Grilled Tuna with a Green Salad

It's time to post one of my favorite quick recipes from Jamie Oliver's 15 minutes cooking book! If you're making it for the first time it takes you 20 minutes, but after 1 or 2 tries it does only take you 15 minutes! So it's perfect for after a long working day!

Amount of servings: 1

Duration: 15 minutes

The ingredients for the salad:

  • 100 gr green beans
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 head (romaine) lettuce
  • 15 gr feta cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Handful of pine nuts
  • if you like: some black olives

The ingredients for the tuna and dressing:
  • 1 tuna steak
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 ts course mustard
  • 1 ts agave syrup
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Heat up water in your kettle. Cut the ends of the green beans and put them with a pinch of salt in a pan. Poor over enough boiling water to put them under and cook for 10 minutes. 
  2. Except for a couple of basil leaves for garnish, put the basil in your blender with the anchovy fillets, the juice of one lemon, the extra virgin olive oil and a little water and blend until smooth.
  3. Put the dressing in a small bowl and juice some of it to rub in the tuna. Season the tuna with some salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the red wine vinegar, mustard and agave syrup trough the rest of the dressing and set aside.
  5. Chop the tomato and tear up the lettuce and roast the pine nuts.
  6. Put the tuna steak in a grill pan and bake 2 minutes on each side or until they are still somewhat pink on the inside.
  7. Drain the green beans and put the lettuce on a plate followed by the chopped tomato, beans and pine nuts. When the tuna steak is done put it on top, crumble over the feta cheese and garnish with some basil leaves.
  8. Serve with lemon on the side. 


My favorite healthy snacks

Often I get the question, but what do you snack during the day? Well that depends on my mood and what my body is craving at that moment. The type of snack your body need depends on your level of activity and other meals on a day. But in the morning I often eat fruit and around 4 o'clock in the afternoon I have my homemade raw food bar or I really like to have a (spelt) rice cracker with anything I have in my fridge or pantry. So I present you with my four favorite rice cracker toppings.

Top left corner:
  • A variation on my smoked salmon sandwich. I used 1/2 mashed avocado, 1 slice smoked salmon, little bit of cottage cheese and some pepper.

Top right corner:
  • This rice cracker is topped with soft goat cheese, some arugula and walnuts. If you're a sweeth tooth you could also add some agave syrup.

Bottom left corner:
  • I always have boiled eggs in my refrigerator which I make in the weekends during my meal prepping but I don't always prefer to just eat an egg as a snack so in those cases I often make a rice cracker with 1/2 mashed avocado, some slices tomato and 1/2 egg seasoned with some Himalyan sea salt. The other half of the egg I eat seperate.

Bottom right corner:
  • And last but not least, the quickest rice cracker you can imagine: one with organix peanut butter!

Tip: Schedule your Workouts!

When you read this you might think well yes obviously you need to schedule your workouts. But lately I hear more and more people say that they don't have time to go to the gym, follow a bootcamp lesson, run etc. when they have a busy workweek. Or when you're coming down with a little cold or have a headache don't use this as an excuse! Of course when you're really ill don't workout but let your bodyrecover, but if it's small and you can function proparly at work or during the day you should actually go and workout because your headache often 'magically' disappears! So I decided to write a little post about the tips and tricks I use to make sure that I get at least 3 workouts every week.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy at work! I only have 6 months left to finish my research and related articles and make recommendations for daily practice. Since I also started this blog and need time to relax and have fun with friends I noticed that the first thing that I skipped was my weekly run. Luckily it's possible for me to schedule one day a week that I work from home, so on those day's I get up early so I can do a short run before I get behind my computer but sometimes I just have to much work left to do. Skipping my run is also the result of the fact that I usually run after dinner but the evenings the Netherlands are getting darker earlier every day and I just don't feel safe to run in the park by myself. But you shouldn't forget that working out is also a way to relax and get my mind of work! So I often substitute my run with one of my quick home workouts because the only bad workout is the one you didn't do. Hence a quick workout is better than no workout!

But I almost never skip my bootcamp lessons! These are part of my weekly routine and as a bonus I do this with a couple of friends. As you may know by now I always bootcamp on Tuesday evening and Saturday morning. When I started bootcamp I did experience difficulties in going every Tuesday evening because of scheduled appointments at work late that day. I decided that I really wanted to make bootcamp a priority and got the approval of my manager that on Tuesday I could go home one hour earlier and do some work in the train ride home (that's also an hour for me) so I would be home in time to eat properly. Subsequently I made a weekly recurring appointment in my agenda that on Tuesday's between 16.00 and 17.00 I am not available for face-to-face appointments. This really helped me and now I almost never skip a bootcamp lesson! And of course you can also make an appointment to schedule your run or any other workout! If your working hours aren't that flexible another solution could be that you make a nice pasta salad which you can eat at work in the afternoon or on your way home. At start this could take some effort and discipline but after a couple of weeks it's part of your daily/weekly routine and you can't imagine that there was a time that you didn't make time to workout.

