Vegan and sustainable winter coat

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Last year I watched “The true cost”, a documentary about the true impact of todays fashion industry and it has changed my way of looking at my own shopping behavior not just when it comes to fashion but when it comes to buying and owning things altogether. But I’m not going to dig into this too much now, maybe this’ll be a topic for another blog post.

What I want to talk about today is one purchases I made last year.

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I have barely been buying any clothing during the second half of 2016 but by October I was in desperate need of a new winter coat because my old one that I had been wearing for the past 5 winters was about to fall apart and winter was approaching fast.

If you’ve ever looked into buying a vegan winter coat that is warm, possibly even fair produced and sustainable and affordable at the same time, you know what I’m talking about when I say I got frustrated really quickly.

I am not much of an online shopper, especially not when it comes to clothing. I want to see, touch and try on things I buy but since I wasn’t able to find anything that suited my requirements even slightly in my city I ended up looking for coats online after all.

And that’s when I stumbled across HoodLamb a company from the Netherlands that is producing outerwear made out of hemp.

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Hemp is the strongest natural fiber on earth and it is also way more sustainable than for example cotton. (source: http://blog.hanfinstitut.at/vorteile-von-hanf/ as of Feb 10th, 2017)

Here is what HoodLamb is writing about their production values on their website:

“HoodLamb garments are sewn in a few factories handpicked by us for their quality standards, excellent working conditions, and outstanding production and research facilities. Most of these facilities are family owned and HoodLamb is proud to use their centuries old wisdom, expertise, and craftsmanship to create our collection.

To ensure the consistent quality of HoodLamb garments and working conditions, our team makes annual visits to the hemp fields, mills and factories where HoodLamb’s raw materials and garments are grown, harvested, and sewn.”

(source: http://www.hoodlamb.com/pages/our-production-1 as of Feb 10th, 2017)

When I was looking at their coats I instantly fell in love with the design and how cozy they looked but looking at the prizes I was put off again. Spending over 300 € on a coat just wasn’t what I considered appropriate at that moment. Especially not since I have never actually seen and tried it on in real life.

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When I was in Munich at the beginning of November I was strolling through town and ended up at DearGoods, my favorite store with all vegan, fair and sustainable clothing. And there it was the HoodLamb Parka I’ve been looking at online a couple of times already. I looked at it closely, touched it (the faux fur that’s all over the inner layer of the jacket is soooo soft and it is made from recycled plastic bottles, isn’t that crazy?) and tried it on and it was 100% exactly what I was looking for. So I made the investment and got it.

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You can feel that the quality is extremely good, the coat is super heavy, super cozy and very warm. I’ve been wearing it practically every day since I got it and have not once regretted making the splurge.

If you are still looking for a vegan coat I can highly recommend checking out HoodLamb. Coming from fast fashion the prizes may seem high at the beginning but I can tell you it’s worth spending the extra money. You will get a high quality product that you will probably be able to wear for many, many years. You don’t have to feel bad about it because no animals or people were harmed in the process of making it and you are also making an environmentally friendly choice.

Never forget you are always voting with your dollar!

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Please note that this post has not been sponsored in any way. In fact HoodLamb doesn’t even know anything about me owning, loving or writing about this coat.

Chocolate pancakes

I love Sundays, I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before.
To me Sundays are all about sleeping in, spending hours in bed even after waking up and having a decadent breakfast once I actually manage to get out of bed.
Most Sundays, my treat of choice are pancakes they are so easy to make and are super versatile. I love experimenting with different flavor combinations in my pancakes and this time I wanted something super chocolaty.

