They brought us hygge – the creation of a cosy atmosphere – and lagom – adopting a frugal approach to life – and now it seems that we are going to be going full Scandi with our entire lifestyle.
Indeed, the Scandi lifestyle is one of the healthiest and happiest in the world. Need proof? Just look to fitness blogger Faya Nilsson, who has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers and penned a book sharing the secrets of her hometown.
Faya, 30, who runs the hugely popular Fitness on Toast site, grew up on a farm in a small town in the south of Sweden called Karlskrona, then spent her teenage years in Stockholm, before moving to London just under 10 years ago, reports the Daily Mail.
Faya believes that Scandinavian healthy eating and the active lifestyle is quite of-the-moment – and there’s plenty of benefits we can reap.
“In Sweden there’s an intimate connection to nature – a devotion to an active outdoorsy lifestyle and one which, combined with the national diet, you can quite easily apply to your own lifestyle,” she told FEMAIL.
“It’s the formula of an outdoorsy active lifestyle, a national diet of fresh fish, and an appreciation of all things baked!
“The social system is fair and inclusive, we have great healthcare and excellent schools, and people are encouraged to spend time with their families. All things in moderation is very much our ethos.
Explaining the ethos behind the lifestyle, she said: “Thanks to long, dark winters (much like the UK) we get inventive and make the most of what’s available.
“A key part of why Swedes are so frugal is the ‘waste not want not’ ethos – meaning recipes are affordable and dinners can easily be taken to work the next day or frozen – but are never binned.”
The food relies on what she calls “smart flavour”, loaded with fresh herbs and spices which are flavour-rich but low in calories.
Typical day in the Scandi diet
“Breakfast: My ‘Eggs from the Forest’ recipe comprises poached eggs on wholegrain toast, topped with spinach or kale, avocado, a little crumbling of feta cheese, and a few lightly fried mushrooms.
“I suggest drizzling some truffle oil on top for that cozy and indulgent touch.
“Eggs are a great source of protein and the toast and good source of complex carbohydrates, which will keep you going until lunchtime. If you’re not a fan of eggs, perhaps try my hearty homemade muesli instead, sprinkled with some fresh berries.
“Lunch-wise, the day might include my Spiced Lentil salad with beetroot and artichoke, which is totally bursting with flavor whilst the lentils provide a great source of vegetable protein too. Perfect for vegans!
“Dinner: Marinated chicken with butternut squash and ginger mash is a fantastic source of lean protein – it’s no wonder that chicken is a staple post workout meal, but rather than being bland and flavorless, I’ve reimagined it with some interesting ingredients to freshen up the dish slightly, yet keep it lean and tasty.
“Remember! Optimal hydration is the single most underappreciated wellbeing tip I offer to personal training clients. Water is the one and only liquid that fills you up, beautifies, can prove unexpectedly satisfying, and boasts a guilt-free 0 calories.
“Beyond the skin-deep, though, it delivers oxygen to the muscles so that they can perform when you’re training, keeps the joints supple, restores energy levels, quashes hunger pangs, purifies the blood, helps the kidneys do their filtration job, and even takes the nutrients in your food on a journey through your digestive system.
“It is the very eau de vie, or aquavit (our Swedish equivalent!). I aim for 2 litres of bottled water a day, sipped at regular intervals, to stay topped up throughout.”
She adds that it’s all about balance. “The Nordic cake obsession is a real phenomenon and something that I adore about the national diet – Swedes celebrate the tradition of ‘fika’ (a word without translation that means ‘to go for a coffee and cake with a friend and catch up”).
“We’re total cake snobs and take baking very seriously. Demonising ingredients won’t lead to sustainable equilibrium – everything in moderation, so I’ve long used this as part of my long-term balanced lifestyle pursuit.”