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Archive for January, 2014

I usually don’t eat out very often. Delicious, plant-based dishes are hard to find in restaurants around here, that’s why I generally prefer my own food. In the past few weeks, things were different, though. I’ve been out and about a lot and even when I was at home I often didn’t feel like cooking. So I ate out a lot, and spent a ton of money!

That’s why I decided to do the Eat In Month Challenge in February. I know that I’m very late to the game, as the actual challenge takes place in January, but the timing just didn’t work for me.

I plan to eat every single meal “in”, that means no restaurant visits and no take-out meals. I’ll make an exception for free food, as my co-workers often provide breakfast, lunch, or dessert when they celebrate their birthdays. Meals and snacks that I’m offered by others, like friends or family members, are also okay for me. And I may or may not enjoy a small bag of movie popcorn.

I’m doing this challenge mostly to save money. Eating out is expensive! And I’m also still working on clearing my pantry. That’s a never-ending process, I’m afraid.

So in the month of February, I’ll hopefully enjoy lots of great home-cooked meals and snacks, just like the examples below.

2014-01-28_Squash_soup

I call this one my triple squash (pumpkin?) soup – blended Hokkaido squash soup topped with pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds.

2014-01-28_Sweet_grits

Sweet semolina pudding with cherry compote and cinnamon – best served warm!

2014-01-28_Bibimbap

My all-time favorite: bibimbap! Just a big bowl of rice, vegetables, tofu, and pickled radish. Never fails to satisfy my appetite.

Do you spend a lot of money eating out?

See you!

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Choose Happiness

Hello my dear readers!  
My holiday blogging break turned out much longer than I originally intended. Sorry for that!
I just wanted to get out a quick post to let you know that I’m still alive and well. Sort of.
To be honest, the past few weeks/months have been very hard for me. I don’t want to get into details because they are very personal and I prefer this blog to be a positive place. In short, I have been struggling with some dark, negative thoughts and feelings for quite a while. Things got worse and worse, including a serious health scare right before New Year’s Eve (not me!).
Life knocked me down, but I refuse to stay down!
So I’ve decided on a simple but powerful New Year’s Resolution: Choose happiness!
Whenever I notice negative, gloomy thoughts creeping up, I consciously choose to be happy, even if I have to pretend at that moment. I’ve put together a list of actions, that I believe will help me feel better.  
Move back to my hometown.
I’ve mentioned before that I currently live in a tiny remote village. There’s no gym, no mall, no movie theater, no public transportation. We have one restaurant, one café, and two grocery stores. That’s all! Looking back I think that moving here was not a good idea. I just can’t find any friends, there is nothing fun to do, and I often feel lonely and bored. My hometown is by no means a big city, but has way more options, and some of my friends and family members still live there.  
Be more social.
At the moment, being alone is not good for me. So I’ll try to spend as much time as possible either at the gym or with my friends. In order to do that, I’ll have to drive around a lot, which is expensive in Germany, but I’ll take it.  
Exercise several times a week.
Physical activity helps me maintain a healthy and fit body, but it also improves my mental and emotional state. Those exercise endorphines are real! My co-workers have been nagging me to start running with them again. I’m thinking about it.  
Revive old hobbies.
I used to love reading and crafting, especially knitting and crocheting. I haven’t done any of that in ages. I thought that I don’t have enough time, but I’ve realized that I just have to make time for things that are important to me. Even if it’s just 10 minutes every night before I go to bed.  
So, what about the blog? I honestly don’t know right know. I love blogging! I love writing, chatting with you guys, talking about food, exercise, and health, being part of an awesome community, etc. There are still a couple of recipes and group fitness class reviews that I’d like to share, but I have no idea how to fit it all in. I want to create quality content and not simply post for the sake of posting. That means that I will probably publish fewer and shorter posts for a while, especially now that I’m looking for a new appartment.  

Tell me, what makes you happy right now?

See you! Sue  

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