Sugar free cocochoco almond muffin

Want to make some easy sugar free healthy muffins?

Then try these Cocochoco almond muffins, you will be amazed! If you look at half the recipes on #FITGIRLCODE, I think we can all agree that we love anything chocolaty and legally healthy. Since I bought some almond flour at the market, I was looking for a healthy and yummy recipe. I came across this site with only sugar free and healthy recipes and found this yummy pastry. This healthy sugar free muffin recipe also happens to be lactose and gluten free. Snacking has never been this guilt free. This is what you need (serves 6 muffins):

How the magic happens

Preheat the oven on 170°C and use use a muffin tray or muffin papers. If you don’t have that you can also make a cake by using a greased baking tray.

Melt the chocolate drops in the coconut milk. Let it cool for 10 minutes and add the two eggs. Stir so they are well mixed together.

Grab a bowl and mix the almond flour, grained coconut, salt and baking powder. Mix it together with the chocolate mixture with a mixer or spoon (use a mixer if you can).

Pour the batter in the muffin tray or other baking tray and top off with some grated coconut and almond slices. Bake for 25-30 minutes until perfect! I put mine directly in the freezer so I could take one with me to work every day for a week.

That’s it! Enjoy! ♥

(Source: blijzondersuiker)

6 tips to get you back on track

So, you’ve given it your all in the last weeks/months. You’ve finally started seeing progress, or maybe you weren’t there yet. But for some reason or the other, you’ve lost your motivation that pushed you to start in the first place. You’re probably wondering “How can this happen?” You’re still not close to your goal, and yet you’ve convinced yourself that it’s okay to stop and give up and you have no idea how that happened. 

Good news is, you’re not alone. Everyone has had that point in their healthy lifestyle journey. It is completely normal. What that doesn’t mean though, is that it’s okay to throw in the towel and give in to the motivation killer.

I’ve also only recently lost my motivation. I was in a completely good flow, and then BAM, it was gone. To be honest, I was super upset about it. But there is no one other than yourself to blame. There’s absolutely no reason to not get back on track. That’s why I’ve put together 6 tips for you so that you can get into your running, lifting, swimming, yoga-ing etc. in no time!

1. Remember why you started

This is perhaps the most important tip: remember the reason why you started in the first place. Everyone has their own reasons behind why they want to create a healthier lifestyle for themselves. Maybe you started because you wanted to lose a couple kilos. Or maybe, you encountered some health problems that urged you to turn your life around. Bring that goal back to the forefront of your mind and think on it when you go to kill your workouts.

2. Do a 10-minute workout

Something is better than nothing! I know this better than anyone, you plan an hour long workout in your plan, but when the time comes, it feels like an entire mountain that you have to climb. This can be extremely demotivating! If you’ve got this feeling, try to stay in the workout flow and choose a 5-10 minute workout to do: like one of these short butt or ab workouts.

3. Try something new

Sometimes we lose our motivation simply because we get bored of always doing the same thing. This is probably the perfect time to try something new. Have you already been going to the same yoga class for a while? Or are your running shoes completely ruined after all those kilometers that you’ve ran? Then try something new. This may be just what you need to ignite your enthusiasm and get yourself back on track!

back on track

4. Treat yourself to new workout clothes

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a weakness for any kind of clothes! So when it comes to workout clothes, I want to look gooooood. You know that feeling when you buy new shoes or a new jacket? Secretly, you just want to put on everything right there in the shop because you’re so excited with your new purchase. Yeah, don’t deny it. That’s why you should go to buy a new pair of training shoes or some badass shorts, I bet you’re going to want to use them that same day. 😉

FYI: In case you missed it, there’s a Jogha sale going on. 30% off selected items!

5. Buddy up

It sounds super cliche, but it’s true. If you have a buddy to workout with, you feel more pressure and inspiration to go. Plan a date to go for a run at 8 and you can’t back out of it after that. It’s not only rude to cancel your dates on your partner, but then you also demotivate your BFFF (best fit friend forever)! On top of that, it’s so much nicer to workout with friends or family. Two birds with one stop: quality time and working out.

6. Get inspired

Visualizing your goals helps you to reach them effectively. So if you think you want to give up (or you’ve already given up): you’ve got to visualize your goals! Grab a few fitness magazines and search your social media channels until you find something inspirational. There has to be something in there that will motivate you to get back on track. Find whatever it is and stick it on your (virtual) wall to ensure you don’t forget it. Look at it every day, two times a day, or however much you need. If they can do it, so can you!

Good luck! And even more important: get your ass to work!

back on track

3 Natural remedies for headaches

You may experience headaches for many different reasons, and sometimes they just come out of nowhere. They can be the result of  your everyday stress, or even if you just didn’t eat in time. Because they are so unpredictable, it’s super tempting to just take a painkiller and hope for the best when they do happen. You should remember though, that painkillers aren’t your only options for pain relief and perhaps not even the most effective ones. Instead, try out these natural remedies for headaches the next time you’re suffering from one. 

Lavender

Lavender essential oil can be used for many issues, but it mostly encourages relaxation. This makes it perfect to be used as a  sedative or as a calming agent. Besides that, lavender oil can be used to treat headaches since it helps to minimize pain in your nervous system. So if you can’t sleep because of your headache, run a warm bath and add a few drops of lavender oil and spend some time in the bath breathing deeply. Your body should relax and your headache will ease. It’s also an idea to have a foot-bath with the lavender essential oils dropped in there. It works in the same way.

Thyme

Thyme is another essential oil that can help to relieve headaches. You can put a drop or two of the thyme oil on your fingers and lightly massage the area where your headache hurts the most. Lay down after that, and let it do it’s job! Thyme oil contains carvacrol, which is a substance that is present in ibroprofen and other anti-inflammatories, so why not get it from the source instead of from a drug?

Ginger

This is one my parents were always forcing on to me when I was younger. I hated it, since I’m not a big fan of teas, but I can admit that ginger definitely works. Ginger has over 200 substances present that all control inflammation and cause your body to release hormones that respond to your headaches. One way of tackling your headache is to crush some fresh ginger and boil it in hot water, then filter the mix, and drink the tea. Another way is to just inhale the vapour of some crushed ginger instead.

