Über die Frau

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Best Green Smoothie

I have just created the best Green Smoothie I've ever had! I'd heard of people using tofu in their smoothies, but I hadn't tried it yet ... until now. So delicious! Here was the mix:

1/4 block soft tofu
3 mangold leaves, stems removed
4 fresh mint leaves
1/4 c. coconut water
2 tbsp. vanilla soy yogurt
2 drops vanilla essence
1 frozen banana
5 ice cubes

This was so good! I mixed the first 6 ingredients first until blended well, then did the same separately with the banana and the ice cubes. This will definitely be a new go-to for me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Supply and Demand

I finally got my Frankfurt Pass today! Woohoo! It only took a little trail and error. :) To celebrate, I met up with my friend Kristen to go shopping! Today was my first day really shopping in Frankfurt! I needed some light, beach clothes for our vacation next week, so I hit up H&M in town. Normally I'm not a big fan of shopping, but today was fun trying on different sizes to see what I wore - since I have no perspective on their sizes here, I didn't feel like I had to fit in to a certain size - I just wore what fit! It was a great feeling. :) I got a dress, shorts, and bathing suit bottoms for under 30 euro! The au pair life is a good one, but constantly lacking funds is definitely a huge downside - but totally worth it. Now I just need to find a bathing suit top to match ...:P.

I knew I'd be biking a lot today, so I skipped the run - figured my legs needed the break after the speed workout yesterday anyway. After a short morning yoga routine, breakfast this morning was Overnight Oats. Last night, I soaked 1/3c. oats, 2/3c. soy milk, 1 tbsp. flax, and 2 drops of Butter-Vanille Aroma. This morning, I topped it with Banana Soft Serve with vanilla yogurt, 2 tbsp. granola, toasted walnuts, and shredded coconut.

Most of the ingredients:
I'm working on the recipe for a Banana Cream Pudding oatmeal - recipe will hopefully come tomorrow - oats soaking as I sleep! Can't wait!

By the time I got home, it was already after 5 - I figured I could either wait for dinner or make a green smoothie. Of course I chose the latter. ;) I wound up biking around 20km to and from the city center, so I was ready for an energy boost. My host father made dinner tonight - turkey wraps with yogurt dressing. They were delicious! I wish I'd taken a picture, but sometimes it's hard with so many people running around. I had half a tortilla for my first one and a huge lettuce leaf for my second one. :) We have to finish the lettuce from the garden before we leave, or it's all going to waste! Today the girls and I found two huge snails crawling out of the sink we washed the lettuce in - mmmmm. :)

For dessert, I made myself a little fruit salad:
Doesn't look like much, but it's one of my favorites! 

Dessert Fruit Salad- Serves 1

Fruit : whatever you have! Mine was: 

1/2 Banana
1/4 apple
1/4 pear
1/2 plum


2 tbsp. lowfat plain or soy yogurt
1/8 tsp. ceylon cinnamon
1 tbsp. sultans
1 tsp. shredded coconut

Cut fruit into medium-sized chunks and toss with dressing! Voila! You can also top with a bit of stevia if you want it a little sweeter, but the fruit is usually sweet enough for me. 

Now off to watch Jeopardy - have a lot to do tomorrow to start getting ready for our trip! Tschau!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Days Like These

Had the sunshine not been calling my name, it would have been taken a tornado to get me out of my bed this morning. Luckily, we are having yet another gorgeous day, so I decided to stick with it! My legs were feeling a bit like jello this morning, so I tried doing some yoga to energize my muscles, but they weren't having it! After eating a date and some apple slices, I cycled to the river to do my first speed workout since being in Germany. I wanted to ease into it - if I don't give myself limits, I will just keep pushing myself until I'm dead tired, and then inevitably take a break from training because I pushed myself too hard in the beginning. That being said, my workout went as such:

1 mile warm-up jog
3 x 1/2 mile, descending time: 4:53, 4:35, 4:15
1/2 mile cool-down jog
It took me about 15 minutes to really get into it thanks to jello legs, but I was feeling good on the last 1/2 mile of the speed workout. My goal is to get up to doing 4-5 1/2 miles and keep them all under 4 minutes. Starting slow but gotta start somewhere! :)

I was famished by the time I cycled home and showered, so I was really excited for my Overnight Oats this morning! I used the same base recipe I've been using and layered with 1/2 Banana Soft Serve + 1/2 Banana Soft Serve with PB& strawberry jam. Here was the final masterpiece:
So worth the effort! I topped it with granola, toasted walnuts, strawberries, and coconut flakes.
Tomorrow I think I'm going to try a new variation.. we'll see! :)

