What I Ate as an AuPair + Get Healthy with Me

My AuPair time was definitely not the healthiest. I enjoyed a lot, tried to not feel guilty and just appreciate to be in great company and surrounded by great food. And I am totally okay about that. I don’t regret anything or wish to change it at all. But I am still excited to get back into a healthy routine, eat plant-based and not all day every day.

So in this blog post, I want to show you What I Eat when I’m back to a healthier lifestyle. Right now I am living with the grandparents of my AuPair family because they offered me to stay with them until I start my job and move into the work accommodation.

Luckily they have a big understanding of health and eat mostly vegan themselves which I think is super cool and we talk a lot about it. They started their vegan journey after facing health problems themselves and are now very passionate about this way of eating.

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9.15am Breakfast

Because I woke up with a cold and a sore throat I started my day a bit later than I was used to from the last week with the kids (Even on weekends you usually get waken at 8am by loud Mamma Mia music or screaming :D).

I had a lot of fresh Ginger Tee over the whole day and some Oatmeal.

Recipe: 3tbsp of rolled oats, 1tsp chia seeds, 1tsp flaxseed flour, cinnamon, turmeric, frozen blueberries, half a banana and lots of oat-milk mixed in a bowl and heated in the microwave for 2 minutes, topped with half a pear, some grapes, walnuts, almonds and lots of pumpkin seeds. Super yummy, quick and nourishing!

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1pm Lunch

For lunch, we had an incredibly delicious dish that I’ve never had or seen before but I completely fell for it! Spicy tomato chickpea stew with „cheesy“ potatoes and garden salad. Besides soaking the chickpeas (what the grandparents do with all their beans and you can really taste a difference and also feel it, because they make you lett bloated) it is also very quick, super healthy and easy to make in bigger portions eat several days.

Recipe

Spicy Tomato Chickpea Stew: soak chickpeas overnight or take canned ones and wash them well. Cut onion in slices, and tomato chunks and let them simmer in vegetable broth. Add lots of Italian spices, turmeric, paprika powder, salt, pepper and lots of herbs. Add chickpeas and let everything cook to a nice stew.

„Cheesy“ Potatoes: Boil peeled potatoes in salt water. Make a cashew-cheese with 2 cups of cashews (can be soaked for around 2 hours when your food processor is not that strong), 1,5-2 cups of vegetable broth, around 4 tbsp nutritional yeast, lemon juice, 2-3 cloves of garlic, paprika powder, turmeric, salt & pepper for taste. Mix sauce through the drained potatoes.

(This cashew sauce is also great with falafel, veggie-fitters, on sandwiches, in wraps, as a dip, cheesy pasta sauce and more)

The Salad consists of romanesco lettuce, tomato, carrot and olives in a lemon, salt&pepper, veggie broth sauce.

I also had an apple at around 4pm as a snack.

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6.30pm Dinner

For dinner, the grandparents love to do so-called „open salad sandwiches“. Super delicious and very filling. Pumpkinseed-rye-bread with avocado, „cheesy“-sauce (same we had for lunch), sesame seed tofu and lots of veggies (tomato, cucumber, carrot, olives, fresh spinach).

Sesame seed tofu: freeze and defrost a block of tofu (gives the tofu a very different consistency), slice it an press all the liquid you can out of the tofu. Mix tahini, curry, chilli, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, soy sauce, lemon juice and maple syrup in a bowl and surround the tofu stripes with it and some sesame seeds, then fry in a non-stick pan without oil until crispy.


This was a very idealistic and very good day of eating. Clean, vegan, nutritious. But sadly that’s not how my everyday life looks like. Maybe the one weeks that I’ll be living with the grandparents and hopefully I can continue with that when I start working and live on my own (in a shared apartment) again.

But the last five weeks have not been like that. I had a lot of treats, way too much food in general, lots of animal products, lots of processed food and all that even though my family is generally aware of healthy food. They are vegetarian and I cooked with my mom something good every night. But we also ate out a lot, had a lot of treats etc.

I enjoyed it, I didn’t feel guilty and I don’t regret anything. That’s just how it was and I had a blast, we had the best time ever and luckily the kids kept us moving as well :P

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Hot cross buns were definitely my weakness. I ate so many chocolate or apple & cinnamon buns. They are so fluffy, sweet, delicious…

For my birthday I got some yummy vegan banana pancakes and some extra coconut yogurt. I was so happy!

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Might not be super unhealthy, but soo delicious! Ricotta-Spinach Canneloni in Tomato Sauce with Salad.

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One of my favourite cafés on the Sunshine Coast. This Avo Smash is heavenly, but also full of animal products and not to talk about this French Toast, but really yummy!

