OLYMPIC CHAMPION | ENTREPRENEUR | MUM

WELCOME to my site – a place to share and reflect on the life experiences I’ve had as a professional athlete, mum, wife and business owner. A place to share my journey and the amazing people who have helped me get the best out of myself. It’s also a place for random snippets relating to food, family, travel and gear I can’t seem to do without. Enjoy!

Cardamom & Cinnamon Buns aka ‘Korvapuusti’

These days dessert in my house normally consists of a beautiful fruit plate. Neither my husband nor son has a sweet tooth (thankfully) so we just don’t have sweets. However, I do occasionally indulge in the odd favourite. These Finnish versions of cinnamon buns are one of my go-to sweets and best enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee. They also keep well in the freezer, so you can pull them out when the desire strikes.

Makes about 16 small sized buns.

Ingredients:

500mls milk

50gr fresh yeast (or 5tsp dried yeast)

½ cup castor sugar

I tsp salt

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg

200gr butter, softened.

I kg pack of plain flour

Filling:

100 gr butter, softened

2 heaped tsps cinnamon

½ cup sugar

Topping:

1egg

Coarse sugar or decorating sugar

Method:

Dissolve the yeast into lukewarm milk in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt cardamom and egg and mix ingredients together. Add half the four and stir into  soft dough. Mix soft butter into the dough and add as much from the rest of the flour as needed. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the bowl or your hands. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for approximately 30 minutes.

Pour the dough onto a floured board and knead briefly. The dough should feel soft and elastic. Divide the dough into three and roll out one part of the dough into a rectangular sheet approximately 30cmW x 25cmL x 1 cm thick.

Korvapuusti 5

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. Spread the remaining soft butter all over the dough followed by a generous sprinkling of the cinnamon sugar mix.

Roll up the sheet tightly into a log then starting from one end, cut the log into square-top shaped triangles. Roll each bun upright and press the squared-top of the bun down with your thumb. The cut edges will bulge out on both sides. Place the buns on a baking tray lined with baking paper and repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Lightly beat the remaining egg and coat each bun with egg with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with coarse sugar or decorating sugar.

Bake in a 225°C oven, on the middle rack for about 10-15 minutes until the buns golden in colour.

Enjoy hot out of the oven or freeze for a later date once cooled in zip locked bags.

Korvapuusti 6

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Father’s Day Feast

The dads in my life are pretty marvellous. My dad is a man of incredible effort, work ethic and generosity. My husband and dad to Kai…well what can I say. He’s the most patient, flexible, supportive, loving guy I know who left his homeland of Finland along with his friends and family for me. I could go on…but you get the gist. Lucky girl.

In celebration of the wonderful dads in my life, I’ve put together a Father’s Day Feast  - a meal I know they’ll love. The best part about this menu is that it’s super easy, delicious, great for the health conscious and a simple way to feed a crowd….which in my family, amounts to quite a few people. You’ll notice I haven’t included a desert, but I find the best accompaniment with this menu is a delicious fruit platter and an espresso coffee. Just what my dad’s like! Enjoy!

FathersDayFeast

FATHERS DAY FEAST

MENU

Smoked Salmon

Porcini Mushroom Sauce

Tartare Sauce

Super Green Salad

Boiled Kipfler Potatoes

Sourdough Rye  Bread

Smoked Salmon

The way myself and my family enjoy smoked salmon these days has been adopted from the the clever Finnish culture using a smoking oven. My dad (a very handy many) has built himself a smoking oven at his house and smoking food has become a regular family affair for special gatherings. Smoking ovens are not commonplace in Australia however Muurikka (a Finnish brand) now have a very handy electric smoker out in Australia that is fool proof to use and very portable. www.muuri.com.au We have one on our balcony and use it to smoke veggies, fish as well as meat (lamb is also a favourite).

