90 day challenge, dietary changes and shorts!

Guess who is finally back for another update? Yep that would be me. Apologies for the massively long absence, but I really wanted to take some time to recover some energy and did not want to push myself into writing regular blog posts when I did not feel up for it.

So I am sure you are all wondering: how have things been going? Pretty good actually. In my previous blogpost I wrote about the 90 day challenge I was doing. I completed it about two weeks ago with pretty nice results.

Chest: -4,5 cm
Waist: -5,5 cm
Hips: -4,8 cm
Thighs: -1,6 cm
Weight: -2,1 kg

So overall that is a -16,4 cm loss and I am back at 68 kg. I am pretty pleased with this, the more because I wasn’t able to work-out a lot due to my chronic fatigue.

Speaking of chronic fatigue, I have to say I am gradually getting more energy back. The mesology treatment (please read an older blog post for more information on this) really seems to be working. I have been taking a ton of different supplements to help with my fatigue, as well as digestive issues. On top of that I have also had to make some massive dietary changes.

crash-dietMy mesologist has put me on diet that only includes foods that are easily digestible. So I cannot have gluten other than spelt, I can only have meager meats (such as chicken or lean beef), non-fermented cheeses (so that excludes mozzerella, brie and the like). Oh and I am not allowed to eat raw vegetables, so salads are out of the question.

As I am also rice intolerant (yes, never heard of that before either) and slightly allergic to nightshade, that has mostly left me with options like quinoa, couscous and sweet potatoes. All in all, a pretty restrictive diet.

And to top it all off, I have also had to give up my morning coffee… *gasp* Yep, because apparently the way your body processes coffee counteracts homeopathic.

Thankfully I can still have my trusty Herbalife shake in the morning, though I have had to switch to the “free from” version, as I am apparently allergic to soy ^__^” .

But is it worth it? Definitely! My body just seems to have a lot less trouble processing food, which leaves me with more energy to spend on fun stuff! Like writing blog posts late at night, after a full day of work! Yeah, I know! I am blown away too.

Don’t worry though: I am not going crazy. I am taking this month to stock up on as much energy as I can. I have learned that if I am high on energy, I should still take it easy and preserve it, rather give in to the inclination to cram in all the things I have been wanting to do for weeks in a short period of time. Honestly, it’s really hard not to do this. Especially with the weather being absolutely lovely!

… And speaking of nice weather. I actually decided to take the plunge this year. I have been considering it for years now, but never actually did. This year, things are going to be different though: cause I bought not one, but TWO pairs of denim shorts! I bought a pair in dark blue and gray.

shorts

For reference, I have not worn shorts since I was in primary school. I have always felt like I need to hide my (not particularly small) very white thighs. But this year, I just thought: screw it! I’m done with wearing long jeans when it’s 28 degrees (Celsius) outside. No mas!

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bonus points if you can name the reference in the comments

So now I just have to get myself a cute pair of sneakers to go with them and I’m 100% ready for summer in both Holland and Florida! 😀 Yep! November in Walt Disney World is going to be HOT: average of 25 degrees Celcius so shorts will definitely be in order ;).

Well that’s all for now guys. I will try not to make you guys wait another 2,5 months before the next post ;).

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90 day challenge: raaawrr!

About a month ago I signed up through my Herbalife coach to start a 90 day challenge. With her help I have been focusing on regaining some more energy and loosing centimeters/ weight by simultaneously building muscle.

Due to the crash in energy levels in August I just let myself go and gained some of the pounds back. When I started the challenge I weighed in at 70 kg, or 154,3 pounds.  Which is technically still a healthy weight, and a normal BMI, but not really where I want to be.

So how has it been going? Well…. Slow. Very, very slow. The first two weeks I really struggled to regain my focus and to get my eating habits under control. This is partially because I have slowly been regaining some of my energy. My body has really been struggling to get a handle on this, as I have been experiencing spikes and drops in energy: one day I was doing great, the next day I felt like I hadn’t slept all night. And as a result, on the lower energy days I kept getting the munchies, because my body was telling me to send in the reinforcements… i.e. food … and honestly, who has ever craved carrots and peas or other healthy things?

On top of that, in the third week I suddenly found myself struggling with something I have hitherto never had a problem with: bloating. The anti-biotics that have been prescribed by my mesiologist have decided to kick in and occasional bloating is a bit of a side effect. The result: when I stood on the scales last week Saturday I was at 70,4 kg (or 155.2 pounds)! Despite the gain, I had still miraculously lost a couple of millimeters around my waist though, so it wasn’t all misery.

