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.

MiMM_new

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.

Gifts_Geschenke_Christmas

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!

 

110 Things That Make Me Happy

Hi there, Monday! Once again, you came faster than expected.

As bloggers we open our lives up to an indefinably large audience. We share what’s going on in our world. Food. Fun. Maybe fitness. The good and the bad. I’m not a Negative Nancy so while authenticity is a key priority for me on- and offline, I don’t always tell everything – and I fell most bloggers will follow the same approach. Life isn’t unicorns and rainbows 24/7 and the past weeks have been more rain than rainbows for me. There, I said it. However, like I said, negativity isn’t my style so I’m trying to keep my head up. Coincidentially, Kathy inspired me to do some thinking about all the good things in life. It’s the little things that make us happy after all. Without further ado, here are 100 things that make me happy and bring joy to my life. Because photography is one of those things, I added some pictures bringing my list to the marvelous number of 110 things [and counting because once you start looking there are countless things making you happy in life].

  1. Being with people I love.
  2. The sound in my ears when riding my bike.
  3. My bed. The comfiest place on earth.
  4. Riding my bike.
  5. Especially riding my bike in the sunset.
  6. Flowers of any kind – as evidenced by the bazillion of pictures of them on my blog. You’ve got to share the love, right?!
  7. Walks through the woods. Just taking in nature, forgetting about the time and everything else.
  8. Seeing people smile. Especially people I love. I’m happy when others around me are happy. Smiles are indeed contagious.
  9. Silence and rest after loud and long days or nights.
  10. Stopping to smell the flowers. Literally.
  11. Writing letters
  12. Receiving letters.
  13. The sun.
  14. Curling up in bed pulling the blankets up until under my nose.
  15. PJ pants_striped_bed
  16. Reminiscing in childhood memories.
  17. Taking showers.
  18. The scent of my shampoo.
  19. Those rare days when the scent of said shampoo actually sticks in my hair for longer than a few minutes. Just me?
  20. Hand-knitted wool socks by my grandma. ‘tis the season.
  21. Freshly washed sheets.
  22. Fresh fruit. All the fruit.
  23. Ice cream.
  24. Nut butter. I don’t discriminate here.
  25. All the kabocha. At best home-grown from my mum’s garden.
  26. Sleeping in on the weekends.
  27. Talking with friends for so long we forget all about the time. And food.
  28. Buying new writing utensils.
  29. That’s an obvious one: Blogging.
  30. Family walks – on the beach or elsewhere.
  31. Reading thought-provoking articles.
  32. Sunday walk_October
  33. Taking pictures.
  34. Long dresses. Short dresses. All kinds of dresses, really.
  35. Getting dressed up for special occasions.
  36. Watching one of my favourite movies. Like How to steal a million. Mad Hot Ballroom.
  37. When I’m sad and others find just the right words to cheer me up.
  38. Painting my nails. Even if  picking a colour can be tough.
  39. The sound of leaves crushing beyond my feet on walks in autumn.
  40. Things children say in awe of things they don’t yet understand. Yes, it sure is possible to raise a foal in a three-bedroom city apartment. You just have to believe it.
  41. Saying that, I think I should re-read some of my old favourites.
  42. Tongue twisters.
  43. Running. It clears my mind, lets me breathe and fuels my creativity. I can’t wait to lace up my shoes and get back into it again one day. Hopefully soon.
  44. Colouring books. Because you’re never too old for them and it’s important to keep the inner child alive. Adult life can be rough.
  45. Winter sun
  46. Being silly with friends because we should keep our inner child alive forever.
  47. Insider jokes. Oh that one created on our class trip to the Netherlands …
  48. Gilmore Girls.Rory and Lorelai have saved many a boring night for me.
  49. Working out. Those endorphines produced while exercise are amazing.
  50. My favourite magazines.
  51. Listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks. To all Germans: Rufus Beck is brilliant.
  52. Laughing.
