4x what does caffeine do to your body

‘But first, coffee.’ ‘Don’t talk to me before my morning coffee.’ ‘Coffee: the most important meal of the day.’ You probably know them, all those spells about coffee. For many of us, this kind of morning is well integrated into the daily rhythm. But do you know what the caffeine from your hot drink does to you? (Except waking up). All the facts in a row. 

First an update where the substance caffeine can be found. The best known is, of course, just coffee, but did you know that tea is also known as theine? In addition, caffeine is also in cola, iced tea, energy drinks and even in chocolate. The amount of the substance in each product varies considerably, but the biggest sources of caffeine are espresso and energy shots.

YOU BECOME ALERT

As soon as caffeine is absorbed into your blood, it enters your brain. There it blocks certain receptors, so you will get an increased state of alertness. The release of adrenaline is also stimulated, which only reinforces that. Result: you can handle the world, but it could also be that you feel a bit hunted.

YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE RISES

Because of the adrenaline and cortisol released after drinking a cup of coffee, your blood vessels narrows. This causes your blood pressure to rise, which in turn causes your heart rate to drop. With a large intake, this can even lead to arrhythmias, but no worries, you really have to drink a lot of coffee.

YOU HAVE TO PEE MORE

Caffeine stimulates your kidneys, so you have to urinate more. You probably recognize this: right after your cup of coffee or tea you immediately feel the pressure on your bladder. This is not because, contrary to what people often say, caffeine dehydrates, so you have to pee more. It is still the same amount, you just have to go to the bathroom faster. If you sit there for a number two it is not so strange, because coffee also stimulates the stomach and intestines. But whether that is because of the caffeine, or whether another substance is responsible for this, is not (yet) known.

YOU HAVE MORE ENERGY

In addition to all the effects, you also get more energy from coffee and it takes away your tiredness. This can be great during exercise, because this way you can keep your spicy workout up! Exactly the reason why caffeine is often added to pre workouts shakes. However, it can also be a disadvantage that caffeine makes you so alert, energetic and motivated. For example, if you suddenly become completely hypedbent after a cup of coffee after dinner, while you actually wanted to go to bed early. You lie there and stare at the ceiling. A good tip to get to sleep better is also to avoid these drinks!

 

In short: that daily cup of coffee does quite a lot with your body. And to be honest, at Fitgirlcode HW we can no longer do without. Also so fond of this hot drink? Will you let us know in the comments what your favorite coffee is?

Honey hair treatment for healthy & shiny hair

These days a lot of people are committed to eating healthy. But what about the products you put ON your body, like shampoo, body lotion and deodorant? I discovered that all the beauty products we use on a daily basis contain a lot of ingredients we know nothing about. Most of the ingredients are no good. So I did a little research for healthy alternatives. I found some beauty product in the most natural way possible. It got me really curious and now I somewhat addicted to try new things. The latest thing I tried is putting honey in my hair instead of artificial shampoo.

 

The ‘No Poo’ movement
The more natural the better, is my opinion. A year ago I started trying bicarbonate (baking soda) to wash my hair with. My hair got a bit rough and dull, but clean. I wanted to try something new, so I decided to try pure honey to wash my hair with. What I read on the internet got me really curious. Normal shampoo is actually designed to clean you scalp of sebum. But did you know that your hair gets greasier the more you wash it? Daily washing may cause the oils to be stripped too quickly, encouraging them to come back even oilier to make up for the loss. If you have naturally greasy hair, it’s recommended that you only wash it every 2-3 days. Wanna know more about this subject? Try searching on the internet for ‘no poo’. You’ll find lots of information.

 

 

Shiny & clean hair
So, how does it work? Make sure you get real natural honey (no sugar, water or preservatives) for your hair treatment. I used organic honey from a beekeeper. Put one tablespoon of honey in an empty bottle or cup and add a few spoons of hot (if you use cold water it doesn’t blend well) and stir. Poor the mixture over your head and massage your scalp easily. No need to wet your ends, the water and honey will run down automatically. Leave it in your hair for a couple of minutes. Rinse your hair carefully. You don’t need to use conditioner anymore. The result: shiny and clean hair!

I washed my hair with honey for quite some time now, but I don’t want to state yet that this is the best way to treat your hair. First I want to try out other natural products. Although, if you want to experiment with natural products, honey or baking soda are good ones to start with. Please share your experience with me! I am really curious to hear your opinion about it! One more tip: try extra vergine coconut oil as body lotion. It makes your skin super soft and smooth!

 

Share your tips and tricks for shiny and healthy hair! Everything is welcome 😉 

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.

