A Healthier Alternative

Wheat is a grain that our ancestors started growing about 7 000 years ago. It`s sounds like a long time ago, but it is in fact relatively recent considering that there has been people living on this planet for even longer.
As civilization grew, crops of complex carbohydrates were cultivated in order to stabilize food supplies. With the industrial and agricultural revolution that has taken place over the last 200 years, major changes has happened to our food. For instance, the wheat crop has up to 50% higher gluten content now than centuries ago. This is so that baking becomes easier. (Gluten is like glue, it helps bread and such stick together). Gluten is also the second most common food additive in packaged food.

Wheat as it is today, has made many people sick and can often cause food allergies and/or celiac disease, bloating, constipation/diarrhea, anemia, infertility, ADD/ADHD, depression, skin rash, muscle pain etc. Many of these symptoms has been shown to improve, when on a gluten free diet.

But come on, we all love pastries, bagels... bread and cinnamon rolls. Oh dear! We want them fresh, soft and delicious with the perfect texture.
So the question is: is there such a thing as healthy alternative to baked goodies? Can wheat be replaced by some foreign type of flour and give a good alternative of a pastry? Will it taste any good?

I dare say yes.

The best graham crackers I`ve ever had were GF. The most incredible tasting oat meal raisin cookie was GF (Tia`s Bakery GF, sold at Wholefoods). If Redding had a Cupcake store that sold GF cupcakes, I would eat them all day long.
Now, just because it`s GF, does not mean it`s necessarily healthy. But it does mean that you are avoiding bleached flour and mass produced pastries with weird fillers.

So whether you and I are GF or not, here are a few of my healthy baking tips:

  • Choose nutritious flours like millet, oat, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum and brown rice
  • Starchy flours are tapioca, corn, potato and white rice
  • Nut flours are good additions - almond, hazelnut, coconut, peanuts etc
  • (Read up on these flours and how they behave in baking here)
  • Use a recipe and stick to it - measurements in GF baking is crucial
  • Awesome sweeteners are agave nectar, honey, organic cane/brown sugar, bananas and fruit juice
  • Play with flavors like nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, almond extract
  • Arrowroot, baking powder, guar gum and xanthan gum help lighten the texture
  • Allergic to eggs? For some recipes egg replacer works well
  • Pie crusts, Cheese cake crust and such can be made out of your favorite nut mix. Like macadamia nuts or walnuts.
  • Have fun with it! GF baking is very different from regular baking - the dough acts differently, taste a little different... But toss aside expectations and perfection and you`ll find yourself in the midst of delightful treats and some that should just be thrown away.


Goal #1

One of my goals for 2011 is to become a more consistent runner. Since October the 19th when I started using Nike`s running tools, I have done 11 runs = 42 miles, burnt 3600 kcal and that took about 8 hours. For a while I did not run at all, because I was focusing on weight training more then aerobic (typically cardio) work outs. Plus it was too cold to run outside.
But I recently purchased a Nike chip, strapped it on my shoelace and can now track my runs even on a treadmill.

#1: I want to incorporate running 4-5 times per week starting January 1st. 

My work out today started with this run:

Then I did 10 minutes of whole body strength work outs.
Running itself is not the funnest thing in the world, I think many people kinda hate it?
I have ran on and off since I was 14, but never been sure of my progress. So now with all the tools that makes it possible to track my runs, I stay motivated and excited about it.



Quality Traditions

I`ve spent hours, almost the whole afternoon in my kitchen. My feet are tired and my shoulders are aching from my work out earlier. But I learned how to use my Kitchen Aid - a bowl lift, Standing mixer. I made some delightful blue berry ice cream. Dinnertime came around and I used it for mashed rutabagas and meat cakes.

