❤ WE PRESENT: THE HAPPY HEALTHY GUIDE! ❤

Yesssss, it’s finally here! After working so long on it, we’re officially launching the Happy Healthy Guide today! This guide is completely based on the “you asked for it, you got it” mentality. We’ve received such good feedback from you all, the Fitgirlcode community, over the past few months, and we went straight to work on creating a new guide that would be exactly what you wanted. Our opinion may not be the most objective of course, but as far as we are concerned, we’re confident in what we’ve produced! 

If you’ve tried out the Fitgirlcode Guide before, then you’re already familiar with our way of working and thinking. We want everyone to eat healthy, delicious food, and not be going hungry in the quest to lose weight, or spending hours looking for complex ingredients that they never heard of. We made sure to work that vision into the Happy Healthy Guide as well. No hassle, just regular, delicious food that will help you to become the fittest version of yourself.

Are you curious about reviews and success stories from the Fitgirlcode Guide? Nympha just shared her story with us (and we’re so proud of her!) 

PART 1 AND 2

The Happy Healthy Guide is split into two parts each of six weeks. In the first part, the caloric intake in the eating schedule is  a bit lighter than the second half. This is not because we think you need to lose weight (you’re fine just as you are), but because so many women told us that they want something that will help them get rid of those (last) stubborn pounds. And so, we made a eating schedule that will allow you to do so.

 

Part two is all about maintenance of your weight. After a period of a lower caloric intake, it’s sometimes a bit difficult and scary to increase your eating again to the point where you’re able to stay at that weight without putting it back on. No worries, we calculated everything and created a balanced schedule for you with the Happy Healthy Guide, so that you can go six weeks long learning how to maintain your weight.

This double-sized guide is full of delicious recipes, since we know you don’t always want to eat the same thing. We’ve made sure to include a big variety of meals. We also created handy weekly grocery lists, and give you an overview of all the calories and macros you get from each meal that you eat. The only thing you need to do is do your groceries, cook, and most of all, enjoy!

De dubbeldikke guide staat bomvol lekkere recepten, want je wilt natuurlijk niet de hele tijd hetzelfde eten. We hebben dus gezorgd voor een grote variatie in gerechten. Ook hebben we handige boodschappenlijstjes opgesteld per week en krijg je handige voedingsschema’s waarbij alle calorieën en macro’s al helemaal voor je zijn uitgerekend. Het enige wat jij nog hoeft te doen is het boodschappen doen, koken en vooral heel erg genieten!

Would you like to get the Happy Healthy Guide? Head over to our webshop and order it right now, and get it directly in your inbox. This guide is only available as an ebook and costs only €29,95.

Embracing your imperfections

Embracing your imperfections can be really tough. For some this is probably a lot harder than for others. I personally believe it’s harder to love your own flaws than those of others. We are our own harshest judge – we tend to be tougher towards ourselves and our own imperfections than those of others.

Being able to love yourself enough to accept the way you are is one thing. However, some people take it a step further and they share something personal for the benefit of others.

I came across a post on the internet (no surprise there :P) where Rachel Hollis did exactly this. She shared a piece of herself by posting a photo (as seen above) on her Instagram account and it soon went viral.

With it, she said the following:

“I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini. I have a belly that’s permanently flabby from carrying three giant babies and I wear a bikini. My belly button is saggy… (which is something I didn’t even know was possible before!) and I wear a bikini.

I wear a bikini because I’m proud of this body and every mark on it.

Those marks prove that I was blessed enough to carry my babies and that flabby tummy means I worked hard to lose what weight I could. I wear a bikini because the only man who’s opinion matters knows what I went through to look this way. That same man says he’s never seen anything sexier than my body, marks and all. They aren’t scars ladies, they’re stripes and you’ve earned them. Flaunt that body with pride!” 

It’s such a powerful message, so I really wanted to share it. Rachel looks gorgeous and she’s an example for all Fit Girls out there who need to show some love to themselves and their beautiful imperfections. A comforting thought is that nobody is perfect, we all have our imperfections and this is exactly what makes us humans unique.

So dearest Fit Girls, now I’m wondering. What kind of imperfections are you willing to proudly share with us?

I’ll start by sharing one of myself. When I was two years old, I got bitten in my face by a dog. I was eating a cookie while showing it off but I wasn’t willing to share it. The dog got annoyed and bit me. It left a tiny scar on my nose, like a little dent. The doctors told me I could get plastic surgery done once I reached the age of 18 ‘to get it fixed’ but I decided to embrace it and accept it as a part of me 🙂

Now that you’ve read my story, I can’t wait to hear yours! You can post it in the comments below.

xoxo

Safira Audrey

Source (header): www.instagram.com/msrachelhollis

Crispy wrap with beet hummus and fried egg

Wraps are a tasty, easy and welcomed alternative to bread, salads and more. And if you fill them with hummus you are in for a tiny, but awesome lunch party. This might sound a bit over the top to you, but for a hummus addict like myself, a day without hummus is a day wasted. Okay, I’m over exaggerating a little bit. I could do 1 day without hummus, but that’s the max 😉 

Crispy wrap with beet hummus and fried egg

So it won’t come as a surprise that I am a huge fan of this crispy wrap with beet hummus and fried egg. Doesn’t it look like heaven on a plate? If you aren’t having a good day, then after this delicious wrap you will hopefully cheer up a bit!

This is what you need:

  • Whole wheat wraps
  • (Beet) hummus *
  • Herbs such as cilantro, parsley, chives, basil
  • Alfalfa or other sprouts
  • Spring onion
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper

*I used 1 cup of chickpeas (cooked),1 small roasted beetroot, 1 tsp cumin powder, 4 tbsp lime juice, 3 tbsp tahini, 2 cloves of garlic and a dash of olive oil. Put it all into a blender and voilà: pretty pink hummus to die for!

This is how to make your wrap:

Put the wrap in a dry frying pan and let it brown on both sides until it’s lightly crispy. Meanwhile, fry an egg. Spread the beet hummus onto the wrap and top it off with a generous amount of sprouts. Sprinkle some herbs and spring onions on top of it. Place the egg on top of the sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!

Looking for more delicious lunch recipes? Check out this delicious quinoa salad with avocado, crab stick and mango.

A special thanks to: Lepeltje Liefde

Vanilla-coconut chia pudding

I love chia seeds! These little gems are packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids (good fat) that helps with heart and joint health and keeps you full for a long time. I use them in smoothies, salads, cakes, etc… But my favorite way to enjoy them is as a pudding. A tasty way to sneak some healthy fats in your diet!