If you go to work by car you can easily put your workout clothes and shoes in your backseat so you be able to ride to the gym straight after work before you go home. I mention this because often people say that when they are home they just don't feel like going out and they don't always have the discipline to do a workout from home. So if you go straight from work you just safe some time!

But for actually attending every workout you want to do the key is prioritizing & scheduling!! As a result it will become part of your weekly routine and you can't imagine that you didn't have time for it before!

What do you do to make sure that you have enough time to workout during the week? Leave your reaction in the comments to help and inspire others!

Zucchini Spaghetti (V)

I try to incorporate raw meals into my clean eating lifestyle, but often find it difficult because you would probably think eating raw means no cooking so less meal preparation. Well it actually takes a lot of preparation due to all the chopping, slicing, grating, blending and waiting until flavors are absorbed. So I just don't always have the time to make a raw meal after work.

A raw meal basically consist solely of uncooked, unprocessed and organic foods. Depending on your level of dedication to eating raw, a raw food diet may include a selection of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, raw fish (sashimi) and non-pasteurized/non-homogenized dairy products. The idea behind 'raw foodism' is that plant foods in their most natural state, so uncooked and unprocessed, are the most wholesome for the body. For the record, it's a lifestyle not a diet!

This zucchini spaghetti has been on my recipe wish list for a while now and I regret that I waited so long to make it because it was quick since you don't need to slice a lot of ingredients, and it tasted amazing!!!

Duration: 10 minutes

What you need for 1 serving:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 125 gr cherry tomatoes in different colors
  • Handful arugula
  • 50 gr soft goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Handful unroasted and unsalted walnuts
  • 1 tbs roasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Pepper & Salt
  • 1 tbs fresh basil leaves, torn

What you do:
  1. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, crushed garlic clove, torn basil leaves, pepper and salt. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise and halve the tomatoes. 
  3. Toss the zucchini, cherry tomatoes and arugula with the dressing and put on a plate. Crumble over the soft goat cheese and garnish with some fresh basil leaves, the walnuts and pine nuts. 

Eat right away because zucchini gets moist if you let it sit to long! 


Colorful Beetroot Salad (V)

I really like to vary in my vegetables but as most people you can get stuck in buying the same vegetables every week. So at first I had the rule that every week I needed to buy a vegetable that I've never bought or eaten before. This work perfect for me when I started eating healthy but now I'm at the point that I've tried almost every vegetable. But there are vegetables that I don't eat very often for no particular reason. Beetroots are one of these vegetables so I try to eat them once every month. And this beetroot salad is one of my favorite recipes. You may think once a month isn't that much, but every week I need to incorporate a vegetable in my meals that I don't eat that often and for me this works perfect!

The ingredients for the salad:

  • 3 pre-cooked beetroots
  • Couple of radishes
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • handful of cherry tomatoes in different colors!
  • some feta cheese
  • some fresh basil leaves
  • 2 spring onions

Ingredients for the dressing:
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Pepper & Himalayan sea salt

What you do:
  1. Just cut up all the vegetables and mix them in a bowl.
  2. Then mix the ingredients for the dressing and sprinkle over the salad. Top it off with some fresh basil leaves and crumbled feta cheese.

Variation tips: You can use any colorful vegetable you have left in your refrigerator or pantry. You can add carrots, pumpkin, corn, green pepper, sweet pepper etc. The feta cheese can be substituted for cottage cheese or pecorino. 


Savory Roasted Chickpeas

For a while know I was searching for a healthy savory snack and I finally found one! Whipped up a batch of these roasted chickpeas to snack on while relaxing and watching a movie. Anyone who is a fan of potato chips should definitely try them out!

What you need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs paprika powder
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs Himalayan sea salt

What you do:
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees of Celsius.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and dry them with kitchen towel
  3. Mix the olive oil, paprika powder, curry powder and sea salt in a bowl and evenly coat the chickpeas with the mixture. 
  4. Put some grease proof paper on a baking tray and spread the chickpeas on it.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes in your oven or until crispy. Make sure you keep an eye on them so they don't blacken!
  6. Let them cool down and eat them right away or store in an airtight container!


Vegetable Omelet

This vegetable omelet is one of my favorite lunch recipes! It's gluten free and I often have this in the weekend after a workout or when I'm working from home so I really wanted to share this recipe with you! Perfect alternative for a salad, but you can also have it for breakfast! Just use one egg white less and if you don't have a lot of time omit the mushrooms!

Loose the chicken and you have a great vegetarian breakfast or lunch!

Duration: 10 minutes

The ingredients:

  • 1 egg, 2 egg whites
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Some mushrooms
  • 2 spring onions
  • Handful corn salad or spinach leaves
  • 1 slice chicken breast
  • 1 tbs cottage cheese
  • Pinch of salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter

  1. Cut the vegetables. Mix the egg and egg whites with the chopped spring onions in a bowl.
  2. Put 2 skillets on medium heat, one with butter and one with coconut oil. Bake the mushrooms in the coconut oil and the mixed eggs in a little bit of butter (you can also use olive oil if you want a dairy free recipe).
  3. When the omelette is finished put it on your plate and fill with the different vegetables, salad, slice of chicken breast and the cottage cheese. Fold and your vegetable omelet is ready!


