Freitag, 27. September 2013

Signs of Autumn, veganized

Dear readers,
today I proudly present to you: My first vegan recipe, developed by myself! I veganized one of my all time favourite, fried parasol mushrooms... You have never heard of parasol mushrooms? They are kind of big, big portobellos, but more fragile. Here's what they look like:

Pretty, aren't they?
When I was a child, every autumn me and my parents went into the woods to collect mushrooms. Chanterelle, Porcinos, whatever edible kind of mushrooms we could find. Oh,I felt so proud whenever I found some especially pretty mushroom!
Those parasol I liked most of all, my mom would turn them into a wonderful kind of mushroom-Schnitzel, with breading and all, I loved it!
My father still goes into the woods, he just cannot wait for the colder nights and misty mornings of autumn. As soon as it "starts to smell like mushrooms" (so he says) he would be gone for hours, returning with a basket full of wonderfull mushrooms. I guess he could find mushrooms everywhere, that is one of his many talents.
So, imagine my delight when he called me this afternoon and asked me if I wanted some parasol. Of course I wanted them, especially delivered to my door. Best Dad ever!
Then I had a kind of discussion with myself. For the breading, usually I used eggs and breadcrumbs. Egg? Not vegan! So I decided to use the breading for onion rings that can be found in Isa Chandra Moskowitz' book "Appetite for Reduction". Here's the recipe:

-8 parasol mushrooms, the long stems removed

-1/2 cup of flour
-2 tablespoons corn starch
-1 cup soy milk
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 cup of breadcrumbs,

Mix the flour with the starch and part of the milk, stir, then add the rest of the milk and the vinegar, stir to dissolve. I added a bit of water, too.

Dip mushrooms in the flour mixture, then in the breadcrumbs.
Heat oil in  a big frying pan and fry the mushrooms over medium heat until they are golden brown. Put them on kitchen paper to get rid of some of the fat.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve with lemon and soyghurt, mixed with herbs and salt and garlic. Soooo good!

So, autumn is finally here, mushrooms are back in the kitchen. Thank you Dad! See, your parasol are on the internet, das hättest Du nicht gedacht...Die sehen toll aus, oder??

Montag, 23. September 2013

Let's talk about the "raw-volution"...

So, on Sunday I had the chance to visit the "Rohvolution" or "raw-volution" (as it translates into English)...
My general impression on raw foods: It is so expensive! Even the smallest chocolate nut balls or sample smoothies were about 4,-€ (About 5 USD, I guess?)
The food-fair itself was so interesting, even my husband enjoyed it very much. There was much stuff like "energised water" or herbs loaded with "sunbeams" and things like that. I am not sure about that thing. I am more a down-to-earth-girl.

I was very surprised about the large variety of cocoa on offer... Cocoa nibs, cocoa beans, cocoa butter, cocoa-whatever. Cocoa everywhere!  We even bought some raw cocoa-bars, I just loved them!

We tried raw-vegan ice cream in coconut taste, so delicious. Just coconut water,coconut and some agave nectar. Need to buy a big pot as soon as I find a shop near us.
One thing I just had to buy was some pure orange oil. Oh, I wish you could smell it, just like orange-heaven!
We also bought some raw granola bars, very delicious.

I am still sceptic about raw soups, or those raw falafel they had on offer. Raw chickpeas? Sadly, there was not much time to get deeper information, it was just so crowded. But the people were very friendly.
Today I ordered a book about raw foods, maybe I'll get some more information in there. Hopefully, it will arrive tomorrow...

There were also cakes, raw apple cake and tiny cupcakes. My son bought one, but it was eaten in a second, no picture, sorry. This also was delish, something like a nut-date-base and a cashew-banana-chocolate frosting on top. Sooo good!

One thing that caught my eye were those beautiful mixers, they looked so colourful. But also, very expensive... Maybe I will get one of those spiral cutters, for making "vegetable"-spaghetti. But at the moment, I am trying to keep everything more simple in the kitchen. I am not so sure if buying more gadgets will help on this. But these spirals looked so pretty.

Have you ever tried raw foods? Any tips or recipes to start with??

Freitag, 20. September 2013


Looks like we have made it to the weekend. Well done! It was the first "real" week of school, with long hours in the afternoon and lots of work for me in the office, too. So, time to relax at the weekend and not clean like mad, like I did last weekend. The next week I will try to "fly" and break down the weekly cleaning into small chunks, I am so excited to see if this works for me. Hopefully it does.

