03.12.2012 – 1st day of SCD

Feeling this morning: a little grumpy as night ended at 5.30. Couldn’t go back to sleep and was very hungry.
Breakfast was quick (thought it would take longer), lentils tasted great, will remember to season spinach… Not sure if I’m full or not. Not so very motivated to do Pilates but pushed half way through.
Thoughts at night: Had too many eggs, feel sick but satisfied. Need to eat sth inbetween lunch and dinner. Came home starving but also forgot to eat beans at lunch.

What I ate:

Breakfast *2 scrambled eggs
*1/2 cup lentils
*1 cup spinach
Mid-Day Snack *Carrots & Hummus
*1 boiled egg,
*cucumber and tomato slices
Lunch *pork chop
*scrambled egg
* Salad
Dinner *Alaska Pollock
*Bowl of Salad

02.12.2012 – or the nightmare before SCD

Hello there world!

I know I haven’t been around here for a long time. (okay a really loong time…) but there has been a lot going on in my little world.

And with all the stress, physical and mental, another problem arose: weight gain!

I have struggled with my weight pretty much my entire life, set off by a very bad disease which had me in hospital for half a year in 3rd grade and the medication increased appetite and reduced the feeling of being full.

I reached my peak weight during my exchange at 187 lb and worked off 33 pounds simply by going to the gym 2-3 times a week. Then I hit a plateau, tried changing my diet and have been bouncing back and forth ever since. Now… I’m back at about 176 lb and really discontent with the overall situation. I never ever wanted to go back there again!

So last week, I came across a great book: the 4-hour-body. I mainly got it to see, if the claims made had any significant scientifical background. Read it through in 2 1/2 days.

At the beginning I thought: “You can never, ever go without carbs! What do you do without pasta? Or your beloved bread? Let alone chocolate and sweets?” and then slowly I started considering it. Didn’t sound so bad after all.

Different then what I did before, I took my time to really get into the topic. Searched forums, communities and blogs featuring the Slow Carb Diet for recipes, stories and results. And it stuck with me. I could do that too. Maybe not for life but for quite some time.

Setting the starting date to Monday, 03.12.2012 helped me get prepared. I figured out a meal plan to have enough variety (nothing as bad as the same meal every day) and help prepare them.

As a student I have little time and money so it all takes some planning beforehand.

I stocked my freezer with proteins (fish, turkey, chicken) and my pantry with beans and lentils. And I got excited. Really excited. If it was for “my other self” (the bad, impatient one) I would have started right away. But like this, I had time to rethink and prepare. And now I can’t wait to get started.

Thank you for your patience and for finishing that post ;)

from Berlin with Love,

Patricia

On the lyrical site…

I have a silent love for poetry, probably woken by an overly ambitious teacher who provided us with whatever lyric she could come up with.

Although, today I do not read poetry to analyse it, I’m still just so amazed by the talent the authors possess to put their thoughts into words, working with images, metaphors, rhymes… their ability to have me thinking about one outstanding line all day long.

Poetry is so versatile. It ranges from cute little notes with a special twist to elaborate stories following a rhyme flow that stays in your mind like a song. It can tell a whole story within a few lines, have you smiling like a Cheshire cat or make you question your attitude by the time you finish the last verse.

The way those everyday words, when put in the right hands, can create such beautiful pieces of art and castles in the sky is a bit like magic.

Therefore I’ll be showing two of my personal faves:

It is so cute and simple but it takes time to be understood. There was a point when I thought, this was just a random collection of words ;) It makes me smile everytime I read it.
And then there are the more thoughtful pieces:

Why I Hate Reading Maps

by Gabriel Gadfly

I have unrolled a map
onto my kitchen table
and put one finger
where you are and
another where I am.

The space between
is only inches. That close,
I could feel you breathing.
I could reach out and
run my fingers through
every strand of your hair,
touch your lips and
barely need to move.

In the corner of the map
there is a guide for judging scale:
every inch a hundred miles
full of roads and rivers and trees,
the guide a sharp reminder
that you are where you are
and I am where I am,
inches apart.

Can you feel the emotions in it? The slight tremble going through the narrator in the 2nd stanza? The frustration and resignation of the last lines?

It’s like listening to a beautiful song, leaving goosebumps all over your body. I just wish I had the talent to create something like that.

Sweet, Sweeter, Brownies!

Oookay, I know… it’s Monday already. But to defend myself, I started work really early on Sunday and had to work overtime cause there was just so much to do. That however didn’t keep me from preparing a delicious breakfast for myself. Just had to get up a little earlier ;)

The recipe is from Stephanie’s beautiful blog A Modern Christian Woman. I really enjoy her posts about cooking from scratch and on a budget so be sure to check it out yourself.

