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!

PicsArt_04-27-09.35.45

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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 😉 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!

Three degrees of contagion (yes, being fit is contagious)

As you may or may not know, I recently started my residency in psychiatry. This week I’ll attend a lecture about the network theory. As a total nerd, I wanted to know more about it before I even go to the lecture, so I started some reading. The network theory is just a very abstract theory that can be applied to so many things, so I started to think about it in terms of my own losing weight/getting healthy and fit journey.

network, 3 degrees of contagion

You can apply the theory to your own social network. You put yourself in the middle as a dot, and everybody you are close to is also a dot, connected to you by a line. For all those people, they’ll also have their own people they are close to, represented by a dot, connected to them by a line. If you make a graph like this, up to the third layer, there will be a lot of dots and lines, this is your social network (you can make it bigger by dotting everybody you know vs everybody who’s close to you and go up to the sixth layer, but let’s keep it simple). Ok, so statistically, it has been researched that up to the third connection (this is the ‘three degrees of contagion), your behavior can influence the other people in your network. For example, if you’re very happy, your first connections have a 15% higher change of being happy themselves, the next connection 10% and the third connection 6% (all statistically significant and free from bias).

I find this theory very interesting, especially when I think of it in weightloss terms. A lot of us (former) fatties complain about the fact that our environment is not helping us in our journey (bad food around us, inactive people/work). This is very true and can also be scientifically explained by the network theory. BUT, we can also turn it around. What if I decide that I’m going to live a very healthy and active life and be fit. This will mean that my direct surroundings will also have a higher change of living such a life. I’ve seen it happening, my 2 brothers have also started weightwatchers and my youngest brother’s fiancé too. My sister goes to the gym more often and my mom too. My collegues have started bringing healthier things and want to go on my lunch walks with me. And in a more digital world, my IG friends get inspired by me and start mealprepping or other fit stuff. I find this very inspirational and really, it helps my own journey too! Both my brothers celebrated their birthdays recently and both served healthy snacks (yay). So in other words, you create your own environment! By changing yourself, you can help others to change too (without telling them to change), and they’ll help you to stay on track. This is how we create a fool proof world for ourselves. So spread the lifestyle people!

Clean eating

So what is this ‘clean eating’ everybody is talking about? It certainly isn’t cleaning your food really well before eating lol! But I’ve found so many definitions and ‘rules’ for clean eating, it kind of gets a forest of information out there and you’ll not know what to follow. In no way I say my own vision is the right or correct one, I’m just going to say something about how I envision clean eating (aka just healthy eating in general).

Paleo-vs-Clean-EatingWhen  you look up clean eating on the internet, you’ll find a lot of lists of food to avoid, or even worse, food that’s forbidden. You’ll find a 30 day clean eating cleanse or the ‘whole 30’, which is practically the same to me, or the Paleo diet. Personally, I believe in moderation. Yes, of course, I would love to be able to eat clean 100% of the time, but then life happens and social situations occur and there’s also the inner fat girl that just wants to eat pizza and drink wine. So I’ve learned the hard way that by forbidding myself to eat something ‘unclean’ I will end up eating a truckload of it, so that doesn’t work for me personally.

Of course, there are foods that I’d rather not eat and are ‘unclean’ in my eyes, which is to me simply everything that’s been processed. It comes down to: all types of bread and pasta, white rice, all types of dairy, processed meats like burgers or sausages, all ‘diet’ products, anything with white flour or sugar in it, like cookies or nutella, fast food and probably some other things I forgot to mention. I’d rather not eat dairy because it seems unnatural to me to take another species mother milk that’s meant for its baby, but that doesn’t mean I never take it, because cheese is one of my weaknesses. (I know generally dairy is allowed in the ‘clean eating society’.)

So to me, it’s all about that balance, I try to eat as natural as possible, but allow myself to eat certain unclean things on a daily/weekly basis.

So why is this important?

