Friday April 18, 2014: Happy Easter

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Happy Easter to all of you. I had to work today on Good Friday but took 2 hours vacation time and was home by 2 in the afternoon. In Holland we always have 2 days off at Easter which means I won’t have to work on Monday either.

We don’t have many plans for Easter. I have not much cooking inspiration lately so called my Mom and invited us to dinner on Sunday. Usually she comes to us. I will make dessert which will be tiramisu, haven’t made that in a while.

I got notice that the WW @work starts next Tuesday. It is a 13 week program and my last meeting will be the week before we have our Summer vacation: perfect timing! I want to approach these 13 weeks seriously so I’m going to have one more indulgence tonight for dinner: fast food. Starting Tuesday I am going to watch my food even more than I have done the past 2 weeks.

I wish you all happy Easter and for my blogger friends that still have to bear with winter: lots of sunshine and warmer temperatures.

Beebox week 16:

Eggs, pear/apple juice, cheese, lamb sausages, apples for compote, red and yellow pepper, portabella mushrooms, rhubarb, arugula, tomatoes, red onion, mint, water cress.


Thursday: The Firm Express

Cycle 2 Sculpt. Short strength workout. I like these workouts although I think they put too many exercises in one workout. I think it would work better with less exercises with more repetitions.
Total time: 20 minutes.

365 Days In Nature:

April 12: Waking up with Mom.

April 13: New life.

April 14.

April 15: More new life.

April 16: Enjoying the evening sun.

April 17.

April 18: Hi there!

Tuesday April 15, 2014: First week of Weight Watchers

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My first week back at Weight Watchers is done. It was pretty easy to fill in everything because these days they have an app too and I always have access to my diary. I made my breakfast and lunches by using their recipes, for dinner I use my own recipes (except for Sunday evening). I have never been hungry. I did realize that before I started this I was actually eating much more than I thought and not always enough veggies.

Result: a loss of 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). I don’t lose weight fast and this is a huge loss for me which makes me happy because it’s good for my spirit to lose the first week I start something.

I also signed up for WW @work. I’m doing this with a colleague of mine, he asked if I would come with him. Planning is that this starts in week 18 where we have a meeting once a week during lunch time.

Q&A from my last post:

Debby the white stuff in my Beebox last week was fresh goat cheese.


Saturday: Running

Beautiful morning for a run although this was a tough one. I took my first walk break after 4 songs on my Ipod which was 1 song more than on my last run but after that it went downwards fast. It will be better when I can run without walking again because often after a walk break it isn’t going that well.

You know what makes you run a little bit faster? A goose attack!
I was almost home and running on a bike path minding my own business. I saw this Canadian goose at my left and it was blowing at me, guess there was another one somewhere on a nest. I just kept running when it suddenly came running first and then fly after me. I had to keep my head down otherwise it would have hit me. I started running a bit faster but as quick as he tried to attack it was over after that too. Boy running or walking in breeding season can be dangerous, second time this week I was attacked LOL.

Distance: 4 K / 2.5 miles
Time: 00:29:11
Weather: dry, not much wind, 5C (41 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Take That – Shine.

Tuesday: Running

I think this was my best run this year so far. It was the fastest (well it’s an opinion of what you call fast). I took my first and only walk break after 21 minutes. That’s when it started to rain pretty hard too and when that happened all I wanted was to go home and running always is faster than walking. This was a good run that left me with a good feeling afterwards.

Distance: 4.2 K / 2.6 miles
Time: 00:29:56
Weather: dry, later rain, not much wind, 3C (37 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Fun – Some Nights

Photo a day challenge:

April 9: Dark.

April 10: My fave part of the day.
Coming home to my girl.

April 11: 3 of a kind.

April 12: On my left.
Had to stop my morning run when I saw this cuteness on my left.

April 13: More please!
Bella says: more sunny Sunday mornings please!

April 14: Dirty.
People should take their dirt home instead of dumping it in public.

April 15: I’m reading this.


Friday April 11

Lunch: salad with apricot and goat cheese with honey out of the oven (WW recipe).

Dinner: Cauliflower-potato curry. Made two portions so I could have this for dinner on Saturday evening too.

Saturday April 12

Lunch: Frittata with mushrooms and goat cheese (WW recipe), again a double portion for Sunday’s lunch.

Sunday April 13

Steak with stir-fried green vegetables with some rice (WW recipe).

