24 January 2011

Feeling The Change

Happy Monday (going on Tuesday... almost!)!

How was everybody's weekend? Mine was actually very nice. I got to go to Milan to visit my dad and my brother and I had a really good time. I so needed the change of scenary even though it was only for a day and a half. Tomorrow morning I'll be going back home (yea, since I work Saturdays and Sunday mornings my weekends have shifted a bit, they start Sunday afternoon and last until Monday evening).

I'm totally pooped right now, I think I walked a total of 6 hours today... got to catch up with the city, you know ;P ? On top of that this morning I did yoga for almost an hour. Dear Lord! Whoever said that yoga is easy or that it doesn't make you sweat, has clearly never tried it! I was dripping within minutes. I took a few videos on youtube from one of my favourite yogi's ever, Sadie Nardini. I did her Weight Loss Yoga part 1, 2, 3 and 4 plus some stretchig. Let me tell you, my arms and legs were shaking by the end of it and it felt awesome!

I love incorporating yoga into my workout routine. Not only does it give me a good workout, it also give me a good stretch.


How did my first week go? Not too bad.

Was I perfect? Absolutely not. But you know what? That's ok, if it was ment to be easy, it wouldn't be a challenge.

I did a total of three workouts and I took them all from my girl Zuzana. I did one on Monday, one on Thursday and one on Sunday.

What I learned  from this first week:
* for as hard as you try, things don't always go as planned
* starting back working out after a two-month's break with the hardest workout I know might not be the best idea of all (Note to self: do not ever do that again)... I could barely move for two and a half days!!!
* you can surprise yourself. I did way better than I thought especially "mind wise". I found my motivation back and this is suh a huge thing for me! Two times out of three I fit the workout when I had little to no time because I wouldn't have missed it for nothing in the whole world! The past few months I found every possible excuse not to workout so it's nice to have my old self back!

So you live and learn, right? The best thing about week one is that now I have this great feeling that the weeks to come are going to go way better. I can feel the change :D


A couple of days ago someone asked me a few questions about my diet, so I figured it would be a lot more helpful to address this in a post (maybe even more than one, we'll see how it goes). As some of you may know, I struggled with eating disorders for a good 12 years. Recovery was not an easy thing for me and it took a lot of time, help, effort and self growth. Talking about it is not easy either but if sharing my story with you all will help even only one person in the whole world, I will be the happiest person alive. So check back for that!

I better go now, my little Panda (my kitty cat) is sleeping on my laps right now and she is determined to rest her head on my hand which makes the whole writing process a lot more difficult, believe me!

How did the first week of the 28-Day Challenge go? What did you get out of it? Did you struggle with it? And if you weren't in the challenge, did this past week teach you something about yourself? Did it change you in some way?

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
- Barack Obama



18 January 2011

28-Day Challenge Take II

Hope everyone had a fantastic day!

The weather here in Italy has been so lovely these past few days... nothing compared to the last few weeks when it was miserable!

Yay for a day off yesterday! I haven't had a free day in so long (except for last Wednesday) I was beside myself with joy when I knew I was off!

As you might have figured out, the 28-Day Challenge did not go as planned. Lately things have not been going so great for me and probably I picked the worst moment to start a challenge as I couldn't commit to it at all.

Anyways, I'm not giving up and I'm ready to get back on track. I feel way better and I plan on succeeding this time around.

So, as of yesterday I'm giving the challenge another go! It will be slightly different this time around though:
* I will have only one goal aka exercising at least 4 days a week.

Exercising is my biggest issue when it comes to slacking. When I miss a couple of workouts, it's really hard for me to get back on track. On the other hand, I find that when I exercise consistently, everything else in my life automatically falls into place. I eat better, drink more water, I'm a lot happier...

My ultimate goal is to be able to exercise 5 to 6 times per week but I know too well this is not going to happen overnight and I do need an achievable goal.


So to kick this challenge right in the booty yesterday I had an awesome workout!

I went back to three of my favourite ladies on the web: Zuzana from bodyrock.tv, Angela from ohsheglows and the lovely lady from YouTips4U on YouTube. I'm sure you already know them but in case you don't, go check them out because they are amazing!

If you are familiar with Zuzana's workouts, you know they are not for the faint hearted. They are mostly bodyweight HIIT (high intensity interval training).

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprint interval training is an exercise strategy that is intended to improve performance with short training sessions. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise which is beneficial to burning fat in a short and intense workout. [Source] 

Here are some of the benefits of HIIT:
* Maximum Cardio Benefit in Minimal Time
* Turns Your Body Into a Fat Burning Furnace
* Improve Your Endurance and Stamina
For the whole article click here.

