Dietary guidelines my dietician gave me

Last year I have been quite serious about finally loosing weight. Like everybody else I started on the second of January and have been a good girl for over five months. Meanwhile, I have lost around 8 kg (16 pounds) and have finally received compliments on my new silhouette. Right about that time I have reached a plateau. I was simply fed up with eating oatmeal every single day and being constantly hungry. I confided in a friend of mine and she suggested I visited her dietician. 

Before I move to explaining the entire experience and what I was suggested please bear in mine I am not a doctor, nor health specialist and you should not follow any diet before consulting your doctor. 

I wasn’t convinced at first, as I believe dieticians should be real doctors and not just someone who graduated studies on nutrition, but I figured I had nothing to lose anyway, so why not? Side note: except money I had to pay for the visit, obviously.

In the meantime my dietitian performed several checks on me; including body composition analysis, which showed how much fat I have accumulated over cosy eating all the candy for the last 28 years. She has also stated, that even though I am overweight, my body is very symmetrical which gives hope that one day I will finally loose all the excess fat and my body will look bomb. Yay!

She mentioned my body was well hydrated (another side note: I visited her during heatwave in summer and drank a whole bottle of water before I entered her office) and that I should keep hydrating further in order to rid my body of toxins.

A sliced, healthy avocado

After initial conversation about my eating habits, what I like and can’t stand eating and how my regular day looks like, she adjusted a plan for me, which later was sent over to me via e-mail. She started with explaining that a healthy diet means there will be way more food on my plate and to not worry if it seems too much. Portions are greater, but only in volume, not in calories. There was no limit to how much vegetables I could eat (obviously using common sense, I wouldn’t eat 2 kg of tomatoes with my chicken). She made me conscious about eating more calorie packed vegetables, such as dried tomatoes in olive oil, canned green peas, canned red beans etc. 

Most important rule was to consume breakfast within 1 hour from waking up, and 2-3 hours before going to sleep. She initially wanted me to eat 30 minutes after waking, but I take medication on an empty stomach and cannot eat for an hour after that, so she adjusted that particular time to me. She has also reminded me not to forget to hydrate myself in between meals. Moreover, she has stated I should supplement my diet with several vitamins and microelements, especially that I mentioned severe hair loss – which I have yet to find a solution for. 

My dietitian also suggested that it is vital to abide eating time. According to my lifestyle she suggested meal times as follows:

  • Breakfest 7:30-8:00,
  • Second breakfest 10:30
  • Lunch 1:00 – 2:00 P.M.,
  • Snack 4:00 – 5:00 P.M.,
  • Dinner 7:00 – 8:00 P.M.

She has chosen such time frames after I told her I start work at 7:00 A.M. and go to sleep around 11:00 P.M. I don’t think I ever followed a diet that strict in timing and I think that was part of the reason I never fully committed to this one. As the New Year just started I decided to incorporate all the eating times. Keep fingers crossed!

Breakfast

Milk or dairy product 250 ml (a glass) + cereals 50 g + dried fruit 50 g or 25 g of nuts and sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds or 250 g of fruit (an apple, pear, 1,5 glass of strawberries, redberries, blackberries, 3 peaches – if banana 100 g, if grapes 150 g. 

Rye bread 90g (3 slices) + protein supplement (half of white cheese/five slices of ham/fish/2 eggs) 120 g + fat 10 g (butter) + vegetables,

If the sandwich is with yellow cheese, then 60 g of rye bread (2 slices) + protein supplement (2 slices of cheese) 40 g + fat 5 g + vegetables

SYMBIO strawberry-apple muesli 100 g + natural yoghurt 180 ml (small package). 

I think above suggestions require a little bit of a commentary. I told my dietitian that I am quite busy in the morning and don’t usually have time to prepare anything overcomplicated. I have also stated that I do indeed eat a lot of bread as it’s the easiest to just grab a sandwich and devour it on the go. I have also stated that I love SYMBIO muesli pack and I provided her with content list, which if you are interested I can e-mail to you. At that time muesli was my life saviour as I constantly worked and it took me 2 minutes to simply add yoghurt and enjoy my meal. At first I hated it as it does tasty quite like a park bench, but with time I got used to it and then couldn’t live without it. 

Second breakfast

Rye bread 60 g (2 slices) + protein supplement (slice of ham, fish, slice of white cheese, slice of yellow cheese, half an egg) 20 g + fat 5 g + vegetables

Milk/dairy product 150-180 ml (small package) + cereals 10 g (table spoon of oatmeal or 2 spoons of wheat bran + dried fruit 40 g which can be changed to 20 g of nuts or seeds.

