Make time

So I realize that the last post hit a couple of nerves, Jesus – learn to not take me too seriously. It has been requested that I do one on the Australian girls too, but I’d prefer keeping myself safe, so we’ll just skip that.

Melbourne has for some reason decided to start summer properly now that I have to spend every day inside, and with summer comes ice-cream. Blend a frozen banana, mango and white nectarine with some almond milk. Freeze. Voilá!

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Started this morning by punching my PT in the face, and when I’m reminded of the hill-sprints he makes us do, I don’t even feel bad.

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You think you’re doing great running here, but as you get half way, your legs are so heavy they barely move.

I’ve started the final process of becoming a certified PT today, and the next two weeks are absolutely crazy. 5 AM wake-ups for my workouts, PT stuff all day, then back to the gym again or other social things/inspections for a new place to live. No excuses, right? Gotta admit I’m pretty exhausted after today, but it’s only two weeks, anyone can hang in there for two weeks.

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Having such limited time at home has made me have to food prep, and I’ve had to buy broccoli.. We all know how I got so fed up with broccoli last summer that I haven’t had it since. Well, it’s back. People were even jealous of my lunch today! Little Norwegian making an impression. My point is, cooking extra food when you’re making dinner isn’t hard – you’re cooking anyway, right? Throwing together a salad, or making overnight oats if you don’t have extra dinner to spare is even easier. And if you can’t be bothered cooking properly when you get home late, scrambled eggs with turkey and vegetables really does the trick. People often overcomplicate things, but there is no magic trick to eating and being healthy. You just have to do it. Keep it simple, stupid.

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I was thoroughly amazed by two things today.

1 – the guy teaching us has 3 jobs, he gets up at 5 every morning and gets home at 9 every night, yet he was ripped and bloody fit. Sure, he probably has a very clean diet, but muscles aren’t built without exercising, which means he MAKES TIME. If it is important enough, you will find a way. 20 minutes is better than nothing.

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2 – Several ‘old’ women were there (and by ‘old’, I mean older than me and with kids, aka in their early 40’s) to learn today, and god damn it, if I look that good when I’ve given birth to and raised three kids (or at all when I grow up), I will be extremely happy with my body. First of all, when they told me their age, I literally raised my eyebrows every time. Not to mention the fact that they all had this amazing glow and whatnot to them, it almost made me excited to once having to become a grown-up. Their skin, their energy, their amazing posture. No sign of 70% of the Australian population being overweight (true story, bro) in that room, that’s for sure. They do boot camp, pull-ups, run intervals etc etc, all on top of handling a family and their own career. Respect, much?

Also, should there be some guys out there in need of some inspo related a bit more than all this girly stuff, I can recommend this guy. We went to high school together, and yes, he does go hard in the gym.

Oh, and I should probably admit that I had 3 cheat-days last week. Yeah, I still feel sick.

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Everyday is pizza day vol. 2

I probably eat more pizza than anyone in my house. I typically make it once a week, and have leftover pizza for lunch the three following days. If I could choose, I would of course be drowning it in mozzarella cheese, but a tiny bit of parmesan and goats cheese does the trick for those poor little kids out there who has to refrain from too much dairy. Anyway, some people care more about the crust than the actual content of the pizza, I’m the other way around. This pizza has a soft base (so if you’re more into the crusty kind of pizza base, I’d suggest going for the one I make with oats and eggs) and tastes amazing. It requires a little more effort, and some hanging out with your blender, but it is still quicker to make than the average unhealthy pizza. I’ve tried making a cauliflower-crust pizza once before, but I failed because I didn’t have almond flour and sort of tried using rolled oats instead. Not to mention I wasn’t even following a recipe. Didn’t go quite as well. The recipe I used this weekend is, as always, stolen from Green Kitchen Stories (they never disappoint).

