9 holiday must-packs (plus a surprise)

This summer a lot of Fit Girls are taking a break from their busy lives and are going on a well-deserved holiday. Chris already talked you through how to survive an all inclusive vacation, but what about the packing problem all women experience? What do you take with you? Fit Girl Nathalie and I came up with some must-packs for your holiday. Oh, and we have a little surprise for you at every must-pack 😉

 

BagMyBag

You will need a bag to carry all of your stuff. Of course you always want to look fashionable even when travelling, so we’ve picked this fabulous bag with some nice stars.

Surprise! You get 15% off as a new customer at Mybag.com because you’re a Fit Girl. Just enter FITGIRLCODE as the discount code at the end of your order before the 31st of July. (Excluding sale items)

Alle artikelen van Emily

 

 

TheHut

 

Dress
On a summer holiday a girl cannot go without a dress. For those hazy nights, it is always nice to wear something that is light. This dress is perfect for those nights and this color will highlight your summer tan.

Whoop whoop! 15% off for all the Fit Girls new at The Hut. Use the code FITGIRLCODE15 at the end of your order before the 31st of July. 

Alle artikelen van Jessica

 

 

thehut2

 

 

Hat

A perfect summer hat to protect your head from turning too red and your locks from harmful UV-rays.

Use your 15% discount at The Hut with the FITGIRLCODE15 code!

SHOP DE VEGAN GUIDE

 

 

 

thehut3

 

 

Top

This super cute top is definitely a must-pack. Wear it with shorts and combine it with the hat!

You could use your 15% discount here again at The Hut with FITGIRLCODE15.

IK WIL DE GOODIEBAG

 

 

thehut4

 

Shorts

Well, I probably don’t have to tell you what to combine this with, right? It’s the perfect holiday outfit!

The 15% discount is calling for you! Use your FITGIRLCODE15 code at The Hut before the 31st of July.

IK WIL EEN VOEDINGSSCHEMA

 

 

Pages: 1 2

No pain, no gain

Hi there Fit Girls (and boys)! I started the most serious part of my fit journey almost 5 months ago. I have shared my personal experiences with you guys along the way and I really enjoy doing that. It first of all gives me a great feeling that I can inspire others (never thought of myself like that), but writing about my ups and downs is also therapeutic for me in some way. Whenever I feel down, writing about my journey makes me realize how far I’ve come already. Yesterday my trainer said: “Setting goals for yourself like you have, and overcoming them is like top class sport. It requires determination and discipline. “ And I think he is right.

It was pretty hard to go to the gym when your friends ask you to join you for drinks in the sun after work. And to say no to someone’s birthday cake at work for the third time in a row. And to keep your snack-hand under control every time you are surrounded by mouth-watering (not so healthy) snacks at a party. And to get yourself straight after you’ve had cheat day. And to not give a damn about the scale at some point and trust your own eyes when you look at yourself in the mirror. And to push through during a training even if you think you are gonna die. I literally cried during my personal training a few times, because I faced my own challenge and got so overwhelmed with emotions.

But you know, it was worth every single drop of sweat, tears and frustration when you finally fit in the beautiful jeans you bought a size too small. When people start telling you how great you look. When trying on a bikini in a fitting room doesn’t make you feel depressed anymore. When you beat your own personal sport records. (I managed to score ‘good’ for my cooper test 2 weeks ago) When eating healthy doesn’t feel like a punishment anymore but you actually prefer your own baked goodies over some crap from the supermarket.

So whenever you have to crawl from your desk to the toilet after an intense ‘leg-day’ or skip the vino and smelly but oh-so delish cheese once again, remember that the old adage applies here yet again:

No pain, no gain!

Square lemon pistachio cookies

We love healthy cookies! Especially these by Annegeke! We love her and her delicious recipes! <3

Ingredients for 9 squares:

This is how you do it:

Start by mixing 1 cup of almonds in a food processor to make almond flour  (or use almond flour). Put this aside in a bowl and ground 1/2 cup of oats until ‘meal consistency’ as well. Add this to the almond meal together with the melted coconut oil, honey, pistachios, cranberries and shredded coconut. Then, add grated lemon peel of one whole lemon and cinnamon to taste. Mix everything well and place the mixture on a flat surface, approx 1cm thick (kind of pressing everything well together while doing so).

