A real woman in today’s twisted world

Nowadays we’re surrounded by the countless sixpack-selfies on Instagram, the perfect-shaped bubble butt on Pinterest and Facebook is also not very supportive with its unending amount of tips for the ‘perfect flat belly’. It seems as if the whole world is forcing us to be perfect. But what is perfect in today’s world? Does perfectness even has a certain definition? In today’s article we will discuss the latter and I will give you my point of view, which might differ somewhat from the perfect image we have in mind thanks to the online media. Because what if I tell you, you’re already pretty perfect right now, at this very moment? Trust me. You’re hot, darling.

‘What does a real woman look like anyway?’

Some time ago I found myself scrolling to some of Blogilates her old articles when I bumped into an article that was called ‘What does a real woman look like anyway?’. Immediately caught by the title of the article I started reading, the thought ‘You’re so damn right, Cassey.’ increasing every sentence I read further. Why this article intrigued me so much? Well, when Cassey uploaded some pictures of her two beautiful clothing line models, an incredible amount of negative comments overloaded her Instagram page. Many of her followers claimed that they were disappointed of the fact that she hadn’t used any ‘real women’ for her new clothing line. But what is a real women, in today’s twisted world, anyways?

Too skinny, too big

If you’re a bit skinnier then your friends, you’ll be named anorexic or someone that is acting too obsessive towards food. Are you somewhat heavier than the average girl, you immediately turn into the one that never does any sports nor moving at all, plus you’ll be likely spending your day at Mac Donalds all day. Sounds lame, but it’s the way people judge in real life. You might even unconsciously do it yourself as well! That’s why today we bring this subject under discussion. It’s time to stop judging. It’s time to start living.

Bubble butt, thigh gaps & abs

Whether you’re too skinny or too big according today’s standards, or even if your BMI is perfectly fine: it never seems to be enough. Here’s an example.

‘’Is your butt flat? You will obviously need to squat more. Do your thights touch each other? No way, you should work on that thigh gap girl! Is your belly not as flat as paper? Crunches, crunches and more crunches.’’

The above mentioned way of thinking sounds ridiculous when you read it like that, but it is the way the majority of society thinks right now. But what if you simply don’t have the body type to obtain some thight gaps? You can’t –even if you’d workout 24/7- switch from pear to hourglass. When will we switch our focus from dreaming about the body we want, to adoring the one we already have? That’s right. Right now.

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Training with the #FITGIRLCODE community

In our last article we challenged the Fit Girls to join us for a special #FITGIRLCODE community training. On the 22nd of March it was time for some action: Six Fit Girls accepted our challenge to release their inner badass and went for it!

Training with the #FITGIRLCODE community

We gathered at the Kralingse Plas: Rotterdam’s magnet for outdoor athletes and our favourite training area in the vicinity of Rotterdam. While we waited for the group to complete, we had a moment to meet each other and share some thoughts. We briefly explained our philosophy and our way of training, which you can also read about. Despite the typically Dutch (fresh) weather, we advised to leave some layers of clothing in the car and start off at a kickass pace right from the beginning. And we were off!

 

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What followed was one badass workout. More than an hour of mud, struggle and rock and roll. While most people were having a casual walk with the dog or having their easy Sunday morning run, we ran and struggled through muddy trails and swampy fields, making a simple movement from A to B, a challenge in itself. And while other people were eating their breakfast and drinking their coffee in their centrally heated living room, we made ourselves warm by flipping over logs as fast as we could, wrestling like the New-Zealand rugby team in a scrum, frog jumping, carrying each other uphill and climbing trees. You definitely nailed it Fit Girls!

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Thank you all for your energy in the training and participation in the contest: we had a great Sunday morning! #FITGIRLCODE and NatuurlijkSportief proved to be a great match and we are looking forward to a follow-up training session. Make sure to follow us so you can join a next session. And if you can’t wait for a next #FITGIRLCODE community training session, you are most welcome to join one of our regular trainings!