My craving for chocolate seems extremely intensified those last couple of days, so what better than to whip up a batch of these?

Dense, sweet, soft and chocolateyyy. Oh and of course incredibly easy to make.

Back to Basics Brownies

{recipe adapted from A Modern Christian Woman}

1 stick butter

12 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 eggs or 4 flax eggs {4 tbsp ground flax seeds with 12 tbsp water}

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

Melt together butter, cocoa and oil until a thick paste. Combine with rest of the ingredients. If using flax eggs, add in a bit of milk or buttermilk for moisture or your dough will not be “brownie-like”. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan lined with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes until set.

Deliciate!

I did feel a little guilty while indulging in them because they were so full of chocolate flavour ;)

Wishing you a beautiful week!

… from Berlin with Love,

Patricia

DeliS – Strawberry Love

Hello and a wonderful morning to you all!

Beautiful May has almost arrived at our doorstep and so I picked up a pound of delicious, sweet strawberries yesterday :)

That’s probably why I love these months so dearly: aspargus, strawberries and rhubarb are finally back in season.

And while I had to seriously limit myself to not eat the whole pound last night, I searched for the perfect strawberry-breakfast recipe.

Now I’m actually sitting on my balcony {the weather feels a lot more like July…} and enjoying this little treat:

Best Strawberry Bread

{adapted from: Taste and Tell}

Ingredients:

{makes one loaf}

1 1/2 cup flour {as usually I use whole spelt flour}

1 ts baking powder

1 pinch of salt

cinnamon

vanilla extract

1/2 cup of sugar

2 eggs

about 1/3 cup cooking oil

1 cup sliced strawberries

Preparation:

Stir together all ingredients except berries until you get a creamy, muffin-like dough. I added oil at last until I had the wished-for texture so I’m not quite sure about the quantity. If you want to use less oil, try adding milk instead to make the dough more fluid.

Then add in strawberries.

Spray loaf pan {10”} with cooking spray or line with parchement paper. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm.

The combination of the berries and the moist, fluffy bread had me smiling all breakfast long.

Deliciate!

…from the Berlin balcony with Love,

Patricia

прия́тного аппети́та! – Enjoy your meal!

Goood morning everyone, I hope you all slept well. :) Don’t worry I won’t be asking you for your room number and keeping the goodies hidden when you’re not on my list. {guess, work is taking its toll on me ;)}

Today I had a lot of time at hand, so I tried something a bit more elaborate, including my worst enemy: yeast germs.

This recipe is a Russian breakfast goodie and I hope you will enjoy it just as much as I did.

Sweet Apple Rolls

Ingredients

500g flour (about 4 cups)

40g sugar (1/4 cup)

1 pinch salt

20g yeast (or a small package)

1 cup milk (lukewarm)

1/4 cup butter (softened)

1 apple

1 egg yolk

Preparation

Put flour into a large bowl and digg in a small hole in the middle. Add in sugar, salt and the yeast and pour over a bit of  milk. Let sit for about 20 minutes then add rest of milk and butter. Again let sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile cut apple into cubes.

Knead dough again well and form little rolls while adding a few apple cubes to every roll. Brush beaten egg yolk over rolls. On a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius (390 degrees F).

Deliciate.

On the organizational part

Okay. I admit it. I’m a declutter-addict.

Seriously, I’m obsessed with decluttering, probably because my family has always been some kind of hoarder and collector… Nowadays I go through all my stuff all the time, kicking out a little every now and then. It’s a constant process.

And I love being organized. If it was for me, my flat would be covered in lists, charts and schedules {still keep forgetting things all the time anyways}.

But today I’m here to share two of my favourite {and free} printables to keep my life a little organized.

First of all, there is this really pretty birthday calender {yay, no more apology-cards ;)} from ThePrettyBlog.

It’s too sweet not to be used and I taped it across my fridge as a daily reminder, right next to the 2nd print: my weekly schedule from IHeartOrganizing. Be sure to scroll down and check out all of Jen’s awesome work. I love the bright and pretty colours.

It is so easy to stay organized when there people who make all these beautiful thingies for us. Thank you so much!

… from Berlin with Love,

Patricia

DeliS – Comfort Food in the Form of Banana-Buttermilk Muffins

Living all by yourself is sometimes a rather lonely business, I dare say.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life in Berlin, my apartment is a charming little place and work and colleagues are really great. Also I don’t have any difficulty entertaining myself. Knitting, crocheting, reading, cooking and being creative keep me pretty busy all the time. I prefer living alone because of my inhumane working-times that might easily disturb others and because I dread dependency.

However, when you wake up on a Sunday morning, knowing you will be locked up at home because of a steady rain all day, you cannot help feeling a little lonely. I miss home. My friends and family, the bustling around, the laughter and the noise. Now the apartment seems too big to be inhabited by just one person. I wish for someone to communicate my thoughts to. Melancholy takes over and I wonder wether I’m doomed to spend life all alone.

