Are you healthy?


I think it is clear that it is important to be healthy and fit. Without health you have nothing. It is just a big goal to be healthy and to pay attention on how to become and stay healthy.

I have it pretty easy when it comes to healthy food. I have been growing up surrounded by it. My mother was always on some sort of vegetarian/vegan/bread-baking – let’s try-somthing-new-trip. I enjoy many foods but I can also just give up anything in a second when I am focused. When I decided that I wanted to stop eating meat I just stopped –  I just did, applying little effort. I also stopped drinking coffee for some time. When it started getting in the way with my pregnancy and my yoga classes. I am not totally crazy – I do enjoy a nice cup of coffee with some almond milk now and then. 🙂

As crazy as it is with my love for my cup of coffee I believe that one gets just used to certain foods. This can be a bad thing if you need the pizza and bar of chocolate at night on our couch. Being used to any taste is not good at all. It is also not good to have a couple of energy drinks (e.g. Redbull) a day or even a few cans or cups of any soft drink. Try to cut out as much of the artificial sugar as possible. If you are thirsty drink water. Simple. And if you drink water only for some time you will find the taste of those sweet drinks just sickly. You will taste the chemicals for sure. Yes, there are chemicals in your soda.

The good thing is that your body and your tastebuds have the awesome ability to adapt in the new direction so you will find the bad stuff not so tempting anymore. For example, I am not eating any type of “regular” chocolate and sweets anymore. The first three days were a torture but the body heals itself and it made me just eager to find alternatives. There are a plethora of raw food chocolates out there for example or just some dates and figs if you get the sweet craving. The body is getting better and better of letting us know what we should and should not eat. The healthier we eat, the less we are able to eat the bad food.

The best about this adaption is that you do not have to do this transition  at high speed. I am lucky to adapt to the food changes quickly as mentioned; however, you should do it slowly. If you start slowly to head in the direction of eating more healthy food, you will slowly but surely lose the cravings for the junk. Being healthy is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your family.

How to: Basic Homemade almond milk

This morning I made  fresh homemade almond milk –  a very simple recipe that I would like to share. I try to avoid drinking cows milk and have been buying almond milk in the store once in a while. Reading the ingredients listed however made me search for alternatives.  I purchased the book “Going Raw” by Judita Wignall and found this incredible easy and quick recipe to make my own almond milk. It tastes so much better – I would describe it as lighter than store-bought almond milk and more natural. And this is what I want to achieve. Back to nature 🙂

I believe that almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk/soy milk/goat milk etc. and is easier to digest and very rich in magnesium.

For my basic almond milk I used: 

1 cup soaked (145g) almonds

4 cups of water (950ml)

This is all you need! And of course a blender. I use a Vitamix.


Put almonds in a bowl and soak them for about 8-12 hours, or simply overnight. (Soaking nuts releases “enzyme inhibitors”, and allows for great digestion. Strain the water the next day. Now add the soaked almonds and the 950ml of filtered water to the blender and blend on highest speed for approximately 20 seconds.

Now wrap a clean kitchen towel over a medium sized bowl and pour the mixture through the towel.


As simple as that! Now squeeze and tighten the towel and you are done! This particular receipt fills a 1L glass bottle. You can store the almond milk up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Shake well before you use it! The leftover almond pulp can be used for baking or smoothies. Put it in a sealed container and store in the fridge. (stays fresh for several months).


On my husband

The other day my mom had the baby and I was out in the city.  I got a latte, got my bangs trimmed and spent a luxurious amount of time at my favorite bookstore. I even met a friend and we had red wine and a salad. She has been telling me that she already has problems with her boyfriend whom she is dating for a couple of months only. But she still talks about baby names that she picked out and the marriage date and bachelor party. She said that being with him is more comfortable than being alone.

