Best Pre-Workout Food

Now we know what to eat post workout, pre-workout food can’t be left forgotten! The right pre-workout food is just as important as post-workout food, maybe even more.

A lot of people think that exercising on an empty stomach is a good idea to burn more fat. In reality, your body will just use whatever energy there is available and this might not be fat but muscle. Another side effect of exercising on an empty stomach is that you might not have the energy for that killer workout and your exercise will be less effective and less fun.


Best Pre-Workout Food

About 1-2 hours before your workout, carbs are your BFF. The best is to have a mix of complex (like whole wheat products) and simple ones (like fruit) so that the release of energy during your workout is slow and steady throughout your routine. So if you are up for a great workout, try one of these pre-workout foods:

  • A granola bar
  • A slice of whole wheat toast with half a banana and cinnamon
  • Apple wedges with almond butter
  • Lisa’s banana muffins
  • A few whole wheat, or flax crackers
  • Greek yoghurt with trail mix or granola
  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal with some raisins or banana slices

For about 15 to 30 minutes before your workout it is important that the food is easy to digest. This way you won’t have to work out with a full stomach but you won’t be hungry either. These foods will provide you some energy quickly:

  • Fruit juice or smoothie
  • Banana, apple, or any other piece of fruit

So enjoy your snack and own that workout!

How serious is your (artificial) sweet tooth?

You’ve probably heard claims about how artificial sweeteners can e better for you than cane sugar but also that they might cause cancer and other serious diseases… yikes, how are you supposed to make a decision based on those claims? Having trouble fighting your love for soft drinks and can’t decide between regular Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and Coke Life? How serious is your (artificial) sweet tooth?

Artificial sugars are a low-calorie alternative to cane sugar, or sucrose, that is used in many products we are regularly exposed to. These products are marketed by brands as being better for your health, since we can no longer pretend that sugar is good for us in the doses we consume it in. Of course, our lives would be easier if soft drinks, packaged desserts, flavored yogurts, and the many more foods we love to eat were as healthy for us as veggies and hummus. Unfortunately they simply aren’t and we can’t drink Fanta as if it were freshly pressed orange juice. From one Fit Girl to another, I have done some reading and will attempt to clear things up about artificial sweeteners.

Types of artificial sweeteners

At present there are six different forms of artificial sweeteners approved by the FDA: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, sucralose and advantame. These substances are chemically produced and are also referred to as “nonnutritive”, meaning that they have no nutritional value or calories but are simply used to make your food taste sweeter. These sweeteners are often found in fruit juices, soft drinks, canned fruit, frozen deserts, and anything labelled as “diet”, “light”, or “sugar-free”. You will surely notice the difference in calories in the regular and “diet” versions of the same product- think of Coke Zero with less than one calorie per 330ml can. Yet, these products taste just as sweet as their sucrose-sweetened counterparts. This is because artificial sweeteners can be up to 13,000 times sweeter than cane sugar! How is that even possible?! Indeed, neotame can be anywhere between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than plain old sugar, which means that you need a much smaller amount in your food to make it just as sweet (hence, way less calories).

While this may all seem too good to be true, don’t go grabbing packets of saccharin to sweeten your afternoon tea without reading about some of the effects these sweeteners can have on your body. The debate about artificial sweeteners is a hot one especially because the FDA and CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) have approved these products as safe for consumption. Also a common element of recent attempts to make unhealthy habits healthier, long-term effects of these substances are simply not yet known since the products have not been in our diets for very long.

They probably don’t cause cancer

A few of the artificial sweeteners have been associated with cancers such as bladder cancer (saccharin) and brain cancer (aspartame) in the past. In fact the US Congress required that all foods containing saccharin mention, “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health” until 2000, when the sweetener was removed form the carcinogen list. Since the majority of tests on these artificial sweeteners are run on rats and not on Fit Girls, the substances have actually never been proven to cause cancer in humans. We all know that rats can’t do burpees so it makes sense that they might metabolize artificial sweeteners a bit differently than humans.

It seems that the sweeteners cannot be said to cause cancer, but that doesn’t mean that you should rush to the store and stock up on them. While cancer is extremely serious, many other conditions that greatly affect your life are more likely to develop with the consumption of artificial sweeteners.

But they’re not great for you either

Your body and brain are powerful and complex and so is their reaction to sugars and artificial sweeteners. We won’t go into the details, but this article gives a good description if you’re interested. Since the sweeteners are nonnutritive you are essentially consuming calorie-less food or drinks which might temporarily satisfy your sweet tooth but is likely to lead to increased cravings for sweet foods later on. This means that the artificial sweeteners cannot fool your brain! Instead, they might be priming your brain to want to consume more sugary foods as they are more satisfying for your brain, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you’ve had enough servings of your favorite soft drink.

