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.

Get to know me a little more [Liebster award]

Get yourself a snack and a nice cup of tea because today’s post is going to be a lengthy one. Thanks to the sweet Carli who nominated me for the Liebster award. I truly appreciate this award – and not only because the word “Liebster” is German but because it’s a great way of sharing some more information about me. I hope it will let you get to know me a little more.

 

liebsteraward1

Here are the award rules:

1. Write 11 random facts about yourself.

2. Answer the 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you.

3. Create 11 new questions.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in the post.

5. Thank the blogger who nominated you and tell the bloggers you nominated

 

11     Random facts about me

1.I have two older siblings: one brother and one sister. Funnily, there always is a three-year age difference between us: my brother’s 27, my sister 24 and I’m 21.

2.When I was younger I couldn’t fall asleep in complete darkness. Thus, my room door had to be left semi-open and the light in the corridor needed to be turned on at night. My poor brother and sister who shared a room with me for several years :D.

Nowadays, though, it’s the completely different way round: I cannot fall asleep when there’s light turned on in my room, the corridor or a street latern’s light falling in through the windows.

3. Like most parents my mum has been having nicknames for me and my siblings which she used interchangeably. Nothing wrong with that at home. But one day when I was in 6th grade I forgot my Biology folder at home. Being the kind person she is my mum wanted to give it to me and knocked on the classroom door. When my teacher opened mum said “My little snail forgot her folder at home.” Eeeehm, yes … Let’s say the whole class couldn’t stop laughing and kept calling me “little snail” for the remainder of the day.

4. Tea is my favourite beverage ever and I’m very picky about it. No fruit-flavoured roibush for this girl – yuck!

Tea and cups

5. I’m afraid of spiders. One night I was getting up to go to the toilet and something told me there would be a spider sitting on top of light switch. Um, do I really need to tell you the end of the story? Aaaah!

6. I can’t name the colour of my hair. When I was younger people used to say it was dark blonde but my mum called it “street dog blonde” while I’d have never associated it with blonde in any way. Let’s just go with a light brown.

7.  I can’t go without chocolate for a single day. This one doesn’t need an explanation, right ;)?

8. Touching frosted glass gives me the heebie-jeebies.

9. I’ve never watched Titanic. Anybody else? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

10. My parents insisted all of their children learn at least one instrument. So I played the flute and then the alto recorder for several years while being jealous of my sister getting piano lessons. Practicing for my lessons sometimes happened just an hour before they started … woops.

11. Growing up my sister and I were huge Spice Girls fans listening to their CDs all of the time. Who’s with me?

 1.   What’s the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?

This one’s hard to answer. What I can say, though, is that my parents have given me lots of great advice for life.

2. What is your favorite dessert?

Hands down: Ice cream. I could eat it every day. Sorry, Froyo lovers.

Ice cream

3. In your opinion, what’s the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Spending quality time with my family. Talking to my mum about everything on my mind on a long walk through nature. I used to laugh at the idea of Sunday being “family day” but nowadays it seems like a great one.

4. Name one quality you admire in other people.

Self-confidence. I admire people who probably don’t have the “perfect” lives either yet seem to be at peace with themselves and their environment.

5. What’s your biggest fear?

Losing somebody I love. I can’t imagine living without the people dearest to my heart and am afraid whenever they travel far away, have to go to the hospital or something like that.

My grandpa experienced serious health troubles several years ago that are still ever-present and since then I’ve been even more worried about him. It has shown me how fragile life is and reminded me to spend more time with the ones I love.

6. Do you have any hidden talents? I have a hard time seeing my own talents.Something other people tell me I’m good at – without even trying – are languages and grammar. I genuinely enjoy writing, checking other people’s papers/presentations/you name it for spelling or grammar mistakes. I can hardly read a text without spotting mistakes. As this can be a serious problem when writing own texts I try not to re-read them after publishing. So I’m sorry if there are any mistakes in my posts!

Letter

7. What is your favorite vacation spot?

I haven’t traveled a lot in my life yet. What I can say, though, is that I’m not a beach person. Not that I wouldn’t like lovely sunny places – I just don’t enjoy lying around in the heat doing nothing all day long. I’d rather go hiking, cycling or spend time in nature in another way.

8. Would you rather live in the calm countryside or a hustling bustling city?

Having grown up in the countryside and moved to the city after graduation from school I’ve experienced the benefits and disadvantages of both. While living in a city is offering a lot to do when you’re younger I’d love to move back to the countryside if founding my own family. Nature is my happy place.

At the lake

9. What is your favorite way to destress?

Calling my mum or a friend. Bake. Drink tea and eat chocolate.

10. What was your first job (if you’ve had one)?

Does raking the leaves or mowing the lawn count – even though those were unpaid my mum still called them my “jobs” ;).  But really, babysitting was my first ever paid job and I liked it a lot. Who doesn’t like to get paid for playing Barbie with cute little girls or beating 8-year-old  boys in board games? Being allowed to eat everything I please from the closets didn’t hurt, either.

11. What is one lesson you learned the hard way?

At the risk of sounding boring and dumb: That being thin doesn’t make life any easier. Slipping into my ED during my teenage years I hoped losing weight would be my ticket to the world of happiness, popularity and success. But the truth is that dropping pounds doesn’t change the person you really are underneath. And my true friends are those that liked me before I even started losing and went with me through everything.

My 11 questions

What did you want to become as a child?

Who’s your role model in life?

If you had/have a stuffed animal: What was/is its name?

What would you like to be remembered for by others?

Which foreign culture would you like to learn more about?

What’s your motto in life?

What are three of your favourite books of all time?

If you could switch places right now where would you go?

What is one of your quirky habits?

 Which nicknames do you have?

What is your favourite way to treat yourself?

 

Edited to add: Sorry my original list was that short. I should really stop writing posts at night when my brain is elsewhere :D. So here you go …

My nominees

Irina @ Chocolatea Time

Michelle @ Peachy Palate

Heather @ Kiss my Broccoli

Kat @ a dash of fairydust

Lauren @ The homeostatic Mindset

Aimée @ An Aussie in England

Shreya @ rush of endorphins

Antonia @ Health inspirations

Emma @ Sweettoothrunner

Laura @ Laura Virginia

… and how could I forgot about Jen @ Peas and Crayons?!

 

Even if I didn’t nominate you please feel free to answer some or all of the questions above. I’d really like to get to know more about YOU!

I hope you enjoyed reading these random facts about me. Have a great day!