Feels so good to start the weekend with a clean sink!

So, today there will be some minor cleaning tasks, getting everything in order and do some laundry. Do some shopping.
And, in the afternoon, the most dreaded thing: Shopping for clothes with my 12-year-old son. Ugh! He needs everything, sports shoes, jeans, some sweat shirts and a new jacket. We both hate shopping, but untill I have found a good source to get his clothes online, we will have to get trough this together...
But I am so looking forward to Sunday: We will visit a Raw-Food-Trade-Show, I am so excited! I hope I will get to try some raw food, and get some inspiration. I am really interested in raw foods, although I will never go "raw", love my hot soups in winter so much...
Algerian food in the evening, make some tajine. Just for hubby, he misses his home country when autumn comes.

And hopefully we will get to enjoy the first signs of autumn, like lambs lettuce, mushrooms collected in the woods by my Dad and cuddling under a woolen blanket. How I love my blankets! Maybe read some good book. I found "The Help" in the library, so looking forward to it!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!

P.S: Sorry for the poor picture in this post, I was running around like mad this week and completely forgot about taking photos...Promise this will get better!

Samstag, 14. September 2013


For some  time now I had the strong feeling that I needed some more balance on the weekends...not only cleaning like mad!
I have always liked those "Dreamy/Practical"-Posts by Mary-Beth, so, on Thursday, I wrote down my own list. The "dreamy" part included buying some flowers, eat lunch at "Hellers" (they offer vegan/vegetarian buffet) and do a mani/pedicure. The practical side had things like laundry, cleaning and shopping for food.
I wanted to get the house relatively clean on Friday afternoon, go to town and do laundry on Saturday and leave Sunday for the more dreamy things. That was my plan.
On Friday I came home and felt so tired that I zonked out on the sofa at 4 pm and woke up at 6pm. I prepared a quick dinner and spent the rest of the evening on the sofa.
On Saturday  I made a list of everything that needed to be done. Looked at it and went straigt back to bed. No way I could ever manage to do all of these things on a weekend. Half an hour later, I made myself a cup of tea and started the first load of laundry. I went into serious cleaning mode, hadn't done some deep cleaning for a while and so I was cleaning the whole day. Including screaming at my son to help me, and running around like a chicken with the head cut of. Not very funny.
But now I feel a little bit more organised again: The pantry is clean again, the spice-drawer is straightened and I defrosted the little freezer compartment in the fridge. Even my son did help a little bit.

The spices, all clearly labelled. Sorry for the bad handwriting...


Pulling everything out of the freezer...

The pantry really needed some organizing. We did throw away so much food that got bad because I forgot it in the fridge. Or it got outdated. Now I know what I have and today I will make up a menu for the week. Bake some bread and think about lunches for the week.
Hopefully, this Sunday will be some time left for a bit of "Dreamy"...
By the way: Any tips on how to get boys to help around the house? Without yelling like mad??? Please???

Dienstag, 10. September 2013

My magic lunchbox

Hello there, welcome back! Did anyone miss me?
Our laptop is still down, some major error, my lovely son was so nice to let me touch his laptop and load some strange pictures...Good boy!
It was a bit of a struggle to get back to blogging about food after this break. Well, I didn't really even start to blog about food, and all those mouthwatering pictures on other blogs really left me feeling intimidated. I was feeling sooo uninspired.
Then the awesome Colleen Patrick-Goudreau came to the rescue. I just finished her 30-Day-Vegan-Challenge Programm, one thing she talked about was "Intention, not perfection". And this really touched me.
As a new vegan, many people feel this need to be perfect. When I decided to go vegan, my family unfortunately did  not join me, so I am often cooking two dinners, if I have the energy to do so. At the beginning of my journey, after work I often felt so tired and cranky, I just grabbed whatever food I could find. And sometimes I was so tired, I didn't even check the cookies for eggs or dairy.
My body told me later, I felt even more cranky and sluggish after eating non-vegan food.
When I finally made the switch to 100% vegan, this gave menu-planning a whole new meaning and importance. I had to plan two kinds of dinner. And, this is maybe the most important thing for me, I had to plan my lunches!
I work full time, so I have to eat decent food during the day. If I skip lunch, I'll be starving in the afternoon, so enter the magic lunchbox:
These are the lunchbox essentials: Something sweet like fruit-salad or cookies at about 10.00 am.
Something starchy with veggies fur lunch and later some snack like fruit, crackers or chocolate.
Here you can see todays luchbox:
-Some carrots that I snacked on during the morning
-Leftover pasta with sauteed peppers and tomatoes, topped with fake parmesan (made from slivered almonds and nooch)
-Black olives and peperoni
-Two pieces of dark chocolate