The fact that artificial sweeteners are used in products advertised as better for you than their sugary counterparts might play another trick on you- it might prevent you from associating sweet food and drink with caloric intake, something that you should try to limit the consumption of. Don’t be fooled into choosing another artificially sweetened product over fresh, nutritious food, something that has been perceived as an issue with these items. Some studies have even revealed that artificial sweeteners could cause addiction, and being dependent on something like Diet Coke cannot be good for your health as much as we wish it could be.

Another issue with sweeteners is that our consumption of unhealthy foods, be it salty or sweet, is much higher than is healthy for us. The tests run on these artificial sweeteners were run with relatively small amounts of them, so it is unknown what a large amount of these chemical sweeteners will do to our bodies in the long run. The consumption of diet sodas was associated with significant increases in the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, diseases which artificial sweeteners were designed to help prevent in the first place.

It appears that candies, drinks, and other foods labeled as “diet”, “light”, or with “sugar-free” may end up having harmful effects on your eating habits and eventually on your health after all.

Verdict: moderation is key

Like most things in life, artificial sweeteners are most likely safe to consume every once in a while in small amounts. They will not immediately make you inflate like a balloon or cause uncontrollable consumption, but you should not consider them as healthy for you either. These sweeteners are ideal if you are not able to consume cane sugar or if you are trying to change your diet to eventually cut out or decrease your intake of sweetened foods. They can serve as a useful tool to making positive changes to your lifestyle, but keep in mind that it can be harmful if you let yourself get carried away (yes, 5 packets of Splenda in your daily Matcha latte is too much).

If you feel like your sugar cravings are not satisfied, try eating a juicy mango or a bowl of fresh strawberries and remember how tasty (and nutritious) naturally sweet foods are! Just listen to your body and be mindful of what you choose to consume, because you deserve to have a body that is taken care of so that you can dance, squat, and laugh as much as possible and not be hindered by some silly chemicals.


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

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!


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!

Late night snacking

It’s 10 o’clock in the evening. You had a great workout and you had dinner afterwards. But, you’re still a bit hungry… So, you open the fridge, take something out and eat it. And after that, you take one more thing. I guess this sounds a bit familiar right? Many of us tend to have late night snacks, but there are reasons why people tell you it’s better not to eat late in the evening. Studies have shown that the time at which you eat has an influence on your digestion and (indirectly) on your body weight. If your goal is to tone down your body, it’s better not to take that midnight snack. You probably heard before that late night snacking isn’t really good for you, but did you know why?

Late night snacking can have a negative effect on your body due to it not digesting the food right, influencing the fat/food burning process. During daytime, when we are active, our digestive system is active as well. Nutritionists recommend that when you have these late night cravings, you should eat some fruit or veggies instead of a high-carb snack because your body is not capable of digesting it properly during the night while you’re sleeping.

The second reasons why late night snacking isn’t recommended is due to its direct relation to sleep. Foods that are high in sugar and fat can disturb your sleeping pattern as your digestive system will keep you awake during the night. Besides, late night snacking might cause some more toilet visits at night that keep you up.

However, we know that there are evenings when we just feel hungry (or worse: hangry) and really want to eat something. Just take something small like fruit, veggies, a cup of hot milk or camomile tea (this tea contains no caffeine and has a soothing and relaxing aroma).

So, we recommend you to eat what is needed to get those cravings calmed down and then go to bed. You’re digestive system will thank you for that and will cooperate on having a good night’s sleep.

5 tips against a bloated belly

On a scale of 1 to stepping on lego, how much do you hate feeling bloated? With all the hard work and effort you put into this new and improved body, you don’t want to have a “food baby” every time you eat something. Luckily, there is something you can do about it! 

After receiving and hearing so many women complain about bloated bellies, we sat down together and came up with 5 tips to prevent a bloated belly.

1. Rule out any wheat or lactose. Some of us are (unknowingly) lactose intolerant which causes bloating. You can check this with your doctor, or if that seems a little drastic to you, pay attention to what you have eaten before you felt bloated. This might point out that it often happens after you have eaten bread or drank milk for example.

2. Avoid foods that makes you gassy, such as all beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

3. Eat high fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. They are extremely good for you and will prevent the food baby!

4. Drink plenty of water, and don’t drink soda (carbonated) drinks. Soda is not only packed with sugars, but it also contains a lot of carbon acid, which will cause your belly to bloat.

5. Eat slowely. By chewing your food longer and better you will mix more saliva which will make you digest your food better. Also, don’t watch TV or check your phone or computer during dinner. Try to make dinner last for at least 30 minutes, eat slowly and enjoy it to the max.

Are there any more tips that you know of? Let us know in the comments and share them with your fellow Fit Girls. 

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with t3 preset

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 

Changing your lifestyle gradually

When you look at Fitgirlcode, I can imagine that you will think that we are all incredibly fit & healthy girls who have been like this for ages 😉 I’ll be honest with you, I am not that fit. I do not have visible abs (yet 😉 ), I am not going for a long run at 6am (yet?), and I will never reject a piece of chocolate cake (no, really, never). I am, however, getting healthier and on my journey to becoming as fit as I want to be. Changing your lifestyle does not have to happen overnight.

