What is warrior pose?

Warrior is a famous yoga posture that requires strength and stability. There are different variations of a Warrior pose, but the most common ones are Warrior I, II and III. They are approachable for most bodies and are less intimidating than some of the other crazy yoga poses, while still being great postures for building strength, confidence, and body awareness. Warrior I and II are great for beginners, while Warrior III is a bit more challenging. 

You will always find Warrior poses in all the classes I teach. Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose in Sanskrit) strengthens the arms, shoulders, thighs and back muscles, all at once. That’s what makes this posture so unique and is the main reason I incorporate them into my daily flows.

Warrior I / Virabhadrasana I

Warrior I strengthens and tones the legs while it increases the flexibility in the hips. By lifting up your arms, you can really work on opening up the chest and prepare the body for back-bends. Warrior I develops concentration, balance and grounding. This pose improves circulation and respiration and energizes the entire body.

Warrior1

Warrior I is a complex pose and has a lot of alignment cues to work with. Focusing on all these elements while keeping up with the breathing can be quite a challenge, but that’s what a Warrior pose is all about. The Warriors challenge and test us, but in doing so bring us strength, focus, confidence and courage.

Warrior II / Virabhadrasana II

Warrior II does not only require strength and stability, but also flexibility in the hips. This pose teaches us about ‘steadiness and ease’, which is one of the key principles of yoga asana practice and means that the posture should be stable yet comfortable.

Warrior2

Warrior II teaches us to listen to our own body and to do what feels right. You want to open up the hip and sink down so your front knee and ankle align. While focusing on the legs, you also want to stretch both arms out to the side, engage the muscles and bring the shoulder blades towards the spine.

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Healthy raspberry oatmeal muffins

These tasty, healthy raspberry oatmeal muffins are a hit! They are super healthy and full of those good nutrients that you need. Fit Girls Laura, Yola and Aranka got to taste them during one of our shoots, and they were gone in the shortest time, haha!

I hope that you also find these tasty! You can even store them up in your fridge for up to 5 days or freeze them, and remove them from the freezer the night before so you can enjoy them the next day. I love to take muffins with me as an afternoon snack, but these are also even good to take to parties and share!

Ingredients (for about 12 muffins)

  • 8 tablespoons oatmeal
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey
  • 4 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons stevia powder
  • 0.5 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • A glass of milk (+/- 300 cc)
  • 3 banananas
  • 150 gram frozen raspberries
  • Topping (optional): more raspberries, oatmeal flakes

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.

2. Mix all the ingredients for 1-2 minutes.

3. Divide the mixture equally into the muffin tins and add extra raspberries and oatmeal, if you’d like.

4. Place the muffins in the oven for about 20 minutes.

That’s it! It looks like it’s a ton of ingredients, but the recipe is super easy. I hope that you all are going to try baking these muffins one time! Follow me on Instagram (@fitgirlroos) for more recipes and fitspiration. If you make the muffins, then tag me on Instagram. I really appreciate seeing your twists on the recipes and finding out what you thought of them!

How to actually build muscle: let’s talk science

Did you know that we have over 600 muscles in our bodies? Some of these are called skeletal muscles. They are used for accomplishing our everyday tasks like lifting things and walking. They’re important for our bodies because they basically make all our movements possible. Besides that, healthy muscles improve balance and prevent injuries. If the muscles surrounding your knee are strong, for example, it’s harder for you to get injured there. Plus, stronger muscles means you can open a jar all by yourself. 😉

Now that we know why healthy muscle mass is good, we’ve arrived at the important question: How do you actually build muscle? If you’ve ever seen people pushing hard at the gym to (safely) hit one more rep, then that is exactly what you should be doing. Muscles need to experience stress in order to grow and to become stronger.

When your muscles are stressed, during workouts for example, microscopic tears appear in the muscle tissue. After your muscle tissue has been damaged, your immune system will kick in to start repairing these tears. This cycle of damage and repair is what results in your muscles becoming stronger, and bigger. In the process, your muscles learn and adapt to the new conditions. That’s why when you start working out, 5 lbs/kg dumbbells may be a challenge for you, but then one day, you realize it’s not that heavy anymore. Your tissues repair themselves to be able to deal with that specific weight. After that, it’s up to you to continuously challenge them to keep creating those microscopic tears and build muscle.

In order for your muscles to do the repairing necessary to grow, you need to also provide it with a good environment to make this happen. That means, a nutritious diet and plenty of rest! Lift and challenge your muscles, eat well, rest, and the gains will come.

Why you need to say goodbye to negativity for good

It’s important to think good thoughts. Having a positive outlook towards life can lead to you being more resistant to the common cold, better at stress management and even having a longer lifespan, says the Mayo Clinic. Too often though, it seems easier to be negative and complain, than to have that positive perspective.

I understand it – there’s just something about getting your frustrations out. But while it might seem harmless to complain needlessly, you are actually rewiring your brain and damaging your overall health.

Training your Brain

When you regularly complain, you create negative connections in your brain. Here’s a little bit of the science behind that statement. In order for a thought to process, a chemical needs to be sent from one synapse to another. Between two synapses is a small space called the synaptic cleft which the chemical needs to cross. But here’s the thing, every time you send a specific chemical over, your synapses adapt and grow closer together. This makes it easier for the chemical to be transferred in the future.