Basil

Prepare a fresh cup of basil tea. Boil the water, put a few (4-5) fresh basil leaves into a cup and pour the boiling water over it and let it sit for a few minutes, before you sip the tea. It also works if you chew fresh leaves or give yourself a head massage using pure basil oil. If it’s tense muscles that are causing your headache, the basil works as a muscle relaxant to ease out the tension and give you relief.

If you still need some convincing about natural remedies, then check out all the benefits of herbal medicine right here! Home remedies do work, but their effects may vary from person to person, so try out all the different natural remedies for headaches to see which is most suited to you. If you have recurring headaches or migraines, I encourage you to make an appointment with your doctor to see if you have a much more serious underlying issue to tackle. Best of luck, and wishing you pain free days!

Source: Conscious Life NewsDr. AxeThe Health Site

Chocolate fudge breakfast bars

Yasss! Everyone needs to make these chocolate fudge breakfast bars at least once in their life. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is to-die-for! Throw in the quinoa and nuts and you’re set for the day. You might think that you only put quinoa in salads and hearty meals, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth!  Quinoa is super versatile and this time, they add some flavor to these yummy chocolate fudge bars!

Ingredients

(for 7 pieces)

  • 125 gr  organic peanut butter
  • 100 gr 70% pure chocolate
  • 5 gr cooked quinoa
  • 15 gr oatmeal
  • half a handful of raw pistachios
  • half a handful of raw pecans
  • baking tray

chocolate fudge breakfast bars

Directions

  1. Roast the raw pistachios and pecans in a skillet until the pistachios get a light brown color. Place the nuts on a plate and let them cool.
  2. Cover the tray with baking paper or foil paper.
  3. Heat the peanut butter over low heat in a non-stick pan.
  4. Break the chocolate into pieces and add them to the peanut butter. It’s important that you let the mix slowly melt over low heat, because if the mixture sticks, it will get a burnt taste that you’d want to throw away.  When all the chocolate is melted, remove the pan from the fire.
  5. Add the quinoa and the oats in the chocolate and mix well. Pour the mixture into a bawl and sprinkle the roasted pistachio and pecans.
  6. Let the fudge settle for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator. Cut the fudge into pieces and store in the refrigerator.

These bars are perfect to eat with breakfast or even as a snack after a workout. I know that you’ll enjoy them! While you’re at it, take a look at www.elze-mieke.com for more tasty recipes or follow her on Instagram at elzemieke.tijl.

 

Big brands are getting more health conscious

Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve noticed that there has been a shift to how I approach food. It’s most likely the environment, but I remember when I had no clue what processed foods were, or why there was an issue with eating fast food besides the ‘it’ll make you fat’ argument.

Fast forward to now, I am more knowledgeable on how a lot of the food we eat is produced, and also surrounded by a lot of health conscious people. Perhaps it’s a just a trend, or maybe a long-term shift in consumer interests, but what I do know is that it’s catching on quickly, and big brands are listening.

Health Conscious Consumers

Consumers are following all kinds of diets to ensure they are healthy or that they are being the most ethical they can be. Some people avoid gluten or dairy, while others go for vegetarian or vegan diets. For some, the danger lies in genetically modified food and artificial sweeteners, pushing them to eat as close to nature as possible. The list can really go on and on about the many ways today’s consumers are becoming more health conscious.

It seems like businesses have been noticing the trends in society, and there are shifts in what they are supplying nowadays. Restaurants have lighter options, gluten-free options and vegan friendly meals available on their menus. Groceries are labeling their foods so you see exactly what is GMO and what is produced in a non-processed way. And there are specialty organic or vegan stores and restaurants popping up everywhere catering specifically to those diets. Here are a few other solid examples of how the big brands are getting more health conscious.

Starbucks

The popular coffee-shop chain Starbucks have been supportive of treating animals in a humane manner since 2014 and plan to go cage-free by 2020.  They’ve also introduced coconut milk as a dairy alternative, alongside soy milk. In late 2015, representatives of the chain stated that they have started testing out different vegan (plant-based) food options to make available for customers in the near future.

Kraft Heinz

I remember always having Kraft’s Mac & Cheese in the pantry at my house growing up. I ate it a lot without putting much thought into it. But during April last year, Kraft decided to respond to the feedback from their customers, and they pledged to remove all the artificial flavors, dyes and preservatives from their macaroni and cheese. The new artificial free recipe has been on the shelves since December 2015 – and over 50 million boxes sold – yet it was only this March when the company publicly announced the change, that people noticed. This just shows that you don’t need to sacrifice taste for health; people can’t even tell the difference!

Coca-Cola

This one is a bit of a touchy subject, since we’ve already covered what happens to your body one hour after drinking a Coke. But the changes they make now, may just be another step toward a soda that doesn’t affect your body like it currently does. Back in 2014, Coca-Cola Life was launched as a soda with fewer calories and less sugar, since they blend together extracts from the stevia plant with the sugar. Coming up this April, they’ll be launching a new version of Coca-Cola Life that has even more stevia plant extract, causing it to contain 45% less sugar and fewer calories when compared to competitors.

You can’t deny the changes that are happening in the food and drink industry. Every flipped recipe or addition of new menu options, points to customers truly being the kings. People are creating unique diets that are healthier, and more ethical for themselves. Big names in the food industry have no choice but to adapt to this; ensuring that there is a wide variety of good food available to choose from. 

Sources: Huffington Post, Handshake, Coca-Cola and Quartz

My first Hot Yoga class

If there’s one thing I enjoy about working here, it’s how much motivation I get from my colleagues at the office. I can already say that I’ve gotten healthier, more active and find myself trying things I never would of thought of, like hot yoga!

The Big Day

I have to start off saying that I had absolutely no idea how to prepare for the class! I have never done any kind of yoga in my life, so I don’t own anything yoga related, like my own mat for instance. But I tried to logically think of what I’d need. I got ready for work that morning and made sure to pack a towel, water bottle, a nice breathable t-shirt and 3/4 leggings. I thought I’d be okay.

