Never skip gym on a Monday

 

Happy Monday!
I hope you’ve had a great weekend, mine was filled with gym, long walks, shopping, good food, and fun times with friends and family 🙂

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I always say to never skip gym on a Monday, and it’s something I really stick to myself as well. I manage my workouts so that Mondays never become a rest day. There are many reasons to this, but mostly I just really like the feeling of starting the week with a great workout. Normally during the weekend we tend to place a few cheat meals, a bit of wine, and just indulging in all kinds of things – and rightfully so! But then just more reason to make Monday a big gym session day. You feel like you sweat out all the naughty from the weekend, and you also feel like you’re starting the week off on the right note, no matter what. I think you set the standard on Monday for how the rest of the week will be, and you want your week to be active and healthy, right?

You might be tired and low on motivation on a Monday, it can feel tough to get back to your daily routine if you strayed too much from it during the weekend. This is however something I try not to do too much. Although I might “cheat” during a weekend, I wont go crazy and eat crap all the time and stop working out. The weekends are great for working out as well, you have more time and you can take advantage of an upcoming cheat meal by doing a hardcore gym session (Leg day and cheat day go great together, trust me!)

Today I did shoulders (same routine as last time if you wanna know how my workout was. But I did 4 sets instead of 3 as I had more time on my hands.) and finished off with 15 minute intervals on the treadmill. I felt super heavy and slow, probably because I went to the gym later in the day and also because I didn’t do intervals for a couple of days now. But when you feel like you’re not up for it at all, it’s usually when you actually need it the most.

What did you work out today? 

Operation Booty

 

We all have different goals and purposes with our workouts, and one of mine is definitely operation booty! Haha I wanna make my butt bigger, and try to emphasize glutes and hamstrings on my leg day workouts. In my personal opinion the quads are always active anyway, so I don’t feel the need to do exercises that target them specifically. The other day my sister and I had such a good leg day, we combined some of our favorite exercises to create a great session. This was 2 days ago and I’m still incredibly sore. Especially in my hamstrings, lawwwd Jesus!

Operation Booty:
  • Kneeling Squats in smith machine: 4 x 12
  • Cable pull-throughs: 4 x 12
  • Bridges in smith machine: 4 x 12
  • Sumo squats with dumbbell: 4 x 12-16
  • Cable kickbacks: 4 x 12 each leg
  • Side step with elastic band: 4 x 25-30 steps each side
  • Hamstring curl on a bench with dumbbell: 4 x 12
  • Hamstring curl with fitness ball: 4 x 12
  • Back extensions with focus on glutes: 2 x 16-20

We did the exercises in sets of 2, and then back extensions as a painful finale. So we were altering between 2 my sister and I; for example one of us did a set of kneeling squats while the other did the cable pull-throughs, and then we switched back and forth.

Try it and let me know what you think! 😀

Healthy Snacks for Travelling

 

Happy Monday!
I’ve recently travelled, and I thought I’d give you some ideas of healthy snacks to bring with you. This also works as a snack to bring with you to work, to uni, or anywhere you go.
It’s usually hard to find healthy, nutritious snacks when you’re out, for example in an airport or on the flight. They might have a “diet” or “healthy” section, but it’s normally a pasta salad, a juice, or a wrap, and many times not even whole grain in the pasta or wrap. It’s also usually pretty expensive, and you’ll end up paying a lot for something that is not even that healthy. I always try to bring snacks with me, because I get hungry very quickly after a meal, and I don’t like to let too much time pass between my meals. I also don’t wanna eat all carbs, salt, and sugar (which are the easiest things to find), since it’s already easy to feel bloated while traveling, and it’s also very easy to get dehydrated.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you some ideas for what snacks to bring with you, or what you could look for in the airport or the flight menu. This is based on my own preference, and might not match everyones diet or goals, but these are some options for you to get inspired when you’re looking for healthy snacks that are easy to bring with you.

