NoBuy Year 2020 – Febuary check in

February is over and I went over my budget.

People I talked to told me that 200€ were a lot of money for a month and in my experience, that is not the case. In a month with 31 days, that’s about 6,50 per day. And if that is the budget for everything but rent and recurring bills, and has to pay for everything from food to public transport tickets to going to a café sometimes to replacing stuff that needs to be replaced… that’s not that much.

I spent 137€ on groceries, which comes to 4,72€ per day. (January was 3,80€ per day) Also I bought bus tickets in advance, for a yarn festival in Leipzig that will take place in April. They were 24€. I also spent 7€ on replacing a safety reflector vest that I somehow managed to lose, 8€ on a present, and 1,50€ on a measuring cup. The other thing I bought was vitamin supplements for 23€ total, because I’m going 90% vegan this year, after having been 90% vegetarian for the last 20 years. I never really had thought of my nutrient needs. Going vegan is a good opportunity to change that. Lastly, I spent 26€ total on food and drinks in the café where our knitting meetup is taking place and on getting falafels when I had my last tattoo session.

In the end, that made me go over my budget by 23€, but to me, my spending in February still feels very minimalist. In contrast to January, I did not buy anything but stuff that was really necessary. But I spent more on drinking coffee and eating falafel, a little more on food, a bit more on health, and the things I bought were more expensive than the used gadgets I bought in January.

So it is a tiny bit disappointing to have not bought anything, having had the shortest month of the year, and still having been unable to stick to the budget. This won’t be a problem though because I went under my tattoo budget in February and my paycheck for January was a tiny bit higher than expected.

Despite not buying anything gadget wise, I received a nice gadget as a gift: It is a sigma bike computer. One of the old fashioned ones where a sensor is installed at the front wheel and the computer counts the revolutions of the wheel per second and calculates the speed and distance of one’s ride. I used it to track my bike kilometers in February, and I did ride 304km! However, the bike computer was not programmed to recognize leap years, and it threw my total off a little.

So yay, on to March!!

Stuff I enjoyed in February:

  • Knitting
  • Cooking delicious food
  • playing table tennis with my coop mates
  • taking walks in sunny weather
  • Getting tattoos
  • using the new bike computer that I received as a gift

First NoBuy 2020 Check in: January

So far, it’s going very well!

I’ve been budgeting in order to save some money for getting tattooed and two thirds into the month, I was clearly under my budget of spending 200€ per month for everything. If all goes well, I’ll have some money to save at the end of January, which is next week.

I spent most of my money on food, some staples had to be bought, like soy sauce, tea, or coconut oil, and I got a large amount of potatoes and apples. Now that I’m checking prices much more, I do realize how much cheaper packaged food is in comparison to unpackaged food. One extreme example were apples, which cost 3€ per kilo unpackaged, and 0,70€ per kilo when you bought the 2kg-plastic bag. I thought that was obscene, and so I decided to buy a 5kg carton box of apples for 5€ at another supermarket.

I’m sticking to my low waste principles nonetheless, because this is not about saving money at all costs. It is about not buying unnecessary stuff, and for me, buying low waste is a thing I deem necessary and worth doing. I have given in to buying tofu in plastic packaging though. I want to eat the nice tofu products, and I don’t have time and gear to make tofu at home.

And I think I’m going to stop buying vegetables at our local farmers market. It’s such a posh market that the stuff there is horribly expensive. Most of the time, the local organic store is cheaper and, unlike most vendors at the farmers market, the food is organic, and they get vegetables from a local leftist farmers collective/coop. So… much better overall!

Don’t buy – DIY!

Doing a Nobuy doesn’t mean you have to miss out on nice things, though: I had used up two nice candles that had come in decorative glasses, and I refilled them using wax from burned candles and a wick I had in my stash. Also, I ran out of body lotion and tattoo aftercare, and my hand lotion bar is also almost used up. All of those 3 things got replaced by a homemade lotion bar (link leads to the recipe) I could completely make out of ingredients I had at home! I used beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil, plus a few drops of vetiver essential oil. It turned out that this homemade lotion bar works as well als the super expensive “ClimbOn” hand lotion bar I had before, it soothes itching and moisturizes healing tattoos, and it does a good job as a body lotion, too.

Things I bought which I didn’t “need”

I put need in quotation marks because at the end of the day I needed all of those things. I don’t regret anything, on the contrary. They are more than pure survival, but nothing is just a luxury.

The stuff I bought “in addition” to bare necessities amounted to about 35€. The biggest thing was a used mandolin from ebay Kleinanzeigen for 10€, because I realized eating cabbage was a cheap healthy winter veggie but cutting it was so much work that could be so much easier. This mandolin cutter is a great tool and I don’t regret buying it! It’s also made from steel and very sturdy, the blade can be replaced or taken out to sharpen, so it’s also very sustainable.

The other things I bought were darning needles because I had misplaced all of them and gave up after searching for them on two consecutive days. And a bamboo toothbrush, because the toothbrush I keep at work needed to be replaced and I thought I could get a greener one this time.

The other expenses were 5€ for beverages at the cafe where we have our bi-monthly knitting meetups. Usually I would spend 15-20€, because we get nice takeaway food at Knit Night, but I stuck to my goal and had brought my own food from home.

There were a few stamps – I had decluttered some photos of graffiti of the 90ies and instead of just throwing them away I chose to send them off to someone who was interested in them. Also I miscalculated the shipping costs for an ebay item I had sold and so I had to pay 1€ extra.

And I bought a safety razor which is quite popular in the “Zero Waste” community, because my razor from the 90ies is running out of blades and they’re all throw away plastic parts which I plan to avoid in the future. I got it used on “ebay Kleinanzeigen” for 8 Euros, and even from someone in my neighborhood!

