Aside

“Wenn Du bei Nacht den Himmel anschaust, wird es dir sein,

als lachten alle Sterne, weil ich auf einem von ihnen wohne,

weil ich auf einem von ihnen lache.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – “Der Kleine Prinz”

“In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night .”

I know I just announced my blog to be a healthy lifestyle/fitness blog, and this post may not fit the bill to 100%. But this is a post I’ve been thinking about for the last year or so, and not writing about it feels a little like I’m hiding a big part of me. It also plays a big part in why I stopped blogging a while back, so let me explain.

The quote above is what  we used for my sister’s death announcement (in Germany, it is common to put an “announcement” in the newspaper, a little like an ad you can place.) It is from a french children’s book called “The Little Prince”, which I highly recommend for every adult to read, since it actually transmits some great life lessons. My mom used this story to explain death and say Goodbye to me when I was eight. I didn’t realize that until I re-read the book as an adult, and after so many years it helped me to come somewhat to terms with my mother’s death. Until my sister was taken from me late August 2012.

I will not ever forget that morning, that day, that year. My brother called me early that morning. I was still sleeping, and didn’t pick up the first two times he called. Now, all my family is in Germany and they generally don’t call me unannounced, and not at that time of day, and not three times in a row. I got that weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, where it’s hard to swallow and your stomach feels like it’s twisting itself into a knot. I answered my phone, and there was no “Hi, it’s me, how are you?”, there only was a

“Is K with you?” (K referring to my husband)

“Are you sitting down? I have bad news. You better sit down.

Your sister passed away.”

Tears on the other end, me asking

“What? What?”

“Your sister died this morning. S is gone.”

Silence.

Then my whole world broke apart. Again.

My sister S was my world. She was my everything. We went through so much together, she was always there for me. As the older one, she felt the need to take care of me. She always said “We aren’t just sisters. We are soul mates.” And it was true. It is true. There is no day going by on which I’m not thinking about her. Not one day I’m not missing her. And yet, I’m having a hard time to talk about it, or even write about it in my personal diary. I’m not sure what I’m trying to do with this post on here, I just know I need to get it off my chest. I feel the need to just put it out there. But at the same time I’m realizing, while trying to write this, that I’m not ready. It’s been over a year, but I’m not ready. I don’t want to let her go.

It isn’t always easy to cope and work with what life gives you, but I’m trying to remember that it’s my choice how to handle it, even if it doesn’t seem like it. And yes, there’ll be many more hard days to come, days on which I won’t be able to focus on anything else, followed by sleepless nights that won’t want to end, but it’ll get better. That I believe in.

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This post is being published as part of the Zero to Hero: 30 Day Challenge

Mind over Matter

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m about to start a two semester certification program in Personal Training and Fitness. Classes start next Tuesday, and I’m super excited. I take this as a good sign!

This morning I logged into my Student Account, and found the course syllabus to two of the classes I’m really looking forward to: Weight Lifting and Fundamentals of Physical Training. Is it crazy that I’m really looking forward to get started on this? I just can’t wait to learn more and everything about this Passion of mine. One of the assignments for the semester is keeping a workout journal, in which we log all the exercises we do in class, including sets, repetitions and weight used, and attribute them to the muscle group(s) they benefit. I’m already keeping a workout log like that for my regular gym sessions, and I found it to be a great tool to keep track of my progress. As an extra credit assignment, we can keep a Food Log as well. Both, a Workout and Food log can help you stay on track and meet your goals.

When you keep track of what you eat and drink on a daily basis, you’ll not only get an idea of how many calories you consume, but also the quality of those calories. It can give you an idea why you’re gaining, maintaining, or losing weight, and how different foods effect your body, mood, and performance.

Keeping a detailed workout log, can help you track progress, which is a great motivator. You have the proof right there on paper, that this week your body could do what it couldn’t the week prior. For example, you were able to complete more reps, or you’re able to lift 10 extra lbs.

