recommended listening // is (is superpowered) by kyoka

KYOKA

There are not many female artists having releases on Raster Noton. Actually, Kyoka was the first one last year. Therefore, I was quite curious to listen to this album called “Is (Is Superpowered)” by Kyoka, produced by Robert Lippok and Frank Bretschneider. And now I am thinking: Wow, what great minimalistic, but sometimes also noisy, mind tripping and freaky Electronica sounds!

Since I am kind of a bad reviewer and interpreter of music and more like (in this case), if you like the audible concept of Raster Noton and female voices or if you have made good experiences with my musical recommendations, you’ll love this album, I just link to the label’s description of this CD.

So feel free to listen to this album and trust me, it’s worth it!


PS: The album Is (Is Superpowered) is also available on Amazon.

superfood spring drink // buttermilk with apple, cucumber and goji berries

buttermilkdrink

Lately, I have been getting a bit tired of drinking smoothies all the time, so I came up with the idea of creating this superfood spring drink.

Buttermilk isn’t something everybody likes because it is quite sour. But it is low in fat and in combination with fruits or vegetables and maybe a pinch of brown sugar or a teaspoon full of honey it’s a great refreshment and a filling drink as well.

For my drink, I added fresh apple, cucumber and dried goji berries to the buttermilk. I chose apple and cucumber for no special reason, these were the ingredients I’ve just had left. And then I was thinking that there is something missing and so I went for dried goji berries.


BUTTERMILK DRINK WITH APPLE, CUCUMBER AND GOJI BERRIES

You will need – for 2 portions:

500 ml buttermilk

1 apple

1/2 cucumber

1 tablespoon goji berries

some sugar or honey as you prefer

And here is how to make this Superfood Spring Drink  – in 10 minutes:

Wash the apple and cucumber. Remove the apple kernels. Cut everything in medium size pieces.

Add the cucumber and the apple pieces and also the buttermilk and the goji berries as well as the sugar or honey in the blender.

Mix well.

Done.

Enjoy!


Goji berries are considered a superfood. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they are used to increase the Yin and help for several symptoms and diseases. I used them for my buttermilk drink first because of their beautiful color and also because I really like their taste. It’s a mixture of sweet and sour, but very restrained.


PS: Eating superfoods is kind of a hype now and trends usually are expensive. Supplify Pure Goji Berry, 1er Pack (1 x 250g Packung), available on Amazon, were the least expensive ones I could find on the net. I purchased my goji berries from the local organic supermarket and got only 100 g for the same price.

recommended reading // eat + taste + heal

eattasteheal

This book Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda and Johnny Brannigan has changed my life back for good.

Or will (since I got it on Valentine’s Day which is not that long ago). At least, it changed my mind and shifted my thoughts and perspective on eating, exercising and living at all.

Because what’s written in there makes so much sense!

And here is why: I am a naturally curious person who likes to try out new things, trends and recommendations from other people and I always want to save the planet (or at least really don’t want another being suffer for my pleasure of eating meat). Plus, of course, who doesn’t want to live a healthy and happy life with a balanced mix of work and leisure, time for rest and exercise to become a hundred years? So the last couple of years I was searching and trying out foods and things. I studied the pros and cons of veganism, vegetarianism, fruitarianism, and flexitarianism and also of eating raw and super/power food, consuming conventional and organic ingredients, and figured out why so many fitness coaches recommend eating lots of protein (a.k.a. meat) if you want to lose some weight.

It was a very interesting approach, but, to be honest, a very confusing experience too. Besides that, the results weren’t as good as promised. E. g. eating vegan (other than I said more than once a week) didn’t make me feel that much better (I felt easier, yes, but that wasn’t a good feeling – I will come to that later) and I also didn’t lose weight, in fact I gained a few pounds. I also started reacting allergic or sick to certain fruits and food combinations, that I never experienced before. And all the time I was thinking, I am eating organic food, mostly veggies, and rarely animal products, why do I feel sick?

