Josefine: How to eat healthy and stay fit after pregnancy

The pregnancy is over and now what?

We asked Josefine (Jose and the Food) to share some tips on how to eat well and stay fit after pregnancy. She will share her thoughts on the recent birth of her son and how her life and habits has changed.

Becoming a parent is a wonderful thing but it also entails huge changes to your life. We admire Josefine’s laid back and honest approach. In our view, she is a real super mom!

I’m often labelled as a super mom because I eat healthy and I manage to fit in some exercise, even though life as a mother is very new to me. I just think that I choose to spend my time wisely by prioritizing.

During my pregnancy, I had a lot of thoughts and expectations about my life on maternity leave with my baby. I thought I would get bored quickly if everything I did and saw had to do with baby-stuff. So I made myself a list of things I could do.

Now that Konrad has arrived (he is almost 6 months old, already(!)) and I’m on maternity leave with him, I really enjoy that everything is about baby-stuff. Almost everything…

I was really surprised how much I enjoy being on maternity leave and how hard it actually is! Because it really is hard work taking care of a little new-born. When he is awake he has my full attention – breastfeeding, diaper changes, comforting and playtime where I activate him. Also, a baby attracts much attention and a lot of social visits, and I’m almost more social then ever before. So I don’t think that my list will be necessary anymore.;-)

Prioritize your time – what makes you happy?

When Konrad is sleeping, and not sleeping on me, I can get my basic needs covered, like getting something to eat, a shower or even brushing my teeth. Besides my basic needs, everything practical at home also has to be done. I try to remember that even though I’m home all day, my job is to take care of Konrad and not cleaning up. I think it is important to talk with your other half about your expectations, so you have the same expectations. We have always shared the cleaning and stuff like that in our home, so why should that suddenly change? Instead, we have decided to clean together for a couple of hours every other weekend. No, our home does not always shine like normal, but that’s how we prefer it now and how we make it work at home.

I prioritize to exercise 2-3 times a week on the living room floor and do a healthy dinner. It’s about prioritizing the time you have, so that you use your time efficiently and on the most important things. I believe that I will be a better mother with more energy (and a surplus of it) if I exercise and eat healthy, rather then have a totally clean apartment.

I have a training program that works the entire body and only takes about 30 minutes (you can find a lot of fast training sessions on Google too). Sometimes I get it all done and a bath afterwards, sometimes I only manage half – but that’s life with a new-born; you never know what’s going to happen. I try to keep in mind that some exercise is better than nothing. I try not to be too ambitious with the intensity of the workouts as well as the number of times a week. This week I have also been on my first run in 4 months. It was a short trip, because my body needs to get used to running again. And because I have to get used to being away from the little one at home.

How I exercise:

  1. I put my training clothes on in the morning, that way I can train when I am able too, and when it fits into the programme. Konrad doesn’t have a fixed rhythm yet, so I never know when he will take a long nap. It’s about taking advantage of the ‘breaks’ you get.
  2. If you are not good at exercising by yourself at home, there are plenty of training opportunities for ‘new’ mothers, where the classes have time for comforting the baby or feeding it. For example, there are some outdoor exercise classes called PushyMoms and special sessions in training and yoga centres too.
  3. Walking with the stroller also provides good exercise. I don’t have time to take a walk everyday, so I walk with the stroller instead of driving or taking the bus.
  4. When I’m tired, and don’t feel up to exercising, I think about how great it makes me feel afterwards – and that always motivates me.

Planning and structure

Our everyday life is characterized by structure and planning, because for us, it is the key to making our life as a new family work. By doing that, we are sure to get everything done and still have time for the stuff we find most important.

To make sure we get a delicious and healthy dinner, I spend a little time every Sunday making a food plan for the coming week, with dishes that are simple and fast so it does not take too long to make. My boyfriend, Rasmus, is doing the grocery shopping on his way home from work on Mondays. It’s so easy and efficient so you don’t spend time on it everyday, and it fits perfectly into a life when time is precious. It takes a little time to make the plan, but I really think it’s worth the time.

I love to cook, so I’m making dinner while Rasmus and Konrad are spending time together. They both enjoy this very much. I always make extra dinner so I have leftovers for lunch the following day. It doesn’t take much longer to make a little extra and then I don’t have to cook lunch. Bonus!

Structure is the key to eating healthy:

  • Make a food plan for next week on Sundays.
  • Buy big once a week, instead of shopping everyday.
  • Make large portions and eat leftovers for lunch.
  • Keep it simple – make simple and fast dinner.
  • Always have basic good healthy ingredients in your kitchen. If it’s just as fast to make something healthy when compared to buying something, it is easier to take the healthy choice.