In this way, your brain adapts and rewires itself. Steven Parton, computer scientist and philosopher describes this, saying, “[the] synapses that fire together, wire together.” Whatever you expose your brain to time and time again, it will start accommodating to. If you’re exposing it to negativity, it gets easier for your brain to trigger it.

In the future, your brain will opt to use the synapses that are closest together.  It will choose the shortest pathway so that you use the least amount of energy possible. So if you’ve made many short pathways for negative thoughts in your mind, and have much further apart paths for positive ones, the negative thoughts will always win. Those are the ones that will be triggered first. For consistent complainers, the negative pathway will become a default setting. In other words, when you’re faced with any situation, it will be much easier for your brain to develop a negative thought over a positive one.

Surround yourself with positivity

Imagine you’re listening to a friend tell you about an experience they went through. You will likely find yourself trying to put yourself into their shoes so that you can empathize with them, right? Well, that’s also triggering the negative pathways. Your brain is actively trying to understand the feelings of the person you’re listening to.

If you are constantly exposing yourself to cynicism, pessimism and complaints from the people you surround yourself with, this will also have a hand in reshaping your brain. There’s nothing wrong with being there for friends when they need it, but try to associate with people who lift you up. If you have people who complain about everything from the weather to their job, day in and day out, then maybe you should think about how their presence affects you. Complaining without doing anything to change it or to learn from it, is mindless and simply toxic.

Negativity physically hurts you

According to Parton, “when your brain is firing off these synapses of anger, you’re weakening your immune system; you’re raising your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and a plethora of other negative ailments.”

This is all because of the hormone cortisol. Have you heard of it? It’s commonly known as the stress hormone.  If you are always stressed, it leads to many negative effects like loss in muscle tissue and bone density, impaired cognitive performance and increased fat in your body. All the symptoms mentioned here are associated with other health problems like strokes, digestive problems, and heart attacks. It’s really a slippery slope that all starts with negativity.

Change the way you think

If you want to feel better, and live better, it all starts with your perspective. Just like you can rewire your brain towards negativity, you can do the same thing for positivity. Approach your situations consciously, and choose how you will respond to them. The more you choose to think good thoughts, and to engage in productive discussions instead of mindless complaints, the happier and healthier you will become.

Has this article given you something to think about? Let me know in the comments section. Discussion is a good thing. 😉

Sources: Curious Apes, Mayo Clinic, Psychology Today 

Jogha Presents: The Supernova Collection ★★★

Stop whatever you’re doing. Cancel your plans to meet up with the girls for dinner and invite them over instead. Let them know to bring their laptops/tablets/smartphones because.. The Supernova Collection is now online and shopping is always fun with friends 😉 ! Our baby is fi-na-lly ready to rumble, and you can NOW put it in your shopping bag.

Jogha is back with a brand new Spring/Summer collection, that is fiercer and more expressive than ever before. Curious about the prints? Head on over to the webshop, or see them in person between 26th April and 1 May at the Pop Up Shop in Amsterdam!

You are the Supernova

We know exactly how tough it is to achieve your fitness goals! It’s an uphill battle that requires you to fight, fight, and fight some more… and that’s all the more reason for you to show off how far you’ve come. Don’t be afraid to stand out, and let the world see those gains! That’s what this collection is about, an ode to all the powerful women. The four prints: Fierce, Impulsive, Radiant and Reckless motivate Fit Girls all over town to push their hardest. From eccentric designs to the strong basics, The Supernova Collection has items suitable for all the different kinds of sport chicks out there. Check out which items are your taste, and get ready to kick some ass!

The Supernova Collection

The Supernova Collection

The Supernova Collection

The Supernova Collection

The Supernova Collection

Supernova Collection

The Supernova Collection ft. Jogha Pop Up Shop

Already spotted an item that drives you wild? Then don’t miss out the chance to browse the collection in real life, try them out, and of course, take them home with you! From 26th April to 1st May, there will be a Pop Up Shop in the heart of Amsterdam (Huidenstraat 13). There you can get The Supernova Collection along with items from the older collections (with up to 70% off). Another bonus: If your order is above 150,- then you get the chance to go home with a super stocked goodie bag!

For those outside of The Netherlands, worry not. Jogha ships their products worldwide. 😉  The only continent they haven’t hit is Antarctica, so.. Fit Girls living in Antarctica, this is your chance to be the first!

So, are you ready for your new Spring/Summer sport outfit? After seeing the first items, are you thinking yes, I could use a new pair of tights? Are you ready to give your fit life style a nice kick start?! Then surf the Jogha site, or come meet us at the Pop Up Shop (Opening Times: Tues, Wed, Fri till Sun 09:00-19:00, Thurs 9:00-21:00)! Happy shopping!

What happens to your body without enough water

Ironically, it wasn’t till I moved from my tropical climate to the rainy and cold Netherlands that I actually started walking around with a water bottle. I just know that I should drink a lot, but I only ever drank when I was thirsty since it just wasn’t appealing to need a restroom every hour. But then I realized something – I’ve always heard the benefits of drinking a lot of water, but never actually the specifics on what happens when your body goes without enough water. And there lies the inspiration for this blog post. Let’s get started with the important question: 

How much water is enough water?