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You need:

1 cauliflower
80 g ground almonds (almond flour)
1 tbsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs

I also added some fresh parsley.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Coarsely chop the cauliflower, place in food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture. Measure 700 ml / 3 cups of the cauliflower ‘rice’ and place in a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, oregano and seasoning and mix with your hands. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Use your hands to pull the dry ingredients towards the middle until everything is combined and you can shape it into a ball. It should be more loose and sticky than a traditional pizza dough. Form into a pizza base by flattening the dough with your hands. Pre-bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, prepare the pizza topping. Remove the crust from the oven. Cover it with homemade tomato sauce, and whatever topping you want, and put it back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.

My guilty pleasure/addiction the past few months has been pepperoni…. Such a sad thing to crave.

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Whenever I make tomato soup (garlic, ginger, chili, onion and some capsicum, chicken/vegetable stock, water, tomatoes and a box of canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and cinnamon), I always make sure I leave some that can be used as tomato sauce on pizza, with meatballs, on burgers, etc. Easy, healthy and cheap!

Sundays are typically my rest-days, but I like moving my body and working out. So even though you decide to take a day off bench-pressing in the gym, you might wanna consider doing something else to keep active. Of course lazy days are awesome now and then, but I love going for long walks with my incredibly random music (Justin Bieber heart heart heart) and as long as I’m not hungover, I try to start every rest-day with a long walk before breakfast. When my shoulders were inflamed and I was banned from the gym, I got out of bed and went for long walks every morning before uni. There’s always a way. In terms of walking, I’m always amazed by the people who drive to the gym, walk for an hour on the treadmill and drive back home again. Like, really? Who prefers the treadmill in a room over nature and fresh air?!?

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Thought I’d share my gym plans for the week. Now that it’s all a routine in my life, I just do it automatically, but when trying to implement something into your daily schedule, writing down what you are supposed to do really helps (list-making-freak right here).

Monday: 30 minutes of 4×4 Intervals (check, swollen ankle and massive blisters on my feet). 1 hour walk in the sun (had to buy fruit – might as well stop by the park).

Tuesday: Morning – chest/triceps, Evening – 45 minutes cross trainer (heart rate 150-160), 15 minutes abs.

Wednesday: Morning – legs, Evening – 60 minutes Body Balance.

Thursday: Morning – shoulders/back, Evening – 45 minutes cross trainer (heart rate 150-160), 15 minutes abs.

Friday: Either 1 hour of swimming or biceps/abs (I only ever bother doing biceps if I’m keen, it’s my weakest point in my gym program and there’s no point pushing through if my body is not there with me).

Saturday: Normally I’d be doing legs again, but I’ve got a group PT session booked this upcoming Saturday. Hoping I’ll crawl out of the gym after that.

Sunday: Rest rest and more rest. (I’ll probably be dead on the couch).

Now, I know it says ‘abs’ so many times here. But I’m lazy. 15-20 minutes is all I can do. And I tend to bribe someone to yell at me while I’m doing it. Tried something new this weekend; planking on a balance-board. Try it. It kills.

Obviously, things may change. Plans may change over the course of the week, that is however when you need to find a way to work around it. Class all of a sudden started early? Get out of bed an hour earlier. Have to go to a dinner in the afternoon? Do your gym session earlier. Have to be at uni almost until the class you wanna do starts? Bring gym clothes and go straight there. And it’s not the end of the world if you didn’t make it, there’s always tomorrow, make the best of it.

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Breakfast tip; two-ingredient-protein-pancakes + progress

You’ve probably already guessed that I’m no Picasso when it comes to presenting food in an appetizing manner. When I rang my little sister for her birthday last week, she was in the middle of making pancakes with her boyfriend and I had to admit to her that I have never been able to make pancakes. I can follow the recipe and they taste nice, they just never look like pancakes and they always break when I try flipping them.

Being in Norway over the European summer equaled plenty of occasions where I had to prepare and bring my own food, you know; failing to plan = planning to fail. Anyway, I stuffed around with salads, overnight oats, omelets, left-overs from dinner, etc, but one of my friends kept bringing little pancakes, and needless to say – I was jealous.

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When realizing that the ingredients were simply eggs and bananas, I was sold. It took a couple of rounds of complete failure before I managed to make anything that even slightly looked like pancakes, but I finally succeeded last weekend. Even though I am a major fan of my usual breakfast (porridge/oats w/nut-butter & fruit, and a boiled egg), changing it up now and then is nice.