 

Want to know more about our lovely foodie Josefine? Read more here. Or read about her healthy tips during pregnancy.

 

Josefine is currently taking the NJORD nursing-products fitted to her lifestyle and the fact that she is nursing Konrad. Do you want to find the supplements that fit your lifestyle? Then take our online test to find your supplements.

 

 

Dance! It’s good for your health!

We dance! We’ve always done it and we’ll keep doing it! Because dancing is good for you! It’s healthy and it makes you happy. Some of our ambassadors supports a Danish initiative called “Dans Det Ud”. It translates directly into “Dance It Out” but could be better translated as “Dance for your health”. A fantastic initiative which we can only support (look for #dansdetud or #duernok). It is mainly about freedom but for us it is very much also about health. Both physically and mentally.

Dance for your health (#DansDetUd or #DuErNok)

There’s a lot of fantastic initiatives out there and these two are no less than in the top of all. Because it’s not about beautiful breakfast bowls, avocado toasts or flat stomachs. It’s about being you! Irrespective of whether you can dance or not, it’s about letting go, letting your body decide and put a giant smile on your lips. These initiatives live everyday and among others by some of our ambassadors:

Sofielafille, carolinethorsfelt, femmeemilie og migogmintinderbaby - Dans det ud

And we love at NJORD! Because dancing is not just good for your soul – it is extremely healthy! It’s not a coincidence that Zumba became so popular. It’s a great way to combine fun and physical exercise.

5 great reasons to dance

There’s a lot of different things we can link to physical movement but we would like to highlight some that are really fantastic. Dancing is fun! And everybody can join. And with dancing comes these wonderful things:

  1. Dancing reduces the risk of demensia

A study from The New England Journal of Medicine shows that a certain part of the brain is deteriorating slower then normal by dancing on a weekly basis. If you feel in your nerdy corner, you can read it here.

  1. Lower stress levels

According to a study in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, the researchers found that dancing with a partner and musical accompaniment can help bring about stress relief. In addition, there’s a tendency among researchers to link social activity with lower stress levels as well. So, if you dance with others and use it as a social activity, it too has a positive effect on your stress levels.

  1. Enhanced balance

In addition to physical shape, the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity also found an improved balance among the test subjects. You can read it here. As many injuries amongst the elderly are the result of a fall, this is not a bad place to improve.

  1. Improved cardiovascular health

The same study concludes that improved cardiovascular health was one of the results from dancing. In  a world where our lifestyle is generally increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, this is important to include.

  1. Everybody can dance

Okay – there is scientific evidence that this is true but as long as the body is moving in some sort of rhythmic motion, we think it’s dancing. And the health benefits are not linked to your skill but simply if you do it or not. That’s why we love initiatives like “Dance for your health”. Look up the hashtag #dansdetud or #duernok on instagram and get some lovely inspiration for a lovely day.

SO GET THOSE DANCING SHOES ON, TURN UP THE VOLUME AND GET ON THE FLOOR! DANCE FOR YOUR HEALTH!

Want more health tips? Subscribe to our newsletter or read more posts here. Or follow us on Instagram here.

Do you want to try our health test? Go here – it’s free and takes 5 minutes.

How to avoid fatigue during exercise…

Whether you just started to work out or you are a professional athlete, there is one thing that puts a damper on your routine: Fatigue! There is nothing more frustrating than feeling at your physiological limit during the last meters of your run, or starting to feel dizzy half throughout your training at the gym. What in your body leads to fatigue? Your glycogen stores are depleted! Read on to learn what happens in your body during exercise that leads to fatigue and how to avoid it during high or low intensity training.

Let’s start with some background knowledge…

Generally speaking, the fuel for your muscle is coming from carbohydrate, stored as glycogen in muscle, and fat, stored as triglycerides within adipose tissue and muscle fibers. However, depending on the intensity of your workout, your body will either use your fat or carbohydrate stores as predominant fuel.

During high-intensity exercises, such as sprints, weightlifting and push-ups, your body needs to produce energy rapidly and under anaerobic conditions, since your body has hard times to deliver oxygen to your muscles fast enough. Since your muscle glycogen can rapidly be burned with a lack of oxygen, it is the main fuel source during exercise.

During low to moderate intensity workouts, such as long-distance running, cycling and yoga, you are burning a greater percentage of fat compared to carbohydrates (which doesn’t mean that you automatically lose more weight, since it is still the calorie net deficit that counts – but that’s another topic).