Tip: Meal Planning

We all know that sometimes it can be very difficult to stay motivated to make a healthy meal every day. And it's even more difficult when you don't have anything in your refrigerator after a long working day because that means that you need to go to the supermarket.

My solution is to get all my groceries on Saturday! Of course I eat a lot of fresh vegetables so if necessary I also go on Wednesday to get some extra fresh ingredients. But this only takes me about 10 minutes in the store because I already know what I need!

Knowing what you need is so important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, on Friday's or Saturday morning I make a meal plan for the upcoming week. By doing this I save money because I'm not going hungry to the store with the result that I'm buying unhealthy food or more food than I need. It also allows me to see in one instance whether there is enough variation in my meals and I don't have to throw away any food! Since I'm living alone and I eat single serving portions one whole zucchini or 250 gr of mushrooms is just too much for one day. By planning my meals I can take this into account and make sure that when I'm eating, for example, my delicious couscous salad on Tuesday I can use 1/4 of the zucchini and sweet pointed pepper on Thursdays with my awesome healthy chicken burgers or adding them to the quick & simple noodles. Dishes like the couscous salad, noodles and any pasta you like are perfect for using some left-over vegetables!

I always make my meal plan for the upcoming week on a clipboard with chalkboard paint which hangs in my kitchen. My meal plan for this week is shown in the picture below. And yes, already some changes are made but that's okay! On Sunday I didn't eat the tomato soup and since I already ate curry at a friend's house last Saturday I will eat the tomato soup on Thursday and the Chicken Curry next Saturday so I don't have to throw away any food. You might question why it's so easy to move the chicken curry to another day due to the fact that chicken can't be kept for a whole week in the refrigerator. Well, when I buy meat I immediately store it in my freezer and on the evening before I plan on eating it I will get it out at let it defrost in the refrigerator. So another great benefit of having a meal plan in your kitchen is that you can see in an instant whether or not you need to defrost some meat or fish for the next day!

Dinner Recipe: Quick & Easy Noodles with Shrimps

The simplest and quickest way of cooking is to wok! Everybody should have a wok in their kitchen! Monday is usually a busy day for me at work with lots of appointments that tend to run out so I'm home a little bit late. This dish is perfect for those days! Also I use wheat and gluten free noodles that I buy at my local organic store so as a bonus it's a gluten free recipe!

Duration: 10 minutes

The ingredients for 1 serving:
  • 80 gr gluten free noodles
  • 100 gr shrimps
  • 250 gr of vegetables you like, if you're in a hurry you can use a (Japanese) wok-vegetable packet from the store. I normally use mushrooms, leek (prei), sugar snaps & bean sprouts
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce

  1. Cook the noodles as stated on the package (boil the water in your kettle to save time!)
  2. Heat up some olive oil with the crushed garlic in your wok. Add the shrimps and season them with chili powder. Cook for about 2 minutes or until halfway done. Then add the chopped vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Finally add the soy sauce and cook for another minute. 
  4. Put the noodles and the vegetables on your plate and serve!


Homemade Raspberry Jam

This jam is super quick and easy to make and so much healthier than store bought jams that contain a lot of refined sugars. You can keep it stored in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. It's perfect on a slice of spelt bread in the morning or on a rice cracker as a healthy snack. You can use any type of fruit but some fruits need a little bit more water in order to get the right consistency. 

Duration: 20 minutes

The ingredients:
  • 250 grams of raspberries
  • 1 tbs rice syrup or any other natural sweetener you have in your pantry
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs chia seeds

What you do:
  1. Heat the raspberries on low heat in a small sauce pan. Smash them with a fork (if you want fruit chunks in it don't smash all the way).
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of sweetener and 1 tablespoon of water and stir gently for about 5-10 minutes. 
  3. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes, then stir in the chia seeds. Use more chia seeds if you like thicker jam (the chia seeds serve as the thickener).
  4. Put the jam in an airtight jar and let it set overnight in your refrigerator.


Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins

I'm always looking for recipes to make clean treats! By having these in the house it's keeps me from cheating when I feel like having a snack or something sweet. And these lemon-poppy seed muffins are the first muffins that actually turned out great! Recipe is from one of my favorite instagram accounts 'healthyalways' and made a couple of minor changes but since they were so good I just had to share them with you!

The ingredients for 6 muffins:
  • 120 gr almond meal
  • 1/2 ts baking powder
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 3 tbs agave syrup
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbs poppy seeds

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees of Celsius.
  2. Mix the almond meal and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add the eggs, agave syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix with an electric hand mixer.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil while mixing by hand. Finally stir in the poppy seeds and put the batter into the cups.
  4. Bake them for 25 minutes in your oven until they are golden brown and the centre springs back.


Pasta pesto with Grilled Salmon

I love having pasta for dinner! As you know my all time favorite is my Red pesto pasta . But I try not to eat to many pasta and also not the same pasta twice a week. So I present to you a good second, my pasta pesto with salmon!

