5 Fitness Apps To Download On Apple Watch

applewatch-apps

Who has been following my new stories knows that I’m getting a little fitness crazy! The cool thing about the Apple Watch is that it has an integrated activity app, allowing you to set goals and review your progress. With this app you can track how much you move, exercise, and stand from day to day. And the fun part is that over time the Apple Watch will learn your activity habits and will try to push you even further. It also has a workout app that’s super easy to use!

Besides running with the Nike+ RunClub app, I try to keep myself in shape and train thanks to a couple of other apps dedicated to fitness. I’ve selected my current 5 go-to apps for Apple Watch.

Pocket yoga. An app that offers simple and instant exercises for which you don’t even need to look at your smartphone. If you are in doubt about changing between the warrior and the tree pose, just look at your wrist!

Sleep Time. This app gives you an insight into your sleep patterns by tracking your level of movement throughout the night. The Soundscapes feature gives you the white noise to help you fall asleep, even in the noisy environment.

Waterminder®. While we wish there was an app that automatically logged how much water we’re drinking throughout the day, this app provides an easy way to keep a running tab on the glasses you down; it’ll gently nudge you to add your daily water consumption progress.

Sweat. Sweat with Kayla is the perfect personal trainer app for exercise motivation and female health and fitness. It allows you to track your health, nutrition and daily workouts and helps you to get the (bikini) body/confidence that you’ve always wanted in just 28 minutes a day.

Headspace. The mind needs a dedicated workout of its own. This app is a small oasis of peace away from your daily chaos, that allows you to say goodbye to your thoughts and throw yourself fully into your day’s activities.

I’m curious, what are your favorite fitness apps?

Courgetti | Skinny Zucchini Pasta

courgetti1

Pasta is such a common dish — and let’s be honest, sooo delicious — but you can easily pack on the pounds if you aren’t careful. But what if I said you can eat healthy and eat pasta, too? There are many low-carb alternatives out there, like spaghetti squash, shirataki noodles, tofu noodles or my favorite: zucchini pasta!

Zucchini pasta are all the rage with healthy eaters, and it’s no wonder why. They’re ultra-low in calories and carbs, prevent bloating, keep you full — even though it’s very light — and help you maintain your blood sugar. Even more important, zucchini has a high content of vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, potassium, foliate and vitamin A. That’s why it makes a great stand-in for regular pasta.

But how do you make theses ‘zoodles’? Don’t worry, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. All you need is a spiralizer to slice the zucchini into linguini. I purchased this Spirelli on bol.com and it was delivered the next day. You can look at it as a large pencil sharpener. Just put in the zucchini and turn it around like a pencil. Happy spiralizing!

This is my go-to recipe — so easy, but so tasteful! Sometimes simple is better, and with this dish that’s certainly the case.

Ingredients
1 courgette (zucchini)
6 mini vine tomatoes (of cherry tomatoes)
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
Olive oil/coconut oil
Salt

Directions
Preheat the oven at 180° C. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with some olive oil or coconut oil. Bake for about 10 minutes. Toast the pine nuts in a dry, heavy skillet.

Clean the zucchini, create the ‘zoodles’ with the spiralizer and sprinkle on some salt. Heat a wok pan, melt a little coconut oil and add the crushed or chopped garlic. Add the zoodles and bake shortly on high-heat. The zucchini pasta are the best when they still have a bit of a bite.

Scoop the pasta in two plates and add a vine of tomatoes. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and drizzle with some olive oil.

Bon appétit!

courgetti2
courgetti3
courgetti6
courgetti4
courgetti5

Dry Shampoo After A Workout

dryshampoo3

It is true: not everyone washes their hair every day —including me. If you work out practically every day, that might pose some problems. You just don’t want to deal with washing, drying, and styling after every workout, but a headful of sweaty hair isn’t exactly a desirable alternative either. Drum roll: dry shampoo can be a locks-saver, but only if you do it right…

Remove your ponytail holder ASAP
If your hair is long enough to need an elastic while you run, take that sucker out immediately once you’ve finished working out. Otherwise, the hair will clump and kink as the sweat evaporates, making a shower the only way to salvage your strands. Speaking of: I recently discovered the miracles of invisibobble. It protects your hair from kinks and split ends and doesn’t slide right out while running. Yay!

invisibobble

Your hair must be dry
If you spray dry shampoo on a wet head, it will cling to the moisture instead of the oils, leaving your locks coated with powdery paste. Give your hair time to air dry—or blow-dry out the sweat if you’re in a rush. If you did and evening workout, spray it on before going to bed and you’ll wake up feeling pretty & fresh!