In a nutshell: The higher the intensity, the more are your glycogen stores used for fuel compared to your fat stores; and the lower the intensity, the more are your fat stores used in relation to your glycogen stores.

Fatigue is the result of depleted glycogen stores…

What happens if you run out of your glycogen stores while exercising? Your performance will be impaired1! That is because your body will lack its supply of carbohydrates from its stores, leading to low blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) and you may experience extreme fatigue, and even dizziness.

This basically means that the glycogen content in your muscle determines how long you can perform heavy exercise2. And filling these glycogen stores is solely possible through sufficient carbohydrate intake.

Your daily food should fuel your glycogen stores ….

So filled glycogen stores are crucial for optimal performance, especially for high-intensity and prolonged exercises3. In fact, when our body runs out of glycogen, it might start to provide energy by converting your muscle protein into glucose, which results in a decrease in muscle mass – and that’s the least you want! Therefore, make sure you ingest enough carbohydrates to have sufficient stores of glycogen before your workouts.

But how much is enough? An average 68 kg person can store 1400 kcal of carbohydrates in the muscle4, which should be enough energy supply for minimum 90 minutes at the gym. But if your carbohydrate intake is low, these stores are low as well and if you then hit the gym, you might not see the results you desire. According to Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook4, 55-65 % carbohydrate intake or 9 grams carbohydrate per kilogram body weight daily prevents chronic glycogen depletion and will make you train at your best.

Pre-workout: What about timing?

Research shows that consuming sugar less than 1 hour before exercise can lead to a drop in blood glucose right at the start of your training, which can impair your performance5. Therefore, eat carbohydrates 2-3 hours prior exercise and choose foods with low glycaemic index, such as complex, fiber-rich carbohydrates (whole wheat bread, oatmeal, rice, barley, legumes, lentils, fruits and vegetables), to avoid unnecessary cravings that will make you eat again before your workout.

Post-workout: Protein for muscle recovery and carbs for energy replenishment…

After a proper workout – and proper means you were boosting your heart rate for an hour or longer – your glycogen stores are low or even depleted and your muscle fibers are damaged. Carbs replenish the depleted stores while protein is needed to repair and build muscle.

In fact, research shows that after exercise your body is building up muscle to a much greater extent than at rest6, implying that protein intake immediately after exercise may be more effective than when ingested at a later time point. So if your aim is to build up muscle quickly, consider eating a protein snack sooner than later after finishing your training.

 

Sources:

  1. Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B. Muscle glycogen during prolonged severe exercise. Acta Physiol Scand. 1967 Oct;71(2):129-39.
  2. Bergström J, Hermansen L, Hultman E, Saltin B. Diet, Muscle Glycogen and Physical Performance. Acta physiologica. 1967 Oct; 71(2): 140-150.
  3. Michael J. Ormsbee, Christopher W. Bach and Daniel A. Baur. Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. Nutrients. 2014 May; 6(5): 1782–1808.
  4. Clark N. Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 3rd edition. 2003.
  5. Ormsbee MJ, Bach CW and Baur DA. Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. Nutrients. 2014 May; 6(5): 1782–1808.
  6. Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, Wolfe RR. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997 Jul;273(1 Pt 1):122-129.

 

4 Good reasons to why algae oil is a great alternative to fish oil

Fish oil has gained in popularity due to its high content of DHA and EPA, which are mainly known for their cardioprotective health benefits. However, many people are not aware that it is not fish that produce their own omega-3 fatty acids. Instead, fish obtain their DHA and EPA from consuming microalgae. So as a vegetarian or if you have a fish-allergy, why not going straight to the source to get these healthy fatty acids?

Sufficient DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) consumption is of great importance since they help to keep some of the body’s most important organs functioning and healthy at every stage of life. Especially for brain, eye and cardiovascular health, DHA and EPA play an important role. In 2013, the EU has evaluated and approved that DHA and EPA contribute to the normal functioning of the heart with a daily intake of 250 mg, and a daily intake of 250 mg DHA contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function and vision1.

Since our bodies are not able to produce these essential fatty acids, we must rely on food to get them. EFSA recommends a daily intake of 250 mg DHA plus EPA, however in many European countries the daily intake by adults is < 100 mg, since the consumption of fatty fish is low2. Therefore, supplementing the diet with omega-3 is an excellent way to increase DHA and EPA intake. For vegans and vegetarians, it is especially difficult to obtain an adequate amount of DHA and EPA, since they avoid fish-intake and fish-oil supplements is not an option. Fish-free algae oil supplements are now the one and only alternative for plant-based lifestyles, offer a great alternative for people with fish allergies, and simultaneously represent a sustainable, and contaminant-free source.