And then I read this book that is written by a doctor, a certified Ayurveda practitioner, and a chef. And then I got it.

EatTasteHeal8

Well, first the idea of Ayurveda was just another thing amidst this I-like-to-try-it-out concept of mine. But then, it somehow brought me back to where I once came from and since then I am feeling like myself again. And better. And that happened just by adjusting the selection of the things I eat. Of course, I knew, I am what I eat. Therefore, I decided to only eat organic foods anymore around 15 years ago. But it was much more that comes with that.

So Ayurveda isn’t only another way of eating certain foods, it’s a whole lifestyle concept that says, you don’t need any medicine if you nourish your body with the right food it needs. In fact, Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu medicine system that is about 6.000 years old. But what is the right food? Well, therefore Ayurveda has the concept of the three constitution types, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, also known as the three doshas. Every human being has parts of these three types in its physical and psychological constitution and feels good and healthy when they are all in balance. But every person has one significant dosha or a combination out of two or three that tends to get out of balance when certain influences (e. g. food, stress) get a bit out of control. Then this imbalance can cause issues or diseases.

There are endless tests online and also a good one in this book to find out which dosha type you are. But when you are taking such a test, don’t think so much about how you are feeling/behaving right now, try recalling how you were as a child or teenager. Because that behavior back then might be your true one, ’cause it is most probably the closest one to your own true nature. Because back then when you were a child you never thought things like I have to eat more apples or I have to do more sports. You just did or didn’t do things, just according to your appetite or desire (like eating sweets before lunch or dinner, which according to this book is totally natural, ’cause your body digests sugar first). And you would also avoid certain food when your body would make you feel to do so.

Ah, I was thinking, that makes sense!

Growing up in the Western hemisphere I experienced that if you feel sick after eating a certain food, simply don’t eat it or – if you don’t want to turn into  a picky eater (like I did) – just take a pill. Before eating, after eating or in general. The same goes with every other thing in life. If you wanna stay healthy, do some sport. And if you don’t feel good doing it, let it be (and get fat and sluggish) or take a pill. Just the same with work. Work hard and if you feel burned out, take a pill (for some reasons unemployment is not an option).

What I learned from this book was, I am a Pitta type. As an example, that means I should reduce or avoid anything hot/spicy and sour. Otherwise, I might feel sick (I’ve had some of the symptoms you can find in the book). Finding out about that a lot of things came to my mind. I actually never liked olives that much when I was young. I never liked drinking wine, coffee, black or green tea, I never enjoyed eating hot and spicy dishes. I also got sick from eating hard cheese, felt bad in my stomach after eating greasy dishes and always preferred warm cooked meals over sandwiches. But I did eat all of those things, because someone (a doctor) or something (a magazine) said, I should because it’s supposed to be good for me.

EatTasteHeal1 EatTasteHeal2 EatTasteHeal3 EatTasteHeal4

So when I changed my diet to nourishing my body with vegetarian/vegan/raw/super food over the years for the good reason of saving the planet/not supporting intensive animal farming I actually made a decision against my own wellbeing. Because eating fruits and veggies and animal product substitutes somehow caused an imbalance. Which I, of course, felt anytime there was a slice of fresh Serrano ham in sight. Or the scent of broiler in the air. Then I only could resist with thinking of the fact that this animal didn’t have a good life. It was short and painful and it got food and medicine to eat that I don’t want to nourish my body with.

But the craving was still there. And so there were the issues created by exclusively eating food that was actually not meant to be eaten exclusively. I felt uplifted in a bad way, maybe a bit like being on an energy drink all the time. Not grounded at all. Not good at all. I started doing Yoga more regularly and also started meditation. It helped, but only a bit.

Eating fresh fruits and veggies supports your health indeed. No question there. But just like the saying, too much of a good thing isn’t always good, I guess I ate too much of it. I also started to take nutritional supplements when I had allergic reactions or health issues after eating certain food.