The health people in charge have kind of pushed this idea that everyone should drink ‘8 glasses of water a day’ which totals to about 2 liters. It’s called the 8×8 rule, but it never really made sense to me. If we’re all about 60-70% water, how could I need to drink the same amount as my 200 pound brother for example? I’d kind of imagine that the more body mass you have, the more water you would need. And the more active you are (the more you sweat), the more water you’d need to put back into your body.

I was apparently, on to something. Some voices out there recommend drinking a half ounce of water for every pound you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds/68 kgs, that’s about 75 ounces/2.2 liters. Butttt, I think you know your body best. There are various indicators that you can pay attention to in order to determine how much water you need. Look at your size and weight, and also your regular activity level and what sort of temperature you experience regularly. Hotter climates and higher activity levels need more water than cooler and lower ones for instance. If all else fails, look at your urine! The clearer, the better. The color and smell of your urine is always a good indicator of how much water you are taking into your body. Clear? Alright good.

without enough water

So if I don’t drink enough, what exactly happens to my body?

Thinking becomes that much harder: without enough water, your brain can go from Einstein to potato status real quick. If you’re even mildly dehydrated, your brain function will decline. It’s harder to concentrate, and you’ll probably develop a headache trying to do all that thinking. On top of that, it negatively effects your mood. Water and the brain are intricately linked.

You’re in for some constipation: when you don’t drink enough water, you increase your risk of constipation. It makes sense, since, you know, water helps move things along.. No water/little water = not enough bowel movement.

You miss out on possible weight loss: water makes you feel full, and causes a spike in your metabolic rate. So, the more water you’re drinking, the more calories you burn by doing absolutely nothing. In 2010, a study was published showing that over a 12 week period, participants who drank water before a meal loss 44% more weight than participants who didn’t. So, the science backs this one up.

without enough water

You suffer from un-ending fatigue: fatigue is your first sign of dehydration. So when your body is not getting enough water, exercising feels like it requires a huge amount of effort since your physical performance is not where it’s supposed to be at. You need to drink enough water to optimize your performance.

Your hangovers are 10x worse: alcohol is a diuretic, which means it leads to water loss, and then of course, dehydration. It’s this dehydration that causes your pounding headache and dry mouth. So, if you’re not drinking water between your drinks and when you get home.. get ready for one hell of a hangover.

You age and wrinkle faster: water is really, the only anti-aging treatment that you need. Without enough water, your skin won’t be glowing, smooth, or youthful. Sucks.

As you can see, it makes much more sense to keep your body hydrated, than force your body to go without enough water. I know for me, the fatigue hits me hard when I haven’t drank enough a day. If you’re wondering how to get yourself to drink more water everyday, check out our tips and tricks right here. What symptoms do you experience when you don’t drink enough water? 

Sources: Mind Body GreenAuthority NutritionGreatist

What to eat when you’re sick

Instead of going to the park with my housemates and probably 90% of the entire Dutch population last Sunday when it was a sunny 18°, I stayed home in bed.. staring longingly out the window while I clutched my pack of tissues. It was probably the most depressing day I had this year, and it motivated me to kick this sickness to the curb as fast as possible.

Meds aren’t really my thing, meaning I focused on food. So I’m sharing my findings, and letting you know exactly what you’re supposed to eat when you’re sick as well.

Do you have the cold or the flu?

I’ve been asked a few times already, “so what do you have?” and I sort of brush it off like “the flu, the cold..something. I have something.” But alas, there is actually a difference between the two and I should probably stop using them interchangeably. Here’s the lowdown. The symptoms of both the cold and the flu are actually pretty similar, but the cold is a bit less serious/milder than the flu and generally lasts a lot shorter.

When you have the cold, you may experience symptoms like a runny or stuffed nose, cough, sneezing, mild muscle aches, and a slight fever. While the cold may be gone in a few days, the flu is not as forgiving. The symptoms are also more severe than the cold, and you end up getting that dry, hacking cough, chills, high fever, heavy muscle aches and a constant state of tiredness you really can’t escape from.

Ok. But honestly, what do you eat when you’re sick?

  • Protein

When you’re sick, your body actually needs even more calories than normal so that it can function properly. It simply needs some fuel to run on as your immune system does it’s best to fight the source of your sickness. Give your body the fuel it needs by getting enough protein in. Stay away from fatty meats like steaks and burgers (who has the energy to cook that anyway?) and look for other sources of protein that are easily digestible like some plain yogurt or eggs.

  • Magnesium and Calcium

When it comes to your achy muscles, you should eat foods that are high in calcium or magnesium since these two may help ease your soreness. Foods that are high in magnesium are bananas, leafy greens, avocados, nuts and beans. So you have a lot to choose from. On the other hand, you can find calcium in canned salmon, yogurt, dark leafy greens, broccoli and almonds. Bonus: the omega-3s in the nuts and salmon also decreases inflammation in the throat ;).

  • Food With a Kick

Besides bringing tears to your eyes and getting your nose to run, spicy foods are really good natural decongestants. So if you’re feeling super congested, incorporate something spicy into your meal to clear out your nasal passage and help you to breathe more easily.

  • Fluids

You’ve got to stay hydrated when you are suffering from the cold or the flu. When you’re properly hydrated, this helps your mucus to thin, making it easier to breathe, plus you’re making up for the water loss you get from sweating with your fever. Go for warm green and black teas that are rich in antioxidants. This helps to soothe your throat and even the sneezing and chills. Green tea supports your immune system,  and you can even try peppermint tea or ginger tea with some honey. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which can help clear up your nose. Basically: all the teas, all day, everyday.