Before Aranka, the founder of Fitgirlcode, came on my path a couple of years ago, I practiced Taekwondo once a week and ate average-ish. Breakfast always consisted of two slices of bread with butter and chocolate sprinkles – don’t judge me, it’s a Dutch thing. I always ate bread at lunch and tried to eat a healthy dinner at night, while snacking (unhealthily) in between all these meals. Sometimes I tried to change my habits by eating more fruit or drinking more water, but nothing really ever stuck with me, which I personally didn’t mind that much because to be honest: I was not, and am not, overweight.

It was only gradually, from the moment I started contributing to Fitgirlcode, that small changes were made in my lifestyle. For example, I quit drinking sugary juices and committed myself to water. Then I switched my chocolate sprinkles to eating oatmeal in the morning. Eventually I signed myself up for the Ladiesrun in Rotterdam and I started running every weekend with one of my best friends. If you would have told me before joining Fitgirlcode that I would be working out at least 3 times a week and lifting weights, I would have probably peed my pants laughing.

My point is: everyone can do it. Excuses like “I don’t have time to work out” or “I really don’t like sports” are bullshit. With all the things I have going on in my life, I would love to have an 8th day in the week to get everything done, but I somehow still manage to squeeze in 2-3 serious work outs (which I like!) per week. You don’t have to radically change your lifestyle and transform every habit you have – you can start making small changes and eventually you will find yourself feeling healthier and more energetic than ever.

I promise you here and now that you will not regret it. I used to struggle with some problems with my digestive system for years, but since I have been living healthier and working out, they have vanished completely. Often during the day I had a big afternoon dip and I got really sleepy – guess what, that’s not a problem anymore. There are so many benefits to exercising and eating healthier.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to release all this new-found energy into my 4th work out this week! 😉 You should go and do the same! 

Two-in-one vegetable lasagna

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

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

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

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

How to make it

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

Good luck!

Easy vegan food swaps

Are you trying to cut back on animal products, or are you just curious about a more plant-based diet? Whatever your reasons, we have selected some easy vegan food swaps so you can experience how easy and yummy plant-based options are!

Vegan food swaps and tips:

  1. Very important if you want to try a more plant-based diet; eat more legumes. Legumes, like chickpeas, lentils and beans, are a good source of protein and also provide fiber, important minerals and B-vitamins.
  2. Swap your eggs for flax or chia ‘eggs’ in baking recipes (think pancakes, muffins, cookies). For flax eggs, mix 1 tablespoon of flax meal (just put flax seeds in the food processor or blender) with 3 tablespoons of water; for chia eggs, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before using.
  3. One of the easiest vegan food swaps is to add nuts and seeds; especially hemp seeds are a great source of protein. They also provide important other nutrients such as good fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins.
  4. Milk is an easy product to swap; try plant-based milk like almond milk, rice milk or oat milk. There are many options available in organic food shops! Look for unsweetened versions (always check the ingredient list; there are some ‘almond milks’ consisting of 2% almonds and 98% crap) or make nut or seed milk yourself; what about hemp milk, hazelnut milk or sunflower seed milk?
  5. Quinoa is called (pseudo) ‘super-grain’ for a reason; it is high in protein and gluten free. Quinoa contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein and a great meat substitute.
  6. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, and green veggies like broccoli are also packed with protein and contain B-vitamins as well as other important nutrients. For example, broccoli contains more protein per calorie than a steak! So you better drink that green smoothie 😉
  7. Skip the processed soy foods. Unprocessed soy products are a great and maybe even necessary addition to a vegan lifestyle, but there are a lot of creepy soy stories, so try to skip the faux meat. Also, there are a lot of other unwanted ingredients in processed foods, so it’s better to skip them anyway. Moderation is key, also in a vegan lifestyle!

Do you have some other tips or additional vegan food swaps? Let us know in the comments. 


Sweet potato pancakes

I don’t like to label myself, but if there is a word I like to use it’s ‘balance’. I always try to find a balance in everything I do. Whether it’s yoga, nutrition or my daily life. For me, living a balanced lifestyle means alternating good with the bad. Especially when it comes to nutrition, it is important to be aware of what you put into your body and what kind of energy you get it. 

The last three years I experimented with  clean eating and I tried to transform unhealthy dishes into something healthier and ‘cleaner’ with various recipes. And of course I love to share some of those recipes here! My weekends are always full with baking and certainly on Sunday is #pancakesunday with me. Here is the sweet potato pancake recipe I made last Sunday!