Cottage cheese/kefir/buttermilk 200-250 g (small package) + rye bread 30 g (1 slice) + vegetables

Lunch

Groats, rice – 3 spoons of dried product/pasta 60 g or potatoes 260 g (3 pieces) + protein supplement (poultry/fish: codfish, trout, pollock) 250 g or pork/beef 180 or other fish: salmon, halibut, mackerel 120 g or camembert 70 g or mozzarella 80 g (white mozzarella), or feta 100 g or eggs 150 g (two big eggs) or 180 g of tofu or 50 g of lentils, beans, peas or 100 g of canned legumins + vegetables + fat 10 g.

Pasta (2 glasses) 120 g + half of protein supplement from the previous section + vegetables + fat 10 g.

Snack

Fruit 250 g (if banana 125 g, if grapes 200 g), can be exchanged to 40 g of dried fruit or 20 g of nuts or seeds + milk/dairy product 250 g

Rye bread 60 g (2 slices) or 40 g of groats/rice/pasta or 180 g of potatoes + protein supplement (cheese 1/3 of a brick/ 3 slices of ham/fish/2 small eggs) 80 g or mozzarella 80 g or feta cheese 40 g + fat 5 g + vegetables. If sandwich with yellow cheese then: rye bread 60 g (2 slices) + protein supplement (2 slices of yellow cheese) 40 g + 5 g of fat + vegetables. 

A ball of fresh grapes

I was also sent some information about what to eat before and after training. My entire diet has been based on the fact that I do indeed walk a lot, but I don’t enjoy training that much. She has stated the diet will provide around 1700 kcal a day, which is sufficient deficit for me to loose weight. Just while editing this post I realized I forgot to mention most important issues: no added sugar, no alcohol, no chips and processed foods. 

Unfortunatelly, as I didn’t see immediate results (and quite frankly I was a little spooked by all the weighing and limitations) I quit my diet rather quickly. With New Year starting I figured maybe I could go back to giving it a try as I am nearing 30 and am still a pumpkin. 

What are your thoughts about this diet?

Do you see anything that could help me bear with it? What was your experience with dietitians? Maybe there are some tips you could give me? Share them in the comment section below. 

Advertisements

5 things I learned from one year of blogging

To be frank, I can’t believe it has been a year already. I remember vividly as I was setting up my blog on WordPress and how ecstatic I have been about choosing the most appropriate theme, layout and writing my first blog post. I posted a very simple introduction, saying hello to the world in a computer programming manner. Oh boy, have I been overly tacky. For a year now I have been blogging about anything from lifestyle, sports, travel, tips and hints and of course beauty. I might not have achieved a tremendous online success with my blog, but I have learned multiple things that might help you achieve yours. So get comfortable, because that’s going to be a one long post.

Reasons for setting up your blog

Let me start with elaborating on one of the most important things you should consider before starting-up your blog. Why do you want to become a blogger or why are you one? Do you want to share your inner thoughts? Do you want to have a personal outlet for your creativity? Was it always your dream to become a writer, but you never had a chance to try? Do you think it will make you famous and get numerous PR packages? When I first started, I have been right in the middle of preparation for an important exam. I needed something to distract me from constant studying and I have decided blogging would be a perfect solution. I believe now that I set up this blog for a wrong reason entirely. This was one of the factors influencing my ‘on and off’ involvement with it.

It was too much of a flash in the pan straight from the beginning. Only recently have I been really involved in working on the blog and perfecting my blogging skills. Hence, before you dive into blogging make sure you know exactly why you want to blog. My reason now is very simple; I simply enjoy writing down my thoughts and interacting with readers and other bloggers.

Blogging is hard work

You’d think blogging is simply typing for several minutes and inserting fancy photographs of flowers and your MacBook with a cup of coffee. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Writing takes a lot of time, research, choosing appropriate layouts, checking spelling and how well your post goes through search engines. Taking photographs for the blog takes ages, I’m not even exaggerating, ages. To set a perfect scene, make sure it’s correctly lit, everything is in the right position takes time, that you might not necessarily have while starting your blogging adventure. Keeping up with comments and interacting with other bloggers is time consuming as well and requires a lot of effort.

1. Don’t take shortcuts

At the beginning of my blogging adventure I tried to figure out who I want to become online. The Internet gives us unlimited possibilities of evolving and becoming anything we want. I have to admit I have taken several shortcuts that I thought would make my blog more viewable and… from lack of a better word, popular? I wanted all the splendour all successful bloggers have and I did write several (quite literally seven tops) comments like: “great post, visit me here” and I still feel ashamed. Can’t even describe how much I hate this kind of attitude. I learned that while taking shortcuts like that I start disliking blogging, instead of loving it even more. So I vowed to never ever take shortcuts. If it takes years to gain loyal readers that love my content – so be it, I can wait.

