Reflections + recent happenings

If I was giving in to my nagging inner critic paying its usual Sunday afternoon/evening visit to my brain I’d now settle into a reflection of my shortcomings in the week just ending. Yet – today is different. Granted, this is my fourth attempt at writing this intro so much to my dismay I did allow negative thoughts to flow out on paper/a blog draft page. What keeps me from going with it is the book I finished earlier today. A book that- and as exaggerated as it might sound – profoundly changed me. The way I see the world and life. Honestly, if people in this day and age call bread or pancake recipes life-changing I might as well say this about a book, no?
As is the nature of the  human brain I’m sure the self-critical voices won’t just disappear. Hence why I need to constantly remind myself of the messages this book planted into my head and why I’m definitely going to write a review of it. Not today, though, as it’s not the Book in Review but a Week in Review. Plus, my mind is still taking time to process and sort through the many thoughts and feelings evoked by the story.

Onto the positives and the point of Meg’s Week in Review: giving ourselves credit for what did go well in the past week. One overarching theme of it seemed to be – and I may or may not am choosing this with the current situation in the US in mind – one of female power. Read: my dad was on vacation allowing for some more one-on-one time with my mum and my male boss had a full week of working from home which meant the office was ladies’ business, too. This all made for a [as much as busy days allow it] relaxed atmosphere.  Sorry, guys ;).

Week in review

In the past seven days I …

Worked. Not a full five days thanks to a weird mix of stomach cramps [outside the regular cycle if you know what I mean] and sudden sickness throwing me off and making work impossible after not even an hour in the office on Wednesday. I stayed longer on and put an extra effort in to catch up on all the paperwork on Thursday which calmed my mind about the missed day.

Napped for a solid 1 1/2 hours on said sick day. I originally hoped to just lie down without actually closing my eyes and return to work but my body thought differently. I did feel the refreshing effects of the nap, though, so clearly needed it.

Birthday flowers

(Birthday flowers I forgot to show you in my previous week in review)

Had a great conversation with my boss and colleagues. We don’t get to sit together and chat like this on the regular so it was a wonderful opportunity to connect and talk about everything. Our male boss was on vacation this past week which allowed for some lady talk, too.

Cooked lunch for my mum and me on Saturday. This was something I’d been meaning to do for ages already and we finally found a time and day working for both of us. It turned out to be everything I’d hoped for and more. The food was delicious and the conversation meaningful. We had Semmelknödel – a traditional German kind of dumplings made from bread rolls, fried onion, parsley and a few other ingredients; egg-free in my version – with oriental-spiced Sauerkraut. It’s one of my favourite dishes yet due to its slightly more involved preparation not a regular one on the menu. The terrible lighting in the picture does the delciousness of the Knödel and Kraut no justice. That’s what we get for delaying lunch until 6.30 on the weekend …

Semmelknödel and Sauerkraut - vegan

Started and finished the book mentioned in the intro. The review might not come up until the following week or so because it stirred up so many thoughts in my mind.

Bundled up and took a longer walk with my mum on Sunday afternoon. Much needed as I was in a slightly Sunday blues once again and also needed to at least get some of the questions and thoughts about the book I’d just finished out. Walk with mum + deep conversations = one of the most blissful activities in my life.

Prepared another batch of peanut butter as the previous was gone surprisingly fast. I don’t know how that might have happened 😉 …

Peanut butter_homemade

Posted twice: a week in review with some thoughts on happiness and yesterday’s good good links.

Spontaneously went to the cinema on Friday night. Okay, not entirely spontaneous as I’d originally planned to go with a friend in anyway. Yet she’s dealing with a lot in life lately and asked me if we could postpone our movie night again. Fingers crossed she’ll be able to make it this week. Either way, my mum had plans of seeing La La Land and I decided to tag along though it hadn’t been on my list of movies to watch. Verdict: sweet. I was a huge fan of all the dresses – just my kind of clothes -, the music and dancing. So if you considered adding it to your cinema list: go for it!

… and there we are on Sunday night – okay, Monday once you read this – again. Time for me to call it a nght soon but not before I wish you a …

Happy Monday!

Happiness-inducing today:  The walk with my mum.

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Food with a side of feelings

Happy Wednesday! We’re almost over the hump of the week – can anybody else sense the weekend already?

wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2

Anyway, let’s get back to what you came for: Food in all its glory [or not, depending on the quality of my pictures.].  Thanks to Jenn for hosting the WIAW party!

Spending yet another weekend at my parents’ meant a change from my routine in a few ways. One of them being the huge array of snack foods [read: granola, chips, nut butters and the likes] available all of the time. Whenever I arrive at my parents’ house I immediately start raiding the cabinets :D.

Crunching and munching away on granola.

Crunching and munching away on granola.

I’ll be honest, though, and say that this causes me quite a bit of guilt afterwards. But as we all know guilt isn’t a pleasant feeling I tried a different approach this time: A [mostly] calorie count-free weekend. After all, why shouldn’t what worked around Christmas work again here? Instead, I focused on the happy feelings these foods gave me. How bad can a food be for you if it evokes cheerful memories?

How does gifted chocolate taste even better than usual?

How does gifted chocolate taste even better than usual?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to snap as many pictures of food as I meant to. My parents don’t understand why anybody would do so let alone post them on a blog for the whole world to see.

Look gross, taste great: Blueberry Vanilla baked oats haven’t gone old yet.

Look gross, taste great: Blueberry Vanilla baked oats haven’t gone old yet.

Letting myself have some of my old favourites like this snack mix again was incredibly freeing. We used to get it all the time when my sibling and I were still living at home. Back in the days when terms like “clean foods” and “saturated fats” hadn’t crossed my path yet.

Feelings are what makes food taste special. Think about times when eating was the most pleasant to you. Where was it? Whom were you sharing these meals with? For me, eating with others has happened less since I developed my ED and then even lesser after I’d moved out. But it’s these shared meals that make food taste even better. I’m determined to make them happen more often again, though.

Lasagna at a local café a while back -  made special by the lovely company of my mum.

Lasagna at a local café a while back – made special by the lovely company of my mum.

Additionally, I find the taste varies a lot depending on who prepared it. So far I haven’t come a meal that wouldn’t have varied in taste when cooked by different people. Let’s hope my parents truly enjoyed the Semmelknödel (traditional German dish) I prepared for us as much as I did :). Well, at least they said they did.

Getting started by assembling my ingredients …

Getting started by assembling my ingredients …

I pondered using whole-grain bread and subbing a few ingredients here and there to make the recipe lighter and healthier. Honestly, though? I’m glad I didn’t do in the end as some recipes just aren’t meant to be modified.

….aaand the finished dish: Comfort food at its best [excuse the dark picture – late Winter afternoons don’t provide the best lighting].

….aaand the finished dish: Comfort food at its best [excuse the dark picture – late Winter afternoons don’t provide the best lighting].

When asked for my favourite dish in the past I didn’t know an answer. Maybe that’s because I hadn’t had this dish in too long. Not going to let that happen again. Food is meant to be enjoyed – with happy feelings.

No day is complete without a bit more of this: New-to-me brand of almond butter.

No day is complete without a bit more of this: New-to-me brand of almond butter.

 

 

Do you have favourite memories linked to certain foods?

What does make a meal special to you (the company, ingredients, …)?

Which was your favourite dish as a child? What is it today?