This keeps me going until I come home. And this helps me to keep my vegan diet. This little lunchbox enables me to resist the cheese I  might find in the fridge. It helps me to say "no" to the cookies I might find on the kitchen counter that are not vegan.
I might still be far from perfect, but I think I am on my way to being a vegan living peacefully in a non-vegan family. And some day, I might find that one tofu-recipe that convinces the whole family to go vegan.
Until then, I fill my lunchbox with yummy things and make my colleagues jealous.

Dienstag, 3. September 2013

Unintended Break...

My First Vegan MoFo... And a broken Laptop. Anyone ever heard of this "Blue Screen"-Problem? Bad Header Whatever?

I will be back as soon as  I have found out how to work with the iPad.... :-(

Sonntag, 1. September 2013

Vegan MoFo 2013

Welcome to Vegan MoFo 2013, I am so excited to join for the first time!

Today is Sunday, so let's start with a late breakfast...

Some whole-wheat bun, soy-joghurt, orange juice, tea with soy milk and my latest discovery: Vegan chorizo! I love that stuff. Hopefully I will get around to make my own version of it, stay tuned...

If you'd like to join me on my journey to veganizing my family, make yourself comfortable, get a cup of tea and some chocolate, I will be back tomorrow with the menu for the week to come...

Montag, 26. August 2013

Eating vegan while travelling...

So many posts have been written on finding vegan food while travelling and eating out. When we left for a four day-trip to Bonn and Cologne I was a bit scared. I had just made the decision to go vegan, and I was not so sure what to do when somebody else was doing the cooking for us.
As I have told you before, I am taking the 30-Day-Vegan challenge, a programm offered by the wonderful Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Two days before we left, she was talking about the subject of eating out as a vegan. And she made it look like a doable task.

The first evening, we went for a Chinese restaurant . They offered vegetarian Ma-Po-Tofu, with mushrooms, onions and peppers, a bit spicy, and it was delish. So delish that I forgot to take a picture, I really have to get into the habit of taking pictures before I finish my dinner!
Breakfast in the hotel was easy. The had fresh rolls, margarine, marmelade. Fruit salad and fresh fruit. I still do not like marmelade, but in a nearby supermarket I found the famous "Wilmersburger Vegan Cheese", so I was quite happy with the breakfast there.

The second day we headed for an Italian restaurant. I ordered a salad with tomatoes, onions and artichokes, bread on the side. Perfect little lunch. In the evening we went to Bad Godesberg for some Lebanese food. Falafel and hummus, anyone?

On Saturday, we visited Cologne. Lunch at an Italian restaurant again. Vegan Spagetti with garlic and olive oil. To my delight, lots of pasta and garlic.
In the evening we had some salad, pita and olives from the supermarket.

On Sunday, we visited the Gamescom, a kind of gamers' paradise. The whole area was so crowded with people, I skipped Lunch that day. Salad for dinner.

Altogether I was really amazed how easy it was to eat vegan while eating in restaurants. Of course we passed many "Brauhaus-Style"-restaurants where they would mainly serve pork chops or fried chicken. But if you look carefully, there are so many choices. At least in bigger cities.
Especially in Cologne you can find so many Chinese, Japanese or Italian Restaurants.

The whole trip encouraged to keep on eating vegan. Although my son always looked at me and said things like "Poor mama, no pizza for you, you are not allowed to eat cheese!"
Well, this is wrong: I made this decision for myself, deliberately. I am not "Not allowed to", I simply do not WANT to eat cheese. (Note to self: Try"Wilmersburger Pizzaschmelz"!)

I am so curious where this vegan thing will lead me and what the journey will bring!

Breakfast and a surprised mom...