2. You don’t need fancy equipment

Before I started blogging, I used to think you need a MacBook PRO, newest iPhone, Canon digital camera and a spotless, modern house filled with fancy decor. I thought that only having all of that I’d be able to run my blog the way I wanted. That I could succeed if and only if I presented my blog in the exact same way that successful bloggers do. Right now, after an entire year of blogging, I know, that what you need is a simple phone and a computer. That’s it and it doesn’t have to be an Apple product 😉 I have started my blog on an old Samsung laptop I purchased in 2013 and an HTC u11 phone and hey, I’m doing just fine!

WordPress congratulations message

3. Write from the bottom of your heart

Another common misconception I used to believe was that you have to write what your readers want to read. That the fact I’m getting most likes and views on travelling posts means I have to focus primarily on just that. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If I did that I don’t think I would’ve kept blogging. I would be discouraged and unhappy. I didn’t start my blog to keep writing about the same, small niche. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s possible to find a niche anymore. And if it is, I’m not sure I want to find my own. I want to write about anything I feel like at that moment and not focus on what others feel I should. Don’t get lost in all the likes, followers and views and simply write about anything you want.

4. Don’t loose yourself in blogging

At times it’s difficult to keep up with work, studies, personal life and blogging. There were several instances I stayed up late just to schedule a post (and I’ve only published maybe 5% of the ones I’ve written) and I cancelled posting because I felt it wasn’t good enough. I have rewritten that particular post 43 times and it still didn’t get published. I learned that sometimes you have to ditch the perfectionism and published what you wrote even if it’s not perfect. Don’t loose yourself in an endless loop of improvement and simply open up. This thought process has helped me accept that my posts will never be perfect and publish more often. You can find the post I’m talking about here.

5. Caring too much about SEO

I have used Yoast SEO plug-in for several months now and I’ve been stressing about SEO ever since. For some reason getting two smiley faces on each of my posts has become an obsession of mine. Quite honestly, it’s become my nightmare. I have never put much effort into my blog being overly popular and searched on Google, but I decided to try it out and I’m greatly disappointed. Not in the plug-in itself, it works perfectly well and has improved my results, but it also got me into a vicious circle of constantly improving my posts so that they perform better in SEO. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter how well your blog posts can be searched online if you end up hating blogging.

Blogging tips that I learned from successful bloggers

There is no reason I should re-write things other bloggers already covered, so instead I’m going to suggest reading the following posts by one of my favourite bloggers Carly the Prepster:

I think she gave an in-depth description of everything she learned during her decade long blogging journey. Also, she has a YouTube post about that as well and I suggest you watch it, if blogging tips is something you’re exceptionally interested in.

And what do you think most important tips are? What did you learn? What your hopes are?

 

 

Mountain biking 101: the basics

How to start mountain biking?

If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know I got seriously hooked on mountain biking. It all started, as most of my stories, with my boyfriend, who used to bike very often when he was younger. I was not overly keen on trying, as you might imagine, as I come from an area so flat highest hill I had to ride my bike onto was probably the driveway to my garage. Also, it seemed exhausting and I’m not in the best of shapes. Riding up a hill, descending on a steep slope – well, that was not for me. Plus, I didn’t even have a bike. Nevertheless, a while ago, my boyfriend finally convinced me to go to Bieszczady Mountains for a biking trip.  If you follow my blog you probably already know how much I love this place, you can read about my adventures there here and here.

A picture of a bike on a grassland in the mountains.

I started my journey with a basic question; what do I need to start? I ended up missing a rather important piece of a puzzle; a bike. Choosing a perfect mountain bike is not easy, actually it’s so complex I left it altogether to my boyfriend, who did an amazing job of researching most optimal bike for me. You can check out my bike here.

Choosing a perfect mountain bike is not easy

My boyfriend is a very detail-oriented and thorough person. He started by a step-by-step interview with me of what exactly I wanted from my new bike.

Mountain bike types

Before we purchase a bike we have to answer a very important question where and how we want to use it. With current technological and cultural development of mountain biking we encounter numerous opition to pick from; recreation biking, stunt cross-country riding for faster riders, stunt-jumping riding and even downhill. For me, the decision was rather easy and without question I chose a bike dedicated for calm, recreational riding.

