Beta Phase

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Why I haven’t written mails to talk to all those of you who offered me a friendly ear:

Firstly, I tried to keep myself busy making plans for each and every second of the day to keep myself distracted from what hurt to much to think about. And then, secondly, Jay called yesterday. My heart skipped a beat. His voice was shaky. He wanted to talk. He didn’t want to throw it all away after all these years. And most importantly: he still loves me.

In the blog sphere there is a barrier of how much to share. I’ve always been afraid of letting things become to personal but given all the words of friendship and support from so many of you, I want to give you some insight into the situation.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Though, truth be told, it pretty much feels like that right now. Behind us lies a time in which we haven’t always told each other the things that made us sad. We dealt with the sadness and the differences alone instead of figuring out if they were something we could solve together. We evolved at different rates as individuals and didn’t consider that sometimes time is needed to arrive at the same point. And we withdrew our feelings and open thoughts to some extent to save ourselves from being hurt. At the end it all had the contrary effect: two people hurt and miserable, in a relationship which none of them ever wanted to turn out like it did.

The only thing that felt even worse was separating. Talking about the flaws of our relationship and seeing them through the others eyes helped a lot. We don’t know if we can fix what we have, but we made the decision that we are willing to try and give ourselves a beta phase.

I promise that I’ll be back with a less serious topic tomorrow and beautiful pictures of delicious food. For now I am back at the study desk, giving the master thesis my undivided attention. Thank you all for sticking around and I am so happy about the great reactions regarding the new blog title. Self-hosting is an adventure I cannot wait to tackle.

A Season Of Changes

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As you might have noticed changes are happening around here. Since this blog is partly a reflection of my life and I am going through a huge change myself right now which doesn’t seem to stop soon, with me going abroad, graduating next year and who knows what will happen then… I considered to start from point zero, tabula rasa and just make a complete switch to a new blog. But I decided myself against it. My love for cooking and passion for healthy living is still there and will remain a part of the blog and furthermore I also made so many good friends, met amazing people, who read and comment and offer an ear when I need it. I feel so blessed due to all of the support you guys offered recently and I was brought to tears experiencing the solidarity of our community. So I won’t completely give up on Health Ninja, just change it to make it a better fit for what will happen in my life that I want to share with you.

Firstly: a new name. I have the feeling that after three years of blogging I’ve outgrown the old one. Renaming the blog to “With An Open Mind” feels like a better title to embrace my move to France, the search for a new job, the creation of a new life. Accordingly the social media accounts are renamed and I’ll get a new .com address in the next days, while also, finally making the jump to self-hosting.

Secondly: my old categories are rearranged to allow a wider range of topics I’d like to talk about. Healthy living, recipes and fitness will surely still be a part of it. So will be intuitive eating, which I will keep writing posts about. But I also want to write more about what happens in my life (back to the roots of blogging, when blogs where used mostly as online diaries), learning a new language, exploring France, Online Marketing, my field of studies, and people who inspire me.

Finally: it’s not a biggy. But Health Ninja Weekly might not be a fitting name for my weekly round up and link up any longer. It is still a thing I’d like to keep around, since it helps people to get a better overview and also spread the love by sharing blogs, posts, pictures, ideas, inspirations… So, any ideas how to rename HNW?

 

Despite the chaos of changing I hope that you bear with me and stick around. Writing was an outlet for me since I knew how to and blogging gave me the opportunity to publish and share my written words without making writing a profession (aka my moms worst nightmare).

Retrospection

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I am not one to regret. And I don’t. Not one of the years, months or weeks I spend in this relationship. Not even the hardest and most hurtful once. They made me become the person that I am today. They formed my character, they taught my heart. To share this part of the road with a person I have the utmost respect for leaves me grateful and sad.

I choose to remember the good things. The times he made me feel like I was worth his life, not those when I felt less than a dime in his pocket. The thoughts, the dreams, the love we shared instead of the fights, the words, the opinions which separated us. The person I want to remember is the one who made my life richer, who empowered me to become who I am today, who loved me unconditionally.

