About Sissel Henriette

Outgoing optimist trying to learn more about the world...including creating my own blog. My blog will be about travel, interior design, digital media and things that inspire me and whats on my mind when I live, work and travel in Asia and Europe. Feedback appreciated!

My 100 days healthy challenge – the result?

I did it!! Feeling better, looking fresher, lost 4,3 kg since the start of my 100 days healthy challenge! And I’m far more active!

It’s the start of a lifestyle change and I’ve learned a lot! I ended my 100 days challenge at a Yoga & Detox retreat at Koh Samui, the Absolute Sanctuary. I’m learning new things about my health, body and mind!

Eat Lean and Green – getting into healthy vegetarian, raw foods and ecological eating!

I have done a lot of fresh juices, salads and eating lean dinners. But only when I focus on this and log all my foods its truly helping and Im also dedicated to continue. I’ve been logging my food most days, and getting to know better what I put in my mouth and whats good and not good for me. The MyFitness app helps me tracking what I eat and also how healthy it is.

I ended my 100 days healthy challenge at the Absolute Sanctuary resort in Koh Samui, and it was indeed a steep learning curve there as well. I signed up for a 3 days detox program including raw food and juice menu as well as colonic therapy. I have also been introduced to the difference between the vegetable juices versus the fruit juices, and I can see I need to cut down on all the fruits Im consuming. I have also enjoyed fantastic raw foods menus and love the different vegetable dishes possible to make out of the same vegetables to give it flavour and variation. Im not really cooking, so this will be my next thing to dive into learning how to cook (cut and blend) raw food meals going forward. For the first time I have also stocked up with quinoa, chia seeds and organic fermented milk and yoghurt as well as organic honey. I have learned about water and the Ph values to be above 7, and that the water we are drinking here in Asia is full of fluor and that our bodies have a lot of waste we don’t even know we are getting from regular eating and drinking.

I know I eat way too much salt and salty foods (I love also salty liquorice which is for sure not a healthy habit!). I need to drink a lot more water and its not a sin to drink coffee as long as its the good coffee!

And with all the healthy foods I did not get hungry one time, and I didn’t miss any wine during my stay for 9 days at the Absolute Sanctuary.

Here is what I have typically been eating:

  • Breakfast: espresso coffee with milk, yoghurt (greek type, now replaced with organic natural yoghurt) with blueberries and a couple of spoons with granola or muesli. Fresh fruit juice, either carrot, beetroot or I put frozen blueberries in my mixer.
  • Snacks time: in the office I continue my coffee intake, at least 2 cups with milk
  • Lunch: salads, mostly with chicken and variation of vegetables. Have fallen in love with a veggie restaurant here in Bangkok serving good raw food salads (beetroot, carrot, avocado etc) as well as tasty vegetarian dishes.
  • Afternoon snack: sometimes fruits, nuts, and coffee, but trying to replace with green tea. Or another yoghurt (this one not so healthy one!)
  • Dinner: I have cooked vegetables and also pan fried veggies. I love omelettes and have made 2 egg omelettes as a typical dinner. Also sometimes a kale or other vegetable or fruit juice. Depending if I need something prior to training.

I have managed to be under my calorie goal most of the days, but when I travel Im above this immediately, and whenever there is a meal with wine, its of course not below calorie goal. I have set my goal to be 1450 kcal as I’ve been active during this period. I have also given myself treats, and when I have done so, made sure its what I really craving for or its good quality treats!

Exercising – Active lifestyle – Running, Yoga and so on

My previous blog post on this revealed my challenge on regular workouts and getting into routine I was during February and March dedicated to get back on track with my training. The easiest was to challenge myself to go running in the park nearby my house. I live in Bangkok and its pretty hot outside, but I have been doing this on a regular basis after work, and after 6-7 pm there is no sun and its been OK to run outdoors. I have been running around 45 minutes up to an hour. I have mixed between 6-10 km and between interval versus jogging in the same pace. I compete with myself and I use both my MyFitnessRun app on my phone as well as my Apple Watch.

I have set a target to be active 30 minutes per day. This is difficult in a city where we dont walk so much, hence I have tried to take the last phone calls (work related) also sometimes while starting my running rounds just walking and talking. This has also added up to my step counts, and I have been during March quite good at meeting my 10.000 steps per day mark. I never managed to get to my yoga center and start with pilates, and only went for running during this time.

