Sunday, February 24, 2013

. what I've learned .

This is what I've learned during my short 3 weeks of eating healthy and working out: ...drum roll please...

1. What the heck clean eating is! That's a big one right here. I saw people talking about eating clean and I had not a clue what they were talking about. Instead of just asking, or heck Googling it...I just kept eating McDonald's and living the fat/unhappy lifestyle. Once I became a vegetarian I was afraid I wasn't getting enough nutrients in my body, the only precious body I'll have in my life {gotta treat it well!} Once I asked my friend, who was nice enough to explain it, I researched it some more and now I'm hooked on coloring my plate :)

2. Eating clean and healthy is not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be. I would eat out because a) its faster b) its easier c) it would be cheaper than making dinner or whatever meal for myself. I despise cooking for one..its just annoying to modify recipes so I don't have to eat a certain food for 5 days straight.

Once I found this meal plan that I have been following, I realized that a) its easy to make your own food in small portions b) its really not that expensive to buy all healthy foods c) its nice to know what you'll be eating in advance, you can prepare your meals the night before. I usually prepare them the night before and put them in much faster and easier. I make a grocery list on Saturdays and right after I work I go to the grocery store and get my groceries for the week. I usually spend between $35 to $45 a week on food and it is mostly all vegetables and fruit..and eggs, lots of cage free eggs!!

{This was when I first started...looks much fuller now. It looks like someone actually lives in my house and eats on a regular basis!}

3. Changes in your body do not happen overnight. I mean if you work out you might notice some small changes, but don't expect to see major changes in a week. This can be discouraging because with everything we expect to see things NOW..not 90 days from now. Most of us, myself included, have no patience what so ever. Even though I know not to expect things to start changing or people to start noticing that I am eating healthy, losing weight and becoming toned, I take weekly progress pictures. I think this is the only way you will be able to see some change {at the bottom of this post I will post a progress picture...just one, don't get your hopes up :) }

4. Grant yourself an off day or a cheat meal. I work in a bakery and I used to have a chocolate chip scone every day I worked {4 days a week} and I cut that back to 0. I probably have the biggest sweet tooth of all, so I allow myself a little bit of sugar. I rather have one of our amazing chocolate chip cookies once a week than not allow myself any and then fall off the bandwagon and eat a dozen! My favorite cheat meal is a healthy sub from subway...totally worth the calories, and you can make them really colorful and healthy!!

Now I would usually NEVER do this! But if you want to start working out but are afraid your body will never be like the before/after pictures that you see online, here is some real life, unmodified pictures of a 2 week difference. Like I said, I eat really healthy and I work out 7 times a week. I will soon start swimming and once this darn snow goes away I will start running. I'm thinking about signing up for my first 5K in June!! I love how much energy I have and how I am so enjoying working out and feeling my body getting healthier!
So alas, without further is my before and after. I chose to do a back view, because I feel like this is where I myself noticed a difference.


Before: picture taken 2.3.2013

After: picture taken 2.17.2013

It won't let me put them side by side but I think you can still compare them. I can totally tell a difference and I jumped in joy when I saw that my hard work is paying better motivation than that! It is thoroughly embarrassing to put these pictures on the Internet, but the thing is that at least I am doing something about it. I could sit and pout and eat junk food and feel bad for myself, but I'm working my butt off to get these results. P90X is where its at :)

Hope this gets someone motivated to get off the couch and get their butt in shape..summer is quickly approaching!

xoxo E

Monday, February 11, 2013

. surviving the sweet tooth .

Ahh the sweet tooth. Or in my case...sweet teeth, I have a mouth full! Everyone will tell you, I would never pass down anything which had a main ingredient of sugar. The sweeter the better. This new clean eating business doesn't really allow for sugar..sad day! Or so I thought.

