The Girl Writing In The Train

The Girl Writing In The Train | Chapter Three | Writing Corner

Welcome to my latest category; writing corner. To catch up please go read this page — https://fitcouchpotato.com/writing-corner/ —- It will explain what this category is about. Now that you know what’s what, thank you so much for reading. This is my first story for this category and I’m beyond excited for this new concept. Please enjoy!

PS. All of the chapters will be the first draft. If you see any mistakes (grammar and spelling mistakes that slips through) please comment down below. I want to improve my writing and I will take all the help I can get.

Find the previous chapter here — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/03/11/the-girl-writing-in-the-train-chapter-two-writing-corner/

Chapter Three

I groan when I get the normal scratch from Fluffy when my alarm goes off. I rolled over and glanced at my watch. Wednesday. Wonderful. Three more work days. Come on…pull yourself out of bed and just get today over with. I use all the willpower I have left in my body and get out of bed, get dressed and drag myself to the train station. It was a quite morning which is always a nice pace for the week. Wednesdays is never my favorite day…meetings can do that to a person. I take the window seat in the corner as always. I open my laptop and glance around the train. A tired blonde woman in scrubs catches my attention. Inspiration sparks and the ideas just race through my mind. My fingers can barely keep up.

***

Finding your soul mate can happen out of the blue. You’re not prepared for it and the timing isn’t always the best. I never expected to fall in love but yet after spending every day with this man, it was enough. I fell deeply and it truly can’t be explained. For the last year I’ve cared for him. I sat at his bedside table every break I had and read to him. His parents said he loves cowboy novels and we’ve finished quite a bit of them. Today was no different. My morning started in a rush of just pure chaos, there was a massive car accident and with five injured people every nurse had to be step in to help. The driver who over packed his car and drove carelessly came out of the accident mostly unscratched. The oldest nurse in our station, Mary, launched into a full on lecture. The poor young man didn’t know what hit him but after Mary finished with him the twenty something year old took what she said to heart. He learned his lesson that and the fact that the police came in to have a chat surely help. I doubt you will ever find him in the same situation again. Mary can do that to person. She is a force to be reckoned with. Not all of the students in the car was as lucky. The one completely shattered his right leg. The road to recovery will be long and difficult and he will be lucky if he walks away with a limp. The doctors did everything they could to save the leg from an amputation. One student broke their jaw as seat belts is apparently no longer cool. By some miracle they didn’t fly through the window. The two other students had some broken bones and a lot of bruises but most of them will make a smooth recovery. After patching the poor bloke with four broken ribs and one broken arm it was time for my favorite patient.

Jack came in 16 months ago after a massive motorcycle accident. There was only a few bones the young man didn’t break. Not only did he have internal bleeding, the head injury only added to the long list of damage. After a long surgery, the only thing his family could do is wait. He woke up once, in pure agony. It happened to be on my round. After cleaning his wounds I moved on to sticking the new and clean pillow under his head. I quickly changed his bedding with quite a bit of effort but everyone likes a clean bed. It just makes everything better. I gave his hair a quick wash with shampoo and conditioner before giving it a blow dry and a proper comb. I made a mental note to cut his hair soon as it was getting a bit long. From the pictures I’ve seen of him on his Instagram (I stalked because that’s who am I as a person okay.) he prefer his hair short. It something small but I’m sure he will appreciate it when he wakes up. I shaved his beard and brushed his teeth before washing his face and finishing off with a moisturizer. Once I was happy with his face I moved on to his finger nails which was getting a bit long. After giving it a quick cut and clean I finished off with his toenails. I paused…now I just need to wash his body. It always felt so awkward and even though I have experience under my belt and I proud myself on professionalism…but this dude is hot okay. He was a fitness model on Instagram for goodness sake. I bit my lip. My nervousness was throwing everything out of whack and everything is out of order. I gave myself a pep talk and just quickly rubbed his body with a wet cloth trying my utmost best to call for all of my professionalism not to sneak a peek. I took a deep breath when I finally finished. After checking his drip I ended my run with tucking him in…that’s when he woke up. He scared the living life out of me when he suddenly jerked up straight, ripping out his IV in the process, screaming in agony. I quickly called for the doctor and rushed to his side to check his vitals and try my best to calm him down. Considering he has never seen me before, he didn’t exactly calm down at my soothing words. The doctor rushed in and had to sedate him. He woke up a few hours later a little calmer but in a lot of pain. He was confused and clearly he hit his head hard as he didn’t recognize his parents nor did he know his own name. He wasn’t healing at all and the stress and panic his mind was going through with who the hell am I and where am I, his parents made the decision to put him in a medical induced coma to rest his mind a little more so his body can heal and recover. 16 months later things were looking up for Jack. The doctors has been talking about waking him up as his body has recovered and now it’s just a matter of seeing how his memory is and then we can go from there. After all he can’t be in the hospital forever. He has to restart his life…