Sources: www.health.com, www.esquire.com, www.health.harvard.edu

Why you don’t have to be skinny to be a Fit Girl

At Fitgirlcode it’s all about balance and self-compassion. We want to help you feel good in the body that you have been given. The Fit Girls from Fitgirlcode are not necessarily tall, thin girls that all fit into a size 2. A Fit Girl is a happy woman, and happiness is not tied to the size of clothing that you wear. That is why we are going to put some Fit Girls in the spotlight today who go against the stereotypical model body. (Meaning, almost everyone! 😉 ) 

You don’t have to be skinny to be fit

A fit lifestyle means that you are eating healthy and moving enough. The outline of your waist is therefore not that important. If you eat well and regularly, and get a lot of energy from working out (or whatever sport it may be), then you’re a Fit Girl! It’s a shame that many people think that a Fit Girl must be thin and well-trained. A fit lifestyle is after all a life, not an external feature.

Body positivity

It’s time to put the stereotype of thin Fit Girls aside and appreciate our own body. We only got one body so we better be pleased and take care of it, right? It’s so much more important that you feel confident in your skin than trying to fit into the ‘skinny girl’ image of what a ‘Fit Girl’ is meant to look like. If you feel good about what you are eating and are energized by sports, then you will feel confident in your body!

fit girl

Role models

Luckily, we are not only about our journey towards self-compassion. On Instagram you can find enough women who don’t fit into a size 2 but are extremely proud of their body. This is how it should be! For instance, take a look at Fiona Falkner (@fionafalkiner). She once participated in the Australian television show The Biggest Loser and now she’s the one who hosts it! Further, she inspires women to pick up some weights and get fit, but more importantly, she shows us that we can be happy in our own body. Also Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn) has shown us that you don’t have to be thin to be fit! On her Instagram she not only shows awesome yoga poses, she also shows her beautiful body. She shows us that bigger women don’t not have to be ashamed of anything!

Do you want to see more Fit Girls promoting body positivity on your Instagram feed? Then you could also look at @whitneywaythore, @getfitjules, @chicksgetfitdone, or @ladybeastjuju.

A fit lifestyle is not about what your body looks like, but how you feel in it. Don’t focus on the number that’s shown by the scale. Let your Fit Journey depend on how you feel in your own body. Be proud of your body and what you achieved! 

Sources: WeHeartIt (header), Finelinervreter (illustration)

Take a look here for more inspirational Fit Girls to follow on Instagram. Do you want to start your Fit Journey but don’t know how? The Fitgirlcode Guide can help you every step of the way

Want to know more about me? Follow me on Instagram @rooshijwegen

The Fitgirlcode Guide

We’re proud to let you know that we are currently working on our second English guide, the Happy Healthy Guide! Our first guide, the Fitgirlcode Guide, did so well that we decided it was time to make another one. Before we introduce you to the Happy Healthy Guide (which is coming soon!), we thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone of what the current Fitgirlcode Guide has to offer and let the ones who havent gotten it yet catch up 😉 

Together with the help of nutrition, fitness and mindfulness experts, we have created an eight-week guide that gives you the tools to make the best choices for your body and mind so that you can achieve your goals and unlock your personal code to a healthy lifestyle.

WHAT IS IN THE GUIDE?

  • 8-week workout schedule (no gym equipment)
  • 8-week eating plan with shopping lists
  • 8-week mindfulness program
  • Mindfulness audio exercises
  • Happiness Journal to track your progress
  • More than 80 easy and delicious recipes

fitgirlcode guide

WHY IS THE FITGIRLCODE GUIDE UNIQUE?

You can find so many ebooks on the internet about how to live a healthy lifestyle. Some are free and others cost you a fortune, but none of them are like ours. Since the launch of Fitgirlcode in 2014, we have listened to all of your questions and problems, and from this we have created a guide that fits into your busy schedule and allows you to fully enjoy your life! Our guide is a good way to kick-start your healthy lifestyle. But, what happens after you complete the guide? During those eight weeks, you will learn that healthy living is mainly about making the right choices. When you finish the guide, you will have enough knowledge to continue this new way of life on their own.

fitgirlcode guide

By this point we know how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and we really want to share that knowledge with you! We will explain to you why you should never trust the scale and the importance of Before and After photos. In the guide you will also find full-body workout schedules with workouts for advanced Fit Girls and Fit Girls who are just starting out.

In the guide you can also find complete and balanced food schedules. These schedules are created based on macro- and micronutrients. What the heck are those, you ask? You will learn all about it in the guide 😉 When designing the schedules we didn’t want to include any difficult, hard to find ingredients either. We know you all lead busy lives!

Last but not least: the mindfulness part. Through mindfulness exercises you will learn to manage stressful situations. Eventually, you will find out the effects of your new lifestyle on your mind. Inner change is perhaps even more important than external changes! For eight weeks, you will be accompanied by exercises that will give you support and a helping hand in dealing with many different situations.

HAPPINESS JOURNAL

Being happy and healthy is not only determined by your appearance. With the Happiness Journal you can measure and track how you have been feeling. The bottom line is that you should be honest with yourself – even if you have experienced some not-so-Fit-Girl moments. It’s impossible for everything to be perfect, and that’s okay.

fitgirlcode guide

THE PERFECT GIFT FOR FIT GIRLS!

