My three week progress

Here’s my 3 week progress following Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide. I wrote a post about why I think I have actually been able to stick to this plan. You can read it here

I am about to finish week 4 and for the following 8 weeks my personal challenge is to eat cleaner. I have been very committed to the workouts and haven’t missed a single one but my nutrition hasn’t always been the best possible. I am changing that now.

The progress is not only the visible. My arms and core have always been my weakest spots but I can now so the push up variations in the book without stopping. It is very challenging but I enjoy feeling stronger and slightly more confident every day. My core has improved a lot, I can do all the exercises now without major struggles. I even have some ab lines going! I can’t wait for the progress to come and see more ab definition, less belly fat and slimmer legs. I will keep you updated. 

Three weeks of sweat

What to do with leftover veggies

Do you have veggies that are soon-to-be out of date? Or may be you just don’t know what to do with a bunch of vegetables you have in your pantry.

Well, this works for me and it may work for you. 

I get my vegetables weekly delivered from a farmer’s market. The quantity can sometimes be overwhelming and wont even fit in the refrigerator. That’s when I make this basic vegetable frittata. 

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INGREDIENTS

  • Any vegetables

 

PREPARATION

Chop the veggies. Oil a pan or a wok. Put the veggies in. It takes around 15 minutes to be ready.

TIPS AND MORE RECIPES

The good thing about this fritatta is that it allows you to store your already cooked vegetables in a reduced amount of space (i.e. tupperware). Then you can just take them out and heat them and there you go, a quickly side for a dinner or a full lunch. I often like to experiment more and use this frittata as part of the filling for quiche or mix with beans for tacos. There are infinite opportunities! I also do different things depending on the vegetable variety the frittata contains.

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Kiwi lime pie vegan smoothie

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I made it a couple days ago but wanted to share it with you all. It truly was like drinking pie. Literally. I really focus on texture when I am eating/drinking. This was very creamy and filling.

At 320kcal it a relatively high calorie smoothie but packed with nutritious ingredients that make it the healthiest dessert. Coconut oil, almond milk, kiwi and lime make it a high carb, high fat smoothie. I like this kind of foods for breakfast because it gives me energy for the day. At night, I’d rather eat a meal that is very high in protein, low carb and moderate in fat. 

This smoothie truly does satisfy any sweet craving. The recipe is from Way of Gray’s smoothie book: Wholesome blends. I am very happy I purchased it. This is what it includes:

What’s included:
 
  •  Over twenty vegan/gluten-free drink recipes.
  •  A step by step guide on making your own superfood smoothie.
  •  Directions for making your own milk (it doesn’t involve a cow!)
  •  Everything you need to know about choosing a healthy, nutrient dense protein powder.
  •  Frequently asked questions – providing clarity for many topics discussed throughout the book.
  •  An in-depth look at the ingredients used in common store-bought smoothies, and a healthier alternative explained.
  •  A list explaining the four mutual benefits you can expect from our smoothies.
  •  The nutritional benefits of 10 common superfoods. 
  •  A list containing the benefits and dietary sources of every vitamin and mineral. 
  •  Our top 3 recommended blenders. 
  •  A shopping list containing every ingredient you’ll need to get started! 

You can have a look at it here

Do you like kiwi lime pie? 

Nutella dough smoothie

I have been on a serious nutella kick lately. After yesterday’s vegan nutella ice cream I created this nutella smoothie for breakfast. Here’s the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp organic hazelnut spread
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana

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PREPARATION

Put everything in blender. Blend to desired consistency.

I even put some cute stuff to make the picture look better

I even put some cute stuff to make the picture look better

Simple, eh?

TIPS

Add some chocolate chips for a cookie dough kind of smoothie. Add a scoop of protein powder for a protein smoothie.

 

 

Are you a nutella lover?

Back to calorie counting

I know I have talked about intuitive eating very positively before. For a couple months, I chose to eat intuitively. It was working very well. I lost weight, I lost fat and I felt happy.

Unfortunately, 13 days ago, when I came home from a trip around the world that lasted 6 months, I got sick. Very sick. I couldn’t eat for three days and it took my appetite a week to return. I was barely eating and I could not force myself to eat more. Now that my appetite is back I realised I have been eating so little lately. I decided to log on mfp and check how many calories was I eating. Approximately 1200 per day. That is so little.

At first, I was very frustrated. I worked on upping my calories for months to now let it go to waste in a couple weeks. However, I did not freak out. It seemed like it would be a good moment to bring my calories back up. These past three days I have been eating around 1700kcal. My weight has not gone down but rather stayed oscillating around a certain number. I am not stressed about this. I need to stay strong and keep pushing. I now rapid weight loss will not last. I know slow and steady is the way to go. I am sticking to this. I am eating.

Although I was very happy eating intuitively, I understand calorie counting is what will work for me until I get used to a higher amount of calories again. It’s about my health and I am happy I can now choose to eat more over getting skinny and flabby super fast.

