Tag Archives: healthy living

A new year begins

Weight training in Østerild Multicenter on December 27, 2012 - the shirt reads "pedal force, yes please" :-)Many exciting things happened in my life in 2012, and I had a plan to go through most of them in post. A huge task in itself. Moreover, I wanted to write about what I’ve done during the Christmas holidays and how I celebrated New Year’s Eve. I have realized, however, that I will never get that utopian post written properly, and that if I did, it would become too long for anybody to read. So many good intentions, so little time. I actually write less on the blog when I experience a lot, because no time is left for reporting… After all, it must be better to live in the moment than to always think about how to present it afterwards.

Here is a few headlines from 2012:

    • I began the year by saying goodbye to my old workplace Telenor and welcome to Netic. Also, I moved from the western part of Aalborg to the eastern part. I had 1.5 km from home to work, when I worked at Telenor. Now I have 1 km. After a year I’m still very happy with both my new workplace and my new apartment.
    • I trained for Copenhagen Marathon, but I couldn’t run it due to an injury. I travelled to Copenhagen and was a spectator, which was also a touching experience. The injury was the cause for my shift to minimalistic running in FiveFingers and Vivobarefoot Evo II. I cannot yet determine whether it has helped or not.
    • I attended an awesome Rammstein concert in Herning on February 22.
    • I ran a very brutal half marathon, Thy Trail (Half) Marathon, on February 26.
    • I attended Top Gear Live in Copenhagen with my work colleagues on March 31.
    • I participated in the Silverstone Challenge with a number of my work colleagues on April 24. Everybody should try that! This was my second trip to the UK ever – my first trip was in May 2011.
    • I became ITIL v3 Foundation certified on June 11-13.
    • I attended Nibe Festival with my work colleagues on July 7.
    • I attended TheCamp.dk in week 30 (give or take, i.e. July 21-28), where I, together with my friend and work colleague Georg Sluyterman, held a long and technical talk about DNSSEC.
    • I attended the wedding of my two good friends, Mads Chr. Olesen and Jane Billestrup, on August 4.
    • I participated in the relay running event at Elektronik Cup with my work colleagues on August 17.
    • I attended the wedding of my two good friends, Troels and Lone FrøkjĂŚr Christensen, on September 1.
    • I attended the 10-year anniversary party for my workplace on September 29-30.
    • I bought my first car, a Toyota Aygo from 2008, on October 1. This was approx ten years after I got my driving license. I managed to drive approx 4,000 km during October, November and December.
    • I participated in Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg with Hans Jacob Møller and Morten Klingenberg on October 6.
    • I participated in BakkeChallenge in Silkeborg (beautiful but exhausting 10 km of forest) with Hans Klemmensen on November 3.
    • Together with my brother, Christian Toft, I was photographed, such that we were able to give our parents (and grandparents) a photography of us. This happened on a very cold and windy Friday morning on November 23 at Click Foto in Aalborg.
    • I became 28 on November 26. I’m becoming somewhat old, hmm…
    • My parents’ silver wedding anniversary was on November 27.
    • I had my car treated with a Dinitrol anti-rust treatment on November 28.
    • I attended the Christmas party for my workplace on December 1-2.
    • My parents held a very fine party for family and close friends on December 8, where their silver wedding anniversary and my mother’s 50-year birthday were celebrated.
    • My mother became 50 on December 15.
    • I held a small, semi-spontaneous party on New Year’s Eve for my three friends Steffen Troldtoft, Kenneth Holleufer and Chris Nielsen. I had made shrimp cocktails and braised roast beef. The roast was served with baked potatoes, onions and carrots from the braising of the roast, garlic bread, homemade brown sauce, salad and a delicious bottle of 2012 game-wine from Holte Vinlager. The dessert was icecream with caramel sauce and waffles.

Apparently, “a few” is now redefined to be 24 🙂

I hate to use the term “New Year’s resolution”, so I will not, but I’ve decided to start getting up early and do most of my training in the morning. My circadian rhythm will no longer move daily, at least when I haven’t been to a party and haven’t had my sleep disturbed by work.

My left ankle is sore at the moment, so regarding fitness I’m focusing on eating healthy and doing weight training rather than running. Besides that, I’m playing with a Raspberry Pi, which will be my new media center.

Update, 2012-01-05 07:07:42: Like 2011, 2012 didn’t bring a girl into the picture. It didn’t even bring real desire to go look for one. No, I’m not gay. No, I don’t think it’s wrong to be gay. A few of my best friends are.

Oatmeal porridge version 2

My latest recipe for oatmeal porridge – the one that I’m deeming perfect for the time being. It consists of water, rolled oats, linseed and salt.

  1. Start your electric kettle with 0,5 L of spring water (or tap water, if your area has good tap water).
  2. Grind ten grams of linseed in a mortar.
  3. Put 60 grams of rolled oats, the ten grams of freshly ground linseed and a half teaspoon of salt in a soup plate.
  4. Pour approx 375 grams of the boiled water over the other ingredients, put the plate on a trivet and place a flat plate on top of it.
  5. Wait for approx ten minutes.
  6. Remove the flat plate and stir the dish thoroughly with a spoon (pick a teaspoon, as it will prolong the time it will take to eat the dish).
  7. Add 50 grams of cold water and stir some more.
  8. Add 20 grams of rolled oats and stir some more.
  9. The dish is ready!