Algae oil – sustainable and vegetarian

Currently, the principal source of DHA and EPA for human consumption is fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and tuna. However, considering declining global catches and the impact of overfishing on our oceans, sustainable and innovative sources of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids are needed. In addition, fish oil is not suitable for vegetarians and the fishy smell makes it unattractive. Algae oil, on the contrary, represents a sustainable source and an excellent plant-based alternative for vegans, vegetarians and anyone else who would prefer to not consume fish products.

Straight from the source – fish get their Omega-3s from algae

In the marine food system, microalgae are the primary producers of DHA and EPA, which are carried on up the food chain: Fish obtain their DHA and EPA from consuming microalgae and concentrating high amounts in their tissues – and these fish are then consumed by us. But consumers can get these healthy fatty acids from the same route as fish do, by consuming these microalgae directly in the form of algae oil.

Free of allergens

Fish is one of the most common food allergies and can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. FARE recommends all fish allergy sufferers to abstain from all fish and fish products3, including fish oil supplements. If you are one of them, algae oil supplements are the alternative for you to increase your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids, since it is free of any fish allergens.

Mercury-free

Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury in the form of methylmercury. Usually fish oil supplements are free from mercury, since they are purified (as it is the case with our fish-oil supplements). The same applies for algae oil supplements: Since they are from a vegan source, toxicity is a non-issue.

Most algae oils contain DHA only. Our NJORD algae oil from Schizochytrium sp. is one of the very few algae oils with significant amounts of EPA in addition to DHA. Click here to read more.

  1. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2078
  2. Ian Givens, D., & Gibbs, R. (2008). Current intakes of EPA and DHA in European populations and the potential of animal-derived foods to increase them: Symposium on ‘How can the n-3 content of the diet be improved?’. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 67(3), 273-280. doi:10.1017/S0029665108007167
  3. https://www.foodallergy.org/common-allergens/fish

 

Written by: Saskia Wurm

A Calorie? 3 things you should know! Especially if you’re trying to lose weight

“A calorie is just a calorie” is a saying often proclaimed in regards to calories and weight loss. Considering the laws of thermodynamics, this is true. If you eat less calories than your body burns, your body starts to burn fat instead. Thereby causing weight loss! However, this simplification of calories may substantially impact our weight loss efforts. The way the body breaks down carbohydrates, fat and protein vary a lot and affects weight-loss regulators such as satiety, the thermic effect and our blood sugar levels.

We have highlighted 3 very important things that differ between calories from different sources. And let’s just spoil the result: A CALORIE IS NOT JUST A CALORIE!

1. Satiation

Satiety in this sense is the state of being satisfactorily full and unable to take on more after eating1, i.e. you feel satisfied. But you might have experienced that you felt like needing a snack after eating, while other meals satisfied your hunger sufficiently. This is because different calories have different effects on your satiety feeling.

So what makes you feel full? Protein is a great source to make you feel full for a longer period. Which is why protein-rich foods such as beef, chicken, fish, nuts, yogurt and skyr are foods with high satiation. Carbohydrates, in the right form, are satiating too. Go for sources that contain fiber-rich carbohydrates such as full grain bread, brown rice, full grain pasta and oats. And stay away from the white versions. Furthermore, fresh vegetables are a good source as well as they contain lots of nutrients and few calories.

2. The thermic effect

The thermic effect of food is the energy required to digest, absorb and dispose the food we eat.2 So in other words: We are burning calories when eating, but the levels are strongly influenced by what we eat.

Protein vs. Carbohydrates vs. Fat

Proteins and complex, fiber-rich carbs are difficult for your body to process. Therefore, it has a high thermic effect (which is what we want). Simple carbohydrates on the other hand are easy to process and have therefore very little thermic effect. And fat? It has an even lower effect.

Whole vs. processed foods

Whole foods has an increased thermic effect on you because it takes your body longer to digest it. On the other hand, processed, manufactured foods have a low thermic effect as it is easily digested by your body. How to differentiate between the two? Whole foods have their natural composition and contain no artificial additives: Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh lean meat, fresh fish, plain yogurt. Processed foods have their natural composition altered through (manufactural) processing, e.g. juices, sausages, fish sticks, sweetened yogurt.

