Let it go

New moon is at the door. It is always the perfect opportunity to get rid of toxic thoughts, habits and ideas. When I try to let go of something I often do the following exercise:

Imagine the person, life or place you have to say goodbye to being on the shore to a great ocean. You are standing on a boat, leaving the shore. Imagine yourself turning back to the shore and waving goodbye. You leave all negative thoughts behind at the shore. You smile. Not in malicious joy, but in true and honest satisfaction. You know everything is the way it has to be. You are thankful for everything you have experienced on that shore, but you are willing to say goodbye now. You turn around to the ocean. It is the great and open sea. Your boat is save and stable and you feel comfortable. It will bring you to new islands and places, where many new and exciting things await you.

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Repeat this exercise as many times as you want or need. Letting go is a slow process. It is a practice we all have to learn over and over again. Give yourself time.

 

All you need is less

Scroll down for english version…

Alle Jahre wieder verzichte ich während der Fastenzeit auf Süssigkeiten, Alkohol oder anderes. Alle Jahre wieder werde ich mit grossem Unverständnis gefragt was das soll? Deshalb hier eine kleine, grosse Erklärung:

Begonnen hat alles in einer kleinen katholischen Familie, mit meiner Mutter, die stets die Tugenden einer guten Christin parat hatte. Natürlich hat sie sich nie aufgedrängt, dennoch übernimmt man ja gerne mal über Modelllernen die Eigenheiten der Eltern. Tribut an Bandura an dieser Stelle. So kam es, dass ich bereits im Kindesalter während den vierzig Tagen vor Ostern auf Schokolade verzichtet habe. Erstaunlicherweise fiel mir das nicht allzu schwer.

Ich habe dann Jahr für Jahr damit rumexperimentiert, irgendwann wurden es Süssigkeiten aller Art, ein Jahr sogar alles was süss schmeckte. Schlechte Idee. Gerade als Teenager hatte ich es zweimal so weit gebracht dass mein Kreislauf kollabierte – nicht alles Fasten ist gesund, höre auf deinen Körper.

Als ich älter wurde kam der Alkohol dazu. In den letzten Jahren habe ich also jeweils auf Süssigkeiten und Alkohol verzichtet. Wieder interessant wie verstört das Umfeld reagiert auf den Satz “nein danke, ich trinke nicht”. Eine spannende Beobachtung meinerseits war jeweils, dass ich mich an Partys kaum anders verhielt als wenn ich trinken würde. Man lässt sich ja dann doch von der ausgelassenen Stimmung anstecken, die Wirkung von Alkohol also einmal mehr Nebensache.

Als ich mich schliesslich in den vergangenen Jahren auch mit weissem Zucker vermehrt auseinandergesetzt habe hat sich nun das Muster kein weisser Zucker und kein Alkohol etabliert. Meine Fastenzeit entspricht also mittlerweile auch einer kleinen Detox Kur.

Soviel zu meiner Geschichte. Aber warum halte ich noch immer an dieser Gewohnheit fest? Zum einen ist der Mensch ein Gewohnheitstier, doch es steckt noch mehr dahinter. Als Jugendliche habe ich mich oft gefragt, was genau es denn Jesus bringt, wenn ich 40 Tage keine Schokolade esse? Meine Gedanken haben sich oft um Religion und Glauben gedreht und den Sinn davon und schliesslich habe ich den Sinn genau darin gefunden: denk nach. Hinterfrage, überlege, lege dir die Dinge zurecht, damit sie für dich passen und nicht weil sie dir jemand so predigt. Und wenn es keinen Sinn für dich ergibt? Dann lass es. Hier meine Überlegungen:

„[…] salbe dein Haar, wenn du fastest, und wasche dein Gesicht, damit die Leute nicht merken, dass Du fastest, sondern nur dein Vater, der auch das Verborgene sieht; und dein Vater, der das Verborgene sieht, wird es dir vergelten.“ Zitat aus der Bibel Jesus Christus, Bergpredigt (Mt 6,16–18). Glaubt jetzt nicht, ich hätte die Bibel gelesen und wüsste das alles auswendig. Ich war neugierig und wollte wissen, was genau zur Fastenzeit gesagt wird, um es für mich selbst auszulegen: Wenn du etwas tust, tu es nicht, damit die anderen es sehen. Alles was du tust, tust du für dich selbst. Vielleicht glaubst du auch an etwas Grösseres, möchtest deinen spirituellen Weg weitergehen oder es ist einfach Teil deiner Persönlichkeitsentwicklung. Hier gibt es einmal mehr kein richtig oder falsch. Wie das Wort schon sagt, es ist Glauben und nicht Wissen. Irgendwann wurde das Fasten zu einer Art Training der Selbstdisziplin und ich fürchtete, würde ich ein Jahr auslassen, dann würde sich dies auch in anderen Aspekten meines Lebens äussern. Dazu gehört auch das kalte Duschen meinerseits, aber das ist eine andere Geschichte.
Es ist auch der Verzicht, in dem man sich übt. All you need is less. Das Realisieren, dass man nicht alles braucht was man vielleicht das Gefühl hat zu brauchen. Dass man auch einmal Inne hält und lernt zu schätzen was man schon hat, statt ständig von Neuem vom Konsum getrieben zu sein. Fasten kann somit völlig unterschiedlich ausgelegt werden. Nimm dir doch mal für diese 5 Wochen einen Tag pro Woche Bildschirm-frei. Oder versuche dich in dieser Zeit in Meditation, versuche innerlich still zu werden. Du kannst dich in irgendeiner Art und Weise einer Achtsamkeitspraxis widmen, es dreht sich schon lange nicht mehr nur um Schokolade. Ein Versuch wäre es wert oder?

 

English:

Every year I decide to abstain from sweets, alcohol or other. Every year people would ask me in surprise why I do so. Here’s my explanation:

It all started in a small catholic family, where my mother would always know every duty of a christian. She never pushed us to do anything, but thanks to Bandura we know, that children would copy their parents and so did I. That’s how I started to resign on chocolate 40 days before easter, which turned out to be quite easy for me.
I kept experimenting year after year, at some point I resigned to all sweets and one year even to everything that just tasted sweet. That was a bad idea, at some point my body wouldn’t take it anymore and I had a circulatory collapse. That was the way I learnt to listen to my body, trying to keep it healthy, whatever I did.

As I grew older, alcohol joint the sweets, so I disclaimt sweets and alcohol for 40 days, each year. Again it was highly interesting how my environment would react to me saying “no thanks, I don’t drink”. Almost as when I said, no thanks, I’ll skip the chocolate. At some point this seems abnormal.
Finally the past few years, I looked into the subject of white sugar and my current patern evolved, where I would resign to white sugar and alcohol. My lent therefore turnt into some kind of a detox period as well.
So much for my development on fasting. But why would I still stick with it? As a teenager I would keep asking myself, what on earth Jesus would benefit from a teenager, living 2000 years after his death, resigning to chocolate? I would always think a lot of religion and believes and the meaning of it. Finally I figured, it was exactly that what it was about: keep thinking, read and listen, but rethink it and build your own universe, don’t take on a universe, someone else has built.

So in the bible there would be this verse “But when you go without food, put oil on your head and make your face clean; So that no one may see that you are going without food, but your Father in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward.” (Mt 6,16–18). Don’t think I new this by heart, I haven’t even read the whole bible. I was curious what exactly would be written in it about the lent. In my interpretation it would mean to do whatever you do for yourself, and not for anyone else. Maybe you believe in something bigger and you want to step forward on your spiritual path, but maybe you don’t and this is just part of your personal development. Again there is no right or wrong here, it is all believing, not knowing.