  • The Holy Grail: Chicken Noodle Soup

Your mom was always right to insist that this soup is what you eat when you’re sick. Here’s why: most chicken noodle soups contain (at least) chicken broth, chicken, noodles and carrots, celery, onion. Well, the broth is filled with minerals and vitamins, plus the warm broth gives you hydration. The chicken is a protein which supports the immune system as explained above but also has the amino acid cysteine which thins mucus in the lungs, while the noodles will satisfy your appetite. The vegetables all have vitamin A, C, and other antioxidants that help to fight off viruses, helping you to recover. Veggies are always a good idea, so feel free to add some other ones in there!

Stay away from processed foods and sugars, since these can increase inflammation, making your cold or flu that much worse! Wishing you a quick recovery. Got any special tips for what to eat when you’re sick?

Sources: PreventionGreatistPopSugar & Health Line

Roasted vegetable and chickpea bowl with cilantro cashew cream

If you’re looking for a healthy but satisfying bowl for dinner, then you have to try this roasted vegetable and chickpea bowl by Erin at Naturally Ella

Here’s what you need

Cashew sauce: 

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • water, for thinning
  • 1/4 cup cilantro,minced

Veggies:

  • 2 cups sugar snap or snow peas
  • 1-2 large carrots
  • ½ red onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned

Bowl:

  • Grains, for serving
  • Sprouts, for serving

How do we make it?

  1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with water to let it soak for at least 2 hours before preparing the meal.
  2. When the cashews are soaked, remove them and reserve the water. Place the cashews in a food processor or blender combined with soy sauce, sriracha and ginger. Mix it well and add water as you go in order to thin down the mixture. Keep blending until the cashews are smooth. Add in cilantro and pulse until it is incorporated and in small pieces. Taste and adjust the flavors as you desire.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400˚. Cut the carrot and onion into bite sized pieces and toss them in a roasting pan with peas, olive oil, black pepper, and sesame seeds. Roast for 15 minutes then stir in the chickpeas. Roast for another 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender and the peas are starting to blister.
  4. In a bowl, toss together vegetables, grains, and sprouts. Spoon sauce over bowl and serve. Save extra sauce for later uses.

There you have it! Comment below if you tried the recipe, I want to hear how you enjoyed it! 😀

How to get rid of period cramps

It’s that time of the month again! Aunt Flo is back wielding gifts like cramps, bloating, nausea, backaches, headaches and some mood swings: the usual. All women experience their periods differently, some get all these symptoms while others get a few or none. It seems like the most common one though is cramps.

While they are quite uncomfortable and even sometimes agonizing, there are some ways to ease their effect. So, don’t let painful  period cramps hold you back from living your life, try these remedies the next time they decide to show their face!

Remedies for your period cramps

  • Painkiller → The most obvious remedy is a painkiller or anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen. Ibuprofen decreases the pain you feel from the cramps and also the contractions in the uterus which is actually causing the cramps. You should take the painkiller as soon as your flow begins or even a day before if that is possible for you. If you’re not into taking painkillers for relief, there are other options to get rid of period cramps.
  • Water → You should always drink as much water as you can, but especially so when you are menstruating. Also, if you’re hydrated really well, this will help your liver in functioning better, and will keep your hormones (estrogen) balanced. Water helps to prevent you from getting painfully bloated. Opt for warm or hot water when you have cramps. This will increase the blood that’s flowing to your skin and can relax your cramped muscles.
  • Improve your diet → Poor nutrition actually can contribute to your period cramps. So make sure that you are eating foods that contain the essential nutrients and vitamins you need. On top of that, eating a low-fat diet lowers overall inflammation in the body, so reducing the amount of fats you consume and eating more veggies can have an (indirect) role in helping your menstrual symptoms.
  • Heating pad & exercise → Laying down with a heating pad on your stomach can feel like the best thing when you’re suffering from cramps. It helps soothe your cramps just like hot water does. Now, exercising while on your period is another good remedy for your pain, the endorphins that are released effectively improve your mood and are your natural pain relievers!

Things to avoid

  • Caffeine→ Caffeine is a diuretic which is known to aggravate cramps and make them worse. It does this because it constricts blood vessels and also increases the tension in your body. Caffeine can be found in colas, coffees, energy drinks and even some teas. So read the labels of what you consume carefully to ensure there’s no caffeine in there. Switch to decaf coffee, and more herbal teas to bypass the negative effects of caffeine.
  • Sugar→ As a general rule, you should avoid anything that is an inflammatory during your period since these tend to worsen cramps, and you guessed it, sugar happens to be one of them. Besides that, your hormones are all over the place during your period, and this contributes to making your blood sugar level unstable as well; dropping and rising randomly throughout the day. Adding sugar on top of that, just makes it worse. This can make the drops in your blood sugar level even more dramatic, which is one of the causes of mood swings, fatigue and an inability to focus.
  • Fatty meats→ Heavy meats are packed with saturated fats and arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is used by our bodies to produce two types of prostaglandins which can cause uterine cramping and contractions. On top of that, a lot of the meats we consumed contain hormones in them, which just adds to the ongoing hormone fluctuation that occurs naturally during your menstruation.