Place this in the freezer while making the icing. Simply blend the soaked cashews with 2tbsps of lemon juice – use the one you grated the peel of – in a food processor until it gets creamy. Get the ‘dough’ out of the freezer, spread the icing on top and freeze for about 2hours before cutting them up to enjoy:)

You can just store them in your freezer, would recommend taking them out about half an hour before you want to eat them.

Enjoy!

Source: Cleanfoodhappydays

Finish your bucket list or die trying

Lately Nathalie and Anna have told you about their bucket lists, now it’s my turn! However, I’m gonna do it a little bit differently: I am also going to include the things on my bucket list I have already been able to do. It’s important to have dreams and plans for the future, but maybe even more important to also appreciate the chances you got in the past. Let me present to you: my bucket list!

My bucket list (Part I?)

  • Visit Rio de Janeiro (during carnaval would be awesome)
  • Go to Machu Picchu
  • Explore India
  • Ride an elephant
  • Ride a camel
  • See the pyramids in Egypt
  • Walk on the Great Wall of China
  • See the skyline of Hong Kong
  • Visit the Forbidden City
  • Party in Shanghai
  • Ride a gondola in Venice
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Learn to speak basic Mandarin Chinese
  • Go to Rome
  • Drink from a coconut
  • Finish a Wreck This Journal
  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree
  • Earn a Master’s degree
  • Meet my doppelganger
  • Start my own business
  • Get a black belt in a martial art
  • Go to Hawaii
  • Send a message in a bottle
  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Donate blood
  • Go on a road trip
  • Climb the steps of the Mayan ruins
  • Learn the Italian language
  • Go parasailing
  • Ride a jetski
  • Travel to Australia
  • Swim in an infinity pool

This list is probably too long already, but there is just so much I want to do and see in this world! As you may have noticed, most of my bucket list items are about travelling, but believe me when I say that there is much more that I want to experience. So if you like, I could make a part II someday.

What things are on your bucket list?

Pancake recipe

Studentenvoer posted a really nice recipe on Dutchfitnesscommunity that we just had to share! It’s a pancake recipe and who doesn’t like pancakes?! Even more interesting is the fact that these pancakes help you to work-out at your best, and to improve your performance, because these special pancakes contain a lot of proteins and carbs.

What do you need?

What to do?

The steps are relatively simple and are doable for everyone. Even a kitchen klutz like me was able to do it! Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine.

1. Mix the amount of the Sports Pancakes with the amount of water, cacao, chia seed and flaxseed.

2. Cut the strawberries into smaller bite-sized pieces.

3. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan.

4. Wait until the coconut oil is hot enough. After this, you can bake 2 thin slices of pancakes right after each other.

5. Wait until the upper part of the pancake is dry. If this is the case, spin the pancake.

6. When the pancakes are done, serve them on a plate. After this, spread the upper-side of the pancake with quark.

7. Roll the pancakes and decorate it with the strawberries, shredded coconut, and sprinkle it with cacao nibs.

 

Are you going to try this out at home?

 

Ambassador Blog by Lotta

Hi there Fit Girls! I’m Lotta and I’m a Fit Girl, because my life is all about health! In my professional life I’m a physiotherapist, health coach and model, which means I know a lot about exercising and healthy food. Besides that, I’m a figure skater and my healthy lifestyle helps me to perform my very best during training and competitions. I always try to get out the best in me!
Lotta

But lets get started: Flexibility! It’s one of the base motricity skills, which also includes endurance, speed, co-ordination and strength. A good flexibility makes you perform better in sports because you have a better range of motion in your joint movements and this has a great influence on coordination as well!

 

2014-06-13 17.51.06  IMG_4920 (2)

Flexibility is defined by two things: the first part is the range of motion of your joints. This is mainly genetically determined, which means you only can influence this a little bit. The other part is the length of your muscles, this is also partly genetically determined, but there is also a big part that you can influence all by yourself!

