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€ on the night from ticket sales, auction and wish tree gifts. The Ronaldo shirt was sold for 4000€, Chelsea “Diego Costa” shirt and “Dele Alli” Tottenham shirt went for 1000€/each and the EastEnders sign with the entire cast autographs went for 900€.  More items auctioned were car and race track days, facelifts and a luxury holiday in Thailand, along with art from one of Belgium´s most famous artists, Hannes D´Haese 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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Peak week prep

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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 🙂

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 🙂

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

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Buggy ride in the Marbella mountains

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This week I was out for a fantastic new experience.  A day out on a buggy ride in the mountains above Marbella. It was so much fun. Behind Marbella you find a huge nature park called Sierra de La Nieves and it is absolutely breath-taking.  My friend owns several fast buggies (1000 cc) that he rents out for track rides. We started behind Nueva Andalucía in La Quinta and from there you can just drive forever amongst wild animals and totally unspoiled nature. We stopped for lunch at the beautiful hidden away Cerro de Hijar Hotel  and from there we continued down past Istan village.

We also made a stop at the famous over 1000 year old chestnut tree; Castaño Santo . The tree is 15 metres thick around the trunk and the roots go over 22 metres deep.

All in all an amazing day filled with nature, history and lots of fast fun crazy driving. I can really recommend you to give it a try!

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Success! Charity event at La Sala!

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This past week was been full of happenings and Friday, we hosted our first big charity event at La Sala Banus . It was a big fashion show lunch with the latest collection from Gunnel´s Fashion and Caroline Azzi jewellery. The response was fantastic and already 3 days beforehand we were fully booked with a waiting list! We had a big list of sponsors that donated some lovely prizes to our charity raffle. One prize many had their eyes on was the private golf lesson with golf pro Michael Campbell.

We raised over 3000€ for Maiti Nepal at the event and both myself and Claudia were both over the moon. The aftermaths of the event has been equally great with so many thank you e-mails and phone calls along with a huge spread on social media from happy guests. It feels amazing to have such support here in Marbella. Check out our new hash tag: #maitinepalmarbella for info on upcoming events and photos from past events!

Below is an article published this week in SUR in English and a link to a TV interview with myself and Claudia on Estepona TV: Café y Thé interview

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Good bye candy

So this week I have been clearing out my drawers of any hidden candy or chocolate. Finishing off the strawberries and raspberries in the fridge and emptying the last of my elderflower lemonade mix. Last week the cheeses, sauces and milk went. I am now 8 weeks out and that means serious changes to my diet. My only fat source will be almonds and the odd spoon of peanut butter. I will also remove all fruits apart from kiwi and any vegetables that contains a lot of sugar, like tomatoes and carrots. My main protein source will be chicken, salmon and tuna and of course my egg whites for breakfast. White fish is good but unfortunately I am allergic to it. Red meat I will eat occasionally. No pork meat but I never eat pork so that is nothing new.  I love salt so I use Himalayan pink salt because it doesn’t retain liquid the same way as normal salt. But I guess in a few weeks that has to go too. The scales will come out tomorrow as I start weighing my food.

The question I often get is…Is it hard? Difficult question to answer. It is like a mindset for me. I don’t give myself any option. I just decide and get on with it. Its like fuelling a car. What I find most difficult is to keep the balance for the coming 8 weeks. Eat just right. If I eat to little I will be too lean and may lose muscles. All fitness athletes worst night mare is to peak early and get deflated for competition day. I have worked so hard on improving from my last competition season and I am not prepared to lose those leg muscles by cutting my food short during prep. It will be a few interesting weeks ahead. Thankfully I have been through this before so I hope to improve on previous mistakes  and I also know how my body respond to the dieting. Determination mode is on.

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Maiti Nepal at the Swedish Church

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This past weekend our first fund raising event for Maiti Nepal took place. We were invited to join the Swedish Church in both Fuengirola and Marbella for their Sunday service. It was such a beautiful day filled with many fantastic and genuine people.

We started at 11 am in Fuengirola, the main home for the Swedish church on the Costa del Sol. Even though this Sunday was the important skiing race, Vasaloppet on TV, live from Mora in Sweden, the church was almost full. The service went on for about one hour in which we gave an introduction of what Maiti Nepal stands for and how they help in the fight against human trafficking.  We also enjoyed beautiful live music and the priest gave a nice ceremony. We had a fantastic response after the service with questions and interest. It felt very rewarding and the collection from the day was more than double of that on a normal Sunday. Thank you all so much for the support!

From there we raced down to Restaurante El Gamonal in La Quinta for the Marbella service, together with priest Michael and his wife Lena who plays the piano and has an amazing voice. In Marbella there will be a church ceremony held every 14 days. The number of visitors were higher than expected so we had to get extra chairs brought out for everyone to have a seat. Again a great service with lovely response and we had the pleasure of listening to my friend Peet Rothwell ( www.peetasbuble.com ) singing two songs from Michael Bublé. Especially the song “I wanna go home” gave a beautiful message to the audience. The wish of all the young women and children that are held as sex slaves somewhere out there, is to be able to go home. Together we can help make that dream come true for some of them .

Donations can be made on: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/marianne-steneholm

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My burglary experiences

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That moment we all fear, when you are awakened by a strange noise in the middle of the night. The noise of someone trying to force enter your home. That is exactly what happened to me a few nights ago.

At 4 am I suddenly wake up from a strange noise, metal against metal tapping noise. A bit drowsy,  it took me a few seconds to realise the sound was coming from my balcony. I jump off the bed and rush into the living room, still half naked in the dark. On the outside of my sliding balcony doors I see the contours of a person hunched over, trying to open my lock with a tool. ,You never know how you will react until you are put on the spot like I was that night.  As my week had been very emotional due to Davidson being ill ,  I went absolutely berserk.  I just screamed from the bottom of my lungs and started running towards the window waving my arms up and down. The burglar looked up straight at me with his face covered in a balaclava. Judging from the surprised look on his eyes, he probably thought I would run straight through the window haha. As I reached for my key to open the door, the burglar realized I was coming out there. He suddenly turned around and escaped by jumping down to the garden below me. I continued screaming as I saw him disappear across the communal gardens below. Once he was out of site I called the police 092. They were very quick to come and checked the perimeters of the urbanization.

Break ins happen all over the world and the burglars get bolder and bolder. I chased a burglar out of  a previous home about 8 years ago too. Same scenario but I had left the safety lock open so the access was much easier. However Davidson was well in those days and thankfully he alerted me! We work so hard to make a living so to get some lazy people intimidating you in your own home at night makes me go furious. I will not feel scared in my home. Following morning we put in additional locks and made other safety improvements. Some people may think it´s not a good subject to blog about, but at the end of the day, who doesn’t know that burglaries happen?