You can download the Fitgirlcode Guide right now and have it immediately. We challenge you to join our fit journey. Maybe you know someone else who always says she wants to be fit and healthy but doesn’t know where to start. Invite her to join too! Even better, start the challenge together!

Join the 65,000 women in our community #FITGIRLCODE and encourage each other to be the fittest version of yourself by using the hashtag #FITGIRLCODEGUIDE on Instagram. Put on your finest sports outfit, drag our BFFF with you to the gym and start your own Fit Journey

Honey facial masks for every skin type

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

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

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

Honey facial mask for oily acne-prone skin

  •  3 teaspoons of honey
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

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

Honey facial mask for sensitive skin

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

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

Honey facial mask for dry skin

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

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

Honey facial mask for scars and dark spots 

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

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

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

4 need to know tips to maximize your nap

Being a Fit Girl is tiring work. Between working out, preparing tasty meals, motivating your friends to get moving and being all-round awesome, a Fit Girl has to get her energy from somewhere! If you really need an excuse to take a moment for some shut eye, here are 4 reasons to take a nap and a chance for you to learn how the different types of naps may affect you.

The Power nap – 15 to 20 minutes

Taking a nap for this length of time has been found to improve the feeling of alertness, mental performance and reaction times. Even during the busiest of days, you can afford to take a nap for 15 to 20 minutes especially when will continue to feel the benefits for up to 3 hours later, without affecting your sleep later that night.

The Restoration nap – 30 minute

When you sleep for this length of time, it’s likely that you’ll wake up feeling a little bit groggy. This isn’t ideal, but still worth it. If you got as little as two hours of sleep the night before, a nap for 30 minutes could restore your body to normality and compensate for the chemical imbalances caused by a really poor sleep!

The Memory nap – 60 minutes

Sleeping between 45 and 60 minutes is enough time to enjoy some slow wave sleep, which is the deepest kind of sleep when you start to dream. This is when your brain is also able to organize facts, faces and names and store them, improving you ability to retrieve them from your memory in the future.

The Creative full cycle nap – 90 minutes

Our body takes on different cycles as we sleep somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes. A nap which lasts the full length of one cycle allows you to go through all of the stages and gets the most benefits without that weird disorientated feeling when you wake up. If you have the time to take this length of nap make sure to time it earlier on in the day so that it doesn’t have an impact on your sleep that night.

Between 1pm and 3pm is the ideal time to take a nap and also around that time when you get the afternoon slump. So instead of reaching for the cup of coffee to keep your eyes open in the middle of the day, settle yourself down in a quiet place and have a nap! Go on, your body will thank you!

10 easy ways to stay healthy on a budget

Staying healthy on a budget. Even though it seems impossible for some people, it certainly is not. In fact it is very easy to live healthy on a budget. Especially if you take some time to plan your meals and groceries. These easy tips could help you to save some money!

A lot of people who are starting to make their diet more healthy, struggle with expensive groceries. Fresh fruit & veggies, meals that contain fish and homemade snacks… This does sound quite a bit pricey, but if you take some time to plan it’s actually really affordable. Buying healthy food without a clear plan will often lead to you paying a fine price for your food.

HOW TO DO HEALTHY ON A BUDGET

1. Eat seasonably

When you’re planning on eating mango’s regularly during winter, this obviously isn’t very budget friendly. Oranges and mandarins are very cheap during winter, though. So make sure you spend some time selecting fruits and veggies that most readily available in that season. This is by far one of the easiest ways to eat healthy on a budget, it will save you quite some money each week!

2. Less is more

My meals often contain about 5 ingredients. Sometimes even less. When it comes to cooking my motto is ‘less is more.’ Of course a healthy salad made out of shrimps, avocado, fresh thyme and almonds will be quite expensive. Try to pick just one of these ingredients and then combine them with cheaper food to make saving on a scrummy meal.

3. Eat oats regularly

Starting off your day with a bowl of oats is very healthy and so cheap. I eat oats for breakfast everyday. Sometimes I use oats in my smoothie but during winter I love to eat a bowl of hot oats. It gives me a very satisfied feeling until lunch time. We love to share our favourite oat recipes on the blog, so make sure you check out our breakfast page!

4. Mix & Match

If I get myself a pack of fresh salmon, I make sure I use it a couple of times a week. The same goes for sweet potatoes. I love to make fries out of them for dinner and I also use them to make these pancakes for breakfast. You will save quite a lot of money if you use the same ingredient several times in one week. The possibilities are endless but you need to try and think outside the box a little. 🙂 You could for instance make your own simple version of granola.

5. Don’t buy pre-packed food

Although those pre-packed cookies are delicious and easy, they aren’t that cheap. And most of them are quite unhealthy as well. It’s very easy to make your own bananabread which will last en entire week. It contains only a couple of budget friendly ingredients. Easy peasy!

healthy on a budget

6. Make a plan

When you prepare well before doing groceries you will save some cash. Make a shopping list and plan out your meals and recipes. This will make it less tempting to buy stuff you really don’t need. Not only will this save you money but also a lot of time in the supermarket. Score!