 

IMG_4993 (2)

The best way to increase your flexibility is by static stretching. Preferably after your work-out, because researches have shown that stretching before your work-out could decrease your strength by 30%! Besides that stretching after your work-out helps to prevent injuries. The stretch impulse in your muscles helps to build up new & strong muscle fibers, this makes your muscles less vulnerable for injuries.

 

 

 

2014-06-14 11.54.31When you do your stretches, make sure you maintain every stretch for about 30 second in each position. Stretching always means that you move the muscle to the opposite side as the muscle function. For example: your Qceps function is straighten your leg, so you should stretch it by bending your leg. Try to do stretches for every muscle area and focus on the same areas as the muscles you trained during your work-out (legs on leg day etc.). Stretching is a very important part of your work-out and recovery process, don’t skip it!

 

stretchingmuscles

 

The Great Humus Guide

I am just crazy about humus. I spread it on top of (almost) everything: home made pizza, bread, rice cakes etc. It’s also a very suitable and delish dip for fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumber and peppers.

The little heroes in this Mediterranean goodie are chickpeas. These little fellas are full of minerals, fiber and protein and other important nutrients. So if you are just like me a little addicted to hummus, try not to worry too much – there are much worse things you could be addicted to!

Another great thing about humus is that you can vary endlessly. This prevents, even for the serious humus freaks, that you get bored with it eventually. I went on a quest for the most mouthwatering hummus variations for the Great Humus Guide.

The Great Humus Guide

Directions: Rinse and clean all canned chickpeas, then combine everything in a food processor (or use a handmixer) and blitz until smooth. For a thinner consistency add 1 table spoon of water. Add pepper and salt to taste.

1. Classis

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 2 tablespoons olive oil – 2 tablespoons tahini – 2 tablespoons lemon juice – 1 garlic clove

2. Pesto

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – table spoons pesto – 2 table spoons tahini – 2 tablespoons lemon juice – 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

3. Green herb

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 15 basil leaves – a few parsley leaves – a few tarragon leaves – 2 tablespoons of olive oil

4. Guaca-humus

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 1 ripe avocado – a few cilantro leaves – two tablespoons of lime juice

5. Italian

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 6 sundried tomatoes – 2 tablespoons lemon juice – 1 teaspoon dried oregano

6. Greek

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 50 gram grumbled feta cheese – a few leaves baby spinach – 2 table spoons lemon juice – a pinch of cinnamon.

7. Beet

50g can chopped beetroot – 1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 1 garlic cloves – 1 tablespoon tahini – 1 tablespoon lemon juice – 2 tablespoons olive oil

8. Tapenade

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 50 gram black olives – 1 tablespoon tahini – 2 tablespoons olive oil – 3 tablespoons lemon juice – a pinch of cumin – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

9. Red bell pepper

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 2 chopped roasted red bell pepper – 2 tablespoons tahini – 2 tablespoons lemon juice – 2 garlic gloves

10. Cucumber

1 can chickpeas (400 g) – 1/2 cucumber chopped into pieces – 1 tabelespoon olive oil – 2 tablespoons tahini – 2 garlic gloves – a pinch of paprika powder

What is your all time favourite humus recipe? Please let me know! Humus for life! 🙂

 

Customize your Adidas shoes

Have you been looking for shoes that perfectly match that sports top? Or shoes in that one colour that you can’t find in any store? Create them yourself! Adidas enables you to create your own Mi Adidas shoes, of which you can choose all the different colours. And the huge advantage: it’s not that expensive. Here’s how I experienced customizing my own Adidas shoes. 

When I decided I needed a new pair of (fashionable) running shoes, I went to the Adidas website and saw these Duramo 6 shoes, which I already liked in their standard look. Then I noticed a button saying ‘customise’. With my dream pair of black running shoes with coral accents in the back of my mind, I got down and dirty customizing. The result is completely what I hoped for! On the  right you see the virtual shoe and on the left the result. Pretty cool huh?

Adidasdef

 

Customizing your dream pair

There are many pros to customizing your own Adidas shoe. Most importantly, you get to choose your own colours and create the shoe you have been looking for. But next to that, I found my Duramo 6 shoes perfect for running and exercising – they run heavenly. Furthermore, you get two pairs of laces so you can replace them once in a while. And all this for about 20 euros extra on the price! My Duramo 6 shoes were originally 60 euros, and my customized version cost 80 euros. Perfect!

