Why it’s ok to have a setback

Sometimes we can really get mad at ourselves. We give ourselves so many obligations and if it doesn’t go as expected, we failed. At least, that’s what we tend to believe. Recently I was in such a situation. I had fanatically exercised, but afterwards I completely let myself go when I had dinner.  I could and wanted to eat everything, and ended up laying in bed nauseously. I was so frustrated with myself, how could I let this happen? But, I soon realized that this is also part of it and that a setback is ok.

It’s part of it

A child learns to ride a bicycle by falling a few times and this also applies to reaching a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes you have to fall to get back up stronger. Only this way you can discover your weaknesses and look for a way to deal with them. It may not always be perfect and you certainly should not pursue it. A healthy lifestyle is not about whether you have the strength not to eat that bar of chocolate or bag of chips. It’s about knowing your own body and realizing what does and what doesn’t work for you. And this you’ll only find out by making a few mistaking along the way.

Balance is the key, just like enjoying yourself.

Please don’t be too strict on yourself! Healthy food is delicious, but everybody likes a bar of chocolate or a greasy snack from time to time. I noticed that by banning certain foods for myself, I only wanted them more and after a while simply couldn’t control myself anymore. From now on everything is possible, but to a certain degree. Balance is the key! And that works best for me. I generally try to eat healthy and when I really feel like a Tony’s Chocolonely Caramel-Sea Salt bar, it just go for it. Because I have continued to eat healthy on all the other days, I no longer feel guilty. You can call it a cheat meal or a reward for all your hard work, but enjoy this balance!

Do you restrict yourself with foods that you can and cannot eat? If so, how do you deal with eating sprees? 

Mindfulness can help you become aware of the moment and keep your thoughts in check. Here are some tips on how you can achieve it!

Eileen’s fit journey

We always love to put a Fit Girl in the spotlight who has experienced a special fitness transformation and journey. She shares her ups and downs, tips and tricks, annoyances, good and bad habits and hopes to inspire you to also become the fittest version of yourself. If she can do it, then you can too!

From struggling with day-to-day health habits, to becoming a mum and prioritizing a healthy, active lifestyle. Eileen has gone through an amazing Fit journey which can be an inspiration to anyone who finds themselves struggling to keep up healthy habits and wants to change that for the better. Balancing the time spent with her kids and the time spent working on herself is also something that Eileen has had to learn throughout her Fit journey. Three pregnancies later, Eileen is on top of her Fit journey and is here to share her experience with you!

The fitness transformation

What was your goal when you started your journey and fitness transformation?

When I started my goal was to feel confident about myself. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin and comfortable in my new very important role as a mommy!

What or who motivated you to keep going?

My Babies. I have two little girls and a baby boy. I want good health choices and overall wellness to be a part of their everyday life, and It starts with my husband and I.

What were you ashamed of in the past? Or what were you really looking to change?

I made the decision to get fit and healthy a few years back. Back then, I wasn’t making the right health choices and that was dragging all parts of my life and happiness down. I had no sense of self worth due to my bad eating habits and life choices. Exercise and eating right seemed like a distant dream. I thought I was destined to be miserable and stuck in my unhealthy patterns. When I decided to speak up about my struggles and ask for help I was amazed at how quickly my thinking and habits turned around! I felt brand new! Then I thought to myself: “If my thinking could change, then there is no way that my outsides can’t match it!” I really wanted to feel as good on the outside as I was starting to feel on the inside

What does your workout schedule look like now?

Oh man.. I had this dream of being the mom that wakes up at the crack of dawn and does yoga or goes for a five mile run, lol! As a mommy and a business owner, it’s not something that my sleep cycles can take on! I don’t have a set time, but I make working out, at least 4 times a week a priority for sure. Most workouts I do are no longer than 45 min.

What was the most difficult throughout your fitness journey?