Ingredients:

1 whole salmon approx 3kg serves 6-8 people, skin and scales on. A good size for a Muurikka smoker is around 3kgs. (size of salmon depends on the size of your smoking oven – follow the smoking oven’s instructions)

Rock Salt

Sugar

Lemon slices

Honey (optional)

Method:

  1. Pack the salmon cavity with rock salt and lemon slices and place on your smoking tray. A nice optional extra is spreading some honey inside the cavity.
  2. Sprinkle some sugar all over the salmon skin.  This gives the skin a beautiful golden colour once cooked.
  3. Place the salmon in your smoker with the wood chips according to the instructions. Every smoker is different. When we use the Muurikka smoker, we smoke a 3 kg salmon for approximately 50 minutes. A good way to test if the salmon is cooked is by pulling out one of the fins. If it comes out easily, it’s ready.
  4. To serve, peel back the skin of the salmon. The salmon should be soft and moist and you just lift it off the bone with a spatula.
  5. Enjoy with tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with boiled kipfler potatoes (or a similar waxy potato), porcini mushroom sauce, salad (or any green veggies) and sourdough rye on the side.

Porcini Mushroom Sauce

I love picking wild mushrooms in the Finnish forest. There are so many varieties that spring up seasonally throughout the year. One of my favourites, which grow in abundance in the Finnish forests, are Porcini mushrooms. Porcini’s taste amazing fresh and are packed with loads flavour and nutritional benefits. They are very versatile and are delicious with pizza, risotto, pasta, fish, meat and vegetables. To enjoy them all year round we dry them in the dehydrator and store them in airtight tubs. An irresistible way to enjoy porcini mushrooms is as a sauce that can be served with meat, fish or vegetables. It marries perfectly with smoked salmon as well as the salted salmon recipe shared earlier. In Australia, you can buy dried Porcini mushrooms in most Italian delis.

Ingredients:

2 cups of dried porcini mushrooms

1 onion

Butter

Olive oil

250mls cream

Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. To activate the dried porcini, submerge them in a bowl of warm water for about 30mins.
  2. Discard the water (or use in a stock later), squeeze the water from the porcini and chop them roughly.
  3. Finely dice an onion and melt some butter and oil in a saucepan.
  4. Sautee the onion on medium-low heat for a few minutes until softened (but not brown) and then add the chopped mushrooms.
  5. Cook for a further 5 mins on medium-low heat and then add the cream.
  6. Let is simmer on low for a further 10-12 mins and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Tartar Sauce

Mayonaise

Sour cream or Natural yoghurt

Chopped flat leaf parsley

Chopped dill

Lemon juice

Capers roughly chopped

Finely diced pickled dill cucumber

Finely diced red onion

Salt & Pepper

Note: I don’t measure anything to make tartar sauce as it depends on how many people I’m feeding and the size of your salmon. Just thrown in all the ingredients, mix them together and adjust it to your taste along the way! A bit of this and a bit of that!

Super Green Salad 

Baby kale

Spinach

Rocket

Cucumber

Dressing:

Extra virgin olive oil

Seeded mustard

Apple cider vinegar

Honey (optional)

Salt & Pepper for seasoning

Note: Again, no measurements here! Just add equal amounts of each of the greens. Mix the dressing ingredients together and make enough dressing to lightly coat your salad. Don’t drown it! I like to add a small amount of melted honey to my salad dressings, however if you do, go lightly as you don’t want the honey to be overpowering or make your dressing too sweet.

All that’s left to do is enjoy the marriage of these wonderful flavours! Happy Father’s Day Dads!

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Pregnancy Diary Week 15 – Work/life juggle

Our bub is the size of an apple!

apples

It’s been a productive week both in business and life which has meant long hours into the night/early mornings this week. I’ve gotten myself into a very wacky schedule. Breakfast at 11, lunches at 4pm, dinners at 9pm, workouts through to midnight??? WTF. Trying to cram so much into day and night has shifted my clock. I must admit, I am a night cat at heart and have always been envious of those who are naturally in bed by 9pm and up (willingly) before 6am… It’s never been me. I find I get more creative at night and I can really get focused on my to-do list without phone interruptions and constant emails.

