30 day ab challenge

Here we go again! We’re pumped and you should be too, because we invite you to start a new #Fitgirlcode challenge. Summer is coming, which means its bikini and crop top time. So…now we are ready for the #FITGIRLABS challenge (YAY) and invite you to join us! Who’s in? 

Why should you do a 30 day ab challenge?

30 day challenges have multiple benefits. You train yourself to be disciplinary. It’s great for your self esteem, how great is that feeling when you went from 20 second planing to a full 2 minutes? Also, when you repeat something for 30 days you subconsciously teach yourself to add a certain routine to your lifestyle. When you have done crunches for 30 days, how hard is it to keep doing them twice a week?

The challenge

Because the ab challenge is a bit more complicated and diverse as our previous challenges, Christel will teach you the right technique with these images below. If you have any questions along the way, just comment below and we’ll be happy to answer them!

1: Normal Crunch
Lay on the ground, keep your legs bend in a 90 degree angle. Place your hands on the back of your neck, this is only to support your neck. Flex your ab muscles and lift your shoulders of the ground. Breathe out and bring your shoulders back on the ground. Make sure you keep breathing, don’t pull your neck and really focus on your abdominal muscles.

2: Hip raises

Lay on the ground, keep your legs bend in a 90 degree angle. Place your hands beside your body. this is only to support your neck. Flex your ab muscles and lift your butt of the ground. Breathe out and bring your butt back on the ground. This looks super funny so if you do this with an audience, people will laugh 🙂

 

3: Leg raises
Lay on the ground flat on your back with your legs straight in a 90 degree angle and your toes pointing up to the ceiling. With your arms beside your body. Bring your legs down until your heels almost hit the ground, then raise them back towards the ceiling. Don’t just let gravity do all the work for you, do this slowly and be in control of the movement.

4: Plank
He’s back 🙂 We all know the plank all too well. Make sure you tighten your ab muscles and do not drop your hips. You should literally be a plank when you look in the mirror.

THE 30 DAY AB CHALLENGE SCHEDULE

 

CORRECT 30 day ab challenge schedule

Sixpack please

This challenge is meant to help you strengthen your abs and make them more visible. Getting muscle definition depends per person so unfortunately we can’t guarantee a six-pack at the end of this challenge. If we could give you a six-pack in 30 days, we would make t-shirts with #ABFAIRY and be a millionaire :). However, with a clean and healthy meal plan, you will see results! We are a big fan of before and after photo’s so put on a crop top and show us your progress!

Remember, this is YOUR challenge so try doing what you can do. Do not overdo it. You can challenge yourself, but try to do it wisely. It’s always better to get to your goal, even if it takes you longer than a month. The most important thing is that you get to your goal!

So what do you think? Are you with us? Let us know and don’t forget to tag #FITGIRLABS on Instagram and Facebook, we always love to see pictures of you guys.

Good luck Fit Girls!

Fitgirlcode Plog #3

And we’re back again with a fun #Fitgirlcode plog! It has been a busy week at #Fitgirlcode HQ and this week you get a sneak peek in the Instagram lives of Fit Girls Annegeke, Lisa, Anna and Chris.Check it out, and don’t forget to follow them! 

Fitgirlcode plog #3

Last Wednesday part of the #Fitgirlcode crew killed it at Elevator Sports. No matter how sweaty, red or tired we were. There’s always time for a Wefie! If there’s one thing Annegeke loves, it’s smoothies. And what’s better than a delicious smoothie in the sun? 

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Our newest member of the Fitgirlcode team is lovely Lisa. BodyCombat and Power Pilates instructor and a bit of a health freak (as she says so herself) This week she treated herself to a seaweed burger…YES A SEA WEED BURGER, and she loved it. Unfortunately, the blister on her feet, not so much 😉 BUT she did ran her first 5k without stopping in less then 30 minutes! YAY!

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Fit Girl Anna is working so hard, she thought she’d treat herself to new work out gear at H&M. Looking good, girl! And today she ran the Color Run. She did it without breaking a sweat….well maybe a little.

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So Chris celebrated her 30th birthday this week! And what better way to show it than with a dirty thirty picture 😉  Looking good, girl!  When you work hard, you play hard, so Chris didn’t say no to a double tiramisu when we went to dinner last week. #HEAVEN! 

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We love receiving all your awesome pictures, so keep sending them and tag them with #fitgirlcode! We’ll be back next week with another plog, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram! See ya!

 

Vegan Fashion Trend

From pleather trousers to faux fur coats, vegan fashion has been on the rise for a while now. We are so happy with this trend. Materials these days are almost impossible to tell apart from leather both in quality and fashion.

Vegan Fashion Trend

Rising star Denise Roobol agrees and decided to act upon this trend. This young bag designer from Rotterdam recently launched a bag collection under her own name, taking a statement with high-tech faux leather materials. And we are in love!

denise roobol 2

The Dutch Stella McCartney
We all remember when Stella McCartney made her statement by producing one of the most expensive non-leather bag collection ever. Placing herself between Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga, she made us realize that there was more to a luxury item than just the fines leather. Denise Roobol has been called the Dutch Stella McCartney which makes us proud, hopefully she made the way for many more companies to follow her in the vegan trend. Because we all know who the real fashion victims are!

denise roobol 4

Ladiesrun Rotterdam
Are you curious to see the entire collection, visit the webshop. For our Dutch readers, Denise herself will be displaying her bags during the Ladies Run in Rotterdam at the ladies fair. Also, team Fitgirlcode will be running the 5km and 10km. You can recognize us by our fitgirlcode bag and tees. Please come and say hello!