3. Effects on blood sugar levels

After a meal, your blood sugar level rises and triggers the release of insulin, which helps your body turning sugar (glucose) into energy. But if your food contains more sugar than your body needs for energy, the excess sugar will be stored in muscle, liver and fat cells. Therefore, regulating your blood sugar level is crucial for maintaining and losing weight.

Your carbohydrate intake plays the main role when it comes to blood sugar levels. What we DON’T want is carbohydrates that makes our levels rise fast. Meaning that we get hungry faster after a meal.  Liquid carbohydrates (juices, chocolate milk, energy drinks, etc.) and simple carbohydrates raise your blood level quicker. Therefore, sticking to complex carbohydrates containing fiber, minerals and vitamins will take longer to digest, causing your blood sugar to rise more slowly. And that is what you want!

Protein doesn’t have a huge effect on blood sugar levels, but a study published in 2003 showed that a 30/40/30 (protein/carbs/fat) intake ratio leads to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes compared to a 15/55/30 intake ratio.3 This suggests that replacing some carbohydrates with protein can yield a better glycemic response.

Bottom line

So a calorie is not just a calorie!

To sum it all up – if you want to control your calorie intake more easily, then choose protein-rich foods (non-processed beef/chicken/fish/nuts/yoghurt), complex, fiber-rich carbohydrates (full grain bread/pasta/rice, oats) and fresh vegetables and fruits. We know it’s hard to consistently follow all the good advices regarding food (and let’s be honest, you got to live your life too) but changing just a few things is a step in the right direction.

Would you like to know what vitamins and minerals you are potentially missing out oin? Then take our online test here – it’s free and takes 5 minutes.

Want more health tips? Sign-up to our newsletter or read more posts here. Or follow our Instagram here.

REFERENCES

1) Bellisle F, Drewnowski A, Anderson GH, Westerterp-Plantenga M, Martin CK. Sweetness, satiation, and satiety. J Nutr. 2012: 142(6),1149-54.

2) Crovetti R, Porrini M, Santangelo A and Testolin G. The infuence of thermic effect of food on satiety. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997: 52, 482-488

3) Gannon MC, Nuttall FQ, Saeed A, Jordan K, and Hoover H. An increase in dietary protein improves the blood glucose response in persons with type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003: 78 (4), 734-741.

 

New study: Supplements prevent nutrient deficiencies

New study supports the ability of supplements to decrease nutritional inadequacies. The study compared a large group of people taking supplements with a group of people who did not take supplement, and examined the nutritional level of vitamins and minerals of each subject. 

The use of supplemental vitamins and minerals is a subject of controversy.

Inadequacies of vitamins and minerals can result in different negative health effects, such as decreased immune function, disruption of cognitive functions, poor bone health etc. Due to these negative effects, it is advised by the Health Authorities to eat a balanced and varied diet, so that the body can get a variety of nutrients. A few of the advice from Fødevarestyrelsen is to eat diverse, eat much vegetable, fatty fish and whole grain.  When you eat diverse and follow the health advice, there is a greater chance that you get the nutrients your body needs.

You can read the official advice here.

A new study was recently published in the journal Nutrients examining the actual effect of supplements. The results of the study showed that the group who took supplements had a lower incidence of vitamin or mineral deficiencies, compared to the group who did not use supplements. The regular users (> 21 days/month) had the highest advantage.

It is often stated that the diet in itself provide all the nutrients you need, however most people do not live up to the advice given by the health authorities. The new data supports the fact that supplements can improve overall health – and support the diet when it is not optimal.

The conclusion of the study was, that supplements of minerals and multivitamins as associated with decreased nutritional inadequacies.

Sources:

Blumberg et al. (2017). Read it here.

 

Are you curious and considering if you need any vitamin or mineral supplements?

NJORD personalize vitamins and minerals to your body’s needs based on your lifestyle, diet, age and gender. Take NJORD’s test to see, if you need any supplements.

Do you have problems remembering your multivitamins? NJORD multivitamins come in beautiful ceramic jars, making them beautiful on the kitchen table – therefore much easier to remember.

Julie Bruun: What happened when I stopped taking fish oil!

Fish oil is a supplement that many people know is a good thing to take. However, people often forget it in their everyday life.

We asked our ambassador, Julie Bruun, share her experience with fish oil. She will also tell what happened when she stopped taking fish oil! Her story may be a reminder of the great benefits of taking fish oil…

Hi Julie! Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hi, My name is Julie and I’m a NJORD ambassador.

To give a “small” introduction, I’m educated physiotherapist, diet advisor, and fitness instructor. I have a blog where I share healthy recipes. In addition to that, I have also published a cookbook. Last but not least, I’m in the process of taking an acupuncture course.

