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:

 

 

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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!

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 🙂

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 8

If you want to start mealprepping/mealplanning yourself, I uploaded a printable mealprep planner on my mealprep page for you to use, have fun!

Another week, another mealprep! I´ll write something about my experiences with the raw vegan week soon. To be short about it: I loved the meals I made, but totally binged in the weekend. I find that restricting myself too much leads to the opposite! IMG_20150216_135528

So now about this week: I wanted a simple, but nutritious mealprep with a bit more vegetables and fruits (one of the things I learned from my raw vegan week). I always eat extra food on the days I go to the gym! If you want to calculate your exact needs, go to http://www.iifym.com.

  • Breakfast: Superseed oats with raspberries, blueberries and a banana
  • Snack: Questbar, carrots and cucumber
  • Lunch: steamed sweet potato, steamed chicken breast and steamed broccoli
  • Snack: walnuts, 1/2 bell pepper, apple
  • Dinner: yellow spicy quinoa, minced lean beef with mushrooms, onion and kale, sugar snaps and grape tomatoes
  • Snack: a pear

I took it super easy, not making bananabread and chosing meals that are cooked quickly. This way it is possible to make it really fast. This is how I did it:

I started in the morning making the breakfast oats, for the recipe look here. I always make it for 5 days and eat one right away. I divided the berries so I won’t be left with only a few on friday 😉 I shopped for my groceries which were super cheap this time! I started with putting the chicken, sweet potato and broccoli in the steamcooker. I cook the chicken for 60 minutes, but remove the layer of broccoli after 15 minutes and the layer of sweet potato after 20 minutes (I really adore this machine). In the meantime I cook the quinoa with maggi, curry powder and tumeric powder. I fried the onion in a nonstick pan together with the mushrooms. After this, I added the minced meat and only in the end 2-3 hands full of kale. When everything is cooling down I cut the veggies and put them in the tubs. Divided the rest of the meals in the tubs and of course made pictures!

I’m so looking forward to spring/summer! 20150216_113024I’m going to have a vegetable and herb patch on my balcony, I will keep you people updated! Here is a picture of my broccoli seeds getting ready to sprout! 🙂 Have a nice day everybody!

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.

Are fat people just lazy?

There is a woman, I’m not even going to give her google hits by trying to find out what her name is, who claims that overweight people are just lazy. To prove her statement, she gained weight and then lost everything again. There is one very big flaw in her thinking process: the mind!

My statement is that losing a big amount of weight (and keep it off) is not so much about learning how to eat healthy or adopt an active lifestyle. It is foremost a psychological process. We’re going to explore this more, but let me first tell you something about my own experiences.

As you can read in my weight loss story, I started becoming overweight when I was a child. I was put on cycle of eatingdiets and as a child, I would rebel against it and buy candy secretly. Being overweight brought me a lot of negative emotions, but also negative attention (and a lack of positive attention). The popular and skinny girl in school got the boys, the fat girl was bullied. I started to have negative feelings about myself, not feeling worthy and guess what: food was there for me, it helped me cope and feel better. Shortly though, because after eating a lot of bad food I would feel disgusted by myself and angry at myself because I did this, making me feel negative again and the whole cycle of negative feelings and eating starts again. This became such a fixed pattern in my life, that though I tried diets and exercise, it never changed the way I thought about myself and in that way, the cycle of negative feelings leading to eating. So, it didn’t matter how much weight I lost during those attempts, it always came back to bite me in the behind. Society doesn’t help either, by bullying and the bad image fat people have. So how did it change for me? First of all, I started working and after studying for so many years, it really gave me an accomplished and proud feeling. It helped that I started working in psychiatry. Most of my work wasn’t related to this, but knowing more about how the mind works, really helped me to see it more clearly. I also felt very loved by colleagues and coworkers, which helped my journey even more by feeling that you are good as you are. What helped me the most, is not feeling mad at myself anymore. I’m human, I make mistakes and I can feel guilty about that, but hey, why beating yourself down? It doesn’t help a bit and it only makes things worse. There are also a lot of other aspects of looking at your diet, I’ll talk about that in another post.

Accept-what-is-quoteSo, when I look at this problem in general, I might say that self love and self acceptance is very important in a weight loss journey. But how do you do it? Because, yeah, you want to change, want to become fit and healthy, so you cannot accept and love yourself right now… Or can you? Can’t you love yourself for being so courageous to take this step? Self love is much more than just saying I love myself. It’s being kind for yourself, not beating yourself down after a mistake, finding yourself important enough to take care of, or accepting you have a flaw.

So, I started this story with the woman who says fat people are lazy. For me, it’s easy to talk about my own story, because I broke my own cycle. It is not easy though, to break that cycle! It takes a lot of time and insight, and also the knowledge that this is the problem. So, for everybody who thinks losing weight and getting fit is easy, I’m telling you: yes, everybody can eat less and exercise more, but that is not the issue! The issue is in the mind and please, let us all be more kind to each other, it can make a huge difference in somebody else’s life, and in yours too!

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!