My transformation: Healthy inside & out

Progress pictures, weight loss numbers.. it’s all very impressive. But we also shouldn’t forget the improvement we make on the inside. This is my journey, not as imposing on the outside but a huge transformation on the inside.

My transformation: Healthy inside & out

My whole life I have been a petite girl. I’m 1.60m short and have size xs/34, a normal size for my length (or lack of it). I have never really had a thing with food. From being a picky eater when I was young to completely skipping meals when I was busy or stressed. For some reason my brain doesn’t get the signal when I am hungry, it just goes into an energy saving state where I feel like a wet paper towel. In my years as a student I would not eat in the morning, then when I got super dizzy I would eat anything with sugar preferably chocolate. Next to dizziness I would have tummy aches and had the worst case of PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome). When you would look at my diet and how I physically looked, It didn’t add up, I was still petite and had the smallest jeans size compared to all my girlfriends. And I always told them: There is an obese woman inside of me just waiting to get out. And I was probably right.

BFFF
In 2010 I moved in with my best friend Christel (yes the one with the abs of steel). After college, we started working out together whenever we could. I was working fulltime at an international fashion company, travelling the world and always on the road. There was not a lot of time between traveling and working, but we managed to keep each other motivated. Although we thought we were being very healthy, our food choices were very questionable. We would go on a salad-and-crackers diet, but fill up with alcohol in the weekend.

The turning point
When Chris and I started working out at a new gym in Rotterdam called Elevator Sports, we ran into so many people who were taking much better care of their bodies. Because we went from a 90 cardio/ 10 weight to a 70 weight/30 cardio routine, we needed to fuel our bodies differently to keep up with the insane circuit training routines. The funny thing is, that my turning point wasn’t a specific day or thing I did. For the first time I listened to my body, I actually got hungry due to the muscles I built and those muscle were now asking for food. I drank more water because I was sweat like a pig during the workout. We shared tips, tricks and recipes. We posted every workout on Instagram and this is how #FITGIRLCODE was born. It was a way to bundle everything we had learned and the things we are still learning. And not just from us, from people all over the world, that’s the great thing about the internet!

Now that I am eating a lot healthier, I can see some difference physically. But the real transformation is the one from within.

  • No more sugar cravings
  • Less PMS symptoms
  • More energized
  • Better digestive system less bloated
  • No more dizziness
  • Less headaches

Working out together and paying attention to all the crap (excuse my French) we were putting into our bodies, was my turning point. But it did not happen overnight. It happened because I listened to my own body for a change. When I was tired, I would chill. When I had too much energy, I would run. And when I was hungry I would eat food that fuelled my body. Listen to your body it will be your number one fitness and health guide you will ever have. And if yoll u’ve us, we would love to take second place.

 

How to prepare for Nike WOTN

Running 10km probably sounds pretty scary for most of us. Or well, at least it did to me! But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be? The Nike We Own The Night 10km was only 3 weeks away when I registered, but still I am managing to prepare myself well for this. And so can you! I am definitely not an expert and I just started taking up running 3 months ago, but who knows, maybe you’ll get some inspiration from how I am training for Nike WOTN.

How to train your body

I assume I don’t even have to mention that you need to practice, practice, practice. It’s not smart to cut back on your training if you want to make that 10k without crying like a baby. Your body needs to build up muscle, so give it the time it needs to adjust to the distance. I’m not talking about months though, you can get that awesome body of yours ready in a few weeks! A mere 2 weeks ago I had never even ran 5k without pausing (only with pausing). Then I registered for WOTN and realized that I had to step it up a notch, and completely turned my mindset around. So first I wanted to achieve my first goal: running 5k without pausing. Having done that, I went for a 6k run without pausing – it turned out that that one km really does not make a difference, if you can run 5km, you can run 6. Then I went out for an 8km run, and ended up running 10 without pausing (PLOT TWIST!).

Be aware that I am not saying you should run WOTN without pausing – do whatever you prefer. If you are more into interval running, then do that! It is completely up to you how you are going to complete those 10k. Maybe I went a bit too fast, going from 6k to 10k in a week, but it felt like I was ready. And that’s the best advice that I can give you: listen to your body. Don’t overstep your boundaries, but if you feel like you can keep going without injuring yourself, then your boundaries are further away than you had thought and you can push yourself a little bit. Most of the times your body is ready, but your mind is not. Before I ran 5km without pausing, I kept on thinking while running “wow I really need to stop in a moment”, while in reality, it turned out that I could run for way longer than I had ever imagined! And seriously, if I can do it, you can do it. Believe in your capabilities!

What to eat beforehand

When you’re going for a long distance run, it is good to stack up on carbs before. Why? Because your body burns a lot of carbs during exercising, and WOTN is going to be a long work out. However, fat food and lots of meat are a no-no. Carbohydrate-rich foods are pasta (yum!), bread, rice and potatoes. Be sure to eat your dinner at least 3-4 hours before the race, to avoid getting any physical discomforts while running. If you’re hungry between mealtime and the start, eat a banana or a light sandwich. They will keep your tummy happy and will be quickly burned by your body. I’m seeing this as the perfect opportunity to splurge on pasta that night 🙂

Regarding what to drink – always drink water. Water has countless benefits and is always best for your body and health. I am not sure if you should drink while running, but I guess that differs with every person. Personally, I don’t run with a water bottle, but you should figure out what works best for you.

How to dress

Yay! We’ve gotten to the most fun part: cloooothes!