From the beginning I have said that I am not going to deny myself anything. If I want to go to Applebees, I can go to Applebees. I won't get the 15.000 calorie pasta, but I'll have a salad (and bring my own dressing). If I don't allow myself to have anything, I will screw up. If I don't allow myself to have a cookie, or half a cookie once in a great while, I am going to face plant off this awesome bandwagon..not good! If I can't have any sugar at all, I will end up buying a dozen cookies and gobbeling them up in about 17 lie. This happened today
My friend called, 'Take a bite of a sugar cookie and send it to me for our twitter'. So I sacrificed myself and took the littlest bite of the cookie for the picture. I was smart and put aside an unfrosted cookie that me and my coworker were going to share...we were each going to have half, which wasn't bad! Once I had a bite I just wanted more, and more. So instead I took a bite of the oatmeal cookies I made yesterday to subside the craving and it worked. Then an hour later my boss walked in, and this happened:
It happened again!! This time I wasn't able to resist and at the whole cookie! Instead of feeling shitty for eating the whole thing, I decided to skip lunch. I am tracking my calories on my app (Myfitnesspal) and I counted one cookie for 500 calories..that's probably about right. I worked out for an hour and burned 528 calories. Basically the whole cookie was not worth it. Don't get me wrong, the cookie was AMAZING, but I had to work my butt off just to work off one cookie. I just have to learn to say no next time someone tells me to bite into a cookie for a picture. Someone else can sacrifice their diets :)
Basically in a nutshell. I'm not denying myself any sweet, as long as it is in moderation and not every day, or even every week. Here's to the 4 pounds that have fallen off my body this past week...with really hard workouts and a good diet.
xoxo E

. healthy, clean, oatmeal cookies ~ recipe ~ .

If you follow me on Instagram @elisesandrina, or twitter @e_vanderstelt, you know I made clean cookies yesterday. Who knew cookies who are so good, could be good for you??

These are the easiest cookies I've ever made. When I saw it on another bloggers Instagram (@blogilates) I knew I had to try!

Here's the scoop, and what you need:

1 cup of oats
1 banana

That's it!! I added some raspberries to mine, but you can make it without, or play around with the fruit you add. I bet raisins will be good...yum!


I forgot to take pictures while I was making it but it is super simple.
Preheat oven to 350
Mash your banana in a bowl until smooth.
Add the oats (I used Great Value quick oats) and mix together with your hands. Add fruit, or skip this step
Make cookie shaped drops on a tinfoiled oven pan. The cookies will stay in the shape you made them, they don't rise.
Place in oven for 15 minutes at 350.
Let cool...and enjoy!

Hope ya'll like my first recipe on the blog. I'm excited and hopefully I'll be doing some more soon. If you follow me on Pinterest (Elise Vanderstelt) you can see I recently pinned a lot of clean foods on my board and I'm excited to give the recipes a try!

xoxo E

Sunday, February 10, 2013

. my journey to being healthy .

Ive never been really healthy. Why? Because I just don't care! I mean, if I was being totally honest, I rather have a donut (or 6) than work out and look good in a bikini. Seriously!

Then it wasn't about being thinner or eating less, it was about being the healthiest me I could be. With all the risks of heart disease, and diabetes, it is not worth it to me.

After I became a vegetarian, I found my endless list of fast-food places had considerably shrunk. I lived on rice, subway and eggs. No bueno!!

I was on the phone with my momma when I told her what I had in my pantry, and that I just didnt' know what to do with them. I didn't like cooking because it takes time, and you make things dirty, that you then have to clean. I had some beans in my pantry that a friend gave me and I just was lost as to how to use them. My mommy told me what I could whip up...this was the end result

I made a quesedilla with mozzarella cheese, pico, black beans and mashed avocado. On the side I made rice, tomato and red beans. It was so good, I wonder why I haven't had black beans before!
I have been watching numerous documentaries on Netflix...most of them on food. I've started to realize that I am not giving my body the proper nutrients that it needs, especially those I would usually get from meat. My body didn't look healthy, it didn't feel good either (I usually had tummy problems after I ate anything, it really didn't matter what it was).
I started researching clean eating and meal plans. Clean eating is basically eating things that are good for you, for your body, they are nutritiounous and yummy.
I printed off list after list. Basically my OCD got OCD and my life became organized...beyond organized. I have a food schedule, a workout schedule, and a life schedule. You read that right, a life schedule.