We came home yesterday from a short trip to Bonn and Cologne, so this morning I faced an empty fridge. I needed breakfast, now, but all I could find was a block of tofu and some not-so-happy spring onions. There were also some tomatoes from my mom's garden.
I know what you are thinking: "Why doesn't she do some tofu scramble?" -Well, that's what I did. I gave tofu scramble a try about one year ago and found it very complicated. I kept looking up the recipe, and thought "what's next?" - "Which spice comes next?" - "How long do I have to stir this?"...Too much thinking in the morning!
This time, I did it kind of free style. I chopped up the spring onions and sauteed them in a pan with a bit of oil. Meanwhile, I crumbled the tofu and diced two tomatoes. Put the tofu in the pan, together with the tomatoes. Then I sauteed everything until almost all of the liquid was gone. Then I added about two tablespoons of nutritional yeast, half a teaspoon of cumin and pepper and a good pinch of turmeric. Sauteed it a few more minutes and breakfast was ready to be served. With two slices of toast on the side, this was the perfect start to a hectic day.
You might think "Well, tofu scramble, wha's the deal, every vegan knows this...". Here's the surprise end of the story: Have you ever tried to offer tofu to a twelve year old boy?? Have you ever seen this expression on his face when you mention that a dish is vegan?? A mixture between disgust and fear...
Today I thought I'd give it a try (again). My son likes srambled eggs for breakfast and I asked him if he'd like to try the tofu... He tried it and finished of a whole plate of scrambled tofu. No ketchup, just the tofu. And even the vegetables. To my great surprise, he liked it! Maybe it's these big pieces of tofu that scare him :-)

Doesn't it look pretty?

Montag, 19. August 2013

Back to eating vegan...

Soo,...I did it again! Started another attempt to go vegan. And failed. But learned. A lot.

Last Monday I started the "30 Day Vegan Challenge" offered by the wonderful Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. You sign up for the programm and for thirty days you receive daily messages, menu suggestions and tips for going vegan. I really like that program, Colleens approach to eating vegan is so easy and uncomplicated, just what I needed!
Lunch, almost vegan, except the feta...

Well, I was really vegan for six days. Then came yesterday, Sunday. We always have a late breakfast on Sundays, with fresh rolls, jams, cheese and ham or whatever. I completely forgot to get something vegan. No, I do not like jam, sorry... So I had cheese. I have always loved cheese, until I found out that I cannot tolerate milk. I did feel really really bad afterwards. Stuffed and sick.

In the evening, we went to a Chinese restaurant that offers dinner buffet. You help yourself with anything on offer. And there were a lot of things on offer. I could have eaten vegan without starving: They had vegan spring rolls, rice with mixed vegetables, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower and chinese noodles. A salad bar, vegan sushi and fruit for dessert.
But there was also crispy duck, my big weakness, and fried fish. Anything fried is my second big weakness. So I could not resist and had duck and fish and sepia and chicken. Not vegan at all. Did I enjoy my dinner?
 I am sorry to tell you: Yes!

But then something happened: I looked at my plate and suddenly I did not see the crispy duck pieces or the fried fish, I saw them as alive animals. These pictures of fish, swimming in the sea and chickens, alive and picking, they changed my mind. Or, better said: They confimed my decision to go vegan. This dinner, with all the mixed  animals on my plate, this dinner was my final "Goodbye-Dinner"

Goodbye to crispy duck, farewell, fried fish and have a nice day, chicken nuggets. The whole week I had felt light and healthy, today I still feel stuffed and sick.
I had a nice breakfast, toast with almond butter and sliced banana, later I will go to a organic supermarket, to stock up on a few things for breakfast, soy yoghurt and veggies.

On the menu for tonight: Pasta with Ratatouille. Vegan ;-)
What is your favourite vegan breakfast?? Any suggestions??

Vegan breakfast, toast with avocado and tomatoe, juice and tea with soy milk

Dienstag, 13. August 2013


The month of Ramadan has passed, the Eid celebrations are over and the kitchen is relatively clean again.
My brain is working again, and I have been thinking a lot. Especially Ramadan is a good time to be thankful. Here are some of the things I am thankful for:

-My family, especially my parents who never let me down. I can always rely on them, don't know where I would be without them. God bless them!
-My body, still healthy and working well.
-My job. Well, I could list you a thousand things I would love to do instead of sitting at my desk, but, hey, I can feed my family from the money I earn.
-We have food on the table every night. What a blessing!
-The internet. Of course :-)
-My washing machine and the attick, where I dry our clothes. After two summers in Algeria where we had to wash with our hands... Love my washing machine!
-Friends, real life and virtual friends

I am sure there are so many things I am thankful for, but these are the most important at the moment. Time to get the day started, my son wants to visit the zoo today. Lovely weather today! Perfect for a little day trip!

