Weightloss – lifestyle status

Hi everybody!

It has been a while since I talked about my weight loss journey. A lot has happened in my life since I last wrote about it. If you are an Instagram follower, you might already know that I gained weight over the last 1,5 years. I think a lot of things had to do with that, but what happened is that I stopped exercising regularly and stopped doing weight watchers.  I rejoined weight watchers in august 2018, I also went back to the gym. I still can’t run because of my injury sensitivity.

What really helped me in the last couple of months is to read more about body positivity (like @bodyposipanda) and about the diet culture and how it affects people’s body and mind. I really love reading stuff from @unfattening, a fellow doctor who debunks diet myths and is pro normal eating. I really try not to think of food as bad/good or healthy/unhealthy. Of course, if you eat chips and chocolate all day you will gain weight and you will miss micro nutrients. But, if you eat cucumbers and tomatoes all day, you will also not be eating healthy! 1 piece of food cannot be either healthy or unhealthy, it’s the balance and the whole lifestyle which makes you eat healthy or unhealthy. Thinking of it that way, and really permitting myself to eat anything (in moderation), really helps with not going into that restrict-binge cycle.

I decided not to weigh myself anymore. I always get annoyed by how the weight does not reflect my diet on a daily basis, and though I know how it works, I still cannot stop it from irritating me. In the past, my weight has also kept me from living my life. I would be close to healthy weight, and was desperate to reach that, I would not go to parties or other social events where there’s eating involved, because I wanted to reach healthy weight that week. It sounds really silly, but I would really think like that. Of course, I am still aiming for healthy weight, but I’m pretty sure I’ll know when I’m on my goal ‘weight’. Maybe when I’m stabilizing, I’ll weigh again to see how it goes, but for now, the scale is a no-go for me. I estimate my weight and put that into the weight watchers app every month or so.

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!

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. Last year I decided 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:  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!

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 😉

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. 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!

Mealprep week 22

This week’s mealprep was really something…. I wanted to prep different type of meals this week, not eating the same every day like I usually do. Don’t get me wrong, I never have a problem with eating the same. I just wanted to spice it up a bit AND show people it can be done if you really want to! Of course it took more planning and more time prepping (aprox. 3,5 hours), but I’m really pleased with it. I’m writing this on Friday, so I’ve almost eaten all of the meals and it was really great! Especially the new recipes I tried. Here’s the pic, I’ll break it down for you so you know what everything is and what I made. Day 1 starts on the left, first meal on the top, last meal on the bottom. I’m doing leangains intermittent fasting now, so this means I eat all my meals between noon and 8 pm, the rest of the time I fast. The first two days (Monday and Wednesday) are high carb as I’ll workout on those days, the last two days (Thursday and Friday) are high fat as those are restdays from weightlifting. All days are high protein (130gr a day or higher) and about 1700-1900 kcal a day. All days have veggies as snack.

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Day one (high carb workout day):

Meal 1: Oats with protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, seeds and topped with pb, a banana and an apple.

Meal 2: Egg muffins with smoked salmon, roasted sweet potato and carrots

Meal 3: Veggies and burritos with chicken, avocado, bell pepper and cilantro

Day two (high carb workout day):

Meal one: Oats with protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, seeds and topped with pb and blueberries

Meal two: Beanburgers (I’ll try to upload the recipe soon because they are delish), cilantro and green asparagus

Meal three: Meatloaf, broccoli, yellow brown rice and a grapefruit

Day three (high fat rest day):

Meal one: mini burgers, raw cauliflower, lightly steamed broccoli, almonds and an orange

Meal two: zucchini spiralized and lightly steamed with blue cheese and garlic shrimps

Meal three: salad with lettuce, egg, tomatoes, goat cheese and avocado and almonds

Day four (high fat rest day):

Meal one: veggies, chicken, blue cheese, almonds and an apple

Meal two: frittata with green asparagus, broccoli, smoked salmon, egg and goat cheese