OOPS – unforeseen expenses

Near the end of the month, one of my bicycles’ pedal hooks broke in half. I had to get replacement parts from the bike store, and even though they mounted it for free and gave me a little discount, it cost 20€. There could have been a cheaper solution, but I really like the pedal hooks, with them you can push and pull the pedals without having clickie-pedals. It’s better for the knees.

Free things I enjoyed in January

Me and some folks on Mastodon are doing a sports-along together, and a couple of them are also doing the new years program of “Yoga with Adriene” #YWAhome. Also some folks have set themselves a challenge to walk at least a mile everyday and they’re tagging that with #FrozenFeet2020. I’m doing both, the yoga and the walking, but I don’t manage to do everything every day, and that’s okay.

Another thing I’m enjoying is cooking delicious recipes. I’m trying to eat more vegan this year and because I’ve got a pressure cooker now, I can cook beans and chickpeas really reaaaally fast. This is not really a free thing, but it’s cheaper than buying ready-meals or eating out. We found a nice recipe for peanut sauce and made this a few times now! I also got tattooed and I sometimes bake for my tattoo appointments. That way me and the tattoo artist and their colleague can have a little cake. So I made an awesome vegan banana bread from stuff I already had at home.

And I’m really enjoying working with things I already have, I’ve spread out my yarn stash and checked everything, as I do every January. This is always the time of year when I’m highly motivated to enjoy knitting up all this beautiful yarn.

And finally, I’ve watched all the Nobuy year videos by Hannah Louise Poston on youtube, the beauty youtuber who got this all started. I knew that TQ, who originally got me on board with the NoBuy, was inspired by her. But I hadn’t yet watched her content myself. Now that I did, I have to say that she really dives deep and self reflects on her consumer habits in a very interesting way. And, as a side effect, I learned a lot about beauty and skincare.


This month, I encountered difficulties in getting a refund from my health insurance. I’ve been making calls and talking to people about this for one year now and the sum I’m going to get is 160€. Which is a lot of money, but a year of hassle and phone calls?! While the hardest thing was to find out what’s actually blocking the process of getting this refund, now this has changed. Insurance told me what is in the way, and my dentists office is kind of refusing to give it to me, I called 3 times and they promised to help me 2 times, and the third time they emailed me to inform me I’m wrong and didn’t actually need the thing. Now this has become the hardest thing.

I love to feel financially independent, but budgeting and saving money for things I love, plus the setback with this refund makes me feel dependent and bad. Suddenly budgeting and being on a nobuy year isn’t fun, it’s horrible. Next week I’ll try to convince them that I need this paper or try to convince the health insurance that they don’t need it. But right now, I’m waiting and feeling shitty.

I used to have an attitude towards money that didn’t put too much weight on money. “It’s just money”. It’s just a symbolic thing, it’s totally replaceable, it has no emotional value, I don’t care about it!

The trick was not to act as if it was “just money”. I acted like I very much took care of my money, but in my mind I didn’t think like that. This allowed me to be frugal but not feel constrained and bad about “having to” be frugal.

I caught myself clinging to these 160€ which I didn’t even have and feeling bad and constrained and like outside forces literally stole my money (which they did, but that’s not my point). What I have told myself in the past was “It’s just money” and then I took a little break and picked up the threads again a month later, and that is what I need to do now. I need to say goodbye to those 160€, make peace with the fact that I need to work a few shifts more if I really needed this extra money, and then, in practice, continue trying to get it.

This was a really interesting observation for me, because all of my life, I’ve been good in dealing with money. So I never had to learn what exactly made me good at it. I think this is a piece of the puzzle: Act like you give a shit with money, but don’t give a shit in your mind.

Another thing I noticed is that now that the newness of buying low waste and tidying up Marie Kondo-Style is gone. When I stopped shopping in 2019, I could redirect these energies into getting high quality unpackaged food and spending a lot of time with stuff I already owned by Konmarying it. And because both of these things were super fashionable (Marie Kondos Show had just aired on Netflix, and everyone was talking about it) I never felt like deprived of taking part in trends and fashion fads. I could consume a trend by living anti-consumerism, and that seems like a contradiction, but that was what it was.

In 2020 it looks like I have to do the real thing now. And it is time to remind me that while the fancy feeling of novelty has worn off, those things are still here in my life and I can still use them as tools: becoming more picky instead of craving random things, and cherishing what I already have.


Also, according to my rule that I have to ponder new acquisitions before I make them, I’ve started to list stuff that I want on my Wishlephant wishlist. I don’t know if that is wise, because it reminds me that I wanted the stuff and eliminates the chance that I just “naturally” forget about wanting some things.

There are some small things on the list that I’ll eventually get with my monthly budget, and there is a big thing (the e-book-reader) that I will most likely not buy this year, because it is just too expensive, and I already have an e-reader, but it’s a kindle and I want to become independent from Amazon and be able to read books from the library on the reader. That is impossible with the kindle.

Another thing I might need this year is a newer phone. I am currently using an old phone from 2012, wich I got in 2017, it works well, but some apps don’t work with it any longer. I found it very essential for navigation on my cyclingtour in 2018. The only thing I used for navigation then was my phone. The alternative would be to get a used navigation device and continue to use the phone, for telephone calls only and whatever app continues to work. I would have to research the lifespan of navigation devices though. If they aren’t significantly longer than those of smartphones, it makes sense just to find a newer phone.

But – and that is also a possibility – maybe the phone makes it to 2021, with navigation working on it!


happy 2020: Some fireworks garbage on the streets on january 2nd, 2020

Hello 2020!

