Foodie talks

That incredibly sad moment when you grab the wrong lunch box in the fridge. This

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was meant to be cauliflower-crust pizza. Yes, I was very sad.

Prepare yourself for a little bit of a food ramble. My life is hectic, I swear every hour of my day is booked, and I have now had to skip a day of uni to be able to catch up with uni assignments – oh the irony.

Anyway, when life is so hectic that you pass out at 9.15 on a Saturday night, all you can do is cherish your body (yes, pun intended). I may not have the time to cook healthy food for hours each day, so I make sure that I stock up on fresh produce, lean protein and fruit when I actually have some spare time. The dishes created might not have a name, come from a recipe or even be remotely exciting. But it is healthy, it provides my body with energy, and most importantly – it never EVER comes from a can, a box, a frozen package or a fast-food place. Cook your own food, know what you eat – stay healthy. It is as simple as that.

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Try reading the label of a can of iced tea, should only contain tea and water/ice cubes – guaranteed that the list of ingredients exceeds that, and it will be packed with sugar. What about a box of pre-made guacamole? For sure more than just avocado, lime, garlic and coriander. Or a can of tomato soup? High in sodium, high in sugar, high in preservatives – and very low in nutritional value and vitamins. Making your own soup takes about 10 minutes, search the internet, suck it up – and do it.

I normally never buy bread or crisp bread, but for the occasion of a tapas-night, I had to. Spent 30 minutes reading labels, trying to find a gluten-free bread with as little ingredients as possible, and boy was I surprised – the manufacturers add so much crap to bread! Most of us have tried baking our own bread, and we all know that there is no need to add apple juice or preservative A, B and C, to make a healthy bread. Just keep in mind that the food might not be healthy, just because it is labeled gluten-free, sugar-free and fat-free. Something else has usually been used to substitute those ingredients.

It is also fully possible to have a completely healthy girl’s night in (okay maybe ignore the chips and the crackers, remember; no one is telling you that you have to eat the bad food on the table).

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Because I very rarely eat carbs like quinoa, rice, couscous, and bread, this night may have made me look slightly pregnant

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On the note of preservatives. I’ve been testing pre-workouts due to my lack of energy in the gym. Bad idea. Pre-workouts are often added ingredients that no one should ever put in their bodies. Pre-workouts are, in fact, banned in Norway. (And so is any candy that is coloured blue, but that is another story). Let me demonstrate

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These pictures don’t even justify what happened to me, or what I looked like. Already in the car (10 minutes after I drank it), I told my boyfriend that my heart was hurting, and I kept scratching my skin. Got to the gym, looked in the mirror, and my skin was covered in massive red patches, and I was all flustered and dizzy. Also had pins and needles in pretty much every limb of my body. Even though it made me look like this at the end of my workout

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And let me burn this many calories

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I just don’t think it was worth it. No more pre-workout for this little Norwegian.

I’ve had a few days where I’ve either forgotten to bring dinner to work, or been too lazy

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The important thing is to note that this does not happen often, I dare say that 3 out of 4 weeks are close to perfect when it comes to my food.

I am a blog-nerd, and I’ve been reading health and fitness blogs for years, but it is not until I realized that the food and suggestions that they posted to their blog was what they ate all the time, that I understood how I could change my own lifestyle. I can’t remember the last time I ate ‘normal’ pasta, pizza or burgers, or the last time I had anything canned (as in meals, I use canned tomatoes, beans etc) because that’s just no longer a part of who I am.

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I went to Yong Green Food on Brunswick St this weekend, and had this healthy little gem

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No bad ingredients, no allergens. Happy Marita. Everything on their menu is healthy (and cheap), so I suggest anyone who has the chance heads there ASAP.

I often get asked about protein bars, supplements, protein shakes etc. My only advice is; buy the ones with as little ingredients and sugar as possible. Nothing that the supermarket sells! The only protein bar I can personally approve of is the Quest bars (you can get them from iherb.com, or a couple of health food stores in Melbourne), as they never leave me bloated or feeling sick. But remember, this is still a chocolate. 200 calories – about 20 minutes on the treadmill. If you are trying to lose weight, consider where you want to get those 200 calories from, what’s going to fill you up the most?

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Favourite flavors; white chocolate raspberry, double choc chunk brownie and cookies and cream.

My client, Julijana, has started mocking the ‘just do your repetitions’ face that I give all my clients when they don’t want to do what I’m telling them to

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As if you wouldn’t do another set of squats to that face.