Recipe: Vanilla-Coconut Chia Pudding

Ingredients (for 2 bowls): 

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How to: 

Mix all the ingredients in a jar and set in the fridge overnight. Transfer the pudding into bowls and decorate with any toppings you like. Et voilà!

This Vanilla-Coconut Chia Pudding is tropical heaven. It’s so easy and quick to make and you can have it as breakfast, a snack or dessert. I topped it with blueberries, physalis, cherries, cacao nibs and an edible flower. You can use any toppings you like though!

Want to know more about me or try some more of my recipes? Take a look at my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram @dailybowlofhappiness.

Love, 

Moon

How to eat less sugar?

Last week we talked about how nowadays sugar is everywhere. When you walk through the supermarket and take some random products, there’s a very large chance that there’s sugar in it. Once, sugar was only used to sweeten food or drinks, but that’s no longer the case. Not eating sugar is a really big struggle for me. Especially since it’s in all of my favorite cheat snacks ;). But, I decided to eat clean, healthy and really decrease my sugar intake. In this article I will tell you all about sugar and give you tips on how to eat less of it.

What does sugar do to your brain?
When you eat sugar, your brains releases dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical which makes you feel really good. Your brain gets addicted to this feeling and tells you to take more sugar. Sugar stimulates the same part of the brain as several kinds of drugs. You can experience some real heavy withdrawal symptoms when you decrease your sugar intake. This proves that sugar does more to your body than you know. If you want to read more about how sugar affects your brain, read this article from Fit Girl Shelley or this article from Fit Girl Annegeke.

So how can you decrease your sugar intake? I’ve collected some great tips I want to share with you.

Beauty sleep
Taking enough sleep is one of the simplest and most important ways to decrease your hunger and cravings. Research shows that when you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases an appetite increasing hormone called ghrelin.

Replace sugar for other flavors
Experiment with some different flavors instead of sugar. For example:

  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Orange
  • Coconut

Choose savory snacks
Savory snacks are better for your body than sweet ones, because these don’t have the same (addicting) effects. Some healthy examples include:

  • Hummus with cucumber and bell pepper
  • Carrot or celery with nut spread
  • A boiled egg

Choose naturally sweet foods like fruit
There are a lot of fruits that are good for your digestion and for burning fat. For example:

  • Strawberries
  • Apple
  • Kiwi
  • Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and mulberries

Read labels
Even products from which you don’t expect to contain sugar, contain it. (Such as crisps!) Sugar also has a lot of nicknames; here are some of them:

  • Dextrose
  • Caster sugar
  • HFCS
  • Fructose
  • Fructose syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Glucose
  • Glucose syrup
  • Syrup
  • Invert
  • Granulated sugar
  • Molasses
  • Cane sugar

Drink unsweetened drinks
No soda and ‘fruit juices’ of course; freshly pressed juice is good for you every now and then, but most juice packs contain loads of sugar. Also, try to drink your coffee and tea without sugar or spice up your water with some fruit or fresh herbs.

Cook with fresh products
Cook with pots and pans and fresh products. Prepacked products probably contain sugars and often too much salt as well. Go back to basics and create your meal from scratch.

Resist the sugar replacers
Some sweeteners are really bad for your body. It’s better to use natural sweeteners like stevia. On our website you can find plenty delicious recipes without using artificial sugar.

Check out the recipe of this fingerlickin’ good cocochoco almond muffin!

Avoid sugar in your comfort food
If it is your cheatday, try to avoid eating everything sugary that comes along. It’s better for you to choose salty food instead of sugar or else you need to go cold turkey again when your cheatday is over. Believe me, you’ll really notice some serious sugar cravings after a wild party with Ben & Jerry!

80/20 rule
Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? This rule means that 80% of the time you’ll track what you eat, 20% of the time you can eat what you want. You can compare this rule with having a cheatday every week.

Don’t go shopping for groceries when you’re hungry
When you’re hungry you will for sure buy all the bad foods you’re craving for. If you shop when you’re full, you can think more logically and will probably only buy what’s on your list ;-).

Do it together
Find a buddy who is willing to change their lifestyle together with you. It’s always nice to have someone who supports you in your Fit Journey. You can work out together and keep each other motivated.

Are you going to apply any of these tips onto your lifestyle? Or did you already cut back on artificial sugars? Share your tips & tricks with us!

 

The Fit Journey of Anouk

Every now and then we put a Fit Girl in the spotlight that has experienced a special Fit Journey. She shares her ups and downs, tips and tricks, annoyances, bad and good habits, and hopes to inspire you to become the fittest version of yourself. If she can do it, you can do it too!

After a holiday, the scale indicated a total of 209 Ibs and Anouk had enough of those superfluous pounds. She decided to drastically change her lifestyle around by going to the gym three times a week and eating less carbohydrates. After losing 77 Ibs, she developed an eating disorder, but luckily she had the right people around her who helped her through it all. Now, Anouk trains five times a week and also loves her cheat meals. “Learn to enjoy. I made it my lifestyle and enjoy a piece of cake every now and then at a birthday as well”. Curious about Anouk’s story? Read on!

What was the reason for you to change your lifestyle?
After coming back from a holiday in Chersonisos and seeing 209 Ibs on the scale, I knew I wanted to change. Of course I didn’t just gain 40 Ibs from the holiday alone, but the combination of seeing all the holiday pictures and 209 Ibs on the scale was the last straw.

What were you ashamed of in the past?
That’s the weird thing… I wasn’t really ashamed of anything. Of course, I didn’t look like all those skinny girls who walked around in their beautiful clothes and bikini’s, but when I lost 77 Ibs I was more insecure than when I weighed 209 Ibs. Strange, you might think. But, I am much more critical when it comes to my body now than I was in the past, and I think that many other girls can recognize themselves in this.

Fit Journey

What do you do now that you didn’t do in the past?
Telling myself that I am proud of myself. For example, walking around with a bare stomach in a crop top. I never did that before!

What was your worst habit?
I am an emotional eater. If I feel bad or alone, I try to get rid of these feelings with food. This is still my pitfall from time to time. That’s why I’m also training myself mentally to overcome those kinds of moments in a different way.

Have you replaced this habit with a better one or have you been able to balance it?
I don’t want to say I’ve ever been on an eating spree, but after losing 77 Ibs and having an eating disorder, I have learned to get rid of those eating habits. I try to reset my mind. Music on, go for a walk or message my boyfriend, friends or parents if I notice that I’m having trouble with it again.