This is just a little diary blogpost.

a bottle of all Purpose cleaner

Today is a holiday and a day off for me. And I finally got around to cleaning my floors. Last year, during my “Zero Waste Challenge”, I set aside a bottle of vinegar and lemon peel to marinate. I finally got around to straining it and out came the most nicely smelling lemon cleaner! So I put that into a bottle and made a nice label for it.

Shaking the dust out of the rugs, sweeping the floors, mopping.. and then the mop bucket broke. It has this mop dryer where you can squeeze the water out of the mop, and is just a regular plastic bucket in an oval form. It was so old that all the plastic softener had evaporated, and just looking at it funny makes it crack.

So it was time to throw out the mop set completely – I have a scrubber-broom and I could reuse the mop’s handle for that, and I have a nice cleaning rag, and I also have a regular round bucket. That will do the job perfectly. The mop was getting old as well and it had become hard to clean with it anyway.

New year, new room – and finally some yoga again. We’re doing a little sports-along in the fediverse, people can join using the hashtag #MoveIt2020.

New years room

Apart from that, I was having a lazy day with lots of knitting, I planned on doing a review of the year 2019, but I don’t know if I’ll do that today. My bullet journal is all set up for January, and I’m very excited to do a real noBuy-Year this year.

New Years Eve was quite relaxed, there were much less fireworks than usual, and I got to spend the most stressful time comforting my cat while sitting in our tool closet. While explosion sounds usually dominate all day and the night, this year it was only loud around midnight. I’m a fan of the new fireworks mindfulness.

Also, I want to get back into my No-Sugar eating, I had taken a break from it for the holidays. Which was a good idea!

NoBuy Rule Addition

since deciding on my Nobuy Year 2020 I have made a financial plan for this year. There are two major things coming up that I need to save money for, which is my tattoo sleeve project and my 3 month sabbatical, where I will not have any income from work. If I’m sticking to my plan, I can make it all come true, but I will have a budget for eating and everything else of 200€ each month.

I also want to keep my low waste lifestyle going, and this means I have to get most of my food organic. I think 200 € per month is fine to live off, everything should work out if I don’t need a new computer, phone, washing machine, etc. I hope that all these mentioned devices will continue working well in 2020.

So my additional rule is: don’t spend more than 200€ a month for food and all other necessities, if possible.

A Walk in the Park

I decided to go for a walk outside on this cold sunny day, before heading to my workshift. It is Sunday and the park was full but I managed to find some lesser crowded spots there.


Up the stairs on “Kleiner Bunkerberg”. It derives its name from a bunker that used to be there. After World War 2, the bunker was buried under rubble from the destroyed city. Everything was thrown over the two bunkers here, and then a park was planted on top of the two rubble hills.


A bit of greenery in the sunlight


me, almost incognito by being out of focus, with a bottle of hot tea.


someone had put a little granola on a stone railing and the birbs were happy to pick it up.

Efeu 2

growth and decay

Bicycle in the park

back with the bike

NoBuy 2020!

How did my Nobuy Year 2019 go?

My NoBuy Year 2019 is almost over. And I mostly stuck to my rules which were: No yarn, no stationery, pens and art supplies, no outdoor gear, no toiletries and bodycare products except for when I run out or something needs to be replaced.

I bought two fountain pens, which was against my rules, and I replaced a set of camping stove pots maybe a tad too soon, and recently I bought a bar of soap after I could not find the bottle of liquid soap I still had. (When I could not find it, I assumed I must have used it up). Other than that, that’s it (except for the stuff I’m forgetting right now) Ah, no – I bought a box of paper for my bookbinding hobby, although I have enough paper already.

But I bought a few other things. Like noise cancelling headphones, a (used) pressure cooker, new shoes, concert tickets, and other things like a (used) shredder (for old papers, I was doing the #Konmari thing) I replaced an old electric toothbrush with a new one and I bought a t-shirt as well. A thing I found annoying: I had konmaried my “electric komono” (sorry for the lingo, komono means “miscellaneous items”) and I had a few battery chargers. But I could not remember where I had put them. So I became certain I had thrown them away and bought one, only to find them again 2 weeks later.

Still, that is not much buying, and all in all my nobuy-year 2019 was very successful.

My goal was to reduce or even stop my “retail therapy” habit, that means, times when I would go and get myself some nice stationery or art supplies or yarn or outdoor gear to make myself feel better.

I also wanted to stop buying things that I craved because they were advertised to me in a very convincing way. I don’t mean big companies with big ads. I mean smaller companies whose stuff is just so cool and trendy and it’s permanently marketed at you via influencers: Zero Waste Gadgets like stainless steel food containers or fancy glass bottles, for example. I already have such a food container and I have enough reusable bottles, I can also just reuse a single-use glass bottle from the store if I want one.

and thirdly I wanted to use and appreciate what I have. I wanted to “shop my stash” instead of shopping in stores.

And it worked. And I want to keep going, because it made my life better!

I was even able to save some money to spend on tattoos, I got a staggering 5 tattoos this year! And I went to two nice concerts, and I did do two amazing cycling tours in 2019. I don’t feel that I have missed out on *anything* in 2019! Hooray!

No Buy Rules 2020

1st rule: Buy nothing. No art supplies for example, no stationery, clothes, yarn, fabric, books, skincare products, electronics, outdoor gear, and also no yoga subscription. Yes, radical! I love it! Instead of defining what I can’t buy, I will define what I *can* buy.