I biked straight after work to the Balanzs Studio in Rotterdam to attend my first hot yoga class. I really have to commend the studio and also the instructor Jasmijn. From the moment I entered the lounge, Jasmijn was there with a very relaxing vibe to her. After I filled out the paperwork (2 minute stuff), she actually took the time to read about my medical concerns and acknowledged that she’d keep them in mind during the class. For someone with some really crappy shoulders and knees, this was comforting.

hot yoga class

The class

After getting changed, I headed up to the spacious studio where I was immediately hit by the type of warmth that reminded me of tropical temperatures. Coming from St. Maarten, the prospect of working out in 38 degrees wasn’t that scary for me. As it turns out,  I ended up really loving this part. There’s something about actually sweating that makes working out just that much more rewarding for me.

The room was completely silent when I walked in and that quiet maintained itself through the whole class. Depending on people’s preferences,  there were all sorts of different outfits in the class. Some men were shirtless, and women in shorts and sports bras while others, like me, covered up some more. There was also a lot of heavy breathing going on during the class, which definitely took me a little while to get used to.

The focus was placed on hip and shoulder openers, and I tried my best to do everything in the flow sequence. Towards the end, I spent more time in child’s pose since my shoulders were giving me some issues. But I especially liked that it felt okay to do so. Sometimes instructors in different fitness activities come over and accuse you of being lazy, but Jasmijn gave me (and the others taking breaks) the space to just be and continue at our own paces. I really appreciated that.

Would I go again?

I definitely enjoyed my first hot yoga class. For that hour and a half, I just felt so very relaxed and at peace. In the beginning, I was a bit of a skeptic when it came to the mindful things, but you can probably consider me a convert now. The part that really affected me actually, was that we spent the last 3 minutes requested to lay on our backs and just not move, no matter how much you’d like to. It made me feel present in my body and inner calm. Something I’m definitely missing in my life.

So there you have it. If you’re interested in trying out  a hot yoga class, it’s something I definitely recommend. If you’re in Rotterdam or Den Haag, Netherlands, then be sure to pass by at Balanzs and get a 7 day free trial. I promise, you won’t regret it. Wherever else you are in the world, I hope you go for it too. Let me know how it goes!

Why the A4 waist challenge is ridiculous

It feels like every few months, there’s always a new ‘fitness’ related challenge or trend taking center stage. Just last year, it was the ridiculous belly button challenge, and now? It’s the A4 waist challenge. Apparently, the newest way to decide if you’ve got the ideal body is to hold up a piece of paper against your waist. Makes sense, doesn’t it? 

The challenge started in China and was mostly present on the popular social media site Weibo from around February. Women are asked to take a selfie of them standing and holding an A4 paper (8.3 inches) in front of their waists. If your waist is smaller than the width of the paper, you’ve passed the test. Who needs to check BMI and body fat percentages, when we’ve got this test?

The challenge has of course gone viral, but thankfully, a great deal of it is negative. If you search the tag on Instagram, there are hundreds of pictures already up. On one hand, you’ve got the posts of girls actually participating in the challenge.

If you’ve got a naturally thin waist, kudos to you! If you’ve got anything else, you deserve the same cheer. It doesn’t matter what size your waist is, as long as you are healthy and happy.

Women come in all different shapes and sizes. No challenge out there, not the thigh gap challenge, or the belly button challenge or this A4 waist challenge comes even close to indicating anything worth knowing. This trend is trash, just like all other internet trends because they push this idea of the ‘perfect body’. Newsflash: there is none!

13 Inside facts about the #FITGIRLCODE headquarters

Every office has their special little quirks. #FITGIRLCODE is no exception. I kinda get the idea that we seem more normal on here than we actually are, so I want to change that up a bit. So, I hereby present you: 13 inside facts over the #FITGIRLCODE Headquarters. 

1. Peanut butter junkies

We go through at least two jars of peanut butter each week. I find it a miracle that we all can fit through the door. It may have something to do with the fact that we have to climb all the way up to the 3rd floor everyday (yes, 60 steps.) Fit Girls or not, everyone arrives in the mornings out of breath with some sweat above their lips, and a bit of a limp.

#FITGIRLCODE

2. Boob expert

Breasts are complicated. They come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s not rare that the left one can be a different size from the right. That’s something you should know! Especially if you are running the customer care for Jogha and #FITGIRLCODE. Luckily, Diana has developed into a true boob expert. She has a knack like no one else to know exactly which sports bra is suitable for you. So men, if you’re looking to buy a gift for your Fit Girl and you have a nagging boob related question: then Diana is your girl. For boob questions and more. FYI: if you swipe long enough on Tinder, you’ll find her yourself. 😉

#FITGIRLCODE

3. Chilling with your harem

There is exactly 1 man working at #FITGIRLCODE and sometimes we forget that he is here. Now, it’s not that we see through him, but more so that he is a man. With feelings. Because no one even considers going to the bathroom to change into our Jogha outfits; we do it right in the middle of the office. If that’s not enough, we also give him style advice and Tinder strategies. But if he puts in his earphones, then we know we took it too far and back off.

#FITGIRLCODE

4. A life supply of protein-rich kruidnoten

Shelley has a drawer with an endless supply of food. There must be a double bottom in there though, because it’s been a while since Sinterklaas has been away, and she still bothers us with those protein-rich kruidnoten. But we obediently gnaw away at those tough kruidnoten, because if the world were to end, it’s better to be in Shelley’s good graces. If there’s anyone prepared for the Apocalypse, it’s her!

#FITGIRLCODE

5. iPhone extremists

At #FITGIRLCODE HQ, there are two camps: Team Samsung and Team iPhone. Team Samsung gets seriously looked down at by Team iPhone. An iPhone 3 actually ranks higher than a Samsung S6 Edge. Aranka actually let it slip yesterday that you can’t get ‘in’ unless you have an iPhone. You can be perfectly qualified, but without an iPhone, you can say bye bye to a job at #FITGIRLCODE. I’m just super happy that I got my Samsung under the old rules.

#FITGIRLCODE

6. Tremendous Thursday

We have quite the habit of arriving to the office in our sports clothes. Because we can, that’s why. And also because it’s convenient to head straight to the gym without having to change. We are urban nomads and this way, we save space in our backpack. Because we end up looking like Mel C most of the week, we came up with Tremendous Thursday. The idea is that, every Thursday, we pay a bit more attention to our appearance. In reality, everyone forgets about it, and the only thing possible is to put on some red lipstick. Dorien always has 5 different shades on her, so if you look like a slob on Thursday, you can’t get out of it.

