Not a food blog

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Other

Today I want to reach out to those who came here because they thought Munching on a Dream was a food blog. It is really more than that!

not-a-food-blog

I like food and I have posted many food related posts. Nevertheless, I do not consider this blog as a food blog! Since the beginning, which is already 2.5 years ago, helping and inspiring people to shift to a (more) vegan diet has been one of my aims, however, I always considered other themes as equally important.

Next to veganism, I wanted to promote other forms or aspects of sustainability. The Dream in the name Munching on a Dream was always meant as something to strive for, an ideal world. (The Munching part was a reference to eating food, but also on considering ideas and working them out, while thoughtfully or mindfully nibbling on your food. So yeah, the Dream could also just be delicious food.)

Now, my sustainability interest has evolved into an enormous interest in ‘spirituality’ or ‘personal growth’. The theme of connecting with others through being vulnerable has already had quite some attention and blog posts here, but I am diving deeper. I now more than ever feel the need to be with myself as I am, and to allow others to do the same. We can do this through building and strengthening the sense of community among people, to allow everyone to feel supported.

As usual, I don’t know where I am heading. Most important is that I am moving and that it feels good. It does not always feel good, because actually it is pretty hard work, but I sense that it is good. At the moment I cannot tell whether my head is empty or full, but I am at peace.

I hope you are still with me. Let us support each other and grow together!

Today I figured that the word femininspiration might be a thing. When I tried, I found a Pinterest page filled with quotes like these: ‘we rise by lifting others’, ‘be the woman you needed as a girl’ and ‘behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back’. These may be somewhat cliché, but they are so true. I realised recently that I experience a lack of true (female) role models. At least, I have had a difficult time finding them!

So, let’s own ourselves and be the role models we and others need or needed in the past! I am trying to live up to these words, one moment and one step at a time.

To conclude: this blog is not a food blog, it’s more of a spiritual growth & support blog.

And to come back to the sustainability part of the story:

spiritual-crisis

“Climate change is a spiritual crisis.”

Let’s work on our world problems through working on ourselves and helping each other doing so too! I don’t mean to say that this is all we can do, but I am convinced that doing this work is needed to come to a truly sustainable way of living with all human beings. And it’s more fun too!

Have a good journey!

With love,
nina

Blueberry pie & People’s Climate March

The Feminine uncovered

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Insights

Something really powerful is happening: women all over the world are empowering themselves and others through reconnecting with the feminine. It appears that for way too long we have been living in societies dominated by the masculine. Masculinity is generally regarded as more powerful than femininity and its power has brought us to where we are today, but to grow further we need to embrace the feminine and reclaim our feminine power.

My interested in femininity got renewed after reading and hearing about the ongoing developments. This is a movement I would want to be part of! However, first I’d have to connect to the feminine myself… What is femininity really? And how does it relate to female, and to masculine and male?

The search

In my search, last December I suggested to a feminism discussion group to discuss a theme related to it: sexuality, femininity and masculinity, to which extent we identify with our sex and gender and which role this plays in society. A few weeks later I found myself hosting the very discussion. Most of all, I was hoping to get loads of interesting input from the group, for it to be a fruitful discussion of which we could all learn.

First, I set out to get clarity about the terms male, female, masculinity and femininity. I assumed we’d be on a similar page, or that we could work it out quickly, but it wasn’t easy! The discussion never really headed to where I intended it to go, because it kept being stuck here in the conceptualisation stage. For clarity and fun, we constructed lists of qualities we thought fit masculine and feminine. Sadly, they were really messy. After playing, the conclusion from the group was: ‘This is bullshit, this is what lives in our society but it’s not true. There’s no such thing as masculine (male) or feminine (female) qualities.’ (The terms masculine and male, as well as feminine and female, kept being mixed up throughout the discussion.)

Then I asked the group: ‘So if this is your conclusion, does that mean that you do not identify with being either male or female?’ Eyes widened by surprise. Things were about to get more interesting! And that’s exactly when we were asked to leave the café, because it was closing. We drifted apart.

