A guilty pleasure I want to get rid of..

Hi there!

In my post over the 7-minute workout I told you that another of my goals this year is to eat less sugar. I love sweet stuff. I love cake, I love chocolate. Only thing I don’t like is candy like gummy bears though I do love candy like M&Ms. It is not that I eat it every day, and not very much. But when I do eat it, or it is available, I tend to eat to much. Not just a handful but the whole bowl, two instead of one piece of cake, etc. And most importantly, I start my day normally with 2-3 pieces of bread with ‘hagelslag’ (chocolate sprinkles, it is Dutch).

So I decided that I wanted to eat less sugar. As I do not need it as much as I eat it. And secretly I hope it would help my sensitive skin and my tiredness as I tend to fall asleep easy during the day.

I started with eating less hagelslag, well, to be exact I finished the open box and did not open a new one. I switched to jelly. Jelly consists also out of a lot of sugar but it has less than hagelslag. And we have home made apple jelly so that is healthier than the commercial jellies. But I am not fully content with my breakfast, as it still contains a lot of sugar.
In the end I want to switch to oatmeal, but I can’t make it with normal milk as that can give me stomach pains. Almond mild and other milk-substitutes are highly overpriced so I need to find another option. I might try oatmeal with yogurt or something similar. I wondered whether goat yogurt exists or not as that seems to be more compatible with the human intestinal system than cow products. But I will think about that when I’m running out of jelly.

Another part of my sugar-addiction is that I eat to much cake, when available. I don’t have cake often, but when it is available I eat as much as possible. And I love it, and hate it at the same time. Sure, it is nice to have the sweet taste, but otherwise? It is just loading my system with easy carbohydrates which cause my blood sugar levels to rise astronomical and give me energetic roller-coaster rides. And as I am not getting much exercise, I probably store a lot of fat somewhere.
I don’t know whether I want to quit the cake-eating entirely or not. For now I try to eat one smaller piece in stead of two big pieces. I don’t eat any cookies unless I’m really starving and there is nothing else available. Though I still struggle with stress-related eating. Whenever I’m stressed I tend to eat anything available, cookies, raisins, cheese slices, crunchy muesli out of the box.. You name it, I eat it. But that is something I need to control in the long run.

So far so good, I started with this shortly after the Christmas-break. Fortunately I had not many opportunities for cake so I did not eat much. I do eat occasionally some cookies, but that are mostly really plain cookies without any frosting and stuff. And I only eat them when I am really hungry so I think that is alright.
Concerning my breakfast.. it is a different story. I eat a lot of jelly, I really miss the sugar in the morning but I am coping with it. And it will get better as I am decreasing the jelly stock rapidly.

Overall, I think I manage quite well though it can be better. And I switched to eating dried fruit, which has also sugar but also fibers and it really is a lot healthier than chocolate or any commercial cookies. I’ll hope to keep this up the way it is going now.

Do you have any dietary changes you want to maintain?

Love,
C

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Tv series

Hi there!

One of my hobbies at the moment is watching tv series. It all started with Gossip Girl, about 2 years ago. I was studying abroad and had a lot of free time. Besides baking a lot I chose to start watching Gossip Girl as everyone seemed to like it. And so did I, so it was quite disappointing when I had watched all seasons.
I started looking for another series, but that proved more difficult. I tried modern family once but I did not like the first episode, so I quit.

Then I found The Big Bang Theory, in one word: hilarious. I like the funny science jokes, Sheldon’s blunt answers, Penny’s way of being the typical girl-next-door. (And Kaley Cuoco is just amazing!) So I watched The Big Bang Theory till I had seen everything so far. Now I am waiting for the new episode every week.

The Big Bang Theory was not sufficient anymore as I am used to watching 2-3 episodes a day. So here we went, searching for something new. And that was Grey’s Anatomy, quite the same story as with Gossip Girl. Everyone seemed to love it so I decided to try it. And I watched it, till season 10. It seems to me that the series just been dragging on, all the fun characters like Izzie, Lexie and Mark Sloan are gone, George is also gone. It has changed to much and it seems that they writers just keep on writing for the money and not for the benefit of the show. Therefore I stopped watching the show.