Of course there are some (slight) disadvantages: it takes a while before you get them. These shoes are being made only for you, so don’t expect them to be delivered within a week. I had to wait about 4-6 weeks before I got them, but I’m glad I did, because it was worth it! A disadvantage I luckily did not encounter is the fact that you cannot return them. As I said, they are being made only for you, so returning them is not an option. So be certain that you love your masterpiece, because once they are yours, they are yours forever. (Sounds scary, doesn’t it?)

So how does it work? Well, it’s fairly easy: you look for a shoe model that you like. Then check whether there is a ‘customise’ button at the right side, and it will lead you through the process! Easy peasy right? Happy customizing!

Last Minute Bikini Action Plan

Extremely excited I finally booked my holiday last week. Mmm, how I look forward to the sun, and the beach.. But, slightly panicking, I realized that it also means: bikini time! I’ve set up a last minute bikini action plan that might be helpful to you as well 🙂 !

1. Eliminate all processed foods. Most processed foods contain lots of sodium and sugar. Sodium causes water retention which can make you feel puffy and excess sugar will be stored as (belly) fat.

2. Curb those cravings and boost your metabolism by eating small portions every 2 to 3 hours. Eating small portions in stead of large ones will also help you get rid of that bloated feeling. For inspiration and tips on how and what to eat to get that flat stomach, read this article could be helpful, as well as this one.

3. Try High Intensity Interval Training; HIIT helps to decrease body fat percentage in a shorter period of time than traditional cardio training methods.

4. Drink water, water and again, water; no fizzy drinks, alcohol or coffee. Drinking water will help you flush out excess fluid. Also make sure you eat veggies that are high in water content, like cucumbers and celery, and potassium rich foods, like bananas and avocado; potassium helps your body to excrete water.

5. Take a day off to do some serious grooming: wax, exfoliate, try a fake tan and get a pedicure; these little things can help boost your confidence. Oh, and I also like to invest in a good waterproof mascara 😉 .

6. Do some squats, push ups and planking right before you hit the beach; this will give your muscles a slight pump effect and will make them look more defined.

7. Shoulders back, chin up, smile! Posture is important, so is your attitude. Wear that bikini with pride girl, you look good!

 

What are your tips to become bikini ready?

Operation C.C.C.C. – Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

When visiting the Body&Fit something caught my eye – coconut flour. I added it to my basket and patiently waited for my package to arrive the next day.  This thing smells SO GOOD. 
Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies!
The ‘recipe’ looks kind of like this:
Mix everything in a bowl and preheat the oven to 180C in the meantime.  Make little cookie shapes with your hands, this dough will make about 20 pieces. Place baking paper on a cooking tray and the cookies on top. Put them in the oven and leave them there for about 15 minutes or until golden. Your kitchen will smell like coconut  heaven and your taste buds will be enchanted by the crunchy crust and smooth filling of these cookies. Mine looked like this:

cookies before

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, you can always replace some, add nuts, other seeds, dates, raisins, lemon zest, blueberries – you have endless possibilities here!
*Coconut flour has a lot of fiber (37,6 gr.) and protein (17,4 gr.) for every 100 grams of product, which makes it a very good substitute for traditional flour.
What are you waiting for? GO make some COOKIES! GO! GO!

Ambassador Blog by Irene

Irene is a mom of 2 with a full time job in marketing, as well as working as a Les Mills Sh’bam and BodyBalance instructor. She’s always on the move and loves to inspire other people to get moving too. Fitgirlcode fuels her with inspiration for work, sports, food and her own blog

Photo 22-06-14 21 56 54Photo 22-06-14 21 55 31

Creating your own #Fitgirlcode for moms
I often get asked: How do you do it? Combining a full time job and a family of 2 boys with 3 hours of instructing group fitness classes, running twice a week and blogging about it. Yup, that’s me. What can I say? I am a busy bee. I personally need to do all of those things to stay happy and fun. So let’s get this straight: I am not a super mom, in any case not more or less than any other mom. But for those who are wondering how to fit a regular work out in your schedule, I am happy to share some tips!