ENERGY…. It was like a sick cycle. If I work out, I won’t be so tired, but I’m too tired to workout. Now I know myself enough, so I’d put on my gym clothes in the morning when getting the little ones ready for preschool, knowing that having my gym clothes on would motivate me more to workout during the day.

What’s your favourite healthy meal?

One of my favorite go to meals is whole grain rice over meatless crumbles with sautéed lemon spinach. Sooo good and really easy to make! The kids even eat it! I’ve been experimenting with a plant based diet and I can definitely feel and see a difference in my body.

Do you have a favourite cheat meal?

This is one of those things that I don’t really agree with. In the past I ate like that. Avoiding foods and only allowing myself to eat a cheat meal once a week. I’ve learned not to look at food as good or bad. I go by how it will make my body feel. I feel like a cheat meal would set me up for failure. It’s just that I would wait alllllllll week for that one meal and then on Sunday I’d be like- “ how about a
cheat day”? So now the biggest adjustment has been pausing and listening to my body. I make sure to stay well hydrated so I won’t confuse thirst for hunger, I try to eat frequently and I try my best to get a good night sleep. But if I find myself craving a cheese burger I think okay I probably need some iron, a good amount of protein and some carbs. So ill make an alternative and 9 times out of 10 the craving is gone and I don’t feel sluggish or dense the way I do after a burger and fries

What’s your opinion on counting calories?

I used to be a calorie counter- that stuff drove me up a wall!! I’d find myself sitting in traffic going “okay so I ate 1000 oh wait was it 1050?” and “what can I make for dinner with the calories I have left”, “will I be able to make a super healthy dinner so I can have calories left over to eat some dessert”. HA! I felt like I was in number prison. It wasn’t until I stopped counting calories and decided to TRUST myself that I got an understanding of the difference between diet and lifestyle.

Did you have any bad habits at the beginning of your fitness journey? Where you now think ‘I shouldn’t have done that’?

Yes I did. I thought diet soda was a food group (!), and I smoked ciggarettes. I also did this horrible thing where I’d negatively self-talk. Id tell myself, while working out, that I was fat and that I’d better not quit this work out or rep or mile. Now, I look back and think how much harder I made it to actually enjoy the process and my progress!

What do you think is a bullshit hype in the fitness industry?

Fad diets and low fat or fat free foods. It makes me so mad. When I ate low fat food I would just eat more of it. Not to mention there are chemicals and a ton of other unhealthy substances in those to make them fat free or low fat.

Do you have a piece of advice for other Fit Girls who are trying to reach their goal?

You are worth it. You can do it. Screw the Fear. I think Fear holds so many of us back. If you put in the work, if you’re consistent and persistent there’s no way you won’t hit your goal

What are your long and short term goals?

My short term goal is to get my body back after baby number THREE! He’s 7 weeks old right now and I’m having fun regaining my strength and muscle tone. My long term fitness goal is to get really into yoga. I love the spiritual aspect of it and I want to be able to do all those funky positions I see all over Instagram!

Are you curious about Eileen’s progress? Check out her Instagram page!
Do you want to lose some weight yourself, or get toned and you don’t know where to start? The Fitgirlcode Guide is here to shape your meal plans and workout schedules 8 weeks long. You got this Fit Girl!

Looking for more fitness transformation stories? Michelle’s journey is an impressive one to read about as well>

Sophie’s Fitgirlcode Guide Review- 4 week progress

The time has come! I am finally halfway through the Fitgirlcode Guide?. And I must say, there have been some ups and downs, but the results are most certainly there. The 2-week progress review, which I of course posted 2 weeks ago, feels like 4 months ago or something ?. Time is literally flying by as I do more of the Guide. Now, I won’t keep you waiting much longer, here is my 4-week progress and my 4-week Fitgirlcode Guide review:

The transformation

So, first of all, let’s not critique my photography or modelling skills as they are non-existent ?. Secondly, yes, I did get more tanned, and no, the Guide did not help with that (lol sorry). Now, let’s talk about my progress. In the article about my 2-week progress I mentioned the changes that I had noticed, and how I felt about the Guide 2-weeks in. Quick summary: after 2 weeks I felt a lot less bloated and already quite a bit leaner as well as confident.