I’ve also made a Facebook page for this blog to make it easier to keep up with posts and motivation for you guys 🙂

Should you not be sick of my endless writing yet, have a look at my article about Personal Training here.

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The awkward moment when your girlfriend eats as much as you do

Yeah, it happens. A typical Sunday morning in my life; “I’ll have the veggie breakfast with gluten free bread.. Oh, and can I have an extra side of avocado and bacon?” Then the boyfriend will follow up with a casual “yeah I’ll have the same”.
I always choose the vegetarian breakfast and add either an extra egg or chorizo/bacon (not healthy, I know), because the vegetarian breakfast always comes with the most interesting sides.
If anyone was under the impression that I don’t eat, try again. The other day my boyfriend even said I had to practice portion control… Yeah I don’t think so.
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I’m pretty much always on my feet, and I will eat accordingly. So should everyone else, if all you do is sit still – don’t eat half your kitchen for dinner, plan your bigger meals for after your workout, and Jesus Christ please go for a walk now and then.

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I was so happy with myself for smashing out over 400 calories doing cardio this week, until I bought the boyfriend a Polar Loop (it’s genius, everyone should have one, it counts your steps, calories etc), and watched how he burnt over 1000 calories doing a chest workout. No wonder guys eat all the time.

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Went for a run last weekend, fell over, and pulled a quad-muscle. It sucked, and I therefore decided to rest for a week. Learning to listen to the body, rather than pushing it. Resting does not mean sitting on the couch for a week, but rather resting actively by going for walks and getting some cardio done.

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Anyway, my newest obsession is chia pudding. Chia seeds are high in fibre, protein, omega-3 and omega-6, and probably the only superfood I will ever buy into (spirulina is literally the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth). 100g of chia seeds, a can of coconut milk, raw cocoa, cinnamon and raw honey. Mix and put it in the fridge for 30 min.

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And lastly, a little update on what goes on at work these days.

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Yeah, my life is pretty damn cool.

Potato, rice or pasta?

Every time I have a consultation with a new client I’m told that they’ve quit eating potatoes. Then they look at me, proudly, expecting me to praise them. So you don’t eat potatoes anymore, yet you eat sugar and white bread? Great. 

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Then they look at me and ask if I eat potatoes. I eat potatoes almost every damn day! I do, however, not eat sugar or white processed carbohydrates every day. Why would anyone give up eating potatoes? It’s a god damn vegetable. And anything that classifies being a vegetable, goes into my body.

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Let’s compare the nutritional values of traditional carbohydrates typically found on a normal dinner plate.

White pasta – 220 calories per 100 g

White rice – 205 calories per 100 g

Whole grain pasta – 348 calories per 100 g

Whole grain rice – 180 calories per 100 g

Then, let’s look at the potato.

Normal white potato – 103 calories per 100 g

Sweet potato – 86 calories per 100 g

In other words, you can pretty much eat twice as much of the potato as what you can of rice/pasta etc. Now, I’m not saying that rice or pasta (wholegrain version) is bad, I’m just saying that I would rather choose eating  a potato. Preferably sweet potato though, as sweet potatoes actually can be considered a super-food due to it’s nutritional value and benefits – but there’s no need to shy away from the normal oh so dangerous white potato. If I can eat more of one type of food, then you can guarantee that that food will be my choice anytime.

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People are also genuinely surprised when I say that I actually enjoy eating my vegetables. When I show people the food that I eat every day, they’re like what, really – you eat THAT? Yes, I do. In fact, I quite like the way I eat. I’m barely ever bloated, I barely ever feel sick, I’m lean – and I’m happy.

When it comes to baking, however, my skills are sadly not present. Ask my ex-boyfriend from when I was 14 what my brownies look like and he’ll say yellow. Ask my friend Line what my healthy baking tastes like and she’ll say crap. Ask my housemate Lily what my buns look like, and she’ll show you this

IMG_6168Yeah, the bottom picture is my attempt….

So yeah, maybe don’t wife me up just yet.

IMG_6205Anyway, I’m still in a shit workout period where the only thing that’s actually working for me is when I’m doing legs. Upper body is just a joke right now. It might have something to do with the fact that I have to get used to exercising with food in my stomach and at other times than my preferred mornings. But I will make it work. Eventually.