What can you absolutely not live without?
Sushi! Haha, before I got to know my boyfriend, I thought I didn’t like it. But now that he has made me addicted to it, I want to eat sushi at least once a month. However, I do have to say that I feel happier when eating healthy rather than unhealthy foods. I also immediately notice the difference in my skin and energy level when I eat unhealthy.

What has been your biggest high- and low-point of your Fit Journey?
My low-point was my eating disorder… This is not something your choose. But one way or another it just happens to you. I think many girls know what this is like. I didn’t want it, but sometimes the voice in my head was just a bit stronger than me.

Fit Journey

What made the difference for you: exercise, diet or a combination of the two?

In 2012 I started exercising three times a week put myself on a low-carb diet. I got a crosstrainer from my parents and worked on it three times a week for 45 minutes. In addition, I already ate quite healthy. Not carbohydrate-free but I ate it much less. And of course something tasty on the weekends. I lost those 77 Ibs in a healthy way but afterwards I reached my low-point and that’s when it all went wrong. With a lot of help, I started to work on myself. You can’t do something like this alone! I have had so much support from the people around me. I’m someone who likes lists. I write everything down, plan a lot in advance and since I have stopped doing that everything started to go a lot better. Of course I still like some of my lists, but I no longer ‘freak out’ when friends suddenly call me up for dinner or if there are tasty things on the table that I usually can’t keep my hands off. I must honestly say that I am very happy with my boyfriends lifestyle. He has helped me enormously. Training together is great! He also helps me with my nutrition and diet and sees when I’m down and want to give into food. Usually I’m strong enough to ignore the feeling, but sometimes I’m not. He is the one who helps me get through it.

What are your short-term and long-term goals?
I try to set both small and big goals. I’m going to Mexico in five weeks. I’ve gotten rid of my weighing scale because all it does is bring me stress. I want to feel comfortable in my bikini, dress or any piece of clothing. Many will think, “Oh, stop worrying about how you look. You look great and many girls would love to be you.” No… There’s a lot more going on in someone’s head than you may think. It’s a mental thing. I want to be happy with myself, enjoy everything and find a good balance in my life. Meanwhile, I also have daily, weekly or monthly goals. Those are the ones I write down. Cynthia Houben gave that tip to me. It works so great! Many people are also asking if I’m going to compete in competitions, but for the time being it’s a no. Actually, I don’t think I’ll be participating in any competitions at all. I’ve had a close look of what it is like. You must be very strong mentally to be able to do compete! And honestly, I don’t think I’m that strong yet. Maintaining a strong mental state is often the most difficult.

How do you make sure you stay fit?
Learn to enjoy. I made this my lifestyle and with the right people around me I’m keeping it up. I work out around five times a week, but I also enjoy it. I also eat out or take a piece of cake at a birthday every now and then. During the week I keep my food clean and on weekends I let go and enjoy myself a bit more. This is how I keep up with everything!

If you could say something to the person you were “before” your transformation, what would you say?
Be proud of who you are. I understand that many people think appearance and looks are important, but your mental state is the most important thing!

What does your workout regime look like?
I train five times a week. I make a fixed schedule every month where I train every day and know exactly when to do something. I usually only do strength training, but right before a vacation I tend to add a little bit of cardio to the routine. Running is sometimes also nice, especially when you want to clear your mind.

What do you think is the biggest bullshit hype in the fitness field?
A hype not really, but all those comment on other people’s pictures that someone has a huge butt through a particular pose or that someone only has abs due to particular lighting. Let everyone just be themselves because we all work hard for our own goals. Respect each other, because you never know what the story is behind one’s body.

What is your biggest annoyance when it comes to health and fitness?
That when you eat something “unhealthy” people immediately say “should you have that?”. Or if you don’t take certain foods (like cake at a birthday) it’s also not any good and people start to say “no, I wouldn’t take that either, you’ll get fat again.”

Fit Journey

How do you make sure there is balance in your diet?
By sticking to my schedule and eating clean throughout the week, and cheating on weekends. I don’t track anything. If I start to do that, I’ll go crazy. My eating disorder starts to come back that way and I become obsessive. My boyfriend makes my diet schedules and I stick to them. I play around with the schedules sometimes because you;re the one who knows best what you can and cannot have.

What’s your opinion on counting calories and macros?
Everyone has to do what works best for them. For me, it doesn’t work and I don’t count them.

What does a healthy menu look like for you?
In short: I have an oatmeal pancake for breakfast. As a snack I have eggs, nuts or fruit. In the afternoon chicken, fish or tartar with rice and vegetables. As another snack I have an omelette or rice cakes with chicken fillet slices and a cucumber. In the evening I have again chicken, fish or tartar with rice and vegetables. And before sleeping, eggs or cottage cheese. My afternoon and evening meals sometimes change to a salad, because I really like that too.

What is your favorite “food prep” meal?
Tartar, macaroni, wok veggies and almonds ;).

Do you also have the so-called cheat meals or cheat days?
Of course! I notice that if I do my cheatday (usually on a Sunday), I keep my body triggering. I usually plan a workout on Monday for my legs and that’s so nice after such a cheat day!

What is a healthy alternative to your guilty pleasure?
A Granny Smith apple with peanut butter or wrap with chicken, vegetable and honey-mustard sauce.

Curious about Anouk’s progress? Check out her Instagram page! Do you want to lose a few pounds yourself and build a healthy and happy lifestyle? The Fitgirlcode Guide helps you get your nutrition, workouts, and mind in order! For 8 weeks, you’ll be provided with diet and work out schedules, the necessary mindfulness exercises and motivation to keep the healthy lifestyle going. Let’s do this!

Healthy Poffertjes

They are simply delicious and a typical Dutch treat! These small little versions of pancakes are what we Dutchies like to call poffertjes! (pronounced poffertyehs) Ohhh, how do I love to treat myself to these!!!

The best part about them is that you can use anything you like to top them with! We left the syrup, jam, icing sugar and nutella (unfortunately) behind, and instead made a delicious and healthy variant of it. I chose to top these cute little pancakes with blueberries, rasberries and pomegranate, absolutely yummy! Pomegranate is super healthy and full of potassium, vitamin C and polyphenols. This is a powerful antioxidant, which is also found in green tea and red wine. So, be generous when using these as your topping! 😉 And this great dish is also gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free. I love it!