Throughout the first 2 weeks I really kept to the Guide’s food schedule which luckily enough included a cheat meal per week. When I think about it, I didn’t even “need” the cheat meal as all the food tastes good anyways (and there’s definitely enough food, TRUST). I only really needed the cheat meal because I would go out to a restaurant with my friends or family and then it’s quite handy to not constantly be thinking “omg I can’t pick anything cause it’s not in the Guide”, the cheat meal allows you to think “it’s okay to enjoy a nice meal, this will keep me motivated”.

4 weeks… It’s as if my whole body got stretched out in just 4 weeks! The most significant changes, to me, are my tummy and legs. Both of those got more toned and muscular. Thank the squats and leg raises!?The craziest thing?! I didn’t really gain or lose any weight.? How come?! This is because I included quite a bit of weight training into my workouts. Meaning that the fat that I lost was then replaced by muscle, and muscle is a lot heavier than fat. So, even if I lose 5 kilos of fat, the muscle I gain (which tones my body) will weigh about the same.

How do I feel?

Damn… I FEEL GOOOOODDDD!! haha It’s honestly amazing, even though I haven’t reached my goal yet, I already feel so confident just knowing that my body is healthy and fit. As I mentioned, there were some ups and some downs. The occasional down often came after a long day or week where I felt tired and wouldn’t be in the mood for whatever workout I had planned. In order to counter that down and still get in my workout I’d adapt the workout I had planned to whatever I was in the mood for. Normally, all my workouts start with about 15-20 minutes of cardio, but I don’t really like cardio that much. So, when I’m feeling down I just think “okay I’m just going to do whatever I’m in the mood for”, and then it brings me to the good feeling…

…the glorious ups! These are just the constant good vibes and feelings that you get after having done your workout or while you’re eating that delicious healthy meal. Seeing your hard work pay off… Damn! That’s the best feeling ever!

Favourite meals so far

4 weeks of snacks, dinners, lunches, and breakfasts… That’s a whole lot of food! So, which meals will I most definitely keep in my life, even after the Guide? Yogurt bowls! Gaddamn I love yogurt bowls now. I used to not really like yogurt that much but the Guide has given me the most perfect yogurt recipe: low-fat yogurt + strawberries + blueberries + nuts + honey + cinnamon.?? Many of the other breakfast recipes also gained a place in my heart, for example, the banana mugcake and the buckwheat pancakes. In addition, the Guide introduced me to cream cheese (light). Cream cheese in pasta, on rice cakes, on bread… Cream cheese everywhere! My favourite cream cheese recipe is without doubt the creamy broccoli chicken pasta.? I absolutely love getting introduced to these new recipes, they most definitely help me create a healthier and tastier everyday life.

Last pieces of advice

As a student I can say to my fellow student Fit Girls: Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on healthy food. In the beginning of the Guide I had to stock on some basic ingredients such as buckwheat flour, protein powder, raisins,… Just really random stuff that I didn’t have before. This made my first week of groceries a bit more expensive. However, now that I’m 4 weeks into the Guide I’m spending a lot less money on groceries than I was in week 1.

Don’t stop yourself from having fun on the weekend or at any other time! I admit, on the weekend it was harder to keep up the Guide’s meal plan. This is because I would go out, have fun, enjoy the sunny weather. I wasn’t prohibiting myself from having ice cream or a glass of wine. I simply made those occasions more special by not doing them during the week. It’s all about balance in the end!

I’m in week 5 now and will make sure to keep you updated on my progress at the end of week 6 and finally after week 8 when I will have finished the whole Guide.