1. Short, intense and sweet
One of the biggest myths of not being able to work out is the lack of time. Well, here’s some good news: 30 minutes is often all you need! Whether it’s running, cycling, swimming, cardio or a strength work out, when you use those 30 minutes for interval training (aka HIIT) you do the same or even more than during an moderate 1-hour workout! The other thing is, that making time for your work out leaves MORE time for your other activities? Working out regularly (3 times a week that is) gives your more energy and focus to do all the other stuff. You’ll get it done faster and easier, leaving you time for…, well, what ever you like. How great is that?

Pages: 1 2 3

Strong Inside Out

Hey, fit grrrrrls. I’m Amy Clover, fitness blogger and champion for using fitness as a means to strengthen both our bodies and our minds. Not sure what that means? Let me tell you ’bout it, stud…

Amy_Clover_headshot_large

Growing up, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (an anxiety disorder), which made for a nasty mix. I was always über-emotional and also extremely anxious. Because of the stigma around these disorders, however, I never felt like I could talk about it. I knew people would make fun of me, and I just didn’t want that extra stress on my plate. What I didn’t realize was that NOT talking about it caused so much more.

I held all the pain inside for so long that I broke in my early twenties, and was hospitalized for a suicide attempt. When I was released, I committed to changing my life around. I committed to at least TRYING to get happier. I’d just never really tried before. I’d wanted it, but I’d never achieved happiness for longer than a few weeks at a time. I embarked upon a program with my therapist and started brand new medication, and it was a roller coaster for a few years. I’d do great, then I’d fail and it would send me into a tailspin of depression. What changed, however, was that I was committed to getting back up every time I fell.

When I started working out regularly, my whole world opened up. The more consistent I became in the gym, the more focused and effective I became at being able to follow my therapist’s plan. I started feeling stronger and fighting for me in the gym, which led to more resilience and confidence outside as well. I started believing that I could fight and win in my workouts, and realized that everyday life is no different. Now, that’s what I help other people realize. We’ve grown up in this society that tells us that pain isn’t necessary, so if you’re talking about it, you’re probably just weak. Bull, ladies. Bull.

Amy at bootcamp-credit Caleb

Pages: 1 2

My bucket list

I am a girl who loves to dream. Sometimes, I still feel like I’m a little child who has to grow up, while in fact I can almost call myself an adult. However, there are still so many things that I want to do before I die. And that’s why I made a short bucket list. Hopefully, you will enjoy it and will be inspired to make your own bucket list.

#1. Road trip through the United States.  Since I was a little girl I have an obsession for the United States (probably because of the movies idk). But I absolutely love the people, their culture and their enthusiasm (that is most of the time regarded as fake by many other people, not me). But that’s why I want to do this amazing road trip, driving with your car through the desert, listening to Bruce Springsteen and Steppenwolf. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Hopefully I’m gonna do this soon!! So if you have any tips, let me know ;).

#2. Writing a song and sing it in front of 1000 people. I love to sing, not that I am particularly good at it. But I just love music, making music and listening to music. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be on a stage and move everybody with your music? Hopefully, one day, I can write such a song that will move  people and a song that is good enough to be played on the radio.

#3. Improve my French. If there is one language that I absolutely love, it’s French. I love the pronunciation and the romantic vibes present in every single word. Also, it would be so awesome to speak French fluently when I am on holiday so that I can impress people. Yes, I love to do that. :’)

#4.  Go bungee jumping. And with this I do not mean on an island like Chersonissos. I want to do it in Switzerland, at a lake, on a bridge, with beautiful surroundings. And a duo-jump, just like Mandy Moore in the movie Chasing Liberty (if you don’t know it, watch the scene, it is amazing). Is that too much to ask?

#5. Riding a horse on the beach. I am terribly allergic to horses, but I love them! They’re beautiful creatures. Together with the beach and when the sun goes down, this would be an awesome experience.

So many dreams, but I am definitely determined to achieve all of them. Do you have any cool stuff on your bucket list? Let me know, I love to hear your dreams!