Duration: 15 minutes

The ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 80 gr Spelt pasta
  • 1 salmon
  • 200 gr mushrooms
  • 1 white onion
  • Handful of arugula
  • 150 gr cherry tomatoes
  • Homemade Pesto ala Genovese 
  • Roasted pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil

  1. Make the Pesto ala Genovese if you haven't already done this and cook the pasta as directed on the package.
  2. Cut the mushrooms and onion and bake them in a little bit of olive oil. 
  3. Grill the salmon.
  4. Put a handful of arugula on your plate. Mix the pesto through the pasta when done, add the vegetables, give it a stir and put on top of the arugula. Slice the cherry tomatoes and sprinkle them over the pasta with some pine nuts and parmesan cheese. 


Workout Thursday!

So I'm going to introduce Workout Thursday! Every Thursday I will post a new workout on my blog which you can easily do from home, before or after work! All workouts will be quick! After all a quick workout is better than no workout! So today's workout will take about 20 minutes.

Make sure that you do the exercises in order and use a set of dumbbells of 3-4 kg. If you're getting more experienced try heavier weights, or build up the weight each round. So the first round use 3 kg dumbbells, the second round 4 kg and the third round 5 kg dumbbells. Take 20 seconds rest between each exercise en 60 seconds between each round.

Exercise 1: Deadlift with press
Starting position: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold one dumbbell in your right hand and come into squat position making sure that your knees don't go over your toes.
(a) Stand straight up while pulling the dumbbell to your chest, then quickly pressing the weight directly over your head (your palm is rotated away from you).
(b) Reverse the movement to starting position. This is one rep! Do 10 with your right arm and then switch to the other side for 10 reps with your left arm.

Exercise 2: Single-Leg Dumbbell Row
Starting position: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, stand on your right leg (slightly bending your knees), bend your upper body forward and raise your left leg straight behind you. Your arms holding the dumbbells are straight and your palms are facing your leg.
(a) Row the weights to your chest with both arms simultaneously and your elbows pointing out when pulling up.
(b) Lower your arms till starting position. This is one rep! Do 10 reps total on your right leg and then switch to your left leg.

Exercise 3: Push-ups
Start in push-up position. Make sure that your body is a straight line from head to heels and keep your back flat! Place your hands shoulder with and do 20 push-ups. It's only a rep when your elbows are bend till 90 degrees!

Exercise 4: Jumping lunge
Starting position: Come into lunge position with right foot forward.
(a) Jump straight up off the floor. You can use your arms by swinging them forward.
(b) Switch your legs on your highest point (like scissors) and land in a lunge with  your left foot forward. This is one rep. Do 20 reps (10 with each leg forward).

Exercise 5: Tricep dips
Starting position: Place your palms facedown next to your thight on a bench or stair behind you. Keep your arms straight with your hips and butt in front of the bench. Your feet are flat on the floor and the farther away you set them the heavier it will be.
(a) Bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle. Your hips will lower to the floor.
(b) Push back up to starting position. This is one rep! Do this 20 times.

Let's do this!

Breakfast Recipe: Greek Yoghurt Parfait

Since I like to vary my breakfasts I sometimes make a yoghurt parfait for breakfast and this is one of my favorites! Easy to make and it looks delicious, perfect start of a long working day. And you can use any fruits you have in your kitchen.

Duration: 5 minutes

The ingredients:

  • 150 gr Greek yoghurt
  • Handful raspberries, white graphes and strawberries
  • Homemade granola 

  1. Just make multiple layers of the ingredients in a glass jar, starting and ending with fruit and you quick and easy breakfast is ready!



Hydration is a key aspect of healthy living! You need to drink about 2 liters of water every day since
the human body loses water trough perspiration, urine (we produce about 1.5 liters of urine everyday) and evaporation (we lose about 0.5 liter of water just by exhaling)!  Since the human body contains large amounts of water it also makes use of it in almost every process in your body. Water helps to transport nutrients to your cells, it passes trough your kidneys making sure that they have the capacity to filter your blood system of by-products, it is essential in maintaining your body temperature and it's necessary in your whole digestive system. Frequently mentioned complaints related to insufficient water intake include: higher fat storage, constipation, kidney stones, headache, muscle pain and more.

Still, many people, including myself have trouble drinking enough water, especially on busy days! So a tip that works for me is always making sure that you have a small bottle of water (0.5 liter) with you in your bag or on your desk. Or if possible a large bottle! And when you exercise also take a bottle with you because then you lose even more water which needs to be supplemented.

But only drinking plane water during the day can get a little bit boring. So the solution is to make your own flavored water. My favorite is lemon-lime-mint water. Adding lemon or lime to your water helps flush out some of the toxins that are build up in your body. Lemon also alkalizes the body and provides among others vitamin C, B, magnesium, iron, potassium! The fresh mint leaves are rich in vitamin C, helps calm your digestive system and relieves headaches. It's also very refreshing and adds some sweetness!

The ingredients:
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 scrubbed lemon 
  • 1 scrubbed lime
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs

  1. Put the water in a large bottle. Cut the lime and 1/2 lemon into slices or parts and add to the water bottle. 
  2. Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon into the water and add the mint sprigs and give it a good stir. 
  3. Leave in your refrigerator so you have access to it during the day! If it's too strong in flavors after a couple of hours just add some more water. If you keep the bottle with you on your table add some ice cubes.