Are you ready to take on the Fitgirlcode Guide challenge? Get the Guide right away >

Are you curious about what my workouts look like? I describe my summer body workout here >

3x eggs for breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?! Well, I truly hope so because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Hot or cold, extensive or minimal, sweet or savory? How your breakfast looks is completely up to you! There are so many variant foods that are appropriate to eat in the morning that you can change it up every day. What I love to eat on a sweet saturday morning: EGGS. Whether I’m hungover (lol) or not, eggs just seem to always be lying around, ready to make my day a little brighter. Here are 4 different ways to make eggs for breakfast:

1. Spinach omelet with salmon and cottage cheese

One way to boost your breakfast is with an omelet. This crêpe looking omelet is the perfect healthy breakfast for a Fit Girl. Eggs, salmon, cottage cheese, spinach, pine nuts… An omelet is just what you need if you’re feeling hungry yet you don’t want to lose track of your healthy eating habits. A slice of brown bread is never wrong to add to this recipe!

2. Scrambled eggs in avocado

Yum, yum, yum! That’s all I’m thinking right now. A simple and quick cook up of scrambled eggs mixed with some avocado, olives and spinach is a perfect and balanced way to boost your energy in the morning. Are you also an avocado-passionate Fit Girl?! ?

3. Savory vegetable pancakes with poached eggs

Well, doesn’t this just look delicious? These pancakes made from cauliflower, spring onion, broccoli, parsley, egg and milk is a beautiful alternative for the classic “pancakes for breakfast” recipe. With just a poached egg on top to top it off (and some cheese of course because… Cheese!). A saturday morning that is simple yet complex, a Fit Girl food-challenge that you can enjoy and that will be rewarding in taste and nutrition.

Are you also someone who liked to enjoy a nice egg breakfast on a saturday morning? Or do you prefer something else, tell me in the comments! I could write about it in my next article. ?

Photo credits (Header): Rachel Park, via Unsplash

Are you someone who enjoys treating themselves on a saturday morning? Try out one of these breakfasts.

Sophie’s summer body workout

Let’s be honest, summer is all we’re thinking about at the moment.☀Those long hours spent tanning, reading a book, relaxing in your garden… Summer is the ultimate time for relaxation. Hopefully you’ll all be taking some time off to chillax. I will be enjoying Switzerland’s mountains in July. I can’t wait to be hiking up the mountains in the sun and enjoying a well deserved ice cream treat once having reached the top.?In order to easily hike up the mountains and comfortably wear the denim shorts I bought last summer, I need to prep my summer body. A summer body isn’t made in a day and thus requires quite some time and effort! This is why having a go-to summer body workout is always useful.

I want every Fit Girl to enjoy their summer, so I thought to share some of my workout exercises. These include core, upper-body, and lower-body workouts. This is a total-body workout that is perfect to get you started on your summer body!?

1. Core workout

These 3 core exercises are shown done in the gym, however you can easily do them at home as well. For the first exercise, if you want to do it at home, simply lie down on the ground and do the exercise as a crunch. Pull your legs together, towards your belly. The second exercise stays the same. The third exercise is also simply done on the ground by lifting your legs up, and back down again.

2. Upper-body workout

If you are looking to do these exercises at home follow these suggestions. For exercise 1: push ups, push ups will train the same part of the body, simply in a different way. Exercise 2: grab a weight and follow the same posture instructions. Finally, exercise 3: grab a weight and push it up above your head an back down to your side, like shown in the picture.

3. Lower-body

This is a small home workout that I like to do when #legday comes around. The number of reps I do is 30 and then 3 or 4 sets. Try to increase the number of reps over the weeks in order to keep toning your body. Increasing the intensity of your exercise is important as your body will get used to the intensity of a workout if you do it often and thus you won’t make much more progress.

Your summer body goal is easily attainable if you make sure to eat healthily and in a balanced way, as well as workout about 3 times per week (as a minimum).
I am in week 4 of the Fitgirlcode Guide right now and will be writing about my own summer body progress when I will have completed the 4th week. I’ll finally be half way through the 8-week Guide.?