My schedules are everywhere. I have one in my purse, one on the fridge, and one in my bedroom. It tells me when to go to bed, when to wake up and most importantly, when to eat. Then I look at my eating schedule, and it tells me what to eat. I have been eating clean for a week as well as doing P90X. I make most of my meals the night before and put them in little containers so I have them ready, and I just have to prepare it. I've never done so many dishes at home, but, I'm feeling great.
I downloaded this app called Myfitnesspal and I LOVE IT! If you are looking for an app, I highly recommend this one. If you want to find me on there, i'm elisesandrina :)
I took my before pictures and I will continue to take pictures every week. It won't be as noticable after a week, but just for me, I want to see the progress I'm making. Eating healthy is much easier than I thought, and I don't know why I didn't start sooner! At some point in my life, my body, my healthy body will be what I carry my children in for 9 months. Why wait until then to become healthy...start NOW!
Can't wait to become the healthiest me I can be!! Please enjoy the random pictures to follow. If you want a recipe on any of these, just leave a comment or send me an email!
{ new workout shoes...$30 at Payless. Super comfortable! }

{ Mexican bowl }

{ veggie scrambled egg whites }

{ frozen banana peanut butter bites }

{ raspberry oatmeal }
{ healthy cookies - recipe will be on the blog shortly }

{ who is this girl..the girl who thinks working out 7 times a week is 'cutting back'?? Its the same girl that bought protein powder at walmart and is determined to make a change }
Ultimately this is not a weightloss journey. I don't really care how much weight I lose, muscle weighs more than fat. Its about the way my body looks and more importantly, how I feel.
Have a happy, healthy week!
xoxo E

Friday, February 8, 2013

. Take Back The Night .

{If you find yourself with questions after reading this post you can either email me whatever question you have or read this post first}

A little history
Take Back The Night is an internationally known way to take a stand against sexaul violence and speak out about these horrible crimes. The first documented Take Back The Night event in the United States was in October 1975 in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. Young microbiologist Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death by a stranger when she was less than a block away from her home, walking home...alone.

The first international Take Back The Night was at The International Tribunal on Crimes against Women. The Tribunal took place on between March 4th through 8th, 1976 in Brussels, Belgium. Over 2000 women, together representing 40 countries attended the event {in other parts of Europe, TBTN began under the name 'Reclaim the Night'}. In 1976 there were roughly 16,000 rapes reported in Rome which lead to the 'Reclaim the Night' movement in Italy. The movement expanded from Rome to West Germany, where women were harassed and assaulted both day and night. Women in West Germany held their first 'Reclaim the Night' on April 30th, 1977.

International interest in the movement continued to grow over the next few years. The next city to hold a "Reclaim the Night" event was Leeds, England in November 1977. Australia's first event was in 1978 to protest abortion and contraception. In Bombay, India, women participated in their first "Reclaim the Night" in March 1978. Across the Atlantic, the women of North America continued to speak out, as well. Pennsylvania held the first North American march for women in 1975, however, it wasn't until 1977 that the slogan "Take Back The Night" was introduced by Anne Pride as the title of a memorial she read at an anti-violence rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was in 1978 that for the first time marchers in San Francisco used "Take Back the Night" as their slogan during a protest against the objectionable depiction of women in pornography.

Canada has also seen its share of sexual violence against women. As a result, Canadian women held their first march for women in 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by the Fly-By-Night Collective. The Vancouver Rape Relief held Take Back The Night marches from 1980-1985. In 1981, The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers declared the third Friday of September to be the evening for Take Back The Night marches nationwide.
For over 35 years in the United States, Take Back The Night has focused on eliminating sexual violence, in all forms, and thousands of colleges, universities, women's centers, and rape crisis centers have sponsored events all over the country.

