A few weeks ago I did my first ever juice cleanse. It was something I always wanted to do but never felt it was the right moment. So, I more or less decided very spontaneously, without much planing or any pre-cleanse diet that I wanted to a 3-day juice cleanse. I’ve felt a little unmotivated, was lacking energy and had been eating slightly unhealthy at that time. The reasons why people decide to do a juice cleanse are various but for me it mainly was about getting my energy level back to normal.
This is a report of my own experiences. I’m by no means an expert though I have asked one too answer a few questions for this blog post. Everybody is different and every body is different. The one thing I have really understood about my 3-day juice cleanse is to listen to your body more carefully. Because it’s the only one who can tell you what feels right and wrong (though don’t listen to it when it tells you to stop and just continue but in your own pace)…
I had a plan. I even had a list of to-do’s for that said plan. And then I got hungry. My plan was to only post savory recipes for a while. I had just gotten back from Israel (and written a Quick Food Guide to Tel Aviv) with lots of inspiration for savory dishes. Like Vegan Shakshuka, Sabich, Israeli Salad and Cauliflower Sinya. And then on Friday afternoon, the weekend was near, I was craving something sweet. That doesn’t happen too often. But when it happens I usually make fruit crumble because it’s easy, it feels a little healthy and it’s super quick. I don’t remember why my mind suddenly wanted a cobbler. Probably because I was browsing Pinterest while developing my appetite for a sweet treat and simultaneously came across faring well‘s recipe for Peach Blackberry Cobbler.
I had never tried cobbler before and the recipe looked fairly easy, so I gave it a try. In comparison to crumble or crisp, a cobbler is not baked with a crust of a mixture of cereals, flour and nuts that loosely covers the whole fruit filling and has a streusel-like texture. Cobbler is made with a biscuit crust. At first I was afraid that the discs of dough would be too dry after baking but I guess the fruit filling keeps it moist and soft inside and crispy outside. Either way it’s a new dessert favorite in the bwv household….
Long story short. I already wanted to publish this post yesterday but then things and my bad time management skills got into my way. Also drinks at a wine bar with the girls. There is just not enough hours to the day. Or I often seem to be unable to make full use of the valuable hours I actually do have each day. Sounds familiar? Chances are you’ve also read books, listened to smart podcasts and tried to follow recommended steps to on how to better manage your time. I have over the years. Just out of interest. But until now I never really needed to use it as I was in full employment and my free time agenda wasn’t overall busy that I needed to use any time management skills. This has changed now.
I dedicate more and more time to creating content for my blog and Instagram. This hobby has become a passion I want to make into a career. So every free minute I try to bring *this* (I still need to find a proper word…my black.white.vivid. world?) forward. And there is just so much to do and no end in sight….
This is probably the toughest post I’ve written to date. Why? I’m on a juice cleanse and I didn’t prepare any content for my blog or Instagram. I was however smart enough to shoot some photos over the weekend as I’d imagine it would be a little challenging (read impossible) to cook or bake something while on a juice cleanse. So at least, these photos don’t smell like freshly baked banana bread but I still had to edit them and write down the recipe for you. You’re welcome! Because banana bread turned into doughnuts need to be in everyone’s life and I didn’t want you to miss out on it any longer. I have most of the batch waiting for me in the freezer for when I’m done with my cleanse the day after tomorrow.
Though, writing this post wasn’t the easiest task of today, I’m thankful and glad I did it. I’ll be (hopefully) putting together a post about my juicing experience soon but this 3-day cleanse is as much about getting back on healthy food track as it is about self discipline. Yes, I hear you and myself say “Don’t be too harsh on yourself”. I’m not. I just want to prove to myself that I can still begin and finish something even though it’s hard. And trust me, I thought this juice cleanse would come easy for me. But it’s much more challenging than expected. And writing down the recipe for these banana bread doughnuts is just another milestone I managed to reach….
I miss the days when things were simple. I also miss the days when I knew which place to call home. Today, right now, this very moment, I’m confused and everything seems just a tat too complicated. I’m not even going into politics here but has there been a time in history when there was more of a mess (thank you internet and social media for the information overflow) than it is today? Right! But then again it’s a time I wouldn’t want to miss.
Now I suddenly feel the urge to voice my opinion, do something for our community, get back to my German roots and actually make up my mind what I want to do with my future. Up until the beginning of last year I had a very casual (not indifferent but also not very strong) opinion about so many aspects of my life. “Are you proud to be German?” – “I guess so, Germany is a great country…”. “What’s you favorite German food?” – “Pfff not that I can recall one on the spot but I like Vietnamese spring rolls.”. “What can you do for your community back home in Germany as well as the one where you currently live?” – “Nothing?”. “And what about the immigrants that come to Germany?” – “They are welcome but not sure how to actually integrate them and make everything else work.”…
It’s Valentine’s Day today and though I make nothing of it, this recipe is for my favorite person. I could now tell you how much he means to me, that he is the best travel buddy in the world and I can’t imagine daily adventures without him anymore. But I’d rather tell you that I love him so much that I created this Stovetop Nut Coconut Granola just for him (hint: not saying the last sentence with too much seriousness).