Healthy Snacks for Traveling:
  • Protein bars
  • Protein powder (preferably in a sample bag / 1 serving package so no one thinks you’re bringing something illegal haha)
  • Fruits; banana, apple (sliced if you don’t want to deal with the remains), cut up fruits of your liking
  • Veggies; cut up carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes or whatever you like snacking on
  • Nuts/almonds; unsalted
  • Had boiled eggs (I wouldn’t bring this since I don’t like eggs unfortunately , but it’s a great source of protein to bring on the go! Might be a smelly choice though haha)
  • Beef jerky; also great source of protein, just make sure it’s clean and doesn’t contain lots of additives and sugar that you don’t need
  • Energy balls or protein balls; you can make them yourself at home (like my chocolate balls for example!) or buy in certain stores or cafes that have organic/clean/raw/vegan stuff
  • Natural juices or smoothies; you can usually find these at the airport but make sure to check the ingredients
  • Greek yogurt or quark (check the amount if you’re traveling so you don’t get into troubles in the airport!)
  • Rice cakes (if you want you can spread a nut butter and make a sandwich! I normally also add sliced banana or apple to make it less dry)
  • WATER!!! Super important to make sure to stay hydrated, and especially if you’re going by plane

What carbs do I eat?

 

I’ve had such a busy day getting ready for traveling with my little doggie. Always lots of things to prepare, and I also managed to get a killer leg workout in! It really drained me from all energy, all afternoon I’ve been so tired and unfocused.

Anyway, I wanted to share some thought with you about my eating habits. I know a lot of people are scared of carbs, and I just wanted to clear up that there are “good” (complex) and “bad” (simple) carbs! I tend to avoid the simple ones in my day to day life, in my everyday routine, but of course I’ll indulge every now and then. What is life if you’re not allowed to eat those delicious naughty things? 🙂 But, I try to eat what I know is good for me, and what my body actually needs, and then everything “bad” is just an extra treat every now and then.
I thought I’d make a little list of complex and simple carbs, basically what I eat and what I avoid. It is however totally individual how our bodies react to carbs, some have allergies, or are sensitive to carbs, but need more fat in their diet instead for example. So there is no one set rule of how everyone should eat to reach whatever goal you might have, I’m just sharing my point of view and how I eat 🙂

IMG_4153My lunch: turkey stir-fry with carrots and broccoli, plus a side of brown rice as my carb sources.

Complex Carbs
  • Green vegetables
  • Carrots
  • Everything whole grain (pasta, bread, oatmeal)
  • Starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, corn

All these are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals etc. which are all things your body needs! 🙂 I eat sweet potato as much as I can when it’s in season, It’s so freaking delicious! But I also eat a lot of wholegrain toast, and if I do make pasta (can be a great pre workout meal) I would definitely use wholegrain. I do feel pasta sometimes can make me a bit too full, like it makes me feel heavy and tired after eating, so I don’t eat it too often.

Simple Carbs that I avoid
  • White flour (pasta, bread etc.)
  • Sugar
  • Packaged food

In most packaged foods in the supermarket there will be sugar added. I always check the ingredients list to see if it has sugar added, because most things really shouldn’t have! If I’m gonna eat sugar I want it to be in a cookie, ice cream, or chocolate, and to be when I choose to have it. Not in a sandwich meat, in yogurt, in a juice, or in a sauce etc. when I’m trying to be healthy. A simple carb that I do eat a lot of is fruit. I refuse to think of fruit as something bad just because of the fructose. I love it! 🙂

I really don’t see a sacrifice in this either; I eat complex carbs because they actually give my body something it needs, and it keeps me full. This is how I want my diet and my food intake to be; delicious, nutritious, and clean! 🙂 And when I feel like cheating or treating myself with something naughty (I mean we all love it!) I will have “bad” carbs and not think twice about it. I just think it’s important to not fool yourself into thinking you’re eating healthy, and then when you look at the ingredients list the food is all but clean.

I hope this cleared things up for those of you who are unsure about which carbs are “bad” and which are “good”.
Drop a comment with your thoughts! 

Booty & Shoulder Workout

 

Happy Monday guys!

