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Inspiration

Be Inspired

Make winter workouts happen

Once the cold and dark weather hits and the holidays are in sight, our health routines and workouts tend to go out the window, and the lack of motivation is overwhelming.

It happens every year, it is like my motivation is taking a (loooong) winter break and just getting out of the apartment acquires a lot of effort. Not so surprising when you think about it, since it is pitch dark all day long and colder than on the north pole. Guess that’s the disadvantage of living in Scandinavia.

I never regret a workout, it´s simply getting there that is the challenge.

I have however over the years learned some tips and tricks so boost my motivation. Because I never regret a workout, it´s simply getting there that is the challenge. And I guess I am not alone? So, take a look and see if you can´t find some inspiration to get them winter workouts happen.

Buddy up
Create a family or friend challenge and spark your competitive spirit. That way you are not alone and you have fun while getting your workouts done. Maybe the winner gets to choose dinner  or gets a free lunch or whatever sparks your motivation.

Make a new playlist
We keep getting back to this tip, but it truly works! Music has such a motivational impact and sometimes you simply need the right song to get out of the sofa. Try and see what happens!

Work out at home
Seriously struggling with getting out the door? Well, it happens (a lot) and no worries. It doesn’t mean you can´t move your body. YouTube has tons of videos to choose from. Maybe try something new in the comfort of your home? A Fitnessblender session? Or some yoga? Take a look at some of our favorites here. 

Most importantly, be kind
It´s much harder to stay motivated if you don’t take the time to relax and recover. And nothing is more demotivating than setting aside your whole social life just to get those workouts in. Treat yourself with hot cacao, Christmas baking with friends or a glass or two of wine. Be nice to yourself and your body and find the balance.

And remember; a workout doesn’t necessarily mean a sweaty, hard-core workout at the gym. It can be a yoga or Pilates class, a long walk in the fresh air or whatever suits you. Just don’t forget to move that precious body of yours.


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: Jānis Šaulis / Red long sleeve (sponsored) / Location: rebirth fitness

Be Inspired Featured

Getting them greens in

We all heard it before: eat more greens. Vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet and your fountain of youth (you know the drill). But getting them greens in is easier said than done if you ask me.

Vegetables are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which boost your health and help fight off diseases. In other words, true power food! Pretty awesome, right? Saying that you will start to eat more veggies is easy, but when it comes to it, many of us fall short of our daily needs.

We therefore give you five tips on how to be getting them greens in. We´re not promising a miracle, but maybe you’ll get inspired to lure in some more.

Throw them in a mixer
Adding greens to your smoothie is maybe the simplest way eat more vegetables. Maybe you´re not a hard-core green-smoothie lover, but simply adding a handful of spinach does the trick. Take a look at our smoothie recipes, we got tons of yummy inspiration.

Boost your brekkie
Lots of breakfast dishes are seriously better with some greens. Don´t agree? Let’s give you some examples: avocado toast, scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes, sandwich with crème cheese topped with carrots and so much more. There is no limit!

Greens for starters
Many of us usually have salad or veggies on our dinner plate, but start eating what we find the tastiest first. Which often means that the veggies are eaten lastly and most likely to be left over too. Why not serve your veggies as a starter? That way you make sure to have eaten them before you get too full AND you end up having a two-course dinner, win win!

Replace your chips
Have you ever tried kale chips? Easy peasy to prepare and so yummy. And best of all; way healthier than potato chips and that way you get some kale into your system too. Take a look at our recipe here.

Salute the snack
Ok, we are true snack lovers, as you know, and would never in our wildest dreams suggest celery instead of chocolate. Nevertheless, cutting up some veggies (and fruits) and bring along to work, school or just have them in your handbag, available when hunger kicks in, is a great way to add some extra greens into your diet and help you when hunger strikes.

So, best of luck! See you on the other side.

And remember, everything is difficult before it becomes easy. Small steps in the right direction are better than a huge leap you’ll stumble on.


By: Henriette Danielsen

Be Inspired

Rituals and traditions

Whether they are religious or secular, performed alone or in a group, rituals have more power than one may think.

As I am heading to my annual family reunion in the East of France to celebrate Saint Nicolas, a less known but just as over the top celebration as Christmas in terms of presents and food, I find myself thinking about rituals.

This is the highlight of the year for the family. We are about 30 people spread all over the country and beyond, and it is the one weekend no one is allowed to miss. As a kid I just saw it as a great feast with tones of presents, a wonderful family time, but never really read much more into it.

As I grew older I started to feel the “weight of tradition”, how important it was for me that everything went exactly as it always had. It was almost visceral, everything had to stay the same: the time we would arrive, the way we would spend the day, the food we would eat. I was holding on to these rituals like a life preserver. It was my bearings while everything around me was constantly changing and evolving throughout the years: my studies, my career (or lack of), my personal life, people I loved passing.