I managed to get away for a weeks time at the Absolute Sanctuary resort in Koh Samui with a single purpose of getting into Yoga on a regular base and to have a healthy quiet week. I signed up to the free flow of yoga sessions and managed to have at least 2 sessions per day. One in the morning, if not 2 at specific days, and also got back to HOT yoga (bikram yoga)  in the evening. This was fantastic, and I realised how stiff my body is and also how some of my back and shoulder was really not flexible due to a lot of mental stress. I have now been working on this and my shoulder is not in my ear anymore and I feel relaxed and also know what I need to work on.

Pilates was also one of my challenges, and I have till date only had 4 sessions of it. I have now signed up for a 2 months yoga and pilates package and I will give it a try to see how this would work for me. Two things I believe important now is also to find a way to strengthen core muscles, and not only go for weight training, and find something that makes it a habit! I believe pilates with a reformer is one such for of training that could be something for me. I have been promised that if I give it 10 times (of course not one every week!) I would see immediate results! To be continued then…

Last thing I have also been swimming a bit and I feel this is something I ought to do more of!

Alcohol consumption

I was not able to cut alcohol to zero during these months. I manage maybe 3-4 weeks in January and also 2-3 weeks in March and April. I ‘m a social drinker and would rather pace myself and have moderate consumption of wine and drinks. I enjoy a glass of wine and I will only do this when in good company. I’ve also been choosing sparkling water over drinks, but making sure that when I have a glass of wine that my thirst is first satisfied with water!  I dont think alcohol is a big problem for me and that some wine or bubbles doesn’t hurt. I liked the Absolute Sanctuary no alcohol policy, and when its not available at a resort like this, I didn’t miss it either. A shot of wheat grass and a beautiful fruit juice is not bad at all!

Sleeping Habits

I have been going to bed earlier and I have been tracking my sleeping regularly. Its important to get ready for bed in due time, switch of all electronic devices and try to read a book. I slept like a baby and went early to bed during my vacation, and I love it when I can have a good 8 hours sleep and get up early in the morning. To do so I need to change my night owl habits and get into the sheets around 22.30 latest. Thats maybe 1,5 hours earlier than my regular habit, and this is something Im still working on. Lovely mornings if I could do like in Koh Samui getting up at 6.30 am and of for a lovely morning swim before meditation session and then yoga…  not there yet I’m afraid!

I know meditation can be a help, but I find it still difficult for me to focus on “nothing” for 30 minutes. My thoughts are constantly drifting. This might be something I need to learn more about. I will for sure use some of the breathing techniques I have learned to get into a good and relaxed mode when shutting my eyes.

So the final conclusion?

This is what I said I will do:

  • be active at least 30 minutes per day 
  • eat lean and green – lots of veggies and also some berries and fruits
  • cut carbs, sugar and zero alcohol 
  • get into yoga and pilates (newbie) and running
  • create better sleeping habit 

This is what I’m doing and will continue doing

  • Be active at least 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week
  • Eat lean and green – I will learn more about raw foods, ecological foods, natural foods for good digestion – I feel I’ve just started! 
  • I’m cutting carbs, sugar… but not zero alcohol – I will continue to drink bubbles, nice wine and have a drink if out with friends – moderate consumption
  • Get into yoga and pilates (newbie) and running – I will make use of my new AbsoluteYoga pass, get into the 10 times of pilates to see how this is for me! I will continue with Yoga on a regular basis
  • Create better sleeping habit – I was in bed by 22 hours while in Koh Samui. I just loved it. I need 8 hours sleep and need to get to bed earlier to turn down my head and body. Perhaps make more use of meditation techniques… but most importantly, go to bead earlier, not watch TV series late and switch of all the devices!!! 

So, whats my next goal?

Weight target:

According to the physician at the Absolute Sanctuary I should weigh 62 kg, and that balance measured 64,6 kg, so another 2,6 kg to go… and during March I had a general check up at Samitivej Hospital, where they suggested 60 kg is my target. I still have body fats and not there yet, but I will continue mostly with my eat lean and green and activity goals. The weight is just a balance…

Getting into my wardrobe:

I have finally been able to get into old jeans and trousers, and I have tried on a few dresses and skirts that now feel very comfortable that I couldn’t wear before. I’m still struggling to get into a couple of really great garments that i have and when thats done (I will reach that!) I will post a photo of the renewed me!

Get energised:

I would make sure that I do things for myself that gives me energy, and not draining me. Spend time with people who are great and inspirational. I will have a healthy lifestyle that gives me that extra to contribute to others and being part of my own community. I will look for creative inspiration along with a healthier lifestyle!

