So there I was, on September 22nd, 2008 arriving at JFK International Airport to start my year abroad. I was a participant in the “Au Pair in America” Program and sure I would be boarding a plane back home to Germany 13 months later. Nearly four years later and I’m still living here. I extended my Au Pair time, became a student, got married.
When I first told family and friends about my plans on going to the US for a year they weren’t quite sure how serious they should take me. I wasn’t even sure how serious I should take me but to be honest, I hardly ever am. It was never my dream to come here, nor have I ever thought about being an Au Pair before. It was an add that caught my eye.
I was in my last year of a apprenticeship to become an Educator. Childcare Provider. Kindergarten Teacher. It was the year of recognition and I worked at this fabulous day care center in this fabulous city (I still miss both dearly), so during a short break at work (or was it a really slow afternoon?) I leafed through a magazine on education and came across this add by “Au Pair in America”, a program which, well, provides “intercultural live-in child care in the U.S” and they had a specific program for Educators. I looked it up online when I got home that night and out of curiosity filled in a form to get more information. What I didn’t realize was that this was already the first step to signing up. However, I went with it and became an “Au Pair Extraordinaire” in Upstate New York. Rhinebeck, NY to be exact.
Growing up in Germany on a farm growing our own vegetables, fruits, even grain and some livestock eating wholesome and healthy was natural We were always cooking and baking, made mostly everything from scratch and family meal time was a ritual. I learned how to cook from a young age, and became responsible for family dinners on weeknight once I was a teenager (which honestly sucked at the time but comes in handy now). I discovered more and more processed foods, and McDonald’s, during my teenage years although it didn’t really make me gain weight. I never went to the gym but was active in other ways. I did ballet and danced in a dance group. Also, we walk a lot more. I was skinny-fat. There wasn’t much muscle, I wasn’t lean.
Anyway, during my first year here in the US I gained some weight. Not really much, but you could see it in pictures. I was lucky that my Host family ate semi-healthy, or tried to at least with lots of fruit and vegetables, but it’s the stuff like Bread, Lunch Meat and other things you would think of as processed foods that is much more processed than what we would eat in Germany. After my first year in the US also I became a vegetarian and became more aware of what I eat.
On June 3rd, 2011 I got married in Connecticut. My husband is in the Navy and pretty fit. He works out all. the. time! And he got me into it. Working out, that is. We always ate pretty healthy in general, but still had a bunch of processed stuff in the pantry and on our plates. We ate a lot of carbs! Yes, it was mostly whole wheat Pasta, but too much of it none-the-less. I saw results from the hard work in the gym but hit a plateau around Christmas. And that is when I started to think more about Nutrition and what we eat. I started to cut out more and more processed foods, cook healthier and find healthier substitutes in cooking and baking. I started running, something I always really really disliked. I wouldn’t say I like running but it keeps me sane, it makes me feel good. I ran 5ks and the one big goal I would like to accomplish in the next 365 days is to run a half (or full) Marathon.
I took on a challenge to keep improving my diet, stick with clean eating and exercise or the next 365 Days. I want a place to keep me accountable, post recipes I tried and love, and also to find inspiration and encouragement.
This blog will be about me, my life, my way of healthy living and maybe you can pick something up and make it your own.
We will see how it goes :)