So, here are the exceptions:

things I can buy:

  • replacements for broken things I deem necessary and if I run out of anything, like bodycare products.
  • food, of course. I can buy all kinds of food and that is the one category where I don’t want to sacrifice quality for frugality. What I want to aim for is packing a lunchbox more often, instead of eating out or buying takeaway food.
  • Bike Maintenance and repairs are very important and of course I will get them, because I know a good bike mechanic and I’m very grateful I don’t have to repair stuff myself.
  • I can buy train tickets for going on holiday etc., concert tickets, and get tattooed. The nobuy year serves the purpose of not accumulating useless stuff, and it’s not about depriving me from experiencing things or doing my.. (cringe) ..”tattoo journey”. I will however have to be mindful of money in 2020 so I might cut back on concerts to save money for travelling.

Acquisition rules

  • *If* I buy something, I want to be mindful of it, and that means I want to first repair the things I have, if possible. If repairing is impossible, only then can replacing something be an option.
  • If I feel I really want and need to buy a thing, I want to wait 2 weeks at least, better 4 weeks or as long as it takes, until I decide if I want to buy it or not.
  • If possible, get things second hand.
  • I want to write down what I spend on things.

Finally, I’m curious to explore (very cautiously) minimalism in 2020. I don’t think I will ever become a minimalist, but I always was fascinated by the idea of simple living and I have always felt attracted to it.

The Best Things Are Free: A beautiful stormy sundown scene at the river with willow trees and a small campsite – a place I visited in August when we were doing a cycling tour along the Havel.

3 Years of Bulletjournaling

two bullet journals side by side - my first one and my current one. Bulletjournaling November 2016 - November 2019

I can’t believe that it’s now been three years since I started bulletjournaling! It is actually the first and only organizing system that worked for me over a long period of time. I don’t know why that is, but I’m very glad it does. Because wow, do I need it.

My style of Bulletjournaling

From when I started my bujo in November 2016, I have had what some people call a “Messy Bujo”. I started it all inspired by a friend and a group of people who had a “messy bulletjournaling” group on a now vanished internet platform. Before that, I had only seen examples of fancy, decorated Bujos on social media, and it was not that interesting to me back then. So I watched the intro video on and was fascinated by the simplicity, and I started right away.

Bulletjournaling November 2016 - November 2019

I used the basic elements of bulletjournaling as explained in the video. I made some collections, I started some gratitude pages but I never kept up with them, I tried a food diary and didn’t keep up with that, and then I returned to the basics. Monthly logs, daily logs, a future log, an index, done.

I’m still doing that. trying out stuff and mostly sticking to the basics. Once I tried to do weekly pages, but they became too redundant, either they were a repetition of the monthly log or they were condensed daily logs but without enough space. At the moment, I’m trying out a so called “rolling weekly” where you do not migrate a task from one day to the next, but you write a to-do-List for the whole week. I will have to see if that works for me, because writing daily logs and migrating tasks to the next day is not a bad thing for me: after writing a task for the 6th time, I usually finally do it.

Bulletjournaling November 2016 - November 2019

I added a tracker or two, I wrote down notes when I read a book, I used the bujo for grocery lists.

Bulletjournaling November 2016 - November 2019

Why does this work for me while other stuff did not work?

Perhaps because it is very practical. I had notes lying around in my room and it was hard not to forget which thing was written down where, and after stuff was done, they got thrown away. Having one place for all those notes? Great! Thanks to the bujo’s index, everything can be found later, so I don’t have to section the book off or write stuff in any particular order. I think that is one big point why bulletjournaling works for me and why I could keep going with it, in contrast to all the other methods of self organization(tm) that I had tried.

It’s also very fast! Before, I had tried digital reminders and to-do-lists like “remember the milk”. It wasn’t sustainable, because really, it takes so much time to unlock the phone, start the app, type in the stuff, and look at the stuff. So I didn’t write it all down, but what mattered more, I never looked at those lists. Doing it digital is just very slow. Opening an analog book takes only a second. And since I’m not a person who is always on their phone anyway, I tend to find it tedious to unlock my phone first.

It’s also adaptable to what you need: In the first year, I never used the monthly log as a calendar, because *that* is something that worked for me digitally. And in years back, my calendars/planners never got used beyond the first 2 or 3 weeks of a year, because the calendar format is not really what I need most in my planner/notebook. What I need most are actually the task lists. (I added the monthly logs/calendars back in later, and stopped using the digital calendar, but if I didn’t want them, I didn’t have to use them.)

The system accounts for imperfection: most times, I don’t get my task list for the day done on that day. Sometimes I don’t get a single thing done. Before, I had written To-Do-Lists and it became frustrating when they accumulated more and more items and they really never got done. The method of migrating a task to the next day or next week is much better for me: A list gets completed, because all the items are either done or migrated.

I have migrated a small task to the next day, and the next week for 5 weeks now, which is shameful, but that’s just how it is. Eventually, I will get to it. This system is very friendly towards people like me who sometimes postpone a simple thing to the next day. and the next day. and the next day. It does not make me feel like a horrible person who’s ineffective, it makes me feel normal, because there’s a method for it, and one that eventually helps me get those things done.

And lastly, the big variety of fancy stuff and ideas and inspiration that you can put into your bujo. While I mostly do keep it basic, I like to watch some fancy bujo videos, and I do like to try out fancy layouts sometimes. And that also keeps me motivated to stay with the system. And when I don’t have time for that? I can always fall back on the bare basics and just write my simple logs with a pen in a simple book.

How effective is it for me?

I don’t think I’m a very effective person. For me, it’s hard to stay organized, and I am very forgetful and often need reminders of basically everything. Before the bujo era, I could remember the most important things and my forgetfulness weeded out pretty much everything else, and if I forgot tasks, other people would have to remind me of them..

Sometimes it feels as if this stayed the same, I am still forgetful and some stuff just isn’t on my mind. But thanks to the bulletjournal method, the amount of stuff that I am able to organize has greatly increased. Basically, I have become much better, while the challenge has become bigger as well. So… same same, but different. yes, all is pretty good!