  53. While I’m neither a huge cake nor cookie person eating the dough is my favourite part.
  54. Scented candles. I just started lighting one on my table in the morning again. It didn’t feel right in summer but now that it’s getting colder again …
  55. Driving, turning the music up loud and jamming along. There’s a reason I prefer driving alone.
  56. Breaking out into spontaneous kitchen dance parties.
  57. Candles_December
  58. Random conversations with strangers.
  59. Libraries. Going into them with no idea on what to get and browsing endlessly.
  60. Reading. Duh.
  61. Writing lists. Like this one.
  62. Checking things off of my to-do list.
  63. Receiving a new issue of the magazine I subscribe to.
  64. Watching the clouds and looking for cloud animals. Did anybody else do that as a child?
  65. Watching the sunrise.
  66. Watching the sunset. Is it apparent I like the sun just a smidgen?
  67. Surprising other people.
  68. Asking my grandparents about their lives and listening to their stories. If yours are still alive and you haven’t asked them about ‘earlier’ yet: do it.
  69. Exploring cities or new places by simply walking around with no set goal.
  70. houses_Berlin
  71. Finding/buying/collecting beautiful dishes. I have way too many a lot.
  72. Early mornings. On those occasions I wake up early enough to enjoy them …
  73. Watching the stars.
  74. Beach walks with the whole family including my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.
  75. Wearing boots that make me a little taller. Any other short people that can relate?
  76. Unplugging. Some of the best memories are made when there’s no technology around to capture them.
  77. Eating nut butter straight from the jar. The joy of not having to share.
  78. Getting compliments. Not just for appearance but things I wrote or created, too.
  79. Making new friends.
  80. Hearing birds sing.
  81. When somebody unexpectedly calls, texts or mails to simply ask how I’m doing. That’s something to pay forward.
  82.  Finding things I thought I’d lost again.
  83. Baking cookies. Or cakes. Or anything, really.
  84. What's not to love about freshly baked cookies? Tasting the dough might be my favourite part of baking, though.
  85. Figuring out how to do things I had yet to understand.
  86. Rainbows.
  87. Trying something for the first time and immediately getting the hang of it.
  88. Playing board games. Unfortunately not one of my family’s favourite activies so we hardly do it anymore these days. That has to change!
  89. My mum’s laugh. Trust me, it’s the most contagious [and one of the loudest] ever.
  90. Creating new recipes.
  91. Candied peanuts_2
  92. Going to the movies.
  93. When my apartment looks neat and organized. Why does a thorough clean-up never last long??
  94. Crafting. It’s something I really enjoyed as a child but – thanks to many arts teacher telling me I had no talent – lost over the years. With Christmas in mind I started searching Pinterest for ideas and can’t wait to get started.
  95. Speaking English. I’m currently teaching German to an American exchange student and while I’m getting paid the best part is being able to practice my English, too. I’ve always loved learning languages.
  96. When the kids I’m tutoring are successful in school.
  97. Having a sudden flash of inspiration.
  98. Hot showers. Even more now that it’s getting colder outside they’re a real treat.
  99. No matter what’s going on in my life I will always appreciate a hug.
  100. There’s nothing like changing into your pajamas, watching some movie or reading a good book.
  101. Singing [when nobody’s listening].
  102. Listening to my favourite songs on repeat.
  103. Kitten. I guess we can agree baby animals are cute – but so are grown up ones.
  104. Scarves.
  105. Traveling and seeing new places.
  106. Doing puzzzles – even if they take me forever to finish.
  107. Learning something new.
  108. Living in the moment and not worrying about the future. I’m still practicing …
  109. Every comment on here. Yes, I know I’m repeating myself but the blogging community – you. Thank you for stopping by, commenting and making blogging all the better.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Taking a walk outside before the rain set in. Thoughts flowing, feet moving – it was wonderful

