Spätzle_lunch_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #4

A little birdy told me it had been a while since I last talked about food on here. It also told me that I risked losing my label as a foodie. So what’s a girl to do? Better safe than sorry so how about we talk about … .food today?  It’s common knowledge among bloggers that writing an intro is the hardest part of a post so how about we get started right away? Thanks again to Jenn for hosting What I ate Wednesday!

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Usually I’d keep the best for last but because breakfast yesterday was [one of] my favourite food[s] in the world I’ll spill the beans right away: it’s kabocha season! Granted, not actually. But our garden has allowed me to have a first taste of autumn’s best produce while stores aren’t carrying squash regularly yet. I know some of you are lucky to have kabocha available all year round but for me it’s a few months only. A few long-awaited months. Or this year sadly just weeks because stores around here won’t carry this very kind of squash at all so I’m limited to the ~ seven kabocha babies in the yard.

Anyway, I figure I’d go best by living in the moment and enjoying kabocha to the fullest while I can. No problem because it tates so.incredibly.amazing.

kabocha_pot

Sometimes, the best dishes grace your plate when you improvise [or can’t follow your own recipes]. Case in point: the zucchini overload in our garden and lack of cauliflower combined led to me turning my Cauliflower Chickpea Curry into a, well, Zucchini Curry.  With kidney beans because I had an open can of those. So yes, totally overthrowing my recipe but keeping the spices. The result? Delicious. And obviously more afforable using our own produce. Just wait for it: by the end of summer I’ll either be fed up with squash or sadly resert back to those at the store.

Zucchini Kidney Bean Curry

No day is complete without some …? Chocolate, right. I’ve been surprising myself with a changed taste preference here. After my recent purchase I haven’t been fancying my old favourite at all anymore. Dare I say it tastes … odd to me? Well, I guess they say tastes change as we grow up. As of yet I’d asumed this was only true in terms of more nutritious foods [can you believe I wouldn’t touch a tomato as a child and now can’t get enough of our homegrown ones?] but why not include chocolate? It’s from a bean so basically a vegetable/legume after all 😉 .

Mint chocolate

Because we’ve reached the sweet ending of this post I bid you goodbye and see you again tomorrow!

Happiness-inducing today: Meeting an old acquaintance and his cute dog and having a nice chat.

Stay in touch!

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How have your taste preferences changed in the past?

What’s your current go-to breakfast? How often do you change it up?

Tell me your favourite flavour combination: Chocolate and _______________?

 

 

 

 

 

Why Intuitive Eating is Making Me Sad

 Contrary to what the title suggests I like Intuitive Eating. No, scratch that, I’m absolutely fond/smitten/insert other excited exclamation here of this concept. We’ll get to my point in a minute.

And who isn’t? Look around the blog world and you’ll see dozens, hundreds, thousands of people singing the praises of this wonderful revolutionary trend. This amazing new concept that finally frees them from food worries and restriction. We’re finally allowed to eat just what we want again. Heureka! Oh and have I told you about how I intuitively ate a cupcake today yet? Yes, really, just wait for it …

Intuitive eating

Stop! That’s what is making me sad. We – myself included – are getting excited about exploring the joys of intuitive eating. We eat when hungry. Listen to our cravings. Stop when full. Only: it’s not new. It’s the oldest way of eating around. Dating from way before the first weight loss diets were invented. The way our grandparents ate. And their parents. What we do is get back to our original state. The way we were born.* The way of eating that was stolen from us by the confusing messages sent out by magazines. Blogs. Nutrional experts. Certain doctors. …

*granted, I don’t feel I ever ate truly intuitively but this is part of my own story I have yet to share.

What is making me sad is that millions of women  [and men!] have lost touch with their intuition.

What is making me sad is that we even need a term to describe the way of eating we were born to have. [That being said intuitve eating does sound a lot fancier and upscale than ‘normal’ eating so I’ll roll with it.]

What is making me sad is that we marvel at people who eat intuitively. It shouldn’t excite us but be something we do without even thinking. Just like walking. Brushing your hair. Washing your hands.

What is making me sad is that we’re willing to pay a good amount of cash for programs helping us get back to that state of mind and acting. This isn’t shunning any of these programs because while I haven’t tried them myself yet I know they worked wonders for some/many people and that’s great. The sad aspect is the fact we even need those programs.

Vapiano

Our intuition is built in like a cars engine but was since replaced with worries about calories. Doubts about which diet we should follow. Is it okay to eat x amount of sweets per day? Is gluten/sugar/fruit the devil? A whole industry is built on the fact that we’re completely confused in terms of an essential human need: food. Eating.