Anyway this girl is truly amazing! She has you sweat like no other in very little time, so that even if you don't have time, you can fit in one of her workouts. She also has tips and modifications for beginners, which is great otherwise I would have never had the courage to even try her workouts!!! So even if you are just starting out, do not get discouraged, give your body a chance to surprise you. I sure was surprised and I still am every time I complete one of her workouts (modified of course :P )! Plus you can't get bored of them since every workout is different and fun in... a masochist kinda way. No, really they are fun ;)

So to start off the workout, I chose probably the most brutal of all her workouts (and man am I feeling it right now!), the Swimming In My Own Sweat Workout. Let me tell you, I almost drown but I felt awesome afterwards.

Note: if it's the first time trying her workouts, you might want to start with one of her shorter workouts. And anyways do not get discouraged, you will improve over time. I'm still a beginner myself but I'm waaay better than the first time I tried doing her workouts!

After that (I seriously don't know what got into me yesterday...) I did this video from YouTips4U.

And then I did attempted doing some core exercises that I took from OhSheGlows but after the first three exercises I had to admit defeat!

This workout really kicked my butt. I have to say though, I felt like a million dollars afterwards!

I didn't know if I wanted to show you all my sweaty face after the workout. But then I thought, I must not be the only one looking like a hot mess after a workout but that's what makes it real!

Warning: sweaty, make-up free and sleepy face!!! Keep reading at your own risk :P

That's what I'm talking about!

The good thing about this is that you know a shower will be in your immediate future.

Much better!

Sorry about the make-up free face, I really was in a hurry.

So here you have it, my first workout for the 28-Day Challenge, I do have a good feeling about this one!


What are your favourite workouts? Do you look like a mess after it or do you keep your cool?

12 January 2011

Breakfast Soy Bread

Good afternoon everybody!

Today I finally took a day off work, it feels so good. I don't even remember when was the last day I took off...

It's a lovely sunny day here and it really lifted my mood. So to celebrate I decided to make myself a breakfast bread. I love starting the day with something yummy, especially if I bake it myself.

This recipe is very healthy, light and packed with protein. Eating a mainly vegetarian diet, I'm always concerned about getting enough protein and this bread is just the perfect breakfast for me. It would also make a great post-workout snack.

So on to the recipe.

Breakfast Soy Bread (adapted from here, it's both in italian and english) 

Note: I really need to learn how to have better lighting for my pictures!

  • 160g soy flour
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour (optional)
  • 2 tsp of backing powder
  • 70g pure fructose
  • 300g apples cored
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt

In a large bowl wisk together the dry ingredients (soy flour, coconut, flaxseed, fructose and baking powder)

Then take the eggs and separate the yolks from the egg whites (later on I'll show you what to do with those yolks... since I really hate wasting food!)

Roughly chop the apples (I ended up using one apple and a quarter) and proceed snacking on the remaining apple ;P

Now the best thing would be to have a food processor to puree the apples, anyway if you are like me with no proper processor thingy just impovise and use a hand blender.

Note: to avoid the hand blender not actually blending the apples (true story, happened to me the last time I made this bread. As you can see I'm not what you would call a pro in the kitchen!) I suggest you blending half of the egg whites (if you already use all of the egg whites, you risk them foaming up waaaay more than you want them to. Again: been there, done that!) with a little bit of the apples. Once pureed, add the remaining apples a little bit at a time and blend your little heart out and eventually add the rest of the egg whites.

You should end up with something that looks like this

Then take your bread tin and cover it with baking paper (to make it sick to the tin a little bit better, wet the backing paper and make sure you squeeze all the eccess water out).

Mix dry and wet ingredients together (I did put the yogurt, it's under the apple/egg mixture)

And pour it in the tin
Now bake it for 40mins at 150C with alluminum foil on (make sure you don't wrap it too tight) and then another 25 mins with out the foil.
Here it is the finished product
It's a little bit denser than your regular bread but I really love it with coffe or tea!

* You can really play with this recipe, you can add chopped fruit to it (I once added pineapple and it was lovely), raisins, chocolate chips and you can also change the apples for other fruit. I tried it with bananas and also with unsweetened apple sauce (perfect if you don't have time to puree it yourself) and they both worked great.
* If you don't have fructose, feel free to use regular sugar (I don't usually use regular sugar because, suffering from migraines, I find it that it can give me really bad headaches)
* You can also use vegetable yogurt if you like.