***

And. And. And. Where am I even going with this little short story? I bit my lip wracking my brain for ideas. Does he wake up and they build a life together while he is recovering? Is there some happy ending? Do I break her heart and have him move on without her? After all sad endings are fun sometimes. I glanced at my watched. Oh there is fifteen minutes left of my travel time. It’s not really enough to make a new story and as my inspiration suddenly vanished. I closed my laptop and got my phone out instead. I opened Whatsapp and saw my mother send me a message. I sighed and took a breath to mentally prepare myself for whatever her message might be.

“It’s your father’s birthday on Saturday. I hope you didn’t forget this year around. Please feel free to get him a present if you can afford it. We’re having a small get together at our house this Saturday. Please be here at 3pm and don’t be late. We’re having some of our friends over and it will be rude if our daughter arrives after the guests. My one friend Susan is bringing her lovely son over. He is a doctor. Please put some effort in your appearance. Do your hair and makeup and wear a dress. Don’t embarrass us this time please.” Oh you just got to love those long messages from your mother where it seems nice at first glance but there is quite a bit of insults hidden inside the message. If I can afford it? I have a full time job and a permanent contract. I damn good at my job but not as if my mother understood that. She just thinks I tap a bunch of words into the computer and press enter and call people and etc. What does she even think I do? Small get together my sweet fluffy ass. As if. That women doesn’t know what a small get together is even it bit her ass. Don’t be late? Really? I was late ONCE and only because there was a train delay and I physically couldn’t get there on time. It’s not my fault the only way to reach her is by the bus that only drives every hour. So missing your train can really screw everything up for you. And who can forget about Susan’s lovely son. I’m so happy my mother ignored my wishes to stay single or heck find my own boyfriend but no. I’m not capable of that. Who knows what boy I will bring home. Do my hair and wear makeup? Wear a dress? Rage. Pure rage. And then she ends it with don’t embarrass us? I was still huffing and puffing in pure anger when I got to work. How dare she? This morning is off to a brilliant start. Because someone is out there to make me completely miserable it was no surprise to see we ran out of coffee and being reminded about the long and brutal meeting discussing something I’m not even apart of but my presence is required.  By lunch time I was crying in the bathroom stall. Surprisingly but very much so painfully my day just got worse as a program crashed and it had to be fixed like two days ago. It obviously fell onto my shoulders to solve the problem which was easier said than done. After two hours after fighting with my computer I got the program up and running again. Losing two hours out of your work day doesn’t exactly do wonders for your workload. As I have a ton of other deadlines looming over my head like a crushing weight I had no choice but buckle down and work overtime. The really depressing thing is I wasn’t the only one in the office. Luckily there was an angel among us that thought about dinner and ordered sushi. Hey the office is paying. We have to misuse this opportunity whenever we can.

Find the next chapter here — (If there isn’t a link that means I have yet to update the latest chapter.)

 

Story Time

A Really Detailed Brussels Travel Blog | Part One

I’ve mentioned my journal that I kept the first year of our relationship well I have content for a lot longer but let’s face it…it’s never going to make the journal. Anyway this blog has a point. So the other day my travel tips for South Africa went online and the response was like oh wow people really like my travel blogs I should write another one. Thus this blog was born. Now where does the journal come in Cassandra? Patience my little grasshopper. So back when Onno and I were fresh in the dating pond we went away for the weekend. It is a very short travel but hey it’s in another country so this can count as a travel blog right? Anyway I wrote about this trip in my journal (oh I wish I can copy and paste but instead I have to rewrite everything) but it’s always nice to walk down the memory line. Honestly when I think back to our first few months I blush. I fell deeply and head over heels for this precious Dutch boy. Okay I’m just writing that to make my husband go ‘awwh how sweet’ and get up and make me a cup of tea. Did it work? Well yes it did. I wanted to take a picture but it took my husband ten minutes to get up from the couch and I lost interest and started to browse the internet. By the time I finally got my tea I was so deep in the web that pausing to take a picture just wasn’t an option.