Do you count calories or eat intuitively? Have you done both depending on what suited you at the moment?

Vegan nutella ice cream

I had one of these post workout today. As a kid, I wasn’t heavily into nutella, I was more of a croissant addict. However, my grandma would always give me some bread with nutella spreaded on it for an afternoon snack. I have some memories I keep fondly that taste like nutella so, every once in a while, I love letting the kid inside of my rise. Ok, jk, I am now a nutella addict. However, my grandma did make those nutella sandwiches for me when I was a kid. 

A couple nights ago we had people over for dinner. I made the mango ice cream for the adults and realised it was not so kid friendly. As a kid I hated mango. I decided to then make a nice alternative to an ice cream they would like. We had three picky kids coming. My goal was that they would not notice any difference with a common dairy ice cream. I wanted them to eat something healthy and enjoy it. I succeeded. Here’s the recipe for you to try it too.

INGREDIENTS

PREPARATION

Peel and chop the bananas. Freeze them for three hours. Keep your coconut milk in the freezer so that it solidifies into cream. Mix the banana, the coconut cream and the nutella in a food processor or blender. It takes approximately 3 minutes to achieve a creamy consistency without major chunks.

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Distribute in bowls and top with sprinkles (not shown here because the kids were desperate to eat so I could not take a picture of the final product lol)

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TIPS

If you own an ice cream maker, use it. It will give you a creamier ice cream. You could also add some whipped coconut cream on top for decoration. However, I find kids do not often like the flavour of coconut cream because it is not too sweet so I omitted it. For a thicker texture (like the mango one), use two more bananas. This ice cream was actually more like a mousse. It is also important to make sure the coconut cream is very solid. Otherwise texture wont be creamy. 

 

 

Kayla Itsines: a structured workout plan

I have always engaged in exercise, one way or another. However, after I gained a fair amount of weight at boarding school (24 pounds), twice, I decided to start working out more regularly and therefore seek some workout plan.

Unfortunately, I am a quitter. I tried different routines, some of them I truly liked, yet I ended up giving up on them in less than three weeks. If I liked them, may be I would do a couple more weeks after some inconsistency but I never stack to them seriously.

After trying Sophie Gray’s workouts, the ebooks, not the new plans, I was very frustrated. I really liked these workouts, but I could not stick to them. After some reflection I realized the problem was that they were not sufficiently structured. The ebook comes with a set of 10 workouts. You should do 4 of them every week. There are no instructions as to which 4 you should do so I found myself confused and not having a consistent routine. I think Sophie has now monthly workout plans which sound more structured so I may give those a try in September.

Now on to the program that does fit my needs. I am starting week 4 and haven’t thought about quitting seriously ever.

When I first found Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Program I was very skeptical. The word “bikini body” was absolutely not appealing to me. My first thoughts were “fad”, “shallow”, “starving”. Luckily, I continued reading what a bikini body means to her. Kayla believes a bikini body is not a certain size or weight, but rather one in which a girl feels confident. Confidence… I like the word confidence. It’s what I am striving for and have lacked forever. It slowly started sounding more appealing and when I saw the transformation pictures of girls who had done it, I was almost in.

I decided it to give it a chance and I purchased the bundle. As a pseudo vegan I do not find it suits my diet but I wanted to make sure these girls had not achieved their bodies starving themselves. I starved myself before and the only thing I gained from it was body dismorphia, being underweight and then suddently putting 20 pounds back on, a disordered relationship with food and constant mood swings. But this entire story is worth a different post.  I was happy to find her meal plan is strictly based on the Australian Government nutrition recommendations, backed up with scientific evidence she does provide and provides a menu of 1700kcal daily.

I was even happier when I started doing the workouts and found out how challenging they are. I am a fit person but man, these make me sweat like nothing has ever. I have sweat drops all over my body by the end, I can barely breath and I feel super strong. My arms and core have become stronger and tighter. In only three weeks it has become noticeable. I burn between 250 and 410 calories per strength training workout (only 28 minutes). I have lost 2.7kg since starting and I now fit into my size 2 jeans again. I have a lot of work to do but I am very excited now that I am seeing and feeling progress.

I also really like the LISS (low intensity steady state) cardio workouts. I love running and power walks and I had quit them in a fear of losing muscle. However, when nutrition is appropriate, this should not be an issue. I am happy I am doing these things I love again.

I am happy I quit lifting heavy because it was not making me happy plus giving me back issues. However, this too, deserves a post itself. Kayla always talks about how her workouts help achieve a certain body, slim but toned. I now many people really appreciate the effects lifting heavy has on their bodies, but I was not happy with these. I have now found a program that will help me achieve the body I want. I have found a program that is very organized, challenging and diverse. I will stick to it.

PS. Progress pictures are soon to be released