Here is what you’ll need and how to make it:

Ingredients (2 portions)

Poffertjes: 

  • 4 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100 ml almond milk
  • 1 tbsp honey

Topping: 

  • Blueberries
  • Rasberries
  • Pomegranate

Extra supplies: ‘poffertjespan’, which looks like this. This pan is specially used to make poffertjes but you can also drop small batches of the batter in a normal frying pan and create mini pancakes!

How to make it

  1. Whisk the eggs together with the almond milk in a large bowl (you can also mix this in a blender or with a hand mixer)
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients (buckwheat flour, almond flour and baking powder) in another bowl
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix well. Add the honey (optional).
  4. Grease the ‘poffertjespan’ with some coconut oil. Putt the mixture into the pan and bake on both sides till golden brown.

For the topping: heat the fruit in a saucepan until you get a nice sauce. Add the sauce to the poffertjes on your plate.

Enjoy! For more delicious and healthy recipes, follow our Blog and Instagram page!  

poppertjes

Do we eat too much sugar?

Alarming claims about sugar consumption are difficult to ignore. With headlines like, “Are you addicted to sugar? ” or “Are you unknowingly eating 10 teaspoons of sugar in your ‘healthy’ yogurt?” we want to share some information about sugar consumption. 

It’s overwhelming constantly being told new information about what you should or shouldn’t eat, and it might make you want to run for the hills. We get it, but sugar is something we don’t want to have too much off. So, do we eat too much sugar? Don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore all the information about sugar or cut every bit of it out of your diet in an instant. All of the information available about sugar might be overwhelming, but making yourself aware of what is included in your food is important so that you can make the right choices for your diet.

Cookies on the brain 

You know when you eat that one Oreo cookie and put the rest back in the cupboard? No? If you can’t stop after just one cookie, the reason might be more scientific than just losing your will power from that single rush of sugar. This action is linked to the chemical reaction that happens in your brain when you eat something that is high in sugar and fat. Similar to when you listen to music and a song you really love, you experience the effects of dopamine which is released before adrenaline. Not that you don’t know already, but eating Oreo cookies makes you feel so good that you might be tempted to go back for more and more, chasing that ‘good feeling’. In an experiment using lab rats, the animals favored the parts of the maze where there were cookies added to it rather than rice cakes. But really, who could blame them? The behavior of the animals around the Oreo cookies was also likened to cocaine by comparing their behavior from another experiment which exposed them to cocaine and a salt substance.

The great debate

The researchers from the Oreo cookie study (read more about it here) suggested that the cookies could be addictive because of the feel-good chemical reaction experienced when you eat something high in fat and sugar. Others in the sugar debate remind us that the substance is not a toxin however, and therefore not toxic in the same way as actual drugs. Dr Katz, an expert who is often referenced to in this debate, stated that glucose is found in our body and it is something that we need to survive. So when comparing sugar to drugs, it is important to keep things in perspective. But your urges to succumb to your sweet tooth can be overwhelming because sugar cravings are real, especially for those who binge on lots of it all at once. The similarity of the effects of sugar on the brain to other adrenaline spiking activities, including gambling and taking drugs, mean it may become addictive for some people. Unknowingly eating too much sugar is a problem as excess sugar in the diet can cause people to yearn for more and if a tolerance has built up, cravings can become harder to satisfy.

No added sugar needed – you’re sweet enough.

Making the switch to whole food products and being on the look out for ‘no added sugars’ in store bought foods are reasonable ways to be more aware of how much sugar you consume. Try to stay away from all things refined as much as possible, choosing wholegrain bread and quinoa over white bread or pasta. The reason being, whole food products have more of the actual food product and the good stuff that helps your blood sugar stay leveled, keeping you in top shape. If you are inclined to think that whole food consumptions is a fad, then consider what the alternatives are. Simply, non whole foods contain more artificial substances to make it taste good, with added sugar in all different forms. Not sure what to look out for? Well, many things ending in -ose is a good indication of sugars, for example dextrose, fructose and of course glucose.

Detoxes derail your diet

Mistakes that people make with all of this information is to suddenly go cold turkey on sugar. One, this is really difficult to do and two, it’s not a guaranteed answer to the problems of eating too much sugar. Learning intuitive eating, is suggested to be the best way to overcome cravings so that you can have a healthy relationship with food over a life time. Nutritional therapist Theresa Kinsella, states “the other problem with restrictive eating rules is that they disconnect you from your body — your hunger and fullness. When you eat consciously, you often realize it doesn’t feel good to consume large amounts of high-sugar foods. Then you’re naturally less likely to overindulge, because you want to feel good.” Completely restricting one type of food from your diet in an attempt to ‘detox’ your body without a lot of thought and planning. It comes down to testing your will power instead and it’s likely you will eventually give in.

Sugar alternatives

If you feel like you need to gain more control over your sugar cravings and you want to try reducing how much refined sugars you eat, there are lots of options. You might notice alternatives to regular sugar in your favorite healthy bloggers’ recipes. These other sources are often from plants and include the low calorie sweetener Stevia, agave syrup or coconut sugar. They taste good and are considered to be healthier choices because they have lower levels of fructose. This means that you don’t experience the same sugar spike that makes you feel so great but sets you up to crash drastically and leave you wanting more. If you are keen on baking, then these are good alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The bottom line is, remember to take news reports with a pinch of salt – but not literally of course. Being mindful of how and what you eat will help you have a healthy diet. Knowing about the ingredients that go into the food you eat is a process of educating yourself so that you can make the right choices for you. Let us know how you manage your sweet tooth while keeping it all balanced. It is a tricky one, so we could all do with some advice!

Battle rope exercises

https://www.onnit.com/academy/beginners-guide-to-battle-ropes/

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/express/20-minute/battle-ropes/?page=2

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/rope-workouts

http://www.womenshealthmag.nl/Fitness/battle-rope-smash-workout

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/7-heavy-rope-exercises-slam-strengthen-and-sculpt

 

This is how to get slim arms

So, how are you doing with your summer body? Are you training hard to get those abs and round butt? What about your arms? Have you trained them already? Arms, together with hips and thighs, are the place where most women tend to save their fat. Therefore, you shouldn’t forget to train them. These exercises will help you get slim arms!

Tricep dips

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Put your hands behind you and push yourself up. This is your starting position.
  2. Then, slowly lower yourself until your elbow is roughly at shoulder height.
  3. Push yourself up again until your arms are stretched again.
  4. Repeat.

