One thing you could skip this Christmas (definitely not the chocolate)

The stress regarding your body image and what food you put in your body.
One thing I would advise you to skip this Christmas is the stress regarding how much you eat and how you afterwards have to ”get rid of it”.

We all know that what we put in our body needs to be used as energy to prevent the risk of gaining weight. Energy in – energy out.
And this Christmas you might eat more than you intended to, as most people do every year. And that is okay.
And you do not have to justify it with ”the new year is coming and I am going to lose weight”. Enjoy it.
I am not saying that you should overindulge in it, but just eat that chocolate if you want to – without the guilt.

Because I believe it is all connected – holistic health. That stress and mental struggle you are creating for yourself is not going to help you in any way – doesn’t matter what body size you are. We are great at creating anxiety around Christmas – money, gifts, family get-to-gathers. Another thing we don’t need is to create anxiety around food.

Let me introduce you to mindful eating.
This is something I’ve been trying to adopt the last couple of months, and I would recommend you to do this during the holidays.
A couple of girls in my class at the end of my last semester at Uni spoke about this in a workshop – mindful eating. And I really like the idea of it.
I have a tendency of eating waaay too fast (it’s kind of like someone would take the food away from me-fast!), which makes me bloated and I am not really enjoying my meal. Instead, I am trying to eat my food slowly so I can enjoy it – because I do really, really love my food.
By eating slowly I can also tell when I am getting comfortably full, instead of ”food baby-full”. Then I stop eating – I’ll just put the left overs in a container and shove it in my fridge and save it for later.
It is also great to take small breaks when eating and really see if I am enjoying the food. Does it taste good? Does it bring me joy? If not, then why the Hell are we eating it?
Food is there to nourish your body, but also create joy and be a pleasant experience.
People often tell me ”I eat chicken, brown rice and broccoli because I know it makes my body look the way I want it too”. Really? Are you enjoying eating it or is it just about the way your body looks?
I love food too much – would not eat something just because I think it is going to make me look a certain way (If you would have asked me a couple of years ago my answer would have been completely different).
The thing is food is sooo much more in our lives than just focusing on our weight; you can still have a Delicious meal that is considered healthy – I am not saying ”If you love McDonald’s than have that all the time.” But maybe try and make your own hamburger instead. We are all on different health journeys and you’ve got to start somewhere.
So I would recommend you to start now – by not judging yourself for eating this holiday. It might seem like a small step to you – but your health is going to thank you for it.

Merry Christmas to you all,
Please let me know what you thought of this post!

Variety, baby

Long live the smoothie bowl. It’s pretty, it’s yummy. But I am just getting so tired of all the hype around it, aren’t you?

If I see one more perfect smoothie bowl I’m gonna suffocate myself on the peanut butter I have stashed in my cupboard (there are worse ways to die).
No, I want to see some other dishes, something inspiring (but still easy to make).  Sure, your bowls look pretty and they probably taste amazing. Anyone can make them which is great, maybe not make it look as pretty as yours (obviously, because you’ve had a great amount of practice with all the failed smoothie bowls you managed to make before you took that perfect shot), but a smoothie bowl is not that impressive.

It is easy to make, I give you credit for that – because easy-making nourishing food is what I’m all about.
I am not saying I am a great cook, and that is why I am asking for inspiration. And I most definitely do not have the artistic smoothie bowl skills that you have.
But what about variety? Do you eat anything else?

Today I made lasagna.
I used to hate lasagna, every time we got it in school I would pull a face (you know the face) and it probably took me a decent amount of time to finish the plate.
But lasagna does not have to be in a certain way.
What do you think of lasagna?
It’s yummy?
It’s too ”unhealthy” because of the cheese?
There is too much carbs in it?

I decided to make it my own way, and so can you.

First of all, all home cooked food is better than fast food any day.
It’s made with love, you took the time to make food that nourish your body. 
There is cheese, and who doesn’t love cheese? (which you do not have to use if you do not want to)
In my lasagna I used:
Tomato sauce made by frying garlic, onion and tomatoes together, adding sour cream and whatever spices you want. I used basil, + salt and peppar.
Chickpeas
Capsicum (peppers)
Eggplant
Lasagna sheets
Cheese

I’ve modified the ”traditional” lasagna, and even if you were to make a traditional lasagna that is awesome. Because you made it yourself, and as I was saying – that beats fast food any day. And store-bought food – because they have a tendency to add heaps of things that doesn’t necessary have to be in there.
The thing is if you modify it slightly you might get away with ”hiding” certain foods from yourself.
I used to hate capsicum, now I love it warm (still working on the cold part).
I used to hate eggplant, now I use it in my lasagna because I can sometimes crave it.
Isn’t it funny?
And it contains sooo many things that are good for you – vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and protein. Your body needs it, everyday.

