What more than water can refresh and hydrate you on a hot sunny afternoon? And look like a cocktail to drink at a BBQ in the early evening?
There was a day last month when I received bad news. That evening, I felt agitated and didn’t want to go to bed. It was 10pm, I decided to go for a quick run. When I left the house, my mind was filled with sad thoughts. But as I carried on running, went through a new and unknown route, saw the full moon, felt the cool evening breeze, I started to feel better. Lots of thoughts went through my mind as the landscapes rolled past, but I let them go. It was like I was sweating my sorrow away.
Running helps me get closer to my feelings, it helped me relax and sleep that night.
Just thought I’d share my experience. I always like to read about people’s tips to deal with whatever people might have to deal with: food craving, stress, etc. And it just seems that running is a helpful tool to help with our little worries and bigger problems.
So… if you feel the need, put your trainers on and don’t hesitate any longer: go!
Busy, stressed, how do you manage to focus on time management and meal planning?
I wrote this in May but got distracted doing other things and forgot to post it. This illustrates well what is written in this post. I also feel like I have abandoned the blog in the past couple of months. I’m back now though. I will try to cook some fun and tasty recipes and post them throughout the summer. For now, here’s what I wrote a month ago:
As much as I want my health to be a priority, and as much as I would like to have a great beach body this summer, I feel that I need to have more time and be a bit more relaxed to be able to focus on a healthy living.
Work, exams, and side projects seem to have taken over my life in April and May and old habits have come back. Because old habits, no matter how unhealthy they are, do not require any thinking or planning, when busy and tired, they inevitably come back.
However I have learned what makes me feel worse and what makes me feel better food-wise so I am not going back to a totally unhealthy lifestyle. But bread and butter (my favourite of all times, I mean, country style bread with butter and salt crystals) is an easy combination when I’m tired.
I am dreaming of a life where I take time to do an hour of gym in the morning, eat a healthy breakfast, then get on with my day. But I must say when I’ve got too much going on, I can’t find the time or energy to organise it. I feel stressed and just want to get my jobs done and over with so that I can move on to the next task.
I am hoping the summer months will be quieter and that I will manage to get back into the healthy lifestyle that I’m dreaming of at the moment.
But for now, I need to get jobs done and there is only so much I can focus on at once. One thing I try to remember is that no one is perfect, no need to beat myself up about not managing to follow my resolutions these last couple of months. It’s not about perfection, it’s about keeping the good health in mind and if it has to be on hold at the moment, it doesn’t mean I failed. It means I am human, dealing with things as best as I can, and I haven’t forgotten about my resolutions. I always said it was a life change, not a short term thing. I’m still working on it, life changes don’t happen over night. Maybe in the future I will find a way to combine busy life, stress and healthy eating. I’m still learning.
I’ve been watching documentaries about the health benefits of raw vegetables and fruits lately, and all I can say is, do it! Invite vegetables to your plate and you’ll do yourself a big favour. It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables need to be part of everyone’s diet. We have all heard for years now, about the 5-a-day. I don’t want to scare you but 5-a-day? It isn’t that much. Really, if you make a little effort you could make this 10-a-day and feed yourself with vitamins, minerals and fibre, so many things that our body needs for optimum functioning.
I found that, in this season particularly, it is easy to add more veg to my plate by having a salad for breakfast instead of toast. The other day I made a big salad with mixed green leaves, spinach, avocado, tomato, cucumber, walnuts and a mix of seeds (pumpkin, etc). Not only the salad was delicious, but I felt full and great after having it. It was 8am, and I had already had about 2 to 3 portions of fresh and raw vegetables! Of course, there were calories in this salad, especially coming from the avocado, nuts and olive oil, but you need calories to use as fuel for the day ahead. It’s just a matter of selecting the good ones. Since then, I have had salad for breakfast again, or just slices of organic juicy tomato and cucumber. It’s sweet, refreshing, hydrating and nourishing. Honestly, I don’t know anything else you could wish for… :-)
Have a lovely weekend fellow bloggers and friends xx
I don’t want to write much about this but I just wanted to say to anyone who think they can’t run, I think you can. I ran my first 10k run on Saturday. It was hard, but I’m glad I did it. It was a night run in Victoria Park (London). There was such a great atmosphere, women only, friends, dj’s, prosecco at the finish line, what more do you need? I can’t wait to register for my next run!