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So. I smashed two bananas and two eggs, some cinnamon and cardamom in a blender, and then I added frozen blueberries (damn I miss picking blueberries for free in the forrest…). Fry them in coconut oil (gives a delicious coconut-y flavor), I realized that it was easier to make pancake-looking pancakes when frying them in smaller doses. Voilà!

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And you guys.. this abs-project is killing me. I’m trying so hard, but apparently not hard enough. I’ve almost got 1,5/6 down haha, but Jesus, I think I need to eat even cleaner and push those ab-sessions even further. God damn it. I’m not saying it is impossible, but it sure is harder when you barely eat meat. Anyway, got my measurements done today and I’ve finally gained some muscle! A tiny amount, but still – baby steps, you know. I’ve also dropped another 1% body fat. Come at me cheat-Saturday!

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Power food for power people

I dislike the bike in the gym with passion. After riding half of Mallorca on a bike (almost, at least) when I was in high school, I don’t think I’ve ever even laid my eyes on a bike. That, and the friday spin-classes that my friends used to do (and I stupidly tagged along to) in middle school. Scarred for life. My ankle is slowly healing, despite being blue and slightly swollen, I almost walk normally, but I am banned from most of the cardio-equipment for another week or so.

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Every time I feel sorry for myself and my ankle, I do however, think of the poor guy who normally does my programs, who has been even more unfortunate than me, and has to undergo surgery. At least my body will heal itself within the next month.

Mondays are my interval-days, and this Monday I told myself to do intervals on the rowing-machine. Yeah, ten minutes into it and I was ready to be carried home. So I decided to give the bike a try. I don’t know what it is that makes me resent it so much, but trust me – 45 minutes is a very long time when you don’t want to do what you’re doing (flashbacks to maths-class anyone?). But I have booked in measurements for tomorrow morning and well, I feel better when I get my cardio done. So I’ve sucked it up, and will round it all off with my fourth cycling-session this week, tomorrow morning.

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I have been slightly over food the past weeks, but I think I’m back on track now. I’ve actually tried something new every day this week. Every Australian seem to know what a zucchini slice is – I had never heard of it, so when I found a recipe on Instagram, I was stoked. Protein and vegetables in one major dish? Yes, please.

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Now, I sort of added a bit too much in terms of the veggies and did as per usual, not quite follow the recipe. I added turkey and pepperoni instead of bacon, and added mushrooms, sweet potato and normal potato as well. But it turned out delicious – and left me with lunch for two more days.

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Before heading to the gym today, I was reading recipes (yes I’m weird, I know) and decided to make something that could wait for me when I got back, drenched in sweat. Knowing that my measurements are due tomorrow morning, my body reacts by craving sweets even more than usual. So power-bars it was. Green Kitchen Stories has an amazing recipe and I sort of altered it to fit what I had in my cupboards – although next time I will be adding a tad more nuts, and possibly try to cook some of them in the oven.

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I sort of needed more after dinner today, and ended up with my incredibly sweet power-bars (even Line thought they were reaaaally sweet – imagine that, sugar free and all!), a coconut milk-strawberry-proteinshake and heaps of grapes. DELICIOUS.

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Two way french toast

Saturdays are normally dedicated to my second leg-day of the week, but being as handicapped as I am, it has now been turned into a “do whatever I want” in the gym day, and it might stay that way because I really enjoyed that gym session! Despite limping and being awesome with my ankle brace, I managed to pull off a complete hour of pure joy (and sweat).

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Even though it is important to push all of your muscle groups into working throughout the week, it is also important to enjoy what you do. Considering that I sort of ran out of muscle groups to kill pretty early this week (yeah a whole workout dedicated simply to triceps isn’t gonna happen), I decided to simply pick all my favorite exercises for the upper body and core and make it a workout. Push-ups, face pulls, rear delt flies w/ cables, triceps pushdown w/ rope, dips, scull crusher, lat pulldowns, bicep 7s, hanging leg-raises and plank x 3. Nailed it.

