Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grown Up Oatmeal

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My plan was to make a blog post about some yummy oatmeal I made for breakfast today.  But while eating I reflected on how good I've been feeling lately and one thought led to 500 more thoughts and I wrote up a whole post on what I think the secret to happiness is.  This oatmeal left me feel full, energetic and happy.

I adapted this recipe from the book, How to Boil Water.  A dear friend of mine had recommended it and it's such a wonderful cookbook with wonderful tips and suggestions.

Grown Up Oatmeal
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
inch of kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup oats
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
Almonds to taste
Dried fruit to taste (I like cranberries)
Drizzle of milk or yogurt

In a sauce pan bring water, butter and salt to a boil.
Add the oats and bring to a boil again.  Then reduce to simmer.
Add dried fruit and cook for about 2 minutes or until oats are done.
Sprinkle in some brown sugar (or drizzled honey would be good).
Add a bit of milk or yogurt and top of with some almonds.


Enjoy :)


The secret to hapiness

Pin It Now! I've learned what the secret to happiness is: living a healthy life.  Eating healthy, working out and nurturing your mind, heart and soul will make anyone happier.

You are what you eat.
By eating healthy you are taking care of the only body you will ever have.  I've bought a few books recently, one a cookbook and one just a book that gives a scientific explanation of the benefits of various power foods.  Pumpkin seeds, bell peppers, grapefruit, nuts, berries, salmon, leafy greens, apples, mangoes, avocados, yogurt, squash, asparagus, brocolli and so many more foods that aid in keeping your body functioning at it's best.  Power foods are full of nutrients and vitamins that have show in study after to study to help rid your body of free radicals, prevent cancer, keep your heart healthy, help with liver and kidney function provide your body with energy and help keep you lean and fit.  Just because you don't have heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol RIGHT NOW doesn't mean you won't.  Many people in their 20's and 30's are lucky to eat whatever they want and not see any physical signs of their nutrition.  But at some point or another how a person maintains their body will catch up to them.  It's life and it's inevitable.  Healthy nutrition is preventative health care that can ward off serious health issues later in life.  It's like saving for retirement.  You either plan and make the commitment to save, or you, I'm only 30.  I've got plenty of time.  But do you?

Not only do power foods provide the essentials to living a healthier life, they help you look better. Which is probably what motivates most people to want to change eating habits. Fresh, vibrant, ageless skin, cellulite free legs, shiney hair and whiter teeth are just some of the benefits reaped from eating good.  If you feed your body goop, you're going to feel like gloop.  Sluggish, less energetic and just plain grumpy.  

Excercise is instant happiness
Many times working out just sucks.  You're not in the mood.  You have to push yourself.  You don't have the time  You have no motivation.  But I've notice if you don't give yourself time to think about it, you won't debate it.  Just put your workout shoes on and go.  Even if it's just a long walk, within 10 minutes time you usually feel good.  Your mood is lifted.  When I'm angry or upset, I have my best workouts and afterwards I just feel like the negative energy has been released.  Endorphines help to rid your body of toxins and negative energy from within.  I remember reading a quote awhile back that said something like, "if you don't make time for your health, you will have to make time for illness."  Find things to motivate you until fitness becomes a way of life and you can't live without it.

Mental health
There are so many ways to help keep your mind healthy.  For me balance is one of the most important things to practice for my mind.   I believe the more you practice balance, the happier you will be.  Practicing balance, patience, restraint and commitment requires discipline.  I am one of the least disciplined and most impatient people around.  I have to make a strong effort to practice each day.   Which is why I love and hate yoga and taekwondo.  They both require so much patience and discipline that it drives me nuts to focus.  However afterwards I always feel so much better. I ALWAYS learn something about myself whenever I do one of those workouts.  Every single time.  

I try to apply the philosophies of yoga and taekwondo to my life and suddenly things click.  I discover things about myself by the way in which I workout and through that discovery I am able to change what needs work and build upon my strengths.  For example when doing taekwondo with Mr. Wright one day he told me I do things as long as it's good enough.  As long as I feel I am getting a good enough workout, I'm content.  I wouldn't push myself because I didn't feel it neccessary.  Not only was I like that when working out, but in many things in my life that same way of thinking carried over.  Whatever it is for you, find something to keep your mind strong.

Nourish your soul and your heart
Do something you love.  Whether it's a hobby or your job, do something that makes you happy and become good at it.  Find a way to use your talent to make the world a better place. 

That's it.  My secret to happiness.  Doesn't mean I won't ever feel discouraged or sad or go through periods of feeling pessimistic.  I'm human and a rose doesn't bud without sunshine AND rain.  But I do believe taking care of yourself does lead to a happier life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Pin It Now! Hallo blog world and world wide web and friends and strangers who read my blog.  I've been mia for the last month settling into our new life.  I've had internet (via my cell phone), but have just been so busy that blogging had to take a backseat for awhile.

So far, we are still very much in love with our new village.  Little Wright's Kindergarten is great and so adorable.  I've meet some sweet new people who lucky for me share a love for wine. And I've been exploring the surrounding areas and am so happy to have found a bio market (organic), Rewe, fabulous Greek restaurant and trails galore.   The weather has been gorgeous!  I have spring fever and though I'm super ecstatic for spring, I'm also super nervous.  We have a huge backyard and decent sized front yard and I've never done an ounce of yardwork in my life. Like, ever. In Germany, yardwork is no joke.  Lawns are always manicured and very well taken care of and so I'm a wee bit nervous.  I really don't even know where to start, but hopefully I can pull it together somehow.

Other than that things are goin' good.  It's my birthday this weekend.  We are going to Croatia next month (more on that later).  I'm back to crafting projects and also been working out and cooking.  Now that I'm blogging I finally feel settled.

Speaking of traveling to Croatia I wanted to share this video from Rick Steves.  Makes me realize that despite the challenges sometimes faced while living in a foreign country, it truely is a romantic life I'm living.  I cherish it and am so grateful to be able to experience so many different cultures.  It has changed me for sure.

Can't wait to catch up on blogs and see what everyone has been up to!