My take on enchiladas

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The guy’s dinner

Recently my guy moved in with me, so I’m looking for new recipes that we can share, or easily adjust to our own requirements. I found this great recipe for (zero weight watchers flex points) tortillas, and I decided to add some filling and make some kind of ‘open’ enchiladas. I used the exact recipe mentioned above, and added 2 cloves of garlic to the mixture before baking. I made 5 tortillas with it, 3 for the guy, 2 for me. I really thought I would still taste the cauliflower, but I didn’t, they’re really great! It made me decide to use the remaining cauliflower in the white sauce, and it was amazing.

 

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My dinner

What I used for the guy’s filling:
– 200 gr low fat minced beef
– 80 gr corn from a can
– 35 gr black beans from a can
– 200 gr diced tomatoes from a can
– 1/2 green bell pepper diced
– 1/2 small onion cut small
– 1/2 crushed garlic clove
– Chili powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt and pepper

What I used for my filling:
Exactly the same but used a mixture of minced turkey and minced low fat beef. The whole recipe for me was 11 weight watchers flex points. Quite a lot, but so worth it!

I made a white sauce: (1/4 for me, 1/2 for the guy, refrigerated the rest)
– 10 gr real butter
– 1 table spoon flour
– 100 ml low fat milk
– 1 cup riced cauliflower
– 40 gr grated parmesan cheese
– Salt and pepper

Instructions:
I made the tortillas like the recipe said. I used 2 nonstick pans for the filling, for both I just fried the meat, then added the onion, garlic and bell pepper. After a bit of frying, I added the diced tomatoes and spices. For the white sauce, just melt the butter in a pan until it’s bubbling, then add the flour (it becomes crumbly), slowly add the milk while stirring. Add the cauliflower, a bit of water if it’s too thick. Add the parmesan cheese and keep stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill the tortillas, add the white sauce on top and a bit of extra parmesan cheese if you want. Bake in the oven (200 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes. You can easily make this meal ahead, put it in a oven dish and pop it in the oven when you want to eat!

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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:  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 extra 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!

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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 🙂

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-shape baking mold 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 pieces 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!

Mealprep week 6 breakdown

I always start with the fact that I don’t think everybody should mealprep, I’m writing this because I want to show people a way that most think is impossible or very hard. It can be done and it’s not even that hard! For more tips go and check out this mealprep 101 post. I kept it relatively easy during this weeks mealprep. So what did I make:

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Breakfast: superseed oats with pb and a banana (and I add blueberries and goji berries): With pb:7 pp, 275 kcal, 23 gr carbs, 13 gr fat, 16 gr protein. Without pb: 5pp, 224 kcal, 22 gr carbs, 9 gr fat, 14 gr protein. Check out this post for the exact recipe.

Snack 1: carrots and 1/2 bell pepper. 0pp, 64 kcal, 1 gr fat, 12 gr carbs and 2 gr protein.

Snack 2: banana-protein bread, The whole bread contains 1441 kcal, 30 gr fat, 179 gr carbs and 101 gr protein. A 1/6 slice (which is BIG) contains 5pp, 240 kcal, 5 gr fat, 30 gr carbs and 17 gr protein. Check out this post for the exact recipe.

Lunch: sweet potato, chicken, tomatoes and sugar snaps. My serving is 8pp, 408 kcal, 6 gr fat, 37 gr carbs and 47 gr protein.

Snack 3: 2 clementines. 0pp, 54 kcal, 0.4 gr fat, 11.2 gr carbs and 0.8 gr protein.

Dinner: yellow brown rice, cauliflower and a pork sausage (100% clean). 7pp, 348 kcal, 11 gr fat, 30 gr carbs, 28 gr protein.

Nutritional information of 1 day: 27pp, 1389 kcal, 36 gr fat, 143 gr carbs, 110 gr protein.

IMPORTANT: this is a VERY basic mealprep. I will add at least 1 questbar to get to my daily allowance, but will add more food on the days I workout. This is meant for an average women to lose weight when already close to goal. This will NOT be enough for an average male or female who doesn’t need to lose weight or for a very obese person! Calculate your specific needs on www.iifym.com.

