healthy eating

17 things I loved in 2017

By December 31, 2017 No Comments

I’m sitting by the fireplace at my in-laws, browsing through pictures on my phone, looking back at all the moments that I captured in 2017. I’m always amazed at just how much we experience throughout one year.

There’s not just moments, but also quotes that made me think, products I loved, and new recipes that established themselves as new favorites. Every year shapes us in new ways and we end up a little different than the way we started, adapting new habits, letting go of old ones.

So here are 17 of my favorite things, moments, recipes, and more that shaped my 2017:


  1. Audiobooks

I love books, especially fiction, but for the last few years all I ever read was textbooks or goodnight stories for my kids. There just wasn’t enough time in the day to read… until I dusted off that one audiobook I got a couple of years ago. And so every day on my commute to work I started listening to another chapter of “All the light we cannot see” by Anthony Doerr. What an amazing book! It’s one of those books that you don’t want to end because you just know you’ll be upset when it’s over.


  1. Collagen peptides

I started adding this to my morning smoothie or coffee for some added protein and the health boosting effects that collagen has for your gut, hair, skin, and joints. I love the convenient sleeve packets to take on the go. Even better: they dissolve in hot or cold so there’s no clumpy mess.


  1. Tapioca flour

I’ve experimented with grain free/gluten free baking and have found several great recipes, but oftentimes things turned out crumbly, soggy, or tasting too much of coconut. Until I came across tapioca flour. Holy moley – mix that ½ and ½ with coconut flour and you got  grain free base that makes ahhh-mazing waffles and pancakes.


  1. Pumpkin pancakes

I had shared this recipe during my Instagram takeover for the official 21 Day Sugar Detox page, and some of the comments were “Those look so fluffy!”, “My kids love these!” and “They were awesome!!”

Ingredients for 8-10 pancakes:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsps pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil or melted butter

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk of choice (as needed, add slowly)


Mix dry ingredients first, then stir in wet ingredients and combine. Heat a large pan and then add a tablespoon of coconut oil (for each batch). Drop in about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, flatten then a bit if needed, and then cook  about 3 mins on each side, or until golden brown.

Serve with cinnamon whipped cream, coconut butter, or almond butter for extra healthy fats. .


  1. Taking in the everyday joy & beauty

Moments like this one, or that one.


  1. Grounding

Sometimes also called earthing, basically means connecting electrically with the earth.  A growing body of research is finding numerous health benefits as a result of the physical body being grounded. The simplest way to be grounded is to go outside and place your bare feet or hands on some grass or earth, or to immerse yourself in a body of conductive water such as the sea or a mineral-rich lake.

I know this sounds a little bit “out there” or tree huggerish to some of you, but give it a try. Get you bare feet on the ground, take some deep, slow breaths, and tell me that doesn’t make you feel better!!


  1. Brussels chips

The most obvious transformation of a seemingly yucky vegetable into a delicious one happens by roasting them. Especially Brussels sprouts! But my kids were still not a fan. Until they got a few of the crispy leaves that fell off. It’s like chips!! Those were a huge hit with them. And me 🙂

Try it:

Preheat your oven to 375 F. Cut off the bottoms of thr Brussels and discard along with any wilted outer leaves. Peel off the leaves and toss them with only a little olive oil (too much will make them soft/soggy). Sprinkle with a little sea salt and roast for 20 minutes, tossing once, until they’re crispy but not burnt.


  1. Waterfalls in Iceland

The trip of a lifetime. I had been dreaming of seeing some of these places and this year I finally got to see this magic in person. It was breathtaking!


  1. Meeting my new niece and seeing my nephew

My family lives in Germany so I don’t get to see them as often as I wish, so seeing my little nephew and meeting my new baby niece was a real treat for me – and for my kids too!


  1. Cultivating self-care without guilt.

I’m learning to replace the word “hustle” with “align”, making more time for the things that matter to my soul and wellbeing. Because we all know that you can’t pour from an empty cup. For example, does this sound true to you?


  1. People realizing they’re stronger together

Seeing people come together in the wake of this year’s natural disasters was heart wrenching and uplifting at the same time. It’s sad to see that it often takes extremes like this for us to set aside our differences, but it’s good to know that not all is lost when it comes to humanity.


  1. My husband 

If there’s one person who deserves a Man of Year award in my life, it’s definitely my husband. Boy, has he had to put up with a lot this year. There have been a lot of big changes, ups and downs, and we even got to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. So, thank you for being my everything! I love you!


  1. Simple Mills grain-free pizza mix

My rock star husband makes a killer pizza dough, but unfortunately I can’t handle it well (it’s not gluten free). So I was thrilled to finally find a gluten free pizza dough mix that I loved, and it was even grain free with not a million ingredients. Get your hands on a box of Simple Mills’ pizza dough, and enjoy pizza again! (of course it’s not the same as real pizza, but come on!)


  1. Wanderlust

I’m not sure why I had never gone to a Wanderlust event before, but whatever the reasons were, they evaporated quickly when I finally made it to the Miami one this year. Dubbed the “Mindfulness Triathlon”, it combines 3 of my favorite things: running, yoga, and meditation. The worrier in me feared that it would be competitive, but no. Not at all. The vibe was relaxed, and totally non-judgmental. Smiling faces all around, and just a big sense of “do what you can and what feels good for you”.


15. Coconut butter

Sometimes you keep passing up on things that everyone else is raving about, just because you don’t need yet another new thing. That was coconut butter for me. Until I finally got a jar because it was on sale and I really wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Well, I can tell you the fuss is real. I added a spoonful on top of those pumpkin pancakes, and a bit of sliced apple, and mmhh, mmmh, mmmhhhhh!


16. The 4 Tendencies (by Gretchen Rubin)

This is almost like the coconut butter of books. I heard about it, listened to interviews with the author, and eventually bought the audiobook (of course). It was such an insightful read for me. Figuring out my own tendency, that of my husband, kids, and clients, has already opened my eyes so much and made me understand why we do things the way we do, and react the way we do.


17. Sunrises

Watching a sunrise is always magical. It never gets old. So really, this is likely on my list every year, but could you ever get tired of watching this:




About Ulla Schindler

Ulla is a holistic health coach, mom, wife, career changer, and the owner of where she teaches people how to start and sustain a healthy lifestyle so they can confidently shop, cook, and eat for a healthier body, mind, and planet. Ulla graduated from Bauman College, and lives in Hollywood, FL with her husband and two kids.

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