Of course we are all going to wear the official Nike WOTN shirt that you have gotten in your race pack. But besides that, you’re free to bring out the fashionista in you and combine it with the best pieces of your work out wardrobe. Choose something that is comfortable and supports your body in the right way. After all, it is still going to be a long run. I have recently gotten new running shoes, which I am definitely wearing! Carefully consider which shoes you will be wearing, as they really need to support your knees and joints.

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(I got these Adidas babies for my birthday, so in love with them!)

And last but not least…

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! You can do this! 10k is going to be a breeze, you’ll see!
Let us know if you’re running WOTN, we would like to meet you fit girls! You can even win a Fitgirlcode bag if you spot Christel & Aranka first. Click here to see how you can win it.

How are you training for WOTN? Do you have any tips for me?

Banana ice cream

Summer is coming! So, of course some refreshment is more than welcome. And what is better than having some ice cream? Well, ice cream made of bananas!

Why bananas are awesome
Bananas are my favorite fruit; they’re rich in potassium and magnesium (which is great for your muscles), give loads of energy (another reason why they’re a great sport-snack!), and they can even make you happy because they stimulate the production of serotonin! They’re not just really good for you; they’re also really yummy. And they make awesome ice cream!

How to make banana ice cream?

  • Make sure that your bananas are ripe and spotty; if they’re not, you could experience some uncomfortable bloating after eating them!
  • Chop them up and put them in the freezer.
  • Next day, put them in your food processor or blender.
  • If you have a strong food processor or blender, add no liquid for best results. Otherwise, use some almond or coconut milk or water, to make it more ‘blendable’. You could also take the bananas out of the freezer 10 minutes before making your ice cream.
  • That’s it! If your ice cream has become too liquid, you can put it in the freezer for a little while.

 

This makes some serious superduperyummy banana ice cream. But, sometimes I like to give it that little extra something…

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For example…

Mix it up with other fruit flavours;

  • Make mango ice cream by adding frozen mango!
  • Add frozen mixed berries or frozen raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, or blueberries to make delicious berry ice cream.
  • This list can go on and on; for example, what about pineapple, persimmon, peach or papaya ice cream? 

 

Add some crunch;

  • Try some dried fruits like figs, apricots, raisins, gojiberries or mulberries. Chewy date chunks are my personal favourite.
  • Stirr in some nuts, like walnuts, pecans or pistachios. Or seeds like pumpkinseeds and sunflowerseeds.
  • Or what about some homemade granola?

 

Mix in a tablespoon of superfoods;

  • Raw cacao powder will make chocolate ice cream! Yes, I know, a healthy 2-ingredient chocolate ice cream!
  • Maca will give you great energy and a nice tangy flavour.
  • Matcha will make your ice cream slightly less sweet and gives it a subtle green tea flavour.
  • Don’t like the taste of spirulina, chlorella or wheatgrass, but do want to get the health benefits? Add a teaspoon to your banana ice cream and disguise the taste of those green superfoods.
  • A tablespoon of açai will give your banana ice cream a gorgeous colour and a fresh, slightly tropical taste.

 

Or even add some veggies and greens!

  • Beetroot will give your ice cream a gorgeous pink colour and a nice earthy flavour.
  • Some handful of fresh mint leaves and a drop of mint oil for awesome mint ice cream (great with raw cacao nibs).

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Have fun making your healthy banana ice creams!! What is your favourite? Don’t forget to show all your beautiful creations by using the hashtag #fitgirlcode ! And check out my Instagram account for more delicious recipes! 

Zucchini rolls with mozzarella, spinach & raw tomato sauce

We love to check out other bloggers and get inspired by them. Whether that be food (YAY), work outs or other fun stuff. This time we were literally drooling when we saw this delicious and healthy recipe by the lovely Julie from Hapjes Princes. The girl loves to cook! And seriously guys, you should check out her Instagram account, that’s food porn right there. 

Zucchini rolls with mozzarella, spinach & raw tomato sauce

Ingredients for 2 persons:

  • 2 zucchinis
  • dried oregano & basil
  • 125 g mozzarella, cut in small pieces
  • 1 jar olive paste
  • 150 g spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

For the raw tomato sauce:

  • 2 tomatos, remove the peel and seeds
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil and flat-leaved parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • couple of black olives (remove pits)

Preparation:

  • Slice de zucchini in long slices, make sure they’re not too thin. Put them in a oven dish. Pour a little bit of olive oil and rub those babies in. Season with salt and pepper, dried oregano en dried basil. Put the dish 10 minutes in the oven (170 °C)
  • Put a little bit of olive oil in a pan, fry the garlic and shallot. Add the spinach, when it has shrunk, it’s done.
  • For the tomato sauce: mix all the required ingredients, except for the olives in a blender. Make sure the sauce isn’t completely blend, you want small “bits and pieces” in the sauce. Cut the olives in pieces and ad them to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Time to make the rolls! Put some olive paste, a bit of spinach, and pieces of mozzarella on a zucchini slice. Roll it up and put it in the oven dish. Don’t fill them up too much! Put the dish for 10 more minutes in the oven till the mozzarella has melted.
  • Serve the zucchini rolls with the raw tomato sauce. Serve with a little bit of parmesan cheese.

We hope you enjoy this recipe! Let us know how you liked it. Better yet, show us pictures!

Nike & Fitgirlcode: We Own The Night

So last year Aranka and Chris ran the 10k during Nike’s We Own The Night and this year they’re doing it again. Only this time they will be joined by more Fit Girls. And guess what…You can join too!