One thing that I`ve been contemplating allot lately is cultures around food. Growing up, Christmas was my favorite time of the year, I looked forward to every single meal. Breakfast, dinner, dessert... it was all a big deal. The meat had been prepared for months. Already in august, my dad would make sure that the exclusive berry called cloud berry, was picked and stored away in the freezer. On Christmas Eve, my dad proudly served cloud berry cream for dessert.
The appreciation of distinct flavors like cheese, salted meats and fish is something I`m very thankful for having.
A downside is recognizing when food is flavor less, and replaced. For instance, I cant stand the taste of "sugar free". I always learn new things about American food culture. I came here thinking "fast food" was a choice. But I`m realizing that we`re in deeper trouble then that.
Nutritionally, the food that most people consume contains huge amounts of BAD fat - butter, milk, beef and corn. Science shows that food high in saturated/trans fats can impair our judgment on when to stop eating.  It`s like the pathway to our brain that tells us we are full is being blocked, causing us to want to keep eating these harmful foods in excess.  It can even last for 3 days after the food has been consumed.

On the opposite side, healthy fats have good effects on our brains. They are linked to sharpening our mental accuracy, which makes us stay focused. Another benefit is that good fats like avocados, walnuts, and olive oil will help you stay full longer.

So for people that are trying to loose weight, be mindful about you eat, and especially about what type of fats you consume. If what you normally eat makes you carry extra pounds, one way to shed can be  by making new traditions. 



Ole Henriksen

Last week I purchased my first Ole Henriksen products. I have heard so many good things about this and decided to give it a try.
I got this starter kit for normal to combination skin which contains 6 products. My skin type is normal but I tend to break out a little bit every now and then. There is also starter kits for aging skin, dry/sensitive etc. You can read more in depth about the products here.

So far I really love the Walnut Complexion Scrub - an exfoliating, foaming scrub with ginseng that deeply cleanses pores. That combined with the Firm Action Mask left my skin super soft and glowing. The two moisturizers are really nurturing to my skin, one is a day cream the other is a night cream. I absolutely love these products and will continue to use them.


Christmas Eve Work out

I am absolutely loving to rest this week. No hour long work out, no gym going, none of that. But this morning I needed to move around a little more then these last days.
Braking a sweat, even just for a short while is very healthy. These work outs are using our own body weight and is more then enough resistance for a rockin` work out that will help shed fat and gain muscle and energy!

  • Jumps - I found a rock that was about a foot tall (knehøyde), and did about 35 jumps on it. Gets my heart rate up really fast
  • Hip raises - try this one, it is a killer
  • Opposite hand to toe touch - works many muscles including abdominals
  • Burpee`s - conditions the entire body, develops strength, explosive power and anaerobic endurance
  • Sprint intervals - I just busted out a couple of 0.2 mile sprints

Have a Blessed Christmas Eve everyone!


Morning Glory

Waking up in Chandler, Arizona is a good sign. It means that Christmas is here, vacation is on and I get to spend loads of time with Jeffrey`s amazing family. The anticipation of Christmas Day is closing in, there is gifts everywhere and everyone is in their best cheer. When I say there is gifts everywhere, I am not joking. Aunt Chy has 3 Christmas Tree`s in her house, and all of them have presents under them... 
We started our day at Einstein`s Bagel. Jeffrey got a cranberry bagel and a hot cup of coffee. I got a delicious cup of Mango Ceylon Tea. I like mine with honey and a dash of cream.

 I shared this in an earlier post, about my Grandma Jan bringing her own breakfast to the Bagel store. Fresh blueberries, raspberries, cherries and bananas. So we just got out some boxes, filled them with the goodies and brought it with us, to the very cozy breakfast place. It was about 10 of us around a long table, eating, laughing and having a blast. That`s what we do when we get together.
Oh and by the way, it was my 25th Birthday yesterday! Guess what my Husband got me. A gorgeous red Kitchen Aid Stand mixer =) This will help my baking so so much, cannot wait to start using it.
Now I am off to another evening of fun. I really really hope you are having an amazing time too... Blessings on you and your family!!


Fitness Angel

Victoria Secret has Angels, a Pink line and fabulous lingerie. But did you know that they also have a fantastic line of work out clothes? You can only find this line in certain stores, typically in bigger cities. Surprisingly, even online all i could find was a couple of sports bras.