 

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Tell me some of the things that make you happy!

That time there was no Christmas tree [Holiday recap]

Now what was that?? I don’t know about you but I can never believe how quickly Christmas passes again year after year. Within the blink of an eye it’s back to the daily grind of non-festiveness. Before that all rolls in, though, how about a marvelous little look back at Christmas 2014? Celebrated the untraditional way as you’ll see in a minute.

MiMM_new

Even for my family’s already unusual standards this year turned out to be a brea. Aside from maybe a few years during my [earlier] childhood* I don’t think my family ever had what would be considered a ‘classic’ Christmas celebration. Starting with a first glance at our tree

Tree top_Christmas 2014

* I still consider myself a child because as long as we have parents that’s what we are, no?!

One thing that remained the same, though, was our traditional dinner on Christmas Eve.  Thank goodness. Missing out on grandma’s Rotkohl would have legitimately broken my heart.  I mean it.  The obsession is so strong I couldn’t wait but have a bowlfull the minute we arrived at my parents’. There was more than Rotkohl on the menu, though. Semmelknödel [that my mum actually prepared the vegan way using soy flour in place of eggs as per my suggestion – she was a fan], potatoes, a vegan seitan roast my sister made from scratch, brussels sprouts and obviously dessert. But that one comes with a slightly deeper background story that I’ll share on Thursday for my next time thinking out loud.

Christmas 2014_dinner

I feel we need a little close-up of the Rotkohl goodness because it truly is the best. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my grandma to write down the recipe to share on the blog because she’s a little secretive about it and never prepares it the same way. Her cooking style is the classic grandma way: some of this, some of that and, oh hey, let’s add that jar of homemade jelly, too.

Holidays_2014 004

Untraditional was our tree. Now here’s the big change and major shock to me: we didn’t have a Christmas tree. Or not an actual one. Do you remember what I said about my family’s stance on fake trees? I’m not sure into which category this one would fall. Without my knowledge my parents and sister had decided to go a different route this year  [and possibly those to follow?!]. Say hello to our environmental-friendlier tree!

Christmas tree_2014

My grandpa, sister and mum built it using old ply woods and tree branches they cut or found in the woods. It was hard to get used to the idea for me but once lit in the dark room it worked a charm at lending at least some of the traditional Christmas cheer. First blogger fail here, though, because I got no proper picture of the lit tree.

Christmas 2014_elks

Traditional, however, was our family walk. Workouts fell wayside for me most days in favour of spending quality time with my relatives.  It used to be a major stressor for me in past years. But – maybe due to seeing everybody even less in between – I focused on enjoying the days getting in exercise when I could but not fretting about missing a day or two. And definitely not cutting back on food. It’s a short time of the year only after all and I knew my answer to any ‘healthy’ holiday advice telling me to up my exercise if I wanted to indulge. Thanks but no, thanks. That’s not what the holidays are about.

Family walk_christmas

It wasn’t until starting to write this post that I noticed I failed at taking pictures of my gifts. In my defense: I hardly took a lot of pictures in general this year. Don’t you agree we capture most memories of family time in our heads and hearts rather than on our cameras and memory disks in anway?

One more thing: this Christmas – for reasons unrelated to its untraditional ways – wasn’t the merriest I’ve had so far. But I’m all for looking on the bright – or: marvelous – side of things and choosing what I want to keep in mind the most. And there we have it: a short recap of my untraditional Christmas in the countryside. Now let me know about yours!

Happiness inducing today: My sister for listening and offering a different and encouraging perspective on some problems I’ve been facing. It always helps to share what’s on your mind with somebody else – we don’t need to know all solutions ourselves.

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Do you approve of our untraditional tree 😉 ?

Tell me about your Christmas days!

 

What was your favourite

a) food

b) part of the holidays overall?

Everything you [n]ever wanted to know about me [TMI survey]

Time to show the drafts folder a little lovin’ and also kill two birds with one stone: Kaila tagged me for this TMI survey waaaay back [please don’t look at the date] and I thought it was only fitting in an effort to become a bit more visible. Also, who doesn’t like a some survey action?! It’s a marvelously fun time filling these in and I hope you enjoy it, too. Note that it’s a long survey so I decided to split it into two parts. Next one to come when the mood hits me.

MiMM_new

1: What are you wearing?

Not a dress for once but – weekend-ing plus writing this at night – the brand new PJ pants my mum has sewn me and that arrived in the mail yesterday.

PJ pants_striped_bed

2: Ever been in love?

Truly and deeply in a this-will-last-forever way? No. Maybe I’m too picky [see #15, too]?!

3: Ever had a terrible breakup?
Break-ups, yes, but none that time and friends couldn’t heal.

4: How tall are you?
All of 5’4. Sadly no amount of stretching can convince the measuring tape elsewise.

5: How much do you weigh?
Does anybody really answer this?? I couldn’t even if I wanted to [but I don’t] because the scale and me parted ways when I moved out from my parents’. Meaning four years ago.

6: Any tattoos?
Now come the huge revealing questions [read: the boring part]: no.

7: Any piercings?
You guessed it: No.

8: Favorite movie couple?

9: Favorite show?
Maybe I’m the only one saying this but: none. Or none that is still on. Gilmore Girls were a favourite after I got hooked but I started late and thanks to not owning a TV I have yet to see all episodes. And hey, who wouldn’t like to have a pajama party with Rory and Lorelai??

