Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spinach meatballs

 I'm not a fan of spinach (although I like fresh spinach salad), so I was looking for some solution to incorporate it to my diet. I used spinach in meatballs below, but you can't actually feel it some much in them. However, you get the full nutrition&benefits from it. Perfect example of cheating ;)

I used:
- 600 g minced meat (poultry or beef)
- a cup of defrosted spinach
- 1 egg
- 1 spoon of ground flaxseed
- salt, paper, garlic and onion (or other spices to taste)

Mixed ingredients, form 12 round-shaped balls and fry them in the pan. I'm using Fry light and always try to fry only to get cohesive consistence, not longer. After few minutes put form with  meatballs to the oven for next 20-30 minutes. 

I served meatballs with baked potatos, brokkoli and swede mash (kålrotmos from Kristine Weber recipe: http://www.kriweb.no/2012/07/29/bakside-skuldre-og-kalrabigrateng)

Done! Simple&nourishing!  :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

How to find a proper gym (in Norway and not only)

Vacation season is coming to an end.. That means that abandoned fitness clubs will come to live again! It is easy to find a place to waste your money and then pay them month by month, forced by inconvenience contract. Could be it easier to find a proper fitness club where you can reach balance between price and offer?

After spending more than a half a year in Oslo I have to say that there is a variety of places where you can train indoor. The only thing is to choose wisely. 

Source: sportogmosjon.no
First of all, consider if you want to use only the gym or also group training like Zumba, step, toning, spinn classes etc. Most of men would pick gym offer where girls are more like to choose aerobic. There are clubs which offers only machines and free weight and is you want to do a proper cardiovascular training you can use cardio machines like bikes, treadmills, cross trainers etc.. However, I do recommend places where they also offer of aerobic classes. Even is you are devoted gym enthusiast, it is exciting to do something else instead you daily routine. You can try spinn and have a great interval training or you can dance a little along to Zumba rhythms when your muscles are sore. Remember, that when you are train in a group, you automatic feel more motivated by all the people who might be watching you exercise (but in most casses group members are to busy training them selves to watch you ;) Group training is also a great solution for beginners. There you can learn the basics, even basics of strength training if you choose toning class. 

Normally, you can get crucial information with the first visit in the studio. Choose a club which is close to your neighbourhood. Don't pick a place where you have to travel half a city to get to. You may seem motivated right now but think of those long Norwegian evenings where whole city is covered by snow. Do you really want to spent those 30 minutes in T-bane to train? 

When you are already in the club, there should be someone (receptionist or trainer) who will explain everything to you and answer your basic questions. If they are letting you go round the studio alone, you might be sure that they don't care whether if you become a member or not. Most of fitness clubs (not all of them!) have also free trail hour (prøvetime). Use it to check how you feel in the studio and look closely for all things I mention below. 

If you know what you prefer (only gym org gym+aerobic), look closely how the whole fitness club looks. Does they have reception where you can find help, what are the wardrobes and - most important - what is the condition of machines in the gym. They might be plenty of them, but do they work? Is there sufficient number of treadmills and other cardio machines where you can easily warm up? Are they covered in dust or clean regularly? check if they offer free weight room. Ask how many people can aerobic room accommodate and how is the registration system for the classes (there are actual plenty of them: calling reception, online booking, who come first got a place etc.).

Sometimes studios offer free trainer help for the newcomers. In others, you have to pay extra for tutorial. Find out how expensive is to get a personal trainer. In order to check how much it too much, you can compare one club offer with a competitive club.Is it worth to have an hour with personal trainer? Yes, even for once. It is always better to have some tutorial and extra motivation from professionals.
Source: elixia.no

Contract. It is not a joke, it is a document which you sign and be sure that if something will go wrong, fitness club will use that contract to reassure you that they only follow their rules which you decided to follow. 
Check duration of the contract (bindingstid). Most of the clubs have them, they are only few without specific duration of the contract. Of course, there are options of only one month membership, but to be true, they are not worth investing. Normally there is 12 month contract time, sometimes 18. With some special offers and students promotions, you can get the shorter duration. Bindingstid means that you are obligate to pay Y sum of money for  X number of months. If you have a year contract you will have to pay regularly for 12 months or pay in cash at once (or the rest to pay off your contract obligations)

