More confidence to enjoy life to the fullest

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” – Sophia Loren

This is a popular quote that is known by many and imaged on walls all around the world — it also graces my wall. I wonder whether all women are aware of the powerfulness of this quote by Sophia Loren. The strength and confidence it holds.

If you’ve been visiting enchanting notions before, you know I am an advocat for healthy living and eating. But in times of countless diets and this never ending and totally pie in the sky trend of constant self-improvement based on false and stressing beliefs that some people have, I find it crucial to take a moment and try to outline one true meaning of a joyful life. Which achieved, can make all the difference for you.

To be better than the person in the picture seen on Instagram, or the star that someone follows on the social web — it’s so easy to get competitive with the world these days. The feeling of self-contentment is so easy to be lost within us. Comparisons are drawn at such fast pace and over and over again. If you know what I am talking about, just unclinch your jaw, relax your shoulders and inhale deeply — exhaling, let go of all the tension that has built up inside you for the longest time. Let go of the thought that you are not “there” yet, that you have to do and make and get and be… You don’t have to do, make, get or be anything but who and what you are in this very moment. I have got a perspective on life to share with you, inspired by the quote above, and I hope it inspires you to live a life of feather-lightness and strength within yourself.

Walking through life being open to indulge in food, sharing unlimiting views, decision-making based on a free, an unopiniated mind and a choosing of activities that is not to a great degree conform to what only others expect — all this and more is expressed by the quote presented above. Do all the things that need to be done in order to have an active, healthy life. But at the end of the day, moving forward in the sense of “high performance” should not be what drives you. It should be freeness of mind, the power of free decision-making and a feeling of pure joy doing what you love, doing anything that makes you enjoy life (still being a respective, responsible and good person). Life is much more fun when you live by your own standards.

The quote indicates a beaming smirk that makes me feel good about myself when thinking of the confidence to stand by my good flaws — in contrast to bad flaws, indulging in pasta every once in a while without the tiniest bit of somewhat guilt makes you strong. And “pasta” stands for so much more than just the food. What is your “pasta”? What good flaw do you proudly own?

Let me know in the comments below. x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

Green Oatmeal Muffins — breakfast olé

I love oats. At least five of seven mornings, my breakfast consists of oatmeal with fruits, berries and (preferably) roasted nuts. Who doesn’t like a healthy, fruity, energy boosting breakfast to kick-start the day? That’s right.

For the past months and years, smoothies — especially green smoothies — have been the thing in the healthy living department. So I must make a little confession: I am not into smoothies. I like my fruits to eat bite by bite, not to drink sip by sip. And as for the “green” part in smoothies: Same here — I like my broccoli al dente.

When I found this recipe that I am about to share with you on Our Body Book — one of the best resources for delicious, nutritious recipes — it sounded so good, that I gave it a try, although it said “smoothie” in its title. And folks: I am so glad I did! It not only a nice variation of a tasty oatmeal breakfast, it is also such a great source of energy through the bananas, oats and spinach as main ingredients. The muffins are not only a smart option for breakfast but also as an afternoon snack before working out!

Green Oatmeat Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas (the riper, the sweeter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups uncooked oats
  • 2 1/2 cups spinach
  • buckwheat

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix all ingredients (f. ex. in a food processor) until fully blended.
  3. Portion out in between ten to twelve muffin holes.
  4. Sprinkle as much buckwheat on top of the muffins as desired.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Green Oatmeal Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins

You might see that my muffins did not exactly turn out to be green — that is because I mixed the ingredients by hand, not through the help of a food processor. If you do use a food processor, your muffins will turn out perfectly green in color!

Enjoy (with a cup of coffee)! 🙂

Do you have an ultimately healthy and yummy breakfast recipe that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

 

This recipe is an adaption of Taesha’s recipe on Our Body Book.

May I interest you in a little gardening lifestyle?

Waaay way back in history, all mankind had to hunt and gather to get food and nourish their families. Their meals consisted of plants (probably not rarely undefined plants), vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. They were self-dependent and speaking of the health aspect of their eating habits would be doubtful but nature-based. So how bad could it be anyway.

Then, some time later (I am great with exact dates), most of mankind planted and grew seeds, to live on vegetables, fruits, rice etcetera and had farms with chickens and other animals who served either eggs, milk and/or meat. They did not only feed themselves but also the surrounding neighborhoods. They were co-dependent and lived a healthy lifestyle regarding their eating habits.