If you use a powder, brush it all out
Dry shampoos were actually developed to give longer life to your salon blowouts—and they used to all be powders. As you brush the powder out, it takes the oil with it. But if it’s not all gone, the white residue might ruin your ’do.

What’s your post-run hair secret?

Running in winter

runninginwinter

Although temperatures seem like early spring this week, winter is likely far from over. February can be freezing cold and getting your butt outside for a run can be hard to say the least. But if you want to keep up your routine, running in winter is kind of a necessary evil. That’s why I listed some running tips for plowing through winter season.

Be seen
With limited daylight, chances are you’ll be running in the dark. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear and, if you’re running in darker areas, don’t be shy to go a little crazy. Use a headlamp or carry a flashlight, so you can see where you’re going and more so people can see you.

Get dressed
Of course it is important to wear the right running shoes and clothing. That’s how you avoid injuries. But in winter, it’s even more important. You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. The rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 10° C warmer — this means you should be a bit cool when you start. Wear layers so you can adjust your temperature as you heat up. These are the guidelines:

runninginwinter2

Adjust your running clock
When it’s cold, rainy or windy, you’ll undoubtedly run less quickly than in summer. So forget speedwork and work on your maintenance. Like interval training — it’s effective for your strength, but also works wonders for your speed. There are lots of running apps out there that can help you with that.

Warm up pre-run
Running without a warm-up in winter is not a great idea. Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga exercises. That way, the cold doesn’t feel so cold and your muscles are ready. Don’t forget to cool down afterwards.

Deal with wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. You can also break your run into segments, running into the wind for about ten minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating. Don’t forget to protect your exposed skin — always wear sunscreen, also in winter, and prevent chapped lips with a generous amount of lip balm.

Change post-run
Your body temperature drops as soon as you stop running — this not only occurs in winter by the way. Especially when you’re sweaty after a long run, it can drop quickly from having a wet layer against the skin in combination with the cold temperatures. To avoid the chills, change your sweaty clothes as soon as you can. After your cool-down stretches, take a shower and drink something warm.

Do you run in winter or are you more of a seasonal runner?

2017 Workout Resolutions

2017resolutions3b

Getting fit is probably one of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people make every year. Although 2016 was one of my fittest years ever — I ran several 10K races and the Brussels 20K — motivation can be a tricky one for me, because a) I rather want to hang out with my boyfriend/friends b) it’s too cold/windy/rainy/hot outside c) sitting at a desk all day makes me even more lazy.

Nonetheless, I want to kick it up a notch in 2017. Why? Because me and my big mouth — what else? My BFF and partner-in-crime Shanna and I told everyone we’re running the Reykjavik Marathon in August 2017. Yup, got that right.

To not give in to bad excuses, I’ve started with step one: an Apple Watch. Because to me, being active every single day is the secret to being fit. And of course, because looking fab makes you feel fab: some new gym clothes. I recently discovered the Doutzen’s Sports Stories by Hunkemöller and the collection is simply A-MA-ZING! Glossy leggings, fishnet tops, sexy sports bras and accessories to match — need I say more?

2017resolutions2

Since a marathon not only takes fitness but also strength, I decided to join Kayla Itsines’s 12 week bikini body guide with the new sweat app. Personal trainer and Instagram celeb Kayla helps over 10 million women to get healthier, fitter and more confident with her workouts and recipes.

2017resulutions4b

Do you want to follow my marathon journey? Check back soon!

Happy working out!
#ICEICEBABY

Run, Girl, Run!

5runningtips

Running does truly amazing things for your entire body. It pumps blood throughout your body and brain, gets your heart rate up, releases endorphins, lets you sweat out toxins, builds strong leg and abdominal muscles and helps to clear your head. However, like many things in life, it’s not always easy. I always had some kind of love-hate relationship with running until I learned how to run the right way and make it fun. Call me a health freak, but now I love lacing up my sneakers and sweating it out regularly.

Here are my 5 tips on how to learn to love running:

1. Get it right
If you’re not a runner, running won’t be easy at first. And it definitely won’t be easy if you don’t learn how to run properly. If you aren’t used to exercising at all, you should gradually build up some basic level of fitness: go for a regular walk, take the stairs, bike to work, go to the gym, … Slowly increase the exercise time until it adds up to 30-60 minutes and you feel more energetic. Once you’re comfortable enough to start running, go for it!