As you can hear, my profession and interests very much revolve around the human body and discovering what the conditions are which enable us to feel good both physically and mentally. In relation to that, I find diet and exercise hugely fascinating! Thus, I try to treat my body as well as possible, by primarily exercising and healthy eating.

You can read more about Julie Bruun on our blog here.

Why are fatty acids so important?

In relation to diet, you can look at the various nutrients you should get through it, such as fatty acids. Fatty acids can be divided into omega 3, 6 and 9. The human body is created to need as much omega 3 as omega 6. However, we don’t get that – actually far from! Omega 3 is super hard to get through diet, while omega 6 is very easy. Omega 6 is found in bread, oatmeal, and in many kinds of food.

Omega 3 is obtained through fish, but the problem with the fish commonly found in supermarkets is that more often than not, they are bred under poor conditions. Take fish farms for example, where they have been fed with cereals and soy protein instead of seaweed and algae, which is where the fish gets its omega 3 from.

So while you probably in good faith, eat fish and imagine how the body is filled with this healthy omega 3, it’s unfortunately commonly not the case. If you, however, still want to eat your way to omega 3 instead of taking supplements, choose wild-caught instead of farmed fish. But, if you want to make absolutely sure that you are getting as much Omega 3 as possible, fish oil supplements are an amazing option.

I keep talking about the importance of Omega 3, but what is the benefit of consuming Omega 3? Well, the list is long and includes positive effects on illnesses such as depression, arthritis, and asthma, just to name a few. But what I want to talk about is its anti-inflammatory properties.

My own experience with fish oil

I had been taking fish oil for a while and once I stopped, I experienced a huge negative impact. Let me tell you what happened…

One year ago, I started taking fish oil as a supplement. The reason for this was that I had learned through my education how healthy it is for our bodies to eat fish and how difficult these kinds of oils are to get naturally through a normal western diet.

The fish oil I started taking was from another company, it was more expensive than NJORD and it was not capsules, but some kind of shot that I really didn’t like! Despite the taste, I managed to continue taking it, plugging my nose the whole way through, because I had heard of the amazing health benefits. While I did not notice any effect in my body, I did notice that I had not gotten sick once. I didn’t even catch the seasonal flu bug, which seemed to take a hold of everyone around me. Instead of considering the effect of my fish oil supplements, I prided myself on my good immune system and didn’t think twice.

Because of the price, the horrible taste and the presumed lack of effect, I stopped taking the fish oil. I obviously can’t tell you for sure, but one month after I stopped taking it, I caught the flu, and couldn’t get rid of it, and also suffered from a mild ear infection. All of this was a sign of inflammation in my body which I think was down to me not getting my daily dosage of fish oil i.e. my anti-inflammation shot. And thus, I figured it was best to start taking supplements again!

My experience with NJORD

At the same time, NJORD wrote to me and asked if I was interested in trying their supplements – talk about perfect timing! Since I started taking fish oil again, and this time in small capsules, I haven’t been sick since nor have I had to deal with the not-so-tasty shot of pure fish oil.

Not only is NJORD’s fish oil a joy to take due to the capsule form, it is also affordable and high quality, with every fish, caught through sustainable fishing methods. And if you are interested in complementing your fish oil with multivitamins, Njord also offers personalized multivitamins! The best part is that all of your supplements are sent right to your door, with free postage.

The supplements are personalized in the sense that you take a test on njordnutrition.com, which defines how your supplements should be adjusted to your needs. On the first delivery, you get your supplements with two specially designed NJORD jars which enable you to have a decorative storing for your supplements. Not to mention it’s just better for the environment instead of keeping them in plastic boxes!

So, if you want to make it through fall and winter without reaching for the kleenex box five times a day, or if you are just interested in finding out what your body needs, then head over to Njord and take their test!

Team Rynkeby x Maria Høyer: 1,300 km bike ride to Paris

Cycling is a great way to exercise. Our ambassador, Maria Høyer, takes it a step further with Team Rynkeby. Cycling can be used as transportation or to get in shape. However, cycling can also work as a charity method and help children with cancer. Here’s Maria Høyer’s story and the experience with Team Rynkeby.

What is so great about cycling?

Not only does cycling make you fit – taking the bike to work instead of the car is also great for the environment. Although it is mostly your legs doing the job, cycling is also able to strengthen your arms and core; the entire body is benefiting from the workout and is getting fit. Cycling has a low injury rate and can therefore be undertaken by almost all individuals.