Tip: You can also add some cucumber slices, ginger or fruit to your water to change it up. 

New Features on the Blog!

Since I started this blog I got a lot of positive feedback! So this weekend I spent improving the blog and I added the following two pages:
  • Kitchen conversion charts between the U.S. and Metric Systems.
  • For all the Dutch readers of this blog an English-Dutch wordlist with frequently used words in the recipes that could be unclear! If you miss any words don’t hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment!

I also took the time to write a piece about my philosophy on clean eating in which I shortly adress some of the main aspects that I incorporated in my lifestyle.

Last but not least I changed the layout of the blog and added some features to the sidebar on the right. First a little welcome word to create a positive space on the blog. If you want daily email updates in which the posts are incorporated that I uploaded that day you can subscribe to the blog by leaving your emailadress. New recipes and posts will be emailed to you! Additionally, below the subscribe function I added the google translate widget. So for all the Dutch people who expressed that they would prefer the recipes in Dutch, you can still send me an email requesting the recipe and I will send it to you within 2 days, but you can also select 'Nederlands' in the google translate widget. Google will automatically translate everything into Dutch, however, this is not always correct mainly resulting in weird and often funny sentence structures.

My Philosophy on Clean Eating

The main aspect of eating clean is that you eat as naturally as possible, preferably organic. This means that the products do not differ from there natural state, meaning, a banana in your kitchen doesn't look any different compared to a banana on a tree. So I try to avoid eating processed foods which originate from factories like white pasta, white rice, white bread, some canned products, ready-to-eat meals, breakfast cereals and any other products that contain high levels of refined sugars (often called: fructose, glucose, sucrose) or refined carbs. At the supermarket I also always check the list of ingredients. If there are any ingredients on it of which I can't pronounce the name or which I don't recognize as food I don't buy it. During the process of creating the desired end product, the natural foods that are going in are completely stripped from their natural nutritional value and are replaced with artificial food additives and preservatives in order to make them look better and preserve the foods longer. But our body is unable to process these chemical additives and treats these as toxins resulting in feeling tired and actually gaining weight. This is also the reason why I don't count calories because a smoothie of 250 calories is healthier compared to a coca cola light with zero calories for the simple reason that the smoothie supplies your body with useful nutrients and the cola light only contains chemical additives. 

Another key aspect of my 'clean eating lifestyle' is that I make sure that my blood sugar levels remain stable during the day and I specifically pay attention to the ratio of carbs, proteins and healthy fats in every meal, but also in my meals spread over the day and week. I also try to make sure that I have enough variation in my meals and that I eat at least one gluten free meal a day. For example, if I have a sandwich at lunch I do not have carbs for dinner and vice versa. Therefore it's so important to plan your meals! Then, if I eat carbs I always eat carbs with a low glycemic index which are so called 'slow carbs'. These carbs release there glucose slowly to the blood system, thereby making sure that your blood sugar levels remain relatively stable. The glycemic index is a measure for how fast any type of food raises your blood sugar levels. The higher the value for the glycemic index, the unhealthier the food is because then you will find more spikes you find in your blood sugar and insulin levels. The highest glycemic index is that fore glucose (GI: 100) since glucose is absorbt immediatley in your intestine and deliverd to the bloodstream. Nutrion with a high glycemic index (GI > 50) are, among others, the same as the processed foods I mentioned earlier. But vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, spelt products, whole wheat products etcetera have a low glycemic index (GI: <50) so incorporate these into your daily meals because avoiding a rapid raise in blood sugar levels is beneficial because subsequently you avoid low blood sugar levels that cause tiredness and hungry feelings. Additionally you avoid a high insulin production which actually stimulates fat storage and also prevents the breakdown of fats which will eventually lead to weight gain. For the same reason I make sure that every meal contains sufficient proteins. Proteins increase your metabolism and avoid fat storage by preventing insulin production. But since I work out a lot, it's extra important for me to make sure that I eat enough proteins after a bootcamp session to stimulate muscle growth and repair. Additionally, I make sure that my meals contain sufficient essential fatty acids. A shortage of healthy fats actually results in having difficulties with losing weight, dry skin, dry eyes, irregular heartbeat, high sensitivity to infections and poorly healing wounds. Unsaturated fats are the healthy fats and you can find these in for example olive oil, coconut oil, avocado's, unroasted and unsalted nuts, seeds and fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies). So I always make sure that I eat fish twice a week for dinner or in a lunch salad!

I also watch my intake of dairy products and try to limit it to once a day because the human body has difficulties with processing these resulting in intestinal complaints since research has shown that a high intake of dairy products damages the intestinal wall. Finally I make sure I drink enough water (minimum 1.5 liters a day) and that I eat 5-6 times a day (6 on days I workout). Five smaller portions are better than 3 large portions because your digestive system is then better able to absorbe all nutrients and by eating regularly your blood sugar levels also remain more stable. 