Friday April 11, 2014: The Voice of Holland

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Or actually not! Remember I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I lost my voice? Well till today it still isn’t normal, my voice has been hoarse for weeks now. Stubborn as I am I kept hoping it would be normal in time but that never happened.

R., my boss and some other colleagues of mine kept insisting I should see my doctor about it and yesterday I finally did. She couldn’t see anything in my throat but suspects there’s something wrong with my vocal cords. Either I use my voice wrong or there is a polyp on my vocal cords.

I got a reference note for the specialist in the hospital where I have an appointment on April 22. He will use a camera then to look at my vocal cords and I will know immediately what the problem is. If I use my voice wrong I can solve that by going to speech therapy. If it’s a polyp that will mean surgery with no talking for a couple of days after the surgery.

Right now I’m not worried, I’ll wait what the specialist says. There’s plenty of time to worry then.

Anything fun to mention? Yes, tomorrow I’m going to a baby party where I am going to meet my friend K’s son that was born in February. She’s giving a baby party in a restaurant instead of having visitors over at her home. I think it’s smart because it can be very busy if you have visitors over every night and trying to adjust to your new life with a baby. I’ve seen some photo’s of him and he’s an adorable cute little boy.

Beebox week 15:


Thursday: Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This was a tough one, I couldn’t keep up with the speed of the exercises so in the end I did them on my own pace. There were some push ups in this workouts that I couldn’t do (just one instead of 4) because I still suck at push ups. Overall a good sweaty workout.
Total time: 41 minutes.

365 Days In Nature:

April 5: Taken on Saturday’s walk.

April 6: One more from Saturday’s walk.

April 7.

April 8: We call this little park close to home “Bella’s place” because in Spring and Summer we often go there on Sunday evening to play with her with the ball. She loves this place and know exactly what’s going to happen when we get there. I had to disappoint her tonight though because I wasn’t going there in the first place and didn’t bring a ball.

April 9: The sky today.

April 10.

April 11: When I saw this white goose, at first I didn’t notice there was another one on a nest behind him. We (my dog and I) found out about that when the male crossed the water and came after us. He wasn’t really scary  so I actually had to laugh about it. After a misattempt of scaring us he went back to the other side and just screamed at us there :)


Wednesday April 8

Taco’s filled with pork/red pepper/onion/taco sauce with a salsa of corn, lemon juice, spring onions, coriander. New recipe to which I added the taco sauce myself. Was tasty and a keeper.

Thursday April 9

Chipolata sausages, a Spanish potato dish (with pepper, green beans and chorizo sausage) with carrots/green peas.

Tuesday April 8, 2014: Back to Weight Watchers

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I have gone back to the Weight Watchers. Lately my I have been gaining a little every week and I’m getting close to my heaviest weight ever. I have to do something to get my weight under control.

For the past 2 weeks I’ve tried counting calories but that just isn’t working for me. After thinking a couple of days about it I decided to renew my subscription to Weight Watchers. In the past this has been the only program that has been working for me so it’s worth to give it a try.

I started yesterday and since the website has lots and lots of recipes I’m using that to my advantage. My plan is to make my breakfast and lunches (at least on weekdays) from WW recipes. For my dinner I use my own recipes and sometimes one of the WW.

The funny thing is that I joined this weekend and today I got a leaflet on my desk that they are offering a 13 week “Weight Watchers @work” program which is for free. There will be a coach at work every week during lunch break. I haven’t decided yet if I will join that too because I don’t really want to lose weight with people I see at work every day. A colleague (male) of mine is still thinking about it too and asked if we could go together if he would go. I might do that although I don’t think he will join.

For now I’m doing it on my own. I prepped my work lunches for this week Sunday evening. My breakfasts this week didn’t need much prepping, I can make them in the morning. So far (and yes it’s only 2 days LOL) it’s working, especially the fact that I just have to get my containers with my lunch out of the fridge in the morning, makes it so much easier.

I’m giving this whole weight loss thing one more last chance because I’m not happy in my body at this weight, not to mention the fact that a lot of my clothes are too tight at the moment. I’ll keep you updated in the next weeks how it goes.

Q&A from my last post:

Lori you asked if I know what bird is nesting in our birdhouse: it’s a great tit (that’s what google translation gave me). There are 2 of them and they are not around the entire day but parts of it and then they are busy making the nest.

Debby the swan on the nest was in the wild. This is the second one I’ve seen this season, the other one I saw in my village.