I woke up with so much energy today, probably because I had such a relaxed weekend. Lots of time relaxing, reading, playing with my little doggie, and watching a new TV show I started following. I had to start something new since my boyfriend is traveling and I don’t wanna cheat and watch “our” shows 🙂 Saturday I had a rest day, and wow it made me feel so low on energy for some reason. I felt super down all afternoon, and just wanted to go to bed so I could wake up to a new day (and on the right side haha) Thank god no one had to put up with my grumpy mood! Sunday I did one of my favorite things, LEG DAY! I really smashed my glutes and hamstrings, and it was actually my third leg day of the week, crazy! But I did different exercises and different sets and reps. It’s important to change things up so your body doesn’t get too used to the workout.

Today I did my second favorite workout; shoulders! On this I stayed on the same program I’ve done the past 2 weeks or so, but I changed up the sets and reps a little bit. My shoulders are sooo tired now, I will definitely not wash my hair tonight lol

Booty & Shoulder Workout:

BOOTY WORKOUT:

  • Bulgarian split squats in the smith machine: 4 x 10 each leg
  • Kneeling squats in the smith machine: 4 x 12-16
  • Leg press in the smith machine: 4 x 12-16
  • Narrow stance squats in the smith machine: 3 x 10
  • Abductor machine: 4 x 12
    • Super set: Squats in abductor machine: 4 x 12

I occupied the smith machine for so long haha I’m sure people wanted to kill me! Payback from my last leg day when I couldn’t get to one EVER! Well after this I wanted to pass out, but I managed to do 10 minutes intervals on the treadmill. Phew! I tried to avoid moving for the rest of the day haha

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SHOULDER WORKOUT: 

  • Shoulder press: 4 sets;  6-12-6-12 reps, with heavier weights on the sets of 6 reps
  • Altering front dumbbell raises: 4 sets; 6-12-6-12 reps, with heavier weights on the sets of 6 reps
  • Standing pull-up with 12 kg kettle bell: 4 x 12
  • Rear lateral files with 2,5 kg plates: 4 x 16 (I use a light weight to target the right muscle)
  • Bent arm lateral rises: 4 sets; 6-12-6-12 reps, with heavier weights on the sets of 6 reps
  • Standing flies: 4 x 12
  • Shoulder circuit: Leaning the body against an inclined bench, doing flies straight up, V-shape, and T-shape: 4 x 8 (one of each; “straight -V – T” equals one rep)

I finished this with a 20 minute interval session on the treadmill and now I’m more than ready for lunch! I hope you have a great Monday workout! 🙂

Saturday breakfast: home made acai bowl

 

I felt inspired and creative this sunny Saturday morning, so I decided to make something special for breakfast. I’m a lover of routines, and normally eat pretty much the same breakfast every day (and happily so! I wake up excited for my smoothie and my riveta haha) But every now and then I like to mix things up! It also helps feeling the need to have something new to post on Instagram haha
So today I made a yummy acai bowl and whole grain toast with mashed avocado and feta cheese. SOOOO delicious!! And healthy too, I really feel fueled with energy for today 🙂

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Acai bowl:
  • 1 tbsp acai powder
  • 0,5 dl blueberries
  • 0,5 dl greek yogurt
  • 1 banana

Put everything in a blender and mix well. I served mine with strawberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, and a spoonful of natural crunchy peanut butter. SO delicious! This might not be a smoothie bowl rather than a “real” acai bowl, but it was amazing either way! 🙂

Avocado Toast
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 pieces of wholegrain toast
  • Feta cheese to crumble

Mash the avocado and spread over the toasted bread. Crumble the feta cheese on top ( I got a bit carried away with mine haha). Pass out from how yummy it was. You could use other types of bread as well, but make sure it’s a healthy one with no added sugar!

Killer leg day

 

Happy Friday!