Yes, you read that right. A pancake made ​​from sweet potato. By making the pancakes with sweet potato, you get a natural sweet taste to it. The sweet potato pancake has an airy texture and are light orange in colour. These pancakes remind me of my favourite Thanksgiving dish and I’m so glad I’ve found a good way to experience these flavours more often, not only once a year!


sweet potato pancakes


  • 1 sweet potato
  • Half cup oatmeal (or oatmeal)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup almond milk


sweet potato pancakes         sweet potato pancakes


  1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into small pieces.
  2. Bring some water to boil and cook the sweet potato until soft (about 10 minutes).
  3. In the meantime, make your oatmeal. Take a blender or food processor to chop the oats into fine pieces until it is in powder form.
  4. Use a blender to mix all the ingredients. Blend until it is smooth. The texture that you need is thicker than the traditional Dutch pancake.
  5. Put a pan on medium-high heat. Grease the pan in use with a cooking spray or a little oil (e.g., coconut oil, sunflower oil, or vegetable oil).
  6. Cook the pancakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  7. When they are ready, remove them from the pan and start building your tower pancakes!
  8. Pour a little honey over it and add some fruit and you’re ready to eat them!

sweet potato pancakes


Give this guilt-free sweet potato pancake recipe a chance and let me know what you thought of them, I am very curious! You can always follow me on Instagram to get an insight into my balanced lifestyle and for more clean recipes. Use the hashtag #libertysuares so I can see your creations 🙂



sweet potato pancakes

Review: Plenish Juice Cleanse

I LOVE VEGGIE JUICES! I remember the first time I ever tried a veggie juice. It was in Australia in 2001 and we went to this enormous mall where they had a hip juice bar with all kinds of juices. I chose one with celery and apple and with that first sip, I fell in love. Fourteen years later the love affair is still going strong ❤

Veggie juices=energy!

My mom was always making her own juices when I was a little girl and she used to be really hardcore and add garlic and beetroot. Being a little girl, I didn’t like the taste. However, I do remember that the juices helped give my mom so much more energy. I guess that always stuck with me, so when I was asked to do a juice cleanse for a day by Plenish, I immediately said yes! Their combos are pretty awesome and I love their overall look and feel. I did the cleanse for one day, and received six juices with a glass straw and a cleanse guide. Gotta love the details!

Choose your level

I chose level 3 because I wanted as many veggies as possible. I also liked the what they had to say about this level. You can check on the website what kind of level suits you best, be sure to have a look at it to help you choose.

“Our Level 3 cleanse is designed for maximum results and a serious alkaline balancing act! With 4 green juices per day, Level 3 is our lowest sugar cleanse to support weight loss and psychological performance. You’ll consume 6 cold pressed juices per day, 4 of which will be green. All cleanses include a free cleanse user manual, a glass straw and our pre cleanse guidance and recipes”. 



Let’s get started!

That morning I woke up at 7 am to start the day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice. You do this to get everything up and running on the inside ;). Two hours later I started with the first juice, LIFT. All those veggies, WOW! Did you know one bottle contains 1 KG of organic products? And it tasted really good too, kinda sweet. You’re supposed to drink a lot of water between the juices, so that was good seeing as I never drink enough water.


plenishAt 11 am it was time for the second juice, BOOST. I definitely liked this one better, because of the ginger, lemon and pear. At this point I kinda regretted not doing this cleanse during summer, when it gets really hot and you want to drink everything in sight…perhaps I will do it again next year. I was still a bit full from the first juice so I had to really take my time to drink the whole thing. After this juice I drank another LIFT juice at 1 pm. I felt pretty energetic and wasn’t hungry at all. I did however go to the bathroom 8 million times that day! I imagine you get rid of a lot of toxins this way, so I didn’t mind very much.



At 3 pm I was in the mood for another juice, so I grabbed the KICK juice…AND WHAT A KICK! It was really sour and spicy and I really had to get used to the taste, but after a few of sips I actually liked it. I gave all the girls in the office a sip and they all made the sour face, hahaha! It was definitely refreshing! At 5 pm it was time for my “dinner” and I had the BOOST juice again. I really gotta say again how much I love the glass straw. For real, a day of this juice cleanse gives you a week of content for Instagram! LOL.



At 7 pm I had the last juice, BUILD. By then it was the first moment of the day that I started to get hungry and I really wanted to eat something, so I was pretty happy I had another juice. I gotta say, I expected this one to be really sweet but it wasn’t. I think this was my least favorite juice of all. But even though I didn’t really love it, it did satisfy my hunger so that was a good thing.




plenishBut what…There’s more!

The good guys at Plenish added a little surprise for me in the box. Our contact there, Ilona, really loves the SAVOUR juice and she wanted me to try it. So the day after the juice cleanse I had this baby and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. It’s like the best chocolate milk you’ve ever had. I kid you not! So I can definitely say this was my all time favourite. Really, I could drink this every day. So… can I? 🙂


In short…

In short, I loved the cleanse! The taste of every juice is unique and so fresh. I felt energetic throughout the entire day, so no dip at 4 pm. The juices look very pretty, and I love the details, like the glass straw. For me, that’s a sign that the people who make this product really love it. What I didn’t like so much: I went to the toilet like 2000 times (but that’s actually a good thing), I didn’t really like the BUILD juice, and I did get a little bit hungry at night. Would I try it again? I definitely would, but I would love to do it in summer and try it for more days so I can see more changes in my body.