At some point this time of the year turnt into some kind of training for self discipline and I was afraid if I’d skip on it one year, that would have an impact on my everyday life as well. Now I came to the conclusion, it is also about the practice of renouncement. All you need is less. It is the realising we don’t need everything we think we need. So take a little moment to be grateful for everything you have already. Try to rethink your consumer behaviour. Fasting can be seen in many different ways. Maybe you try to take a day off your computer and smartphone a day a week for those oncoming weeks? Or you give a try on meditation. You can commit yourself to any kind of awareness practice, the focus on chocolate is long gone. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

Zero waste​ on the road

t-shirts-skip-a-straw-save-a-turtle-tee-5_720xYou can get that great T-Shirt here: Wholesome Culture
I love that quote and it fits perfectly with today’s topic: Zero waste is a great thing, but it takes some effort. What about the time you’re in the city, wandering around, craving for a smoothie, or a Starbucks coffee or you don’t have time and need something to go? No problem, we’re all only human. Still, you can reduce plastic waste to its minimum, following these simple tricks below:

  • bring your lunch box. Sure this would be the best solution instead of having to buy something to go. You didn’t have time to prepare something? Just bring your empty lunch box and ask wherever you go if they could fill in the salad or soup (recommend a glass jar for this one) or wraps or whatever you’re having into your lunch box.
  • bring your cutlery. Again if going for something take-away, there will most certainly be plastic cutlery. So bring your own and you already saved a tiny bit of plastic.
  • reusable cups. Starbucks already has that option and so do other companies, just buy one and keep it in your pocket, for whatever craving will be coming up. Also if you cannot go without a straw, check out these reusable straws. You will find those all over the internet to buy.

Tired of carrying half of your kitchen with you? Maybe you work at an office or you have a locker at school. You can always wash all the things you have at the restrooms and leave them at work, so you don’t have to take them home every time. You could even bring a little dish liquid to leave there.

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Hiking is on!

Summer and fall are the perfect seasons to go hiking! Also hiking is an activity that is very adjustable for personal needs. You can either go for a gentle walk around a lake, or you can run up a mountain, or even do several days of hiking!
Also when walking with friends you have loads of time to catch up, to talk or just spend some quality time together. Whereas going alone also has a very meditative aspect.

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Some hiking tips for you:

  • Shoes: Make sure you know about the terrain and bring the right shoes. Running shoes might not be the right choice for a mountain climb. Speaking of shoes, don’t go hiking in new shoes! whenever you got yourself new ones, wear them at home, or for work to get your foot used to them. Otherwise, your hike might end up in pain.
  • Orientation: I might seem old-fashioned, but a compass is never a bad idea! I’ve heard of several people who got lost and GPS-Signal couldn’t reach them anymore.
  • First aid: Never forget a first aid kit
  • Emergency: Maybe write down the most important numbers for an emergency. For Switzerland that would be 117 (police), 118 (fire department), 1414 (Rega) & 144 (general emergency/ambulance).
  • Breakfast: Eat something before the hike! Even though you might not be a breakfast eater, you will soon realize this requires more energy than another work day at the office. Speaking of energy, bring bars, dates or chocolate for whenever you might need a quick kick of energy.
  • Point of no return: Make sure you know for every moment of the hike where you are, where you could go elsewhere, for example as a shortcut or at what point you will walk to the end, instead of turning around and going back. You may consider moor, fallen trees, flood or even snow to occur.
  • Water: make sure you have enough water! You might have to take multiple flasks with you. Also, inform yourself before if you can refill them on fountains. And as our Grand-father used to say: the last sip must be drunk at home.

Also, let me know if you’ve been hiking yet and where and maybe attach a picture for me to publish! 😀

a little hike is what we like
with love

your morning dove

Going low waste in Dublin

waste style. I am using low waste because I did not figure out a way yet how to go ZERO waste. however, whenever you can go zero waste, go for it!

First of all, Dublin does not have too many possibilities to shop low waste. They do indeed have loose vegetables and fruits in most of the shops. Still, the amount of plastic-wrapped groceries make me want to cry. So here you can see my groceries I got today:

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So great thanks to uncle bens for keeping it without plastic! However, make sure you don’t pick the one with the small bags in it. The rice cakes were not surprisingly but unfortunately wrapped in plastic inside the cardboard box. Same for the chocolate, which was wrapped in aluminum. Back in Switzerland you could go to the Läderach chocolatier and get some unwrapped chocolate, that is completely awesome!