And though it hurts like hell to part two lives which were woven together for years, to accept that those two people who met more than seven years ago and felt like children exploring a new world only they knew the secret door to, have changed along the road, there is some relieve hidden under all the pain. Now there is no more hurting each other for not fulfilling the expectations the other one had. There is time to let things go. The possibility of a new life with someone who might accept the fairytale turning to reality and the changes it brings. To appreciate and love how every day life feels, to be a partner in good and in bad. Someone who doesn’t change as a person by making things work that are different from what you dreamed of. Whose dreams become yours and yours become his.

At some point I am sure that I can let go of this deep sadness that accompanied me for far too long. To smile again from the depth of my heart. To look back and all that is left to remember will be happiness.

What I Ate Wednesday {gimme ALL the apples}

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Happy Wednesday dear foodies! Since I noticed that all my food pictures where horribly dark last week I was extra careful to catch good light yesterday and worked my manual settings a bit better. Don’t know, sometimes when you edit pictures they look way to bright, but in the blog frame they are exactly right. Anyone else noticed this phenomenon? However today is not about food photography (though this is an absolutely foodie approved topic) but about “ALL the apples” and I am not talking about “a lot of apples” but “ALL the apples” – for better understanding:

Ok, now that we all are at the same page, here’s what I cooked up on Sunday:

ALL the applesA glorious batch of chunky apple sauce made out of 8 medium sized apples. And let me tell you: you can eat apple sauce on EVERYTHING (enough with the capitals already, I know, I know…) So while I am totally jumping from one fall craving to another, apples are my current love. They just taste so freaking amazing now that they are in season and I just can’t

Enough said, let’s see some dirty details, shall we!?

I am in love with the pink Halloween theme by the way – happy that it is back. Thanks Jenn❤ !

pumpkin pie smoothieI started my day with the first workout of the Bodyrock 30 Day Challenge yesterday (love it – especially since the old site is back, I just like it so much more) and afterwards needed some quick refuel: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie it was. I got the inspiration for this weeks ago on some blog. Sorry, but I really cannot remember which one it was. And ever since wanted to make one myself. This one contained: pumpkin puree, apple sauce, vanilla protein powder, milk, almond butter. It’s a keeper.

breakfast for championsNot long after (I read through my favorite blogs and cleaned up the kitchen) I had my “solid” breakfast, which was actually apple-free: veggie patty, strawberries, runny egg and some bread to dip into the egg.

IMG_1655Lunch was a huge bowl full of love: tuna mixed with ayvar sauce, spinach steamed with coconut oil and topped with grated gran padano, roasted butternut squash and cherry tomatoes. Followed by an apple dipped in almond butter for dessert.

paleo pumpki maple sconesMy afternoon pick me up after a some serious writing on the master thesis was the last of my paleo scones, a dark chocolate button and coffee. Seriously I need a coffee withdrawal as soon as I am done with this thesis. Good thing I still have 3 more months to go, right …

apple sauce porkFor dinner I feasted on apple sauce pork (seriously, you should try this recipe, but probably with chicken instead of pork, mine was way too dry), pickled cabbage with salt and sunflower oil and a buttered rye onion bun. Guess what: I topped this meal off with one more apple.

Good thing my mum and I have an apple picking date for Saturday. I need to maintain my supply.

I wish you ALL the best apples!

What is your current fall craving? Any great ideas for more lunch bowls? Butter or no butter on your bun?

Let’s Make October The Pamper Yourself Month! {all natural hair and skin care}

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Gloomy Monday to all of you. And yes, gloomy is a good thing in October if you ask me. Gloomy means that you can cuddle yourself up at home with a steaming cup of tea and enjoy a compelling read. And it’s totally fashionable to meet your favorite girls for a comfy TV night and face masks instead of getting all dressed up and going out. So due to us becoming more homey and relaxing a bit after the social stressfull months of summer I decided to have a special October theme on HN: Pamper Yourself!

I talk a lot about food and workouts and intuitive eating and body image, but I shamefully neglected body, hair and skin care, which is absolutely part of being healthy, so far. And I’d also like to talk a bit about relaxing, cutting back on stress-factors, setting priorities and fascinating stuff like that… but that will probably happen in November then.

pamper yourselfSo far I am educating myself about natural hair and skin care by reading tons of interesting blog posts, listening to amazing podcasts and scrolling through heaps of pictures on pinterest. I also created a new board on Pinterest where I collect some of the information.