Meal three: stuffed bell peppers with minced meat and blue cheese

All or nothing

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything over here. My main medium is Instagram, I use this blog when I feel the need to write more than a couple of sentences. Today I feel like writing something about the ‘all or nothing’ principle a lot of us (former)fatties have stuck in our head. For me, this has been the reason why I have clothes in all sizes in my closet (ok, recently I gave the bigger ones to charity because I’m really done with that, yay!). I always felt like either I was on a strict diet and exercise regularly, OR I was eating ONLY bad stuff an no exercise at all (All or nothing!). Preferably this was divided by weeks/days/months, so THIS week, I’m doing good, or, THIS week is already ruined and I will start my strict program next Monday (always Mondays, why don’t we ever start a diet on a Tuesday??).  This resulted in a lot of weight fluctuations and not being able to maintain any type of weightloss. As you may (or may not) know, I’ve been on my ‘getting fit’ journey for over a year now and I must say, it really is something I struggled with, but I feel like I’ve got it now! I’ve realized (and also experienced), that weightloss takes time over several weeks/months/years and losing weight is all about the balance towards the healthier choices. That doesn’t mean you should choose healthy all the time. I sometimes skip the gym because I had a long day at work, and guess what? The week is not bad because of it! I also had a fantastic easter dinner last sunday and guess what, I’m still doing ok and losing weight. Losing this ‘all or nothing’ mentality has really made the difference for me. It doesn’t mean I have no problems with losing weight anymore, it just means I am psychologically better equipped for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. I still have binge moments, especially when I’m tired or emotional. I guess this is something I’ll have to deal with for some time, I hope it will go away, but if it doesn’t, I’ll find a way to make it work. So, there’s one thing a lot of my IG buddies talk about when I post about it, and that’s Yoga! I will write something about it in my next post!

Mealprep week 11

Many people tell me that eating the same thing for a couple of days is boring to them. I can imagine that, personally, I don’t find it boring, but that’s just me. This week, I want to show you that by just some minor adjustments, you can make it less boring. Let’s start with an overview of this weeks food:

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  • Breakfast: superseed oats with pb and fruit
  • Snack: 4x protein-bananabread, 2x bellpepper and cucumber, 2x radish and carrots
  • Lunch: 4x sweet potato, 2x chicken, 2x sausage, 2x broccoli, 2x cauliflower
  • Snack: 2x apple, 1x pear, 1x orange
  • Dinner: 4x yellow brown rice, 2x chicken curry, 2x Indonesian chicken liver, 2x sweet/sour salad, 2x veg stir fry.

Breakfast: Many people eat the same breakfast day after day. A way to make oats a bit different is adding different types of fruit. Personally, I always add a banana with some berries, but you can mix and match different types of fruit and add cinnamon/vanilla or other flavors to spice it up a bit. A great thing about this is, that you can prep a basic oatmeal breakfast and still safe time, but have different toppings every day. (Recipe for this oatmeal breakfast is over here)

Snacks: Making different types of bananabread could be possible with using small trays and adding different ingredients. Personally that’s too much work for me, so I stick with the same (yum) bananabread every day (recipe is over here). I tried to have some variation with the veggies and fruits, which doesn’t cost extra time at all. (It does cost extra money, because buying 1 orange and 1 pear etc. is relatively more expensive than buying it in bulk and eating the same fruit every day).

Lunch: I chose to keep my carb source the same, but to mix up the meat and veggies. I chose the meats that are easy to prepare, I always pop the chicken in the steamer and the sausages are fried with some turning over from time to time. I eat cauliflower raw and I lightly steamed the broccoli in the steamer at the same time together with the sweet potato and chicken (I love that machine!).

Dinner: Again, kept the rice the same for all the meals, but chose different meats and veggies. My mom has Indonesian ancestors and has the best Indonesian chicken liver recipe (yum!). It goes well with sweet and sour cucumber/orange pepper/tomato salad which I’ll make when I’m going to eat it (cut tomatoes don’t stay well, I didn’t show the cucumber in the picture, because it messes the beautiful balance, lol!). The other dish is chicken curry with vegetable stir fry. I fried the chicken with some onion and garlic and added a bit of red curry paste and 3 tablespoons of coconut cream. I fried the veggies with onion and garlic, spices and mustard seeds. I love my non-stick Stonehenge pans, because you really need almost no oil!

I prepped everything in about 1 hour and 45 minutes! I went like a tornado through the kitchen, but what really helps is planning ahead. So for example; start with making the bananabread, because it needs some time in the oven and also needs cooling down before the cutting. I always start with that, then I’ll pop my stuff in the steam cooker and move on to the next thing. If you think about your planning before you start, you can safe so much time!!

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!