Nike & Fitgirlcode: We Own The Night

Aranka & Chris (The Dynamic Duo) will be joined by Fit Girls Anna, Shelley and Kim. They all have been training for it really hard, and for them it will be the first time running a 10k marathon. So freaking exciting and awesome! We know they’re gonna nail it and the other girls (including me) will be there to cheer our faces off!

Join us!

We would LOVE to see you there and join the girls for the marathon. Aranka & Chris will be carrying their Fitgirlcode bags before the start so you can recognize them. And the first one to spot them, take a picture with both of them, using #NikeFitgirlcode on Instagram will be receiving a Fitgirlcode goodie bag! We will be there taking pictures too, so be sure to look for us to say hi! 

Nike We Own The Night
Race date:             Saturday 7th June 2014
Race time :           After dark
Race location:    Amsterdam

 

Get your admission now!

So click on the button below to register and get your admission. Remember that some of the girls are doing it for the first time, so if you have been running for a while but haven’t really challenged yourself yet: Now is the perfect time! The girls will run side by side with you, cheering when sh*t gets tough!

LET’S DO THIS!!!

SHOP MET 5 EURO KORTING

 

Fit chicks in training with Nike Training Club

Training is always more fun in a group! Thats why, when we heard about the Nike Training Club, we were instantly enthusiastic.

Yesterday after a long day of working, Chris and I went to the NTC training in Amsterdam to prepare ourselves physically for We Own The Night on June 7th. We Own The Night is a 10 km run in Amsterdam after sunset. It’s one of our favorite runs of the year because of the amazing view of Amsterdam city in the dark. We have heard from many of our followers that they have a WOTN ticket already, would be so nice to meet you in person! If you don’t have a ticket yet, don’t worry! You can still order your tickets (with a free T-shirt) here.

NTC chris and me 2

We were invited by Jenny from Healthyfans, and received this super goodie bag filled with fit girl essentials. Thanks Jenny, we loved it (and the goodies too)!

NTC goodies

Hot trainer Lars gave us a HIIT which stands for High Intensity Interval training. He made us sweat even standing still 😉

NTC lars

Also Chris her abs loved the training. Her abs are so famous, we are contemplating giving them names ;). Read her food and exercise journal here.

NTC Chris abs

As you can see and read, we had a blast!! It was great to meet you girls: Jenny, AshleyLauraMerelLauryBobbiCarmenKaneesha,Francien, & Eline. Let’s do this again soon.

NTC group

What are you doing to prepare for a run? Are you ready to own the night? Register now and lets do it together!

SHOP MET 5 EURO KORTING

A chick’s best workout partner: the sports bra

Patterned, plain, strappy, basic, padded, seamless or not, sports bras are a girl’s best friend when it comes to working out! Either you’re proudly rocking an A cup or struggling to keep your double D’s in place while pumping that iron, your most loyal support(er) will be right there, working hard with you. This is a pretty important job so a lot of thought usually goes into picking the best one!

The hunt for the perfect bra
There are many things to consider when you go on a hunt for the sports bra that perfectly matches your needs. It has to be comfortable and well fitted, fashionable, good quality material, pretty and durable and within your budget range. All in all it has to fulfill lots of criteria to end up being the ‘lucky one’ you pick. And I know I’m picky – but hey, you don’t have to limit your options to just one!

After some girl talk with the Fitgirlcode chicks, I ended up with some very useful feedback on their fave sports bra that will knock out some of the myths, but also help you chose which type is the perfect one for you!

1.  A couple of the fit girls have bought and tested HEMA sports bras and they have news for you. They are great! If you’re not planning on splurging this month’s budget on a bra, this is a great choice for you. They fit perfectly and last well over time! And I really like this pastel turquoise one:

hema top

 

2. Speaking of affordable and fashionable, we’ve also tried out some really cute looking ones from H&M, and let me tell you something, they don’t just look nice and are wallet friendly! These babies will support you when you need it most & you’ll look fabulous while you’re at it. Check out some of my faves!

 

HM bh

 

 

 

A chick’s best workout partner: the sports bra

 

3. A personal favourite that provides me with good support but also a good ‘push’ is the next one from Hunkemöller. It’s within a medium price range and it’s so PINK! When mother nature hasn’t endowed you with big boobs you have to work with what you’ve got as well as focus on other hum…assets.

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4.  Let’s talk hot shots! We all know a good sports brand when we see one & these are some of my fave pieces from Adidas! I’ve discovered them while online shopping for shoes and they are in the top 10 of my wish list!

 

adidas tops

5. Last but not least, the unanimous favourite and ‘must have’ of sports bras, the ultimate work out partner to keep everything in place, the one, the only – Nike  We love them because of quality, comfort and sharp looks. Here are some of my picks for the summer:

 

nike tops

 

What qualities are you looking for in a sports bra? Let us know your favourite picks and why you love them! 

Without before, there is no after

Yep, there it is: my before- and after picture. Damn, it’s insanely scary to share this with the rest of the world. Even though I showed it to a few close friends before I decided to post it on FITGIRLCODE, it’s still a huge step. Some of you might wonder why I would share something personal like this on the world wide web. I have two reasons:

  1. I’m amazingly proud of the results I achieved. I honestly did not expect myself to be this persistent.
  2. I love to inspire and motivate other women to become someone who is comfortable in her own skin.

I have doubted whether I should post this picture already or if I should wait a few more months so the difference would be more ‘shocking’. But then I decided that it’s important to tell you guys that I feel super confident and proud of myself looking at this picture.