GreysAnatomysSeason1CastThe cast of Grey’s Anatomy, as it started. Source: Wikipedia

And here we go again, another series I need to watch. My boyfriend introduced me to Arrow. And I liked it, action, nice story line, something different than my other series. But unfortunately it is a new series so I have to wait for every episode as I watched the series almost from the beginning. So I still have not enough to watch.

I started watching Bones. I don’t know why, but I just started watching and I liked it. Bones is funny as Dr. Brennan is the overly rational type which makes the conversations a lot funnier. And the story line is also quite good. Though sometimes the writers are stalling because it is obvious what will happen though somehow it will not happen because something else is written into the series first. It took 6 full seasons before the main characters got into a romantic relationship but it was obvious that it would happen near the end of season 1. But I like it nonetheless as it has a wonderful cast with Emily Deschanel (yes, sister to Zoe), David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor and John Francis Daley.

Bones-tv-seriesThe main characters of Bones. Source: Hollywood Reporter

So that are all the series I’ve watched, or am currently watching. If you have any suggestions for what I should watch next, let me know!

What is your favourite tv-series?

Love,
C

Tea (1)

Hi there!

I love tea. I just absolutely love it. And I need it, in the morning, to wake up. Without a cup of tea with my breakfast, my whole day can be terrible. (Or to be exact, I can be terrible.) So today I want to tell you something more about my favourite beverage.

Tea can be many things, green tea, black tea, white tea, herbal tea. Every tea has, of course, its own taste. I find pure black tea quite tasteless, green tea can be quite bitter, and white tea? White tea is weird, slightly sour, slightly bitter. So I drink mostly rooibos and herbal teas. I tried honeybush once but I did not think it was very different from rooibos.

For a long time I drank Nettle tea because of its sweet taste but since I am through my supply I switched to different herbal teas and tea-mixes. One of my favourites is from Yogi Tea. The Sweet Lemon Mate Snack Tea with Green tea.

Yogi-Snack-Tea-Mate

Ingredients: Green tea (40%), lemon grass, spearmint, lemon myrre?, schisandra berries, green maté, dragon, lemonextract, stevia. Yogi-Snack-Tea-Mate-Ingredients

Because it is no pure green tea, it is not as bitter as I expected. It has a nice mellow taste with a hint of lemon. For me it is the perfect tea for lunchtime. In the morning I prefer rooibos.

What is your favourite tea?

Love,
C

Preservatives

Hi there!

Today I want to tell something about preservatives used in cosmetics. Or to be more exact, about the hysteria caused by blind believers about those preservatives.

There are multiple preservatives known, for example: alcohol, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, phenoxyethanol and much more.The full list of allowed preservatives in the EU can be found here.
A lot of those preservatives are known to cause skin-irritations, or are taken up into the body. Sure, that is bad. But what most people don’t know is that these preservatives are well known and researched for a long time. Especially parabens seem to be very bad preservatives though they are used for many years and there are quite as much publications which say that they are harmless as there are publications which say they are harmful.

The problem is that because of the huge media-attention regarding the possible bad characteristics of parabens, the manufacturers switch to other preservatives. Which are newer, less researched, and nobody knows what their long term (side)effects are.
One of the ‘newer’ preservatives is methylisothiazolinone. This is a nasty compound which is already banned from use in cosmetics in Canada and Japan. But the European Union still allows it to be used. Even though methylisothiazolinone has been proved to induce contact allergies and potential nerve damaging. Overall it is even more harmful than the parabens.

The shift from paraben to methylisothiazolinone has mainly happend because customers thought that the parabens were so harmful. As they got told by the media. But the customers do not know that the alternatives are even more harmful. And that is exactly why I hate this kind of blind panic introduced by the media. Though it has some benefits, as a result of increase methylisothiazolinone there will be more people with skin irriations. Those people need doctors and treatment which keep the dermatology-business running. Sadly enough it is something we created ourselves and we have to pay for it whereas the manufactures will be laughing out loud.

