My experiences in Thailand

Like my instagram followers all know, I went to Thailand for three weeks with my family and boyfriend. In this blogpost I will tell you about my experiences. Unfortunately, I can’t explain everything in one blogpost because it would become too long so I will tell you about the things I will remember the most. 
Our destinations were Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Sukhotai, Chiang Mai, Pai and Hua Hin.

Bangkok

Our first destination in Thailand was Bangkok, that’s where the plain also arrived. What I noticed when I got off the bus was that you can smell the traffic.

In Bangkok, we often took the boat taxi to go from one place to another. When we arrived we first sailed to a restaurant of course (we were very hungry) where we ate good with a breathtaking view over Bangkok.

 

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The coolest thing we did in Bangkok I thought was the guided biking tour. We biked through the whole city and not only urban part but also through small districts where very poor people lived and through coconut- and banana farms. 
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We also visited temples and a lot of Buddha’s. Believe me, they have enough of them in Thailand! The most impressive Buddha I thought was the lying Buddha. In the temples, your shoulders and upper legs always need to be covered and you need to take off your shoes.
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Kanchanaburi

We went to Kanchanaburi especially for the Erawan Waterfalls. What was very special is, that there are fish who come suck your feet the moment you go into the water. They eat your dead skin like you see little fish sometimes in beauty salons. We also saw a monkey!
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Ayutthaya

In Ayutthaya we visited a lot of old buildings, among other things the cemetry of three kings from the old kingdom Ayutthaya. 
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Sukhotai

In Sukhotai, we visited a park with a lot of old temples, some of them with a remarkable influence of the hinduism. 
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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was our fifth destination. I noticed that Chiang Mai is very globalized. You can find McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and KFC (which you can’t find in the rest of Thailand except in Bangkok). Personally, I didn’t see a lot of Chiang Mai (except for our wonderful hotel). We visited the night market but the rest of the time we were there, we were on a two day trip to the jungle.
The jungle trip was very adventurous. Unfortunately, we had a lot of rain and all our clothes were wet to the bone. Because it is very moist in Thailand, our clothes never dried out so when we woke up the next day, our clothes were still wet from the day before. Except for that we were wet, it was of course a wonderful experience! The view was very beautiful. We visited a waterfall where we could jump of the rocks and a cave with bats.
At night, the whole jungle group slept in a big bamboo hut. We also sailed on a river with a fleet and we went to an Elephant Rescue Centre. In the Rescue Centre were among other things elephants who had been used for transport. The reason why we didn’t ride the elephants was that many of those elephants are being mistreated but we could feed and wash them instead.

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Pai

Pai was my favourite destination I think. We visited everything with a rental scooter. The nature in Pai is unbelievably beautiful! Sitting on the scooter and at the same time enjoying the view was amazing. We visited the natural hot srpings, a cave, a village where almost all Chinese people lived and the Pai Canyon. The Pai Canyon was a bit scary I thought (I have a small  fear of heights) but it was definitely worth it!

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Hua Hin

Hua Hin was my least favourite location and I wouldn’t do it again. My parents chose this destination close to the sea because they wanted to relax during the last days. We (my boyfriend, my brothers and me) would rather have been out discovering as much of Thailand as possible. That’s why we decided to go to the zoo, visit a cave and go admire the Pranburi park.
Unfortunately, the zoo was a real disappiontment. Tigers and even babytigers are lying on super short chains as well as the elephants. You could enter the cage of the tigers to go cuddle them but then they were anaesthetized beforehand. It was very pathetic.
The cave and the Pranbur Park were luckily worth it. We wouldn’t have wanted to miss those two wonderful natural phenomenons. We also enjoyed the beach for one day but it didn’t have to be longer for us.