7. Store your food the right way

About 14% of the groceries in Holland go unopened and into the garbage bin. What a shame! Products which are thrown away most often are fruit, vegetables and bread. We should actually all start to invest some time in learning about how to store your food the right way. Vegetables need their own space in the fridge. So don’t just lay them underneath your meat & cheese. And some kinds of fruit & veggies (mango’s, melons, bananas and avocado) belong on the kitchen counter. If you’re afraid your bananas will decay soon, peel them, cut them and put them into the freezer. This way you can even use them for a nice smoothie!

8. Arrive fashionably late at the market

Even though it’s quite a lot of fun to go to the market in the mornings, it’s not the most clever option. When you visit one hour before it closes, everything will be a lot cheaper. I always go around 4 o’clock on a Monday afternoon. This way I can get myself a nice stock of fruit & vegetables that will last the entire week.

9. Check the freezers

Raspberries and forest fruits can be quite expensive, unfortunately. But they’re a lot cheaper when you check out the freezer at your supermarket. I always stock a couple of bags of frozen fruit in my freezer that I use for breakfast. These bags are perfect for lazy fit girls like me. You can also find quite a lot of mixed veggies in the freezer. Delicious and cheap, YAY!

10. Become a couponing pro

With a little time and attention to detail, it is true that any average shopper can lower his or her grocery budget. Subscribe to your local supermarket via email or post to keep up with the offers. And ask your friends to help you out when you need some more coupons! Nowadays it’s even easier to save up coupons with the help of apps on your phone too as they offer different deals each week.

You’ll definitely save some money if you put these tips into action the next time you go shopping. Share your own ultimate saving tips in the comments below because all Fit Girls love to know how to stay healthy on a budget!

Must-have kitchen gadgets that every Fit Girl needs

Healthy food is very important when you’re on your way to fully living a healthy lifestyle. And spending some time in the kitchen to prepare yummy snacks is a big part of that lifestyle. Today I will share the ultimate must have kitchen gadgets every Fit Girl needs. This will make cooking even more fun!

kitchen must-haves

Smoothiemaker

Smoothies are perfect either for breakfast or for a snack. A smoothie maker is the ultimate must-have for everyone who loves some fruity goodness. I always use this handy blender which comes with a big cup. This mean you even have less washing-up to do. Add your quark, fruit and oats then mix it for a couple of seconds, et voila. Your smoothie is done! You can’t go wrong with a breakfast this simple.

kitchen must-haves

Kitchen machine

A kitchen machine is great for cutting, grating and whipping food. It will come in handy at any time a day. It can easily help you make anything from salads to cakes and even more. A kitchen machine is a great investment when you’re planning on spending more time in the kitchen!

 

kitchen must-haves

Spiralizer

love the Spirelli. A while ago I even wrote an article about this gadget in which I shared easy recipes to try with it. You can find spiralizers online in all shapes and sizes but this one by GEFU is my fave. With the help of this handy spiralizer you will prepare the most delicious low-carb recipes in no-time. Yum! 

kitchen must-haves

Waffle iron

Do you have a sweet tooth? Then you will probably love waffles for breakfast. A while ago we shared this recipe for healthy spelt waffles, (if you haven’t checked it out yet, I urge you to now). When you use the right recipe waffles can be very healthy, nutritious and versatile. You can top them off with a splash of quark and some fresh fruit. That’s why you definitely need a waffle iron in your Fit Girl kitchen!

kitchen must-have

Juicer

A tool which I can use for making juices is definitely high on my kitchen gadget wishlist. I would love to start off the day with freshly juiced drinks. A juicer is also easy to use in combination with veggies. With a juicer you can get in your daily dose of vitamins during breakfast. Yum, a freshly pressed juice made with spinach, orange and lemons. I can already picture it. Delicious!

kitchen must-haves

Steamer

Steaming is hot! (get it?) When you prepare your food with a steamer there are no fats added and you will maintain all the vitamins. Steaming is one of the healthiest way to prepare your veggies, fish and/or meat. The anti-oxidants will also be saved when you steam your food. You can even collect the liquid that comes from the damp and use it for stock to add some extra flavour to other dishes. This way nothing will be lost.

So which one of these must-have kitchen gadgets are high on your wishlist? 🙂

 

5 easy ways to work-out on Christmas vacation

Leaving the country for a well deserved holiday this winter? Don’t worry we got you with Iris & Ily’s 5 easy ways to work-out on Christmas vacation. Because being on holiday doesn’t have to mean not working out. Exercise is always a great mood-booster, and it shouldn’t be something that you forget about when you go out of town!

There’s an uncontested amount of joy surrounding vacations — the promise of warm weather (depending on where you’re going, of course) coupled with an opportunity to take a break and escape. And while all of these experiences are integral when it comes to planning your next trip, it’s also important to incorporate some wellness into your travels.