So if you are curious or want to know more about Plenish, be sure to check out their website! Aaand, we have got you a special discount of 20% on all cleanses plus an awesome VIP goodiebag (including an e-book, coolbag and cleanse guide) if you use the code ‘fitgirlcode‘ at your order (valid until 31 December). For now, Plenish only delivers in the UK, so this one’s for you sweet Britons!



What happens to your body after eating pizza?

We all want to know exactly what goes into our food nowadays but more importantly, shouldn’t we know what it does to our body after we eat it? Now it’s pizza’s turn to be under the body chemistry microscope, pepperoni pizza to be exact. But don’t be scared off just yet, we’re not here to tell you to banish it from your diet. But seriously, what what happens to your body after eating pizza? 

You can thank the people at Cosmopolitan for this insight into what happens to your body after you eat pizza, as they asked a registered dietitian to create a timeline of effects that eating an average cheese and pepperoni  pizza slice causes. FYI this average slice would  contain 311 calories, 13.5 grams of fat, 14 milligrams of cholesterol, 701 milligrams of sodium, 1.75 grams of fiber, and 12 grams of protein. I’m certainly not going to stop eating pizza, that would be crazy, but knowing how our body deals with it might help us all to enjoy it the right way. Here’s what goes down.

The carb effects

Well let’s start with the fact that you if you are looking forward to a warm doughy slice of heaven topped with stringy cheese and meaty pepperoni (of course you are) then the body starts working before you’ve taken a bite. You’ll start to salivate (and drool, if you’re anything like me). This begins the digestive process. Pizza is made of simple carbohydrates and similar to other food that is high in both sugar and fat, the pleasure center in our brain is activated once you begin to eat it. This can even be addictive, which you can read more about in my article asking if we eat too much sugar. With every bite that you take of the pizza, as with any food, you begin to enjoy it less and less. The simple carbohydrates are rapidly turned to glucose (sugar) and used to refuel and serve your bodily processes. If you ate more than one slice in this time, pretty likely unless you are truly super human, there will be excess energy which keeps your blood sugar levels higher for longer. Too much of this too often can result in inflammation and cardiovascular problems, poor circulation and nerve damage. Anything left over goes to the liver to be stored and turned to fat to be used at a later time.

The fat effects

Feast on the cheese and pepperoni and don’t be tempted to think of the calories and think you are being healthier by picking it off. When you eat a meal of only carbohydrates you the hormone serotonine is released and leads to sleepyness and feeling sluggish. The protein and fat from the cheese and pepperoni slows this down and the acid in your stomach continues to work hard to digest everything . Leptin, the hormone secreted by your fat cells rises, will also make sure feel full and triggers your brain to stop eating. The ‘hungry hormone’ ghrelin then stops and unless you ate far too much, you’ll feel satisfied. This is most definitely the point at which you should stop eating, even if you still want another slice! What isn’t used as energy for your muscles, will be sent to your liver for later.

The takeaway

This whole process raises your levels of triglycerides (i.e., fat in your blood) temporarily. Short term it’s OK, but prolonged elevation can clog arteries and increase bad cholesterol. If you’re healthy already then this will naturally decline within six hours, as long as you didn’t keep on going and reach for ice cream afterwards (the more fat you eat , the longer the levels stays high). However if you have a family history of circulatory disease you should be aware that just one slice increases your risk of these conditions too. The dietitian stresses that eating pizza will not make you gain weight, other than the actual weight of the pizza, and only over eating calories over time contributes to fat gain. Can you sense the phrase, “pizza is fine in moderation” is coming? That’s because it is. But depending on your personal goals, you might want moderate it a little more. If you do choose to eat a store bought or takeaway pizza consider one with chicken and choose the medium or small, even if the bigger one is better value for money. Yes you can eat the leftovers the next day but you don’t need to.

If you feel like taking matters into your own hands, of course you can make a healthier pizza at home and have the same comfort food feeling. Try making a base from cauliflower, wholemeal or spelt flour and for the topping, load up on veggies and flavour with walnuts and feta cheese or smoked salmon and avocado!



Super sexy foods for a great sex drive

Super sexy foods for a great sex drive

When was the last time you really felt like having sex? I don’t mean to be rude, but if you have to think too long about this question, your libido might be in hibernation. Obviously you are not always ready to rumble, but did you know that eating specific kinds of food can boost your sex drive? Add these super sexy foods to your shopping list, and you’ll feel sexier than ever.

These are foods for a great sex drive

  • Salmon and mackerel

The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish is your best friend when it comes to your blood circulation. This is essential for the supply of blood to your genitals (and thus increases the excitement down there). They can also increase (feelgood) dopamine levels in your brain – that enhance your lust.