Went for my first outside run in months this week and for some reason I managed to run 45 minutes straight with no break, don’t know what happened there. I do, however, know that my body was very against that run, and that I’m still in pain from it. Mission for this year is for sure to strengthen my body to feel less pain.

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Despite all my crap workouts, I’m practicing and practicing my pull-ups. Day in and day out. I’ve dropped down one resistance band, so I guess I’m veeeeeeery slowly getting somewhere. But fml, it’s so bloody hard.

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What are you exercising for?

Some Norwegian blogger has stated that anyone who exercises and eats healthy is only ever doing it for the looks. Girls to be skinny, guys to be muscly. And I can, to some extent agree. It all usually starts with the desire to look good, never really to feel better, BUT as you learn what your body is capable of and how it reacts to various types of food, I dare claim that you keep doing it because of the way it makes you feel on the inside.

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Sure, these past weeks I’ve been as little motivated as you can ever imagine, but because I’ve found a way of exercising that I like, and made it a routine, I’ve still been doing it. New after I started working is less exercise hours during the week. I no longer do 9 sessions, but 6, as the cardio I used to do during the evening has been swapped for running after my clients all day long. I know what it’s like not being able to do anything, when all you really want to is to exercise. Knees, ankles, back, shoulders – you name it, been there done that, and it sucked. 4 months of only walking because the upper body didn’t wanna co-operate, but I still got out of bed and walked. Every day. Because I like the way I feel after moving my body, and I don’t like the way I feel when I know I’ve been dodging what I’m meant to do.

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I also know what it’s like to be 15kg heavier and dreading putting on tight clothes, and I don’t ever want to go back there.

IMG_4666So yes, a part of me is exercising and eating healthy because I want to maintain what I’ve worked so hard for. But the bigger part of me is exercising and actually loving vegetables because of the way it makes me feel, all I want is a well-functioning and strong body that is injury and pain free. Sure, I’d love to be able to do pull-ups (veeeery slowly getting there), and other cool Instagramable stuff, but if that means that I’m gonna go back to not sleeping because my shoulder joints are inflamed, then no. I’ve found a balance in my life, and I like it that way. Having that said, I had 3 cheat days this weekend, so yes – it is possible to not be healthy, even for me, and I kinda freaked out, but it didn’t turn me into the Marita that I was a year ago – all it did was give me bad skin and made me feel like shit, but there’s nothing a little bit of fruit and vegetables can’t fix, right (yes, I’m joking).

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Anyway, my little sister requested a cookie recipe.

Mix 2 eggs, 1-2 ripe bananas, almond milk (other milk/water), raw honey (not necessary) and PB2 or peanut butter. Add rolled oats, baking powder, sesame seeds, chopped dried figs, almonds (or other nuts), dates, a sprinkle of sea salt, raw cocoa, chocolate protein powder, cinnamon, cardamom and ground ginger. Form the dough (it’s meant to be a bit sticky) into cookies on a baking tray, put them in the oven on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes, and voilá, soft, chewy cookies that probably won’t last more than a day because you will eat it all.

To carb, or not to carb?

So a dear friend from home asked me about carbohydrates. What should we eat? How much should we eat? When should we eat it? And not to mention, are carbs bad for you? The answer is no – carbs are great for you, you just need to choose the right type of carbs. Carbohydrates equal energy for the brain, if you deplete your body of carbs, you may risk losing brain cells – sucks, right?

As with any other food, STOP OVERCOMPLICATING THINGS. Unless you’re planning on competing in bikini fitness or other body building competitions, when you eat your carbs will not matter. The general rule is 5 g per kg of bodyweight, so I’d wanna be at about 65-68 x 5 g of carbohydrate every day. However, if you’re attempting to lower your body fat slightly, you might wanna consider lowering the amount of carbohydrate and substitute it with healthy fat and protein.

Now, there are carbohydrates in everything – so don’t think that just because you don’t eat pasta, bread and rice you’re not eating carbohydrates. People often tell me that because my body fat is low, I must be dodging the carbs. But I’m not. Let me introduce my food for the past days.

IMG_5825Okay, this is like the story of my life every day. Whoever said I have mad organizing skills – you’re right.

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On weekends, I try to have a variation of my normal breakfast (particularly if the boyfriend cooks it, or we go out for breakfast, and all I have to do is eat). Scrambled eggs with heaps of veggies, oven-roasted potatoes and some gluten-free bread (I don’t normally eat gluten-free bread, or much bread for that matter, but this one was actually ok). CARBS.

