Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Third Culture Kid

I was born in Berlin, moved to New Orleans, USA when I was 15 months old for a little over a year, then back to Berlin, then to Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania when I was almost 5 for 5 Years, then back to Berlin for 5 years, then to Copenhagen, Denmark for 6 months, then back to Berlin for 6 months, then back to Copenhagen for 4 Years, then to Vancouver, Canada for 5 Years and now am in Berlin for the past 4.5 Years. Pffffftttttsssssttttttttttt. 

I had a patient the other day who came from Turkey but lived here (Berlin) for the past 30 years. In the first minute of me being at his bedside he said I was "such a typical German woman" without me even saying more than 10 words to him! 
I felt under attack and offended. It might have been the accusatory tone in which he was throwing the words at me but it was also a part of me feeling shoved in a box. 
Do I have to justify myself of being who I am and how I am according to my culture? It was so weird! I haven't experienced this in a long time. Yes, I believe you grow up in a place and are taught how to behave and what is acceptable and what is not- by strangers, by your parents, by teachers, by society etc.
I have never blamed my personality on a Country. I have blamed parts of my personality on my parents many a time though and they have been brought up in this Country... Mh. I guess that makes me part of this Culture.
But is it also my only Culture? Isn't the Culture you live in and love, your Culture? Can't you just "make" your Culture? 
Je suis Confus├ęd.

I am who I am, yes also very German in parts because I have German parents and lived in Germany growing up but guess what dude, I love to dance! Is that because I grew up in Tanzania and the Culture loves to dance? Or is that because I just happen to like to move my bootaaayyyyy?!
I blame his behaviour on prejudice. Screw prejudice! 

Here are some fun little quotes about Third Culture Kids I found:

- You know how to pack.
- You fried a number of appliances during the learning process.
- You get homesick reading National Geographic.
- You think in the metric system and Celsius.

- You have the urge to move to a new country every couple of years.
- You sort your friends by continent.
- You have a time zone map next to your telephone.
- You realise what a small world it is, after all. 

- The end of a school year was always bittersweet because so many moved away.
- You can speak two languages fluently but can't spell in either.
- You know better than anyone else that "home" isn't a place, it's the people in it.
- And no matter how many you say, good-byes never get easier.
- But the constant flow of new friends more than made up for it.

I love all different types of cultures and am always happy to learn about different ways to live, laugh and sing, so I say, let's stuff prejudice in the trash!

Have a great weekend- from one cultural homeless child (well... child still at heart) :D

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The other day I have come to realise that I have made a big shift in the way that I eat. It's been a long process so it hasn't felt crazy to me. Some people might call it crazy but I just call it mindful eating. I eat anything that I want, no restrictions. Yes, some might think that eating no meat and no crazy greasy fried stuff is restricted. BUT, it isn't to me, see, I eat any vegetable, any fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, some milk products, some crazy stuff I would've never dreamt about and condiments (mustard, tamari sauce, maple syrup and so forth) etc. You get the point? Uhm. Yessmm!

I never liked the energy-depleting feeling after that bacon, egg, sausage, fries with a side of pancakes and maybe some french toast for breakfast or that Alfredo pasta dinner... You?

I've had awakenings over the past two years that were so mind blowing to me that I felt 'how could I have not realised this earlier!?' but that's how it always goes, right! Once you've made that shift (with whatever you are pondering about) and the coin just drops you think, duhrrr. THIS IS IT!
That's how I feel! I still eat lots of sweet stuff, because those of you who know me, I have a SERIOUS sweet tooth! I just substitute all the bad stuff for the good stuff (i.e. sugar- maple syrup. White flour- Whole wheat flour/ Rice flour and so forth). I don't feel deprived in any form whatsoever. The opposite actually has happened. Being on this health-kick journey has opened up my mind and excitement more than I could have eveeeeerrrr hoped for. 

I made some Waffles this morning. Sunday! Funday! Waffle Breakfast! It was delicious! it was healthy! and most of all I feel full of energy! and don't want to crawl back into bed! (yes I am yelling at you but with a happy face aaaand maybe a flopsy dance in between. flopflopflop.

So, come oooon, give it a shot! You won't regret it, I promise! YAHOOOO! 
Happy Sunday everybody!


