Food Talk Wednesday #6: Out and about

Even in cold autumn you can still take a deep dive into the sea … a sea of fog, that is. This was my reality when leaving the house this morning and riding my bike to my volunteering place. Fog adds that almost unreal and mysterical touch to an ordinary [and cold] day,

From fog to food now, though. Because talking there might be a time to talk about the weather [or not] but it’s definitely not on Wednesdays in the blog world. Wednesday are for peeking at others’ food through What I ate WednesdayA slightly special What I ate Wednesday for me as you’ll find out in a second.

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

On the road … again. While I actually had only one appointment [that turned out to take less than an hour. ..] I spent the majority of Monday out and about again. On one hand, I actually like it as it means seing other places and taking a short break from the daily grind. On the other hand, it was cold-ish, I was sleepy and anxious about aforementioned appointment. What else this meant was I had to take all my food to go again. Hello, Tupper life! here’s what I tupperedmunched on.

Kabocha_breakfast_Tupper

No surprises for breakfast aside from the different background and fancy dish. Oh and possibly the …. that cooked, then cooled kabocha is quite delicious. As a fond warm food eater I was pleasantly surprised by this and will have it this way again.

Just like our mums taught us [and every blogger knows] road- or better yet train-tripping requires snacks. I’d actually bought these a while ago already but they haven’t made an appearance on here yet. Chili peas. The ingredient list could be better but they fed my cravings for salty-spicy nicely and sometimes that’s all that matters.

Veggie Crunch chili peas_snack

Okay, this is not what my lunch looked like yesterday. But when opening my Tupper after carrying this around for hours one look was enough to know I would definitely not take a picture. Unless I’d wanted to run ina contest for ugliest food picture of the year.Trust me you’d thank me for choosing to post this older picture of the dish rather than the actual state it was in when I ate it  … It was this red pepper cream sauce, only this time covering wheatberries, chickpeas and mushrooms.

Red pepper cream sauce_5

There were times when I used traveling as a chance to restrict but no longer. It’s one of those moments that show me how far I’ve come from my past. It’s a long road to travel down still but I’m on my way. Taking my own food – even full meals rather than just snacks – with me might seem like I was scared. Yet when traveling alone I use it as a means of saving money and I actually don’t enjoy eating out by myself. If I’m with others I will happily explore the local restaurants .

Lindt Chili_bars

If you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know my fondness of a certain brand of chocolate. Shockingly, I was disloyal after discovering a new favourite and neglected the old. I was going weeks without even a longing for Lindt but it’s back in action now. There’s even a slight chance I’ll be able to get my hands on thiselusive flavour not available in Germany. For now, chili and I are reunited. I ended up eating half a bar – I’d clearly missed it more than I thought.
What you shouldn’t miss is the opportunity to peek into others’ days of food so

Happiness-inducing today: Volunteering and lending an ear to somebody. Being able to help others in simple ways is one of the best ways of fostering our own happiness.

 

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Tell me …
a) what kinds of food do you pack when you’re out and about all day?
b) your current favourite bar of chocolate?
c) Something that made you happy today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Truthful Thursday

It feels like forever since I last joined Amanda for Thinking out loud – and I missed it. In fact, I have a slew of posts lined up that I just need to make the final edits on. But for today, I chose to go the random thought route for a reason …

Thinking-Out-Loud

Truth: I haven’t told you everything.

Yes, I’m being dramatic here. Aside from an irregular posting schedule I haven’t done any kind of life update post in quite a while. Granted, I’m probably not the most open book in general but given I like knowing what other bloggers are up to it’s only fair to spill the beans.

So … where was I or why the silence? It’s actually more: where am I. The answer: at my parents’ again. For now. I was working on a temporary contract only in my last job with no chances for extending it because they had no open positions for long-term employment. The reason I kept this to myself for so long was … shame. Insecurity. Sadness. But then I remembered I can’t be the only one struggling with this. Job offerings in my field and for my current level of experience are fair and few in between. Actually, I had a job interview at a magazine I was very interested in scheduled but they had to cancel it short notice due to changes in law requiring them to pay higher minimum wages and they said they couldn’t afford it. So I’m back in the waiting game again and searching for job opportunities. Fingers crossed!

On a walk

Truth: I can’t make any promises on my posting schedule as of now.