I used to find there was a thin line between being healthy and being on a diet, and I think there still is for a lot of people. So I have thought deeply about it and here are the differences to me:
So it appears there are more things to think about when trying to be healthy, but in my opinion it is worth it. You may have noticed these two lists I made don’t mention every food groups. I wanted to focus on the differences between dieting and being healthy. I haven’t directly mentioned protein, but it goes without saying that any meat eaten should be organic and grass fed for best quality. This way it shouldn’t have received hormones and other crap. Fish should be organic too or wild, but I know there are some wild fish that we shouldn’t be fishing for ecological reasons, however I don’t know much on that subject. I usually buy organic fish. Same goes for eggs and pretty much everything.
Nuts and seeds (brazilnuts, pecan, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.) should be an important part of a healthy diet too as they provide nutrients that other foods don’t. It’s easy to introduce them to your diet by adding them to porridge, yoghurt, and salads.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it is important to eat a wide variety of foods, it’s the best way to get all the nutrients we need for optimum health. I will never diet again because I’m worth better than that, and eating healthily won’t make me put on weight!
One last thing, I know buying fresh and organic is expensive. I spend a lot of money on food and I understand some people can’t afford it. But I need to say it, I don’t earn much money, but I made my health a priority and decided to be ok with spending more money on food than the average consumer. It’s my choice. I spend less on shopping.
P.s: If you’re wondering why I am focusing on eating healthy and natural food so much, it’s because diet related diseases are the new epidemic of this century. They are caused by eating too much sugar, the wrong fats and processed and unhealthy foods. I will write something about that later, probably this month, because it is really important that we try to improve our diets. Eating well can make a difference to our lifespan, and help avoiding diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even some cancers. Food can be our fuel for long and healthy life, why not make the most of it?
That’s what I was asking myself the last time I was in Costco and passed one of their giant displays of 3+ pound jars of it. I could see the white substance inside that was solid at room temperature. Oil?
Coconut oil is a saturated fat and we need to avoid saturated fats, right? I can’t count the times I have written in negative terms about the saturated fat content of various food items.
Nonetheless, I found myself intrigued by the coconut oil. So, I bought some.
When I got home, I learned some very positive things about coconut oil on the web.
Coconutoil.com says, “Coconut oil is an edible oil that has been consumed in tropical places for thousands of years. Studies done on native diets high in coconut oil consumption show that these populations are generally in good health, and don’t suffer as much from many of the modern diseases of…
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If you are doubting your ability to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions, read my tips!
1. Going public! Writing a blog and telling people is a way to keep the pressure up. When other people know about your resolutions, it somehow makes you want to succeed more. Maybe it’s because you are setting a good example? I don’t know for sure. When I proudly write about how healthy I am and how happy that makes me, people start looking at me differently. I met up with a friend not long ago who told me they thought I was so healthy they looked up to me. I was shocked! I didn’t realise that writing about my healthy recipes made me appear like a health coach. I think my friend felt like they were not as good as me. I need to make things clear here, yes I post the healthy recipes I make on this blog, and I write about how happy I am to be healthier and to exercise, but it doesn’t mean in any way that it’s how I am every day of the week!! Some days I just have enough of the cold weather and working from home. I feel isolated or tired and that’s when chocolate and other comfort foods come into the picture. My eating habits are not perfect. I don’t spend my days cooking and singing in my kitchen a la Bree Van der Kamp! But knowing that I connect with other bloggers and that I have been read and watched through the Food Revolution website always reminds me of my resolutions. I want to be honest and true to people and to myself. Ultimately, I want to be healthy and feel well. I think, and I might be a little over excited by it, but I think I am inspiring other people who are also aiming to be healthier. Just the way they inspire me. It gives me wings and makes me want to carry on.