After my filling and re-energizing breakfast, I checked to see how the garden is coming along. There are bees buzzing everywhere! I love being able to sit under a tree and hear the buzzing from above. It makes me feel very connected with nature. We have some gorgeous flowers blooming!
The bees were loving these flowers! These were another of their favorites:
They were probably not loving my camera being all up in their faces, but I tried not to disturb them too much! Now off to work on my to-do list ... wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mellow Tone

Just got back from the CineSneak! This week's movie was The Burning Plain - decent movie but very atypical that they showed an old flick! It was one of those "ohhh, now I get it" type movies, with a very emotional plot line.

Anyway, I didn't get as much done as I wanted to today, but oh well! There is always tomorrow... For lunch today, I was really looking forward to some more Steinofenbrot with cottage cheese and salsa, but it turned out both the salsa and Steinofenbrot were recently polished off! Living in a house with 6 other people definitely teaches you how to adapt. :) And if there's one thing I've learned about Germans, it's that they really know how to bake bread. Even their "common" tortillas are delicious:
 Check out those flax seeds baked in! Mmmm. 
So instead of the bread, I pan-toasted some tortilla until it was nice & crispy. Then it was time to find a salsa substitute. I wound up tossing together 2 tbsp cottage cheese, 2 slices of pickled beets (chopped), S&P, some freshly chopped parsley, and a dash of lime juice. I spread that on the tortilla and bam! Lunch. Topped with cucumbers and tomato slices, it turned out nicely - or pretty, at any rate! :)
Mmhm. Dinner was the same salad I had yesterday - I wanted to finish the avocado before someone else did! It's not often I can find a decent avocado here - growing up in Florida, we had avocado trees in our backyard, so they were quite a staple in our diet. We were giving them away by the bagfuls, but now I would kill to have a freshly picked one here! Sigh.

Well, I'm off to bed. The movie + 20 extra km cycling this evening has left me emotionally and physically drained- and I need to be well rested for my speed work in the AM! Guten Nacht!

Layer Up

And I'm glad to say I'm talking about a breakfast parfait rather than winter clothes! The weather outside is beautiful again today. I started my morning just right - yoga and a run! I did my 4-mile-loop in the Stadtwald (city forest) this morning and got a new best time! (For Germany, that is.) Back at home, I was keeping my 4-mile times under 36 minutes, but The Big Move changed that. This morning my time was 38:14, which I'm really happy with! Now I just need to start getting back into speed work.

For breakfast, I had Vegan Overnight Oats again. I adapted this one from this recipe on Oh She Glows. I hunted out some lone frozen strawberries and cherries in the mixed berry bag and got to work. I used my recent favorite recipe for the VOO (1/3c. oats, 1 tbsp. flax, 2/3c. soy milk, 1 tsp. cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. ceylon cinnamon, and 1-2 drops almond extract) and started the layering from there. The next layer was 1/2 of the Banana Soft Serve I made. I took the other half and added 3 frozen cherries to the mix, making that the next layer. I topped the whole thing with 2 chopped frozen strawberries, 3 toasted walnuts, 1 tbsp. granola, and 1 tsp. shredded coconut. The toppings:
 The layers:
Soo good after a hot run! I have been loving adapting these ever since I found the recipe!

On the schedule for the next couple days: 

- Get Frankfurt Pass. (This is a card that will get me discounts on public transit and museums, but you have to be a low-income citizen with a visa and a bunch of paperwork - every time I try to get it, I am missing some form and am sent away to try again - hopefully this time, I'll have everything!)
- Clean room, iron clothes
- Call storage unit, financial aid office

And hopefully, I'll get enough finished in time for CineSneak tonight! Every Monday at 9, the movie theatre in town charges 5 euros a ticket to view the original version (in English) of a movie not yet released - the catch? You don't know which film you're going to see. Sometimes they're terrible, but usually they're pretty good! They have a German showing as well, but I've found that the German voiceovers don't really do it for me. They always seem to be higher pitched and speak faster to try to fit the whole conversation into the scene (German is a lot "wordier" than English is.) Is CineSneak a common thing in big cities? I've never seen it before, but I love it! 