Anyway, I am working on that rice cakes problem. Additionally, you might pay attention to seasonal and regional products. As you can see I did not find any fruits today, as berries are mostly seasonal now, but they were all wrapped. And guys: APPLES COME IN FALL AND WINTER! So stop buying apples now, they are either imported or have been frozen for at least a year! There are some sorts of early apples available now, which are mostly used for cooking. I got some apple juice instead, which is a much more eco-friendly way to preserve the apples. Still little side note here: do not drink too much apple juice and remember it is always better to eat the whole fruit, instead of just drinking the juice. This will make it easier for your belly.

So much to think of! Clearly, you cannot think of all, but you may try your best. You can go after this checklist:

Is it

  1. unpacked?
  2. seasonal?
  3. regional?

As you might see, for the yellow peppers I only agreed on the first two of them. Just try your best.
Anyway, keep your head up, keep your heart strong, spread kindness and see you soon!

No sugar Sunday brunch

Here comes another recipe for banana pancakes (out of the rest of the saved bananas, see previous post). This recipe was inspired by  the vegan pancakes out of the book Clean Eating Starter. It is highly recommendable, since it contains loads of delicious recipes which are mostly without sugar. My only critic are once again the many non-regional ingredients (all seen from switzerland).

Anyhow here comes my recipe:

  • 1 egg
  • 100g oatmeal
  • 100g flour
  • 3 bananas
  • cinnamon as much as wanted
  • coconut oil

First scrunch the bananas with a fork. Then add the egg, the oatmeal and the flour and mix it. Also add as much water as needed until you get a creamy consistence (though it shouldn’t be too fluid, a little less than for the banana bread). Then heat the coconut oil and roast gently on medium heat. If your dough is too fluid, just add more oatmeal.

Serve with peanut putter, maple sirup or fruits!

For a whole brunch we also had the chia musli and bread (or croissants, up to you). You can eat the bread with butter or honey instead of jam.

Note: as a vegan variation this recipe also works without the egg. For the original recipe (there is a vegan variation and one with eggs too), check out Clean Eating Starter by Julia Fodor and Luisa Eckhard.

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Bananabread (vegan)

First cravings for something sweet? Or your bananas turned brown within the last few days? Or even no need for reasons to make a banana bread? First of all I do not often buy bananas, because for the sake of our environment I try to focus on local food. Still every now and then we have bananas at home and this time they turned brown. In addition the bananas in the supermarket nearby were on sale. Since I used to work in a smoothie and juice bar I know, that all of them which were still left at the end of the day end up in the compost. So I felt like this time it was justified to make a banana bread 😉 for the sake of anti food waste.

The long and short of it: here comes my very own recipe.

  • 4 bananas
  • 50g walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbs cinnamon
  • 100g flour
  • water
  • butter (vegan: coconutoil)

Turn on the oven, 180° C air circulation. Peel the bananas and scrunch them with a fork. Then mix the flour, cinnamon and vanilla and add the mixture to the bananas. Add as much water until you get a creamy consistence and add the walnuts. Grease the cake pan with the butter and pour in the dough. Put it into the oven for at least 30 min check every now and then.

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MerkenMerken

Sugar-free breakfast bowl (vegan)

Here comes the first sugar-free recipe! It only takes 5 min.

You’ll need:

  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 100ml milk (vegan: almondmilk)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbs yoghurt, you can choose the flavor (vegan: coconutyoghurt)
  • honey (vegan: maple sirup)
  • cinnamon

Mix the chia seeds and milk and but it into the fridge for 5 min. In the meantime you can cut the apple, clean the kitchen, read the newspaper etc. Take the chiaseed-milk bowl out of the fridge and add the rest of the ingredients.

Tip: You can adjust the fruit you add according to the seasons. Try a berry variation in summer!

Tip 2: make sure your yoghurt doesn’t contain sugar! Mostly fruit yoghurts contain almost half of the sugar you should consume during the day! There are sugar free alternatives (also vegan ones) available in every supermarket. Look for non-flavoured yoghurt, you can add any taste you want by yourself.

sugar-free breakfast