 

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 All pictures by Runningpictures.nl

 

New Ambassador and Hurdle Champion

Hello Fit Girls, my name is Bianca Baak and I am an 400m hurdles athlete. I started doing athletics when I was twelve years old. My gym teacher told me to go to the athletics club nearby as a homework assignment. She was a tough and strict lady so I ran home and told my parents I needed to go. My parents took me to the track for my first try-out practice and I never left, figuratively speaking that is. 😉

I loved running since forever and was always racing the boys, so naturally I started at the sprint training. After a few months I joined a friend to do a hurdles practice and I really loved this event. Despite of my terrible technique I ran my first 60m hurdles race faster than the best girl of our club and my love for hurdles and winning was born.

A few years later I decided to specialize in hurdles only. Until then still did a lot of events, but after winning gold for the first time in the 300m hurdles event at the National Championships in 2007 it was clear this was the way to go. Since then I won a lot of National titles at the Youth and also at the Seniors. Currently i am Dutch champion 400m hurdles at the seniors for three years in a row now. So it has been a pretty good choice don’t you think?

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It gets even better. Not only was I a good enough for the medals at the national championships, I could also participate in a lot of international and European youth championships. At my first European championship for youths in 2009 I even won a bronze medal and I did not even know about the existence of European championships for that long. It was a new world enfolding in front of my eyes, with a lot of new goals to reach.

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My best performance ever was in 2013 when participated at the European Championships under 23 years old. It was a year full of struggles and little injuries and because of this a year full of training all by myself. But with every stupid recovery exercise my determination to do good grew bigger and bigger. In the Netherlands you have to run a certain time before you can be chosen to participate at European and World championships.

 

I was certain it would be a piece of cake to run the entry standard, so I felt no pressure. But I didn’t make it, on a (few) hundreds of seconds. Not once, not twice, but five times! Thank god for my coach, she convinced them to let me go as a doubtful case. I felt so good, I knew I was in shape and that I could run so much faster in the competition. I had semi-finals and finals in the competition so I needed to run one excellent and one perfect race. In the semi-finales I managed to run one sec of my Personal Best, which was also one sec under the entry standard I didn’t got. Pretty excellent! Oh the satisfaction and the thankfulness that they had let me compete. After the semi-final I was full of confidence, because I knew this race had not been top of my game. The date of the finals arrived and I was ready. Sitting in the starting blocks, hearing the sound of the gunshot, I flew over the track to the finish line and to my silver medal! Not only a silver medal, but again one sec of my Personal Best and the fifth best time in the Netherlands ever. No greater satisfaction possible for all that hard work.

Ofcourse every athletes has injuries in their career. Unfortunately after quite some good years I had a pretty bad injury last season and I could not race properly. But after a switch of coaches, a new training group and training environment I am back on track! And ready to take you all with me in my dream journey to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

 

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Join the #FITGIRLCODE Movement

Dear Fit Girl community,

We are currently in the process of creating the #FITGIRLCODE movement. What we have in mind, is to create a promotional video featuring our crew AND all of you. So founder of #FITGIRLCODE, Aranka has a special message for you! 

Sometimes, when things get too crazy at the office, we forget to do the small things that really matter to us. It’s easy to lose track of things —  we are humans after all 😉 but this is why we need you! To remind us what this is all about, share your story to the world, and be a part of the #FITGIRLCODE movement.

All we need is for you to send us a good quality, bright video that tells us what this community means to you. In order to make this possible and for everyone to have a chance to be featured, we have come up with 3 picks for you to choose from to make your video. So, you choose 1, and make it your own!

(Please keep in mind that the video should be a maximum of 15 seconds.)

  1. #FITGIRLCODE to me, is…
  2. #FITGIRLCODE motivated me to…
  3. Being a Fit Girl means…

As for the video requirements, they are simple and will help us out A LOT:

  • Filmed outside, with a pretty background 🙂
  • Full upper-body shot, from hips to top of your head
  • HD
  • Good lighting
  • Good audio (no background noise)

 

FINAL STEP —

Submit the video as an MP4 file to ambassador@fitgirlcode.com

 Join the #FITGIRLCODE Movement

We are beyond excited to see all sorts of videos coming in! And seeing as this is the most beautiful thing you could be doing for us, we will be including ALL of the videos that meet these requirements. Thank you for being you Fitties!