Of course I also have my cravings so I eat 80% clean and 20% not so clean. Before I adopted this lifestyle, every morning I eat one slice of bread with chocolate flakes and sometimes I still really want one and then I just have it. By giving into some of these small cravings I do not binge on unhealthy products and I do not crave it for at least a couple of days. 

After all, its a lifestyle and not a diet!

Recipe: Banana-Apple Baked Oatmeal

I love having oats for breakfast and a baked oatmeal is a great variation on just oatmeal. It's takes a little bit of time so I usually have this in the weekends or when I'm working from home. It can also be a perfect dessert! But then use a tiny ramekin!

Duration: 40 minutes

The ingredients:

  • 25 gr rolled oats
  • 1/4 sliced banana
  • 1/4 sliced apple
  • 1 egg white
  • 35 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbs agave syrup
  • 1/2 ts cinnamon
  • 1/4 ts baking powder
  • 1 tbs coconut grater
  • 10 gr dark chocolate (80% or more) nibs

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees of Celsius. 
  2. Then mix all the ingredients except for the coconut grater and chocolate nibs in a bowl. 
  3. Spray the inside of a small ramekin lightly with coconut oil and put the mixture in. 
  4. Sprinkle the coconut grater on top and bake for 35 minutes in the oven.
  5. Finish with the chocolate nibs and your delicious baked oatmeal is ready to be eaten!



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Lunch Recipe: Amazing Salad Wraps with Ham and Chicken

As you probably have guessed by now, I often like to have salads for lunch. But when it's really hectic with work I sometimes just can't find the time to eat a salad and then I tend to just grap a sandwich for lunch (eating salads just takes longer then eating a sandwhich). But since I also want to limit my intake of gluten I often feel like somewhat guilty when I do this. But now I found the perfect solution! Okay, it takes a little bit of time to make them but it's worth it and when you do this before you go to work the only thing left to do when it's lunch time is eat them! You can make these salad wraps with any ingredients you have in your refrigerator!

The ingredients for 2 salad wraps:

  • 4 large lettuce leaves
  • 1 slice of chicken breast and 1 slice of ham
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ts truffle mayonnaise
  • 1 tbs roasted pine nuts
  • Salt & pepper

  1. Cut the cucumber into small strips and slice the tomato, egg and avocado.
  2. Put 2 lettuce leaves on a cutting board. Put the slice of chicken breast and slice of ham each on another leave followed with the cucumber, tomato, egg and avocado. Season with some salt & pepper and put some mayonaise and roasted pine nuts on top. To finish put anothe lettuce leave on it and roll up. Keep it together with toothpicks. 

Coconut Meal Pancakes

Today I made this amazing clean pancakes for lunch. They are made of coconut meal so gluten, dairy & sugar free! Coconut meal is lower in calories compared to almond meal but you can't just replace almond meal with coconut meal in recipes. The main difference is that coconut meal is highly absorbent and you only need a little bit of it to produce delicious recipes. For example, if you need 300 grams of almond meal, you only need about 1/3 to 1/2 of coconut meal. However, the amount of eggs in recipes of coconut meal is higher! This is because the meal is naturally dry, so you need eggs and water (or for example coconut milk, almond milk etc.) to make sure that your recipes isn't that dry. If you see recipes with coconut meal they almost always say that it's important to mix the batter really well. This is because coconut meal clumps strong. The best way to avoid this is by using an electric hand mixer. Some benefits of coconut meal include that it contains high levels of proteins, fiber and good fats so it fills u up pretty good. Therefore it's a perfect lunch for after a morning workout, or a delicious breakfast that keeps your blood sugar levels stable during the morning!

Duration: 20 minutes

The ingredients for 8-10 small pancake:

  • 25 gr coconut meal
  • 100 ml water (or coconut milk)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 ts himalayan seasalt
  • coconut oil

The ingredients for the topping:
  • 1 tbs greek yoghurt (leave it out if you want to have a dairy free meal)
  • handful of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries & some banana slices (use any kind of fruit you like!)
  • If you're a sweet tooth you can add some agave syrup.

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the pancakes until it's smooth and let it sit for 10 minutes so the coconut meal can absorb the water.
  2. Heat up a little bit of coconut oil in a skillet and make little pancakes (if they are to big they will break)
  3. Then bake the pancakes on medium heat for about 2 minutes, turn them (gently) and bake for another minute on the other side. 
  4. Put them on your plate, add 1 tbs of greek yoghurt in the middle and fresh fruit on top and your delicious, clean pancakes are ready to be eaten!


Quinoa Risotto

I eat quinoa at least once a week since it's gluten free and it contains high protein levels. Since I just love risotto, but try not to eat white rice, this quinoa risotto with mushrooms is absolutely perfect!