Instructions:

I’m not going to write a complete shoppinglist anymore, because the chance somebody wants to do this exact prep is very small and it’s a huge time investment on my part. So generally, I do my preps like this:

I wake up Monday morning and start with the breakfast prep (recipe over here). Sometimes I already put everything in the pan on Sunday evening for easy and fast cooking. I eat 1 of the breakfast, then I’ll go shopping for the rest of the ingredients. When I come home, I pop the chicken (4 200gr pieces of boneless chicken) in the steam cooker, while I peel and cut the sweet potato (4×125 gr). I add those in the top layer of the steam cooker. Total steam cooker time is 60 minutes. Meanwhile, I preheat the oven and make the dough for the banana-protein bread (recipe over here). When the bread is in the oven, I wash the brown rice (4×30 gr) and boil it with tumeric, salt and hot curry spices for about 30 minutes. I also throw the sausages in a pan and fry them slowly for about 30 minutes (turning them from time to time). Usually around this time I have some waiting to do, I’ll use this for cutting/cleaning my veggies and put them in the tubs. Now some of the things are finished, I’ll let it cool down before I put them in the tub. I let the bread cool down partially and slice it into 6 pieces (eat 1 right away, nom nom). Let everything cool down properly before you put the lids on! Divide your portions using the weighing method I describe in my mealprep 101 post!

Enjoy!

Recipe for stuffed pepper with mashed sweet potato

This dish had me in heavenly bliss. It is so incredibly delicious! Especially the combination of these two dishes is very tasty, the strong flavor from the cheese mixed with the sweetness from the potato mash…. Yum! Make sure you calculate your macro’s and pp with your own ingredients, as they may differ from the ones I used! (especially the coconutmilk, there are so many different types, ranging from 60 kcal per 100 ml to 200 kcal per 100 ml)

 

Sweet potato mash: (5pp per serving, makes 4 servings)

1 serving: 249 kcal, fat: 7 gr, carb: 35 gr, protein: 4.5 gr

500 grams of peeled and diced sweet potatoes

1 teaspoon of olive oilIMG_20150111_191938

2 onions, cut finely

1 clove of garlic, squeezed/finely cut

2 teaspoons ginger powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

100 ml of coconutmilk (or 200 ml skimmed one)

1 cup dry white wine

4 heaped cups of cut kale

Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

Boil or steam the sweet potato until very soft. In the meantime, heat a non stick pan very slowly, with the olive oil. Add the onions and caramelize in about 15-20 minutes. Add the garlic and after 2 minutes the wine. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then add the coconut milk, the spices, salt and pepper and the kale. Stir and add the potato. Mash with a fork or a mashing spoon, but make sure it is not completely smooth. Finished!

 

Stuffed bell pepper: (6pp per serving, makes 4 servings)

1 serving: 279 kcal, fat: 20 gr, carb: 5.5 gr, protein: 20.5 gr

4 bell peppers

300 grams of lean minced beef

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic, squeezed/finely cut

1 teaspoon of olive oil

100 grams of Roquefort cheese (or any other strong blue cheese)

1 tomato

1 teaspoon Italian herbs

Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 190C or 275F. Take a non stick pan and glaze your onions in the olive oil. Add the minced beef and garlic and stir until loose and fried (5-10 minutes). Add the Italian herbs and salt/pepper to taste and take the pan from your heating source. Cut the top from your bell peppers and clear the insides. Now, divide the cheese by 4, and divide the beef mixture by 4. Now fill your peppers with some beef and put some cheese in between. Put a slice of tomato in the middle. Now put in your oven for about 30 minutes, make sure to check once in a while to make sure the peppers are not becoming too brown. Put the ‘pepper lids’ in the oven after 15 minutes to bake along.

 

Enjoy!

The Factory

So let’s say you are a factory owner/manager. Your factory has a couple of machines and you have some employees, you produce goods. Your buildings heating/lighting and the machines run on fuel, so one of your biggest priorities is to make sure you have a daily fuel delivery. Times are good, you usually use 6 barrels of fuel daily, but your delivery sells you 20 barrels a day. You like it that way, better have some storage for when bad days are coming. Factory_3

At one point you have more than 500 barrels in storage, you had to extend your storage facilities, which also needs more maintenance, lighting and heating, so your daily fuel usage grows to 8 barrels a day, so you’re storing 12 barrels a day! Your factory is thriving; your storage is still growing and it’s even 1000 barrels now.

One day, disaster strikes. The economy crashes and your daily fuel delivery falls to 2 barrels a day. You’re not worried. Your storage is so big, you can withstand a little hitch like this. You go through 8 barrels a day for some time (6 from your storage and 2 from the daily supply), and after 2 months, you see that your storage has declined significantly. But, you’re not too worried, the economy will become better, so you continue like you always do. After another month you become a bit worried. You have 460 barrels left in storage and if you continue like this, you’ll be out of fuel in less than 3 months. So you decide to change some things. First of all, your big storage is not really necessary anymore, so you shut down part of it, which will decline your fuel usage to 6 barrels a day. But, still a bit worried, you also shut down some machines and fire some of your employees, so your daily usage has come down to 4 barrels a day. 2 from your storage and 2 from the daily supply.