Remember my comment of feeling like a fish without water recently? I’ve mentioned it before but it probably bears repeating as it affects my blogging activity so much. When my dad is home nobody else can access the internet. It’s hard to explain why – I told you I had no idea of technology – but basically the connection isn’t strong enough when he needs to access his office computer from home.  Meaning that most days I get a few hours of WLAN in the morning and afternoon until he arrives but a) it’s spring and I’m sure most of you would rather be out and about during the day, too, and b) I’m a night owl and most productive in the evening. Plus, it’s when most of your posts [unless you’re German, too] that I want to read get published [dratted time difference]. In short: If I make a disappearing act despite promising a post on a certain day [really hoping this won’t happen for my Good good links] or you notice me commenting on your blog less it’s not because I don’t want to. Like I wish I could visit just about every blog in today’s link-up and comment on your posts  – I can’t. Internet access limitations suck. Fact.

Enough of the Debbie Downer news, though. Life might not be at its happiest for me right now but that doesn’t mean I was in a constant funky mood.

Truth: These are my new shoes and not.

March_April 025

Call me terrible but I had these shoes sitting around for … a while [not to say maybe two years?] prior to wearing them now. Let me explain, though. I’m not a sneaker girl at all. Give me all the boots or booties and I’ll be happy as a clam. My feet, however, wouldn’t be in for it. My hip pain has been back so I’ve been taking a break from any kind of shoes with even a hint of heel and testing the waters with those sneakers. And I’m sorry to say I still don’t like them but they’re apparently doing my feet well. Sometimes health benefits outweight looks, right?

 

Truth: Chocolate needs more enthusiasm.

Lindt

Apparently, I wasn’t selling the chocolate in my last post well enough  – honestly, Lindt should have invited me to become an embassador already but sadly no luck so far 😉 –  because there were quite a few questions doubting its tastiness. Really?!. Also, when I talked about eating four squares of chocolate yesterday I should have clarified it was only four because we’re talking about a Lindt bar.  For any of you who are unfamiliar with Lindt bars [though I’m not sure we can be friends anymore in that case 😉 ]: Four squares of that = almost half the bar. And yesterday wasn’t an usual day in terms of chocolate consumption so looking at the fact I ate nearly half a bar of this chocolate means that either a) I lack self-control or b) that this bar is so. freaking. good. Smooth, not bitter at all and with that plesant hint of spicyness keeping the bar from tasting too sweet [because I’m actually a huge fan of darker bars (80 % and upwards), too]. By now I’ve hopefully convinced you to go and buy this bar ASAP. You can thank me later. (:

That’s it: my thoughts for today. Like I said I have a few drafts waiting to be finished and – fingers crossed  I’m hoping to publish these soon. For now all that’s left for me to say is: Happy Thursday!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Marveling at the fact how much longer the days already are thanks to daylight savings.

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No questions today but any random thoughts that come to your mind. And please tell me I’m not the only one who doesn’t like sneakers.

Food Talk Wednesday #2

Are you in for another episode of Food Talk Wednesday? Good because that’s on the menu today. If I was one of those bloggers who can make even soup [don’t tell me you haven’t had the soup phenomenon happen to you yet if you’re a (food) blogger!] look awesome. However, I’m not. Actually, I might have the potential to improve but my impatience once food appears in my focus – at least when my stomach agrees it’d be nice to get its fill – is incredible. Spending more than five minutes to get a shot of whatever it is we’re talking about? Well, I don’t think so. That’s why for now – and when I say for now it means I’m not giving up hope of my patience increasing one day – you’ll have to make do with more talk than food. But there is some of that after all so let’s get started.

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Confession: Post- and occasionally also pre-breakfast snackage these past days has always included a handful of these. So writing this post on Wednesday morning I can confirm that yes, I’ve already had some today.

Erdnusslocken_flips_peanut
Erdnussflips, friends. Also known as: ridiculously addictive peanut curls. While plain old potato chips don’t exctite me much at all these are my kryptonite. They’ve been since I grew up – when my dad still thought it was funny to call them worms. Mmmh, appetizing. Looking back, it’s only natural I developed a nut butter addiction. Hm … now I wonder how dipping these into peanut butter would taste … <- Read: it will happen today. But first, breakfast.

oatmeal_breakfast_swirl
Remember my Tupperware oatmeal? I’ve reverted back to the slightly classier style of serving them in a pot again. In case you’re new here: that’s the way I roll and no, I don’t grab a huge spoon and eat them straight from the pot. It just keeps the remainder nice and warm while I’m scooping out smaller servings into a bowl. Also, that swirl would be soy creamer and only for decorative purposes – I still add almond butter post-picture but by now you should know my ways.

It’s essentially the same concept for lunch. I wouldn’t absolutely need to assemble this impromptu Polenta Chili Casserole into a casserole dish. But it looks so much fancier all nicely layered pre-serving. Don’t ask about the mess when scooping out individual servings, though [yes, I eat the whole dish].