What are you thankful for today?

Montag, 15. Juli 2013

Thoughts on Ramadan and Simplicity

A fresh salad, simple and oh so good!

Wait, Ramadan and Simplicity? How do these two connect??
Maybe you have seen pictures of iftar tables, bending with food, plates loaded with lamb and veggies, loafs of warm bread and lots of dates and fresh fruits and salads. So where is the simplicity??

Well, first of all, I have read so many great blog posts everywhere on the subject of simplicity, they are inspiring me so much. Rhonda at Down-to-earth is doing an especially inspiring series of posts on the subject of starting a life more simple. I love her view on simplifying your life.

Second: To me, Ramadan is always a good time for changes. The on ething I have changed this year is the food. Well, not the food itself, don't mess with traditions! But I am changing the way we deal with the food. Year after year, we have wasted so much food! Where is the sense in that, fasting for 30 days AND throw away food at the same time?
There were always leftovers. Your eyes are big, but the stomach gets smaller and smaller. Every night, there was soup on the table, bread, some meat stew, finger food like bourek, salad and pickles. We are only three people in our household, no wonder we could not eat all of this.

And I forgot to freeze the leftovers more than once. I left the dry bread untill it collected dust and could not be re-used anymore. Or I left the bread in a plastic bag so it became molded. This year, I cook less. I freeze leftovers, I buy less bread.

I also  opt for less packaged food . At the supermarket, everything comes in plastic foil, so I am trying to buy veggies and fruit at the organinic supermarket or at the Turkish market, where you can pick as much as you need, without packaging. Usually, I send Hubby too the Turkish market. But then he comes home with every.single.vegetable in his own plastic bag, everything in a  big bag and some extra (!) plastic bags, for "just in case"...It's driving me crazy!

Now I am doing the shopping by myself with my own bags. I'll try freezing the leftovers  in glass jars rather than plastic, have never tried this, but have seen so many times on the net. Also, this year, I will not buy the -very convenient- cans of chickpeas, instead I will buy large bags of dry ones and soak and cook them myself., so easy...

We will still have soup, bread, stew, salad, fingerfood and pickles every night. Just a little les sof it all.

Donnerstag, 11. Juli 2013

This week on my balcony...

He is a bit camera-shy

One of the tomatoe-plants. Hopefully, this will make one serving of salad...

Thai Basil, growing stronger everyday

Another batch of mixed salad

There is no way that our humble balcony could ever compete with those wonderful gardens that I always see in blogs like Soulemama or Beauty that moves... Well, if you look at it from the right perspective, it is quite green and blooming!
But I love to grow our own vegetables, really. Hubby always makes fun of me in spring, when I am planning on what vegetables to grow. "It's not a garden, remember?" I do remember, but when we do have a salad, all grown by ourselves, he loves it just as much as I do.
This week I will present you a visitor that I found in the jasmin, maybe you can spot him? (It's a June bug, they love the big linden tree behind the house)

Sonntag, 7. Juli 2013

Ramadan Preparations

 Freezer cooking the Algerian way, five packs of baklava should get us through this months...

Part of the Ramadan shopping, fresh coriander is essential for the shorba, the soup we have for iftar

