Herby fried carrots - A very simple way to spice up a boring salad

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I'll say it again. Healthy eating should not be difficult. Neither should healthy delicious eating. Salad can be fantastically boring sometimes, but I know a lot of tips and tricks on how to spice it up. 

First of all. You just have to think outside the box a little. But you really don't have to go very far outside the box. A similar thing was one of the very first "recipes" I made for Lifesum about 3 years ago. Super simple, but it catches the eye, and your taste buds. 

So... What do you do? Well, you simple cut a bunch of carrots up. You heat some oil in a pan. You add the chopped carrots and fry them until they're nicely tender, not fully cooked through. You want them to have a little bit of core to make it interesting in a salad. It takes about 15 min. Then towards the end you add fresh chopped herbs. I used basil and parsley this time but you can also use mint, thyme or rosemary. Depends on what you like. 

 

Kvalvika beach - Road Trip Going North Day 10 / 11

Kvalvika

It's finally time for the best part of our northern road trip. After exploring the fishing village, munching down both fish burgers and ice cream in Nusfjord we headed to Fredvang where we parked our car to begin the hike to one of Lofotens most beautiful beaches - Kvalvika. If you're in Lofoten, you simply can't miss this place. 

It's an hour easy hike over a small mountain ridge and then you're in paradise. 

Even if you're not big on hiking, getting to this view is worth every step. 

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... and no matter how cold it makes you want to jump in the water. The mere sight of this place made me want to let go and run and so I did. I just dropped my bag by our camping spot and ran back to the top with my camera to catch the afternoon light. 

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While I was out running Erik prepped the camping spot and put up the tent. If you look closer you can see him in the middle there - in action! 

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It was further to the top than I'd expect so I'd been jogging and climbing uphill for probably 45 min when I realized I had no way of communicating to Erik that I hadn't disappeared. I was only enjoying the late night sun on top of a beautiful mountain. But there was no way I would turn around when I've gotten so close to the top so I continued...

...and made it! 

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Totally worth it! This was the view the struck me with its beauty at the top. Turquoise waves crashing on a nearly empty beach. Maaaama Mia! 

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I went back down again after sitting down enjoying the view for a while, and obviously taking "a few" photos. By the time I got down Erik had already started to prep the food. 

Do I love him? Oh, yes I do!  

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But someone needed a some cleaning up so I jumped in the cold water, I bet it was 11 C or even colder but it was all worth it. 

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Okay, to be honest, it's horrible at first but the feeling once you're in, and afterwards, especially afterwards is so good. Now I understand why people insist on doing ice hole swimming in the middle of the winter. It's actually leaves you feeling fresher than ever, you can feel your circulation kick in and a fantastic energy boost! 

Got back to the tent that melted perfectly into the background. Got dressed and put on wool socks, hat and gloves. Haha, what a summer vacation, huh?  

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We had a nice dinner cooked over the camping stove, played some cards and enjoyed the majestic view. 

But I just had to go down to the beach again, play and explore my newfound interest of drawing in the sand. At least I have no problems staying busy in a remote place like this. 

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As the sun started to set we headed back to our little green tent, had some warm soup and prepared ourselves to go sleep in the most beautiful place I've ever been. 

Slept like queens and kings, only woke up a few times as the valley was full of sheep that insisted on talking to each other during the night. 

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It started raining during the night so we made breakfast in the tent. Oats and fruit soup. 

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After over a week spending most of the time sitting or sleeping in a car you can get kind stiff in the shoulders and neck so before we packed up I spend some time doing some yoga stretches. 

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Then we headed back over the mountain through the fog. 

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Lime- & Coconut flavored cottage cheese pudding

WOW! I've really gotten into the whole meal prep thing. Sometimes I think about what the actual difference is from what I did before. I mean I've always made my lunch boxes and been very good at prepping stuff ahead, but I guess we're just even more structured now. Making sure to even prepare breakfast in advance, ultimately I want to say that we've definitely optimizing our lives. We're SO effective and the thoughts and time spent on food, what to eat, when to eat, where to eat has been limited, and I LOVE IT! 

Seriously guys! Do it! 

Sometimes we forget breakfast, and that it's just as important to prepare as any other meal. To avoid the "regular sandwich"-mode. This week we made this fantastic treat! Initially we got the recipe from Erik's mother who's gotten it from her mother. So this is definitely a traditional one, but off course we've spiced it up a bit. 