Bulletjournaling November 2016 - November 2019

what’s in my everyday bike pannier?


Some Meta

#EDC or #Everydaycarry is a hashtag that has been around for a while. I encountered it first as the “manly” way to post about “what’s in my handbag”, and as such, I think it’s a bit shitty, and demonstrates fragile masculinity. But, on the other hand, I don’t have a handbag any more, and I think people who aren’t manly bros should perhaps make this hashtag a better place.

but.. have you done a websearch for this? what comes up is preppers, survivalists and bushcrafters, and even though I am a person who loves camping and outdoors and touring and nature and bushdraft, the toxic masculinity of all this is simply too much for me. And there are commercial sites that market wallets, knives and flashlights, clearly to men. And I hate stuff that’s marketed to only one gender.. That’s why I just titled this blogpost “What’s in my everyday bike pannier”.

What do I carry around every day? Winter edition

I’ll start on the top left corner and move to the right: This black object is just a baseball cap. I wear glasses and if it rains, this cap prevents my glasses from getting wet.

Next to it on the top is my “Zero Waste Kit”: A glass jar, two fabric bags, a spoon, chopsticks, and a water bottle. If I plan on ordering takeaway food, I also bring my tiffin lunchbox, but I don’t have it on me all the time. I also don’t have the jar with me all the time, but the fabric bags and the cutlery are small and light enough, I don’t bother to take them out of my pannier if I don’t need them. And a water bottle is always a good idea. This one is double walled and can keep water cool or tea hot.

On the top right corner is this rust coloured bag, and it contains rain pants and rain covers for my shoes for cycling. I can also put a rainjacket inside, but now, in november, I wear the rainjacket anyway against the cold wind, so it doesn’t often make it into this bag.

In the next row from left to right: A patchwork bag with an ebook reader in it. A little black pouch with fountain pens and a USB flash drive in it. Another little bag/pouch with a battery pack and charging cables in it. (My phone is not on the picture, by the way, but it should have been there) and knitted gloves/wristwarmers. I don’t have the wristwarmers all the time, but the gloves, yes.

On the bottom: my purse, a chapstick, 2 cough drops, a bottle of essential oil, one handcream which I got in 2016 and I’m still using up, a “peeing stick” that allows me to pee standing up outside, and my bullet journal.

Sometimes I also have an Opinel knife with me, but lately, I didn’t, for no particular reason.. mainly because I don’t need one in the city.

In my purse is also a tick removal card, that’s a handy tool with which you can pull out ticks, and it has a credit card format. I also sometimes have a bicycle multi-tool with me, but at the moment, I don’t. If I have a puncture or something breaks, I can just haul my bike to the next bike shop or take it home with the subway. Luckily, this almost never happens. I always pack some basic bike tools and a pump when I leave the city, but now, in winter, I mostly only commute.

That’s it! So, what’s in your backpack/bike pannier/handbag/pockets?

“The Wellness Diet” and actual healthy eating are different things, and why I quit sugar, but love carbs.

First I want to recommend this blog post about “The Wellness Diet” in which Christy Harrison argues that in order to sell diets, the diet industry has moved on from weight loss promises to health promises. She writes: “We know that diets don’t work—and the diet industry knows we know.” So, it’s all about health now, and people who want to eat better for health reasons are actually targeted by the diet industry.

But wait, what if it’s a good idea to care about one’s own health more? I’m not 25 anymore, I’m 45, and that has consequences. I need to take care of my health much more, compared to when I was 25, and if I don’t, my body hates me and I feel like shit.

Back in 2015 I read “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon. I think it’s a really good book, and it addresses not only nutrition and the science around it and shows why diets do not work, it also talks about social justice issues and environmental issues, and it talks about discrimination, instead of making individuals responsible for stuff that we aren’t responsible for.

But it’s a book about health, it’s in the title. The books’ message is: you don’t have to lose weight or become thin to be healthy. You can be healthy (or as healthy as possible for you), no matter how much you weigh or what your body looks like.

For me, selfcare was always an important topic, and with healthcare systems that get more and more eroded, and are more about the profit than about actual healthcare, DIY healthcare is becoming even more important to me.

Christy Harrison writes in above linked article:

The Wellness Diet is my term for the sneaky, modern guise of diet culture that’s supposedly about “wellness” but is actually about performing a rarefied, perfectionistic, discriminatory idea of what health is supposed to look like.

Christy Harrison: How to Avoid Falling for the Wellness Diet

There it is. it’s about redefining health. They used to say we needed to be thin, and everything else was unhealthy, and now they say we need to be healthy, but what they really mean is that we need to be that thin, white “clean eating girl”.

We need to actively reject this image we are sold about how health is supposed to look like. I am going to reclaim health and I refuse to allow the diet industry to define what health is. Because if I let them have health, I am in the shit, and my body will hate me and I’ll feel quite bad. I’m going back to “Health at Every Size” because this is not only about health but it’s also about how health doesn’t look like they make you think it’s supposed to look like!

It’s also about eating the “right” things and removing supposedly “impure” foods from your life

that’s another quote from the same text

That’s so true and I feel very much opposed to “clean eating”, I get angry when people demonize foods. I’m a baker and I really hate this trend of demonizing wheat. If you don’t have celiac disease or a similar condition, why would you hate wheat?

I still decided to quit sugar, at least for a while. I don’t think sugar is a poison, and I don’t even think it’s impure or bad for me in itself. Sugar is a very natural thing and humans and other animals have always eaten it. But I do think that large amounts of sugar are actually bad for my health, and I do think eating sugary food every day instead of having it as an occasional treat, is bad for my health.