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You know how they say that it is important to keep track of your workouts and log everything into a system? Yeah, I’m not really that organized, but I have found my own way of recording and remembering my workouts. Tiny notes and post-its! They are all finely stuffed into the pocket of my jacket and I never have to worry about losing them. They obviously only make sense to me, but that doesn’t matter. I do, however, keep track of my measurements and body fat, how much energy my body needs to stay alive etc. in a folder. Sort of. Simply trying to prove to you that having a system for what you do when you are working towards a goal, doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you can keep up to date with it.

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Line and her no-sugar-in-the-weekdays-routine has resulted in the making of french toast quite frequently. I’m easy to influence, and pretty much every time she cooks something – I want it too. When swimming on Friday, my friend Tara told me that she always makes her french toast into a savory version with avocado and tomatoes. Now, I like having my cake and eating it too, so I figured I’d give both a try. Great success!

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I used the microwave-bread as a base. Added savory spices to the savory one, and cinnamon and cardamom to the sweet version. I take it everyone knows how to make french toast, if not; mix 1 egg and milk of desire (I used unsweetened almond milk) in a bowl. Add cardamom and cinnamon if you want the sweet version, if not – skip them. Put the slices of bread on a plate and pour the mixture over. Let it soak, and fry until golden on each side. Serve with vegetables if savory or bananas and warm berries if sweet.

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Yeah yeah, I know they don’t exactly look like chef-material, but they were so filling, and so good! Promise.

Eating healthy is so hard.. or is it?

People always complain that eating healthy is complicated and expensive. That fruit is more expensive than chocolate. That you get more frozen, deep-fried chicken for the same prize as vegetables. That choosing the healthy option when eating out is hard. But you don’t and it isn’t. Let me present you 200 calories (to the confused Line on calories; you need about 2000 calories a day depending on your level of activity) in pictures:

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Now, what food do you think will fill you up the most? Where do you get the most nutrition from? Maybe we after all did get more food and nutrition for the money when choosing the health-benefiting food?

When it comes to eating out, you only make it as hard as you want it to be. We had dinner at the restaurant across the road yesterday and they did have an option of baby snapper fillets, grilled chicken and other healthy deliciousness, nobody is forcing you to choose the pizza or the extra side of chips. Yes, so maybe I paid a tad more for my baby snapper, but it was so good. And SO filling.

When claiming that eating healthy or joining the gym is too expensive, you are in reality only jeopardizing your own body and health. Why should you not be prioritizing buying real food? Isn’t that the one investment you should be doing? You will be paying a lot more in the future as a result of being hospitalized for your bad nutrition and/or not exercising.

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I spend about $40-50 a week grocery shopping. That is absolutely nothing! I eat at least four meals a day, and I am pretty much always satisfied. My gym membership is about $60 a month, in being there 9 times a week I pay about.. $1,66 per visit. Worth it? I think so. And you don’t need to go to the gym to work out, the nature is after all free and a perfect place for recreational activities.

I also stumbled upon a picture from a few years back.

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My amount of working out was the same, but I ate candy or cakes at work every day, I refused wearing tight tops, and believe me; running intervals was pure hell.

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Now, I don’t eat crap every day, my body-fat has lowered, my self-esteem is way better, I am stronger, I run faster and I recover faster.

Today has been one of my double gym session days, and I’d just like to give you an example of one of those days. (We did celebrate Line’s birthday at home yesterday and I did have tremendous amounts of sugar/milk/wheat-packed cake, so I’ve been slightly full today). I had my first leg day of the week this morning (yes, I have noticed the requests of my leg-program, and it will come), died and then ate the breakfast I eat pretty much every day; porridge made of oats topped with a banana, cashew nut-butter, blueberries and strawberries, a soft-boiled egg and a large cup of muscle recovery yogi tea from iHerb (use the code TBW611 and get $10 off your first purchase).