2. Don’t start off too big

If you’ve never run before and you try going for 5K your first time, you’re not going to have fun and you’ll probably be in pain the next day. As with everything, take small steps. If you need to run for a minute then walk for a minute, that’s fine. Listen to your body and do what it is comfortable with. Start off slow and work your way up to longer distances & faster paces.

3. Get good music
To me, a good running playlist is everything. If you like to work out to music, creating a running playlist makes all the difference. I like upbeat songs, because they motivate me and actually make me run to the rhythm. Maybe it sounds a bit strange, but it really works! On Spotify, you can find some great workout tunes that will power up your runs.

4. Take it outside
Running outside makes it easier to lose track of time and get distracted by things around you, therefore making your run go by faster. Running hills and different terrains will also make your runs more challenging. Start off by finding a flat route that loops back to your starting point. This way, you have to keep going in order to finish — no turning back.

5. Download some fun apps
Lately, there are apps for almost anything you want to do — the same goes for running. My personal favorite is the Nike+ Running app because it tells you how far/fast you’re running, how many calories you’re burning, how your hearth rate is evolving and it even lets you select a playlist from your iPhone or Spotify to power up your run.

I’m curious: what’s your favorite workout?

Homemade Lemon Arugula Pizza

lemon-arugula1

Lately, we’ve been getting more creative with our homemade pizzas and experimenting with all kinds of toppings. It’s one of those casual dishes that’s good for grazing all day on a lazy Sunday. Plus, it’s a lot healthier than the frozen or delivery kind. You can make the pizza dough from scratch or simply use an even quicker (and lazier) premade version.

So far, we’ve tried ‘Mushrooms & Caramelized Onions’, ‘Roasted Beets & Swiss Chard’ and ‘Ricotta, Figs & Prosciutto’. However, my absolute summer favorite is ‘Lemon Arugula’. I found a white pizza was a bit strange at first, but the smooth salty flavor of the cheese, together with the refreshing sour lemon and the subtle sharpness of the arugula makes it an irresistible combination. K wasn’t sure he would like a “salad” on his pizza, but turns out he too was pleasantly surprised.

What’s your favorite homemade pizza creation?

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cups arugula
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 220° C
2. Place the pizza dough on a pizza pan or pizza stone.
3. Evenly brush the pizza with olive oil. Top with fresh mozzarella slices and parmesan cheese.
4. Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pizza crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
5. Remove the pizza from the oven and (generously) top with arugula. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the arugula and season with salt & black pepper. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese.
6. Cut into slices and serve.

lemon-arugula2
lemon-arugula3
lemon-arugula4
lemon-arugula5
lemon-arugula6

White Chocolate Blondies

blondies1

If you’re tired of ordinary brownies, or just a big sucker for white chocolate like me, then you have to try blondies. The warmer springtime weather is enough to make me switch the usual brunette confections for their golden counterparts. I used this recipe, but slightly browned the butter and sprinkled fleur de sel on top, creating a subtle white chocolate/salted caramel flavor. They came out so well that even K said that they were the best I’d ever made. They say blondes have more fun and, as it turns out, they really do! ;)

Ingredients:
8 tbsp (115g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (230 g) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
½ to 1 cup white chocolate chips

Makes about 16 regular-sized blondies.

blondies2
blondies3
blondies4
blondies5
blondies6

Homemade Lemonade

lemonade1b

Today, we got the first real summer touch of the year. There is nothing that quenches my thirst on a sunny day quite as well as an icy glass of homemade lemonade. It’s tart & sweet and so refreshing — whether it’s a classic, a fruity lemonade infused with herbs or flowers*, a crisp version blended with sparkling water or a ‘grown-up’ lemonade with a shot of vodka or gin. Here are my secrets to making the perfect pitcher of lemonade. I can smell summer already!

Ingredients:
CLASSIC LEMONADE (makes 5-6 servings)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups simple syrup
3 cups water
ice

SIMPLE SYRUP
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water

Instructions:
1. In a small pot combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar. Cook over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Once it has dissolved, turn off the heat and throw in your herbs or flowers. Let them sit until the water has cooled.
2. Extract the juice from 5-6 lemons — you’ll need 1 cup of lemon juice. You may need one more or one less, depending on how large your lemons are. (I like a bit of pulp in my lemonade, so I strain the juice and then add back a bit of pulp.)
3. Mix the lemon juice, sugar syrup and 3 cups of (cold) water in a pitcher.
4. If you’re making fruity lemonade, add ½ to 1 cup of fruit puree. You might need to change the amount of sugar you use, depending on the sweetness and tartness of your fruit.
5. Serve over ice, garnished with a few lemon/fruit slices and herbs. (Have you seen these gorgeous floral ice cubes? So gorgeous!)

