Monday 29 December 2008

It is all about Balance

Being a personal trainer I tell my clients to eat healthy and stay away from as much processed food and alcohol as possible. Living a healthy lifestyle is the only way to build and maintain a healthy and fit body. There is no shortcuts that last in the long run.

Life is all about balance and there is a time and place for everything. Sure, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to have take-away food every day but to be able to relax and enjoy is almost equally important as being consistent in your training and diet regime. Balance is the key. 

As a teenager I was heavily involved in the fitness industry and my life was circulating around training, cooking and eating. I tried most things. I didn’t drink, I ate vegetarian food, low carb diets and low fat diets. With training it was the same. One day I did high volume training, the next high intense. Cardiovascular training and weights.I am happy that I was so curious and tried different sports and diets. I have always been interested in finding out what happened with the body when I changed something. Unfortunatly things got almost too controlled and this was where I leant one of the most important lessons in regards to fitness.

You do need a balance.

Easier said that done. It is all about being able to make the right choices, learn about training and nutrition so you know when to use the different techniques to reach your go

als. For many people the hardest thing is to lower the bar, to give yourself some time off and relax.

As you know I have been on holiday for the last few days. I went to New Zealand, back to a place I used to live. I decided to take a couple weeks off my normal diet and training regime to enjoy some great food and wine. We all have our favorite foods that sometimes not fit into our lives, at least not on a regular basis. So during this holiday I made sure to fit in all my favorites. 

Over the last couple of days I have truly relaxed. I have had a great time. I got a few more days before I get back to work but I can already feel that I am ready to get back into my fitness lifestyle. I feel recharged and energetic. I love to cook healthy food, I love the feeling of being healthy. This is my life and I can’t wait to get back into it.

So if you also have had some time off during the festive season, eaten a bit more than you normally do. Don’t feel bad about it... take it for what it is. A holiday. Both you and your body will benefit for it in the long run. Make sure that once the festive season is over you will get back on track. For now, let’s enjoy the holiday as long as it goes.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Christmas Holiday

When I was young I always got told that I was impulsive. My mother used to laugh and ask why I always waited until the last minute. Still being at school this normally involved sitting up late the night before doing my homework or running to school instead of getting up a bit earlier and be able to walk there. 

The concern was when I grew up and I decided to go travel, work or study at university. I found myself in the same habits but somehow I have to say that I most of the time got everything done, sometimes with a very good result to every bodies surprise. I really enjoyed living my life from day to day.

I have been living in Sydney for the last 5 years and even though I have been away overseas a couple of times, either for work or pleasure I wanted to do a trip over Christmas. So writing this blog entry I am laying on the top of my bed in a guesthouse in Whitianga on the Coramandel peninsula,  New Zealand. 

I have lived in New Zealand for almost 3 years and I think Coramandel is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Soon after arriving I picked up my rental car, a brigh
t red Toyota Yaris. As I sat down behind the wheel I started to think. When I was driving left hand traffic last? Being a city boy in Sydney I do not drive and very rarely I need to borrow a car. I figured out that it was almost 2 years ago since I sat behind the wheel on the right side of the car.

After knocking my hand in the door a few times to change the gear I got more comfortable in the car. Just in time to hit the Auckland peak-hour traffic. I took my time driving towards Whitianga, stopping to take some photos and eat one or two ice-creams. I could feel the stress and tension leaving my body.... Holiday!

I like living a busy life... it justifies a great holiday now and then. 


Sunday 21 December 2008

Special FX Make up...

Working in front of the camera you get the chance to do a lot of different jobs and you get the chance to work with some amazing and talented people. About a year ago I got asked to participate in a project that involved special effect make up. Having seen a fair amount of Sci-Fi movies I had always wondered how they came up with all the creatures and story lines.

A few weeks later I met up with photographer Pedro Virgil and make-up artist David Willis. I got told that my role was to become a gargoyle. After a couple of meetings I ended up in David workshop where he started to make casts of my head, feet, hands and teeth. I recommend anyone who suffers from claustrophobia to stay away from this procedure.

I was amazed when I came back a couple of weeks later to see what David had created. We had our first fitting and polished on some of the features. One more fitting and we where ready to get serious.

At 3am we started what ended up being a 12 hour transformation. After all prosthetics where in place I got airbrushed from head to toe. As you can see David is a man with incredible talents. As the sun went down we headed to the location, an old cemetery where Pedro had set up lighting and smoke machines. Over the next few hours David and his team worked on the make up and Pedro made sure to capture every step of the way. 