Polenta chili bake

Okay, for those who asked and also because you can’t tell what’s in there exactly. This is the messy just-plated version. Yes, I’m aware it looks like [insert unappetizing noun] but oh my does it taste amazing. In fact so much so that I’ll post the recipe once I get some at least a little better pictures. It’s quickly become one of my go-to dishes and I only repeat those I really like. It’s vegetarian comfort food at its best. Maybe I’m using that phrase a little more often but it really is.

Polenta bake_cottage cheese

Dinner escaped the camera [read: I forgot a out a picture until I was about halfway through and then didn’t bother anymore because it was dark in anyway] but given I snacked a lot throughout the day and none ends without something sweet …

Lindt Chili chocolate

Chocolate. Four squares of one of these bars because nobody’s truly satisfied after one.  Also, I should add that this is by no means everything I ate all day. I’m a serious snacker and if I wanted to picture every nibble and bite I’d end up with 384758 pictures in one What I ate Wednesday. I hope this will still be considered playing by the rules by Jenn and Arman.

Enough banter now, go and enjoy your Wednesday that’s hopefully sunnier than around these parts [read: the sun’s hiding].

 

Happiness-inducing today: Calling one of my best friends who lives too far away for a spontanous visit but it makes us all the more thankful for the invention of telephones.

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What’s your favourite kind of vegetarian chili?

Are you satisfied by eating a single square of chocolate? I feel I might be taking after my dad who can inhale a whole bar. It might not have gotten that far for me since I tend to actually savour it but half a bar can happen. Chocolate comes from a bean so it’s technically a vegetable, right 😉 ?

 

 

Oh, crunchy crunchety!

Oh, hi, we haven’t talked about food in a while, no? I’m a fan of keeping things  [semi-]regular  [interpret that whichever way you want to …] so here goes another What I ate Wednesday. I can’t promise I’ll be able to keep up the weekly or even bi-weekly posts but I’ll just roll with the flow and sprinkle in some food posts every now and then. Because we all need to eat and at least sometimes I actually remember/ am not too lazy to get out my camera.

One more note on the title of this post – or two, actually: a) I like themes and the amount of crunchy, crispy food made this a[n almost] no-brainer and b) I’ve been crunched for time [what’s new?]. No matter how little in general, though, there’s always time for food. Good food. Let’s get talking!

wiaw fall into good habits button

Breakfast. .. is such a classic over here I can’t wow you anymore.  How about we skip to snacks right there? Good. The first one is proof I can’t resist new products all the way even if they bite a hole into my budget before I can get a bite of them. Pretzel Thins, friends.  How good are they??! They’ve only been making appearance on store shelves around here since earlier this year. Too bad these are so. very.  good … I don’t like macro talk but: why am I even surprised they are? They’re crispy. Carbs.  Salt. A winning combination.

November - 2nd swoosh 109

While we’re at carbs,  salt and winning combinations let’s add cheese – I know Meg agrees. Gah. So good. I could easily write a whole post on this dish.  Actually,  I  will because this recipe needs to find its way into my personal recipe book. For now I’ll leave it at saying it is another autumnal dish with an addictive crunchy cheesy potato topping.  Who said healthy food was boring?  I’m a smidgen proud to say it got my mum’s seal of approval – a rare happening – when I prepared it on Saturday.  Another bonus of her stopping by – aside from the fact itself: help in shredding potatoes. And by help I obviously mean she did the whole task.

Crispy potato topping

On the sweet side another classic made an appearance again to save me. Save me  because the current intern at our office brought in storebought cake on Friday. Am I sensing a competition for employee of the month?  Watch out, friend, I’m up for it ;). Only I couldn’t be bothered to turn on the oven so no-bake it was.  Amanda’s krispie rice cereal energie squares have yet to disappoint me.  I’ve made them more times than I can recount and don’t think I’ve used the same combination of cereal twice so far. Though the best part is obviously that non-optional chocolate drizzle …

Chocolate drizzle_cereal bars

In its whole beauty below.  Preparing it Saturday night/Sunday morning was dangerous because I had to break of those imperfect bits and bites. Pre-breakfast nibbles of cereal bars? Why not. Probably mention-worthy would be that I just try to keep up the volume of cereal when making these, sub peanut for almond butter [more budget-friendly and there are no almond butter jars that haven’t undergone double-dipping action around these parts …] and omitting the protein powder. If the cereal mixture appears too sticky I’ll add some quick-cooking oats. Et violà: cereal bar perfection.

Cereal bars_whole

 

Wouldn’t you want me to be your colleague?! I hope my colleagues will appreciate the huge lot of work that went into these 😉 . [Edited: Demolished and my boss asked what kind of cake I’d bring tomorrow. They clearly hated these treats.]