This exercise can also be done with your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench.

Triangle pushups

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get in a regular pushup position.
  2. Place your hands side by side so that they form a triangle (thumbs and forefingers touching).
  3. Lower yourself until you’re a few inches above your hands and push yourself up again by stretching your arms.
  4. Repeat.

Shoulder press

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Grab a weight in both hands and lean them on your shoulders in a standing position.
  2. Push your arms above your head until they are fully stretched.
  3. Then, slowly lower your arms to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Tricep kickbacks

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Take a weight in both hands and stand up straight.
  2. Bring your torso forward with your knees bent slightly.
  3. Bend your arms at a 90 degrees angle and bring your elbows up to shoulder height, behind your head.
  4. Then, completely stretch your arms.
  5. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position.
  6. Repeat.

You don’t need to do both arms at the same time. If you do one at a time, don’t forget to change after each set!

Renegade Row

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Take a weight, such as a kettlebell, in your hand and get in a plank position on the floor.
  2. Pull the weight up with one hand to the side of your chest.
  3. Lower the weight slowly back to the starting position.
  4. Switch sides after a few steps and repeat.

You can also take a kettlebell in both hands and switch after every try. It’s up to you!

With these exercises even your arms will be ready for the summer! Which exercise do you like the most? Let us know in the comments!

Do you want to train your arms but not use any weights? In the Fitgirlcode Guide you can find lots of different exercises for you to continue your Fit Journey and train different body parts! 

Do you want to know more about me? Follow me on Instagram @rooshijwegen!

Pink rice with tomatoes

Last Friday I really felt like eating fried rice. It’s so tempting to go to the Chinese take-away, but I wanted to make a healthy version so I ran into the kitchen. This dish of pink tomato rice is not only super healthy, it also looks adorable. I just have to share it with you, a true Fit Girl dinner.

I love fried rice, because it’s a dish that contains everything I like; rice, meat, vegetables and herbs. Traditionally, the rice should be baked in oil but for for this recipe I choose to cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, add ½ a beet cut in cubes. This will make the rice turn pink and make your plate look adorable.

For this fried rice, I like to use a lot of vegetables, such as tomatoes. The tomato is filled with vitamin C, zinc, iron but most of all lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant. Also, tomatoes stimulate the production of pro collagen, a protein that makes your skin glimmer and shine. Apart from the vegetables, this dish also contains a lot of fresh herbs. I love herbs because they add so much taste to your dish and they are filled with a lot of healthy nutrients. For this dish particularly, I like to use coriander. This herb contains a lot of iron, which is good for your blood, reduces the growth of bacteria and improves the digestion.

What you need:

– 1/4 cup whole-wheat rice
– 3 1/2 ounces cauliflower
– 3 1/2 ounces broccoli
– 1 cup (roughly 7 ounces) different kinds of baby tomatoes (mixed)
– 1 onion
– 1 garlic clove
– Fresh coriander
– 1 beetroot
– 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon of (vegetable or meat broth) herbs
– Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
– 1 teaspoon of soy sauce

nasi

How to make it:

– Cook 1/4 cup of whole-wheat rice as instructed, together with one beetroot (cut in cubes) and some salt.

– Take a different pan and boil the cauliflower and broccoli.

– Cut an onion in small pieces and cook it in a pan. When the onion is golden, add a squeezed clove of garlic. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces and add it to the onion and garlic.

– When the rice is done, add it to the tomatoes together with the cauliflower and broccoli.

– Finish it off with adding a little soy sauce, lemon juice, coriander and other herbs.

Enjoy!

Healthy banana breakfast muffins

Did you skip breakfast because you’re in a hurry? Never again with these babies! These fluffy banana breakfast muffins are nutritious, filling and taste wonderful. Plus, they’re free of added sugars and fat!

Healthy banana breakfast muffins

For 10-12 muffins, you’ll need:

  • 3 medium/large overripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup oat flour (you can also make this yourself by grinding oats in a food processor)
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup spelt flour
  • handful of chopped dates
  • handful of chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • ½ tspn baking soda
  • A food processor or blender
  • A muffin tray

It is important that you use overripe bananas; that means really spotty, almost completely brown bananas. This way you don’t need to add sugar as the bananas will give a nice sweet flavour. These muffins are also a great way to use up overripe bananas and not throw them out.

Now what?

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Put the bananas, eggs and vanilla extract in the food processor. Next, add the oat flour, the buckwheat flour, spelt flour, and blend until smooth.
3. Add the chopped dates, the chopped walnuts, the baking powder and the baking soda to the mixture.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin tray.
5. Put the tray in the oven for about 25-30 minutes; they are ready when they are golden brown colour in colour.

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Make a batch in the weekend, and you’ll have a great start of the day the entire week. Enjoy your healthy banana breakfast muffins! Let us know how they turned out x 

Honey facial masks for every skin type

Recently, we posted about how honey, and other natural (food) products, are great for your hair. But, honey can also do wonders to your skin! Actually, many daily skin-care products contain honey and here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Honey is a great anti-aging agent since it is full of antioxidants and it protects your skin from harmful UV, which is perfect for the summer season!
  • Honey absorbs skin impurities, making it an ideal cleansing agent.
  • Honey is naturally antibacterial, so it’s great for acne treatment and prevention.

Pretty great benefits so far! I also love that I don’t necessarily need to rely on expensive skin-care products to take care of my skin. Here are four different mask for various skin types. Let’s give it a try!

Honey facial mask for oily acne-prone skin

  •  3 teaspoons of honey
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix these two ingredients together and apply while letting it sit for 15-30 minutes. Cinnamon has antibacterial properties which is also great against acne. However be careful if your skin is very sensitive, cinnamon can sometimes irritate your skin, so you might want to try a patch test on the back of your hand first.

Honey facial mask for sensitive skin

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel

Mix both ingredients together and apply it on your face for 10-20 minutes. Aloe vera gel will help with inflammations and calm your skin. I usually apply these masks when I am studying or working on my computer before going to sleep, the next morning my skin feels great!

Honey facial mask for dry skin

  • 1 teaspoon mashed avocado
  • 1 teaspoon plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

For this mask mix all ingredients in a bowl until it becomes a smooth cream. Spread the mixture and leave the mask on your face for 20-30 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. This mask left my skin feeling silky, supple and soft!