10: Favorite bands?
That’s a tough one. I tend to randomly listen to songs but hardly like a whole album. Either way, Coldplay, Maroon 5,…

11: Something you miss? 
The carelessness of being a child. Life tends to get more complicated by the year and sometimes I just wish my biggest worries were which dress to put or whom to invite to my birthday.
12: Favorite song?
By now you know I’m not playing favourites so here are a few that brighten my day and bring up memories whenever I hear them:

‘Je veux’ by Zaz.

 

And this one is long, yes, and probably unusual but I like it a lot. Good good memories.

 

13: How old are you?
23. Officially one of the twenty-somethings.

14: Zodiac sign?

Aquarius.

15: Quality you look for in a partner?

Charm. Humor. Loyalty. Authenticity. Honesty. And then some more. I can’t deny I’m picky.

16: Favorite Quote?

There are too many to pick just one. But this one is pretty good especially in the context of social media.

17: Favorite actor?
Audrey Hepburn used to be one of my idols growing up. Not just for her acting skills but personality, too.

18: Favorite color?

Tone-in-tone_phone

Coral and shades of red. Except for pants [I don’t really ever wear them] I can’t think of a single basic item of clothing I don’t own in coral.

19: Loud music or soft?
Soft. Loud is making me feel uncomfortable. Especially when running I need to hear my breathing and footsteps.

20: Where do you go when you’re sad?

Outside for a walk. Nothing helps me clear my mind and sort thoughts bouncing around in my head like moving in crisp fresh air. Bonus points if it’s in the countryside.

walk

21: How long does it take you to shower?

Does anybody time that? A rough guesstimate would be a little less than 10 minutes but turning off the shower when massaging in shampoo.

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Are we talking the whole routine from getting up to leaving the apartment? Then 1.5 hours. Why, yes, I need my time in the AM though I’m capable of shortcuts.

23: Ever been in a physical fight?

Luckily not. If so I’ll try to channel my knowledge from years of Kung Fu training.

24: Turn on?

Positivity. A sense of humor. Intelligence.

5384d-happyday

25: Turn off?

Negativity. Selfishness. Know-it-alls. People who focus on appearance too much [adding this because I’ve noticed this again lately].

26: The reason I started blogging?

My original reason was my passion for writing and connecting with others but also curiosity. I wanted to see why everybody else enjoyed blogging such a lot – and now I know it.

 

 … to be continued.

 

Happiness-inducing today: The gorgeous coloured leaves on the path when I was running outside.

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Your turn: Pick a few of the questions and answer them!

Did I successfully accomplish the goal of spilling too much information 😉 ??

Everybody likes food – Part II

Everything starting with part one signal a follow-up so here’s the second slice of the epic food survey I got rolling last week. And just like last week I hope you’ll agree food has the abilty to make our days marvelous and – on grumpy days – bring a little oomph and happiness to them. So rather than telling you about the second part of my move – nobody ask me about the number of boxes needed to stash all of my belongings, okay?! – I’ll talk about food. Let’s get rolling!

Nuts

Nut butter

1) What’s your favorite type of nut?
I like pretty much all nuts. Aside from..

2) What’s your least favorite type of nut?
Sorry to all pecan fiends but I don’t like those. And walnuts are similar so I usually pass on those,  too.

3) What’s your favorite type of nut-butter?
It changes but I always need to have white almond butter on hand for all the tasty sweet treats and savoury recipes I can use it in.

4) Are you good with portion control when it comes to nuts or nut-butters?
Is anybody? I’m kind of glad I’m not anymore. Gone are the days of cutting up a huge apple with a meticulously measured teaspoon of cashew butter.

5) What’s your favorite recipe that involves nuts or nut-butters?
Amanda’s crispy cereal bars are a standby for me and I’ve been meaning to prepare another batch of my Chocolate Almond  Caramel  Bars again soon, too. For savoury fare I still enjoy my spaghetti squash bake a lot. The almond butter sauce adds great creaminess – no need of whipping up a more involved topping with dozens of ingredients.

Almond butter Collage

6) Have you ever tried pea-butter or soynut butter?
We don’t have either of those over here but should I ever happen upon one of them I wouldn’t be opposed.