When working out I like to feel cute and fresh, I need my clothes to follow me wherever the work out goes. If it is 100 jumping jacks, then I need my shirt to stay in place so I don't flash too much belly. If I go for a run, I cant worry about my pants falling off. Ya, that happened. Worst run of my life. I wore some ooooold running pants that had no stretch left in them and had to hold them up the whole time I was running. I wanted 6 miles, but turned around at 0,5. 
Anyways, when we celebrated Christmas with some of Jeffrey`s family last Saturday, guess what my gifts where? 2 beautiful pink boxes (Thank you Sarah, Love you!) - one pair of work out pants, and a shirt that went with it! The line is called VSX.

Working out wearing this was awesome. No sag, weird seems, or awkwardly high waist... just a perfect fit! The pants work for running and other exercises outside during the colder season too. The shirt has a little too much cleavage for me, but I just wear a black sports bra under.

To all you amazing Fitness Angels out there ;) ..You get to look fabulous when working out!



Hello Best week of the YEAR!

Woke up to my FAVORITE week of the year! I am a happy girl ;) It`s my Birthday week, it`s Christmas, it`s vacation with the family, it`s Arizona and beautiful running temperatures. AAAH.
I have already finished my first work out -  a 30 minute/3,5 mile run and 30 minutes of strength training.

There are all kinds of gatherings and parties going on this week. Last night we went to Jeffrey`s brother and his wife`s Christmas party....

Tonight we are invited to go to our Church`s staff dinner party.. and I am thrilled to already know what I`m wearing. Pjeh! 


Mini Booty Challenge

I have been so so busy this week,  renewing my personal trainer certificate. But this coming week I will have more time to blog and I have many projects to put up here. So stay tuned.
One thing I want to do this week is to make a daily challenge, a work out that everyone can try out, and maybe even start doing on your own.
It`s Christmas and we all need to rest, but our bodies will be so happy if it gets to move and sweat a little bit every day. So I encourage you to just try some of these work outs.. !!
Here is two  exersices that I LOVE! Plie squats and backward/forward lounges. Both will target your large muscle groups - glutes, hamstrings etc.
I started with doing 40 of each (40 on each leg for lounges too), and have worked my way up till 100.
When these exercises gets easy, add a bodybar!
Another way to tackle this work out is to do the work out in sets. One set has tree rounds, each rounds has 50 sec. of work, then 10 sec of rest for each exercise. Work to max repetitions and write down your score.



Something Different

After having been tired for almost a week, with no seeming reason, I decided to take action. Tiredness kills motivation, joy and effectivity. I typically get tired if I have had foods like dairy, glucose syrup, salt ect. My case is a sensitive one. So if You are tired, there's probably some completely different reasons then mine.  Some people enjoy coffee and use that as wake up medicine. I like coffee, the smell of a coffee bean, the richness.. but my body cant stand it. It gives me a headache and messes up my stomach. Not exactly the solution for me. But some sort of change was necessary, I needed something different in order to get my vitamins and body back into balance. 
Do you ever just find yourself craving something, but your not exactly sure what it is? Yeah, that was me. Off to the grocery store I went  -
Theses are some of the things I came home with that day... pears, rutabagas, papaya juice, cuties (mandarins),  and lemons. 
I also went for a brisk 1 mile walk down by the river, in the bright sun. Don`t think I had seen the sun for a month or so. It was incredible soaking it up and getting my vitamin D in.
For 2 days now I`ve been drinking fresh lemon juice in sparkling water a couple of times a day, and I feel so much better already. Lemons are amazingly high in Vitamin C, and the benefits are simply outstanding.
Jethro Kloss reported this about eating lemons in his book Back to Eden: 

“The medicinal value of the lemon is as follows: It is an antiseptic, or is an agent that prevents sepsis [the presence of pathogenic bacteria] or putrefaction [decomposition of tissue]. It is also anti-scorbutic, a term meaning a remedy which will prevent disease and assist in cleansing the system of impurities.”