This week we will enter the Holy Month of Ramadan. As a muslim family, it is obligatory that we do fast from dawn till sunset, no food, no drink for 30 days.  I remember Ramadan back in Algeria, some members of the family woke up for suhoor, the meal before sunset, they had some dates and lots of water. Others would just sleep until noon. The men would go to the market, then my mother-in-law would prepare iftar, the evening meal with that you are breaking of the daily fast. This would be followed by a long nap in the afternoon, and then, finally at about 8 pm, iftar time. Such a bliss to have the first sip of water!
This year here in Germany, the fasting begins at about 3.00 AM and lasts until 9.30 PM. Many people experience a kind of mental high during this time, a feeling of strengthened faith and a reconnection with God. They read the Quran a lot, and spent much time in the mosque, praying. But what if you have to go to work? Not a very good idea, indeed...You get up at 2.30 am, have a quick breakfast, go back to bed and try to get some more sleep. Then off to work. No coffee... No chocolate......
Have you ever tried to concentrate when the only thing on your mind is food? (Or, as the days go by, sleep?)
You get home, take a quick nap and then wait for iftar. You stay up late, as there is not much time for your body and stomach to make up for 17 hours of fasting. And it goes on like this for the next 29 days.
I know, this might sound strange or weird to non-muslims, especially now in the summer months, as you are not allowed to drink during the heat of the day.
But as much as I dread the month of Ramadan, it is always a precious time, a good experience. It always makes me think about food a lot, how we handle it, how much we waste, what it is like to be hungry. Have you ever noticed just how much food you eat during the day without really noticing? Without being hungry?
I am always surprised how often I enter the kitchen and snack on some olives, nuts or some chocolate.
During Ramadan, we usually break the fasting with a glass of water and some dates. I promise you, there has never been a drink sweeter or more refreshing than this humble glass of water at iftar. I can literally feel it running through my body.I am looking forward to this feeling already.
So, the shopping is done, there is meat in the freezer and the pantry is filled. I have been browsing through Algerian cookbooks to get some ideas of what to cook and the menu for the first day (at least) is ready. I always want to be more organised, like freezing bourek or appetizers, but I never make it this far ;-)
Seventeen hours of fasting can become very long, I wonder if I will make it this year without falling asleep on my desk at work. We will start on Tuesday or Wednesday, anybody wants to see our iftar table then??

Donnerstag, 4. Juli 2013

Trying to FLY again...

Preparing a bulgur salad 

A relatively clean kitchen, imagine that!

Healthy lunch, bulgur salad, leftover chickpeas, olives and dates

For years I have been trying to get my home under control. Still, I always had loads of dirty laundry, the kitchen was a mess and menu planning a long distance goal. Yesterday, we came home late, had a quick dinner and went to bed soon. When I came in the kitchen this morning, it was a mess! I said to myself: "This is enough!"
We had to leave for school and work later than usual this morning, so after Hubby had left for work, I quickly unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher and handwashed a few pots. 15 minutes later, everything was clean again. And I asked myself, why I had not done this the night before. My morning tea would have been much sweeter without this mess! So, from today on, I'll continue with my basic rules, but combine them also with FLYlady-priciples. They are already mixed up a bit, so this will not be too much.  Enough with letting the house run me, time to actively run the house myself. Tonight, after dinner, I prepared lunch for the next day and cleaned the kitchen. Again, only fifteen minutes, and everything was clean and I still had enough time to relax on the sofa. And I'll have a healthy lunch at work...
Let's see how long I will keep up with this!!

Donnerstag, 27. Juni 2013

This week on my balcony...

Soulemama is showing us her garden every week, making me soooo longing for a piece of earth where we could grow our own vegetables and fruit. Well, at the moment, this is a dream, but still... what we do have is our little balcony. It is not very big, but we do grow vegetables here, imagine! Three tomatoes and some salad, to be exactly. And herbs. How I love my little pots with basil, Italian and Thai. I just love Thai basil, it smells wonderfull, and just looking at these pots makes me happy. You can see it in the second picture, the herbs stand in the corner, on the white chair, basil, a tomatoe and two chili plants, Jalapenos.

Another beloved plant on our balcony is the jasmine. My husband brought it here by plane, all the way from Algeria. In our cold climate it has survived for three years now. We are so proud of it! Hopefully, in a few weeks it will be in bloom. Then we will sit on our bench in the evening and the smell of the jasmine will be around us. Cannot wait! (You can see the jasmine in the first picture, at the moment it does not look very spectacular. I will show it to you, when it is in full bloom!)

Sonntag, 23. Juni 2013

Thoughts about going vegan

Groceries fresh from the organic store, still not figured out what to do exactly with those beets

Homemade sushi, not really vegan, but sooo yummy!

Tuesday marked the last day of the wonderful 30-day-vegan workshop, hosted by lovely Heather from the  blog Beauty that moves. It was the second time I took this workshop, determined to stay vegan for those   30 days.
For a long time, I have  been trying to become vegan. About three years ago, I found out that I cannot tolerate milk or any milk products. They leave me feeling sick and my skin goes crazy. I do not eat very much meat, mostly chicken or lamb, so I said to myself: Why not become vegan??
It is so much better for the environment and for my health. So what is holding me back?
Mostly, it is a  matter of time and organisation.
At the beginning of the 30 day workshop I did quite well. But my family did not want to join me, so I prepared two varieties of the same meal. This made menu planning and shopping much more complicated than I could handle it at that moment. I felt very stressed and lost my motivation.
I got two new vegan cookbooks today (as if I needed any more cookbooks...), I really need some inspiration for quick and easy vegan dinners that I can jazz up with some lamb chops on the side, or a chicken breast or so.
Any suggestions on dealing with different ways of eating in one family??