With lots of love,

The #FITGIRLCODE crew

P.S.: By submitting a video to ambassador@fitgirlcode.com, you are giving us permission to include it in our promotional #FITGIRLCODE video for the world to see! 

Last chance to train w/ #FITGIRLCODE & Natuurlijk Sportief

Throwing stones, running through mud and flipping over logs aren’t the most relaxing and easy things to do. But becoming fit and healthy is never easy anyway! To achieve something in life you have to really push it, give it your all and step out of your comfort zone. And the best way to go about this is to go all the way and do things you would have never expected yourself to do.

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Imagine those dark, rainy and cold evenings, when everybody is just hanging on the coach watching movies with a bucket of popcorn on their lap. Of course the weak person inside you will want to do the same. On those moments you must be strong and tell yourself that it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, how dark it is outside, or how busy you are tomorrow. The only thing you have to do is go outside and make yourself warm and motivated by running, throwing and flipping. Of course you could simply put on an extra layer of clothes and go for an easy run, but will that make you strong? Or do you really need an intense workout which will make you forget all about the weather, the movie and the many excuses you had at home?

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Going outside into that cold night, running through the woods, feeling the rain on your face isn’t just about having motivation or dedication. It’s about not accepting the idea that there are limits to what you’re capable of.

Last chance to train w/ #FITGIRLCODE & Natuurlijk Sportief!

We challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and release your inner badass during a special #FITGIRLCODE community training session on the 22nd of March in Rotterdam. We have 5 places left so if you’re up for a physical challenge and you like to be outdoors, make sure you join us! Here’s what you have to do:

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Quick & Easy Mashed Vegetables With Chicken

It’s time for a dinner recipe again. A healthy mash of sweet potato is very common nowadays, but you can also choose for a mash made of broccoli or cauliflower. Everybody knows broccoli is extremely healthy, but cauliflower should definitely not be underestimated either. It’s a source of vitamin C which increases your immune system and also stimulate detoxification of the liver.

Quick & Easy Mashed Vegetables With Chicken

Add some herbs, pesto and a piece of grilled chicken filet…. Yummm. I love dishes like this because you eat a lot of veggies without even noticing. On top of that: it’s super easy to make!

 Ingredients (1 person)

  • 200 gram cauliflower
  • 200 gram broccoli
  • 150 gram chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon pesto
  • oregano
  • garlic herbs
  • salt and pepper

How you make it

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into florets and cook them for 15 minutes in boiling water. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic herbs and oregano. Heat a grill pan. Grill the chicken for about 10 minutes until cooked. Drain the cooked vegetables and mash them. Add pesto, salt, garlic and herbs.

Enjoy your mashed vegetables!

Healthy French Toast

Sometimes simplicity can be soooo delicious! I decided to make some old-fashioned French toast (as we dutchies call it: ‘wentelteefjes’). As you may know I am not in favor of eating bread, but every now and then sourdough bread is fine. I try to limit this to a maximum of two times a week. An egg white, unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon and a slice of sourdough bread is everything you need for healthy French toast.

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This is what you need (1 person)

  • 2 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 egg white
  • 50 milliliter almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

To garnish: blueberries/ blackberries/ strawberries/ raspberries/ honey

How you make it

Mix in a tall dinner plate: egg white, almond milk and cinnamon. Mix well together with a fork. Place the bread slices in the egg mixture, make sure both sides absorb all the moist. The slices bread have to suck up all the egg mixture.

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan. Fry the soaked slices bread on both sides till they color golden brown. Put the French toast on a plate. Finish with some berries of your choice and/ or some honey. Enjoy!

If you would like to read even more delicious and healthy recipes be be sure to follow me on my BlogFacebook and Instagram!

How To Make a Healthy Dutch Kapsalon

Kapsalon (as we dutchies know) is one of the most fattest fast food meals in Holland. It contains about 1800 calories per portion! Quite shocking if you ask me. Keep that in mind when you end up hungry in a snack bar after a night out.

Luckily I invented a healthier (In Love With Health proof) Kapsalon! Instead of potato fries, I make fries of
kohlrabi because this root vegetable relieves stomach and intestinal complaints and it’s packed with
vitamins B, C and E, iron, potassium and calcium. Besides that, it’s rich in fibre and thus keeps
the blood sugar level low. It also stimulates the kidneys, whereby waste materials will be removed
faster.