Rituals are more than just a”knock on woods”, they give you something to come back to, hold on to in bad times, but also a space to celebrate in good times. They help create cohesion within a group, give a sense of belonging to a community, a family, real or made up. It creates a safe place or moment for you to share with others or to keep for yourself. Rituals comfort us and give us a sense of control over our lives.

This time around though, I have more perspective and I chose to let go. I accept the fact that rituals are important to me, essential even, but that they are not irrevocable and can evolve and accompany us as we grow older and, hopefully wiser.


By: Mo Oléron 

Breakfast Recipes

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes

What better way to start your day than with a little chocolate? We got your attention now didn’t we? Make your breakfast dreams come true with these yummy vegan chocolate pancakes. 

We have fallen completely in love with Happy Health Blog, and Natalie, the talented powerwoman behind the blog was kind enough to let us share the recipe to these fluffy and delicious pancakes. And lets just say: if you thought you knew how to make awesome pancakes, you never made these. Perfect for weekends or whenever you want to surprise a loved one with a yummy brekkie.

Ingredients (about 10-15 pancakes)
3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 potato starch
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
1 ripe banana
1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil + some more for cooking
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk 

Instructions
Toss all ingredients in a blender, blend until well combined. Over medium heat, pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter on a well-oiled pan. I use unscented coconut oil. When bubbles start to form on the surface of the pancake, flip and cook it for a minute on the other side. Garnish with berries and vegan Nutella. Enjoy!


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo and recipe cred: Happy Health Blog 

Be Inspired Featured

Right where I belong

Being Editor in Chief of Best of You, I have been getting to know the health community in Stockholm more and more. Not only in terms of our collaboration partners, but all the wonderful personal trainers, yoga teachers, coaches and brand owners out there. We work together, go to events together and often train together. Which used to terrify me!

I have never been this super fit gym lover, who makes lifting weights and running on a treadmill look as easy as a Sunday stroll to the local bakery. Let me try to explain: I am more the type of girl who gets a mild heart attack after a few meters of running, who is so red in the face that it looks like my period came out of the wrong place and lifting those 2-3 kg like my life depended on it. Making it hard to feel any connection to all those bloggers and influencers out there, promoting health.

When I met all these wonderful trainers and started to get invited to their workouts and events I was terrified. “I am not fit enough for this”. “I am not one of them”. “What the fuck am I doing here”. These where all thoughts running through my head.

But then I realised that this is exactly what we want to change

We want you to know that you don’t have to be fit to join a gym class. You don’t have to be soft and limber to be able to do yoga, and you don’t have to be skinny and have abs to be able to call yourself healthy. You find what feels good to you and a balance based on your life, your body and your needs.

Which is also what inspired me to found Best of You in the first place. Because I love yoga, but I also love wine. I love to work out and sweat, but I also love my relationship to the cookie jar and our late night dates with Netflix. And that doesn’t mean I don’t belong.

Now that I finally have realised that I am no longer afraid to join a kick boxing class, lift those weights or go for a run with someone (all though I prefer not to run, hihi). My point being; don’t think you need to fulfill certain criteria’s to be part of something. You are more than enough and health is for everyone! Coming from the girl who still goes to fitness events being the only one there not being able to do pull ups or hand stands, but still enjoys herself!

So go lift those weights girl, or go to that yoga class you always wanted to try or head straight into the lions cave and join the heavy bodybuilders at the gym. Whatever you prefer, but dont let a label or the thought of not being good enough stop you. Because you rock, with or without abs!


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: Jānis Šaulis / Location: rebirth fitness

Baking Recipes

Vegan Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

One of my favorite cookies to bake during the holiday season are snickerdoodles. This variation incorporates a fall favorite: pumpkin!

Ready to dive in? Here’s the ingredients;

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (I get mine from a can, but feel free to roast a pumpkin and puree it if you have the time!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plant-based milk of your choice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cream of tartar (this gives them their signature taste – don’t leave this ingredient out!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c cane sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Instructions
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcuis and cream together the brown sugar, coconut oil, and pumpkin. Mix in almond milk and vanilla extract and then add your dry ingredients — flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Roll your dough into balls then roll it in a bowl of cinnamon and sugar to cover the dough. Place each piece onto a baking sheet that has been oiled or lined with parchment paper. Bake between 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!


By: Samantha Thayer / Photo cred: feastingonfruit.com

Be Inspired

Q&A with Elin Härkönen

Meet Elin, the positive and energetic girl behind BREAK IT and you will MAKE IT. A girl who has overcome more obstacles than many other her age, showing that giving up is not the answer. And that has become her motto.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Private

Elin is a former athlete in gymnastic, having won several championship titles. But four years ago, she broke her neck after being kicked off a horse during practice. Against all odds, she fought her way back and just recently became the European Champion in OCR (Obstacle Course Racing). But then another accident occurred. Just a few weeks ago Elin was in Canada to compete when she was kicked in the chest by a horse, hospitalised with severe heart injuries.

But Elin is back, and she is so much more than just the girl behind the accidents. We got to meet her in Stockholm for a little Q&A about health, wellness and happiness.