Some further time later, mankind revolutionized the food industry (or more accurately: they developed the food “industry”, we all know today). Suddenly, there were heavily processed food and mass food production. Unfortunately, very little good came with it. Who am I kidding: processed food is pure poison for you and your body.

A farther time in the future, I hope for our and our planet’s sake that we will find a healthy balance between self-supply and buying our food. That’s why I have a crazy suggestion to make… Why don’t we all (who have the opportunity) start gardening and planting fruits, herbs and vegetables that grow in our latitudes in order to at least semi-self-dependently provide food for ourselves? This way, we can control what goes into our food and ultimately into our bodies, i. e. avoid pesticides, biogenetics and the similar.

Besides the benefit of having control over the food that we nourish our bodies with (which keeps us alive), gardening would also mean for you to go after a hobby that is set in nature. In times of digital office jobs, bonding with nature and spending time outside is such a healthy thing to do: fresh air and giving your brain a break by concentrating on a peaceful occupation.

Did I manage to persuade you to invest a little time in a gardening lifestyle?

-your tiny woman in a giant world

post scriptum This notion does kind of read like a children’s book, right?

TheBalancedLife.Com: 21 Days of Pilates challenge by Robin

Update: If you read this after the actual start of the challenge, do not worry: All videos are online on Robin’s YouTube Channel, but only until the end of the challenge! 🙂 Did you do any of her workouts? Do you love them as much as I do?

Just now, on my daily visit to Our Body Book, I found out about the 21 Days of Pilates challenge by Robin from The Balanced Life and registered right away. A fun way to add to my regular workout routine, spicing things up and getting an extra challenge on.

The concept is fairly easy:

STARTING TODAY, there will be daily 10-minutes Pilates workout videos by Robin that are absolutely free. So you might want to go over her website and register right now 🙂

I find Pilates a great workout to strengthen my body, especially building up and improving core muscles. You don’t need weights, just your own body and a mat. You can pick your own time and place and just go for it. I am excited to participate in the challenge and expand my daily workout sessions to an extra 10 minutes. Are you too in? If so, you’re very welcome to share your workout results with me!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

spotlight on morning routines — take 1

This following notion is take 1 (the impact of morning routines on us) of 2 (the beauty of seasonal morning routines).

Recently, I have been philosophizing about how different the unique ways are through which we all view tiny aspects of life — these tiny aspects ultimately sum up to define our world view. I find that we have to mix up actions and activities within certain areas of our lives from time to time in order to freshen up this world view and reconsider opinions we have to ultimately have a wiser and more educated, experienced and most of all relaxed perspective on everything. This said, there is a special impact morning routines have on us, don’t you think?

Morning routines: a repetitive scheme of actions and thoughts

6.30 am. The alarm goes off. In my head the actions after my getting out of bed are playing precisely. Before we make our ways out of bed in the morning, we instantly go over the next steps. The way we start into the day, the things we do morning in morning out, we do through a repetitive scheme. A repetitive scheme not only of actions but also thoughts. Special drinks we insist on in the morning — like coffee, smoothies or green tea. Our preferences regarding breakfast: oatmeal, pancakes or no breakfast at all (I do not recommend that, it’s healthier to have breakfast — a nutrient-rich breakfast fuels your body with energy)? Turning on the news while having breakfast or watching your favorite YouTube videos (my current morning obsession: Late Night with Seth Meyers’ “A Closer Look” — this format is so incredibly funny and intelligent!)?

The impact of morning routines on us

Everyone takes different input through different actions in the morning. This input through actions makes us think specific thoughts. Surely, our thoughts do not exclusively develop through the activities and extrinsic content that we take in. But thoughts do not only derive from ourselves either. So switching up our morning routines from time to time is a great way to break through a creative blockages or just overcoming a phase in which you feel unchallenged or feel the need of freshness in your mind.

Alternative morning routines

One method to gaining a new perspective is by following new routines, like doing things differently in the morning. Here is a collection of ideas for your new morning routine from me for you.

