Take a traditional Scandinavian waffle with its heart-shaped design, and then infuse it with the spirit of a Viking, the great and daring seafaring warrior from a thousand years ago- the end result is a Viking Waffle. A baked good poised to rule your taste buds, but not your waistline! It is delicious and nutritious, and allows you to ENJOY eating healthy without depriving yourself of great food!
Every Viking Waffle contains 24g of protein and only 1g of sugar, and it's gluten free!
How did you create Viking waffles?
Norwegian waffles are a huge Scandinavian tradition, sadly not very nutritious. I have so many great memories of my grandmother’s waffles growing up, but being a soccer player, crossfit trainer, kettlebell and yoga instructor in Norway, nutrition is very important to me. I hated the feeling of giving up my favorite comfort food to be able to perform well in my sports.
I started asking myself: “Why is eating healthy associated with a restriction to life and a feeling that you are giving up on a lot of good food?” That’s when I created the Viking Waffles, a nutritious healthy twist from the traditional Norwegian Waffles that allowed me to eat waffles guilt free everyday due to the nutritional content in them.
People in Norway started asking me for the recipe after wondering how it was possible to perform well in my sports and eat AS many waffles as I did. The truth is, and I usually joke about it, my biggest dream is actually to be able to able to eat waffles without it going to my waist. Haha. So the Viking Waffles were born.
What was the concept behind this protein-packed snack?
The concept behind this protein packed snack came from seeing that there were not many portable low sugar, high protein snack options on the market. Yes, we have high protein bars, but sadly a lot of protein bars are also very high in carbohydrates and sugar - basically a candy bar. Just because a protein bar is high in protein, does not make it automatically healthy. You have to look at the other ingredients (especially the simple sugars added to most).
The Viking Waffles are also made to be an excellent post-workout meal. From my own experience, a lot of times after tough workouts, you often want to reward yourself with food. But at the same time you don’t want to ruin a great workout. I want people to be able to look forward to a post-workout meal that not only is delicious, but also keeps you on track with your fitness goals. The Viking Waffles was my solution.
Another idea behind the Viking Waffles, is that it’s so adverse as breakfast, dinner or dessert. You can eat it guilt free at anytime. Trust me, I’ve had a lot of “breakfast for dinner” Viking Waffles. In addition to it being a great breakfast option as most people consider waffles to be, I also know a lot of people crave something sweet at night. The Viking Waffles is perfect at bedtime due to the slow released protein we use and the low carbohydrate and that in addition comes from only slow digestive carbohydrates (only 1g of sugar).
My biggest motivation of sharing the Viking Waffles to the world actually came after a quote a man said that till this day is stuck in my head: If the Viking Waffles was just as accessible as Starbucks coffee shops, I would not have had diabetes”
What’s your favorite exercise/workout?
I love training glutes and legs. I train legs three times a week with weights. My favorite exercise for the glutes is a weighted hip thrust. I love incorporating a lot of supersets in my workouts to get my heart rate up, that way I feel like I don’t need to do too much traditional cardio.
My favorite leg-day workout:
Weighted Bulgarian split squats 3*12 Superset with 30 sec jumping lunges
Weighted hip bridges 4*12 superset with band walks
Stiff legged barbell deadlifts 4*15-20 superset with 4*10 squat jumps
Leg press 3*12
Stability ball leg curl 2*20
Tell us about your background from Norway to NYC.
I played soccer at a top level in Norway so healthy habits and focus towards top performance is pretty much something I’m raised with. I stopped playing when I attended Medical school in Norway. I also became a crossfit trainer, kettlebell and yoga instructor.
It was during the Medical studies I really learned about nutrition and the preventive aspects of eating healthy. That awareness led me to experiment with my own diet and ultimately create the Viking Waffles. Due to this, I dropped out of Medicine school, travelled to New York to study entrepreneurship and business, and English. After the semester I officially started the Viking Waffles brand in New York city.
Name something about you that might surprise people.
I attended an Olympic weightlifting course, which ended with a competition. I came second to last. haha
There’s a lot of debate when it comes to nutrition on a cheat day or meal. Is this something you incorporate into your diet?
No, I don’t like the idea of cheat meals. I do understand the concept of it, and for a lot of people a break from a clean diet can also speed up your metabolism if have a strict eating regime.
I’ve had points in my life where food almost took over my life. I was very strict and always ate clean food. I was lean, but what most people didn’t see was how much energy and thoughts throughout a day I spent thinking and planning my meals. It came with a price. I looked healthy and top-trained on the outside, but did not feel healthy on the inside.
Today I still train like an athlete, and I feel great just by stressing less, creating healthy eating habits, but I do try to avoid restrictions when it comes to food. I believe the key to eating healthy is to educate yourself about healthy food, and not choose a meal only because it’s healthy, but because it’s food you actually enjoy.
I actually tell myself and others that I believe the healthy approach to food is to think: ‘You can actually eat WHATEVER you want, BUT in moderations” This allows me to have a glass of wine, eat ice-cream and watch my favorite movie with friends because it’s not one meal that determines your physique or fitness, it’s the healthy habits you create and follow 80% of the time.
Can you share a few Scandinavian wellness secrets?
Make the outdoors your gym! Try “Nordic Walks” – Basically walking outdoors. The nature in Norway is beautiful so it’s very nice, but I believe being outside anywhere can be very powerful–it gives you freedom and new focus to keep your body in shape. It can help your mind as much as your body. Truthfully It lifts my spirit on low days.
We also eat a lot of fish, especially salmon. Our diet is naturally very similar to the Paleo diet. A lot of meat, fish, vegetables and unprocessed food.
Last tip I want to share especially to women in NYC is to put less pressure on themselves in their fitness journey and find the comfort and acceptance of themselves and their bodies. Moving to NYC I’m noticing more pressure and focus around looks, status and money, which I’m not used to. We are very family oriented and down to earth. I’m raised in a way where there is not much room for divas or superficial values. Every time I come home to my family in Norway, I’m put straight to work and to help out and this will probably never change.
Are there plans for more Viking waffle flavors or other baked goods from the protein magic bakery? We can’t get enough!
YES YES! I’m very excited to introduce more favors from Viking Waffles. We have a bunch of delicious high protein, low sugar Viking Waffles ready. We’re waiting for the right timing and production. You can expect unique flavors: one flavor will have a secret exclusive superfood ingredient from the sea in Norway and other flavors more specific to special diets, like Paleo and Vegetarian.
What tips do you have for making things healthy without sacrificing flavor?
I call fruit nature's candy. Use bananas as sweetener. Stevia, a natural plant and sweetener is great to use instead of sugar as it has no calories. I use a lot of flavored protein powder while baking and also in smoothies.
I use healthy fats like peanut butter, almond butter and coconut oil where unhealthy fat, like butter, is needed.