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I’m trying to learn to like the seaweed part of sushi, so we made homemade sushi-rolls stuffed with quinoa, veggies, salmon and tofu. CARBS.

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A half eaten salad at work. With oven roasted pumpkin, potato and sweet potato. CARBS.

IMG_5870This picture does not do justice at all, BUT this is probably one of the best meals I’ve had in a long long time. Kangaroo with a salad made of grilled beetroot and sweet potato, some other vegetables, brie and nuts. Carbs, carbs and more carbs.

And I do of course eat my normal oats for breakfast, eat at least 5-6 different types of fruit every day, and I’m pretty sure that counts as carbs too. So let’s conclude. Carbohydrates are not bad for you, if you eat the right type.

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Losing 10kg the healthy way

I know I’ve said that this is no weight-loss blog, but I shared these tips with my dad (on his request) and figured I could share them with you too. It’s January and there are always someone out there who’s New Years resolution is to lose x amount of kilos in a certain amount of time – usually too short time. These people normally get impatient as they don’t see results fast enough, and either end up putting more weight back on than what they initially lost or they simply give up. There is no quick-fix solution to losing weight and keeping that weight off. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it the healthy way.

  • Incidental Activity

A little hour in the gym every day equals 4% of your day, and 2% of your week, so it’s pretty obvious that what you do for the rest of the day matters in terms of what happens to your body. Incidental activity makes you live longer, and keeps your body active. Make sure you move at least 30 minutes a day. Choose the stairs, walk to the grocery store, ride a bike etc.

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  • Be aware of what you put in your mouth

It’s no secret that to lose weight, energy in must be less than energy out. This does not mean that you should starve yourself, but you need to choose the right nutrition. Lean proteins, complex carbs and plenty of fruit and vegetables is vital to feel full longer. Quit sugar and processed food that only provides empty calories, stick to food where you recognize the ingredients. Choose water when you’re thirsty and fruit when you’re craving something sweet.

  • Be a little strict

Your body is usually addicted to certain food without you being aware of it. It’s not always fun to exercise when it’s 35 degrees and sunny outside, and all you want to do is lay on the beach and eat ice cream, followed by sunset beers. But sometimes you just have to. It’s okay to say no when someone offers you unhealthy food, it’s okay to be strict and eat a banana rather than a chocolate, and it’s okay to get your act together and get your ass to the gym. It’s only a little hour of the day, and the beach will still be there when you finish.

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  • Not all at once

It doesn’t matter if you fail once in a while. You didn’t get fat from one ‘bad’ meal, and you won’t get instantly thin from eating a healthy one. You will therefore not hit rock bottom if you enjoy a chocolate now and then. Consistency is the key. Don’t let the setback make you give up, simply start again the following day.

  • Find an activity you enjoy, and do it 3 times a week

It requires once a week to maintain, twice a week to get better, and three times a week to improve and change a body. By finding something you enjoy doing, exercise will become more fun – and maybe even something you look forward to doing. Let it be ‘your time’ of the day, and appreciate the favour you’re doing your body.

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  • Small milestones

Ten kilos can seem like a scary, and extremely vague goal. Even though that is the final destination of your journey, it’s smart to set achievable milestones within that period of time. Things like fitting your jeans from last year, improving the skin, attempting to stay away from all ‘bad’ sugar for an entire month, lifting a certain amount of weight, running 5 km in less than 30 minutes etc.

  • Find a way that works for you, you’re supposed to live that way

Not everyone likes getting up at 5 to do a spin-class, and not everyone bothers doing bikram yoga five times a week. Figure out how things work for you and your habits. Food and exercise should not be something you have to hate dealing with every day. Make it a lifestyle, and it will become easier to keep the weight off.

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  •  Lift weights

Strenght training is the most efficient form of exercise in terms of toning the body and losing weight. Muscles burn fat, and the more muscles you have, the more fat you will burn. Strength training also strengthens the bones and the brain, and protects your inner organs from damage.

  • Trust the process

There will be days where things are going to go against you, and that is when you must.trust.the.process. You’re not gonna always have lost weight when doing your measurements. It is recommended to lose about 0,5kg-1kg a week to maintain the weight-loss, and it’s enough to weigh yourself every 3-5 weeks. Do measurements of your body, it’s a lot more fun to to know the results in centimeters, as weight doesn’t tell you the difference between muscles and fat.