Add some skinny chicken shawarma, lettuce, and home made garlic sauce made of yoghurt and voila,
there is your healthy ‘kapsalon’. Enjoy!

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This is what you need (1 person)

  •   125 gram chicken strips
  • 1 paprika
  • 1 tablespoon shawarma herbs
  • 100 gram iceberg lettuce
  • 250 gram precut kohlrabi
  • garlic powder
  • 150 gram goat yoghurt (or normal yoghurt)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • salt and pepper

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle the kohlrabi
fries with some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 45 minutes until crispy. Note: toss the fries
every now and then.

Heat a pan with coconut or olive oil and bake the chicken strips. Cut the paprika in small pieces
and add them to the chicken after 5 minutes along with the shawarma herbs and ½ teaspoon salt.

Lastly, chop the garlic and mix it together with the yoghurt, pepper, salt and chives.
Now all the components are ready and you can start to build your ‘kapsalon’.  As it should: first
the fries, after that the chicken shawarma, on top of that the shredded lettuce and finish it with
some garlic sauce. Yummmm

Fit & Fun with Epic Battle Ropes

Attention Fit Girls! Today’s topic is all about having fun while getting fit and losing fat with: battle ropes, baby! These super-sized epic ropes are heavy enough to add resistance for you to have a killer workout. Check out 4 instructions for you to kick ass on shoulders, arms, abs and secondary: the legs.

In just 15 minutes you can realize a powerful battle rope workout which simultaneously trains several muscle groups as well as your condition. While you burn around 10 calories per minute, it will make you sweat and lose fat eventually. I’m totally roped into this workout and want to share 2 wave-moves with you to help you get stronger. Are you excited too? Here we go!

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Starting position: Stand in front of the ropes, grab with each hand an end and keep your arms extended at your side. Keep your legs a bit blended and not stretched, this will help you move and resist to the waves.

Initiate the wave movement by rapidly raising your arms to shoulder level as fast as you can.

Exercise 1: raise both arms at the same time at the same level.
Exercise 2: raise your arms the opposite side to shoulder level and back.

  • You finished your movement when you brought your arms back to starting position.
  • Keep whipping the ropes up and down as quickly as you can while you tighten your core and legs.

I prefer to do 4 sets of 3 minutes continuously waving the battle ropes.

Never forget to make gym time fun time, ladies!

Live happily ever active,
Foodie-ness.

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Why you should’ve started foam rolling yesterday

ROCK, STRETCH ‘n’ ROLL! That’s what I live by when it comes to staying fit. It stands for working out – building up strength and stamina, stretching (dynamically) to lengthen my muscles and staying flexible, and… ROLL? Yep, I roll. Allow me to introduce you to some awesome tools and techniques that I use to massage my body to stay fit, mobile and (muscle) pain-free!

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Rockin’ & ROLLING
In my first article I already mentioned that I spend part of my time working for BLACKROLL. This Swiss/German brand is market leader in the German speaking part of Europe in the reach of production and sales of self-massage -and simple but incredibly effective fitness tools.
Whether you are into sports or not, in BLACKROLL’s view, everyone should be able to stay mobile, pain-free and therefore happy and healthy. This fits my personal view just perfectly. That’s why I’m happy to explain a little more about this cool technique, dubbed “SMR” (self-myofascial release), and the what’s and why’s surrounding the topic of foam rolling.

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Pasta Pesto with Creamy Avocado

If you ask me, the easiest dishes are often simply the best! Especially when you have a real busy week ahead, it’s nice to prepare yourself a quick and healthy meal. The best of all, you won’t need any prepackaged products with lots of unnatural additives for this recipe. This dish is loaded with natural and fresh flavours and lots of fresh vegetables.

Today’s speciality is a delicious classic pasta pesto with a twist. Instead of using pasta I make zucchini strings. Zucchini is rich in folic acid, so ideal for women who are pregnant or trying to. It is also rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, B1 and C. The pasta sauce is made of pesto and creamy avocado.