Monday: 30 Day Shred

Normally Monday is my rest day because I clean my house at night. But I switched that and took my rest day Sunday and did the cleaning Sunday morning. Today I did the workout that started my working out with DVD’s: the Shred. The first workout DVD I ever bought, I even did level 1 which was, of course, my first DVD workout too.
Total time: 27 minutes.

Tuesday: Running

Already a bit lighter at the end of my run, think I’ll be running in daylight by the end of this month. We have had lots of rain Monday evening and night but by the time I did my run it was dry. I don’t often have to run in the rain early in the morning which definitely is a pro. Not a fast but a good run with 2 walk breaks.

Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:23:37
Weather: dry, not much wind, 10C (50 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Paul McCartney – With a little luck

Photo a day challenge:

March 31: Faux.

April 1: Something purple.
Flower in my garden.

April 2: In my hand.
A leash with Bella on the other end of it.

April 3: Shapes.

April 4: Good together.

April 5: Not mine … hers!

April 6: A taste of Spring.

April 7: Where I’d rather be.
I am where I want to be. I like traveling from time to time but there’s no place where I’d rather be than at home with my little sweetheart.

April 8: Hobby.
I have always loved walking with Bella but the past year it has become more of a hobby when I started doing long walks in nature at the weekend.


Saturday April 5

Lunch: a big salad with cucumber, radish and grilled chicken that I spiced with a lemon-pepper and a honey-mustard dressing I made myself of olive oil, white vinegar, mustard and honey.

Dinner: Lasagna of rutabaga with minced meat. I didn’t use pasta instead I used the rutabaga. This was a delicious meal. I made two portions so I could eat it on Sunday for dinner too.

Monday April 6

Red curry with beef, pak choi and red pepper with yellow rice.

Tuesday April 7

Chicken breast with potatoes and green beans in a musterd sauce out of the oven. New recipe but not spectacular. Not going to make this dish again.

Saturday April 5, 2014: Gooische Lentetocht ‘s Graveland

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Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Distance: 10.69 K / 6.68 miles
Weather: dry, first clouds later a bit of sunshine, not too much wind, 16C (60 degrees).

What a beautiful walk this was. It was about a 30 minute drive from home and again a totally new area for me. The weather was perfect for walking.

Let me take you on our walk:

A couple of houseboats

Pretty garden, I thought of you Lori when I saw this

We had a break on a bench, this was our view

This is not a house, it used to be but now it’s used as an office

My medal for this walk


Friday April 4, 2014: New Birkenstocks

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Would you believe it if I told you that you can get sore from your Birkenstocks?
Well it’s true. We have had beautiful Spring weather the past couple of days. It was warm enough to not wear socks. When I am barefoot, I do my shorter walks on my Birkenstocks.

I did wear them last Tuesday on our walk and within 5 minutes I’ve got a terrible pain in both my calves. I kept on walking but had to stretch during the walk about 4 times and cut the walk short because I had so much pain.

I remembered I experienced this a little last year at the end of the Summer and knew I had to replace my Birkenstocks. I bought new ones online the next day and they came yesterday. I’ve already wore the new ones and it made such a difference. On the left the old one, on the right the new one (yes, I’ve bought exactly the same as I had).

The soreness lasted till yesterday. It was so bad I could barely walk and exercise wasn’t possible at all. Lesson learned: buy new shoes when they start to hurt!

I’m home alone this weekend. R. is at a motor exhibition in Italy with his brother. I don’t have many plans except for an organized 10K walk tomorrow morning.

Beebox week 14:

Eggs, pear/apple juice, apples, pears, cucumber, rutabaga, pak choi, leek, turnip, radish, red chard (salad), chipolata sausages, minced meat, beansprouts, red onion.


Tuesday: Running

Because of daylight savings last weekend where we moved the clock an hour forward it was dark again during my run but in a week of 2 it will be lighter again. It was a good run, I had 2 walk breaks but overall everything went well.

Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:23:23
Weather: dry, not much wind, 8C (46 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Glee Cast – Animal

365 Days In Nature:

March 29: Bella working on her tan.

March 30.

March 31.

April 1: we got a bird nesting in the birdhouse we recently bought, so cool!

April 2: The first baby ducks I’ve seen this season.

April 3: I’m so tired.

April 4: Swans breeding.


Sunday March 30

Jerusalem artichoke-carrot soup with a topping of mushrooms -> delicious.

Monday March 31

Salad with Jerusalem artichoke and bacon -> delicious.

