Monday, April 9, 2012

How to stay healthy in Bergen...and on a budget

There is always a big adjustment to diet and exercise in new countries I visit. Every new place has it's challenges, and Norway is no different. At home, I had my regular workout routine and grocery list. Here in Norway, things are obviously different, so I've had to make some adjustments. I don't know if anyone else out there has had these same challenges, but if so, here are some of my ideas.

Challenges in Bergen
1. No full time job = no gym membership.
2. It's no fun to run outside in the rain, and it's almost always raining here.
3. Less selection at the grocery store of pre packaged, low calorie foods.
4. Norwegian food means a lot of bread, potatoes, cheese and cakes!

So, I have had to become creative with my diet and exercise here. What can you do when you have no gym and can't go outside every day to workout?

First, I walk a lot! I don't have a car and my hike up to my apartment is just uphill hike! Try doing this with grocery bags!! This helps a little but I need a little more.

The last of quite a few hills from downtown/work/school/store/coffee back to my apartment

One of the "short cuts" back home

My old roomie helped me come up with some great workouts that I can do in my tiny apartment.

In addition to these fun little workouts, I have also found that you can get anything on youtube! I try to do some quick yoga workouts a few times a week. My favorite is the 30 minute flow yoga (there are loads of them listed).

The diet in Norway has been the most challenging for me. Some things I ate regularly at home and really miss in Norway include ground turkey, Whole Foods Whey Protein Powder, boca meatless things, string cheese, lowfat fage greek yogurt and Amy's meals. There are a lot of carbs in Norway and not a lot of cheap, lean protein. It's been a big challenge to stick to my 5 small meals a day plan. But, I have found what they have at the grocery store and here are a few things I've come up with this week. All of them have few ingredients that are relatively inexpensive at the grocery store (I mean, I am still in Norway so I don't think I can call anything "inexpensive").

Quick Breakfast (I make a few of these and keep them in the freezer to reheat): Homemade breakfast burritos:

4 Wheat tortillas
3 egg whites
2 whole eggs
1/4 onion
1/4 pepper
1/4 can black beans (I couldn't find black, so I used brown beans)
spicy pepper (if you like spicy)
4 slices of light cheese
salsa or tomatoes
salt and pepper

How to:
1. Saute the onions and peppers until soft
2. Add the eggs
3. Add the beans, spices and salsa
4. Place a slice of cheese on each tortilla. They put one scoop of egg mix on each tortilla and fold into a burrito.
5. Yum, yum!!

My burrito topped with some fresh tomatoes

A new recipe I tried this week: Cod over spinach and tomatoes

Brown rice
2 servings of Cod (I had a frozen bag of cod and it worked out great)
Fresh Spinach
Canned tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne Pepper
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1. Cook the rice
2. Sprinkle the bottom of the baking dish with olive oil
3. Place fresh spinach on baking dish
4. Place fish (defrosted) on top of spinach
5. Top fish with 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 can of tomatoes and spices
6. Bake (I used 180 for 35 minutes) until fish is cooked throughout
7. Yum!

Cod with Spinach and tomatoes over brown rice

It was delicious!!

Because I have a sweet tooth, I want an apple pie, but I make: Healthy(ish) Apple Coconut Bake with Sweet Yogurt Topping

1 apple
shredded coconut
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp honey

How to:
1. Beat egg with milk
2. Slice the apple in thin slices
3. Coat apple with egg mix
4. Mix flour and shredded coconut and coat the apples in this
5. Place apples on baking pan and sprinkle with cinnamon
6. Mix yogurt with honey cool
7. Bake apples (200 until soft), then top with some yogurt mix
8. Yum, yum!!

Baked Apples with Coconut
The coated apples are a little crispy and the shredded coconut makes it a little sweet, so it's almost like eating an apple pie:)

Baked Apples with Coconut and Sweet Yogurt topping

I'll keep experimenting and might share more later (if they taste good)!

1 comment:

  1. I don't have the numbers to back me up, but I think I lost a good 7 to 8 pounds when I was in Trondheim in the fall. Despite eating bread like it was my job, I think that I ate less processed foods and walked/biked so much more. Plus getting to leave the office at 4 means I lived a much more carefree life where I had time to be running, hiking, climbing...

    I gained it all back when I returned to the states, but being back in Trondheim for just a few weeks now, my pants feel a little looser :)