I will be honest with you. It’s Sunday night and I’m extremely lazy. I have to get up to get the journal so I can actually finish this blog but getting up is just so much effort. Honestly I need to pee but once I’m up I just want to go to bed. It’s only 9pm but who is judging. Okay guys, I’m clicking save and I’m getting up. Alright I haven’t moved. Okay I still haven’t gotten up. Okay I’m saving and closing the document. Someone is going to bed. I will finish this blog tomorrow.

Four days later…

I just sat down, got completely comfortable only to remember I still haven’t gotten out the journal. Damn it! I will probably browse YouTube or move to another blog while I wait till I need to go so I can get the journal on my way back. I’m lazy and proud.

Two hours later…

I’m ashamed.

Six YouTube videos later…

Okay I finally had to pee. I already sat down and started to get comfortable when I remembered. No worries. I got up this time around to get the god damn journal. Honestly it wasn’t supposed to be this hard. Here is the journal entry. The cursive writing is straight from the journal from way back then and if I feel there is some empty parts I will add it, it’s the normal writing. Okay enough chatting. Here is the goods. Oh just a quick note from my future self. I was very step by step in this blog. After reading this you will know exactly what we did in Brussels and when. At the moment I’m halfway through writing it over and this blog is turning into a ridiculously long one so I’m going to split it. Here is part one! (Part two will be up next week Monday so you only have to wait two full days for it!)

24 to 27 September 2015

The time has arrived. Our very first weekend away and our destination is Brussels, Belgium. Thursday night Onno arrived at my place just after I put the kids in bed. We laid on my bed and naturally I had to ruin all the excitement of our weekend away by mayor stomach ache. (I now know it was a gluten attack but this is before I was diagnosed. Getting extreme and very painful stomach aches was pretty normal.) I’m talking about full on stomach twisting cramps. I nearly cried. The host parents arrived while I was withering on the bed and even with the stomach ache, I just wanted to leave, because leaving would mean our weekend would start. I fell asleep in the car when the stomach ache dulled enough for me to relax. Before I knew it I was back in our bed cuddling with Onno. We fell asleep shortly afterwards and I have to add, falling asleep with Onno’s arms around my body is one of the best things in the entire world. The alarm pulled us out of our slumber but it sure as hell didn’t pull us apart. We had a nice quick round (Oh my I really didn’t hide anything in our journal. Well I’m going to cut that part out. I’m sure all the adults reading this knows what we did.) of monopoly (I’m hilarious.) before starting our first day of our short trip. We had breakfast and packed our bags and right on time we were in the car. After waiting 10 minutes max for a construction truck to move out of the way – we were on our way! The drive went smoothly for the most part. I took pictures of the moment because naturally I need to document everything. Now what is a short road trip without a detour? The original plan was to go to Antwerpen on one of the travel days (Friday or Sunday) and everything was going according to plan till we took the wrong turn for Antwerpen and landed on a different highway. Our little detour didn’t cost us a lot of time but it did however stop us from seeing Antwerpen.

 

It was between 11am and 12pm when we finally arrived in Brussels. We left Rotterdam around 9am. We parked the car and with our bags in hand; poor Onno almost died carrying it to the hotel – we arrived in the centre of Brussels. We dropped of our luggage at the hotel (check in time was around 3pm) and set out to explore. We took things slow really. We didn’t rush to see all the tourist attractions. We were on our own pace the entire weekend. No rush involved and if you don’t count the last amount of walking we did (an easy 12km per day) our weekend was pretty relaxed. The check in at the hotel was only at 3pm so we burned time by sitting in a nice and very expensive restaurant for a juice drink. Afterwards we walked to the massive square that Brussels is famous for, ‘Grand-place grote markt’. Onno was genuinely happy to see that there was Starbucks and naturally we couldn’t resist to pop in and look around. This is where I finally tried a frappuccino which basically is ice coffee and let me tell you, it’s heavenly. Onno had his usual and I couldn’t resist getting the sweet little Belgium themed cups. With our drink in hand we walked around sticking close to the centre. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the second main tourist attraction ‘Manneken pis’. Our second stop was in the shopping area close to the hotel. Onno got a nice long black jersey for himself and at Hema we got a sexy black number, of a dress which I plan to wear to his thesis defense next month. I definitely need to lose a few layers of fat too still fit into it and look good. (What a warped way of thinking. My mindset truly has changed over the years.) Now there is one thing you should know at Brussels, their Primark sucks and I couldn’t find a decent prized pants anywhere and I brilliantly packed only one long pair and after messing my lunch on it, I needed a replacement. We soon gave up on that. The both of us were exhausted after all of our walking and the only thing we wanted was to finally check out our hotel room for the first time.