Through all this my coach Kim has been so sweet and such a support. It’s been really nice to have someone who doesn’t only keep me accountable, but also cheers me up when I have been dissatisfied with my losses. I really couldn’t hope for a better coach.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor hamster eatingThis week somehow everything has made a 180 degree turn… Honestly, it has been pretty fab. Although my energy levels are currently not that great, I have been able to get a bit of exercise in and have been able to get my eating under control. Which is a miracle considering hell week is coming up, and I have the tendency to munch on anything and everything the week before. It’s like my body is preparing for a monthly week of hibernation and thinks it needs to stock up on supplies or something haha.

When I stepped on the scales this morning I had lost a whopping -0,8 kg (or roughly 1,8 pounds) in a week! I am not going to lie, I am pretty chuffed with that.

So, just to give you an overview of how much I have lost in total since I started roughly 30 days ago:

Weight:  – 0.5 kg
Chest:     – 1,8 cm
Waist:    – 2,7 cm
Hips:      – 1,3 cm
Thighs:  – 0,3 cm
Total cm lost all together: 6,1 cm.

Granted, it’s not spectacular and it could have been better. But you know what, as a wise man once told me (you know who you are), a loss, is a loss, is a loss. So I’ll take it.

Now I just have to sink my teeth in my current mindset, persevere… become a lion!

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Raaawwwr!!!!

To invinity and beyond!

Ehm, hey there! I am sure you are all wondering where I have been and what caused the loonnnggg silence on my blog. Well get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, because this is going to be another looonnngg post.

As I wrote in my previous post, I wasn’t really doing all that great. At the time my CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) was kicking my but, which caused me to try the anti-inflammatory diet.

After two weeks of the diet, I decided to drastically adjust it. My body was not responding well to the no-gluten side of it. So rather than going gluten-free, I decided to reduce the amount of gluten I ate, but still allow myself to eat the occasional sandwich if my body indicated it needed it. Same for diary and meat products. I have been eating less meat (firmly sticking to lean meats such as chicken) and more fish and have tried to eat 1-2 vegetarian dishes each day. I occasinally eat a slice of cheese or coffee creamer, but oterwise firmly stick to non-dairy products such as almond milk.

tired2Unfortunately, the diet has still left me struggling with fatigue big time. I have had a number of weeks when going to work three days a week was pretty much all I could manage. I actually had to drop everything else, because I was physically incapable of doing it or because I was so tired that the thought of it simply stressed me out.

As such, I had to give up yoga, decorative planning and blogging for a while. I even had to skip a couple of my tap dance classes… Now that’s not to say I have not done anything fun at all though. I have allowed myself to go to Movie Park Germany and gone out to dinner with my aunt and uncle who I had not seen in a long while. So all has not been pure missery :). But I have had to pay a price for those outings: I have needed at least a day if not more to recover from them.

As a result of the fatigue I have not been making much progress with my dissertation either. Most days I have just been too tired, so my brain has been unable to translate my ideas into coherent, gramatically correct English sentences >.>.

So what has all of this meant for my weight? Well, I have to confess that it has caused me to fall of the wagon. When I feel this extremely tired my eating tends to get a bit out of control. My will power goes down the drain and I just eat anything I can get my hands on. It’s like my body goes into survival mode. Food means energy, and energy is what we need. So eating it is! The result: I put on 1,5 kilo’s… Go me *sigh*.

everytime-ithinkihave-allmy-ducks-in-a-row-one-of-the-23692428Last Saturday I decided it was time to get my ducks back in a row. I did some Yoga, planned the upcoming week and was frankly ready to get back on track… And then I got hit by some kind of virus or bacteria. Which has resulted in me leaving work early on Monday and just sitting on the couch with a body that was just a trembling heap of missery for the rest of the week. My legs felt shaky and I got out of breath just walking from the couch to the kitchen and back: and that’s 30 freaking steps (I have counted them)…

But I refuse to let this get me down. I am going to use the weekend to get better and then slowly pick-up the pieces the coming week. My goal is to get back on track with my food intake and to do what I can without over excerting myself.