5 easy ways to work-out on Christmas vacation

1. Go on a morning walk

As soon as you arrive at your hotel or rental, lace up your running shoes and get outside for a walk. It’s a great way to see the town, and you’ll probably discover all sorts of small neighbourhood quirks you might have otherwise missed.

If your destination has a place to swim, you can get a full-body workout and enjoy your time in the sun with a few pool exercises. Jump in the water and warm up with some underwater jumping jacks, then alternate between high knees and treading water.

 

A creative way to feel like a local instantly is to sign up for a race or community walk. You’ll work up a sweat, meet a few residents, and your course may grant you access to roads you would never have seen.

When you’re exploring a new place, tours are great, but rather than signing up for one that puts you inside a bus, sign up for one that takes place on a bike. Loads of cities offer two-wheeled tours, and they’re great because you’ll burn calories while getting a different view of the terrain.

 

See if you can find a gym close to your vacation destination and try to log at least 30 minutes in the mornings. Bonus points if the gym overlooks the street or the beach 🙂

Have fun!

IRIS & ILY

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

How to know when to snooze or work out early

We’ve all been there, convincingly telling ourselves we will get up early and work out before school or work tomorrow, even getting our gym gear out ready. “Tomorrow I will, no more excuses.” Only to find ourselves turning off all five alarms that we set the night before in the effort to wake up early. Some people are great at getting up for the early morning spin class or clocking in a 5km and being dressed to impress by 9am, while some of us can’t hold our heads above our cereal bowl. Are the rest of us just damn lazy or genuinely too tired to attempt it? Here’s how to know when to snooze or hit the gym, that might help answer this question!

Know when to hit snooze

So should you set the alarms anyway and try to push through or sleep on and get in the extra hours of shut eye? Missing out on sleep when you really need it, even for a workout won’t go in your favour when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being tired makes it harder to say no to the offer of fatty foods and your body does most of your post workout recovery and repair while sleeping. This might lead you to try and replenish your energy from the less beneficial sources, a.k.a. cake because …”well I did work out today”. But how do you know if you are being too easy on yourself if you skip the morning workout? Maybe talking about balance and not pushing yourself too hard has encouraged you to hit snooze too many times. Here’s how to know:

  1. If you woke up several times or were up all night… Skip the sweat sesh that day. Your co-ordination will be affected by this sleep dept and it might even be dangerous to exercise because you’re less careful. It also increases your perception of pain, so working out feels tougher even if it is the same intensity.  You’re less likely to enjoy it in this case and the struggle continues (working out isn’t punishment, it can be enjoyable you know). If it’s normal for you to sleep badly and you find yourself skipping more workouts than you would like to because of it, it’s time to reassess your whole routine.
  2. If you slept less than six hours and it’s the third or fourth time this week… Sleep on. Skip the morning workout and take a walk later on in the day instead. Use that time as an opportunity to think about why you haven’t been sleeping very well lately. If there is something stressing you out at work or school, settling down on the couch in the evening might leave you feeling restless again by the time that you hit the hay. Exercising could help relieve some of the stress and using up some extra energy will help you sleep more soundly.
  3. If your muscles are sore from working out the previous day… Take a day off. Overtraining can cause a decrease in the duration of your sleep and the quality of it too, which won’t help you get back at it the next day. Make sure to foam roll or try a gentle yoga flow to loosen up again.
  4. If you slept at least seven hours the night before… Go workout! Although everyone is different of course, between seven and nine hours is adequate sleep for adults to function properly. You can get up and work out, even if your cosy bed is telling you something different. If you still want to hit snooze, how can you make yourself do it? Try asking yourself these three questions that might just help you find that feeling that forces you out of bed for the early bird workout:
  1. Can I work out later today?
  2. If I don’t go, am I going to fall back asleep now for another 30 minutes?
  3. Have I done all of the other workouts I had planned to do this week?

If the answer is no to all of the above then you better give yourself a shake and get moving!

Exercise right and sleep tight

It’s no secret that working out improves your sleep, unless you leave it too late before heading to bed. Although the most beneficial time to work out is debatable, and studies find different benefits of exercising at different times of the day. If you’re constantly setting the alarm and having the battle between deciding to work out or sleeping, then you’re only disturbing your sleep and not even receiving the benefit of working out. That’s just plain crazy. If you’re guilty of setting the early alarm after a junk food filled day to try and compensate for a ‘bad day’, I urge you to stop! The chances are you’ll not have a great sleep and have even less energy because of poor nutrition. Instead, get the sleep you need, focus on returning to having a balanced diet and tackle the workout the following day when your body is better fueled and rested!

With the mornings staying darker for longer and the weather turning cold, my motivation to get out of bed in general is declining, so if you’re killing it in the early morning workout department, share some tips with us too!

Sources: shape.com & greatist.com

How to wash smelly sportswear? 4 things you need to know!