What does health mean to you?
Health for me is about balance, and I truly believe finding a balance that works for you, your personality, goals and ambitions is the key to life. Because balance and health goes hand in hand. If we get too much or too little of something, our health will be affected negatively.

What inspires you?
People who follow their dreams. People who dare to be different and do what they believe in. People who never judge, who are curious and want to live their lives to the fullest. Cause that’s exactly what I am trying to inspire more people to do.

What is your favorite workout? 
Gymnastics on horses. I still miss the feeling of doing handstands on a running horse. But since I must choose something else I would say…. No I can’t choose..A little bit of everything; boxing, gymnastics, running, yoga.

Best part about your job?
I get to help people change their lives to the better. I get to help people overcome fears, do things they never thought they would be able to do.

What are your goals?
My goals and dreams are to make a difference. I want to help people improve their lives to the better. I want to share my knowledge, experiences, mindset and positive personality. Training and health are my passion, so continuing sharing my philosophy through my company BREAK IT MAKE IT. 

What motivates you?
My job, my clients, my friends, my family and of course all the challenges life is full of. I want to become the best version of myself, and that’s a life-long journey. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. ”


Facts
Name:
Elin Härkönen
Age: 23
Lives: Uppsala, Sweden
Works: as a Personal Trainer and Exercise Specialist in Stockholm

Follow Elin on her blog and Instagram for more inspiration.

Be Inspired

A beginners guide to meditation

Meditation can feel intimidating to those who haven’t tried it before! The great thing about meditation is that it is something that anyone can do, almost anywhere.

There are a ton of different ways to meditate — there are even apps that walk you through it. One I’m trying at the moment is Headspace. Not only that, but there are a ton of health benefits to meditation;

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less anxiety
  • Less stress

At the beginning of each morning, or at the same time every day, try just sitting still for two to five minutes.  Sit wherever you’re most comfortable and practice deep breathing. There are a lot of mantras available to read to see if one resonates with you.

It’s also fine to practice staying present, count your breaths, and try to remain aware of how your body is feeling. If you sense an area feels more tense, try to release the tension and relax the muscles. Zenhabits also has a great guide on different ways to start meditation that I highly recommend taking a look at if you’d like to learn more.

For now, I hope that meditation is something that you’re excited to try! If you meditate already, what’s your advice for beginners? Let us know in the comments below!


By: Samantha Thayer / Photo cred: Jānis Šaulis /Location: rebirth 

Be Inspired

Vulnerability: driving force or nemesis?

Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. 

Tempting right? We think not. Who would you want to be put in a position where you could potentially get hurt? Isn’t human nature to survive no matter what?

But then we ponder on Brené Brown’s quote:

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.

One can argue that by building walls around you will protect the person you are today, but prevents you from becoming the person you could be tomorrow. By building walls you’re building your own prison. A golden one maybe, but a prison nonetheless. It’s only by letting people in, trying and experiencing that you will learn about who you truly are, tune in with yourself and develop.

But where is the limit? When does vulnerability get in the way of growth, of innovation and creativity?

When focus is lost. When in the scheme of it all you lose your purpose in all the physical and emotional stimulations. When you lose yourself in the whirlpool of the new and the exciting whether it is a project or people.

Like everything else in life, balance is in order.


By: Morgane Oléron 

 

 

Be Inspired

Feeling stuck? Me too

Feeling stuck, with writing or anything in life? Well, me too. 

Why is it that sometimes even the simplest things require such effort? Like writing, for example. It usually goes very naturally for me, like all these ideas forming in my head just need to get out on paper. It is all smooth sailing, until one day, I start feeling like the muses have left me and I can no longer write even a single sentence that I feel satisfied with. I’m experiencing a writer’s block – a nightmare that happens to everyone who writes and is simply inevitable.

Writing is just one thing in life that can feel blocked. We all experience being stuck in different areas of our lives. Sometimes, like with writing, it’s just a phase that you have to go through. However, other times in life, it can be a sign that bigger changes need to be made. As I’ve been struggling with my creative block lately, I realised that I’ve been too hard on myself.

Nothing in life is constant rainbows and unicorns.

My creativity is no exception. I can’t expect to constantly feel inspired and have new ideas. Those need time and are often a part of a process that requires one going through uninspired periods. Like the nature has its seasons, everything in life goes in similar circles.

Sometimes the leaves fall down and you have to endure some darkness before the warm sun comes back again. In writing, you have to put the pen down and give your mind some time before you can get back at it. I am learning not to fight it, but to accept these blocks as a part of life that I should embrace. After all, it’s important to learn not to stress about something you can’t really change. After I’ve embraced it, it seems like the muses have returned. My writer’s block lost its powers over me and I feel free. That’s the trick with life, sometimes it gets better when we stop fighting and give in.

How do you overcome your feeling of being stuck? Do you have any tricks that work for you, both regarding creativity and life? I would be happy to hear.


By: Ivona Josipovic