might not exactly sound appetizing but the taste more than makes up for it.

Looking back on my diet these past weeks I’ve had a lot more previously deemed “unhealthy” foods and might have gone slightly overboard on them, too. Still, nothing bad has happened yet. I didn’t miraculously gain pounds overnight or feel sluggish. Food can obviously be awesome but we shouldn’t make it play too big of a role in bringing us joy or making us unhappy. And: it’s no sin to have two desserts in one day if you feel like it. Balance is key here once more.

I can’t deny I’m not yet at a point where I feel a hundred per cent comfortable and had stopped labeling foods completely. What I do know, though, is that I’m on my way and hopeful to find a balance eventually.

Happiness inducing today: Chatting to my sister for a bit – even if it was only via Whatsapp.

 

Do you eat real desserts regularly or go for healthified versions?

What are your thoughts on having [more than one] dessert every day?

In case you’ve recovered from an ED: How long did it take you to stop going overboard on foods you’d previously restricted? Encouragement would be appreciated as this is admittedly making me anxious.