To be honest it might not have the best macronutrient balance since it's very high in fat but the rest of my meals tend to be slightly low in fat so over the day it'll be balanced up. I'd rather have it high in fat than high in processed carbs and sugar. 

COTTAGE CHEESE PUDDING

6-8 servings
369 kcal
30 g protein
25 g fat
5.4 g carbs
5 g fibers

Ingredients

  • 1500 g cottage cheese 
  • 7 eggs
  • 4 dl / 1,7 cup grated coconut (+ a little extra to top the pudding off with)
  • 0,5 tsp vanilla powder 
  • 1,5 tbsp stevia
  • Zest and juice from 1 lime 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160 C / 320 F. Combine and whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and pour it over into a large oven proof dish (mine is 36 x 24 cm). Sprinkle with some extra coconut flakes and bake in the oven for about 40 min or until the pudding is starting to set and get a nice golden-ish color.

I topped it with lemon cheese cake protein podding and raspberries. But another good option is fresh strawberries, banana and basil which I had today. 

YUM! 

Unplug - A sneaky way to kill the 'I don't have time'-excuse once and for all

 

’I don’t have time’ to exercise or cook healthy food. 

This excuse is probably the most interesting one in my opinion. Most of the time I get the feeling that it’s another excuse covered in something that is just easy to say and convince yourself. I think most of the time it's a cover up for other ’real’ excuses or fear of change. I’m under the notion that you can make time if you really want to. 

Being addicted to my phone, like most people these days, I got a real aha-moment when I realised I could dig into details about my app usage, basically how much battery time you spend using them. WOW! I got shocked. The past 7 days I’ve spent 10 hours with Instagram open, 1 hour per day.

Time to experiment:

1. Check how much time you’ve spent on different apps on your phone (settings > battery)

2. Take the most used app, cut the usage time in half.

3. Put down your phone and take a walk equivalent to that time.

Nusfjord - Road Trip Going North Day 10

NUSFJORD

Woke up happy just like any other day on this trip. This time maybe even more so as the sun was peaking through our window.

Erik is definitely more of a morning person than me. I'm nowhere near an early riser and I always need to stay in bed at least 20 min extra to wake up smoothly otherwise the risk is that you get to meet the monster. In a place like this, those 20 minutes can easily be reduced down to 10. 

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As soon as my body was awake and breakfast was down, we went to explore this little fishing village and watched the fishing- and sailing boats leaving the harbour and the seagulls ready to attack once they get back with their catch. 

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I felt a strong need to bring these old old floats and fishing nets back home. 

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We went up to the attic of one of the old houses and found a lot of old stuff from someone that once had livet there, everything dated back to 1975. Spooky! 

The funniest thing was that on one of the old news papers we found an article about the wooden factory 'Trevarefabrikken' where they now have started the bar 'Trevarebaren' and where we spent a whole evening a few days earlier. 

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We went into this little general store with absolutely no expectations...

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and I'm glad I didn't just pass! This is one of the prettiest places I have seen and I can't say when I was so inspired the last time. Everything in there was preserved as in the good old days. 

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Everywhere you go in Lofoten you find shops that sell this dried cod. I had to try it and unfortunately I'm not able to call it a new favorite.  

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We tried their homemade fish burgers with wasabi aioli and pickled onions. Pretty good! 

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... and maximized the chillaxing before we moved on, overexcited to find Kvalvika beach.

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Henningsvaer / Ramberg / Nusfjord - Road Trip Going North Day 9

As we'd been out until the sunset (3 am) the day before we woke up at 11 and the sun was already up. We crawled out of our home on wheels, boiled our breakfast eggs, made our oats and poured up some coffee and headed out to explore more of what Lofoten had to offer.

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We didn't come far before the clouds blew in and the rain started pouring down. We went to Unstad beach where they are having arctic surfing camps. We stayed in the car, cooked some soup and read books for a while.

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RamBERG

Living in the car you might wonder how we remain so fresh and clean as we are? ;) Well you swim in the ocean! No matter how cold it is. It doesn't concerned me, because I would've been disappointed with myself if I had not bathed in an arctic beach like this one. 

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We stayed for a while and I painted the beach. As soon as I'm close to water I tend to become a child again! I swim and I play. Maybe a little more sophisticated and organized play but still play.

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NUSFJORD

Someone wrote a tip about this little fishing village so we thought that could be a good camping spot for the night. 

