Tag Archives: Netherlands

My Pledge

Amsterdam Memories

Amsterdam was everything I dreamed it would be, of course.  I’m just glad that Blayne fell in love with my favourite place in the world as much as I hoped he would.  He can now also back me up on my bold statement of eating the best fries in the world.  We were extremely lucky with the weather, not a single drop of rain and gloriously hot and sunny.  Perfect!  We didn’t get round to hiring bikes in the end; there were so many people in the city for gay pride that navigating around the city by bicycle seemed to be proving difficult for tourists and locals alike, but we walked for miles and miles, only jumping onto a tram once throughout the whole trip so that we were on time to meet a friend.  We met up with most of my friends, Blayne finally got to put faces to the tales I had been telling him and everyone got on so well – the whole trip could not have been more perfect, well, apart from having to come back.

So, it’s back to England and back to commuting to London for me.  This morning I couldn’t help but compare it to Amsterdam (as I have done so often since moving back from Amsterdam, two years ago).  Everyone is in a rush in London.  Everyone has somewhere they need to be, like, yesterday.  The cars drive faster, even the bikes cycle faster.  Amsterdam is so much more relaxed and easy going…*sigh*…

Anyway, enough nostalgia for the time being.  So, as with every holiday I go on, I managed to come home with a few extra lbs.  But I don’t dwell on it.  You just have to get back into your routine.  9 times out of 10 it’s just water weight that I put on, purely down the fact that I drink a little lot more alcohol than I would normally, and far too little water.  Naughty.  Very naughty.  I also found myself reading a very insightful book that got my thinking about what I’m actually fuelling my body with.  During my weight loss journey I toyed with a vegan diet for a while, but I went about it all wrong.  I ended up living off of fruit and vegan junk food, and got sick.  I hadn’t eaten meat for a while before trying a vegan diet but I certainly didn’t go back to eating meat.  I also stuck with soya/almond milk but I did start eating fish, eggs and other dairy products again.  So, after reading aforementioned book, which promotes a healthy nutritious diet, free from animal products and full of whole foods, fruits and veggies, along with providing some great meal plans, I was inspired to give a vegan diet another shot.  But I’ve done it properly this time.

The Vegan Society explains a vegan diet with the following diagram:

 

 Their website is a fantastic resource for helping you with the transition into a vegan diet.  You can also take a vegan pledge.  So, yesterday I made my pledge.  A 30 day pledge to eat only vegan.  You can also choice to be assigned a mentor who will offer you guidance throughout your pledge.  My pledge starts from today and I’m incredibly excited.  I have prepared a basic meal plan for today, using the ingredients I already had at home, which I will post in picture form tomorrow.  Today will mainly see me searching through Pinterest for exciting new recipes and ideas and writing a shopping list for the weekend.

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Holiday Prep

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Bright and early Friday morning The Boy and I are heading to Amsterdam to spend the weekend.  To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century.  I spent 2 and a half years living in Amsterdam and it is my favourite place in the world, so far.  Everything about the city enchants me.  The people, the culture, the history, the sights, everything.  The Boy has never been, so I’m looking forward to playing tour guide and can’t wait to introduce him to my friends.  It’s also Gay Pride weekend, and the weather is supposed to be scorching, so it’ll be a great weekend for him to see it for the first time.  Amsterdam embraces the weekend fully and what with the party atmosphere in the streets, parties on the boats and the canal parade, he is in for a treat!

Now obviously, no matter if I’m heading off for a beach holiday for two weeks or a weekend break to a beautiful city, I always amp up the workouts and pay a bit of extra attention to what I feed my body in the run up to it and I’m sure most people are the same.  Let’s face it, we all want to be looking and feeling our best when we are on holiday right?!  Also, when it comes to being on holiday I always end up relaxing slightly and always eat maybe a little more than I would normally but that’s what it’s all about for me.  Embracing the culture and trying everything the country/city has to offer.  Plus, Amsterdam has THE BEST FRIES I have ever had and with 20 different sauces available, I will certainly be indulging

So, while daydreaming of falling into a Netherland Fry coma I’ve been hitting the gym for some extra Zumba classes and pushing myself a little further on the treadmill, as well as throwing in a couple of extra sessions of weight and strength training.  Food during this time has been basic and nourishing; lots of fresh salads with plenty of protein in the form of fish and, of course, drinking plenty of water and green tea.

The best way to see Amsterdam is on foot, or bicycle (and also a fantastic way to burn off those fries!).  Biking in Amsterdam is fun and easy – the city is so flat and bike paths are everywhere.  Renting a bicycle is easy and cheap, it’s one of the most used modes of transport and everywhere you look there will be someone on a bike so if you do intend to get involved, I’d recommend reading these Amsterdam biking hints and tips before you get going.

So, here’s to a great weekend, full of fun, friends, culture and, of course, fries!