Here are a few of the topics I would love to talk about – and for those who are interested in guest posting: contact me! I am quite busy with my master thesis and would love to have other bloggers take over from time to time and share their experiences.

Facial Steams

The No-Poo Movement

Oil Cleansing

DIY Face Masks

Essential Oils for Hair and Skin Care

Lighten Your Hair Naturally

Dry Brushing

More ideas what to include in the series? Have you made your own experiences with natural hair and skin care already? How do you like to pamper yourself?

Health Ninja Weekly {40/13}

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{my posts}

A Marvelous Short Trip {part one} & {part two}

juicing celeriac

This Monday and Tuesday was all about the few days I vacayed at my aunts: green juices, dog stories, long fall walks, Shrek face masks, sweet musings, french patisserie and dining out in restaurants included. Just scrolling through them makes me want to go back right now. My aunt  is simply the best!

 

What I Ate Wednesday {getting back into the groove}

frappuccinoBeing back, reality looks like this: writing on my master thesis, working, getting back into the kitchen for some healthy cooking and food photography and working out. Luckily the girls and the kitty lift my spirits. Writing a thesis is really a lonesome thing otherwise. Good thing there is always a well known coffee shop around the corner if it gets to quiet for my taste.

Step By Step Recipes {beef mushroom potato stew}

IMG_1559Cold weather asks for… a good old beef stew. And since beef goulash meat was on sale this week I decided to cook up a huge pot for me and Jay to enjoy. Poor him is so happy when he gets a meal without pumpkin recently… yeah, I’m pumpkin cray, but I managed to do without… though I bet this stew would taste mind blowing with pumpkin instead of potato… just sayin.

Healthy Study Snacks {how to get A’s without buying new pants}

snacking vegetablesYesterday I took a writing break to share a few of my favorite healthy study snacks. Who doesn’t get the study munchies sitting on the buttocks for days and days in a row. Those snacks are also great to bring to the office, or wherever your sedentary lifestyle takes you. Just don’t be put off by the veggie picture, there are also some treats hidden in this post.

Oh and last but not least there is something else new on HN this week! Did you notice?

newdesign{favorite reads}

Take Sodium Reduction Advice With a Grain of Salt – Huffpost Healthy Living

Ever wondered why salt has such a bad reputation? This article gives a profound insight and talks about some of the most recent studies.

How Do We Measure Health – Living Mint Green

This amazing post by Jo was probably my favorite this week. I could brag about this for hours and I have a post on this topic planned to be shared soon. So all I can say for now: go and read it.

Take To Work Lunch Ideas For The Cooler Weather – Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish

Laura always writes such useful posts. I did especially like her fall lunch ideas this week. Another thing worth checking out: her awesome new hair cut!

Don’t Let Small Minds Convince You That You Dreams Are Too Big – Blogilates

pretty woman

Jennifer Lawrence Says F**k You To Diets – The Daily Hiit

Serious girl crush here! She definitely is a Health Ninja with her “common sense approach” and stands her ground. Role model!

1200 Calories – Sophieologie

If you only have the time to read one post this Sunday – read this one. Sophie comes clean about all this diet crap media bombards us with and this deep and long post is hopefully an eye-opener to many girls and women.

{nice finds}

The Ultimate Financial Planning Guide – The Greatist

ultimate financial planing guide

Cause who couldn’t use some budgeting advice?

Dark Chocolate Whiskey Cupcakes – Undressed Skeletton

Jay’s next birthday cupcakes…

Podcast: Cave Girl Eats & Smarter Self-Love

I also recommend this podcast with Liz Wolfe and Jonathan Bailor to those who are not interested in the paleo diet. It shows some great views on body image and self-love. My probably favorite quote: “I have yet to ever meet a guy who is like: I can see the ribs on that girl, that is soo hot! Like, I love the fact that her back and her butt look like one contiguous thing because she has no muscle.