7. Designers are always on call

Anneloes is our visual designer. And visual designers are always on call. It is indeed, an art. Thinking of a nice sentence goes well – what I do as a copywriter – but as soon as something needs to be done that’s more complicated than Paint or Picasa, I get into a blind panic. Getting a visual to a specific size or removing a black spot from the background: Anneloes, HELP! As if the poor child has nothing better to do.

#FITGIRLCODE

8. Sistah from another mistah

For those who don’t know, Jogha is the sister of #FITGIRLCODE. Both are together in the office in Rotterdam. Kim is the fashion designer of Jogha, so she decides how you’ll be looking at the gym next season. So you’d better be in her good graces. We’ve lately put on a ‘child’s lock’ on Kim’s browser, because when searching for fashion inspiration, she often finds herself in the dark side of the internet. The things she has seen cannot be unseen.

#FITGIRLCODE

9. Anna’s 4 o’clock Dirty Dance

I have ADHD and so, I have the attention span of an Easter egg. I fight hard against it, but at 4 o’clock sharp, my internal clock goes off and I have to move. I turn the music up a bit louder and do a dirty dance in the middle of the office. Nobody ever joins me. They all look at me sheepishly with a  look on their face that says: “what is Anna up to now” It doesn’t seem that way, but I really don’t care at all. My dance moves are truly awesome after a few glasses of wine, but I don’t know if that actually improves my attention span. Maybe I need to try that out one time, since Aranka has no problem with drinking during office hours as long as the targets are met. A bit Wolf of Wallstreet style in that way. 😉

#FITGIRLCODE

10. Danique’s danceable ringtones

Who has a song as their ringtone in 2006? Well, Danique a.k.a Daneequa does. Danique cannot stand techno, but she goes wild over nice R&B and hiphop beats. When she gets called, the whole office has to a little dance behind their computers. For a long while, we were jamming to Gyptian’s Hold Ya, but at the moment, it has moved to Hotline Bling from Drake. So now you know why it takes so long for her to pick up when you call.

#FITGIRLCODE

11.  Girlboss with special powers

Aranka is the mastermind behind #FITGIRLCODE. No one will deny that. But she also has a very cool trick. When you’re pitching an idea to her, and you’re momentarily searching for words, she’ll end up finishing up your sentence for you. Freak! What are you doing inside of my brain? In short: she steals your ideas and makes them better. It’s probably a girlboss thing.

#FITGIRLCODE

12. Welcoming selfie-policy

Taking a selfie in public, is still a bit taboo. But in our office, it’s hugely welcomed and encouraged. No one will even pay attention if you purse your lips while trying out 30 different poses in front of our famous selfie mirror. In fact, if you want to take a selfie there, you’re given priority and there are punishments for photobombing.

#FITGIRLCODE

13. Weird cat ladies

Shelley and Laura have a thing for cats and kittens. And it goes pretty far. Shelly regularly gets called to Laura’s table in a serious tone (so we don’t catch on) to see the ‘cutest/funniest cat video in the world’. Actually, we always figure it out, because it is apparently so cute that they can’t hide their maternal “awwwwwww”-s. Them weird cat ladies.

#FITGIRLCODE

 It’s better not to bother Laura if you don’t have a cool cat video to show. 

That’s it for today, folks! I hope that you still like us or even that you like us a bit more after reading this. 😉

Kisses ? Team #FITGIRLCODE

5 exercises a runner can’t do without

Are you a runner? Then you probably know that you’re at risk of getting injuries in your ankles, shins, knees or hips. Getting the right running shoes can prevent a lot of complaints, as well as building up your training schedule and taking your rest days. Last but not least: if you implement strength exercises in your training, chances are less that you’ll get injured! Today, I’ll share 5 of my favorite runner’s exercises with you. All you need is your bodyweight and a bench. This makes them the perfect exercises to implement in your running laps. Let’s go!

IMG_0769 IMG_0768

1. Step ups (10 x left, 10 x right)

Place your foot on the bench and step up. Straighten your body completely at the top, then carefully step down.

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Easy peasy guilt-Free french toast

Easy does it on a drizzly Sunday morning. 90% of the time, I find it quite nice to make an elaborate breakfast, but sometimes it’s also good to have it on the table within 5 measly minutes. I say on the table, but what I really mean is on the bed. Even though I’ve been single for a while, I find breakfast in bed to be super romantic: some quality time with me, myself and I. When I’m having my quality me-time, I tend to prefer french toast over banana pancakes. After doing this recipe, I bet that you’ll also be choosing them over pancakes from now on. They are easier to make and have less calories and carbs!

Ingredients

  • Slices of whole wheat bread (as many as you wish)
  • 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
  • Cinnamon flavor drops
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Coconut oil (or use a non-stick pan)

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the pan. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add some drops of the cinnamon flavor. Mix the flavoring and the eggs well.
  2. Dip the sliced bread into the egg mixture on both sides and let the excess egg drip.  Place the bread in the pan and fry on both sides till they are golden brown!
  3. Cut the bread in half and top it off with some cinnamon powder. It’s going to be a party in your mouth if you eat this with fresh fruit! Or in the winter with baked apples and raisins. Or with quark.. or really anything; they’re all delicious!

wentelteefjes

Are you going to make this french toast? We’re curious about what combinations you come up with! Tag #FITGIRLCODE and/or @lifewithlot !

Smoked Salmon and Avocado Pizza

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Avocado works well with anything. In this recipe by CafeDelites, it is put together with smoked salmon on a pizza that will have you drooling. You can choose to prepare the base and eat the smoked salmon and avocado fresh, or you can pop it back into the oven to heat up all the ingredients and get some extra-cheesiness. Your pick. 😉 

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 tablespoons low fat or fat free cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 wholewheat store bought pizza base (prepared), or a flour tortilla
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic olive oil
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ cup light/reduced fat grated mozzarella cheese
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • ½ an avocado, sliced thinly
  • a handful of fresh baby rocket/arugula
  • Lemon Pepper
  • ½ cup (optional) light/reduced fat grated mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

  1. First, preheat your oven to 200C | 390F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese with the dill and the crushed garlic. Mix well.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil onto the pizza base and spread with the cream cheese mixture. Top with the onion rings and the mozzarella cheese and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted through.
  4. Remove from oven; top with the salmon and avocado slices and rocket/arugula leaves. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and serve, or top with the (extra) cheese and place back into the oven to warm the avocado and salmon through.