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In general

What I really noticed in Thailand was that the people are very friendly, even though there is a lot of poverty. The people in Thailand are very grateful and we felt very welcome as a tourist. We think it’s mostly because of their belief, namely the buddhism.
The animals you see the most in Thailand (except for a lot of street-dogs and -cats) are geckos. Geckos don’t do anything but they eat insects which is very useful in Thailand. I was less fond of the spiders. They are big and sometimes there are coming  100 baby spiders out of it like it was the case with us. The cockroaches that were on the streets also were a bit less pleasant.
The streets in Thailand are full of street-dogs and -cats. They have scabs and fleas most of the time and there are so many you can’t take care of them all. They are also very dangerous for the trafic because some dogs just go lay down in the middel of the street.
Next to the dogs (an even cows sometimes!) that were lying on the street, the trafic was better than I expected. Of course there is a lot more chaos as in Belgium but luckily, the cars wouldn’t drive you over. The rules in Thailand are less severe though. Driving through a red light for example isn’t exceptional. It is also cheaper to pay a fine in Thailand for driving without an international driving license than to buy one in Belgium.
I like the food in Thailand very much but you need to watch what you eat. I, for example, always brushed my teeth with bottled water, I didn’t eat unpeeled fruit, raw veggies and I almost never took ice. What I thought was very good is, that you can eat vegetarian and very often vegan almost everywhere. During our trip, I tried to eat almost only vegetarian. By the time we needed to go back home, everyone got tired of the Thai food because becaue it’s often the same but now that I am home for three days, I would already be able to eat it again!

I can conclude that Thailand is really worth it and I would recommend everyone to go. I already miss it!

Love,Jana

How I stayed fit during the exams

Yesterday I finally went back to the gym. Of course I was a little scared that I would have lost some muscles but you know what? I could lift just as much weight at each excercise and it even went very fluently! Why that is, I explain you in this blogpost.

For me, exams go before everything. Still I try to stay healthy and to work on my fitness when I can. Because I stayed home and the gym isn’t around the corner, I only went three times in a month. So what did I do to stay fit?

I think the most important thing during the exams is eating healthy. Not only because I wouldn’t lose my shape I worked so hard for but also because I feel way better then. Your brain should better get the right nutrition as well. In the beginning of the exams, I tried not to track. My goal was to maintain my weight or lose a bit if I could. At first, I studied at my boyfriends and I was losing weight slowly but when I came home, it went wrong. At my home, they eat way unhealthier than at my boyfriends. That’s why I started gaining weight quiet fast and that’s not what I wanted. I decided to start tracking my food again. Like that I could join dinner without gaining weight and I just watched my food during the day. Tracking was also useful because I could lose a bit of weight before we go on our holiday because who doesn’t like looking good on holiday pictures? I mostly watched my calories and not my macros because exams are hard enough already.

Next to eating healthy, I also stayed active. For me it’s always a bit searching what kind of sports I will do during the exams. I love going to the gym but I can’t run because I have a bad knee. I train at home sometimes but I get tired of it quickly. In the gym there are way more possibilities of course. When I do a training at home, I also miss having a goal a bit. Like you could read in my previous blogpost, I practiced a lot of yoga. Next to that, I also swam a few times (my boyfriend has a pool). The last week of the exams I followed the POP Pilates workout calender from Cassey Ho (www.blogilates.com). I found this a lot nicer than the normal trainings I do at home. If I had discovered the calender a bit earlier, I would probably have done mainly POP Pilates during the exams. Luckily I was able to go to the gym three times on days I had an exam in the morning. After an exam it’s always time to relax for me! By not neglecting my fitness completely, I was able to maintain my strength.

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Staying fit during the exams isn’t always easy but it isn’t super hard either. It’s mostly important to find a good balance. There were a lot of days I didn’t do anything. I did yoga almost every day but working out not very often. When I had the time and I wasn’t too tired, I still tried to do a workout. Healthy eating isn’t always easy because I used to eat a lot whenever I had stress. Luckily I broke off that habit a bit already. Of course I want to say ‘fuck it’ during the exams and just eat what I want but I know now that that’s not what will make me happy. Some weeks I ate a little unhealthier and some weeks I ate very healthy and I am satisfied with that. During the exams, not everything needs to go perfectly but I think it’s important that I watch my health a bit. No one wants to be sick or tired all the time during the exams, right?