One down side to being a Fit Girl is that you’re laundry basket is never empty! Smashing a sweaty workout several times a week comes at the price of endless, smelly laundry. It’s about time that someone investigated how to wash smelly sportswear for us Fit Girls so we can keep our workout wardrobe looking as awesome as we feel and smelling good.

Why do people think we are always saying a Fit Girl can never have enough workout clothes?! Because we just can’t keep up with washing them! Maybe you’ll admit that you don’t wash your jeans or bra after every wear but how are you supposed to wash your workout clothes? Here are 4 things you need to know to do it right!

1. Detergent and dead skin

When it comes to washing workout clothes my natural instinct is to put them in with as much detergent as possible on high heat. Surely extra soap and heat is all it needs to get rid of the bacteria. WRONG. Adding extra detergent is actually worse. Your washing machine cycle is only set to handle so much soap so it can’t rinse all of the excess off in the same length of time, trapping dead skin cells into the fabric and bacteria continues to grow. If you feel like your clothes still smell, its probably mildew which feeds off of the soap that wasn’t washed off in the cycle! Yikes, less is more in this case!

2. Funky fragrances and fabric softeners

If you use fragranced fabric softener in your washing it makes sense that you would add it to your workout clothes too. They’re potentially the smelliest items in your wardrobe so why wouldn’t you want to walk into the gym smelling like fresh cotton or lavender fields (whatever your preference)?!  But this is actually counter productive for the purpose of workout clothes because fabric softener traps fragrances into fabric. So in essence, you’re trapping the sweaty smelliness into the clothes! That certainly didn’t occur to me. Not only this, fabric softener damages anything that is elastic so it’s doing your gear more harm than good.

3. Do I have to wash my yoga pants as often as my running tights?

According to dermatoligist Dierdre Hooper, the answer is yes, you do have to wash them after every wear. You might think after an easy Hatha yoga class that didn’t you break a sweat but the tight fitting style of clothing means, sweat or no sweat, bacteria rubs off of you and onto your clothes while you wear them. She says, “Many of those bacteria will still be on those clothes the next day—possibly in higher number if they’ve multiplied, which they can do even when the clothes are dry.” Putting them back on means you expose yourself to now – fortified bacteria or yeast and risk irritating your skin and increase the chance of getting an infection!

4. So how do I kill all that nasty stuff without ruining them?

You are not doomed to smell forever don’t worry. Instead of following the normal washing procedure follow these steps to get keep your gear in good form and fresh ore you put them on!

  • Turn everything inside-out to protect the colours. It’s also the inside of the clothes that need the deepest clean because that’s where all of the sweat and skin cells are rubbing onto!
  • If you have the time to, soak clothes in a mixture of cold water and half a cup of white vinegar for 15 to 30 minutes before you put them in the machine. This cleans some of the gross stuff that has built up during and after your workout.
  • Use a small amount of detergent, slightly less than the recommended amount for the size of the load.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water as hot water can damage the fabric causing your beloved clothes to shrink! And the same goes for drying. Use the coolest setting on the dryer so as not to shrink them or better yet be eco-friendly too and let them dry by air!

Now you know how to wash smelly sportswear, get your dirty tights smelling clean, keep your workout wear in good condition and get even more out of your detergent! But it can be our little secret so that you can still use not having enough fresh sports clothes as the excuse to go and buy more, we won’t tell!

Can eating alone impact your diet?

Eating alone is becoming more common and it no longer has the stigma attached like it used to. That idea that if you eat by yourself you must be a desperately lonely, single person grimacing over a microwave dinner and finishing it with a single serve trifle for dessert, doesn’t reflect reality. A new study shows that more and more of people’s food is eaten alone. So can eating alone impact your diet?  

A recent study from the USA found that over half of people’s food and drinks were consumed when they were on their own. This has increased as a result of more single person households across the country (hopefully more bachelorette pads rather than divorcees) and more eating on-the-go! Dinner is the meal that people were least likely to eat on their own, with families with children in particular, eating together five days a week. People eat breakfast alone about 53 percent of the time and 45 percent of lunches are eaten alone. But it’s not necessarily a sad affair if you’re on your own. Early mornings at the gym before work or school can mean drinking a smoothie on the way to class or at your desk, not to mention times when you’re under pressure at work so you may choose to eat lunch at your desk. What this says is that not only are we alone, we’re mutli-tasking at meal times.

“I’ll have what they’re having”

It’s suggested that eating with others encourages eating more calorific meals. Research also found that the weight of our friends may impact your choices and found that people tend to eat more when dining with or near to people who weigh more than they do. One ‘tip’ I’ve seen encouraged to help you “stay on track with a diet while dining out with friends” is to place your order with the waiter first before anyone else. This is because you have a stronger mindfulness for making a healthy choice. Diners who place their order last, tend to order the least healthy thing on the menu. We’ve all been there, once you hear that everyone else is ordering the specialty burger topped with onion rings and extra cheese, you go from opting for a salad to, “I’ll have the same as them and a side of fries”. Because why not really enjoy yourself. If you’re having the burger, you may as well go all out, right? These social occasions are something that we blame our over indulgences on. But before you go turning down all of your social invitations this is specific to eating in restaurants.