Special thanks to CafeDelights for sharing this one. Have you tried this recipe out? Leave your comments below on how it went. Happy cooking!

5 things you should do when you eat too much

I think we all know this feeling pretty well. You allow yourself a cheat meal and end up with a stomach full of chips, cola, chocolate and other unhealthy treats. Then you start feeling sick, which of course, puts you into a bad mood. The good news is that it’s absolutely not necessary for you to throw away all your healthy habits just because of this little mishap. Even when you let yourself go a little overboard, it’s still possible to get back to your healthy eating habits. With these 5 tips, I’ll show you how you can recover.

It may be easy to just let your healthy diet go after you have a binge eating session, but it’s not necessary. Everyone sometimes eats more than he/she actually should. That’s life! It would be so boring if you never treated yourself with a reward every now and then. It makes absolutely no sense to punish yourself! Just brush it off, and get back on your feet.

te veel gegeten

1. Keep moving

Even though it feels like there’s no point to work out with a stuffed belly, believe me, it actually makes sense! A short or long workout will ensure that you produce some endorphins, which will get back that feeling of euphoria. When you start, it may feel difficult or uncomfortable, but you’ll be so proud of yourself in the end. A tough workout just not happening today? It’s also an idea to just go for a walk at the park. Taking a walk is good to clear your head and get some ‘me’ time.

2. Don’t compensate too much

So, you had a chocolate bar directly after breakfast and now made the choice to skip lunch. Bad idea! Your body won’t be feeling too good in the afternoon if it’s only running on a chocolate  bar. You need fiber and vitamins that unfortunately are not in that. I know it can be incredibly tempting to switch things up and compensate for the extra calories you ate, but when you want to do this, I suggest compensating by doing an extra workout instead, if it’s possible to incorporate into your schedule. When you miss an important meal, you’ll only be left feeling even hungrier later.

3. Stay away from the scale

The weight scale is a huge pitfall for girls. Personally, I have a tendency  to check the scale after attending a party. It sucks, since the number that I’ll see on the scale, most of the time isn’t rewarding. It is naturally not very motivating to weigh yourself after a night out. You’re a bit heavier because of the extra bag of chips, and your body also retains a lot of water since you have a too high salt intake. This is also the reason why the indicator on the weight scale ends up being higher than usual. So, there’s no point in weighing yourself, it will only lead to disappointment.

4. A healthy start

Just like what I said in tip 2: don’t overcompensate. Instead of skipping meals, keep taking healthy steps forward in your journey. There are a few ways to do this. For example, choose lighter meals, so that you don’t put anything heavy on your stomach. You can have a nice smoothie for breakfast, and a fresh salad for lunch. For dinner, choose a dinner full of vegetables, like this veggie stir fry! Also, make sure that you eat regularly to keep up your metabolism.

te veel gegeten

5. Drink water

Water is your best friend after a night where you eat too much. It takes care that your metabolism stays high and that your food is being digested properly. It also lubricates all the joints in your body, which is ideal when you work out regularly. Drinking a lot of water also ensures that you have less difficulty doing a number two and that you’re getting enough oxygen circulating in your body. Ideal when you’re not feeling very well in your stomach.

What do you do after you’ve gone to far with overeating? Share your go-to tips in the comments!

Running alone vs. Running with a club

I always thought that I didn’t need a running club to run with. I had so many reasons to run all by myself. But since I did end up at a running club, all I wonder is why oh why didn’t I do this any sooner? Signing myself up for the NYC Marathon 2016 and my general ambition to become a better runner and hit that next level is actually what inspired me to sign up for a running club.  So now, I’ve made a list comparing all my so called reasons never to join a running club versus the reality of being in one. 

1. Let’s get social

Alone

I’m a ‘the more the merrier’ type of person who is never alone. I’m always on the move – in a continuous non-stop mode – and so, peace and quiet (barely) exists in my life. That’s where running comes in; it makes me forget about everything. I log off, shut down, and go run! Some time alone without having to please others or taking others into account is just what I need. Truly a moment of peace, all by myself.

Running club

The first time I was at the club was a bit awkward actually, because of the real community spirit already present in the room. But quickly after meeting my new running group and getting their warm welcome, I started to feel a part of this spirit as well. I had never met these people, they didn’t have any expectations of me, and they came here every week to run for the same reasons I came to run. It felt so warm and positive that I really looked forward to running with them every week. Having conversations or small chitchats usually only happens during warming up or resting, and feels so natural with nothing being forced. 

During our warmups, we talk and laugh mostly. ;)
During our warm-ups, we talk and laugh mostly. 😉

2. Play that music

Alone

I always run with my music on. Running without a beat is so much heavier and I really need that beat to get into my running rhythm. Music gets me through the weak and tough moments and it keeps me from losing my focus. That’s why I never really ran with a running buddy. Listening to music and talking to someone else is a bad combination ;-).

Running club

During my second training, I carefully put on my music without my headphones. The rest of my running group could hear the music and their response to it was actually really positive. Still, I don’t always turn on my music when I run with them, only during the long distances or when I run most of the training on my own. I never thought this would work, but it is a perfect alternative.

3. Places to run

Alone

When I run at home, my rounds are all pretty much the same.  The same round and not a lot of adventure in them. You won’t hear me complaining about it since I have the beach and dunes almost in my backyard, but there is a slight possibility of getting bored.  But to be really honest, my sense of direction isn’t that well developed at all (and that’s an understatement), so I usually don’t have the courage to go off the beaten track.

Running club

It is a blast for me, to run with a trainer who tells me where to go. I don’t have to think about where I’m going, if I’m on the right track and I know I’ll be home on time.  Actually, my running club isn’t right around the corner from where I live and that’s a good thing. It means that I get to run around places where I would never run by myself. The only thing is that it is not so easy to assess how far it still is until the finish. Something I do know on my own routes.

running with a club
Ben is navigating us (on his bike) through some great places together with his dog.