Needless to say I have had to give up running for a while as well. And as much as I hate it (I actually mis running) it doesn’t look like I will be getting back into that for at least another month. I have also figured out that it is probably going to take me much longer to train for a 5k than a healthy person. So with that in mind, it is probably a good thing that my best friend and I have decided to postpone our goal to run the RunDisney race by another year.

However, this decision to postpone our first 5k wasn’t made because of my fatigue though. On the contrary, I decided to do so, because of something really, really exciting!

Are you guys ready for it?

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I have booked a trip to Walt Disney World Florida!

I am so excited. My fiancé and I are going to go next year at the end of November. Yep, so we will be there during the Christmas season! This trip will be to celebrate the completion of my PhD (so I’d better finish the bloody thing!). And I am so, so, so excited!

My mother-in-law is also coming with us as she has never been to Disney World, but always wanted to go. Some of my collegues were quite surprised about this decision, as they couldn’t imagine taking one of their in-laws with them on vacation. But I am actually really excited for her to join us on this trip. I believe this is the first vaction where my fiancé will have his mom all to himself, as he has always had to share her with his two other siblings, so it will be nice for them to spend some quality time together. Moreover, I really get along with her (she’s a lovely person) and she’s just as much into Christmas and amusement parks as I am. And bonus: it will be nice to have someone who also likes to visit every single souvenir shop hahaha ;).

So in honor of our trip ti Disney I have decided to make y motto for the upcoming week:

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I’m gonna kick this week’s but!

 

Anti-inflammatory diet: 2 weeks in

Well it sure has been an interesting two weeks. Being on this anti-inflammatory diet has forced me out of my comfort zone and to try new dishes and to cook with ingredients and spices that I have never used before myself (including tofu, almond flour and turmeric). Unfortunately, it also forced me to deal with some withdrawal symptoms.

70106a5c90dfb4c97ff20d9c0d712b9cWhen I decided to cut gluten, dairy and meat from my diet, I was not really prepared for the withdrawal symptoms that go with it. Last weekend I had a significant drop in energy levels. On Sunday I was particularly drained and had to deal with dizziness on top of one of my morning colds.

I got through Monday alright, but felt less energetic on Tuesday. You may or may not have heard of Vegan detox or paleo flu, but what basically happens is that you get full blow flu symptoms whilst your body is trying to cope with your new eating pattern. Well I was coping with this flu on Tuesday. It did not stop me from opening my home to my lovely niece and her daughter and husband though. I had not seen them for about 2 years so it was really nice to see them and chat with them, despite not feeling too great.

Thankfully, on Wednesday evening things started to look up and I have been slowly but surely regaining some of my energy. Continue reading

Diet overhaul: the anti-inflammatory diet

Some of you might have seen it pop by on their facebook feed or have come across it on the news, but Stanford university recently published an article announcing that they have likely found the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or CFS).

According to the article CFS is an autoimmune disease. According to the research the body of someone suffering from CFS is itself constantly causing inflammations (i.e. inflections), which the immune system then has to battle. As such, the immune system is constantly at work and often in total overdrive. No wonder that we suffer from such things as muscle ache, throat ache and what I have come to call morning colds.

After reading up on the research and the study, I started to do some digging online to see if there was anything I could do to reduce the inflammation my body is causing. And that is how I came across the anti-inflammatory diet.

This diet, which is not very well-known in Holland or the rest of the EU, was developed by an American doctor called Andrew Weil. This diet is basically a tweaked version of the Mediterranean diet, with the focus on anti-inflammatory foods and what they call clean-eating  – food that has not been tempered with. You have to drastically reduce your sugar intake from non-fruit sources, though you are allowed to use honey or maple syrup with moderation, load up onfish.jpg the anti-inflammatory fruitsies, veggies (think berries, broccoli etc.) and Asian mushrooms. The diet also requires you to eat lots of fish, beans, tofu  and other biological soy based products. Your food has to be both dairy and gluten free. So, basically all animal products are out with the exception of fish (which makes it nearly vegan). Dr. Weil has published a really nifty food pyramid on his website which really explains the diet well, for those of you who are interested.

broccoliAs the diet has helped a number of people with auto-immune deceases, I thought: nothing ventured nothing gained. Let’s give it a try!

This does mean that I will (temporarily) be quitting the Herbalife program. Although it definitely enhanced my energy levels (and I highly recommend it to those looking for more energy!), it did not address the core issue. And honestly, I never expected it would, as my wonderful coach Kim had been open and honest with me about this from the start. I am, however, hoping that the anti-inflammatory diet will be able to eventually help me get better.