To conclude I can say that I find it important to find a balance between staying healthy but not to obsess about it too much so you can focus mainly on your exams. By training now and then and eating heathy, I feel better and that’s why I didn’t lose my strength as well.

Love,

Jana

Why and how I started practicing yoga

Like my instagram followers probably already noticed, I am often busy practicing yoga lately. But why is that so suddenly? That I will tell you in this blogpost.

During the exams I suffer a lot from stress. I thought it would be a good idea to try to practice some yoga before I went to bed so I could become more relaxed. I followed @debbe_the_chocoholic on instagram for a while. She is often practicing yoga and I asked her if she maybe had some tips. She recommended me to do the Kino yoga beginner challenge and so I did. Unfortunately I only managed to do half of the challenge because I stopped after the exams. At the moment I have exams again and I picked up yoga again. I started the beginner yoga challenge again and I am more than halfway now. I enjoy it more and more and I think I will go for it this time.

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Not only did I wanted to become more relaxed, I also wanted to become more flexible. I never stretch after a training which is very bad (yes I know). I think stretching is just so boring. That’s why yoga seemed like a good solution. I noticed very fast that my flexibility increased.

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I also saw yoga challenges on instagram very often. It seemed nice to join one but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do the poses so I didn’t. Eventually I began joining the challenges on instagram. I am happy to tell you that there are always alternatives for beginners when something wouldn’t work for you. If you are doubting to participate in a challenge I would say: go for it!

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Another advantage of yoga is that you need a lot of strength. I didn’t expect a few poses would ask so much strength! Sometimes I feel all my muscles shaking.

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The last advantage yoga gives me are beautiful pictures! At first I was a little bit afraid that my followers wouldn’t like my yoga pictures but I think it’s an easy way to be original. I also think it’s nicer to post pictures on which I show something I can do than all the ‘I do weightlifting look at my muscles pictures’. I train on my own most of the time so most of pictures were mirror selfies.

Are you doubting to start practicing yoga? I would say: give it a try. You only know if you would like it if you try. By the way, don’t give up immediately because the beginning is always a bit harder. Give yourself a few weeks time.

To conclude I can say that I am sold. Yoga helps me to relax and I have the feeling I am becoming stronger and more flexible.

Love,

Jana

Healthy sweet ice coffee

With the warm weather I sometimes need something cold. That’s why I make ice coffee sometimes. Delicious and low in calories! In this blogpost I share the super simple recipe with you.

Macros for one cup: 94kcal 10c/3f/7p

What do you need? (For 1 person) 

  • 1 ice tube tray (for 6 ice tubes)
  • 1 big espresso
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Stevia fluid

How do you make it?

  1. Put the espresso in the ice tube tray. Let everything cool down and put the ice tubes in the freezer.
  2. When the ice cubes are frozen, put them in a big cup.
  3. Pour the milk over the ice cubes.
  4. Put 4 drops of stevia in the milk (I prefer my ice coffee very sweet but of course you can put less or more stevia in it).
  5. Wait a moment until the ice cubes have melted a little bit and drink up! When I finished my ice coffee and my ice cubes are not fully melted yet, I put milk in it again so I can drink 2 ice coffees.

I hope you find it delicious!

Love,

Jana

Throwback FIBO 2017

Like most of you will know I went to FIBO for the first time two weeks ago. In this blogpost I will write what I thought of it.

Last year I already wanted to go to FIBO but I wasn’t into bodybuidling for a long time yet and I didn’t even know (or I knew too late) that FIBO existed. I was still a little jealous when I saw that other people met their fitnessidols on FIBO. That’s why I decided that I would go the next year.