 

Our room was on the fourth floor and beautifully decorated. It was neat and very fancy. The bath looked so inviting that we just couldn’t resist trying it out together. Seriously Cassandra why did you go into details? I’m not even sure if I should add this part. Let me see what Onno says when he’s editing this. Our first bath was short because Onno couldn’t keep his hands to himself. Yes, I’m blaming him! Okay maybe I was part of the blame but I’m not admitting to anything and you can’t make me! Insert evil deranged laugh here. We tried out the hotel bed with a very – Okay there is no way I can add all of this. I can see Onno blushing and he’s not even home right now. Onno then showed just how much he loves me by going to Primark which was beyond busy and horrible might I add to buy my replacement jeans. If that isn’t an act of true love then I don’t know what is!

It was about dinner time when we resurfaced to reality. Onno wanted ribs and who am I to deny the boy his meat? The restaurant was packed but our reservations easily gave us a table. I’m going to see if I can find the restaurant because their food was amazing. Here is the link —  https://www.tripadvisor.nl/Restaurant_Review-g188644-d946742-Reviews-Amadeus-Brussels.html I had one big rib and one baked potato and Onno went a bit harder and had two of each or he tried. He was completely smitten with the sauce they gave with the potatoes. I’m pretty sure the large amounts he ate of it made him sick but he would probably never admit that. I did however noticed I was rubbing off on him and he didn’t touch his salad!

Our desert was Irish coffee and I refused to try this because it’s a given fact that I wouldn’t like it. So Onno ordered a vanilla ice cream with whip cream on top and let me tell you, it was divine. I was pushing my luck with all the whip cream (I was heavily sensitive to lactose back then.) and the added ice cream wasn’t going to help me at all but hey – I’m only going to be in Brussels once! (Back then I didn’t think I would ever move here to the Netherlands. I was fully prepared to maybe never see Europe again.) After dinner we walked around and I have to say Brussels looks amazing at night time. It was then when something caught my eye, a Ferris wheel in the distance with its lights on proudly. The child and the hopeless romantic inside of me just had to go on that ride and so Onno and I walked through quite a dodgy part of the town. The two of us, only dressed in a very thin sweater, to say we were freezing would be an understatement. The Ferris wheel was shit expensive but definitely worth it. It consisted out of three rounds and there was the one round where we stopped at the top and the little house thing or whatever they call it – started to swing. It totally freaked out. It was swinging. Onno was being so smooth and kissed my fears away (I’m cringing so hard rewriting this.) but I think he was a tiny bit scared! When we finally climbed off the ride I was so relieved. I’m alive! We walked back towards the hotel, stopping at the centre where there was a concert going on in French. We weren’t interested and just went back to the hotel. Back in the hotel room we rolled (Oh come on Cassandra. Why did you document all of this? No one wants to read that.) before falling asleep. The bed was beyond comfortable but I had one problem with it. The fact that there was so much room between Onno and I. (I can’t stop cringing.) Normally when we would sleep together we would cuddle and fall asleep with some physical contact and while this wasn’t different…the thing that bothered me was the fact that when I woke up in the middle of the night Onno would be so far and out of reach where normally he would be just one arm reach away.

