Barefoot life

If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I suffer from an injury (shin splints) for a year now. It all started when I decided to be serious about my running, and started to do interval and hill training last year.

I have literally tried almost everything! From rest, to stretching, to exercise, strength training, physical therapists, new shoes, compression socks, insoles, trying to change my foot strike, compression sleeves, another physical therapist, painful manual treatment, more stretching, complete rest, biking, swimming, another pair of new shoes….. and, still not gone…..

I got really fed up, because I was doing everything the experts say, but I still had a lot of pain. I decided to go a bit ‘alternative’ after reading an article about walking and running barefoot or with minimal shoes. I must say, I always thought that feet needed support, but when you really think of it: we have a perfectly developed body, that has a perfect springing mechanism in our feet and lower leg, but we choose to override it with shoes that will force the feet in a different shape and constricts it so it can’t move like it naturally would.

So for about 3 weeks now, I am barefoot, and I do foot strengthening exercises almost daily. Ok, not completely barefoot, because it’s not really possible at work, I wear Vibram FiveFingers when I can’t walk barefoot. I’ve seen lots of nice minimal shoes, but they’re quite expensive and I don’t want to invest in a whole lot of shoes when I’m not convinced yet πŸ˜‰

In the first couple of days, I felt some pains in my feet and some sole scraping from some real barefoot walks on pavement. But all was fine, I rested a bit when I thought it was too uncomfortable, and I continued with my exercise program I’m currently on (home strength training twice a week, swimming twice a week and bike rides to work). The idea is to eventually start running barefoot, but I’m still getting used to the walking, so I’m not rushing myself.

And now, after 3 weeks, I’m not sure if it’s the placebo effect, but I significantly feel less pain in my shins. Let’s see how it goes from here!

(I did start shockwave therapy last week, but I’m sure it can’t already work after 1 session!)

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Mindset over diet

I am a stress- and emotional eater. I eat fast, I eat a whole lot of bad stuff in as short time frame, I eat when I’m not even hungry, I grossly overeat when I really am hungry. When something that’s unhealthy in my mind touches my tongue, I go overboard and think ‘what the heck’. I anxiously try to eat healthy and try to keep count of everything I eat in a kind of obsessive way, to make sure I eat healthy all the time. My thoughts about food are really black and white. In my mind, I know it’s nonsense, but changing the way you feel about something is really hard.Β Last year I decidedΒ I needed to seriously change my thoughts and behavior, because just following a healthy lifestyle or a diet didn’t change that for me and I ended up relapsing and gaining weight again.

My current method is to stop and stand still. I try to do yoga regularly, I meditate, I have therapy and I think everything together is working for me. I’ve watched a TED-talk about addiction some days ago, which I also thought was really helpful. I thought it was a bit like mindfulness, the speaker talked about letting cravings or bad thoughts be there, accept that they’re there, but you don’t have to act on them. It works better than fighting the thoughts or cravings, because it’s like the ‘don’t think about a pink elephant game’. It only makes you think about it more! So here’s the video, I hope you guys get the same out of it I did:

 

 

Protein bars (made with protein powder)

Hi there!

I currently like to eat protein bars as a snack, because they’re easy to take with you, they’re tasty and the ones I’m eating (clean protein bars from http://www.bodyenfitshop.nl) are also quite filling. But also very expensive! So I was looking to see if I could make them myself using protein powder, which is less expensive. I combined some ideas I saw online and came up with these tasty, easy to make and no-bake bars:

Recipe is for 8 bars: Β PicsArt_04-27-09.19.28
1 bar is 2 sp for you ww people out there

1 bar contains 106 kcal, 6.4 gr carbs, 2.8 gr fat and 12.6 gr protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) of unsweetened almond milk
  • A splash of liquid sweetener (to taste)
  • A few drops of vanilla and rum essence (or whatever tastes good to you)
  • 50 gr coconut flour
  • 20 gr unsweetened peanutbutterpowder
  • 100 gr of coconut flavour whey protein powder (I use whey perfection)
  • 15 gr raw cacao nibs
  • 20 gr psyllium fiber

Mix the liquid ingredients with the smashed banana, set aside. Use a sieve for the flour, peanutbutter powder and protein powder, and mix with the cacao nibs and fiber. Throw like a teaspoon of this mix in your pan/mould to ease removal afterwards! Now pour the liquid mix on top of the ‘dry’ mix, and mix until it becomes like a dough. If it’s too dry, add a bit of extraΒ almond milk. It shouldn’t be too wet, because it will not really dry up anymore. Press the dough into a pan, a mould or whatever has a shape that suits you. Put in the fridge for a couple of hours, remove, cut into 8 pieces and use a bit of baking paper to wrap them, because they’re still a bit sticky! Store in the fridge, enjoy!