And I do think that the food industry, which hides the bad quality and taste of their cheap mass-produced food by adding massive amounts of sugar to it, is doing so at my and other people’s expense, for their own profits, and I don’t want to cooperate. Some people call it “clean eating” and make it a question of purity. They act as if they were more enlightened and elevated above the “dirty” masses of people who are not as good as them. And I hate that approach. But when I try not to buy packaged, branded, industrially made food and instead make my own food from scratch, it looks like I had joined the clean eating cult. But I’m actually doing a different thing, I’m doing it for personal and for political reasons. Like back then when Slow Food was political and radical.

Slow food once was about reclaiming control over the food you eat, make food yourself, and be independent from big companies. It was about gardening together and cooking together and coming together and creating a better world. That idea also got commercialized and branded and sold to bored middle class intellectuals. But originally it was a great idea. It was an idea of a community, not about the behavior of an individual person.

Yes, there is the difference! Clean eating ideology acts as if some plants are just bad, like wheat. As far as I know, the Slow Food Movement has never demonized a food, it has only criticized how food is made and sold and eaten.

For the Slow Food Movement, the problem is not processed food, but the problem is who processes it and why. The problem is that food is mass-processed by machines with profit in mind and not hand-processed by teams of people with enjoyment and good taste in mind. Okay, I’m not against machines, I use them as a baker. But I know that if you do artisanal baking, there is no need for the dough to always be exactly the same consistency. Because you can see it, feel it, and react accordingly to how it is on that day and still make good bread from it. A machine can’t do that. And so the bread dough in the baking industry has to be the same all the time, and to achieve that, the baking industry uses additives. In the bakery, we also do make bread with the help of machines, but the machines do not determine how our food tastes like. We don’t have to make the dough “machine friendly”. We can make the food for ourselves, for human beings, not cater to the machines.

Why I quit sugar instead of using it “in moderation”.

In above mentioned book, “Health at Every Size”, Linda Bacon explains how sweet and sugary foods override the body’s own signalling system that tells you when you are satisfied. What she recommends is not cutting sugar out. She recommends enjoying sweets and desserts, but doing so consciously, and learning to eat the stuff intuitively and still in moderation. Also she recommends eating desserts after a meal so that the fiber you ingested with that meal stops the dessert from driving your blood sugar levels wild.

And I agree with that. Ideally, nothing is “bad” and nothing is “impure” it’s just how we deal with it and how we balance it out. And it’s best to eat intuitively instead of restricting oneself. Alas – In my personal experience, that doesn’t work for me at the moment. Maybe it will work later, after I have quit sugar “cold turkey” for a while, but right now, it doesn’t work.

Because I’m trying to reduce my waste, especially the plastic waste, most industrially mass produced food is already out for me. The food I eat is homemade by me. And we had no candy and sweets at home for almost a year, but still I needed several servings of sugary food per day or I’d have cravings. I ate homemade jam, organic chocolate chip cookies from our bakery, cake from the same bakery, and honey. Every day.

So if I don’t even eat industry food any more and I still eat and crave sugar every day, something is off. From a biochemistry point of view, maybe that indicates that my blood sugar became too low too fast after eating something sweet, and that’s why I felt hungry shortly after I had eaten something. I even remember that I ate a sugary thing and then went somewhere by bicycle and then I would feel suddenly dizzy and become unable to maneuver in traffic because my blood sugar levels were most likely super low.

I have cut out sugar for a week now and I’m surprised how I can clearly sense when I’m hungry – and when not. Most of the time I’m just not interested in food. Yes, there are moments when I want to have something sweet, but these are only moments. I used to be slightly hungry all the time when I ate more sugar.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have dieted only once in my life, and that was a very “sensible” diet, not some restrictive crash diet. It was more a diet where you eat everything, just more consciously, and you check how much you eat and just have a very small caloric deficit, and not on all of the days. So, while this diet didn’t work in the long run, it luckily didn’t do any damage, as far as I can tell. My system returned to it’s own equilibrium after my body it had reached its weight again (and then some). Today, I’m pretty fine! If I don’t confuse my body with foods that throw off it’s own balance system, it works very well.

And sugar does throw off my body’s sensors. I find that starch doesn’t, at least not as much. And I have eaten foods with added sugar (a sweet chili spring roll sauce, for example) in small amounts and that didn’t do anything annoying to my body as well. Fruit works fine as well.

Starch is not sugar in my book

As a baker, I had to learn about nutrition and food for my job. So, of course I know, starch is a carbohydrate, and sugar is one as well. But they aren’t the same. Sweet sugars are either monosaccharides or disaccharides, that means that there are only one sugar molecule or two of them linked together. Starch is a polysaccharide, that means that lots and lots of sugar molecules are linked together into a chain.

If your body wants to use that energy, it takes the molecules apart and then uses them. if they already are separate, like with sugars, they are immediately available as energy. Starch has to be broken down into smaller chains and then into single sugar molecules before it can be used, so it takes longer until the energy is there, and therefore, it doesn’t go directly “into your blood” like sugar does. Saying that starch is sugar is like saying a brick wall is a brick.

Linda Bacon writes in her book “Health at Every Size” that you can eat sugary food with fiber, and the fiber will act like a sieve for the energy in the carbs, slowing down the digestion of the sugar molecules so that you don’t have the blood sugar spikes. For starch, it works for me. I rarely eat white rice or pasta without fibery food, I eat them with veggies. (I don’t like whole grain pasta so much, even though it has gotten better since the 90ies. And whole grain rice is a pain in the ass to cook.) Sadly, I’ve tried it with sweets, desserts after a meal, for example, and that doesn’t work. Probably with sweet food, the energy/fiber ratio is just not right for me.