Fitness club will recommend you to make an automatic transfer (avtalegiro) which is not so bad idea. With this, you don't have to worry each month about gym bill. And you will avoid plenty of unpleasant situations when your money won't be send on time to fitness club. Normally studios cooperating with dept collecting companies (like Credit Care), which can be very persuasive in order to collecting payments. Club give you week or two (ask how much delay you can have) to pay and then automatic process of collecting payment starts. Annoying sms and letters are involved ;) 
There are only specific cases where you can freeze (frysning) you contract and payment. Normally it is documented sickness or military service. Vacation, lack of money, shortage of time might be not sufficient reason to freeze your contract. Moreober within duration of the contract it it not possible to delete it. Ending contract (oppsigelse) is kind of problematic thing both for clubs and customers. Check what are club regulations in order to this particular problem. 
One important thing! It is a common practice that that if you don't close or sign a new one before its experience date, contract will prolongs automatically, often with the higher price. You might not think about that right now, but - believe me - in 12 or 18 months time if your monthly fee will raise from 200 to 600 nok, your wallet would fill it ;)

Source: zdrowo24.com
Gym and aerobic classes is the obvious things which can be find in fitness clubs. But what about other facilities? Are they saunas in wardrobes? If yes, are they open all the time or just for few hours during day. What about cold drinks and nutrition? Is it possible to by a water, protein or energy drink while you are training? In some places there are also kids-friendly rooms with babysitters. Check, how much you will have to pay for that and in which hours they offer this services.  In many places you can also find solarium, which might be a good idea for those who like to get that after or before training. Does the club organise seasonal attractions like competitions, outdoor facilities and boot camps? Some clubs have special offers dedicated only to women (kun for damer), with separate gym and aerobic classes. Not to mention all 'ready to bikini', 'summer body' and other campaigns who might be very helpful in breaking training routine. 

Even if you are not a fitness addict and signing to a gym is just your wise decision, not enthusiastic one, try to perceive fitness club wider than just 'sweat room'. Will you fill adequate and comfortable in that particular gym which you choose? Maybe sometime is better to pay more for better service than to strive in poor condition studio? On the other hand, do you really have to overspend for the fancy club knowing that you could reach the same goals in a cheaper place? It nice to have your friends around you, but are you going to socialise there or to train? Train hard or go home, they said :)

The more you think about fitness studio now, the less you will be worrying in the future. Work with the basics. Find the place where you can achieve, formulate and re-reformulate your personal goals and have fun with fitness adventure :) Lykke til!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Protein pankakes


Saturday is one of these days when we can eat breakfast together. Let's make it special!
I prepared protein pancakes :)

I used:
- 1 measure of chocolate protein powder
- 2 measures of wholegrain flour
- 2 spoons of PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
- 2 spoons of skimmed linseed
- mix of milk and water to reach proper consistence
- pinch of salt and stevia
- kesam mager/kesam vanilia with lots of berries to decoration

That is what I call Saturday treat :)

Running in the rain

Source: austin360.com

I was really waiting for this Saturday and my morning run. With two working weeks and weekends in a row, aerobic hours and strength training, I didn't find a time to proper run.
So, it is 8 in the morning, I'm jumping out of the bed, full of energy and... it's raining again. I mean RAINING, not just a typical summer shower. Whatever we have here, in Oslo, is always stronger and more intensive than in other places in Europe :)
'Damn', I thought. So... I put on my waterproof jacket and went running. No excuses! :)

Friday, July 27, 2012



Welcome to my new fitness project. Few months ago I move to Norway, the country I love and am really interested in. With this relocation I wanted to incorporate as much fitness as possible into my daily live. And I did it ridiculously quickly and easy! Where could I fit best than to a fitness centre where I found my first job?  So now I am working in a place where I can help other to reach their goals, as well as realize mine own.

We can say that I am a fitness addict. Everything I know and do I learned myself, by my mistakes and continuously fight with with my sicknesses and obstacles. I still have plenty of things to accomplish which makes my journey even more exciting.

And what about the ‘nordic’ mentioned in the topic? Well, it is not hard to guess that my journey will focus on exploring this beautiful country even better in terms of healthy lifestyle. First thoughts? Norwegians are health&fitness obsessed! They enjoy every weather and any kind of sport activity. It is a real pleasure to see so many young, adults and oldies who train, run, skiing and display their faces to the sun shines.