Duration: 30 minutes

The ingredients for 1 serving:
  • 80-100 gr quinoa
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 250 gr mushrooms: I prefer chestnut mushrooms
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs hazelnuts
  • 3 tbs grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley

The directions:
  1. Heat 1.2 liter water in your kettle and wash the quinoa. Cut the onion into small pieces and fry the onion in one tablespoon olive oil and one crushed garlic clove. 
  2. Add about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves and the quinoa. Crumble over the vegetable stock cube and 1 glass of boiling water and let it cook on medium heat until the stock has been absorbed, stirring regularly. 
  3. During the stirring process (which takes about 20 minutes) add cups of boiling water until the quinoa is done (you need approximately 1 liter). Meanwhile chop the mushrooms. 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat when the quinoa is done and stir in 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, some fresh thyme leaves and let the quinoa soak for 5 minutes.
  5. Bake the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and one crushed garlic clove . Add some fresh thyme leaves and finely chopped parsley.
  6. Stir about 3/4 of the mushrooms trough the risotto and add salt, pepper & parmesan cheese to taste and put the risotto on a plate, finish of with the rest of the mushrooms. Garnish with some fresh parsley and the crushed hazelnuts!


Dinner recipe: Stuffed Pumpkin

Since I don't eat a lot of red meat I need to find another source to make sure I get enough iron in my system! Iron is an important mineral for our body since it's part of hemoglobin of our red blood cells. Hemoglobin ensures that oxygen is transported to every part of the body through our blood. In addition, iron is also a key aspect in developing antibodies. Antibodies are an essential part of our immune system since they help fight illness and other harmful substances that enter our bodies. Pumpkins are rich in iron, but also contain high levels of other vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, B, A and magnesium. This recipe is a perfect way to eat pumpkin and is from Amber Albarda's cooking book (only available in Dutch). I made some small changes and suggest you serve it with some quinoa on the side.

The recipe isn't as quick and easy as most of my other recipes but it was so good that I just had to share and it's perfect for in the weekends!

Duration:  1 hour

The ingredients for 1-2 servings (depending on how big of an eater you are):
  • 1 pumpkin (bottle shaped, see picture)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • handful pine nuts
  • feta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • Fresh mint leaves

What you do:
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Cut out the pulp (I used a melon spoon since this is easier than a knife) until about 1 centimeter from the edges. Place the hollowed pumpkin halves on a griddle, sprinkle with salt & pepper, drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil and bake them for 45 minutes in the middle of your oven until soft.
  3. Cut the onion and pulp in pieces of the same size. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a pan and bake the onions and cut pumpkin for 10 minutes. Then add the crushed garlic clove and bake for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile you can cook the quinoa as stated on the package. 
  4. Scoop the onion-pumpkin mixture into the pumpkin halves, sprinkle over the chili powder and pine nuts and the crumbled feta cheese.
  5. Roast the pumpkin halves for another 10 minutes in the oven until the pine nuts are golden brown and the feta cheese has melted a little bit.
  6. Put over the fresh mint leaves and your delicious stuffed pumpkin is ready!

Variation tip: Use soft/crumbled goat cheese instead of the feta cheese!

Dessert: Clean Banana Split

I normally don't eat many desserts, my dinner is more than enough! But sometimes I just crave something delicious afterwards! Often I just eat a small piece of chocolate, >75% of course but in case you really want to spoil yourself, make this delicious healthy banana split! It's perfect!!!

The ingredients for 1 banana split (which you can easily share with someone!):
  • 1 peeled banana
  • 3 tbs Greek yoghurt
  • Handful blueberries
  • Handful cut strawberries
  • 1 tbs homemade granola
  • Some dark chocolate pieces (>75%)
  • 1 ts grated coconut

  1. Put the banana on a plate and spoon the Greek yoghurt on top. Sprinkle over the blueberries & strawberries, the granola, coconut grater and little chocolate pieces and your clean and healthy banana is ready to be served!


Dinner Recipe: Bulgur with Chicken

Bulgur is a parboiled and dried whole grain most often made of durum wheat. It has a slightly nutty flavor, a low glycemic index and has high levels of vitamins and minerals. I try to vary in all my meals and I think Bulgur is a great variation on brown rice and in combination with chicken and some fresh vegetables it makes a delicious meal! This recipe is based on a recipe of Jamie Oliver.

15 minutes

The ingredients for 1 serving":

  •  75 gr of Bulgur
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Broccoli
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 spring onions
  • Radishes
  • 1 ts dried coriander
  • Fresh mint
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • Handful of sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds
  • Cress
  • 2 tbs natural yoghurt
  • Salt & pepper

  1. Cook the bulgur as directed on the package. 
  2. Cut the chicken into pieces, season with salt, pepper and the dried coriander and bake them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet for 8 minutes or until their golden brown and cooked. 
  3. Cut the stem of the Broccoli, remove the florets and steam the florets for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Cut the radishes in half and the spring onions in small rings. Mix the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar in a bowl and ad pepper & salt to taste.  Pick some fresh mint leaves and mix these with the cut radishes and spring onions in the bowl with the olive oil vinegar dressing. 
  5. Poor the water from the bulgur and put on your plate with the juice of one lemon. Put the vegetables mix, broccoli florets and chicken on top. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and some cress over it and finish it of with 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt (you can also serve the yoghurt on the side). If you want it to be more spicy just add some harissa to the yoghurt.

Enjoy this delicious dinner!

