Sunday, June 5, 2016

Summer.. and a trip to Stockholm!

Hello!

Sorry for the loooong break in blogging.. I've had some spring cleaning to do (life wise) and just haven't felt like writing anything for a while. I just needed this time to focus on other things in life, and as much as I love doing this, there are things far more important in my life that have deserved the attention they've gotten. No worries, even if I "disappear" for some time in the future again, I stay active on Instagram, and will return with another blog post as soon as there's something I want to share again. :)

So nice to see that there's still readers who take time out of their day to check this blog, THANK YOU it definitely makes me happy to know that my content is interesting / worth reading / whatever the reason may be for you to be here right now. ;) <3

I don't want to make any promises in case I can't live up to them (my summer's looking pretty hectic already) but sure won't take as long breaks as I did now.

Anyway, I hope you've been doing great. Summer has definitely started, I've been busy enjoying it as the weather's been incredible: 25 degrees and sunny for many if not most of the days in May/June so far!! I already have a tan which is incredibly unusual considering the fact that I don't even tan quickly at all and that the sun (and it's UV rays) here up north in Finland isn't very strong.. AND on top of that, I've been working every week day, though taken advantage of the heat wave by having lunch outdoors most of the days :)





So, in May I went on a cruise to Stockholm, "Sverigebåten", as we call it in Finland in Swedish. It's a two-night cruise between Helsinki and Stockholm. You spend 6,5 hours in Sweden the next day and leave Friday afternoon and return Sunday morning, so it's a perfect and just long enough for a quick sightseeing, shopping and good food-exploring in Sweden's beautiful capital!

The weather was a little cloudy but at least it was warm and it didn't rain :)

We went for a chill scroll through the main city center, did some shopping (bought some awesome new training gear) and had a delicious raw lunch.



this park was so beautiful! loved the different flowers all put together nicely in the middle of the city :)



The Eurovision song contest final was in Stockholm this very day, so the city was getting ready with a huge screen and tent where you could watch the the live show..! :)










Then we had lunch at Sally Voltaire & Systrar!

This was their raw vegan salad. A little too much fat and not nearly enough carbs, I also prefer sweeter meals for lunch - this was savory and salty.. and quite pricey, but still healthy and I'm always for supporting vegan options and trying out new things :)



Next time I'll go to Södermalm, which is apparently filled with vegetarian & vegan restaurants :) I'm sure I'll be back for a second time soon! Stockholm is definitely a nice city and overall the trip was a success. :)

I'll leave you with some nice words I stumbled across the other day:

"Happiness is the result of inner maturity. It depends on us alone, and requires patient work, carried out from day to day. Happiness must be built, and this requires time and effort. In the long term, happiness or unhappiness are therefore a way of being, or a life skill." - Matthieu Ricard
Remember this, if you're feeling unhappy for some reason - just shift your focus, be grateful and most of all, be patient with yourself, it takes work. We should never stop striving to become better versions of ourselves, but keep learning and growing all our lives!

Feeling inspired.. More to come, stay tuned :)

Take care guys,

x Mira

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Amsterdam

Hi, lovely reader!

Hope your week has been great! My apologies for not having updated you guys earlier, the reason to my absence is that I've been sick. Sicker than I can even remember being for years... But I survived, and I'm almost entirely well so all is good :) crazy how amazing it was to get back to work again, amazing what a period of "down-time" can do for your motivation and perspective.
My flu was also a signal that I have been working a bit too hard and not giving my body proper and sufficient rest, that it needs. Remember not to fall into the temptation of burning yourself out too much.. Work hard, play hard but also, rest hard. Haha. But in all seriousness, prolonged lack of sleep and/or stress does weaken your immune system and is devastating for your health. Life would be a lot easier if I was able to run on say, five hours of sleep a night.. But no, that's not the case for me so gotta just learn to work with that. :)

So from Thursday the 31st of March to Sunday the 3rd of April I was in the beautiful city of Amsterdam, Netherlands with my bestie Marianna. We were incredibly lucky with the weather. It was a little cloudy from time to time, but most of the time, the temperature rose to about + 15 degrees Celsius and the sun was shining. Perfect spring weather in other words!!