Love,
C

7-Minute workout

Hi there!

I normally do not believe in New Year resolutions. But it was quite convenient to start something in the new year. I wanted to start fresh and make a few changes in my life. More exercise was one of them. (Another one was less sugar in my diet but that is another story..)

So, more exercise, the question was how. I am a full-time student, work every Saturday and often Sundays and I also want to spend time with my boyfriend. Time is obviously an issue. I just can’t go to the gym for an hour, maybe in the weekend but even then it is stressful.
I always take the stairs and not the elevator so that is already good, I use my bike to go to work and walk small distances instead taking the bus (okay, unless it is raining).

And then something came along, pure coincidentally I stumbled upon the same work-out scheme. Not just once but it came three times across my path. I am not superstitious but I was interested. And I decided to try it. The so-called 7-minute workout, or 21 if you are a die-hard.

This is it:
21-minute-workout-wallpaper-1440

Source

Unfortunately I do have weak back-muscles so I alter some positions. I can’t plank from toes to arms (push-ups are also impossible in the ‘right’ way) but I have found a way to balance on my knees instead. When I can to that without any problems I will try to start with the ‘normal’ plank but for now that is impossible.

The good thing about this workout is that it is quite diverse. And it is quite easy to do. I can’t do it in seven minutes yet but I’m quite close. I think it is an excellent way to introduce more sport into my life without the need to go to a gym. I can do everything at home. Though I still want to exercise more, but it is a start.

What do you do to stay fit?

Love,
C

The Happy Challenge (Part 3): Second Challenge

Hi there!

Two days ago, the second challenge for The Happy Challenge has been announced. So here I am again, to tell you what it was and how I did it.

This is the challenge for this week:

wat-is-jouw-droom-happychallengePhoto taken from Lisanneleeft.nl, backgroundfoto.

My dream, my life goal, what is it? Regardless of what you can or can’t do, what is it, you want to achieve? How do you picture your ideal life?

I used to dream of a big mansion, with a lot of land around it and stables and a riding arena on the same lot. I dream of a huge orchard consisting of fruit trees, and a place to grow my own vegetables.
Now, I dream of a small apartment, 4 rooms would be enough, though I would not say no to a house with a lot of ground for my orchard etc. I still dream of a kind of self sustaining life. With animals, I’d love to have a horse or two, a few dogs and two cats.
I don’t dream of the perfect job, or a great career. I dream of a quiet life, a happy life.
I do not have spiritual goals to strive for, so this is mainly materialistic. I just want to be happy and the way of becoming happy is not yet clear to me but I am trying.

What is your dream?

Love,
C

Bucketlist

Hi there!

The title says it all, I made some kind of bucketlist. It is a mix of achievable things and dreams which are harder to pursue. I am not sure whether I really agree with the concept of a list of things you need to do before you die. After al, I could die tomorrow because the train crashes, or I get overrun by a bus. Or a meteor will fall upon me but that is very unlikely. Or at least I hope so.

Get prepared for my list!

Bucketlist:

  • Travel to Asia, Australia, South-America, North-America, South Africa (short: make some kind of interrupted trip around the world)
  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Sit (frontrow) by a fashion show
  • Follow a make-up course to get better techniques
  • Spend a week (or longer) in some kind of yoga retreat or monastery
  • Own a designer-item (bag, dress, blazer or something?)
  • Own a horse, or two
  • Go glamping for a week
  • Eat healthy (for the rest of my life)
  • Doing natural horsemanship
  • Exercise more (3x a week)
  • Finding the perfect skin-care routine
  • Eat at a restaurant which has Michelin stars.
  • Have a lot of fruit trees and grow my own vegetables
  • Make a patchwork blanket
  • Win the lottery
  • Design my own jewelry

I think that is about 80%, I want to travel a lot and live healthier than I do now. I am sure that there is a lot more I want to do, but that will come in time.

Roma 2008

What do you want to do before you die?

Love,
C