Why am I, why are we having such a hard time shutting out the blubber of magazines and social media and simply listen to [and trust!] our inner voice. It has no intention of harming us which I think can we’re righteously doubtful about with certain magazines …

Where does all of this rambling out loud leave me? Am I never going to mention Intuitve eating again? Far from it. Finding my way back to normal and at that intuitive eating and living is still my goal in recovery. Lost connection with your intuition? Start reconnecting. Today. It’s not easy but worth reclaiming.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The sun. Talking to a friend about potential summer holiday plans (!). Editing another family member’s work.

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No questions for you today. Just your thoughts on the issue or experiences.

Food Talk Wednesday #3

You know you’re a blogger if you take pictures of your food with every intetion to share them on your social media outlets of choice.

You know you’re a blogger who needs to post about food if said pictures take up too much space on your phone/camera memory card.

All that being said it’s definitely time for another Food Talk Wednesday. In hopes that will reduce the backlog of pictures at least ever so slightly [who exactly am I kidding?!]. What can I say? Flowers [just wait for the bazillion of pictures I’ve been taking] and food – I can’t resist taking pictues of them.

Today’s theme – you didn’t think I’d pass a chance to give rhyme and reason to a post, did you? – are meals eaten out. I could pretend I was a lazy lady unwilling to cook.  Or fantasize about summertime heat [which Germany sadly isn’t blessed with at the moment] making me dread turning on the stove. But I’d rather go with telling the tale of living up to the goal I set myself. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add some of the recovery lessons learned here. While I don’t want this to turn into a recovery[-only] blog I’ve been inspired, reassured and encouraged by others doing so I’m hoping I might be able to do the same in  a way.

Food Talk Wednesay_logo[Sorry for the phone camera pictures in advance. Sometimes I’m just not feeling the workout that is lugging around a DSLR at all times 😉 .]

The oldest of these pictures – no surprise my phone’s memory card is filling up fast – is of this lovely asparagus risotto I ate way back. I’d dare to say I still remember its taste, though. Risotto – another dish I hadn’t had in quite a while. Mostly for the reason I usually cook for myself only and it’s not really worth the effort for a single serving. This Asparagus Risotto with Cherry Tomatoes was just perfect. The lovely staff at the café knows me and always finds a way to accomodate my vegan preferences even if their regular menu doesn’t offer anything suitable.

Asparagus risotto

One of my favourite dishes was enjoyed at a festival [it’s not actually a festival but the concept would take too long to explain here]. Its name can’t be properly translated but it’s basically a stir-fry of brown rice, speltberries and lots of vegetables with a delicious fresh peanut sauce. Maybe it was the fact I only get the chance to eat this dish once a year but for once I actually finished the whole plate – and was still hungry. That’s something I’m still adapting to but baby steps …

FTW_June_6

Pizza! Probably sad to admit but I didn’t remember the last time I’d had pizza prior to this one. At that, recovery is a blessing because you get to rediscover the joy in eating a food others have on the regular.  The additional challenges for me: most of my family had been cycling all day while I – then still being cautious because of my injury – had joined my uncle and wife in taking the car. Aside from missing the extra fresh air lack of movement still makes me anxious. Either way, I enjoyed a few slices of this made-to-order brick oven pizza with spinach, mushrooms and vegan cheese sauce. There couldn’t have been a better way of welcoming pizza back in my life.

FTW_June_5

Pictured below is what sadly fell into the category of ‘looks better than it tastes’: Tomato and olive ragout with pan-fried polenta slices. Eaten on a day trip to meet my sister this was another reminder that sometimes a meal isn’t about the food. Did I fully enjoy the dish? No. It wasn’t awful but didn’t hit the spot or satisfy me [a little TMI: my stomach let me know it didn’t approve of this in terms of digestion later, too …]. Did I enjoy the company? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Sure. One meal isn’t worth making a fuss about and much less if it comes with a side of quality time with somebody you don’t see often enough.

FTW_June_1

Something I’ve noticed overall and hadn’t expected, though, is that eating out is actually easier than challenging myself at home. It’s one of the many surprising experiences I’ve made. First traveling as the one thing I was afraid of turning into a great way to free my mind. Then meals eaten out in general as a way to broaden my palate and delve into unknown calorie territory. At home, I’m more often than not stuck in repetition of ‘safe’ meals but handing over control to somebody else in a place different from home somehow works a little magic. Also good for anybody struggling with serving sizes: what is given to you at restaurant’s is considered the ‘right’ amount for a normal eater. As in: what we’re striving to turn into. Unless you’re faced with a pizza larger than the plate it’s served on – yes, this has happened to me before.

In short: if you can’t seem to challenge yourself food-wise at home, either, try eating out. It takes pushing past your comfort zone a lot at first but is rewarding.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Helping one of my sister’s friends editing a paper she had to write for university. Did I mention I enjoy editing a LOT?!

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Are you guilty of taking way too many pictures of food [or flowers], too?

When was your last time eating out and what did you get?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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?