I didn't make too many plans ahead as of what to see or do. We booked a hotel with promising reviews about both the location and amazing staff who gave heaps of valuable information, tips and maps, and so we picked a couple of interesting "tourist attractions" we wanted to see, but the rest of the time all we did was explore. Just walking around without too much planned is my kind of traveling anyway, as usually the best experiences happen naturally when you're open to them and in the right mindset for allowing them to happen ;)
Amsterdam city center is easy to get around in on foot, which we chose to do as the weather allowed that so perfectly. The hotel we booked was fairly in the center, right next to Vondelpark, which is a gorgeous and huge park definitely worth a visit, anytime of the day (we felt safe walking there even late at night or really early as the sun rose, and it was even more beautiful without the masses of people everywhere). On a side note - hotels in Amsterdam are very expensive, especially in spring and summer. It's smart to rent an Airbnb instead, which is what we'll do, too, next time we'll visit. :)

Leidseplan was also just 500 m away from our hotel. It's a popular area with restaurants, clubs, shops and bars. Having centrally located accommodation during whilst in Amsterdam is something I definitely recommend. Trains and such from further away quickly get expensive. You can literally get around everywhere by foot, tram, canal boat or bike, if you dare, ha ha..! (we didn't :D).




A word of advice regarding transportation.. There are scooters and bikes more than there are cars, and traffic's very busy.. As in most bigger cities / capitals of the world. Amsterdam is a mix of trams, buses, cars, bikes and scooters with lots of pedestrians, too. You quickly get used to it though, but you need to watch your step, and look around before crossing streets etc, because chances are, there's some mean of transportation coming your way..! Also, be careful not to fall into a canal, ha ha. :D Because they're everywhere! What amazed me the most was that NOBODY uses a helmet, not even scooter / motorcycle drivers!! To me who has grown up seeing everyone wear one, this really surprised me. Sure, it's not the first country I've seen people do this (Thailand, I'm looking at you) but even in other European countries where they might drive like nutjobs, most people still always wear helmets while riding scooters.




selfie overload! LOL @ the last one, before posing for the pic we actually didn't notice right outside where we were standing (it was very bright and sunny!).. lmao laughed so hard after we took this picture and just had to include it because #ohtheirony (and nope - I did not get myself a burger from McDonald's)

This wasn't the only thing that surprised me about Amsterdam, and it's different, liberal attitude. The entire city, literally, smells like weed. Even though I was prepared to seeing some people use it here and there but for real - the smell is everywhere you walk, no matter the time of day or what day it was.. Coffee shops are obviously widely spread, but it seemed that many just casually smoke it in public.
 The Red Light District was quite an experience, too. We didn't stay too long, but had to see it with our own eyes, though not late at night, when I wouldn't recommend going there, as people kept telling me it's a bit unsafe.
The attitude to drugs and sex sure is something else than what I'm used to seeing elsewhere in Europe, safe to say.. You'll see what I mean when you're there yourself. So, if you're offended by or highly dislike any of these two things, know that you've been warned, hehe ;)

Was it easy to eat vegan, then? Fairly easy IMO. We didn't even look up any veggie restaurants in advance and I still never had to walk around hungry for long, haha. It's not even something I spend time worrying about anymore whilst traveling. (I've been eating a plant-based diet for over 3 years now). Sure, I buy snacks to keep with me in case I get ravenous but seriously, it was easy peasy. Nothing to worry about! We even fine dined totally ex tempore at a fancy 5-star Indian restaurant, which we just randomly picked and they had many vegan (and delicious!) options. The first night literally the only restaurant with a kitchen still open past 11 pm (at Leidseplein) kindly agreed to make a super yummy vegan pizza that they didn't even have on the menu. Just ask, most restaurant staff is helpful and understanding if you're brave enough to ask for it. A tip is to say that you're allergic to dairy, then at least the staff will take your request seriously. People speak great English everywhere in Amsterdam which is great.
I also indulged on some delish falafel-sandwiches, they had a delicious fast food chain place in several different spots. Can't remember the name, though, sorry..!

yummy lunch curry

I think Amsterdam has something to offer to people of all ages. Maybe not for the smallest children, but I highly recommend a visit to this vibrant and hip city to anyone over 18 of age. It's a must-see of Europe, which I kept hearing all this time, and after having seen it with my own eyes, I would have to agree!


x Mira

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Let's Talk About Meditation..