Honey facial mask for scars and dark spots 

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Mix both ingredient together and apply the mixture to your face for 20-30 minutes.  The lemon juice works as an astringent juice, it exfoliates your skin, it cleans out impurities by drying out excess of sebum and it brightens dark sport on your skin. You can apply this honey mask twice a week and soon you will start seeing nice results!

Honey, are you ready for some flawless skin? Have a try with these masks and let us know what you think! 

5 SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE AN EMOTIONAL EATER

Have you ever found yourself eating when you are sad, excited, upset or at moments when you are not really hungry? Then you might be an emotional eater. While it is perfectly fine to treat yourself with some of your favorite delicious foods on certain occasions, emotional eating can cause some serious problems. It could lead to develop and unhealthy relation with food and this result in overweight issues among others. This is why, if you feel like you eat even when you are not hungry is important to analyze if you are an emotional eater or not so you can tackle the problem.

Here are some signs that you might be an emotional eater:

1)You get hungry out of the sudden

Feeling physically hungry is not something that happens out of the sudden. You don’t go from feeling perfectly fine to extremely hungry. Instead you may notice that your stomach starts to make noises and feel empty and you can have trouble concentrating. On the contrary, feeling emotionally hungry can happen from one minute to another and it can make you feel ravenous. It is important to know and recognize the difference between the 2 so you can avoid unnecessary snacking. Just know that your body is really good at its job so trust it when it lets you know it’s really time to eat.

2)You eat when you feel stressed

Eating when we are stressed is becoming more and more common given the busy lives we live. High levels of stress can increase our levels of cortisol, which is the hormone that often leads us to craving foods high in salt, sugar or fat.  As we all know by now, these foods usually offer little to no nutritional benefits. They might make us feel “better” in the short-term, but they can also make you feel worse afterwards ?. Another issue is that eating won’t really help you relieve stress. Instead try to get yourself moving either by going for a short walk or a good session of exercise. This will help you clear your head and get rid of the nervous feeling.

3)You eat comfort food after a stressful day

When we are little kids, our parents often give us food as a reward or to distract us when something bad happens. Unfortunately, we sometimes continue with this habits when we are adults. Food is often seen and used as a way to take our minds off, or help us cope with a stressful challenge. Relying on food to help us de-stress from a hectic day, or cope with a challenge won’t really help. Instead try doing things that don’t revolve around food like going to the gym, reading a book, watching a good movie or calling with a friend.

4)Your cravings are very specific

There are some days in which the only thing you can think about is eating something fatty that will satisfy your cravings. Like a big fat slice of cheesy pizza! If you are craving a particular  food, there is a good chance that you are craving it because of how it makes you feel. The desire for that rush can be seen as a good indicator that there is something bigger in the picture going on than just hunger.

5)You eat when you are bored or when you are with your friends

Eating when we feel bored is more common that we think. A lot of people tend to eat when they are watching TV or simply when don’t have anything to do and the food is easy to reach. Another moment in which people tend to to eat even when they are not hungry is when they are with friends. If you find it hard to keep your cravings under control in any of the above situations, then beware you might be an emotional eater!

If you find yourself eating under any of this circumstances it is best to take a moment to think why are you really eating. Are you nervous? Are you upset? Are you bored? Or are you really hungry? Just taking a moment to think why you feel like eating can make the difference and prevent you from becoming an emotional eater or if you already are it can help you control it.

How To Get Your Pre-Workout Skincare Routine Right?

Cleansing your skin before working out and being cautious about the amount of makeup you wear to the gym is from major importance. So, if you want to know what could be the right routine to stick to pre-workout, have a read.

Before Your Morning Workout

For those of us who workout in the morning, it is very important to properly cleanse the sleepy face in order to get rid of any congestion and oil residue that might have happened over night. Therefore, I would recommend to wash your face with a gentle cleanser like the Hydra Melting Cleanser by Omorovicza, and continue with moisturising your face. My currently favourite moisturiser and serum are from the French natural high-performance skincare brand Caudalie and you can read an in depth article about them over on www.carinajung.com. I would recommend to leave your face like that while working out, in order to reduce the production of breakouts due to sweat and makeup. However, if you do not feel confident enough, it is acceptable to use a lightweight tinted moisturiser and a minimal amount of concealer. I love using the Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream by bareMinerals as well as their bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer. Evidence has shown that mineral based makeup products are good for acne prone skin, since they do not encourage the production of congested pores. Finally, adding a touch of mascara won’t hurt you either since it doesn’t interfere with your skin at all.

Before Your Evening Workout Routine

There is a slight difference for the ones among us that like to workout in the evening. Here, it is highly recommended to remove your foundation before starting to sweat. This indicates, it is really useful to use a Micellar Cleansing Water to get rid of your day to day makeup. Don’t forget to moisturise afterwards. However, it is totally fine to leave your eye makeup on. Again you can add tinted moisturiser and a slight touch of concealer. However, please stay away from a face full of foundation, blush, highlighter and bronzer at the time you are starting your workout, in order to prevent damaging and simply stress your skin.

Are you ready to FACE your next workout?

xx Carina

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Why do girls call ‘losing weight and getting Fit’ a journey? An article inspired by my boyfriend

‘What is it with girls calling losing weight and getting Fit a journey?’ was my boyfriend’s question to me as we got ready to leave the house. After I made a comment about someone else’s fitness journey he started to laugh while he brushed his teeth. “You wouldn’t understand” I said. “It’s bulshit” was his answer “it’s just about eating less and exercising more”. This got me thinking, is that all there is to a fitness journey? In part he is right. It is about working out more and eating less. But that’s only the surface to it… 

It does not strike me as surprise that my boyfriend doesn’t really understand the concept of a fitness journey. To begin with he is a guy, and they are in most part more rational than women. Guys also see results much faster than women when they start working out and eating healthier. Plus, he has never been overweight. On the contrary, gaining weight for him is as difficult as it is for a girl with slow metabolism to lose weight. And last, he has never had an issue with food. He sees food for what it is, food. Unlike me, and many of other girls who see food as a an emotional pleasure. Yes I’m talking about binge eating, comfort eating or as the saying says “eating your emotions”. But enough about him. Let’s get to the point.

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Why do we call losing weight and getting Fit a ‘journey’? Here are my thoughts about it:

On the surface the formula to lose weight is very straightforward and effective…if you are a robot. But once you add the human factor to it, the thing becomes tricky.