I found an old ladder in laying around next to the water. Thought we could use as a pic nic table and I got inspired to go all in with the decorations. 

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We made corn on the cob with chili butter and baked potatoes with spicy bean stew.

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While Erik was fishing I was just relaxing and reading for a few hours in the bed I'd created myself with this magic mountain view. 

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This was probably the most enjoyable moment of the trip. 

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HAPPY CAMPER!

How food affects your mood and why it's important to get a food flow

Yes, your diet can help put you in a good mood. Choose your food wisely, prepare them with some thought behind it and don’t waste your energy on the unnecessary. 

 

Choice - Choose foods that do you well. Basically I pick foods from 3 categories when I meal prep.

1. Smart carbs like quinoa, sweet potato, fruits, vegetables, berries and beans.

2. Brain foods high in healthy fats like fish (salmon / mackerel), seeds, nuts, oils, avocado.

3. Filling proteins like fish, chicken, turkey or for me that mostly eats vegetarian beans, legumes, quorn, soy that will keep you full for longer. Not being hungry all the time, drastically improves your mood. 

 

Preparation - It’s basically about making as much of your food as you can ahead. I promise, nothing will boost your mood better than this. First of all the feeling of accomplishment when you have everything ready and your life doesn’t have to revolve around your next meal - FLOW! You also make sure that you stick to the good choices, and helps you avoid the sushi take away night after night. 

 

Wasted energy - Constantly thinking about food, if its good or bad, if you should feel guilty, what others are eating, what you should eat for dinner, getting hangry and start fighting over something silly just because you’re low on energy. Spend the energy you put on food wisely and your mood will "stay wise". 


 

Svolvaer / Festvågtind / Henningsvaer - Road Trip Going North Day 8

The cloudberry jam we made the night before tasted just heavenly or *cloudly* on top of our morning oats. 

I could not wait to finally start exploring Lofoten. It's been on top of my bucket list for a few years now. 

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SVOLVAER

Passing through the gate to Svolvaer was definitely a milestone on this trip. Svolvaer on the first island Austvågøya is the biggest town in Lofoten archipelago. 

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We were strolling around for a while, looking at sailing boats, people kayaking, a few tourist shops that were eager to sell their eagle and whale safari's. We stopped to cook some food on a pier with Japanese tourists and loud seagulls as company.

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Just a few days before we got there, it had been a music festival in this small town. We could tell... 

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We had strong cravings to get moving and explore nature more so we decided to head up to Henningsvaer where I'd read there was a great mountain top we could hike to. 540 m "easy" climb. 

Festvågtind

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Everywhere we looked there was this turquoise water <3 In northern Norway, I can't believe it. 

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Halfway up there was a small "lake" or, pond where people where swimming and taking breaks before the last climp to the top. 

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I'm in love! <3

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This was the last peak to climb. 

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We and our little mascot made it to the top! Sweaty, HAPPY and just pleasantly tired.  

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We stayed at the top for at least 30 min, rested, played around with the new tripod we'd bought.

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On the way down we met a new friend who we decided to meet up for a beer later. 

Henningsvaer

Before that we explored my new happy place. I will even have a hard time describing Henningsvaer and how much I liked it. 

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It was tricky finding a good spot to camp, it wasn't a very big town after all. But at least they had humor... 

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We finally decided to camp on one of the big parking lots. How much time do you spend in your camp anyway when you live in your car? 

We "set up camp", and since we'd caught a big mackerel the day before that we had to cook we bought stuff to make my great grandmother's speciality and a childhood favorite - Fish stew with leeks and tomatoes. It's full of cream and butter, and after that hike that was exactly the energy we needed. 

  • 1 tbsp butter 
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 500 g white fish (preferably cod but mackerel worked fine as well)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 500 ml cream 
  • 2 dl chili sauce 
  • 1 fish stock cube 
  • Salt and pepper 

Fry the leek in butter, add the tomato paste, then the fish (cut into large chunks). Let the fish cook for 1-2 minutes before you add the cream, chili sauce, stock, salt and pepper. Just let it boil and try not to stir more than necessary to avoid that the fish falls apart. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve with potatoes or broccoli / cauliflower. SO GOOD! <3

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After dinner we took a walk and found a bench that said "human parking". Obvious place to sit down and chillax for a while. 