6 Fit facts you did not know yet

Most of you Fit Girls probably knows her share of facts about  a healthy lifestyle. However, I ran into some facts that really surprised me, so I thought, why not make a list of some mind-blowing fit facts? I am wondering how many of these you already know! Let’s hope I’m not the only one who didn’t know them yet. That would be awkward. Let’s see…

  1. One half of a red bell pepper contains three times the recommended amount of Vitamin C and almost 100% of the recommended amount of Vitamin A per day. Seriously, I should start eating this as a snack!
  2. Lifting weights also improves the way you stand. Many of our daily activities (sitting at a desk, driving a car, making a phone call) have consequences on our posture, take for example hanging shoulders or a bent back. Lifting weights corrects your posture , which will also make it seem like you have lost weight even if you didn’t, just because of your stance.
  3. Walking burns more fat per calorie than sprinting. Wait, what? I should mention too that walking, of course, burns less calories in total. But to put it plainly: fat needs oxygen in order to be metabolized for energy. Since walking leaves more available oxygen in your body than sprinting, you burn more fat per calorie while taking a stroll around the neighbourhood. On the other hand, sprinting uses other sources (such as carbs) to metabolize for energy, and sprinting burns more calories overall. Better bring out that powerwalk of yours!
  4. Dark chocolate is a superfood! I bet half of you already knew this and the other half dreamt of it. Dark chocolate has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and boost heart health. And don’t forget what I said about dark chocolate in my oatbars recipe article. Oh, and eating dark chocolate boosts your mood – but that isn’t really breaking news 😉
  5. A muscle fiber is thinner than a human hair, but can support 1,000 times its weight. Makes me feel like we’re becoming superwomen!
  6. Drinking more than 4 cups of green tea daily decreases the chance of having symptoms of a depression. Or at least, that’s what studies show.

Which fit facts did you know already? Do you know more surprising facts?

NET-A-SPORTER Launch

NET-A-PORTER.com, the world famous online luxury fashion retailer has launched today their new activewear category NET-A-SPORTER. This offers customers in over 170 countries fashionable high-quality pieces that span across 36 brands in 11 sporting disciplines.

NET-A-SPORTER Launch

“If a woman is paying close attention to her shoes, bags and makeup then she shouldn’t have to compromise on her style while she’s exercising. NET-A-SPORTER’s carefully curated selection provides a one-stop place where women can find fabulous pieces that address their every sporting need.” says Alison Loehnis, the President of NET-A-PORTER. We couldn’t agree more! Being fit and working out is so important, why would you compromise on looking fabulous? NET-A-SPORTER caters to the gym rat, the runner girl, the dancer, the zen yoga woman, and many more!

It’s always exciting when there’s big news in the land of activewear, but since we already loved NET-A-PORTER, this is even more awesome. Watch the awesome launch video below and check out some of the pictures, but also make sure to visit NET-A-PORTER  for yourself.

Lookbook1Lookbook3Lookbook2Lookbook5Lookbook4Lookbook6

What do you think of the NET-A-SPORTER launch? Comment below!

Creating Safe Spaces for girls in Nairobi

Every once in a while you come across people who can change your state of mind and perspective on life. We as #Fitgirlcode were lucky enough to encounter a person like that: Peninah Musyimi. We met her for a yoga session and got to listen to her story. This strong woman dedicates her life to create Safe Spaces for young girls in the slums of Nairobi by teaching them to discover their own strenghth and to take matters into own hands. We want you to know about her, here’s her story. 

Breaking the circle
Peninah grew up in the slums of Nairobi with no chances of an education, food or even control of her own life. But from the beginning she knew she wanted to get an education and she did everything she could to achieve that. In primary school, she was in the top of her class! But she didn’t stop there, she fought to go to secondary school, even if that meant attending without shoes, uniform and food. Her determination helped her walk 16 km every single day to get to school.

IMG_0015

Higher education
When she heard she could get a scholarship to study law at a university by playing basketball, she taught herself how to play within a month and got the scholarship! This is the definition of determination! After studying law and getting her degree Peninah knew she wanted to help other girls who where just like her growing up and help them empower themselves and in 2008 she created the project Safe Spaces, a girl empowerment organization that works with young girls and women between the ages of 7 – 25 to build a stronger generation of dynamic young women.