Mittwoch, 19. Juni 2013

The first week with the 10 basic rules

It's Wednesday, time to check how I did stick with my basic rules! I must admit, they literally melted away... We were hit by a heat wave over here, it's far to hot, about 35 degrees, 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
I don't mind these temperatures when I am lying on the beach, feet in the sea and a cold drink in my hands. But going to work, doing the weekly shopping or ironing... no way!
I did quite well with the first rule:
Drink enough water: Wouldn't have made it without drinking...
Eat healthily: Well, at the moment I do not eat very much, mostly salads and fruit, so I did pretty well with that rule.
Menu Planning: Skipped that, no need to plan salads ;-)
Move 15 minutes and decluttering: Skipped that, too. Far too hot to move at all!
Check calendar: Completely forgot that.
Lay out clothes: I laid out clothes for Monday, then changed the outfit completely. Forgot about it yesterday, so I had to iron a shirt this morning. On my way to work I could not remember if I had unplugged the iron, so I drove back home. Took me 25 minutes. Laying out clothes now is top priority!
I did quite well with kitchen clean up, loading the iPhone and taking care of my hands, so I'll give myself 5 out of ten points. Not too bad!

Samstag, 15. Juni 2013

If Momma ain't happy...

Can you guess what we did today? -Berry picking!!!

The last few days have been very hectic over here. Husband will leave tomorrow for a two week visit with his mother. So these last three days were filled with washing and ironing his clothes, searching for his things and shopping for presents for the family.
As usually, I was feeling cranky and overwhelmed while trying to go to work, do the shopping, trying to keep on top of the laundry (failed...) and taking care of a child with a bad cold.
Friday afternoon, while waiting for the pizza dough to rise, I poured myself a cup of tea and started thinking about those everyday problems, you know, those little things that keep the days from running smoothly.
I have been a "Flybaby" for quite some years now, and I am really "flywashed" when it comes to homework. (If you are not familiar with the Flylady-Concept, check out her website at
I came up with ten basic rules for everyday, and these are really inspired by the principles of Flylady...

These are my basic everyday rules:

1) Drink enough water, 8 glasses per day! I always forget to drink during the day...
2) Eat healthily. I will try to have the recommended five portions of fruit and veggies every day...
3) Menu plan and planned lunches. As I work all day, eating a proper lunch is so important.
4) Move for at least 15 minutes a day. Oh, this will be so hard for me...
5) Check calender every night and morning. Another thing I always forget!
6) Quick kitchen clean-up every night. I love to see a clean kitchen in the morning.
7) Lay out clothes the night before. Have tried for years, always failed.
8) Load the iPhone every evening.
9) 15 minutes decluttering every day!!
10) Use handcream every night. I am not getting younger...

I will start following these rules on Monday, let's see how it works. Now that I have written them down and put them on the blog, I really have to put them to work...
Do you have any secrets how to make your days run smoothly??


Donnerstag, 13. Juni 2013

Starting all over

I have been following a lot of blogs during the last two or three years. Food blogs, blogs on living simply, fashion blogs, you name it. It was so easy to dream myself far away, wishing I had a lovely little house in the woods (or by the sea, depending on the season), a vegetable garden and well-raised kinds that would gobble down my freshly cooked organic vegan meals.
Slowly, reality hit me...
I realised that I had neglected my own life. My family, my son and husband and my home. Most of all, myself!
This year so far has been a very stressful one. I realised that I could have avoided many of this years' problems if I had taken care of things earlier.
I started to think about a strategy to regain control of my life and to get things back on track. I work quite well under pressure and I need structure. So I came up with the idea of starting an online blog. I mean, I cannot tell an imaginary reader about eating a healthier diet and then forget about it, right? I'll have to post menus and some pictures of the food I made. And, talking about healthy living, I'll have to tell this reader about time spend outside instead of watching TV... Right? Right!
So here we go! As summer has finally arrived in my corner of the world, the first project will be... to go outside more!! Get outside and get moving! And I need a summer wardrobe! I thing I will give myself time to tackle this task until the end of July.
Will you join me on this journey to a happier life?