7) When was the last time you ate nuts?
Not actual nuts but nut butter: I’m sitting here with a jar of almond butter and a spoon right now that I’m composing this post. Talking about food makes me hungry.

8) Is anybody close to you allergic to nuts?
Not to hurt any allergics but fortunately not. I’d be super anxious to accidentially serve cross-contaminated food or eat nuts around them.

9) What’s your favorite way to use nut-butters?
Eat straight from a spoon. The perks of living on my own and not giving a second thought to double-dipping!

Addicted.

10) Do you think nuts are worth the calories?
Yes!!! Years ago my answer would likely have been less decided though I remember lugging around bags of trail mix even throughout my ED. Nutty girl.

Dairy

1) Do you prefer chocolate or white milk?
White [unsweetened] non-dairy milk for me. When I first got into veganism I had a serious obsession with Alpro’s chocolate soy milk though I’ve never had store-bought dairy chocolate milk. Maybe because it wasn’t popular over here when I was a child?

2) What’s your favorite brand of yogurt?
Vegan: Alpro plain Yofu.
Dairy: Berchtesgadener Land Quark [our kind-of Greek yogurt].

Greek yogurt

3) Do you think you get enough calcium?
In between the amounts of fortified non-dairy milk and Greek or soy yogurt I eat I’d assume yes.

4) Where do you get the most calcium from (yogurt, cheese, milk, etc)?
Yogurt. Whether fortified soy or Greek – I consume a lot of both.

5) What’s your favorite type of cheese?
A newfound fondness is for Romadur.  Soft brie-like cheese it is for me. Its creamy meltiness even when cold wins me over.

Cheese

6) What’s your favorite way to eat cheese?
Not the biggest surprise if you’ve been reading for a while: in casseroles. If it wasn’t for those I wouldn’t miss cheese all that much.

7) What’s your favorite flavour of ice cream?:
No. I can’t ever choose one. I tried before and will go with mango as my current favourite fruity flavour still.  The creamy flavour always depends on the offer I’m presented. I recently tried peanut caramel ice cream by a local creamery and wow, that was good.

8) When you eat oatmeal, do you make it with milk, or water?
Usually water. It’s not an ED issue though I’d been wondering about that,  too.  But there’s something about banana-sweetened oats cooked in milk that makes them too sweet (?) for me. The exception are banana-less oatmeal puddings. I always use milk for extra creaminess when preparing them.

Oats

9) What kind of milk do you drink?
Coconut is my favourite and in fact the only one I drink plain. I’m not a milk drinker. Again maybe because I didn’t grow up drinking it other than when my mum made her hot chocolate from scratch as a special treat on the weekends?

10) What’s your favorite thing to do with cottage cheese?
Eat plain when I feel like having a savoury snack or use it for frozen yogurt.

Faux_frozen yogurt_froyo

Meat

1) Are you vegetarian or vegan?

I’m lacto-vegetarian, largely vegan,  so I decided to skip the remaining questions from this category. You don’t want me to answer every question with “I don’t eat meat”, right?

Drinks

1) What do you put in your coffee?
I don’t drink coffee [yet?].

2) What do you put in your tea?
Nothing.  My favourite is Yogi tea which is flavourful enough on its own.

3) Do you like the taste of water?:
If we’re talking sparkling water: yes.  Water straight from the tap isn’t my favourite.

4) Do you drink enough water everyday?
Absolutely.  In between sparkling water and tea my water intake is high. Insert running to the toilet … often. At least that means getting more breaks at work, right?!

Water_glass

5) What’s your favorite flavour of diet soda?
Orange-flavoured cola.

6) Do you think you drink too much diet soda?
Guilty.  It’s a bad habit I’ve been trying to kick multiple times before.

7) Do you prefer to eat or drink your calories?:
Eat.  I need something to chew on to be satisfied. That’s why smoothies – unless laden with toppings – don’t appeal to me.

Tea

8) Do you drink energy drinks?
A loud no. Just the smell of Red Bull makes me gag.

9) What’s your favorite smoothie recipe?
Does ‘Thin Mint’ banana softserve with peppermint extract and cocoa count?? Because that’s the closest I’ve gotten with smoothies by now.

10) Do you flavour your water (lemon, crystal lite, etc)?
No.