OilBarrelCorbisBarbaraDavidson460You’re a bit relieved, with this rate, you can maintain your factory and have some output, and can continue for almost 8 months if nothing changes. After 5 months, you have 180 barrels in store, and guess what, the economy is in a rise and your daily delivery has come back to 20 barrels a day! So what do you do… you hire new employees, you go back to your old capacity and you start storing those excessive barrels again. But you don’t need the big storage yet, you’re still at a low point, so you can store up to 14 barrels a day!

The factory = your body (simplified)

So now let’s translate this to our body. The factory is the body, the fuel is the energy that comes in through food. You can see that when more food comes in than you need, the body will store the energy (fat). You can also see that when your storage grows, your body will need more energy, a bigger body needs more fuel to maintain than a smaller body.

When the fuel delivery declines, so when you eat less energy than your body needs, it will take energy from the storage, from the fat. But…. your body becomes smaller with less storage, so it will need less energy to maintain it. You’ll see at that point, the amount of energy you’ll take from the storage will decrease. If we translate this to weight loss: if you lose weight very fast with a diet of 1800 kcal, you’ll lose weight slower once you lost a significant amount of weight, because your body needs less energy to maintain it and will take less fat. BUT the body always wants to preserve as much as possible, so in order to maintain for some time, it will shut down a bit, a bit less energy is needed and losing weight will even go slower, because it takes less fat from your storage.

Ok, so what if you were the factory manager, and instead of getting 2 daily barrels, you got 4 daily barrels. What would you have done? Would you have made the decision to lower the factory ouput? I wouldn’t, I would’ve kept going, kept the same output and kept taking 2 barrels from the storage. Your body also works like that. If you keep that energy coming, it won’t shut down that much and will go in ‘preservation mode’ less fast. Lesson number one: Don’t forget to fuel your body with good energy. Less is not more! Eating not enough can lead to your body shutting down (hairloss, feeling tired, feeling cold all the time, dry skin and a lot more, sometimes subtle symptoms).

So, you can see when the economy was rising again, (or in other words, you stop eating less and go back to your old ways), the body starts storing the energy again, so you start gaining fat. But your body is less big than it was when you started your diet, so you’ll even store your fat faster, because your smaller body needs less energy!

More output = more fuel needed

So now you’re the factory owner and 3 times a week you want a bit more output during an hour. So you stimulate your employees to work very hard during that hour, your machines work on maximum speed, your output is big and you use more fuel in this hour to make everything run. After this hour, your employees go back to their normal speed and the machines run as they normally do. But you know, if you do this too much and don’t take time to rest, build and maintain your machines, they can eventually break down or run less well then they used to do. Your output will decline and your fuel usage will also decrease.

What if you would start building some new machines, it takes some time and energy to build them, but when they’re finished and running, you’ll have a bigger output throughout the day (and a bigger fuel usage) without your employees even having to work harder! And if you would push your employees to work harder for an hour in this situation, your output would even be bigger!

Maybe you already guessed, but this is a simplified version of cardio and weightlifting. What you see is that your body will burn more energy during cardio, but after cardio it will go back to it’s usual state. If you do a lot of cardio, and don’t properly take rest, build and fuel the body, it can breakdown some muscle, which will make your daily energy usage decline. Good for preserving energy, not good for losing weight. So with the weightlifting, you build extra muscle, which will burn more energy throughout the day without doing anything special. If you do a mix of both, you’ll even burn more. Lesson number two: it’s important to do a mix of both weightlifting and cardio to burn energy and to build your body, but equally important is to have enough rest and fuel your body right.

 

IMPORTANT: this is a simplified way of looking at your body. There are more facets to how the body works. If you have any specific questions, just ask!

My weightloss journey

Well, I’ll tell you something about my weight loss. What I want PicsArt_1419334409569you to know is, that I truly believe there are so many ways to lose weight, there’s not one right way to do it. I write about my story and what works for me and my visions about it, but what works for you might be something completely different! If you don’t agree with something, just say so, or ask me about it. I have lost 75 lbs/34 kg up to today, I started my journey on march 3rd 2014. If you want to know more about me and my struggles with losing weight, go to the ‘About me’ tab. Here on the right you can see my progress. I had already lost some weight when I took the first picture though! I really recommend taking pictures (even if it’s just for yourself), it’s so motivating to see yourself shrink!