I could probably have devoted one whole blog alone to lemons. But Ill leave it with this. It works wonder in our bodies. Oftentimes it`s not about going on a strict diet or doing some other extreme thing to help get our bodies back on track. All it takes might be a simple adding of a little yellow fruit.



I did not get very much done today. One of those "off" days.. Might be that im fighting a cold right now, not sure.
BUT I am excited for my next "dripping-with-sweat" work out. There is still more days before Christmas, that means lots of opportunities to challenge myself with amazing exercises before I switch it up. 
I'm planning to spend the rest of the year resting and just doing simple cardiac work outs, starting next week.


Day off..

Spending our Sunday relaxing and enjoying the season. Drinking heated up Gløgg - scandinavian spiced sweet drink. It`s a must for Christmas. Wrapping gifts and writing cards... got the paper, gløgg, cards and glasses from Ikea. Can you tell Im a fan of the star design? ;) It reminds me of home.
We watched old Christmas cartoons this morning too. I really love this day and this season...
Blessing to you!



HOW TO get the body you want

A diet, physical surgery, hold in jeans and other products are not gonna solve, or get you closer to you being comfortable in your own body. I wanna break it down for you guys, how to get the level of health that you want and know you should have.
The components of being fit are: muscular endurance, strength, power, flexibility, coordination, speed and cardiovascular endurance. When we have these skills, the byproduct is having an attractive physique with the right proportions of muscle and fat. This is what most of us want, right?

Most people have goals in mind like "I wanna loose weight, or, I wanna change the way this area looks,"
all the while the focus should be building your skill of fitness (Muscular endurance, flexibility, speed, ect) When training right, your body has to change because of the need for cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance. It also changes because now, your burning way more calories than before (coming back to this part in a bit).

It is said that "form follows function". So your body will change in order to give you the required skill to do the activities demanded of it. Think about this... When you train your body for fitness your body will have to loose fat and gain muscle. It`s a very simple principle. 

Have you seen a person who has lost a huge amount of weight in a fairly short amount of time? Their body composition doesn't change all that much because they lose muscle tissue too. This is neither attractive, nor does it help in keeping the weight off in the long run. Why? Because muscle plays a vital part in our metabolism. To put it in very few words (this alone is a huge subject) - not only do muscles allow you to burn far more calories while at rest, now your calories are needed as fuel for working them out. The more your body requires in performance, the more fuel it needs!

I mean - Who wants to spend their life dieting and under pressure for self control to maintain physique? Not me.  Tried it, hated it.
Today is the perfect day to start focusing on your fitness skills. Before you know it, you`ll start noticing a change in your body. Your metabolism is working faster, daily tasks gets easier, you have more energy, your happier, your jeans fit better. Yes please =)



I wish for definition!!

Here is one part of my work out today. These exercises are great to do at home, does not require any equipment and they are fun.
Here is a little breakdown of the work out:
The first work out is reaching down to the toes with opposite hand then up to the ceiling the other direction. This one targets your core and abdominal. Make sure you really tighten the muscles while performing this exercise.
The next work out, where I hold my hands behind my head will also be working your abdominal. Tighten the muscles as much as you can to get the most out of the exercise. The next few work outs I am doing will target shoulders and arms.
Try to do 40 repetitions of each exercise and then work your way up to one hundred.

I wanted to put music to my videos but I`m not sure how it works with copyrights. But put on some Madcon - Glow while you watch this video, makes it more fun =)


Ill have a piece of that

Just thought you all should know what a fabulous lunch I had yesterday... ;) (after having had a huge plate of oatmeal)
Sky's raw vegan chocolate ganache. I got it at Grilla Bites, downtown Redding.
Dark, healthy and incredibly tasty.

Thank you Sky!