Well, to start, clean and whole foods contain a lot of nutrients. Yes, a nice big steak contains more calories than a skinny chicken sausage, but have you read the labels of those sausages? Most of them only contain 40-50 % meat, they add all kind of things (mostly white flour and other unclean things). In the end, you’ll get more nutrients (protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals) from the steak than you’ll get from the sausage. If you look at losing weight, people might choose the sausage because it contains less calories. I think this is a very important mistake many make! We are surrounded by ‘diet’ products, low fat this, sugar free that….. and they all try to convince us it’s healthy. You might be able to lose weight with it, but at what cost? It’s time for us to stand up to those big brands and say: NO! We want real food and if I decide to take something ‘unclean’, I’ll go for the real deal, full fat/sugar dark chocolate and wine, or a really cheesy pizza.

Basis for a clean and healthy lifestyle:

Vegetables, fruit, legumes/beans, whole meat, whole fish, eggs, nuts/seeds, whole grains (including brown rice) and starchy veg/roots like (sweet) potatoes.

What about that ‘Lifestyle’?

Lately, everybody seems to be talking about ‘it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle’. Today I want to look at this lifestyle change, why do we need it, what is it exactly and how do we achieve it?

So, a lot of people want to lose weight and get fit. What do we do, we choose a diet, we try to exercise more. We tend to see it as temporary, because we want to look fit for summer or look slim in our wedding dresses. But what we seem to miss, is that if you look at it as a temporary thing, you’ll risk sliding back to your old patterns and gain weight/get unfit again. Most of us seem to get this, so that’s why the ‘it’s a lifestyle’ phrase is becoming very popular. But what is it exactly? Because I see many people starting a diet and exercise routine and call it a lifestyle, but still talk about cheat weeks, planning to lose weight for their holidays (and gain everything back during their holiday), taking their car everywhere, talking about how to beat the scale by drinking only liquids on your weight in day, and watching Netflix all week (nothing against Netflix here… lol).

So what is changing your lifestyle exactly? For me, it starts with 1 thought: I have to control what I eat and exercise regularly for the rest of my life. This thought has led me to where I am today. A second thought also really helped me: life is a continuum of doing healthy and unhealthy things; the balance between them is what I try to reach. There is no ‘cheat day/week’, or this week I’m on holiday so I don’t have to care about my food/exercise. Or even more popular: I already screwed up this week, so I’ll have some more food this Screenshot_2014-07-27-11-57-44-1week and start again on Monday. We all like to see everything in a timely aspect, but let me tell you, the body doesn’t have a clock or a calendar. Time is handy in our world now, but too much stressed about. I’m going to translate a Dutch poem I once read: Time is invented by man, to count it and watch it go by. Only to not have to think about the fact, that it is us that go by! My message: see everything in a bigger perspective. Dividing your diet (ok, healthy lifestyle) into weeks and days and classify them as healthy or unhealthy is really a waste and unnecessary. Only drinking liquids so you can see a loss on the scale this week really seems silly to me. That’s only fooling yourself! (I’ll talk about that damn scale another time)

So how should we do it? Well, I only know how I do it and it really works for me. I do weigh myself every week and count my foods with the WW app. But, I don’t care what the scale says weekly, the bigger picture is more important. A total weight loss of almost 80lbs is what gets me, feeling so fit and healthy, having a lot of energy, being able to do more, seeing myself getting slimmer, having to buy new clothes because everything is too big, those are the things that matter. When I crave very salty soup on Sunday evening, I’ll still have it, even though I’ll see a massive gain on Monday due to the salt and water retaining. I don’t care, it doesn’t mean I’m less healthy or more fat! It’s the longterm habits and control over what you put in your mouth that determine how your continuum is going to look like.

This part was about the way we think, now let’s talk actions. Because really, achieving and maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle is more about that action! It’s about taking your bike to the gym instead of your car. It’s about helping your neighborhood’s barbeque and making sure there are healthy options to eat. And while you are helping them, you’re also arranging some sportive activities for the children. It’s about enjoying some unhealthy food and not feeling guilty about it or calling it ‘cheating’. It’s taking your kids out to the park or to play sports in the weekend. It’s about thoroughly enjoying your holiday and not gain weight because you found out you that it’s more about being together, seeing a lot of beautiful stuff and enjoying the surroundings. It’s about putting healthy food in your fridge all the time. It’s about educating your family and friends about the way you want to live your life and cut those out that can’t accept that. It’s about planning and prepping for those difficult days. It’s about fighting for what’s right for you, and by doing that, influencing everybody around you!

So how do you create a healthy lifestyle for yourself?

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