What is Team Rynkeby?

Besides the wonderful benefits of cycling, Team Rynkeby is also a great opportunity to collect money for a good cause. Team Rynkeby is an international charity cycling team with the purpose to collect money for children with cancer. This is something I am highly involved in – since I’m on the ambitious cycling team from Copenhagen to Paris in July 2017.

One fact that I would like to emphasize is that, it is not elite cyclists who are participating in this 1,300 km cycling trip; they are regular people with jobs and children. This illustrates the fact that everyone can join in! Every penny goes to children with cancer, so it’s a really great way to support a good cause AND get in shape for that matter. 😉

What motivated you to apply for Team Rynkeby?

First, I love exercise, and I thought it would be fun to do something that I had never done before. And something I wouldn’t consider myself to be good at. Growing up, my mum always taught me that charity was important. I have a new charity project every year, so this time it was all about the kids and their families. Why not do charity work if you feel you are able to put the right amount of energy into it?

What is your best experience with the project so far?

There are a lot! But, one thing that took me by surprise is that I have formed a lot of great new friendships of all ages, and they inspire me. The youngest is 20 and the oldest 63, but everybody has the same goal. We spend a lot of time on the bike, so you really manage to talk about everything. And I mean everything.

It’s going to be a tough one to say goodbye when destination Paris is over and out. I don’t doubt that I am going to miss my teammates, the talks and the team spirit! It gives you so much joy and happiness, but also helps you through a rainy day with a smile on your face.

Is it all just fun and games?

No, not at all. We have a lot of fun, but – first of all – it takes time, dedication and a lot of kilometres to be ready for 1,300km.

What would you wish you would have known before starting Team Rynkeby?

Well, I didn’t know anything about biking at all, so I don’t know. But it has been nice to know a little about how important the right gear is. I’m used to running a lot, and compared to biking, there’s a lot of different gear and equipment for the bike that makes the long rides even better.

What do you eat before, during and after a long exercise session on the bike?

Before: I always eat oatmeal buns with cheese or banana, some fruit and an energy gel 30 minutes before.

During: I consume water continuously plus an energy gel every hour. Sometimes if I get hungry, a banana or some dried fruit. On the long rides, we have a service team that make sure we have food halfway. A typical meal is two meatballs, a slice of dark bread, maybe some pasta, water and a small coke. If I’m low on energy or really hungry, I also go for the dessert, haha!

After: I am aware that I need to consume a lot of protein for my muscles to recover, as well as some carbs, though mostly veggies to stabilise the blood sugar. And once again, a lot of water.

 

Follow Maria’s Instagram to see more pictures from the trip. We wish Maria Høyer and Team Rynkeby all the best on the very looooong bike ride to Paris. But most all – we really hope that they raise a lot of money for children with cancer! Want to support Team Rynkeby? Here’s a link for Maria Høyer’s donation page.

Or maybe you want to know a bit more about Maria here or how she prepares for a half marathon here.

 

Maria Høyer x Team Rynkeby x NJORD 2

NJORD x Julie Bruun: “A healthy and balanced life”

Meet Julie Bruun! A wonderful person who juggles a lot of stuff. To name a few, she is physiotherapist, mum, blogger, personal trainer, foodie and currently studying acupuncture. We love the content on Julie Bruun’s blog – and for that reason we wanted to team up with her and collaborate! Julie Bruun’s mindset is just as our own – conscious about quality, likes good stuff and sceptic about a lot of the health and fitness information currently out there. If you want to get more personal with Julie Bruun – just keep reading.

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m 28 years old, I live in Aarhus with my boyfriend and our little boy Noah, who is almost 2 years old. I am a Physiotherapist and I’m self-employed; working on my blog as well as personal training, dietary counselling and team-training. I have recently published a cookbook and, furthermore, I am currently studying acupuncture. I am very outgoing and enjoy having people around me. I love having many balls in the air, as I tend to feel bored when I am not doing anything productive. I am happy when I spend time with people I enjoy the company of, when we eat good food and drink a lot of coffee.

  1. How did you first become interested in blogging about food and personal training?

I think my interest for healthy food started when I was a teenager after I gained a lot of weight, and I wanted to lose it. I have always loved cooking, sharing my recipes and ideas, so a food blog was quite an obvious thing for me to do.

  1. What is your honest relationship with nutritional supplements?

I take fish oil daily. I know how healthy it is for our bodies and how difficult these oils are to gain through a regular Western diet. I would preferably gain all other vitamins and minerals through a healthy and well-balanced diet than through supplements.