Wednesday April 2

Minced meat with onions, green beans, mashed potatoes.

Thursday April 3

I had a dentist appointment to fill a hole in my teeth. Not sure how much it would hurt afterwards so I ate a potato-Jerusalem artichoke soup from the freezer. It turned out I didn’t have pain afterwards.

Friday April 4

Whole wheat pasta with turnip, sausage, a little bit of crème fraiche and some Parmezan cheese.

Review March 2014

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Notes March:

  • Total time I did something (including walking): 27 hours and 33 minutes.
  • Wow! This has been my most active month since June 2011!
  • Most of the time I spent walking but I also have been doing a few more workouts than in the past months.
  • The weather has been incredible mild which makes it easy to go outside for walking.
  • My goal for April is to finally run a 5K nonstop and do more running/other workouts than in March.

Workouts March:

Running. Done: 5
Strength training. Done: 2
Cardio. Done: 2
Yogalates/Stretching. Done: 1

Number and time of workouts in March: 10 workouts, total time 4 hours and 59  minutes.

Yearly mileage

Total March: 20.4 K / 10.6  miles
Total till 3/31: 55.2 K / 34.5 miles
Total running time: 6 hours and 54 minutes

Walks with Bella:

Days with at least 1 “long” walk this year: 74 days
Total time we walked so far: 58 hours 16 minutes.
Total mileage we walked so far: 282.36 km / 176.47 miles.

Goal: 1000K (625 miles) in 2014.

March 8: Veluwe Zwerfpad, Arnhem, 8.55 K / 5.3 miles, 1 hours 49 minutes.

March 14: Trekvogelpad, Bergen aan Zee-Egmond aan de Hoef, 12.84 K / 8 miles, 2 hours 49 minutes.

Cook book challenge

Use 92 cook books at least once in 2014.

Update challenge: 8 Books.

New recipes from cooking magazines: 11

Books I’m (have been) reading

Jo Nesbo – The Readbreast

This is the first of a 3 book sequel. It was a very good book. So good I immediately started the second book.

Jo Nesbo – Nemesis

Best Photo a day this month:

Best 365 Days in Nature photo this month:

Highlight(s) of the month

Dinner date with R.

Concert Golden Earring

Weekend away together with Bella.

Date night with 4 of our friends last weekend of March.

Sunday March 30, 2014: 5 years of running

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Today I am celebrating 5 years of running. Did I celebrate it with a run? No, I did not.

When I started 5 years ago I never knew I would still be running today. It’s been a rollercoaster from running good to starting over again to building up the miles. At this present day it feels like I’ve just started when I look at where I am right now with my runs. I haven’t improved at all in these 5 years. I’m actually back at where I started. But in the end all that matters is that I kept running sometimes more and sometimes less.

What has changed, especially the past months, is why I run. When I started I was training for participating in race events. But lately I have come to the conclusion that I don’t really like race events. I love to run and I love to train for a distance but I don’t have to prove it anymore in an event. Knowing I can do it, is the reward.

This means that I don’t have the intention to do many race events in the future. I might do only 2 this year, both were my first events 5 years ago: a 5K in June and a 10K in September. It’s symbolic to do these races again 5 years after I started. But … haven’t made my mind up yet about registering.

For now and the future my running plans are: just run and enjoy it.

Little bit of statistics (been keeping track of my runs since day 1):

I have run 542 times.
Total time: 335 hours and 42 minutes (that’s almost 14 days).
Total distance: 2792 K (1745 miles)

Photo a day challenge:

March 25: Soft.

March 26: I am here.
A walk in my village with Bella.

March 27: Something I made.
A cross-stitch I finished over 15 years ago.

March 28: Nostalgia.
Our Bella 4 years ago when we got here for a couple of days.

March 29: Sticky.
Two pigeons in love sticky like glue.

March 30: Fast.
A couple of years I was driving too fast for this pigeon. I was on the exit of the highway and couldn’t avoid it. When I got home I saw this …


Saturday March 29

I had something that I said I would never had for breakfast: a green smoothie. I had spinach in my Beebox this week and knew I was going to have some left of it so I thought I would give a green smoothie a try, I’ve only added yogurt and a frozen banana. And I have to be honest: it was good.

For lunch I made a salad with roastbeef and the turnips that I cooked first, added some salad and dressing and voilà. This was very tasty.