Cereal? For dinner?

A meal made with friends could be more nutritious than if you were going to eat alone, even if the food you’re preparing doesn’t scream ‘clean eating’. As when people are alone and deciding what to eat, it is more common to choose a less nutritious option, almost always choosing less or no vegetables! Yup we’ve been there, with no motivation to cook for yourself you choose a bowl of pasta or a even bowl of cereal for dinner. Eating with others is also positive as it is a social occasion when you’re forced to acknowledge what and how much you are eating. That’s not say embarrassment from others thinking you’re being greedy should stop you from having a second helping, but it will make you more aware if you really want it because you’re still hungry or you’re already full and you just want it anyway. Alone, you might not ask yourself this and just consume all that is in front you. When no one else around you could also be tempted to make unhealthier choices just because you feel as though you can do so, without any insecurity about what those around you might think.

Multi tasking mindlessness

Another problem of eating on your own is that you’re likely to be multi tasking; watching television, checking your emails or even on social media. All of these things take your attention away from the moment of here and now which can impact how much food you eat. It’s possible that you’re so distracted that you eat beyond how hungry you were and are left too full yet unsatisfied from your meal.

Applying a mindful awareness of sitting down to eat a meal, whether alone or with friends can help to control your consumption. Registered dietitian nutritionist Beth Warren says that the moments before you dive into your meal are crucial to your experience of it and how much you might eat. Taking a second to look at the food in front of you before tasting it, engages your mind with what you are about to eat and encourages you to recognize when you are full, resulting in more satisfaction from the meal.

No choice but to eat alone? 

If you fall into the trap of thinking that cooking for one is too much hassle which leads you to opt for unhealthy food, then simply make meals as you would for two or four people and freeze the rest. This way, you will have your own ready meals the next time that you’re unprepared for dinner mid week. Or if you do have a full household but they just aren’t there to eat with you then cook for them anyway. You won’t be tempted to go back for more if you know that you have made it for someone else. You couldn’t promise to make dinner for someone else for them to come home to the dirty dishes!

The next time someone offers to cook with you or invites you out for dinner, don’t be tempted to turn it down because you think that it will derail your healthy diet. It won’t. Try planning to make something nutritious together or simply relax and don’t think about the food, just enjoy the company! 

Sources: yahoo.com

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”

Unplugging

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. 

The many benefits of exercising outdoors

Ever heard the saying “you’re just one workout away from a good mood”? We totally live by this, and some of us prefer hitting the gym while others go outside in rain or shine. Have you ever thought about how your satisfaction, the efficacy of your workout, and your mood might differ if you exercise indoors or outdoors? 

There are some physical differences between working out indoors on stationary equipment or outdoors, but the major differences have to do with mental benefits. I’ll take you through both so that you know when it might be nicest to go to the park with your #BFFF like Fit Girl Vladana and I did today instead of hitting the treadmill or the elliptical at the gym.

Pssst: there is a surprise on the last page if you read through the entire article!

Active Leggings in Black and Onyx, Jogha; Racerback Tops in Teal and Blue, MyProtein

 

Get the most out of your workout

The gym has some obvious benefits, especially in terms of predictability and convenience- you know exactly when the gym opens, closes, and what the temperature will be like. The presence of many different types of equipment in the gym is also practical if you plan to, for example, do a circuit training on your own and are not able to carry kettle bells, mats, barbells, and stability balls around with you. Going to the gym is a safe bet if you want to squeeze in a great WOD when the weather outside is just not on your side. However in terms of getting the most out of a workout, you’re better off taking your booty outdoors.

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Meat balls with couscous

In my search for lunch box recipes – as an alternative for the daily sandwich lunch, I would like to share these meat balls with couscous with you which is also suitable to have for dinner. It also reminds me of that one time in work where I had to sit on my own in an empty office with the window wide open as the smell of garlic reached all my colleagues. Ah well, I promise you, these balls are tasty to the max!

Meat balls with couscous

  • 2 portions
  • preparation: 20 minutes
  • cooking: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • Ketchup, 1 tbs
    • Handful of parsley
    • Paprika powder, 1 tsp
    • Cumin powder, 1 tsp
    • Bread, 1/2 slice
    • Minced beef, 200 g / 7oz
    • Olive oil, 3 tbsp
    • Chopped tomatoes, 230 g / 8 oz in tin
    • 1 Medium tomato
    • Water, 90 ml / 3 fl. oz
    • Couscous, to serve

Process:

  1. Put the egg, onion, half of the garlic, ketchup, parsley, paprika and cumin powder in a large bowl.
  2. Soak the bread in water, then squeeze to drain. Break it into small pieces and add to the bowl.
  3. Mix in the minced beef until it is well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Wet your hands and form small balls from the mixture.
  5. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over high heat, then carefully add the meatballs.
  6. Fry the meatballs for 3 minutes on each side, then remove from pan.
  7. Place the tinned and fresh tomatoes, water and the remaining garlic in a saucepan.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Gently place the meatballs inside the saucepan and bring to boil.
  10. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare coucous according to the instructions on the packet.