Building muscle

There are allot of myths going around about exercising. How to loose fat, how to get "long and lean" muscles, 12-minute work outs etc. I have definitely wished for shortcuts in life, but have found a few things to be really true for fitness. Our bodies cannot be tricked into looking or feeling a certain way. One thing to always remember is that we are all different and respond in different ways to working out! For someone who is new to training with weights, your body can respond quick to training with weights and build muscle - and therefore possibly see the percentage of fat go down. This does not necessarily mean to loose weight. 

But here are some pointers on how to build muscle/tone up/define

  • Make sure you are eating enough - You wont build if you are`nt getting enough calories
  • Train with heavy weights - yes ladies, even you. I know allot of woman don`t want to "bulk!!!" but the thing is that it takes ALLOT for woman to build muscle. I`m talking hours and hours in the gym everyday, and"special" protein drinks for every meal. So don`t be afraid to push yourself when training.
  • Be consistent - Don`t give you muscles too long of breaks =)
  • Have fun - mix up your work out routine and enjoy it
  • Let stress go - muscle weigh more then fat AND burns way more.  Roughly one kilo muscle can burn 20-30 calories a day, half a kilo of fat can burn 5 calories pr day. This means that the more muscle you have the more calories your burning. So work towards your goal and don't worry about looking like someone else. You are amazing - just the way you are!
I have been training specifically with this goal in mind for about a year now. And before that I have been working out at the gym for about 8 years. I have a good definition to mu muscle, but I promise you - they are not bulky and crazy looking.  My experience is that training with weights, even if it is just body weight, is very fun and rewarding. Exercising is sooo much more than just having a relationship to a treadmill. It`s working hard, it`s challenging yourself to new levels, it is You living in your body for the rest of your life.




Those comfy, colorful, stylin, snugg ones...
When done with amazing people, at an amazing location
Everything about Him. I am hands down the luckiest girl in the whole world.
Coast, mountains, fjords, food..



What`s for dinner?

Simplicity in the kitchen will never fail. 
Here is what me and my amazing Husband had for dinner.

 Peppered vegetables baked in butter, 
with a cilantro salad
and baked pork chops



New day, new week

My morning started out great. The rain was pouring down outside. Leafs everywhere -  swimming in the puddles of the water. 
My first work out got accomplished in 31 minutes and consisted of 1000 skipping rope jumps, pull ups, push ups etc. My plate of oatmeal got made in no time and it was good. Well, interrupted by a little milk spill.
For me working out means getting rid of stored up energy. I know for fact that it works in favor of my mood. Even when I'm on my period and feel uncomfortable, working out always makes me feel great.

Scientifically our bodies release endorphins while exercising. There are more occasions when our bodies release endorphins, I just wont dive into them right now.  With high endorphin levels we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress. Other effects endorphins have on the body can include: increased feelings of euphoria/happiness, decreased appetite and increased immune response. These are all very good reason to work out. 
If stress is something that is burdening you, then working out might be a huge stress reliever.

Have a good Monday!


Fitness Christmas Gift Ideas

With Christmas right around the corner I put together a little list of ideas for Christmas gifts. 
These are mainly gonna be linked to exercising and health. They fit to people that are active and pursing health already, or to people that just might need a little help to get there. 
  • Work out Clothes - shorts, hoodies, under armor, shoes, Spinning bike gel seat cushion etc. You can find them in all kinds of price rangers, colors and brands.  I love Nike running pants and for sport bras - Champion is amazing.
  • Exersice equipment - work out DVD`s, a heart monitor, body bar, dumbbells, elliptical, jogging stroller, jump ropes etc. 

  • Books - diets, work out methods, gluten free cooking, cupcakes - find a cute well matching book for your friend or family member. 
I would recommend this book and work out method if you are looking to get a new fresh work out to use at home. Tracey Anderson method is incredibly effective.