She also asked about me and my husband. Soon four years into our relationship and now with a kid – “how is it all going?” she asked. Thankfully I can say better than ever. Even though the mission in Mali is hard on both of us. Not being together for a four to six week stretch is tough. When my phone makes the old familiar “bling” noise when he writes me, I feel like 15 or 16 again. Happy, nervous, what did he write? The feeling when we first met, the warmth, the instant comfort and the feeling to have met the other person already at some point in life is awesome. There is no one else who makes me feel this way. Anaïs Nin says in Henry and June:  “There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”

How can I put it? Things are never boring with Jean. When we laugh we really laugh until our bellies hurt. When I think about how Jean and I met, I have to admit that my life changed instantly and how close I was to not meeting him at all. Just funny circumstances and a scarf. And what if I had not met him? If I would have left my apartment five minutes later? Would I live in New York now? Married to someone else? Kids? (But surely not a child as painfully handsome as Joel). Single? How would my career have turned out? Would I be as happy or even happier?

In his arms I felt from the beginning like I sparkled, like the possibilities are endless. I felt loved, as is. No show – just real! Our story may be unremarkable to anyone else but it is our special story. We had bad times, terrible times, and sometimes they have been both of our faults and sometimes not. We have been through promotions, firings, though several moves already, through personal differences and many stupid decisions, bad haircuts, bad clothing choices and also some bad habits.

Then we said” “I do”! in front of our enthusiastic wedding officiant. (“Yoouuuuuuuuu…….!”). We rented our first house together; we moved. We had our baby together, we have hosted parties at our house, we have cooked meals and most importantly we have never stopped even for one second loving one another. I am grateful for Jean and for the past four years. Our story is my favorite. And of course: to be continued.


“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

How many times have we heard the saying “Patience is a virtue”! So far in my life I always had this feeling that I would miss out on something if I am not fast enough or if I waited too long. So I need everything as fast as possible obviously. So I raced through most of the opportunities and choices in my life not paying attention to any details. I used to constantly rush through life to achieve and get big things (that are “oh so important” in this materialistic world).

What really important is – is life itself but I did not pay attention to that. What do we learn when we grow up these days? We get something – then we have it, use it and throw it away because it either does not work anymore and we want something faster and better. This makes me feel empty in a way. What I still have not learned was the true purpose and meaning of patience.

So for me I took up writing at a young ago. I always wanted to write. I wrote my little diary when I was a kid but usually thinking to take writing further I am too scared and it is too much work to even start something in the first place – even if it is a blog. Not even talking about writing a book for instance. And then who would read it? There are so many other writers out there. So many who do a better job than I would ever do. I was scared of the amount of commitment and work to just start sitting down in the first place and write. I told my inner self for so long that it will take me forever until I come up with something of value. Or maybe I would never come up with anything.Then I have to mention that English is not my first language. German is.

I sat down one month ago and started writing this blog. I just started and I felt a building impatience. I deleted posts again, I rewrote, edited, deleted. It was constantly like this. Every time I felt I improved a bit I would get angry again and delete the post all over because I thought it was just bad. My body and brain worked independently. I saw myself as a failure. I so wanted to write something of value. Then again, what is “something of value”? If I post anything, it is now valuable for me. However, these feelings of criticism, anger and fear scared me. My husband always was patient and told me to start a blog and do what I love but I kept deleting my posts.

I know that it takes repetitive practice to get better at any skill. Though all these years of deleting things on a blog, crating a new blog, throwing aways writings, I discovered patience. Patience takes practice and it is hard – and is definitely not a virtue. I believe that patience is really to have trust that it all will work out in the end and about having some inner strength and to face your fears and stick to your guns. I gained some confidence slowly and my writing adjusted to some style I liked… I am still working on it a lot but I am able to publish it here now and feel good about it.

So gradually it is getting easier through patience. For me it is easy to just type and type but then I read it all over again and it seems without a concept again. There are perfect moments now that I feel pride and joy when I read what I have written because I learned to write better through patience and a lot of practice and even a lot more reading. And just like this another door opens to a new understanding of life. Rushing around does not get me anywhere. To write anything fast or even just to write something because of this and that does not make any sense. I lost enjoyment and patience of the moment and then did not write anything at all. This way we also miss our feelings, experiences and our individuality to create anything of value. The picture of a turtle comes to my mind now. Moving around with a nice steady natural pace, sure-footed and constant slow moves. Well now, all I can say is that I  love to write and and I am patient enough to master the skill even better and enjoy the journey which is the most important thing.

I have been practicing patience and it has dispelled my fears and it steadily drives me forward. It gives me new ideas, pushes me towards new goals and this makes me more appreciative of the journey and makes me feel more confident. Maybe patience is a virtue but we have to find our own path or route to understand it fully.