Don’t compare yourself to others
I want to emphasize, that you should keep in mind that you and your body are one of a kind. So don’t compare yourself to others. Everybody responds totally different to food and exercise. I, for example will never fit into a size 36 EU/8 UK like Aranka or Chris (only if I’d starve myself). It’s simply not possible because of my bone structure. But that doesn’t mean that my body is less beautifull or fit. Everyone is georgious in their own unique way. That’s what makes the world an interesting place.

The road to transformation
I gotta tell you, that the changes I have undergone lately didn’t happen in two months. Physicall yes, but mentally no. I have prepared myself for this new lifestyle over the past year – step by step. Like Shelley wrote in her article: changing you habits doesn’t happen over night.

After preparing myself all this time, I was ready to change a few things radically. This is what I did to achieve my goals:

  • Accept the fact that I need to make sacrifices. I can’t have both: drink loads of wine, eat cheese AND look like Beyoncé.
  • I work out 4 times a week: 3 times strenght training and once a week I go for a 8k run.
  • I drink a lot less alcohol. And if I do, I stick to some ground rules to limit the damage.
  • I found myself a few Fit Friends For Life to keep me motivated.
  • I try to eat as clean as possible. Check out 6 healthy tips to starting eating clean.
  • I quit drinking soft drinks and fruit juices and committed to green tea and (flavored)water
  • Last but not least: when I slacked I tried not to panic. Sometimes I just want to eat chocolate, cookies and A LOT of potato chips. But I don’t trow in the towel. I tell myself that every day is a brand new day for me to work my ass off in the gym and eat super healthy.

The key to succes
I`ve been training with Georgios from Sixforty for over a year now. Before, I didn’t get the results I was aiming for at all. So I asked him why he thinks I am succeeding this time around.

Georgios: “Succes has everything to do with the choices you make and how much you are willing to sacrifice to let them succeed. Anna chose what’s most important for her: becoming a woman who’s comfortable in her own skin. And because she comits to this choice there’s nothing in her way to reach her goals.”

Anna & Georgios Kleur
photo credits: Vivienne Magalie

A little thank you

I didn’t reach my personal goals yet, but when I started this journey I’d never thought I would get this far, this fast. But you should all know that I have couldn’t done this without a few important people in my life.

Shout out to my boyfriend (also my Best Fit Friend For Life), the most amazing trainer in the world: Georgios, my close friends and ofcourse everyone in the FITGIRLCODE community. Thanks ya’ll!

Filled bell pepper recipe

Studentenvoer has another amazing recipe for you! This time a super delicious filled bell pepper recipe. You could make it for lunch, but also for dinner – it’s completely up to you. Why don’t you try it?

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with new ideas for your lunch or dinner. Personally I’m often following routines in what I eat and find it hard to come up with creative recipes by myself. Thank god there are people on this earth who do know how to make amazing food combinations and Michelle from Studentenvoer is one of them. But let’s cut to the chase – you want to know how to make this, don’t you?

Ingredients (for 4 people)

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 bag of (garlic) shrimps
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic (so don’t eat this before a date 😉 )
  • boursin or any cheese you prefer
  • pepper & salt

When you have gathered these ingredients, you are all ready and set for cooking this delicious recipe.

Let’s do this!

  1. Put a pan on the stove, containing 2 cups of water for the quinoa.
  2. In the meantime, you can cut off the top of the bell peppers and cut the other veggies up in small pieces.
  3. As soon as the water is boiling, add the quinoa.
  4. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees (Celcius).
  5. Cook the shrimp, garlic and onion in some (coconut) oil. When the shrimps are almost ready, you add the tomatoes to the party.
  6. When the quinoa is done, get rid of the water that’s left in the pan and add the quinoa to the shrimps.
  7. I know you already want to eat this, but behave yourself.
  8. Scoop everything into the bell peppers and put the boursin or cheese on top.
  9. Put the bell peppers in the oven for about 30 minutes.

NOW you can unleash your inner beast and throw yourself upon the food feast that you have created. Enjoy your masterpiece!

 

Avocadolicious

Did you read the article about lunch fitgirlcode style? I noticed how I use avocado in almost all of my lunches. It’s definitely one of my favourite fruits (yes, avocado is a fruit!) at the moment. Not only makes it simple lunches more nourishing and delicious, avocado also works really well as a creamy dairy free sauce, in smoothies and even chocolate puddings! 

Health Benefits

  • Avocado is full of essential nutritients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. 
  • Avocados contain a particularly rich supply of a type of fat called oleic acid, also found in olives and olive oil, which helps the digestive tract ability to absorb nutrients, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. For more info about fats, read the truth about fat  🙂 
  • Avocados have unbelievable anti-inflammatory properties, which have been well documented to help a whole range of illnesses caused by excess inflammation from cancer to heart disease and diabetes.
  • On top of all this, avocado is full of antioxidants and also fibre which is really important for a healthy digestive system.

Now that you’re feening for avocado, here’s one delicious recipe for you to enjoy: quinoa salad with avocado, crab stick and mango. Heaven!

So, besides the fact that this fruit tastes great, you now have enough reasons to eat more avocado!

Cellulite and how to deal with it

It’s almost sunny bikini season and I’m far from ready for it! My legs haven’t seen the sun in what feels like ages and in my head I somehow think I can just jump in a bikini and hit the beach! I mean, it’s not like I indulged in cheat meals over Easter or anything… 

So a couple of days ago I tried on one of those white bikinis from the new Giselle Bündchen H&M collection and, at a closer look in the mirror, there it was, my worst enemy, my greatest fear, the destroyer of confidence – Cellulite – *GASP*!!! 