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This is what you need (1 person)

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ lemon (juice)
  • 100 millilitre almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pesto (organic)
  • garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

How you make it

Remove the skin from the zucchini with a cheese slicer. Cut the zucchini into thin long strings with a julienne slicer, grater, mandolin, spiralizer or, when you don’t have all of this just use a cheese slicer. I prefer the spiralizer.

Remove the skin from the avocado and remove the pit. Mash the avocado with a fork (you can also use a blender or hand mixer) and add the lemon juice, garlic powder, milk, pesto, salt and pepper. Mix well together until you get a smooth sauce. Add the sauce to the zucchini strings and stirr.

Heat a frying pan and fry the pine nuts until they start to colour. Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the pine nuts. Bake until they become a little bit softer. Add the tomatoes and the pine nuts to the pasta.

Enjoy!

www.inlovewithhealth.com

Nike Training Club – Get Toned Review

Alright! So, with my recent stress fracture injury, I had to look to other modes of exercise. As a runner, it’s often hard to face an injury, and we try to push past it. My advice: DON’T. You’ll end up hurting yourself worse, and being out for several weeks (for me, it was about 5, but I still have some lingering pain). Back to the point–instead of running, I completed the Nike Training Club 4-week Get Toned program.

I loved it! The first week was tough. Shifting from a mainly cardio to a mainly strength training regimen was harder than expected. I had to modify the workouts slightly so that they were lower impact and not further injuring my foot (regular squats instead of squat jumps, etc.) The first thing I noticed was how weak my upper body is! Arms especially. Boooooo. Still, it was super fun and challenging.

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Resolutions beyond having a Fit Girl body

Are you enjoying the new year? Are you committing to you new year resolutions? Maybe those resolutions include working out more, eating more healthy or less snacking. You might be dedicated to achieve a Fit Girl body, with toned abs of steel, biceps and a rounded booty through pumped up glutes.

I want to share with you my troubles about achieving a fit body, and why I believe there’s is so much more out there to accomplish. I want to go out and explore fit and healthy goals that satisfy your soul instead of vanity. Goals that empower you beyond your own belief and confidence.

Being strong

Running farther than you could ever imagine
I dare you to enroll for a race distance beyond what you think is your limit. It might be a 10k, a half marathon or a marathon, or any distance for that matter. Just as long as your first reaction to the sound of that distance is: “OMG”. The goal is to finish the race, no more no less.

The boost of self confidence I gave myself y by finishing a half marathon is something I hope every Fit Girl will experience. More importantly, the training you do is only a means to an end. The way your body changes is a mere side effect of you getting able to concur the world.

Running farther than imagined

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Sexy sculpted arms with the Barbell Curl

Hello you pretty Fit Girls! Do you want strong and sexy arms instead of looking like Popey the sailor man? This article is all about sexy sculpted arms and today I’m highlighting the biceps. Check out my barbell curl exercise guide.

These barbell curls are definitely a GO if you want fit arms. Integrate the guidelines below into your routine and you’ll get more defined and toned biceps.

CURL IT
Every girl can do this exercise as long as you maintain the right body position. Follow these 4 steps and try to find the right weight for yourself. Try to lift more weight every 2 weeks to become stronger and fitter.

  1. Your starting position should be as followed: stand up and hold the barbell at a shoulder-width grip with your torso upright. Keep your elbows close to the torso and the palm of your hands should be facing forward.
    2. Hold the upper arms stationary (keep them in the same position) and start to curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps. You should only move your forearms and breathe out during this movement.
    3. Continue this movement until the barbell is at shoulder level. Try to hold the contracted position for just 1 second and squeeze the biceps hard.
    4. Slowly bring back the barbell from shoulder level to starting position (step 1). Breathe in during this step.

Repeat this for a, for you, suitable amount of repetitions and do 4 sets. I prefer to do 4 sets of 12 reps.

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GRIP IT
By changing the grip width you can train other muscles. There are several methods, but let’s discuss the 3 main grip options.

1. Regular grip: In this position you hold the barbell curl on a shoulder-width grip, just like described in the “CURL IT” section of this article.
2. Wide grip: In this position you hold the barbell with as wide of a comfortable underhand grip by taking the widest ridges of the bar. This way you put the focus on the inner portion of your biceps.
3. Close grip: When you grasp the most inner ridges of the bar your arms make a narrow grip and this way you emphasize the outer muscles of your biceps.