You don’t have to wait for it to cool down, which is an advantage a busy morning.

              Weight  Energy  Protein  Carbs    Fat   Fiber
               (g)    (kcal)    (g)     (g)     (g)    (g)

Water          425       0.0    0.0      0.0    0.0    0.0
Rolled oats     80     292.8   10.4     54.4    5.2    8.0
Linseed         10      48.4    2.5      3.6    3.1    1.8

Total          515     341.2   12.9     58.0    8.3    9.8
Energy dist.                   14.4%    60.3%  25.3%
Per 100 g               66.3    2.5     11.3    1.6

The dish is low in protein, so remember to add a protein-rich component on the side, e.g. tuna in water, skyr, low-fat cottage cheese or eggs.

My previous version of the dish is from May and it’s available here.

Sometimes I use almonds instead of linseed, but I rarely have almonds in my kitchen, as I cannot keep my hands off them between meals… 🙂

Getting off the couch

“Dear diary,

tonight was awesome. It was one of those nights, where I managed to get off my couch and on my bike to the fitness center, even though I was feeling mentally tired from work and physically tired from eating dinner. Covered by a blanket, watching an episode of my favorite TV series, I honestly considered staying at home. But I made it. And it was nothing less than glorious. As usual, I had a lot more energy than I thought. Actually, it was probably one of those evenings, where I even had a bit more energy than usual. The pull-ups, the squats, the hyperextensions, etc. They just felt good. Thanks goes out to two of my favorite bands for keeping me company (Illdisposed and Slipknot). Weight training, metal music, strained facial expressions and sweat go well together.

So, seriously, remember that you have a lot more energy than you think when you’re feeling heavy on the couch. You have to get up and get moving to unleash it. You will feel awesome afterwards. It will be worth it.”

BakkeChallenge in Silkeborg

Today I’ve attended a 10 km run in Silkeborg called BakkeChallenge together with my friend Hans Klemmensen. The run is two times 5 km on forest roads and trails, and it contains some very demanding hills.

With the exception that the t-shirt doesn’t have the run’s title printed on it, the goodie bag was quite okay. We were also served refreshing hot soup, bread, etc. after the run.

Apparently, Hans is very fast – he finished third among the men and received a well-deserved round of applause and a gift on the podium after the run!

I did a good job (witnessed by an average heart rate of 171 bpm), but I had to accept the time 54 minutes and 11 seconds. I had to walk at some points… Damn. Click here to see my recorded run. It seems my GPS was a bit off today. As far as I remember, Hans finished in 46 minutes and something.

That was 325 km more in the Aygo. A guesstimate for the trip is 15 km/L petrol, but in the Aygo’s defense, it was certainly allowed to work on the freeway. A brick would have been okay as cruise control…

Trail running

   

I have been out trail running yesterday and today. It’s a nice diversion from running on asphalt in the city. You really have to focus on feet placement, and your heart rate is raced up and down continuously. It is with the sight and smell of nature, it is with a bit of risk, and it is with a minimum of equipment, by which I primarily mean without music. I do, however, rarely look at my GPS watch while running in nature – I just want the runs to count in my overall statistics.

Yesterday it was 7.4 km in FiveFingers on the mountain bike route in Kongshøj Skov. Today it was 8.7 km in ordinary running shoes – Asics GT-2160 – on the yellow route in a very muddy Lundby Bakker and Lundby Krat in the rain. Now my Asics are almost as dirty as they were after Xtreme Mandehørm last weekend.

My next goal was a half marathon at Thy Trail Marathon on February 23, 2013, but unfortunately there is no room for more participants. It’s a great event, which I know for sure as I ran it this year, so I should have made up my mind faster. Damn. Running has become so damn popular 😀

Copenhagen Marathon 2013 is still my next huge goal, and, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I have already bought my ticket. I look forward to the event with great enthusiasm and have created a preliminary training plan. Still, I need to find a half marathon of some sort to run around the New Year or in January or February… Hmm, I wonder what it will be…

Let me conclude by showing you two egoistic mood pictures. My good friend Edward Angelo Cerullo in Norway recently sent me a nice Moose of Norway hat to keep my ears warm in winter 🙂 Thanks! I like it! 🙂 The picture to the right shows how impractical rain and mud can be 😉

   

I’m happy that my cold sore is finally starting to disappear…

Laughing all the way to the bank

With regard to the Danish environment tax on vehicles, I’m paying the lowest possible rate. I pay 278.44 DKK every six months, which, using today’s exchange rates, equals approx 37 EUR or 48 USD.