So, while experiencing these cramps seriously sucks, there are remedies out there to make it just a bit better or at least make sure you don’t feel even worse. While you may have sugar cravings and want to indulge in junk food during your period, this may make you feel worse in the long term, so try to be conscious of what you put into your body.

Do you have any other tips on what to eat and what to avoid for period cramps? Share them below!

Sources: Health LineEveryday HealthSummit Medical Group & Dr. Tori Hudson

Sweet potato chips with lemon guacamole

I’m absolutely addicted to chips. Luckily, I’ve learned to control myself over the past couple of months. My favorite chips are the extremely salty ones. Well, that’s not exactly true.. because these sweet potato chips are even better! They are very easy to make and they taste great in combination with the lemon guacamole. Next to that, they’re absolutely Fit Girl proof so you can eat them every day of the week.

sweet potato chips

Ingredients

  • Sweet potato
  • Salt & pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Low fat quark

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven up to 200 degrees C.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into thin slices. Yes, this is kind of hard but if you use a very sharp knife, you’ll manage!
  3. Mix the slices with the melted coconut oil and put the chips on a baking tray.
  4. Put the chips in the oven for 20 minutes on each side. This kind of depends on your oven, so make sure you check in every now and then.
  5. Mash the avocado to make the guacamole, and put some lemon juice into it. Add a bit of low fat quark if you want to get some more protein in there!
  6. When the chips are done, make sure to season them with some salt, pepper and rosemary. Done!

I absolutely love rosemary but if you prefer another type of seasoning you should use that one! The variations are endless. 

Have you ever made chips out of vegetables or potatoes? 🙂

Need to know hacks to keep your food from spoiling

One of the hardest parts about trying to eat healthy, to me, is trying to eat all the healthy food before it starts spoiling. Instead of making my own salads at home, I tend to get prepackaged ones at grocery stores. There’s just no way I can finish a whole bag of lettuce or rocket all by myself before it gets all soggy and sad. Not even if I ate a salad every day, which would be pretty depressing anyway..So, if you’re like me, then you’re in dire need of some hacks to keep your food from spoiling. Because no one deserves to throw out spoiled bananas and veggies that you spent your money on. 

Keep your veggies from spoiling

  • Leafy greens: these are the bases of your salads, or ingredients for your wraps and sandwiches. Overall, they’re pretty important. Instead of letting your lettuce, spinach or kale go bad before you can eat them, use a paper towel! Moisture in the fridge is actually the biggest culprit when it comes to making your greens lose their crisp texture. All you have to do is place the washed greens in a zip bag along with a couple of clean and dry paper towels. The paper towels will absorb the excess moisture which will keep them fresher for a longer period of time.
  • Mushrooms: these are notorious for spoiling quickly, which makes me wonder very hard before I buy them. Can I eat all these mushrooms in the next 4 days before they start drying up, going bad or getting that weird slimy texture? Thankfully, the hack is pretty simple to do, so I don’t need to keep asking myself this.  You want to keep excess moisture out of the mushrooms, while retaining the moisture it already has. So place your mushrooms in a brown paper bag and store them in the fridge.  Another trick is placing them in paper towel and then into a perforated plastic bag (just poke some holes into it).
  • Celery: to keep your celery nice and crunchy, separate them into individual stalks. Next, wash them and dry them before you wrap each individual piece tightly in aluminum foil. Place them in the fridge. This will slow down the ripening process because it will keep the celery unexposed to air, but also keep the moisture in.

Keep that dairy fresh

  • Milk: to prolong the freshness of milk, you can add a pinch of table salt to the carton and shake it well. It will not affect the taste, but will do it’s job to stop it from spoiling so quickly!
  • Cheese: have you ever gone for some cheese, only to find that it’s a hard un-eatable block? There’s a hack for that. To keep the cheese on the side from drying out and hardening, add on a little butter to that edge. This will prevent it from happening. 🙂

Help your fruits last longer

  • Bananas: this fruit produces ethylene gas naturally, which allows them to continue ripening after they’ve been picked. This gas is released mostly around the stem, so one way to keep bananas from spoiling too quickly is to separate them and wrap the stems of the bananas tightly in plastic wrap/cling film. If your bananas are too ripe, peel them and freeze them individually wrapped in plastic. They are still usable for ice cream or banana bread!
  • Apples: like bananas, these also produce ethylene gas. The same principle applies. If one apple is rotten, it will actually spoil the bunch, so set it apart from the rest, to not expose them too much from the gas. If one apple is spoiled, the surrounding fruit will start producing more ethylene as well.

Above all, make sure that you clean out your fridge regularly. If food spoils in your fridge, it can leave behind mold. This mold can get to your other food and cause them to spoil, so hygiene is key! Keep a clean fridge, and ensure all your food stays fresher longer. Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Comment below. 

Sources: Survival At HomeReader’s Digest, Everyday Health

Two-in-one vegetable lasagna

In my experience and those of my clients, I noticed that it is sometimes pretty difficult to cook for your whole family, boyfriend or friends if you want to watch what you’re eating. 9 out of 10 times, I am eating something different than my boyfriend does at night. Despite that, I always cook with fresh ingredients, even though he doesn’t have to watch what he’s eating. For example, cheese as a topping for a lasagna is possible for him but not for me. 