4. Challenges

Alone

Do I challenge myself enough when I run on my own? I would really like to scream YES, but the truth is that when I run by myself, I run at a constant pace. And the only challenge that I usually add, is increasing my pace between light posts or ending the run with a sprint. So, no interval training for me when I’m alone.

Group

This is the real reason why I started running in a group. How am I going to prepare myself for the biggest race (42 km!!) in my life ever? I had serious doubts about my own abilities and I really wanted to be prepared for it. Now, interval training has become part of my weekly routine, because our trainer yells at us to speed up for 5 minutes or to run a certain distance within a specific time period. Having the trainer ensures that I get to do enough challenges that will make me better, stronger and faster. 

running with a club

5. Spontaneous

Alone

Being able to go out for a run whenever you like is one of the best benefits of being a runner. Big round or small round. I’m the one in control and calling the shots. If you have the opportunity and time, you can still do this next to running with a running club, of course. But personally, in wintertime I have a hard time motivating myself to go out for spontaneous runs ;).  Thankfully, my running club motivates me and kills all of my excuses. 

Group

Every running club is different, but my running club has a schedule for almost everyday of the week. So luckily there is a run that fits perfectly into my schedule and there’s always an option to join another group when I have to cancel during my regular running training.  And having a steady moment every week for a run, also feels great when you like structure and regularity like me ☺.

Do you run alone or do you run with a group and what is your motivation/experience? Would you do it differently?

Credits for my The Hague Road Runners running buddies 🙂

Jogha and denim: wearing sportswear everyday

At #FITGIRLCODE HQ, it’s not a surprise if I walk into the office to see many wearing their workout clothes typing away on their laptops. Working a 9-5:30 means that most of our exercise happens right after work. And if you want to get home to eat dinner before you starve, it makes sense that you’d want to make the transition from work to workout as quick as you can. The solution: wear as much of your gym gear as possible. 

Making sportswear fashionable

It (sadly) wasn’t always easy or socially acceptable to wear workout clothes all day long. Solid color tracksuits don’t exactly seem very suitable for the office, for instance, but there’s been a lot of changes lately that make it possible to wear your active wear on an everyday basis. Designers are incorporating the necessary components of active wear like breathable and quick-drying fabric, into their most fashionable clothing.

wearing sportswear everyday

This still doesn’t mean that any and every workout wear is versatile enough to pull off a chic and sporty look. But then again, those aren’t Jogha. With the truly fashionable prints, they make it possible to make the switch from professional casual to crossfit queen or kickass yogi.  Curious how this can work for you? Not to worry, we did all the thinking already. Two words: Jogha + Denim. This is really the little brainchild of Katrin who walked into the office last week wearing these tights and a denim shirt. Seriously, a match made in heaven. Check it out for yourself.

wearing sportswear everyday

Benefits of putting on your Jogha every single day?

Personally, it acts as a push for me to actually go do my workout. If I’m already in the sports bra and leggings, then I might as well be active in them. And of course, it’s just so comfy. Whether you’re out picking up some groceries, working at the office, or even meeting with some friends for brunch, the sportswear is stylish enough to save you from having an extra duffel bag to tote around, while still being a subtle reminder that you’re a woman committed to her fitness.

wearing sportswear everyday

The sportswear you get from Jogha is created in such a way that your body is sculpted for the perfect fit and incredibly supported. Comfort is guaranteed to push you to realize your full potential in whatever activity you decide to do, and it’s fashionable too. So go ahead and mix and match your Jogha to take this stylish support from the gym into your everyday wear.

Do you like how we rock it and want to experiment yourself? Then we’ve got good news for you. Starting today Monday 14th, there will be 30% off selected Jogha items.  So, don’t wait till it’s too late! Get your pieces and hashtag #joghacom on your Instagram pic so we can see what you came up with. 😉

Spinach vs Kale: the battle of the greens

Spinach has been proven to give you superpowers by Popeye the sailor, and kale is the trendiest leafy green out there. Which is the greatest green? Let the nutrition battle begin!

What’s so great about them?

Both veggies are extremely versatile as they are easy to use as a base for a salad, to cook up for a stir-fry, or to throw in a smoothie. Kale is usually crunchier, coming from the same plant family as cabbage, and has a distinct slightly bitter taste. Spinach, however, is lusciously supple and boasts a less aggressive taste than kale. Both have been shown to help fight off many different types of cancers. In terms of nutritional value, the table below shows what 28 grams (or one loosely packed cup) of each leafy green contains. The parentheses indicate the percentage of the recommended daily intake (%RDI) of each nutrient.

Breakdown: how do the leaves help my body?

So what do all these letters and numbers mean? Here’s a super-speedy breakdown of what some of these powerful nutrients do for your body.

• Vitamin K helps prevent blood clots and the proper functioning of bone-dependent proteins. Both spinach and kale are packed with this, but as you can see kale takes the cake for the K.

• Vitamin A is essential for general growth, maintenance of visual function, regulation of tissue, and embryonic development. Sounds fancy and important (and it is).

• Calcium and magnesium are both bone-supportive nutrients, and a deficiency in magnesium can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and chronic fatigue ; grab some spinach for your magnesium fix, and it’s a toss-up for the calcium content of the two greens.

• Spinach is a slightly richer than kale in manganese, which aids in the reduction of the risk of health problems related to oxidative stress (means that spinach is a great source of antioxidants)

• Folate is a nutrient necessary for pregnant or nursing moms, and iron is crucial in enabling your body to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Spinach has more of both than kale.

Which green to go for?

Clearly both are very beneficial to your health. Choose the one that fits your vitamin and mineral needs! Load up on spinach if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, and kale is great if you feel like you might be getting a cold. If you aren’t sure which one your body needs most, choose the one you like best!

My favorite is definitely spinach because you can easily incorporate it into any meal and I find the taste to be fresher and more subtle. I use spinach daily in wraps, omelettes, smoothies, and salads (which means pretty much every meal I eat). You can find many recipes full of spinach and kale goodness on the website! Check out this Popeye spinach smoothie and this white bean and kale salad.