Let me know if you tried it and whether you modified it and how. I'm always looking for suggestions :)


While I was busy baking look what someone else was doing...

This one really cracked me up (he was actually yawning)


What is your favourite thing to have for breakfast? When making some new recipe do you always sick to it  or do you usually change it up? I sure know that for the life of me I can never sick to a recipe!



08 January 2011

Change Is In The Air

Hello everybody!

I've had some minor setbacks these last few days. I'm going through some pretty big changes, something that has been on my mind for quite some time but have actually never had the guts to do. And now it's happening all so fast, it's hard to keep up with it all. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it will all turn out ok, it's terrifying and exciting at the same time. I know none of this makes sense right now, but I'll explain it all better in a couple of weeks tops when, hopefully, it'll be all a little bit clearer to me too!

Change requires a lot of strenght, more strenght than I've ever imagined, patience and faith that everything will eventually be fine.

I promise you my next posts will be a lot more uplifting.

For now I'll leave you with a couple of funny pictures of my lovely furry creatures. When I am having a sad day they always find a way to make me smile!

Sun lover Menelao,

yogi Piccolo,

and explorer Panda.


It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But the is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen

How do you deal with change? Is it something you are afraid of? Are you the type of person who remains stuck in a situation (even though you know it's not doing you any good) until you can't take it anymore? Or are you the type of person who can easily embrace change?



04 January 2011

When Starting Is The Most Difficult Part

Good evening everyone!

If yesterday I thought I was busy, today gave busy a whole new meaning! From this morning at 7.30a.m. I didn't get the chance to sit down until 1p.m. and then again I was running around for the whole afternoon!

The weather wasn't as helpful as yesterday to improve my mood... it went:
from this

to this!!!

Come on!


So, beside the crappy weather, how did my 1st day of my 28-Day Challenge go?

Well, let me just say that I'll have to work a lot harder than I thought but I am not giving up!

* Exercise didn't happen, yet, but I might try to squeeze in some core exercises before bed but I'm not all that sure, I'm pretty tired already.

Note to self: it is not a good idea to stay up till 12a.m. if you are planning a 6a.m. workout, especially if you are desperately trying to get back into the habit of working out!

* Eating 5 meals today was quite hard too. I had my snack all planned out for mid a.m. but I was out with some clients (I currently work for a real estate agency) from 10a.m. to 1p.m. . I mean, seriously?! Needless to say I was going to eat my arm off by the time I got home. Anyway I did get a chance to have a snack between lunch and dinner and it was yogurt, a huge apple (I can't get over how huge it was! And it was from the farmer's market) and 10 almonds. Quite satisfying! I love this combo, it has the tartness of the yogurt, the sweetness of the apple and a lovely crunch from the almonds.

* Water was a challenge too. I didn't have my water while I was out with the clients this morning so as soon as I got home I gulped down almost 1liter of water, I was so thirsty! The afternoon got better though and eventually I ended up drinking just about two liters of water plus a cup of tea.

* On a brighter note I did a little bit of cleaning after dinner, so I guess this went better.

All in all, there's still a lot to improve but at least I know I am going in the right direction. I do know I would have done a lot worse if it wasn't for the 28-Day Challenge.

Off to bed in a bit, I need proper sleep if I want to avoid going nuts!


How was your day? Do you find it easy to stick to a challenge once you put your mind to it? Or do you need a few days to adjust?



03 January 2011

28-Day Challenge

Good evening everybody!

I was a busy bee at work today, running around like a mad woman.

The highlight of the day though was this:

Has the sun ever looked so beautiful? If I didn't know it was Jannuary, I would probably think it was spring! I guess it made the day a whole lot more bearable.

So, while I was crazy busy working, my cats were busy tanning...

...and bird watching!

Lucky kitties!

The lovely Menelao kept coming towards me while I was trying to take pictures of him.

I guess he prefers cuddling rather than modelling!

Enough with the kitty talk for today ;)


This afternoon, while looking at the calendar, I realized... 28 days till the end of the month, this could be the perfect time for a 28-day challenge! I'm coming out a pretty long period of slacking when it comes to exercize and eating right, you know, there's the holiday season and then there was the flu and then just mere and plain excuses. It's time for me to kick my own ass back into gear. So, since it takes 21 to 28 days to build an habit, for the next 28 I will be focusing on building back those habits that kinda got lost down the road.