Therefore, it can sometimes be pretty difficult to cook something that is good and nice for the both of us! Making two meals isn’t quite handy, is it? So that’s why I try to combine my meals by cooking some extra rice or having another sauce. This happened today as well… Two different lasagnas in one casserole. They had the same sauce but a different composition. One lasagna with tomato sauce, vegetables, lasagna leafs, minced meat and cheese, and one healthy version with tomato sauce, cottage cheese and vegetables. A good recommendation!

What do you need for 4 portions (2 portions of normal lasagna – 2 portions of vegetable lasagna)

  • 3 cans of tomatoes (preferably organic)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 200 gr tomato purée
  • 1 onion
  • 300 gr minced meat
  • Spelt lasagna leafs
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 250 gr cottage cheese
  • Grated cheese
  • Oregano, garlic, salt and pepper spices

How to make it

  • Pre-heat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius.
  • Fry the minced meat with some salt and pepper. Put the meat away in a bin and set it aside.
  • Put the pan back on the fire and put a bit of olive oil in it. Cut the onion in pieces and put them in the pan.
  • Fry the onions and add the tomatoes together with the oregano, garlic, salt and pepper spices.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and leave the mix for 5 minutes.
  • Cut the courgette into thick horizontal stripes so that it has the form of a lasagna leaf.
  • Grab a casserole and grease it with some olive oil.
  • We start with the normal lasagna. Put 2 lasagna leafs on the first half of the casserole.
  • Put 1/2 minced meat on it and 2 slices of courgette. Add 1/4 of the sauce.
  • Again, put two lasagna leafs on the mix with the rest of the minced meat and again add two slices of courgette. Add 1/4 of the sauce. (you now have used half of the tomato sauce.)
  • Add some grated cheese on top of the lasagna.
  • Now it’s the vegetable lasagna’s turn. Add the cottage cheese to the tomato sauce and mix it up.
  • Add 3 courgette leafs on the bottom of the other half of the casserole. Add 1/3 of the sauce.
  • Repeat this 2 more times until there’s no more sauce.
  • Add some oregano spices and put the casserole in the oven for 40 minutes.

Good luck!

The facts and fictions on detoxes

One week juicing, only drinking detox teas and living off of soups. Detoxing is hip, hot and happening. You can find articles on almost any fitness blog you visit about all the different ways that you can detox your body. Often, this is done after a period of eating a lot of unhealthy food. But does doing a detox actually make sense? Or will the kilos that you lose just come piling back on afterwards? 

I’d like to begin by first saying that everyone should do what feels good for them and what they are comfortable with. If a detox works well for you, feel free to do it every now and then! We are not telling you what to do, but simply taking a closer look at the benefits of detoxes. Most of the time, the promises are too good to be true. Losing 5 kilos in a week is nice, but not when you’ll gain double that amount one month later. There are a lot of facts and fictions circulating about detoxing and that’s what this blog is about. Time to take it under the microscope.

What is a detox?

Doing a detox cleanses your body from toxins. This can be done in many different ways, but some detoxes are more effective than others. A detox can also not only cleanse your body, but can also affect you mentally. You will feel naturally rejuvenated after a juicing cleanse since you’ve spent an entire week long only drinking green monsters. A detox can be pretty tough when you’re not used to eating so little (or nothing). Headaches, nausea and a bad mood can also be some other effects of a detox.

During a detox, your body only gets just the necessary amount of nutrients that it desperately needs to function. This means that there will be a drop in your blood sugar level. Your body tries to combat this by releasing glycogen, which is a sugar that is mainly stored in your liver and muscles.  It also has a lot of water bound to it, and this is one of the reasons why you’ll probably lose a few kilos during a detox. Unfortunately, it’s not fat, but moisture!

Misunderstandings about detoxes

There are many misconceptions about detoxes. They’re not completely crazy, since most of the things written on the Internet aren’t completely baseless. Here are a few facts and fictions about detoxes at a glance:

“I’m getting rid of my toxins through a detox” – FICTION

Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Our body, the liver specifically, is luckily very good at getting rid of toxins by itself. You don’t need any detox diet on top of that. It won’t really help with getting any of the toxins out of you.

“After eating unhealthy for so long, a detox is a good idea” – FICTION

It would be great if this one were true. That would mean that the 5 kg that came on during the Christmas holidays can fall right back off with the help of a juice detox in the first week of January. If only… Sadly, the effects you get from eating unhealthy foods can’t be cured with a detox. The excess fat and sugar have already been stored in your body before you even think of starting a detox.

“With a detox, I can improve my strength and health” – FACT

This is only a fact, if you are aware of the products you put into your body. Most people who do a serious detox will improve their diet afterwards, because they understand how good it is to eat healthy. Only then will you improve your strength and your health with a detox. It’s a handy tool to make you aware of all the products you put into your body, but a week detoxing will not make sure that you never get the flu again. Unfortunately..

