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

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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

The not so chubby girl in the mirror

chubby girl mirrorEven though I know I have lost a lot of weight, which the scale still confirms every week, I often enough do not see myself as a regular (or healthy) sized girl. When I look into the mirror I often still see the overweight, chubby girl that I have been for most of my life. Even when others tell me how much weight I have lost, I am occasionally quite blind to it.

Last week I went shopping with my lovely friend Bianca and tried on a dress which had a pencil skirt. Whilst I was unsure whether or not I should take the dress, because I was worrying if it did not make my hips look huge, if it was flattering and did not make me look bigger than I was she blurted out: Gosh Mar! You are so skinny!

And this actually came as a total surprise to me, since at that very moment I was still seeing the chubby girl in the mirror. You know, the type that shouldn’t wear pencil skirts, because they are unflattering?

I ended up buying the dress, because I decided that I liked it and that I actually did look good in it. Once the weather actually allows for me to wear it (which I hope is really soon) I will try to see if I can make a picture of it to share with you guys. (Go project confidence!).

Continue reading

3 month’s in: Close to goal! Should I set a new one?

wpid-il_fullxfull-380860423_cr4kWell it has been three months since I have started my journey and blog.. And I am so, so, so close to the goal! This morning the goal indicated 68,2 kg (150.35 lbs)! So a 0,5 kg (1,1 lbs) loss, which means I have just -0,2 kg  (o,4 lbs) to go to the goal I set myself. I am sooo going to crush that next week! I have not been 68 kg in 10 years so I am really pleased with myself on this point.

So what I am going to do once I have reached the goal? To be honest, I have been considering continuing for a bit more. Continue reading

Week 6: CRUSHED my first goal

When I stepped on the scales this morning I had another of those moments where I just stared at the number in disbelief. Needless to say I did the double check salsa, as I stepped off of them and then got on again just to make sure that it wasn’t some mistake. So what was the number I saw? 70,2 kg (154.7 lbs or  11 st.)!

That’s another 0,9 kg loss (or 1,9 lbs)! And with that I have crushed, smashed and shattered my first weight goal which was 71 kg (156.5 lbs or 11.1 st). WHOOT!

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I cannot believe that I have lost 4.2 kg (9.2 lbs) in just six weeks. I have never lost weight this quickly before. I was definitely expecting a much smaller loss this week, as it had been going so well. But I am going to use this to keep on going and aim for 68 kg (149.9 lbs / 10.7 st.)!

Needless to say this week went really well. I was under my calorie budget everyday and continued doing Yoga on a daily basis. I did, however, switch up my work-out routine. Continue reading

Want to succeed at dieting? Stop throwing yourself a pity party

The moment we even consider going on a diet, we zoom in on the massive dietary changes that we have to make. We mentally say goodbye to fries, cookies, crisps, hamburgers etc. as if we are never ever going to have another one of those again. Let the personal pity party begin! With every temptation that comes our way (be it at work, in the supermarket or at home if you are living with others who have not yet hopped on the weight-loss train) we feel sorry for ourselves, because we cannot have the delicious food… never ever again! *overly dramatic sigh* And this whilst others can! Just look at all those people sitting at the MacDonald eating those delicious hamburgers! And at those people who are buying tons of cookies at the supermarket! We start thinking of that one skinny friend who appears to be able to eat everything without gaining an ounce. And here we are stuck shewing on some horrible, disgusting veggies!

pity-party

… The result? We cave. We give in. We grab that bag of crisps, go to MacDonald or eat the entire bucket of Ben and Jerries’ ice cream. And why? Because we feel sorry for ourselves! It is precisely this mindset that we need to change if we want this diet thing to work. But how can we change it? Well, I have noticed that sticking to my diet has become a lot easier since I have been following the three steps below. Hopefully they will be of help to you as well!

Continue reading