Here are my 28-Day Challenge's goals:

* Exercise 5 times per week:

Exercising is pretty important for me, it's not only about the calories, it keeps my energy high throughout the day, improves my mood, decreases my headaches and it automatically makes me eat better. A win-win situation, right? Well sometimes, especially at 6am when I wake up to exercise, all these very valid reasons seem to magically disappear and a warm cozy bed looks much more appealing...

* Eat 5 smaller meals instead of 3 bigger ones:

Eating 5 smaller meals is so much better for you, it spikes up the metabolism, it doesn't leave you starving between meals and it's much better for your energy levels.

* Drink 2/3 liters of water per day:

Well, water is just downright awesome for us

* Do house chores at least 1h per day: 

It can be anything but keeping things clean and organized simply makes me function better!


Have you ever done a 28-day challenge? Was it helpful? Do you want to join the challenge? What are your goals?



02 January 2011

Holiday Affairs

Good morning everyone!

The holiday season is coming to an end. This is the time of year where people are more likely to stop for a moment and think back about their year, how and wheather they have improved in some area of their life, how it has changed and how they want to improve it some more.

What I found really helpful this year was taking a little bit of this time and focus my attention on the holiday season itself. Yes, that's right, the holiday season. This is when the whole family gets together and no matter how hard we try, it is often very difficult to keep up with our "normal routines". Not so much because we don't find the time to do whatever is that we usually do, but because when family gets together, it's like we unconsciously go back in time to our childhood. Family reunions bring back memories, behaviours and emotions that all come back so strongly and fast, we often feel overwhelmed and powerless to do anything at all. And one of the first things effected by this is the way we eat.

To make it a little bit more clear, this year was very revealing for me. In 2010 I spent months and months battling against my E.D. and overall I did a pretty good job. As far as I can tell, I won't go easily back to how things were. I always try listening to my body's cues when it comes to eating and exercizing, I'm trying to not feel deprived and not overdo it either. All in all, I am very proud of myself for how far I've come this year. I still have a lot to learn but it's a pretty good start!


In spite of all of this, when my family gets together, I feel the urge to eat more, as if being my true self wasn't an option. But this year I started thinking and the more I thought about this, the more it made sense to me. When I'm eating with my family, more times than not we have leftovers and even though I would be perfectly fine leaving them for my next meal, I kind of feel that the "right thing to do" is to finish everything that's left in the pot. They say stuff like: "Come on there is only that left, we have to finish it" or "come on help me finish that". I am 100% sure they all mean well, but the effect that this had on me over the years was everything but good. I felt that unless I was eating the way they wanted me to, I was hurting them.

This year, fortunately, just by taking the time to think about all of these mechanisms I found the strenght I needed to stand up for myself and eating really listening to my body and no one elses. And guess what happened? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! All of the fears I had were just in my head but by not facing them they kept growing for no reason.

This Christmas was different than any other we ever had. We usually all get together for both Christmas Eve and Christmas day. My family, my cousins, uncles and aunts, family friends.

This year though most of us came down with a pretty nasty flu, and this resulted in everyone staying home for Christmas. So it was only my parents, my brother and I. And I actually quite enjoyed it this way. Don't get me wrong, I love family reunions but this year it was nice to spend it only with my closest family (since we never get to spend that much time together during the rest of the year).

The flu really got me thinking. Weird, right? What I noticed, while I was so sick I couldn't even stand up for more than a few minutes, was how my body and mind where both working as a whole to get better as soon as possible. I didn't even have to think about it, treating my body the best I could came so natural to me. We should always treat our bodies and minds the best we can but unless we are fighting for our life (I get it, this came out a bit melodramatic :P), unless we feel threatened, we struggle treating ourselves the way we should. Isn't it ridiculous?

Getting the flu just around Christmas was one of the best things that could have happened to me. Although being sick was terrible, it got me more in touch with my body and its needs, right when I needed it.

How were your holidays? Do you find that being with your family affects the way you eat? And when you are sick, do you find it easier to listen to your body? Why do you think that is?



01 January 2011

Let The 2011 Begin

New year, new blog... so cliché, I know! I just hope one year from now I will look back to this day and know starting a blog was the right decision for me.

I have been going through so much lately, some good, some bad that it occurred to me that I feel the need to have a place in my life to jot it all down, all of my feelings, all of my fears, all of my joys, a place to find clearness, a place where I can hopefully share this clearness with others.

I've never been that good of a writer. I find that I usually have things all figured out in the comfort of my own mind, but when it comes down to expressing my thoughts, they often come out as a complete and utter disaster! So, please, bear with me for a while!

Happy 2011 and talk to you very soon ;)