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Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 – 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • pinch of baking soda

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • almond milk

 

Instructions:

  1. Put the oats into a blender and grind them until you have oat flour. For these I blended it quite long to get a rather fine flour.
  2. Add in the banana, the cacao powder (if you don’t like your pancakes to have a tart chocolate flavor I’d recommend you using only 1 – 1.5 tbsp but I like them quite tart so I used 2 tbsp), almond milk and a pinch of baking soda.
  3. Blend everything nicely and let it sit for about 10 minutes to thicken up a little.
  4. Meanwhile heat up your non.stick pan to low heat.
  5. Once it’s hot spoon in your batter, I used 2 tbs per pancake and wait for bubbles to appear. When the surface of your pancakes has some bubbles and the edges got darker it’s time to flip them and let them bake for a few more minutes.
  6. If you are able to multi task you can now start making your chocolate sauce by simply adding the cacao and the agave in a small bowl and slowly adding sips of almond milk. Whisk it and add more almond milk until you achieved your desired consistency.
  7. Once all the pancakes are done top them with your chocolate sauce and any other toppings you’d like and enjoy!

Basic granola recipe (oil-free & sugar-free)

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Anyone else as obsessed with granola as I am?

I wasn’t able to go a day without granola for the last couple of weeks. It makes a perfect addition to my breakfast oatmeals and smoothie bowls and it’s also perfect as a study snack or dessert with some fruit.

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If there was a vitamin granola I would definitely not be deficient in that one.

Since I made quite a few batches of that stuff lately I have figured out my personal favorite basic recipe that I make some additions to here and there depending on what flavors I feel like that day.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup raisins/cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F).
  2. Chop up the cashews, almonds and dates.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. (At this point you might want to add any other additions. I also love to add some pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, cacao nibs,…)
  4. In a smaller bowl stir together the wet ingredients.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and and mix until everything is well combined.
  6. Spread your mixture and a baking sheet on your baking tray and bake for about 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. I would recommend to open the oven every 10 minutes to let out the steam and also stir your mixture a bit so it gets nice and crumbly.
  8. Let it cool down completely before you can store it in an airtight container.
  9. Enjoy!

26 things I am grateful for…

Another year has passed. It’s really true what they say the older you get the faster time passes.

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It’s my 26th birthday today and instead of partying (which I have actually never had a really big party for my birthday because I hate being the center of attention and I hate partying) I am taking some time for myself to just be mindful.

I always like to take some time on my birthdays and reflect on what has happened during the last year and today I thought I’d make a list of 26 things from the past years that I am grateful for.

  1. Being healthy: It’s the most important and most obvious one for sure.
  2. Being happy: I can truly say that it has been a year filled with mostly happiness for me.
  3. My parents: For helping me with yet another move and supporting my decisions. And obviously so many more things!
  4. Quitting my job: That was probably one of the toughest decisions of my life so far because I really liked my job but it just wasn’t where I wanted to be longterm.
  5. Starting to study Online-Media-Management: Even though it’s stressful with exams coming up at the moment I think it was the right decision because it connects so many  of my passions.
  6. Still having my grandparents around: It’s definitely not a given to still have your grandparents alive and quite healthy at 26 and I’m really happy about it even though I barely see them anymore.
  7. Starting to practice yoga: By now it’s probably been a year since I really started doing yoga more frequently and it is amazing. It keeps me grounded and really helps de-stressing my body and my mind.
  8. My body: It does all this amazing things like breathing and pumping blood though my veins and it keeps me going every single day.
  9. All the traveling I’ve done: I started the year out in Tyrol with lovely friends which was awesome, then I met up with some old friends in Berlin in February, spent an amazing week in London with my sister in March, in the summer went on a trip to Hamburg, Stockholm and Berlin again to visit lovely people, afterwards I went on two weekend getaways to Tyrol with wonderful friends and lastly in September I traveled to Mallorca with my lovely friend Nina. I also spent quite a few times in Munich since I moved away but I count that as going home and not traveling.
  10. Munich: As I was just speaking of Munich, it has to be on this list. I didn’t realize just how grateful I am for Munich until I moved away.
  11. Being vegan: This was the first full year that I have been entirely vegan and it has been the best choice of my life so far (not an exaggeration). I have never felt so good, happy, calm and in peace with myself and the world around me ever before.
  12. New friends: I have met some wonderful people throughout the past year that I can now call really close friends.
  13. Old friends: Nevertheless I’m grateful for all my old friends that have stuck with me all throughout the year.
  14. Kind people: I am truly grateful for every person that has been kind to me and all the other people around them!
  15. Peace: I think this year was the year that I truly realized just how privileged I am for living in a part of the world where there is no war going on.
  16. Summer: Oh and what a summer it was! I had so many great days this summer out and about with friends. Picknicks, swims in the lake, late night strolls through Munich,…
  17. Finding a new passion: I have really gotten into Instagram over the last year and it’s become a great passion of mine.
  18. Starting this blog: I have been thinking about starting a blog for years now and I never really knew what it should be about. And to be honest I still don’t know and I’m not really consistent with posting yet. But at least I started and I can go on from there.
  19. Food: I love food and everything that comes with it. Cooking, decorating, going out to eat with friends. I just love food.
  20. Nature: I’ve spent so many wonderful moments in nature this year.
  21. Getting into minimalism: I am by far not a minimalist. But I started going into the direction of leading a more minimalistic life and it’s made me realize that I don’t need most of my stuff and that I can be happy with just a few things.
  22. Books: They are there whenever I feel like I just need to escape reality for a little while.
  23. Music: For always being there as well and playing the perfect soundtrack for this life.
  24. Sleep: You know sleep and I we’re having some trouble from time to time. There have been consecutive weeks where I only got 3-5 hours of sleep per night because I’ve had trouble falling asleep. But it got so much better over the past few month. I still suffer from insomnia from time to time but that’s okay because I can appreciate the nights where I have a good night sleep even more.
  25. Dreaming big: I started dreaming big this year. I’ve set up dreams and turned them into goals. And I’m working towards them every day.
  26. YOU: The people who are reading this and also bare with me on Instagram day in and day out. You are awesome!