So, for me, it’s “no” to sugar but “yes” to white rice, white bread, and white pasta. (I mostly eat whole grain bread, but I do occasionally eat white bread, too.) And the reason is that starch and my body can obviously live in harmony ;)

Bottom line is: I try to find what works for me.

this is becoming quite the long read, so I just wanted to say: I’m trying stuff out to see what works for me and what does not, but I’m very sceptical of eliminating anything from the foods I eat. Ok, I’m vegetarian. I wouldn’t have any objections to being vegan. But that’s for ecological and ethical reasons, not because of health reasons.

I admit that going completely off sugar is something I would have rather avoided, but the moderation thing didn’t really work so well. I plan on returning to eating sugar, and I hope that eating it in moderation works better after my phase of no-sugar, but I don’t have a real plan how long I want this sugar free phase to be. I’d like to do it for a month at least.

PS: I also read this article by Christy Harrison “Processed food aren’t as bad as you think” and I agree with everthing!


Diese Woche war anstrengend. Letztes Wochenende war ich krank, und habe mich bis Dienstag erholt. Prompt, als ich wieder gesund war, war das warme, sonnige Wetter vorbei, und ich durfte mich beim radeln wieder in die Regensachen hüllen.

Über den Sommer ist mein Marie-Kondo-Prozess etwas ins Stocken geraten, und ich habe mir daher eine Liste geschrieben, mit dem, was als nächstes noch abgearbeitet werden sollte. Dann habe ich mir eine Kiste mit Buntstiften vorgeknöpft, nur um festzustellen, dass ich mir die selbe Kiste schon mal vorgeknöpft hatte, viele Jahre ist das her. Denn alle Buntstifte in der Kiste gehören zu der Sorte, die sehr schön malen. Ich habe sie behalten und alle gespitzt.

Eine Box mit lauter alten Buntstiften verschiedener Hersteller.


Am Mittwoch habe ich beschlossen, dass ich erst mal eine Weile auf Zucker verzichten will, also keinen Süßkram mehr essen. Der Grund ist, dass ich mich beobachtet habe, an wie vielen Tagen die Woche ich Süßigkeiten esse, und das Ergebnis war: Jeden Tag. Mir ist das zu viel, ich muss mal von diesem Zuckerzug abspringen. Eigentlich kaufe ich gar keine Süßigkeiten, aber auf Arbeit in der Bäckerei liegt halt der ganze Kuchen rum, Cookies, Nußecken, usw. Und zuhause gibt es Marmeladenbrot, wenn ich was Süßes essen will.

Schluß damit!

Zuerst habe ich beschlossen, dass ich unter der Woche nichts Süßes esse, und am Wochenende schon. Jetzt habe ich drei Tage keinen Süßkram gegessen und ich muß leider sagen, die Gelüste sind real. Vielleicht sollte ich mich vorerst ganz vom Süßkram verabschieden, anstatt mir jedes Wochenende meinen Entwöhnungserfolg kaputt zu machen. Aber mal sehen..


Es ist ja auch wieder Inktober, und ich zeichne – zwar nicht viel, aber doch. Heute habe ich ein altes ehemaliges Fabrikgebäude gezeichnet, das gerade luxus-saniert wird.

Mein neu angefangenes Skizzenbuch mit zwei bemalten Seiten.

Leider ging es mir mental gerade diese Woche richtig schlecht, ich bin pessimistisch und das Einzige, was mich halbwegs aufrecht hält, ist, im Moment zu leben und bloß nicht an die Zukunft zu denken. Denn wer nicht an die Zukunft denkt, kommt auch nicht in einen pessimistischen Grübelkreislauf rein.

Gegen Ende war es dann ein klein wenig besser, ich hoffe, dass der Trend anhält, weil davon, dass es mir schlecht geht, wird die Welt auch nicht besser.

Weder Trans noch Cis (Introspektion und Outro)

Heute ist Trans*March in Berlin, und nicht nur deswegen, sondern so generell und überhaupt, denke ich manchmal nach, ob es das gibt, dass Leute weder Trans- noch Cisgender sind.

Kleine Erklärung vorab:

  • trans(gender) = jemand hat ein anderes Geschlecht, als das, was sie in die Geburtsurkunde reingeschrieben haben.
  • Cis(gender) = jemand hat das Geschlecht, das in der Geburtsurkunde steht.

In diesem Sinne kann ich die Frage mit einem klaren “Ja” beantworten: Ich denke, es gibt Menschen, die weder trans- noch cisgeschlechtlich sind. Denn ich kann die Frage, ob ich das Geschlecht habe, das in meiner Geburtsurkunde steht, nur mit einem uneindeutigen “Ja und nein” beantworten.

Bin ich eine Frau? Ja, aber damit ist die Geschichte noch nicht zu Ende erzählt. Bin ich ein Mann? Definitiv nicht. Bin ich ein Teilzeit-Kerl? Ja, gerne. Bin ich Nonbinary? Das kommt darauf an, wie du Nonbinary definierst – hier müsste ich eher “Jein” sagen.

non-binary gender (see also genderqueer) describes any gender identity which does not fit the male and female binary


Auf deutsch: “Non-Binary beschreibt jegliche Geschlechtsidentität, die nicht in das Binäre System von männlich und weiblich passt.”

Sind jetzt alle Frauen und Männer, die sich eben “untypisch für ihr Geschlecht” anziehen oder verhalten, oder deren Interessen die Gesellschaft dem “anderen Geschlecht” zuteilt, gleich nonbinary? Nein, denn bei Nonbinary geht es um die Geschlechtsidentität. Wenn ich sage “Ich bin eine Frau, die sich halt für Autoschrauben interessiert” ändert das Autoschrauben nichts an meiner binären Identität als Frau.