Immediate action must be taken, so I went home and did my research, which turned out to be very fruitful and useful in dealing with that pesky thing that’s just so hard to get rid off! Needless to say there were dozens of myths and misconceptions to weed out but also a ton of information that turned out to be quite useful! I’m going to share all my newly acquired knowledge and experience with you!

What I really want to make clear: NO SHAME – all women can get it. No matter if you’re skinny or struttin’ some curves, this evil enemy can still get under your skin (pun intended). There are several reasons why this can happen, among which poor nutrition, fad dieting, slow metabolism, hormone changes, lack of physical activity and even dehydration (note to self: drink more water).

First things first: What is cellulite?

Cellulite is a persistent type of fat, that gathers under your skin, especially in the areas of the hips and thighs, and causes a dimpled, lumpy appearance. This can vary from an ‘orange peel’ look all the way to ‘cottage cheese’. Most of us have it and we all hate it, which is why you’re not going to like the next bit.

It’s hereditary! Why thank you, dear genes! This means that certain genes like gender, race, slow metabolism or circulatory insufficiency can predispose you to developing unwanted adipose tissue. Moreover, hormones apparently have a say in this too, especially insulin, noradrenaline (enables the body to perform well in stressful situations), and thyroid hormones. You can prevent it though – Just stay away from refined and processed foods, SUGAR, dairy and all kinds of fatty products.

Cellulite and how to deal with it

 Good news is you CAN get rid of it, BUT it takes time and perseverance…

 

  • Most importantly – EXERCISE – Make sure you get a lot of blood flow into those areas! It will make you feel good and look good. Cellulite can also be caused by muscular atrophy, a condition that occurs when a layer of muscle becomes weak, undefined and separates from the skin, which is why exercise is so important! Oh! Spice up your life (and food), that helps burn calories & increase blood flow!
  • Scrub Up – massaging your thighs using scrub can stimulate micro circulation, will make your skin look smoother and you’ll benefit from a bonus arm workout in the shower. Make sure you use circular movements, from bottom to top, guiding the blood flow towards your heart. One of my favorites is the Blueberry Body Scrub Jelly from Bodyshop. You can even make your own by mixing 1tbsp of used ground coffee, 1tbsp of coconut oil, 1tbsp of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.
  • You can also use one of these handy massagers to do the job ( you don’t wanna scrub off all your skin layers ). Use this baby to massage your target areas every time you hit the shower – yeah it won’t work overnight!
  • Creams DO help! They rehydrate your skin and help it gain more elasticity after working out. Look for one that also contains caffeine or Gingko Biloba – a substance that oxidises fat cells and strengthens your veins to improve blood circulation! It also increases your ability to remember things! Not bad, huh?!

Well, now you know what to do, go on, get one step closer to your perfect thighs! What are your super secret tips on dealing with this confidence crusher ?

Fitgirlcode Plog 2

When Aranka first told me about plogging, I thought it was a dirty word 🙂 oh silly me. For the ones that don’t know what plogging is: plogging is a blog in picture. Everybody loves to take a peek in other peoples life, we know we do! So we started a Fitgirlcode plog, sharing the days of our lives with you 🙂 

A day in the life of…

 

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Steffi bought these awesome Nike Thea sneakers. Yes, she is in love with them. And yes, she keeps them besides her bed to stare at them before she goes to sleep. Don’t we all? She also enjoyed the sun with a bowl of delicious pineberries, a strawberry mixed with a pineapple, YUM!

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Last week was a YAY moment for us when Shelley made the Rotterdam papers with Fitgirlcode. We are so proud of her!! Our goal? World Domination 😉 This week she also wrote an awesome article on running, and one of her tips is: enjoy the scenery. Check out her scenery when running. Pretty awesome huh?

 

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Sweet Shirley is working SO hard on her thesis, she almost cried. Good thing we were around to stuff a Snickers in her mouth to keep her from crying. Luckily she can vent her frustrations when we work out together at Elevator Sports!

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Anna is on a personal fit mission: to have Beyoncé’s ass in hot pants…YUM! And her boyfriend is happy to join her on her runs #fitlove. The last 3 months she has been training so hard that she treated herself  to this awesome tattoo!

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Our homegirl Chris and her abs of steel can always be found at the gym. She loves to work her butt off and inspire all around her. Hmmm, I wonder if she can lift that guy…Making your breakfast look this pretty makes it more fun and allows you to enjoy it more!

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Where Aranka is, there is Cooper: the overweight British Shorthair that is ridiculously photogenic. He even has his own Instagram account 🙂 Running with someone else is more fun, especially with the BF  

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Bella loves to try new and healthy recipes in the kitchen! This week she made a scrumptious avocado salad for two. Yes, Bella is very girly 🙂 She loves to wear pink when working her ass off at the gym.

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Annegeke stole our hearts when she brought lemon pistachio squares the first day at the office. We LOVE her awesome recipes, like this quinoa sushi with avocado and cucumber. And how about that salad with beans and sweet potato chips…DAING!

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Kim absolutely loves animals and she is the godmother to a lot of doggies 🙂 So she thought: why run alone when you can run with animals? So she’s planning to start doing that really soon. I wonder if she’s the next Cesar Milan?

