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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

While Eat In Month was actually in January, I decided to give it a try in February, because my January was just too crazy. In the end, February turned out to be almost equally crazy. We were out and about a lot, preparing for our big move, looking for a new kitchen and some bathroom furniture, etc.

I ate out a total of four times last month.

The first one was due to a movie date with a friend. The movie theater is in the opposite direction of my apartment, so going home after work would have been a long detour. I had a creamy root vegetable soup at one of my favorite cafés and it was delicious.

The second and the third meal out were each consumed on long kitchen and furniture scouting days. Both were fast food and quite bad. I really shoudn’t eat that stuff. It was disgusting.

The fourth and last meal out was a work lunch. My team mates spontaneously decided to go to our local pizza place, and I just couldn’t say no. The pizza was very good. And huge! I only ate half of it for lunch and ate the other half for dinner.

While I did it out more often than I had planned during this year’s challenge, I also managed to use up a lot of the food in my kitchen. There are only a few odds and ends left, and I also saved a little money thanks to buying less new food. So I’ll call this challenge a semi-success!

This month, eating in will be even more challenging, as I’ll have to live without a full kitchen for a few weeks. I’ll tell you more about my improvised, minimalist kitchen situation after the move.

Did you join the Eat In Month challenge this year? How was it?

See you!

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I think it’s time to update you on what’s been going on in my life lately.

TomHiddlestonCoriolanusPoster

I’ve had some amazing movie dates with my girlfriends. First we watched Coriolanus, a live broadcast of a British stage play straight from London. Yes, that’s a Shakespeare play! Featuring Tom Hiddleston and Mark Gatiss, also known as ‘Loki’ and ‘Mycroft Holmes’. It was an amazing show! Our movie theater was packed, and we were all blown away. The entire cast was simply brilliant.

More information about those theater broadcasts can be found on ntlive.com. I’m kind of excited about King Lear on May 1st.

Only-Lovers-Left-Alive-Australian-Poster-copy

Next we went out to watch Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s listed as a romance drama vampire film on Wikipedia, but I’m not sure I agree. It’s a rather calm, elegant story with a subtle humor. I highly recommend that movie, but don’t expect it to be like Twilight! Again, our theater was completely sold out, and we were lucky to get seats. Goodness!

We recently got us a pull-up bar! The husband installed it right away and we gave it a try. Surprising to no one, I can’t do a single pull-up. I’m not even close. How humbling. The husband, though, who never ever works out and sits in front of a computer all day long, easily cranked out four perfect pull-ups! Four! Life just isn’t fair.

Of course, I’ve saved the best for last: we are moving! I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I was looking for a new apartment in my hometown, and after searching high and low we found a beautiful place! I’m so happy and excited, but also a little scared. Moving an entire household is a ton of work, and costs a lot of money. In just a few weeks I will be exhausted and broke, but infinitely happy to be back home, where my family and friends live. My hometown is rather small, I admit, but it’s so much better than this tiny village in the middle of nowhere. I guess I’m just not made for country life.

That also means that I need to use up all the food in my pantry and freezer, this time for real. I’m focusing on frozen goods first, as those would definitely melt and go bad during the move.

Any ideas how I could use up frozen spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower?

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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A Typical Day

I always enjoy reading about other bloggers‘ daily lives and schedules, so I decided to write my own version.

This is what a typical weekday looks like for me:

6:00 am – Get up!

My alarm goes off, I resist the urge to hit snooze, and drag my booty out of bed. I drink a glass of water and start my usual morning routine: taking a quick shower, brushing my teeth, putting in contacts, getting dressed, putting on make-up. Okay, I also check emails, Facebook, Feedly, etc.

7:00 am – Commute to work

I’m not a morning person, so I’m moving rather slowly in the morning. When I finally look kind of presentable, I grab my food (breakfast, lunch, and snacks, all prepared the night before) from the fridge and leave the house.

What I've been reading lately

What I’ve been reading lately

7:30 am – Arrive at work

The first thing I do after arriving at my desk is grabbing a cup of coffee. I eat breakfast while checking work emails. I’m slowly waking up for real. My co-workers know very well that they shouldn’t talk to me before 8 am.