Nicht-Binäre Menschen identifizieren sich nicht (vollständig) als Frau oder Mann, und das kann heißen, dass sie sich nach außen androgyn präsentieren, aber das muss es nicht heißen. Unsere Gesellschaft sieht keine anderen Geschlechter vor als die zwei herkömmlichen, und es gibt daher keine traditionelle Art, sich zu geben, dass Andere merken, dass man weder-noch ist. Deshalb sehen nichtbinäre Menschen auf alle möglichen Arten aus und haben alle möglichen Hobbies und Berufe.

Für mich würde ich sagen: Ich bin eine Frau, aber unter Vorbehalt und mit gewissen Einschränkungen. Ich würde sagen, ich bin eine genderqueere Frau. (Viele Menschen sagen, Genderqueer sei das selbe wie Nonbinary, deshalb kam ich überhaupt erst auf die Idee, mal nachzuforschen, ob ich nun Nonbinary bin). In letzter Zeit gefällt es mir, rein äusserlich maskulin aufzutreten, aber das hat nicht so viel mit meiner Identität zu tun, die war schon immer etwas komisch, auch, als ich noch lange Haare und lange Röcke getragen habe. Ich bin auch eine schwule Frau, d.h. für mich, ich finde queere Männer klasse und würde, wenn es zum romantischen Teil des Lebens kommt, selbst gern einer sein. Hier gibt es mehr Infos zu Girlfags und Guydykes.

Übrigens verorten sich Menschen nicht so oder so, um sich “interessant zu machen”. Ich persönlich verorte mich so, weil es mir Antworten auf Fragen gibt, die ich mir stelle, um in Sachen Selbsterkenntnis weiter zu kommen. Ich habe Jahrzehnte damit zugebracht, halt “eine untypische Frau” zu sein, und ja, das kann man zur Not schon ne Weile machen. Es blieb mir ja auch gar nichts anderes übrig, denn beigebracht wurde mir nichts jenseits der üblichen zwei Geschlechter, von denen mir eins halt übergestülpt wurde.

Aber: Meiner Erfahrung nach erschwert es das Leben einfach ziemlich, wenn man nicht weiss, was dieses “untypisch sein” genau bedeutet, und wenn man das den Menschen, die einem wichtig sind, nicht vermitteln kann, wer man ist. Dann lebt man quasi die ganze Zeit mit einer Maske, die einem irgendwie nicht passt, aber man weiss nichts davon und hat keine Idee, wie man diese Maske absetzen soll. Es gibt nur ein Gefühl, dass etwas nicht so richtig stimmt.

Durch meine Kontakte mit der queeren Szene im Netz und den Erfahrungen queerer Menschen, wie es war als man “Endlich ein Wort dafür fand, was mit einem los ist”, hatte ich mich vor einigen Jahren schon auf die Suche gemacht, und bin mir dann (vorläufig auf jeden Fall) auf die Schliche gekommen ;)

Aber zur Ausgangsfrage… Trans oder Cis?

Meine Antwort ist klar ein “weder, noch”.

Ich bin nicht ganz cis, weil ich mich nicht in allen Bereichen und zu jeder Zeit als Frau sehe, weil da ein zu großes “Ja, Aber” dabei ist. Ich fühle mich mit einigen Aspekten der “Frauenrolle” und des Frau-Seins extrem unwohl, und das geht über eine bloße Ablehnung der Rolle hinaus, bzw. es ist eigentlich, vermutlich, etwas anderes, das dahintersteckt. Zumal ich vieles an der traditionellen Frauenrolle gar nicht ablehne, sondern extrem cool finde, z.B. Handarbeiten, Kochen…

Ich bin aber auch nicht so richtig trans, weil ich mich ja schon noch als Frau identifiziere, und weil ich kein Problem mit meinem Namen und weiblichem Pronomen habe. (obwohl ich inzwischen gar nichts dagegen hätte und es spannend fände, damit rumzuprobieren) Und weil ich nicht transitionieren muss. Ich habe großen Respekt vor trans Menschen und ihrem Weg, und ich fühle einfach, dass es nicht mein Platz ist, mich so zu bezeichnen. (Wenn sich andere genderqueere/nonbinary Personen als trans verorten, ohne transitionieren zu müssen, ist ok für mich, und das ist davon unberührt, das Gesagte gilt nur auf mich bezogen! Weil es auch mehr ein Gefühl ist, als ein logisch begründbarer Gedanke.)

Gender non Conforming auch ein Ding, und es heisst übersetzt, dass man in Geschlechternormen nicht so richtig rein passt, dass man nicht damit konform geht. Wenn ich (leider zu selten) auf Aktionen oder Kundgebungen für die Rechte von Trans Menschen war, habe ich in letzter Zeit gemerkt, dass der Betriff “Gender Non Conforming” immer mehr auch mit erwähnt wird und, wer da drunter fällt, auch mit bei Aktionen angesprochen ist.

Allianzen statt Identitäten

Das macht – politisch gesehen – auch Sinn, dass es nicht darum geht, ob man irgendwelche Kriterien erfüllt, sich zu irgendeiner Identitätskategorie dazu zu zählen. Sowas ist sehr wichtig für die eigene Selbsterkenntnis und dadurch auch dafür, sich mit sich selbst wohl und richtig zu fühlen. Aber politisch gesehen ist die Frage ja spannender, welche unserer Kämpfe verbunden sind und wie wir miteinander solidarisch sind.

Ich muss leider nachher eh arbeiten, deshalb werde ich auf dem Trans March Berlin nicht sein können, und ich wünsche Allen eine gute, starke, empowernde Demo!