Even though it was in the middle of the winter and both me and Candace who played a gothic girl where freezing we succeeded to make it happen and after almost 23 hours of hard work we could relax. The shoot was a success. I will have a sample of the finished product in a couple of weeks. Until then... have a look at some of the back stage material.

I feel privileged to work with so talented people. Have a look at David and Pedro websites. There is a lot more amazing projects there.

David Willis :      Pedro Virgil :


Friday 19 December 2008

Christmas Parties...

This weekend i I had three parties to polish off. First up was Cornerbox Chistmas Party. I work together with Cornerbox shooting a TV series for channel 7 which is coming out in February 2009. I work as a personal trainer over 12 episodes. Keep you eyes open for the ads coming up in the new year.

The whole team has been working very hard over the last few months to make the show happen. I didn't realize how many people are involved in making TV. Most of the people I actually never even met but kept in contact via email on a weekly basis. This is where the tradition of work christmas parties comes in.

In the  real world there has to be a natural heir-achy for things to run smooth and to solve any problems that arise as soon as possible. Everybody play their roll and this is what makes  a workplace successful.  In recent years corporate challenges and team-building exercises has been more and more popular and that for a purpose. Getting to know your work colleagues outside the already arranged work situation can be beneficial for the understanding of respect of each other hence improve the team work.

There you go... That is reason enough for the a good Christmas party. The Cornerbox party was a great start. We went to the Argyle in the Rocks, Sydney. Had a few beers and just had a good time. As I had three days of party ahead and I had to get up early the next morning for personal training, I stopped at a couple of beers, called it a night and went home.

Following day was my last day of work and the annual Chadwick Christmas party was launched at Hugo's in Kings Cross. Chadwick Models is my agent in Australia. I must say that over the years I have met quite a few agencies but no one as friendly and relaxed as Chadwick. My booker Martin De Courtney is a star. He always looks after me and we have a great time... especially at parties like this one. We later went on to Shhh nightclub for a few more before calling it a night. It was great catching up with friends that I haven't een for a long time. You recognize your friends when you can be apart for a long time but when you finally meet you are back where you were last time you spoke.

I woke up around midday saturday with a head feeling slightly heavier than normal. One large bottle of water, some porrige, fruit sallad and I was back on track. It was saturday and PR guru John Scott was promoting Stephanie Leslight birthday bash at Ivy pool. I was pretty keen to go as I never been before and I had got some good vibes from friends who where going there on a regular basis.

I have now got a new favorite venue in Sydney. Ivy Pool got a classy but still funky interior and the bar are built up around the pool in the middle. Even though we did not have anyone swim this time I got told that on sundays afternoons you can rock up in your boardies, have a cocktail and enjoy the sun together with good friends.... in the middle of Sydney. Sounds like a great start to me. You can count on I will hang here more over the summer. 

Sunday 14 December 2008

Saint Lucia

For most people in Australia the 13th of december is just another summer day. In sweden it is tradition to celebrate Saint Lucia, an italian saint who lived in Sicily  during the 4th century. She dedicated her life to helping others. Lucia died a martyr's death when she refused to marry a man which she did not love.

Infuriated he promised to burn her on a fire. She prayed to god to make her strong enough to withstand the fire. Her strong beliefs and kind heart protected her from the naked flames. As the man realized that she was unharmed he took a sword and cut her throat.

The swedish tradition is to celebrate her kindness. To bring prosperity to christmas. Young women dress up all in white, with candles in their hair symbolizing the fire and a wide red satin band around their waists for the blood spilt.

During St Lucia's day, you eat saffron buns, ginger breads and drinking a type of hot spiced red wine. You meet up for a feast to remember Saint Lucia's generosity.  Today it is more of a chance to catch up with friends and family, relax and have some good food and wine. To enjoy...

This weekend started just like any other swedish day of Lucia. I caught up with one of my best friends, Sascha. We made our spiced red wine and baked some awesome saffron buns. Later that evening we caught up with a third swede, Peter and went for a pajama party and a good night in town. Yet another great day with good friends.

No matter who you are, religious or not the festive season is a time to meet up with friends and family. To let loose, relax and enjoy. So next year, make sure to mark the 13th of december.... Celebrate Saint Lucia's day...


Thursday 11 December 2008

Pan Fried Barramundi

After the great seafood I had a the aussieBum Christmas party I decided to give you a taste of a classical meal that with some modifications can fit into a healthy, nutritious and tasty eating plan. Pan fried fish battered in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

After the 90's low fat hype many people stayed away from fat all together which is equally as bad as eating too much. A general guideline is to eat as many grams fat as body weight in kilos. Make sure that the fat you eat comes from good sources such as nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish and most vegetable oils. Avocado oil which I use in this recipe is not only healthy but also add some lime flavor to the fish.