Looking up to someone


“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”

I believe that it is important to seek out others to learn from and to admit that you do not have all the answers. I look for motivation, examples and guidance in others constantly. I love to read and I do so most of the day when I find some time with my 1 1/2 year old son. Continuous learning is important to me.

The way my son looks at my husband most of the time I believe that he just admires him. That he is encouraged, challenged and enlightened at the same time. With me it is a different story. I am around him most of the time so we are “used to each other”. My husband works in Mali and he sees him every four to six weeks. My son looks up to me as well but still different than he looks up to my husband. They have this strong bond that is just so amazing to watch. Almost as if they learn from each other – while looking at each other.

On a daily basis I choose my mentors and sometimes they choose me. It is just important to seek out for others with qualities you love and respect for your life. A good example is the relationship I have with my husband. I do not take him for granted. I am observant,  learn from him and he is my best friend. I love him so much and I look up to him. What he has done for our family is amazing. My son should have been in daycare by the time he was seven weeks old. But my husband took up on the UN mission in Mali so I am able to stay at home with my son and raise him myself. I am looking up to my husband on a daily basis for so many things. He makes me feel strong when I am weak. He gives me unconditional love at all times and he is there for me always even though he is not physically here. He is my mentor and teacher in many ways that I still need guidance.

Well, sometimes the mentors are person – sometimes they are professional. Or both! Sometimes the relationship is formal or informal.  We have to keep in mind that we are human beings who are made up of many many complex pursuits. We should always seek out to find people who are successful in a field that interests us. How they achieved it, how they maintain it, how they do in their personal life and in the working environment. Also reading books about a topic of interest, then learn about the person etc. Constantly reading 🙂

From my life experience I can say that I have learned that those who accomplish the most have done so with humility in their heart. On a daily basis we pursue influence in ourselves, in our families and in the world. We are supposed to learn form one another. I believe we cannot live and navigate this live without any mentors or anybody to look up to. It is important to admit that you do not have all the answers at times. Pride comes before a fall. Reject prideful arrogance. This arrogance will always prevent from reaching the full potential in life and work.

I know that if I want to make the most out of life I intentionally have to seek out others to learn from. “I know that I know nothing” right?

Complained enough?


“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” —Tom Wilson

First of all, life is not perfect – it never will be and it never has been. To realize this as “Mrs. Complaining-all-the-time” is pretty awesome indeed. To understand this fact we can actually welcome a great number of possibilities. We know it deep down to be true that life is not perfect! So the question here is, if I know this to be a fact, why do I still complain all the time about its imperfections?

I am not alone here. We all do complain about the traffic, waiting for something, on something, the weather (too hot- too cold), too much weight, about tight clothing lateness and the prices of everything. The list is just endless: complaints about crying babies, spouses who are doing something we do not like, neighbors. Have we become a society of complainers? Well, and if we do complain, do we get a positive reaction? Any circumstances we complain about really? Almost never.

Our natural response is most of the time to express feelings of resentment, dissatisfaction, pain even boredom. I myself have to work on this because there are too many negative outcomes to these reactions. (Ask my husband). What does all the complaining do? It breeds and feeds usually a negative response and a negative attitude. If you gossip with someone for example it draws the attention to all the negative circumstances and aspects around you. I know what I am talking about because I have done it too many times. All this complaining never results in joy and feeling awesome – you just sink more and more in misery. And this impacts everyone around us. What complaining does? It creates more negativity! Misery just loves company. It just makes us feel better in the moment to complain and the more you focus on the “problem” and draw even more attention to it, it will direct more “negative” people towards you too.

This is for you Jean: “Complaining does not change a situations! Taking action does”! 

I believe that it is just ok to not be comfortable at points. But one does not have to complain all the time about the same things over and over because it emotionally and physically brings you down. Further, it is unattractive. Go to work and spend time with “negative people” and listen to their complaints. It is unenjoyable and annoying because usually there is this self-centered emphasis. Then I usually  feel like a victim as well. Blaming others, constantly blaming others that I feel better is usually what we do.

I figured out for myself that complaining less shifts the focus to the positive. It even makes you glow – makes you feel more at peace and content. How can we complain less? Good question!