So, my method of choice is Weightwatchers. There are a couple of reasons why I love it so much, I’ll try to break it down:

  1. Weightwatchers adjusts your caloric needs to your weight/height/age/gender, so, in the beginning you can actually eat more than when you’re close to goal. That’s also reasonable, because a smaller body needs less energy.
  2. Weightwatchers gives you the flexibility to eat more on some days, but it dictates you have to eat a certain amount of food every day, so you’ll always eat enough and don’t starve yourself.
  3. Weightwatchers lets you eat fruit and vegetables for ‘free’, which I think is a very good approach to stimulate you to eat more healthy food. Yes, there are calories in fruits too and no, it doesn’t give you permission to eat 100 bananas a day, because that’s just childish and you know that it’s not what weightwatchers meant.

There are also some downsides, the biggest one I think is that they don’t discriminate in their macro’s or on how you eat your daily allowed points. That’s also their strength I guess, because you can eat everything and it doesn’t give you the guilty feeling you’ll get when you ‘cheat’, because if you track your points it’s not cheating. Personally, I pay extra attention to eating enough protein. I also try to eat ‘clean’ on a daily basis, which is not something that weightwatchers controls. I try to stay away from light products, because usually they don’t taste like the real thing and are full of crap. I definitely eat ‘unhealthy’ stuff too, just not on a daily basis and usually it’s planned. I try to track everything, so even if I have an unplanned binge (yeah, still happens sometimes), I track all the cookies, wine and whatever I take. I’ve learned not to beat myself down for it, because really, that makes everything worse! I get back on the horse right after it and try to compensate with some extra exercise. And you know what.. it works! No major gains or setbacks happened!

IMG_20140810_154524What really helped my weight loss is the planning. I started to track my points before eating them, so I plan what I eat and know the amount of points in the food. Later in the progress I started making dinners for a couple of days, to overcome my tiredness in the evenings after work and making it easier for myself when I come home after a difficult day at work. It really worked for me and it kept me on track. After this, I also started to make breakfast for the whole week, just because it’s easy and time saving. My prepping evolved to the point where I currently prep all my meals and snacks for my workdays on Mondays (I work from Tuesday to Friday, and have 1-2 extra night/weekend shifts a week). If you want to know more about the prepping, visit the tab ‘Mealprep’, it’s coming up soon! I’ll post some mealplan and mealprep advise and mealprep breakdowns.

So, you see I started with the food part, because that’s really the most important thing when you want to lose weight! Now let’s talk about exercise!

From the beginning of my journey, I started weightlifting. I IMG_20141129_130549started with 2 total body sessions a week. I also got a Fitbit (a pedometer) to track my daily activity. I try to get 10.000 steps a day, but I don’t really get it every day, because sometimes I’m just too tired, and that’s ok. Later on, I progressed to 3 weightlifting sessions a week. I consulted a Personal Trainer at my gym and one of my friends boyfriend who is a PT as well. I also started a 10 min walk or 10 min elliptical training after the lifting. At one point, I thought I should start running and jumping. I started doing box jumps, jump rope and running on the treadmill. I used to have a hip injury, caused by running and bootcamp some years ago, and after 2 weeks of my new ‘high impact’ schedule I felt my hip injury again! From that moment I put myself on a strict low impact exercise ‘diet’, so no jumping or running and no incline on the treadmill. I also started foam rolling and stretching after working out. My hip pains disappeared very quickly!

My current schedule is as follows:

IMG_20141026_213558Monday: total body weightlifting, end with 10-15 minutes on elliptical

Tuesday: rest (but try to get 10k steps)

Wednesday: I try to go bouldering with my friend (It’s wall climbing without ropes, VERY fun!)

Thursday: total body weightlifting, end with 10-15 minutes on elliptical

Friday: rest (but again try to get 10k steps)

Saturday: total body kettlebell circuit, after that a couple of weightlifting exercises, end with elliptical

Sunday: 20 min fasted HIIT on elliptical after a 30 min warm-up walk on treadmill

I end every exercise with foam rolling and stretching. I take a protein shake after each exercise, after the fasted HIIT I add 10 gr of steelcut oats and 5 gr of BCAA to my protein shake. Currently I’m trying a bit of running again. My views on running when overweight/obese will be further talked about in the section about my views on things (coming up soon!).

What you can see is that I didn’t start with this program right away. Starting exercising 5 times a week from scratch can be very hard and the chance that you quit or get an injury is very high! I’m really happy I took it ‘slow’, by slowly raising the amount of exercise and the load during the exercises. As you can see I don’t do a lot of cardio. Yeah, I hate spending hours on those cardio machines and I’m not really a long distance runner. And that’s ok, I don’t need to be. I’ll talk more about weightlifting for losing weight in the section about my views (coming up soon!). IMG_20141004_154510

I’m currently 14 kg (31 lbs) away from goal. My goal is feeling fit and great in my body, so if I feel this before I hit my goalweight, I’ll not go for the goalweight, simple as that!