I did a real killer leg day today, and what a great way to spend a Friday morning! I was waiting for one of the (three..) smith machines to be free, while doing other machines and exercises, but someone always managed to snitch it before me. This lead to me doing more and more exercises haha so in the end I had a great workout anyway! My glutes were killing me and I know I’m gonna be so sore tomorrow, yay! Grow booty, grow! Haha, but it’s definitely one of my fitness goals 🙂 I tried on my summer clothes the other day and some of the shorts I wore last year, looked almost obscene… Pros and cons with the booty growing I guess haha, but on the up side now I need to go shopping 😀

Killer leg day (With focus on the booty!)
  • Leg press: 4 x 12
  • One legged leg press: 4 x 10 each leg
  • Cable kickbacks: 4 x 12 each leg
  • Standing cable leg abduction: 4 x 12 each leg
  • Front squats with dumbbell, going deeeeep: 4 x 12
  • Glute kickback machine: 4 x 12 each leg
  • Deadlifts with dumbbells: 4 x 10

Phew! Let me know if you try this killer leg day, and let’s see if I can walk tomorrow, tonight I’m definitely staying in for a movie night haha I hope you have a great Friday!

Intervals

 

So, I thought I’d tell you guys a bit more about my cardio training! For the past one or two years I’ve  basically done zero cardio training and only focused on weights and building muscle. I felt like I didn’t really need any cardio, and was scared I’d burn off the muscle I worked so hard on putting on. However, after Christmas I wanted ot change things up a little. I realized that even though I’m “skinny”, I still have fat on my body that I wanted to try and get rid off only to get some more definition, especially on my belly area. I wanted to get rid of the muffin top (even though it was small!) and to just feel a bit leaner. I also thought my body in general would benefit from some cardio vascular training, it’s good for the heart and for your well being in general.

Remember you should only compare yourself with you, when I say I wanted to try and get some more definition in my belly it’s because it used to be more defined and toned. From following a very liberal diet for a year, although going hard at the gym, I wanted to see how I could change my body. I started doing 12-15 minutes intervals on the treadmill after my normal weight training workouts, and slowly increased the number of sessions per week, as well as the total time spent. Today I probably do intervals around 4 times a week, and for 12-20 minutes each time. It depends on how much time I have to spend, how tired I am after the workout, how hungry I am after the workout (haha) and just how my body is feeling.

I don’t always do the same intervals, but just to give you and idea of how I divide it I thought I’d give you a few pointers in case you want to try it! 🙂

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I alter between running and fast walking. When I run I have the treadmill on a 2 to 3,5 incline, I’m worried it might hurt my knees to have a higher incline when I run. I normally run between 1-2 minutes, and I have the speed on 11-12 km/h. For walking I normally put the incline to 9, and I usually walk 1-2 minutes at 5,5 km/h. I always start by walking for at least 2 minutes, and finish off with running as a little “finale”. During the intervals I alter between running/walking for 1, 1,5, and 2 minutes depending on how I feel. When my time is up, let’s say after 20 minutes, I normally walk for 3-5 minutes to cool down.

  • Walking:
    • Incline: 9
    • Speed: 5,5 km/h
    • Time: 1-2 minutes
  • Running:
    • Incline: 3,5
    • Speed: 11-12
    • Time: 1-2 minutes

Exercises for Shoulders

 

Yesterday I had such a great workout with some of my favorite exercises for shoulders! I got a good contact with the muscles throughout the session, and I really felt the pump! Super sore today, but that’s a great feeling! When I’m sore I feel like the muscle is growing haha and I really wouldn’t mind getting some more definition in the shoulders 🙂 I did 3 supersets of 2 exercises each, and finished off with a killer shoulder circuit I found in Buff Bunny’s YouTube channel!

My best exercises for shoulders:

Superset 1:
Shoulder press: 4 x 8
Front raises with dumbbells, altering arms: 4 x 10

Superset 2: 
Bent arm lateral raises: 4 x 10
Standing flies: 4 x 12

Superset 3: 
Standing pull-up with weight plate: 4 x 10
Rear lateral flies: 4 x 12

Superset 4: Buff Bunny Shoulder Circuit
Leaning the upper body against an inclined bench, doing flies straight up, V-shape, and T-shape.
So, straight – V – T equals 1 rep: 5 x 10
(Check the video in the link, starts at 7.30 if you want to go directly to the circuit 🙂 )

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Shoulders is one of my favorite muscles to work, and I normally set one day for just that. Sometimes I mix it up and do shoulders and arms at the same day, but usually I like to do my shoulder exercises on their own. Today is LEG DAY! And that is definitely my favorite day as you know 😀 Hit me with your best exercises for leg day, and you know I love to target glutes and hamstrings, booty gains are the best gains!