What's up, guys!

Apologize for the lack of posts lately. Work has taken up a lot of my time and with spring far on the way I have been keeping busy with just about everything else, too. One of those things is a new habit and the fact that it's been such a positive thing, I knew I had to share it with you guys - and that is meditation.

Now, I know what you're thinking, at least if you don't practice it yourself. I had those thoughts, too. As soon as I heard the word meditation, I instantly thought of something spiritual; a ritual, kind of woo-woo, religious, weird humming-out-loud type of thing... But during the past few years I've heard so much positive things about it from various people, from a health- and psychological aspect, that I've become too curious to keep living in ignorance. And now I'm convinced, I have plenty of reason to try and make it a daily habit of mine.

So what is meditation, really? Wikipedia defines it as a "practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself."
Hmm, again, nothing spiritual or anything like it.
Some people also compare it to similar mind "training" as fitness is training of the body. It's all about reaching a level of mindfulness and inner calm, which will lead to a higher level of consciousness. Sounds fancy, huh? Meditation is also proven to be healing and extremely anti-age for the mind, body and soul!

 It just so happens, that we have a tendency to react heavily with our emotions, for example, getting very angry at someone in traffic.. (been there, done that! I mean, who hasn't, right..? haha). The trick is to not let our emotions take over, not to become a slave to them, and surrender to that raging feeling of anger, but rather realizing, that not every emotion, or every situation you encounter, needs a reaction. You learn to let your thoughts, which at the time come up in your mind and seem overwhelming, pass, without obeying all of the (sometimes terrible) ideas or feelings. You'll try not to act on them, just ackowledging them, and moving on. Meditation teaches you how to be observant, instead of reactive. You are able to ignore that almost like a voice, who speaks to you, inside your head. It may tell you to eat that 10000th piece of chocolate or to say something hurtful that you're guaranteed to regret. In the heat of the moment, it is easy not to second guess your thoughts and what you feel like doing/saying. I'm sure you've heard of the quote, control your mind or it will control you.. Yeah, that's exactly what meditation is supposed to help with. :)

A few years ago was when I first tried it, during a particularly stressful exam period of my Bachelor's degree, it did help me to calm down and clear my thoughts, before going to bed, for example. The beauty of meditation, I've learned, is that it can look different for everybody. You can do it in so many ways! With music, without music, sitting, lying, alone, or on the bus, listening to a guided session or just in complete silence.. The options are endless and there doesn't seem to be a "right way" to meditate, as long as you feel you've become present, calm, concentrated and, yeah, mindful. And no, you don't need to keep your hands to your heart, palms facing each other like in the yoga pose. Meditation and yoga aren't the same, although it's used in yoga a lot. :)




There are many apps available, and YouTube videos, too, to help you get started. I've tried for example an app called 'Headspace', it let's you try a 10-day free introduction of 10 minutes a day. It's available on App Store and Google Play, too. But don't think you need to meditate in a certain way, all you need to do is close your eyes, breath deeply, in and out, in from the nose and out from the mouth (that's at least what many of the "gurus" recommend, haha).

If you need more convincing and are curious to learn more, read this awesome article: http://comfortpit.com/superhuman-benefits-of-meditation/ 
Because it seems it really can turn you into a superhuman! ;)

So, I've decided to incorporate meditation to my daily life as of lately, and thought knowing how good it actually is for our bodies may make you want to give it a go as well. Don't think it will take too much time out of your busy day - just start off with a couple of minutes, and increase from there, and see how you feel. Trying it won't hurt you. :)
I've already noticed how even short daily sessions help me stay calmer (not let stress take over) and fall asleep quicker, if done right before bed.