And speaking of work that’s where I’ll likely be the moment you’re reading this so:

Happy Wednesday and see you again tomorrow for some Thinking out loud!

 

 

Happiness-inducing today:

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Are ’employee of the month’ run-ups actually a thing? Enlighten me! And: Do you think I’d win 😉 ??

What are your favourite treats to bring to work?

Pretzels, pretzel things, chips: what’s your salty snack of choice?

Everything free and fabulous [Thinking out loud]

Can you smell the weekend yet? It’s so close already and at least over here it scents decidedly of sunscreen and ice cream. For now, though, my business is still taking place in a thankfully cool office. And because thinking out loud is better kept out of there I’m sharing what’s been on my mind here. Writing it all down a theme emerged. Free everything – books, chocolate and most importantly: thoughts in free flow. Here we go!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Even though it’s my usual beverage of choice when I’m not in the mood for tea I never fully appreciate water as much as on hot days. Always sparkling water for me – still doesn’t do it. Many of my friends have told me how hard it was for them to reach the recommended amounts. I’d rather need to scale back. Running to the toilet all of the time? Not the best habit at work but I’ll confess I like the excuse to get up and move at least a little.

2. Is it just me or does time pass by significant faster as soon as you leave the office? Given I usually have 2935839 things on my to-do list for after work and only get a fraction done I’m convinced it does. Even leaving the office ‘early’ – read: 30 minutes earlier than usual – doesn’t help much. Now where do I apply for that job blending home office and actual office attendance. That’s because I know home office 100% of the time does not work for me. Cue procrastination when in close proximity of a kitchen.  Snack time is basically all day then.

3. Random note in this potpourri of randomness: I generated *this random number by mindlessly hitting the keys. Only to notice that produced an uneven number. That’s obviously not happening here so I changed the last number from a 9 to a 4. Much better, admit it.

4. Speaking of reading: I’ve been reapping the benefits of libraries and especially living close to a rather large one again lately. The amount of money I saved by taking piles of books home and only keeping the good ones makes me oddly happy. Free books? Yes, please. Libraries are a blessing and fingers crossed they’ll exist forever even in the digital age. Now go and pick up a book from your library to keep it in business – every book counts! (:

5. Roomates – a bane or blessing? It’s not easy to say but lately I’ve felt a tendency towards the former. Granted, bane is probably too harsh. Sometimes I feel like I’m the grown up when it comes to the roommate and me [mind you she’s 30!]. Cleaning up after her when she has cooked? Maybe it was a sign this book practically jumped at me on my last trip to the library. I picked it up just for fun but now I might need to take a closer look for some life-changing roommate hacks… Care for an update ;)?! And did I mention it’s by an American author and available in English, too? Given the price I don’t think I can expect much from it, though. But hey, it was free after all.

May 21st 037

6. Continuing on with last week’s coffee theme – just because it keeps following me around: Signs you’re a coffee addict. Thinking about it [out loud], though,  #1 and #4 perfectly describe my relationship with chocolate. And if #11 is what you coffee fiends feel like without your daily cup of joe then I feel your pain chocolate-wise, too. We’re all united in our essential daily needs in some way. A sign stores know I’m always in need of chocolate? Free Lindt. Who cares this isn’t my favourite flavour? It’s Lindt!

Free Lindt_May 2014

7. This is awesome. If you’re having a fluffy day, are self-conscious or need a mood brightener for another reason: read/ do it. Actually, scratch that: just read it in anyway. And then come back and tell me your result and thank me for pointing it out ;).

8. I recently noticed I have yet to share the blogger birthday calendar with all of you. Any ideas on how to work this out best are appreciated. Also, if you’re a blogger [not discriminating any non-bloggers but it’d be hard to figure out a way to send congrats your way easily 🙂 ] and want to be included leave a comment with your birth date.

Keep your need for random thoughts fuelled over at Amanda’s. Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: I won’t ever tire of this: sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine.

Stay in touch!

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Let your thoughts flow freely and tell me whatever comes to your mind!

Breaking the [food] rules

We’re halfway through the [work] week already!

Eat this not that. Limit carbs after lunch. Don’t eat sugar. White flour is evil. Three meals, no snacks.

Food rules. We all know them, we [might] have followed them at some point – only to end up frustrated and deprived. In light of yesterday being International No Diet Day I decided I’d further the celebration and purpose of this day. Dedicating today’s What I ate Wednesday post to looking at some food rules*. These are either ones I followed or popular ones given by the so-called dieting experts out there. Let’s throw the rule book out of the window and celebrate delicious food!

wiawphotobutton

Rule: Skip breakfast to save calories.