Killer Glute Workout

 

Yesterday I did a great leg day, more specifically a glute workout 🙂 The fact that I had my gym buddy with me made it even better, annnd it also meant I had someone to take pictures of me! Haha She was even kind enough to record videos of some of the exercises we did, I posted on on Instagram yesterday, but I think I have one or two more!

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Here is the workout we did:

  • Kneeling squats in the smith machine: 4 x 16
  • Leg press laying down in the smith machine: 4 x 16
  • Lunges in smith machine: 4 x 10 each leg
  • Leg raises/Kickbacks in the cable machine, standing on a step: 4 x 12, each leg
  • Glutes kickback machine: 4 x 12 each leg

After all this we finished off with a 15 min interval session on the treadmill, LOOOVED the whole program! Felt absolutely smashed afterwards, my glutes are really sore today, and what a lovely feeling that is!

Today I’m going to do arms, abs and intervals. Only have time for a shorter session, so the arm workout will be short but very intense! Trying to stick to my routine of doing abs every other day, summer is around the corner and I want to try and get some abs action happening before then haha That also means cutting back on some of the things I like to indulge in, but cutting back doesn’t mean stopping completely! And there are always sneaky healthy snacks you can make when the cravings kick in. Life’s too short not to eat delicious things, if they can be healthy (or healthy-ish heehee) that’s great, but every now and then a girl’s gotta have her fries! 😀

Low on motivation today

 

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(Picture from last summer, can’t wait for nice and warm weather!)

No motivation to leave the house today, it’s pouring down outside and I’d just much rather stay inside. I’ve started following so many new fitness accounts on Instagram, and for me it’s such a great way to both get motivation and learn new things. I love getting inspired with new workouts, new exercises, and just from seeing their physiques.

There are a lot of “fake” fitness accounts on Instagram though, people who either over edit their pictures or lie about how they got the body they have. It’s very easy to claim a tea or a “30 day challenge” got you a banging body, although it is not true. Some people don’t want to share what they actually do to look they way they do, either because they don’t want to share their secret, or because they don’t want you to know it’s retouch or surgery. Just as we know a picture in a magazine is not “real”, we also need to remember this when we look at Instagram for example. As long as you have that clear, of course follow whoever you want, and let yourself get inspired.

Strive to be the best you, try not to compare yourself to others, but rather compare yourself to you. Where you used to be, and the progress you’ve made, or wish to make. You only have one life, so make it the best one for you. Be happy, be healthy, and do things that make you feel good. Look at what you don’t like about your life, and figure out what you need to change or do differently.

Which are your favorite fitness accounts for inspiration and motivation?
Would you want me to list some of mine? 

Big Breakfast

 

Good morning and happy Sunday! 
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I’ve started my day with a big breakfast; I’m doing a leg day today so I need to fuel up with lots of energy 🙂 Well to be honest I have a big breakfast every day no matter the workout haha but it’s extra important on leg day! Especially good to have in mind for those of you who know you’re not great at eating in the morning. Load up with lots of good food to have the energy for the day and for your workout. After the gym I’m going for lunch with some friends, so excited to eat eat eat!

Sunday’s are fun when you don’t always spend them hungover. I used to party a lot when I was younger, and Sunday was the day of feeling like shit haha Paired with knowing the next day was Monday, reminding you of all the school stuff you had to do. I also think we’re “taught” to hate Sunday’s, but it could, and should!; really be a day of just recharging your batteries, going to the gym, eating well, and spending time with people you love. You can go through the week that’s passed and think about what you’d like to do different next week, or what you want to improve. Did you not make it to the gym as many times as you wanted? Then plan for the coming week to make sure you go. Did you feel like you wasted your time and not get any closer to your professional goals? Then think about what you could do and schedule it for next week. Always evaluate yourself, but in a constructive way! Think about what you want in life, how you want to feel about yourself and where you want to be. Are you doing anything to achieve that? What could you do differently?