Throw a 3yr old in the mix and the days get quite interesting. Hubby and I have found ways to keep Kai entertained whilst still getting what we need done. Not an easy feat but it is possible.

This week, I’ve started to let the world know that we are expecting. A lot of my friends and family are pregnant at the moment which is great and I love being able to talk pregnancy with other expecting mums! Although, I do feel more at ease with everything the second time round. You just know what to expect I guess and all the symptoms are more like a reminder rather than “what the hell is this?”.

15 weeks pic

Even though this week has been jam packed I’ve still managed to get in my workouts. I’m really LOVING running at the moment and want to keep it up as long as I can. Because of my late night habits and easy access to a 24/7 gym, I’ve converted to the treadmill which by the way I’m is lovely and soft! I’m doing 5km under 30mins and changing it up with intervals of inclines while pumping the tunes. Talk about endorphin release! It feels so good!

I’ve also been experimenting (safely) with a workout program for this trimester which I am feeling really good about and will soon post. I’ve put on approximately 1.5-2kgs (depending on what time of the day I jump on the scales) and I put myself to the test to see if I can still crank out 10 chins….a little bench mark of mine. It’s definitely getting tougher!

All in all, I’m feeling a little fatigued this week but I’m guessing its due to late nights and not enough sleep…so I’m going to try and do a better job of that next week!

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The Will To Fly

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Over 2 years ago I was asked by my good friend and talented producer Katie Bender if I wouldn’t mind a feature documentary being made about me. My instant reaction was – seriously? Who would want to watch a documentary about me? A typical Australian reaction – we’re always ones to downplay ourselves…or at least I am.

I’ve always had  issues with watching myself on TV. I think I was scarred in childhood. My (beautiful loving) mother video taped all my gymnastics competitions as a kid and whenever we had visitors around (which in my family is constant), she would bust out the tapes and show off my latest victory -or crash (which my brothers preferred). I HATED watching or hearing myself and to be honest, I still do but have learned to suck it up. I have no problem with doing video analysis,  but I will never sit down to watch myself on TV. I discretely leave the room if I know I’m about to be on…weird.

So getting back to the documentary. I thought about it for a while. I thought about my son Kai whom I was dragging around the world to training camps and competitions. Surely he would feature in it and what a great thing to at least have him documented? I thought about the sport of aerial skiing. A small sport filled with amazing characters (past and present) doing CRAZY flips and twists off massive jumps. We make it look easy, but trust me, it isn’t. Surely the world would like to see that? The last time a movie was made about aerial skiing was in the 80′s – a movie called Hot Dog. I thought, maybe it was time for an update?

Lastly, I thought about myself. I thought about my story and what I had experienced in my athlete life. I had accomplished a lot and experienced so many  moments of extreme joy and elation. But mostly, my career has been anything but smooth. I’d been riddled with injury and setback that constantly shook my confidence and tested my resolve. I thought about all the shit I had gone through to come out gleaming in Olympic Gold. And if Olympic Gold wasn’t enough, I wanted more. I wanted to break new ground. I wanted to go further than any female aerialist had gone before. I wanted to do the quad twisting triple – a trick only the men had mastered. Oh yeah…. AND I was going to do it as a mum.

Why? The reasons are buried so deep. They’re engrained in me…in my blood, in my heart. All it comes down to is that I’ve got this will in me to go further. To push myself harder. To see what I’m truly made of. I’ve got…. The Will To Fly

Now in it’s final edits, The Will To Fly is scheduled to be released in 2015 into the film festival circuit. Here’s a short teaser and I hope you like it!