DO IT
You’re ready to go, girls! Just give it a try and once you see and feel the results you are gonna love it. Keep me posted on your progress and I’ll see you in two weeks, same time – same place!

Live happily ever active,
Foodie-ness

 

Dancing towards a healthier you!

Do you ever get bored while running on the treadmill? Do you look at the group fitness room at your gym and see an awesome dance cardio class and think, “hmm, I wish I could do that!”  WELL YOU CAN! Dancing is a great way to burn a TON of calories while having an AWESOME TIME.

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Here are some health benefits of dancing that will make you shake your groove thang!

  1. Dancing improves your memory: WHAT! You mean dancing actually improves the way you remember things!? According to an article in Women’s Health Magazine, “Dancers can be sharper in the short term and less likely to succumb to brain diseases in the long run. A New England Journal of Medicine study of 11 physical activities found that dancing was the only one that lowered dementia risk by a whopping 76 percent.”
  2. Burn more calories: Depending on the intensity of the workout, you can burn up to 500-700 calories in a one-hour dance class! From ballroom dancing, Kerboomka, Zumba, and even Pound, there are SO many different options you can pick from.
  3. Experience a full body workout: Dancing is more than just a cardio based workout… it is a full body workout! Not only are you burning calories, but you are toning your abs, arms, and legs during the class! Some classes even offer lights weights to REALLY amp up your workout.
  4. Improve coordination: Have you ever heard of the saying “ Practice makes perfect?” The more you dance, the better you will be at it…. It is as simple as that. Don’t be discouraged if your first class seems impossibly hard or you start moving left when every one is moving right. Once you become accumstoed to the movments and the teacher, you will feel like the BEYONCE of the gym!
  5. CONFIDENCE: There are SO many studies that show that dancing improves confidence. Why? Your body releases feel- good enphoranes while you are dancing, making you feel better about yourself. Whats not to love about whipping your hair and booty pop to a great song. The dance floor is a great place to let loose and let go of stress, EVEN IF ITS JUST FOR AN HOUR!

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I always tell my students that it doesn’t matter if you are a professional dancer or someone that has two left feet; you belong in class! I have danced my entire life and there is nothing in the world that feeds me like dance. I truly believe that EVERYONE SINGLE PERSON CAN DANCE. If you are scared to join a class, just grab a friend and try it! I promise you won’t regret it!

Jump on over to NikkiPebbles.com and check out some of my dance videos!  I hope to see you on the dance floor!

Cosmopolitan Cupcakes

Last week there was a huge article about #FITGIRLCODE and me in Cosmopolitan Magazine! Whaaa, have you seen it already? To celebrate this I came up with these delicious and cheerful Cosmopolitan Cupcakes. When I say Cosmopolitan, a cupcake is probably not the first thing you think about. The first thing I think about is the classic Cosmopolitan cocktail.

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Hakuna ma vodka! It means no memories for the rest of the night ;-).

The ingredients of this cocktail are: wodka, Cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice. Super tasty, but not so healthy nor ‘In love with health’ proof. So for this special occasion I made these healthy Cosmopolitan Cupcakes. I’m sorry girls, but I have to skip the wodka and I will replace the Cointreau for some orange zest. But trust me, every bite of this cupcake is a little piece of heaven.

‘You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy cupcakes and that’s kind of the same thing!’

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Recipe for 6 cupcakes

  • 125 gram buckwheat flour or grounded oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 75 gram honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 milliliter almond milk
  • 60 gram coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 100 gram dried cranberries

Topping:

  • 200 gram non fat quark
  • 10 raspberries
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Dried cranberries

How you make it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix the flower, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix the eggs, milk, honey and oil in another bowl . Grate the zest of the orange and lime and add to the milk mixture. Save the orange and lime to garnish at the end. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture. Add the cranberries and stir well. Fill the cupcake liners for ¾ with the mixture. Bake for 25 minutes till golden brown.