I was disappointed by how the discussion went, but it also illustrated that it is indeed a tough subject to talk about! For most people it is not clear what these terms are supposed to mean. Is there even a clear definition? Is it possible to define?

The understanding

My search didn’t end here. I browsed some books about related themes and I have been following a few websites, etcetera. And now, finally, I found an awesome illustration of what the difference between the feminine and the masculine. I am thrilled to pour at least some of it into this blog post, hoping to make it more clear for myself and others and to keep the conversation and movement going and growing.

In my understanding femininity and masculinity are energies. We all have both in us, but in varying ratios. Most females have more femininity than masculinity, and most males have it the other way around. I find it plausible for these energies to be at play when selecting a partner: we seek a partner whose energies complement our own. However, these energies are not static; they flow. There’s an ever-changing flow of energies.

Illustrated by Claire Zammit

Before, I listened to a podcast by Claire Zammit, co-creator of the Feminine Power training courses which have helped hundreds of thousands of women to get empowered. She talked about the feminine in a way I hadn’t heard before. Read More

Space invader #1: the first insights

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Featured / Insights

Until not long ago I had never considered ‘taking up space’ as a thing. Since I do, I have started to see it in everything. I have found it to be an incredibly useful concept in my personal development! Here I will share my story, including the first new insights and developments.

Throughout my youth I seem to have conditioned myself to adapt quite actively to my surroundings. I would examine, partly unconsciously, situations carefully and adapt to them. As we know, situations often involve other people doing all kinds of things.

Soft-spoken

We examine other people in terms of their looks, whether they’re nice or not, whether we suspect to have things in common, and in my case: whether they’re loud or not. I had come to think that loudness was an important factor for me to get along easily with someone or not; generally I would click better with more soft-spoken people than with loud people. That rule of thumb worked quite well. Using this and other things I managed to surround myself with mainly soft-spoken people, people among whom I didn’t have to be loud myself to be heard and recognised.

So it worked to some extent, but it remained difficult for me to feel at ease. Of course we cannot always control which people are with us, so trying to do this is not the ultimate solution. I regularly got overwhelmed by difficult situations and most of all I didn’t quite understand why I found them difficult. What was wrong with me socially?

I talked rather fast so not to bother the other. I did not want to take up too much time.

Recently a friend told me that she noticed that I talked very fast. We agreed that I did that because I didn’t want to take up much time, for efficiency reasons and to not bother the other too much with my many details. Why did I not want to take up this time? The other could enjoy listening, right? My contributions are valuable, I let others speak as well and I listen carefully, so there’s nothing ‘annoying’ about my behaviour. So why would I not feel comfortable talking?

Taking up too little space

She introduced the concept of ‘taking up space’ to me. I am so thankful that she did, because using it has already brought me a lot.

I would adapt to how much space was left. If it’s a little, I would make myself small so not to disturb others.

Now, I found that I am accustomed to take up very little space. I wrote before that I would examine the situation and adapt to it. In terms of space this translates to: I would examine how much space the other people were taking up and how much was left for me to use. Then, I would adapt to how much space was left. Is it a lot? I could move freely. Is it a little? I would make myself small and uncomfortable, so not to disturb the others.

I see this really clearly now. I have always lived in houses with shared living rooms and kitchens, with loads of house mates with unpredictable behaviour. This behaviour included bringing more people to the house, whenever. And people take up space. Some people would take up more than others, and over all it was pretty unpredictable how much space would be taken up by the people that would be present in the room.

This living situation resulted in me adapting to changing situations all the time. The fact that it was so unpredictable whenever such a change would happen, lead me to be alert and uncomfortable a lot, often already anticipating people to come in and invade the space I was using.

Now, you can imagine that changing to living together with (only) my boyfriend is a great relief for me. Read More

Excitement

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Other

In this moment I am excited! I am grateful for and thrilled about the opportunities in life. We are lucky to experience as we do. We get to go out in the world, to explore. Let’s make the most of it and do it together!