Yumyum, now that the debate between spinach and kale is (kind of) settled, you can start working these wildly nutritious foods into your meals!  

sources:PopSugar & One Green Planet

7 Ways to track your progress without the weight scale

The weight scale. I think I speak for a lot of girls when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with it. On the days where it says I’ve lost a few kgs, love love LOVE it. On the days where it tells me that I’ve gained? I hate the thing. But the good news is, you don’t need to let the scale dictate how you feel.

Your overall weight doesn’t tell you everything about your health. It doesn’t say how much of that is fat or muscle, or if you’re just retaining a lot of water today. The bottom line is this: the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. So instead of letting yourself get down about it, here are 7 ways to track your progress without the weight scale.

Take measurements of your body

Instead of stepping on the scale, opt for taking measurements of your body instead. This allows you to really see your progress in specific areas like your arms, bust, stomach, hips, and thighs. Measuring these areas at different points in your fitness journey allows you to see  exactly where you’re building muscle and where you’re losing fat, and also can be used as an indicator of which areas you should focus your efforts on!

Take before and after pictures

It’s common knowledge that a picture tells a thousand words. The same goes for progress pictures! Take one at the beginning and at points afterwards. Try to always have the same pose and wear the same outfit, so it’s very clear to see the differences. This is a very motivating way to keep track of your progress, since you’ll clearly see how your body is changing thanks to your lifestyle shift.

Use the clothes in your closet

Another way of noticing the changes in your body is to use a pair of jeans or a shirt as an indicator. Pay attention to how the clothes fit – can they close completely now? Are they fitting more loose or tighter on you? Do they look good? Putting on the same clothes periodically works just like before and after pictures, you’re going to get a clear picture of how your body is doing with your new habits.

When people compliment you, believe them

Do you know the saying that it takes 4 weeks for you to see your progress, and 8 for your friends to? Well, while the time may be different for everyone, there is some truth to it. It takes forever for people to notice your changes, so if someone says that you’re looking brighter today, or that you’ve slimmed down, take that as motivation to go on! You have achieved enough that those around you can’t help but pay attention.

Monitor your sleeping habits

Studies have shown that getting enough regular exercise in your life leads to overall improved sleep patterns. So it’s important to notice if you’ve been sleeping better, falling asleep more easily and even feeling less sleepy during the day. All these are signs that your health is on the rise!

track your progress without the weight scale

Note down your energy levels and your feelings

Being healthier has an impact on how you feel everyday and how much energy you have. So, grab a daily journal and write down how you’re feeling. Have you noticed that you are more upbeat? Awesome! That’s progress. It doesn’t always have to be numerical for it to count. Being fit is as much mental as it is physical. 😉

Beating your PRs

So, this one is numerical, I have to admit. But this is maybe one of the most motivating things you can monitor. What better way to check out your progress, than when you notice yourself becoming stronger than you were 2 months ago? If you’ve noticed that you need heavier weights to feel the burn, then you’ve progressed, girl! If you noticed you can run longer without losing your stamina, that’s definitely something to celebrate.

Don’t let your life revolve around the scale. It can give you insights on where you stand every now and then, but it is not your only indicator of your health and progress! Next time you’re feeling motivated, check out if you’ve made some progress in any of these 7 ways and congratulate yourself. 🙂

Healthy alternatives for milk

If you take a look at the favourite recipes on our blog, you’ll see that we use different kinds of milk all the time. We sometimes use almond milk, rice milk or regular cow milk. But which one is suitable for who? Today I am going to tell you all about the differences among these healthy alternatives. 

Low fat quark is one of my favourite snacks – I eat a bowl of it at least once a day. And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve decided to replace my regular cow milk. Every now and then, I do drink a glass of cow milk, but I use almond milk for my brekkies everyday. Almost every day, blogs and newspapers will write about the dangers of milk, but personally, I don’t see milk as an unhealthy product. As long as you don’t overdo it, it will provide you with a lot of essential nutrients. I must admit though that I have noticed that my skin looks a bit blemished when I overdo my dairy intake. That is why I have decided to investigate about the healthiest alternatives for milk.

Almond milk

The #FITGIRLCODE gals often use almond milk for their recipes; nowadays you will find it in almost every supermarket. Almond milk is often used by vegans since it is a vegetable based milk. It is filled with healthy vitamins (B & E) and minerals and doesn’t contain cholesterol and saturated fats, like regular cow milk does. Because of how low carb it is, it is the perfect alternative for milk when you are trying to lose some weight. The downside? Unfortunately, it contains a lot less protein than regular cow milk.

Oat milk

Officially, oat milk doesn’t belong to the milk family because it’s made of mainly oats and water. This provides it with a creamy and sweet taste. That’s what also makes it perfect to use in combination with your oatmeal. Oat milk contains a lot of nutrients which are important to take in, and it’s also very easy to make yourself. This product is especially good to use when you’re not a big fan of regular oat products, but unfortunately, oat milk isn’t suitable for people who have a gluten allergy.

Soy milk

Soy milk is especially used by people who have a lactose intolerance. You can find many different kinds of soy milk in almost every supermarket. It’s a bit creamier and sweeter than cow’s milk, which is why not everyone enjoys to drink it that much. It unfortunately also contains a lot of added sugar. Biologic, unsweetened soy milk doesn’t contain as much added sugars so it’s the healthiest alternative in this category. Always make sure to check the nutritional values before you buy it!

Rice milk

Recently, rice milk  has started to pop up more and more in the supermarkets. It is a vegan product that contains a lot of fibers, but it’s still quite controversial since one glass contains almost 10 grams of sugar, so it might create a big spike in your blood sugar level. Still, it is a healthy alternative for people who are allergic to cow milk and want to enjoy a glass of milk every now and then. Just make sure to switch it up with other variants like almond milk or soy milk.

Hemp milk

Organic hemp milk is made by the seeds of the hemp plant; a well-known superfood. It is rich in proteins and that’s why it’s especially suitable for people who workout a lot. It makes your bones healthy and strong. Next to that, hemp milk is very good for you skin and it will help with controlling your weight. Unfortunately, hemp milk is not as easy to find in the stores as the other variations of milk detailed above, you’re more likely to find it at organic food markets.