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Definitely a healthy Avo and Pumpkin Smash Toast, vegan and the bread was the best I’ve ever had. The french toast was made with the same bread and just so so good! Filled with white chocolate and raspberries.

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Homemade Ricotta Gnoccis with veggie bolognese. So cheesy and delicious! You can tell that I ate a lot more cheese and eggs with my family and it was delicious, but normally I don’t really want to  eat that regularly…

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Fruit with coconut yogurt and cream cheese toast with tomato and cucumber. Yummy brekkie!

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That’s how my breakfast looked like most days when we didn’t went out for breakfast. 2-3 slices of sourdough with avo smash, feta, tomato and greens.

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But we also loved to make the pumpkin smash on toast ourselves (inspired by the café) – I would say it’s just as delicious as avo smash, and that means a lot!

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The kids love baking so I made a loaf of vegan banana bread with pears and pecans. If you want to try out the recipe, you can find it in the Highlight ‚recipes‘ on my Instagram @mind.wanderer. It was really moist and fruit-nutty!

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A very healthy Avo Smash Toast with broccoli kale salad. Very delicious, but the waffle with berries in the background was great too!

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Another healthy meal we loved is rice paper rolls. Something that I never liked in restaurants, but homemade is so delicious! With fried tofu, capsicum, cucumber, carrot, sprouts, avocado, spinach, rice noodles and a sauce of soy sauce, peanut butter, lemon, maple syrup and spices.

A very frequently made dish that I love so so much is ‚haystacks‘. Corn chips (blue or normal), with mexican bean, fake meat, tomato stew, mixed salad and lots of guacamole.

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For the kids‘ school lunches, I made my easy and beloved banana-muffins. Healthy, naturally sweet and the kids loved them! You can find the recipes here!

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Another great snack. Store bought, but just as amazing ingredients as if you made them yourself. No processed sugar, all natural, local from the Sunshine Coast and vegan. The chocolate one is the best! Tastes like a chocolate milkshake.

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Probably my favourite dish was this Indian curry with pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant, peas, spinach and vegan chicken filet pieces (from Quorn – so so amazing!). I hope to share the recipe with you soon :)

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At night (while watching Outlander) we also had a lot of chocolate, sweet potato or vegetable chips, rice pudding with applesauce or coconut treats.


I know it could be much worse and we still ate healthy maybe 50%, but for me that was probably the unhealthiest I ate in years (besides Christmas maybe :D ) and that’s fine. It will always be a great memoryTURQ5691.JPG

With that being said: It’s all about the Balance and enjoying your time!

 

 

 

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Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget (in Australia)

You might know that living costs in Australia are pretty high and grocery shopping can get a bit difficult when you don’t want to spend too much but still want to eat healthy.

First of all you should know two things: 1. Your body is a gift and you should care very well for it, to make you thrive and feel amazing – that’s worth a bit more money and 2. Food in Germany is very inexpensive so it’s kinda unfair to compare it.

But luckily it is possible to eat very healthy and wholesome here in Australia without spending a lot because there are a few tricks, tips and specials to look for!

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If you are interested in my go-to cheap, quick and healthy dinner meals I eat a lot here, check out this blog post!

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Prices

To give you an idea of what price range we are talking about, I wrote down how much I spend on what at the grocery store. When you see the prices you will realise that not everything is extremely expensive here, but some things are – that’s why you need to shop wisely and I will give you tips on how to do so.

I obviously always tried to find the cheapest deals and best offers. Usually, that are the brands that are owned by the grocery store itself, but it also happens quite often that you find great deals like half price or 25% off and most grocery stores also reduce the prices when the food is about to pass the best-before date.

Also, the prices change during the season, depending on where in Australia you are and if you shop in the city centre, in a suburb or in the Outback. My prices list is just there to give you an idea.

  • Kilogram of peas: 2,90$ – 4,50$ (1,90 – 2,90€)
  • Kilogram of apples: 4,50$ – 6$ (2,90 – 3,80€)
  • Can of any beans/lentils: 0,80$ (0,50€)
  • Corn cakes: 1,80$ (1,20€)
  • 200g of hummus: 2$ (1,30€)
  • 4 small whole wheat buns: 2,50$ (1,60€)
  • Green/red pesto: 4$ (2,50€)
  • sourdough bread: 5$ (3,30€)
  • 120g of fresh baby spinach: 3$ (2€)
  • Kilogram of carrots: 1$ (0,65€)
  • 500g frozen veggies (broccoli, carrot, cauliflower): 5$ (3,30€)
  • Kilogramm of frozen veggies (carrot, peas): 1,60$ (1€)

Now that I am actually converting the prices into Euro, I am realising once more that the food isn’t really that much more expensive. I would say overall it’s the same or only slightly more expensive because some products are actually cheaper and some are pricier. But it also depends on what products you are up for (see below for meat and dairy part).