Mash the raspberries and mix them with the quark. Cut wedges out of the orange and lime. When the cupcakes are baked, let them cool down for 30 minutes. After this you put some of the quark mixture on top every cupcake. Finish it with the orange and lime wedges and some fresh mint leaves.

Enjoy lovelies!

www.inlovewithhealth.com

Positive Psychology

January… A fresh start of a new year! It’s already up & running for about 3 weeks now. Maybe you’re kicking ass with your new year’s resolutions, maybe you already forgot them…Or didn’t even have new year’s resolutions. If you have them or you don’t, it’s always good to take a deeper look at your life. Are you happy the way it is? Are you satisfied with your lifestyle? Your relationships? Your job?

All those things come back to the fundaments of your being. How do you look at things? What things in life are really fulfilling for you? In this blog I’m going to tell you something about a subject that is closely related to the way you experience life: positive psychology!

When you think about psychology, probably the first words popping up in your mind are “psychologist”, “mental illnesses”, “depression”. Yep, that’s also psychology. Roughly said, “general” psychology is focused on the question “what is wrong with you?” Positive psychology is focused on “what is right with you?”. None of them are right or wrong, they can perfectly function besides each other. General psychology focuses on healing mental illnesses. Positive psychology focuses on developing a satisfying and meaningful life.Fact is, life isn’t always easy! The loss of a beloved one, illnesses or other unfortunate events…life happens to you. You can’t control this. But what you CAN control is how you deal with it. This is where positive psychology comes in. Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology. His theories are built on 5 fundaments: PERMA. I will show you what PERMA stands for:

Positive emotion: A very big part of life satisfaction depends on what you feel. When you’re experiencing positive feelings, you will look back on your past with more satisfaction, look at your future with hope and be grateful for the present. Experiencing positive emotions is also associated with better health, more productivity and successful relationships. Besides that, positive emotions are contagious!

But how could you apply this? How can you just feel happy on command? When something bad happened to you, it’s pretty damn hard to feel positive emotions! The best way to make yourself feel better is to do the things that give you a good feeling. When you feel bad, try to be kind with yourself: do something fun together with your BFFF, take a nice walk in the forest, read a good book, go for an intense work-out session, plan a long & nice kitchen session with a foodie friend… The most important question you should ask is “what makes me happy?” Try to take your chances and try to apply these hobbies/friends/activities in your life on a regular base!

Engagement: This is in strong connection with positive emotions. Engagement is about experiencing “flow”. Flow means that you feel like you are completely absorbed in the moment, which gives you a pleasant feeling. Research shows that these moments of flow are the moments people feel happiest in life. When you are in your flow, you feel powerful, confident and productive. When was the last time you were completely absorbed in your task or activity? What is most satisfying to you?

It’s important to apply these activities in your life on a regular base (just like the things that give you positive emotions!). Since you’re spending most time of the week at your job, it would be great if you feel this flow when you’re working, but also hobbies, sports or other activities are great to give you this flow. Typical for experiencing flow is that the activity costs energy, but gives you a huge boost of energy at the same time! What gives you flow?

Relationships: People are social animals. Staying connected with other people helps us to put things in perspective. Communication certainly can help us to find a certain balance in life. Sharing is caring, either it’s negative or positive. Only sharing your problems, can already be a part of the solution, simply because you are not alone in it anymore. For sharing positive experiences it’s even better: sharing happiness = happiness2!

In any kind of relationship, either it is love or friendship, it’s important that there’s a certain balance. This means in every relationship, 50% is up to you! Realize that you have a big influence on your social network. It’s a balance of giving & taking, talking & listening. Be selective. Keep “energy drainers” away from you and invest in valuable relationships. Oh, and pets actually have a great influence on your happiness as well!

Meaning: Having a higher plan in life also helps you to experience more happiness in life. This could be anything. Religion, family, politics, environmental protection, health (promotion), volunteer work…these are all examples of having a “higher plan in life”. Just ask yourself what things in this world have a big value for you. What things in life would you like to make “life goals”?