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So I just turned 35 and the best way to celebrate this, is with the boyfriend, the friends and sushi…And lots of it too! MEOW! My boyfriend’s kitty is actually getting used to me taking a million pictures a day. Look at her, sitting all pretty 

Fitgirl fan plog

You guys sent us some many cool pictures every day and we LOVE them! This week pictures of fit fans Haley and Joyce. Do you want to be featured in our next plogs? Keep posting your pictures on our Facebook wall, and use #fitgirlcodeplog when posting on Instagram. You can also send your pictures to community@fitgirlcode.com. Keep sending us those pictures, YOU GUYS ROCK! Now go plog yourself!

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Lunch Fitgirlcode style

 Growing up in The Netherlands where lunch just comes down to a sandwich, I sometimes have a hard time making a lunch that does not consist of only 2 slices of bread with toppings. I bet there are more fit girls out there that love breakfast and look forward to dinners, but lack easy and nourishing lunch recipes.

Time for some lunch inspiration!

Veggie bowls. Perfect for lunches at home when you have time to prepare some veggies. I love to combine some kind of vegetable with lentils, beans or chickpeas and guacamole. Celeriac fries are awesome to go with this kind of lunch as well.

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Celeriac fries

 Salads with a twist. I really love simple salads but they don’t always fill me up properly. By adding beans, a boiled egg, fish, or meat you can include some extra protein which will keep you going longer. Nuts and avocados are awesome for some extra nourishment as well. My favourite dressing is a mixture of 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tspn hummus, 1 tspn apple cider vinegar (balsamic will work too), and some salt.

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Avocado salad

Leftover dinners. At first I thought eating pasta at 1pm was weird but I actually really like it. It keeps me going all afternoon and this way I don’t have to throw away any leftover food. Other recipes that work really well as a (to-go) lunch are quinoa and rice dishes and tabbouleh. Tastes at least as good cold as it did hot.

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Tabouleh

Avocado on top. A simple lunch I love is rice cakes, toast, or rye bread with 1/2 an avocado with some chili flakes, a bit of salt and some lime juice. Never lets me down.

Hope this helps! Still lacking inspiration? Check out more delicious and healthy lunch recipes! 

 

(Images: www.yummysalad.com  + www.thehappymango.wordpress.com)

 

Running into a new mindset

A couple of months ago, I signed up for the 5k Ladies Run in Rotterdam. It was a motivator for me to start running again and seriously train from zero to 5km. I started out with the speed of an 80-year-old turtle who had to catch her breath every 200 meters, but I have to say, I’m more of a 10-year-old sloth now, so I guess that’s still progress, right? 😉

I never liked running and I’m not completely sure whether I do now. However, I have committed to going running at least twice, but ideally three times a week. It really helps that my BFFF comes along every time – I don’t think I could have committed to it without her. Running was very hard for me in the beginning, partly due to a minor lung problem I’ve had since I was a child, but also partly due to my mentality. I’m not the “Rome wasn’t built in a day”-kind-of-girl. If it was up to me, I’d want to build Rome in half a day and add Venice to the schedule as well. However, I needed to learn that your body simply isn’t able to do everything you’d like it to rightaway. It takes time and training to achieve your goals, which in my case was running 5km in 30 minutes – and after 2,5 months, I have finally achieved this.

Running can be awful, exhausting and even annoying. But it can also be energizing, mind-clearing and insightful. It all depends on the mindset you’re taking with you. You can continue to think that you are tired and out of breath while you are running, or you can focus on the landscape around you and bringing your breathing back to a steady pace. You don’t need to run that fast in the beginning – take your time and appreciate the fact that you actually put on your running shoes and are out there trying! Results won’t show in a week and it will be hard. There will be days when you are lying in bed and dreading to go out for a run. But then there will also be days that you will be yearning for a run or will complete one and feel absolutely, completely proud of yourself.

Tips to take with you when you go running:

  • Appreciate the landscape around you. Try going for a run in beautiful surroundings, or explore your hometown and discover beautiful spots. It will get your mind off the fact that you are running and that you still need to go 4km until you’re home. The landscape can be quite beautiful, wherever you are. Look at it. Appreciate it. 
  • Clear your mind. You can’t solve your problems while you’re out there running, but you can take a break from them. Taking a step back and thinking about other things can sometimes bring you entirely new perspectives and help you relax. Maybe when you get home, you’ll suddenly see the solutions.
  • Bring either your BFFF or your music. Running with the feeling of company is much better than doing it all by yourself.
  • Accept the fact that you are only human and you cannot start running 5km without stopping at day 1. Training your body takes time and it needs to build up muscle and strength before you can achieve the goals you have set for yourself. If you are out of breath, take a break and walk for a while until you can breath normal again, or try running slower. I hate it when people say this to me, but… Rome wasn’t built in a day.

 

My new goal is to run 8km (and eventually 10km) without stopping since I’m training for the We Own The Night 10km in Amsterdam on the 7th of June. Any other fit girls who are going to be there as well? 

Healthy breakfast foods – PART 2

Earlier this week I wrote about why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While I was doing research on this subject I ran into so many delicious foods for a healthy breakfast, I decided to divide my article into two parts. I don’t want to just sum up all the foods, but also want to tell you about all the special qualities they have.

It’s easy to eat stuff because other people tell you it’s healthy, but in my experience it works best if you know WHY some foods work wel for your body and others just don’t. Take a look at a few other amazing breakfast foods.