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Don’t mind me but I kind of just need two minutes away from rewriting this travel blog because all of this cringing is making my teeth hurt. Honestly this is so CRINGY. From now on when Onno and I have sex and I actually wrote it in the journal I’m just going to write that we ate ice cream. Wait that might actually get confusing when we have ice cream. Okay let me rethink this. We tickled each other’s feet. Now that’s not weird. Let’s keep it because it’s going to be so funny to write slash read. Remember we tickled each other’s feet. Nothing else. Just that. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

The next morning, the Saturday was our official explore Brussels day. We started our day by eating more than enough food at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. After breakfast we had to lie down because we feared our stomach would explode if we walked. It was then when we planned our activities for the day and the first thing on the agenda was waffle making! We got dressed and off we were to the waffle shop! We were split up in teams but that didn’t stop us! We made the batch. Onno and I was the first one to try the waffle iron out. I’m proud to say it came out nearly perfect and it was delicious. I then came up with the idea to build a waffle house with all the leftovers. Our little house looked beautiful and Onno decorated it beautifully with only little help from me. Proud of our accomplishment and thirsty we stopped at Starbucks. We enjoyed our drink in the hot sun in the centre while planning our own private tour. Literally the second we walked away from the centre I had to pee. If you ask Onno he would say I can take one sip of a drink and two seconds later I need the bathroom. My bladder is weak man. It took 30 minutes easy to find a bathroom and let me tell you. My ears were ringing and my eyes was tearing up by then. The bathroom couldn’t arrive a second later.

 

We then walked to the tourist attractions close to the centre and stopped at the park across the castle. I think. Anyway we stopped there to chill for a bit. It was then that we decided to walk to the arc thing…and let me tell you…HOLY SHIT that’s a lot of walking. It must have been an easy 30 minutes of walking before we gave in and bought a metro card and traveled with the metro for the rest of the evening. When we arrived at the arc (Let me look up what the hell I’m talking about…It’s called Cinquantenaire) we stopped there for a bit to chill and around 5pm we finally started to head back to the hotel after being up and about in Brussels from 11am. On our way back to the hotel we stopped to buy some lovely treats to snack on. We also bought a bottle of champagne, candles and bubble bath for a romantic night in the hotel room. On our way back to the hotel we passed a street artist and I was so interested in his style that I bought a little artwork of his.

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We lit the candles, made a relaxing bubble bath and just sat back and enjoyed the moment. I made Onno a beard and a great hairdo with the bubbles while he failed in doing mine. Naturally we got distracted – damn it Cassandra. We tickled each other’s toes. Around 9pm we set out for a pasta meal because well cravings. The Italian restaurant where the staff spoke French was beautiful and the meal was, insert some fancy word for delicious, exquisite – yes I googled it. Over our meal and a very tasty red wine we talked about a subject that was an obvious tension bringer, Dana*.

Alright folks that’s where I cut you off. I just can’t handle more cringe right now. Reading about this fight made me face palm myself. Truly so ridiculous in the long scheme of things but I will still write about it. Just not in this blog. My teeth are honestly aching from this. I’ve never cringed so hard in my life. Are you cringing?

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS: In part two I will actually give some travel tips from my experience in Brussels. I don’t know how much is valid now nearly two years later but let’s see.

*Dana isn’t her real name.

Link to part two — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2018/04/02/a-really-detailed-brussels-travel-blog-part-two/

Fitness Challenges, Fitness Tips

Challenge: Wiggle And Wall Sit For 10min In 30 Days (Level 3: Third Wheel)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the oh so dreaded wall sit and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and sit longer the next day. All the way till you can stop and sit against the wall for 10 minutes.

This is for someone in the third wheel of fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a long time now and really know your way through the gym this is definitely something to space things up for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself.

Happy Sitting! 

600sec wall sit 3

120sec – 2min / 180sec – 3min / 240sec – 4min / 300sec – 5min / 360sec – 6min / 420sec – 7min / 480sec – 8min / 540sec – 9min / 600sec – 10min

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Challenges, Fitness Tips

Challenge: Wiggle And Wall Sit For 5min In 30 Days (Level 2: Middle Child)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the oh so dreaded wall sit and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and sit longer the next day. All the way till you can stop and sit against the wall for 5 minutes.

This is for the middle child in fitness. So if you’ve been working out for a hot minute and kind of know a thing or a two and just feel like a change than this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and build your strength.

Happy Sitting! 

300sec wall sit 2

60sec – 1min / 120sec – 2min / 180sec – 3min / 240sec – 4min / 300sec – 5min

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Fitness Challenges, Fitness Tips

Challenge: Wiggle And Wall Sit For 2,5min In 30 Days (Level 1: Beginners Luck)

Do you like a challenge? This is a 30 day challenge where you start with a short amount of time doing the oh so dreaded wall sit and as you get stronger and more dead inside, you push the limits and sit longer the next day. All the way till you can stop and sit against the wall for 2,5 minutes.