You can also make it with a kick-ass salad on the side.
I made mine on kale, fried in a little bit of olive oil, green beans, red cabbage and some pepitas.

Good luck creating!

The problem is when we become afraid of food

Do you ever get overwhelmed with all the nutrition information out there?
Yes, me too.
And I am a soon to be graduating nutritionist. In less than a month, I just want to add that. (yaay!).

But it is just so confusing, am I right?
Low carb, high fat. Ketogenic diet. Don’t eat this, do eat that. One day it is different information compared to the day before.

I was listening to this very great podcast the other day and then the lady that was being interviewed started giving nutritional advice. She has no nutritional background what so ever. She is an author regarding something completely different..
And she has sooo many followers. And they are of course going to believe everything she says as they look up to her.
I am not going to go into what she was speaking about – but it is just frustrating how someone with so many people admiring them gives advice on what they should eat. Because it works for her.

I would never tell anyone ”this is how you Should workout, because that is what I am doing at the gym. And clearly this works, look at my boobs”, kind off. But at the end, I have to freaking idea why You are going to the gym. I am not a personal trainer. I have other people in my life to help me with that.
It’s like saying: everyone should paint their walls pink because it makes me feel so much more energetic in the morning. So you feel very tired in the morning, but do You even like pink?

Look at this picture:

Yummy, right?
Some of you are going to think: Oh, she is so healthy that Penny (she’s a freaking beast).
Some of you are going to think: That is just too much sugar.
Some people: You should just quit as much carbohydrates as possible, because they are not good for you.
Another one: Oh, I wish I could eat like that. I have this problem (whatever it is), and my body would not react very well after eating that.

And these are legit thoughts that are going through my reader’s minds right now, because We Are All Different.

When I mentioned sugar what was your thought? 
Yes, fruit contains fructose, which is a sugar (carbohydrate). And just like refined sugar – It contains the same amount of energy per gram.
Just because I say this you might think: Am I going to become fat if I eat too much fruit?
No.
The difference is that refined sugar has no nutritional value what so ever. It does not give you any of that goodness that makes your body thrive and heal. (Maybe not heal a heartbreak, but that’s a completely different story).
However, I am not going to tell you not to eat refined sugar. The problem is when the intake of refined sugar becomes too high and it starts to contribute a lot to your daily intake.
Because it does not contain any of the amazing components that fruit contains – Fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Fruit also contains a lot of water.

However, too much of anything may be bad for you – but seriously, how much fruit can you eat before your lips become all sour and they hurt?

But when someone tells me we should cut out all carbs and pretty much all fruit – ”Because My body will feel so much better, just because Their body feels better” – I am like; WTF?!

Are you with me?

The problem is when we become afraid of food, sugars especially, because a lot of us are. Because it is made out to be the only enemy that is contributing to overweight and obesity.

But it is all about balance and moderation.

What you put into your body have to be used up as energy otherwise you will gain weight.
I went to the gym today, so I can have that chocolate bar. But it doesn’t matter. I should not beat myself up over it if I decide to eat that bar tomorrow instead when I don’t go to the gym.
Or I can choose on that gym-day to eat a lot more carbohydrates (veggies, rice, potato), or protein (contains the same amount of energy as carbs) – because they are nutrient dense, feeding your body with nutrients.

Take home messages:
– Look where you get your nutrition information from. Do you know how many celebrities that have written books about nutrition and that they actually are actresses?
– Everyone is different.
– If you don’t have someone to turn to with your questions – I am happy to help. I do not know everything, but I can always look into it for you.

Show that little devil some attitude

I was going to the beach the other day, I put on my bikini as usual and I’m standing there in front of the mirror in my bathroom and I’m like: ”WTF?! I can’t walk around like this on the beach. What’s that? Where did my two-pack go? Why do I have hair there, WHO has hair there? Why does everyone else come off so perfect but here is a blubb of fat with hair where hair obviously shouldn’t exist (Which I’ve seen on Instagram, thank you very much).”
Yes, very evidence based of me.

This was what was going on in my mind on Saturday morning before heading to the beach to chill with my friends, why am I ruining my day?