I was looking forward to this fitness event for some time. I expected it to be very big. I went to FIBO especially to be able to meet my idols but I didn’t plan to stand in line for someone for a long period of time. I think those people are still normal people. Standing in line for hours to be able to meet someone once I think is a little bit too much. That’s the reason I didn’t go to Michelle Lewin. I also was a little afraid to be disappointed because my fitness idols might be feeling better than everyone else in real life. Luckily, this was not the case.

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The people I went to were Denice Moberg, Jessica Lauren and Anniek Van Keulen. I was expecting that I would have to queue for Denice but apparently, this was not the case! I thought Denice was really super sweet and cute. She even gave me a protein bar! Next to that, she put a picture from us together on her instastory with a heart and a little video where you could see me.
Like you see I am with Jessica and Anniek in one picture. Maybe it sounds a little weird but when I wrapped my arm around them, their waistes felt so tight! They looked amazing. After I had taken a picture, I told them I follow them on instagram and I thanked them for the motivation they give me on a daily basis. They reacted very friendly.
There were other people I wanted to meet as well like Nochtli, Savannah Prez and Yanita Yancheva but apparently, I just missed them all three.

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Next to my fitness idols, there were of course a lot of boots with whatever that has to do a even a little bit with fitness. I wanted to buy something from MyProtein and GymQueen but unfortunately, both boots were way too busy when I passed by. At Gymshark I maybe wanted to buy something as well but unfortunately, almost everything was sold. FIBO was very big but actually less big than I expected. In a few hours we had really seen everything and we quicly went to The Cologne Cathedral.

Do I want to go back next year? No doubt! One day certainly is enought but I am very happy I went. When I a home again, I really afterglowed for a little bit. Especially because I met some of my fitness idols. I suddenly had even more motivation to go for my goals, certainly now when I had been able to see in ‘real life’ what you all can accomplish if you work hard. In the past, I never understood how people can be so obsessively fan of someone but now I understand a little bit better. My idols accomplished things that I would really want to accomplish and it’s so motivating to see. I find it even more motivating when they even seem to have a nice character in real life.

Conclusion: I enjoyed it. See you next year, FIBO!

How I lost 9kg

In this blogpost I will reveal how I was able to lose 9g(20lbs).

I started working out with the Bikini Body Guide from Kayla itsines. I didn’t follow her meal plan but I tried to eat especially no candy. I got results but after a while, it didn’t seem to work anymore. At my ‘heaviest’ I weighed around 66kg (I am 1m67). I was never really fat but still I felt very insecure. Eventually, I decided to begin with weightlifting and I bought a meal plan. I followed this meal plan for 2 months. I think I lost around 2kg (4,4lbs) in those 2 months. I also lifted weights and did cardio everyday. In the weekend unfortunately, I still binged quite often.

After following the meal plan for 2 months, I started with Flexible Dieting. I looked up everything myself about it. Flexible dieting has really helped me with portion control. I learned to find a good balace betweed healthy eating and enjoying an ice cream sometimes. I still binged but less and less frequently. I still lifted weights and did cardio six times a week. In August I eventually reached my goal weight (57kg/126lbs). I needed seven months to lose 9kg(20lbs). I know the scale is not a good method for everyone to measure your progress but for me it worked and I never really had problems with the number on the scale. I just knew about how much weight I had to lose to feel good about myself. I also kept being realistic and looked at my goals weekly and not in the long term. A lot of small goals, can lead you to one big goal the easiest!

My goal was to lose around 500 grams per week. Later, this became 300 grams per week. I chose very consciously not to lose weight fast. I did this because it was more attainable and because I was going for a lifestyle, not for a ‘quick fix’. There were weeks I didn’t lose weight or even gained weight but I never let myself be discouraged. Every 12-14 weeks, I also took a break for one week where I just tried to maintain my weight. It always gave me new motivation to go for it again. A break is also good to turn your metabolism on again, so you will lose weight more easily.