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12$ for this huge box of 2nd choice strawberries that tasted amazing!

Fresh fruits and veggies

If you want to find amazing and fairly cheap fresh produce, you need to go to the markets. Usually there is a market every Saturday/Sunday in most cities and towns and some, like Melbourne the Queen Victoria Market or Sydney the Peddy’s Market, even have a daily/almost daily market.

When you are on a hunt for super cheap deals, you will even find food bags with “not so pretty/not so fresh” produce at some market stalls that are even cheaper and some stalls also do deals like 3 bags of different products of your choice for 5$ and 5 bags for 7$ etc.

It’s also a great idea to go to the market at around 1 hour before they close because then they oftentimes lower the prices or do special deals.

Especially in Brisbane, the market prices were so much cheaper than at the supermarket. A kilogram of bananas at Woolworth or Coles was 4,50$ and on the market, we got them for 2$ per kilo and they were actually ripe which makes it even nicer.

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When you stay in Hostels, you can also be lucky to find some good stuff in the Free Food Shelve that someone left behind – like these amazing blueberries!

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Meat and Dairy

Meat and dairy products like cheese or yogurt are super expensive here in Australia. As I don’t buy that, I didn’t realise it at first but my cousin visited me and complained about the prices a lot :D

  • 1kg of plain Greek style yogurt: 9$ (5,50€)
  • 500g mince meat: 6,50$ (4,20€)
  • 125g ham: 3$ (2€)
  • 250g cheddar: 4,20$ (2,70€)

Of course you can find some cheap deals but usually, the prices are really crazy – so it’s better to eat vegan guys!

I always don’t understand how (and why) the people in the hostel afford all that meat and dairy they eat… but probably they just got to the point where they don’t care because they just want to eat it :D Very glad that I don’t have these cravings and now that I shop for myself and only have the food I want to buy, I eat so much healthier and so much cleaner (more wholefoods instead of processed food) because I don’t want to afford the vegan substitutes (even tho I crave them sometimes :D )

Also, it’s crazy that the Aussie’s just looove to BBQ and do it all the time even though the prices are so high…

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Vegan substitutes

In the supermarket, you can find a lot of great vegan options like cheese, burger patties, a lot of different almond or coconut yogurts, many kinds of vegan milk, ice cream and even complete meals.

I would say the prices are pretty similar to Germany. Products like that are always a bit pricier, but not like crazy.

  • 4 vegan sausages: 6$ (3,80€)
  • 500g coconut yoghurt: 6$ – 8$ (3,80€ – 5€)
  • 4 burger patties: 3,50$ (2,20€)
  • 300g tofu: 3$ (it’s cheaper at the Asian market! – 4$ for 800g)
  • 500g coconut Ice Cream: 6$ (at Aldi! or around 10$ at Coles)
  • 500g falafel: 5$ (3,20€)
  • 1l almond milk: 1,50$ (0.90€)

I think especially the price for the coconut yoghurt is extremely good! Cheaper than in Germany and they also have so many more options, brands and flavours. Even Coles has their own one now, but the other brands taste better :P

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Eating out

Is another great thing as a vegan here in Australia! There are so many options, most places offer vegan meals and especially in the bigger cities and towns, you find a ton of awesome restaurants/bistros/cafés that have vegan and healthy (or not healthy) food. So many things I want to try, so many options, so much great stuff and the best: it is not more expensive than eating out in general as eating out is pretty expensive anyways :D

But! It doesn’t has to be suuuper expensive if you look for good lunch deals, go to bistros instead of real restaurants or take the takeaway option (it’s only sometimes cheaper).

In the beginning, I was very afraid of going out and spending a lot of money on eating out and I tried to avoid it, but I know that it makes me happy, I want to enjoy my time here and for me good food is worth it!

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If you want to see more of What I Eat here in Australia, head to my Melbourne or Perth What I Eat in a Day blog post! Or follow me on Instagram and watch my stories :)


What food-related blog posts or videos would you be interested in? Please tell me in the comments!

What I Eat in Perth – Jackfruit Toasty, Easy Selfmade Sushi + Healthy Vegan Brownie Recipe

Once more I am impressed by how many great vegan options there are in Australia. Food shopping and eating out is so fun here because nearly everyone has vegan or at least vegetarian options on their menu.

As I had a very nice kitchen most of my time in Western Australia (I stayed at the City Perth Backpackers), I really enjoyed cooking something for dinner every day. I also got to enjoy some yummy food at the market in Fremantle and I am planning to go to ‚The Lord of the Fries‘ before I leave.