This is for beginners. So if you’re new and just decided to make a change in your life this is definitely something fun for you. It’s a great way to start and build your strength.

Happy Sitting! 

150sec wall sit 1

30sec – 0,5min / 60sec – 1min / 90sec – 1,5min / 120sec – 2min / 150sec – 2,5min

PS: If you complete or join the challenge use the hashtag #fitcouchpotatochallenge so I can get in touch with you.

Nutrition Tips, Recipes

My Ultimate Favorite Gluten Free Cheesecake

My brother in law introduced me to this recipe on Christmas and let me just tell you this is; this cheesecake recipe is game changing. It is absolutely delicious like honestly I can’t stop thinking about it. My mouth is watering and I’m not even kidding. I love the lemon taste to it and it’s so fluffy and it makes my tummy happy. I’ve been craving this cheesecake for months now and boy what I would do to eat it now. I might give in soon and bake it but before that I figured how dare I keep this recipe to myself? I mean it’s not mine and it’s in Dutch but my English speakers from other countries should also get in on this.

So just to be 100% frank with you this recipe is from Albert Hein which is a supermarket here in the Netherlands. They have the recipe online and it’s in Dutch. Here is the link — https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R480244/glutenvrije-cheesecake

Anyway I’m just going to translate it and then when I finally gave in and make this recipe I will insert my picture of the cheesecake. Here goes. Awwh my mouth can’t stop drooling.

Gluten Free Cheesecake

Summary

  • Baked
  • Serves 8 people
  • 460kcal (nutritional value per serving)
  • 20 min preparation
  • 55 min in the oven

Ingredients

  • 75g unsalted cream butter
  • 150g gluten free cookies
  • 3 medium sized eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 600g natural cream cheese
  • 150g white caster sugar
  • 16g vanilla sugar
  • 25g powdered sugar

Kitchen supplies

Spring form (Ø 22 cm)

Step for Step

  1. Preheat your oven at 175 ºC. Prepare your pan, you can use baking paper or butter.
  2. Melt the butter. Crush your cookies into fine bits. (I personally like a bit of a crunch in my crust so I will crush it till 80% fine and 20% with small bits.) Add the butter and mix it with the crushed cookies. Place the crushed buttered cookies into your pan and press it into the bottom and sides with a spoon. Split your eggs. Grate of the skin of your lemon and press the juice out.
  3. Mix in the cream cheese with your lemon juice, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice, mix in the castor and vanilla sugar. Add the egg yolks in. In a separate bowl mix your egg whites till the stiff point. Add the egg whites to your cream cheese mix, give it a gentle stir before transferring the mix to the pan. (You fold it into. You want it to keep the air in the batter. If you over mix it the cheesecake will be flat.)
  4. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 50-55min. Bake it till it’s a beautiful golden brown. Leave the cheesecake to properly cool.
  5. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the cheesecake just before serving it. (This is optional. I decided against it because I felt like the cheesecake has enough sugar in it.)

This is honestly such a delicious cheesecake. I can’t get enough of it. I definitely want to try to make it healthier in the future or find a way to make it with less sugar. I will keep you guys up to date with it! I’m going to start baking soon (we’re getting a proper oven) so I’m definitely going to share the really great recipes I’ve found or how I tweaked it to make it gluten free and possible sugar free. I don’t know yet. Anyway here is pictures of the mouth watering goodness. For some reason all of my photos with this cheesecake came out well bleh…If it wasn’t the lighting it was the layout. It just didn’t want to work with me.

Also why did I say definitely so much? I should Google for another word for it…Holy shit there is a lot. Like damn.

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Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Nutrition Class, Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Class 3 | Carbohydrates | Part 3/3

This is the last part of carbohydrates so if you didn’t read part one and two this might be a little confusing. This entire post is about SUGARS and can be read on its own.

Before I begin I just want to point out again that I’m sharing what I’ve learned from the course — https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:WageningenX+NUTR101x+2T2016/course/ — and my own experiences. I will clearly indicate when it’s from the course, it’s the cursive writing, so there is no confusion.

Health Effects from Sugar

If you’ve been following me awhile you might remember the little short challenge slash project I was doing on my Instagram while I was doing this week. This week in the course was the most eye opening and started ‘slap of reality’. It was a bloody good point I was making and although I stopped after a few shares, I still keep this into account. It’s almost a year later and it still helps with my sugar consumption. I still 100% agree with all of my slap of reality posts so I’m going to re-share a few of my favorites.

