First event of the year

Tonight is the night! Gibraltar here I come ūüôā

It has been a hectic last month in order to get this gala just right. Being the first time I move my events out of Marbella and seek a new audience, I have had to work very hard. To organise a charity event without spending any money is not always easy but for me this is also half the challenge. I insist that nobody should make a profit out of charity so I will only work with people who do this out of the goodness of their heart.

First step, find a suitable venue; beautiful, luxurious, professional and willing to do a breakeven cost for their menu. I found my perfect venue at the elegant yacht hotel Sunborn Gibraltar. Next step is entertainment and what is better than a fashion show? So I contacted my great friend Caroline Azzi who makes the most beautiful custom made jewellery and beach wear to take on this event with me. We were recommended to contact the most elegant dress, wedding and gala wear shop on Gibraltar to take part in the show; Diamond Occasions and I am so pleased they said yes. From here on we were 3 strong girls on board to create something amazing for this big night and I think we did it!

A big part is to find the right guests for an event and that is also very hard when you don’t have the contacts. I approached some of the key women around Gibraltar and Sotogrande and when they heard about Maiti Nepal, they were more than happy to attend the event and also invite friends.¬† Working with this charity never disheartens me, even though I see all the torture and violence the children and women of Nepal go though. I always try to focus on seeing the good. I see all the beautiful people that come together and work to end this crime.¬†¬†I have made some fantastic new friends this last month while working on this gala. Also approaching local businesses for help with everything from auction donations, flower center pieces, welcome drinks, models for the fashion show, hair dresser and make up and the response and help has been huge. Thanks to (in no particular order)¬†¬†Patricia Darch Interior, Saccone & Speed,¬†Susan’s aesthetic service, Loveliest Flowers, Miss Gibraltar Pageant, Davinia Cano, singer¬†Tmar, WiGoGo, Blue Sky Super cars, Bianca Zammit of Little Divas, Irene Rosenblatt, singer Claire Hawkins, hairdresser Nikki Antcliff and photographer Witto Ellul, all the models and of course Caroline Azzi and Diamond Occasions. I am so grateful for your help along the way to make this event a success!

Last but not least, the big surprise for the night is that we have a huge world star with us tonight….Sheyla Bonnick, founder of the world famous group BoneyM and she will perform together with S’Iza.

I always hold big hopes for every event I organise. Hope keeps us motivated and I truly hope we will raise a lot of money for the children of Maiti Nepal tonight ♥

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Radhika and Rohan


It has been just over a month since I returned from Maiti Nepal and what turned out to be the best thing I have ever done. Adjusting to life in Europe after what I¬†experienced on this¬†journey has been hard. I have found it difficult to find words to my feelings and emotions and trying to write has been almost impossible. Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook, like so many posts we see every day. It was of a young¬†Asian girl with an old¬† man walking hand in hand. The photo caught my attention.¬†It had already¬†created a storm of comments of all sorts. I was left feeling like most people here in our Western world really haven¬īt got a clue. Just because a girl has a smile on her face, we think she is happy.

So today¬†I woke up with¬†the urge to give you all a little recommendation on a book that you should read. It is called: Radhika¬īs story. Incredible book.

I met Radhika and her son Rohan during my visit in Nepal and I have also found a sponsor for little Rohan who is now 12 years old. They came to Maiti Nepal when Rohan was 4 years old and still when I met Rohan, he was speaking very quietly and is very timid but with a¬†cheeky little smile.¬†Radhika was trafficked as a young girl and gave birth to Rohan in the brothel where she was forced to work. Often it is the children of the trafficked girls that are used to force the mum¬īs to comply with the brothel owners orders. Little Rohan was subsequently torture as a baby to make his mum work with a smile on her face and not cause problems.

We need to see further than what our eyes see and then we all know that no young girl would want to become a prostitute. Don¬īt fool yourselves please.


