WIAW: Real food versus protein bars

Hello, hello, hello. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Is it that late already? I always forget about the time.

Are you confused? I know I would be and very much was after the theatre play I saw on Monday. That’s where the above lines come from though they probably were the easiest understandable part of the whole story. No theatre review here, though, but some much easier comprehensive food talk featuring some of Monday’s meals.  Thanks to Jenn and Laura for hosting today’s What I ate Wednesday shenanigans!

WIAW_new2015

By now you should know I’m not the person for average breakfasts. Most mornings, I don’t like breakfast at all because I hardly ever know what I want to eat. Yet skipping is no option. Luckily, Monday was rushed so I ran a few errands and then quickly packed breakfast/first lunch (?) to-go as I just got note there was a teaching assignment for me that early afternoon. Polenta had been absent from my diet for months – shockingly and not okay – so its quick preparation turned it into my breakfast savior along with Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and chickpeas, all seasoned with my favourite organic curry blend. If you haven’t tried microwaving polenta yet you’re missing out. It’s the most fuss-free/no-second-pot needed/less clean-up prep method ever.

Polenta_breakfast_tupper

 

Lunch was a two-part story as we were heading out in the afternoon shortly after I came home from teaching German. The first part was a repeat of breakfast – did I mention a slight obsession with polenta? – but as I didn’t take a picture again here’s yesterday’s candlelight lunch instead. Yes, lunch and yes, already dark. The weather hasn’t been treating us kindly this week so far. Anyway, polenta with thyme-y mushroom chickpea tomato stew was on the menu. When I like something, I really like it so polenta might very well stick around for a while.

Polenta_mushrooms

So … part two: my first ever whole Quest bar. Not my first ever Quest bar but the first I actually ate as a whole in one day. Here’s what I didn’t mention in my post a while ago. For me, Quest bars or any kind of protein bar actually aren’t safe foods hindering recovery. Eating them as opposed to real treats like chocolate that I have every day is the challenge.

I was glad to get lucky in receiving these Quest bars as it gave me two boxes of challenges. Because you might be wondering: I liked the S’mores flavor. I’ve never had an actual S’more before meaning no expectations could be met or disappointed. The con for me is that the bar overall is very sticky-sweet. Pros are the chocolate pieces [are you surprised in any way?] and what I guess are supposed to mimic graham crackers plus the cinnamony taste. More interesting for me, though, was the saturation factor. Protein is believed to be that super macro filling you up like no other after all. I was doubtful if I bar could deliver this.

Quest bar_protein_s'mores

Verdict? I was positively surprised but not overly impressed in this point. Not overly impressed because I didn’t feel full the same way I do with protein from real food sources. Positively surprised hours later when we returned home and I didn’t crave the Greek yogurt that usually acts as part of my night snack. That’s my interest in macros: I don’t prefer a certain one but will keep experimenting to see how I react to them. Neither carbs, nor fat or protein are inherently good or bad to me. In relearning to trust my intuition. I see them all as equal and try to find my happy balance. At the moment, I tend to need a little extra protein with my meals but I opt for real foods like legues, cottage cheese and above-mentioned Greek yogurt to fill the void.

As we were out and about the remainder of my meals escaped the camera or were eaten before I remembered to get it out. Life > taking pictures. Not like I wasn’t curious about everybody else’s meals, though …

Enjoy your Wednesday and eat some good food!

 

Happiness-inducing today:Editing yet another text. What can I say? It’s my element.

Stay in touch!

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

 

I’m really curious: Do you find protein or Quest bars in specific  filling?

Have you noticed yourself gping through phases of needing more of a certain macros [even iff – like me – you don’t track them]?


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.

 

Stay in touch!

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

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.
Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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.
Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
What’s your favourite bowl [as in: combination of ingredients in a bowl]?
Do you consider yourself an intuitive eater?