{best eats}

Let me tell you with Instagram: quinoa spinach salad with chicken, apple, avocado and an egg; banana-egg pancake with nut butter; bacon & eggs with avocado and strawberries; my final recipe for these fall flavored scones for a guest post on October 22nd.

Have a beautiful Sunday!

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Healthy Study Snacks {get A’s without buying new pants}

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As promised I will share with you my secrets on healthy snacking today. As a student in her second last semester I went through quite a few exam-prep and thesis-writing periods, when all I could do the whole day was sitting at a table and study. And I have to admit: studying makes me ravenous and snacky and doesn’t leave a lot of time to cook up decent meals. So often between breakfast and dinner all I do is munch on whatever my hands can grab. The only way to avoid gaining unnecessary pounds in periods like this is making sure that I have the right snacks around.healthy snacksBe assured: the snacks below will not take a lot of time to be prepared and they are also easy to bring to university, school, work, Starbucks or wherever you plan to spend some hours of sitting and munching.

Let’s start with the obvious:

snack on applesFruit. Of course, who doesn’t know that snacking on fruit is healthy and good for you. It’s just usually not what you crave? Still, make sure that you have a pile of delicious, seasonal fruit at home and bring an apple or a banana wherever you go. You would wonder how often I craved an apple at the office and all I could go for was the vending machine – never a good choice.

But fruit can also easily be upgraded to something you start to crave:

pb nana wrapsfrozen nana

Bananas for example are one of my go to snack foods. I love to wrap them in fresh crunchy lettuce and drizzle some nut butter on top or serve frozen chunks of banana with nut butter and cacao powder. Messy, but when they melt in your mouth you forget that you have to clean the kitchen counter later.

red grapes

Another fruit that tastes a lot better frozen are grapes. I prefer the dark red kind, the bigger the better. To make cool little candies out of them, I grab a zip lock bag, place them individually inside and freeze them for 2 hours. Afterwards you are good to go. Especially nice during summer time and way easier to eat along studying than my other summer love: watermelon.snacking vegetablesSomething you might not associate with snacking are vegetables, but actually they are the best thing to nibble on when you are not really hungry. Make yourself a colorful plate of crudités. Add a dip (I love to dip my veggies in ayvar, a hot bell pepper dip) or drizzle some olive oil and sea salt on top. One of my secret addictions is preserved cabbage (no I am not pregnant, it’s my Russian heritage), I drizzle it with cold-pressed sunflower oil (another Russian thing) and sea salt and could eat it until bursting.

green smoothieA good way to combine fruit, vegetables and protein for a filling snack is to make a green smoothie. Use banana (preferably frozen) and spinach/kale for a base and add from here on whatever you like. A few of my favorite green smoothie ingredients are:

  • cucumber
  • protein powder (hemp or whey)
  • flax or chia seeds
  • almond milk
  • frozen berries
  • nut butter

trail mix

One thing I made for Jay and me when we were studying this week is a batch of trail mix. I never buy trail mix in a store, since they usually put lots of sugar and preservatives in and it’s way to easy to make it at home. For the trail mix pictured above I simply combined whole wheat cereal, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds with sea salt and dried cranberries. It was gone in no time.

paleo protein bars

Also a good snack to grab and go are protein bars. I always get the creeps when I read through the ingredient list of protein bars in stores. Half of the ingredients are stuff I’ve never heard of before – and I am a foodie, my favorite fruit is the rambutan, just saying. So a few weeks ago I came up with my own recipe for an All Natural Protein Bar – no protein powder needed. Try this one or use google search for other healthy homemade snack bars.

Chocolate ButtonsAnd if the chocolate craving is hitting you. Don’t worry, I won’t tell you to go and eat an apple. I even developed a solution for that at some point. Easy homemade dark chocolate buttons which are actually little healthy-fat bombs.

DSC_0537Another thing I recommend to keep your stress levels and your pant size down is to get outside for some fresh air at least once a day. It doesn’t matter if you make the time for a thirty minute walk or a short run, the few sun rays you might catch and the oxygen will raise your spirits.

What are your tips and tricks for healthy snacking and stress reduction?

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