That sounds really dramatic but these are the thoughts to cross my mind during such a sunless day. I’m not the person to go out and immediately make friends. My reservedness and my serious looks often leeds people to the prejudice of me being arrogant and proud. Also I don’t talk much in public. Doesn’t seem like it right now, I’m aware of that ;)

So, now on to the actually important part of this post:

My comfort on this cloudy morning were some {very ripe} bananas and a can of buttermilk {close to expiring} which quickly turned into these “sweeties”:

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

{adapted from The little Teochew}

Ingredients {makes about 6 muffins}

100g flour {I used whole-spelt}

30 g sugar

1 1/2 spoon baking powder

1 large ripe banana {mashed}

125 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk

1 tbsp oil

vanilla extract

Preparation

Simply combine the wet and dry ingredients seperately. Then add the dry to the wet and mix well. Line a muffin sheet with muffin cups and fill in the batter to about 3/4 of the cups.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.

Let cool and Deliciate.

The original recipe asked for more sugar which I thought it really didn’t need because of the sweet banana. Also I skipped on the egg and it still turned out great. You can also add a little cocoa powder to the batter. A moist, fluffy and an easy-to-make treat for Sundays breakfast or just to indulge inbetween ;)

… from Berlin with Love,

Patricia

What to do in your freetime? – besides cleaning the windows, I mean ;)

Ha! Yesterday I was actually allowed to leave work early because there was so little to do! So little-Patricia suddenly sat at home, smiling and… not knowing what to do with all that free time?

Of course, the good girl that I am, I got up and cleaned my windows. {Spring cleaning: almost check}

However cleaning the windows in my parents’ house meant a whole day of stretching, carrying buckets full of water and using plenty of towels to get all 26 windows spotlessly clean while in my apartment there are only 6 of them, including the balcony door :D

Again I was put in front of the question: and NOW??

First, I played a bit with my camera… {really wish I had a “real” one, no matter how much I love my digi cam}

I'm loving spring. And cherry blossoms on my coffee table :)

And then I started on THIS little project. A twig I had laying around from spring decoration and divided Kleenex’ turned into this:

picture didn't turn out so great... looks way better in RL

AND now, a little craft to spend the rainy saturday afternoon with. I made this quite a while ago, when still living in Freiburg. I could not stand the bare wall next to my bed so I searched the net for some easy DIY art and found THIS.

I adapted the method a bit to my taste, printing out my letters on normal paper, covering them with the magazine strips and then cutting along the lines that shone through the back of the paper.

and that’s the outcome:

And a bit “setting the scene” ;)

So I hope I have provided you with enough ideas to get through these boring hours ;) for a little while at least.

… from Berlin with Love,

Patricia

DeliS – Time for some Easter goodies

I love Easter {almost as much as Christmas, but pssst!} That might be due to the fact that spring with all the birds, flowers and sun makes me very happy.

I even tried my hand on some homemade Easter decor. Ever tried colouring eggs with red beet juice? No? Definitely a fun experience and an interesting outcome. :)

Unfortunately I was not allowed to spend the holidays with my beloved family because I have to work. Of course Hotel business in Berlin gets crazy during the Easter holidays.

So for a bit of consolation and of course to deliciate my Sunday morning anways, I pulled out this recipe for the traditional German Easter wreath. It is made of a sweet yeast dough and supposed to bring health, luck and vitality.

Here you go:

Ingredients

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 package dried yeast (7g)

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 ts salt

ground lemon zest

1 beaten egg for glacing {optional}

Preparation

Put flour in a large bowl and dig a hole in the middle. Dissolve yeast in luke-warm milk  {at this point I often kill my yeast germs :( } and pour it into the middle of the flour. Sprinkle some sugar over it and let sit for about 5-10 minutes.

Add in 2 eggs, butter, rest of sugar, salt and lemon zest and knead thoroughly. Again cover it and let sit at a warm place for at least 30 minutes. I usually preheat the oven at 120 degrees for 5  minutes, then turn it off and put in the dough. It should grow quite large.

Divide the dough into three parts and form long rolls. Now braid the three rolls together and form a wreath. It would be best to do this right on the baking sheet so don’t have to bother about moving it. Let sit for a few more minutes. If you want you can now brush it with the beaten egg.

Bake at 340 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

It is best enjoyed warm with a bit of butter or Nutella ;) But of course it can be prepared the night before {as I did}. Be sure to eat it quickly because it gets dry after a few days.

I made a smaller one for myself and a large one for my office girls which I filled with homemade chocolate crossies because I find the prices for chocolate eggs ridiculous.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and Happy Easter! :)

from Berlin with Love,

Patricia