11:30 am – Lunch break

Sometimes I use my lunch break to walk to a nearby grocery store to grab a few things. That’s also a great opportunity to move my legs and get some fresh air. Afterwards, I have lunch with my co-workers at our break room. I still get some strange looks and snarky comments because of the ‘weird rabbit food’ that I eat.

The view from my office is quite nice sometimes

The view from my office is quite nice sometimes

12:30 am – Back to work

More work, more coffee, and some snacks to get me through the afternoon.

5:00 pm – Feierabend!

This is one of my favorite German words. It means ‘end of work/time to party’. 😉

I either run some errands and/or go to the gym after work. I prefer to work out at night, it’s like a treat after sitting on my butt and staring at a computer screen all day long.

My gym bag and water bottle

My gym bag and water bottle

5:30 pm – Gym time

My new gym offers some really great group fitness classes. They usually start at 6 pm, so I have enough time to change and do a quick warm-up bike ride.

7:30 pm – Commute home

The traffic situation is much better at that time. I like that. A lot.

8:00 pm – Arrive at home

Finally home! I’m starving! I quickly fix myself something to eat. If I’m lucky, I have some tasty leftovers that I just need to reheat.

Pasta with eggplant tomato sauce and chickpeas

Pasta with eggplant tomato sauce and chickpeas

8:30 pm – Dinner

I normally eat my dinner on the couch while watching TV or reading blogs. Bad habit, I know. But the house feels way too quiet and lonely during the week. :/

9:00 pm – Dishes / prep work

When I’m done eating I do the dishes (still no dishwasher!), clean the kitchen, and prepare breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the next day. I also pick my outfit for the next day. My brain is mush in the morning, so I have to do all the prep work the night before.

9:30 pm – Relax / watch TV / blog stuff

Finally some down time! It feels so good to put up my feet, unwind, and do something fun. I also call my husband, who works away from home during the week.

11:00 pm – Bed time

I’m a total night owl, and often tempted to stay up until midnight reading blogs or watching YouTube videos. But I know that I need more than six hours of sleep per night to function properly.

[On non-gym days, I get home at about 6:00 pm and use the extra time to get some housework done, e.g. cleaning, laundry, batch cooking, etc.]

Looks kind of busy, right? I admit, I do feel stressed sometimes. I love my new gym and I know that exercise is important for my physical and mental health, but on gym days I feel like I don’t get anything done. Also, I make most of my food from scratch and hardly ever eat out during the week. That means I need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

I’m still looking for ways to streamline this process, like cleaning and batch cooking on Sundays, but that also means sacrificing several hours of my weekend, precious time that I’d rather spend with my husband.

This schedule is one of the reasons why I took a break from blogging. Working full-time, a long commute, regular exercise, preparing nutritious food, and caring for my family leaves very little free time. But I’m determined to fit it all in. There has to be a way!

Please share your time management tips, meal planning ideas, and quick, plant-based recipes! I really need all the help I can get!

How do you ‘fit it all in’?

See you!

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Social Media Summer Break

After what felt like the longest winter ever, summer is finally here and it’s just amazing!

There are a few things that I want to do right now:

  • going on bike rides with my husband
  • visiting our favorite Biergarten locations
  • enjoying refreshing gelato
  • workout out at my new gym (yay!) to get into my best shape ever
  • going on an epic road trip following the Danube river (finally!)
  • swim in a local pool or lake and bake in the sun
  • etc.

Things that I don’t want to do right now:

  • sit in my muggy apartment
  • staring at a computer screen
  • spending hours in my kitchen creating elaborate meals

That means I’m taking a break from blogging, including writing, reading, and commenting on blog posts.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t like this blogging game anymore, it’s just a shift of priorities. I want to focus on the things that really matter to me: my health, fitness, happiness, and most of all my family. I want to spend more time living offline instead of online.

I’m still posting all of my workouts on my DailyMile account, and might occasionally post on Instagram and Twitter.

So don’t worry if you don’t hear from me in the next few weeks or months. I’m just soaking up some sunshine.

See you!