  • Steak

Did you ever hear about Steak & Blowjobday (the Valentine’s Day for men)?  The link between steak and blow jobs? Probably because steak is a rich source of zinc, the same nutrient which oysters owe their reputation to. Namely zinc boosts testosterone and reduces the production of prolactin, a hormone that has a negative effect between the sheets.

  • Eggs

Breakfast in bed? Choose an omelet. The proteins in eggs will boost your energy- and focus level – two things that always come in handy. Plus eggs are a good source of vitamin B6, which helps balance your hormone levels and thus regulate your libido.

  • Unsweetened cranberry juice

It not only helps to prevent cystitis, but cranberry juice is a natural diuretic, which is very effective if you suffer from a bloated stomach. Put a few tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice in a glass of water and drink up!

  • Chocolate

Everybody knows, that chocolate is the answer, no matter what the question is.  And this example proves it once again: chocolate is a proven aphrodisiac and contains a lot of magnesium, which makes you more relaxed. And you probably already knew that de-stressing is crucial to get in the mood. But dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which releases the same hormones as hot and steamy love making.

  • Oatmeal

A while ago we shared some delicious oatmeal recipes with you. These recipes are also a big reason to start eating oatmeal for breakfast. But I’ll give you another reason to swap your cheese sandwich for a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Oats contain L-arginine, a substance that is sometimes used to treat erection problems. AND it stimulates the blood supply to the clitoris. Pretty fucking awesome, right?

  • Peach and nectarine

These fruits are full of vitamin C, which several studies have shown that those increase the female libido. It’s also good for the blood flow and thus for your sex drive.

Enjoy your sexy time!

source: Woman’s Health Magazine

Green Smoothies: Why & How

Still the drink of the moment: a green smoothie. Still not convinced or simply just dislike the taste? It’s definitely a keeper, and after this article you know why; you might give that green monster another try after this!

Let’s start with the Why:

–       Green smoothies are a super easy way to get more nutrients in your diet. You probably wouldn’t eat a bag of spinach or kale all at once!

–       Because of all those nutrients, green smoothies are great energy boosters that will lift you up whenever you need it!

–       Green smoothies can help detoxify the body because of chlorophyll, the green pigment veggies contain.

–       They can support weight loss, because they’re relatively low in calories, but high in nutrients and fibre that will help you feel satisfied.

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And now, the How!

The Basic Green Smoothie Formula is simple: greens + fruit + water. But here are some tips and tricks to make it actually yummy:

–       When you’re a beginner at green smoothies, start with less greens and more fruit (2:3 ratio or less); gradually work your way up to more greens. You could also add a little bit of natural sweeteners.

–       Blend the greens and the liquid first before you add the fruit. This way you won’t get leafy chunks.

–       Still can’t get used to the taste? Try to drink your smoothie ice cold, by using frozen fruit or adding some ice cubes.

–       Plus, not all (leafy) greens taste the same. For example, kale can taste very bitter, where (baby) spinach has a more neutral taste. Switch it up with lettuce, endive, chard, bok choy, arugula (rocket) or even add herbs like mint or parsley. Or make a ‘green smoothie’ with beets or, if you have a really strong blender, with carrots; the possibilities are endless 😉

–       Don’t drink the same thing every day; rotate your greens and mix it up. This way you and your body won’t get bored.

–       Looking for a creamy texture? Add a frozen banana, half an avocado, some Greek yoghurt or try almond milk instead of water.

–       Nutrients in vegetables are better absorbed in combination with good fats. Add a drop of hemp oil, coconut oil, some avocado, flax seeds or chia seeds to your smoothie for better nutrient absorption.

–       If you make a green smoothie for breakfast, make it a complete meal; blend some oats in your smoothie, pour it in a bowl and top it with some nuts, seeds, more fruit, granola or superfoods. This will keep you going all day long!

–      Give your blender a rinse with warm water or clean it directly after making your green smoothie; this will save you a lot of time and complaining later 😉

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Ready, set; start blending! What is your favorite green smoothie recipe?

Healthy Oreo Cake

For the the last few months I’ve been really busy with my newest project, which I can finally reveal to you all… My next e-book is here! “Suikervrij bakken” (sugar free baking) it is girls! But oh boy, this one is still so sweet!

This Oreo Cake recipe is just one of my delicious recipes from the new e-book… Oh my! I have died and gone to heaven!! The good news is that this pie doesn’t contain 6000+ calories, lots of sugar and whipped cream. Yes girls, you can eat this pie without having to wait until “cheat day”. And no, this pie doesn’t taste as good as it looks… it tastes waaay better!

oreocake (1)

How to make this healthy Oreo Cake



  1. Let the cashews soak in water for about 12 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
  3. Mix the rye flour, coconut flour, cacoa, baking powder and a good pinch of salt in a bowl.
  4. Mix in another bowl the applesauce, eggs and stevia.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
  6. Line two spring forms with baking paper and grease the sides with coconut oil.
  7. Divide the batter between the two spring forms and put in the oven for 50 minutes.
  8. Make the filling by finely grinding the soaked cashews in a food processor until you have a smooth paste. Then add the honey and water and mix well.
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven to cool.
  10. Spread the cashew paste onto one of the cakes, then place the other cake on top of it.