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I brought leftover pizza and an apple to uni, had a soft-boiled egg, a banana and a handful of nuts/raisins as a pre-workout snack, went to Body Balance and finished it off with a 10-minute vegetable soup (I’m starting to feel sick and soup always helps) topped with pan-fried mushrooms and turkey, and had strawberries for dessert. So simple, yet so incredibly good. And so not complicated at all!

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So, just a few tips on how to keep the clean and healthy eating affordable.

  • Buy things locally and choose whatever is in season
  • Add meat/fish/poultry into dishes where veggies are the main ingredients, thus making it last longer/for several meals
  • Cook batches of meals that can be frozen/left for a few days and brought whenever needed
  • The key to success is planning!

Everyday is pizza day

Monday has been my interval day since 2010. 4 x 4 intervals are great. And painful. Kickstarts the week, it’s brutal and it’s over in 30 minutes. But Mondays also equals lectures at uni until 8 pm. Failing to plan really equals planning to fail in this case (major list/planning freak right here) and bringing enough food is my lifesaver. Therefore, I always cook enough dinner to cover my lunch the following day.

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Every time I bring lunch to uni, Phoebe has a “what the hell is that?” kind of reaction, and the same goes for my typical monday-clean-pizza. It is delicious though, and almost everyone who has tasted it, has attempted making it on their own. Going back to Norway over the break resulted in plenty of cooking attempts in tricking my mother into eating like me, but the pizza was a bit of a barrier for her to overcome. “I’m not going to eat that dry pizza you keep making”, she said. But being hungry enough, she did. And she enjoyed it.

Next up, my younger sister. The terrible hangovers run in our family (thanks, mom), and one sunday we were both suffering, and as a result of having no greasy food in the house (thanks again, mom), my clean pizza was the only option. Mini-me messaged me yesterday, wanting the recipe to last for her and her boyfriend including an after party snack. It does taste good. Promise. And the base can be used to cook pretty much anything you want a bread-like substance for, naan-bread, garlic bread, breakfast, bread with your soup.. It sure does the trick.

To make enough pizza to cover the needs of this tipsy girl

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and this majorly hungover girl

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or this group of party-animals

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You need:

Rolled oats, eggs, baking powder, psyllium husk (can technically be left out), water/milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk), greek yoghurt and spices/fresh herbs of preference (I always do oregano).

I can’t really provide an exact recipe as I tend to just throw it all together and add things as they seem needed, but the basics for a pizza for 1 person (leaving enough for lunch the day after) are:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Put two eggs, 50/50 of crushed oats and rolled oats (2,5 dl at least), a teaspoon or two of psyllium husk (binds the dough a tad better) and a teaspoon of baking powder in a bowl. Stir it. Add the spices/herbs. Add water/milk and a dash of greek yoghurt (if not staying away from dairy) until creating a sticky dough. If the dough becomes too runny, add more oats. Leave for 15-20 minutes for the oats to soak some of the liquid. Sort of smear the dough out on a sheet of baking paper and put in the oven. Cook until half-way done, about 15 minutes depending on your oven. Take it out, and cool off (important for the crust to become crispy).

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Meanwhile, prepare whatever you want to put on your pizza. My pizzas are typically a result of throwing together everything I have in the fridge/using leftover food, and I always overdo the topping. Make your own pesto (basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese in a blender) or your own pizza sauce, or be lazy like me and use sugar-free ketchup (no Australia, it is not called tomato sauce). Adding meat/chicken will provide you with some more protein, this time I used turkey and some leftover pepperoni. Overload with vegetables. Having to stay away from dairy, I resolve to soy cheese (no, it is not particularly tasty) and a tad parmesan cheese – but I used drown my pizza in mozzarella cheese, so if  you can – do it. Put it back in the oven on 200 degrees until your vegetables are cooked (probably another 15 minutes), and VOILÁ – you can eat pizza every day for the rest of your life if you so desire.

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This pizza can be altered and changed in so many ways. Add shredded cheese to the dough, add shredded cauliflower to the dough (so delish), add different spices to the dough, change your topping. It is of course not like the good old woodfire pizza down the road, but it does the trick, it is filling, it is healthy and I still very much look forward to every time I know it is in my lunch box.