PicsArt_04-27-09.35.45

Veggie lasagna

My mom gave me the Jamie Oliver’s superfood cookbook for Christmas and I’ve been using it to get some new ideas. Of course I’m not going to completely copy somebody else’s recipe, but I like to use it as inspiration to come up with something that fits my lifestyle, so here is the veggie lasagna recipe everybody’s waiting for πŸ™‚

It contains 291 kcal per portion, 26 gr carbs, 11 gr fat and 24 gr of protein. It’s 6 sp on weightwatchers!

Ingredients for 2 portions:

  • 1 squash/pumpkin (the long type) IMG_20160208_141419
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 hands of fresh spinach
  • 20 gr sunflowerseeds
  • 200 gr cottage cheese
  • 20 gr parmesan grated
  • salt, pepper and italian herbs

Preheat your oven to 340 degrees F or 170 degrees C. I use a silicone cake-shapeΒ baking moldΒ to get it in the shape I want. Use a cheese slicer or any other tool to make very thin slices of zucchini and squash. When you reach the middle of the vegetable, it won’t give you nice slices, so cut those piece up and use it in the sauce. Lay the nice slices out on some plates (you’ll also get some bad slices, use them in the sauce!) Sprinkle some salt on the slices. It’ll draw out some of the water which you can remove with some kitchen towell. Repeat once. In the mean time, cut the onion, tomatoes, zucchini and pumpkin piecesΒ and fry it in a nonstick pan. Add the spinach and let it shrink. Make sure it get’s thick and most of the moisture is gone! Add the salt, pepper and herbs.

IMG_20160207_111352Start layering your ingredients, start with pumpkin slices and use your imagination to make the rest of the layers. Be aware that normally the pasta plates absorb a lot of moisture. Making lasagna without the pasta will create a lot of moisture, so make sure you drain the cottage cheese before you use is and make the sauce as thick as possible. End with the pumpkin slices again and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Put it in the oven and bake it for about 30-45 minutes, check it regularly for getting too brown. After this, remove from the oven, cut it in half and remove. Let it drain a bit on a plate to remove some of the excess moisture and enjoy!

Kcal in/out & fat burn zone

I am so guilty of obsessing over my kcal burn at the gym compared to my calory intake, especially since I got my new Fitbit Charge HR. It’s funny how we perceive something to be so true and solid, while at the same time, it’s really fooling us. For example, how do you know your food contains exactly the amount of calories you’ve calculated? You actually don’t, its all an estimation, which is fine by me, but thought you might want to know before you stress out over a few of them πŸ˜‰

So now something about the fat burn zone. It has been a myth for a long time, that in order to lose weight or lose fat, you need to do low intensity steady state (LISS) workouts to burn fat. The myth says your heartrate needs to be in a certain zone to maximise the amount of fat burned. There is a bit of truth behind it, but not in a way you might think. I’ll try to explain.Β Screenshot_2015-12-19-21-49-09-1

Your body contains a certain amount of glycogen, which is basically long chains of glucose. There’s some storage in the muscles and in the liver. It’s a fast and easy way of providing the body energy fast when it needs it. Like in emergency situations, where you have to run away fast in case of danger for example. The thing is, your body really wants to preserve this storage for these emergencies, but will use is when it’s necessary. Fat burning is slower though, it needs more processes to get to energy so it’s not efficient in emergencies. So, for example, you go for a long and sturdy walk (LISS), the body will burn some glycogen, but finds out you go slow and steady (no emergency), so it starts up the processes of burning fat. Slowly, the amount of fats used as energy will increase and the amount of glycogen used will decrease. It will never go to 0%, but because of the slow and steady pace, you’ll have a higher % of fatburn in comparison to the fast and shorter situations where you’ll get a higher % of glycogen burn.

So up to now, you’ll be like, ok, you said it’s a myth but this really sounds like LISS is the way to go for fat burn? I’ll try to get to the clue. It is ALL about energy in and energy out. If you burn more energy than you eat, you’ll lose weight and vice versa. It doesn’t really matter if you burn a higher fat %, because in the end, the body will restore the glycogen stores, using the fat stores if you don’t eat more than you burn! And guess what, the more intense the workout, the more kcal you burn, so in the end, you’ll also burn more fat with intense workouts. There’s been a lot of research about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is short bursts of high intensity training followed by short periods of lower intensity training. It happens to be that you’ll burn a lot more kcal during these workouts, but also AFTER them, making them very efficient for losing weight!

So before I conclude I’ll have to add something else. There actually are other benefits of LISS, like getting more endurance. You’ll not hear me say that you shouldn’t do LISS. It’s just that I think it’s good to know what type of exercise benefits are out there and what will fit your goal! Personally, I’ve been heavy weightlifting (which is also a bit of a HIIT workout) since the start of my journey. For the first 10 months or so, I never did any cardio. Right now, I do 20 minutes of HIIT intervals on the elliptical after weightlifting. I also try to get 10.000 steps daily, which means I go for walks almost every day, which is my LISS workout. It keeps me active and energetic!