What’s it’s like to be a girl in Nairobi
Young women and girls continually bear the greatest burden in society. In slum areas the rate of HIV infection for young women is 5x higher than young men. Although many strategies are needed to tackle these complex issues, Safe Spaces focuses on the need for young women to be the driving force behind their personal growth and supports them to be strong community leaders.

Safe Spaces teaches the girls how to discover their own strength through basketball, yoga and dancing. Safe Spaces gives the girls scholarships so that they can go to school, learn a trade or get a higher education.

Learn more about Safe Spaces and the girls

Pages: 1 2

Why failing at sports doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing

Once upon a time there was a girl. She tried many sports, but felt awkward and clumsy in doing all of them. All of the sports she tried just didn’t seem to fit her. Catching balls, dancing, it just wasn’t working. Wondering who that girl is? Yep, that girl is me.

I cannot emphasize enough that I am not the most athletic person in the world. I am clumsy, awkward, and uncomfortable when it comes to working out and this already started at an early age.

Failing at sports

When I was still a little tiny girl, I thought it would be fun to join the local gymnastics team because I liked the graceful bodies of the gymnasts I saw during the olympics on the telly. And so, full of confidence, I showed up at my first gymnastics class ever…

How could I have ever been so wrong, it was terrible! I was too afraid to do all of the exercises. I thought it was scary to be that high up. I didn’t like to do backflips or swirl around the air like Epke Zonderland (best male gymnast in the Netherlands). After a couple of lessons I quit. My mom and dad agreed, because it didn’t really help that their daughter wouldn’t dare to do anything except for watching the people who did have enough courage to do the gymnastic exercises.

Eventually, I grew older and got into dancing. I loved the people on the television moving smoothly to the music. I wanted to learn this as well! Together with my sister, we decided that we wanted to be a streetdancer. Little did we know that streetdance moves are fast and quite difficult. And so, we couldn’t keep up :’). When the group moved right, we were still moving to the left. You can imagine what that must have looked like ;). After a while, I think even the teacher got tired of us, because we couldn’t keep up. Even girls who were younger than us managed to do the steps. Eventually, we quit because it wasn’t fun anymore and everyone was mad at us. Oh well..

After streetdance, there was a period in my life I played tennis. I did this for 5 years and I really enjoyed it. But, again, I wasn’t really good at it, what a surprise! Eventually, my sister was so good that she was approached by a team selector. So at least, one of us succeeded. You can imagine that after this, I didn’t do any sports for a really long time, because I just wasn’t good at it. However, I have to say that tennis was one step into the right direction.

The turning point

During university, I started exercising again: zumba. For the first time, I didn’t care how I looked. And although it looked ridiculous, I loved to do it.

Btw, you wouldn’t believe it, but I also picked up running. No matter how slow I run, I am still running. I have not yet fell, I am not scared to do it, and it doesn’t involve any balls. So I’m happy.

Eventually, the point that I am trying to make is that although you can be failing at sports, you will find something that fits you. See it as a journey. You can be clumsy, awkward, or have motorial disabled skills, just like me. But there is always something that suits you and that you will enjoy. Just try out a lot of different sports and if it doesn’t suit you, laugh about it, find some hilarious GIF’s of other people that fail at it too, and move on to the next sport. 🙂 

 

How to get into that Fit Girl mode?

How to get into that Fit Girl mode?

The Fit Girl mode: the  mode you are in when you are enjoying your workouts, eating healthy, and you just feel fit, motivated and happy. Fit Girls Shelley and Anna already wrote awesome pieces on how to become a Fit Girl and how to beat a fit dip, and because feeling like a Fit Girl  is one of the best feelings there is, there can never be enough articles about this topic. So here are my favourite tips and tricks to get into that flow and to stay there!