Do you love homemade lemonade? What are your favorite flavor variations?

*My favorite flavor variations: Peach Rosemary, Blueberry Lavender, Mango Mint (with a hint of lime juice), Pineapple Cilantro (add Jalapeno for a spicy kick), Strawberry Basil & Cucumber-Melon with Mint

lemonade2
lemonade3
lemonade4
[Classic Lemonade]

lemonade5
[Fruity Lemonade ingredients]

lemonade6
lemonade7
[Strawberry & Basil]

lemonade8
lemonade9
[Mango Mint]

Common Skin Care Mistakes (You May Not Even Know You’re Making)

skincare1
[At Kiehl’s for a professional skin analysis]

My early 20s were kind of a disaster in terms of skin care — I didn’t always wash my face before bed, forgot sunscreen regularly and whenever I had a blemish, I’d attack it within minutes. Fast forward to my thirties and I’m seeing some of that carelessness catch up on me, especially the sun protection part. So, I’ve made a much more concerted effort and even started visiting a facialist. My skin looks more toned, glowing and smooth and most importantly, I now have a routine I stick to. Nonetheless, I wanted to know about the things I unwittingly did that damaged my skin. So, I asked Amparo Juradocastro, facialist at Kiehl’s Miami Beach, about the most common skincare mistakes and their fixes.

You’re a stomach or side sleeper.
The older you get, the less collagen you have. So if you’re in your mid 30s or over, you can start to see facial ‘sleep lines’ when you wake up especially if you sleep on your side or stomach. When you think about it, sleep is the only thing we really do consistently for hours a day. Smashing your face into a pillow for years can cause permanent wrinkling of your skin, aging yourself unnecessarily.
Fix: It’s a tough one, but I suggest at least starting your night on your back before inevitably ending up on your side or stomach. I also love satin pillowcases; the satin allows your face to slide on the pillow and won’t cause sleep lines, or at the least, very little ones. Plus, it’s also gentle on your hair and won’t cause bends or kinks. And who doesn’t want to wake up with their do still looking great and in place?

Exfoliating will ruin your tan.
Many people, including my own mom, believe that exfoliating will scour off your tan. However, the melanocytes that make melanin (the pigment that gives color to the skin) live deep under the epidermal. So it’s impossible to rub or scrub off your tan. It may take 2-3 weeks for teens to naturally shed their color. And as we get older, it can even take up to 12 weeks! Exfoliating actually increases circulation, supports lymph drainage and keeps your skin smooth, silky and glow-y. It also allows your moisturizers to be readily absorbed and increases their efficacy.
Fix: Exfoliate two to three times a week at home. In the shower, use scrub with a clean wash cloth or my personal favorites: body wash with a bath glove or bath lily.

You need to use a stimulating cleanser to wake your skin up.
This is such a misconception — your skin doesn’t know what time it is. However, it does know when you’re at rest and when you’re not. When you’re sleeping, blood flow in the skin is higher and your skin is repairing and renewing itself. This means ingredient absorption and penetration is also increased. For a morning cleanse, I suggest a gentle cleanser — nothing too stimulating or drying. Depending on your skin type, it may be a creamy cleanser, coconut oil, lactic or salicylic cleanser. Follow with your usual day beauty routine.
Fix: Before bed, cleanse your face with a gentle make-up remover (my favorite is Bioderma Sensibio H2O) and wash thoroughly with your facial cleanser. Follow with your night beauty routine. While sleeping your skin recovers and by morning it has more dead skin cells to wash off (gently).

Layering SPF equals extra protection.
This is a common mistake. Layering SPF products do not equal total SPF. If your moisturizer has an SPF 30 and your makeup has an SPF 20, your total coverage doesn’t equal 50. Actually, it’s the average of the two — in this case, SPF 25.
Fix: If you are layering, let the first SPF fully absorb into your skin before adding the second one. Also, make sure to apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes before going into the sun (this gives the ingredients time to attach to the skin) and re-apply every two hours. As long as you are using sunscreen daily and avoiding long periods in the sun, you’re ahead of the game.

The more products you use, the better.
There are many, many products out there. If they’re effective, that’s great. But there is no need to layer products that are essentially doing the same thing.
Fix: When layering skin care products, the general rule is to apply what is most important first and closest to the skin. Depending on how many products you use, this is the sequence for your morning & night skin care routine:

skincare2

I’m curious to know: what’s your beauty routine?