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!

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!

Mealprep breakdown (+ shoppinglist)

So, I’m going to do a try-out: I’m writing a breakdown of this weeks mealprep, including calorie and macro breakdown, pp amounts, a shoppinglist and a guide on how to make it without wasting time. Let me know what you think!

IMG_20141229_115513

This mealprep is for 4 days (except for the breakfast which is for 5 days, because I eat it too on the morning I mealprep). I mealprep for 4 days, because I work 4 days a week (basically more, but those on calls are usually all over the place). You can adjust it to your likings. I don’t freeze my preps, they stay good in the fridge until the last day! Really, just try it yourself, I’ve been doing it for months and never had any problem with food getting spoiled. My tips are: use good and clean airtight containers (you can see in my picture that I don’t always use them, I misplaced some during my move), set your fridge to a low temperature and make sure you don’t leave it open too much. That’s it, easy right? With my cooking, I use a normal stove, an oven and a steam cooker. You can also just boil or use a steam basket in a normal pan if you don’t have a steam cooker.

Ok, so there’s one thing I didn’t prep: my questbars. I’m in love with them and really wish I wasn’t because they are so damn expensive. Anyway… I’ll post a recipe for a nice protein cupcake soon!

Meal 1: Breakfast oats with or without the peanut butter. I usually top it with a banana, goji berries and some blueberries. 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.

Snacks: An apple, a tangerine, some carrots and cucumber. I eat some of them between breakfast and lunch and some between lunch and dinner: 0 pp, 139 kcal, 34 gr carbs, 0 gr fat, 1 gr protein

Questbar: Depending on which one you take, it’s 4 or 5 pp, for example Cookies&cream: 5pp, 180 kcal, 5 gr carbs (17 gr fiber), 7 gr fat and 21 gr protein.

Meal 2: Steamed chicken, steamed sweet potato and raw/fresh cherry tomatoes: 9pp, 358 kcal, 32 gr carbs, 2 gr fat, 49 gr protein.

Meal 3: Quinoa with Moroccan pumpkin stew (this time with beef, but can also be made vegetarian): 9pp, 466 kcal, 55 gr carbs, 15 gr fat, 25 gr protein.

This makes for one whole day: 1418 kcal, 149 gr carbs, 37 gr fat, 112 gr protein, or 30 pp. Personally, this would be a low day for me, I usually add at least 1 protein shake on the days I workout, sometimes another Questbar and/or a handful of almonds. This mealprep is really not enough for a regular/obese man or a woman who is obese! Make sure you know what your body needs, eat the pp that Weightwatchers gives you, check www.myfitnesspal.com or www.iifym.com for a kcal and macro breakdown that fits your body and your activity level. I’m a firm believer in feeding your body the right way, crash diets will only make you suffer and will leave you with less muscle and a higher chance of gaining everything back and more!

So now to the mealprep:

There are a couple of things I have in my storage that don’t spoil and I don’t shop for weekly. If you don’t have it, add it to the shopping list:

  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Flax, broken
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Protein powder (choose your own flavor, I have peanut butter, coconut and cookies&cream)
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Peanut butter (natural type without additives)
  • Oats
  • Goji berries
  • Liquid organic vanilla flavor
  • Curry powder
  • Vegetable stock blocks (maggi type)
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric
  • Nutmeg
  • Coriander (ground seeds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried ground ginger
  • Olive oil

Shopping list:

  • 400 ml of Oatmilk. I use Alpro ‘oats’. You can also use unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened soy milk or any other milk you want. Adjust your pp accordingly!
  • 5 medium sized bananas
  • 1 packet of blueberries, fresh (roughly 150 grams)
  • 2 big carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 apples
  • 4 tangerines
  • 4 protein bars/questbars or any other protein rich snack you want
  • 4 chicken breasts, I buy them 200 grams each
  • 700 grams of sweet potato (you need 600 grams peeled ones)
  • 1-2 packets of cherry tomatoes (about 200 grams)
  • 1 orange pumpkin, size of a spread hand
  • 50 grams of green olives
  • 50 grams of dark raisins
  • 1 can of chickpeas (265 grams of peas without the water)
  • 250 grams of lean beef
  • 3 cm/1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • 3 medium white onions
  • 2 big or 4 small tomatoes
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (no additives)
  • 2 blocks of vegetable stock (maggi)
  • 80 grams of quinoa

Directions:

For the exact oatmeal recipe, I refer to this post. For the exact pumpkin stew recipe, I refer to this post.

So I wake up on Monday morning, and I start with the oatmeal immediately. I make it for 5 days, divide it into the appropriate portions and eat 1 right away. A tip: weigh your empty pan. When you finish, weigh it again, and subtract the original pan weight. Now divide it by 5 and you know the exact weight of 1 portion when you divide it into tubs/bowls.

After this, I take my shopping list and do the shoppings. Ideally, I could also shop on Sunday, but I’m usually busy with other things on Sundays.20141003_184002

I start with preheating the oven for the pumpkin and setting up the steam cooker. Mine has 3 layers, I put the 4 chicken breasts in the 2 lowest layers, then peel the sweet potato and cut them into 1 inch pieces and throw them in the upper layer of the steam cooker. I set it to 60 minutes and take out the potatoes after 40 minutes (check them regularly) Here is a picture of the steam cooker, cooking a 1 person dish, so only using 2 layers. If you don’t have one, you can choose to boil/steam the sweet potato and chicken in a pan. As you can see I don’t use seasoning on both, because I really like the pure taste. If you want, you can add some spices or something like Mrs. Dash or Flavorgod.