My experience with TBTN
One of my counselors told me about the Take Back The Night organization and knew how much I wanted to change things on my campus, for the better. I wanted my story to be heard, so I could save a student or students from being raped.
Once I heard about this, I started mentally preparing to share my story. I have shared my story since the beginning, 4 years ago, but never to more than 2 people at a time. This would prove to have an audience of a little more than 2.
The date for our Take Back The Night event on campus was on October 18th 2012. My speech was written {the only reason I wrote things down was because I wanted to make sure I didn't mention the organization or anyone by name, as I do know the names} and I had 3 friends who came with me to support me. Also, I knew one of my teachers would be there.
There was a group on campus who did a skit about sexual violence and then it was time for the section of TBTN called 'Shatter The Silence'. I sat in the front, I was wearing heels and didn't want to have to walk too far down the stairs, fearing my knees would buckle from nerves. We sat there in silence for a good 3 minutes, and my friend said, 'I wonder who will go first?'. I just looked at her, got up and said, 'Me!'. I walked down and once I got down I looked up, and this whole room was filled with people...150 people. I started by telling people to look around them, just look around you. One in 4 college students will get raped before they graduate...when you look around that become much more real. I got a standing ovation once I was done, and listening to people talk made me cry, it was horrible to know other people's story about rape and assault, but so empowering at the same time. I could have taken over the world, I felt so strong.
Once the night was over, we walked outside and complete strangers walked up to me, hugged me and told me how inpirational my story was, and thanked me for powerful. We had a candle light vigil for a college student from a college nearby SUNY Brockport. Her name was Alexandra Kogut and was a first year student who got murdered. It was very emotional and beautiful.
I decided to share my story on the website of Take Back The Night, in an effort to reach more people. I never heard back, so I figured my story wasn't chosen. However, I got an email the other day, and my story has been posted right here {mine is the 2nd one down}. There is also a pledge you can take..I would love it if you would click the link and take this pledge and let me know when or if you decide to.

If you have made it this far, thank you for reading. It feels great to have my story out there, nervewrecking...but incredible.

If any of you have ideas of how to spread the word, and spread my story, I am interested! Thank you again

xoxo E

{ps. please don't post comments on this post if you don't have anything nice to say..thank you}

Monday, February 4, 2013

. the power of words .

This post is coming straight from the bare with me here.

A lot of times when someone says something negative it almost has a greater effect on us than something positve does. If someone says you can't do something long enough you start believing it. It is hard to change that mindset. But once someone says you CAN do something, that can give something a whole new meaning. Keep reading to see what I mean!

I have never really been good at school...or so I've been told. I like to leave things to the last minute and leave people waiting to see if I could pull it off. Need proof? Ok, let me run through it.

When I was in basis school (which is elementary and middle school in Holland, from ages 4 to 12) you had to take a standardized test sort of like the S.A.T.'s to see what level of high school you would go to (I'll get to that later). I don't do well on standardized tests, I never know which multiple choice is the righter (is that a word?) answer. I tend to get confused. The principal of my school told my parents that his elise wasn't smart enough to pass high school. He believed it was better to put me in a lower grade of high school. Bless my parents for telling him hell no (excuse the french), I would go to the level my test said..not lower. If I did poorly I could go lower then but I wasn't gonna start low. I graduated in 1998.  

Fast forward to high school. I went into the 2nd lowest level called MAVO and it was 4 years. We also have IVBO (lower, also 4 years), HAVO (highter, 5 years), VWO (higher, 6 years), Gymnasium (for the genius people, 6 years). I struggled in Mavo, not gonna lie. But in the end, after you do your final exams, your teacher will call you between a certain time to tell you if you failed...they called me. To let me know I passed! I think everyone was upset, they were so worried and I passed with relatively good grades. Here's to not being smart enough to pass high school!! BOO-YAH! I was in the class of 2002!

After high school I enrolled in tradeschool (the only thing you can do with a Mavo diploma) for fashion design for 4 years. Honestly, can't really remember a thing about what I learned. My choices were fashion design school or forensic science. The forensic science school wanted me...not a lot of girls wanted to enroll there. But the layout of the school was weird (like that makes a difference haha). When I went to check out the fashion school they said we had a fashion show at the end of every year...SIGN ME UP!! Those were a blast! Here is a pic from my final Betsey Johnson inspired fashion show

I ended up graduating in 2006!! Here's to being not smart enough to pass high school...I now have a tradeschool diploma! BOO-YAH!

Fast forward to now. I think somewhere in the back of my head knowing that someone didn't think I was smart enough always stuck. So has the fact that my sister did HAVO, and all my cousins did VWO...literally the least smartest (on a standardized test) grandchild. That's not fun, I don't care what way you look at it. Now that I am so close to graduating all these feelings are coming back. Yes, it took me 6 years to graduate, but I was only enrolled in college for 4 years. My former principal will be receiving an invitation to my COLLEGE graduation. Here' to not being smart enough to pass high school, I almost have a Bachelor's Degree! BOO-YAH!! I will be in the class of 2013..a lucky year!