1.5 Cups Milk (I used soy but rice or almond or whatever you wish would be fine too)
1.5 Cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp Oil (I used coconut Oil)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (you can get this at your nearest health food store. You could also use flaxseeds or an egg)
1-2 Tbsp Maple syrup
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Note: You could also add spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg etc

What to do:
- Turn on your waffle iron on low to medium heat (too high will make them burn and stick to the waffle iron)
- blend oats for 30 sec in a blender
- add the rest of the ingredients and blend for 2-3 minutes
- add a good amount of oil onto the waffle iron when it is ready
- add a dollop of batter
- wait and wait some more until its cooked, then
- store on a plate covered with a fresh dish towel while making the rest!

I drizzled almond butter, maple syrup, bananas and apples over mine. You could always add coconut flakes, berries, bee pollen, whatever your heart desires!

ps. I'm sure you could also use a sandwich press if you don't have a waffle iron!

Guten Appetit!

(-thanks to

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Need a lil motivation?

When I was growing up I was pushed to be physically active by my dad. He taught me how to windsurf at the age of 5 and even though I didn't want to go windsurfing every saturday and sunday- I had to. He used to say get over your inner 'schweinehund' and you'll be thankful for it later. To translate, its your inner 'pig-dog' which is that lazy voice in your head that tells you not to do things. In other words, 'get over yourself'. I really hated that sentence and the fact that I had to go surfing for a few hours each weekend but it was always an absolute blast after those first 5-10 minutes. 
These type of lessons have helped me so much in my adult life. 

Exercise is proven to help maintain good health! gain good health! and provide overall well being! 

Also: it prevents osteoporosis, it helps regulate blood sugar, it regulates blood pressure, relieves constipation, relieves stress, makes you look better, increases blood circulation, strengthens your heart, increases libido, helps with your mood swings- doing light to medium cardiovascular exercise for 30min a day has been proven to have the same affects as the so called happy-pills people suffering from depression take. How amazing is that! And I've only listed a few of the benefits exercising has. 

I believe most of all, exercise makes me feel good. I have never, not once, regretted a workout, have you? 
When it comes to motivation regarding exercise and healthy eating I find that a lot of people struggle. They say things like ' Yeah, I really got to start exercising again, I am so out of shape' or things like 'I've got to start eating a little healthier' or others might say 'Come monday, I'm on a diet. No more sugary things for me' etc. But then nothing happens...

I used to think along those lines before I figured out what exercising means to me. I feel good when I exercise and that was the reason for me to start exercising on a regular basis. I have more energy afterwards, I feel emotionally balanced and I give my mind a bit of a break, so I feel almost like I just really woke up. 

Exercise is truly amazing and can transform your life for the muuuuch better. I recommend a daily dose of exercise (even if its stretching for 20 mins) for the rest of your life

Here are some tips to maintaining an exercise routine:

1. Start slow. You might feel a great sense of motivation for your first workout back on track but instead of something like going for an intense 5km run, go for an easy jog and slowly build up over the next month or so. There is no point in severe muscle soreness, it just makes you not want to go for another run in a few days. 
(Muscle soreness is not something to strive for actually, it's a sign that you over worked yourself and need a longer resting period to recover. Where as feeling your muscles is something to work towards. The difference? If you feel sore- as in walk as if you have a stick up your butt. TOO much. If you are sore as in walking and feeling a slight tug at your muscles- thats ok.)

2. Try lots of different forms of exercise, i.e.  classes, team sports, swimming, dance etc. Find something that you actually enjoy doing. Have FUN. Its not something you should be doing out of guilt or thought. It is something you should be doing because you want to be doing it. (Next time you are around children have a look at how much they move! They don't move because they think they should be moving, they move because their bodies want to move!)

3. Find true motivation. Help yourself with figuring out what you need, is it a workout partner? Is it a set schedule? Maybe a class? Maybe pictures on the internet of people exercising or even pictures of you exercising? Maybe some cool work out clothes? New shoes? Maybe feeling that fire inside during a workout?

4. Eat well. Exercising alone will not give you the energy and success you are striving for, if you don't put in good healthy nutrients to fuel your body, how will you have the energy to move? (tip: Try eating a banana with a tbsp of almond butter or peanut butter 30 mins before exercising).

5. Motivation that should work any time: See how you feel after a really good workout and really soak that feeling in- make sure you take a moment afterwards and realise how that feels. And the next time you have doubts if you should go walk around the block or not remember that feeling you had after the last time you exercised. 

Now be careful of the people around you who are envious of your new found motivation, they might want to bring you back down by saying things like 'you are exercising AGAIN?' 'You are craaazy for doing so much.' 'I cant believe you are so active. It's insane'. 
Remember, you are listening to yourself and what you need and want to feel good.

In my papas words: Get over yourself - you'll thank yourself later!!!