“A detox is the perfect way to switch up your lifestyle” – FACT/FICTION

This statement can actually pass as both fact and fiction. This is because it’s not the same for everyone. It is  not always possible for anyone to turn their lifestyle completely around in a day. Through a detox, you’l be aware of all the trash that you put into your body every single day.  If you do a detox where you are don’t eat any sort of sugars, for example, you will probably feel uncomfortable in the beginning. This lets you clearly see how dependent you actually are on sugars. It’s not the most pleasant way to find out, but it’s definitely effective. It would naturally be a shame if after going through a detox, you go back to your unhealthy habits. That’s also why people become more conscious about what they eat and drink after doing a detox. This is not a scientifically proven fact, but is is how it usually goes for fanatic ‘detoxers’.

As you’ll probably notice, your mental state is the most important part of a detox. Your body can detoxify itself just fine, but sometimes it can use a helping hand. That’s what makes this harsh treatment convenient. You deprive yourself of everything that is unhealthy and focus only on healthy food. It is then very important to be a little strong on yourself. After such a time, it is naturally not the idea that you go straight into unhealthy snacks. You’ll have to slowly build up to this to ensure that the kilos don’t come right back on.

Experiences from the Fit Girls

Fit Girls Laura and Anna have previously spoken about their experiences doing detoxes. You can read about their experiences here.  Something that Laura shares with the readers that are willing to give a detox a try: Prepare for the end of the detox. After the week is over, everything will be up to you. It’s a good idea to plan in advance what you’re going to eat and drink after the detox is over. That way, it will help to reduce the risk that you’ll fall back into your unhealthy habits. Laura also finds this a very suitable way to kick a sugar habit. For example, after going 2/3 weeks without sugar, it got easier to keep going without it afterwards.

While Laura was very excited about the detox, Anna wouldn’t do it ever again even if the world was ending. “The detox forced me to deny myself a lot, and I noticed that this was going to backfire eventually. I stopped on day 6 and I ate looooads of food that day. I felt very weak and stupid afterwards. A few days later, I was thankfully able to look at it as a positive experience. I now know how important it is for me to have a balanced diet. All or nothing is not my thang!”

And there you see it again: to each their own. Personally, I would never try to do a detox, but many Fit Girls do take on detoxes regularly to have a fresh new start. Read and research intensely before beginning a detox. Like I said before, it can be very hard to eat so little.

Have you ever undergone a detox? What were your experiences with it?

6 Tips for your first time doing Hot Yoga

If you’ve read last week’s post about my first Hot Yoga class, then you know that I had absolutely no idea how to prepare for it. While it turned out pretty awesome in the end, I know it can be scary for people to try something completely new. To ensure that you don’t need to deal with those nerves, I’m back with some tips that I wish were shared with me when it was my first time doing Hot Yoga. 

Bring a water bottle

Lets start with the simple one. Do not, I repeat, do not forget your water bottle. The temperature in the room is quite hot, and you will sweat profusely. You should avoid chugging the water in large amounts, no matter how tempting this may be. I’m afraid having a stomach full of water isn’t very conducive to stretching and bending. Instead, take small sips of your water during the class when necessary (it will be).first time doing hot yoga

Bring gloves

If you know that you sweat a lot during your workouts, then it might be a good idea to bring some gloves just in case. Your gloves should have a strong grip on them. Sweaty hands can lead to you slipping on the yoga mat and can potentially be dangerous. I actually had a little slip on the mat during my first time doing hot yoga, so it really happens. I thankfully caught myself before I fell in case you were wondering!

Multiple towels come in handy

Pretty related to the tip above, multiple towels are a way to deal with all the sweat that will be going on. You should bring one big towel to cover your entire yoga mat to help with slipping and absorbing your sweat. You can have another towel for drying yourself off periodically. You shouldn’t use this one too much, since it’s actually the evaporation of the sweat from your skin that helps relieve the heat in your body. But if your sweat is dripping into your eyes, then it’s fine to wipe it off!

It’s okay to take breaks

This one is pretty important. Only you know the limits of your body. So there is absolutely no shame in taking a break and going into child’s pose when necessary. Recenter yourself, take a few breaths and then join the group whenever you’re ready. This is your first class, there is no way you’ll be able to keep up or even do everything! Hot Yoga can be pretty intense, so don’t listen to your ego, instead listen to your body and how you feel.

Hydrate & Re-hydrate

During the day, you should ensure that you drink a good amount of water. Just add an extra bottle to your daily routine than you usually do. You will lose a lot of water during the class, so it’s a good idea to have a little extra going into it. But don’t drink too close to the time you’re entering the class, since you wouldn’t want to have to leave the room to address your bladder. After the class, be sure to re-hydrate! Drink actual water, and other drinks like coconut water and ones containing electrolytes are recommended.

Dress: light, breathable and flexible

You can wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. Regular cotton clothes will keep all that sweat and feel very heavy against you. Instead, opt for clothes that absorb moisture well and that you can breathe in. If this is just a sports bra and shorts, go for it. If it’s a tank top and capri leggings, then so be it. You want to ensure that you’re able to move as freely as possible, especially if it’s your first time doing hot yoga.

Did I miss any tips? If you try out hot yoga, I’m curious to hear how it went for you, so comment and let me know!

Fruity yogurt bread for an instant spring feeling!