Price

Like with everything price is one of the main factors in picking a bike. Price span of mountain bikes vary from couple of hundered to thousands of Euro. If you want reliable bike that won’t break on the first trip my advice would be not to go for the cheapest option. For my budget (if you’re interested I can show you just how I gather all that cash in less than 3 months) I decided to spend 450 Euro.

The frame

One of the most important factors while picking a bike is definitely size of the frame. It is probably the only part of the bike you will not change in time, so it has to be perfectly adjusted to our size and weight. For recreational mountain biking frame is designed in a way, that enables calmer, more comfortable ride. Taking into account information written on the producers page I have chosen size M (I’m 168 cm), or 17” (producers sometimes use different sizing system).

A bad day on a mountain bike always beats a good day in the office

For a budget that I had choice of gears was not tremendous. It is always a good tip to purchase Shimano gears from the classified group, for example Tourney model. Another, for me probably the most important factor was how the bike looked. I loved it’s slim line (and no, Kross didn’t sponsor this post ;), colours and how dangerous it looks.

Where to purchase?

You can buy your bike at a stationary shop or online. For me it was important to purchase mine at a local Kross dealership. It was extremely convenient for me as the seller callibrated my bike before I went for my first trail. If you want to buy your bike on the Internet be careful: online shops sell bikes in parts for assembling! Also, before I purchased my bike I took a very detailed look at all the parts and since I found a single scratch on the front gear I got 5% discount for everything I purchased that day. Also, be aware of servicing your bike – mountain bikes require check-ups and it’s quite difficult to send your bike via post.

Start with the equipment

Mountain biking requires some preparation for better performance and general safety. My advice? Get the following equipment:

    • Helmet – a crucial tool for a safe journey. Make sure your helmet is correctly positioned and set – it should cover not only the top of your head, but also a part of the forehead,
    •  Gloves – fingerless gloves for less friction. You definitely don’t want to get blisters!
    •  Cycling shorts – don’t ever hop on a bike without the shorts! Purchase the ones that have a built-in pad that offers a long lasting seat comfort on the bike. Trust me, you’ll thank me 😉
  •  A backpack – for you to carry necessary equipments; a bottle of water, snacks, bike pump etc.

Rules to live by while riding a mountain bike

You’re all set now and have everything you need, except experience. The main thing I had to learn is simply not to be afraid of steep slopes. I was terrified I was going to break my neck, so a break was in use almost all the time. Going uphill suddenly seemed like a piece of cake. What I learned is that it’s vital to remember to use correct breaks – my advice? – improvise and with time rely on your instincts and experience. Generally, the more the bike is loaded, the stronger the breaks are. If you’re breaking while going downhill, be careful about using a front break – you might fly over the handlebars! For beginners I advice to try the breaks (with both hands) on a flat surface first and then descending on a small hill to gain experience.

Use appropriate gears!

There is a rule I learned during my trip to Bieszczady recently – if you’re going uphill and your front gear is set on low (first chainring) make sure to not set rear gear too low or too high. Optimally, back gear should be positioned on, more or less, 4, 5 or 6th sprocket for first chainring. The optimal rear gear position for position 2 of front gear is anything from 1-8. Optimal position of back gear for position 3 of front gear is 1, 2 and 3. I made a mistake of going uphill with lowest possible gears and my bike only squeaked in pain. Make sure to adjust your gears properly.

Remember, that number of sprockets and chainrings differ in each bike!

Choosing appropriate bike gears.

Trail etiquette

There are several rules you have to follow while embarking on a route;

    • The most important rule there is in the mountains in general is “leave no trace”.  Don’t ever leave garbage, don’t go where the path doesn’t lead you. Make sure not to destroy nature (by carving your name into a tree or picking flowers). Leave each place you go to like you’ve never been there, unless it requires cleaning,
    •  be polite – say hi to everyone on the trail, offer assistance if you see someone who needs help, one day it might be you,
  • be careful while riding on the streets (your path might lead through several kilometers of regular road), ride along the curve, don’t stop abruptly, have lights on at all times. Mountain biking can be dangerous, so be cautious.

Riding a bike on streets

Don’t be afraid and enjoy yourself!

I was very much afraid of enjoying myself on a bike. Quite frankly, not only was I freaked out about steep slopes, I was also very aware of every single loose stone on the trail. Only when I gained some experience and got to know my bike and how it tics I finally started having fun. I advise you to take things slowly and simply allow your skills to lead you down the mountain bike path 😉

Have you ever tried mountain biking? Let me know how it went! If you’re planning to start I hope my tips are going to make things much easier!