I’m not very romantic and won’t bore you by telling you the story of how we met or anything like that. At least not today. I think the internet is overflowing with love stories today. So let me tell you another story instead. Last night we went out on a late night grocery shopping spree. And as it always happens with those late night food searches, it’s usually not the healthy and green items that want to be taken home with you. So Felix (the favorite person I was referring to earlier) was desperately looking for his brand of sweet, very sweet granola. Luckily the supermarket was out of stock. Unfortunately, it was quite late already and I was too tired to make him a batch of oven-baked granola. So I made him this quick recipe of Stovetop Nut Coconut Granola the next day….
Today I’m taking a little trip down memory lane. Back to my childhood when there wasn’t any Trump but the GDR and sweet potatoes were unheard of. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I visited my grandparents for a few days last week. I flew into Berlin on Wednesday night because I had an important meeting on Thursday morning. After my meeting, I took a few hours off and just wandered around Berlin aimlessly, my favorite thing to do. Ever. Really!
I can’t do much walking anymore in Istanbul because it’s not very pedestrian friendly and you actually need a car to drive to some nicer areas where you can walk, have a proper sidewalk and not a busy road right next to you. So whenever I travel to more pleasant places (in terms of walking) I just love to walk for hours. Why do I tell you that instead of telling you about my visit to my grandparents? Because as a child I hated walking….
Note to myself: Let’s keep this post short.
Hopefully these pictures speak for themselves. And you find the idea of replacing bananas with avocados in a banana bread to make it a sweet avocado bread as fascinating as I do. Are you still following? So yes, this is a banana bread but with avocados and it’s one of those food revelations I wish I had discovered earlier in my life. If you make it with white wheat flour and white sugar, it will definitely have a greenish colouring. I used dark whole wheat flour and brown coconut sugar, so it turned out rather brown than green. You can add more sugar if you want to have more of a cake than a sweet bread. And the other way around, add less sugar if you want a neutral bread instead of a sweet bread.
I’ve used MINIMALIST BAKER’S ONE BOWL BANANA BREAD as a rough base for this recipe. Dana’s recipe is vegan and gluten-free. The Sweet Avocado Bread is only vegan but you can follow Dana’s recipe if you’d like to make a gluten-free version. In terms of flavour, the avocado taste is actually quite strong which I loved. The texture is super moist and almost creamy and it’s best when fresh (2-3 days) or toasted. I sliced mine and popped it in the freezer so we’ll have some delicious sweet breakfast bread for Sunday mornings….
Anyone else who can’t stand these dark winter vibes anymore? I’ve had enough of cold, grey days. I want sunshine in my life again, colorful fruit bowls and fresh salads. And I want my high energy level back again. Every year it’s the same procedure. Every winter I’m taken by surprise. Like why is my body and mind suddenly so tired? At times, I don’t even recognize myself anymore. Then I wonder how other people deal with the winter blues. But I quickly realize that I need to find a solution for myself instead of looking at others. And that’s the moments when I get moving.
I go on daily walks outside (running to the supermarket or close by coffee shop does not count), I visit the gym more often, I do yoga and I make myself a green smoothie with my JTC Omni V Blender in the morning. In the past few years, every single winter I went through this exact process. And every single winter I make the same smoothie because my body seems to crave its green, fresh, slightly sour, slightly sweet taste. It’s literally the easiest thing to make….
Did you notice, that it’s almost February again? Where have these three and a half weeks of January been? It seems like time flies like crazy and then again, it’s very slow sometimes. But I also feel that I’ve become slower. That I take more time and try to get less distracted. I read a book instead of scrolling through Instagram. I bake Sourdough bread instead of committing to yet again another time consuming project I actually don’t have time for. And I spend more calming moments with my cats instead of checking my phone. I even took up Yoga again after I got back from our holidays in Sri Lanka.
And that’s because on New Years Eve I didn’t make a list of things and goals that I want to achieve in 2017. I decided to take a step back. And live a more mindful and slower life. Maybe not always and everywhere but here and there. The more I tell myself that I can take my time to evolve, learn and accomplish goals, the more I relax. It’s like magic. I haven’t felt anxious or overwhelmed in weeks. I’m at ease with myself and my work. I have fallen in love with photography all over again. I have even slightly changed my editing style and feel very comfortable with the mood and vibe of my recent photos. But, there is a big BUT….