Here is the picture to the first every slap of reality post.

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Knowing is one thing but seeing it is another and that’s my goal behind Slap of Reality. I want to show you just how much sugar is in your favorite goodies. Awareness is key. My goal is not to completely put you off from ever enjoying said treat. Now I’m going to throw the math at you. This snicker bar which consists of two 40g bars (but let’s face it you can’t just have one and leave the other one to feel lonely) contains 41,4g of sugar in total! So more than half of the actual sneaker bar is just sugar. To put it even more in perspective the total recommended sugar intake for myself is 65g. A healthy diet does in fact consists of sugar but the problem is that this sneaker bar that will take up more than half of my total sugar intake for the day is empty calories meaning it basically has almost zero nutritional value. My normal diet which consists alone of 65g (or that’s the goal) will be added to this 41,4g. A little bit of added sugar does little harm and thus can be part of a healthy diet but we are not informed or educated to properly interpret ‘a little bit’. And I’m sorry but 41,4g of added sugar is not a little bit 1g of sugar contains 4 calories which means in total the sugar alone in this sneaker bar is 165,6 calories. But I’m not done yet: I burn 13,536 calories in one minute of CONSTANT squatting. So this means it would take me 12 minutes and 23 seconds (give or take) of constant squatting to burn ONLY the sugar in this sneaker bar! It really makes you think doesn’t it? It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth and an addiction to candy goodness but after learning about the negative health effects of sugar and the over consumption of it is eye opening. I’ve tried so many things in the past to cut down my sugar intake and this is probably the most successful. Seeing just how much sugar I would truly consume if I eat that sneaker bar and how much hard work it would take for my body to burn it is enough to make me rethink before eating my candy treats and that’s why I think ‘Slap of Reality’ is a clever way to reduce your sugar consumption

There is another slap of reality post I want to share so here goes.

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75,4% of this packet is sugar. That’s 24 teaspoons of sugar. It has zero nutritional value. My slap of reality series is truly eye opening and not once have I been able to eat or drink any of the products I took the time to work out how much sugar it contains. I finally made that switch to sugar free candy. This is probably for the first time in my fitness journey that I’ve been able to stay candy free for longer than 7 days because now there is just no way of escaping the facts. I encourage anyone to take those extra few seconds to read the label and then make the educated choice if you want this inside your body. There is healthier alternatives for almost everything highly processed on the market. Now I’m in no way shape or form trying to throw shade on any of the products I show in this series. They just happen to be my favorite brand and favorite candies. Again like I’ve mentioned before a small amount of added sugar (25g according to the World Health Organization) won’t be considered unhealthy but this packet of sugar, I mean candy is not it. If you really adore these packets of candies, split it up into smaller portions. I personally can’t see myself devouring an entire packet in one go ever again. Be smart with your sugar, your body will thank you for it.

Looking back to that is a big ‘wow that’s insane’ moment. I really should start doing it again every time I want to stuff my face with a lot of sugars. I had a moment last year but now I take the sugar free option where I can. I also read the labels and explore my options for products with low sugar. Curing a sweet tooth doesn’t happen overnight. I mean I feel like even my new blog readers knows I’m a sweet tooth. I’m rewarding myself after one year of candy free by going to the northern lights. Now I’m even trying to follow a very low sugar diet. I will talk more about it some other time but let’s talk a little more about the course and what I learned from it. I mean this week inspired slap of reality which kind of forever changed the way I think of sugar and has made a massive difference in my overall health.

The next part comes straight from the course.

Sugar consumption

Many foods contain substantial amounts of sugar, often without us realizing it. Did you know that a blueberry muffin can contain up to 45 grams of sugar? And that a 12 oz (355 mL) can of regular Coke contains nearly 40 grams of sugar. Since so many foods contain sugar, how much sugar are we actually consuming?

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Negative health effects of sugar

Why is the high sugar consumption in many countries considered to be bad? A number of valid arguments exist against consuming lots of sugar. An important concern is that added sugar is almost a synonym for empty calorie foods. Empty calorie foods are rich in energy (calories) but are relatively devoid of other nutrients and thus carry little nutritional value. The higher the consumption of empty calories, the less room there is for nutrient-rich foods, decreasing the nutritional quality of the diet.