My latest e-book is for everyone who loves pies, cookies and muffins but doesn’t want to poison their body with junk and sugar. It is the ultimate guide to inspire you with all sorts of healthy baked goods a la Lisa. Go to my blog, In Love With Health to find more recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner too! Enjoy!

5 Reasons women should have each other’s backs

What’s the deal with catfights, cliques, and undermining each other? Women have the reputation of being unsupportive for many reasons, whether it be in social, academic, or professional settings. This behaviour begins at a young age, and many of us don’t seem to grow out of the gossip queens we were in high school. Here are 5 reasons why women should have each other’s backs as soul sisters! 

1. To live longer

Can it really be as easy as that? Being nice to other women in your life can help you live longer? According to research, being part of a tight social circle leads to a happier, healthier, and longer life. Surrounding yourself with uplifting women (and lifting them up as well) will add to your sense of purpose in life and will give you a reason besides banana bread to get out of bed in the morning.

2. To reduce stress

If you’re going through a breakup or other tough emotional situation you tend to talk about it every chance you get, even with complete strangers after a couple glasses of wine… does this sound familiar? When women go through stressful situations they actually release a hormone called oxytocin, which triggers a desire to build and maintain relationships. So go ahead girl, tell us how much of an a**hole he was to you one more time, it’s your brain helping you deal with the stress 😉 Bonding with other women is a biological response and helps soothe the stressful situations we get ourselves into.

3. To hold you accountable

Having a circle of women and peers around to give you objective feedback and to let you know when you simply haven’t done a good job or are being a lazy Fit Girl is constructive. This external affirmation and support is just as valuable as your close friend calling you out on your crap (that dress simply does not make you look fat). Nobody is perfect, and it is those close to you who will be able to see when you need a hug or an extra challenge.

4. To be your soulmates

A soulmate is a person you connect with on a level you can’t exactly explain. As women we needs lots of contact, affirmation, and both physical and emotional love. Don’t expect one person to meet all of these needs, and find other women who can provide you with joy, love, and understanding when you’re at your best as well as at your worst.

5. To support your goals and objectives

Build yourself a network of women who inspire you to DO things bigger and better, to chase your dreams. Social media has made it easier than ever to find others who share the same visions and goals with regard to fitness, careers, and other life choices. Take advantage of this! If you’re looking for someone to work out with in your area, you can even comment on a #FITGIRLCODE Instagram post and you’re sure to find a group of loving, dedicated women to lift you up and get you going!

Even if you grew up entwined in gossip, exclusion, and competition with other girls, remember that this negative energy will not produce anything positive. There is plenty of room in the world for many successful, happy, and healthy women working together to achieve their dreams. Don’t tear each other down but lift each other up! 




How Team #FGC is making September healthier

Here at #FITGIRLCODE HQ we keep up with the latest health trends not only to share them with all of you but also to apply them to our own lives! Each of us is different and has unique strengths, weaknesses, schedules, and needs. After a summer filled with one too many scoops of ice cream (sound familiar?) we are ready to conquer September 2015 by trying out something new!

We’ll each share with you one workout, food tip, beauty tip, or new habit we’re trying out this month to continue unlocking our personal code to a healthy and happy lifestyle. We are determined to make September healthier!


Drink 2 Litres of water per day

Shelley, Brand Relations Manager

“I’ve started committing to drinking 2L of water a day and plan to make this a habit. For some this is super easy but for me it’s a downright struggle – I’m just a very non-thirsty person and now I have to go to the bathroom ALL. THE. TIME. They say it takes you 2-3 weeks to form a habit so let’s see if I can do this! Why? Drinking enough water is very good for your health and on top of that, my skin definitely can use some improvements.”

Bottoms up, Shelley!

Vary workouts to avoid a Fit Girl rut

Anna, Press Relations Manager & Lead Editor

“Prevent yourself from getting into a workout rut. If you do the same thing over and over again you’ll get bored no matter what, and the same goes for your workouts. I was doing CrossFit all the time and just didn’t feel like it anymore”

“This month I’m going to try all different types of workouts to keep surprising my body and mind. I want to keep it playful and exciting to avoid getting into a rut and to make sure I keep enjoying exercising!”

“… recently I’ve tried Hula Hoop, swimming, Grit Strength classes, running, and I’m having such a blast!!”