A weekend of traveling in food, rants and recovery rambles

Long time no talk or so it feels. Not to wish any days away but rather, I’d like to rewind to the weekend right now. I already alluded to my plans for it ever so slightly in Sunday’s post but today’s the day to talk about it a little more. Because while I can’t actually turn back time and experience it once more there’s a least the chance to use What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday to reflect back on the good food eaten.

WIAW_new2015

As if I wasn’t snack-savy enough already train journeys bring out that side of me even more. Yes, tell me about how boredom eating isn’t healthy but you can’t deny that a journey of ~ six hours can get quite tiring and require some fuel. Even if most of the time is spent sitting and trying to ignore the annoying part of your fellow travellers. Dear parents, I know you think your children are the cutest ever but other people would agree much more if your little ones weren’t throwing fits in what  is a designated ‘silent’ wagoon. Okay, rant over. At least this way the attention was elsewhere and I got to snack on my favourites without any unwanted stares. Not that a stranger igiving me the looks would keep me from eating peanut butter on the train, though … Why, yes, I did. With a clean spoon I brought myself.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 181

And while I’m not usually into fake meats traveling has always been an exception to rules. Traveling down memory lane for a second here my mum would buy Müller split pots, mini sausages [back then not vegetarian], overly sweetened yogurts and other elsewise deemed unhealthy fare. Oh the joys! These days, I don’t miss  most of these foods. The snack sausages, however, have made a comeback – vegan, obviously. I’m not sure if they actually taste like meat because it’s been more than a decade since my last taste of it but they are a decidedly spicy and savoury snack in their own right.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 173

Breakfast on the day I travelled was another bowl of savoury oatmeal. It’s still a favourite going strong and I don’t see myself changing it up too soon. Aside from the break while at my cousin’s house. Oatmeal, yes, but savoury? That seemed a little too unsual – yes, I admitted it – for the one full day I spent there, though.

Savoury oatmeal_April

In case you’re wondering about lunch on Friday: it was the assortment of snacks pictured above plus some oatmeal I’d brought along on the train. Or that part of oatmeal that didn’t spill … fail.

Dinner that night … was the biggest challenge but also proudest [recovery] moment for me. Like I mentioned above I was hungry despite sitting for hours prior to my arrival at my cousin’s house. Originally, I’d expected her to be the classic bread-and-spreads for dinner person but she greeted me saying a hot dinner was waiitng for us when she picked me up at the station. But then I gave myself an inner mini pep talk because: What’s the point in sticking with the dinner you can eat every day if you get the chance of expanding your tastebuds with a dinner … ? Needless to say, I decided to face my fears [and yes, writing it out makes me feel ridiculous] and eat.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 140

Long story short: my cousin – about 95 % vegan and talented in the kitchen – had prepared a vegan stir-fry made from cauliflower ‘rice’, red cabbage, carrots and other vegetables fried in sesame oil and spiced with a generous amount of fresh ginger – delicious! Sides were brown rice [the best kind], a tahini sauce and fresh mango. Literally one of those dishes you can’t stop eating – and I didn’t. What’s even better is that my cousin used a [new-to-me] blogger’s recipe – so I can have it again at home. A winner for sure.

While I try to keep recovery posts to a minimum here for a few reasons this one was worth mentioning: my cousin – knowing about my ‘issues’ with food – commented saying she was surprised by how much I ate. Anybody in recovery will relate to the fact that’s one of those things not to say to people in recovery but this time I actually took it as a compliment. Traveling and eating food prepared by others are sadly still struggles for me. Yet this little weekend getaway proved all is not lost and I can work my way out and up there again.

Lindt

… and I obviously ended the night on some chocolate. [recycled picture, though].  Because that’s another one of those habits I don’t see going anywhere soon.

Now that was one unintentionally wordy post and if you made it until here: thanks for reading. Don’t miss out on everybody else’s delicious creations!

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Reflecting on the weekend and realizing how much better than expected the weekend went.
Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Which foods do you pack for long travel journeys/road trips?

The mango lottery: Does you agree it exists? Or any other kind of fruit that has a 50/50 chance of being hit or miss?

 

 

 

 

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.

Stay in touch!

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

 

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 😉 ?