New Whites

Happy Sunday! Remember when I spoke about wanting to change my interior a bit and freshen things up with more white? Well, it happened faster than expected – and I am so happy with the result. I finally got myself a new sofa yesterday, and it completely changed the feeling of the room. It’s much fresher, welcoming, and lighter than before. I loved my old sofa – no doubt – it was a really good one, of great condition, and extremely robust. Yet, it wasn’t white. Most people actually warned me and told me not to get white. The typical “what if it gets dirty?”, “it will be so much work to get it cleaned everytime”, “you won’t be able to eat or drink near it anymore” arguments and questions came down on me daily. Still, I insisted. I did not want to spend too much money on a new sofa and fell in love with this Ikea Ektorp 3-seat one. I picked it up with a friend yesterday morning (after having sold my old one Friday evening) and built the whole thing in less than 2 hours – by myself. It really isn’t hard. I remember 10 years ago, Ikea furniture often turned into an hour-long nightmare. This one was super easy, though, and the covers were put on super fast. What I love about it, is that you can change the covers often, wash them and it doesn’t take long to put them on. You can also buy new ones or choose a different color. Of course, I can’t speak from experience yet, but so far I love it! If you want, I am happy to share my thoughts in a couple of weeks/months, too. By the way – I got asked this several times – the white “&” pillows are one of my newest additions, and can be found in Manor (Zurich) for only CHF 15 each. They also have cases with different letters on them, so do check them out if you’re looking for something modern and fresh.

After spending a night in on my sofa yesterday (I really needed a calm night), I woke up only to have one of my favorite breakfasts on my new couch. I prepared a chia-pudding last night, added rasberries and topped it off with a peach! If you like, I’ll share my recipe with you – it really is a 5-minute act only.

Now I’ll go outside and enjoy the weather a little. It’s lovely sunny in Zurich and I thought I might go walk around a bit and explore nature!
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U.S. National Banana Bread Day

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Happy (U.S.) National Banana Bread Day guys! I seriously did not know that this day existed until, at the beginning of the year, I looked into what national food days there are to place some in my calendar – and I can assure you, there are numerous! But in all honesty, what better excuse does this day offer than baking a lovely banana cake and indulging in a piece or two for breakfast, combined with some fresh avocado spreading and – whilst we’re at the subject – a fresh banana (or any other fruit, really).

Since I am sucker for a good banana cake, I bake one at least once a month. It’s perfect for breakfast or for that afternoon tea or coffee for a snack on the side. Since I make these gluten- and lactose free, it is one of my favourite snacks I’m actually permitted to eat. I’ve previously shared my classic banana bread recipe here and also this delicious variation with chia seeds and berries here. What’s your favourite way to combine this tasteful piece of heaven?

With that, I wish you all a tasteful day! xo

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Banana Breakfast Muffins

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Hello lovelies! Another week has gone by like no other – and I almost feel like the weekends are going by even faster then they usually do? Nevertheless, I’ve had some productive days this past week, worked a lot ahead on my studies and am looking forward to my 2 week uni-vacation coming up in 2 weeks. Tonight is date-night, and I will (since the first time in forever) be watching a hockey-match live! I’m still a bit worried that I might freeze to death but I was told it’s really not bad in the new stadiums; so I’ll see how that goes. The weather on the other hand only invites for long lazy days in bed. We have a mixture of snow, rain, cloudy days, some sun and tomorrow the temperature is supposed to rise again (only to drop again Monday). It feels like April, which makes me sad that instead we still have quite a few weeks ahead of ourselves until summer hits. Looking at it from a positive note, it gives more time to get summer-ready!

Today I want to share a recipe for banana breakfast muffins I made earlier today. They are amazing (best when served warm, but easily re-heated in the oven or microwave) and will be perfect for my little brunch tomorrow. As always, the recipe is gluten- and lactosefree, and contains no sugar this time. The recipe will give you 8-11 muffins depending on the size.

What you need

1 ¾ cups gluten free flour
⅓ cup gluten free oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or one fresh vanilla)
1 teaspoon baking soda (gluten free)
3 medium sized bananas
¼ cup almond milk
½ cup agave syrup (or a little more if you want them sweet)
⅓ cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs

What to do

1) heat up the oven to 160°C and out your little muffin forms
2) peel the bananas and mash them with a fork until more or less saucy in consistency
3) add all other ingredients to the bananas in a large bowl and beat up everything until you have a smooth dough
4) carefully fill-up the muffin forms until all dough is used up
5) place the tray with your muffins into the pre-heated oven and let them bake for about 25-30 min.
6) after 25min, check whether the inside of the muffins are fully baked by sticking in a tooth-pick (if no dough sticks to it, they are done)

Voila, now you can

1) serve them whilst they are still warm either plain or with some fruit (or jam, nutella, etc – as you wish)
2) let them cool down for later
3) you can freeze them for up to 3 months (un-freeze using a microwave) or simply covered for about a week

As you can see, this is probably one of the easiest recipes for some nice banana muffins, takes literally no longer than 10 minutes (making the dough) and are delicious for both kids and adults!