Life style, body mind balance:

With my activity level I feel also a better work – life balance and that I gain energy and have a lot more to offer. I feel mentally stronger and I need it to go on! So, my body mind balance is still in its early phase so I need to get the routine going…

Dear reader, whomever you are…Would love to hear from you and share learnings, particularly on exercising routines and healthy eating! How to change lifestyle, body mind balance! 

 

100 days healthy challenge – the first month

Yes! Minus 1,9 kilo the first month! 🙂

I’ve now passed 1/3 of my 100 days healthy challenge. My results so far is first and foremost a lighter body weight! For the first time in many years Im now below 65 kilos, and that happened on the 31st of January that I could measure 64,5 kilos on my balance.

imageEating lean and green – calorie reduction quite easy if you focus

I’ve been eating very lean and green, and i’ve kept myself from most starch, been very easy on all rice, pastas and noodles. The difficult part is when having meals with friends and colleagues, to make sure there are plenty of veggies available, eat lighter meat and not the heavy fried stuff. For breakfast I have been focusing on berry or vegetable smoothies, without any milk or banana. For lunch I’ve settled mostly for a lighter salad, mostly chicken salads. Dinner has been meals with salads, vegetables, and mostly a piece of chicken or fish / seafood. My craving for anything sweet or savoury at night has been tamed with fruits and also various teas. During this period I have been traveling a lot and the biggest challenge is when eating either in restaurants or in airports or onboard a flight to secure a healthier option. I have managed to pace myself when there have been lesser of a healthy option to make sure that Im not going back to the previous eating habits. During my first 30 days I was traveling for business more than 18 days. I managed to eat healthy omelette and vegetables at breakfast.

No alcohol – not so easy to be 100% dry

Did not manage entire month, and had 3 days with some alcohol. The good news is that I had only one evening with more than 3 glasses of wine, and two other occasions with only 1 glass of white wine or champagne. In a social setting its truly difficult to not have a drink or glass of wine in your hand. I managed to keep it very modest, have plenty of water or sparkling water next to my wine, and only sip and enjoy the taste and not for the drink. I also ordered my first cocktail when out with friends for a nice sunset rooftop bar. It was a nice low fat drink, looked as pretty as any other fancy cocktail. I have decided to continue with a modest alcohol intake, but would for the social setting not be able to be 100% dry. I believe that 1 or 2 glasses would not make any harm.

30 minutes active per day – very difficult – no routine – my next focus

So far I have managed to be lesser active and exercise far less than I planned. This will be my true challenge for the next 30 days. I have nevertheless had my first 1 hour run during these first 30 days, but I had two rounds of nasty cold and was really physically not feeling well at all. Maybe I needed more rest, but this affected my energy level and my physical part of the 100 days challenge. I have managed to go for running when traveling, and not made traveling an excuse. That was good for me, but the plan to exercise regularly 3-4 days per week, and to be active for 30 minutes per day is still very hard. So now I’ve been only managing perhaps 1-2 times per week. This will be what I will focus on for February and March. I did not start up new Yoga and pilates classes as planned, and I have made up excuses because of having a cold. But now feeling better and this will be my challenge for the next period in my 100 days challenge.

Food logging, step counts, sleep and exercise 

I have logged most of my foods and eating habits and that has helped my choices as well as knowledge about leaner calories, nutrients and I have actually changed some of my eating habits. I can see clear changes when Im focused on lean food and the weight reduction from week to week. So food has a very big impact if you want to reduce your waist. I have managed to get into a few more pieces in my wardrobe. The challenge with food logging is prepared food. I have therefore tried to logg the ingredients and items in the dishes and added for example 2 table spoons of olive oil, sesame oil or other sauces to secure that I have a good overview what I eat. I have used MyFitnessPal, but its very hard to estimate accurate calorie counts. I have also prepared my own food, and stayed with clean food and vegetable options.

The running and activity level has all been logged with Jawbone UP2, and I have been securing that I go to bed at decent hour to secure energy and sufficient sleep. To faster get to sleep I have been reading books (not all the time!) rather than browsing social media and my smartphone.

All in all – a good start and I feel better already!

I’m dedicated for the next 30 days to be more active and also more fit!  Starting off with a run now!

Please share your own challenges and how you manage to stay active and get into a good routine for training and exercising!

