Sunshine [award] with a chance of strangeness

Unless it’s any different in your neck of the woods I’m sure you’ve had enough rain to last you for a while these past days. So how about some sunshine times two?

Sunshine award

Not ony did Arman nominate me for the Sunshine award a while ago but Brittany did, too. Thanks to both of you! I’ll play by my own rules – when do I not ;)? – and just answer seven of each of their questions. Also, I feel like everybody has received the award yet so I won’t nominate anybody. Please feel nominated if you haven’t been yet :).

Here we go:

Which celebrity do you think epitomises a healthy body? For me, Adele is an inspiration in terms of being okay with the way you are. I’ve read several interview with her showing a healthy and relaxed approach to not fitting society’s idea of the ‘ideal’ body. As a fun fact: It wasn’t until quite a while of listening to her music that I actually saw a picture of her for the first time. She has an amazing voice so who in their right mind would care about whether she’s a size 4 or 16? And let’s face it: she looks beautiful, too.

Crunchy nut butter or smooth nut butter? Growing up crunchy [salted all-natural] peanut butter was the way to go for me. Nowadays, I’m not about stirring up trouble pieces of nuts anymore and always go with smooth. Not just by choice, though, as you won’t find any crunchy varieties aside from peanut butter around here. Welcome to Germany, nut butter-deprived country.

Note that this is not (!) these aren't the choices found at a regular store.

Note that  these are NOT the choices found at a regular but very well sorted store.

Which family member are you closest to? It might be cliché but is so true for me: my mum. I’m not sure there’s any topic I haven’t talked about to her before. She’s the first I’m calling whichever troubles I’m going through and even when she can’t help she still manages to calm me down.

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten? Ever since getting into blogging my idea of which foods to consider strange has changed a a lot. So much, in fact, that I wouldn’t consider anything I’ve eaten so far actually strange. Says the girl who – years ago – thought my mum was weird for eating cheese sandwiches with jam. Years ago, really. Now it’s likely vice versa with her shaking her head at my creations.

Do you think Blue Ivy and North West are absolutely stupid names? Oh, no, you see, they’re perfectly fine – right up there with Petal Blossom Rainbow and Fifi Trixibelle. Seriously, though: What do they think???

What was your favourite childhood TV program? Let’s see … Siebenstein (!), Löwenzahn, Die Sendung mit der Maus and all movie adaptions of Astrid Lindgren’s books. Sorry for all of these being German – aside from the last one – but for the longest time we only had four TV channels and not much of an international choice. Oh, but hey, Ocean Girl, obviously. If you have Netflix you just have to watch an episode – and let me know what you think :).

Rudi … [Source]

What is your ideal breakfast? Whatever I’m craving – as long as almond butter is included I’ll be satisfied. Okay, more specifially: Peanut mug brownies or – a current favourite – kabocha. With a side of almond butter. I wasn’t kidding

PB Mug brownie

When is your favorite time of day to work out?
If we’re talking running or other more intense workouts then the evening all the way. There was a time last year when I had to go for my runs in the middle of the day and, ouch, that didn’t sit well with me.

Do you have a go-to splurge item (specific food, clothing store, electronics, anything!)? What is it and when do you have it? My most regular splurges would have to be food. More specifically: nut butters. Going through a huge jar a week isn’t exactly the best way of sticking to a budget. However, I feel like spending money on high-quality healthy food is a way of treating yourself which I consider a way of showing self-love and important to well-being,

Almond butter

Where would you live if money were no object?
In the US. If you asked for a specific city, though, I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down. There are so many exciting places I’d like to go. Gorgeous surroundings for long walks and running would be a necessity, though,

walk

6. Who is your go-to person for advice when you’re trying to make a tough decision?
Sorry for sounding like a broken record but it’s true: my mum. I can’t think of any topic I haven’t talked about with her endlessly before. Whether big decisions or small: I can count on her supporting me with advice as good as she can.