Do you think that the Fitgirlcode Guide would help you reach your summer body goal as well? Get the Guide right away and start next Monday >

Are you curious about how my first 2 weeks went? Read my review here >

5x best cafés in paris

There is not one year where Paris doesn’t manage to lure tourists in and wow them with its beauty and culture. From the Arc de Triomphe, to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, there is so much to visit in Paris and it remains on our top list of best city trip destinations. The month of May is great for city trips as it is less packed and the weather is amazing! Are you planning on going to Paris some time soon? Make sure to check out these 5 cafés that make for the best cafés in Paris.

1. Café St. Régis

This café situated near the Notre-Dame in Paris, on the Île Saint-Louis, is a must! With their delicious menu which offers sweet as well as savory meals, it is precisely the type of French cuisine that will make you feel like a real local.

2. Café Oberkampf

This café which lies in the middle of the lively and young district in Paris, offers the utlimate sandwiches and toasts. It makes for a perfect lunch hotspot with your friends.

3. Café Charlot

Located between the Hôtel de Ville and the Place de la République, Café Charlot is there to make sure you enjoy your sunny lunch in the heart of Paris. Between the museums and the shopping, this café offers the perfect rest to your busy day city tripping.

4. Café Carette

Right next to Le Marais, which is the best city-shopping district in Paris (I believe), lies this cute café: Café Carette. If you’re looking for a lively district in Paris with lots of shopping around it, then you’ve found it! Start your day with a lovely little brunch at Café Carette and you’ll be energized enough to walk the streets of Paris all day.

5. Le Peloton

Only a block away from the Seine, which is the river shaping Paris, lies Le Peloton. Le Peloton is a café that displays the beauty and talent of the well known French desserts. Are you in need of a sweet treat in Paris? Make sure not to miss this one.?

Can you guess where I’m going in 2 weeks? PARIS! ? I actually am French and lived in Paris a few years ago, so I can personally attest to the greatness of these cafés. When I’ll be there I’ll make sure to leave some time in my days to enjoy these little cafés that are typical of the Parisian lifestyle. Gosh I miss it!
Have you been to Paris before? Which café still holds a spot in your heart?

Photo credits (Header): Hello Light Bulb, via Unsplash

Did you like reading about city hot spots? Then check out our favourite hot spots in LA >

A sweaty HIIT workout

Otherwise known as High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT is there to get your body moving and your fat burning. HIIT has gained popularity over the last few years as it is a quick calorie and fat burner that can easily be done at home. If you are looking to lose weight then HIIT is definitely something you should be thinking about! However, if you’re looking to build muscle, then HIIT is not the perfect fit for you. In the Fitgirlcode Guide there is a HIIT circuit presented and it sure does make you sweaty (even after just the 1st exercise).

Now you may ask yourself, what does a HIIT workout actually consist of? Well, it’s a circuit based on quick sets of intense exercises that work anaerobically, followed by shorter periods of rest. In our Guide we suggest you do 45 seconds of an exercise with 15-20 seconds of rest before the next one. Of course, everyone is different when it comes to HIIT. I am actually terrible at HIIT compared to, for example, cardio training.? I am simply not a person that is good at anaerobic workouts, but that is why it’s even better that the Fitgirlcode Guide is making me do some more HIIT workouts. The only way is up.?

Here is an example of a HIIT circuit:

1. Burpees

2. Jumping Jacks

3. Squat jumps

4. High Knees

5. Lunges

6. Mountain climbers

 

Aim for a 30-minute HIIT workout if you’re looking to get that summer body in no time! ? HIIT is a guaranteed sweaty shredder, there is no questionning that.

Are you an expert when it comes to HIIT workouts? Comment which exercise you like most! Let’s help get each other some workout inspiration.

The life of a Fit Girl consists of workouts and healthy food.