With that, I wish you all a continuing wonderful weekend! xo

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Why and How to Stay Hydrated

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Water. You would think there is nothing special about it, yet, it is the one thing our bodies cannot live without. I admit, I barely used to drink water – yes, a glass here and there but I was a sucker for Coke Zero and all other “calorie free” soft drinks. Several months ago, I stopped all of it. I completely live off of water now (and the occasional alcohol, which I am not counting to satisfy my thirst).

Hydration is the most important thing, especially now that summer (in Zurich) is coming up and we already experienced our first heat wave. Over 70% of the world is covered in water, each organism needs it to survive, and we as humans, are basically made up of water. Everything we touch (except for plastic, maybe) needs water or has been produced using it. So here are a few tip to making sure that you always stay hydrated and why water is the best method to do so.

1) It’s cheap – literally, almost free. Depending on what country you live in and if you have access to fresh water from the tap – it barely costs a thing. Here in Switzerland I am fortunate enough to being able to drink tap water. Think about it: no more carrying pounds or kilos of soft drinks! If you’re not too sure about the tap water, there are quite cheap filters out there, which enable you to drink the tap water without any concerns.

2) It keeps you hunger in limits. You have probably heard and read it often enough, but I try and remind myself daily. It’s usually that time between my main meals when suddenly, out of no where, my stomach starts to grumble. I used to think I was hungy – again! How wrong I was, often times, if not almost always, the body will scream for hydration and unfortunately we often interpret it with us being hungry. So the next time your stomach grumbles and you seem confused because you should still be full – drink, drink drink! It will work wonders.

3) Always have water with you. This is probably the most important thing, especially now in summer. How often have I run errands in the city or elsewhere, suddenly super thirsty and grabbing a cool, chill Coke. Well, not the healthiest choice and really not the best drink to hydrate the body. Instead, make sure to always carry a small water bottle with you. The only time you might not be able to, is when you go out clubbing.

4) Speaking of clubbing – do not forget to drink a glass of water or even two, when having alcoholic drinks. I always make sure to ask the bartender to hand me a glass of tap water with my drinks for me to get enough water. Another plus point – the alcohol doesn’t get to you as fast and you drink a little less of it. Most importantly though, drink lots of water when returning home. I try to drink half a liter of water before jumping into bed – it really helps avoiding that possible hangover.

5) Make it tasty! I always hear (and was the same) that water is boring, plain, tastless,.. you name it! Okay, I’ve gotten to the point were I am “used” to it and really don’t mind the missing taste. If you think about it, it’s rather great because you don’t feel the urge and need to put more sweets into your mouth. Yet, tasty water is always great in summer. Try adding fruit or vegetables to your water – fruit infused water, it seems to be the IT thing to do at the moment. And of course, I admit to doing it daily too. I especially love adding the combination on my photos: lime, cucumber and mint. It is an amazing combination and the mint really comes out great (make sure to hold the mint in your hands and clap your hands to “slap” the leaves – it brings out the flavor so well!).

Now, I hope these few tips helped you if you don’t already indulge in your daily 1.5-3 liters of water. I don’t really count on how much I drink, yet always try to re-fill up my 0.5L bottle at least 2 times a day (making it 1.5L) – now in the summer I usually fill it up 3-4 times even.

What’s your favorite water-combo, do you have one? Let me know and I’ll make sure to try it out! xo

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Rolling out of Easter

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Good morning lovelies! Easter has come so quickly and left even faster – can you believe it? I spent a lovely, lazy, long weekend here at my place in Zurich with the family. This year we decided not to go all crazy on chocolate (eggs), since every year we either complain that a) we ate too many :) or b) we throw them all away because no one really wants them. Instead, my mom and I tried out lots of different recipes for dinners and lunches and I went a little crazy in the beginning with my ‘healthy’ baking. The only annoying part was (and still is) my right wrist, which is still in a cast. I’ve stopped taking painkillers Sunday evening, and since I started working again yesterday, I’ve had some quite uncomfortable times with it – luckily I’ll get it off next Tuesday (crossing fingers that it won’t be swollen anymore then!).

Other than all the great food, I’ve absolutely enjoyed having the family over. In fact, it was the first time they came to my place – since my previous places were all too tiny (student-room sizes). I might have overdone it with my little white porcelain bunnies all over the living room – but hey, at least I admit to it! :) The weather has been awful last week though, and I felt so bad for my mother, sister and dog, as they always have bad luck with it here. It did turn quite nice though on Sunday and now it seems Spring is definitely on it’s way – or at least, let’s cross fingers that it won’t turn its back on us again! Now that everyone is gone again and I am back to routine, my food schedule should get back to normal again. Although we cooked more or less healthy only, I have the feeling I’m rolling off my bed now! ;( So now it’s back to doing some exercises in the morning and having my routinely 3 meals a day.

And now that it’s Thursday already, it’s only 2 more days till Friday! Can you believe it? I have another long weekend coming up (public holiday in Zurich on Monday) – so I am really looking forward to it; making it easier to get back into the routine! Wishing you all a great day, xo.

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