So now this is set up, I clean the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut it into pieces. I don’t remove the skin! Lay the pieces on a tray and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Use a baking sheet to make cleaning up easier! I continue with the pumpkin stew recipe. I also start cooking the quinoa, I used 20 grams per portion for this prep, because I added meat and wanted to come to 9pp. Just add about 200 ml of water, a bit of salt and pepper or a veg stock block and some turmeric and boil until the water is finished.

I add the diced meat to the stew when I also add the can of tomatoes (the original recipe is without meat). When there is some waiting time, I peel and cut the carrots and cut the cucumber and divide them into the tubs. I add a splash of water to prevent drying out and store them in the fridge. In the meantime, the pumpkin should be finished, I add them to the stew and let it boil for some time. I bring out the tubs, let the already finished chicken and potato cool down. Put a chicken breast in each container, 1/4 of the sweet potato and 1/4 of the tomatoes. When it’s cooled down enough, put the lid on it and store it in the fridge. The stew and the quinoa should be finished now. Divide them into 4 portions and let the tubs cool down before you put the lid on them and store them in the fridge.

After this, I clean the kitchen, stove, oven and put all my utensils in the dishwasher. I also continue with vacuum cleaning and mopping the floor of my place, because yeah, I like to start my week clean 😉 lol!

To keep on track, I mealprep! (Mealprep recipe for oatmeal breakfast)

To keep on track I mealprep!

I have a busy job and with all the ‘on calls’, evenings at the gym and social events, I lack time and energy to cook daily. With mealprepping I eat exactly what I plan and that way I stay on track! Usually, I cook my meals every Monday, so I make healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the next 4 days. Today I’ll share with you my recipe for this yum breakfast. This recipe is for 5 servings as I will eat one right away!

Nutritional information: With pb: 275 kcal, 23 gr carbs, 13 gr fat, 16 gr protein. Without pb: 224 kcal, 22 gr carbs, 9 gr fat, 14 gr protein.

Ingredients:
50 grams of oats
30 grams of broken flax
15 grams of hemp seeds
15 grams of raw cacao nibs
15 grams of chia seeds
56 grams (2 scoops) of protein powder (I use coconut and/or peanutbutter flavor)
dash of cinnamon
few drops of vanilla flavor
dash of ground cloves
4x 10 grams of natural peanutbutter
400 ml oatmilk (or unsweetened almond milk or any other type of milk)
400 ml water

Put all the dry ingredients in a pan, mix it together and then pour in the milk and water. Mix and then heat until it’s boiling for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring because it can stick to your pan! Turn off the heat and let it stand for about 5 minutes, stir and add a bit of extra water if it gets too thick. I usually end up adding about a cup of extra water. Devide it into 5 tubs or bowls and add the peanutbutter. Store it in the fridge and heat in microwave when you want to eat it. Top with your favorite fruits, I usually use banana, goji berries and blueberries. Enjoy! PicsArt_1418718900099

Mealprep recipe for Moroccan pumpkin stew

Mealprep recipe for a delicious Moroccan pumpkin stew! (vegetarian)

This recipe makes 4 portions, which contains 6pp per portion. If you make it with 30 grams of uncooked quinoa on the side like I did, add 3pp.

The stew contains 360 kcal per portion, 9 gr fat, 50 gr of carbs and 14 gr of protein. I used 30 grams of uncooked quinoa per portion, which contains 106 kcal, 2 gr fat, 17 gr carbs and 4 gr protein.

Ingredients for the stew:

PicsArt_14189066682431 orange pumpkin chopped in pieces

2 teaspoons of oil

50 gr green olives chopped
50 gr of raisins
2 cans of chickpeas (total amount was 530 grams)
a piece of fresh ginger
1 red chilli pepper
3 medium white onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 red bell pepper
2 big or 4 small tomatoes
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 blocks of veg stock (maggi)
big dash of cinnamon
dash of ground coriander seeds
dash of curry powder
dash of turmeric
dash of cardamon
dash of nutmeg

Instructions:

Turn on the oven on 360° F/180°C. Put a few drops of oil on your oven plate and spread it with a piece of kitchen paper or use a baking sheet. Spread the pumpkin pieces on the plate and put in the oven for about 40 minutes, check for it regularly to avoid burns. I use the skin too!IMG_20141218_142840

Chop 2 onions, the olives and put it with oil, the spices and the raisins in a pan. Fry it slightly. The other onion, the tomatoes, the pepper, the garlic and the ginger should be pureed together in a kitchen machine. Add the chopped bell pepper and fry a little, then add the pureed stuff, the stock blocks and the canned tomatoes. (I put a table spoon of the pureed stuff with the quinoa while boiling it) Let this stew for about 20 minutes, stir from time to time. When the pumpkin is finished, add it to the stew and cook it for another 10 minutes. Now add the chickpeas cans with the fluid from the cans. Cook it for a minute or two and you’re done!

In the meantime I boil the quinoa, use the description on the package. To make it taste better, wash it before using it and add stock, spices and a bit of the pureed veg/spice mixture.

Devide in 4 portions, put it in the fridge or freeze it, or eat right away of course!

Eet smakelijk!PicsArt_1418906418666

PS: You can’t eat food without meat?? Replace a can of chickpeas with 250 gr of lean beef.