Going without breakfast was one of my worst habits during my ED. After my ED set in I used to skip breakfast for years and tried to make it to lunch with nothing or an apple if I couldn’t focus anymore. Eight hours of class fuelled by nothing but a piece of fruit? Not a smart idea. Nowadays I make sure to eat a satisfying breakfast and usually feel like eating again 2-3 hours later. Sometimes earlier.

oat bran_zucchini_peanut flour

Yes, I tried to be a good blogger actually getting out a bowl for the picture. However, after taking the picture I redecided, put the oats back into the pot, reheated them, added cocoa and topped everything with almond butter.

Snack time #1

Rule: Going without food for as long as possible. Hungry? Drink a glass of water.

A rumbling stomach only an hour after my last meal got me anxious. I ‘had’ to wait until the next time I was allowed to eat. The possibilty that I was actually hungry just an hour or two after my last meal? It scared me. Countless cups of tea were needed to fill my stomach. You could see me walk around clinging to a mug pretty much all day at times.

frozen yogurt_PB

As I took most of today’s pictures on a day off of work I had better snack choices than at the office. And what can I say? It might have gotten slightly chilly again over here [it’s meant to be spring, Germany!] but the frozen yogurt is still making a daily appearance. Back in the day I would have used the lowest-fat cottage cheese and probably skipped the jam altogether [sugar!] but I can tell the difference: creamy, sweet – perfect. And: satisfying.

Lunch

Rule: The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead. – or: Cut out refined flour.

Aiming for whole grains whenever possible is a good plan and I find myself enjoying whole grain options more than white most of the time, too. However, this preference shouldn’t feel like a drill and if there’s no other option white grains once in a while won’t hurt. Case in point in my lunch? White tortilla wraps. I’d been curious to attempt creating a tortilla bake for a while but whole-wheat/ high-fiber/ brown rice/ you name it … ones aren’t available over here.

Tortilla bake 1

My options were a) not having tortillas at all or ) bite the bullet and get white ones. Simple as is: I wanted tortillas. So white it was. Did I feel awful eating them? No. Uncomfortable? No. I felt happy as a clam and satisfied. I’ll admit this was a first one for me last week because the ‘no white carbs’ rule had remained stubbornly. Now I can’t get enough tortillas, though, so I made sure to stock up while they were still on offer. Whole wheat or not the Enchilada Bake above was really good so if you’re curious about the recipe come back on Friday.

Snack #2

Rules: Snack on fruit and veggies only. No processed foods.

Fruit is still one of my favourite snacks and the amounts I eat every day could single-handedly keep a few farmers in business. But as delicious as it is fruit doesn’t replace dessert for me and sometimes I just want something different, too …

Apple_Pink Lady

It’s labeling foods as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ that ignites the dieting mentality and keeps us from giving us permission to fully enjoy eating. There are obviously foods that are more nutritious than others supplying us with vitamins, minerals and offering further health benefits. But limiting myself to just those doesn’t satisfy my soul’s cravings in the long term. Even if you strive on diet of green smoothies, sprouted bread and fruit for dessert external health can be deceiving.

Too good_chips

We’ll skip the dinner picture because I didn’t actually take one but I can let you know I went the lazy route and had oat bran again. It’s my go-to I-don’t-feel-like-cooking dinner and one of those meals I still need to work on [hello, repititiveness]. Let’s look at my bedtime snack, though.

Rule: Go to bed hungry.

Going to bed hungry? No added sugars? Forget it, Bob Harper! Try to take my daily chocolate away from me and you’ll be in trouble soon. I’ve mentioned my sweet tooth before so a small piece of chocolate just doesn’t do it for me. Three squares are my usual chocolate fix, sometimes more. You know those days when you just need that bit of extra sweetness…

Lindt_Chili

Giving up the rules and recommendations was scary for me at first. But in the end, all these food rules do is limit ourselves in living life the way we want to. When eating is bound to certain rules, plans, macros it’s no longer a pleasurable experience. Trying to outsmart our intuition and not allowing ourselves to strain from them, clinging to diet plans isn’t realistic or desirable in the long term [or at all]. Because – just like a very good blend put it so well in a recent conversation:

Dieting isn’t actually living.

And life’s too short to not live it.

* Note that this isn’t a full day of eats. I ate more than pictured and yes, there were more fruit and veggies.

Happiness inducing today: ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams playing when I walked into the gym.

Stay in touch!

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Did or do you follow any food rules?

What are some of the most ridiculous food rules you’ve heard of?