Sorry for the rant, I really only meant to share my Sunday plans with you guys haha
Have a great day!! 

Healthy Chocolate Balls

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Good Morning!
As I promised last night on my Instagram, I wanted to share this delicious and healthy (healthIER anyway 😉 ) recipe for chocolate balls, or as I’d say in Swedish; nyttiga chokladbollar, or nyttiga kokosbollar 🙂 They were so delicious, and perfect as a little post dinner treat. Or post lunch, or just in the afternoon… You can make some alterations in the recipe to make it more or less healthy, but either way is still not bad for you! It’s a great tasting treat and with simple ingredients. I hope you’ll enjoy them! :

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Healthy Chocolate Balls
  • 3 dl oats
  • 1 dl coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cold coffee
  • 1 dl coconut sugar OR, to make it even healthier, use dates (I haven’t tried, but I’d guess around 12)
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder (not vanilla sugar / vaniljsocker, which contains sugar)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (again, pure cacao and nothing else)
  • Grated coconut to roll them in

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, and then add the coconut oil and coffee. At this point I used my hands to mix until I hade a nice texture to roll in. It took like 2 minutes! If you’re using dates use a blender or food processor, but be careful to make the mixture too runny. If it does feel too wet you can place it in the fridge for a little while before you roll the balls.
Shape balls in the size you prefer, and roll them on coconut. Place them in the fridge for a little while and then ENJOOOOOY! 🙂

Back on Track

After an Easter with too much cheating it felt pretty amazing to get back on track with my workout and eating routine today. My sister left yesterday, and we’ve had the best week! Lots of working out and lots of fun! Today I decided on a leg day since it’s my favorite, and always what I prefer doing when I’ve had some time away from the gym. By wearing gym clothes I feel good in, and planning for a favorite muscle group I find it easier to get motivated to get back on track. I thought the gym would be super crowded today, but I guess not everyone ate their own weight in chocolate hahaIMG_3610

This was my workout:

  • Seated leg press: 4 x 12, increasing weight each time
  • Hip thrusts with 15 kg weight: 4 x 16
  • American deadlifts with 2x12kg kettle bells: 4 x 12
  • Glutes kickback machine: 4 x 12 each leg
  • Abductor machine: 4 x 12
  • Squats in abductor machine: 4 x 12

Afterwards I did abs and 20 minutes intervals on the treadmill, and I was absolutely dead when I finished! That protein shake never tasted as good haha Always my “carrot” or what I look forward to during a hard, long workout, walking home drinking my protein shake. I’m back on my standard Strawberries & Cream flavor now, super delicious!

Fun Week of workouts with my sister

 

This week my sister is here and we are so excited to work out together! She normally gives me new ideas of exercises to do, and how to use the machines in new ways to target different muscle groups. Yesterday we did a short arm workout, pretty similar to how I normally do my arm days, and then finished off with 20 minutes of intervals on the treadmill. This morning we did a leg day and she brought some new stuff that I’ve been dying to try! I always feel so silly using the machines “the wrong way” haha, like it would be so awkward if someone told me that’s not how you’re supposed to do. Anyway, this was our leg workout:

Inspiration for your leg workouts:
  • Kneeling squats in the smith machine: 4×12
  • Deadlifts with dumbbells: 4×12
  • Leg press laying on your back in the smith machine: 4×12
  • Sidesteps with elastic band: 4×20 on each leg
  • Hamstring curl machine: 4×10

I found the first one a bit tricky to get a good contact with the muscles, but I think it was because I had too much weight on. In general when you’re trying a new exercise or machine it’s good to start with a lower weight to find the right technique and muscle. The other “new” exercise for me was the leg press in the smith machine laying on your back. It was easier to master, and I had a great burn in my hamstrings afterwards!

Do you have any favorite exercise where you use a machine “the wrong way”?