I love the feeling I get once spring arrives! Starting the day with the smell of flowers in the air and the warm sun shining on your skin. During spring time I also love to eat sweet and refreshing snacks. Therefore, I have made this fresh, light and fruity bread with a soy-yogurt base.

yogurt bread

Recipe: Fruity yogurt bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of vegan (dairy-free) yogurt + ½ cup for the topping
  • 1 ½ cups spelled flour
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 ½ oz frozen cranberries + roughly 2 oz for topping
  • 3 ½ oz frozen blackberries + roughly 2 oz for topping

Preparation:

  1. Add the cranberries and blackberries in a bowl and let them thaw.
  2. Preheat oven to 356 ºF.
  3. Stir the eggs and yogurt together.
  4. Mix the spelt flour, flaxseed oil and cinnamon through the egg and yogurt mixture.
  5. Gently stir the blackberries and cranberries into the batter.
  6. Pour the batter into a cake mold (with some baking paper so the bread can easily be removed).
  7. Let is bake for 40 minutes in the oven.
  8. Let the cake cool and add the remaining yogurt and berries on top.

Bon appétit! 

Love, 

Maartje 

Have you tried to make this recipe? Share your photo with us on social media! You can follow me on Facebook & Instagram for more recipes and inspiration! 

Fit Girl Fails: When you try your best, but you don’t succeed

We’ve all got those days. You try so hard to ensure you’re going to get that workout in, eat super healthy meals and get enough rest. And repeat. But then, life happens.  Throughout the day, it seems that everything is working against you being healthy. Trust me, you don’t know true sadness until you’ve planned your wrap for work, only for lunch time to hit and you find you bought a spoiled avocado. Oh well, you win some and lose some. Every Fit Girl has experienced one fail or the other. Here’s my top 10.  

You go to work with your full gym bag, only to realize when you arrive at the gym that you forgot your running shoes

True story: my housemate wanted to go to the gym together after she finished work. I watched her pack her gym bag all motivated and leave for her job.  After I biked to the gym and met up with her, we entered the changing room, and she just got really quiet. She was wearing ankle boots that day and somehow managed to forget her gym shoes at home.  I still cannot get her disappointed face out of my head. There went our gym idea!

You decide to buy a pack of healthy breakfast bars, only to find it’s completely disgusting

It’s always a gamble when you’re trying out a healthy new snack. I tend to wake up late for everything, so I wanted a healthy breakfast bar since it was so quick and easy. I’d have a good breakfast to start off my day right, and I wouldn’t end up buying something unhealthy instead. It was a great plan! In reality,  the first box I bought was absolutely horrible and it did nothing to motivate me to have a good healthy day. But being cheap, I pushed forward and ate the disgusting thing till the box was done..

You declined a snack and went home to make a shake instead,  and then realize you’re out of protein powder

After exercising all that willpower, you, of course, feel extra committed to your health. Saying no to things like chocolate and a nice piece of cake can be so hard, but you did it because you have a protein shake with your name on it. Bravo! You ride that high of accomplishment, only to check your pantry and see you have absolutely no scoops of your favorite protein powder left. Life is unfair sometimes.

You’ve discovered the  recipe for you, and head to the market or store to find they don’t have the ingredients you need

How many times have you really planned out what you’re going to cook, gotten the grocery list written down and left the house all determined to make the healthiest dinner ever? It happens quite a bit of times, but sadly sometimes ends in disappointment. When the grocery store doesn’t have all the ingredients you need, so you’re stuck with getting the stuff for a not-so healthy dinner that you’re used to.  Can’t they see you’re trying to get fit?!

You grab your healthy lunch you prepared the night before. Except, it’s the wrong tupperware container

Tupperware. Tupperware, everywhere. Most of the time when you’re changing over to a healthier lifestyle, you’ll end up packing a lot of your meals in these guys. You never have enough, you never find the right lid for them, and sometimes you can’t help but pick up the wrong one in your haste to get to work on time. There goes your healthy lunch idea..

After spending so long on your healthy smoothie, you somehow manage to drop it

The feeling of pure despair.  That’s all there is to explain with this one.

When you’re in the locker room putting your hair in a ponytail, and your only hair band decides to burst

I have thick hair which means brushes, combs and most often, hair ties have very short life spans with me. Some days, I put it in a ponytail from the morning just to ensure I avoid this problem later on at the gym. But, other days, I want to have my hair out at work or school, and opt to stuff it into a ponytail only at the gym. It’s usually a mistake, because 60% of the time I try this, my hair tie decides to break. And who is going to try to go work out with your hair flying all over the place?

You’re really going deep with those squats of yours, only to have your leggings rip straight down the middle

You’re going in on today’s leg day, ass to grass and everything. But 3 sets in, you hear a ripping sound.. If this ever happened to you, you know how embarrassing it can be. It won’t be long before you try to slip out of the gym so you can go and change back into your jeans and head home.

You had the best run ever, but you forgot to track it

Trackers are there for a reason. It helps you to feel pretty good about yourself when you can look back and see exactly what you did, or how far you ran. So when you know you’re having an amazing run and can’t wait to see exactly how many kilometers you ran or how much calories were burned, only to realize that you didn’t track it… Words cannot come close to explaining the feeling.

You’ve followed one of the many yummy and healthy dinner recipes you found online, and then you burned it

This one just hurts if you have absolutely no idea what you did wrong, but you ruined it. It’s safe to say you won’t be up for trying anything new in the kitchen for a while after that.

It seriously happens to everyone, but don’t let it stop you from what you want to achieve! Tomorrow is a new day. 😉 What Fit Girl fails have you experienced? Let yourself be heard in the comments section!