How I fell from the wagon and how I’m getting back

Hello everybody!

Like I promised on my Instagram account, I’m writing something about what happened in the last couple of weeks and months, so here it is.Β 447391030_640

Technically what happened is that I slowly had more and more difficulty with making healthy choices, which finally ended with being off track for about 2 months. And when I say off track I mean OFF track, like eating junk all day, next to Β no mealprepping, no gym. I still tried to keep contact with some of my fit friends and I was still accepting fitbit challenges. Doing that, I got to the point where I realised what needed to be done.

Now the emotional part, because really, my eating is just a way of coping. What I’m going to write now are reasons why I think it went south, you can also interpret them as excuses, anything that works for you is fine by me πŸ™‚ So at the beginning of this year, I started my residency. It was really exciting and something I worked very hard for. I knew it was difficult and very time consuming, but it is what I really want, so I went for it. In april I started working at a very busy ward, came home late, tired and had to endure a lot of stress at work with very sick people. I struggled with the lack of time, where I usually would go to the gym. Slowly, I started to get worse at prepping and gymming and that’s where it really went south.Β  So stupid, I know, but the mind is stupid sometimes…..

So at one point I felt like this is enough, and I felt like I didn’t feel good in my clothes anymore. I talked with some of my fit friends about it and came to the conclusion that I needed to change my environment. I decided to ditch the scale. I know when I’m on track/off track and don’t need the scale to tell me that. I will slowly feel better in my clothes, which is more important that the number on the scale.

In the end, I’m very happy that I was able to stop before I got to my old weight, which is what happened throughout my life!

Zucchini crust pizza recipe

It’s been a while, but I’m still alive and doing well! Today I’m uploading a recipe for a great zucchini crust pizza. I’ve IMG_20150726_204046combined some things I’ve seen on the internet and sprinkled it with some own ideas πŸ˜‰ Be aware, this is not a ‘low fat, carb free, whatever whatever’ recipe. I LOVE cheese, so there’s a lot of real cheese in this recipe. Of course you can change it to your liking. Personally, I believe that if you crave real pizza, go and eat real pizza! One pizza won’t make you fat, just as one salad won’t make you skinny. Myself, I don’t care too much for the wheat based crust, I care for the cheese, so that’s why this pizza is great for me and right now it’s zucchini season so I can get a lot of them for free from my parents garden or from my own balcony. (Unfortunately my round zucchini plant suffered from the storm we had over here 2 weeks ago, it might not give flowers anymore, boohoo)

Ingredients for 1 big ass pizza (you can definitely use this recipe for 2 smaller pizza’s!):

Base:

  • 2 store bought zucchini’s (or 1 large one)
  • 30 grams of goat cheese flakes (or parmesan cheese) full fat
  • 40 grams of coconut flour (or use regular whole wheat flour or almond flour, you might have to add more of it though, because coconut flour is really dry)IMG_20150805_182724
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder (or real garlic)

Toppings:

  • A 7-8 biggish grape tomatoes or 2-3 normal ones, sliced
  • A cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • A small tin of tomato paste
  • 50 grams of blue cheese full fat
  • Italian herbs

Instructions:

Preheat the oven on 180 Celcius or 350 Fahrenheit. Grate the zucchini and put it in de microwave for about 2,5 minutes, stir with a fork and then another 2,5 minutes in the microwave. You’ll see a lot of fluids coming from the zucchini, that needs to be drained. Let it leak through a dish towel, or use a strainer or anything that will let the water flow away. You can also squeeze it a bit to remove most of the water. Now put it in a bowl and add the othe20150805_183628r ingredients for the base. Stir, if it’s too watery, you can add a bit more flour. Put the ‘dough’ on a ovenplate, I use baking paper. Push it around untill you have a pizza base shape, make sure you don’t leave it too thick and make sure the edges aren’t too thin (the edges will burn first!). Now put the oven plate in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. You check the base to see if it’s a bit firm. 20150805_191351Now I do the magic trick, I put a grill on the base (do you call it a grill? Check the pic!) and turn it around, so the base now lies on the grill and can be baked properly in the oven. I usually bake it for another 20-30 minutes, check how it looks, if it gets darker too fast reduce the temperature a bit.

20150805_191801

Now remove it from the oven, add your toppings and put it back for about 10-15 minutes. I usually use regular tomato paste, then add the herbs (if you put them on top, they might burn), then the mushrooms, then tomatoes and finish with the cheese.

Nutritional information:

Kcal: 811, Carbs: 49 grams, fat: 44 grams, 20150805_192058protein: 54 grams. (adjust when you change the ingredients!)

IMG_20150805_194216Enjoy!