Set reasonable goals you can stick to. Setting ‘easy’ goals might seem soft, but this way you will feel like you can do it, and you will actually do it and feel good! If it’s been a while (or a lifetime) since you ran, it might not be easy for you to suddenly commit to running 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Start for example by committing to twice a week for at least 20 minutes. Don’t like running? Don’t run! Commit to a swim, a dancing class, a powerwalk, anything. Also in case you are quite fit but feeling a bit off lately, start with goals you can easily achieve. You will feel great afterwards and be back at your old routine in no time.

Make short term plans. Try not to say to yourself ‘from now on I will always go to the gym 3 times a week’, but ‘for the upcoming two weeks I will be going to the gym 3 times a week’. Same goes for ‘I will never eat a bag of chips again’, replace it with ‘the upcoming week I will not eat chips’. It makes the commitment feel much more feasible.

Surround yourself with positivity and motivation. Check what kind of accounts you are following on Instagram. Are there any positive accounts you could be following instead? What kind of motivation works for you is probably different than for me, but I noticed a big change when I stopped following most of the fitspo accounts. They often focus on the hard work it takes to get a perfect body. Instead, I now tell myself that getting fit is easy. That I have fun exercising and taking good care of my body. Another way to get more positive motivation into your life is by affirmations. There are a lot of them out there, pick your favourite 5 (or 10) and stick them to your mirror to tell yourself every day. Some of my morning favourites are:

I love myself unconditionally

I allow myself to feel good being me

I have faith in my ability to manifest my desires

This day is full of opportunities

Today is going to be a glorious day

 

Just get started! Commit to a ‘no excuses’ week. Plan exercising for the week ahead and make it yourself as easy as possible to not let excuses slip in. If you are often lazy in the evenings, schedule your workout in the morning. Rain? You can still run! Workout clothes in the laundry? Ask if you can borrow your roommates’ or sisters’. You will feel great if you actually did all the workouts you scheduled. And remember, it is just a week you commit to, it’s easy! YOU CAN DO IT! 

 

Fleuril Actief & Sport laundry detergent

One month ago, I participated in the Ladies Run in Rotterdam. At this event, I was overloaded with samples of the Fleuril Actief & Sport laundry detergent. So, I decided to try this stuff out.

What is Fleuril Actief & Sport laundry detergent?

Fleuril is a new product of the Fleuril laundry detergent line. It is a special laundry detergent specifically designed for sports clothes. They claim to neutralize unpleasant odors and to give your laundry a longlasting fresh odor. Moreover, the detergent claims that the treatment of the membrane in the laundry detergent causes that breathing, wind – and waterproof features of the fabrics are protected. This sounds like the perfect laundry detergent for your beautiful sport clothes. But is this really the case?

 

What happened?

I can honestly say that my sport clothes smelled more fresh than normally. Of course I don’t know if the laundry detergent does not affect the specialities of the sports fabrics, but I do know that it smelled better. It’s nice that this is the case, but I’m not sure if I would buy another kind of laundry detergent specifically for my sports clothes if the only noticeable difference would be the smell.

Have you ever tried Fleuril Actief & Sport laundry detergent for your sports clothes?

 

YAY, IT’S CHEAT DAY!

Every once in a while, a girl has the right to have a cheat day. I have the perfect recipe for you on this cheat day and it is mega delicious. I am gonna teach you how to make crunchy chocolate caramel cupcake cookies (due to a lack of a proper name, I have named it like this). Sounds awfully good doesn’t it? It’s very easy to make and it’s done in no time!

So what are the ingredients (for 12 delicious crunchy chocolate caramel cupcake cookies)?

– 200 gr of Mars bars

– 2 ½ cups of corn flakes

– 50 gr unsalted butter

– 12 cupcake baking cups

Whaaaat?! Are this the only ingredients? Yes, they are. Now, well, let’s move on to the HOW question.

How to make these mouth watering crunchies?

First, pre-heat the cooking pot and melt the butter. After this, cut the mars bars in small pieces. When you are done with this and when the butter is melted, put these pieces in the cooking pot as well. Wait until they have melted. Hereafter, take your cornflakes and put them in the cooking pot. Stir the cornflakes into the melted Mars bars and butter until they are mixed properly. Set-up the 12 cupcake baking cups and put the food into the cups. After this, put the cups in the fridge for 30 minutes and you’re done!

Are you going to try this at home?