There we go: Happy Birthday to myself! 

Fluffy pancakes with chocolate sauce

Sundays are there for decadent breakfasts, right?

I love treating myself to something extra special on Sundays because during the week I don’t have enough time to go all out on preparing my breakfasts extra fancy, I usually end up with a bowl of oatmeal topped with some fruit. And even though I love my oatmeals I’m looking forward to a little bit of a change on the weekends.

There are a billion and one options to prepare vegan pancakes. There are actually so many recipes that I could make pancakes every day of the week and I still wouldn’t be able to try them all.

But as you might or might not know already I’m really bad at sticking to recipes anyways so I have been experimenting with a few different recipes and today I’m going to share my go to version of an easy and quick pancake batter and a healthy chocolate sauce to make them extra decadent.

And they’re even quite healthy using just whole-grain spelt flour, no processed sugar and no oil.

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Here’s how to set yourself up for a wonderful Sunday morning.

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

  • 1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbs apple sauce
  • 1 tbs cinnamon

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 3 dates (preferably soaked for a few hours)
  • 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs psyllium husk
  • splash of water (I used around 5 tbs)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the pancake batter. I used my NutriBullet but any blender or even just a bowl and a fork will do.
  2. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken up a little.
  3. While you’re waiting for your batter to thicken you can prepare your chocolate sauce. Simply add everything into your blender and blend. The sauce should be pretty runny at first, but it will thicken up due to the psyllium husk.
  4. Heat up your non-stick pan to medium-low heat. If you’re not using a non-stick pan you might wanna add some coconut oil (or any other heat resistant oil).
  5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of batter into your hot pan for one pancake and flip when bubbles appear in the middle and the edges turn slightly darker.
  6. Continue with the rest of the batter.
  7. Top off your pancakes with the now thickened chocolate sauce an whatever toppings you prefer. I used hazelnuts, cranberries and popped quinoa for mine.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Why wait until New Year’s?

It’s 7am and I’m sitting on a bus to Stuttgart. I’m going to look for an apartment there because as I already mentioned in a previous post I’m taking my life into my own hands and I’m following my dreams. One of which is going back to university. And that also means I’m going to move. To Stuttgart. And attending a school specialized in media there.