Journey to Maiti Nepal

File 25-11-2017, 19 13 56I have been meaning to write for weeks but it became very hectic before the trip. We packed 8 suitcases full of donated clothes and soft toys to bring to Maiti Nepal. I want to thank everyone that has helped me with this collection. I can tell you that the children were so happy with everything we brought them.

They had prepared a beautiful dance performance show in our honor and the welcome speech held by one of the girls brought up at Maiti Nepal as baby and now 18 years old and working there, made me cry. (find parts of their performance on my instagram @mariannesteneholm)¬†Our first two days we have spent with the children at the Teresa Academy (Maiti Nepal’s school) and with the smaller children residing at the shelters. We had brought face paint to play with the pre-schoolers but our visit was so special for the children that the elder classes also wanted to join us. In the end the whole court yard was full of hundreds of children with big smiles on their faces, hugging us and asking us questions.

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File 25-11-2017, 19 33 13File 25-11-2017, 19 35 13I have so many impressions and emotions going through my mind that I don’t know where to start and where to end.

For the next coming days, we will have some more serious meetings about urgent needs at Maiti Nepal shelters and which of those could be supported by the funds we have raised. I will be updating my blog with more information and photos from the trip again soon, I promise xxx

Getting ready to travel to Nepal

MAITI 2Our flights are now booked and I am so excited! We will fly out from London-Heathrow on the 21st November and be away for 2 full weeks. The flight goes via Muscat, Oman to Kathmandu with Oman Air . So far we are 4 people travelling. My sister is coming along. To share this special moment with her is just the best feeling. (Once again, I want to emphasize that all expenses for our trip is paid with our personal money, not from raised funds)

Vaccinations, hmm… I have just had them all¬†prescribed from the Sanidad Exterior in Malaga and it is literally everything. Re-boost of Hepatitis A and B along with a Tetanus boost. Then cholera, tyfoid fever and¬†dengue fever. Malaria is not necessary all over Nepal, only in certain areas, so for this I bring some tablets that you take only when/if travelling to¬†the red zones.

I have so far raised close to 45,000‚ā¨, and I am determined to make it past my goal of 50k before the trip in November! Stay tuned for more upcoming events where you can support Maiti Nepal and help me achieve my goal or simply make your donation¬†HERE

xxx Lots of love








Maiti Nepal Charity Gala at Nikki Beach Marbella

Charity-Nikki Beach-181Just a week after my biggest charity event so far and I am just starting to get back to normal again. The organization of this event took nearly 4 months and I never imagined it would be so much to keep on top of. ¬†The day of the event my nerves were on “red alert” but now a week after I am so proud of what we achieved!

187 paying guests attended the gala, including myself and my team, as we also paid our ticket like everybody else. We raised over 36.000‚ā¨ on the night from ticket sales, auction and wish tree gifts. The Ronaldo shirt was sold for 4000‚ā¨, Chelsea “Diego Costa” shirt and “Dele Alli” Tottenham shirt went for 1000‚ā¨/each and the EastEnders sign with the entire cast autographs went for 900‚ā¨. ¬†More¬†items auctioned were car and race track days, facelifts and a luxury holiday in Thailand, along with art from one of Belgium¬īs most famous artists, Hannes D¬īHaese and underwear supply with your own underwear line in your name from Boux Avenue.

The support and response has been overwhelming and it feels so amazing to be able to stand up and fight for such an important cause. This is bigger than anything I have ever done before!  I cant wait to go to Nepal in November and see the smiles we have been able to give and the lives we have been able to save.

“Take every child as your own daughter, and soon you will feel her sorrow, and then you will feel the strength that comes out of you to protect them”

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Competitions and goals


After competing in Malaga in April, placing second in my category, the real goal was last weekend at the Andalusian Championships in El Coronil near Seville.