  • The Mindful Routine: Om your way into the day.
    • Yoga/meditation/stretching on a mat in the biggest room available in your apartment/house upon awaking, with instrumental meditation music in the background
    • get ready
    • breakfast: Matcha tea and rice cakes with cashew cream and superfood toppings (honey, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon), fruit bowl
    • breakfast location: whatever room looks at the sunrise, create a cozy corner
    • read a book alongside your breakfast or write something down, whatever crosses your mind or whatever thought you are involved with that very moment
  • The Wild Routine: Dance your way into the day.
    • turn funky music on
    • get ready dancing (contemporary, ballet moves, jazz, hip hop or whatever moves you feel like doing) your way through every day of your home
    • prepare breakfast, still dancing
    • breakfast: healthy oatmeal cookies with nuts, dried fruits and a smoothie
    • breakfast location:  whatever room looks at the streets or the sunrise
    • watch funny videos or read funny lines alongside having breakfast
  • The Intellectual Routine: Inform your way into the day.
    • stretch upon awaking
    • turn on a documentary channel or news (TV or radio)
    • get ready listening
    • breakfast: brown bread with almond butter or cream cheese and superfood toppings (honey, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon), or jelly, cappuccino with coconut milk
    • breakfast location: kitchen
    • read the paper alongside having breakfast

Switch up your morning routines and have a new look at the world from a different angle, it will brighten up your worldview. Do not miss my upcoming notion on the beauty of seasonal morning routines next week.

Have a weekend full of fresh & fun perceptions x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

acting 101: #1 loving your instrument

In the art of acting, your body is your instrument. Before you can use your body as means to an end — which is embodying a character –, you need to feel good about yourself first and also be able to move freely and comfortably. So there are two aspects that you have to be aware of:

  1. What your body can accomplish physically.
  2. How you feel in your body.

If one or the other does not apply “free” as an answer, there is a limitation in your capability of playing a character freely. You will not be able to go into a character, the way you could otherwise.

Make your body strong and healthy

Besides the body being an instrument for actors/actresses, the human body is a machine that carries us through our whole life. In order for the body to function properly, we have to nourish and move it. So it won’t rust in and let us down. Our bodies and us, we practice the greatest sort of teamwork ever. If you are nice to yourself, your body will appreciate it in making your life a healthy one to live. When your body enables you to move freely and in a wide range of motions , providing for enough air when you move wildly and powering you when you need the physical strength, you will never stop caring for your body. You will learn the difference it makes. And you will not want to miss it ever again.

  • move every single day: cardio and strength training; even if it is only stretching for 20 minutes and walking distances faster than usual
  • eat clean, nutrients-rich food, don’t skip meals
Live in the body you feel good in

Putting the health and fitness aspect — which is a must — aside, there is also the aspect of loving the body that you live in. In acting, you have to play lots of characters or scenes that may not be your favorite ones to play. Being in peace with your body helps a whole lot in order to improvize more independently and in a free-of-guard kind of sense. Realizing the former point (making your body strong and healthy) will be the core of loving your body. This love, you must practice regularly. Don’t start taking your body for granted. Never stop loving what the teamwork between you and your body accomplishes and be proud. All this will show in your acting capabilities. You will be more risk-taking, more innovative and free in your acting.

Love your instrument!! x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

diaries of a detox virgin — the day after

My first three-day detox experience is over and looking back, I gladly want to share my thoughts and experiences with all of you detox virgins out there who have been following this short little journey with me.

RECAP

diaries-of-a-detox-virgin-the-day-after-2

Recapturing the first and foremost fact, I guess I can no longer call myself a detox virgin. The first day really got on my nerves due to my headache as a consequence to the caffeine withdrawal. But the second and third day were fine, I was still tired, but my night’s sleep actually improved significantly. So the caffeine cut-off was a good thing after all. All kidding aside: If you told me that I’d say such a thing on the first day of cleansing, I would’ve laughed out loud. As stated before, the Japanese wonder tea did not work as a coffee substitute for me, but I am determined to give matcha another try and take the preparing part more seriously. Not at least because of its obvious health benefits (you can read a great article on the benefits of matcha tea on LaurenConrad.Com). Another point were matcha will not keep up with coffee: the positive impact of coffee on the digestive system is something that you will notice right on the first day. Make sure to eat figs, chia seeds, oats etc. However, it is a tasty drink that comes with amazing health benefits, so I am definitely pro matcha. Also without coffee, I was not at all nervous and had a peace of mind, a balanced feeling which I also track back to avoiding refined sugar completely. I am still cutting off gluten (I became a big fan of the Golden Turmeric Milk and the non-bread diet made me fall in love with rice cakes as well) and refined sugars and eating mostly plant-based food except for my morning greek yogurt. My water intake was automatically higher during detox, this is something I will keep in mind more consciously and remind myself to drink more.