And then all of this started to feel strange. And wrong. I started to think I don’t want to take nutritional supplements and damage my own body for this small amount of animals I am going to eat thoughtfully in my whole life. And I really want to feel grounded again like the lion king after eating an antelope. Nourished, full, and contentedly.

So I started to eat meat again. Occasionally. But not any meat. Like I did it years ago, it needs to be high-quality organic meat from animals raised on an organic farm close to my town or at least from Germany. Most of the times, it comes in big packs and huge pieces, so I have the chance to recognize it as an animal and not just as a product in a plastic bag. What makes the cooking even harder, actually really hard. It costs me a lot of willpower to cut a whole fish or a whole chicken into pieces. But that’s good. It makes the cooking process and eating a more conscious experience and lets me feel very grateful for the good things that come with it and those that will make me feel nourished and balanced.

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So besides an introduction to Ayurveda you will also find in Eat, Taste, Heal: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living (30,23 Euro on Amazon) recommended dosha-based sports and recipes. Plus, there are a lot of fundamental basics and helpful tips if you are new to Ayurveda or new to cooking at all. And not to forget all of these very useful charts of the ingredients you should prefer or reduce according to your constitutional type which are added to this book. There are great pictures and illustrations too, but the most convincing part for me was, that the authors kept saying, these are just recommendations, always listen to your body first, it tells you what is good for you.

For me, this book opened doors and kept its promise, that certain symptoms will disappear shortly after adjusting the nourishment of your body. I am already feeling better and I am looking forward trying out the recipes that are included while considering what my body wants to eat and taste to be healed.

Enjoy your reading! 


PS: This is only my experience. Of course, every person is different and needs different things to feel balanced and healthy.

 

celebrations // and a little giveaway

celebration

This one is for… me! Hah! Yes, it is!

Because I am celebrating. Actually, I am celebrating a lot this week. Well, this day. Today. For other people, April 1st is a day full of making funny jokes, but looking back it seems like this date is perfect for me starting new adventures. No joke. ;-) Okay, here we go.

First of all, happy birthday to this blog! Today, topa is two years old. And this means lots of new and good friends. I cannot say it enough, I am glad I started blogging two years ago, ’cause I’ve met so many great people, read so many well-written and inspiring articles and got into highly fascinating collaborations. Via blogging, I was able to share stories about myself and the things I love, about other people’s creativity and my hometown Leipzig, what has been a lot of fun. It’s been a great adventure so far and I am looking forward to future opportunities.

Then, I am also celebrating six years of writer’s assistance, which, in fact, is the name of my freelance business. Six years ago I started from scratch and without a single client and today I am still alive. Seems like I made it through the so-called hard first years. I am still not sure if I figured out every little important detail yet and I am still struggling with these good old buddies called time and perfection, but I am on my way and don’t think I will ever go back. I enjoy working on my own most of the time and created texts and books with/by/for people I never had dreamed of ever before.

And that’s not it. I also have to say Happy Birthday to my self-publishing business finetexts.com. It turns one year today. And with that comes another thing to celebrate. With the priceless support and graphic design know-how of my lovely man, we moved the paperback version of my first book “Freyas Welt” from Blurb to Amazon, where it has a home now that is much more customer-friendly. It was a lot of work the last couple of months, since Amazon is totally different in self-publishing, but we figured it out and here it is: Freyas Welt, now available on Amazon (9,96 Euro, free shipping).

As always, I’d like you to party with me. Therefore I am giving away a copy of “Freyas Welt” to the first person who leaves some words in the comment section below on wordpress.com until April 7th, 2015 about what he/she likes about this blog and what she would like to read about in the near future. (Please keep in mind, my book “Freyas Welt” is written in German.)


PS: Also: Happy Easter holidays! I am taking some days off, so don’t miss me. ;-)