Anyway, what I’m really trying to get to is this: I’m so excited and scared at the same time. I’m wondering if I really have what it takes. I’ve been thinking about becoming a Personal Trainer for over a year now. Thing is, I’m kind of shy. I don’t feel comfortable standing in front of people and telling them what to do. But I love helping people. Fitness and Healthy Eating became a big passion of mine, and I’d love to share it. I’d love to show people how regular exercise and healthy eating can change their life’s, the health of their body’s and their minds. So it will definitively be a challenge, but one I know I can overcome, if I set my heart and mind to it. And this is something that running and weight lifting taught me: I can do whatever I set my mind to. We are capable of so much more, if we start facing our fears, and putting our minds over matter.

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“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.” -Unknown

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I was never big on New Year Resolutions. In fact, not even once do I remember making any. And it wasn’t any different this year. Until yesterday. Let me just start by telling you 2013 wasn’t the best year for me, and ended in a personal breakdown. It became clear to me that things need to change, and so I began coming up with my first ever New Years Resolutions a couple of days late. One of them being, as you might have guessed, giving this blog an overhaul and recommitting to it.

It will become my healthy lifestyle and fitness blog. In the last two years, my interest in fitness (okay, weight lifting) and nutrition grew immensely. So much, that after I began to work at my local gym this past fall, I’m about to start a two semester long Certification Program in Personal Training and Fitness at my local Community College. I’m turning Fitness into a career, and this blog will reflect that. To get a jump-start on this, I decided to join the “From Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a better Blog” Challenge.

And since we’re already talking about recommitting, here’s another resolution: I’m recommitting to my vegan diet. I have been eating plant-based, whole foods since November 2012 with the occasional slip up. Those slip ups helped me realize that I feel best on a vegan diet. This year, I will refocus on that, and I will do my best to avoid any slip ups.

So here is to a healthy, happy, herbivorous 2014!

Said Andrew Jones to me

Violet's Veg*n e-Comics

“Why are you a vegan?”

Said Andrew Jones to me.

“Does your mum make you be one?

Do you have to drink herbal tea?”

***

“Don’t you wish you could eat this?”

He showed me the meat on his pizza.

“Have you ever even tasted fish?

You’d probably like it Jamila.”

***

“You can’t even drink milk can you?

Your mum must be ever so strict!

You can have some of mine if you want to,

Drink from the side I haven’t licked.”

***

“I feel sorry for you,” Andrew said

“If you’re not allowed egg and chips.

Does she make you eat raw seaweed?

And swallow your apple pips?”

***

I waited for him to stop talking,

He had a lot to get off his chest.

I began to think he didn’t want answering,

But then he gave his voice a rest.

***

“I’m vegan because I want to…

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Yay to Grocery Shopping!

Most of the times it makes me really happy to go grocery shopping. Especially when I plan on going to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods like today :)

I made a list of the meals I’ll be cooking over the next week or so, and created my grocery list. And hey, it’s all vegan and includes baking some cookies <3

Here’s my Menu in no particular order ;)

  • Zucchini Black Bean Fritters
  • Latkes
  • Burritos
  • Hearty Pinto Bean Stew
  • Red Lentil Coconut Soup
  • Homemade Veggie Burgers involving Tofu, Beans, Oats, and Veggies
  • Banana, Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Cookies

yum yum yum!

oh hey, it’s Friday!

Eating Healthy or Pizza?

Both!

Who says you can’t have Pizza and live healthy at the same time? Exactly, no one.

The hubs and I have been making our Pizza by ourselves at home for a while now. The first few times we used canned pizza dough, canned pizza sauce, and meat. Not really that much better than the frozen or ordered kind, I know.

Well, we’ve learned. Here is what we do now:

  • Get fresh whole wheat dough at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods
  • Make our own Pizza Sauce
  • Top it with plenty of veggies
  • Add some cheese
  • Bake and indulge!

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Yum Yum Yum! And not a second of feeling bad or guilty or anything negative for that matter.

Now add a movie, hot tea, and a blanket on the couch and this is our happy, comfy friday night in :)

I want to start using vegan cheese, but never really had it. So I have no clue what to try.

Does anyone of you have tips or recommendations regarding vegan cheese substitutes? Please let me know in the comments, thank you :)