On another note, tomorrow I'm off to Amsterdam with my bestie. So ready to explore another new, beautiful city!

Thank you for reading and have a lovely rest of the week! I'll be back next week with a story about my trip to the Netherlands. Woopwoop!

x Mira

Friday, March 25, 2016

2nd What I Eat In A Day Is Live!

Hey everyone and Happy Easter!

Hope you're all doing amazing.

Just uploaded my second full day of eating -video, check it out! :)



I would love to know if you like seeing these types of videos, and if you have any questions about my diet, don't hesitate to reach out to me x

x Mira

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sweet little victories (and failures)



Sundays are the best. Hope yours has been relaxing! I've slept in, trained a long workout, been getting ready for the week ahead, chilled and been jamming to sweet (and mostly old) jams by Craig David. 

Reason I've been taking a break from my blog was an exhausting and extremely busy two weeks of interviews, schooling etc etc, but it's all good, it was definitely worth it. I've nailed a job that seems much like a dream job! It's both challenging and interesting, whilst I'll get to step out of my comfort zone which is always a plus. So although it was stressful and overwhelming, things worked out just great. :)

At the same time these past weeks... I injured my lower back at the gym. :'(
It's been bad for a long time already.. Remember, guys, to never overestimate your strength or try something too heavy / hard before or without having perfect form. I'm a bit unsure exactly how the injury took place, but either I had bad form or lifted too heavy. No point in dwelling on that. There's nothing I can do about it now except try to recover from the injury, and learn from my little screw-up. :D

Life's funny, ain't it. Isn't it just typical, you encounter both sweet victories and at the same time, or soon after, some less-joyful moments .. All you gotta do is try and ignore the bad stuff and be happy about the good! 'Cause I know I'm probably repeating myself time after time again, but there really always is something good in your life to be grateful about. ;) it may be something small, but it is there. When it rains, look for rainbows. When it's dark, look at the stars. <3

Rememeber to appreciate the little victories and successes. And when you're struggling, look back to them knowing that you'll reach new ones again, eventually, if you just never lose faith in yourself and your abilities.

On another note, summer's here in just short three months! Yay!! Time to take it to the next level. Get fit for life. I joined a new, much bigger gym which has so many exciting machines and sections, woopwoop.. That definitely helps to boost my motivation :D

And also, remember to be kind. To yourself as well as others.
"You reap what you sow." So do good, be good, it doesn't just feel the best, but also returns back to you :) #lawofattraction

Stay awesome. Peace <3

x Mira

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Delicious Protein-Packed Dinner



Happy Sunday!

Hope you've had a great weekend so far.

It's been a while since I've shared any recipes here, or on my YouTube Channel , and I've never shared any dinner ideas! So today, I'll make up for that by sharing a delicious, EASY, cheap, filling and healthy vegan dinner recipe. :)

This took about half an hour to make, and this recipe is filling, low-fat, low sodium, oil free, high carb, high protein and DELICIOUS. (Note: Most of these ingredients are organic and / or local, that's what I try buying as often as possible. Also, feel free to add salt, oil or more spices if you like, this is simply how I like to cook. If you like adding those condiments, go for it!) This makes for about two hungry people (I shared this with my brother who eats a LOT, I had two portions and he had four xD).

I used the following ingredients:


1 large sweet potato (steamed)

textured vegetable protein / minced soy "meat" (roughly 2 dl)

small onion

1 package of chopped / mashed tomatoes

small tube of tomato purée

can of black beans

can of mixed beans and corn

spices (I used turmeric, black pepper and a non-sodium Indian mix)


Start off by chopping up the sweet potato and steaming it. Next, heat up a pan to which you add the diced onion, and once it has a light brown color to it, start adding the rest of the ingredients. The soy minced meat will need a few dl of water as well, the amount depends on how much TVP you are using. Just follow the instructions written on the package. :D The beauty of not using any animal products is that there is no risk of not cooking something enough, having something too raw, such as there is a risk for Salmonella if not cooking chicken meat properly.. Vegetables and legumes don't take long at all to cook, they're also are very easy to make tasty, and veggies can be enjoyed a bit "al dente", if that's how you prefer having them. :)
Cook up some rice as well, and voilà!