I know I’m always talking about body acceptance, and Health at Every size. Which I do believe, but I also believe that you can’t hide from those horrible thoughts that pops up in your head sometimes. Which I have, not as frequently as before – but that day they were horrible. It’s like a devil is sitting on my shoulder and shitting out every negative though I’ve ever had about my body.
Just because I put on a bikini. And accidentally was standing in front of the mirror.

So the old Pernilla came into my head and started thinking ”maybe you should just stop eating so much, do some squats”. And you know what the new, improved Penny did? She took her towel and went down to the god damn beach. Because I’m sure as hell not gonna let that little devil of mine decide if I’m ”worthy” enough of showing myself in a bikini, AT THE BEACH. And and I sure as hell won’t stop eating – because food is life.

So there might be some of you thinking: Then if you don’t like your body that much why don’t you do something about it?
But this is how I see it: If I would go to the gym for That reason, am I feeding a healthy behavior? No, I’m feeding a bad one.

You know what I always used to say when someone was complaining about their love handles?
”That means there’s just more of you to love”. Which is amazing.

Take it from me – if I can knock that little devil down, so can you (even if it’s maybe just for a second).

 

Start practicing self-care today

People always telling me ”Ooh, I’m so tired… I think I’m iron deficient.” Do Not diagnose yourself.
Some people are always too quick to think it is iron deficiency when they feel tired and fatigue. It might be that you are not getting enough vitamin B12, or folate because folate activates B12. And if you start eating iron supplements without knowing that is actually the problem, you might make it worse.
Things that often is associated to iron deficiency is being pregnant (hence, why focusing on getting enough iron when pregnant), that time of the month that we all love, or that there is an issue with absorbing iron. And several things can contribute to this such as medications (one type of stress to the body) or just that you are stressing your way through life.

So, here’s my topic for today;

Sometimes it is great to have a timeout.
For those of you who knows me, knows how I possess the great gift of stressing too much. About nothing. Or no, I stress about the smallest things – but I am an expert of the snowball effect – you know when you think of something small and that wheel in your head keeps spinning and spinning and soon you have five major problems you need to solve before your next breath? Yup, that is me.

This week has been incredibly stressful for me with heaps of assignments, presentations and yuck.
Stress in itself makes you tired and not working properly. I am absolutely drained after this week probably because all of the tension in my body is gone and I’m finally relaxing – and my anxiety levels are definitely not as high.

So waking up this morning I rewarded myself (mum reminded me to do this after I’ve finished one assignment) and relaxed. I would say that it is very important to reward yourself after finishing something that has taken a lot of effort to do. Like after achieving a goal, whether it is uni related or maybe health related.
I started the day with meditation (which I do everyday, but can’t really focus sometimes because there is a snowball in my head). There is this great app that I use called Insight times, and some of my favorite meditation teachers are: Melissa Ambrosini, Sarah Blondin (more of a motivation talk), and Brandon Alter.

Have you ever wanted to try out meditation? I dare you now! I know several of you are interested in starting to meditate daily.
It’s also perfect with this app because they track your meditations day by day and you earn stars. Making at least Me more motivated to do it!
And I know when you see all of these inspirational, calm yogis on Instagram they make it sound so wonderful and easy… and they are So spiritual and they have everything together.
Trust me, it is not that easy for all of us. It takes work. It’s a continuing progress.

Meditation helps me with my breathing, that is why I started to do it, because I feel like breathing helps me with the pain in my body. But it is seriously So Hard to get to that ”Special” point (Is she referring to sex or meditation? That is the question..). And once you are there you’e like ”yeeeeey, I’m there!!!”, and then it’s lost. Of course. Because you’re focusing on the wrong thing.
Meditation is not only about sitting cross-legged on the floor with your thumb and indexfinger touching (I’m too old to be sitting like that for longer than 5 minutes without pain), you can do it in a way that suits you. I sometimes lie on my bed, I sometimes lie on my yoga mat with a bolster tucked under my knees (removes the pressure on your lower back), sometimes I do some light stretching while I meditate. It’s all about focusing on your body and breath, and be mindful.
Do it your way.

Also, I would love some tips from you guys. I’ve started to reading a lot of books, especially spiritual books and how I can apply this to my life. Do you have any good books you can recommend me about body, mind, health?

Almost every morning I draw three cards that symbolizes something that I should think about a little bit extra that day, or I ask a question and let a higher power give me an answer.