  • Blueberries: Fresh or frozen, these tiny super fruits pack a lot of health benefits. Studies suggest that eating blueberries regularly can help improve everything from memory and motor skills to blood pressure. Moreover, blueberries can help you battle the bulge. First of all, blueberries are lower in calories than a lot of other fruits (they contain just 80 kcal per cup), but researchers also found that if obese animals  were given meals enriched with blueberries, they lost fat from their stomachs.
  • Lemon: Start the day with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. My experience is, that when you start of the day right, it’s easier to make the best choices the rest of the day. Lemons boost your immune system because they are full of vitamine C. They are also high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. And if you’re having trouble pooping, warm water and lemon might be just the thing to help you go. Last but not least: drinking lemon water combats the bacteria that causes bad breath. Not bad, huh?
  • Flax seed: Sprinkling ground flax seed into a smoothie or bowl of cereal will turn your breakfast into a gold mine of omega-3 fatty acids; just two tablespoons contains more than 100% of your recommended daily intake for those heart-healthy fats. Flax seed, which has a nutty flavor, is also rich in fiber and lignan, an antioxidant that’s been shown to protect against breast cancer. You didn’t expect all this from such a tiny seed, right?
  • Green tea: Have you been wondering why everyone is so psyched about green tea? Now you can stop wondering and just start drinking it. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a plant nutrient known as EGCG. This superb ingredient increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body (especially your belly fat). And if that’s not enough, drinking green tea also keeps your energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.
  • Eggs: These little rascals have made quite a comeback in recent years. Once shunned for being high in dietary cholesterol (one yolk contains about 60% of your daily allotment), eggs are now embraced as a healthy source of protein and nutrients. Why the turnabout? Research has shown that the cholesterol in our food has less of an impact on blood cholesterol than previously thought. If you are not eating eggs regularly this is why you should:*One little egg is packed with several vitamins and minerals essential to your health.

Of course this is only a selection of the most delicious and healthy things you can eat for breakfast. What food do you prefer to start of the day fresh and focused?

Source: health.com, foodmatters.tv, besthealthmag.ca, huffingtonpost.com

Fit girl Chris’ exercise and food log

Fitgirlcode was started by bfff’s (best fit friends forever) Aranka and Chris. When we started Fitgirlcode we wanted to inspire ourselves to get healthy and fit, and what happened in this process is that we inspired a lot more people to do the same. In the process, Chris lost some weight and gained loads of energy, killer abs, better skin and hair and an allover happier life. Last month we both created an exercise and food log for you guys. And last week Chris made a new one, just to show you that no week is the same!

Balancing food and exercise is very important. Just like Chris wrote in this blog, your body needs fuel to run (literally) and food=fuel! For us, and probably for many of you, no week is the same. So you can’t eat the same foods and workout on the same days. Also its would get very boring. Chris makes sure she eats before she gets hungry, which is better for her mood and also for her eating habits. When she knows she has a very busy day, she makes sure that her meals have enough energy to get through it.

Fit Girl Chris’ Exercise and Food log: Schermafbeelding 2014-05-12 om 17.55.40

Explanation: Elevator sports is the name of a gym we work out. It is a total body workout for 1,5 hours and burns 1000 calories. We lift weights; do HIIT (High-intensity interval training), cardio, and squats. Everything is at your own pace and level.

Healthy breakfast foods – PART 1

For as long as we can remember, we’ve been told breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But why was that again? A good breakfast does not only boost you energy and memory level, it also prevents you from overeating later in the day and has impact on how long you live. So keep this in mind next time you rush out the door without something to eat.

Make sure you start off your day with a breakfast that combines good carbs and fiber with some protein. Have a look at these healthy breakfast foods. They kick start your day and make you feel full and energized throughout the whole morning.

  • Bananas: There’s nothing like a banana at breakfast to keep those mid-morning cravings away. But you`ll never eat a banana the same way after reading the next sentence. This yellow piece of fruit helps you combat depression, makes you smarter, cures hangovers, relieves morning sickness, protects against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. And believe it or not, they can a cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes (true story)
  • Grapefruit: These guys have a beneficial effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Grapefruit is also hydrating, filling, and packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants. Some of you might have to get used to the bitter taste (I know I did), it`s worth the while.
  • Raspberries: These summer favorites are the main berry source of ellagitannins, a type of antioxidant that is thought to have cancer-fighting properties. They’re also high in fiber (8 grams per cup), vitamin C, and vitamin K, which helps build strong bones. Although you can buy fresh raspberries year-round, during the off-season you’ll find them cheaper (and with equal nutritional value) in the frozen foods aisle. They’re perfect as an addition to cereal or yogurt, or mixed into a smoothie for a quick, drink-on-the-go breakfast.
  • Oatmeal: Whether slowly cooked and creamy or blended with fresh fruit in a smoothie, oats provide your body with many benefits. If you’re not eating oatmeal for breakfast, you’re missing out on a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to your body first thing in the morning. So what exactly makes oatmeal so superduper healthy? For years, research has shown a strong connection between oatmeal and cholesterol reduction. Oatmeal is rich of a certain type of fiber that gets rid of “bad” cholesterol. That means when you eat oats for breakfast, you’re going to feel full for a long time. Breakfast foods high in sugar and fat can make you feel full for a brief period, but then you’re hungry again. A breakfast smoothie, consisting of blended oats, fruit and ice, can satisfy your hunger easily until lunch. Check this delicious banana peanut butter oatmeal recipe.On top of all: oats also are packed with the antioxidants that battle against cell damage. And that can help plump up your skin and reduce wrinkles.

While I was writing this article I discovered loads of delicious and healthy foods to make a nice breakfast. And each food has so many good qualities. So I deciced to write a part 2 about this subject. To be continued…

Source: health.com, foodmatters.tv, besthealthmag.ca, huffingtonpost.com