After I had entered my first competition in May 2015, I was determined to improve my flaws ¬†and come back even better. It has never been so much about winning against the others, (even though a medal is always nice of course) but it has been a competition against myself. At 40, my goal is not to make a living of fitness competitions, then I would have ¬†started much younger. I enjoy perfecting my body to what I want my body to look like. It is a fine line between muscles and toning mixed together with my femininity. I love looking like a woman and therefore I don’t necessarily want to gain too much muscles on my back and arms while I want a bigger butt and a flat, lean stomach for example. I have easy to gain muscles on my upper body while my legs have taken me a lot of hard work. I try to purely maintain my upper body while¬†I have been training legs 3 days a week, heavy weight and so much glue exercises to grow the butt I think is perfect. It is a great satisfaction to both feel and see the result of all my hard work.

In El Coronil, I feel I was at my absolute best form so far and I aimed at just that. Be the best of what I can be.

So what next? Well, my fitness future is to stay healthy and happy, to enjoy my daily gym routine and improve some things and maintaining some. To feel great is the biggest goal of them all ‚̧


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Peak week prep


Above with my friend Peet, measuring my body fat this Friday. I was then on 5 mm fat on my belly.

Now I have just entered the final week of preparation for competition this Saturday. Peak week is hard both mentally and physically but the knowledge of pizza or a huge steak with fries and bearnaise sauce Saturday after the competition keeps me going ūüôā

I have had a few questions about what I eat while prepping for competition, so I will write a bit about it. I want to say that I am no professional in this field but I am using advise from professionals along with what I see works on my body. Many things can be right so it is also about learning what works for each individual.

This time round I have not been as low on calories as previously and I have not done any cardio either. I wanted to keep a bit more “fat” on me for peak week. Week 6 down to week 2, I have been eating

  • Breakfast: 4 scrambled egg whites, 60 gr oats in water with a kiwi
  • Snack 1: 25 gr of almonds and 70 gr tin tuna or a Quest protein bar
  • Lunch: 80 gr basmati rice or sweet potato with 80 gr chicken or fish
  • Snack 2: 25 gr of almonds and 70 gr tin tuna
  • Dinner: salad of lettuce, cucumber and red or yellow pepper with 120 gr chicken or fish (I don’t eat tomatoes or carrots as they contain lots of sugar)

Saturday cheat day. I don’t go crazy but a bag of Swedish candy and a pizza for example. This past weekend, being the last one before competition, I had no cheat day allowed.

Now peak week is a whole different story. This Monday-Thursday I am cutting all carbs from my diet and only eating protein, this to remove the last body fat. So…

  • Breakfast: 4 scrambled egg whites (and a spoon of peanut butter yeeeeey, happy days )
  • Then the rest of the day I eat purely tuna or chicken with nothing else. The snack meals 70 gr, lunch 100 gr and dinner another 100 gr and one more spoon of peanut butter with lunch!

On Friday I start eating carbs again (carb loading) to give the muscles a fuller look for competition Saturday. I will stick to basmati rice or oats as my carb source since they work well with my stomach. Also, the last night before competition I have a pack of crispy bacon with dinner and instead of chicken or fish a 120 gr low fat steak. This again to feed the muscles for stage.

This last week is also time to water load. This means that I am drinking 6 litres of water today Monday, 5 litres tomorrow and Wednesday, then by Thursday I cut water down to only 0.5 litres and Friday also 0.5 litres but only up until lunch. After that no more water until after competition Saturday afternoon. You may wonder why we do this… Reason is simple. When your body is empty of water the muscles show better and you get a leaner look. If you give your body overload of water for a few days and then cut it, the effect will be even bigger as the body has got used to all the water coming in so it stops retaining any liquid and suddenly the water intake stops. This helps create the “dry” look, we want for stage.

I know this is probably a lot of information to take in if you are not in the fitness game so please, feel free to ask me any questions. There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers ūüôā

Now it is bed time for me, as when on no carbs, I get a head ache and feel very tired…good night xxxxx