Treats

1) How often do you eat something unhealthy?
Labels are for grandma’s jam jars [though, thinking about it, mine doesn’t actually label hers]. Don’t label food.
For the past months I’ve been making a conscious effort to let go of labeling foods. It has no positive impact on our eating experience and if anything will lower our enjoyment and increase feelings of guilt. So if we’re talking about how often I eat refined sugar/ sweets/ storebought savoury snacks: daily.  Some days more, some days less. I still choose mindfully and won’t buy anything laden with E numbers,  two dozen kinds of sugar or lots of ingredients I can’t pronounce. Long story short: I’d say I eat nutritious food for the most part with some ‘play food‘ [borrowing this term from Intuitive Eating] thrown in.

2) Do you prefer a sweet or a salty treat?
Generally sweet but it really depends on the situation. I’m more likely to stock bars of chocolate than bags of chips, though.

3) What’s your favorite salty treat?
Erdnussflips, tortilla chips or pretzel sticks.

4) What’s your favorite sweet treat?
Chocolate on a daily basis. Ice cream when I’m out with friends because I enjoy it much more with others around.

Ice cream

5) What’s your favorite brand of chocolate bar?
I think this one is obvious to any regular reader: my heart money belongs to Lindt. My grandma on my dad’s side is to blame for that obsession instilled in childhood already. See, I didn’t even have a choice.

6) When was the last time you went out to eat?
My mum and I ate at an all-vegan restaurant around the corner of where I lived on the day of my move.

7) What did you order?

Lunch out_vegan_buffet_July 2014

They serve all food buffet-style so I got a nice plate with a bit of almost everything. Vegetable curry, vegan goulash, a quinoa dish,  red rice, … It was awesome and the first time in ages I ate the whole plate without an ounce of guilt. It’s a pity I won’t be able to go back [or at least not in a long time].

8) Do you tend to binge on unhealthy foods around your house?
Rarely. I wouldn’t consider these once-in-a-blue-moon happenings binges but satisfying cravings I [un]intentionally ignored for too long before. It still happens at times.

9) Chips or popcorn?
Tortilla chips [to keep up with the corn theme].

10) What’s your favorite flavour/brand of chips?
Lorenz. Which I’m sure all of you will know. Not. 😉

Happiness-inducing today: Talking to my grandma on the phone. It had been a long while since we last talked and we ended up chatting forever. All while walking in the evening sunshine.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Tell me …

What’s your favorite recipe using nuts or nut butters?

Do you prefer oatmeal prepared with milk or water? If milk: which kind is your favourite?

How often do you eat ‘play foods’?

What are your favourite treats?

Everybody likes food – Part I

Life/ blog realisation #293494: the more is happening in my life, the less likely I am to take pictures of said happenings. So while I could technically post a recap of the time between my move on Wednesday and today there are zero photos to document it. How else to join the marvelousness over at Katie’s? Surveys to the rescue!

MiMM_new

The perfect occasion for a no-brainer topic everybody considers marvelous and likes to talk about: food. I snagged this epic survey from Amanda – thanks! – and will also follow her lead in breaking it up into two servings parts. Expect the second part soon but first parts first so here it goes!

Grains

1) Flavour-wise, do you prefer white breads or whole wheat?
Growing up on whole grain breads from a local organic bakery these will forever be my favourite.  I’m picky, though: it has to be the kind laden with seeds.

2) What’s your favorite type of grain to eat (oatmeal, bread, wraps, etc)?:
Even though I usually struggle with naming favourites this one is clear: oats. They’re one of the most versatile grains ever: in various forms – rolled, steel-cut or [my favourite] oat bran – for breakfast,  rotis/ lolis as a side for curries and oat flour in gluten-free baked goods like these incredible brownies.

Oats_collage

3) What’s your favorite sandwich filling?
I’ll have to pass on this one: no sandwiches for me.

4) What’s your favorite kind of bread?
Like I mentioned above: the delightfully doughy pumpkin/ sunflower/ flax seed-studded loaves my mum buys.

5) Around how many servings of grain do you consume daily?
This is tricky to answer. Not because I don’t eat grains – heck do I! – but as serving sizes confuse me. Adhering to pre-defined standard serving sizes doesn’t work for me. Some days I’ll need more than those, some days they fit my appetite. What I can say, though, is that grains are a key part of my daily meals.

Grains

6) What’s your favorite cracker-topping?
You’re supposed to top crackers?! We’ve never done that in my family.