Parmesan Battered Barramundi With Taste of Lime (3 Port)
Per Serve: 469 Cal, 18g Fat (3g saturated), 36g Carbohydrate, 40g Protein

430g Barramundi fillets
120g Large Prawns (Tails on)
30g Bread crumbs
15g Finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tsp Avocado oil with lime infusion

300g Cocktail potatos
450g Baby Carrots
Lemon and Fresh Dill

Boil the potato until tender. Use a steamer to steam the carrots on top of the potatoes for the last 10 minutes. Pour of the water and spray lightly with olive oil spray, then add some salt. Meanwhile the potato and carrot are cooking prepare the fish.

Clean the fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Grate the parmesan cheese with a microplane and mix with bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Turn the fish into the mixture and let rest on a dry plate. Butterfly the prawns (Cut lengthwise over the back, halfway through) and turn these in the mixture as well.

Add half the avocado oil in a good teflon coated frying pan and fry the barramundi on medium heat until golden. As you flip the fish add the second half of the avocado oil and fry equally golden. Turn up the heat and fry the prawns until they curl up nicely and turn golden. Make sure not to over cook the prawns.

Place the boiled cocktail potatoes and the carrots onto the plate, top with the barramundi and fried prawns. Finish of the meal with a slice of lemon and fresh dill.

Simple, nutritious and divine...

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Saturday 6 December 2008

aussieBum Christmas party

Being swedish, a white christmas has always been the pinnacle of christmas celebrations. I don't know if it is the lack of snow or just the great christmas I have had in recent years that have changed my believes over time.

This weekend it was time for aussieBum's christmas party. After hours in the gym, calorie calculations and a fair bit of sweat I decided that it was time to enjoy. Trust aussieBum to throw a great party! 

Seafood has always been my favorite but not really "christmas food" in my books. After half a crayfish, oysters, prawns and of course a fair amount of champagne I decided that seafood now is my new favorite christmas food. I am planning to give you a new receipt for some seafood to enjoy even on a calorie controlled diet. Unfortunately there isn't any good healthy options to champagne so you might want to "save" some calories for that one.

I have realized how lucky I am to work together with aussieBum and all the people involved. It has become more of a lifestyle than a job. I always have fun together with the aussiebum crew no matter if I am working or having time off. This christmas party wasn't any different. 

By the time I am writing this, it is monday and I have had time to recover from the festive weekend. I am back on track, healthy eating, a sprint session before work and a great gym session in the afternoon. Time to jump to bed... tomorrow is another day.


Tuesday 2 December 2008

Boost your workouts.

Sometimes you keep looking for new things when all you need to do is to polish up your old habits. Todays blog entry is hopefully something that I will come back to now and then to give myself and you some inspiration to continue living a healthy lifestyle. To have more fun and to get fit(ter).

My first job in the fitness industry was a cycle instructor job in the local fitness centre. Being a teenager I actually didn't even know that the job was paid. I just liked the fact that I could teach and there was a whole bunch of pretty girls participating in the class.

A few months later I started to teach an girls boxing class for my boxing club. Once again, I did what I loved doing the most. Over the last 13 years I have taught both cycling and boxing on and off. Sometimes I think that it is the best activities in the world just to get bored and pick up something else. Somehow, I still keep coming back for more. Variation is the key.

For the moment I do boxing a couple times a week. Normally one day of technique/cardio and then another day sparring. Boxing a a great high intense sport that will get you fit real quick. You don't have to get into the fighting. You can enjoy a class with non contact boxing if that suits you better. Either way, I can promise that you will find muscles you didn't think you had and you will finish your workout drenched in sweat.... Awesome!

Today I decide to boost my workout with and visit a new gym. As I have clients in Manly I decided to visit Fightgym in Manly. This gym is one of the old-school boxing gyms. It got the the equipment that is needed but without the polished edges. That is the way I like it. If I wanted to train a boxing fitness class I could go to any of the commercial gyms and punch bags and pads. In my opinion you are better of finding yourself a true boxing gym. Here you normally get better technique with competitive boxers/trainers to teach you proper footwork. Boxing is more technique than strength. And of course a whole lot of fitness.

Todays session was a mix of technique, footwork and some light-contact sparring. 60 minutes later I was soaking in sweat. Time passed so quick when you are focused on a task. I rather do 2 hours of boxing that 1 hour on the cross trainer in the gym. At the same time I burn more calories and learn a skill at the same time.

If you are lucky to live in Manly, go and visit the fightgym website and maybe join a class or two. You will find them on  If you happen to live somewhere else, google your area and I am sure there is a local gym somewhere that will be able to push you through the paces. 

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