 

 

100 days get healthy challenge

Started on January 1st 2016 like many others with new year resolutions getting fit, healthy and all that… Its basically about a goal of a focused approach to how I can change regular non healthy habits, hopefully get a few new better ones and how I can monitor and track this using all types of fit bits and smartphone apps so I can really see my progress…This is what I will do

  • be active at least 30 minutes per day
  • eat lean and green – lots of veggies and also some berries and fruits
  • cut carbs, sugar and zero alcohol 
  • get into yoga and pilates (newbie) and running
  • create better sleeping habit 

I will evaluate progress with Jawbone and AppleWatch tracking and will use MyFitnessPal and UP to see progress.

Why is this a challenge? I haven’t been able to create a proper weekly routine I have been able to follow for more than 2-3 weeks in a row. Therefore, instead of doing the regular new year resolution of trying hard in January only to see that it didn’t work out when approaching midsummer. I have made up tons of excuses, I travel a lot and getting little structure in daily life, and I have a lot of social and work related wining and dining… plus on top of that I have had a knee injury so that the running that used t be my waistline saver has been difficult to maintain. I had to wear flat shoes for 3 years. Thats improving now. I was treated from breast cancer in 2010 and after that never got into very regular running at least not long distance with my knee problem and hundreds of excuses. Since I got cancer and treatments my body went through some early changes and I believe that I got into menopause very early. Women dont get anything for free when the hormone changes in the body. On top of that I have last year been weighing a max of 71 kg. Thats a very depressing thing and half of my closet is full of wonderful pieces I cannot wear. I have managed to loose a few important kilos now and feeling already motivated for my own imposed challenge. My goal is to get more energy, be happier about myself, improve my training patterns and active goal on a daily basis. Overall a better healthy me in 100 days!

My 2016 challenge is on – I will make the next 100 days work for my body and mind and hopefully have some interesting learnings to share!

If you want to join me please do! IMG_4756

Beautiful scenery at Tea Plantations

Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysias tourist attractions. Ranging high over the low lands it has daytime temperatures around 23 degrees Celsius,. In this climate grows not only strawberries but tea as well. Several tea plantations and Malaysian tea brands have their home here in the Cameron Highlands.

It’s breath taking scenery with the tropical tea gardens smoothly covering the curvy hillsides. At an altitude around 1500 meters above sea level in a tropical climate the experience is fantastic.
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At the BOH plantations at Sungai Palas you can walk in the tea plantations and enjoy the ready tea at the modern architecture building with a majestic position overlooking the tea gardens.

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This interesting architecture gives an extra edge to the experience. You can also visit the factory, get an introduction to tea production process, and of course spend in the sales gallery – think I have tea for the next year ahead!
Worth visiting – great for walks and photography.

For the brave, other hilltops around can be reached, passing through tea gardens and tropical rain forest. Or drive to the station for telecoms towers where you can see everything around. I was unfortunate and had some mist covering up when I reached the summit, and claimed the tower, but it’s rainy season.

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Crystal clear water – white beaches in Malaysia

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Malaysia is a country that has some fantastic beaches that are little crowded and have fantastic clear waters! In this blog post i have uploaded some photos from the Malaysian East Coast and the area of Redang / Perhentian. Palau … Continue reading

Jawbone and me – 6 months later

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If you wonder about getting a Jawbone and UP24 or similar read this to see if you can benefit the way I have. From very bad sleeping routine and low activity I’m now heading for new six months to go one step further! Continue reading

Pangkor Laut – Private island resort with the best SPA

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Pangkor Laut is a beautiful private resort island on the west coast of Malaysia. It’s located a 3 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur and you access only by the resort hotels boat. Its a tropical hideaway with fast access from the city. … Continue reading

Angkor Wat /Siam Reap fabulous retreat Hotel De La Paix

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Hotel De La Paix – Siam Reap – good design The exterior of the Hotel De La Paix is a modest and rather discrete entry, but once into the hallway the inspiration from the architecture from the fabulous ruins of … Continue reading

Secluded and less crowded beaches in Thailand

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The beaches of Thailand are some of the main attractions… there are many… some are very crowded! This blog post show pictures from some of the more secluded and less crowded beaches I have been to – all pics by me – if you go … Continue reading

3 years in Bangkok with internet TV (OTT) only

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Its about time to take a look back and reflect over my OTT TV project and how this has affected my TV viewing pattern and habits after 3 years without cable TV.  First of all the biggest challenge has been the instable broadband … Continue reading