I will give an example about myself. I really love helping people to experience that a healthy lifestyle could be fun and doesn’t have to be hard, nor restrictive. I chose to develop myself in this direction and while I was doing this, I met a lot of likeminded people with who I can share my enthusiasm about health. Besides that, as a health coach I see people change. When I’m helping people in their process of becoming a healthier version of themselves, people start to feel fitter, their skin starts to glow and they find out they are capable of way more than they thought they could. How amazing is it to witness their journey? I love it!

Achievement: This is all about goal setting and reaching your goals. Either the process towards your goals as reaching your goals are both very important. We all know this satisfying feeling after successfully finishing a big project at your job/study. It gives you a huge confidence boost! When you feel good about yourself, you are more likely to share your experiences with other people, to help other people and to challenge yourself to try new things. It’s actually a positive circle: the more you reach the goals you set for yourself, the more confident you feel, the more you are open for trying new things which can help you to build new experiences, which on its turn give you more confidence again! This is one of the reasons why working out can help you to build up more confidence ☺

All these factors together have a big influence on your happiness. When you feel balanced, everything in life is a little bit easier. Most important thing in positive psychology is that you can’t enforce feelings of happiness and just think that you “should be happy”. What you CAN do is creating healthy habits that help you to get the best out of life, that make you feel happy.

Remember you can’t influence what happens to you, but with these PERMA-tools you can help yourself to feel better and to get more satisfaction out of life.

XoXo

Lotta

Banana Bread with Mango & Blueberries  

One of my all time favourite things to bake is banana bread. It’s easy, super tasty and everyone loves it. This one is by far my best ever made. If you follow the recipe you can’t go wrong!

Eat it for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, dessert – this banana bread it always a good idea.  

What do you need for one loaf of banana bread?

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½  cup coconut oil (liquid, just put the jar in warm water)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup date paste (just blend 1 big handful of dates with 50 ml water)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 mashed ripe bananas (the riper/more spotted, the sweeter)
  • 2 cups of flour (I use oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin spice
  • ½ cup diced mango
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup pistachiosHow to make this beauty:

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From Zero To Hero – The Start

Hi Fit Girls! Let me first introduce myself. I’m Joyce, owner of fashion & lifestyle blog justlikesushi.com. I’ve always been passionated about being creative and fashion is one of them. I’m a creative girl who works freelance in different work-fields. From social media advice, photography & film to graphic design and web design. Yes, when you need a creative touch you’re at the right spot with me. Every month I will share the ins and outs of my fit journey and so much more…

justlikesushi-jan15-foto1

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Healthy waffles with home made Nutella

Today there are waffles on the menu! Made of buckwheat and almond flower and home made Nutella on top. Writing this blog and the idea of eating these babies makes my mouth water already… Anyway, both buckwheat and almond flower are considered superfoods. I already explained why buckwheat flower is really healthy in my previous blog about healthy wraps.

But why is almond flower really healthy?
100% almond flower is free from: wheat, cow milk, lactose, heist, casein, soy oil, added salt an
refined carbs, which are sugar! Almond flower is rich in vitamin B1, B2, B6, E and magnesium. Besides that it’s easy to digest and very nutritious.

You’ve probably seen in the picture that this recipe involves chocolate paste as well! Pretty important to mention: it’s a healthy replacement of Nutella! Everyone who is following me on social media knows: this is my absolute number 1 guilty pleasure, or actually, addiction. Although I treat myself once a week with the unhealthy version, I wanted to find a way to eat this more often. With this recipe of my healthy Nutella version you can! You can find the recipe in my blogpost of last week.

The recipe of these healthy waffles are glutenfree, dairyfree, sugarfree and low in carbs.

wafels

This is what you need for 1 person

•       Coconut oil
•       2 tablespoons almond flour
•       1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
•       1 egg
•       2 tablespoons almond milk
•       1 teaspoon cinnamon
•       1 teaspoon baking powder
•       3 drops stevia (or 1 teaspoon honey)

Extra supplies: waffle-iron

How to make it

  • Grease the waffle-iron with a little bit of coconut oil.
  • Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix it till you have a smooth mixture.
  • Put the mixture in the waffle iron for about 5 minutes. Don’t open the waffle iron in the meantime, otherwise your waffles will fail. After 5 minutes the dough is cooked and ready to be eaten!

You can eat the waffles with a little bit of honey, home made Nutella, quark or fresh fruit.