7. What is the strangest food or fitness trend you’ve tried?


Maybe not strange but trying to cut down on grains made my stomach unhapped and turned me into a snappy bitch. Not funny. If you ever find yourself longing to be constantly tired, easily irritated and a hungry beast: go for it.

9. What is your favorite childhood memory or family tradition?
Even though I was by far not as enthusiastic about working out as a child I truly enjoyed non-formal exercise with my family. Hiking, countless bycycle tours or just going for walks. My parents have never been fans of long-distance travels so many holidays were spent within Germany. That’s why many of our vacations often consisted of activities like a three-day bike tour to Berlin. Needless to say going for a bike tour is a must almost every time I visit my family.

10. Do you follow a strict food and fitness plan or wing it?
While I sometimes think it’d be good to follow a plan in terms of fitness/running to achieve certain goals I’m finally letting go of my too strict meal plan. Life doesn’t always work out as planned, no day is like the other and following a plan does only lead me to feel restricted. As I said, though, fitness-wise I might be looking into it in the future. For now, though, I’m happy without a plan.

Sorry, I could help the minion plugin but I needed a bridge to the second part of my post – and I know for a fact Arman approves of some  #strangebutgood action, too. Sooo … Lentil Stew was on the menu [sorry about the legumes, Arman]. In fact, it was a while ago already but I didn’t manage to post it in time for last week’s link-up. Sh, don’t tell.

SBG Lentil

But not just any lentil stew …

 Banana Lentil Stew

  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ can brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup cooked wheatberries [all I had leftover]
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • ½ cup passata/tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ banana, sliced into half-moons
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Salt + pepper to taste
Banana Lentil Stew

Banana Lentil Stew

Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the zucchini and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened. Pour in the passata and add the remainder of the ingredients. Let simmer until the banana has melted into the stew. Season to taste.

It actually tastes better when reheated or at least left to sit on the stove for a while to let the flavours develop.

Now that was a long post, huh? Happy Friday!

Happiness inducing today: Receiving a very special package in the mail that I will tell you more about soon. Hint: it’s getting sweet over here on the weekend – and we’re not talking about bananas for once ;).

Feel free to answer any of the above award questions!

How large is your current and average banana stash? I’m at about seven with maybe five being the average.

Would you please be so random? [Liebster award]

It’s time for a bit of randomness again with the sweet Maggie nominating me for the Liebster award. Thanks, Maggie! Though I’ve been tagged with this before I had fun answering her questions and doing my best to be seriously random here. Hope you enjoy it and are having a marvelous Monday!

liebsteraward

… and a random posts calls for random pictures [note that you agreed to this by just coming here].

Here’s how to play:

1. Thank the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers to answer your questions.
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominate to answer and let all of the bloggers know that you’ve nominated them.  You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

Shoes

More than one walk happened on the weekend.

11 random facts about me

  1. Tea is my favourite beverage all year round – no matter which season.
  2. There was a time when I wanted to become a kindergarten teacher and did a summer internship at my former kindergarten. It was so hard to leave again after those week yet I still chose another career path [for now – never say never …].
  3. My favourite TV series growing up was Ocean Girl. Any other fans or at least people who’ve heard of it? Any Australians, maybe?
  4. Going for a walk is my favourite way to start the day.
  5. I don’t like ketchup. Never even did as a child.
  6. I’m scared of swimming in the open sea.
  7. I’m slightly obsessed with taking pictures of flowers. Especially in my mom’s garden [proof is in the pictures].
  8. Viva la vida by Coldplay is one of the few thoughts that I know the lyrics of by heart. With most other songs I might know a few lines here and there but wouldn’t be able to sing along all the way.
  9. As much as I enjoy reading [others’] random posts I have the hardest time writing them myself. There are so many random things about every person but I find it’s hard to name them myself when being asked.
  10. I’m not only the youngest but also the shortest child in my family.
  11. Even numbers are my favourite for a reason I can’t [even] explain. Needless to say the numbers in this tag puzzle me a little. Eleven random facts? Eleven questions? Why not choose an even number?