Before we get more deep, let’s first define the actual meaning of the word journey. According to the Oxford dictionary ‘journey’ can be either a verb or a noun. The first definition of it under the noun category is as follows: “an act of travelling from one place to another”. Ok this doesn’t add anything useful. But what about the second definition which says that journey is “a long and often difficult process of personal change and development”. Voilà, first proof that losing weight and becoming fit is indeed a journey. But why is this process so hard? And why is calling it a journey something some people don’t understand?

The challenges you face that no one tells you about in your Fit journey

There is probably a reason why you decided to start this process. Maybe you just felt you needed to be healthier. Or maybe you hit your lowest point and realized it was time to make a change. From what I’ve seen and my own experience I can say that usually it takes for someone to hit rock bottom to want to start this journey. And let me be clear about something. Everyone hits rock bottom in a different way. While for some hitting rock bottom may be gaining 5 kilos, for others it could be gaining 20. Hitting rock bottom means you have come to that place where you are unhappy with yourself.

As I was saying, there are some challenges you face when you are trying to lose weight and get Fit that no one tells you about. Perhaps because they never faced those obstacles themselves? Or perharps because when they did they decided to quit. Whichever is the real reason for some people losing weight is harder than for others.

Losing weight is hard when all you think about is food. Losing weight is hard when you’ve carried it with you for long. Losing weight is hard when you have a slow metabolism. Losing weight is hard when you are an emotional eater. Losing weight is hard when you live with people who don’t take care of what they eat in front of you. Losing weight is hard when you have so many bad habits. Losing weight is hard when you are not used to exercising. Losing weight is hard when you have low self-esteem. Losing weight is hard when you try and you don’t see results. Losing weight is hard for MANY reasons. And that is just the first part of the journey.

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Once you lost the weight is time to get Fit and work out those muscles. But damn is this harder than anyone ever said it would be! You’ve come this far, you lost all the extra weight and now you want to have defined abs and arms. You hit the gym, the first 4 to 6 months your motivation is as high as it can be. You, however don’t see results as fast as you wished you would. You want to keep your motivation, but before you know it you have gotten yourself into a workout funk. “Why am I feeling less motivated to work out when a few months back I loved it?” You ask yourself. “Why don’t I see results?” You think. Then for some reason you find your motivation again and you keep going and continue your journey.

My point is, losing weight and keeping it off for good as well as getting fit is HARD. It is more than eating less and exercising more. It is wanting something and working hard towards it. It is not losing your patience. It is learning to eat less and healthier. It is learning to LOVE your body and nurture it. It is not eating that pizza you love. It is getting out of the couch even when you don’t feel like it. It is controlling your hunger and anxiety. It is following inspirational Instagram accounts. It is educating yourself when it comes to exercises. It is not being shy to make a full of yourself at the gym when you try an exercise for the first time. It is gaining strength, both in your muscles and in your mind. It is battling against bad habits, old demons, low self-esteem and above all that feeling of quitting.

Why is it a journey? Because you can’t do it overnight. It’s gonna take time, more than you think! It will be harder than you expect. You will want to quit and in fact you probably will do so at some point. It is going to cost sweat and pain but in the end when you get to where you want to be, then you realize it was worth it!

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Dear boyfriend, does this answer your question?

Do you understand now, why we call losing weight and getting fit a journey, my love? Because it is a never-ending process for people who once have battle with unhealthy habits, unhealthy weight and unhealthy mindset. The journey never stops. It does gets easier at some point though. But along the way there will be falls. You will stop working out as often as before. You will gain some weight back. You will feel disappointed at some point for this. You will find it weird to adapt your new healthy lifestyle into your hectic life (both social and professional). You will get obsessed with your weight for a bit. You will strive to find balance. But at some point you will find it, and this journey will become your new lifestyle.

So next time you ask me, ‘why do girls call losing weight and getting fit, a journey’ my answer will be: “Because it is a long difficult process. It’s a process that tests your will, and its damn hard. And only people who have been in both sides of the coin will understand. The journey is not only about losing weight and getting fit. The journey is about learning to LOVE yourself that much that you want to be a better version of yourself ”

This article is dedicated to all my fellow Fit Girls who have found obstacles in their journey. I am perfectly aware that for some people their fitness journey is easier than for others. But if you at any point have thought about quiting, have had setbacks, have gained back the weight you initially lost, or whatever other obstacle you may have encounter. Then this article is for you as much as it is for me. I hope you liked reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know in the comments!

 

Difference between pre- and post-workout stretching. Which is more important?

Stretching is super important for our bodies when we work out.  It can really make a difference in our performance and results.  Not only does it benefits our muscles, but it is also extremely beneficial for the mechanics of our whole body. But what is more important, stretching pre- or post-workout? Let’s find out!

Pre-workout stretching: What does pre-workout stretching does to our bodies?

Many of us (and yes I include myself here) dismiss the importance of stretching before we start our work out.  However, a pre-workout stretch is essential for our performance. Stretching before our workout helps our muscles, connective tissues and joints to warm up which leads to greater range motion. So we can perform our exercises better. It also helps increase our body temperature which will make our muscles perform better. It is important to know which type of stretching methods you should do before a workout. Many people have good intentions and do stretch before they start working out, however they do the wrong type of stretches ?.

The type of stretches you should do before a workout are dynamic stretching methods .This type of stretching methods keep your body moving continuously and prepare your body for the moves you are about to do. They give the sign to your nervous system that your body is about to start moving and as a result your skills and heart rate will increase.

What about Post-workout stretching?

There is a key difference between both types of stretching. Pre-workout stretching is meant to get your body and muscles ready for your workout. While post-workout stretching is meant to relax your muscles and cool down. Following your workout you should perform  static stretches rather than dynamic ones.

Static stretches are the ones where you hold a position for about 10 to 20 seconds. It is important not to hold the position for more than 20 seconds as this may cause the muscle to over stretch and could result in an injury. They also allow you to focus on specific muscle groups such as hamstrings, hip flexors or any other area that feels tight, sore or contracted after a workout. Another good idea is to go for a short walk (this could be on a treadmill if you are at the gym or outdoors) as this will help your heart rate go back to normal. Five to 10 minutes is all you to make sure you do your post-workout stretching properly. As a last note, remember to stretch both sides of your body equally.

Okay so let’s have a quick recap of what we’ve learned in this article. 1) You should always stretch before you start and after you are done with your workout. 2) The type of stretches you should do pre- and post-workout are different. 3) Stretching pre- and post-workout can help you avoid injuries and help your muscles recover faster for your next workout. I hope you’ve learned something new by reading this article. Good luck stretching Fit Girls!