I figured out some points for myself and would love to share them. I am far from perfect of using them but I try to apply these points daily.

Firstly it is important to know your triggers. When are you complaining the most? In the morning, late afternoon, evening? With your spouse? At work? With colleagues/friends? Try to avoid triggers/trigger words, even certain people. You should not surround yourself with negative people anyway.

I heard myself say many times: “I will never ever complain again/or gossip”! This usually never works. I just try to be mindful of particular situations and try maybe to go one day without complaining. I just concentrate on this one day and for me it works. There is also this slight difference between complaining and helpful criticism. Of course there will be times when it is appropriate to complain when something wrong has been committed for example.  Always ask yourself if the situation can be somehow resolved. If not, the complaints are useless.

It is important to know who you are talking to. Who is the audience? Can this person help me solve my problem or is there an interest in coming up with a solution for me? If you need to complain do it briefly and see how the other person reacts. Is the person helpful?

Many complain to validate their worth to others. For example they tell you how busy they are, and they do this and that and nobody notices it, and they work all these long hours and do so much more for their boss or job.  These things are usually said to subtly communicate their importance. Trying to impress others with complaints usually does not work either. Well if you need to do it at least you won’t have any friends in the long run or friends of importance.

The most important thing for me now is that I have to first consider alternatives before complaining. I used to never consider that there is a different way, a different approach. And of course the fact that this is an imperfect world. Life throws us curveballs once in a while and let’s us deal with situations we do not expect or we have not planned. Out of experience there is always pain, trial and trouble. But this is okay. This is life. This makes it interesting. My mom usually says: “The world does not revolve around you”! Discomfort in any way should not surprise me and I am not the only one experiencing it anyway. 

Usually complaining does only spread negativity and sparks conflict. I am happier without it and I try to move forward and embrace the positive instead.

On why we have fewer toys.


“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.” —Ray L. Wilbur

Today I played outside with my son almost the entire day. He loves to be outside. I read once that “toys are the building blocks for our child’s future. They teach our children about the world and about themselves”. Well it is true to some extend.  I know from my own experience that if I buy my son a new toy – no matter what kind of toy – he plays with it for some time (usually not very long) and then puts it to all the other toys. Here in Germany we have a plethora of wooden  toys (HABA factory for example) BUT he plays with those kind of (mostly expensive) toys only for some time.

I think that it is important to think about the number of toys that children have. Most bedrooms or play rooms are filled with toys up to the ceiling and this does not have to be. I believe parents should limit the number of toys their kids have to play with. I believe that fewer toys will benefit children in the long-run. Firstly, kids will learn to be more creative. I have been in a toy store today as a matter of fact to buy my son a “bobby car”. I have seen so many toys in there and came up with the conclusion that too many toys prevent kids from fully developing their gift of imagination. WHY does a kid need a toy vacuum cleaner or toy shovel and broom? Let them play with he real thing! I also have been reading on two german public health workers (Strick and Schubert) who conducted an experiment in a kindergarten. They told the teachers to remove all the toys for three months. In the beginning there was a lot of boredom but then the kids used their imagination again and their surroundings to play.

What I also found out was that my son’s attention span developed longer when he had less toys. I realized that when there were too many toys in front of him and many others behind him in the shelf he did not appreciate the toys at all. The toys were literally investing for a couple of minutes. When I watch my son play with other kids I see that he establishes better social skills. I believe this is also due to the fact that he has fewer toys. He needs to interact more with other kids and adults. My son learns the give and take of good conversation. The amount he repeats at just almost 18 months old is amazing.

My favorite thing in the world is reading. I mentioned this in a couple of posts already. I want to try to develop a love for reading, writing and art for my son. I believe that fewer toys will open up the love for books, music, painting and coloring more. He will use his imagination more.  A love for art will help him better appreciate beauty, emotion and communication in the world when he is older. I read to my son every night before bed-time. Two little pixie-books at least and his all-time favorite “The hungry caterpillar”. He loves it, listens and stays on my lap the entire time. I started reading to him when he was five weeks old.