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Life Lately

Usually, I only write about food, health, and maybe fitness, but today I want to get a little more personal. Here is a look at what has been going on in my life lately.

Class dismissed

Last fall I started teaching an evening class. Computer basics for elderly people, to be exact. A teacher, me!? I never thought I’d see the day. Last Monday was our last class, and while I’m thrilled to have some more free time, I’m a little bit sad, too. I loved my class! But seriously, this was way more time-consuming than I had expected! Kudos to all the full-time teachers out there!

Shake it out

My current workout routine is … heck, I don’t really have a workout routine. I’m doing Zumba every Thursday night, we go horseback riding every other weekend or so, the rest is totally random. I’d love to get back into running regularly, now that spring is finally here, and I’d love to do some strength training, too. Could someone please come over and kick my butt?

Sherlock

When it comes to discovering TV series I’m always unfashionably late. I blame it on the fact that I live in Germany, where the free TV programming sucks. There’s no other way to say it. Thankfully, I’ve finally had the chance to experience the awesomeness that is Sherlock, “a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories” (source: Wikipedia). Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are the best on-screen duo I’ve seen in a while! And I can’t wait to see Mr. Cumberbatch again in the upcoming Star Trek movie. So excited!

Be safe!

Last Saturday I went to a moral courage and self-defense seminar, held by a group of police officers. While some of the info was already familiar to me, I did learn lots of new stuff, too. I think it’s very important to know how to deal with emergency situations in a way that goes beyond first aid or martial arts techniques. The best part was when I got to shout at one of the officers. At the top of my voice! Only a few people know that I do have a rather loud voice, I just hardly ever use it. It’s a gift. Thanks, mom!

And the popcorn goes to …

I’m actually quite a movie freak. I have about half of the IMDB memorized already. That’s a pretty neat party trick. I’ve been a science fiction fan since early childhood, and lately I’ve been so excited about all the Marvel movies, especially The Avengers. That was my favorite movie of 2012, and it was nominated for several MTV Movie Awards. Sadly, I didn’t get to watch any life coverage, but I did my best to follow what was going on via Twitter. At 4 am local time. Damn you, CET! So, I’m running on very little sleep today, but it was absolutely worth it. The Avengers won Best Movie, Best Fight, and Best Villain! It’s just sad that I don’t have anyone to share my excitement with, because the people around me don’t care about those things at all. Thank the heavens for Twitter, Tumblr, and co!

What’s been going on in your life lately?

See you!

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The Gym Dilemma

Some of you might remember that I quit my gym back in January. I had grand plans to workout at home, go for a few runs around my village, attend my weekly Pilates class, etc. In reality, not much of that happened. I could list many excuses: I’ve been extremely busy working at several projects, the weather has been awful, I got sick, my Pilates trainer got sick, and so on and so forth.

Honestly, I’ve been missing the convenience of heading to the gym right after work, before I even get close to my house. I’ve noticed that it’s so hard for me to find the motivation to exercise once my butt has touched the couch. Or I see the pile of dirty dishes in my sink. It’s almost impossible!

So, why don’t I just join a new gym? Mostly it’s because of the cost. Gyms are generally quite expensive around here. Sure, you can find gyms that are only $30 per month, but they are just like my last one: no classes, no trainers, old equipment, no air condition, and you even have to pay extra to take a shower. A membership at a decent gym costs about $80 per month. And that’s for a 24 month contract, plus $130 entry fee. Yikes!

Gym fitness

(Source)

And here’s the next problem. Most gyms only offer long-term contracts. Sure, you can also get a 12 month contract, but then your monthly fee will go up to $90. Including the entry fee, that will cost me around $1200 in one year. That is a lot!

At the moment, our financial situation is quite okay, but that could change within just a few months. I have no idea if I will still be able to afford a gym membership at the end of the year.

I’ve already found a gym that looks really nice, offers interesting group fitness classes, is situated close to my workplace, and even has a sauna area. How fancy! But it’s also quite expensive.

I don’t know what to do! I hate the idea of spending so much money, but I also miss working out and feeling strong. And I know that exercising at home is harder for me because there are too many distractions.

Do you prefer working out at home or at the gym? How much would you spent on a gym membership?

See you!

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