How to deal with haters?

Almost everyone who is working on a fit journey knows this problem. Your mom wondering if you’re eating enough food, your friends who disapprove of you turning down another (alcoholic) drink and your uncle saying you shouldn’t get any thinner, ‘cause it won’t look good on you. While you are not close to your goal yet. How to deal with people who express negative feelings about your new lifestyle?

Sigh. Why can no one be happy for you? You are working hard to become the fittest version of yourself you’ve ever been, but the people around aren’t supporting you at all. Sure, you knew no one would be super excited when you would arrive at an event with your own food, or when you would turn down cake on a birthday. But the fact that they criticize you over and over again, wasn’t something you’ve expected.

Under control

I’ve been there. My parents were concerned that I wasn’t eating properly (they even calculated my BMI), and my grandfather said that I ‘lost enough weight already’ and not to go further. While I wanted to lose another pound of fat (or two) to achieve my goals. It’s sweet to hear your family is concerned, but it feels like they don’t trust you and your goals.

So, how do you deal with these haters? Stay calm and explain that you’re not losing control. Your fit journey is your choice, not theirs. You know your goals and your limit. Ask if they will (try to) understand why you’re doing this. But understand their situation as well. Maybe they are concerned, maybe they think the change is scary. Or they are jealous because they are missing discipline to do something like this themselves. (If that’s the case, maybe you should start wondering if they are true friends…)

Stay strong

Anyway, try not to let these voices get in your head. Stick with your decision. These haters will always be around and you will have to learn how to deal wit hit.

Have the people around you given you a hard time? And how are you dealing with it? Please share your experience with us!

Image (header): Weheartit

Fashercise x Jogha: A special event tomorrow for UK!

We can definitely testify that blogging is pure fun, you are able to reach out to people who share the same interests as you and really help people. The connections you make can come from all over the world, and it is really a great feeling. The only thing that can make blogging even better is if you can take it and turn it into your career. If this sounds like something for you, then you’ve got to take a trip to London tomorrow!

Maybe you have an idea about something you want to do but have no idea how to go about starting it off or maybe you already have a blog but now really want to monetize your craft. If you’re in either of these situations, then join Fashercise and Jogha tomorrow at a panel talk and Q&A with a couple of women who have actually succeeded in turning their blogs into a career and successful business!

Who will be speaking?

jogha x fashercise

The very own founder of Fitgirlcode will be there to share her knowledge and experience about everything Fitgirlcode and Jogha. Find out how a Dutch fitness blog managed to turn into a global community of active girls, plus inspire the launch of a successful activewear label, Jogha.

fashercise x jogha

Alexandra Vanthournout will also be speaking at the session; she is the blogger behind the fashion and lifestyle blog Alex Loves. In these 5 years since she began blogging, she turned it into a career and has worked together with brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton among many others! After she started noting down her fitness journey on the blog, she founded Fashercise, a fashion and fitness blog. Once she joined forces with Camille Roegiers, they were able to turn Fashercise into the luxury online activewear retailer that you know and love.

fashercise x jogha

To celebrate Jogha coming to Fashercise, these founders are all coming together to share everything you need to know about turning your blog into your career, so don’t miss out! The event is free, and lunch and drinks will be provided. On top of that, there’s going to be a Jogha Pop Up shop where you can get to see the brand new Infinity Collection in person (a first for the UK)!

So click attending on the event and note it down in your calendar: tomorrow October 15th at 11:30AM-2PM with the talk from 12-1pm at Citizen M Shoreditch, 6 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3ET! See you there! 😉 

The 5 biggest fables about sugar

Some Fit chicks have completely renounced sugar. They start with a detox diet and then decide to never-ever eat a teaspoon of sugar again. I hear this too often. But should we believe all evil ‘facts’ about this delicious ingredient? I don’t think so

1. ‘SUGAR MAKES CHILDREN AND ADULTS HYPERACTIVE’

You can probably hear your mom/aunt/grandmother say: “No, don’t give them too many candies otherwise they will stay up the whole night”. In itself this is a nice assumption, but this was never proven.  In the 70s an American pediatrician claimed that the consumption of much sugar would lead to hyperactivity in children. In combination with his claim, he wrote a large number of diet books which were sold as fast as warm bread (without sugar). Without a doubt, this was a clever marketing stunt. However a large part of what he said was a lie.

 

2 ‘TOO MUCH SUGAR CAUSES DIABETES’

This is a misconception which still a lot of people think is a fact. Type 1 diabetes – the non-generic variant, is not caused by eating too much sugar. Type 2 diabetes can occur when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Or when the body no longer responds to insulin. This may be due to genetic predisposition, but also it may be due an unhealthy lifestyle. This is not necessarily because of eating too much sugar, but the result of eating too much candies and unhealthy things.  In fact, candies are often high in calories and fat. Excess calories causes weight gain and when someone gains a lot of weight, this can make them be in higher risk to develop diabetes. Keep that in mind!

3. ‘SUGAR FREE IS ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION’

Nope, this is not always the case. Candies (or sweets) without sugar are often sweetened with artificial sweetener. You can often taste the difference in  flavor when you compare it to a ‘real’ candy. People often think that if something doesn’t contain sugar, it is a license for them to eat all kinds of snacks in all kinds of amounts. Just as with sugar, other sweetening ingredients can also become addictive. Also, artificial sweeteners can cause stomach discomfort. Ehmm, sitting in the toilet hours straight because you let yourself go crazy with the ‘sugar-free’ candies doesn’t sound ideal, does it?

4. ‘SUGAR IS THE #1 REASON OF WEIGHT GAIN’

Sounds plausible, yet it is not. Weight gain is simply caused by consuming too much calories. Whether they come from sugar, or from fat doesn’t matter. Too many calories are too many calories. If you want to lose weight, it is of course a logical step to cut down on sugars, because there is normally a lot of sugar on products which do not make you feel full. So you could better replace your favorite muesli with chocolate with a homemade granola with fresh fruit.

5. ‘SUGAR IS POISON’

Yes, this is perhaps the most exaggerated comment I occasionally hear. The sugar industry is something completely different than the ingredient sugar itself. What people do with sugar is indeed not always good for you. S’mores, sodas, candies, cupcakes, just to mention some. If you ingest daily a normal amount of sugar, and not drown yourself in liters of cola, you have nothing to fear. You won’t get poisoned. Thank god!

Be honest, in which of this fables did you believe before reading this post?