Another huge aspect is that my son experiences more nature. He basically grows up outside. He runs around the garden all day long. Flowers, trees, grass you name. He and I are fortunate that he can be able to enjoy so much nature and physical exercise. If you do not have a garden close to your home go to a park as much as you can. I believe that children who learn to appreciate the world around them take care of the world around them.

My husband is a huge advocate on disciplining  our son. He says that children need to learn everything from the ground up – including appropriate behavior, how to get results, how to get along with others and how to achieve ones dream. Discipline should never be withheld or avoided – instead it should be positive and consistent. We all know that words are powerful. They can either destroy or create. It is important to choose words carefully because they can offer encouragement and positive thought or them can send the kids further into despair.


I try to teach my son to be optimistic. (Hello Jean). Pessimism does not change the world. Optimism does. I work for the United Nations so Peace is an issue on a daily basis. Sometimes I think this is not in my hands but in relation to what I see on a daily basis and what is going on in the world this is exactly in my hands. Start in your little world. Start with your kids.

I mentioned “time” before. There is one gift you can never take back or give back. This is TIME. I believe it is important to carefully think about what and who is getting your attention on a daily basis. And if you have time give your child undivided attention. These little guys love it. “Disconnect to connect”!

Simplify your life.


I have been reading quite a lot on minimalism and simplifying these days. It is a great time to start decluttering a house or apartment now that spring is here. If you look around your house and see all your stuff you will find things you use a lot, items that are just handy or useful or many products you cannot live without or cannot get by without. Also clothes you wear all the time. However, there will also be a lot of junk. Well, you do not go out to buy junk obviously so at the time when you purchased it it was necessary for something but now it is in bags in the garage, in some drawers or closets and maybe even covered in spiderwebs and dust.

Look in your closet. Honestly, isn’t it always the same you wear? Your favorite pieces? And how much stuff hangs in there that you never wore – sometimes the tag is still attached. I know all this because this was my situation. Most important is to realize that there is nothing special about any brand name. Most of the time the clothes are produced in the same factories in Bangladesh/China you name it and it is just cheap quality even though you pay a fortune. Always remember, your clothes do not define you! I always had this feeling that I was how I looked; I was what I wore but this is not true. The idea is not necessarily to have less clothing (even though this is the goal in the long run) but to question yourself why you have the clothing you have. Do you need ALL these jeans, pants, skirts? The problem is that we hang on to a lot of things because maybe we fit in these clothes again, or we need these jars, boxes, cans at some point again.

Less is usually more – even though all you see on a daily basis is that the only sure sign of success is having more. A fancier car, a bigger TV, a bigger house to put even more stuff in or a bigger car. The list is endless.

I remember the time when I arrived in New York to start my “new life”. My entire life fit in two suitcases but I was happy. Of course I had no apartment at that time but it was fine. The realization that I could just pack my little most valuable things and go was awesome. Now with a baby however it is not that easy anymore. But we still manage with ONE suitcase when we travel.

Some people do wake up at a point and see that we are just part of a system. In the “developed world” it usually goes like this: You usually go to school for a certain number of years. Then you get a job, find a partner and then you settle down to raise a family. But in all this time you become a dedicated consumer and you raise other, smaller consumers who will follow in your footstep. I thought about this the other day looking at my son’s toys. He does not have too many because I am aware of the fact that he wants something in the store sooooo badly but plays with it for one or two days and then it is with all the other toys and he does not look at it anymore. What he loves the most is to play with things we work with and use on a daily basis. So why buy him a “kids vacuum cleaner” when he can play with a real one for example?

You go to a store to buy an endless series of so many things that matter to you and you pay carful attention to the brands, things and products that you believe define you and you feel sooooo much better after you walked out of the store with a huge bag of stuff but does all this make you really happy in the long run? Think about if you really need these things. Here I came up with some tips that were helpful for me. Stop buying new stuff. Stop replacing old stuff with new. Just buy less. Ask yourself every time you want to purchase something in a store: “Do I really need this”? Also: Go through all your old stuff first and see what you really need. Do wear ALL your clothes you have in your closet first. Look at all the stuff you have not worn yet. Declutter. I have started by decluttering one item a day. However, maybe you have to start with more. It depends how much stuff you have piled up everywhere. See what you really want to keep – toss the rest. Declutter the easy stuff first. Your closet. Clothing that you do not wear anymore. (clothing you have not worm for one year – toss it! Or clothing you think you might fit in again at some point – toss them! If you fit in a smaller size again you can guy small size clothing) Over-equipping your house. Be realistic about your needs. How many linen, towels, dishes do you need? In the event of an unusually large number of family members or guest arriving you can borrow from friends or family – even neighbors. My husband and I are planning to build our own house and I know exactly how it is supposed to look. Simple, clean and minimalistic. With a lot of wood, windows, air and space.