As you can see, each of the alternatives for milk comes with both pros and cons. Some contain more protein, while others contain more sugar. You choice should depend on the nutrients you’re going for. Make sure to check the nutritional values of each kind to find the alternative which suits you the best!

Vegetarian stir fry with an insane amount of veggies

I always find it really odd when people say that they find it difficult to cook. I mean, it’s not like it’s rocket science or anything? Of course there are different levels to how ‘culinary’ or fancy a dish is, but everyone should still be able to put together an easy supper for themselves. I’m not exactly a kitchen princess, but usually I just throw everything together that I like. Sometimes the combination ends up being  magical, other times I would not even feed it to my cat. Anyway, recently I once again had a magical combination, which I wanna share with you. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

The recipe for this vegetarian stir fry is for six people, but if you make it with someone else (partner or BFFF), you’ll both also have two prepped dinners for upcoming days.

Ingredients

  • 75 grams quinoa
  • 75 grams brown rice
  • 200 grams pumpkin cubes (I recommend frozen pumpkin cubes)
  • 160 grams lentils (can)
  • 160 grams corn (can)
  • 150 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bag of stir fried vegetables with mushrooms
  • 360 grams spicy seasoned tofu (cubes)
  • 100 grams feta cheese
  • fresh spinach leaves (amount to taste)
  • hand full of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • pepper, salt, garlic (2 cloves), pepper powder

Instructions

  1. Cut all ingredients in small chunks / pieces so that they are easy to stir-fry
  2. Cook the quinoa as directed on the package and add a vegetable stock cube for flavor.
  3. Fry the diced zucchini along with the cloves of garlic. After about two minutes, add the stir fry vegetables with mushrooms.
  4. Add the (frozen) pumpkin cubes to the ingredients above, as soon as these have shrunken a bit in the wok.
  5. Add the lentils and corn to the vegetables once the pumpkin is a little softer. Season with pepper, salt and paprika.
  6. Bake the tofu in a separate pan and add the rice / quinoa once it’s cooked.
  7. Add the halved cherry tomatoes to the vegetables in the wok.
  8. Now take a big salad bowl and add the vegetables, rice with tofu and stir everything together well.
  9. Cut the feta into small pieces and mix it together with the fresh spinach into the rice and vegetables.
  10. Garnish with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

If this isn’t a royal meal, I don’t know what is! At least you don’t have to think about food prepping the next two days. Plus, your body will probably get a vitamin overdose because of all the veggies in this meal. If you have a magical combination that exceeds the one above, please share it in the comments below. I’m not afraid of a little healthy competition;)

FYI: If you feel like soup this week, this creamy carrot pumpkin soup is highly recommended! 

8 Feelings any food lover can relate to

Sometimes, I really think that food is my soulmate. We’ve been in a relationship for a really long time, and to date, nothing makes me happier. I mean..it’s food. Need I say more? Food doesn’t judge you, it’s always there for you, it won’t leave you or cheat on you and you don’t need to wonder if it will text you back or not.  Want to know if you’re a true food lover? Check out if you can relate to these feels. 

1.The ultimate motivation to leave your house is food

It feels like no outing  is worth going to unless there will also be food in attendance. I can admit that I love staying at my house a bit more than your average 20 year old. So if you want to get me out, you’ve got to come strong and offer something I can’t resist: food.

2. 70% of your conversations are about food

Some of the favorite topics of any food lover include: What are we eating? Where are we eating? Who is cooking? and the most recurring topic, when can we eat?

3. You watch and read recipes online all.day.long. knowing you’re never going to try all of them out

Not sure if I enjoy torturing myself, or that I really mean it every time I say “I’m going to totally cook this sometime.” I swear, I have so many recipes saved in my tabs, and I must watch at least two of those minute long recipe videos on Facebook pages like Tasty. Can’t seem to help myself, can’t seem to get in the kitchen and cook. Stuck somewhere in the middle where I stare longingly…

4. You always have money to get something to eat, no matter how broke you are

Any college students out there reading? You know what I’m talking about. I spend as little as I can on my clothes, accessories and even my school books. Yet when it comes to food, the money just comes rolling out..

5. Everyone knows the ultimate gift for your birthday is to to take you out to eat

This year, I got a voucher for a really nice dinner at a steakhouse. Yes,yes, yes. They really know me. Food is the way to the heart, so what better way to show someone love on their birthday than with a meal?!

6. Your friends don’t even ask anymore, they know you want to help finish their meal

At the start of a friendship, you had to settle for that gut-wrenching feeling when you see them give their plate to the waiter without finishing the meal. Then, came the first time they asked if you’d like some, and now? Now they just pass their plate over to you or put some of their food into your plate without a word.

7. If you’re upset with someone, they know exactly how to make it alright again

So, maybe it’s a weakness. Food is your very own kryptonite and by now, those around you know just that. I think they should be thankful. There’s no guessing game on how to make you happy again, just come with a pizza and you’re good as new!

8. Every single thing in your life is an event deserving of  a good meal out

Got a promotion on the job? Celebratory brunch. It’s the birthday of your great uncle’s niece’s husband? Celebratory dinner. Rolled out of bed this morning? Maybe you deserve a trip to your favorite breakfast place.  Bought a whole bunch of groceries to ensure you don’t eat out for a while? I think that calls for some takeout.

So, proclaimed food lover, did you find yourself in any of these? Let me know which ones I missed and which ones were spot on! 

Whole wheat bun with hummus, chicken & avocado

Do you ever get that feeling like you want to try a new lunch recipe, but you don’t feel like putting together a salad full of ingredients? Or you’re wondering what else you can try putting on your wrap? For those who haven’t sworn off bread, here’s a tasty lunch idea. At the #FITGIRLCODE headquarters, we all have one thing we enjoy: a whole wheat bun with hummus, chicken & avocado. 

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat bun
  • Hummus
  • Smoked chicken
  • Avocado
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

It can’t get much easier than this, but…

  1. Cut the bun open and spread hummus on the lower half.
  2. Cut the slices of smoked chicken and place this on the hummus.
  3. Cut the avocado in slices and place this in the bun to top it off. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover with the top half of the bun, and boom, you’re done!

Naturally, you can add all sorts of ingredients to it, like rocket lettuce, spinach or mango. In any case, you’re avoiding a boring lunch! Bon appetite!