Another concern is that sugar is often consumed in liquid form, for example in soft drinks or fruit juices. Scientific studies have demonstrated that consumption of a food in liquid form is less satiating than consuming the same food in solid form. For example, drinking apple juice is less satiating than eating an apple. High consumption of sugar-rich beverages may therefore lead to caloric excess and weight gain.

WHO’s current recommendation, which was last revised in 2002, is that sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake per day. The new draft guideline from 2014 also proposes that sugars should be less than 10% of total energy intake per day. It further suggests that a reduction to below 5% of total energy intake per day would have additional benefits. Five per cent of total energy intake is equivalent to around 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI). The suggested limits on intake of sugars in the draft guideline apply to all monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) that are added to food by the manufacturer, the cook or the consumer, as well as sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates. The guidelines from 2002 were met by strong opposition in the USA from the US Sugar Association. The US Sugar Association urged lawmakers in the US congress to consider withdrawing funding to the World Health Organization.

Before I continue, the course goes into a lot of detail about sugar (there is another 16 pages worth of information) and I really don’t want to copy and paste everything so I’m going to try to keep it as short as I can. If you want to read everything (16 pages)

An ongoing sugar frenzy

At this moment, there is a lot of discussion about sugar and obesity. Many people believe that excess sugar consumption is a major culprit in the current obesity epidemic. The negative image of sugar is mostly confined to added sugar, not the sugar already present in foods such as milk and fruits. People such as Gary Taubes and many others have written books and generated lots of publicity claiming that the high sugar consumption is responsible for most of today’s health problems, especially obesity. According to them, eating sugar makes you ill and fat. They claim that most of our health troubles would simply disappear if we stop eating sugar. The anti-sugar movement preys on the inherent desire among the general public to appoint a convenient scapegoat to a particular societal problem. And with that I don’t mean to say that people such as Gary Taubes don’t have a point. I am just saying that people like to hear that a very complex problem has a very simple explanation. Accusations have also been raised against sugar as contributing to poor mental health, including depression, impaired learning ability, and anxiety, although these are very poorly substantiated. Other people have gone so far as to consider removal of dietary sugar as a universal panacea.

What is the view of nutrition scientists? Most nutrition scientists and health authorities have expressed concern, serious concern about the high sugar consumption in many countries, and recognize that efforts need to be undertaken to lower added sugar consumption, especially in children. However, they do not consider its avoidance a simple cure for obesity and are not necessarily happy with the singular focus on sugar in certain media and the hyperbole that inevitably accompanies a blind fixation. They are concerned that the overemphasis on sugar and fructose has distracted us from the importance of avoiding caloric over consumption, which ultimately is responsible for weight gain. Reducing sugar intake will certainly be helpful toward that effect but obviously there is more to the contemporary diet that demands our attention.

The course continues with the strategy that the sugar industry is taking which was quite interesting to learn. It then looks into replacing sugar by non-nutritive sweeteners. There is one last part I want to take out from the course before we call this sugar lesson a day.

Sugar and tooth decay

Nowadays, excess sugar consumption is mainly discussed in the context of obesity. But before our society became obese, sugar already had a bad name for its connection to tooth decay. From a dentist’s perspective, a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks, including juice and sports drinks, can damage teeth and should thus be discouraged. Sugar itself is not directly damaging to teeth. Sugar provides the substrate for bacteria that grow in our mouths and produce acids. It is the acid that negatively affects our teeth by softening and gradually dissolving the hard enamel surface covering the teeth.

This part was interesting to me as well all know that I have some teeth problems and I blame it all on my really high sugar consumption the majority of my life. I’ve been meaning on seeing the dentist since the health insurance restarted this new year but I’m being a massive baby. I will probably surrender soon. I still loath seeing the dentist. The entire experience is horrible and I always got sick afterwards so honestly being adult sometimes sucks. But let’s finish this post before I get distracted.

The course continues talking about health effects of dietary fiber, lactose intolerance, diabetes and glucose intolerance. It’s truly a very informative and great source. I’m going to end this blog here as I feel like I’ve made my point. Sugar can be a silent killer. Keep your sugar consumption into account. I’m not saying cut all sugar out for the rest of your life I’m saying enjoy it in moderation and go for the healthier option when you can. Weigh loss will most likely follow. I hope you found this post enriching and educational.

Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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