The Book Review: “Platform” by Michel Houellebecq


These days I spent my nights with another man. Michel Houellebecq. I love his writing. I finished this book a couple of weeks ago.I believe that the book is a brilliant commentary on the intersection of globalization and sexuality, or whatever is left of it in western culture.

Well, sometimes it is hard to follow an narrator who has got such a pessimistic worldview and who loves a good disaffected misanthrope but this book really opens up after a while. I really like to read Houellebecq because he seems to dislike many things I am not fond of either. Materialism, politics, world view, religion and there is plenty of bitter social critique as well. His realization that we in the West are like the declining Roman Empire is what I like. He is able to articulate this thesis through his characters but also through interjections on social theory. The central themes are uniquely provocative, and not in a leftist or right-wing way. Reading this book was fun, in a kind of infuriating way. I read on the passenger seat on my way to Canada with my husband. My baby in the back seat making some noise did not really bother me while devouring this book.

I believe that the author is the protagonist in some kind of way – who enjoys just about nothing other than sex, and he feels numb still in the end. The main plot involves him being in love, but he and his love interests (a women who always has a cup of coffee for him after his morning blowjob) never seem to do much talking, or sharing their lives. The love here seems more like a sort of warm fellow-feeling. Well, I would say that Platform is a warm up for “The Possibility of an Island” and “The Map and the Territory”. It provides a nice overview or “platform” for his philosophy. In my opinion he is not the transgressive and sexist novelist whom many critics make him out to be.

“She was one of those creatures who are capable of devoting their lives to someone else’s happiness, of making that alone their goal. This phenomenon is a mystery. Happiness, simplicity, and joy lie within them, but I still do not know how or why it occurs. And if I haven’t understood love, what use is it to me to have understood the rest? To the end, I will remain a child of Europe, of worry and of shame. I have no message of hope to deliver. For the west, I do not feel hatred. At most I feel a great contempt. I know only that every single one of us reeks of selfishness, masochism, and death. We have created a system in which it has simply become impossible to live, and what’s more, we continue to export it.”

I believe that this is a pretty harsh condemnation of the capital system. Michel Houellebecq, like Blake, wants us to dream up new systems to the beyond those that we as westerners have created. As Houellebecq reiterates, it is unfortunate but possibly true  that these new systems may be nightmares, and we should do our best be people who are “capable of devoting [our or] there lives to someone else’s happiness.” In a way he is annoying, lovable, funny, disgusting and sexy. There is a resemblance to Camus and Celine and I did shed one or two tears in the end.


I have been dreaming and getting all starry-eyed talking about this little dream I have with my husband. (Especially after we had a couple glasses of wine, then anything sounds like the world’s best idea.) We talk about me opening an independent bookstore somewhere. We do not know where or when (maybe when Barnes and Noble are bankrupt and borders and amazon and all the other ones) but it sounds so awesome and makes me very happy.

My dreams goes like this:

We rent a space preferably in a little old house like pictured above. (Source MorBCN). This would be perfect as a vintage bookstore. Then we would fill this store with many used books and plenty of new books as well so that everyone who comes in can find what they are looking for.

I am into vintage clothing so I would put in a rack of clothes for sale as well. I would also put some sort of children’s section with toys where my son can play independently most of the day. Many parents would come to our store and bring their kids and they would all play and buy plenty of books. My son will read fluently by the time he is three years old. To take my dream even further, I would get some studying done, maybe add some raw food food sampling section with tea, smoothies and raw cakes, coffee you name it. My son would cheerfully greet our many paying customers and I would have all the time left to read mostly all of the books in my store.


My son would grow up in our awesome little vintage bookstore and he will be happy, content and totally into books and become a writer and will tell everyone that his parents are the absolute best.

The end. <3