Which means big change is just around the corner. And that being said I thought I’d like to change a few other things as well or better yet make some resolutions, set some new goals.  I could just wait until New Year’s with it but to be honest I was never a fan of New Year’s resolutions. People are setting their goals way to high, usually they aren’t making any plans to actually achieve what they’re striving for and a few weeks later they forget about them altogether.

I’m usually just setting new goals whenever they come up, but sometimes I need a little push to actually form new resolutions and start working towards them. So this moment right here is my New Year’s. And I encourage you to think about if there’s something you want to achieve and celebrate New Year’s with me right now.

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My goals/resolutions:

  1. Working on friendships
    Moving to another city where I actually don’t know anyone I obviously want to make new friendships, be open minded and just wait for what kind of interesting people I will meet but this really hasn’t been a problem for me in the past few years. (Although I found this very hard when I was younger because I used to be extremely shy.) However with all the new friendships coming my way I want to work on keeping my current friendships intact. I’ve built up some great friendships over the last few years and I really don’t want them to go to waste. So I’m planning on taking quite a few trips to pay my friends some visits every now and then.
    But I’ve also been holding onto some toxic friendships and I’m trying to use this cut in my life to let go of them.
  2. Traveling
    This one kind of goes hand in hand with the first one because visiting friends means I’ll be traveling a lot. But I really want to travel as much as possible. And traveling really isn’t just going on a crazy 48h flight to Australia. It could be taking the bus to visit a city close to you even just for a day. Exploring always comes with new experiences, new people, new inspiration and it always gives me pleasure. I want to hop on every possibility that I get to go to new places.
  3. Improving my Spanish
    I’ve been attending a Spanish course once a week for the past two years and I’d say that by now my Spanish is sufficient enough to have some light small talk and have a decent written conversation (my written Spanish is 10x better than my actual speaking skills). And I really want to keep studying and improving because I love the language and I want to be able to really engage with Spanish speaking people one day. This is also where traveling is going to come in because what better way to learn a language than to actually go to a country where it’s spoken and just talk to people?
  4. Staying ahead of my tasks
    The last few years this was quite easy to do because I had specific due dates at work and I’ve just had to work with them. Now with really only the dates of my exams at the end of each semester it’s quite easy to just let my tasks slide all semester and be overwhelmed by a huge load of work right before the exams. I’ve been there and I know that I have quite a huge procrastination gene sitting inside of me. But I’ll really try to get shit done early on this time.

 

That’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll think of more things later on but it’s never a good idea to load your plate with to many goals to work on, right?
Maybe I can make this into a recurring thing where I post updates on how I’m progressing with my goals and what new goals I’ve set every few weeks/month? Let me know if you’d be interested in that.

What are your resolutions/goals at the moment?

 

Apricot-Oat-Cookies

Ever since I went vegan I’m really on top of my food game. I’m always prepared for any occasion where I might need food.

Especially when it comes to work. I bring my breakfast and lunch to work every day and make my colleagues pretty jealous with it as well. When they’re eating their Asian take -out for the third time in a row and I pop out my box of vegan Chili with rice and “cheese” sauce everyone keeps envying my food.

I also started to bring self-made snacks which I’m kind enough to share with my co-workers as well. Unfortunately then they usually only last for one day.

This is what happened with these apricot-oat-cookies as well. They were gone in an instant. So I had to make them again and again…

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Maybe you want to treat your co-workers, friends, class mates, family or anyone else as well. Just prepare these super easy cookies and trust me people around you will be happy. 😉

And if you just want to enjoy them all by yourself, they also make for a great and easy breakfast to go if you prepare them in advance. You can store them in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
  • 3 apricots
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 3 tbs apple sauce
  • vanilla to taste

Instructions:

  1. Chop up your apricots.
  2. Mash up the banana.
  3. Simply mix everything together in a bowl.
  4. Form about 9 cookies and put them on your backing tray.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned at 180°C.
  6. Share or enjoy all by yourself!