That’s somewhere between one tenth and one fifth of what most of my vehicle-owning colleagues and friends pay 🙂

What else is new? Oh, yeah, I’ve started cycling to work again. The Aygo has been duly inaugurated and I can’t really defend to continue using it to drive that one kilometer back and forth. I’m also still using my bike to get to the fitness center, even though that’s a round trip of 8.5 to 12 km, depending on the chosen route. Well, one might even claim that the range is [8.5;∞[, but you know what I mean…

Totally unrelated, I have washed my running shoes in Rodalon (a disinfectant – benzalkonium chloride). It was necessary to get rid of the smell they picked up during the “obstacle race” Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012. Apparently, washing your running shoes in a washing machine might make the their glue disintegrate. So far, I can vouch for the Rodalon approach – the mixing ratio and the procedure is on the bottle.

Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012

Yesterday I participated in Xtreme Mandehørm Aalborg 2012 together with two friends – Hans Jacob Møller and Morten Klingenberg. I know Hans from my time as a system administrator at Telenor, and I know Morten through Hans. The name of our team is Tror du det er for sjov jeg drikker?, which can be translated to something along the lines of Do you think I drink for fun?. It is inspired by the Danish heavy metal band Red Warszawa, who has an awesome song with that title 🙂

We ran through muddy, smelly, ice-cold ponds (or small lakes – in one of which the water reached my shoulders and I considered swimming), climbed over containers, slided through tubes into mud, jumped and climbed obstacles, crawled under ropes and nets, ran up steep hills, crawled up steep slopes, rolled around in mud and ran through several kilometers of muddy, slippery forest trails. The route is announced to be 12.2 km, but it seems most people’s GPS watches measured it to be approx 11 km.

  

The final hurdle is to walk – or run or swim – through a container filled with water, which is actually very nice, as you’re cooled down and some of the mud is washed off. Morten was fastest with 1h 10m 41s, whereas Hans and I finished in 1h 15m 1s and 1h 12m 48s, respectively. The team diploma and my personal diploma:

   

After the race we drank beer at breakneck speed while enjoying the hot whirlpool in Nørresundby IdrÌtscenter. All races should end like that. Awesome!

The evening featured a huge, Oktoberfest-inspired party with delicious food, even more beer, drunken nail-punching competitions, award ceremony, boxing and comedy. The comedy was performed by the well-known, Danish comedian Frank Hvam, and it was very entertaining. We ended the great day and evening with nice Hoegaarden wheat beer pints at The Irish House. Xtreme Mandehørm is now a tradition 😉

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any pictures of Morten, but the photographers have certainly caught Hans in some xtreme situations 😉

      

Today I have had a hangover and have been annoyed by the cold that started to haunt me a few days ago. I’ve managed to wash my seriously nasty running clothes, watch old episodes of NCIS, do grocery shopping, rust protect my Aygo, run 5 km in FiveFingers and write this post.

Back on track

After a few weeks of sin, both food and training wise, my clothes are starting to tighten up a little. It’s time to get back on track.

The first step is healthy food. Tonight I’m cooking a spicy stew with veal, onions, garlic, tomato (paste and chopped), peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and beans. The spices are chili, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, freshly ground pepper and salt. I have made approx 5.5 liters, so I hope it ends up tasting good. I only know for sure tomorrow, as the spices need a day or so to affect the stew. Second/third/fourth day stew is always the best.

I have discovered, of course via Facebook, that Arnold Schwarzenegger has started blogging about weight training and fitness in general. His fitness blog isn’t an entirely new thing, but it seems the blog has become somewhat more alive in 2012, and especially in June and July. The posts I’ve read so far have been interesting and I look forward to many more.

While I have been writing this post, frequently walking back and forth between the stove in my kitchen and the laptop in my living room, the stew has become ready for a night in the refrigerator:

Wholegrain experiment

So… It was a windy Thursday, a holiday, and I was hanging out at home, as I had to take care of my sore shin. A perfect day for coding, washing clothes and baking bread. This post is about the bread – the code doesn’t compile at the moment.

For a while I had been wondering whether it is possible to make a decent no-bread bread, where all of the usual white wheat flour is replaced with whole wheat flour. I usually try to make the traditional recipe a bit healthier by replacing a quarter of the white wheat flour with oatmeal, but it would be nice to “go all the way”. Finally, I had remembered to buy a bag of whole wheat flour and some yeast on a shopping trip, and that Thursday I came across it in one of my kitchen cabinets.

I decided to make a rather small bread, as it was an experiment and because – in my experience – a no-knead bread doesn’t stay fresh for very long. I don’t know whether it is because they aren’t based on sourdough or because they don’t contain dairy products, e.g. yoghurt or milk, but it certainly is one of the many baking questions I ponder upon…

I used 313 grams of whole wheat flour, 250 grams of water, one teaspoon of salt and a 1/3 teaspoon of dry yeast. The dough was allowed to raise twice. Initially eight to nine hours, then an hour and a half. White wheat flour was used to avoid having the wet dough stick to my bowl and kitchen table. I have written about no-knead bread before, but you can just google “no-knead bread” if you need instructions. I should have used a bit more water – apparently the bran and germ of a whole wheat grain absorb more water than the endosperm (what a tremendously freaky word, by the way). It would also be better to let the initial rising take 12 hours.

The resulting bread was really good. Of course, it wasn’t as light and fluffy as the white alternative, but it was still very enjoyable. I cut some slices and ate some of them alone, some with honey and some with neutral cream cheese. Yummy!