TVP is a healthy, environmentally friendly and long-preserving replacement for minced meat. Almost, if not everyhting made with minced meat can be made of TVP, too. Many bodybuilders, vegan or not, love using TVP as it is high in protein but has nearly no fat at all.

You seriously don't need meat to make tasty and protein-filled dinners, ya'll. ;)




Try this one, I'm sure you'll love it!

x Mira

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A little reminder + current favorite album



Hi you!

Lately I've faced some challenges that took me by surprise.
I guess that means I've gotten a bit too comfortable with life, which is why I got a little spooked. Life's hard. Life's tough - so you got to be tougher ;)
These feelings and thoughts inspired this post. Just in case you might find yourself in a similar situation, I though I'd share some thoughts on what's been helping me not lose my head (lol). :)
No point in whining, but I'm not going to lie, I've felt a little lost, frightened, even and found myself reflecting over a lot of things. Whoever says that the teenage years are the toughest and most insecure times of your life, wasn't completely right IMO. It's not like the (early) twenties are a walk in the park, either.
Yes, I'm much more confident and familiar with myself and who I am than I was when I was, say, 18.
But with recently finished college, figuring out how and which job to apply for, where to live, etc -type of questions can feel overwhelming to answer all at the same time. While some of your friends are already buying their first house or having babies/getting married, and some taking gap years surfing Down Under.. There are many different ways to spend these years. It's like the bridge between the safe-ish yet insecure teenage years and the fully-independent, having-it-all-together-and-sorted-out adulthood.
It's easy to feel lost and anxious about definitely not being a child anymore. I feel ya. Growing up does suck sometimes.
Maybe it will take 6 months, or maybe 6 years. I'm confident that it'll all work out, somehow. For each and everyone, sooner or later.


"If your life just got a little bit harder, that probably means you just leveled up." Instead of letting challenges, setbacks, confusion or uncertainty get you discouraged, I try to look at them as tests - like I'm being tested by life, and once I overcome these current struggles, I'll become a better me.
"When life puts you in tough situations, don't think WHY ME, think TRY ME". Yes, it's probably the world's biggest cliché, but what doesn't kill you really can make you stronger. Or proud of yourself. And probably, teach you some valuable lessons. If there are no hard times, sad times, tough times - there wouldn't be better times, either. Or we wouldn't truly appreciate them. Accept the reality that some days will be tough, and sometimes you will feel like quitting. Things take time. . . It's a slow process, but quitting won't speed it up. Trust yourself. You've survived a lot, and you'll survive whatever is coming. A year from now, you'll most likely just laugh at the things you're stressing about now and be proud of having pulled through the hardship(s).

Don't compare your individual journey to someone else's. If anything, be inspired by someone who is already where you'd like to be some day, but remember, that you've taken the steps needed for YOU to become who you are today and to be exactly where you are right now. You can move, change directions and try different routes, but never lose track of the end destination you want to reach, whatever it may be.


On another note, I wanted to share my current music obsession: Sia's new album "This Is Acting". Especially the songs 'Unstoppable', 'Cheap Thrills', 'Reaper' and 'Broken Glass' ❤️
She's been a favorite for some time already, and I've completely broken the replay-button of the song "Bang My Head", but after this album, I'm completely sold. I NEED to see her live one day.
Maybe listening to her will inspire you to 'keep the faith', stay on the grind and not give up?

You never know.. ;)


x Mira

Monday, February 8, 2016

What I Eat In A Day #1

Hello everyone!

Hope you've had a lovely weekend.

My first What I Eat In A Day went live on my YouTube-channel recently, check it out if you haven't seen it yet! :)


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