When I reached my goal, I was just going off for a holiday so this was ofcourse ideal. Unfortunately, on my holiday, I didn’t watch my food and I gained some weight again. Luckily I already knew how to get it off again. I tried to never let myself feel guilty because I ate too much or cheated too much because I would eat even more when I get down. Also, I never did ‘guilty cardio’. I thought it was important not to hang on to a bad feeling.

In January, I decided to try to gain weight for the first time so I would get more muscle. In the beginning, I thought it was a unpleasant thought because I was scared that all my work would have been for nothing and I would become ‘more fat’ again. Nothing was less true.  I already gained 4kg(9lbs) and actually, I don’t see that much of a difference. I look a little bit ‘fuller’ now but not like I used to be. I can now see that my body looks more muscular and more thight. I don’t feel less happy at all than when I weighed 57kg, maybe I even feel  better! I enjoy eating a lot, haing energy which I can use for my training and I love the fact that my muscles are growing. Losing weight can make you feel better about yourself but mental progress is at least equally important. It is important that you find your balance and that you don’t exaggerate with anything.

My process of losing weight was very slow but I didn’t have a problem with that at all. I found my way to a healthy lifestyle and that’s the most important thing for me. I feel so much better about myself now! Do you want help to achieve your goals? You can always ask me tips, I really like to help people!

Love,

Jana

 

Flexible Dieting/IIFYM: what? how? why?

In this post I will talk about the diet I am following namely Flexible Dieting. There exist a lot of misunderstandings around this term and there a lot of people who never even heard about it yet! That’s why I will try to explain as well as possible how it all works in this blogpost.

First of all, I want to get out all the misunderstandings. A lot of people think that Flexible Dieting is about eating as much unhealthy foods in your macros as possible. Nothing is less true! I will tell you more about this later.

What is it?

Flexible Dieting is a diet where you don’t need to hold on to a strict plan and where there is nothing you definitely can’t eat. If I tell people I follow a diet, they think I want to lose weight but it isn’t always like that. You can also follow a diet without the intention to lose weight. A diet can be just a way to live healthy and to maintain your weight or even gain weight (for example when you want more muscles). At this moment, I am gaining weight but in May, I will try to lose some weight again for summer.

How does it work?

First of all, I am going to tell you something about calories. Everyone burns calories and eats food that contains calories. When you want to lose weight, you need to eat less calories than you burn so when you want to gain weight, you need to eat more than you burn. Besides calories, you also have macronutrients. There exist three macronutrients namely carbs, fats and protein. You need to look how many  from each macronutrient you eat per day. For that, I use an app where I enter all my food and then it shows how much from each macronutrient you ate and how much of it you can still eat. Flexible Dieting is seen as a protein rich diet so you need to eat a lot of protein.

Why Flexible Dieting?

When I really started watching my food, I bought a meal plan from a coach. First of all, I found it very hard to follow the plan, especially on the weekend. On the weekends my parents cook and I didn’t like that I couldn’t eat with them. Secondly, I found I was often hungry which made it even harder to stick to the plan (now I am never hungry). Another thing that bothered me was that everytime I wanted to eat something that was not on the plan, I ended up eating a lot. I made a cheat day of a cheat meal or even a cheat week. Since I started doing Flexible Dieting, I binge less. I know I can eat everything (in moderation) so when I want to cheat sometime, I just put it in my app and I fit it in. When I know I can’t have something, I want it even more. Now, that I am doing Flexible Dieting, I don’t have that problem anymore. Flexible Dieting DOESN’T mean that you can eat whatever you want. It means that you still need to eat at least 80% healthy and healthy means mostly unprocessed food, and low in calories.

Hopefully you know a little bit more now about Flexible Dieting now. In this post, I didn’t tell you everything there is to know about flexible dieting but I just wanted to show how it works. Later, I will post on my blog about how you can get started. Questions? Don’t hesitate to comment or contact me!

Love,

Jana