Friday March 28, 2014: Just saying …

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Just saying … the Netherlands is the place to be

President Obama at the Rijksmuseum in front of the “Nachtwacht” by Rembrandt

The President of Japan visiting the Anne Frank house

The president of China with his wife visiting the “Keukenhof”

Beyonce and Jay-Z with their daughter on a bike ride through Amsterdam

All of this happened this week. So if you have some savings left and want a great country to visit: come to mine. I’ll be happy to show you around. We are very proud of all the great press we had this week. It’s good for our country and for tourism which is good for the economy.

Beebox week 13:

Eggs, apple juice, apples, blue turnips, roastbeef, yellow beets, carrots, mushrooms, pears, spinach, steak tartare, cress, red onion.

Because we were away for the weekend, I didn’t have a Beebox last week. You can skip boxes if you are on vacation or for other reasons.


Tuesday: Running

And another has passed since my last run. I really need to get back to 3 times a week because with once a week I’m not making progress. This was a short run but pretty good although slow.

Distance: 3 K / 1.9 miles
Time: 00:22:35
Weather: dry, not much wind, -2C (28 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Michael Jackson – Dirty Diana

Wednesday: P90X3 Synergistics

First time I did a P90X3 workout, where the original and P90X2 have workouts for about an hour, this one has only 30 minute workouts which is actually my most favourite length for a morning workout. This was all strength and I couldn’t do all the exercises but I tried my best.
Total time: 31 minutes.

Thursday: Focus T25 Alpha Speed 1.0

Second workout from this program and I like it a lot. This one had cardio exercises followed by a stretch exercise. This gave me the opportunity to catch my breath. The last 10 minutes all the cardio exercises were repeated in a sequel. I had to do the modified exercises sometimes (I can’t do a speed burpee) but most of the time I could keep up with the “normal” exercise.
Total time: 27 minutes.

365 Days In Nature:

March 21: Donkey’s (or is it mules?)

March 22: Sunset Saturday evening.

March 23: Sunday’s walk.

March 24: Saw my first black swan ever, very special.

March 25: A heron.

March 26: Swan.

March 27: Took this a couple of days ago because yesterday was very busy and I didn’t even have time to get a decent walk in.

March 28: The gardener came last week and now my garden is ready for Spring.


Monday March 24

Oven dish of minced meat, red cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Tuesday March 25

Enchiladas with chicken, zucchini, red pepper and tomatoes.

Wednesday March 26

A burger, baked potatoes, carrots with green peas.

Thursday March 27

Spaghetti Carbonara

Monday March 24, 2014: Our weekend in photo’s

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We have had a lovely weekend away. I’m going to show it to you through photo’s.

Our house for the weekend and how it looks like on the inside

Saturday morning we visited two towns nearby, one had a little flee market and the other had a food market. There was a nice church in one of the towns. It was raining a bit in the morning and I didn’t take many photo’s.

In the afternoon it was dry and I took Bella for a walk around a lake. We met this little fellow:

Sunday morning we went for another walk to a little town close to the park where we were staying. R. can’t walk much because of an injury in the past but he went with us on this walk. The walk on Saturday he stayed in the house.

This town is famous because it’s called the book city. All the shops were closed but most of them had books outside. If you wanted to have one you just had to leave the money in the mailbox and you could take the book.

I have a question for my American friends because I’m curious. There’s a nuclear top held in my country today and tomorrow where most of the world leaders are present. This morning your president, Mr. Obama arrived in the Netherlands. It’s all over the news here because for us it’s special that this top is held here and that the American president is here. This morning he visited the “Rijksmuseum” where the famous nightwatch by Rembrandt hangs. He gave a press conference in front of it saying it was the most special place he ever gave a press conference. My question is: did you know he is here in Holland or is it just on the news here?

I’m behind on reading your blogs but I’ll catch up this week.

Photo a day challenge:

March 17: Today’s weather
Grey and cloudy.

March 18: Five years ago.
Five years ago, on March 30 to be exact, I went out for my first run ever. No one (including me) expected back then that I would still be running today since I have tried so many sports. But, even though I have ups and downs, I still love running after 5 years.

March 19: Cropped.

March 20: Letter.
A L made by the blades of our mill.

March 21: Full.
A field full of crocusses in the background.

March 22: Morning.
Exploring a litte flee market.

March 23: I’m loving.
Going for walks and explore new parts of my country.

March 24: One of kind.
I think everyone says that about their pet but Bella is one of a kind to us.