    • Homemade goodies - This might be the most time consuming one of them all. But so Made With Love. You can bake your best cookies, favorite cake or little granola bars and wrap them in really cute boxes. Or how about putting together a healthy snack basket... superfoods like goji berries, nuts and dried fruit, raw chocolate balls. 
    • Gym membership - This might be for the select few that would actually love getting a membership. Otherwise it might be taken wrong. The good thing is that most of the time there is money to save on buying a years worth of membership rather then month to month.
    • Work out partner - give of your time and offer to be someones running friends once a week, or start playing tennis on the weekends.
      One year, even before we were engaged, Jeffrey got me a Vitamix for Christmas... a vitamix is pretty much THE blender of all blenders. It can crush icecubes, juice vegetables, make soup, you name it. And to this day I use that machine for making healthy food everyday. Thank you Jeffrey! ;)



      Hi =)

       For some reason this does not look much like me, but it is me... this is my tired face from this morning. But now I feel refreshed  and blessed after having been on skype with my Mom for 2 whole hours. She taught me how to make sweet and sour sauce over skype. =) So I made lunch while chatting - quinoa with carrots and onion in sweet and sour sauce. Thank you technology for making California-Norway seem a little bit closer. I love my mom, she is always so happy and encouraging. 

      Other then that I`ve spent time on making a cheesecake  - I use cottage cheese, and a gluten free crust from graham crackers (recipe for the crackers is here). I`ll be posting pictures later. The cake is SUPER cute...it`s pink. My friend is having a (gluten free! I`m in heaven) Girls Night and I`m bringing my cake.

      My work out went something like this:
      Warm up - 1000 Skipping rope jumps
      Triceps dip 100 - I did them in 2.23 sec. 30 seconds faster then yesterday!
      Mountain climber, push up, pull up, bicycle crunch, lunges w/bodybar and more push ups was what filled the main part of my work out. 
      My upper body is exhausted.

      I better jump in the shower and get ready for the party tonight. Wooh!



      Active Rest - Tricep dip challenge!

      I wrote in an earlier post that I work out most everyday and if I don`t, that is an exception. I wanted to clarify what I do on all those days.  After a challenging work out, our bodies need rest to recover. Muscles that are being worked will need to rebuild in a proper time format. Depending on the work out, and the muscles used, it can take a shorter or longer amount of time. Even diet can play a part here (lack of certain vitamins etc).
      So on the days when I am not too sore but still not ready yet for a new work out, I will spend the day(s) doing active rest.  For an athlete, it is the better way to spend the days in between competition (according to research). As for the non-athlete that I am, active rest simply means keeping my focus on giving my body a physical challenge. On those days I go for walks, deep clean the house, take my cruiser out for a bikeride (LOVE those bikes), or maybe some light Spinning or jump rope.

      Another fun thing to do is to introduce time challenge on these days. You can take easy exercises that can be done at home or almost anywhere and add a time challenge to it (It works even if you are spending the day traveling, or you are visiting family). Here is my time challenge for this week. I chose to use my arms since my legs are sore and useless from my last work out.
      Join me by doing the same and share your test score with me on my comments.


      • Find a stabile chair or bench
      • Position your hands shoulder width apart
      • Move you body in front of the bench with your legs bent and feet placed hip width apart
      • Straighten out your arms, but keep a little bend in your elbow to keep the tension on the triceps
      • Slowly bend at your elbows and lower yourself down towards the floor til your arms are at a 90% angle
      • Keep your back close to the bench
      • Now push yourself back up in to the starting position. 
      PS: keep your neck relaxed. As you get stronger, straighten your leg out, or even alternate using one leg at the time

      Set your timer as a stop watch ( I use my phone) just before you start, see how many minutes it takes for you to do 100 of these. Write down the test score and don`t forget to share your score in the comment!

      I did 100 tricep dips on this video in 2.53 sec. I wanna keep doing the challenge and see the time improve. See the video of it in post below.


      Vlogg of Tricep challenge


      Thank you for visiting!


      While I make every effort to publish correct, researched information, this is for entertainment and should not be viewed as medical advice or treated as such. Please consult a doctor if you have any medical questions or concerns.
      Thank you

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