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But the most obvious place to chillax if you're in Henningsvaer must be - Trevarebaren. This bar opened just 3 weeks before we got there, in an old factory where they used to make wooden products, Trevarefabrikken. 

Look at it this! I don't think I can come up with a better spot to spend a Saturday night in August. 

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I got so inspired to get a wall rug <3

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UTAN FÖRSTAND, MEN FYLD AV KÄRLEK

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Our new friend Måns who was exploring Norway alone joined us.

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Måns is a designer and carpenter and he inspired me a lot with his camper van that he'd built himself. After hanging out at Trevarefabriken we went to check out the van and showed us pictures from the Burningman festival. I. NEED. TO. GO!

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The sun was about to rise again so we walked home along the water. 

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Me & my best friend and the love of my life. Yepp, that's him! 

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Well at least he was, until I found a new best friend and lover. This little fox was sneaking around our car when we got back. I looove foxes so I got overly excited and started to follow the poor thing. 

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So that's what our first night in Henningsvaer and our first night in the real Lofoten had to offer. Probably the best night of the whole trip.

I had to pinch myself several time in the arm to really understand that this view was real for example. 

CALM & BEAUTIFUL!

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Trollfjord - Road Trip Going North Day 7

After we woke up in Beisfjord outside Narvik we took off to check out downtown Narvik. It was just that the rain was pouring down, so since this had already become a fika-trip we found a café where we sat for hours and planned out our Lofoten-visit. 

We descovered that Matt Damon was in Lofoten to record a movie. That (and a million others) was reason enough for us to pack up and move on to our first stop in Lofoten.

We were camping on the other side of the water near Trollfjorden. 

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We made a nice camper version of Quorn Tikka Masala. Just a few quorn fillets cut in chunks, a Tikka Masala Spice mix, canned tomatoes, coconut milk & coriander. Yuuummy!

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Then we finally made some jam out of the cloudberries we'd found in Gällivare 💜 

The rest of the night we were just busy doing nothing, watching the blue mountains and read books. 

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We thought next time we will probably invest in a real camper van but to be honest we were having such a good time in this little Ford that I'm not so sure anymore. 

Kiruna / Abisko / Riksgränsen / Narvik - Road Trip Going North Day 6

KIRUNA

We left Jukkasjärvi behind and entered a rainy and foggy Kiruna. Positive - I got to try my new Houdini rain jacket. 

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And we found a great café. I'd actually saved this spot on my "visit"-list since I read Jonna Jintons blog. It sounded so genuine and it was. 

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They had so many options it took us at least 15 min to decide and we ended up buying everything... 

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Raindeer decorations 👌🏼 

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Even the bathroom was nicely decorated.  

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I had a vegan mix plate and Erik went for the grilled sandwich.  

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Then we went all in on the sugar, telling ourselves that we had to carb load for more active days.  

  • Rhubarb- & white chocolate compotte

  • Dumle toffee milkshake to share  

  • Mudcake
  • A large can of coffee.  

No regrets. No regrets at all!  

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At first we were planning to hike to one of the tops in Kiruna but decided to move and and maybe reach Norway earlier than planned. 

Abisko / Björkliden

We just made a quick stop in Abisko, basically sat down in the car thinking about if we should stop, drop, bring our backpacks and go out hiking for a few days which we had planned. But we both were so eager to get to Lofoten so we decided we'll come back for Abisko another day!

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We were laughing so hard at this information sign at the train station telling people not to go out on the tracks when they play Pokémon Go. 

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RIKSGRÄNSEN

Basically sitting in a car for a week made me crave exercise like crazy so just when we passed the boarder between Sweden and Norway we made a stop, put on running clothes and went out for a jog / hike. Since Erik felt a bit sick so it mostly me running around in circles while he was walking. 

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We stopped at one of the tops where I could run 15 hill intervalls and a tabata session with:

  • Split lunges / Burpees
  • Push ups / Dips
  • Regular crunches / Leg lifts / Side crunches
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NARVIK

Narvik welcomed us with these powerful views. The first fjords. 

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We looked around for a spot where we could we could camp and for me to do some sunset yoga Beisfjord proved to be that place. One hour flexibility session with Yoga Studio was exactly what I needed. 

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These mountains got me like - WOW!

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It always surprises me that mountains can have this initial effect on me. I just want to sit there and admire these impressive mountains. You take yourself and your so called problems less seriously and become more present in the moment.

Oh, why complicate stuff? 

Being near mountains just makes you feel better! 

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