Tea

  1. If you worked in a typical school cafeteria, how would you “healthify” the menu? Fun fact here: None of the schools I went to had an actual cafeteria as in: a place you could get a warm lunch at. All we had were older students selling candy bars, sandwiches and the likes.  From what I’ve heard about cafeterias, though, some changes I’d make to their menus would be: include whole-grain options, fruit in place of sugary desserts, a no-fried-food policy and no soft drinks. I’m all about balance so if students choose to eat unhealthily: okay. Only schools shouldn’t support this.
  2. What is your guilty pleasure? Sleeping in. As in: really sleeping in.
  3. If you could pack a suitcase to anywhere right now, what would you pack and where would you go? Perfect timing on this question as a get-away would be just the right thing at the moment. My suitcase would contain clothes for every weather and accompany me on a journey through the US finally visiting all of my blends. A girl can dream …
  4. Have you ever lived in another country? Where and for how long? I unfortunately haven’t. It’s about time, don’t you agree?
  5. What’s your least favorite household chore? Definitely bathroom duties. More specifically: cleaning the toilet and the mirror. The first because nobody likes it.  And the mirrors because I never manage to leave them behind streak-free which is frustrating. Advice is appreciated if you have any.
  6. What are your 5 must-have foods? That’s a tough one. Fruit [cheating a bit here with a food group], oat bran, nut butter, kabocha and chickpeas.
  7. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Not trying to pick on any parts of my body here so I’d go with being less self-critical.
  8. If you could go back to any age and relive it, which age would you choose and why? The Renaissance – for its music, art, literature. And maybe the gorgeous dresses have played in here, too …
  9. Who’s your favorite Disney princess? Do I really have to pick a favourite? Okay, I’ll go with Rapunzel.
  10. If you were forced to survive on a desert island, who would you bring with you and why? Is there any limit to the number of people? If not: my whole family – that way I’d have people to lead good conversations with, people knowledgeable of ways to survive, technically skilled people who can help build a cabin, …
  11. What is one of your biggest regrets? As a notorious overthinker I’d easily be able to come up with a large number of regrets. But I feel like constant regretting and focusing on the negatives keeps us from being happy and letting loose. Therefore I try not to let the thoughts of regret linger on for too long instead trying to see the positives. Just to play the game right, though: My latest regret would be not taking an umbrella with me on my walk earlier today. That’d have spared a pair of shoes from getting wet – I was fine wearing a trench coat. [Yet I can’t help but add that this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Sorry I’m not sorry for the positivity :).]

Flowers_July

My questions

  1. What is one of your favourite childhood memories?
  2. Name the three most-worn items from your closet.
  3. Who’s your biggest inspiration in life?
  4. Is there any book you’ve read multiple times? If yes: which?
  5. Where is your happy place?
  6. Tea or coffee?
  7. What’s your ideal way to start the day?
  8.  What are some of the words or phrases you use most often?
  9. Are you a planner or a spontaneous person?
  10. Would you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
  11. Which famous person would you like to spend a day with and why?

My nominees [in alphabetical order because I had to :)]

Alex  @ Veggin’ out in the kitchen

Arman @ The big man’s world

Christine @ Apple of my Eye

Emily @ Build your bliss

Madison @ Eating for Balance

Meghan @  Clean Eats, Fast Feets

Michelle @ Peachy Palate

Olivia @ Liv lives life

Sara @ Nourish and flourish

Shannon @ Healthiful balance

 

And because I prefer even numbers I’ll go against the rules and nominate just ten ;).

Happiness inducing today: Reminders of how awesome friendships made through blogging are.

 

It’s your turn: Answer as many of my questions as you like! I’m curious to find out more about you.