2. Be open to changes. Things don’t always go according to plan. Life brings ups and downs, so expect it, and don’t let it discourage you. You need to see the bigger picture! It’s not about being thinner next month, or running further next week. It’s about building a healthy routine with the long term in mind. If you look at the whole year, you can see your achievements better. You won’t become unfit just because you don’t exercise for two weeks. It’s the same for food.
3. Speaking of changes… I started running about a month after the resolutions. It just worked out well with eating well. I have now registered for a 10 km race. It encourages me to train and eat well in order to perform well on the day of the race. It’s almost as if the New Year’s resolutions have evolved throughout the year, and I’m okay with that. They might change again later in the year, I’m looking forward to see where it will take me.
4. The key word for me: ACHIEVABLE. Small achievable resolutions are more likely to be kept than big ones. Again, think in the long term. What matters to me is how healthy I will be for the next 20 years. This year, I eat less refined carbohydrates. By the end of the year, I should be used to this new lifestyle and find it just normal. Next year, I can focus on something else. It may take time but the aim is really to become healthier for good.
I see it like this:
One main goal = eating well and be healthy
Several small achievements will help reaching that goal. One at a time.
I hope my tips will help at least one person, please get in touch if you want to share your own experiences of keeping up your resolutions. Would love to hear them!
Yes, I finally bought quinoa! Everyone is talking about it these days. I felt like I was behind not knowing about it. For those of you who don’t know (like me last week), quinoa is a seed providing protein, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is a good protein alternative for vegetarian and vegan people. It can be used in salads and other dishes, such as couscous, making it a nutrient-rich alternative for people with gluten intolerance as well. What a discovery, right?
So I made a quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese.
Verdict: Wow! Maybe I’m just a huge cheese fan but honestly, feta cheese, quinoa, tomatoes and olive oil is an amazing combination! Interesting texture, a bit soft but light as well. The taste of the seed on its own is rather bland, which means it is good news for adapting recipes. I think you can make it any way you like. Next I’m going to try a couple of recipes I saw on others blogs. One was a quinoa version of chilli con carne and the other had roasted sweet potatoes and goat cheese. I like the sound of it. Meanwhile, starting with a salad as a first ever quinoa experience is good to get an idea of what quinoa is like, tastes like. I think if you know an ingredient well, you are more likely to cook it well and make tasty recipes out of it.
This salad makes a delicious healthy and light lunch. I can also picture it on a summer night, dinning in the garden or at a picnic.
How to make the salad:
Simply boil the quinoa following the instructions on the packet, slice the tomatoes and cucumber. Add all the ingredients and serve.
- A handful of quinoa
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 5 slices of cucumber
- 1cm wide slice of feta cheese
- a drizzle of olive oil
- a squeeze of lemon
- salt and pepper
Quinoa nutritional information: per cooked 100g
- calories: 120
- protein: 4.4
- carbohydrate: 21.3
- sugar: 0.6
- fat: 1.9
- fibre: 2.8
- also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, Folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc (source: Wikipedia)
Hi everyone, I’m looking for a running buddy for morning runs on weekdays. Anyone interested please leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email me. Would be great to hear from you :)
I know… It doesn’t feel like spring yet. But it is here and with it comes the urge to get those legs fit and looking good for summer. When the sun dares pointing the tip of its nose out here, I can assure you nothing beats a riverside run. Happy times coming ahead!
Clockwise from top left: On my running route, pub with rooftop terrace overlooking the river, a happy runner in red, Hammersmith bridge in the distance, and a seagull feeling the breeze.