In your lunchbox arrange a layer of couscous and top with a portion of the meatballs.

Follow me on Instagram for more inspiration and from me to you:

~ Enjoy Your Meal ~ Eet Smakelijk ~ Bon Appétit ~ Selamat Makan ~

~ Njang Swietie ~ Itadakimasu ~ Tom Ka Kung ~

4 tools to plan your workouts and life

Planning. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I absolutely hate it. Planning makes me aware of all the things I have to do but also helps me keep track of all the things I have already done. Because I know I am not the only one who likes to keep track of their workouts and also because planning can be quite a task, I share 4 tools I use to plan my workouts and my life!

1. Planner
The first tool is my 18 month Paperblanks planner. In this planner I plan my appointments physically with pen and paper. I usually only plan work appointments and special fitness related events in here. To keep everything nice and neat, I plan my daily workouts elsewhere.

2. Cozi
Everything that goes in to the planner above and has to do with working (out) together with others , I also add to my digitally shared calendar for which I use the app COZI. Cozi is an app that is also used as a family calendar. I on the contrary use it with my colleagues to plan appointments regarding our joint activities and also use it to notify my family and friends whenever they want to know what I am doing. This tool is very user friendly, can be easily shared and has a lot of  other options like grocery lists and to do lists.  I use it mostly on my smartphone, which is a Sony Xperia Z.Cozi

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People and attitudes towards the body across countries

A healthy lifestyle means something different to each person and can be linked to many influences in our lives. Habits like what time you eat your dinner at, are often linked to your cultural environment and impacted by the place that you live in. A new study reveals health ideals and how we view our bodies can be categorized in three different ways, varying around the world. 

The online survey created by Havas Worlwide, explored the attitudes of people aged 18+ in 28 different countries towards body image and health. Whether you believe nature or nurture to be more influential on our behaviours and how we view ourselves, there are similarities seen in these attitudes across different countries. People reported the role of their body in their happiness which could be a source of ‘pleasure’ or ‘pride and power’. One part of this study, revealed people view their bodies as serving different purposes and categorized their attitudes as pleasure seekers, holistic enthusiasts and functionalists.

Pleasure seekers

Present in Brazil, Spain and France, this attitude places value on the body as the way to experience enjoyment. Such countries are known for their sensuality and self celebration where a passion for dancing or finer cuisine is typical. The research suggests people with the ‘pleasure seeker’ attitude also highly value physical attractiveness. Which may not be so surprising as the Brazilian cosmetic industry is known around the world for enhancing one asset in particular, in order to look good in a bikini. The results of this survey also found “40 percent of Brazilians said cosmetic surgery is a “smart choice” for people who want to be more attractive”.

Holistic enthusiasts

This attitude encourages nurturing all aspects of the body and its natural rhythms as they are interconnected. You are more likely to find people with this attitude in China, India or Germany, where most people reported they believe in ageing naturally rather than having cosmetic surgery. The holistic attitude goes hand in hand with the practices and mindsets of a lifestyle which includes yoga and meditation. Sleep, a balanced diet and experiencing the outdoors are important priorities in the efforts to achieve optimum health.

Functionalists

Exactly what it sounds like, the body is viewed as something which must be functional, like a machine. People from the USA, UK and Australia where people value working hard in order to reach their full potential.The functionalist attitude towards health is supported by this value as people want the maximum results from their efforts and work out in order to reach their peak fitness.

Ideal and attitude doesn’t mean reality.

You might not want to be too quick to jump to describe yourself has having one attitude over another because the study highlights that the ‘attitudes’ towards body image and health might not actually translate into real life as much as people want it to. You might believe that being healthy means being at your peak, but that doesn’t mean you instinctively live your lifestyle in line with the ideal. If that was the case, anyone who falls into functionalist category would perform like an olympic athlete. However, functionalists are more likely to be found in three countries which have some of the world’s highest obesity rates. This suggests that what the healthy ideal is and how to achieve it might be linked to the country that you live in, it doesn’t mean that people live according to that lifestyle.

Body image satisfaction.

The great news? Overall, the study found that people generally have a positive relationship with their body across the 28 countries. People reported that dissatisfaction with body image was an impact from the beauty ideals that are presented through the media highlights something called ‘beauty fatigue’. The presence of women other than super tiny bikini models in advertising may be over praised, but recognition that people are tired of seeing overly airbrushed, photoshopped and therefore edited representations of women in adverts, could hopefully encourage more brands to change their campaigns!

A current trend in fashion and media is the need to make a song and dance about featuring ‘plus size’ models, such as the Sports Illustrated cover and advert. Check out our take on the campaign and the excess noise that went with it here