Have a great Monday! :)

Big Cloud, Big Sky

Enjoying yesterday’s sunshine was absolutely amazing! For lunch and dinner, I was craving light and fresh. For lunch, I had an open-faced sandwich on toasted Steinofenbrot (bread baked in a stone oven) with leftover homemade hummus, tomato, cucumber, and salad from the garden with some orange slices and green smoothie on the side. :)
And yes, that is a green smoothie in a beer stein. I take what I can get. (Well, who am I kidding, even if I’d found a different glass, it would have gone in the stein anyway.) The green smoothie yesterday was:

1 tbsp. flaxseed meal
2 handfuls of Feldsalat (field salad?)
1/2c. water
2 tbsp. Rhubarb Vanilla yogurt
1/2 banana, 1/4 orange, 1/4 pear

I love adding a lot of ice into a green smoothie – not only does it add to the size of the smoothie, but it adds to the refreshment and texture as well. :)

The hummus I made was OK, but I am still trying to perfect the recipe. Tahini is another hard-to-find ingredient here in Germany, so I have been trying different recipes without it. Once I’m happy with it, I’ll let you know!

After lunch was more reading, Jeopardy, and The Soup. Ah, Sundays, how I love and absorb thee weekly. Dinner was a crisp, refreshing salad with a killer, simple dressing.

The picture definitely does not do this one justice. I’ll blame it on the poor lighting, but really I was just too impatient! ;) This was lettuce from the garden topped with 1/2 tomato, 1/2 red bell pepper, cucumber slices, onion, avocado, sultans and shredded coconut. For the dressing, over it I squeezed the juice from half of a lime, sprinkled on a teaspoon of olive oil, and dashed about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I probably won’t add the onion next time, but the sultans and coconut really added a light sweetness to the tart flavor of the lime and balsamic – I will definitely be making this one again!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The First Days of Spring

This morning, I woke up to birds chirping merrily in the forest and immediately knew it would be a good day. Sundays in Germany can be a bit boring – almost everything closes down (except some select cafes and bars), and the vast majority of people take the day off. It’s nice to relax for the day, but when no one is working, that also means there are few places to go… so after some searching online, I found a running group for English speakers meeting in the city center to run along the Main! (This is the river that runs through Frankfurt.) Today was my 3rd or 4th time meeting up with them, and today was great weather for it! There has been something in the air the past few days that I’ve greatly missed since leaving Florida: humidity. It felt so good to sweat today. It was also nice chatting with some native English speakers!

My exercise totals:
16 km (~10mi.) cycling (there and back into the city center)
6.5-7 km (little over 4mi.) run
10 minutes yoga/ stretching

Before the cycling and jogging, I had a date to appease my morning hunger giant and had half a banana once I finished to hold me over until breakfast. By the time I got home, showered, and was ready to make breakfast, it was already past noon – but I had oatmeal anyway. :) Last night, I prepared some “Vegan Overnight Oats”, which was adapted from Oh She Glows. Here is the go-to recipe I’ve been using the past several weeks:

1/3c. oats
1 tbsp. flax seed meal
A little under 2/3 c. soy milk
1 tsp. cocoa powder
¼ tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
1-2 drops almond extract

I prepared this last night and let it soak overnight in the fridge. This morning, I made Banana Soft Serve from one large banana with a splash of soy milk and 1 tsp. each of peanut butter and strawberry jam. I topped it with 1/3 of a fruit and nut bar, 1-2 tbsp. granola, and some shredded coconut – delicious! I also had half an orange on the side. Mmm, a little taste of Florida. Sort of.
I was super excited to be able to sit outside and eat breakfast, but by the time I had finished preparing it, it had started to rain. However, I was determined, so I just opened the umbrella and made due – I was just thrilled that it was warm enough! In the process, I managed to break a glass, cut my finger, and spill the contents of the dustpan everywhere – but still managed to have a successful and delightful breakfast! :) Moral of the story?
photo(4)-1  After I was finished, the sun managed to come back out again, and I got to kick my feet back and soak up some of that Vitamin D! My host family is at a BBQ today, so it was really quiet (compared to the normal Sunday of 4-5 children stampeding about the house and garden). While I was biking this morning, I spotted a café that looked open, so I strolled into town to check it out. And it was, indeed, open! Boasting a lovely terrace, it’s the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in the sunshine!
photo(7)-1 The only downside is no wireless, but finding free wireless in Frankfurt has proven to be almost as difficult as finding chia seeds, so I knew I was pressing my luck when I asked. I am thinking I’ve found a new Sunday routine! And now, off to go enjoy some more of this lovely sunshine! Bis bald!