 

 

 

Directed by: Leo Baker & Katie ‘Bennie’ Bender
Produced by: Katie ‘Bennie’ Bender
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JEFFREY HODGES – MIND GURU

Just like our muscles, our mind needs constant training and conditioning. It’s our mind that gets us through high-pressure situations. It’s our mind that gets us into and out of ruts. Don’t underestimate its power. Our mind decides all.

For over 10 years now, I have travelled religiously with 3 books. These books go where I go. They are worn and torn but I’ve never grown tired of the content and valuable information inside. I’ve read a lot of books relating to sports psychology, self-improvement and anything that would up skill my mind to make me a better athlete and person. Whilst there are lots of great books out there, none have resonated the same way as those written by long time mental coach and friend Jeffrey Hodges. I’ve played his audio tracks throughout my entire career, so much so that when I hear his voice, I feel instant calm. His voice played inside my head to keep me in form, to get me through injury or to get me out of a slump in confidence, motivation or self-belief.

Working with Jeffrey Hodges (like other gurus I’ve had the pleasure of working with) has changed my life. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, his material is GOLD and worth every penny!

Sportsmind

The first book you should read is SPORTSMIND. The best selling ‘bible’ of mental training for athletes, coaches, students and professional sport psychologists – or anyone in fact. Train your mind and emotions as well as you train your body. This book shows you how.

 Features :

  • Positive Self Motivation
  • Goal Achievement
  • Concentration & Focus
  • Positive Mental Attitude
  • Precision Visualisation
  • Positive Self Image & Confidence
  • Emotional Mastery

The SPORTSMIND TRAINING MANUAL is the essential companion to SPORTSMIND. This training manual, if done properly, will have you thinking differently, reacting to situations differently and will increase your awareness of your thoughts instantly. It’s intense, because it’s 6 weeks straight but so worth while and a really cool process to take yourself through.

This six-week mental training manual will show you how to enhance your concentration, develop powerful self motivation, build a positive mental attitude, set and achieve specific sports goals (or any goal), achieve consistency of performance, and be more confident and relaxed under pressure. I’ve done this training manual more than a few times now and each time my experience has been different because I’m in a different place in my career.

The next must read in his series is Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings. Just when you thought you learnt it all, this book will continue to build on your skills and introduce some new ones.

Elite sportspeople think and feel in specific ways to achieve outstanding sports performances. Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings is about creating the right thoughts and feelings to succeed in sport, business, relationships and your career.

Features :

  • Honing your mental edge
  • Programming yourself for success
  • Releasing negative, limiting beliefs
  • Triggering Positive emotions
  • Developing personal power
  • Case studies from elite sports champions
  • Practical exercises and techniques to immediately enhance your sports performances.

When I first started out as an aerial skier I was desperate to be the best. I was so hungry for success. Jeffrey Hodges was recommended to me after my first Olympic debut in 2002 and I travelled up to Queensland to meet him to do a session. I found his session to be amazing and bought his books and audio tracks (CD’s at the time). I always thought how amazing it would be to work with him all of the time but given our team travelled for 9-10 months/year, it just wasn’t possible. I also didn’t have the money at the time to hire him.

It wasn’t until 2007 after I had endured multiple knee injuries and a series of setbacks that I realized I needed more help. If I was going to give myself the best chance of winning an Olympics, I needed to have the right people around me. Amongst other things, I needed Jeffery Hodges, so I hired him privately. Most of our sessions were conducted through Skype, which was completely fine with me because I travelled so much.

Needless to say, he has been the best investment of my career and my only regret was not investing in him earlier. I guess I just tried to muscle my way through problems and setbacks and tried to figure it out on my own. It wasn’t working.

Investing our minds in completely underrated. We’re quick to buy health insurance, gym memberships, new trainers, supplements or extra gear…but our most powerful asset, our mind, we somehow put on the back burner. It needs to be trained, just as a muscle!

For more information on Jeffrey Hodges and the Sportsmind program click here.

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Lydia Lassila


 

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