1454643019-6e09a6a82322ab09d2d5588c8b87be3eI had initially decided to start the diet after my birthday. I really wanted to have cake before saying goodbye to gluten. Moreover, quite frankly I did not really look forward to having giving up bread or meat: I love both with a passion haha.

However, my plummeting energy-levels spurred me on to start the diet this Saturday. Honestly, the past few days have been pretty darn bad. I wasn’t able to go for my run on Wednesday and looked like a freaking zombie on Thursday (one of my colleagues feared I would fall over: that’s how bad I looked). And the past two workdays really took their toll. I am currently writing this blogpost sitting on the couch with another morning cold, swollen glands and a bit of a head ache.

So to kick off of my diet overhaul, I had a chia pudding for breakfast this morning. It’s not really sweet so I wouldn’t really call it a pudding, but it really works well for breakfast. I found the recipe on a Youtube channel called Clean Eating:

CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. maple syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
dash of cinnamon

As my concoction looks far less appealing than the Youtube video I shall spare you the picture :P.

Now for my honest opinion of this morning’s breakfast. Personally, I would have liked it to be a bit sweeter. So I added bits of banana to it whilst eating, which worked really well. Tomorrow I am going to try it with honey rather than maple syrup just to see if that adds a bit more sweetness to it.

The rest of today I will be spending on food prep. I will, amongst other things, be making almond flour based pancakes. I am freezing those so I can defrost them on the days when I go to work. So I can have some Pancakes with fruits and a bit of maple syrup in the morning.

200_sI will also be making my lunches, which will consist mostly of baked seasoned tofu, beans and brown rice. I might switch it up a little once I have found more recipes (and have the energy to cook more elaborate stuff). The tofu is going to be interesting though, as I have neither eaten nor cooked it before. ^__^” But here’s for trying new stuff!

Tonight’s dish will most likely be a simple, but nutritious bean dish with brown rice. And I will have some fruits and cucumber for snacks… This diet is definitely going to take some getting used to. So wish me luck.

Also, I am considering renaming this blog: “How my CFS turned me into a yoga doing, jogging, tap dancing and super-food eating health freak” hahaha. What do you guys think?

Also, ideas for delicious vegetarian, gluten free recipes are welcome! 😀

(Again apologies for typo’s and such… My brain’s a bit foggy today).

The jury has reached a verdict! First 2 weeks with Herbalife

Tomorrow I will have been using the Herbalife shakes for about 2 weeks and I am honestly wondering… where the hell was this stuff two years ago?Afbeeldingsresultaat voor lots of energy! I wasn’t expecting to notice any massive changes any time soon, but I actually have.

For one, it has been easier to get out of bed. I have not pressed the snooze button on my alarm once these past two weeks! I sometimes even wake up before the alarm goes off. And, ok it’s not like I jump out of bed, but I do not feel like I have to drag myself out of it, feet first, either.

The past two weeks have been pretty busy and I have been tired because of this, I have not had a total energy crash where all I can do is lay on the couch and feel tired. Last Sunday I even did a Just Dance session… I cannot remember the last Sunday I did some extra exercise, just because I felt like it. Ok… it probably was a combination of “I felt like it” and “I probably should after what I ate yesterday” ^__^”. So yes, I have definitely noticed a massive improvement in my energy levels. Continue reading

Shake it!

Today is the fourth day of the Herbalife trail week, so it is high time I give you guys a bit of an update. I had started to write this post on day three, but was so busy that day that I did not get round to finishing and posting it. Needless to say, a post will follow on a later date about what I was so busy with (yes, that is a teaser :P).

I had my first shake on Sunday and I have to admit it took some getting used to. As I opened the package I decided to sniff it to see what it smelled like and was greeted by a very, very intense, sweet, vanilla smell. I added 250 ml of semi-skimmed milk, shook the contents in my brand new shaker cup and tasted. Yep, it tasted about as sweet and vanilla-y as it smelled…. Quite frankly, my first thought was: “If I am sticking with this, I sure as hell am switching to chocolate flavour!” It certainly wasn’t horrible, but not really my thing.

I congratulated myself on having made the decision to try this out on Sunday morning at around 10, rather than on Monday at 6.30. I don’t think the sweet drink would have gone down quite so well at 6.30. Continue reading