Relating to the present and to others

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Food / Other

Hi peepz,

How are you doing? 🙂

I am going through some rather difficult circumstances these days. I do regard them as learning opportunities, nevertheless I’m still having the regular ups and downs.

But that’s how it goes! Unless you truly decide to quit suffering and act on it. The whole practice is to accept what is and don’t cling to anything, to have a good relationship with what is in this moment. Then you’ll feel inner peace, whatever happens. I learnt from Eckhart Tolle this weekend, through this video. It was really good to listen to while preparing dinner. He is such a wonderful person and good teacher.

I am exploring what I want and need in my life, what costs energy and what brings energy. I feel this deep need for connection, and for harmony. I am thinking of ways for myself and others to start feeling more connected, and of what my contribution will be.

Do you have any thoughts on this? On how to feel more connected?

My mantra on this blog has been that we can connect through showing our insecurities, through being open about our feelings and our needs without judging ourselves and others (non-violent communication style). I still believe this, however, I think it’s also time for me to think and talk less and to feel, connect and act more. So now I am searching for ways to realise this in my life and in my relationships with others.

What do you find important in relationships? Do you actively shape your relationships and contact moments in ways that are beneficial or satisfying to you? I’d love to get some input! If you have ideas or references, they’re very welcome. I myself was inspired by the term ‘power partners’, which was used by Claire Zammit in a webinar of Feminine Power when talking briefly about the importance of support (this may be the same or similar audio recording). How would a power partnership be? What forms can it have? What can it bring me?

Talking about relationships: my favourite relationship is the one with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for two years now! It’s great. We have already been through quite some stuff and had many learning opportunities, followed by many lessons and insights. Hell yeah.

We celebrated that and the newly available soy quark of Alpro Soya by having a vegan Oreo cheesecake! I was thrilled since most vegan cheesecake recipes contain cashews which I cannot eat for allergy reasons. So yay for nut-free vegan cheesecake! Due to a lack of recipes I improvised using agar agar and cornstarch for more firmness (and soy milk, water, lime juice, vanilla essence, agave syrup, Oreo cookies – for the filling only). We both really love it!

Oreo-cheesecake880

Oreo cheesecake with soy quark (no nuts!)

And I made more food pics and here they are, including some older ones which were never in a blog post before (but already in the food gallery).

Have a good weekend!

Simply kohlrabi winter side

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Food

koolrabi-winterpostelein

This is an awesome winter salad of kohlrabi (koolrabi) and winter purslane (winterpostelein), topped with mustard vinaigrette and sunflower seeds. The distinct tastes of kohlrabi and mustard go very well together, and it’s even better with some fresh leaves in the mix. The seeds add some more variation in texture.

I love how the salad looks so peaceful.

And kohlrabi is such a cool veggie: it looks like it could be from out of space.

Peace out.

kohlrabi-74276_400face

Image: Pixabay, face added

Cliteracy by Sophia Wallace

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Art / Illustration

Artist Sophia Wallace aims to improve the role female pleasure organs have in our cultures and our bedrooms. She does this through her ongoing art project called Clitoracy. Do check out her website, texts and artworks including the first – and beautiful –  anatomically correct sculpture of the clitoris and TEDx Talk! They’re amazing and needed.

Artwork in the image from street art page. I think it’s absolutely stunning. I wish I had something like that. Oh yes, I do!

Green beard monster

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Food

This green ‘spaghetti’ monster arose from the salt marshes of Portugal and is called monk’s beard! It originates from Italy, where was cultivated by Cappuccino monks in Tuscany, hence the name. A possibly prettier name for this veggie is agretti. It grows in saline soil so it tastes salty, too.

You can eat it raw, steam it, shortly boil it, fry it… I did the latter and liked the structure and salty taste! I had the classic combo of winter purslane (winterpostelein) potato mash topped with roasted sunflower seeds and fried monk’s beard. And there was mung bean soup. Oh I love food.

Monk’s beard is in season right now, so catch it if you can!

Psst, agretti is a good source of vitamin A, iron and calcium! 🙂 (source)