  1. In your opinion, what is the secret to living a balanced healthy life? And are you able to do it yourself?

Yes, I am finally able to live a healthy lifestyle. I have reached a place, where I am satisfied in my own body. I don’t forbid myself anything, and I will never say no to food because it is not healthy. Fortunately, I love all food, including the healthy stuff. So this is what I eat the most, combined with daily physical activities. I think it is individually what it takes to feel balanced, but for me it is the combination of a healthy lifestyle (most of the time) and mental satisfaction.

  1. What did you do to optimize your health during your pregnancy? Did you focus on this aspect?

Yes, I made sure to move a lot and maintain my training. I drank a lot of water and ate as healthy as possible. I was not in anyway fanatic about this, but I wanted to give my child a good start in life.

  1. Did you have any concerns in regards to vitamins and minerals during pregnancy?

No, I had the same opinion as now, however, at that time, I did not know much about diet and supplements.

  1. How do you become motivated to do what you do? And when are you feeling at your best?

My biggest motivation is my blog, where I have to constantly develop new combinations of healthy foods and recipes. My job as a fitness instructor and personal trainer keeps me strong and healthy. I love my jobs and the fact that it is required of me to live a healthy life.

I feel my at my best after a hard workout, bathed, and have settled down on the couch for the night, with a coffee and food in front of me. Ahhh…

  1. What’s your Netflix’n’chill favourite to re-charge your batteries?

Currently my boyfriend and I are watching Prison Break. It’s the ultimate relaxation when the day (the most hectic one) is over, Noah is put to sleep, and Mads and I can watch an episode – of course with a little snack on the side.

 

If you want to learn more about Julie Bruun follow this blog where more articles will come or go to juliebruun.com.

 

Iron deficiency and women: How do you achieve the optimal iron intake?

Women are more exposed to iron deficiency than men due to losses through menstrual bleedings. Most women do not consume enough iron to support their body’s needs. Iron deficiency is therefore a common thing.

Additionally, if you combine this with being vegan, vegetarian or sporty, you require special attention in regards to your iron needs. Meat is considered to be a main source of iron and as vegan and vegetarian, you need other sources of iron. With high level of sport you also have increased energy and nutrient requirements.

Iron deficiency can lead to decreased performance of your body due to increased muscle weakness. Tiredness is also a common symptom, and since women generally do not consume enough iron to support their needs, women would experience the benefit from increasing their intake of iron.

Tips to avoid iron deficiency and make sure you get enough iron through your diet

There are certain aspects relevant to keep in mind. For instance, the fact that iron from meat and fish is the most bioavailable iron and it’s easily absorbed from the gut. Whereas iron from cereals and veggies is not as easily absorbed because the absorption is affected by other nutrients (such as phytic acids in grains). On the other side, some nutrients can actually increase iron absorption. Below we will try to guide you through some main points for you to keep in mind.

Good ideas to ensure an optimal iron status through your diet:

  • Meat and fish are rich in iron which is easily absorbed in the gut. Eating enough meat during a day contributes substantially to the overall intake of iron.
  • Whole-grain is a good source. Cereals and bread contain phytic acid, which inhibits iron absorption. However, whole-grains contain an enzyme called phytase that breaks down the phytic acid and increases iron absorption from bread and cereals. The leavening of bread or soaking of seeds and grains in water will facilitate the enzyme phytase to break down phytic acid, which increases the absorption of iron.
  • Vitamin C enhances the iron uptake. Therefore, eating vitamin C-rich foods together with your meals will increase the body’s ability to absorb iron from foods. Broccoli, oranges, lemons, buckthorn, strawberries, kiwis and red peppers are good sources of vitamin C.
  • Beans, chickpeas, lentils, almonds, seeds, nuts, and dried fruits such as figs and raisins are rich in iron and can easily be added to salads to increase the iron content of the diet.
  • To optimize the absorption of iron from foods, avoid drinking red wine, coffee, tea, cocoa, and calcium-rich drinks together with your meal. Actually, they should not be consumed up to an hour before or after meals. These beverages contain polyphenols and calcium that inhibit the iron uptake in the gut.

Iron deficiency during pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should be extra aware of your iron intake. We can assist you in determining whether you need an additional iron supplement to help you stay at the right level. You can take our test here and find out more.

If you want to learn more about bioavailability of vitamins and minerals in general, please read this blog post as well: Bioavailability of vitamins and minerals – what does it mean?

 

We hope that this quick guide gives you some good tips on increasing your iron intake during the day. If you have any other relevant tips, please share in the comments!