7) What’s your favorite thing to do with rice?
Sweet: rice pudding.  At best prepared by my mum using the ‘in-bed method’. Does anybody else’s mum do the same? ?
Savoury: either burrito bowls or some kind of casserole.

8) What brand of bread do you usually buy?
I buy bread once in a blue moon and preferably from local organic bakeries. Once, though, I was lucky to get a taste of the famous life-changing loaf of bread my sister had baked. It really is amazing,

Life-changing bread_my new roots

9) What’s your favorite type of cereal?
Boring but the only one I regularly buy is unsweetened puffed amaranth. It’s delicious both plain and in place of bread crumbs in savoury dishes.  The scarce choice of ‘healthy’ cereals we get over here doesn’t even closely compare to all brands available overseas.

10) What was your favorite type of breakfast cereal as a child?
Crunchy granola with chocolate chunks.

Fruits

1) Favorite fruit?
As with all those ‘favourites’: Tough question. I’ll go with most-eaten instead and say apples.

2) Least favorite type of fruit?
Papaya. It’s ridiculously expensive and tastes like nothing.  Not a fair trade.

3) Do you drink fruit juice often?
Hardly ever.

4) Do you consider tomatoes a fruit, or a vegetable?
I know it’s technically a fruit but in my mind it will always be a vegetable. And as long as supermarkets keep stocking it in the vegetable section I’ll feel proven right. (:

5) Do you think you eat enough fruit daily?:
Absolutely, yes. Maybe too much because moderation does -not- exist when it comes to fruit.

Fruit_collage_2014

6) Do you consider fruit more important than vegetables?
Not more important but sweeter so I’m more likely to eat [lots of] it. Sweet tooth right here.

7) What’s your favorite citrus fruit?
Oranges.

8) Do you like pastries with fruit in them?
Hm, I’m trying to remember if I ever had a fruit pastry before. But if we’re talking crumbles than yes to those with fruit.

9) What’s your favorite flavour of jam?
Cherry -and- strawberry. At best made by my grandma but I’ve found a good brand as a replacement, too.

My Mum’s homemade strawberry jam – made with real sugar and can’t be  beaten.

10) When do you usually eat the most fruit (breakfast, snack, etc)?:.
I’m snacking on fruit all throughout the day.

Veggies

1) When you were a kid, did you like vegetables?:
It was a tie. Neither was I the pickiest nor the most daring eater. Actually, I think I’ll ask my mum later to hear how she’d rated me there. Fingers crossed for an answer in my favour ;).

2) Do you think you eat enough vegetables now?:
Some days I could do better but for the most part: yes.

3) What’s your favorite raw vegetable?:
Carrots. But only organic ones that I’ve found to be naturally sweeter than their non-organic counterparts.

4) What’s your favorite cooked vegetable?:
Kabocha. Too bad it’s the vegetable with the shortest season over here. Just steamed and plain it’s perfection. No roasting or seasonings for me.

Kabocha

 5) What’s your least favorite raw vegetable?:
Kohlrabi. You will not see me eat that.  As a child I saw other kids snack on it and was so glad my mum never tucked it into my lunch box. Which means my children will probably be kohlrabi despisers, too.

6) What’s your least favorite cooked vegetable?:
Beets. Unfortunately because they’re super healthy and I really like their gorgeous colour but: no.

7) What’s your favorite kind of salad?
On the rare occasion I eat salad I’ll use spinach or a store-bought salad mix as a base. But you know I’m more partial to grain salads..

Taco Salad_

8) Do you buy spaghetti sauce, or do you make your own?
Always homemade. I can see how it might be handy to use store-bought when short on time but Germany most definitely doesn’t boast sketchy-ingredient-free varieties. When I was still living at home my mum would occasionally buy some organic vegan bolognese sauce at the health food store for me when the rest of the family had her homemade non-vegetarian meat sauce.

9) When/if you order a sub at subway or mr. sub, what vegetables do you get on it?:
Ironically, I used to work at Subway but never ate there. The town I grew up in didn’t have Subway so I never had it prior to going vegetarian, either.

10) Do you like vegetables more than fruit?
Generally no. Unless you asked me during kabocha season which happens to be right now…

Happiness-inducing today: Another very big hug from my grandpa. This one doesn’t get old.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Tell me …

What’s your favourite grain?

Around how many servings of grain do you consume daily?

Favourite fruit? Least favourite fruit?

Do you like vegetables more than fruit?