The cleansing turned out to be a great reminder to me that clean and healthy eating can be taken on a whole other level (you remember, I claimed to have eaten healthy anyways, which is true, but going now five days refined-sugar- and bread-free makes me feel energetic and fit). Combined with daily exercises and being aware of oneself’s wellbeing being put first, this week resembled taking a wellness breakout.

I hope to have inspired you to give conscious cleansing a try and that my thoughts and experiences have been helpful to you. As a result of this little experiment of mine, a matter dear to my heart is for you to take this message with you: Put your health first as it is the most important thing you have besides your loved ones. x

-your tiny woman in a giant world


Do you like my “diaries of a detox virgin”-series? Have a look at these enchanting notions as well:

diaries of a detox virgin — intro

diaries of a detox virgin — part 1: planning & research

diaries of a detox virgin — part 2: day 1

diaries of a detox virgin — part 3: day 2

diaries of a detox virgin — part 4: day 3

diaries of a detox virgin — part 4: day 3

Oh you sweet little thang! (Talking in reply to the sound of the coffee machine at work — No, I did not have a cup of coffee on the last cleansing day. I just enjoyed the familiar sound of the coffee maker. Now come on! Don’t you have a little trust in my determination?! 🙂 )

On Tuesday, I bought matcha tea pulver, eager to give it a try on Wednesday morning (detox day 3). The result was me left with a huge heartbreak over the non-existent “wake-up”-effect that matcha had on me. I played for high stakes on this one, but it just left me high and dry.

kimberly-rubin-ben-a-jennings-6

Still, just as it should be in a freshly starting relationship, I am willing to give matcha another shot.

My last day’s treats were:

  • breakfast: apple-cinnamon-oatmeal with almond milk, goji berries, chia seeds, walnuts and honey
  • pre-lunch: matcha tea, banana
  • lunch: Cozy Soup
  • afternoon drink: another matcha tea
  • dinner: rice cake with cashew cream, avocado and sesame; rice cakes with cashew cream, almonds and honey

My workout:

I did an aerobic session, toning my body, and finished up with a little Yoga.

My relaxation:

Before bed, I read some pages of “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd (this is not supposed to be a book review, but if you have not read the book yet: do so, you won’t regret it). Reading makes for way better pre-sleep activity than streaming Netflix or watching TV because your senses are much more relaxed before bed when not staring at a screen. I always feel the difference in the quality of my sleep when not watching series or a movie pre-bedtime. I am usually a daytime reader, but that is something I definitely want to blend in my evening rituals more often.

Some thoughts:

About my disappointing experience with matcha: the intensely green tea tasted nice (nothing compared to black coffee, but still refreshing), it has an interesting essence to it. Also, I am convinced by its health benefits. It just did not make me more awake, which is in contrary to everything I read about matcha: it is supposed increase your concentration without making you feel nervous. That did not happen in my case and I consider if I measured correctly when preparing the tea hm…

Something I realized especially is that since I started the cleansing and have been staying away from caffeine and sugar altogether, I sleep much better. And my skin feels great with the coconut oil, although the smell (which in the beginning I stated smelled nice) does bug me sometimes.

 

I did it, three days of non-toxic inputs. Three days of super conscious eating. Three days gluten, sugar and lactose free. What do I think of it? I will tell you tomorrow, because I would like to let the cleansing experience sink in first. Then, I will publish a “the day after”-recap, where I review all of my three-day detox experiences for you. Am looking forward to getting back to you. x

-yout tiny woman in a giant world


Do you like my “diaries of a detox virgin”-series? Have a look at these enchanting notions as well:

diaries of a detox virgin — intro

diaries of a detox virgin — part 1: planning & research

diaries of a detox virgin — part 2: day 1

diaries of a detox virgin — part 3: day 2

diaries of a detox virgin — the day after

diaries of a detox virgin — part 3: day 2

I can proudly announce that I did not touch a cup of coffee yesterday (detox day 2). I got over it, kind of. At work, my collegues must have been sensing my being low on the caffeine (“low” like “zero input”) did not make me a very motivated/motivating person and tried to make me give in. That, my friends, I refused to do on the second day! Even when one of my collegues came to sit in front of me and drink his delicious smelling coffee with a piece of yummy looking cake, I still went strong and changed the topic to a much more profound event than him having this ♥-coffee in front of my very eyes: the Oscar nominations were announced. That kept me busy for a while.