  • Stay positive, ask for help if everything goes wrong

You can’t always do everything alone. Losing weight is a tough battle, and you might just need a support system able to handle the stuff that you’re not capable of dealing with. Get a gym partner or a personal trainer, and let these people be responsible for checking your weight and doing your measurements to avoid you becoming fanatic about it. Listen to those who are educated, listen yo your body, and should you need a break – take one. It’s easy to hit the wall a little too fast and a little too hard.

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1,5 year ago

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A few weeks ago

Who would have thought

This guy

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is my hero in life.

Anyway. This little Norwegian has been a busy bee. I’m officially a certified personal trainer, and I was expecting to sort of have to struggle around getting a job and that, but no – hired on the spot. 2014 is going to be one hell of a hectic year. Might have to see myself happy with ‘only’ 7 exercise sessions a week. Crazy how life can turn around, hey. I’ve also started writing for Sano Mag, and you can find my tips to not gain weight during the holidays here. Got some interesting articles planned for you after New Years, the body is so fascinating – you have no idea. If everyone just knew how the body is connected and communicates, there would be a lot less pain going on.

PTA Global has probably changed the way I view exercise, and I hope that I can do the same to my prospective clients. Jeez, who would have thought that the same Marita who was hating on daddy for taking her exercising as a kid, would be so excited to work with.. exercise?

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Amongst many things, I’ve learnt self-myofascial release aka foam rolling properly – and boy does it hurt. The first time I did it, I actually felt physically sick, as in I had to take a break, sit down and breathe while slowly drinking cold water to avoid throwing up. Lots of toxins and tense muscles going on in this body? Yeah, I think so too. Let’s just say that my definition of pain in the muscles changed after I’d foam rolled my adductors (inside of thighs) and quads (front thighs), and the importance of breathing properly definitely struck my mind as I was going through that painful phase.

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Having finally finished my PT stuff, I was so tired and exhausted that all I could do was get a massage and sleep for an entire weekend. I am one of those people who underestimates rest (I always feel like I don’t have time to rest), but this week has been one crazy amazing workout-week as I took the weekend off doing absolutely nothing. Full of energy, new personal bests in pretty much everything I did, and guess what – we did my measurements and I didn’t cry this time – even though I had put on weight. I had gone up 1,5kg, but my body fat had gone down, and we all know what that means; I have put on muscle. I feel awesome, I feel stronger, and I’m so proud of myself for all the hard work I’ve put in this year – I even dare say that this is probably the fittest I’ve ever been. I actually think all you sporty-spice people out there should be proud of the investment you’ve made in your bodies and health.

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My family has this thing of sending me a little survival kit every 6 months, I always ask for only a few items, but my dad tends to go a bit overboard.

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Yeah, I tried so hard to avoid tasting anything until Sunday (which was going to be my cheat-day this week as I’m going out today), but I somehow ate a whole bag of chocolate on my own yesterday. I even tried my own trick of going for a walk to avoid the candy-cravings, but when that didn’t work – I gave in. I believe that sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. A little miss now and then isn’t doing any harm, but when that little miss becomes a miss very often.. well, then you might need to have a serious chat with your brain and convince yourself that sugar is poison and causes inflammations in your body.

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Was hanging out with my new christmas present yesterday, and I know it’s lame to admit BUT IT IS SO SO SO COOL, pretty sure I have the best dad in the world for giving me these much needed technological things. (And yes, that might be homemade gingerbread in the background, wheat, sugar and butter – all in one serving).

Okay, I was gonna do a whole speech on something, but I’ve sort of trailed off here, haven’t I? Well I’ll tell you how to make awesome chips (learnt this from my housemate Steve) and then I’ll annoy you more in 2014. Thinly slice potatoes (and I mean thinly), put them in a bowl and in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Spread them on a tray and put whatever oil/spices you want on top, and cook in the oven on 200 degrees for about 15 minutes. Pay attention though, they burn quickly.

IMG_5306(let’s not mock the masterchef skills here, and yeah I didn’t slice all of them thinly enough, but if you do slice them thinly, you will get crispy as chips – promise).

I’m spending Christmas and New Years in Sydney (and guess who’s gonna force her friends to do a little holiday bootcamp while she’s up there? heheh), and I will of course be enjoying all the traditional Christmas food and candy as much as I possibly can (without feeling too sick, I hope), but my body functions better when it is fed vegetables and fruit too.

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Let’s aim for a healthy 2014 too, you guys!