Recipe: Banana-Almond Meal Gingerbread

Since I started eating clean I haven't eaten any gingerbread whilst it was always part of my daily diet. So when I found this clean recipe in the Dutch cookbook from Amber Albarda I was really excited! The original recipe uses Spelt meal but I wanted a gluten free version so I substituted it for almond meal and it turned out great! You can eat this as a snack during the morning or afternoon, for breakfast or even serve it with a cup of green tea.

You can keep it up to 3 days in your refrigerator!

The ingredients for 1 gingerbread:

  • 100 g dried figs
  • 140 g almond meal
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1 ts baking powder
  • 1/2 ts cinnamon
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs walnut oil
  • 4 tbs pecans

The directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and boil 100 ml water in your kettle.
  2. Coarsely chop the figs and make sure you remove the hard ends and mix them with the boiling water and the baking soda and let them soak for a few minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the almond meal with the baking powder and cinnamon in another bowl. 
  4. Pour the water from the bowl with the figs and slowly stir the olive oil and walnut oil trough the figs. Then smash both bananas and add to the fig-oil mixture. Finally add the meal and stir really good!
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tin.
  6. Coarsely chop the pecans and sprinkle them over the top of the bread. 
  7. Bake the gingerbread for about 45-50 minutes in the oven. The bread is done when a wooden toothpick comes out relatively clean. If the bread is a little bit sticky that's okay!
  8. Let it cool down and serve or save in an airtight box for 2-3 days. 


8 tips to be more active at the office

My job requires me to sit behind my computer for pretty much the whole day. Research has shown that sitting most of the day (also called sedentary behavior) is associated with diabetes type II and cardiovascular diseases. This also accounts for people who fit the physical activity norms like me!

A quick reminder, the physical activity norm is met when an adult meets at least one of the two following norms:
  1. Physical activity of moderate intensity (like walking or riding a bicycle) for at least 30 minutes a day, on at least 5 days a week
  2. Physical activity of high intensity (like bootcamp, running or any other sport focusing on the large muscle groups of your body; cardio & strength) for at least 3 times a week for a minimum 20 minutes each time.
Numbers from 2011 for the Dutch population show that about 75% of the Dutch adults meet at least one of these norms (59% meets norm 1 and 20% meets norm 2). In addition, adults are sedentary for 6.6 hours per working day.

Luckily, recent research also shows that by making small changes throughout your workday the risks on the diseases associated with sedentary behavior decline. Activities of 2 minutes each can already positively impact your overall health. But keep in mind that you always should avoid sitting for two hours straight or longer or it won't have an effect!

So here are some tips that can help you to be more active at the office!

  • If possible, use the public transport to go to work instead of your car: You'll have to walk or cycle to the station or stop and from the station to the office. As a bonus, you can stand during the ride (a positive way to look at the crowded trains). If it's not possible to take public transport and you have to use the car, park in the spot the furthest away from the office entrance so you need to walk a little more.
  • Use the stairs! Make a rule for yourself and your colleagues. My rule is that I have to take the stairs every time I go up four or less floors and always take the stairs when going down! If you're office building has many floors, for example 10, than take the elevator to the 6th floor and from there take the stairs. 
  • Introduce lunch walks! Instead of having lunch in the companies cafeteria you can also change it up a bit and walk with a group of colleagues to a nearby shop or restaurant to pick up some healthy sandwiches or you could just go for a 20 minute walk in the surrounding of the office. Who knows maybe you'll find a beautifull park! As a bonus you'll get to enjoy some fresh air to keep you going the rest of the day.
  • Introduce standing meetings. Instead of always sitting down during a brainstorm session or meeting, stand up! By having an active posture you will also prevent feelings like tiredness.
  • Walk over to a colleagues desk to ask a question instead of sending an email or picking up the phone. This also stimulates social interaction!
  • Get your own coffee and prints. These little walks to the coffee corner or printer give you room to stretch your legs and get away from the computer and in general they take 2 minutes or longer.
  • Take hourly activity breaks for at least 2 minutes. You can do some stretching, squats, push-ups you name it! Maybe even your colleagues want to join you!
  • Ask your boss for the possibilities of standing tables. These tables allow you to do your work behind the computer while standing. However, don't stand still for longer than 1 hour to avoid any health problems and diseases associated with standing!

If you have other tips leave them in the comments below! Interested to read what you do to be more active at work!

Dinner recipe: Sesame Chicken with Brown Rice

For some reason I always have trouble finding recipes with brown rice that I really like. But I finally found one!

The ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 75 g brown basmati rice
  • 3 tbs agave syrup
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Broccoli
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 green pepper or spring onion
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil

The directions:
  1. Prepare the brown rice according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the agave syrup, sesame seeds, soy sauce and crushed garlic in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cut the chicken into pieces and season these with salt, pepper and chili powder.
  4. Steam the broccoli for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and bake the chicken golden brown and cooked through in 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the peppers and/or spring onions into small pieces.
  6. Add the cooked chicken and all the vegetables to the prepared sauce and toss to combine. Then scoop mixture into bowls or plates over cooked rice.



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