I felt much better than the day before. After work, I had to bridge two hours until my acting class began and felt the urge to eat a sweet treat. The choice fell on an apple and almonds which helped me through being hungry, but did not quite do the trick. Looking back, Monday’s cup of Golden Turmeric Milk would have been what I needed.

kimberly-rubin-ben-a-jennings-5

Ladies and gents, may I present to you the food I ate on detox day 2:

  • breakfast: apple-cinnamon-oatmeal with almond milk, pumkin seeds, goji berries, chia seeds and honey
  • pre-lunch: banana, rose hip tea
  • lunch: salmon with potatoes (cooked with oil and rosemary in the oven)
  • afternoon snack: apple, almonds
  • dinner: scrambled eggs with sweet pepper, rice cakes with cashew cream, cinnamon, almonds and honey on top

Water input is crucial when cleansing, you will really feel the difference when drinking enough (good) liquids. Instead of doing a workout session, I went to acting class yesterday which was great fun and made for a sunshiny ending of the day. Once I was busy at class, I did not crave any sweets any more and dinner was perfectly fine. My skin still feels smooth, but I think about putting the coconut oil into a petite container to keep with me during the day.

Let’s tackle day 3, shall we? x

-your tiny woman in a giant world


Do you like my “diaries of a detox virgin”-series? Have a look at these enchanting notions as well:

diaries of a detox virgin — intro

diaries of a detox virgin — part 1: planning & research

diaries of a detox virgin — part 2: day 1

diaries of a detox virgin — part 4: day 3

diaries of a detox virgin — the day after

diaries of a detox virgin — part 2: day 1

If I only showed you my detox diary notes I have written down throughout the day yesterday… You would totally think I was a coffeine addict (and my notes make me slightly think that I actually am… hmm). Just thinking about what I went through yesterday, I feel sorry for myself. Several times, I was about to say (excuse my language) “Screw you detox!”, but I did not. All monday long, I went for it, keeping the bigger picture of my body being completely cleansed in mind.

kimberly-rubin-ben-a-jennings-3 I searched the whole Internet for a good enough reason as to why I should not drink coffee during detox. 24 hours later, I have found the reason: Coffee is supposed to reduce the body’s ability to take in all the good nutrients from your food. If you are, just like me, a virgin to the whole detox world, make sure to have a substitute for coffee ready. I did not and it really drove me crazy all day long, not only because caffeine withdrawal causes headache. I read a lot about matcha as a great and much healthier alternative to coffee, so next time, I will be better prepared (which means: I will have lots and lots of matcha ready on my breakfast table).

Here is what I ate and drank:

  • breakfast: Golden Turmeric Milk, one handful of almonds, an apple
  • lunch: Really Basic Noodle Bowl, except I used brown rice instead of the brown rice noodles
  • afternoon snack: an apple
  • dinner: scrambled eggs with sweet pepper, corn and parsley; rice cakes with cashew cream, honey, almonds and cinnamon

Foodwise it was an okay-day: The breakfast was too little, a drink and an apple surely is not enough to eat in the morning. But the Golden Turmeric Milk featured by OurBodyBook.Com really is tasty. If you have doubts about the black pepper as an ingredient to the drink: pepper helps turmeric unfold its full nutritious potential, so do not skip it 🙂 Lunch was delicious and kept me satisfied for a few hours. Dinner… Weell, I was not as good as a prepared detoxer yesterday as I should have been. By the time I was home from work, I was so hungry that I was craving everything possible. But it had to be detox-approved, so I improvised and dinner turned out to be really good.

I used coconut oil as an alternative to facial cream and can recommend it: my face is soft and smooth and it smells nice. As for the exercising part of the day: I stretched and did some Yoga which relaxed me before bed.

Ready for Day 2? I sure am (am I really?).

x 🙂

-your tiny woman in a giant world


If you like my “diaries of a detox virgin”-series, make sure to have a look at these enchanting notions as well:

diaries of a detox virgin — intro

diaries of a detox virgin — part 1: planning & research

diaries of a detox virgin — part 3: day 2

diaries of a detox virgin — part 4: day 3

diaries of a detox virgin — the day after