Cutting out dairy and adding fermented foods

Andrea, Marketing Intern

“My skin has been all over the place this summer, and I have not been able to figure out what’s causing it. I eat super well but have a weakness for certain dairy foods (cheese, greek yogurt, ice cream…). Dairy products are full of natural hormones, are a natural source of sugar, and increase inflammation in the body. These are all things that could be contributing to my not-so-great complexion as of late.”

“So as much of a cheese-lover as I am I will do my best to skip the dairy products and go for kimchi instead as I embark on my mission to baby-soft, clear skin”


Aranka, CEO

“I’m going on holiday and limiting myself to 30 min of internet per day during that week. I am going to read books and try to take less pictures. I sometimes don’t even see the view, only the picture of the view… Bring on the beach!”


Train for 10K

Laura, Project Manager
“I slowly built up my running ability to a 5K then had a bad ankle injury. This set me back and I broke up with running for several months. I’m looking for love again and am hoping to find it at the 10K finish line!”
“I’m going to use my Nike + app to train for running a 10K in 8 weeks. I know this is not just for September, but I plan to using the app’s schedule this month so I have clear goals I can stick to. I’m still looking for a race in the Netherlands in the coming months, any suggestions?”


Starting fresh with a positive mindset

Vladana, Online Editor
“This summer was marked by a lot of changes in my life, both good and bad. I met a lot of positive people here at #FITGIRLCODE who helped me change my negative mindset and inspired me to make changes”
“September will be my fresh start. I will find a routine and balance that work for me and get back on track in the gym after being injured for 4 months. More sleep and more water seems like a good place to start 🙂 “


Start going to yoga again

Laura, Chief Production Manager

“Team #FITGIRLCODE is moving to a new HQ! A new office means a new start. I’m letting go of old bad habits, including not going to yoga. I see every Monday as the 1st of January, a new opportunity to start fresh. You’ll see me back at yoga in September!”

Sleeping more

Joey, Graphic Designer

“This month I’m going to catch more zzzz’s and rest so that I can properly focus during the day. I plan to have more energy so I can be more productive and get better results in all I do, in and out of the office”

“A clear mind allows me to be on top of my game while working on my latest big project for the #FITGIRLCODE website! Stay tuned in the coming months to see if I succeed!”

So that’s what the #FITGIRLCODE team is up to this month! We’d love to hear about your plans, goals, dreams, and everything else. Tag us on Instagram or comment below and share what you’re doing to make September 2015 healthier!

3 things you didn’t know about your coffee-to-go

Is grabbing a morning coffee from your favourite cafe on the way to work or school more of a ritual that allows you to find the energy and strength to get through your day? You’re not alone. But do you really know what’s inside your cafe shop coffee?

There are benefits to drinking caffeine, in moderation of course, and it’s nice when the barista knows your order by heart. But it could be one thing that your consuming that is sabotaging your healthy lifestyle without realizing it so now could be time to change it up if these are things you didn’t know about your coffee!

The sugar shocker

Some of the coffee beverages on offer at the coffee counter are more like a dessert than a drink. With upto 69 grams of sugar in say a caramel frappuccino, about 13 teaspoons, that warm and fuzzy feeling you get inside afterwards might in fact be from a sugar hit. It’s very possible that the post coffee boost you are experiencing isn’t coming from caffeine at all! Yikes. You can of course customize your coffee in so many ways, so if you are a real regular and haven’t taken advantage of this at the coffee counter,  don’t be shy to make some changes to your order and skip the syrup and cream.

The milk mystery

Then there’s the choice of milk. Unless you ask for skimmed, then the default milk will be 2% or full fat and vegan choices are in most cases limited to soy milk. And if you’ve ever wondered, almond milk isn’t so commonly found in cafes because of the complications for those with nut allergies. But uhm hello coconut milk! It might be music to your ears that coconut milk can now be found as a lactose free alternative however we have some bad news that this isn’t necessarily a more nutrient rich alternative if you’re looking to make a healthier choice. Specifically at Starbucks, the coconut milk product they use is actually a beverage with coconut water from concentrate containing a list of more than 10 ingredients. Coconut milk is naturally low in sugar which is why it is extremely popular but be wary that it might not be the all natural source of coconut milk you expected.

The decaf dilemma

Opting for a decaf black coffee and skipping the flavoured syrup might sound like the sure bet to minimize any negative post coffee crash. But have you ever wondered how coffee is decaffeinated? The coffee bean in its green form (what it looks like before its roasted) undergoes one of three methods used to remove the caffeine. Two of these methods are certified organic; the Swiss Water method which uses a process of soaking the beans in water and the other which uses carbon dioxide to dissolve the caffeine. The third method uses a chemical solvent to strip the beans of caffeine. So if you’re especially keen on only consuming ecological products, this is definitely an important factor to consider when making a coffee choice. Why choose organic everything else and compromise when your on the go?

It isn’t the end of the world if you go all out and indulge in a specialty coffee now and again but it’s good to now what’s going into the things you eat and drink when you’re not at home.