In my hostel, I also met two other veggie girls (one is completely vegan, the other mostly) and I had two lovely vegan picnics with Eugene from Korea which was so much fun!

My breakfast usually looked something like this. If you want to know how I make my healthy filling and delicious oats, head to this blog post!

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But some days I also can’t resist just getting the free breakfast from the hostel, even though it isn’t a very healthy option – it just tastes very good… Peanut butter and strawberry jam on warm toast with a cup of tea. It’s also super delicious to mash some banana on a peanut butter toast :P

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Right next to the market in Fremantle there is a vegan café called ‚Chick pea – vegan café‘ that sells some awesome vegan food. I think their menu changes, but when I was there they had lasagne, pumpkin gnocchi, different quiches, wraps and some sweets & treats and these amazing turmeric waffle toasts with tomato and cashew cheese. Super cheesy, flavourful and delicious!

I really try to get a lot of vitamins in each day, while still staying on a budget. But sometimes you just crave some freshly pressed juice and in comparison to fresh smoothie/juice prices in Germany, they are fairly cheap (around 7$ = 4,50€).

The left one is a green apple & celery juice and the right is carrot, beetroot, celery and kale.

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Every Friday evening there is a Food Market in the city centre with many food stalls to choose from. I got some vegan Marroccanean tajine with lots of veggies and rice underneath and it tasted so so good!

Healthy Vegan Protein-rich Brownie

I really miss baking and testing yummy healthy recipes, but one day me and some friends had nothing to do, so I decided to bake some healthy black bean brownies with them. They turned out super yummy and because there is a bulk food store in the city, we could only buy however much we needed which was great (otherwise it just doesn’t make sense to buy huge amounts that you will never need).

Ingredients

  • 1 can of black beans
  • a lot of soaked dates (we probably had about 25 because we only had the cheap ones that aren’t that sweet)
  • 3/4 cup of plant-based milk
  • 1/3 cup of flour (we used self-raising flour to skip the baking powder/soda, otherwise just add 1/2 tsp of each)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • optional: 1/2 cup crushed almonds & 3/4 cup of dark choc chips

How to

  1. Soak the dates in hot water
  2. If you have a blender mix everything (besides the almonds and choc chips) very well and add the almonds and choc chips afterwards and stir them into the dough
  3. If you don’t have a blender (like us) mash the soaked dates & mash the beans very well with a fork and then add everything else and mix to a dough
  4. Bake at around 170 degrees for around 20 minutes, let it cool a bit and then cut and eat (they taste amazing when still warm)

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I found 3 packages of this gluten free cacao porridge in the free food shelve and had that mixed into my normal oats (as one package would never be enough for me :D ). Also, the oranges here taste amazing – so sweet and juicy! So I had one before my oats for a few days.

This jackfruit sandwich was heavenly! Toasted so perfectly (how is this even possible?!) and seasoned very well. Props to Milk Belly Café in Fremantle for this amazing vegan option!

When you have leftover rice and walk into an Asian store to find nori paper – you make sushi! Even though this was just normal rice and I didn’t have a bamboo mat to help me roll, they turned out so so good! I filled them with warm tofu in soy sauce, avocado (of course) and some fresh baby spinach for the greens.

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As I only had a little bit of rice and still some nori left, I just used couscous instead to make sushi and it was still pretty good.

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Eugene and I took our food to the Kings Park to have a lovely picnic with the best view you can have in Perth. Besides the couscous sushi, we also had some mango, naan bread with hummus and tomato and rice with veggies and tofu.

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In Perth, there is a vegetarian Indian all-you-can-eat restaurant called ‚Annalakshmi‘ which is located at Victoria Quay where you pay however much you want. I’ve been there twice and their food is super good. A little bit spicy, but healthy and so so filling.

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I found a fairly cheap pineapple at the Golden Choice Market in Subiaco and it was amazing with my porridge. Super sweet, juicy and delicious when it gets warm in your oats.

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Another evening, Eugene and I met at Monger Lake for another picnic. There was a summer festival going on that day as well, so we had our own food first and got some dessert afterwards at the food stalls (which also had a lot of vegan options).

We had an amazing fruit salad with cherries, mango, strawberries, orange and blackberries, some spring rolls, pasta with veggies and tomato sauce and fried rice with tofu sausage.

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And later I got a strawberry-passionfruit popsicle while we listened to Christmas music at the summer festival.


As this blog post is already super long, I am going to make another post sharing some healthy one-pot meals with you that are cheap, vegan and easy to make. Check out my first one here!