I was talking to one of my teachers about my future plans. I got the 2nd highest grade in his class. He told me he thought I was smart enough to get my PhD...never heard those words before. He said he believed I could go get my doctorate. I never even thought about going that far, or even considered that. Now EVERYTHING changed after he said that. It was the kick in the butt I needed. I will be getting my Master's Degree in Criminal Justice or Sociology. He has no idea how much his words meant, whether he meant them or not, they stuck and made a huge difference. It is important for me to get my Master's because people don't think I can do it...that right there is the biggest motivation I can get to do it. You say I can't do it...WATCH ME! After I get my Master's degree, I will have to evaluate where I am in life, and I might go get my doctorate...and have my former principal call me Dr. Elise :) BOO-YAH!!!!!!!

Thank you for reading all of this...I know it was a long post, but I just had to get this off my chest.

xoxo E

Friday, February 1, 2013

. last hopes & expectations .

I am so bad when it comes to writing blog posts when I say I am. Now this time it wasn't all my fault. You see, school has already sucked me into the dark abis :). Just kidding, but really school started this week and I am already swamped with work and feeling completely overwhelmed!

Once this semester is over, I will still need to take 3 summer classes in order to receive my diploma, however this will be my last 'real' semester.

I am taking some of the hardest classes I have taken so far. I am enrolled in Senior Seminar (a capstone class with 2 presentations and a research paper), Research Methods (feared by everyone! I have to do 2 presentations and also write a research paper and read a whole bunch of dry articles), Introduction to Biology (may not seem that hard to some, but I realized the last time I took biology was 14!!! years ago, and it was in Dutch. I've taken this same biology course with the same teacher 3 times and dropped it everytime because I got scared. Now I have no choice, haha. I will be getting a tutor), Social Analysis (enrolled because I like the teacher, one presentation, a paper every week and a final paper...but no exames, so that's a plus), and Mafia Hollywood Films (watching mafia movies for 3 hours a week, 7 take home exams, and a final presentation where we recreated a scene from a movie and put it on YouTube...sign me up!)
It doesn't seem too terrible, but most things are due in the same week. I have 2 presentations in the same week, and 2 of my major presentations are 3 weeks apart...I didn't think that all the way through.

Ha, ain't nobody got time fo that! But seriously, I don't think I'll be hanging out with anyone this semester, because between school and work I have no free time. It will be a surpise I get to see my babies :)

I cut my hours this semester, which is mostly due to my availability. I'm working about 25 hours a week, which will be my absolute max with my course load.

Spring break
I am intending to go visit Georgia in spring break. I've never been on spring break and I'm not planning on starting my final semester. I will be going down to visit Savannah for a few days to see how I like it and to see if I could see myself living there.

I am so proud to say that, despite everything that happened I raised my GPA from a 1.79 to a 2.02 in one semester which means I CAN GRADUATE!!! My parents are flying in from Holland, my best friend from VA is coming (we may, or may not be getting matching tattoos!!), my sister & hubs will be there, my aunt and uncle will prob be there and my grandma is going to try to make it. I am really praying that my opa & oma (Dutch grandparents) will be able to come! So it will be a party

This past semester I surprised myself with how well I did. I was so focused on my school work and I let nothing (besides some furry creatures) distract me from doing well in school. And guess what....I MADE THE DEANS LIST! I got a 3.50GPA, which is my highest yet. But off course, I am aiming higher. I would love to get a 4.0 this semester. You get a pretty certificate if you make the deans list, and I would like to do that twice, so both my mom & dad have one and I have frame off course!

Future plans
As of right now (which can change at any minute) I am looking into moving to Georgia. My plan is to not move from here until I have found a job elsewhere. Right now I am looking at criminal court clerk jobs...anywhere southern. If I find a great job in Georgia I will most likely move there. If I find the job of my dreams (which really, Lord only knows what that is), I will move wherever (as long as its warm really!). I am also planning on going to gradschool to get my master's degree.

Pfew...if you've made it this far you deserve an award!! I am so excited to embark on my last semester and be almost done with school...I still can't believe it and feel so blessed to be here each and every day. Prayers are answered and things work out the way they are meant to!

If I go MIA its because of school, but no worries I will be back :)

xoxo E

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